Yaks in 3-D, Rotting Crabs, Cabbage Jelly, TP Wedding Dress…

16 07 2008

I’ve just finished scheduling my Excellence in Writing Poetry Memorization lessons for the first half of the year. I am so excited!! Poetry memorization is cool, though you wouldn’t necessarily think it until you’ve tried it. Some word or phrase or image will tickle your memory, and all of the sudden you are quoting Hillaire Belloc’s “The Yak” in the freezer section of the grocery store: “The Tartar who dwells on the plains of Tibet/ (A desolate region of snow)/ Has for centuries made it a nursery pet/ And surely the Tartar should know.” I like the way the verses spring to my children’s mind. It’s like they have a big bank account of fun language to play with now. We’ll be starting level two this year. I think our favorite poem last year was “Johnathan Blake,” possibly because we drew analogies between our DEAR DEAR Donal and the boy who ate too much cake. “I’m sorry to state/ that he also ate/ six pickles, a pie, and a pear./ In fact I confess,/ it’s a reasonable guess/ he ate practically everything there.” Oh my! That one has hit home a few times!

Mark Kistler’s Draw Squad is the other cool elective we’re doing this year. This great book has 30 lessons on how to doodle outrageously in 3-D. I can’t wait to start, and I think my kids will get really excited about it after about the third lesson or so. Ladies and Gentlemen, start your pencils! I’ve linked to his website, because you can watch 6 free drawing lessons on the web page & try it out. Very cool.

There is a big fat black spider living in my bedroom window frame and my husband isn’t here to kill it.

We took Mike to his first Cub Scouts meeting last Monday. He looked very little stranded out at third base playing kickball with the big boys. He’ll be a Tiger this fall, and Big D has recently advanced to Tenderfoot. Boy, they have a great scout camp here! I hope that D will overcome his fear of being chomped by a snapping turtle and finish his swimming merit badge while at camp. He’s a good swimmer, but reluctant to trust the lake residents to keep to their side of the lake during aquatic exercises. I keep telling him that no turtle or water moccasin in it’s right mind would want to be around fifty screaming boyscouts coming down a 100-ft waterslide and tackling each other in the lake. (Yes- the scout camp has a waterslide. How cool is that?)

I also hope that when his laundry comes home, none of it will be mildewed or actually rotting. I remember rather well when my brother came home from beach camp with a rotting crab shell in the bottom of his Sea-bag. Well, it wasn’t the shell that was rotting. It was the dead crab inside the shell. Fragrant!

Bren’s parakeet let me rub it’s belly with my finger this morning. It has been singing back a little, too, when Brenna sings her own version of “Rockin’ Parakeet” to it. Brenna has been altering songs since she was very small. I will never forget her favorite song when she was three. She often skipped down the halls of church swinging on my hand and singing that, “With God all things are Popsicles!!” Well, why not?

My husband has caved to pressure and bought his own Webkinz! It is, of course, a black bear. The Webkinz languishes unregistered because he cannot think of a name for it. Fuzzy Wuzzy? Licorice? Just plain old Blackie? Our official line is that we have Webkinz to “help us relate to our children and join in shared interests.” Yep. That’s our story and we’re stickin’ to it.
Bobby and Lewis came to lunch Sunday. I hadn’t realized exactly how tall Lewis is until he stood beside Neal & put his arm around Neal’s shoulders for a hug. Very tall man! Very tall! He’s apparently a terrific gardener. They brought a contribution of fresh corn and talked about his current experiment with asparagus. When I tried gardening I had one great year, and then the squash bugs were so thick I couldn’t get anything ripened before they sucked it dry. Perhaps in a couple years I’ll try again.

Speaking of gardening, I licked the last little bit of sweet juice out of the bottom of my last jar of cherry jelly I canned two years ago. Cherries are in the stores now, and I REALLY should go buy a bag and make some more jam. My mother-in-law makes jam out of cantaloupes with pecans in it. A very southern sort of thing, but I have never managed to quite get used to it. Or watermelon rind pickles. It just doesn’t seem right, somehow. Like corn cob jelly. Why are we bothering to put the corn cobs in, exactly? I think some people would try to make jelly out of cabbages.

Here’s another one I wouldn’t have expected, but apparently it’s quite a national pastime. Try a search with the words “wedding dress” and “toilet paper,” or just click this link here. Some people have too much time on their hands.

OK, that’s probably enough weirdness for one day.  I’m going to go make a grocery list or something.




3 responses

16 07 2008

Ya, this link thing is fun. Funny how we both got it the same day.

18 07 2008

I’ve been suspended from jelly school! It just doesn’t fit in to my lifestyle right now. Besides, I can’t find anyone to eat the stuff I’ve already made! This year it’s all vegetable soup, tomatoes and tomato juice. I haven’t even made pickles — I’ve got some, though, and we eat them occasionally.

Bad news! Present day watermelons don’t have nice thick rinds to be pickled. I never bothered with that, anyhow. I learned that the birds loved what was left after I got though with them! And we used to have a dog who loved watermelon, even the white-green stuff left after our feast!

18 07 2008
Linda Miller


You’ve probably heard that olfactory memories are one of our quickest and strongest. I often remember that frangrant sea bag, too.

The Scout Camp sounds super and I’ll bet he gets over that fear. When I was learning to swim we only had fresh water lakes available, the Middleport Pool hadn’t been built yet, but I really loved the lake water because it didn’t burn my eyes or seem to tire me out like pools would. Maybe that will help Big D a bit.

Sounds like Brenna’s parakeet is warming up to both of you. Is it new?

The Poetry Memorization sounds exciting and the kids will treasure those memories you all are making and sharing all their lives. You’re right to treasure the butterflies and rainbows during these years.

Love & hugs,

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