Category Archives: Kids

Front Yard Serenade

My nextdoor neighbor, Brian, is a school music teach and band director.  The last time he saw his “kids” was when they said good bye for spring break.  Then schools began to close, so they have had online classes but as you can imagine, band class isn’t quite the same and since Brian is changing schools this fall, he felt a little bad about not seeing them again.

The kids apparently felt badly as well because on Monday, the brass section, along with a drummer, showed up in the front yard and serenaded him for about 15 minutes.  It was a big surprise to Brian; the kids had set it up with his wife, Sarah.  By the end of the performance, quite an audience has gathered, on both sides of Lyndale. 

I know that other entertainments and festivities are happening in people’s front yards.  A young friend of mine had a drive-by college graduation and Tuey, a juggler that I like, has also been doing his show on front sidewalks during shelter-in-place.

I think this is a great way to celebrate even while social distancing.

What front yard entertainment would you like?

Where in the World is VS?

William and Kate say the kids are out of control.  Kurt and Goldie are fighting in public and have called off the wedding.  Mutant wasps have arrived in the country via Washington – the same as Covid-19.  Hillary has just six months to live.  Ted Cruz’s father linked to JFK assassination.

Where was I?

I Know What I Know

Yesterday I added my eggshells to my bales.  I use a high nitrogen fertilizer on the bales and somewhere in the past I must have seen something (probably on the internet) that suggested added calcium in the form of eggshells to counteract that.  While I was setting the crushed eggshells around each plant, some of them were blowing away in the stiff wind.  This made me think about my friend, LeAnne.  I’ve known LeAnne for over 30 years and from the beginning I’ve known that she believes that if you get wind in your ears, you’ll get sick. I’ve never even tried to talk her out of this belief, because you can tell that she’s not willing to believe anything else.  In fact, just last week, she mentioned how she had felt bad all day because the day before she had been gardening and it had been quite windy.

As I stood there in the wind, watching some of the eggshells blow away, I realized that I am the same as LeAnne.  I know what I know and it’s not just about adding eggshells to my bales.   Snakes.  I didn’t want YA to have an irrational fear so whenever we were around snakes (zoo, children’s museum, etc.) I made it a point to “pet the snake” in her presence.  So my brain KNOWS that snakes are dry, but my brain also knows that they are slimy.  Airplanes.  I travel for a living; I’ve been on plenty of planes.  I have even researched lift and airplane engineering.  But I still know in my heart of hearts that on every single take-off, when the plane tilts for lift off, the tail of the plane is going to scrap the runway.  The fact that this has never happened, not even once, makes no difference. I know what I know.

Do you “know” something, despite evidence to the contrary?

Sewing in Place

Last month I informed YA that she couldn’t go with me to Cub if she didn’t wear a mask.  At that point I had been making due with bandanas and hair binders, but that apparently offended her sense of style.  She eventually decided that my Hawaiian-designed bandana would be OK.

After we got home from the store she informed me that she was going to MAKE her own mask.  When she came into my studio to get the sewing machine, I was a little surprised, since I knew full well that she didn’t know how to use it.  As she got the machine onto her desk, I realized exactly how much she didn’t know when she called me to show her how to turn it on.  I was expecting to spend the next hour explaining everything to her, but she preferred YouTube to my homeschooling.   There were only a couple of times that she needed me to fix the bobbins and then the tension.  She used an old t-shirt for the mask material and then scavenged the elastic from a pair of old gym shorts.  Here is the result (which she did actually wear once):

But it turns out that she likes knowing how to use the sewing machine.  Since then she has repaired a pair of pants and she made a “doughnut” for Nimue so the kitty wouldn’t have to have a stiff plastic cone after the surgery.  Although the doughnut looks good, Nimue figured out how to get her head loose in about 15 seconds. Now there is talk about other sewing projects this summer!

Have you ever sewn anything for yourself?

Adirondack Heaven

Caveat:  The following observations are only representative of my neighborhood and cannot be reliably applied to other areas.

On my daily walks with Guinevere, I’ve noticed that the Adirondack chair is the most popular chair in my area.  There are lots and lots of them, in all colors from natural wood to bright yellow and reds.  While there are plenty of Adirondacks in back yards, there is actually a pretty high percentage of them in front yards and on front stoops and porches.  Cushions can be found as well.  In the backyard of one house on our route there is a beautiful double Adirondack in a dark pine green.  There is even a house over on Penn with a whole row of Adirondacks across the front yard of a house – one in every primary color of the rainbow.

This is interesting to me.  YA and I have two Adirondacks in the back yard – bright aqua (YA’s choice) and I don’t find them to be all that comfortable.   You’re pretty much forced to lean back in the chair.  Except for closing my eyes and taking a snooze, I prefer to sit up.  For keeping up with conversation, for drinking a beverage, for reading, I need to be sitting up.  And, of course, when it’s time to exit of a chair, an Adirondacks is not the easiest chair to get out of.  Although for snoozing in while YA messes with a fire in the fire pit, they are quite nice!

Do you have a favorite chair or snoozing spot?

If It’s Tuesday….

I had to remind myself repeatedly yesterday that it was Tuesday.

  • Slept in – a Saturday/Sunday thing.
  • Took a nice walk with Guinevere – a Saturday/Sunday thing.
  • Leisurely breakfast on the sofa while watching Martha Stewart – a never happens thing.
  • Mid-morning trip to Bachman’s – definitely a Saturday/Sunday thing
  • Two hours of gardening with YA – yep, Saturday/Sunday
  • Grilled a late lunch with YA (Tofurky brats and corn) – wanna guess?
  • Had a fire in the fire pit… with s’mores – need I say more?

I realize it’s only the first week of my furlough, but I’m wondering how long every day will seem like a weekend day?  And when will I get used to it?

Do you have specific days for specific tasks?

False Alarm

We had rather a to do here on Monday when the city police issued a shelter in place order for the part of town north of the interstate.  Someone had found a cylindrical metal container, like a mortar shell, chained to a fence near the Department of Transportation lot where they park the snow plows and road graders.  After assessing things, the police determined it was not a bomb,  but a container for geocaching.  Someone attached it to the fence without getting permission from the DOT to do so.

I like the concept of people  getting outside and wandering around searching for hidden objects with their GPS. How fun!  It is too bad the north part of town had to be so alarmed about being blown up.  My friend the General Mills security guard says they get several reports a year of such unsanctioned containers on the borders of General Mills property.

What are your favorite  outdoor activities?  Any good scavenger hunt stories?