Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Independence Day!

Inspired by the wonderful Yarnharlot,,  for this year's Independence Day celebration I am posting a few of the things I like about living in the wonderful United States. In no particular order:

1. Freedom of the Press- I'm a writer so this one is obligatory.
2. Freedom to practice my religion without government interference.
3. Separation of Church and State- see number 2.
4. Our National Parks- I'd like to visit all of them; have some beautiful wilderness in the country.
5. The states are United and we its citizens can move in an out of them with ease.
6. There are three major mountain ranges within our borders: The Appalachians, the Rockies, and the Sierra Nevada.
7. The longest river is the Missouri River, but the biggest is the Mississippi.
8. Four of the five great Lakes, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Ontario and Lake Superior share a peaceful and prosperous border with our northern neighbor Canada.. Lake Michigan is the only one that does not border Canada.
9. Our national bird, the bald eagle became the symbol for our country in  1782.
10. The bald eagle was take off the endangered species list in 2015.

May all you have happy and safe 4th of July.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Blast Off to Kindergarten

Getting Ready

I celebrated a  small but sentimental milestone; the Bumper finished Pre-Kindergarten today. She came home with a real report card and everything. Next year she will be a real live Kindergartner. Her class put on  a performance for the parents. They danced and sang songs to show what they have learned this year, among them were the ABC's, Los Colores, and Abra Mis Ojos (Open My Eyes Lord). It was cute beyond words.
Jet Packs!
Afterwards we sat in the playground and the Bumper crawled up on my lap. "Mom," she said, "I'm sad."
"Why?" I asked.
"Because I won't see my friends for the whole summer, and even when we come back Mrs. H won't be my teacher. It won't be the same."
I had nothing to say, so I sat an rocked her for a while. She was right and all I could do was hold her and let her know I was not going anywhere.

I am glad she is still little and her mama rocking her was enough to chase the sadness away.

Praise God for a Good Year

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Bring on the Summer

The Bumper gets her green thumb from her Nana
The Bumper's last day of pre-k is tomorrow. She is excited for summer vacation to begin. The Bumper is not a morning person (except on Saturday) and it has been a struggle to get her to school by 8am every morning. I am looking forward to the break from that at least.

The Bumper has a a wonderful school year, but not without some rough patches. She is a very high energy little girl and behavior no one would blink at in a boy often gets question when she does it. That being said she got into trouble the third day of school for yelling at her teacher. Her teacher however is very savvy in the ways of wee ones and quickly figured out the Bumper had misbehaved because she wanted to get sent home. So her teacher and I came up with a better way to deal with her disobedience. If she misbehaved in class she would not get to play on the playground at recess or after school. For the most part this worked very well all year. This school year also taught me I am the parent of THAT child. The one who makes other parents shake their heads and raise their eye brows, but that is a post for another day.

This summer we are going on a trip out to Vancouver B.C. Canada. It will be the first time the Bumper has ever flown. I am nervous, she is thrilled and asks about it everyday. She has began X-ing out the days until we leave. Unfortunately we do not leave until the end of July. It is going to be a long wait!
I have been very busy meeting personal writing goals for my novel. Writing is hard work and has not left much time for blogging. Still I hope find some balance this summer and I am looking forward to spending time with the Bumper and just slowing our pace down a little.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Lazy Weekend

I spent a very relaxing weekend at home with the Bumper. We stayed in most of the day, watching movies, playing dolls, and putting together puzzles, Saturday except for in the late afternoon when I decided a bit of fresh air seemed in order. We wandered over to the local school yard where the Bumper happily climbed, swung, and slid; until raindrops splattered our faces and we ran for home. She won. I am still recovering from a cold, but the Bumper had no mercy and ran full tilt.

Sunday was Palm Sunday. I normally enjoy the recreation of Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem, followed by a reflection on the passion and crucifixion, but I discovered yesterday that an empty stomach, a head cold and a hot church are a bad combination. I nearly passed out right in the middle of service! Fortunately a quick trip outside in the cold air, made me feel much better and I was able to take Holy Communion. Still it was embarrassing and I hope not to make a repeat performance anytime soon.
Palm Sunday also marks the end of  Lent and the beginning of Holy Week and Easter. I thought about what my small sacrifices might have meant in the larger scheme of things. While it isn't much, I am still glad to provide an example of cheerful sacrifice for the Bumper. She is watching, even when I don't think she is. After church I headed over to my knit and natter group, but no one was there. So I sat in my car and knit by myself listening to the rain fall. I can't recall when I have had a more peaceful two hours.

Yesterday was the first day of Spring, and this morning ice covered the car. Oh well, it is better than last year. I am hoping the cold snap will be brief and we will have a warm Easter Sunday. Of course here in the Mid-Atlantic anything can happen weather wise and usually does!


Friday, March 18, 2016

Sleepy and Slow

This morning was one of those mornings. The kind where I get up too late and run around in circles trying to get the Bumper out the door when she has emphatically stated she does not want to go to school. She was tired and I was tired and rather than get into a power struggle I slowed the pace way down. We had a breakfast of cold cereal, much to the Bumper's dismay as she prefers a hot breakfast and the Bumper pulled out all the stops on the go slow chart. She wanted to do everything except get dressed for school. I let her. I went about as though she were not there, putting things away, and starting my morning work routine. In between times I manged to get her dressed in her school uniform. I then told her if she was sick, by all means she ought to stay home--in bed. She decided she would much rather go to school. It was an hour late, but we went.

I understand her reluctance. For some reason the time change hit all of us especially hard this year; and we were all out late last night celebrating St. Patrick's day, which made getting up this morning very difficult.  Still I had to be firm and make her go. I was glad I did; because as soon as we got to school the Bumper perked up. We walked in on her teacher asking what Easter is really about, instead and the Bumper slid into her seat, like a ball player heading for home base, hand waving wildly in the air shouting "Jesus!".

Enthusiasm is a good thing.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Photo courtesy of The Garden
This year we are all about the green on St. Patrick's Day. On most days where the Bumper goes to school and I must admit I was unprepared. I simply grabbed the only green shirt she owned, and called it done. Well I "forgot" the Bumper is now going to a Catholic school; and they take 'wearing of the green to a whole other level! Next year I will know better.

While our family does have Irish in it on my mom's side, it is back a couple of generations. We haven't made much of St. Patrick's in years past, but this year Nana is making corned beef and cabbage, boiled potatoes and Irish Soda bread.  I will be making tofu scramble for those of us who do not eat meat, not traditional but very good. We will be headed over to a friend's house and we are celebrating in memory of another friend who passed away four years ago. Our late friend was second generation Irish American and very proud of her heritage. It is in her honor we are having  a small party tonight. There will be no raucous drinking, or singing, just good plain food shared in thanks with friends. Given that one of the cornerstones of Christianity is sharing what we have with others I can think of  no better way to honor St. Patrick.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Reading in Bed

Enough already! I am seriously sick of being sick! I feel like every other blog entry goes something like this: Hi, I'm back. I was sick. Today I took a walk. Six months later. Hi, I'm back. I was sick. So on and so forth. Urgh. On the other hand being bed bed ridden  does have it's compensations. I got to catch up on my reading list. Here is what I have been reading in the last couple of weeks or so (honestly I've been sick so much I've lost track of time)

1. Booker T. Washington: Black Leadership in the Age of Jim Crow by Raymond W. Smock.
 This was one of my Black History Month Reads. It turns out I knew next to nothing about this pre-civil rights era leader and founder of the Tuskegee Institute

2. 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northrup.
 To find a narrative written by a man who had been born free and sold into slavery is nothing short of a history buffs dream. It did not disappoint.

(Yes I know we are well into women's history month, but I have been sick so a little slack is warranted.)

3. Susanna's Dream by Marta Perry
An Amish romance. Well written, not heavy on the mushy stuff.  The story focuses on family connections and community, while the romance is in the background. Great if you like that sort of fare, which I do.

4. Missing Your Smile by Jerry S. Eicher
Another Amish romance, I'm on a roll here, again well written and it deals more with faith issues, plus reading romances written by a man offer a different perspective.

5. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
This is the second in the Outlander series and I am hooked. I am such a sucker for historical fiction. The writing is fast paced, intricate and character driven with enough history to keep it fresh and interesting. A little graphic in the sex department more my tasted, but I just skip over those parts if I find them disrupting or repetitive. 

6. The Mill on the Floss by George Elliot
A classic that has been on my to read list forever, because it is one of those works of literature that as an English major I'm supposed to have read but hadn't gotten around to reading. Getting used to the style is the hardest part, mid-nineteenth century affectations get on the nerves of this post Hemingway reader. It does make me very grateful to have been born in the twentieth century where my options as a woman are far less limited.

So what is on your book shelf, or night stand or bathroom counter dear readers?