Monday, November 27, 2006

Getting Back to It

This is the Monday after Thanksgiving, so of course we should be back to doing school here. I must admit, if we did we'd be "flying by the seat of our pants." I think I'll take a cue from Mrs. Copper's Wife, who extends her Thanksgiving break until tomorrow. We can take a "home ec" day--clean up the last of the *casual housekeeping* that happens over a holiday, take up the rest of the autumn decorations, and maybe drag up the Christmas things. We won't be getting a tree until later in the week--Charming is working a seven-day stretch over the holiday and won't be off until Wednesday.

Everybody is blogging about how they brought out the Christmas music this weekend. I take a lot of flak from my family because *I* start listening on September 1st. I started that tradition when I was a teenager, and put on the music while making gifts for my friends. The idea is that I am crafting or sewing while the music plays. But, as usual, I leave most of the gift-making for December, crunching it in-between all the other things that are going on...but, I do love the music!

Four weeks from today is Christmas Day, so I think one of the tasks I will set myself to do today is to list all of the things that need done. Maybe then I can organize them into "weeks," and check them off as I do them.

I am determined to take things slowly and enjoy the holiday. My normal modus operandi is to do all the things that *say Christmas* to me, and then about 9:30 Christmas morning, crash and burn. My Charming has been trying to help me avoid this for thirty years now. He has, so far, failed in his efforts.

Maybe I should listen to him this year.

All the Time in the World

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

From The Common Room.

I'd love to see Dorothy at Fine Distraction and Mrs. Plain and Simple take this!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Happy Birthday, Alvin Fernald!

Well, my baby turns twelve today. One of those bittersweet things where I tear up at the mention of the word "baby." But so excited for Alvin, because I remember turning twelve. You don't have to worry about where the food is coming from, and your Mom understands that you need plenty of it. You can style your own hair and choose your own clothes. Your bicycle will take you anywhere you need to go--to the corner grocery for a candy bar, or to the baseball diamond at the park.

Alvin is not a small dude. But then, he was 10 lbs. 5 1/2 oz. at birth. Charming thinks it's silly that I tack on that 1/2 oz. But he didn't have to birth the child. We called Alvin our Magnum Opus--our Great Work. I guess we decided to go out with a bang....

Alvin is hoping that Notre Dame will take note of his birthday and beat USC tonight. Until then, the day is his, and a beautiful day it will be. Sunny and 68 degrees.

Have a wonderful day, baby, while Mommy sits by with her box of kleenex....

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Amen, sister

Queen Shenaynay, as she does so often, says it better than I could myself. Check out her Random Thanks post.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

And now, for something A Little Different...

The Survey of the Equuschick by way of Mother Auma .
A little while back, the Equuschick published her Very Own Survey. (Here are Mama Squirrel's, Firefly's and Thicket Dweller's responses.)
*A- Favourite Animals: Chickens. I stayed up all one night in college to monitor a hatching horde.
*B- Favourite Bad Habit: (You know, that one that you like too much to even try to break. You like being addicted.) Napping. Love it, love it, love it.
*C- Favourite Cookie: Most anything, warm out of the oven.
D- Favourite Drink: Dr. Pepper.
*E-Favourite Egg Style: Over easy, on buttered toast, and at the first bite you need to s*ck out all the yolk.
*F- Five Favourite Fiction Books: (Having been driven nearly insane with surveys that limited your selection of favourite books to Exactly One of Any Kind, The Equuschick is broadening the topic. Still difficult, but not quite as miserable.) Ooh, difficult. Lost Horizon, Random Harvest, Mrs. Mike, anything Grace Livingston Hill, Miss Read. (another day I might choose others!)
*G-Favourite Gadget: Rotary cutter and mat for quilting.
*H- Favourite Hymn: It is Well with My Soul
I- Favourite Ice Cream- Swiss chocolate almond
J- Favourite Jam: (other than a bluegrass or folk music jam...) Elderberry
*K-Favourite Kid's Books: I think this is more difficult than the fiction question. (by no means an exhaustive list:) Winnie-the-Pooh, Beatrix Potter, Little House, Mike Mulligan, Caps for Sale (anything Captain Kangaroo used to read on his show...)
*L-Favourite Love Song- "Handpicked for Me, written by my Charming ("I could see it in your eyes, when I told you [that I loved you] there was no surprise"), "Beautiful" by Gordon Lightfoot, "How Can I Tell You" by Cat Stevens
*M-Favourite Memories: This would probably be never-ending if I actually answered completely. Just a few: sleeping on a train, Charming and I watching our two toddlers sleep beside us on mattresses one night before we moved, looking down the street where we live when it snows--looks exactly like "Merry Christmas, Bedford Falls!", wrestling on my bed with Alvin Fernald when he was three--"Mommy, this is the best day of my LIFE!!", hugging Violet before she went to high school, realizing I had her home for only four more years, watching my four grandchilren's births, watching my children sing "Castle on a Cloud." on and on...maybe I'll make a regular post about "favorite memories..."
"N-Favourite Nonfiction Books: Hmm. The Bible. A Charlotte Mason Companion. For the Family's Sake. Flower books and Bird books. Quilt Books, always.
*O-Favourite Operatic Song: The Rabbit of Seville (Bugs Bunny.) Musical Hamlet (Gilligan's Island.)
P-Favourite Piece of Music at the moment: Handel's Messiah. Jackie Gleason Christmas.
Q-Quiet Spot: Watching Lake Michigan--I don't live there, but my father-in-law does.
R-Favourite Reading when you're sick: Grace Livingston Hill.
*S-Favourite Song that you want played at your funeral: (Obligatory weird question, sorry. It isn't a real survey if it doesn't have at least one very strange question.) Not sure at this point.
*T-Favourite Task: Probably laundry. Love to see the folded stuff go to their "homes."
*U- Favourite Ugly Animal: (Can you think of a better question for u?) Hippo. I don't know if it is my favorite, but it is the one I always think of when I ask God, "what were You thinking?"
*V-Favourite Vintage Book: The Complete Book of Sewing by Constance Talbot. It was my mother's sewing book (c. 1940's) and I read it cover-to-cover several times growing up.
*W-Favourite Writing of C.S Lewis: The Chronicles, tho' I love the non-fiction, too. He is just way-smarter than I.
*X-Favourite Word That Starts with X, Because The Equuschick Couldn't think of Any But xylophone: My son had a friend of Greek extraction whose name was Xrisanthi (pronouncing the X as in the name for Christ in Greek--Chi Ro--making the pronunciation Chris-on-thee).
Y-Favorite Yellow Wildflower: Honeysuckle.
*Z-Favourite Zoo: We have a fabulous zoo here--the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo. It is too large to go through in one visit, with African, Australian, Rain Forest exhibits as well as normal zoo animals. I could never figure out, though, why it has no bears.

There you have it. Thank you, Equuschick, for something "a little different."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Back in the Saddle

Charming and I were able to get away last weekend, for the first time in four years. Let me tell you, that is entirely too long to go without a long weekend away. We traveled to Louisville to help friends celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. So I missed blogging about Armistice Day, and other things I wanted to.

Before we left last week, I was able to finish Blackeyed Susan's hobo bag. She wanted it finished before she goes to two concerts in December:
I went a little crazy, putting together funky fabrics on the inside. But I didn't want to buy anything else new:
Alvin Fernald made cookies before we left, and wanted me to include this picture. It was such a big deal, because this batch made Exactly 60 Cookies, like the recipe indicated:
You've got to love the Pampered Chef medium cookie scoop.
A couple of months ago, I fell flat on both knees. They didn't hurt to begin with, but of course, I knew they would eventually. They were acting up for a couple of weeks now, so I went to the chiropractor. He said that I really didn't injure them, just "irritated" what was already going on. Which is, (sigh) The Beginnings of Arthritis. I knew I was in trouble when the first thing he asked me was my age. Blessedly, he has a supplement (think glucosamine) that helps regenerate cartilage tissue.
Since I didn't get to post on Saturday about Armistice Day (my father called it that long after "Veteran's Day" came into common usage), I read my daughter's entry (see Fine Distraction on my sidebar). I love how she thinks about WWI, and how most Americans don't consider its importance. I can still hear my father tell us every year, how the armistice was to commence "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month." Kind of like Election Day--"the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November"--so Election Day can never be November 1st.
Who makes up these things?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Fun Voting

I'll walk to vote this morning, as I have for fourteen years. Gotta love it when the polling place is in a church a block away! I'll take Blackeyed Susan and Alvin Fernald, as I have since they were old enough to walk with me. I want them to know that voting is important, and is a God-given privilege.

In 2000, the year that President Bush ran the first time, we had a unique situation. Don Quixote and Joe Hardy were living at home, not yet moved out on their own. Violet lived in an upstairs apartment of a house across the street from us. Johnny Tremain and Forget-me-not were at college, Johnny just seven blocks away, and Forget-me-not an hour away. But their "official residence" was still here at home. So for seven of us in the same family, we voted in the same precinct. So I gathered the troops and asked them if we could all walk over "as a family," and vote together. Forget' wasn't too happy--we had to drive down to get her the night before, and then get her back to campus for a nine o'clock class. Charming and Violet had to be to work at eight. MacGuyver (17) also had to be at school then. So this meant that we would troop on over to the church at six-thirty. A.M. (insert Groans and Complaints.)

I called the newspaper to send a reporter. I mean, they always had "man-on-the-street" articles on Election Day. He met us at the church, and asked us who we would vote for. I gave him my Mother's standard answer. This she gave us, unsolicited, every Election Day growing up. "Now, when I married your father, I promised to Obey him. But there is one thing that even he can't ask me to do. When I get into the voting booth, it is between Me and God. Alone. This is what it means to have the right to vote." I had already told my children this story...a "few" times, so they chuckled at the reporter's efforts to solicit our decisions.

After we voted (all ten of us went, even the three that couldn't vote--hey, they could be Patriotic as well!), we took pictures in the foyer of the church, and went home to begin our days, with Susan and Alvin and me driving Forget-me-not back to college, and McDonald's on the way home. A very, very special day that few families get to share.

Now we are scattered to the four winds, although Johnny and Lily live four blocks away, so they still vote at the church. My plan may have to change a little. Lily called to say she is bringing the littles over this morning (because it is raining), and Susan will watch them while we girls vote. Or maybe Susan and Alvin and the babes can walk with us, and we'll all go together. We'll have to see. Voting with Lily would be another Fun Voting Experience!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday, Monday

Only time for a short post this morning. I am taking Don Quixote to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to renew his expired photo ID. Our state has a new law that you must show a picture ID in order to vote. In typical Asperger's style, he finally noticed on Saturday that his ID was expired. The BMV is ordinarily closed on Mondays, but since tomorrow is Election Day...

I just made a trip there last week, as I had lost my license. Standing 35 minutes in line, and another 20 to finish my business--well, under an hour is considered doing well at the BMV. But I told Don that I wouldn't wait with him (told him to bring a book, I'm thinking two hours today). He can call me on the cellphone when he's done.

I finished a cool, hip, trendy bag for Blackeyed Susan this weekend. (picture will be added later.) I wasn't going to do it before Christmas, but she is going to two concerts (one out-of-town) in December, and likes to carry the camera/water bottle/cds to be autographed/etc. A purse just isn't big enough. I also finished tying one of the Princess quilts for the two grand-girlies. Just need the binding on that one, and tie and bind the other one. That's two Big projects done.

I'm reading The_No._1_Ladies_Detective_Agency by Alexander_McCall_Smith. It was recommended by a blogger somewhere, and my Violet said, Yes, by all means, it's great! I *thought* she said, "it's set in Botswana, but soon you'll forget it's set in Africa, because the story is so great." Well, you certainly can't forget it's set in Africa--the names, the food (fried worms as "treats"), getting a snake caught in your engine, and slicing it in two with the fan blades to get it loose--so maybe I heard her wrong. It *is* a good story, but I'm not sure I'll read the others. I'm way too "white bread"--and I say that unapologetically. I say, there's nothing wrong with lovin' my *own* subculture, right? And in so many ways, I take after my mother, who described herself as Not Adventurous. She hadn't ever eaten a TACO, for goodness' sake, until she was 80 years old. She didn't think she'd like it. One time Dad and Mother came for supper and I made tacos. I asked her how she liked them, and she said, Well, now I can say I have eaten them. I'm not Very Adventurous. (dot, dot, dot. Can I have a peanut-butter sandwich now?)

So I'm not an Adventurous reader. I like to read, but find myself in ruts. In fact, being a Not Adventurous person in any manner at all (like dear old Mum) there are a lot of ruts in my life. But hey, ruts are easy to run in. Dear Charming has all the adventure I'd ever desire in any one lifetime.

Turning a corner...
Yesterday at church, we had our "retired" pastor pray for tomorrow's elections. He prayed "Thy will be done," and I thought, "of course" His will will be done. The Scriptures say that He is in charge of who governs us, and that no one can govern us without His permission. I guess that explains the rest of Pastor Douglas's prayer: "Give us the leaders You desire us to have, so that we may learn what You want us to learn." That, my friends, could be "ouchy."

Remember to Vote tomorrow. It is important.