Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's Easter Weekend . . .

and it's snowing. I really shouldn't be acting surprised because we do, after all, live at 5300 at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Still. For much of my life, Easter really did mean spring and it seems like those brain patterns die hard.

Our wonderful neighborhood hosts a community easter egg hunt at the lake front. Sadly, it was called due to snow. But then guess what happened? The Easter Bunny arrived at our door bearing baskets. Such is the dedication of or neighborhood friends.

Tomorrow doesn't bode any better for the "real" Easter Bunny. We're expecting an inch of snow tonight. But I guess these bunnies are going to have to be hardier than today's! It could be a cold morning. I have visions of myself in plaid pj pants, fleece coat, hat, wool socks and Uggs, hiding easter eggs at 6 am.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Never a dull moment here. A week ago Friday we got evacuated--again--due to wildfire. Added to the excitement was the new twist of evacuating with guests. Adam's dad and step mom had been here for less than twenty-four hours when I got a reverse 911 call alerting us to a wildfire. Due to the reported location and the distance (or lack thereof) from us, I knew it was only a matter of time before we'd be told to leave. Our guests were troopers and never missed a beat as they packed up their belongings and then helped us gather kids, cats, dog, guinea pigs, photo books, and a few irreplaceable photos and paintings.

Evacuation is an interesting exercise. Since this is the third time we've prepared or actually been evacuated, we've got the drill more or less mastered. Our fire department and home owner's association prepared a checklist that makes it easy to think about what to gather. We finally got smart after the last fire and put our most important papers into a safe deposit box. So the most basic stuff is taken care of. But then comes that instruction on the checklist to pack a week's worth of clothing. This is when push really comes to shove and decisions must be made! Here's what I learned this time, in this season. I was not willing to let my Smartwool socks burn, or my Ibex pants, my ancient and tattered denim shirt or my favorite gray sweatshirt which I dug out of the dirty laundry. Oh, and let's not forget my Levi's jeans. A few favorite earrings, a few books and I was good to go.

I don't want to make light of what I know is traumatic--losing all of one's stuff to a fire or some other disaster. But I must say that going through this sort of reduction of my stuff to what is the most important brings me face-to-face with the tyranny of "stuff." Even though we're not big shoppers or collectors, and despite a number of moves over the years (which, for us, always forces a paring down), our belongings have amassed and sometimes it feels overwhelming. So I have this fantasy of it all (okay, most) disappearing in some fairy-with-a-magic-wand sort of way in which no one is traumatized by any scary event, it all just disappears.

Could I make it "all" disappear? Yes, but not without lots of hand wringing and angst. I imagine that if it disappeared (with the truly most important stuff staying--this is a fantasy, after all), I could shrug my shoulders over the few things I missed and that my load would feel lighter. Guess it's time to go clean out a drawer.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Killing Two Birds with One Stone

I said to the kids the other day, "Well, we killed two birds with one stone!" Oliver looked at me quizzically.

"Do you know what that means?" I asked him.


So I explained that it meant to accomplish two things at once, by one action.

"Oh. I wonder how else you can kill two birds at once?" he wondered.

And hence, I was treated to all the ways he could think of to literally kill two birds at once. Dynamite, double barrel shotgun, set the tree on fire, . . . . Boys.

It's a Lego World

The living room is strewn with Legos. The kids have moved on to the small ones now and they seem to find their way into every nook and cranny. The come in "sets" now, always themed like the new Ninjago (ninjas), Star Wars, Atlantis (sea theme) and come, depending on the size of the set, with elaborate instructions. Oliver (the birthday boy) has recently received and built a ninja's "dark fortress," a vehicle with chomping teeth on the front, and other constructions from various pieces for now disassembled sets.

Most sets come with some sort of "mini figure," a Lego person that goes with the set. Of course, their separate parts can be taken apart and combined in different ways so we also end up with an interesting array of characters. The building of a new set is always exciting (to me too!) but what I really love to see is what happens next. The kids' imaginations are off an running.

Earlier today, the turned a plastic tub upside down and had a Lego catapult sitting on top. Several feet away was a little fort built of Cuisinaire rods (wooden rods of various lengths used as math manipulatives but apparently also useful for mini-figure sized forts). The game was to fling a mini-figure at another figure inside the fort, try to destroy the fort and knock the other figure over, thereby earning "money" to be used to buy other figures. So now there are mini-figures and Cuisinaire rods flung everywhere.

The game moved on into Levi's room where they build an "entire civilization" (as I was informed). I have yet to be given the details of this one and I imagine that it will be too complicated for me to remember.

I love to see how their imaginations run so quickly from one game to another, how they can instantly develop stories for their games and how long they can stay involved in this play. I remember imaginations as a child so strong that I could almost feel, taste, see, smell what was in my mind. I hope they keep the power of imagination long into their years.