Saturday, August 28, 2021
Sunday, August 22, 2021
Scotty was always pragmatic about things in his life. Lose a favorite car? Oh, well. It'll turn up somewhere. Dropping a slice of pizza? Oh, well. Things happen.
Scotty had been into Vikings after watching "How to train your Dragon" for the twentieth time. "Let's throw a Viking funeral!"
He retrieved a canoe/barge made of popsicle sticks at church camp last summer. We put Squeaky on a pile of twigs layered in the water craft. After pushing the funeral barge out in the swimming pool, Scotty used the "Hunger Games" bow with a burning marshmallow at the point of the arrow aimed at the barge.
Again and again.
When the canoe finally caught fire, it initially went up in flames and the thing burned before hisssssing out and sinking, leaving a singed Squeaky floating on the top of the water.
I managed to scoop Squeaky from the failed Viking send-off with the pool skimmer. What now?
Scotty had watched some warrior movie where the slaughtered hero was placed on a funeral pyre. "Let's do that, Dad!" So we did.
We lay out some sticks criss-crossed and carefully placed Squeaky on it. Scotty again used the Kingsford wand lighter to get a good burn going on the bottom layer. But, with us being novices at funeral pyres, the whole pyre thing collapsed, leaving Squeaky lying on the concrete surrounded by embers.
I didn't know how we were going to give Squeaky a big send off. But, Scotty, being the boy scout he is, had an idea which made me wince and cringe. It made sense, but man....really?
I pulled out the old rusty Coleman barbecue and built a pyramid of Kingsford guaranteed-to-light charcoal briquettes. Scotty placed Squeaky in the center above the coals, using my brand new set of BBQ tool set. Then he used the Kingsford lighter and got the coals going.
At first, it seemed that Squeaky was finally heading to his fiery hamster Valhalla. I could already see him rolling up the Rainbow Bridge. But Noooo.
Squeaky had some sparks here and there, but clearly the charcoal was not enough. It developed a nice white ash like briquettes do. But that was it. Instead, the odor of grilled Squeaky told us the truth.
By this time, Scotty had had enough. "Let's just bury it." He retrieved a shovel from the garden and quickly dispatched the hamster with minimum effort.
Oh now, what will he ask? What do I say?
"Dad? Can we go to Wild Wings tonight? Mom has a coupon for free appetizers." He wiped a charcoal streaked hand across his nose. "I'm kinda in the the mood for ribs, aren't you?"
Saturday, 22 March, 2014 first posting
Sorry about the lengthy story; just got going on it, I guess.
My daughter's hamster Max died on the first day of middle school. My son, in an unusual act of kindness, placed it in a shoe box and buried it. Nothing elaborate, mind you. She has never recovered from the loss, she says (at age 32).
Friday, August 20, 2021
School textbooks have all but disappeared in the average classroom. They are still there, yes. But the words and ideas printed in them are ones that would never have even appeared "back in the day".
"Back in the day" was in the 1980s when my own children were in school. The book below was one that was in Dad's day in high school.
What is being passed is progressive education is darn scary. What can or should be done? Be a voice, go to a school board meeting, connect with organizations that fight the current words that our children hear.
The under current of what-is-right-what-is-wrong is up for grabs. But of all these lies, the future of our children is at terrible risk. You can change it, be a strong voice to those in charge.
Read this or things like this:
Be bold, speak out. This is not a red state/blue state, conservative/progressive, riots/BLM....This is a case of saving our kids from the influences that will drastically divide the country.
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Books! Oh, books!!
Stacks and stacks of books!
Treat them with respect, or else. They will find retribution.
P.S. When I taught, there were always boxes of books in my classrooms. One time I went to a book warehouse, where boxes and bins of books were stacked for people to sort through. I found myself in huge boxes, where I nearly disappeared. Bought many many books for my students and the school.
Thursday, August 12, 2021
Talking to my grandsons on the far side of the world is so precious. Suddenly the preschool boys are missing teeth, standing taller, and having stories to tell me. But with FaceTime or Skype, I can watch them grow up some.
My daughter is such a sweet mom. I was never that patient or inventive as she is. Today we talked and the boys were doing their nighttime routine, which meant to brush teeth, bathe, go to the toilet, and talk to me from the bathroom.
So, talking to anyone who is sitting on the toilet is a bit awkward while Mommy holds the iPhone so they can see me, and I see them. I love them so much that my heart swells.
After one particularly rowdy routine, I gazed at my sweet girl, and started singing Life in the Fast Lane, blew a kiss at the group, and hung up.
Oh, so nice to be sitting on my side of the screen.
Monday, August 9, 2021
|Copyright Rochell Wisoff-Fields|
Friday, August 6, 2021
The meandering Mississippi River worried Jeff, just as it always does. Would it rain too much and river will flood? Would the fields dry when there was no rain? Too much, too little. One way or another, Jeff would worry.
This winter gave Minnesota enough snow to cover the entire Midwest. The snow melt sent Mississippi rolling and charging down past town after town, filling their fields with muddy water, tearing houses from their foundations.
It was hard enough to make a living in the Missouri bottom land. Flooding water spreading across his cornfields made him think more and more about leaving.
Floods in the Midwest are legendary. The Mississippi River meets up with Illinois River every year. Towns, crops, fields, schools---The Rivers take care of them all.
Monday, August 2, 2021
Recent floods, smoke and fire and the installation of artificial turf had forced Ant Colony 307B to relocate at a far corner of an artichoke field. The ant army acted as a unit to move every member from the arterial twists and turns of the now drenched network of their former home.
Moving the queen ant with her arsenal of ant larvae and drones had proved to be most interesting. Trudging through soggy tunnels had revealed an unknown treasure of collected artwork. Minute paint chips, grains of paprika, and tiny shreds of colored paper lined walls of the queen’s chamber.
The real treasure remained were left behind as the tunnels collapsed. Just how extensive is an ant colony/hill? And, where did the Queen make it out safely?