We are gathering a bit more for Esme's geology science next year - a ten dollar microscope, some gemstone slice samples and crystals - at the same time we ordered a few little things I wanted for my birthday coming up, including an aluminum easel for upright painting. This is the first year in a while I have not asked for that specific day off- because my vacation was used up earlier in the year's snowstorms. I could have asked for it unpaid - but it just didn't have the urgency with my tooth exam already being the Monday before (and unpaid off) I hope I will still be able to keep my tradition of getting up to see the sunrise...but it is possible that I may have to be to work by then and miss it...the schedule drops in a few days and I will know. Things might change a bit after the surgeon looks at my teeth, as well.
I bought Esme a set of jacks (rubber though, not metal) and we looked up how to play again - I will state the variations we played when I was a child. We would bounce the ball and try to pick up as many as we could from the center pile without knocking any others out of position or dropping the ball or any jacks. We could not drop or catch the ball with the opposite hand - we had to drop, scoop and catch all before the ball bounced again. The other variation was the onesies, twosies, threesies etc.. where you see who can grab the listed number of jacks in order, and proceed along until someone gets to five, six or your maximum # of jacks. But, mostly we played the scoop version - and the pile dwindled, and whoever had the most at the end of the group won. There is a lot of thinking, pre-planning and execution in the game that you don't think about until you are trying to play well. Esme got consistently better as we went along -but both of us were losing the ball and chasing it across the floor often. Mark says we should find some metal ones and a wooden ball and compare the difficulty. This was a little 2.50 set that was at a pharmacy store on display and I thought it would be cool to teach Esme to play. We still have to find a decent marbles set, too - as that has similar thought processes.
I get another day off Wednesday. I am still reading Emily of New Moon Farm, by the same author as Anne of Green Gables (and similar theme). We ordered the mini-series as part of my birthday (it was surprisingly cheap for 48 episodes). It almost makes me want to take another stab at poetry ;)