Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New Approach to School?

I say this at the end of every school year, but I think we might dabble in some new areas this school year. The kids do a fine job in all the basics, but I feel in some areas they could be more challenged, and might benefit from a little more structure. I'm not ready for a radical change, but I do think there are a lot of possibilities to do things better. Not unlike life in general, right?

More on this later. Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to WVU Library for the pic.

Market Cancelled

Two weeks ago something happened at the market for the first time - it was cancelled due to weather. We've only been doing the market for a few years, but I think I heard the manager say this was a first. This year has been brutal with the weather and every market day we seem to get socked with a storm. To rub salt in the wound, the weather is always beautiful before and after, so somebody is trying to tell us something.

The credo of the market, however, is rain or shine, and we've toughed it out through some brutal conditions. This time around, the forecast called for a 100% chance of rain with possible thunderstorms. Doing the market in the rain is a complete bummer as it is, but throw in lightning and it can be dangerous. Our feeling on our end was that if it was raining all day, we would opt out. In the end, the manager made the call and just told everyone to take the day off, so it worked out beautifully in the end.

Then again, beautiful is a relative term, isn't it?

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to MattysFlicks for the pic.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Family Disc Golf

Speaking of the big city, we learned that over at their rec center they not only have mountain biking trails, but a disc golf course, as well. N and I went over and played it, and it was fun but challenging, especially in the heat. The fact that it involved strenuous walking and hiking appealed to mom, so N was able to convince her and A to join us for a round.

We headed over and played all 18 holes, and I think we got a serious workout out of it. It was fun, and we even found a lost disc in the woods. There was some sort of kiddie triathlon going on involving what looked like 8 year olds, and I couldn't help but think it was emblematic of the big city crowd to have a rigorous competitive event like a triathlon for such young kids. Kind of crazy when you think about it. I'm sure you see similar things in NYC and Boston, wherever go-getter parents want their kids to be the best.

I hate to sound like such a Scrooge, because it is cute and charming to see little kids competing like that, but I'm sure there are parents out there, maybe all of them, that were pushing their kids to win and be the best. Future Ivy Leaguers/investment bankers being groomed early.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Dave Elmore for the pic.

Shut Out

We went to the big city for a family movie night and got shut out again. This seems to happen to us a lot. There's a movie or event that we want to see, and we get to the ticket window and they're sold out. It feels like New York City all over again, where everything sells out. This is small town America, come on. The movie wasn't even a big commercial event, it was a documentary about bringing fresh water to rural Africa playing at Dartmouth. Then again, when you're competing against the highly educated and progressive suburban yuppie crowd who want their kids to be uber-socially aware, you don't stand a chance. We couldn't get tickets.

The kids had just wrapped up their week at video camp and the weather was beautiful. We figured we'd see the movie, get some supper, and hang out on the green. We ended up doing the latter two, which was fine because as I said, the weather was beautiful. We tossed the frisbee and then ate supper, so it was nice.

We are learning about this movie gig. From now on, if we really want to see the movie, we'll get the tickets beforehand. We should have known this from past experience, but again, we didn't think that many people would even go to see this.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Frank Tiemann for the pic.

Race Against Time

This is a total bummer, but it looks like we might not be able to make the most of our valiant gardening efforts. We had all this space in three different locations and planted all these tomatoes, but we got a late start and the summer just hasn't been that scorching hot. Consequently, our tomatoes are growing slowly, and even though we have fruit on the plants, they are green and summer is winding down. It's become a race against time, and I don't think the tomatoes will catch up, but we'll see. It's possible summer will extend into fall, which wouldn't be a bad thing because it sure seemed short. I've talked to many people who are in the same boat, so it's not just due to my incompetence, though I'm sure that plays a role.

Normally I'd be happy about the weather being more mild and cool, but you realize that it adversely affects your crops. The peppers are pretty anemic, as well. The things that seem to be doing well are beans, peas, cucumbers, and squash, so it's not a complete washout. Even still, I really look forward to those fresh garden tomatoes. Oh well, maybe we'll have better luck next year.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Christopher Spalding for the pic.

Friday, August 22, 2014

All's Quiet on the Western (Bear) Front

I realized that I should have titled my first post about the compost fortification as, "Fort Noxious." Oh well, next time.

No sign of the bear so far, or in a nod to my ego, he's come and was foiled by my incredibly sound structure. Whatever be the case, the compost has gone untouched for the last day or two. The bear didn't seem to visit us every day, so it's possible he will arrive in the coming days, but for now, I'm glad the stuff hasn't been disturbed. To be honest with you, I don't mind if he eats the stuff, as disgusting as it is. I just don't want a bear hanging around our property, and he does make a mess. Plus, it's not really a good way to live for him, being wild animal and all.

We'll keep our eyes open. Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Dennis Jarvis for the pic.

Under the Weather

There is some sort of bug going through the house and it's affecting everyone but yours truly. I'm usually the last one to get it, so it's good to be standing and taking care of the household while everyone convalesces. It's pretty much what I do, anyway. It started with loss of appetite and has progressed to general malaise and then some. I'll spare you the details.

For now I'll keep making chicken soup and wait for the ill feeling to set in on me. Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Arielle Nadel for the pic.