Tuesday, August 31, 2010

All-weather exercise

My oldest has developed an interest in a hobby that is almost ideal, at least for this mom. I can sit in air-conditioned (and later this year, heated) bliss, while Mason gets 2+ hours of non-stop fun and exercise. Oh! And there's free wi-fi, too! Where, you may ask, is this haven of parental joy? It's Progressive Skatepark in Canton, Georgia, less than a half hour from my home.

Depending on what day of the week and time of day you go, the fee ranges from $5.00 - $15.00 to use the indoor/outdoor facility for a specific time range or all day. Yes, it's not free, but it is still relatively inexpensive compared to other options available to kids. In the owner Mike DeLuca's words:

"I thought it was so unfair that these corporate skateparks were charging the fees they were. As a skater dad with three kids that skated, it really ticked me off that it would cost me sixty bucks to skate for two hours. I thought why not build a skatepark, charge a small fee to cover the overhead (utilities, insurance, labor and day to day expenses) and give a skater the chance to skate in a clean, well lit and safe environment. While I was at it, give mom and dad a great place to watch there kids excel at what they wanted to do. Today our session prices are still the lowest of any major skatepark in Georgia."

In the raise-responsible-children-area, Mason is so motivated by skateboarding that Progressive is an incentive on which I can base his taking responsibility for his weekly guitar and keyboard practice. No more nagging from this mom! (Well, less nagging, anyway.) If he practices a specific amount of time each week without being reminded, I take him skateboarding. If I have to remind him, then he has to practice anyway and there's no skateboarding that week. (Which is kind of a bummer for me, too, as I actually enjoy hanging out there. Ah, the sacrifices a parent must make!)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A hooping necklace

Love, Earth: Tree of Life necklace
When you're learning to hoop, you don't want to add to the lumps and bumps that the human body already has. I love jewelry, I really do, but wearing bulky shiny objects adds a level of complexity to my hooping that I'm just not ready for. (I don't even wear earrings anymore because I once had a hoop hit my ear and knock a 1 carat stud earring into the grass.) A few months ago, though, I found a piece of jewelry that I can wear while hooping. And I do. In fact, I rarely take it off because I like it for so many different reasons:
  • It's flat and doesn't interfere with my chest or neck hooping.
  • It's relatively inexpensive so I won't be completely horrified if I lose it during a particularly energetic hooping session.
  • It's made of both gold and silver which helps it match pretty much everything.
  • The necklace materials are responsibly mined. (Each necklace includes a tracking number so that you can trace the path of your necklace from "Mine to Market.")
  • The Tree of Life etched on it holds great meaning for me (it is a constant reminder of the connection that we humans, and all life on this planet, have to each other).
The only negative aspect to this necklace is that it's sold by WalMart. Yes, I said Wal-Mart. I don't have a high opinion of that organization, mostly because of its contribution to excessive consumerism and waste, but I suppose we can assume this necklace is an example of them trying to improve their record, yes? One can only hope.

You can find more information about the necklace and the Love, Earth jewelry collection here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sitting on the porch...

...on an early mountain morning. Chatting with my 9-year-old son. Out of the blue he says:

"You do know that when you retire I'm going to give you half my paycheck?"

Me: "And do you know what I'll do with it?"

Mason: "No?"

Me: "Put it in a savings account for you."