Tonawanda News

Features

July 20, 2013

DOUBLE TROUBLE: The writing on the wall (and everywhere else)

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Did I mention that last packet had markers in it? It did. Four of them, red, yellow, green and blue. Which were the colors of the spots and stripes and designs now winding their way around and over and all about the arms, legs, hands and face of my younger son, who had spent the past hour or so gleefully decorating himself. 

It was surprising and creative and it was impossible not to laugh. (Maybe it would have been more possible if they’d been permanent markers. They weren’t.) I got him out of his car seat and marched him into the ice cream parlor, past the slightly baffled face of the girl working there and into the bathroom, where he was scrubbed until marker-free — and told not to do that again. He agreed. It was a minor funny, colorful bump on the road of parenthood.

I should have been more specific. (And I shouldn’t have laughed.)

Fast forward about a month. I’m working in our home office, and the boys are letting me do so. They’re being really, really good, actually ... so good that I stayed in there a little longer than I should have, trying to get things done. They were happy, they were laughing, it was good. Right?

Then Sam appeared in the door.

”Don’t come out here, Mom,” he instructed. “Just stay there, OK? Don’t come out.”

He vanished. I considered this a moment. Then I stood up, grabbed my camera and snuck around the corner.

He hadn’t decorated himself this time. He’d decorated his brother.

Jim, looking proud of himself, perched on an end table and grinned at me. There was marker on his legs. His arms. Across his beaming face and winding around his chest. His name was written prominently right below his 8-year-old heart surgery scar. He apparently thought this whole thing was hysterical. 

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Features
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    But what not all of the visitors may realize is that much of this summer tradition is the result of months of hard work by 4-H Club members and their leaders and families, all focused on the words of the 4-H motto: “Learn By Doing.”

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    Tattoos can be a touchy subject. Of course, people have heard they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; still, people continue to report being denied jobs and being judged harshly for proudly displaying their ink.

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  • sig - Crib Notes 2014 RGB.jpg CRIB NOTES: No matter what, the kids just want to play the game

    At 35 years old, I may be the oldest person ever to record an out in a kids’ T-ball league.

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    This past week, our lovely neighbors went to the beach for their annual weeklong vacation.

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    More than 90 private gardens throughout Western New York, and a number of public ones, are open to the public for select hours Thursdays and/or Fridays during July as part of the National Garden Festival’s Open Gardens program, now in its fifth year. The program is separate and distinct from local garden walks, and the gardens range from Gasport to Holland. They’re organized into districts of about five to eight gardens each, including Northtowns West (which includes gardens in Kenmore and the Town of Tonawanda) and Niagara Trail (which includes gardens in Lockport, Gasport and Lewiston).

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  • SUN LIFE terrariums 1 072014.jpg For the love of nature

    Sara Johnson lives surrounded by green and growing things. Showing a visitor around her apartment in North Buffalo, she pointed out the plants in every room, the balcony and even in two small greenhouses — houseplants, flowers, vegetables, even carnivorous plants.

    "I try to keep as much growing in the house as I can," she said.

    Another goal of hers is to show others how to do the same — and to that end, Johnson is offering a series of workshops this summer in connection with her business, Sylvatica Terrariums, and Project 308 Gallery in North Tonawanda, teaching people how to bring a piece of the outdoors into their homes in the form of a terrarium or other greenery.

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    As an effort to get children out of the big city and give them a chance to spend part of their summer playing outside, the Fresh Air Fund brings New York City kids to stay with host families for a 10-day trip to a place which is vastly different from their usually surroundings.

    “They will be running outside and playing in the grass and going swimming,” said Cheryl Flick, a fund representative of the Northern Erie and Niagara Counties chapter of the Fresh Air Fund at a picnic for the host families and kids. “They won’t be cooped up inside, they’ll be outside, getting fresh air and being active.”

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    I think it’s true of many parents, that amidst the many challenges and hard work of parenting, we anticipate the day our children grow up just enough ... to like the same things we like, whether it’s as an ongoing phenomenon or a fond childhood memory.

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    Did you know that the suffix “vore” comes from the Latin word “voro,” which means to devour? I probably knew that once, but I should have paid better attention in my Latin class. “Vore” is used to form nouns indicating what kind of a diet an animal has, such as omnivore, carnivore and herbivore.

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    When Explore Buffalo Tours got started about eight months ago, the business concentrated on specialized tours designed to showcase specific aspects of the City of Buffalo’s history, architecture and culture.

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