Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween, of course

We tend to be pretty casual about Halloween. I'm probably not going to make something elaborate or spend a lot of money on Halloween, but I'm willing to help them out as needed. It seems as though their best costumes have been made from things we've already had.

C10 didn't plan particularly well this year, and kept saying she'd be somebody from a book she'd written. When asked who exactly she refused to commit, and instead said she'd tell everybody a different character if they asked. So she threw on a cape, grabbed a basket and lined it with fabric and was who she was, which is what she does best.

C45 decided to be an grumpy old man sitting on the porch drinking beer. He did that well. And he handed out some special treats to friends. 

I don't usually dress up, and I didn't again, but I did put on some tattoos.

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Way back in September Q8 decided to be a Zombie Pop Star with her friend K8. Which was a cool idea. But after a few weeks Q got a little stressed because her best friend H8 wanted her to be something else and we had to discuss how she could be what SHE wanted and didn't have to do everything that H8 did. I wasn't sure if that would help -- H8 is a huge influence in her life -- but obviously worth emphasizing that she needs to make her own decisions. And it sunk in, I guess, because after she read the Pippi Longstocking books again in October Q8 got the even more awesome idea to be Pippi Longstocking! Most excellent costume ever.

We borrowed a red dress and I loosely sewed on some patches. We borrowed a stuffed monkey to be Mr. Nilsson. I forgot about her moneybags & the horse she lifted over her head, but that would have been too much to carry with a candy bag, too. 

All I had to do was buy some orange hair spray. Of course I decided to go Thursday after one o'clock to the party store. Lunchtime the day before Halloween. So the line was outrageously long. LUCKILY I saw somebody I work with at the cash register and he and his friend took my hairspray and my $5 and I was able to avoid the 20 minute wait.

After getting home from school on Friday Q8 could not WAIT to get dressed up. 

And she spent the afternoon as Pippi. I barely recognize her.

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Trick or Treating ensued around 7:00, we hit the main drag, visited with friends, went to a party, then crashed in costume. Multiple people asked if they could take Q8's picture. Her costume that we spent $2.99 on (hairspray) was a total hit. I think because people remember reading and loving the books and the character is larger than life and memorable. One person was taking pictures for the local paper, so I'm hoping she makes it in.

 We took H8 home with us because I didn't want to walk her back to her house. Plus, a sleepover is always good. Snuggling on the same pillow ...

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The next morning all candy was counted and the loot was good.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Arts Festival & Spaghetti Supper

Q8 has been going to chorus every Monday morning at 7 am. I guess she likes it! I couldn't tell from some of these photos, but it is dedication to leave at 6:45 am.

Their new music teacher, Mr. W,  is great. I'm iimpressed with the program in the arts in general. We have 1.5 music teachers and an instrumental teacher and an art teacher. Not enough recess, but that's another problem. Anyway, Mr. W has got them singing really good songs. Like Three Little Birds by Bob Marley:

and what I call the Car Song ... or I have a Car. Whatever the real title is, it is a fun one:

And their last song, I'm a Believer by the Monkees:

See, good stuff!

Then later in the program Q8 & H8 played The Juggler. This from both girls who quit piano.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sailing on the Chesapeake

So, until yesterday I'd never been sailing. Except in a sunfish. On Fort Pond. For about 5 minutes. Does that even count? I guess we have mostly landlocked friends without boats and it hasn't been a priority to get me on a sailboat, apparently. So, I've been on except horrible horrible ferries that smell like fuel, some powerboats, a catamaran once when I was a pre-teen somewhere up in Maine, and canoes and kayaks, and a river cruise ship in Egypt. But sailboats? Not so much.

C45 has a friend at work, Captain Howard, who bought a 30' sailboat back in December of 2013. 10 months ago, essentially. And he's been looking for people to take out with him. So, yesterday was our day!

C10 wasn't looking forward to it, but she wasn't actively against it. Q8 was actively against it. And once we got on the boat, C10 was totally into it. She loved it. When offered to steer, she jumped right up. Q eventually got up and did it as well, but not the multiple times that C10 did. She had a high level of trepidation.

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I guess not so surprisingly, since she is our girl who loves amusement park rides a whole lot, C10 love love loved when the boat was heeling (this the right term, yes? sailing people???) and Q8 wasn't so keen on it. Q8 stayed closer to the adults, whereas C10 sate whereever she wanted to be (as long is it wasn't in the way of Captain Howard).

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Family portrait interlude!


Every chance she got Q8 asked to turn around and go home, and C10 asked to go further, faster, at a deeper angle. I'm always surprised when C10 gets into something and is positive about an activity, but this was one of them, and I think she'd do it again. More than just think, I know she would.

And Q8 remained unconvinced until we turned around and were motoring in. At that time I went up to sit on the bow. I was there only a few minutes when Q8 came up to be with me. And took my place immediately. Can you see the happiness there?


And then C10 came up to the bow, and a little kerfuffle ensued about who got to sit where, of course! But we worked it out and got some selfies, which they thought were hysterical.

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sleeping outside

Q8 and C45 have slept outside before. I can't remember when. But it was dark, they were in a tent, it was buggy, noisy, and generally fairly uncomfortable at the bottom of our hill past the trampoline.

Last night, however, Q8 wanted to sleep outside,  That seems reasonable to me, but instead of sleeping in a tent at the bottom of our hill with bugs and uncomfortable rocks and dirt, I suggested we sleep on the porch, as I call what everybody else calls the deck.


Might have been my suggestion because I was enjoying the porch at the time. It had been a lovely evening.

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Whatever it is, though, porch or deck, Q8 agreed, and so I pulled out a feather bed, and a camping mat, and the feather pillow bolster I made for Q8 some time ago (4 king-sized pillows sewed together, essentially, that she sleeps on). So nobody would be sleeping on the wood.

Q8 brought out her pillow, her back rest, C45's sleeping bag, a book, a flashlight, and put on some warm footie pjs and was ready for bed.

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I put on some warm pjs, wool socks, promptly lost my hat & scarf, pulled out a mummy bag, three pillows, and and extra blankie. I was ready.

Q8 read for a while then fell asleep

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I then looked up at the tree above us and realized if a limb fell we were toast. But then I fell asleep. In the end, I was still chilly at night!! Should have brought out a duvet, too. It only went down to 46 degrees, so it wasn't the mummy bag (I consulted with my friendly EMS expert also known as my best friend K44, who told me it must be rated to at least 20 degree F, and did I want to return it? Since I bought the thing in 1988, I declined ... ).

I'd definitely sleep there again. Anytime!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Science Bowl 2014-15: Hyattsville vs Patuxent

When you have a chance, take some time to watch it. Just do it.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Lucy Dog

She's hairy. She sheds. She jumps. She barks. We've done a horrible job training her.  We follow her around with poop bags. We feed her. Pick up her toys and her sloppy water spills. And put up with the fact that she pees with submission and excitement when she sees us. 

Despite all that I mostly think she's mostly an acceptable pet. She still surprised me yesterday. I came home to find that her dislike of zippers has extended to the couch (sofa. davenport. chesterfield). And she'd ripped up the zipper and pulled out the stuffing. She couldn't do too much because she came upon the springs ... but c'mon.

Yes, I told the kids I was considering donating her to the Value Village thrift store.


She's going back into her "room" when we go out from now on. And as punishment I'm taking her to the vet for vaccinations tomorrow. Ha. Take that, Lucy Dog.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

We had lovely visitors last weekend, J, with whom I went to college, and his wife M, and their daughter S9. S9 is right in between C10 & Q8 in terms of age, and they all get along great. Honorary cousins!

They made fairy stores ... which they do every time they see each other.

And then Q8 took S9 horseback riding. I want you to note that Q8 is riding bareback. There is a saddlepad on the horse for comfort ... but no saddle, no stirrups!