Friday, October 3, 2008

Free for All Friday: But first...

There's a special irony to today's post that deserves some explanation.

I grew up in New York with a father who is Jewish and a mother who is Catholic. That is to say, my family never really participated in formal religious activity. I did, however, go to a Catholic school for a period of time and we did celebrate Christian holidays (Christmas and Easter). We never really celebrated Jewish holidays, though every year at Passover, we looked forward to my grandmother's matzah. Warm with maple syrup... PERFECT!

The other thing we never did was have a pet. Wait... not totally true. My father - the consummate environmentalist - had a large fish tank in his basement office for a while. I think he liked it because it brought the outside world inside. I can't quite remember when it went away. I seem to remember more years without the fish tank around than with it around. That fish tank was our only run at pet ownership. No dogs, no cats, no guinea pigs, not even a pet rock. Consequently, there is no "pet-gene" embedded in my DNA. If I didn't have a pet, my life would be complete, but I certainly acknowledge our home is a warmer, cozier place because of our dog, May Day

The combination of my non-religious, non-pet-owning upbringing is what makes today's post so ironic. Today we celebrate Blessing of the Animals. The only reason I even know about Blessing of the Animals is because I spent four years working at a small Catholic school in Louisville. The Campus Minister, in conjunction with the president of the University, coordinated an annual event in the quad. Students, faculty, staff, and surrounding community members were encouraged to bring their pets to campus in late afternoon, so the pets could be blessed. The event is in honor of a patron saint, I think (already, I am feeling out of my league). Nonetheless...a fun event and one I thought we should acknowledge.

If yesterday was about getting to know your cars, today is about getting to know your pets. As requested, many of you submitted pictures of your pets and through the power and skill of CSPgrad, we have turned them into a slide show for your viewing pleasure. We'll have two kinds of fun with these pet pictures.
  • First, we'll vote on the Cutest Pet. Each picture has a number, so just post the number of the pet you find cutest in the comment section. The winning pet will receive a treat in the mail.
  • Second, and for a much more elaborate gift, we will play Pet Match. We will have a contest to see who can match up the most pets with their correct owners. Below is a list of people who submitted pictures and as noted earlier, the photos are all numbered. To play, just list name with a corresponding number.
Pet Owners:
Lori (3 pets)
Cassie (2 pets)
Tera and Treye
Maureen (2 pets)
The winner of contest #2 will win a great present... especially in light of the Christmas holiday coming up! My good friend, Sherry A, is an artist and professional photographer. She will take favorite photos of your dogs and cats, etc, provided by you, ... and transform them into works of art - Warhol Style!

Pets... the first of many things you can "Free For All" about.

Next. Don't forget to place your bet on this weekend's Green Bay game and to wish Julie and Nicole luck in their face-off. Julie and Nicole, if you're out there... tell us what you submitted. Inquiring minds can't wait until Sunday!

Next... I ran into a friend today and she asked for a consultation (informal and on the side walk, not come-in-to-the-office-I-don't-have type consultation). Her daughter is having a bar mitzvah (or is it bat mitzvah, because she's a girl. Again, out of my league). Anyway, she is looking for inexpensive centerpiece ideas. Much like Maureen's daughter's Sweet 16, costs are getting out of hand. The daughter's mom is looking for something nice, but not exorbitant (like the suggested dozen roses per table). This woman is practical, so something useful/reusable is all the better. Here's what we know. Her daughter likes roses, boxed chocolates, and cupcakes. That's what we have to work with. I told her this was a task for Highlowaha. Surely we can come up with something.

Next. For the month of October, we will celebrate Friday's as Freaky Fridays.... starting next week, when we do a "Freaky Free For All" of our favorite Halloween tricks, treats, decorations, centerpieces, etc... My hope, if everyone participates, is we can come up with a fun list of Highlowaha Favorites. While you're out and about this weekend keep your eyes open for the next best Halloween item. Be ready to share it NEXT FRIDAY, during Free for All Freaky Friday.

  • Daily Halloween Activity: Celebrate along with the Beeny family. Today's activity is to Warp the Witch. Visit this website
  • Host Ray: Baker Ray has been hanging out in Shaker Heights, Ohio for the last few weeks. He's looking for a new home. Someone willing to bake a batch of Ray cookies and distribute to friends, neighbors, colleagues, a book club, fellow soccer or baseball moms, etc... Ray's looking for his next great adventure. If you're interested, please let us know, so Tera can mail you the Ray cookie cutter and other supplies.
  • BOO: Though we didn't get any takers when we "BOO"ed other blog sites, I still think it's fun. I will continue doing one a day until Halloween. Will you join me?
  • Post Office Prank: Tuesday's the day! We've had some fun ideas floating around. A box of cake mix, candles, a container of frosting.... Do you have your idea yet? Confused and don't know what we're talking about? See Monday's post (9/29).
  • Wacky Wednedsay: Thanks for all the suggestions in response to last week's post, Breakfast in Bed.. Now That's Wacky! (9/27). Issac and Matthew ended up carrying fishing rods with fish on the ends through the swim center. Matthew had the words, "Gone Fishin" on his belly and Issac's belly said, "Happy Wacky Wednesday!"
  • Blog-a-thon: Still looking for people willing to be on the blog for 15 minutes on Friday, October 24. We have a long way to go before we fill the 96 slots necessary. Remember, this is a fundraiser for Sue, Brian, and Maureen's Helping Hand Project. Click on the Helping Hand link to learn more.
Phew... signing off until tomorrow...

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