Quote of the Day


Halloween Pics

Their first Halloween was a great success (we didn't do it last year as last year merely going to the corner store for milk over-stimulated them). This year though we donned our costumes (I went as a rather over-tired mom) and trick-or-treated at the community college for which I teach and then we went to Gma & Gpas where we made dinner (our treat for them) and asked Gma and Gpa for some tricks. We were hoping that Gpa would do a little walking and leaping and praising God (that would be a great trick) but he restrained himself to the latter only.

We filled two crocks with candy for the candy fairy and are hopeful that this qualifies us for two new VeggieTales movies.


works for me: candy fairy

Don't forget to leave a large bag of candy on your front porch or mantle tonight for the candy fairy (sister of the tooth fairy, of course).

If the bag of candy is big enough, she will exchange it for a new VeggieTales Movie. We been saving this stash since last Christmas.


pink dyson

Because one can never have too many vacuums.

Pink Dyson Vaccuum Giveaway by the Domestic Diva



free rice

At Free Rice, I'm vocab level 46. How about you?


:: hat tip to cloudscome at a wrung sponge for this very cool toy.


Friday Poetry: Leaves by Elise Brady

I love this poem, though I know nothing about the poet.


How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.

Until they nearly reach the sky.
Twisting, turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow.
~ Elise Brady

Here is the coding if you want a button with a link to this week's round-up.


:: this post is part of the Friday Poetry roundup hosted by Literary Safari.


buy on eBay for less

If you shop on eBay -- as I do -- you ought to try sniping from bidnapper. You tell bidnapper how much you are willing to bid and it bids for you 5 seconds before the auction closes. This
  • helps you avoid driving up the price and
  • saves you from having to watch the last few minutes of bidding and the temptation therein of bidding too much.
I get all my deals with bidnapper. My best eBay & bidnapper deal ever was a hanna andersson long-sleeve playdress/daydress for $5.29, and that included shipping!!



works for me: bread-baking

When the days are cold and dreary, as they are now and will be for months and months, I love to bake bread. Mostly because I love to have the oven on to heat up that end of the house and I love the cozy smell of bread baking. I spent a good part of this year polishing up my bread-making skills, which I posted about at the time. Here are the highlights if you want to get started.

:: Bread making with a KitchenAid Stand Mixer and a Bread Oven; more info on bread ovens.
:: Best recipes: Egg Bread, Caraway Rye Bread, No-Knead Overnight Bread, Honeyed Oat & Flaxseed Bread.

Breadbaking is one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world's sweetest smells...there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of meditation in a music-throbbing chapel, that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.
~M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating

What else works for me? Animoto's cool movie-maker.


edited to add that you should click on the Works for Me badge and go congratulate Sharron, October's featured blogger in Good Housekeeping magazine for her blog, Rocks in my Dryer.


Chickadee has renamed these prickly little critters; I rather like her version.




They haven't returned her yet, so I think it is safe to say that we have re-homed our smallest dog, Laurel. She is a sweet and intelligent little dog that we just could not dote on enough, being quite saturated with pets and small children that all need loves and cuddles on a daily basis.

Laurel has long had a soft spot for my Best Girlfriend, and it was requited, so about a month ago, BG took Laurel home with her. BG watches tv (shocking, I know) and Laurel gets to snuggle on the couch with her. My kids are actually a bit jealous; they want to go live there and watch tv too.

It was not a popular decision at my house, though we have all come to agree (albeit reluctantly) that it is the best thing for her.

We are down to eight pets now (dogs, cats, goats, bunnies). It is still too many.



school update

I had a morning of contrasts.

After dropping Dandy off this morning I attended the House Mother's meeting at his school. Apparently they ("even before J.K.Rowling", they are quick to tell you) have Houses for the students at his school. Everyone there was slender and well-dressed and had naturally tidy hair. As best I can tell, the function of the houses is to establish fund-raising competitions amongst the moms. Chickadee and I ducked out early. We had somewhere to go. Really.

We were on our way to Chickadee's first day of classes through the home-school/public school partnership in our district. She is taking three classes there: American Sign Language, Dance, and Art. After I dropped her off in her classroom I found the common room in which moms and children wait for their class to start or for their child to finish. Slender, well-dressed, with tidy hair? Not so much. We were all sporting the crunchy/frumpy look.

There were six kids in her class and the girls were friendly with Chickadee, which is always nice. The classes meet in the church down the street and they cost me nothing, though it took me awhile to figure out how this works. When I enroll my child in these school-affiliated home-school classes, my child's name is included on the district's rosters which routes state money back to the district. So, we get free classes, they get funded, everyone is happy.

I just have to figure out how to dress to blend on Monday mornings.



Come, true light.

Come, true light.
Come, life eternal.
Come, hidden mystery.
Come, treasure without name.
Come, reality beyond all words.
Come, person beyond all understanding.
Come, rejoicing without end.
Come, light that knows no evening.
Come, unfailing expectation of the saved.
Come, raising of the fallen.
Come, resurrection of the dead.
Come, all-powerful, for unceasingly you create, refashion and change all things by your will alone.
Come, for your name fills our hearts with longing and is ever on our lips.
Come, for you are yourself the desire that is within me.
Come, my breath and my life.
Come, the consolation of my humble soul.
Come, my joy, my glory, my endless delight.

Excerpts from An Invocation To The Holy Spirit by St. Symeon, included in Bishop Kallistos Ware's The Orthodox Way.



Friday Poetry: Neutral Tones by Thomas Hardy

We stood by a pond that winter day,
And the sun was white, as though chidden of God,
And a few leaves lay on the starving sod,
—-They had fallen from an ash, and were gray.

Your eyes on me were as eyes that rove
Over tedious riddles solved years ago;
And some words played between us to and fro-—
On which lost the more by our love.

The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing
Alive enough to have strength to die;
And a grin of bitterness swept thereby
Like an ominous bird a-wing...

Since then, keen lessons that love deceives,
And wrings with wrong, have shaped to me
Your face, and the God-curst sun, and a tree,
And a pond edged with grayish leaves.

~ Thomas Hardy Thomas Hardy: The Complete Poems

Here is the coding if you want a button with a link to this week's round-up.


:: this post is part of the Friday Poetry roundup hosted by Writing and Ruminating.

storm report

The storm landed south of us. We just got a lot of wind and a few downed trees. Here is what happened in Seattle.
The first big storm of the season blew into Seattle on Thursday with a punch that knocked out power to more than 280,000 residences and businesses throughout the Puget Sound region beginning midafternoon. It also led to the death of a Lake Washington kite boarder, sent a Kent woman to the hospital after she was hit by a tree, broke a half-million dollar sculpture at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and forced cancellation of ferry runs.

All in a couple of hours.

Now, to get the storm windows up.



first storm of the season

We are hunkering down, getting ready for the first storm of the season, expecting heavy heavy rains and SE winds of 35 mph with gusts up to 60, which put us into official National Weather Service "High Wind Warning" status. I've got the wood stove going -- much to the dismay of the resident yellow jackets -- and an apple pie in the oven. We do not, alas, have our storm windows up yet. Last spring I paid someone to trespass onto my neighbor's (uninhabited) land and cut off 2/3 of the overgrown pear tree that that sits windward of our home. If it falls now, it will block the driveway, but miss the house.

Since we have lived here, we have had a chicken coop blown to bits and watched the neighbor's under-construction barn fall to the ground, twice. When we have wind, we have serious wind.

I've always loved storms, and I am trying very hard to embrace storm coziness today, but I am slipping into melancholy as Dad's injury last winter was on the night of the Great Storm (an extratropical cyclone, actually) last year. The idea of him lying in the cold rain for all those hours breaks my heart.

The Hanukkah Eve Wind Storm of 2006, as it is officially called by the National Weather Service, killed 15 people and "blew down thousands of trees, knocked power out to close to 1.5 million customers, damaged hundreds of structures and homes, and injured dozens of people. 275 people were treated in hospitals for carbon monoxide poisoning [we saw most of these folks piling up in the hallways of Harborview Medical Center: multiple people per gurney] following the storm."

As the rest of our region was watching the winds pummel their homes, we were awaiting news of Dad, getting the news, not believing the news, and crying a lot. I drove my Mom home in the middle of the night. The world outside matched our private inside world that night: torn up, frightened tumultuous, exhausting, weeping.

During a lull in the wind the next day, they life-flighted Dad to Harborview, our regional trauma center. We drove down to sit with him and were there until Boxing Day.

Storms will probably never be the same for me again.

more storm links ~
:: hanukkah eve storm on answers.com
:: hannukkah eve storm from Wash. State History

some Dad links ~
:: hard news
:: what happened?
:: Dad update


works for me: flexible cutting boards

Flexible cutting boards are one of my favorite finds this year. I bought a few at a garage sale and can't imagine how I got this far without them. My favorite feature is that you can bend them into pouring spout when it is time to dump the contents into either the kettle or the compost. I use two at a time, side by side, pushing the bits I want to keep to one side and the waste to the other side. Works for me.



a father's day

If I had the patience, I'd save this link for a Father's Day post. But I don't have the patience and I know you don't want to hear all about my grading and bookkeeping again today.



danger in dullsville

Not much happening here that is blog-worthy. This morning I paid bills, reconciled my credit card statements, did laundry and then I graded some student work and then I caught up on two of the critiques for my writer's group (that was the only fun part) and then I graded some more and helped Dandy with his homework. Tomorrow will be much the same, except that I teach tomorrow night so there will be some class prep in there. So, aren't you glad you checked in?

Oh, I thought of one exciting thing. We keep finding these in the house. This is about a mid-sized one. They are hobo spiders, aka tegenaria agristis , and I loathe them.



O God, make clear to us each road,

O God, make clear to us each road,
O God, make safe to us each step,
When we stumble, hold us,
When we fall, lift us up,
When we are hard-pressed with evil, deliver us,
And bring us at last to Your glory.

Celtic Daily Prayer: Prayers and Readings From the Northumbria Community



Friday Poetry: Elsa Beskow


Golden, you are,
Golden soverigns on your trees.
Golden guineas on your floor,
golden coins of leaves
that fall
for us to scuffle ghrough
and rustle
and rattle
and hustle
and scrabble
and dabble
and paddle
as they fall
into an October carpet
which hides
our shoes.

~ Elsa Beskow

Here is the coding if you want a button with a link to this week's round-up.


:: this post is part of the Friday Poetry roundup hosted by Two Writing Teachers.