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.