Saturday, April 30, 2011

Pasta Picassos

I'm up bright and early this morning.  My eldest starts her summer job today.  She is doing the continental breakfast, from 6:00 to 10:00, at the hotel where she has worked for the past few summers.  Breakfast is a new venture, and she will be doing at least two mornings a week along with her regular cleaning and laundry assignment.  She was a bit surprised to get called this quickly, because the hotel trade does not usually pick up much until after the May 24th weekend.  As we came within site of the hotel, though the reason for her being called became quite evident.  There were hydro boom trucks everywhere; hardly room from me to even turn the van around in the yard.  Obviously our big wind of two days ago is creating quite a lot of work for the electrical boys.

Multiply that by ten, and you'll get the picture!
I know there are still a lot of customers without power in the region.  The missus and I did an art workshop at one of the local schools last night, and that seemed to be the beginning theme of every parental conversation.  "Have you got power back yet?"

Actually the school that this activity night was originally scheduled to be in, still is without power and will be until tonight, at least.  The organizers had to do some last minute scrambling and reorganizing yesterday, to move the entire thing to another school, and notify all the registered participants.

Ma and I were scheduled to do some sort of art activity.  It is a challenge to come up with something particularly meaningful that can be completed in half an hour, with groups of kids ranging from 4 to 12 years of age.  My brain has been a little fried over the past few weeks, what with finishing up the LTO, prepping the rental house for market, and getting the garden and greenhouse going, so my beloved kind of took over this detail.  

Yesterday afternoon when I got home, she was busy boiling up all manner of pasta.  When they were half cooked (just soft) she started adding paint to the various bowls.

The kiddies learned to freeform with paint-laden pasta.  It was a bit like finger painting, but not quite as messy.  They could drop the noodles on their paper, they could drag or roll the noodles across the page, or they could try to carefully place and then lift the noodles off.  We quickly discovered that egg noodles disintegrate rapidly to mush.  Rotini noodles make wonderful parallel lines, if you roll them across the page.  Spaghetti is a willing, but unpredictable paint brush. Some of the students were quite imaginative, others just slopped the spaghetti on, and then moved on to the next sheet of paper.  It was fun to watch the parents, pretending to be 'oh-so-proper' and then gradually getting into it themselves.

We ran four half hour sessions, back to back. We had anywhere from 8 to 14 children, plus the parents in each group. By the fourth, we had more parents participating than children.  Some of the dads got quite creative (boys will be boys).  And then we had two little unchaperoned charmers, who started pitching noodles at each other.  The school teacher in me, came out pretty quickly, and they exited the room immediately.

All in all it was a great family night though.  I was very impressed with some of the other workshops that were offered.  Kids built birdhouses, constructed model airplanes (that flew, propelled with elastics), played baseball, did scrapbooking and learned Zumba, to name but a few.  It was also great to meet and greet parents of students that I have taught around the district, and to watch the interaction of children with parents away from school.  It's always a challenge to try and tack a name and a school to a particular child, when you meet them completely out of their usual context.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.


  1. Give a kid some paint and macaroni and you have great fun and lots of mess. Always well worth it though.

  2. Sounds fun in a messy kind of way!


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