Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Scoperto in Viaggio

Corey has been doing a lot of historical research lately resulting in a few family Indian Summer Field Trips. His obsession may have started by some rather macabre events of 1858 that led to the naming of our street. When I tell people our address, I am usually asked to repeat myself. "Really, that is the street that you live on?" Yeah, it's basically like living on Murder Lane.

We have discovered root beer to be a successful bribe when mentioning the words "history" or "hike" to the kids.
One gorgeous Saturday we traveled to The Cataldo Mission which is the oldest standing building in Idaho. Jesuits established it in the early 1840’s, at the invitation of the Coeur d’ Alene Indians.
Corey did some prospecting for back country skiing while we were in Northern Idaho. The flat tire we invited by the miles of off-roading was welcome company after finding a gorgeous hike to Crystal Lake. Corey has actually since been saying need and truck in the same sentence.

One Wednesday morning we found the death site of Spokane Garry, who was a native American Chief in the early 19th century who spent much of his time trying to establish peace between the White Man and the Native American. He said, "Inside us humans there is the same colored blood, so we should treat each other equally under this God of ours."
Just 10 minutes from our house, we also discovered this waterfall tucked away in the same Indian Canyon...I am appalled at myself for not knowing this existed.

Last Saturday we trekked up to the Washington/Canadian border. I was able to do some kayaking on a lake that definitely made the list of my top 20 favorite lakes in the world.
Again, more root beer kept the kids fairly happy. Corey took the kids hiking while I kayaked and overheard Savanna say, "If I just expect the absolute worst on our hikes, it usually isn't as bad as I thought." See, I think she is beginning to actually enjoy herself.
The historical part of our trip included the abandoned Mill Creek Flume Site where hundreds of men worked hundreds of hours a week in the early 1900's and this is all they have to show for it.

This Saturday Corey and I will jaunt over to Italy for a week. I hear the history there may go back just a tad bid further than it does here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

He may kill me for telling you this....

But someone in our house who is not 5 years old cries EVERY TIME he sees this movie trailor. You can see it here.
So if this is my last post, you will know that he offed me......but my death would be totally worth sharing his cuteness. (aside from the fact that he killed me...but we all have some wild thing inside of us, right?)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Preparing for Insole---ation

Drink up, my friends. Winter Drought is on it's way

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What would you do with your marshmallow?

I was twice hit with the marshmallow test reenactment this week .....first on CBS nightly news and then in the Huffington post. I remember learning about this test in one of my social behavior classes and I probably only remember it because it had something to do with marshmallows. You can find it in a second on You Tube. I am too lazy to put a link. Of course, If I had been lucky enough to be one of the kids chosen for the test, I wouldn't have wasted my time going to school or even tried to be successful. I would have been one of those kids that failed the marshmallow test.

I have a few problems with the test that I believe stem from reasons other than the fact that I would have failed it.

But first I should give a a quick background for those of you who may be unfamiliar with the test.

In 1960, a groundbreaking experiment was conducted that could tell the future of your child! In just a few short minutes you could find out if your child was going to be a success or a failure....a pinnacle of society or a hobo. So this is all you have to do. A friendly adult welcomes your child into the room and sits you in front of a marshmallow. "This is for you," she says. "Before we start , I have to do something down the hall. You can eat the marshmallow any time you like. But if you wait until I get back, I'll give you two marshmallows."

The researcher leaves the room. It's just your child, and that marshmallow.

Children will react differently to this situation. Some grab and gobble the marshmallow by the time the door closes behind the researcher (that would be me). Others seem fixated on it -- looking, smelling, touching -- but hold back from eating it. Others take steps to distract themselves -- singing, walking around, listening by the door.

So what will happen to your child?

If your child waited to win the second marshmallow, he or she will be a success.... in school, at work, in life. They will have the "habits of successful people" -- confidence, persistence, capacity to cope with frustration.

On the other hand, if your child had wolfed the marshmallow, he or she will have trouble subordinating immediate impulses to achieve long-range goals. They will be tv, video game addicts who will do anything to get the next marshmallow fix.

It is that easy to tell the future!
I couldn't wait to try this at home with my kids.
What are they going to do with their life?
I will know in just 5 short minutes.

Ansel stuck the marshmallow in his ear

Savanna drew an evil face on her marshmallow

Emmy passed with flying colors.....just stared at the marshmallow. And didn't even care about getting a second.

Me? Well, of course I already know that I am a complete failure. I might at well just eat it.

Corey was busy being successful at work when I conducted the marshmallow study. Needless to say, we all know that he would have passed. Not only would he return the marshmallow, but he would return it cleaner and better than when he received it.

If the baby twin moose that keep returning would have been involved in the study, they would have moosed down their marshmallows and everyone else's marshmallows. Actually, the joke is on us for planting marshmallows in moose habitat. Now we have to put ugly fences around our marshmallows. My opinion is that these moose would have failed the marshmallow test, but they seem pretty successful to me. (the one not in the picture is eating our raspberry bush.

Corey bought us tickets to the David Brubeck quartet concert this week. I didn’t even know the name Dave Brubeck (I would have known, if only I could have saved my marshmallow). Dave Brubeck is a legendary iconic jazz pianist and composer who is 89 and still going strong. After my good fortune of marrying a successful non-marshmallow-eater person who knows a good band when one comes to town, I now know that if Dave Brubeck was given the marshmallow test, he would leave that marshmallow in tears after just 12 simple notes, just to have it laughing 12 notes later.

This spider that has been living under our deck just waits for days and days and days for a marshmallow to come to her. When it does come, she savors it for days and days and days. Look at her beautiful, successful, persistent and confident web.

In conclusion, I think the marshmallow test is a bunch of ooey, gooey, phloey.

Friday, September 11, 2009

the dragons are dropping like flies

Last week Ansel and I found a deceased dragonfly who had become lethally lodged in the net of our trampoline. I felt a small wave of emotion sickness as I imagined his last moments of life, frantically flapping his two sets of wings, to no avail. I couldn't bring myself to disentangle his beautiful body from the net and asked Ansel to do the dirty work. His curious staccato attempts at pulling him free were interrupted by fearful wonderings if perhaps the dragonfly were still alive. I have never told Ansel about the ancient myth that dragonflies are the devil's darning needle and will sew closed the mouths of misbehaving children while sleeping, so I am not sure of what exactly he was afraid. It is most likely that he sensed my own(his mother, protector, and caregiver) trepidation. Eventually, the insect was set free from his bondage, though quite dismembered, and left to rest in pieces.

I thought it was a freak accident of sorts. But not long thereafter, I began finding more beautifully preserved corpses in my garage, on the driveway, and under the deck. It is the season for dragonfly migration and it is possible that this was just the end of the road for them. Dragonflies can live up to six years, but only about 2 months of this is spent in post-nymph winged freedom. Were they done living, or was it a cold change in weather that cut short their fleeting flying lives? I took advantage of the rigor mortis and engaged myself for a few long moments, studying the amazing detail in their body....the 30,000 lenses in their huge eyes (they can see 360 degrees, although not all that clearly) and the simple lines and ornamental compartmentalization in the wings that I am convinced Frank Lloyd Wright may have lifted for his window designs. I don't approve of their violent mating habits, but I suppose that if they followed an insect moral code, the species would have been wiped out years ago. 300 million year old dragonfly fossils have been found, leading me to believe that however they are birthing, living, reproducing, and dying is somehow working out very well for them.

But finding them whole and dead still made me sad for some reason. I can't stop thinking about them.

I guess it is that time of year when things die, and it is beautiful, and a little sad.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

what I do with my new free time....imagination gone wild

Date: May 16, 2025

Larry King: Our investigative reporters tell me that you were Ansel Judd's kindergarten teacher at Wilson Elementary in Spokane, Washington. I know it was more than 15 years ago, but was there anything about him that stood out to you? Were there any incidents or behaviors that would have indicated that he was capable of such a horrific event too shocking to even mention here today? We all shuddered in terror as the details were splashed continuously in the media coverage throughout the world.

Ms. Fuller: Well, it was many years ago, but Ansel is a kid who is burned into my memory. I could tell right away that he was um.....not like the other children. It was beginning of the 5th day of school. I had just settled the willing and eager students on their squares for calendar time when I heard some commotion down the hall. Not wanting any distractions, I continued with our scheduled routine, even though it was obvious that an extremely distraught child was coming toward the classroom. The disruption became unignorable when Ansel erupted into the classroom, screaming, clutching his mother's neck, and burying his face into her shoulder. I had to pry his fingers loose and let him writhe on the floor for a few minutes until he was ready to join the class. Never in all my years as a teacher had I witnessed such odd behavior.

Larry King: And what about Ansel's mother? Do you believe that Ansel's crimes can in some way be linked to the way in which she raised Ansel.

Ms. Fuller: I feel that Ms. Judd had good intentions as a mother, but it was clear that she did it all wrong. I blame this entire thing on the fact that she moved into the country and isolated Ansel from the rest of society. I mean, what kind of mother would do that to a child? This isolationism was indeed the root cause of the destruction that Ansel caused our community. Shame on her.

PRESENT DAY: I now have 2 hours to myself every day. You can observe by the above creations of my warped my mind that I am not using this time as wisely as I should.

(I do have photos of Ansel on his first day of school. I haven't stooped to those depths of poor motherhood. These photos are currently accompanying my camera on a routine cleaning. Thanks to my brother-in-law for supplying this photo in the meantime. )