Monday, September 19, 2011

Someone's seen too many Geico commercials

Colin:  Mommy, what is the world's most dangerous animal?

Me:  Uh, hippo?

Colin:  What?  Gecko?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

This Fall

Its a whirlwind of back-to-school activity around here.  Colin, who had been dreading school since the first day of summer, is on track to have a great year.  No complaining about going to school, homework, or his teacher - in fact, the opposite (touch wood).  Yesterday he brought home an exemplary progress report. (note: we are half-way through the first 6 weeks already!)

He is, as always, fascinated by weapons.  Which I took as a sign of doom until several thoughtful, intellectual guys I admire (including my husband) told me at that age, they were too.  It's the testosterone, apparently.  Recently, he's interested in WWII Japan, as in Pearl Harbor and my reading Unbroken.  He asks, "Why did Japan bomb all our ships in Pearl Harbor?  Why did Japan want more power?  Why did Hitler want to rule the world?"  Good questions, son.

Today he came home with a Pearl Harbor book he purchased with his own funds from the Book Fair (for me to read) that answered some of these questions.

Then he asked me, "Mommy, were you born in 1914?"


"I mean, 1941?"

No, Grandad (my dad) was born in 1940.

"OHHhhhh! So he was 1 1/2 at Pearl Harbor?"

Anna's having a great year scholastically, too.  This year she has stepped up the seriousness in ballet and is taking classes THREE days a week.  That's a lot of schlepping back and forth to the ballet studio.  However, Anna has her eyes on the prize:  if she can keep it up for about a year, her ballet teacher may let her graduate to pointe shoes.  I love her teacher, for keeping the bar (barre?) so high, and requiring commitment as well as strength and technique before taking this step.  I thought Anna would become bored with the more rigorous, technical classes, but she confessed to me yesterday she likes them better than her regular class.

She and I have also been singing in a church choir.  It's a small, adult choir, and Anna is BY FAR the youngest.  It's very informal, but I can see her learning so much being there.  Also, I realized how very much I missed singing this way.  For a person who spent at least an hour (often more) nearly every day in high school and college singing formally in a choir, getting back in touch with this part of myself has been so rewarding.  I don't have time to sing focused daily like I used to.  But a few hours on Wednesday evenings and then "performing" on most Sundays is great.  Getting to share that joy with Anna - and now Emily!- is awesome.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

There's only one thing that's as good as BACON and that's BACON!

Last Saturday I was not working, so I cooked my family a nice breakfast.  I pulled out that package of Niman Ranch Bacon and made eggs from my hens.  I like to cook the bacon in the oven, but it takes some minding, and turning.  The last time I put it in the oven, I forgot to set the timer.  My nose reminded me to check, too late.

"Damn it, I burned the bacon.  Anna!  Open the back door!"  I took the smoking pan out to the patio and let it cool on the grill.  I came in, steaming myself.  "I've been working on that bacon for 20 minutes!  I can't believe I let it burn!"

I looked at Colin, and his face crumpled.  Then he ran into his room, crying.  Crying, because of the loss of bacon.  I think I yelled something about me being the one who was working so hard on it.   But he couldn't hear me over the wailing.

As it turned out, a few minutes later I checked on the bacon, and only the ends were burnt.  I broke them off and put the extra crispy bacon in Colin's breakfast taco.  He found some solace in that.

Anna ate the burnt bits despite the carbon texture.