Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fröliches Neues Jahr

I hope everyone has a very happy and healthy 2009. I'm making up some resolutions, just 'cause I wanna. One is to publish more on my blog. If you look on the sidebar, you can see that I posted a great deal more in 2007 than in 2008. A great bit of that is the difficult period I went through around the end of February, beginning of March -- hoping to avoid that this upcoming year. I'm more aware than I've ever been about living with bipolar and what I need to do to manage it.

Speaking of health, prayers for good health for Mr. BTEG would be appreciated. He was diagnosed right before Christmas with mild Crohn's disease, an autoimmune disease that attacks the intestines and such. He also has the autoimmune Hashimoto's disease, which means his thyroid is slowly dying off. All that in addition to being asthmatic and having ADD, and he has a huge pile of meds he has to take every day. We're thankful for the Crohn's diagnosis in that he's been having "stomach" troubles since he was in grade school, and now we have definite ways things can be improved. His sister has Crohn's as well; it seems to have at least one genetic marker.

He's doing pretty well, so I don't want to end this on a downer. God willing, we'll have a healthy new niece in 2009, we'll be moving to a new place, and whatever else God sees fit to bless us with. Hope God blesses you all as well.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Baking Bonanza

The Dancer is in the mood to bake. Yesterday it was cupcakes, and blueberry muffins made from scratch, using some of the blueberries from our picking expedition in July. Today it's crescent rolls and Pillsbury ready-to-bake cookies. She's also making glaze for the Italian biscuit cookies that were made earlier. The Dancer can work the calories off with all of her dancing. What will I do? :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

At Least the Sun Is Shining

Have you ever felt tired of being where you are and can't do anything about it? That's where I am right now. This isn't a post-holidays thing, either. I just hope I can survive until things get better.

At least I'm getting some sunshine. Yesterday there was sun, today there was sun, and tomorrow we're supposed to have sunshine also. I'm hoping the sunshine will help get me through the rest of the winter.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

If Buffy Is On Your Gift List

I'd like to know this thing was tested on some real vampires first before *I* bought it.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Good, Bad, Unusual

The good is that the weather was lovely today -- warm, and even with some sun. It was nice to have a break from the cold. And I know I need all the sunshine I can get.

The bad is that I've a little bit of post-holiday blues. At least I think that's what I'm feeling. I'm hoping as we ease back into normal living that I will feel normal too. And we're spending the New Year holidays having Christmas with my in-laws, which will be fun. I do have a lot to look forward to in 2009.

The unusual is that we saw a bald eagle in flight on the way to Great Wolf Lodge. It was an awesome sight, and the first time any of us had seen an eagle in the wild. It's neat to think we have a bald eagle (or eagles) so close to where we live, also.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Holiday Wrap-Up

We had a gloriously happy Christmas. The Dancer got a new mp3 player, which her father set up beforehand with songs from the Disney triumvirate, High School Musical (1, 2 and 3), Hannah Montana, and the Cheetah Girls. There's even a video, London Tipton's "Yay Me!" You'd have to have a girl the right age to understand all of this. :) This morning we awoke to the Dancer in the living room warbling along to her favorite tunes.

The Dancer also got her American girl doll, at last. She even has earrings! The Equestrienne has two American Girl dolls, so we felt the Dancer had the right to at least one. This morning she has the doll's hair done up the same as hers.

The Equestrienne got a digital camera, but we gave that to her early, so she could take pictures at her birthday party. She also got the mitten gloves she wanted, with a matching hat.
The lobby of the hotel was all decorated for Christmas. For the little ones, there was story time in the lobby at night, which they do all year 'round, and it "snowed" in the lobby too. That was fun.

Our hotel room was very nice. We ended up with the "Kid Cabin". The girls had a separate sleeping area made to look like a log cabin. It had a bunk bed, a twin bed, their own television and a game controller, if you wanted to pay extra for games. I love the themed rooms; it adds to the whole "resort" feel.

Breakfast is especially good. It's an all-you-can-eat family style meal, with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, pancakes and biscuits. There was also a toast station, an omelet station where a chef makes up your omelet according to your order, and a fruit and yogurt bar. Wish I could breakfast like that every morning!

Oh, and I got some mystery books and two chocolate boxes. The perfect gifts, no?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

For the Holiday

Now sing we, now rejoice,
Now rise to heav'n our voice;
He from whom joy streameth
Poor in a manger lies;
Not so brightly beameth
The sun in yonder skies.
Thou my Savior art!
Thou my Savior art!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Time Is Here

Once again, our family is at Great Wolf Lodge. It ended up being the four of us this year for Christmas, and I thought we might get blue hanging out at home just us, which is what we do normally, and with the weather so gray. I wanted to do something special, and there are not many special things to do in Ohio in the winter, especially on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Plus, as repeat customers, we got a very nice room at a special price. It's not much more than a regular hotel, and we get the water park thrown in. And I don't have to cook! Not that I am not outsourcing a lot of the cooking and baking as the girls get older.

I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas. I hope to post some pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Joining In

Everybody is doing this, so I thought I'd join in. Everything I've done is in bold.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea Sort of. It was Lake Erie.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables My mom heard that if kids grow their own vegetables they'll eat them. I grew green beans. I didn't eat them.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train It wasn't a sleeper car, though. The seats folded out. We didn't sleep well.
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance The future Mr. BTEG was the patient, but I rode in the ambulance with him.
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater I don't remember it, though. It was Bambi.
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class My husband says fencing is a martial art.
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt It was a quilted table runner, technically.
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Okay, I haven't done a lot of these!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Teenager At Last

At least, the Equestrienne feels she is a teenager at last. Her parents wonder what they have let themselves in for, but we've survived so far. We also wondered, while we were shivering at the stable yesterday, as we have wondered before, what we were thinking having a baby in the winter, this close to Christmas. :)

We had a surprise cake today at church for our birthday girl, during the potluck. The cookie sale fundraiser went well also.

It was so nice yesterday to come home to no cleanup here! I think every birthday should be like that.

Happy birthday, Equestrienne!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Equine Party

Today we celebrated the Equestrienne's 13th birthday, although her actual birthday is tomorrow. The party was at the stable where she rides, with cake and ice cream in the observation room afterwards. Everyone helped groom and tack the horse they rode, and then everybody got to ride. Only the Equestrienne, and one of her friends that also takes lessons there, got to do more than walk, but I hope everybody had a good time.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Calendar of Events

Today there was icy rain for the morning commute. Fun. And I wish more people knew that the best way to drive safely under slippery conditions is At least we avoided an accident, or loss of electric power, as seems to have happened in other parts of the country that got this.

Time will go quickly from here on out. Tomorrow we have the Equestrienne's birthday party, and the girls will be baking cookies for a fundraiser at church on Sunday. The Equestrienne and some other teens in our congregation are going to a Higher Things event next summer.

Sunday, there is a potluck at church, the fundraiser, and we are decorating the church for Christmas.

We just made plans for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. You'll find out more about those later.

So far, we don't have plans for New Year's Eve or Day. Maybe we'll get together with my in-laws one of those days.

However, the fun doesn't stop at New Year's. My sister-in-law is expecting a baby next February, and her baby shower is in January. I wanted to knit something for the shower as a gift, but I just don't feel experienced enough yet. However, I may still try to make something for when, God willing, my new niece will arrive safe and healthy in February. And the Dancer's birthday is at the beginning of the month of February. How busy we will be for the next while!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Customer Dis-service

We're in the market for jeans for the Equestrienne. Not low-rise, not flair, juniors size. We stopped at JC Penney since there is one literally five minutes from where we live. Not only could we find no jeans suitable, the one sales associate that stopped by briefly in the department would not make eye contact with me. They have checkouts by the door, I guess so you don't have to bother the associates any more than necessary.

I've looked online and there is not much out there either. Plus, it disturbs me how a lot of the models in the juniors sizes are wearing low-rise jeans *and* stiletto heels, for the latest in hooker chic. I wonder if there is any place out there that makes decent clothes in juniors sizes.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Home Stretch

Last night I was so tired that I laid down in bed to read around 8:30. Around 9:00 I was so tired that I turned off the light to get "a little rest" before I got up to get "ready for bed". Needless to say, I did not get up again until morning. I did wake up early and did a couple of things I had wanted to do before I went to bed, like start a load of laundry and the dishwasher. Then it was back to bed.

So this is the home stretch before Christmas. Not only that, but the Equestrienne will turn thirteen on Sunday, and we are having a party for her on Saturday. Fortunately, the party is at the stable where she rides, so we won't have to worry about cleaning up the house beforehand. :) I should finish the cloth blocks, make a doll outfit as another gift, and make good progress on a jumper for the Dancer to wear for Christmas, this week. Sleep will be a priority this week as well.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Free Catechism

I'm trying to go through and find new homes for things for which we no longer have use. I actually haven't had a special use for this catechism since I was in grade school. It is not the catechism I studied from for my confirmation, but one I acquired in about fourth grade at my Lutheran dayschool. It is a little different from other Lutheran catechisms because the Bible verses come from William Beck's An American Translation of the Bible. The pastor at the church associated with my school was a friend of Beck's and revised some of his work, so we used this version of the catechism and also the Bible. This catechism is copyrighted 1971 and was published in 1976. The pages are yellowed, some of the corners are a bit bent, and the pages are a little bit loose. My name (maiden:)) is written in the top left corner of the inside cover.

If anyone wants this catechism I will send it out media mail.

Blog Updates

As you can see, I changed the template on my blog. If anyone can help me change it again later without getting rid of all the stuff on my sidebar, let me know. In the meantime, I'm still getting my links back up. There's a bunch of other stuff I *could* be doing, but I need a little break from reality!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


All I did was run around today. Not all my errands were successful, either. I'm tired. Hope all your Christmas plans are going better than I feel mine are at the moment. I think we can get everything together, but I think I will feel more sure after a good night's sleep. 'Night.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Time and Money

There are some people with more money than time; there are some people with more time than money. Most people, I think are in the middle. Sometimes it's easier to save time and spend money; sometimes it's more practical to save money and spend time. Christmas is one of those occasions when there may not be as much money to spend as you want, and so you may have to contribute some time as well.

All this to lead up to one of the projects I am currently working on, which is some cloth blocks as a Christmas gift for a baby boy. Since I have been blessed with a fabric stash, an embroidery machine, and the ability to sew, it helps stretch the Christmas funds to make these blocks. You don't even need a pattern. They will be different blue prints and solids, with an alphabet letter on each.

Of course, one can buy cloth blocks, but then that's just that bit more money added to the Christmas budget. I did find blocks as cheaply as $9.99, but there's only 4 blocks in this set. I also found a 9-block set which I think is outrageously priced at $36.00, even if the blocks are different shapes. Any sewer with decent skills could put this set together. Actually, I think it's amazing what quality toys sell for. I suppose that is where the money over time comes in. If Dad and Mom are both working, perhaps they can afford the pricey kids' toys. Perhaps there are well-off grandparents. But I don't know how some of these places can sell enough of the ultra-expensive toys to stay open. I'm glad quality toys exist, though, even if they exist beyond our budget most of the time.

I'm also knitting a small purse for myself, out of slate blue cotton yarn. Another place where I can save big money. I have the fabric to make myself larger quilted winter and summer purses, but I got bogged down halfway through and haven't finished. I've just recently got started on the winter purse again, which will be fitted in between sewing projects which need to be done before Christmas.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Lazy Saturday

I'm going to do the easy posting route today and put up my results from this quiz that I found at Cheryl's.

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are an Ingrid!


You are an Ingrid -- "I am unique"

Ingrids have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.

  • * Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.

  • * Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.

  • * Though I don't always want to be cheered up when I'm feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.

  • * Don't tell me I'm too sensitive or that I'm overreacting!

What I Like About Being an Ingrid

  • * my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level

  • * my ability to establish warm connections with people

  • * admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life

  • * my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor

  • * being unique and being seen as unique by others

  • * having aesthetic sensibilities

  • * being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me

What's Hard About Being an Ingrid

  • * experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair

  • * feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don't deserve to be loved

  • * feeling guilty when I disappoint people

  • * feeling hurt or attacked when someone misundertands me

  • * expecting too much from myself and life

  • * fearing being abandoned

  • * obsessing over resentments

  • * longing for what I don't have

Ingrids as Children Often

  • * have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original games

  • * are very sensitive

  • * feel that they don't fit in

  • * believe they are missing something that other people have

  • * attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.

  • * become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood

  • * feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents' divorce)

Ingrids as Parents

  • * help their children become who they really are

  • * support their children's creativity and originality

  • * are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings

  • * are sometimes overly critical or overly protective

  • * are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz
at HelloQuizzy

Friday, December 05, 2008

Seven Things Meme

Karen tagged me for this, along with the award that goes with it. I need to find an way to put these awards on my sidebar!! Back when I had Windoze on my laptop, Mr. BTEG set up an easy way to create web pages so I could create a web page for each award and link to it through Blogger. Now that I have Linux as my OS I don't have an easy way to create web pages. I hope Mr. BTEG, or anyone, can help me figure out how to get these awards back on my sidebar.

Seven Things I Did Before

1. Had lots of quiet.

2. Used snail mail.

3. Listened to my Walkman, or my boom box.

4. Had the squawking and beeps of my dial-up connecting memorized.

5. Rode my bicycle for miles at a time.

6. Tried to dress fashionably.

7. Earned my own money and spent it on myself.

Seven Things I Do Now

1. Yell “Be quiet!”

2. Use my cell phone to talk to my husband in a different part of our home.

3. Listen to music on my cell phone. Or on my boom box that I still have.

4. Disdain any internet that's not high speed.

5. Feel locked in sometimes because there are few sidewalks where we live.

6. Wear what is comfortable and looks good on me.

7. Fit things in for me between the girls' needs and husband's work clothes.

Seven Things I Would Like to Do

1. Take our kids to visit my husband's and my old “hang-outs” in Germany, and visit family and friends.

2. Visit the places in Germany we didn't get to last trip.

3. Visit Sulmona Valley in Italy, from which half of my husband's ancestors came.

4. Make money from home.

5. Sew more often.

6. Move to a bigger place.

7. Lose weight.

Seven Things That Attract Me to My Husband

1. His devotion to his wife and kids.

2. His geek-fu.

3. His strong Lutheran convictions.

4. His cooking skills.

5. His abilities in his career.

6. His good looks.

7. His ability to put up with me.

Seven Things I Say Most Often

1. I mean, seriously!

2. Do your schoolwork!

3. Be quiet!

4. Empty the dishwasher.

5. Love you.

6. Get down! (to our cats)

7. Get to bed.

I will tag Debbie, to go with the Kreativ Blogger award she already has, lol, Marie, if she wants to take part, and LuLu, who is very creative.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Winter Is Coming

and I am getting prepared.

Mr. BTEG wouldn't let me buy one until after Thanksgiving, but I now have a pine wreath hanging on our door. I love the smell of pine; it seems to sum up all my childhood magic of Christmas in one breath. Of course, I now understand better the true meaning of Christmas as the birth of Christ and the miracle of the Incarnation, but those hours gazing at a beautiful glowing tree, and the excitement of a new Christmas dress and the anticipation of Santa Claus have their own nostalgic childhood sweetness.

My scarf is finished and I am working on one for the Dancer, half nylon, half wool, and very fluffy. It's going very fast, because it is straight knitting and because it uses almost half the stitches of my scarf, because I am using bigger needles and the yarn is thicker. The colors will go nicely with her coat, which is dark navy and a blue very close in shade to the blue in the yarn.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Busy Day

We weren't wearing wigs or even hats, but we had a tea party on Saturday at the home of the Presbytera. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate and yummy munchies were consumed and much fun girl talk took place. Here we see The Evil Genius, Debbie of Die-Steppdecken-des-Quilter, Indiana Jane, in whose honor the party was given, Marie at Picking Up Pen and Needle, and the Presbytera herself.

Next, BTEG's family journeyed to Youngstown, where my husband's great-nephew was baptized, with some Law thrown in.

Lastly, Mr. BTEG and I attended his twenty-year high school class reunion at Cardinal Mooney high school. We had a good time, hanging out mostly with one of Mr. BTEG's good buddies from high school, and his wife. They live in Colorado Springs, so we don't get to see them very often. The reunion was in the high school, and the halls were all open, so everybody took a tour of the school at one point or another during the night. There was an open bar, so the custodians might find some beer bottles or cocktail glasses in odd places in the building. Someone went out to the plaza in the middle of the school campus and rang the bell which is rung after every football victory. It was interesting for all the graduates to see what has remained the same and what has changed. Attending a much smaller high school, I wondered what attending such a large school would have been like. Although oddly enough, our library at the time was bigger than their library was back then. Theirs is all new and fancy now.

You can bet I was tired after all that.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Crazy Train

I'm thankful that we are not responsible for making the majority of the Thanksgiving dinner this year. We are going to the house of some friends who kindly invited us. The most complicated thing we are bringing is homemade pumpkin pie, and Mr. BTEG is doing most of the work for that, with the girls helping. I don't even like pumpkin pie.

I've been tired lately. Not only am I on the go four afternoons a week and one morning, but Mr. BTEG's car needs some repairs and is temporarily sidelined. So I am driving Mr. BTEG to and from work at least three days a week. It's nice spending the extra time with Mr. BTEG, but I feel like I am spending half my life in the car and the other half shopping for food and doing dishes and laundry so we have meals and clean dishes and clothes for the next day. Yes, I do make the girls help out, but they have their school responsibilities also.

Speaking of spending time in the car, I also value the time I spend with the Equestrienne on the way home from her horseback riding class. She talks about one of her chief interests, horses, and what she's just done that day and what she plans for her riding future. Sometimes she opens up about other things. It's nice to spend time with her.

I spend most of my "together" time with the Dancer during our homeschooling time, and also on the way to and from her dance classes. It may seem too modern or cold to be spending so much time in the car, but I wouldn't change any of what we do. Except maybe for Mr. BTEG to get his car back. :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm Cranky

I'm cranky about a discussion on a post from September that seems to be getting nowhere. Can someone help me out? I don't see any room for rational discussion here and I'm tired of the whole thing.

I'm cranky about a website that stole one of my posts, in its entirety, without my permission and without any attribution. You can go search for your blog name and see if they've posted anything of yours without your permission. I've already discovered at least one person on my blogroll, who I doubt gave her permission either.

I'm cranky because one of my daughter's friends was dropped off in our complex by her parents without telling us or asking us to watch her, but we ended up watching her. They just moved out of our complex and their former residence is re-locked. I have no idea why they dropped her off here. She showed up at our door while I was rushing the Dancer out the door to dance class.

I'm cranky because my daughter's dance teacher took five minutes out of the beginning of ballet class to work with *one* girl on a routine she is working on for a talent show at her school. Yes, it was only five minutes, but I do pay for those minutes and I feel this showed poor judgment.

UPDATE: It was an accidental mistake that my post was listed with no attribution nor link and that I also found others I knew (if only online) with the same issue. It was upsetting to me to see my work taken with no acknowledgement of its author, but it appears they are fixing the problem.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

And It's My Favorite Color


You give your love and friendship unconditionally. You enjoy long, thoughtful conversations rich in philosophy and spirituality. You are very loyal and intuitive.

Find out your color at!

Via Nerd Family.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Women Stuff

I hate feeling like a zombie at least one day a month. A good burger and a scoop of double chocolate chunk ice cream (with huge, creamy chunks of chocolate) helped.

Oh, and it may be another month before the Equestrienne officially turns 13, but she went to her first concert tonight. Cheetah Girls. So she's well on her way to teen-dom.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

When Murder Becomes an Ideal

This is a chilling article that really brings home the devastation that China's one-child policy is visiting on that country. It also ties in how curtailing the human population has become almost an obsession with certain groups in society. The human sinful condition does mean that there are no depths to which our fallen natures cannot go, yet it is frightening to realize there are those who find the deaths of millions to be something praiseworthy and to which to aspire.

What is also chilling is that in our country we are about to get our most abortion-friendly president ever, who is comfortable even with babies, born alive through an accident, being left on shelves to die. One of his friends, who has admitted since the election that he is indeed a closer friend than they would admit to before the election, has called in writing for concentration camps to be set up to dispose of those who can not be coerced into their way of thinking. History has proven time and again that fellow human beings can become nothing more than liabilities to those whose ideology becomes a fixation, who decide they will literally stop at nothing to achieve their ideals.

What also diminishes the worth of human beings is the elevation of other life forms. I listened briefly to Glenn Beck's show yesterday while he played a quote from a television show on the Animal Planet channel called "Whale Wars." A young man who is part of a group actively fighting, on the front lines as it were, the killing of whales, stated in essence that he was happy he had found something worth dying for. Whales, part of God's creation, yes. Whales, worth dying for? As you can see from my previous post, I adore my pets. The loss of one of our feline friends has torn up my heart as well of those in my little family. But I do not understand putting animals above human beings. Why is the death of a whale worth more than the death of millions of human beings, even if you only see them as "fellow animals"? How is it that the lives of animals can become *more* important than the lives of our fellow human creatures?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sorrow and Loss

Today we had to say goodbye to a dear friend, our beloved cat Champ. The initial problem was a sore in the mouth caused by decaying teeth. Today it was discovered that there was a cancerous tumor in the jaw that is almost impossible to treat longterm and might have taken most of his jaw to get out. On top of this, we also discovered he had diabetes, which further worsened his health prognosis. We decided the best thing to do was to end his life peacefully. Still, it broke our hearts to let him go.

He had been a member of our family longer than the Dancer. We brought his mother home when she was pregnant with him. We had him with us from before he was born until the day of his death. We were with him when he died. He was eleven years old. Now he can be with his brother and sisters, who died at birth.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

You Know How They Say

that spouses end up acting like each other? Well, when Mr. BTEG and I were in college together, I could have telephone conversations with him during which he was not awake for any of it. I was driving Mr. BTEG to work this morning, and I asked him how the football game ended last night. He said, "I told you last night when I came to bed. We had a whole discussion about it." I replied that I didn't remember having any conversation. I guess I'm turning into my husband!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kick the Wretches Out

George Voinovich, Ohio Senator, wants an automaker bailout. Hardly surprising, on the face of it, since the auto industry is *huge* in Ohio. There's a Ford plant just down the way from us, and the GM Lordstown plant is one of the biggest employers for my husband's hometown of Youngstown. The problem is, where does it end? I was against the bailout to banks; I'm against the bailout to automakers. First of all, because I don't want to pay the bills for these companies that mess up. Second of all, because when do I get my share? I mean, really. We're not living in a cardboard box but we're not exactly living the high life here. No big house, no flashy cars, not a single luxury.... Oops, got carried away there. Okay, I don't really want a spot on the government dole. I'd be ashamed, not to mention that accepting a handout means you are beholden to the hand, and I'd rather be free and independent. But being free also means being free to decide how to spend your money, not have our supposed leaders just give out oodles of "free" money which is really ours.

So, how do the residents of Ohio get rid of "Cryin' George"? The answer is not a Democrat, as the Democrats in Ohio have plenty of corruption of their own. Not to mention the Democrats are largely supporting the automaker bailout as well, since they're best buddies with the autoworkers unions who have their own share in the woes of American auto companies. Will no one rid us of this meddling Senator?

Hat tip to IB for the automakers article.

For All of You Who Lived Through the 80's

My husband and I spent about fifteen minutes perusing the pictures here and being incredulous at what they considered mullets. Darth Vader's helmet? Um, I totally don't think so. Male pattern baldness? You don't have a mullet.

And by the way, keep this in mind.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I Know It's Silly But

I'm disappointed that American Girl is discontinuing the Samantha doll and her entire line. I have a Samantha doll and there were several things I wanted to get for her, but it was never a priority. You know how it is when you're the mom. Now the one thing I really wanted is sold out on AG's site and is two and a half times the price on eBay. Maybe the price will go down after Christmas. Anyway, I'm also disappointed because I think it shows one more mis-step in Mattel's handling of American Girl. I think the idea is to introduce more dolls from more time periods, but I don't see why they can't keep the ones they have. I thought Samantha was a pretty popular doll, and from one of my favorite time periods.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fall Cleaning

It's not so much fall cleaning as rearranging furniture and trying to make our living room work better, but there's lots of incidental cleaning going on in the process of moving and reorganizing. I've wanted to take pictures of my neat organizing stuff, but there's still too much clutter in front of it. :) We're making progress here, though. I'm still trying to teach myself that I can't do everything in one day.

In the meantime, Mr. BTEG is working on a new hobby - picking locks. Oh, yes. He found a cheap set of lock-picking tools online, and he has a nice selection of old locks that he's enjoying opening. I guess it's as good a hobby as any other as long as he doesn't get picked up by the local constabulary.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Needle News

The knitting project I have on hand at the moment is a scarf, in a colorful acrylic yarn. I made a mistake today knitting instead of purling a row, which led me to find another mistake, which was that I somehow added a stitch many rows back, so I had to unravel many rows back. That was frustrating, but I'm glad I found the mistake.

I may have to work on the scarf, but I already have a pair of mittens, thanks to a friend. Which is good, because I'm not sure I'm ready to use circular needles. This scarf is only my third project.

Speaking of projects, the Dancer is looking for activities to keep her busy, and she is trying to learn embroidery. Here she is with her practice stitches. She is really enjoying herself, and I hope she can go far with this interest.

Martin Luther Ist Zurück!

Imagine my pleasure at discovering, at Aardvark Alley, that Martin Luther has returned to the blogging world! It's great to have him back!

Friday, November 07, 2008

How's the Sickie?

Movie quote! I went to the doctor today and got some antibiotics as what ails me has been here long enough that it's probably not viral. I also got some prescription cough medicine. No codeine. Codeine and I don't get along. Hopefully once I am not up during the night coughing I will feel like tackling life fully again. I have a huge list awaiting me. :)

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Boarding school starting at least the junior high level, with good horseback riding program. Small pets allowed in dormitories a plus.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Immigration Complications

So if DH and I wanted to move to New Zealand, we couldn't, because we don't meet their weight guidelines. A German doctor who has emigrated to Australia, whose services are needed by the community he lives in, has been denied permanent residency because one of his sons has Down's Syndrome, and it was ruled that the son's condition would be "likely to result in a significant and ongoing cost to the Australian community." In the UK, fat children are being taken away by the state. And the insanity is not limited to other countries. The U.S. is now requiring all female immigrants ages 11 to 26 get the controversial vaccine Gardasil, whereas it is only recommended for female residents of the same age in the U.S. And what is driving all these restrictions? Shared health care cost concerns. Whether because of nationalized health care or group health care plans, low costs must be maintained in order for service to be provided.

What does this really result in? Government tyranny, and bad precedents that will only get worse. Will the government start directly overseeing the food you eat? Will the government attach some monitor to you to make sure you get what they consider is enough exercise? Will the government force pregnant women who are carrying children with Down's Syndrome or other equal conditions that can cause lifelong health issues to abort? Will older people, or anybody with a terminal illness, be "exterminated"? Where does it stop? I am bi-polar, and the medications I require to avoid suicidal fixations are rather expensive. But everybody at one point in their life or another, and often at more than one point, needs some kind of costly health care. None of our bodies are perfect. And health care improvements can be best brought about by a chance for profit. Do we want to live in a world without continuing improvements in medical care through medical research?

I don't know what the ideal health care plan is. But I think all of us would best be served by keeping the government jackboots out.

(And don't get me started on the hypocrisy of forcing legal immigrants to get otherwise optional vaccines but showering illegal immigrants with free health care and housing and making no requirements of them.)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween Eve

It was a lovely evening in Northeast Ohio for trick-or-treating, or just sitting outside and enjoying the evening while handing out a bit of candy. After the girls made the rounds of the neighborhood, we took the girls and a friend to Dave and Buster's. Mr. BTEG and I were there last weekend to sit at the bar and watch football; we picked up some Halloween game pieces and won $200 in free game tokens, which were redeemable on Halloween. Mr. BTEG and the girls played lots of games; I rested quite a bit in the car, since I am still sick. My fellow Lutherans in church this morning noticed that my voice is just about gone. Today is a good day to kick back and watch football.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Don't Stand Too Close to Me

Our entire family is sharing a cold. I'm not feeling particularly interested in much at the moment. I have been at least getting the girls to their respective lessons. I'm hoping I'll feel better by the weekend so I can accomplish things. Halloween tomorrow will be easy. Just bundle up and sit outside and watch Mr. BTEG throw candy into bags. Fortunately, the girls put their own costumes together this year. Not sure what the Equestrienne is wearing, but the Dancer is recycling her ballet costume from her recital and going as a ballerina. Not sure whether she will wear her mostly-outgrown ballet slippers or just tennis shoes.

I'm trying out contact lenses again. I wore them for years, but quit several years back when we couldn't afford the contacts. I may also get a new pair of back-up glasses. We need to use up the money on our benefits card before the end of the year. I was pleasantly surprised that my eyesight has slightly improved. Ever since I started with glasses at the age of 5, my eyesight has mostly deteriorated.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It's Science!

Read this, and you'll know why my husband and I think it would be cool to take bananas along while trick-or-treating. It's "fashionable" around here to put a black light in the outdoor light fixture for Halloween.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Points of Interest

Orson Scott Card, sci-fi god, wants to have a Constitutional convention and sees homeschooling as a way to get around government subversion. Apparently it's rocking the world of sci-fi geeks. He also asks, Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn on the Lights?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Keep Your Hands Off My State

Dear members of ACORN and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner,
Please stay out of my beloved state with your voter fraud. If your guy can't win on his own, that's just too bad. Cry me a rainbow. Brunner, I hope your ass gets voted out in the next election.

Dear Gov. Ted Strickland, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and Mayor of Columbus Ted Coleman,
Don't even talk to me about being lying and deceitful. The Chicago machine wrote the book on it, and now it's coming to the national stage. You disgust me. Grow some integrity. I hope you lose your next elections too.

Check out this story by the "unbiased media." Think it could be slanted towards the Democrats any more than it is?

Hope that RICO action works out.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Halloween Scene

In some ways I hate this time of year. Maybe I just have a weak stomach, but the decorations seem to be getting gorier and gorier, and it almost makes me ill sometimes. Am I the only one who finds fake blood (that new window gel stuff) on the window of a pizza joint a little stomach turning when you go in to get your pizza or meatball sub? Also why I'm not going with the husband and kids to Halloweekends.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Giant Killers

The analogy is so apt, isn't it? The Cleveland Browns, one of the "Davids" of the National Football League, beat the mighty Giants handily last night. Mr. BTEG tried to get us tickets, but they were too expensive. I'm happy, anyway. And I'll bet there are a lot of sleepy/"sick" workers in Cleveland today.

UPDATE: The Dancer's ballet class assistant was at the game last night and called in sick to school today. Although she actually *was* kinda sick also.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Light But Deadly?

A man was killed near where we live in a car collision while he was riding a scooter. This is what worries me about these light scooters and new teeny-tiny cars. They may be great on the gas mileage but they're not safe in an accident with any other type of vehicle except maybe an Amish buggy. Not to mention, around here I think they're a luxury, as I can't see driving them during our winters so they're not drivable year-round.

Friday, October 10, 2008

You're Joking, Right?

A little while back, Iceland was held up to me as a socialist utopia, where "healthcare and education are considered human rights and equality means something." Well, Iceland has just gone bankrupt. Yes, the country. The entire country has gone bankrupt and is looking to borrow money from Russia. Yeah, good luck with that. They poison their own, what are they going to do to a country that doesn't pay back its loans? So where's the money for the "free" healthcare and education gonna come from now?

And by the way, equality means quite a bit here. It's written into our Constitution. The only difference is, we offer equality of opportunity, not outcome. It feels all swell for everyone to end up the same, no matter how much effort they put in or how effectively they use their talents. Frankly, if everyone is gonna end up the same as me, why should I try? It's another old problem of the socialist state that gets swept under the rug by people who just want to live in a world that's "fair." As I posted a long time ago, life ain't fair, Buttercup. Man up or go home.

Hat tip to The Common Room for the Iceland link.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

It's Getting to Be Hunting Season

If you're into bow hunting and you're looking for a nice, girly bow, look here. It's also supporting an Ohio company.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Why I Don't Want Universal Healthcare

This article is a large part of the reason why I am terrified by universal healthcare. The Australian government is willing to pay for weight-loss programs which are not proven to work long-term, or for bariatric surgery which would mean I would never eat normally again and probably cause me great pain for the rest of my life, but it would not provide health care for me. Mind you, although I am over the average weight, my blood pressure tends to be low, I've had several normal EKGs, and I have my cholesterol tested yearly and have never had a problem. Overweight does not automatically equal unhealthy. Yet the Australian government has latched onto several medical untruths and is proving that "universal" only means "if you fit our unscientific notions of what we politicians think is best."

I'm warning everyone right now that anyone who leaves a nasty, condescending or otherwise impolite comment will have it deleted. This is my house. I'm sharing somewhat private information only because I feel the overall message needs to get out. I won't stand for being lectured in my house.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Saturday Sewing

For some reason my sewing mojo left quite a while ago, and hasn't come back. I've explored a number of reasons, from perfectionism becoming paralyzing, to being distracted by all the other work I have to do. However, I *need* a new skirt for church. All I have is one summery one which I just can't wear anymore. So it's off to the salt mines sewing room to see if I can rediscover my mojo, or at least slog through.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Like I Needed Something Else

I already have places to go three afternoons/early evenings a week. So I went to pick up the Equestrienne from her horseback riding lesson on Wednesday. I found her grooming a pony she hadn't even ridden that day, but who needed grooming desperately. He is shedding his summer coat to make way for his winter one. While I was less than thrilled about waiting for her while she finished, it did garner her an invitation from the stable owner to come and help out at the stable on another day from her horseback riding lesson. So now I'll have places to go four evenings a week. Like I needed that. Of course, the Equestrienne is thrilled to be turning into a stable rat. And the experience in the stable will be good for her. She's not a phenom, but she does seem to be ahead of some of the other riders in her progress. She'll be starting jumping as soon as she gets better about keeping her heels down.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Free Museum Admission!

Mr. BTEG discovered a great deal for homeschoolers this Saturday, free museum admission for two to lots of good museums. For those of you who pay attention to such things, it *is* being sponsored by dictator-owned Citgo, and I'm not sure what business the Lt. Governor of Louisiana has sponsoring a nationwide museum opportunity. But it's still a great chance for learning, for those whose homeschooling budget is tight. Which is probably just about everyone. :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008


It seems fairly easy to me. If you elect Obama, with a Democratic Congress, you will get socialism. Do you want socialism? Vote for Obama. Do you want babies born after a botched abortion to be killed anyway? Vote for Obama. Do you want to vote for someone who had his own private negotiations with the Iraqis, essentially going over the head of the current president? Vote for Obama. Do you want someone who is trying to have members from the opposing party investigated by the Feds and told his followers to "get in people's faces"? All this information is out there on the internet. This is what you'll get.

Now, Republicans were very unhappy with the choice of John McCain as Republican nominee. His stand on illegal immigration, in addition to his Gang of Whatever-Number-I-Can't-Remember association, were real negatives for a lot of Republicans. And maybe one can't believe everything a politician says. But he has never asked for a single earmark in his entire time in the Senate. You can read a great article by the Anchoress about how the Democrats are running away from the economic crisis because they don't know what to do, and how John McCain is trying to provide leadership. Whose answer do you like better? And Sarah Palin already has a record of taking out corrupt politicians, *Republican* politicians at that. You don't have to just go on her words, look at what she's done.

And if you don't like either of them in the end, vote third party. Frankly, my big issue is socialism. We're currently the least socialistic of the major countries. Where on earth are we supposed to go if more socialism gets enacted here? It reminds me of when I lived in an all-girl dorm in college with set quiet hours at night. Men, who weren't even residents but were there sleeping with their girlfriends, were breaking the quiet hour rules. Their response: if you don't like it, move to the 24-hour-quiet dorm. In other words, we want to break the rules; if you don't like it, *you* can leave. Screw that. I happen to like our Constitution and the way our Founding Fathers set things up. If you want socialism, move to Canada, or France (sorry, Canadians. You can move here).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Blogging Meets Real Life

Tonight the Evil Genius family had the privilege of meeting Dan of Necessary Roughness while he is in northeast Ohio for work. We had dinner at a good German restaurant that Lutheran Lucciola would have loved - potato pancakes, schnitzel, Kartoffel Salat, cabbage. :) I remembered a way that my Transylvanian Saxon potato salad differs from the potato salad at the restaurant; in the Saxon kind, the potatoes are boiled in their jackets and cut up cold, skin and all, the next day for the salad. After dinner, we had a wonderful ending in ice cream. We got along so well with Dan, it was like we already knew him, and in a way we kind of did!

It's interesting how the internet brings people together. We would have never found our current church , for example, without the internet, and I never would have gotten to know Dan without the internet. Or Lutheran Lucciola, for that matter, or lots of other great people across the country, or as far away as New Zealand. Hey, the internet even helped us when we were driving home from Michigan Sunday night. We were getting hungry but didn't want fast food. So my husband used his phone/PDA to look up a Pizza Hut a little further down the freeway, we called ahead and ordered a pizza, and arrived there just in time to pick it up.

It was rather interesting driving home from Michigan through the wind and heavy rain that were the last gasp for Hurricane Ike. Fortunately, my husband's nephew had a slightly sprained ankle, so we did not have to sit at a soccer game in the wind and rain. We did have lunch together, and checked out John's dorm, where we had birthday pie. John likes pie. :)

Obviously we had effects from Ike, although nowhere near as bad as down south. A couple of my girls' friends missed school on Monday because the power was out at their school. There are downed branches piled up everywhere, and shingles torn off of roofs. I can't imagine how awful the devastation is down in Texas.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Splashing Surprise

As I type this, I am sitting in the Great Wolf Lodge Resort in Sandusky, Ohio. It's becoming quite a tradition to come to Great Wolf Lodge; we've been here twice before. Both of the previous times were for holidays. The first time we came was Christmas of '04. It doesn't seem that long ago, but the Dancer had "reindeer food" she'd made in her Girl Scout troop that we had to sprinkle on the balcony for Santa's reindeer. It was a *very* cold and snowy Christmas, and it was glorious to spend two days completely indoors, swimming in enveloping warmth, and eating in the restaurants here in the Lodge.

The next time we came here was for Thanksgiving of last year. We had wonderful fun once more, and were thankful for our blessings over a luxurious buffet.

This time, our trip was last minute. We are going up to Adrian, Michigan tomorrow to see our nephew for his 19th birthday, and watch him play in a soccer game. We decided to get a head start on the trip and go part way today. At first, we considered camping, but it has been raining steadily since yesterday. Not good camping weather. If the rain stopped at a reasonable time, we were thinking about spending some time at Cedar Point, and staying on-site there tonight. There are not a lot of hotels between here and Toledo. However, the rain was very persistent, so we decided to come back to the Lodge, where the weather doesn't matter.

We did consider staying at a new indoor water park called Maui Sands. However, we had some questions about their rooms (their website is awful), and we called three times without them answering their phone. Mr. BTEG and I really don't want to work that hard for the privilege of giving someone else our money, so we went back to the tried-and-true. The water park at Maui Sands does sound tempting, so we drove by on the way here. It looks like perhaps it opened too early. Basically what they did was take over a Holiday Inn Express and add some rooms and the water park. They haven't scraped all the Holiday Inn Express signs off the building which doesn't look so good. Also, even though the rooms looked good online, when we got there, the hotel just looked plain boring on the outside. It just didn't look very nice. Plus, they allow day passes at Maui Sands, whereas we're snobby and prefer the exclusivity of a resort. :) So back to Great Wolf Lodge we came.

Tomorrow we head off for Michigan. Hope it doesn't rain.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm Sick to My Stomach

But stuff like this needs to be seen. These are the people the Democrats align themselves with. This is not just an "alternate point of view." These people are enemies of our country and all that it stands for. We cannot allow the people who would malign and destroy our country to take hold.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Life on the Merry-Go-Round

It seems there's never a quiet moment around here anymore. Tuesday afternoon the Dancer has ballet and jazz; Thursday afternoon she has tap. Fortunately, her dance classes are very close to a large shopping area that has several stores that are not near our home, such as the pet supply store and the sewing store. While the Dancer dances, I often shop.

The Scientist has Latin on Wednesday mornings and horseback riding Wednesday evenings. And since the Die-Hard Equestrian is dropping her blog name, I am changing the name of the Scientist to the Equestrienne. :)

The Equestrienne is learning through Ohio Virtual Academy this year. There's all kinds of new books, papers and folders around the house, plus we have to find a space to set up her new computer, when we get the rest of it. So far, it seems to be going well. She's putting more of an effort in for this than she did working for me. It's a little hectic for me right now as we learn how to deal with this new system, but I'm hoping I'll have less work to do as we go on. It *is* nice being able to focus more on the Dancer's education.

We still have a lot of organizing to do, but I'm hoping we'll get into a working routine soon. Right now I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Monday, September 08, 2008

I Love My Husband

Check out the license plate he got for his new vehicle.

Now we match.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I've Lost My Way

When I first started this blog, I wanted to write about all kinds of things, not just the personal events in my and my family's life. However, I had a life-changing event at the end of February this year, and since then I'm not sure what I'm doing. I'm not a world events blogger, I'm not a crafty blogger (at this time), I'm not good at exploring or talking about my faith and I'm not good at keeping up with events in my (larger) church, so I guess I'm not much of a Lutheran blogger either. I'm just me, and right now I'm not sure where I'm going. All I wanted to do with this blog is express *me*, and I'm not sure how to do that right now.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Step Number One

to being a Christian witness in today's world -

learning how to spell Christian.

Photo courtesy of Mr. BTEG.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Girl and a Horse

The Scientist rode in the annual Horse Show at her riding school on Saturday. She participated in three events. The first was Showmanship. This involved judging the appearance of the horse and tack. The Scientist spent two hours the day before, preparing her horse and cleaning the tack. She also put in about forty-five minutes the morning of the show, doing a final grooming of her horse, or pony, actually, cleaning out its hooves and all kinds of fun stuff. She placed eighth out of thirteen, just well enough to garner a ribbon.

She also participated in two Cavaletti events. Cavaletti apparently refers to poles that the horse goes over. She rode Peter Pan the pony for these events. In the first event, she rode a set pattern which included going over poles on the ground. In the second, all the girls rode at once, changing from a walk to a sitting trot to a canter to a posting trot and so forth when instructed to do so. She placed fourth out of five in both Cavaletti events. She was disappointed in her results, but her family thinks she did well for her first horse show.

One girl fell off when her horse balked at a jump, and apparently Peter Pan went to his front knees while another girl was riding him, and the girl fell off. We missed this; it happened when Mr. BTEG, his sister and I were grabbing some lunch in a restaurant and enjoying some air conditioning. My sister-in-law, who is pregnant with her first child, was musing on how parents can bear to let their children take part in things that might be dangerous for them. What do you all think? For me, it's because riding horses, or dancing, seems to be part of who they are, or who they want to be. I can't deny them this chance to develop part of themselves. I do pray neither of them will ever be seriously injured in pursuit of their dreams.

The weather was hot and the sun rather bright, so that the Scientist's mother and aunt both felt the effects of the heat over the course of the day. However, we were all happy to be there watching the Scientist take important steps in her horsemanship.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Perfect Gift

Especially for a woman with PMS or going through menopause, is this. Just make sure you put high quality chocolate in.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Trying to Keep Up

Ever feel like your kids dirty your house faster than you can clean it? That's where I am right now. And I can't even look forward to shipping them back to school, either. The Scientist may be starting at Ohio Virtual Academy this fall, however. Honestly, she just has not been putting out her best effort. She's discovering this as she does the math assessment for OHVA. So I will probably just have to focus on the Dancer's schooling, while overseeing the Scientist.

Most of my running around is done for a while. I have to drop the Scientist off at her riding school for a couple of hours tomorrow morning, so she can clean and groom the horse she is showing during the horse show at her riding school, which is on Saturday. I have to pick up a couple of new leotards for the Dancer for her dance classes this fall. Speaking of fall, we'll be getting back into our fall routine soon, with Latin for the Scientist on Wednesday mornings, and three dance classes for the Dancer this year. At least two will be back to back so we only have to go out to the studio twice a week. I'm glad I've learned how to knit; I'll probably be doing a lot of knitting while watching the Dancer at her lessons.

Have to go cycle the laundry. I'll be posting about the horse show on Saturday.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Stop the Insanity

Between dropping off and picking up the Scientist for horse camp all this week, seven doctor/dentist/etc. appointments for various members of the family in one week, and watching a neighbor's child for part of a day, I am remembering one of the reasons why I'm glad we homeschool: I hate running around. It has been kind of nice being on a schedule, but all the coming and going is making me dizzy!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lacking Words

Life is not exactly dull here, and I'm still keeping an eye on the world at large, but there isn't anything recently that has inspired me to share it. I'll post a few notes just to catch readers up with life in my little world.

Wildchild (who I may rename the Dancer) is disappointed that there are no dance classes in August. She'll be taking ballet, jazz and tap this fall and is looking forward to it. In some ways, she reminds me of the character of Posy, from Ballet Shoes, who "lived for nothing but her dancing classes," and "could only say and understand things with her feet."

The Scientist is going to horse camp for five hours a day all this week, and is enjoying herself except for the snotty girls. She's learning more about horses, which she enjoys; she loves animals. She has also made a new friend already, although who knows if she'll see her again after horse camp. The girl is living with her father right now, but will go back with her mother after the summer, and I don't know if the mother lives near. Obviously there are lots of larger issues with divorce, but I feel frustrated with how hard it is for my girls to maintain friendships with children of divorce; it seems like a good bit of their "free" time is spent away with the other parent. It just occurred to me that if I had been younger when my parents divorced, I could have lived through the same thing, and I would have hated it. As it was, they divorced when I was in college, so I was independent in the view of the state.

We haven't done much Olympics watching around here. Mr. EG is almost anti-Olympics, being interested in very few sports and thinking the Olympics are over-hyped, so it's not on when he's home. I should find a schedule somewhere and find out when the equestrian events are on for the Scientist, except that she's gone five hours a day, and most of the riding seems to be already over.

I've often been rather skeptical of the "God provides everything you need" crowd, not because I don't trust in God's Providence, but because it often seems to be used as a reason to give more to the church than you can afford, and "trust God" to make up the shortfall. However, Mr. EG's car just died, and the problems are not worth putting more money into with this vehicle. We had just gotten a substantial amount of money from the government that we were owed, so we were able to afford a "new" car without taking out a loan, which does seem rather Providential.

So, I guess I found some words after all. Perhaps I just need the discipline to force myself to post more often!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Day Care Scare

This is one of the scary things about leaving your child in the care of others. And yes, I know that parents have been known to forget their kids also, accidentally leaving them in locked cars and such. But doesn't that usually happen as the parent is rushing off to work, full of thoughts of the job? I know not every mom can stay at home, but the stay-at-home mom can often live a much more relaxed lifestyle, where the kids *are* the job.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Fun and Games

Here we are in our child-free weekend, and although I miss the chilluns, Mr. EG and I have been having some fun. Yesterday we stopped at Dave and Buster's on the way home and played air hockey, billiards (I'm an expert at slop ball), and raced each other in a race car game. It was something we haven't done in a while, and a nice change.

Today after church we stopped for the first time at Bubba's Q restaurant, owned by former Cleveland Brown Al "Bubba" Baker. Supposedly it is the only restaurant in the country to sell de-boned baby back ribs, which were good but not quite to my taste. My husband, a football fan of That Evil Town to the East, might not have liked some of the wall decor, which included autographed jerseys from Bernie Kosar and Brian Sipe. The football theme was carried throughout, down to the menus, which felt like a football on the outside and were colored orange or brown.

Today I'm hoping to get some sewing and house cleaning done with only Mr. EG under foot. :) I'm glad we're getting the kids back tomorrow. They're probably having a fantastic time at the water park.

Warning: first two links have sound.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Positive Notes

Yesterday was the last night of Mom/Kid Ballet. Even though we only took it once a week, I noticed my stamina was a lot better at the end of the course than the beginning. Now to keep that up! It was a nice experience for Wildchild and I. She loved being able to show her mom how to do something!

We seem to have pinned down the source of Mr. EG's somnolence. His sleep study showed he does not have sleep apnea, so the doctor targeted his meds next, and his asthma medication seems to have been the culprit. He is slowly returning to normal life. :)

We will be getting rid of our daughters for the weekend. :) They are going to a waterpark with their aunt and uncle on Sunday; we're dropping them off on Saturday and getting them back on Monday, since the family lives an hour and a half away. They should have lots of fun.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

We Found Our Thrill

On Tuesday we went blueberry picking with the Presbytera and some of her family, and another homeschooling mom in the area. It was a great opportunity for the girls to get some of the fruit they love, at a good price, and a fun experience picking. Fortunately, the day was not overly hot or humid, and we picked quite a few pounds of berries. Wildchild has already made one batch of blueberry muffins, and the girls want to make blueberry smoothees. Many of the blueberries need to put in the freezer still. It was a very pleasant way to spend the day

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Irish Experience

We needed to get out of the house today, so we went to the local, and annual, Irish Cultural Festival. Mr. Evil Genius bought all three of his girls some jewelry, I got to see some handsome Irish men ;), and we got to hear some Irish music and see some Irish dancing. The Scientist knew one of the Irish dancers from a sleepover party given by one of her good friends, also an Irish dancer. The two girls hung out for a while, in between performances by the girl's dance school. I bet none of you, even those who live in Ohio, have ever seen an Irish dance performed to "Hang On Sloopy." It electrified the crowd. O-H-I-O!

Debbie's Contest

My friend Debbie is having a contest and giving away some nice things if you are a quilter, or even just a sewer. I've been wanting one of those Clover mini-irons for ages; they're supposed to be great for sewing doll clothes. And the little containers are just too cute!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dance Dance Revolution

You know what? I like ballet. Our second class was today, and once again, it was a work-out. I've never gotten into aerobics, or lying on the floor waving my legs around, but exercising by way of dance is fun. I wish I could have taken dance lessons when I was young, although I was intrigued by tap then. Perhaps Wildchild and I can continue practicing ballet together after the classes are over.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Celebrity Sighting

While Mr. Evil Genius and I were shopping in our local Target tonight, we saw Indians pitcher Paul Byrd! I did say hi to him. Saved the squee for when we were out of the store. :) And I just mentioned something about his HGH usage today. (lopsided grin)

CU at CP

Yesterday the family met up at Cedar Point with my sister-in-law and her husband, to celebrate my birthday, which is today. I'm starting a new decade, and it is not my thirties! We (most of us) rode lots of rides and all ate good food, which we brought from home. Mr. Evil Genius did most of the cooking! Fortunately, although we had scattered showers, the rain came around mealtime both times, so we ate lunch and dinner at our covered table and waited out the rain. We ended up having a very good time.

Here's a picture of the cake. My husband told the girl what to write on it.

Here's the Scientist and Wildchild with local celebrities. :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Tonight was the first Mom/Kid ballet class with Wildchild and I have discovered two things. I am old. And out of shape. After that class I was Ready.To.Drop. I don't know how Wildchild does it. She went swimming this afternoon, had a tap dancing class in the early evening, we had dinner, then ballet. And then she put her tap shoes on and was showing her sister her new tap moves when we got home! But it looks so easy when Wildchild does it!

Deja Vu

The Rebellious Pastor's Wife tagged me for this one. It's similar to one I did not that long ago, but I'm always up for a meme, so I'll play along.

What was I doing ten years ago?

Ten years ago I was fairly early on in my pregnancy with Wildchild. Sometime during that summer was when we had the 100-year-flood that left several feet of water in our basement and turned our street into a river. There were kids floating in a raft in the cul-de-sac directly across from our house, seriously. I'm still bitter about losing a big box of books from college that was too heavy to go on our shelves, and probably would have been on a lower shelf so I would have lost it anyway. We didn't have any trouble with that basement before or after.

That summer was also when I had an earache so bad I could barely eat or sleep, so I got Tylenol-with-codeine and then was miserably ill because I'm allergic to codeine and didn't know it. I think having a little Scientist running around, and expecting Wildchild, were the main redeeming things about that time.

What are five things on my to-do list for tomorrow?

Do laundry so I have something nice to wear to Cedar Point on Saturday.
Keep getting our school books area cleaned up so we are ready for school in August.
Exercising. I've been using the treadmill in the exercise room of our complex. I do better with that than just walking.
Continue going through paper and bills. Fun.
Knit, sew, embroider. Might just sew a new top instead of doing laundry. :)

Snacks I enjoy

Ice cream, especially uber-chocolatey flavors, potato chips, red Delicious apples, cereal, bread and butter

Things I would do if I were a billionaire

Buy a nice house in the country, but not too far out.
Buy the Scientist a horse. Maybe build a stable on our land.
Buy a summer place on Lake Erie, preferably on the long strip of land by Cedar Point.
Go to Germany, to visit family and friends. Plus it would be a great way for the girls to pick up German.
Go to Italy. Check out the major cities and the little valley where my husband's people come from.
Pay for all the repair work and maintenance on our church that needs done

Places I have lived

Bay Village, Ohio
Willoughby, Ohio
Dublin, Ohio
Grove City, Ohio
Sheffield Village, Ohio
Avon, Ohio

Jobs I have had

Secretarial assistant in The President's and Dean's Office for almost four years when I was in college.
Did proofreading, worked on catalogs and did copy work at various times for my father's ad agency. Went from the days of the big old typesetting machine (which I didn't use) and photostat machine to doing everything on the computer using Adobe Page Maker.
At a clothing store when I was home from college. Does anyone remember id?
As a Department Manager at a department store.
Computer programmer for the Department of Defense. Used a dinosaur language, COBOL.
Homeschool teacher.

Again, I'm not going to tag anybody, for the same reasons I listed last time.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

I Miss My Husband

Over the past several months, my husband has had various health problems. First it was muscle problems in his back, which necessitated physical therapy. Then we discovered he needed more thyroid medication. However, that hasn't helped much with his general tiredness. When he's not at work, he sleeps a good bit of the time, and when he is at work, he requires lots of caffeine to keep him going. He had a sleep study done this week, which we hope will yield results that could lead to help with his tiredness. I feel badly for wishing my husband was available to do more around the house and to have fun and do things with. What if he was seriously ill or disabled? Still, I do miss really having my husband around, instead of asleep.

I hope everyone had a nice holiday yesterday. We spent the day with my in-laws and had a good time. We even got home in time to catch some local fireworks, although we enjoyed a fine display of (illegal) pyrotechnics for a good bit of our drive through Cleveland. My sister-in-law is pregnant, so I need to find lots of easy knitting patterns for baby items. :) We got to see the first "pictures" of my little nephew-or-niece-to-be yesterday.

Speaking of babies, Blonde Liz, who recently had a C-section, reminds us of one of the things to be thankful for in living in this country, which is the excellent health care. I also had a C-section, and I realized at the time, and have at intervals thereafter, that my Wildchild and I could have died under other circumstances. We also came close to losing Wildchild when she had a bad case of croup. At least, I believe so since they brought the crash cart in. It is indeed a blessing to live in a country where lives can be saved through good medical care. I hope we don't go to nationalized health care! However, Liz makes me feel woefully deficient in the catechesis of my children. I did sing Christmas carols to the Scientist, since she was born on Dec. 21st.