Friday, February 22, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday–February 22, 2013


1. Will this winter never end?!! We had another 6+ inches of snow last night and today. I’m getting really, really, really tired of all this snow and super-cold weather. On a brighter note, there are no forecast temperatures below zero for next week, although there is some snow forecast again.

2. Speaking of snow storms, I had a rip-roaring migraine that sent me to the ER again last night. It was not fun. We ended up trying three different meds, and I still came home with a headache, albeit a much reduced one. Things are much better today!

3. I played Yahtzee tonight with Wild Man. I had exactly one more point than he did on the top half and one more point than he did on the bottom half, so I won by two points. I didn’t exactly whoop up on him, but I still won. Two points is two points!

4. Sophie has taken to stealing my socks, mostly my homemade wool socks, and leaving them as an offering to the door gods in front of Rosie Girl’s door curtain. For some reason, Rosie Girl’s room doesn’t have a door, so she is using her curtain from the other house hung on a spring tension rod across the door, but Sophie can’t quite seem to figure out how to get through the curtain. So, Sophie leaves these sock offerings hoping that she will appease the gods and get let into Rosie Girl’s room. Strange? Yes.

5. I noticed the other day (after we got the lamps moved into our bedroom) that our bedroom carpet is orange. I really, really dislike the color orange. Once it gets more orange than peach or salmon, I’m into serious negative vibes. But, we have no resources to change it, so I’ll keep the light off as much as possible.

6. My backside is healing nicely from my three falls on the ice last week, although my hips are still pretty sore. It’s kind of cute, though, that PWM and Wild Man are always very quick to make sure I have an escort out to the car. Between my becoming a hermit, my escorts, and my Yak Trax, I should manage to stay upright until spring. I hope.

7. I really miss not having the washer and dryer here in this house yet. PWM is waiting till there’s not as much ice till he asks some other strong guys to help him move the heavy stuff from the other house. Until then, I go over there on weekends to do laundry. I’m also missing having a dishwasher, but we won’t put one in here till the old house sells and we outright buy this one, which may be a couple of months.

What’s up with you? How has your week been? Check out what others are up to at 7 Quick Takes Friday!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Growing up Southern Baptist, I didn’t observe Lent. In fact, I was a little suspicious of the whole Ash Wednesday/Lent thing because it was one of those “Catholic” “rituals” (never mind that several other branches of Christianity observe the church calendar and that Baptists and other Evangelicals have their own set of rituals). I went to college at LSU and, while I didn’t observe Lent, I learned to celebrate Mardi Gras with everyone else!

I’ve been reading and learning more about the church year and I think Evangelicals may be missing out by not observing Lent. Certainly, Easter is the big holiday (“holy day”) for all Christians. Good Friday through Easter memorializes Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection – the events central to our faith.

But, Lent helps us to observe the reason for these events. Why did Jesus need to die? Because of my sin. During the season of Lent, we are reminded of the necessity of Jesus’ sacrifice.

From early in church history, Lent was often a season for new converts to become instructed in the church and to be prepared for baptism on Easter Sunday. What a great symbol – to be baptized on Easter!

Lent is also characterized by fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. I often heard about “giving up something for Lent” when I was growing up. What I didn’t hear was that fasting in some way (“giving something up”) was to be accompanied by the spiritual discipline of prayer. The point is not that we are to be miserable for the few weeks before Easter, but that we are to use this time to develop our relationship with Jesus through the disciplines of fasting (from food or other things) and prayer as well as giving.

The more I learn about observing the church year, the more I like it. I like knowing that I’m participating with over a billion other people across the globe in focusing on my need for a savior over these next several weeks which then culminates in the celebration of Holy Week when we remember the sacrifice and triumph of our savior and the grace he offers to pay for our sin.

I haven’t really thought about how I’ll participate in Lent this year. I may just continue with the daily office readings that I’ve been doing since the beginning of the year. But I know I’ll spend more time in these next 40 days preparing my heart for Easter – not morosely, but in anticipation.

Do you follow the church calendar? What does Lent mean to you?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I Can’t Wait Till Spring!!

Winter in Wisconsin means snow and ice, right? Right. Having lived here for 15 years, I’m quite aware of this fact and I try to be very careful when I’m out and about in the snow and ice. Despite my caution, though, accidents do happen. Sometimes, they happen two days in a row.

I was walking out to the garage yesterday morning so that I could drive Wild Man to school for band. School had been delayed for two hours because of the ice – it rained on Sunday and then froze on the roads at night. You’d think I might have taken note of such a pertinent bit of information.

So, as I mentioned, I was walking to the garage. Here, I should mention that I was wearing Crocs because I didn’t want my son to be late and I didn’t take time to change in to boots. This might not have been the smartest thing I’ve ever done. And the driveway was completely ice.

I stepped across the threshold of the garage and my feet completely gave way and I fell on my butt. Ouch! I spent yesterday sitting on ice packs, gently stretching, and trying to keep from getting too terribly stiff. Nonetheless, I woke up quite stiff and sore this morning.

This afternoon, I was going to walk up to the shop (a block away now that we’ve moved) so that PWM could go get some meds for me. Wild Man told me to go out the front door because he had been diligent about using ice and salt on the sidewalk and it wasn’t nearly as slick as the driveway. I also put on my boots which have treads for plenty of traction.

I held on to the wall by the front steps to keep my balance as I walked down the steps. I stepped onto the icy, yet sanded, sidewalk and fell on my butt. On the bruise from yesterday. Right on Main Street in front of God and everybody.

I got up and made it to the shop without further incident. But, two falls on the ice in two days makes for lots of pain and soreness.

I don’t think I’m going to leave the house again before spring. I’m never fond of ice, but having the entire right side of my body in pain makes me even less fond.

Bring on springtime so I can leave the house again!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Book Reviews–February 11, 2013

5 book reviews for today:

The Family Corleone by Edward Falco – This book is a prequel to The Godfather (by Mario Puzo) and traces the rise of the Corleones from one of many “gangster” families in New York City in the 1930s to the primary crime syndicate family in the New York City area. The book has a strong plot and interesting characters. The story is inherently violent, but there was not gratuitous violence or sex. The audio version was well done. A-

The Cranes Dance by Meg Howrey – Kate Crane is a ballerina in a New York company but has seemingly always been upstaged by her younger sister, Meg. But, now, Meg is back home in Grand Rapids for a “medical issue”. As Kate’s story unfolds, we learn about the world of ballet, but also about the complicated relationship between sisters. I also listened to this book on audio, which I very much enjoyed. A

Deadly Little Secrets: The Minister, His Mistress, and a Heartless Texas Murder by Kathryn Casey – These true crime books are like a guilty pleasure for me. I know that they don’t really add anything of value to my life, but I find them fascinating anyway. I particularly am interested in books about clergy who commit heinous crimes. How did no one see their character flaws before this? How did they get through college and seminary without someone suspecting that all was not right with them? This book told an interesting story of a minister who murdered his wife so he could be with his mistress and the investigation that finally led to a conviction. It’s an intriguing tale. B

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling – I had heard that this book was amazing and that it was awful. I had no idea what to think when I picked it up. First of all, it is NOT a children’s book!! The language and situations are appropriate for adults and not even for teenagers, to my mind. That being said, it is an excellent book. The story line sounds kind of thin – a member of the town council dies suddenly, leaving a “casual vacancy” on the council that must be filled – but it gets filled in by lots of surrounding drama. The strength of this book is the characters. Rowling does an excellent job of making the characters come alive and making you want to care about them, even the least lovable. I strongly recommend this book. A+

The Story of Cirrus Flux by Matthew Skelton – We read this book aloud as a family a few weeks ago. We chose it because we had listened to Endymion Spring, another book by Matthew Skelton, a few years ago on audio. I prefer Endymion Spring because it is more complex and because of it’s historical roots and being set in the library in Oxford. Cirrus Flux is a good book, though. It is the story of the orphan, Cirrus Flux, an orphan in 19th century London, whose father left him a mysterious artifact that a bunch of adults all seem to want. Oh, yeah, and he gets to ride in a hot air balloon that is powered by a bird whose wings set on fire. There’s cool stuff like that in the book. Overall, a good book. A-

What have you been reading?


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Weekend Update

I’m kind of starting to feel like this house is home. Kind of. Having boxes everywhere is making me a little crazy, but PWM and the kids are cleaning up right now.

While the East Coast has been getting pummeled by Winter Storm Nemo, we had a much less intense, but icky, nonetheless, storm. Our area had rain and freezing rain. I had a migraine. Very symmetric.

While I was worrying yesterday that my children were going to be warped because I sit around with headaches instead of doing “real” work, PWM was at the shop working, Rosie Girl was working at the cheese shop, and Wild Man was busy clearing ice and snow off the sidewalks at the next door apartments (his new job). Maybe they’ll be OK.

And, in the meantime, I finished Rosie Girl’s socks (pictures soon) and started some slippers for my mother-in-law and a wrap for myself. I’m back up to having entirely too many knitting projects.

I missed church this morning because of the headache and because I’ve also developed some lovely low back pain. I’ve spent my day knitting while intermittently putting a heating pad on my low back. Beyond fun.

We got the living room completely clear of boxes. Whenever we get the piano and sofa in here, we will have one room completely done! Tomorrow, after I plan schoolwork, PWM and I will be organizing the kitchen. Yippee!! Slowly, but surely, we are making this place “home”.

How was your weekend? Anything exciting?

Saturday, February 09, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday or Whatever Day It is


We’re still in the throes of moving. It would go faster if I didn’t feel compelled to get migraines just because there’s a winter storm coming tomorrow . . . But, today, I decided to share 7 things about our new house.

1. We have a real porcelain bathtub. Which is great except that my feet were really chilly for the first couple of minutes of my shower! I guess if I want to have a bath, I need to heat the water really good to get the tub warm as well.

2. We have a wonderful front porch and back deck, but they are both snow-covered right now. I can’t wait for spring!

3. If you walk into our front door, you’ll find a pile of dirty clothes right there. Because we’re classy like that. Actually, it’s because the bathroom with the shower is right by the front door and it’s too small for a clothes hamper. I’ll come up with something eventually.

4. Wild Man hit his head on the chandelier in the library. He’s threatening to take it down, but I won’t let him because we don’t have much light in the living room/library area. Unfortunately, even raising it up may not be enough to keep it high enough for him, but it’s on a track, so maybe I can get it back close enough to the desks that he won’t get injured anymore.

5. Rosie Girl now has a “door” to her room. It’s a spring tension rod with her window treatments from the old house, which are gauzy, rainbow colored cloth. It certainly brightens up the upstairs.

6. Almost all of our clothes are currently in the big closet upstairs. The closet has no heat, so we are motivated to choose our clothes very quickly!

7. PWM thinks that home is where his bed is. Rosie Girl thinks that home is where her instruments are. Wild Man says that home is where the electronics are. I think that home is where my family is (although the internet isn’t too bad!).

So, how’s your week been? Check out other blogs at 7 Quick Takes Friday. I’ll bet they don’t have laundry by their front door!

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Observations on Moving

We got the keys to our “new” house on Friday and started moving. The house is only 6 blocks from our old house, but we’ve only got about 2/3 of our stuff moved. Here are some observations from the last week.

  • Moving in January in Wisconsin is lunacy. Last Friday, the high temperature was below zero! We did most of the moving on Saturday and Sunday when the temps were single digits and low teens. Yippee.
  • We have only been able to do minimal moving on Monday and today because of snow. Again, don’t move in the winter in Wisconsin. Right.
  • The advantage to moving in winter is that our old house should be on the market as soon as the spring real estate market heats up. At least, that’s what we keep telling ourselves.
  • I stopped at the diner on Tuesday morning before working in the shop and the patrons there said they were very happy to see lights on in  our new house. This house is actually pretty old, so people who are from the area are glad to see it occupied again. Pretty neat,
  • Our new house is between two apartment complexes, one of which used to the be the town’s hotel. We’re in a small town, but definitely not out in the country.
  • The cats had a rough first day adjusting to the new house (well, except for Sassy who is so silly that she just needs to know where her food and litter box are to be happy). Silver and Sophie are still exploring and still freak out when someone opens a door, but it seems to be getting better.
  • I’ve discovered the wonders of Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Between PWM and his mom on Monday and me yesterday, the bathroom downstairs and the kitchen are all nice and clean.
  • We got a great fridge at a great price, but it’s a bit too tall for it’s spot in the kitchen. Until PWM can fix the problem, we can’t get into the pantry. Right now, all of our pantry food is on temporary shelves under the bar. Yay. But, I love the fridge – especially the crushed ice!!
  • I thought we had done a good job of getting rid of stuff in the weeks before we started moving, but we still have too darn much stuff!
  • We start back to homeschool on Monday, even if we are working around boxes!

So, what’s up in your part of the world?