Do Sharpies Write on Snow?

The snow they predicted for days came on schedule yesterday (“between 1:00 and 6:00 pm, 1-3 inches.”). Looks like we got 1-2 inches.  My phone says it’s 16 degrees outside.

I need a giant black Sharpie so I can climb out my window onto the porch roof and write on the white surface like a little kid with a crayon would write on a bare wall:

ROBIN WAS HERE.

(I live in the middle of North Carolina in the South of the US.  We don’t get much snow. 1-3 inches is kind of a big deal. 16 degrees is really cold.  I have a nice-looking wool coat and several scarves, but I don’t own a good pair of gloves or functional boots. Laugh if you want.)

Every morning, in my quiet time, I look out the double window in my office over the screened-in porch’s roof at the backyard of our house. This morning at 7:23, I saw clean, white snow on top of all the stuff–balls, dog poop on its mulch pile, 3 durable fake-wicker chairs, the weathered old picnic table, the Little Tikes First Slide and the blue swing hanging from a tree branch.

I saw me with the Sharpie on the porch roof. I’d go out on impulse in my pj’s that have been washed so many times they are soft like expensive baby clothes. The 16 degree cold would push me to hurry.  Would I change out of my warm, cream-colored thick cotton socks that look like they came from Finland? Or would I just jump out and do it?

How would I climb up and out? Would I even know how to move the screen of the triple-paned window out of the way?  What if I slid off?   The snow on the frozen ground wouldn’t be enough to cushion my fall. We know a guy who fell off a ladder while cleaning his gutters and got badly hurt.  What if I dropped the Sharpie? And who would even see what I wrote?

I’m good at over-thinking things and not so good at spontaneity.  Maybe not a bad way to be in the long run, but I think I’ve probably missed out on a lot of fun.

Besides, Sharpies of any size won’t write on snow. And I’m afraid of falling and my bones that are approaching osteoporosis could break into a bunch of jagged pieces.

Maybe I’ll try for a snow angel–in the yard–later, after I put on the proper clothes and a hat.  I hope the retired man I live with will help me get up.  We could be in trouble if we both lie down in the snow at the same time.

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Published in: on January 29, 2014 at 10:46 am  Comments (10)  
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Can Girls Get Dirty Anymore?

When my first grandchild was announced, I started paying more attention to the world of children.  I noticed how adults  presented the world to children.

I shopped for baby clothes as soon as we knew it was a girl.  Carter’s is at Friendly Shopping Center, right down the road from us, so I started there.  The layout of the store jerked me to a stop in the doorway.

GIRLS   on one side:                                

PINK!!!!!!                                                                      

LAVENDER!!!                                                            

So many shades of

PINK!!!!!!!!!                                                                  

Embroidered jeans                                                     

Denim skirts                                                            

BOYS on the other side:

BLUE

TAN

ARMY GREEN

BROWN

Overalls

Jeans

Adaline and Atticus have two sets of grandparents.  We all get along well on special occasions like births and birthdays.  But we are very different.

I buy jeans and overalls, t-shirts and sweatshirts for Adaline to wear outside and get dirty.  Grandma Jude buys exquisite dresses for each holiday and takes pictures that I love to look at.  Adaline likes both.  She is a lucky girl.  (Atticus is only 3 months old and it’s hot so he mostly sticks to soft cotton onesies.)

What happened to primary colors like red and green and yellow?  Toy stores have separate girl and boy sections—pink princess stuff and tutus (which are really cute) for girls or blocks and trucks and trains for boys.  Adaline likes the train display at Toys and Company.  Lego now markets sets for girls in pretty colors (click here to see them).  Adaline plays at our house with primary-color blocks and toddler-size Lego’s.

I don’t dislike pink.  I think the headbands with flowers for girl babies without hair are adorable.  And I am sure I will eventually paint Adaline’s toenails pink.

I want girls to have choices.

Her mother never really played with dolls.  She only wanted to wear dresses for a few months when she was 4—I think her knees are still scarred.  She didn’t walk then, she ran.  And fell.

She liked to dig in the dirt all by herself.  (Whoever lives there now probably still finds my spoons in their backyard.)  She had a stable-full of Pretty Ponies and stuffed animals.

She grew up to be a zookeeper.  Now she and her husband are terrific parents.  Adaline can look at animal pictures and name macaw and hippopotamus.  One of her first words was dog.  She cheers for West Virginia University when they’re on tv.

You can see why I’m perturbed by the following quote from Entertainment Weekly about Brave,  the latest Disney movie with a girl named Merida in the lead part:

“But could Merida be gay? Absolutely. She bristles at the traditional gender roles that she’s expected to play: the demure daughter, the obedient fiancée. Her love of unprincess-like hobbies, including archery and rock-climbing, is sure to strike a chord with gay viewers who felt similarly “not like the other kids” growing up. And she hates the prospect of marriage — at least, to any of the three oafish clansmen that compete for her hand — enough to run away from home and put her own mother’s life at risk. She’s certainly not a swooning, boy-crazy Disney princess like The Little Mermaid’s Ariel or Snow White. In fact, Merida may be the first in that group to be completely romantically disinclined (even cross-dressing Mulan had a soft spot for Li Shang).”

Are you kidding me??

(Click here for a link to a good commentary on the Entertainment Weekly article.)

Published in: on July 9, 2012 at 2:39 pm  Comments (12)  
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Gray is Gray

Remember burnt sienna?  That’s always the first color I think of when I see a tiered box of 64 Crayola Crayons.  I don’t know why.

The Crayola box of 64 is 50 years old.  If you click here you can go to an interactive quiz of all the color names.  It’s really fun.

An open box of 64 sits in front of me as I write.  I started to take it downstairs the other day for Adaline.  Then I remembered her mother’s warning:  “Buy washable crayons, Mom.”  She probably learned that lesson the hard way.

Does Crayola still include a burnt sienna crayon?  I pulled out all the brownish crayons to read the names–

sepia

brown (not kidding)

tan

chestnut

brick red

bittersweet (huh?)

raw sienna (?)

burnt sienna!

“Sienna is a natural earth containing ferrous oxide that is used as a yellowish-brown pigment when untreated (raw sienna) or a reddish-brown pigment when roasted (burnt sienna)”,  according to dictionary.com.  Didn’t you always wonder?

Do you find it sad that brown is “brown” and gray is “gray” in my box of 64?  Remember “magenta”?  It’s in the red family.  So are “wild strawberry” and “red”.  I found a “violet red” and a “red violet”.  They are not the same color.

The name on each crayon, not capitalized, is listed in English, Spanish, and French.  They didn’t have that when I was a kid.

On the other hand (it’s a pun–you’ll see)…

Suzi Weiss-Fischman, OPI [nail polish]Executive VP & Artistic Director explains that her recent cross country road trip inspired these destination shades. Colors feature clever names inspired by some of her favorite stops like A-taupe the Space Needle, a rich chocolately brown and French Quarter for your Thoughts, a soft grey hue.  Others reference what it feels like to be on the road like Get in the Espresso Lane with its dark brown color, and Are We There Yet?, a cheerful melon.

I love America.

I use crayons and markers and Model Magic (new-age clay) when I lead retreats.  For adults.

I always include at least an hour of silent free time.  Sometimes I use mandalas (a circular meditation/prayer tool) to make coloring a bit more sophisticated.  I have a book called Praying in Color.  It really makes coloring seem important.

Adults like to color.  Even men, I’ve learned.  I wonder if anyone ever colors on their own after the retreat.

Why is it so hard to give ourselves permission to play?

Published in: on October 31, 2011 at 2:19 pm  Comments (6)  
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