Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Testing 1 2 3

Just seeing if I can blog for a friend that can't. Imagine having something to say, and no place to type it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

New England Catholic Family Conference

The New England Catholic Family Conference was yesterday at St. Mary's in Waltham. We had never been to a conference, but the program looked interesting, having separate activities for the youth, Mass with Cardinal Sean, and a family bbq afterwards. I asked the girls if they wanted to go, they said yes -- so we went.

As we drove over, there was a lot of trepidation on the part of the young in the back seat.

Would they have fun? I assured them yes, but if after giving it a try, it they wanted to leave, we would. The venue ran from 1 PM to 8 PM. Long even for adults...

Would they make friends? I assured them, if they were a friend then they would make friends.

It looks like it is going to rain, is this outside? This is a big conference, I assured them of a rain plan; no worries.

What if it were hot, was there AC? I almost pulled the car over to glare at them. The weather we've been having... need AC... not today... maybe a sweater.

Still they were nervous as they filed off to their groups. I was nervous too, and made sure my cell phone was accessible.

A little over two hours later, after listening to two talks on family and vocations, and no cell phone ringing, I had to almost pry them away from their groups. The little one was dancing, as she delivered a letter she wrote for one of our local priests. The middle one made a new friend and future penpal, from 3 towns over. They both had a blast -- acting out parts of the bible, watching a video, and experiencing Adoration. Both said Adoration was the best. I was delighted and relieved that they had enjoyed themselves.

After a brief snack, we went into the church for Mass with the Cardinal and about eight of his brother priests. Again the girls crowded the end of the pew. I was delighted to see two priests that traveled to WYD with us, as well as a fellow pilgrim from Newton.

The Mass was multicultural, just like WYD; full of lively music and singing. The little one received Communion from the Cardinal. When she realized this was about to happen I thought I was going to have to tie her down she was so with excited.

Afterwards at the family bbq, the girls spent the time playing with a foxtail on the lawn with a half a dozen new friends. As dusk drew in, it was time for us to leave. Bedtime, and summer school starts today.

As we drove off, and the soft rains came, I asked the girls if they wanted to comeback next year, and they said, "Yes." So I consider this a successful event. But the girls did mention that the Cardinal looked tired, and maybe he should take three weeks off and rest.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Garden Enemy Number One

A lot of strange coincidences have been happening. Well not a lot, but two... that's enough for me to say a lot.

1. My friend showing up with a rose bush as a memorial to my grandmother. I planted next to the old rose bush that inspired me to make Charles Boss be a lover of roses.

2. The Slugfest. When I visited friends on Bainbridge Island over 16 years ago, I saw my first banana slug. And as ugly and vegetatively destructive as they are, I find their visual textures beautiful. Bainbridge Island and banana slugs play promenant parts in my book. Deep down I love them both -- well, slugs only to photograph.

and maybe 3. The first printed copy of my book arrived yesterday. I will finish reading it today -- make the necessary corrections, (I have already found 5 typos...), and then put it out there for all the world to see. Roses, slugs and all...

The above slug and his six brothers, caught feasting outside of the veggie garden were pardoned.
No slugs were hurt, killed or touched during the photo shoot.

Ghost Girl

While walking through one of those warehouse stores that sells other store's leftovers, I saw the book Ghost Girl - A Blue Ridge Mountain Story by Delia Ray. Hard cover in perfect condition, the price was a third of the cover. Caught up in the colors and presentation of the title and dust jacket illustration, (isn't that what a jacket is suppose to do), I picked up the book and read the inside flap. The book is about an eleven year old girl, April, who lives in Blue Ridge Mountains. Ms. Ray took letters and notes saved by the one room school house teacher, Miss Vest, and created this work of historical fiction.

Yesterday I sat down to read this book, and I stayed up until early this morning to finish it. Ghost Girl is a wonderful read. It is a story deep in hardship with a lining of promise. It gives a glimpse of what life was like in poor rural parts of our country during the depression. In some areas, I am sure, it is still the same.

Ghost Girl is not on any of my girls' summer reading lists. It should be.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

So Far So Good...

(knock on wood...)

Yes, I know it's only 2 days into summer break, but... if I don't write it here, it will be lost.

Yesterday the girls did their summer homework, including two flute practicing sessions, without as much as a . We went to the dollar show. They played games with a friend, then cooked dinner. Have I died and gone to heaven?

I let them off of dish duty -- after all they cooked, and I wasn't even in the kitchen directing operations.

Today we are out for breakfast with a friend, then playing with a puppy, after the summer homework is done.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Growing More than Slugs

With the slugfest I figured all I would be removing from the garden would be slugs. But, the peas are flowering, so there is hope that in addition to our slimy foes, humans will have an opportunity to eat from the garden too.

We're sewing here.

A cousin of ours is expecting her first. As you can imagine, we are all quite excited. Immediately the girls wanted to make something, so we are. The littlest one is so in love with the project, she carries her sewing wherever she goes. Especially in this age where electronics are king. Last night instead of plugging in, she was settled in the other room, stitching away. And doing a great job as well.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

On The First Day of Summer...

my children said to me...

Can we watch TV.
I'm bored.
There is nothing to do.
I don't want to read now.
I don't want to write now.
I don't want to practice now.
I don't like math.
There is nothing to do.
Can Libby, Jane, Janice, Mike, Denise, Martha, Charlie, and William, all come over...
What's to eat?
There is nothing to eat.
Can I have cookies for breakfast?
Can I have chocolate chips for snack?
I hate that. What's for dinner?
There's nothing to do...

I am vowing to get up extra early so I get some quiet time. Some time to get on the treadmill, with a few minutes left over to blog. Then maybe I can grab some banjo time. I might even lay about in the hammock when the sun finally decides to come out. Yeah, and I'll read my book, smile and say all is good -- even when there is nothing to do.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hostile Takeover?

We have a ginormous plant that has taken up residence between the beans, corn and peas. When this beauty first started to grow, I decided to leave it; figuring there was room enough for all. Never did I think it would not only outgrow it's little patch of garden but I suspect it will scale the fence.

I am very excited about our summer guest. It is some kind of squash or pumpkin and only time will tell when it fruits.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


This morning I woke up very early, and decided this would be the day I'd publish my book. So I reread it, fixed some things, sent it off, and created a cover. Now I am waiting for the very first copy to reach my house. At which point I will read it again, and then that will be it, ready for prime time and an ISBN number.

It is a quietly exciting day. I've worked on this book for over eleven years, and today is finally here.

What do I like about his book? I like the fact that it is in a small way a memorial to Pvt. William Kouri, who died at the Battle of St. Lo. I like the fact that a teenager finds her way and feels good about her life. I like the fact that there is a book within a book. I like that you really don't know if ghosts exist or not until the end. I like the fact that I finished it. So many times tasks get started and never finished. This was a work that was put down and picked up many times over the years.

Now I can move on to my next book...

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's Time

Remember when Timon says, "It's time," in the Lion King. Well for me, it's time.

When Nana died a dear dear friend came by with a beautiful rose bush. At first I thought, why and then I thought where, then a second later I knew. This friend, bearing this gift, is a sign -- a sign for me to submit my book. For in my book this house has a wonderful rose garden. So one relaxed read and then it is off. I know I have been threatening this for years, but now it is time.

Things I'm glad I'm not...

As much as I fear the big 5 0 I am glad I am not a teenager. Getting over that first love is a toughie, even when there are prospects waiting in the wings.

I am glad I am not a plecostomus. How sad it must be to out grow your tank, and know a 40 gallon long is probably not coming anytime soon. Maybe Santa...

I am glad I am not a common garden variety slug, or any kind of slug in my garden. Sorry you're are not welcome -- but try the compost pile. There you will get fresh clippings weekly.

I am glad I am not in puberty, or at least hitting that growth spurt. Poor kids who must wear two week old pants that already are looking for the flood waters to rise. But with our weather of late, these bloomers will be the only ones with dry cuffs around here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It Grows

Which is a good thing. Since she was looking like a bunny when she arrived two weeks ago. It's funny how she is filling in her skin. She is a rough and tumble kind of girl -- much to my horror.

Summer Schedule -- What's that?

After my usual banjo lesson on Tuesday, I went to say the usual, "See you next week," when I realized I wouldn't be. I looked at Arthur and he looked at me. Instead I said, "Let me see how this summer schedule works and I'll give you a call." He nodded. What else could he do. We both have kids. We both know in the summer the world truly does revolves around our children. That life is really busy.

My taxi schedule will be -- minimally, drop off at 9 AM, drop off at 10 AM, pick up at 11 AM, pick up at noon. Most afternoons off, except Tuesday and then music lessons Tuesday and Thursday.

So the usual Tuesday AM banjo lesson won't work. For when I've tried to squeeze a lesson in when I was rushed, I discovered my fingers don't work. Take this past lesson, I was thinking about densities and maple syrup -- the forward roll just wouldn't happen. Instead we talked about chord construction and minor flat fifths and flat sevenths. Density is easy compared to music theory -- but I love both.

I love the banjo. So between summer lessons I'll practice, practice, practice. It would be nice to play some new tunes the next time our music paths cross.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Busy, busy, busy

With the school year winding down the schedule is pushing full throttle. I mount the driver's seat early morn and alight moments before dinner is expected on the table. Unbelievable. Today started with a Backyard Science session. The fifth grader said it went well, but I know public speaking is not my calling. Then I spent in hour in the school courtyard with some second graders. Technically we were cleaning up a few of the flower beds, but really we were doing that Backyard Science thing I had just spoken about. For in the beds were okra pods from last year's planting. Unbelievable. So we transplanted some pretty asters to make room for an okra patch. We also saw some wonderful insects. I wish I had more time to spend out there -- maybe tomorrow.

But it was off to a band concert at Jordan's Furniture. I know, it sounds like a weird venue -- but it works, and the kids have fun. Great concert -- by the way. And then after some promised errands I raced back to school to catch the school's symphony concert. Another lovely music event.

Tomorrow is quieter. The fifth grader is off on a field trip which I politely declined to chaperon. The little one has her last reading tutoring session for the semester. We owe her tutor a debt of gratitude. For without her efforts I fear the reluctant reader would be repeating the grade. And then there is the high schooler, who is slogging through finals.

Soon it will be over, and cries of boredom will fill the land. Joy of joys...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Backyard Science

I have been busy trying to put together a maple sugaring science presentation for my daughter's outgoing 5th grade class. The challenge is that most of these students already know the basics of sugaring: you tap the trees, you collect the sap, you boil the sap, you bring the syrup into school with mini waffles -- it's a done deal. But the fifth grader still wants to share her maple experience -- but reading a picture book won't cut it.

First I thought about having the students make various percent sugar solutions and then have them weigh the solutions with the idea to create a graph on which we could determine the density of the syrup. Unfortunately our school and my kitchen don't contain precise enough equipment to make these measurements. (So remember that when you are finishing grad school and they are getting rid of those old but reliable 5 decimal place balances or graduated cylinders where the markings are kind of wearing off, and you think, "What would I ever do with that stuff?" My kingdom for some old equipment...)

So my next foray into backyard science still involves density determination but we will use the hydrometer to show the density of the maple syrup and from that data calculate the percent sugar. Then calculate the percent sugar in Coke, and make our own sugar solution and see how accurate our measurements are by using the hydrometer. All the while we are feasting on mini waffles and maple syrup -- after all eating is a big part of my type of science.

I will also show them pictures from super cooled sap and how it crystallizes when you pour it out of the bucket. The big take home message is: Science is all around us -- even during the mud season, when the world is dreary and cold to the core. Science is totally cool.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

New Tevas

Today was a mom and daughter birthday celebration. A little shopping at the favorite girl store, a little mall crawl, a little brunch, and then it happened: a little step on the side of my old faithful Tevas. The strap let go, and my decision whether to hold a Teva retirement party was made.

Our next stop was REI. Where I flapped it up the stairs to the shoe department, asked for a new pair: size 9. Tried them on, paid for them, and wore them out.

"What are you gonna do with the old shoes?" asked the birthday girl.

"Bronze'em," was my answer. But that's not the truth. With a little bit of fanfare they ended up in the upright.

I do miss them, but the new ones are oh so comfortable, like the old ones used to be.

Friday, June 12, 2009

For it is in giving that we receive. -- St. Francis Of Assisi

Today is the last Girl Scout meeting for our year. For some of our girls it will be their last meeting forever. As fifth graders they stand on the precipice between elementary and middle school, Juniors and Cadettes, and they are making the choice to take that first step without the second. Some say they will be too busy, wanting to pursue drama, or dance. I say, "We meet twice a month. Make time." Others say we did too much community service, as echoed by their parents. And that takes me by surprise, and leaves me without any more of a response than a gaping mouth. How can one do too much community service?

We were not raking lawn, picking up trash, or visiting our elderly neighbors every moment of every meeting. We collected flip tops to donate to the Ronald McDonald House, sewed two small quilts: one for a scout's new baby sister and another for a critically ill child, and participated in our community Green Up day. Then there was the fun skit spoofing the teachers in the local school's variety show: all proceeds go towards the fourth grade, and putting up posters for the school's walk-a-thon -- raising money for our Physical Education program. All these events I thought came wrapped in their laughter...

When I woke up this morning St. Francis's quote: For it is in giving that we receive, was running through my head. And I remember trying to teach my older teen this very same message. Open your hands, and your heart will be overflowing. There is so much satisfaction in giving, that in a world were the gimmes are grabbing for all they can get, and coming up empty, I believe giving could be coined our societal life saver.

We read the tabloids and watch on the tv and internet about the rich and famous having it all, but still not being happy. Then we read books, especially the children's book about the quilt maker and the greedy king that wants one of her beautiful creations, but she won't give one to him, until he gives all his possessions away. How sad this king was until he learned to give. But in the end he possessed the best riches of all.

I consider myself very lucky. I have found that St. Pius was right, the more I give -- the richer I am. When Pius was the Pope he commented, "I give a million dollars away in the morning and someone else will give me 2 million in the afternoon." No, there isn't a line outside my door with people handing out money. His point -- Giving begets giving. And if one gives, they get back a thousand fold.

But Catholics aren't the only ones that know the secret of giving. Giving transcends all religions, faiths, and nonfaiths. These quotes are from the Quote Lady.

  • The fragrance always remains in the hand that gives the rose.--Heda Bejar

  • Getters don't get--givers get.--Eugene Benge

  • The gifts that one receives for giving are so immeasurable that it is almost an injustice to accept them.--Rod McKuen

  • Giving is a joy if we do it in the right spirit. It all depends on whether we think of it as "What can I spare? " or as "What can I share? "--Esther Baldwin York

  • Giving opens the way for receiving.--Florence Scovel Shinn

  • Giving whether it be of time, labor, affection, advice, gifts, or whatever, is one of life's greatest pleasures.--Rebecca Russell

  • The happiest people I have known have been those who gave themselves no concern about their own souls, but did their uttermost to mitigate the miseries of others.--Elizabeth Cady Stanton

  • He gives little who gives with a frown; he gives much who gives little with a smile.--The Talmud

  • He that gives quickly gives twice.--Cervantes (Don Quixote)

  • A hug is the perfect gift--one size fits all, and nobody minds if you exchange it.--Ivern Ball

  • A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.--Albert Einstein

  • I have come to believe that giving and receiving are really the same. Giving and receiving--not giving and taking.--Joyce Grenfell (Joyce Grenfell Requests the Pleasure)

  • I would like to believe when I die that I have given myself away like a tree that sows seed every spring and never counts the loss, because it is not loss, it is adding to future life. It is the tree's way of being. Strongly rooted perhaps, but spilling out its treasure on the wind.--May Sarton

  • If you find that life is flat,
    Full of this, with none of that,
    Try giving!--Margaret Gordon Kuhlman
As leaders we tried as we might to show them, and teach them that their hands would be overflowing if they just gave some of it away. After all, my hands were always overflowing with the girls and scouting.

Maybe when I am old, maybe one of these giving seeds will take root and I will get to see it grow and blossom, spilling its seeds upon others.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

And it's root, root, root for the home team!

We are off to see baseball at its finest today; up close and personal. We are off to the Worcester Tornadoes game at Fitton Field. Where, from every seat you can practically reach out and touch a player. No binoculars needed to catch the action. This is America's sport -- at a cost Americans can afford. (Today's game ticket is $5, and there is ample free parking.) With a hot dog in hand, and the sweet crack of the bat, despite the real chance of showers, life is very good today.

It's a Student Council sponsored event. My job -- herding children to the concession stand. Still I have hopes of digitally catching a few fantastic plays.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pictures of flowers

I take pictures of flowers because I don't have to bribe them to smile. Nor do I have to chase them around the backyard, then beg them to stand still.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

What's better than brewing a gallon of hard cider?

Brewing two gallons of hard cider. :-)
Eight weeks and counting.

Here's hoping it turns out okay.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Growing Up and Old

When my grandmother died there was a lot of talk about where her mind was. She suffered from dementia and spent most of any conversation repeating, "Are you going to hurt me?"

Poor woman. Physically she was fine right up until the end, but mentally she was stuck somewhere in her past where physical punishment or pain was, for lack of a better word, apparent to her. Of course when she would ask me that question, I would lean over from my right close to her chair, repeatedly kiss her cheek and say, "No Nan, I won't hurt you. But I will love you forever." She'd smile briefly, before resuming her worry. Poor soul. Nana grew up, grew old and then settled back into a place no one from this generation could fathom. For no one we knew ever hurt her.

After Nana's funeral my aunt mentioned to my mom that when she looked over at me, all of a sudden she realized that I was all grown up. The shock of it. Mother of three, (one a hormonal teen), and approaching 50 and I'm all grown up. I knew it would happen...

And I laughed when I heard this, and rebuffed her conclusion. "You're wrong. I'll never grow up." And I hope not to. I want to be able to sit down in front of my aunt on the couch and have her brush my graying hair. I yearn for that special time and look that she now shares with my daughters. A time and look that I graciously acknowledge and let go, knowing the love that it contains. How lucky my girls get that time.

But I'm not grown up. I called my banjo teacher today to postpone this week's lesson. When he answered I heard a cheery girl say, "Hi Arthur," and it was me. Me the banjo student calling the teacher asking for a generous extension. Me the girl -- approaching 50, who dresses more like my daughters in capris and oversized tshirts. Me, who wears my favorite faded baseball hat from World Youth Day almost everywhere I go. I don't feel a half century.

So when will I grow up? When will I grow old? And when I am old, just how old will I be? Will the locals whisper, "See that old lady wearing the tevas, she makes cheeses, maple syrup and brews beer and hard cider. She's about as old as dirt and she still plays the banjo."

I wonder when I'm all grown up if I will play it well.

The new gal in town

Saturday, moments before Nana's funeral, we got the news that there would be a new gal in town. That day, after 6; we were to come over to meet her. And as I waited in the church for the Mass to begin I thought about how on this very sad day, that there were still pockets of extreme joy; and events to be celebrated. That this one introduction has been so highly anticipated that I didn't think any of us could sit still.

Since February our world has been waiting for her. There have been weekly questions surrounding her birth, her sisters, brothers, and her arrival. Songs have been sung. And there have been in depth discussions about long walks in the woods, and chew toys.

And now she is here, and there is such delight in the air.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

I hear banjo music

"I hear banjo music," recited with the same tone and intonation as that famous line, "I see dead people." From that movie with Bruce Willis, that I can't remember the title, but my husband will, and I'll ask him at a more reasonable hour.

Strange, but true; the part about hearing banjo music. I'm hearing that same rolling repeat over and over, and I smile. For it's my little rolling repeat plucking, hammering and sliding along the strings; ringing in my head and echoing in my heart.

It was that little ditty that I woke to ten minutes ago. And I wonder, is it the root of this sleepless night or the blanket of background music giving me comfort?

For it was that little ditty that ran through my head as I drove the hour back and forth to my Nana's wake. It made the stop and go seem nothing as I wondered to which song, in my rather limited set, the ditty belongs to. The tones in perfect tune. The notes held for just the right amount of time. Despite holding a steering wheel in my fingers I still had the sense of moving across the strings. I'm left with the quandary of -- Traffic, what traffic? Was that rush hour? Yes, it was. For the usual 45 minutes trip took over an hour and 15 minutes; of banjo music.

It was that little ditty that kept the pace for my solitary walk the other day. When I wanted to be alone with my thoughts of Nana and all the cookies I had eaten sitting at her kitchen table. No matter when we would visit, there were always cookies, (homemade chocolate chip usually, Oreos as a back up) and milk -- and when I was older -- coffee.

And later today, that little ditty will usher me up to the lectern to recite the Prayers of the Faithful. I wish my Nana could have heard my banjo music. Being a beginner, I never thought to play for her. Perhaps maybe she can hear me now. Maybe she has heard me playing these solemn four days, and it's that ditty that makes her smile.

I think I'll play some...

Friday, June 05, 2009

What's brewing in your neck of the woods?

I have had this desire to cook up some hard cider for about a year now. Finally I bit the bullet, (more like remembered to buy cider when I was shopping) and set up the old faithful brewing jug and airlock.

But nothing is ever straight forward. Making things a bit different, in the Produce Section of the store, the currant juice was sitting right smack dab next to the apple cider. And as I reached for the cider I remembered dear friends that live in Belgium and the current bushes that line their property.

So my first foray into hard cider is really an experiment in making Hard Apple Currant Cider.

The directions said to add the yeast to the cider, top off the bottle with the airloc and let it ferment for a month or so. Being a scientist and realizing my yeast packet was on the old side, I added yeast nutrient, and booster, as well as a good glop of honey to the mix. And as expected the yeast population was on the low side when the culture (after all brewing is all about culture) was initiated, but it's starting to ferment with the best of them now.

If all goes according to plan, (what plan?) we should have Hard Apple Currant Cider for the fall.

And yes, if you look closely that is me in the bottle. But then, what else is new.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

It's a PBR Slugfest

A few weeks ago I noticed that something was eating our bean plants. I assumed slugs; since I saw a telltale track, but trying to be nice, with a live and let live philosophy, figured I'd let them have their fill and then they would move on. But what happened was something in line with those 70's shampoo commercials where they told two friends, who told two friends, who told two friends and so on, and so on, and so on.

Now our bean plants look like they were shot with shrapnel. So last night the big guns in the form of the cheapest six pack on the planet, Pabst Blue Ribbon, were brought out. I buried two beer-filled small yogurt containers lip deep and placed a maple sugaring bucket cover over the whole swimming pool set up so our little guests would have some privacy.

And this morning by all accounts there was quite a slugfest in the bean patch last night. Yahoo!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Chemistry: To teach me is to love me

When I was in high school, right after the earth cooled, (okay maybe not that long ago, but it was right after man started walking upright), Chemistry was a no no. In order to do well in Chem you had to understand mathematical relationships and work with numbers. In high school, being somewhat artsy, even if the teacher held the flashlight, I could not add my way out of a paper bag with the top turned down. Get the picture? But I wanted to be a scientist...

In college, towards this goal, I took Freshman Chem twice. Once at the big university sitting among 300 students and then again at the smaller state college with 30 other students -- in the summer all day long. It was that summer, I realized that Chemistry and Math share a dance, a movement, a flow. They are perfect thought and speak nature's word. I fell in love, and have been faithful to the call, regardless of this life's pursuit ever since.

In grad school while learning to be that scientist I taught freshman chem at an even bigger state U. I told my ducklings about the dance. I clued them in, "Learn it now and you will have it forever." It's true.

For last night I was once again called up to the midnight Chemistry on deck circle. "Teach me about buffers."

My sleepy heart skipped a beat. It had been easily 25 years since I taught buffers, and a good 20 years since I used one. My response, "Get me your book." At this point it was reported that the book sucks. I smiled. The secondary review of, "It tells me nothing," followed. I shook my head and grabbed it for myself, remembering when I too had uttered that thoughtful assessment of my own text books. "We'll take this section by section, doing each example step by step," and we did.

Afterwards, I concluded that the text is actually quite wonderful at laying out the dance. The movement from molar to mole to gram to Ka to pH -- lovely. Be still my heart.

We did more over Special K this morning. At which time I told her, "You're smarter than me. You are doing more Chemistry in high school than I ever dreamed of doing."

She doesn't believe me. Called me a liar. But it's true. And as she walked out the door, I uttered those standard mother daughter words: I love you, and I don't lie.

To teach is to love.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Remember when...

Remember a few posts back when the little one was home sick (?) and we lazed about on the hammock doing homework? Well out on that hammock she (with questioning from mom) wrote this poem. It was her final project for her Insect Research on the Praying Mantis.

A Happy Lunch

In a vegetable garden, I am watching for some prey.
Looking with my bulgy eyes.
Smacking my external jaws with thoughts of a cricket lunch.
Under the summer sun, soon my guest crawls by.
Happily, I greet him with a spiny foreleg to his back
before biting his head off.

Yes, I am a proud momma. This little author swore up one blade of grass and down all others that she couldn't write a poem. Well I think she did a great job. So did her teacher, who gave her an A.

Wrapping Up

Nine more days; Nine more days and then finals. Fifteen more days of school total -- but we are already in summer mode. Instead of homework yesterday we walked to the local shop for a coffee. Instead of homework we went to church and made lunches for the homeless. Instead of homework we bounced a basketball outside and had fun. And then we did the homework.

Today the middle one has a doctor's appointment for a wonkie knee. It doesn't hurt. She doesn't limp, or favor it; it's just wonkie. Her appointment bisects the school day, and I'm on the fence as to whether I'll bring her back. It's summer after all. The weather is beautiful. The hammock is out. If this were September, November, bitter cold February or raw March -- no question she'd return to school catching the last hour or so. But today, we'll see what the doctor says. If it's a tramatic visit, my prescription might be resting on the hammock -- homework at the ready.

Monday, June 01, 2009

You just never know

My hubby says, "Well sometimes you do?" But I say, "You don't," and this weekend was true to form.

If you had told me I wouldn't cook one meal this weekend, I would've said you're crazy, but I didn't.

If you had said I would have uninterrupted sleep these past nights, you would've been wrong. Sleep, what is that?

If you had said love is all it takes to keep teenage relationship going, you'd be mistaken. But we all knew that anyway.

If you had said schedules remain unbroken, you'd be misinformed. Nothing is etched in stone.

If you said...
I'd say sometimes you just never know.