Archive for March 2008

The Game Winning Goal

March 31, 2008

I bought the tickets last January in a price reducing promo for Michigan schools. Stuck them in their Valentine cards and made their entire week!DH and HRH have been before but this was the very first Red Wing experience for my daughter and I. We were up in the nose bleed section but I don’t think there is a bad seat anywhere at the Joe Louis Arena. The game was also very special in that it was an 8oth birthday celebration for Gordie Howe…Mr. Hockey….a Red Wing hero when I was a kid. Sheesh. But the best thing of all was that I was a bit bored by the nothing/nothing score in over time and rueing the possibility of a shoot out. Was playing around with my camera and just happened to be focused on the net when the Red Wings crashed in their only goal for the game and won!!! I think HRH is going to be a bit easier on his old Mom for a couple of days….hee.

Dipsy Doodle’s Flower Pot Shop

March 29, 2008

Well, it finally happened. Something I did on paper actually came to life. Real live bouncing pink coiffed life. Heh. I posted earlier about a weird little idea that I had regarding a show for our school cable channel. ‘Dipsy Doodle’s Flower Pot Shop…a place where seeds of learning are planted.’ The theme song was written by a first grade teacher in my building and recorded by her students. Another Kindergarten Teacher friend read a story aloud on camera…which was also pre-recorded. Last weekend my husband built a store counter for the set… my kitchen because of a snow storm. I had to remake the costume because – much to every one’s surprise – dark purple with black flowers and silver threads does not show up on a blue screen. My daughter looked like a floating head as she was modeling it. (Hey, I am just glad that we tried it out a week early!) The plan was to start shooting on a Thursday afternoon and do as much as we could. If we needed Friday, the place was available. So, I arrived at the high school television studio two hours early with the counter, a huge collection of plastic flowers, one three foot live plant, baskets, watering can, kiddie cash register, gloves and everything else we needed for three episodes. My three producers helped set up the set. We played around with the background to get it perfectly aligned. We arranged and rearranged plastic flowers. Tried tape….and finally drove in screws to use flowers to hide imperfectiosn here and a latch or two there. The girl who had agreed to play Dipsy arrived shortly after. She had spent the weekend in Las Vegas with her best friend’s family and had had no sleep the night before as she was doing ‘catch up homework’ all night. (I am in awe of teenagers. How DO they do it?) The elderly friend playing ‘Farmer Bob’ brought along his wife. High school students were in and out. Farmer Bob’s daughter – a Teacher at the high school – popped in to see what was happening. We rehearsed and re-rehearsed, tried camera angles, moved set pieces, rehearsed again and finally began shooting at 1:45. We shot, reshot, rearranged, rewrote and rehearsed again. By 3:15 we knew we would need to finish. Everyone had places to be after 4 pm. It had been a long, tedious process for a short kids’ show. Finally we were done with one episode. Dipsy had split to her afternoon job. Farmer and Mrs. Bob were gone. We tore down the set and packed it all back in the bag I’d brought. I loaded my car and left to pick my children up at their after school play rehearsal. Exhausted and entirely exhilarated. Weirdly let down. I have been working on this for three months. Chasing down copy right permissions, conscripting help from friends, writing and rewriting, searching web sites for costume pieces, worrying, bouncing ideas off of anyone who hadn’t lost patience to listen…again. Now I will wait for the editing process to take place. I was assured that I would be part of the thinking process for another episode. In the mean time, Dipsy Doodle is no longer just a figment of my imagination. And that’s pretty amazing.

Need a laugh?

March 9, 2008

I LOVE Anita Renfro. Her ‘Momsense’ video of all the things a Mom says during the day is a classic. Reminds me – whenever I need a reminder – that I am not the ONLY one. Heh. Just discovered her ‘Dadsense’ vid. Here are the links. Haven’t figured out how to add a You Tube videos here yet. Enjoy. I did.


Dadsense :

Sad/Happy Truths

March 1, 2008

Dang. We were right in the middle of crossing a busy street in Chicago when she said it. Just came right out and asked. “So…are you my STEP-mom or what?” The Mom walking with us stopped for a split second and did a double take back at us. We scurried across to the sidewalk and I assured her, matter of factly, that I was her MOM….that she also has a birth mom but we don’t know anything about her. That I was Kylee and Linnea’s step-mom, because I was married to their birth dad. She shrugged and nodded. End of conversation.

Until we were on the bus to a museum the next day. She was standing and holding the pole for support – just because she wanted to stand – when she asked me if I knew anything about them. I knew who she was talking about. I knew she was mulling her history over in her head. But I made her ask.


“My mom and dad? My BIRTH parents?”

I told her that I knew nothing at all….except that they were very smart. She thought that over for a moment and then asked me how I knew. I told her because of where they left her.

“At a BUS STOP?”

She was horrified. Almost angry in fact. And then I explained that they left her at a busy place where they knew someone would find her quickly. They could have left her in the woods where a wild animal could have gotten to her….or in an abandoned house without food and water. They were smart enough to leave their sweet little toddler in a safe enough place. I could see her rolling this concept over in her head – the very same thing she had been told numerous times before – and she nodded thoughtfully. End of conversation.

Until we were sharing a fruit cup for lunch in the basement of the museum.

“Do you know what they look like?”

I shook my head and she was a little saddened. There was nothing to share with her. Just a police report. End of conversation.

Until were were on the ‘L’ a little later on our way to meet our Girl Scout comrades for dinner. I had been waiting to ride the L. Any ER freak can tell you that the show is ALL about what happens on the L. I was all about absorbing the sounds and sights of the L.

“Can we go back to Russia to see them….maybe?”

This time I shook my head. I explained that we could go back to Russia someday. I had planned to do that with her. We could see the baby home where she was taken and the orphanage where she was living when we met her for the first time. But we probably would not be able to see her parents. She thought about this a moment and then nodded.

“I wish I had a picture of them.” Screw the L. My heart was breaking for my beautifully curious and sensitive daughter.

I wondered where all of this was coming from….at this time. Off guard. But then, I began to realize that we were in the middle of a strange busy city with 17 of her Girl Scout friends and 14 of their Moms. Moms and daughters that looked like each other, walked and shopped like each other, laughed and talked like each other. We shared a room with a mom and daughter that were almost mirror images of one another. And then there was us. As different from one another as night and day. At least when her dad and brother were with us we were joined by the common bond of being female. As I watched her in the midst of her friends, dancing to a 50’s tune with our wild and crazy waiters, I pondered her dilemma. Feeling a part of things and yet different from them. It was like a bubblegum bubble in my throat for the rest of the night. Getting bigger and bigger. It didn’t get better till much later…when we were snuggled together in the bed we shared in the hotel. I wrapped my arm around her and she laced her fingers in mine.

“I love you, Mom.”

Pop…goes the bubblegum. End of conversation.