Wordless Wednesday

(Photo: Shala Howell)

(Photo: Shala Howell)

Coming in under the wire with the Wordless Wednesday this week. I’ve been so distracted rewriting The Rutabaga Rumpus (my children’s early chapter book about a rabbit dragonologist) that I nearly forgot to post the weekly picture.

Deadline for the story this Saturday. Hoping to resume normal blogging activities shortly thereafter.

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The Seven-Year-Old practices her mad scientist cackle

Background: This semester we gave The Seven-Year-Old the option to sign up for two after school classes. She picked Old School Sports, which teaches you to play old-fashioned games like Four Square and (The Seven-Year-Old fervently hopes) badminton. She also picked Crazy Chemworks. 

Daddyo: “How did you pick Crazy Chemworks?”

The Seven-Year-Old: “I get to be a scientist for once.”

Daddyo: “Why do you want to be a scientist?”

The Seven-Year-Old: “I want to study whooping cranes.”

Daddyo: “How will Crazy Chemworks help?”

The Seven-Year-Old: “I want to make medicines to help whooping cranes.”

Pause.

The Seven-Year-Old: “And I want to make explosions with science.”

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Wordless Wednesday: Dinosaur in the Frost

Frosty Dinosaur

(Photo: Shala Howell)

Meant to post this during the not-polar-vortex last week (or was it the week before?), but you know, flu. Slowly catching up on things around here. Have high hopes for normal blogging to resume next week.

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My year so far….

Flu
Flu. Norovirus. Migraine. I am well now, and oh so thankful for it.

Will get back to blogging next week after I catch up on one or two other things around the house and office. Assuming the “well now” part sticks this time (fingers crossed).

See you soon!

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Wordless Wednesday: Winter. Here. Now. For a very long time. Maybe forever. Bleak.

Weather forecast courtesy of Dark Sky.

Weather forecast courtesy of Dark Sky.

Mommyo, wailing in despair after checking this week’s forecast: “Daddyo, why did you ever bring me to this wretched place?”

Daddyo: “Cryogenic preservation.”

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Wordless Wednesday: What I did this week

I lost one of the apples to this toy while we still lived in Norwood. Two moves later, I finally found it. Honestly, it kind of feels like a Christmas miracle.

(Photo: Shala Howell)

(Photo: Shala Howell)

(Quick! Add that toy to the Toys on Vacation stash in the basement before another apple decides to take an extended walk-about.)

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What to do with your old Christmas tree

Trees waiting to be claimed at a California Christmas tree farm. (Photo: Castro Valley Christmas Tree Farm)

Trees waiting to be claimed at a California Christmas tree farm. (Photo: Castro Valley Christmas Tree Farm)

In his book, Why Don’t Woodpeckers Get Headaches?, birding enthusiast Mike O’Connor suggests that folks who purchase real Christmas trees place them along the fence in their backyard once Christmas is over to provide shelter this winter for local birds.

That got me thinking — what else could you do with that tree (other than throw it away or turn it into firewood)?

There are all kinds of suggestions floating out there on the Internet. Most assume that you have a backyard or at least a garden to call your own, but a few are helpful even for those of us in condo land.

Among the most popular:

  • Use some of the pine needles to create sachets to freshen up your house
  • Trim off the top two feet of your tree and prop it up in your yard to create a squirrel feeder/playground
  • Create a bird sanctuary by placing your tree in its stand out in your yard. Hang your bird feeders from its branches or decorate them with pinecones smeared with peanut butter and dipped in bird seed
  • Use the needles as mulch for your garden
  • Cut off the smaller boughs and lay them over your perennial beds to insulate them against winter weather
  • Trim the trunk and larger branches into two-inch discs and use them to edge the borders of your flower beds

(Yeah. That last one seems kind of work-intensive to me too. But if you do it, send me pics. I’d love to see it.)

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Snacktime at Caterpickles Central

I’ve been making a lot of green smoothies lately in an attempt to painlessly increase my fruit and vegetable intake. I love them (usually). The Seven-Year-Old is much less enthusiastic.

The Seven-Year-Old, eying the concoction I was spooning out of the blender: “What is that stuff?”

Mommyo, cheerfully: “My smoothie. Want some?”

The Seven-Year-Old, disgustedly: “Definitely not.”

Mommyo, determinedly cheerfully: “Ok. You can say no to frozen spinach yogurt blueberry apple deliciousness if you want.”

The Seven-Year-Old: “It’s the spinach yogurt part. I don’t think that would be very good.”

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Merry Christmas!

(Artwork: The Seven-Year-Old)

(Artwork: The Seven-Year-Old)

Well, you’ve gone and done it — spent another year reading Caterpickles. We’re awfully glad you did, and to show our appreciation, The Seven-Year-Old wants to share this poem with you:

Santa
  (by The Seven-Year-Old Howell)

Snow is falling
Gently down
Around
Your sleigh.

As snow falls,
I have found,
It is sound
As it piles into
A mound.

Merry Christmas, y’all.

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Wordless Wednesday: Mouseton Abbey

I may be desperately seeking last minute Christmas gifts, but I’m not that desperate.

(Photo: Shala Howell)

(Photo: Shala Howell)

Or am I?

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