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Blog #254




Svea's Cross Country Water Skis


   Svea had a third grade assignment this quarter to either write about an inventor or create a real invention.  Of course she opted to invent.  We talked about things for a week; most of her ideas were pretty extreme.  She wanted to make suction cup gloves and shoes for climbing buildings or springy shoes that could allow her to run extra fast.  We brain stormed and came up with skis that she could use to walk on water; this was the first doable idea that she liked.  We devised a plan and earlier last week I bought a 1.5 inch 4' X 8' sheet of pink rigid foam insulation.  We cut it into nine inch strips with an electric hot wire and knife.  We used double sided foam tape to bond two sections onto each other and used the same tape to bond an old pair of my classic cross country skis to the top of the float skis.  For forward "traction" we made three nine inch by three inch flaps that were duct taped to the underside.  When the skis slide forward through the water the flaps lay flat against the underside. The flaps fold almost straight down on the "kick" ski that stays in place as the opposite ski slides forward.  String prevents the flaps from going past about 80 degrees.


   We topped off the 18' X 28' ice rink with water as we finished the skis today.  Svea walked from the yard by the shed into the water in the rink, immediately did the splits and fell into the cold water between her skis.  She had trouble letting go of her skate ski quick step instincts.  As the skis spread Svea tried to recover by shoving off one ski, picking it up and stepping inside.  That works well with light cross country skis that are on snow, but is nearly impossible with six pound, eight foot long by by nine inch wide skis that are stuck to water with surface tension.  Svea also had a tendency to allow her feet to tilt inward which put the skis on edge instead of floating flat in the water; I don't think that helped with stability.  She had a few more spills but did manage to shuffle around on the water.  Brigitta got into the rink a number of time to help Svea up and to help her turn.  The rink is to short and the skis are too long to effectively turn, which can only be done in tiny steps and a big arc.  Once she learned to keep her feet together she did much better.


   Then Brigitta took a turn.  Before she put the skis on I tied a cord between the bindings to prevent her from doing the splits as Svea demonstrated.  Brigitta had very good instincts and managed to keep her feet together and kept the skis flatter.  When her feet would go wide she would shriek and pull them back together.  Britta was in the rink for several minutes before she made use of the safety-anti-splits-cord; I think she would have gone in without it, but she never did fall in.  She also managed to take just long enough strides to make the traction flaps fold down and up to aid forward movement.  Svea waded in the water and aided Brigitta's turns.  We took several movie clips of both girls; I'll get around to editing them sometime.






















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Blog #253

David & Joan




   Annika's preschool class put on a circus last Thursday for parents and grandparents.  Each child got to choose which circus performer to be and then make the corresponding costume.  Annika was the only one to choose a lion.  Although many children had a bit of stage fright, Annika was a true performer.  She even jumped through the Ring of Fire (really a Hula-hoop and streamers). She has fun as did Papa, Nana and Joan. 



Empty Pot

   On Saturday, Joan and the three girls went to see a ballet adaption of The Empty Pot. It was a story about a Chinese boy whose honesty wins him favor with the emperor.  It was held at the Civic Theater in Akron, a grand, newly restored, theater built in 1929.  The girls found it magical because in addition to the lovely architecture, they had a star-lit ceiling with real "clouds" floating by.  The ballet was performed by the professional children's company from the same studio that teaches Svea, Brigitta and Annika.  It was well done and a joy to watch.





Bike to Bedford Reservation

   They are repairing the bridge that connects our home to the Bike and Hike Trail, so I have to drive to get to a trailhead for the next few months.  I went for my first spring ride on Friday and managed 21 miles; I felt pretty week and my legs had trouble on the uphills.  Today I rode 17 miles from Stow to Bedford Reservation and back; that was a killer.



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Blog #252





3A Mirror Project Complete

It's finished; here's a better picture.  Click to see a giant image:





Blog #251




Happy Birthday Annika!

   Annika got to celebrate her four year old birthday on Saturday night with a small party.  It was only supposed to be our family, but just to make it a little more festive, we asked our backyard neighbors to join us.  All got to do a princess craft and ate a princess cake and watched a princess movie.  By the time it finished all felt were royalty. 









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Blog #250




Happy Birthday Annika!

   Annika turned four on Wednesday.  We are about to have a small party for her in a few minutes, but here are some pictures from over the past few days:







Happy Birthday David

   I turned forty four on Friday.  It was one of my best birthdays ever, mostly because my health has been improving.  Last Saturday I was diagnosed with Bronchitis and was on antibiotics for five days.  During that time I was a bit dizzy and nauseous.  I tend to get stupid when I am extra sick; my thinking ability becomes very limited and I feel like I'm in a haze.  I have trouble concentrating and every task seems like a major chore.  I've been this way as long as I can remember; thankfully I only get to that degree of sickness once or twice a year.    When I come out of that mode I usually am blissfully happy; I love everyone and everything and am appreciative the things I normally take for granted. That "manic" state of my manic-depression/well-sick mode happened to peak on my birthday.  I'm still feeling pretty good but am settling into my normal self.










3A Mirror Project for Auction

   Joan volunteered to work with Svea's class for their auction project.  Every other year IHM has an auction as a fundraiser.  Each class creates a project that involves all the students in that class.  Joan suggested that she could guide the kids through making colorful polymer clay tiles that she would arrange around a 16" by 22" mirror.  The overall size is approximately 24" by 36".  Joan has put a great deal of time into the project; I've helped a little too.  She needs to gold leaf the edges and I need to make the wall hanging bracket.  We hope it receives high bids.



Coach Lynn Roumagoux to be Inducted to the

Alaska High School Hall of Fame


Lynn Roumagoux

"Oh, I feel so good!" was our battle cry.


   My old high school cross country running and cross country skiing coach is being inducted into the Alaska High School Hall of Fame in April.  He was a great coach and major influence in my life.  My memory may be off, but I recall my high school boys cross country running (and perhaps skiing) teams went 13 years without a meet loss while coached by Roumagoux.  I wish I could attend but I won't be able to since the induction is in Anchorage.  I'll do what I can to promote the event here.


Donna & Lynn Roumagoux


   Copy and pasted from an event promotion in facebook by Charlie Bader:


   "Former Dimond High School (Anchorage, Alaska) Coach Lynn Roumagoux has been chosen to be in the Hall of Fame. He and Mrs. Coach are making the trip north to accept the award and we'd hate to leave out anyone in the Anchorage area who might want to attend.

The ceremony is slated for 4pm on 4/19 at the Anchorage Marriott. This is not a dinner function and it is free, but the sponsoring association does want a chair count. If you can attend, please hit this Evite link and RSVP as soon as you can. If you can't make it and wish to send your congratulations, please post a comment!

Thanks to all of your who have responded already.

Please pass this on to the 1000's of athletes, co-coaches, peers & parents who might want to attend such a ceremony."



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Blog #249



Happy Birthday Nana

   Nana turned 86 today.  Joan and the girls baked blueberry muffins for her. She got three lipsticks (one from each girl), a Jan Karon novel, jeans and a shirt, a personalized tea mug and a homemade bracelet from Brigitta.




Nana reading a homemade card from Annika.


Congratulations Dr. Reikowski!

Our friend, Dr. Rich Reikowski recently received the 2009 Ohio Academy of Audiology Clinical Excellence Award.  They only choose one recipient a year which makes this award especially significant; congratulations Rich.  Tallmadge Express article.


Sick, Sick, Sick

I went home sick on Friday and slept all day.  On Saturday I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with bronchitis.  I'm on antibiotic now which give me what feels like motion sickness.  Perma-dizzy-nausea is actually more tolerable than what I was experiencing, but not by much.  The bottom line is that I'm sick of being sick and not being productive.


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