Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

May you and yours have a wonderful Christmas Day and joy of the season through out the year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Day before Christmas

Twas the day before Christmas and all through the house, decorations were flying around.

This is a family tradition about 5 years old. The crazy pace of everything else between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I find having the tree up early on to be a stumbling block. Since I wasn't ready for Christmas 5 years ago, I didn't finally get the tree put up until the morning of Christmas Eve while the kids napped. That afternoon we spent time putting up the ornaments and other tree decorations. It was such fun and they "helped" since then we put the tree up on Christmas Eve. This is also easy to do since my pine allergy keeps the real trees in other homes.

I just realized that I left out one of my absolutely favorite Christmas episodes...from M*A*S*H.

Daddy started me watching MASH years ago. Of the many Christmas episodes, my absolute favorite is "Death Takes a Holiday." I don't love it for the main story line, trying to keep a head injury case alive so his family doesn't live with his death on Christmas. The side line of Charles, the fancy chocolates, and the gift that is to remain anonymous.

Giving to those in need is something we are trying to instill in the kids. Their school helps with this through out the year. Every class has service projects for those in our community and others around the world.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2 days til Christmas

Returning to television series Christmas episodes, I bring you to the West Wing. This show is one the DH and I still watch either on Bravo or DVD. I enjoy both the writing and acting of many characters.

Of the seven seasons, "In Excelsis Deo" from the first season is the most poignant for me. Sneaking out to shop for rare books and the recognition that a homeless vet deserves the honor of a military burial are both good in my book. Toby's use of his presidental connections for this honor, although not approved, is appropriate!

Well tomorrow brings the last entry before Christmas. The contest is still open though. Leave any comment before January 6th to be e
ntered into the random number contest.

Monday, December 22, 2008

3 days til Christmas

Another special episode comes from Walton's mountain..."The Children's Carol." World War II comes to Walton's mountain through the visit of two children from London. Escaping the bombing of London, these children present many challenges for all the Waltons, especially Olivia. Most of all I love Jason's hymn for the children.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

4 days til Christmas

Ever a traditionalist, I love watching The Nutcracker each year. For so many years, I hunted out the movie production with sets and costumes by Maurice Sendak. This is the standard by which I watch any other production. This year I found one to match, the San Francisco Ballet has re-staged the Nutcracker in 1915 during the Panama Pacific International Exposition. This was just a wonderful piece for Great Performances to air this holiday season.

5 days til Christmas

Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas brings the muppets to my Christmas program list. Once again it's the animals that make this piece. The classic puppetry of Jim Henson's group gives such a connection for me and all the years watching Sesame Street and the Muppet Show.

This story also gives the ever pertinent moral that those around us are more important that any of the things we want. For kids this gives kids today a more direct connection to caring for one another then the O Henry story, The Gift of the Magi.

6 days til Christmas

Returning to the Rankin-Bass productions, A Year Without a Santa Claus is so goofy that I love it. Heat Miser and Snow Miser remind me of kids who never grow up and always compete for top spot. This show also includes one great name - Ignatius Thistlewhite.

This years addition to of A Miser Brothers' Christmas is not bad and I do enjoy the additions of North Wind and other weather "children" of Mother Nature.

7 days til Christmas

Although not a total favorite for me - the kids love watching The Toy That Saved Christmas. Veggie Tales are so popular in my house its almost a mental health issue for the parents. When MM was little she would ask for this video all year long so I either wanted the tape to break or the VCR to quit. Now this and the other holiday specific videos are only out for the holiday season so the adults in the house aren't driven totally loony.

8 days til Christmas

What season would be complete with out watching Miracle on 34th Street at least once. While I love the classic edition with Macy's, Natalie Wood, and Edmund Gwenn. Mr Gwenn is the real Santa Claus in my book.

For the kids, it's the new edition of Miracle on 34th Street, with a Santa who can sign and Cole's department store. This is a good remake, but I'll always prefer the original.

9 days till Christmas

Back to wonderful period of black and white films, I continued my movie times today with The Bell's of Saint Mary's. I'm sure many would disagree with my addition here, but this movie includes one of the sweetest Christmas pageant scenes. Every school should have a first grade class intent on delivering their own telling of the Christmas story. Also the challenge of doing any thing with children is having a "baby Jesus" who can escape from the manger.

10 days til Christmas

Another good black and white film which introduced the world to Irving Berlin's White Christmas is Holiday Inn. I love the big dance numbers with Fred Astaire and then a lovely crooned as only Bing Crosby delivered it. I enjoy black and white films for all the subtly of color value.

White Christmas is a favorite song of the season. No matter who else sings the song, I always hear Bing Crosby's voice in my head.

11 days til Christmas

Today began my full serving of old, classic movies with holiday themes or good holiday scenes. I started with Mr. Cary Grant in The Bishop's Wife.

Dudley the dashing angel assisting in answering the prayers of so many brings smiles without any effort. My favorite scene is the ice skating in the park with Mrs. Broughman is wonderful to watch. For me ice skating typically involves more time with my hands and butt on the ice then my feet, but I do love to watch.

DH watched most of the movie with me and I only hope he saw the real role of Dudley. Dudley tries to show everyone what is really important in life, not work or the physical things we leave behind, but the family we hold important.

12 days til Christmas

Okay so this isn't actually the 12th day before Christmas. I didn't realize the time commitment to posting daily. Trying to do this during the holiday season was a bit crazy on my part.

So tonight I'll play catchup on the missing posts.

Jack Frost, another Rankin-Bass submission, goes beyond the Christmas time. Actually with Pardon Me Pete telling us about the adventures of Jack Snip in January Junction, it isn't really a Christmas program. Since the programmers for tv stations consider any program specially designated for kids and not airing on Saturday mornings must be set to a specific holiday.

Anyway, I love the characters who give us all the joys and fun of winter. The Sleet Sisters, Snip the snowflake maker, Holly the Christmas Snow Fairy, and Father Christmas. Now if they would just visit the Philadelphia area - I'm ready for some real winter weather.

Friday, December 12, 2008

13 days til Christmas

Back to the reason for the season, brought to you by Rankin-Bass, is Nestor, the Long-eared Christmas Donkey. I love the general nature of this story, a donkey lost to the world in which he lives. But even those seen as imperfect by the world around them have a unique gift to share.

Also Tilly is just sweet as the cherub sent to guide and comfort Nestor.

Back in high school, I wrote a Christmas story from the point of view of the donkey. Damac and the Christmas baby was a good piece for me. I also used it for the kid's Christmas program at church one year. Animals always have a special place in Christmas.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

14 days til Christmas

My favorite little imp girl is Eloise. Eloise at Christmastime is a wonderful romp, seeing the world of those with means enjoy the holidays in New York. For all her tricks and plotting, Eloise has a truly generous heart.

MM especially enjoys this, but I think it may be giving her too many ideas of crazy romps and other things to do. At least so far a turtle hasn't landed on the pet wish list - but the pug has.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

15 days til Christmas

Now many will disagree with me on this "Christmas" movie - but I love Lion in Winter. No it isn't the warm, friendly, and uplifting movie. The entire movie does take place during Eleanor's visit with Henry II, the "boys," and Alyce during Christmas.

Thankfully, my family doesn't have the malevolence and distrust of this royal brood, but I can identify with Eleanor's statement. "Henry, I have a confession. I don't much like our children." I've never found this insulting about family life, but a real statement. Regularly I say that I wouldn't make a good teacher or stay at home mom because sometimes even don't like my children.

This year, I'll be off a couple of days before the kids are out of school so I'll have my time
with the Plantagenets. Then I'll be able to enjoy the holiday time with my kids with all my love, even if I don't like them at a time or two.

Back Tack swap

I'm late in getting my package off to my swap partner. Some how I lost at least a week in November and I have no idea when or where it went.

The back tack swap this round is based on the three gifts of Christmas - gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

A local alternative book shop, Garland of Letters, has a most wonderful selection of oils, incense, and many other neat things. There I picked up both Frankincense and Myrrh. Some how the major color for this round was blue and gold/silver. The gold for this package came in a necklace I made for Liz.

This was fun to do, but I think I enjoy the secret swaps better. There is a HUGE amount of fun for me to plan a package for someone as a surprise.

Here's a few poor photos as my camera is being cranky and not working well tonight. DH's camera which behaves much better is out with him.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

16 days til Christmas

Another Rankin-Bass offering today - Little Drummer Boy. I loved this song as a child and the show gives such a tender depiction of the reason for the season. The loss of his parents gives Aaron a lot to resent in the world, but the love he sees in the manager gives him a new view of his world.

Every child should be give the love and tenderness to support their dreams. The best gift for anyone is a gift given from the heart and received without any judgment. May all of your Christmas be joyfully given and received.

Monday, December 8, 2008

17 days til Christmas

A more recent fun watch for me is the Santa Clause. Tim Allen is fun as the improbable replacement for the jolly elf. This movie continues the magic that anyone can find the spirit of Christmas.

For someone who didn't enjoy Home Improvement, Tim Allen entertains as the "Santa" effects take over his life. Milk and cookies, cocoa, and all the other treats will always hit the spot on a cold, holiday night.

18 days til Christmas

Sorry this is late, unplanned travel and limited Internet left me hanging. So tonight I give you two offerings.

So anyone else enjoy the Desk Set. Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in one of their best pairings in my book. This movie not only is great when it comes being a holiday film, but the librarian in me loves it too.

I don't know of a library without a trailing plant growing in someone's office. The staff can all answer any question, but each has a niche topic. And the introduction of new technology continues today.

Remember if you post a comment during my totally biased listing of the best holiday programs and movies, you'll be entered in a drawing for something fun after January 7th.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

19 days til Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas gives the incomparable Dr. Seuss' voice to Christmas. For me though only the animated show with Boris Karloff's narration and Chuck Jones' animation makes the cut.

I know for many it's the Grinch's change of heart, or the sweetness of Cindy Lou Who that make the book and show. Not me, I love Max. This dog is wonderful. From model to reindeer to triumphant sleigh dog - he's in it all the way.

Friday, December 5, 2008

20 days til Christmas

The program serving for today is one that I first loved as a book and now treasure the film, The Polar Express.

I love Chris Van Allsburg's story about the magic of Christmas and the special treasure for children who believe. When I heard about the computer animation process, I wasn't sure the subtleness of the illustrations would be achieved. On one level I think the whole movie works beautifully. I still think hand illustrations show best with hand animation.

Now my children find The Polar Express on the holiday movie shelf and watch it many times during the holiday season. I just hope they always here the bell ring.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

21 days til Christmas

We've been watching some of the Christmas specials already. MM enjoys so many of them, but she thinks Rudolph is getting short changed. The Santa Clause, Mrs. Santa Claus and others don't include Rudolph, so today's pick is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, another Rankin-Bass offering.

This is a fun watch. My favorite character is the Bumble - he bounces! This also includes one of my favorite songs, "Silver & Gold." Burl Ives gives a warm and cuddly persona as Sam the Snowman.

For my friend Bridget, this is the ultimate Christmas show. Over the last several years, I've tried to add a little piece of Rudolph to her package.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

22 days til Christmas

Tonight I bring you the first of the many Rankin-Bass specials. The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus brings the L. Frank Baum story of fairies and a magical world that gives to the human world the immortal Santa Claus.

According to this was the last of the Rankin-Bass shows using Animagic. The puppetry of these shows brings me enjoyment and are now some of my kids favorite programs through the season.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

23 days till Christmas

Charles Schultz captured a simpler time of life in the Peanuts strip. Yet the world of Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, and Snoopy isn't simple or childish.

A Charlie Brown Christmas is just a relevant today as in was back in 1965. This year's exceedingly early launch for the Christmas shopping season fits Lucy's need for more stuff and Snoopy's overdone decorating.

Linus' recitation of the shepherd and angel portion of Luke returns the kids to the focus of Christmas then and reminds us all today.

May you find the simple joy of Christmas in your traditions this year.

Monday, December 1, 2008

24 days 'til Christmas

Many stations decided before Thanksgiving to start with the pre-Christmas movie marathons. As I've noted before, for me that is just WRONG.

Now it's December 1st and I'm going to try posting each day with a bit about one of my many favorite Christmas programs and movies.

I watch White Christmas nearly every time I find it in the program listing. I enjoy the music and dancing, especially Rosemarie Clooney. My favorite songs are "Sister, Sisters" and "Count Your Blessings."

We found the announcement for White Christmas on Broadway after our tickets for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular were purchased. Next year we'll have to look into this "new" theater option sooner.

And now, here's a holiday surprise for you. Post a comment between December 1st and January 6th about your favorite Christmas program, movie, or even song. Come January 7th, I'll select a random comment and have a post holiday surprise even.

Now let the holidays run away!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Day

Wishing all the blessings of a Thanksgiving with those you love and love you.

May this year bring a bounty to you and yours.

Happy Thanksgiving Day.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Declutter before Christmas

After reading 3 Grrrls Knit post about clearing out, I sent her an idea which a friend gave me years ago and works wonders.

When Debbie got married her husband moved in with lots of clothes. She noticed he didn't wear lots of them and closet space was a premium. She pulled out items she hadn't washed recently that were in season. Putting the bags in a back closet for 3 to 6 months, if an item was asked for it returned to the closet. After the time period, out the bags go to a local thrift shop/charity.

I had a similar issue when DH and I married, uniting closets and the other household stuff. I used Debbie's idea and it was great. We did go through closets together at times, but DH at times likes to keep the old trusty items for "comfort."

With a household that now includes 2 kids, the stuff just multiplies. MM and LB at times will put items into the Goodwill bag with a generous spirit, but other times the little horders surface. I usually pull items off the toy shelves and bins times when I have to clean up the house. If I have to put it away, then it stays. Hey they are playing with it. If things sit on the shelves for months and even need a dusting, it isn't an item of interest so into the Goodwill box.

So far on the kid front I have only pulled two items out of a bag during the isolation time. And after items leave the house, only when one Carebear wasseen at the church sale did something return home.

If this idea works for you - go for it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Thanks to Bridget - a new color may be in order.

I have a funky inner hair color, who knew?!

Your Hair Should Be Orange

Expressive, deep, and one of a kind.

You pull off "weird" well - hardly anyone notices.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rushing the season...

And I'm not happy!

There are already at least 3 houses between the school and our house with Christmas decorations out. Alright last weekend's warm weather probably did encourage some to put up outdoor decorations without the need of gloves.

So I can sort of handle the idea for those who want to support the electric company, but one house actually had their decorations turned on tonight!!!!!! Not just the cute white twinkle lights, but the illuminated candy canes, inflatable Santa, and other lighted decorations all over the front lawn.

I love Thanksgiving. It truly is my favorite holiday basically because there is no pressure for selection perfection. No gifts to buy or make, wrap, and ship across the country just in time. Thanksgiving is just that a day for giving thanks and being with family and friends who are important.

What has this country come to when stores are putting up Christmas holiday decorations the day after Halloween? With the financial mess growing daily - I hope people find their way back to the importance of being thankful for what they have and concerned about those in need in their own neighborhoods.

Join with me and keep Thanksgiving the focus for the next week!

Let Christmas have it's own special place on the calendar! One that doesn't start before the turkey and trimmings!

Thanks from one who refuses to loose the join in Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Homemade Bread Day

Wow - found this out through one of my quilting lists.

So perfect since I have bread dough in the bread machine right now and soon will have this week's sandwich loaf.

DH wanted a bread machine back as we put together out wedding registry. Since most of the decisions were mine, I played along and let him add it. Then we ended up with two machines both from DH's family. After MM came along and my time for making bread dropped off to a minuscule amount - I pulled out the bread machine.

Now about 7 years later, I make at least 2 loaves of bread a week. With all the use it gets, I'm quickly wearing out the machine. In fact each loaf I make I'm keep my fingers crossed and hope that the dough comes out before the machine dies.

Thankfully - This year my folks are granting a gift wish and I'll have a new machine for Christmas.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

More fun then should be legal

This weekend, since Thursday, I've been in VA/MD for the MARAC conference and a visit with part of DH's family. The invite to stay with the DC cousins was a treat. This is family I so enjoy spending time visiting. Discussions are always enlightening and enliving. Also being spoiled away from home is just great too.

I walked Thursday night and was handed a glass of white wine - great way to end the drive from Philly.

The "more fun then should be legal" aspect is riding the Metro from VA to Silver Spring friday and saturday. One of my favorite things is people watching. I enjoy the little kid who is just sooo excited to be on the train, especially if it's not mine. I also am entertained by the wonderful oddities of people when they aren't trying to be the image they want everyone else to see. From the guy who is so into the tunes on his MP3 that his "white boy" shimmy comes out to the college kids dressed for a night on the town.

My favorites for this trip were two boys I saw Saturday. This weekend was the Autism Speaks Walk DC. In the morning, a family group with 3 boys were heading into the District. The one boy was so excited to be on the train and riding underground. Also he would read the next stop posting for everyone. His mom would ask, "is that where we get off?" His anwser each time was nope, we go to Metro Center. Since that was my change point, I considered this generous public service.

On my way back home, evidently the walk was done. I rode from Metro Center back to VA with another family proudly sporting their t-shirts. My entertainment was a dad and the 4-5 year old chatting about their good walk and the fun of riding the train. These observations made the travel back and forth so entertaining.

I really give credit to both of these families and those others who continue to keep their kids out in the world of normal family activities. Over the past three years, thanks to a good friend, I've become more aware of just a few of the issues around life with an austistic child.

More later about the fun and other activity of the weekend later.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Halloween results

Only 12 goblins, princesses, and other characters made it to our door for treats ... but my race car driver and pirate came home with way too much.

This bowl could put even the most balanced person into a diabetic coma. And this is after a couple of days enjoyment by the entire family.

Saturday brought friends over for an Autumn party. This was held to make up for an over active August and too little time for MM's birthday party. After leaving the distribution of the invites to MM and DH, we had 8 kids for the afternoon.

We had pumpkin crafts, bobbing for apples, and general kid fun. The kids had a good time and MM enjoyed having friends over.

For me it was great, I got a chunk of the house really clean!!!

Of course Nana provided seasonal sweaters with glow in the dark designs.

I did

and I hope you did also.

My half hour waiting around as the new poll worker fouled up the process that the ladies who've been at our precinct since we moved into our house, was a breeze compared to some of the reports for others here in Philly.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Happy Haunting Day to one and all.

Here's another photo from my trip earlier this month. The crow pieces just sang out the Poe poem for me.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mad Men quiz

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are an Ingrid!


You are an Ingrid -- "I am unique"

Ingrids have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.

  • * Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.

  • * Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.

  • * Though I don't always want to be cheered up when I'm feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.

  • * Don't tell me I'm too sensitive or that I'm overreacting!

What I Like About Being an Ingrid

  • * my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level

  • * my ability to establish warm connections with people

  • * admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life

  • * my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor

  • * being unique and being seen as unique by others

  • * having aesthetic sensibilities

  • * being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me

What's Hard About Being an Ingrid

  • * experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair

  • * feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don't deserve to be loved

  • * feeling guilty when I disappoint people

  • * feeling hurt or attacked when someone misundertands me

  • * expecting too much from myself and life

  • * fearing being abandoned

  • * obsessing over resentments

  • * longing for what I don't have

Ingrids as Children Often

  • * have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original games

  • * are very sensitive

  • * feel that they don't fit in

  • * believe they are missing something that other people have

  • * attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.

  • * become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood

  • * feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents' divorce)

Ingrids as Parents

  • * help their children become who they really are

  • * support their children's creativity and originality

  • * are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings

  • * are sometimes overly critical or overly protective

  • * are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Back from my escape

Four days escape from home and kids was wonderful, even though it was for work. Last week thru "oh dark & ugly" Monday morning, I was in Santa Fe. This was my first trip to New Mexico.

It was wonderful the little I had free time for of Santa Fe. Before the workshops started, I visited the Georgia O'Keefe museum to see their new exhibit. O'Keefe isn't my favorite artist, but I do enjoy some portions of her painting. The O'Keefe museum is small, but the collection and exhibit space design is wonderfully compact. This was worth the cost of admission. The Art of Identity exhibit includes photographs of O'Keefe, her work, and home by more then just Stieglitz. It was interesting to see drawings, paintings, and photographs of the work in her studio.

Outside of Ghost Ranch - Santa Fe is a sculpture garden with these great installation pieces by Peter Woytuk. This is one of my favorite pieces. I just love the striking difference between the cans and the apples.
The workshops went really well even though there were only 5 attendees. For the first time the focus of what we want to teach was also the primary interest of the participants.

During the airport times and evenings, I was able to get more done of the stripe scarf, but still not finished.

Monday's early arrival home and the start of the day, brought back the reality of daily life with laundry and dishes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Up Up and Away

Tomorrow morning I'll be up - WAY TOO EARLY - to head to the flying metal bird.
The next four days I'll be in Santa Fe for work. Partially a holiday for me, DH will be home with the kids.

I'm taking two knitting projects along for the fun. Here's the progress on my current scarf project.

I'm loving the stripe pattern and hope someone else will come Christmas.

I've decided to knit up the two skeins of yarn from my swap partner from Favorite Color Swap 3. I thought I would use it for Red Scarf Project, but it doesn't fit their specs. I'll probably use it for a gift or auction item for the next fundraiser at school.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

wonderful weekend

Yesterday was a great fun. After morning swim lessons for MM and LB, and my workout time, we headed to New Jersey.

Nana, Grandpa, the kids and I went for a drive to the Garden State Sheep and Fiber Festival. It is a small event, but they have a nice set up and we saw sheep that were new to all of us.

Jacob's Sheep, a biblical breed, according to the sign. Of course I forgot my camera, so all the photos are on Grandpa's. You'll have to wait for the pics of day until next weekend when Grandpa will be down again.

One piece I really commend the organizers on was the last barn with an exploration area for the kids. A hay bale maze, pick your own trees, large scale weaving and knitting. MM found the weaving fun. She spent nearly half and hour weaving lengths of roving through the frame and chatting with the volunteer who was helping out.

LB found running through the maze the best time. With many other boys around his age, this was great. Not having mom or the other adults telling him to hold hands, stay with us, and such was also a great relief.

Since Nana and I don't spin there wasn't as much to fill our bags with, but I did find fun white sparkly yarn part of which will be in my next swap package - sorry no pics for now. Nana picked up alpaca yarn in this lovely warm fawn color for a sweater. The yarn is neat because the farm keeps the fiber sorted by animal so when you purchase any the tag has an id for the yarn weight and which animal generously provide it's coat.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Have you ever?

This was on Bridget's blog and since I'm a sucker for meme's I had to participate

Have You Ever…

1. gone on a blind date? Yes I have. In fact I married to him. It is a fun story involving a cookie pie and a day at Great Adventure.

2. skipped school? Well, I've skipped to school and past.

3. been on the opposite side of your country? Yes. My blind date was born and raised there so he enjoys going.

4. swam in the ocean? Not real swimming, I have waded in Atlantic, Pacific, and Caribbean.

5. had your booze taken away by the cops? Not me - but I have taken booze away from several underage college students who were stupid enough to bring it in the building when I was the RA on duty.

6. lettered in a high school sport? Ha Ha Ha. Though I did letter in Marching Band. Don't pick on us band geeks, we keep at a thing until we get it right.

7. cried yourself to sleep? Over good and bad times on more then one occasion.

8. played a musical instrument? Since I wasn't the cute type - I had to for marching band - clarinet and tenor sax. Once I have more time and less "help" I'd like to jump back into playing.

9. sung karaoke? No. The shower was a wonderful music studio though

10. cheated on an exam? No. I know several have borrowed my answers off of exams. It was funny that I came out with better grades then either of those who found my answers compelling.

11. played spin-the-bottle? No. Soda bottles weren't very easy to get and who could be bothered anyway. Truth or Dare was much more entertaining.

12. laughed until some sort of beverage came out of your nose? Soda, tea, and milk - at different times luckily.

13. watched the sun rise with someone you care about? So great and I'd do it again.

14. ever been arrested? Not me, but I have "enjoyed" seeing others taken away.

15. gone ice skating? Yes, and one of the best places to skate was on the Mall in DC looking up at the capital.

16. been skinny dipping? Yes and thankfully no pictures exist.

17. been on television? Nope and hope not to be.

18. thrown up in front of a date? Not me, but throwing up in the privacy of my own bathroom or the Wildwood boardwalk was enough for the gang.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Best spent $4

Yesterday I headed over to Philadelphia AIDS Thrift Shop just to explore and I found this....

A brand new Pampered Chef stoneware Bread Pan.

I have one which I bought at a Pampered Chef party at least 10 years ago and love it. It is my favorite pan for meatloaf and for sandwich breads. I use mine at least once a week so having a second is a good thing.

I just checked the Pampered Chef site and a new one from them is $19.50, so my find is a total good find.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Something in the water??

I have no idea what was going on with all the kids tonight - but it was not a fun day or night.

For the first time, I actually sent one of the kids home from Kids club because of his total refusal to listen to any of the adults. I'm sure I'll hear all sorts of grief tomorrow or later this week about it, but I will not take abuse like that from a 6 year old.

All the kids tonight were just wired - chatty, antsy, and hyper. We actually only finished 2 complete stations and part of the third. So much for 2 1/2 other stations.

Next week, I'm going to play the big heavy and inform the kids what they missed last week and how this behavior has to change for kids club to continue.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Knitter's Hunk goddess

After a day of continued frustration, the kids and I came home to find a package at the door. LB announced it was addressed to me. Yeah - I just love getting packages.

What wanders to find - a box from Kim in celebration of my second place entry to Knitter's Hunk 2008. Patrick Stewart is one of my absolute fav actors. I still watch reruns of Star Trek, Next Generation. Some I can even recite the script.

This is just wonderful - 4 skeins of yarn, note cards, a lamb, and two sets of stitch holders. I've already lost the lamb. MM decided its just too cute for mom to keep.

Angora boucle yarn - three skeins - in a soft tan color
Oh what to make with this, much thought and pattern exploration for the just the right project.

A luscious purple merino skein. Red is my favorite color, but this purple is just juicy.

Once again no clue right now what I'll make with it, but it will be lovely when just the right project is found.

Now I have to find out how she created the stitch markers. Each set with a drool worthy photo of Jean Luke.

Again, many thanks Kim.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Two schoolers

Officially yesterday LB started kindergarten and where we wanted him to go.

After issues with MM and our local public school, last year she started at a private Christian school. So far this was one of the hardest decisions for me. As a child of the public school, and descendant of two public school teachers and a school librarian, I never considered sending my children to private school.

I am happy with the school they go to now. The smaller classes and the genuine care from all the staff has become very important for me.

MM just has to adjust to little brother being at "her" school. Yesterday was fine, but he doesn't have the same requirements for uniforms that she does. I'm sure this will be discussed at some point soon.

LB's only required wear uniform on chapel day. And don't they just look too adorable.


Last weekend through today was the annual round of school uniform sewing. During this I usually finish at least one UFO, typically something started for me. The FO this year is a skirt I cut out with plans to wear it for Easter - well that didn't happen. I got just so far and thought I had lost a piece. Finally reading the instructions showed that there wasn't a piece missing. It is just a roll waist band skirt. So now something new for me.

The annual sewing weekend started when MM began kindergarten. I went shopping for uniforms and couldn't believe what even Target was charging for a basic jumper. I figured it was crazy to spend $20 plus dollars per piece when I knew I could make nice pieces in better fabrics. So with Nana's help over Labor Day weekend we started making uniforms. MM so loved wearing jumpers that were different what the other girls, the time was so worth while to me.

This year's annual uniform sewing resulted in two jumpers, a pair of corduroy pants. We also made "matching" pants for Kit, MM's new American Girl doll. Still to finish up are a second pair of pants for MM and a jumper for Kit. Can't have a girl unable to coordinate with her doll.

Saturday was Family Fun Day at church. Using a warped pillowcase and left over dried beans, I made 17 bean bags for the bean bag toss game. Guess this really counts on the recycle & reuse project. Too bad the camera had a hissy fit so I don't have pictures right now.

Knitting is moving forward on the most current knitting project.

I'd have to say over all - it's been a productive round.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Where did the time go...

I've now been a mom for 8 years.

This has been a wonderful and frustrating ride. She was a joy and easy baby. As a toddler her independence came in full force and we've been running since.

Here's MM two weekends ago at my niece's birthday party. She was just enthralled with the Boston terrier puppy, Maggie. That's the latest addtion to the animal farm she wants to have here at home.

So as one of the many getting to know you meme's includes - in 5 years, I'll be the mother of a teenager. Oh what will I have to blog about then.
So Happy 8th Birthday kiddo!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

So neglected

Oh crap - I started blogging as a participant in the last round of Favorite Color Swap. I just finished my first knitting project and have yet to show off. It's a shawl/scarf/wrap for me. Hey isn't the first project you make typically for yourself. Besides most of my recent other handwork has been for others so I'm due.

The yarn is from my first participatory round of Favorite Color Swap. What a treat to get cotton yarn in colors that I just adore. My partner was great, but at that point neither of us were blogging so it just got left to the side.

The piece is from three balls of Reynolds Cabana, two brick red and one tan. The design is the result of being a new knitter and not totally paying attention to where I was in the process. Instead of ripping out again, I just kept going and figured out my mistake. Thus the striping. There is no method to the stripes. Heck the first five inches were knit four times until I finally got to a point that I didn't have a hole, dropped stitch, or some other problem.

I now have my second project on needles. This will be a Christmas gift so I won't give away the lucky soul who will be getting it. But do figure to see more pics later.

This time I'm working on a new stitch, seed stitch. I've always loved the feel of seed stitch, but I'm also enjoying the process. Okay so I only have 14 rows done at this point, but I'll keep going.

This yarn is Rowan Yorkshire Tweed. I picked up 3 balls at the 1,000 Knitters day at Wool Gathering. They were in the odd lot basket on sale and just called out to me. Take us home, we'll be so much happier then here identified as an odd ball. So this lovely soft blue, an oatmeal, and taupe is my next project - another scarf, but still learning.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Okay so I've been neglecting blogging for the past couple weeks.

A week of the kids at Nana and Grandpa's, I had all sorts of plans. EveningPlans didn't make it due to being so tried after all the "stuff" at work.
This week DH has been in California so I've been running all around with the kids and work. Again just too tired at the end of the day to do much.

One bonus - I have enjoyed watching movies from Netflix and on DVR. So far I've enjoyed In the Land of Women, The Virgin Queen (part 1), Evening, and others I can't remember the others.

Tonight is Jane Austin Book Club - just because. Perhaps more later....

Friday, August 8, 2008

Happy Birthday to me

Not how I was planning to spend my birthday - but a day at home with MM healing from her tonsillectomy wasn't all bad.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Baby Elephant Walk

Our stopping point on the way home this time was for a day at the Pittsburgh Zoo. We picked a great day to go - it was Children's Hospital Baby Day. The kids had great fun with face painting, games, and seeing all the animals.

LB released his inner pirate while MM found a butterfly join her.

One of our first views came courtesy of the zebras....

and many other favorite animals.

And here's Papa Jackson...
It has been years since I've been to the zoo and so much has changed.
The only exhibit space that I still recognized were the bear caves.Kodiak bath time.

The biggest change is the aquarium. It isn't the grand diverse aquarium in Baltimore, but it was fun seeing the fish, sharks, jellyfish, and penguins.

The polar bears put on a great show for us.And one was ready and waiting for his Kodak moment.

The sea otters enjoyed a shrimp snack and then went for a swim.

Ever seen a hanging lobster claw - me neither, but it is a cool looking plant.

Turtle time...

This kangaroo thought he could blend in with the people and escape the enclosure, too bad for him the zoo keeper was paying closer attention.

Hornbill enjoying a grape snack.

It was a great day. Hopefully another trip to Pittsburgh will come again.

Wonders of science

Thursday turned too hot and humid for our planned trip to the zoo, so we headed into Fort Wayne for a day at Science Central.

The kids had a blast from our first steps in. MM especially liked the house - it was set on a steep angle so you couldn't walk on any one plane.

Mirrors gave each of us a different point of view.

LB found his own special place - a nook within the walk wall.

One of the big entertainments was the moon bounce. In a harness the kids got to experience the idea of walking on the moon. LB spent quiet time on line, twice at least, to bounce across the moon. Just another round to confirm his wonders with outer space and the planets.

What a cool dude!

MM was big enough to enjoy a bike trip about 90 feet in the air. Better fun was the big tube slide. Due to length and for added protection, the kids were covered except for head and hands. I love the coordination.

This is my favorite pic of the day, the pin table with my dad and LB's hands. Bummer was the photo of the kids hands didn't come out clearly.