Friday, November 20, 2009

Crazy week

This past week or so has just been crazy busy. Especially for and with regards to M. Over the weekend he had to finish up his science experiment, write it up and do his triboard. Tuesday he had math team practice starting at 7:30, then parent breakfast at 8:15 and science fair project due. Then they took the Explore test (some sort of pre ACT I think) all morning. Then after school he had a game design class. Home for a quick supper, then he and I went off to the magnet school to hear about their program that he is applying to for high school. Last it was hurry up and finish packing for the 8th grade trip to Savannah. Whew. Makes me tired just remembering all that. Luckily D could take him to school early on Wed to catch the bus for the trip - they had to be there by 7:00.

The rest of this week has been busy enough, even without all that. A had his usual afterschool activities on Wed and Thur. I've been trying to get us ready for Thanksgiving - baking quick breads and making lists. And realizing that Christmas really is coming up faster than I'm ready for and I'd better start thinking of getting ready for it.

In the midst of all this, A had another project for school. I don't know why the teacher is so insistent that all these projects be "illustrated" in color. We don't currently have a color printer, so anything we print out has to be hand colored - and A HATES to color. He never has enjoyed it, so its a rather tiresome requirement - and one that I really can't see how it adds to the educational knowledge. On top of that, D was gone last night for the last of the info sessions for the magnet school while A and I went to his pack meeting. They were serving dinner supposedly around 6:30, but when we got there, no dinner in sight. In fact, they hadn't gotten started fixing it yet. We finally ate at 7:45. Had I realized it would be that late, we'd have eaten at home! We usually do, but last night, because it would only be A and I at home, I thought it would be easier to have dinner there - and they were serving pancakes - yum. They were good, but not enough of them - I only ended up with 2 pancakes, so I came home hungry.

All in all, a crazy week. I'm glad we've got next week off. But with both kids wanting computer time, I may not get much time on here myself.

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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Popcorn, popcorn everywhere

This weekend has been all about popcorn. First up on Saturday morning I had to go pick up our pack's popcorn order. I fit over 70 cases of popcorn into the back of the van, even though the estimated number of cases was 60. I didn't have a lot of spare room left, though - and the front passenger seat had popcorn in it too.

Then after I got home, I had M help me unload it. I learned a few years ago (the hard way) that if you let a bunch of microwave popcorn sit in the car, even overnight, your car will smell like a movie theater - for a good long while. So, we promptly unloaded the car. M decided we needed a "fortress".
It was impregnable to ordinary people, but not to Pounce. She quickly found the path off to the right and proceeded to wander through the popcorn arena all afternoon.

Yesterday afternoon I had most of the people show up to pick up their orders and one dad got his this evening. I'm down to 5 orders to get to other pack members and the pile of popcorn is MUCH smaller.

Equally good news, A managed to deliver a lot of popcorn around the neighborhood today. All but 5 orders in walking distance. Unfortunately we didn't do quite so well at church this morning, so we have a good bit to haul back there again next week. But the pile is definitely diminishing.

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Monday, November 02, 2009


M has not been overly fond of our last few dinners. In fact, he asked me the other night, "is this your way of putting me on a diet, fixing meals I don't like?" Well, actually no it isn't. It's just that the rest of us like soups and stews and chili and all sorts of other things M doesn't.

Tonight's dinner was:
Chicken and rice - with some leftover plain rice for M
Baked sweet potatoes (from our garden) - one bite for the kids plus raw carrots for them
Broccoli - raw for M
Fruit and seed bread

A loved it and wanted a second chicken leg - good thing I cut up 5 leg quarters for the pan. We'll have this meal again (mostly) in a few days. I thought it was a very good thing to fix on a night I had to go pick up M after his robotics. The chicken & rice and the sweet potatoes went into the oven about 4:45 and then the bread went in to finish up cooking a bit after we got back. Broccoli in the microwave and we were set to eat.

Oh, and leftover cherry/apple pie for dessert. I was impressed that M actually wanted to try it. His verdict: ok, but not great. He had Halloween candy for dessert instead. Fine by me, all the more pie for me. Mmmmm.... pie - there's still some left that may be part of breakfast tomorrow.

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Caring for Creation Conference

Friday I went down to Macon (a bit over an hour away) for a conference at Mercer University titled Caring for Creation. It was "a scientific and theological response" to the subject of climate change.

I was a bit surprised overall at the casual atmosphere of the whole conference - I guess I'm too used to industry type conferences, whereas this was clearly aimed at the Mercer students. Check-in was a student writing down my name and not really knowing if I'd already paid or not, parking was free on the street, and our lunch ticket was evidently the fact that we had the green bags from the conference and looked too old to be students (students were supposed to swipe their ID for the meal). The speakers were all quite interesting. I wish I'd been able to clone myself to go to more of the talks.

At the first group plenary session, I was quite pleased to meet Amy, whose blog I read and get lots of good info on when to plant and harvest my garden. We each knew the other would be there, but not how to find each other. Because there were mostly students in attendance, it was easier, but I was still surprised that we connected even before the session started.

Amy posted a very nice synopsis of the conference sessions. I won't repeat it all (also because my notes weren't nearly so detailed), but note that I also initially found out about the conference from Sharon's blog - and the fact that Sharon would be speaking is the main reason I went. I really enjoyed both Sharon's talks and chatting with her a bit afterwards. She was just as interesting and entertaining in person as she is on her blog. And she seemed quite pleased that Amy and I had each come from over an hour away to hear her speak.

During the final break-out session, while Amy went to hear Farmer D, I went back to hear Judith Curry, who had spoken in the morning. She was going to be talking more about what climate change will mean for the Southeast. I must admit that I was a little disappointed - I didn't think that she added all that much new information over what she had presented in the morning. She discussed how we will see more extremes in temperature and rainfall - more flooding as well as more drought and more of our rain in big rainfall events rather than slow, gentle rains. She pointed out that even a fairly modest average temperature rise of 2 degrees F might lead to a maximum temperature for a specific area of 7F more. Dr. Curry also said that climate scientists knew that there was a reasonable probability of a flood in the Atlanta area a month before our recent flood and that there was a high probability a week in advance - but nothing was done to prepare the area or the residents.

Based on her comments, Dr. Curry had heard Sharon's plenary talk, where she told us that a very high percentage of climate researchers thought that it was very likely that the earth would warm by 4 degrees C by 2100. Dr. Curry heard this and did not seem to disagree with it (though all the information she presented was of a lower level of warming), but said that she didn't think she could go so far as to stop watching her big TV or traveling by air. If scientists in the field of climate research aren't willing to change their behavior, I worry how other people can be convinced to conserve and change.

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