Wednesday, January 31, 2007
This picture is of Mexican Train Dominoes as we are putting it away. Each person builds their own train and since there were three of us, the fourth is called the "Party Train" where anyone can make a play.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
This was a special day last May of strawberry picking and eating them warm from the sun. I don't know how people take such nice pictures of their scrapbook pages, but I hope to be enlightened! This was a pretty feeble attempt. Also, a very plain layout. Nothing fancy. I made the strawberry myself! Anyway, it captures the memories for me of Eli, Cal and Ethan enjoying each other's company.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
A fun night of games with Jen and Becky. And I thought my family was into games. Ha! These two are crazy about games. First, we played Finkelmeir (sp?). This was really clever. You use Scrabble tiles and each take seven. Everyone builds their own word puzzle until someone uses all their tiles, then they yell, "Finkelmier" and everyone takes another tile. This continues until all the tiles are gone, and the first one out wins. Somehow, by luck, I won the first round, followed by Jen then Becky. We went a fourth round for the tiebreaker, in which Becky prevailed. It was actually much easier than it sounds to use all the tiles, however, if you get a Q, you better have a U. A quick check of the dictionary afterwards revealed all words starting with Q are followed by U, and we couldn't think of any words containing a Q that did not also use a U.
Next up was Blockus. This was a totally different type of game, but fun. I won the first round again. Later I decided they were just being nice to me. This is a spatial game of placing different shaped tiles onto a grid, this time trying to have the fewest squares left at the end. See photo. There is strategy involved in blocking others from moving.
Finally, a couple rounds of Mexican Train Dominoes. I sure hadn't heard of this version. Becky has unique ways of setting up her dominoes before play begins and which way you can and cannot arrange your train. There is actually a choo choo horn where the double 12, 6 or whatever sits. I think you had to be there. Normally, they play from the double 12 down to the double zero. Jen suggested Becky spend some time at nursing homes, playing with the residents. Tomorrow for fun the girls are going to put a 1000 piece puzzle together!
In the midst of the gaming, we broke into three part harmony on "Close to You" by the Carpenters (not really). I gave Becky's BIL (brother-in-law) a ride to work in my town (25 minutes) for his night shift. I was pleased as I think he was impressed with my football knowledge. He also said he thought I was in my twenties. I said, "Oh, you didn't get a good look."
Becky: I got results from the fiber tabs on both counts, much to my surprise. Luckily, after Bill got out of the car.
Oh, the blahs of January.
I don't have much to say, so I will introduce Pearl, the eight year old tale-less, fat cat. Boy 13 loves to take pictures of her.
I watched the Australian Open finals last night. Why? I have no idea, but it was interesting. I was completely ignorant of the rules and procedures of the game. All I did know was Love means Zero. My husband patiently explained all about the sets, games, faults, deuce, advantage, etc. Wow. It seemed so complicated. I think he was a little surprised at my naivete. Kind of surprising that I once took tennis lessons. Obviously, not a good student. Like all other sports, I sucked at it. Serena is a powerhouse. What thighs! Maria: lots of little rote movements, like the hair behind the ears, and the little hop jumps.
Other than that, an uneventful weekend. We picked out a new sofa for the playroom. Boy13 had two rather large friends over last weekend who plopped down on the (cheap) futon and busted the frame. I'm trying to finish a couple of books, and going to play games with Jen and Becky in a nearby town. I think they said Finkelmeister and Block something are on the docket. I'll give a report tomorrow (if I get my statistics homework done). I know Pat is going to make me bacon, eggs and fried potatoes tomorrow morning, and I am so excited. Boy 13 has friends over to play "Diplomacy". I'm not really sure what that is, but sounds like a cross between Risk and Dungeons and Dragons. Does anyone know?
Well, I have to get upstairs and clean my left contact lens out, something is killing my eye.
Monday, January 22, 2007
I had to delete my last two posts, as something occured which I had not intended. I disappeared the sidebar that contains profile information. I was at a loss how to fix it, so I started to deleting posts until the old format returned. Yeah! I'm progressing in a sense.
Photo of me in one of my reading chairs.
1. A book that changed my life: I don't really think of books as having that kind of influence, however, the book that steered my lifecourse would be a biography of Jane Addams I read when I was young.
2. A book I've read more than once: Animal Dreams, Little Women, All the Little House books
3. A book I'd take on a deserted island: How to Cook Everything
4. A book that made me laugh: Bridget Jones's Diary- sorry can't think of anything else and I know it is silly.
5. A book that made me cry: The Five People You Meet in Heaven (easy question)
6. A book I wish I'd written: The Master Butcher's Singing Club (beautiful)
7. A book I wish had never been written: Silence of the Lambs??
8. A book I'm currently reading: The Memory Keeper's Daughter, But Inside I'm Screaming
9. A book I've been meaning to read: Kite Runner, The Hand I Fan With, Hypocrit in a Poufy White Dress, God Shaped Hole, the list goes on...
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Here is our nice young man from Safier Mediterranean Deli in downtown Louisville where we got some really good take-out Saturday evening of last weekend. I hope I don't blog too much about food, but it is one of my favorite subjects so here I go...
From memory- we had an appetizer of fallafel, hummus, spinach pie, and tabouleh. It was all good, though I contend falafel tastes like armpits, I like it anyway. I chose a chicken kabob on saffron rice with a light salad on the side. The chicken was marinated in something absolutely succulent, and I could only eat about half (two or three large pieces) of the meal. Betsy had her standard chicken shwarma. For my mother, we had to take a guess as she had not pre-ordered and was relaxing at the hotel. We were thinking Beef Kabob, but our friend in the picture HIGHLY recommended the ground beef patty, implying that the other beef might be hard to chew. I don't think he was even aware this was for a 70 year old woman, but she has all her teeth anyway and don't think she would have minded. As it was, she did say she liked it and barely touched the appetizers. There was mounds of leftovers which we never got back to but hopefully my BIL (brother-in-law, for the uninitiated)was able to eat on Monday.
BTW- I asked said young man if I could photograph him, and he said "yes". I did not ask if I could post his photo to my blog which has only one reader, but I am to e-mail him the picture tonight and I'll make sure it is okay. Maybe he will even become my second reader!
Monday, January 15, 2007
This past weekend I took the boys to Clarksville to see my nephew Ethan (shown here in partial costume and make-up before the show) perform as Orphan 9 in Oliver! My father asked me to write a review of the musical for his monthly Family News. So here is my attempt:
Believe it or not, I have never read Oliver Twist, seen the musical Oliver!, and so was not familiar with the story line. Ethan was cast in the children's chorus and participated in the opening number, Food, Glorious Food. It was a strong, well sung and choreographed piece and sounded somewhat familiar to me. Ethan was center stage and sang his heart out. Even though a bigger girl attempted to push him off his bench, he didn't miss a beat. When he lined up to get his gruel, I felt his hunger pangs radiate out into the audience. I couldn't understand all the words to the song, but the sheer volume of the voices of the un-miked children absolutely blew me away. Oliver later sings a beautiful and touching soprano on Where is Love?
Other actors such as Oliver and Mr. Bumble (a giant of a man) then took over before we saw Ethan again. Yes, they did a fine job portraying how Oliver was sold to the undertaker before escaping and meeting up with the cunning and Artful Dodger. Ethan then returned to stage for the encore of Consider Yourself. This song should be familiar to almost anyone with rudimentary awareness of popular culture. However, it helps to remember that Ethan was placed on London Bridge in this scene. One is easily distracted with the other children juggling, doing cartwheels and toe touches in front. A strong rumor has it that Ethan tried out with better toe touches than the girl who got the bit.
The first act concluded with the delightful Pick a Pocket or Two in the Thieves Kitchen. Let me add here, the set was solid, versatile and scene transitions were quick and seamless, a definite plus in the two and a half hour production. The musical accompaniment was an electric piano, skillfully handled by Robert Lee (yes, we were in the south but this was not the Confederate General to my knowledge). When Oliver goes out to pick his first pocket he is caught by a gentleman who later becomes central to the story.
The second act began with a tavern scene and the buxom Nancy, whom we later found out was only a junior in high school. Her well developed alto voice was the best in the show, and the men enjoyed simply watching her breathe. Although I suppose appropriate for the time, I didn't favor the alcohol consumption and domestic violence overtones in the show.
When Oliver is sent out on an errand as a kind of test, the clever Nancy steals him away, and he finds himself back in the Theives Kitchen. Most of the cast including Ethan join in on Who Will Buy. It is a beautiful 4-part round type of singing between the rose and strawberry seller, milkmaid and the knife grinder, and Ethan turns in another strong performance with his ad-libbed apple tossing.
After a few plot turns, Oliver finds the loving family of his dreams, and Ethan returns in the chorus at the conclusion of the show, leading a string of children out on stage. Eli was impressed with Ethan's ability to come in on the right cues and make a small part his own. Cal enjoyed the murder scene.
We all agreed that Clarksville Little Theater and Ethan in particular did a tremendous job with the challenging Oliver!
Monday, January 08, 2007
As I was going to publish my last post, something caught my eye. Next to the spell check was a little picture icon. I went back and clicked it, and guess what! I now know how to upload photos.
This adds a new goal to my list this year. Take artistic digital photos with gifted camera. In leiu of artistic pictures, I'll just throw in something I happen to have on my computer. So here you go, "gentle viewer". The last picture was me making Christmas tea, and I have no idea what I will choose this time. I do realize I can write more after I select the picture, but I'm lazy and impatient
Ok, this is Boy12 playing basketball. I was showing him a blog the other day where some German boys were referred to as Boy10 and Boy13, I believe. I guess that is to keep cyber stalkers off them, so I will follow suit.
I spend so much time catching up on my favorite blogs, I don't do anything with my own. Since I only have one reader besides myself I guess it's not a big problem.
Dang it, I'm hungry. I ate mediocre pecan pie today already. I officially started my pedometer goal today. I need to average 7,000 steps a day, and am already falling behind (5739). I did walk a mile or so to Cal's basketball game, plus the perimeter of Wal-mart thinking that would be plenty. Not. I hear yelling from the "sports/plasma TV room". Ohio State fumbled and those were pained yells. We dislike everything Florida in the sports world. Go Bills, down with the Dolphins. You get the idea. Plus, I have an SIL (new abbreviation I learned for sister-in-law, how exciting I get to use it) in Columbus and she and her boyfriend (also a native of Buffalo, NY) have joined the bandwagon. Me, I asked if OSU was Oklahoma State tonight, haha.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
1. Make Little League All-Star video. Check.
I'm not sure how I knew I would need to be making this, but I'm sure I did it write it down at the beginning of 2006, since it was my first one. I did a kick ass job I might add. It was about 25 minutes long, 25 hours of editing work, 5 songs, and hours of videotape of 11 and 12 year old joys playing baseball along with informal moments of the whole near State experience.
2. Speak my mind and heart. Partial check.
Some progress made, I suppose.
3. Photograph or video household items (in case of fire, theft, etc.). Nope.
4. Start blog. Check.
Interesting to note the time elapsed from start of blog on Jan. 2, 2006 to resumption and actual interest in blog Aug. 13, 2006. I really got going while traveling and blogging to New England in September. I also stumbled upon an interesting blog I read almost daily which led me to other blogs of interest.
5. Finish triathalon. Check.
Let me clarify, this triathalon took 2 months to complete (by design) for us athletically challenged folk. The biking was the most difficult, arduous, boring. I also didn't like going into the exercise room at 5:30 a.m. I saw all these different people I wasn't used to (some known, some unknown). Anyway, it was uncomfortable. I'm used to my comfort zone in the swimming pool at 5:30 a.m. where I know all the characters almost intimately, though I don't know all their names. With my new contact lenses, I can even make out their features rather just knowing their fuzzy blobs.
6. Stop talking about being fat. I tried, I really did.
I think I reduced it somewhat, but it is so ingrained, albeit, annoying behavior.
7. Ride motorcycle. No.
I don't know why I even wrote this down. I rode with my ex-brother-in-law the summer of '05, so I'm not sure what I was thinking I had to fulfill here.
All in all, pretty good job. I'll give myself a B+.
1. Stop talking about being fat (carry over).
2. Stop talking about people in a negative way.
3. Spend no money on scrapbooking supplies- use what I have.
I had urges both yesterday and today to break down and buy something, mainly because I knew I would be making some pages. Yesterday I wanted to look for strawberry stuff to complete a page on a day at Huber Farms picking stawberries last May. I ultimately made my own strawberry out of red and green construction paper scraps I found, with journaling printed on top. Today, I needed blue paper (I don't have stock paper- usually only buy the pretty or interesting patterned papers to go with specific themes, picking up solid colors when needed). My friend Heather suggested chalking a piece of white paper, voila! Blue paper. Crisis averted.
4. Clear debt.
This refers to mostly short term, Christmas accrued credit. I haven't carried credit card balances in many years. Not a big concern, but I thought I should put some easily achievable resolutions down.