Monday, June 28, 2010

The Puffer Fish Bites, and other things I've learned lately

What I have learned so far this summer:

1. The Puffer Fish bites. I don't know if all puffer fish bite, but the one that lives in the tank in the lobby at the pool where Violet swims bites. The ladies working there had to do a big production of distracting Dolly, the puffer fish, while another fished out part of the tank lid that accidentally fell in while the fish were being fed. Don't worry, Dolly never swims in the pool with the kids. And they don't swim with her either.

2. In Illinois you cannot touch a deli slicer unless you are 18 years old. Violet learned that today in her culinary class. She's taking an appetizers class through Kids and College at our local community college. Her class is taught by one of the instructors in their culinary program. The kids call the instructor "chef" and use the equipment in a real professional kitchen. But not the deli slicer, they are all 10-12 years old and have a few years to go before that. They made "taco boats" today and I got some samples. They were good. Can't wait for the BLT Canapies tomorrow.

Gosh, I guess that's it. I thought I'd come up with more. Well, it is still June, there's more time to learn I guess. I've been traveling for work again. I visited Lansing, Michigan this time. Nice city, what little I saw of it. Ate some good food. Stayed in a nice hotel. We're going to Detroit in August. I think I might take Mr. Incredible and Violet for that one.

I've been trying to get ready for 6th grade in the fall. And doing the reading for the Classic Moms class. I am really liking the Thomas Jefferson education model. Are we changing to it? No. But I think we do already use a lot of principles of it. And I think it is a really good fit for a highly sensitive child, which is Violet to a T.

Summer has been hot, humid and rainy. We've had a lot of storms, but nothing compared to Central Illinois. This is the first week with no rain predicted. Although it sure looked like it would rain this afternoon.

I missed the whole first round of the World Cup. I did see the second U.S. game, and the England v. Germany game. I sort of watched Argentina v. Mexico. Lots of bad calls, but honestly, I'm not sure I am for the use of instant replays for the calls. Soccer is a very traditional sport and doesn't like change. I could agree that no replay use would stick to the tradition.

Gotta go see if there are any taco boats left....

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Honestly, not all it is cracked up to be

I had fun on my girl's getaway. But honestly, I missed my family. They went to my in-laws and did a bunch of stuff at the Dells. I'm glad they did and weren't bored. But a big part of me wished I were with them. I'm such a mom.

As for the weekend. We stayed up too late, got up too early, drank too much, ate too much (and way too much junk food) and spent too much money. I had a couple of benefactors helping pay my way (in exchange for computer help from Mr. Incredible), but still I felt out of my league. I'm not used to $35 a person dinners, which they all said was such a good deal. The 3 of us could go to our favorite pizza place for that, and we consider it a big splurge. I felt in over my head more than once.

But the pool was nice, we laughed so hard (I can't believe we didn't get kicked out of a couple of restaurants!), and it is nice to feel so loved by friends. I did relax and kick back and have fun. Even if I lost miserably at Uno!

p.s. the drinking too much happened only at the resort when we were in for the night. When we were out we had a designated driver who stuck faithfully to her Diet Coke.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Girls Getaway

I am leaving shortly for my first ever Girls Getaway Weekend! My ladies group from work has reservations at a resort in Wisconsin. We'll be eating, drinking, lounging by the pool, shopping in town and gossiping. There are 7 of us going. It promises to be a fun time. Even if it does rain and storm as they are predicting.

I'll post more later, we're meeting for lunch. Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Afternoon in the park

This afternoon we met 2 other homeschool Juliette Girl Scout families at the park. We had a guest speaker join us, a woman I work with who also runs a not-for-profit that supplies teddy bears to police and fire departments. She explained about her work with the bears. How the police and firefighters keep the bears with them, and whenever they meet a child (or sometimes an adult) who is scared and in need of a friend, they give a bear. I'd give a link to her website, but she doesn't have one.

The kids were really impressed. I think it sunk in for some of them a little more what charitable work can be. It isn't always just collecting canned goods and dropping them in a box somewhere. Sometimes people are involved. (Yes, people are always involved, but the kids don't always seem to get that.)

Anyway, it was fun and educational. Afterward we stayed and played at the park. Violet and I took the short walk to the nature center that is on the same grounds. When we got home the Teddy Bear lady called me to say what a nice time she had and how nice our group was. I told her how much we appreciated her meeting up with us like that.

It was a nice afternoon in the park for us all.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Snails, Geese and other Adventures

Today the doorbell rang and there was Violet's best friend, Red, with a sandwich baggie of snails. Apparently Violet and Red had made arrangements for Violet to adopt some of the baby snails that were growing in Red's fish tank. I think Red bought them on purpose and they had babies. I told them they had to wait for Mr. Incredible to put them in Violet's tank.

When Mr. I got off the phone they put 3 snails in the big tank, and one in Violet's tank with her 2 goldfish, Peanut and Almond. I didn't want to take responsibility. When I was the girls' age we had a infestation of snails in our fish tank. We couldn't get rid of the buggers. When these 4 innocent looking little snails do the same thing, I want no part of it.

The girls didn't believe me when I told them the snails grew to 5 feet tall and ate our cat. Geesh, preteens these days, can't put anything past them.

We saw the geese on our walk tonight. Violet was bouncing around. She hadn't gotten outside enough. So the three of us put on our shoes, grabbed our umbrellas and went to walk through the subdivision. It has rained on and off all day, so we zig zagged a lot in case it started up again, like it is now complete with thunder and lightning.

I'm back, had to run off to close the windows for about the zillionith time today. I'm also now on battery power.

Anyway, there's a pond at the back of our subdivision (like every other subdivision in America), and when we went past it we had to walk in the street. There were 8 adult geese and countless goslings, mostly teenagers. They had taken over the sidewalk and grass near the pond. They were hissing up a storm at us and another family that was out walking. They did not like us. Mr. I. said they were especially hissing at my tie dye colored shirt, but I think they were equal opportunity hissers.

In other news.

We had an e-mail from our Girl Scout council just before Memorial Day. (I don't think I've gotten around to blogging about this, if I did sorry, skip to the end of the post and read backward till you get to the end of this.) We are changing to Little Brownie Bakers for our cookie sale next year. Most of the legacy councils were with ABC, like us, but they opted to go with Little Brownie.

I'm not so upset that we are changing. In fact, I'm kind of excited to try their cookies. Change can be good. I'm game to try it. But I am upset that the e-mail said the decision was made by a "volunteer-staff team". I am on the product sales committee from our legacy council and wasn't asked to participate. Neither were any of my fellow committee members (the e-mails began flying shortly after the e-mail blast went out). Our queries to council about who the volunteers on the "team" were and why we weren't able to participate have gone unanswered. One of my committee friends has been a GS volunteer for over 40 years and has been on the volunteer product sales committee since it was formed. Heck, she was a volunteer when most of us (including council staff) were Brownies making our first s'mores. She's not a happy camper.

It was a real slap in the face not just to have been left of our the decision process but to have found out such major news via an e-mail blast to all parents and volunteers in the new mega-council. If it had just been a staff decision, we would have been disappointed, but to specifically say volunteers were involved is just a slap in the face.

Chalk up another one to mega-councils sticking it to the volunteers. The sad part is that it isn't surprising and I'm sure no one reading this who is involved in Girl Scouting anywhere is shocked. Screwing volunteers has become the new normal.

Guess there isn't any other news, so if you skipped ahead, you just saved yourself some time. The current rain storm seems to have already passed so I'm back to reopen windows. At least I am getting my exercise in!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Thomas Jefferson Education

Lately I have had an interest in the Thomas Jefferson Education method of homeschooling. Okay, I'm going to stop all the die hard Thomas Jefferson Educators right now. I haven't read the books yet. Just some articles. I've talked to a friend who is really into it. I don't know much about it yet, but intend to learn. If I say something wrong, do not jump down my throat. Your comment will not get posted. But if you wish to encourage me to learn more, please do so.

Can you say Freakmom is a little sensitive? What I can I say, I'm tired of people who don't give others a chance. I don't like being told I'm wrong all the time. Even when I am. I'm learning. I'm happy to admit when I'm wrong. But if you'll notice I don't usually go pointing out when you are wrong. Unless of course you are Mr. Incredible. I tell him all the time.

Sorry, I don't know where that all came from. I must have some repressed hostilities. Funny, I thought all my hostilities were pretty much out in the open.

So anyway, the books arrived today and I'm about to go start reading them. I've browsed through my friend's copies in the past. I like the idea of studying the classics. I've always considered our homeschool loosely classical. Not "The Well Trained Mind" classical, although I love that book. While we think the classics should be read and Latin and logic should be studied, Violet has subscriptions to several Archie Comics series and I read fluff novels every chance I get.

Boy, Freakmom sure is digressing tonight.

I am thinking about taking this class in the fall: Classic Moms. It sounds like fun. I like the on your own pace and the fact that if I don't do all the reading I can hide behind the internet. A couple of local friends are considering it as well. I told them they could pretend not to know me online if I fall behind and turn out to be the class classical dunce.

I think I need something just for me. This sounds promising. It sounds fun. We'll see. If it doesn't work, I'll be posting here in a few months about my next great idea for something just for me.

If you look over the link and decide you are interested, let me know. You can pretend not to know me too so I don't embarrass you if you want. I don't mind. I may pretend I don't know me too.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm in love

Our town just got the best new business ever: our very own thrift store! I've had to go to other towns for my bargain fix, now I can stop in anytime I'm in town. It is maybe 5 minutes away. This could be dangerous.

It is more upscale than a lot of Salvation Army and Goodwill stores I've been in. Not to be a snob, but it is really nice not to have to sort through the "junk" to find the "good" stuff. It is clean. There's carpeting on the floor. The merchandise is in good shape. Ok, so the prices are maybe 25% more than in Salvation Army (maybe 50% on a few things), but the clothing was all stain free and things weren't broken. And by higher prices, I'm talking $1 each for the 2 shirts I bought Violet instead of 25 or 50 cents.

Violet and I stopped in and spent an hour browsing around. We had a blast. Besides her shirts, we each bought a dressy scarf ($1 each), a sock monkey (a present for my mom - what can I say, we're freaks), some knick knacks for my desk at work (I want my desk to look lived in, but I don't want to take anything and leave it there that really means anything to me), brand new slippers for Violet ($3), and a couple of knick-knacky things Violet picked out. Everything totaled less than $20. We're going back soon. I need a few more items to wear for work, you can bet I'm looking there first. In fact, we decided whenever we need anything, we're looking there first!

I'm so excited!!!