Monday, May 31

Happy Birthday To You!

Happy Birthday To Yooooou!
Happy Birthday Dear Zorak!
Happy Birthday To You!

Today my wonderful Zorak is "three dozen" (his answer). The boys and I were up at six thirty, ate breakfast, wrapped presents, played, watched the most amazing storm move in and drench the earth. We watched a movie, and let him sleep in. That was my gift to him. Not much, but he sure was happy.

When the boys could no longer stand the suspense and began using Zorak's gifts as race cars around the downstairs, we crept upstairs to wake him with cards, presents and a fresh cup of hot coffee. They agreed not to pounce on him right away and shriek "SURPRISE", if I would promise they could do it at some point. So, he was awoken to a soft serenade of "Happy Birthday" by his little guys. I'll upload pictures after Jacob goes down for the night. They're really cute. Then the boys hid in the closet and jumped back out, shouting "Surprise! Happy Birthday!" That worked well all the way around, and Zorak acted genuinely surprised.

After keeping the "surprise" a secret for nearly a week, the boys promptly handed Zorak the boxes and said, "Can you tell what we got you? It's an ICE CREAM MAKER!" It's been a while since I've laughed like that. Very cute.

We enjoyed the rest of the morning in a leisurely way, played with the boys and looked at cameras. My wonderful, self-described shopaholic friend, Jackie, helped me locate the best price on the cameras Zorak had most wanted to buy. She also held my hand while I tried to figure out purchasing memory cards. Oy, things have changed a lot since we bought our last camera! I printed out the details on both camera and card and slipped them into his birthday card. We can't wait to place our order!

Around noon, Zorak decided that perhaps he would like a birthday bbq after all. *I cannot type the expression on my face at that point, but am pretty sure it's been typified in at least one comic strip over the years...* However, it sounded like a great idea, anyway. James wrote up invitations to come for ice cream at four and placed them on the neighbor's doors. He was so proud. We roasted chicken, made carrot cake and homemade ice cream, beans and chile, fresh corn chips, fresh homemade salsa, and chile con queso dip. The neighbors brought corn on the cob and peach cobbler. It was a wonderful afternoon.

It's a little after nine, and they've all just left. The boys are bathing, and I am absolutely bushed! What a day. What a wonderful day.

This is our ninth of Zorak's birthdays that we have celebrated together. I could not, at that first party, have imagined that this is what today would hold, and I am so very thankful for all the years we've had. I look forward to many more, too. BBQ's, children, good neighbors and one another- Happy Birthday, Sweetheart! I love you.



I have no ideas for a title, probably because I have no ideas for a blog tonight. Ohhh, lucky you! Well, bear with me.

First, *waving happily* Hi, Aunt Bonnie! I'm glad you found us! Thanks for the note. I had to laugh when I read your note, though, and asked Zorak, "Hmmm, I wonder which book she thinks we need to read?" :-D Thank you for your uplifting words- they do mean so much. It feels like hearing Mom say she's proud of us, too. I love you.

Let's see, what else today? Well, the house seems to have Project Elves. I swear that's the only thing I can think of. (If y'all watched the PJ's, then you are familiar with the Project Fairy, who the Super thinks cleans apartments... conversely, the Project Elves trash them... and that's what we have.) I know this place was spotless THREE TIMES this week, and yet tonight I nearly broke my neck setting the table! What the... ohhhhh, yeah, we have kids. Many of them. They are all mobile, too. Ah, well, thanks to Flylady, it only took about fifteen minutes total to restore my home to just below OSHA standards so that I could enjoy the rest of a quiet evening searching for digital cameras and motorcycles with Zorak.

Tammy, blogger emeritus, YOU are a Ducati fan?!?!? I have to say I never would have guessed. How very neat. It looks, however, as though we are not meant to get a Ducati this go 'round. (insert sad sigh here) The dealer visit was a bust, and the three we found on seem to be frauds. (Or else we're out of the loop and it's perfectly normal to wire funds directly to an individual who refuses to use an escrow co., suddenly turns up overseas and says once they pick up the funds, THEN they'll ship the bike... yeahhhhhh, I don't think so!) So, we are closing in on a couple of fairly local BMW's that have a little mojo. I'll keep you posted.

I forgot to tell you guys that James was sharing his knowledge of Latin with another little boy during swim sign ups! I have no idea how the conversation began, but I overheard James say, "Yeah, and in Latin the 'j' says 'y', so it's 'Yay-soos'." The other little boy seemed pretty interested- he had that, "Wow, cool, I had no idea!" expression on his face. They continued the discussion as they played. It was pretty cute.

John surprised Zorak today by singing the 3's song from Math-U-See. I love it when our choices are reaffirmed. We are thoroughly enjoying Primer. I have to make John stop. James, too. Boy, I hope that love of learning sticks with both of them for their entire lives!

We received our pictures from the church directory photo session. I am hoping to mail a few each day and eventually get them all OUT before the boys are ready for college! Woo Hoo! (Hey, Aunt Bonnie- what size do you want of the boys?)

All-in-all, things are wonderful here. Jacob's rash is gone and he is much happier now. He fell asleep in the sling at BJ's today, and for some reason I got more comments than usual from people, mostly along the lines of, "Is that a baby in there?!?" I love it when people comment on the sling- it's almost always positive and opens the door for a neat conversation about baby wearing. Kind of fun.

Look for a review of Plants Grown Up tomorrow! (I tried to link to the Doorposts website, but it says the URL is for sale... don't know where they went! I'll find that out, too.)


Saturday, May 29

Oh- one more thing- James' Joke

He made it up at supper and shared it with us.

What do you get if a lady is a judge and she is also someone's mother?









A mother-in-LAW!

A LOVELY Saturday!

And for those of you who know us, that is a miracle. :-)

We got up, fed, dressed and out the door by ten. We arrived at the swim lesson sign ups and the line was fairly short. We got lessons! We got lessons at eight in the morning for four weeks straight, *ugh* but we did get lessons! The first two weeks, James' class is at eight and John's is at eleven. Um, I think we'll do some "beach schooling" for a couple of weeks. Why not?

Then we went to the beach. The surf was rough and yet the boys actually went in the water! They got knocked all over kingdom come, we thought they were going to drown, but they laughed their heads off and had a blast! This, from children who are afraid of a swimming pool. I'm so confused some days.

Then, because we didn't have a beach bag ready to go, we had to come home, shower, change clothes and head back out. Lunch. Wal-Mart (for said beach bag supplies!) Home. Ahhh, a nice relaxing afternoon at home, eating jerky and watching Looney Tunes.

Jacob is still spotted, still happy, sans fever. He has a tooth. Er, almost has a tooth. It protrudes quite a bit from the gum, but the gum is refusing to break yet. Get this- it's his left upper canine tooth! I've never had a child get that tooth first! Wow, if the other one is next to come in, we'll have our own fat little Baby Dracula!

We've been light on our afternoon teas, with the weather so beautiful the past few months. I miss it, though, and so do the boys. We've decided to reinstitute tea time once swim lessons commence- I think that'll be a nice way to wind down a bit after a long, active day.

Calling all readers: do any of y'all have that lovely article about having an afternoon tea as part of your regular schedule? Sarah, was that you? Someone please share the link with me! I can't find it and am butchering the whole thing in trying to explain it to a friend! Thanks. :-)

Cousin Charles has made it to Alaska. They've camped on the beach for two days (oh, to be young and resilient!) and will be checking into the dorms shortly. All the guys are now looking for work. What an exciting time, and from the sound of Aunt B's email updates, they're having an absolutely wonderful time of it!

Ahh, tomorrow promises to be lovely if this weather will hold. I can't wait. Perhaps at some point I will be able to wrangle my family back to church, even!

Have a wonderful Sunday! I'm off to blogrun!

Friday, May 28

Back from the dr's.

*Ahhh!* Big sigh of relief. Jacob's ears are clear. The rash is, to quote the doctor, "something viral," and should be gone by Tuesday. If it's not, we go back, but he suspects it will be fine.

I have to add that this is the first time we've seen a regular doctor other than our beloved Dr. Chelson in Arizona! I was so nervous. We saw Dr. Lindemann, and he is great, absolutely great. He lets things run their course, believes in letting the body do its job and we're there for support when the body needs it. He is quite non-interventionist in philosophy, doesn't ask certain questions on his new patient form, isn't afraid to say "it's viral, leave it alone," and he was very supportive about our philosophies in general. From selective vaccinations, to the fact that we homebirth and homeschool, he was very hands-off and positive. *whew*

Anyhow, Jacob is absolutely miserable and even the Dr. was a bit stunned at how many teeth are trying to come through all at once, but in all, it's not the worst case scenario and I am thankful beyond all belief! Thank you for your kind words and prayers. They mean so much.


Thursday, May 27

I like Latin!

This morning, over breakfast, James asked me if Prima Latina meant "First Latin". We launched into a great discussion of Latin words and derivatives. He mulled it over a bit and finally declared, "I like Latin. Latin makes sense."

Jumping Lessons! We like to put a little oomph into our lessons, so today we did Latin, Math and Grammar while jumping on the bed. We reviewed vocabulary: I called out the English word and if the boys knew the Latin word, they could yell it out as they bounced off the bed. We did grammar: they had to act out the parts of speech, verbs, prepositions, and adjectives (those were just for pure silliness, but tons of fun!) We did math: word problems for each boy, but I had to pretend to be "the mean lady who won't let anybody smile and doesn't like it when kids answer the questions correctly". It took us half an hour to do math review because the minute I frowned and said, in my gruffest voice, "Don't you smile! Ahhh- I saw that!" they'd erupt in laughter that could only be quelled by winding down on its own.

I love days like today.

We had ice cream for snack and read stories in the grass outside. They got to ride their bikes "all the way around the complex!" (Which, when you are three and five, is a most exciting adventure, indeed!) I adjusted the seat on James' bike (because he's grown since September and he was starting to look like one of those Shriner Clowns on a mini bike). He is convinced I made the bicycle unstable.

Jacob has broken out in a rash. I have attributed his recent fever and irritability to his teething, but now I'm a bit worried. I'm calling a doctor tomorrow. Please keep the little guy in your prayers. He did have a slice of orange today, compliments of his generous big brothers, so I am hoping and praying the rash is just an allergic reaction to the citrus.

Zorak is ready to do a little "emotional unpacking," which is very good news, indeed. It means that he's beginning to embrace the idea of actually "living" here while we're here. It's a place he has had to come to on his own, and while I haven't pushed, I am very excited that he's "there" now. It's been a different transition for me, as I felt that I had to "be there" out of necessity to make things "normal" for the boys, but now I'm excited that we're all on the same page.

Did I tell you we bought Zorak's birthday present? The boys are so excited, and have done a wonderful job of not letting the secret slip! They're so funny. They insist that we use hushed tones when discussing it, and James has all the paraphernalia stashed under his bed. They are too funny. I had hoped to do a big bbq for his birthday this weekend, but as of tonight he has given me neither a list of names to contact for invitations, nor a scheduled time of his choosing (and just let everyone else know about it). So it looks like we may just have a small gathering of whomever is home. I know, it's his birthday, but I love entertaining. I love having gatherings and feeding people (that's the Southern part of me there). We always did big bbq's and gatherings, and I can't help but feel that picking up that tradition would help make this place feel more like home. *sigh* It's ok. Like I said, it is, after all, his birthday, not mine. We'll still make it a happy one!

And, just because I don't think I've done a quiz since I've been here (and it's just not a useless blog w/o a quiz, doncha know!) Here is one where I actually don't feel gypped! (With thanks to... was it Rebel? Where did I get this??) Anyhow, here ya go:

You are a descriptive writer. An avid reader of
Robert Frost, perhaps, you LOVE to use flowery
words and use the paper and pen as your canvas
and paintbrush. You prefer to paint a mental
image rather than simply toy around with
people's minds. A very inspired person, you
love to be in nature and usually are a very
outdoorsy type of person. A writer with a
natural green thumb, perhaps?

What's YOUR Writing Style?
brought to you by Quizilla
The boys are helping me blog today:

From John: iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii *insert giggling here* iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii *"I like
it because I like pressing one all the time. It makes me laugh!"* iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

From James: I love you, aunt B..Love, James.

From Me:
There are times I just can't express how much I love my life. The boys plunked down on the
living room floor after breakfast this morning to play legos together. The airplane models
protected the puppy toys. The lego city was defended against the attacking Hordes. There was
a musical held part way through. School hasn't started yet, but the detour was gloriously fun.

It's all a matter of how you look at it, I suppose, and we have chosen to see the blessings.
We have our health, and even when we don't necessarily have "excellent" health, every day above
ground is a good day, ya know. We have one another, even when we're separated by the day at work
or by travel or other obligations. There is still our home, our central gathering spot and
touchstone, to which we all return for sustenance and rejuvenation, and love. It's such a blessing.

Beth asked about the Free State Project,
and when we're moving to New Hampshire. I am still working to convince Zorak that it's worth the doing.
He believes, as I do, that we need to give it a go in order to try to ensure freedom for our children
and their children. Our move to NH, or even to the second place state (which we'd really rather do-
to be honest, we don't have much desire to call anyplace east of the Rockies "home"), is dependent
upon his ability to find employment.

I really believe it's possible to make a go of the Free State Project, just as I believe that a
political revolution is possible by electing local and county officials outside the two
parties. Then move into state assemblies and senates. From there, you have a chance at sending a
voice to Washington, but not before then. Yes, it's a slow process, and isn't as grandiose as
having a Presidential candidate, but the big changes don't come around in one fell swoop.
They take place brick by brick- whether you are building a nation or tearing it down. Right now our
nation is being torn apart, brick by brick, tenet by tenet, and instead of whining about it, I think
we need to do something about it. Zorak and I are working toward a Free Tomorrow, and we invite you
to join us. You don't have to uproot your family to make it work. You have to speak up, run for local
office, get out and talk to people! It's not that hard, and so many, particularly those coming from the
institutional training houses of today's educational State, are not aware of so very, very much. Just
start talking, start listening, and remind people what it is like to have an active voice in their own

We are attending the rally in June, though! Anybody else going?

Tuesday, May 25

OK, grab yer soapbox and settle in...

First, go read THIS.

It's absolutely terrifying! The next thing we know, we'll all be getting a note from the State as soon as our pregnancies are confirmed telling us to whom we should report for prenatal care, where and when and how we will be delivering. Think it can't happen? That's not far from how it's done in France! When the government provides your care, the government controls your care.

First of all, let's set the record straight- medical care is a business. Personally, I think that's great. It means they provide a service and you can choose to take your business elsewhere if you aren't pleased with the care you receive. WAHOO! Long live capitalism! You may like that fact, you may not, but let me give you some insight before you go off on a socialist rampage against my stance.

There is a reason you are asked to sign "AMA" forms when you do not take the route or means of care your doctor advises. You are acknowledging that you are going "against medical advice". It's not a mandate. It's advice. Take it for what it's worth. You have hired a consultant and care provider to whom you ultimately do not have to submit. That person, that facility, is employed on a contract basis BY you, and THEY answer TO you.

It's bad enough that doctors have filled our country with women who have been pushed, prodded and scared into elective surgeries and unnecessary interventions by these "it's for the health of the baby" scenarios. Now the doctors have decided that, in spite of their own pitiful failure rate, exorbitant costs, unnecessary interventions, outrageous infection rates (if lay midwives had secondary infection rates to rival hospitals, there'd be a bigger witch hunt than there is now!) other increased risks, and so on, they somehow still know best. They know all.

Are we going to let them take this power? It's ours to give, or to refuse to give! They won't be so quick to go after families if families stop paying them to do just that.

Why am I so adamantly opposed to socialized medicine? Why am I not clamoring at the feet of whatever liberal politician stand up and shouts, "We need medical care!" Well, let me tell you- first of all, you can get medical care in the United States. Yes, even if you cannot afford it. A public hospital cannot turn you away for care if you show up on its doorsteps. If they do, they are violating the law. But I firmly believe that medical care should NOT be given over to government control because of idiots with a God complex like the staff at Wilkes-Barre Hospital in Pennsylvania! If the State is willing to come in and take away a mother's guardianship of her own child because the physicians at the hospital are upset that she won't let them play Dr. Frankenstein, then the State already has too much power! We do not, I repeat DO NOT need to give the State any more power. We need to take it back or we are going to find ourselves in a very frightening, bleak future.

Please allow me to share, just from my personal experience in the medical community, some of the many, many times the "experts" have been dangerously wrong (these are just a couple, as I'm short on time tonight, but there are plenty more):

1- My mother was at her wits end by the time I was six months old. I cried and screamed 20 hours out of every 24. The doctors insisted that she was "imagining things", that I was "spoiled", that I was "feeding off her stress" and she "should just lay that baby down and let her cry". My mother went AMA repeatedly, determined to find the root of the problem. One physician prescribed a sedative in a dosage high enough to knock out a 200 lb. adult male. It would have killed an 8 mo. old infant. She declined the prescription. Three months later, due to her unswerving determination, it was discovered that I had been born with a double ruptured hernia. Surgery was scheduled immediately. (For the record, I also caught measles suring that stay in the hospital, and had been vaccinated already.) If the government and the medical establishment had the authority to coerce and force her to follow their edicts, I would be now, at best, severely damaged, most likely dead.

2- At the age of 16, I was diagnosed by a physician at the UNM Hospital in Albuquerque as "epileptic", and prescribed Dilantin. We fought it. I was not about to take Dilantin when I did not need it, not knowing what I knew about the side effects. The physician tried to pit the State against us. We fought for two years and discovered that I have (believe it or not) perfectly normal brain activity- not a single sign of epilepsy. The nerve damage, vision problems, and blackouts I suffered were an allergic reaction to Nutrasweet/Aspartame. My Central Nervous System, liver and teeth are most appreciative of the fact that we had the right to take our business elsewhere and find the answers we truly needed.

3- What if hospitals had the ability to force a pregnant woman to take an FDA approved drug because of the "health of the baby"? Would that be ok? Let's talk Thalidamide. How many more women and children would have suffered if they hadn't had the right to say "no" to that drug? Even if rejecting it meant that they had to go against medical advice... even if it meant "putting the baby in jeopardy". That's a risk I am willing to take.

4- When John was 7.5 mos. old, his big brother got hold of some Formula 409 and decided to "help clean" his baby brother. I began flushing his eyes immediately, called poison control, called the ambulance. The paramedics told us to go on in (since I was alone with the two boys and would need transportation home), and called the ER. We got there and they refused to see him. They didn't feel he was behaving distraught enough for anything to be wrong. For three hours, the triage nurse told me to "go home, he's fine." For three hours, I grew increasingly angry and insistent upon being seen and having a thorough flush done. It got to the point that I had to stand in the lobby and scream. They put us in the back to shut me up. An hour later, I cornered the physician on call and demanded my son be tended to. To "placate" me, she did a litmus test. He had a pH of 11.5! (Eye fluid should be neutral- appx 7.5) At that point, it was a different story. Suddenly, there was an emergency! The doctor requested the "big bag" of solution. One for each eye, actually. Then she sent in a nursing student who had never performed an eye flush and was too afraid to try. I flushed his eyes myself. We stayed until he measured neutral. I have no recourse because "his records show that he was attended to". It does not matter that he was attended to under extreme duress. It does not matter that he did not receive professional or timely care. It does not matter that *I* am the one who provided the actual treatment. Hospital records show the hospital to be blameless. Imagine that. If these people had the authority to determine care solely on their whim, my son would be blind today.

5- My friend, Amy, was afraid to challenge the hospital staff. She underwent four surgeries to correct a "collapsed shunt" from her gall bladder surgery. By the time her husband could convince her to seek medical care elsewhere, she had been in ICU for a month, had had numerous MRI's, CT scans, surgeries, blood transfusions, antibiotics enough to choke a horse... she was at another hospital a whopping four hours when their staff found a cancerous mass the size of a football in her abdomen (right where the other surgeons had been poking around.) They scheduled treatment immediately, but it was too late- she died the next morning. If she had felt she could complain, she might have received better care elsewhere rather than taking what was given to her. We won't have that option at all if the State and the medical establishment continues to rein in our rights as patients and consumers.

6- I don't know how many times my sister was officially pronounced dead. Then got up from the bed, asking for food. I know it was three, but there may have been more. Doctors are not Gods.

7- A chiropractor broke one of my mother's ribs. She was in such excruciating pain that she finally told me what happened. I took her to the ER. They took X-rays. The doctor on call showed us the X-rays, showed us the broken rib, explained how to care for it. Two months later, her physician hadn't even asked about her rib, so she questioned him about it. He was confused. There was nothing wrong with her rib. He showed her the ER report. The tech who prepared the report for her physician is tight w/ the chiropractor who broke her rib. The report stated that there was found, "no indication of trauma or injury". The X-rays "couldn't be located" for confirmation. Humans are fallible, corrupt and essentially unethical when they have too much power.

8- A friend broke her arm and went to the ER. They X-rayed it, then put on a cast. She complained repeatedly over the next few days of the excruciating pain and asked that they do something about it. She was told that she just wasn't prepared for the pain of a broken arm. We finally convinced her to go to another hospital. They took X-rays and immediately removed the cast. It had been put on improperly and she was in danger of losing permanently the use of three fingers, as a muscle was caught between the bones. I repeat: Doctors are not Gods, and should not, no- MUST NOT- be treated as such.

There are so many more examples of medical ineptitude, of life-saving questioning of advice or refusal to follow doctor's orders. I know that doctors can be invaluable assets and save many lives many times over, but there must be some balance of power. No one authority on any subject. When citizens cannot question, the nation will stagnate. There is no reason to give the medical establishment more power, more authority. We need more personal responsibility, less power-play and coerced intervention.

Some writers are trying to draw a parallel with abortion advocacy and consider this a "woman's issue". I say that's selling the issue short. This issue is a human rights issue. It is about the difference between providing care to citizens and turning citizens into lab rats. Don't let this happen.

If you live in PA, write to the hospital. Demand an apology from them. Demand a change in protocol. Demand patients' rights be broadened, not restricted. Tell them you will neither support their hospital nor patronize it, and then follow through. Publish letters to the editor of your paper. DO SOMETHING NOW! When it comes down to it, their bottom line is the fiscal one, and unfortunately for all the jibberish they spew about "patient care", it's the dollar that they will heed. So please, if you have dollars to spend, spend them elsewhere and let Wilkes-Barre Hospital know that you chose to spend them elsewhere. Demand accountability from these delusional powermongers before it's your family they come after!

*As a matter of fact, write your judges and other elected officials and let them know that this slight of hand did NOT go undetected and will NOT be tolerated. If they value their job security, they'd better straighten up quickly!*

I'm meeelllllttttiiinnngggg!

Quit tid-bits while the fish are cooking:

*If you have small children, don't make anything that requires you to cook down a fruit, strain it, and set aside the glaze. I don't care how good it is, if you have small children, it will NOT be worth it.

*We have central a/c, electric. Will cracking an upstairs window still work w/ that? I've only had to do that w/ swamp coolers and window units! I'll give it a try.

*The carpet does feel significantly drier since we've had the air on. I do hope this will at least slightly retard the growth of molds under the carpet. Blech

*Cousin Charles (not to be confused with "Zorak" Charles) is en route to Juneau, Alaska for a mission trip over the summer. Six cool college guys turned loose on the mission world! WooHoo! So far, they've hit a deer and lost a headlight, but thankfully weren't going highway speeds when it happened. Nope, they were driving through SNOW. In late MAY! Ha! That's funny! Nobody was injured, and true to family form, he's just using his highbeams rather than replacing the light fixture. It's hard to be a poor missionary/student/traveller with the genes of an eccentric engineer, eh? And yet, they're still having a wonderful time of it! Please keep these guys in your prayers while they're on the road and while they're getting settled in.

*We found the rose oil to keep the ticks off- I'll let ya know how it works! (Don't laugh! If it were scorpions, you'd be lookin' for a solution, too!)

*James was sooo cute today. We stopped for lunch at Chic-Fil-A. He wanted sweet and sour sauce for his nuggets. Since I could see the counter from our table, I suggested he go "ask the nice lady at the counter" for some. He started over, then turned and with a look of absolute glee, asked, "Is this a very big responsibility?" I was slightly caught off guard, but fortunately caught myself and said, "Oh, yes. I know you can do it well, and I trust you." He spun on his heels and skipped to the counter, just beaming with pride. I sat there and beamed a little, myself.

* Shannon got me in hot water w/ the boys by posting a picture of her adorable kitty! Had to laugh, too, as she is taking Chris' word for it that "Chibi" means "small" in Japanese. We got a call once from the brother-in-law, wanting to know what "Chuy" means. His daughters wanted to name their new dog that, but he wanted to make sure it wasn't a bad word first. :-)

*To my blog-buddies: I'm reading, just not posting so much, as the topics many of you have posted about recently would require some serious thought in order to form a coherent sentence to reply. I'm still wrapping my mind around Latin, so I'm sorry to say you aren't going to be getting my better brain cells for the next few, erm, howeverlongs... But I'm reading! Keep blogging!

*May 29th is coming. May 29th is coming. Someone remind me on the 28th that we need to sign up for swim lessons on the 29th- and that the 29th is the next day! Please?

*I'll be back later to shout from my soapbox about the Wilkes-Barre Hospital in PA. *GRRRRRRRR* Feel free to look it up so we can have a thorough gripe-session together, ok?

Time for supper!

Up and blogging at four thirty in the morning.

THIS is what happens when you go to bed at eight and are accustomed to going to be much, much later. You are up at three in the morning, fully rested and bored stiff. ;-)

So, a quick blog before I try to get some more rest.

The cooler is working great- downstairs. The upstairs is very toasty, well, it's hot. It's miserably, horribly, HOT. Any idea why?? Help? Please. It's icky up there.

Zorak isn't feeling well. Neither is the baby. I'm more concerned about the baby (not that I'm making Zorak fend for himself, but he's a big boy). Jacob is just burning up tonight (do ya think we could find a thermometer? of course not!) He fell asleep on the bathroom rug last night while the boys were playing in the tub. We changed him and laid him in bed. He's been up off and on during the night, but mostly resting the deep rest that only children and small kittens know. He's up now, though, hungry and hot. *sigh* If the fever doesn't break shortly, we'll be at the dr's tomorrow.

We baked yesterday- key lime pie, wheat-free cake doughnuts, strawberry pie, lasagna. It was a delicious day!

Later... laid down w/ the baby and wonder of wonders, got a bit more sleep for all! It's raining now, and the boys are still down, so I think I"m going to do some chores. ;-)


Sunday, May 23

A Sweet Day

We loaded up and drove to the berry farm this morning after breakfast. It was hot there. It was humid. Even the bugs seems laden with moisture and sluggish in their flight. We picked a few pounds of strawberries, listened to some music, ate ice cream sundaes, and then high-tailed it outta there!

James promptly quit helping to pick once he tasted the first berry. He ate one, picked up the basket of berries, carried it under a tree and camped out there eating berries until we (ok, let's be honest, "I") stopped picking.

Jacob also tried a berry. (I know, allergen! Bad Mommy alert!) He loved it, is thoroughly stained from rounded head to tiny toe, and he survived. I imagine much of his upbringing will be similar in sequence. ;-)

We bought a new book! It's a biography of Thomas Stone, the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence from the Maryland delegation. The author, Mr. Wearmouth, was there, and we spoke with him for nearly an hour. He's 80, a Maryland native, and is utterly fascinating. I'd have come home with more books if I'd known there were going to be books there! However, I'll give a review of this one once I'm finished with it. (I'll also write more on it when I've got it in front of me rather than in the diaper bag!) He also invited us to visit with him and his wife at their place in LaPlata sometime. Truly pleasant gentleman.

Came home to relax for a bit. I'll admit it, we turned on the cooler. The house was 90' inside, and we were entirely too miserable with the 80-something percent humidity, to boot. So. There ya have it, my home is now being cooled. It is heavenly. I have stepped back outside twice, just so I could get hot 'n sticky, then feel that adrenaline-pumping rush of cool air upon my neck and arms as I re-enter the home. Ahhhhh. Good stuff.

Had cake and ice cream w/ the neighbors this evening. Their littlest daughter is two. She is so precious. I love the age of two! It's a fun, fun, exciting age. Children just begin to comprehend that their use language directly impacts the world around them and that they have a certain level of control in that area. What an exciting time of exploration! Two is a wonderful age.

There were many cute things today. I can't remember a single one of them, though, as I sit here to type. So, I'm going to sign off. Tomorrow begins another busy day- hopefully one with a slower, more savory pace than the ones we've had of late. That would truly be wonderful.


Saturday, May 22

BAD Salesman, NO Bonus!

SOOOO, ok, picture this:

You are working the showroom of your local motorcycle dealership when in walks a family- the whole lot of 'em- husband, wife, three children in tow. This isn't park day, they're looking for something. They have out of state tags. They wander around your showroom for a good twenty-five minutes and nobody says so much as "hello" to them. The small children are getting antsy. The husband is eyeing certain bikes with great interest. He keeps trying to get someone's attention.

Finally, as the wife and the three children make their third lap around the outside of the building (because of the sign on the door that says "all children under the age of 21 must be carried", and since the stay is growing longer by the minute, she is trying fervently to prevent the utter chaos that is just begging to erupt with the children and the bikes and the tipping and the... well, the husband must REALLY want to be there and she must REALLY be OK with it, ya know), the husband approaches a salesman and says to him, (are you ready?):

"I'm an rider from years ago. I haven't been able to ride for a long time, well, (motions to the expanding family) as you can see. *smile* However, I've just graduated from college, have a good job and am looking to start rebuilding my motorcycle collection."

What would you do, if you were this salesman? Well, call the guy who works at Velocity in Richmond, VA and fill him in on how to handle a situation like this!

For those who aren't familiar w/ sales, let me brief you here, on what you would call, to use the auto sales vernacular, "an easy lay"-

*We had the checkbook in hand.
*The woman was there (which is, like, rule #2 on vehicle sales protocol- get the woman in there b/c even if it's his vehicle, it's her yay or nay you're gonna need).
*We had driven two and a half hours to this particular shop.
*The man knew his stuff and asked specifics about specific bikes- he knew what he wanted.

HELLO? Tell me I'm not the only one who feels there is no reason for a sale not to have taken place there today! For the love of God, a little interest, a microscopic bit of enthusiasm and we'd have come home today with a great BMW or a really nice Dukati. Zorak saw one of each that he'd have been happy to bring home. TODAY.

Pffttt. Entrepreneurial apathy is what's killing our economy, not the war efforts, not the French and their attitude toward us- it's our own stupid laziness. C'mon, people!

Yeah, Zorak was disappointed, too. Any information he managed to get out of the guy was due to direct questioning, but if the man had so much as offered information on financing options (he might've made an even bigger sale than the cash one we had in mind), or what it'd cost out the door. Nah, why bother? By the time we left, it was out of absolute frustration. We don't want to have to beg someone to take our money. We'll go elsewhere and do it with less irritation and frustration.


Then, to assuage the boys' frustrations over being in an unfriendly, cramped and uncomfortably warm environment for almost an hour (not to mention the 2.5 hrs in the car), we took them to the Richmond Children's Museum. It was a great time, but let's be honest- this isn't a museum. It is a romper room of gigantic proportions, and it's loads of fun for little guys, but it is more along the lines of the ultimate Montessori classroom than it is a museum. Lots to do, overly expensive for what it offers ($7 a head for all persons over the age of 1!), and very interesting. On a scale of 1-10, with five being totally ambivalent toward it, I'd give it a sliding scale score: 4 if we lived there, but 6 since we had a 2.5 hour drive home and the kids had already been cooped up far too long! Glad we went.


Yesterday was spent at the Naval Air Museum. Now THAT is a museum. It's small, but wonderful when you are three and five! There are hands-on exhibits, but it also has a much more educational atmosphere and no Romper Room Effect! (Not that we have a disdain for Romper Room, but there's a time and a place....)

Tomorrow it's off to the Hydromont Berry Farm to pick strawberries and check out civil war weaponry. There is nothing quite like a wonderful day of food and firearms to make this family happy!


In miscellaneous things,
*We have definitely nailed down one of James' allergens: clover. We had another "eye episode" tonight right after he, in his five year old glee, "fluffed" a bunch of clover blooms into his face. Ewww. Thank God for Benadryl and OTC drugs!
*James would also like to know why "such ridiculous laws such as mandatory seatbelt use ever got passed in a free country"! (Ha, me, too, kiddo, me, too.)
*John sang along with most of the Math-U-See tape today on the drive home. He is learning so much and having such a great time of it.
*Jacob is a great (and I do mean great) traveller! Woo-Hoo! His teeth are getting closer to the surface (oh, that looks painful) and he definitely loves wheat-free ginger spice cookies!
*We tried a wheat-free doughnut recipe today. It doesn't make great doughnuts, but would be a WONDERFUL coating for sweet and sour chicken! Good stuff. Not that the boys cared- we told them it was doughnuts, covered the stuff with glaze and Voila! happy children.

OK, well, I am hoping to call Gram tonight. My phone battery died and it's just not charging quickly enough. I'm going to go find Zorak's phone and give her a ring before she heads to bed. Have a great night, all!


Thursday, May 20

A Potpourri of Blog...

A little of this and a pinch of that today. Actually, that's sort of how I make soup, come to think of it.

9:45pm-blogging solo tonight- the baby is asleep!

Well, first off, this was linked on TWTM forums today, and I got a big kick out of it. Dick and Jane, if written by Poe... too funny! Actually, I read the whole blog of Bob the Ape, and he's a great new blogger!

10:10pm- now up w/ baby-

Motherhood teaches us a lot, the strangest of which hit me today- only a mother with a diapered child would understand that you can pretty well sum up a situation by sniffing someone's rear end. Dogs aren't so stupid, after all! *Note: this is NOT recommended for anyone outside the parent/diapered child relationship! Failure to follow this guideline may result in very awkward, embarrassing events.*

10:40pm-this isn't going well- he should be out by now!

Melissa sent me this link, about why we should never post a photo on the internet, which has me in stitches at eleven thirty at night!

11:50pm- ARGH! I'm walking with this child and I think we're halfway to Rivendell by now! HELP!

OK, so Jacob is helping me blog tonight. Or rather, he's irritated and grouchy that he is still up. He can't help it, though, as a quick peek in his wee mouth revealed not one or two, but FOUR teeth trying to push their way through. He's gassy, sleepy, in pain (I think he may have fluid building up in his ears- he started grabbing at his ear over supper)... He is, in short, miserable. He has also become a relentlessly gnawing toothless gopher and I am pretty much desperate at this point. I just put him in the neglect-o-matic (swing) to see if the motion will help soothe him.

While I'm up at midnight w/ a teething child and coming up on a Friday I'm just not looking forward to one bit, I'd like to say that Joyce is one of the neatest people. She is just selfless in her patience and humor, and she makes me feel so much better after a chat. :-)

Let's see, what else?

The boys are going to a play tomorrow night! The neighbor's daughter is having her end-of-year school play tomorrow night and the neighbors asked if they could take the boys for supper, to see the play, then perhaps to the park. I always panic at the thought of the boys being without my supervision, but we trust these neighbors, the kids do all get on quite well... I'm still anxious as heck, though.

(The swing didn't help, trying to brainstorm, but am only getting a mild breeze and some slight humidity.)

Ragin Dave left a cute note about submission... "If I want a part of my family to be submissive, I'll get a dog". I can appreciate that. Those who have known me for years usually get that cock-eared, RCA puppy expression when they hear me use the word "submission" in a context other than "to put in for; apply". I guess it's pretty well-established that the term, submission, evokes images of one (usually assumed to be a woman) who has no thought of her own, no desires of her own, and certainly no opinion of her own. I loved Samantha's recent musings on how submission is tailored to each marriage just as each person is tailored to his or her marriage. What constitutes me being "submissive" to my husband probably wouldn't even count for some ladies I know. Conversely, if I tried to be like they are, my wonderful Zorak would most likely take me in for some kind of shock therapy to rid me of it. At the very least, he'd walk quickly ahead of me in public, moving in a zig-zag motion and glancing over his shoulder occasionally to see if I'm still stalking him. It would be horribly uncomfortable for all involved, indeed.

It just struck me as funny to think what image pops into visitor's heads when they come here and read about "submission" from me, the One Most Far Removed From Position of Uber-Wife. (I'm pretty sure that's an actual Viking title from the early 1300's.) I dunno, but I can tell you Jess is laughing at me right now.

12:49AM! OK, I'm back. Warm bath with lavendar oils, massage, dim lights... that did the trick. Unfortunately, it also sucked all will to stay awake from my frail bones, too. He's not asleep, but he is significantly calmed and much happier now. I feel better having been able to help alleviate some of his pain and misery.

It's funny the things that make me feel "successful" now, vs. the things that would have made that same top five list ten years ago. The things that mean the most are the things that make me feel like a good Mom, a good wife. What are your top five?

I look forward to hearing them!

1:04am- Houston, the Eagle has LANDED!!! (He's sound asleep!) I'm off to follow suit!


For Donna...

The editing is terrible, but I did something wrong at the start and am just too tired to fix it. Sorry. This cut off a few things near the bottom, but I had to sit on the counter opposite just to get the picture- our kitchen is a skinny piece of land between the living room and the dining room. :-)

Wednesday, May 19

A great reprieve from the heat

It is cool and breezy today, and we have spent the day in unusual physical activity. Two days, actually, have been like that, and it's been oh-so-good for all of us.

Lessons on the fly today while making up (and then checking off- the checking off is the bestest part, don't ya know!) a "game plan" for getting the house tidied and cleaned. We drew a hamper with clothes flying into it. We drew a bookshelf with toys and books climbing onto it. We drew a big toilet with large teeth battling a toilet brush. Yeah, we have fun with it.

The boys both begged to be allowed to "help" and so, with *grave and dire warnings* about how very much trust is involved and how they must be able to follow directions, they got to use (here is where the angelic choir begins to sing and the boys nod in solemn honor of this milestone, this passing into Bigger Boyhood) the Clorox Wipes! Weeebuddies! We have one sparkly, lemony set of bathrooms now! They were so serious in their "proper procedure" for using "chemicals", and it was quite cute. (Not to mention the Hail Mary I said for being one step closer to no longer being the Lone Wrangler of the Toilets-of-the-Home-of-Four-Males!)

We took a break for quesadillas and a movie, then resumed lessons and cleaning. It is wonderful how much can get done when it's not a chore, it's a blessing.

Our neighbors came over this afternoon for a bit. (WOOHOO! Clean house!) The kids played and had a nice time. James is now making jewelry for the girls. I don't know if they appreciate it as much as I do- I just think it's hilarious. John, well, he needed a nap. He was a wee-bit "three" this afternoon. Still and all, he did come down a little and had a nice time.

Now supper- we have pork ribs on the bbq, asparagus steaming and rice settling. The house smells loved and lived in and cherished, which is how I feel about its inhabitants. And this breeze, this cleansing, relaxing breeze. I thought I'd come and visit for a bit.

Rules are important. We endeavor to guide our children and teach them in order that they will learn by observation and teaching rather than from experience. Sometimes, however, they just have to learn through tears. Tonight James learned not to leave his favorite bowl from Granny on the floor. John learned not to wear the bowl on his head and walk around. There were tears. Zorak and I will be holding a family meeting over supper to discuss how bad it feels to injure someone, albeit accidently, by not following the rules. (Although, if you know it's not "ok" to do something and you do it anyway, that's not quite an accident, is it?) ;-) We're hoping to soothe the tears with a renewed strength of heart and desire for obedience among the boys. After all, Grace is important, too.

And, like cats to the can opener, my children have materialized from other rooms, drawn by the soft tap-tapping of the keyboard. They have come to snuggle and sing and derail my train of thought. Time to go play!


Tuesday, May 18

I found it!

The lost Tuesday from last week- see, here it is! Neat, huh?

Well, we have some big news-
Crissy is back among the blogworld!

So is Joanne (The Happy Homeschooler).

What a serious bonanza for the blogworld!

I also found the guys over at Four Right-Wing Wackos. It's a fun place if you're a Right-Wing Wacko. *wink* Yeah, I'll be hanging out there. Each of the posters has a distinctive voice and tone, and covers a wide variety of material. A homeschooling blog, it's not, but then a little change of pace from time to time is nice, I think. You can also buy some raging cool Molon Labe bumper stickers!

Also, I want to say a great big "THANK YOU!!!!" to those of you who left a comment or emailed me privately about the upending last week. With a few days break, and some common sense restored to my thought process, I can honestly say that I agree with you. There's probably something to offend everyone here, but anybody who has half a brain knows better than to take offense, unless A) you're actually guilty of whatever it is I'm poking at *in which case that's your own conscience and don't yell at me b/c you feel like a dolt*, or B) I come right out and say, "You are a moron!" Which, really, I seldom actually do that, and when I do, it's either blatantly deserved or is not something I'm concerned about asking other's opinions on- so that's sort of a non-issue in itself, isn't it?

That said, I love my pacifist friends, my right-wing crunchy friends, my fundy friends, and my pagan buddies. I love you all to pieces. I love it when we agree, and when we don't. It's great to learn new points of view and to be able to sit down over a cuppa joe and think over why I believe what I do. Sometimes it's really neat to find threads of commonality among seemingly disparate philosophies, and those threads are woven into the unique and beautiful designs that make life oh, so interesting and beautiful. You keep me alert and on my toes. You rock!

My feelings on personal rights and responsibilities, and my fervent belief that the government does not need to babysit us (any more than the church needs to be the government babysitting us), in the end, outweighs the thought that I've pissed off yet another Canadian. (With very few exceptions, I do seem to have that effect on Canadians. Which is funny, because some of my absolute favorite people in Cyberspace, and our Blogosphere, are Canadians!) Anyway, there ya go.

Don't like that? Tough. Really. Between raising three young men to be contributing members to society, being a loving and submissive wife to my hubby (working on that whole submission process *grin*), running our home, preparing for tomorrow, engaging in the political process, re-educating myself along the way, and dealing with a plethora of stuff you don't even want to know about, I just don't have much "give a darn" left.

That's the beauty of living in America. I can go to Target, I can take pictures of my beautiful, articulate children, and by golly I can dislike people who are narrow-minded and persnickety. Case closed.

You are one click away from not having to deal with me, O, Offended Visitor, one click away...

If, however, you realize that not everybody is going to have the same milktoast opinions as everyone else and you are actually capable of towing the "respect for others" line, then welcome, Friend. Welcome.

And so, we're off to ride bikes and maybe slip down to the corner store for a treat! Have a wonderful Tuesday!


Monday, May 17

Mid-Day Funny

So James and I were doing math review today. I asked him a question, then he said, "Ya know what? Four plus three plus four plus three minus one is thirteen."

Just to be silly, I jokingly counted it out on my fingers (since our math program says NOT to use your fingers), by counting out, "Four (one finger up) plus three (second finger up) plus four (third finger) plus three (fourth finger) minus one (put the fourth finger down) equals THREE!"

James looked at me quizically, laid his hand on my knee and said, "Mom, I think that's why you're not supposed to count on your fingers."


I thought I'd found the scanner cord, but it was a mirage. *sigh* I'll keep looking. Maybe I can take a picture of the drawings? Will that work w/ a cheapo digital camera?

Today was, in general, a test of my ability to be a kind human under pressure. I failed miserably for the majority of the day, finally gaining some redemption this evening. I don't think it was enough. Tomorrow should be better. I hope so.

The vacuum cleaner died today- twice. It's now been thoroughly repaired and works wonderfully. Then the carpet cleaner died. Twice. It's still laying dead on the floor, its innerds strewn mysteriously around the living room. *sigh* I don't know what happened to it. I don't think I can repair that one. And so, we have a partially cleaned, partially just wet living room right now. Ewww.

We finished The Tale of Despereaux. It never got any better. I don't even feel better for having finished it. The boys quit caring about the characters about halfway through. That didn't do much to spark the fires.

I finished Cat's Cradle. That was worth reading, although I must say that I'm glad I did not read it as a teenager. Considering I considered myself to be quite the existentialist at one point, Bokononism would have been very appealing when I was, say, 17. Scary thought. Reading it at this point, however, was thoroughly enjoyable.

Spent the better part of the evening cleaning. The downstairs is relatively decluttered (four trash bags later...) and the bookshelves are once again returned to their utilitarian and anally organized structure. *happy sigh* We are looking forward to this coming week. Let me rephrase that, I am looking forward to this coming week, at any rate. The rest of them just have to come along, willingly or not. We'll see how it goes.

John built a "launcher" for his helicopter toy today. It's very cool. He used a long stick and tied a clothes pin to it at the bottom. The rubber band is at the top. Clip the 'copter to the pin, pull the band down, release, and WOOHOO- airborne! Plus, since the stick is straight up, the helicopter comes back down relatively nearby. Less shaking the trees to rescue it.

James continued his crafty streak today by making paper dolls. He's never seen paper dolls, but he made them up and cut them out. They're very neat. They even have voice bubbles over their heads. The Mommy says, "I love you, you're a great kid." The James says, "You're a nice Mom. I love you, too." And their legs are split, so they can walk! Like I said, very neat.

One full day tick-free boys, but talk about psychological warfare. Every stray hair that falls across my arm, everything that bumps against my skin... *shudder* I've been a walking mass of goosebumps all day.

We also went to look at a house today. It's on a lovely acre. The house needs about $30K in work done to it, but it may be do-able, certain requirements all told. The neighbors seem nice. It's *relatively* in our price range. But then, getting back into the car, I knocked not one, but two ticks off me! BAECK!!! If y'all have watched many Steve Martin movies, then you can imagine the dance I did. We hauled the boys out and did a thorough tick-check on them, too. Yuck.

Here's to a twitch-free week!

Saturday, May 15

Yeah, it's hard not to blog...

We had the sweetest day today!

I heard, through my groggy morning-brain haze, Zorak tell the boys, "Let's let Mommy get some rest, she's sleepy." Mmm, I spread out on the cool sheets (something that's nearly impossible to do with four high-metabolism bodies squished into bed w/ me), flipped my pillow over to the cool side, and dozed back off... heavenly.

When I came downstairs, the coffee was fresh, and the boys said cheerily, "We're cleaning the house for you!" My heart beamed at their joy. I could not see a single difference at all, except that the house glowed with love and appreciation now, even amidst the clutter and miscellaneous "stuff" piled here and there.

We enjoyed a nice morning playing, gathering, and planning our day. We went to Wal-Mart and bought the boys some summer clothes. James picked out his own shirts. *sniff* He's getting so big and independent. He picked a "cool" Bugle Boy t-shirt that I wouldn't have picked (it's not offensive, just looks "older" than I evidently am geared toward...) He is growing up in many wonderful ways, and I'm trying to let him. *cringe*

Lunch at the buffet! Oh yeah, all-you-can-eat. This is the way large families can afford to eat out! Good stuff.

We came home, and as we walked in, John let out a HUGE sigh, saying, "It's so nice to come home to a clean house." I could have died laughing! It was so heartfelt, and so genuine. What a neat kid.

It was too hot 'n sticky (read: generally, temps over 80'F and humidity over 15%, although today it was WAY over that) to do anything but read and watch a movie. Oh, and nap. We napped. I'm really quite serious about that whole "summer hibernation" theme!

We had our first hands-on experience with ticks in Maryland today. Oh... dear... God. Poor Jacob. At first, I thought it was a crumb, but it wouldn't wipe away (diaper change, no less). Then I thought, "A scab? How would he get a scab THERE?" I checked his nails. Nope, all short... ACK! OMG!!! THAT'S A TICK!!! We got it off, and as of bedtime there was no rash and no swelling. Lyme's is pretty big here, and I'm more than a little freaked out over this whole thing.

Tonight I noticed James' light was still on, so peeked in to see what was going on. He was sitting in bed, drawing. My first instinct was to reprimand him for being up... I'm glad I curbed that reaction. We had the neatest visit. He was drawing music notes, rests, staffs, cleffs. He was drawing them freehand and they are absolutely beautiful! He shared with me all his drawings and what he was going to do next. I kissed him and told him how amazed I am with his interest and talent. He kissed me back and said "Thanks, Mom. I love this." I slipped back downstairs with my head shaking: who would have guessed one of my children would have artistic abilities like that? So I told Zorak, "His light's on. You have GOT to go see what he's drawing. It's amazing!" I want to scan them in- they're just beautiful drawings.

Sometimes, among the guiding and teaching, cleaning and feeding and sorting, running about and praying for sleep, we have the opportunity to be the mothers we want to be remembered as, and we must make use of those moments. Parenting is a moment-by-moment thing, and eventually all those moments come together to create the picture that will be your life. Your final masterpiece. It's in those moments that you get to decide whether you'll pay attention to details, like a twinkle in the eye or a mysterious smile. It's in those moments that you will figure prominently in the composition of your picture, or you will be absent from it. Will your picture be rich in literature and history and emotion, or will it be barren and bereft of connection? Will it be fraught with fear, or will it dance with delight and fortitude?

Choose well.


Friday, May 14

Happy Friday

Well, Zorak and I hope to spend a wonderful weekend with our boys, exploring the area and avoiding the heat and humidity. I doubt I'll be blogging over the weekend, so I wanted to pop in with a few thoughts before we get started on our lessons.

We talked to my nephew, John, last night. He's going to be a daddy in July and it was so exciting to hear him talk about it. He's going to be a great father, and we are so excited for him.

The frog did escape. With a little help. I told Zorak I thought he was stuck and he said that no, they should be able to get out. Well, we peeked again and there he was, huddled into one of the scallops in the pan. Zorak tried to encourage him out of there with no luck. "He's not a very bright little guy, is he?" he chuckled. So we gently upended the pan and released him back to the wilds of our back yard. We also removed the pans from the patio so he can now roam free in the yard.

The baby is eating cheerios, the boys are building with Duplos. I'm going to tidy up a bit and print off today's reading, then it's time for lessons. (Yes, we're doing a Friday day of lessons since we lost Tuesday somewhere in there.)

Have a wonderful weekend, all! Be good to your little ones.


Thursday, May 13


Evidently I am posting "hateful, racist crap" and someone out there finds it both "frightening" and "disgusting" that I would blend my "hateful, racist crap" with snippets of domestic life...

Hmmm. OK. Well, the manner in which the message was conveyed leaves quite a bit to be desired. And the, um, tone, shall we say, was rather out-of-left field. However, if someone feels vehemently enough that I am espousing hateful, racist remarks that they feel the need to deride me publicly, then I would certainly like to address that...

Since there was nothing in particular pointed out to me, I had to go back and re-read the most recent entries to try to figure it out.

Geneva Convention? Neuremberg? ACLU? Probably not, although admittedly I'm not usually in bed w/ the ACLU (or any union-like organization for that matter).

The Japanese under Hirohito while he was still considered "god"? Was that racist? I certainly didn't mean it to be, nor was anything there anything other than historical fact. The behavior was barbaric.

OK, I think this is it- the head-lopping, raping, etc.? I am not saying that all Muslims are this way, nor did I, nor will I. But is the Middle-East in large part manipulated by these particular sects? You betcha. Do I take issue with religious groups (of ANY persuasion) that are going to oppress and murder? You betcha. Do I care what color, nationality, or creed they are? Not a whit. Do I hope for more for the women and children of these war-torn countries? With all my heart. For their men, as well. If my comments were taken as anything other than I intended, then certainly the fault lies with me. Mea culpa. Please forgive me. If I have somehow missed the boat, I sincerely apologize.

Wow. A hateful racist. THAT is certainly not something I would have expected to see today. To the lady who posted her thoughts on the issue, thank you for opening my eyes somewhat, and I will endeavor to be more cautious of how my words may be interpreted.

And to my other readers who may also have taken offense, I apologize to you, as well.



I had an entire entry typed up and ready to go when *wham* IE experienced some "exceptional error" or "magnificent malfunction" or what have you, and shut down. I hate it when that happens.

So, where was I? I think our frog is stuck. There's a baking pan on the porch. He hopped in there a few minutes ago and seems to be making the rounds. I wish the boys were up- they'd love to be able to get up close without fear that he'll jump into the house (which he's done- he seems driven to try to get in). If he's not extricated himself from the pan before I head to bed, I'll let him out. Poor thing.

The boys are... well, they're boys. They are wonderful, active, creative, funny, exhausting little boys. I just want to snuggle them til their little eyes bulge. (...and I will luv him and squeeze him and name him George...*) Today was not particularly splendid, but it was nice and filled with many good things.

Diving Deeper- this is an issue for James. I'd love insight if any of y'all have it. For some reason (couldn't have anything to do w/ my genes, right? ha ha!) he doesn't particularly care for "mastery". He just wants to know if he can do it- is he actually, physically, technically capable? If so, then he's good-to-go, let's move on! I know I haven't relayed to him the Einstein quote about memorizing what you can look up, but somehow he senses it on a very instinctive level. How do you get a highly motivated, accelerated child to slow it down a bit, take a breath, do a little deeper? Now how do you do it without dulling his exuberance or making things feel droll?

Protecting the World- John wants to be a soldier. He says that he wants to be an Army soldier, but maybe he wants to fly planes, too. We'll see. Either way, that works. Today he saved us from flying dragons and small, multi-headed beasts. We've got to get that kid into fencing. He's downright deadly with a sword. And don't even think about trying to play dead and then jumping up and roaring because if he is anywhere near you, he will thwack you on the head with his rubber sword. His fight-or-flight reflexes are finely tuned and ready for action, but there's no flight option.

Jacob had his first M&M today. You'd think after the brownie pouncing adventure, we'd be more careful with our dainties, wouldn't you? Nope. We were camped out on the floor, enjoying math questions and M&M's when suddenly, like something out of The Swamp Thing, he emerged from under the coffee table and in a flash of Carter's prints and drool, nabbed a handful of the brightly colored treats and they were gone. (For the record, they will melt in your hand if you've previously slobbered all over it.)

Zorak was not well today. He slept for 16 hours straight. I am amazed at the body's ability to completely shut down for repairs. He's feeling markedly better tonight, and I had a serious V-8 moment when I realized, much to my embarrassment, we had the car all day and didn't go anywhere! D'oh. It was a great idea, in hindsight.

Alrighty, it's time for a Windows update to fix whatever this magnificent problem is, and then perhaps new pictures? It's been awfully quiet around here lately. Let me know if you've found us ok!

*if you can do the voice w/ the reference, you get extra points for being cool!

More thoughts

OK, so little Lindie is crying "chain of command"- as if we could expect anything noble from this little one? One word: Neuremberg. Ring a bell? How about putting your jail time toward some history lessons. You can, and actually must, refuse certain orders. History has borne this out. The UCMJ, the Geneva Convention, and probably the ACLU will back you up for taking a morally appropriate stand.

Secondly (and then I'm done and will move on to more uplifting thoughts), I read in the paper that she claims she was told to pose for the pictures for "Psy Ops"... uh huh. OK, so if your friend's creepy brother tells you that if you'll let him take polaroids of you and the dog in compromising positions he can get you a modeling contract... are you gonna BUY that? Puhleeze!

The thing that is getting farther under my skin is that our military, a proud and mighty institution, filled with wonderful men (I admit I do have a beef w/ women in the military and Lindie is just one shining example of WHY), who are willing to lay down their lives for freedom, are being dragged through the mud as a whole. They permit us to be heard, to educate in our own way, to learn a foreign language as part of a chosen course of study and not due to a recent Occupational Edict... if you see a servicemember today (man or woman), please give that person your support and encouragement to stand strong, continue to be a good representative of these great United States, and come home with dignity and honor because we miss them. What was done was wrong, yes. It was already addressed. Why is this not mentioned or highlighted more clearly? It was done by a few idiots, not the entire military? Oh, but no, we don't want to mention that. And finally, it was humiliating, YES, but it was NOT torture, and I don't want to hear another simpering, whiny victim-minded moron try to compare the two. Stop. Get a clue.

OK, ok, I lied. One more. Jessie Jackson. ROFLOL! Oh, when is Satan going to collect on that man's deal and leave us in peace? War crimes. Heee heee. I'm sorry. I can't help but laugh.

Wednesday, May 12

Wednesday Already?

Wow, the mind is still going, albeit slowly, downhill. Could've sworn it was only Tuesday.

Ah, well, we had a good day schooling: Bible, Math, Reading, Grammar, Phonics, Latin, Music (had to throw music in when I realized I'd planned to do it M,W,F.. and with today being W and all...) The boys are wonderful. I, however, am horribly behind-the-curve. Thank heaven for resiliency!

You know, we just don't "do" formal science yet. Some days I feel somewhat neglectful about that, and come next year, when we have to register with the gestapo, I'm going to have to pull something out of the hat. I am, however, fairly convinced that the Robinson way is a good idea. Besides, we watch enough bugs, discuss digestion ad nauseum (*grin*), and touch on myriad other topics regularly. They are not suffering from a lack of "formal" science. Maybe I will talk them into creating sketch journals of things that fascinate them. I did pick up a "How to Draw Insects" book last month that touches on the anatomical details in a very neat way... hmmm. Well, we have enough on our plates right now. Talk to me in August. ;-)

We hit Target today. I had to buy a few tops. Found a cute one: flourescent yellow tank with powder blue swirls all over it. The boys said it's not a top for a grownup. They laughed hysterically when I put it in the basket. They don't believe me when I tell them it's for me. When did I become too- whatever- to wear bright yellow shirts with geometric designs?

Our little frog was back tonight. John has claimed it as "the family frog". He sits at the back screen door for long stretches of time, watching it hop about, eat ants, and croak. He thoroughly loves that frog. I need to touch base with our neighbor about the tadpoles. We spent some time tonight on the internet looking up the care and feeding of tadpoles. I think we can do that. We may even have better luck than we did with the fish!

Oh, and I've got to share a recipe! Normally, I DETEST, loathe, and in general DO NOT LIKE cole slaw. (Well, except for the stuff from KFC, which is actually ambrosia, and not like cole slaw at all.) However, we had half a head of cabbage languishing in the fridge. I hate to waste food. I had nothing to prepare it with (according to the umpteen some-odd cookbooks that inhabit my kitchen.) Then I found this recipe: fresh apple-slaw.

I read the ingredients.

I cringed. "Ewwww," I thought.

I looked for other options.



I made it.

With a great deal of trepidation. (I even prefaced supper with a disclaimer: "The cabbage salad has not been tested on the open market, nor have its claims been verified by the FDA. You are required to taste it and report your findings back to me, and only me. Should you choose to accept this mission, nothing further will be asked of you. Should you complete this mission, you will be given fresh berries and cream for dessert, no questions asked. Thank you.")

IT WAS GOOD!! So, here it is, in case you, too, have some random cabbage languishing in your ice box.

Fresh Apple Slaw
thinly sliced, cored, unpared red apples
finely shredded green cabbage
dairy sour cream (I substituted plain yogurt)
lemon juice (just to keep the apples from turning brown)
salt/pepper to taste
poppy seed (I didn't use this- who keeps this on hand???)

In large bowl, lightly toss all ingredients until well combined.
Refrigerate at least 1 hr. before serving.

Ta-da! How easy can it get on a hot summer night? The recipe has amounts, but to be honest, I think the actual recipe would feed a large Mormon gathering- far too much food for a small Protestant family. Just wing it. Have some fun with it. Put in enough to feed your family and add enough to make it "look right". That's the stuff true Granny-Style cooks are made of!


Tuesday, May 11

What a delicious day!

The boys started the day with music lessons. An hour later, we had to stop before we fell over from hunger. (I didn't expect that they'd want to keep going like they did! I swear they are little intellectual camels!) Tonight the boys played for Daddy. (Cheryl, why didn't you beat me about the head with this whole music thang a year ago? *grin*)

It is such a wonderful feeling to pile onto the floor after supper, the baby clamboring over me, my husband sitting next to me (beaming from ear to ear), the boys proudly and excitedly playing their chosen pieces. John showed Zorak how to play B, G, and A on the recorder. Repeatedly. He was quite excited about that. James played Merrily We Roll Along and Hot Cross Buns. Then Zorak and I played for the boys (hey! we aren't half-bad!) and the boys finished the performance by showing Daddy how to clean their instruments properly before returning them to their cases. *awww* (They listened! They really really listened! Yippee!)

We did our Math (another hour, what is it with MUS? They love it! Do anyone else's children do that?), Plants Grown Up, History (will we ever be done with Egypt? Just when we think it's gone- ahhhhhh, there it is! Run Away! Run Away!)

James had already rummaged through our new Latin materials before I awoke this morning. He blew his cover when he said (in a giggly tone) before we prayed, "Oremus". Ahhh, evidently it's not too soon to begin Latin.

At six o'clock, we were still not done with school. Well, we were done, but then the FedEx man showed up with a new cursive workbook for James! He yelled out the front window, "Thank you, FedEx man!" The driver was mostly around the van already, so all I saw was his shoulders shake as he laughed. James did two pages in Handwriting Without Tears before supper. I think that's another winner.

Supper was a nice light grilled chicken (the boys made the seasoning! Yum!) with green beans, hoppin' john w/ jalapenos, lemonade... and for dessert a delicious wheatfree shortcake topped with chilled fruit and cool whip! Mmmm, there is something to be said for the cuisine that develops in muggy, hot weather.

Aside from my Bible study, which I had to sneak in during lunch time, I've not read anything edifying or enriching today. Well, nothing above a fourth grade level, anyhow. It is hot and sticky. I cannot concentrate when I can't just sweat and get it over with! (To be perfectly honest, I believe mammals ought to hibernate in humid summers. It makes the most sense, if you think about.)

Oh! And score one for the good guys! Have y'all been following the case at Cal Poly in Kalifornia? It's too funny, really. Well,no, it's sad and disgusting, but the school has agreed to settle out of court, pay court costs and legal fees, and permit the student to pass out flyers. How big of them. WOO HOO! Let's hear it for putting a little of the "sense" back in "common sense"!

While you're at it, check out Mason Weaver's Homepage and go get his book!

Alrighty, folks, it's late and Zorak wants to communicate with the outside world. Time to relinquish my spot and go find a book to curl up with... and more coffee... must have more coffee... (where did I put my cup?)

Monday, May 10

Hooo Boy!

It's HOT. It is Africa hot... Sahara, shortly before the monsoons actually let loose, hot... yep. That hot. Whew.

Today was a great day, aside from the heat. The boys did an hour of math, and stopped then only because I insisted that we STOP. Enough, already! Let's do something else.

We did phonics in the tub with washable crayons on the walls.

We played in the water with the neighbors.

We made wf brownies (which aren't half bad) and a wf shortcake.

Now we need fresh berries. We had to dump the strawberries because they grew incredibly long, thick hair overnight. Seriously, we went to bed and they looked fine. We woke this morning to find 1/2" hair on them! Sticking straight up like pins in a pincushion! Being the good homeschoolers we are, of course, we watched it most of the day before throwing out the berries. It was over 2" long by five this evening. Creepy stuff.

Mr. FedEx man did not come visit me today. So sad. *sniff* But that means he will surely come tomorrow! Yay!

James read most of A Quest in Time, more of Jolly Robin, and perused the new books from the bookstore. His reading is just amazing, and I am tickled beyond words that he loves to read so very much. He's also thoroughly enjoying the lined paper I bought at the curriculum fair, and is begging to learn to plot points on graphs!

John showed me today during phonics that he knows a great deal more than I (once again) gave him credit for knowing. What a smart little guy (some might say "too smart" if he's already capable of outwitting us...) He's reading VC, CVC, VCC words now on his own. It's a brave new world, indeed!

Jacob can pounce. Yessiree, pounce. Like a stealthy, slightly chubby tiger with no regard for the effects of gravity, he lunges and snags like the most revered jungle dweller. I made the mistake of not guarding my wf brownie closely enough and *fwomp* it was gone! Took a while to get the chocolate from all those fat baby crevices, but he thoroughly enjoyed the spoils of his victory. What an introduction to solids, eh?

A few thoughts to share from today's reading:

"Love is not a retreat from the hard things of life but a citadel from which to gain strength to meet the complex problems of a public and private world." ~Robert N. Rodenmayer, author of I John Take Thee Mary, A Book of Christian Marriage

"...they constantly forget, what you must always remember, that they are animals and that whatever their bodies do affects their souls." ~Screwtape, in a letter to his nephew, Wormwood

The quotes are in no way related, just things that caught my attention while I was reading. Homer was left neglected today, but perhaps he and I will get a chance to chat tonight.

And so, can you believe I've actually blogged before midnight? I'm going to round up tomorrow's pages and worksheets, then go hit the blogosphere.

Have a great one!

PS- Had a bit of a scare there! You cannot use the "back" button from the new "preview" screen (which doesn't open in a new window automatically, I found). Using "back" will take you BACK to the DASHBOARD! *gasp* ACK! But just as an FYI, you can then hit "forward" and it'll bring you back to the writing screen, text intact, blood pressure back down. :-) Thought I'd share.

Sunday, May 9

Wow, a new look!

I guess now is as good a time as any to see changes at Blogger. It's not like I'm accustomed to the "old" look of the "new" pad yet, anyhow. Actually, it's kind of nice. The new layout is easier to navigate. It's cleaner, and does not feel as claustrophobic as the old look did. (The "dashboard" designation is a cute play on the old "control panel" title!)

We had a truly wonderful day. The morning was spent wrestling, playing dragons & knights (guess who gets the "luxury" of being the dragon...), read stories, colored, and played just a wee bit more. I am worn out!

Zorak made brunch for us, then I got to go to the used bookstore in Leonardtown, ALONE. Wow, that was neat. I bought ten books~ two for me, eight for the boys. *sigh* I sure missed them. We'll have to all go back together. (We meant to go together today, but poor John was done-for by noon, when the shop opened.)

Since I was all by my lonesome, I did slip on down to a little cafe/boutique for a big, frothy, iced mocha coffee frappuccino-like concoction! YUM, YUM! Then came home and cleaned/vacuumed the Suburban. I had hoped to shampoo it, but it was too hot and sticky. (Besides, I had my new copy of The Screwtape Letters calling me back inside the house!)

We've had a wonderful supper, and I'm going to wind up this blog while the boys finish the end of their new Jonny Quest video. (HEY- did y'all know that Jonny Quest was homeschooled? How very cool! That also explains a LOT about Race Bannon's role in the show! Now anyone know where Hadji came into the picture?) I'm off to sit on the porch and practice being old with Zorak. Hope you are savoring your Sunday just as much. See you Monday!



Good morning, one and all. Zorak and I had a lovely evening, sitting on the back porch, just reconnecting. I talked with him about Jess' wonderful response to some questions I've had recently, outlining the Proverbs Wife of Noble Character with regard to current issues. It was a wonderful talk we had together, and cleared the air of several misunderstandings. (My bad, I get so excited in my mind about doing something "good" that I often forget how that good is perceived- yikes! Getting better, though- thanks, Jess!)


The boys made a lovely handprint card for me this morning (yes, Zorak did the last minute thing bright 'n early this morning. I cannot complain, though, as if it weren't for the last minute, we probably still wouldn't even be married, let alone parents! We do love the last minute.) It's a beautiful card. Those tiny hands won't be so tiny for long. John's hands are already the same size as James'- I have to say that if it weren't for the color-coding, I wouldn't have been able to guess which handprint went to which boy. *sheesh, bad mommy* I plan to find a frame for this one- it's precious- two little handprints on each end and one teeny tiny spot in the middle...

Remember, no matter how "big" your children seem to you today, they'll never be this small again. Relish this time.


My Mother's Day gift is a family trip to the bookstore! This will be great, actually. The boys are wonderful at bookstores- they find a book and a corner and call it a day. (Yep, those are my boys!) The shop opens at noon, and brunch is ready now, so I'm going to sign off and finish enjoying the day. I'll post back later and will see you at your blog then, too!


Saturday, May 8

Oh, what a day!

I am reposting my favorite poem, in its entirety, written by Dorothy Law Nolte. This poem hung in every home we lived in while I was growing up. It now hangs in my home, and I love it. So, I thought I'd share.

Children Learn What They Live
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Granted, there is no sure-fire, guaranteed method for raising a wholly healthy, well-rounded, happy, respectful, generous child. We are, by nature, tainted and bent toward the defunct. That flaw, however, does not excuse us from doing our utmost to achieve and emulate the ultimate good that is modeled for us in our Lord. With His help, we have hope.


James prepped the flower beds for us. He happily pointed out that he "even made pillows for them!" Sure enough, each hole has its own little dirt "pillow" for the flowers.

John told Zorak this morning, "I am super duper smart and I love learning!"

Jacob just might figure out that he CAN, in fact, go from sitting to mobile without having to tip over first. Uh-oh!


The boys are wonderful and are doing well, but they are now working out some, um, issues they developed over the last few weeks. In all, today has not been a very good day. I am glad it's nearly over. A hot bath, a good story and and early bedtime are in order (and that's just for me!) Tomorrow will be much better- a fresh and beautiful start, and another day to enjoy one another!

I'll talk to y'all tomorrow!

Pictures to hang!

With many thanks to Samantha, we now have photos! Yippee! Now if we can just figure out why Blogspot blogs are gobbledeygook for some people. Anyone know? I don't want to lose my favorite blog-sistahs b/c I'm suddenly unintelligible. I mean, if they've hung around deciphering my ramblings for this long... gosh.

So, hey, how about a picture? (Nothing new- just thrilled to have pics uploaded now!)

Here are our reasons for doing what we do... in no particular order...

And here's a relatively recent photo of me and my munchkins~

Thank you, Samantha!

Alrighty, I'm off to redecorate an actual room and will do a little virtual redecorating here this evening. Have a blessed Saturday, all!


Friday, May 7

Getting Settled

Ah, yes, this is going to take some getting accustomed to~ new look, new routine. I don't have any virtual pictures hanging on the walls yet, and the sofa is in the middle of the floor... just hop over the back. I'm going to get a cup of coffee. Would you like one? OK, I'll be right back...


OK, here ya go. Careful, it's hot.~

Well, it's Friday evening. Today was hot and sticky, but now it's raining and windy. It's wonderful. I have the windows open and the breeze is heavenly. Zorak is over at the neighbor's house, decorating a Care Bare cake for their little girl's 2nd birthday party tomorrow. The boys are sound asleep, and I have just finished updating my control journal, compliments of FLYlady. So now it's time to blog and play!

It seems we have some changes coming up in our actual home at the same time there are changes to our virtual home. I'll probably bore you a bit with hashing them out. (Sorry.)

We have given up on the idea of a school room. I want one very much, but this house isn't conducive to it- the layout, the flow, the lack of appropriate furniture. We had two choices: splurge on furniture for the room now and push back buying a house, or wait on the furniture and once we aren't paying rent, use the $ we'll save with a lower mortgage payment . Plus, if we wait, we'll be able to match the furniture to the room of a more permanent nature. I'm happy with the decision. That entire quadrant of the upstairs has been in limbo for nearly six months now, and it's sucking the energy from the rest of the house. So now, there will be a niche for it. Happy room, happy house, happy Mommy. (Relieved Zorak, who is sick of hearing me ask, "What are we going to do with the school room?")

This decision means that James will be getting his much-coveted room. He has ached for a room of his own since we moved, and was quite upset to find that he still wouldn't be getting one. We'll make the changeover tomorrow. He'll be thrilled to death, and so will John (although at some point John will have to share with Jacob, but he doesn't seem to mind that so much.)

I helped some friends do some housecleaning today. They have offered me the opportunity to do this with them regularly. I would really like to do it, but Zorak and I need to talk some more about it before I can make a certain commitment. It seems every penny we have is earmarked for something or other right now, all of which is wonderful and helping us to achieve our financial goals. However, every time I take money out for a museum membership or new books for the boys, I feel like I'm stealing from the cookie jar. It would be nice to find a happy middle with that.

Rainbow Resources shipped my order (again) yesterday. FedEx takes about 3-4 days to get here, so I'd say on Monday I can start oogling the truck as it cruises through the neighborhood. (Well, I do that anyway, but now I can do it with a purpose! Yippee!)

So, let's see- the rest of the weekend is coming up. I have a few goals:

1. MUST declutter the house. I'm sure we aren't slobs, but evidently when both parents are paper-addicts, the children inherit the gene. There is paper everywhere and I can't get it sorted through! Forget Calgon, I need FLYLady!
2. Schedule next week's lessons. The boys are ready to go bed the neighbors to give them recorder lessons.
3. Make it to church. We haven't been since the whole directory photo, German swimmer's neck fiasco last month... they're going to think we're hiding.
4. Round up the library books and find out what's due when. I went on a reserving binge last month and now have several due dates scattered around the house.
5. Buy a crib for Jacob and a dresser for James. (We currently have three boys sharing one dresser and a closet that is approximately 1/4 the size of a normal closet.
6. Get the upstairs rooms moved and find a new home for all our school room books (which have been living in the third bedroom... although James won't mind having a zillion and two books in his room, honestly, so this one isn't a priority.)
7. Plant the flowers we picked up today.
8. Pay off a few more bills and get a credit report in preparation for applying for a home loan NEXT MONTH! (I can't believe we are so close to actually doing this! That gives me shivvers!)

The fog is beginning to clear now. I'm reading the following (with notes):
Catcher in the Rye (SO not enjoying this, but have taken the notion that I'll plug through it like I did with Anna Karenina and hopefully will be able to glean something from it.)
The Dead Sea Scrolls (I am thoroughly enjoying this- it's a research-based history of the scrolls from the time they were found in the late 40's through current day. So far, it's a very good read.)
Middlemarch (This is good, but it takes some switching gears to get into the mindset to be able to enjoy it. It's under the pillow, b/c it seems best absorbed in the quiet of the evening with a hot cup of coffee and a thick, fluffy blanket.)
Who Killed Homer? (I am going to have to start over with this one. I cannot seem to get through a full page without interruptions. Perhaps I will ask for an unaccompanied trip to a coffee shop for Mother's Day? Just me, Homer, and a BIG cup of coffee! Mmm, heaven awaits!)

Hey- does anyone know how to do underlined with this thing? It doesn't look like normal HTML works. *sigh* More to learn.

Well, that's it for tonight. I am off in search of a file hosting company and a comment utility. In the meantime, you can email me at tbowmommy @ yahoo . com (minus the spaces) if you'd like to leave a note.

Have a wonderful night!

Thursday, May 6

Will be returning soon.

Well, it seems as though the time has come. I have to admit that this time, it feels different. Still, I'm not happy with the way my other "home" treated fellow bloggers. All Standard users were simply locked out of their blogs without notice nor explanation. I can appreciate the need to restructure, but why burn consumer bridges in the process? Bad capitalist move, imho. So, I've got to re-sign up for comments, register with Walagata (or some other file hosting service for pictures- open to recommendations) and then just take a deep breath and m-o-v-e. (I hate moving- both virtually and in real life.)