Month: January 2010

Mantis and the Butterfly lessons

I was looking forward through my calendar when I saw a February entry that said “order preying mantis”.  I chuckled because I bought my daughter a preying mantis habitat to hatch eggs and watch them grow.    By the time I ordered the habitat, the eggs weren’t available.  I have a coupon to order them later this month. 

There are all sorts of rules about when to order, how many to keep in the cage at a time, there is some rule about the number of mantis that allowed in the cage at a time.  I’ll study a little more before we reach the date. 

Last spring I ordered caterpillars to raise and release as butterflies.   The kids loved the experience and were thrilled when they saw how much the worms grew each day.  When they turned to chrysalis it was so cool and then to actually watch the butterflies hatch was wonderful.  We decided to make a big deal about releasing them and do it on my birthday.  The weather was on the warm side and it seemed the perfect day to let our new winged friends go.  My kids and some other neighborhood children watched as we let the first of them go.  Up, Up, Up, she flew.  We watched as she made her ascent.  All of a sudden from the park across the street came a red breasted robin who chased and chomped that butterfly in one bite.  The shrieks from the children and adults were heard through the entire neighborhood.  Releasing the rest of the butterflies was more of a fearful act after that.  To this day when my daughter sees a robin, she points him out and says, “Mommy, that bwird over dere, he ate my butterfwy.”

Hmmm, I wonder what we’ll see the mantises eat?

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Progressive Appetizers and Drinks, 5 houses, 5 hours, 10 friends!!

I have always housed a bit of envy for tight knit little neighborhoods where people spend time together, raising children, eating and drinking together.  I guess I imagine the smalls subdivisions of my youth with the swimming pools their center (in which I never lived).  Last summer I was pleasantly surprised when hundreds of my closest neighbors enjoyed a movie in the park across the street.  That evening, I snuck out with a few fellow parents for a mini spontaneous wine tasting.  The idea of a travelling appetizer and drinks evening was born.  5 homes in five hours.  Little bites and cocktails at each one.  Fellow blogger and neighbor Virtual Farm Girl blogged about the evening already and is going to compile a list of the recipes.   The food was amazing. 

I feel incredibly fortunate to have such talented drinking friends.  Our kids got along fabulously and so did the grownups.  My husband passed out a 10 and I was right behind him.  I hurt so much the following day, but what a great night.  I would kill for the empanadas and soup right now.

Roler Derby Days are over…for now

It turns out I really hurt my hamstring.  Not saying I am out of this forever, but for this session, the Derby isn’t for me.  I think the best idea is to actually learn how to skate again.  The idea of falling again and hurting the leg even more really forced me to question my resolve.  I’m out for now.  What next?  Who knows, but I can’t imagine it won’t be exciting.

What the *@ck was I thinking?

Turns out knee pads were the least of my worries.  I have experienced pain and embarrassment in my life.  Ask pretty much anyone who knows me and they have either witnessed it or have heard about it.  Last night, I was more embarrassed than I have been since I learned that I was calling my best Thai friend “vagina” because I was saying her name with the wrong tone.

Here is an excerpt from the Park District bulletin that got me into this situation.  I have underlined the points that pertain to me.

Derby Lite has created a new version of its recreational league that makes it easy for any woman whether an avid skater or not on wheels since middle school, an athlete or a couch potato to get her exercise in for the week and have a great time doing it. No experience required. Ladies build core strength, endurance, balance, cardio, agility, flexibility and upper body strength, while also building confidence, friendships and a sense of community.

Here is my translation:

Derby Lite has created a new torture method that is both recreational and impossible.  If you are an avid skater come on board.  If you haven’t skated since middle school, you don’t stand a frigging chance because we’re going to work your ass off so hard, you won’t be able to sit when you get home.  An athlete may make it.  A couch potato will spend most of her time on the floor trying to balance with her non existent core to get up off of the floor.  You will be flexible.  If not, you will land in such a position that you will finally  be able to do the splits you couldn’t do in elementary school gymnastics.  Confidence?  Every ounce of confidence will fly out the door?

Do you remember when Tom Cruise jumped down the stairs in Risky Business?  You know, that position with one leg straight out, one leg bent with a skate on its foot.  I landed like that on the floor last night.  I actually believe I heard my muscle pop.  I LANDED like this folks.  HARD.

Imagine the guy in the photo as me, only put a skate on his left leg and have him flat on the ground with the other leg just off to the side. Got it?

This was the hardest workout I have had in years.  I have no core strength, that is something I am going to start to work on again tomorrow!  I leave you with the quote of the day.  A young whipper snapper in class came up to me and said “Ma’am?  I think you are very brave to be doing this.”  Brave?  No.  Brain damaged?  Perhaps.  I can imagine a day when it will be fun.  Till then it was fun in a root canal sort of way.  I will be back though.   Next time I’ll be stronger and I’ll keep track of how many times I fall.  Till then!

To sleep or not to sleep

I go through different spurts with sleep.  Not quite sure what the problems are, but they range from not being able to sleep at all, to having very bizarre and realistic dreams.  I’ll never forget during GW Bush campaign for president #1, I woke up in the middle of the night coughing and coughing and felt like I was going to throw up.  My husband asked what was wrong and I declared that “they are making me swallow the republican blanket.”  Oh how true that ended up being for 8 years.  Since then I have had a variety of strange dreams that seem quite real to me.  A few nights ago I swore that someone broke my fingers in the night and I woke up screaming about it to my husband.  My fear is that I am developing the same disorder that my mother has.  We find it difficult to sleep in the same house with her because she screams and yells at people all through the night.  One night recently my father woke up to see her sitting on the edge of the bed one minute and then jumping off the bed onto the floor the next.  My dad also tells the story about how one night it seemed as if she might actually start hitting him.  No sooner than he had the thought than she started trying to hit him.  This American Life had an episode a while back called Fear of Sleep.  People discusses all types of issues with bedbugs, roaches and other things that people generally don’t want to think about.  In this episode, Mike Birbiglia tells of his sleepwalking and sleep problems cut from his one man show “Sleepwalk with Me“.  I laugh so hard I cry when I listen to this.  If you have some time in the recent weeks to listen for free on your computer, please do.  This is funny stuff.  I hope I don’t end up needing a sleepingbag some day.

Roller Derby….lite???

I haven’t been on skates since college.  One afternoon during finals week, some girlfriends and I were stressed.  I called around to some local skate rinks only to find that they were all closed.  I finally called over to a rink in Henderson, KY just across the state line and lo and behold, the good people at Skateway USA let the 5 of us skate for free that afternoon.  So yesterday, to carry on the tradition of skating that was started 2 decades ago, I decided to sign up for roller derby lite.  I have no idea what I am getting myself into.  I bought gear from Sin City Skates online yesterday.  Paid the gazillion dollars to register and am anticipating the first class on the 11th.  What the heck am I thinking?  I don’t even know the rules.

Here is Skateway USA: