Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hello Summer!

Whew! It was hot today. Hot enough for this



and this



a little too hot for this



although I tried.

Ben refuses to wear shorts. It was 85 degrees today, but Ben has to wear "long pants." And boots.



And if you check out those boots, well...
Anyway, he was hot and cranky, and I told him that that is why people wear shorts in the summer, but he is having none of it. I'm thinking I'll make him some lightweight clam diggers, you know, longer than shorts, but shorter than pants. He also won't wear sandals or go bare-foot. He has a thing about feet that I won't go into here. I don't know where this comes from, certainly not from me. I remember being bare-footed most of the summer, as a child.

The first time with no shoes in the summer was always painful. There were no sidewalks in my neighborhood, just a little slope of asphalt extending up from the street, bordering peoples yards and driveways. One of my friends lived next-door to me, two others lived at the end of the street in the cul-de-sac. We traveled by bike or by foot to each others' homes, and by the end of the summer the bottoms of our feet were hard with calluses, and we had suffered more than our share of "stubbed toes."

The local public swimming pool was a good distance away. I'm not sure of the exact mileage, but it probably took us 20-30 minutes on our bikes to get there. There was usually a group of 4 or 5 of us, and we would pack up our suits, towels, and money for admission to the pool - plus some change to spend on penny candy and pop at the drug store afterwards. No adults accompanied us on these excursions, and nobody ever bothered us. When I think back on those years, I feel lucky to have grown up when it was still possible to enjoy such activities, and a little sad for Ben, because the way the world is now, I would never allow him to ride a half hour to get anywhere - even with a group of friends.

When I was about 7 months pregnant, a representative from the Sheriff's office stopped by with a flyer to inform us that a "level 2 registered sex offender," a pedophile, had moved into our neighborhood.
"But it doesn't look like you'll have anything to worry about for a while." He said.
I looked down at the flyer and read that this individual targeted 6 and 7 year olds. I suppose his comment was meant to reassure me. It didn't.

I'm not sure if Ben realizes that we are a little freakish about our "don't talk to strangers, don't go with anyone you don't know, even if (ESPECIALLY if) they offer you candy, stay close to the house, don't go down to the street without Mom or Dad..." speeches. I'm trying to deliver this information without giving him a complex, or developing unreasonable fear in him. I want him to understand about being cautious. I want him to develop a good sense of judgement, and confidence. I really wish I could let him roam the neighborhood on his bike in the summer. I wish I could give him the kind of summers I had. But it's not all bad, there will be camping and hiking and picnics and other memories made. Ben will probably grow up thinking how lucky he was to have lived in such a time.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Monday Mission: Time to Rhyme

Today's mission: "Verse"

Midnight En"counter"
Your name is not "Mickey," oh no, it is not But last night on the kitchen counter I caught You under a plastic food storage container And your fate now just couldn't be plainer. Midnight banishment to the out-of-doors Though ideally I would, of course, Have driven you 5 miles away from here Or fed you to a cat (too cruel, I fear.) No more will you leave little "souvenirs" By the trap you regarded with mocking and jeers That trap, on the floor of the canning room now set, Will entice your daughters and sons, I bet. And when, finally, your whole &*%%@#! family is caught And similarly banished, I promise I will not Hesitate to wield my caulking gun And once-and-for-all end your kitchen-raiding fun!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Festival Photos (as promised)

We slept in until 8:00 this morning. 8:00!!! Ben slept in until 8:30! Yesterday was a very, very long day...

OK, it was just CRAZY crowded at the Folklife Festival:



If you click to enlarge that photo, you might just see how far back the sea of heads goes. We put Ben in a wagon, and tried to stay together in a little clump as we shuffled our way through the throngs. Ben was a little freaked out, or maybe his 5 year old self was incapable of enjoying the Festival as the promise of the Science Center was at the fore-front of his mind for about the first 45 minutes. But after we found these, his mood was vastly improved (as was mine.) I wonder what kind of reception he gets with those? The center antenna can be extended up to three feet! On close examination, these bug glasses are made from two egg separators welded together with the handles extending back for the ear-pieces. Then two salt shaker lids were welded into the centers of the eyes. We got them from the Spoonman.

I found some pictures that I loved by an artist named Jill Mayberg, but they were beyond my intended budget, so I picked up her card, and will start stashing a little cash away to buy one some other day. I also found another artist, named Sue Coccia, that I bought some small things from two years ago. This year I ended up buying this print for a mere 15 dollars.



Then I bought three of her greeting cards and a coloring book - for me, not Ben. But I did let him look at it.

I'll admit, Folklife and the Science Center all in the same day is a bit overambitious. There is simply too much to take in

Morris dancers at the Mural Amphitheater

one of the food areas

cool shoes for sale

and "Tye-Dye Everything" - no lie. Even underwear.

My husband hates these kinds of things, so it was a real testament of his love for me, I supposed, that he wanted to come along. Mike had a good time - he appreciated getting out for a day, enjoyed the music, and who knows, he may decide to go back next year. I will be ready to do it again next near, but I may give The Floating Husband the day off from that excursion.

After Folklife, we were off to The Science Center, remember? Yeah, well, I will spare you the boring details, and jump right to the Butterflies. For a kid who is "afraid of bugs," Ben sure was into those butterflies. Mike, TFH, and I were all rewarded by serving as perches for the lovely creatures, but I didn't get any pictures of us wearing butterflies as my camera's battery died after only a couple of shots.





We didn't get back to my folks' until 6:30. Mom fed us and we hit the road around 8:30, were home by 10:00, and in bed by 11:00. Is it any wonder we slept so late? All in all, I would rate the day pretty high, with only one real low spot. Folklife Festival runs every year starting the Thursday before Memorial Day, and ends on Memorial Day. next year, I think I'll try to go on Thursday or Friday with the hopes that it will be a little less crowded.

edited to add link to Sue Coccia's coloring books