Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Eschewing Puccini

The morning after our honored guest sang Puccini's aria, Sketcher was still talking about her magnificent voice. He also couldn't wait to pop Mr. Bean's Holiday into the DVD player and fast-forward to the scene where that song is mimed. No wonder Sketcher was so familiar with the melody.

Today at lunch, Writer and I were discussing something of monumental importance (okay, so I can't remember the topic right now, but I'm sure it was a riveting conversation). I commented, "Well, he eschewed . . . . "

When I got to the end of my thought, Sketcher looked up and said, "Eschewed. Avoided." He then properly used the word in a complex sentence. I tried really hard not to stare in amazement, and casually asked him where he'd learned that word. He grinned and replied, "Veggie Tales."

So, um, how do YOU introduce your children to new vocabulary words and the arts? Blockbuster or Netflix?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Honored Guests

On Saturday evening, we were honored to have the Yasuda family as our dinner guests. Marina (seated on the right) received her diploma from the University of South Alabama earlier that day. We were delighted to meet her parents who flew in from Japan for the occasion.

After dinner, her mother sang Puccini's O Mio Babbino Caro.
A-M-A-Z-I-N-G voice. What a tremendous gift! We were speechless afterwards. Sketcher, especially, was mesmerized by her performance. A night we always will remember.

Kotoko, these peonies from the table are for you . . . Bravo!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

No Warranty Rule

For all you men out there who are planning to bless your wives or mothers with a Mother's Day gift, I have a piece of advice for you: Follow the "No Warranty" rule.

When Writer and I decided to get married (and we'll soon celebrate 25 years together), I was able to get past the giddiness of the moment long enough to establish a few guidelines. One of the most important was the "No Warranty" rule. I made sure he understood that in the wide world of gift giving, I didn't want birthday, anniversary, Christmas, Mother's Day, Groundhog Day, or any other celebratory occasion to be marked by a gift with a cord and plug or warranty.

Giving a gift should be about the receiver. So, to open a box on Mother's Day that has a new appliance – no matter how shiny or time-saving – is saying to the receiver, "Here's another way to do some work around here." Is that really the message you want to communicate? I didn't think so.

Before you head to the mall or your favorite online store, my advice is, "Step away from the appliances. Follow the No Warranty rule." This is life-saving advice. You can thank me later.