Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Not Doomsday, but Domesday - it had to do with Domicile (I learned that recently.)

In doing a little family history research today, I made a very cool discovery. The Domesday book is available on line.

The Domesday book is something I had heard of at various times, but never figured I'd get a chance to see what it was really like.

In case you've never heard of it, the Domesday book is one of the oldest surviving public records in England. No one knows exactly what the purpose of it was for - most likely taxes - but
"at Christmas 1085 William the Conqueror commissioned a great survey to discover the resources and taxable values of all the boroughs and manors in England. He wanted to discover who owned what, how much it was worth, and how much was owed to him as King." (National Archives)
The British National Archives has not only made this document available online, but it is searchable - and they translated it, so those of us not conversant in Latin can still understand it.

I think I'm going to have fun exploring this.

Bathroom Update - Waiting for Inspectors

Things are moving along nicely in the bathroom. But now, we're waiting for the inspectors. And nothing much more can be done until the plumbing and electrical inspectors are here.

And as I was typing this, the doorbell rang, and it was the electrical inspector. One down.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Tuesday's Proverb

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; wisdom and instruction fools despise. Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and reject not your mother's teaching; A graceful diadem will they be for your head; a torque for your neck. (Proverbs 1:7-9)

Don't Put Away Childish Things

Ever since Pippi turned ten, Harry has been concerned.

Those double digits that his big sister now sports are a bit much for him.

"Pippi's getting too grown up," he tells me.

"Why?" I ask.

"She's not childish anymore," he says.

Hmmm - this about a girl who will give a big burp and laugh about it, who would much rather have some one get her a drink than pour it herself, who loves to play with her toys (almost as much as she likes reading); the girl who doesn't care what she wears, has no interest in make-up, nail polish, talking on the phone or pop music. This is the girl who is not childish anymore?

But then Pippi protests and says that Harry has always been too grown up. (She's been saying this since he was a toddler.) "But you're like a teenager," she complains.

He is very independent minded - but since he can't yet consistently tie his shoes or remember to flush the toilet - I hope there will be some improvement on that score before his teen years.

They are both who they are. Neither too old or too young.

They're not growing up too fast and I like that.

I wouldn't change them for the world.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Innovative Snowboarding

So, what do you do when there are three inches of snow, two free hours because of a delayed opening, a snow board and no hill? You improvise and snowboard down the slide - until your mother tells you this is a particularly bad idea.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

What is Love?

We get the answer to that from today's second reading (1 Cor 13:4-8)

Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, it is not pompous,
It is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.

So, do I love the way I should? I can simply insert "I am" for "Love is" and see if the statements are true.

I am not always patient, I am not always kind.
I am often quick-tempered, and sometimes I brood over injury.

I am not a perfect example of love.

But, God doesn't expect me to be.

God gave us Jesus as the perfect example of love. Insert "Jesus is" for "Love is" and you will see that every statement remains true.

What God wants from us is not perfection (who truly expects their child to be perfect?), but to strive for perfection.

So, I will try to be more patient, more kind, less quick-tempered.

I will try to love more.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The End of the First Week

Well, we've survived the first week of bathroom renovations. And things are moving along quite nicely. The electrician came today (he was unable to make it Wednesday) and now I could say "there was light" - but there really isn't - just wires and places to put lights and switches.

One step at a time, right?

But at least we now have insulation. Which is good, because it's mighty cold today.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Tub is Dead - Long Live the Tub

It's day four of renovations. And things are happening fast and furious. The old tub is gone.
And the new tub has taken its place.

A wee Kick in the Pants

I need to start writing again - fiction that is. And I decided one way to provide a little incentive for myself would be to keep public track of how much I'd written. I'm putting a meter at the bottom of the site. I'll keep it updated. I'm going to cheat a little today because, I already have a bit written on a new story - I'll put those numbers in - and then go from there.

And, if anyone knows of a good on-line writer's group, please let me know.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

One of My Favorite People

Over at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast there is an interview with one of my favorite people. That would be Liz of A Chair, a Fireplace & a Tea Cozy.

And if she's not already one of your favorite people, pop on over and read the interview - and she will be.

The Tub Rules - Day Three

The tub is now the only original thing left in the bathroom (other than the radiator, and that's not going anyplace.)

The electrician is scheduled to come today.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Journey to Pern

I've recently found myself re-immersed in the land of Pern. It all started innocently enough when, looking for a new book to read, I discovered that there was a new Pern book that I hadn't read yet.

So, of course I read it. And then I discovered that while Anne McCaffrey had collaborated with her son on two novels about Pern, he'd also written one himself. And of course I had to read that.

And then Pippi was looking for a fantasy to read - so I handed her my copy of Dragonsong.

And while I was downstairs looking at our books, and had Pern on my mind, I started pulling my old copies off the shelf. So far, Dragonflight, Dragonquest, Dragonsong (snitched from my daughter and read when she was doing other things), Dragonsinger and now the White Dragon. I think I'm going to stop after this one - and move on to other things.

But there's something very satisfying about simply losing yourself in another world.

And of course, just as when I first read these books many years ago (won't say how many), I do kind of wish I had a fire lizard, or could see a dragon soaring over head.

Renovations - Day Two

Yesterday our bathroom was stripped of it's walls and most everything else. Except for the tub and floor.

Now the floor is gone too. The only thing left is the tub. I think that's coming out Thursday - but I could be wrong about that.

What Time is it Now?

"I have two things to tell you," my son informed me last night around 9:30 (when he really should have been sleeping, but that's another story).

"The earth moves to the east," he let me know.

Okay, I wasn't sure why this was an important observation, but that's fine.

"Yes, it does."

"And when it is 8 am here it is 8 pm in Beijing."


Actually, I checked today, and he was off by a bit - we are thirteen hours different from Beijing, not twelve. But he was pretty close.

And how did he figure this out?

The globe the kids got for Christmas.

It doesn't talk to them or have any computer chips embedded in it. It doesn't download information from cyberspace or light up to show the constellations. It's just a plain old fashioned globe. One that has a little dial on the top that gives you an idea of what time it is in other places if you adjust it properly.

Harry is studying China in school - and true to himself, once he's introduced to something he throws himself into it full force. He wants to know all about China now.

Maybe we'll have Chinese food for dinner sometime soon. (even though it will be breakfast time in China).

Monday, January 22, 2007

Time for a Little Remodeling

We have decided to re-do our bathroom. As can be seen in the picture below, this was really a truly necessary job.

When you need to hold the wall together with duct tape - and even that doesn't work, it's time to take the bull by the horns and do something about it.

So we're doing something. As I write, the contractor is upstairs ripping apart the bathroom.

Hopefully the job can be done fairly quickly, because, while we do have a second half-bath in the basement - it is just that. No shower - no bathtub - nothing like that. And it's in the basement - not the most convenient for late night wakings. But - it will all be worth it. (I know it will).

It's looking better already!

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Pippi turned ten on Friday. This is a big deal. Double digits. And to celebrate, she and I took the train into the city and we attended her very first Broadway show.

Mary Poppins.

What a wonderful first exposure to Broadway.

True our seats were in the balcony - (and mine was behind a pipe!) - but none of that took away from the how wonderful the show was. There was so much energy - so much fun.

And when Mary Poppins flies off at the end - over the audience - she ended up right in front of us - and gave my Pippi a very big smile.

It was a wonderful way to celebrate a special birthday.

Neither of us will ever forget it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What's Been Keeping Me Busy

New Year's promises to blog got pushed to the side when I decided to start a 1500 piece puzzle that my cousin gave me this summer.

I love doing puzzles, but tend to become rather obsessed with them - can't do anything else until it's done. I generally only do one a year, and they usually take about a day. They are usually not this many pieces. This one, however, took a week, so I did have to take breaks to feed the family and things like that.

But the puzzle is done now. And I'll have to take it apart soon so I can use the dining room table.

I'll put it again another time.

Maybe next year.

And now, maybe I'll have time to use the computer again.