Thursday, March 31, 2011

Round Two

The Lone Star Girl traveled to Alice on Tuesday to compete in the second round of the One-Act Play competition.  This time, Lone Star Pa went to watch.  She won an honorable mention All-Star Cast medal again for her Ethel and her dad said that the judge said she almost stole the show.  She is disappointed because their play did not advance from this round, but we are so very proud of her.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

People's Inhumanity About Food Allergies

I have been so busy running around lately that I missed the story about the cruel adults in Orlando, Florida who have been protesting the inconvenience of having a six-year-old girl at their school with severe peanut allergies.

I found out about it at the allergist's office this evening, as we waited for my daughter's turn to get her allergy shot.  A boy who my daughter has gone to school with since first grade was waiting with his mother, who I have chatted with before at parties hosted by a mutual friend.   Seating was limited on the allergist's weekly late evening, so I was sitting near them with my youngest while my daughter with the allergies was sitting across the waiting area.  I told them that my daughter got shots for ant bites and the mom commented that she knew someone who had to carry an epi-pen for that.  I told her that my daughter carried one, but mostly for the food allergies, as the shots were working great at controlling her reactions to ant bites.   She then mentioned reading about this story.

And she said she really didn't know how she would come down on the issue.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Juggling Blues

We've had a lot going on lately - meetings and meetings at all of our four schools, extracurricular and Girl Scout activities, doctor appointments and allergy-related school conferences and field trips to schedule ... it is, as my baby brother would say, all good ... but it's a lot.  

I had been feeling very good at how I was handling all of it for a few foolish days this week.  I had a bunch of stuff safely scheduled, or so I thought until last night, when...

....Holy Multitasking, Super-Mom!  I realized that I had totally spaced on a half-day of school that the Lone Star Baby has Wednesday of next week. 

This becomes a problem because :

A.)  There is no after-care at her school on half-days

B.)  Lone Star Pa had already scheduled a day off this week to go on a field trip with her and 

C.)  I had already set up a day off Friday of next week to take the Lone Star Girl to get some follow-up blood work and to meet with about a zillion people at her school about her allergies and school travel - and re-scheduling a zillion people for two days earlier obviously wasn't going to fly.  Had I not spaced on the half-day, I could have scheduled everything for that day and it would have all worked out like I had thought things were working out when I was humming along, but no.  I dropped it.

My only real options here were to find someone to pick the Lone Star Baby up for me Wednesday or to have her skip school (not like I'm a teacher or anything) on Wednesday so I could drop her off at the babysitter's before going to work.  

Enter that frantic feeling. You know the one.  So much for my industrious humming along.  That sort of satisfied busy-ness is just not allowed, you know.

One of the Lone Star Baby's friends' mothers has agreed to pick her up for me, so it all seems good again.  

I got the message, though - if I ever feel like I am doing a good job, I have probably missed something.  Cue the saxophones and guitars.  Sing it with me, mamas...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Girltopia Take-Action Project

For their Girltopia Journey's Take-Action Project, girls from the Lone Star Girl's troop (and helpers from other troops) revived the Women's History Fair that some of them, including the Lone Star Girl,  had researched and put together and put on as their Silver Award Projects at the library on Saturday afternoon. They taught around thirty kids about women's suffrage, women in government, women in medicine, women in fashion, women in cooking and women in science, using stories and crafts.  It was great fun.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Ethel

The Lone Star Girl had the "final dress rehearsal" - which doubled as the parent performance - of the UIL One-Act Play she is cast in on Monday night.  It was wonderful.  I have had my doubts about her teacher's taste in plays - he favors New York comedies that seem to me, on paper, rather difficult for an adolescent cast to do justice. (The previous sentence does not seem to be properly written to me, but my husband, the English teacher, assures me that it is correct.  I am merely a writer, not an English teacher, but I still have some doubts.)  Their play is Moon Over Buffalo and the Lone Star Girl plays Ethel, the grouchy, old mother of the fifty-something female lead. 

It was wonderful.  They totally pulled it off.  Don't ask me how.  The Lone Star Girl is hilarious.

Tuesday was the first round of the competition.  The kiddos took a bus from school to the school where the contest was and spent the day rehearsing.  I had time to pick up the Lone Star Baby after work and get there to see the play.  It was really great.   Two of the other three plays with which they were competing were also great and only two advance, so it was no sure thing, but they did advance and the Lone Star Girl won an Honorable Mention All-Star Cast medal.  We're very proud of her.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Student Has Out-Shined The Master....

The comic book store was having a party yesterday for the release of some new Fantastic Four series and Lone Star Pa took the Lone Star Girl after school (they are not really FF people, but it was a comic book store party, and Comic Book Day besides).  There was a trivia contest and the Lone Star Girl beat her father.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring Break Adventure: Letterboxing

Every Spring Break needs a little adventure.  Ours are mainly very small adventures, but we like them.

In August, the Lone Star Girl's Girl Scout troop went to a geocaching and letter-boxing event at camp where they learned to do both.  It was fun and I had every intention of commencing the family letter-boxing adventures right away but we never quite managed to squeeze it in until now.  Wednesday was our letter-boxing day.  The whole family cut out simple stamps from sheets of foam rubber and made little letter-boxing logs out of index cards and yarn.  We packed them up with ink pads and clues to the whereabouts of all the Corpus Christi letter-boxes we could find mention of on the Web that were not out on the National Seashore (there is only so much one can do in one day) in an accordian file and headed out.

Our first stop was the Science and History Museum where we found the hidden micro after a little searching.  It had a beautiful stamp in it that we stamped into our logs - we realized right then that the stamps we made are pretty primitive, but we are mere beginners, after all.  We had a hard time squeezing a card with all of our stamps on it into the micro with its stamp and other notes but we did so and re-hid it with little attention from any wandering muggles.

There were supposed to be four letter-boxes hidden at the Hans Suter Wildlife Area.  We think we found the locations described for all four but could not find the boxes.  I am still glad we went, though, because we got to see lots of beautiful nature and get lots of exercise, even if it led to whiny, hot children who needed a snack break afterward.

We found two lovely letter-boxes at Poenisch Park and stamped their stamps in our logs and ours in theirs before re-hiding them.
There was supposed to be a letter-box in Ropes Park, and the clues were very good.  I am sure we found the bush where it was supposed to be hidden but we could not see it and the bush was oleander.  While the letter-box may have been hidden deeper than I could find by poking around without touching the oleander too much, it didn't really look to me like it was there and I wasn't willing to have any of us get more cozy with the poisonous plant, so we didn't find that one.

Letter-boxing was an interesting way to spend some family time outdoors.  We may have a Portland letter-boxing day sometime, as it looks like there are a lot of them there.  Maybe we will even make a letter-box someday!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Gardening Additions

I added okra and some eggplant to my vegetable bed and sweet basil to my herb pot yesterday.  I planted some more eggplant in pots next to the nasturtium and pumpkin pots and added another hanging strawberry pot to my hanging garden.  Lone Star Pa planted my century plant in the yard as well.  Lots of lovely growing things ... my own personal carbon offset program.

Currently Reading

I've been rich in reading materials lately, what with finishing up the Company books by Kage Baker and a wealth of decent YA books from the library and school book fairs.  I read and enjoyed the latest book by YA collaborators Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, Dash And Lily's Book of Dares, and then came upon a real gem.

I love, love, love Rita Williams-Garcia's books as a rule - they are so real and full of such worthwhile learning.  The latest one I read was a step above even her regular wonderfulness, though - it really touched my soul. One Crazy Summer is the story of three little girls sent one summer to get to know the mother who left them.  Their mother, as it turns out, who is none too happy to see them, is tangentially involved with the Black Panthers and sends them to a community program run by Black Panthers during the day.  The girls discover more than they ever knew they were seeking.  The book is a Newberry Honor Book, a National Book Award Finalist and a winner of the Coretta Scott King Award.  I keep thinking of other awards it should have won.  

Read it.


My wealth of books is winding down.  I have a few more short book fair acquisitions and then I am down to an unfortunate smattering of old Norman Spinrad novels from used book store jaunts long past - kind of the "emergency" books, unless I find something more engaging, until I decide it is Time to read the special book I have waiting.

Is it Time?  I'm not sure yet.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Daily Writing Action Steps: Edits

I finally sent off the edits on an essay I have that has been sort of preliminarily chosen for an anthology (the editors want it but they are still publisher-shopping).  Baby steps.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Outdoor Skills Spectacular At Camp Greenhill!

On Saturday, the Daisy troop went to Camp Greenhill for an Outdoor Skills Spectacular Day.  It was so fun! (Most of the great pictures had clearly identifiable other-people's-children in them so you, gentle readers, only get to see these, but try to imagine the cuteness of the other photos of our five little Daisy Girl Scouts!)

They had life jacket relay races and "Be Prepared" dress-up games.  They learned fire safety and made s'mores.  They made SWAPS and a hanging banner for storing their SWAPS.  They even went out on the lake in a rowboat with Lone Star Pa rowing!

And I got to go back in the staff cabin where the Lone Star Girl's Brownie troop stayed when I took them camping in second grade when I was seven and a half months pregnant with the Lone Star Baby! That made me all emotional.

They had a great time and so did I.

Blueberry and Radish/Strawberry "Paint" - A Daisy Girl Scout Art-In-Nature Activity

First Ladybug Release of The Year

Last weekend, we released our first batch of ladybugs into the new plants of springtime.  This was followed by facilitating ladybug releases at the Lone Star Baby's school and at our Daisy meeting this past Friday.  We love the ladybugs.  I especially do.