I have both girls home sick with me (strep and ear infection), which has completely thrown me off.  M is pathetic and deeply angry.  She didn’t want to go to the doctor, said she was fine, stamped out to the car, and then when I was (in my opinion) vindicated by a treatable diagnosis, she just became more enraged, as if my taking her to the doctor is what actually caused her illness.  Meanwhile J is like, Sure!  I get to drink gallons of juice from a sippy cup on the living room sofa while watching instant Scooby Netflix?  This is the best day ever!

You would think that with all this tv watching I’d be super-productive, but instead I am sulking.  J was home yesterday, they’ll both be home tomorrow, and I’m completely thrown off my game.  I haven’t been completely useless (washed the kitchen floor, did a load of laundry. . .), but I thought about working out, and instead I poured myself a little bowl of chocolate chips and uploaded a gajillion old photos onto Facebook with my new scanning toy.  This is especially pathetic because I generally do this thing where I don’t “get” to take a shower until after I’ve exercised in some way.  But because I’ve been a slacker for a day or two, I was becoming something of a public health and hygiene hazard.  So when I realized that we’d have to go to the doctor, I was forced to take a shower even though I’d done absolutely nothing to “deserve” it (umm, is this sounding freakish?  Would you believe that in college I was such a geek that I would drink pints of coffee and then only allow myself to go to the bathroom after I’d written a certain number of paragraphs for a paper?).  Anyway, now, frankly, there is no motivation.  Luckily I got sucked into trying out a Zumba class tomorrow, so I’ll absolutely have to break the Cycle of Lethargy by then.

Okay, but enough whining!  Back to my regularly-scheduled post!

Generally, if I hear someone mention 4H, it conjures up images of kids raising livestock at the Iowa State Fair or, more locally, the Altamont Fair.  But, you know, you don’t actually have to have a barn to be involved in all sorts of cool activities.  So here are a few things 4H folks can do around here:

  • From June 3rd to July 10th, there’s a 5-week gardening program called Little Diggers (it’s on page 9 if you follow this link) for preschoolers and their caregivers at Central Park.  It’s from 10-11:15 am and it costs $50.  There’s a limit of only ten kids, so if you’re interested, contact them right away.
  • 4H runs Environmental Education Workshops for 4th & 5th graders.  At these field trips, students learn about a variety of topics, such as native plants.  It’s $1/child.  4H also visits schools and afterschool programs, including many Y programs.
  • Each year, students can participate in a Vegetable Marketing program.  In March, the Golub Corporation donates seeds to participants so that they can grow vegetables in their own gardens.  Once they’ve harvested, gardeners can take their produce and sell it to their local Price Chopper, getting the same rates that the big vegetable distributors do.   So your kids can support efforts to buy local and have a summer job.   All of the seeds for this year are likely to be gone, although you can call your local county 4H to check.
  • Various groups work on a variety of projects  all year, from Cloverbuds, who are kids in kindergarten to 2nd grade just beginning to learn about nature, up to teenagers, who visit Cornell to do career path workshops and visit the State Capitol to meet with legislators.
  • Family 4H is available anywhere.  Even if you don’t have a group that’s convenient for you time- or place-wise, a parent can train in an orientation to be a leader, and you’ll have access to a wide-ranging supply of information and materials appropriate for kindergarten through high school.

Phew!  I had no idea.  Seriously, I am thinking that it would be cool to at least do the Family 4H thing.  I would be all over the Vegetable Marketing thing if I weren’t so demoralized from last year’s tomato blight.  I mean it–that was heartbreaking, wasn’t it?

Okay, I have to tell you that the websites are not always super-clear and helpful, but these will at least give you a jumping-off point if you want to look  into any of these programs a bit more.  I’ll be putting them on the Big Ol’ List as well.

Anybody reading been involved in 4H around here?  And if you’re wondering what the 4 Hs stand for, you can click on the first link of this post.  Because I was wondering, too.

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