Monday, April 30, 2007

Workin' for a Living

So what would you do as a job if time and money were no object? That is, if you had enough to support your family and enough time (and money) for all the schooling required beforehand?

I'm not sure what I would do! Since I'm interested in fashion history, though, I'd probably be working in a museum, or perhaps doing history reenactments, or maybe working as a costumer in the theatre or for film. It might also be fun to create historically correct sewing patterns, but I think I might get frustrated with all the work required for making patterns in different sizes. And while I might never get to do any of those things, I am fortunate that I can pursue my interests while working on my main career as "Mom," and who knows what I will do when being "Mom" is no longer my main focus?

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Salzburg, Austria

Well, I told Laura I would post some pics of my trip to Salzburg, Austria, after being inspired to do so from one of her recent posts. After much computer wrangling by Mr. Evil Genius, and a lot of scanning, the pics are finally ready! It's a good excuse to scan them in; I really should do that for all my Germany-Austria pictures to help preserve them.

Mr. Evil Genius and I took a train from Vienna to Salzburg on February 3, 1990. We were still both in college back then, and not sure if we were dating yet (pretty funny, huh?) We were the only ones in our college group to visit Salzburg; I don't know why. Besides all the Sound of Music stuff

there are a lot of lovely views, and a huge fortress/castle that I would think would be worth going just to see that.

We also saw Mozart's Geburtshaus, or birthplace. Wouldn't you love to have this lovely kitchen, ladies? Ah well, I suppose it might have been all the rage in 1756.

We also took a quick peek at the real Nonnburg Abbey. Pretty cool, kind of built into the mountain below the fortress.

It was a fun day trip, and I'm sure we could have spent lots more time there. Hope you enjoy the pictures.

I'm Scared

Seriously, I am scared that people as clueless, as dumb, as incomprehensibly stupid, as asinine as this joker even exist. Why am I not surprised that this article is found in the Toledo Blade? That's another thing to be scared about, that Cleveland is so close to Toledo. This pathetic loser seriously asserts that America can and should be disarmed. Uh-huh. Read the article. Then when you're done throwing up, or rolling on the floor laughing, go read the great fisking by Iowahawk.

In the meantime, men with guns have helped save the lives of at least 40,000 babies every year in Afghanistan by ousting the Taliban. Guns don't belong in museums. They belong in the hands of everyone who is fit, able and willing to defend themselves.

h/t to Ace for the links.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

In Honor of the NFL Draft

this great quote from Fred Thompson: "On draft day, the NFL looks at a young man’s talent. Then they look at his rap sheet." Go to Pajamas Media to read it all. Boy, Fred's getting around, isn't he?

h/t harrison.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Their Day

Well, the girls are sure about two things from their day with Daddy yesterday. They don't want to work in a cube farm, and meetings are boring! :) Fortunately, they both brought something to do, so they didn't absolutely *die* of boredom. They each got a goodie bag when they signed in yesterday morning; here are pictures of their "loot."

They made cards for the troops at lunchtime, which I thought was a very nice gesture (my husband works for a greeting card company.) They also got a little tour of the building from a woman who works with my husband. Actually, lots of my husband's co-workers already know the girls from our Wednesday Lunches with Daddy, which made the day more fun for them. Another co-worker let the Scientist play Sudoku on his phone. :)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Day with Daddy

Today is Take Your Son/Daughter to Work Day, and the Scientist and Wildchild are dressed and ready to go off to work with Daddy, while Mommy stays home and cleans house parties like it's 1999. Originally, this day was supposed to be for girls only, to go with their mommies to work so their fragile little selves could see that they really could do all the things boys could do, etc. Nothing wrong with girls seeing what their parent(s) do at work, but I'm glad boys can go too, and that they can see what their daddy does at work as well. Especially since my girls already know very well what I do all day!

The Scientist could definitely be unschooled as far as reading goes. Yesterday she finished up Theater Shoes and read Half Magic. Today, she is taking Five Children and It to read during any boring parts of the day. In 'riting and 'rithmetic, though, she definitely needs prompting and encouragement.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Life As We Know It?

So we may have found a planet outside our solar system capable of sustaining life. Is this news? To me, it only seems that it would be important from a humanistic, materialistic point of view. That is, that any life on another planet might have something from which we could learn in terms of science. But when we're busy eradicating life on this planet, why care if life exists on other planets? Do we really think there's some "magic bullet" planet there that holds the answers to life, the universe and everything?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Drink Up!

I know Lutherans are supposed to prefer beer, but here's a reason to drink fruity, "girlie" alcoholic beverages: they're good for you! I quote: "Any colored fruit might be made even more healthful with the addition of a splash of alcohol." Yippee! I'd like a screwdriver with a splash of cranberry juice, please.

h/t Betsy.

Monday, April 23, 2007

I've Got a Plan

Seems Sheryl Crow can't stick to singing, you know, her profession, or raising money for cancer research, or learning how to spell her name. Nope, via Lilac Rose, she has to tell us that we're using too much toilet paper, and she thinks there should be a ban on using too much, to help the sacred environment. So my plan is, besides making sure Sheryl Crow doesn't do any more "thinking," that she should be the one to enforce this ban. Come over to my house every day and keep track of how much toilet paper my family uses. Oh, and since she thinks paper napkins are wasteful as well, she can do all the extra laundry created by the two hundred cloth napkins my darling children will go through every day. I'm sure we can find a few extra dresses in her closet to cut up and use to wipe up spills. Then she won't need as big of a house, so it's a win/win situation all around.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Fresh Start

In one way, I love Mondays. No matter what has happened, a new week is a fresh start. I can do well on housework, on teaching the girls, on sewing and all the other little things I enjoy doing, on exercising my body as well as my mind. Things have not been so difficult for me as for some others recently, but I still need the fresh start of a fresh week.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Go Fred!

"When people capable of performing acts of heroism are discouraged or denied the opportunity, our society is all the poorer." Go here to read the whole thing. Run, Fred, run!

h/t to Misha.

Hooray for Friday

I've been sick all week and not getting much done, so I'm glad that the weekend is almost here. My husband will be home, and the girls can play without having to worry about school work. I need to take better care of myself so I don't get sick so often. I'm glad that warmer weather is finally here, and probably here to stay. At least until next fall!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Family Vagaries

Did you ever get a wedding invitation and have no idea who the bride and groom were? That happened to me today, I believe for the first time. The wedding is taking place in my husband's hometown, so I'm presuming they are somehow related to him. I know my husband's family pretty well though, sometimes better than he does, and I have no guess who either of these people could be. His grandmother was the one who really knew all the ins and outs of the family tree, and believe me when I say, there were a lot of ins and outs. My husband's family on his father's side all came from a tiny village in Italy called Sulmona Valley, big enough that there weren't all the problems associated with massive inbreeding, but small enough that DH's family tree sometimes resembles a tangled vine more than a tree.

And yet, when my husband was at a cemetery in Chicago to see Al Capone's grave, he found several headstones that bore our family name, and also a couple headstones that carried another of the family names, and he had never heard of any of these people. It's interesting, because my husband *does* have family that lived in Chicago, and our family name is a relatively unusual one. I have often wished I had the time to do a thorough investigation into my own family tree. I guess the least I can do is write down what I do know, so my daughters can check into things if they are so inclined.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

We Need Heroes

After reading this at Misha's AND Betsy's places, I am compelled to also share the story of Virginia Tech Professor Liviu Librescu, who sacrificed his life yesterday but saved the lives of his students, by blocking the doorway of his classroom with his body and giving his students time to escape the classroom. He was a Holocaust survivor. Greater love hath no man indeed.

My Take on the Virginia Tech Shootings

This is partially in response to my blog friend Jau, since her latest post set off this whole long ramble. She suggested we should limit "tools with which people can express intense anger and misery." I pointed out that now that guns are illegal in the U.K., there's a call to ban kitchen knives, as they are responsible for a large portion of the current violence there, perhaps as much as half. People will turn nasty and violent. It's sad, but it's a fact of life, has been for the thousands of years that humans have been around, and always will be. The first recorded sin in history, after eating the forbidden fruit, was a violent murder.

Secondly, if Clayton Cramer is correct, the two guns that the shooter owned were a Glock 9 mm and a .22 caliber pistol. These are semi-automatic weapons, not automatic weapons. At some point, the shooter probably had to change the magazine on his gun, although he probably could have done it fairly quickly. And many gun owners will argue with you about their right to own automatic weapons just as much as their right to own semi-automatic weapons. The reason we own weapons is not just to protect ourselves from the thief who breaks in at night, but to protect our liberties from a tyrannic government, if need be. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the Founding Fathers saw that their system of government might not last and that tyranny might raise its ugly head once more.

Clayton Cramer also implies that since Seung-Hui was a resident alien of the United States, there was no reason why he could not have owned these guns legally, although he was not supposed to have them on campus, but hey, that didn't stop him. I would like to know where Jau got her information that gun shows are exempt from background checks. I purchased my gun at a gun show, and you'd better believe the person from whom I purchased that gun did a background check on me. A federally-licensed firearms dealer must always run a background check before selling a firearm. Any exceptions there may be, such as LEOs and people with a CCW, are just another form of background check. Any hobbyist can set up a table and sell his collection at a gun show, but those people are probably being watched to make sure they are really hobbyists and not firearms dealers. And anyone can sell a firearm to anyone else in a private sale, which I do not believe the government should ever regulate. The government has no business in private sales. In any case, do we know where Seung-Hui purchased his firearms or have any reason to believe he owned them illegally? Let's not bring up situations that may not even fit this story, and are unlikely on top of that. The MSM may love to put out scare stories about gun shows, but a gun show is not someplace to just go anonymously load up on all the guns you want. I've been there; I know.

Lastly, Jau asks, "Why must being an American include the fairly frequent and not very remote possibility of being mowed down by lunatics?" Well, first of all, because Americans have rights and freedoms, guaranteed by our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Do we want to destroy those any more?

Secondly, I really do not believe the possibility is "fairly frequent." According to this page, "The Swiss, New Zealanders and Finns all own guns as frequently as Americans, yet in 1995 Switzerland had a murder rate 40 percent lower than Germany's, and New Zealand had one lower than Australia's. Finland and Sweden have very different gun ownership rates, but very similar murder rates. Israel, with a higher gun ownership rate than the U.S., has a murder rate 40 percent below Canada's. When one studies all countries rather than just a select few as is usually done, there is absolutely no relationship between gun ownership and murder." Yes, shootings like this are spectacular and they make the news, but how often do they really happen? To me, this is like the scare stories on roller coasters every time a roller coaster death or accident occurs. You are more likely to get into an accident on the way to the amusement park in your car, than get hurt on a roller coaster.

Thirdly, these sorts of shootings don't just happen in America. See Montreal, for example. I agree with Clayton Cramer that there was no way to prevent this person from obtaining handguns except a complete ban on handgun ownership, which will never happen. Please also read this link on Clayton Cramer's blog where a Virginia Tech student who has a CCW wishes he had the same right to protect himself on the campus of Virginia Tech as he does elsewhere in the state - and he wrote this last August. Perhaps if someone else on campus was legally carrying a firearm, this tragedy may not have reached such huge proportions. I know I will never, EVER give up my right to carry, nor to own firearms, nor to protect myself and my daughters, if need be, by using a firearm. Call me a whacked-out gun nut if you like, but I believe I have presented facts in a reasonable manner in this post.

Monday, April 16, 2007

My Jacket Is SO Not Satin!

I'm referring to this post, in which Iowahawk details the horrors to which the British sailors were subject after their capture by the scary, scary Lutherans, such as being forced to drink cold beer. Yeah, try not to laugh too hard. At least we didn't force the tuna casserole on them.

h/t to the Aardvark.

My Desk

I got tagged by Kate, so here is a picture of my "desk". It's right next to the big comfy recliner I like to sit in when I am on the computer. The laptop itself goes on a plastic stool by the chair, as the heat vents are on the bottom of the laptop, so if you put the laptop on a desk it can't "breathe." Don't know who the genius was who thought that one up.

So what's on my table? A mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream, great for those chilly days when one has a sore throat. My phone, plugged into its charger. Nail clippers, nail polish and my nail buffer for those manicure moments. Scissors and thread, since I like to sit in the recliner and do my hand sewing. A SmartMedia card for our digital camera and a back-up memory stick for my CLIÉ. Pens and pencils, including a drawing pencil and colored pencils, since I like to make sketches of the vintage fashions I am so interested in. Pictures that have been scanned, and print-outs, since my chair is close to the printer/scanner. Homeschool-mom-stuff, particularly the purple card holder, the crayons, the glue stick and the note cards. I make flash cards for the girls to drill them in their German vocabulary. My medication and a pill cutter, since the one medication I take knocks me out if I take more than a quarter pill at a time. And lastly, my buddies Holly Hobbie and Belle. Ta da!

So, let's see. I am going to tag my daughter The Young Explorer, since goodness only knows that she needs to post something on that blog of hers, and the Die-Hard Equestrian, since she likes taking photos.

Yo Ho Yo Ho

Last night we had family game time playing Pirates of the Spanish Main. The basic idea is sending your little ships around to islands to pick up gold, and attacking the ships of your opponents. Since there are literally hundreds of ships, however, part of the game is in the strategy. Ships can be bigger and better at warfare, but slow, or smaller and better at zipping around to islands picking up gold, but easily destroyed in battle. Also, crew can add features to the ship, but take up cargo space. And each fleet can only be 40 points (or 45 if you add a limit ransom character). It can be fun, but very time-consuming.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Just Hanging Around

I'm feeling yucky today, probably mostly because I didn't take good enough care of myself when we went out yesterday. I'm so tired of it being so cold out. Sigh.

I did work on a shirt and pants for Wildchild yesterday. Good thing, too. My kids are rapidly growing out of their current clothes. Good news for Sarah, though! :)

If any of my readers want to leave cyber-condolences for my pastor and his wife, who are mourning the loss of her brother, please go here.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Happy Friday the 13th!

Anyone else out here a 13th baby? Well, I suspect Lutheran Lucy is. :) Anyway, my husband and both have birthdays on the 13th of a month, two months apart. We wanted to get married on June 13th, directly in between our birthdays, but Leap Year messed it up, so we got married on June 12th instead. I believe I turned 13 on a Friday the 13th!

Although I gave the girls off of "school" this week for the most part, I've been busy, doing some sewing and cleaning up my sewing room. I finished two shirts for the Scientist yesterday. I suspect she'll wear the Pooh one as a pajama top, but that's okay, she needs new pajamas too.

I may be getting an old pattern file from a sewing store in Youngstown, OH, that is going out of business. Woo hoo! No more stacked up cardboard boxes, if my brother-in-law was able to snag one for me.

Speaking of kids being off from school, does anyone else think it's a shame that so many kids today seem to spend their vacation holed up in day care anyway? I mean, I know a lot of moms have to work, and all that. But still, it seems sad that so many kids spend their time at school, or in some sort of day care/"camp" program. My girls love being able to be home and play with their toys, or play a video game, or ride their bikes or putz around the yard.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My Day, and a Prayer Request

First, the prayer request, for my pastor and his wife and family. A close family member is suffering ill health because of cancer, and it's rapidly getting worse. You can read about their Easter celebration together here.

Our Wednesday-Lunch-with-Daddy was extra special today as we got to listen to a jazz trio in the Town Square of my husband's office building. They were promoting a local jazz fest coming up.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


The next time your kids complain about learning reading, or phonics, or handwriting, show them these pictures. They are from a book I happened to find on ebay. It doesn't appear to have a publishing date, but it obviously dates to way, way back, and belonged to someone who lived in Detroit, Michigan. It's called a Schreiblesefibel, which roughly translates to Reading and Writing Booklet.

It was published by Concordia Publishing House in St. Louis, Missouri.

First, the child learned simple phonics and handwriting, like l for Lampe and r for Rad. In German script.

The child also learned the sounds of letter combinations.

There were reading passages, like this doctrinal gem: Jesus, the Good Shepherd. A shepherd watches over the sheep. Jesus is my good shepherd. He leads me to pastures. I am Jesus' little sheep. Jesus gave His life for His sheep. He also died for me. Jesus redeemed me from my sins. He is my Redeemer. In baptism, I became Jesus' little sheep. Jesus loves the children.

There are other sections of reading and writing exercises.

Here are two pages that show the alphabet in upper and lower case. Looks fun, doesn't it?

Lastly, a page of prayers, and a page of I'm-not-sure-what. Some of the squares almost look like quilt blocks, don't they? Is this prayer familiar to anyone? Komm, Herr Jesu, Sei unser Gast, und segne, was du uns bescheret hast.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Seasonal Fun

I bought a little game on ebay for my youngest daughter, who loves bunnies, and we played it for the first time today. It's made by Playmobil, it came from Germany, and it is all in German, so it was fun and educational at the same time! It's called Wettlauf um die Möhren, or Race to the Carrots. See, the bunnies have escaped their hutch and they're trying to get to the field of carrots. But if you land on a circle with the picture of the farmer, or Bauer, you get stuck with the farmer figure, and you can't get into the carrot patch if you have the farmer figure.

We christened him Jack Bauer. I wonder what he's gonna do with that pitchfork. :)

Then there was a rousing game of bunny Jenga.

Blessed Easter

Today I'm being a real blogger, and blogging with my pajamas on, in bed, no less. I have a slight cold, and that and the weather make me want to just snuggle in bed. My poor husband is sleeping off a migraine, so Easter Sunday is rather quiet here. We did go to church this morning, which was an adventure, as the roads were atrocious most of the way there and back. I guess most of the snowplows took off for the holiday. Several main roads looked like they hadn't seen any plowing or salt since the snow started.

I hope all of you have a safe holiday. This weather is something else! I hope we get spring back soon!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Easter Eggs

We like to color Easter eggs as a family every year. They're not very flashy, but it's a fun thing to do together.

We need a bit of color on a cold, gray and snowy Holy Saturday.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A Special Event

Tonight, three young ladies in our church congregation received Holy Communion for the first time, including the Scientist. Here are the Scientist, the Artist, and LL, pictured with one of our pastors, also known as the Classical Pelican.

Here also are Faith, Hope, and Charity. Or the Scientist, whose middle name is Charity, with her Aunt Faith and her Aunt Hope. :)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Life Interferes

with blogging. But the Scientist's dress is almost done, in time for her first communion tomorrow night. Yay! I just have, wait for it, the hand sewing left to do; I'm turning over and hand sewing the bodice lining, and I might hand sew the hem.

I had a lot of things to think about today at lunch. Wednesday is Lunch with Daddy Day, since we're fairly close to his office after Latin class in the morning. But today was a going-away lunch for a couple who work with my husband (through tomorrow!), so the girls and I had lunch with my husband, the couple (with no kids), a single woman with no kids, and a married man whose wife is a surgeon and who also has no kids. It was strange for me, the stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, to be with this crowd. Not that they were anything but nice, but I couldn't help but wonder if they were looking down on me, a little. Still, I would still rather be the stay-at-home, homeschooling wife and mother. I can't imagine not having kids; I've wanted to be a mom since before I can remember. And I love being able to stay home with them, although we've made sacrifices to get here. And homeschooling is definitely the best option academically right now. I was even able to remember all that at lunch today. Especially when my girls wanted to snuggle with me and give me hugs at lunch. They need their Mommy, and I need to be there for them.

Monday, April 02, 2007

New Blouse

in dollie size. Yes, I should have worked on the Scientist's dress, but she is still not feeling well, and took a nap this afternoon, so I couldn't fit the lining to her as a test before I cut out the rest of the dress. She's a bit fussy about fit, so I want to make sure she likes it before I cut the whole thing out and sew it together. And I was feeling a little down anyway, so I sewed a blouse for one of my 16" dolls instead, for a fun project to cheer myself up. I'll work on the dress this evening.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

How I Spent My Day

Or at least part of it. The Scientist has a bit of a bug, so only Wildchild and I were able to attend the birthday party for the Princess today after church. And here I can accomplish two things in one post, as the Princess received, among other things, two pairs of shorts recently made by me. I'm hoping she will appreciate them more when it is summer and it's 100 degrees in the shade. The Princess, by the way, is Wildchild's friend, and she turned 5.

Other than that, I have to get cracking on the Scientist's dress that she will wear when she makes her first communion on Thursday evening!