Monday, November 23, 2009

To new heights

A staple conversation of any family gathering would be the amazement over HOW TALL other people's kids have gotten. I know that when I was a kid and long absent aunts and uncles would tell my mom, "Look how tall she's getting!," it would take everything in me not to answer, "Did you think I'd shrink?". But I was raised better than that so I kept my smart ass remarks to myself.

In just a few days now, a big pile of family will descend on this town and start in on my kids and their height. So I will just put it out there right now and nip the debate before it even starts: Yes, they are taller. Much taller than when you saw them last. As proof I offer photos of the wall in our home where we measure them. Look and be awed.

This part of the wall covers their most recent measurement. How recent? How about today? This wall has little marks for the kids' heights reaching all the way down to the floor, back to the days where one of us held a kid up while the other made a mark. Sadly, those dates and initials are getting difficult to see way down there.

Some of the dates are just month and year. A few have day, month and year listed by their little mark. That first picture is not doing it for you? Here it is with some illuminating labels.Hmmm. Lacks scale. Let me spell it out a bit more. For The Girl, the change in height between her birthday and today (about eight months), is just a smidgen over an inch. The Boy grew just a smidgen less than two inches.

I'm afraid this photographic evidence will not stop the head shaking, utter bewilderment over the fact that children grow by my family, but I can say that I tried. In closing, try to wrap your head around this close-up of a part of the wall.
(The 4-1-09 initial belongs to E, but it got cut off.) What does it mean? Not much really but it is fun to look at.

Monday, November 16, 2009

You can dress her up...

Last weekend (actually the weekend before that at this point), The Man and I were invited to a fancy-pants poetry shin-dig thrown by The Lit. (That's the official fancy-pants literary society of Cleveland.)

This event was a celebration of The Lit turning 35 years old. In order to give the event even more oomph, they sent selected writers a photograph and asked them to write a response to it. The Man got asked to do one of these pieces and that's how we got invited.

Here are the tickets they gave us.
That side of the tickets aren't as interesting as this side:See the two different categories? While not immediately evident, the difference between having a Platinum ticket and being a Lit Lover is this:

Platinum ticket holders got a chair to sit on. Lit Lovers had to stand. And that was me. The non guest of honor. The plus one. Whatever you want to call me, I was the girl with the shoes that were built for cute not for extended standing around in an art gallery that was once a church. It didn't take long for my shoes to end up in the coat room and I spent the rest on the night barefoot.

The next thing I discovered was that while I brought the camera I forgot to put a memory card in it. The meant I could take a grand total of three pictures. Which is a shame because the location was beautiful and the appetizer buffet was beautiful and all of the hobnobbers were beautiful and the band was kicking it out.

The band? Oh yes, a snazzy little jazz band. They played while the everyone mingled and sampled the knock-you-out yummy snacks. They played while people debated over bidding on the silent auction items and while the wait staff whisked dishes and glasses out of your hands the moment you were done. The played while I went through many, many glasses of wine.

When the writers got up to read their pieces, the band accompanied them softly in the background. Some of the writers were obviously shook up by this intrusion on their art. Most of them ignored the band. But The Man worked the music into his reading and it was so cool!He owed that room!

To wrap up, here's the program. (Very fancy paper I might add.)

And here's proof that The Man has amazing friends.

And here's the unimpressive cover to the book that contains all of the photographs I mentioned before with the pieces written for them put together by The Lit to sell. It's actually very, very nice on the inside but they must have run out of money by the time the cover came around to design.

And what have we learned through all of this? It doesn't matter how fancy the party is, I always end up barefoot and tipsy.

Monday, November 09, 2009

What do you do on a very warm Sunday in November?

Take an extra long bike ride!

(And then end up extra achy for the rest of the night.)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Halloween Adventures

Let's start with the obligatory shots of our jack-o-lanterns this year.

Here's the whole group before they headed out to the yard. That monster in the back is The Man's that we got at a clearance price because we always wait to the next to last minute to buy our pumpkins. It isn't carved yet here, but it is cleaned out (the hole is in the back). Even empty it was still a crippling weight.
Here's what it ended up getting carved into. Spooky!

I went for a way too complicated design. It actually says Happy Halloween around the edge, but it wouldn't photograph well. And, yeah, it took me a long time to do!

Here's The Girl's sweet little creation...

And The Boy's creepiness.

The crew did go trick or treating this year, but instead of collecting candy, they collected canned goods for Trick or Treat So Kids Can Eat. The Girl, Boy and Other Girl in Our Lives went out two days ahead of time and put fliers on around ninety houses in our neighborhood about it. On trick or treat night, they decorated a wagon and went out collecting. They were so successful that they had to come back to the house and unload the wagon so they could go out and get more.

Here's our do-gooders.

Is The Girl a basket of laundry for Halloween?

Yes, she is.

She even smelled good.

But even bigger than trick or treat was the Halloween camp out I planned out at Timberlane right on Halloween. It was a huge day filled with archery, dipping candles, making caramel apples, creating trick or treat bags out of duct tape, a scavenger hunt, cabin to cabin trick or treating, a spooky hike in the woods, star gazing at the observatory and a costume dance. It was an amazing weekend and the weather cooperated beautifully.

The girls of my troop were in charge of the spooky hike: Explore the Lost Trail of Timberlane. This is an actual trail that nobody takes because it's not very interesting and doesn't go anywhere. A lot of Scouts aren't even aware that it's there. But we jazzed it up, Singing River style, by building a little cemetery in its depths.

It's doesn't look like much but it was much more spooky by flashlight, I assure you. My girls, donned head to foot in black, were supposed to creep along the path alongside our hikers making scary sounds. Unfortunately, the moon was unbelievably bright, the trees are very skinny and all of the leaves were down in that part of the woods. It didn't take much for the hikers to see "the ghosts" ducking around trying to stay invisible. Their blood curdling screams though were very impressive though.

I didn't take very many pictures of the weekend. With this event being my baby, I spent the majority of my time running around like a madwoman making sure everything was going off as planned. I hope the other leaders took pictures of the indoor archery and Pinecrest covered in caramel. I hope there are shots of our flag ceremonies and the table settings. I saw cameras out at the dance, but there was also a fog machine (that set off the smoke detectors!), so they might not have come out. And the food! I hope someone got a picture of the meatballs with the cheese and olive slice eyes! So cool!