Saturday, July 30, 2011


I am right now doing something both fabulously delicious and something that makes me somewhat uneasy: I'm spending time senza la mia famiglia. I have finally (and again, really) asked for some time to myself because I feel I need it if I am going to be a kind member of this family. I have been allowing myself to become overwhelmed all together too often lately (slept from about 5:30-9:30 this morning and that was it) and I need to step back and figure out how to deal with this. I need to take a little time for myself so that I have more to give to my family when we're together. The snappishness just isn't fair to anyone and I can't stand myself when I'm constantly lashing out at those around me.

So, as I've a limited amount of time here in this vast haven of silence (thanks be for Saturday at a (very quiet) library), I'm about to head off to do what I intended. I'm hoping to make this a weekly thing. I keep pushing Cardo to do the same, but I think I'll ease up on that as he doesn't seem too into the idea...yet.

There's so much more that I need right now -- for my family, for myself and for goal-reaching, but this, right now, feels like the proper first step.

Here's hoping that you are all also able to take a bit of time to step back from "it all" and recoup.

Happy Saturday.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

laff track and a possible weekend outing

I actually laughed out loud when I read the label on the third cake in this Cake Wrecks post.


All right. I'm off. Cardo is reading The Deathly Hallows, so I cannot right now. Which reminds me, who wants a fabulous six-year-old for a good long weekend so Cardo and I can indulge in an HP movie marathon? (I said I'd finally watch all of the movies with Cardo because he will have read all of the books. And, I kind of want to see them all now.)

Pic is watching some good old Alvin and the Chipmunks episodes.

I...? I might be about to head off to rest as we had a looong and broilingly-hot day yesterday and not enough sleep last night before another long, but much better, day today. Tomorrow and Saturday will also be pretty full.

I am too worn out to even catch up on what's been going on in blogland. Ah, well. Summertime...and my brain is all melty.


However, before I rush off: If anyone is interested, Capt'n Jack Spareribs is making appearances at local (Washoe County) libraries. We're very much looking forward to seeing this show.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

psa: yoga gear & misc

Just popping in very quickly (why, yes, it's well after ten) to mention a super short sale over at Barefoot Yoga. (Oh, I'm tired. I typed that 'Barefood' and it took me a moment to figure out how to fix it.)

Sale ends tomorrow, July 28. (Must check my electronic mail more often. Not that I'm buying anything this time, but I could have passed on the news sooner.)

All of our yoga mats are from this shop. Both Pic's and Cardo's are the hybrid eco mats and mine is an earlier version of that.


On another note, before this day officially ends (in this time zone), Cardo and I have been together for ten years. He told me he's ready to go another ten.


Also on this day, one of my nephews is now only one year away from teenager-hood! I have a hard time thinking of him as past babyhood. Wow.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

musical monday (a day late): for indie

"Hanson - Thinking 'Bout Somethin' (EXCLUSIVE LIVE!)"

Friday, July 22, 2011

a little look at language

For whatever reason, it's funny to me that "we" still call our grown children "children." (The first use of quotations marks there is because I don't yet have a child who is 18+.) Why don't we call them our "adults"? As in, "Oh, yes, my adult is moving into her first place on her own next week." Hmm.

night owl

Quite a while back, Cardo was lucky enough to snag a large chunk of a homeschooler's library and other resources through Craigslist. Along with a good many books, a recorder, bookcases and a night sky light thing, we got a 2005 daily-page calendar of origami instructions.

I've been meaning to delve into this calendar for quite some time and last night, I finally did. Actually, I pulled it out and set it aside where I'd notice it and finally get to it. (See v strew. Go me!) Pic grabbed it and set about making a dog finger puppet with Papi. Later, she and I attempted to craft some owls. It took me long enough to figure out how to make a square base (and yes, there is some folding involved in doesn't just refer to the square piece of paper we started with). It took some blue language muttered under my breath and too many minutes for me to want to admit to for me to figure out how to go from the square base to the bird base. (I'm using the "bird base" and "square base" terminology from the calendar. I have no idea if it's common origami parlance.) Oh, buddy, I need someone to show me how to do this stuff live and in person*.

Anyhow, as evidenced at the top of this post, I figured it out...eventually. I am not elated with the appearance of the resulting owl, but I am loving that I figured it out.

Most of the pages of the calendar are still in the box and I look forward to tackling more of the projects. (At least, I say that now, at five in the morning on zero sleep.)

I do think that the many, many freecycled magazine pages might not be the absolute best origami paper, though. I'll stick with it because, well, I collected those magazine for around-the-house projects and the above is just that.

I should mention that the back of each calendar page is patterend paper, but this makes little sense to me. How I am supposed to fold the figures on the paper that contains the instructions? There might be some obvious, logical answer to that question, but please refer to the above lack-of-sleep comment.


* Such a funny phrase.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

nearly wordless wednesday

"I just thought I wanted to cut my ribbons."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

putting myself out there

My mind and insides have been churning lately regarding fear and hurt and how to embrace confidence and bravery. Actually, I feel like I've spent a good deal of my life, especially the last decade, contemplating such.

I feel like I have a lot to say on the subject, but I have no idea how to coherently say it.

Anyhow, I only wanted to preface my request with the above.

I have just put myself back out there. Out there in the big scary "out there" where I am exposed to possible rejection, the thought of which makes my chest constrict.

And, my request? If you've got the positive thoughts to spare, please send some my way. Cross your fingers or light a candle or whatever it is you do, if you would. Because I'm attempting to work my way through and past this constant fear and doubt and embrace the work-to-live ideal.

So, positive thoughts, please? I'll be more than happy to return the favor.

Grazie mille.

Monday, July 18, 2011

this cracks me out

Phrases that would seem so mundane (or just strange) coming from adults' mouths just seem so funny when they pop out of Pic's mouth. I'm thinking part of it is me marveling at how she even comes across and/or comes up with these things. Part is also that there must be something biological that keeps me oh-so-interested in her doings...and sayings.

So, what has Pic come up with lately?

"That's a toughie! That's going to be a toughie!"

"Can't you believe it?!"

"That cracks me out!"

More? The other day, she told me she was hot, so I told her we'd put her in some ice or put her in the freezer. Her response: "Do you want me to get chicken pops?!"

I asked her, "Chicken pox?"

"Yes, do you want me to get chicken pops?"

"Why would you get chicken pox?"

"Because, when we get cold, we get chicken pops," she reasoned.

"Oh, goose bumps!"

And, finally: the other day, we were visiting Grandma J who asked Pic what kinds of toys she liked. Pic responded, "Oh, I like stuffed animals. And, stuffed people." Cardo and I spent the following several minutes avoiding each others' eyes and stifling laughter.

I keep wondering if we'll always be so amused with the little things she says.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

alas and alack!

Ah, nablopomo. Oops.

I had such a groove going. I had a whole new system worked out for making posting smoother for myself. parents came to visit. That was fabulous and I can't wait until our next (as yet unplanned) visit. And, while they were here, I was continuing with my posting. However, the day they left, I was exhausted. I slept many, many hours the night they went home. As in, I went to bed about eight hours earlier than usual.

Oy with the poodles.

Then, as far as blogging goes, I kind of lost my steam. Ah, well. I'm trying to get some focus and rhythm back in my days. I think it's going to go pretty well. However, I think I won't be posting tomorrow.

In the meantime, I beg of you ways to calm myself for a dentist appointment. I finally decided to tell Cardo he could call the dentist and ask them to set me up for an appointment (I would never, never do it for myself...just as I won't go by myself). I pretty much begged him to get me an appointment where they'll do both cleaning and fixing. I'm afraid they'll tell me that's not possible, but I have a tendency to go to the cleanings, listen to them tell me I need to have a few things fixed and then not go back for seven million weeks. However, again tonight my tooth was crumbling. Lovely little bits of it coming off as I flossed.

So, how do I not completely freak out at the dentist's office? Please?

{this moment}

Inspiration via: SouleMama

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

music and a digression (or two)

"Beyonce's 'Single Ladies' by (Mary Ann, Ginger & Mrs Howell)"

I am really not obsessed with this song, I swear. It's just that I keep coming across fun videos for it.

Also, I never really watched Gilligan's Island much, but how is it that these women all have the same pair of shoes? Aren't they stranded on an island? I'll stop here and suspend my disbelief because I have many other questions regarding that same clip.


And, speaking of Gilligan's Island...

"Emily Dickinson's Isle - Death by Emily Dickinson to the tune of Gilligan's Isle"

Funny enough: I first learned about youtube in the class of the professor who pointed out to me this fun little tidbit (singing the Dickinson poems to this tune).


And, speaking of Dickinson...

One of my favorite quotations is from her writing: "Tell all the truth but tell it slant." This quotation I first read on a Bazooka bubble gum wrapper.

wordless wednesday

Monday, July 11, 2011

musical monday: 'too low to get under'

"Michael Jackson-Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"

This was the first song we listened to on our record player. Pic's both a record player fan and a Michael Jackson fan.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

butterscotch brownies

everything's ready to go

Last month, we went on a bit of a butterscotch brownie kick. I wanted to make Catherine Newman's recipe, but I was making the brownies for others and I'm never sure if other people will enjoy fruit and/or nuts in their sweets. Also, I had been really wanting to use the butterscotch chips in the freezer. So, I nixed the cherries and pecans and threw in the chips, which eventually sunk to the bottom and formed a kind of base layer. Cardo totally dug them, although they were a bit too sweet for me to eat more than a few bites at a time. Next time, I'd like to do butterscotch chips in one pan and the cherries and nuts in another pan. I also have some cinnamon chips I might try. What else sounds good?

giant brownies!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

i will look forward to this

I was just discussing phrases I find funny with Cardo and my dad. I mentioned "I'll look forward to that" which always makes me stop and think a moment. I always want to know when the person will start looking forward to the event.

Anyhow, I am looking forward to the opening of the children's museum up here. Should be about two more months. I really hope this is going to happen.


I have more to write about regarding our many and varied unschooling adventures, but I've a headache and I need to sign off soon. It's been a long day of 5th St., Virginia City, the pool, dinner and a walk.

Friday, July 8, 2011

{this moment}

Inspiration via: SouleMama

Thursday, July 7, 2011

o, happy day

My list of things that have brought me a bit of joy in the last week (or more):

* podcasts
* PBS Kids Go (Pic's has been totally into the Webonauts game for the past day-and-a-half)
* dancing (looking forward to seeing some tonight)
* cool showers (my, is it hot in here!)
* a freshly-scrubbed kitchen
* goggles
* finishing Goblet of Fire and moving on to Order of the Phoenix (Cardo and I should be moving on today, tomorrow at the latest)
* reading the Harry Potter series with Cardo so we can chat about them
* dreaming up crafty plans that will most likely be realized in the the coming weeks

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

danny tanner cleaning

Every time I clean something like the bottle of dish soap, I think of Danny Tanner. There was the time he used the hand-held vacuum to clean the regular vacuum. And, there was the time he was washing his cleaning gloves (which I do not use, much to the chagrin of everyone who has had to fingerprint me in the past several years) and Joey, I think, came in and said something like, "Danny's finally done it: he's cleaning soap!" (There's no way that's an accurate quote; that's just what I'm remembering.)

So, what has been "Danny Tanner" cleaned around here in the past couple of days?
* the dish soap bottle (of course)
* the kitchen sink stopper
* the trash cans
* the dust pan

Right now, the refrigerator is pulled out so I can attempt to clean the coils. I keep reading these articles about cleaning the coils, but it turns out I have no idea where the coils are and I'm kind of wishing I had never tried to clean that. Oh, geez, it's disgustingly fuzzy back there. And, it wasn't until after I washed the back plate thing that I realized it's cardboard. It's outside right now, where I hope it'll dry enough for me to replace. Please don't disintegrate!

I have about one more day of this intense cleaning left in me (lots more cleaning has been going on, not just the above) and then I'm resorting to shoving stuff in closets to get me through mid-next week.


Now I'm off to read the imdb trivia on Full House.

'i sure appreciate you being 'round'

Fifty-four years ago today, Paul and John met. Kind of silly to commemorate, but kind of worthy at the same time. ;)

"the Beatles - Help! (Music Video)"

Thank you, Universe.

nearly wordless wednesday*

I break an egg, clean it up, turn around...

Pic breaks an egg.

Seriously, we're very professional bakers.


* I've said this before, and I'm saying it again: "Nearly Headless Nick" is what's stuck in my head right now.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

one up and one down

Yesterday, in the midst of me floundering around, trying to function like a "normal" human (whatever that means), Pic is having a great time. While I'm having a quiet, but scary, breakdown, she is soaking in the good times. How can I make sure she holds onto that? How do I attain that for myself?

Anyhow, we were settling down last night, Pic told me, "This was a great day! I got to see the fireworks, I got a pocsicle, I gotted to play. And, did you see me do the monkey bars? I did them all by myself!" (No, those weren't typos. I was transcribing Pic-speak.)

Looking at it through her eyes, it's all crayon scribbles and sparklies. We should bottle that up!

a bit of lit: veela edition

(Warning: potential Harry Potter spoiler. Not a topic from the books, but something that was later revealed about a character. I don't know if I should warn y'all about that, so there we have it.)

Cardo and I are on Goblet of Fire and, of course, we reached (and passed) the part with the veela at the World Cup. I've always (okay, since 2000) wondered how the veela work. Do they only affect people with Y chromosomes? Do they also affect anyone attracted women? Do they affect adolescents more? What do you think?

On the topic of sexual attraction, we also had an extended discussion about Dumbledore's being gay. What exactly was Rowling doing with this decision? Why did she choose to complete the series and then announce that Dumbledore is gay?

We don't often talk about sexuality (except our own), but this was an interesting conversation.


Although I love the books, I don't do much outside reading and keeping up. I've never been much of a fan of anything in that sense. I did a bit of poking around the Harry Potter website (um, I can't even remember what exactly that is/was) and Muggle Net and I plan to check out Pottermore, but I'm not too good at keeping up with what's going down. Rowling might well have had an extended discussion/line of reasoning behind announcing that Dumbledore is gay and I could have missed that whole conversation.


(Warning: this time it is a spoiler)

Same book: When Harry's name comes out of the goblet, Moody suggests that perhaps someone entered Harry's name under another school so he'd be guaranteed to become a competitor. The other students wrote their names and their schools on their slips of paper. Was it only Harry's name on his slip?

Monday, July 4, 2011

file under 'too good to be true'

An e-mail in my spam folder boasted in it's subject line, "University degrees in just 10 days. No studying required."

I'm not that handy with my computer skills and I don't have Photoshop or anything, but I could probably fashion my own degree should I so desire (which I do not, just to be clear).


Happy Fourth, by the way!

musical monday: take a look

Twenty-eight years ago, PBS's Reading Rainbow debuted. Okay, so the actual date was July 1, so I'm a bit late, but I wanted to save the song for today.

"Old School Reading Rainbow Theme"

Ah, LeVar, how in love I was.

I know that I have posted on this before, but here it is again. The love runs deep here. This and Mister Roger's Neighborhood were my two favorite PBS shows when I was growing up. I always wanted to be one of those kids at the end who got to introduce the books they were currently into.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


It the beginning of last month, Grandma J turned 88! I made a simple dinner, and we headed over to her house. I was also going to make dessert, but we were at least one ingredient short for every recipe I wanted to make. And, I was running out of time. And, I was starting to melt down.

I am thinking, as I've thought many times before, that giving food for birthdays and any other special days is the way to go. I'm not big on giving stuff, as there's just so much stuff everywhere we turn. But, food? Food that I've made myself. That takes (so, so much) time and effort and is really, no matter how simple it seems in the end, how I'm showing you, on a plate, bowl or pan, that I really do care about you.

(And, all this babbling makes me realize that I need to make something for Uncle A's birthday, which was yesterday. What to make? What to make?)

Also, it's National Blueberry Month! Happy baking!


This all has a somewhat upbeat tone, but Grandma J isn't doing so well. For those of you who can spare a positive thought or two, please send some her way. I thank you.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

homeschool adventures

Last weekend was a big weekend of birthday fun around here. On Friday, there was a quadruple birthday party in the park. Four of the homeschooling young 'uns celebrated birthdays (ranging in ages from one to six). There were crowns, butterfly nets and bubble wands. The kids each got to paint their own little wooden treasure boxes. There was also a piƱata, which Pic whacked the crud out of, as did the even smaller girl who went before her. There were massive slabs of cake after the wind refused to let the candles be lit.

(Previously posted picture and now put into context.)

The next day was a pool party at the Washoe Valley Swim Center. We went there once last year and loved it. It cost only a few dollars to get in and they are open from something like six in the morning until eight in the evening. On Saturday morning, we got into the car to head out and the battery was dead. Fortunately for us, our neighbor has a little charger pack and got us going. The party was fun. There are a bunch of pools there. Because we got there late, Pic didn't meet the other younger kids until we ate lunch, so I mainly followed her around as she tried out the various pools and as she debated jumping from the lower of the two diving boards. We finally left when the birthday teen (!) and his mom left.

Definitely a busy weekend, but also definitely fun.

Friday, July 1, 2011

more potter, please

Looks like I'll be reading Philosopher's Stone again come October. As, I'm sure, will millions of other people. Looking forward to it!

So, yes, let me repeat: more potter, please.

{this moment}

(Part of our ever-(slowly)-increasing do-it-ourselves movement. The face-painting...)

Inspiration via: SouleMama