Did You Vote Thrill of the Hunt?

Nothing great in the world was accomplished without passion.  ~Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Thrill of the Hunt Scavenger Hunt Logo in bubbleAs most may have realized, I entered my company Thrill of the Hunt in a contest, the Chase Mission Main St. Grant Contest.

What does that mean?  It means I have a shot, granted a very slim chance, at winning one of twenty prizes awarded.  It’s true, I’m a small town Latrobe start-up company in our second year, and there were roughly 35,000 participants in the 2013 contest, so the odds are not in my favor (a little Hunger Games reference).  I get it, but I also know someone, 20 small businesses to be exact, will win.  Why not try?

Before I forget and get wrapped up in the details of this contest, please vote.  If you voted, thank you so very much!  There is only one vote per person permitted and currently as of now, I only need 39 more votes to go in 10 days.

Follow this link–>    .

Now onto the details of this contest.

The big prize or the crème de la crème is winning the $150,000 grant (naturally I’ll have to pay all local, state and federal taxes).  In addition to the prerequisites to entering the contest, such as the number of employees, the minimum of two years in business and such, I had to complete essay questions.  I met the strict criteria with flying colors, the easy part, but the questionnaire took some time to work out.  There were several sets of questions to answer including outlining the details to how the money will be used if won.  A great way to force me to think wisely with respect to spending, on a micro and macro level, with or without winning.  Thinking this way will only help Thrill of the Hunt in the long run.

Thrill of the Hunt Scavenger Hunt Founder Aunt Heather Piper

Me at the Seton Hill University Homecoming Block Party, doing a scavenger hunt for Seton Hill in Greensburg, Pa. 9/21/13

How would I use the money?  Since there are two sides to Thrill of the Hunt, the public, which are our own hosted scavenger hunt events; and the private, which include business functions, team building activities, fundraisers and parties, I addressed them both, for they work in tandem.

The money will help Thrill of the Hunt expand our public events into other cities and states.  It will also give me the resources to truly promote our events AS AN EVENT!  With every public scavenger hunt and new city we participate in, Thrill of the Hunt meets new contacts and promotes our services as a scavenger hunt adventure for private functions!  These public and private scavenger hunts give me the marketing power to promote Thrill of the Hunt with the use of Google keywords, increasing our SEO within each hosted area.  See how both sides of the house play off of each other and yet, are mutually independent?  That was not by chance but by my design.

Then, there’s the trip to Google headquarters to attend a seminar with small business experts.  Having the opportunity to tour Google alone would be amazing, not to mention speaking with these experts and making contacts, again spreading the word on Thrill of the Hunt.

As part of the benefit package, the winners will also receive a Google Chromebook laptop and a $2,000 coupon toward one market research study with Google Consumer Surveys.  All good for taking my company to the next level.

Thrill of the Hunt Scavenger Hunt Kyle & Aunt Heather Piper at Pittsburgh Event

Me & Kyle administering a scavenger hunt for Thrill of the Hunt in Shadyside, Pittsburgh, Pa. 2013

I’ve done other contests in the past and lost, but going through this process is good for me personally and the company.

Last year I participated in the Intuit Big Game Small Business Contest.  Why do I take the time to do so when my time is so limited?  I enter these very hard to win contests for several reasons.

First and foremost for the opportunity to win.  They each have a very enticing draw, which will benefit Thrill of the Hunt tremendously if awarded.  Again, I’m not so blind to realize the odds, but like I said, someone has to win.  I feel if I don’t try, I am doing my company an injustice and a missed opportunity.

Plus, completing the application is a great process to go through.  It helps to reevaluate the direction of the company and truly get to the heart and soul of the business.  I mean that.  These contests ask the tough questions or ones not even considered. Like what?

Besides the typical short and long-term goals and competition, they ask ‘Why did you start the business?’, ‘What will winning mean to your company?’, “What made you want to be an entrepreneur?’, and ‘How does your company help the community?’.  Writing up the essay questions is a great way to evaluate yourself as a business owner and the company.  It also helps to really narrow your focus or confirm your business model.  Not to mention, the more that is written about your company, the better your copy sounds and is refined.

It also recharges your battery and builds excitement, reiterates why the company was started in the first place.  Keeping the passion up and going can be a challenge too.  Every little bit of encouragement helps.

Did I mention with these essay questions they are usually limited to about 1,000 to 1,500 characters?  Not words, but characters including the spaces.  Yikes, that’s right!  That in itself is very difficult and challenging, but it forces a person to really eliminate all the unwanted bull and the unnecessary words to capture the true essence of the company.  Like I said a great practice to go through.

Dog-Gone-Scavenger-Hunt-Thrill-of-the-Hunt-Shadyside-Pittsburgh Pa 6-2013

Leko (pre Cooper) showing off his Thrill of the Hunt prizes at the Dog Gone! Scavenger Hunt in Shadyside, Pittsburgh, Pa 6/2013

Another big factor with these contests is the marketing aspect.  Yes, the national promotion of being associated with a big name, and naturally the prestige of winning under said name is a bonus, but also the indirect publicity with friends and family.  This helps to spread the word on the company to those who might not know you are in business for yourself, or may not know exactly what it is you do.  Those people who we take for granted and are often times overlooked are monumental to a company!  These contests force a person to reach out to EVERYONE, especially when it comes to the voting process, which they all seem to share.  It’s a great way to introduce a company on a very personal level without commitment.  It’s also a great excuse to continue promoting the company to those who are very aware of the business and to maintain top of mind awareness.

With these contests, they usually give marketing options and templates to use or store for future efforts.  Again, going through the activity of writing a press release or scripting and shooting a video to distribute, moves everyone out of their comfort zone and into the real world of marketing, another avenue to promote the company.

Believe it or not, all this activity and project development does take time but helps to get your thoughts together to really understand your own company.  That was always a big fear of mine, not having a clear defined message.  Working in an ad agency with an eclectic assortment of industries and companies, I’ve seen the opposite.  Believe it or not, I’m not talking about small companies but established businesses with major resources.  I’ve seen them fall short on the focus of their company or have yet to find their true niche.  Scary.

To anyone who has a start-up company, or is thinking of doing so, or is already up and running, take the time to invest in these contests.  No I’m not being paid to promote them, and yes, they are long shots, but with experience comes understanding and knowledge.  More importantly, theses exercises will get you thinking differently and out of your comfort zone.  Plus, someone has to win!

Good luck Thrill of the Hunt!  Remember, everyone needs to … Experience the Game!

Thank you to everyone who has helped me out with Thrill of the Hunt in one way or another over the years.  Your involvement has been appreciated and needed!  Most are friends and family who want to see my company succeed, but some are strangers who see potential in my business.  To everyone who voted, spread the word, sent me leads, gave advice and direction or just gave me words of encouragement, I want to send a very sincere Thank You!  I wouldn’t have made it this far without everyone’s help.

For more information on Thrill of the Hunt, visit our website at www.ThrillScavengerHunt.com or email us at Game@ThrillScavengerHunt.com.

posted by auntheather in Books, Movies, Shows,Common Sense,Education & Learning,News,Observation & Imagination,Patience,Thrill of the Hunt Scavenger Hunts,Travels and have No Comments

Our Hunting Adventures … New York Continued

One day in the country
Is worth a month in town  ~Christina Rossetti

Kyles-buck-2013-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Kyle’s buck of 2013 .. Good job buddy!

… Continued Our Hunting Adventures … New York

It’s always an adventure with the Piper clan.  On Sunday morning, November 17th, when it was still pretty dark, I saw an animal with a very bright white, almost glowing fur coat, sneaking around the forest floor below me.  It was kind of the size of a squirrel, but didn’t move like a squirrel.  In fact, it moved more like a ferret.  Keep in mind it’s still pretty dark, but I could see the critter clearly.  Being completely intrigued I watched it move around for a good fifteen or twenty minutes with my flashlight, seeing what it was up to and trying to get a good look at it.  I really wanted to identify the unknown animal.  After it moved on, I forgot all about the creature until we were back at the motel room and I described it to dad.  Apparently,  I saw a weasel.  Too cool!  This is a perk about hunting, not to mention the sounds of nature, being out in the fresh air, seeing the beauty God has provided, harvesting meat for the table, but also seeing these creatures, which I would normally never see.

We were blessed on Saturday with mild weather.  Actually, a perfect hunting day.  Sunday was a mix of rain and rain and wind.  Monday wasn’t too bad, just windy.  We were all hoping for snow, but it wasn’t in the cards.  Why snow?  It makes it so much easier to see the deer and to hear them.  Plus, the woods are so pretty when it snows, especially when the branches catch the white powder appearing as if the snow is held in mid air.  I love the outlining effect of the trees in white, like the snow stretched up from the ground to fill the tips of the trees.  Love it!

dad-&-kyle-hunting-in-green-county-Aunt-Heather-Piper-12-2-13

Dad & Kyle hunting in Green County. Kyle was probably dragging his feet through the leaves…our little Peeta! 12/2/13

On Saturday, I had a chance at a small buck in the brush.  As I lined it up in my sights, I remember dad saying, “If your gonna shoot, make sure you have a good shot and shoot it in the shoulder to take it down.  We don’t want to have to track the deer.”  You see dad doesn’t believe in unloading your gun on one deer.  Line up your target and then take your shot.  If you need a second bullet then use it, but not your entire arsenal.  He feels you should get it on one shot, which usually he does!

As I watched the buck move swiftly through the brush, I looked ahead to see an opening in a direct line with his path.  Perfect!  I thought I’ll wait for the deer to walk into the clearing and then take it down with one clean shot.  As I watched the buck go behind the trees, I noticed it never came out to my preplanned drop zone.  As I tracked it in my scope, I saw the buck turned and walked up over the hill!  What?  When I saw this, the only shot I had was between the trees, through the brush and at its rear-end.  Not good!  That’s not an appropriate shot and one I would never take.  If I’m taking a shot it’s to drop the deer and not have it suffer and run off.  Can you believe it?  Apparently, the buck didn’t get the memo to keep walking straight into my line of sight!  O well.  Looking back on it now, dad and I both agree I should have just taken the shot in the brush.  Dad commented, “You never know unless you try.”  Good point old man!

When it comes to deer hunting, there is no one I trust more than dad.  He has dropped hundreds of deer from the time he was nine years old.  Plus, he’s been a woodsman most of his life and he seems to speak deer.  Really!  He has this sixth sense about them, like he can read their minds.  He is a truly great hunter!

Once Saturday came and left, Sunday arrived.  After sitting for most of the morning seeing nothing, to break up the day, I headed down the hill toward dad and Kyle.  Once I got there, dad had us walk around to see if we could push the deer.  Finally, dad gets me!  He’s starting to catch on to Kyle too, realizing we can’t sit for too long, we get antsy and silly and loose focus.  All the things dad is not keen on in the woods. He takes hunting very seriously, rightfully so.

On another side note, in New York it is legal to hunt on Sunday, not like Pennsylvania.  So we were able to hunt all weekend into Monday.

dad-hunting-in-Jims-woods-Aunt-Heather-Piper-12-7-13

Dad hunting in Jim’s woods … we finally got snow! 12/7/13

Did we see any deer on Sunday?  Nope, but with my little man making a herd of noise, I couldn’t image why not.  I was watching Kyle walk through the leaves.  Instead of picking up his feet, he was dragging them through the forest floor!  What?  Eventually, I started to loose my patience snapping at the kid, “Pick up your feet Kyle!”  With a response of “I am Aunt Heather!”  After walking a few feet and standing there waiting on my slow poke noise maker to catch up, Kyle started to chuckle and said, “Call me Peeta!”  I was dying!  That was too funny!  Perfect reference to The Hunger Games.  Unbeknownst to my friend Kelly, she texted me that night asking how Katniss, referencing me, was doing on my hunting expedition.  Later I told her, perfect timing of her text and seriously how funny it was.  Good one guys!

After leaving dad and Kyle and heading back up the hill, the very steep and butt burning hill, and after getting slightly twisted around, I had another opportunity in the form of a doe.  I was on the ground and was getting situated when I saw a doe approach.  It was standing between trees without a good shot.  To be honest, during hunting season the deer are a bit skittish, rightfully so, and any movement will spook them.  Bringing my rifle up and resting it back down was out of the question.  I had to hold my rifle up until she walked into sight.  By that time my arm was shaking all around and was exhausted.  Then, I took the shot… and missed!   I reloaded immediately, but again her butt was facing me as she darted out onto a different property line, leaping out of sight.  I went to the scene to see if I could start tracking some blood, but nadda.  Nothing.  No hit.  Dang!  Seriously, nothing would make me happier than to be able to provide deer meat for the family freezer.  Not to mention, it would make dad very proud and happy to see me get a deer.  That’s fine, we still have the rest of the season in Pennsylvania.

After the excitement of the day, I made my way back down to dad and Kyle, where we all jumped on the quad and headed out for the day.  This road, I was totally familiar with, since it was the same one we used in the summer when we were here moving dad’s tree stand.  What It Takes to Move a Tree Stand, What It Takes to Move a Tree Stand… Continued This road, or I should say quad path, was like a roller coaster ride, straight up the hill, uneven and washed out in some areas, and topped off with obstacles.  Let’s not forget the roads were extremely muddy from the rain and slick.  Kyle and I loaded on the back of the quad with our feet hanging over while dad drove.  Dad keeps his rifle around his neck and normally I sling mine around my body and wear it on my back, but that would mean the barrel would be pointing in Kyle’s direction.  Not good!  So Kyle positioned his rifle around his neck facing the woods and I held onto mine, pointing toward the ground.  Where they loaded?  You bet, in case we did see any deer.  It wasn’t dark yet and we had a nice little trek to get back to the truck.  Granted, we had the safety on to not chance any accidents, but the opportunity was there to take a shot at a run away deer.

Just as we got on the back of the quad, both me and Kyle, at the same time, leaned in toward each other and said, “Hang on!”  We cracked up!  Kyle said, “Pappy thinks he’s driving a tank and he’s invincible on this thing.”  I was laughing!  He was speaking the truth, yet it was seriously funny coming from his mouth and straight from his very own observation.

The entire ride on the back of the quad was a bumpy, hang on, white knuckle ride.  At one point we were so vertical, my feet could touch the ground and I had to pick them up before I scrapped mud.  Dad didn’t admit it, but I truly think we had a least one wheel off the ground.  Then, let’s discuss the swimming pool sized mud puddles.  Every time dad went through one, I thought we were going to sink to China.  Yet we made it safely through with every pass.

View-from-tree-stand-in-Cortland-NY-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Later day view from my tree stand… hunting in Cortland, NY 2013

I  hunted for half a day on Monday, before saying bye to dad and heading home.  Kyle had school and I had work to get done and dad was planning on staying until the weekend.  We had so much fun, both Kyle and I wanted to stay with dad, if for anything else to give him some company.  Even hanging out in the motel room was fun, joking around and discussing the days events.

Dad told a lot of deer hunting stories and talked about Ryan a lot.  It was therapeutic for dad and good for Kyle to hear about his dad.

Hunting in New York for years, dad and Ryan used to go up there all the time.  As we drove to and fro in the woods, dad would point out who shot what, when and how big it was.  Can dad remember that?  You bet he can!  He has no idea how old I am, but when it comes to hunting, his memory is pretty spot on.  Especially, his hunting trips with Ryan, they are his special memories.

Either that Tuesday or Wednesday, dad shot a four point buck and a doe.  The buck was pretty large, supplying us with good deer meat for the freezer.  Dad was planning on coming home Saturday night but instead pulled up Thursday mid-day.  He missed sitting in the tree stand with Kyle, his buddy.  I don’t blame him, it’s always more fun to hunt with family than by oneself.

Thanks to Larry and the New York crew for their hospitality and the adventure.  Can’t wait for next year!  I will be prepared this time.

Our Hunting Adventures … New York

posted by auntheather in Common Sense,Cooking with Kyle,Education & Learning,Family,Hunting & Fishing,Observation & Imagination,Patience,Travels and have No Comments

It’s Called Hard Work for a Reason

It isn’t ever delicate to live.  ~Kay Ryan

Kyle-sleeping-6-9-12-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Kyle crashed… 6/9/12

Two weekends ago, well actually that entire week, I was working in my yard.  Yes, the very same yard work I should have done in the spring, or even the summer and yet here I am, trying to get it done before winter sets in and hunting season starts.  Luckily, we’ve had a pretty mild fall.  We’ve even been blessed with nice temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s and overcast with some sun.  Perfect for outside work.

I’m glad I got my work done because as of today,  the snow rolled in.  Only a few inches but still a pleasant sight.  I love snow!

You see spring always seems to sneak up on me and then I miss the boat with respect to tending to the lawn.  Then summer rolls around and I don’t handle the heat and the sun too well.  Literally!  Being outside in the sun makes me sick to my stomach.  I get really bad headaches and let’s not forget about my sun sensitive skin.  I have to be pretty well covered and protected from the harmful rays at all hours of the day, especially in the summer.  And those summer months, I am usually busy with Thrill of the Hunt events.  So there you have it, back to fall work in the yard.

What needed done?  The usual, mowing and weeding and trimming, which I have elected to do about once a month now-a-days.  I’m sure my neighbors love that sight.  Actually, they should be thankful, for I make their lawns look perfect!

Last Thursday night, early Friday morning we had one heck of a windstorm roll through.  It resulted in a tree branch taking down a power-line, right down the road from my parents.  Guess what?  I couldn’t work on my company stuff nor my freelancing work, since my “office” is in the corner of their kitchen with my desktop and my external drives.  Don’t worry, I always have something to do.  No free day for me!

Aunt-Heather-Piper-backyard-steps-landscaping

This was the beginning of my backyard steps… 2011

On a side note, I purposely set up my “office” in my parents house, as opposed to my house, to get me out, dressed and moving.  I want to make sure I never get lazy, especially with The Piper Corporation.  So I force myself to travel to my work station.  It’s perfect actually, I have a great view of my Uncle’s farm and a view of Saint Vincent College out looking through the picture window in the kitchen.  The best office space ever!  Plus my office companions aren’t too bad either, Scooby, Seven and Storm.

I recruited Kyle to assist me on Saturday at my house, since my parents were still without electricity.  I took this as a sign from God, telling me to get in the yard and finish it up.  After all I couldn’t work on the computer.

Starting my day as soon as the sun rises, around 6:00 am, Kyle and I went to work.  Yes it was not light duty chores.  It was hauling mulch and river rock, pulling weeds and walking up and down my back steps around my landscaping.  Truly hard work even for a professional landscaper.  So how did Kyle fare?

Well, at first it was a big argument.  He didn’t want to do the mulch and was seriously exaggerating his motions in such a way, I made him carry the river rocks while I took over the mulch job.  I knew I could get it done faster, making better progress than Kyle.  Then, I caught him trying to do the job half way, cutting corners that sort of thing.  I was livid!  There are few things I really truly can’t stand and detest, beside smoking, and that’s laziness.  I just can’t understand making that choice to wimp out, especially on something that is benefiting oneself such as my house.

Aunt-Heather-Piper-Backyard-Landscaping

My backyard while we were just getting started… before the steps. c. 2009

After about an hour of me loosing my patience, yelling and Kyle dropping his attitude and getting acclimated to the job of the day, he really began to work.  And I mean he worked!  That kid was on fire!  Really after, we got moving and he started to get into a rhythm and saw progress, he was such a hard little worker.  He was even proud of himself saying, “Wow Aunt Heather I think I’m getting stronger with each rock!  Soon I’ll be even better in the weight room!”  What a cutie!  I had to concur with his reasoning, because he was right.  The more work he did, the stronger he was getting.

You see, for the next few weeks Kyle is in the weight room at school for gym class.  They are teaching him how to lift and such.  He seems to really like it.  Kyle even asked me, “Hey Aunt Heather, how much can you do on the leg press?”  Truly not remembering I said, “Probably around 100 pounds or so.  Why how much can you do?”  With a victorious and ornery grin, Kyle responded proudly with “I can leg press 240 pounds!”  Wow!  Holy smokes buddy!  That’s great!  I really was proud of him.  He is a strong little compact bugger!  He said only one other kid did more than him and he did 260 pounds.  Still all very impressive.

With the weight room talk, it gave Kyle another incentive to keep on truck’in.  He was great!  All the way up until it started to rain on us.  I was almost done with the mulch, when I turned around to see my little man with his hoodie up, soaking wet carrying buckets of river rock and looking defeated.  We had to leave soon anyway.  Kyle was serving mass at 6:00 pm that night.  After seeing the look on his face, I said, “Go jump in the shower, we’re done for today.”  Shear joy fell over him.  Not to mention a sense of accomplishment.  Kyle did remark, “Wow Aunt Heather it’s actually looking nice.  We got a lot done!”  Yes we did buddy, especially with all his hard work.

Aunt-Heather-Piper-Backyard-Before

My backyard while in the progress of landscaping… ton of brush! c. 2009

As it turns out Kyle wasn’t done working, not by a long shot.  You see he had off of school on Monday for an in-service day.  So I took advantage of that fact and asked him to assist me again to try and finish the work once and for all.  Surprisingly, he was enthused to help me wrap up the yard.  That morning, we first helped my dad by stacking some wood before making our way to my dreaded lawn.

On another side note, sometime on Saturday I must have weeded out poison ivy and proceeded to scratch my face and my eye.  Yes my eye!  By Sunday, my face was all swollen, itchy and my eye looked like a big marshmallow.  Not believing in doing actual work on Sundays, I try to honor the Sabbath Day as much as possible, I took a few Benadryl pills and fell into a sleep coma.  By Monday, my eye was even worse and we had to make a pit stop at Med Express to get me on steroids again.  I really hate those things!

Yes, I worked like that with basically one eye since I could only see out of it with a sliver.  I figured, I would rather get in contact with the poison ivy again, now that I was on medication, rather than later when I was healed and had to go through this again.  Plus, I wanted to stay away from people with all my ugliness.  I even avoided the gym in the mornings.  But lucky for Kyle, I had no qualms about hanging around him.  I would even tease my little man by leaning in with my bulging eye and saying, “Go ahead and touch it.  Feel how squishy it is!”  He was grossed out and would squirm around me.  Eventually, we made a joke out of it saying “Don’t make me give you the stink eye.”  And then I would point my eye in his direction.  That cracked us both up! If you can’t laugh at yourself, then what’s the point in living.

While we were talking and working Kyle mentioned again about getting an apartment and buying land to build his house and huge fish tank on.  I said, “O buddy between me and your Aunt Nikki, we will probably have enough rental properties for you to live in so you don’t have to worry about it.”  Kyle took that as a sign that he will take my house.  It’s yours buddy, you earned it through sweat equity!

While wrapping up some of the work on Monday afternoon, Kyle started to comment about hard work and how hard our activity was.  Then, he started to get a bit sarcastic and threw out the attitude again.  He said, “This is suppose to be my day off from school and I’m not suppose to be doing work.”  Really?  Says who.  I retorted with, “What do you think most people do Kyle?  They work all week and do yard work in the evenings and weekends.  Welcome to reality.”  He had nothing to say on that note.

I get it, he was tired and not used to working that hard for that many days in a row.  I completely understood.  But I still won’t tolerate an attitude.

After that came the fury of Aunt Heather.  I asked Kyle to dump a couple of buckets of dirt up by my back fence in a mulch pile of leaves and branches.  Not wanting to walk up the hill, we both kind of laughed at the thought of making another trip there.  Finally, Kyle did what I asked and made the first trip, promising I’ll make the second.

Cow-Toilet-Found-on-a-Walk-Aunt-Heather-Piper

No this was not in my yard! Me & the boys saw this while on one of our walks… I LOVE IT!!

When I made my trip, to help him out and show he is not doing all the hard work, I noticed he dumped the dirt right in the yard, not even coming close to the pile!  Fiery anger shot out of me and resulted in a lecture on laziness.  I wanted him to understand that he has to train himself now, NOT to be lazy and to NOT take shortcuts, for it will always bite him in the butt in the long run, especially in a professional environment.  I went off explaining how I trusted him to do a job and I expected it to be done right and not to have to redo it.  Then, I went into a tangent about how he doesn’t want the reputation of being a lazy kid.  And so on and so forth.

When teaching a child to NOT be lazy, you’re actually teaching them more than hard work, you’re teaching a sense of worth and self-accomplishment, good foundation structures that I fully believe in to create a solid character.

Okay, granted I was tired too and it was a long few days, plus with all the poison ivy irritating my skin, I’m sure my nerves where just a little bit sensitive.  He felt horrible and kicked it up a notch until he was out of steam.  Seriously, I haven’t seen a kid his age work that hard in forever!  I was really proud of him, and maybe I was a little too hard on my man.  But I wanted to make a point, that it’s not just about my yard.  I am training his character, the man he will hopefully grow to be.  The one I hope him to be, minus any laziness.  And you know what?  I believe he will get there.  It was only at that moment, he was being a kid and a tired human.

Thanks buddy for all your hard work!  You earned every muscle you worked out and you earned both movies and popcorn.

This past weekend I took Kyle to see Thor 2: The Dark World and I believe the second movie of his choice is The Hunger Games – Catching Fire.  I even told him he earned popcorn, which he gave me a victorious smile.  I love paying this kid in movies.  It makes for a well deserved date night.

I never thought to get finished pictures of the yard, so once the snow disappears I will take pictures and do a comparison.

posted by auntheather in Church,Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,Milestone,Observation & Imagination,Patience,Pets,Thrill of the Hunt Scavenger Hunts and have No Comments

Family Cooking Raises Healthy Lego Building Kids

I think careful cooking is love, don’t you?  The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give.  ~Julia Child

Kyle-Legofest-Pittsburgh-2012-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Kyle hanging with the Star Wars Boba Fett or Janko Fett at LegoKidsFest 2012 in Pittsburgh

My family is like many who enjoy cooking and cooking together.  We really don’t eat out a lot, hence the congregation in the kitchen when hunger pains arrive.  Seriously, we don’t even really eat fast food.  In fact, the only fast food joints I support when I am in a pinch, or if the graving takes is Chick-fil-a, their service and friendly demeanor is always awesome and contagious, not to mention I love their chicken; or SubWay, when I need serious food and I want to control what is put on my sandwich; or Panera, when I’m looking for better tasting quality food, quickly; or Jioio’s when I want my thin, slightly sweet crust pizza; or any other pizza joint for that matter.  Every now-and-again I will make my appearance at a 5 Guys Burger & Fries or a Sonic or a Dairy Queen, but again that’s rare.  Nope, eating out is a rarity not a daily choice.  I was raised that way, and so I continue to keep the tradition.

I’ve said it before and the same still holds true, I enjoy cooking, especially with Kyle!  No matter if we are talking about breakfast, lunch, dinner or a simple snack, cooking together always makes it more fun!  Kyle really likes being in the kitchen, but he prefers to develop his food with the assistance of others.  Not that I can blame him, cooking together is way more fun and sometimes exciting when we start experimenting with ingredients.

In the past, cooking was a way for me to reinforce Kyle’s reading and his math by making him read the recipes to me and forcing him to figure out the measurements himself.  (Inner Conflict, Egg Sandwich Spectacular, Healthy Smoothie Sunday) Not to mention it was a great way to introduce him to different dishes, expanding his pallet and to teach him about the health benefits of specific foods, or lack there of in some cases.  Yes, I don’t always make the healthiest of dishes, but at least I am aware of what goes into the items I consume.

Kyle-&-Pap-Mentor-Deer-Hunting-10-2012 Aunt Heather Piper

Kyle & his pappy getting ready to mentor deer hunt. We eat a lot of deer meat throughout the year. 2012

Same goes for Kyle.  I have always stressed the importance of eating healthy, however I have also demonstrated the moments of weakness and giving in to temptation.  When I splurge and steer clear of nutritious foods and swap them with junk food, I am also aware of how much I consume and how often.  Not to mention I have always lived by example to burn off the food through various exercise.  I’m not saying I am the poster child for physical fitness, but I do try and make a conscientious effort to demonstrate good healthy behaviors to Kyle.  I’m not saying he completely listens to me, but I know the information is being stored up in his cranium cavity…somewhere.  It’s my job to guide him in the right direction, even if I’m pushing him up a very steep hill.

This week has been wonderful, spending every day with Kyle.  For his birthday, I bought him two Bricks 4 Kidz Lego Camps at Saint Vincent College.  He’s been going all week with a morning session and an afternoon session, allowing us to hang out together for lunch.

Kyle-at-IHOP-Aunt-Heather-Piper

A rare treat at IHOP. Kyle wanted caramel hot chocolate. He was reading the Hunger Games while enjoying his dessert drink! c. 2011

All week we’ve been doing breakfast, lunch and dinner together!  And you what?  He has been eating healthier.  I’ve seen his improvement over these few short days.  When we cook together and eat together, Kyle is making better choices with his nutrition.  Plus, having the right foods on hand is a big part of it.

Everyday, he gets to help pick out what he wants for lunch and every day we make the meal together!  Like I said he loves being in the kitchen, helping to prepare the food, cut, stir and flip.  When we’re done, he is truly proud of what he’s made and knows I approve of his eating choices.  This situation just makes everyone happy!

Speaking of happy, Kyle has been seriously energetic and upbeat!  Keep in mind he’s been building Lego’s every morning and night, and this week, one of his rewards for his great report card came in the mail, in the form of another Lego.  So those certainly can sway a child’s attitude, but it also has to do with what is digesting in his gut.  When y0u eat right, you feel right!

Example, Kyle used to like vegetables when he was little.  Then all of a sudden he refuses to eat them, even though I know he doesn’t hate certain veggies.  One day this week, Kyle and I made a huge salad, per both of our suggestions.  He helped me chop up the salad stuff including the carrots and mushrooms.  More importantly, he was excited to make the salad large enough so his Gigi and pappy would have some for dinner.  He not only ate one salad for lunch, but he ate two and then one for dinner!  Granted it was coated in French dressing (low fat), but it wasn’t covered in cheese and no croutons made their appearance.  Just good old fashioned vegetables.  He LOVED the salad and was proud of what he made and his choice for consumption.

I am still amazed over what a difference a few days make, when choosing to eat correctly!  Granted, he does eat pretty good on the weekends, but a lot of the time, that’s our cheat days, which unfortunately is just a continuation of Kyle’s normal week.

Sometimes Kyle tells me what he’s had during the week, and although it sounds fine, the food items he eats are all processed crap.  Full of fat, sodium, not to mention the extra junk they throw into food bought off the shelves that alter our natural body’s chemistry.

The more I learn, the more I’ll continue to teach Kyle and try to live by example.  After all, it’s my job to fight for his health as much as it is for his spiritual well-being and his brain development.

Wander what he wants to eat for lunch today?  I can’t wait to pick him up!

 

posted by auntheather in Common Sense,Cooking with Kyle,Education & Learning,Family,LEGO's,Milestone,Observation & Imagination and have No Comments

Another Lego Christmas

Building another Christmas full of memories, one Lego building block at a time.  ~Aunt Heather Piper

Kyle's-First-Christmas-Outfit-Aunt-Heather-Piper-12-12-01

First time Kyle visited Santa… mom bought the outfit! 5 months old 12/12/01

Well, it’s happened again.  This Christmas turned out to be another Piper Lego Fest for Kyle.  By default, everyone was expected to participate and gaze upon the Lego creations, starting from a large pile of tiny Lego building blocks, all the way to the final Lego creation.  Not to mention stopping in to examine and re-ensuring Kyle of his progress throughout the development.  In Kyle’s mind, Legos make everyday better!

Kyle knows I only buy him unconventional gifts.  This year’s theme was books.  The selected novels included the Lord of the Rings book set, Diary of a Wimpy Kid -The Third Wheel and Lincoln’s Last Days by Bill O’Reilly.  He seemed pretty thrilled to start Lord of the Rings, ever since he quickly wrapped up The Hunger Games series announcing,  “Finally, another book series I can start!”  Although he was also excited about the last Wimpy Kid book, keeping up with that series since its conception.  However, Kyle didn’t seem so thrilled with Lincoln’s Last Days, saying, “I just don’t really like history.”  To not torture my young Kyle and yet introduce him to anther genre of books, I ensured Kyle that I will read those pages to him.  Being pretty satisfied with my comment, Kyle instantly agreed knowing that was the best deal he was going to get.  He likes to read on his own, especially exciting books, but he does save a place for me to read to him.  It’s our together time and we both really enjoy it, plus I like to keep tabs on what he’s reading.  I always want to stay involved so I can answer any of his questions or guide his curious mind in the right direction.

Having nothing against Lego’s, they are great to satisfy Kyle’s need to build and shape his engineering mind, I also know he gets plenty of Lego’s to last him a lifetime or at least to get him through the holidays.  This year was nothing short of his dream Lego sets.  Since seeing The Hobbit with me in the movie theater, Kyle now wants to collect all The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Lego sets.  I remember the days of the Indiana Jones Lego sets and the Star Wars Lego sets.  There was a time when that’s all he wanted, now it’s onto sometime new.

Kyle’s Christmas list did include something out of the ordinary.  Kyle requested Lego Mobile Devastator Exo-Force.  Apparently, this Lego has been discontinued and according to Kyle was “Rare”.  What did that mean to Kyle?  Nothing.  It meant that he would ask his Aunt Nikki for it, giving it five stars on his Christmas list, and she would deliver.  In fact, there was never a time when Kyle didn’t think he was going to get his requested Legos.   You know what?   He was right!  Nicole did pull through and find him his outlined items.

Before Nicole arrived home, she asked Kyle if she was expected to wrap the gifts.  He reassured her that all gifts needed to be wrapped and placed under the Christmas tree.  He wanted to be surprised and he “Didn’t want to be tortured seeding the box!”  Yes, I am being serious, that’s our little man.  He wants to be surprised but wants to be in control of what he wants.

Kyle-with-Santa-12-2005-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Kyle with Santa, 4 years old… he loved those Bob the Builder Boots courtesy of his Aunt Heather 12/2005

About a week ago, Kyle was complaining about his socks again.  Mom snapped and said, “I’m going to buy a a dozen bushels of socks for you for Christmas!”  Later, Kyle questioned me about mom’s statement saying, “Would Gigi really buy me a dozen bushels of socks for Christmas?”  I confirmed the words spoken by saying, “O yes, don’t put it past Gigi, she’ll do it!  She’s done it before.  I’ll be surprised if she doesn’t get you a load of underwear too.”  A little stressed out Kyle said, “Ya but she’s also going to get me Lego’s too, right?”  I laughed and ensured him he will not be at a shortage of Legos for Christmas.

By the time I got to mom and dad’s house on Friday night, Kyle had already inspected all the boxes, sized them up, looked up the Legos he wanted and review the dimensions of the boxes on the Lego website.  This way he was doing an accurate comparison with the prizes under the Christmas tree and the outlined Christmas list items.  What?  Yep!  That’s how Kyle works.  He wants all gifts wrapped, so he can be surprised, but he wants to ensure his victory even up to the last minute!  He not only did that mom and dad’s gifts, but he really examined the gifts hauled into the house by his Aunt Nikki.  Naturally, he never felt a need to closely examine the gifts supplied by me.  Note to self, I should throw him off his game and purchase a Lego set for Easter.  He would be truly mind-blown!

Nikki-Ryan-and-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Me, Nicole & Ryan Christmas c. 1980

Christmas went off without a hitch, keeping to our tradition of attending mass on Christmas Eve, where Kyle served.  He loves serving mass and helping father out, well maybe not with the incense, but being apart of the blessing of the manger and especially the assistance with the Eucharist.  Kyle is at that age where he is getting older now, but is still just a kid who likes to play with his Legos.  And he does!  Once the Lego sets are build, he sets up his battles and literally plays with the figures and the scenes.  This year it looked like the Mobile Devastator joined in on The Hobbit- Battle of Helms Deep, another five star favorite.  Upon closer inspection I saw some Star Wars Lego’s were also included on the epic battle in the living-room.  Legos, fun for hours and hours!

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope you built your Christmas memories, as Kyle has done for us!

 

I’ll post some pictures of Kyle’s Lego sets when he takes the pictures.

posted by auntheather in Books, Movies, Shows,Church,Education & Learning,Family,LEGO's,Milestone,Observation & Imagination,Patience,Reminiscing and have No Comments

Last Day of Hunting

A wounded deer leaps the highest.  ~Emily Dickinson

Jeremy-&-Ryan-with-Buck-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Jeremy & Ryan getting ready to skin a buck

This past Saturday was the last day of deer hunting for the year, at least with a rifle.  Me, dad and Kyle all went together in the morning.  We only had a few hours to hunt before I had to get the little man into Latrobe.  He was working the soup kitchen with the Sacred Heart/Saint Cecilia Youth Group. In addition to him serving the food and giving out canned goods, Kyle was playing the keyboard for those dining.  He was really excited to help out.  It’s never too late to teach a child to give back to the community and volunteer.  With such a tight schedule, we headed out early.

Getting up around 5:00 am and being ready by 7:00 am, as the sun was rising, was the easy part of the day.  Dad’s game plan was for me to head back down the ridge, where I was before Deer Hunter, Kyle’s First Deer and push the deer toward them.  This time, Kyle and dad sat in my Uncle Walter’s field.  Then, I was instructed to cut through my neighbors yard, across the road and into my parent’s woods to meet up with them.  Since I had my doe tags, which were unused, I was also directed by mom and dad, “If it’s brown it’s down.”  Got it!

As I made my way through brush, thorns and branches, I had a slight mishap.  You see, at the very edge of the woods, down the hill from the cemetery is a condensed thicket.  I needed to get past that area in order to maintain my dictated course of action, before arriving on some natural and quad trails.  Not to mention, the deer sit along that stretch so it was important to make my appearance in that section.  As I pushed my body through the hostile terrain, my rifle got caught on a branch and my shoulder strap snapped.  As the warn piece of leather broke in two, the force caused my rifle to flip around my shoulder taking a nose dive, barrel first, into the mud.  Yikes!  I just started my journey!  Well, knowing better, I stuck a stick down the barrel and scrapped out some mud.  This isn’t a horrible act, but I was being lazy and left my gun loaded.  Yes, I am ashamed to say, I had the gun loaded, one was even in the chamber.  Not smart, but at least I didn’t look down into the barrel of a loaded gun.  I pointed it away from me while working out some of the crud.  I’m not naive enough to think I completely unplugged the barrel, I knew I was going to need dad to clear it all out, but I wanted to try.  So now I was reminded of my First Day of Hunting – My Story when I had no shoulder strap and I had to carry my rifle.  Well, there was nothing else to do but keep moving.

As I continued, I noticed a ton of deer crap.  Everywhere!  Then to tease me a bit, I saw two or three white tails swishing in the air among the natural landscape.  They retreated down the other side of the bank.  Again more brush!  Of course I was in the woods, it’s not like I was taking a stroll around the mall, so I guess it’s expected.  The brown beasts disappeared in the brush by the time I made my way up the hill, not that I thought I could outrun a deer but I wanted to see where they were headed.  I couldn’t see anything but jagger bushes (A little Pittsburgh lingo).  Naturally, the deer ran in the opposite direction of dad and Kyle, but then again like I’ve told dad before, “I’m not a herding dog!”

After I continued on, I heard a shot from the other side of the thicket.  The same place where my target evaded me minutes earlier.  It seems as though, having me push deer is good for every hunter, except the ones I’m working with.

Eventually, I made my way to my final destination.  On a side note, my neighbor has a horse, which was milling around outside.  The horse made very slight movements, mostly flicking its tail, kind of like a deer.  All I thought was, what if someone accidentally shot the horse from a far thinking it was a deer?  I know that sounds like a horrible comment, but my cynical mind was in overdrive.  How would you explain that? ‘Sorry I just shot your horse, I thought it was a deer?’  How would you rectify the situation?  If you were the horse owner, what would you say to that?  Anyway, it was just a stupid fake scenario that entered my imagination and exited as quickly.  I thought it was kind of funny.

Ryan-in-Woods-hunting-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Ryan taking a rest from hunting

Once I met up with dad and Kyle, dad had me go around the woods near them, on the edge of the field.  Dad said he saw some movement.  He also mentioned, as they approached the woods first thing in the morning, there were two deer that ran past them.  Dad said, “If someone wasn’t talking so much, we could have had them.”  Of course, that’s speculation but I could only imagine Kyle flapping his gums as they hiked back through the field.  He is too much!  Even still, we love having him around.

Dad gave me his strap and cleaned out the barrel of my rifle, making it safe once more.  I knew the rifle was Ryan’s, but I didn’t know it was my pap’s before that.  Dad mentioned that my pap purchased the firearm from the Army and Navy store in Latrobe years ago.  It was 60 years old when pap bought the 257 and eventually gave it to Ryan.  Great buy pap!  Now I’m using it and I must say it fits me perfectly.

Once I went into the woods, a deer jumped right across my path and into the brush, out of sight in seconds.  I was not ready for that!  Then I heard the familiar sounds of my phone ringing.  I had a feeling who it was, dad.  He said, “You’re on the wrong path, go back further!”  So I readjusted my direction and continued on the planned trip down and around the woods.  As I got to the bottom of the clearing, I saw two deer nervously moving their white tails at me.  This time they were in perfect position to be pushed toward my eagle eye teammates.  Making sure everyone was ready, I called dad to warn him.  Love modern technology!

Maybe a minute later, I heard a shot coming from dad’s direction.  Then I heard another.  Thinking dad got it, I called him to make sure it was safe for me to exit the woods and to ensure he knew where I was positioned.  Right after I hung up, I heard another shot coming from dad.  At that point, I thought dad got the second deer?  Or was that Kyle?

I huffed up the hill through the field to meet up with the dynamic duo.  We marched back into the woods where dad said he hit the deer and it went down.  Looking around, we couldn’t see it anywhere, even though dad said it didn’t get back up after it dropped.  When it comes to deer hunting, dad is spot on.  He knows what he’s talking about and doesn’t let the excitement get to him.  I always trust his judgement and his instincts.  While we were looking around and started to head up the path, I heard a rustling down the hill.  Instantly, I thought it was Kyle making the noise.  Nope!  It was the deer!  It got up and ran down the path!

Dad had me trail the deer.  It took a while to get a clear shot, following it up the hill over branches and logs and slick muddy leaves.  The ground was saturated from all the rain and the dead foliage made it hard to get traction.  Sliding a few times, I kept up with my target.  Let’s get real, I was exhausted!  That was a lot of work!  Once the deer laid down among natures disguises, it made it really hard to find the injured.  To be honest, I really wanted to put the beast out of its misery.

Fox-Hunting-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Tracey, Ryan, Jeremy & Denny fox hunting

During my hot pursuit, I realized Kyle was staying with me.  Really?  Kyle was keeping my pace?  Way to go buddy!  He didn’t want to leave my side, so I kept him right behind me where I could keep track of him.  Kyle was there as I took my shot and dropped the deer.  He was so exited, he ran over to the recently deceased to make sure I did my job correctly.  I told Kyle to go get pap and he said, “Aaa he’s back there somewhere.” while waved his hand dismissing dad and making it sound like we lost all the dead weight.  I was cracking up!  I kept calling him Katniss, from The Hunger Games.  He started reading those books and instantly got an ornery grin on his face, knowing what I was talking about.

Dad wasn’t too far behind, watching us the entire time.  Through all the action, I saw we had a half an hour to gut the deer, get it back to the house and get Kyle washed up and dressed for the soup kitchen.  I hiked it back to the house to get the quad, while dad and Kyle gutted the deer.  Since the deer was shot in both front legs and the upper neck, it didn’t smell too bad.  Kyle was able to help dad without gagging and puking.  Now that was impressive!

It was an exciting morning!  Dad was right.  He told me that Kyle learned more in our morning excursion, than he has in the last two hunting seasons.  Knowledge is always priceless and you can never plan when it will make its appearance!  I’m glad I was there to help and to experience it with my guys.  Until next season!

posted by auntheather in Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,Hunting & Fishing,Milestone,Observation & Imagination,Patience and have No Comments

Last Weekend Before School – 6th Grade

He who opens a school door, closes a prison.  ~Victor Hugo

Kyle-first-day-of-6th-grade-Aunt-Heather-Piper

First day of 6th grade…his fashion sense hasn’t gotten any better… 8/27/12

Kyle is officially in the sixth grade!  Wow!  I know to expect these milestones, but every year I’m taken off guard and it’s still a surprise.  This past weekend I kept reminding Kyle about school on Monday and I kept teasing him of all the homework. He kept grunting and giving me the look of ‘O No!”.

On Friday night we just hung out, kicking back, relaxing.  Kyle went to the grocery store with me to pick up a few items for dinner.  We finally agreed on steak, since we were having corn on the cob, cooked on the grill.  While at the grocery store, we ran  into my cousin Karen, coincidentally the one who gave us the corn from her garden.  Yep, Friday set the stage for the rest of the weekend, the theme of laid back.  Usually Friday’s are all rush, rush, rush till bedtime.  Nice change of pace.

Saturday morning we loaded up the truck with the pistol, Kyle’s .22 rifle and a couple of dad’s rifles and headed out to the shooting range.  Which reminds me, I need to get a new set of headphones like the ones dad and Kyle wear.  I don’t like the foamy ones that are placed in the ear.  I’d rather have my ears engulfed in padded protection.  Anyway Kyle mostly shot his .22 rifle at a target about 50 feet away, while dad was shooting at 100 yards, testing out the different mixtures he loaded in the bullets and the accuracy of the rifles.

My job, to keep an eye on Kyle.  There was another group of guys there who were shooting clay pigeons.  I had to make sure Kyle didn’t get in their way, stayed out of his pappy’s danger zone, and didn’t put anyone in danger through the reinforcement of proper rifle handling.  Shooting is fun, but it’s certainly an activity of responsibility.  I gave Kyle all the shooting time he wanted.  Dad hooked us up with a full box of .22 bullets.  Every once in a while, I would sneak in a few shots.  Kyle like to share his rifle and time behind the trigger. I think he enjoyed the togetherness of the activity, not to mention I think Kyle liked to see who was the better shot.  Plus it gave him a break, he’s not really die hard with anything except his marathon of playing video games.  He didn’t do too bad at all.  He shot standing free hand and sitting, but his favorite was using the sticks and sitting on a bench.  He hit some dead on!  Way to go buddy!

After a few hits to the target, I could tell Kyle was getting bored, so I got out the .22 pistol.  It’s a neat little pistol that I’ve shot countless times, one that I’ve always favored since I was little.  As I loaded the clip I showed Kyle where the safety was, how to line up the sights and how to load the chamber.  As I handed the pistol to Kyle, he almost leaned away from me, as if saying ‘I don’t know’.  Picking up on his body language I said, “Did you want to shoot the pistol first?”  With the beginning of an inquisition, he said, “Does it have a kick?”  I simply stopped him from going down his list of questions and debunked his anxiety by saying, “How about I’ll shoot this clip first and then if you want to take a turn you can, but you don’t have to.”  Happily he nodded his head and presumed his position behind me.

How did I do?  Well not very good free hand.  Actually, very disappointing.  Shooting off of the sticks or a support I’m alright, but shooting free hand was nothing to brag about.  Kyle was the same.  I guess we need serious practice.  After I shot in a clip of about eight or nine rounds, I think Kyle felt a little more comfortable with this foreign firearm.  You know I always forget, I’ve grown up around guns so there was never a fear of them.  In fact, I don’t remember the first time I shot.  I was little, in fact, thinking about it, there was never a time where I didn’t know how to shoot a gun.  As a family, we would go up on the ridge and target shoot pretty frequently with other family members and friends.  During that time,  I was able to see what each firearm sounded like and how it handled with the shooter.  That’s knowledge that Kyle has not really been privy to, at least not consistently.  I don’t think he has ever seen my dad clean the guns either.  When we were little, I used to complain about the smell that accompanied that action.  Now don’t get me wrong, being a part of the Piper household, by default Kyle has been exposed to firearms since we was born, the result of a hunting family.  However, Kyle’s exposure was not in the same way that me, Ryan and Nicole were.  Actually, I was always a decent shot.  Even to this day, I still enjoy shooting.  I wish I would have kept it up over the years, frequency means accuracy, but alas life gets in the way.  From what dad has told me, mom used to be a dead on shot.  She doesn’t really shoot anymore, but Nicole is getting back into it again.

Kyle-&-Pap-at-shooting-range-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Kyle with his pappy at the shooting range. 8/25/12

After a few hours at the shooting range we headed back to the house for lunch.  It was a hot one on Saturday, so the desire to be outside was not there.  Instead, we decided to plug in a couple of movies, Hunger Games and I Am Number Four.  Mom and dad didn’t like Hunger Games.  What?  How can that be?  Maybe they should have read the books first and then they would have understood the movies better.  I took Kyle to see that movie in the theater when it first came out.  Eventually he wants to read the books.

Sometime during admission, I ran to the Dairy Queen (DQ) to pick up some cold treats before retreating back to the cool insides of the house and starting the second movie.  Now that was my idea of a near perfect day, eating DQ, hanging out with the family, spending time with Kyle and watching movies!

Alas, now the day was escaping us and we waited till the evening to take the dogs for their weekly hike.  The entire way, Kyle talked about the movie I Am Number Four.  He wanted to see if there was a sequel.  He said, “They have to have another movie, so they can finish the story.  They have to find number five and seven, eight and nine.  They just can’t end it, we have to know what happened.”  I was cracking up.  I told him, “I don’t know buddy, maybe they will.  But if they didn’t make enough money on the first movie, then they probably won’t make a second.”  A little concerned over that comment he said, “They have to finish the story!  Did they find number five?”  While I was laughing, I said, “Honey, I don’t know.  I don’t even know how old the movie is.”  Not accepting that answer he asked me how I know about up coming movies like Iron Man 3 and Avengers 2?  “I know that because I read it online, different articles and news feeds.”  He couldn’t stand it that he didn’t know anything about a part two of I Am Number Four.  He even started to name the sequel, saying “I Am Number Four, two”  Naturally I started laughing just as Kyle realized what he said.  He then decided that since Aunt Nikki was the one who suggested the movie, she would have the skinny on the sequel.  He said, “I’m going to ask Aunt Nikki about it, I’ll have her look it up.  She would know.”  Kyle is too much, very persistent!

Kyle-at-shooting-range-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Kyle shooting in his .22 rifle, we also shot in the .22 pistol 8/25/12

The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful.  Church on Sunday morning and a lot of loafing around for the majority of the day.  It was another hot one, so Kyle and played with Seven, Scooby and Storm inside.  I was actually going to take him to the movies, but the idea didn’t hit me until it was too late.  Sunday was a perfect “nothing” day before Kyle had to be back to the responsibility of school.

Did I mention that Kyle was gathering loose change and counting it all weekend?  That kid, if he doesn’t become a banker then he might be missing his calling.  He also talked nonstop about this Lego chess set he saw online.  I think he thought since I have no issue with him playing chess, either online or the actual physical board game, which I actually encourage, he feels that it’s a shoe in for him getting the game for Christmas.  Yep, Kyle is already prepping for Christmas!  He kept searching different sites for different Lego chess sets and different price points to give me options.  Oh, it’s never a day with Kyle without at least the mention of Lego’s.

Yesterday morning I saw Kyle off for his first day of school.  I kept that tradition ever since he was in kindergarten and this year will conclude it.  Watching him grow up has been fun and helpful to my own personal growth.  He is going to like sixth grade, I just know it.  I called him last night to see how his day went.  He didn’t seem enthused, but I was probably interrupting cartoon watching, since I’m sure he was going through withdrawal.  Sixth grade, his last hooray before junior high…I have a feeling this year will fly by FAST!

 

Kyles-target-.22-rifle-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Kyles target… he started hitting the center the more he shot… even though the rifle was not shooting accurate as we later found out. 8/25/12

posted by auntheather in Books, Movies, Shows,Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,LEGO's,Milestone,Observation & Imagination,Pets,Reminiscing and have No Comments

Storm Has Arrived!

They say the test of literary power is whether a man can write an inscription. I say, ‘Can he name a kitten?’  ~Samuel Butler

Aunt-Heather-Piper-&-Storm

Me & Storm

Friday’s tend to be a whirl wind of hustle and bustle and this past one became a tornado.   Right after I picked up the package, (Kyle) we ran to the grocery store, then back to mom and dad’s to make dinner.  Sometime in the middle I had to let the dogs out, and start a fire in the backyard for hot dogs and mountain pies, as promised to Kyle.  Yikes!  I was seriously in high gear, tripping over a ten year old and two dogs in the kitchen, who all wanted to be planted up my butt and I just wanted to hurry up and get out the door to get a run in before dark.  In the middle of this somewhat organized chaos, Kyle told me a friend of mine was on my phone.  She informed me that she had a kitten for me.  What a surprise!  My friend Holsters found me a cute little tiger stripped kitten!

Then to add to the events, Holsters sent me a text message containing a picture of the three cute little grey tiger stripped kittens with blue eyes.  At this point, Kyle wanted to know what my excitement was when I was on the phone and I told him about the surprise.  Now Kyle is equally as excited as I.

Once Holsters gave me the call, I didn’t know what to do.  I just started the fire in the backyard, mom and dad weren’t home yet, and dinner was half done on the stove.  I made baked stuffed zucchini and a cowboy casserole, both found on Pinterest and both were really good.  Being informed that we had to pick up the kitten tonight, or schedule another time to do so, which I didn’t want to wait, I started to evaluate my situation and concoct a new plan.  Since mom and dad still weren’t home, being late from work, Kyle was going to have to come with me to pick up the new bundle.  Then, I was going to bring them both back to the house and hopefully someone resembling an adult figure was going to be home, so I could leave for a run.  Informing Kyle of my plans, he says to me, “Aunt Heather since the dogs are pretty much like watch dogs and they are pretty protective of me, could you just leave me here with Seven and Scooby?  Gigi and pappy will be home soon.”  What?  I said, “I don’t think so buddy, they are dogs, not adults and you are ten, not thirteen.”  He just kind of shrugged his shoulders.  Then maybe five minutes later, just as I turned off the stove and was getting ready to put a screen over the fire, Kyle said, “You can go Aunt Heather.” I said, “You’re not staying by yourself in the house.”  He spoke up correcting my assumption by saying, “No pappy just pulled in.”  Perfect timing!  Just as my dad walked in the door, I heard Kyle say, “Guess what Aunt Hot Dogs got us?  A kitten, there are three of them we can have.”  Dad just said, “O ya?” as I basically ran out the door with excitement, telling dad I’ll be right back.

Once I got to Holly’s, I made up my mind that we were going to get our run in first, or else it would never happen and we have a race to run this Friday.  Apparently at this point I was so excited, that when we exited Holly’s house getting ready to add some mileage to our shoes, I noticed my car door was just hanging open.  I didn’t even remember to close the door.  O boy!  Can’t tell when my mind was elsewhere.

Kittens-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Storm's siblings... how could I resist? 6/22/12

As we ran the neighborhood, we actually pasted the house with the kittens.  At this point, Holly and I were both painfully excited and couldn’t wait any longer,  We cut our run short with the sheer anticipation of meeting a new member of the Piper household and headed back to get the new addition.

The owners of the kittens were very nice people and let me pick one out.  Even though all three kittens were very similar looking, I did bond with one instantly.  The gentlemen, which I don’t remember his name, probably because I practically knocked down in the front door as I barged into the house, showed me the kitten’s mom.  She was mostly all white.  Interesting.  They also had a young son, who was so very sweet.  I checked in with their son, who looked to be about five or so, to make sure it was alright with him to take a kitten.  He gave me a big smile and nodded.  Too cute!  As I exited the house with my new pile of fur, I noticed that I never even removed my shoes at the door!  Yikes!  When I’m excited, I apparently become very rude.  Their house was spotless and here I’m standing in my shoes that just traipsed around the neighborhood and still pouring with sweat.  My sincerest apologies!  Soon I will have to stop by and bring the little boy something and let them know how the kitten was doing.

Aunt-Heather-Piper-kissing-Storm

Me & Storm 6/22/12

The kitten rode back with me in my lap, meowing a little here and there.  As I walked in the front door, Kyle was there eagerly greeting us.  He said, “Come on let’s show Gigi and pappy.”  Well, dad was already asleep on the couch and I didn’t want to wake him so we headed out back to find mom.  Mom wasn’t too thrilled, although from my understanding, she was more relieved that I only had one little bundle of fluff and not three.

One thing I can count on, is getting the complete conversation regarding the kitten from Kyle, while I was gone.  Kyle did not disappoint.  He said, “Gigi said you can take all the cats to your house if you want them so bad.”  What is too funny, Kyle is not shy about calling anyone out on what they say.  Fact is fact and if you said it, he will completely reiterate it and say it back to your face, which he did, in front of mom, who just sat there and rolled her eyes.  Kyle instantly told me that “Gigi’s not really happy about the kitten.”  Then mom said, as if waiting for someone to take her side, “What did pappy have to say about this?”.  Kyle said, “He said, that’s good, Aunt Heather needs a cat.”  That’s my dad!  He told Kyle, after Her Name was Pudd’in passed, that we need a cat in the house.

When talking to Nicole on the phone, she snapped out saying, “Aunt Heather maybe you could clean out the litter box instead of Gigi.” and I simply stated “I have this gag reflex thing, it makes it hard for me to clean out the litter box.  I used to years ago, but it’s hard for me now.”  Kyle quickly justified my statement by saying, “Don’t worry Aunt Heather, I have this gag reflex thing too.  Once when I was on the bus and there was this smell, I don’t know what it was but it made me gag and I threw up.”   O Kyle!  That is too funny!

Me, mom and Kyle sat around the fire talking to Aunt Nikki on speaker phone thinking of names for the new arrival.  My sister is the queen with naming animals.  She’s actually named quite a few of my cats over the years including Draco, Vega, Deneb and Pudd’in.  In fact, the only cat I had, that I can remember naming all on my own was my precious Morticia.  As we started to think of names, I naturally went to my books throwing out names such as Katniss (Hunger Games), Lucinda (Fallen), Esme (Twilight) and I really liked the name Neville (Harry Potter).

Then as the names continued to fly, but not really clicking, Kyle being Mr. Logical, said, “Umm let me think Aunt Heather.  We call Seven and Scooby, Thunder and Lightening.” as the thoughts were forming in his head, Nicole, on speaker phone said, “Storm”.  I perked up saying, “Ya, from the X-men!”  She quickly popped my bubble by saying, “Well, no I was just thinking of a storm.  But I guess.”  Kyle’s eyes got really bright and said, “Storm!”   As I laughed, I said, “Umm I don’t know Kyle, I really like Neville.”  He instantly said, “Nope, it’s Storm!”

Aunt-Heather-Piper-&-Storm-in-Car

Me & Storm in the car 6/22/12

Ok, I’m not really sure why Kyle was telling me what my kitten’s name was, but it didn’t surprise me.  Nicole and I started to reminisce when Kyle named Scooby.  You see he was a big fan of Scooby Doo, the cartoon.  At that time, Kyle was probably around four years old and he gave us a choice for the dog’s name of Scooby or Flame On, from The Fantastic Four.  Everyone unanimously agreed on, Scooby.  Nicole and I laughed and told Kyle, “Could you image calling the dog, ‘Here Flame On'”  We were cracking up!  Then Kyle spoke up saying, “Ok Aunt Heather, the kitten’s name is Storm.”  I said, “Why?” and he instantly said, “Because you got to pick Scooby’s name, so I get to pick the kitten’s name.”  O Kyle!  He is too much!

Needless to say, I really didn’t have much of a say so in the matter.  Kyle instantly started to call the kitten Storm and he informed me that the kitten is already used to her name so we have to stick with it.  Clever Kyle!  Well, the name did wear off on me and stuck.  Storm has arrived!

As we departed on Sunday night, Kyle explained to me that Storm was more attached to me because I drove the kitten home.   Then he immediately made a comparison to when he rode home holding Scooby as a puppy.  He said, “That’s why me and Scooby are so close.  How did you get Storm home?”  I replied, “I held her in my lap as I drove.”  Reassuring his thoughts, he said, “Ya Aunt Heather you held her when you brought her home.  So now she’s going to be close to you.”  Apparently, according to Kyle when you bring an animal home, while sitting on your lap, it solidifies the bond between the pet and owner.  Interesting theory.  Is it like making ‘the bond with the halo’? (humor reference to Avatar).

Well after an eventful weekend, Storm has warmed her way into our hearts already.  Even Seven seems was behaving and now has taken the responsibility of watching the kitten and following her around.  Scooby checked out Storm when I first brought her in the house, but then could care less.  Now whenever we want to find Storm, we just ask Seven, “Where’s the kitty?” and he starts sniffing around and points her out.  Yep, I think this is going to work.  One of the best surprises!  Thanks Aunt Hot Dogs!

posted by auntheather in Books, Movies, Shows,Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,Milestone,Observation & Imagination,Pets,Reminiscing and have No Comments

Looks Like an Adult, Still A Child

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.  ~Stacia Tauscher

Kyle-ready-for-a-ride-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Kyle's ready to ride with Pap pap. He loved that hat! Courtesy of Uncle Sonny

I’ve always heard people say, “They grow up so fast.”  I know it’s true, I’ve been watching it happen right before my eyes.  Recently, I’ve been catching Kyle wear my white under shirts.  Anyone who knows me, knows I always wear layers, even with T-shirts.  I will put on a white T-shirt under a T-shirt, which is the opposite of Kyle, who rarely even wears a shirt and hates layers.  Anyway as I watch him march around in my T-shirts it strikes me that they almost fit him!  My little man is getting so big!  I can almost wear his shoes too.  Granted I do have smaller feet, but still I can’t believe how much he has shot up and out!  I think Kyle loves showing me he can wear my cloths.  It has become a ritual that when I see him strutting  around in my Tees I say, “Is that my T-shirt?” and he just gives me an ornery grin.  Now don’t get me wrong, Kyle still is not into cloths, not even close.  He could care less what he looks like, which drives me crazy.  Once he couldn’t find the matching his flip flop.  He had one from each set.  Now granted they were both black, but the one was fixed with duct tape, which that set was only suppose to be worn around the house. Would you believe that kid put two different shoes on, a left and a right flip flop?  Then said ‘I’ll be fine’ and got in the car and was ready to go to the store.  I was mortified and he didn’t care, he just wants to be comfortable and he hates socks and shoes.  He detests clothing in general, anything containing zippers, buttons, denim, laces, long sleeves are debatable and anything that is layered is avoided.  Yep, that’s Kyle, he loves just sitting in his underwear.  I am hoping this phase will be out grown soon, although I’ve been waiting for it since he started to form an opinion about clothing.

Last week Kyle was helping me in the yard.  For every bag of grass clippings he helps me bag up and takes to the curb he gets a dollar.  While I’m mowing, he pulls weeds and he is my extra set of eyes, keeping watch for bees.  We make a great team and I enjoy him helping me outside.  As we put on our work cloths I start getting the trash bags, the lawn mower and such.  I head out to the backyard and call for Kyle.  He is a slow moving individual, like my sister.  Just then, I turned around and saw Kyle with his headphones on, adjusting them so the cord runs under his T-shirt, correction my T-shirt.  He looked like such a young adult getting ready to help me out in the yard.  I just smiled and realized he is getting older and he loves that ipod Touch.  As I made laps around the yard I would peek over to see how he was doing.  He was almost bobbing his head as he pulled weeds and then I saw his lips moving.  While I was bagging up my first round of grass clippings, I heard Kyle singing, although I couldn’t quite make out what he was saying.  I yelled over, “Kyle what are you singing?”  His reply, “Alvin and the Chipmunks”.  I about fell over, watching this maturing young man appearing older, yet he still is a kid inside.

Aunt-Heather-Piper-Kyle-at-Hunger-Games-showing

Me & Kyle at the movie theater ready to watch The Hunger Games 4/2012

A few weeks ago I took Kyle to see The Hunger Games.  It’s rated PG13 and with the violence I wasn’t quite sure I should.  My sister and I both saw the movie first and we discussed it.  I also reached out to other friends with children of the same age to get their opinion.  Since Kyle really wanted to see it and was really nudging me, I agreed and took him to the movies.  Keep in mind we made these plans early Saturday morning.  That kid cracks me up, he is certainly a child of twenty first century.  He took my phone and ordered our tickets through Fandango on my iphone app.  We were ready!

While watching the previews, which I will admit I like watching.  I think it’s fun to see what’s coming out and to get excited about another movie.  During the previews, the movie Dark Shadows appeared on the big screen.  Kyle leaned toward me trying to whisper, not really succeeding and said, “Um Johnny Depp, he’s pretty good.  I want to see that Aunt Heather.  I like Johnny Depp.”  What?  I didn’t even know Kyle knew who Johnny Depp was, let alone liked him!  All I could say was, “I like Johnny Depp too, ok we can go see it.”  We also saw the preview for Avengers, which comes out this weekend.  Kyle is totally pumped for this movie, of course so am I.  He already made our plans for Saturday.

Kyles-socks-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Kyle's socks don't match & he can't manage to keep his shoes on 11/18/11

As the movie unfolded Kyle watched it in his usual Kyle way, squealing and talking the entire way through it.  I about died when he kept calling Peeta, Peter!  I corrected him but I don’t think he heard me and I gave up.  Right after the movie, Kyle decided he wanted to read The Hunger Games trilogy.  That’s my little man, he’s getting bigger.  He even asked me if the book was like the movie?  I went through some details and highlights just to give him an idea.  Then he started to give me a dissertation on how the Harry Potter books aren’t exactly like the movies.  He was comparing and contrasting, my favorite way to write!  ‘What is this?’ I thought, Kyle really does have a major opinion about books and movies.  It’s really fun watching his intellect grow and mature and hearing things from his point-of-view.  So far I’ve loved all stages of Kyle, but this one is really integrating me.

Gigi-Kyle-Aunt-Heather-Piper-Gutchess-picnic-Idlewild

Gigi, Kyle and me at the Gutchess picnic at Idlewild Park

Kyle’s always been a thinker.  He truly thinks things through.  Taking you back about eight years when Kyle was in his twos, he was even a thinker then.  Loving my naps, one day I chose to engage in one of my favorite pastimes on the couch.  I guess while I was sucking up the ‘ZZZs’ Kyle turned to my mom and said, “Gigi I want long legs like Aiya.”  Mom said that I looked elongated laying flat on my back, not to mention I must of looked like a giant compared to Kyle’s miniature structure all stretched out over the surface of the couch.  Ever since then, his logic was to compare my legs to height.  He still does this today, standing beside me measuring his legs against mine.  His goal is to reach my height, my all of five foot six inches.  I’ve told him that he better hope for a few more inches.  After all he just may get it, my brother was about six foot.

Even though Kyle is such a little boy, and an immature one at best, he occasionally shows the adult peeking out in him.  Although, I hope he always keeps that inner child!  Of course if he’s really anything like me, he will!

posted by auntheather in Books, Movies, Shows,Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,Milestone,Observation & Imagination,Reminiscing and have No Comments

Reading Brings Generations Together

Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of the generations and nations.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Nicole-Aunt-Heather-Piper-Easter-c1979

Me & Nicole ready for Easter mass, holding our new books c.1979

As Kyle continues on his journey through Harry Potter (Order of the Phoenix), he seems to also be interested in what I’m reading.  It’s no secret that my sister and I have read The Hunger Games, a couple of times, and we did anticipate the movie launch with much excitement.  Kyle was certainly interested in the books and asked me about them on a number of occasions.  Nicole and I have discussed letting him read the books.  I told him when he finishes his Harry Potter books, he can certainly start The Hunger Games.  Once, when we were talking about the movie coming out, Kyle said to me, “You know I’ll wait to see the movie first to see if I want to read those books.”  Yikes!  No that’s not the way it’s suppose to be.  I told him, “Kyle the books are ALWAYS better than the movies.  You miss so much if you just see the movie.  You get to use your imagination and escape when you are reading. I promise you, you will love these books, they are easy to read and will keep your attention.  Plus the fun part about getting so involved in a book is the excitement you share with other fans when movies are released based on books.”  First let’s step back to analyze this.  Nicole and I weren’t sure if Kyle was old enough to read the books, and just because of his reaction, my logic was turned completely around to the point where I was now pushing the books on him.  Ummm, he is a smart little man!

Regardless, it’s neat to see Kyle’s interest in what Nicole and I are interested in.  It’s no secret Kyle hears us talking about a new book coming out, a book being turned into a movie, or simply the stories themselves.  Nicole and I both still purchase the old fashioned words printed on paper.  Neither one of us are really interested in reading electronic books, at least not just yet. We still enjoy swapping books back and forth, which I think gets Kyle intrigued and influences him by our actions.

Aunt-Heather-Piper-Easter-1979

Me on Easter morning, probably really early in the morning c.1979

Sometimes when Kyle is working on his homework, I’ll sneak in a few pages of whatever book I’m on, while waiting for him to finish up, to check his work.  A little while ago, I was reading The Millennium Series, better known as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy.  Kyle came over to me and asked, “What are you reading?”  He inspected the cover of the book, which is the original, plain with a canvas type of cover, not the movie cover.  He flipped it over and there was a very yellow inside page with a map of Sweden on the inside.  He instantly said, “Wow, look at that! What’s the book about?” I tried to generally explain it’s a mystery thriller and one of the main characters is a hacker who is a genius and the other main character is an investigative journalist.  He was really intrigued by the plain book.  He gave me a look of ‘Do you think I would like it?’, until I read his thought and instantly jumped ahead of the question by saying, “This is an adult book.  It’s really very good, but a little too violent for you.”  That satisfied him and he omitted the thought from his mind.  At least for now.

You know, two weeks ago Kyle pulled out his Harry Potter book and was sitting there reading in the living-room.  The TV was blaring but it didn’t seem to bother Kyle, he was pretty engrossed in the words on the page.  Just then dad turned to Kyle and said, “Whatcha reading buddy?”  Kyle responded with a very brief, “Harry Potter.”  It seemed as though now at that moment, dad wanted to have a conversation with Kyle, which I knew was not going to happen.  He was too involved in the story, but that didn’t stop dad.  Sometimes my dad is so thick, he never pays attention, yet sometimes he is so intuitive that it’s almost shocking.  Anyway, this is one of those times when dad was just being thick and didn’t notice Kyle didn’t want to be disturbed.  Dad proceeded to ask, “Is it good?  Do you like those books?”  Kyle not even looking up from his book gave him a very short, “Ya”.

Ryan-Easter-1979-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Ryan Easter morning. He always had a sweet tooth! c.1979

Guessing those short comments didn’t satisfy dad, because he decided to talk about his old reading habits.  I knew my dad was a reader, but I had forgotten.  Ever since dad’s eyes needed the assistance of reading classes, he really doesn’t read much.  Regardless, dad went on to say, “Yep Kyle you don’t know it, but your old pappy used to read all the time.  There wasn’t a book in the library that didn’t have my name on it.”  Just then I saw Kyle break away from the imaginative world he was visiting, to listen.  Dad went on, “Yes and even Gigi was a reader.  We both liked to read.  I’m glad to see you like reading too.”  Kyle nodded and was now giving dad his attention, but with a ‘Really?’ look.

My parents love of reading seems like a thing of a faint memory, but I absolutely remember it.  My mom would read poems and short stories to us.  For some reason the only author that comes to mind was Edgar Allan Poe, specifically the poem Bells!  She would read it with such great rhythm and timing, you couldn’t help but get excited and get wrapped up in the ringing of the bells.  Another book that sticks out was North and South, and I remember her talking about some book on drug wars and discussing it with her friends.  That’s funny, but looking back on it now, I see things from Kyle’s perspective.  You know, growing up around such an interest in books does stays with you.  Believe it or not, I remember thinking, I would like to read that book on drug wars.  It seemed so interesting, that was before I knew about drugs or even where Columbia was located, but I knew I wanted to read what mom was talking about.  Now dad’s reading choice consisted of mainly history books, specifically wars.  I was never a big war buff, but I always liked hearing about history, still do.  I guess I was pretty lucky to have parents who indirectly influenced us.  I mean it was a given that every Easter we would have new books in our Easter baskets.  A tradition I have adopted for Kyle.

Kyle mentioned that some of his friends had already read through all the Harry Potter books.  I know he can’t wait till I read them.  Finishing the first one with Kyle when he went through his I HATE READING! phase and the follow up, Harry Potter Made Me Do It!  He told me that his friends are always asking him what part of the book he’s on.  I’m sure they discuss the books, just like I do with my friends.

It’s amusing, but it’s true, books create a different type of interest and communication that literally spans generations.  Well, sometimes Reading Brings Generations Together…Or Not?.  Whether its fiction or some other type of genre, there is always a reason to discuss or give an opinion, and there is always so much to learn.

posted by auntheather in Books, Movies, Shows,Education & Learning,Family,Observation & Imagination,Reminiscing and have No Comments

Reading Brings Generations Together… Or Not?

Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor! Effie Trinket, p. 19

While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.  ~Unknown

There is nothing like getting excited about a good book and looking forward to retiring for the evening and curling up on the couch or in bed with the story that has consumed your thoughts.  What makes it better is when you can share that excitement with others of equal interest.  My sister and I tend to steer toward the same genres and book themes, for the most part.  Nicole doesn’t like my political or art history books, and she used to like her suspense, horror, which I never really cared about.  But we both love fiction.  Regardless, when we get into books, we REALLY get into them!  Nicole lent me a helping hand to join the Twilight bandwagon.  Sad to admit it, but I read each book three times.  Then to give my contribution, I brought Nicole into the Mortal Instrument world and the most recent craze, The Hunger Games.

Now bringing me to my point.  I’ve always said, reading closes the gap between generations and opens up communication.  Very true!  But what if confusion is caused because of a lack of information or interest?  Well then, it can be hilarious and make for a great story, or at the very least a ‘Comment’ on Facebook!  Well before today, the release of The Hunger Games movie, I will admit I did partake in the hype and countdown as with many other fans.  Nicole and I talked about it endlessly and Nicole even purchased her gear for the premiere last night.  Yes we both read the books twice already and I’m sure Ill read them again before the next movie, Catching Fire comes out in 2013.

The Hunger Games Facebook- Aunt Heather Piper

Ok I’m making this very funny short story, long.  I wish I would have recorded the date, but alas I didn’t think of it.  I could go back in Nicole’s Facebook timeline, but that would require a lot of unnecessary work, since it won’t effect the the story.

As I was reviewing my Facebook wall, naturally my sister’s posts are at the top of my feeds.   I almost died when I read this…. LOL.  Mom cracks me up!  She couldn’t understand what my sister was volunteering for?  What really brought tears to my eyes and made me fall out of my seat, is the lack of inquiring of what exactly is District 12?  In fact, at the time this unfolded, I was at work.  Without hesitation, I quickly called out the post to Kelly to read.  We were both completely laughing out of control.  Just then I was a bit quicker on the response to my mom, which I guess Kelly wanted to post that quote.  Thinking about it, she may have added another quote, but I must have been to quick with the screen shot to capture it.

When I finally got to talk to mom about this, she mentioned my sister had already called her to explain.  Yep, leave it to Nicole to make sure there is understanding and peace in the world, while I would rather just sit back and laugh.  Mom said she thought Nicole was volunteering for something but she couldn’t quite understand what?  I asked her, “What did you think District 12 was?” and she responded, “I thought it was a section of Washington, D.C.”  I said, “Mom what do you think Nicole and I have been talking about for months?”  Mom replied, “O I don’t get into all those vampires.”  Umm, strike out again mom!  I said, “The Hunger Games isn’t about vampires, it’s about kids killing kids.”  She gave me a confused look.  No wonder, putting it that way, she probably wonders what demented tastes we have in books.

Well, mom’s all straightened out, not that she was really concerned.  So please take a minute and enjoy the communication gap between generations and between interests in book genres.  I truly found humor in the entire conversation and post conversations.

posted by auntheather in Books, Movies, Shows,Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,Observation & Imagination and have No Comments
%d bloggers like this: