Friday, December 12, 2008

Dia duit!

My current time waster is Irish Gaelic. Every once in awhile I get a bug in me to study an interesting foreign language. Can't help it. And, thanks to the World Wide Web, I have much more opportunity to butcher a language for my own fun until it bores me and I move on to something else. Occasionally, when I have the opportunity, I actually take classes in a language. I love that bit. My language passion plus the chance to earn an A, I am in language nerd heaven. Spanish, French, Russian, Greek, and Latin have all filled hours of class time in my life (and gotten me those A's I mentioned) You cannot imagine how easy Latin was after years of studying Spanish, French, and Greek. Every class was like having an epiphany. "Oh! Well that makes PERFECT sense!" while the rest of the class is scratching their heads. Fun times!

Of course I have forgotten much of what I learned. My Spanish has held on longest and best. Latin and Greek are more recent, so some of it has stuck, but not much. Of Russian I can say "I Love You" (though that is due more to Sandi Patti than my class) and "I do not speak Russian." A useful phrase to know, in case there might be confusion. LOL (Here, for you phonetic enjoyment -- Ya nye gavaryu pa roos key.) Hey, that reminds me. I can also say "I do not speak Spanish" and "I do not speak English, in Russian. In the phonetics above, substitute "pa ispanski" for Spanish and "pa an glee ski" for English. And you thought you weren't going to learn anything today!

Languages that have not had the benefit of costing me money and providing live instructors include German (I remember Bitte and Danke, and I can count to 4.) and Gujarathi (that is an Indian language) I can say "Where is the bank?" (benk key a che?) It seems like saying "kia che" after anything equals "where is ..." in gujarathi (btw, I know I am spelling that wrong.) So, having learned that "stree sva challeh" means Ladies' Room I can say a very important phrase. Good to know.

Also add Modern Greek to that list. I became enamored with Xristos Paxis music and wanted to see the difference between Modern Greek and the Ancient Greek I a=had studied in class. There are differences. The language is interesting, but my professor had drilled us so well in reading and pronouncing the Ancient Greek that modern pronunciation was difficult.

Now I am adding Irish Gaelic to my list of hobby languages, with Celtic Woman in the "to blame" spot now. I am having fun but feeling unfulfilled. All I can find is "phrase book" online "lessons," a list of things to say what you might need and how to pronounce them. It doesn't give word for word translations or explain grammar. Plus, the only site I found with audio files would not play. I'll work with what I have for now, but I think I need a book. Maybe I should put "Irish Gaelic for Dummies" on my Santa list.

Oh well,
Slan go foill! (Good-bye for now!)

Silly me! I forgot to give the links, in the off chance you are interested. This is the "phrase book." This one is a pronunciation guide, mainly for dj's playing celtic music. But, it is helpful for a beginner.

Oh, and "Dia duit" is "Good day."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

WALL-E, preachy or just with a moral?

I recently saw WALL-E on DVD, after having passed on seeing it in the theater. I loved it. I have heard some right-leaning political types saying that it is over-the-top with preachy lefty enviro-whacky lessons, but I didn't see it. The environmental message is there, but it doesn't hit you over the head. There is no "Oh those HORRIBLE trashy people who destroyed the world!!!" or "Watch out or it will happen to YOU!!!" and certainly no "Mother Gaia is CRYING!!!"

I have even seen some left-leaning critics decrying the film for falling short of the environmental lesson it could have seen through with more diligence. Can't ask for a better recommendation that that.

The lessons about sloth and personal fitness are there and are more prominent than the ones about the environment. But, never are the people portrayed as being bad because they are fat. The message is overwhelmingly that people long ago stopped trying and became fatter and fatter. They let robots do all the work for them and paid the price slowly, without even realizing.
The people in the movie's present are very fat. They have never walked a single step. The captain standing and walking to fight Auto is accompanied by heroic fanfare as a monumental achievement. These fat people are heroes who rally to save themselves and each other when the time comes. If anything it is a POSITIVE portrayal of fat people, they can be smart, brave, and fierce. When presented with the chance to change their lives they took it. They fought for the opportunity to live on a re-emerging Earth as farmers. No one was shown wanting to stay on the spaceship and keep going on as they had been.

I loved the movie. My kids loved it. I can (and have already, even after just a few days) use the lessons of the movie to get them away from their video games and computers and off to play with their real arms and legs.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Unplugged This Week

For the next 5 days we are not going to be allowed to use the computers or TV between the hours of 8am and 5pm.

I think the kids and I spend way too much time in front of various screens. This may not break the habit, but it may help.

If it goes well I may set aside one week of every month for Unplugged Week. Or possibly even take on this policy permanently. The necessary computer stuff I need to do can just as easily be done after 5.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Tragedy has Befallen Us least that is what DH says he once read a caption on a Garfield cartoon say when the exact same thing happen as happened here tonight.

This is after the big pieces were picked up and before any mopping. Blasted thing landed upside-down, of course.

I tried my hand at pre-cooking this evening. See, it isn't much harder to make two lasagnas than it is to make one. So, I bought some disposable foil lasagna pans. Tonight I prepared twice as much as needed, put half into my glass pan and half into the foil pan to put that into the freezer. It turns out those foil pans are none too sturdy. I was almost to the freezer when it did a little twist-shimmy and the lasagna hit the linoleum.


I am just glad dinner was not ruined. We have had shimmying foil lasagna pans ruin dinner before, back before I cooked for real. But that wasn't ME who dropped it.

Of course tonight's fiasco happened BEFORE I had prepared the "tonight" lasagna in the glass pan. It was still unassembled sitting on the stove. And the clean-up really could not wait. I mean...ewww! So, even though dinner was not ruined, it is going to be very late. (given that I was already treading a thin not-quite-too-late borderline as it was.)

DD10 (who is of course NOT the DD10 that I have been mentioning for a year or so, THAT is DD11. DD10 used to be referred to as DD9. I'll let you figure out the logistics.) was an absolute GEM. Not only was she very happily helping me cook and being the cheese filling squisher, she also went to fetch the mop from downstairs, AND helped with the worst of the clean-up. There is only so much a mop can do with dropped lasagna; at some point you have to use your fingers. She didn't even complain. GEM, I tell you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Argiope aurantia

We have a lot of spiders here. This is an old house, on the edge of town, with owners who don't go "above and beyond" in their yard maintenance. Generally we avoid getting bitten by being careful with our behavior when we encounter them. Pretty much, if it comes in the house it is fair game, but is very likely to be safe if it stays outside, even in the windows.

Occasionally it makes for a nice home school lesson.

I present for your enjoyment a picture of a lovely specimen of Argiope aurantia.

This is a female. Males are not so large nor so colorful. These are also referred to as the Common Garden Spider and the St. Andrews Cross Spider (because the way they tend to sit makes an X with their legs.) They are found all over North America and even as far south as Central America. They are not agressive and their bite is not dangerous.

Notice the thicker strips in her web? Those are called stabilimenta. Webs with stabilimenta tend to catch fewer insects, but get destroyed less by birds bungling into them. There was a web on the front porch before I dug out the ivy that had a very pronounced zig-zag stabilimenta through the middle. I doubt this is the same spider, though. 180 degrees around the house is a whole other world when you are a 2 inch arachnid.

My lovely doesn't have to worry much about birds flying into her web, being within an inch of our picture window. I imagine the lights at night draw insects to her. We have had tree frogs on our front porch taking advantage of similar conditions there.

To show the impressive size of my new pet (LOL) I took a pic with my fingers near her. Of course, there is glass between us. Harmless or not, I am not getting my digits this close without the glass.

I also took a pic trying to make her look like a 5 foot spider in a tree. It wasn't easy to get the focus to work, so it doesn't quite look right. It was fun anyway.

Friday, November 7, 2008


There is a bathroom in my house that I never use.
#1, I rarely go downstairs.
#2, It has been broken for a while. The toilet is wonky and we haven't been able to spare the couple of hundred $ to hire the plumber. No biggie, we have two other bathrooms.

Never using this restroom has proven to be a HUGE problem this afternoon.

I have been downstairs for the last few days trying to catch up on the mountain of laundry that leaving that chore to the minions doesn't seem to get done. This evening, as I was moving the queue of baskets closer to the laundry room, I happened to catch a glimpse of something odd out of the corner of my eye.

The ceiling in the unused bathroom is turning black.

The aforementioned area of ceiling is directly under the shower in our master bath upstairs. You can imagine my reaction.

What the ...?! Son of a...!! (that is "heck" and "gun" for those of you who don't know me in person.)

Needless to say, I was feeling a bit gloomy as this evidence of my "new" house's true age reared its ugly head. Leaky pipes somewhere under the shower. We are probably going to have to tear out the whole floor/ceiling to get this fixed. (And by "we" I mean the contractor my husband and I hire.)

I have started to cheer up a bit since the realization first hit.

#1, before the end of the year we should have enough money (end of year bonus) to cover the repairs. (and tax refund will definitely cover it if the bonus doesn't)

#2, I HATE our master bath. It is TINY. I never shower in there. (I am not TINY.) The shower is smaller than an old fashioned phone booth. The entire bathroom is smaller than...hmm...I can't think of anything comparable...a department store dressing room, maybe?

Why does that cheer me up? you ask. Well, that side of our bedroom has two doors, the bathroom and a walk-in closet. The closet is just as deep as the bathroom, just separated by a wall...and if we are going to have to rip the floor / bathroom to the guts...Do you see where I am going with this? I don't really NEED a walk-in closet.

That moldy/algae-ish whatever it is that has been growing under our secret leak could be just the push we need to do some nice minor remodeling.

PS- My daughter, who is in charge is cleaning the cat litter box in the downstairs bathroom, said she noticed the spreading blackness, but didn't know what it was so didn't think it was necessary to notify an adult. grrrrrr, we are definitely going to have a talk...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Shades of Gray

No, I am not referring to moral ambiguity.

I woke up this morning to find my child was gray. Last night was Halloween. Her costume involved some spray-on black hair spray. When we returned home from trick or treating and the party at church I told her to take a bath. Then, instead of helping her or overseeing her progress, I went to bed. (I was tired.) BIG mistake.

She washed her hair and went to bed, not realizing that the spray that had washed out of her hair (mostly) had become one with the bath water and had coated her entire body.

Her normally pale complexion had grabbed onto that color like nothing I have ever seen. She looked like a corpse. Next Halloween if any of the girls wants to be a zombie or vampire, I have a better way than grease paint to really sell the look.

I wish now we had taken a picture, but I was more concerned with getting her somewhat cleaned up.

Here is a pic of the costume that caused all the fuss.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Procrastination at all time high

Well, maybe that should be "all time low" since I have finally been getting to work.

When we moved in in April I decided to have the garage be our classroom. It is just the right size, has 3 desks built onto one wall, came with a big book shelf, was carpetted and had heating/AC. We moved the school stuff in, one of our tables, the biggest fish tank...and a lot of junk that had no where else to go. That was problem number 1. There was so much junk, put wherever, that I said could be put away later, that having anything like a lesson was impossible. School since then has been done at the dining table after a nice round of "go get this book" or "go to the garage and see if you can find a pencil." Some days there was no school at all, just because.

Yesterday I decided I had had enough. We needed to move all of the junk that did manage to make it into the house and had cluttered up my craft room and move it to the garage and move the school stuff to the craft room. That way it would be near where we spent our days anyway. DH suggested I just move the laptop to the garage and spend my computer time on it there instead of at my desk upstairs. Brilliant.

That saved us a heck of a lot of work. Although, the garage was in such a disarray that it has taken most of the afternoon to make it usable. Still, easier than moving all that stuff here and there.

My main trouble is that the laptop is Vista and it is taking some getting used to. I am sure I will manage.

Today's Picture from My Life- the park near my in-laws' house. In the morning, I believe.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Adventures in Budget Crunching

The world economy plunging into the toilet (due in part by stupidity and in part because everyone expected it to, so it obliged) has NOT affected my family much. Prices on some things at the grocery are higher, but many are lower as well. (Milk was under $3 today. That was a shocker. I can't remember that last time it was that low.) Gas prices are higher, but we don't go out much, so it hasn't been too burdensome.

However, DH's company has been told that some of their clients are canceling or post-poning projects. So, the company has decided to stock pile some of last quarter's profits, which are usually distributed among the employees, in case of a crunch over the next few months. A wise decision, I think, all things considered.

So, given this reminder that the economy could intrude on my paradise even if we are out of debt and in a good mortgage, we have decided to really clamp down on our spending. Not hard. We have trained ourselves to live on his regular paychecks and treat the quarterly bonuses as "found money," some for play, most for paying off debt, paying down the mortgage principle, etc.

The main effect right now is that we have decided to keep our holiday spending to a minimum. Some presents have already been bought in my efforts to get done BEFORE the last minute this year. Those will stay. Other than that we are making lists of things that can be made for our loved ones and each other. It has been an interesting night of brainstorming plans. We told the girls our plan ahead of time, so we don't come off looking like a couple of Grinches. They are on board and actually looking forward to making things for us, each other, and their extended family. This might be a lot of fun after all.

My main problem has been pride. I ma not letting it get in the way of the budget, but it is making me picky about what I will do. If I can make something that does NOT leave the recipient feeling jipped then everyone will be happy. If they only smile because they love me I will be disappointed. On the bright side, there is nothing wrong with doing my best and taking pride in a job well done, I suppose. Harmful pride would be the kind that spends $500 at the mall so that everyone will adore what I bought. Quality workmanship is a better kind of pride.

This Christmas is becoming more interesting by the moment. I think this might really be fun.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

To my north-of-the-border readership.

Care to elaborate on how Thanksgiving in Canada is different from that in the United States, tradition-wise?

You know, I just realized that if I don't count myself I think I have more Canadian readers than American. All two of you.

Since my daughter likes to pop in and read, we tie if I count myself.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A little Reality would be nice - And a Vote

(Note to Zirbert- If I can wade through the most (and second most) confusing discography posts on your blog, you can make it through this one. I know you can. I have faith in you. ;) Now, on to the blog...)

I don't like to focus too heavily on things like skin color when making judgments on things such a A is better than B, etc. However, I do like a bit of realism in some ways. (I am building up to a complaint, don't worry. AND, believe it or not it has nothing to do with the Presidential race nor Congressional make-up, nor sports, nor the Miss America Pageant.)

Take these two pictures of the most recent additions to my Barbie Princess/Doll of the World collection.
One is from Denmark; the other is from South Africa. Can you tell the difference?

Anyway, those are not the dolls I am miffed about. They are both incredibly beautiful and I can't stop looking at them. (Normal reaction to new collection acquisition.)

My problem is with some other international-type Barbies.
What really set me off was actually a couple of dolls I do not even own.

The first two pics are of the same doll, Indian Bride by Mattel. The last is a more "everyday" India Barbie. Both of these were being offered on eBay by a seller in Chennai. I am not dissing the seller AT ALL. It is Mattel that has me miffed. Am I the only one who sees something wrong with these dolls?

I do have an India doll in my collection.

Anyone notice anything different about this one and the ones above?

OK, the lighter dolls may still be considered in the "realm of possibility." (But then again, Charlize Theron is from South Africa, and she bears a lot more resemblance to the Danish princess than the South African.

The college I went to in Alabama is a technology magnet for many international students in the fields of engineering, computer engineering, and space technology.

I have met a few people from India. (That really sounds stupid, doesn't it? Like that makes me an expert.) Most of the ones who were my actual friends (as opposed to acquaintances or people I passed in the hall) were AT LEAST as dark as the doll I already have in my collection. Generally, they had about the complexions you might see in, say, a latina. (A few even were mistaken for such in local Mexican restaurants.) If Mattel can manage to make their hispanic dolls tanner, why not the Indian?

Knowing that those others are supposed to represent Indians but are so pale makes them look ill to me. Like there should be an accompanying quote on the box...

"Even though she was dying of consumption, Shanti danced with her beloved on their wedding day and had one perfect piece of life before she keeled over dead." How romantic!

Actually, I do have some idea why the "for the Indian marketplace" Barbies are paler. Fairer skin is considered more beautiful, to the Indian eye; or so I have been told by people from India. (Again, I realize, that does not make me an expert.) That thought does not fill me with glee. It seems kind of racist/looks-ist, whatever. Like how all the Barbies when I was a kid were blonde. I hated that. Makes me wonder how little girls in India feel about these pale dolls.

I was tempted to bid on the bride anyway. That dress is INCREDIBLE! I think I will, instead, dust off the doll customizing tools and make my own Indian Bride.

I need to choose the right doll. Here, help me out. We'll have another vote.

I have one African American doll with light enough skin that she might work.
I have the feeling she is too African American, even with her light skin and string-straight hair to pass for Indian. Thoughts?

I have one hispanic doll in need of eye paint.
Her features don't scream out INDIA to me, but she might work.

Also in this pic I have one previously blonde California beach doll who needs paint and hair.
This one is one of my favorites (should I say that before the voting?) BUT she needs the most work, so...I don't know.

I have one Pocahontas who needs new hair (due to bad tangles) and the removal of tribal arm marking and price tag.
She seems a little on the somber side for a bride. And, all accidental-first-contact-misnomers aside, she doesn't look Indian.

And, last but not least..but forgotten from the group shot, this lovely with a more Asian look. The thing I don't like about her is the hair. I might be able to remove the red highlight and re-root black there. That would work. She would also need a paint touch-up. Pale pink lips will not do.

Which do you think I ought to use for my Indian Bride? Or if none of them are good, let me know that too.

Now, to show whole collection. From left to right: England, Navajo, India, Denmark, Ireland, Spain, Greece, France, Japan, South Africa, Holland, Italy, China, Korea.

(Note- India is just a Doll of the World, not a Princess like most of the others. Spain is rather new. She is a flamenco dancer, but I cannot remember the exact name on the box. Also, not a princess. The Italian princess was actually called "Princess of the Renaissance" but, well...I have used the collection in teaching history and geography and "Renaissance" is little vague.
The Chinese doll is one of the "Festivals of the World" series. I added her to the collection because she was too beautiful not to. I have no plans to add other Festival dolls. They aren't to my taste for this collection.)

I am going to miss them when the holidays get here. BUT the thrill of anticipation at getting to decorate this mantle is certainly enough to get me through the next few months.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rethinking Policies

All I can imagine is that somewhere in NBC the concept of a totally LIVE show must have suddenly struck someone as a very bad idea, even one that has been around for 40-some-odd years. And then the blasted skit went online. At least that they could send the cyber-storm-troopers after.

Michelle Malkin has posted the transcript to the Saturday Night Live skit that has been posted and then disappeared from internet video sites. It concerns the government's bailout of the bad mortgage industry.

I don't watch network television. SNL especially hasn't been anything I was interested in. This one I wish I had caught.

Side Note- I once loaned a family member $2000. I was paid back $1000, but after that this person seems to have forgotten there was anything else. Is there a form I can fill out to have my $1000 added to the $700 billion? That would really help me out.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sweater Weather

Well, I don't know if it is just the time of year alone or if Hurricane Ike helped out, but the weather has been significantly cooler this week than last and last week was MUCH cooler than the week before that.

Of course Autumn plays a big part, but this is an early cooling for us. Around here things usually stay in the high 80s or even 90s well into October.

I hope this means we can expect a hard winter. I know that may sound odd, but severe cold (for this area means in the 10-20 ABOVE zero F range) in the winter cuts down on the insect populations the next summer. As a general rule I am not a fan of winter weather, so for me to say I want it really means something.

I am enjoying the cooler temps. I hope they last a while before things get really cold.

It feels like Spring was just a few weeks ago. I need to figure out what I am doing that makes my life fly by so quickly so I can slow things down a bit.

Monday, September 29, 2008

DD11 (!!!!) Birthday

Today is the second stop on the Birthday Train for our family. Starting in August each year we have 1 birthday every month until the end of the year. And that is just in our immediate family! If you count my DMiL, whose birthday is Jan 1 and at whose house we try to always be at for the celebration, it continues well past Christmas.

Anyhoo...My oldest daughter turns 11 years old at 6:32 pm this evening. You know kids though...she insists on celebrating ALL DAY LONG!!! (the nerve!)

There are gobs of presents, a friend sleeping over (no slumber party like last year, thank heaven!) and a $25 check from her grandparents with which she intends to open her own savings account. We are on our way to do that in a few minutes. What she doesn't know is that I am thinking about matching funds to get her off to a rolling start.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Yard Work

Mom is here to visit. We were outside going through some boxes of stuff that is mine that was stored at her house. Once that was done we stayed outside talking. (At 3pm...couldn't have done that a month ago) It was great. After a while I noticed that the branches of one of our bushes were drooping way down over the side walk in the front, so low even the girls had to watch for them. I had DD8 get the pruners and cleared up that problem.

That led to trimming the larger bush by the door. (the one I plan to axe soon. It is not to my taste, even when in bloom.)

And since I was right there by the front door I decided to trim the ivy in the brick planter box. It was taking over the porch. A whole foot of porch space was covered. After I got that cleared, I decided to trim the ivy a bit here and there to clean up the look. By the time I was done I had changed my mind and decided to rip out the lot.

Note- If you are ever given the choice between cutting/cleaning up English ivy or kudzu, choose the kudzu. It is softer and much easier to deal with, even with it's longer length. Ivy catches whatever it is growing on and does NOT let go.

I haven't decided what exactly I am going to do with the planter, maybe roses, maybe cover it and put a seat, maybe seal it and put a small koi fountain. We'll see.

Next job on the list, cutting out the wood stems that still remain and cleaning up the pile o' vines in the front lot. We were out of lawn and garden bags after the first was filled.

I think this will be a nice change of look for the front stoop, whatever I decide.

Here are some "BEFORE" pictures. I wish I had taken some today, but it was too late before I thought of it. These are this past April a few weeks before we moved in.

The ivy had grown a foot inward to cover the porch, as I said. It had grown more than that in the other direction, along the wall under the overhang. You can barely make out the tops of the bricks in the pic. There was about 8 inches more of ivy this afternoon.

Now all of this is out. The clean-up job remains of getting woody stems out and trying to clean up the walls. You can see in the pic where the previous owner had trimmed the vines back and they had left grabbers behind, even pealing paint in some spots.

I'll go take a pic to post, and keep you updated as needed on the changes.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Media Mayhem

If you follow American politics you are probably aware that the first Presidential Debate is going to be held this Friday.

You may not know that it is being held in the city where I live, at the university I attended until last year. Cool for the town, but a pain in the you-know-where for a few days.

At this time of the year we normally have horrendous traffic every few Saturdays, when there is a home game for the football team. This is looking to eclipse even some of the biggest of those.

My brother, who still attends said institution of higher learning, says there have been road closings on campus, parking rearrangements, security precautions, reporters interviewing students or asking to film during classes. He is a journalism student. He said they were warned about walking around in the journalism building. They could come around a corner and find someone filming live. I guess they wanted everyone to be on their best behavior and not make the networks worry about bleeping out a few colorful Southern college colloquialisms.

He said there were rumors that Jay lenos people were in town and McCain's bus had been seen. Interesting. Maybe true, maybe not. I am trying to avoid going in to town.

Dang! I just realized that if Mom is coming to visit tomorrow and stay a few days I need to do some grocery shopping. Yikes! I'll ask DH if he wants to come along.

In honor of Zirbert (whose blog is listed on the left) who got to shoot of shot guns recently (lucky Canuck, no, wait...does that count as a slur? Not meant as such) here is a picture of the Civil War reenactor who gave a presentation to the kids at our home school group's history festival. They loved it. Here he is showing a revolver.

He fired his rifle (with no ball.) That was awesome! And loud. How's the hearing, Zirbert?

Your random sig from someone on a forum I visit is:
"There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't."

Note- If canuck is considered a slur than I completely withdraw it. My two favoritest internet people are north of that border. I have never been able to keep up with political correctness.

Cleaning House

Well, of all the fun ways to spend an afternoon this isn't one of my favorites. But, we have made progress. I can see the surface of the buffet AND the kitchen counter. Heck the state of the kitchen is nothing short of a miracle. Either that or two hours of dedication from a true slob on a mission.

I won't say I am the world's WORST housekeeper, but I am on the slobby side of normal. Let's just leave it at that. Kitchen, dining room, living room, family room, and child bedrooms all tackled today. Sewing/junk room saved for tomorrow. of course, I may not feel as motivated tomorrow. My bedroom may just be a lost cause. I might pick at a few things and clean slowly. It's better than nothing.

Weird thing. Mom called to say she was coming to visit tomorrow and stay a few days. AND THIS WAS AFTER WE HAD SPENT A FEW HOURS CLEANING, rather than before and therefore being the motivation behind the whole thing. Weird. Not that I am worried about Mom seeing our mess. Her house is MUCH worse.

My mother-in-law, now that is a WHOLE other story. I may have had a heart ttack by now if I were preparing for a visit from them. They are not mean or grouchy or even judgemental. But they are neat. Which causes me to get all judgemental on myself.

But I digress. The house is looking good. DH even went outside with a broom and tackled the spider webs and whatnot there. Cool.

You picture for this entry is of DD10 during her history presentation on The Great Depression, for which she coded a website.

Your random quote from a sig of someone on one of the forums I sometimes visit is:
"When Life gives you d4s, cast Magic Missile."

(Note- If you don't get it at first glance, don't bother trying. Thinking about it won't help.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Great Time

DD10 and I had a great time yesterday. Although, I have a hard time imagining not. The parameters are pretty well set up to make sure it happens, barring something completely unforeseen.

We had our breakfast at IHOP. It was good. We did a monumental amount of shopping. Too much, really, but it's ok.

We saw the new Star Wars movie. It was better than I was afraid it would be.

All in all we had a very good time.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mommy/Daughter Day

Today will be mine and DD10 (nearly 11)'s 7th Mommy/Daughter Day. I started the tradition when she was 3, getting ready to turn 4. Two weeks before the girl's birthday, or thereabouts, the two of us go out for a fun-filled day of whatever the two agree would be a great day of things to do.

The first year I told the wee one that she could pick wherever she wanted to eat. I fully expected McDonalds (a favorite at the time) or maybe Taco Bell. I was flatly shocked when she said IHOP. How did she even know there was such a place? It was not on the list of restaurants we frequented with the kids. She even knew exactly what she wanted to eat.

It turns out there had been a commercial for International House of Pancakes on television. It had very adeptly showed their blueberry pancakes looking as appetizing as possible. It caught that 3 year old's eye and stayed in her mind for who knows how long waiting until she was given the choice of her "dream restaurant meal."

Every year since then that has been a staple of Mommy/Daughter Day, blueberry pancakes at IHOP. It is like a tradition within a tradition.

Last year DD got her ears pierced for the first time. She asked to do it again this year but I decided not to OK that. She did well taking care of herself this year, but I want her to learn some contentment with who she is and what she has rather than upgrading every year.

This year we are shopping for Webkinz, earrings, books, and possibly going to see a movie if there is anything worth seeing for an 11 year old. I'll let you know how things come out.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

As a Family

When I went away to college I took my sweet time in choosing a church in my new city, (read: I never went to church) Eventually I fell out of the habit and Saturday nights were way too much fun to cut short for sleep in order to get up early the next day.

The same thing happened to DH.

Both of us had come from church-going families and been regular attenders up until graduation. When we got married the habit of sleeping in on Sundays was strong. We never did attend church while we lived in Alabama unless it was while we were visiting family.

When circumstances led to our moving to Mississippi and living with my family we did go to the church my parents belong to. That was the easiest way to keep them from bugging us.

It isn't that we didn't believe or didn't want our children to learn about God, it was just too much of a hassle to do it normally and the reasons for going when we did go were all wrong.

Guess what, when we moved out and into our own place again which habit do you think won? The habit of sleeping in and ignoring church or going, like we had been for 2 years, albeit for the wrong reasons. You probably guessed right. We took our own sweet time finding a church in our new town.

After the move to this new house I decided we could spare one Sunday morning to check out the church down the road. (It was by no means the first Sunday morning we lived here. A couple of months had passed.)

The Sunday school lesson seemed pointed right at us. The sermon as well seemed to be speaking to the two of us about coming back after wandering.

We attended for a few weeks, dropped off a bit due to illness and death in the family, but came back. Last week DH and I decided that this church was where we should be. This morning we walked up and spoke to the pastor about joining.

The girls are excited. They love going to church and are thrilled that we have an actual church home now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A question I have not asked in many years...

I stayed up until 3am this morning. DD10 and I watched some episodes of Monk we hadn't seen and the first episode of Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? I had slept late yesterday and didn't really feel like going to bed since there was no one there to sleep next to.

Once there I read for another hour and then got to sleep.

I had told DD10 that I will get her up when I get up and that if she gets up first she should remember to start the laundry and wake me up.

When I got up the sun was going down, 7-ish at this time of year. I didn't hear the girls. It is nice when they don't argue all day. They hadn't done their chores, but that is actually normal if I sleep all day. I don't see any reason we can't do school and laundry over night if we all want to be night owls.

I know we need to get some groceries today but I really didn't feel like going to Wal-Mart. I planned to order a pizza for dinner. Not healthy, I know, but easy and lower on the hassle-meter.

I got dressed and came out to the computer. Despite the large picture windows things were a bit grey out here. I sat down, turned on my lamp, and started to boot up the computer.

My DB was eating his dinner at the table. He is eating cereal, which the dudes around here sometimes do when there isn't anything else, even for supper. I guess he didn't feel like waiting for me to order the pizza. I can understand that. I asked him where the girls are. He said he thought they were still asleep. (I think he doesn't like that I let them stay up all last night and then sleep all day. Oh well. My kids, my business)

The computer boots up. This thing is moving SLOW (cue blurry worm-hole effect and low, drawn out voice effect there.) I started flipping through the book I had been reading in the wee hours this morning to find the pages I wanted to email quotes from to DH in Chicago, in case he does get a chance to read emails. My eye glanced to the clock in the lower right hand corner of my screen.

7:04 AM

What the...? The virus I have been suspecting is making my computer super slow has screwed up my clock! No, wait...

Deep thinking for a few seconds. (cue cute-because-it-is-cliche elevator music)

I ask DB if I can ask him an embarrassing question. He says ok, but I can't bring myself to get out those words I haven't spoken since college (the first time around.) You know, the ones usually reserved for the wasted college students or the trans-oceanic traveling types. Is it morning or night?

So, I wuss out and ask him if he is getting ready to go to class. Yes, he is, he says. At that point I hang my head and tell him why I asked. We both get a little laugh. He points to the window and says "The sun is coming UP, not going DOWN."

Yes, well, it is hard to tell on a cloudy morning at this time of day at this time of year.

You know who I blame? DH
If he had been here he would have been getting ready to go to work and I would have KNOWN it was morning.

Tell me, how in the world I could feel so awake after 3 hours sleep that I could even POSSIBLY mistake it for 12+ hours!

Then again, if I am making that sort of a mistake, perhaps I am not as refreshed as I think.

You know what annoys me the most? I was looking forward to the pizza and now I can't order it(at least not for many hours.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


DH said he had already seen some crazy people just going from O'Hare to the hotel. Mostly he said he was referring to people behind the wheels or cars.

He did cut them some slack, though. He said he didn't blame them since driving in 6 lanes (each direction) would drive anyone nutty.

That reminded me of my high school trip to New York City. You have to wonder if the tax payer money spent to buy street lane paint might have been better spent, since the lane lines were all but ignored by the vehicles. He said that pretty much summed up Chicago where he is as well.

He and his coworkers (let's call them Brian and Bernie) walked (can you blame them?) down the street to get some dinner earlier. DH said that, other than the national chains (more Subways in one block he has never seen!) every restaurant they saw was either a PUB or a Tavern or a BAR. If you were lucky it was a Bar and Grill.

They walked past one bar near the hotel and someone pointed it out and said that place has the best steaks in Chicago.

DH said he couldn't get used to it. Things just aren't like that in Mississippi or Kentucky. I told him that it was just a selling point for restaurants that are probably just like the ones here inside, more or less. He acknowledged that, but said it was still weird.

They ended up going to a place called Paizano's (sp?) Since he was in Chicago he wanted some local cuisine. Not being a fan of hotdogs with a bunch of weird gunk all over them he opted for ... you guessed it ...PIZZA! Mmmmm!

He said the crust was deep, but not especially bready (whatever that means). The sauce was thicker and more prevalent (again, whatever that means). He said it had less fennel and more basil than what he usually gets. He impressed his co-eaters, sounded like a "reglar con-su-er," he joked. Just because his wife make her own pizza sauce HE gets to be impressive.

He said it had less cheese than what he usually likes. Next time he'd order extra cheese. He said he did order extra sausage because he could, and he thought it would be good, and it WAS, he said. The sausage was spiced differently than he is used to, but in a good way.

All in all, Chicago may not have impressed him much so far, but the pizza was great. If we ever go as a family we will have to make sure to get some of that.

Business Elite

So, DH is off to Chicago for his business convention. (I miss him.) He just called and we talked for an hour or so (actually more now that I look at the clock.) He talked about the cab ride. Going into Chicago from out takes and hour. Going out from in takes 30 minutes. Why? "There are too many people in Chicago," says the cab driver.

At the hotel, he is staying at the ... rhymes with Rilton ... they had two lines for check in. One for Rilton Elite members and one for the regular schmoes. He and his coworker were in the Elite line (by decision of whoever booked and arranged everything.) DH said after a few minutes it became obvious that the Schmoe line was moving faster.

Coworker- (leaning in to speak privately) You watch. They (Schmoe people who arrived at the same time as DH and DH's Coworker (let's call him Brian) will be served before we are.

Man nearby- The line you are in is for people who are willing to pay more in order that the hotel take the time to do anything they want. Not to move through quickly.

Sure enough, checking in took longer in the Elite line.

He also commented that his room was much smaller than the room we had stayed in in Tupelo. It was at the ... rhymes with Rarriot. I have no real illusions that it is specifically the hotel chain. I bet the Rilton in Tupelo has bigger rooms (for comparable class) than the one in Chicago and the Chicago Rarriot probably smaller. Anyway, my point is his room is small.

Said small room was reserved at the exact same time as Brian's room. It has the same confirmation number. They were on the same receipt. For some reason the desk clerk said Brian's room is $350 and DH's $450. They worked out what was going on there. Good thing they were in the Elite line, I guess.

DH also said that he didn't have free internet in his room. See, now that I have a laptop we have begun to notice and appreciate (on the rare occasions we travel) that most hotels now offer wireless internet access. One thing I have appreciated is the fact that at the Rarriot (in Tupelo, at least) and the Romfort Inn said internet access has been free of charge.

Not at the Rilton in Chicago. Apparently, the wireless internet access is part of the Business Perks package (no italics for lack of actually being able to quote the name of said business package) For a mere $17.99 per day the traveling businessman can enjoy wireless internet, free unlimited local calls, and they can drink the water in their room.

That last bit caught my attention when DH said it, seeing as how he is in Illinois, not Mexico.

You can drink the water in your room only if you buy the Businessman package? The sheer mechanics involved in having two water systems, one safe, one not were an interesting thought. The fact that they would charge to have you switched from one to the other rather than installing only the safe ...

No, no, of course that is not it. There is bottled water in the room. Normally, if you drink it is runs about $13 per bottle (because apparently the Rilton Hotel chain only serves water from a cool mountain spring in the French Alps that has been poured into the Holy Grail and from there into cut crystal bottles with gold foil labels that say Je suis plus que tois.)

However, if you pay for the business package your bottles are included in the $17. Nifty

He opened his curtains for the first time while on his phone, to see what sort of view he had. He got the fine privilege of looking out onto the courtyard space in the center of the building and the windows of other rooms. Good thing I didn't bother sending the digital camera with him.

So far he said he wasn't too impressed with the Rilton experience.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fabulously Interesting

Well, to ME it is.

I found a couple of websites that have basic lessons in speaking MODERN Greek. I had a lot of fun going over them and learning what was there. It was also fun to see the difference between MODERN Greek and the ANCIENT Greek I have taken classes in at Ole Miss.

Remarkably, a lot is the same. Some words are not changed at all. Some words are new (meaning changed from their Ancient counterparts) , and some words are completely new. Homer didn't write much about the televisions (teleorase) and computers (upologistes) of his day, so Academia doesn't know what the words for those things were. I don't think centaurs even had a word for "laptop."

I was reminded yesterday at our PEAK Science expo that it is only a few weeks until our Geography Fair. The girls and I need to get cracking. Of course, since DD10 wants to do Greece I am totally justified in these hours spent wasting time in research. I can even make her learn some of it.

I promised DD8 that she could learn the Greek alphabet and we would send "coded" messages with those letters used instead of regular letters, still in English words, though. That would be fun if I wasn't afraid it would hinder her actual reading efforts.

Monday I will have the girls write up and Tuesday we will mail off (since Monday is holiday) letters to the embassies of Greece, India, and Canada requesting information. DH says I should just go to the embassies' websites and download what they would send us. I probably will do that, but I want the girls to get the experience of writing polite correspondence. Also, they will love getting something addressed to them in the mail.

We will be making a sari as an example of traditional Indian garb and a peplos as an example of ancient Greek fashion. What should we do for Canada? We live in Mississippi. I don't have any parkas handy. (haha, just kidding, Canadian readers) No, seriously... what should we use? We might have to resort to simply cooking some traditional Canadian am going to need to do some research.

So, we'll be learning to count to 10 in Hindi, and maybe another Indian language or two, to showcase that there are many; Greek, of course; and French.

I think I will make DD9 do her entire presentation in both English and French (meaning what she has written on her presentation board, not her oral presentation.) That would be cool.

Does Oh, Canada have French lyrics? I bet I could find out online. Learning to sing it, that is another story.

I'd bet money it is easier than the Greek or Indian anthems, though.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Grrr! This makes my teeth itch

Cassy Fiano has a blog entry concerning an article in Oprah Winfrey's magazine concerning women, marriage, and divorce. Here

I am beside myself. I am also apparently deluding myself and I don't have many friends. I was under the impression that I am married to a great man, that he is my best friend and that my parents and grand-parents are to be commended for staying together forever. Obviously delusional, according to this writer (and, I suppose, Oprah, by association)

I get angrier and angrier the more I think about it. Since I cannot slap this woman across the face, I will do - not the "next best thing" - a better thing. I am going to cook a wonderful dinner for my best friend and his kids, and later enjoy some alone time together with him.

I guess he is so great it makes me crazy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Day of School

Things went rather well, actually. We had to do our grocery shopping and that didn't go as well as I would have liked, but all in all it was a good day.

My sister brought us some books that she won't be using this year. One of them is a pre-Algebra text that is just what DD10 is ready for. We started today at the beginning of the book.

I did addition flash cards with the younger two girls. They did great so we moved into the math text book that I already had. It is a little advanced for where they are, but I will dip out of the book when we get to that part and do our own thing until they catch up and then we'll go back into the book. Easy-peasy

We did a very broad overview of osmosis for science. Some of the things were too out there, but I am confient that they get that the water wants to even things out. we are doing experiments with cucumbers later this week.

In history we started reading Story of the World Book 1. DH had suggested that we do American history this year, but we bought the world history books and never fully used them. We'll go through those and then move to American history (which is one of the books DS gave)

No worries.

I am ready to go relax for a while. luckily, DD10 is cooking dinner and I don't have to worry about it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Well, after the very emotional episode of Eureka earlier, I decided to lighten my mood by watching something fun.

I puttered around online to see what there is to see and found ... Trials and Tribble-ations ... the Star Trek Deep Space 9 episode where they go back in time into the Original Star Trek series episode Trouble With Tribbles. I missed it when it was on the air back when I was in college in Alabama and have never managed to catch up with it since then (must be around 15 years)

It was awesome, and it performed its duty of making me smile and laugh quite well.

The bar brawl was my favorite part, I think, as it was in the original.


Yes, I am a TV junkie. Odd for someone who does not have cable, but I manage.

I am also a Sci Fi junkie. I love Science Fiction, well...I love good science fiction.

Anyway...the series Eureka on the Sci Fi channel certainly qualifies. It is hilarious and brilliantly written and acted.

This week was the first episode to make me cry. I won't discuss why, in case you haven't seen it and might want to in the future.

It is not the first episode of of TV to bring on the water works, nor even the first sci fi show (R.I.P. Dr. Janet Frazier) but I haven't cried during Eureka until now.

This was by far the LEAST funny "time loop" episode I have ever seen of the various shows that have them. Window of Opportunity (Stargate: SG1) was HILARIOUS. Even the recent episode of Supernatural where Dean dies over and over again was funnier than this episode of Eureka.

It was refreshing to see a new take on a plot cliche that is usually done for laughs. It was certainly exciting in that Eurekan "we have to save the Universe from the science gone wrong that we have made" way.
And in the end they succeeded.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Birthday Girl tries out a Gift

Here is my seven eight year old daughter trying out one of her birthday gifts.

She specifically requested curlers. She has never had her hair set like so before, just playing around with her aunt and a curling iron. I am not sure "leave-it-alone-until-it-dries has quite sunk in yet.

Also, she didn't quite grasp the need for promptness after the bath, so some of her hair was dry before we rolled it (no squirt bottle handy) and we are not expecting much from the result except fun.

Curly hair or not, that smile is enough for me.

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!!!

My baby is 8 years old today. Wow! I remember turning 8. For some unfathomable reason I considered that the threshold between "little kid" and "big kid." So, no more babies now. I have three big kids.

She was disappointed that we aren't having her birthday party today. She was only a little satisfied when I said we would still have a party, just later than her actual birthday. She was ok with the whole thing when I told her she would still be able to open her family presents today.

She has been delighted by all of her gifts. There was a Strawberry Shortcake doll from her grandparents. A Polly Pocket Cinderella from her DS10 and a Polly Pocket Belle (Beauty and the Beast) from her DS9. I got her some cute shoes that were on clearance, plastic hair curlers (per her request), a Kelly doll that has 3 little bunnies, and a Bitty Baby from American Girl.

Her father got her a Magic: The Gathering booster card pack. He has just recently begun teaching her to play his favorite game. She loves it and she loved the cards.

On a side note, if any of you know Magic cards...
Two of her Swamp cards (not even by the same artist!) look like the touchy-feely-est, Rainbow Connection-est, Golly Mom can we move THERE-est pieces of ---WETLANDS (I cannot even call them Swamps) I have ever seen. One of them even has lily pads...complete with BLOSSOMS! Now I know there are real-life swamps that look like this. Swamps CAN be pretty. But GEEZ! Why not just use Monet's Water Lilies? I want to believe it was art already extant that the rights to use on the cards was contracted for, but I don't actually think that is the case. Part of me wants to say..."Maybe someone knew that this booster pack would be going to a seven eight year old girl." Now, "hand of God" I'll buy, but Magic cards seems a little beneath His notice, AND she'll be seeing the icky cards in play anyway, so what would be the point? I am not conspiracy-theorist enough to think Wizards of the Coast knew she would be getting those cards. So, I think it is just a falling down somewhere in their art or art acquisition department.
You don't power death and decay spells with a KOI POND!!!!

(Some of the Mountains and Islands she got also looked a little greenie. I swear I almost expected to see that they were some kind of multi-land or new addition to the game, like "Snow Covered" was for Ice Age.

Eco-Walk Enchantment
No elf with Eco-Walk can be blocked if the target player has a land in play on which the card looks like a peaceful bastion of hope for endangered species, regardless of actual color.
Eco-Rage - tap 1 green mana - All elves with Eco-Walk gain +10/+10 Trample whenever any damage is done to the pretty mana card, or even if the owner dares so much as tap it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Well, I have often said, tongue in cheek, that one of the drawbacks to home schooling was that the girls do not know as many swear words as other kids their age.

It looks like it extends even to harmless euphemisms for body parts.

The girls dressed up their Barbies with some old Barbie clothes I had. I informed DD10 that what she had as a hip-belt / low cumberbund thing should be worn "around her boobs" (my words)

"Her what?" (her words)

"Higher," I said. She looked at my in confusion. Then after a few seconds she said "Oh, you mean like a bra?"

Now, I don't have a problem with the word "boobs" personally. It just feels nice to know that she hasn't had any body-part discussions with other children.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Little Bit of Weird

Yesterday I saw a StitchBow of cross stitch floss on the floor. (Not the weird part. I am not the best housekeeper. ) DD10 had been going through my stash to find something to stitch while we are at my in-laws' house. (We leave in a couple of hours. That is the plan, anyway. I am not the most prompt person around.)

It started me because my first thought was "Eww! Is that a giant praying mantis?!" (Is it prAying or prEying? With those bent arms and the insect's dietary needs, it could go either way.)

Anyhow, I of course knew it was NOT a 6 inch preying mantis (I decided to alternate spelling. Then I'd only be wrong half the time.) I stared at it for about 3 seconds and then realized, Oh, it's a stitchbow.

OK, so, like I said, we are leaving today for my in-laws'. Love 'em. Love going up there. I need to take something to do or I'll go crazy. I started last night (WAY too late. I am a bad procrastinator.) going through my patterns and stash. I decided to go with Celtic Cross by Theresa Wentzler. It is lovely. It is compact. And I have stitched it twice before and I KNOW I have the proper colors. I managed to round up every color I needed, minus gold braid (It is a finishing detail that goes on last. I am good without it for now.) Except one. That one color is DMC 869. It is a dark brown that is used (instead of the normal black) to backstitch around details when the piece is done. I figured I am good to go for a while without that one too.

So, I was just in the dining room getting a drink (store brand Pepsi knock-off) and I glance over to the window and see the "praying mantis." (Of course, it was still there. I am not the best house keeper.)

Hmmm, that is dark brown. Could that be...? NO! There is no way it is...! But you know what? It was. Preying Mantis=DMC 869


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Where the Heck is Matt?

A friend of mine had this on her blog and I just absolutely loved it.

Who is this guy, and how do I get to go to all theses places? he definitely seems to be enjoying his time out in the world and others are enjoying it with him. Wow!


DD10 asked if she could get a Webkinz toy. I told her she could if she spent her own allowance money. She got a panda (of course) and...since I was on buying one anyway, and since they looked so cute, and so I could be assured that everything was safe and what-not, I bought one for myself.

Now I have two and I have spent WAY too much time at the website playing games and buying little virtual toys for the little virtual animals.


DH is about ready to cut off the internet access; I can tell. I need to try to ration my time better.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ginny!

We had Ginny's birthday party this afternoon, just one day late. She got a ball from Susan (DD10's doll), a stuffed bunny from Alice (DD9's doll), a beret from my doll Kit, a poncho from my Molly, and a hand bag from Samantha. Felicity also came, but did not bring a gift.

We had a good time eating a cake baked by DD10 (strawberry with white frosting) and drank water 9both refreshing and because the girls are grounded from anything else for a week)

It was fun. I'm glad it's done.

Cleaning Machine

I have the feeling I am not the girls' favorite person right now. I am sure they wish I would go back to doing my own thing (usually surfing the web) and stop giving them chores to do. The fact that I am doing chores too makes it harder for them to slack off.

It started when I decided to help DD10 out with the laundry (her normal daily chore) by starting a load before she got up. The laundry room (a place I never go) looked like a disaster area! So, I got to work on that and that got me in the mood to see to it that more of the house got cleaned. Oddly enough it did not get me steaming screaming angry. I am sure DD10 wishes I would just yell at her and be done, but I had a better idea.

First off, she has to clean the downstairs bathroom. She said she would rather do the laundry (now a Mommy daily job) I said she should have thought about that before.

Secondly, she cannot play with the webkins she ordered last Friday until I have the laundry caught up. So, that is in my hands. I don't plan to slack off the laundry just to lengthen her sentence. But the hole I am digging out of is of HER doing.

I suppose I could have said SHE had to do the laundry and that she could have her webkin once SHE had it caught up. But I told her that I was pretty sure she would cheat and cut corners and do a terrible job to get it done fast enough. She can't be trusted with a chore right now.

So, instead of a regular daily chore she gets a variable daily chore. Whatever needs doing for that day that doesn't already have a person assigned she gets it. She said she didn't mind that so much, since she pretty much got those anyway. (Actually, I spread those around, so she might get more than she thinks.)

I got the kitchen cleaned up nicely by taking matters into my own hands. The laundry is going well. I am going to tackle some more "been here since we moved in" piles a little later. Maybe in the sunroom. Right now my ankle hurts and I am going to put my brace on.

DD7 is cleaning her disaster of a room. She has already been caught once just playing. I had to remind her that she could not come out until it was done and playing made that take longer. She isn't sulky about it. She actually looked like she had forgotten why she was in there.

DD9 cleaned her room already, helped me with the laundry, swept the kitchen floor, and loaded the dishwasher. Weird

Oops, dryer has stopped. Time for me to go back to housework funland.

Here is a picture of my DD9 (age 3 at the time) getting her bottom spanked by a peacock.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

How could I have forgotten?!

Well, it is a good thing my girls have good memories! *sigh* I almost forgot that June 16th is Ginny's (my DD7 American Girl doll) 8th birthday. What horror! But, since DD7 remembered, that tragedy is narrowly averted and I can spend the next 2 days planning a birthday party for a doll. What joy

All sarcasm aside, I think we'll have fun. I'll be sure to take pictures.

DD said Ginny wants a butterfly party. Of course this is mere days after I deleted images and such from 2 years ago when DD herself had a butterfly party. Well, we'll get decorations from somewhere. I think I can convince the girls to draw butterflies. ;)

Monday, June 9, 2008


So, well, I was taking some Tylenol Allergy/Sinus in preparation for being outside this afternoon. DD7 came up behind me.

"Momma, do you think I will need medicine like that?"
Well, I don't know sweetie. I don't remember you ever having trouble with allergies before.

"Well, one day I did hiccup a lot."

Why does she wait until I have a drink in my mouth to say these things?! I almost spewed generic Pepsi all over the keyboard!


The girls and I went skating yesterday. It was a birthday party for a couple of girls in our home school group.

The young'uns had a great time. I even got out on the floor for one time around. There is no photographic evidence of it, though, thank goodness. One of the perks of being behind the camera.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Now accepting your ideas...

I am in the mood to actually get moving on one of my One of a Kind Barbies. BUT, I have no doll hair for a re-root, nor do I have medium extender to properly thin the acrylic paint for a facial re-paint. So, I can use a face that still has factory paint and try to get creative about the hair.

Any ideas? Polyester pillow fluff, glued on or poked into the holes? Cross stitch thread? Yarn that is subsequently brushed to make it no longer look like yarn? Pine needles? Copper wire?

I am interested in seeing how copper wire turns out. I'll have to see if we have any spare wire around the house, the kind that has many small copper strands inside the insulation.

What else might I make hair on a Barbie out of? Even if it sounds weird. I am trying to think of things I have around the house, so I don't have to go shopping or wait for an internet order to arrive.

Here is a picture of one of the heads I might choose from.

Though there will be no paint.

Lawn is mowed

Our lawn no longer looks like there could be a car hiding in the grass.

I paid a friend's son to come and mow it. It all worked out nicely. I got to have some grown-up friends time while the girls got to play with their friends. There was chatting time here, time at the park, home school support group planning talk time, lemonade...

It was a good day. I wonder how soon I can legitimately wait before I pay him to mow again, a week, two? I can't wait.

Here is a picture from another good day. July 4 2007. DD9 is finishing off the last of her smore.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Back on Film

Well, digital, actually, but we are rolling once more with a new digital video/still photo camera.

The girls requested they get to be the first photo taken. I am happy to oblige, obviously.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I am an eBay seller now!

Well, yesterday I finally got around to posting the stuff I picked out to sell on ebay a few months ago. And one thing sold already! Woohoo!

The buyer even lives near the city where I used to live. Cool.

Friday, May 23, 2008

R.I.P. Cannon ZR300

My camcorder / digital camera just died. DD7 and I were planning on having a "Picture Taking Day" where we take pictures of her, me, the cat, flowers, dolls, etc. I went to check how charged the battery is and BLAMMO all I get is a white screen on the screen and nothing through the viewfinder.

The blasted thing was working just an hour ago! I took this (the last picture this camera will take. *sniff*) to illustrate something about my Firefox bookmarks.

Then I noticed the battery was getting low and plugged the camera in just like I have thousands of times over the past ... thinking ... 3 years. The screen went white and there was nothing. So sad. It was a good camera.

This doesn't come as too much of a surprise. There have been some clues that it was on its way out since Christmas. Oh well.

Here is the last actually interesting picture taken with this camera. Our cat Pippen in the window of my craft room enjoying the breeze, and birdsong, and sunlight, and whatever else cats like when they sit in second story windows.

Pay It Forward

Andrea at The Happy Hippy Chronicles posted about a gift ... (word search..."exchange" isn't right..."train" maybe) Paying Forward the warm fuzzies of receiving a gift.

So, here is how it works...The first THREE people to comment to this post will receive a gift from me. The they must Pay It Forward by repeating what I (and Andrea and whoever sent Andrea a gift, etc) by sending out three gifts.

Let's Go!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dr Laura on HSing

Dr Laura Schlessenger posted today on her blog about a study done at a Jackson, MS university that measured how well home schooled students adjust to their first semester of college, compared to comparable traditionally schooled students.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Prime Equator

How is it that a child can forget information that they knew mere seconds ago?

I don't know. It is a talent, I guess. I don't know where they get it from.

Wait, what was the question?

Anyhow, today was a geography/map use lesson. Latitude, longitude, Prime Meridian, International Date Line, Capricorn, Cancer, Arctic, etc. I suppose it went well. DD7 did best when talking with me but she froze for the quiz. I can certainly understand that.

We'll have to see if they can find Mississippi on the globe again tomorrow; or Greenwich, England; and the northern hemisphere.

We did have.

This weekend--
DH decided he wanted to relax and play some Magic:The Gathering. He tried to get me to play, but I put it off. I do enjoy watching others play more than playing myself. He and DB refreshed DD10 on her rules and taught DD9 for the first time. All in all it went pretty well.

And what did I do while they played cards? I ripped hair out of Barbie dolls, preparing them for future re-roots. I have a little army of bald Barbies now, waiting to do my bidding! hahahaha!

Now I just need to remove the factory paint off of the ones I plan to repaint, such as lovely Mulan in the picture.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Boring Life

My life is really boring. I don't know why I bother to try to blog about it, other than as a freaky way of keeping a diary.

Today's questions...should I hang the bizaaro-looking exotic hanging table (from the Philippines) that my mother gave me near my desk, or at the top of the front stairs, or somewhere else entirely? (maybe over near the dining room entrance) I cannot decide.

My allergies are bothering me. Mostly eyes today, which is unusual. I am mostly a sneezey, stuffy allergic.

Can I legitimately call myself a home school mother if we haven't done SQUAT all week? The move laid me out, lesson-wise. I want to get back to it, but then I look around and my house is full of boxes. I tell myself, "We really need to focus on unpacking and THEN we can get back into school." But there are so many boxes that I feel overwhelmed and just sit and do nothing.

OK, so, that is stupid, no? Lets dissect that...too many boxes to unpack. Shall we just wallow in boxes then and NEVER MOVE IN? No. OK, so what to do...Let's unpack. BUT instead of worrying about THE WHOLE FEAKIN' HOUSE, I'll concentrate on one room. And withing that one room, I will start with one box.

Which room do I start in? Arrrgh!

OK, calm down. Let's not be paralyzed like rabbits in headlights.

Which room is EASIEST?


I think I will do take care of what I can in my bedroom.

There, see? All that to come to the decision that I need to go clean my room. WHat a boring blog!

I am off, to actually do what I need to, believe it or not.

(PS - I think the hanging table will go over near the dining room.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Interesting Photo

Unfortunately, I cannot credit the photographer because I cannot remember what website I found it on.

It may seem cruel, but I have every confidence that this squirrel was not killed to take this shot.
I love the composition, making the GI Joes look like they hunted the beast and killed it. As a customizer of 1:6 scale figures, I can appreciate that.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The New House

Here is the new house before we moved in. Mom and the girls included. You can see that most of the front yard is taken up by parking lot. The house was used as a business building for the last 10 years. I suppose I could eventually reclaim the yard, but then again, I have found having a parking lot to be incredibly convenient, even when I don't have 20 cars visiting.

Big fireplace. I cannot wait to decorate for Christmas. But then again, I always love decorating for the holidays.

The kitchen, BEFORE we moved in (Read- It is much messier now.)

The kitchen from downstairs.

Brick planter-thing. This house was built in 1968 and is a little weird. I am planning to cover the brick top with plywood and put my 55 gallon fish tank here.

This is in the garage. Three little desks built onto the wall. This used to be office space. You better believe it is classroom space now, Baby! (or will be once I get it set up right)

Caught Up - sort of

OK, I went through and copied and pasted the entries from my other blog into this one. Everything between "Souvenir" (with the kitten) and "Not quite a year" (where I tell it has not quite been a year since I posted) was added in. I did not post any of the entries where I say that yahoo 360 blog feature sucks or it was giving me headaches. However, the hassles I experienced in simply going to old posts to copy them make me think coming back to blogger might be a good idea.

It's not like anyone cares. No one reads this.

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Well, not quite a year

Didn't quite make it to the 1 year point between posts. I'll have to try harder next time.

There are lots of things to relate, many of which I covered in another blog (don't feel betrayed. I know no one reads this blog anyway.) I'll see if I can transfer over what is there to what is here. Maybe. Later. Right now I have things to do.

We have moved. The cat has grown. We still home school. I am not taking classes right now. Tada! You are up to date! Just kidding, but really, I don't want to bring this blog current right now. Later. Maybe.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

House Ahoy!

Well, we have not closed yet, but we have been notified that that is pretty much a formality (my paraphrasing) so WOOT! WOOHOO!

We are kicking the moving into high gear starting tomorrow and renting a truck probably next Saturday to get the deal done. Yay!

I am not all that pleased to lose my anniversary to a move, but DH says we can have a make up anniversary later. You better believe I will hold him to it.

What an anniversary present! A house! Yay!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Turning the Other Cheek

For the last couple of days I have been musing on what I believe (and do not believe) in my spiritual life. I am a Christian. That much is certain. I was raised as a Southern Baptist, but I find some of the teachings (or lack thereof) there to be not my own belief. Much of it is what I believe is trivial, piddly stuff. (not that trivial piddly stuff hasn't created schisms among denominations in the past) There are things I believe that are much more in line with other Christian denominations and even Judaism. I try to use the Bible as the final authority on what to believe and what not to believe.

I am having one bit of trouble just now. If you have an opinion, please share it intelligently and without vitriol. Be prepared to back it up with scripture references, or well, you are just spouting off then, aren't you...

Anyway, here goes...

How does one justify Jesus' teaching of "turn the other cheek" with the (one's own, that it, MY own) belief that there are some things which must be fought for?

Now, there was the rage at the temple...Is "fighting back" to be reserved for blasphemy?
What about self defense? Self defense seems contrary to turning the other cheek. Does that mean we have to take abuse?
What about defending the week and abused others? Must we stand by and watch others being hurt, telling them to "turn the other cheek"?

The Old Testament is pretty full of people standing up for God and for themselves (and not), but as a Christian, how do I fit the teachings of Christ on the matter into my own beliefs. Are there other teachings of Christ that have bearing? I am not a scripture scholar (maybe I should have been. It would serve me better than having to read Homer repeatedly as a Classics major.) What does Paul have to say?

I will do some of my own research, but part of that is to consult trusted sources. You might as well be one of those until you prove otherwise.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Where's the fun in that?

So, I am starting a game for DH and setting it in Baldur's Gate (maybe) and I want a map. Can't find one online, but DB has the old video game. maybe there is a map in there. We load Baldur's Gate onto the computer and instead of looking for a map, of course, I start to play. I generally don't do computerized role playing games, but it starts out interesting and I learn the ropes in the free area, introduction, nothing can kill you here place. Fun. Then I move out of that and promptly get killed. Or as DH said...

"Aha! Into the great Wild! Ack! A wolf!" *gurgle* *scream* *twitch*

The next day went a little better. I did make it to the next town. Two or three times even, since I kept dying in said town. All together, I am a little reconfirmed in my belief that computer RPGs are not for me. I told DH that the game was pretty pointless and things just keep coming out to kill me. He said maybe I should try Spyro or Super Monkeyball. Haha, very funny. Maybe I will just limit his DVD collection to Rated G.

Anyhoo, I will probably be sticking to puzzle games.

Yada yada

Sorry the blog has be so quiet lately. We have been moving stuff over to the new house DESPITE not having closed yet. (I know, I know...) The seller said that if we were certain we would be getting the mortgage, he was ok with us moving some stuff over. DH says he is certain we will be approved, so we schlep boxes across town. Nothing huge, nothing that can't be moved out again if the worst should happen, nothing nailed to the walls...I think we're good. It will definitely help having gotten a head start once the approval does come in and we only have a couple of weeks to get out by the end of the month.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

No Panic

DH said that as far as he could tell, after talking with the Churchill Mortgage
guy, we are almost definitely getting the loan. So, about 90% done with house shopping then.

We took Mom by to show her the place. She had been there when it was DH's office, but only just to pop in and pick him up one time a long time ago. It looks very different now without all the computer desks, etc. I took some pictures to show interested parties over the net, like you and people I know from forums and old friends in Alabama, etc.

If all goes well we should be moving in early April.

Supper is HARD

So, well, breakfast I can handle. The hardest part is MAKING myself eat it. Lunch I can do. Supper is hard. We don't have many yummy, all-of-us recipes that are actually healthy. And if we take short cuts, I fall WAY OFF the eating plan. Restaurants need to just bee off limits for a while. Even drive through. And chili and BBQ as well. I think I will start cutting myself a slice of roast before I cut up the meat to make BBQ, IF I make BBQ again.

I have to work on getting things back on track. The easiest days seem to be the weekdays where I am alone with the girls. I would have thought those would be the hardest, not having DH here to "police" me. (as if he would) Once I get evenings down better, and the weekdays flow like automatic pilot, the weekends should come along.

I will try to do what I can before we move. During the move will be harder, but not impossible. After the move I will be cracking down hard.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


The appraisal came back a little over what we could pay, but the owner accepted a lower offer. We could be moving very soon. We need to get the mortgage and then we're in. I love it!

5 bedrooms, 2.5 bath, 2 story, 2 car garage, family room, living room, dining room, huge picture windows, 1 acre yard with lovely old trees and room to play, only 2 miles from DH's office

I'll keep you up to date.

(Pray that the bankers won't be buttheads.)