Sorry it's been a while. I was here:
Doing this:
    Gamma Gamma Gathered 2012. We've been friends for half our lives. 
I'm pretty sure I was missing them all desperately for the first 18 years. :)


Nope, not name-calling. Just calling it as it is: an entire exhibit at our local kiddo science museum on the blood-suckers in our midst. I didn't go searching for gross--we had to find a release of Winona's need to "do science" today before any more baking soda and vinegar exploded or food coloring dyed our walls. After a full morning of chores and cooking, we all needed to get out, so to the science museum we went. Unprepared, and without our DEET.
 This should be video, because only a "talkie" would do justice to this thing. It's a TICK that inflates to HUGE when you sit on the little yellow stool long enough. 
 It's eating me alive. 
Did you know that a mosquito can smell and track your carbon dioxide from a half mile away?
Did you know that 19th century meteorologists kept leeches in jars of water because when the barometric pressure dropped, the oxygen in the water would reduce just enough to send the leeches to the surface for air... hence, an approaching storm? 
Did you know that a mosquito taps into you about 20 times before hitting a vein and sucking?
Did you know that I could have happily lived out my days without any of this knowledge? 

We did not get a picture of TICKSTER, which is too bad, because instead of shouting out "Right hand blue!", I would say "Right hand Bed Bug!" "Left foot TICK!" 

What ever happened to good ol' dinosaur exhibits? But, of course, the girls loved it. Jezzie sleeps happily with a tick tattoo on her hand. 

I DID love the spinny things from the gift shop and the great outdoors afterwards (ironically bug-free).


For Crayon Out Loud

This year's valentines for all 50 (count them) 50 of our classmates. Plus another dozen or so for teachers, non classmate friends, etc. We melted a lot of crayons. 

Happy Valentine's Day! We LOVE you!!!! 


Inquiring Minds

It's all relative, of course, but this city we live in can seem smaller than the (actual) small towns I've lived in because of how everyone seems to know everyone and a "Two Degrees of Separation" rule seems to apply. Working in a community hub, this can occasionally feel a little clausterphobic for me, but sometimes it's awesome: like this time. As I've mentioned, Winona's K teacher is a good friend of mine. What I may not have mentioned is that my boss's wife also works at Winnie's school and keeps close tabs on her comings and goings. Through this channel, I often get reports on W's school day that she failed to mention; and I love it.

Here's a recent favorite:
The canine unit of the police department visited the Kinders last week and gave what I heard was a pretty riveting talk on what a Day in Their Life looks like. During the course of the talk one of the officers described the "tools" he uses and mentioned, among other things, the notebook and pencil that he keeps in his pocket...and he patted his chest pocket. When the presentation was all over, they asked for questions. When no hands went up, Ms. Clare (boss's wife) says, "I bet Winnie has a question." Without hesitation, Winnie asks, "What's in your other pocket?"

Not, you know, "Has your dog ever attacked someone?" or
"Have you ever been bit?" or
"Can I ride in your car and push a bunch of buttons?" or
"How cool is it that you get to track down criminals and make the world a safer place...?"

What's in your other pocket?

Do tell, officer. The suspense is killing this Kinder class.


Love is in the Air.

But the cat wouldn't know much about that. She can't breathe.


Awesome Sunshine. Weird. But Awesome.

I keep thinking it should rain. But it keeps NOT raining, and although it's just really bizarre, it's really lovely.

 We threw 978 rocks in the water. Give or take.
On Saturday night, Winona and I went on a date and saw Oliver! I had forgotten how much great music (beautiful melodies) are in that musical. Winnie loved "Consider Yourself!" and Artful Dodger the best. She went up to the girl who played him afterwards and said, "I think you did a really great job!"
Sunshine or no, Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and we had some crafting to do. We made some good progress on our school valentines (but no spoilers here! you'll have to wait!) and made these "stained glass" (wax paper, shaved crayon, iron, scissors, fishing line) hearts. I heart them!

 This morning, I headed out into the sunshine on my own to enjoy this beautiful place:

 I started my hike in the valley of the hills and rolling savannahs and it was cccccoooooooolllllddd in the darkness. So I took every trail that went upward, toward the hillside with the sun. I took this shot when I was only paces away from the sunshine--and about 50 yards later, I stopped to take off most of my layers. The sun works.