Tuesday, July 24, 2012

From "lived-in" to chaos and back again

Chaos is a name for any order that produces confusion in our minds. ~George Santayana

A week and a half ago my home looked "lived in".  You know, slightly cluttered with stuff but generally clean.  Okay, maybe it was worse than that.  But it now looks like a tornado went through a few of the rooms.  Mainly the rooms that I use the most.  I've had kids home on summer vacation and they have spent more time in those rooms than they do during the school year, but it's certainly not their fault.  It's mine.  I'm going to place the blame on the weather and the good books I've gotten from the library lately.

Housework is not something I enjoy doing.  Neither my husband nor children enjoy housework either.  I like it when my house is tidy, I just don't want to be the one to do it. 

Maybe once the weather turns I will once again return to getting my jobs done.  Until then, my flat surfaces will continue to be used as places to leave little notes.  My laundry piles will continue to be used as climbing walls.  My refrigerator will continue to harbor various displays on the nature of decomposition.  The ant farm will continue to harvest the bounty found on my kitchen floor.  The path from one room to another will continue to be a lesson in critical thinking and strategy development.

My children have been feeling the results of my lack of desire to do things myself.  This means that they have gotten to do more chores this summer than usual.  Some days they accomplish much with very little prodding, other days they finish nothing while hearing much from their nagging, harping, hollering mother.  I suppose this is why they've requested to spend nights and days elsewhere.    I've also gotten to spend some time with other peoples' children in my house.  I let them do things like empty and load the dishwasher.  I'm sure they love me for making them feel like part of the family.

There is only a little more than a month left of summer.  Is my house going to be neat and tidy before summer ends?  No.  Will it ever be neat and tidy?  Maybe.  Someday.  In the far distant future. 

Until then, I've got a couple good books lined up on my buffet table.  Once I finish this posting, I'll pour myself a big glass of lemonade, grab my book, and head out to my lawn chair.  Hooray for summer! 

Perhaps I'll surface from the chaos of my household sometime in October.

My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint. ~Erma Bombeck

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dream Big - READ!

“I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?”
John Lennon

Dream Big, READ! has been the theme for this summer's reading program.  There is only another week until the program ends in both Marble and Coleraine.  (I run both.)  Next week kids will turn in book logs and collect their prizes.  Between now and then, I have to figure out how to run the prize give away. 

For the past couple years, the reading log has been either lines to write the books read on, or a clock to fill in the time spent reading.  This year, instead of a clock for time it's a star.  If you're 7 & under a star equals 15 minutes of reading.  Eight and older, 30 minutes of reading is required before you can color in that star.  I'm not real picky about what kids are reading.  Read a book, magazine, the newspaper, or the back of the cereal box.  Avid readers will read books, and reluctant readers may just read the cereal box.  It takes a lot of cereal boxes to be able to color in a star though.  Our final story time of the summer happens next Tuesday in Coleraine at 10:00 and in Marble at 2:00.  If your child has a book log and you just can't make it to story hour, feel free to drop off the book log and we will find you a few prizes to take home. 

Next week we also have Magician, Star Michaelina coming to the libraries.  She'll be in Coleraine at 1:00 and in Marble at 4:00.  This is a free Kids' Stuff event sponsored by the Arrowhead Library System.  We've been pretty fortunate this year, and have gotten a few different programs sponsored in part by the Legacy Foundation.  We had a dreams workshop for adults that was interesting, physical comic Kenny Ahern brought us some laughs, and now a magician.  I love magic, so this should be fun!

In Marble next week we have our tween book club meeting to discuss Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool.  We'll see who all shows up, but we'll squeeze that in between story hour and Star Michaelina.  There are still a couple of copies available to check out at the Marble Public Library.  I read it, and really enjoyed it. 

The summer reading program may be almost over in Coleraine and Marble, but there are still some fun and interesting things to be found at the library.  Stop in and find out!

“If your dream is a big dream, and if you want your life to work on the high level that you say you do, there's no way around doing the work it takes to get you there.”
Joyce Chapman

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Roll of thunder, hear my sigh.

[N]ow and then an ominous black cloud had blotted-out the sun from our sight, and poured down a deluge till it had spent itself, and then had left the sky glaringly bright and blue... ~Alfred Rowland

Explosive Supercell

Wow!  We've had some weather lately.  Flooding rains a couple weeks ago, and a ferocious thunderstorm last night.  We haven't had any major problems because of the weather, and we count ourselves fortunate.  A little dampness on one of our basement walls, and an evening spent in the basement waiting for the winds to die down were our only inconveniences.  Oh, and the loss of power.  I'm hoping it'll be back on by the time I get home this evening.  Tomorrow at the latest.  But, we get what we get--so if it's a few days, we'll survive.

The three girls and I hunkered down by candlelight last night in the basement.  We all had our books, and the candles were enough in that small room to give us each enough light.  There were four in the bed, and the little one said, "I haven't learned how to read yet."  Not that it stopped her from picking a chapter book out of the various books I brought downstairs. 

A book is a good escape.  When the howl of the wind, pounding of rain, and cracking of thunder send your child into a fit of panic, it's best to remember to bring a book with you to the basement.  A book can help you forget about your fear of thunderstorms.  If you have enough candle or flashlight light to make reading possible, you can forget about those winds that are swirling around your house.  

It was cozy to be tucked up on an air mattress with my three girls.  All of us with books to read, even though the youngest has yet to learn how.  The candle light was much more soothing than the harsh glare of the lights before the electricity went out.  The stories found beneath our fingertips brought us to worlds miles away from our own.  The trials of Pongo and Perdita (101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith) helped remove the terror from one child's eyes.  We all got to hear some of the funny moments in The Lost Hero by Rick Riordin.  The littlest child played "What word is that?" until she fell asleep.   

When you live in the sticks and face losing power at least a couple times a summer, it's good to have something that doesn't need electricity in order to work.   It's good to have a book or two on hand at all times, you never know when you might need it.     

And the perfect book for a rainy day too! #rain #rainyday #book #peterspier
It was very dark; but in the murky sky there were masses of cloud which shone with a lurid light, like monstrous heaps of copper that had been heated in a furnace, and were growing cold. ~Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit, Chapter XLII