Harvest Moon in Boston

By Spacemom

the sky is a deep cobalt blue

lunar light illuminates the scattered clouds

geese honk, flying in formation

leaves crackle, dry skins breaking under my feet

air nips my ears, frost is due

no pumpkin pie or scarecrow

Can ever summon the ghosts of Autumns past

like the sounds and sights of a

clear

cold

night
 

BINGO!

When I was growing up, we were very close to my maternal grandparents. My paternal grandmother died when I was 12 from her fourth stroke. Grandpa remarried within a year, setting up a very strange dynamic on that side of the family. My maternal grandparents were different.

Grandpa R was the scientist. He was a fun guy who had grown up a very strange life. His mother left him in the hospital after giving him the surname of the only man who truly respected her and was most certainly not his father.  Grandpa taught me to love the stars. We would go camping and I would watch the satellites with him. We would watch the steady glow of the solar reflections as they moved across the starry sky. He explained why the light would fade and brighten as the high level cirrus would get in the way. He taught me how to fish and how to look for crayfish. We searched for trilobites together and he taught me how to classify and catalog his fossils. He showed me stamps and introduced me to stamp collecting, a hobby that I never really enjoyed. He also taught me the greatest thing he could, free thought.

Grandpa went to church for Grandma’s sake. They were very active in church, but when it came down to beliefs, Grandpa told me that he didn’t believe the Bible was the word of God. It was the word of man. It was important for man to believe in something. He believed in science and what he could see and feel.  He taught me to look around me and feel the universe and to explore it.

Grandma loved going to church. I think she really believed. Which is fine. She never forced Grandpa to believe.

When I was in high school and college, I worked the summers at the Buffalo Museum of Science. I would head into Buffalo and then go to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Cheektowaga after my work. My second job started at 8pm so I had the afternoons to myself. I would settle down with a can of Chef Boy-r-dee Ravioli and some wafer cookies that Grandma bought for me. I would be there from 2-5pm every day I worked at the museum and we would just talk and visit. Sometimes, Grandpa and I would go for walks, but mostly we just talked.

Occasionally, I would go to their evening activity, Bingo, with them. Grandma and Grandpa had Bingo down to an art. They would arrive an hour early to get the parking spot next to the door and park nose out. Then they would get the table closest to the door. Grandma sewed bags that had all of their Bingo stuff including books and magazines to read while they waited for Bingo to start. They had a different church for every night of the week.

Grandma died in 1999, after an attack of Alzheimer’s. Grandpa followed the next year, when we discovered his body was racked with cancer. I was in Cambridge, MA the day he died. We had a sudden shower that afternoon. Then I looked out my office window and saw one of the brightest rainbows I had seen in a long time. I checked the clock, it was 5:05pm. Jay and I went for a walk and I told him about the rainbow. And I said that I think Grandpa is gone. Within a minute of me saying this, Jay’s cell phone rang. It was my dad. Grandpa had died peacefully at 5:05, right after my parents left for dinner that night.

I still miss them both. But I know they are here. In 2001, October, I was working in my office 4 days post IUI. I suddenly felt someone staring at me. There was a shadow in the room. Then I smelled Grandpa’s smell. I knew then that this cycle had worked. I smiled at the shadow and said "Thank you" and the smell and the shadow both faded. We got a positive beta the next week.

Great news and tagged

First, Stop over at WhyMommy’s! She got clean margins on her breast cancer! But, (of course there is a but), they found cancer in the other breast as well. Keep her in your thoughts that they caught that nice and early so that she is now cancer free!


 
Second, I’ve been tagged by Penelope Anne of the Cafe at the End of the Universe!! Eek!

 First, the rules, which are important, because they also tag — randomly — six more people to join in the fun:

1. Link to the person that tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

 Hmmm

Random quirks about me:

  1. I dispise spiders. Hate hate hate them! Really!
  2. I like to eat Honey Comb cereal with kool-aid instead of milk (I know!)
  3. A dorito and peanut butter sandwich is supreme
  4. I love the feeling of snot freezing in my nose when it is really cold out
  5. I watch TV shows on ghosts and UFOs and then scare myself silly with shadows
  6. Sunday afternoons in the late winter are depressing because there are no good sports on.

 

I suck at tagging, so if you wish to do this meme, go ahead and leave me a comment so I can hunt you down! BRAHAHAHAHAHA

 

* BTW- I may be AWOL this week. We have a NSR to prepare for (NASA Senior Review) and we are all really busy 

Jose? Where are you, Jose?

After gymnastics, (a class for each girl), lunch and then ice skating, we returned home for hot cocoa and play. The girls ran off to play. One with a crown, one with a tiara. 

MOM! I want to be a Queen and Luna’s not letting me!

MOMMY! I want you to be the Queen! WAAAAA!

Mom! I want to be the Queen…. I don’t want you to be a Queen

Soleil, I don’t want to be a Queen, go ahead and be the Queen

Luna starts crying "I AM THE PRINCE AND I NEED TO MARRY A PRINCESS NOT  A QUEEN!"

"But sweetie, a prince and a Queen CAN marry. It’s just that he stays a prince and never becomes King"

"really? Ok!"

 

And off they go. Meanwhile, I’m hunting down the tequlia! 

Sunday evening thoughts

Today we FINALLY had our Procrastinator’s Hannukah brunch. And only one family came. Crazy H and Kobyashi, of course. And then they decided to run off to Lumber Liquidators. Leaving us with 4 kids for about an hour. thanks! Here’s some random thoughts for the day

  •  Our diagonal neighbors are moving. It’s tough because he just developed cancer and she is such a fun and friendly person. They are moving north to be closer to their daughter. 4 miles instead of 20. The flip side is that we might get another young family in here.
  • Our next door neighbor still hasn’t sold her house. The one that she over priced BEFORE the market started to burst. Damn, can’t wait until she leaves.
  • The new hibiscus we bought still has spider mites. I keep spraying it and spraying it and those damn mites keep coming back! AUGH!
  • I ate way too much today, yet I am still hungry
  • I joined twitter. I feel more like a twit rather than a tweet.
  • I’m on duty for this week. Not so bad except I keep forgetting where I put my phone charger.
  • My boss wants us to rewrite our webpages so that he can view them easier on his blackberry. While I know HOW to do this, it isn’t trivial. And I’m swamped with other things first.
  • I got a stuffed animal Scarlet Macaw from the diagonal neighbors. It’s watching Luna as she sleeps. She wanted to feed it a banana today

Blue Skies

The sun is out today and the sky is bright blue over the dome of the building. 

I am still feeling like I am sorting out my life, as if it were as easy as sorting out blocks into differently colored piles: Here’s my "home" pile, and my "children" pile and the "marriage" pile and the "work" pile and the "Me" pile and the "friends" pile. I wonder if this is a life long process, sorting out your priorities and activities.

Last week, the parents of our girl scout troop got together and planned the second half of the year. I am doing far less meetings than the first half (ie, I did almost all of the first half). The next meeting is Sunday and somehow, I feel left out. Funny, isn’t it? I guess I really like working with the girls.

I’ve been working more on weights and strength training at the gym. More and more studies are showing that strength training is far more important to our bodies as we age than aerobic activity. I can see definition in my leg and arm muscles.

Jay and I need a night out. I wonder if I can arrange for that? We need some grownup time. Just the two of us. We haven’t had a grown up night in a while.

Work is always busy. And I am working on not stressing about that. Can I? Can I actually leave work at home?

Life is a work in progress, isn’t it? I wonder….

 


BTW- the reason why I will never eat sushi is because I am allergic to fish and shellfish!

10 top things:

I won’t do in this lifetime:

  1. Run a marathon
  2. downhill ski
  3. eat sushi
  4. eat a portabella mushroom
  5. live in Alabama (again..NO, don’t make me go back!)
  6. climb mount Everest
  7. learn Swahili
  8. wear $200 shoes
  9. be fashionable
  10. scuba dive

I want to do before I die:

  1. Climb mt Kilimanjaro
  2. live for a month on the Big Island
  3. Live in Italy
  4. para-sail
  5. be not afraid of spiders
  6. rock climb (I am terrified of heights)
  7. paint a picture that people like
  8. fall in love with Jay again and again
  9. write a novel
  10. watch my kids grow into adults

Let’s not panic people!

Jay forwarded me this article on children and puberty.

I have to say, I think the author is panicking. Yes, girls are starting to develop breasts earlier. Yes, puberty is setting in earlier, Yes, media starts to plague our kids with sexualized images from an early age. But seriously, when she states "Today, girls are ditching their dolls by the time they’re barely out of kindergarten."? Hello? I have a kindergartener. She still plays with Barbie, and the play house. Last night the girls were playing "Horsie family" together. 

Oooh and how about this one:

"Eight- and 9-year olds are learning to make change for a dollar. These
are children who are learning the most fundamental facts in school.
Imagine trying to teach that child the fundamentals of sex. They’re not
even playing Monopoly yet. They’re still playing Candyland," Diana
Zuckerman, president of the National Research Center for Women and
Families tells the Times.

Okay, call me silly, but most 8 and 9 year olds (we are talking 2nd to 3rd graders) are done with Candyland by the end of first grade. They can READ now and are working on games that involve reading. And guess what? My kids are playing monopoly junior. They like it. It’s a counting game to them.

And could SOMEBODY please explain to me why there is a belief that kids can’t understand sex? Hello? The fundamentals? Easy: You need half of a baby from the mother, half from the father. The woman has a vagina that leads to her uterus. The man has a penis. The woman will make an egg that has half of the baby stuff once a month, the man puts his penis in the woman’s vagina and lets his sperm, they look like tiny tiny  tadpoles, go. The sperm try to get to the egg. If they do, and they get together, the egg and sperm will make a home in the uterus to grow a baby.

At this age, kids will still go ICK over the thought of the mechanics. They aren’t emotionally ready to have sex. They can LEARN about it. They aren’t stupid. We’ve gotten about half way through the above conversation. So far, they haven’t asked how the sperm gets in to meet the egg, and I will give that info when they ask. No biggie.

Not only are they physically getting older younger, girls are inundated
by more sexualized images than ever before thanks to a celebrity
culture that glorifies skanky-ness. As if all of those hormones and new
curves weren’t confusing enough. Today’s girls barely have time to
comprehend or accept the fact they’re maturing before they are told
that in order to be popular, they have to dress like full-grown women
— and suggestively at that. Call it the Britney, Lindsey, Paris
effect. As a mother, I’m worried. And my daughter is still in diapers!

Okay- honey, time to chill. You claim to have grown up in 1980s. Well, so did I. Remember Madonna? You aren’t going to call THAT skanky? Don’t you remember the mini skirt with the lace leggings that EVERYONE had to have? How popular were you? If I recall my middle school and high school days, I wasn’t on the popular side. I wore what I was comfortable with. I didn’t want to dress silly because I was told to. I wasn’t that stupid and neither will your daughter be that stupid. We, as parents, have incredible influence over our children’s decisions.  Keep lines of communication open. Don’t alienate your child. Teach what moral values you find are important.

The good news is that armed with this new information, we can do
something about it. We can do our best to instill self-esteem from the
moment our daughters are born by emphasizing their minds, their hearts
and being strong and healthy rather than focusing on physical beauty
(or what society deems beautiful). We can take control of what they
watch on television and their time on the Internet. We can applaud
achievements that celebrate who they are, not what they are wearing.

Good, good, there is much more we can do as parents, bu this is a good start. You don’t need to know that the world pushes silly ideas on our children to feel you have to do something about it. 

Seriously, people need to chill over studies like this and not forget that parents are still number one when helping our children make decisions.


Oh and for those who continue to claim that the bGH is causing this issue of early puberty, Check the research. The banning of this hormone is mostly due to ANIMAL safety, not human safety. There are some concerns of IGF-1 in humans, but the webpages that summarize the research overstate the issues.

 

What? doesn’t everybody make cake?

This was one crazy weekend. Given that Monday was MLKJr. Day, we had the whole family for the day! For reasons unknown to humanity, our school district gave off  half of Thursday and all of Friday. Oy!

Saturday, the girls went skating while Mommy installed Daddy’s new Elfa closet. (yeah, I’m the detail person in our house). Jay destructed his closet in the morning and I installed it in the afternoon. Then, we had dinner with R, Soleil’s best friend. We left Soleil with R’s parents and went home. Ah, nice and quiet after 9:30. It was almost like not having kids! Imagine what all of the people whose children actually go to sleep can do at nights!

Sunday, back to R’s house after letting Jay sleep in. He was sick, so I did an ichat with my parents, helped Luna paint a box, read the paper…

Sunday afternoon, FOOTBALL! Lots and lots of football. Bummer to the pack fans. I was really pulling for them, but I do respect Eli Manning, so I am happy he is going to the game.

Monday, I let Jay sleep in again and watched cartoons with the girls. The ice rink had an open skate at 11:50, so we went to that. The girls can now skate on their own and go go go! Soleil met a friend from Girl Scouts and they skated together. She even skated backwards so she could talk to her friend! Wow!

Then McDonalds as a treat, a trip out to replace a piece of Jay’s closet that was broken, drop a cable off at a friends…. whew. All Monday I was fighting a migraine. It went from "hey there, can I poke at your temples" to "let’s try to suck your brain out of a 1mm hole in the back of your head" around 4. I went to bed and wanted to die while the girls went swimming. UGH.

But I still had to make a cake. Because it was Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. And you make cakes for people’s birthdays. So we made a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. As I was putting it together (I made two rounds), Soleil asked why I had 2 cakes. I said "Layers….like onions have layers.*" And Soleil immediately replies "Like Shrek has layers too!"

Ah yes, Like Shrek!

Happy Birthday Martin Luther King Jr. Please know that we had a cake for the man who marched so brown people can drink from the same water fountains as the white people. (As described by Soleil)

 


            * Shrek: For your information, there’s a lot more to ogres than people think.

            Donkey: Example?

Shrek: Example? Okay, er… ogres… are… like onions.
Donkey: [sniffs onion] They stink?
Shrek: Yes…NO!
Donkey: Or they make you cry.
Shrek: No!
Donkey: Oh, you leave them out in the sun and they turn brown and start sproutin’ little white hairs.
Shrek: NO! LAYERS! Onions have layers. OGRES have layers. Onions have layers… you get it. We both have layers.
Donkey: Oh, you both have layers. [pause] You know, not everybody likes onions. [pause] CAKES! Everybody loves cakes! Cakes have layers!
Shrek: [restraining temper] I don’t care… what everyone likes. Ogres. Are not. Like cakes!
Donkey: You know what else everybody likes? Parfaits. Have
you ever met a person, you say, "Let’s get some parfait," they say,
"Hell no, I don’t like no parfait"? Parfaits are delicious.
Shrek: NOOO!!! YOU DENSE, IRRITATING, MINIATURE BEAST OF BURDEN! OGRES ARE LIKE ONIONS! END OF STORY! BYE BYE! [whispers] See you later!
[pause]
Donkey: Parfaits may probably be the most delicious thing on the whole damn planet!
Shrek: You know… I think I preferred you humming…