Spring

I am not a fan of Spring-Forward Sunday. For one thing, I’m pretty much a lazy person and when we’re off Daylight Saving Time and it starts to get dark at 5 or 6 at night, it’s quite easy to put the ol’ pajamas on and call it a day — literally — by 8 p.m. But in Daylight Saving Time, you’re sort of compelled to keep going until 10 p.m. or so. I mean, isn’t that why Daylight Saving Time was invented — so we’d have more time to do work? Whose bright idea was that???!!! And when I was a young mom, I dreaded the spring-forward time change that wreaked havoc with those lovely early bedtimes. However, now that I’m Grandma Ka-kee and treasure every moment I can spend with my almost-2-year-old grandson, Capt. Adorable, I say the more daylight, the better. That just gives me more playtime to hang out with the Captain in his backyard and his ultra-cool new playground equipment his mom and dad got him for an early birthday present. It’s got slides and a climbing wall and a fun underneath space for hiding. Plus, it offers the chance for scientific exploration, such as “Why has rainwater gathered in this little hole and I wonder what would happen if I put my finger in it?” And when it’s spring and nice weather, you can also have your  snack of yogurt-covered blueberries outside — definitely worth giving up an hour or two of sleep!

Fitness and Fashion

Yup, that’s me. And Younger Daughter. This is the photo that goes along with my most recent Fashionably Speaking column in the quarterly magazine Shoals Woman. I wrote about workout wear — how women of my generation have bad memories of having to wear ugly and baggy clothes for those required PE classes in school and how those memories keep us in ugly and baggy clothes when we work out today. Women of Younger Daughter’s generation, however, don’t have that baggage. They know that sleek and fitted is the way to go — and when you look good and feel good about the way you look, then you’ll feel good about yourself. Or something like that. Anyway, we had a great time at our local YMCA taking these photos. Younger Daughter is a good sport to play along — but I can still outwalk her, no matter what I’m wearing. Although, it’s true, she can outrun me even if she were wearing heels and hose. Oh, well — we each have our talents! Read http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20100224/SW/100229968/1085/sw to find more tips for incorporating fitness with fashion. For example, you can certainly consider your mad dash around the store to spend your 30-percent-0ff coupon when it’s five minutes before closing time as aerobic exercise. Works for me!

Family

At 22 months, grandson Capt. Adorable already is rocking cool pre-preschool fashion.  Wednesday afternoon was a little bit warmer (in the low 50s!), a little bit drier (no rain for 24 hours!) and a little bit sunnier here in north Alabama so we all headed out to the park for some rare outside fun. Let me tell you, there is nothing like chasing a little guy around a playground maze of slides and steps and balance beams to chase away any adult-onset winter blues. And what does the well-dressed pre-preschooler wear to the playground? A cozy striped hoodie topped off with the perfect pair of shades. I was laughing too hard to snap it, but the Captain somehow did the pull-the-glasses-down-a-bit-and-peer-inquiringly-over-the-top move so smoothly that I wish I had taken notes.

Fashion

Is working out more one of your 2010 resolutions? Okay, isn’t it everybody’s??? In my experience, after decades of making Jan. 1 working-out resolutions, one of the best ways to ensure keeping this promise is to look fantastic while you’re doing it. I’m serious — there’s a world of difference between working out in baggy and holey sweats and your oversized 1995 R.E.M. Monster Tour T-shirt and working out in a new sleek and chic outfit made out of fabric that’s smarter than you are. If you haven’t checked out what’s new in workout wear, Google it or go to your favorite store and be prepared to be amazed. Still confused? Check out my Fashionably Speaking column in the quarterly magazine Shoals Woman at http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20091230/SW/912299978/1085/SW for a rundown of what to wear where and when, workout-wise.  (And remember: It’s all in good fun because I really don’t know what I’m talking about — I personally choose the sweats and he Monster Tour T-shirt, every time.)

Family

Backyard poolIs there anything better on a hot summer day than Capt. Adorablecooling off in your backyard pool? Especially when the pool is a family heirloom? My mom had this inflatable pool at her house more than 20 years ago for her granddaughters and now her great-grandson thinks it’s the best thing ever. Honestly, I didn’t remember the pool, but my mom kept saying, “I have the pool the girls played in and it would be perfect for Capt. Adorable.”  And she was right! It fits just exactly on the patio, which is in the afternoon shade, and 17-months-old Capt. Adorable and his mommy get out and have fun in it almost every day (although that’s the Captain’s aunt in the photo). Say the word “pool” and the Captain’s at the patio door, ready to go. It took him awhile, but now he’s fully conversant in the arts of splashing, pouring and dumping cupfuls of water on anyone brave enough to get close.

Gardens

GardensHerb vinegarMy friend Polly has one of the most beautiful home gardens I’ve ever seen. She’s a retired teacher, and most of the work she’s done in these photos has been in the past three years. Can we say “incredible energy?” She and her husband travel around the world, but I think I would just park myself in the backyard if mine looked like this. I especially love her Yard artzen approach to gardening: It’s organized, but not formal or structured — the plants, flowers, herbs and vegetables just sort of spill out in exuberant joy. And she’s got such whimsical touches Gardeningeverywhere: Birdhouses, sculptures, yard art, chairs, gates, fences, stepping stones, arches. It’s a treasure everywhere you look. Polly and her husband live within the city limits of Florence, Alabama, but with the deer grazing in the front yard and the creek dancing over on the side and the abundant shade trees cooling everything off, you feel as if you’re at a wonderfully isolated woman-made Eden — yet bustling civilization is just at the end of the driveway. To my mother’s eternal frustration, I remain ignorant of all Wheelbarrowsthings gardening. I mean, I can tell a rose from a daisy (that’s the yellow and white one, right?) but that’s about it. Yet even a non-garden person like me can recognize and appreciate a green paradise such as Polly’s garden. I’m just glad there are folks like her in the world who know what they’re doing with seeds and dirt so folks like me can enjoy.

Gold Medals

Capt. AdorableCapt. AdorableMichael Phelps, are you ready for the next generation of gold-medal winners? My grandson, Capt. Adorable, has started his own collection with this gold medal he won from an unanimous panel of awestruck judges got at the end of spring classes at Baby Gym. He probably is the most skilled and talented baby ever — ever! — to go Capt. Adorablethrough Baby Gym. That’s what I think, anyway. His skills at running under the parachute, playing with bubbles and refusing to give up the blue ball already are legendary. And these medals sure do come in handy — they also double as a snack. So convenient! But sometimes, you know, you just need to lay down on the mat and take a break from all the excitement and fan admiration.