Monday, April 30, 2012

I can live with this

Now that I've had a little over a week to adjust to the new Blogger dashboard I'm pretty sure I'll survive the change.  While I still hate the very, very white backgrounds (and don't know how to change them or if it's even possible), and the spell-check is suddenly wonky and unable to recognize compound words or pre/suffixes, I have to admit that the automatic site-meter is pretty cool and may be a little addictive.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Happy Birthday to me

And this is my 100th post as well.  Somehow that seems very satisfying, although I'm not sure why.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

It Came!

I've always been interested in esoteric stringed instruments but the cost, and the fact that lace spinners need to not have callused fingers, meant that I never actually got one.  Until now.

About two years ago, I guess, in a weaving group on Ravelry one of the posters showed a strap they'd woven for their "strum stick" that they really liked.  The weaver said that this instrument was very easy to play and of course I was interested.  They were kind enough to give me the website info and that's pretty much were things stood, that price and callus thing, even though it turns out that one of my guild mates on DDO was familiar with strum sticks and thought they might be a good introduction to music.

And then...about a week ago I decided that because it was almost my birthday, and because I want to have various instruments around for the kids to try, and because...well, because...I would order one.  After listening to the various samples I decided to go with the grand strum stick, instead of the standard, both because it can be tuned to "C" and because the lower tone is less irritating to my nerves than the higher one that too closely resembles the high pitched random noises certain of my children like to entertain themselves with.  I even went so far as to order the accessories so that everything, except the electronic tuner it turns out.

Yesterday there was a knock on the door as I was reading to the kids, who of course all went running to see.  They were nearly as thrilled to see the two, one of yarn to finish a project because Wal-mart doesn't carry the colors I'm using anymore, packages as I was and in fact I had to be quite firm about their leaving the boxes alone and letting me open them when the reading was done.  I have to say, the website was correct.  In about fifteen minutes I was able to pick out a couple of , fairly, recognizable songs and with practice will probably even be able to know what notes I'm playing instead of just following the fingering instructions in the book.  So, first impression is quite positive and I'm looking forward to finding out if that impression holds up.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Drama! Hysteria! Turtles?

One of my favorite moments in home-schooling so far is the day we went for a walk and found a butterfly that had just come out of its chrysalis and was in the process of drying its wings.  Today was a day like that.

Youngest Kidlet came screaming into the house in the middle of school and, when we got her calmed down, it turned out that she'd seen a turtle sitting on the lawn.  This is indeed big news since in the two plus years we've been here the kids have seen one turtle and that was on the other side of the neighborhood and we'd never  seen one in Colorado at all.  So, we got to incorporate our visitor into the day.  It was art day and instead of doing a kaleidoscope, as was originaly planned, the kids all sketched the turtle instead.  We also discussed our observations of the turtle and it's behavior over the course of the day.  There are some days that come very close to the golden fantasy of what home-schooling is like, and this is one of them.

E.t.A.  The fact that it took me an hour to write two paragraphs around interruptions is much more like a typical day though. ;-)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Uhm, Yeah

I had several topics I was thinking of writing about, but when I got to the "write new post" screen my topic became clear.  I.Hate.This.New.Screen.

I'm sure I'll get used to it, since I have no choice, but just the blinding whiteness of the page causes me to feel loathing for it.  I can't even claim to remember what the page looked like yesterday because I don't.  I do know though that, whatever it looked like, it was better than this.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I appear to have failed

At making disciples in the cult of Agatha Hetrodyne:Girl Genius.

Well, not completely. My kids like it when I read the novelization of the first part of the story (Agatha H and the Airship City) to them from the Kindle. Eldest Kidlet and Son also check the tri-weekly updates independently. I guess it proves the adage that one's greatest influence is in the family.

Being a contrary sort of person though, I want complete strangers to read and enjoy it as well. The artwork is truly amazing, the writing engaging (with the word usage being far superior to much current writing). For "Love, Adventure, and Mad-science" I haven't found anything that comes close.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Things I've learned

That I'm sure are pretty obvious to everyone.

There is a reason most people don't begin practicing a martial art when nearly 40. I actually did take a modified karate as my PE requirements at the junior college I attended so some of the things are familiar on an intellectual/muscular level. If that weren't the case I don't think I'd be able to do Tae Kwon Do at all. As it is, I'm sure the kids will shoot past me in terms of ability very quickly. Particularly, since they often practice during the week and I don't.

Something else I've learned, is that I really am a cat person. I enjoy playing with Hank a lot and he's a great dog, my in-laws threatened to kidnap him if they hadn't been traveling by plane, it's just that dogs sound so moist all the time. Well, that and the fact that I've never had a 30 pound cat (much less one that thought I should be it's pillow all day, every day). Honestly, I question both the intelligence and taste of any being who is so devoted to me. I'm not that devoted to me. Prehaps there-in lies the attraction of dogs?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I took my in-laws to the airport yesterday so they could go home. We had a very nice visit that included a two day trip to Branson where the kids and I had never been. The truth is, I am a very spoiled daughter-in-law. Besides Branson, where the kids and I toured the cave and all of us went to the Butterfly Palace and to see the New Shanghai Circus, Father-in-law and Son built two raised garden beds to fit around the cement slab downstairs and Mother-in-law took care of cooking while they were here (heaven!). Now real life returns and I have to go back to being the responsible adult, which is why I'm a #SadPandaNow