Category Archives: Kids

Blog Babies

Our grandson took his first steps this week. A couple of weeks ago, tim sent a video of his very adorable, curly haired, red headed grandson who had just started taking his first steps. The child was absolutely prancing! I couldn’t upload tim’s video due to WordPress rules.  Here is what tim wrote:

my grand kid (ari)

took his first step april 1. he’s got it in his soul if not in his dance step yet

we all have ways we come at the world

tell me about yours

 

April Fool

One of my children is very adept at pranking me on April 1, usually with plausible texts about rash decisions or changes in career that I fall for every time. This year I turned the tables and it was satisfying, albeit subtle.

On Monday morning I sent the following text :

In honor of today I thought of sending you a text asking you to please not play an April Fools trick since my newly diagnosed heart condition couldn’t handle it, but I thought that would be a mean thing to do, so I didn’t.

I got the following response:

Hahahahaha“.

Then, after a few seconds I got the following text:

So, no heart condition I’m assuming?”

I assured the recipient (someone who is always concerned about  my health) that no, there was no heart condition, but thought to myself “Yes!! I got them!!!!”

Tell about neat tricks you played on someone or tricks someone played on you.

Big Splash

We live very near to an important geologic area called the Hell Creek Formation.  It covers parts of western North Dakota, Western South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. It contains some of the richest fossil beds from the Cretaceous period, the era that ended with the death of the dinosaurs.

Recently, two paleontologists published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences  titled “A seismically induced onshore surge deposit at the KPg boundary, North Dakota”,  outlining just what happened in what is now North Dakota in the minutes following the crash of an asteroid in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. This was the asteroid that is thought to have killed all the dinosaurs.

Based on what they found in a grey/ black layer near the top of a butte on a ranch near Bowman, ND, about 80 miles from my town, they estimate that in minutes after the asteroid crashed in Yucatan, seismic waves of water and molten rocks smashed into what is now the Hell Creek Formation.  Molten glass particles filled the air, choking any living thing.  Fish (salt water and fresh water), trees, rocks, dinosaurs, and beads of molten glass were swept up into a jumbled mass, preserved in the mud and debris for the modern paleontologists to find.  The fish fossils in the KPg boundary dig  were so well preserved that they could see that their mouths were open, gasping for air.  It triggered fires within 1500 miles of the impact and formed a plume of fire that rose halfway to the Moon.  They estimate 70% of the world’s forests burned.  Almost all life on the planet died.

Well, I find that pretty awe inspiring and amazing.  I like it when scientists can make things real and exciting.  Yucatan is a long way from where I live. That must have made a really big splash when it hit.

What has amazed you recently? Would you want to be a paleontologist? Did you ever do cannon balls?

 

My Groupie

When I was in the market for a new car four years ago, I delegated the research to YA. She recognizes car makes and models; she knows all our friends’ and neighbors’ cars.  She is definitely a car person.   I gave her my requirements (hybrid, 4-door, red) and off she went.  Her research came in the form of a chart with the five cars that she had identified as possibilities.  One was axed due to being the wrong color and two were eliminated by their price.

We went and test drove the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight. I’d never heard of an Insight before but since I’m definitely NOT a car person, I didn’t think too much about.  I love my Insight but it became clear pretty quickly that I wasn’t the only one who had never heard of an Insight.  Nobody had ever heard of it.  In four years nobody has ever recognized my car, even car people.

So imagine my surprise today, when a guy coming out of the gym as I was getting out of my car, stopped and said “how do you like your Insight?” He had purchased his Insight in November.  We had a nice talk about the mileage (great), the cost of filling up (teeny) and the blue/green light that tells you whether you are using gas or electricity (mesmerizing).  As I went into the gym and he headed to his Insight I thought “this must be what it feels like to be a car person”?  Then when I came out of the gym I’d forgotten where I parked.  Oh well.

We all have our special areas of interest. Do you have comrades in arms?

Potentiality

My brain knows that English is a flexible language and I know that all the words we use today were at some point made up. But when I saw the above banner, I don’t know what upset me more – that there is a banner with a made-up word hanging on the side of a school or that it was going from down to up!

Anything outraging you today?

Zippy the Wonder Car

With a nod to Anna, who started this discussion a couple of days back….

I bought my first car, a Toyota, when I was living in Northfield. I had spent the first winter after leaving school riding my bike out to the Country Kitchen on Highway 19 and didn’t want to do that again.  It was pale blue and got me through several winters before giving up the ghost.  I didn’t name that car; giving a name to a car didn’t even occur to me.

Then I met a woman who called her little car “Zippy the Wonder Car”. To this day I’m not sure why I thought this was so enchanting but I did, so when I purchased my next car (back in the 80s), I decided she should have a name.  She was a Honda Civic and when I discovered that the Italian word for flirt was “civetta”, I was hooked.  I had Civetta for almost 15 years.

I let Child help me name our next car, which made the process a LOT longer. This car was a Saturn Ion and we eventually settled on Ivy.  We usually called her by her whole name – Ivy the Ion.  Not quite as much fun as the Italian word for flirt, but it stuck.

My current car is named Brekke. She’s a Honda Insight and I couldn’t find any “I” names that I really liked.  Brekke is a character from one of my favorite sci fi authors, Anne McCaffrey.  Brekke is one of a few characters on the dragon world of Pern who have the ability to communicate telepathically with ALL dragons, not just her own.  If I were to live on a dragon world, that is an ability I would certainly want.

Have you ever named an inanimate object?

If not, what name would you choose for your current mode of transport?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modern Heraldry

The family crest in the header photo is that of my Great Grandmother Cluver.  The Cluvers were a very old family of knights and landowners  from northern  Germany near Bremen.  The crest shows a black claw of a bear on a golden field. The open helmet has a ball with a wreath and a column of peacock feathers.  I’m not sure what the seven flags represent. The family was in its  heyday in the 14th and 15th centuries.  You can see the crest on Cluver family memorial plaques from that time period in the Bremen Dom, or cathedral. They chose to remain Roman Catholic during the Reformation and lost most of their property and land when the region  was occupied by the Lutheran Swedes during the Thirty Years War.  By the time my great grandmother was born in the late 1800’s, they were small farmers and shop keepers. My great grandmother was a domestic servant before her marriage. That crest hasn’t reflected the status of the family for several hundred years.

Daughter rescued a hapless Yellow Lab from a busy intersection in Tacoma last week, and managed to track down the owners since the pup was  microchipped. When she told me about it I thought “well, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”,  since she saw us rescue many a dog and cat and get them to safety. That is when I thought about our family crest and what an updated one would look like.  I think it would have the profile of a Welsh Terrier in the center encircled by cats. Husband said a rolling pin and a garden fork would be appropriate symbols, too, as well as the Greek letter Psi, a symbol for psychology.  We should have a violin or cello worked into the design. Of course, there would be a baboon, too.

What would be on your modern family crest?