Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mrs. Whatsit

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For her Language Arts class, Pippi had to make a 3-D model of one of the characters in A Wrinkle in Time. She chose Mrs. Whatsit. And here she is in all her multi-layered glory. We used black balloons for the black rubber boots. A felt hat was a little tough to make, the grey hair though was pretty simple.

Tuesday's Proverb

You simple ones, gain resource, you fools, gain sense. (Proverbs 8:5)

Saturday, April 26, 2008


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Let's just say, we like our books in this house.

Learning to Knit

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It's good when Grandmas can teach you stuff. My grandma tried to teach me how to knit. She was not successful. It looks like this lesson was more fruitful!

The Great Shelving Adventure - Fini

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Over at A Dram of Scotch, a Kayak and a Table Saw, my Dad has been blogging about the Great Shelving Adventure. It all started when my son decided what he wanted for Christmas was wood and nails so he could make himself some shelves. I decided the better option was to ask Grampy to help make the shelves. Grampy (not surprisingly) did most of the work. But Harry helped.

And today the shelves were installed. And then we had the job of putting Harry's things in order (a lot of these things have spent the past month or so in boxes). His room is now cleaner than it's been in a very long time. I'm just hoping it stays that way through the First Communion party next week.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Poetry Friday - of Baseball and Patriots

Kind of a mixed bag on my mind this April day, we were discussing Patriot's Day last night at dinner, so that brought to mind The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. And then we're full into baseball season now - so I thought of Casey at the Bat. But then I remembered a sequel to Casey at the Bat that I used to like.

So here's an April hodge-podge of Poetry.

The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."

Read the rest of the poem here.

Casey at the Bat
by Ernest Lawrence Thayer
(last verse)

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville –mighty Casey has struck out.

Read the beginning of the poem here.

Casey's Revenge
by Grantland Rice
(last verse)

Oh, somewhere in this favored land dark clouds may hide the sun.
And somewhere bands no longer play and children have no fun;
And somewhere over blighted lives there hangs a heavy pall;
But Mudville hearts are happy now -- for Casey hit the ball!

Read the beginning of the poem here.

And the Poetry Friday Round-up is being hosted by Tricia over at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

As an aside, my brother, at his blog, Full Immersion, has decided to do his own Friday thing - Friday's Foaming Rant (and this week he even includes a poem in it.)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

April Flowers

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The first thing Pippi noticed in this collage of pictures was that I cut off Mary's head. I'm truly sorry, but I was trying to show what was missing in front of her. My tulips. The leaves are there. The stems are there. The beautiful flowers I had there last year - gone. And why is that. The squirrels are hungry. And they shouldn't be. They eat all the bird seed. Darn squirrels.

Aside from that - here are some of my early spring flowers - Forget Me Not, Bleeding Heart, Primrose, Candy Tuft and I don't remember what the pink flower next to the primrose is. I think it's soapwort. (Am I right, Mom?)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tuesday's Proverb

On the top of the heights along the road, at the crossroads she takes her stand; By the gates at the approaches of the city, in the entryways she cries aloud: "To you, O men, I call; my appeal is to the children of men. (Proverbs 8:2-4)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Matter of Habit

While watching some of the Pope's visit yesterday, Pippi noticed that one of the nuns being introduced to the Pope wore a white habit.

"Why is she wearing white?"

"That's her habit."

"I thought nuns wore black" (we don't encounter too many nuns in our parish, one doesn't wear a habit at all, another does wear darker colors and a veil; not a full habit though)

"Not all," I explained, "different orders have different kinds of habits; different colors. There are a lot of different orders to choose from if you want to be a nun. Some don't wear habits at all." Then I went on to tell her that I've read that the orders that seem to be attracting the most new members are the ones who have habits.

Pippi saw the sense in that. "If I were going to be a nun, I'd want to wear a habit," she said.

"So people would know you were a nun?" I asked.

"That, and because if I were dressed like that it would remind me that I'm supposed to be worshiping God and praying."

Interesting observation.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The New Book Meme

I've been tagged for a new and improved book meme by PJ Hoover over at Roots in Myth. This one requires you to use your own book or manuscript.

Here are the rules:
1. Choose anyone of YOUR OWN manuscripts. It can be a picture book, MG novel, an adult novel... It makes no difference.
2. Turn to page 30 of your novel or page 3 if it is a PB
3. Find the 5th sentence.
4. Post the next 5 sentences of text.
5. Then tag 5 writer friends to do the same.
6. See if you can visit Your Tagged Friends and the Person who Tagged You to read their short excepts.

PJ was lucky enough to have the ARC of her new book The Emerald Tablet by her side, so she used that. I will use my work in progress - a young adult novel called Just Meg.

Page 30, 5th Sentence:
“Have a good evening.”

Next 5 Sentences:
And he was gone.
“Are all your dates this interesting?” Jim asked me.
I smiled, but shrugged. “Don’t know. This was the first. Remember.”

Now - as for the tagging writers rule. Here's the thing - most of the writers I would tag were already tagged by PJ. So, I need to get creative. And if I don't get to 5 - oh, well.

I tag:
and Susan

Have fun with it!

It's Baseball Time Again

I was never much of a sports fan while growing up. My brothers played various sports - mainly football, and watched various sports - mainly football - and I simply endured it all. Now I have a sports minded son. He plays a sport a season (that's being restrained, some kids play more than one sport a season). Basketball just ended, hockey sign-ups are coming up, we're still waiting for the rec department's notice about tennis - but baseball is here and now.

Now that Harry is eight - he's in the "Senior Ponies" - a division exclusively for eight year olds. It's a transition year - from the 'everybody gets to hit a single' and 'the whole line-up gets to hit every inning' mentality - to real rules.

So this year they have outs - and they count (meaning three outs and and that half of the inning is over - as opposed to a kid could get tagged out at base - but the whole line up still went up to bat anyway); they have strikes and balls - and an umpire. They don't keep score. Not officially, anyway. The kids know.

But the biggest change this year is that the kids are pitching.

This meant that at the first game, a couple of weeks ago, there were a lot of walks. A Lot. (The other adapted rule is that if the bases are loaded it takes 8 balls to walk a kid). But the kids are getting the hang of it (though I don't think any one has pitched more than one inning yet) and there are strikes and hits and it's beginning to look like real ball game (a three inning ball game - but a ball game none the less)

And the excitement today was that Harry got his chance to pitch. He pitched in the third inning. He walked a kid or two (but not too bad), a couple of kids got hits off him - but he also threw some great pitches - right over the plate, that the batter either didn't swing at - or missed. He struck them out. (to be fair, he struck out when he was up at bat too)

It was a fun game - and if I'd known he was going to be pitching I would have brought my camera.

Later at home he convinced me to go to the park with him and pitch to him so he could practice hitting. We had a plastic light-weight baseball we played with - which was good - when he hit it and it smacked me right in the lower lip.

I am so not a sports person. And I have the fat lip to prove it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Poetry Friday - Late Edition

Huh - it's been pointed out to me that it is Friday and I haven't posted poetry. I can't let that happen.

In honor of my Mom posting her first collage of flower pictures, here is a poem for today.

The Flowers
Robert Louis Stevenson

All the names I know from nurse:
Gardener's garters, Shepherd's purse,
Bachelor's buttons, Lady's smock,
And the Lady Hollyhock.

Fairy places, fairy things,
Fairy woods where the wild bee wings,
Tiny trees for tiny dames--
These must all be fairy names!

Tiny woods below whose boughs
Shady fairies weave a house;
Tiny tree-tops, rose or thyme,
Where the braver fairies climb!

Fair are grown-up people's trees,
But the fairest woods are these;
Where, if I were not so tall,
I should live for good and all.

The Poetry Friday round up is at The Well-Read Child.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What Will the Teacher Say to This?

Harry came home today, went to the piano and played some music. It wasn't any music I recognized, but it was very pretty. When he was done, he came to me and said "Did you hear what I just played? I composed that during school."

"It's very pretty," I told him, "but what were you supposed to be doing in school when you were composing music?"

"I was supposed to be doing a picture prompt [writing a story based on a picture]. I couldn't think of anything. So I just wrote the music down."

That should provoke an interesting comment from his teacher.

I can't wait.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tuesday's Proverb

Does not Wisdom call, and Understanding raise her voice? (Proverbs 8:1)

Spelling Words

Harry gets a say in the spelling words his teacher assigns him. He is in his own spelling group, all by himself, and the words are usually surrounding a theme - either a vowel sound or a consonant grouping or maybe a holiday - like St. Patrick's day. The teacher picks most of the words; but he does get to help choose some of the ones on the list.

Last week he asked the teacher to help him remember a certain word. She wasn't sure what word he was looking for and couldn't help him. A while later he went back to her and told her the word. She quite reasonably asked him why he was telling her this word. "Do you want that as one of your focus words?" she asked. He nodded (he later told me that after he did that he wondered 'what have I done?')

So his spelling words this week are a series of "ology" words. And what word started all this? What word did my second grader decide he wanted for a spelling word?

You guessed it (no, you really didn't)

Paleoanthropology (of course)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Better a Day Late, than a Dollar Short

Happy Birthday, Kris

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We celebrated another family birthday (a day late). But since my sister-in-law got to go to the Phillies game on her birthday - and they won - I don't think she minded too much. That's her in the picture, sitting on her husband; my youngest brother.

It's always fun having Kris around - never a dull moment! She has a heart of gold - and I'm glad Leo decided to marry her and make her a part of our family. She recently started her own blog, add two to the mix, (so named because of their desire to adopt two children sometime soon), so go over and get to know her - and wish her a happy birthday!

Recently Kelly, at Big A little a, had a post on Googlegangers - people you find on Google who share your name. No one really shares my maiden name (there's someone in an old genealogy that comes up); there are a few more with my married name. But I have something different than a Googleganger. I have a name double in my own family (or close to it).

You see when my brother married Kris she got my old name. (Okay, her first name is Kristen and mine is Christine, so the initial is different - but she goes by Kris, and so do I). What's odd is this is not that unusual in my family (maybe it's common everywhere?). My grandmother's brother married someone with the same first name as my grandmother. So for awhile there were two Ruth Howards - until my grandmother married and changed her name. My cousin married someone with the same first name as his girl cousin - so again - the person with the name Linda T when I was growing up, is not the person known as Linda T now.

Does anyone else have to share a name with a new member of your family?

And Happy Belated Birthday (to the new) Kris K.

Good Shepherd Sunday

I was discussing with the kids today that it was Good Shepherd Sunday and Pippi commented that her favorite parable was the one with the lost sheep.

"I love that Jesus goes out to find that one lost sheep; leaving the other 99," she said.

I agreed with her, but added this thought, "I've always wondered though - as important as it is to go after that one lost one - how does he know the other 99 will be there when he comes back. 95 more might go missing." (hasn't anyone else ever wondered this?)

Pippi thought for a minute. "That's why we have the Pope," she decided, "he keeps us together while we wait for Jesus to come back with the one lost one."

I like that. I also think it's appropriate that the Pope, our shepherd on Earth, is coming the week after Good Shepherd Sunday.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Saturday Sunset

We went for a walk after dinner.
My husband brought his camera.
It was worth it.
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Friday, April 11, 2008

Poetry Friday - Shadows

Although this poem doesn't have a particular Spring feel to it (unlike the weather outside - finally - yay!), it is an original written by my 11-year-old daughter (known here as Pippi) and I loved it - so I'm sharing it.

I am What Lurks
by K.R.M.

I am what lurks
in the shadows
on a gloomy

I take
pleasure in

I am what lurks
under your bed
at night
"no monsters"
they say.
I'm invisible to them.

I am what lurks
in the dark
attics at

I come and go
as I please.

I am what lurks
in old forgotten
at night.

I do as I wish.
I do as I want.

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is at a wrung sponge today - be sure to visit.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Expensive Taste

I've heard the expression "Champagne and Caviar Taste on a Beer and Pretzel Budget" and sometimes I think that applies to me - but actually, I'm usually pretty happy with Beer and Pretzels (and I don't particularly care for caviar, I did have it once). But I was in the produce department of the local Wegman's Supermarket with my husband, when he noticed something that even exceeds a champagne and caviar budget.

There between the mushrooms and the peppers was a locked Plexiglas case. How often do you see a locked case in the produce department? So we investigated a little further. In the case was a bed of dried rice, and sitting on the rice were about 9 shriveled looking black things about the size of a shooter marble. Hmm. Odd looking things to keep under lock and key.

Then we noticed the sign in front. Truffles. Ah ha. Now things were making sense. As I continued to look at the sign though, it took a while for me to process what I was seeing. The price, listed under a happy little "you pay just" had too many numbers to be in a supermarket. But, no, that is what it said. "You pay just $999.99".

That would be each by the way.

Those truffles can just stay locked up in their case, they will not be on my grocery list any time soon! (Though I am very curious, how long have they been there? Has anyone bought any? We don't exactly live in a neighborhood where people go and spend $1000 on a mushroom. At least I didn't think we did.)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


People often say they want their dreams to come true. I'm going to assume most people mean their day dreams when they say this. Not the strange things that the sub-conscience conjures up in the pre-dawn hours.

If my day dreams came true I'd be a best-selling author, living in a larger house with more property around it and maybe even someone to do the house cleaning for me. Sounds good, right?

If my night dreams came true I'd be an incompetent bumbler.

I often dream that I can't do something. Usually it's dial a phone. I've had lots of dreams where I needed to make a phone call and couldn't get a phone to work, couldn't remember how to dial, couldn't push the right buttons. Whatever. All bad. Very stressful.

Last night was a new variation on that. I couldn't write my name.

Now, I've been writing my name legibly since the early seventies. Like dialing a phone, this is something I don't seem to have problems with in real life.

So I dreamt I was at an author signing (and no, I wasn't the author), and wanted to buy a book and have the author sign it. But they were out of books - and while someone looked for more the author suggested I write my name down - and address - so if they didn't find a book at this time, she could mail me one.

The rest of the dream was taken up with my failed attempts to clearly and legibly write my first name.


If I talk about dreams coming true, it's certainly not the ones I have in my sleep that I mean!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Tuesday's Proverb

And lo! the woman comes to meet him, robed like a harlot, with secret designs--She is fickle and unruly, in her home her feet cannot rest; Now she is in the streets, now in the open squares, and at every corner she lurks in ambush--When she seizes him, she kisses him, and with an impudent look says to him: "I owed peace offerings, and today I have fulfilled my vows; So I came out to meet you, to look for you, and I have found you! With coverlets I have spread my couch, with brocaded cloths of Egyptian linen; I have sprinkled my bed with myrrh, with aloes, and with cinnamon. "Come, let us drink our fill of love, until morning, let us feast on love! For my husband is not at home, he has gone on a long journey; A bag of money he took with him, not till the full moon will he return home." She wins him over by her repeated urging, with her smooth lips she leads him astray; He follows her stupidly, like an ox that is led to slaughter; Like a stag that minces toward the net, till an arrow pierces its liver; Like a bird that rushes into a snare, unaware that its life is at stake. So now, O children, listen to me, be attentive to the words of my mouth! Let not your heart turn to her ways, go not astray in her paths; For many are those she has struck down dead, numerous, those she has slain. Her house is made up of ways to the nether world, leading down into the chambers of death. (Proverbs 7:10-27)

Okay, then. I always thought of Proverbs as pithy little statements that give you guidance on how to live a good life - but this reads more like a steamy romance novel!

Monday, April 07, 2008

March/April Issue of The Edge of the Forest is up

A new issue of The Edge of the Forest is ready for you to glean all sorts of wonderful information from.

Here's what's in store for you this month (taken from Big A little a)
We have many exciting features for you this month, as well as interviews, reviews, and much, much more. In short, here's what's in store:

If you're interested in submitting an article or review, please check out the About Us page for details.

The Edge of the Forest will return the first week of May.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Height of Luxury

I remember when I was about seven, my friend, Janie, got a new bedroom. They had added a room onto her house and she and her sister did not have to share a room anymore. I don't recall if she or her sister got the new room. I do know that Janie got to decorate her bedroom anyway she liked.

And the way she liked was purple.

Light purple walls, purple carpet (okay, this was the early seventies, people, this was cool.)

Could there be anything more wonderful than to chose your own room color? (My room was pink, with a red rug - I was the only girl among boys; I got pink) And to chose Purple on top of that! To my seven-year-old self that epitomized the height of luxury.

What things did you see or want as a child that you thought were just the best they could possibly be?

Friday, April 04, 2008

Poetry Friday - April

It's Poetry Friday again. And it's Poetry month. So, by rights, I should post a truly fabulous poem here today.

That's not going to happen.

Instead - once April comes around the lines to a poem I wrote once start to come back to me. Perhaps if I post them those pesky lines will leave me alone.

Please keep in mind that poetry is not my natural creative outlet. I used to write lots of poems full of emotional angst when I was a teenager. Then I met my future husband, the emotional angst dried up, and so did the (admittedly bad) poetry.

But, I shall not spare you today.

A Snowflake in April
Just like a snowflake in April
I fell to the ground to melt when I met you.

You can not read the rest of the poem anywhere - because I don't know where it is - and it's not really worth it. - There's something in there about being interesting at first but having the novelty wear off quickly. It basically shows the sad state of affairs with an ex-boyfriend.

However if you would like to read some truly great and inspired poems in honor of National Poetry Month - head on over to Becky's Book Reviews. She's hosting the round up this week.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Now That's a Dog of a Different Color

I have a niece and nephew.

They are three.

They have a dog.

They have markers.

They like to color.

Poor Princess.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Tuesday's Proverb

For at the window of my house, through my lattice I looked out-- And I saw among the simple ones, I observed among the young men, a youth with no sense, Going along the street near the corner, then walking in the direction of her house--In the twilight, at dusk of day, at the time of the dark of night. (Proverbs 7:6-9)