Saturday, March 29, 2008

As Promised...

So... I promised a family picture today... What I failed to mention is how much it sucks...

Here's the SOOC (straight out of the camera) shot:


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!

I can't even begin to list what's wrong with this photo.

Every Christmas Eve after the church service, I have someone take some family shots of us using my camera. The person who usually does it (and knows how to take a decent photograph) had to leave right away this time, so I asked another friend. I set the camera up and described what I wanted and the basics of taking a picture with my Minolta Maxxum 4 SLR. Now, an SLR takes you at your word. Whatever you tell it, that's what it does. No adjustments. My poor friend didn't know she was telling it to focus on the background instead of the foreground. But I did mention something about filling the frame with the subject... I had her take four, and they're all pretty much the same. Sigh.

Here it is after some pretty heavy Gimping:


Still sucks (doesn't help that it's a flash picture. I despise flash pictures), but at least it doesn't quite make me want to poke out my eyes. Prolly won't frame it... but do I ever? Oh well, at least I have something.

(Excuse the grainy pixelation--it's Blogger's fault)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Ho-Hum.

I'm so uninspired today. I had to really think... Hm... What can I post today? Nothing's coming to me. Odd. Well, what have I done today? Where have I gone? What's new? Nothing. I've been making food all day, it seems. I'm trying to prepare for my trip to Oregon in a couple of weeks. As a decent wife, I should leave my husband food. (Not that he'll eat most of it... I don't know what he lives on when I'm gone. Seems like I come home and most of the food is still in the freezer. I think he reverts to his bachelor-mooching skills. But still. I'm trying to make up for abandoning him for three weeks.) So I'm cooking. Today, and tomorrow, and then I think I'll have it mostly done. Leaving the rest of my time here for painting my kitchen (!) and recording beau coup hymns for church services while I'm gone.

So, here, I'll share my beans:




Exciting, no?

Aiee. I need to get out more.



All right. How 'bout this? Here's something that still makes me laugh every time I look at it. I always keep my eye out for glass gallon jars. They're hard to come by, and very useful. I buy raw milk, so gallon jars work well for that. Also, I buy lots of food in bulk, and a gallon jar is the perfect size for storing so many things. Like those red lentils that seemed like a great idea at the time, but a gallon jar seems to still be storing them, two years later.

Last summer, at a garage sale, I found this cute jar:



Of course, I use it for --what else?-- goat milk.

Isn't it great? Idyllic cows, peacfully grazing the sparse grass on the side of a jar. I'm not at all into country kitsch, but this! This is irresistible. Especially when you turn it and look at the other side:


What's up with that? I have to say, though, I can relate. I currently have my calf in my lap, trying to get my attention, begging for a bandaid for an "owie" that I can't even see and thus can't kiss correctly ("No! Right here! On the blood!") and also insisting that I should catch the blood-sucking ladybug on the window and Iwannawatchamooooovie. I'm afraid I look just like that momma-cow sometimes. I can just hear her: "I'm busy right this minute! Can't you wait another 17 1/2 seconds? Stop asking!"


BONUS: Just for sticking with me 'till the end of today's dose of drivel, I'll give you a hint of what's coming up for tomorrow! Nathan finally got my laptop on speaking terms with my scanner, so I can actually scan photos from my film camera! Not that I'm saying they're any good, either, but, well, I'm excited about it. Then I was deflated to find that he installed photo-printing software, but all I want is to scan and store them on my hard drive... Then my balloon re-inflated as I discovered that the GIMP can get pictures from my scanner! Yay for GIMP!! So, tomorrow: family photos from Christmas!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I Almost Wet My Pants

Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics



I-What?

Jonah is playing with toy cars, very absorbed in his imaginative world.

"Brrrmmmm..... bvvvv, Beep, beep!! Rrrawwwwww.... Brrm! Kapuschhggrrah!! Brrrrrrrrmmmm... Weee-oooo-weeeeeeeeeee-ooooooooooooo... Beep! Ding, din!..."

The sound effects elevate and suddenly turn into an ear-piercing shriek. (I do not know what car makes that sound.)

"Eyah!! Please!! Don't scream!" I say.

"Yeeeeah!! Ice cream!"

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Car Moment

Scene: In the van, driving from one place to another, at a stop light. Momma driving, Jonah in carseat.
Time: Early afternoon.

J: (points left) I wanna go DAT way.

M: (turns right): Sorry, we're going this way.

J: IIII WAANNNAAA GO DAAAAT WAAAAYY! WAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!

M: That's enough. This is the way we need to go.

J: BAAAACK UUUUP! I GO DAT WAY! WAAAH! BACK UP!

M: (rolls eyes)

J: BACK! UP! MOM! BAAAACK UUUUP! WWWAAAaaaAAAaaaAAAHHHHHH...

Et cetera

M: (no response)

(long pause)

J: (very sweetly) Can you please back up, Mommy?

Still Winter, Spring Imminent











Tuesday, March 25, 2008

BIG Cookie

Easter is not about Sugar. Neither is Christmas, or any other Holy Day.

Sugar should not be involved.




But somehow, Sugar always makes an appearance.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Finished For Us

21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Romans 3:21-26

Have a blessed Good Friday in celebration the redemption of mankind.

Time's a- wasting

My brother pointed me to this site, drat him. The game he recommended was stooopid, but here's the one I've only just torn myself away from:

The Impossible Quiz

I've made it to #57 (or 58? Now I can't remember...).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Alert: Severe Navelgazing Ahead

So if you're bothered by a little narcissism, stop reading now.

Eh-hem.

I need a haircut. It's driving me nuts. I think it's been, oh, six months or maybe thirty-nine. Now it's going all roadkill on me and combine that with hormone-wackness and it's really getting on my nerves. I find myself wearing a bandanna on my head every day.

I don't generally like my hair even under the best of circumstances. (Nathan says I should just be thankful for what God's given me. I know. But sorry, honey, wrong answer. Isn't the correct response to my ravings: "Here, have some chocolate.") When I was a kid (until I turned 17), I refused to have it cut, and it was long and scraggly as ever. As a teenager it was always in a clip because it bugged me. A dear Mexican lady told me once that I shouldn't wear my hair up because it made me look bitter. She was right.

I saw the error of my ways and have kept it between ear and shoulder level ever since. I even learned to wear it down, and liked it. But here it is ranging down my back again, heading ever southward and becoming more savage.

So why don't I quit my pontificating and go get involved with the nearest weed-wacker, you ask? Because. I have issues.

I've always been annoyed by people who are too picky. I try not to be. But I am that way about my hair. I means, sheesh, I only want a small miracle, for Pete's sake. I've long been on a quest for the thaumaturge who can give my flat, baby-fine hair a little natural body. Just a little.

And I've had so many bad haircuts, it isn't even funny. One gave me an absolute mullet because she didn't carry the layers all the way out to the ends. "I don't like thin bottoms" she said. Another said, "Oh, here, I'll layer it all out and it'll just take a few minutes each morning with a flat iron and..." and I'm all, Are you smoking something, lady? A flat-iron? And sure enough when she got done with the flat-iron, it looked worse than ever. "Er... maybe you really need a curling iron..." she said. And that's fine for her, but I am curling-iron inept, and don't have a will to change. I've tried. I've just never been able to figure out how to reach the rear-left of my head.

And then last spring, my Hallelujah-moment. I went to a girl, fresh out of school, who gave me a fantastic hair cut. And when I called a few months later for another appointment, she had moved on to greener pastures in the city. (hmm... pastures in the city... uh, nevermind.) So I had the older lady she had worked with cut my hair, and hated the results. Back to square one.

And I begin to think, maybe it isn't them... maybe my hair really is hopeless.

But I think if I can hold out until I go West, my good friend L. claims to know a miracle-worker who actually reads minds and knows what you want even when you don't know what you want. I have hope.

Windex, anyone?

Click here.

Okay, look, I know it's like, so last week, but c'mon, just humor me.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Rainy Day Morning Glory

I spend WAY too much time on the computer. Yes, a good portion of it is legitimate, as I'm doing some web design and graphic work. And due to my inexperience (and mild OCD) this is fairly time consuming. And I read some blogs, and do coughMySpacecough. And I help moderate a Yahoo! group. Oh, and I blog. And I do some of research of various subjects. (As an aside, it occurred to me recently that a set of encyclopedias used to be considered essential for homes with school-age children. People took pride in their sets, and spent a lot of time paying them off. And if you didn't own one, you went to a library to do research. I do remember, albeit vaguely, using my school's encyclopedia set for research papers... So I wonder, what has Google done to the encyclopedia industry? I would never dream of buying a set now.)

Anyway, I was feeling guilty this morning as I checked my e-mail. Jonah was bouncing around, bored and making tremendous messes.

"I know! I said, let's clean up all these messes, and then we can make muffins together!"

"YEEEAAAAAAH!!"

"Okay, start picking up these blocks!"

"No, I don't want to."

So the clean-up part took a little coaxing.

But soon we were on our way. I decided on one of my all-time favorites, Morning Glory Muffins. (There a million different recipes, such that you can't even tell they're the same muffin, but the one I linked is similar to mine, except it called for zuccini, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds, none of which I have right now. Basically, it's a super-chunky muffin full of stuff.)

Jonah measured and stirred. I reminded him to try to keep it in the bowl...










I thought this might be a good lesson in patience for him, as he's really into instant-gratification lately. Turned out to be more my lesson then his, but isn't that the way it goes?

Excuse the despicable state of my table. You'd think I could tidy up a bit before I show it to the whole internet. Sheesh.






He really loves the little tiny muffins. And he's completely random about the order that he puts the paper cups in the pans. I realized that I always do them in rows (for efficiency?), and it never eve occurs to him! Then he would point and tell me which one to fill next, also a completely random order.





And when the timer went off, "The muffins uh done!! The muffins uh done!"





He tested them with his toothpick, but it didn't take him long to taste-test one (and another, and another, and...)

And here I am on the computer again, and he's playing in the kitchen sink again... Aiee.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Miscellania

I thieved these pictures from my sister's MySpace page. They've been having new baby goats all over the place around there. I love new kids. They're just so stinkin' cute!




Oh, he makes me want goats again! I just wanna snuggle and squeeze him and love him forever and ever! Sigh. We can't afford to feed them at this point, but someday...


And this one made me spit milk out of my nose:




Okay, not quite on the milk. It was a figure of speech. I laughed, anyway. A lot.

On another note, last night we booked plane tickets for me and Jonah to fly out and visit family and friends in Oregon. Yay! It's been a year since we were last there. I woke up this morning with a panic attach about it, but I'll get over it. It'll be fun. Once we get past the airplane ride. Not that I'm afraid of it crashing or terrorists or anything. No, fear is not involved, only claustrophobia and boredom. There's just something about spending six hours in a sardine can with 250 other people and a small, whiny child that's really not appealing to me. But it'll be worth it and we made it a long trip to make up for the travel time and expense.

My silly sister made the mistake of prematurely mentioning this trip to Jonah on the phone.

All day, all I've heard is "I wanna airplane riiiiiiiide! I wanna airplane riiiiiiiiide! I wannaaaaaaa airplane ride! I wanna aaaaaaairplane ride! I wanna airplane ride! I wanna airplane ride! I wanna airplane ride! I wanna airplane ride! I wanna airplane riiiiiiiiide! I wanna airplane ride! I wanna airplane ride! I wanna airplane ride! I wanna..."

Obviously, he and I are of two different minds on this subject. But I also know that the novelty wears off quickly. Like in the first 3.86 minutes after boarding the aircraft. Leaving me with approximately 528.14 of toddler thumb-twiddling.

I think the investment of a new battery for my laptop might be a worthy one. I could load it up with Bob the Builder and Thomas the Train and experience relative peace.

As I type this, I have a mosquito buzzing around my head. "Wait... wha?" you say? Yeah, I know. I do live in the northern hemisphere and it is March. And 30 degrees outside. Phoo. The buzzards were horrid last year and they never went away! They've been lurking under our house and appearing periodically to mystify and annoy us all winter. Winter, people. Now that we open the kitchen frequently, they can come in more easily. It's flinkin' WINTER! Hello? Winter. Ugh. What else can I say?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Mmmm... Ciabatta...



More progress in Operation Yummy Bread.

This may very well be the best bread I have ever made (or even ever eaten!). It's a three-day sponge Ciabatta. I'm preparing to make a wild yeast starter and tackle sourdough next.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

To Mourn the Passing of Naptime...

Jonah came down from quiet time, without sleeping, before I told him he could get up, yet again.

"See, Mommy! I have these for you!" handing me some pieces of paper.

"Jonah... you have been in your bed for 38 minutes. Quiet time is not over yet. You need to go back to your bed..."

"Um, thank you!"

"Excuse me?"

"Thaaaank you, Mommmyyy..."

"For what?"

"Thank you ah quiet time... I so gwaaaad..." His long eyelashes bat a few times...

"You're glad?"

"Yeah! I gwad ah quiet time!"

"Are you trying to get out of going back to bed?"

Leaning his head on me sweetly, "I ah gwad. Thank you. I go play."

Sigh.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ahh... Welcome!

Before you thought of Spring
Except as a Surmise
You see — God bless his suddenness –
A Fellow in the Skies
Of independent Hues
A little weather worn
Inspiriting habiliments
Of Indigo and Brown –
With specimens of Song
As if for you to choose –
Discretion in the interval
With gay delays he goes
To some superior Tree
Without a single Leaf
And shouts for joy to Nobody
But his seraphic self –

~Emily Dickenson

There are robins in my yard this morning! That's a good sign! It isn't Spring yet, but now I know it's coming!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Useful

A Wife

Oh, shush. I already know how horrible this is. But it's so stinkin' funny! It made me laugh, so I'm sharing it with you.

Thankfully, I have a husband who is much sweeter to me than this. (Case in point: He washed dishes for me the other night when I had a headache and I know that he absolutely loathes doing dishes.) But he laughed, too, when I showed him this. Because he's sweet to me and has a good sense of humor.

Best Buds



Jonah's bestest friend in the whole wide world spends Wednesdays at our house. She arrived here this morning while it was still dark and Jonah was still sleeping. When he woke up, they whooped and giggled in greeting to each other. They've spent the whole day in terrorizing the house with three-year-old goofiness.











Monday, March 10, 2008

Talkie

The evolution of Toddler-Speak is a fascinating thing. And who says it has to make sense? Here's a crash course:

~~~

"Mom, where is my goginah?"

???

"Hey! Is that a deedah?"

Wah...?

These multi-purpose words, among several others, mean whatever he wants them to mean and usually seem to function as last-minute stand-ins for words he doesn't know. They're always the same, no variance in pronunciation, but never the same meaning either. He uses them nonchalantly in conversation, fully expecting me immediately to comprehend.

~~~

Also, a general name for imaginary friends, story characters, stuffed animals. "This is Lockalodie." And then he sings it out: "LOCK-ah-loooodiieeeeee!"

~~~

Or, when he doesn't know the name for something, he just calls it by it's color. "I want the BLUUUE!!! Where IIIIS it???" or "Look! See that Green, Momma?"

~~~

Sometimes, his words are just a misunderstanding of the way a real word sounds. This morning, he sneezed, and then said, "I have snod!" You mean, snot, I corrected. "No! Snod! It's in my nose!"

~~~

He came down the stairs during quiet time and I was telling him that quiet time was not really over, but he was trying to change the subject.

"Um! Um, yestahday... ah went up the mountain!"

Whatever, but quiet time's not over yet.

"Yeah! And the tractor uh DUMPED ah cow poop!"

But you need to go lay in your bed for a while longer.

"Oh, and ah dinosaur say 'RRAAAARRRRR'!!!"

Jonah...

"Hello! I Gertie Goose! I ah play a g'tar!"

~~~

He's been learning a song in Sunday School, There Is A Green Hill Far Away, that they're going to sing for Easter. The other day I overheard him singing, perfectly on key, "There is a backhoe far away..."

~~~

Sigh.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Of Sheepdom

I'm not generally the swearing type, but I think I could come up with a few choice words for old Ben Franklin right about now. As the originator of the idea of Daylight Saving Time (and thus directly responsible for my late rising and rushing out the door to church this morning), I'd sure like to give him a piece of my mind.

Eh-hem.

As far as I'm concerned, Daylight Saving Time is only an exercise in the Sheepness of the Masses. "Hey, let's see if we can get people to follow this absurd idea!"

Baaaa.

And now that we spend 8 months on DST and only 4 months off, why not just change the clocks permanently and save us all the agony of the adjustment?

The idea that it saves energy usage just seems silly to me. It doesn't actually buy us an extra hour of sun, it only shifts it from morning to evening, according to the clocks. So if we have extra sun in the evening, we get that darkness in the morning and turn on all our lights anyway. I've even heard the observation that people use more air conditioning during the summer because the sun goes down later by our clocks, as in this article:

The concept was first put forward by Benjamin Franklin, as a satire, during a visit to Paris. He wrote that fewer candles would be used if people got up earlier and went to bed earlier.

The city's engineer for energy services says moving the clock forward, even starting the shift earlier, seems to merely shift energy use to different times.

"At the end, all I could say was that we were shifting it around," John Phelan told The Coloradoan. Studies were "very inconclusive."

A study by the University of California-Santa Barbara, found that daylight savings increases energy use. It was based on a study of households in Indiana. An earlier study of energy in Australia came to similar conclusions.


Say... Did that say that Franklin's original idea was only a satire? Be careful what you say, dude, sheep are dumb and may not quite take your meaning.

Hmmm... On those lines, I propose that instead of changing the clocks, we turn off the TV for the summer and go outside. That would save a little energy.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Snack Time

Look, I know my posts have been a little uninspired lately... And here I am posting about something so mundane as a snack. But it's my life (a little boring at the moment) and my blog (also boring) so like it or lump it. And if you know any local muses, send one my way.

Moving on.

Jonah is in obsessed with oranges. I'm not always good about having fruit in the house (since I only get groceries once a month), so when there's fruit around, he's just in heaven. Oranges are particularly yummy to him. I've never been a fan of them, myself, unless they're very juicy and sweet. In my experience, they tend to be a little dry and pulpy, and you never know what you're going to get. I prefer tangerines because they're more likely to have the requisite moisture. But today, we shared some very appropriately juicy, sweet oranges.

















Would you check out the eyelashes on this kid? Melt me with cuteness.



He's way sweeter than the oranges.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Kitchen: Walled

My kitchen has drywall! This is very significant, considering this is where we were at over a year and a half ago:




And today:

The window behind Nathan is where the sink will be on the east side of the room.




The big window looks west and the door goes out into the garden.

So, yay! It actually looks like a room! Next comes the mudding, ick. But, progess is good!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Words, Words, Words

That title was a little Shakespeare for your daily dose of Culture. Now here's your daily dose of Cuteness:




Jonah is having tons of fun with his cohorts in crime. Tomorrow we plan to head back home.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Current Occupation


No, she isn't mine. But I get to snuggle her all I want for a few days.




Who could resist that sweet babyness?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Even Steven


Marital Bliss Bar


That's how the chocolate is always divied up in our house. Perfectly even. Every time.

Many Thanks!

...to the people at Blogger for fixing the customizing options! Now my header doesn't shrink in transfer!

Yay!