Sunday, March 30, 2008

Where Did It Go?

Spring Break, I mean. Where in the world did the time go?

In the morning, I head back to work, and the kiddos go back to school, much to their dismay. Of course, having "spring" break at the end of March meant it was cold, and we had two major snow events during the week off.

The trip to Chicago was great fun, and we were blessed with beautiful weather for our whirlwind Wednesday. The kids had their first taxi cab ride and thought that was great fun, too, until the cabbie nearly got us into a wreck by text messaging on his phone instead of paying attention to driving. eeeek!

While Buddy Bill was driving to and from Chicago, I knitted and watched the sides of the highway for deer to keep the kids entertained. College Kid's socks are coming along, and I'm hopeful about completing them before he finishes the school year. It would be fun to send them to him at school as a gift at the end of the pledge process for this fraternity he's in the process of joining.

The rest of the week was spent shuttling Mayhem to softball practice, running errands, doing laundry, and getting the kids to the things their dad wanted to do with them this week.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Spring Hasn't Quite Sprung

Somebody better tell Winter that Spring has arrived - at least on paper! Six inches of snow fell here Friday and Saturday, just in time for Easter weekend. Don't the kids' baskets look lovely in the snow? Poor Easter Bunny.

True to form, this absolutely wacky weather had almost no impact two hours south at my mother's. The egg hunt at her place today went off without a hitch and there were even some signs of spring.

Look! Crocuses blooming in my mom's backyard. Mine are still buried under the snow. I checked when I arrived back in town today.

The kids and I are off school/work this week for spring break. Hahahahahahahaha. Think it will snow some more?

Mayhem's request for the week off was to go to the museum to see mummies. The museum here in T-Town has only one mummy that I know of, and it's often in storage. That got Buddy Bill and I talking on Friday while out to brunch during my car's routine maintenance. We are both big fans of The Field Museum in Chicago. Along with having mummies, and whole a permanent Egypt exhibit, it also houses Sue, the most complete T-Rex skeleton. Bill and I both thought that my kids should see The Field, and, being prone to being a bit spontaneous at times, I reminded him about being off this week. After comparing calendars, we decided that leaving town after Absent-Minded Professor's allergy appointment Tuesday afternoon would work best. We booked a suite at a tall hotel. We planned out where to go in addition to The Field Museum. Now we're off for a whirlwind tour of museums and Shedd Aquarium and Hancock Observatory and Museum of Science and Industry (but mostly that last one so Bill and I can see the glass exhibits!).

The kids will be worn out at the end of it all, I'm sure. The grown ups will be too, I'm betting. It's definitely the stuff from which memories are made, though!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

This Thursday, March 20, marks the day that would have been Mr. Fred Rogers' 80th birthday. You remember Mr. Rogers, right? He entered his small house, changed his sneakers and his sweater, then fed the fish, and took us by trolley to The Neighborhood of Make Believe. There we visited with King Friday and the other friends.

Mr. Rogers talked about all sorts of things, always in a calm, gentle voice. He also wore the best sweaters! It was rumored his mother knit all of those cardigans. I will admit here that cried when he died in 2003.

In honor of Fred Rogers, won't you please, won't you please, please won't you be my neighbor? Join me in wearing a sweater on Thursday, March 20, 2008. We'll all celebrate Mr. Rogers' birthday in sweater style!

Labels: ,

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dr. Zhivago and Land Sharks

Coming off a lovely weekend can be kind of a downer, you know that? The thought of Monday looming ahead just really takes the wind out of my sails.

Being kid-less for a big part of the weekend meant knitting and movies and cooking and just catching up on sleep. Friday night Buddy Bill and I rented an old movie, which we've both seen, but not in years, Dr. Zhivago. After cooking dinner together, we managed to get through half of the film. Saturday we decided to cook corned beef and sauerkraut and invited a friend to join us, then ran errands and picked up a few more grocery items. I was so excited to find this at the market: Straight from the Margaritaville Brewing Co., it's LandShark Lager! Fellow Parrotheads will understand the significance.

I also bought this pretty potted flower for my mom for Easter - it's called "Cineraria." The flowers are really that blue, and my mom's favorite color is blue.

While the food was simmering away, I napped, I knitted on College Kid's socks, and Buddy Bill and I finished watching the rest of the long saga of the Russian Revolution. I couldn't help but admire the blooming daffodils I had given to Bill earlier in the week as tightly closed buds. They were part of the American Cancer Society fundraiser. Yes, I gave Bill flowers. He was delighted!

Our friend joined us for corned beef with the announcement that he will be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at the school system where we work (and he & Bill retired from) in the fall. This comes after nearly 30 years of service as a coach for the district. What fun it was to celebrate our friend's recognition - we were the first to know and share in his good news! Good food, three great friends, laughing and happy together... it was one of those moments that you want to file away in your mind for the future, you know? I put it right up there with the memory of College Kid asking me to knit him socks, and the memory of him trying to decide which yarn I should use for his socks. I wish you could have seen his delight when I said, "I'm sure this won't be the only pair of socks I ever knit for you."

Speaking of knitting...

The knitting 8th graders are doing great! We knitted again this past week, and one of them asked to take his knitting home for the weekend. He was prepared to face questions from his family about knitting, and was armed with ammunition that it relaxes him, like meditation, and also that he thinks it helps him prepare for track meets. P- wanted the knitting for a long car trip Friday evening. J- is persevering, and still moving along. P- is flying, has even, consistent stitches, and knits at a decent pace. I'm taking in dishcloth cotton to start a "real" project during our next "group counseling" session.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Boys Can So Knit!

Remember that "no knitting at school" rule? I never asked if that meant I couldn't teach knitting at school. My penchant for doing first and asking forgiveness later led me to agree immediately when two of my 8th grade boys asked for knitting lessons last week. How can someone who works at a school say no to someone who is seeking new knowledge? Seriously. A basketball player and a member of the track team wanted to learn to knit. It is my duty as an educator to share my knowledge of the knitterly arts with those who seek to learn! Right? Agree with me here!

J and P and I set up on Friday a time and I smuggled in needles and some worsted weight yarn for them. To save time, I cast on the stitches ahead of time. We needed to be able to get started right away. The boys did great! I took a photo on my cell phone, and managed to email it to myself. Hopefully you can see that their skills, especially P's, were way beyond what I expected.

"This is kind of like meditation," one said. "This uses way different muscles than track," the other said. We talked about fine motor skills vs. gross motor skills and how knitting might open up other brain pathways. "I could use some help, I'm trying to set a new pole vault record at an indoor track meet tonight."

Guess what? I found out Monday he broke the record! We meet for group counseling again tomorrow.

Labels: , ,

Monday, March 03, 2008

Ohio is Ready!

Tomorrow is our Democratic Primary Election. Approximately 15,000 people have voted early here in the Buckeye state. Here in Toledo, the Lucas County Board of Elections stayed open not only on Saturday, but also on SUNDAY to accommodate those who wished to vote early. Normally we have a couple thousand absentee ballots. But 15,000? You know who was touting early voting, right? It's exciting to see people excited about voting! Watch a cool music video here Yes We Can and here We Are The Ones. Be sure to read at the bottom how the videos came about.

Mother Nature did this to us last week:

Snowy tree in my front yard

It was great packing snow, and Mayhem's snowman wore handknits from my beginner days of knitting. He has no face, because, as Mayhem put it, "He's in the witness protection program."

You never saw me!

Today it was sixty degrees, and nearly all traces of that 8" of snow have disappeared. But guess what? Just in time for Election Day, an ice storm is predicted. The rain has started, and will turn to ice after midnight, followed by 1"-3" of snow, as temps drop into the 20's overnight. I'll go vote anyway, no matter what the weather.

Buddy Bill's College Kid has paid me the ultimate compliment. I have been asked to knit a pair of socks for him in his fraternity colors. You know that project will be jumping to the head of the line, right?


Labels: , ,