Friday, February 27, 2009

You Know You're Married to a Mathematician When

the Dancer makes a casual comment at lunch about the huge number of potatoes there must be out there waiting to be processed. Husband gets on his cell phone/web browser (he's also a technophile) and finds the number of potatoes in tons processed every year, and extrapolates that to pounds and even number of potatoes based on the average potato size (which he also looks up.) He's always interesting to be around. :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

He Is the King of Wishful Thinking

I like this article. Too bad wishes and promises won't get us through tough times. Frankly, I don't trust politicians at all to get us through tough times. They don't and shouldn't have that kind of power. I'd be happy if they just didn't make things worse. I don't know if that will happen.

h/t Laura.

Love This Quote

"But that's part of the Giants' problem, offensively, is their offense." - Rick Manning, first Indians game in spring training

Maybe I should mute the TV and go with Hammy....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Spring Really Is Coming

There are more birds around. They are dropping berry parts on our car and on our driveway.

Bunnies and deer have been around all winter, but we are starting to see them again now, which I presume is due to sunny days and ever so slightly warmer weather.

Daffodils are in the stores, even if they are not blooming outside!

Update: the Canadian geese are back too. And the Indians' first Cactus League game is today!

Monday, February 23, 2009

That Was Incredible

Due to scheduling, we didn't have the Dancer's birthday party until today. We had it at a place called Pump It Up, and we had an amazing time. Pump It Up is a place full of fun giant inflatables. Parties get a private room, and the Dancer and some of her friends got to run around and play for an hour.

The biggest bouncing area became a jousting ring after the kids bounced in it for a while. The kids took turns wearing a padded helmet and taking on another kid with a large padded weapon.

After all the exercise, we had pizza, cake, ice cream and beverages in the party room. The girl on staff assisting at the party had pizza out for everyone when we came in, put the candles in the cake, lit the candles, cut the cake, served cake and ice cream, cleaned the cake knife we had brought along, and even wrote down who gave the Dancer what. We didn't have to do a thing but have fun. I think it will be a birthday party the Dancer will always remember.

Planning Clothes

I'm trying to be good and plan ahead and get the Dancer's dress made early for Easter. I also am considering what she will wear for her first communion. She is receiving it on Maundy Thursday, so I don't know that anything too frilly or bright is in order. She does have a nice black skirt with ruffles she has been wearing all winter. Maybe I could get her an especially pretty top and that would work.

The Equestrienne is not as interested in clothes, but she does need a nice dress for her confirmation in May. A white dress (I'm such a traditionalist.) She has an idea in mind of what she wants, so I've been scouring patterns. I wish there were more patterns in junior sizes. I'm not sure we could find what we want in stores. Junior dresses are being slated towards prom wear at this point, from what I can tell. Anyway, the Equestrienne is too young to wear a dress that is also appropriate for a 17-year-old for party wear. Or not appropriate, depending on your ethics and aesthetics, lol. Dresses for milestones in a girl's church life seem to be slanted towards the Catholic First Communion bridal wear type dresses. And I suppose this is not surprising, as I'm sure there is lots of money in these dresses, as there is in bridal wear itself. Fancy dresses are definitely *not* the Equestrienne's style, however.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Need Negative Advice

Photo negative advice, that is. I know some of you are scrapbookers and do a lot with photos. Are there any cool new ways out there to store and label negatives? Since I've joined Facebook, I've been going through a lot of our older pictures, with an eye to possibly uploading some. I'm tired of having loose envelopes of negatives laying around.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ohio Has Its Problems

but it is apparently a *very* affordable place to live, according to the National Association of Home Builders on Pretty much all of Northeast Ohio gets mentioned. Hmmm. Maybe we shouldn't move unless Mr. BTEG gets offered the big bucks. And no, we're not seriously thinking about moving, unless some state secedes. :) But it is something we toss around sometimes.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Nodding Off

I've been sleepy all this week. Tonight I finally did a little digging online and discovered that Vitamin D can cause somnolence. Well, guess what I just started taking supplements of? Would anyone like a lightly-used bottle of Vitamin D, lol?

Since I've been so tired, I've gotten little done. I hate that, because so much of the time I judge my worth by what I achieve. That can definitely have consequences. Hey, we've all eaten and had clean clothes and clean dishes this week! :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I'm frustrated. I enjoy knitting while the Dancer is in dance class. It's nicer than reading, since I also like to watch the Dancer. However, I've found it hard to knit successfully during dance class. I was working on a dishcloth with a basic knit/purl pattern, but somehow I managed to mess up several rows. Then I switched to a scarf I'm knitting to match the hat I made, and I made a mistake just in straight knitting. Of course, I was working with suede yarn which has been tricky for me. I tried doing embroidery before, but I need more practice doing it to get better first, and the light wasn't always good at dance class. Sewing, unfortunately, is best done in my sewing room. I need to find time there this week!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Baby Love

We finally got to meet the newest member of our family, Grace, yesterday! She is adorably cute, and it was so nice to hold a baby again! I am happy for my sister-in-law and her husband who have this little bundle of sunshine in their lives.

She is already a Bears fan.

Here she is wearing the sleeper I bought her. Isn't it nice?
And here's the bib I knitted for her. I did it a little differently from the pattern; I made the main part of the bib all one width. I was aware it might affect how the bib laid, but I washed it and laid it out flat to dry, and I think it will work. I am going to make another one all in orange, for when Grace eats strained carrots. They stain something awful. One of those things you learn when you have a baby around. :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saint Valentine's Day

I hope you all are having a nice day. I know some people are not, on account of the snow we received. While driving the Equestrienne to confirmation class this morning, we saw five accidents. We only saw one on the way home, but it was somewhat spectacular -- an SUV down in the ditch, on its side. Also, at one point an SUV just in front of me in the farthest lane, which wasn't plowed very well, was kicking up so much snow that I couldn't see out the windshield for several seconds, even with the wipers going as fast as possible. Fortunately, the roads are already pretty normal again, just a little wet.

I'm very tired today, for some reason. Good thing we did not pick today to go visit our new niece. We're going to be going in tomorrow. We'll also celebrate the Dancer's birthday, and my sister-in-laws' birthdays. I finished the baby bib; I just need to wash it and shape it. I'll take a picture of it before I deliver it. I also finished a hat. It turned out as it was supposed to, but I'm not thrilled with it because it doesn't come down over my ears far enough. I'm eying a hat pattern with ear flaps. I'm too tired to even head out and buy yarn for it. I think I'm going to go take a rest!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Twue Wuv

Look what the delivery man brought me today!
They are from the handsome and charming Mr. BTEG. Thank you, dear! He knows the multi-colored rose bouquets are my favorite.

They came from ProFlowers, with whom we have always had good luck. The flowers really do last a very long time. Sadly, this is an unpaid testimonial. :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Back in the Swing

We are taking advantage of the warm weather. Garbage cans have been emptied. A load of boxes of things we want to keep, but won't need until well after we move, such as Christmas ornaments, have been taken to our storage unit.

Loads of laundry have been done, by the Evil Genius and the Dancer. Dishes have been run through the dishwasher. We are trying to catch up after everyone being sick.

The Dancer and I need to get back seriously into the school schedule. I have a question for you homeschoolers. Would you feel comfortable letting a fourth-grader with fairly good reading skills and comprehension read assignments on her own, not aloud to her teacher? She still struggles with sounding out words she is not familiar with, which is why I've been having her read aloud. I've been feeling (cough) lazy and wonder whether I could just be letting her read. She doesn't do very well yet pronouncing new words even when I help through sounding them out, or just telling her how to pronounce, as in Tchaikovsky. I'm hoping this will come later.


I really am scared about all the health care stuff going through right now. My husband has Crohn's, Hashimoto's, asthma, and struggles with depression. I am bipolar and currently have a counselor and psychiatrist as part of my care regimen, as well as some expensive drugs. Well, drugs for Crohn's aren't cheap either. There's lots of research, which costs money, going on for Crohn's, as currently the best they can do is keep you in remission. Nationalized health care brings down the level of care, and things are cut to bring down costs. I'm not going to argue this with anyone. I just won't. I can point to example after example, but I really don't want to get into this argument. I don't have the time or emotional energy. If you disagree, get your own blog.

Anyway, I'm worried about our lives being seriously impacted. The quality of my husband's life could be at risk. I'm not sure how often Crohn's, for example, is a cause of death. But without tests and treatment he could lose a lot of productive time. My very life could be at risk. The rate for suicides of bipolars is 30 times higher than the rest of the population. I don't want to be over-dramatic, but hiding from the effects of bipolar doesn't make them go away, either. I'm afraid of losing access to the drugs and medical care we need, that they will be deemed too expensive. Perhaps I'm worrying over nothing. But I want my husband and I to be able to live full, healthy lives, and medical interventions are so much a part of that. Oh, Lord, watch over and protect us.

Monday, February 09, 2009


The good news is, (relatively) warm weather and sunshine have come to Northeast Ohio, melting away a lot of the snow and ice. The bad news is, our church basement flooded. Boy, does that building need work. Maybe we should all start buying lottery tickets.

I didn't realize how much being housebound by this illness that refuses to die was affecting me until we went out to lunch with friends yesterday. I felt a lot better afterwards. I wish there were more active homeschool groups around here. I've found a couple that mostly communicate through Yahoo Groups, but they don't do much by way of activities. My eldest daughter is in an online charter school, but a lot of the stuff they do seems to be waaaayyyy over on the other side of town. Why is it so hard to find congenial folks so often?

Friday, February 06, 2009

Am I Hiding?

I just don't have the stomach for posting about political things right now. It's all gotten so corrupt and seems irredeemable. Sometimes I think our only hope is that some brave state or two will decide to secede and take themselves back to a smaller government. I also think I remember Orson Scott Card suggesting states should start calling for a new Constitutional Convention. That might work also.

In the meantime, I have enough to deal with in my everyday life that gets me down. Such as not being able to go see my new niece because the whole family is sick. Such as being stuck at home, both because of the weather and not wanting to pass our germs along. Honestly, I may be cynical, but I don't think my elected representatives really care what I think. I'm not the same political party as most of them, so what do they care? Perhaps, what do I care? It all seems so out of control. I suppose that's not very productive, and maybe I'll start caring again. Right now I guess I'm hiding.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Dressing Your Way to God

There was a large group of Amish actually eating at the restaurant we stopped at on Monday. That's unusual, to see Amish actually eating at an Amish restaurant. We had to explain to the Dancer the reason behind their manner of dress. The women were all in black, with full head caps. The men of course had the full beards. They were speaking Pennsylvania Dutch on the way out. The Dancer noticed every one of them was wearing glasses. I wonder if that is related to their small genetic base. Not that it would cause poor eyesight, but poor eyesight might tend to be spread through the group easier.

I used to admire the Amish more than I do now. Perhaps television or the internet distracts from praying, say, or maybe it's that our sinful nature is the why, and television is just the how. Certainly we should dress modestly, but I don't think certain colors, or a lack of zippers, will help or harm us in any way with God. Really, the only help we have is God's Word and Sacrament. As for the rest, it's easy to get very legalistic. Better, I think, to live and let live, and know that we all sin. If someone is willfully and repeatedly engaging in a harmful activity, then sure, take it to our brother. But earrings or shaving or a teal blue shirt or shoes with a heel, what do they mean in the long run?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Road Trip

We had things to take care of in Columbus yesterday, so Mr. BTEG, the Dancer and I hit the road. If it hadn't been necessary that we go, we wouldn't have, as none of us are feeling our best. I have been getting better, but walking around downtown Columbus in the cold trying to find the Max and Erma's Restaurant (or Max and Earmuffs, as the Equestrienne used to call it) let me know I'm still not 100%. Well, there's that and the laryngitis. We would have left the Dancer in the care of her big sis if her cough wasn't croupy sounding when she first got sick. She had a bad case of croup as a toddler. Although the hospital of course would never tell us, I have always suspected we came close to losing her then. I really don't think the crash cart was routine. Anyway, she still gets that seal-bark cough on occasion, so we like to keep an eye on her.

We stopped at an Amish restaurant on the way home that we used to favor when we lived in Columbus and made the trip north often. The food was not as good as it used to be, although the broasted chicken was still yummy. There was an Amish restaurant close to where we lived when I was pregnant with both of my girls, and I enjoyed going there for the all-you-can-eat buffet. I got hungry when I was pregnant. Not to mention all the little snacks I needed to calm my stomach down.

Speaking of restaurants, we had much better luck with the Max and Erma's down there than we've been having up here. I wonder if the proximity to corporate has anything to do with it. We stopped at the Wendy's years ago that was right down the street from their corporate, and ordered a Double Stack sandwich for me. The sandwich was a really good deal, but it came with cheese automatically, and we tried about three times to get it without cheese. Finally, Mr. BTEG went up to a few corporate looking guys with clipboards and explained the problem. We got the sandwich right the next time.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dancer

Today the Dancer enters into double digits! She was a C-section baby, deciding to turn sideways at the last minute. Surprised the heck out of my doctor. She's been active ever since, whether gymnastics or dancing or running or leaping or biking. Happy birthday to my baby!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Light Ahead

Today I'm starting to feel alive again, after being sick most of the week. I got a catalog in the mail filled with spring clothes that makes me feel that perhaps this cold weather won't last forever. Of course, there's the issue of digging money out of the budget to buy new clothes. :) But it's fun looking at the catalog. Ah, new spring clothes, in bright new colors!

Since I wasn't feeling well, and Mr. BTEG and the Dancer have caught the germs as well, not much has been going on around here. I've been knitting, since it's something I can do in bed. I have one strap left on the baby bib; I'm hoping I can re-attach the yarn successfully.

I'm looking forward to what I can do this week when I feel healthy again!