Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Indeed it does, though we do sometimes get some funny mugging.
Anyway a couple of summers ago Jake to a cartooning class up in Richmond. He learned a few of the ins and outs of cartooning and to this day still likes to make the occasional strip. And thus brings us to this week's art.
A few weeks ago Jake had an assignment in class regarding an article he found in the newspaper. I don't know if he was told to do a strip, that is what he did.
Hooray for modern drugs like Tamiflu.
Unfortunately the comic did not scan at all well, so I'll quote the panels for you from left to right, top to bottom.
1.) Today on VCU news, we will look at the topic of swine flu. There are four reported possible cases of it.
2.) Three of the students went home...
3.) While one stayed at his dormitory.
4.) Now we go to where they supposedly got the swine flu.
5.) Ahh!! Invasion of the pigs!
I just love that pig with the laser bean eyes in the final panel. It just cracks me up. I need to get Jake to finish coloring this in.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
The soccer players in he family, Jake, Nate and Rebecca all got to play their games before I sallied forth off to a dog club event on Saturday afternoon. Upon my return all seemed well, I was able to see off Larry and Nate before Nate's football game.
Then my little house of cards fell down.
Jake has had a cold for the past week. Nothing serious, he had just your run of the mill runny nose and cough. After Larry and Nate left, a half an hour had barely passed when Jake gave me an update about how he was feeling. With a blanket clutched around his shoulders he uttered the following:
"Mom, I don't feel very good. I get hot then I get cold."
A classic flu symptom and here I was stuck at home with three kids on a Saturday afternoon. I really did not want to drag Max and Rebecca along on what could be a potentially long wait at the nearby walk in clinic (aka the house of germs). So I decided to wait until Larry was back to wrangle the rest while I take Jake to the clinic.
And yes, my fears were borne out- Jake has the flu. However because we jumped right on it, he was proscribed Tamiflu and it is really helping him beat the flu. He might even be back in school on Wednesday. Hooray for modern medicine!
Meanwhile Nate was definitely not himself. He didn't eat much on Saturday and wasn't his normal energetic self at the game. This was not a good sign. We packed him off to bed and decided to keep a wary eye on the boy.
On Sunday he was mostly his old bouncy self, that is until the end of the day. He started to complain about a sore throat and didn't have the same amount of spunk (he is a child that positively vibrates with energy if does not have recess at school). It was late and he didn't have a fever so we decided to wait. That's the hardest part of being a parent. You want to make them all better at the first sign of illness, but if you go too soon they'll have a false negative. We needed to wait for a clear sign such as a sudden spike in fever.
Today he was just able to drag himself out of bed and all he wanted for breakfast was toast. He had a hacking cough, looked miserable and felt worse. I looked into those sad brown eyes and told him he could stay home from school, but I was going to take him into the doctors. I wasn't sure what he had, but he needed to be checked out.
And guess what, it turns out he has strep throat. It was such a classic presentation the Doctor didn't even bother swabbing his throat. Nate had the start of an ear infection (which is typical for him and Strep) so we got a scrip for antibiotics and were sent on our merry way.
So between the flu and strep, I really don't recommend your stopping by our house anytime soon.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
She was using left over potting soil from the center pieces from Jake Bar Mitzvah. She added water and then formed the pies on her little plastic plates from her tea set. She then told me that once they are dried she will feed them to John.
Which was news to me.
She then went on to say that she tried giving the mud pies to Dell, but he would only give a quick sniff and walk away. Dell likes tea parties, but he is not a fan of the mud pie. Only John likes mud pies.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Anyhoodle a few weeks ago she posted the most divine sounding recipe, Tres Leches. I mentally bookmarked it as one to try and waited for the right occasion.
Last weekend I had a dog club potluck to attend, as per usual I volunteered to make desserts. I figure I should stick with my strengths and my club is always very, very happy to eat my baked goods. So I made my flourless chocolate torte ( dead easy and delicious) and the Tres Leches.
It was goooooood.
It perfectly complimented the dense chocolaty goodness of my other offering. And even better, it too was dead easy to make. It is not at all a fussy cake to bake. Especially if you follow along on Ree's website. She loves to take pictures of each and every step.
So head on over and try out her Tres Leches cake, it's worth the calories. You can always say it's for swine flu prevention if you use vitamin D fortified milk.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
The video technically can not be embedded, you have to click through to watch it on YouTube. However, it is worth the effort.
I thought it was a fitting song as summer is drawing to an end, in fact the fireflies around have long since packed up and left. Otherwise I would have tried to take one tonight. I'll just have to wait until next year for my firefly picture. For now I'll just have to enjoy this song.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I really like our camera, this is yet another great shot straight out of the camera. If you pay attention you can get some great pictures with our little Fujifilm Finepix. Some day I learn how to use the more advanced features, but for now the fully automatic and natural light modes are just ducky for me.
This was from the end of the year and his handwriting has come a long, long way since the start of first grade. I love his illustration of the sea turtles in their habitat. The two turtles on the far right are chasing jellyfish, the one on the left is in pursuit of a fish and the one in the middle is diving down with its mouth wide open for a bite of seaweed.
It doesn't have a grade on it, but I would give it a well deserved E for most excellent.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I'm not knocking motherhood, but the 24/7 aspect of summer vacation does wear a bit thin as the days stretch out. The constant noise and activity can be a exhausting. Mind you I don't get off completely scot-free, the first hour that they get home is breath taking in the sheer volume of noise and energy. They have spent the day apart and it is so exciting to be reunited again.
But the best part when they are off at school is lunch. No longer do I have to figure out what they want and make it. It's just me, myself and I. I still have to pack it in the morning, but that's easy. What makes lunch on my own so very, very nice is that I can eat any dang thing I want and not have to defend my questionable dietary choices or be a paragon of nutritional virtue. And I'll admit that sometimes I'll have a nutritionally bankrupt lunch. In fact during the first week of school I gleefully called up Meryl and announced I was having just potato chips for lunch.
It was great and I didn't have to share.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Today I finally got up out of my chair and did something about it, literally.
This is what my poor chair by the computer looked like. The fabric was tattered and torn. The foam cushion beneath was shredding off, exposing the board it was glued on. Annoying bits and pieces of the foam are littered about the floor.
It was not a pretty sight and not terribly comfortable.
I like to think that even Dell was upset by the this sad, sad wreck of a chair and is begging for me to fix it. In reality he couldn't give a rat's patootie, all he wants is food and tummy rubs. But I do care and today was the day, I had all the materials- new foam cushion, sturdy fabric and a staple gun.
John seemed pretty happy with the final results and it is much cushier now with the new foam.
Friday, September 18, 2009
But wait, there's more!
Saturday also marks the official Talk Like a Pirate Day, an odd confluence of events to be sure. So to celebrate Capt. Long John and his scurvy mate Dirty Dell got out their pirate duds and are on the lookout for a sweet new year. They recommend Jewschool for some good ideas to bring out your inner Jewish pirate.
Shana Tova Umetukah! Arrrgh!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
And really, what could be possibly be better than the Peanuts singing Peanuts?
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Lately it has been all football, all the time. We elected to keep him on the minor team again this season. He is not particularly big and we felt he would be a little more likely to be squished if he played in his actual age group. He still easily made the weight cutoff, he is just not allowed to advance the ball since he is a "striper." (Stripers have a one and one-half inch wide stripe six inches long running horizontally across the front and back of his helmet. The stripe shall be of a contrasting color to the helmet.)
Mind you can still do kickoffs and all other types of positions. Nate will be starting in both offensive and defensive plays and be doing the kickoffs. As a result he was like a wet dishrag by the end of the first game.
The poems are all original compositions created for certain themes presented to them by the teacher. The illustrations are a mixture of clip art and his own drawings. My favorite of the lot was the one titled Dell, I'll rewrite it here so it's a bit easier to read. The white type on the cute little puppy clip art is not very easy to read, particularly in the small picture here in the post. I could make y'all click through to the large image, but then you are still stuck with the white typeface.
So here it is, Nate's poem from his Poetry Collection.
Now he's sniffing a log.
He runs all around, and now he's down.
And he makes a great big sound.
Now he's eaten a hog!
You are a crazy little dog!
Now he's run into town,
And he eats the ground.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Larry had volunteered to be part of the chain gang so he was in charge of Nate. Which left me with Jake and the dynamic duo.
It was Jake's first game of the season and the coach requested that the players show up about 8:30 am. Which meant we needed to leave the house no later than 7:30 am, earlier would be even better because of my planned McD's pancake run to appease the younger set.
It was a bit cool out and the ride was beautiful. As we approached a river we could see a low bank of fog laying over the water. Mist wreathed the trees on the riverbank and swirled across the bridge. It was a struck by the view and desperatly wanted to capture, but alas I was driving.
Fortunately I had Jake with me and he sensed my need to at least try and photograph our ethereal surroundings. Without any prompting he offered to take a few pictures. I fished my camera off of the front passenger seat and passed it on back to him. He was able to take quite a few very nice shots before we crossed the bridge.
Our team's players showed up in dribs and drabs, with the last two players to fill out a field of 11 showing up just before game time. One more boy showed up a few minutes later and gave our team a much need substitute. We have a roster of 16 or so, but quite a few didn't make it.
In the end it all worked out. Our team was a bit ragged at first, but over the course of the game they started to come together as a team. It was fun to watch them improve and even though they lost it was a very good game. The other team was challenging and gracious. Both teams agreed it was a very satisfying game to play.
Monday, September 14, 2009
We went with high hopes and we were not disappointed.
At first I was surprised at how small the area for the cars was. Somehow I envisioned something far larger, but after the first heat I understood that the small size resulted in far more intensive action. It was fun watching the big cars slew about in the mud, shooting up rooster tails of red clay. The crowd cheered with every impact. And in the end it all came down to two smoking wrecks.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
In the morning Jake had a soccer game three counties over, necessitating our getting up at the crack o' dawn. I had to take him and two seven years old at 7:30 in the freaking morning. To promote a more positive attitude and willing participation among the younger set I bribed them with McDonald's pancakes at the beginning of our nearly hour long drive. We got there on time and Jake had a good game. Then it was back home to met up with Larry and Nate once Nate's football game was over.
Then it was time for the serious fun to begin.
We missed out on our county fair last week. We were tired after seeing the Velvet Marias and our county's fair is not at it's best on its last day. We did, however, notice that Amelia county was having its fair Sept. 9th on through the 13th. This would work and as an added bonus there would be a demolition derby in the evening. I was totally sold on the idea.
After lunch and bit of noodling about the house we loaded up the van and headed on out to Amelia. Our plan was to meet Meryl in Amelia and take it from there.
I am so glad we went. It was a smaller and much friendlier event than our own county's fair. I'm not knocking ours, but it's nice being able to let the boys wander about and not worry about where they are. It was far less crowded and the venue was easily a third of the size. You could easily survey the whole thing from the ferris wheel. The rides were pretty much the same and the kids had a good time.
I'm not going to write much here about it. Suffice it to say we had a great time. It was just as good, if not better, than I expected. It'll be a subject for my next post.
I'll just leave you with the image of my two oldest battling it out with their midway light sabers. They provided some good entertainment between heats at the derby.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Marty, as he was known by friends and family, was only 29 when his life came to an abrupt end on September 11th, 2001.
He was 6 foot 2, 180 pounds, with hazel eyes. From what have learned about him he played baseball in college at St. Peters in New Jersey, to the extent that it took him seven years to work through and finish with a degree in financial management. After college he gave himself four years to get out of the minors and into the big show. In that time he played for Class A and AA teams of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Detroit Tigers. When the four years were up he ultimately ended up at Cantor Fitzgerald.
Sadly, he wasn't even supposed to be in the North Tower that fateful day. He was to head the new office on the Jersey Shore. Originally it was slated to open in July, then Labor Day, only to delayed yet again.
When asked about his future goals, we stated that he wanted to retire at 35 and become a fly fishing guide in Montana. Ideally he would work for seven months, then ski the remaining five. If was still alive today he would have been two years into his retirement.
The Friends and Family of Martin Boryczewski Scholarship is awarded to a member of the junior class at Morris Catholic High School. Established in memory of Martin Boryczewski, a 1990 graduate of Morris Catholic, this scholarship is awarded to a student who has actively and consistently demonstrated the true Crusader Spirit of “character, community and commitment.”
This is a two-year scholarship that provides for $3,000 of the recipient's tuition for junior and senior years.
The scholarship will be awarded to a junior student as selected by the Morris Catholic administration and based upon the following criteria:
- The student should be an honor student, but not necessarily the highest-ranking student in the class.
- The student must be involved in various activities -- a participant in school, community, and athletic and/or extra-curricular activities.
- The student should possess leadership qualities and be of high moral character and sportsmanship.
To support their endeavors an annual golf outing held, this year it is on Sept. 19th at the Black Bear Golf Club in Franklin, NJ. Last year was wildly successful and they were able to make the $3000 yearly commitment to the school.
Here's hoping that Marty's name and the good works done in his honor live on.
Note: for more tributes head on over to Project 2,996. I also did this in 2006 and profiled Robert Garvin McCarthy.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Rebecca is a free spirit. She likes to do things on her own terms and at her own pace. Heaven help anyone that asks her a question before she is ready, especially in the morning. She is not a pleasant person when she first wakes up and before she has eaten. She has firm opinions and does not hesitate to share them.
This morning she was irritated that she would be having Chinese class today. She hates Chinese, according to her it's boring, stupid and pointless. As she was getting worked up Max watched her in amazement. He too has Chinese class and he doesn't care for it, but not to the same extent as his twin.
I let her run down without comment. A teeny, tiny part of me knew I should be championing the class, it's good to be exposed to foreign languages and it is the most widely spoken language. But... I agree with her.
Last year the school district decided that the elementary school would have foreign language instruction for one hour once a week. The individual schools could choose the language- French, German, Spanish and Chinese. Most schools opted for Spanish or French, a few choose German and our school was the only one to pick Chinese. A language I might point out that is not supported in the middle school.
So here I am with a very unhappy child that is justifiably irked and I just can't muster the enthusiasm I should for the class. I too think it's a waste of time and resources. One hour a week is not enough to learn a language. And why oh why couldn't it be a useful language like Spanish? There is a large Spanish speaking population in the area and there are frequently new kids in the school that start school knowing little to no English. This could be the one class they could really shine in.
So yeah, it's hard to be the mommy when you agree with your kid.
(Oh and about the picture I like the version I posted, but I think the uncropped version is even better- but then Rebecca becomes too small in the picture to use in a post. If you want to see that picture click here.)
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
We have been following this band for a while, checking out their gigs at watering holes around Richmond as our schedules permit. Larry met the bassist, Mike, through work and that is how we learned about the band.
They always put on a good show and do possibly the best cover of "These Boots Are Made For Walking," Sarah's voice has a great smoky quality and guitars are oh so nasty. They do a mix of covers and original compositions that make you want to groove. We caught them last Saturday at the Amelia Summer Series, a free family oriented event held on the court house steps in Amelia county. We brought the whole family along, including Meryl.
It was a good concert on a lovely summers day. The crowd wasn't very large, but it was friendly. Larry ended up passing out my cookies to not only the band, but the audience as well. I can now rightfully claim that my cookies are famous in two counties.
The Velvets are in the process of cutting an album and I look forward to hearing it.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
While we were on vacation we all did a bit of boogieboarding, some more than others. Nate also spent a fair amount of his time learning how to skimboard.
This a a short video of what he was doing over the week. He got to be pretty good. Next year when we go to the beach he'll be ready to the more advance tricks such as turns and riding the waves.
Monday, September 07, 2009
As a sort of last hurrah of summer we took the kids to see Up again.
We had seen it when it first came out and loved it. It is a beautiful movie that is not just for kids. The opening storyline made me cry both times. It was well worth paying full price to see it the first time around.
Today, however, we got to see it at the Byrd Theater in Richmond. It is a classic movie palace that is now a second run theater with the occasional independent movie thrown in for fun. At two bucks a pop, it's the best movie entertainment value in town. The kids were impressed by the theater (less so by the seats- they are pretty much shot) and were amazed that there was only one screen.
There was pretty much a full house and the audience was great. There was a bit of anticipatory laughter before some of the more absurd bits and everybody was rooting for the good guys. The kids groused a bit about seeing a movie a second time, but in the end they had a fabulous time. I think we might try to wait out a fun more movies and catch them on the return at the Byrd.
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Friday, September 04, 2009
Normally he has a soulful and houndy look, but right now he has taken it to another level. He's moping about the house, not really wanting to got outside. And you may ask what pray tell is the reason for all this angst.
Well you see he is missing his brother. Mr. Dell went on down to North Carolina yesterday for a dog show, three in fact and the earliest we'll be seeing him is on Sunday.
Nate tries to play with John, but its just not the same. Nate doesn't have long hound ears to suck and his wrestling is just not up to par. Poor thing.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Today I had to:
- Take Nate north to the orthodontist and then walk him over to his father's office building.
- Wash Dell and do his nails (he's going to some dog shows this weekend).
- Pick up the rest of the kids and drive south to Jake's school for his open house.
- Where we discovered his schedule was all out of whack and had to get it reconfigured.
- Then back home to pick up Dell, school supplies and soccer gear.
- Drive east to hand Dell off to his co-owner as she passed by on the highway en route to the aforementioned show.
- Then head back west to drop Jake off at soccer practice.
- Go to Max and Rebecca's school to drop off school supplies and hopefully meet their respective teachers (sadly both of their teachers had left before we got there).
- Drive north again to Nate's school and drop off his supplies and meet his teachers (we did better there and got to meet one).
- Head back on down to Jake's soccer practice (We were actually early!) and pick him up.
- Grab some dinner and head back home.
- And as a special bonus I went out one more time to get some caulk to reseal the shower.
I can't wait for school to start.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
This week's artist is Rebecca, who is now all arms and legs. It's amazing watching her grow up. She still is the feral princess (and always will be), but she has changed so much this year. I think of her being my little girl then I remember that she'll be in second grade next week.
She is very independent, which is no surprise considering her maternal line. She descended from a long line of independent women. She'll insist on doing things herself and will keep at it until her age catches up with her and she melts down in a rather dramatic fashion. But slowly she is learning to regroup herself and make a small attempt at reigning in those storms.
Sort of, because she is feral and she is a princess.
Rebecca's cardinal is a jaunty little fellow that also fits snugly in the palm of your hand. He actually suffered quite a bit during the journey home, his tail is bent, a wing fell off, and as did the end of his beak Both were quickly reglued and he seems none the worse for wear.
Right now he sits by my computer and I find his cheery presence and nice bright spot amidst the clutter.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
I was sitting on the deck reading a book and enjoying the sun and ocean breezes. While looking out at the horizon and admiring the view I noticed a little quirk of the shadows.
If I positioned myself just so I could line up the shadow of the crossbar of the railing with the horizon. I thought it was a neat little trick and grabbed my camera. Sometimes to get an interesting photo you just need to notice the little things.