Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Kira's musical influences

I am listening to Kira's MP3 player right now. She has Brick by Ben Folds Five on here! Mitch must have put it on. If you don't know the song, it's a very sad song about a young couple that got accidentally pregnant. It's sung from the guy's perspective. The girl gets an abortion the day after Christmas and while she's having it done, the guy sells his Christmas presents for cash to pay for it. They don't tell anyone and they both get totally depressed and finally break down and tell her family. FUN SONG! Who knows what she thinks it's about though. She doesn't interpret songs like you'd think a person would.


We had a blizzard today. We got about 8 inches of heavy wet snow. The only good thing about it is that the kids made these crazy little snowmen. Sam always makes his snowmen slim and trim. For some reason a fat round snowman doesn't appeal to him. Before it got it's hat and eyes and stick-arms it looked like a snow hotdog.

Are you surprised about how small they are? These are half-assed snow men. Snow projects get lame the further into spring you get.

Kira's was originally a traditional three-baller, but she lost interest while making the head and it was only about the size of an orange and the hat completely covered it, so she just punched it off and put the face on the chest.

Mitch is refusing to snow-blow the driveway so, for a few days, we are going to have to go about 30 mph in reverse to get over the hump at the end that the plow made. Hopefully it will get warm enough to melt SOON.

Monday, March 30, 2009

1001 (well, 15) Horrible Facts

I taught in a second grade classroom today and the teacher had a book on her desk called 1001 Horrible Facts. I love it! Lots of little nuggets of wisdom in there. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. A pregnant scorpion sometimes reabsorbs its babies instead of giving birth.

2. An octopus tentacle will keep wriggling for some time after being cut off.
but I still wonder how long "some time" is. Three seconds?(so what) Two hours? (THAT I would like to see.)

3. Land leeches in Asia can drop from trees onto people and suck out so much blood, the person DIES. Weren't those the leeches in Rambo 3 (or was it 4)? He was covered with them. Just some more evidence to show how incredibly tough John Rambo really is. Sly Stallone, you rock.

Hey, that's not Rambo!

4. A full grown python can swallow a pig whole. when I read that to Mitch he said, "A pig hole? I saw that on Fear Factor once."
I thought stuffing 33 cheeseballs in my mouth was impressive (and chokey. Don't take on this challenge when you're alone. Have someone with Heimlich Maneuver practice as your witness. Just take my word for it.)

5. A ribbon worm can eat 95% of its own body and still survive.

6. Turkey vultures poop on their legs to keep themselves cool. What a charming bird!

7. The female praying mantis begins to eat the male during mating. He keeps going, but she eventually eats all of him.

8. The Japanese beetle, found in Canada and the U.S., can eat through a human ear drum.

9. A flea can jump 30,000 times in a row. Come on, who counted that.

10. Occasionally, human babies are born with a full set of teeth. That is a horrible fact. One of the creepiest thing about children is that they lose their teeth, and the whole tooth fairy thing is crazy if you think about it. What is she doing with all those teeth? Her house must look like the ultimate serial-killer-treasure-hoard. Millions and millions of children's teeth. Beat that Jeffrey Dahmer!

11. Head lice can change color to match the hair they are hiding in.

12. You will produce 8700 gallons of urine in your lifetime.
I'm way ahead of schedule on that one.

13. A rat can fall from a 5 story building and walk away unharmed. How did they find that out? Did the rat finally break his leg and require crutches when they dropped him from the sixth floor? I wonder.

14. Early colonists in America used to clean their windows with rags dipped in urine. Mitch just got me some Sham WOW! s. I have an idea....

15. If you are ever trapped in an avalanche and can't tell which way is up, pee and see which way the stain goes. Gravity will pull it down. Handy little tip. Mitch thinks it would be easier and less disgusting just to see which way the spit in your mouth goes.

I recommend this book. I gave the kids a lot of "free reading" time so I could have some peace and quiet in order to read it. I sub in there next week too. I can't wait!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Super-duper careful guy

The kids and I are reading The House of Scorpion together. It's set in the future and there are clones and a social system that is sort of communism-gone-awry. There is this one part where these kids have to raise a flag every morning and recite something like the pledge, and Kira said, "Hey, that reminds me of the Pledge of Allegiance." and Sam said, "Yeah, I used to raise the flag when I was in fifth grade but I got my pinky caught in the pulley three days in a row so from then on kids couldn't raise the flag."

For some reason I thought that was so funny. He reported it as an accident and told the teachers it was probably dangerous.

Also tonite we were watching Nature on PBS and there were some people trying to destroy a yellow-jacket nest (hive?) and they were all wearing the protective gear and made a big deal out of duct taping their sleeves shut so the bees wouldn't get in and sting them. I asked Sam if he would dare face the swarm of wasps if he had all the protective gear. He said, "I'd do it if it was only one wasp." The mental picture of Sam in sting-proof coveralls and a net taped down over his head doing battle with a single wasp made me laugh.

Which reminded me of the time when he had to have surgery on his leg when he was five years old. I was taking him home from the hospital and he was sitting in the back seat and I was driving in Minneapolis traffic. He said in a sweet little voice, "Oh, look! A bee!" I looked in the rear view mirror and saw a gigantic wasp with hangy legs circling my sick little baby's head while he watched it in wonder. It stung him twice before I could stop. On the face. I felt like a terrible mother THAT day.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


This may be the last thing I write before being overcome by the smoke that is filling the house. I could go outside to save my lungs and possibly my life, but I'd rather not. It's snowing out.

The reason smoke is filling the house is because Mitch is preheating the oven because he's going to make some bread. We have lived in this house for nine years and I am ashamed to say I've never cleaned the oven. (Actually, I'm not all that ashamed.) I was sure when we moved in that the 1972 Tappan oven was on its last leg. Why bother cleaning something that's going to break down soon anyway? The blackened layer of pizza cheese is probably the only thing keeping the old girl going at this point.

My method of neglect (abuse) worked on the old dishwasher that sounded like a semi truck. You know those commercials where people put a whole cake in the dishwasher to show off how good it cleans? I did stuff like that. It really works. The funny thing is, I don't think the dishwasher broke because of anything I did. I think it was just its time to go. Now I have a new one and I take good care of it. (No Mitch, I don't pre-rinse! It's a DISH WASHER.)

We had an old stove top (not connected to the oven) when we moved in too. We recently replaced that with a glass top and I feel like a millionaire now! FIVE burners! Cleanup is a snap! I was down to one on the old stove so it was sort of like camping or living in a dorm room and only having a hot plate.

I have to stop, drop and roll now, into the basement. My eyeballs are burning.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Kira the entertainer

Future entertainer

Kira is going to be an entertainer. I think she thinks she will be a world famous singer on par with Barbra Streisand, but according to Sam's reaction to her singing, she will be a comedian.

She was in the shower last night belting out a song she made up. It was a sad ballad, with lots of quavery vibrato where she was begging someone not to go somewhere. It was LOUD. Sam came out of his room into the living room and he could hardly breathe he was laughing so hard. It was funny to begin with, but then when Sam came and showed Mitch and I how much he was enjoying it, we started laughing too, at Sam, because he was laughing so hard.

Kira's biggest fan?

Then the water shut off, and the singing quieted, but didn't stop. Still quavery, still sad. We thought the show was winding down so Sam was heading back to his room to finish his homework when we heard an incredibly loud, rumbling, bubbling vibration. Kira had sat down in the draining water in the tub and, while continuing to sing her sad ballad, she ripped a fart that could win a farting contest with a 300 pound professional chili eater. Sam came stumbling back into the living room in a new fit of laughter that was threatening to suffocate him. He literally fell on the floor and was rolling with laughter. He managed to choke out the words, "why? why?"
It was hilarious.

He composed himself by the time she dried off and emerged, because he knows that if she knew he was laughing AT her like that, she would make him pay. And we didn't want her to know we heard her because we're hoping she'll do it again tonite.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Finished Projects!

Today's post is (mostly) dedicated to projects that I have written about that are now finished! First of all, my blanket. It's done and I really like it. I gave it to Mitch. Happy Birthday!

Next is Kira's bust of Bill Clinton. Here's the finished product. Creepy huh? I think it looks like George Washington. (when he's surprised... and has jaundice)

Almost as creepy as her nutcracker project.

Next, and the best one of all, is the new bathroom vanity that Mitch made. I love it!

In other news, we had a spring ice storm today. There is nothing more unpleasant than waking up before dawn on a Monday to driving rain and 30 degree temperatures! I love Minnesota!

I fell down walking into a school and I am going to get an enormous bruise on my arm. The funny thing is that it didn't hurt at all when I fell. About a half an hour later I rubbed my arm and felt a hard lump and immediately thought, OH GREAT, BONE CANCER. But then I remembered that I fell and that it was probably just a developing bruise. (I'll keep you posted either way. )

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Happy Spring!

Today on Prairie Home Companion Garrison Keilor said that March in Minnesota was invented to show people who don't drink what a hangover is like. I really really like that analogy. I went out to run errands today and didn't wear my knee length, fur-lined parka and opted instead for a light fleece jacket because IT'S SPRING, after all. It was so cold and windy in the grocery store parking lot that I literally choked on the wind. I couldn't get a breath.

My friend from Sweden posted pictures on her facebook page of wildflowers that are popping up in her yard. Now. In Sweden. WAY further north than Minnesota.

There are no flowers in Minnesota right now. Even if there was a hearty little flower that thought it should sprout in March, it would have a tough time busting through the two feet of snow that we still have and then surviving the 50 mile an hour wind. Poor little flower.

So I've been feeling sorry for myself and stayed in most of the day and continued to crochet my blanket (which is almost ten feet long at this point. I may have to do a little unraveling) and watched Twilight. Again.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Things are happening around here!

When we came home from school today we discovered that one of Sam's crayfish, Home Fries is his name, shed his shell! So cool and kind of gross. He's almost transparent now and we haven't touched him, but I bet he's kind of soft. He's very jumpy so he probably feels a little vulnerable, especially with the other gigantic crayfish, Cheesecurds, in the tank with him. They don't seem close. Here's a picture of the shed skin:

He even shed the part that goes over his antennae. Cool. I wish we could have watched. Here is what he looks like now:

Ghost fish! Woooooo!

This is the other crayfish, the big one, Cheesecurds. He's eating some ham. They've lived in that tiny tank eating only ham for over 6 months. Tough little buggers!

Another thing that's happening around here is that I'm crocheting a blanket. I'm kind of obsessed with it. Here it is so far:

I'm trying out a new stitch that I just learned.

Also I got my grade on the rough draft of "Kira's" Bill Clinton biography and her teacher has given me a lot of criticism. I have some changes to make. Good thing I majored in English! I think a college degree helps to pass this (third grade) class.

In other news, Kira "aced" her spelling test last week. She actually got four wrong but she thinks "acing" means "passing." Now she's telling me I owe her an ice cream cone for everything she aces.

I'm also recovering from blasting my hammies. I can straighten my left leg now, but righty is still pretty stiff.

I also learned how to link.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm feeling kind of blahhhh.....

I'm feeling like that because I'm tired. Why am I tired? Because I'm in chronic pain, and those of you who have ever had the misfortune of being in chronic pain know that it is exhausting.

No, I don't have the kind of pain that someone with a real disease has. I don't deserve any sympathy. I thought I was in better shape than I actually am, and I overdid it working out on Saturday. I know, poor me, but I REALLY overdid it. I've done that particular workout before, but never all in one day, and never the way that the people on the video do it. I usually like to half-ass it, but on Saturday my whole ass was into it and I was feeling pretty good. I was so proud of myself that I was envisioning teaching my own aerobics class, maybe starting my own gym.

This is what I felt like on Saturday. Notice the crazed, not-seeing-things-realistically look on her face.
I had that.

Now the back of my legs are crippled and stiffen up when I sit so I can't really straighten my legs out when I stand or else the muscles start to spasm. I had to sub in a kindergarten class today and I did most of my teaching from a chair, but I had to get up a few times and take them places and when I did, I was walking through the halls like I was wearing super high heels for the first time in my life. You know that walk, bent knees the whole time, and super slow. It's a good thing I didn't have to chase anyone today because I couldn't have done it.

This is what I feel like today.

So that's why I'm feeling blah. I think I'm going to just sit on the couch and feel sorry for myself.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Sam told me that when he was younger he thought "Japan" was a month. As in January, February, March, Japan, ....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Muscle man

This picture reminded me of a story about Sam. When he was in 2nd grade (about the time this picture was taken) he told me that his thighs were always bruised because the desks in his classroom were so close together that his big leg muscles wouldn't fit in the aisles when he had to walk around the room.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mitch's arcane knowledge and also his lies

(I can't post a picture of Mitch or he'll get mad, so I'll post a likeness instead.)

I was talking to Mitch today about something my sister wrote on her blog, and he told me that Englebert Humperdink's real name is not, in fact, Englebert Humperdink. He said he saw Englebert on the Dinah Shore show once and he told Dinah that he took the name on a bet. I don't think that is true. I looked it up, and his given name was Arnold Dorsey and he did change it to Englebert Humperdink, (why why why???) but I don't know if it was on a bet, and I don't know if I believe he ever talked about it on the Dinah Shore show. For one thing, weren't we (Mitch and me) about 6 years old when Dinah Shore was on? How would Mitch remember that? Why would I be so suspicious of my loving husband, you ask? Here's why:

One time I was thinking about getting a new pet. I was looking at maybe raising some rabbits, but I wanted something more tame and domestic, so he suggested cabbits. They are hybrids of cats and rabbits. He was so convincing that I believed it, got excited about it, and started researching them online. Who could make that stuff up? He's a biologist, he should know if there are cabbits. Now it seems ridiculous, but he's very convincing. When I looked it up I found stuff like this:

I was still thinking (hoping!) cabbits were real, and I saw this picture and my first thought was, "Oh gross, they smoke." And then a second later: "Hey! This is just photoshopped!" I was still hoping cabbits were real and some jerk was just trying to be funny so I looked somewhere else and found this:

I was getting tired of people wasting my time with these pictures. Is it too much to ask to learn some genuine knowledge about cabbits? This is obviously a squirrel. So I looked again and found this:
I thought, "Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god! Yes! This is EXACTLY what I want!" WHERE DO I GET ONE!

My research ultimately ended up with me learning that there is no such thing as cabbits. It is a myth and only the really stupid people believe it. Darn! No cabbit, AND I'm stupid!

He also told me that the Neil Diamond song "Turn on Your Heartlight" was written as an homage to E.T. the extra terrestrial. I laughed and laughed. I wasn't going to fall for that one! Turns out it really is.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Kira got whacked

Today Kira's class was playing floor hockey in gym and she got whacked with a little plastic puck hard enough to make a gash in her eyebrow. A little one, but still. It was right at the end of the day so they called me down to the nurses office to look at her and I was envisioning having to go downtown to get stitches, but it was just a tiny thing, however it bled like crazy. She asked if she would have a scar and I said that even if she does, it will be hidden in her (giant, slavic) eyebrow so nobody will ever see it. She was disappointed. She likes the look of a few scars. I think it sends a message she likes conveyed to others. Then she got all excited and said, "Mom! Think of the scab we get to pick in a few days!" (We both love picking. I'm touched that she's going to share it with me!)

The gym teacher said she didn't even cry and that she is the toughest girl he's ever had in any gym class. She's a little swollen, but she's outside right now jumping on the trampoline so she must be feeling okay. I hope she doesn't have a concussion. I can't imagine trampoline jumping is the best for that.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Australia, the movie

I rented the movie Australia, and although it was a tad corny in places (Mitch made gagging noises throughout) I LOVED it! The kid in the movie, Brandon Walters, is the most beautiful child on the planet. (No offense, Sam and Kira) Also, Hugh Jackman is gorgeous.

Mitch thinks he's gay. I don't know why, he's probably jealous. They guy has been married for a long time (to the same woman) and has kids, so Mitch's gay theory is pretty much shot out the window. Oh, wait a minute...

Gold pants, leopard print shirt.... No self respecting gay man with any kind of style would be caught dead wearing that. He was playing Peter Allen, who WAS gay, so just shut up, Mitch.


In this picture: Mrs. Puff, Mrs. Puff, Stu

Mitch has promised to build me a chicken coop this spring. I can't wait! A few years ago on the fourth of July we were sitting in the living room, having some fourth of July cake and we heard some clucking. We thought it was on the radio but it wasn't. A chicken wandered into our yard and was chased into some long grass by the dog. We didn't know what it was so I started walking in to see and Mitch yelled out, "Wait! Wait! You don't know what's in there! I'll go get a paddle from the garage!" As I was wondering why a canoe paddle would be prudent in this situation, I walked up, saw it was a chicken and picked it up and brought it in the house. Mitch thought it was a bear. Yeah, a clucking, miniature bear, scary.

The poor thing was in shock and she just sat quietly for a long time with her eyes shut. The kids named her Mrs. Puff. A few days after that another chicken found it's way to our house. This one was white and turned out to be a rooster and Mitch named him Stuart. About a week later another chicken joined the flock. She looked just like Mrs. Puff, so she was also named Mrs. Puff. We didn't know where they came from, but they hung out at our house so we just let them. We fed them, and Mitch built a nesting box where the two Mrs. Puffs would lay one egg every day.

They would roost in a birch tree in the back yard at night and at the crack of dawn Stu would fly down, walk up to the screen door and crow his head off. It was obnoxious, but I kind of miss it.

They hung around all summer and we got very attached to them. Well, not so much to the rooster. He was mean. He had bone spurs on his legs and when he'd attack the other chickens, or the dog, or the kids, he would drive his spurs in and peck furiously. He was very strong. By contrast, the Mrs. Puffs were pretty sweet, and incredibly nosy.

Mrs. Puff outside on the bench, looking in the window. Like I said, nosy.

At the end of September a lady came to my house to tell me that they were her chickens and she wanted them back. She lived down the road in the meth-lab trailer, or to be fair I should say "alleged" meth-lab trailer. I told her that they'd been hanging around all summer and I wasn't going to try to catch them to give them to her. She got all snotty and told me she was going to come back later with her boyfriend. I didn't care. One of the advantages of being married to Mitch is that he is my muscle. He can "cash the checks" my big mouth writes. Or so I thought. That was the day he decided to work late and not tell me so I had to have a ridiculous argument with these meth-head chicken neglecters in my driveway in front of my kids. Embarrassing. They threatened to call the police and report the chickens stolen, or abducted, or whatever it is one does to a chicken. Rustled is the word Mitch uses. I told them to go ahead and call the police. I don't think they ever did, or maybe they did and the police laughed at them and said, "Here's 75 cents, go get yourselves some new chickens, assholes." but the boyfriend came back the next day with a huge net. If he thought he was going to be able to catch a chicken that had spent the previous three months perfecting it's evasion skills with Kira, he was nuts. He never caught any and looked like a fool trying.

A stupid neighbor dog got off his leash and killed the Mrs. Puffs the following spring. I made Mitch kill Stu after he knocked over a two year old and stomped her with his giant T-Rex feet. The rooster also hated Sam and it was kind of sad that my boy had to scope out the yard and then make a run for it if he wanted to play on the swing set. Kira was his muscle if the rooster started stalking him. Kira would take care of business. It's too bad he was so mean, because he was beautiful.

So I am going to try to raise chickens again this year. I am going to have a real coop, and I think I'll get six chickens and no roosters. I hope it works out.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

GOOP for the not-so-fabulous

My aunt brought to my attention the fact that Gwyneth Paltrow has a website called GOOP. I kind of like Gwyneth Paltrow, but she is a little bit out of touch with the reality of 99.9999999999% of the rest of the planet's inhabitants. This website is obviously for the 14 people in her fabulous category.

The site has six categories of ideas for us called "Make, Go, Get, Do, Be, See". Ideas from Gwynnie for us. The MAKE is, obviously, things you can make. SHE went to world-renown chef Mario Batali's house for dinner along with Emeril Lagassi and they had something that Mario made in his chef kitchen and guess what? It was delicious! So, what are YOU going to make? For lunch today I'M going to put margarine on some Ritz crackers and eat them over the sink.

The GO is places you should go. This week she tells us to go to Paris because, you know what? Paris is pretty darn nice.

The DO is things you should do. This week she features a book called Spent written by her doctor about how people are tired before they even get up in the morning and things you can do to overcome this problem, like practicing ubuntu. “Ubuntu” is an African term that means what makes us human is the humanity we show each other. It’s a worldview that sees humanity as a web of family rather than a mass of individuals. When you relate in this way, you feel connected, energized and have a sense of abundance.

What a practical idea! All you moms of young children out there should be doing this, and then you wouldn't be so tired, because thinking of the assholes that steal your parking space as "family" rather than "wastes-of-skin" will make you more energized in the morning after you've been up all night with cranky children. I can totally see how that would work.

The GET is things you should purchase. The latest installment is gift giving ideas. I have to hand this one to Gwyneth, most of the gift ideas she has are under $100. But they are things NOBODY needs, wants or ever even thought of. They are things like $50 personalized notebooks and the book Debrett's Guide to Modern Manners. Just TRY to give that to someone and convince them that it isn't a "fuck you" gift. LOL Gwynnie!

The BE is Gwyneth's thoughts on parenting. She gives us fabulous tips on how to just BE with our children. Apparently Gwyneth's daughter, Apple, is like a radio picking up on Gwyn's feelings and reflecting them back for her. She tells us to simply "talk" to our children about things. Perhaps during the day, perhaps at bedtime. Brilliant.

Last is the SEE section. Things you should see to keep you from being a total reclusive hick. This month it is books you should read in the winter. Gwynnie's fave authors? Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. A little light reading for you. I wonder if she reads them in the original Russian. Probably.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sheepdog and Coyote

I subbed in a fourth grade class with kids I've known for a few years now. There is a kid in that class named Paul*. He is one of my favorite kids in the world because he is so darn happy and likable, but when I sub in his class it's like we are in that old Bugs Bunny cartoon where the coyote and the sheepdog are pals until they punch the clock to go to work, and then they are mortal enemies for the work day, and then at the end of the day they are friends again and go out and do something together. I'm the sheepdog, Paul is the coyote. He comes into school, we are happy to see one another, then the bell rings and it's on. He is NEVER doing what he is supposed to be doing and he has the loudest voice in the world, so everyone always notices and then the other kids tell me and I'm expected to do something about it CONSTANTLY.

Last year his third grade class had a student teacher and she taught the whole day so my job was to sit by Paul and keep him on task. One day when she was talking to the class, he was at the pencil sharpener, sharpening his pencil. It was loud, and annoying and it went on and on and on. I was waiting for him to look at me so I could give him the evil eye and a quiet reprimand. He turned around after about five minutes of uninterrupted sharpening, and I looked in his hands and he didn't even have a pencil. I was so surprised I almost laughed out loud and I couldn't bring myself to say anything because I thought I would laugh in front of him which would be like the sheepdog rolling over and showing the coyote its throat.

So at the end of the day today Paul told me that I have to write a short note in his planner to tell his mom how he was in school. I told the brutal truth, Paul read it, smiled at me and said, "Have a great weekend, Mrs. Lindahl!" I love that kid.

In other subbing news, we played a game in the gym today called Sofa. Weird name, I don't know why it's named that. It's like a dodgeball free-for-all, played with seven to ten balls, with everyone gunning for everyone else, and if you get hit, you have to sit on the sidelines until the person who got you gets out. It's total chaos. I bet if it was studied by psychology and educational experts it would be found to be a TERRIBLE game that bruises fragile self-esteems, as well as little bodies, but the kids LOVE IT. I love it too because there is no other social context (that I have found) that allows you to chase after an eight year old, and when you corner him and he cowers, you fire a ball with all your strength at his head, and it's okay!
It makes me giddy!

*Not his real name.  His real name is Russel.*

*No it isn't.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sam made this for his Mama

Isn't this nicest shelf you've ever seen? He's very crafty. He made it in shop class and got 93 out of 100 on it. When I heard that I had an urge to go to school, poke Sam's teacher in the chest and say, "WHY DID YOU TAKE SEVEN POINTS OFF ON THIS!!!!?" but that might be unreasonable and biased.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Look what Mitch made!

Our basement is being remodeled by Mitch. He moved the bathroom from one spot to another which was a MAJOR undertaking. It all started with me telling him that the sink in the bathroom was leaky. He went to fix it and found one horrible and disgusting design flaw after another in the plumbing and septic areas and it turned into a total basement remodel. So anyway. The bathroom is getting worked on now and it is beautiful! It's mostly white tile with blue glass accents. Mitch just made a vanity for it and it looks like this:

That is blue glass in there and I'm sure the picture isn't doing it justice. It took my breath away when I went down to look at it. The door will go on with hinges on the bottom and will pull down. I am so excited about it! And it fits just perfectly into the small space.

While I was taking pictures of it, Kira had an idea. She did a handstand against the sliding glass door and told me that in the picture it will look like she is doing it on her own. Does it? Pretend I didn't just tell you the trick and try to look at it objectively.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Does this look like Bill Clinton?

Kira's teacher has given me a month long project: Get Kira to do a 2 to 3 page (typed) biography research project, complete with a salt dough sculpture of the person they are studying. NOT playdough, NOT Sculpy, but salt dough made from scratch. We did that part of it tonite. Now we just have to let it set up a little, and then scratch some hair into it, and then paint it.

That was kind of fun and easy (except salt dough stings little cuts and battered winter-dry cuticles). The hard part will be getting Kira to put her incomprehensible notes into some kind of comprehensible form so I can type it up in size 45 font so it will be three pages, then getting her to make up a table of contents, a glossary, and a bibliography... just a minute, I'm going to ask Kira what a bibliography is... she just said, "I don't know what it means except it is like a biography?" Great! I'm no expert, but I think this project is beyond third grade. Wait a minute, I AM an expert! I'm a teacher! In my expert opinion this is beyond a third grade level.

This week she is supposed to complete the salt dough figure, and hand in a rough draft. Here's a confession for you: I've already deciphered her notes, written the paper, typed it up in the size 45 font (just kidding, it's not that big, but it is big enough for Kira's grandparents to read without their reading glasses: big.) and now she is in the process of writing a rough draft out from the final draft. Backwards I know, but if I were to let her do this all on her own, I would end up killing her or she would end up dying from frustration. Either way, she'd end up dead and I don't think anyone wants that. Even Kira's teacher.