Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Some Days are Snow Days

Will tomorrow be another snow day?  Last Thursday was an early release day, due to a coming winter storm.  The winter storm came through, and Friday was proclaimed a snow day.   Likewise, yesterday was too.  Today?  Today was a regular Tuesday.

Snow days = no school.  Days off of school due to weather still intrigue me, even though I've lived in Kentucky with  school aged children for seven years now.  In all of my growing up years, I only remember one day when we were out of school because of weather.  That was a day in third grade when a hurricane went up through the Gulf of California and brought excessive rain and 80 mph winds to our town [Yuma]. 
Thankfully, at 12 and almost 16, my kids can stay home alone on these unplanned days off.  Jamie, our almost 16 year old, is content to practice drumming and keyboards most of the day.  He's okay with cooking a pot of chili (actually two pots, since we have 2 vegetarians), watching YouTube videos, etc, etc.  

Allie, on the other hand, has a harder time staying busy.  So on Friday, when I made a quick run home during the afternoon to drop something off and check on the kids, I was thrilled to find her baking a batch of brownies.  Allie does like to bake, but she usually only bakes at my suggestion.  And not only did she take the initiative, she mentioned that we didn't have quite enough sugar or cocoa, but she thought it would even out and the brownies would be fine.  Mind you, this is not like Allie.  Generally, she would send me a text, something to the effect of:  "You need to stop by Kroger on the way home and pick up some sugar and some cocoa."  I'd text back, "why?", and she'd respond accordingly.  Getting into a recipe and realizing she doesn't have all the ingredients could really throw Allie off her game.  But, this time, she threw caution to the wind and it worked out. Maybe she embraced the spirit of the snow day.

I've noticed snow days really do bring out the odd behavior in people.  A case in point is the Fayette County Public Schools [our school district] FB page.  Here are a couple excerpts {yes, I interjected my 2 cents following each}.
PLEASE pass this along to the powers that be.... Parents would like for you all to add a Saturday or 2. Summer plans must go on. It may be very costly for school to go into the next week of June. Children are already registered and fees paid for summer programs.

Dear Saturday school parent, I do not desire that.  I have already paid for my child to play a synthesizer all day on Saturdays through the month of April.  So far, he's free the second week of June.  

Here's another:

Reasonable people can disagree with a decision or a policy...and disagreement doesn't mean they are bullies or are raising bullies. I've just about had enough of the talk equating disagreement and debate with incivility, bullying and vitriol. Group think causes just as much problems and "fallout" as disagreement and debate, if not more so. Nazi Germany is a case in point.

Nazi Germany?  What in the world?  And what the heck is vitriol?  Seriously, these people should either be spending the snow day with their kids or else at work.  Please take a step away from Facebook, people!

Even the movie, "Snow Day", which featured almost Academy Award winning actors John Schneider and Chevy Chase, was considered a dud.  

Are there benefits to unplanned days off?  Perhaps. . . if watching Kathie Lee and Hoda is beneficial to Allie's development.  I suppose practicing drumming for three consecutive hours can't hurt Jamie's chances of receiving a music scholarship.   And Allie's brownie did turn out well.  Who can complain about coming home from a day of work to a hot bowl of vegetarian chili and a delicious brownie, prepared by your very own offspring?

Friday, January 14, 2011

words to live by

A week ago Wednesday night I found myself alone in our basement with my journal.  All other family members were upstairs in bed.  I often write in my journal as I pray.  As I wrote and thought, I came to a decision.
This year I need to focus on these words:


Yes, I know there's a label for them - the fruit of the Spirit.  But I want to think of them separately, focusing on each one.  So I don't want to think of them as a bowlful of apples or bananas.  That seems to be the way they're often thought of [cutesy Sunday School fodder].  But self-control is much more than keeping your hand out of the cookie jar.  Joy is more than smiling and {acting} like you're alright.  

I began on January 6 with love and I'll cover one word a day, repeating the nine words over and over in the order listed above.  By my calculations [mind you, math is not my forte], I will hit each word 40 times in 2011.  I try to dwell on the word of the day, study related scriptures, etc.  So far it's been good.  Today I wrap up the list with self-control, and I'll start at the beginning tomorrow.  Right back at love.  And since {love hopes all things}, I hope that this time in 2012, I'll be at least a little different. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

[orange new year]

Elvis sang about having a blue Christmas and we dream about having a white one.  So why not have an orange new year? 

I ate an orange with my lunch today.  It wasn't an especially good one.  But oranges are my favorite winter fruit, so I tried to enjoy it AMAP {as much as possible}.  A couple hours later I decided to make myself a cup of tea.  Without much thought, I picked Wild Sweet Orange {part of my winnings from Good Foods [see previous blog]}.  While drinking said tea, I realized I'm drinking out of an orange mug.  And I had a glass of orange juice for breakfast [which probably has nothing to do with the tea, but it fits the theme here]. 

Orange is a vibrant color and it's a step beyond yellow.  Yellow can be happy, bright, sunny.  But orange, orange is unmistakably bold.  Yet oranges, the kind that we eat, are sweet.  So was my orange juice.  And my Wild Sweet Orange tea, once I added honey.  Bold and sweet.  

Doesn't that sound like a good start to the new year?  I want to be bold.  Not pushy, not jerky, not overly assertive, but bold.  Not necessarily bold with people, but bold in my aspirations and bold in my hopes.  Bold in my expectations of myself.  Yet I want this to be a sweet year.  Sweet as in pleasing.  Not sour.  Not bland.  Not sappy either.  Not syrupy and silly.  But I want my priorities in order.  I want to be organized.  I want to have purpose.  Not waste time.  Not be scattered or messy or lost.  

So, I guess all I have left to do is make up a song about having an orange new year.  It can't be that hard to rival Auld Lang Syne.