Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Soap Box Derby

Here is my son with his team (and I use the term loosely) before the race. One kid decided that the ocean sounded more fun which left the team one man short. Travis (in the car) took an extra run for him.

They are getting ready to push Ian, Team Captain down for his first run. Alas, a wheel locked up (as did on many other cars) and he only made part way down. He had a make-up heat later.

Here comes my son neck and neck with the toilet car! This is gripping stuff!

In the end, the toilet car didn't have what it takes. My son and his teammates won all their heats! But it wasn't enough to win the day. They did, however, win the prize for the sportiest car! And thanks to Pizza Hut for donating such a yummy prize!

This photo was taken at the end of the day, AFTER my son had won his team's car in a drawing. He was not too happy with his teammates for sitting on the spoiler of HIS car! I have NO idea where we're going to put this thing!

Friday, June 24, 2005

My new Muse!!!!

It's been 3 long years since my precious Tippy cat died. I've mourned long enough and finally decided it was time for a new purr in my life. So without further ado, I present to you . . . (name pending.) Yes, that is correct, we've had the little darling for two weeks and we still can't agree on a name. I even received a postcard from the vet addressed to Pending Ortakales! LOL

She is four months old, a shelter cat, and came with the name Reese's (as in peanut butter cup). She is a calico tiger mix so the name is fitting. But it doesn't do anything for me. I'm looking for a cute feminine kitty name, like Lily for instance. One son wants to give her a video game name like Zelda or Ganendorf. Uh, no. The other one (holding the kitty in the pic) is adament about keeping Reese's. And the husband would just as soon call her gone!

So please help me name her. All suggestions will be considered. Sorry, no prizes, just my undying gratitude. She has double-paws if that helps you any.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Books by Marsha Qualey

Earlier this year, I picked up several ARCs at ALA in Boston. One that I enjoyed very much was Just Like That by Marsha Qualey. I don't want to give away too much but it's about a young woman who was the last person to see a young couple alive. Their disturbing death sends her reeling, until she finds someone else that understands her feelings. A boy. The boy who found their bodies. The story of their relationship and bond is touching and poignant. I highly recommend this book.

I liked it so much, I checked out another book by Marsha. What do you get when you mix one ex-junkie, one Prince-someday-to-be-King and an all-nighter? One Night. I enjoyed it almost as much as Just Like That. If you haven't read anything Marsha Qualey, give her a try.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Polar Caves Field Trip

Yes, another field trip! Yesterday, I spent spectacular day with the third graders from Woodland Heights Elementary investigating the Polar Caves. For those of you that don't live nearby, they are a series of caves that were formed when the retreating glacier broke off part of the nearby cliff thereby forming the caves from the tumbled rocks. They are wonderfully refreshing in the summer. One cave still had ice in it!

As you can see below, I brought my trusty little sketchbook. Good thing because my camera batteries died before I took one pic! These were all done with pilot pen and colored pencil on a pale green mulberry paper.

This was the view from the highest point we were allowed to go. But as you can see, the cliff and boulders towered way above us.

Well, this guy thought he was hot stuff. He spread his feathers (a good 8-10 foot span) for us and his mate and shook them. We were wondering if the kids were going to get an even bigger show!
I was fascinated by how he looked from the side and back. Long gray feathers were held upright to support the showy feathers, which were cupped forward. I guess these were the tail feathers. Under that were gray downy feathers. The black, white, blue and rust feathers were his wings.
The female was very plain in comparison—brown with an irridescent patch of blue on her neck.
They had other exotic birds there—mostly colorful pheasant from China, Tibet and the Himalayas.

Some of the rocks had some large leafed lichen growing on them, about the size of a maple leaf I'd say. Others had single fern fronds growing out of the moss. All very cool!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

A Field Trip to Prescott Farm

On Tuesday, I spent the day with my son's third grade class learning about ecology (the realtionship between organisms and their habitats. See Megan, I WAS listening!) at Prescott Farm in Gilford. We learned all about seeds, plants, how long it takes to make 1" of topsoil (see if you can find the answer in my sketchbook), and pollenation. I sure learned a lot as you can see by my sketchbook. I had no idea what a bobolink was so I looked it up when I came home. The farm is part of the Audubon Society of NH and has hiking trails. I'd like to go back with the family this summer.

Here's a page from my new handy dandy sketchbook.
This page was created on parchment paper with
fine pointed sepia Pitt pen and colored pencils.

This page was created on #140 lb. Fabriano Uno watercolor
paper with a fine pointed sepia Pitt pen and colored pencils.