Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Two more days of work

I have two more days of working at HP, which will include finishing up one project, boxing up my stuff (which I detest, it feels like ripping roots out), wiping my hard disk and sending my laptop back to my manager. Someone please keep me from crying tomorrow.

At least we stopped at the library after dinner tonight, to turn in last month's stack of books and to schlep more home. I must have checked out a dozen books on home schooling. Maybe that will keep me from breaking down in the next two days.

I sent out my "hasta luego amigos" message to dozens of friends from HP today. At least I managed that without blubbering.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Friends of the Library

I'm a "Friend" of the Sunnyvale Library. I help sort books, and help with booksales. Books are my friends (I think I learned that in 3rd grade). I get more for myself than I can plow through in my allocated free time, and our boys have WAY too many books (if that is possible).

I was looking for a new non-profit to help out after Second in Command was born, as I could no longer teach English as a Second Language because it simply took too much of my mommy time away. It was hard enough after the Heir Apparent was born, but with two, I couldn't slice the time out any more. And the good news is, now that they're a bit older, they come to all the sales, love to pick out books, help me stock the table at the library, and are "regulars" in the library. We sort through their books twice each year and give the ones they don't like any more back to the library as a donation. This seems pretty wonderful to me in the Big Scheme of Things, and I hope they will continue as they grow older to appreciate giving back to the community.

How I got involved with the California Rare Fruit Growers

I've been with the California Rare Fruit Growers (CRFG), Santa Clara Valley Chapter, for possibly 10 years now (I simply don't remember). I am a Certified Master Gardener prodigal (didn't complete my required community hours - had to work!) who bought beautiful land in the Santa Cruz Mountains (named it Meadowood) who needed to know what kinds of fruit trees would grow there, and thus (I'll always blame Sini for this) I was referred to the CRFG group.

Now, I suspect EVERY group has its fanatics, but I have now been on a rescue mission to a San Diego white sapote orchard, have helped to develop new strains of peaches and nectarines, have one apple tree with about 30 different varieties grafted to it, and have no less than 60 rare fruit trees at Meadowood. And I know a select group of people who know how to find practically any kind of rare fruit you could want to grow, and a couple who know how to graft ANYTHING, and with high success rates.

Once I have completed my inventory, I'll post it here. But in summary, I have white sapote, avocado, plum, peach, nectarine, fig, pear, apple, grape, persimmon, apricot, several kinds of citrus, and cherry trees either at Meadowood or here in Sunnyvale, many of them not yet fruiting. One day they will all be of bearing age, and it will be Catie, bar the door.

The Demolition Crew

We have two munchkins: miniature humans who go running through the house deconstructing. I call them to Demolition Crew. They both carry a Y chromosome, no mea culpa, and are thus known as Boys. The Second in Command was born very near Halloween, 2002, and the Heir Apparent was born at the end of March, 2001. They're both great kids, and of course very different. Today they weigh EXACTLY the same, and the Second in Command trails his brother by about 3/4" in height. One day (not far from now, by my predictions) he will be larger and taller than HA. This is why we have attempted to teach the Heir Apparent how to use WORDS to deal with his brother. "Because one day he'll sit on your head", I tell him. This only infuriates him further. So we wait for the day and make sure there aren't any truly dangerous weapons in the house.

I am a BIG, BIG fan of the Ooey Gooey lady, Lisa Murphy. I could be accused of hero worship here, she is VERY child- and play-centered, and has a wonderful story to tell. Her web site is www.ooeygooey.com, check it out. I think there's a photo of my Demolition Crew on her site somewhere. I've attended her summer sessions the past two years.

And now I'm considering homeschooling. I'm considering it very seriously. I'm looking for contacts who have done this with small Y-bearing creatures. Because I will be leaving the workforce at the end of the month (May 2007) and do not need to return. And I like teaching them. And they seem to enjoy learning from and with me. So it may be a win-win for all (so much for those knitting books running around in my head). I will continue to post about my search for the solution that works for us. There are SO many resources out there, it's a bit scary.

I always thought homeschooling was the purview of extremists, people who didn't want the hoi polloi touching their children, but I attended a lecture last week and found three pretty mainstream parents talking about homeschooling, with both young kids and teenagers. I had no idea. The movement is huge. I learn new stuff all the time. I am proven wrong all the time. This will not change (especially with the munchkins in my life not yet reaching teenagerhood). I think I'll be particularly wrong when they're teenagers. We shall see.
My main desire here is to capture knitting designs and ideas that go running rampantly through my head. Feel free to comment... and vote... on which ones may end up in books.