Please ignore any posts from me about pets needing homes. They’re fake! It’s not true! I’m taking my first class on building WordPress websites, and I mistakenly posted a class assignment to this blog. That said, I am digging my first online classes. I was skeptical as someone who likes to interact in order to learn, but it’s the way education is heading, and I thought I’d try it. For subject matter that is pretty cut and dry, it makes so much sense to be able to take a class on your lunch break, evenings, waiting in a doctor’s office. I hope the class results in new and improved blog content for Hughtube, but in the meantime, please ignore my fictitious pets but don’t ignore the real pets who need homes. My friend, Dan, is a brilliant web designer and videographer, and he’s created some great content for Charleston Animal Society. Go check it out sometime: http://www.charlestonanimalsociety.org/what-we-do/

This dog, Captain Jack Barkness, is really up for adoption.

“The first thing to know about riding a bike,” Tasha told Hugh yesterday, “is that you’re going to fall.”

Hugh got on and tipped over.

“The next thing to know is the four steps of riding a bike: take-off, going, landing, and falling down. What after happens after you fall down?” she asked.

“Take-off!”

“Exactly. Over and over again. But it helps if you sing this song, “Look straight ahead, look straight ahead, look straight ahead. Pedal, pedal, pedal! Look straight ahead!

And he was off, my two-wheeled rider, beginning the cycle of take-off, going, landing, falling…and taking off again.

bike photo

bike photo 2

Charleston is home and I love its meandering tidal streams, air you can touch, history in your face. But Asheville is an altitude I need to find every few months.

Like this 1920s bar where they serve you a key with your drink which opens a vintage mail box, of course, which displays your choice of appetizer. Bacon jam or pickled Brussels sprouts anyone?

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Or this friend I’ve known for decades who reminds me that change impacts us at a cellular level and that art is cathartic and essential.

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Or this past college roommate who has known me long enough and well enough to have met all my grandparents and also made two beautiful boys just Hugh’s age.

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Asheville, the town whose stages I performed on and coffee shops I wrote in, still knows how to wink at me.

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I quit blogging about a year a half ago. Not for any deeply thoughtful reason, just because I couldn’t figure out what the purpose was anymore. I already post plenty of photos and quotes by Hugh on Facebook. I also have Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter accounts. I was getting tired of myself. But I do miss the act of writing and the blog beckoned me today, so I’m going back here quietly and seeing what transpires.

Speaking of transpires, someone asked me today what Hugh was into right now. I wanted to answer, “Reading, definitely starting to figure out words, and it’s a magical thing.” Or math or puzzles or soccer. But the honest truth is handcuffs.

He loves his shiny silver handcuffs with the tiny key, the sense of power and dominion he feels over anybody who might enter his path that is a joker, stealer, or liar. Today, I found two large plastic dinosaurs handcuffed together. Who knows what transgression must have transpired?

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I’m thankful that my parents raised me with wonderful memories of the holidays so that when this time of year approaches, I’m filled with excitement. It’s especially fun to watch Hugh develop his own holiday giddyness. Yesterday, he found a generic stocking at my sister’s house and insisted on bringing it home. He climbed up on a stool and laid it flat across the mantle, draped over several candles and some magazines. “My stocking is hung!” he said.

But first, Thanksgiving. This was my Grandpa Dick’s favorite holiday. Hugh is named after him (his middle name is Hill, which was Grandpa’s last name), and I always miss my grandparents this time of year. Grandpa Dick with his crazy inventions; Grandma Joyce who always made calico beans from her yellowed, midwestern recipe card box; and Grandpa Gale who donned orange wigs and pushed everyone’s plates and silver ware into different positions while they attempted to eat.

This year, we’re having 14 at our table. A mix of old friends and new friends, family and neighbors. We’re serving: turkey, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, broccoli salad; traditional stuffing and oyster stuffing; green bean casserole; rolls; apple pie, pumpkin pie, and Texas sheet cake. Tasha is making a special cocktail with vodka, sparkling cranberry pomegranate juice, and limes.

I read this great quote in the New York Times today: “Thanksgiving has a way of shaking up the beer can of family turmoil and spraying it all over the room.” The movie that best captures that spirit of that loving disaster is Home for the Holidays starring Holly Hunter. We’ve rented it to watch after dinner.

Love to you and yours.

Preparations begin. After picture to come.

When’s the last time you were home alone all night on a Friday night? If you can’t even think that far back, you know how I feel.

Tonight, Tasha is taking Hugh to a friend’s lake house. I’m going to meet them tomorrow, which means that I have the night to myself. I’ve started a list in my head of the things I might do. They range from the artistic to the mundane.

What would be on your list?

My Friday Night Solo Plans:

Finish reading, House of Sand, while eating dinner at a restaurant alone

Take my used books into trade and buy a new book

Wash all the sheets in the house

Do the Pinterest tshirt project that I’ve got all the supplies for but never started

Go to Goodwill and look for a Halloween costume

Find a yoga class or do yoga at home with a video

Finish watching Cabin in the Woods, which I’ve started three times

Buy the last season of Breaking Bad on iTunes and start watching it since Tasha refuses to see it

Take a bath

Take a walk

Take to the bed

Just me.

As Hugh edges up on four, his toddler-speak is disappearing. We relish the perfectly imperfect words and phrases that remain, smiling over his head and using them ourselves. We know they will soon disappear and one day, we’ll be listening to the surly language of a teenager asking us in whatever vogue slang of the day to quit being so emo.

Here are a few Hugh-isms left that we refuse to correct:

“Hey, Mom, check out this picture of a fulfingo!” (Flamingo)

“Why does the cat go backwith and forwith all day?” (Backwards and forwards)

And last, but certainly not least, for as long as Hugh continues to shout out in public restrooms, “Mom, does she have CHINA?” to which I can answer, “Yes, I’m sure she does,” I will never be correcting this one. (Vagina)

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