Sunday, August 31, 2008

My Running Girl

At school Open House we were all sitting there, listening to the blah, blah, blah about dress codes, staying off the grass and the importance of punctuality. The meeting was winding up when they made one more announcement.

"We need the parents of any fall athlete to stay for a few more minutes to discuss eligibility."

Stunned, I realized that meant me.

It's true, the Girl has joined a school sport. She is a member of the Cross Country team. This is a sport I've only been vaguely aware of that existed before this and now we are all living around it's schedule.

How this happened is hard to pinpoint. Early this month she started to get herself up and out of the house and off to practice sometimes walking, sometimes on her bike. She would come home completely beat and sore. But the next morning, bright and early, she left again. Now that school has started, her practices come directly after school. She's REALLY tired by the time she gets home. But she must like it.

Yesterday was their first meet. Here's the Girl and the Girl Who Thinks She Lives at my House #1. We had to be at the meet at 7:15 AM!

This was a huge meet. The Man and I couldn't get over the number of people who were out there. First all the boys ran and then the girls. Here's our Girl right off the starting line.

She finished her two miles in 17 minutes and 39 seconds and that with taking a tumble after tripping over #1's feet! So she not only likes it, but she's good at it too!

Honestly, I can't understand it. I'd rather do pretty much anything other than run. But as long as she's happy, you can keep finding me in big soggy fields before the sun rises most Saturdays this fall.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Post Olympic Observations

  • If Michaels Phelps is really double jointed in his elbows and knees, what is going on with his knee caps? I'm sure he has knee caps. If he didn't, everyone would know. But I'm having a hard time picturing a knee going backwards, even a little bit, with knee cap in the way.

  • Staying with Michael, was anyone else concerned when he would run around with swimsuit pulled down WAY past his hip bones? Then he would start running around and screaming. I kept thinking that this boy was one celebratory jump away from being naked on international television.

  • Mary Carillo is scary. They tried to pretty her up, but she's still a big scary man.

  • One night when I couldn't sleep I ended up watching ping pong. I was really excited to watch something different since at that point I was sick to death of quarter final swims and dives. Unfortunately, that ping pong match was deadly dull. It put me right to sleep.

  • There is a Yahoo site called Fourth Place Medal. Thank goodness for this site. They made sure that the stories that NBC didn't deem worthy enough got the attention they deserved.

  • Those little Chinese gymnasts were so underage. All those medals should be revoked. But maybe since those girls were stolen from their parents when they were three and put in a school to learn how to perform or ELSE, they should get something. Instead of a gold medal though, I'm sure those girls who love to win a chance to go home and be a normal kid.

  • Everyone is ga-ga over what a wonderful job China did with these games. How organized they were and how well run. How lovely the accommodations and venues were. But as the Man said, of course they were organized, the best criminals are very organized. Only by having a tight hand on everything they can get away with their crimes over and over again. The Chinese government just spent billions of dollars to prove to the world that the suppression of human rights are worth it; that they are not only making it work, but they are thriving. It all looked like a gorgeous, expensive mask to me.

  • An American was murdered during the first day of the games. After the second day, they never mentioned it again, but I think it's important not to forget. Journalists were hassled, barricaded and occasionally detained with no explanation. There were serious censorship issues with the Internet. How many other stories did we not get to hear?

  • I still love the Olympics. Here's to Vancouver!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Blooming Sunflowers

It started happening last week. First just one. Then next morning there were three more. And now there are oodles and there are still more to come.

Here's the view from my living room window.

And standing outside beneath them. That my bedroom window above them. The view of them from up there is a sight I didn't anticipate, but very much appreciate!

As much as I love the big ones, these little ones that peek up through the center of the tangle are like finding hidden treasure.

And this tiny one came out purple! Neat!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mysterious Cameras Revealed

You'll recall not long ago the five disposable cameras that I found here and there around the house. They didn't exactly end up being big mysteries or even very old. Here's a quick tour of what developed.

Camera #1
Back in May, The Girl went to a student council conference in Mason. She had to spend two nights in a host home with another delegate that she didn't know. You weren't allowed to room with anyone from your school. Here's the Girl with her roomie. They got along smashingly. They are all dressed up and ready to go to the big banquet and dance that ended the conference.
Camera #2
Remember when The Man and his dad went to Florida for Indians Spring Training? They also went to NASA for a day and the Gulf of Mexico. Here's Pop all dressed for a day at the beach!

Camera #3

The Girl also went to a Student Council camp at Wright State University in Dayton in July. This camp was the whole reason the Man and I went on our big crazy trip. Here's the Girl with some of the other campers. She's pretty good about giving her camera to other people to get shots of her.

Camera #3 (again)

Camera 3 pulled double duty also going to Girl Scout camp. The Girl had a high adventure week including river canoeing, ropes courses, yatching and horseback riding.

Camera #4

We do have a son as well. Really. He went to Boy Scout camp. He's not one to have his picture taken especially with his own camera, but he did take a lot of shots of the other guys in his troop. They are quite a bunch.

Camera #5

This was a hodgepodge of different little events. It had some Girl Scout things, the Duct Tape festival, around the house shots and Cedar Point. I picked that first shot of the Girl and her roomie because we ran into that same girl at Cedar Point the first time we went out there. It really is a small world.


Remember there was one shot left on each camera? So for our photo finale, I present the kids doing dangerous things in the park. This doesn't actually look dangerous, but the Boy is standing on the edge of cliff here and it's quite a long way down.

Pre-dawn Laughs

Sometimes J can't sleep. (Ooh, I am talking about myself in third person! Hell, I'm going with it!) It's not the J is worried about anything. No pressing problems are robbing her of her dreams. Her nonstop list making during daylight hours usually keeps her worry free during sleepy time. No, none of that. But sometimes, J wakes up at 4 AM and that's it. She's wide awake. She's done this enough to know not to fight it. Lying in bed bored doesn't do her any good. So she usually gets up and catches up on everything. She reads every body's blogs, the newspaper and enough Mental Floss to keep her an interesting person to talk to for a week. She also checks out the cute cat pictures because that is required 4 AM material. Usually they just make her smile or occasionally coo, but this one make her laugh out loud. It's so something she would do to one of her cats...or kids. Perhaps today.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Jack and Meg are Two!

Happy Birthday, you photogenic felines!
Two years of cat hair everywhere and destroyed furniture. But it has also been two years of cuddles, snuggles, purrs and love too! Everyday with cats is a new adventure!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Professor Man

It's The Man's first day as a big shot college teacher!

For his first semester, he will be teaching four class for two colleges at three different locations. Tres busy! But you know the part I'm excited about? College zombie stories!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Picture Worthy

Check out this nonsense.

Five disposal cameras. Where in the world did all of these come from? What, oh what, could be on them? I have no idea. Yesterday I found two together in a basket. I recalled that there was one in my desk drawer and one in the glove compartment of the van. When I got the four together, the Girl brought down the fifth one from her room. And here's the really weird part, they all had exactly one picture left on them!

Armed with these cameras we all went walking through Cascade Park and took five pictures of the kids climbing rocks in various dangerous ways. After I get these cameras developed I'll let you in on what we find. I know one went to camp with the girl and one went to camp with the boy, but the other three are mysteries. Stay tuned.

I know what you're thinking. You want to know how my sunflowers are doing. Go ahead and click to see what they looked like a month ago. Here's what they look like today.

And the view from my kitchen window. Yay!

Yes, they are very, very tall. Even compared to my overly tall kids.

But we are seriously lacking flowers. Most of the plants have what will be a flower on the top, but none except a few shorter ones in the center have opened.

These giant leaves already make me so happy. I can't wait for the flowers!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The Olympics can change lives (or just living rooms)

I love the Olympics. Really, really, truly, truly love them. And I don't know why. I'm not a sporty kind of girl. I can't sit through an entire baseball or football game. But I'm going to actively waste the next two weeks sitting right here on the couch watching every little event. The kids are down with it now. Give it a few days. They will get sick of beach volleyball and me pretty damn fast.

Young newlyweds and homeowners, the Man and I had one little TV with a funky antennae wire that we would drape around lamps and out the front door to get reception. We really didn't care. But then the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer were coming up and I suddenly realized that the situation was unacceptable. We had cable TV a few days later. Go Team!

We still only had one TV and it was fairly small. We didn't care. But then the Summer Olympics in Atlanta were coming up. Our home had acquired these two demanding little people who kept me upstairs quite a bit. It didn't take much discussion on what had to happen to keep peace in our home. A short time, later I had a set in my bedroom, with cable. USA!

Our downstairs TV seemed to be shrinking. The dog had eaten the remote and the buttons on the set had snapped off from overuse. We had to use an unsharpened pencil to poke at the broken buttons to turn it on or change the channels. We didn't care. But then the Summer Olympics in Sydney were coming up and with Olympics being broadcast on multiple NBC channels, a change was needed. A trip to Best Buy and a great deal on a floor model graced our home with our current behemoth. (The pencil TV was sold in the next yard sale to be used just for video games. I hope it's still making people happy out there.)

It's been awhile since we've had an upgrade in our television situation. But be assured that when it happens again, an Olympic-sized event will probably be the cause.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Warning: Girl Scout Content Ahead

There's a wide range in Girl Scout leadership styles. Starting at one end you have the "Assistant Leader" who is that mom who stays for all the meetings and doesn't mind wiping up glue or spilled juice. At the other end are the whackadoodle leaders who do Girl Scout things even without girls around because they just can't get enough. Fearless Co-Leader and I have met plenty of those Whackadoodles and contrary to what you might think, we are not them.

That said, we just got back from from two days of leader training.

It was held out a Camp Ledgewood which is in Peninsula. We had never been there before which was part of the appeal to go to the training. We could scope out a new property and see if we wanted to camp there with our girls. As for that, the answer is yes. The camp is amazing and I can't wait to get my girls out there is see it.

Fearless and I have been to plenty of trainings in the past. (I'm not even going to mention the number of hours!) We use them as mini vacations and we almost always learn some new things for the girls. For this training event we went to three classes the first day, swam in their gorgeous pool, spent the night in an Adirondack cabin and had two more classes the next day. We learned a new way to decorate t-shirts, made lunch bags and cell phone cases out of duct tape, learned that we knew nothing about trip planning and got an overview of the new program coming out.

When other leaders found out we were from Erie Shores we would get quizzed nonstop about Timberlane and someone (not us) would always called it "The Hilton". Whatever. Just because our camp has flush toilets and dishes in the cupboard they think we're soft. I prefer to call it civilized.

As for those Whackadoodles, this event was chock full of them. They practically glow green they are so Scouted up. And just to reiterate it's not us. It's not us. It's not us.