Showing posts from August, 2014

That Time Of Year Again

I know it's only August, but I've been busy pre-emptively torturing my children with schoolwork.  Well, some of my children, anyway.  David is spending his senior year at the local community college, doing all sorts of math and science-y things, and little Susie is sitting around reading cartoon anthologies. A somewhat unorthodox way to teach reading fluency, but hey - it's working.

Rachel and Brian are the unfortunates bearing the brunt of my attention this year, and neither of them are thrilled about the situation.  Brian - despite his high-school-freshman status - would rather be left alone with his Lego creations, and Rachel (Grade 7) was perfectly happy sitting around reading all day.

Still, I am haunted by the vision of each of them at age 18 saying, "Why didn't you make sure I would be ready for college?" That, stated in the same sort of anguished tone as Steve Martin's grown son-turned-sniper in Parenthood shouting, "YOU MADE ME PLAY SECOND B…

Whitman's Sampler

So, I got this done today...

2 things are weird about this photo: I only got 3 jars out of this batch, instead of 4 or 5, and the fruit is PERFECTLY distributed top to bottom, which never ever happens.  The only thing I did differently was to use powdered pectin instead of the liquid kind.  Does that have anything to do with it, Jennifer?

I know, the rest of you found that riveting.  But seriously, I think Jennifer would care.  She's like that.

What else? Well, I managed to locate black basketball shorts and a plain grey crew neck T-shirt for Rachel to wear to Civil Air Patrol on Physical Training Night.  If you think that was easy, you have NEVER gone clothes shopping with a 12-year-old girl.  To be fair, Rachel was fairly amenable. But no one makes girls' tees without something stupid written on them, and I could find no basketball shorts that are tailored for the fairer sex.  We ended up picking up the needed items in the boys' department at Kohls, and I am just glad Ra…

Malaria Is Looking Better Every Minute

For any of you who thought I may have been overreacting to our bat problems, I wasn't.  Nope, not one bit. That $550 I spent earlier this year? Worth every penny. Why? Well, according to this article I found on the NPR website, "Many signs point to bats as the main source of Ebola."

Ebola, people.  EBOLA.

So I have a suggestion - let's all agree to stop pointing out that bats eat tons of mosquitoes every minute, as if that makes up for their utter creepiness.  Really, how anyone can defend the existence of these flying rodents is beyond me.  I'm thinking that bats have just got some really good PR people on their side.  So good, in fact, that even the scientist who KNOWS that bats carry Ebola is still trying to defend these creatures. "Let's not blame the wildlife," he says. He claims it isn't their fault; it's our fault for living in their habitat.

Hello? Someone go explain to these bats whose habitat is whose, all right? You don't see …

Narnia And The North

Thoughts on camping and returning home:

Brian (formerly known as the Smile-y Child) was upset that we dragged him on vacation with us.  He's 14 - I really don't know what else he expected us to do.  He took a page from Anna's book by becoming immune to any sense of awe that might have been engendered by the natural wonders we visited. I attribute his misery to acute Lego withdrawal.

David (17) did not seem thrilled to be with us either, but he kept it under wraps fairly well. We'll just not speak about the evening he stole the batteries from Brian's lantern because the boys were fighting like toddlers over when to turn out the light in the tent.  I spent the rest of that night wondering where I had gone wrong.  Seriously.

Having had to spend our life savings on bike racks to affix 3 of our bicycles to the top of the van, Larry and I were DETERMINED to get our money's worth by biking on our vacation.  But the first time we biked, on Maine's Eastern Trail, S…


I've written about BrickFair before - the long lines, the hot summer heat, the crowds.  Well, we seem to have found a solution to all that - Brian and I (since Brian is under 16) registered as official exhibitors at BrickFair this year, which means that we can breeze through the entrance doors, waving our Lego nameplates at the guards like the VIPS we truly are.

Honestly, it was such a rush to walk past the hundreds of people on line and do this.  Power really can go to your head, people.  My head, anyway...

What's more, there are 3 full days before BrickFair opens to the public, when only exhibitors are allowed inside the building.  They spend the time looking at each other's creations, having competitions (Combo Speed Build, anyone?), and (I kid you not) attending Lego seminars.  Add to that the silent auction, live auction, and raffle (all proceeds benefiting this charity), and you have what is essentially a Lego paradise.

Tonight? Is Adult Swim.  All the teen exhibitor…