Wednesday, April 29, 2009


The laptop I use for my online needs finally died on Monday after lots of problems. So after a little time shopping I am set up with a new netbook. I miss the big screen of a full size laptop a little, but the netbook looks like it will work well for me, plus it has a battery that will last longer than 20 minutes, thus not tying me to a cord constantly.

I'm feeling rather moody. Perhaps it is related to my bi-polar, although my mood swings are much easier to relate to the illness when they are more dramatic. Thank God, medicine keeps mood swings from going too far, generally. However, my counselor and I have been discussing something which I've been thinking hard about today. Can a person be friends with someone with whom they don't have a lot in common, or perhaps they completely disagree on a major issue or two? I have a difficult time doing this, but some people do seem able to accomplish it. And when I get in a certain mood, I feel like giving up on people all together and picking up my toys and going home. Not very productive to burn bridges, but sometimes my inner self urges me to do it. I've been able to stick to the more prudent option of keeping bridges intact so far, but this whole people thing just confuses me sometimes.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Thoughts on Higher Education

A friend sent me this article on how student loan debts for higher education often end up weighing down those who took them on, and the possibility for increased wages with a degree often do not offset the debt load adequately. The entire higher education system in this country seems, like so many other things, to be a big, overgrown mess.

As always, I look for non-government solutions. The big Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debacle illustrates to me all too clearly that the government should not be in the business of loaning money. I also don't think a higher education is so necessary that the government should simply be financing it. A university education does not make you smarter or more productive or a better citizen. I don't want to get into this too much, since then we could tear apart the whole public school system, but I just want to cover what might seem the "obvious" answer to some.

If enough people try to find alternate solutions to college, perhaps colleges and universities will drop their prices to attract more customers. Government loans have definitely not helped the situation here. The more people who get loan-savvy, the more schools of higher education will have to make their prices more affordable. Also, potential students need to be more discerning about their chances of doing well in college. The article mentions universities who deliberately inflate their diversity numbers without revealing that most of these minority students will never finish their degree. Here's another tip: if you have to take a lot of remedial courses perhaps the university is not for you. Or, perhaps you could find less expensive ways to cover your educational gaps. The homeschooler in me says, search out ways to improve your education yourself! At least to get yourself to the point where you don't have to spend big bucks at the university level taking remedial courses.

In our own family, I'm glad Mr. BTEG went to college. In computer work, anecdotal evidence says there are ways to get a start in the business without a degree, but I think the broad computer science courses gave my husband a better foundation and helped him get ahead faster. Myself, I didn't know what I wanted to do when I went to college; I only went because of familial pressure and because that's what smart people did. I can't complain too much because I met my husband there!, and two of the jobs I had before getting married were ones where a degree was required. Knowing myself better now, I likely would have studied other things in college, but then I would have attended a different school and probably never met DH, so it's all for the best.

The Equestrienne is presently considering a course in Equine Studies; big surprise there! If she still wants to be a vet, this could be a pre-vet course, or she could just take it with an eye to having her own stable in the future. If she could get a real job with someone who has their own working stable, like the people she rides with now, college could perhaps be skipped entirely. College would cover things, though, that her stable doesn't do. And her riding coach is talking up the college that she recently graduated from, so we'll see. I don't know enough about owning horses and giving lessons to know whether a degree would be helpful enough.

The Dancer wants to be...a dance teacher. So predictable! Her own teacher took education and dance courses in college. Again, I don't know enough about the dance world to know whether a degree is a necessity or not. I suppose it would sound better if the Dancer were trying to begin her own studio. A lot of research needed before we send the girls off for more education!

Boy, this is long, isn't it? :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Kids at Work

Thursday was yet another Take Your Kid to Work Day. During the morning, they were a test audience for pilot episodes of television shows. Alex had PastaPalooza for lunch, which she loves. You pick vegetables and/or meats to go in your pasta and choose from several types of sauces, and the chef makes it all up right in front of you. In the afternoon, there was face painting and lots of crafts. The girls also came home with large goody bags. It was another nice day with Daddy.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Art of Blogging

I'm feeling blogger envy, of all the people who can write extensively and heart-stirringly about subjects. I'm not going to say I can't write, but I don't know that I'm a good essayist. I tend to be rather brief and to-the-point when I express myself in writing, and I'm afraid it makes me rather boring. I also see my readership dropping, and a lot of hits on my blog are coming from people merely finding a search match to a certain phase or picture on my blog. I still have opinions on a lot of things; I'm just having a hard time putting them into words right now.

Oddly enough to me, life is seeming more demanding than it did when the girls were little. Yes, they can do more for themselves and help out around the house, but there are all the activities they are involved in, wanting to go to friends' homes (wishing we knew some kids who lived closer), concentrating more on schoolwork as the girls get older, especially the Equestrienne who will be starting high school in a little more than a year and needs to be prepared.

I also tend to be a bit in a fog lately. Not sure if it is age, or my bi-polar meds, or the craziness of life, but I'm struggling to put coherent thoughts together. Not ready to give up yet though. If anything, perhaps getting complete sentences and paragraphs out might help my brain-fog.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Together Again

Our cat Callie and her son Champ are reunited. I never thought she would leave us so soon after her son. I'm typing this through tears. I can't believe she's gone.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Nifty Knit Kit

We were at Jo-Ann Fabrics and the knitting set in this picture caught the Dancer's eye. As you can see, there is a pattern book with instructions to learn how to knit and several princess-y projects. There are also two sets of size 8 princess needles, two crowns to go on the end of needles, a pair of scissors, two yarn needles, and pink and blue stitch markers. We got it with our super-special Jo-Ann coupon (waves at Deb) and so we even saved some money on it. As you can also see, the Dancer has learned how to cast on. She is still learning how to knit stitches from there. This set really caught her imagination!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Cinderella Story Is Always Nice

but I love this quote: When will our culture stop judging others by their looks, age and social status and begin to see the beauty, goodness and unique talent in each one of us?

Go here to see an incredibly talented person.

Monday, April 13, 2009

How I Spent My Easter

All the cousins on my DH's side of the family together. Technically, the little boy is a cousin once-removed, as he is the son of the woman in the picture.

My niece being reborn in baptism. I love the look of love and joy on my sister-in-law's face.

My niece with her parents and godparents, my sisters-in-law and their husbands.

My niece with our Easter gift to her, a stuffed bunny. Of course we also gifted her with a couple of special things for her baptism.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Joyous Occasion

Yesterday evening the Dancer partook of Holy Communion with her family. Most of her extended family were there for the event, and most of us went out to Hoggy's afterwards. (Dan, there is one in New Albany!) I got to hold and feed my adorable niece, who will be joining the family of God this Sunday. The girls had fun entertaining their other little cousin during dinner. I felt very blessed yesterday.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

After a Long Day of Shopping

what better way to relax than to soak your feet and read a book?

The Dancer has wanted a certain girl's pedicure set for ages. We found it today for about $5 less than we normally see it, and she grabbed it. Then of course she had to try it out as soon as we got home.

Being the little house-keeping goddess that she is, she also hand-washed the new first communion/Easter dress that we found today. The Equestrienne, amazingly enough, also found a dress she liked, and a little bolero sweater for the cooler spring weather. So we are set for the next few special days, except for me. :( Perhaps I shall dig through my stash and see if I can fashion something.

Which brings up another point, which is why I did not do any sewing for the holiday. Well, I had been dragging a little bit here waiting for spring. I did not want to put any anxious pressure on myself by trying to get a dress done in time for tomorrow, or Easter. Now that spring is really coming, I am becoming a lot more active and feeling better emotionally. I am praying this will mean more creations coming from the sewing room!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Blogging With ADD

There's so much I want to write about, and it's all floating around in little bits in my mind. Especially since I went shopping today and found a whoooole bunch of stuff to rant about, lol.

Okay, for starters, the bookstore I went to had a sign on the counter about thinking of the environment before asking for a bag for your purchase. First of all, this is a BOOKSTORE. How many trees get cut down every year for them? Secondly, this store was in a mall, and I think mall security would appreciate customers having their purchases in bags. Maybe I should just carry a big bag around with me in case I decide I want to buy something. I'm sure mall security would love that. Or they could just use paper bags, since they obviously have no objection to cutting down trees. In any case, I won't visit that store again. I have no desire to be preached at when I'm favoring a store with hard-earned dollars.

I'm sure there must be models out there who become pregnant at some point. Can we get some of them to model pregnancy clothes instead of sticking a fake stomach on a size 2? And ladies, did any of you ever get the urge to wear three-inch wedge heels while you were pregnant?

I tried on my usual Easter dress, and it doesn't fit. :( I've gained a lot of weight with the bi-polar meds I'm on. I don't know what I'm going to wear for Easter, and I still need something for the Dancer to wear on Maundy Thursday and Easter.

I'm bummed that the Indians lost their first game, with our Cy-Young award winning pitcher. On the other hand, seeing this back cover of the New York Post

helps just a little bit!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Books, Books, Books!

Mr. BTEG wanted to stop at the bookstore while we were out today to look for a particular book. The bookstore we visited had many books on sale, and they were also buy two, get the third free. We needed no further prompting to add some books to our home library. One of the books I picked up was Crocheting for Dummies. I would like to try to learn how to crochet at some point, and an extra reference book is always useful. We also picked up an American Girl Mystery Puzzles set. There are four puzzles, and you put the puzzles together to solve the mystery. The Dancer and I are looking forward to trying this out. Perhaps the Equestrienne will join us.

Our main purpose for going out was to get dance clothes and dance shoes for the Dancer. She needed new ballet slippers, new jazz shoes and some new dance wear. That stuff really adds up, but fortunately she doesn't need it all that often. She *really* loves dancing, though, so it's worth whatever we can do to help her.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

National Felons' League

The accidental death of a human being is a sad thing. I just wonder why millionaire football players don't hire a limo if they are planning to drink. So much grief could have and should have been avoided.