Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day at the Museum

I tried to convince the kids to go to The Botanical Gardens after speech therapy since the day was lovely enough to be outside in the children's garden, but Aleks would have none of it and insisted on visiting the Museum of Natural History instead. Thank goodness for that Happy Hollow membership. I don't know who ever did the research about that membership, but it is cheap and gets us in everywhere we want to go, just about.

We still only have two memberships, but we can get in more places than we used to. We keep a Botanical Gardens membership (at $65 per year) and we used to have a Museum of Natural History membership (also $65), but then one of the homeschooling moms posted in one of the local Yahoo groups about the Happy Hollow membership. It's the San Diego Park & Zoo and it's reciprocation is accepted all over town. Plus, while the park was closed for major renovations, the membership was only $75 for 2 years.

Now, I don't plan on going to San Diego any time soon, and I do feel bad about not keeping my money in our local institutions, but I had to weigh that with the fact that I can't afford much. We could continue only being able to visit MNH & the Botanical Gardens, or I could forgive this one little lapse of everything local and be able to visit the zoo, the Great Lakes Science Center, MNH, the Columbus Zoo (at half price) and Cosi. It also gets us into the Children's Museum in Dayton for when we visit the grandparents.

Aleks is a sheep in wolf's (or coyote, as the case may be) clothes.O-hi-o-hi-o. Round on the ends, high in the middle. Here I try to explain what the heck it means to have a state bird, a state flower, and a state tree. Not sure I was very clear on the matter myself.
We arrived early enough to enjoy the Discovery Center for once and spent the time looking through microscopes (I'd really like to get one for us at home, but don't have the cash to spare), talking to the Center's Coordinator about everything there plus how Aleks & she had the same book about Evolution and how much he liked it, and checking out the Center's pets (including a leopard gecko named Speedy).
The Center closes before the museum, so when they began closing up, we went upstairs to see the dinosaur fossils (Bastian pointed out that his favorite dinosaur is the Triceratops while Aleks' is the Tyrannosaur). Aleks took a closer look at Lucy since we'd recently read several books about her discovery. He was impressed that the real Lucy was discovered by a team from the museum.
We went outside to see the animals. This crow was dragging around a shovel.

Aleks told me jokes.

These mushrooms were growing from between the slats of a bench outside.
Afterward, we spend quite a long time climbing on Steggie the Stegosaurus as always and I took a self-portrait, as usual.
Bastian helped Aleks out.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Aunt Lilly's 21st Birthday

Natty made a cake. Jon made a giant dinner. We had eggplant Parmesan, roast chicken, and pesto. Heather and Steve came by for dessert and our friend Emma came by for dinner. Emma goes to boarding school here and is Piddy Peddy's daughter, so it's nice to have her visit now and then and be part of a (semi)normal family life.

After the kids were asleep and my parents had gone back to their hotel, everyone did this. Like they do all the time.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Bridge Project

As soon as we picked up Aunt Lilly from the megabus stop for her birthday weekend, we went to The Bridge Project. The Bridge Project is part of an attempt to bring the two sides of Cleveland together in cooperative art and fun. The bridge itself was the streetcar level of one of the bridges downtown that spans the Cuyahoga River and the east/west divide. The streetcar level had been closed for some number of decades and interesting folks were deeply curious to find out what was down there. Naturally, we were curious too and joined in.Natalie on bridge.

The burning river below us.

Many of the art pieces sought to utilize the space and find new uses for it.

Trolley lines.
Video projected on water in the old subway tunnels.
Bastian rests on a lawn suspended over the middle of the Cuyahoga River.
Dragons invade.
The circumference bike: holds 8 riders. There's only 2 of these in the United States, if I remember correctly. I can find nothing about the thing online. A U.S. artist designed it and a German company engineered it. Natalie and I rode it. Much to Aleks' disappointment (his legs weren't long enough).

Lilly waited with the boys while we rode across the bridge and back. When we came back, Aleks hid in a hammock suspended between two giant concrete posts out of anger, frustration, and sadness at not being able to ride the bike.

Click to enlarge and see the fiddler walking behind us.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A walk in the woods and a close encounter

Boys rock.Our Close Encounter

Within the lean-to.
Us with stick.

Evidence of Autumn.

I don't need to walk around in circles.Love rocks.

I left art behind. Temporal.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Apple Pie and Baseball

City Fresh had these great non-sprayed apples. We had a whole basket-full and decided to get 'em in one go. Since they hadn't been sprayed, there were lots of spots and quite a few wormy holes. It took me at least an hour to get them all chopped up sans worms. It was worth it though.

Aleks looks like a real Clevelander in his thrifted Sizemore tee.

Monday, September 21, 2009

In the Garden

Checking for crickets for Esteban.Discovering the eggs of slugs.
Locusts on the decaying leaves of green beans. Jerks.
Spider web in the tangled mass of trellis built for all manner of squash plants.
Oranging tomatoes.

The deep ridges of re-seeded zapotecs.