Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
So delightful on a hot Georgia day!
Thou are deliciously sinful!
Shall I compare thee to a chocolate chip cookie?
Thou art more refreshing and creamier!
Had I but purchased you in a larger size,
Thy chocolatey goodness I would still taste!
But alas, thou art gone. Slurp, slurpppppp!
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Anyway, after I told Two several times that we were going to the post office, and that he would see his grandfather later today, he finally switched his tune: "Pos Off? May-ul?" He was quite pleased when I let him hold the books I was mailing while we stood in line. Like his sister, he likes to be a helper.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
To play, click on the link and then press Start. There will be a countdown from 3, and then numbers will flash up on the screen. Try to memorize them. They will disappear and be replaced by circles. Click on the circles in order from the smallest to the largest number. You'll repeat the process ten times, and then the site will tell you the "age" of your brain. Let me know your brain-age in the comments!
Two is a bit jealous, or at least incredibly curious, about all of his sister's activities. In a streak of naughtiness, he's also been coloring on the walls at home and at my parents' house. Thank goodness for washable crayons.
Monday, July 21, 2008
She's quite the daydreamer in swim class, too - she gets caught up in her own thing and doesn't always pay attention. Meanwhile I'm sitting over to the side watching her, just waiting for the teacher to ask her to do something, at which point he will have to explain it to her again. When this type of situation arises in my own classes, I find it exceptionally frustrating. I think it's a developmental thing with Big Girl, as opposed to the unabashed slackness I see in the college classes I teach.
Big Girl has this wonderful imaginative personality, and she's easily distracted - and since this is quite different from the way I function, it's a bit tricky for me to know how to help her while at the same time respecting her individualism and spirit. This is something we'll have to work on. I try to think about it in terms of the way I get completely caught up in a book, to the point that I'm unaware of anything around me. She seems to make this shift quite easily when she's enjoying herself, and her timing doesn't always match the expectations of adults around her. Suggestions welcome!
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Watch for the part where they do tiger motions - straight outta high school chorus!
Big Girl and Hubs have gone to a gun show this morning. I'm very interested to hear what my girl says about it when they return. She was so excited about a solo excursion with her dad. It's a small show, so hopefully he'll see enough to interest him without crossing that line at which Big Girl becomes bored, tired, or cranky.
Two is here with me for a Bob the Builder mini-marathon. He is mesmerized!
Friday, July 18, 2008
Anne Taintor really struck a nerve when she created these. I've loved her witty, snarky little gems for years. I gave my mother this one several years ago, because it seems so like my father. But I think I have a new favorite now. Close observation has revealed that Big Girl and Two rule the roost across town.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tomorrow's the big carpal tunnel surgery day. I don't know how easy it will be to type, or how long it'll take to heal, so I may not update here for a while. Wish me luck!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I was just watching Eli Stone (rerun), and an ad ran for its second season this fall. This pleases me, because I enjoy it, but so many of the shows I enjoyed last year didn't survive. This happens far too often, particularly with the shows that are articulate, well-written, thought provoking. I like to call it the Sports Night effect, after the show Hubs and I loved so much. We were both big Sports Night fans, and watched religiously, and SN was also loved by critics. Apparently that wasn't enough for ABC, which cut it after its second season. Aaron Sorkin went on to write The West Wing, of course, which I enjoyed initially but which really wasn't as tightly constructed and elegantly deployed as Sports Night. I think the 30-minute format forced Aaron Sorkin to be even more effective with his dialogue, and it kept him in check in a useful way - not unrelated to the way that some writers excel in writing short stories, but become a bit too verbose when writing a novel.
There are so many shows that I enjoyed, that did not survive. This tells me that my tastes do not correspond, in many cases, with whoever it is the networks hope to attract. They also choose to renew some of the most bland, boring programs imaginable, and they keep other shows on life support far too long (case in point: ER, which I haven't been able to bear to watch in years).
I know I have quirky tastes. I know I'm nerdy, and I like sci-fi and fantasy more than your average bear, but I can't stand that feeling of getting invested in a show, and getting really into it, watching for it, making it a part of my routine, only to have the rug pulled out from under me. I don't like falling on my butt, literally or figuratively. But The Powers That Be - or The Man, or Mr. Columbia, whatever you want to call the suits who make television programming decisions - have no qualms about seeing me land on my tuckus again and again.
And so, my list, of Ten Shows That Ended Too Soon:
1. Sports Night - The Complete Series Boxed Set
2. Jericho - The Complete Series
4. The Dresden Files - The Complete First Season
5. The Mole - The Complete First Season (original version, with Anderson Cooper)
6. The Dead Zone - The Complete First Season
7. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip - The Complete Series
8. Threshold - The Complete Series
10. The Agency
Big Girl sat in my lap this evening and we browsed the Jackson & Perkins catalog together. She loves to discuss the "pretty flowers" with me. I'm an insatiable flower and plant catalog addict. I love to admire all of the new varieties and dream of planting fantastic gardens, some day, at a house that does not yet exist...
So this particular catalog features several of my favorites, including the rose shown here, the Summer of Love Hybrid Tea Rose. I love roses with pink-tipped petals, with white or creamy yellows in the center. Hubs is a smart guy and always tries to find these when he brings me flowers. I would love to have a large rose bed and grow my own, along with others in yellow, peach, deep pinks, and white. If I had this rose bed, I would be able to participate in the J&P Rose Test Panel, which I think sounds like such a neat idea. They send you four plants, all hybrid teas in contention for Rose of the Year, and you get a scoresheet to give feedback on the roses' performance in your garden. My mom did this one year, many years ago, and I've always wanted to have a yard suitable for doing this myself. I would want these hybrid teas, but I would also need to have arches and arbors to grow some fabulous climbing roses as well. And maybe a gardener to help me maintain all of this, since I'm already dreaming extravagantly.
That would just be one portion of my garden, of course. I would need many beds for many, many flowers, plus an herb garden and an area to grow vegetables as well. Including pumpkins for Big Girl and Two to carve for Halloween. And lots of crook-neck and zucchini squash, plus tomato plants. Maybe I'll need a larger staff for these dreams.
This got me started looking around for yummy recipes, and I found a delicious one from Southern Living for Spinach-Stuffed Squash. We've had a lot of fresh squash lately, courtesy of my aunt's vegetable garden, and I can't wait to try this one. It has three of my favorites: spinach, squash, and onion.
I need to dig around and find the recipe for my (other) aunt's black bean and corn salsa. It's delicious, and I tried to track it down on the Southern Living site for easy linkage, but couldn't find it. I'm pretty sure she got it from the magazine. They must have a limited number of recipes online to keep people buying the magazine. ;)
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Anyway, I've wanted to get more bat houses since then but haven't been able to find them until I saw some made here, locally, when I was searching etsy. My second reason for wanting bat houses - and bats - is that Hubs thinks they are really cool. That's excellent unless he wants me to pet the baby bat (he tried this once when we were dating - I declined). I like to watch bats as long as they keep my distance. The bats under the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, flying out at sunset, are more my style. But the bat houses would be interesting for Hubs, and the kids would likely enjoy the whole thing. Big Girl is already intrigued by the bat house we bought yesterday.
So, the single bat house I bought is great, but I would love to have more, and beyond that I think it would be great for my dad to put some up on the side of the barn and encourage bats to take up residence there. My aunt would FREAK (and I would laugh - because while I'm a bit skittish about bats, she's far beyond that and would be afraid of the bats banding together and conspiring against her or something), but I think it would be great to have them there to help with mosquitoes and provide a good habitat for them. From the reading I've done, I know that good habitats are hard for bats to find, particularly with regular logging and forest management taking out trees where they might live, and I'm in favor of making my environment as friendly to its natural inhabitants as possible.
So, after that long-winded diatribe... I got the bug to find plans for a bat house online, and it looks fairly straightforward. Hubs is busy with school stuff at the moment, and I have surgery next week, but perhaps I can get Hubs and my dad on board for this project in a month or two. This page from the National Wildlife Federation has a great first-person narrative about a woman who built her own bat house, and she really clears up a lot of misconceptions - now I know why bat houses should be placed on poles or buildings, not trees, and why they should be painted dark colors. She used the Economy Bat House Plans from Bat Conservation International, which I'll likely try as well. I also found another site with plans, but I think I should try the simple route first.
I have the cutest little leotards and pink ballet tights hanging on the drying rack in the kitchen. Big Girl starts dance camp - and another swim camp - next week. I'll have to figure out some way to make sure she gets there on Thursday, since I'll be having my surgery that day. Her little pink leather ballet shoes are adorable, and I'm making her some cute bows to wear in her hair (with her bun!) using some bears wearing tutus. I'll post pictures when I finish them. I need to post a picture of the bow I made her for the 4th of July as well - I was very pleased with how it turned out!
Yesterday the kids and I got a birthday gift for my mom, plus an early anniversary gift for Hubs. We found a local couple who sell on etsy - she sews things, and he makes bird houses and bird feeders. I got a ladybug house for my mom, and a bat house for Hubs, plus a bird feeder for Big Girl to paint for our backyard. Everything seems really sturdy and well-made - I was impressed with the workmanship. The man had several bird feeders that he had already painted, in the colors of various college sports teams, plus a cute John Deere one that Two would have wanted had he seen it. I need to read up on ladybug houses before deciding if we'll paint it, too. I'll be back later to share that information, plus some info on bat houses, with you, dear readers.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Mid-post interruption: Big Girl came in, looking sleepy and disheveled, to tell me that her (toy) cat can't go to sleep. I took her back to bed and she told me she would go to sleep, but her cat just didn't want to sleep. I told her she needs to tell him that it's bedtime - hopefully both she and the willful cat will stay in bed now. This is not the first sleep-resistant pop-up visit from her this evening.
So we had a grand time at the party, and Hubs kept Big Girl busy so I could sleep in this morning. She likes to crawl into our bed in the wee hours, but Hubs lured her to the den with the promise of food, and I went back to sleep for two more hours, which was divine. Sometimes he is extremely good to me.
Today we lounged around. Hubs watched programs that did not interest me while I watched a movie on my laptop during the kids' naptime, and aside from Hubs spending some time on studying, we were all generally lazy. We've had a lot of busy days lately, and that combined with the heat tends to wear me out, so I was grateful for a day of rest. Tomorrow promises to be fairly low-key as well. Aside from possibly taking the kids swimming after church, no plans, and that's such a nice thing to do sometimes.