Thursday, August 30, 2007

International Baseball

Yes, the world has gotten smaller; I know this. I still find it humorous (or humourous!) that today, as the Cleveland Indians take on the Seattle Mariners, the rotating ad board behind home plate at the top of the first had an ad in what I can only presume to be Japanese. Presumably this was to take advantage of all of Ichiro's fans. A Japanese ad in a ball field in plain ol' Cleveland, Ohio. Wonder if the ad said anything about punching yourself in the face? Ah, well. I'd rather have Grady Sizemore and Asdrubal Cabrera anyway.

Also in the kind-of-funny category: this game is yet another in the make-up series between Cleveland and Seattle to make up for all the games we were snowed out during the beginning of the season. Just another day in beautiful Cleveland, Ohio. :)

And before I got a chance to post this, they showed one of the big planes, here this weekend for the Cleveland National Air Show, cruising along the skyline of Cleveland. Suh-weet!

Update: We came up with a big dose of Rally Pie in the ninth!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sewing with ADD

So, I have at least three sewing projects going right now: capris for me, that I cut out all the pieces and now I actually have to sew them together, doll clothes that I'm designing myself, and a purse that I have some of the pieces cut out for. I'll keep you updated on their progress; it's helping me actually buckle down and I'm hoping to finish all of these!

I was thinking that the title of this post might also be a great title for one of those sewing shows on TV. Could you see it? "Okay, today we're going to learn how to use your rolled hem foot on your machine. Oh, great, I can't find the foot. Where did it go? Oh, look, here's that pair of pants I started last fall and never finished! Well, fall will be here again soon, let's work on those. Just let me find the right color thread..." I imagine it would look something like this old but good YouTube video featuring the ADD shopping network.

Speaking of ADD, did you know I saw a mama doe with twin fawns right across the street from my domicile the other day? :) Here's a pretty good picture of one of the fawns, and you can just make out the other one behind it. I also got a picture of Mama, keeping an eye out for anything dangerous.

The Laughing Frog had a deer sighting recently too.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Turning Inward

A lot of my attention lately has been turned toward things in my own home. Homeschooling has been the biggest attention-getter. We started on a light schedule last week and will get more focused this week. I'm glad both of my daughters are still enthusiastic about homeschooling. They really like being able to learn at their own pace and being able to take breaks when they need them and get out in the sunshine, and they enjoy going over a book with Mommy on the bed.

They're also going to get involved in activities where they can hang out with other kids and hopefully, make new friends. Wildchild will be taking ballet and jazz dance classes. I'm trying to get the Scientist into a local 4-H club, but I'm frustrated because nothing I've found online gives good contact information. I've got several other activities in mind that I'd like to get the girls into, so it should be a busy fall!

In the meantime, the outside world continues on without me. Somehow, nothing seems as important as my home and my family and my own little projects right now, and that's a good thing. I still need to stay aware of the wolves outside, though.

Friday, August 24, 2007

History in the Making?

The remains of the two missing children of Czar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra may have been found. It would be nice to finally put an end to the story which has captured imaginations for decades if these bodies really are found to be Alexei and Maria or Anastasia. Also hopefully a positive identification of one of the earlier bodies found can be made, since there were debates between the forensic scientists involved as to whether one of the bodies was Maria or Anastasia. Without the fourth daughter's body, it was difficult to tell for certain.


Here are the capris I made for the Scientist. They're a little baggier than I like them, but she likes them that way, so... Also the fabric is a little stretchy; it has some Lycra in it. I wish I could remember where I bought the fabric; it's very nice.

Next, I need to work on my pair. They'll take a little more time, being more fitted with a waistband and zipper. I just made pull-on ones for the Scientist; she needs more clothes so badly I wanted something I could throw together quickly.

We've done pretty well on homeschooling this week. The Scientist is in 6th grade this year, Wildchild is in 3rd. I suppose they'll get bored soon but for now they're almost glad to have something to do. It's so terribly humid outside that they don't really want to be out playing right now anyway.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


My friend is having a contest to show off the cool new purses she is making. Go find out how you might be able to win one! Or just cross your fingers for me! :)

You know, I remember when purses made out of placemats used to be the cool thing, back in the 80's. Does anyone else remember that? I wonder where my old one got to?

Talking about contests, the first game of the double-header between the Texas Rangers and the Baltimore Orioles was no contest. The Rangers won, 30-3!! That's the most runs scored in a game in 110 years. Ouch!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Computerless in Cleveland

More or less. My laptop is acting up, or more accurately, locking up. Grrrr. Until my computer guy, AKA DH, can get it fixed, I'm using the daughters computer, sitting on the floor, holding the keyboard in my lap. Not conducive to long diatribes on the state of the world, the Cleveland Indians, the local economy, or anything else.

We're easing our way into school, partially because the girls are getting bored with summer vacation, partially because I'm eager to get started using all the cool stuff I found. It won't hurt to get a little ahead of the game, as we're apt to fall behind at some point.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Work Continues

I made some more progress on the capris today, getting the pattern pieces cut out and several pieces cut out of the fabric cut out as well. I'm loving this fabric; it's a stretch twill in a baby blue, with a lovely sateen finish. I'll have to see if I can get any good pictures of the fabric. I'm going to work on some capris for the Scientist out of this material too.

Had breakfast this morning with my sisters-in-law, their husbands, and my nephew. They were passing through, driving the nephew up to college. It's his first year. Sniffle! I bet the Presbytera and her husband would have liked the omelet-with-feta-cheese-and-gyro-meat that my husband and his brother-in-law had. Might not have liked it with tabasco sauce as brother-in-law had it, though.

The food was good, but we did get into a discussion about silly ways restaurants cut costs, based in part on my nephew's recent experience working at one. One thing that came up was a restaurant by us that serves some off-brand soda, neither Coca-Cola nor Pepsi. Bleah. I'm afraid the restaurant we had breakfast at is prey to the same thing. Does this kind of thing bother anyone else? I'm one of those people who can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi, and I can definitely tell if you accidentally give me a diet soda. Actually, among some at church, I've acquired the nickname "The Pepsi Snob" because I can't drink canned Coke. Just can't stand it. So we always stick a few cans of Pepsi in the car when we go to a social function, just in case. Hope it's not seen as rude. But then my other favorite beverage is milk, and that's getting to be on the expensive side, so...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Oh the Pain

I'm having a so-so day after spending a good bit of yesterday groggy, slightly dizzy, not feeling well. I think it is a reaction to whatever pain medication the dentist used on me when I had a small cavity taken care of on Wednesday. I don't do well with pain medication. I'm allergic to codeine. Oxycodone makes me start to lose my grip on reality. I forget what meds they gave me right after I had my tonsils removed and some other work done (in my 30's!) That stuff didn't make me sick, I don't think. I was kind of out of it for the first bit after the surgery. Feeling pain isn't that hot either, unfortunately. As someone who's delivered two children, one by c-section, I can say this.

I worked up a muslin today for a pair of capris I am making. A muslin is a test garment, so called because it is generally made out of inexpensive fabric, like muslin. When you're making something that's a little more fitted, like a pair of pants or a fitted dress, it's good to make a muslin first so you don't destroy your good fabric if the pattern isn't just right. Fortunately, I've gotten pretty good at tinkering with pants patterns to get the fit pretty close. Wearing clothes that were made just for you can be pretty addicting. I've spoiled my kids into getting used to it as well.

Speaking of pain, my daughters are psyched up about High School Musical 2 tonight. At least one of them is going over to a friend's to watch it.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

"Free" Education?

One of the things that irks me about homeschooling is having to spend my time and money to teach my children at home, *while* paying taxes for the purposes of education, that we don't get the benefit of. However, I was surprised to see the figure of $1,200 given as what to expect for parents sending their children back to school this fall. Of course, I'm not entirely sure what is included in this figure. One sentence says that this figure is for pencils, paper and activity fees. For the money-saving website they recommend, they talk about kids' clothes. I wish they said what all this figure entailed. Clothes for kids can add up quickly, even when you make them yourself, as I do. However, I managed to get school supplies and school *books* for my children for less than half of that figure, with the help of a little judicious buying of used books on ebay. I don't know that clothing should really figure in here, unless your school requires uniforms. Kids need clothes for fall in any case. We don't always do homeschool in our pajamas. :)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Happy Left Handers Day!

Today is the day to celebrate all that is glorious about those of us in our right minds! Famous lefties include my favorite Sherlock Holmes, Jeremy Brett, perhaps the quintessential Phantom, Michael Crawford, Brent Spiner, Bruce Willis (yippee-ki-yay), Judy Garland, Douglas Adams, Mozart, Rachmaninoff and Beethoven, Queen Victoria and a bunch of King Georges, Winston Churchill, Sam Adams (have a cold one today!), Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Michelangelo, C.C. Sabathia and of course, me! :) For my friend the Quipper (aka Rick), Bela Fleck is. For my husband, Wil Wheaton and Alan Turing are/were, too.

On the other hand, neither Inigo Montoya nor Westley are.

For more information, see here and here and here.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Something Rotten in the State of Ohio

You can imagine how I feel after reading that people in northeast Ohio are overpaying millions for sewer projects. This, after heavy rain allowed raw sewage to flow directly into Lake Erie, but we are supposed to be encouraged by tunnels that will be built to keep this problem from occurring again. The problem is, how much will we overpay for them? And how can we get public officials we can trust, to keep an eye on things? I can not ever see myself running for public office. I would hate it; it's not where my gifts and talents lie. And I wouldn't want my husband to tackle it until our two daughters are older, if he even wanted to do so. What can honest people do?

Forget a Dog, We Need an Owl

Addy the owl is recovering from a dislocated leg after biting and scratching the thief that tried to steal her so that he threw her from the getaway car, then crashed it. The thief has been caught.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Pondering the Idiot Box

It started with a little back and forth between Jonah Goldberg and Andrew Stuttaford at NRO's The Corner. Goldberg admires those who can ban all television from their children's lives, Stuttaford is afraid this will "ensure a certain degree of cultural illiteracy." Now others, like the Headmistress at the Common Room, are weighing in.

I've been turning the idea of "to watch or not to watch" over in my own head, especially since reading the Headmistress' dismissal of Stuttaford's fear. At the risk of appearing to be an improper mother, or even a lowbrow, knuckle-dragging Philistine, I'm afraid I tend to lean more towards Stuttaford's way of thinking.

I do limit my children's television watching, both their choices and the time spent watching. I also try to keep a watchful eye on who my children play with. However, the latter can be a little harder than you might think. At least, it is if you are like me and don't have the intestinal fortitude to tell a six-year-old at your door, "Sorry, my daughter can't play with you. You watch too much television." My daughters, at least, know that their choice of movies and television watching is more limited than some of their friends, and judging by their honesty in telling me when a friend was going to watch a movie they weren't allowed to watch, I believe they are still following their parents' restrictions, for which I am thankful.

Now, I was allowed to watch very little television as I was growing up, and you could describe my parents' television choices as, well, prudish. I wasn't, for example, allowed to watch The Facts of Life, because of the title. I managed to survive into adulthood, although I would never have been voted Most Popular. As a matter of fact, I had few friends all the way up through college, and was often the butt of jokes. Of course, this was for a variety of reasons. At my college, not getting trashed on the weekends and not having sex made me a real oddity. And during that grade school period when kids find anything funny, I laughed when kids quoted lines from Saturday Night Live without having any clue where the lines came from. It was only later, when I'd happen to catch a retrospective on, yes, television, that the light clicked on. "Oh, that's where that line came from!" I still wonder if that little divide from my peers, that grew into a huge divide, came in part from being extremely, and perhaps overly, sheltered as a child.

However, I see television all around me. This week on my confessional-Lutheran-homeschooling-Moms email group, several moms were chuckling over a television show from the 1960's. A family at church watches American Idol and 24; their five-year-old daughter, one of Wildchild's best friends, named one doll Kellie Pickler and interrogated another doll with "Who do you work for? Who sent you?" And Wildchild was just invited to a party at the house of a friend in the neighborhood, complete with snacks and games, for the premiere of High School Musical 2.

We may pine for simpler times, or "When I was your age, kid, television was called books!" We may long for the days of Carney's House Party, a book about "Deep Valley," or Mankato, Minnesota, in 1911, where Carney is glad her father had read the "new novel," Queed, which her Vassar College roommate had just read on the train. When Carney's beau, Larry, gives her The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam for her birthday, she mumbles, "Thank you. Everyone at Vassar is reading this." Nowadays, I suppose he'd give her the Season Four of 24 DVD set. Of course, Carney and her friends also danced to ragtime and did the Turkey Trot, seen by some back then as vulgar, seen now as "quaint," I suppose. We may see television as vulgar, as insidious, as tacky. But for good or evil, it's part of our culture.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Breezing Through

Just popping in quickly. I've been running around like crazy the last couple of days, doing mundane, humdrum things like going to the dentist and getting routine bloodwork taken. I'll be back to my fun, entertaining self later. :)

Monday, August 06, 2007

Staying Indoors!

It's very hot and humid today. Although the temperature is not the highest of the summer, the humidity is, I would think. It *feels* about as close as you can get to 100% humidity. I looked at the 5-day forecast, and thunderstorms are predicted every day. Fun. Oh well, the crops around here can use some rain from what I've read.

I'm going to take advantage of air conditioning and stay indoors working on things. There's a lot to do, since we spent both weekend days with friends. Yesterday we had lunch (and later ice cream!) and hung out with some college friends. It's nice to have people in your life that you've known for a long time, and can feel comfortable with them even if you haven't seen them for quite a while. Saturday was also fun, though. :)

Friday, August 03, 2007

Beautiful in Bay

Well, we haven't gotten to the beach this summer, but we did get to the lake!

Last night since we were in the area, we did a geocache in Bay Village, where I grew up. The easiest and most convenient one to do was in the Bay Village cemetery, which overlooks Lake Erie. If you like old cemeteries, this one is nice. A few of the men interred there fought in the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812. There is an unknown soldier from the Civil War.

The cache was a "multi-cache." We had to get dates from the historical site marker and a few gravestones in order to find the exact coordinates of the cache. Wildchild found it, under a rock by the back corner of the cemetery.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Chick Quiz!

You scored as Elinor Dashwood, As Marianne's older sister, Elinor lives at the other end of the emotional spectrum. She rarely reveals her intense feelings and is more concerned with being honest and loyal than having what she deserves. Even though her intentions are pure, she sets herself up for loss by constantly placing other people before her own needs. Overall, Elinor is gentle and rational but is just as capable of radical emotions (despite her withholding them) as her sister.

Elinor Dashwood


Elizabeth Bennet


Emma Woodhouse


Marianne Dashwood


Jane Bennet


Charlotte Lucas


Lady Catherine


Which Jane Austen Character are You? (For Females) Long Quiz!!!
created with

Via the Wide Awake Cafe.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

I finished up these skorts today for Wildchild.

Now the Scientist wants a pair, although out of different material. At least both of my daughters like them. This is very important after putting your hard work into sewing something!