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Showing posts with the label Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Clearly not my servant

My son turned to me the other day, after I asked him to pick up his clothes, and informed me that he was not my servant. Clearly, this is true. Since sarcasm is not an appropriate response, I cock my head to the side and go over the course of an average day. He has to put his own clothes away after I wash, dry and fold them. He has to set the table while my husband and I alter between cooking and cleaning up the meal. He has to pick up the toys, books, and games he plays with. He has to make sure his lunch and snack (that I make) get into his backpack. He has to buckle his seatbelt while he is shuttled from baseball, birthday parties, play dates and other activities. He has to take off his own dirty clothes and put them in a laundry basket, not around a laundry basket. He has to make the bed that he sleeps in. He has to get himself dressed. He has to make sure his own toys are off the floor when I vacuum. Those are some of the things he has to do. There are additional tasks but that i

The circus is coming to town

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I realize not everyone is in the midst of school finals, half school days and science projects that I find myself finishing. Yes, that I am finishing, if the number of times I’ve reminded my son of the importance of penmanship and timeliness counts toward my partial credit. I repeat to my child that I did finish the 3rd grade and find no need to repeat the curriculum. We are dealing with last minute details and lessons (we hope) learned that waiting to the last minute is not an effective way to plan. We are not above taking away privileges or dangling the occasional carrot (or should I say circus) in front of my child’s head. I only hope he will remember that procrastination causes stress. This is a lesson I already know well. I do not need to keep reliving that as well as the awkwardness of 3rd grade. This Saturday the Saranac Lake Youth Center will be holding its first annual circus at Lake Colby beach from 11:00 a.m. – 4: 00 p.m. There will be a traditional midway where the v

Free Museum Days

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Even with criticism of over-scheduled youth, there is still a part of me that believes carefully laid out plans and a boxed lunch can accomplish anything. The voice in my head warns me that we’re one pit stop away from complete chaos. The other devil argues that just a small percentage of kids are over-scheduled while a good portion do nothing at all. So I justify our carefully laid out plans knowing we will be waylaid along the way. That said, the June 6th Plattsburgh Museum Day seems more museum marathon than museum day. This is not an open door to one museum but eight different venues offering lectures, children activities and free admission. I spin briefly wondering how to fit it all in. The earliest event is the North Country Underground Railroad Historical Association Conference at SUNY Plattsburgh (8:30-10:00 a.m.) where one can learn about the Champlain Valley Underground Railroad Canadian connection. Then perhaps to the Feinberg Library where films on the Underground Rail

The importance of volunteering

I have been fortunate to have great role models in my life, my grandparents, parents and friends that have shown the true meaning of giving back. Now I hope to be able to pass along that same mindedness to my own children. I have two friends particularly that come to mind that took on the task graciously of the care of two elders. These friends have their own busy lives and spend most of it helping others. I won’t mention names only because they do good work all over and never ask for accolades. (Though secretly I applaud them.) They have shown me that taking care of someone does not deplete your reserve for helping others, but actually expands it. I’ve always had a thing for older people, their stories, their experiences. I’ve also always hoped I would grow up to be one some day. Of course, now the day is approaching with speed and clarity. It seems to me that sometimes we forget, as a society, that our elders are the very reason we exist. Without them the mistakes from which we l

Leaving a mark on the world

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I hope we are teaching our children to treat the earth with respect all year round. (There is only one, my son tells me.) I know we can always do more, learn more and be an even better example. As with everyone else we try to do little things all year, using canvas shopping bags, composting, gardening, car-pooling, and recycling. I even attempt to pass off my thrift store obsession and used bookstore passion as me saving the world one vintage cardigan at a time. It’s the free roadside furniture compulsion that my husband believes that needs intervention. I know I can fix whatever orphaned bureau sits on the roadside with the huge FREE sign attached to it convincing myself I am freeing the landfills of dressers. My husband wishes for me to make a smaller gesture. All jokes aside the kids know we are really just scratching the surface. Every year we have taken on the job of cleaning up the Ampersand Mountain trailhead. After the first few years of trying to convince my children that i

Adirondack Hikes: Baker Mountain and the shoulder season

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The last of the ice and snow clings to the edges of the road, covered in a filthy coat of sand. We are packing up the skis and snowshoes and putting away the winter boots. We are optimistic that spring is here to stay. My children chirp on and on about spring because the calendar says it’s so. With that comes a few disagreements and dessert dangling (similar to the proverbial carrot) that winter coats, hats and gloves do still need to be worn if the temperature drops. I explain the shoulder season. Grumbling commences with accusations of mothers that make up seasonal names to insure children wear coats. They will eventually learn that the passing of the spring equinox doesn’t mean that the change of season is an immediate one. We now have to search for snow. It is hiding deep off the trails where the sun and heat won’t find it for months. Our search leads us up Baker Mt. The summit of Baker is only .9 mile from the base. It’s just the beginning of the main trail that looks like a f

A Wild Art Day

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We have a big day planned with all sorts of activities on the agenda. We have errands to run and want to squeeze in an end of season ski as we work our way to Tupper Lake. The last thing on the list is going to the Wild Center. As we head into town the kids start negotiating the length of their stay at the museum. What has become the last stop now becomes the first. The children are thrilled to get here. I am always amazed that each time we show up it is just as exciting. I guess that is why it is a living museum. It is constantly changing and growing. The children know the way so our jackets are stowed, the movie times checked and the game plan discussed. My plan is to relax and have a cup of coffee. The kids are old enough now to be on their own for certain lengths of time. I take a seat behind the tables set up for the Family Art and Nature Project and under a “green intentions” exhibit. People have written on bits of cloth clipped to branches how they plan on living a greene

All Hands Hoay!

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There is something to be said about talking like a pirate that just doesn’t get old, at least in our house. It is probably only my children who’s acting skills come into play when simply asked to set the dinner table. Then the pirate-speak comes out in full force. They are being held captive until their real parents can swoop in and free them from evil forces. The imposed drudgery of picking up their own toys is met with “Or ye’ll what? Put me in t’hold?” There is a bit of sass that goes along with pirate talk (since pirates are not known for their manners). So we couldn’t ask for a better Winter Carnival theme than Pirates of the Adirondacks because our pirate vocabulary was getting a bit weak. As research says if you don’t use a foreign language regularly, you lose it, so I am here to help you practice, practice, practice for the last few days of Carnival, “Arrr. ya scurvy dogs.” The standards of “Blow me down” and “Shiver me timbers” are fine to use if ye are shocked over the o

Viewing the 41st Luge World Championships

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It will be a sea of spandex suits, warming huts and waving flags. No, it’s not a comic book convention though the next two weeks will attract the same amount of hero worship. With twenty-one countries being represented in the 41st Luge World Championships, Lake Placid deserves a bit of fanfare. The first time the Worlds came to Lake Placid was 26 years ago. It was the first time the event had been held outside of Europe. Now it is back. The event is toted as the final major event for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. This is going to be a career builder or breaker for some. Some tricky areas for the sledders will be Cliffside, Labyrinth, Bendam’s Bend and Chicane. The organizers of the event are making it very user friendly. There are viewing areas set up around the track with television monitors showing the rest of the run. Ticket holders are not restricted to seats but allowed to walk all around to get various views. It is going to be exciting as people, competitors and t

Tilting at Windmills

Energy, alternatives and the rising costs of fuel have all garnered a lot of much needed press lately. I am a supporter of alternative energy, the funding of it and the need for it. Though I am not the perfect example of using it. I do not yet drive a hybrid and my home is not powered by alternative energy. My excuse for the latter is that I am currently renting and looking to buy. My excuse for the former; I am waiting for my current car to make the choice for me. It doesn’t excuse me from teaching my children that every decision I make whether it is the gas I put in my car or the means that I use to turn on the lights, is not an easy one. We have errands to run in Malone and decide mid-trip to check out the wind turbine farm that has conjured up all sorts of controversy. I have seen wind turbines in the Altamount Pass when visiting Northern California and from the highway they looked quite serene, lining the ridge as I drove on I 580. Of course I was just visiting and the wind