Friday, February 29, 2008

I jinxed the laundry

Remember yesterday's post where I mentioned my Laundry Filled Life? It just got more interesting.

Tonight when I went to pull the clothes out to hang them up, I realized that they were still wet. I thought perhaps one of the children had opened the dryer while it was running, so I restarted it and went outside for a moment.

I happened to be next to the dryer vent outside, and I realized that the dryer had shut off. When I went in to check on it, I could smell a burny-not-normal-dryerish smell. Oh yay. Thrills and hearthrobs. So tomorrow I will call the Sears people and see how long it will take to get someone to look at it.

Until then, I can look forward to this:

I'm down to hanging everything to dry on the curtain rod, people. It's that or the laundromat, and I'm not into playing chauffeur to my laundry.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Look at this stuff! Isn't it neat?

Tagged by Tina for the "Look at this stuff . . . " meme!

Da Rulz:
  1. Find five things around your house that say something about the person you are and snap a picture of them.
  2. Tell us about them.
  3. Link back to me in your post.
  4. Tag five (if you feel like it) folks via their comments and tell us who you tagged.

Well, I'm not sure how neat it all is, but I'm showing it anyway.

Ah, tea! Skeeter has his coffee. I have my tea in one of these cups (with saucer -- always with the saucer!) that Skeeter and I got for our wedding. I take my tea with milk and sugar, but this particular photo was taken before I'd added those.

And speaking of weddings . . . this is the cake topper that Skeeter and I used for our wedding cake. Its home is in the china cabinet with the little swan, a gift from the little local boutique where we had our china registry for the wedding.

And now for the slightly more mundane. Laundry is a huge part of my life. Skeeter and me. Two children. Two dogs. All that makes for a lot of laundry, especially when it's rainy. I do at minimum one load every day. This particular load in the dryer is mostly Skeeter's jeans with a couple of sweatshirts. I wish it had been a day for the children's clothing. It's much more colorful.

I am all about healthy lips. These are just the ones rounded up from my jacket pockets. Burt's Bees is my favorite, as you can probably tell since there are two of those.

Next up -- my Bibles. I have a couple more, but these are the ones that get the most use. The little one on top goes to church with me (portability is key). The blue one is the King James Version I got as a gift from my church when I graduated from high school (kinda worn, eh?). The One Year Chronological Bible has been part of my daily study for the past two years. I'm not doing it at the moment because I'm doing a different "read through the Bible" study. I'll probably pick it up again once I'm finished with that one. The bottom one is my study Bible, Charles Swindoll's Living Insights Study Bible. (An excellent devotional Bible, if you're ever looking for one.)

And a bonus -- my Brownie, pining at the back steps while I was cooking dinner tonight. He's always nearby, particularly when there's food involved.

And now for the tagging:
  1. Julie
  2. Rambler
  3. Vanessa with the great hair
  4. Susan
  5. Tara

Say, this was a lot funner than most of those memes out there! Thanks, Tina!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

Your Linguistic Profile:
55% General American English

20% Dixie

20% Yankee

0% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Persuasion showdown

Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen book. And it's probably safe to say that the the 1995 movie is one of my favorite movies ever.

The newer version of Persuasion has been near the top of my Netflix queue since it was available, always showing "Now" for current availability. Until, of course, I put it in the #1 position and attempted to actually get it. Then it showed "Very Long Wait."

Not a happy moment for me. Not at all. Especially since I had changed from the three-at-a-time plan to the four-at-a-time plan so I could have it "Now!"

Oh Netflix. You're not showing the love.

So because I was aching to see it -- yes, aching -- I decided to buy it. I searched and searched with no luck. Finally, I called the Barnes & Noble on the other side of our little metro area. It's the new, big store with a music/DVD department, and they had it! So I packed the children in the car and we drove off to get it. Because Patience is my strongest virtue.

That'll show you, Netflix.

Was it worth it? Eh. Probably not, but I'll err on the side of caution and say I'm not sure yet. I love the 1995 version (hereafter referred to simply as 1995) so much that I'm not sure I'd be a fair judge. Certainly not impartial, at any rate.

A few things I liked:
  • 2007 does a better job than 1995 at showing that there was more than a passing affection between Anne and Captain Wentworth. I know that in that era not much more would have been shown, but it's easier to see the characters thoughts come through in their actions and expressions.
  • The 2007 portrayal of the Dalrymples was better than 1995. They were snobby but not ridiculously so.
  • 2007 showed the Royal Crescent! It always bothered me that 1995 didn't show the Royal Crescent at all when the Eliots were in Bath. While Sir Walter wouldn't have been able to afford it, I'm sure it would have been something to which he aspired.
There were many more things I didn't like, but I'm now rereading the book to see how that affects my dislikes. But I don't think 2007 will ever replace 1995 for me, no matter what I find in my reading.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Is there any possible way that I can justify paying $500 for Bonaroo tickets for Skeeter and me?

I hope so. I'm trying.

Love this!

I found this video a few weeks ago, and I bought the CD on Friday. The whole thing is awesome!

One of these days I'll have to post a video of my urchins dancing to it. It's their current favorite dance song.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Spyder is having great fun with pentominoes lately.

He's been playing online at Scholastic's Chasing Vermeer website, but he wanted his own set. I haven't been able to find a decent set locally, and he's impatient (like me!) so he made his own.

He used a gift box from Christmas for the card stock and did all of the measuring and cutting by himself, using these instructions from his Chasing Vermeer book. (FYI: the link to the instructions is in PDF format.)

He's been carrying them around in his pockets, taking them out to make squares and rectangles and pictures. And I admit, it's a little bit amusing to hear him have a math conversation with other children without realizing what he's doing. He's become a vocal "I hate math!" person lately, and he has no idea that he's spending most of his free time playing with math.

Next up: making a 3D set with wooden blocks.

Thanks, y'all

Thanks for the kind words about my rocking chair.

I am going to take my chair to the wood doctor. We have a friend from church who is a woodworker and happens to live just down the street. I'm going to get his opinion first.

So you can see the damage for yourself:

I'm still sad about it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I know it's stupid to be this upset

It's a rocking chair. Just a rocking chair. But I think it's irreparably broken.

It's the rocker that my Nana bought for me when I was about 4 or so.

She was buying a rocking chair for my mom that Christmas. I had gone shopping with her, as I always did. I remember walking in the dusty storage room above the furniture showroom. I remember Nana choosing my mom's chair. I remember finding mine. It was smaller than all of the others, all wood, no cushion, but very comfortable all the same. I must have been irresistibly cute because Nana bought as well.

It may have been an impulse purchase, but it was a good one. I've used it for the past 30-odd years, give or take the four years I was away at college.

Even now, this chair gets used daily. But today I noticed a huge crack down the middle of the seat, almost sheared through. I moved it out of the living room so that maybe, perhaps, possibly it won't get worse. But I'm afraid that it doesn't matter anyway.

I feel quite silly that I'm crying over my broken rocking chair.

But I am.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Love in a Backward World

I absolutely love this! I'm not out there "looking for love" but this is exactly how it feels when I connect with a new friend, when I find another person who seems to be walking in a similar stride.

Wonderful short film!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Another gift-giving occasion

My children are so spoiled.

I'm a gift-giver. I love giving gifts to people. And my children are often the recipients of those gifts. As I said, they're spoiled.

On actual gift-giving occasions, I always have a little something -- never anything big, but at least a little something -- ready and waiting near the breakfast dishes when they wake. It's not anything I really do consciously any more. It's just part of our family rhythm.

I never realized that they had noticed.

Since today was Valentine's Day, I should have had a little something for them this morning. Our recent bouts with illness combined with my post-Christmas gift closet clean out made my gift stash non-existent, and I didn't have a thing for them this morning.

It drove Spyder crazy. All day.

I took him aside and explained to him why things were a little bit different this year, as I hadn't had the energy or the opportunity to plan the gifts out like I normally do. His brain understood, but his heart was still sad. And I felt awful.

I don't buy their gifts when they are with me, and since they're almost always with me, I have to plan those shopping trips. Once I realized my mistake this morning, Skeeter and I had planned that I would go out after dinner and get a little something for them to have in the morning. But since it was obviously bothering Spyder more than I thought it would, I revised the plan as I left.

For this Valentine's Day, they got their gifts at bedtime rather than at breakfast. And since I had their gifts waiting on their pillows at bedtime, Sass and Spyder both got bedtime-appropriate gifts that they actually needed -- new pajamas. And since I got fun and funky pajamas for them, they loved them.

Lame? Probably.

But to them, it helped regain the pulse of our family rhythm that had been out-of-sync all day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Back to normal, I think

This bronchitis thing has really been kicking my butt. Today was the first day I've felt anything near normal, a week and a half since it started coming on. I hope I never have to deal with this again.

Sass and Spyder are now sick as well. Spyder just has an annoying cold, but Sass woke up two nights ago complaining that her ear hurt, so off to the doctor we went. She has an ear infection, of course. The doctor's appointment took far too long (a total of 5 hours, including driving time), and she slept most of the day -- the drive there, in the waiting room, the drive back, and once we got home. Skeeter and I woke her after about four hours. And she went to bed only about 30 minutes later than usual. Thankfully, she's been feeling much better since then.

So today, in celebration of not feeling like zombies, Sass and I cleaned out the laundry room to make a playroom for her. Sass doesn't really have too many toys (I got rid of a lot of those just before Christmas), but several of them are big -- the doll stroller, the doll bed, the huge tub of Imaginext -- and take up more space in her room than I like. I was a bit more ambitious than I should have been, so we're not quite finished, but it's a very good start. She took several of her stuffed animals and had a tea party in there tonight, so she must be happy with the current results!

Tomorrow I'll have two big boxes to send off to the thrift store, most of it culled from the laundry room/pit of despair. It's that room where things get tossed and shifted and forgotten, so I'm glad to have a good use for it.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Happy Land

The children and I have been reading selections from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books since just before Christmas. It's been a wonderful retreat into my own childhood love of those books. My Memaw gave me the boxed set for some Christmas or birthday when I was around 7, and I fell in love with them. I reread the whole series several times, and I reread my favorites more times than I can remember.

My children have been just as enamored with the stories, particularly the stories of Laura's childhood -- making snow candy, getting oranges for Christmas, living in the sod house. It's all so different than the lives they live, and they're fascinated by it.

So when I found a Happy Land, tribute CD of music from the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, I had to get it.

How is it? In a word, wonderful. And the children absolutely adore it. On our first listen, they got up to dance! It's been their first choice of music for the last few weeks. I like folk music, so I was relatively certain that I would like it, but their enthusiasm for it rather surprised me. I suppose I shouldn't have been, since they also like music of all sorts.

I would highly recommend the CD for anyone who love the books. Even if you haven't read them in a while, you will remember at least a few of them!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Napping to coughing and a bit more napping

Remember all that stuff I got done despite feeling sickly? Well, thank heavens. That's all I can say.

I've gotten steadily worse over the week. I felt better briefly on Friday, but by bedtime it was worse than ever.

Skeeter was supposed to work all day today, but he left at noon so that I could go to the little minor medical clinic. I'm glad he did.

I have a bad case of bronchitis. Can bronchitis become pneumonia? When the doctor told me about the bronchitis, he said, "It's not quite pneumonia, but be glad you came in today." Quite honestly, I never expected it to be more than a cold, so I was shocked to hear that.

So now I'm on antibiotics and some sort of super-strong cough medicine. It's making me want to sleep constantly. But hey, that's not much different than I've been feeling lately anyway.

Maybe now I can manage to finish the few posts that I've drafted in between naps and coughing fits.

I'll get to that right after my next nap.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

She says it so much better

Want to know what's been going on here? Sickness. That's what. It's been coming on since, oh, Saturday.

Yesterday was actually quite productive though:
  • thoroughly cleaned the car
  • picked up all of the branches in the yard (including a massive one that I'd been afraid to attempt)
  • got the oil changed and the tires rotated
  • shopped at Big Lots, Aldi, and Office Max
  • made trips to the library and the post office
Today? I seriously doubt I'll get anything like that done. Because today, I feel like this. Oh, Emma. Girl. I feel your pain.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Music of My Life

Shamelessly lifted from Lindsey at Enjoy the Journey.


The song that makes me want to sing: "Down to the River to Pray" by Alison Krauss

The song that makes me smile: "Caviar Comes from a Virgin Sturgeon" by the Bawdy Balladeers

My chill out song: Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" performed by The Academy of St. Martins-in-the-Fields

The song that makes me want to dance: "Ain't Nothing Wrong with That" by Robert Randolph & The Family Band

Favorite song for the kids: "Bling-Blang" by Woody & Arlo Guthrie

The song that moves me and makes me think: "My Jesus" by Todd Agnew

The song I feel guilty liking: "Take a Chance on Me" by ABBA

The song that makes me think of my parents: "Me and Bobby McGee" by Janis Joplin. My parents were closet hippies, I think. We listened to all kinds of Woodstock-y music.

The song that makes me think of my hubby: "White and Nerdy" by Weird Al.

The song that always makes me cry and smile at the same time: "Every Season" by Nichole Nordeman

The song you'd be most surprised to find on my iPod: "Dirrty" by Christina Aguilera

The song with the most awesome beat: "Boomin'" by tobyMac

The song I could listen to while driving coast-to-coast with the top down: "Funky Cold Medina" by Tone Loc

Favorite song from a movie: "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" by the Soggy Bottom Boys (from O Brother Where Art Thou?)

What would be my workout song if I actually worked out: "Smack My Bitch Up" by Prodigy

My favorite "fun" song that is really just a stupid song: "Strip" by Adam Ant

The song I want at my funeral: Unsure about this one, and I'm afraid if I just put something out there just to have an answer that Michael will insist on playing it.

My love makin' song: Barry White. Just Barry. Pretty much anything he sings. (Short anecdote about that: one of the local radio stations had an "All Barry White" weekend and their catch phrase for it was "Songs you'll be talking about 9 months from now.")

Friday, February 01, 2008

Owlhaven's Blanket Party

Mary at Owlhaven is hosting a blanket party today! You can read about the details here and here and here.

But if you don't want to click over and read all of that, here are the basics:

Mary has 10 children, six of whom were adopted. Her latest adoptions are two Ethiopian girls. (Even though we're not an adopted family, I've been an avid reader of her adoption blog too.)

Her parents and sister are going to Ethiopia on a mission trip this summer, to work in a maternity ward at a hospital. From Mary's first post on it:

My folks have already met with an experienced volunteer who will be working there this summer as well. When Mom asked what they could bring to help on the OB ward, the volunteer mentioned basic things. Rubber gloves. Trash sacks.

And baby blankets.

The volunteer said that when women come to the hospital to give birth, they often come with nothing — absolutely nothing — for their babies. The staff at the hospital would love to be able to give those mothers one baby blanket each, so they could wrap their babies up before they take them home.

Can you imagine being so desperately poor that you could not afford a scrap of cloth in which to wrap your baby?

No, I can't. I really can't.

I had asked about donating blankets instead, since we've got far more than we need. Unfortunately, that's not possible because of the weight restrictions, and the family is taking textbooks to the nurses they'll be training.

So if you can spare it, scoot over to Paypal and send $5 to owlhaven @ (without the spaces, of course).

If you're unsure, think about it this way: My children and I are going to the bookstore later, and we'll spend more than $5 on coffee, milk, and scones alone.