March 2007

Monthly Archive

A good concert

Posted by on 30 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: children, Uncategorized

The kids had a great concert last night. Unfortunately, the little camera couldn’t capture the action. I have one decent pic, of our trombone-player. Here it is!

I wish the other pics had turned out. M had to play one piece from memory. He had two solos and he really boogied. G played beautifully —

And their teacher/band director, Mrs. S. — I can’t say enough wonderful things about her. She manages to take the kids and find music that not only is within their ability and fun to play — it is fun to listen to as well. And the choreography as well — these kids are getting an experience that few public schools provide but that sets the kids up for success in many areas for the rest of their lives.

Quality Work Recognized

Posted by on 28 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: children, Uncategorized

award ceremony pic 

Here’s a pic from a proud mama. Our younger child received his second “quality work award” from a teacher this past week, here he is standing next to some classmates being recognized before the whole school. Attending ceremonies like this takes time, but it is worth it for the kids to see that we support them!

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Spring Cleaning

Posted by on 28 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: housework, Uncategorized, website review

Well, we are beginning to do spring cleaning. It’s late this year because we were battling viruses so much the last two months.

But we are on our way now! I have de-cobwebbed as many places as I can reach with the dust mop, we have replaced vent filters throughout the house, I am gradually getting windows washed inside and out. And today I was finally able to spend a couple hours in the garden, pruning, weeding and planning.

Here is a really neat site I discovered for divvying up chores among family members. Have only just begun to use it, but so far it’s a good way to help keep track of all the things that need doing.

Chore Buster

The website uses a database to store people and how much their workload is supposed to be (for example a housewife might shoulder more of the tasks than a full-time student or wage-earner), assigns difficulty levels to each task (so no person is saddled with ALL the hard tasks or only easy tasks), and provides a way to space each chore differently since some things must be done daily and others are once-a-year duties. You can print out the schedule, and it is saved and viewable online. It is easy to use (a bit tedious to set up if you have a list like I do), includes a whole bunch of pre-set chores you can use also, and upgrades are being made to increase user options.

I think this website is worth a good look.


Posted by on 28 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: Uncategorized


This is one of the pysanky I painted last Sunday… will post more later!

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Share the Love…

Posted by on 27 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: fun, Uncategorized

I have refrained from posting youtube things here up to now… but this is just so much fun.

Enjoy this!

Garden Update

Posted by on 27 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: Gardens and Life, Uncategorized

Well, not so much an update of the garden, as a walk around the yard this morning. Seems every day I feel okay it rains and when it’s lovely out I am either busy or not able to be outside and active. The beauty of perennials, even those that really would like a little more attention, is that they perform even when left alone.

I was too late to get a good pic of the indian plum, they are already forming green berries, but they are always a real treat.  So next year, we’ll try to get out with the camera when they’re still in bloom.  Also didn’t manage to get any good shots of  willow flowers this year, or the fat, juicy-looking buds on the big-leaf maples.  In our yard this year things seem to be happening at lightning speed!

Today in the garden…

First an establishing shot from the middle of the road looking up toward the house. You can see the plum tree still blooming, the tree in front of it (still spindly) is a pear. The bedframe marks where the tomatoes were last year. You can also see the trailing blackberries, trailing over the piles of bark chips…  You are facing west — the early morning sunlight fills my yellow living room so beautifully in the summer!

View of the yard from the road

To the left of the above pic is the area M planted his daffodils a few years back.  They are going strong, and I am considering moving more into this area, and along the whole slope of the orchard.  It’s difficult to mow in this area, and a meadow of bulbs, grasses and wildflowers would look so pretty under the trees.daffodils bent by rain

Next to the daffodils (which are among the Asian pears — five trees) is the nectarine, just coming into bloom, you can just see a few of the plum branches in the background.  You’re looking north, toward the driveway:

pink flowers on the nectarine

On the front steps of the house,  a small terracotta planter with frilly pansies and bi-color violas.  You can see I have my pitchfork and shovels ready to do battle with weeds!

pansies and violas on the steps

At the back of the house, the a red-flowering currant by the generator really brightens up the yard.  I can see it by the kitchen window when I walk in, and it always makes me smile.  This plant is also (I am sure) the source of the hummingbirds I can hear but haven’t yet seen…

red-flowering currant
Another spot of pink in the back, the salmonberries:

pink salmonberry blossoms

And last but not least, a small stand of trillium on the way to the wellhouse…  these are in my cedar grove that I jealously protected from clearing when we bought our land.trillium under a log among ferns

And that’s what’s happening in our neck of the woods.

book review: The Ship Who Searched

Posted by on 25 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: book review, Uncategorized

The Ship Who Searched by Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey

Was a good book. It flowed, in the way I remember (it had been a few years since I had read a new Anne McCaffrey book), and it had a lot of neat twists and turns.

Until about 2/3 of the way through the book, when it felt the authors were trying to tie up loose ends in order to finish the book. It ended a little too quickly, not as cleanly as I would have like — left a couple of unanswered details, and not as satisfying as I had expected.

I am still interested in reading the other books in this series, but have to find them. I recommend this book to folks who like science fiction or Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey, but only as a diversion, not as a truly good read. Which makes me sad, because both of these authors are capable of pulling a story together in a way which keeps it within the word/page limit and still honors the tale.

Three so-so thumbs up.

A good site for writers

Posted by on 21 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: Uncategorized, website review

I “stumbled” upon (love that cool stumble button in my firefox browser!) a website that has short, clear and useful articles about living a better life. The first article I found was about writing…

George Orwell’s 5 Rules…

But the website itself, called “Pick the Brain” has a lot of other great articles by John Wesley for self improvement. Check it out!

Art and Illness

Posted by on 21 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: Gardens and Life, Uncategorized

I was able to do some painting earlier this month (an example is at, same one posted to the art history section of my business site), but a week and a half ago I got a migraine. A long-lasting, drains it all away, nasty one. Just as I was getting over that… I catch the virus that plagued Tom for several days. So this week I am doing the things I must — getting kids to and from appointments mostly — and sitting around the rest of the time.

Yesterday I felt better, but just as I was about to start my day I learned that a long-time acquaintance had died. Not quite a friend to me, but certainly a fixture in my life, and it just took the wind out of my sails. No heart for art.

Last night I felt better and I was looking forward to having several hours today between the errands… but woke with a really bad stomach ache. Every time I move it hurts. Just hurts. I think it’s the chicken I ate for supper last night… more fatty than I am used to. So again, I am sitting as much as I can, trying to let this also pass.

Feeling as if the start of Spring has let me down this year. It was brilliantly sunny up until about ten minutes ago, and rain is expected to move in for a few days. Chances are, it will hold off until I am feeling able to play…

It is difficult to be creative in the way I like when I am not well. The amount of focus it requires (is this a sign of deficiency or talent?) must seem absurd to most, but I can completely lose myself when I am painting, just as I can in the garden.

It is frustrating to me, to have ideas I want to produce, and not have the energy to set them onto paper or words.

SO, I am looking forward to feeling better, having the sunny weather return when I can enjoy it, and getting on with my projects and playing in the garden with the critters.

cross-post on Social Justice

Posted by on 21 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: Peace Making, Politics and War, Uncategorized

[originally blogged at]

Convince Nike to just Do the Right Thing

Among the social justice issues I track are housing, education, healthcare, diversity and fair labor practices. Garment workers around the world tend to be poorly treated, badly paid and work in unsafe conditions (not all, just in general). They do this so those of us who have time to sit and blog can wear comfy, cheap clothes.

Here’s a small way to make a statement if you knit or crochet. Microrevolution’s Blanket Petition.

I see that NOBODY from Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma or Wyoming has contributed. It is possible that folks just aren’t aware of this project (as I wasn’t until ten minutes ago) — or have they heard about it and figured their voices don’t count? Though corporations are not democracies and don’t have to listen to the voices of others, they do tend to take notice when consumers contact them en masse.

No, Nike isn’t the only company still using underpaid, overworked, third-world employees to produce clothing for people whose closets are already full… but you’ve gotta start somewhere!

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