Wednesday, February 28, 2007
A friend on an email list who lives in Idaho shared a news story with us that still leaves my jaw hanging down. This week a committee in one of their state houses killed a measure to enstate minimum safety requirements for daycares. Why, might one ask, would anyone not want to see even minimal standards for the places where thousands of little kids spend their days? Well, several members of the committee felt very strongly that mothers should be home with their chldren and that no child should ever have to go to a daycare. Because their belief in the premise of "the woman's place is in the home" was so strong, they killed legislation to create minimum safety standards for daycares!!
Now usually I work in my life to extent curiosity - to set my judgments aside until I learn more - well, its a little hard to do here as it seems to me a leap of logic that spans the width of the Grand Canyon was made here.
Hmm, if we have substandard daycare, goes the logic, than moms won't want to send their kids and they'll stay home with them and we'll fulfill our "American dream" of the little woman at home with the kids.
I'm quite sure that will work wonderfully for
*single moms who have to work to house, clothe and feed their children - if they stayed "home" with them, home could end up being a homeless shelter.
*two working parents trying to make ends meet.
*women who know they parent better when other parts of their lives are fulfilled too.
There's nothing classist or sexist in this decision is there?
My "favorite" quote from the article was from a Representative who said that he felt children who weren't home with their mothers all day would be harmed by the experience of the separation. Sure, the kids in daycares might be harmed - not from the experience of being away from mom during the day - rather from the potentially hazardous conditions in the daycare.
Monday, February 26, 2007
Rowan and Gemma measured snow fall amounts in three places in the yard Sunday afternoon and got an average of 18 inches of snow fall. Our official city total was 15 inches. It wasn't that light, fluffy "story-book" snow - it was wet and heavy. Sunday afternoon's snow came in the form of wet glops that plopped onto our heads!
Sled in it!
Figure out where to put it all!!
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Here's a shot of two of them - from the first batch. They are so cute and they color just awesomely - a rainbow in one swipe of the crayon.
Here's one step of the process - after we'd de-labeled the crayons, we broke them into smaller pieces and divided them into like-colored families. We then filled the heart-shaped muffin tins with a combination of colors we thought would look neat together and put them in a low temp oven to melt.
This is Gemma busy at work, putting her friends' names on the paper hearts with the crayon heart attached with tape to the paper.
And Rowan pulled out her new (a Solstice gift) potter's wheel and decided to try throwing a few pots amongst the crayon project. Yes, we managed to keep the wet clay out of the crayons - a melted wax and clay mixture could have been down-right nasty!!
Gemma has taken to authoring many stories lately - she loves her new found skill of managing letter sounds and putting them together into words. She chose to work in the living room to avoid getting clay and wax on her book and is authoring a story about her stuffed animal bat, Batty - appropriately named - discovering gold.
After all was said and done - we'd craft ourselves into a stupor, so enjoyed a snuggly evening on the couch watching the movie, Grease. Yes, Grease! We got into the TV show, "You're the One that I Want" and realized the girls had never seen the movie.
Monday, February 12, 2007
You get -
*frozen pipes that display their new "holes" when the weather warms a bit and things begin to thaw out.
*dead car batteries.
*illnesses galore from dealing with the temperature extremes.
Yes, we have experienced ALL of the above this weekend!
Friday night, I just about jumped for joy when I could run the dishwasher for the first time in two weeks - the line from the kitchen pipes to the dishwasher had frozen days before. In the back of my mind was that voice that said "hm, after two weeks of being frozen, I wonder..." Well, Saturday morning, there was no wondering as we awoke to a puddle in the kitchen and a slow drip-drop sound in the basement - we seem to have a leak despite reinsulating the pipes a couple of summers ago and tending to them whent he weather started getting cold. So, since we aren't flooded (yet) we aren't on the emergency list for the plumber when I called on Saturday - we should be seen today - I'm awaiting the doorbell's ringing tones as I write.
Saturday monring we awoke to temperatures above zero - first time in a long time to not see a negative number of the thermometer. However, the car battery didn't care. As we headed out the door to pick up another child, take Gemma and the little guest to gymnastics and drop Rowan off at a birthday party, we could progress no further than the sad clicking sound of the van attempting to turn over with no juice in the battery. So a visit from AAA got the van running enough to get it to the garage for a new battery. I ran Rowan on foot up the street to converge with two other families whose kids were also going to the birthday party and who were also walking since they too were carless for the day. So Rowan got a 13 block walk in to get to the birthday party. Thankfully we had wheels again by the time the party ended, so took all the kids home to parents who were thrilled not to have to walk the journey in reverse. Sadly, we couldn't pull off getting Gemma to gymnastics.
Now for the germs - ah yes, strep and croup seem to be the bugs of choice for our family. Rowan had strep - it was one of the many "freebies" she got at a recent Girl Scout sleepover involving 45 girls with more than 50% of them all getting sick post-slumber party. Then it was Gemma's turn - she's been barking like a seal and spiking a fever one minute and having normal temps the next - sure sounded like croup to our ears - doctor confirmed it yesterday during a trip to acute care. Gemma tried school today, but the infamous call from the school nurse came through when her fever shot up this morning. Now she's a couch resident as I type. I'm on my way into the clinic for a throat culture later this afternoon as my throat feels like I swallowed fire. My trip to the clinic comes after Jani's trip to the dentist for a crown on a broken tooth.
Ah, the joys!
Plus, just think about how much $$$ we got the "opportunity" to spend in the last few days -
car battery + plumber visit + tooth crown + meds = $$$ - fun, fun!!
Oh well, the "goodies" of the cold have been -
*time to hang out together at home, playing board games, reading, watching fun movies and knitting (for me).
*and we have gotten lots of time to enjoy our new living room furniture since we've been camped out in that room of the house.
A little silver lining!
Gotta run - the princess patient beckons!
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
dateline - Jenifer Street
Monday, February 05, 2007
Here is a scarf and headband set I made in a couple of evenings for a friend's birthday. The pieces are done in a novelty yarn called Lion Boucle and the color is Wild Berry.
Projects on deck-
*another cowl for our friend, Marsha.
*Fiber Trends felted clogs - for something new to try!
*new afghans for the backs of our new couches (couches are sage green microfiber - they get delivered Wednesday!!)
*a few baby afghans to donate to St. Mary's NICU - since Gemma was a resident there and we appreciated how homely they attempt to make it - complete with little knitted things - I wanted to make a couple of blankets to donate.
Rowan's prediction - the water in the metal bowl will freeze faster, because metal is a better conductor of heat/cold than plastic.
My prediction - they will freeze at about the same rate, because the larger surface area of the plastic bowl will equalize freezing time with the conductivity of the metal bowl.
After 15 minutes of the bowls being outside on our front porch, each bowl has about equal thickness of skim ice.
At one hour, both bowls are nearly frozen - starting at the top first and then the sides with open pools of water in the middle. However, the open pool in the metal bowl appears smaller than the one in the plastic bowl.
Our two hour mark will be here in 1/2 an hour, so we'll see what the bowls look like then. So far they seem to be freezing at a pretty similar rate.
Friday, February 02, 2007
My ancestors throughout Europe, especially those in the north, honored this day - the half way point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox as sacred with the Celts calling it Imbolic.
At Imbolic, like all the nature based sabbats, it is a time to honor the natural world and appreciate her changes. I have been very aware of the changes in our sunshine. At Winter Solstice, when the sun is being born a-new, it hangs low in the southern sky and its light is weak, even at mid-day. Each day over the last weeks, I've noticed our daylight returning later into the afternoon and the sun shines with great strength. Despite our bitter cold today, the sun is shining in all of his glory on our beautiful white snow that sparkles under the sun's kiss.
I am grateful for the bitter cold of the day, for it truly feels like winter with our blanket of snow and near zero temperatures. I hope it will serve as a reminder to many of the precious gifts of winter and how these could lost as our world climate continues to change.
Candles and fire were blessed at this time of year - as they brought light and heat into dark homes and were needed to sustain life. It is wonderous to light a candle and watch its flame dance and ponder what are the "lights" and fires in our own lives that we want to tend and bless on this Imbolic.
Young children were honored at Imbolic for they represent the continuation of all life and they hold the promise of spring. The goddess herself is in her maiden form at this time of year, waiting the bright blooms of spring and baby animals. Our two maidens of our home made "maiden muffins" for our family last night to feast on at breakfast time to bring us time to ponder all the wonders that young children bring into our lives.
And - how cool is this - the moon if full today. So not only do we get the bright, ever-stronger growing sunshine in the day, we get the glow of the moon, reflecting off of our snow and making the world a wonder of bright light mixed with dark blue shadows. As we returned from our women's group last night, I was moved by the night beauty of the season. I was very moved by the metaphor of light and shadow interplaying through the snow and moon.
So warm blessings to all who read this today in the days to come. If you wish, take a moment to ponder the wisdom of the season, learn about Brigid, the goddess of fire and metal crafts who is a guiding teacher at this time and enjoy the beauty of our Earth, cimmitting to care for her in all seasons as the Wheel of the Year keeps turning.