Saturday, September 30, 2006

Through the eyes of a child

On this lovely, crisp autumn day, we took a leisurely drive through the North Country. We found ourselves at the home of The Divine Ms. M. Alas, Ms. M was not in residence, but some of her friends were.

Bold as brass, aren't they? At least they weren't dining on the lovely flowers which grace Ms. M's front porch.

My son took note of a walking stick on the porch. He doesn't miss a thing, this child!

Admit it, gentle reader. You had to strain to find the walking stick, didn't you? I wouldn't have seen it on the steps. In fact, I think this is the first time I've ever seen a walking stick outside of the zoo. I have probably been in close proximity to dozens of them. I just never bothered to look.

Friday, September 29, 2006

His Majesty

Rosamund Gifford Zoo, Syracuse, NY

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sugar is not our friend!

A Norwegian study shows a direct linear relationship between the amount of soda teens consumed and symptoms of hyperactivity.

Shocking, isn't it?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


but still beautiful.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Yet another reason that we are glad to be homeschoolers!

In the online edition of my hometown paper, the letter of the day comes from my elementary school French teacher, Monsieur Guay. M. Guay decries the school fundraisers which are heavily reliant on the sale of junk food. He says, "Perhaps the only frustrating aspect of my many years of teaching young children was watching our schools participate enthusiastically in the process of poisoning our children with junk food." He goes on to lament: "The schools will tell you they need to do this to raise funds for special activities for which they have no money. With that argument, I’m wondering why we don’t have our children going door-to-door selling cigarettes." I think this is a valid point!

This is our first year of homeschooling. I won't miss the constant stream of fundraisers, and the pressure placed on the kids to sell overpriced, unnecessary crap. I won't miss seeing that my son barely touched his carefully packed lunch in the overwhelmingly noisy and crowded cafeteria, thus leaving him hungry and unable to focus throughout the afternoon. I won't miss the pressure from the PTO Alpha Moms to collect those damned General Mills Boxtops for education from processed, packaged foods that we don't eat. And I certainly won't miss the mixed messages sent out by the powers that be, such as rewarding children who participated in the American Heart Walk with premium ice cream.

Monday, September 11, 2006



Today I learned that a sprained ankle hurts like a sumbitch!

I wish I had an exciting story to go along with the injury. Alas, it occurred when I set my foot down the wrong way at the bottom of the basement stairs. I really thought I had broken a few metatarsals again, but the x-ray showed only minor soft tissue damage.

Today, I also learned that for the past 20 years, I have been incorrect in the assessment of my height. I had always believed that I was 4'11", which is what I told the nurse who was setting up my pediatric crutches. When he gave them to me, he said, "you aren't 4'11! Let's try 5'0"!!!!" And behold, the crutches set for a person who is five feet tall fit me perfectly.

This changes my entire world view. Evidently, I have surpassed that crucial five foot mark. Maybe it's the yoga, or maybe it was the crocs I was wearing. At any rate, I am revelling in this new component of my self-identity. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 07, 2006



Calcium Nature Trail, 7 September 2006 Posted by Picasa

Monarch on Loosestrife


Calcium Nature Trail, 7 September 2006 Posted by Picasa

Baby snapping turtle


Calcium Nature Trail, 7 September 2006 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Good to know!

My son has a rather intense interest in dinosaurs. By the age of three, he could identify almost any well-known dinosaur. He wouldn't tell you his name, but he'd tell you that the toy in your hand was a brachiosaurus. His interest has never really waned. His extensive dinosaur collection is sorted into therapods versus saurapods, and his reading material of choice is a dinosaur encyclopedia. He has promised to take us on a fossil dig in Mongolia when he grows up.

Fortunately, paleontology is still a rather young field of study. It is estimated that over seventy percent of dinosaur groupings have yet to be discovered. Dr. Peter Dodson of the University of Pennsylvania says that "It's a safe bet that a child born today could expect a very fruitful career in dinosaur paleontology."

Guess I'd better get a passport.

Monday, September 04, 2006

RIP, Mate

I learned of Steve Irwin's death on the 4 AM news. (The radio in the bedroom usually stays on all night.) I had to get up and check several news sites for myself before I could believe that the Crocodile Hunter was gone.

We've been TV-free for 2 years now, so the Croc Hunter was no longer a part of our daily lives, but I credit Steve Irwin with curing my visceral fear of reptiles. What a sad day for Australia and for the world.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Harry Potter: The "King of Darkness" ????

Well, so sayeth the Pope's chief exorcist, Rev. Gabriele Amorth.

Oh really, Father?

Has Harry Potter diddled any altar boys? Did Dumbledore ever close his eyes to the outrageous abuse of children?

No, I didn't think so.

Why don't you focus on the true evil in the real world, and leave a fine work of fiction alone?