Friday, September 03, 2010

Playing the Recorder with Finesse

One toddler playing the recorder. Loudly. Squeal squeeeall SQUEALLLLLL squeal.

Two teenagers watching tv together. Dialogue constantly being interrupted by "squeal." Eventually they tire of it. Solution? Remove the recorder from the toddler's hands and replace it with a fife.

Toddler blows into the end of the fife (not the flute-like blowhole on the side of the fife). She blows and blows. Quiet ensues. Teenagers contentedly settle down to hear the television without concentrated effort. Toddler blows some more. Still no sound emanating from the musical instrument.

Solution? Toddler still has a voicebox: engage voice and continue to squeal SQUEAL squeal.

Grandma busts a gut laughing. Munchkin's voice does a darn good impression of a squeaky recorder!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Heritage Days

A couple of weeks ago there was a re-enactment weekend not far away. It was at the height of the mosquito infestation, but the township must have sprayed the park well, because it was beeeeautiful outside there.

Not only did they have antique firetrucks, but they had the modern ones too. Alia really like trucks!

I think these guys were Civil War era. They had plenty to tell (and demonstrate) about warfare on the sea, shooting cannons, and trying to capture ships instead of sinking them.

Those cannons said BOOOOOM!

Philip knew from way across the field that this dude was a Hoplite. As far as I recall, I never heard of Hoplites before. The kids tell me I knew about them. Apparently they pay better attention to the history books I read to them than I do. By the way, the Romans were the next camp over from the Greeks. These guys were plenty chatty about their clothes, food, culture, methods of warfare, etc. I love the chatty re-enactors!

As Andrew amused Alia while listening to the Hoplite, swinging her around, the Greek soldier pointed out how much she enjoyed swinging from her arms like that, and used that to help explain the use of his spear and how it was held/carried and thrown and the physiology of that. Cool.

My kids had plenty to talk about with the guy on top of the hill. They talked about trebuchets and catapults. Oddly enough, the man who plays with ancient and medieval weaponry had never heard of the books "Art of Catapult" and "Backyard Ballistics."

Monday, August 30, 2010


The crib was a gift to Katie from my Aunt Mary, one of Katie's godmothers. Someone thinks it's not just for dollies.

Psalm 131

Have you noticed how Psalm 131 is a reflection of Psalm 130 (one of the seven penitential psalms)?

"O Israel, hope in the Lord."

One psalm says "my soul waits for the Lord" and the other talks about my soul being calmed like a weaned child with his mother.

One starts with "Out of the depths..." and the other with "My heart is not haughty..."

They shed light on each other.

(The psalms are in the order they are for a good reason; God wanted them that way; they are not just a hodge-podge of poems/hymns.)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Delicious Tomato Salad

1 quart of fresh chopped garden-tomatoes
3 Tbsp of minced fresh basil
2 tsp of balsamic vinegar
garlic powder or minced fresh garlic
onion powder or minced fresh onion

Toss it together and let it sit for a few hours or overnight for flavors to blend. Mmmmm.

Dressing for Dinner

Gary and I went out to dinner today. It's a nice restaurant, great atmosphere, the kind of place kids flock to for homecoming and prom. I went in a Sunday-go-to-meetin' dress. When some friends went there with us for a birthday celebration, they all looked nice.

We noticed this evening that almost nobody was dressed up. Most of the people were in jeans and t-shirts, or cargo shorts, or other types of play clothes.

Is the lack of dress-up due to people eating out SO often? I mean, if going to a restaurant is a regular part of your day (just like teeth-brushing or exercising or whatever) maybe you go out to eat in Whatever You Happen To Be Wearing ... just as we at our house come to the supper table or snarf down our lunch sandwich in Whatever We Happen To Be Wearing.

And then I remembered reading in a recent volume of Betsy-Tacy how they would "dress for dinner" on vacation. They always went to a resort for summer, swam in the afternoon, and then dressed up for supper in the resort's family-style dining room. So here I am tsk-tsking people for not dressing up when they go to a relatively fancy restaurant; maybe older people tsk-tsk me for not dressing up for dinner in my own house.