Friday, September 22, 2017

Heart-to-Heart Talks

On Tuesday it was my night to put the boys to bed, and Little Ham and I had a spontaneous heart-to-heart talk about the family and chores and what working means, and why things can't just be fun and playing all the time. We have these every now and then and they are super special.

Meanwhile, Hamslice was in his bedroom across the hall getting jealouser and jealouser as the moments ticked by. So as I was leaving Little Ham's room, Hamslice called me into his room for his own heart-to-heart talk.

His talk was a little different. He told me about "Ryan, Ryan, Ryan and Ryland" (you can't make this up, people). From what I understand, one of the Ryans is a girl) who were going through everyone's lockers at recess and how Hamslice was getting nervous about that. I asked him if there was another kid in the group named "Brian" to round out the names and he laughed.

Once downstairs, I told Hambone about the RYANS plus RYLAND and we reminisced about Federal Hill prep where Hamslice's classmats were "Shawn, Shaundra, Tyshawn and Deshaun."

Oh hey, also we are two weeks into school and so far no phone calls home about either boy. THIS IS A WORLD RECORD, FOLKS!!!

+1 for the Menagerie

About a week ago, Hambone noticed a bird in his warehouse. Not just any ordinary bird, but a genuine Cockatiel. So, being the Bird Whisperer, (see earlier posts about his ability to woo the geese at Dutch Wonderland) he lured the Cockatiel into a cardboard box, then into a dog crate, and then a bird cage in succession. After getting to know this bird a bit, I see what a feat this was.

So the bird is a beautiful addition to the household. But, since it was a pet that then escaped and had "God knows what" happen to it in the wild, and then had a day-long adventure with Hambone, I can see where it is legitimately a little weird.

And the weird runs deep, man. For instance, the bird loves to look at itself in a mirror, and the bigger the mirror the better. If you remove the mirror, the bird SCREAMS until the mirror is restored, and then when he sees himself in the mirror again, he makes a noise like "Hey buddy, I missed you. What's been happening since we last spoke?"

He is also pretty bad at flying. When he did try it one day in the house, he tried to land on the moldings above the doors. In order to make this tricky landing, he crashed his whole body into the wall and sort of stuck his feet down. And then because there are no mirrors up there, he just screamed the whole time until he got back into his cage.

 The boys (all of them except for the dogs) LOVE the bird. We have named him "Bob" but Hamslice also calls him "silver wing" which is a favorite Pokemon character (or something). They love cleaning the cage and feeding him and just watching him. They can't play with this pet, though, because if they stick their fingers in the cage, the bird does a full-body peck. Even though that doesn't hurt very much, the visual is stunning.

The bird also really can't stand certain kinds of voices. I have my phone on speaker all day, and when certain people call (uncle Curt in particular) the bird starts chattering away. When I have conference calls, therefore, the bird cage has to move into the kitchen where, you guessed it, there are no mirrors. So during the conference call there is constant, faint screaming in the background.  I wonder if they notice.

So... bird. +1 to the pet list.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Family Camp

This summer we went to Medomak Family Camp for the second year in a row. This is a healing place for our family -- we go and relax and learn things like stone carving and rope making, and come back a stronger family for it. I am not sure why it works but it does.

 This is us on our way up to Maine -- we stopped for lobster dinner at one of the many lobster places right on the water. I believe this was in Portland. I wore the bib, Hambone was too classy for that. Only one of us smelled like lobster juice for the rest of the night. Hint: It was me.

 This is the beach at Medomak, where we spend every afternoon. Activities are in the morning, and then all the families at camp just chill at the beach all afternoon.

 During one of the activities (SKEG) which is a hybrid soccer game, Little Ham accidentally bumped heads with one of the other kids. Oh so many hugs that night.

 This is my "Catch of the Day" -- we went fishing on the pontoon boat and caught several fish about this size. It was fun, even if we didn't get enough to make a meal. We also saw a Bald Eagle swoop out of the sky and capture one of our little fishes that we caught. That fish flopped around on the surface of the water for *just* too long.

 This is Hamslice and Little Ham playing on the moose sculpture at camp.

 And this is us at the Life Sized Chocolate Moose display at the candy store in Portland ME.

 On one of the mornings, Hambone and I took a cheese making class with Holly, the owner of the camp. We made Mozzarella, and while I was fully planning to catch the "cheese bug" from the class, I have decided to leave it to the professionals.

 The above and below pics on the trail are of all of us walking from the main camp to the beach. It's a hike but well worth it. You'd only want to do it a couple times a day.

 More pics of us at the beach at Medomak

 This is the "sand castle-off" competition between my boys. The other kids in camp got all revved up about it too. Who made the biggest sand castle! WHO!?!  And by What Criteria. *hint* the criteria changed often. Hamslice also won an award for "deepest hole" at camp. It was pretty deep!

 Here we are milking the camp cow. All of the milk and dairy products for the camp are produced by these two cows. Talk about meeting your food. The boys learned a lot about where food comes from during our week.

 This was Little Ham's "war paint" for the camp-wide scavenger hunt. We came in fourth, and were happy with that result. It gives us room to improve next year!!