I love my Mom =)

Aren't we cute?
She taught us all to love books.
She admits when she's wrong, and she's not afraid to apologize. 
She lends a listening ear to anyone who needs it. 
She's one of the best cooks I know.
She loves us each for who we are.
She doesn't play the favorites game.
She loves Dad. =)
She lets her children do things.
I can always trust her advice. 
She lets us grow up.
She has a good sense of humor, and she knows how to make people laugh.
She says what she thinks.
She doesn't put up with manipulation, she deals with things directly. 
She's brave. 
She loves people, and she cares about them.
She knows her faults . . .
But she is amazing.
She's my Mom. And I love her. 


Good Things

Sleeping in
Fried eggs on toast for breakfast
Fresh air
The smell of newly-mown grass
An almost clean bedroom
Big Claussen pickles for lunch
Happy news from family
A clean batch of laundry
Talks with Grandma on the phone
Summer shorts and purple toenails


Wanna Know Something? 30 things about me . . .

1.   I listen to Frank Sinatra when I clean my room.
2.   I eat a lot of corn chips and salsa.
3.   I am not afraid of spiders or insects.  
4.   I have three little brothers. 
5.   I know how to make bread and potato soup.
6.   I like old music.
7.   I think that history is fascinating.
8.   I'm learning to speak out.
9.   Long skirts scare me. 
10.  I'm completely sensible, but sometimes I leave my brain in the clouds on accident.
11.  I can't hack Charles Dickens, and I desperately wish that I could.
12.  Sometimes I listen to The Beatles, but I don't like Elvis. 
13.  I like elephants and penguins.
14.  I'm no good at sports.
15.  I have a friend who lives next-door.
16.  I love buying books.
17.  I have a globe hanging from my ceiling.
18.  Shrimp is possibly my favorite-est food.
19.  I'm a veteran thrift-store shopper.
20.  I have four aunts, eight uncles, and two cousins.
21.  I love hills. I used to live in the hills and I miss them.
22.  I don't really like dried fruit. I love dried apricots, and I hate raisins.
23.  I have a tendency to make up words.
24.  I do not believe in wearing shoes when it's summertime. Barefoot or flip-flops. 
25.  I love BBC and Masterpiece Theater.
26.  Repetitive noises drive me nuts.
27.  Sometimes I crave chocolate milkshakes.
28.  I want to go to Venice, Paris, and Prince Edward Island.
29.  I'm oblivious about some things, but I'm an extremely observant people-watcher.
30.  My worst faults are laziness and procrastination

p.s. Yeah. I stole this from Nonii. ;) But in my defense, it was already in my head. And anyway, that's what friends are for. I steal from her often. I hope she steals from me so we're even.


Heaven Isn't Boring

     I don't know who teaches us how to think about heaven. But I think they do a bad job. I've never heard anyone outright say that heaven is boring, yet somehow that's what people communicate. I think, that if we're honest, we all have a super boring picture of heaven stuck in our heads. You know . . . God sitting on a throne and everyone singing for all eternity. For all eternity. Yeah. I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound heavenly to me.
     Sometimes we'll be in the middle of some wonderful experience, and my mom will say, "Guys, this is what heaven is going to be like." That's one of the things I like about my mom. She's never told us that we're going to be stuck in heaven singing for all eternity. That's not to say that there won't be music. I think music will be a huge part of heaven. But there will be so much more. You know how I picture heaven? I think that . . .

In heaven, we'll all be beautiful people.
There will be all sorts of laughter. Giggles, chuckles, and all-out snorts and guffaws.
We'll meet amazing people.
God will explain everything in the Bible, and we won't be confused in the least.
Jesus will love having interesting conversations.
Everyone will be an artist of some sort. We'll be creative in amazing ways.
There will be colors that we've never seen on earth.
When we swim, we won't need to come up for air. We'll be able to explore the very bottom of the ocean.
Jesus will go on adventures with us. He'll talk with us, be with us, and love on us.
Everyone will have a sense of humor.
We'll be friends with animals.
There won't be misunderstandings.
Everything will be incredibly stunning, beautiful, and amazing. And we'll feel at home.

     For all that, I still feel sort of irreverent, like I'm rebelling against the eternal choir. After all, I don't know that things will be like that. I don't know that Jesus will go on adventures with us. That may be entirely preposterous! But I really think that He will be down-to-earth, though that's a weird phrase to use.
      I realize that I can't possibly imagine heaven. First Corinthians 2:9 "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him." I can imagine a fraction of what it will be like. But it's going to be way better than my imaginings. Multiplied by eternity, I guess.


Fragments of Thought

Just got home from church tonight // Dad makes the best spicy popcorn // We sang Hakuna Matata on the way home // We spent all day yesterday at a wedding // I burnt my leg on Dad's motorcycle a few days ago // It hurts // The blister popped // You probably don't want to hear any more about it // There was dark chocolate at church leftover from the wedding // I need a large stash of dark chocolate // And I could use some guacamole right now // Spring break is over // Pretty sad // I don't want to play in that piano contest // Holy fig newton, Dad has jalapenos with cream cheese and bacon in the oven! // I had those for lunch. I'm glad we're having it again // I wonder why I said holy fig newton? // Why not Holy Onion? //

p.s. I promise to write a good blog post tomorrow. I have some topics in mind. But one is controversial and one is sad. :p I also have a craft project in mind, so maybe we'll go for that.



     I frequent five different sites: Facebook, Pinterest, Etsy, Blogger, and Goodreads. At different points, I've been mildly addicted to all five of them (though not all at once!) and I checked them all obsessively.
      Recently though, I've been rather neglectful of the first three. I only check Facebook every two or three days, because I really only use it to send messages and chat with people. Etsy is a little depressing for me, because I'm working on a limited budget, and I've only sold a grand total of three items. But hey, that is something, isn't it? As for Pinterest . . . I'm not sure why I've been neglecting Pinterest. I think it's partly because more and more of my acquaintances are on Pinterest, and I get tired of scrolling through their recipes and kid's crafts. Nothing against them, it's just too much overload for me. On the other hand, I often visit Pinterest when I have something specific in mind, and it's marvelous for keeping an eye on current trends.
     Then there's the last two, Blogger and Goodreads. It's kind of obvious that I'm on Blogger quite regularly. However, I thought I would educate you on Goodreads. (and maybe point you in my direction) So here goes . . .

What is Goodreads? 
Goodreads is a website for bookworms. You can rate books, review books, and keep track of what you're reading. You can also see what your friends are reading and browse through their shelves to see their ratings and reviews. In addition you can take quizzes or trivia, participate in book-clubs and discussions, vote on popular book lists, and even get book recommendations.

How does it work? I'm fixing to tell you ;)

Profiles . . .
When you sign up for a Goodreads account, you automatically have a profile. You can upload a profile picture, fill in your "about me" section, and share your website, book preferences, and interests. However, most of those are optional. You only have to share what you want to share, and you can customize your privacy settings.
     As far as my account goes, I have a profile picture, but I don't have an "about me" section. Although I usually have strict privacy settings (especially on Facebook), my profile on Goodreads is pretty open. Personally, I don't think it's a big deal, because my account is not about me . . . it's about the books I read. But like I said, you can share as much as you want or as little as you want, and privacy settings are up to you.

Shelves . . . 
By default, you start with three shelves: read, currently-reading, and to-read. You can add more shelves later . . . favorites, re-read, etc.

Books . . . 
Goodreads is almost like an online book catalog, and it has millions of books to choose from. If you've read it, Goodreads probably has it.
To find a book, simply type the title or author into the search box at the very top of the page, and Goodreads will come up with a list of books that match. 
Click the book you're looking for, and Goodreads will take you to the page for that book. Each book has a picture of the cover (sometimes more than one picture is available), and there is usually a small paragraph describing the book, as well as some basic information: author, publishing info, etc.
To add a book to your shelves, look for the "add to my books" button below the book's cover image. When you mouse over the button, three options will pop up: read, currently-reading, and to-read. Select the one you want, and the book will automatically appear on that shelf. Usually a window also pops up that asks you to rate the book, and includes a place to write your review.
To change a book's status from currently-reading to read, click "Home" at the very top, which will take you to a main page that shows your friend's updates. In the right corner, near the top, is a list of books that you are currently-reading. Click "update status" and a little window will pop up that includes an "i'm finished" button. And you're finished! ;)

Other . . . 
The books are obviously Goodreads main feature and purpose, but there are many other features as well. You can find and like quotes by your favorite authors, vote on popular book-lists, take quizzes and trivia, and participate in book groups or discussions. (In short, everything I've already mentioned.) :P Goodreads also generates book recommendations, based on what you've read in the past. I've found quite a few books through their recommendations. You can also create your own lists, quizzes, and trivia, and you can participate in the 2012 Book Challenge. (click here to view my challenge)

Finally, if you get a Goodreads Account (or have one already) send me a friend request! =) I am more than happy to "friend" my blogger-friends. =)

Links: My Goodreads Account, My Pinterest, My Etsy Shop.
Image Credit: Goodreads. duh.



      My notebooks are always Doomed. I’ve read about girls who write in their journals every day. I’ve heard about people who fill three notebooks in two days. But somehow it’s never worked that way for me.
    I want my notebook to be a place where I can store random phrases and ideas as they pop into my head or come to my attention. I want to get in the habit of jotting down things that inspire me and things that I want to remember. Sounds like the easiest thing in the world, no? But this is where the catch comes in. I don’t get along with notebooks. 
    I’ve tried many times to keep a notebook. It’s smooth sailing until I start ripping pages out. I guess you could call me a word control freak. I can’t stand it when a sentence goes wrong. When I write, there is no rough draft. It’s write a sentence, polish a sentence. Write the next sentence, polish it. Write a phrase, and then backspace over the whole thing and start over again. I don’t move on until it’s perfect. If I ever write more than four sentences without using the backspace key, I will be astounded.
    I say all this to point out that, technically, I’m not someone who writes. I’m someone who types. If I was required to write this blog post on paper, by now I probably would have crumpled a whole notebook, and I’d still be on sentence number two. I kid you not.
    I am too much of a writing perfectionist to keep a notebook. I can’t allow things to be messy, or ugly, or spelled wrong. If my handwriting goes south, I rip it out. If I write a word wrong, I rip it out. If my sentences don’t flow nicely? You guessed it. Rip it out.
     *Sigh* Anyway, I am slowly forcing myself to jot things down in a notebook. It's not exactly splendid-going, but I have more than three pages, and I haven't ripped anything out. Major progress, huh.
     Funny thing is, I really do think it's helping me with inspiration. I already have two or three blog posts to prove it. My post on the ten Boom family actually came from something I jotted in my notebook . . . Mom and Grandma were having a conversation about it, and I thought it was interesting, so I jotted it down. I never would have remembered it otherwise, but this way I actually got back to it. And I wrote two whole pages on The Help (book vs. movie) while I was sitting in algebra. (Lest you think I'm a poor student, that was before the teacher got there.) Heehee ;)
      What about you? Do you keep a notebook or journal? Do you do rough drafts? Do comment! =)

p.s. I've thought about using loose pieces of paper and keeping them in a folder or binder. Could possibly work?


Blogger Confessions

      In which I confess that my blog posts usually look better than they really are. . . 

Confession #1: My pickles were waaay too flavorful. And I ate them all anyway. Personally, I don't think they were too bad, but Mom was slightly shocked by the flavor, and Dad was utterly horrified. But hey, Dad isn't a dill pickle person.
Confession #2: Six of these books went back to the library without me reading them. Fortunately that is the worst record for my book stacks.
Confession #3: The walk in the rain was not as colorful or lovely as it looks. We walked down the sidewalk like this, and then the sky burst its guts, and poured the rain down on us in sheets. I hid the camera in our van, and we walked down the road completely soaked. When we got back, the sun came out, and Mom took a sunshiny picture of us in the yard.

Confession #4: My "projects" have not gone very well. I have done a lot with my blog, and I've done a little with my Etsy shop. (I've certainly read a lot!) However, I have not even worked on learning the guitar, I'm not very good with hair or makeup, I haven't built a dollhouse, and the quilt has been a depressing failure.

Confession #5: My Pinterest challenge didn't last for more than two months. I gave myself a lot of wiggle-room in the rules, cuz I rather suspected that might happen. Looking back on my projects, all the spectacular ones were food! Rainbow cake, Valentine's Day cookies, fried cheese . . . yumm!

Haha! Anyway, hope you enjoyed that peek behind-the-scenes. ;) It was fun looking through my old posts (though most of the ones I mentioned are fairly recent.) I think my writing has improved, and shockingly, my photography skills have improved too. Who woulda thought? 



     Last night I shut myself in my room, curled up in my round green chair, ate homemade pickles, listened to classical music, and read a book of plays by Oscar Wilde. I was in the perfect mood for that kind of thing, and I enjoyed the plays immensely. I particularly loved The Importance of Being Earnest, which is extremely quotable, or would be if I had a head for quotes.
"JACK: I am sick to death of cleverness. Everybody is clever nowadays. You can't go anywhere without meeting clever people. The thing has become an absolute public nuisance. I wish to goodness we had a few fools left.
ALGERNON: We have.
JACK: I should extremely like to meet them. What do they talk about?
ALGERNON: The fools? Oh! about the clever people of course.
JACK: What fools."

"JACK: I'll bet you anything you like that half an hour after they have met, they will be calling each other sister.
ALGERNON: Women only do that when they have called each other a lot of other things first."

 "ALGERNON: Well, I can't eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs. One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them."

"GWENDOLEN: If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life."

"JACK: This ghastly state of things is what you call Bunburying, I suppose?
ALGERNON: Yes, and a perfectly wonderful Bunbury it is. The most wonderful Bunbury I have ever had in my life.
JACK: Well, you've no right whatsoever to Bunbury here. 
ALGERNON: That is absurd. One has a right to Bunbury anywhere one chooses. Every serious Bunburyist knows that."


Refrigerator Pickles

     Lately I've been in a culinary sort of mood. A couple of days ago I made some grapefruit curd, and I've been trying to make some homemade bread to go with it ever since. Maybe it will actually work today, since I've finally got the ingredients and a huge block of free time. :) Anyhow, to continue, I made refrigerator pickles today. They're like normal pickles, except better. Ever had Claussen pickles? They're like that. Yumm. So good. They're my favorite. But they're expensive. So? We make our own!
     I started with a packet of "Mrs. Wage's" pickle mix (from Wal-mart) and these adorable baby pickles that Mom got on sale at Kroger's.
     The first step is obvious . . . cut up the cucumbers. I didn't even think about doing spears, but those would be pretty good too. Warning: don't cut your finger. I don't want to get sued for that. ;)
     These are all my cucumbers cut into slices. Aren't they pretty? I don't know why these cucumber photos are beautiful, but they are.
     I wasn't exactly sure how much of the packet to use, because it was a recipe for 9-11 pounds of cucumbers, which I certainly did not have. So I kind of fiddled around weighing plates and cucumbers, but the recipe just plain doesn't divide well. In the end, I decided to just make a third of the recipe and hope for the best. And I didn't hold strictly to the ratios, because . . . yeah, I just didn't. I'm hoping the flavor turned out okay.
     This is Mrs. Wage's pickle mix. It smells amazing. Ahhh . . . I kind of love dill pickles.
     Next I mixed the vinegar, water, and Mrs. Wage's. I put it over medium heat, stirred it until it dissolved, and brought it to "barely boiling." I had my cucumber slices in an old Gherkins pickle jar that I saved. (Because I have junk collecting tendencies. Hey, obviously these things come in handy!)
     Finally, I poured the mixture over the cucumber slices, and put the whole thing in the fridge to chill. Hope those slices are soaking up some pickle-goodness. :) Can't wait till they're ready to eat. They should be ready by tomorrow, for sure.

P.S. The third-of-a-recipe was the exact. perfect. amount. It came right up to the top of the jar, and no farther. What do you know? I'm good. That's all. ;) 
P.P.S. Next I'm making bread. I'll keep you updated.
P.P.P.S. Remember how my grapefruit curd was kind of runny? I cooked it some more, and now it's the perfect consistency. I also added some sour salt, which greatly improved the flavor. It kinda tastes like lemon bar filling. :)



      What's the difference between a dork, a nerd, and geek? (This isn't a riddle with a clever answer, it's a question.) All three words are ones that we hear frequently, and some of us use them frequently. But what's the difference? To some extent, they're the same. We certainly use them in the same way. But they're different too. They're only slightly different, but each of them has their own particular implications.

These are the definitions I found in my dictionary . . .   
dork: n.  a dull, stupid person.
nerd: n. U.S. slang. 1. a person without coordination or grace; a clumsy person. 2. a person who is not hip; square.
geek: n. U.S. Slang.  1. a freak in a carnival troupe whose act consists of eating live animals. 2. any freakish or perverted person; degenerate.

     Don't know about you, but I found those definitions quite unsatisfactory. Slang is obviously not the dictionary's strong point. I've never met anyone who thought that "nerd" means "clumsy," have you? And as for "geek," that may be the original definition; but I'm certainly not accusing my brother of eating live animals when I call him a "geek."
Next, here's some definitions from dictionary.com
dork: Slang . a silly, out-of-touch person who tends to look odd or behave ridiculously around others; a social misfit.
nerd: 1. a stupid, irritating, ineffectual, or unattractive person. 2. an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a non-social hobby or pursuit.
geek: 1. a computer expert or enthusiast (a term of pride as self-reference, but often considered offensive when used by outsiders.) 2. a peculiar or otherwise disagreeable person, especially one who is perceived to be overly intellectual. 3. a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, such as biting off the head of a live chicken.

     That's a little better. Although I still can't get rid of the live chicken bit. The word "geek" has disgusting origins, okay people!? I totally agree with definition number one, though: a computer expert or enthusiast. That sounds right to me. But still, dictionary definitions don't necessarily equal real-life definitions.
     Personally, I think that "geek" and "nerd" are extremely similar. However, I think that "geek" is usually applied to someone who is obsessed with computers and technology. Whereas "nerd," in my opinion, is a more loose term. For instance, a nerd could be someone who is always buried in a book, but doesn't know a thing about computers. Then again, a nerd could be completely obsessed with computers. Does that sort of make sense? Go back to dictionary.com definition number two. an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a non-social hobby or pursuit. In my opinion, a nerd could be obsessed with math, books, technology . . . that sort of thing. 
     All in all, I think that both "geek" and "nerd" could be loosely defined as "an intellectual misfit." But as for "dork"? Personally, I see it as a more derogatory term. For me, "dork" has nothing to do with intellectual powers. It's just a term for someone who is socially awkward and annoying. Like a kid who tucks his shirt in his pants, or has really bad hair, or sticks his face too close to people. A dork is just a plain old social misfit. Nothing intellectual or cool about it.

     I think the main thing about all three terms is context. Like that one definition said, "geek" is a term of pride as self-reference, but it's considered an insult when it's used by outsiders. Honestly, these days "geek" and "nerd" both seem to be a new cool. Dork? I'm not sure about that one, but I think there's a few people who find pride in being a dork. I think "dork" could be used as a term of endearment as well.
     Isn't slang weird? I wonder how many people have different perceptions of the words "dork," "nerd," and "geek." What do you think they mean? Are they insults or compliments? For those who don't live in the US, are they terms that other countries use, or is it just US slang?

P.S. Did you know that Dr. Seuss invented the word "nerd"? 
P.P.S. Sorry if this was long and boring.
P.P.P.S. What about candy Nerds? Anyone like them? Me!
P.P.P.P.S. That finger-people picture doesn't have anything to do with nerds, geeks, or dorks. Deal with it. 


The Help: Book vs. Movie

You is kind. You is smart. You is important

Warning: This might contain some spoilers. And this might be a post that doesn't make sense if you haven’t read the book or watched the movie. If you haven’t done either, I would advise you to go do both now. You can come back later and read this. (Please do!) Oh, and read the book first. Because books always rule. :)

The Book           

         The place is Jackson, Mississippi and the year is 1962. Eugenia Phelan, commonly known as "Skeeter" has just come home from college, but life at home isn't going very well. For one thing, her mother keeps trying to marry her off. For another, her dear Constantine, the colored maid who raised her since childhood, has left for good. Skeeter knows that something happened, but no one will tell her why Constantine left or where she went.
     Meanwhile, Skeeter has to content herself with playing bridge, trailing after her friends Hilly and Elizabeth, and writing a newsletter for the Junior League. It's not until she gets a newspaper job and a phone-call from New York publisher Miss Stein, that she realizes she is not content with the way things are. She is going to do something big. She is going to write something big. But first she needs to find out what Big is.
          Skeeter's new job sure isn't big, and Miss Stein won't publish her until she writes about something that she is passionate about, something that no one has written before. But there's a problem. Skeeter doesn't know what to write about. Her job is a problem too. She's been hired to write a housecleaning column, but she doesn't know a thing about housecleaning. Fortunately, Skeeter knows someone who does. Her name is Aibileen. She works as a maid for Elizabeth.
      While Aibileen is helping Skeeter with her cleaning column, Skeeter starts thinking about Constantine, and she realizes what she wants to write about. She wants to write about the help. No one has ever told things from the perspective of maids like Aibileen and Constantine. It's the perfect topic. It's simple too. She'll just interview Aibileen while Elizabeth thinks that they're working on the cleaning column.
     Unfortunately, things aren't as simple as Skeeter thought. Elizabeth is becoming nervous about the cleaning column business, and she's slowly shutting it down. Hilly is being pushy about segregation issues, and worst of all, Aibileen flat out refuses to be interviewed.
     But the idea is planted in Aibileen's head. She can't get it out. When tragedy strikes Jackson's black population, Aibileen decides to do it. She is finally going to tell people what it feels like to be her.
     It isn't long before Aibileen's sass-mouthed friend Minnie decides to join them. Minnie isn't keen on talking to a white lady, but she's fed up. Fed up with the way she can’t hold a job. Fed up with the way white ladies boss her around. Fed up with the way Miss Hilly fired her because she was working for Hilly’s mother Mrs. Walters. Fed up because Miss Hilly wanted Minnie for herself; because everyone knows that Minnie’s the best cook in the whole county. So yeah, Minnie’s fed up, but once Skeeter wins Minnie's trust, she has an ally for life.
     Minnie brings more than herself to the project. She also brings insurance for Aibileen, Skeeter, and herself. She knows something that only she and Miss Hilly know. Something Terrible Awful. Something Miss Hilly won’t want anyone to know. Something that will protect them all from Hilly’s wrath.

The Movie         

     The movie was amazing. All of the characters were excellent. I hate it when I watch a movie based on a favorite book, and the characters look SO wrong, and not at all like I imagined them. The Help wasn't like that. Sure, the characters didn't look exactly like I imagined them, but they looked right. I was entirely satisfied. And that's a compliment.
     I think it's fair to say that the movie was mostly true to the book. There were some things that weren't . . . there always are, but most of the details were perfect. (Right down to the cover of Skeeter's book, and Hilly's cold sore.)
     There were, of course, a lot of scenes missing. Almost all of the scenes and incidents involving Stuart were missing, which is understandable, because there's less time in a movie than there is in a book. Some of the Miss Celia parts were missing, but that was okay too, because they were mostly too graphic for a movie. There also wasn't very much about Skeeter becoming alienated from Hilly and Elizabeth. Again, like the Stuart part, it's understandable. But it is a little disappointing, because both of those themes and relationships were carefully built up and strung throughout the book.
     They really, really botched the part about Constantine and her daughter. I was not happy. I think the way they portrayed it was ridiculous and maybe even cowardly. They totally shied away from some crucial race issues, and it was just wrong. I won't say anything more, because I know some of you haven't read the book.
     Overall, the movie was truly excellent. I loved the characters, the scenery, the dresses and shoes, the everything. It was really well-done. I loved the toilet scene in Hilly's front yard (so many pastel colors!) heehee; and I almost died when Hilly got to her chapter and started screaming. And as for the chocolate pie? Unspeakably . . . um, unspeakable? That part completely lived up to the book.
     Sadly, I do have to point out that there was no sweet sentimental scene between Skeeter and her mother. (In the book, that is.) Skeeter's mother was not proud of her. She did not know that Skeeter wrote The Help, and there was not a nice gooshy mother-daughter hug. That was completely added by Hollywood.

Other Thoughts    

     First of all, I want to be like Skeeter. And I love Aibileen. I love Minnie too, but I have a special admiration for Aibileen's quiet, timid courage.
     Second of all, if you suffered through this whole post, congratulations. Hope it wasn't too painful. I feel like I didn't cover it adequately at all. I barely mentioned Stuart or Miss Celia (one of my favorites). But it's time for this review to be over. 
   Thirdly, if you haven't read the book, read it! If you haven't watched the movie, watch it! I know I just picked on the movie, but that's something I always do. They were both worth it, and I might go so far as to give them both five stars. Read it. Watch it. Now.

(Sources: Book Image, Movie Image)

Grapefruit Curd

     Today I experimented with lemon curd. Except it was grapefruit curd. I substituted grapefruit for lemons, and orange peel for lemon peel.
     Curds are pretty much made out of citrus juice, sugar, egg, and butter. You spread it on toast or biscuits. Stuff like that. :) I used a Taste of Home recipe. Basically you mix the ingredients and cook it over a double-boiler for fifteen minutes. I was kind of afraid that it wouldn't work, but I think it turned out okay. 
     Isn't it a lovely color? I'm glad it's not a complete failure. I've never made lemon curd before, and I think I didn't cook it enough. It's kind of runny, but I'm hoping it will still solidify some. Right now you have to sort of spoon it over the toast, and it's supposed to be spreadable. It's also way too sweet. But it's not bad. I think I'll try again sometime, especially if lemons are a good price when we go grocery shopping. ;)

P.S. I might try and cook it some more. Would that work? Hm. 



     We got letters from Grandma today. Yeah. She's the best. =)
     Grandma always takes lots of pictures, and after she visits us she sends us cards and photographs. She sent me some postage stamps too. =)

     Marigolds from Germany, and peanuts & avocados from Kenya. Yumm, avocados. And I love the peanut ones. I'm gonna turn them into something cute. =)
     I like mail. Maybe I'll go send some letters to some certain friends of mine, and force them to write me back. I have two people especially in mind. ;-) Three, counting my splendidful Grandma.

Love and miss you Gramma,
Your one and only favorite Lydia =)


Three Things

     So. I was more or less tagged by Dream Sailor in another quiz-a-ma-bob-thingy. Truth is, I've already done this for my friend Nonii (via an e-mail forward-thingy.) But I'll do it again, possibly with different answers. Actually, probably with different answers.
     I'm not sure why I consent to these quiz things, but I guess I actually like them. Which is amazing, because I hate and despise all Facebook "copy and paste" deals, and I told Nonii that forwarding was against my religion. (A convenient proclamation btw, but not strictly truthful and straightforward.)
     Anyway. Enough blabbering. On with my "Three Things" . . . starting . . . NOW!

Three names I go by:
Lydia (real name)
Lidja (blog name)
Lou (nickname)
p.s. there's a million more variations on those three. Like Lyd, Lidja Lou, Loodle, etc.

Three places I've lived:
The Bahamas (sadly this was for a very short time, and I don't remember it. :p)
p.s. I've almost lived a million places. Not quite. But I've lived in Texas, Arkansas, Pennsylvania . . . you get the idea.

Three places I've worked:    (erm-hum. awkward question)

Hahahahahaha. I'm a hardworking kid. I work everywhere. (not true) (sorta true) (should be true) anywaaay. okay. I'm gonna stop now. I'm just digging myself in deeper. :p 

Three things I love to watch:
People. I'm a pathological people-watcher.
Rhett and Link. They're hilarious. Find them on YouTube.
Piper and Pookie. They're German Shepherds, they belong to me and Sam, and they crack me up.

Three places I have been:
Niagra Falls
The Grand Canyon
The Eiffel Tower.

Okay, I lied. I've never been to France. Did I get you though? Never mind. Starting over.

Three places I have been: 
The Pacific Ocean
The Petrified Forest
Canada (briefly)
p.s. I really have been to the Niagra Falls and the Grand Canyon. If you were wondering.

Three people who comment on my blog regularly:
The Sailor 
Jessie (aquillpen) 

Three things I love to eat:  (um, see third post down?)
Chocolate ice cream
Corn chips and guacamole

Three things I am looking forward to: 
Going to St. Louis (sometime soon, that would be amazing)
Maybe going to Bible camp?
Spending time on Grandma's farm (hopefully this summer)

Three people I think will respond:
Cait and/or Mime (Notebook Sisters)
Mel the writer (Crazy Rants)
*Kate* (Life is an adventure)

P.S. Oops! forgot the rules. Typical me. Here they are . . .

EDIT: If you were tagged, copy and paste the whole thing (rules included) then delete my answers and type in your answers. then post it on your blog. (That means Cait, Mime, Mel, and Kate) Have fun!


The ten Booms

An early photo of the ten Boom family. (source)
     I’ve often wondered what I would do if I lived in Europe during World War II. Would I risk my life for outcasts, or would I concentrate on my own safety? It’s easy to say that I would risk my life. But do I really know? Truthfully, none of us do. 
    A few weeks ago, my mom pointed out something very interesting. Remember the ten Booms? The heroic family who created a Hiding Place for Jews and unwanted people? The elderly father and two spinster sisters who risked their lives? Yes. Them.
    Do you know what they were doing before Hitler and his Nazi regime? They were reaching out. They held clubs for children and young people. They took soup to the sick and elderly. They helped with the mentally disabled. They were always reaching out, always helping the needy.
    It wasn’t a new thing for them to help people. It wasn’t new for them to care deeply. It wasn’t new for them to show God’s love through their actions. When the Nazis arrived, they were slammed in the face with risks and danger. The danger and scariness was new, but the caring and doing came naturally. There wasn’t much question about what they would do, because they were already doing it. You know what?  I’d be willing to bet that their friends and neighbors knew it too. They knew that if anyone stuck their necks out, the ten Booms would.
    You see where I’m going with this? There’s an easy way to spot the people who would risk their lives. Look for the people who are already giving, already caring for people, and already reaching out to the unwanted. Sure, there will be unexpected heroes and unexpected cowards. But a person’s present deeds, the things they are doing now, are pretty good indicators of where they will stand. 


12 Frequent Cravings of Mine

1) Chocolate milkshakes
2) Corn chips and salsa
3) Guacamole
4) Grapefruit (with sugar!)
5) Asparagus
6) Rainbow sherbet
7) Deviled eggs
8) Fried eggs with buttered toast
9) Sour cream and cheddar potato chips
10) Cheetos
11) Chicken salad and toast sandwich
12) Shrimp

P.S. I'm writing this while I eat my sugared grapefruit.
P.P.S. My family jokes that I would live on corn chips and salsa if they let me.
P.P.P.S. How do you pronounce sherbet? We always pronounces it "Sher-bert" but there's actually no "r" in the word, which confuses me immensely.
P.P.P.P.S. Chocolate milkshakes are amazing. And so are rainbow sherbet floats with Sprite.
P.P.P.P.P.S. This is an excessive amount of postscripts. Have an amazing Saturday, people. :)


Dear Cat

Dear Cat,
You think you’re better than me, don’t you? I’ve never seen anyone so self-admiring and superior. Honestly. It’s ridiculous. You even look superior when you lick yourself.
Cat, do you realize that human beings are the ones who feed you? They are the ones who give you water. They open the doors for you. They get rid of your litter, and vacuum your hair off of the furniture. They don’t do it because they are your servants. They do it because you are helpless. You are not as independent as you think you are, Cat.
I cannot imagine why I like you. I have never liked arrogance, and you are full of it. You are not a very nice cat. You do not believe in cuddling, and you think you are a wild and fierce jungle cat. Do you realize that you have little white paws and funny whiskers? You are a petite little kitty. You are not a lion or a tiger or a leopard.
I have many complaints about your behavior. First of all, Cat, I would strongly advise you to keep your claws in. Thank you very much. The next time you stick them in my thumb or the couch I am likely to strangle you.
And as for the way you treat my . . .  Hey! Just what do you think you’re doing now? I am not impressed by your purring. And you can stop rubbing your head against my hands. Stop purring! I can’t concentrate. You think that’s funny? Stop disrupting me. I’m writing a letter to you. You are being very rude, Cat! Stop that. Stop now. Okay, fine. I give up. I hate you, Cat.


The Book Stack

New books . . . 

The Princess Bride - William Goldman
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - John Boyne
Autumn Street - Lois Lowry
Birds, Beasts, and Relatives - Gerald Durrell
The FitzOsbornes in Exile - Michelle Cooper

Renewed books . . .

The Beautiful and the Damned - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling

P.S. Does anyone else think it's weird that the top two author names so completely almost match? William Goldman vs. William Golding. Yeah. Weird coincidence.


If I was brave I would . . .

Say hello to strangers // Ask more questions // Dance like a crazy woman // Jump off a high-dive // Bob my hair // Learn to drive a motorcycle // Slide down a banister rail // Say what I'm thinking (Say, not just write) // Go up the down elevator


Party time - Morris style

     Today we celebrated Ben's birthday. Dad decorated his cake. Don't ask about the candles, because I don't know.
     We all made our own personal pizza. These are our ingredients . . .
     And this is the pizza-making team :)
     We also had IBC root beer and fried cheese. =)
      He got a TON of presents, and a lot of candy, including four pounds of gummy bears. Yes, that is a lot of gummy bears.
     Then we played an indoor version of PIG. We used Ben's new balls, and we took the top off of Mom's pouf thingy, and used it for a basket. It was pretty hilarious, and it involved lots of weird moves. I don't know where we come up with these things. :p We also danced. And we ate cake and cookie dough ice cream. It was a pretty good party <3


Late Night Musings

     It is 10:36. That's actually pretty late, because I've been getting up at 7:00 all week. Let me tell you, getting up at 7:00 is THE stupidest habit ever. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I've been getting up at 6:45 on school days, and Mom and Dad decided to make a bedtime change. All of which adds up to me popping awake at 7:00. It makes me repeatedly mad.
     Anyway, I'm staying up tonight, and waiting for Aunt Carolyn. Tomorrow it's going to be a regular party at our house. Grandma came a few days ago, and today we went to Memphis to pick up Aunt Shayna. Three of my most favoritest people, all in the same house! =)
     Remember how I was complaining about wanting different books? Well I got them. :) Our first stop today was the libraryyyyy. :) I only read three of my books from our last trip (pathetic, I know), but I renewed three more of them. (Harry Potter #6, Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Beautiful and the Damned) Other than that, I got seven new books. And it was an amazing library trip. Maybe I'll do my habitual book stack post later on. ;)
     Ben's birthday is on the 8th, but we're going to celebrate tomorrow while everyone's here. He's going to be ten. Crazy.
     I read The Help, btw. It was really, really good. I should do a review, but I'm not sure I could. We just got the movie from Netflix, so I think we'll watch that sometime soon. I always like to read the book before I watch the movie. Because books are just plain better.
     *Yawn* I'm really kind of tired. But I'm hoping this will result in me sleeping in tomorrow. If I wake up at 7:00 tomorrow, I will probably kill something. *Shakes fist* Maybe only a fly or grass blade, though. I'm not very violent by nature.
      Speaking of which, I almost destroyed my houseplant yesterday. I knocked it out of my windowsill. *Sigh* I'm not very good with plants. I really do like gardens. But I hate gardening. I feel like I should love gardening, but I just plain don't.
     I am not going to use the word "random" in this post. I get so sick of that word. Even if it is very applicable. Wow. I just astounded myself with that word. Who knew "applicable" was in my vocabulary? Okay, okay. Never mind. I will freely admit that I live in a family of big-word-users.
     Look what I found on Pinterest . . . Aren't these amazing? I want a pair.

      Have any of you wondered about some of the "cool projects" on Pinterest? Like making your own cheerios? Who wants to make their own cheerios?! Not me! Well okay, maybe I didn't see a "make your own cheerios" pin. That was slight exaggeration. But there's some pretty crazy ones. I'm almost positive I saw a "make your own goldfish crackers" pin. In my opinion, there is a reason cereal and itsy-bitsy crackers are mass-produced. :p
     It's 11:12, and I think it's time for my random ramblings to end. Random Ramblings? No. That is becoming cliche. How about Late Night Musings?