Saturday, June 30, 2007

I was doing laundry like always last weekend when it dawned on me: "Hey, I'm doin' laundry in the garage!"

Yeah, it's cool. And Jeff said, "You can decorate it any way you want. It's your space."

I want linoleum. "No, get tile."

I want wallpaper. "No, we're painting."

I want a funky, laundromat-style open bulb fluorescent light fixture.

"Hanging by a chain?"


"No, sorry, I can't let you do it. It's ugly."
It happened again: I'm hanging out with the nannies.

I ought to just pretend that I'm one too. I mean, who would be crazy enough to spend time with their own kids? Alright, this is a long story and I'm getting ahead of myself.

Everyone told me that when I had kids of my own I would meet other parents, you know, make friends with my kids' friends' parents. Well, that's happened to a large extent. But there's a growing numbers of parents with nannies to schedule and supervise their children's playdates, at home, at the park, at another's home.

And I got my nose out of joint the first couple of times with the nanny on playdates, especially when she has other children in tow.

Like the grandmothery lady at the country club last Saturday.

She called herself a "babysitter" but she brought two brothers to their morning tennis lesson, lunch out afterwards and would drop them at the older one's birthday party before calling it a day and returning home to her waiting husband. As she's telling me her life story, totalling thirteen years of caring for others' children after raising her own, she rocked my Ella to sleep. (I almost told her, "You're hired!"). I could clearly see how she makes her living ... by making herself indispensable!

Next time you spot young children out with Grandma, think again! It could be the empty nester nanny!

The real icing was lunch out with Kenny on Friday at the trendy JavaMoon Cafe. A first for both of us ... and the food was out of this world ... well, it was better than I expected. Jeff had lunch there once too and said the place was full of ladies spending their husband's money. Yeah, that was my thought, too. The couple next to us said nothing to dispel that impression.

They discussed (loudly) their nannies and their day care arrangements and their swim clubs and their vacations. The one felt guilty about putting her four kids in day care, presumably for the summer. But the other supported her by observing that she had greater management over her free time ... she could go out to lunch like this!

Everyone needs a break I guess. I had mine in the fall before Ella came. Nannies are people too and wouldn't I rather converse with someone with first-hand familiarity with children?! Sometimes I think the less time my kids spend around me the better for them. But it's no good having strangers at the end of it all either.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Update on Kenny's collarbone fracture: he is on the mend and the doctor advised that he remove his figure-of-eight strap and resume normal actitivies. That meant that Kenny could swim at camp on Friday afternoon and he did.

When I dropped Kenny off at camp after his morning doctor's appointment this afternoon, I opted to visit Tim.

It took some time for the division coordinator of Tim's camp to pick me up and take me to Tim's current actitivy. By that time, Kenny had left his things at his camp locker and joined his group playing tennis. Tim and his group were at the pool and I passed the tennis courts on the way. So, I saw Kenny being his rowdy self, hitting and chasing tennis balls, showing off for me.

Tim wasn't in the pool. The air was a little chilly and he was wrapped in a towel poolside. He was delighted to see me and went back into the water just to show me. But, before long, he was back in his towel, a fresh one, and curled up on a deck chair with his head down, very worn-out and a little cold.

I was happy to see them both doing fine and enjoying themselves.
I saw the story over Jeff's shoulder this morning but didn't realize until I read this week's alumni newsletter that the grads were from western NY:
Five recent graduates from Fairport High School were killed in a head collision with a semi at about 10 p.m. Tuesday night.

Ontario County sheriffs say [the grads] were in an SUV driving east on Routes 5 and 20 in East Bloomfield and the semi was driving west.1
"Fairport crash" - The Buffalo News, 6/28/07:
“That light that’s coming through the window in the ceiling,” Paddock said later at an impromptu memorial service at Assumption Catholic Church in Fairport. “That’s the girls in cheerleading heaven.”

Monnat was scheduled to attend Canisius College this fall and McClure was going to the University at Buffalo.

For this small community outside Rochester, an upscale suburb similar to East Aurora or Orchard Park, the news of a fatal car crash means friends and family will attend funerals instead of graduation parties next week.
"Fairport priest counsels after tragedy" -
Father Peter Clifford said a special Mass Wednesday night in front of more than 400 teenagers and parents. What made it more difficult for Father Clifford is that Wednesday was his first day as pastor.

"I invited the folks who were here last night to stand on that faith. And that faith is that in our Lord Jesus Christ, these dear friends have been wrapped up in glory," Fr. Clifford said.
"5 Teen Girls Killed In Fiery SUV Crash Upstate",, 6/27/07:
"I really just came to hug the kids and cry with them. I don't understand any more about this than they do," said Cathy Tocci, religious education director at the village's Church of the Assumption. Tocci said Congdon and Monnat were members of her church.
1 "Five Fairport teens killed in head on crash" - WHEC-TV.

Online Dating

Needs more cowbell.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I'm late with this, es tut mir leid:

"Book sale opens at Freehold church", News Transcript, 6/27/07:
FREEHOLD - Dedicated members of the Freehold Area Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) have been working since last fall to collect and sort used books for their annual book sale to be held at the Freehold Reformed Church, 67 W. Main St., this week.

The AAUW book sale will begin with a preview night on June 27 from 5-9 p.m.

The book sale will continue with free admission June 28-29 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and June 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Prices for adult, hardcover books are $1.50; paperbacks, 50 cents; large paperbacks, $1; and some specially priced books.

Because of space limitations, donations of books are no longer being accepted. Collection will begin again in the fall. For questions, call Maizie Frenkiel at (732) 446-7992.
If you go, just remember it's stuffy (hot) and crowded. But the bibliophile will be rewarded!
Oh, gee, a real, live Catholic Carnival, not a blogosphere one!

At St. V's in Howell.

We met a couple of Kenny's classmates there. Timmy's friend couldn't come.

So, I got Kenny a $20 unlimited ride wristband and sent him off with his friends (and their mothers) while Tim and Chris palled around together. They especially enjoyed the electric train display. Funny, the miniature Amtrak kept derailing!

It was hot but not crowded. We stayed an hour later than planned.

The "live entertainment" was a young Christian band but I didn't catch their name. I recognized one song, and I thought, if they aren't a Catholic band, what a great gig, playing a Catholic carnival! Cuz, hey, somebody might get "saved", in between the 50/50 raffle announcements over the PA.

I was young once, too.
"Catholics and the iPhone" - Commonweal blog:
A study recently conducted by Commonweal showed that Catholics were more likely than Protestants to buy an iPhone when it goes on sale this Friday. Well, actually I made that up ...
And from the comments ...
"I do believe that Protestants are probably People of the PC, and Catholics are People of the Mac ... give into the iEverything world that is so clearly a manifestion of, or a lure to, the Catholic Imagination."

"It's a little known fact that Apple is also putting out a limited-edition iPhone just for Catholics...the 'i(nfallible)Phone.' Available only at the Vatican, it is impossible to say anything in error when using it."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Over the weekend we watched Children of Men.

I admit that the title didn't turn me on during its theatre run. And, if Wiki is to be believed, that's ironic. I'm ignorant, what more can I say?

Diana's death must have served as inspiration for the overt display of mourning at the passing of the "youngest person on the planet" at the movie's start. Spotted the cover of Animals - Orwellian, I suppose - without difficulty. And saw an alley that could have been in A Clockwork Orange.

I thought the attack on the car was simulated ... "We've come full circle"1 ... but watching the DVD extras afterwards proved me wrong.

The baby's delivery looked real, a little too real for us. Jeff was like, "Uh-huh, that's it."

The treatment of the illegal immigrants was, as one reviewer said, unnerving. Allusions to Das Deutsches Reich2 were so disturbing.

I did get a sense of John Lennon from Michael Caine at one point, that was felt more strongly during the song over the credits. But then, given the number of covers in the movie, we both thought it could be Julian. I mean, I know the song by title only, never heard it, but the voice sounded too clear to be the elder Lennon. Yet it was. My god, what a voice he had. I haven't downloaded from iTunes yet ...

So, yes, hopeful at the end. Wiki quotes the director on using an African "fugee" as a renewed "Out of Africa". I hadn't picked up on that.

1 I watched It Happened One Night a week ago on TCM and, well, the car ride scenes are ... um ... typical of the era, if you get my drift. And Gable's giddiness as he's selling his story to his boss is a rare side ... but just like Depp in Ed Wood.

2 "The Uprising," zum Beispiel
Rainy, windy Monday was spent at Ocean Grove. A perfect beach day as far as I was concerned.

Jeff said that we used to go to Ocean Grove when we lived in Tinton Falls. I don't remember that. But, then, we didn't go to the beach much in those days because we worked all the time. All the time.

The people with me set the course along Route 33. Eh, ok. That's not how I get to the Shore but my GPS said the same.

After a moment of indecision in Tinton Falls, she suddenly changed course and took Route 66. She called to explain that her GPS pointed her that way. If she has RT traffic updates, I could understand because Route 33 in Neptune is under construction, woefully under construction. But, I warned her that Route 66 goes to Asbury Park.

"Well, if it looks alright, we can go there instead."

If? If? It's Asbury Park! There's no "if" about it. But I held my tongue because they are trying to rejuvenate that historic shore community. We could be a part of the solution ...

Passed Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, and the soup kitchen where I used to volunteer on Sat. mornings, and the Salvation Army store where I used to drop off my used clothing. By the time we got to Main Street (Route 71), my companion had seen enough to send her south, to Ocean Grove. Right.

Now, Ocean Grove, if you aren't familiar, is known for its summer camp meeting. Even when I lived over that way, I never attended any of the events. It's Methodist ... I got no problem with Methodist ... some of my best friends are Methodist ... the schedule is just too confusing to me. But one of these summers I'll figure it out and see what all the fuss is about.
I have a history of racing the camp bus. No, really. Of just not being home before it arrives.

I spent Kenny's very first day of camp at a neighbor's pool side and lost track of time. I arose from my deck chair as the bus rounded the bend. I sprinted (or tried to) across her huge side yard, crossed the street and ran up to the open bus door, announcing my presence.

Last summer was worse. On one occasion, I followed the camp bus through town to our house. The streets are narrow and curvy and there was no way to pass. How would that look anyway, deperately outrunning the camp bus home?!

And once Kenny had to stay with a neighbor because I was down the shore picking up my car from the shop. What a frantic exchange that was with the camp's transportation department: "Can you hold him at camp so that I can pick him up?"

"But he's scheduled to board the bus."

"Then, if nobody is home, does he remain on the bus and return to camp? And I can pick him up from there?"

"It doesn't work that way."

"Look, can he go home with a neighbor?"

"OK, but next time we need it in writing."

There isn't going to be a "next time".

But, there almost was. On Monday I was invited to Ocean Grove ... which is a post all its own! ... and decided to pack it in around 2:50. I got into the car by 3, powered on the GPS, pressed "Navigate to HOME" and my jaw dropped at the estimated arrival time! Oh, good heavens, I've done it again, I thought to myself. And on the first day of camp, too!

The estimated time is usually somewhat generous and I watched the minutes drop back the farther I drove. Besides, the day of camp? ... the bus was 20 minutes late!
"Don't let the kids use the stairs tonight."

"Oh, no? How come, because they are simply held in place with 2 by 4's?"

For builder's grade, the stairs are rather nice. I guess AJ Stairs does decent work. I had my concerns after interacting with their salesman. He kept shifting his price based on ... um ... nothing substantial.

I went to the "home office" a couple of weeks ago to ascertain the vendor's commitment and expertise. While waiting to talk with store management, I fell into a deep conversation with another customer who was there to pick up materials. He was rather ticked that he was sold, in his words, an "incomplete stair system," one that failed inspection. He needed a gripable handrail and he wanted it on the house.

The difference is that he installed his himself. In our case, if it doesn't pass code, our contractor will make it right. Our architect specified something other than the salesman provided, so we too may need more!
My new island in the kitchen? We can do better.

Still, it's pretty good to have a working stove and sink (and washer/dryer) throughout this renovation. My compliments to the plumber.

Jeff ordered the cabinets on Sunday. Delivery in six weeks.

The bulk of the sheetrock is up. What a messy job that is! I'm cured of wanted to finish the basement! The calendar shows one month of go but I'm thinking two because I haven't ordered any flooring yet.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I didn't have to create this one. You know how hard it is to take a picture of a street sign?!

I guess I could have climbed up atop a nearby split-rail fence. But the quiet street became unusually busy as soon as I pulled my car over, so I was already feeling self-conscious.

Had she been a boy would we have named her "Noah Hunt"?

This road sits halfway between our house and the doctor's office.

We were there today for her six-month checkup. Not good. Still hovering below 11 lbs. My morale wasn't aided much by a 26 lbs. seven month old in the waiting room. "What are you feeding that baby?"

"Just breast milk." Hmm, me too.

So, we're gonna try to see a GI specialist from Children's Hospital by Thursday. Jeff tells me that Philly is a piece of (cheese?) cake. I wouldn't know; I've never driven it.

He says this is why I got the GPS for Christmas.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Plumbing - a modern inconvenience.

Who knew when we remove the wall under the upstairs bath we'd find plumbing pipes?! Surely not our contractor.

Yeah, I think his bid for this "side project" was way underpriced. Still, I'm not gonna say, "OK, put everything back!" I like the extra space. But it ain't big enough for my four-slot, open-locker-type bench. Good thing I didn't buy it already. I don't think Jeff liked it anyway. I might have to put it in the laundry room.

We just need a creative way to hide the pipes.

Of course we will eventually remodel the upstairs bath and probably remove the tub when the kids are old enough to not need it. But that isn't happening anytime soon.

tags technorati :

Monday, June 18, 2007

The final wall came down today.

Insulation was done Friday morning. Inspection is tomorrow. Insulation makes the air conditioner more effective! But the new systems, upstairs and down, are supposed to be installed, beginning tomorrow.

Sheetrocking begins Wednesday. I don't know the story on the stairs.

I'm supposed to pick out flooring and order kitchen cabinets this week.
Ah, this explains the traffic congestion between 526 and the Jackson Outlets this morning:
I-195 East is closed after a tractor-trailer overturned on the highway Monday morning approaching Exit 16 (Six Flags/Mount Holly).

All traffic is being detoured off the road at Exit 11 (Coxs Corner/Imlaystown). Follow Route 526, turn right on Route 537, and return to I-195 East.

Also, the westbound shoulder of I-195 is closed west of of Exit 16 following an accident, causing a 3-mile backup.
I heard the sirens around 9AM ... and we never hear sirens. Hmm, second time1 in about a month.

Good thing I didn't decide to head to the beach today! Instead I was just making a "quick" shopping trip to the Outlets for sneakers.

My heart goes out to those Six Flags visitors on this, the first full day of summer vacation.

"TRAFFIC ALERT: Overturned tractor trailer on I-195 in Millstone" - Asbury Park Press, 6/18/07

1 "Driver of tanker truck killed in fiery Route 195 crash" - The Star-Ledger, 5/10/07

Sunday, June 17, 2007

For Father's Day ...

a link to a carnival of nursing moms sharing how indispensable dads are.

I've got stories, too. Plenty of stories where Jeff has bailed me out, usually in the wee hours of the morning. I don't know how single parents do it.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Even with $1,000's invested in these toys, I believe the recall effects only two trains: Skarloey and Old Slow Coach. We bought everything else well before January 2005.

As I researched this, Christopher peered over my shoulder with comments like, "Oh, I like that red train." And I'm like, "Yeah, well, the 'red' is 'lead', so don't like it ... or lick it!"

All these years, their pediatrician has asked innocently, "Any exposure to lead paint?" And I've answered in the negative.

Between the fever that Chris picked up at Build-A-Bear last week and this, I'm quite sure that our trade partners are trying to kill us.

It's like handing out blankets infested with small pox.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Lines from the book I'm reading, taken way out of context:
The problem reached its climax in the Reformation, a fight over what Paul meant in which, at times, there seemed to be little concern over what Jesus meant. 4

It is sometimes said that the historical Jesus is hard to find because he left no writings of his own. Paul is hard to find precisely because he did leave writings. 5

Those who believe in a providential revelation through the New Testament must deal with the fact that Providence preserved the first batch of inspired writings with the signature of Paul. 10

I shall argue that what Paul meant was not something other than or contrary to what Jesus meant, but that we can best find out the latter by studying the former. 10
My selection of quotations from the book is a work-in-progress so if it sounds unfinished, that's because it is.

I recommend the book for perhaps unusual reasons.

Again, I appreciate Wills's translation of Scripture ... maybe he'll publish a whole NT, like some modern-day Ronald Knox.

And Wills demythologizes Paul for lay Catholics. Those of us who don't know where to begin with St. Paul's writings can start here with Wills ... along with the Apostle's epistles.

Wills's take on WWJD - What Jesus Meant
References of Nietzsche in What Jesus Meant
Some of Wills's soteriology from What Jesus Meant
Link to Wills's NYT op-ed piece, Christ Among the Partisans - April '06
Link to my Amazon review of What Jesus Meant
No, not the PCUSA which is itself only twenty-four years old, but the building ...

"Presbyterian church celebrates 275 years" - Examiner, 6/7/07:
Shrewsbury Presbyterian shares an intersection with two other long-term congregations, the Quaker Meeting House and Christ Church Episcopal. The corner may be one of the most historical intersections in Monmouth County.

The congregation received an official corporate seal on its charter in 1732, proclaiming "Religious Liberty." It is the oldest of any American Presbyterian Church and was granted by Gov. Jonathan Belcher in the name of King George II of England.

The corporate seal actually belonged to four churches that constituted the "Presbyterian Church of Monmouth County" - namely, Shrewsbury, Freehold (Old Tennent), Cranbury and Allentown.

The congregation has been the "parent" of two offspring: Tower Hill (First Presbyterian) in Red Bank and Hope Presbyterian Church in Tinton Falls.
I've at least driven past all those churches mentioned, quite often in some cases, and even set foot inside a couple. The one in Cranbury is breathtaking. I was shown the interior during a tour of their preschool. I've said before that I like the absence of entrance steps, a very egalitarian symbol.

When I lived in Tinton Falls, I thought I might visit HPC especially after hearing their pastor deliver the homily at our Thanksgiving Day ecumenical service. But, even as the church was beautiful, it was intimidating.

I love the New Jersey Churchscape web site. This state has great churches ... with all due respect to eastern PA. The best concentration is in Madison (Morris Cty.).
GEORGE: But neither you nor anybody else can say anything against his character, because his whole life was... Why, in the twenty-five years since he and Uncle Billy started this thing, he never once thought of himself. Isn't that right, Uncle Billy?

He didn't save enough money to send Harry to school, let alone me. But he did help a few people get out of your slums, Mr. Potter. And what's wrong with that?

Why... Here, you're all businessmen here. Doesn't it make them better citizens? Doesn't it make them better customers?

You... you said... What'd you say just a minute ago?... They had to wait and save their money before they even ought to think of a decent home. Wait! Wait for what? Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they're so old and broken-down that they... Do you know how long it takes a working man to save five thousand dollars?

Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about... they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath?

Anyway, my father didn't think so. People were human beings to him, but to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they're cattle. Well, in my book he died a much richer man than you'll ever be!

POTTER: I'm not interested in your book. I'm talking about the Building and Loan.

GEORGE: I know very well what you're talking about. You're talking about something you can't get your fingers on, and it's galling you. That's what you're talking about, I know.

It's a Wonderful Life script
They are paving Lamb Ln. It started today.

No warning. No "On or About" orange sign.

I could barely see around the steamroller in making my detour, they had it parked so close to the intersection.

I nearly pulled out in front of a FedEx truck.

The road needs to be paved. It's the worst road in town. It's narrow, about 1.5 lanes. The bad part is only a short stretch.

It won't cost 'em much to fix it but won't benefit 'em much either since it's a lightly traveled road. But I drive it every school day. And, if just figures as we go through our final week before summer vacation that they are paving the road.

The detour lengthens my drive for these remaining days, yet the road'll sit idle all summer, new and unused til the fall.
Jeff told me about this this morning, over by the soccer fields over the weekend - a safe intersection:
Around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, J.R. Smith, 21, also known as Earl J. Smith III, drove a 2003 GMC Yukon around a stopped car and through a stop sign at the intersection of Stillhouse and Stagecoach roads.

He drove through the intersection and was struck by a westbound Jaguar, driven by Lynn Sinatra, 49, of Millstone, police said.

The Yukon overturned, and both Smith and Bell were ejected.

Bell was airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune. Bell had suffered severe head trauma and died at about 6 p.m. today (Monday) of head injuries. He had been in a coma.

Smith was transported by ambulance to Jersey Shore and was in stable condition with a shoulder injury and numerous abrasions and contusions.

Both Sinatra and Marshall were taken by ambulance to CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township, and were treated and released by 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

Millstone First Aid and Millstone Fire Department responded to the accident.

Smith was a former Lakewood High School basketball standout.

"NBA star still in hospital after crash" - Asbury Park Press, 6/11/07

"Denver Nuggets player issued ticket for accident" - Asbury Park Press, 6/11/07

"UPDATE: NBA star's passenger, injured in Millstone crash, has died", Asbury Park Press, 6/11/07

"Nuggets guard's passenger dies" - Asbury Park Press, 6/12/07

"Nuggets' Smith OK following SUV-car collision", ESPN, 6/10/07

Monday, June 11, 2007

T - a drink with jam & bread!

I love the Letter People! Hmm, not really.

When the school administration announced last spring, "No more Letter People," I was one of the few come ci, come ça ones.

Then a change of personnel, et voilà, the Letter People make an encore.

But anyway, anyway, here's Tim's shirt for the end of school concert. It's difficult to see, I know.

I had to use Velcro® to keep some of the bigger items on. Tim's teacher's like, "Don't you have a hot-glue gun?" Am I less of a mother because I don't?!

I just told her, "No, we don't keep guns in the house."

Jeff had the same advice: You need a hot-glue gun, Hon. With our house topsy-turvy, would I be able to find it if I had one?

At least "T" is a sensible letter. Lots of things starts with "T". Kenny had to be hard, all those years ago: he picked "X"! And I had a lot of fun with it. That was long before he had any genuine X-rays!
I've had this book for a while and I did some work in it at the tail end of a Revelation study that concluded last month.

It has some nice features and, more or less, eliminates the need of reading two or more books at the same time.

I get the Editor's unique purpose in producing the book, but I come away with the impression that, above all else, there's an attempt to prove the trustworthiness of the ESV's translation.

As the product description says:
This approach allows you to see firsthand the accuracy with which the translators of the English Standard Version of the Bible rendered the Greek text.
This, in my opinion, is unnecessary.

However, towards that end, the Editor orders the Greek to follow the English - it's a "reverse-interlinear" after all - and various notation marks account for each Greek and English word in their respective texts.

I can relate to some statements in the Preface:
So many people then go on to learn Greek intending to unearth some previously ignored word meaning that will have a significant effect in their Bible study. I believe this estimation of the purpose of original language study is unrealistic and does not do justice to the value and work of translators.

If we want to have a realistic and fulfilling expectation for the benefits of learning Greek, we should look toward developing a taste and a love for the ipsa verba (the very words themselves) of Scripture.

So please dabble and enjoy the meaning and the very words, sentences, and paragraphs in which God ordained to reveal himself. Approach these words in all reverence and fear, not in self-seeking pride or ambition.
Yes, I have encountered people in Bible study who think that Scripture translators are trying to dupe them, to obscure the meaning of the original, to impose their own theology. I don't share their skepticism.

That's not to say that I don't appreciate the original languages. I do, I think I do have that love for the ipsa verba. I've had it for some time and not just of the Bible.

I guess I'd just rather work the other way 'round. I'd rather get familiar with, not only the Greek NT vocabulary but also the syntax. The Preface says that the reverse-interlinear takes advantage of the flexibility of Greek syntax. IOW, Greek syntax doesn't matter as much as English syntax.

The only thing that really goes smoothly is working through a chapter I've memorized. Then there's not as much scanning the lines for translation hints. But I haven't huge portions of Scripture memorized, you know.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Who knew that a boy in a sling could play xbox?

The orthopedist swapped out the figure-of-eight strap that the ER doctor had prescribed for a simple sling.

The swelling in his arm and hand has disappeared but the sling slides off easily.

I preferred the figure-of-eight strap because it fit more naturally and discretely ... to a fault ... because a teacher took Kenny by the shoulders on Friday and I quickly mentioned his fracture.

He has less and less pain every day. We will do physical therapy when this is all over.
It's not because of the French Open. It's my kid's idea and he doesn't know the Grand Slam from the Triple Crown or the Stanley Cup.

He saw some kids taking lessons at a park we frequent. He was glued to the fence watching the fuzzy, yellow, bouncing ball. He asked for tennis lessons and I agreed to sign him up. He started telling his classmates that he was signed up for tennis lessons.

Then I learned that lessons start at age 6, both in town and at the Y. Who gives lessons to four-year-olds?

Kenny's classmate had her birthday party at her parents' country club, the Atlantic Club in Manasquan. Oh, it's a decent place. I looked over their web site and discovered that they offer tennis lessons beginning at age 3! So, I signed Timmy up and it begins just after school gets out.

Tennis rackets have changed in the twenty years since I played.

I couldn't distinguish the racket ball rackets from the tennis rackets, especially the kid-sized ones. Tim takes a 21" and I picked up a cheap 25" for myself. Funny how expensive the string-less ones were! :-) I bought him a white, collared shirt but couldn't find any white shorts. I need to pick up white tennis sneakers for him, too.

We've played a couple of times since buying the equipment. He likes it, probably because it's something he can do by himself. He's kinda solitary that way.

My serve and ground stroke aren't too, too bad after all these years. My feet are slow, way slow. Maybe by the time these kids get good enough to really play, I'll be back on my game.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Open a new campus, get a new principal ...

Millstone Primary School principal starts on July 1, Examiner, 6/7/07:
Villani, of Bound Brook, will start her new position July 1 and will receive $104,500 for the 2007-08 school year.
(That's not a broken collarbone, is it?)

She doesn't live in the district. Does she have children?

With her credentials, including completing a doctorate at SHU, and such a young age, she'll move on to bigger things soon enough. Hold on to the resumes of those other qualified candidates, BoE!

Now, wouldn't it be funny if the new school didn't open as planned?

Well, have a safe and happy summer!

Friday, June 08, 2007

The lovely Elena from Ohio tagged me for this.

Half are "repeats":
  • My first name is typed entirely with the left hand by those who know the home row ... and I’m left-handed. Four of seven of us at home, including both parents, were southpaws. (How both my parents got through Catholic school in the 50's as lefties, I'll never know).

  • I've been a hard core, diehard Beatles fan since watching A Hard Day's Night on TV at the age of ten.

  • I taught myself to sing the first verse and chorus of the French national anthem in high school and still remember it ("Allons enfants de la Patrie ..."), long before I learned it was featured in Casablanca.

  • One of my most memorable intercollegiate competitions was taking third place in the indoor 1,000 meters (timed 3:05) to earn an East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC) scholar-athlete award ("mens sana in corpore sano") at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD the weekend my father died of lung cancer at the age of 47.

  • I married my high school sweetheart.

  • We were paper millionaires … for a few hours … in ‘99. Wasn’t everyone?

  • My only trip overseas was two weeks in Israel. We named the answer to our Wailing Wall petition1 "Kenny".

  • I’m allergic to carrots and other raw vegetables.

1"It is also a tradition to deposit slips of paper with wishes or prayers on them in the crevices and crannies of the wall.

"Looking closely, one can see hundreds of tiny, folded papers stuffed inside every space that will hold them."
- Western Wall - Wiki

Thursday, June 07, 2007

"That's my fraction!"

And it is. I'm gonna call him "bookends": starts the school year with a broken hand and ends it with a broken clavicle.

It will impact his summer camp activities for a couple of weeks at least. I won't know how much for sure until the follow-up visit in ten days.

I think he was trying to impress me.

He had taught himself how to pump a swing - I know, at his age he ought to know this already but he's spoiled: Mom pushes him - and maxed out the swing's range. He said later that he planned to jump off but let go too soon. He had seen a girl jump off her swing at the park the previous week and he thought that was cool enough to try himself.

He landed on the mulch, on his left shoulder, popped up to his feet and came over to me rather quickly. I was pretending to change tires à la Cars' pit stop on the youngest boy's bouncing playground car, barely five feet away. If he had jumped forward off the swing, he might have landed on me!

So, I didn't necessarily see the fall. I saw the popping up and where the mulch was clinging to his shirt and shorts. He cried but not very much. We sat there for about fifteen minutes and he said he wanted to go home. I made sure that he sat on the side of the car that would cross the shoulder strap of the seat belt over his right side.

He lay down on the couch on a pillow. I talked him into a warm bath with a warm terry washcloth as a compress for the pain. I saw bruising develop in the skin on top of his left collarbone and when Jeff got home, he took Kenny to the ER.

They sent him home in a "figure-of-eight" strap. I would almost prefer a cast because he can still move enough to cause pain.

He carries his school backpack on only his right shoulder now, instead of across both shoulders. That looks a little more grown-up. And, he might get over his thumbsucking habit since he can't comfortably do that now. But, he's sleeping with us for the time being.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Replacement of our front window.

I didn't think that they would complete it by quittin' time but they eeked it out.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Reading this at Sr. Claire Joy's blog:
Our Eucharist this morning was from the service used on Iona. Beautiful. The Celts definitely know how to worship.
Reminded me of a conversation on kitchen design with my hairdresser on Friday:
"She took the 'Tree of Life,' you know, from the 'Book of Kells,' ..."

'Book of Kells' ... vaguely familiar, seen some of its artwork online ... a collection of the four Gospels. Is the 'Tree of Life' in the 'Book of Kells?!'"

"and made a tile backsplash out of it above her stove!"

I'm not Irish enough, I guess, for that.

I don't even much like pagan Celtic art.
The banana looms large.

He needs a pocket-protector for his crayons.

Two-year-old geek alert.

And, no, I paid good money for that haircut! It's not a Mom-do!
Life Along the Route 9 Corridor:

Watching the southbound traffic pass the store's picture window this morning as my water was being tested at the place my plumber recommended, I noted a significant number of kosher food delivery trucks.

Sure, it's a straight shot from New York to Lakewood along Route 9.

I never got the mystical aspect of kosher:
To explain the power of kosher food, we must turn to Chassidic teachings based upon the mysticism of the Ari-Zal (Rabbi Yitzchak Luria).

The Ari-Zal gave a literal interpretation of the verse, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by the word of G-d” (Deuteronomy 8:3). He explained that it is not the food itself that gives life but rather the spark of G-dliness – the “word of G-d” – that is in the food.

All matter has within it some aspect of the “G-dly sparks” that give life and existence to the world. When we eat, the digestive system extracts the nutrients while the neshamah extracts the G-dly spark found in nature.

The Divine energy in the food is thus the actual source of its ability to sustain and nourish the body.

Kosher food has a powerful energy that gives spiritual, intellectual and emotional strength to the Jewish neshamah, while non-kosher food does the opposite.

The kosher diet is truly the health-food diet for the soul, containing the spiritual nutrition necessary for Jewish survival.
See also Kashrut - Wiki

Of course I should know better. Of course there's a spiritual dimension to something as mundane as eating. Sounds a lot like Eucharist.

Ess gezunterhait.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Slow but sure, Letters to the Editor:

"We want what is best for our children, but at what price?"

"Votes on Election Day should have been upheld"

I know one township boy who is not returning to private school this fall because of the property tax increase.

Friday, June 01, 2007

"You know, Belinda isn't returning next year. Her father wants her in Catholic school for her sacraments. I guess he's the Catholic one; her mom is Presbyterian, conservative Presbyterian. They're just like Catholics, aren't they?"

"Oh, um, well it depends on how conservative, you know? Sometimes not just like us, no."

My mind turned briefly to notions of church polity and orderly worship ...

"Well, they believe in the Trinity, don't they?"

"The Trinity? Oh, yes, absolutely, without a doubt."

"Well, that's good enough, then, right? She had been attending Sunday School at her mom's church, but now her mom regrets letting him baptize her Catholic. He wants her to have a faith-based education from now on."

I'm sorry to see her go; she's one of the sweetest girls in the school.