Monday, December 22, 2008

Oh My Gosh Snow!, or How Do You Know You Have Cabin Fever?

When we moved to Seattle, the hubbster told me the summers would be gorgeous, the fall crisp, the winter rainy, and the spring rainy too.

I was never told about snow.

In college, Zecher told me of a terrible snow storm one winter in his childhood and there is photos of the storm in hubbsters family.

But I never thought I would see it in my lifetime!

The view out the blue room (aka guest room).

The view from the dining room.

In case you can't tell there is about a foot or so of snow around us.

Last Sunday (the 14th) I got a call about a late start. Then a cancellation. (I did a snoopy dance)

Then we went to school Tuesday and Wednesday (and very grumpy about it). And Thursday the storm hit...and school was cancelled for the rest of the week!


I got to finish my projects and get some shopping done. And admire our tree...

My mother-in-law bought it for us. I think she was tired of the little one foot tree I had for years. It is quite nice.

In my family, there is the tradition of building a Creche. My grandmother put hers on her sideboard complete with fake snow and a Victorian village (demonstrating that Nativity goes beyond the bounds of time and space).

My mother was the one who decided to put the scene under the tree. Complete with Precious Moments characters and giant bleating sheep.

It was only slightly disturbing -- I turned out alright at least.

Anyway, my mother-in-law had given me a few pieces from Grandma Molly's old set and a few special carved Santa's her father had made. He was quite the craftsman and did beautiful work.

Well, I just put it all together and...

...voila! Instant Creche!

The hubbster says it should be titled "Let All Creation Rejoice". I think Creche is just fine.

So, sometime on Wednesday we noticed our house was quite cold. I mean, it as all of 30 degree outside, but it was rather colder than it ought if one had the heat on...which we thought we did...

To make a long story short, we have singe mark on our ceiling, we made a treacherous trip to Home Depot, and I convinced el hubbster to purchase a ceramic heater for a mere $20 more so that we can be toasty warm. Which we are.

We just hope our pipes don't freeze while we visit mi familia in Tejas.

And my parents-in-law bought us a cellphone.


I swear we will be shoved into the 21st century scratching and screaming. Or at least putting up a well intentioned fuss.

So, we really can't leave (the condo, not the 21st cent). We were somewhat able to Saturday and I ended up lugging up groceries from TJs one block up to where we parked.

Some guy told me not pull a muscle.

Me: "Yeh..."

Guy: "It's cold out."

Me: :| "right..."

And after that more snow came...and now we can't get out.

I have grand plans for cross country skiing around our 'hood and sledding...but I can't seem to convince hubbster to do any of these things. I don't want to go alone because I might fall down and am not yet a master cc skier.

He tried to go to work today -- seriously.

And now we have to go to Houston tomorrow (hopefully) and I have yet to step foot more than once outside since Saturday.

Not joking.

But I am really loving it -- I get to be cozy warm in my house and all is grand :D

So is that cabin fever? Or am I just an introverted homebody?

Christmas 2008

Ugh - I don't like being on the new calendar.

It seems like a good idea to be in step with the rest of the world -- no confusion about when Christmas is celebrated.

But I am not liking it.

When I was on the old calendar I could ignore all of the cultural and familial pressures to have "The Best Christmas Ever".  I could say "meh, it isn't Christmas yet."

Not so on the new calendar.  I find myself even more and more stressed out about getting gifts finished on time to give to friends and family.

And I even tried to "go green" and vetted the idea of buying my relatives gifts from World Vision with my mother.

There was a pause, and then she said to me, as kindly as mothers can:

"No...I think they want stuff."

Fine - stuff it is.  But on my terms (and some what "green").

I have always been into home made Christmas gifts -- they have so much more meaning when someone has made something especially for you.

But, I did end up buying a few things for various relatives - books, sweaters, etc.  My little bro is "getting" an xBox for Christmas (which I think my dad will spend more time on) and I could have gotten him a game for the system...

...but I bought him 2 books and recorded a song for him from one of the books.

Which is way better than any xbox game...right?

Anyhow, I also wanted to upload pictures of some of my hand made gifts.

 (click on pic to "bigify" it)

I loved making these bags -- tres simple.

I also loved making shawls.

These little scarves were also fun -- I ended up using that flower on more than one occasion...I should make one for myself.

Tea towels are my favorite craft now...

...but they take a lot of time.

So, I started crocheting potholders to make a set (and less tea towel embroidery).

So, I have had a lot of fun making things!

Honestly, the best Christmas present for me would be a project. Give me something to make - the materials and patterns -- and I will give it back to you next Christmas.

It is a win-win really :D

Thursday, December 11, 2008

D@mn you Gossip Girl!

Sadly, ANTM and Project Runway have ended and Masterpiece Theater has gone on holiday as well.

So, I have taken to watching whatever comes on television when I grade papers in the evening.

I have now seen a total of...2 Gossip Girl episodes and therefore do not get the overall plot line.

Anyhow, d@mn them - they stole a plot line from my fan fiction.

No joke - I had always seen Tobias Snape and Acacia Evans as having a thing.

Acacia (nee Sheppard) Evans is the name I christened Lily Evan's mother.

As I see it, during WWII, Mr. Sheppard (I can't remember his first name, but I have it written down) was a spy for England in North Africa. His wife and child (Rose and Acacia) fled London during the bombings to their country estate in North England - the village where the Snapes reside.

While in the village, Acacia Sheppard becomes friends with Tobias Snape - they become friends, they throw snowballs, report the coordinate of enemy planes to the wire service, etc.

But then Acacia must go to St. Ethelburga's School for Lovely Ladies and never returns...for her father is found dead after being tortured in Egypt for his espionage. She and her mother do not return to the country estate but chose to move back to London.

And where is Eileen Prince while all of this is happening? Well, she is in the same village, watching Tobias from afar, and, having gained courage as a gobstones protege at Hogwarts, she fills the void that Acacia left in Tobias heart.

Years later, Rose Sheppard chooses to return to the country estate to end her days. Acacia has grown up, become a doctor, married, and is working in India with her husband as part of the World Health Organization.

Only when Acacia learns of her mother's death does she bring her family back to the village.

And Tobias falls in love with Acacia again. And Severus falls in love with Lily.

And it is all down hill from there. Seriously downhill...what with the wizarding war, unrequited love, malaria, and some powerful memory charms.

At least this is how I envision it - I am sure JK Rowling has a less epic and melodramatic history of these people. And different names for them.

Again, this is how *I* chose to fill the back story since JKR has not yet released this information or, perhaps, even thought about it.

But I do because I have a flair for the melodramatic...and perhaps "fangirl" the whole Sev/Lily thing far too much for my own good.

Which is why I was so mad that Gossip Girl stole my plot line. I don't know who everyone is on the show, but here is the plot line as I understand it from my two episode and a few commercials knowledge of it:

The blond girl (really pretty) and the black haired boy (too small a nose to be cute) like each other, are possibly in love with each other, but she has *issues* and he has *issues* possibly, but not totally, about each other.

Whatever - they totally like each other and want to be together, but the writers of the show are keeping them apart for the drama of it all.

And to further this divide, the boy' father and girl's mother were once in love, a long time ago, and are now free to be together and the boy and girl decide to be apart for their parents' sake because it would be far to freaky to date the son/daughter of your mom/dad's boyfriend/girlfriend.


Except the writers threw in some baby plot line that I totally do not understand - which was kind of cool, because some of the characters know the whole story and others don't and I got to be out of the loop so it was all a big mystery for me.

But the last scene in the train station I don't get - was their child put up for adoption? Or did she have an abortion?

I don't get it.

Whatever - the GG writers stole my plot line.

Except for the whole baby thing...and the requited love thing...whatever, same basic idea.

And they ironically (to me) named the mother Lily.

But I want to report that I came up with the whole thing first so that when I finally get my fanfic out there no one thinks that I am just copying the GG plot line.

I am perfectly capable of creating my own melodrama, thank you very much!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I am most sincerely M.A.D., a.k.a. reproductive rights

So after church (December 7th - aka the day most of the OCA in the Puget Sound area invaded St. K's), the hubbster and I get in the car and he immediately says to me:

"You need to stop giving such...thorough answers to questions."

Me: "ok"

LG: "you don't need to go into such detail."

Me: "ok!"

We had been talking to a gentleman of Brier, WA at the agape meal about: 1)if LG and I are related, 2) if we are the same ethnicity, 3) how long have we been married, 4) if we are planning on having children, 5) birth control, 6) how I don't want children because I teach all day, 7) how children perceive themselves in the world, and 8) how God's plans and our plans intersect and interact with one another.

Seriously - in that order!

I steadfastly exclaim that I do NOT want children in anyway shape or form right now. I am not the "Babies for Jesus" type of woman (you know, has six children and is hoping for number 7 any day now...).

I am more of the the "I need more time to explore myself and buy more shoes type of person."

I am selfish. And I am not afraid to say it.

Babies are a lot of work. They cry. They spit up all over your favorite clothes and consume a vast quantity of your budget. They *ruin* your body if: 1) you are a woman, 2) are a tiny woman who gains a lot of fat just on her own, much less eating for two, and 3) if you are woman whose skin does not stretch particularly well. (so, me basically)

For these reasons, I do not want children. They are not a priority right now - for me.


Yes, I married young. Yes, I like kids, which is why I teach (they are annoying and yet, entertaining - especially when they go home). Yes, I want to have LG's offspring because he has some excellent DNA that needs propagating.

But it doesn't mean that I need to have babies so soon.

Shoot - LG and I still *play*.

For example:

*In Whole Foods looking at baguettes*
LG: "Do you think you could joust with a baguette and break someones arm?"
Me: "Maybe..."
LG: :D "Want to try?"
Me: "Um, we are in a store..."
LG: "Come on..."
*I make a beeline to the check out counter*

Ok, maybe that is not totally how the conversation went, but do you really want me, who contemplated jousting with baguettes in a grocery store, to be a mom?

Don't answer that...

It just seems to me that *some* people out there - Orthodox or not - seem to think that having children by my age should be a priority.

In fact a fair number of people seem gung-ho on the idea.

Me: "meh"

Plus...there is the whole cancer thing.

I only have one boob, which means: 1) breast feeding = not fun, 2) cancer could come back to that boob, and 3) I will totally be lopsided after pregnancy.

I did not explain the cancer thing to the gentleman of Brier, but I was about ready to throw that in since I was being grilled. I need to learn to drink my tea fast and exclaim "oh, this needs refreshing" and sneak away.

So, in conclusion, until I become a little less selfish and vain, I am not ready for the whole kid thing.

But I have put myself on a five year plan...within five years if I get pregnant, than it is God's will.

If not, clearly God agrees that I have some growing up to do.

And that I should buy some more shoes. Or books. Or yarn!

Till then: peeps, friends, *relatives*...


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Questionable Odor

I am *this* close to changing the name of my blog to the above title.

Now, there is a lovely and fascinating tale regarding the title of this post.

It was just yesterday...

*cue fogginess of reminisce and then a subtle change to a clear scene*

...that I received a call on my school phone.


*me and fifth graders, who were thoroughly enjoying our math lesson, fell silent*

me: Yes?

Peggy on phone: Fire drill!

me: Thank you! Line up everyone!

*Fifth graders dropped their pencils like it'was hawt and lined up against the wall - it was super cute*

me, yelling from front of the line by the door: Who's at the end of the line?

*Zac waved his hand from the back*

me: Zac close the door on your way out. Let's go!

We made our way out to the playground, me hushing my students, they attending to my request for one second and then proceeding the chat, and we joined the mass of students making their way to the cement playground. It was totally grey outside - a fine mist was in the air and the asphalt was slick.

I had to repremand several sixth grade boys for trying to slide down the asphalt easement on our way to the large space between the big toy and basketball hoops - where we always gather for a fire drill.

I whispered to my fifth graders to go to their homeroom teacher. They did - they are too cute.

We huddle around, students and teachers alike; it is cold and the teachers are especially stunned since we are normally warned when we will get fire drills, earthquake drills, fire-breathing monster drills, etc.

Finally, the principal had checked in with every classroom and said something to this effect:

Principal: "Thank you boys and girls for coming out - it could be a little quicker."

"We are going to wait outside for just a bit...there has been a questionable odor in the school-"

*students and teachers began to twitter - there was a good deal of muffled giggling from the junior high kids*

" - and when it has been inspected-"

*more giggles*

"- then we can go in."

And she walked away, leaving her staff to corral a whole school of students on a wet playground who had just learned their favorite new phrase:

Questionable Odor

Now, according to some, there was an odor - but it was indescribable.

Others in the building say that there was no odor - it was invisible.

I was in the "math cave", which is disconnected from the school as it in the rectory basement - so it was ignorable.

But according to the principal it was questionable...which of course begs the question...


Of course the students had MANY theories, which they asked me about on our way back the the math cave.

"Mrs. K - what kind of odor is questionable?"

"What is a questionable odor?"

"Are we going to have homework tonight?"

During the sojourn on the playground, all of the teachers really wanted to know:

Could we possibly go home because of a "questionable odor"?

Because it would not only mean a day off, but a great conversation starter.

Or blog post.

*end reminisce*