Gawdessness, I loved the maples in the Mohawk Valley (foothills of the Adirondacks) in central New York where I grew up. We had a lot of oak as well as birch, locust, katalpa (anyhow all kinds of trees). We had breathtaking fall foliage. We don't get so much of it here and I miss the change of seasons. I don't, however, miss the snow. Everything's a tradeoff.
The prairie to me means Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. I used to think you were in Vancouver until I noticed the time difference. I know you're anonymous but am I at least hitting the right part of Canada from your little hints?
Re CPS - it seems to vary widely here, even county to county. When Elcie went into foster care in SF, I wasn't even allowed to visit, let alone apply for custody. They never met me and never gave a reason. The court appointed lawyer tried but no one was listening. As soon as her case was transferred here, that all changed. She went into foster care here for less than a month before she came to us where she stayed.
They are overworked and frustrated and I think have seen so much horror that some workers are inclined to think the worst of everyone while others have just become numb and turned into paper pushers. Their caseloads are far too large for individual attention and I'm not sure how well any are trained. I don't know when we will wake up and realize we are throwing away our kids.
I do know my small, financially strapped county did a better job in this particular case than the large City and County of SF (who may be financially strapped as well).
Pumpkins were a success. We ended up with five kids and only four pumpkins but Rebecca shared the painting job with the little girl from across the street. Elcie did a simple smiley face, Rochelle put abstract designs all over hers (she's the artist of the crowd), and Rebecca and friend started out with some attractive designs. I went away in when I came back they were finishing up painting the entire pumpkin, themselves, their clothing, the table, and the floor purple. I put the pumpkin outside to dry, put them in the tub together to get the paint off, and then my friend and I started in. I did the table and surrounding areas and then the sink, she did the floor. The girls picked up after themselves but that kind of cleaning requires an adult, I'm afraid. My whole floor would have been purple had I turned them loose with a mop. We will put the pumpkins, including Mr. Purple, on the front stoop tomorrow.
My daughter said "do you know she's painted her whole pumpkin purple"? "Yes, it's her pumpkin". She may look at it tomorrow and decide to add a little contrast or she may just leave it purple. You notice I mention purple a lot. I read a survey once that said kid's favorite color is red. That may be true and I may have strange kids but around my house it's purple, purple, purple. How about yours? New survey to replace the over/under toilet paper discussion. Incidentally over the roll won in a landslide.
Uncle Roger just popped up with a recipe source called, of all things, http://recipesource.com/ . I have it on my list of "favorites" and had forgotten it was there. Thanks Roger. He's correct, it's a good site.
Spelling drives me nuts and I used to win "bees" back in the day. I think our founders and even beyond spelled many words the way each individual thought they should be spelled. Also, so many of our words are borrowed from other languages. There is no rhyme nor reason to tough, though, through, thought, and trough. All "ough", all pronounced differently. And what about "throw"? No "ough" there. And then there's supersede which turns up in the papers all the time as supercede. Nope, it's a different root - I looked it up to make sure.
If anyone except me is still up, don't forget to "fall back". We gain an hour tonight, sort of. I end up just staying awake longer and lose it right back.
Good night all.