Archive for the ‘animals’ Category

Mushing Along the River

March 5, 2009



Here Booh got a chance to do a little dog sledding with a friend who travels to the iditarod every year. She gives dog sled rides around Western Mass, and this ride was with her new pups.

Alaskan Huskies

Alaskan Huskies

Booh loves animals so much that the combo of thrilling ride plus dogs was so exciting to her!  She got to be a helping hand with setting up the dogs and sled and learned a lot about the process.  She was instructed to hold tight to the harnesses as the dogs were brought from the truck to the sled.  At one point, one of the dogs she was escorting to the sled started to take off.  She tripped and fell, but she didn’t let go, and that dog dragged her a good distance!  

The ride was three miles long.  Her poor little hands were so cold afterwards.  Poor kid.  I really gotta get her some new gloves. – She talked about it the whole time during dinner, sharing all the little details with her dad.  So cute!


How to Crack an Egg

August 9, 2008

There’s more than one way to crack an egg.  After giving Booh a “lesson” on how to crack an egg when she was helping me make pancakes one morning, I found this video.  She loves it … especially the ending.  Check out how a snake does in this 2 minute video:

Christmas Spider

November 13, 2006

Booh has decided that the Christmas Spider will be coming to our house this year instead of Santa Claus. She explained that the Christmas Spider was Santa’s helper who gave out presents when Santa was busy. The Christmas Spider wears a hat like Santa and likes to give out squishy pretend spiders that hang on the wall, along with books, pencils and sea marbles. Something to look forward to.

I asked her if the Christmas Spider had a sleigh and flying reindeer like Santa and if she went down chimneys to get indoors. Persephone said that the Christmas Spider actually climbs up houses and then down the chimneys to get inside. Then she crawls on towards the next house with her fast skinny legs.

 Booh then proceeded to run around and around the house with her socks on at top speed saying that her legs were skinny too, so she could run as fast as the Christmas Spider. That was before she wiped out on the kitchen floor. With a bruised elbow and a tear stained face she snuggled up on my lap. She looked up at me and told me that the Christmas Spider wasn’t allowed to snuggle with me when she came to our house. I reassured her that she was the only spider I’d ever snuggle.

Cobweb ChristmasAt the library I found this book titled, Cobweb Christmas: The Tradition of Tinsel. It’s a tale about an old German woman who cleans out her home for Christmas, sweeping away the spiders and their webs. The spiders later return and spin their webs in her Christmas tree and Saint Nicholas changes the webs into tinsel.

I also discovered that not only is there a real Christmas Spider (Austracantha minax) that lives in Australia, but there is also a German and Ukranian legend of the Christmas Spider. Ornaments and craft project abound around this legend.

The Legend of the Christmas Spider

A long time ago , a mother prepared for Christmas Eve. She cleaned and scrubbed her home, chasing the spiders from the living room with her broom. The spiders fled to the attic and listened to the excitement below as the Christmas tree was put up and decorated. When all was quiet again, the little spiders crept back downstairs to see the beautiful tree. They were filled with happiness as they crawled along every branch, admiring the glittering beauty of each ornament. But alas, by the time they had finished climbing through the tree, it was completely draped with their dusty, gray cobwebs.

When the Christ child came, He smiled as He looked upon the happy little spiders, however, He knew the mother would be heartbroken when she saw the shrouded tree. So He reached out nd touched the webs and, blessing them, turned them into silver and gold. Now the Christmas tree sparkled and shimmered and was even more beautiful than before. Thus the custom to have tinsel of silver and gold and a spider ornament amongst the other decorations on the Christmas tree was born.

~Author Unknown

Smitten with Uncle Rock

March 1, 2006

Booh & Uncle Rock. Late winter, 2006.

How could she not be? He sang Yellow Submarine, her all time favorite song. He played the guitar, the one thing she wants from the Christmas Spider. He’s tall and thin, a common thread amongst all her crushes. And funny to boot!

She had been waiting for weeks to see Uncle Rock, who did a family performance at a local cafe on Saturday morning. With songs like “Rock & Roll Babysitter,” “Sugar Talkin’,” and “Gettin’ Big Blues,” his CD is her #1 request every time we get in the car. She even wore her black biker boots so she could stomp around like a rock & roll babysitter.

We met Uncle Rock (a.k.a. Robert Burke Warren ) sailing on the Hudson River aboard the Sloop Clearwater, a historical tall sailboat. We drove up to Kingston, NY, with our neighbor and her daughter and spent the day sailing on the river, learning about the ecology of the river while listening to live music, and then having lunch at Rosita’s Mexican Restaurant in the Roundout in Kingston. (They have the BEST homemade corn tortillas and mole sauce!) The sailboat is part of Clearwater, an environmental advocacy and education organization based out of Poughkeepsie, NY.

The wind was calm that day so we didn’t do much sailing, but I didn’t mind so much. I felt it was better for Booh’s first time on a sailboat (age 4) to have calm waters. She went down into the galley and I told her stories of when I use to work in the galley on the MV Greenpeace. She asked me if there were grocery stores out at sea and if they sold only fish and nori.

That day on the Sloop Clearwater she was given the very important task of tossing the buoy over the ships side, followed by a net to collect specimens for the kids to look at and learn about. Hogchokers (Trinectes maculatus) were one of the several marine species retrieved from the river. It’s a small flat fish that feels like a puppy’s tongue when you run you fingers over it. Farmers use to feed their hogs these fish, but they would occasionally get lodged in their throats due to the fishes morphology, choking the hog. Now when Booh chokes on something she’s eating, I’ll call it a Hogchoker, which only makes her laugh and choke again. (Sometimes I really question my mothering skills.)