Friday, December 31, 2010

My international breakfast

Tea sent from the UK, a little individual-size English pudding (Thank you, Julie Daniel!), a bagel and cream cheese. Blueberry bagel, so not so East-coast as might be. The mug and plate are from thrift stores. The placemat was bought in Wales. The other stuff is Marty's; I'm sitting where he more usually sits, in the den.

Here's Holly earlier this week. I was taking a picture of the way she knotted her shirt. But after I saw it, I notice the monkey print matches her pajama pants.

I like her stance, and her foot.
I guess I like everything about Holly.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Wood delivery

We had two cords of wood delivered this afternoon. Because our gate is bigger in back than it was last time we got wood, and because the truck was smaller than last time, he could back up and dump it in the back, rather in the front driveway where it had to be moved one pickupload (or wheelbarrow) at a time, to the back.

Marty and Holly helped sort and stack it, and Keith was impressed that it was done in 90 minutes.

Marty with the beginnings of the organizational scheme.

Keith and Holly and most of the pile.

After they were had been done a while (I had gone on errands).

A lot of that is two layers deep.  Big deal!  All done.

Added later: I had tried to make a video of the wood being dumped, but my phone battery died. At least the truck shows, and Keith and Holly:
(It did hit the basket, but when it touched it he moved the truck forward.)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Family photo

Luke took these with my camera. The first is perfect in pose, but fuzzy. The others are clear but less perfect poses, so those who wonder what we looked like on December 23 this year might look at both and then use imagination. :-)

I really like Holly and Kirby in that third one.

25 Random Things about me

I lifted the whole intro from Frank Maier's, so if it's not true that you don't tag, delete that part.
Before you read my revelations, here are the rules:

Once you've been tagged, write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about yourself. When you're done, tag 25 people, plus the person who tagged you. To do this as a Facebook note, go to "notes" under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions at the beginning, type your 25 random things, and then tag 25 people.

Anyone who knows me knows that I don't tag, so we're just ignoring that part of this little exercise. Here are 25 random brainfarts from me.
I did this a few years back, but I want to try to share newer things.

1. When someone asked me if I had a copy of my book online, I thought he meant The Big Book of Unschooling, or Moving a Puddle. He meant Bright Ideas and True Confessions, an SCA handbook I wrote years ago. (I told him it was, but the format is inconsistent, it's not downloadable (except in its individual bits), and I'll look for a paper copy, but for any SCA folk with the same question, here.

2. I'm pretty sure I will never catch up with filing important papers and photos, or putting things on my webpages I want to put there, or editing Bright Ideas. So I'm glad I finished the other two books.

3. I thought when my first child moved out that I would miss him terribly, but I didn't. I wondered whether to feel guilty, but I think it's that he seems so whole and confident, and that he was ready to go, and he was moving toward something, not away-from-us-to-get-away. I enjoyed seeing him settle in and be happy about new friends and a new place. I love to see him when I do, though, and will see him Monday.

4. I went to India thinking "just this once," even though I had heard my whole life that anyone who goes to India once will go back. I DO have a growing list of what I will would do "next time."

5. I like to do two things at one time, but if I can do three or four, I feel POWERFUL. I listen to a book from while I sew, while the laundry is running, and I feel like I'm in a soft nest made of clouds. Or I watch a movie while I play a video game and heat the hot tub. That's nice too.

6. I develop an attachment to things. Toys. Books. Metal storage cans. My hatchet. A certain pair of scissors I got at the flea market, with a matching letter opener, that was an advertising gift probably before I was born. I'm a packrat with great affection for things.

7. My floors aren't clean because I don't like to clean floors and I don't know why. I cleaned two the other day, which is what's making me think of my aversion.

8. My dishes are clean because it would be disgusting not to have clean dishes. I scrub the outsides of pans and skillets. (Somehow dirty floors don't come under "disgusting" on my scale of good-to-bad.)

9. I love to wear jeans because of the pockets.

10. I'm a lot like my dad's mom, in many visible and invisible ways. Personality, temperament, habits, and some physical things. She was a packrat too. My parents were not.

11. I'm more afraid of long car rides than of airplanes. Not sure why. (I'm not afraid of airplanes.)

12. I've had waist-length hair except for four haircuts, after each of which it grew back to waist length (sometimes a little longer). It's gotten thinner, though, for sure. It was cut in 6th grade, on a road trip with a female friend (I got it cut in Virginia, just to do it—shoulder length, later shortened a bit more), when I broke my leg and wasn't going to be able to take care of it, and then when Keith cut his own waist-length hair off to get an engineering job, I had my already-short hair buzz-cut in the back and spiked on top by the same hairdresser, so Keith's hair could still be longer than mine, but I don't have a photo of that. BUMMER.

13. I like shelves, and think it's like vandalism when realtors want homeowners to take out all the shelves so a house "can sell." Some people would pay much extra for a house full of shelves!!

14. I like Miracle Whip better than mayonnaise most of the time, and I would like for those who make rude noises about that to shut the f**k up. It is SO not a big deal, and I've never tried to make anyone else eat Miracle Whip.

15. England (physically, not politically) is heaven to me. I love the *stuff.*

16. I'm not always proud to be an American, but I'm proud of New Mexico and the U.K. is unlikely to annex it. I'm accustomed to being an American, after 57 years, but sometimes it's embarrassing.

17. I think I might choke on my own saliva and die someday. I'll start choking without even having food in me, so if I'm ever like visiting your house and I just start coughing and I die, please don't feel bad.

18. I remember tunes really well, and can harmonize, but I forget the rules to easy card games like hearts and spades. I have to get a review each time. Lame. (Same with Renaissance and country dances... I need a review as though it were a card game. But if I'm one of the musicians, and someone plays a few notes of a song, I know it, and can do melody or harmony....)

19. When I was a young teen, I used to pray and cry because my parents were going to go to hell. I knew that because I went to church a lot, and they didn't.

20. Driving for long distances makes me sleepy, and so I have a limited range.

21. I make a game of playing the piano. I'll find a piece I like, and kind of know, and play it until I've made three mistakes and then quit. "Game over." It's stress reduction, sometimes. Or if I feel like "cheating," I'll just play as long as I want to. And make as many mistakes as I do, without feeling bad. So there. [I like baroque stuff. Clementi. Bach. Good, clockwork video-game stuff. I don't play piano by ear, though I can play a melody line by ear, and then write out the notation if someone needs me to, but... piano is not "my instrument."]

22. I play Plants vs. Zombies.

23. I can sew, with or without patterns. I wish I were really good at embroidery, but I'm impatient, inconsistent, and I don't have the color-and-pattern sense to design cool individual designs, and I don't want to use patterns, so my perfectionism freezes me up in the embroidery area.

24. I had no idea how much I would enjoy being a mother. I wasn't a babysitting girl when I was growing up. I wasn't a "oh, what a beautiful baby" person when I was a teen and young adult. When Kirby was born and my hormones kicked in, though, it all changed.

25. I love Christmas, but this year we have no tree, and I didn't mail cards, and didn't do stockings for the kids. I was just really busy with other things, and they're grown, and they didn't mind.

But NEXT year, I have marked December as do NOTHING but put up a tree, do good stockings, mail Christmas cards. Nothing else. Except maybe get ready for a little Santa Fe gathering or something.

And.... #26, maybe.
I have a blog called Just Add Light and Stir that I like a lot, and it's "e-mail subscribeable."

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Computer tech guy (for the record)

I'm writing this partly so I'll know when and who.  Kirk Slowe just came over and made everything relating to our computers and our printer WONDERFUL.   If you're around Albuquerque and need a computer tech guy who makes house calls, there's the guy.  Mac.  But he did get the PCs back online (the two that didn't get the new modem when it was installed last month) AND he got them to print wirelessly.  Woohoo!!

So FIVE printers can print wirelessly (whereas before that I was having to physically plug it in to mine, to print things other people e-mailed).  Even Marty's ancient desktop is online and can print.  Before The Problems started, both MacBooks could print wirelessly, but we didn't have any idea the PCs could be cajoled to do so.

What did not work was my tweaking my backup.  The old G5 hard drive is too small now to hold its own corpse and the backup of the MacBook.  It worked for a while, but now I need to get a bigger, newer external harddrive, so I'm going to do that now.

AND... Julie, James and Adam Daniel sent us a box of Christmas foods!  Marty and I opened and ate a few Hobnobs, but the rest I'm saving to share with the family.  Beautifully wrapped bunch of gifts!  A couple are tins, so probably shortbread or other such Christmas cookies, and Holly will get to keep the tins.

Here's the note from Adam, and the cross-stiched card from Julie.  I am VERY GLAD to know their family.  And they're coming to visit in January.  (Other people can, too...)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Too many books

This morning I got up at 4:30 (just did; wasn't sleepy) and processed some books--out of the boxes, inserts, tissue paper wrap, cardboard on both sides...  And I moved more of the books into my office.

I took the computer back to the bedroom to watch CBS Sunday morning.  I took a shower.  I wrote and played games.   After a while I came into my office to find this sad sight:

Holly came to sympathize and help me with the initial cleanup, wiping the shelf and putting it back up. A couple of books were damaged.  Only one thing actually broke:

Luckily, I already had a picture of it here.

It was already cracked and unplayable even then, but I thought it was kinda cute, and I love the song.

Anyway... the shelf fell because I put too many books on it, some of them gradually over a couple of years, and lots just this morning, before I went to the back to watch TV with Keith.

THE GOOD THING is that I had the laptop with me in the bedroom, so the shelf (that long black thing) did not fall on the computer.

There were other shelves in the room—solid shelves, built by Keith, fastened to the wall.  The books are there now.  I remained calm, and that's good.  And I feel stupid, which is perfectly reasonable under the circumstances.   A board on metal brackets isn't a magical surface as strong as the floor.  Probably everyone reading this knows that, but somehow for a while I seemed to have forgotten it.  I guess it was a good day for it.  The timing didn't require any flipping out (nor would it have helped anyway).

Friday, December 10, 2010

I was in India, Keith was in disguise

I don't have a photo of the whole group of musicians, but they were playing music for live dancing, and Marty was one of the dancers.

This was my last day in India, and at a show and tell that afternoon I played recorder a little, and played one of the songs we've played for dancing, and told people that Keith and Marty would be at a masked ball with live music later that day.

The photo is by someone new to the SCA, named Lynn Keswani; Keith sent it to me.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Marty escapes

Marty has finished all the homework portions of his three community college classes, so I gave him an early Christmas gift. He's in the other room saving the world from zombies and himself (his game self) from humans. "It’s ZOMBREX. It’s the Gift Of Life." I applaud his escapism.

There are still some class sessions and a couple of tests to go. He's done much better in the math class than he did in English 101. The first few weeks he loved that English class, when they were talking about parts of speech and punctuation, but it got boring and sometimes I'm not much help because I am appalled at the assignments and the grading. Still... I've known MANY more people to loathe English 101 than to enjoy it. And Keith was the same way (and he went to school for 13 years, and they have a genetic overlay).

Marty has been a good and responsible student. At first he did his homework as soon as he got home. Even when he learned to chill a while first, he kept up with the homework. A couple of video games came out during the semester that he would ordinarily have gotten and played, but he decided to wait until the classes were done. Even though he kept hearing his friends talk about the games, he didn't play or buy them. So I was glad to be able to surprise him with a collector's edition of Dead Rising 2. I didn't know it had so much cool stuff. There's a "syringe of Zombrex" (a ballpoint pen, with liquid sloshing in it; it's cute), a prescription pad from the Zombrex company and other fun zombie stuff.

I don't have a photo of him playing, but here are Marty and Sadie, at Jeff's house on Thanksgiving:

Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Big Book of Unschooling

Some of you might have seen this ad, if you subscribe to Natural Life Magazine, or the online Life Learning Magazine. Holly did the art, and she thinks it's one of the best photoshop jobs she's done, she said. Of course the book cover itself was Holly's doing, but having the yellow of the cover turn into the background was cool, and I like this.

I had a new review, in a way, and got permission to put it here:

I was interviewed from Australia, while I was in India, and that (with an introduction that made me blush, and a beautiful follow-up about kids) is here:
Kim was so sweet that I wanted to say some things I had never even thought before, and give her a special interview.  (Some of it might be familiar, but some is really new.)

It's a good time to order a book if you thought of giving one for Christmas.  In addition to the really beautiful cover, it has some ideas and suggestions for contributing to peace on earth and suchlike.

If your gift-list friends already have this book, please consider   Moving a Puddle:

The reason I don't advertise them on the same page is that it costs more to mail them together by priority mail than it does to mail them separately, because each fits in a flat-rate envelope, but the two together are too big.  It seems odd, but it's true, and it's a better deal.

RECENT NEWS is that is publishing in Australia and in Europe, so it might be worth checking the total price with shipping through, if you're outside of North America, and buying it there instead.

I'm not very good at promoting sales, so as a Christmas gift to my sweet husband Keith who never complains when I buy another shipment of books, I want to sell some now. We're going to Texas that week before Christmas, so I won't be able to do last-minute Christmas sales.  [The 18th is my last book-mailing day until after Christmas.]

Some people say they read these in the bathroom. Maybe you could buy two copies and decoupage the bathroom walls!

I hope you're all having a peaceful, merry December, wherever you are, and thanks for looking at my daughter's artwork.