Friday, February 19, 2010

limericks about limericks

I can write a haiku or cinquain,
But a limerick can be such a pain.
I've tried and tried,
My brain is now fried,
I can't think up a single refrain.

(or maybe...)

I felt inspired to write,
but my children began to fight.
I couldn't win
Amid the din
So my limerick is a fright.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snails, Worms and Hamsters, oh my!

We've been having some of those "living science" moments at our house. You know, where things happen in real life that give you experiences to back up your book knowledge.

A week (or two?) ago Melinda got a hamster. She has been working for months to prove she can be responsible for taking care of a pet, and she is beyond thrilled to finally be in possesion of the little rodent. This is not your typical hamster, this is a Robo hamster (short for some dude's name, not the cop). It is tiny and interestingly colored, and Melinda is in love--though she admits that it has taken a lot of time and effort.

Also, going hand in hand with all the gardening that has been going on here, is the delightful discovery of snails and worms. Delightful for the kids at least--snails haven't been delightful for me since I discovered them smooshed and crunched in between my toes while walking down the sidewalk barefoot at night many years ago.

We've had snail races, and have harvested worms from their condemned ivy metropolis & shipped them out to worm farms in neighboring flower beds. Seeing little girls squeal and hop around with handfuls of wriggling worms gives me the giggles. Discovery is delightful.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Playing in the Dirt

Living in Southern California has its pros and cons, and some things that make their way onto both sides of the list. One of those things, for me, is the weather. There is no autumn, only a pretense at winter, and but the merest hint of spring. But my, does my garden grow! If I am not able to connect with the outdoors by shoveling snow and raking leaves, at least I can console myself by digging in the dirt and growing plants.

Our new house has so much landscaping space that I get lost in my dreaming and planning. My day speeds by when I am pulling weeds and pruning. I get giddy when I visit the nearest Garden Center.

I have planted strawberries and rosemary, basil and cabbage. I have started pulling out ivy and some oddly chosen plastic plants that look much better in a trash bag than in the garden.

I have treated myself to a lime tree, a 5-way apple tree, and a 4-way cherry tree. I had to limit myself because I would truly love to also bring home an avocado tree, a pomegranate tree, as well as pears, nectarines, peaches, plums...but I think that I am doing a good job so far at pacing myself. It's a difficult thing to do!

Honestly, I'd rather be playing in the snow, but playing in the dirt is good too.

Friday, February 5, 2010

What's on your desk?

Life has a way of happening all around me, even without my permission.  Inevitably, mess takes over in some part of the house that I've been less diligent in scrutinizing.  The dining room, for example, is used less than the office.  So it is remarkably easier to see if something is out of place in the dining room than the office.  Since our office is also used as our school room, much of our daily living happens in this small space.  Somehow, in places where I spend more time, I am more blind to the accumulating disaster.  I wish I wasn't that way, but I am.

When I take my "mess blinders" off and try to look objectively at this area, I am actually quite appalled at what I'm living in!  School books and papers, puzzles and games, bills and mail, cameras and computers: they have taken over.  I'm surprised we all fit in the room.  It's really pretty atrocious, though I like to tell myself that it can all be cleaned up rather quickly...once I get those blinders off and actually deal with it.  Sometimes it takes some special circumstances to get those blinders off, something unusual in the midst of the mess, something like this:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Where I'm From

I'm a sucker for creativity.  Especially in my kids.  What can I say...I think they are some of the best people on earth!  Timothy recently brought home from school a creative writing project that I just loved.  I'm sure that he's not nearly as thrilled with it as I am, after all, it was coerced creativity--not the easiest thing in the world, especially for someone who doesn't typically express his creativity with words.  I had to share it though, so here it is:

Where I'm From

I am from videogames and TVs,
Computers and laptops
and from Legos piled on the floor.
I am from mud pies and dirt cakes,
and oddly shaped anthills,
which got trampled at first sight.

I'm from Ana and Jack,
Mexico and Canada,
even some Italian.
Wake up and Go to sleep,
Come here and Go away,
are more familiar than they need to be.

I'm from Deep Fried to Broiled,
Scrambled to Poached,
all with a little sauce.

I am from the long, repetitive
prayers at night,
and reading my long, dreary
devotional book.

Through every computer document,
and every jam-packed storage box,
unfolds the many vast memories
from my family's tree.