Archive - January 2011

B is for…
Birthday Wrap-Up
About Today
Birthday Give-Away
Winter Expedition
A is for Assignments
Epiphany 2011
The Alphabet Project
New Beginnings

B is for…


My photography isn’t getting any better yet. Though this picture was taken on one of my camera’s manual settings, instead of automatic, so at least I’m learning. And today was an overcast day so the lighting was bad.

We had these bookshelves built in our music room over the summer. They are a cluttered, jumbled mess right now for two reasons. First, because I really need some good bookends that will hold up a big line of heavy books. And second, they are holding refugee knickknacks from two other bookshelves that got moved from the living room into our master bedroom. Once I get those two situations remedied, they’ll be neat and tidy.

But aren’t they nice anyway? (click on the picture to see it larger – it’s much better that way) The music room is the first room you can see when you enter our house, so I wanted something with a lot of impact. They are nice and deep – I showed the builder my ginormous Sonlight binder and told him I needed shelves deep enough to fit it. The shelves are also really tall – 8 feet, if I remember correctly. Which is particularly funny when you know I’m only 5 feet tall. And I can reach, what do you think – about another foot over my head? So that leaves a good 2 feet of shelves I can’t reach. Gonna have to get a taller stool. Or a library ladder.

If you have a “B” photo, leave me a comment in this post with a link to your picture. Flikr, Photobucket, another photosharing site or your own blog…whatever you’ve got. If you missed the last letter, just jump right in anyway!

Birthday Wrap-Up

We’ve been having a mild, snowless winter. But God is good and sent me snow for my birthday. Not enough to do anything but say, “Oh look, it’s snowing,” but snow nonetheless.

Phil did good by giving me an Andrew Lloyd Webber DVD collection that included the movie versions of “Cats”, “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” The children and I sat down after lunch and watched “Superstar”, which prompted a discussion about what happened to poor Judas after he killed himself.

Pumpkin Girl made me these thumbtacks. I love them particularly because she did them all by herself. She snuck down to my craftroom and found my craft glue, made herself a palette out of wax paper and quietly crafted in her room with her door closed.

Bip gave me a dime from his “Clifford Red Dog” bank. It was all he had.

My parents surprised me by remembering for a whole year that I had said I wanted a brown Betty teapot. Isn’t she cute?

As for my meeting – it was OK, I guess. I was in the back, bouncing and walking Pipsqueak and I couldn’t hear too well. When I did sit down, the people around me were taken in by his toothless smile and gooed and cooed back at him, so I was pretty distracted. Could have been worse.

All in all, it was a good day.

PS- Don’t forget, tomorrow (Jan 24th) is “B” in The Alphabet Project. Jump in anytime, participate as often as you are able!

About Today

What if you had a blog contest and no one entered? I’m laughing over this, actually! It’s a good thing that the free game was free for me, too.

So now Delta Dawn and I have one thing in common. When I was really little, and I mean really little, that was my favorite song. I used to think that 41 was terribly old. Now, not so much.

I try to have low expectations for my birthday. That way, I’m not too disappointed. Gee, could I be more of an Eeyore? Though a popped balloon and an empty hunny pot would look good in comparison with what I’ve got in store today.

Oh yeah, baby – today I get to sit through an hour of mandatory religious education parents meeting. With a baby. Booyah! We have to do this twice a year. I don’t know why. The first meeting of the year I can understand. Lots of new information, we’ve got to be volunteered to sit in on each of our children’s classes, we get leaned on to provide stuff for the silent auction fund raiser.

But the second meeting? I don’t know. Last year the meeting started with an announcement that the bishop still had not made a decision about changing the age for Confirmation. Then a show of hands as to how many of us had children in the Confirmation class. Nobody. So then we proceeded to discuss the moving of the Confirmation age. For thirty minutes.It was painful. I don’t know what was discussed for the next 30 minutes because at that point I was hugging my knees, rocking back and forth in the corner, humming “Delta Dawn”. At least in my head.

I could probably get out of today’s meeting by just dropping the kids off in the parking lot like usual – buh bye!- then driving away. I can avoid the RE coordinator person who is standing outside the building rounding up parents for the meeting. But I’m such a rule follower that I’ll park the car properly and drag little Pipsqueak to this meeting.

Do you think I’ll earn time out of Purgatory for this? Probably only if I stop complaining about it!

But it is my birthday and that’s a Good Thing! There’s a couple of presents sitting on the table and the children made me cards. Surely that outweighs one lousy meeting!

Birthday Give-Away

You all know my birthday is Wednesday, right? Well, in honor of my special day, I’m having a little bloggy give-away.

One lucky person will win a free, downloadable, FULL version of the computer game Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove.

How best to describe Dire Grove? First off, it is a hidden object game, like I Spy. You must find each object in a given list to unlock further clues to the mystery of the main story line. The story line itself is a little spooky. From the Dire Grove website : “In the fall of 2009, four graduate students traveled to a small township near Blackpool, England. They were never heard from again.” Your job is to figure out what happened to them.

I would say that Dire Grove is spooky rather than outright scary. The background music does add a level of tenseness, especially if you’re playing at night when everyone else is asleep. But I didn’t find anything gruesome, though I haven’t actually finished the whole game. Other games in the Mystery Case Files series, which I have finished, were fine. It has an ESRB rating of 10+.

Here’s the official Dire Grove website: Dire Grove. And here’s just one site which reviews the game: Dire Grove Review.


The winner will be given a coupon code and a special website to download Dire Grove. The coupon must be redeemed by February 1, 2011. The coupon code may only be used once, but the winner may pass it along to someone else they personally know who might enjoy the game. I just ask that you don’t hold a giveaway of your own.

To enter to win, leave me a comment on this post and tell me what your favorite computer game is. If you don’t have one, that’s OK, just tell me that. For more chances to win, subscribe to my blog feed, blog about my contest, or link to this post on your Facebook page. Leave me a separate comment for each thing you do. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator.

Contest will be open until January 19, 2011 at 11:31 PM (my birth date and time).


I learned from my friend Sandy’s blog that yesterday was National Delurking Day. Well, since I missed it, I declare this to be a Delurking Weekend! Leave me a comment over the weekend – just to say “hi”! I’ll borrow from Sandy and give you something to write. Tell me who you are, how you found my blog and what kind of chocolate you like.

I like all kinds of chocolate. From the humble Hershey bar, to this dreamy, creamy stuff I found in Norway. I don’t know it’s name, but it has a cow on it. Somewhere I might have the wrapper from the bar I ate lo those many years ago and when I find it I’ll figure out a way to get me a whole stash. I might have found it at the Norway Pavilion in Epcot, but I’m not sure. I also love hot chocolate, especially chocolate-raspberry flavor. I will seriously consider selling my first born son (especially when he’s ornery) for some good white chocolate. I’ll happily consume Godiva chocolates. Another favorite is Joseph Schmidt’s truffles. I was introduced to both the man and his chocolates when I was living and working in San Francisco. (Oh how sad. In looking for a link to him, I see Joseph Schmidt’s confections were purchased by Hershey and has now ceased production. )He’s a really nice man and his chocolates are were divine.

Ok, enough about me and my love of chocolate – now tell me about you.

Winter Expedition

We’re finally getting back to school after a l-o-n-g winter break. I meant to get restarted last Monday, but Certain People Who Won’t Be Named went on a snowshoeing expedition. OK – it was Boo.

He and other members of his Boy Scout troop headed out in the wee hours of Monday morning and drove 2 hours to the trail head. Then they loaded up their sleds with all the food and supplies they’d need for the next few days, donned their snowshoes and headed out.

They trekked for 6 miles and ascended an additional 1,000 feet plus in elevation. They stopped at a hut just shy of the Continental Divide. Some of the boys built a snow cave to sleep in – in the negative 20 degree overnight temps!

The next day they went sledding. Somebody built a ramp out of snow, all the better to catch some serious air. Or so I’m told.

Here’s Boo going airborne –

And his buddy, who crashed.

A splendid time was had by all.

It was a tough trip – for a mom staying home. Boo had never been snowshoeing and doesn’t have any winter sports experience beyond sledding. He had new hiking boots, which he wore constantly for 3 days to break in, but I worried about his feet. I made him swear that if his feet began to hurt that he would tell an adult and ask for help with moleskin. Blisters would ruin his trip and there was no way to get back to the car at the end except on his own two feet. No sitting out or changing to sneakers. And then there was his backpack. He took all the necessary supplies and nothing more, but that pack weighed 15 pounds.

He did fine, of course.

He needed a little help at the very end with his pack and his feet were fine. At the end of three days he returned flush faced and worn out. That evening he was the most subdued that I’ve ever seen him, except that time we took him to Disneyland and he fell asleep before dinner and didn’t wake up until the next morning.

He had a grand time.

A is for Assignments

Here’s my first Alphabet Project photo – A is for Assignments.

It’s not that good of a picture. These are my children’s assignment baskets. Once upon a time they could hand me a completed assignment and I’d correct it and return it to them right away. With the arrival of Pipsqueak and Bip’s starting kindergarten, I just can’t get to correcting assignments very quickly. So I put two baskets in our bookshelves to hold all the math sheets and workbooks until I can get to them. It is so much better than having them sit on the kitchen table, getting moved from place to place, getting mixed in with the mail.

If you’d like to play along with my Alphabet Project, post your A picture to your blog, or Flikr, Photoshop or other photosharing site and post the link in my comments for today. You can write as little or as much as you’d like about it. Oh yeah, putting a link in my comments will most likely send it into my moderation queue, so don’t worry if you don’t see it right away. I’ll find it and approve it.

PS. We had a bit of an unusual week last week, with snowshoeing and moving furniture and getting ready for guests, so I wasn’t able to blog at all. But it was all worth telling you about, so I’ll try to make up for it this week.

Epiphany 2011

Someone recently found my blog through a search for “is it too late for epiphany blessing”. The answer is no! Epiphany is the 12th day of Christmas, so it is always January 6th. We may celebrate it in church on the closest Sunday, but I think you can bless your home on either day. Kind of like how Washington’s birthday is February 22, but we observe it on the third Monday of February. You can eat your cherry pie either day. You do make cherry pie for Washington’s birthday, don’t you? That reminds me of a funny story from my childhood. Remind me to tell you sometime when I’m not typing with one hand.

Anyway, here is the link to the Epiphany blessing we use. Just change the last number to reflect the correct year. But you knew that, right?

Epiphany House Blessing

The Alphabet Project

Here’s my plan. Every two weeks for the rest of the year I will take one picture that represents a pre-scheduled letter of the alphabet. I’ll post the pictures here on my blog.

If you’d like to join me, I’m posting the schedule. My main objective is just to have fun with this. A side point is that I’d like to improve my photography skills, which up until now are “point, shoot, and Photoshop.” Whether I’ll actually get better remains to be seen since I don’t have time to take an actual photography class. I’m trying to find good resources on the internet, but Pipsqueak is pretty attached to me. Literally, sometimes. Makes it hard to research.

Ok, so here’s my schedule.

Jan 10 A
Jan 24 B
Feb 7 C
Feb 21 D
Mar 7 E
Mar 21 F
Apr 4 G
Apr 18 H
May 2 I
May 16 J
May 30 K
Jun 13 L
Jun 27 M
Jul 5 N
Jul 18 O
Aug 1 P
Aug 15 Q
Aug 29 R
Sep 12 S
Sep 26 T
Oct 10 U
Oct 24 V
Nov 7 W
Nov 21 X
Dec 5 Y
Dec 19 Z

Those are the dates I’ll post my pictures. You post yours, too. Or upload to Flikr or Photobucket. Then put the link in my comments. It’ll be more fun if several people participate, so don’t let me down!

New Beginnings

I love the New Year. I love a blank journal and new calendar. I love the idea of a fresh start. So many opportunities lie ahead. So much possibility.

I started to write a totally different post yesterday, but sometimes you start writing and just end up with something else. I usually just go with it.

I meant to tell you that we’d had a very difficult December, behavior-wise, so this New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day were delightful. We built Legos, made Shrinky Dinks, watched Star Trek TNG and ate cherry-almond eggnog bread. We ate our traditional New Year’s Day leftovers for dinner (I just made that up) and watched the Rose Parade. Not at the same time, of course. The Rose Parade has been a part of my New Year’s Days ever since I can remember. We’d watch it live and without interruption on KTLA. Channel 5, if I remember correctly. Now we watch it on HGTV, live, no commercials. Its the only way to go.

I’ve got a couple of changes in mind for this year. We’re going to move some furniture around and do a little more decorating. We’ve got to get our deck fixed and the house painted, too. Personally, I’d like to get back to blogging more. And look, I’ve already been at it two days in a row! And I’d like to learn to take better pictures.

A couple of years ago in the knitting blog world, there was a project called the ABC Along. The point was to work your way through the alphabet in pictures. Every two weeks a different letter was assigned and you took a picture to correspond with that letter. I’ve poked around and it doesn’t look like they are doing it this year. I don’t want to just steal the name ABC Along, but I’m stealing, er, borrowing the idea. Maybe I’ll come up with a different name. But in any case, I’ll be posting my pictures to my blog. So I’ll be working on my photography AND posting regularly. Yay, me!

If you’d like to join me in photographing the alphabet, please do! I’m going to post a schedule, mostly to keep myself on track, but it’ll be a guideline for anyone who wants to play along. If I get enough interest, I’ll think up a new name for the alphabet project (ooo, that’s a good name!) and make a little button.

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