2/28/2011

To Kill a Mockingbird

     To Kill a Mockingbird was amazing, and I wish I understood it better than I do. I read a review on it that said you would want to read it again as soon as you finished it, and that was true for me. I think one of the greatest things about the book is how it was written in such a simple easy way, and spoke simple truths, but left you thinking and pondering for a long time afterwards. In a way, it’s not much of a story, it’s just a telling of something that could have happened in real life. It doesn’t have a very intricate plot, it’s only about a black man being accused by a white man of something he didn’t do, and the turmoil that follows.
    Told from the perspective of a tomboy named Scout, it’s also a story about her, her brother Jem, their friend Dill, and the small Southern town they live in. Most of all it’s a story about Scout and Jem’s father defending the black man, Tom, and what happens to the town when the jury finds Tom guilty, simply because the black man never wins against prejudice.
    I don’t really know how to conclude this, because the book isn’t really concluded in my mind yet. I’m not sure it ever will be concluded. It poses a lot of questions about prejudice, hatred, human nature and growing up. And maybe it answers some of them, but I’m not sure they can all be answered. Questions are important though, and we ought to think about them, even if they can’t be answered, so read this book for the story... and read it for the questions. 

2/26/2011

Great-Grandma's Tin Can

Yesterday, when I was looking around for random fabric scraps, I remembered this! It's a tin can full of my Great-Grandma Wildermuth's quilt blocks. I'm not going to use any of them, of course, but they're lots of fun to look at.

It's a flower!

The one with green dots and the one with orange mice crack me up.

Other scraps. I like the one in the middle with the purple and blue flowers.

Some finished quilt blocks.

And that's what you'll find in my Great-Grandma's tin can! I never knew her, but it's really cool to look at these and think and wonder about her.

Oh, and I found this cute flower clip thingy made out of yarn too. I wonder if I could figure out how she made it?

2/25/2011

Miniature Photo-board Thingummy

     I don't know what these are called, but you can tell what it is, right? It's modeled after my full-sized one that I haven't used yet, only it's different colors, (and it's only two inches by three inches!) I would have preferred a different color material, instead of white, but maybe I can pick up some cheap scraps at Wal-mart and make another one! I'd also like some sheets of cork, and then I could make mini cork-boards. I had originally intended to make one with cork, but we didn't have any. Oh well, it turned out fine, because then I thought of this! The little photos are pretty amazing, they're thumbnails that came with some full-sized photos my grandma sent us. They aren't quite the right scale, but they're very close. The ribbons are actually quilling paper. Maybe I'll buy some real ribbons, but these worked pretty well. Anyway, this was really fun, and I thought I would share it with you. I have a ton of ideas for making other ones, so maybe I'll have more to share soon! =)  And maybe next time I won't get so much hot glue all over myself!

P.S.  I'm back to the bird background! I kind of missed my birds...
Now our backyard is flooded!

And of course, the front yard still is too.
Is this what it's like here every spring? It looks like the boys will have plenty of chances to float around in our front yard! The worse thing is, it kind of smells, and it's bringing floating trash into the yard. Ugh. More cleanup! In a way it's kind of fun, but mostly I'd rather not have my yard flooded, especially since the dogs are always getting wet and muddy. Then we have to dry them off whenever they come in, and they look so miserable, I feel very guilty not taking care of them, but I don't like doing it. One of these days we are supposed to be moving to a larger house in town, but it seems very far away. We were supposed to close on it on March 7, but something went wrong with the plumbing, and now someone has to do repairs, and it is going to take forever and ever. The more I have to wait, the more I want to move. Our house is way too small for six people, and it doesn't help to have a flooded yard. 

2/24/2011

     This was supposed to be part of the post with the pictures, but it was really acting up and being difficult, so I just made this separate.

     I woke up in the middle of the night to the biggest storm I've seen in a long time. All I could think of is that all the trees were going to get struck by lightning, and fall over, and burn up. In the middle of the night I have a pretty extraordinary imagination. It was somewhat legitimate though, considering all of those tall, half-dead trees, and our adventures with them. In the morning, poor Pookie and Piper were absolutely soaked. I think they had a pretty rough night. We let them in and dried them off, and then they just slept and slept for hours. It was a little difficult to dry Piper off, because she felt it was necessary to charge the towel and tear it into pieces. I felt like a bullfighter waving the towel around and trying to avoid a wet muddy dog. School didn't go enormously well with a late start, and I'm afraid I still have to catch up on history tests and stuff. Ugh. For a surprise, we went to Pizza Hut for lunch with Dad before he had to go to work and Sam and I had to go to piano class. I cracked up, because they had the most hilarious waitress who reminded me of Lucy in the I Love Lucy Show. It was hilarious, she talked like her, and acted like her, and laughed like her. She even looked kind of like her, except she had dark hair. Then when I pointed it out to Mom, she agreed, and kept cracking up too. We went to Wal-mart after that, because we needed dog food, and Jason wanted to get Ben's birthday present. I took Jason, but he couldn't find what he was thinking of, so then we went and looked at the toys forever. He couldn't decide, and couldn't decide, and then I realized that we were probably running late for class. Just then Sam ran around the corner to find us, and off we went. Jason will have to wait until we go to town on Sunday to buy a present. At least I helped him find some ideas. I can't believe Ben is going to be nine! His birthday is on March 8, which isn't far away! Piano class went well. We're supposed to do a piece called the Forty-Finger Ensemble, which means four of us have to play different parts all at once. It's kind of cool, except I am nervous that either I'll mess up and mess everybody else up, or one of my partners will mess up and mess me up. That's a lot of messes. Sam has the fourth part, and the other group doesn't have a fourth person, because two people didn't come to class, so he has to play his twice. Fortunately, he got the easiest one, and he's not somebody who would mind doing it twice. Also fortunately, he got a part low down, and I got one high up, so we should be able to practice it together on one keyboard at home. When we got back we played in our flooded front yard (see below), and then I spent forever getting this stupid blogger thing to upload the pictures right. Now I have to do some school, practice piano, etc. So off I go...

Flood Thursday

Last night it stormed like crazy, and this is what our front yard looks like now...
            
An island

Benjamin

Piper

Sam decided to make a plywood boat, but as you see below, it immediately sunk.

Me lecturing Sam not to drop my camera.

Me (and Piper in the background)

Jason. I love how his hair was parted in the middle all funny.

Benjamin again

He's cute, but don't tell him I said so.

Jason being a ham

Of course the boat idea was too good to abandon...

So they went and found an old inner tube somewhere.

Think it will work?

Hurray it worked!

Jason takes a ride.

Here we all are on the island




 And, um, there's suddenly this big gap here. As you can see, I don't entirely have this blogging thing figured out...


















Sam orders Ben to go get a rope, and Ben orders Jason to go get it. :-)



Jason

After this I attempted to ride, but I fell in and got really wet and cold, and that was the end of it for me.



2/23/2011

Milkweed

     This is one of my favorite books about World War II, and I think I cried when I finished it. Okay, I cried. It’s told from the perspective of a little kid who has nobody, and lives on the streets. He doesn’t remember where he came from, and he doesn’t know what his name is, but he thinks it must be Stopthief, because that’s what people yell at him. One day Uri finds him, and takes him under his wing. Uri tells him that his name is Misha Pilsudski, and makes up a story for him about where he came from. From then on, he lives with Uri and his friends, all of whom belong nowhere, just like Misha. He makes friends with a wealthy little girl named Janina, and comes to her house to eat her birthday cake with her. Janina confides that she and her family are Jews, and as a result of that fact, it is not long before they are sent to live in the Jewish ghetto along with Misha and Uri, and everyone else people don’t want. Times are rather turbulent and confused, of course, and things are even more confused seen through the eyes of Janina and Misha, who don’t understand. The only thing Misha understands is that he doesn’t want to be a Nazi anymore. Once he wanted his own pair of shiny jackboots, just like them, but now he’s pretty sure he hates Nazis. The story reaches a climax on the day when the trains come to take away the Jews, and everyone who lives in the ghetto. Janina and her family disappear on the trains, and Misha wanders down the tracks after them. Eventually he runs into a farmer, and he tells the farmer that he’s a filthy son of Abraham, and that the trains left him behind when they took everybody to the ovens. The farmer doesn’t care or understand, but he takes Misha to his farm where he forces him to work for three years. When Misha finally gets away, the war is over, but he still lives in the past. Even as a man, when he’s immigrated to the U.S. he still stands on street corners babbling about Uri and Janina to anyone who will listen. And that’s when I cried. It was so sad, because he was just an ordinary little kid. Just a little kid. That’s all the book was about, it wasn’t about a hero or a brave escape, it was just about people who got stuck in it all. And that’s why this is a book I’ll remember; partly because it’s superbly written, but mostly because it’s about people who were just people.

2/22/2011

New background...

The nice little birds have gone goodbye for a while, because I am really in the mood for spring and green-ness. I wish it was this pretty where I live. So anyway, a little temporary change. :-)

Best friends? Aaaaa!!

     Have you ever met someone who totally does not pick up on social cues? It’s very unfortunate if someone like that decides to be your friend. For one thing, you’re quite positive you don’t want to be their friend, and for another, they’ll want you to be their best friend. And you probably already have some perfectly good best friends, and even if you don’t, you probably don’t even want to be worst friends with them. The difficult thing about it is they don’t pick up on social cues, remember? So if you ignore them, and don’t talk to them about subjects they want to talk about and you don’t, they probably won’t even notice. You can’t really avoid them either, because they’re the type of people who will stalk you. Eventually you realize you’re never going to get rid of this person, unless you are really mean to them, or tell them “ I would rather be friends with a poison-spewing, flea-bitten piranha.” Sadly, that would be really, extremely cruel, and you’re actually a nice person, but you really, really need to get rid of your new best friend. It’s even harder if you’re a sympathetic person, and you know that this person has been treated badly, and doesn’t have any friends. However, you do have to live your life, so what do you do? I don’t know! Let me know if you find out... because let me tell you: it’s a problem!

P.S. As my mom pointed out, I'm not talking about people who just aren't entirely with it, I'm talking about kids my age who ought to know better. Just thought I'd clarify that. 

2/21/2011

Jane of Lantern Hill, and others...

Practically everyone knows and loves Anne of Green Gables. But not many people have read the rest of L.M. Montgomery’s books, such as Emily of New Moon or Magic for Marigold. One of her best books ever, (in my opinion), is Jane of Lantern Hill. It’s about a girl named Jane Victoria, who lives with her mother, aunt and grandmother in a dreary old mansion. Her Grandmother is a spiteful old woman who holds Jane in high contempt, always reprimanding her and putting her down. Not only that, Jane’s mother is a meek unhappy little person, who won’t stand up to Grandmother, and lives under her thumb. All in all it is a very oppressing life, and the fastidious Aunt Gertrude who keeps everything stark clean hardly helps. The only things that brightens Jane’s life is her friend Jody who lives next door, and the moon, where she goes every night in her imaginings. Then suddenly, everything changes overnight, when Jane is told by a malicious schoolgirl that her father is still living, but that her mother left him because of Jane. Jane angrily confronts her mother and grandmother, who finally tell her the story, which Jane accepts as truth. She grows to hate the man who hurt her wonderful mummy so badly, but just as she decides to hate him, her father sends a letter demanding that they send Jane to be with him over the summer. They are all perfectly horrified, but he has a legal right to her, and it is finally agreed that she must go. Jane knows it is going to be awful, until she meets her father. It’s like she’s known him all her life! They’re kindred spirits, and she can’t believe she ever hated him. Not only that, but P.E. Island is wonderful, and she and Dad, as she now calls him, are buying the most perfect little white house on Lantern Hill, not far from the shore. Jane sets up housekeeping, and enjoys it immensely. She meets new friends, discovers her hidden talents, and does everything wonderful that Grandmother would disapprove of. There’s only one thing, though. How could two perfect people like Mummy and Dad not love each other? If only they were all together, she would never have to live in the dreary old place with Grandmother again, and she knows it would be wonderful. The more Jane finds out, the more she think it was just a misunderstanding, and the more she hates Grandmother for coming between them, and she determines that somehow her little family will be together again. But I won’t tell you how it ends, because you should read it yourself... :-)

2/20/2011

Warm weather :-)

I told them to smile, and they did.
I am really, really liking having spring in February! It's beautiful outside. After we got back from church, I changed into short-sleeves and flip-flops and sat outside in a camping chair with Piper while I read my book. There's a lot of wind out that sometimes wrapped my hair all around my face, but I didn't mind too much. It was a friendly wind. :-) When I got tired of my book we (Piper and me) went for a walk, and I ran up and down the path barefoot with her. Whoever first said you could only go barefoot in months without an R was totally senseless. They probably never went barefoot in their life. It's perfectly lovely to go barefoot in February if you can! We had our ham and bean lunch at church, which was an experience. We got introduced to a lot of Southern dishes from this area. I'm afraid I didn't like very many of them. The ham and beans and cornbread was all good, but as for such things as turnip greens... Well, I didn't even try them, because I definitely shared the opinion of the little girl who loudly announced, "Eww!!" when she saw them. However, as her aunt admonished her, everyone has their own tastes, and some people like turnip greens. I can't imagine who! They kind of reminded me of when I was little, and I stuffed a whole bunch of weeds and water in a jar for my 'soup' or whatever it was. It would sit in the shed forever, and get all wilted and rotten and smell bad. Gross! Mom's chocolate cake was wonderful, and everyone loved it. I don't think we're working on trees today. That's because we keep the Sabbath. Just kidding. We do not keep the Sabbath, and even if we did, the Sabbath is on Saturday, not Sunday. Most people don't seem to know that. However, we do seem to rest on Sunday, just because. Part of it is that Dad is teaching the book of Daniel on Sunday nights, so he has to get ready for that. Well, Toodles! I'm off to enjoy my day of rest... :-)

2/19/2011

Sticks, Reagan, and Cookies

Just because this post needed a picture. This is Jason's sword made with only sticks and mud. Pretty creative, huh? As you can obviously see, I had no trouble getting him to pose with his new, uh... weapon.
     We mostly spent today cleaning up fallen trees and brush, and burning it. There is a TON of stuff to pick up, and all the trees are really old and half dead, so more keep coming down. : -(  Ugh. I don't like it much. I don't like a lot of work very much. :-) My Uncle Paul might be coming next week to help us. That would be a big help. He and my mom and her family all have a ridiculous work ethic that terrifies me. I think it's because they lived on a farm, and had a German dad. That means I'm a quarter German, but I don't have any German characteristics like that at all. In fact it's hard for me to imagine that I'm German. On the other side I'm Swedish, and I don't know what else. What are Swedish people like? I don't know. Maybe they're lazy and fun-loving and that's where I get it from. Anyhow, other than picking up sticks and burning stuff, I've been reading, playing computer games, and watching a long movie about Ronald Reagan with Mom and Jason. I can't imagine Jason actually finds it interesting. I'm guessing he just feels special watching it with me and Mom. It's kind of odd, Ronald Reagan is all over the place these days. I guess it's around his one hundredth birthday (if he was still living). Also for some reason Obama keeps talking about how much he admires Reagan. It seems really weird that Obama wants to be like Reagan, because from watching that movie, he's doing the entire opposite thing Reagan did. Reagan was against big government, and cut spending, and all the opposite things Obama is doing. I can't really figure it out. There's an article in TIME magazine about Obama and Reagan, but it looked to boring for me to actually read. There was a short one by Reagan's daughter though, that was easy to read and pretty cool. I'm fairly sure I like Reagan better than Obama. Positive, actually. Tomorrow they're having a ham and bean lunch at church. I don't know why it's ham and beans. I think they had leftover ham bones from Christmas or something. Mom's making a chocolate cake for it, using an amazing recipe she has, and Dad is making cookies. Which is a little odd, because Dad's a very good cook, but he rarely bakes anything. I don't know if the cookies are for church though. They might be just for us. I think he's making my favorite recipe, chocolate cookies with chocolate chips and walnuts. It's delicious! This was a rather scatter-brained post, and I don't know what the title is going to be. German work ethic, Obama-Reagan, and cookies and cake? How about Sticks, Reagan, and Cookies. I think I'll go with that one. Not that anyone will have a clue what it means until they read it.

2/18/2011

Doggie Personalities

Pookie begging for love and attenion.

Piper, sitting still for a moment. Aren't they both beautiful?
     I never thought much about dogs having their own personalities. Or I should say I did, but I didn’t realize that you could have two dogs of the same breed, with entirely different personalities. However, that is exactly the case with my German Shepherd, Piper, and Sam’s German Shepherd, Phoebe (otherwise known as Pookie). Piper is one of the most exceptionally intelligent active dogs I have ever met, where on the other hand, Phoebe is exceptionally lazy, laid-back, and friendly. Not to say that Piper is not friendly and doesn’t love people, but Phoebe adores people, and is determined that all people should adore her back. Not to say either, that Pookie is not as intelligent as Piper, she is just devoted to eating food, and being patted, and staying at home, whereas Piper is devoted to doing things, going on walks, being extremely active, and poking her nose into absolutely everything. The funny thing is that Sam and I managed to each get a dog with the exact opposite personality of our own. Samuel doesn’t have an un-busy bone in his body, and is constantly on the move, doing something or other. As for me, I tend to be laid-back, and I stay at home reading, using the computer, and yes, I admit: being lazy. This doesn’t always work well with the dogs, however. When Sam wants to be outside all day, Pookie will simply grow tired of running around, and flop down for a nap. And when I want to cuddle in my bedroom with a napping doggie while reading a book, Piper most likely wants to go out hiking in the back, so she can chase rabbits and birds all over the place. The unfortunate consequence of this, is that sometimes Piper and I have an identity crisis. She forgets that I exist, and attaches herself to Sam instead, which makes me furious. Pookie and Sam don’t have these problems, because Pookie always gets the kind of attention she wants and more!  So the long and short is, before I realize it, my dog has given up on me, and follows Sam around. Which is Sam’s fault, because he likes to play with her, and race her up and down the yard. It really goes against Sam’s grain to have a lazy dog, and he constantly denies that Pookie is lazy, but the fact remains that she is. The best solution, of course, would be to switch dogs, which Mom has suggested, but we are both adamantly opposed to that, and can’t you see why? They’re our dogs, and we love them. Piper is MINE. It remains to convince me that I’m hers, however. It’s not constantly a problem, but it has been recently, so we had to come up with a solution. The solution is this: Sam does not touch, feed or play with my dog, and I don’t pat his. And as for me, I have to pay attention to Piper, and play games with her even when I feel lazy. And maybe Sam will have to be a little laid-back for the sake of his Pookie. I hope so, because I shouldn’t be the only one who has to work. :-) And the truth is, Piper does love me, and I love her a whole lot. And I will pay attention to her, and she will pay attention to me. But the moral of the story is, Sam : Relax! Me: Be aggressive, and work hard at being the owner of a lovely gorgeous dog named Piper.  

2/17/2011

Timber!

 I was kind of startled to see our neighbor Norma at the door. I had thought it was just Jason rapping on the glass door like that. She wanted to know if my Dad was out watching the fires. I said that yes, both of my parents were watching the fires. She said oh, well she didn't know if it was out of control, and I said as far as I knew it was perfectly under control. Then she asked how we were doing, and I said fine, and blah blah blah, whatever you're supposed to say to nosy neighbors. Then she drove off, and I went back to my schoolwork. And that's when the fire got out of control. The first thing I heard was that a huge cypress tree was on fire, and that the fire department was going to come. I went out to investigate, and found out that the middle of the tree was on fire. Evidently it was hollow, and it was going to completely burn up, and probably burst into flames and catch everything else on fire. The next thing I heard was that a poor squirrel had inhaled to much smoke, and was lying up in the tree half-dead. That information was courtesy of the boys. I was still expecting the fire department, and wondering if Norma would come over again, but then they said it would cost five hundred dollars. What? I thought fire trucks were for free! Oh well. We handled it on our own. Dad cut the tree down, and made Mom very nervous in the process, and then we all cut it up and hauled it away.
We had to stop the fire from spreading all the way up the tree, so we sprayed it with water, and then Dad cut away the part that was on fire. It took a long time to get it cut and pull it away with the tractor, but we got it before it spread.


The fallen tree. It is kind of sad, because it was a really big, amazing tree.

Timber! All my family is quite impressed that I got a picture of it while it was falling. Can you see the person on the other side of the tree, running away? That's Dad. The tree wouldn't fall, and just kept swaying, so he kept going back and cutting some more. Mom was not happy, but he lived, even though we all thought he might get squashed before our very eyes. It was a pretty hairy, hectic day because of this tree. I'm still not done with school, and we were almost late for piano class. Actually we were, because to begin with, Dad drove off to work with Mom's keys, and then we practically ran out of gas. Like I said, quite the hairy day.

2/16/2011

Books about pious children. Ugh!

    I despise Elsie Dinsmore books. The thought of them fills me with horror. And I really, really don’t like any other books about pious, sanctimonious children. To be fair, I really haven’t read the Elsie Dinsmore books, past scanning one briefly when I was nine or ten, and I don’t even possess any knowledge of the basic storyline. However I gathered that Elsie was a very, very holy child who never did anything wrong, and suffered very much for doing good, and constantly wrestled with her conscience, and never had any fun. Perfectly awful. Who wants to read about that? I promptly put the book down, and never had any desire to pick it up again. I’ve also had some experience with other old religious books for children, and I did not like them either. I do not like pious children. Pious is supposed to be something good, I think, but somehow the word pious always brings to mind sanctimonious, holier-than-thou people who absolutely kill any joy or pleasure that us less pious people thought we were perfectly right in enjoying. So anyway, maybe if I read more about Elsie I would be able to stand her, but I doubt it. I would far rather read about a bad or interesting child than a pious one who wrestles with their conscience and feels very penitent when they are bad. No doubt about what kind of child I am, I guess...    

2/15/2011

Why I should probably keep my room clean.

I finally got around to cleaning my room, after procrastinating forever (one of my bad habits), and I discovered several interesting things buried under my stuff. The first thing I found was twenty dollars! It was in a cool basket with a lid that my Grandma brought home from Mexico, along with a large amount of dried rose petals. Don't ask. I don't know. Then I found this pair of earrings that I was afraid I had lost forever. I made them out of postage stamps, and even though everyone thinks they're strange, I like them. Although I have yet to wear them. They're kinda big and startling. I'm hoping to find some smaller postage stamps, and make some different kinds. I also found a funny poem I wrote a while ago. Apparently I was having trouble with school. I'm glad I don't feel that way right now. This is it:

I studied so hard my brain popped.
It flew to the ceiling, then flopped
Down to the wall, then it plopped
Onto the floor where it stopped.

It's impossible to study anymore,
Since my brains are lying on the floor.
They've been overloaded, as you clearly see,
I don't think they'll work till the next century.

I most strongly suggest a vacation.
I'm sure there's a direct correlation,
Between popping brains, and too much school,
And popping brains just are not cool. 

Lol. I guess I was having a rough time of it. In conclusion, it might be a good idea to keep my room clean, for the sake of keeping my money and earrings and poems where they belong. But most of all, because I might get in trouble if I don't. ;-)  I don't foresee ever finding twenty dollars again. Although, I don't know, I do keep my money in odd places. I'm not telling where though...
Well, I better be going. Should be time for lunch pretty soon, and we're having some delicious stromboli. (bread stuffed with cheese sausage and egg. Yum!) After that Dad's taking Sam and me to piano class. See ya!

2/14/2011

God's sense of humor

I think that God has a sense of humor. Maybe I’m just making that up because I like the idea, but if you think about it, it does make sense. How could he create us with a sense of humor if he didn’t have one himself? Some people seem to think it’s a sin to have a sense of humor, but frankly, they’re the most miserable people I know of. In my opinion a sense of humor is absolutely vital to the experience of being a human. How can you survive if you don’t have one? I mean, sometimes you have to laugh or cry, and I think you’ll live longer if you choose to laugh. :-) Besides too many things in this world are just plain hilarious, and more than one situation I’ve been in seems like it’s been engineered by somebody with a keen sense of humor. I think that God must laugh an awful lot. Not at us, but with us, at least if we have the good grace to laugh. In conclusion, I’m quite convinced that God has a sense of humor, and if he doesn’t than I have to wonder what he was thinking when he made me.

2/13/2011

It's a beautiful day!

My favorite antique metal donkey who lives on the windowsill with pretty bottles and rose petals.  Kinda random, but he's really nice. :-)
Today was bee-yoo-tee-ful! I think that maybe, just maybe, spring is on the way! That would be lovely. I think Spring is my favorite season. Fall and Summer are sometimes my favorites too. Winter is probably my least favorite. Anyway, I am hoping that since we moved farther South, we will be getting Spring sooner! After we got home from church we played games outside, and ran around like crazy with the dogs, because it was so gorgeous outside. Then Mom wanted us to clean up outside, so we picked up sticks and trash for an hour or so. You wouldn't believe the amount of sticks the dogs drag into the  yard! Pookie is the main culprit. She has this habit of picking up a stick when she wants to go home, and trotting off towards the deck. I don't know what her deal is. It's something weird she picked up when she was little. Sam used to give her a stick to take home whenever they finished their walk. I don't know why, but apparently it makes perfect sense to Pookie! Now we're just sitting around the house. I really ought to be cleaning my room. It's such a mess I can't do my school or anything in there, and if I say that, it's sure to be awful! I work fine in all of my clutter, it's lovely clutter. :-) But when I can't move without stepping on something I should probably clean up. Sigh! Well I guess I am going to clean up then. Here's hoping I don't get lost in there. It's highly likely.

2/12/2011

Poem of the day

Be Like the Bird
by Victor Hugo

Be like the bird, who
Halting in his flight
On limb to slight
Feels it give way beneath him,
Yet sings
Knowing he hath wings.

Homemade Buttons

Polymer clay is good for almost anything.

I don't know what I'd ever use these for, but they're pretty fun to make. 

2/11/2011

Let Me Be a Woman, by Elisabeth Elliot

Although I admire Elisabeth Elliot, and I know that she has a lot of good things to say, I have to admit I have a hard time with this book. Maybe part of it is that I don’t know what to think about my place as a woman. I don’t even know what I want to think about it, and that’s an interesting situation to be sure! I’m quite happy with the prospect of being a wife and mother someday, and I don’t have a whole lot of admiration for ultra-feminists who want to be exactly the same as men. I view that as quite ridiculous, because I know that I am not a man, and I don’t want to be. On the other hand, I have a deep horror of people who go on and on about women submitting, and turn it into some awful practice that I’m quite sure the Bible does not support. And that’s where I start to have problems with this book. It really rankles me to listen to people talk about the woman always submitting and sacrificing, and going on and on about how anything else would be wrong. In particular I despise the theory that since Eve was created from Adam, she was made to be under him. And even more particularly I hate it when people say that Eve was the one who brought sin into the world, and that if she had just gone to her husband first, he might have prevented it. Phooey! It was part of the curse that man would rule over woman, not ‘creation order’ as they call it. And don’t you think Eve was perfectly intelligent and knew what she was doing without her husband’s guidance? And don’t forget, Adam wasn’t perfect either. He sinned just as much as Eve, and if you go with the theory that he was superior, and knew what God said, and she didn’t, he sinned even worse than her! I can’t really think of any conclusion on what I thought about this book. There were some good things about it, but I know that it’s used to support some pretty ridiculous stuff, and I really don’t like where it might go. I don't even disagree with much of anything she says, I'm just uncomfortable with some of it.

2/10/2011

Some people make me want to be bad.

    Some people make me want to be bad. Most particularly it is legalistic patriarchal homeschoolers who have that effect on me. There’s something about them that just makes me want to do something absolutely wicked and shocking. Of course, seeing as I usually try to avoid doing horribly wicked things, that might not be such a great idea. On the other hand, it wouldn’t have to be something that’s actually wrong. I’ll bet they’d be quite horrified`if I dyed my hair purple or wore jeans to church, and then I could feel that I was a truly wicked person without doing anything wrong. Actually I do wear jeans to church, but thankfully there are no legalistic homeschoolers attending. Unless you count us, and some people might, considering the facts that we don’t have a TV (gasp!), and we homeschool and have four children. Like I’ve mentioned before, some people have evidently never seen four children all in one place. That might be part of why Those People have a negative effect on my morals. It becomes my number one priority to distinguish myself from them, when they’re around. However seeing as I am no longer going to church with people like them, I no longer have sudden impulses to dye my hair purple. And I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing.  

2/09/2011

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

    Yesterday I got a book in the mail that used to be one of my absolute favorites. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase! Naturally, my only sensible option was to read it right there on the spot. It was an easy read, and only took me a few hours, probably because it was more meant for a ten-year-old than me, but that’s okay. It was everything I remembered, and I declare it still a favorite.
    The story begins at Willoughby Chase, an enormous mansion where a little girl named Bonnie and her parents live. A pack of bloodthirsty wolves lives outside, but nobody minds them, because it’s warm and safe inside. Bonnie’s orphaned cousin Sylvia is coming to stay with them, and so is their new governess Miss Slighcarp. Miss Slighcarp is a fourth cousin of some sort, and has come highly recommended.
    Most unfortunately, as soon as Bonnie’s parents depart on a voyage round the world, Miss Slighcarp promptly proves herself an absolute scoundrel. She begins by shutting Bonnie up in a cupboard, and dismissing all of the kind servants. Then, with the help of her partner Mr. Grimshaw, she proceeds to destroy all of the papers pertaining to Willoughby Chase, replacing them with forgeries which deed everything to her. Not only that, the children are told that Bonnie’s parents have drowned, and they are sure Miss Slighcarp contrived to send them off on an un-safe boat. 
    Bonnie and Sylvia discover a secret passage, and with the help of a few devoted friends, make various plans to thwart the evil Miss Slighcarp. All is lost, however, when she sends them off to an awful orphanage. Bonnie, who is a bit of a fireball, cannot stand this terrible place, and the wicked director Mrs. Brisket, and it is not long before she plans an escape with the help of her friend Simon.
    Eventually, Simon, Sylvia, and Bonnie reach London, where at last they find people to help them, and they march back to Willoughby Chase with the police to arrest Mr. Grimshaw and Miss Slighcarp. But what’s this? Willoughby Chase is now a school for the children of nobility! All the lovely furnishings are gone, and the walls are covered in blackboards. Not only that, the chase is also occupied by Mrs. Brisket, and all of her mistreated orphans.
    And, surprise of surprises, just as they arrest Miss Slighcarp and Mrs. Brisket, Bonnie’s parents appear. They aren’t drowned after all. And so, of course, Bonnie and her parents do the only sensible thing to be done, and lock the villains in the slimy dungeon, and start a school for mistreated orphans. And there you have it! Not realistic, perhaps, but a most delightful tale anyhow.

2/08/2011

A word about homeschoolers

Homeschoolers are weird. I’m allowed to say that because I am one. Of course, I fancy myself less weird than all the rest of them, but I’m not sure how true that is. ;-)
                 Some homeschoolers are weird in a good way. They think outside the box, and have a different view on life than most people, but they aren’t scared of the real world, and they don’t try to make everyone be like them. They try not to creep people out, and they don’t freak out about the way other people are.
                Then of course, there’s the homeschoolers who are weird in a bad way. Trying to describe these ones can give you some trouble, so I will skip over the part about their strange beliefs and appearances, and keep it to the point. When you see this kind of homeschooler, run because they are out to get you and convince you of the evil of your ways. You will never escape them, and even if you do, you will probably be traumatized for the rest of your life.
                How are you supposed to tell the difference? That’s where it becomes a bit of a problem. First impressions are a good clue. If you never know that they’re homeschooled until they tell you, then they are probably okay. If they creep you out from the very beginning, you should probably avoid them at all costs.
                I hope you found this helpful. Maybe I have exaggerated a little, or been overly dramatic. The point is, all homeschoolers are a little weird because they can’t help it, but please be nice to us pleasant ones, because we have to put up with the creepy ones too.

2/06/2011

Saturday's project.

This is what I made on Saturday.

Like them? I made them out of clay and covered them in scraps from a catalog.
Have to go now, we are off to church for the Sunday evening service, which my Dad is teaching. After that we are going to watch the Super Bowl at a friend's house, who evidently has one of those recording TVs. I know nothing about football, and I'm not interested in knowing anything, but there should be some good snacks. ;-) Okay, I'm going now...

2/05/2011

Saturday! :-) :-) :-)

    Today is Saturday! The weather continues to be nasty, just like everywhere else in the country. We don’t have blizzards or ice or anything, though. Just bitter, bitter cold and an ever so light dusting of snow. I was going to slowly wake up in my pajamas, and read, and play a computer game, but after a while I felt guilty for not caring for my doggy-child, so I got dressed, and put on my glasses. I avoid wearing my glasses on Saturday morning, because as soon as I put them on I feel much more wide awake, and the point of Saturday morning is to stay sleepy as long as you can. ;-) I was going to invite Piper in to lie on her towel, because then I could feel like I was giving her some quality time, but I could keep reading my book. Normally she is willing to settle in with a biscuit, and she even drifts off to sleep. Unfortunately, that was not the case this morning. As soon as I let her in I realized she was an uncontrollable energy bomb, so I was compelled to take her on a walk. She was absolutely crazy, racing up and down the path, and bounding through the brush chasing imaginary creatures. Or at least they seemed imaginary to me, with my human nose. Piper, however, knew that a rabbit had been there five hours ago! I talked to her the whole way about various subjects, mostly about how my ears were slowly turning to ice and were going to break off very soon. She was unimpressed, in fact, I believe she was completely ignoring me. When we got back to the house, I fed her, and told her to run around and around in circles to burn her energy, and now I am sitting here, deciding what to do with my Saturday. I really ought to do something creative or productive. But we shall see. I don’t often do what I ought to on Saturdays. I can be proud of myself for reading though, because I’m reading a book by Harriet Beecher Stowe, which means it is both a classic and historical, and it makes me use my brain. Did you know there were books besides Uncle Tom’s Cabin by her? I didn’t, but I found one called Oldtown Folks at the library. I’ve already tried to read it twice, but this time I promise myself I am really going to do it. I think I tried nearly seven different times to read Uncle Tom’s Cabin. That’s kind of the way it is with me and classics. I know they’re good books, but sometimes I almost have to read it out loud to follow them. I’m really glad when I finish one though! I am off to read my book, then, and maybe by the time I’m bored of that, Piper will be calmed down enough to let inside.

2/04/2011

Things I wish people wouldn't say to me...

    My hair is very long, to say the least, almost long enough to sit on. It’s been that length for a long time, and I happen to like it that way. Maybe I will cut it someday, but maybe I won’t. I don’t really mind people commenting on it or asking about it, except when they mention Locks of Love. Not that Locks of Love isn’t a good idea, and I’m sure lots of unfortunate people benefit from it, but I find it very aggravating when people think they should educate me about it. They always ask, “Have you ever heard of Locks of Love?” and I nod or say something, while I’m thinking, yes I have, about a million times! Then they want to know if I’ve ever thought about donating my hair. I don’t know what to say at that point, so I just shrug, while I’m thinking, yes I have, since a million different nosy people like you have shoved it in my face. Then, if I’m especially unlucky that day, they say, “I think your hair is long enough.” or “They’d be glad to have your hair, you know.” Aaaaaaa!!!!!  The whole world wants to recruit my hair for Locks of Love! Good grief, just because my hair is longer than yours doesn’t mean it’s public property! I don’t go around telling random people what to do with their hair! How nosy is that?
    It’s even more aggravating when people have just met my family, find out we’re homeschooled, and that all four of us kids really belong to the same family, (isn’t that unreal? Never heard of four kids before...), and then they decide that the Duggars would be a good topic of conversation. And suddenly, before my very eyes we have become just like the family on TV who homeschools their nineteen kids. What?! Let’s rewind a little bit. How did you get from four kids to nineteen? In case you don’t know, that’s almost five times as many kids! I would also appreciate it if you would take a look at our personal appearance. Am I wearing a skirt? No! In fact, people like the Duggars are the very reason I would rather not wear skirts. Do the boys all have matching shirts? No! Are we on TV making a big deal about having four kids. Definitely not! And just in case you haven’t figured it out, I do not appreciate the Duggars, I do not admire them greatly, and I am very upset that you would even think of associating us with them! Argh. Could we please ignore all the creepy homeschoolers, and treat the ones that are kind of normal like real people?
    So there you have it. My own sarcastic explanation of why I don’t ever want to hear about Locks of Love or the Duggars, ever again! On a happier note, today is Friday, so happy Friday all! :D

P.S. I promise not to bite your head off if you mention Locks of Love or the Duggars. I’m very nice and tolerant of people, but inside I might be rolling my eyes, and sticking my tongue out at you, and thinking very sarcastic things about you. ;-)

2/03/2011

Airplanes!

Dad and the Cessna 150 he learned to fly in.
Airplanes are a big part of my family’s life. They have been ever since I was a little kid, and Dad first started taking flight lessons. He got his private pilot’s license first, then he got a mechanic’s license, then he got the next thing after private (I can’t remember it’s name), then he got his flight instructor’s license, and I don’t know what else. In between all that time (which was quite a few years) we hauled airplanes all over the United States, we fixed up old junky ones that didn’t fly anymore (or at least Sam and Dad did), we volunteered at Christian Wings for the World where Dad started his flight training, and now we’ve moved to our current house so he can teach airplane mechanics at a community college. I’m pretty sure we’ve done other things involving airplanes too. So you get the idea. Airplanes are a BIG part of our life. So I decided it was about time I did a post on airplanes. Not that I’m actually very knowledgeable about them, but I have some interesting pictures and stories about them!


Me and Sam a looooooong time ago at the Saguaro National State Park on one of our airplane trips.

Benjy Bear (which was his nickname), pretending to haul the airplane like Daddy.

We went to Arizona for the first airplane we ever hauled. It was fun!

A random airplane fuselage. I guess some one put the tail number on the photo?

Me and Dad, right before I went on my first airplane ride ever with him.

View from an airplane

Sam with an enormous headset.

Another airplane we hauled.

Anyway, that was a lot of fun memories, and now you know about my family and airplanes! :-)