Saturday, September 30, 2006

Here, not there, not where, but here

Arrived in Tennessee last night, a day sooner than we planned. Question is now, do I blog the next two weeks or not. Generally I don't blog it while I'm here.

I was thinking. Maybe this time I will blog it. But! Do I want to let everyone see me do a blow by blow, slo-mo spin nosedive day by day? Not bloody likely as they say across the pond! But I think I should do something different this year.

Perhaps I will write, and not reread myself. I shall correct no spelling nor rewrite my thoughts as I go along. Stream of consciousness so to speak. I'll reread it all at once when I'm back on home turf in my comfortable place. It will be an experiment! My blog, the Petri dish. I'll watch in amazement and wonder and then pick at it on the last day, make observations, and learn from it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Those weevils

We made chocolate chip cookies last night. I let our son do most of it. As he scooped the flour into the bowl he said, "Mamma, there are some little bugs in this." Whuh! I checked and sure enough, attacked by weevils it was. So we tossed it out and used the brand new package my husband just bought.

Back in the day when I was going to college, I was hungry for a fast lunch that required no advanced preparation. I found some Lucky Charms at the back of the cupboard. Lucky me.I  was surprised they were there considering we had a 16 year old in the house at the time who ate everything. I was so tired of studying and just wanted to kick back and watch t.v. and eat.  I kept my eyes on the telly while I steady shoveled Lucky Charms into my mouth. Instant energy and I didn't miss a single bite. Delicious! I'm so talented. Who doesn't love those little marshmallows?

I finish up my cereal, have a full tummy, and look down at the bowl and what do I see? Drowned weevils floating in the milk. The ones that weren't floating were in my stomach.

Rule of thumb - look at what you eat before you put it in your mouth.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

But it couldn't be MY son?!

Oooosh. Could this be my son? Certainly not. I find it hard to believe. Impossible.

Today during spelling I told him to set both hands on the counter and listen to me. What do you think he did? He set his two hands down alright, hovering a mere 1/4" over the counter top. Ooooh baaaaby. I'm not June Cleaver and I'm not a modern parent. He pulled this with the wrong mama.

I physically removed him from the room. There were tears (his) and yelling (mine). Parenting can be especially exhausing when you're 47 and you've already been through it once. Do I have to do it again? Apparently I do. God's sense of humor again, I suppose.

I expected no apology. Stick a fork in him, he was done as far as I was concerned. But two hours later he came out of the bedroom and offered the most complete, most sincere, and the most heartfelt apology I have ever heard from him. I let him come out. And I reminded him, an apology given with the heart must remain solid after the words pass through your mouth. He looked in my eyes and agreed. We'll see. But today it looks like he learned a bigger lessen than not to mess with Mamma during spelling time, and that is how to feel, and how to deliver a heartfelt apology. An important life lesson.

Homeschooling days often surprise me. They tire me and surprise me. I must fortify myself and be prepared for that which I do not foresee; for lesson which are not in my lesson plan.

Monday, September 25, 2006

It went well

The surgery went without a glitch.

Still, it's the recovery I worry over. It takes about two months. But the doctor said he should heal perfectly and completely. That is good news. They're keeping him overnight just to be safe. Originally, they were going to release him after he awoke from the anesthesia. I expect something caused them to change their mind but I'm happy to have them keep him in a bit longer. I know he wants to go home. Can't blame him. Who can rest at the hospital anyway. The heart monitor beeps all night, the I.V. drip makes a noise, they drive carts up and down the hallway, and they wake you up to ask if you need a sleeping pill!

I worry

My dad goes in for prostate surgery at 11:00am. He'll be discharged after 5:00pm. I worry.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Distinguish a diary from a journal


Snapshot from Wednesday Posted by Picasa

I'm excited because we've started our fourth grade curriculum. God grant me energy and insightfulness to make it interesting to a nine year old, on the go, boy person. So here's an excerpt from lesson one in composition:
What Is a Journal?
A diary is private, meant only for the writer's eyes, while a journal, in some more developed form, is meant for a wider audience. Writers often use their journals to record ideas for subjects they might like to write about in later writing, such as funny bits of conversation, everyday events, descriptions of people they might want to include in stories, and questions they have about the world. It is not a place to write secrets, names of people the student likes or dislikes, or anything of a secretive natures. Your student should feel comfortable sharing anything he writes in his journal.

Now you know what fourth graders know about diary and journal writing!

Our son hates writing. This is going to be huge. I hope it goes well. Last week his handwriting was legible. I didn't tell him though because then he may have written worse just to spite me for the day!

The photo is of southwestern New Mexico. We made a day trip down to Texas, just over the border. Check out all the green. New Mexico has has record breaking rainfall this year. Flooding and the whole bit. Look at the green on those desert hills.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Today's hair


Two coils Posted by Picasa

Actually I wore a braided bun all morning but the wind is ferocious today, so I redid my 'do in a double coil bun for the afternoon. This is top, side, and back.

I'm very happy with my hair lately. And I have big news for everyone at The Loom at the next measure-in. I made the goal I set for myself back when I hit waist length...I'm 36 inches now. Woohoo! She has three feet of hair. Pretty exciting, huh? Seemed to take forever and a day to get here. Yeah, everyone's going to be really surprised. Hehe!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Carnations


Red Posted by Picasa

We bought these in Las Cruces. We gave one to a ranger who created an official volunteer position for our son, and the other to a lady who trained my in the office. Both of them liked them a lot.

When I used to work, when I was single, I'd buy myself a flower each Monday and keep it on my desk all week. I had my own vase so all I had to buy was the flower, and they'd dress it up with fern, baby's breath and a bow. Didn't cost much and it brightened up my desk and me.

I had an awful naptime nightmare today. I dreamed I had feathers all over my forearms. It was horrible, horrible, I tell you. Don't know how I came up with that idea. The feathers looked like one I picked up last time I picked up a feather. It was perfect and I thought it belonged to a hummingbird. But that doesn't mean I want them all over my forearms. I'm grossing myself out thinking of it. This post must end! Pronto!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ivan will trim my hair

There is a barber who does our son's hair. He does such a good job. He's rather handsome too. He's retired and has a small ranch and, well, he's very handsome. Oh, I already said that.

He used to own quite an impressive chain of salons and traveled around the world. Got tired of it and settled in an itty bitty town in New Mexico.

I told him I would be wanting a trim in the next couple months or so. My hair was in a braided bun and he asked how long it was. I pointed and he said, 'Ahhhhh.' It was the kind of ahhhh as if he was impressed. Well, I felt good.

Told him, very firmly, I do not want more than 1/2 inch taken off. He said, 'Hmm, so you just want stray hairs cut?' I said, 'Yeah." I left out the part about how if he cuts off too much he will find his pet bunny rabbit in a pot of boiling water in the kitchen on his stove at home.

In the truck my son, who's nine, said the guy sounded like he knew about long hair. I agreed. My son, he's sharp. I liked how Ivan leaned against the wall and looked into my eyes when I told him how I wanted it cut. I trust him to do my hair the way I want it done. Last time ya know, I asked for two inches off and got three off. Plus the girl was unpleasant and rough with my hair. I went to a Supercuts type place. Won't do that a second time.

I sure like Ivan. He's handsome and nice. I guess, even though I'm older I still like older men.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I poop scooped today

I fail to understand why folks come to a beautiful lake and leave behind their refuse. Plastic cups, beer cans, frozen popsicle wrappers, cigarette butts. And doggie poop. You don't see this in Canada's provincial parks.

So today we checked all the campers to ensure they paid for the night. As volunteers we don't accept payment personally and I prefer it that way. If peeps don't pay we phone a ranger and the ranger takes care of it. There was a shooting here a year ago. A camper died. He didn't pay his $14.00 per night and the situation escalated until weapons were drawn. So we don't argue or fuss with campers. We answer questions, provide assistance, call the ranger for people who don't pay.

So I was badmouthing the people who let their dogs go potty in the park and they don't clean up after them. One campsite and a large pile right in front for everyone to see. Why do people do that? I don't understand it. So I was getting all uptight because we picked up three or four piles. I love dogs. It's not that I think I'm too good to poop scoop and when I had a dog I picked up after her, gross as it was. I loved her though and we were good citizens.

My husband said, "Don't pass judgement."

On our way home my face was all scrunched up and I guess I looked weird. My husband asked me what was the matter. "I'm thinking not to pass judgement," I told him. "I'm thinking it over and over." And he laughed and said he hates working with people. Strange, I thought, for a man who spent his career managing people. He never brought his work home and that's part of what made him so good at what he did. I wish I could be as good at something as he was when he was an executive manager. He had to deal with the union and people sleeping on the job and people who wanted him to lie on reports. He always did the right thing. How do some people get such a strong moral compass and others, not.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I've become attached to my hair

The longer it gets, the more I love it. I had long hair before and never gave it much thought.

One of my aunts always colored her hair. I liked it best when she had it platinum blonde! I saw her last time and she had stopped coloring it. She had a classic bob about chin length and I was standing over her looking at the top of her hair. It was salt and pepper all the way through. I was surprised. I was even more surprised when I realized I was thinking it looked good on her. She looked good. My Aunt Helen was always one of my favorite aunts.

My other aunt always colored her hair brown but I didn't know it was dyed. I saw her after a long time and she had stopped coloring. It was all the way grey. I nearly had a heart attack. Really, my heart skipped a beat. I guess I just wasn't ready for it. I never thought the grey fit her. Or maybe, I could never adjust my mind to to the fact that she had grey hair. I mean, she was in her 70's for goodness sakes. I gotta get a grip.

My cousin's ex-wife, Carol, had the softest, most feminine voice I ever heard. She was a beautiful blonde. I recently saw a photo of her. Exact same hair cut as when I was ten years old, but it was stark grey. She wore overalls and she stood next to a large bookcase that she had built and hand-finished. Obviously very talented with woodworking. Her son is in his 30's now; married, successful, two children. I can't believe how the time has passed.

And I remember when I promised myself to be a long haired older woman. I was about 29 and my dance teacher was 39 (which qualified as old to me at the time!) and she had long, brown hair. I thought I had to write a note to myself and put it in a vault, and reread it if I forget. Have long hair, have long hair, have long hair. Don't cut it short. Short is like, the lukewarm of life.

Well, I did cut it short when I was 38. In fact, I lopped it off to shoulder length before that.

But I couldn't now. I feel very connected with this hair. It defines me. I suppose that can be good or that can be bad. Depends. The changes in my life are right here on my head. The reflection in my mirror confirms that I'm ascending through this earthly life. Moving, changing, learning, loving, finding, losing. Am I up for it?

There are ups and downs, but I don't want to live a life lukewarm so...give me a full serving, please.

Flannel froggie pajamas - done!


Gribbit Posted by Picasa

I finished sewing his last pair of pajamas today. I'm now officially free to quilt and make more, oooooh, earrings!

On the p.j.'s I sewed "Made with love by Mom" labels at the neckline. He says he can't wait to wear them tonight.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Placed Amazon order

Oh boy! I ordered four beading books; one about making beaded ornaments and three about making beaded earrings.

Accent on Beaded Ornament Covers
Techniques of Fashion Earrings
An Earful of Designs
Beaded Images: Intricate Beaded Jewelry Using Brick Stitch

I will make beaded ornaments for Christmas gifts. The earring books I need because there's no bead store within 300 miles that I like and the books will call out colors needed for each design. (Uh, I think.)

The bead store in Las Cruces is dark and dank and I dislike the owner. The other one is over priced and small. Good if you need one unusual, particular bead. Their selection of Japanese seed beads is small. So, I shall order all my beads online this winter. My husband said I could and said I should since I don't like the stores. I love him so.

In the evening our son says "Mamma, why don't you do some beading." I don't know why, but for some reason it gives him warm fuzzies - me beading at the kitchen table. In the trailer where ever we are, we're close. Not only physically but emotionally. It's been an unexpected positive side effect of our changed lifestyle. In a big house family members are physically separated, and when there are children it can become a spiritual, mental, and emotional distance too. A family just doesn't need a 2,500 square foot house.

I still have to sew a pair of flannel frog pajamas before I start anything new! Boy, those p.j.'s are hanging over my head. Gotta get them sewn this week-end.

And I've had this hankering lately to take a picture of my hair.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Canada's talk radio - Charles Adler

There's been an awful incident in Montreal, Quebec, at a college. Shooters. We've been listening to students talking about it.

Our top favorite talk show host in Canada is Charles Adler. He's very well spoken. Unlike John Ziegler on L.A.'s talk radio at KFI, Charles lets people talk without interrupting them when they phone in. I like him a lot. John Ziegler in Los Angeles is much more out there, wild and crazy. He's a screamer. We think he's going to explode a vessel in his brain on the show some day. He gets so worked up. Great to listen to though his voice irritates me some days!

It's always good to get news from sources outside the U.S. Believe it or not, everything is not about the United States. Lindsay Lohan losing her handbag and recovering it really isn't news.

I want these chairs


Color! Posted by Picasa

Twenty years ago my husband and I were furniture shopping. We came across a contemporary modern dining set with glass table top and six velvet chairs, each a different pastel hue. I still remember because I wanted it so much. He just said no. But! At a Mexican restaurant in Santa Fe he said he liked these chairs. Shazaam! He doesn't need to say it twice. I like them too although they're a bit more kitschy than I'd have picked. Unusual pick, for him. If ever, we get a dining set I'm going to phone the owner and find out where to get these chairs.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Always look behind you


The morning lake Posted by Picasa

It's 6:30am. I was supposed to be photographing the hot air balloons, but I looked behind me and this is what was there just waiting for me to take its picture. Sometimes you get the best photographs by looking behind you.

Today and Friday I went for a jog. It felt so good, after I was done of course. My husband rode his bike out to meet me because it got dark before I got home. Dusk was beautiful, so warm and the sky so pretty. Magenta outlined the clouds. My husband made the best fajitas, fideo, and refried beans for dinner. The smell of dinner cooking is one of my favorite things in life. It makes home so homey and family so, special.

Small plane in this one Posted by Picasa

Arnold

Gotta love Arnold. He's in sooo much trouble with Maria by now.

L.A. Times article:Steve Lopez: And What Do You Mean by Hot?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Friday, September 08, 2006

Washington Post's crummy recommendations

I found some children's book recommendations at the Washington Post web site. Had our son read the list and tell me which book he wanted. He chose Sahara Special by Esme Raji Codell.

Unbelievable. This book is recommended for age nine and up. And it includes foul language. I went to Amazon.com to view book reviews and out of 45 reviews I found one comment subject titled "A warning from a teacher" that mentions the use of profanity, yet concedes that aside from the fact that kids may pick up some words that are inappropriate, it's a very well written book. A second post refers to "minimal strong language." A third review, subject titled "A Kid's Review" says he/she would recommend the book to anyone though "it does contain some language such as the b- word."

Well our nine year old got to page eight and came across the h*ll word.

I suppose hurling insults in the form of cursing and profanity has become so commonplace that it's now entirely acceptable as pleasurable reading material for the under age 10 set now? They're not even teen-aged yet! The world is so full of so many wonderful books. I put Sahara Special in the garbage.

My 11 year old nephew once used foul language when speaking with me. I think he felt so at ease sprinkling profanity throughout his conversations that he didn't think twice about it. I told him not to use that language around me. And since that time, not once has he ever used any foul language in my presence. I know he does when I'm not around, and yet all I had to do was ask him not to, and he's respected that.

My husband sent an email to the Washington Post:

Your recommendation of Sahara Special for young readers 9 years and older is a poor excuse for children's reading. On page 8 of the book, the word "h*ll" is used. While that may suitable reading for your child, it is not for mine. In the future I will ignore any recommendations that the Washington Post makes regarding children's books.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Fringe earrings! Blue.


Finished last night Posted by Picasa

I did several things differently.
1) I added beads to each side of the daggers at the bottom. Interestingly, doing the bottom like this made it easier to get the fringe to hang smoothly.
2) I used bugles in the home row of the header but none in the fringe.
3) I made a linear design in the header.
4) And I like this effect a lot, I added some Czech fire polished beads to the design.

Of course they look a little different hanging from your ear. The photo below is taken outside to show the color in natural light, and shows them hanging down rather than lying down on a piece of paper for a photo op!

I'm so pleased with them. I get my inspiration from mswolflady at Ebay, foxy-momma, and Aunt Jewelry. I'm crazy about Aunt Jewelry's fringe earrings. I think the big ones would be too heavy for my ears. I'll bet I've gazed at these three sites for hours before I finally decided to try making my own. I love the WWW! It gives me the ooomph to try things I never would have tried.

Recently I made a big decision. No more stringing for me. I seem to buy, and buy, and buy beads yet a design I love fails to come to me. I make stuff but it only makes me feel so-so. But talk about seed beads. Seed beads turn me on!

On a down note, I beaded a brown cotton tank top of mine. It turned out real pretty. The beads were bronze, copper, gold and silver. Did ya notice the past tense in that sentence? Yeah, I washed it and now all the beads are silver. Waaaaah! Live and learn. I was concerned about beads falling off but only one did. Easy fix. Didn't imagine the dye would come off of the beads. Back to the drawing board.

Outside to see the blue


On a pilsner Posted by Picasa

The very center Czech beads are teal green. The Czechs were left overs from another blue project. If I did this earring again I'd use all teal green Czechs. They'd look yummy with the blue! In the future I'm going incorporate Czech beads in my earrings. Think of the possibilities!

It makes the earrings a wee bit heavier. I can't wear heavy earrings anymore so that limits how many larger beads will go on an earring for me.

A lady wanted a pair of my earrings at Bingo last week. Made me feel real good.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Earrings (no photo yet)

I finished the prettiest earrings I've ever made. They're blue, not dark blue or light blue, but blue like a swimming pool. But they have light blue in them too. I added Czech beads, 4mm, to the fringe which I've never done before. I feel so productive. Tomorrow I want to start an amethyst pair or cranberry red pair. Which color shall I do next?

To make color selection easier I plan to buy a CMY color wheel. Bet I can find one in a paint store. I must have one!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Where have all the windmills gone


In the Heartland Posted by Picasa

Remember the song Where Have All the Flowers Gone? It reminds me of the Kingston Trio. My mom had one of their records.

When I was a kid and my dad took us to Nebraska to visit our grama we used to count windmills to liven up the horribly boring drive. My dad grew up on a farm and he could spot those windmills from miles away. He always beat my sister and me, and won the windmill counting game. Johnny Carson was a Nebraska boy you know.

But there are hardly any windmills anymore, and what few we saw were broken or not working. They're silent sentries, gettin' no love out there on the big, wide, lonesome prairie.

I guess they've been replaced by more efficient electic water pumps. Some towns are fussing over the emergence of the huge turbine windmills. Those are a whole different animal compared to the windmills of long ago.

There's a large scale wind farm near Palm Springs. It does have a beauty of its own, but I also miss the open desert. I remember how the land looked before the windmills were there.

Photo taken 8/22/06.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Santa Fe Children's Museum


I am a parakeet Posted by Picasa

The Children's Museum has a lovely little aviary. I spent most of my time in the aviary although it gets a little hot after awhile. They had fewer birds than last year and I saw one baby. They don't have any fancy schmancy birds, just parakeets and finches but it's neat to have them flying freely all about you. The birds are very quiet for awhile then something gets them going, I don't know what, and they'll all start singing and arguing and flying from here to there and back again.

I like taking pics of birds but my camera doesn't do as well as I wish. The new DSLR's are coming out and I'm dying to get one. The DSLR's make you feel like you want to reach out and touch the bird in your photo. But I also love good optical zoom and the new batch of DSLR's have only about 7X. I have 12X right now and cannot go without. I wait patiently...maybe next year.

Bird photos taken 8/30/06.

Poor little Peg Leg Posted by Picasa

Mama's on the left, baby on right Posted by Picasa

C'mon Mama, my eyes are closed Posted by Picasa

Mama, dat feels so goood Posted by Picasa

A zebra finch Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Shopping

Went shopping! I went to Beauty and the Beads, Books and Borders, and Dillards. And what did I get? Mmmmmm!

I got six tubes of Japanese seed beads: two red hues, two blue, two amethyst. I really wanted purple but I already have amethyst bugles and I have to use 'em. I got a powerful lil' sterling silver magnetic clasp, cranberry color dagger beads and amethyst too. Love dagger beads. I'll use them for the bottom of earrings. I got four Nymo B rolls of thread in white, blue, red, purple. Got some English beading needles and 4mm amethyst cubes. I found the prettiest 4mm Czech beads in blue/purple and also a grey/blue combination. Bought both. They are really pretty.

Got four new bras and they're (WHAT!) feminine and attractive. My favorite one has become a cross between gray and beige and doesn't really hold anything up by now anyway. It's quite disgusting. I should be ashamed of myself. I put it in the trash.

I bought The Beader's Guide to Color which comes highly recommended on on the bead boards. Can't wait to sit down and read. We also got Pat Buchanan's New York Times bestseller State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America

And last but not least I got a new wax warmer by Gigi. My other one broke.

I still need avocado oil but I've been to two stores and struck out at both.