Thursday, April 30, 2009

I think she's Super

I've had the pleasure of listening to Sandra Husk speak in person 3 times since she joined Salem Keizer School District. It's apparent after the first 10 minutes that this is an administrator who cares greatly about children, families, and the long range view.

This past week, she came to speak to staff at the school where I work. While the floor was open to any type of question, the budget was the only item on staff member's minds. Who knows what will end up on the negotiating table's chopping block at this time, but it felt good to hear her talk about her understanding of the consequences of eliminating programs. Programs that would have an immediate effect on children, families, jobs, the community and finally - the reduction of income tax collected. Plus, she covered how difficult it is to rebuild some programs after they've been dismantled.

The biggest savings with the least pain to the community as a whole, would come through all employees tightening their budgets and belts. Losing jobs? Not so much

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why Don't We Do It In Our Sleeves

Update: Hmmm! Guess they decided it wasn't good to keep the video on Youtube. Click on the link to see it on their site.  I have found another site with some good products for teaching young children good hygiene: Germy Wormy
It's time to circulate this video again. I cringe whenever I hear someone in the media reminding people to "cover their coughs or sneezes". Excuse me, but even if you use a tissue your hands are going to be covered in germs. Watch the video and you'll learn why AND the correct technique. I love how they mixed in humor with the lesson.
The following is from a member of the company who is responsible for this great video:
"You can purchase a high resolution DVD of the movie that includes Spanish, French, Mandarin, and American Sign Language (soon to offer Japanese as well). Schools, hospitals, and businesses alike have found the DVD to be a great educational tool. The website is
www.coughsafe.com. "


Here's my latest germ video favorite:

Caught with the roof open

Nothing like a Spring shower to make this clueless soul feel wet and foolish . . .

This afternoon I drove to the doctor's office, enjoying the fresh air with the moon roof open, as it was fairly nice out. Like a dope I forgot to close it and when I returned I figured the best way to dry the wet seat, was to hop on in.

Guess I didn't need to go anywhere else today anyway . . .

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Worms and Kitchen Garbage


I've been bringing worms to school for the last 7-8 years to share with the short people for science. Three years ago, I found a small and simple worm box on Ebay, cheaper than it would've cost N to build. Much easier than going out in the rain every November and digging through our compost to look for worms. I'm not a champion worm box owner, but I do give them a level of care that keeps them alive and multiplying.
One of my co-workers recently moved to a larger home that leaves little of her property left for a yard. She told me that they no longer had room for a compost pile and wanted to know if a small worm box (like mine) would be able to take it's place - for kitchen garbage, not grass and leaves. I told her that if she produced the amount of fruit, vegetable and coffee ground garbage that we do, there's no way the worms in a small box could keep up.
More co-workers joined the discussion and one wondered out loud if our yard debris containers would be a suitable replacement. None of us knew for sure, but it made perfect sense. Since then I've gone to the county website and found out that kitchen garbage is on the list of acceptable debris that can be put into "big green/grey".
Good news for people who feel they don't have enough room in their yards to compost and good news for people like us with dogs who like to mine the compost for kitchen treasures!

Change of seasons and Use of time

So many things I want to do and me - so disorganized.
At least that's how it feels when it comes to my time.
I have these "priorities" that get in the way of my goals. The chief priority being, "if it's the weekend, I MUST sleep in". And then after I sleep in, it takes so long to shift into gear. What's that gear Dad had on his truck? Oh right! The granny gear!

One of those goals I'd like to accomplish this Spring is to find a sunny place to grow tomatoes, peppers and herbs. Our backyard is well shaded, by both our own 3 trees and the surrounding neighbors' trees. I'm thankful 83% of the time for that shade in the summer. The other 17%, I wish for at least two beds to have 5+ hours of sunlight. BUT the majority of our front yard does receive the necessary sun needed to grow something good to eat.

And so in my head, I imagine getting rid of the traditional grass and working with N (or watching him work) to put in raised beds in the front yard. Perhaps an herb garden and a tomato/pepper garden? The other advantage would be getting out in the front yard a little more and interacting with our neighbors on a regular basis.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Brewfest at the Oregon Gardens

N, Lise, James and I spent Saturday afternoon at the Brewfest at The Oregon Gardens.
It was a fun afternoon, but oh my word! So many people!

Turned out, we just thought it was crowded when we arrived at 4:20. By the time 7 PM rolled around, it was nearly impossible to move (except to the beat of the live music). Near the end of our afternoon, we thought about navigating from one end of the pavilion to the other via the outside route. We had to nix that idea once we spotted the roped off areas prohibiting escape from most of the exits.

Yes, it's true, I'm not used to crowds, but I have to admit it does offer up some great people watching opportunities. Like the wife who returned to her husband only to find her beer glass nearly empty. "What happened to the rest of it?" Silly question and a silly look on his face!

So much good beer all in one place! If there were a few more food options, it would've been even better.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Heart breaking

This afternoon, I took the short people from the first session out to board the bus home. I noticed one of our taller people sitting in a secluded spot sobbing. I didn't have this taller person, but I did have his sis and got to know him a bit during that time.
After I deposited my crew on the bus, I sat down beside him and asked that stupid question, "are you okay?"
After that mistep, told him I didn't believe that he was okay, that I thought he was having a crappy day. The tears fell quicker and thicker and he told me how no one, NO ONE cared. I listened and then told him I cared. It was tough for him to articulate, but he let me know that he understood the adults cared. I told him I knew what it was like to feel like no one cared - lousy.
I know that his life has been less than ideal over the course of his elementary career - people leaving, people trying to take the place of people leaving, etc. Over the years I've watched him, I knew it was clear that this was an emotional crisis and he needed more than I had to give.
I asked a co worker with a radio to call the office for our emotional support person. He was busy. They sent out someone to escort him to the office and he spent some time talking with someone who is good at emotional support.
He seemed better at the end of our day and made a point of telling me good-bye. BUT I'll be watching and making myself available, because I do know what it's like - lousy.

Friday's Random Thought

I made a trip to the liquor store after work today. A middle aged, male, distributor was setting up a table of tiny sample cups and giving instructions to a pretty, young, blond. As I walked around the table, I thought how it didn't seem right to sample hard liquor while running errands.
And then it dawned on me - why did I think it was okay to taste wine at 10:45 AM last Saturday?

Counting down toward clock out time

"Living for the weekend", is that a working man's tradition in every culture/country? Probably a silly question. How could it not be?

I've been watching the weekend forecast continue to improve. Saturday's chance of showers keeps decreasing. Very good news, since we're considering a trip to the Brewfest this weekend. I know it's enclosed, but how can you go to an event at the Oregon Garden without venturing amongst the "beds"? I'll be taking my camera. I hope the light will be good enough for some good shots.

I was pleased to see the long list of NW brewers who will be present. I was exchanging comments with a local beer blogger to see what they're looking forward to. I've never thought about different types of beers for the changing of the seasons.
If given a choice, I lean towards a glass of stout or porter - no matter the time of year.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Processing Wednesday

That's the thing about having a daughter with a "medical mystery", we've had our share of periodically getting passed around to doctors - commonly called "referrals". All of these doctors either don't schedule the time to go over her chart or prefer to hear her story in her words. The longer this mystery goes on, the tougher it is to retell in the correct order not leaving anything important out.

Yesterday, Fran and I went to her third appointment at the new Comprehensive Pain Clinic downtown. As the name implies, they seek to give their patients access to all the specialists they need in one office. Having completed the introductory appointment in late March with the doctor who oversees everyone else and then the second appointment where she completed a 500+ questionnaire (3rd time she's been asked to do this in 3 years), yesterday was time to be interviewed by 4 different specialists and then meet up again with the doctor in charge - after the team conferenced.

As much as I try not to, I never quit having the belief that THIS time one of the doctors will have an "Aha!" moment - putting pieces of this puzzle together and seeing what's been missed.
Someone slap me, please.
No "ahas" were uttered, but there is a new plan and regular appointments will begin soon.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Loop Plane Day

Today was "loop plane" day in science.
I used to believe that using a big table was the best way to do science projects with the short people. Perhaps it's due to this year's smaller class sizes, but it's worked out well using our little back area for just about everything. They seem better able to attend to my instructions/demonstrations. Which translates to a much smaller number needing help when it's their turn to assemble.
Our sub, Mrs. Nicoloff, is a pro when it comes to walking into a new situation with challenges. Much less stressful to have a sub when there's a good degree of control in the room. This was her first time with the second session, she couldn't believe the contrast.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Dinner

So much for using the black truffle powder tonight!
I swear, I never know what's going to happen when I walk into the kitchen after work each night!

The first thing I did when I got home was to check the fridge for suicidal produce; aha! mushrooms, small tomatoes and a red bell pepper.
Chicken thighs have been on my brain for the past month and a half (who knows why), so I added that to my online recipe search. Recipes for mushroom and onion braised chicken were at the top of the search, but most of the recipes had nasty short-cuts (cream of mushroom soup?). Yes, I used to cook with it when the girls were young, but I didn't know any better. (cutting myself some slack) But then something unexpected and deliciously familiar popped up on page two of the search - chicken cacciatore. How I love thee!
No single recipe stood out, so I pulled a little from three different ones.
It turned out quite well.
Too well.
I think I need a walk.
Izzy?? N??

Deep thoughts about garbage

After reading a couple of articles in Newsweek (1,2) and looking back on some of our recent trips to the county transfer site, I began to wonder if the future of garbage collecting will drastically change in the coming years.
Over the past couple of decades many of us have become master recyclers - depending on the community we live in and the system available to us. But even knowing the right thing to do doesn't always prevent the best of us from taking short cuts now and then.
A rental property on our street is currently in the process of being cleaned up. The owners rented a dumpster for all of the debris, to which they've added tree branches, 2x4's and left behind garbage. When N and I joined his siblings in cleaning out his parent's homes, I know we didn't take the time to sort and dispose of the contents properly. Our main goal was to accomplish as much as possible in as few weekends as necessary. So the back of our truck was filled with recyclables such as metal and wood along with the moldy contents of long forgotten closets and cupboards.
According to recent studies, voluntary recycling isn't doing enough to keep our landfills from overflowing. What's next? Will we go back to putting all of our garbage into one receptacle? The difference being that it would travel to a warehouse for others to sort and separate for us? (At additional cost, of course) What will the future transfer site look like? Another conveyor belt system where all the valuable bits will be weeded out?
Very soon, we will no longer have the luxury of tossing our waste at our convenience. We're failing the test and the deciders are looking at ways to make it all work - for our earth, for us and for our future.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dog Park

When N and I arrived in Ashland Saturday night, Fran and her J filled us in on their afternoon trip with Izzy to Ashland's dog park. They said Izzy had a fun off-leash experience - playing with new-to-her dogs and enjoying the room to run.
When we drove past to take a look on our way out of town, I began to wish we Salemites had a dog park like this at Minto Brown.
Mail Tribune article about Ashland's Dog Park.
Photos from someone's dog park visit.

Daylight left

N and I will sleep well tonight - especially N.
Yesterday we left for Ashland close to our target of 5 PM and today - we left Ashland around 12:30 PM. We drove into our driveway at 5:30 PM with daylight to spare.
The bad part of a whirlwind trip? The danger of being crabby to the first person you run into once you return home and enter the house. Poor Lise! Izzy was happy to get home so she could check-out the backyard for new smells.
Fran's J lives a short distance uphill above Munchies in downtown Ashland. So after taking Izzy out for a morning walk, we walked down for breakfast. I've decided that Munchies is kinda like our Ashland Word of Mouth - great service, a cool interior and delicious food with a unique/personal touch.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Second Outing

Local asparagus found at Saturday Market

Back from first outing

Because there's sure to be more :>)
It was time to fill the wine rack, so I stopped at Santiam Wine Co. to quickly pop in to buy a "Cheap and Cheerful" six pack, but Debra talked me (and twisted my arm!!) into tasting some wine. The Patton Valley Rose reminded me of Wandering Aengus semi-dry cider. Light and very nice Spring taste on the tongue. :>)
Then I motored down Rural to Salem Public Market. I did see one vendor with asparagus, but I bought black truffle powder and a Marionberry/Raspberry pie instead.

Ah, Saturday!

What a lovely morning!
N is getting ready to go to an "adult band festival". Not as sketchy as it sounds - really.
Me? I'm making my mental list of all the things I need and want to do today; Public Market, Saturday Market, Santiam Wine, pet store . . .
Even though I already have some Canadian asparagus in the fridge, I'm interested in finding some local spears today.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Kid Pix and Picture Books

The short people and I have been pretty fortunate this year as far as being able to use the computer lab on a regular basis. There have been a few Fridays we had to give up, but that just gave me a chance to show them my two favorite videos.
Life is not complete if you haven't watched, Michael Sporn's, "Lyle Lyle Crocodile" or Pete Seeger's, "The Foolish Frog". :>)
My personal picture book library is full of treasures. Sometimes I wonder what I'll do with them all when I retire.
Today I think I'll read, "Guji, Guji" and "The Tin Forest". Although, it's tough to wait much longer to read, Teri Sloat's, "Sody Sallyratus".
Decisions!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sweet April

One off night?

We were both tired and proximity seemed important when we were deciding where to go eat last night. You can't get any closer than Thompson's, when you're in our neighborhood.

Sadly, to sum it up, the food was so so and the music was on the loud side (yes, we're old).
It's tough to share your day with each other when you have to work to be heard and to hear.

I'm thinking we've been spoiled by WOM.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fear of being marooned

Besides being taught how to properly use a clutch and warned not to form bad driving habits, one of the main lessons my father taught me while learning to drive - was not to get caught with an empty tank of gas. Only once have I ever ran out of gas and it was a humiliating lesson involving a sarcastic uncle.
Recently I had the opportunity to revisit that event upon Liseanne when she ran out of gas in Dundee. Who knew I'd come close to finding myself in the same predicament so soon after Lise's experience.
After our trip down to Roseburg, N and I both made a mental note that the gas tank needed attention. Although, mental notes are only as good as the material they're written on. I forgot the Monday after work and we both forgot after the blogger meet-up. On Tuesday, when I hopped into the car to go to work, characters on the mileage counter were flashing urgently at me. :>O How big of an emergency was this? I thought I had another 30 miles of grace! I made a deal with myself to head to the closest gas station after work {oh! just noticed exbury azalea is starting to bloom!}, but I hated to pay 8 cents more a gallon. And so the long journey to Costco began . . .

I hit every single possible red light on the way there, but (thank heavens) no train. Every time I had to stop at a red light, I'd wonder if anyone would help me push the car out of the way of traffic and how far I'd have to walk to buy a jug o gas. Oh, such tension in the cab!
But I made it.
The young clerk came up to the window and apologized for taking so long, "I'm just glad I made it here!", I joyfully exclaimed. Poor unsuspecting, Jordan!
Was the tank empty? No! It still had approximately a gallon and a half left. Will I be testing that out again soon? Not likely!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Say what?

One of the short people has a wonderfully, infectious, deep-from-the-belly laugh that I love to hear. During a Reading Rainbow video LeVar let out one of his own delightful laughs. The belly laugher turned to me and remarked, "He has a funny laugh!".

Catching air - week 3 of flight

Today we made parachutes in science - nothing fancy. Easy enough so they can share the activity with their families. It's one of several favorite science activities. One of the ones they remember throughout elementary school.

We start with a 12" to 14" square of light plastic, preferably a garbage or grocery bag,
4 - 12" lengths of string,
a jumbo paperclip or a similar weight,
and tape.
  1. Lay the square of plastic out flat on your work surface.
  2. Tape the last 1/2" of a length of string to each corner of the plastic - being careful not to tape anything to the work surface.
  3. Gather the untaped end of each length of string in one hand.
  4. Use your other hand to wrap a piece of tape around all four string ends, to secure them together.
  5. Tape your jumbo paper clip to the gathered and taped string ends.
  6. Take your parachute outside, fold it up, throw it up in the air or drop it from the top of a play structure or ??
If it's a windy day not only will your parachute catch the air and float to the ground, but it'll sail a short distance with the force of the wind.

Looking back

There was talk last night about looking through the eyes of someone new to the Salem area.

One of my first Salem memories (we moved in on October 30, 1991) was opening the door to a group of trick or treaters and having one of them remark, "You're not Mrs. Smith!".
"No, I'm not. I'm sorry." The candy wasn't enough??

My other memory is warmer and fuzzier. Our realtor was new to her trade and we ran into a hitch with the purchase of our house. I'm sure, like us, she was both relieved to be done with our sale and yet sad not be spending everyday in each other's company (I hope).
The morning the door to our newly purchased house was unlocked and our boxes began to be wheeled into the house, she brought us McBreakfast and a fig tree.
I wonder if Mary Friday is still selling houses?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Looking forward to the next meet-up

Well, that was a fun evening!
I feel like I just spent some quality time with a group of my cousins. :>) But instead of being related by blood, we're connected by blogs - Salem blogs. I'm looking forward to learning more about everyone.
A potluck? Sounds like a blast!

Down came the rain

I'm always amazed (and very glad) during these Spring days when, despite several downpours during the day, it's still possible to take the short people outside for recess.
Fresh air and physical activity are important for those growing brains!

If only we could continue that same level of activity as we age - we'd probably all be a heck of a lot healthier.

Hard earned $$

L's J completed and paid their taxes one morning last week. Lise wondered out loud why they ended up owing so much and why so many others her age end up getting money back. And since N also couldn't understand the large outlay either, he sat her down with our tax software yesterday and made himself available when any questions on the amended return came up.
Instead of owing nearly $3000, they'll be getting money back. The only complaint I heard (aside from the stress and added time) was regarding the extra months it'll take to get the money back, since amended returns take longer to process. Makes sense, since the IRS probably needs to go over both forms with a careful eye.
But now it's done (in spite of Lise's cat turning off the computer just minutes before she finished typing her explanation) and off her plate.
Good news, that.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Away with you, dust!

We bought our Sharky vacuum about 3 years ago. It's one of those no bag set-ups, that gives you the instant reward of seeing exactly how much stuff builds up in your carpet. And when you have 2 dogs and 2 cats living in your house it piles up fast. (Thank goodness Izzy has schnauzer hair that doesn't shed as much as dogs with regular fur coats.)
Overall I like the job the Sharky does, I just wish they had used better material. Vacuums shouldn't begin falling apart after only 2 years. I heard from a coworker that Dysons suffer from the same fault. Maybe I should've hung onto the ugly, yet sturdy, Stark vacuum we bought with wedding $$.

Bleh

Did you ever have one of those weekend days when you had the day's events planned out in your head and then "pow!" a stick is poked into the spokes of your proverbial bicycle?
I'll get over it, but in my head it was going to be a great day.
Bleh

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Squirrel alert

Izzy woke us up this morning with her frenzied barking. If I understand Izzy speak as well as I think, she said something about two bad squirrels knocking down the dish feeder and having a squirrel feast. This will probably become a morning tradition, since squirrels don't forget.

Today we'll drive Izzy and Fran to Rosieburg to meet up with her J at his folks. The two of them will be able to spend a week in Ashland, thanks to a week long break in appointments.
And so, you lucky dog you, today you'll be getting a schnauzer trim before heading south.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It shouldn't be so hard

What a simple task - walking. Heck, I take it for granted every day. And everyday I wish it was a simple task for daughter Fran, too.
It's been over two years since she began this struggle with pain and the postponement of her life as she knew it. Two years and nothing to show for it, except for a purse full of prescription drugs, two arm crutches and a wheelchair that help her make it through each day. Today she had what may be the last session with her wonderful physical therapist, Cathy. Another health professional in and out of our lives. I do believe Cathy when she says she'll keep track of Fran. They are a community of professionals after all.
I don't know if this new group of doctors will help guide us to the right answers. I do know that we'll keep our chins up and keep moving

Pink Popcorn

Our two flowering cherry trees are now in full bloom.
Usually there's an audible buzzing in the backyard when this happens. I can still remember the first time when I discovered the trees weren't just covered in blossoms, but bees, too. Unfortunately, this lovely display also means we're in store for a good hard downpour and maybe some wind - pink petals blazing the trail to the closest street drain.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Current novel

The first book I read by Kate Atkinson, was "Behind the Scenes at the Museum". I was sucked in the moment I read the first paragraph. It's not often the main character begins narrating their life from the moment of conception.
I'm about a quarter of the way into her latest, "When Will There Be Good News", and I'm loving it. I love the style of her writing, the development of her quirky characters, the stories she creates - what else is left? I guess I should've stuck with -I love her books.

To the moon, Alice!

I have a new appreciation for moon roofs. I used to wonder why anyone would want one; what if they leaked? and wouldn't your scalp get sunburnt? One negative I have noticed is that now I can actually see how much gray hair is residing on the top of my head. BUT being able to have a window open without feeling overly wind blown? Refreshing and energizing!
Other fun MR moments- going through a car wash, seeing the stars while driving at night, feeling even sunnier on a sunny, Spring day.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Taking flight

Another reason this is one of my favorite times of the year - doing the science flight unit with the short people.
We kicked off our first week (last week) with a Reading Rainbow video and today we made helicopters out of paper and jumbo paper clips. I found the pattern years ago from one of my science books and it's continued to be a big hit with the kids every year.
Of course, it helps that we get to go outside and climb the jungle gym to launch them for optimal flight distance.
I've been going through the short people's photo album pages and taking stock of what's missing. Not all that many weeks and so much to accomplish!

Monday, April 6, 2009

A bee's eye view

Brick by brick

Just saw an article in the SJ about the dismantling of the State Hospital's "J" building. Evidently this is the same building that "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest", was filmed in.
As I looked at the photos, I wondered if the state has a treasure trove in those bricks.
Wouldn't they be marketable?
What's that word they use on "The Antique Roadshow"? Cachet?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Thankful for N

I talk a big game - about how much I love to work in the yard.
BUT the truth is that N does 99.9% of all the work.
I pop out once in awhile to pull some weeds, pick the berries, deadhead flowers or fill bird feeders, but that's about it.
Well, that and tend my worm box periodically.
And so, after spending a sunny afternoon taking my time with my few chores, I'm giving thanks to N for giving me such a swell place to putter.

Savoring the weekend

The grass is green and growing, the daylilies have pushed 6-7" out of the wet dirt, The oxalis have begun to form their clover like mounds, the cherry trees are one sunny day from bursting into bloom, the blueberries, clematis and Exbury azaleas are all ready to open, too.
Soon we'll be making trips to our favorite nurseries to buy sets to fill our planters and beds. Heck, I'm ready to get the lawn chairs out for morning coffee, but that would be rushing things a bit.
Izzy's loving this turn of weather, too. She spent a good 40-50 minutes exploring the backyard and sniffing the air this morning.
I won't tell her that I've just checked NOAH and see that rain is due to return on Wednesday.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Yup, a second walk

That's one of the great things about dogs. You have a built in excuse to go out for as many walks as you wish. :>)
And speaking of walks, there's nothing like walking on a narrow strip of pedestrian path on a regular basis to make a person more aware of why the speed limit in a residential area is 25 miles an hour. There are days (when I feel particularly vulnerable) when I fervently wish for speed bumps to be installed. This was one of those days. Good weather brings out more pedestrians and also seems to have an effect on how much pressure is applied to the accelerator.
Please, attend to your speedometer, slow down, enjoy the sights and smell the fresh air!

The park, a dog and a sunny day

I think Izzy has a new best friend. :>)
His name is Toby, he's Corgie and he's just 2 months older. They played and played and played up at the park. I had fun just watching. Hector, Toby's owner, and I traded our dog history while the dogs romped and jumped and chased each other around our ankles.
Dog cuteness and a sunny day - definitely up there on my list of simple pleasures.

Almost time to leave for The Brick . . .

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Lunch at the Brick anyone?

Another eatsalem fan and I were twittering back and forth about a week ago and wondered how Twitter would work for getting a group of ES fans to meet up for a Saturday (April 4th) lunch at the Brick downtown.

I'm not sure how many years went by before I even noticed The Brick. In all of the years I've lived here (until now), I've never heard anyone mention a word about their food. So I figured it was more of a popular watering hole, rather than a great place to grab a bite. Since then I've heard from a couple people that the food is good.

I'm eager to go give it try and then maybe take a downtown stroll on a sunny day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Poetry of Spring

What I'm reading on The Old Scout

Hangover

If I were crowned emperor this morning,
every child who is playing Marco Polo
in the swimming pool of this motel,
shouting the name Marco Polo back and forth

Marco Polo Marco Polo

would be required to read a biography
of Marco Polo-a long one with fine print-
as well as a history of China and of Venice,
the birthplace of the venerated explorer

Marco Polo Marco Polo

after which each child would be quizzed
by me then executed by drowning
regardless how much they managed
to retain about the glorious life and times of

Marco Polo Marco Polo



More poems by Billy Collins

"Ballistics" by Billy Collins, from Ballistics: Poems


Random House, Inc.
1745 Broadway
New York, NY 10019

"Hangover" by Billy Collins, from Video Poems

© Applezaba, 1980 (out of print)

Wee Willie Winkie

There's something odd about coming home from work and wondering if you should change out of your jammies into clothes. I'm glad it was church night for N and I (and it was imperative I change clothes) otherwise I would've felt like a sloth for the rest of the evening.

I used to worry about appearing silly during dress-up days, but no more. No, I don't feel stunning or well put together, but not silly. I had to wonder about what the construction workers we have at our school were pondering this afternoon, when I brought the short people out for recess. Did they think I was a crazy inmate in charge of a bunch of little loonies? Me in my puffy jacket over my flannel robe and jammie pants - robe flapping in the wind. The short people attired in assorted Sponge Bob, Dora and HS Musical PJs.

One of my special little guys was concerned about how vigorously my robe was flapping around my legs and tried to hold it down. I told him it wasn't necessary - "I'm a flag!". Maybe I am a crazy inmate after all!