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Archive for the ‘to do’ Category

my little (neglected) blog got a shout out from a fan page on facebook, which is sort of thrilling, but i haven’t posted any new content since, oh JANUARY, which is sort of pathetic. i am now inspired (or is it shamed?) into posting more. i have been meaning to, i swear! i do have lots to say, i’ve just been saying it all in snarky little bits on facebook instead. but i promise. as much for me as anyone who might stop by.

and since i hate photo-less posts:

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this is my new favorite drink.

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pomegranate juice + seltzer + vodka.

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the results are extraordinary.

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it tastes like summer.

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and is perfect for drinking on your fire escape at sunset once the kiddies are in bed.

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but it needs a name. what would you call it?

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we all know raising kids is a helluva job, but once you have in kids in school, isn’t the workload supposed to get a little lighter? no way. you know my new job? Fundraiser. Class Parent. Volunteer. for someone with an open schedule, i got no free time!

i’m not complaining. (maybe just a little). the fundraising part can be fun (ha!) actually, and lord knows i love me a good class trip. but jay-sus, when you have a kid in the nyc public schools, all you ever hear about is money money money. honestly, it gets a little tedious.

but sometimes you luck into something so special that you really don’t mind writing a check or baking for the sale or asking your friends for favors. such is the case with the pre-school miss thing attends. the boy went there also, two years ago. people, this place is special. it rocks. you wouldn’t know it to look at is from the outside, which is a lesson in itself. it’s tucked away at the bottom of a huge ‘project’ building in the bronx. the elevated train rattles by 100 feet from the front door,  you’ve got to watch your step as you approach (lots of dog walkers with no access to plastic bags apparently)… you get the picture. but step inside and it’s another world.

mhns

i can say without reservation that the marble hill nursery school is the best thing that ever happened to my son. he was very shy, easily overwhelmed and not interested in being left at school – even at age 4. his teachers were incredibly patient and perceptive – they realized the old ‘he’ll cry for a few minutes and then be fine’ was not going to be the case with him. he needed a slow, easy, loving, low-key introduction to school. i remember telling my sister-in-law, who has a son the same age, about our slow approach to leaving him at school, and she expressed surprise: not that he needed it, but that the school allowed it. i felt like saying, it’s what he needs, of course they ‘allowed it’! apparently her son’s pre-school didn’t work that way, no matter what. but then again, look at our teachers: most hold masters degrees, many from bank street. they’ve been there 10 or 15 years. they could probably teach anywhere they wanted in nyc. they are extremely dedicated to the mission of this school. we’ve also got an on-staff child psychologist (we made good use of her!), and music teacher. the kids bake. they paint. they make play dough. they glue and string. they dress up and take care of the babies. they play house. they work puzzles and build with blocks and create worlds within the classrooms. the play is child-directed, with guidance from the teachers. for the kids that are there all day, there is a hot lunch and nap time. the world inside the grimy brick wall is rich indeed.

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all this is to say: it takes money to make all this happen, as i’m sure you know. and, as i’m sure you’ve guessed, it takes fundraising to get that money. the school needs to raise roughly $60,000 annually. that number obviously rises each year. tuition does go up, but not really that much (maybe 2%) each year, because they don’t want to shut people out….oh yeah, that’s the other thing about this place: no one is turned away. no one. you can’t pay? we’ll give you a scholarship. This assistance has enabled hundreds of children over the years to participate in a wonderful preschool experience which has prepared them to be very successful in future school endeavors. 

the school gets some money from the board of ed, and there’s been a pretty generous contributor for several years running, but there’s still at least 30 large to raise each year. there’s an annual live auction in june which generates a good amount, but this year we need more.  so the board of directors (of which i’m part) has decided to hold an online auction this year, which i think should be really fun. and because it’s online, we can reach a pretty wide audience. 

so, we need stuff to auction. good stuff! fun stuff! handmade sells really well. tickets, gift cards, one of a kind items, you name it. 

You Can Help:

are you a yoga or pilates teacher? donate a one-on-one session! are you a photographer? donate a print! do you knit or crochet? get those fingers moving and make us something! did you write a book? sign a copy and send it our way! going to some exotic place? pick up a cool souvenier! you get the picture, right? donations are tax deductible and you’ll be our hero!

if you think you can help us out, please leave me a comment. i’m going to be really bold and ask some specific crafty and fabulous bloggers directly for a donation. i’ll get back to those of you who want to donate with info as to where to send your goods. the auction will take place in late february or early march, so we need donations soon!

thank you thank you thank you!

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surprise!

ooohhh! lookie what i got in the mail the other day….

yup, the pattern for the famously overknit baby surprise jacket from elizabeth zimmerman (“ez” to those in the knit). i’m going to put my magallanes to use, finally, for this pattern. the babe has been born, he is a he, and i’m far, far behind on a gift. i haven’t even spoken to the mama voip-to-voip yet!

i’m a little intimidated by the pattern, though, i have to say. i love how she writes things down: “See what you are doing? You are decreasing…”, or, “Work will start to look very odd indeed, but trust me and press on.” there’s a lot of that. sweet, personable, human…but i fear things will be hard to keep track of. i plan on writing out the pattern line by line, because, as i have learned in the past, if it ain’t written down, i ain’t gonna knit it. or purl it. or what-have-you. you see what i’m saying.

in other surprise-related news, miss thing is keeping us on our collective toes lately. not that she hasn’t, always. not that all children don’t, usually. but jeez. i can barely catch my breath. like, for the biggest instance, she – quite suddenly – needs one hour less sleep per day. yeah. you parents out there, you feel my pain, right? she already wasn’t the ‘maximum’ type sleeper like the boy is, and now: oy. chicklet is going to sleep at 9-freakin’-thirty. folks. i need to be in bed by 10:30 or i’m toast because she still gets up by 7:15. that’s a short evening indeed. barely time to shower and watch the wire! i don’t think she cares.

also, surprise! school is ending. ahhhh! where did the year go? kindergarten is nearly over. i can barely wrap my brain around that. but the journey…the journey for the boy has been really important. he has come so very far. i (seriously) could not have paid cash money for this year to go any better than it did. i give a lot of credit to his pre-school teacher, last year (melissa). and a lot to his teacher this year, miss pinnie, the rockin’-est kindergartner teacher there ever was. but i also have to give him credit: he has matured so much this year. from the boy who wouldn’t answer to his name during roll call in the morning to the boy who read two books in front of his whole class – and remembered to show the pictures!! he now runs down to the third grade class for reading buddies on fridays. amazing. i am so proud of him.

 

(isn’t that the best class photo ever? i love it so much more than those silly posed ones with the dorky background. they were on the beach at coney island. after they took this pic, they ran a big race across the sand).

anything surprising you these days?

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i’ve got several thoughtful posts in draft form, but jeez, it’s taking me a long time to write them & get them up here. so in the meantime, i thought i’d get a little fast and frivolous. ready?

I WANT…

ok, wait. i have plenty of stuff. but we all want things, right? besides, all of these things aren’t necessarily material anyway.

i want:

  • to lose the last 5. things are going well in this department, thanks to

cheap gym with a ton of machines and very close to my place. i like.

  • to be able to go here for yoga

the integral yoga institute on 13th street. it’s like an hour away by subway so i haven’t been there for-bloody-ever.

  • these babies

el naturalista iggdrasil shoes. my neighborhhood pal heather has some in a leafy green. lurrrve them. not gonna happen anytime soon, though.

  • more space. oh, specifically, a dining room, a third bedroom and some private outdoor space. my, my, a house would be nice. we fantasize about ones like this:

that’s in montclair, nj

or this

in new paltz, ny

here’s the rub tho: not ready to leave la ciudad. not at all. especially not our ‘hood. i love it here.

  • time, baby, time.

time to knit this:

le clapotis by kate gilbert…

or this:

flicca by anna bell. oh my word, so beautiful. i can’t even imagine how long it would take me to make.

and time to bog, for chrissakes!

  • to see my friends! i’ve got so many people who i need to see, whom i haven’t seen in a really long time:

there’s my best pal, lynn, in chicago. she’s got a 2 year old who has cystic fybrosis and i haven’t seen her in two years. there’s my brother and his wife, also in chicago. there’s my good friend, maria, who defected from the ny area and up and moved to louisville, kentucky last summer. traitor. there’s my college boyfriend, lee, in blacksburg, virginia whom i haven’t seen in, oh, i don’t know, 8 years? ridiculous. he’s got 2 kids. and julie, in vermont, who just had her third (yes, friends, THIRD) child this month. gotta go visit them, especially since my son is going to marry her daughter someday. hee!

  • on the last and most frivolous note (yes, even more so than the shoes) i want LOST never to end and to stay brilliant (which it is much of the time…it’s only sucked a few times). it’s probably better that it’s going to finish up next year (or the next? i can’t remember), but i just love the story and the creepiness and the mystery and the secrets of those people’s lives.

plus (and let’s be honest here, ladies), where else can you find that much eye candy in one place? even if there weren’t jack and sawyer and sayid and (my personal fave) desmond (oh, brutha!), i’d be happy to just watch kate for an hour each week.

and what about you, you, you? what do you want?

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da bronx

i’m pretty tuckered out, so this’ll mostly just be visual. the boy is off school this week, so we’re all about finding Something To Do. today, we went to the bronx:

this is the bronx


seriously. the bronx. chickens, horses and pony rides. miss thing was very excited about the pony ride…in concept. her whole time aboard the beastie, however, she was saying, “…mama….mama….mama…let’s go home….mama…mama…” she liked the chickens better, i think. the boy would have nothing to do with the pony ride to even begin with, but we all saw that coming, didn’t we? he seemed to like our friend jonathan’s shirt better.

btw, the pony was named madonna and the trainer was benny. both were very sweet. so is jonathan.

tomorrow: Ikea!

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alma

one year ago the sweet soul of blacksburg, virginia was shattered. i graduated from virginia tech with my degree in theatre arts, and a special place in my heart for the town i really grew up in. i love that place, and i miss it. i’ve been wanting to visit for a while – haven’t been there in seven or eight years – but now i must. that sweet mountain town has been calling me for the past year, just like it called out to everyone who ever set foot in it, student or not. ‘help me heal’, she asked, ‘help me to repair my broken heart.’ everyone heard her: the fund set up to create scholarships to honor those killed collected over $8 million. alumni have been making pilgrimages back. even the yankees went down to play ball.

so i need to go back. i need to stand in front of those stones and cry. i need to walk across the drillfield and stop in the middle and tell her i heard her and i’m here. and i’m so sorry.

but then.

but then, i want to visit the duckpond, and have a beer at the cellar with lee and lynn and shop on main street – is that donut place still there? – and drive the country roads and visit PAB. she needs us to mourn with her, but she also needs us to help her move on. i can do that.

not being a poet, i can’t say it better than nikki:

We are Virginia Tech.

We are sad today, and we will be sad for quite a while. We are not moving on, we are embracing our mourning.

We are Virginia Tech.

We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly, we are brave enough to bend to cry, and we are sad enough to know that we must laugh again.

We are Virginia Tech.

We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did nothing to deserve it, but neither does a child in Africa dying of AIDS, neither do the invisible children walking the night away to avoid being captured by the rogue army, neither does the baby elephant watching his community being devastated for ivory, neither does the Mexican child looking for fresh water, neither does the Appalachian infant killed in the middle of the night in his crib in the home his father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized. No one deserves a tragedy.

We are Virginia Tech.

The Hokie Nation embraces our own and reaches out with open heart and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid. We are better than we think and not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imaginations and the possibilities. We will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears and through all our sadness.

We are the Hokies.

We will prevail.

We will prevail.

We will prevail.

We are Virginia Tech.

-nikki giovanni, april 17, 2007


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not much to report on the knitting front. i do have an FO though:

my so-called hat for my MIL :

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to match the my so-called scarf i made her last year.

stitch pattern close up (love that macro!):

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it’s just a hat, but it feels good to complete something (especially something so quick!). ETA: yarn is malabrigo in continental blue; pattern free from becky at moonfrog.com.

also, people, i need suggestions: i’ve got two hanks of this stupendousness and no idea what to do with it:

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it is magallanes handspun & hand-dyed in an indigo/garnet/tangerine-y combo. it’s gorgeous. 2 hanks is like 400 yards. i do not need a scarf. my husband doesn’t want one (he’s waiting for his socks, ‘member?). there is a friend’s baby to knit for…but would these colors be too weird for a baby item? what about the baby surprise jacket? it could be quite stunning….also, baby’s sex is yet unknown,and this would really work for either a boy or a girl. thoughts?

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