Monday, March 31, 2008

Doris Day Show

This is my 90th post. I'll have to think of something special for the 100th.

Today I was watching one of my Netflix - The Doris Day show. Can I tell you what a fun show this is? It is so, so, Clean! When the biggest concern is getting her children milk to drink at school or helping some dogs that were left in a car during the heat of the day, you know that you are watching something special. This kind of entertainment and way of thinking no longer exist in today's world.

There are a few things in the show that would be considered shocking, however. During season 2, Doris gets a job in the city near her farm home. She is a secretary for a magazine. What else was there for a women to do in the late 1960's? There is a lot, and I mean a lot of what would be called today, sexual harassment. The men in her office love to ask her out to dinner. The clients her company meet love to work with Doris and have dinner with her. They send her on special assignments for the company because she is beautiful. The CEO looks at her with adoring eyes. Of course, Doris is sweet and just takes it all in with a smile. She isn't a push over, mind you, but she just lets the comments and googoo eyes roll off her back. It is a sweet TV show and in the end, Doris always comes out with a smile and all is well.

So, today, I was watching it and she and her boss were on their way to Florida to do an interview for the magazine. Their plane is hijacked by a nervous white American man and re-routed to Cuba. While she is there, the Major of the army at the airport, falls in love with Doris and takes her to dinner. When the passengers are released and allowed to re-board the plane to take them home, she agrees to help the major who detained them. There is no International help or incident. It is shocking!! If this were to happen today, can you even imagine what it would be like? We would have to start a war with the other country.

What was simple then is not so simple now. This was Doris Day, after all, and it all turned out well with no harm done to anyone. I think I would rather live in Doris's world than ours. I would rather watch the silly Cuban hijacker than the drama of our own country brought to us courtesy of CSI and other such shows. Thank you Doris Day! Thank you for being such a sweet woman who cares for her children, works as a secretary and makes everything so happy.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hooked on shrink wrap

I recently got the Hooked on Phonics program for helping my homeschooled 7 year old and 4 year old to learn to read better. I have high hopes for what it can do for my preschooler.

Anyway, it arrived yesterday afternoon and I didn't get a chance to really look at it until this morning. It boasts at least 30 original books for helping the children learn to read. There was a section of 10 books in a shrink wrapped package. I opened it. Each individual book was then in its own shrink wrapped packaging! It took a long time to get into it. My two year old really wanted me to read to him, but by the time I got into the books, he had lost interest and gone off to another activity.

The program has a 30 day money back guarantee. I think it should be 31 days. You need one day just to get into the program and get the wrapping off 9 sets of flash cards and 30+ books.

Yesterday we went to the Botanical Gardens. I do enjoy it there. It is lovely and the children's area is very nice with lots of things to do, play on, look at, and a nice hill to climb up and roll down. We spent three hours there just letting the kids run and play. We all received our first sunburn of the year. Everyone came home with pink cheeks and noses. Luckily for the kids, the pinkness seems to be mostly gone today. For some reason, I'm the one that burns the worst. My children are all fair haired and fair skinned, but me, with my dark hair and slightly less than fair skin ends up with the worst burns. My nose is still quite red and I could feel the burn on my head while I was brushing my hair this morning. It is defiantly time to pull out the sunblock.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sales, thoughts, and general randomness

Well, yesterday I reached the 39th week of pregnancy, but who's counting? Early this morning I realized that I had given birth to all my sons by this point. It is my daughters, it seems who are in no hurry to join us. Well, I'm taking my kids, who are on spring break, to the Botanical Gardens today. I'm hoping that some walking and good exercise can get things going.

So, my lack of posts haven't been because of baby or lack of random thoughts, just lack of patience to sit down and type.

Let the Random Thoughts begin:
Have you ever noticed that the local furniture store is having it's biggest sale of the year every weekend? Our local Haynes has it's biggest sale of the year every week. They closed early yesterday so they could spend all night reducing prices for this week's biggest sale. They probably wanted the night off for some big game that was on TV or so they could watch Dancing With the Stars. Do they think the public is so stupid that we don't see what they are doing? Do they really think that we believe that this week has the biggest sale and that we will forget that they have used the same tactic last week? It is amusing. I keep hoping that if I wait long enough for their absolutly BIGGEST sale that everything will cost a dollar, like the dollar store. Only then will I be there for their sale.

My daughter had a funny idea recently. She told my hubby and I that we don't think because we don't have clouds over our heads. Well, that idea totally went over my head, but hubby got it. He laughed and said only cartoon characters get clouds over their heads when they think. Then I understood - thought bubbles! She got the idea that because we don't have thought bubbles hovering over our heads when we think or speak that we must not think! Isn't that the most clever, funniest thing? My daughter defiantly thinks outside the box, even without thought bubbles and clouds.

My daughter also informed me that she is cute and people think she is charming. She is telling the truth. I can't tell you the number of times we have gotten super treatment at stores and resturants because daughter was with us.

I had another really random thought, until now. Now I can't remember....

Oh yes! With baby coming, I told hubby that I really wanted to get a new digital camera. Our old camera died during Christmas. It didn't like the airplane trip apparently. I've been using my cell phone to take pictures, and that has worked very nicely, but the quality of the photos aren't great. I wanted a nice camera that wouldn't take grainy pictures. Hubby consented and we went to Best Buy. We found a nice camera and got it. Cameras are expensive and we chose one of the cheaper ones, but we still spent over $150 for it. Now, Hubby thinks that he can justify getting a new computer. He let me get a camera and I should let him get a computer. Hmmm, let's see, $150 vs. $1000. I just don't see how they balance out... He told me about a co-worker who a while back bought a TV stand that was big enough to hold a 60 inch screen TV. Their 36" TV looked quite silly on such a huge stand, so he was able to convince his wife into getting a 54" HDTV to "fit" the space.

What men don't realize is they aren't convincing us. We women aren't stupid and we see the set ups, even though most of the time, we don't call them on it. We keep the men happy by letting them think they have the upper hand and letting them get their toy that we get to enjoy too. A 60" screen TV isn't necessary, but I would love to watch Singing In the Rain in hi-def! And with a good sound system too!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I'm bored!

Can you believe I'm saying that? Of course there is a bunch of stuff to do (general cleaning, laundry, etc.), but really, how many times can you vacuum the living room in one day?

I like having a project and I can't think of anything right now. I'm out of the color thread I need to continue my cross stitch. It is a silly thing, but I can't do anymore with out this one dumb color. Hubby has the van all the time, day and evening, and I never make it out of the house.

With baby coming anytime in the next few weeks, I don't want to start anything too big that I might not be able to finish.

In the house I can't think of much to do. I've made all the cloth diapers I'm going to for the moment. I figured I'd better wait until baby gets here to make sure these diapers I've sewn are any good before I go and make more. I've painted the ugly room.... I could start the garden, but being a city girl who has never planted a garden before, I don't know how to get started and I'm afraid of messing it up and ruining our garden. I've been contemplating repainting the downstairs bathroom. It is a funny blue color right now. It isn't bad and it really doesn't need to be painted, but I would like to eventually. Do I do it now or later?

No books sound good to read right now... Yep, I guess I'm just being bored and ornery.

On the funny kid side of things, my older son and I were doing some math work together and my toddler toddled off to the kitchen. A few moments later I hear him scream in a very unusual way. He came running back to me looking quite scared. I couldn't understand what he was saying so I asked him to show me. He led me into the kitchen and pointed to his sandwich. On it was a fly. He was scared of the bug! I showed him how to wave his hand and say "Shoo fly!" Then I used a fly swater and killed the fly. My toddler thought that was pretty funny, but he stared at the wall where I killed the fly for a long time. He was quite worried that it would come back. With summer coming with all it's flies, mosquitos and spiders, it could be a real scary summer for my toddler.

Oh, another funny thing. Today is a really windy day! It is also trash day. A lot of trash cans have been blown over by the wind. Luckily for us, we have so much trash that our cans are very heavy and can't blow over.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mrs. Grumpy

I've been grumpy a bit lately. Can you blame me? It is 7:20 in the morning and the two youngest have already thrown tantrums. They have only been awake for 7 minutes! It has been like this for over a week. My hubby was out of town all last week so I never had a break from the kids. I can't even go into my bedroom or the bathroom without one of them following me to the door. If I go into the bedroom and lock the door, the two youngest pound on it and yell at me. If I go into the bathroom, they stand on the other side of the door talking to me. My two older ones do this a lot too. They don't have anything to say to me while I'm in the same room as them, but the moment I enter the bathroom and shut the door, they suddenly need to ask questions or tell me stories.

I'm also now 38 weeks pregnant. Having this baby is about the only thought my mind is capable of thinking of. I just want to know when it is going to happen. Then I could relax and plan, but knowing it could happen anywhere from tomorrow to three weeks down the road is making me crazy.

My kids seem to talk back to me more. My homeschool son gets annoyed when I ask him to do his work. He wants to do only one page in his book and be done for the day. Yesterday I decided to read out loud from Peter Pan to him. When he saw what I was about to do, he exclaimed loudly, "Oh no."

Perhaps it is always this way and it probably is, but my pregnancy induced grumpiness is making things all the worse.

On the positive side, my two year old is super cute (when he isn't throwing a tantrum) and his vocabulary has improved by leaps and bounds lately. He can say just about anything he wants. He can tell me more specifically what he wants to eat, not just num nums. He can tell me his tummy (leg, tongue, etc.) hurts. He can tell me what it is that his sister did to him to make him upset. His phrases are usually only 2-3 words long, but he is really amazing what thoughts and emotions he can convey with those 2-3 words.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Long rambling thought on Language and Music

Over the last 5 years, I have made English language history a favorite subject. I found the evolution of the language fascinating. English’s earliest roots are the Indo-European language. As people moved and centuries past, the language changed and took on many new forms with new names. What we now call Germanic is where English really separated from the other main branches of languages. The Germanic language changed and became many more languages and we finally reach the period of Old English. Although mostly unrecognizable to our modern eyes, it is not hard to see that this strange language is the basis of what we speak now. Only about 20% of Old English remains in our current vocabulary. English was almost squashed as a language during the Norman Invasion. It was the language of the common and poor people. Yet, it endured. It was able to survive thanks to it’s flexibility and it took on new words while keeping the old. To this day, English is a very flexible language, creating new words constantly to fit with the changing times. It is versatile and expressive.

I wish I knew more of the language and could use great vocabulary in my daily expressions, but I must confess, I do not and it really doesn’t matter because the average English speaker wouldn’t understand the vocabulary anyway. For instance, if I were to mention in general conversation about the size of a vomitory, most people would think me being quite gross, but I’m not. A vomitory is a large doorway.

To switch subjects for a moment, I want to talk a bit about music. Music is a universal language. A group of people who can’t speak to each other because of spoken language barriers can sit together and listen to music. Music is fantastic. My parents introduced me to classical music at a very young age. Later when I entered middle school, I needed to fill some class time and I wanted to fill that time with music. I choose to play in the band. I picked an instrument I knew nothing about – the bassoon. I loved being a part of a large body of music. I loved the small, yet important addition that the bassoon provided to each song. I learned to appreciate the little changes and little additions found in a score.

This love of the small changes in music has continued in my life. Some of my favorite music to listen to are movie soundtracks. They are the “classical” music of this modern age. John Williams, John Barry, Harry Gregson-Williams and so many more and the modern form of Amadeus or Beethoven. Instead of writing for operas that people go to for entertainment, these modern men write for movies. My two youngest children love to listen to the Danny Elfman version of Willy Wonka. I must admit, I love it too. There is one song that I love and it is a silly song, but it has one moment that last for 2 measures or eight counts that I find lovely to listen too. The song is building into it’s main chorus and a flute joins in and plays probably 5 notes, but I absolutely love those 5 notes! It is silly and yet, I love that part. I’ve noticed this with other music. There will be a song and a trombone will come in playing a counter line in it’s lower register and it gives me the goose bumps.

Now, I want to tie in this English language thought and music thought. English has over 600,000 words, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. That is a lot of words. Music is the universal language and that makes the vocabulary able to describe music in the millions and billions! Yet, with all these words that are available to me, I can’t put into words what it is that music does to me. I can’t describe the way it makes me feel. I can’t tell about those 5 notes of the flute without using silly words like goose bumps.

I hope that when my life ends here and I enter into the world of heavenly beings, I will find the way to express the feelings I have for music. Perhaps something so heavenly as music can not be described in any other way than with heavenly words. Until then, when I listen to music and I say, “Oh, this part I love, listen to the flute. Isn’t that beautiful?”, just listen to what I point out and try to make a polite, yet meaningful comment like, “That was beautiful, it gave me the goose bumps.”

Thursday, March 13, 2008


My hubby has been gone all week and instead of sitting in my rocking chair, cross stitiching and watching all the bonnet movies I can, I've been working like mad. On Monday we had a bunch of dirt (compost) delivered to our house. I spent two days moving a lot of it, but my back gave up and I haven't moved any since Tuesday. So, yesterday I decided it was time to paint the ugly "school room". It is the extra room in the house that should be a dining room but never became one. Instead it became the sewing room/school room/toy room/whatever room. It has awful 70's wallpaper on it. See:

So, I decided I had had enough of it and I pulled off the moulding and yesterday I primed all but one part of it. My kids have all helped. Some have helped a little too much, if you know what I mean and have gotten paint on the carpet and their clothes.

Now the walls are white and I've started painting them their new color, which is basically, the same color as the primer - white! I really don't like white walls, but I don't feel like I'm in the frame of mind to make color decisions. I don't like painting and I'm not very good at it so I went with what is easiest.

(This breaking news is being told to me as I type - my daughter doesn't know any more JennyJenna's. They have died! JennyJenna is her imaginary friend, as you might remember. Well, not the queen JennyJenna died, just the kung fu JennyJenna. Yeah, I don't get it either....)

OK. So, a few nights ago, I was laying down to sleep on the couch and was blinded by the street lights flooding though the living room. Since I was getting the whatever room ready to paint, I had taken the curtains down to puddy holes in the wall. Without the curtains, I couldn't sleep. During the middle of the night I started to wonder if I could shoot the street lights from my window with a BB gun. I decided as much as I would like to do that, it wouldn't be a good idea. First, I don't have a BB gun, second, it is probably illegal. I wondered if I could shoot the street lights with my bow and arrows. Then I decided I shouldn't try this either. My arrows have blunts on them and I can't aim that well. Also I only have three arrows and I really wouldn't want to loose them. So, I slept poorly. Last night, I rigged up a blanket to hang in the room and block the window. It was so classy you know, and my toddler kept pointing at it and saying "ghost!"

I have to get this room painted by tomorrow. Hubby comes home Saturday and I would like at least one day to sit on the couch, cross stitching and watching a bonnet movie! I'm hoping all this is a sign of nesting and this baby will come soon! I just wish the nesting would extend to the rest of the house and I would want to clean it more. While I'm painting, the rest of the house is getting ignored and starting to look pretty messy.

Monday, March 10, 2008

ice cut update

This evening while my children and I are having dinner, one of my sons remarked how the drinking water was ice cold. (It wasn't ice cold, just refrigerator cold) My daughter immediately began talking of how ice can cut you. My older son rolled his eyes and said, "Don't talk about it!" My daughter replies with, "But ice can cut you, I've had one."

The Paranoia of a 4 year old

My 4 year old daughter has an amazing memory and mind. She can remember things that happened long ago in her short life. I’m astounded when she brings up a specific incident that happened a year ago. We must be careful with her because of this great memory she has.

She also has a habit of getting “fixed” on an idea or incident and she will talk about it for a long, long time. Several examples:

-About two weeks ago, she got a small cut from a piece of ice she was sucking on. I wasn’t there for the incident so I don’t know the particulars, but she got a cut on one of her fingers from this bit of ice. For days and days she talked constantly of “ice cuts”. When I told her I didn’t want to hear anymore about ice cuts she told me she wasn’t done talking about them. Luckily, he wound has healed and she has not thought of it in a week.

-Black Holes! I don’t know where she heard about black holes. I’m guessing it was a know-it-all older brother who told her about black holes and their ability to suck up all things. Several weeks ago daughter was quite concerned about these black holes. She asked if they really could suck us up. I answered truthfully, yes, they could. She wanted to know where one was and if it was anywhere near our house. I answered her they are far, far away in outer space. She talked about these black holes for several days and then I heard nothing about it again, until this morning. She brought them up again.

-Crocodiles. This morning through what seemed like random chatter coming from my four year old which started while she was watching me trim my hair, she came across the idea of crocodiles. She then asked if crocodiles can eat people. I said yes, they could. She then asked, would they eat us in pieces? Probably, I answered. She went on talking about how she doesn’t like crocodiles, alligators and T-Rex’s. The T-Rex gave me a clue as to where this idea came from. Her brothers made her watch “Walking with Dinosaurs” yesterday while they were in the van. Those brothers!

-The biting chair. This will sound strange. I love Doris Day movies and one of my favorites to watch is “Pillow Talk”. In the end, Doris’s character redecorates Rock Hudson’s apartment in the most hideous way. Good friend Tony Randall, in a state of shock, sits down in a chair in the newly decorated living room. He immediately jumps and yells, “That chair! It bit me!” My daughter was amazed. A chair that would actually bite someone. She couldn’t stop talking about the biting chair. She talked about it all day long. I’m afraid I might have traumatized her.

The most incredible thing about my daughter is, we will be doing something and she will bring up these things from out of nowhere. You can be sure this isn’t the last time I hear about biting chairs or black holes.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Spring is in the air

The lovely season of spring is beginning here in southern Virginia. The daffodils are blooming. They are so bright and yellow. They make you happy just to see them. The last two days have had temperatures in the low 70’s. Today will be cooler, but still in the 60’s. At least for this week, it is spring here. Of course, this being Virginia, next week could be in the 20’s and 30’s again. You never know from week to week what it will be like outside.

But let’s forget for today that winter is still the official season and that it could snow in April. Today is a bright, slightly cool, spring day. For two days now I’ve been using my clothes line again. I will use it again today. Two days ago, my son and I made can stilts. He has enjoyed wandering the backyard in them. I wish we had sidewalks here that he could go up and down the street. The kids have spent hours outside jumping on the trampoline and digging in the sand box. We planted an herb garden this week. I hope in another week or two we will see the first little shoots of our plants. My tulips that I planted last year are starting to poke small green leaves up from the ground. It is a good day.

Last night we had a thunderstorm. I love those. I opened the curtains up so I would watch the sky light up. The storm sang me to sleep.

It’s one of those days that makes you happy to be alive. I just wish I could imagine the busy street and the sounds of zooming cars and school buses away.