Monday, April 21, 2008


My tent is in my dining room.

Does this sound strange to you? If you know me, it should. A tent is something I never thought I'd own, let alone set up inside my house.

Last year, my first as a Girl Scout leader, I dreaded the camping trip I knew would be coming in spring. As the leader and our first-aider I would be required to attend.

I'd never been camping in my life. This was a choice. I'm not someone who roughs it or likes bugs or likes to meet new people on my vacation. At least, I didn't think I was.

However, it turned out that I liked camping very much and thought it would be even better to do it with my own family. Within a couple of months I had bought us a tent and scheduled a trip to camp near Busch Gardens in Williamsburg.

You could spot us as newbies from a mile away. We didn't cook dinner until it got dark out and only then realized that our dinky lantern threw very little light. I planned on mac and cheese but forgot a strainer--luckily, as newbies, I knew not to camp in the wilderness, there was a Walmart a mile away.

So--this year's Girl Scout trip. Gorgeous weather Friday and Saturday. Saturday night, a bit of rain, Sunday morning a LOT of rain. And more rain. And lightening. And thunder. I'm the mean leader and didn't let my girls eat or leave the tent for any reason until they packed up their gear and got dressed. So, we were able to take down my tent in drizzle.

The Brownie leader is nice. He cooked breakfast for his girls and let them sit in their tents while the food, etc got cleaned up and we waited around to see if the rain tapered off. No luck. The brownie tents came down in a gale with lightening so close we needed to stop and run for shelter.

Me not loving the rain

Katie getting wet

Live and learn. I was much more experienced this time. Packed much better and got the tent down pretty ably with help. I learned to delegate the hard way (due to having to attend a funeral the two days prior to the trip) and it turns out, as always, that people are happy to pitch in.

The girls had a great time. The smiles and hugs --yes hugs from the 9-13 year old set--were well worth getting wet and muddy.

And now I have a tent up and drying in my dining room. How cool is that?!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Our dear friend Michael died last night after fighting very hard against the rejection of his bone marrow graft. He had been living with Leukemia/Lymphoma for many months.

We worked with Michael on the Synergy workshops way back when and he has been a great friend, mentor, teacher and listener. We saw him in December and he looked good and was, as always, living life to the fullest. He and his wife, Carolyn, were full of hope and plans for the future.

Carolyn is mourning the loss of a friend and soul-mate. Send up a little prayer for her. She will need to head toward a different future than she envisioned at the beginning of this journey. It's been such a blessing to know them both and to see what real vision-holding can be.

Here's a picture of them at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's run, in which Carolyn participated.

If you are so moved, donations may be made in honor of Michael Goldstein to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society HERE.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Take a Picture

I habitually forget to bring my camera when we go out. Here's a collection of photos off my phone from recent outings:

At the Zoo. We have a picture of them sticking their heads through the dinosaur head at almost every age.

At the small Art Museum of the Americas Festival of Toys exhibit. There were some giant Papalote--Day of the Dead statues.

One very warm, sunny, pre-spring day we played hooky and went to the Alexandria riverside and the Torpedo Factory.

Our Friday group saw a K-9 demonstration. You've never seen such well-trained dogs!

Cherry Blossoms! One year I'll bring my real camera and get some decent shots!

Today Katie's art class was canceled so we are spending a lazy morning. I'm updating this page and doing work for WGBH. The kids are doing something in the basement. Later we start long division. Looks like we'll be able to test for the year starting next week. Tomorrow we'll head out to Claude Moore Colonial Farm for their Farm Skills program--assuming the weather turns out to be as nice as forecast.

The end of the "official" school year is almost here.