Sunday, December 10, 2006

Likes and dislikes

What I love about my body:
I love the way my body looks and feels in the buff. Standing in front of a mirror I see a body that Renoir would have loved to paint. I love the curves- it is like a hilly, mountain terrain. I love that this body has been through all it has. I love that it supported and birthed two beautiful, healthy, glorious human beings.

What I am not enjoying about this body:
Trying to stuff it into clothes that are not made for it. Pantyhose are torture devices in case you didn't know. THey just don't make clothes for short, round women.

Off to clean the living room while my mama folds laundry. The goal for today is to have it clean enough to support my collection of Christmas decorations.


Friday, December 08, 2006

My life this week: In a nutshell

What have I been doing this week, and what are my plans for this weekend?

Buying formal wear for two kids: One two-piece suit, white shirt with clip on tie, black slacks, black socks, white undershirts, black floor-length velvet dress, new tights, hair bands.
Buying stuff with which to make Christmas presents. Don't even ask when I plan to make them!
Buying Christmas tree, lights, ornaments.
Buying groceries.

Preparing children for and attending, or driving various children to:
Varsity state qualifying speech and debate tournament, band concert, piano gigs, recitals, etc.
Attending all day seminars in which I learn to communicate and be integrity in all that I do.
Visiting friends, my mom, attending Christmas parties, making phone calls, volunteering at the food bank, volunteering some more at the First Place school, signing up to volunteer at high school basketball games, etc.

Trying to sit with one kid at the piano, then bounce over to the other kid who is struggling to write an essay on Gilgamesh.

Trying to keep 3 cats off the kitchen table. Learning how to clip chicken toenails. Pulling carrots and beets out of frozen gardens.

Whew! I am hoping I will be able to blog thoroughly on Sunday, this will have to do for now!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Snow Globe of Doom on an Icy cold day

Ok, this is just hilarious- got this one from Jordin over at Looking for Grace Notes- the Snow Globe of Doom.
She sent it to me in honor of our snow day today. We had only about an inch of snow, but nasty ice everywhere. Shut down everything from schools to massage therapy offices to dentists.
We had a great day- sleeping in, bringing in firewood, drinking hot spiced cider, reading out loud, working on the Girl's Ancient Egypt notebook, the Boy and I discussing the Epic of Gilgamesh using Socratic Dialog, having soup for supper, and then watching Superman Returns.

While the kids and I were doing school around the kitchen table this afternoon, the Papa Dude got to go out into the icy cold day and find a dentist that was actually open to repair a chipped tooth. He chipped it on of all things, a prickly pear cactus seed. So much for our being open and trying new foods!

All in all, minus the chipped tooth, it was a good snow day. It was fun to not have to go anywhere, and just be able to school the kids.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

This was funny- I couldn't resist.

You Are Prancer

You are the perfect reindeer, with perfect hooves and perfect flying form.

Why You're Naughty: Because you're Santa's pet, and you won't let anyone show you up.

Why You're Nice: You have the softest fur and the sweetest carrot breath.

Update at Green Dragon

I posted an update at The Green Dragon tonight. It doesn't have anything to do with reading challenges, but you might find it interesting.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Quilting meme

Cool! A quilting meme! Got this one from Sioux's Zest.
You highlight what you have done. Anyone want to do this one?

Have You Ever?

1. Taken a quilting class
2.Paper pieced
3. Hand quilted
4. Hand pieced
5. Created your own pattern
6. Published a pattern in a magazine or book
7. Gone on a quilting retreat
8. Gone to a quilting convention
9. Met someone who wrote a quilting book
10 combined your quilting with some other craft
11. Done any three dimensional quilting - like fabric origami
2. Made something using Thimbleberries fabric
13. Made something using batiks
14. Dyed your own fabric-only once- just tie-dying
15. Made a landscape hanging
16. Made a New York Beauty quilt
17. Made a baby quilt
18 Made a wall hanging
19 Made a journal quilt
20 Submitted your journal quilt for viewing
21 Made a fabric postcard-haven't yet, but want to soon.
22 Made a artistic trading card (ATC)
23 Exchanged artistic trading cards
24. Mailed your own postcard
25. Made a lap quilt
26 Made a twin size quilt
27 Made a full size quilt
28 Made a queen size quilt
29 Made a king size quilt
30 Donated a quilt to charity
31 Sent a quilt out to a quilter
32 Thrown away a UFO
33 Given away a UFO
34 Cut up a UFO and made something else with it
35 Ripped fabric instead of cutting it
36 Made a quilt exactly like the pattern, with no changes whatsoever
37 Done any Sashiko
38 Quilted your own quilt
39 Did free motion quilting- just a tiny bit- I am just learning
40 Put any embroidery or beads on your quilt-another one where I have to say not yet but soon!
41 Given away your quilt to a stranger
42 Swapped fabric
43 swapped blocks
44 participated in a round robin
45 participated in an ostritch round robin
46 kept a journal about your quilting
47 written a letter to someone who made an antique quilt
49 kept a blog about your quilting
50 participated in a gift exchange
51 sent a quilting random act of kindness
52 joined a newsgroup about quilting
53 made a quilt using a pattern from quilterscache
54 joined an online block of the month
55 made a block of the month quilt- I just signed up for one of these- I can't wait to get going on it.
56 subscribed to a fabric of the month club
57 bought fabric at an online store
58 bought fabric from ebay
59 own more than one sewing machine
60 have a room dedicated solely to sewing- in my dreams!
61 hide a fabric purchase
62 finished making a holiday gift before July
63 spent more than $200 in one quilt shopping trip
64 made a quilt using a book from the library
65 worked with someone else to make a quilt
66. joined a quilt guild
67 become president of a quilt guild
68 taught a quilting class
69 helped someone else get the quilting bug
70 taught a child to sew
71 made a Dear Jane block
72 Made a miniature quilt
73 watch QNN - quilters news network
73 subscribe to a quilting magazine from your own country
74 subscribe to a quilting magazine from another country
75 buy fabric from another country
76 swapped completed quilts with someone else
77 asked for quilting help online
78 gone to a quilt shop to ask for quilting help
79 bought fabric at a local quilt shop
80 traveled more than 100 miles to go to a quilt shop
81 used nontraditional fabric for a quilt - something other than cotton or flannel
82 made a quilt using instructions given to you on a blog
83 make comments on someone's quilting blog
84 meet a quilter in person after only having talked online
85 had a quilting retreat in your home
86 own quilting software
87 made a quilt you designed on your quilting software
88 done any quilt research - history, interviewing quilters, etc.
89 had any quilt related subject published anywhere
90 donated a quilt to a museum
91 bought a quilt from a thrift store
92 made a quilt using fabric from a thrift store
93 made a quilt using photos
94 made a pastel quilt
95 made a quilt using brights
96 made a quilt using ethnic fabric from another country - African, Asian, etc.
97 made a quilt using leftover blocks from other quilts
98 had your quilt in a magazine, newspaper, newsletter, TV, etc.
99. submitted your quilt to a quilt show
100. won any ribbons with your quilts
101 had more finished quilts than UFOs
102 made a quilt using reproduction fabrics
103 took a break from quilting that was longer than a year
104 made money with your quilting
105 had a job in the fabric / quilting industry

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Being Thankful & Watching Movies

Cool! I posted a pic! So much to be thankful for here. Thought I'd list the movies we have to watch this long weekend.
Last night we watched Ice Age 2 The Meltdown. It was ok. Good for Laughs, I guess.
We also have Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. I want to watch this one tonight. I absolutely love Gary Cooper, sigh. For tomorrow, we have Pocketful of Miracles with Glenn Ford and Bette Davis. I haven't seen this one before. We also have Back to the Future 3, which the kids have seen, but the Dude and I haven't. The kids will probably just watch this one again while we watch Intolerable Cruelty with George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones. I have to admit, I am surprised that Clooney made Sexiest Man twice in one lifetime- just for the record, I can think of many other famous men I think are sexier. But he is a good actor, so I will put up with it!

OK, off to go eat some more roasted nuts while we wait for the turkey to get done!

Happy Thanksgiving!

As those of you who know me will remember, we usually host an "orphan" Thanksgiving, and cook a huge Indian feast, filled with curries, and riatas, and the works. But this year, there didn't seem to be any other orphans needing a place to be (which is a very good thing!), and I was tired of doing half of the huge amount of work required for a feast. And just last week, I helped cook a Thanksgiving meal for 100 people. It was fun, but exhausting. I also have the fresh memories of last Thanksgiving, which is when I started to get sick, and I just couldn't muster up much enthusiasm for this upcoming holiday, and the work involved for me.

So when the Papa Dude sat us around the table late last week, and asked us what we wanted to do/eat for Thansgiving, I had a hard time coming up with ideas. I finally got into the idea when I realized I could make an unreasonable request. I asked for a traditional turkey dinner that I didn't have to prepare. Here is the result of that request. My living room is clean, and I did none of it. There is a stack of 4 movies on the telly, and I didn't have to go to the movie store. The children wrote up the menu, and the grocery list, and did the shopping (I did taxi them to three stores, break up 2 fights over who got to push the cart, and helped them comparision shop.) The children and the Papa Dude have been cooking and cleaning and there are a lot of great smells coming from the kitchen. Meanwhile, I have had long baths, have read a bit of mind candy, talked to good friends on the phone, cleaned up my sewing area, and practiced relaxing (yes, I do have to practice letting go and letting others do all the work!). This is a great idea, and definately prompts me to make more unreasonable requests! I also would like to say how thankful I am for my little family.

Today's menu:
broiled garlic shrimp
sweet spiced nuts
herbed spicy nuts
cucumber and radishes
olives and pickles

Main menu:
Dry-cured rosemary turkey
wild rice stuffing with dried fruit and spiced nuts*
cranberry-orange relish
twice baked sweet potatoes
garlic kale
roasted asparagus
punkin pies#

* I made these, cuz I wanted to, and/or the recipe is only found in my head.
# I made the crust, the kids did the rest. We ended up with 6 pies! Look out neighbors, here I come!

Well, I need to go knead the challah, Happy Day to you today!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I'm Spring, what are you?

Got this one over at Miz Booshay's blog. I would have to say it was fairly accurate, though I do love Autumn as well. How 'bout you?

You Belong in Spring

Optimistic, lively, and almost always happy with the world...
You can truly appreciate the blooming nature of spring.
Whether you're planting flowers or dyeing Easter eggs, spring is definitely your season!

Friday, November 10, 2006

It Fits!

Okay, I am thoroughly deep cleaning my room today. I was clearing off my dressing table, happened to find my wedding ring, slipped it on, and for the first time in 7 years, it fits!!! I haven't weighed this much in that long, and as frustrating as it is beginning to be to be overweight, my wedding ring fits. I have to admit- THIS part of it I am going to enjoy.

A contest!

I used to not enter any contests, because I never won any. Great logic, huh? But lately, I have been entering in any contest, or drawing I can, and I actually win sometimes- anything from free soap, to an Ibanez guitar. And it is fun, whether I win or not. SO here is the latest one I have found. Check it out. Jennifer over at The Wilson Six is having a drawing for a custon-made notepad. Fun!

Papa is downstairs fixing breaky, and I need to get the kids up and moving, but will try to post later today- there is a lot of stuf happening here, and I need to tell you all about it! Ask me about tournaments, and cars crashing fences!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Re-post. Rice Krispie treats

A recipe for fake rice krispie treats

This is for Dy, even though her boys can have marshmallows, and for anyone else who, like my kids is allergic to corn, and can't have real marshmallows.

Date Balls
1/2 cup butter (I use cocnut butter)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 pound chopped dates (Santa was so sweet to bring me a new food processor for things like this!)
1 beaten egg
1 TBSP milk (I use rice, almond, or coconut milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts (or dried blueberries, coconut, maybe m & m's if you can have them)
2 cups rice krispies
1/2 tsp salt
choice of coating (nuts, bits, coconut, etc.)

Cook butter, sugar and dates until boiling over low heat. Add beaten egg, milk, vanilla, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook 2 minutes, cool. Add chopped nuts and cereal. Form into balls the size of a walnut. Makes 3 doz. Roll in nuts, coconut, melted chocolate or powdered sugar.
I got this recipe from Shelly in Il, from the WTM boards.

LB (and the Girl who can't wait to make these again!)

One hundred and fifty things.

One hundred and fifty things.

The object of this list is to highlight the things that you have done.

Feel free to borrow this and complete it on your blog.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game (and survived the crush afterwards)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21.Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight----- canned whipped cream!
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites-----castle ruins in Germany
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married-----yes, but I couldn't tell you the date!
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo--- not yet, but I have one planned.
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children - still raising!
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds-----If you add it all up.
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray----a baby one at the aquarium
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone------- does having your nose broken for you count?
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet----- not me,but dh had a python names Monty
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states----- I think I am tied on this one
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach------ {{shudder}}
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey-----not yet, but on my list for this year.
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident---but it was just a fender bender.
150. Saved someone’s life

Saturday, October 14, 2006


I feel like I am riding a roller coaster. Sometimes I am up, sometimes down, sometimes rolling along, but knowing, just knowing there is a steep hill coming up. Sometimes I just wanna get off, but know that the ride doesn't stop in the middle. Can one sigh and smile at the same time, I wonder?

In no particular order:
Today was day two of my three day class titled Homeschooling 101 at the local community college. We stayed an hour past the end of class- I am going to have to call the continuing ed. lady and have her bump it to four hours each day instead of three. I only have three students, but it has been such a good experience for all of us. It does exhaust me though- I have been fighting off a cold successfully for over a week, but today it caught up with me- I was sucking down Cold-Eeze and cough drops the whole class, and when I finally got home, I slept for two hours. Got up, fixed a good dinner- turkey breast, taters, shrooms (I was given a flat of shrooms- there is over a pound in the pot!) , and onions, all cooked in the crockpot in a rich chicken broth with herbs and white wine. Also cooked some zucchini and cauliflower. Papa is out getting movies and then I should be able to climb into bed again.

The Boy played in the marching band last night at the high school's homecoming game. He looked to handsome in his band uniform (No, Dy, I didn't get pics, but I will.). It is black tuxedo pants, and a handsome red jacket, with white trim. and a high red hat with a white plume on top. He marched and simultaneously played french horn at the same time- a tricky feat, let me tell you! We left shortly after the half-time show, when the score was 46 to 0. The final score was 55 to 6, our team winning.

How did the Boy get home if we left after halftime, you might wonder? Well, we succumbed and got him a Tracfone. In the month he has been at the high school, he has been stranded twice, or his schedule changed, and it has been a problem not being able to communicate, or to have to give him my cell phone, and then I am not able to leave the house. He has only had it two days, and I am already glad for it.

Papa is back with the movies (Prairie Home Companion, and the rest of season 1 of Third Rock From the Sun). I will sign off and not worry about not getting it all down, I will just be glad that I got this much down, and try to write again soon.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Oh where, oh where had friend LB gone,

O where, oh where can she be?

Well, the answer is that she is doing her best to live life. My schedule is unbelievably hectic this year. I feel like Midnight Blue (our new van) and I could be hired out as a taxi service. The last few days, I have been leaving the house at 8 or 9 in the morning, and not getting home till 4 or 5. I am really struggling with this.

Part of the issue is that we have more going on than I had originally thought we would. I had not taken into account that when the Girl was preparing for a piano competition (Bach Fest at the downtown Sherman Clay store, Oct. 7th), that she would be taking 2 piano lessons a week, instead of 1. She has an amazing teacher, and they are working very hard. I don't want to discourage this in any way, but it takes up 2 hours of my day for each lesson.

The other thing that is sucking my time up is my physical therapy. I am entering my 6th month of physical therapyand going twice a week. Again, this takes up two hours of my day, and then I am supposed to go straight to bed and rest afterwards. Thanks again so much to the poopy-butt-head that decided to take his road rage out on me and push my sweet mini-van into a tree, and then thought it was ok to drive off without even an apology.

These two things are really eating into my week. I want to be able to spend time each week with my mom, I want to spend an entire day volunteering with those less fortunate than us, I want to cook wonderful meals for my family, and have a living room that is clean and welcoming. I want to do my household chores pain-free and joyfully. I want to get my basement cleaned and organized so my hunny can get the chores done he needs to down there. I want to read tons of books this year, and make lots of quilts, and then blog about them. I want to spend time preparing for my teaching jobs (Yeah, did I mention I am supposed to be teaching nature studies 3X a month, and also a class or two at the community college?). I also want to feel like I am doing a good job as a teacher, and supporting the kids in their educational endeavors. But right now, I just feel like an inadequate taxi driver.

It would help if my Boy was self-motivated in his studies. He is not using the little bit of time that he does have with me to his advantage. THe hormones get in the way. I think he is starting to get it, but it is so hard to be patient with him right now.

Well, in a nutshell, that is what is up with me, ans why I haven't been blogging. I don't have this issue resolved, but will spend some time thinking about what poosibilities I have here.


Friday, September 08, 2006

Friday Five for Donna

Today's Friday Five, as always, from Miz Booshay

Who was the last person you hugged?
A double hug with both my Girl and my Boy, in a poor attempt to get them to stop fighting for a minute this morning.

Would you ever have plastic surgery?
No, not for looks, but I have considered reconstructive surgery for my poor mangled nose, which would be done by a plastic surgeon.

What do you like to order from your favorite fast food place?
Dang, I have too many fast food places! A loaded, drippy burger from Herfy's with fried zukes on the side, or a loaded pizza, or orange chicken.

Main Course
What time of day do you usually feel most energized?
From about 10 in the morning to about noon.

When you were a kid, what job did you most want to have when you grew up?
Well, at one time, all I wanted to be was a gazelle, lol. That translated into being a ballet dancer, but my body has never been the right shape for that. Then I wanted to be an artist, and an early childhood ed teacher. I also wanted to be a mom and adopt all my kids.

Okay now, I would really like to see some answer in the comments, or some links to your blog, if you haven't already done this at Donna's, okay?


Sunday, September 03, 2006

One Book Meme

Found this one over at Circle of Quiet.

1. One book that changed your life: For some reason, this was a hard question. I will say A Pocketful of Pinecones by Karen Andreola.

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: A complete volume of all the works of William Shakespeare

4. One book that made you laugh: Why is this a hard one? I guess I have read too many to pick just one easily. How 'bout the funny bits in Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.

5. One book that made you cry (and it wasn't necessarily in a good way, although I do think this was a good story): The Wedding by Nicolas Sparks

6. One book that you wish had been written: A memoir written by either or both of Robin William's or Jonathon Winter's mothers, on how to successfully raise a very kinethetic Boy to adulthood without squelching their weirdly wonderful traits.

7. One book that you wish had never been written: She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb. Too close to home, too sad, hard to read, yet I couldn't put it down. Left a bad taste in my mouth for months. I am following the example set at A Circle of Quiet, and not linking to this one.

8. One book you’re currently reading: Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: The Iliad by Homer

10. Tag five others: I won't tag, but you are all invited to the party. Let me know if you blog this, or leave it in the comments.

I feel compelled to add this question!
11. One book you just couldn't put down till it was done: East by Edith Pattou

Friday, September 01, 2006

50 things for Laney

50 things
Actually, it's just 49 things. There is no #17. My question is why not? Was #17 offensive? Can we make one up for #17? I think I will, just for fun!

I was tagged for this meme from Laney at Press On.
Miz Booshay did it too.
1. My roommate and I once: Had a huge screaming fight in the parking lot because she was dating my scary drug-addict/alcoholic/abusive brother and had him move into our apartment without asking me.

2. Never in my life have I: been in a wet t-shirt competition.

3. The one person who can drive me nuts, but then can always manage to make me smile is: My Mama.

4. High school was: pretty horrible until I found a great group of outcasts to be friends with. I am still friends with several of them 23 yrs later.

5. When I'm nervous: I bite my nails to the quick, I stutter, and my left eye twitches.

6. The last time I cried was: Yesterday. Having a heart to heart talk with my kiddos.

7. If I were to get married right now, my bridesmaids would be: Hmm. I never actually had a wedding. How 'bout my bestest friend from high school, Mary, and my daughter? Is 11.5 too young to be a bridesmaid?

8. Would you rather run naked through a crowded place or have someone e-mail your deepest secret to all your friends? I am not sure I have any secrets that are that deep, really. I don't think I'd choose the running nekky through a crowd, either. At least not with this current body shape!

9. My hair: Is no longer naturally auburn. Why did no one warn me that red hair fades with age!? Now I have to get my red in a box. Help! My roots are showing!

10. When I was 5: I think that was the year my family forgot my birthday for the first time (yes it happened more than once!).

11. Last Christmas: We spent way too much money on books, books, and more books.

12. When I turn my head left: Hey! I can actually do this without pain! Cool. I see a messy living room when I do it though. Phooey.

13. I should be: Well, there are truly no shoulds, but I could be sitting with the Girl, doing MY schoolwork.

14. When I look down I see: 5 pairs of shoes on an unswept wood floor.

15. The craziest recent event was: trying to locate escaped chickens in the dark with a flashlight.

16. If I were a character on "Friends": I don't have a tv, so find it hard to remember the characters' names, but probably the dude that David Schwimmer plays.

17. Someone from my childhood I view as a positive role model: My dear friend S. Melton. She was/is a wonderful mother and she taught me so much about having patience with children and your spouse.

18. My favorite aunt is: My aunt Violet. She grew parsley in a pot on her front porch for me, spoiled me rotten, and loved my husband and kids right away. She has dimensia and doesn't remember me anymore, sigh, but I have some delightful memories of her from my early childhood.

19. I have a hard time understanding: Algebra

20. One time at a family gathering: First time I had seen my (abusive, alcoholic, and very scary) father in many years. My sister showed up and started screaming at my father from the front yard, at the top of her lungs, for all the horrible things he did to her as a child. They were all true, and it really spoiled the whole mood of the evening, but took the focus off me so I didn't have to tell my father that I was in a relationship with a man he had never met and pregnant.

21. You know I like you if: That's easy- I like everybody. I will talk to anyone.

22. If I won an award, the first person I'd thank: Probably my family for putting up with me while I was working towards the goal.

23. Take my advice: Don't tense up your entire body right before your vehicle is rear-ended and you see you are going to crash head-on into a tree. You will end up in P.T. for the next year, sigh, ask me how I know.

24. My ideal breakfast is: A whole wheat english muffin or a very seedy whole grain bread with bacon or sausage, fried egg, tomato, cheese and butter, and a huge glass of grapefruit juice. Right. Dreaming, of course. I need to make myself a boring protein shake now, sigh.

25. If you visit my home town: I would take you to the cheese factory, where it was rumoured that I was almost born, as my mother went into premature labor while taking a tour. I still don't know if this is just rumor, or if this really was where she went into labor, but my older sibs still tease me about it.

26. Sometime soon I plan to visit: the feed store

27. If you spend the night at my house: You can have my dd's bed or the couch, and we can stay up late talking over hot chocolate.

28. I'd stop my wedding if: I really have no idea- did I mention I never had a wedding? Maybe if my intended showed up drunk, or with lipstick on his cheek.

29. The world could do without: cockroaches and slugs.

30. I'd rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: Get this straight: I would never, ever, ever be willing to lick the belly of a cockroach. I have now met a pet cockroach up close and personal, and it was a very trying experience for me!

31. The most recent thing I've bought myself is: A little chart that tells you what the percentage score will be regardless of the number of problems on the test or assignment. It is way cool.

32. The most recent thing someone else bought for me is: Papa bought me rings and lids with which to can, and he bought me some pomagranite juice, too. My fave drink after a hot day over the stove.

33. My favorite red head is: My young friend L. Don't worry, I have already warned her that red hair fades, so she won't be dissapointed like I was, when I was no longer a redhead.

34. My favorite brunette is: hmmm. No one here is a brunette, other than me. The Papa dude is my favorite gray-haired dude that was a brunette way before I met him, does he count?

35. My car must have a sign on it that reads: Not sure. I used to have a sign on my VW that said, "Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most."

36. The last time I was drunk: I thought it was a stupid waste of time, and not much fun, and decided not to drink again, and I haven't.

37. The animals I would like to see flying besides birds: Turtles, and horses.

38. I shouldn't have been: There are no shoulds and shouldn'ts. I refuse to live in the past.

39. I should have: I am perfect just the way I am. See above.

40. Last night I: went to Trader Joe's with the Papa Dude, and he kissed me in the frozen food isle. Cool.

41. There's this girl I know who: loves to play the piano.

42: I don't know: what the future holds....but I am cool with that. One never knows, do one?

43. A better name for me would be: Can't think of one now, but when I was a kid, I wanted to be named Elizabeth Laurel.

44. If I ever go back to school I'll: take lots of art, music, and history classes.

45. How many days until my birthday? approximately 210.

46. One dead celebrity I wish I'd met is: Gracie Allan

47. I've lived at my current address since: Halloween, 2003

48. I've been told I look like: My mother from the neck up, and my paternal grandmother from the neck down.

49. If I could have any car, it would be: A VW covertible, or a 1965 Mustang convertable.

50. If I got a new cat tomorrow, I would name it: No new cats! 3 is plenty. The ones we have are named Sassy, Sparrow, and Catkin. Enough is enough!


Monday, August 28, 2006

Precious Jewels

When I was a little girl in first grade at the local private Seventh-Day Adventist school, I learned a hymn that has stuck with me forever. I sang it with fervor then, I learned to play it on my recorder, and I hummed it while nursing my babies at 3 in the morning. Now my kids hum it to their baby friends, and play it on their recorders. The hymn refers to little children, but it has become such a lexicon for me, I find it pops up in my head at the funniest times. I may not be the most spiritual person you know, but every once in a while, I surprise people with it, not the least, myself.

Like when my Mama, my Girly, my Boy, and I are all in the kitchen, singing rounds in harmony, and working all together to can peaches. I feel so blessed, listening to their bright voices, hearing them laugh, watching them interact with their Gramma, listening with rapt attention to her oft-repeated stories about canning with her Mama. I didn't get to know her, so this makes it even more special- that my kids get to enjoy working and being with her, and that she lets herself enjoy them, vision or no. May not sound like much, but it is huge. My mom and my kids' moments together are as precious to me as gemstones. They shine and shimmer- like opals (which I have always prefered over diamonds) glowing in the sunlight that streams through my finger-printed kitchen window.

Then I am reminded of the song again, when the counters and kitchen table are covered with sparking jewels of jars, in a rainbow of gem-like colors. The red of tomatoes, that came from my garden, the dark purple-blue of blackberries we picked from the back and side yards (and we have the scratches to prove it!), the reddish-yellow of Rainier cherries we got from the food bank (even if the jam didn't gel and I have to re-do them sometime this week, they are so very pretty!), and the pure golden yellow of orange-peach marmalade and canned peaches, made with peaches from my sister-in-law's peach tree. A table full of sparkling jewels that we all put the effort into making, and will all enjoy this winter.

And Auntie Pam, the Boy ran scraps out to the chickens, washed jars, peeled and pitted, and when he couldn't stand to be in the kitchen without making wierd screechy noises, mowed the lawn. He is a great helper, too. And he is still singing to us, even though his voice is changing from that sweet high clear little boy voice to a deeper, mellow young man voice. Another gem.


When He cometh, when He cometh
To take up His jewels
Precious jewels, precious jewels
His loved and His own
Like the stars in the morning
His bright crown adorning
They shall shine in His beauty
Bright gems for his crown

Friday, August 25, 2006


Picture three generations of females in the kitchen, canning together. The blind Gramma peeling the tomatoes, the long-haired helpful 11 yr old pitting them (and re-peeling some of Grammas without saying anything, bless her heart), and the round, sweating, but cheerful 41 yr old mama dealing with all the hot water, keeping the tomatoes scalding, boiling empty jars, filling them with garlic, toms, vinegar, and salt, then putting lids and rings on. Then while the jars process, they all curl up on the couch and in the recliner (and on the laptop) and rest. We prepared 10 quarts and 4 pints in less than two hours!! Then we went out for burgers, and a trio to the dollar store. We are invincible! And now we are pooped! ;-)

Tomorrow, we will conquer blackberry jelly, and peach jam. Funny how it has been 65 to 70 degrees for the last two days, but goes up past 80 when we decide to can. Now I am off to make Gramma's bed up on the couch, and tuck her in with a kiss on the forehead. I love it when she sleeps over.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Jack Sparrow attractive? I think not.

Okay, there was a lot of talk on the WTM boards when the Pirates of the Carribean (both the first and second) movies came out about how attractive Johnny Depp was as Jack Sparrow, but I just have to say no way. Come on, ladies, what is so attractive about an alcoholic man with no morals whatsoever, rotten teeth, unwashed dreads, who hasn't washed in goodness knows how long, and who either gets very little sleep or has an addiction to heavy black eyeliner in all the wrong places? Hmm, I ask you, what is handsome about that???!!

But other than that, I did enjoy the movie yesterday. After being at a funeral for several hours, it was fun to laugh at silliness, and be terribly scared at the crakken. The Boy had to hold my hand during the scary parts. 'Course I had to pry his fingers out of his ears (the loudness during the scary parts is what gets him) in order to hold his hand, lol.

Comparative Religion Studies

Yesterday, we went to a Catholic Funeral Mass for a cousin of the Papa Dude who passed away last week. As this seems to be the year for comparative religious studies, the church visit fit right in. Let's see, so far we have been to a Presbyterian church, a Unity Church, and a Catholic Mass. On Sept. 9th, we will attend a wake for the same cousin. We also have plans to try to visit a synagog, a Buddhist temple, a Seventh-Day Adventist church and maybe even the Mormon temple in Bellevue. We shall see what all happens, but so far the kids have really been enjoying this.

It's funny, but when they were little babies, I said that when they were teenagers, I was going to take a whole year to visit churches, and let them form their own decisions about what, if any, formal religion worked for them. Then I promptly forgot about it. Then this summer, I started seeking for my self, feeling a hole in my spiritual heart. During the same time, I realized, that through the children's history studies, they have read about so very many religions, but that they really didn't know much about Christianity. Hence the searching together. It is neat that I am now exposing them to all these interesting thoughts and ideas, when it had been my intention to do so now all along. Funny how fate/divine intervention/ life can work that way sometimes.

One of the resources we are most enjoying right now, is the Victor Journey through the Bible. It has wonderful pictures and maps, to put the Bible stories into the historical context my kids so enjoy. We will also be reading The Jesse Tree, and I am also looking for a study Bible to use this year, for my own studies. I haven't been reading as much for learning this summer as I have been for fun (lots of mind candy, I am afraid), but am looking forward to getting back into it. I will be finishing Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis this September, as well as The Journey: Our Quest for Faith and it's Meaning by Oz Guinness.

Anyhow, it is late, and I need to rest. But this may be fodder for additional posts, as I continue my reading and seeking. And I chose not to link to any of the book titles tonight, but you can mind them all at Amazon, I think.


Monday, August 21, 2006

You've got to be kidding.

Last week, I found this written on the little paper that wraps the Always pads: "Have a happy period." What? Are they kidding? Shouldn't it say something more to the effect of, "Don't worry, it will be over soon? Maybe some women like their pads talking to them, but it was a little much for me. It is nice to actually be having cycles again, but sheesh.

I took the Boy down to the High School to register him for his Band class, and they had already transfered his records from the middle school, and noted that he would only be there for one class, so that's done. He won't be able to take drama there, as that class is at the same time as Band, sigh, so I have to find a way to get drama for him. Next Monday he has orientation. Today I bought him a backpack and a wallet. He is only two inches shorter than me. He is growing up.

I just got home from physical therapy, and it was a bit taxing today, so I am crawling into bed. The Girl has instructions on how to make supper. She is growing up too. I am hoping I can at least get a subject or two planned while I am resting. I am so behind in my school planning!


Sunday, August 20, 2006

A Friday Five on Sunday

I am trying to get back into the swing of regular blogging. As an easy way to start, here is the Friday Five from Miz Booshay.

Five things in my freezer:
ore-ida crinkle cut french fries
meat, meat, and more meat
blackberry juice (to make jelly with someday)
many chicken carcasses for my husband to make stock with

Five things in my closet:
several Indian kurtas
lots of scarves, hats, and bandanas
my 20 yr old stained suede bomber jacket that I can't part with
my suspender collection
a long, of-white woolen dress coat I am saving for my daughter

Five things in my car:
latin and math books
20 or so cassette tapes
my straw sun hat

Five things in my purse:
my fave pen
my cell phone
my huge key ring

Five things on my mind:
where will Boy go to college?
How long has that child been in the shower, and will we have time to watch movies tonight?
getting the Boy registered and oriented to high school tomorrow
can I really get all I want accomplished this upcoming school year?
looking forward to tomorrow's Physical Therapy, as my neck and back have been aching all day.

There, that wasn't too bad!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The book was better than the movie

We watched Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea last week. It wasn't bad, really, but some of the characters were better casted than others. Peter Lory (sp?) as Conciel just wasn't believable- he was too old- and his character wasn't faithful to Professor Aronax, like he was in the book. I thought Kirk Douglas did a fabulous job as Ned Land, and like Dy, I thought the musical scene was great. I also liked the kissing seal, lol.

The book was fabulous, though, and I highly recommend it. I am not sure what Papa is going to read next. I am trying to find The Pickwick Papers by Dickens, but he may end up reading some other Dickens. Lately we have been watching movies instead of reading.

Last night, we watched Treasure Planet, and I thought it was quite good. It made me want to go back and read Treasure Island, though.

Gotta go- I am figuring out my curiculum orders and getting ready for a monster bill-paying session tomorrow!


Hey all,
I am still here. It has been crazy busy here for the last two weeks. I have had a weekend of single parenting, followed by a week filled with so many Dr., physical therapy, and music lesson appointments, it was all we could do to get any school done at all, but we did. We then had a very hot hot week, and an impromtu get-together at friends' house last weekend. We also watched a couple kids of some friends of ours whose family got attacked by a nasty virus, and now both my kids are fighting it- raging high fevers and very sore throats, headaches combined with upset tummies.

What else have we been doing? Planning meeting, going to a new church, and visiting with Gramma. Hanging laundry on the line, chasing chickens out of the front yard, and baking zucchini bread with big fat squash from the garden, and cherry pie with cherries given to us by Papa's sister. Oh- the tomatoes will all be turning red soon!

We are busy planning and trying to figure out the kids's school situation for this fall. It may be drastically different this year. I will let you know details when I have any- we are still in research/planning stages on this.

On top of all that, I had to scurry to get invites done for the Girl's recital next weekend, and it is Papa's birthday today. The poor sick kiddos are upset because they haven't been able to fuss over and focus on Papa, even though he is reassuring them constantly that just the fact they are thinking about him is an amazing gift in itself.

Other than the fact that someone gave me a huge compliment the othher week by thinking I was my kids' big sister, and that Papa's sister was his wife,lol. that's about it.

Blogging is just taking last place in life right now, I am so busy living it is is unbelievable! Very good, though.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday Five

These came from Donna over at Quiet Life, and I have to say, they are some of the strangest questions she has ever asked us! I'd love to see what answers you come up with.

1. Would you be willing to commit perjury in court for a close friend? What if your lie would save his life?
It would really depend- is my friend guilty? Is the court fair? Probably a no.

2. Would you be willing to eat a bowl of live crickets for $40,000?
I would be willing to give it a shot. Call this a yes.

3. Would you have one of your fingers surgically removed if it guaranteed immunity from all major diseases?
Why was this one the hardest for me to answer? Probably a no.

4. Would you be willing to give up all television for 5 years if it would induce someone to provide for 1,000 starving children?
Absolutely yes. This one was the easiest to answer of all the five.

5. Would you accept $1 million to leave the country and never set foot in it again?
Probably not, but maybe I would for $5 million. Gotta remember I can't be far from my Mama.

Those were thinking questions, Donna!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Homeschool post alert

Boy wrote a good post on snails on the GD blog. Check it out.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Whirwind weekend update

Well, I have been wanting to post since Friday evening, but haven’t haqd internet since then. Phooey. So I am doing this in word, and hopefully I will have DSL by tomorrow. (Edited to say Yay, I have internet again!)

The kids actually had all their school work completed by 3 pm on Friday, so we packed up 4 lbs. of cherries and some leftover chicken, drove over and picked Papa up from work, and went over to Lincoln Park. We sat in the shade and talked, played on the great swing-slide, and had cherry-pit spitting contests. We headed home after traffic was over, curled up in our bed with the fans pointed right at us, each of us with a hunk of Sculpey in our hands, and listened to Papa read a few chapters of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

At first you might think this is a scientific story, and to a point it is, but it is also a great character study: Take 3 dudes, put them in an underwater box, and see what happens. One hates it and feels like a prisoner, one is enthralled with the experience of being surrounded by the science of the underwater world, and one could go either way, sometimes siding with his science-loving master, sometimes siding with the whaler who can barely take another minute of captivity. Fascinating. The kids love it. (Added Monday evening-We only have 3 chapters left! Can't wait to see how this story ends!)

Saturday, the Girl and I went to the feed store, getting feed and a few supplies for the chickens. There was a young man (13 yrs old) working there who has convinced both the Girl and I that we can successfully keep all ten chickens, and won't have to give any to Mr. B. at all (That had been our original plan- to keep 4 to 6 of them, and give him the extras.). In fact, the Girl is trying to convince Mr. B. to pay her for raising another set of chicks for him- she had a lot of fun with the wee ones and wants to do it again. We shall see.

This young fella at the feed store gave us a great tour of the store, took us out back and showed us their coops, and gave the Girl a ton of good avice about chickens. She got to pet tiny new kittens, tiny fresh chicks, and saw several varieties of chickens. I was surprised at how many she knew, just from reading the chicken books from the library. She really has a way with animals, too. It was cool to watch.

Sunday, papa got up early and was working out in his cottage garden, but he let me sleep in to a blissful 10:00, at which time I awoke to the wonderful smells of bacon, taters, and eggs. Wonderful! I really needed that. Then he and I worked in the veggie gardens in the blazing sun. My tomatoes are like a jungle- so are the potatoes, and the pepper, cantelope, and cucumbers were just not getting enough sun, so we transplanted them into another bed. We had a ton of cantelope seedlings left over. We potted them up, left some on our next door neighbor's porch (today I found 3 corn plant starts on my front porch- neighbors are so cool!), and took the rest over to the B family's house. We had another one of our harvest parties. We brought fresh picked peas, lettuce, and the veggie starts.

We dropped off some of Papa's homemade potato salad at Gramma's, and gave her quick kisses, before heading to the harvest party. We brought the ice cream maker, and made a batch of strawberry ice cream. We picked tons of fresh raspberries, thinned carrots, and had a good time visiting. Only a couple families showed up this week, so it was nice and low-key.

Today, Monday, the Girl had a two hour long piano lesson. She has her solo recital on August 12th, and she is working very hard with her piano teacher. While they worked, the Boy and I had a baby snack. Girl's teacher has a sweet, roly-poly 11-month old boy, whom Redal cannot leave alone (Hey- who wouldn't rather play with a baby instead of working on your latin? LOL)

Once we got home and cooked lunch, most of the day seemed to be gone. I worked in the garden again, even though I should have been focusing on schooling the kids, but that's okay. They did what they did, we will deal with the fallout later this week.

After Papa got home and we had supper, we helped our next door neighbor poor some concrete, and she let us put our handprints (and her dogs' paw prints!) in the fresh concrete. The kids are tucked in with freshly brushed teeth, one listening to Pooh, and one to Jim Weiss telling Greek tales, Papa and I are tucked in too.


Friday, July 07, 2006

A gift in the mail

Not only did I receive the rest of my order from Brimwood Press (that is a picture of Marcia on the website, and yes, she is as nice as she looks!) today, but there was a surprise in the box as well.
Remember me telling you about the fabulous Worldview class the kids and I took last month, and how that evening several moms sat around having a fantastic philosphical discussion? How we had many religions represented- from Orthodox to Christian, to Bahai, to little ol' me who holds dear elements from Seventh-Day Adventist to Budhism, and we all had a dispassionate yet lively conversation. Well, Marcia sent me something to help with my journey of faith. It is a book aptly titled The Journey: Our Quest for Faith and Meaning by Os Guinness. I just made myself a cuppa tea, and am headed for the recliner. Thanks, Marcia.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Something new!

An update for you. I have started a homeschool blog. It is called The Green Dragon Academy, which is the name the children chose for our school many years ago. I will use this blog to practice writing transcripts, to keep track of grades, and other business-type stuff. I am hoping the kids will use it also, to record good stories, essays, and to post pictures of projects. I am also going to be teaching a class on homeschooling in the fall at S.S.C.C., so I will use the homeschool bolg to post information and thoughts on that, as well.

I hope this works for all y'all. For awhile I have felt a lack of focus in the area of homeschooling, and I also feel guilty when I post stuff about art quilting in one post, then homeschooling in the other. Since Blogger won't do categories, I will try it this way for awhile. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

We're back.

Well, we had a great time, being half-eaten alive by mosquitosw being the worst trouble we had (Girly had over 40 bites when we came home). We had a delightful time, lots of good food (remind me to tell you about banana boats!), and lots of good company. I learned how to play Spades, soaked in the sun, and waded in the creeks. Drew a tiny bit, but not as much as I would have liked to.

We had a family meeting Friday night, and ended up staying at the campground instead of packing it up and driving to Soap Lake for the fireworks and birthday party. The Girl ended up having a nightmare that involved her Godparents being upset with her for not showing up! Poor baby. I told her they love her no matter what and that everyone knew it was going to be a tough decision for us as to whether or not we would actually make it to the lake. That seemed to make her feel bettter.

Today was our official first day of Summer term. It could have gone better, it couuld have gone worse. I am hoping tomorrow will be better. I have a couple of fun things planned.

I should write a bit more tonight, but my neck and shoulders are very sore- I had a hellacious massage therapy session today, and it is all I can do to type! Oh baby, make it hurt so good!

I will talk to you in more depth tomorrow- I am hitting the pillow now.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Off to the wilderness!

Well, we had a busy day today, with piano lessons, shopping, errands, laundry-folding, training chicken-sitters, etc. The kitchen and living room are clean, the laundry is all done, so I will come home to a clean house. Yay! I wish I had been able to plan our summer school term, but at least that will be all I need to focus on when we get home next week. We are almost ready for our summer vacation. We take off tomorrow for Icycle Creek, near Leavenworth. This is our yearly big early summer camping trip. I think we have between 6 and 8 families coming this year. After a couple days there, we head to Soap Lake in Eastern WA, to celebrate a friend's 40th birthday, which coincides with the town's 4th of July celebration.

Some of the things I hope to enjoy/experience this weekend are in no particular order or correct grammar phrasing:
A birthday party/brunch
the rushing of the river
sitting in the hot sunshine with an icy cool Mike's Hard Lime in my hand (I rarely drink- this is a splurge for me!)
watching kids (and a few foolhardy men) play and swim in the icy river
listening to birds and watching the clouds over the mountains
enjoying the company of good people and laughing a great deal
drawing in my nature journal
eating lots of good food- lots and lots of good food
singing around the campfire

I know there will be more, but right now, I still need to pack up the food and my clothes. I will talk to you soon, off to enjoy the wilderness, my kids (wish me luck on tomato-staking while camping-should be interesting!), good friends, and not having to worry about teaching (much).


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tending my little tomatoes, kids, and chickens

Hi. It is Tuesday evening. Kids are reading and playing piano. They will soon be getting into jammies and brushing teeth. Papa is out weed-wacking the back forty. I am sitting on the front porch listening to the sprinklers, the piano, and the baby wrens in the nest here on the porch. I had a donation sitting on the porch in a brown paper bag, and these adorable little wrens made a nest in there, on top of an old acrylic toilet seat rug-cover-thing. Now there are 5 (that I can see) little peeps in there, and whenever I sneak a peak at them, they all have their little mouths wide open, making lots of hungry peeping noises. Today Sassy Cat got out while we were working in the yard, and knocked the bag over. Girl came running out to me in tears. I set the bag back up, and touching them as little as possible, put the babies back in their comfy spot while the kids found the cat. I watched for a few minutes, and the mama wren (I call her Jenny, after the wren in the Burgess Bird Book) did come back, with a bug in her mouth. She took her own sweet time getting back to the nest- darting here and there to distract any possible predators, but she did go to them and feed them, so I am hoping that means they will all be okay.

Today the kids and I did a lot of yard work. They weed-wacked the back field while I weeded my asparagus bed, and transplanted some lettuce, basil, and pepper plants I got the last time we partied at the B family's home. It has been hot, hot, hot here. We let the chickens out while we were gardening. They are getting so big! About half their adult size now. It is fun to watch them interacting with each other and exploring the yard. The bad thing, is that they like my gardens. They nibble tomato leaves (I thought they were poisonous?), eat my blueberries right off the bush, and poop on my lettuce plants. Sigh. I think I may have to put wire around my gardens. If they eat blueberries and tomato leaves, they will probably try to eat the tomatoes when they ripen. I do have several tiny green tomatoes on the 5 ft tall plants. That is cool!

After the kids sweated and worked hard, we had a nature study class. We drew the trees we have adopted, and hiked up to the little waterfall. Good but sweaty time. Tonight it is much cooler outside than it is inside- much better than last night.

Yesterday morning was not good here. The kids were disobedient and rude. Soooo, we cleaned the kitchen. They scrubbed floors, walls, backsplashes, cupboards, the sink. They washed the table and chairs, and did the dishes at least 4 times. It took all day. In the afternoon, they did music practice. Other than that, all they did was pushups- every time they backsassed me or spoke out of turn. This parenting gig is harder than it looks. I hope I am doing okay.

Well, the piano has stopped, and so has the weedwacker. I best go supervise the tooth brushing, and let the Papa Dude know it is time for Twenty Thousand Leagues.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Remember how proud Iwas of the kids the other day- that they had folded an entire couch-ful of laundry while I was laid up in bed with a bad back? Remember how I positively glowed about how full of integrity they were? Guess where I just found my favorite short kicky summer skirt? Under- that's right, I said UNDER the couch with a whole lot of other clothes.

Sigh. Guess what the kids are doing today? The training never ends, does it.
LB, off to physical therapy and a much needed lunch date with another mom of tweens.


Well, I got the quiz to post, but I didn't do something right, cuz I can't link to it. Here (hopefully) is the link to the quiz.

Guess who I am?

You Are Ernie
Playful and childlike, you are everyone's favorite friend - even if your goofy antics get annoying at times.
You are usually feeling: Amused - you are very easily entertained
You are famous for: Always making people smile. From your silly songs to your wild pranks, you keep things fun.
How you life your life: With ease. Life is only difficult when your friends won't play with you!
The Sesame Street Personality Quiz

Friday, June 23, 2006

How did you live today?

Inspired by yesterday's post at Mental Multi-Vitamin, here is what I did today:

I took a long hot soak in the tub. Washed and brushed my hair. Went barefoot all day.

I put a buffalo roast in the crockpot, and a load in the clothes washer.

I listened to my son practice Mozart's Horn concerto, and my daughter play Chopin with such feeling my eyes teared up.

The kids and I all snuggled in my bed together, all reading our own books, and sharing good bits.

I hand-fed and petted my daughter's chickens. I put drops in one of the cats' eye, and played fetch with him.

I took a two hour nap and awoke to find chamomile flowers laid on my nightstand by my daughter.

I snuck two oreo cookies, twisted them open, put the creamy sides together and dunked the double cookie in a mug of rice milk.

I read a challenging book. I looked up two hard words in the dictionary.

I ate popcorn and orange juice in front of a movie with my kids. Afterwards, we discussed the moral integrity of the main characters.

The kids and I met Papa after work at the local Japanese Gardens. We hiked up to the waterfall. I kissed my mate on the bridge over the koi pond.

I opened a can of olives, lovingly bought as a surprise by my husband, to brighten our crockpot dinner.

I called a friend and we made a date for a Mom's only lunch out tomorrow.

I told my children that I loved them. I called my Mama and told her I loved her, too.
I rested, loved, and lived.

What did YOU do today?

Why we don't read "twaddle" here.

Or at least not much. Sure, Calvin and Hobbes and Garfield cartoons come into the house on occassion, and the Boy read Captain Underpants when he was in that potty humour stage at age 7 (which differs not greatly from the potty humour he engaged in at age 10, and again at age 14-seems to come in 3 to 4-yr cycles,lol), but for my part, I have really worked at only bringing classic literature into the house. Here in a nutshell, is why.

From Norms and Nobility by David V. Hicks, pg. 137. Quoted in The Latin Centered Curriculum by Andrew Campbell, pg. 47

"One cannot help but observe the trend in modern schools to substitute light "escape" reading for the more difficult classics. The practice is defended in the name of getting students to read. The assumption is that because students learn to read by reading, schools must provide books that students will want to read, books that will not overtax their patience, their limited vocabulary, or even their more limited intelligence. A corollary to this assumption, as we have seen, is that students cannot enjoy reading serious classics with their demanding styles and remote contents. Clearly, the classical academy rejects this thesis. Not only does it refute the notion that classics are inaccessible or unenjoyable to young readers, but it reminds us that the purpose of learning is discovery, not escape. Substituting the literature of escape for the classics is not education, but an attack on learning; it is not intellectual, but anti-intellectual. It represents a capitulation to the adolescent appetites of our students and our race."

Couldn't have said it better myself!

Hello Friday!

Good morning! I am feeling much better today. I took another vicadin last night and went right out. Sleep really can be a cure-all!
Now on to chores and breaky!

Thursday, June 22, 2006


I was getting ready to take the Boy to his last day of band this morning, was packing to go to Gramma's afterwords, and making sure the Girl practiced piano for her lesson this afternoon, when all of a sudden my shoulder blade started to seize up and I had terrible muscle spasms so bad I couldn't breathe. The kids helped me to bed, called everyone and cancelled all our plans for the day, fetched me a vicadin and 2 anti-inflamatories, made me drink a full glass of water, and tucked me into bed with my heating pad. They were so gracious about the activities they were missing, and so concerned about me being in pain. They then proceded to fold a couch-ful of laundry, do the dishes we left from last night's supper, made lunch for me and brought it to me on a tray, then do the lunch dishes, read their history, and practice their Latin chants. What amazing children I have! They are playing outside right now. They deserve a little fun.

I feel better- not 100 %, but better. I am not supposed to be on the computer, but sneaking it in while they are outside so they won't tell the Papa-Dude. My laptop now has internet, but other than that, it is bare. I need to get it back to normal, but that can wait. My shoulder feels better, but I am a bit down. So much for 8 weeks of massage therapy, hmmm? I will call the Dr. tomorrow and see what she suggests. Until then, I better get off this thing, and back onto the heating pad. Lucky I have a good book to keep me company- I am reading the Latin Centered Curriculum by Drew Campbell. Check out the site, and his blog. He is one of my daily reads.
P.S. If you talk to the Dude tonight, I was no where near the computer today, okay?! ;-)

Dy, thanks so much for the enjoyable phone visit today- that really helped. I was getting bored.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The ABC's of Me meme

"The ABCs of Me"

Accent - None that I know of, but I have picked up the use of Y'all, and that confuses folks sometimes.

Booze - Well, I am not supposed to drink right now, but things I used to like the taste of include Amaretto, wines, spiced rum with pineapple juice, gin and tonic.

Chore I hate - Cleaning up cat messes- hairball barf or worse-I make the kids do it since the cats are technically theirs.

Dog/cat - 3 wonderful cats, no dogs, but the Girl has 10 chickens.

Essential electronics - My laptop Computer, which currently has no internet, which I miss terribly!

Favorite perfume - Hmmm. I don't wear perfume due to allergies, but I do love Patchouli oil now and again.

Gold/silver - I have a large ring collection, which I never wear, due to arthritis in my fingers, but I love silver. I make lots of beaded jewlly, but give it all away.

Hometown - Tillamook, OR.

Insomnia - Most of the time.

Job title - Homeschool mom.

Kid(s)- One Boy, 14, and one Girl, 11.

Living arrangements - A 1943 Cape Cod style farmhouse on 1/2 acre that has a beautiful yard and lots of gardens, and still needs tons of remodeling inside, but who knows when it will be accomplished!

Most admirable trait - Well, if you need something I am there! I also really try not to gossip about anyone. Harder than it sounds!

Number of countries visited - Hmmm. Germany, Austria, Holland, Ireland, England, Belgium, France, Canada, North America. That makes 9.

Overnight hospital stays - I was in the hospital for nearly 2 months at birth. Just one as an adult, when my thyroid problem and seizure disorder were first being diagnosed. I hated it so much I had both babies at home!

Phobias - Heights, enclosed places, and poisionous bugs or snakes or scorpion-type creepy-crawlies.

Quote - "No matter where you go, there you are." from a fave mug.

Religion - Seeker. Not a *Christian.* Mostly just try to follow the Golden Rule.....

Siblings - 2 half-brothers, 2 half- sisters, and 1 sister.

Time you usually wake - 6:45-ish AM

Unusual talent - Hmmm. I can squish my nose down flat on my face, due to not having the proper amount of cartilidge there.

Vegetable I refuse to eat - None- haven't met one yet I don't like.

Worst habit - Nagging my kids!!!

X-rays - Just had my first mammogram, had some done after the car accident.

Yummy foods I make - Too many to list. I love to cook Indian food. I do seem to be one of those naturally good cooks. I get lots of compliments, and I like it.

Zodiac - Pisces.

I got this from Gerrie at Crazy for Fiber a while back. She does beautiful quilts, if you are interested in that kind of thing.

I won't tag anyone, just let me know if you do it on your blog, or put it in my comments.

You know what they say: Someone else's trash.........

Yesterday while cleaning off the topmost shelves in the 14 yr old Boy's room:

Mama: What's with all these dishes hiding up on this shelf?

Boy: I'll get them.

Mama: Yeah, that's what you said last month when we did this then. What's with the tiny black rocks in this orange cup?

Boy: Noooooooo, not THAT one!! That one has my fake caviar in it!

Mama: Fake Caviar?! What IS it?

Boy: I told you, it's my fake caviar, for when I need to pretend I have caviar.

Mama: You don't even LIKE caviar! What is it in real life?

Boy: Those are pieces of new asphalt road I got at a construction site. PLEASE don't throw them away, please, Mama. I NEED those!!

Mama: But Boy, they don't even look like caviar.

Boy: Yes, they do, if you imagine that they do. When you get them wet, they look just like caviar.

Mama: Sighing, Well, at least put them in a plastic baggie, so I can have my cup back.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Update, and fun at the convention

It has been a busy weekend. I didn't have internet access from Thursday night to Monday, so I just lived life instead of blogging about it, but I will try to do some for you now.

On Sunday, the four of us spent some time visiting Gramma, doing some yard work for/with her, and went to a party at the B family's home. We picked strawberries and rhubarb, and had wonderful crisp made from same. We also enjoyed smoked salmon and oysters (not me, I do not like them!).

On Thursday, we learned a lot about world views, and I had a wonderful philisophical discussion with some wonderful ladies. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and felt so energized by the conversations we had. Self-education can really be delightful.

On Friday and Saturday, the keedunks and I went to The WHO convention. It was a lot of fun and very informative. The kids listened to Jim Weis speak twice (without me- while I was listening to another speaker- and they behaved beautifully! Yay!), and I got some insight into creating homeschooling contracts with tweenagers, and accessing the community a bit more in your homeschool. I saw many people that I knew, and felt very reassured just being in the company of so many families who have made the same decision we have.

I spent a bit of money, but it was all on books for our next history cycle. We will be using History Odyssey for the Ancients time period. I bought as many of the books as I could find there. That way, I won't have to fork it all over in August, rather making the purchase of over $400. in books in increments. Some of the books (I won't link to them, but they are all described at the History Odyssey site.) I purchased were Greek Myths by Olivia Coolidge, Theras and His Town by Caroline Dale Snedeker, The Boys' and Girls' Herodotus by John S. White, and Modern Rhymes about Ancient Times- Ancient Greece, by Susan Altman & Susan Lechner. These are all required reading for one or the other children (and myself) for our ancients history course starting in September. I also have purchased the following books, at my local used curricula store, Homeschool Potpourri. These titles include The Aeneid and The Illiad both translated by Robert Fitzgerald, Plato's Republic and Last Days of Socrates, and The Epic of Gilgamesh by N.K. Sanders. I still have several more books to buy, but this is a goodly chunk of them.

I also purchased a few things from BrimWood Press, by the woman who taught the class on Thursday, and led our discussion that evening. Good stuff. I may write about them later, but in a nutshell, they support our history work.

Today the kids focused on cleaning their rooms thoroughly. It only took all day, and a couple of temper tantrums, but it got done, and they do look much better. Remind me to tell you a story about room-cleaning tomorrow. We will focus on tidying up the house this week, as next week we will be on vacation, and the week following that is the start of our summer term- you know, the one where I have to push them really hard so we can finish our books from this year and start on time in September. I hear-tell from the Principal-dude that he is giving me a teacher inservice day either at the end of this week or the beginning of next so I can prepare for our summer term. I need it!

That at least does it for a re-cap of the weekend. I just wanted to let you know I was still alive- Dy called me today a bit worried as she hadn't heard anything from me in a week! I am here, I am here!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Whirlwind History tour

Today we are off to the East Side very early. We are attending an all day worldview history class writen by the author of and based on this curriculum. Should be lots of fun, and hopefully we will learn something, too! I know I haven't been blogging much about school lately, but we are trying to finish up our study of American history so we can get back to the Ancients this fall. Right now the kids are studying the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and memorizing the Presidents. So this class today should be a nice review of 5000 yrs of history in a nutshell.

Also, very quickly, these are the movies we have watched this week. I am not linking to them, but check them out for yourself. The whole family (and yes, we are exposing our tweens to this stuff!) watched the first three: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Murder by Death, and Papa and I watched Dead Again (Dy, I think you would like this one!) last night. Good stuff.

Gotta go- the Boy is still in bed, dang it. Someone hand me a pitcher of water!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Busy Tuesday and allergies

Allergies! When I woke up this morning, my throat was (IS) so sore it hurts to talk. My eyelids are crunchy and heavy, I can't stop sneezing, my throat and ears itch really badly. Allergies!

We are supposed to have nature study, Redal has both playing tests at band and a horn lesson today. Busy day, and all I want to do is crawl back into bed! Sigh.

Gotta go roust the kids- I can tell they crawled back into bed like I want to, lol. I will try to blog without griping in a little while.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I'm still here

Hey all,
I apologize for not blogging lately. It has been crazy busy the last two weeks, and I am still parenting hot and heavy. I will try to blog a bit more regulary, but to be honest, I find it harder to blog on the old dinosaur in the basement, and really miss having internet on my laptop. It was much easier to blog wherever the kids were, plugging into whatever room I needed to be in, blogging while cooking, doing laudry, and teaching. Now I have to come down here into the dark, dank basement, and leave the kids to their own devices while I work on the computer. It just isn't conducive to free-flowing blogging, but I will try harder to make it a priority.

Friday, June 02, 2006


In fits and starts, in bits and pieces, here is at least the beginning of an update on this week. I will start with last weekend.
We spent Saturday and Monday at Folklife Festival. We took part in more drumming workshops, ate way too much good food, and listened to music from all over the world. We really enjoyed music from many regions of India this year.

On Sunday, Papa worked in the yard all day, the Girl tended to her chickens, the Boy played Legos, and I visited my Mom. It rained and poured hard all day.

We watched several movies this week. Out of six that I picked out, we watched five, and of those five, four were given the thumbs up. We saw Duane Hopwood (Do not waste your time or money on this one- Schwimmer did a good job, but did not portray a sympathetic character- especially if you and your movie date both happen to be adult children of alcoholics. Our only thumbs down vote.), Cassanova (very sweet and romantic telling of the story.), Elizabethtown (Orlando did a great job and Kirsten Dunce was great- what else is she in that I would like?), and Hoodwinked, which was funny and worth a laugh or two. A real beauty of a family movie was The Blue Butterfly, based on a true story. William Hurt did fab, as usual. We also rented Corpse Bride, which we didn't get around to watching. We Girls were willing to watch it, but the Boys vetoed it. Plus, we just plain ran out of time- 6 movies is too many at one time!

Well, I am not nearly done, but we all need to get to bed early tonight, as the Boy has a band concert competition and a field trip after that to Wild Waves. We (yes, I stupidly said yes when his band teacher asked me to chaperone, sigh.) will be gone from 6:45 a.m. until at least 7:00 p.m.. There are supposed to be hundreds of band students at the amusement park tomorrow- I may need a sedative tomorrow night! So, I will sign off now, and check in with you later.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Kids are more important than blogs, but not as much fun right now.

I know I owe you an update of our wonderful weekend, but right now I am busy parenting. Kids are in the middle of teenage angst, and I am in the middle of tomato staking. Sigh. Say a little prayer for me. I will be back to the blogging world as soon as I can. Ugh.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Folklife Festival, day 1

It is 10:30, and the kids and I just walked in the door! After an impromptu visit and chick-drawing session, I had my physical therapy, then the kids and I headed for Folklife. We enjoyed Native American folktales from the Olympic Peninsula (thankfully the storyteller was under a canopy, because it rained hard), Bosnian folkdance, Northern Indian and Southern Indian song and dance, belly dancing (!!), and 2 drumming workshops. We also enjoyed Polynesian chicken kebabs, curly fries, samosas, and 2 rounds of mango lemonade! We shopped a little, and danced and sang. A great evening was had by the three of us. Tomorrow we leave early and take Papa with us! I hope it isn't raining again!

Baby chicks are doing well, and are really getting used to being held.