Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Whatcha Readin' Wednesday

Well, I've been on a fantasy kick lately. I just finished reading the third volume of Jane Lindskold's "Breaking the Wall" series. These are about "the Land Born of Smoke and Sacrifice"; an alternative world that appeared when an ancient Chinese emperor burned many books of lore and executed those who refused to turn over their books. The first volume in the set, Thirteen Orphans, relates the current experiences of the descendants of thirteen residents of "The Lands" who are exiled back into this world after an attempted coup. The focal character, Brenda Morris, doesn't even know she has a Chinese heritage until some extremely strange things happen. The next book, Nine Gates, describes an attempt of the "orphans" to get back into "The Lands". The one I just finished, Five Odd Honors, continues the story. The books are all full of Chinese myth and magic, including a creative take on the mythical uses of mah jongg sets. I enjoyed them a lot, and am hoping for at leaset one more book to tie up a number of loose ends

I am also working my way through a teen fantasy series by Michael Scott The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. I saw a display of them -- the fourth volume was just released -- at Barnes and Noble, and it caught my attention because the charater is mentioned in the Harry Potter books, which I loved. As it turned out, a friend of Kelson's was anxiously awaiting book four, and she was able to lend me the earlier volumes. I've finished book one, The Alchemyst, and have started book two, The Magician. Not a bad read for teen fiction, but not great literature either.

In the way of non-fiction, I am inhaling (no other word will do) Sweater Quest by Adrienne Martini. The subtitle is "My year of knitting dangerously." I LOVE it. If you are a knitter, know a knitter, or -- like me -- wish you were a knitter, GET THIS BOOK. I suspect that if he could get past the title even my husband would enjoy it. It's informative, entertaining, and a glimpse into the world of knitting in the 21st century. Buy a lot of copies and give them to your knitting friends for birthdays and Christmas. You will get lots of thank you notes!

Next up: A biography of Susan Boyle. We shall see.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Well, I said I had a blog post idea, but it seems to have deserted me, at least for now. I was thinking about just doing a Daybook and pretending that was what I meant, but you all would have known...

Anyway, I do have my power supply back. As it turns out, I could have used any of the other power supplies in the house; it's just that they can't use mine. Everything is the same brand -- Dell -- but the connector for my machine is octagonal and won't fit into the round holes on their laptops, but the round plugs from their machines fit mine just fine. But I'm still grateful to my son-in-law's cousin who brought my own cable back. Thanks, Liz!

I had intended to make this longer, but Roger is going around closing the blinds, and the ice cream in my bowl is all gone. I think that means it's bedtime. Have a good night, and I'll see you soon.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I have a blog post idea. I have a computer. I have a power supply. Unfortunately only two of them are in the same place -- I left the power supply at Arwen's.
See you when I get it back!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Let's Play Poetry!

Enbretheliel at Shredded Cheddar is doing a poetry meme; she gives you a word and a question, and out of this you produce a poem. (She's nice about it, and lets you give her the same!) For more details follow the link. Here is my entry.

Word: reflection
Question: How are cats helpful?

We are the proud possessors of a cat,
Or rather, really, he possesses us.
We put out food and water. Lucas deigns
To notice once a day, or maybe twice,
And never gives a nod of thanks, or purrs,
Or lets himself be cuddled on a lap.
He is the monarch of his home and life
Or so he thinks -- though we could prove him wrong
By never giving him the things he needs.
"Let's toss him out! See how he likes it then!"

Sometimes I think I act that way with God --
"I run my life; I'm sure You're there, but still
MY work gives all I need, or even want!"
I know this to be false, yet still I live
As though I were the monarch of my life,
Until I am stopped short by what I see:
My selfish life reflected in a cat.

How are cats helpful? Well, ours makes me see
I act toward God as Lucas does toward me.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Seven Quick Takes Friday - Graduation Edition - 6/11/10

Seven Quick Takes are hosted at Conversion Diary.

1) Kelson is a HS graduate! His commencement was short, sweet, and seemly -- the most riotous moment was when all the grads threw their caps into the air -- but it is kept that way by teachers and administrators galore, and a pat-down of all the grads before they process in. Arwen's graduation was disrupted by smoke bombs, and Branwen's by beach balls (brought in and then inflated) so I see the necessity but deplore the cultural attitude that makes it so.

2) Of course, the thing I remember most about my graduation (In 1969! I'm OLD!) is the two guys on either side of me playing cards across me during the speeches. I remember the name of one of the school board members who spoke, but that is only because he was the step-father of one of my classmates, and step-fathers in those days were rare (and somewhat scandalous) creatures. Now, probably half the graduating class has one. Sigh.

3) This includes our "spare kid', who I haven't mentioned here before - and won't ever again - and whom I will refer to only as X. X has lived with us for much of the school year. He and Kelson have been friends since middle school, and one day last fall I noticed that Kelson offered X the chance to take a shower at our house. A little delicate prying disclosed that X's mom and stepfather (!) were divorcing, and for reasons that I still don't understand after a talk with his mom, X had been thrown out of his home and was living on the streets. After a little discussion and the aforesaid chat with X's mom we offered him a bed at our house. So two members of our household graduated on Tuesday. Congratulations, X! You did it!

4) This is the first graduation we've had with no younger kids still in school. So it's a little disorienting to me to see the school buses still running, and find the mall still empty on a Wednesday afternoon. Isn't it summer?? School's out! But for non-seniors there's still a week and a half to go.

5) Tomorrow will be a massive day of cooking and organizing, because the graduation Open House is Sunday afternoon. Since this is the sixth one I've done, I have lots of supplies and lots of experience, and since Kelson didn't care about the menu, I chose things that are easy for me: queso and chips and soft taco fixings. Tirienne (who is studying cake decoration at culinary school) offered to make the cake, but discovered she has a conflicting commitment. But she has made decorations that I can just place on a base of white frosting, so I don't mind. I LOVE having talented children!

6) Of course, the other side of getting the last child graduated is the upcoming empty nest. I know I will love no longer being tied to the school calendar. No more conflicts between Right to Life meetings and band concerts, or choir practice and Quiz Bowl meets. And no restriction on when we have to come home from visiting grandchildren. But also no new-to-me music blaring in the dining room (who would have thought I'd like Romeo and Juliet by The Killers!!) and no late night conversations about faith and morality. As with any new stage of life, I guess I will just have to get used to it.

7) And we still have a couple of college graduations to look forward to. And grandchildren graduating from kindergarten. And middle school. And High School. And college! But for those I won't have to do the Open Houses, just show up with a card and a kiss and a gift or two. I think I'm going to like this new stage of dealing with graduation. Bring it on!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Daybook, 6/7/10


Actually, by the time I got to this, it was a Nightbook....

Outside my is dark. Actually, the blinds are shut. When I started working on this post it was still light outside, but I spent a LOT of time looking for a picture for the end -- and wound up with XKCD again.

I am thinking... that my "baby!" will be a high school graduate in less than 24 hours. Where did the time go?

I am thankful for...the fact that Brandon is home for his brother's graduation. We haven't seen him since Christmas (except on video chat) and he adds a different flavor to life around here.

From the kitchen... meatloafies (baked in muffin cups), rice, and green beans. Not fancy, but it tasted good.

I'm am wearing... a blue fleece bathrobe and fuzzy slippers. By our standards it's LATE!

I am creating... a wedding gift for our niece. Shhhh. It's a secret!

I am going... to bed just as soon as I finish this post. Yawn.

I am reading... Wyrms by Orson Scott Card. It's an early one of his, and I am either going to love it almost as much as Enchantment or Ender's Game or dislike it intensely. Right now I'm back-and-forth.

I am hoping...that when I finally get to bed, I will fall asleep in a hurry. I have a lot to do tomorrow.

I am hearing... the quiet noise of my computer's fan. Everyone else is asleep, including the dog and the cat.

Around the house... everything has been tidied up for the evening -- always assuming that Brandon and Kelson stay asleep. Otherwise all bets are off.

One of my favorite things... is my Franklin Planner. I just got a year's worth of new pages. My inner control-and-planning freak likes this.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Graduation, followed by "regular routine", followed by Kelson's graduation Open House on Sunday afternoon. (Cooking all day Saturday.)

Words I'm pondering : "Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." No wonder I'm broke!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing... Our household has people in all three groups...

Friday, June 04, 2010

Seven Quick Takes -- About my week

Seven Quick Takes is hosted by Jen.

This has been a different sort of week for me, so each take is going to be related to that theme.

1) We had our Memorial Day cookout on Sunday, since some of the kids who were in town needed to leave mid-day Monday. One thing that didn't move to the new house with us was our old and battered picnic tables, which have not yet been replaced. I miss them. It's easier to eat in the dining room, but ribs just taste better outdoors. SIgh.

2) Monday after everybody left we had a new experience. We could stay up as late as we wanted, because nobody had to go to school the next day. (The last day for seniors, including Kelson, was last Friday.) The last time that happened, Arwen was four, Branwen was a toddler, and Miriel was a baby. Not that we DID stay up late, you understand, but we could have.

3) Tuesday morning I woke up and "called in sick" to my much-loved Bible study because my right shoulder hurt so badly. It hurt to try to move, and although I could get my arm above waist height, I had to lift it with my left hand. It felt like my shoulder was dislocated, and I couldn't get it back in. (I've never actually been diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder, but I have very loose joints -- probably BJHS -- and have been able to pop my shoulder in and out at will for as long as I can remember.) No matter how much I twisted and turned and stretched (and moaned and groaned and whined...) the shoulder still hurt. A lot. So I resorted to the "Mike prescription."

Mike is a Physician's Assistant we know, and his recommendation for anything musculo-skeletal (and not obviously broken/bleeding/urgent ) is "three ibuprofen three times a day for three days." And you know what -- it worked. Wednesday was better than Tuesday, Thursday better than Wednesday, and several times today I noticed myself doing things that would have been impossible on Tuesday. But I certainly hope this whatever-it-was doesn't happen again.

4) Wednesday, sore shoulder or no sore shoulder, I participated in PAC interviews. As I've mentioned before, I'm very involved with our local Right to Life chapter. One of the things we do in election years is interview candidates for various local offices and evaluate their credibility and electablity as candidates. (Their pro-life credentials are evaluated by their answers to a questionnaire mailed out by the state PAC.) By law only the state PAC can endorse candidates, but we can do interviews locally and recommend for or against endorsement. We interviewed five candidates for four different offices, and on Monday I get to drive to another town and help interview five more. I'm an active participant in the political process!

5) Also on Wednesday, we got a call that Miriel had been offered the job she was hoping for. It's a terrific fit for her interests and abilities, and she will love it. Unfortunately she'll be almost 600 miles away, but with the internet she'll be much more in contact than I was when I went 75 miles from home for college. "It's a new world, Golde." (Name that quotation.)

6) On Thursday (assisted by Roger for the heavy lifting), I did MAJOR grocery shopping. In our area it's the custom for HS graduates to have open house type parties, and Kelson's is on the 13th. (This date was arrived at by checking his Google calendar and eliminating the dates on which his friends had already scheduled parties. And most of the invitations went out on Facebook. See quote above.) We're expecting probably 100 people, and although not all of them will eat much -- since they will be jumping from open house to open house -- that's still a lot of food. The non-perishable ingredients are all stowed away -- I'll pick up the perishables next Thursday -- and after graduation on Tuesday the preparations will begin. If you're in the area, come on over on the 13th between 3 and 7!

7) On Friday I blogged. That is all.