Friday, October 26, 2007

Bacon Bits

I was very surprised this morning when I went out to take the kids to the bus stop to see ICE on our van windows. I had no idea we were going to hit freezing tempuratures this fast. Especially since last week we were in the 80's. My thin summer blood is slowly thickening up. The leaves on our oak tree turned red overnight, and I'm being hit with an urge to bake. I think its safe to say that fall is here.
A couple of Saturdays ago Madeline came out of her bedroom, saw Will and I finishing up some bacon, and said sadly, "I want some bacon too!" I responded, tenderly, "I'm so sorry honey, there were only seven pieces." But then I realized how rediculous that sounded. Only seven? William sheepishly said, "Actually, there were nine." I couldn't stop laughing, and Madeline was sitting there with a confused look on her face, trying to figure out what was so funny. You'd think that nine peices of bacon would keep a family of five at least slightly satisfied for bacon. But, that day, it didn't. Will and I now repeat the line "I'm so sorry honey, there were only seven peices of bacon" when things seem a little out of balance around here.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Moose Alert!

OK, I think Fall has finally come to Denton. I'm a little wary to say so, because it might be 90 degrees tomorrow, but last night I left two windows open 1 inch each, and the circulating fan on, and the house was 68 degrees by morning. We've been A/C-ing to keep it at 75 degrees for the last five months. I love being able to open the windows and air everything out finally. I realized that I'm used to open windows from life in California, so it's been a little strange to get used to having them closed so much of the time. I see now the value of candles in freshing the old air.

Abigail said something really funny the other night, but before I tell the story, I'll give a little history. Abby has consistantly been about one year behind grade level in her reading abilities, and we even had her repeat first grade in home school to give her time to catch up a bit. This year she's in third grade. A few days into the school year, her teacher called me to say that she loves Abigail, she's a great student, but have we ever considered getting her tested for dyslexia? I think she was expecting me to balk at the idea, so was surprised when I said we never have had her tested, but that we'd be very grateful for any help or illumination shed on the problem. I had been praying for some kind of breakthrough for Abby, and I felt like this was the thing. So I gave her the go-ahead for whatever process is involved. I had to laugh because her teacher said, "Well, I'm happy to say that her difficulty reading hasn't affected her self-confidence!" Yes, she'd noticed that...

Back to the story... Last night Abigail said to me, "Mom, why do I have to learn to read? I can read street signs, like 'STOP' and 'MOOSE!'" I'm afraid that here in North Texas that may not be the most necessary skill... So we had a little conversation about the value of reading, and so on. By the way, Abby has a new blog. You can get to it with the link on this blog.

Here are a few road signs that Abby, and any Texas driver should know... Definately be aware of "Armadillo X-ing." I have never seen a live Armadillo, yet, but I have seen many dead ones on the side of the road.

I also recommend that the crazy cross country truck drivers pay close attention to this one. And Abby too, for that matter, because flipped trucks are a surprisingly common sight on the freeways here. William even had a major backup one day because a truck had flipped over on an overpass, and was balancing on the edge, so all the traffic going under had to be diverted to the frontage road. I also have to add the story about the flipped FedEx truck. There were packages scattered in the fields on the side of the freeway for hundreds of feet. Will and I had fun imagining scenarios: "I'm sorry ma'am, but your package is somewhere in the middle of Texas. We won't be able to retrieve it..." or "Joe, we need to get someone down there to collect and catalog what fell out. Get some guys on it and report by Monday." (Meanwhile, there is a severe thunderstorm...) Or, "Opps." And, to show you how common this problem is, there is another story about a randomly tipped truck on the onramp to the I35. It was just lying on it's side in the praire grass like a beached whale. It wasn't even a very sharp turn. How does this keep happening?

And then, my favorite saying, "Turn around, Don't Drown." Whenever we have a flashflood warning, the computer voice at the end of the broadcast says this in an eerie monotone. I like to copy it when we get lots of rain.

And of course, this being Texas, Abby really should become aware of possible cattle danger. Also appropriate is the motorcycle in the corner. On warm, but not too hot, days, we see many middle-aged men with no helmets crusing the area. Maybe someone should make a sign that emphasizes the safety of helmets. Helmet-less riders cause us more worry than the other hazards combined. I guess its all about perspective.

Oh, Abby's testing will begin in a few weeks. The red tape is long and tangled, I guess. But the district has a great program that makes a big difference. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with her.