Friday, March 27, 2009

Green (Feb 7)

The trees are finally really budding out. Odds are we won't see any more cold weather.

I need to get rolling on our garden boxes.

My procrastination tendency has stopped more than one garden from ever happening.

Now, where did I out those seed packets?

Here are the girls having fun in the wading pool, 7 or 8 years ago.

Ewww! (Feb6)

Something in the fridge went horribly wrong.

My chief suspect is a pack of chicken breast patties that should ahve gone in the freezer upon arrival from the grocery store but was put in the vegetable crisper drawer of the fridge instead. Without me knowing

So, yesterday I had the girls clean out the fridge. I told them to toss anything that looked bad or was past date. I could smell the nasty all the way downstairs.

I really need to take a handle on our food again. Now that all the stuff that cannot be eaten is gone the fridge is pretty bare.

I had not put much thought into needing to shop for groceries because every time I openned the fridge (which was generally just for drinks since Dh does most of the cooking) it was...if not full, at least not empty. So, I never put it all together that shopping was needed.

(Note: We are not out of food.)

I am going to put my homemaker hat back on and whip up a menu for the coming week, and a shopping list to go with it.

Here is DD8 (a few years ago) up a tree.

Mightier than the Sword (Feb 5)

Since I am spending more time away from my computer (or trying to) i am writing out my blog long hand on paper (and trying not to lose it.)

I have always liked to write. I love the feel of the pen sliding across paper, especially with more paper underneath. There is something about the cushioning that I like. (When writing in pencil it is the opposite; I prefer no paper under the page being used.)

This has been fun, writing more. It brings back memories from bygone years staying up all night writing out silly stories until my hand cramped.

I actually have nice handwriting, if I do say so myself.

Here is a picture of DD10 on her 6th birthday. She wanted a pirate theme. We hung a sheet between a tree branch and picnic table to make a sail. We had a treasure hunt and lots of cool games. It was a great day. We even had wonderful weather for an outdoor party. That is not always possible in November.

Being Holy (Feb 4)

The preacher for our church's recent revival focused on what it means to be a holy man.

He made a specific point that he wasn't talking about the Pope or some sort of high priest. He preached about the average Christian being holy.

God commands that His people be holy, for he is holy.

What does it mean to be holy? What is holiness as it pertains to us and our life?

What do you believe it means to be holy? Is it possible?

The munchkins a few years ago, 2003, I think. We had a photo shoot outside for the Fall. I really like this one.

I do need to get more photos on my laptop, though, or start blogging from my desktop.

New Haven (Feb 3)

I spent a day (a few days ago) cleaning my bedroom. it took all day, but the result is well worth all the effort. Why did I put this off for so long?

I joked with my brother that since we've been here almost a year I had decided to finally finish moving in.

Having the room clean has been wonderful. It is like a haven now where I can escape the chaos of the rest of the house. I moved the table that was in the kitchen at the old house (but which hasn't really found a home in the new place) into the bedroom. I makes a nice spot to have the phone and laptop. I joked with DH that I need to get a minifridge and microwave.
He said I had better not hole up in here. They would never see me. Eventually, the mess from the rest of the house would block my escape should I need to leave.

I haven't made my final decision yet. Minifridges and microwaves are not too expensive. I could even bring the coffee maker back here. I am the only one who ever uses it.

With all that, plus regular maintenance to keep the clean going, it could be like I have my own little hotel room at the end of the hall.

I could print up a fire-route paper to put on the back of the door to finish the effect.

That plus a "Do Not Disturb" sign and I am on vacation all the time.

I honestly do not know if I have posted this picture already. This is the eye of an American aligator at the Memphis Zoo.

Schedule Change ?

my life, well, my daily schedule at least, has become far too lackadaisical. I need to shape up a bit.

I have been "enjoying" being a stay-at-home mom so much that I have taken the freedom to far. I have decided to continue enjoying my freedom but to inject a little structure.

Of course, it is easy to say that, harder to make it happen.

The girls here are climbing on a pile of rocks my in-laws have in their yard.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Not on Drugs (Feb 2)

In the interest of entertaining myself I decided a few days ago to begin a series of entries with reviews of movies that I own on DVD. This is both to save me from having to pay to see new movies I don't want to see and taking time out of my day to see them. With my own DVD collection I have hundreds (yes, I mean that) of movies to review AND I like most of them to one degree or another.

To prove that not all of these reviews of movies I own are going to be fluff pieces to benefit (though I don't know how) movies I like, I planned to start with one I do not like. I even wrote out my review on a piece of paper (that'll teach me) and promptly lost it, since I haven't been at my desk in a couple of days and there are gremlins about.

Anyhoo...I think I can paraphrase what I had without taking the time to think too hard and re-write the review itself.

Cutthroat Island sucks!

Whoever told Geena Davis she could act should be SHOT! Or made to watch Cutthroat Island. The jury is really out on which would be the harsher punishment.

I actually remember enjoying this film when my friends and I went to see it in college. I know I wasn't on drugs, so I must have been sitting next to the guy I had a crush on, thereby enjoying the company rather than the film.

I bought the DVD out of nostalgia for thinking I had enjoyed it in the theatre. I sat down to watch and was not able to stomach more than 10 minutes. It is HORRID!

Next time an entry about a movie I did like. There are more of those.

I mean there are more of those in my own DVD collection, NOT in existence.

Here is a shot of a Cinderella barbie doll I took the eye paint off of. The lashes on one eye smeared badly and were a pain in the acetone to get off. SHe looks a little like Seven of Nine. Hmmmm...


I did not want to get out of bed this morning.

We did not stay up super late or have to get up early.

Yesterday I threw away our old (OLD) pillows and had the hubby pick up new ones on his way home. Wow! Cushiony heaven. Ahhh!

Here is my youngest daughter hanging out a window at my in-laws' house. No worries, my father-in-law was behind her holding on.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Difficult Distance

I need to back my time on the computer WAY down. There is really no way around this. I am not being the wife, mother, teacher, and housekeeper that I want to be because I am sitting here, desperate for something interesting to read or watch. What good does it do me to not have cable TV if I sit in front of my computer screen all day? (Well, given that my choice in internet entertainment is of higher calibre than most tv shows, I guess it does SOME good. But that is beside the point!)

I still want to get at least 365 blog entries this year. (Yes, I know I am still behind.) I am going to limit my computer time every day, if not spend some days completely away. I will post blog entries (at least one) when I do have computer time, and when I do not I will try to write something profound down on a piece pf paper to transcribe into the computer when I get a chance. Updates will be more sporadic, but I hope to net 7-10 / week.

And, if it comes down to a choice between giving my family and myself what I need in person, or logging on here to talk about the weather and what earrings I have made... or something more interesting like politics (I am Republican with strong Libertarian leanings,) religion (Christian,) or movies (action, please, with comedy in for spice,) I will chose my family. (Golly, that was one heck of a run-on sentence with all kinds of tangents to wander down.)

If I cannot manage to jot down an entry on a napkin, I will try taking pictures of my life and posting them. I make no guarantees about the quality of my photography.

Here is DD8 (7 at the time) at the bottom of our back stairs. This is where my desk is now. You can tell this spot gets more than its fair share of morning sun. This was 11 months ago, a few weeks before we moved in. It is much messier now.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thoughts on Horror (Feb1)

My husband and I were discussing movies a while back and we started to think about why we liked some movies but not others, even when on the surface the films might seem similar. I had been watching a little bit of the computer animated Resident Evil: Degeneration but stopped because I was losing interest and neither engaged in the story nor frightened. The first two Resident Evil movies were decent enough. The third Mila Jovovich one was ok, but not up to the first two. This computer animated one really blew. Eventually I went back and watched the second half just for laughs.

Anyway, like I said, my husband and started to talk about movies, and drifted to horror, given my choice of recent viewing material. Here is his take (edited somewhat) on what makes a horror movie good (or bad.)

Me- What makes a movie scary if you don't want to rely on gore or cheap startles?

DH- There are a couple of thrills aside, really good suspense flows well, actually, the cheap thrills usually stop good suspense.

Me- The suspense has to lead somewhere, but cats jumping out when you are afraid there is a killer is just plain stupid.
"Haha, it was just a cat, blah blah blah, the audience will love that laugh, they are so stupid"

I see THAT is a mistake writers make. But there is more to it.

DH- The key to good suspense is to keep building slowly, never letting it totally down (and avoiding the bum-bum-BUM moments.)
That means good plot, and some pay-off doesn't hurt when it's not cheap.
Look at 6th sense, leaving aside any gore, it would've been just as scary with no gore.
You make sure the audience KNOWS the bad things are about to happen, and that's really where the suspense is.

Me- The gore in 6th sense was not to shock the audience but more to give sympathy for Cole; a kid should not have to see that all the time.

DH- Yeah.
Now, some other things...

Creepiness; this is really the function most hacks use gore to achieve.
Other common ways to achieve creepiness is by using things that people innately fear or avoid, like bugs and insane people.

Me- HP Lovecraft studied psychology to delve into what primally scares people; being eaten is a big one.

DH- The last piece I would suggest again comes to plot, but isn't so much a device... it's the timing and flow. Scary movies are like musical pieces when done right. They have to flow together from one movement to another with lots of minor apexes, but only one big crescendo. When you let it come down, you have to keep enough tension to keep the ball rolling. You can't have too many big points that detract from the finale, but you still have to have the minor points that make everything feel like progress forward and to keep interest.
You can't rely on one big scare.
Your plot is vital to this, because gimmicks just don't do it.

I hope that wasn't too hard to decipher, given that we were IMing at the time.

"bum bum BUM" Are a big cheese factor. Anywhere you can say (or hear an actor say, which is even worse) "It was the little boy all along!" or "Oh NO! Just as she almost got out!" or "The scientist took a sample to his lab!" These are sometimes accompanied by sweepy camera moves, to make sure you see it, or accenting music. bum bum BUM. B horror flicks do this a lot. Resident Evil: Degeneration did this so much it was amusing.

Not long after we had this conversation DH and I went to see Coraline. It is a children's horror movie. This meant the gore was kept to a minimum (Do splattered silverfish count as gore?) and the story would have to carry (or fail to carry) the suspense and horror. (And there was more likely to be a happy ending. There are very few things I want to take time out of my life to watch or read that I will be satisfied by a tragic ending. It just seems like a wild waste of my time.)

DH said Coraline was superbly done, one of the best movies he has seen in the last five years. (That sounds like a compliment, but thinking back on the releases of the last five years, it isn't saying as much as it sounds like it is saying.) There were minor apexes leading up to, but not detracting from the final climax.

I liked it a lot too, though the trapeze scene was a little...over the top. The creepiness was certainly up there on the scale. I have heard that adults are actually more creeped out than kids by this film. I can see that. There are nuances that kids either don't get or take as a given that mess with adults. It depends on the kids, of course, and the adults. The buttons really get me, eewww!

I don't think I would take my 8 year old to see this, but the older girls, sure.

The rhinoceros at the Memphis Zoo. I cannot remember what her name is. I keep thinking Rosie, but I would not bet money that is correct. Isn't she beautiful?
The weather today and yesterday has been very nice. The sun is sparkling in a bright blue sky. The temperatures are warmer than they were last week while it rained. I may send the kiddos outside this afternoon to get out of my hair the house.

It is a little bit of a mixed blessing. My desk is quite near our back (south facing) window and I am facing east. Between 9 am and noon I can barely see for the glare of sunlight right in my face. I am thinking of moving my desk. It is either that or move the sun. I tried moving the sun first. It worked for a while but then the blamed thing just went right back to where it had been.

This is a really good place for my desk. It will take some thinking to decide where I want to put it. I might have to rearrange the whole house. What fun.

Maybe I should see if there is some way to get curtains up onto the large window. It is pretty big, and the top left corner is a good 3.5 - 4 meters up, hard to reach. I'll really have to think about it.

I suppose if I buy or rent a ladder to help with outdoor high place maintenance I could also use the ladder inside to hang curtains. They would definitely need to be on some sort of pulley system. The window is too big to just grab the drapes in the middle break and sweep them open with your hand.

I suppose my other option, besides moving my desk or hanging drapes, is to just live with the glare. But that doesn't sound fun at all.

My friend Sonya. RIP

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Without Me

Aside from the sadness I feel at Sonya's death, I also feel the need to not only make sure my family knows I love them, but also to make sure that the future is planned for what they would do if something happened to me.

I suppose those are both perfectly normal reactions. At least they feel perfectly normal to me.

DD11 and I have actually discussed this matter in the past. But I think I need to make sure DH understands and wants what I want. And that he knows how to get what he needs to continue taking care of the girls the way I would prefer, should I not be here to finish their education.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


PLease pardon my typing today. I do not have my glasses on, and I cannot really see even then.

You may remember a few days, weeks maybe, I don't know, I was complaining about my friend not listing my blog on her blogroll..

Well, it's there now.

I was there looking for glimpses of her. SHe died Friday.

I never mentioned whose blog didn't list mine. God, I hope she didn't know I meant her.

But Iam listed htere now.

I had other things I was going to blog about, but I may not be over here for a couple of days.

I am sorry.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Mississippi Magic

Growing up with my dad in the military we didn't get to visit my grandparents in Mississippi very often. Usually it was either a week in the summer or a week at Christmastime.

I can remember as we would be driving in, closer and closer to the marvelous house I knew so well. The highway would wind through tall trees that dripped with kudzu vines. My sister and I called it our Mississippi jungle. We'd pass the little church where our parents were married (and at least 3 pairs of aunts and uncles) then more woods. There on the right was the road to our aunt's house. Up on that hill, that white house was our mother's cousin's home. Then the road would bend and there is was, down off the highway, a gravel drive, magnolia tree, vegetable garden, and a small, little house that never felt small to us.

My family was not wealthy, generally more the opposite.

My grandparents did not have a switch to turn their dining room light on and off. We, or rather, an adult, had to reach up and give the bulb a twist, making sure to cover their hand with a wash rag if the bulb had been on a while. I have no idea how they came to be without a light switch back then. In the years since then that problem has been fixed.

The only interior room to have a door was the combination bathroom/laundry room. All of the bedrooms had old quilts nailed up in the doorways.

That was probably wise. The floor was so warped that the bathroom door had the tendency to jam after opening only a few feet.

My mother's stepmother always had a parakeet. I don't think it was ever the same bird from one visit to the next, but there was always a bird in the dining room.

The front door was never used, too many old refrigerators or freezers or hub caps to be convenient. The side door was more easily reached anyway, and safer. There were wasps on the porch, so we never played there, even if old hub caps and freezers did seem cool.

Those visits were a chance for three kids from the suburbs to be free for a while from The Brady Bunch and The Jetsons and just see what there was to be seen. We could build our own fun from there.

Sometimes there were chickens we weren't allowed to chase, sometimes not. There were often beagles in the wooden pen that my grandfather used to hunt. We weren't allowed near the pen either.

I don't know what that pen was built for originally, but my earliest memory of it was it housing pigs. I guess dogs was a step up. We didn't really want to mess with the pen.

Our imaginations could turn the woods behind the house (woefully void of kudzu) into a jungle or wilderness. We would search down the hill for treasure amongst 40 years of junk that had been tossed down there out of view of the house before the county started collecting. (Left over food went to the dogs (or pigs) and junk was tossed down the hill. Broken sewing machines, kitchen chairs, stereo speakers, old boots, 20 year old empty soda bottles, broken eyeglass frames, old broom handles, it was a gold mine.

We were not supposed to play down there.

I love living in Mississippi, even if living somewhere is very different from visiting for a week, and 2009 is very different from 1982. I still love kudzu vines, even though I am not supposed to. I love looking through junk to see wondrous possibilities for fun. I love exploring and learning about the past.

I want to capture some of the magic Mississippi had for me as a kid, for myself as well as for my own children. I am just not sure how. (Tossing all of our broken junk into the backyard not really being where I want to take this.)

Here are DD8 and DD10 trying to roller skate.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What's for Dinner? (Jan 31)

So, I know I promised to try to keep the mundane to a minimum, but we can already see how that has turned out. So, for today's blogg-a-riffic enjoyment, I present...

"What is for dinner?"

We have Chef Boy-ar-Dee ravioli, some Dinty Moore beef stew, chicken flavor Ramen noodles.


I do believe a trip to the grocery store may be in order.

So, now that the options have openned up to include "Anything I Want," What should we have?

DD11 says Spaghetti, or Fettuccini Alfredo. I don't really feel like cooking, and those are MY recipes. (Some things I cook, some things DH cooks.)

DB says he doesn't know. "Did we decide to not have the ravioli?" That is his answer. Or meatball subs, he suggests, once I clarify that a trip to the grocery is going to happen first.

What is it with all the Italian (-based) foods? We eat too much pasta. Well, I guess meatball subs don't quality as "pasta" per se, but it is in the same "food family."

I could really go for a BBQ sandwich. Too bad I didn't put a roast in the crock pot 8 hours ago. We could go for "heat and eat" but it isn't the same. If we lived in Huntsville still, I would know just where to go. I am not as clear on where is good around here. I learned to make my own when we lived too far to pop out for take-out. Now that we are closer to town I have not explored the glories of Oxford BBQ. I think I'll ask around some of my friends. (Yes, I have friends.)

We have been having tacos a lot recently, as well. It has been good, but the bloom is off the rose. (That is a saying, right?) And I am tired of hot dogs, too. They have been my default "I-don't-feel-like-cooking-or-salad-meal recently. I ma tired of hot dogs.)

Now that I thought of BBQ, I cannot get it out of my head. I may have to suffer with "heat and eat" but things could be worse. I could be forced to cook for real.

Chuck (Jan 30)

We have gotten adicted. Gotta have a new series to watch. (Thanks A LOT for suggesting this one, DS! Now we don't get anything done.)

Super Spies, Super Computer, a Best Buy knock-off as a set, and Adam could that go wrong? I think Ellie and Awesome are my favorite characters (besides Chuck, Sarah, and Casey.)

DH says he doesn't think it is written by nerds. The nerds on the show are too cliched, he says. He may be right. He may be in denial. I do believe we went to college with some of these guys.

TV watching doesn't go the same way here as it does for most of you. All my watching is done on-line, so if a show is not brand new I get sucked into watching episode after episode, much like have a season on DVD (which is also done around here.) Things settle down to watching once a week only when we have caught up to current shows.

Rather than an 18 hour slob fest we have decided to keep it to 3 episodes a night. It draws out the fun and allows other things to get done. (I did a couple of 18+ (do not ignore the +) runs to get up to speed on Ghost Whisperer. Can you say "Jumpy?" Half the reason I stayed up through the night to watch was that I was incapable of going to bed and trying to sleep, even with the lamp on. The other half was that the story really drew me in. (Still hooked btw. Do you watch? Do you think Sam/Jim is really gone?)

Well, DH needed a quick nap after work. It is about time for Chuck. See ya'!

Today's photo - My Dad and Grandad (his father-in-law) sitting near the fireplace at a family gathering. Dad is usually off on the side at a Mom's-bunch gathering. I do not know why Grandaddy is. he is usually right in the center of everything.

Chatting about the weather

Yeah, the last few days have been in the 80s F. For those of you accustomed to Celcius temps that is "the warmer side of confy for outside." Today we get 50s. Tonight it is supposed to rain and rain all through the rest of the week and into the weekend. So much for yard work. (Procrastination pays off once again!)

(Disclaimer - No one under the age of 18 should take the above statement as an endorsement of putting off ones chores in the hopes of getting out of them completely. That is irresponsible.)

Some wild flowers to cheer up your day. I believe these were in my in-laws' yard 2 or 3 years ago.

Monday, March 9, 2009

WaHOOOO!!!! (for Jan 29)

That is it! Done!!

"We are the Champions, My Friend!
And we'll keep on fighting 'til the end.
We are the Champions!
We are the Champions!
No time for losers 'cause
We are the Champions
Of the WORLD!"

We got our tax refund Friday.
I just hit send on an e-payment for the last of my student loan.

Over the last 15 months we have paid off $50,281.20 and this was the last debt (besides the mortgage) we have.

Take THAT Toyota, and MasterCard, and Visa, and Sallie Mae. You are no longer a part of my family's life, nor will you ever be again!

And a picture to remind that WHATEVER goal you set can be reached if you keep at it and work for it.

Frustration X Confusion = ?? (make up for Jan 28)

I am doing something wrong with the teaching of multiplication. I cannot figure it out. They know some things but seem to have no grasp of other facts, no matter how many times we practice and go over it. I am going to try some new approaches.

Hmmm, or maybe old ones. DD11 learned just fine, mostly by playing a computer game. I haven't had the other two girls playing the computer game. I think I will try pulling it out. Of course, DD11 liked the computer game. If her sisters do not it may not be as successful.

Last Autumn, the girls and I did manage to do some raking. Not that you can tell it now.

PS- Concerning the last blog entry...earing pair -Done

There is a story in my head. (make up for Jan 27)


I had a delicious dream last night. It had plot, intrigue, beauty, and mystery. Ireally want to write it out as a novel. But I woke up only about one quarter of the way through! I don't even know how things are going to turn out.

I need to think on it a bit. And clear up some of the "dream logic" that doesn't make sense.

DH says to flesh out the characters and their actions and (more importantly) their motivations and the story will come on its own. It's a wonder he isn't a writer. He has the talent for storytelling.

My main problem is I have a gaggle of supporting characters and an antagonist, but no main protagonist. I can't very well write a novel set in a mysterious intrigue filled kingdom and hav the main character be a mother of 3 from Mississippi (unless that is the whole premise, which in this case, it is not.)

I need to jot down some notes and ideas. And I need plot twists. The story as I dreamed it was too straight forward.

Here is a chalk drawing one of my daughters did on the driveway of my in-laws' home in KY. I do not remember which daughter, just that this photo was taken in July of 2007. I guess date stamps are only useful up to a point.

Monday To Do

I must say, having a list of things that need to be done handy to remind oneself of what need to be done and allow one to mark off tasks as they are completed is certainly helpful. I made a "To Do" list last night and am already well on the way through it.

Open downstairs windows to allow fresh air in. - Done
Shower - Done
Bible Reading - Done
Take down last of Christmas decorations - Done
Put paid bill stubs into DH's unused (and therefor available) briefcase - Done
Clean the floor of the craft room - Done
Laundry - Going
Dishes - Going

Still up...
Raking the yard
Making one pair of earrings
Sweeping spider webs off the outside of the house
Pulling overgrown ivy from outside the laundry room window
Mop the Kitchen
clean 2 fish tanks

I don't know if I will get outside today. So, some of these will wait until tomorrow.

Here is one of my favorite shots from when I lugged my camera around the Ole Miss campus looking for interesting shots. This is the front porch of the Lyseum building, built in 1848. It is the oldest building on campus. It used to BE the university building. Now it houses the offices of the chancellor and probably some other people along with a few conference rooms.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Most Under-rated Movie of All Time (make up for Jan 27)

I never did watch, thanks to all the poo-pooing by critics and the knowledge that it seems to have ended Kevin Costner's career. Shame on me! Shame on the critics! I can only imagine why they did not like this movie. It was well written, well acted, and well made (other than the cable car scene, which was obviously green-screen, but may just be that I am spoiled by recent cgi technological developments and it wasn't bad for the time.)

The Postman totally DID NOT SUCK! I loved it. I must see if I can buy this on DVD. It was a tad predictable, but what isn't nowadays? This movie was cool.

If you are the kind of person who likes "hope re-emerging after disaster" movies. If you don't mind one (in my opinion) unnecessary sex scene. If you are a fan of the United States Postal System. You will like this movie.

The character of the Postman is cool, but I think Abby and Ford are my favorites.

Not a movie for young kids. IF it weren't for the above-mentioned sex scene I would definitely consider letting my older two watch. Since there is the needed technology to skip past that I may still. (Oh, side note. There was one use of the N-word. It was used to show how evil and hateful the bad guys are. Its existence is no doubt one of the reasons this movie was so reviled. A short talk to the girls about what the word is, what it means, and what it signifies will be in order before they watch. If they watch.)

Eye candy-
After a storm last Spring it looked like our backyard maple tree tried to catch something it had dropped.

Growing Season Plans (make-up for Jan 26)

We are going to be gardening this year. Yes, I have said that in the past and, no, I have never had a garden. Funny thing, buying seed packets is only the FIRST step (technically, I don't think it should actually be Step 1...maybe step 3 or 4.) not the only step.

I found a way that I think I can do this. Square Foot Gardening looks like I could actually manage. I am not planning to do it exactly like he says. I am adapting it along the "classroom" ideas he gives and scaling it down. (DH, no doubt wary of my attention span for such things, says to start small.) I am planning to build 2'x 2' boxes, with bottoms (unlike the gardens the site generally showcases) so that I can not only move them but also have them up on a table. This will let me bring them into the garage if we get a bad storm or drought. And, most importantly for me, this will be easier on my knees.

The knees have been giving me a lot of trouble over the last few months. I am starting to think a house full of stairs was a bad idea. However, I do love my house, so I am coping.

If I had to garden on the ground I would not do it at all. With all of it up on a table, within easy not-bending-over reach, this is at least possible.

We have lettuce, tomatoes, peppers on the list for veggies. I think I will do a larger patch of corn as well as watermelon and pumpkin vines in the ground, rather than on the table. I am also going to have an herb box with oregano, basil, rosemary, and ... hmmm ... I had only picked 3. A 2'x 2' box has four 1'x 1' spaces. I think I will see if I can grow marjoram. That keeps the box spice-based and gives spices I use on a regular basis. (I cannot bring myself to put a veggie in the spice box. That isn't the way I work.) I am also going to have spearmint. That stuff will grow just about anywhere. I have some old flower pots I might use, or just build another 2'x 2' box. I could put it in the ground, but spearmint looks very weed-like; at least it resembles a lot of the weeds our yard has. SO, I do not think in-the-ground is the right way to go.

I'll keep you updated on how things progress. IF things progress.

FOr your visual pleasure...Some of my Christmas presents from this past holiday (2008). It was the year of cups. I often see my gifts following a theme, even when the givers are not in cahoots, or even know each other. The flag covered was from the in-laws. The light blue with the word Faith was from my sister. The little demitasse with the brown stripe was from Mom. There are a couple of others I didn't get into the pic.

Now, I just need to send out psychic vibes that 2009 will be the Year of Gold Bullion and see if I can influence the theme with my mind.

Saving the Daylight

I did not realize until last night at midnight that it was Time Change Time again. I knew "They" had decided to switch it to March starting last year, rather than the April everyone was used to. I did not realize it was so early in March.

I do not really mind. Spring generally comes early around here, relative to the rest of North America. Changing the time fits with our Mississippi climate. I cannot imagine what a mind-wonk it would be to change the time and still have a foot of snow (or more) on the ground.

Good thing I live here. I can't really handle too much more mind-wonking.

PS- For a real mind-wonking, try watching two episodes of Farscape at the same time. Start one, then five minutes in start another. Every 5-10 minutes switch back and forth. At first you won[t have too much trouble keeping straight what is going on, but by the time each is reaching the climax of the episode you are going to start really wishing you had only watched one, or perhaps none at all; depends on your taste for sci-fi. Later seasons provide for even better mind-wonking fun that the early stuff.

Here DH and DB try (and eventually succeed) at jumping DB's on-its-last-legs pick-up.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Jewelry Again (Make-Up for Jan 25)

I am really enjoying making this jewelry. That is what I did all day yesterday while I was not updating my blog.

Yesterday I lengthened my inch of Byzantine chain and a smaller size chain maille chain, made numerous jump rings with gold-toned wire, cataloged some new supply purchases, did some laundry (lest you think I was totally lost in trinket-land all day), and experimented with a couple of new techniques.

My favorite bit was discovering, while preparing DH's new shirts for washing, that the pins Van Heusen so generously donated to hold the shirt in its package shape are, in fact, quite pretty in a pin-like sort of way.

Go crazy with the wire cutters, choose some beads, whip out the pliers and VOILA, six stick pins become six earrings. And you would never know if I didn't tell you.

A branch of my Japanese Red Maple. This was Spring 2007.

Habits and Blogging

Habits are hard to break, that is what makes them habits rather than just occasional activities. But, once they are broken, they are broken.

When my computer first went down I was often itching to get over to the blog and jot down a thought or two, but stopped myself. Eventually the nice little blog-a-day habit I was growing faded away. So, now that I can again update the blog every day, I find it hard to remember and get over here to see to it.

I was all excited Monday to start making up for lost time and make-up missed days with bonus entries, and then yesterday I forgot to write anything. Grrr, I will add March 3 to the list of days to be made up.

For your photo enjoyment this morning, the girls at the park. This was either last year or the year before.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sermon Notes

Basic Premise of both Sunday School and Sermon was that turning from God has consequences.

The 3rd chapter of Habakkuk was the sermon basis. I have never actually read Habakkuk. It was very interesting and particularly relevant for today, I think.

Basically, God used the Chaldeans to punish Israel for turning from him. But, the Chaldeans themselves would be held accountable for their actions.

How is that relevant for today? Is anyone really asking that?

In Like a Lion (Make-Up blog entry 2)

I cannot imagine I am the only person to start their blogs with that title.

Last week saw temps in the 60's F. Yesterday it snowed.

The girls loved it. They were a little sad they had to wait until after church to play out in the yard. But, there was still enough after lunch to make for a fun afternoon.

Most of it is gone now. There is still a tiny bit at the front of the house that doesn't get much sun.

New Toy (Make-Up entry 1)

Saturday night I started making jewelry.

Now, granted, that only involved choosing a charm I like, buying two of them plus earring pieces and jump rings, then using a pair of pliers to open a jump ring (4mm ring of steel wire) and attaching the charm to the "earring." But, I am still proud of them.

Turns out if was harder than I thought. I got ready for church Sunday morning and found out one of the charms was backwards. Easy to fix in less than a minute. Lesson learned, pay more attention.

See here my great Saturday evening work.

I got a couple of how-to-books to get help and ideas. One of them focuses on creating your own findings (that is clasps, jump rings, earring wires, etc) out of wire with pliers.

One of them focuses on beads.

The third focuses on using jump rings to make jewelry based on ancient chain maile making techniques.

The chain maile bracelets and necklaces are amazing!

See here some of what I played around with yesterday afternoon.

I started with this.

Turned some of it into these.

Then linked them together to make this.

This is my first attempt at the 4-in-1 chain maile pattern that the book had. I used the steel wire as practice, both to learn how to make my own jump rings, explore metal types, and learn how different gauges and softnesses of wire behave. Plus, it is much cheaper than jewelry wire, so the learning curve doesn't hurt as much.

After I did a few inches of steel chain and got the hang of the maile pattern (It isn't as easy as it looked at first.) I got out the (pre-made) 9mm jewelry jump rings I bought.

The final (real, not practice) bracelet turned out quite nice; I think.

After I finished the 4-in-1 bracelet I went to the back of the book where there are instructions for a Byzantine link chain. I always loved the look of Byzantine link chains. I started with 6mm links, but they didn't hold the pattern well, at least not in the gauge I have. I moved to 4mm and that worked much better. Unfortunately, the pattern is every bit as complicated and complex (That's right, complicated AND complex!) that I always thought it was. This inch of Byzantine chain took about as long as the entire 4-in-1 bracelet (not counting steel link practice.)

See here the (roughly) one inch length of Byzantine chain I have so far done with the end of my pliers to give some vague idea of scale.

See here a close up of the inch of Byzantine Link Chain.

Enough about all this. Talk to you later.