Friday, July 31, 2009

In Praise of the Moss Rose


centerpieces
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Remember these plants from way back in June?

These were the centerpieces from Jake's Bar Mitzvah. Here is brief rundown on their story.

I decided that I would make the centerpieces, Jake wanted living plants and it would save a bit of money that we could then redirect towards food. All in all a good decision.

Jake was fairly easy to please, he likes the colors orange, yellow and blue. Fortunately those are colors that are not too hard to find and they look pretty good together. I picked out vinca for the blue and Meryl and I found two candidates for the yellow and orange; lantana and moss rose.

moss rose
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar

Unfortunately it turned out that the lantana was not the best choice, Meryl had a very nasty reaction to it. But the moss rose, oh what a wonderful plant it turned out to be.

The tag on the plants said it was water wise and they were not kidding. After the Bar Mitzvah I repotted the remainders in my deck boxes and promptly ignored them and they have thrived under some very challenging conditions.

I think I have watered them two *maybe* three times and they keep on blooming. They look as good as they did on the day I bought them which is utterly amazing to me.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lookie Here


Nate
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Today we hauled our collective butts up to Richmond at the early (at least for us in the summer) at 8:45 am so that Nate could join his brother in the metal-in-the-mouth club.

An hour an half later Nate had a brand new smile.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Artist of the Week: Parrot


Rebecca
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
This weeks artist is the far from camera shy Rebecca. She and her twin are always up for a photo session as opposed to her older brothers. It's not that I can't photograph them, although for about a year and half Jake flat out refused. Then when when it can to make my annual photo calendar for the family, he felt a bit left out when he saw how few pictures of him there were for me to chose from. That cured him right quick.

No, it's more of endless procrastination. Later mom, I'm busy.

With Max and Rebecca I might get a why now as they follow me along, but in the end they are happy to indulge me and my camera.


parrot
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Anyhoodle, Rebecca brought home this picture sometime near the end of the school year. It's a lovely picture of a bird on the flowering tree. My first thought was that the bird looks very much like Janis's Lucy over on Gone South. I know Eclectus does not have the band of yellow, but that was the first bird that sprang to mind.

It's a nicely composed picture that fills the page. The bird is perched on a branch in a fairly realistic pose, which I'm sure is from all the bird watching we do at the breakfast table. She is a very observant person (as are her brothers) and she is developing quite a talent in translating what she sees onto paper.

As I'm sure I have mentioned before, I love how she is not afraid to fill the page. She can make teeny tiny little drawings, but those are more of a result of the size of the paper. It's always fun to she what she'll draw next.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Quiet

It's nice now.

No more picking up Jake in Richmond.
No more nightly baseball practices for Larry and Nate.

Just an hour in the morning down at the tennis courts and the rest of the day is spent puddling about. The big event of the day was Nate going to the dentist and my starting to paint our new patio door.

This is what summer is all about.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Can't Trick Public on Health Costs

If you are a supporter of the great health care boondoggle, please read this article.

Can't trick public on health costs | detnews.com | The Detroit News

Shared via AddThis

Approximately just 30,000 adults and children suffer from CF in the USA which works out to about 0.01 % of the population of the United States. Max's drug expenses alone come to just over $42,000 a year, our health insurance covers the vast majority. Honestly I think CF patients, with an average lifespan of approximately 35 years, are going to get short shrift. It is an expensive disease and the so called universal healthcare coverage will result in reduced access to therapies and drugs in the interest in saving the bottom line. The system right now is not perfect, but works for families such as mine.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fun With Sheep

I saw this courtesy of Scott over at AMCGLTD.

I've been on a whole border collie/sheep herding book kick (Donald McCaig is a wonderful author) and the whole thing is a hoot. They had me when with a bit of stop motion animation they had a giant sheep walk across the field.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Lovely Lunch


fresh tomatoes
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
The other day the boys had penne (or as we call it tubes) for lunch. Since they are a bunch of gastronomic heathens I gave them jarred sauce for their pasta. They were perfectly happy and together they ate about 1/2 pound of pasta.

I however decided to use up some grape tomatoes we had hanging about. A little butter and some olive oil was heated up. I chopped up some garlic and tossed it into the butter and oil mixture. In the meantime I roughly chopped the tomatoes and fresh basil. When the garlic was all brown and lovely I tossed in what I had just cut up. A minute or so later I finished it off with a splash of balsamic vinegar, a dash of salt and freshly ground pepper.

It smelled heavenly and tasted divine.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Because That's the Way I Roll


top of the hill
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Today for the first time in a long while I went for a bike ride. We have been kind of busy in the mornings and I've had a hard time being able to get out of the house and shower before having to go somewhere.

So I fell out of the habit.

Which was really a shame since we have been having one of the nicest summers ever. The temperatures have been moderate and humidity really hasn't been a factor. Basically I've been a bum.

But today I got off my tush, dragged out my bike and did it.

I have two different routes. Most of the time I just keep making right hand turns and end up on a road that doubles back almost to my road. It's a nice route with 5 good sized uphill climbs. Today, however, I went on my secondary route. Max wanted a different hat for tennis, so my plan was to swing by the courts and drop it off.


end of the road
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
This route (obviously) goes by the pool and tennis courts and it too has 5 uphills climbs. It's a wee be shorter, but a nice ride all the same. It also has my two favorite hills.

The first picture shows the crest of the hill before the road plunges down and then shoots back up to a turn about. This is the best part. I get so much speed going down I can almost coast to the top of the other side.

I then get to turn around and do the whole thing over again.

The return ride isn't quite so easy. The hill at the end of the road is a bit shorter so I don't get quite the same amount of speed and I actually have to some work to get to the top. It is still a blast.

Riding about on flat roads is fine and dandy, but a bit boring. I love the fact that I have a nice bit of hilliness in my neighborhood.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Artist of the Week: Baseball


Nate
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
In honor of the ongoing baseball tourney, Nate is the artist of the week.

So far it has been an exciting tournament. The first four games are pool play, then the top two teams in each pool play in the semifinals with the pool winners playing the championship.

The first two games Nate's team pretty much pounded the other team. They would start off down a few runs, but would come roaring back and soundly defeat them. The final scores were 20 to 10 and 22 to 4. The games are supposed to run to six innings, but in both of those games the slaughter rule was invoked in the fourth to end the other teams misery.

Yesterday's game promised to be a good one. We were up against the other undefeated team in our pool.


Nate2b
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
The other team was very good. They started off with three runs and maintained their lead for most of the game, but our boys kept plugging along. We have an amazing depth in our pitching, we have four really good pitchers while most teams have two maybe three. The rest of the fielders are not too shabby, they are alert and responsive to whatever comes their way. Nate has been switching between second and center field. I'm always amazed at how he can just fire the ball back to the pitcher when he is way out in center field.

Then there is our offense, these boys can really hit. They have learned to wait for the right pitch. There are no easy outs on our team when they are at bat.

Anyway back to last night's game.


start of the swing
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
In the fifth inning we had finally tied up the score. We had two outs and I think two on base. It was Nate's turn to step up to the plate, he was focused and ready to go. He has some outstanding statistics during this tournament, 6 hits in 7 at bats with two walks. In the stands we all started chanting Nate's name.

Jake asked if I was going to take pictures and I said no, I wanted to see what was happening and not through the viewfinder. I honestly don't remember the exact pitch count, it was a couple of balls and at least one strike. And then he got the pitch he was looking for. He drove a nice hit out towards center field. The ball hit the ground before anybody to get to it and Nate was off.

He ended up knocking in the winning run, by the end of the inning the score was 11 to 8, all they had to do was block the other team during the top of the sixth and they did it.

I asked Nate later if he knew he had batting in the winning run. He was genuinely surprised, he told me that he hit the ball and started running to first. He only knew it was a good hit because the first base coach (one of his team mates) was jumping up and down.

That's the kind of player Nate is. He was so focused in hitting the ball and getting on base he didn't even see where the ball went or what else was happening on the field. He really is a true athlete and not a show boat on the field.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Where's the Bunny?


ooh, bunny
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
The red boys love all of the suburban wildlife running around in our backyard. As you can see by the grubby nose prints on the window, they enjoy surveying their domain.

Fairly often you can find one or both of the dogs staring out the windows with their noses pressed against the glass. When it is a particularly offensive animal (like oh say deer or squirrels) they let loose with a barrage of barks. For some reason rabbits only elicit a low level whine. Which is ironic considering that they are run, sporadically, in field trials on RABBIT.

If you click on this picture it will lead you to the picture in my Flickr photostream and you can see what they are looking at a little bit better.


bunny
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Why there's the bunny!

This little guy was happily munching away on our lawn just below the window the red boys like to stare out of. It's a cute little bunny and for whatever reason I have less of an issue with the rabbits in my backyard than the deer. Maybe because I have far fewer rabbits in my yard and they far less destructive than the tall rats.

However they still have to watch out for the red boys, they would like to have some fresh free-range rabbit for dinner.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

All Star Baby


Catcher
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Nate did it again and was selected to be on the invitation All-Star team with the added bonus of Larry being the coach. This time around Nate has been mostly out in the field, but I love this picture I got of him all geared up behind the plate. Today was the first time he got to be catcher. The pitcher, one of Nate's regular season teammates, prefers to have my boy behind the plate. Larry told me that the kid said "I like Nate because he's so small, all I see is the glove."

Yesterday and today were the first two days of the tournament. We have a very good team, loaded with talent in both defense and offense. So far we have won first two games with the respective scores of 20 to 10 and 22 to 4. They are just rolling along in pool play. There are two more games left, then the top teams go on to the semi-finals.

I'll be missing tomorrow's game, it's at 8:15, which is too late for a couple of seven year olds I know and I have to pick up Jake at the train at 8:00. But I'll be there Tuesday, rooting for our boys.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hey Ya! Aircraft Carrier Style

This was just too good not to pass on.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Honest Parenting

One of the rules we have around here is that if you are sick and/or have to take medicine you get to have ice cream before going to bed. This came about from our on going quest to add extra calories to Max's diet. He gets to have ice cream three times a day- breakfast, snack and before bed. His siblings started to get a bit miffed with all this ice cream passing them by (they only get it at snack time) and wanted to know why Max could have it all the time and not them. Larry and I settled on the two part explanation that Max 1) needs to be rewarded for all the nasty medicines and treatments he takes and 2) he needs the extra calories.

This was deemed acceptable when we added the aforementioned ice cream rule. Life is not fair, but we do need to make a reasonable rules.

So anywho, Miss Rebecca has a bit of a cough ( all right, a really annoying and persistent cough) and I dragged her in to see the doctor today. It turns out there is a bit of a wheeze in her lungs so she was prescribed a course of steroids for five days and albuterol nebulizations for three. (note: When the doctor mentioned nebulization as a possible treatment we told her it was no problem, we have the pump- two in fact- and enough albuterol on hand to sink a ship. She was a bit surprised until I explained that Max has CF. For once having an extensive pharmacy at home paid off.)

Tonight Rebecca asked about the ice cream and after a bit of thought I remembered the rule and said yes. I gave her a small bowl of chocolate ice cream shortly before bed. Rebecca was a bit disappointed with the quantity and needled me for more. I flatly said no. When pressed why I wouldn't give her more I explained "Because I'm mean." Oddly enough that seemed to satisfy her and ended her search for more ice cream.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Artist of the Week: Blowin' His Horn


Trumpet
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
This week's artist is Jake and he's pictured here blowing his trumpet. Technically he is not the one bragging about himself, but I couldn't resist.

This has been a very big summer for Jake and we are barely halfway through. He applied to and successfully garnered a slot at the summer Governor's School, had his Bar Mitzvah, turned thirteen, entered an essay competition at the Governor's School and won, and completely nailed the placement exam for the Gifted program.

The last two items I haven't mentioned before because we had just found out about them this past week.

The essay competition was open to his class at school and was for a chance to attend an event at the Newseum in DC commemorating the 40 th anniversary of Apollo 11. This is part of the press release from the Newseum website:

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of this historic flight, the Newseum will host a special program on the future of space discovery. The July 20 program is a public event honoring Apollo 11’s anniversary and NASA’s ongoing exploration of space.

Veteran journalist Nick Clooney moderates a panel discussion with Aldrin, Charlie Duke of Apollo 16, John Grunsfeld, of the recent Hubble mission, and Goddard Space Flight Center deputy director Laurie Leshin.

The discussion will air on NASA TV and will be simulcast to science centers across the United States. A question-and-answer session will follow the program.

Now how cool is that. He gets to attend an event with the very first two men that have walked on the moon and, hopefully, ask them questions about their experience. I so wish I could be there too, but it is just not possible. The best part was that he really did write the essay himself. He did get some coaching from his Aunt Meryl, but she made sure it was his own words.

We got word of his winning a slot on Friday. That morning I was very busy getting his train ticket and making sure it was coordinated with the teachers that were chaperoning the six winners.

On Monday Jake had an appointment to be retested for both Math and Verbal skills. Last February was the official testing period for the Gifted program. He nailed the History, Science, and Reading Comprehension portions, with scores of 99%. Math and Vocabulary were another story. He pretty much bombed both with the respective scores of 74% and 79%. This precluded him from the Gifted program and dumped him from honor's math.

My reaction to this was Heck No!

He has been pulling down A's and B's in Math with a final grade of A. There was no way he was getting dropped from accelerated math. I called up and found out that he had missed answering 10 of the thirty odd questions. They had been duly marked as wrong and had torpedoed his score. The guidance consular then told me that there was an appeal process and that we had a very good case.

Larry and I wrote a letter and faxed it off to the central testing office appealing the decision. Initially we were told that the period for appeals was long over, but Larry informed them that we had just found out about his denial. So instead we had to wait another week until the person that handled appeals was back from vacation.

The following Monday, just as Larry was about to do a follow up phone call, the person handling our appeal called Larry. She agreed that the test scores really didn't match the data they had on Jake. She asked if they could retest him in both Math and Vocabulary. We were all for it. After a bit of calling back and forth and consulting schedules we settled on 11:30 am on Monday the 13th.

Jake was in fine form that day. I made sure he was well rested and had a big breakfast. He went in with confidence and totally kicked some testing butt. He got a 97% on Vocab and, drum roll please... 100% on Math.

When he was brought back to the front of the office he was chatting with the woman in charge of his appeal. She informed me of his scores and told us right then and there that he clearly qualified for the Gifted program. She would start the paper work immediately. She them commented to me privately that Jake had some amazing math skills.

Well yes, that is what we have been saying all along.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Government

With all the idiotic spending and what not going on now, I'm in complete agreement with the Tick.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Max's Words For Max

We have been spending a fair amount of time at the library this summer (currently we have over 30 books checked out). Max needs a bit of a boost in his reading skills so he is meeting a reading specialist from the school for a couple half hour sessions a week. She signs out one of the study rooms and Max gets some good one on one tutoring.

The best part is that she was recommended by Max's teacher and the two of them were able to map out a good strategy on what Max needs to get up the speed. Max's teacher even passed along a reading list with the books grouped by reading levels. Finally I had something to work with. I am now able to pick books for Max at his level or just a bit above. I'm getting a feel for what is appropriate for him and I can branch out and get other books off the shelf.

A few weeks ago I spotted a book at the library that first caught my eye because of the title, Max's Words. I cracked it opened and discovered a marvelous book within. The Max in the story has two older brothers that collect things, namely stamps and coins. Max decides he'll collect words. His brothers scoff and refuse to share their collections until Max's collection grows and he discovers he can make stories.

My Max at first wanted nothing to do with the book, but in the end I got him to sit down with me. As Max started to read he was drawn into the story. He discovered the importance of word order and just how much fun words can be. The illustrations are delightful with the words Max has collected in someway reflecting their meaning in their form. By the end of the book my Max thought is was a terrific read.

I think Max's Words is a wonderful addition to a young child's library. Get it, borrow it, read it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pied Piper


dog pile
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
That's me, on the floor with not one, but two red oafs on my lap.

Wherever I go in the house the dogs will often trail after me, Dell's chin often bumping my heels. To say they want to be with me is an understatement.

Oh they love the rest of the family. The red boys are always up for a romp outside with Nate, but... I'm the Pied Piper. I just call out to them and they come a runnin' unless there is something far more important like a chipmunk trapped just out of reach. If I sit on the floor they swarm over me, desperate for my attention.

Even after I trim their nails they still want to be with me. Quite the opposite of Ms. Rally, she would disappear when the clippers came out. I had to be quick and snag her before she sequestered herself in her crate. The red boys are just a couple of big lovable goofs that want to be with Mom.

It's nice to be wanted, but 50 plus pounds of dog in your lap can be a bit much. So don't spend too much time on the floor with them in my lap.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Capitalistic Parenting

I love Rebecca very much. She is a fiercely independent child and very passionate, but that independence and passion comes with a price.

She wants to do things for herself all the time and she wants to help me at the same time. As a result I have a seven year old sous chef. She happily chops peppers at dinner time and will stir the pots on the stove. This part of her is a delight.

However if I pick something out for her in a catalog, in a store or even a book in a library she flies off the handle. Shouts, tears and an angry stomping child soon follow theses imagined transgressions. I find this behavior to be truly appalling and for the most part, downright rude.

So now we have instituted a new policy. If she has been deemed to be significantly rude a dollar is deducted from the running tally on the allowance chart. A new category has been added to the sheet titled Rudeness.

Today she has already lost $2. She was rude to Max this morning. He wanted to sing along with his favorite song, she did not want him to and showed her displeasure not with words, but by shoving him. At the library she blew up at me for touching a book when we found the section (horses) we were looking for. I hauled her aside and told her that her behavior was unacceptable and she had now lost another dollar. She was sat sullenly for the rest of our visit and the ride home.

When I wrote up the deductions on the sheet she was horrified to see the new category. She thought that the money was to be discretely deducted, not publicly tallied. She begged and pleaded for me to not write it all up. My response was tough, you were rude and now you have to live with the consequences.

It'll be intrersting to see if this teaches her to hold her temper and to use her manners. I know she hates losing the money (at best she earns $3 to $4 a week), but the fact that it is writen plainly for all to see might be the bigger incentive to straighten up.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Skink A Dinka Doo


skink
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
I'm a county girl at heart. I grew up in an extremely rural area, surrounded by woods and cow pastures.

I once rented a house in the middle of the woods and the owners asked me point blank if I could handle being up on a hill with deer and raccoons as my closest neighbors, a previous tenant had freaked out when raccoons tipped the garbage and deer would peek in the windows. I assured then I was an old hand at all that. Which, was born out when a raccoon came into the house through the cat door. Luckily it was a room shut off from the house and I was able to shoo it out with a broom.

However, I just can't get used to the lizards around here.

I have seen both the Eastern Fence Lizard and the tiny Little Brown Skink (which was really cute once I got over the initial shock of finding it under the wading pool). Mostly we have five lined skinks. They are down right pretty in their juvenile form with their electric blue tails. But, and there is always a but, they grow up and get rather large. Well maybe not huge, but they are a heck of a lot bigger than any other non-mammal I've encountered in the wild short of a snake.

The one pictured here is at a fairly good size and that's with most of its tail missing. These babies decidedly do not creep quietly about. They plunge into the underbrush with a large rattle of leaves and scare me half to death. every. single. time. Of course it doesn't help when a gamy dog decides it must follow it.

At least the deer are quiet.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Artist of the Week: Clay


Max
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
A very dapper Max is this week's artist.

I love how he looks when he has his coat and tie on. The little blue and yellow striped tie just sets the whole look off. Max likes how he looks too and is more than happy to dress up for any occasion. Which is quite a contrast with Nate, who has to be badgered into his bettered clothes.

We picked up this outfit for Jake's Bar Mitzvah. I had spent an afternoon shopping with him and he spotted this on the rack. They had just one left in his size and as I held it up he asked if he could have it, he thought it looked terrific. How could I say no.

On the day of his last piano recital he asked if he could wear his suit (the jacket came with not only a shirt and tie, but a nice pair of blue slacks as well). When he donned his clothes he announced that he looked like a miniature business man. I told him he looked even better than that. He is a handsome little devil and was the best dressed and cutest little boy at the recital. Just look at that smile, I think Larry snagged this photo of him just afterward.


bluejay
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Another little dapper fellow is this little blue jay Max made at school. It fits snugly in the palm of your hand and has a quite and self assured air about it. It is a pleasure to hold. The little tail feathers got a bit bent from the trip home on the bus, but otherwise it's perfect.

I think it may have been intended by the teacher as some sort of end of the year gift for the parents, but Max loves his little bird too much to give it up. In fact, it has been buried in his room for the past month. I had to do a bit of searching to find it for today. He'll be pleased to see it here, but I know he'll want it back. And honestly, I completely understand

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Doe, A Deer, A Female Deer


Doe, a deer
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
I don't think people ever really believe me when I tell them that I view deer as a nuisance in my back yard. Oh, they are pretty to look at, but in the end they are just tall rats.

Let's take this doe for example. She was less than five feet from the house during the middle of the day. It took the combined excitement of at least two kids and a dog right over her head to finally shift her to the woods. Even then, you can see by her body language she wasn't in that much of a hurry.

I've had a doe actually step towards me as I rattled a bowl of dog food to get the dogs to stop barking at her and come inside. Talk about nervy. Obviously somebody in the neighborhood has been feeding the deer.

Heck I've even found hoof prints under the deck and my husband has had to beep the horn to shift them off the driveway.

So yeah, they have become tall rats in my eyes. Very pretty, but annoying nonetheless.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Stars & Stripes FOREVER!

So yeah, the Fourth is long over, but this is too good not to share.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Bang!


Bang!
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
I hope everyone out there had a happy and healthy Fourth of July.

We went to the county's firework display last night. It was the first time we had ever taken the kids to an official fireworks event. Before we had hung out in a local parking lot about a mile or so from the staging grounds. It was a lot easier and far less congested than going to the big show itself. With small children you never really know how much they'll like seeing fireworks up close and all the loud noises associated with them.

Meryl came along with us. She picked up green beans and tomatoes and came over before dinner. At our house we had a fine repast of home made bbq beef ribs, mashed potato, fresh green beans, marinated sliced tomatoes, and mashed sweet potato. It was one of those great happy tummy meals. The huge spread almost made it feel like a summer version of Thanksgiving.


boys
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
At around seven we headed out to the fairgrounds where the fireworks were going to happen. Larry, sensibly parked on the road to the event, pointing the car towards home, and avoided the whole parking lot nightmare (he's so smart). We trooped up the road and found a nice spot on the grass not too far from the entrance.

There were a whole slew of things going on before the main event, from bouncey tents in the kid's zone, freebies from area businesses, to fair food classics. Meryl, being a very indulgent person, took the kids off to get funnel cakes. Unfortunately the line was huge, it looked like over a half an hour long for funnel cakes, so they passed. Instead, the kids got glasses made from glow sticks. I love this picture I got of the three boys. Rebecca, for whatever reason, got in a real snit and was appalled over the idea of being photographed with her glasses.

As twilet deepened a few stray firecrackers went up, causing a cheer from the crowd. The music changed to a more patriotic vein with America the Beautiful hearalding the start. All four were entranced. The county had a very nice display, my only complaint was that I would have like a few more of the noisier ones. I love it when there is a huge bang and the rockets go screaming off. Overall we had a great time and I think we'll be doing it again next year.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Still Lovin' Bunny Hop with Kung-Fu Fightin' Bike Action

Yesterday I stopped by our favorite bike shop, Bunny Hop, to get Jake's bike fixed up. His bike has a loose chain and the shifting in his opinion was wonky.

As always I got fantastic service. Not only did the bike fixed while I waited, they turned on the arcade game just for my kids to play with while we were there. They have the old arcade classic Paperboy and have it set for unlimited free play. In less than fifteen minutes we were good to go, with any charges waved off.

Before heading over to Bunny Hop I checked out their website. I wanted to make sure they were still around and open. It's now a blog and had a hilarious Kungfu bike fight clip as the most recent post. It was too funny not to share.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Chipmunk Cuteness


Chipmunk in a tree
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
This morning I found out that chipmunks climb trees. Rebecca was the one to notice this little cutey in the tree that grows near the window by the kitchen table.

We got to watch it nibbling away on the fruit of our crab apple tree. It would poke its head out of the leaves and grab a crab apple and stuff it into its mouth.

Originally it was on the end of the branch near the window, but by the time I got the camera out it had moved. You can just make it out in its leafy bower. Another chipmunk was rooting about in the leaf litter at the base of the tree.

It was a very nice way to start off the day.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Artist of the Week: When I Grow Up


Rebecca
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
This week's artist is Rebecca. She was feeling a bit poorly today, unfortunately she is one of those people who are weather sensitive. Impending storm fronts make, as she puts it, her forehead hurt and sometimes even her tummy. She spent most the the morning asleep, rallying as the day drew to a close and the front started to break.

In this picture, however, the weather was bit kinder to her. It was the day before Jake's Bar Mitzvah when we were at the temple for a final dress rehearsal and a chance to take some pictures. Rebecca and Max had the very important job of handing out the candy to be tossed at Jake. A job that Rebecca took very seriously. Passing out candy, as any child will tell you, is serious business.

Anyway, if it was possible Rebecca would love to be a professional candy server when she grows up. However she does recognize that it is not a viable career path and settled on something a bit more plausable when she was asked in class.


when I grow up
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
I found this sheet tucked among her papers she dragged home during the last few days of school. It has a charming collection of animals at the top, a mama goose with her goslings, a dog (which of course is a dachshund), a large fox, a parrot, and a nice stripy cat. On the lower half she answers the age old question of what she will be when she grows up.

Here is the text complete and unedited, spelling clarifications are in parenthesis :

May 12, 2009
When I grow up I want to be a vechern (veterinarian). I like babys anmls. Some anmls are nice and some are sml (small). I like anmls. Some are big. Some are fun to play with. Some are mesee (messy).
I love anmls.

The whole thing is so cute and adorable. She really does love animals and I think this is one of the sweetest assignments she has brought home to date.