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Showing posts from October, 2008

a plethora of useless knowledge

As I celebrate another year of my life I look at all I have learned in 28 years.
28 years old!
When did that happen?
Holy cats!
I swear I was 12 like yesterday!

Anyway, I thought I would share some of the things that I have learned over the past 28 years:

Sometimes the solitude of a graveyard is not such a scary thingBumblebees can turn purple in that fat, furry yellow part of their body; depending on what type of nectar they drinkHolding a newborn child can really make you wonder at your own mortalityCrocuses are an amazing achievement of nature every springMagnetic poetry is like magic--words and sentences appears out of thin airReading Jack Handy-isms can make almost any day betterJohn Lennon was a visionaryThe movie Gone with the Wind is long, but it is an even longer bookJon Stewart is smartThe generational creation of/slanging down of words makes me hopeful that generations from now will look back at us and think of us as Shakespeares in our own rightReading the Bible in chronolo…

on returning home or day 5 of a PA roadtrip

Sunday, the day after the wedding, we had a breakfast brunch at Laura & Matt’s house with everyone, then said our goodbyes to B1’s family: her parents, brother and his girlfriend, and aunt, uncle and cousin. After they’d left we farmers headed back to B2’s parents’ house for damage control: unloading and reloading the dishwasher, washing dishes, scrubbing counters and stove top, putting tables and chairs back into storage, repacking food items. When our cleaning was done we all sat down for another feast—a lunch of wedding leftovers.

Later that day we managed to take in a quick tour of Hershey World and had naps all around before B2’s parents came over for dinner. We all crammed into the living room and played Apples to Apples until B2’s parents and CJ & Amos had to leave. It was hard to say goodbye to everyone. B2’s parents are so wonderful. I had told them that weekend that normally after spending a day with anyone else’s family I am ready to go home, but being with them was…

a wedding observed or Day 4 of a PA roadtrip

Saturday was one of those busy yet lovely days. We woke up early and the day didn’t end until late. We headed over to B2’s parents’ house and joined in with CJ, preparing the food for dinner, doing as much as we could before the wedding. And then in what seemed like 5 minutes we were all bustling around the house; getting ironed, dressed, tidied up, make-up’d. And then the motley crew that we had been was transformed into a group of handsomely made-up adults. There was something pleasant about being snuggly tucked away in a lovely house in Pennsylvania, preparing for such a joyous occasion; sitting on the toilet while Amos did my hair, the men ironed shirts, and B2’s mom quickly washing her hair.

And then, in what seemed like ten minutes later, we were gathered outside the Hall of Philosophy, where B1 & B2 were to be married. B1’s Dad and brother Jesse were setting up, as they were to be providing the music for the ceremony. The rest of us were talking in small groups, excitedly a…

more chillin' or Day 3 of a PA roadtrip

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Friday a.m. B1, B2, TSO and I headed back over to B2's 'rents to munch on bfast and also await Amos & CJ's arrival. I was soooo excited. It would be the first time all 6 of us were together since New Years' Eve '06.
Later that afternoon after they had arrived we headed over to Mt. Gretna to see the site of the wedding (pictured right). Our arrival there in Mt. Gretna found me gapping in wonder. Not only were the trees all around wearing their fall vestments, but the little village surrounding the Hall of Philosophy (where B1 & B2 were to be married) was absolutely amazing.

Doing some digging I found that Mt. Gretna was originally founded as a Chautauqua settlement. (Cool old photos here). The old summer cottages and inns are now lived in year round; tucked and nestled-in, snuggly in this enclave amongst the trees. We wandered around the houses, along car-less roads and walking paths, popping out of the little cluster of houses, to find ourselves back onto…

chillin' like villains or Day 2 of a PA roadtrip

Thursday morning could not get going fast enough for me. While I was enjoying being with TSO's super wonderful family I couldn't wait until our afternoon rendezvous with B1&B2.

And finally the time came to regroup cluttered things, zip said items back into bags, stuff bags into my car and get underway again. We were temporarily delayed at the H-dale post office--TSO's present for B1&B2 was broken during it's shipping from WA to PA--while the Postmaster tried to figure out how to pay TSO for damaged goods.

In a flash we were back on the road again, heading 2.5 hours East to the Hershey, PA area. OMG! The area of PA between H-dale (where TSO is from) and Hershey is an absolutely beautiful piece of world that God himself must have laid down. Living in MI for the past three years and missing the mountains of MA, I had forgotten the gloriousness that is fall in the mountains; a vista ablaze with colors. It sounds so cliche, but how else can you explain the ferocious…

an infinite playlist all ours or Day 1 of a PA roadtrip

Written on Wednesday 10/15

Days like today remind of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

TSO arrived last night, flying in from Lopez Island, WA. After a late dinner and a movie we went to bed; me like a kid trying to sleep the night before going to Disney World. I never sleep well the night before I set off on a road trip. I am always too excited. So, it was a very sleepy me that climbed out of bed this morning at 4:30am to get ready. And a still sleepy me who climbed behind the wheel as TSO and I left for Pennsylvania at 5:30am.

Today was a glorious day to take in the fall colors as TSO and I headed southeast from MI, through Ohio into Pennsylvania. It was also one of those especially contemplative days for me as I thought back to a year ago today when Dad died, especially as that day too marked a long and weary roadtrip home to Michigan to begin all the drudgery of planning a funeral.

We traveled from flat Michigan, beginning with more chill music—to introduce we weary wanderers…

fun videos to share!

Can someone please comment to me and tell me how I can embed the videos and not just put up the links...it never lets me do it!

Anyway, some of my favorite videos

Flight of the Chonchords: "Business Time"

Flight of the Chonchords: "Albi the Racist Dragon"

And for you politicos:

VOTE!

Ron Howard's Call to Action -- this was great

"I must be traveling on now"

A little Skynard in preparation for a road trippin'.

I mentioned my vacation in the previous post. I thought that I should then mention my vacation. A bit.
TSO is leaving his current job in WA State (for good, for now) and flying to Detroit tomorrow.
We are roadtripping to his 'rents house in a small town in rural PA for a day or so before then heading to meet up with our friends B1&B2 and Amos &CJ.
B1&B2 are getting married. MARRIED!?!?! Jeezy creezy! I can remember when they first started dating! *Ugh* I feel old.
That in a nutshell-- insert voice in my head shouting "This is me in a nutshell: "Help! I'm in a nutshell! How did I get into this nutshell?" in a decidely Austin Powers-ish voice-- is where I will be this weekend.

digeridoos and you

Met for the second time with my little cooking friends last night. We met to learn about Australia and make Australian Anzac (Australian & New Zealand Army Corps) Cookies. Anzac Day in Australia sounds sneakily like Memorial Day in the U.S., anyway, that is neither here nor there. A smaller group last night, maybe due in part to a last minute date change of the event. We had about 9 kids last time and only 4 last night; 2 boys (the Einstein Bros), 2 girls.

As always I began the class by having the kids show me where Australia is on a huge map. Then I asked the kids to throw out anything they knew about Australia, which led us to comments about animals like kangaroos and koalas and a riveting discussion on marsupials. (Luckily I had done some research on these pre-class as I had a sneaky feeling they would come up). I passed around pics of said animals and also of Aboriginals and other things Australian. I also told the kids a little bit about digeridoos while we listened to some di…

mummified barbies and writing greek scrolls

A couple weeks ago my little friends (1st-5th grades) and I met to learn about Ancient Egypt. After identifying Egypt on the map and talking about Ancient Egypt: "mummies, pyramids, sphynx's, oh my!" we began the rather messy task of making mummies. Making mummies out of $1 store Barbies--said Barbies which caused me to look like a total creep-o with some kind of fetish when I went into the store and bought 19 of them. (You can never have enough cheap Barbies when you work with children).

I made a flour and water paste for the kids and after passing out paste, barbies, and piles of old t-shirts-turned-shredded-strips-of-fabric, we began. As the kids wrapped their barbies from head to toe I explained the FASCINATING steps in which bodies were mummified. See here (this is a great resource!)

The kids loved the gross details of it; brains being ripped out of noses with long, sharp hooks and the like. Ancient Egypt is a topic that I have never found boring. And it seemed too th…

physicians say...

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Just had to share this because it's fun.

sounds of silence

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"To improve the golden moment of opportunity, and catch the good that is within our reach, is the great art of life. Many wants are suffered, which might once have been supplied; and much time is lost in regretting the time which had been lost before." ~ Samuel Johnson

The last weekend of September I went on the Annual Hiking Retreat with Churchy Church (my home church), to act as cook and general kitchen-bitch for the weekend. I was prepared for a simple menu--

Saturday breakfast: Bacon, red pepper & onion quiches, bagels and muffins, cereal
Saturday lunch: Sandwich bar with soups: Chicken tortilla and Chicken & wild grain rice (these were a la Campbells), salad, raw veggies
Saturday dinner: Beef and Chicken Kabobs, Veggie Kabobs, pitas, raw veggies, saffron rice
Sunday breakfast: Blueberry pancakes, sausage, bagels and muffins, cereal

--and hoping for some peace of mind and some time to reflect on all that has unfolded in the last year. It is almost comical to think of h…

the top ten contenders

In spirit of Banned Books Week 2008, thought I would post this, which can be found here:

The 10 most challenged books of 2007 reflect a range of themes:
And Tango Makes Three, (the only picture book on the list!!) by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence
Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually Explicit and Offensive Language
The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman
Reasons: Religious Viewpoint
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
Reasons: Racism
The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,
TTYL, by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
Reasons: Sexually Explicit
It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit
The Perks of …