Monday, October 30, 2006

The Thrill of Victory...

Homecoming was such fun! Sam walked in the parade with both the Anime Club & Christian Club (I only got pictures of him with the first) & the Sophomore float won 2nd place (Juniors took 1st & Seniors got skunked!) It took longer to clean out the fridge than I thought, so we got home with just enough time to change clothes, grab our stadium gear, & pick up Sam’s best friend, Gino before heading to the game. We found seats next to our pastor & his wife (their daughter is on the dance team & was performing at halftime) & the boys went to get us all hot dogs & drinks, before wandering off to find their friends.
I can’t say the game was very interesting- West whomped McNair 61-0! It was rather embarrassing & I felt so bad for those kids; their own cheerleaders left at halftime & it got to the point that we were rooting for them to get at least one touchdown. But, in all, it was a successful evening- we got to see our team win, Chris & Pastor got to talk football, the ladies visited & admired the halftime show, the boys made the rounds & were “seen” (I have to say- those two are awfully cute for geeky sophomores) & we only spent $35.00 for the whole evening! We will definitely do it again- possibly this Friday, since it’s another home game- against a top ranked team, so it should be more exciting.
I really wanted to go back up to Apple Hill on Saturday, since the weather has been so nice- the leaves have finally changed & I wanted to wander around the pumpkin patches; besides, Wonder Wife has an awesome Apple Crisp recipe I want to try, & I need more apples & pears. Unfortunately, Chris had already committed himself & Sam to help on a house repair project being done by the Men’s Ministry department, so we decided to postpone it for a couple of weeks. Being footloose & free for the day, I headed off to a new-to-me yarn shop in Elk Grove, about an hour north of here, to look for some yarn to make Chris a scarf, since the other one is just coming out too fine & delicate-looking for a manly man like him. My requirements were simple: soft, non-itchy, chunky, cheap & butch. I found a great alpaca/angora blend, in a light grey color, that will work really well (& it was only $5.25 a skein- score!) & picked up some more Fixation, variegated in orange to peach, which will become socks for a friend.
Since I was almost to Sacramento, I decided to go over to Ikea to wander around. I truly love that store! I enjoy just walking around, looking at the room displays & checking out all the gadgets. I usually end up walking out with odds & ends, like candles, kitchen utensils, hand towels & some of the unique food (Chris’ heritage is Swedish & I like to surprise him with traditional treats.) This time, I saw some dining room chairs I really liked- straight backed unfinished pine, almost Shaker style- that were only $20 each. I bought 4 chairs & four red-striped cushions- I’m so excited, because my current chairs (of which I only have 3 left) are on their last legs, so to speak. We’ve been talking about replacing them for several years, but always talk ourselves of it- there is always somewhere more important to spend the money. I can hardly wait until Chris finishes putting them together & staining them; it will give the dining area a real lift before the holidays.
Sunday was a stay home day; after church, we considered going to the nursery or doing some shopping for a winter coat for Sam, but neither option really appealed. So we started the quarterly turnout of the house- Fall Cleaning- since we’ll be shutting up the house to run the heater before long. The kitchen & bathrooms got scrubbed down, the patio furniture washed & treated with Armorall, throw rugs & pet bedding washed, and everything dusted & vacuumed. The boys always sigh when I say it’s time to clean, but they enjoy everything being fresh & organized as much as I do; besides, when the Queen decrees, they know it’s fruitless to argue! Next weekend, we’ll finish up with the windows, curtains, people beds & bedding, laundry room, & sort thru the closets, to see what clothes can be passed on & what is needed for the winter. Only then can I feel justified in going clothes shopping for everyone: besides a coat, Sam needs jeans & shoes; Chris needs heavy t-shirts, water-proof boots for work & some dress shirts; I am in rather desperate need of slacks, long sleeve blouses, & a bra. *Sigh* this will be an expensive month- I’ll have to hit the savings account pretty hard, especially since our vacation is coming up. Oh, well, that’s why we work- to provide the needs & some of the wants of our family. I’m just thankful that God provided the overtime Chris did this summer, knowing that it would be needed later- He is always looking out for our welfare!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Go Wolf Pack~ HUH!

As is normal for our family, the past week has been pleasantly (for the most part) eventful, with our usual round of activities, commitments, & a bit of adventure.

~ Knitting wise, the past month has been productive: I finished all three projects that were pending- the baby sweater, Sam’s clogs, & my cotton socks- & sent them on to be enjoyed. Of course, this meant I needed something new to work on, & naturally, I can’t just work on one thing at a time (I might get bored or something), so I again have three projects on the needle! First project is another pair of clogs- these for Chris- out of the Paton Classic Wool/SMS Soy Wool I bought a couple of weeks ago; I test felted a swatch & it shrank up so tight, I went up 2 needle sizes so they don’t end up too small (Totally random aside- Dahlia has fallen in love with this test swatch; she carries it around in her mouth, plays with it like a catnip mouse, & sleeps with it on the end of our bed) The second item is a tote bag for the Garden Club gift exchange next month- it is 75% completed & will be felted. The third project is a cabled scarf, made of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk- it is reportedly for Chris, but I think it may end up with someone else. I was also gifted with a new, large knitting bag on Wed evening at the LYS- I mentioned I was looking at a particular one at Michael’s & one of the ladies said I could have the one she bought. I offered to pay her for it, but she declined, saying she just wanted it out of the house (she thinks it smells funny- well, heck, I can stuff it with all the dried lavender I harvested this year!)
~ We had lovely, cool weather over the weekend. I worked at my office for 4 hours on Sat (re: yesterday’s post), while the boys raked & mowed the front yard, then we all took naps- each of us has been sick over the past couple of weeks, so resting was needed! We stayed home, watched movies, & ate junk food that evening- I know, terrible for the diet, but good for the morale. After church on Sunday, Chris crawled into bed with a migraine, so Sam & I vacated the premises & headed to the cornfield maze in Livermore. We had a good time, even though we both thought the maze was too easy- I think we are just accustomed to wandering it in the dark with flashlights; in the daytime, you can see between the rows & use the sun as a reference. We wandered around the pumpkin patch, barn & petting zoo areas, and then sat down for some hot dogs & roasted corn-on-the-cob dipped in butter & garlic!
~Report cards came out on Monday. While Sam’s grades weren’t too bad for a kid with ADD & dyslexia (1 A, 1 B, 3 C & 1 D), he knows he could have done better. The D was in World History, which he likes- he is just very disorganized & missed out on points for not having his stuff all together, in order, & turned in on time.
~ Tuesday night, we had an informational/organizational meeting for the new quilting group at church. There were only four of us at the initial meeting, but several others had already expressed interest & couldn’t come that evening. We talked about the leaders’ vision for the ministry- to provide lap quilts for the elderly & baby quilts for the crisis pregnancy center, & to create a large quilt to raffle off each year, providing money for ladies to attend the annual Women’s Retreat. As we will only be meeting once a month & sharing the work of building quilts, I think it will work into my schedule without too much pressure.
~ Today was my turn to provide breakfast for the staff (we only have 17 people in our office), so last night after choir practice, I put together a couple pans of Egg & Potato Bake, one with sausage & the other without. I baked them before going to bed (oh, my, the house smelled good) & reheated this morning, then popped in a couple rolls of biscuits to go along. I bought enough stuff to make another pan for us tomorrow, since I doubt there will be any left over.
1 dozen eggs
1 cup milk or cream
1 pkg of Frozen Hash Browns
8 oz shredded cheese
10-12 links of skinless pork sausage, cooked & chopped
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp parsley (I use fresh flat leaf)
½ tsp salt
Lightly grease a 9x12 baking pan; layer potatoes, cheese, sausage pieces & seasoning in pan, then lightly toss to mix; whisk together eggs & milk in a large bowl, then pour over mixture in baking pan- gently stir & lift to allow eggs to cover & combine with other ingredients; bake in a 375° oven for 40 minutes; allow to set for 15-20 minutes before serving, to complete cooking

~ Tonight is West High Homecoming- the parade is starting in about an hour & literally goes past my office door. Sam is in 3 floats/groups again this year: Anime Club, Christian Club & the Sophomore float; the parade route is only 3 blocks long, so he goes past my office (so I can take pictures) hops off & runs back to the next group. Afterwards, he’s going to help me clean out the fridge in the break room, and then we are going home early. We’ll come back downtown when Chris gets home to have supper & head over to the game. I’m ashamed to admit it, but we have lived here for nearly 12 years & have had 2 children in the high school, yet have never attended a football game. The last game I went to was when I was a junior in high school- 26 years ago! I think it will be a lot of fun, though I’m fairly certain Sam will ditch us early on to hang out with his friends. That’s okay- Chris & I can snuggle to keep warm, drink hot chocolate from the thermos, & have a great time without Sam.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Back in Blogland

Hey, everyone! My report is done & the pressure is off finally, so I have some time to breathe, reflect & catch up with the doings around here. But first off-

A Public Service Announcement
As you may or may not know, I work in the accounting department of a financial institution. One of my least favorite duties is to remit money from dormant or abandoned accounts to the state. This has been my big deadline project this past 2 weeks, as we are required by law to submit the fund on or before November 1st. This year, I had to close 96 accounts & remit over $10,000 to 4 different states, because we were unable to make contact with the owners of the accounts at the address of record. In one case, the owner was 98 years old, living in another state, & all mail was returned- I had to send over $5000 to the state of record. This person could be in a nursing home & in need of the funds, or more probably is deceased & the estate is unaware of the assets.

So, here is my informed advice & good deed for the month:
1. If you move, make sure you file a change of address with your bank/credit union- the forwarding notice that you fill out at the post office will not automatically change your address- most financial institutions need a signature from you to do that
2. Open all your mail (especially from a financial institution), even if it looks like marketing stuff- to paraphrase the old axiom, you can’t judge the contents by the envelope- you may be throwing away your money
3. Make sure you have a list of all your account somewhere & list a beneficiary (somebody that gets the money if you should die)- even the little ones, like Christmas club- it will be a kindness to your family if they have to suddenly deal with your financial affairs

If you have ever lived or worked in any state in the Union, you may have an account that you either forgotten or maybe didn’t even know about. I once worked one semester as a lunchtime yard duty at my daughter’s school- unknown to me, a portion of my pay was put in a state employees pension fund. About 3 years later, after we had moved to another city, I received a check for $50 from the fund, since I was no longer employed at the school & eligible to be on the pension fund.
I strongly recommend that everyone go online to their state’s website, go to the unclaimed property division, & see if they have any money that has been escheated- this is your money & the state will return it to you. Or you can go to
NAUPA website, which will give you contact information or direct you to each state’s UCP site.

Okay, now I feel better- it really distresses me to see people losing out because they are uninformed. I’ll have to come back later to tell you all about the other things going on in the garden, because I need to catch up on some “regular” work that got put off this week.

Monday, October 23, 2006

At the tone, please leave a message

Deadline looming + boss is back from vacation with "some wonderful ideas"+ need batteries in camera to download promised pictures + really have to take a nap at lunch, since I'm seeing double & hearing things = meg can't come to the blog right now, but she will return at her ealiest convenience. Thank You for dropping by "meg's garden" & have a nice day!

I finally got the pictures of the 2nd pair of clogs & the Fixation socks posted in my "Knitting Projects" album- at least I got one thing I wanted to do today!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Cruel & Unususal, or Justice?

When visitors come to my (MSN)Space for the first time, they will almost invariably mention the same thing: after complimenting me on my sparkling wit, stunning beauty, & brilliant writing ability, they will comment on the “Ways I Embarrass My Children” list. This list was created as an obvious ploy to grab the attention of browsers, so they would hopefully stick around long enough to read some of my ponderings & possibly return to see if I come up with anything else interesting.
I feel it is time make a few points clear. First: not every item on the list is done with the express intention of embarrassing my children- that is just a lovely perk- some of the things are just how I express myself. Second: each of my children, particularly my sons, has a well-developed sense of humor, & they have become accustomed to their mother’s unique personality. Third: what might be considered my callous disregard for the dignity & tender self-esteem of said children is, in reality, a defense mechanism on my part to keep from being arrested for “teenicide” or being hauled off to the loony bin- if I can laugh at them, I’m more likely to take pity & let them live.

Thirteen Ways My Children Drive Me Crazy
1. Leaving damp towels on the floor in their room
2. Using my (brush, pen, tape measure, etc) & not returning it where they got it
3. Lying to me about anything
4. Using the last of something & telling me we are out when I return from the store
5. Changing the pre-sets on my car radio
6. Placing dirty dishes in the sink, when the dishwasher is 18 inches away
7. Making last minute plans & expecting me to drive them somewhere
8. Remembering all the words to a song they heard once, but forgetting that the garbage needs to go out to the curb every Wednesday
9. Playing their music on my CD player & leaving the volume on HIGH
10. Visible underwear- nuff said!
11. Muttering, mumbling & carrying on a conversation with me while they walk away or are in another room- being mildly hearing impaired most of my life (& all of theirs) the rule is “If I can’t see your face, I can’t hear you!”
12. “Remembering” they haven’t finished their homework at 10:00 pm Sunday, after spending the weekend complaining that there is nothing to do.
13. The gratuitous use of profanity; they know better than to use foul language with me, because I will snatch them bald-headed. What bothers me is the constant stream of profanity when they are talking to their friends or IM’ing online- there are so many other words to use, which will convey the same message with intelligence & respect.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

On the mend

Thank you, dear friends, for your concern & kind sympathies. Yes, I am feeling better- although I’m still stuffed up, the fever is gone & I’m not so tired. I’m back at work & everyone has kindly stayed away from my desk all day. I believe this has less to do with concern for my delicate state of health or the amount of work I have to do, than the desire to avoid catching my cold. Then again, it could be because my ears are stuffed up & I can’t hear the phone ringing or anyone asking me questions, so they think I’m ignoring everyone!
I have to share a funny story from my second nap yesterday. Yes, I took two naps yesterday- I went to sleep after my first dosage of cookie therapy & was awakened by Sam at 2:00 pm, reminding me that I needed to pick up his prescription at Target & that he needed to go the Barnes & Noble for a new book. When we got back home, I had another dose of chocolate chips & Nyquil, & snuggled back under the covers for a little rest. I was dreaming of working in my yard, using a squeaky wheelbarrow; as I slowly awoke, I realized the squeaking sound was real- very faint, but coming from nearby. I lay very still, trying to locate the sound; but it had stopped, so I went back to sleep. Just as I was drifting off, I heard the faint noise again- I sat up in bed, looking around for the source, but of course it was gone again. I got out of bed & went to the window, thinking maybe it was the breeze, whistling thru a crack in the sash. I secured the window & crawled back into bed, determined to get 10 more winks before Chris got home. I listened intently for a bit, then slowly began to relax- & I heard it again. Coming from the bed. Coming from me. Yes, it was the dreaded “Nose Whistle”! I started giggling, then laughing- the cats left in a huff, & Sam poked his head in to make sure I was okay. I told him what had happened & we both got a case of the helpless giggles- this is how Chris found us & why I got little sympathy for the rest of the evening- he thinks we are certifiable.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Don't worry, I'll live

Well, it’s official- I’m sick. Not “curl up & want to die” sick- just “stuffy head, fever, want to take a nap” sick. I went in to work for about 2 hours to do what was absolutely necessary, check in with my boss (who is leaving on vacation tonight) & give her the sweater we(I) made for her grandbaby. I’m now back at home, much to the delight of my cats; they are always so sad when we leave & love having someone home to play with or sleep on. I’m baking 3 chocolate chip cookies (I love Nestle’s Scoop & Bake dough- you can make as many as you want & store the rest) to have with my Lemon/Ginger tea & Nyquil, then I’m crawling into bed for a long nap.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Random observations of this week

Work pressure has been rather persistent this week; two departments are counting on me to cover their short staff dilemmas & my boss has been riding my back- with spurs- to finish close by 6:00 tonight, so she can go on vacation next week. I am soooo out of time & I told her as much. To give credit where it is due, she has finally grasped to enormity of the demands being made on me & has decreed that the girl who has been off this week in our department will just have to be the one to cover the staff shortage, because I just can’t be spared.

Chris has been sick this week. Like most men, he is a big baby when he’s sick- groaning, sighing & whining that he wants some ice cream (Yes, I realize this statement is sexist generalization- its true, though, so sue me) But I cut him a lot of slack because the company he works for doesn’t give sick time, so he is sick & still working! This means that I don’t make him sleep on the sofa, patiently pass him boxes of tissues & don’t comment when he alternately turns up either the a/c or the furnace, depending on whether he sweating or has the chills, regardless of the comfort of other members of the household (he had it so warm in the house last night that the cat was panting!) Of course, I now have a fairly good chance of coming down with this in the very near future. I’ve been downing Airborne every couple of hours & added a ¼ cup of alcohol to my bed linen spray I use every morning to hopefully kill lurking cooties!

Wednesday night was the monthly Garden Club meeting- the next to last for the year. Since we alternate between day & evening meetings, I haven’t been able to go since June. The program was about the “Evolution of the Corn Field Maze” which I found quite interesting. The hostess’ husband is very involved with the
Dell’Osso Farms maze, which is about 15 miles from here, & showed a video he made about the project 2 years ago, from planning, to planting, to tear-down. We haven’t been going to this maze for a couple of years because it has become so popular & crowded, attracting too many troublemakers for my liking. We go to G & M Farms in Livermore; it is smaller & less frenetic to me, & they have hint boards throughout the maze to help you find your way out! Anyway, we started discussing this year’s last meeting in November, which is a potluck/gift exchange, where we hammer out the schedule & programs for the following year. I think I’m going to knit a couple of small felted purses, one for the hostess & one for the gift exchange- they only take a week to finish & are very popular. I might even present a program next year- Pets & Plants- but I’ll have to do it at someone else’s home, since mine is a little, well, humble. Every house I've been at that has hosted a meeting has been rather grand, with huge yards, gourmet kitchens & large living/family rooms with room for 12 people to sit comfortably.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


You Are Grape

You are bold and a true individual. You are very different and very okay with that.
People know you as a straight shooter. You're very honest, even when the truth hurts.
You are also very grounded and practical. No one is going to sneak anything by you.
People enjoy your fresh approach to life. And it's this honesty that makes you a very innovative person.

What Color Purple Are You?

Well, not too far off, but I do try to keep my more direct observations to myself (or blog them)!
Yesterday went okay- the draft outline of the script I was waiting for Sunday night never arrived. Instead, she sent me the "playbill" with generalized baloney about being "a highly trained & integrated staff, committed to improving the corporate culture..." yada, yada, yada; can you guess who just started the MBA program? Anyway, I came in early Monday morning, cornered her as she walked in to get the script- "What do you mean- you never got the script? I'm sure I sent it to you last night! I'm so sorry, you poor thing, you thought I'd hung you out to dry," etc, etc. I literally snatched it from her hand & worked on it throughout the day- our portion wasn't scheduled until after lunch break, so we did a quick talk through in her office while eating. Fortunately, she remembered to bring the props she promised, but since I was "more familiar" with what was written, I did 90% of the talking. It seemed to go over okay- a few chuckles & nodding of heads, but by that point, everyone was ready to get out of there, so I'm not sure how much got through. Being the artist I am, (read anal perfectionist) I spent the evening & dream time rewriting everything I said, remembering the stuff I left out, & generally fusting over how much better it could have been if I had had more time! I know- its over, let it go- but I'm too compulsive about my writing- why do you think I only post 2 or 3 entries a week? I have to work on them to make them my idea of "right".
I guess Chris has decided the growing season is over- I'm not exactly sure why, since it is still in the 80's during the day & it's not freezing at night yet- but he pulled out the cucumber plant this weekend & the squash vines this morning. He left in two of the tomatoes, which are covered with fruit in various states of ripeness, & the 3 color string beans, but the rest of the bed is empty. I'm slightly annoyed that he didn't consult me about pulling up the plants, but what is done is done. Besides, he has to dig up all the allium bulbs & morning glories he's let take over along the fences in front yard, because they are sucking the life out my fern grove (a gloried name for a shady corner) & killed my white bleeding heart! When I was at
Alden Lane a couple of weeks ago, I saw a cool tableau with palm ferns, coleus & pansies that I'd like to do in that area. I've also been brainstorming some greenhouse-type coverings for the veggie bed, so I can start lettuce, spinach, carrots, & maybe a small tomato plant & some bell peppers for the winter. This is one of the things I love about our area of California- with some care & planning, you really can grow thing all year round, since it doesn't snow & rarely gets below freezing; I just need to design the covering to protect from night-time frost & the wind.
I need to go find Poppy now; she has a vet appointment for her 1-year booster shots & it might take me a while to persuade her to go in the carrier. Funny thing is, if I leave the carrier out, she & Dahlia will spend all day going in & out, playing hide & seek (more like hide & attack unsuspecting passersby’s) but when I need to take them somewhere… it becomes the rack, guillotine, & Iron Maiden combined. Cats- go figure!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

And while I wait...

I'm sitting here, waiting for my boss to e-mail me. We have a training day tomorrow, & each department is suppose to present a skit on "A day in the life of the xxx Department". We (meaning I) came up with the theme of the Accounting Dept as the "Airline of the Organization"; she was going to write the script outline & I would fill in my part. We made this arrangement on Friday afternoon; now, it's 7:30 on Sunday evening & I'm still waiting. Unfortunately, this does not surprise me. I'm trying not to stress over it- I mean, it's just a skit & the other people aren't really going to care what we have to say. I'm just annoyed, because I don't like leaving things until the last moment, & that seems to be her "modus operandi". I can be cute, funny & entertaining, but only with a 3 hour lead time, & I really didn't want to try to do this 45 minutes before we start.
It's been a rather uneventful weekend, but in a good way. Friday evening was the 18th annual Wine Stroll, which is a fairly large event put on by the Chamber of Commerce. Five blocks of our historic Downtown area are blocked off to traffic & the merchants serve wine from local wineries, sparkling cider for designated drivers & appetizers, while live music plays outside. While our office was participating, I wasn't needed to help out this year, so I went to the knitting shop for a while, until Chris got off work & came down. We strolled a bit, trying a few wines & snacking, & poking around in the various shops. We found two prints of cats that looked very much like Poppy & Dahlia, so Chris bought them to put in the study, then we headed home.
Saturday, I had to go into work for a few hours, to try & stay on top of closing. It is a never ending cycle, but this month is a little more challenging. Both of the other people in my dept are taking vacation this month- one this week & the other next week- & I'm in the midst of ending an annual project with a strict deadline of October 31st. So, it looks like I'll be putting in Saturday hours for a while. Any way, the boys went off to an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast put on at the new firestation, & I worked for 3 hours, then headed to Michael's. I was planning on picking up some things to make a scarecrow, but found a reasonably cute one- ready-made - for $5.00, so I bought that & saved myself the work! I also picked up some more yarn for clogs; I'm going to try out Paton Classic Wool Merino & SWS Soy/Wool blend- the labels say they are feltable (though a friend said someone told her it wasn't) & they are less expensive then Cascade. I finished the second pair for Sam, but haven't felted them yet; I also finished the baby sweater for my boss' future grandbaby & just need to put in the zipper. I'll post some pictures later this week.
Today, I played hooky from church. We slept in until almost 9:00, then headed over to Walmart for cat food & school supplies. I found an inexpensive plush throw for the cats; I have a nice down-filled blanket they all love kneading & curling up in, so I figured if I wanted mine back, I'd find them one of their own. So far, they are just circling it, but once I wash it & sit on it a bit, I'm sure they will like it. Then, I headed over to a friend's house for a "Harvest Knit-In" party. She made a wonderful pumpkin soup, with fresh bread & assorted appetizers. One of the ladies made a Pumpkin/Pecan cobbler & another brought Lemon Meringue pie, so there was no shortage of goodies. The weather has been lovely, so the house was opened up & a nice breeze blew through. Her home is very welcoming, & Shann is a gracious hostess, who is very proud of her Halloween Village, which is set up all around the house. About 10 of us talked, knitted & ate, & began making some preliminary plans for a knitters' retreat sometime in January, after the holiday crush is over. I headed home around 4:00 & have just been hanging around, reading the Sunday paper & watching my favorite British comedies.
Well, there is the email I've been waiting for, so I best get to work on my script. Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Take Me Away...

Vacation- what a lovely word! It conjures images of rest, relaxation, & family adventure. We have reached the time of year that we make plans for our family vacation. While I have work seniority & a flexible schedule, the seasonal nature of Chris’ work limits him to time off only between October & March; add to that the fact that Sam is in high school, & we end up restricted to the end of December for a family escape. The past couple of years, we’ve gone up to Portland to visit Chris’ family, but this year I wanted to do something different. Since the Queen’s word is law around our house (& since his Mom spent a week with us in April & a few days in May) we are headed south this year. I bought the tickets yesterday & we are headed to… Albuquerque, New Mexico!
We are going for a Christmas family reunion with my Dad, older brother Bil & younger sister Crystal. Neither Chris or Sam have ever been in that part of the country, & I haven’t been in 30 years, so we are all looking forward to exploring, visiting my siblings (whom I haven’t seen in 5 to 10 years) & maybe even squeezing in a little skiing for the boys. The exciting part is … we are taking the train! Yes, I realize it’s a very long trip- 24 hours total- but it’s much cheaper than flying, no one has to drive, we can get up & move around whenever we want, & I can knit, read, or sleep as much as I want!
So, in keeping with the travel theme of this entry, here is the latest installment of “Thirteen Thusday”

Thirteen Countries I Want to Visit

1. Canada: I want to see it all; my dream is to take a train from coast to coast
2. Scotland: I would love to explore the family sites & to take the Great Glen Walk
3. England: Oh, so many places I want to see! My dream is a walking garden tour.
4. Ireland: Another place steeped in family history- I would have to spend at least a month
5. Italy: I had a taste when I was 16; I want to wander Toscana & Umbria, & take a cooking class
6. Switzerland: I want to see & hike the mountains, and stay in hostels
7. Germany: A cruise down the Rhine, see the castles & visit our honorary daughter
8. Norway: This is Chris’ heritage; a raw beauty & rich lore
9. Greece: A fascination with ancient history & mythology
10. Israel: My spiritual roots are here
11. France: Paris would be interesting, but I want to explore the villages & churches
12. Australia: The ocean & the wildlife fascinate me; Chris wants to dive the Reef
13. New Zealand: We were spell-bound by the scenery in “Lord of the Rings”

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I Can Stay!

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 9 out of 10 correct!

Could You Pass the US Citizenship Test?

The boys have gone off to the movies for the afternoon (Fly Boys or the Jet Li movie) leaving me with the house to myself. There are so many things I could do, several I need to do, 2 or 3 I really have to do; so I'm sitting at my computer. Actually, I was up early (as it is my week for Worship Team) & stopped at Jamba Juice (Bright-Eyed & Blueberry w/Vita-Boost); I sang both services; gave a friend a ride home; burned & labeled some choir CD's & dropped them off at another house; started some laundry, & heated up leftovers (from lunch/dinner yesterday at the brand-new Texas Roadhouse) for my lunch; so I really don't feel too guilty about sitting for a while, catching up with my friends.

I do need to get into the garden & plant some things I picked up last week, before they wilt too badly. It is overcast today & my Weather Bug is telling me there is a 30% chance of showers, with a possibility of snow above 6000 feet by Tuesday. I guess autumn is finally here, though the leaves haven't started to change around town yet. I was reading Mrs Sharp's Traditions last night, & she talked about how to preserve autumn leaves- it sounded really easy & fun, & I would like to try it (when I find some leaves worth preserving) but then I wonder what to do with them I've spent several months trying to reduce clutter around here! I blame this compulsion for honoring the season on all my Fall-loving online friends- they have brainwashed me! For the most part, I don't do much decorating- I either don't think about it or don't have the time, inspiration or inclination. But this year, I would really like to dress up both the inside & outside of the house for the season- pumpkins, cornstalks, maybe even a Scarecrow in the front yard. I just hope some of the less pleasant boys in the neighborhood will respect our home & leave the stuff alone.