Thursday, September 25, 2008

Maybe the produce is great....

but there are other things about this place that just aren't up to snuff. Like the fact that there are hardly any sidewalks. Anywhere. There's 84,000 people in this town, and most of the town has no sidewalks. The elementary school in my neighborhood is on a pretty busy residential street, and there is a sidewalk for two blocks on the opposite side of the street, then you have to cross the street to catch the sidewalk in front of the school for one block, then cross back over for the sidewalk for two blocks to the next arterial. All over the place there are sidewalks that stop in the middle of some one's yard, halfway down the block. Like the sidewalk inspector was coming through in a fancy automobile and the city workers quick, threw up some sidewalks halfway down all the blocks from the main streets. He'll never know!
Okay, but this isn't about sidewalk, not really.
This is about the local homeschool group- yes, its true, there is only one, and yes, it does have the word "Christian" as part of its name. How'd you guess? There is a class at the YMCA for homeschool kids, kind of a PE class and swimming class, kind of dismal attendance but good value for 20 hours of swimming lessons and a chance to play group games. Fine. Except that last week there was a new homeschooling Mom (First Mom) and her 7 year old son, and I overheard her talking with a Second Mom about activities, karate and things. Second Mom got her interested in the Friday classes that this homeschool group organizes. Fine. At the end of gym class, when the lady who happens to be one of the directors of the homeschool group arrived to pick up her two awful, snotty girls (who were in the changing room right then threatening to kill each other if they didn't shut up and reminding each other that they were freaking annoying ugly beasts and little brats and that they hated each other) Second Mom introduced the First Mom to Director Mom. Now here's the kicker- First Mom has a name that sounds like it might be Jewish- Bernstein or Goldmaier, something like that. Director Mom hears her name, turns from friendly smiley lady to hard and mean, and gives her the coldest up and down stare ever, and says, in the snottiest tone ever, "Well, are you CHRISTIAN?"
Of course she was, and spent a few minutes explaining her church attendance and involvement, what her son was doing in Sunday school, etc.. The thing is I know there are at least a couple Jewish or mixed-religion families in the group. So what the heck?
Like I said, maybe I can buy 60 pounds of produce for $19, but you can't buy tolerance, civility, human decency, friendliness, or a welcoming community culture for any amount of money.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Because its too true

Go here, read this, do what she says. Don't worry, its short and easy. Because Annie Lamott is smart and funny and right about this. And what's her face is too scary and awful I can't even stand to hear her or think about her and can you imagine? If?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Autumn Circle 2008

Rise up O flame, by thy light glowing,
Show to us beauty, vision and joy.

There's the firm earth under me, The blue sky over me,
So I stride, So I stand, And I see You too,
With the blue sky above you And the firm earth under you.

The world is full of color-Tis autumn once again
And leaves of gold and crimson-Are lying in the lane
There are brown and yellow acorns-Berries and scarlet haws
Amber gorse and heather-Purple across the moors
Green apples in the orchard-Flushed by the glowing sun
Mellow pears and brambles-Where colored pheasants run

My hands upon my head I place- On my shoulders, on my face
On my lips, by my side- Then behind me they hide
Then I hold them way up high- And let my fingers quickly fly
Hold them down in front of me- Then I’ll clap them one, two, three.

The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
So far away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two
And let the face of God shine through.
~Edna St. Vincent Millay

I saw four brothers, a building they would go,
so I stopped to say hello.
Hello, hello said Brother Blue
“To build a house you first must do plenty of thinking,
draw a plan, architect’s work, you understand?”
Hello, hello said Brother Red
“I agree with what he said! But soon you must dig,
and lay a foundation, Concrete blocks at proper elevation.”
Hello, hello said Brother Green,
“Next comes framing, neat and clean, nails into wood,
hammers and thuds, Up go the rafters, joists and studs!”
Hello, hello said Brother Gold,
“We box in and floor, we finish and mould, plaster the
walls and paint them,too. Pretty windows, a lovely view.
Paint the house in colors bright, decorating is such a delight!”
Off to work the brothers depart,
to build a house is their great art.

The leaves are floating gently down,
they make a soft bed on the ground.
Then WHOOSH! The wind comes whistling by,
and sends them dancing up to the sky.

Come with me and dance with me in the cool of autumn.
All the trees are golden now, all the bells are ringing.
Ring, ring, ring-a ding ding dong, dance and sing together.
Ring, ring, ring-a ding ding dong, in your shoes of leather.

Brave and true I will be, each good deed sets me free.
I will fight for the right, I will conquer the wrong.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

End of Summer

Thank goodness! Well, when I see this picture, I have to admit I do feel a little sad. We had a lot of fun. I don't think my kids have PLAYED so much, without having to finish up so we can go DO something! So that was good. But, here's the secret- I'm almost 4 months pregnant, and this entire summer has been a dizzy, woozy doozy, between the kids and the sun and all of the summer's long excitement and preparation for THE CONVENTION. I am exhausted! The day after we got back from Denver school started. Well, homeschool, but still. I may be in my pjs (or at least Mymy is) until lunch (well, after lunch- why put him in clean clothes BEFORE he eats?), but I'm on the go. Whoo!
I've been looking forward to fall for weeks now, and here it is. Yay! School time. My time with just my own kids! (Not that I don't adore lovely Foal and Sunny, but still...) The house is quiet. No chores have gotten done yet, but they will. Oh, they will.
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Oh, I'm clever! Here are a few pictures of our favorite delegate at the Democratic National Convention. With New York senator Charles Schumer (crying during or right after Obama's speech), with Cornell West (a personal and American hero- really, Mymy was almost "Cornell" but the nicknames aren't so nice) and a random lady who wanted her picture taken with CW, with Jay Inslee (who used to be the US Rep here, but lost his second election because he voted for gun control and has been a Rep for the westside for a long time), Chris Gregoire (our Governor), Senator Patty Murray, with John Oliver and Aasif Mandvi from the Daily Show. Believe me, he's got a ton more, but he can get his own blog if he wants to show them all. Really!
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Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Mymy at the "Water Pop-ups" as he called them, in Boulder. This was the BEST thing ever! Free, fun, close to the hotel. We had fun on our trip, though it was mellower than I planned. My Mom was down with the back injury from the car crash at the beginning of July, so she wasn't as active as she normally is and in fact ended up having to go in to the emergency room. And we had to watch the Convention in the evenings to see if we could see Papa, which took up most of the afternoons and nights. Watching speeches on TV is not very entertaining for the kids, apparently. Who knew?
Still, ABCD made waffles every morning that we ate at the hotel. He made waffles until the unthinkable happened and he got tired of them! Mymy looked forward to eating a hard boiled egg with salt and pepper every morning, peeling a banana, and playing with fruit loops. He also pretended to be a garbage truck and threw every scrap away, in reverse when he could get away with it, beeping.
A trip to the crowdedest (is that a word?) and meanest Whole Foods in the World, or to some spot like one of the pretty playgrounds in Boulder or ABCD's favorite, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, then lunch, naps, a swim in the pool, and hunkering down for the convention. And another day over.
We went one night to the Washington State party, sponsored by Microsoft. That was fun, and rich, but late. The delegates didn't get there until 11:00 or so, maybe later. We barely stayed awake for our favorite delegate to arrive, then peeled our eyelids open to last another hour and a half. Whew! those crazy late nights!
ABCD and I did get to go to the Convention on Thursday. It was amazing. First, our assigned seats were in the second row from the top, in the very center section directly behind the stadium. If you've ever been to or even seen Invesco Field, you know how crazy high that is. ABCD said it should be called "Two Mile High Stadium". I was dizzy and thought we'd get nosebleeds or altitude sickness or something. It was pretty ridiculous. Anyway, we didn't have to sit there long. Aaron was chosen to sit in the inner circle, handpicked delegates and celebrities, 150 in the whole country, and he was three rows from Obama's right foot! And when he realized he was sitting up there he arranged for us to move down. We didn't get to sit with him, but we were on the floor, with the Washington state delegates, and it was amazing. AMAZING!
To be in a crowd that big, all those people united by hope and pride and patriotism was amazing. To be in a crowd so diverse, with all colors and ethnicities and religions and ages, all united by the same hope and pride and patriotism was beyond amazing. To see all those people crying with happiness, overwhelmed with emotion, to be crying there with them, well, it was something I'll cherish always, and ABCD will be able to tell his grandkids he was there when.
Whew! So most of our time was not spent doing convention things, and we really only saw our delegate at that one party, the Convention was definitely the highlight. I'm glad we all went.
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