Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Kerri tagged me today. [Actually it's a couple days ago now as I haven't had time to finish this post.] I know I have inadvertently ignored some other tags recently so I will do this one as quick as I can.

Seven random things about me:

1. I can't stand drying dishes. They must drip dry.

2. I used to be a Renaissance "faire junkie" in northern California; would dress up and go every weekend with a friend.

3. My son and I wear the same socks. I buy the 12-pack of white athletic socks from Costco and when we wash them, he takes half and I take half. (Inspired by Kerri's sock comment.)

4. My mind goes blank when I try to think of interesting things about myself.

5. I like to drink tea in the morning but like coffee in the afternoon or at night.

6. In 2005 my family spent a month traveling in England and Scotland.

7. I became a mother at age 41, gave birth to and nursed two babies, then immediately started menopause.

I'm so out of the blogosphere now that I couldn't say who to tag. So, if you are reading this, and want to do it, please do! But let me know so I can read it. I've fallen out of touch with some of my favorite reads.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Nostalgia at the bookmobile

Today when my kids and I walked out of the rec center where they take a PE class, we saw the Bookmobile in the parking lot. Immediately I was flooded with memories of the Bookmobile coming to my elementary school. That was a long time ago...

Of course we went in. My kids had a hard time imagining the library in a bus. As we stepped in I remembered the thrills I used to get way back when. They were thrilled too. So many books in such a little space. Of course we all checked something out. When we got our library cards when we moved here, we were given key tag cards along with our "regular" cards. So we always have access to the library now.

It's funny how those little things can bring up such memories. For a few minutes today I was back in West Seneca (NY) in the parking lot of Fourteen Holy Helpers School, climbing the big steps of the Bookmobile.

I'm glad my kids got to experience it too!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Post-wedding lawsuit

Saw this article today while scanning the headlines. Seems a bride in NYC (who happens to be a lawyer, imagine that) is suing a florist for giving her inferior flowers of the wrong colors for her wedding. The damages she's seeking: $400,000. The flowers themselves cost over $27,000!

"The use of predominantly pastel centerpieces had a significant impact on the look of the room and was entirely inconsistent with the vision the plaintiffs had bargained for," the Times quoted the lawsuit as saying.

In her suit, which outlines numerous "distressing and embarrassing" offenses, [the bride] accuses [the florist] of "unjust enrichment."

A florist should not use inferior flowers, "dusty vases with no water" and should use the colors contracted for, of course. (Though I seem to remember my florist telling me, and maybe I even signed something saying that I understood that the exact flowers in the exact colors might not be available. Flowers not being a manufactured commodity and all.) I suppose I'd be mad too, and want my money back, complain to the BBB or other appropriate entity, and tell everyone I knew not to use that florist. But embarrassed? What's to be embarrassed about? Distressed? I dunno, I was kinda busy at my wedding, enjoying my guests, the music, and my new husband. I didn't have time to be distressed over the flowers. What is the true damage that has been done?

Here's another reason not to envy the wealthy who can spend $27,000 on wedding flowers: we have less to lose if things go wrong. We haven't invested so much emotionally if we haven't invested so much financially.

I feel bad for a couple whose married life starts out with a lawsuit.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Is this blog still alive?

Well, maybe it's gasping for air. Lots of things to say, no time to think them through or actually write about them. I may write about my saga with the water company. And life in a neighborhood (new to us since we haven't lived in one).

But here's a question if anyone is still checking in here:

How is it possible to be unhappy yet still content and confident that life is as it should be?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Nightgown too short? Add a ruffle!

About 3 (maybe even 4) years ago I made my little E a summer nightgown. It's made from some cute pink ballerina fabric, and she wears it all summer. I try to have it in and out of the wash the same day - though she does have other summer pajamas to wear when it's not available.

Well, it's really gotten too short for her. And worn out - the hem was falling down; not from the thread coming out, but from the fabric wearing through at the crease.

She really didn't want to give up her nightgown. So, yesterday we dug through the fabric stash, found some pink fabric, and added a ruffle. She'll be able to make it through the rest of the warm nights this year. Then into the keepsake clothing bag it will go.

It's amazing to me how she can keep growing up but now out. She is 8 1/2 years old and above-average height, but she still wears a size 4T dress as a top. I love it because it's long enough to cover her belly even when she plays on the monkey bars.

Friday, October 05, 2007

A prize for being honest

Last July when we were moving, we didn't shop for souvenirs or gifts much. On our second-to-last travel day, we stopped in a little country store in a tiny town in the northwest corner of Pennsylvania. We bought a few little things -souvenirs for the kids, a few little gift items. The two ladies running the shop carefully packed our purchases for us, wrapping each in bubble wrap and tissue paper.

The kids got their things out right away but it took many, many days for me to open the bags and go through the stuff. I hadn't remembered buying so much! I found the things I was expecting, then unwrapped 3 or 4 more little bundles, each containing a little raccoon figurine that we hadn't bought.

Then I remembered how cluttered the counter had been, and how one lady had been ringing us up while the other asked which things went in our bag. She'd put in some extras.

The little figurines weren't all that cute, to my taste. E loved them, of course. But there was the problem of payment. I knew I hadn't been charged for them. I didn't want to call up the shop and figure out how to pay for them - I didn't want 'em! So what to do? Frankly, I wanted to put them in the donation bag, get them out of the house and forget about them. But of course I couldn't do that...

It took almost 2 months before I found a box the right size. I wrote a note, packed the figurines up, sealed up the box. Then it sat by the door for a while till I remembered to take it to the post office. Finally I was able to forget about those little raccoons.

Till today, when a small box from that store arrived in our mail. Inside was a card, thanking us for our honesty in dealing with their shop. The box was full of hard candy. Old-fashioned penny candy - mints, a candy necklace, and the dots-on-paper candy.

Of course my kids were thrilled. E marveled, "Wow, we got a prize just for being honest."

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Sometimes I hear someone talking to their children and comparing them unfavorably to another child. This really makes me cringe, especially when it's me who's doing the comparing. What does that sound like to the child?

"Lucinda, if you practiced your piano for 2 hours a day like Trina Snarkton does, you'd be a much better player" can become "I wish you were more like Trina Snarkton " which isn't all that far (to a young mind) from "I wish Trina Snarkton was my daughter instead of you."

Imagine if our children did that to us: "Mom, I wish you played dolls with me more, like Mrs. Jackhammer does with Cosgrove." Or our spouse: "Honey, why do you always wait till April 13 to do the taxes? Norton Fladwhopper has his done by March 1 every year!" What's the likely response? A defensive "I'm not Mrs. Jackhammer." A muttered "Maybe you should have married Norton Fladwhopper instead!"

Imagine the wrath of a wife hearing from her husband "Dear, you ought to make your apple tartlets like Felicity Warfnoggle does!"

We all have room for improvement. We all know someone who does something better than ourselves, our spouses, or our children. We need to give encouragement, not unfavorable comparisons, if we want to see improvement. If we see someone with a quality or characteristic we'd like our child to have, we can talk to him or her about it without bringing in the person who has the desired quality.

Oh, can you tell we've been listening to and reading Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle lately?

E's library adventure

Last night my little E had a fun adventure at the library. I missed it (I was at a grownup lecture!) but got to hear all about it.

Our local library has book discussion nights for the 8-12 crowd. This month it was for the book Everything on a Waffle. She read the book, loved it, and was looking forward to the discussion group. Daddy took her to the library and she found the meeting room and the librarian.

She was the only kid there. The entire time.

She and the librarian had a great time together. They talked about the book, of course, and other books, and Oregon, and who knows what else. At some point the librarian asked her "Are you homeschooled?" I was dying to know the context for that question, but E didn't remember. After a while they came out and fetched Dad and J, and chatted and ate the cookies. When it was time to leave, they were sent home with some of the caramel apples provided for the occasion.

When they picked me up at my lecture, E was glowing. She had had such a great time! She told me "I never felt so comfortable talking to an adult before, except [our former church choir director and her husband]."

Today she told me she might like to be a librarian when she grows up, and work with kids. And she can't wait to go back to the library and see her new friend.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Carnival of Homeschooling is up!

The 92nd edition, in fact, today at Tami's Blog. It is huge! You'll have a good time with your cup of coffee this morning. I'm looking forward to reading the ones about teaching math, after another difficult math day at my house.