Saturday, November 2, 2013


It was time for our monthly rEcess, the evening of fun with children whose disabilities make it hard for parents to leave them with regular baby sitters.

Once again i was paired with Gracie, who has learning delays due to spending the first two years of her life in a crib with no stimulation in a Bangladeshi orphanage.

Gracie doesn't much care for dolls, but she never saw a ball she didn't like.

She never met a ball she didn't like.

Her vocabulary is growing, and she will now say ball, and tell you, No, come on! in an imperial tone of voice.

The only reason she puts down the ball is for the drums.

The big room with the siblings of the special needs kids was being run by dads, so it was a wild and crazy room, especially when they pulled out the foam disks.  Much time was spent dodging the disks as they came flying across the room, and sometimes even into the hall.

Gracie managed not to get hit by a disk.

The church had set up a cardboard maze.  It was as a Halloween fun project and a fund raiser.  We took the kids over, and yes, i crawled in after Gracie.

It's very confusing in there!

Even from the outside, you aren't sure which way.

In some places, you have to climb.

If you get too lost, or scared, you can use an emergency exit.

Gracie and i crawled in there for a good 20 minutes, with her laughing and giggling and ;having a blast.  Next year, i'll know to wear long sleeves -- i have brush burns on my arms from the places where it was so low, i couldn't crawl but had to pull myself with my arms.

All of the running around gave way, toward the end of the evening, to some quieter activities, like coloring.

We love the white board!

Another fun evening was had by all.  

Today is:

All Souls' Day -- Christian (celebrations in Ecuador are among the most colorful; 2nd of the Dias de los Muertos in Mexico) related observances:
     Dead Relatives' Day -- Sicily
     Dia de Finados -- Brazil; Portugal

Aztec Day of the Dead -- Ancient Aztec Calendar (date approximate)

Balfour Declaration Day -- Israel

Cookie Monster's Birthday -- go have a cookie to celebrate! (but only after your dinner, as Cookie Monster now points out; boy, things have changed)

Coronation of Haile Selassie -- Rastafarian

Deepavali -- Hindu; Jain; Sikh
     Kukur Tihar/KukurPuja -- Day of Dogs (second day of the festival

Dveselu Diena -- Ancient Latvian Calendar (day for families to gather with the spirits of their ancestors at the graveyard to celebrate the continuity of life)

Fall Back Night -- all areas that end Daylight Saving Time tomorrow; set your clock back one hour before you go to bed and change the batteries in your smoke alarms/carbon monoxide detectors

Fall Country Jamboree -- Barberville, FL, US (celebration of pioneer life, with music, crafts, historic displays, Native and Cracker camps, and more; through tomorrow)

Festival of Hathor -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Guy Fawkes Carnival -- Bridgwater, Somerset, UK (a festival that traces its origins to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605)

Indian Arrival Day / Arrival of Indentured Laborers' Day -- Mauritius

Karatsu Kunchi -- Karatsu and Saga, Japan

Look for Circles Day -- internet generated, and we run in circles looking for who created it and why!

Lovington Fall Arts and Crafts Festival -- Lovington, NM, US (over 100 local and regional crafters; through tomorrow)

National Deviled Egg Day

National Traffic Directors Day -- meaning radio and TV traffic directors, who always schedule your favorite shows when you just can't watch, and put more and more commercials in when they can; on the anniversary of the first commercial radio broadcast in Pittsburgh in 1922, sponsored by the Traffic Directors Guild of America

Ohara Festival -- Kagoshima, Japan (one of Japan's largest autumn festivals, with 22,000+ dancers in the parade; through tomorrow)

Peddler's Village Apple Festival -- Lahaska, PA, US (fun for all, through tomorrow)

Potting-Shed Investitures -- Fairy Calendar (Garden Fairies)

Plan Your Epitaph Day -- sponsored by Dead or Alive of Arcata, CA, because a forgettable epitaph is almost a fate worse than death, so make plans to do yours right!

Practice Being Psychic Day -- but you already knew that, didn't you?

Refuse to Capitalize the First Letters in Your Name Day -- k.d.lang's birth anniversary

Soulcaker's Play -- Cheshire, UK

Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens -- Pine Mountain, GA, US (a six-race steeplechase)

St Eustachius' Day  (Patron of difficult situations, fire prevention, firefighters, hunters and hunting, torture victims, trappers; Madrid, Spain; Poli, Italy; against fire and torture)

Unique 13th Annual 150 Hands-On Mystery Object Event -- Logic Puzzle Museum, Burlington, WI, US (come join the fun and use your brain puzzling out what these mystery objects, many of them antique, are or used to do; through Nov. 17)

Verboort Sausage and Kraut Dinner -- Forest Grove, OR, US (beer and their famous sausage, as well as home-baked goods and fun)

World Beard and Moustache Championships -- Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany (catagories include Fu Manchu, Dali Moustache, and Freestyle Sideburns, among others)

Anniversaries Today:

North Dakota becomes the 39th US State, 1889
South Dakota becomes the 40th US State, 1889

Birthdays Today:

Stephanie Powers, 1942
Pat Buchanan, 1938
Ray Walston, 1914
Burt Lancaster, 1913
Paul Ford, 1901
Warren G. Harding, 1865
James K. Polk, 1795
Marie Antionette, 1755
Daniel Boone, 1734

Debuting/Premiering Today:

The Spruce Goose makes its first (only) flight, 1947

Today in History:

The Plymouth, Rhode Island, Massachusetts Bay, and Connecticut colonies combine forces and attach the Great Swamp Fort of the Narragansetts during King Philip's War, 1675
The African Free School, the first free school in NYC, opens, 1787
The popular vote for US president is first recorded and Andrew "By God" Jackson (a/k/a Old Hickory) defeats John Quincy Adams, 1824
New Zealand officially adopts a standard time to be observed nationally, 1868
Johnny Campbell officially leads the crowd in cheering at a University of Minnesota football game, the official birth of cheerleading, 1898
The British newspaper the "Daily Mirror" begins publication, 1904
The Balfour Declaration proclaims British support for the "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people" with the clear understanding "that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities", 1917
Charlotte Woodward, who attended the historic Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention of 1848, becomes the only one of the women who attended to live long enough to cast a vote in a national election, 1920
Australia's Qantas Airways begins service, 1922
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is established, 1936
In California, designer Howard Hughes performs the maiden (and only) flight of the Spruce Goose; the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built, 1947
Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the Lady Chatterley's Lover case, 1960
The Morris worm, the first internet-distributed computer worm to gain significant mainstream media attention, is launched from MIT, 1988

The International Space Station becomes permanently staffed, 2000
China makes its first orbital docking as its unmanned Shenzhou 8 spacecraft successfully docks with the orbiting Tiangong 1 space station module, 2011
The New York Marathon is cancelled due to the damage from Hurricane Sandy, 2012


  1. This is such a wonderful activity. High five to the dads that did so much work and blessings on all the volunteers that shared their time with the kids.

  2. I don't know if I have claustrophobia but I started to breath in short bursts of breath as I looked at that maze.

  3. Oh what fun. They put a lot of work into that maze. Gracie is just adorable and it's nice to know that she's coming along despite her early months.

    I like your punned title but Mimi!... I'm disappointed that you didn't title it "aMAZEing Gracie." ;)

  4. What a marvelous thing you are doing with these children. You're sure earning Heaven points.

  5. What an awesome cardboard maze!
    I didn't know you worked with these lovely children. I tell ya, woman, the layers of your giving, loving spirit is all kinds of wonderful. ((hugs))

  6. What a great thing for you to do. It certainly allowed the little ones to have a great time. Bless you.

    Have a fabulous weekend. :)

  7. oh my gosh what fun!! Where do you find all those boxes?
    Have a great day!

  8. The group sounds great, and I bet the parents of the kids appreciate it enormously. How sad for Gracie to have been left in that way. She sounds as if she is a happy little girl now.
    Thanks for following our school blog! I hadn't been able to enable the followers gadget before then, since it had seemed to require me to do everything through the dreaded Google Plus. Don't know how you managed it but it made it possible for me to have that widget on the page without everything being routed through that dreadful Google Plus interface. :)

  9. You truly do the most wonderful, caring things Mimi! I just loved this post and the adorable little Gracie. You deserve a medal or a trophy for crawling thru that maze. They would have to rescue me at the first escape hatch, if I made it that far! :-)