Friday, July 23, 2010

Video Friday - Blah, Blah, Blah by Hullabaloo

I've featured a video here on Video Friday before by Hullabaloo and ever since then I've been wanting to share this one too. This video cracks me up and even my son says that he loves it. Of course it's not too surprising that his favorite part is the "blah, blah, blah" chorus. I think it's pretty fun too. I guarantee it's going to be stuck in your head for the rest of the day, (probably when your boss shows up at your desk to talk about something important.)

At my house there are many occassions when the grown-ups and the kids just don't seem to speak the same language. I confess that on more than one occasion I've said to my son, "I'll I heard was blah, blah, blah." You know it happens. Then again, it works both ways. More than once I've told my son to do something, or Dad rattles off some long, complicated list of tasks, and all we get back is a blank stare. Dad and I turn to each other and say, "All he heard was blah, blah, blah." Yup. Then again, I've noticed that the cats are not immune to it either. In fact I think that pretty much all they hear is, "Blah, blah, blah, Lily.  Blah, blah, blah, Dragon." In one kitty ear and out the other.  If your household is anything like ours, you'll love this video too.

I seem to be seeing a pattern here lately on Video Friday where I have to show more than one video.  I was catching up on some of my Zooglobble today when I saw this video.  It was too funny not to share.  Have you ever watched the show Time Warp on the Discovery Channel?  My husband and I used to be addicted to it.  If you've ever seen the show then this next video will be oddly familiar.  The song is by The Okee Dokee Brothers and features a clip from Time Warp.  It's a short video, but once you watch it, you'll want to watch it again and again.  It's so much fun.  Here is Water Balloon  by the Okee Dokee Brothers.

One last thing.  I just discovered today that the Hipwaders mentioned me on their Facebook page last May!  Wow!  How cool is that?  Pretty darn.  Thanks so much for the mention, Hipwaders!!!

Happy blah, blah, Friday, blahddy, blah, blah, blah, everyone!


Friday, July 16, 2010

Video Friday - Pool Party by the Aquabats

No doubt if you are a fan of Yo Gabba Gabba, you've seen this video at least once.  Front man MC Bat Commander (AKA Christian Jacobs) is a co-creator of the show and this version of their popular Pool Party song was toned down and made a little more kid friendly for the show.  I love it.  My kids love it.  Heck, everyone loves a pool party! 

My sister has been emailing us with her family's adventures in Hawaii recently, and this video makes me think that maybe they would have been safer staying home and having a pool party instead.

While searching for this video, (I've had various versions of it on my channel all along, but for some reason Nickelodeon or YouTube keeps pulling it) I found another video for the song.  This one uses the original version of Pool Party in which only the cool kids are invited and there's lots of mention of cute girls in swimming suits.  However, it uses clips from the Peanuts cartoons and honestly, I don't think kids even listen to the words. My son loved this version and it's pieced together really well so I love it too.

This is my favorite line:

 Holy guacamole, we've got chips, so come on take a dip, cuz my pool rips! 

Try yelling that out at your next party and see if it doesn't raise the bar there a little bit.

Happy Friday everyone!  Super killer (wading) pool party at my house!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Video Friday - Jet Pack by Recess Monkey

Sorry for the unexpected hiatus.  We moved to our new house and life sort of got in the way for a while.  Blogging was put on hold.  But, I'm back with lots of stuff to share and hopefully I'll get some time to write it all down.  Lucas and I took a trip to Seattle for the big "Share the Music" concert at Freeway Park and I took tons of pictures and made lots of notes so that you could all pretend that you were there with us too.  It was a great concert and we stuck it out until the very last note was played.

Recess Monkey has been putting out videos like crazy since they've just released their new album, The Final Funktier.  We got a copy of the CD at the Share the Music concert, which just so happened to be their CD release party too.  Can I just say that the CD is *AWESOME*!  Seriously, I thought that they'd have a really hard time topping their last CD Field Trip.  The two are now rivaling each other as my favorite Recess Monkey album.  I just can't decide which one I like more.

So, to celebrate the fact that I'm finally back to blogging again, and Recess Monkey's CD release, and the fact that summer has finally hit the Pacific Northwest, here is the video for Jet Pack.  I'm sure you'll find it as fun and catchy as my family did.  I wonder how many families will be setting out for yard sales in search of vacuum cleaners to turn into their own jet packs?

I'm also giving you a video bonus at the end to help make up for all the missed Fridays that I didn't post.  Yes, it's another Recess Monkey video, but this one is a little different.  They don't sing in this one.  What!?  They don't sing?  Nope.  Sorry, there is no singing.  Ah, but there is music.  Elevator music in fact.  Space Elevator music.  And let me just say that the video is HILARIOUS and that Jack has some awesome acting skills.  Why, you'd almost believe that Mayor Monkey (MayMo) really did . . . well, you'll just have to watch the video to see what MayMo did.  I love Drew's total indifference to Jack's hysteria at the end.  You'll see.  Watch it, it's fun.

Happy Friday Everyone!  I hope today finds you in a sunny, warm place with lots of room to run and let your imagination go wild!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Video Friday - Video Two-fer

I have so many videos that I want to share with everyone that sometimes it's hard to choose just one.  Sometimes even though I love a video and want to share it, it might be an older one and I opt to show a newly released video instead.

This week though, I'm saying the heck with all the new releases and let's enjoy some older videos just because I like 'em and they are appropriate for this time of year.

First up is Recess Monkey's Sack Lunch from their 2009 album, Field Trip.  I know I talk Recess Monkey all the time, but hey, it's cuz they're good and I like them and they make good videos.  (And I'm secretly hoping that they'll get wind of my blog and send me free stuff for promoting them.  HaHa!  Just kidding. Not really!)  Here's what I love about this song and video:
  1. Drew dressed as a giant paper bag parading around the Mall in D.C. and posing for pictures with tourists.
  2. The chorus, sack lu-unch! sack lu-unch! sack lu-unch! sack la la la la la la la lunch!!!
  3. The line, I'm kinda squished, is somebody leaking in here?
  4. The fact that no matter how many times I hear this song I still think Drew is saying, They get drunk drivers to honk along.  Yeah, I know he says truck, but my brain refuses to hear this.
  5. The choir harmonizing at the end of the song is just so awesome.
Who knew you could make such a sweet song about such an everyday item?  Wednesday night when I was making Lucas's sack lunch for his first ever kindergarten field trip, this is the song that played in my head.

Next up is Caspar Babypants' Monkey River off his debut album, Here I Am!  Again, I know that I talk about Caspar Babypants a lot, but that's because he's good.  His songs are good, the videos are good, and I secretly wish he'd come back again and leave a nice comment like he did the first time I wrote about him.  (Just kidding.  Not really!)

This video stares his daughter Josie in a monkey mask running through Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.  It's very Planet of the Apes but in a funny and cute way.  I just love watching her skipping through the park without a care in the world, rubbing her little chin as she gazes at all the animals and the flabbergasted humans, and nearly running into trees as she tries to see through the off-set eye holes in the mask.  She really did a fantastic job as "wee monkey girl".  It makes me smile every time I watch it.

Lucas's class went to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, not Woodland Park, but I still thought about this video the entire time we were there, wishing that wee monkey girl would pop-up at any moment.

It was a really fun day and judging by the fact that there were at least four other schools there that day, I'd say that this is prime field trip time.

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you enjoyed this special video two-fer post.  If you're headed out on a field trip today or even next week, I wish you clear skies, tons of fun, and maybe even a quick glimpse of wee monkey girl.

Don't forget that you can see both Recess Monkey and Caspar Babypants at the upcoming Share the Music Concert.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Video Friday - Moon Boots by Recess Monkey

Photo by Kevin Fry

It's almost here!  The new album by Recess Monkey, The Final Funktier! is set for release on June 15.  Here's a preview of what to expect from the new album which, if you couldn't tell, has a space theme.  Their first video for the new album is for the song Moon Boots and is based on the story line of, "Recess Monkey Fakes a Moon Landing".  Hilarious to say the least, an awesome song obviously, and it totally whets your appetite in anticipation for the new album. 

The video has a bit of a slow start as they set up the back story for the song.  Your preschooler may wiggle a bit as he waits for the music to start, but once it does I'm sure he'll be transfixed.  The idea of a moon landing whether real or imaginary will appeal to any little kid.  I think it's even more fun to see that so much can be done with stuff  from around the house (and the dumpster too!  How soon before your kid wants to go dumpster diving?)

I've got to tell you that Recess Monkey is certainly one of the best kids music bands out there making fun and creative videos for their songs.  And without a big budget mind you.  It's the simple things like the fact that I suddenly realized they call Mayor Monkey, "MayMo".  Or watching lead singer, Andrew Holloway, dance in his astronaut suit.  Or even hearing how excited my 6-year-old got when they made a moon out of a big white balloon ("It's perfect!")  Some people have it, and some don't.  Recess Monkey has it.

If you haven't done it yet, go check out Recess Monkeytown where you can sample other songs from the new album as well as favorites from past albums.  Also, don't forget to check out the website for Kindiependent the new collaborative effort by Seattle Kindie artists Recess Monkey, Caspar Babypants, The Not-It's!, Johnny Bregar, and The Board of Education (And now with added Harmonica Pocket!).  You can find out more about the Share the Music festival and Recess Monkey's CD release party at Freeway Park on June 13.  Hope to see you there!

Happy Funky Friday everyone!  I leave you with this parting picture of my son's "moon boots" a.k.a. "go-go boots" a.k.a. polar bear snow boots.  Get out your moon boots and have a wild adventure today!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Video Friday - Tricycle by Frances England

I've been seeing the new Bisquick commercial with Frances England's Blueberry Pancakes song everywhere lately.  Have you seen it?  I'd love to show it to you, but it's not licensed for showing on the internet.  (How dumb is that?  What's the problem with advertising on the internet?)  However, if you go here, you can at least hear the song and then I'm sure you'll know what commercial I'm talking about because, as I've said, it's everywhere.  Anyhoo, the blueberry pancake commercial got me thinking about one of my favorite Frances England songs, Tricycle, off of her debut album Fascinating Creatures.  England's soft and dreamy voice lends a real sense of nostalgia to a staple of childhood.  And of course with lyrics like, "Win the Tour de France in my underpants", what's not to love?  It's a sweet and simple video that I know you're going to love.

By the way, if you've never been, go check out France England's website.  She's got three beautiful, musical e-cards that you can send to all the people you love.  I suspect that Daddy-O is quite popular around Father's day.  Send it to your favorite macho, man's-man at work just so you can give him a light-hearted ribbing when he starts crying right there in the office.

Have a great Friday everyone!  I wish you a day as fun and carefree as this video.  See you next week!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kindiependent and the Share the Music Concert

Look out because Seattle is spreading the word about it's kindie bands!  On Sunday, June 13 you can catch four of the big names in Seattle kids music as they host the "Share the Music Concert".  Recess Monkey along with Caspar Babypants, The Not-It's!, Johnny Bregar, and Central Services Presents:  The Board of Education have all banded together to create Kindiependent.  From the website, "Kindiependent is a collective of like-minded people who are passionate about cultivating a vibrant kids and family music scene in the Pacific Northwest.  Through creative collaborations and community events, our mission is to develop a network of family-friendly artists and organizations that supports cultural innovation."

The "Share the Music Concert" is what looks to be the first of many collaborative events to come.  It's also the release show for Recess Monkey's latest CD, The Final Funktier!  Awesome!  I just can't tell you how exciting this is for me!  I love the fact that my family has easy access to so many great kindie bands and that they are actually collaborating and working together to share all their great music with Pacific Northwest families.  The festival is going to be four back-to-back sets with four out of the five bands:  Recess Monkey, Caspar Babypants, The Not-It's!, and Johnny Bregar.  The concert is FREE!  For more information, check out the new Kindiependent website.  You can also get more information about other upcoming group events and you'll also find links for each of the five bands.

I'm hoping that once the word gets out, even more kids music bands located in the Pacific Northwest will join ranks with these guys.  I can see Harmonica Pocket and Captain Bogg and Salty jumping on the bandwagon.  Maybe this means that there will be a giant kindie music fest coming our way in the very near future?  We can only hope.  And of course, support these guys like crazy!!!  See you there!

Update:  Check it out!  Harmonica Pocket has joined Kindiependent too!  Told you they would!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy Birthday, Craig

I recently shared the fact that I've become a fan of tv's Craig Ferguson, the hilarious host of CBS's The Late, Late Show.  Today just so happens to be his birthday, and I just thought it would be fun to share some Craig Ferguson stuff with you.

Also, today I just finished his book American on Purpose:  The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot and I enjoyed it so much I started listening to it again.  That's right, I said listening.  I have very little time to read books lately, but I can mix audio books with some of my more monotonous duties at work.  I must admit that I also got the audio book version because I half hoped that it would be narrated by Craig himself, and yay!  It was!  I highly suggest that you check out the audio book version first.

I've never been a late night talk show kinda person before, and for good reason.  I just can't stay up late enough to watch the shows.  I have to admit that they just never really interested me before either.  But I love watching The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson.  And thanks to YouTube, I can watch it any damn time I want to!  Check out Malinky's TV's Craig Ferguson Channel for a great Craig Ferguson fix.  He uploads the entire show every night for your viewing pleasure.  Thanks to Malinky I can even watch Craig Ferguson on my iPod, and that makes me happy beyond measure.  (Ooh, cute little rhyme there.) 

If you are a true fan of Craig, you know that he loves to tweet.  You can follow CraigyFerg on Twitter and become part of his Robot Skeleton Army.  And speaking of Geoff Peterson, here's a fun little link so that you too can make your very own robot skeleton.

Choosing a favorite episode of TLLS is nearly impossible, they are always good, no matter who the guest is.  However, I do love the combination of Lauren Graham and Craig Ferguson.  She's absolutely charming and yet ridiculously silly all at once.  And Craig is, well, the same way Craig always is with any beautiful, smart, and funny woman.  It's comedy gold.

You should also check out the show's intro for their puppet routine.  Hilarious!  And did you know that you can get your own Nadine and Wavy puppets to reenact skits at home?  Check out the Folkmanis website to see a behind the scenes video of the 1000th episode of TLLS.

If you're interested in seeking out Craig Ferguson in other forms of media check out his stand-up comedy.  His recent show A Wee Bit o' Revolution is very funny.  I especially like the bits that he does about his mum.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find a video of that so you'll have to be happy with the Sean Connery bit.  Still hilarious though.

And if you haven't seen it yet, watch Saving Grace.  Craig co-wrote and stars in the movie with the wonderful Brenda Blethyne and Martin Clunes (of Kipper the Dog fame!)  It's based on a true story and was the inspiration for the spin-off show Doc Martin.  (By the way, a big thanks to Jeanne who got me hooked on Doc Martin.  I'll watch it with you anytime!)

Did you know that Craig Ferguson won a Peabody award for his interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu?  Whaaah?  I knowwww!  He did and you can see the entire episode with a brand new introduction by Craig airing tonight on CBS.  Or you can watch the original interview here.  It's awesome.  I love how the Archbishop says, "I think you're crazy!" and then giggles like a little girl.  It's very, very good.  Just to hear the Archbishop laugh is well worth watching it.  Craig Ferguson really does have an awesome talent for interviewing people.  The award is well deserved.

I'll finish this post with one of my favorite parts of The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson . . . the awkward pause.  Occasionally, Craig will choose a guest to perform an awkward pause as a finish to the interview.  It's hilarious to watch and truly unique to Craig.  My favorite one, arguably the best one yet was part of the same show as the Lauren Graham interview above.  It's an interview with Simon Helberg from The Big Bang Theory (another favorite show of mine).  The interview itself is not necessarily the best, but the awkward pause at the end?  Shear perfection.  Enjoy this great compilation of awkward pauses, which includes some of Simon's awkward pause with Craig. 

By the way, if you haven't seen it yet, go see How to Train Your Dragon.  It's something that even the adults will enjoy.  And if you haven't guessed by now (or have been living under a rock), Craig Ferguson does the voice of Gobber, one of the Scottish Vikings.  I love it.  Scottish Viking, who would have thought?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Video Friday - Cat in a Bathysphere by the Hipwaders

I love this song, and my sons love this video.  It's a good combination of edgy sound for the parents and cool underwater adventure for the kids.  The Hipwaders are the kind of band who love the freedom of doing kids music because they can pretty much experiment with any kind of sound that they want.  Whatever they do, however they do it, it all sounds good.  While most people would probably choose Educated Kid (off their album by the same title) as an example of the band's work, I lean in the opposite direction with Cat in a Bathysphere.  No doubt about it, what ever your style you'll find something about the Hipwaders to love.

Happy Friday everyone!  Let's hope that all the squid you meet today are very nice
. . . in bite-sized portions.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Belated Mother's Day!

Again, I've been sick so everything is sort of one day behind.  I found this video the other day and I thought it would provide a good laugh for a day that honors all Mamas.

I was listening to the CD Grace's Bell by Ben Rudnick & Friends and their version of Mama Don't 'low the other day.  I know I've heard this song before, but probably not since I was a kid.  All I could think of was, Wow, this mama is no fun to be around!  Then I came across this video and suddenly it all made sense.  Of course MAMA ain't no fun!  She's a robot!

Check out this oldie but goodie by Dudley Moore and the Muppets then call up your Mama and tell her how much you love her (because she isn't a robot).  She'll never expect it one day late (well, my mom will because she knows me.)  Happy Belated Mother's Day all!

PS - I love how in the comments someone wrote that MAMA looks like someone took a Dalek and smashed it into R2D2.  Hilarious!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Video Saturday - The Swagger Wagon by Toyota's Sienna Family

Do to the fact that I've been sick for the last few days, I missed posting a video for Video Friday yesterday.  But, I plan to make it up to you by giving you . . . THE SWAGGER WAGON, ah-yeah!  You've seen these commercials by Toyota with the Sienna Family.  They know that they are the best parents and everyone is jealous of their swagger wagon.  You know who I'm talking about.  Unless you DVR everything and then I insist you're totally missing out on a whole section of pop-culture.  If I've learned anything from Lorelai Gilmore, it's that you keep all those old VHS tapes from the 80's so that you can watch the iconic commercials.  Now don't you want to go back and re-watch all your DVR stuff just for the commercials?  Of course you don't!  Neither do you want to buy a minivan after watching this video!  Still, it's funny and that's what you have YouTube for, so you can watch the funny commercials without having to watch "Kidz Bop" commercials until you go insane.

BwahHaHaHa!  I almost wish that I actually knew a family like this because they'd just be hilarious to be around.  I love how they have to interrupt the music video so that the little girl can go potty.  Uh yeah, I can relate.  Not that I make many music videos, but my kids do manage to interrupt just about everything for potty breaks.

Sometimes I wish that life really was as simple and easy as it is for the Sienna Family.  Their naivety leaves no room for doubt in their lives and nothing worse than a really stinky diaper.  I don't think I could sell my soul for a minivan though, and my family just couldn't rock it like this family does.  That's okay with me though.

Happy Saturday everyone!  Here's hoping that if you do happen to own a minivan you rock it as much as the Sienna Family does when you head on out to Home Depot today.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Video Friday - A Counting Error by John and Mark

This video has been out for a while, and I've sort of been sitting on the fence about it.  My first impression, not having heard the debut album by John and Mark, John and Mark's Children's Record, was . . . I am so confused.  It's not necessarily that I didn't like it, I just had no idea what all the randomness was about.  But, I liked the sound of it and I kept watching it over and over again, despite the fact that the goat really creeps me out.  He's just sending out a vibe that I'm not quite comfortable with.  You'll see what I mean.  Although, the calf, she's also got something strange going on, and I'm not too sure about that tortoise either.  The more I watch the video, the more I like it though, and the less and less that I worry about the total randomness, which now that I think about it, was totally the point.  And the counting error?  Well, at first it's not so apparent, and then it comes up and smacks you in the face and runs away giggling.  Just wait for it.  Wait . . . for . . . it.

Happy Friday to you all!  Here's hoping that nothing else smacks you in the face today and runs away giggling!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Review: Funky Fresh and Sugar Free - Sugar Free Allstars

The Sugar Free Allstars have a new album coming out on April 27 and I received a review copy from Beth over at Sugar Mountain PR (thanks Beth!)  The Sugar Free Allstars are an Oklahoma based duo comprised of Chris (Boom!) Wiser and Rob (Dr. Rock) Martin.  This is their second family album.  Their first album for kids, Dos Niños got them national attention and was included as one of the best CDs of the year by the Fids and Kamily critics' poll.

Dr. Rock and Boom! play a variety of instruments, but what you'll find most noticeable is the sound of the Hammond organ.  I don't know of many bands, kids music or otherwise, that manage to rock an album with the sound of an organ quite like these guys.

The album starts off with a call-and-response song called Rock Awesome! for which I have thoughtfully provided their new video below.  It is "garage rock" in the literal sense and has no fancy-shmancy technical stuff other than the flashing orange light, off-camera smoke machine, and "applause" cassette tape.  Still, it's fun and you get the sense that to see the Sugar Free Allstars live means that you're in for a good time.  My kids are not the any-excuse-to-jump-up-and-down-and-yell kinda kids that most are, but Dad and I had lots of fun with the song.  We've resigned ourselves to having birthed fuddy-duddys.  Most kids will love the interactive feel of it though. 

The album, in fact, has several interactive songs including SFA Disco Dance Party (with a very Isaac Hayes-like spoken vocal), Hey Now, It's Your Birthday (obviously perfect for birthday parties), Tiger in my Backyard, and the final song on the album The Train Beat Song, which is somewhat like a game of Simon Says set to music. 

Some of my favorite songs from the album are Little Red Wagon, Tiger in my Backyard, and a cover of the Beatle's Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.  I don't quite know why, but Little Red Wagon makes me think of the preschool version of Low Rider.  I imagine that the little boy in the song rides around in his wagon much the same way a cholo would cruise in his pimped out ride.  The two songs have nothing in common except my personal imagery, but LRW is definitely fun.

Tiger in my Backyard was the first song I'd ever heard by SFA when I saw a video of the song done live for their DVD Gettin' Funky with the Sugar Free Allstars.  I've liked the song and SFA ever since.  Boom! introduces various animals, which he says are all living in various places around his house, and calls out to the audience to make the animal sounds.  But, "Look another time, tell me just what you see.  That tiger in my backyard looks a whole lot like me!"

The Sugar Free Allstars' cover of the classic Beatle's song Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da is by far my family's favorite song off of the CD.  They took an already great song and made it even better.  I dare you to listen to it and not love it too. 

If you'd like to hear more from the Sugar Free Allstars and just can't wait until Tuesday, you can hear five of the songs from their new album on the player below.
<a href="">In My Pocket by Sugar Free Allstars</a>
So, what are my thoughts?  Well, it's pretty obvious that my family and I loved this album and have become big fans of SFA.  I am looking forward to the day when their concerts manage to make their way up to the Pacific Northwest.

Sugar Mountain PR provided a review copy of this CD.  My opinions are my own and I was not paid in anyway to write this review.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Review: Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem - Ranky Tanky

"This is the soundtrack to summer."  That's what I said to myself when I first heard Ranky Tanky by Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem, another CD provided by the great Beth Blenz-Clucas over at Sugar Mountain PR (thanks, Beth!)

If your idea of summer vacation is lots of time spent running through the water in the fountain downtown, or lolling around on the grass under a big tree at the park, or taking car rides with the windows down and hanging your head out just like the dog, then this album is for you.  It's all about lightheartedness and having a good time. 

This album is covers of some of the band's favorite songs, "from other genres, times, and traditions."  Parents will recognize some of the songs from their childhood and, along with the kids, will discover some new favorites.  Lots of giggling, laughing, and snorting can also be heard on the album.  Undoubtedly, your child will find it infectious.  Summer is the time to lay aside all seriousness.

Daisy Mayhem is a crazy group of musicians comprised of Rani Arbo on fiddle and vocals, Andrew Kinsey on bass and vocals, Anand Nayak on guitar and vocals, and Scott Kessel on the intriguing Drumship Enterprise and vocals.  The Drumship is a recycled drum-kit that apparently is comprised of various bits and pieces as needed.  Anything from cardboard and wooden boxes, to tin cans and plastic jugs, to an old Naugahyde suitcase.  I'd love to see that live!  The band uses a variety of instruments including ukulele, banjo, kazoo, jawharp, harmonium, kalimba, bottles, balloon, and veggie baster.  It seems that this group is not afraid to pick up anything and coax music out of it.

This is the first album by Daisy Mayhem specifically aimed at families.  I love discovering bands like this that prove that just because they have a kids music label doesn't mean that they aren't serious musicians (well, sometimes anyway!)  For the uninitiated, Daisy Mayhem will come as a wonderful surprise, but to the seasoned veterans they prove that kids music can be amazingly good; and that's the rule, not the exception.  You can listen to some sample tracks from the CD here.

The music on the album is best suited for younger kids and adults who are young at heart.  Especially if you're into string bands.  Older kids might not find the album as much fun unless you can tickle them a bit before-hand and get them in a silly mood.  The album includes very energetic highs like They All Ask'd For You, Purple People Eater, and the title song Ranky Tanky, but also has more mellow songs like Tinny (a favorite of mine), the very sweet Morningtown Ride, the absolutely beautiful Wildflowers, ending with It's a Big World.  Interspersed throughout are short (less than a minute) tracks of songs and silliness, including an introduction to the song Bear to the Left in which Scott refers to the bug in his throat.

My thoughts?  Get this album to enjoy this summer and keep it to listen to this winter when you dream of summer.  I look forward to this CD getting lots of play wherever we are this summer.  If you'd like your own copy, get it here.

I received this review copy from Sugar Mountain PR.  My views and opinions are my own and I was not paid in anyway to write this review.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Video Friday - Ramshackle by Caspar Babypants

According to Caspar, he doesn't know what a "ramshackle" is, but believes that this video is it.  This is a fun little video, although I think it might creep some people out.  I can tell you that I'm not too fond of the crooked teeth on the guy, but that's because of my weird aversion to teeth.  Still, the song is fun, the video is nicely done, and it's definitely a fun way to start off your Friday.  I love how the stop-motion parts complement the video.

The video is another fan made one by the talented Greg DeLiso.  He's the guy behind the poor dust bunnies video that I featured in my original post about Caspar Babypants.  Wow, that's three links in one sentence.  Looks like I'm a little link happy this morning.  Something tells me that this video has put me in a very weird mood this morning.

Hope you have a great Friday everyone!  Even if it is a little weird.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Review: Uncle Rock - The Big Picture

Happy Earth Day everyone!

I recently received a review copy of Uncle Rock's new CD The Big Picture from Beth Blenz-Clucas over at Sugar Mountain PR and I thought that today would be a perfect day to write a review of the CD given the fact that there are a couple of environmental themed songs on it.  The album was recently released on April 13.

This is the fifth family music CD by Uncle Rock, AKA Robert Burke Warren, who is a singer-songwriter, author, actor, bassist, and sometimes Buddy Holly impersonator.  The album is billed as a "socially conscious salute to Uncle Rock's musical heroes".  Parents will enjoy hearing the nods to David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Cat Stevens, The Ramones, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, and Billy Idol.

First let me say that this is not the kind of CD that I'd normally get for my kids.  The whole environmental aspect of the album would probably make me bypass it, and that's a shame.  The problem is that it's pretty difficult to craft songs about environmentalism and social consciousness without sounding like you're lecturing.  It's hard to make serious issues, environmental or otherwise, into a song that is worth listening to.  However, Uncle Rock manages to put the idea on the table, let you think about it, and I believe, use it as a jumping off point to talk to your kids.  Most kids will probably have some idea of what the songs are about if you listen with them and talk about the topics together.  It seems that kids are now bombarded with environmental impact statements from the moment their squishy little brains are able to comprehend the area around them.  Cartoon characters are preaching to "go green", teachers are talking about it in the classroom, and those funny little electric cars are hard to miss.  They are aware; they just may not know how it affects them.

The first time I listened to the song There Is No Away, I felt like I'd never throw anything away again and I went on a pretty long guilt trip.  With lyrics like this, how could I not?

One day I looked out across the green water
And a sea turtle's head I did see
But, he was covered in paper and old plastic bags
And here's what he said to me

Away, away, there is no away
There is no away turtle said
Everything that you throw in the trash
Goes somewhere else instead

The lyrics go on to say that Uncle Rock met a blue bird, and then a wolf, and both had some kind of garbage covering them.  Whoa.  Serious bummer, man, I'm telling you.  You almost start to wonder how this could be a kids song.  However, the fact remains that the song is beautiful, hauntingly so, but beautiful none the less thanks in part to the duet provided by Elizabeth Mitchell.  And, as I said, a great starting point to talk to your kids about things like the impact that garbage has on the environment.  To most kids garbage is sort of a magical thing.  You put it in a bag and it disappears.  It's sort of the opposite of the magical food that appears in the kitchen.  Who knows where it comes from or where it goes?  Right now you can get a free download of the song on Uncle Rock's homepage for a limited time.  Go check it out.

Uncle Rock is generally described as having a rockabilly vibe, but on this album musical styles abound.  The album doesn't just have songs pertaining to the environment, and there is such a musical variety that everyone is bound to find a favorite.  A couple of my favorites are Stop at a Mom n' Pop about supporting local businesses and The Night the Lights Went Out about, well, the lights going out in a storm.  I also really enjoyed the ridiculously fun Buddy Holly's Got the Hiccups in which Uncle Rock sings about the uniqueness of Buddy Holly.

The thing that I love the most about this album is the fact that he ends it with a cover of Carol Burnett's theme song Thank You and Goodnight.  The CD finishes on a high note instead of the usual "wind-down song" that is so prevalent on kids music albums.  Not that lullabies are a bad thing, but thank you Uncle Rock for proving that it's okay not to have a wind-down song and that it's more fun to go out with a bang instead.

So, thoughts?  Definitely worth checking out.  I can see this CD getting a lot of play in our house.  If you think you'd like to get your own copy, get it here.

By the way, I received this review copy from Sugar Mountain PR.  My views and opinions are my own and I was not paid in any way to write this review.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Do-It-Herself - Painting at the Home Depot

"I do it myself!"  I've heard that from many a toddler.  Well, this time it was my turn to "do it myself".  A couple of weeks ago Gina from Moneywise Moms posted about a free interior painting workshop at the Home Depot.  It's part of their "Do-It-Herself" line of workshops that are aimed specifically at helping women to become more DIY.

I thought, Hey, this is perfect!  We are in the process of buying a new house, which we expect to be in by next month.  We've already got tons of ideas for things we want to do and painting is at the top of the list.  (Do the words "very big orange wall" mean anything to you?)  However, I have never painted a room in my life and the last time my husband painted was when he was 12 and followed the barking commands of his dad.  Needless to say, we know squat about painting.  No amount of sitting in front of the tube and watching HGTV all day is going to fix that either.

Here is what transpired when I arrived to take my girly painting class:
  1. I spent 5 minutes wandering around Home Depot looking for the class/someone to help me find the class.
  2. I was finally directed to the class in the kitchen cabinets department.
  3. I was the first one to arrive and spent 30 minutes reading blogs on my iPod (who knew the Home Depot had free wi-fi?) because . . .
  4. I was the only person to arrive.
That's right, I got my own personal, one-on-one, class on how to paint by Home Depot's Paint Department star, Alex.  Someone from another store in the area called to see how many pupils showed up at Alex's class.  She had three, he had one, but he insisted on bringing in more chairs because he knew that 15 people had signed up.  Where were the other 14 people?  I have no clue.  That's a very large amount of people not to show-up for something.  I'm going to guess that aliens were involved.  Or the government.  Or aliens and the government. 

Once Alex finally accepted the fact that nobody else was going to show-up, he started the workshop.  He said something right away that I thought was kind of funny and weird.  He said, "Since it's such a small group tonight (at which point I nearly snorted when laughing) hopefully, we'll be able to finish early and then we can all get back to what we normally do at this time."  Huh.  Okay.  I'm not sure what I was supposed to make of that but the whole "small group" thing was hilarious.  I'm no genius, but I'm pretty sure that one person does not a "group" make.

He began by telling me all about different paint brushes, different rollers, paint pans and liners, etc.  I asked tons of questions, which was easy since I was the only student there.  I especially wanted to know about prepping the walls for painting including what to clean the walls with and how to fix holes in the wall.

The workshop featured paint by Martha Stewart Living (which recently replaced Ralph Lauren paint at the Home Depot), so I also learned quite a bit about paint:  what's in paint, how paints are different, primer, VOCs, light vs. dark paints, more than enough stuff to befuddle my silly little head.  It was really pretty interesting and I learned way more than I expected to learn.  I even got to use some of the Martha Stewart paint, and I'll say this about it, it dries quickly and is very low odor.  Martha Stewart paint is supposed to be environmentally friendly and is a zero VOC paint.  Not having anything else to compare it with, that's about all I can say.  Okay, wait, I can also say that unless Martha Stewart herself shows up to repaint that orange wall, we're probably going to go with a different fix.

So, that's about it.  I fully intend to sign up for more of these "Do-It-Herself" classes at the Home Depot.  Not only do they seem to be pretty informative, but if I don't show up, then who will they teach?

HaHa! I Won An Award!

The lovely Michelle over at SoccerMom was gracious enough to give me a blogging award today and I think that's totally awesome!  Thank you so much Michelle!  I'd love to give a link to her blog so that you can check it out, but it's by invitation only, and you're not on the list!  Nyah nyah!  (Go ahead and try it.  I dare ya.)

I think Michelle should get a Loyal Follower award simply based on the fact that she's the only one who consistently reads and comments on my blog.  She knows I love her though.  You know how I know that she knows?  Because she CONSISTENTLY READS AND COMMENTS ON MY BLOG!  Anyway, thanks so much for the award Michelle, I think it's really cool that you thought of me and I love reading your blog every day.  Sometimes I think, whoa, did she just say that?  And yes, yes she did. 

My job now is to follow these rules:
  1. Thank the awesome person who gave you this award. ( Done, see above.)
  2. Copy the award to your blog. (Done, see above.)
  3. Post a link to their blog and attest to their greatness. (Hmm, well, just trust me that it's great.)
  4. Name 7 things that people do not already know about you from reading your blog. (Huh, 7?  Well, okay.  Done, see below.) 
  5. Nominate other bloggers, and . . .
  6. Place a link to their blogs, and don't forget to . . .
  7. Leave a comment on their blog to let them know.  (Done, done, and done.  See below.)
So, seven things you don't know about me from reading my blog.
  1. I recently became a die hard fan of Craig Ferguson, but I'm not his #1 fan because I don't plan on stalking him any time soon.
  2. I love to drink Bubble Tea, especially with the giant black pearl tapioca.  Yum.
  3. My favorite singer is Björk and every time I think of her I hear Emma Thompson's line from Love Actually when she talks about Joni Mitchell, "I love her.  And true love lasts a life time."
  4. My parents were very concerned about me in high school when I went through my "dark phase" because I was very interested in serial killers.  No worries, though.  I made it through and I'm pretty normal now.  Sort of.
  5. Currently, my favorite shows to watch are Big Bang Theory, House, Dexter, Fringe, and Bones.  And also, I hate reality shows, except . . .
  6. I love to watch the medical mystery and freak shows on TLC on Sunday evenings.  You know the ones about conjoined twins, the mermaid girl, tree man, etc.
  7. Finally, I still have the stuffed pony that my sister gave me when I was four(?)  Pony sits on my bedside table and watches over me as I sleep, but apparently doesn't do a very good job because I have the weirdest freakin' dreams . . .  But, after reading through my list I suddenly begin to see why.
Now then, who should I nominate for this award?  Well, even though I enjoy quite a few blogs out there, my favorite one is still The Cutting Edge of Ordinary.  Lisa's blog is all about food and family and I can't even begin to describe how much fun it is to read.  Honestly, it's like going to your best friend's or your older sister's house, having a cup of tea, and gabbing about your life.  She has amazingly beautiful pictures of the yummy food she makes as well as incredible pictures of her garden.  Reading Lisa's blog is what first inspired me to strike out and start my own blog, so I definitely think she deserves an award.  Especially since I Googled the award and found out that it's for "bloggers who put their hearts on display as they write from the depths of their soul."  Wow.  Then I believe Lisa definitely deserves this award as does Michelle.  So go check them out.  Well, at least go check out Lisa's blog and then cry your eyes out cuz you're missing out on Michelle's.

    Sunday, April 18, 2010

    How To Train Your Dragon Widget

    We finally took Lucas to see How to Train Your Dragon today.  We loved it, of course.  I thought this little widget would be really fun to share.  There's lots more fun stuff to do on the website, so check it out!  

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Video Friday - Gotta Be Me by Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

    Here's the thing.  I am not normally a hip-hop or rap kinda person.  And the thought of hip-hop made especially for kids just sounds like a bad idea.  Bad Idea.  But I was listening to one of the Kidzapalooza CDs the other day and the funk sound coming outta this song really captured my attention.  By the time I finished listening to it, I had to admit that this was actually something worth listening to again.

    I found this video for the song on YouTube and my 6-year-old really had a lot of fun watching it and dancing along to it.  His dance style right now is some what reminiscent of break dancing so it was totally up his alley.  I love the little "weird" girl in the video, who just happens to be his 5-year-old daughter.  You gotta love the freedom she exudes by doing what she wants and proclaiming that, "I gotta be me!"  Man, if I could dress like that and go to work every day . . . how awesome would that be!?  I'm pretty sure that my boss would not except the excuse of, "I gotta be me!"  Enjoy it now while you can kids.

    Have a cool Friday everyone!  And here's hoping that you get at least one chance today to do something totally unique and let everyone know, "I Gotta Be Me!"

    The song is from the debut album Easy.  Get more samples of songs from the album at the Secret Agent 23 Skidoo website.

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    Loose Tooth

    My six-year-old recently lost his first tooth. It was a big deal, mainly because we've been waiting over two months for this tooth to come out. It finally got to the point where it was so crooked that a huge gap opened up right next to it. And, it was so wacky looking that my husband and I couldn't stop talking about the bit that Dane Cook does about teeth (I'm the crazy yellow tooth that looks like corn!)  People kept coming up to him and exclaiming, "Ooh! Did you lose a tooth!?" to which he had no answer.  He couldn't figure out why they would be asking him that when it seemed pretty obvious to him that all his teeth were present and accounted for.

    Sunday night, two weeks ago, Lucas lay in bed wiggling his tooth and accidentally got it twisted to the point that it was now highly uncomfortable. He came out into the living room looking a little scared and nervous, and my husband jumped up to help him.

    I have discovered something about myself through this phase of my son's development . . . I have a weird aversion to teeth.  I had no idea that teeth bothered me so much.  A person's teeth are always the first thing that I notice when I meet someone.  I also have repeated nightmares about my own teeth falling out (a Google search proves I'm not the only crazy one out there).  I guess it shouldn't have come as a surprise to me that the idea of my baby's teeth coming out would be a horribly disgusting affair for me.  Seeing him sit on the couch wiggling away at that thing just made me shudder and say, "Ugh."  And when it got really loose and starting making that weird sucking noise?  Well, I had to leave the room.  There was no mistake about which parent would be the one to pull it out because I just couldn't handle it.

    I remained in the living room as my husband pulled and yanked and pinched and twisted.  All the while Lucas kept making these very odd little noises.  Something like a cross between a concerned moan and the weird squeak that toads make when you pick them up.  No, that's not quite it.  I couldn't decide whether he was in pain or scared or just jacked up on some kind of little kid high like mixing adrenaline and copious amounts of pixie sticks.  Okay, so it was the sound of excited fear . . . Yay! My tooth is finally coming out vs. Oh no!  My tooth is finally coming out!  I eventually went into the bathroom to check on him.  He seemed okay, just a little nervous and very excited, as I said, and he kept emitting those weird sounds. I got one quick glance at the tooth and had to exit the room, pronto.

    What a celebration when it finally came out!  My husband got it all cleaned up and we (well, they) examined it closely.  Then we stuck it in the Twinkle Toof box that Lucas got last Christmas.  This is a great little box for kids.  It's shaped like a tooth and inside is a special compartment for the tooth and a clip to place the tooth record card that comes with it.  Did I mention that it also glows in the dark?  Well it does!  In addition, it is Tooth Fairy approved and you can tell because it has the "authentic" Golden Tooth Fairy Seal on the back.  Pretty cool, right?  I know you want one.  (Lucas likes to point out that the Twinkle Toof is not the same size as an actual toof, uh, I mean, tooth.)

    Anyway, now that my son has lost his first tooth, he's apparently opened the flood gate for the rest of his teeth.  Already the tooth next to the recently lost one is also ridiculously loose and hanging at a very precarious angle.  Unfortunately, that means that sometimes when he closes his mouth, the newly loose tooth hangs out making him look suspiciously like Nanny McPhee.  I think it's hilarious . . . he is not amused.

    I was telling my sister the story of Lucas's first tooth coming out and naturally we discussed what kind of monetary value the Tooth Fairy places on teeth now days.  I told her that Lucas received $1.00, which I believe is pretty average, though the price does seem to fluctuate from $1.00 to around $3.00.  Lucas likes to tell everyone that when his daddy was little he only got a quarter for his teeth.  I told my sister that I remember that for one tooth I got a bunch of loose change like Tooth Fairy had cleaned out her pocket book, and my sister said, "No, she probably cleaned out the ash tray in her car."  Hmm, yeah, that seems more likely.

    Of course when my husband heard the conversation between my sister and I, he had to tell me that his niece recently received $5.00 for one tooth.  That seems outlandish to me.  We then began joking back and forth about what said niece can expect for her next tooth.  My husband talked in a girly voice reminiscent to something that would seem appropriate on The Kids in the Hall.

    My husband (in his girly voice):  "I got an iPod for my tooth!" then, "I got an Xbox, I got a car!"
    Me:  "I got a house!  I got a yacht!  I got my own island!"
    My husband:  "I was really hoping I'd get an island.  Then I got an island and I was like, Whew!  I'm glad I got an island!"

    Okay, okay, I know.  You really had to have been there and know what our personalities are like, but let's just say that we kind of think that $5.00 is on the excessive end and we know that it's not really as much as what some kids get.  That's the reality.  However, our kid can hold his breath until he is blue in the face, but there is no way that Tooth Fairy is forking over twenty bucks for a tooth in this house.  Maybe next time he'll just get some loose change from the ashtray in Tooth Fairy's car.  You know, and that's if he's lucky.

    Friday, April 9, 2010

    Video Friday - Shoo Fly Pie by Johnny Bregar

    I was reading the April edition of Seattle's Child magazine because the cover story caught my eye, "Seattle's Kindie Rock Scene:  It ain't your mama's Raffi".  Hmm, interesting.  Actually, not much was said in this article that hasn't been said before about Seattle's kids music scene.  The cover photo was of Recess Monkey's Andrew Holloway rockin' out with a bunch of kids.  And, there were the obligatory pictures of Caspar Babypants and The Not-It's.

    Here's a couple of highlights from the article though:  Recess Monkey has collaborated with Johnny Bregar, Caspar Babypants, and the Not-It's on their new CD, The Final Funktier.  You can hear some of the new songs on their website.  Also, there is finally mention of a Seattle Kindie Festival!  F-I-N-A-L-L-Y!!!  I can't tell you how exciting this is.  As the article mentions Austin has already been holding a Kindie Festival as an off-shoot of their Austin City Limits Music Festival, and Kidzapalooza is a direct result of Lollapalooza (both of which were mispelled in the article, which I thought was hilarious.  It's not like you can spell-check those words.)

    The main thing that I realized after reading this article is that I haven't given any mention to Johnny Bregar.  That's entirely my fault.  It's not like he just arrived over-night.  He's been doing the kids music thing for quite a while.  The problem is that I'm not as familiar with him as I am with some of the other bands.  I fully plan to rectify this as soon as I find one of his shows near enough to see.  For now, we can all enjoy this video by Johnny, a fun version of Shoo Fly Pie.

    Happy Friday everyone, and good luck on your search to find a magical oven that can produce gourmet desserts without melting your plastic rocket ship, dinosaur, and palm tree!

    Monday, April 5, 2010

    "Birthdays are nature's way of telling us to eat more cake." - Unknown

    Weekend before last was my baby boy's second birthday.  Picking a birthday cake for a two year old is pretty easy.  When you're two, you don't know a lot.  Somebody tells you it's your birthday and you go with it.  So, I decided that we'd order a Kipper the Dog cake.  My family has loved Kipper since my sister first gave us the book Kipper's Monster.  I thought, what's better than a Kipper cake for your second birthday?  


    Lucky for us, we know a good baker, because if you Google "kipper cake", you get some pretty ugly looking cakes (and some fish recipes too).  I know that the people who made them thought they were great, but I thought they were really ugly.  We called the only Baker we know.  First name Jade, last name Baker.  Truly.  She makes some really cool cakes and without a speck of fondant in sight.  She's now training for other endeavors, but I'm hoping that if we treat her nice, she'll be willing to make a small cake for us now and then.


    I give you . . . the Kipper Cake.  Simple, adorable, and fondant-free.


    Kipper and the gang

     Here is a close-up of Pig, Kipper, and Tiger.


    Pig, Kipper, and Tiger

    As an added bonus, I'm throwing in a few pictures of a couple other cakes she made for us last year.  They were Monsters vs. Aliens cakes for my son's 6th birthday.  The first cake had a tragic accident, which we won't go into, but let me just say that the second cake she whipped together for us two hours before the party was pretty darn cool too.  


    Monsters vs. Aliens cake #1 met a tragic fate

    I especially love the jelly oozy-ness of B.O.B. on the second cake.  It actually looks like he's going to drip right off.  

    Monsters vs. Aliens cake #2 swoops in to save the day

    I can't wait to see what she whips up for the next birthday!



    Friday, April 2, 2010

    Video Friday - People Really Like Milk by Billy Kelly

    Last week on Zooglobble Stefan matched up Billy Kelly's People Really Like Milk against Seattle's own The Not-It's with their new video Come Play at Our House in his yearly KidVid Tournament.  The race was very close, but in the end The Not-It's narrowly beat out Billy Kelly. 

    Personally, I really like both videos and it was tough to choose just one, but I ended up voting for the Not-It's simply because I believe in supporting the home team when it comes to Kids Music bands.  Still, I really like People Really Like Milk so I'm featuring it this week for Video Friday.  I think you'll agree that this is a fun song and video, and it definitely puts a smile on your face.  What a great way to start a gloomy, stormy Friday.  It's already got me in a much better mood.

    So, enjoy People Really Like Milk as you munch your morning cereal and have a fun and fantastic Friday!

    Saturday, March 27, 2010

    Kids on the Loose

    My sister wrote this story a while back about what it was like walking to and from school in Globe, Arizona when she was a little kid.  I really liked it.  Everything she says in this story rings true for me.  Even though there are nine years between me and my sister, we both had a lot of the same experiences.

    Kids on the Loose

    When I was a kid growing up in Globe, we always walked to school.  From kindergarten on you walked.  Unless you were one of the "wealthy" kids . . . then you were driven in a car.  The rest of us walked though.  My friend and I always managed to be late for school because on the way there was always a myriad of distractions to keep you from your mission, which was just to get yourself to school by 9:00 a.m.

    When I started kindergarten at Noftsger Hill School there was a bridge on Devereaux street that went across a canyon near Nob Hill Grocery Store.  The bridge is no longer there, and I'm sure it's better that it's just a regular road now.  I remember my friend and me attempting to walk across the outside of that bridge just by hanging onto the railing.  It was thrilling to say the least, and undoubtedly one of the stupidest things we'd probably ever do in our lives.  We'd get about 10 feet out and look down into the abyss of the canyon, and then make our way back to the sidewalk thrilled at our bravery.  A block away from that, near Bailey and Sutherland, was a footbridge that is still there today.  A few years ago I took my son out onto it and I marveled at the fact that there was not real covering on the sides to keep you from falling to certain death.  As a child my friend and I also went across this bridge, both on the part you were supposed to walk across on and, of course, along the outside . . . daring nuts that we were.

    The "Witch's House" on the corner of Tonto and High was another distraction.  I suppose that we called it the witch's house because it was old, black and somewhat ramshackle.  The woman who lived there was also old, wore black, and only spoke Spanish.  Lots of kids said she was "casting spells" when she spoke to us, but in hindsight she was probably just saying, "Hello", and "How are you doing today?"  There was always a ton of rocks on top of her porch roof, from the brave kids who threw them at the house.  The extent of my bravery only went so far as to say, "Hello", and then to quickly run away.  Her house is no longer there . . . I don't know what happened to it.
    Occasionally on the way home from school we'd stop to "smell the flowers" and end up swiping a few roses or anything flower-like from someone's front yard.  If we did this on the way to school our teachers would be the lucky recipients of a mangled, half-dead flower.  One time (well, at least only one time that I recall) we decided to do a mulberry stop on our way home.  This entailed climbing up a wall that was bordered by mulberry trees along High Street and Mesquite.  We tried to eat as many mulberries as we could grab without falling off the wall.  When we'd had our fill, I headed home, and my grandmother went up like a rocket when she saw me.  "I TOLD you to come STRAIGHT home from school!" she hollered at me.  I proceeded to swear up and down, left and right that I had done just that.  I had NOT stopped anywhere along the way home . . . then she whopped my bottom.  I ran into the bathroom to cry and it was then that I noticed my whole face was covered in purple stains from all the mulberries I'd eaten.  Grandma wasn't quite as gullible as I thought.

    When I got older I switched schools and started going to East Globe.  There was a stairwell that went from East Street up to Sycamore Street.  This stairwell contained about a million stairs and was enough to keep you occupied for half an hour or more both on the way to school and on the way home.  Sometimes my friend and I would try to run up it, but that only lasted about 20 stairs and then we'd have to sit down and take a break.  While we were sitting there trying to catch our breath we would sometimes find a piece of cardboard someone had thrown there, and we could then ride that cardboard down the 20 steps we'd just run up.  Unfortunately, this didn't last very long because the stairs were concrete and the cardboard would get shredded pretty quickly.  Whoever hadn't been able to ride the cardboard down was mad.  So then we'd spend about 5 minutes or so looking in the bushes for another piece, and when that didn't pan out we'd just sit back down again.  It was at this point that one of us would realize we'd left our school books somewhere else and we'd have to go find them.  By the time it was all said and done we still had about 90,000 steps to go up just to get to the next street . . . and we were now officially late for school.

    Globe was a great place to be a little kid when I was young.  The world was undoubtedly safer and it seemed like people didn't worry about things so much . . . at least I didn't.  As for my parents, and my grandmother, it was probably better that they didn't know all the stuff we did.  Especially considering all the things that there were to do just walking to and from school.

    The only difference between my sister's experiences and mine?  The mulberries were pomegranates.  Otherwise, it was a lot of the same adventures.  Although, I'm pretty sure she was a lot more daring than I was.  I think that kids all around the world have similar experiences walking to and from school.  I know that when I walk my son home from school, we always have to make stops to look at bugs or spiders.  I feel sorry for those kids who always got a ride and never got to have those mini-adventures that my sister wrote about.

    The pictures used in this post are by the artist Laurie Manzano.  Laurie owns and runs the Blue Mule Art Gallery in Globe and is well loved by my family and many others in the Globe-Miami area.  All of the pictures are used with her permission.  For more information on Laurie, to view more of her pictures, or for copyright permission, visit her website.  And, if you're ever in Globe, make sure to stop by The Blue Mule Art Gallery to stand in awe of Laurie and her amazing work.