Sunday, August 23, 2009

Secret Spaces

Every time I start to clean up one little area of the house, I am dismayed to see the areas radiating out from that one that also need attention. I'm still admiring the kids' cleaned-up art bins -- my paradigm of perfection.

Today the kids cleaned their desks. Unfortunately, they did not bother much with the stuff that came off the desk and landed on the floor and all around. At least Aaron's room doesn't have any paper to speak of in it yet. Toys are easy to put away. Paper is not.

We went to the Farmer's Market today and sampled grapes. It's amazing how the little grapes burst with flavor in your mouth. The rest of the day was pretty boring, I'm sorry to report. I was hoping to go to the beach with the family, but it was kind of windy and cooler over the hill, plus Jon had to do work most of the day (Yep, on the weekend, too) and the kids were no help at all. It's so weird to me how they don't want to do things. But then if we go and do them anyway, they usually have a blast.

Yesterday was swimming, following by a couple of hours on scooters and bikes with a visiting friend at the playground up the street. Sophie and Aaron have discovered a "secret" area to hang out in there, and I watch them circle around once in a while. I love secret areas. Watching them is almost like having my own. I don't mean I spy on them, I mean knowing that they have one. Kids are supervised so much more now than when I was a kid and roamed my neighborhood undisturbed. I can appreciate the wonder and excitement of found spaces. It's especially cool because we've been going to that park since the kids were babies but they just discovered these new parts.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Other Side of the Office

It's amazing how many areas of one room can hold their own backlog of mess and clutter, layers of pesonal history and mismanagement. I so envy organized people. In the same way that some people envy creative people, I envy the magic and simplicity that is organization. Not that they are exclusive. I must keep reminding myself of that. It is a sick and twisted belief that they are separate characteristics. At least I have to keep telling myself that.

Today was spent cleaning up the other side of my office, a.k.a. the kids' art and homework area. After all, school is starting up again in a few weeks. 21 days to be precise (which I guess I was the first time....) First off, it is so great to throw things away! I listened to NPR for 3 1/2 hours straight while I cleaned. I organized and reorganized and scrubbed until the art bins are gleaming and beautiful in their beautiful organization. Sophie is making labels for the bins of markers, colored pencils, etc..

After effectively blocking out "the other" areas, they have somehow made it into my field of vision. The stack of 4 file boxes in the corner. Yes, I said file boxes. I can't believe there are more. They're not all files. There are some 25 or 50 old notebooks, and what the heck do I do with them? And I don't know what else as I am afraid to open the lids. There is also a whole closet on the other side of the office, with miscellaneous bags, hats, books, envelopes, and stuff spilling out of it (a blond wig, a bag of socks, a 20 year old thesaurus, greeting cards, and much, much more).

Is this really just one room?

Bring Back the Erie Canal!

I am posting a link to today's Syracuse Post-Standard where I go to bat for reviving the history and coolness of the Erie Canal and Canal Days! Click here to read my article on the Opinion Page!

And if you're from Syracuse or anywhere in New York State and you agree, please put your comment with the Post-Standard and let's make things happen!

Also, I blogged a while back about cookbooks and my friend Ann Hodgman's book "Beat This!" Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks she's cool. Check out this link to find out more.