The most requested thing for dinner around here? Noodles. With butter.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Confessions of a Tour Junkie

I admit it. I love touring and doing touristy things. I totally geek out on things historic and almost any kind of museum- as long as it isn't too close to home. Seriously. I have to GO somewhere in order to feel like a tourist and not think about the dishes that are probably in the sink.

Did you know that Portland, ME has a "Freedom Trail"? I so want to walk that trail. I might this summer. Unlike the Boston Freedom Trail, it doesn't highlight events leading up to the Revolutionary War. No, it identifies 13 Underground Railroad sites. The Underground Railroad!? Yessss!!! I don't know much about the U.R. so this will be my chance to learn firsthand!!! Woot woot! Not only will I maybe get a chance to tour Portland on foot, but also other historic sites on the East Coast- DC, Philadelphia, Boston. I better get some sturdy shoes. I already have other travel gear- the perfect bag, the perfect watch, the perfect water bottle... (Can you say GEEK?)

Lord willing, we are taking a TRIP this summer that might fulfill most of my tourism needs. It's called a "TRIP" instead of a "trip" because it will involve planes, boats, automobiles, 4 families, 10 states, 2 provinces, 1 birthday, pilgrims, a childhood heroine (Anne of Green Gables), and the District of Columbia. That's a TRIP. Just planning for it makes me all weak in the knees. Sigh.

Oh, I can hardly wait. I was born to be a tourist. I can feel it in my guts. I daydream about memorials, cemeteries, and historic markers. If I could make a living being a tourist, I would. The only other thing that would be close would be to become a tour GUIDE. It wouldn't take much... I can almost do the Ford's Theater monologue by heart right now.

Evidence of my addiction:
Ab and I in a dugout canoe at the Jamestown Settlement, July '07

And you know what happens after we get back home, right? The scrapbooking begins...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Artist

She's been grounded from her DS for a few weeks.

I'm not going to tell you why... you can probably guess it has something to do with the Becoming-a-Tweenager, Eye-Rolling, Lip-Curling, General Snarkiness phase of life.

Anyhoo, she needed something to do, and she found it.
I'm finding all these bits of paper around the house with drawings on them. Mostly, they are drawings of owls (You know- of Ga'Hoole). They are EVERYWHERE. I'm not allowed to tidy up and throw them away- even if by accident.

Noooooo!!! Mom!!! That's for Susie!!!

I didn't even know she knew a Susie.

All I know is that when I was her age and I had to make a poster of an owl for school, I measured every little part of that pathetic little owl as I drew it and even then it didn't look real. It looked like a cartoon.

Hers, on the other hand, look like owls.
Apparently, she gives them away at school. I don't know if the kids ask for them, or she just thinks that someone would be blessed to own their very own "Abby Original". Maybe she keeps them on hand as a peace offering to those she has bossed around too much.

Whatever the reason, it's kind of cute. I love it that she can draw without copying something out of a book or needing a ruler and a big eraser.

She's very creative, my kiddo. I never know what she will come up with next.

Maybe we can start selling her art and I can retire!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Patrick wasn't Irish

Nor was he Catholic.

That baffles some people because they equate St. Patrick with Ireland and most of Ireland is Catholic.
He was probably a Scotsman, and his church loyalties were with the ancient church of Britain.

So, how did he get to be affiliated with Ireland?

Born in the late 300's, Patrick was enslaved by the Irish as a teen. Made to work as a shepherd, he had lots of time to think and pray and find God. He finally escaped Ireland and headed back to Britain. He wanted to stay there, and his parents wanted him to stay there, but God kept sending him dreams and visions of Irish people who were begging him to come back and teach God's ways. Eventually, he managed to get back to Ireland and he spent 33 years there teaching and preaching the Word of God.

He died on March 17, 465.

You can find some more good information and Patrick's own Confession here. (Scroll down a bit for the Confession, it's after the political ramblings...)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy 3.14

What do you get when you divide the circumference of an igloo by its diameter?

*Eskimo Pi.*

(click and highlight between the snowflakes for the answer)

Happy Pi Day!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Livin' la vida LOCA

Loca means "crazy" in Spanish.

LOCA is the acronym for Leave Our Clocks Alone, an organization I established back in 2002.

I am the president and sole member of the organization. Anyone can join, but no one knew much about it until now.
Here's what we(I) believe:

1) Changing clocks forward or back twice a year is an extraordinary waste of time, effort, and money. It's inexcusable really, considering our national debt.
2) Changing clocks complicates timekeeping, travel, billing, recordkeeping, medical devices, heavy equipment, and computing. (Windows-based platforms have more difficulty than Macs.)
3) Changing clocks causes disruptions to natural sleep patterns.
4) Changing clocks makes things difficult for dairy farmers. Cows don't understand time, but they do still need to be milked twice a day.
5) Changing clocks makes things difficult for mothers of small children. Children don't understand time, but they do know that if it is light out, it must not be bedtime!
6) Changing clocks makes it difficult for summer stargazers.
7) Changing clocks DOES NOT GIVE US AN EXTRA HOUR OF DAYLIGHT. That hour was stolen from the morning daylight, thereby making it difficult for those with Seasonal Affective Disorder to adjust. (Not me, but some friends of mine.)
8) Changing clocks might save some energy in the evening hours, but that energy is now used in the morning instead. Much research shows that there is no "saving" in Daylight Saving Time.
9) There is no "s" on the end of Saving in DST.
10) Changing clocks is unnatural, inorganic, and just plain wrong. The seasons should flow into each other naturally and gradually, not with a rude awakening an hour before one is used to it. Summer will give us longer days all on her own. She doesn't need help from us.
11) Changing clocks is loca.

I have written each U.S. President since 2002 regarding this topic and have never received a reply. It's possible they are part of a conspiracy to keep us busy messing with our darn clocks so we don't pay attention to them, but they need to do something about this because I am not the only one who feels this way. Just google "I hate Daylight Saving Time" and see what others are saying.

And now, I have to finish the chore of the clock change. I changed my alarm clock last night, as it was the most important clock (get me to the church on time!), and the rest of my clocks get their tweaking during the day as I encounter them... programmable thermostat, bathroom clock, kiddo's alarm clock, guest room clock radio, car, oven, microwave oven, VCR- no wait! I don't have a VCR! That takes out one adjustment!

I don't switch the time on my watch. I can't find the little paper that came with it that tells me what order and how long I have to push the tiny little buttons. I just buy another watch and set it to DST.

Standard time (REAL time) comes back November 6... let the countdown begin!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Good Man is Hard to Find*

Last Tuesday evening, I sat in a room filled with good men (and women!). It was the annual Employee Recognition Awards Ceremony for our local sheriff's department.

I listened to description after description of the various awards, the titles were impressive...

* Distinguished Service Medal
* Officer of the Year Award
* Reserve Deputy of the Year Award
* Life Saving Award
* Exemplary Performance Award
* 20 Year Service Award
* 30 Year Service Award
* Sergeant of the Year Award

At least 3 dozen names were called to receive their due recognition, and I watched officers and civil employees go up to the podium to shake hands and receive their engraved plaque. Some employees were in uniform, some were in suit and tie, and some were dressed as plainclothes officers. Not one of them appeared in blue tights, red cape, and a big "S" on their chest- they were regular people. They shook hands with the Sheriff, they listened to what was said about them, and they were humble.

Some of them saved a life while they weren't even on duty. Most of them worked with a tighter budget and fewer resources than ever before. Some were volunteers- helping the community out of a sheer love for the work and the people. Many were praised for their organizational skills, their perseverance, their initiative, their ability to work with many different types of citizens in our diverse community, and the fact that they kept in good communication with their commanders and supervisors. Not subjects we teach in school, but highly important in the stressful work that is law enforcement.

I'm proud of the law enforcement and emergency personnel in my county. They do a great job under some extreme circumstances.

I'm especially proud of one of them:

My youngest brother, "Enforcement Branch Sergeant of the Year".
Here he poses with his plaque, his wife and his boss.

Thanks for being a good man!

*The title of a short story written by Flannery O'Connor in 1953.