Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Wonderful Day

Yesterday was World Wide Knitting in Public Day. However, I had promised my daughter that I would take her to the Second Saturday at the Crocker Museum. This was more important than spending my day knitting...although I knew I would make it up later in the day.

We carpooled there with our good friends. The weather was beautiful: perfect cumulus clouds in the clear blue sky and a soft breeze that complemented the pleasantly warm temperature. Very unusual nice weather for this time of year.

The event was in the bottom floor of the Crocker Museum. The volunteer that helped us gave us each a board with paper taped to it. My daughter and her friend had a great time creating their artwork using tempera paint and Art Stix. My friend and I also created some art pieces.

I had forgotten how good it felt to draw, I have never been good at drawing people and faces; however, I have always enjoyed creating abstract art. The kids asked me what I was drawing. I guess the term "abstract" went over their heads because my daughter kept asking me what I was drawing. She finally agreed to wait until I was finished with my masterpiece.

After our art experience, the kids allowed us to wander the museum. I wish kids appreciated those types of places more...the Crocker is filled to the brim with the most beautiful artwork. This, too, I forgot. It was so relaxing to look at each painting, each sculpture, and discover what the artist was trying to represent in the moments during that piece's construction. I could have spent the rest of the day there.

We went home after a few hours. It was exhausting, but I felt energized just the same.

My daughter and her best friend have known each other since they were 2. When we spend time together, they are inseparable and this gets more pronounced the older they get...they used to bicker over little things but now they are like a pair of twins, who don't look alike and have different mothers but love each other so much that neither of our families can imagine lives without each other. Our families have become close in the years of our children's it was easy to understand why the kids have a lot of trouble leaving each other's houses. We often wish that we lived closer so that we don't meet the resistance we always do when the other has to go home.

They eventually left (with the expected resistance) and I took Pippin out for his walk. I thought my day was almost over and I could rest. My daughter wasn't ready; she wanted to take Pippin out after dinner. I agreed, wanting to cultivate her growing desire to spend time with the pup and our newfound friends at the park. We walked there and met our friends. We also met new friends, which we often do because Pippin loves to meet new dogs. I think we've made more friends since we've adopted him; I don't remember knowing this many people that I enjoy spending time with since college. Our walk was uneventful. When the skies started getting darker, we headed home.

Last night after the kids and pup went to bed, I reflected on the day and it felt nice. I may have missed knitting in public, but I spent time with friends and my daughter. This is time better spent.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pippin versus the Friar

I have decided to accept the fact that Pippin may not really like my brother. My brother, Brother Mary Isaiah of the Dominican Order, aka Uncle Mark, just left after 2 days with us. We always enjoy spending time with him and I was looking forward to introducing the newest member of our family.

When Mark first arrived, I expected some resistance from the pup. After all, this is his territory and a new person was "invading". I took the family (minus my husband who was at work - luckily for him, haha) to the park. There, they seemed to get along and I was optimistic. The drive home was uneventful.

Back inside the house, however, the barking started. I tried everything the trainer said to do: ignore him (how the heck do you do this without going deaf), having my brother act like a bear (he does this very well), tying him to me (he was supposed to be bored to death just watching me clean house...yeah right). I finally had to resort to attaching his leash to a pole in the back. When he didn't bark for a while, I brought him back in. He behaved for a while and finally went to bed without any more barking episodes.

Unfortunately, this did not last throughout Mark's whole stay. It got to the point where I would hear Pippin growl and I would cringe. We were all lucky that the weather allowed us to go out; I think I would have had to keep Pippin tied up outside the whole time my brother was here.

Today, I wanted to go to 2 shops on the Yarn Shop Hop Contest. According to Mapquest, it should have only taken me less then an hour to travel to them both. I expected us to be home within 3 hours. Because of the curvy road and that I didn't have a blasted map of my own city, we were out for 5 hours. Poor Pippin was in his crate for 5 whole hours. I could have cried.

I had to drive Mark to the train station with the kids in tow. I felt so bad about Pippin being alone almost the whole day that I took him with us. I put him on my lap as I drove. My brother was next to me and I was amazed that Pippin didn't protest. Not even a little possessive growl.

I mentioned this out loud, and my daughter piped, "Maybe Pippin is glad that Uncle Mark is leaving." Ahhh the blatant honesty of kids.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kinnearing Kids Part 3: Uncle Mark's Visit

My brother is visiting us for a few days. He is back in California after being stationed in Washington D.C. for about a year as part of his training to become a priest in the Dominican Order. My daughter was very excited and had been looking forward to seeing Uncle Mark. In contrast, my son, who had only seen him once since his birth, did not know what to make of the man dressed in clergy's garb that momma hugged at the Amtrak station...I could see the little gears in his head spinning - that's not daddy...who is that stranger that momma is hugging....hmmm don't know if I can give him a smile yet.

My brother is training to be a priest in the Dominican Order. This will be his final academic year before his final vows. In a week, he will be heading out to Alaska (!).

The little guy and his uncle soon became quick friends though, partly because of my brother's amicable personality, and largely because of my daughter's obvious affection for him. Yippee for me because then I was able to take a picture of all of them:

Pippin, on the other hand, is having trouble adjusting to having a stranger in the house. No matter what I did, he kept barking at my brother. Yikes! Perhaps an outing at the park would do the trick and make everyone friends.

We went to a new park in a new housing development a few miles away. It had 2 play structures, one for my daughter and one for my son. Also, there was a big grassy area where I was able to walk Pippin. I brought my camera in case any photo opportunities came up. Yeah, I know, I was being optimistic, but hey, a mom's gotta try.

After a few missed shots, I realized that I had to resort to kinnearing, and even then...

He finally acquiesced (not too happily...oh well). His sister made up for his lack of enthusiasm.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Facebook is saving me money

It keeps me from staying on Ravelry, where I stalk people's destashes and covet other people's yummy yarn.

That's it for now...back to Facebook.