Saturday, September 29, 2007

I'd Rather be Fishing

Okay - well, me personally, I wouldn't rather be fishing. I'm not much of a fisher-person. I've never had much luck fishing and don't particularly have the patience for it either.

But today they had a township-wide fishing tournament at the creek near our house. Pippi was into it. She got her pole and some cut up hot dog (hey, it worked once before) and headed down to the creek. Harry wasn't interested (which was okay because he had his guitar lesson this morning anyway.)

So Pippi went fishing. The town apparently stocked the creek. Which was good - because 200 kids going after the 5 catfish that live in it might be a bit much. She didn't catch anything though. Perhaps whatever the other kids were using for bait was more appealing than the hot dogs. The kid next to her caught about five fish, and even won a prize (third biggest fish). The kids who won the first two prizes were using chicken liver as bait.

They also had door prizes. Pippi's ticket number was the first one called. She won a new fishing pole, complete with tackle. So - she didn't catch a fish today, but she certainly had a good time.

The weather was beautiful, there were enough people there to make it seem like something was really going on, but not so many that it felt crowded, the mayor was walking around greeting people. All in all, a lovely morning by the creek.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Poetry Friday

Gather Ye Roses
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Gather ye roses while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying;
A world where beauty fleets away
Is no world for denying.
Come lads and lasses, fall to play
Lose no more time in sighing

The very flowers you pluck to-day
To-morrow will be dying;
And all the flowers are crying,
And all the leaves have tongues to say,-
Gather ye roses while ye may.

The poetry Friday round-up is at AmoXcalli today.

Edited to add:
There seems to be another poem very similar to the one I posted above. I'll post that one too.

To the Virgins, to make much of Time
Robert Herrick. 1591–1674

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he 's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he 's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mathetes Award

I was surprised and honored earlier this week to see that Deb at UKok's Place had nominated me for the mathetes award: excellence in discipleship.

By way of explanation:
A brand new award being is being passed out. It is the Mathetes Award, created by Dan King of Management by God to recognize those who take to heart the Great Commission and further God’s Kingdom by creating more disciples for Him. According to Dan mathetes is the Greek word for disciple.

The rules for the award, as posted by it’s creator are as follows: In the spirit of this award, the rules are simple.

Winners of this award must pick five other “disciples” to pass it on to. As you pass it on, I just ask that you mention and provide links for (1)this post as the originator of the award (Dan King of management by God), (2) the person that awarded it to you, and then (3) name and sites of the five that you believe are fulfilling the role of a disciple of Christ.

I feel singularly unworthy for this award, and therefore double honored. I'd love to think of myself as creating disciples - and can only hope that I have done so.

So - in honoring the rules of this award, I now will nominate five other disciples.

Esther at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii.

Barb at SFO Mom

Alice at Cottage Blessings

Elena of My Domestic Church

and Karen Edmisten.

These are all ladies whose blogs I enjoy reading, and who often make me think. They are not afraid to showcase their religion; they live by an example that is worth emulating.

Shopping Cart Etiquette

Kelly of Big A, little a has been doing a series on Everyday Etiquette and I thought this kind of fit in with it.

How far out of your way will you go to return a shopping cart to one of those shopping cart corrals?

Now, I think those corrals are a great thing, it keeps shopping carts from flying all around the parking lot (in theory). I'm assuming they are a nationwide thing, and not just local. But, how far will you go? I've seen carts left in a parking spot that was next to one of the corrals. So basically, the person would not more the cart an extra two feet. That seems extreme to me.

At one of the supermarkets I go to, the corrals are all in the front of the very large parking lot. There are usually very few spaces to park in up front, and personally, if I'm parked at the back of the lot I don't particularly feel like walking all the way to the front of it again, and then back to my car. Unless I'm parked near the corral, I admit it, I leave the cart un-corralled.

Another supermarket has positioned their corrals so that you are never more than about 4 or 5 parking spaces from one. I always utilize these corrals because 4 or 5 parking spaces (at the most) is not going too far out of my way.

So - just a general shopping cart etiquette question: How far out of your way will you go to return a cart? (And if you're the type who won't go two extra feet - try to reconsider your position.)

Because I'm The Mom

Barb sent me a link to this funny video. Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tuesday's Proverb

Hold fast to instruction, never let her go; keep her, for she is your life. (Proverbs 4:13)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Poetry Friday - New Friends

When I was a child I had a cloth calendar from the year I was born hanging in my room. There was a pretty picture on it (that for the life of me I can't remember what it was of) and a verse from the following poem.

So the adage, "Make new friends, but keep the old" was never far from my consciousness. Though, I will admit, as a child, I felt insulted that "new" things didn't seem to be as important as "old" things. After all, I was young - I was "new".

Anyway, this poem came to mind again this week because I met two new friends. A few "Jersey Girl" bloggers met at The Reo Diner and had a pleasant few hours talking together. Barb and Ellen are as friendly and warm as you would imagine from reading their blogs, and I feel very blessed that I got to meet them in real life. So - here's to new friends!

Make New Friends, But Keep The Old
author unknown

Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold.

A circle is round,
it has no end.
That's how long,
I will be your friend.

A fire burns bright,
it warms the heart.
We've been friends,
from the very start.

You have one hand,
I have the other.
Put them together,
We have each other.

Silver is precious,
Gold is too.
I am precious,
and so are you.

You help me,
and I'll help you
and together
we will see it through.

The sky is blue
The Earth is green
I can help
to keep it clean

Across the land
Across the sea
Friends forever
We will always be

The poetry roundup is at Read Write Believe.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tuesday's Proverb

When you walk, your step will not be impeded, and should you run, you will not stumble. (Proverbs 4:12)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Armed and Dangerous

We went to our town's annual street fair today. And the kids had fun spending money. They tried their hands at the rock climbing wall: Harry made it to the top (why am I not surprised?), and Pippi gave it a valiant try.

Then they bought their weapons. Pippi has a bow and arrow: (cloth covered foam tipped arrows perfect!)

Harry got a marshmallow gun. And so did the boy across the street. There is now a full-blown battle going on outside - but I'm not too worried: the ammo is marshmallows and foam arrows.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

First Hockey Game

We had our first street hockey game on the big court today. We won - we're now in a division that keeps score (moving up in the world). But the excitement came between the 2nd and 3rd periods, when a kid on the other team passed out and the ambulance had to come and take him away. And I don't know if it was because of the excitement or what, but a kid on our team threw up.

The season's off to a bright start.

Poetry Friday - Evensong

As the days get shorter and the air becomes crisper, this poem seems more and more appropriate.

by Robert Louis Stevenson

The embers of the day are red
Beyond the murky hill.
The kitchen smokes: the bed
In the darkling house is spread:
The great sky darkens overhead,
And the great woods are shrill.
So far have I been led,
Lord, by Thy will:
So far I have followed, Lord, and wondered still.

The breeze from the enbalmed land
Blows sudden toward the shore,
And claps my cottage door.
I hear the signal, Lord - I understand.
The night at Thy command
Comes. I will eat and sleep and will not question more.

The round-up this week is over at HipWriterMama.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Erudite or Sneaky?

This morning Harry announced he wants to learn Ancient Greek. That's a pretty noble goal for a seven-year-old and I'm not sure how we'll accomplish it - but we'll give it a go.

Pippi said she wants to learn Latin and German. German because of her heritage and Latin because so many English words derive from Latin. Good reasons.

And why does Harry want to learn Ancient Greek? So he can "curse" at Pippi and she won't know what he's saying.


Some Things Just Make Me Sad

And this is one of them.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

International Crochet Day

Via Judy at Judy's Yarn Creations I've discovered that today has been designated International Crochet Day.

In honor of that I am posting a picture of the Teddy Bears I crocheted a couple of years ago for Pippi and Harry. They are the most ambitious crochet project I ever tried. Other than that it's been mainly baby blankets. I'm particularly proud of the blankets I made my twin niece and nephew, but don't think I have a picture of them.

I haven't been doing too much crocheting lately - too warm to have the current blanket in progress sitting on my lap as I work. But, with cooler weather ahead, I will most certainly try to get back into the groove.

And now that I know about International Crochet Day - I have incentive to get back to work.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tuesday's Proverb

On the way of wisdom I direct you, I lead you on straightforward paths. (Proverbs 4:11)

A Rainy Day

It's raining today, and somehow the weather seems appropriate. More appropriate than the beautiful blue skies we had six years ago on this date.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Something to Consider

"You're bound to get idears if you go thinkin' about stuff."
- John Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath

A Really Nice Post

As luck would have it, Melissa Wiley was (naturally) awarded the Nice Matters Award by several people before I did it. And she posts about it today. She has a wonderful post about being nice and what that means. Very worth reading.

Nice Matters

I am so honored. Barb at SFO Mom awarded me the Nice Matters Award. Now, I need to award it to some other nice bloggers. Here's where the trouble comes in, I only like to associate with people I consider nice, so virtually everyone on my blogroll would be eligible for this award. And also, this one's been around for awhile, so a lot of those people have probably already received this award. So - what to do? I'm going to award some of my favorites and not worry if they've already received this honor. And if I didn't mention you, it's not because I don't think you're nice. I'm sure I do - but I can only mention so many without getting ridiculous.

Oh, and Barb, I'd turn right around and nominate you again.

So without further ado my Nice Matters Awards go to:
and Deb

I'm going to stop there - even though I could totally go on and on. There's a lot of niceness in the blogosphere if you ask me.

Thanks again, Barb.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

How Things Fit Together

The other day I wrote about my grandfather on the anniversary of his death, and I mentioned that the summer he died I read two books about grandparents dying. One of them I don't remember anything about - not the title, author or any detail other than a grandparent died. The other book was by Madeleine L'Engle, The Summer of the Great-Grandmother.

Even though I didn't mention the book by name in my post I was thinking about it, and am now thinking about it even more since Ms. L'Engle died this week.

It's interesting how things like that fit together in life.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Madeleine L'Engle - R.I.P.

The world of books was richer because she was in it. Madeleine L'Engle wrote more than 60 books for children and adults - some science fiction, some religious, some meditative: something for everyone.

The world will be a poorer place now that she has left us. Madeleine L'Engle died yesterday at the age of 88. Reading her books I felt like I knew her; now I will mourn her.

There are blog tributes to her at Big A little a, Wands and Worlds, and AmoXcalli and probably many more that I haven't seen yet - and many more to come.

I don't know what my favorite book of hers was - I have read a lot of them (though probably not all). A Wrinkle in Time of course is a perennial favorite. But I also really like Love Letters and Certain Women. And Two Part Invention. And A Circle of Quiet. And The Other Side of the Sun. And A Swiftly Tilting Planet. And ... I could go on and on - but I won't.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Elementary Titillations

Overheard on playground this morning.

First grade boy (not mine) to friend: I like to look at Barbie dolls naked.

Just imagine when he hits puberty. Oy!

Second Day of School

Well - they went back.

Actually, they both like their teachers and things seem good. Harry doesn't know a lot of kids in his class - they really split up his class from last year, but Pippi, now in fifth grade knows most of the kids in her class, and likes most of them. These are all important things.

So far, so good.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Back To School

And they're off, to the great adventure that is 2nd and 5th grades. Other than Harry deciding yesterday that he didn't want to go to school, I'd say that our back to school morning went pretty well. Everyone got up and dressed without complaint. We left early - we were ready, so why not be leisurely about our walk. We got to school (early, but hardly the first ones there) and the kids got to reconnect with old friends.

The big test will come this afternoon when I pick them up. How did it all go?

HipWriterMama has a wonderful back to school post today, including a beautiful original poem. Go check it out.
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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Tuesday's Proverb

Hear, my son, and receive my words, and the years of your life shall be many. (Proverbs 4:10)

In Memory of Grandpa

Twenty years ago today, my grandfather passed away. It was a sad time for the whole family, but he'd been sick - in the hospital - for a month, and by the end we knew it was inevitable.

He was the first of my grandparents to die.

But when I had time to reflect on that summer I found that God had been at work in my life in ways I hadn't realized.

There were little things - like the fact that I read two books that summer that dealt with death of grandparents. I didn't read these with any anticipation of my grandfather's death, but they prepared me by letting me see how others dealt with this loss.

Another thing that summer was that I had to go to physical therapy for my knee. This seems completely unrelated, but I went as an outpatient at the hospital. While there I saw many older people, who were having physical therapy as a result of strokes or other ailments. I got used to seeing older people in hospitals. Later when my grandfather was admitted to the hospital and we went to visit him, although I didn't like seeing him looking frail and connected to tubes and monitors - I was not surprised or shocked by it. One of my younger brothers was, and found it very difficult to stay in the hospital room. My experience at physical therapy had helped prepare me for it.

On my last visit to him, before he fell into a coma, he had a respirator tube in and was unable to speak. So, I did all the talking. I didn't know what to say - so I prayed for help. And to this day I don't regret a single thing I said or wish I had said anything extra.

I learned a lot from my Irish-German grandfather. And I wish he could have lived to meet his great-grandchildren, but I try to pass on to them things I learned from him, like how to see all the colors in the sky, and how to enjoy a good story. If he were still alive he'd be turning 101 in a couple of weeks.

Rest in peace, Grandpa

Monday, September 03, 2007

Fun Meme - Top 100 Songs from Graduation Year

Esther, at a Catholic Mom in Hawaii, tagged me for this fun meme. What songs did you like the year your graduated from high school.

Bold = I loved it!
Underlined = I liked it
Strikeout = I hated it!

List of songs from this site

Top 100 Hits of 1984/ Top 100 Songs of 1984

1. When Doves Cry, Prince
2. What's Love Got To Do With It, Tina Turner
3. Say Say Say, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson
4. Footloose, Kenny Loggins
5. Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now), Phil Collins
6. Jump, Van Halen
7. Hello, Lionel Richie
8. Owner Of A Lonely Heart, Yes
9. Ghostbusters, Ray Parker Jr.
10. Karma Chameleon, Culture Club
11. Missing You, John Waite
12. All Night Long (All Night), Lionel Richie
13. Let's Hear It For The Boy, Deniece Williams
14. Dancing In The Dark, Bruce Springsteen
15. Girls Just Want To Have Fun, Cyndi Lauper
16. The Reflex, Duran Duran
17. Time After Time, Cyndi Lauper
18. Jump (For My Love), Pointer Sisters
19. Talking In Your Sleep, Romantics
20. Self Control, Laura Branigan
21. Let's Go Crazy, Prince and The Revolution
22. Say It Isn't So, Daryl Hall and John Oates
23. Hold Me Now, Thompson Twins
24. Joanna, Kool and The Gang
25. I Just Called To Say I Love You, Stevie Wonder
26. Somebody's Watching Me, Rockwell
27. Break My Stride, Matthew Wilder
28. 99 Luftballons, Nena
29. I Can Dream About You, Dan Hartman
30. The Glamorous Life, Sheila E.
31. Oh Sherrie, Steve Perry
32. Stuck On You, Lionel Richie
33. I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues, Elton John
34. She Bop, Cyndi Lauper
35. Borderline, Madonna
36. Sunglasses At Night, Corey Hart
37. Eyes Without A Face, Billy Idol
38. Here Comes The Rain Again, Eurythmics
39. Uptown Girl, Billy Joel
40. Sister Christian, Night Ranger
41. Drive, Cars
42. Twist Of Fate, Olivia Newton-John
43. Union Of The Snake, Duran Duran
44. The Heart Of Rock 'N' Roll, Huey Lewis and The News
45. Hard Habit To Break, Chicago
46. The Warrior, Scandal
47. If Ever You're In My Arms Again, Peabo Bryson
48. Automatic, Pointer Sisters
49. Let The Music Play, Shannon
50. To All The Girls I've Loved Before, Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson
51. Caribbean Queen, Billy Ocean
52. That's All, Genesis
53. Running With The Night, Lionel Richie
54. Sad Songs (Say So Much), Elton John
55. I Want A New Drug, Huey Lewis and The News
56. Islands In The Stream, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton
57. Love Is A Battlefield, Pat Benatar
58. Infatuation, Rod Stewart
59. Almost Paradise, Mike Reno and Ann Wilson
60. Legs, ZZ Top
61. State Of Shock, Jacksons
62. Love Somebody, Rick Springfield
63. Miss Me Blind, Culture Club
64. If This Is It, Huey Lewis and The News
65. You Might Think, Cars
66. Lucky Star, Madonna
67. Cover Me, Bruce Springsteen
68. Cum On Feel The Noize, Quiet Riot
69. Breakdance, Irene Cara
70. Adult Education, Daryl Hall and John Oates
71. They Don't Know, Tracy Ullman
72. An Innocent Man, Billy Joel
73. Cruel Summer, Bananarama
74. Dance Hall Days, Wang Chung
75. Give It Up, K.C.
76. I'm So Excited, Pointer Sisters
77. I Still Can't Get Over Loving You, Ray Parker Jr.
78. Thriller, Michael Jackson
79. Holiday, Madonna
80. Breakin'... There's No Stopping Us, Ollie And Jerry
81. Nobody Told Me, John Lennon
82. Church Of The Poison Mind, Culture Club
83. Think Of Laura, Christopher Cross
84. Time Will Reveal, Debarge
85. Wrapped Around Your Finger, Police
86. Pink Houses, John Cougar Mellencamp
87. Round And Round, Ratt
88. Head Over Heels, Go-Go's
89. The Longest Time, Billy Joel
90. Tonight, Kool and The Gang
91. Got A Hold On Me, Christine McVie
92. Dancing In The Sheets, Shalamar
93. Undercover Of The Night, Rolling Stones
94. On The Dark Side, John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band
95. New Moon On Monday, Duran Duran
96. Major Tom (Coming Home), Peter Schilling
97. Magic, Cars
98. When You Close Your Eyes, Night Ranger
99. Rock Me Tonite, Billy Squier
100. Yah Mo B There, James Ingram and Michael McDonald

Sadly, I don't recognize the names of a lot of these songs. Was I that out of touch with pop culture then too? I don't think so - I think if I heard the songs I'd remember them - but the names themselves aren't doing it for me. And there are other songs there that I remember, but don't have strong feelings for one way or the other. There are probably more songs that I hated, I just didn't listen to them enough to remember the names.

And I'll tag a few people for this:

Liz at A Chair, a Fireplace and a Tea Cozy

Kelly at Big A little a

PJ at House of Cards


and Jim at Haunts of a Children's Writer.

Labor Day

The unofficial end of summer. The days are shorter, the nights are cooler. It's beginning to feel like 'back to school' time. And in two days, we will do just that - go back to school.

The kids are excited about the prospect. They are ready to see their friends again and get back to the routine - though homework is not part of the routine they care for. The two of them have spent most of the summer together. All the time together. I'm delighted they get along as well as they do, but the good-will is wearing thin. I think being separated for 6 hours a day will be a very good thing for them.

I'll get to run errands on my own. I'll have time for writing. These are positive things. But at the same time going back to school means making sure everyone is up on time - and dressed - and teeth are brushed. It means lunches in lunchboxes and making sure a nutritious breakfast is eaten in a timely manner. It means watching the clock - for getting them to school and getting them home again. It means reminders about homework and clarinet practice. It means more rushing when there is hockey practice or a game at night.

I'm not sure I'm ready for my summer vacation to end!

Hope everyone enjoyed their labor day weekend.