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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Red Pepper Flakes, Anyone?

Once a month at my kids’ school they have pizza delivered and the kids can buy a slice at lunch. It’s a fun event for the kids. I received an email asking if I could help serve, and I agreed. All families at the school do volunteer work each year and this seemed like a fun way to help out.

Being me, I knew I had to dress the part. No, that doesn’t mean hairnet. That means accessories. This morning I decided the house chores could wait another thirty minutes (why not? They’ve waited many years already!). I busted out the hot glue and some felt, and here’s what I created to show my spirit:


A number of the kids noticed my accessories. One boy looked mystified (apparently he didn’t get the memo about how grown-ups are allowed to have fun, too!). But most of the kids who noticed told me that they loved my earrings. It brings me joy to bring color and humor to the world, and I love that my invention amused others.

It was a good experience. I was amazed at how quickly the slices were whisked from their boxes onto plates, and then into the hands of the hungry kiddos. The assembly line moved very fast. The kids only get 30 minutes for lunch so I suppose that speed is essential.  The principal was right in the thick of things, handing over plates, helping, directing things with the practiced moves of a police officer in Manhattan’s busiest intersection. She is a go-getter in general, and lunch appears to be no exception.

My feet were tired afterward but I had a good time, chit-chatting with the kids, marveling over which teeth they’d lost over the summer, and laughing as I passed out slices. Hot lunch day is a good opportunity to connect with the kids, to smile at them and to show them they are important.

Earrings can’t fix all the world’s problems. But bringing a smile to others is so easy and means so much. I’ll help again at October’s hot lunch day. And I think I’ll make a matching pizza necklace, too.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hello, Dahlia!

My dahlias are blooming! I knew this day was approaching but I’ve been feverishly trying to reassemble two rooms in our house and so I haven’t been doting on my plants as much. What a happy surprise to check on my dahlias this morning and see that they were no longer buds but beautiful blooms.
The Great Room Switch is still underway. It’s taking longer than expected but I suppose this is not a surprise to anyone but me. I thought I’d be finished with this already and half way into the next giant project.
Progress is being made. Slowly. Somehow I thought the biggest part of all this was getting the flooring in. That was big, mind you, and Hubby deserves the credit. I’ve painted all the walls and some of the trim. The bunk bed is up! The rooms are taking shape. But putting clothes, toys and furniture into the (switched) rooms is taking more than a couple of minutes. Sorting the boxes of stuff is taking some time. Matching socks that were separated in the move (or in some cases, years ago!) is taking a little time. I’m hanging things on the walls. Pondering how on earth we could have accumulated so much stuff. Figuring out how to make the closets at least semi-organized is taking some thought. (And as a side note, these 1956 closet are not exactly roomy, so you have to figure out how to maximize space. You’ll really feel my pain when I tell you that the closets in our darling little house are 55” wide and 24” deep.) Sometimes I’m quite overwhelmed trying to find the new Pergo floors under all the boxes and piles. (By the way, the floors look and feel great. It’s been so hot and stepping barefoot on a cool Pergo floor is much groovier than dealing with a cozy carpet when it’s 90 degrees. Of course, ask me in January, when I’ll swear I’m freezing.)
Anyway, all this activity inside the house has distracted me from checking on my plants as often. Luckily, the dahlias needed very little coddling—just some water—and they pulled off a delightful surprise for me this morning. They were given to me two summers ago by Jim, who loves to garden. It’s such a treat to have plants and flowers grow and bloom, reminding me of fellow gardeners and their generosity. I love how dahlias have so many petals and have such pretty, symmetrical formation. Some dahlias have the added fun of having tips colored in different shades than the rest of the petal, like French tipped nails.

One of these days I’ll finally be finished with the Great Room Switch and I’ll be glad to have more time to dote on my plants. Goodbye, Closets. Hello, Dahlias!