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December 2010
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February 2011

New Year, New Dies, New, Gnu, New!

The "gnu" was just to see if you were skimming.

The children are at school.

Oh blessed, blessed day!

We live in walking distance to the school. There are two routes to get there and most kids in the neighborhood opt for the shorter-but-more-treacherous route, which involves hopping across a drainage ditch using rock stepping stones. We call it "hopping the bayou", and if you are unfortunate enough to slip off the rocks and into the foot-deep-water, your shoes will likely never recover. The bayou has claimed one pair of Karl's shoes and two of Emma's.

Karl decided after his first slip this fall that he was done hopping the bayou. He likes to walk around using the sidewalk, staying completely dry, and avoiding the mosquito-infested grasses that go along with the bayou route.

Since I walk the dog each morning, I started walking along with Karl and it's nice one-on-one time for us. (Emma hops the bayou with her friends) I walk as far as the sign by the bank and then he continues by himself the last couple of blocks.

Karl's a pretty secure (read "oblivious") kid where social conventions are concerned. He's asked me more than once why I don't just walk all the way to school with him, and he seems to have absolutely no qualms about that scenario. He'd probably let me kiss him on the cheek and toussle his hair on the front doorstep of his Jr. High school!

I love that kid!

And as such, I most sometimes protect him from himself. Heh.

So this morning our school day routine went as usual. As we walk, I hold the leash in one hand and my beloved travel coffee mug in the other. One pocket holds my phone and the other a plastic bag to clean up after Lucy.

Lucy is used to the routine, too, and usually obliges us by doing her #2 business before we reach the bank, which has a nice large dumpster behind it. I am in charge of the picking-up, tying and carrying, but when we reach the dumpster it's up to Karl to do the tossing.

And today wasn't any different. We reached the dumpster and I automatically handed the bag to Karl. He was in the midst of asking me again why I don't walk all the way to school with him.

ME: Well there are two reasons, really. When Lucy gets that close to a busy street she pulls on the leash and lunges at cars. I'm a little worried that she could break the leash or pull it out of my hands.

KARL: Yeah, that makes sense.

ME: But the other reason is that kids your age can be cruel. They see you walking to school with your Mom and maybe they start teasing you about it. I don't want to give anyone a reason to give you crap.

KARL: Like you just did?

ME: Huh?

And this is where Karl held up the bag with a big wry grin on his face.

Sometimes his comic timing is impeccable! We laughed all the way to the sign and I was still laughing as I walked home.

And now it's time to GET BACK TO WORK ALREADY!!! Holiday is over. It's a gnu year and that means gnu dies.

Coming up at the end of the month I will be attending the CHA show in L.A. I am co-teaching a Sizzix class with Eileen Hull and Brenda Pinnick on Friday night. (Sold out, but they have a standby line) I have an entire panel of new dies being released - eleven, which is my biggest release yet, so stay tuned in the weeks ahead as I start alluding to and eventually sneaking some peeks of what's in store.

Happy Back-to-School and 2011!