Saturday, May 31, 2008


Okay, here are the pictures Mandolinartist took of us up at camp.

Sitting on the tire swing and trying to stay out the mud puddle underneath:

Goofy picture (although not on purpose!):

Sitting on the deck (Lauren, Zoe, me, Caroline):

Caroline, looking like she's about to crash into that guy:

I made cookies yesterday...chewy, triple chocolate cookies:

Mmm...yummy! Of course, we've eaten almost all of that plateful already...which is why I put most of the batch in the freezer! :)

I had to get new green pepper plants and replant them this week, the original ones I had got bacterial spot and were rapidly dying. :( So the peppers will have a late start, but maybe we'll be able to get some peppers later into the fall this way.

My allergies have progressed into lots and lots of nose-blowing. Ow. I went out for a bike ride yesterday evening and I didn't have to blow my nose, but I wasn't able to breathe very well, and came back gasping for breath and feeling like I really ought to be riding more often if that's all the better I feel! :p I think it was mostly from not being able to breathe properly though. I also probably shouldn't have been outside breathing in more pollen and stuff to irritate my allergies... I had to take an antihistamine, cough medicine, and cough drops to get to sleep last night. And while the antihistamine usually makes me sleepy immediately, it seemed to be having a paradoxical effect in that I was hyper instead of sleepy. I thought I wasn't going to be able to sleep...until I woke up this morning. :)

I went to Target Thursday night and got more cough drops, but instead of getting the $1.65 Ricola cough drops, I got the $0.99 Target version instead. Makes sense, right? I also bought other stuff, I didn't go to Target simply to get cough fact I found Mom and Dad a great bargain on the soap they get.

So: the Target cough drops have all the same inactive ingredients, with the exception of mallow...the Ricola ones have mallow in them. And believe me, you can distinguish that lack of mallow as soon as you put the cough drop in your mouth. It's just not the same without... no, actually I'm not even sure what mallow is, let alone what it tastes like. :p

As you can see, the Ricola drops are neat little cubes, while the Target ones are traditional lozenge shape.
The Ricola ones also come with an extra little piece of wax paper wrapped around the cough drop because they're all Swiss and fiddly like that. The Target cough drops have an "N" on them...for natural, I assume. Or maybe they're specially marked with an "N" for me. :) *ahem* Anyway...
The cheap ones don't taste quite as good, but after sucking on 3-4 cough drops, they all taste about the same anyway, so why pay more for the name brand? Unless you like cubes, and mallow, and extra paper...and if I have a coupon I do. :)

Did I really just write a comparison of cough drops? can tell I'm not having a very busy Saturday. I should probably go do something profitable with all this free time...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Coughing, cold, and camp

*cough, cough, cough.... cough*

Bother these allergies! At least I don't feel as bad as yesterday. I woke up yesterday feeling awful, and I only got feeling better after managing to take a short nap yesterday. I thought I wasn't going to feel up to going up to camp, but I was better by late afternoon and able to make it.

And boy, was it cold up there! It got fairly cold here at home, but I'd forgotten how cold it gets up at camp...brrr! Needless to say, that did not exactly help my cough and by the time I got home my throat was so worn out I was talking in a very, very low voice. And my parents were laughing at me... *sigh* After three cups of hot tea, my voice is now back (mostly), but when I got up this morning it was sort of missing on some levels! :p

Mandolinartist and I were talking last night about living out in the country, and she pointed out that I'd have even more trouble with my allergies, at least until I got used to it. Shoot...I hadn't ever thought of that! I thought it would be nice to live out in the country with tons of space and all...and tons of grass...*sneeze*. Maybe not! :p

Other than freezing, we had fun going up to camp...there weren't really any games we could join in, but we watched the games and talked in between...and we had grilled hamburgers for supper! Mmm...timed that right! lol! Tomorrow (tonight) will be homemade pizza, which is also good, but it's really best later when you eat it cold late at night.

I didn't get very many good pictures, I think mandolinartist got some good ones of all of us, so I'll post some of those when she emails them to me.

Caroline and Lauren:

It was cloudy so there wasn't a really good view off the mountain. When it's clear you can see downtown Winston (or maybe that's from up on the cliffs...):

The sign usually says "Welcome Homeschoolers":


Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I was looking on eBay the other day for little kids books, specifically little board books by Sandra Boynton. I had them when I was little and I don't like the illustrations in the new ones as well as the old ones. So I was hoping I could find some of the old ones on there, I didn't, there aren't any on there right now, but I found this new book called "Your Personal Penguin" that comes with an mp3 of the song that goes with it. And the song is SO cute!

Your Personal Penguin
I like you a lot
You’re funny and kind
So let me explain
What I have in mind

I want to be your personal penguin
I want to walk right by your side
I want to be your personal penguin
I want to travel with you far and wide

Wherever you go, I’ll go there too
Here and there and everywhere and always with you
I want to be your personal penguin
from now on

Now, lots of other penguins seem to do fine
In a universe of nothing but ice
But if I could be yours
And you could be mine
Our cozy little world would be twice as nice

I want to be your personal penguin
I want to talk with you night and day
I want to be your personal penguin
I want to listen to whatever you say

Look at these wings
So perfect to hold you
I’d like to say again what I have already told you
Let me be your personal penguin
from now on

Wherever you go, I’ll go there too
Here and there and everywhere and always with you
Please may I be your personal penguin?
Imagine me your personal penguin!
I wanna be your personal penguin
from now on.

– Sandra Boynton

Isn't that so sweet?? :p

The song is sung by Davy Jones from the Monkees and you can see the video of him recording it:

Personal Penguin ~Davy Jones

AND, you can download the mp3 for free on here!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Oh, it's catching up with me that I've been going almost non-stop since Thursday! So I'm kind of taking it easy today...getting some chores done, messing around, stuff like that. It's been too many days of getting up early and going to bed late, and not much rest in between.

The homeschool convention started Thursday afternoon, I didn't get to bed till late that night. I had a birthday party to go to Friday night. I babysat Saturday night, and we went to someone's house for lunch and stayed almost all afternoon on Sunday, then there was evening church. And then yesterday, Dad was off work, and we slept in, but I still felt tired when I got up and I went and got strawberries, and we went to a couple grocery stores, and I stayed up late last night too.

I'm not a super-high-energy person! :p

I think tomorrow my friend Amanda (mandolinartist of the comments) and I are going to go up to camp at suppertime and visit some of my friends. I'm really glad I didn't go to camp this year, if I'd had to do something else all this week I think I'd be dead by next weekend! :D So, we'll go see how they're enjoying homeschool camp this year.

So there you have it. :)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Other random NCHE conference stuff

Edited: Wow, I was typing too fast and was way too tired...I had a ton of typos! I've fixed them now, so it should make a little more sense. :)

  • I realized I was writing so fast yesterday that I forgot to put in the picture I took of Jessica and me...which turned out fairly well considering it was one of those "hold the camera out as far as you can in front of you" photos, so here it is, I even look fairly sane:

  • I think I ended up sounding in yesterday's post like I didn't like any of the workshops I went to, but along with there being parts of all of them that I didn't like, I also got something out of all of them.
  • Saturday afternoon there were all these grandparents sitting around waiting for the graduation ceremony. I guess they'd had to come with kids and grandkids who had to be there in time for practice. So they were all sitting around looking puzzled by all the homeschoolers
  • And if it wasn't grandparents, it was ukuleles! The music vendor down in the book fair was selling ukuleles and I guess on Saturday everyone decided to get one. So there were all these people sitting by the walls, or just wandering around playing these things, and all the "pling, pling, pling"-ing was getting very, very annoying!
  • I stepped into the main room during the rehearsal for graduation, just to see if there was anyone I knew and what was going on. Well, I timed that really badly, because I got stuck between the AV platform at the back of the room and the procession of graduates practicing filing out! And despite that I didn't even see the few people who I knew were graduating. They were also having trouble with the procession, because the lady was telling them to stick two-by-two, except they'd only left one door open into the hall so they had to split up to get out the door.
  • Homeschoolers can't line up, or follow traffic patterns in large buildings apparently. There were people wandering all over the main halls bumping into other people, kids playing games in the halls, large groups stopping to talk right in the way of everyone, and just general chaos.
  • Not related to the conference, Nicholas Nickleby is a very good movie. I watched it last night after I got the kids I was babysitting into bed. Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is also very good, I watched it last time I babysat. Now I just need to read Nicholas Nickleby because that's one Dickens book I haven't read yet! They probably ruined it in the movie. :)
Must go, it's time for evening church!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

NCHE conference 5/23 & 5/24

Okay...I'm back, the conference is over...well, actually the graduation is going on right now. I had a birthday party that I went to last night and I didn't get home till almost eleven. It was a sleepover, but I decided I'd better just go home, or there was going to be no way I could stay awake through the conference today. So I wasn't able to blog yesterday, but I'll blog for both days now!

Here's some pictures I took yesterday from the windows of the convention center yesterday, one little tiny corner of downtown Winston-Salem. :)

And guess what? I met Jessica yesterday! It was really cool to meet someone who I only knew online!
So, we got to the conference yesterday and went down to the book fair first, then we went and had lunch before going to workshops at two. After lunch I went to wash my hands, so I'm washing my hands and thinking: that the girl beside me looks familiar...oh yeah, I think that's Jessica. So I try to see her name tag (because without the name tag to help confirm who it was I don't think I would have said anything), yeah, her nametag says "Jessica".
I think I said something like "Jessica???" at which point she turned around and kind of nodded in a confused way. At that point I believe I mumbled something about "you have a blog, right? I'm Natalie...from the blog" or something equally strange and confusing. Major points to Jessica for not backing away slowly and then running at that point! :p But she didn't, she managed to put the clues together and figure out I wasn't a lunatic, and we sat together at the next two workshops even and talked a bunch.

And then today, I was walking in to a workshop and looking around for anyone I knew, and Jessica saw me and waved me over to where she was sitting...with my friend Lauren! "Oh! Hi Lauren!" I say, "so you two know each other??"
"Yeah, we're cousins! How do you know Jessica?" world!! :p So that was really cool and bizarre! :)

Let's see, the workshops yesterday. I went to one about guy/girl relationships, which was pretty good, although it was mostly stuff I'd heard before. But I walked in there thinking that if I was going to see any of my friends at the convention I might see them there. So I'm wandering down one of the aisles looking for people when I hear someone behind me call, "Natalie!" I turn around to see my grandma sitting there! I'm thinking, "I'm in a workshop about guy/girl relationships...why is my grandmother here??!" But anyway, there she was, and she'd left Grandpa down in the book fair; I saw him come in later in the middle of a big pack of teenagers trying to find seats. I think they were the oldest people in there, I mean, there were parents in there, but it was mostly teens! :p

After walking a lap inside the convention center because I was so stiff from being packed into the teen workshop, I listened to Tyler Hogan talk about "Modernism in Culture". Now, not that it's the guy's fault, but he was really annoying to listen to. Before the workshop he was pacing around like, well, I won't say Mr. Darcy because he wasn't like him, but like Colin or Jonathon Firth anyway. Pacing around looking mad, and then when the workshop monitor was going over the "this session is being recorded, no cellphones or noisy children please" he was standing behind her looking like he was going to strictly enforce those rules if anyone made noise!!! So it was a major disconnect when he started talking in a very soft, prissy voice. Ack! Okay, yes, the guy has a degree in theatre, but did he have to talk like that?! And I thought it was very funny how he started out by saying he was engaged and going to be married in two months, and he loves his fiance "very, very much" *prissy smile* Like if he hadn't made that clear, he would have been mobbed by young ladies wanting to meet him. Ha. And there are pictures of him and his family and his fiance on their webpage.

What he was talking about was pretty good, but he mostly went over various aspects of modernism, but I don't think he did much in the way of saying how we were to relate to modernism in the culture. So it was interesting, but not exactly what I was expecting.

Today I knitted while listening to Karen Stobaugh talk about foundations for learning, and then I went to "Dreams, Desires, and Decisions: A Look at Your Life Purpose" by Woody Robertson, which had some good points, although I think it was more geared towards guys. And about halfway through the talk he mentioned going to the Vision Forum leadership conference, at which point my friend Lauren and I made faces at each other. :) He did have some good stuff to say, but he obviously wanted to be a man-with-a-plan...

Well, that's all for now...I need to leave as I'm babysitting tonight. I'll blog more later!

Friday, May 23, 2008


No conference blog...just got back from a birthday party, must go to bed to be able to get up tomorrow! It's a shame because I actually have a few things to blog about...but they'll have to wait till tomorrow.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

NCHE conference 5/22

And I really have nothing very interesting to write...hmm...

I think the most fun was people-watching while we sat in the parking garage for 45 minutes. The last session ended at nine, then we were talking for a very short time and then headed out to the car. And the parking garage was a traffic jam. Someone let us pull out in front of them, so we were able to get in the line, but it was ten by the time we got out of there! However, for most of the time we were right by the exit door and we got to see the people coming out. There were the people who came charging out the door and pulled up at the sight of the line and raised their eyebrows in shock, and after that they either squared their shoulders and charged off to find their vehicle, stood there bewildered and wondering what to do next, went back inside, or got out their cellphones and leisurely meandered off to find their vehicles. Oh, and then there was the guy who was pacing around looking mad about the situation, and once we finally got moving he had to run and catch up with his wife who was driving the car! :p

I went to two seminars and the very end of one. I wandered around the bookfair, found some books but decided they cost too much. And I forgot to take any pictures. I also forgot I had packed my knitting, and I could have knitted through a whole somewhat-boring seminar if I'd remembered. Oh well, I'll knit tomorrow.

I saw two of my friends, and the mom of another. I really wish we still got the Greenhouse Report so I could see who all is graduating this year, because my friend that I didn't see is graduating, and I imagine some other people I know might be graduating too. And there doesn't seem to be any list online. :(

So...tomorrow might be more interesting. :) Right now I'm pretty tired, so I think I'll get to bed soon. Goodnight...and good luck...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


The right David won! :p And this was his best performance tonight (forget that cheesy winning song).

I like this song anyway, but he sang it really well...except he should have been dressed up!

Sharp Dressed Man ~David Cook & ZZ Top

Ties: the good and the bad.

Okay, since some of you requested pictures of the ties I got from my grandpa...well, actually I'd already taken pictures, I just hadn't gotten them posted on here because I've been busy watching the AI finale. Woo-hoo! *happy David Cook-like grin* :p

Anyway... some of the ties were along the lines of "what was he thinking when he bought this?" Some of them probably looked good with the shirts that were bought to go with them but on their own are sadly lacking in style. Then there were the basic "tie-patterned" ties... And then there were the ones I thought were cool for some reason or other. I'm really inordinately amused by these's sad.

One lot (that pastel one in there was probably the worst of the lot):

And another:

And then...because sometimes I can be really random, I tried on several of the ties. :p I'm quite proud of my tie-tying skills. I told my mom that and she gave me a very strange look and suggested I go empty the dishwasher. :p

The clip-on ties look especially strange with my t-shirt.

Blue striped clip-on:

Red and black:


Teal with black stripes:

Brown striped tie and strangely patterned teal:

I think this one was the widest one, which is a shame, it's really soft:

And finally, the tie which for some reason I like the most...the red plaid clip-on tie (it could be so punk rock if you put it with the right outfit! :p) :

So yeah...there you go...nothing too terribly awful I guess, but there were an awful lot of clip-on ties...

Just for the record, some girls wearing ties are cute... but I don't think I've to the look to pull it off. :( Bother. And I have such great tie-tying skills! (well, until my male readers say that those are the most badly tied ties they've ever seen.)

So, that's that...some awesome ties and... some not-so-awesome ties. And I apologize for the lame mirror shots...and those brown ties don't show up well on black either.


It didn't turn out quite the way I hoped it would, but it's still more colorful than what I had!:


It didn't turn out qhuite te way I hoped it owuld, but it's still more colorful thatn what I had

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

You can find anything on the internet

If anyone was wondering, the current acceptable/fashionable width for mens ties is 3.25 inches. In general, 3-4 inches, definitely no more than 4.

Why do I know this? Because my grandma was over here today wondering which of Grandpa's many ties were still acceptable. Apparently he was wearing a very wide (and wrinkled) tie to church last Sunday because they're cleaning and unearthed some old ties.

I believe I'm getting the old ones for craft projects...should be interesting.

So, there you have it...get out a ruler and measure away! I believe build was supposed to be factored in as well, i.e. if you are short and wide, be very careful not to wear too wide of a tie. Likewise, if you're tall and thin, you can get by with a wider tie.

I wonder if my dad's ties are the "proper" width? Actually the old one he has that he wore for work in the early 80's is probably about right.

Finished...but more projects planned!

I got my messenger bag finished! Here it is:


It's huge! I didn't realize it was going to be quite that big. Oh well, I can fit a lot in it:

Now my next project is going to be making cloth napkins. Mom and I went to the fabric store last Friday and found a bunch of neat fabric. I got some to make napkins for myself too. I should probably work on Mom's first though...which means they also get to be the guinea pigs! Hmm...
Actually, I also got some plain canvas for cloth shopping bags and perhaps I should make those first. At the grocery store we shop at, Lowe's Foods, you get points for using re-usable shopping bags and then you can use the points for groceries or gift cards. So we should start using these soon! :)

Mom's napkin fabric:

My fabric:

The fabric with flowers should go with my dishes. The Celtic knots are just awesome, I'm not sure what they'll go with, black and white dishes maybe. And the "moo" fabric would go with b&w as well. Actually, since it's b&w it would go with many things...or it doesn't have to match at all. I bet little kids would love having napkins that said "moo" all over them. For that matter, forget kids, I think having napkins that say "moo" is pretty neat! :D

Actually, my very next project (probably next week if I don't have time tomorrow) will be making something like this for my bathroom. I'll make it with various green and blue patterned paper. I got a really cheap metal frame at TJMaxx last year and so far I've just left the black and white flower photo in it.
I was planning on taking a photo that would go with my shower curtain, but there is an amazing lack of indistinct, blue, tropical flowers around here! :p And that's what's on my shower curtain (see last post, in cabinet picture). So I shall make one of these and put it in the frame and have totally awesome, totally unoriginal art. :)
It's a good frame too. It's a Nielsen Neo-Florentine Beaded frame in silver, and I got it for, I think, five or six dollars with two layers of glass in it...good deal.

Monday, May 19, 2008

And...I have no ideas for a title...

Ah, I was planning on blogging earlier, but I've been busy almost all day. Monday I've got more to get done today through Wednesday, because we'll be at the homeschool convention Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. So there probably won't be much blogging the latter half of this week either. Or actually, if I have time maybe I'll write some blog posts in between sessions. Illustrated with lots of photography.

So I've been cleaning and stuff like that today. I was also working on my messenger bag. I would take a picture, but it would still just look like a bunch of pieces of fabric, so I'll wait till I get it done. All that I have left to do is put the lining in, but I had a feeling I shouldn't attempt that tonight, so I stopped and now I'm blogging instead. (Aren't you all lucky? :p) Hopefully I'll be able to get the bag done tomorrow or Wed. as I was planning on using it at the convention...especially since I said Colin could use my backpack. I guess if I don't get it done I can use my old backpack with the difficult zipper...if it even closes? I don't really remember...I think it closes but the zipper gets stuck a lot.

I don't think I'll bother going to any more garage sales unless they are really close to us. I went to a bunch Saturday morning and they just don't have much that we need. I don't know if people around here just don't sell the sort of things we're looking for (silverware, dishes, fabric, etc.) or if people aren't getting rid of much because of the way the economy is, or if you never find this sort of stuff at garage sales. Because most of the stuff for sale isn't anything we one of the sales I stopped at I overheard this lady going on and on to her friend about "All the lovely things she didn't know she needed!" like it was some wonderful store that she just couldn't stop buying stuff at! And at that one in particular I didn't see anything I was interested in.
Altogether I found a couple glass jars, one nice little cookie cutter that will be good for shortbread, a white shirt in a bucket of free stuff, and a little cabinet for my bathroom. The cabinet was the best of all that.

Here's the cookie cutter:

The white shirt has some stains on it, which would be why it was in a free bucket, but I'll have a go at it with some bleach, and if that doesn't work I was planning on wearing it layered under other shirts anyway, so it won't be a problem.

The cabinet needs to be painted, although I actually, for some strange reason, like the pale yellow color that's on it now! How odd, I usually hate yellow... But yellow won't work with our bathroom anyway, so I'm thinking either white or pale green. I already have white paint, plus it would look nice and clean, so I'm leaning towards that.

Colin was thrilled when I came home with this...he came out to the car when I got home and saw this in the back seat and started asking me what I got. "I got a cabinet for my bathroom. For our bathroom."
"Ooo, neat!" he says, "And it has a drawer to put the toothpaste in!" Well, we'll see about that, but anyway, I'm glad he liked it. :)

I got it for six dollars...the guy was asking eight for it. He said his daughter had started painting it but never finished. So I offered him five for it, pointing out that I was going to have to repaint it. We made a deal at six; he said I was a couple years younger than his daughter, so he couldn't charge me too much for it. Uh, okay, whatever...I guess he felt like he would be mean to make me pay more for it. I was actually willing to pay the eight, but I thought I'd see if I could get it for less.
I was thinking about it later, and realized that more than likely I'm really about the same age that guy's daughter. People always think I'm younger than I am...when I was around 11-13 people thought I was 15 or 16, but I seem to have just stuck there. Hmm...if you all didn't know how old I was, what would you guess my age is? (Of course people who know me in person have an advantage, everyone else has to go by pictures I've posted on here!)

Oh, by the way, when I was out Saturday I stopped at Starbucks, and while I was in there I picked up the free iTunes downloads they had that day...after finding them on YouTube and listening to some of them, I realized they are either annoying, or boring, or both. But...if these are to anyone else's taste, I'll give you the download code for them (click to enlarge):

Colin and I also washed the car on Saturday. It really needed cleaning, especially inside. I vacuumed tons of leaves and dirt and fine gravel off of the floor, and wiped all the dust off the dashboard and radio and out of the door pockets. It looked like a new car when I got done! And the whole time I was vacuuming, Colin was hovering behind me asking if I was ready to wash the car yet. :)

We finally got to the washing part and he was happy...he did a pretty good job too, until he says, "Wow, these tires are dirty!" Ack...don't wash anything else with that sponge! I'd forgotten to explain to him that you need to do the tires last and the front tires very last. He was working on one side of the car and had just headed on down to the front left tire and now had a very dirty sponge. It was time for him to go in for lunch at that point anyway, so I finished up the car myself. Not without help though: I was doing the windows with Windex and the neighborhood cat hopped in the seat next to me and rubbed against me as I cleaned...she's getting very annoying. I'm afraid I ended up getting Windex on her too, it blew sometimes when I was spraying it, and I think it blew right onto her. Oh well...she needed cleaning.

Free to a good home ;)

Not really...he may be annoying sometimes, but I think I'll keep my little brother. :)
The kids were all hanging out in the nursery last night and Colin walked in with this sign (I'm not sure where he got it and I had him put it back) and one of the guys was like, "Here, Colin, give me that sign!" So I took this picture.

The nursery at this church building we meet in is so depressing...well, actually the whole building is depressing, but anyway...I can't imagine actually using this room as a nursery for babies and little kids.

Some of the other kids in the midst of a (rather blurry) discussion....about movies, I believe:

Sunday, May 18, 2008

New car?

Nope, a rental:

And isn't it an awesome color? I like red or black cars.

It's my grandparents' rental car...Enterprise didn't have any cars in the size they requested so they got a free upgrade to that. It's a Ford Explorer...which is good, they have a Mercury so at least the controls aren't too different on this Ford.

They decided they needed to rent a car for the weekend so that they could go to church while their car is still in the shop. So yesterday Dad and I took them over to pick up the car. We all five walk into the rental office (Dad, me, Colin, G&G) and the girl working there looks a bit overwhelmed. Well, I think her worst fear were realized as G&G rented their car. :D

The first thing that goes wrong is that Grandma gives the girl their cellphone number as the secondary contact number, while Grandpa stares at Grandma because he was going to put down our number, and Dad stares at her, because she's giving the girl some number he's never heard of. "What number was that?" he says.
"That's our cellphone number," says Grandma.
"That's not the one I have," he says looking at his cellphone, "that must be the old number."
"No. You must have the old number!" insists Grandma, as her purse starts ringing and she looks terribly confused as to why her phone is ringing.
"No, that's the new one," says Dad.
"Oh! Well! Really?" she asks.

Meanwhile the girl is trying to get the paperwork dealt with and Grandpa is muddling through it while all this is going on. So they get that all dealt with and the girl goes and pulls the car around and starts going over the details with them. She's standing there telling them what they signed up for and when they need to bring it back, and the whole time after she tells them something, she keeps looking over at Dad, like, "Are you getting this? Because they're not listening to me." Because he was obviously the only person who knew what he was doing! :p I think Dad needs a T-shirt that says something like: "These are my in-laws, I'm doing the best I can!"

They finally got it all taken care of and were getting ready to go. Well, they couldn't figure out how to adjust the side mirrors, so I went to help them...turns out I couldn't figure it out either, so Dad had to come look at it. It made sense after he figured it out, but it was a little different. Our car has a separate switch to choose which side you're adjusting and then a button for the actually adjustment. This was all one knob and it had to be turned, and then tilted to change the mirrors.

Dad decided he better wait until they were off before he left, so we sat in the car and waited. And waited. And watched much discussion going on in their car.
Finally Dad went over to see what the problem was now...they couldn't figure out how to take the parking brake off. After that they were able to get going, and the only other thing was that Grandma came over later to have me check the key-less remote and see if it would work. It didn't, it needs a battery, but we all decided that was best anyway. They can just use the key and not be accidentally unlocking the car!

So, that was the excitement for yesterday! ;p

Oh, and they also started updating Dad on how Grandma's brother who has been in the hospital, is doing. Uh, we're standing in the middle of a car rental office, do you really think everyone else in here wants to hear about all this?

Of course, there was also another old couple in there. Dad said that when the man at Enterprise said, "I'll be with you in a minute" the lady leans over to her husband and asks very loudly "What'd he say?!!" So maybe they have a lot of older customers in there. Or at least on weekends they do.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008 the right answer ;)

Although I'm not sure that the description really fits me...

You Are a Mac

You are creative, stylish, and super trendy.

You demand the best - even if it costs an arm and a leg.

Quit calling!

So, American Idol top two: David and David. Awesome! :D Good thing it was both Davids...they need to have someone to steer David A. around and keep him from passing out, and David Cook seems to be doing a fairly good job of keeping the other contestants going. :p

While we were watching the show last night, my grandma called because their car had broken down...sort of. What she told Mom was that it was running, but it was making a clicking sound, and Grandpa wasn't "doing anything about it", so they stopped so she could "do something about it". I really don't know what he was supposed to do, and what she did... She told Mom she tried to "roar" it, and it wouldn't roar. Rev it, maybe? But they managed to make it all the way from Kmart to the Texaco with AAA service. So I guess the car was still drivable.

What really made this confusing (more confusing, I should say) was all the calling going on.
1. Grandma called Mom, Mom said she'd try to get a hold of Dad who was at prayer meeting.
2. Dad's phone wasn't getting service, so Mom left a voicemail.
3. She called Grandma back to say that she'd left a message and would let them know when he called back.
4. Grandma calls, wondering why Dad hasn't called yet, and can't she call the house where they're meeting?!
5. So Mom tries to call Dad again, but he's finally got the voicemail and is trying to call her.
6. Dad calls, Mom explains the situation, he says he'll call G&G
7. Grandma calls Mom again, Mom says she talked to Dad and he's trying to call them right now.
8. Grandma calls Mom back to let her know that Dad called them... Uh, yeah, he said he would! *shakes head*

Anyway...they got it sorted out. They left the car there, Dad went and picked them up, and they've heard from the mechanic that a cylinder isn't working...or something to that effect. Dad called and talked to the guy, so he knows what's going on anyway. But sheesh, all the calling, and they had to do a bunch more calling back and forth today after they heard from the mechanic!

Grandma came over here earlier, and poor Mom's been on the phone since Grandma went back home, and right now she's on the phone with some lady doing a political survey! So much for her restful Thursday... :(
So, American Idol top two: David and David. Awesome!


Pearls Before Swine

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The way the camera follows us in slo-mo...

I intended to get some sewing done this morning, but I realized I was going to have to do something about my sewing table first. Okay, so my table collects enough stuff even when I'm not using it for sewing, but when I am sewing it gets fabric and other sewing stuff spread all over as well.

Oh dear. That's awful...really, really bad.

I had all the pattern pieces spread over my table, including the ones I wasn't using, so I folded those up and put them away, put away the stuff that shouldn't have been on the table in the first place. There was a small pillow that should have been on my bed, my wallet wasn't in my purse, and the can opener that I bought sometime last month still hadn't been put away. It's a neat can opener though, isn't it? :p :

Anyway, I got all that stuff (and more!) put where it belonged and put all the pins back in the pincushion...I usually end up taking the pin cushion in to the other room and pinning on the ironing board, and then I take the pins out while I'm sewing and they end up in a pile on the table while the pin cushion is still in the other room.

And then, because I'd gotten started cleaning, I cleaned up my whole room and dusted. And I think I'll go dust the rest of the house too, because once I really get started cleaning I keep going...

I'm sorry...I didn't blog yesterday! I couldn't really think of anything to blog about, so I thought maybe I just shouldn't blog. Novel idea, right? Something I probably don't do often enough...not blogging, that is. But I got some sewing done, and I watched A. Idol, and I knitted some...and after reading a blog that had a post titled "Days of Miracles and Wonders" I had this going through my head:

The Boy in the Bubble ~Paul Simon

Like most Paul Simon songs it doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's cool. The video is kind of random though...what's with that cat?!
I realized the other day that I got that iTunes card, and now I don't know what songs to get. I could get this song, and the others on the Graceland CD, but I want almost all of the songs on the CD, so it would probably be cheaper to just get it off of eBay and use the iTunes card for other stuff...I just don't know what! :D

Now my sewing table is nice and neat, and I can sew after I get my work done:


I was reading this book about the Senate for school, it's kind of a book for kids, but there are several in this series about government and they're fairly in-depth. The Senate

So there's a chapter called "Senator X Sponsors a Bill" which explains how a senator, Senator X, becomes a senator, sponsors a bill, etc.
The whole chapter was pretty funny, with things like "He was proud that the famous debater Stephen A. Douglas had once sat at his desk.", "Senator X was pleased with the amendment.", and "Others [bills] were defeated on the Senate floor. He was not discouraged."

Anyway, there's this one section that totally cracked me up:

"Because there has been corruption in the past, the Senate passed rules that said no relative of a senator could work in his office. Senator X avoids any hint of wrongdoing. One of his voters gave him a framed cross-stitch that reads, 'Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.' He hung it on his office wall as a reminder that he is a servant of the people and shouldn't get overly impressed with his power."

I think it was the cross-stitch that did me in there... :D

Monday, May 12, 2008


Oh my, it's Monday. And while we were able to get a fair amount of stuff done, it's still been very Monday-ish.

Mom and I both had headaches this morning, probably from allergies as it's been very windy here, lots of pollen blowing around.

Colin's been talking all day, and not making much sense...maybe he's tired too, but it seems like either he mumbles so we can't understand him, or he talks clearly, but still makes no sense.

He managed to pour almost the entire contents of a salt grinder on his lunch. We get these salt and pepper grinder things from Aldi, so at least they're not very expensive. They have clear caps on them....well, he left the cap on and was grinding the salt into it, but instead of taking the cap off, he unscrewed the whole top and dumped tons of salt onto his plate. *sigh* He didn't even have any reason to have not taken the cap off, we only do that while cooking so we can either measure it, or so that we don't get steam in the salt and make it clump up.

And just all sorts of other little things...

In between being strange today, Colin has managed to make me laugh too...maybe we're all just a little tired...

We were talking about American Idol while eating supper tonight (I'm not really sure why) but we were talking about how for tomorrow's show the contestants will sing a song they picked, a song the judges picked, and one the producers picked. And this is also the week they got to go back to their home towns... Colin says, "When they sent David Cook home, he came back!! He's still singing!" I think he meant after the original auditions... "Yeah," says Mom, "He came back! He's still singing! They can't get rid of him!!!" :p

We had tacos for supper and it sounded like Colin at one point mumbled something about Tulsa. "Tulsa?" my dad says, "What?"
"No, SALSA!" says Colin indignantly...which led Mom and I to start talking about how you can get Tulsa to rhyme with salsa if you're Alan Jackson... I still don't remember what Colin was trying to say. :D

So, yeah, we're all a bit tired, and it's Monday!

In other news, I've been working on the messenger bag I'm making...I'll take some pictures when I get more done. It's rather slow going, what with all the pieces and cutting fabric, lining, and interfacing. I was going to make it out of two old khaki skirts that I have, but found out Sunday afternoon that I wasn't going to be able to get enough fabric out of them. They're two different colors, and I couldn't even get the whole outside out of one color. So after panicking, and kicking myself for not buying some khaki twill when it was on sale last week, Mom suggested that I see if Dad had any pants or shorts he was going to get rid of.

Duh! Why didn't I think of that? It stands to reason that the man who wears khaki pants and a polo shirt six days out of the week might have some extra pants that were falling apart but still reusable. :p He had two pairs...different colors, but one of them matched one of my skirts, so I'm using them for the fabric.

I got some knitting done this weekend too, but I still haven't knit as far as all the knitting I pulled out last week. :( Oh well, I'll knit tomorrow night.

And now I should probably go to bed and get some sleep... *yawn*

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008


So...I've been busy today! :) Typical Saturday really, I guess...just different stuff. I got up this morning and drove up to Pilot Mountain to get strawberries. I got two gallons and put one gallon on a baking sheet in the freezer to have for smoothies. The other gallon is still in the cooler for dessert tomorrow...Mom or I will have to cut them up either before church or when we get home...depending on how early we get up tomorrow, I guess! :p

When I got back Dad and I went to some garage sales nearby. They were listed in the paper as a community yard sale, which led to me to expect them to be in some sort of centrally located area...which they weren't. But Dad and I finally found all of them while driving around the neighborhood. And we found four very nice glass canisters...these are usually over-priced at the store, but we got all four of them for $1.75. Hmm...that picture's kind of blurry...I guess it's hard to take pictures of glass. Or maybe I shouldn't have put the glass on the glass top of the stove...too much reflection.

Then I also found this fabric and got it for fifty cents, and it's just shy of 5 yards! Yay! :) I'm not sure yet what I'll do with it...there's enough to make a dress or skirt, or I could make an apron or something. It's kind of thin, but I'll see what it's like after I wash it. Chances are it's been washed before, so that probably won't make it shrink up any, but it's a little yellowed in some spots, so I need to wash it in some Oxyclean anyway.

So, some great deals! I don't think Dad's going to want to go garage saling again though...we didn't find enough things for him to think it was worth it. :)

We also got (though not at a yard sale) a china cabinet! Mom and Dad saw one in the newspaper, and Dad went to look at it after work yesterday. It was really nice, so they decided they wanted to get it. The guy brought it today, and it's just perfect! :) I haven't taken any pictures of it yet, so I'll have to post some later.

When Dad went to look at it, he grabbed a camera from work to get some pictures of it to show of these cameras: Fujifilm S3 Pro It's really, really nice... :D Dad said the built-in flash wasn't very bright, but the rest of it seemed to work well, and I like the feel of it. It seems well-balanced and easy to hold. Unfortunately, there are a few used ones on eBay for maybe $400 and up, but the cheapest new one I saw was $999.99 *gulp* That's just a bit more than I can pay for a camera! :) I mean, for a thousand dollars I could get a used Macbook, or a cheap car, or lots of other things! :p Oh well...

Let's see...I got the main dish ready to go for tomorrow, before we leave for church I'll set the oven to turn on. We're having chicken casserole, with provolone cheese and stuffing in it, wild rice, green beans, and then cake and strawberries with ice cream and whipped cream for dessert. Yum!

Right now I'm babysitting, but the kids are in bed...oh wait, here comes one...

Okay, got that taken care of. I think I'll go get some knitting done. :)

Friday, May 09, 2008

Friday fun

Two very short YouTube videos that amused me today:

Jane Austen for Men -trailer (I wish this was a real would be pretty funny!)

Jane '08

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Awww, she's so tired...
And this crazy Mockingbird was so baffled...he kept flying at the side mirror and was either trying to attack the "other bird" or trying to figure out the mirror, I'm not sure which...he finally ended up on top of the car twitching his tail in an irritated manner.

Thursday miscellanea

Is it really Thursday already? Wow.

Okay, this is going to be a rather random post. :)

We got our name tags the other day for the home school convention...let's see, it's in two weeks. I was thinking that I should find out which if my friends were going to the convention, and then I realized that I've kind of lost touch with most of my friends from home school camp. I like to know who to look for at the convention, but it would be a bit weird to email them all now, on the slight chance that I might see them there. Hmm. I've just been too busy this past year to email much. :( I guess I'll just see who I run into, if anyone!

Mom asked me yesterday if I wanted to have a graduation party. I don't really know...what does one do at/for a graduation party? It's kind of the same problem I have with birthday invite a bunch of people, but then what do you do? Although, a graduation party would be easier than a birthday party...with a birthday party you have to sort of pick an age-range. Does anyone have any suggestions about graduation parties? Do I really want one? :D

Thanks to Rebecca, I've been looking at Pyrex/Corning Ware/Glasbake/misc. vintage baking dishes on eBay. The problem is I'm not really sure how much these things should be worth, so I don't know what's a good deal. With depression glass, there are books that have the values for the different patterns. Of course everyone's collecting these things now, so I'm not sure if I could even find any at garage sales, which is where else I was thinking of looking.

I have so many craft things I'd like to do...I'm working on something for Mom that needs to be done by Mother's Day...this Sunday.
I went ahead and got a pattern for a messenger bag, because the patterns were on sale when we went to the fabric store...99 cents is worth it to not mess up a project. I found some cool lining fabric too:

I had to pull eleven rows of knitting out of my sweater because I didn't read the pattern right. Thankfully with the cotton yarn I'm using, it's fairly easy to pick the stitches back up. But that eleven rows was quite a bit of knitting. :(
And I've got this idea for newspaper baskets...but that's going to take having enough time to sit down and mess with newspaper and get my hands all covered in newsprint to figure it out. That might have to wait till this I'm ever going to not be busy. :p

Grandma is cleaning some stuff out of their house, so she just came over here with stuff for us to look through. She had a cute little toy tea set, and some beach of them I'm not sure if it's supposed to be a towel or a tablecloth. And when I spread it out to take this picture I realized it's got an owl on it! A very floral owl!!! :p

And one of the other ones looks kind of like a quilt:

Tea set:

BTW, for my cousin Andrea: if you like that tea set (it kind of goes with your dishes) you're welcome to have it...I think it's cute, but it's not really my color.

I've got lunch for Mother's Day figured out, so I just have to get some stuff at the store. And get some fresh strawberries on Saturday, the strawberry farm has them for $7 dollars a gallon. We should probably get some extra too and freeze them. I was comparing the price of the frozen ones we get at Costco for smoothies and these are cheaper.

And I've got supper for tonight figured out. Hamburger stew (which is much better than it sounds) and biscuits. Of course, the biscuits are the main reason for eating hamburger stew. :)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Okay, as promised, lots of pictures.


Marking for bolt placement:


On some of these I don't remember what was going this one. I look either sad, or like I'm about to fling something at reality I think maybe he startled me because I didn't know he was right behind me. Strange picture:

Or this one...Colin must have been awfully close to getting hit by that 2x4:

Tightening the bolts:

The two sides of the trellis:

Measuring the steps/slats...cross-pieces of wood:

Cutting the slats:

Measuring for drilling:

Colin's not always too good at getting a whole person in a picture :) :

He is a very thorough photographer get lots of photos...although they may not be what you asked for:

Then there were quite a few steps in between that required both of us holding onto the trellis, so we didn't get any more pictures until Mom came out.

Working together:

Colin is getting fed up:

Is he singing or yawning?:

Colin with the finished trellis...ta-da!:

Both of us with the trellis...Colin still has enough energy to look

The carpenter bees were buzzing around the whole time I was working. I mean they were right up in my face! They're obviously very happy I'm building them something to drill! :(

In fact...I just went and took these pictures.

 know what? He's on the same spot he was in yesterday's picture. I think there was a knot in the wood there, so maybe he could get the hole going easier...I wonder if I filled that hole and the other knots with spackle (no, wait, caulk... spackle can't get wet) whether they would give up? Maybe they'd just drill where there weren't any knots?

Drat those bees...I can't stay out there all summer killing them with a tennis racket!

I got the squash planted this morning, although the mums are still in their buckets...I'm going to have to find some where else to put them. There are just too many tree roots to dig where I was planning.

We were at Lowes last night to get some flowers for Grandma and I found some more strawberry plants on clearance. So that's nice...

Oh, Grandma came over yesterday morning before they went to vote...she didn't know anything about some of the candidates, so she was asking us about them. I think she ended up with a list of people to not vote for, because she kept saying "hmph" and other similar disapproving sounds about our choices...whatever. :)
Anyway, we got into a discussion about chickens, and she was going on about how she'd like to have chickens, they raised chickens when she was a kid, and so on... So Mom was telling her we were thinking about having chickens, and even though they're not exactly allowed, as long as we don't have a rooster crowing no one should mind. At which point Grandma wanted to know how we were going to keep the rooster from crowing. We're not going to get a rooster, we explain. And then we had to explain that you don't have to have a rooster to get eggs, you only need one to get more chickens...and I don't think she ever believed us! :p