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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A review of Three Cups of Tea

I recently read Three Cups of Tea. (I actually finished it on Saturday but wanted to take my time and write about this book.)

This is a wonderful book. I think it really shows the true Muslim teachings instead of those believed by the Muslim extremists like Al Quaeda and Osama Bin Laden. It shows that there are Muslims who believe in educating their children, even girls.

This book talks a lot about the belief that if you teach a population’s girls, then you can save an entire population. The book illustrates that when women are educated, the infant mortality rates go down, the death rate of deaths caused by hygiene related issues decrease, and those women teach there children.

Greg Mortenson is an amazing person and I hope that one day the whole world will live by his philosophy.

There is one point in the book when he is addressing representatives from Washington and he points out that the children of Pakistan and Afghanistan have no future without education but if you educate them and give them a future, you will wipe out terrorism. Essentially, it says that these young kids turn to terrorism because it gives them some sort of future but if you give them another path, they will choose it.

There are times that Greg Mortensen suffers for his passion for educating these children. He has sleepless nights, he receives death threats, he feels lost, but he keeps going.

This book also puts 9/11 in a different perspective. Greg Mortensen was in a small village on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border when 9/11 happened. This book shows 9/11 from another side of the world. It shows the worry that Mortensen’s friends had for his safety after 9/11, especially being that close to the border. But it also shows the systematic approach that Al Quaeda used in carrying out the 9/11 attacks. (I won’t say too much more because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone else.)

I think every person should read this book. It is truly inspiring and amazing but it also teaches so much about the Middle East and the Muslim faith. I think that every soldier deploying to the Middle East should read this book and I think that all children should read this book or the young adult version or the children’s version, Listen to the Wind, so that the prejudices that have grown since the war in Afghanistan and Iraq can be erased. Our children need to know that not all Muslims are terrorists. This book will help.

For more info or to purchase the book (a portion of the price goes to CAI), please visit www.threecupsoftea.com

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Scott Wade's Dirty Car Art


This is amazing. Although I think if I let my car get that dirty, I would have an accident. Go check out the rest of his pictures here. http://www.dirtycarart.com/gallery/index.htm

Friday, March 27, 2009

Why doesn't everyone agree with me?

I was very disappointed to see Matt in the bottom two last night. Totally caught me by surprise. I think it has something to do with the fact that he was first and then there were a lot of bad ones after him and then some really good ones toward the end. I think people just forgot about him.

I hope they put him somewhere in the middle or closer to the end next week.

After listening to Motown night, it inspired me to listen to Marvin Gaye on the way to work. There is something about Marvin that just makes me feel good.

Friday Funnies

A man finds an old bottle lying on the beach. He picks it up and rubs it and a genie pops out. The man is very excited and says, "A genie! Great, now I get three wishes."

"No. You have been watching too many movies." said the genie. "You get one wish."

So the man thinks for a little bit and he finally says, "Well, I have always wanted to go to Hawaii but I am afraid to fly and I hate boats, can you build me a bridge to Hawaii?"

"A bridge to Hawaii? Do you know how hard that would be? The engineering involved? Isn’t there anything else that you want that would be easier?"

"Well, I have always wanted to understand women better," replied the man.

The genie was quiet for a few minutes and then he looked at the man and said....

"Would you like that bridge with two lanes or four?"

Thursday, March 26, 2009

American Idol Recap

I love Motown so I was very excited last night. Here are my thoughts on each performer (in no particular order since I can’t remember what order they sang in).

Matt - "Let’s Get It On" - awesome. Simon was so right when he said that Matt’s voice was made for songs like that. (He would have sounded really good doing Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding too.)

Kris - "How Sweet It Is" - okay. The judges kept going on and on about how he put his own sound to this but I thought it sounded a lot like Michael Buble’s version.

Scott - "You Can’t Hurry Love" - not my favorite. I think he has talent and I hope that America gives him the chance to show us what he has.

Michael - "Ain’t Too Proud to Beg" - really bad. That’s all I can say.

Megan - "For Once In My Life" I want to like Megan but she has been picking some atrocious songs lately. She has a story. I mean, come on, she has a full sleeve and she is very pretty but with her performance lately, I don’t think her AI career will be long unless she gets a second chance tonight and picks a better song next week. (And I hope she wears shoes next week.)

Danny - "Get Ready" - I really like Danny. He has an amazing voice. But I didn’t think this was his best performance. I think he picked something easy and I wanted him to do something different. But it was good and it showed his talent.

Adam - "Tracks of My Tears" - really good. I still don’t like him but he did good on this song.

Lil - "Heat Wave" - there were times in this song when she sounded flat and I thought that something was missing but she looked fabulous. I loved that dress.

Anoop - "Baby, Baby" - this was surprisingly good but like Simon said, a little boring.

Allison - "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" - this girl is amazing. She has got so much talent for being so young but like Kara (I think) said she needs votes.

(I just went to American Idol’s website to get the titles of two songs and they spelled Motown wrong. Maybe the proofreaders went on vacation.)

If I had to guess, I would say that Michael, Megan and probably Scott will be in the bottom three. If I had a choice, I want Michael to go home but we will see.

I would have loved someone to do "Build Me Up Buttercup" by the Foundations (which is my favorite song) or some Otis Redding but maybe next time they will call me before they pick the song and let me tell them which one to do.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Office Drama and knitting

I have to say that I am truly amazed at the audacity of some people. Here is the skinny....on Monday I got to work and my coworker said "if anyone calls today for my daughter can you just take a message so I can call her cell phone". Now I am thinking, this woman is a mom so maybe it is a doctor or something that needs to be able to reach her so not a big deal, right? Wrong. The damn phone rang every hour for her daughter and then the last call of the day the guy told me that he was calling from "Direct Financing" then my coworker casually said that her daughter had applied for a loan and used this number as her contact number. Whoa! That put a whole new spin on things.

Then yesterday, the phone rang and it was a woman wanting to verify her daughter’s employment with us. Now hold on a minute...I am not lying for her daughter (or for anyone else for that matter). So I gave the first call to her and she said that she would have to have the HR person call her back. No attempt to set the record straight. I wound up getting another call yesterday and when my coworker still did nothing, I told the boss. The way I see it is that if someone from this office lies and says that this girl works here so she can get a loan, then we are involved in the fraud. (I am pretty sure that she has already found a way to fudge her mother’s pay stubs so it looks like they are hers.) I have no idea what the boss is going to do but I mean, come on. We work in a law firm for heaven’s sake. Show some ethical behavior.

Nothing else is really happening in my life right now. Just working and knitting.

I am knitting the Ilene Market Bag which is okay but the cotton hurts my hands and makes my arthritis act up if I work on it too long. So lately I have been working on it for at least two rows of the pattern and then moving to something gentler. This is a Christmas present so I have some time.

The gentler is the Easiest Baby Blanket that I am knitting in a pretty purple shade for my friend Melissa’s baby girl that is due the beginning of August. It is moving along quickly and I feel good about the progress so far.

I have also been gathering items for the two swaps that I am in...the Envelope Swap and Swap on a Budget (both from Ravelry).

I have also been reading blogs. Has anyone else noticed how many people have titled posts "In like a lion"? I have now come to hate that line.

One interesting thing that happened was that I filled my gas tank and then calculated and figured out that I get about 33 miles to the gallon which is very nice.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Funnies

A blonde woman gets in the elevator to go home. It stops a few floors down and this guy gets in.

"T-G-I-F," said the woman.

"S-H-I-T" said the man.

"T-G-I-F," said the woman again.

"S-H-I-T," replied the man again.

When the elevator stopped at the bottom floor, they both got out and the woman said, "T-G-I-F means ‘Thank God It’s Friday’".

"I know," said the man. "S-H-I-T means ‘Sorry Honey, It’s Thursday."

*Princess Ivi told me that.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I am surrounded by animals



This is Dolly. She thinks she wants to drive.

This is Maxwell. He says three words: Hello, Max, Maxwell.


Dolly likes cookies.


This is Snickers. She is fat and she is a b**ch. Sort of reminds me of my witchy aunt.


This is Kata. She only lets Princess Ivi touch her.

Of course, this does not include the following other animals on the property:

  • the 100s of exotic birds that live on the other side of the house (yes, I said 100s),
  • the 2 horses at the barn (JonJon and Ace),
  • the 30 (or so) guinea hens and the 6 peacocks that run around,
  • the other 2 dogs (Layla and Elvis),
  • the other 3 cats (Biscuit, Buttons and Shop Kitty),
  • the other 3 rescued Chihuahuas (Penny and two as yet unnamed),
  • the two guard dogs (Bubba and Lucy), and
  • Mom's two birds (Xengu and Tiger) in the house.

Crazy, huh?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Butterflies





Here are the best pictures of the trip to the Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History (in Gainesville, FL).



This the guide. These pictures were taken because we knew we wouldn’t be able to remember their names. (See that blue one, Princess Ivi and I tried so hard to take a picture of it with its wings open but all we got is the picture on the right with it closed).



And of course, here is Princess Ivi looking all summery...

Nyx

This is Princess Ivi’s new dog, Nyx.

Isn’t she sweet?
She is one of the abandoned dogs we rescued. She is slowly adjusting to our home. It is apparent to me that she once was a pet because (1) she knows what a crate is; (2) she has a "potty’ schedule, (3) she knows to walk up the stairs and wait by the door when she is done outside; and (4) after she goes, she gets in her crate and sits expectantly for a treat.

She and Princess Ivi are becoming very good friends.

Scenes from my back porch

A few weeks ago, I posted pictures of the sand hill cranes that ventured into our backyard.
Well, this weekend we had a beautiful pair of bald eagles that were feasting on an armadillo (gross!). Here are some pictures:


They hung out there having lunch for quite awhile until they had their fill and left the scraps to the buzzards.

Bats and Llamas and Mastedons, Oh My!

Here are the pictures from the rest of the museum:


You may not be able to see it but that sign reads "Alien Animal Species" which is very appropriate for Princess Ivi.

By the way, I wanted to grab the little statute of the large-headed llama and stuff it in my bag to take home with me but decided I better not.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!!

Have I mentioned that I am Irish? My great-great-grandfather, Richard Franklin Corrigan came to the United States from Donegal when he was a young man. Needless to say, because of this all things Irish have always held a special place in my heart and therefore, so does St. Patrick’s Day.

Richard Franklin and his son, my great-grandfather, William Richard Corrigan were Orangemen (Protestants and supporters of King William III of Orange). Needless to say, there was no wearing of green on St. Patrick’s Day because, according to them, that was for Catholics. This earned me a lot of pinches over the years and of course, a lot of explaining. We weren’t the only household that had this but unfortunately I was the only kid who in my school with this problem and of course, you can’t tell a 4th grade boy who is intent on pinching you that you are Irish but you can’t wear green because of a family tradition and some King who died hundreds of years ago.

To solve this problem with Princess Ivi, I have always had her wear green and orange. I am sure that Grandpa Corrigan is still turning over in his grave but it saves her from needless pinches and allows her to tell the reasons we don’t wear more green (because it is usually just a tiny bit).

So to all my Irish brethren, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

To all you non-Irish folks, don’t feel bad. Not everyone has great bloodlines.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekend Catch Up

Friday Knitting

After dinner and feeding the dogs, I sat down to knit for a while before Battlestar Galactica. There were a few problems though. I was tired of the projects I had as WIPs so I had to think of something else (Although, I should have been working on the WIPs). I finally decided on the Ilene Bag designed by Hannah Ingalls (whose name makes me think of Little House on the Prairie). I really like this little market style bag.

So I cast on using a ball of Hula that I had. The first snag is that the pattern calls for 270 yards of yarn and Hula is only 238 yards but I figured it would be okay, I would just alter it a bit. Well, I worked the 25 rows in stockinette for the bottom and I only had 2 inches, not 4. Hmmm, what was the f**ing problem? Aha! I had used size 5s and not 6s so I unraveled it. Then, I had a thought. Maybe I should use that cotton in the closet that I have had forever and make the bottom a separate color.

Into the stash I went. I pulled out the two balls of cotton and returned to the Hula. Damn, the cotton is pink, the Hula is yellow with flecks of blue and red. They don’t match at all. Thankfully, I have enough cotton to make the whole bag so I cast back on for the bottom (with the correct size needle). I worked on it for three inches and didn’t touch it for the rest of the weekend, except to move it out of the way.

As for Battlestar, I am really pissed sad that next week is the finale. Thankfully, it is a 2 hour episode or else they would never be able to get it done. Irritatingly, Friday’s episode didn’t really tell us anything.

Saturday

On Saturday, Princess Ivi and I went to Gainesville. We had a successful day and a not-so-successful day. The success came because we did the following:

1. Went to the used bookstore where I bought 6 books for $14.
2. Had sushi for lunch which we ate in the car.
3. Went to Barnes and Noble where she found the book she was looking for (book three in a series of 5 and this was the only one she didn’t have) and only bought that one book instead of a stack.
4. Went to the Florida Museum of Natural History at UF and saw the Butterfly Rainforest (I will post pictures of this tomorrow as I forgot my camera today). This was a totally unplanned stop but it was fun.
5. Went to Walmart for dog supplies.
6. Bought tomato and pepper plants at Lowe’s.
7. Went to the grocery store.

The unsuccessful part came because we were coming to Gainesville to go to a Summer Camp Expo at one of the middle schools. Now, I can pretty much find my way around if I have an address and/or an idea of what the place is near. Unfortunately, I had sketchy directions to the school and we gave up looking for it at about 11:30. Of course, wouldn’t you know that on the drive from the bookstore to the other side of town, we drove right by it.

Those Scary Girl Scouts...
When were going into Lowe’s we walked by the exit and a Girl Scout put on her evil cute face and asked if we wanted to buy cookies, I said that I wasn’t sure but I would think about it. We got our cart and then went directly to the garden section and that is where we paid. It was helpful because I didn’t have to walk out of the exit that the girl was standing near. But, as we were walking back to the car, I realized that we were going to walk right in front of her and she would ask me again, I knew she would. I was a girl scout leader and I had trained many a girl to remember those people who didn’t give an outright no and ask them again. So Princess Ivi and I quickly crossed over to the other side of the parking lot and practically ran to the car, avoiding eye contact with the girl or her leader. About halfway there, Princess Ivi looked over and said, "Mom, you do realize we are running from the Girl Scouts right?" to which I replied, "Come on. We have to hurry so she doesn’t see us."

Princess Ivi and I also discussed the irony of the fact that her gym teacher is overweight. (She referred to it as a pregnant belly.) Now, of course, I am not in shape or skinny or anything but I would have thought that a gym teacher would be fit.

We also talked about how sad it was that every weekend there are at least 10 yard sales lined up on our main road due to the economic hardship. We live in fairly low income area (where I actually make decent money and live a better quality of life than others) and I think everyone just wants to make any extra bit of money they can. It is pretty sad.

Sunday

Sunday was spent cleaning, organizing and welcoming Princess Ivi’s little dog to our house.
There was nothing exciting about the cleaning and organizing except that some of the items were boxes I pulled from the storage shed that I hadn’t seen since I packed them in Massachusetts. There were many times that I said, "That is where that is" or "I have been looking for that" or "I forgot I had that."

As for the dog, her name is Nyx and she seems to be adjusting pretty good to the house and the crate. Given the way that she acts, I would definitely say that she was a pet at one point or another.

(My dog Penny is still at the barn but I think she will be at the house by this weekend.)

I worked very hard all day yesterday and went steady until 10 when I took a shower and then went straight to bed with no TV and no knitting. I also slept so soundly that I feel great today.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Contest

I entered a contest this morning. I don’t normally enter contests because (1) I always ind out about them too late well after they are done and (2) I have horrendous luck and never win anything. But I thought I would take a chance on this one.

It is at Knit Purl Gurl and she is giving away Knit Witch merchandise. How cool is that?

Anyway, since I just got to work, I won't post much more but I will later today.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My date with a cutie pie

I have been spending the last few evenings after work with a super cutie. A little dog. She is some sort of chihuahua. She does not yet have a name. She was rescued with three other dogs after my mom's boss saw them in the woods. Unfortunately, animal control was already on the scene and they wouldn't let her take them without her first having to go through all of the red tape. But they are home now. When they first came to us, two were pregnant and the vet said the puppies were so big that they would kill the mothers. Given the fact that they had been living in the woods for who-knows how long, we decided it was best for the dogs to not have the puppies. There are two white ones, a brindle, and a little brown one.

Princess Ivi spends her evenings with the littlest white one and I spend my evenings with the little brown one. They have now started eating in our presence which is a vast improvement. We are having better luck with the little white one as she will actually let you pet her but the brown one won't even come an arm's length away. But I am hopeful that her curiosity will soon outweigh her fear. She almost came to me last night. The boy who helps out came up and just the sound of his voice scared her. She started to run to me and got less than an arm's length away and changed her mind. Apparently, I was the lesser of two evils but she couldn't quite get over her fear.


I think by the weekend that she may let me pet her. I hope so.

When she is not so scared, I will snag a picture and post it.

Idols

Nope, I don't mean something to worship or someone to look up to. I mean American Idols.

Now, I know that everyone has their favorites and hopefully I don't step on any toes here. The people I like are: Megan, Matt, Michael and Scott.

These are just my thoughts from last night:

My favorites from last night were Danny, Matt and Allison.

The people who I thought were pretty bad last night were Anoop, Jorge, Lil, and Jasmine.
Megan, Michael, Scott, Kris, Alexis and, yes, even Adam were mediocre in my opinion.

I can't stand Adam anyway though. He comes across to me as a mixture of the singer from All American Rejects, Pete from the Fall Out Boy and a Jonas Brother. Paula made it a point of saying that he seems true to himself but to me, he looks fake with questionable sexuality.

There are very few Michael Jackson songs that I like...Billy Jean, Human Nature, The Way You Make Me Feel, Man in the Mirror, and Smooth Criminal...I think that is all of them so last night was hard to bear listening to the others sing any song that wasn't one of these.

If I had to choose, I would vote off either Anoop, Jorge, Lil or Jasmine. I think that Megan, Michael, Scott, Kris and Adam deserve a chance to keep going and show us what they got.

Guess, I will have to see what happens tonight....oh the suspense!

Love thyself... or latest reads

I finished jemima j. by Jane Green last night. It was great. It is about a fat girl who learns to love herself and has some adventures along the way. I actually picked this up at the used bookstore for $1.95, started it yesterday at lunch and finished it last night (at about 1:00 a.m.). It was so good I couldn't put it down.

I love the style that Jane Green writes in, like she is speaking to the protagonist sometimes. And the fact that Jemima is English is pretty cool too.

This was the 21st book for the 52 Books in 52 Weeks group at Ravelry.

Of course, I realized that I never blogged about my 18th or 19th books.

There was The Alchemyst by Michael Scott which was okay. The Tale of Despereaux which is a great book.

Book 2o was The House of Daughters from my earlier post.

Monday, March 9, 2009

On my way to the Masters in my NEW car...

The Master Knitting Program that is. (I know. You can say it...I am a geek.) I got my instructions on Friday. I read them through once and almost had a panic attack. But then, I broke them down into swatches, questions and such and I realized, it wasn’t as overwhelming as I first thought. I was going to cast on for the swatches this weekend but (1) I wanted to finish the City Mouse and (2) I just couldn’t seem to find the energy.

As the title says, my NEW car. It is a 2001 Blue Nissan Sentra. I was a little worried when the salesman told me the year but then I looked and saw that it only has 64,000 miles and the interior looks brand spanking new. Mom, Princess Ivi and even my brother deduced that it must have been owned by an old person and I have to admit it has a bit of an old person smell, a bit like moth balls and some stale cleaner. But that is okay, I bought a three pack of lime-vanilla Yankee Candle air fresheners, threw one in the trunk and one in the back window and all is well. All in all, I am really pleased with the car and the cost. I will take some pictures and post them here soon.

Speaking of moth balls, Mom found a snake in the chicken coop and almost keeled over with fright. She had my brother Dan remove it for her. It was some sort of non-venomous snake that was about 4 feet long. Can we say ick? Anyway, as a way to combat the snakes in the chicken coop, bugs in the house and storage shed, and rats in the bird houses, I bought 4 boxes of moth balls. Mom then proceeded to throw a handful (or two) under the porch, sprinkle some around the chicken house, throw some under the shed, and she will put them in the bird house tomorrow. Hopefully they work and keep the pests away.

Mom and I were discussing the fact that Barbie is turning 50. Here is our conversation:

Me: Barbie is 50? Wow.
Mom: She is looking pretty good for 50 but it is clear she has had some work done.
Me: Yeah, she's all plastic.

See, as Princess Ivi says, geekiness is genetic and it abounds in our family.

Well, my lunch hour has flown by so I will say adieu for now.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Champagne Bubbles

I just finished House of Daughters by Sarah-Kate Lynch (as in about 10 minutes ago). I started this last night at about 10:30, read for about an hour, and then read for about two hours here at work.

This was a good book but it was difficult to read coming from a girl who didn’t have a father or any evidence of that father’s love. I love the story of the sisters coming together and the wonderful details about the champagne. It makes me thirsty for some.

The best champagne I ever had comes from a vineyard in St. Augustine. All the others that I had give me migraines.

Anyway, I would recommend this book to people. My daughter wants to read it but I think I will warn her a bit about the father part. She has no father. Well, she had a father but no dad which is his loss but I fear that the theme of daughters, fathers, neglect and love may be a bit much for her. She normally handles the situation pretty well but there are those rare times when it hits her that she has no father and that he doesn’t love her. I don’t want this book to bring on those thoughts.


Reading the section about the author reminded me that I want to read her other books, Blessed are the Cheesemakers and By Bread Alone. Those will go on my "to be read" list.

I worked for a bit on the City Mouse Toy. I tried really hard to finish it up last night but I couldn’t do it. Princess Ivi and had some mommy-daughter tickling time and then I got a shower. By the time I sat down to knit, tapioca pudding was up and that took precedent over knitting. Maybe I will finish it tonight.


I am taking tomorrow off without pay to go car shopping. Given the state of my mom’s van, I don’t want to put it off any longer. I am so worried every time I drive it that the constant state of panic seems to be eating a hole in my stomach.

I had planned to go on Saturday to pick out the car and then get the insurance and tag on Monday morning but I really can’t put it off any longer. The battery light is now constantly on, even though it is testing okay at Advanced Auto, and the stalling while you are driving down the road is very stressful. I always have a vision of stalling and getting plowed into by someone behind me.

So Mom and I are going to go to Palatka tomorrow. I am going to get my Florida license and then we will car shop, go by the insurance company and hopefully drive home with a new car. If I have to, I will pick it up on Saturday but I would prefer to do it all in one fell swoop. Hopefully, all will go well.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

76 trombones in the hit parade...

What is it about that line from that song that always pops into my head at the strangest times? I find myself singing that song or humming that song on an almost daily basis. Why? Maybe there is a study on this subject that I should enter to find out what attracts me to this song. Maybe I am a cylon. It isn't All Along the Watchtower but I can still hear it. (For those who watch Battlestar Galactica). Can anyone else hear it?

So it has been pretty quiet at work for the past two days. I spent yesterday afternoon browsing TasteSpotting and printing out recipes. I found some yummy ideas for weekend dinners, cracker recipes for my mom, and, of course, some dessert recipes that look so good. I love TasteSpotting. My goal is to someday make it through the entire thing. Given how bored I am today, it might happen.

As far as knitting goes, I have put the feather and fan shawl to the side for a faster project. I want to see results and I am not seeing any with the shawl. Right now, when I look at it, even after working on it for days, it looks like it hasn't grown at all. I need some instant gratification.

So on Monday, I cast on for the City Mouse Toy from Lion Brand. I am not yet sure what I am going to do with this. I have an idea rolling around in my head but I just don't know.

See, there was this girl when I was little. Well, when we first met (when we were like 5) we hated each other but then when we got older we became friends. She was there through so many milestones in my life - first drink of alcohol, first "real" boyfriend, etc. She taught me how to inhale when I smoked. She helped me deal with my parents' divorce. I will always remember the summer I went back to Massachusetts after I first moved to Florida. I was staying at my step-father's house with his new wife. I hated it but she came and rescued me and I spent the rest of my time with her.

Unfortunately, we drifted apart. I am not going to say it was all her fault or all my fault because that isn't the case. All I will say is that I miss her very much. There are so many times in my life when I want to pick up the phone and talk to her, really talk to her. Or when I want to see here and just hang out. And when I look at my daughter and think that I always wanted her to see my kids grow up and I always wanted to see her kids. That didn't happen but there is this small part of me that wants to try. I know we can never get our friendship back to the place it once was but I want something.

The mouse toy brought this up because everyone referred to us as the County Mouse (me) and the City Mouse (M). See, I lived in a tiny little town that had more cows than people it seemed and M came from Newton which to me was the city. We were so different from each other in many ways but those differences balanced each other out.

Anyway, my idea is to find a book with the story of the Country Mouse and the City Mouse and to make up two of these little mice and send the whole package to her and her boys. I just don't know if I can handle it if nothing comes of this. I don't want to take these steps just to realize that the damage we did to our friendship all those years ago is just too great and we can't come back from that. For now, I think I will finish up this mouse and cast on for another, in another color, and when they are both done, make the decision.

I had an idea for a decoration for Princess Ivi's room. I got the idea from Kim who I became friends with on Facebook. Kim is my old friend and fellow Sunday school teacher. Well, after checking out her blog, she has done this really cool decoration. She took a cardboard S from the store and decorated it and hung it on her door. Well, I thought I would cut out a D for Princess Ivi (as that is what her name starts with) and let her decorate it. She could do a collage of things she likes, or just draw on it, color it, etc. and then we could hang it on her wall. She could even just paint it with some purple sparkly paint. I think I am going to propose that to her because I think she will really like it. Thanks Kim for the great idea.

I have been busy writing emails to the superintendent of our school district and the school board members. The superintendent has put the idea forward to close Princess Ivi's school. If that happens, she will have to be bused further so she can go to a "C" school. Her school is an "A" school and is the only school in the district that has a surplus of money (revenue v. cost) so it makes no sense to me to propose to close our school. My idea is this...since there are two middle schools in Palatka and two in Crescent City, I would propose combining them so there is only one middle school in each city. Then the district would be paying for four middle schools instead of six. They haven't made a decision yet. I emailed them and told them that they need to show us that closing our school will really save money. If it won't then it is jeopardizing our children's education for nothing.

It may seem selfish but I am hoping they decide to stay open for next school year since Princess Ivi will be in 8th grade and her last year of middle school. Then, when she is done, they can close since she will be going into a different school anyway.

Princess Ivi and I have discussed that if they close her school, we may look into homeschooling for next year (8th grade) but we are all keeping our fingers crossed that they keep it open. I know this is a hard economic time but this doesn't seem to be the answer.

Okay, enough rambling for one day....

Monday, March 2, 2009

If your kilt isn't plaid, it is just a skirt....or what we did over the weekend

On Saturday, Princess Ivi, Mom and I went to the NE Florida Scottish Games in Green Cove Springs.

We heard some bagpipes (unfortunately, I don't have a picture of any of the pipers).
We ate some Scottish food (although, we skipped the haggis) but I guess Princess Ivi’s french fries don’t really count as Scottish food. She wasn’t feeling brave enough to try anything else


We saw some fuzzy cows. These are Highland Cows. Mom and I noted that you could spin this but we wondered what it would feel like....hmmm. Do I see an experiment in the near future?

We saw a double-decker bus and debated about whether or not it would qualify as the "night bus". We decided that it didn't look the part.


We also watched the caber toss....For those non-Scottish folk, the caber toss is a traditional Scottish athletic event involving tossing a larege wooden pole (called a caber). I always think of it like a telephone pole. The goal is to pick it up and flip it so that it lands pointing exactly at the thrower. The scoring to me is rather complex regarding angles and stuff.


Unfortunately, we arrived too late to see the other athletic events like the stone put, the Scottish hammer throw and the sheaf toss. but it was still very enjoyable. (For more info on these events, check out wikipedia's page regarding the Scottish Games... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_Games#Heavy_Events
I spent the day drooling over things like this....and deciding that a man in a kilt is a nice thing to see. (Well, some of them.)



We also decided that someone should tell the guy in the last picture on the far right that if your kilt isn't plaid, then it is just a skirt.

We enjoyed the 80 degree weather and even got a little bit pink from the sun.
We woke up Sunday to a high of only 50. Since it was so cold and I had finished the laundry on Saturday, I spent the day working on the feather and fan shawl.
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