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Showing posts from March, 2011

A Harry Situation

I was in the Girl Scout store today picking up some badges and I happened across a book which purportedly teaches Brownies all about "Storytelling." It was cool -- there were activities on writing and putting on plays and recording tales from the past and so forth. But then I flipped to a section about "Girls' Favorite Books," in which a girl named Madison enthused about the Harry Potter books. To paraphrase loosely, Madison says that she likes to imagine ways to help out her favorite characters or to advise them so that some of their situations come out differently. For example, in Book Six, the home of Madison's favorite character, Ginny Weasley, is destroyed by the evil Death Eaters. Madison thinks that if Ginny had asked for help from her friends, this tragedy wouldn't have happened.

Wait, what? That didn't happen in Book Six. It happened -- nonsensically -- in the sixth movie, and even then I'm not sure how Madison's advice -- if there …


Saturday afternoon one of my facebook friends posted something about a super giant full moon. I immediately, and without reading more about it -- a point which will become important later on -- seized upon this astronomical happening as a chance to make a memory for my children, perhaps one on par with the night in 1986 when my mom woke us all up and let us look for Halley's Comet. (We might have actually seen it, a speck on the far horizon.)

"There's going to be a really big full moon tonight," I announced at around 5:30. "So I was thinking --"

"I know! I know! Oh my gosh!" Mallory shouted, already filled with glee. "I know, Mommy, we should take a blanket outside and lay down on the grass and look up at the stars! That's even called something, what's it called?"

"Stargazing?" I suggested.

"Yeeeah! Oh wow, oh my gosh! Phoebe did you hear? Where's Daddy? No, wait!" Mallory grabbed a piece of paper and a pe…

Whoooo likes cupcakes?

Alternate title: Who needs a haircut?

I promise I'm not going to turn this into a Crochet Critter blog (although, why not?) but I'm new at this and I still want to share.

That's supposed to be a cupcake. It looks more like a mushroom person.

The owl is my best one yet, I think.

Progress on other fronts

It's Girl Scout week -- the organization's 99th birthday is Saturday -- so I've been gathering up bits and pieces of Girl Scout history to share with my Brownies at our meeting tonight. I've come across great stuff like these old catalog and calendar images:

What did the poor Brownie do to make the girl in the background so angry?

Because Girl Scouts and lambs go hand in hand.

Do I even have to say that this one is from the 70s? Who is the guy in the background? And yet, I had that exact same felt beanie and goofy orange snap tie when I was a Brownie, and did I ever think I was hot stuff.

I also found this poem from the 1920s, summing up what a Girl Scout should learn and be:

Monday's Scout is at the tub,
Her Sunday clothes to rinse and rub.

Tuesday's Scout will roast and stew
And fry fresh pancakes just for you!

Wednesday's Scout is bent on thrift
To patch a hole and darn a rift.

Thursday is Scout Service Day
For helping your neighbor in many a way.


A flashback that proves that we've made no progress at all

My oldest child has been very challenging lately. I don't have the energy to get in to it, but my frustration level is very high. (And I keep wondering what I've done wrong, as her mother -- do all mothers wonder this? I think it's probably just her, but that doesn't stop me from feeling guilty.)

Anyway, today I re-discovered a kind of journal I'd kept before I started this blog, about Mallory's younger years. And I found this conversation we had, when she was about two and a half, which made me laugh. And it could be that laughter is all that's going to get us through adolescence. Anyway, here it is:

Yesterday evening I was very tired; I lay down on my bed and was watching TV while Mallory read books in her room. She came in after a while and asked for pudding. I said no, it was almost dinner time. She asked for a cookie. No. Candy. No. A popsicle. No. A banana? I said, "Okay, in five minutes we'll go downstairs and you can have a banana." She…

Look what I made!

I crocheted this all by my own self, and I can’t wait to do some more. I can only see imperfections in this penguin – its eyes are crooked, its flippers are not symmetrically placed, its feet are different sizes. Using black yarn for my very first project wasn’t such a good idea, since it was at times impossible to figure out where my hook was going, and I have a lot to learn about tension and finishing – you can see some stray yarn here and there, and for attaching the appendages I used the same technique I use for sewing on buttons – basically, use a ton of thread and hope for the best.

Still, it was fun to do, and I like to think that I’ll get better with more practice. I think next I’ll make an owl. Then Mallory wants a panda, and Phoebe wants an elephant. What’s your favorite animal – I’ll stitch one up for you too!

The Best Pest

I have been reading the Ramona books to Phoebe at night. We finished Beezus and Ramona last week and have moved on to Ramona the Pest. A friend of mine told me that Beverly Cleary got the idea for Ramona’s character when she saw a little girl walking along the sidewalk eating a stick of butter. I think few authors have done such a good job writing real children, and parents too.

I was surprised by one passage of Beezus and Ramona – when the girls, walking by themselves to the library (!) – met some elderly neighbors, and one of the neighbors told Ramona she had beautiful eyes. Beezus was used to hearing this, the narration ran, but it didn’t bother her – Mother had told her that blue eyes were just as pretty as brown. I had to read that twice to make sure I had it right – that it was brown-eyed Ramona who usually got compliments, rather than blue-eyed Beezus. In my family it’s the opposite – in fact, it kind of bothers me that not a week goes by without some stranger telling Phoebe …