Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ahoy, Mates

Ready for another field trip with me and the kids?

Between thunderstorms, which seem to be ever-present lately, we headed downtown to the Portside area bright and early today. Our destination was The Sandpiper for a morning Maumee River cruise. Mayhem and I packed a picnic brunch of bagels, blueberry muffins, fruit salad and juice. We picked up coffee, then Buddy Bill, and arrived at the dock as the crew finished readying the boat. Grey skies threatened more rain.

The sun did come out, though, and we had a beautiful, two-hour cruise, up the Maumee and back. UP the Maumee means inland, not out toward the lake, in case you didn't know, since the river flows toward Lake Erie. Buddy Bill managed to photograph the elusive T-Townknitiot, along with her Absent-Minded Professor.

There was knitting on-board as well.

I took along the Dream In Color shrug to work on. Guess what? The First Mate, Mary, is a knitter! She and I sat and talked about knitting in between her telling us passengers about the sights we were seeing along the way... Like Toledo's High Level Bridge, also known as The Anthony Wayne Bridge.

Shortly after docking, the sky got black and the clouds opened up once again. We had our picnic. I had a relaxing morning. Being out on the water, on that boat, was the most relaxed I had been in ages. I've always been a water person, and today reminded me that I need to make that a part of my life.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Destinations and Predictions

Are you looking for new sock yarn? Something totally fresh? Yarn that tells the observer you've seen the world?

Jeanne has just opened her own etsy shop, Destination Yarn, and has gorgeous colorways based on different places around the world she's seen. I can tell you, they are stunning!! How do I know? Because I bought Paris Day, a self-striping yarn, and it is absolutely gorgeous.

Get it while you can, friends. I think she's gonna go big.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Back In Time

Now that school is out, and summer is in full-swing, the kids and I have some day trips planned to see things close to home that we haven't visited yet. Our first outing was to Providence Metropark to take a ride on a real canal boat pulled along a towpath by mules. Ohioans traveled like this in the 1800's and it took 9 days to get from T-Town to Cincinnati, at the rate of 4 mph. Mayhem had the experience of doing laundry with a bar of lye soap and washboard while onboard The Volunteer. Afterward, she and Absent-Minded Professor played a game of checkers on the shady porch of the wood and grist mill. The slow, lazy ride would have been perfect for knitting, but I was busy taking photos!

Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone. They really do like each other!

Stay tuned to see where we go next. You might even see some knitting!

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I've Survived Another One

Yes, I have lived to tell the tale of another whirlwind tour of Washington, DC with a huge group of seventh graders. The weather was hot and beautiful. The kids were well-behaved and fun.

What a great experience it is to walk through Mount Vernon and, as we're climbing the stairs at the big house, hands on the banister, remind the kids that 200 years ago, George Washington's hands ran along that exact same smooth railing of wood. It's priceless to stand on the north steps of the White House, looking over the lawn as we exit, and remind the kids, "Hey guys, the President stand here to give speeches. Right here, on this spot." It brought tears to my eyes to watch "my kids" reverently, silently, run their hands along the thousands and thousands of names on the Vietnam Wall.

It's fun to put the kids in matching shirts and be able to turn them loose to run up the steps at the Lincoln Memorial, and know I can still see them all.

Buddy Bill did the wreath laying ceremony at Arlington this year. This year was Bill's 25th time running this trip for the students, and so many things fell into place for him doing the wreath laying (OK, helped along by me), which he has always wanted to do, but never had the opportunity to do. Making the trip about the kids has always been the priority. This was a once-in-a-lifetime event for Bill, just as it has been for so many students over the years.

And knitting? I cast on for the Dream In Color Shrug in Lipstick Lava once we hit the road. That sparked conversation with one of the mom chaperones on the bus, who also happens to be a knitter. Know what else? Her mom is one of the ladies I knit with on Tuesday nights at my LYS! Hi Heather and Annette! Knitters are everywhere. I didn't get as much knitting done as I had hoped because I wasn't feeling well for a good portion of the trip, but I'm making some progress now.

It's good to be home.

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Told ya'!

Back in January 2007, via this blog, I said that Barack Obama was someone to watch. I'm so excited that he has secured the Democratic nomination and will be on the ballot in November when we vote for President! If you recall, I was also able to see Senator Obama speak in person in February when he visited T-Town. That's a day I'll never forget; sitting with Buddy Bill, The College Kid, and my police officer friend, in a crowd of 9,000 that was more diverse than our group.

In just a few short days, Buddy Bill and I will be taking ninety (yes, 90!!) 7th graders to Washington, DC to see our nation's capital. We'll see some touristy sites, but the students will also see (and tour!!!) The White House, The U.S. Capitol, Mount Vernon (George Washington's estate), Arlington National Cemetery, The Vietnam War Memorial, The Lincoln Memorial, The U.S. Naval Academy, Gettysburg Battlefield, The National Archives... Our itinerary is packed. Coming home, the kids are tired, but they have a new appreciation for what Americans have been able to accomplish in just a couple hundred years. The United States.

Really, when we look at the big picture of world history, America is still in its infancy. Look at what we've done together since George Washington first took office! There are women and African American people right now who never dreamed that either would be able to run for President, much less actually be on the ballot, in their lifetimes. (There was a time when neither could vote!) Yet here it is. A brand new chapter is being written right before our eyes. It's history in the making.

Take the time to write some of it down. Save news articles in a scrapbook for your future grandchildren. Just as the current generation sees MP3 players and cell phones as a part of everyday life and has no clue about life without them, future generations will take all of this for granted as well.

Lucky, lucky them.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

My Future's So Bright

Almost twelve years ago, I was expecting my first child. That baby, who wasn't due until early November, decided to arrive in July instead. He's been in a rush ever since. He does everything at top speed, which at school, is not always a good thing.

Today, however, was a joyous occasion. Absent-Minded Professor, my super bouncy ball, celebrated the end the 6th grade and the end of elementary school.

Congratulations, Kiddo! I love you to the moon... and back.
PS. There's a reason I'm moving to the high school!

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