Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Not Dead

Merely resting my blog. It needed some vacation time.

When I mentioned in the last post we would leave PA "bright and early," I should have said "dark and early." V and got moving at 0420 Friday morning, moved our tails on down the road, had a nice lunch with my family (at Five Guys), then spent a solid SIX hours at Busch Gardens. I rode the Griffon (only roller coaster running--boo) like six times (yay), the last time in the front row (YAY). Awesome times.

On Saturday, we walked and walked and walked and walked around Williamsburg. Toured the Palace, toured the Capitol, generally enlarged our minds. Had dinner to celebrate my baby sister's 16th birthday. Sat around the hotel room and read school books.

On Sunday, we went to Mass at a Poor Clare Monastery, had a big breakfast with Uncle Mike, then scooted on home. Sunday night V spent his first night in the big boy bed. So far, so good. Last night he came and got on the floor and slept with me (sometime after midnight, not really sure when), but in general he's sleeping at least four hours straight (at a time) in the bed. And no night time nursing. BIG step. :)

So that's the story. I've been teaching since I got back, cleaning the house, answering phone calls, cleaning some more, putting up the Christmas tree (no comments please, Advent People), putting the wreaths on the outside of the house (boo), packing up boxes to mail overseas, organizing my desk, and trying to overcome the beast that is my garage. Many things happening, none of which involve the blog.

Oh, and I have a paper due at midnight. I should be reading my book right now.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We were informed (once again) at Mass this morning that this is a holiday begun by the Pilgrims to give thanks to God for giving us a home and food and family.

Pretty sure that's not exactly right. Pretty sure George Washington instated Thanksgiving as a national holiday to celebrate the end of hostilities with England. But whatever. Leave it to me to rain on everyone's pie parade.

Anyhow, here we are in central PA, watching the rain and sleet come down merrily. V has fallen asleep (thank goodness) and I need to head downstairs here momentarily and find something upon which to gnosh until the real food shows up around 4pm. Much coming and going has been done, including going shopping to find more fun things to mail to Daddy. Thanksgiving without him is not so fun, we're discovering. Not that that's a big shock.

Then, bright and early, V and I have to hop in the car tomorrow and head ourselves to Williamsburg so we can freeze our buns off in the "Birthplace of Democracy" (also not an accurate statement) for the next two days.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Random Wikipedia Article of the Day

(Thanks to Val for this fun idea.)

Augustin Buzura

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Augustin Buzura (born September 22, 1938) is a Romanian novelist and short story writer, also known as a journalist, essayist and literary critic. A member of the Romanian Academy, he has been the president of the Romanian Cultural Foundation since 1990 and president of the Romanian Cultural Institute between 2003 and 2004.


Born in Berinţa village, Copalnic-Mănăştur commune (Maramureş County), Buzura graduated from Gheorghe Şincai National College in Baia Mare and attended the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj (1958–1964), specializing in psychiatry.[1] He debuted as a journalist with articles published by the magazine Tribuna during 1960.[1]

Augustin's Buzura first published work was the 1963 collection of short stories, Capul Bunei Speranţe ("Cape of Good Hope").[1] He continued to publish regularly after that date, receiving critical acclaim and being awarded the Romanian Writers' Union prise three times, for the successive works Absenţii ("The Absentees"), Feţele tăcerii ("The Forces of Silence") and Vocile nopţii ("The Voices in the Night").[1]


  • Capul Bunei Speranţe, 1963
  • De ce zboara vulturii, 1967
  • Absenţii, 1970
  • Orgolii, 1974
  • Feţele tăcerii, 1974
  • Vocile nopţii, 1980
  • Bloc-notes, 1981
  • Refugii, 1984
  • Drumul cenuşii, 1988
  • Recviem pentru nebuni şi bestii, 1999


  1. ^ a b c d (Romanian) Detalii despre autor. Buzura, Augustin, at Editura Paralela 45; retrieved April 30, 2008

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Awful Truth

Ok, I only got two "scheduled" posts written, and one of them has already appeared. (The other one is coming Thursday.) The problem arose on Sunday afternoon, when Windows Update killed my poor laptop. Soooooooooo, for the second time in two weeks, I had to nuke the hard drive and start over with this blasted machine.

So, no other scheduled posts. And no fun pictures of everything I've done for the past two or three months, because running the file restore to get all my pictures and files back (AGAIN) is going to take several days. You'll just have to enjoy my live posting and virtual presence this week. As available.

Had a great visit with Betsy yesterday (it occurs to one, with much accompanying embarassment and guilt, that to grammatically correct your friend's engraved and/or monogrammed gifts is not tastful) and a not-unbearable drive. Took about 13 hours with the stop halfway, and this morning the car is already safely tucked away at the dealership to have the brakes redone. Much progress. Much amazingness.

Perhaps more to come later this week. Stay tuned.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday's Child

A little piece of the local domestic bliss:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Disclaimer and Some Notes

First, I've decided that I want to try out the "scheduled posting" thingie, given the fact that I'll be away all next week. So (with all this free time in my evening) I'm piling up a week's worth of posts for everyone to enjoy while I'm away. This is dumb, because everyone else will be "away," too, but what the heck. You can't win them all. Or even a few.

So anyway. If you're reading this post and nothing is above it, that means you got me early in the proposed COA, before the internets have taken over and done all my posting for me for the next week. It also means that you're seriously in need to something to do on a Saturday night.

Today, though, we did some things that are worth mentioning. Most recently (i.e. the last thing I did today) was make all this stuff:

I know, it's a crappy picture, but I took it with the webcam because it's faster and I'm sorry. Anyway. That's two pecan-walnut pies and several dozen gingerbread seminarians. I still have to royal ice the darn things (tomorrow). They are for my bro and his friends. They go to school here:

And they dress like this:
Hence the "skirts" on the gingerbread, which are really cassocks. Once I get collars piped on, it'll all be much clearer for everyone.

ANY WAY. Before that, Vincent and I went to the MASSIVELY HUGE AND OVERWHELMING fall craft fair at the O'Club. Holy moly. Never before has so much been handcrafted by so few for such prices and crammed into such a small space. I was OVERWHELMED. Lemme just say, though, and no brown nosing intended, that Betsy takes better pictures, and Tea and her gang make much more appetizing-sounding foods. But alas, they are there and I am here. So I get craft fair fare. Which I enjoyed! I wanted to buy many things, but restrained myself and only bought things that could in all decency be wrapped and given for Christmas to one of the few people remaining on my list. And since everyone left on my list is a male between 14 and 21 years of age, there was much wanting and little buying. Much safer for the wallet.

Before we went a'craft fairing, V and I went to the bank, the post office, the Commissary, the Exchange, some yard sales (got a litle kiddie desk for $5! score!), and made it home in time to have guacamole and lemonade for lunch. I'm pretty sure both of those are food groups, so we're good. And I think that's all I have for now. All the stuff I'm scheduling for a later post (you can see I'm excited about this concept, can't you?) is interesting, mostly from things I cleared off the cameras recently and should have posted a while ago, and didn't. And now I am.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Just So You Know

I do not hang around the internet waiting to pounce on emails and blog posts.  I just get lucky sometimes and happen to sit down just as something has been posted.


Yay for me!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We Interrupt This Program

To bring you wheezing, coughing, misery.


I'm taking my medicine, I'm using the humidifier, I'm doing all the things I was told to do. Why can't I kick this thing? Why am I so miserable? Aaaaagh!

There's something wrong when I'm short of breath, when the wheezy throat feeling is so bad I can't breathe right. But every morning when I get up, things are better, and in the daytime I decide not to call the doctor "because it isn't that bad." And then every night I regret it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


The part of class I had been dreading is here--the Civil War. Our nation is a nation of total and absolute, dyed-in-the-wool, horn tootin', book totin', information spewing, movie critiquing, park visiting, battle analyzing, armchair quarterbacking Civil War FANATICS. It's like, totally the only war we were ever in, man.


And we can write stinking REAMS about it. Can't we? Yes, we can.

I was really not looking forward to this, because (unlike my classmates) I have not read several hundred books on the subject. I don't know how many yards apart the skirmish lines were at the Battle of the Wilderness. So I'm drowning in yards of discussion board, pages of reading, and (of course) a deadline. I was supposed to be getting lots more reading done here, but dealing with Mr. Sicky for a week has sapped my staying-awake powers.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Some things

I told someone special that I'd post more pictures, specifically all the ones that I'd dumped from my phone to the computer in the last couple days--since the Great Computer Crash. Re-ordering pictures on this stupid post editor is virtually impossible, though, so the order of photos does not precisely reflect reality. What the hey.

In the "pool" at Nina's:
Enjoying homecoming at Christendom:
Sir Edmund Hilleary:

On a walk near the house (most recent pic):

Pickle on his second day as a domesticated animal:

Pickle in his second week as a domesticated animal:

All over with a #4:

See food at the Chinese place: Pushing the envelope (this is the way he goes in and out from under the table, every time): And finally, to finish off this little tour of my life, a shot taken mere moments before I began composition of this post (which, considering my photo posting frequency, is practically a picture of the future):

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Small Victory

First off, this story is in no way some kind of judgment on parents. In other situations, yes, maybe, but not this one. This is just pure Me Being Amazing. This me and my mad diplomacy skills. This is a screaming, crying six year old showing up at my door and a happy, smiling one leaving 26 minutes later.

First, this little guy's parents had told me once before that he really wasn't enthusiastic about piano lessons--they wanted him to learn, he enjoyed it most of the time, but on days when he remembered that he didn't want to take lessons it was a little rough. He switched from his old piano teacher at the first of October, and with me it had been so far, so good. On not so good days, his mom would send me a text that it had been an anti-piano day, and we'd go back into the old books and only do things that he liked and already knew. No pressure. No work. Just getting through the lessons.

But all good things come to an end. Last night, with approximately 1.5 hours left before he had to be in the door of his Birthday Ball, Dad showed up at my door with the aforementioned screaming and crying offspring. He just kind of looked at me like, "Um. He seems to be crying. Good luck." So the kid came in, still crying, knelt down on the floor next to the piano (still crying) and proceeded to cry cry cry. It only took me 2 minutes to figure out what was wrong--he told me what was wrong. "I just DON'T want to PLAY the piano ANYmore!!!"


So I said, "Ok. We've got half an hour. Would you like to mow my yard, fold all my laundry, or change the baby's diaper?"

None of those things.

Oh. "Ok, fine. But please get off the floor, you're going to get it wet with the crying." Dad is still sitting on the couch, watching. No pressure, Jen. He's just a lieutenant colonel. Who is good friends with the General. Who is good friends with your father-in-law.

"Boooooohooohohohohohohohohooooooo." And he leaned over to put his head and arms on the piano.

I was like, "Hey! Be careful! You're going to play the piano, and you said you didn't want to!" And of course he still plops his head down on the keyboard. Noises issue from the soundboard. "See??" He shakes his head at me, still crying. So I shut the lid and told him it had to be that way just in case he accidentally played again. Then he started swinging his feet.

"Hey! Don't do that, either! You're going to play the pedals!"

The head comes up. What pedals? Dry eyes. Bright expression.

"Those pedals."

"What do they do?"

And the rest, my friends, is history. Actually, he played the piano for virtually 20 minutes straight, which is more than he normally does in a non-crying lesson. So, good for me. At some point, Dad snuck out the door, and when we went outside at the end of the lesson, he said, "Wow. I just can't believe you don't have a six year old. That was amazing."


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Running with the Pack

Yeah, no WAY am I going to be the one with the oldest post on my blog. Holy cow, Betsy has posted TWICE in a week. Which is, like, Armageddon or something. She hardly ever does that. Hardly.

Anyway, I've been alive for the past couple days, just busy. I did get the computer fixed, after nuking the hard drive--not once, but twice--and then slowly replacing all my programs and settings. It took a while, and my file restore of all my pictures (I had it all backed up, so the whole ordeal was never upsetting or cause for panic, just really really really irritating) is still in progress. Part of the problem is that I keep letting the machine hibernate, which pauses the restore. But the computer saga is resolved.

In the meantime, I've already taught 12 lessons this week, which is 8 more than I was teaching on Mon/Tue a week ago. My name made very fast progress through the field grade housing, evidently, which is actually really nice. It's flattering that people want to recommend me to their neighbors. What can I say? The kids seem to like me, and their moms LOVE the fact that I'm on base. I think even if the kids hated me I'd still have quite a few students, because of how much my being on base thrills their moms. I have 8 lessons today, five tomorrow, and then V has his 12 month checkup on Friday morning. Oh, and the car has its 80,000 mile (!!!) checkup in like three hours.

I would rather not be awake right now.

Not much else going on. I'm almost done with cleaning the house, going one room at a time, kinda one room per day. Obviously I don't feel much pressure to get it done in any kind of hurry. The bedrooms are left. Any form of motivation has come from watching "Hoarders" over the last couple days. Oh my gosh. What a horrifying show. But it makes you want to clean your room, man. And get rid of things. And never stock your pantry with more than a 12-hour supply of food. And get rid of more things. And never have a pet.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Wah wah wah wahhhhhhhhh

Have gotten one HECK of a trojan horse on the notebook.

Expletive expletive expletive.

Will return with updates in the comments box, no doubt.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Aw, nuts.

It occurs to one that if one (a) goes to bed at 1130pm and (b) gets up at 6am, nothing interesting will have happened on the internet in the meantime. Nothing, at least, on the parts of the internet one frequents. Oh well.

V and I dragged our adorable little behinds up to Raleigh for the weekend, in lieu of sticking around the house for what was shaping up to be a rather hairy ball season. (That will hopefully only make sense to a very special few of you.) They FINALLY finished updating the Pavilion and it was pulling its weight as a venue, which is nice because it looks infinitely more betterer since it has been completed. If it wouldn't put me in jail, I'd take some pictures of it for all you lousy lousies who moved away. They clear cut all around the creek edge between the pavilion and the bridge, leaving just the big trees. You can clearly see the creek from the path or from the pavilion driveway. Looks nice, I promise. Back when we had the flood, the water had come up over the jogging path, so I have a feeling part of the clearing-out was done in order to clean up the mess all that creek water had made.

Anyhow. We came up to Raleigh in hopes of visiting the children's museum downtown, but it turns out it is expensive and exclusive and a little out of our reach. We'll probably do free things instead, like go to the Farmer's Market and freeze our butts off. Or sit at home and watch football games. :) Livin' the life.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Faux Twit

This is me using my blog as a twitter account. (I have a real one, somewhere, but haven't used it in so long I don't know how to get to it again. Maybe the password is on my old computer...)

Anyway. Got up at 0315 to wander around, shush the cats, use the restroom, etc. Normal 3am stuff. Got distracted by the computer. Blogged a little. Clicked on links from my own blog, found new things I hadn't seen before.

Bought some stuff online.

Bought more stuff online.

Oh lord.


Tempting as it is to just steal my husband's identity and post this on facebook (see, people, I still read it from time to time, so don't go talking about me behind my back), I shall refrain. I shall make my pissy but called-for comment here.

You PEOPLE need to STOP WHINING about the issues within the Republican Party and the conservative movement in this country. You need to STOP making snarky and/or negative comments about the people who have won elections in recent days, you need to STOP making deprecatory statements about voter apathy and how few people turned out to vote. You need to stop pontificating about how those who have come to power are a "poor face" for the conservative movement, you need to stop moping about who didn't win way the hell back in 2008, 2004, or 2000 (or 1988).

This is WHY conservatism is PUNY in this country--we're all too interested in complaining about what we've got, and eternally looking for a better option, to WORK WITH what's on the table and make the best of it. Young voters are turned off by cynical, cranky, doubtful people like you. Old voters are turned off by you. I'M turned off by you. It's time to say, "Ok, this is wonderful. People are showing that they aren't happy with the way things are going. People are trying to improve the situation. It's going to be a slow battle. Let's roll."

You can't expect your kid to EVER get past T-Ball if you stand there griping about his stance and his technique every minute. He's going to get depressed, get frustrated, and quit. How about some cheers and support?

Geez louise.


Having a stat counter is fun, because it gives you a little picture of who visits and why. For example, back in the summer, my post on Toy Story 3 got me literally hundreds of visitors who had googled "what is ascot toy story movie" and gotten my blog as the #3 hit. Who knew?

Unfortunately, until you correctly input the IP address of yourself (which the counter is supposed to ignore) and finalize all your settings, you also get a clear picture of just how many times you visit your own blog in a day.


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Even as we speak...

Say hello to my little friend. He's "cleaning" while I scour the internet for drug coupons. Can't send daddy out the door without meds, now can we?

Free Stuff

Head yourself on over to Homeschooling Resource Dot Org to enter a book giveaway. It's only open for two weeks, so hurry hurry hurry. Nice feature of this giveaway--no invasive inquiring about detailed personal information. Just yo name, man.

Also, I have a one year old boy here who would love to come live with you, climb on your furniture, and redecorate your home. Free.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Should be reading, should be writing checks, should be washing clothes.  Trying to make WindowsLive work instead.

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