Monday, June 24, 2013

"The Wind in the Willows" in La Crosse

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to drive down to La Crosse, Wisconsin to see a production of my adaptation of The Wind in the Willows put on by the La Crosse Community Theatre.  This was a youth production comprising a total of 39 kids on and off stage, ranging in age from 8 to 16.  And they did a beautiful job.  LCT just recently moved into a new space and they made great use of it.  The sets, lights, and costumes were all gorgeous and really helped created the world.  The cast too did a wonderful job.  I was impressed with the level of acting they demonstrated, from the loyal faithful Rat to the menacing Chief Weasel (who had perhaps the coolest costume) to the younger forest animals who through their transitions between scenes created the bustling river community.

The director, Rebecca Seflow Hartzell, was recently hired on at LCT to further develop their youth program and is clearly doing a great job.  The kids were responsible for areas behind the scenes as well, stage managing and running the light board, for example.  I think whenever you given kids this kind of ownership over the production they will rise up to the responsibility  They all took their roles seriously and it paid off in a polished production.

Rebecca and the theater's executive director David Kilpatrick invited me to do a talkback with the cast, crew, and audience after the show.  The kids all asked great questions (sometimes better than the answers I could think of!) ranging from how the show differed from what I had envisioned to how long it had taken to write to how I started writing plays in the first place.  They were a fantastic group and I appreciated how welcome everyone made me felt.  So congrats to everyone involved for a job very well done.  I hope it will not be the last time my words are brought to life in this theatre.   It really was a treat to see my play in such good hands.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Conversations you never thought you'd have

One of the best parts about having kids is the sheer randomness of it all.  The Coffee Queen, the Little Scoot and I went for a walk around the lake this afternoon and came across a great puddle.  When the Little Scoot saw it he was overcome with joy.  The conversation went something like this:

Little Scoot: That's the puddle I smelled!

Me: What does a puddle smell like?

Little Scoot: Chocolate and dog poop!

Me: ???

The Little Scoot proceeded to jump in the puddle which sort of sums up the desire of every three-year-olds heart.  Meanwhile I now know what a puddle smells like.

Puddle jumping

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Planting the Garden

Well, it may have taken awhile but summer is finally around the corner.  It's been a strange spring with a lot of rain (the running joke is that Minnesota has been moved to the Pacific Northwest) but a couple of weekends ago we finally had a beautiful day to plant the garden.

The Little Scoot is at an age where he loves to help.  So he supervised while I dug a trench around the new garden plot in the backyard, and then he helped the Coffee Queen tie up the fence.  "Help" is, of course, a very loose term when you're three.

The Little Scoot helps put in the fence

Digging is about as far as my gardening skills go.  The Coffee Queen is the one with the plan.  I just point the shovel where I'm instructed.  Last year the side garden was decimated by rabbits and so this year she is determined to protect her hard labor from them (hence the fence).

The Little Scoot was given a corner of the garden for his very own and even picked what went in it.  He has a tomato plant, some green peppers, and a few other things.  He helped Mommy plant while I did some other yard work and I think it's safe to say he had a fun day. :-)

The proud gardener showing off his corner

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The most awesome morning ever!

The Coffee Queen had to work this morning which meant it was father/son adventure time!  The Roseville library was having an event to kick off their summer reading program and it was awesome.

We started with an outdoor scavenger hunt and the Little Scoot was really into it.  He allowed us to take a break for Culver's ice cream, but he insisted on finishing before he would sit down to watch the miniature horses.  (Yes, miniature horses.  I told you it was awesome.)  And when we found everything the Little Scoot received his coveted prize: a sticker.

Serious about the scavenger hunt
Always time for ice cream

After petting Joey the miniature horse we went back inside to do crafts (goofy googly eyes) and then went to see a real fire truck.  The EMTs also gave him another sticker.  And, last but not least, face painting.  Little Scoot decided at the last minute that he didn't want his face painted, but he did allow them to paint an adorable frog on his arm.

With Joey the miniature horse
Proudly sporting his Frog art

On our way back to the car I asked him if he had had a fun Daddy morning.  He had and wanted to have lots more Daddy mornings today.  Aww.

He also missed Mommy. :-)

Daddy modeling the googly eyes.  Is that how you spell googly?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Back home

The Coffee Queen and I were out of town recently - celebrating our 10-year anniversary in Italy!!!  We went to Italy for our honeymoon and so it felt like the right time to return.  More about that anon, but considering it was our honeymoon that first planted the scooter seed it was fun to go back and see all of the scooters there as a rider.

It was a great trip, but we were glad to get back and see the Little Scoot again (who spent his time with the grandparents and didn't seem too bothered by the fact that we were gone).  I was also excited to get back onto my own scooter again, now that the good weather is finally settling in here in Minnesota.

At least it has been beautiful since we've been back.  Today, however, was cloudy with a forecast of rain most of the day (I love how meteorologists hedge their bets by predicting a 60% chance of rain all day).  But I rode anyway as I have a meeting this afternoon in another building plus an errand to run on the way home.

I am always amused on days like today when I arrive at work and the big Harley and BMW motorcycles are absent, but the scooters are there.  Today when I parked it was just me and a Yamaha Zuma (who it turns out lives close to me).  We'll see if anyone else arrived later but I think it goes to show that we scooter riders are a hardy bunch.  And it doesn't hurt that my commute is only 3 miles each way. :-)

The few, the proud, the scooters.