Saturday, June 27, 2009
Weekend Warriors
This is what our weekend is looking like:

Friday 4:30 pm - Saturday 10:00 pm Slumber party
Saturday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Birthday party
Sunday 8:30 am -10:30 am Achilles Run
Sunday 4:00 pm Girl Scout Parade at Keyspan park
Sunday 5:00 pm Cyclones vs. Hudson Valley Renegades (Girl Scout AND American Girl Night; American Girl post-game movie shown on field; bring blanket, doll)

In between there's been laundry and bike buying and roller skate shopping and laundry and packing so we can spend the week of the 4th camping. I'm exhausted, but we're having a lot of fun. If I don't keel over from the fun, pictures soon...

Friday, June 26, 2009
So Long, 2nd Grade
Today is the last day of school.

Usually, kids count down in anticipation of the last bell of the school year but Sophie spent the last few weeks months dreading this day. But don't let this picture fool you. There was no joy in mudville today.

Sophie's class has spent two years together as first graders and now as second graders with the same teacher. They loved it and were together for 364 days of school. Now her teacher, her beloved teacher, is spending the next year traveling on sabbatical leave. This has left some of the kids, mainly the girls and especially Sophie, so sad. This afternoon there was a tissue monitor who doled out tissues to the teary eyed children (and adults) as we bid our final farewells in the schoolyard.

It was a tough afternoon for the kids, but all part of growing up and starting new adventures to share with old friends. A healthy dose of ice cream seemed to alleviate the sadness.

Monday, June 22, 2009
We've gotten a lot of rain in these here parts. Out of the first 19 days of the month of June, 15 were rainy in one way, shape, or form. 15! It was brilliantly sunny about an hour ago. Now it is pouring.

Louie, the guy that owns our local pizza shop told me "I donna know. Alla thisa rain. I maka me feel.....ya know....moosh. Lika I no wanna work. I no wanna do nothing. Moosh. You know?"


Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The Secret to My "Success"
I'm still at the ex-job and it's been really busy. There is more work coming up and I'm acting like an immature jerk whining about having all this employment lined up when it was just a few months ago when I was succumbing to Bread Line Hysteria. It's all good though, just a bit tense at the moment but I'll have a couple of weeks off between gigs to relax a little.

Next week I will attend the 2nd grade year end party. I'm responsible for stuff? Oh, right. Paper goods. That seems like something I can handle picking up and it doesn't require refrigeration or prep work. Taking the easy way out is the key to these activities, I've found. That's why I never bring the fruit salad. Too much advance shopping and prep work and I can never remember which fruit is taboo in the classroom due to allergies and I would like to end the year on an UP note, not an "Oh, There's THAT MOM Who Brought in the Fruit Salad of Death" kind of note.

That kind of reputation follows you around, you know.

Also it is hard to pick up a premade fruit salad the day of the party when you are running down the street, late as it is, yelling at your 2nd grader "Hurry up! I still have to find a fruit salad at CVS." But they totally carry paper plates and napkins and so my rule this last school year was "volunteer to only bring stuff CVS sells so you can pick it up on the way to school because you will forget to do it in the three weeks preceeding the event."

It worked. Huzzah!

After the celebration, Sophie's teacher has arranged for the class to take a Mystery Field Trip. Sophie asked if I knew where we were going and I didn't. Oh sure, I got an email about it but other than that, my mind is drawing a blank. So I imagine I will just as surprised as the kids and judging by how excited Sophie is I think I'm going to love it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Recipe for a Cute Kid
Take three parts Ralphie.....
Add two parts Harry Potter....

Add a smidgen of Groucho...

Mix well.....

Saturday, June 13, 2009
Hope and Possibility
Many of you know that our friend Tom Deierlein was activated in late 2005 to active military duty. He served in Sadr City, a Baghdad slum, helping establish basic services like water, electricity and to the city of 2.3 million people.

This was not an easy task but he took the work on and was beginning to see the fruits of his labor benefit the Iraqi people when he was shot and seriously wounded by a sniper.

Tom has recovered but his work to help the Iraqi people did not end when he came home. Three years later, he is still working to help needy families and children with their most basic living needs, including medical care, food, water, school supplies, clothes. It is through the TD Foundation
that this work continues. You can read more about Tom and the foundation here.

On Sunday, June 28th, a the TD Foundation is sending a team of runners to participate in the Hope & Possibility 5 Mile Race
in New York City's Central Park. The TD Foundation Team will run to raise money for the Achillies Track Club, an organization that introduces recently wounded soldiers from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan to running, and provides motivation, training, and the opportunity to rebuild strength and endurance while healing through distance running events. Both able and disabled participants compete together.

John, my husband, is the team leader and god bless him when I'm still sleeping he's been out running to train for this event. The team is looking for donors to sponsor their runners and there is still room on the team if you'd like to run.

So if you could spare the time, you can help them with this important and worthy cause and you'll get to meet my wonderful husband and the fabulous Tom Deierlein. Sign up here, and make sure to indicate the TD Foundation team.

For those of you not in the New York metropolitan area, if you could spare the dime, you can donate here
(money is donated through the TD Foundation who will pool the contributions from the team and then donate to the Achilles Track Club).

No amount is too small...every dollar counts. Thank you!

Thursday, June 11, 2009
The Dodos

I can't stop listening to this song or watching this video. The fact that there's something very Beatles-esque about the drummer probably has something to do with it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Cityscape, Landscape from a Fire Escape
We're taking care of Frances, our upstairs neighbor's cat, while her humans are out of town getting married. I took this shot of the backyards standing on their fire escape last night.
It's interesting looking at the view you see every day from a completely different vantage point. It's like my bizarro backyard. I also learned a lot. Apparently one of our neighbors has built a roof deck and I've located the source of the constant sound of construction (blue tarp above the flowering tree).

This is a shot of old grapvines that grow over a metal trellis, both installed by the ancient original landlord. When it is hot in the city, it is easily 10 to 15 degrees cooler under the vines. It is where John asked me to marry him thirteen years ago this month and is an excellent location to read the Times and have bagels and coffee on Sunday mornings. Sometimes in the summer, after we put the kids to bed, we watch movies out there on the portable DVD player and share a bottle of wine. It has a militant population of mosquitos, though.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Watch Out!
This impromptu water fight broke out when we returned from swimming on Saturday. Harry never has the upper hand in situations like this, as you can see from his location off on the side line.
But when no one's out!

Monday, June 8, 2009
The Right Tool for the Right Job
I rarely find myself with unexpected spare time on my hands but this was the case on Saturday when we went to the camper to take care of a minor problem which was easier to fix than anticipated.

So I stood with my arms akimbo and thought "how could I spend the rest of this Saturday morning?" I headed to dear old dad's, borrowed a shovel and set forth to get the hard, rocky soil in a small garden turned and weeded to make room for plants, tree(s) and/or shrubs. It was painfully slow (see above re: rocks, hard-packed earth, etc.) and when John saw what I was doing he said "Wait, why aren't you using the pick ax?" To which I replied "Say wha? We have a pick ax?"

Turns out we've had one all along. He found it in our shed and kept it in case we ever needed it. In a mere 30 minutes my husband broke up the dirt and removed all the larger rocks for me.
We were finished before noon so we took the kids to town for lunch and bought a token plant to put in said garden. This is a Blue Hill Salvia, and with some care it should come back next year. It attracts bees and butterflies and the lady at the garden center claims deer do not eat the flowers. It looks rather lonely but will soon have company when I bring up other plants from home and from the gardens of two friends who have graciously offered to let me raid theirs.

Friday, June 5, 2009
Keep Your Shirt On (And Everything Else, Too)
I started my work day yesterday as I usually do, taking the subway to work. Then a fire broke out in the tube and filled the station with smoke, which then made a passenger sick.

I ended my day getting flashed by a homeless man.

This morning, nothing ignited during my commute, so things are looking up already. Here's hoping everyone can keep it in their pants.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009
This Charming Life - Harper's Index Style
1: Number of magic themed birthday parties attended.
2: Number of times I've requested our son to cease inserting the magic wand obtained at magic birthday party up the cat's nose.
3: Number of swim suit shopping trips taken.
1: Number to swim suits purchased.
3: Number of times during said shopping trips that I requested my son stop licking the fitting room mirror.
56: Number to times I've wondered if the swim suit I bought was a wise choice. (Probably not.)
5: Number of times my husband has said things in the past week that got me hot and bothered.
100: Percentage of hot conversations held with husband that revolved around housework and his involvment in it.
103: Number of times our kids have said "Boom. Boom. Firepower!" since Sunday.
2.5: Number of hours spent searching for son's birth certificate.
1: Number of afternoons spent at the Office of Vital Records obtaining a new one.
4: Number of searches performed to figure out why our camper bathroom has a distinct sewer odor.
3: Number of weeks we will be cat sitting our neighbor's cat.
30: Number of seconds it took for me to agree to cat sit, then immediately delegate the task to Sophie.
9: Number of times I've seen press for the new Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien and thought "oh, he's such cutie."
8: Number of days left to work at the ex-job.
14: Number of minutes spent watching cinnamon challenge videos. (Incidentally, that's the same number of minutes of my life I will never get back.)