Signs of spring

  • humungous potholes in the Wal-Mart parking lot
  • new smells and sounds in the backyard, distracting Kyra from “doing her business”
  • wildly variable temperatures, down forty degrees overnight and back up a few days later (which may have something to do with my cold and sinus headache)
  • almost melted piles of ice (that once were huge piles of snow plowed to one side of a parking lot), nearly black with dirt, sand, and bits of pavement
  • store shelves filled with St. Patrick’s Day merchandise (shamrock-decorated cookies, beer steins, and men’s sleep pants, not to mention green necklaces, cups, plates, napkins, etc.) and Easter merchandise (plush animals, religious books and coloring books, Easter egg dye, Jello Jigglers egg-shaped molds, and of course mounds of candy, toys, and baskets)
  • store shelves and racks with the beginnings of summer merchandise (swimsuits, snow cone machines and syrups)
  • notes from school regarding selling raffle tickets for the school carnival, and requesting donations for gift baskets to be raffled off at the carnival
  • spring break this week for our community’s public schools

And that last point means that my sons will be home all week. And I will be also. The company I work for is requiring all office workers to take a week off this quarter, either vacation or unpaid time off (eligible for unemployment since it is essentially a weeklong layoff) as each person chooses. (Another week will be required next quarter, and two at year-end as we did this past holiday season). This is apparently an increasingly common way for companies to cut costs to deal with the recession.

So I am taking a staycation this week with my kids. My plans include visits to four museums, plus games, kite-flying, baking, and crafts. Al and I started the fun today with a game of Killer Bunnies, followed by a walk around the block while imagining a time-travel trip. Tomorrow we attempt to make a dragon cake (practice for making one for the Cub Scout cake auction later this month), and hope for good weather for kite-flying.

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