Monday, October 27, 2014

On Stalking My Kid

"Clara, we're going to The Lake. Put your socks on. Eva, you too.  We gotta move cause the sun's going down and we want to see her."

I gather our equipment - the compact camera with the long zoom lens - and we swing by my parents' place and choose the best of the three sets of binoculars my Mother uses for bird watching.

We take the direct route to The Lake and stride briskly down to the water's edge, plop our things on a picnic table, and scan the scene first with our naked eyes: the inky stretch of water about a quarter of a mile from bank to bank, the long swathe of mottled yellow, red, and green above, and to our left, what look like giant futuristic spiders with gleaming silver legs flanking the water.  Perhaps the generated electricity is pulsing through the approaching teams?

There are several boats - long, flat javelins with some specks of color gleaming in the sun, dark tooth picks stuck to their sides, moving in unison in and out of the water.  Clara estimated they were going about a knot ("Oh, I like the boating term, Clara", Lucia says when later we make our confession). It would be hard to know except for the coaches' speed boats, leading the way with their megaphones, trees moving fast, I'm almost dizzy -

"Don't wash out, ladies.  Keep the blade in from catch to release."

This is no Sunday afternoon fishing expedition - these people are on a war path.

The Lawrenceville boys, to our left, have their "swing" down - forward, pull, forward, pull, in perfect unison. They whoop their victory war cry, even though there's no opponent that I can see, and by the time I put the binoculars down to rest my eyes they're out of my field of vision.

We scan to the right, slowly focus the binoculars on an approaching boat, an eight, and catch the colored t-shirts.  Male? Female? Female!  I steady my grip and look at each girl. She's wearing dark glasses, hair pulled back in a pony tail with a white Nike headband beneath it, lavender jacket, hands gripping an oar, forward, pull, forward, pull.

"Clara, there's Lucia! There she is!"

We switch back and forth so that we can both get a look but I beg Clara not to take too long. We're just little ants with spyglasses on shore.  The sun is making its descent; I wrap each side of my wind breaker firmly across my chest as the wind has picked up speed, gather our gear, and head to the car, satisfied that we have fulfilled our mission.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Jim Thorpe

Long homeschool days, earaches, headaches and noreasters heading our way.  So here's my little escape hatch - think  about that getaway weekend Claudio and I went on about a month ago.

His dream was to take me camping to a gem of a town he discovered through a friend of ours in rural Pennsylvania called Jim Thorpe. In the end, as you may guess, we compromised.  Check out the final photo to see what I mean :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Please Pray for Colette

UPDATE (October 14) - Thank you so much for your prayers!  Colette is doing much better, went home yesterday and will have surgery once her insides are in better shape.  Apparently her appendix did rupture and so it was not prudent to operate when it first happened.  At any rate, she is happy to be sleeping in her own bed now, as are her parents!  I will let you know when she goes in for surgery, which they are hoping will only be laparoscopic.  xoxoxo

Hello friends and family,

Could you please pray for my sweet niece Colette?  She is in the hospital right now with appendicitis. It has been a tough hospital stay - they are controlling infection with antibiotics but she's still in pain, and getting iv's in and out is a traumatic experience for her.

Please pray that she get better today so that she can be taken off the pain medication and head home.

Also if you can pray for my sister, Irina, and her family, that they would get some rest, and peace, that would be wonderful.

xo Olivia

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Legend of Atlantis - by Eva

Origin of the Legend (from

The tale of Atlantis comes from the Greek philosopher Plato, who lived in the 300s B . C . In two of his works, the Timaeus and the Critias, he relates that the famous Athenian lawgiver Solon had heard the story of Atlantis when he visited Egypt. In the very distant past, a great island as large as North Africa and the Near East combined existed in the Atlantic Ocean. The island belonged to Poseidon (Neptune) *, who fell in love with a young woman of the island named Cleito and married her. Poseidon built a city on the island, and on a mountain in the center of the city, he built a palace for Cleito. The couple had ten children, and in time Poseidon divided the island among them, giving each a section to rule.

Atlantis was a paradise: no one had to work hard, every type of wonderful food grew there, and animals were plentiful. Poseidon had created a stream of hot water and a stream of cold water for the island. It had a glorious culture with wonderful palaces and temples. The kings were rich in gold, silver, and other precious metals. The people of Atlantis lived in a golden age of harmony and abundance.

Then things began to change. The gods started to intermarry with humans. The Atlanteans became greedy for more than they had. They decided to conquer the lands around the Mediterranean. Angered by the Atlanteans' behavior, Zeus * sent an earthquake, or perhaps a series of earthquakes, that made Atlantis sink into the sea in the course of one day and one night.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sweet 16

Here are some shots from Lucia's friend's sweet 16 party - since we seldom dress up anymore, I couldn't resist the photo op.  I hope to add photos of Lucia and the birthday girl once I get permission from her family.  Special note:  I'll bet you can't guess which outfits come from our local rummage store! Also note that my purse belonged to the mother of my mother's dear grade school friend, Peggy, aka "Pea". Apparently Jackie O favored the brand.  Thank you, Peggy!

My Mom (Nona) made Clara's shawl.  You can't see the sparkles, but they are there!