Saturday, June 28, 2008

Swim:Though It Be but 59 Degrees

Jane enjoyed watching the older three swim.

Skinny buddies.

Alex was the smallest swimmer in the advanced class.

Emily must have gypsy blood...she has always been a wanderer. She even strayed from her guppy class in the pool.

Lined up for the diving board.


Catch me.

The face of distress. His toes were blistered and bleeding from the pool bottom. He wore socks in the pool after that.

At the park behind the pool. Jane on the conveyor belt slide. If you talk while you are going down, it will cause you to stutter. And if you stick your tongue out, it will waggle back and forth.

Smelling the flowers leaves pollen on her face.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tax Dollars at Work

Hefty property taxes here pay for an odd assortment of things. During the year each neighborhood has large trash day once a month. The city contracts "free" pick-up for your old mustard plaid, scratchy sofa and your lawn chairs that got used as sleds in the winter. It is a nice service and if you are motivated you will find treasures if you go around the scheduled neighborhoods. Consequently the city has less to pick up because the junk gets recycled into new homes.

Taxes also pay for leaf clean up in the fall. You rake all your leaves into the street and bulldozers come and scrape them up off the pavement. I've seen piles of leaves taller than men. It is "free" wholesome entertainment for the kids.

This week we discovered a new "free" activity. The library summer reading program. Before I say more, this library system has won the best library in the nation in years past. It is obvious why as the library boasts amazing facilities, an exhaustive audio-visual selection, a used bookstore, and you can even check out framed art to hang on your walls. That aside, all four kids have caught the Reading Bug. Yes, even Jane. She has the privilege of listening to books and winning prizes. Fritz already won a stuffed bug which he named Bluey. The girls are incredibly pleased to be included in the preschool program with lady bug stickers and buggy folders. Since my children when unoccupied metamorphose into pesty bugs I think the summer reading game was aptly titled. Now they are antsy for me to finish my post so they can claim their tax dollar prizes. Should I tell them Daddy and Mommy paid 15.99 for each of those stuffed mosquitoes? No, let them be stung by property taxes when they are older.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What it might be like...

After weeks of negotiating and uncertainty, we are thrilled to be signed. We will be moving next year to Victoria, Texas. If I was writing a visitor guide, I would tell you to expect Texas-style shabbiness off of Highway 59. But as you remove yourself off the main thoroughfare, you will find pockets of lovely homes and the Guadalupe river which pumps life through the city. The river's energy yanked us in. We knew our kayak would be used and enjoyed here. When not paddling the river, there are three golf courses and the ocean is a mere hour away. Victoria is only 63,000, but the shopping is relatively broad. Enter Starbucks and get an iced mocha latte then meander down to Target to purchase a bathing suit for the pool at the country club. While you are thinking of water you remember you want to replace the faucet in the kitchen so you head into Lowes and if you can't find the right thing you try Home Depot. But faucets lead you to look at bathtubs and you remember your towels are frayed in too many places and your guests are coming next week. You head into Bed, Bath and Beyond and realize you need another kid to carry the bags out. You borrow a neighbor's kid till 5pm and decide with the extra pair of hands you can stop in at Kohls for a pair of sheets for the guest room, Academy for an anchor for the kayak, Hobby Lobby for a frame for that unflattering graduation photo, Hancock Fabrics for a chintz to make a dust ruffle. You don't really enjoy shopping but you know the refrigerator is empty and the borrowed kid meter is about to expire so you make one last stop at HEB. There you pick up some fresh tortillas, sushi and gourmet cheese. As the groceries are checked out you realize you left your wallet at the fabric store, but since it is such a small town the manager has already called your husband's office and they pass on your cell phone number. You wonder what is ringing in your purse since you still aren't use to having a modern day convenience. Ahh, yes, my rhinestone phone. "Hello." You listen as the store manager says he will send his sister over with your wallet. In a few minutes due to no 5 o'clock traffic, you embarrassingly pay for your dinner. You are thankful to be living in Victoria, but you wonder why you still can't shop at thrift stores and trash hunt. Times use to be so much simpler.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Calamity Jane

As is so often the case, if you can step back from the trials and stresses of life you will find a fabulous story. Be warned, I hardly could have made up the things you are about to read. My dearest Jane is now cursed with bad luck...7 years in fact. Last night, she threw a 12 inch make-up mirror down the staircase. Perhaps she didn't like her reflection. Or maybe vanity has little to do with it. As the mirror was circular perhaps Jane thought it would bounce like a ball. Nonetheless, her bad luck started the morning before. Around 9am I found her scooping water out of the toilet with her plastic pink teapot and pouring that germ-infested water into teacups so she could quench her thirst. At noon she came to me with a uncapped glue stick in her chubby hand smelling much like what she held. Jane had spread the white paste all over her face. I am convinced she thought it was chapstick. Not knowing moderation, she reasoned if a little is good, a lot is much better. In the afternoon Jane had successfully tattooed her body with ballpoint pen and marker. Now I am convinced she is on the path of self-destruction. She must indeed have a personal insecurity. First she tries to poison herself with thousands of unseen microbes. Next she masks her face in white gunk. Lastly she resorts to body art to get some attention around here. Pobrecita! Being the last of four children is devastatingly difficult. Calamity Jane refuses to take the hand she was dealt. Her 2 year old scheming succeeded, she has my undivided attention and deepest sympathy for what her future might hold.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008