Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring Break

I think I need to take a break this week.  I highly suspect I am coming down with some sort of nasty late winter cold. I am very stuffy and very tired.  I hate to leave you without a poem this week, though.  Here's a hopeful one if not quite true yet.

Winifred C Marshall

Carefree March is here at last
And the wintertime is past;
Now the happy bluebirds sing
Little lyrics of the spring.

Wild flowers waken from their sleep,
And through soft green curtains peep.
When the March winds romp and play,
April's never far away.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Grand Prix Champ

I have to brag just a little bit about my Grand Prix champ.  Awana, if you don't know, is a program where kids memorize Bible verses and play games and such like.  Our local program has a pine car derby once a year.  Last year Colin's car barely made it down the track.  Both Colin and Dad were disappointed to the point of not even wanting to participate this year.  This year Colin's car was slapped together at the last minute with much help from Preschooler D.

Last night, the night of the race, I asked Brent, "Are you even going to go?"

"Yeah," he sighed. "I will."

At the last minute we all decided to go -- Preschooler D, Shelby who is here on a sorry excuse for Spring Break, and me.

We sat in the back and chewed gum and clapped politely.  Colin's first heat came 12 heats into the race.  He won hands down.  And the next heat he was in and the next.  Gum spit out into wrappers, suddenly his little fan club was awake and alert and cheering in an inappropriate and obnoxious fashion.

He won the whole thing and brought this big trophy home. We were stunned and thrilled.  Neither Brent or Colin knew what to say when repeatedly asked what their secret was.  Having D pound in the wheels, I guess.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wish I Was There

My dad sent this photo on Monday from Alabama or Florida or where ever they are on the Gulf coast.  They are drinking beer and eating seafood so fresh it wiggled on the way down.  That's Dad in the blue t-shirt and Mom in the Goofy hat.  She thinks you are what you wear.

Here's the photo, I sent in return:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Poem for Tuesday

From Poems Children Enjoy in honor of President's Day yesterday.

You Cannot Tell
Daisy Jenney Clay

When Lincoln and George Washington
Were little boys like me,
They never thought when they grew up
That they would ever be

The President; and boys and girls
Over books would pore
That told the way each worked and played
So many years before.

Perhaps I should be careful,
And live my boyhood well,
For sometime they might read of me --
You really cannot tell!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Yet More Winter

It is snowing and blowing.  The sidewalk from last week's picture is gone again.  I am trying to maintain my sense of humor and good mental health . . . but even the crazy friends are sick of listening to me whine.  Here is just a sample of what I heard in church yesterday when I tried to answer the question, "How are you?" honestly:

"It's only February.  What did you expect?!"

"The snow will melt."

"We leave for Mexico tonight!!!"

"We leave for Florida next week!"

"Ha! Ha!  Not seriously.  You should try snowshoeing. I LOVE snowshoeing!!"

And my favorite:

"Do you think he's too comfortable in his diaper?  Have you tried just putting him in underwear so he can feel how it feels when it's wet?"

Yes.  Yes, I have.

Then I talked to my dad on the phone.  They are in Alabama or Florida or . . . who knows . . . they were somewhere next to the pool.

"I hear it's snowing again.  Guess I won't tell you it's sunny and 70 here.  That would make you feel bad.  Hee, hee, hee."

My own father.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Basement Watch 2011

Look!  It's my sidewalk!

Haven't seen it in several months, so this is very exciting.  No sign of the sandbox yet.  It's still pretty early. I don't expect to see it until March.

There are puddles in the basement, but it could be worse.  I shoved the piles of stuff down there to higher ground.  We are so far, so good.

Forecast for Friday: Snow.

Great. BUT, on the bright side, I think rain at this point would be very, very bad.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Poem for Tuesday

We have to have a little break from Poems Children Enjoy, so I can dedicate this song to a certain spouse of mine.

Um, I mean Big Daddy Brent, of course.  Only one I have at this time.

Real Real Gone
Van Morrison

Real real gone
I got hit by a bow and arrow
Got me down to the very marrow
And I'm real real gone

Real real gone
I can't stand up by myself
Don't you know I need your help
And I'm real real gone

Some people say
You can make it on your own
Oh you can make it if you try
I know better now
You can't stand up alone
Oh baby that is why

I'm real real gone
I can't stand up by myself
Don't you know I need your help
You're a friend of mine
And I'm real real gone

And Sam Cooke is on the radio
And the night is filled with space
And your fingertips touch my face
You're a friend of mine
And I'm real real gone

I'm real gone
Oh lord I got hit by a bow and arrow
Got me down to the very marrow
You're a friend of mine
And I'm real real gone
And I'm real real gone
I'm real gone

Wilson Pickett said:
- "In the midnight hour, that's
When my love comes tumbling down"
Solomon Burke said:
- "If you need me, why don't you call me"
James Brown said:
- "When you're tired of what you got, try me"
Gene Chandler said:
- "There's a rainbow in my soul"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Drip, drip, drop

There was a strange percussive sound in the house as the snow on the roof began to melt in earnest yesterday.  I'd like to say I am sorry to see it go . . . but not really . . . and I think you knew that.  It's dingy and gray out there.  A nice rain might be helpful, but we cannot have that because, as you have suspected, I have not finished cleaning the basement.

I'm sure we've discussed my basement but when I went to look for the link, I could not find anything.  I should tag items.  Well, in case we haven't, I'll make this brief.  My town is in a glacial pit; all the water runs down hill and into people's basements.  A big melt and a big rain is basement trouble for sure.  We haven't had much snow the past few years, so we haven't had much water in our basement, but there is one heck of a lot of snow this year, and I am concerned because . . . there is a lot of disorganization in my basement.  Disorganization plus water is never, never a good combination.

At some point this winter, when I realized how snowy it was and what melting was going to mean, I vowed I would clean the basement.  In my defense, I have made a nice start, but I have a long, long, long way to go. (If certain adult s'kids of mine would come and claim the boxes, bags, and stereo systems which belong to them, that would help the ol' s'mother out.)

What was the point of this blog entry?  A certain adult s'kid this weekend said, "I enjoy reading your blog, but really who else would?"  I know she meant this in the best, most loving possible way.

Oh, yes, complete change of subject . . .

It was my anniversary this weekend and without getting all "today is the day I married my best friend and I'd do it all over again blah, blah, blah, gag . . ." on you, I just want to say  Brent is about the coolest thing since sliced bread, the least crazy person I've ever met (which is a nice balance in the relationship), and one of the only guys I know who can play the keyboard standing up without looking like Laurie Partridge.

Okay, well, maybe a little bit.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Who's Kid is This?

This morning Preschooler D and I managed to leave the house and head to the library for the first day of story time.  For two years I was the Story Time Lady at our local library.  I never started on time.  People were always wandering in late.  But the new Story Time Lady runs a tighter ship than I did.  That's fine.  If you say you start at 10:30, you should start at 10:30.

Well, D and I did not get out of the house as soon as we should have and -- what?!  Did I just move to Minnesota?! -- I forgot to warm up the car.  The front windshield was frosted over.  I thought about rolling down the window and driving to the library with my head out the side window, but I have to drive through downtown and you never know when a little old lady is going to jaywalk from her coffee club to the bank.  So I had to scrape.  We were a little late.  I didn't think we were that late, but we missed the actual story reading portion of story time.

D colored the picture and thought about this.  It was story time.  He'd come to hear stories.  From over at my table in the back I heard him cry, "I'll find you a book to read!"  Up he popped, went over and found a Valentine book and the stunned, sweet little Story Time Lady said, "Okay, sure D."

And she did.

I would have just sat there in silence, chewing on my cookie, wondering why my mother couldn't move us the five blocks from our house to the library on time.

Not D.  Oh, boy!  Not D.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Poem for Tuesday on Wednesday

Where was I yesterday?  I will tell you.  Frozen solid, that's where!  More days of subzero temp have left me huddled in a tiny ball at the bottom of my bed layered in wool socks, wool sweater, wool hat.  Okay, I wasn't at the bottom of my bed -- life goes on -- but I was covered in wool.  Hopefully, today will be the last bitterly cold day until spring.  Hopefully.

Jack Frost's Valentine
Sarah Grames Clark

Wee Jack Frost made for his friends
A charming valentine --
Dainty flowers made of finest lace
Of fairy-like design:
Laid the present on the window
Quickly ran away,
And thought that it would bring to us
A message sweet and gay.

Mr. Sun said, "Well, just look!"
And laughed full merrily;
Never seemed to understand
'Twas left for you and me!
And, because he did not know
That is was your and mine,
He melted it to crystal dew
And drank our valentine!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Underwear Update

Preschooler D made it an hour on Friday and everything stayed dry.  When I insisted, however, that he take a break in the bathroom . . . well, it was all over.  No go -- ah, so to speak.  So back on went the diaper.  Another day.

Colin was not so lucky on Friday.  I was working in the kitchen when he got home with my back to him.  "How was your day?"  I asked automatically.

"Not good.  There was this."

I turned around and was handed a lump which turned out to be underwear which had gone into the pool having been forgotten in the excitement of putting on a new swimsuit.

"Oh, no!"  I laughed.  "You had to go commando today."

"Mom?!  What is that?! Is this funny?"

It's hard for Colin to tell sometimes what is funny and what isn't.  It's always a great joy to me when he finds something funny on its own.  Once I explained "commando," I said, "Yes, Colin.  Forgetting your underwear and getting in the pool is pretty funny.  Why don't you call Dad and see what happens."

Well, he did.

"What happened, Colin?"  I asked when he was done.

"He laughed."

Underwear is almost always funny.  Unless you're Preschool D.  Then it is a deadly serious and negative subject.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Writer's Block Friday

Blah, Blah, blah . . .

1. Preschooler D is wearing underwear right now. Yes!  I think it is more of a fashion statement than a lifestyle choice, so I am on high alert to dash him to the bathroom.  All prayers are appreciated.

2.  The excitement has pretty much died down after our big international news story this week.  We haven't had this much attention since we appeared in Life Magazine in 1962.  I'm glad no one was hurt, and I'm glad they will be rebuilding the store.  Small towns can't afford to lose retail.

3. UPDATE:  Underwear is still dry!

4.  I'm pretty proud that I have managed to keep my 365 photo project going for a whole month.  Yes, okay, I missed one day in January, but for me that's still really, really, really good.  Keep up the good work, me!

5.  I don't know why I'm not in Florida right now, but the great news is that the temperature will be in the double digits today above zero!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

International News

Because no one was hurt, we can enjoy a little international attention in my town today.

I mean, it is not every day my town is covered by the BBC.

It's hardly any day.  But never mind!  No one was hurt.

I am really chuckling because I live a block away from the action, but I didn't know what was going on.  I could have viewed it all from my living room window except for this:

Yes, there's a two-story brick building in my way.  I saw the fire trucks.  I thought maybe there was a gas leak at the church on the other side of the parking lot.

It took a text from a Big City friend, "Hey, your hardware store is on the news" before I found out.

Now, isn't that crazy?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Poem for Tuesday

As I wrote the other day, my mother found a copy of  "Poems Children Enjoy" for me.  I'm very excited for us to start looking through it.  Here's our first one from the collection edited by Elizabeth F. Noon, illustrated by Ruth B. Karb and James E. Palmer, F.A. Owen Publishing Company, 1953.

February Fun
Harriette W. Porter

In February, when the bark
Of maple trees is wet and dark,
And warm sunshine melts nighttime's freeze,
We know it's time to tap the trees.

Oh, making maple syrup's fun!
All day and night the sweet drops run,
Now fast, now slow, from a little spile -- 
A spout of wood.  And all the while
We children tend the blazing fire
And rake the coals to flame up higher
Below the boiling kettle.  Then,
With long, strong ladles, boys and men
Keep stirring the sap so it won't burn.
(I like to do my ladle-turn.)

To test the syrup, we drop spots
In nests of snow.  Then when the dots,
Or pool, are cool, we sample them -- 
Each brown bit a brown and tasty gem.
Yes, making maple syrup's fun
From tapping the trees till the job is done.