Sunday, November 19, 2006


Toto, we're not in Philly anymore...

Well we have arrived in Minnesota, but I knew I was home when we had barely entered into Wisconsin. The signs were everywhere... A&W root beer stands were a lunch option, Hostess snack cakes graced the truck stop shelves, Those who weren't wearing Packer Green and Gold were wearing camo and blaze orange and driving pickups, but the surest sign was all the deer straped to the trunks, bumpers and tailgates of the cars and trucks we passed; we saw at least a dozen vehicles with fresh hunting season kill, it took lots of will power not to follow them home for some nice venison for Thanksgiving Dinner. It also made me think of my friends Andy and Chris who are Wisconsin Hunting type guys and who I haven't seen in many years. At one truck stop the kids even got to see a close up view; we talked briefly with a woman who had an eleven point buck and another deer in the back of her pick up. I showed them how to count the points etc. but I think it was still a little bit up setting for my daughter. (Cheryl, where do I record this on my homeschool record, Social Studies, Life Skills, Science??)
There is also the accents and the increased friendliness of both service workers and just people in general. I had an easier more encouraging conversation with the man who was helping my daughter reach the ketchup dispenser then I do with some of my neighbors.
The kids did pretty well for such a long two day haul. My love and thanks go to the Cohens for lending us such fun books on tape to help move the miles along.
Tomorrow we will see my folks, we will try to post a picture of the 11 point buck and other things later. For now it is off to sleep.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Wet Leaf Fights

As you may know it was a blustery and rainy afternoon/evening here in Philadelphia. I had to take my daughter to her ballet lesson 8 blocks away at about 4, just as the rain was picking up. Since I don't drive it meant she, my son and I all walked. So we put on our rain boot and coats and slogged off. On the walk back with Andrew we had a blast playing a game where we shuffled through all the big piles of wet soggy leaves and kicked them at each other and say how many stuck to our rain coats. We were drenched but had a really blast doing it. My son is a really neat kid (which can be easy to forget when frustrated by his natural disobedience etc.) I love homeschooling my kids but one of the down sides is that it is not often I get time with just one of them alone.

I am thankful for the rainstorm and the fun time it gave me to bond in a special way with my son and get a glimpse into who he is.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Hey Buddy Can You Spare $68 Million?

I ask because that is what it will take for the City of Philadelphia to keep the painting "The Gross Clinic" here in the city. The have just 45 days to raise the money. It has been bought from the Jefferson University Trustees by a the National Gallery in DC and an Arkansas Museum that is still being built. OK, so you say big deal, but it is, this picture is a Philadelphia icon (at least in some circles and it should be more of one in other circles but won't be if it goes not only out of the city but out of the state) It is of an early operation at Jefferson University by Thomas Eakins in 1875. I have known about this work since well before I moved here to Philadelphia. As a piece of both artistic ground breaking importance and of medical history. Anyway there is a nice article about it in today's Philadelphia Inquirer. I guess the two things that bother me most are these:
-Though it was nice of the University to give the city and option to meet the asking price they didn't give them any notice to start fundraising but instead did a totally secret deal.

-Though they also have every right to do what they want with their asset in order to make the most of their business it seems very short sighted of them not to see what the piece adds to the history of their institution when we start not valuing our cultural past in relation to bigger, better bottom lines I think we really loose some of the beauty and depth God intended for our lives when he blessed some of us with artistic skills. The article seemed to reflect a total bottom line mentality in the action.

-It is sad that the city will loose a piece that is and could/should be a highlight in the historical depth of the city which is being so heavily relied on to make us a tourist destination and promote our economy.

So I ask, does any body have extra coffee cans we can put in all the WA-WA's and Hoagie shops to keep a piece of our patrimony here in the city?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Not seeing Red

Have to say that I am not pleased with the election results this morning but not terribly surprised either. Lets hope that the many Republican losses do not result in childish ranting or negative finger pointing that leave people seeing the wrong kind of red. Rather may it result in some house cleaning and decision making and repentance for mistakes made and the setting of a new course with renewed energy and determination for '08 without compromising what we stand for just to win.
Also, remember to pray not only for our new leaders as they govern us but for those who lost and for their families as they adjust to new life situations. As hard as it was to see Rick Santorum loose last night (he conceded with style I thought) it was harder to watch his son standing behind him trying to keep his face composed and hold back the tears. This kid's whole life has been lived with his dad in political office it will be an adjustment for them all.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Things you never thought.... Vicky version

Today we went shopping at the King of Prussia Mall. We wanted to get some church and Thanksgiving clothes for the kids and our self and start getting some gift ideas for Christmas. Anyway, one stop was Brookes Brothers so Paul could get some new shirts. I was trying to keep the kids, who were tired from a long day of soccer practice and shopping from being too crazy or destructive in this well ordered store while we waited for Paul. So we went to sit in some leather arm chairs they had there. The kids, still in their soccer clothes, complete with shin guards, plopped them selves down in a sprawling heap in the chairs. So I challenged them to sit the way they would if having a fancy tea party with President Bush. They immediately straightened up, Vicky stayed that way while Andrew started hamming it up with loud slurpy noises from a pretend cup.

Then one of the sales women came over and complemented Vicky on her nice posture and how grown up she looked. Vicky glowed and continued to walk with her head erect and her hand held nicely for the rest of the evening, I think you could have balanced a book on her head. What a difference some praise from a stranger makes in reinforcing lessons on behavior and modesty I have been trying to pound in for ages.


Things you never thought...Andrew Version

My son was a pirate for Halloween and we walked up to my husband's office for their Halloween lunch that day, it was lots of fun, he especially enjoyed shooting with his fake flintlock pistol at all the students on the Univ. of Penn. campus. On the way home we stopped the University City Arts League to sign my daughter up for new ballet class. While digging in in the back pack for the check book I heard myself say, "Andrew, Take your Gun and go take it over there and play with it, Mom can't hold it any more" (I guess its good we were at UCAL and not at the Bank!!)

Also this week he started to read things willingly and on his own (the cold and hot on laundry tags as we sorted laundry together). I almost cried since for months he has been resisting learning to read and saying he will find a job where he doesn't need it.

He also lost his first tooth this week, I guess my baby is growing up.

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