Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kelp Shake

Lee came up with a Kelp Shake recipe today after recently viewing an episode of "SpongeBob SquarePants," in which the Kelpshake restaurant was featured where they serve Kelpshakes, a popular soft drink made of kelp juice.
Lee's Kelp Shake has four ingredients: Kelp, milk, ice, chocolate chunks. These ingredients are "blended up in the blender," says Lee.

Lee starts first grade tomorrow.

Lee's recipe - above - translated: kep (kelp), mic (milk), uis (ice), chocit chcs (chocolate chunks) blibd (blended) up (up) in (in) the (the) blibd (blender).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tooth fairy

Well, it's official. The youngest son doesn't believe in the tooth fairy who in the past has taken two days to arrive at this house because there are so many other children who have lost teeth.

Lee, who turns 7 in November, lost another tooth tonight - at dinner.
I thought the white speck on the tip of his tongue was a chopped onion.
"Spit it out if you don't like it, Lee," I said.
"It's not an onion, mom. It's my tooth," he said as it landed on the table.
"Well I think the tooth fairy will be visiting our house tonight," I said.
Long pause.
"I don't believe in the tooth fairy," he said.
"What?????? You don't believe in the tooth fairy?????"
"My mom and dad bring me money when I loose a tooth."
"Dad told me that ... but maybe he's lying."
"Lee, do you believe in Santa Claus?"
"EVERYONE believes in Santa Claus."

Monday, August 10, 2009


Tonight Will announced that the Black Raspberry Jam on his PBJ sandwich looked like blood.
“It is,” I said, “And I’m a vampire!”
Seconds later the comeback kid, Will, added, “It’s not peanut butter mom, it’s blood butter.”
The conversation, though probably not appropriate for little ears or from little mouths, resulted from the fact that I had just finished reading a story in The Daily Jeffersonian headlined “‘Twilight’ wins 11 Teen Choice Awards.”
I’ll admit, I’ve shamefully been “sucked” into the “Twilight” series.
I am not proud and tell few very people that I’m now reading the fourth and final book, “Breaking Dawn” by Stephenie Meyer.
My desire to read the first book stemmed from all the hoopla about the film. I wanted to see for myself what it was all about.
I loved the 1987 comedy-horror film “The Lost Boys.” I couldn’t resist the irrestible head vampire Michael (hunky Jason Patric) and his beautiful Star, played by Jami Gertz. The soundtrack to that film also rocked.
I have not seen the movie “Twilight,” now offered on DVD.
I may watch it some day when I’m home alone.
The trailer for the upcoming “Twilight” sequel “New Moon” played during the previews when we saw “Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince” in Zanesville on Saturday.
I had already seen the vampire trailer online and was a little apprehensive about the boys and David (despises horror films) seeing it.
The boys said nothing.
“Wow,” said a sarcastic David as Jacob Black, the teen-werewolf transformed on screen when love-interest Bella Swan was confronted by a thirsty vampire.
I wonder how many of these teens who voted on the Teen Choice Awards have read the books?
The “Twilight” and “New Moon” film images online and on TV are disturbing to me, and yet, I am still a participant in this freak-show, albeit a passive follower.
No one sees what is in my head when I read the stories.
The burning question: Would Bella become a vampire?
I had to keep reading to find out!
Lead character vampire Edward Cullen (actor Robert Pattison) does nothing for my hormones.
Edward and Bella’s relationship is risky in more ways than one even before they are married.
Bella does turn into a vampire.
Edward and Bella parent a half-human, half-vampire baby.
Jacob “imprints” on baby Renesmee. Whoa!!!!! Enough already.
I’m nearly finished with the last book and still can’t understand the attraction to this series.
What are these teens thinking?
Do their parents consent?
Will it ever end ...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Train ride and the Wilds

We're taking a little vacation this week.
Since they were little boys my three sons have loved trains and we've taken rides on scenic lines in Byesville and at Dennison, Ohio.
Thursday we departed a restored depot in the downtown Elkins, W.Va., historic district on a four-hour, 46-mile round trip ride on the New Tygart Flyer.
The air-conditioned streamliner twisted and climbed along the cascading Shaver's Fork of the Cheat River. The ride featured two separate mountain grades, a spectacular "S" curve tunnel - with just a 2 inch clearance on either side of the train - and mile after mile of unspoiled mountain wilderness.
We had a buffet cold-cut lunch on the train. Our cars were furnished with tables and chairs. There were flush-toilet restrooms aboard.
The boys liked the ride.
I was a little disappointed with the train route itself - a lot of woods, and little narration and interaction. While there were a few children aboard, a majority of the riders were "older."
The highlight was unboarding the train at the the inspirational "High Falls of Cheat," an 18-foot high, 150-foot wide waterfall in one of the most remote and pristine setttings in the eastern United States.
We spent about 45 minutes here and then headed back down the track.

Today we took an Open-Air Safari at the Wilds near Cumberland, Ohio, and I loved it but the boys said they liked the train ride better.
The Wilds is one of the largest and most innovative wildlife conservation centers in the world, and it's in our backyard!
Located on nearly 10,000 acres, it is home to rare and endangered species from around the world living in natural, open-range habitat. A newer carnivore compound features the cheetah and the African Wild Dog and Dhole (an Asian wild dog).
David said, "It's a money-making machine. I was disappointed we didn't get to see more animals."
We didn't buy any $6.50 hamburgers but we got to see some other unusual animals, several of which you won't see at the zoo. There are special kinds of antelope, birds, deer, sheep, goats and relatives, wild cattle and zebras and wild horses (the Persian Onager - a wild ass is pictured above) in addition to rhinoceroses, giraffes and camels.
I agree the prices are a bit steep but would still recommend at least one visit to the park.
This was my first "real visit."
When the Wilds opened to the public more than a decade ago I wrote a story for the newpaper on the endangered rhinos there. The paper's photographer and I got to go behind the scenes to see the rhinos, which were the only animals at the facility then.
Our guide today, a college student, seemed knowledgeable of his employer's mission and the interaction with the 30 people in our safari vehicle was nice.
For the three to four hours you spend at the Wilds I guarantee you'll forget you're in southeastern Ohio.

Our vacation is coming to an end.
Tomorrow we plan to see the latest "Harry Potter" film and do some back-to-school shopping.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mp3 player

The 10-year-old got a new mp3 player yesterday and it's going back to the store today.
Either the $24.99 player is defective or I'm technically challenged.
Made in China, the 2GB Element player looks cool. It is neon red with an LCD display and has seven backlight options. It has a voice recording and lyric display features, plus it came with the USB cord and ear buds.
So what more could a 10-year-old ask for ...
A mother who can transfer songs from the computer to the player.
Christian is so funny.
He couldn't wait to get it out of the package and tore the thing open in the van.
He said, "Man this is so light. Maybe when I put some songs in it it will get heavier."
I explained the electronic miracle of transfering music to him, which even I don't comprehend.
Later he commented, "It is heavier now" (with the AAA battery installed).
We sat for hours copying music from CDs onto the computer. I am determined to turn him into an '80s music lover.
I have a three-disc collection called Hits of the 80s (original hits by original artists). We downloaded that. Then we gathered some more. A few songs (the ones I could remember that had no cuss words) from Def Leppard, and some Journey, The Cars, Bryan Adams, U2, Foreigner, and The Police. Finally we added Clocks by Cold Play, and McDonald's CDs called Kids Bop 1 & 2 (kids singing catchy, popular songs).
Incidently, the 8-year-old who gave me the moniker Old Lady, Will, decided after the parental screening of music lecture that I probably learned all the cuss words I know from listening to Def Leppard. Ha!
In all we had nearly 80 clips saved on realPlayer ... five hours and 21 minutes of music.
The problem surfaced when I tried, repeatedly, to add the mp3 player device to realPlayer. I never figured this out.
So, I burned the music onto CDs - FOUR of them - and I had to delete songs to get all that music to fit. That shows you how efficient and convenient mp3 players are, even a 2GB player.
I just wonder what is next for our little boys who are every day liking big boy toys more and more.

UPDATE: This afternoon I downloaded a newer version of realPlayer, found the device and successfully transfered the music clips to Christian's mp3 player!