Tuesday, January 31, 2006

To My Daughter, Anna

My dearest daughter, when I mentioned that I'd like you to learn a foreign language, I wasn't thinking of Elvish.

An Open and Spacious Heart

Not meaning to be morbid, but perhaps obituaries are on my mind because of having read Heather Lende's book, If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name. Part of her writing career is writing Obits for the Haines newspaper, and a column for the Anchorage Daily News. Her obits are so personal and tell about who the person was, how they lived, how they died, and not just who their relatives were.

In a recent column, she wrote:

That is why, when I learned that his heart stopped suddenly while he was skating on perfect green ice with two of his best buddies, I was relieved.

Guy was only 57, but still, to breathe your last in a place that is more like heaven than anywhere I know is not so bad. My husband took the news sadly but a little wistfully: "I always thought Guy was lucky in life," he said. "Now he's lucky in death."

They thought he was lucky, because at first they thought perhaps he'd fallen through the ice.

I enjoyed reading about Guy. It sounds as if he lived a simple life, yet full and on his own terms. I wonder how many people like Guy live around us. Yet here, perhaps, they wouldn't be held in such high esteem. Here in the "Outside" (term used by Alaskans to mean "not Alaska"), the measuring sticks are different, at least for the culture at large.

In part, that's why I chose to homeschool. I want my children to find what makes their life worth living, their passions. It isn't enough to be educated enough to get that good paying job. It isn't enough to be schooled so that you'd know the answer if stopped on the street and asked who the fourth President was. I want more for them. Most importantly, I want someone to say about me and mine like they did about Guy "[I am] going to honor Guy's memory by having an "open and spacious heart" for friends.

Monday, January 30, 2006


A friend called my mom to tell her about a mutual acquaintance that had died. Curious as to how the friend had heard, mom learned that the friend daily read the obituary column in their local paper. "Don't you think that's weird?" mom asked me.

Well, truthfully, I now read the obits daily, too. I didn't used to. The older I get though, the more I notice that a good many of those dropping off are MY age! When I was younger, I'd scan the page for familiar surnames, but now, I look at their ages. mmmm... 45, wonder what got her? I think now I look at the obits in the local weekly paper just to make sure I'm not in there.
If I'm not, I figure the day looks good.

I do think obits are fairly useless. I mean, they leave out all the important information. What killed the guy??? Do you ever notice they don't put that in? They write all about the person's life, but leave out the ending. If I wrote obits, they would have an ending.


At the Mexican restaurant on Sunday night, we learned that the Spanish word for "without" is sin. Isn't that funny? Normally, "sin" means you didn't do without.

Eating Bugs

I found this on a website:

If Americans could tolerate more insects (bugs) in what they eat, farmers could significantly reduce the amount of pesticides applied each year. It is better to eat more insects and less pesticide residue. If the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would relax the limit for insects and their parts (double the allowance) in food crops, U.S. farmers could significantly apply less pesticide each year. Fifty years ago, it was common for an apple to have worms inside, bean pods with beetle bites and cabbage with worm eaten leaves. Most Americans don't realize that they are probably already eating a pound or two of insects each year. One cannot see them, since they have been ground up into tiny pieces in such items as strawberry jams, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, applesauce, frozen chopped broccoli, etc. Actually, these insect parts make some food products more nutritious. An issue of the Food Insects Newsletter reports that 80 percent of the world's population eats insects intentionally and 100 percent eat them unintentionally.

So I'd like to hear from you. Vote with your comments. So here's my question for you. Would you be willing to eat food that had more defects and possibly bugs in return for the knowledge that less pesticides were used?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The King's English

I was reading My Reality Show and her article about Pet Peeves. I was amused, because the level of grammar pet peeves transcends anything one might be able to say about those that live in my neck of the woods. Here in Kentucky, language is very colorful and imaginative. For example, on having a bad day, one might say that things are "going to hell in a handbasket". Now, if anyone can explain to me why anything or anyone would be in a handbasket on the way to hell, I'd like to know.

Having arrived from Ohio in the mid 1980's, I learned many new phrases that were foreign to me. I learned "makes me no never mind" can be used to say "I don't care" and "fair to midlin'" was a good response to an inquiry about one's health.

It took me longer to adjust to the grammar of the region. For example, pronouns took awhile to learn. Y'all can refer to one or more people, as in "Y'all oughta get your act together". Changing to possessive form, "Is that car yur'alls?"

Kentuckians also believe in conservation of sounds. For example, we need only one sound for several words. One simple syllable, such as "tar", can mean tar on the road, the tar (tire) on your car, fatigued (tired or "tarred"), and of course, water tar (tower). You can also save a few sounds by using the word "par" as in "my car has lots of par (power). Of course, flour and flower can both be condensed into "flar". Get the pi'cher?

Friday, January 27, 2006

Irresponsible, No-Good, Lousy, Rotten Dog Breath....

Okay, you get the idea. Today, I learned why God did not invest in me the power to throw red-hot lightening bolts from my eyes, reducing my foe to a sizzling pile of ash. She deserved it! I took Wm to the local fast-food playplace joint, where I can read my book, drink three gallons of diet soda, and he can play to his heart's content with real kids.

While there, a family came in. Four adults, two teens and a child who, judging from the teeth just now growing in when he smiled near me, was about seven or eight years old. I hear the woman answer her cell, and clearly say that the doctor said it was strep and gave "him" antibiotics. WHAT!? Same child was now up in the incubation tubes of infection, giving it to my child. Too late. He's been exposed.

I debated on my reaction. Perhaps I should stand up and shout "STREP!!! Everybody out!" I mean, are they totally clueless? Don't care? Think their rights to a quick hamburger over-ride my child's rights to stay away from their child's cooties?

Finally, I walked by casually on my way to fill up my mega-drink and said something, as a homeschooler, I always hate hearing others ask, "Is school out today?"

"No, " she pointed at her teen daughter. "She just got suspended from school for a few days" okay I didn't need to know that "and he's not feeling well". I must have stood there with my mouth open, as I didn't know what to say to that. (This is when if I had "superpowers" I might have lost it, and why God in his wisdom, didn't give me any.) So, I said, "did I hear you mention STREP?"

"Yes, he has strep but he's past the contagious stage now," she lied. I know she lied because I heard her say they'd just come from the doctor. I must have sent out some negative energy though, for they left shortly after they ate their bucket of fries.

This experience was followed by a woman bellowing at her child up in the clubhouse part of the playplace. "Cody, you get down here right now, we're leaving."
Cody: NO!
Woman: Cody, I mean it, you get down here right now.
Cody: NO!

Woman is too large to come after Cody. Cody knows it, woman knows it, so she threatens to whip him good if he doesn't get down here now. Okay, so this REALLY motivates Cody and he makes no move to come down to get the beating of his life, for Woman is really mad now.

Cody catches another boy up there in a neck hold and proceeds to wrestle him. Cody is very lucky the boy he chose to bully was not my son. Superpowers or not, I'd have come after him. Finally, the other boy escapes and makes it down the slide with red marks around his neck. Cody, not too bright, finally comes down and is hauled off by his Neandertal mom.

What a day!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

How Sublime

Today, we received a gift in the mail from Omaha Steaks. Now, you might think that the gift was meat, and certainly, there was some in the package. But the real gift was a bag full of dry ice. We were headed to the library, but I recognized the fleeting opportunity for a fun science experiment. So, I took it upstairs and cautioned everyone not to touch it! That was instant permission to squeal. We put some in water:

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We talked about CO2, how the solid sublimes directly into gas, whether hot or cold water was more effective. Then, we put out a flame with the gas. What else could we do? Well, we filled up some baggies and watched them pop. After the first squeal or two, that just wasn't enough bang, you know? So we tried something more: (note for you safety geeks, we were behind a protective door)

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So much fun. Life is like that you know? You have to catch those moments when you can.


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We got our Daisy at the pound,
But there the lady lied,
She told us Daisy was a lab,
But BEAGLE was inside.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Peter Pan

"I don't want to get big," is a refrain heard frequently in our house. Ds, nearing age four, is mourning the loss of privileges such as being carried around like a prince everywhere he goes. My small frame can no longer carry 35 pounds all concentrated on one hip without feeling like I've been run over by a truck the next day.

This Peter Pan syndrome started a few months back with crying and gnashing of teeth about not wanting to "get a Daddy voice". Somewhere along the line, ds learned that as he got older, his voice would deepen and change to become more like Daddy's. When I asked him why it bothered him, he declared that "then I won't be William anymore". This progressed into daily declarations that despite all measurements to the contrary, he was NOT going to grow up.

We've reassured him, regaled him with all the neat things bigger kids can do, to no avail. He assured me that it was okay, he'll not miss those things, and besides, even Grandma had said that she doesn't want him to grow up.

Every now and again, there will be something that will come up that only big kids can do - for example ice skating. Oh, all right, he'll say in his best Eyeore voice, I guess I'll get bigger so I can go ice skating. For that day, he forgot his mission to remain a little boy. I suppose we all have a little of Peter Pan in us. I glad he's happy being who he is right at this moment.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Why We Homeschool

Strip search angers parents
Vocational school denies girls’ rights were violated in hunt for credit card, cash
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Mary Beth Lane
Nearly two dozen girls were stripsearched at a Pike County vocational school while officials investigated the possible theft of a credit card and money.

Graduates unfit for work
say top firms
By Alexandra Blair, Education Correspondent
BRITAIN’S biggest companies gave warning last night that, despite a record number of graduates entering the job market this year, many will lack the basic skills needed for employment.

The Trouble With Boys
By Peg Tyre

They're kinetic, maddening and failing at school. Now educators are trying new ways to help them succeed.....

The problem won't be solved overnight. In the last two decades, the education system has become obsessed with a quantifiable and narrowly defined kind of academic success, these experts say, and that myopic view is harming boys. Boys are biologically, developmentally and psychologically different from girls—and teachers need to learn how to bring out the best in every one. "Very well-meaning people," says Dr. Bruce Perry, a Houston neurologist who advocates for troubled kids, "have created a biologically disrespectful model of education."

Stupid in America By JOHN STOSSEL
Jan. 13, 2006 — "Stupid in America" is a nasty title for a program about public education, but some nasty things are going on in America's public schools and it's about time we face up to it.

On Becoming 'The Bad Class'
All Things Considered, January 23, 2006 · Commentator Emily Wylie teaches 11th grade English at a New York City public girls' school. She also taught them when they were in 8th grade, and since then they've gotten a reputation as a bad class. Wylie doesn't disagree.


We have a mini-trampoline that I purchased some time back with the intention of becoming fit. (HA) Little did I think, that each time I place a foot on it, all the kids and dogs get on it, too. Plus, a middle-aged woman's body just wasn't meant to jump (admit it, ladies).

Anyway, it has since resided in the basement getting little use. I've moved it upstairs and put it in front of the TV where it is on its way to getting worn out. Yes, the kids like to lay on it or recline on it while eating and watching TV. Seriously, though, they do often jump while watching TV, which brings me to my title, "Jumpoline", William's own coined phrase for this piece of equipment. It makes more sense than "trampoline". From where did that word come anyway? You don't "tramp" on it, at least I don't. So, jumpoline it is.

He has gotten the notion that it also doubles as a slide and wants us to prop it in various locations so that he can slide down it. He complains that our slide in the back yard is too small, and that we need one inside. I wonder if we could just install a slide from the second floor instead of having steps. Why don't they do that anyway? If kids built houses, that's the way it would be.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Woman Killed by Waffle Iron

Okay, this didn't really happen - yet. But, it seems likely given that unnamed members of my family are likely to shove just about anything into any space in an attempt to put it away. I suppose I should be grateful that the attempt was made.

I have been busy organizing and decluttering my kitchen as Flylady directs, yet with limited space, it must all fit together like Russian nesting dolls. The waffle iron is one item that seems to find a way to come crashing down on my head from the overhead cabinet. If it ever makes it's mark, it would make sensational headlines.

Yesterday, I replaced the hinges on the two heavy doors to the pantry cabinet. They open from the middle outward, making the perfect place to hang your arms and lean with all your body weight while you peruse the slim pickings of food for an afternoon snack. Unfortunately, all this weight on the spring hinges causes them to break, and making the doors stay popped open. Thank goodness for the internet, so that I find parts to keep this well-oiled machine going. (snort)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


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I thought I'd share Cindy's story, as it a story of hope and possibilities. Cindy is a nine year old Chocolate Lab who came to live with my neighbors about 4 years ago. It was her second home. Her first owners were moving, the kids had lost interest, and they didn't want to spend the money to get a fence at the new house. Cindy found a home with our neighbors who had an older, outside dog that had lost it's companion dog a while back. Both dogs lived a decent life on the farm, coming in on cold nights and barking at passing horseback riders (including me).

Then, disaster struck again. Cindy's owners divorced and moved to the city, leaving her and her old dog companion behind. We fed them daily, until we left for a Christmas vacation. When we returned, we learned from the owner that the older dog had died, leaving Cindy alone. She was so scared, that when she saw me, she'd bark and urinate. She shook all over. With persistance (and some spaghetti and meatballs), I persuaded her to let me in the outdoor pen. Finally, she decided I was okay, and magically, she was tranformed back to her true personality.

At nine, she would still romp, play and ran about check all her spots in the yard. This youthfulness in an older dog, and her sad eyes when she was penned up motivated me to find her a new home. I emailed, I called, I contacted rescue places. I was told that because of her age, I'd not find Cindy a home easily, if at all. Finally, emails came, and I had seven people interested.

Cindy this weekend went to a homeschooling family with two older kids, and a Standard Poodle that needed a friend. Last I heard, they were sharing a rahide and laying together on an old blanket. I am hoping that Cindy behaves, and doesn't eat their neighbor's ducks, and lives happily ever after with her new boyfriend. The End.

Monday, January 16, 2006

An Irish Pub

Saturday night, a friend invited us to join her at the local Irish pub where her daughter was going to be dancing. With a pint of Tennent's beer, some Welsh Rabbit (no rabbit involved, it is a fancy grilled cheese) and surrounded by friends, the live Irish music could almost convince me I'd traveled across the ocean.

Our town is so lucky to have such a place. We go there frequently, enough that we don't really need a menu. It struck me that it was fortunate a place that has a family pub. The girls dancing in their fancy costumes, clogging shoes and fancy hairpieces were wonderful. There are so few places to go these days "where everybody knows your name".

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Geiger Counter

Anna came back down after looking for a set of headphones which I told her were hanging from the pegs in my bedroom. I asked if she'd looked under the clothes hanging there, as I was sure there were headphones there yesterday. "Daddy even looked," she replied. "Well," I countered, "that's useless. He doesn't even have a uterus."

A common joke around here refers to a female comedienne (we think maybe Roseanne Barr) who claimed her family thought her uterus was a geiger counter, and that only the mom could locate missing items. Evidently, it is only uteri that have been occupied, for both of my daughters' don't work yet. I can tell them exactly where something is located and the object still eludes them.

So back to the missing headphones. I went upstairs, and looked behind the many pairs of dh's jeans hanging on pegs. (Side note: If you try to produce a nice Shaker look by putting pegs around the perimenter of the room, it will soon look as if you've wallpapered with jeans and men's shirts. Dh says at least he hangs up his clothing!) Indeed, the headphones were not where I said they were hanging. So, then, plan B kicks in where one actually has to use a little brain power and initiative to find missing objects. (Dh is observing from the bed, where he reclines watching football on TV.)

I push aside a pair of jeans to find that the headphones had fallen and landed in a box of books directly underneath the pegs. Aha! See, you actually have to MOVE things and look down sometimes, sometimes up, sometimes under. Perhaps, and most likely, it is just that they KNOW that I'll use my geiger counter to find things, and quickly, which is easier than actually putting forth a little effort to look themselves. I should charge a finder's fee.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Raising Bubba

"I want a drink of water with ice in it!" yells my young son from his position on the couch. His favorite show is on, and he doesn't want to miss a moment of it. He needs only to learn to substitute "Bring me a beer" and he's set for life. Okay, just joking, but seriously, you can see where the last precious baby son of the family could easily become spoiled.

Some days, I am happy to serve almost 4 yo Bubba's breakfast and chocolate milk (warmed but not hot) in front of "Go, Diego, Go" just to give me a moment to drink that first cup of coffee and check my email. "You're not setting a good example for him," my husband said, after telling Bubba one Saturday morning to get his own darn water. He's right, but it's a hard habit to break. Ah, peace and quiet for a few moments in the morning! Is it too high a price to pay?

Homeschooling young teens with a preschooler in tow can be quite challenging. Oh, I think of those cute craft things and tactile things for him to do. "Now, here's some playdough, you sit here and play." Ten minutes later, the playdough is everywhere, jammed into toy cars, on the floor, in the dogs' hair and he's done. Next activity? Painting: two minutes tops. I will say though that yesterday, he questioned me several times about what color two different colors will produce when mixed. Interesting mental development. I asked Bubba what was his favorite color? "Pink," he responded. Well, maybe he won't be a Bubba after all.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Today's Youth (or maybe not)

To give you an idea how things have been going, I've just now gone to look at my own blog to see why-ever I'd title my last blog "Things are Looking Up". Over the past few days, I've become intimately knowledgeable about how my septic system is piped, how it works, and how to troubleshoot it myself. I have done enough loads of laundry to refill the now pumped out septic tank. And from shooting the breeze with the good old boy that sucked out the stuff in the septic tank, I learned of the bizarre things people shoot down their drains. But...we won't go there.

Speaking of filth, on my search for plumbing parts for the drain, Wm and I decided to stop for a bite to eat on the way home. Wm is much like my second born, Anna. When she was Will's age, you DID NOT forget to feed her. I parked, got Wm out of his seat at the fast food joint, and walked towards the door. On the way there, a very nice SUV parked near my truck was vibrating with sound. You've heard them before, deep base, boom boom buooof, boom boom buooff. And then I heard the words. Unintelligible rap - except for the very clear pronunciation of the M-F word every fourth word or so.

Holding my hands over dear son's ears, I look over and a very nice looking, 20 something professional looking woman sat in that car. As I squinted into the sun, I caught her eye, and she mine. I held my gaze as I looked toward her. I was wondering if she had children; did she plan to have them, and if so, if she'd still listen to that music? Would she let them? Truly, I believe, despite her poor taste, she has a right to listen to it, just not to broadcast it where young ears could hear. I reached the door and gave her one last look. I doubt she understood or cared.

Thing is, society can't expect children to grow up as they should without good examples. People cut others off in traffic, give obscene gestures for their perceived insult, and generally behave boorishly. It is difficult to explain to my children why people are sometimes so rude. Perhaps it is ignorance, but increasingly, it seems that it is more a culture of insulation, of thinking one's own rights and wants carry more weight than others' rights.

Last weekend, we went bowling. When we first arrived, a group of adolescent girls occupied two lanes to our right. They were having a good time at a birthday party, and so I cut them some mental slack at first, yet they danced arm in arm up on the wooden platform. They ran back and forth, up past the ball rack, behind bowlers narrowly missing trips to the emergency room. I looked around for an adult, waiting for someone to say "hey, cut it out" but saw only a dad sat reading his paper. mmm...

To my immediate right and left, parents sat talking while their children bowled. Good examples of exercise. Not once did I hear instructions such as "you must wait until the bowlers on either side of you are done to take your turn". In fact, the man to my left was helping his son and kept crossing over into my lane. In his case, and judging from his black dress shoes, I would guess he is not all that familiar with bowling. But the other parents gave no examples of good sportsmanship. Exactly how are children supposed to learn?

Speaking of learning, bowling was a wonderful way to learn some math skills when I was growing up. Adding strikes and spares, adding up the score. Now it is all computerized. Type in your name and hit "go". Kind of spoils it, if you ask me. I was happy, in the end, though as I bowled a 168! I was less than happy to see the photo the kids took of me bowling. A good way to see from another's perspective how you look in the rear.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Things are Looking Up!

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A Sense of Humor

Over Christmas, I think I somewhat lost my sense of humor. It has the feeling to me of having just come off of having the flu. Somewhat weak and lacking energy, yet the new year is starting and I scrabble to get my feet under me.

This year, I came home to finding, as I've mentioned, that the girls had practice in Lexington. Rather than complain, I enjoyed the day with Wm while they rode horses. I could not help thinking of when I was in my 20's and I had an American Saddlebred which I rode in a competition there. I remember thinking "man, it doesn't get any better than this - riding my horse in the most beautiful horse park in the world!" Now, my daughters ride there routinely, and give it little thought. I wonder if they know how lucky they are.

Oh, back to my subject. So, I come home, cheered by accomplishing my task to find that Wm now has stomach flu. For three days, I held his head and cleaned him up. Laundry mounted because with perfect timing, the drain from the washer to the septic system plugged and is now overflowing into our garage. A deluge of soapy water came out over everything. (Pollyanna: At least the toilets are on another drain and they are not plugged.) This isn't resolved yet, and I am reaching deep to regain my sense of humor. Wm helps. Yesterday, he said to me, "Mommy, are you glad I'm not choking (his word for throwing-up) on you anymore?" You can say that again.

Prime Time?

Today's church bulletin announce a chili dinner potluck for the Prime Time club. At my MIL's church, this same club is known as the Over the Hill Gang. I could not believe my eyes (time for bifocals?) that our church admits new members on their 50th birthday. Since when is 50 years enough to be considered "senior"? At a time when people live longer than ever, they are considered old earlier and earlier. It is hard to believe that within the next decade (that's as close as I'll admit) that I'll be eligible for discounts and retirement clubs because of my age.

Truth is, I'll still be shuttling Jr. and probably his sisters to horse riding competitions, soccer games and the like. I won't have time for golf scrambles and spaghetti dinners. I find it ironic that at a time in which some are enjoying "Prime Time" and early retirement there are increasing numbers of us who are still parenting young children.

I find myself these days looking at parents. She's so young, I think. She was but a high schooler yesterday. Sometimes, I'll assume the person about my age is the parent, only to find they are the grandparent. I'm careful in my choice of words with strangers. I haven't so far been assumed to be Wm's grandma - but I suppose the day is coming. I'm just hoping I don't whack the person.

That said, I consider myself so blessed to have my little boy now in my "old age". I'm having my grandparently time now. There is NOTHING like having a little hand reach up and pat your cheek, saying "You're a GOOD mommy."

Friday, January 06, 2006

Boy Play

Posted by Picasa Today, I left the girls at home doing homework, and took Wm to a "playplace". It wasn't what I had hoped - a large indoor jungle gym. They did have a smaller version, but aside from that, it was a large open space filled with plastic toys, nice ones I'll grant you, but still not just a physical workout. I mean, the boy needs to burn off some energy!

I did see three five, maybe six year old boys and got a view into what life might be like in the future. They play hard !!! It was as if they were determined to kill each other in the madness to race up the surface and go down the slide. The slide in itself (I know 'cause like a fool, I went down it) gave off electrical shocks that were sure to reset their brain wiring. My girls NEVER played like these boys were playing.

Despite feminism, there does seem to be some wiring that directs how and what boys play. Wm is definitely into proving how strong he is, and that he is a "super-hero". His favorite gift this Christmas were a set of giant rubber fists that make a noise when you hit someone with them. (This went over big with his sisters, let me tell you.) As I watched Wm play, he chose the Playmobil firefighters and police station. The little girl in the same area chose the houses and castles. The zoo and airport appeared to be gender-free.

Above is a photo of my super strong boy.

How the Brain Works

Isn't it marvelous sometimes the way the brain works? I had the most interesting experience the other day. In the book You: The Owner's Manual, there is a test to see how smart you are. Of course, it is just for fun. One of the questions had me stumped completely. Here is the question:

One four-letter word will fit on all three lines below to make new words with the word preceding and the word following (example IN[DOOR]STOP). The same word must abe used for all three lines. What's the word?


I thought and thought, but couldn't get it. I thought too hard. Finally, I gave up and later, went to bed. In the morning, I got up, and while drinking my coffee, pulled out that book. I looked at that question and "HAND" instantly popped into my head. I hadn't even tried to "think". Obviously, my brain had worked on this while I slept. Isn't that cool?

Excited by my discovery of the answer, I gave the girls a clue as to the answer. "Daddy is ______SOME", I hinted. "Irksome?" asked Anna. "Tiresome?" asked Lauren. Obviously, they need more sleep.

Mantua, Ohio

Posted by Picasa This photo was taken in Mantua in Northeastern Ohio. It is looking from my in-laws garage over the field near their home. The light was so welcome that day after much cloudiness.

I got a new digital camera in December and I hope to add photos to some of words to share my world.

If You Lived Here.....

During my Christmas travels, I did have time to read a bit. One book I read was If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name, by Heather Lunde. This book is about her life in Haines, Alaska, a small town in the southeast of the state near Juneau. I enjoyed her almost blog-like description of what it is like to live there in a small town that is almost contained from the "Outside".

Since reading it, I check up with her website now and again to see how she is doing. I also read the Chilkat Valley News now and again to see what's going on in Haines. I guess Haines reminds me of what Loveland, Ohio the town in which I grew up, and La Grange, KY, the town where I now live, must have been like at one time. Now, with urban sprawl, it is difficult to really know your neighbors or fellow townspeople. I wonder if this is why blogging is becoming so popular - a way to connect to others in our fast-paced world?

Getting Back into the Swing

It has been difficult to write lately. I am one of those people that don't handle Christmas well. The additional pressure to be Martha Stewart, buy presents and travel all in one month is just too much for me. My bah-humbug attitude doesn't go over well, so this year, I tried harder. I think I succeeded, but it left little time for things I like, such as blogging. Also, with traveling, I had limited privacy and computer time.

I was home one day from our Christmas travel before the girls informed me that there was a Mounted (Pony) Games practice in Lexington on New Year's Day. In Lexington. Dh was going to watch football, so I took them (and two horses). The day after, Wm had developed a stomach virus which has lasted several days. He is just now recovering. Anna was sick yesterday, but seems to have a milder case. I am holding my breath that the rest of us do not get it!!


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