Happy Thanksgiving

From our table to yours, we hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving.

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Road Trip 2015

School vacation week was this week. This year we decided to take a trip back down to the Maryland/Virginia area to visit family. We hadn’t been there in four years. It gave us the chance to catch up with family and a few old friends. 

We started in Frederick, got the chance to both chill at my mother’s house and walk around the historic section of Frederick. On the side of one building is a pretty nifty mural of a man looking out an open window. We ducked into an antique market where there were, among other things, endless jars of old silverware. 

After a few days we headed to Virginia, staying just over the line from Washington DC. From there we got to catch a Nats game one day, and revisit the National Zoo the next. Took the Metro both times, which was an absolute madhouse after the ballgame let out. The zoo had some great exhibits we hadn’t seen before, especially now that they’ve opened the Asian Trails section. This exhibit gives the Asian elephants a lot more room to roam than I remember them having the last time. 

In addition, I got the chance to play my father’s new Martin guitar, which has an amazing sound. 

All told, lots of fun was had by all. Observe the proof:

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How Was Your Weekend?

This weekend, like many of the weekends during the school year, was a blur. Ballet classes, Sunday school, grocery shopping, etcetera etcetera–the list runs long.

One of the things we did was man a table at the local Farmer’s Market. The town Farmer’s Market has been running for about a month now, and will keep on going until the middle of October. This Saturday was particularly fun because it was “kids vendor” day, the day when the local town kids can make things and sell them. There were the usual suspects of cookies, cupcakes, and Rice Krispy treats. There were also the usual craft-y suspects in the form of loop band bracelets, bead necklaces, and paracord bracelets. There was one little girl selling colored pencil drawings she’d made for $2 a drawing (each came with its own sheet protector–in case you were wondering what all you got for your $2).

The Boy Scouts were there selling popcorn, which, if you’ve never had, is very good. It’s not Girl Scout cookie good, but then again, what is?

IMG_3595Of course, there are other vendors there. Actual, you know, farmers. There were four or five farms represented, selling everything for apples to shallots to meat. (Apparently Boylston had its own meat CSA. Who knew?) There were also other craftsmen/women there as well. One woman was selling handmade soap (we bought a few bars because they smelled so good), there was a vendor selling goods made from alpaca hair, there was a local woodworker selling things like bowls and oil lanterns and pens. I bought a pen because they were just fantastically beautiful.

My kids didn’t have anything to sell. Instead, they had been asked to man the table for the local food pantry. The food pantry had been running low on stock and one of the parents of the third graders mobilized an effort to get it restocked. Because of schedules and conflicts, there were a lot of people who could be present at the Farmer’s Market to help collect the dry goods. So we volunteered. And while I can’t say they stood there for four hours taking food donations, they were there to help out for a while and accept food (with their parents there to pick up the slack for when they bolted.)

All in all, it was a great time. The kids had a ton of fun with so many of their friends who were there to buy or sell. And they helped out a local charity. I’m really proud of them.

Check out some of the pictures from the day below.

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Brand New Batman Comic (As Drawn By My Daughter)

My daughter decided to draw a few comic strip panels on Sunday. Since they’re featuring a brand new¬†Batman advenure (and a little bit of a Superman cameo), I figured I had to share.

I’ll include some explanatory notes as well, in case the action is not immediately evident.

  • Panel 1: Someone is trying to steal a mermaid.
  • Panel 2: Here comes Batman!
  • Panel 3: Batman has knocked the villain out cold and saved the mermaid.

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  • Panel 4: After saving the mermaid, Batman’s outa there.
  • Panel 5: Superman, droppin like bomb, on an unsuspecting villain.
  • Panel 6: That villain is history.

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  • Panel 7: The Joker has pulled a Jurassic Park and has unleashed a dinosaur. The public is running scared.
  • Panel 8: The Joker at the dinosuar’s control panel. “Maniacal laugh!”
  • Panel 9: From out of nowhere, Batman zaps the dinosaur, saving the day.

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  • Panel 10: The Joker is about to steal a bag of gold from the bank.
  • Panel 11: Here comes the Caped Crusader. “Not so fast!”
  • Panel 12: With a might BOOM!, the Joker is defeated, as is the bank.

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I hope she keeps drawing these. I love them.

How Was Your Weekend?

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Won’t lie, this weekend was a little soul-crushing.

We’ve decided to paint the master bedroom. Well, let’s back up a bit. We’ve decided we need a new bed. The current mattress is eleven years old, and nobody’s back is happy with that. So it’s time to replace it. Plus, the bed frame is the same age, and after eleven years of kids jumping into the bed with us, the frame has hit the “wobbly” stage.

We’ve started looking online at beds, and one of the questions we’ve been asking ourselves is whether it’s time to get a whole bedroom set. We haven’t made a decision on that, but we know the bed itself has got to be replaced.

When we get the new bed, we’re probably going to put it in a different place. Move it to a different wall. It’s good to change things up once in a while. It will actually go back to the way it was set up when we first got the bed, when my daughter was an infant

If we’re going to get a new bed and put it in a new/old spot, then the bookshelves need to come down. These have been up for close to nine years and they are the rail kind of book shelves. They span the upper part of one wall. They have to come down and the wall be repaired, which means that, before the new bed, I need to paint.

All that said, this whole process started this weekend with me taking down books and boxing them up. Some of them I’ll pull back out again, but a lot of them I’ll put into storage until I know what I really want to do with them.

So the soul-crushing task of boxing up books was started this weekend. You can see by the pictures below what a difference it makes with and without the books, and how much space they’re taking up in the hallway. (Right now my kids are enjoying the new “echo” the room has.)

That was my weekend. How was yours?

 

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Flying Tigers

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This is going to be one of those sappy-daddy-loves-his-daughters kind of posts. If that’s not your cuppa, exit now.

Still there? Well then, meet Joshua. This is the name of the stuffed tiger you see in the picture above. My older daughter named him.

Now, technically, he’s mine. He was a gift from said daughter back on a birthday or Father’s Day a bunch of years ago. But, given how much Joshua seemed to prefer my daughter’s company to mine, I let him hang out in my daughter’s room.

You might be wondering why I’m posting about a stuffed tiger? Hey, if Miline can write about a stuffed bear named Edward, why can’t I write about a stuffed tiger named Joshua?

The main reason I’m thinking about Joshua these days is because, out of nowhere, he has returned. When my daughter was younger, in the five to six range, I would tuck her into bed, and then Joshua would join the party. He was a happy addition with a special quality: he could fly.

When Joshua’s arms are outstretched, he looks like he might take off into the air. And one day, as it happens, he did. I used to fly Joshua around my daughter’s bedroom before bed and she would spend time trying to catch him in her hands.

Fast forward a number of years. Unannounced one day a week or two ago, Joshua suddenly returned to the stuffed menagerie that occupies my daughter’s bed every night. I picked him up one night and, for nostalgia’s sake, flew him around the room. And my daughter, remembering how the tiger used to bring the fun, decided to try and catch him.

We’ve been doing this now for about a week. And it’s like a connection to a past you forgot you used to love. My daughter turns back into a five year old when Joshua flies around her room, in the same way I turn into an eight year old when I get hold of a box of Legos.

I know it won’t last. There’ll finally be that night where one, the other, or both of us decide we don’t need to fly the tiger. But until then, I’m holding onto these moments with both hands.

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