Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Well, the Puzzle Crazy "basket" is finished and I delivered it to the school for Friday night's raffle at the carnival. It ended up having 1326 puzzles and one princess puzzle poster. The 1326 puzzles include each Word Find, Sudoku, and every other type of puzzle. We had wooden puzzles, Bionicles, Legos, and (now I can spell this) Rubik's Cube. And 9 jigsaws. I put it all together in a plastic storage box and wrapped the whole thing in clear cellphane. Ta-da!!

Chris made a wooden jumping peg puzzle. May and I love to play this game together.

All the baskets that had been delivered to the school already look GREAT! I cannot wait to buy some raffle tickets and try my luck at winning one of them!
Here are my two helpers.

Do you miss the plants?

May checked on them today and said, "Oh, WOW, Mom!" She was amazed at how TALL they are getting.
CANNED edamame?? Sorry. I am also watching "Top Chef" off the TiVO and one of the chefs cooked with CANNED edamame. Who ever heard of such a thing? Bakarashii. Ugh.

The girls are off school Thursday and Friday. May has testing Thurs morning. She will do great. Smart girl. Carnival on Friday night.
I think I will get to bed before midnight tonight. Early, for me.

Puzzle poster. Plants taking over.

The plants (did I ever tell you that they are yellow squash, carrots, and green beans? Oh yeah. You know that, if you read the packages that the girls held up when we planted these 9 days ago) have shot the roof off their greenhouse. OK. That is a slight overstatement. But, some of them are touching the lid (one plant broke his fool head right off) and so I have removed it. Now I must remember to water them more frequently. I don't think I will post more photos of them until they are outside in the garden. I can hear you cheering from here. LOL! ;-)

I gathered the puzzle pieces from May's class today. Out of the 24 I handed out, encouraging each child to be part of the team and contribute to the project, I got back a very high percentage of them. I am super pleased with their efforts and I really hope to see many of them at the school carnival on Friday night.

"Hope to see many of them." That always makes me laugh. Like -- do I hope to see certain ones, but would rather NOT see others of the kids? Maybe I should say I hope to see a high percentage of the class attend the carnival. Hee!

I spent my evening creating a poster for the raffle basket (Puzzle Crazy). It is meant for a little girl's room, and features two Disney Princesses puzzles, glued to thick poster foamboard, and surrounded by tissue paper (wads?) and purple ribbon as a frame. It turned out really cute, if I do say so myself. Here is a picture of it. Please excuse the glare.

I will put the "basket" together tomorrow and get it all set up for The PTA Moms to do their thing. All the puzzles will be in a clear plastic storage box and presented with great flair and flourish (how do you spell that and is there spellcheck on Blogger??) so as to entice many raffle ticket purchases. I figure that whoever wins them needs a place to store them, right? The kids did a GREAT job "thinking outside the jigsaw box" with regard to puzzles. They included puzzle books, Soduku books, wooden puzzle ball, Rubix Cube, Bionicles, Legos sets, and a triangle peg jumping puzzle (OK - Chris made that, at my bidding). There are also jigsaws -- 8 of them. It is going to be a great "basket."

OH - back to the Disney Princesses. I love Cinderella. Have since I was a kid. She is the only princess who chose her man. He did not steal her away, buy her, enslave her, awaken her with an uninvited kiss, or otherwise kidnap her. She didn't HAVE TO take that glass slipper out of her pocket. She could have said, "Um. No. He's not the guy for me. Thank you." But, she decided he was The One. Nice.

What is not too nice is that Disney took what were once stories in Public Domain. Free for everyone to enjoy. Loved by millions. And they turned the Princesses into a Company. Disney pimps the Princesses for a Buck. Sad. Sad. I have some books that feature the princesses when they were free women, before Disney stole them away without even a kiss. Sigh.

Girls and women ... take care ... think long and hard before you give your glass slipper away.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Spring Track - Meet #1

I know you are all wondering, "How are the plants??" (I know you live for this!) They are amazing. I would bet that it I had the time or patience to sit and watch them ... I would SEE them grow.

This evening was the first Meet for May (7 years old, second grade) in this season's Spring Track. It was held at the new middle school, which is the old high school. The track is so nice! The bleachers provide plenty of room! We all had a blast! May ran GREAT and was the first finisher for her school (all the schools of the district run together - including charter schools and private schools that want to participate). She is dressed ina gray shirt and pink pants in the photos. Chris coaches. The little girls (Jane, 4, and Irene, 5) had a grand time playing in the bleachers. Irene is DYING to run in a race. She will be eligible in the fall (Cross Country) when she is in Kindergarten.
If I get these photos in order, you will see May lining up to race (on the left side), running in the race, having a post-race snack, running to me in the stands, and showing me her ribbon (she is MARVELOUS, isn't she?). I will also post a few of the little girls having their fun at big sister's race. Look at these three faces. Am I the luckiest mom on the planet, or what? Oh yes - I am.

There are many races, and we are there for about an hour and a half. The weather was perfect! Sunny and cool. I got chilly feet (sandals) and the little girls got frozen hands. It is all good! Life. I very much enjoyed sitting near May's first grade teacher, Mrs. Johnson, who is also a neighbor of ours, and Patti - a mom from down our street. I wish we all had more time to spend together. I would love to know them better. But, time is precious to busy moms (let alone busy moms who have just started real estate companies - that would be me). Sigh. I never feel present in the moment. Mind always miles away. Plotting. Planning. I hope not to miss too much of ... Now.

"The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time. Any fool can do it. There aint nothing to it. ... Since we're on our way down, we might as well enjoy the ride. The secret of love is in opening up your heart. It's OK to feel afraid, but don't let it stand in your way. Cause everyone knows that Love is the only road. Since we're only here for a while, we might as well show some style. .... Isn't it a lovely ride? .... It's just a lovely ride." - James Taylor

It is a lovely ride.

I was just pondering with my younger sister that it seems to be harder to make friends here. People are nice. Life is good. But, tight and real bonds with comfy friends are few. Age? Era? Life. Thankfully, I am blessed with 3 built-in friends who are called by the name of "sister." Real sisters. Like my girls are to each other. May they each grow up to treasure the sisters they have.

I just love that photo of May with her ribbon. She is VERY proud of coming in as the first from her school in her race. Did you SEE how much TALLER all the kids in her race are than she is? She is small, but mighty.

Hey - I am kind of getting the hang of this blog thing, aren't I?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jack or Giant? Cat Show. Pop Pop

OMG. From the looks of the plants, I should be expecting either Jack or Giant any moment now. Holy Moley. Those plants are growing! Can't wait to get them into the ground in 2 weeks or so.

We went with Aunt Debby (my baby sister) to the cat show this afternoon. May SO wanted to bring her two cats. LOL! I told her that these cats were professionals. Like cat models. Hee! We had fun, but the patience of three little ones ran out a little sooner than I would have liked. A surprising number of the cat showing people allowed my girls to stroke their fancy cats. I fell absolutely in LOVE with a BIG (B-I-G) orange Maine Coone named James. That cat was HUGE. What a lover.

Then, I took the girls to "Pop Pop's Special Place" which is the memorial site for my Daddy (Pop Pop to my kids). It is in a beautiful cemetary with lots of pine trees and long history (well, long for Colorado!). We spent a long, lingering visit. There was a Widow-Maker (large branch fallen from a tree) that the girls enjoyed moving around, and plucking smaller branches off of. The weather was lovely. It is so peaceful and calm there. Like a walk in the woods. We gathered pinecones to make a wreath. I sat on a bench near the wall where my father's physical remains are kept, and I noticed empty peanut shells at my feet. He loved to eat peanuts when watching TV when we were kids. I got the biggest warm feeling by having my feet surrounded by peanut shells at his graveside. Someone has left a birdfeeder on the ground behind the bench. That is probably where the peanuts were - put out for squirrels. No telling. There are many mysteries to this place. I sure do miss my dad. May took some quiet time on another bench in the sun. When we left, she and I shared a big hug and some tears in the car. She is old enough to have reall memories of Pop Pop for herself. Janie has some, but not as many as May. Irene only knows that she missed knowing her Pop Pop. She is very aware of him and can already tell stories of him (she has been speaking English for 7 months now!).

Driving out, I took my time and took photos of some places that caught my eye. This cemetary is truly beautiful. It is the perfect place for the living to go and find peace.