{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

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Summer’s over… don’t I wish? Hereabouts we’re still in our summer hibernation.  This is our last week of summer “break” and while some of the kids attended the “Totus Tuus” religious education event at Church this week, I took advantage of the free time to firm up the lesson plans for the first quarter of school that begins Monday.  Oh yes, Monday. I am determined that no matter how flexible homeschooling is, barring any unforeseen colds/croups/coughs/epidemics, I will not be teaching after December 14th until January 5th.  So we start early, as besides, no one really wants to be outside right now, anyway. :)

Pretty

IMG_3349She’s the unsung beauty of the family, sandwiched between two dynamic redheads.  Hers is the only straight hair of the female side of the family, and she’s not helped it much by intermittently chopping parts of it off in the last two years. ;) She begins her day with a burst and a sparkle and sets off zooming through the rest of it. If she doesn’t often grace the “pretty” part of this page, it’s because she doesn’t often hold still enough to want her picture taken.  She is, and always will be, our Sunshine.

After much reluctance, not the least part of which being Trooper’s negative experience with a much different medication, we agreed to try an ADHD medicine for our impulsive little ball of Sunshine. I confess that the day before her developmental pediatrician appointment, I had been chasing her around the parish hall during Mass–in heels, no less–which made me just that much more receptive to the idea. ;) The good news is that it has already made a huge difference in her life this past month. She sits down to write and draw, which I was barely able to get her to do before.  She plays dolls with Miss M and sits to “read” books.  It’s just been amazing for her and we have all enjoyed watching this blossom of ours branch out just that much more.  On the downside, it’s affecting her sleep habits. Oy vey. Please pray we can help her get that all worked out.

Pretty Happy

Haus Meister was recently way out West on business and while there, had the chance to go hiking on Mt. Hood.

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If I wasn’t already planning on going there with him someday, the pictures he got of nighttime at Mt. Timberline Lodge absolutely sold me.  It does not do much justice to the area, he told me.  The glowing lights on the mountainside are the machines out grooming the ski area for the next day. Yes, there is snow.

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Someday I will see those stars myself, and with him.  It’s going on the 20yr plan. Like England. And sleeping without toddlers in the bed.

Happy

Going back a ways, on the 4th of July we were thrilled to host a number of family members, including my parents, my sister and her family, and Haus Meister’s youngest sister. We did crazy things like have a Sisters’ Morning Out where we amused a Dunkin Donuts employee by my trying to relay three orders at the drive-thru, went thrift store shopping (I got a new leatherish purse for $2!) and then of course went to the grocery store because I almost never go out without getting a gallon of milk. In Americana news, most of the assembled family went to a baseball game intown the night before (I stayed home and after the littles were in bed, watched the last part of Gettysburg with my parents, a pleasure I hadn’t had in a long time.  It’s funny how often we quote that movie in entirely unrelated circumstances).

On Independence Day proper, we attended a cannon firing done by park rangers and volunteers at a nearby Civil War battlefield.  It was incredible.

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Funny

In the department of “Then and Now…”

July 2014

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Grandpa’s little Sweetie, our Posey Pie… who (sniff) looks so small here.

July 2015

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Bossing him around (I was just a second too late to get a repeat–she still puts those fingers in her mouth).

July 2014

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Miss M doesn’t like the fireworks.

July 2015

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Miss M doesn’t like the cannon.

(Oh my, she’s in the same dress, and I have the same expression on my face!)

Real

The baby of the family is GETTING INTO THINGS.

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For reasons unexplained, Posey took the tea pitcher out and left it on the floor.  Littlest then decided it was the perfect place to go fishing with a pinecone.

Because every house has pinecones tied to string just lying around, right?

And if that wasn’t bad enough…

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Mercy me, she’s climbing.  She got up there all by herself, and wasn’t she proud.  I should have known this phase was coming–she’ll be 15mos on Sunday–but it still took me by surprise.  Littlest now even has a special cry for the times when “Oh help, I’ve gotten myself up here and have no idea how to get myself back down.”

Yarn Along for July

It may be hard to tell from the last post that I did in May, but I’ve gotten several inches further down on the body of the Armas sweater.  I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m pleased to note that I’m nearly done with the current skein of yarn, and am ready get another off the massive pile still on my dresser.
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The books and small booklet shown have been my main reading for the summer so far.  Perelandra is one of my husband’s favorites and I confess I had heretofore only read snatches of it.  I promised him I’d read it entirely, and I am glad it did.  I appreciate Lewis’ writing and insights more and more with every book I read (even if I did skim the Great Dance portion a bit).

The Soul Gardening Journal was a blessed arrival in my mailbox.

Wodehouse is also back! Not pictured is If I Were You because it was in my husband’s suitcase at the time the picture was taken two weeks ago (I didn’t make the link-up last Wednesday, but neither project or reading list altered as I was just starting Something Fresh). Wodehouse is a great travel companion.  Most of our collection grew when Haus Meister travelled a lot more; I used to get him a book for every long journey.  Then I’d get to read it, too–or sometimes I’d speed through it before he left. ;) Win-win.

Honoring the Fallen

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  I know there are those who would not want to call the tragedy that struck Chattanooga a terrorist attack, and I’m already weary to the bone of all the political jargon, conspiracy theories, whatever.  I’m glad the country finally got permission to keep our flags at half-staff after nearly a week.  I moved ours down the day after the attack, only because I was too numb to recall we even had a flag out front on the actual day.

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The War on Terror showed up unexpectedly on a clear Thursday morning when we were enjoying relatively low humidity, and plunged us into a world eeriely reminiscent of 9/11/01.  For us, it was a microcosm of that day.  My dad called close to 11am that day and told me that my mom had seen Amnicola Highway on the news.  There was a shooting.  I shook my head: “You’ve got to be joking.”

Later I recalled I pretty much said the same thing to my friend Susan when she came out of her dorm room in 2001 and told me that a plane had crashed into a tower in New York.

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Placing his flag.

I turned on the news and kept it on (on my phone) most of the day.  My heart froze as the nightmare unfolded and so many familiar places were being named, out loud, on the news.  The hospitals locked down.  A no-fly-zone established.  Police on the ground with guns near the walking path where, at that time, there are usually bicyclists, joggers, strollers, etc. This was too surreal.

It still is too surreal.  But we wanted to do something.  We continue to pray.  Our city continues to mourn but begins to heal, and we will be stronger for it.  Today we visited the site on Amnicola Highway.  Just to the right of the photo the road stretches back to the Reserve Center.  The investigation still continues, so the joggers and strollers are not yet back on the trail.  Instead the road is lined with law enforcement vehicles, investigation vehicles, and such like.  Soon the area will return to normal.

And we will never forget.

  

Victory on a Monday morning

Yesterday after Mass I came downstairs to take the trash out through the garage and heard my washing machine dinging.  You don’t want to know how many times auto-correct wanted to switch that to “singing.”  I do happen to have a lovely blue pair of laundry appliances that the Japanese manufacturing company decided should sweetly ding and play happy tunes for me while doing the job we do together four times a day. 

But yesterday the ding was for the “nd” error which meant the machine was not draining.  Greeeaaaat. 

So down on the floor I go to drain out the filter, the thinggummy, and the whatchamacallit. I did everything the troubleshooting guide suggested, and the machine seemed to work again.

Until the “nd” reappeared. Lather, rinse, repeat and repeat and repeat… Off and on all day. In denial about calling in a repair man, I closed up the laundry room at dusk and promised myself I’d tackle it in the morning.

So I did. This time I had a flashlight in hand and saw something far in the back of the filter. I’d already retrieved a button, hairband, and a flat plastic something. I took a long screwdriver and poked back there, which caused a minor deluge. The second time I did this, the machine cycle ended with a happy song, and not an error ding. Whereupon I reopened the filter bar and found this:

  
It’s a little felt guy from the little girls’ seasonal felt board pieces. I may just be banning these from the Haus, or at least from the washer. 

On the plus side, my washer is completely operational again, and I didn’t have to call in a repairman! Time to go get the next load now. Signing off.

A little space-y humor

The dwarf planet Pluto has been (justifiably) getting more press in recent days than it probably has since the time it was demoted to a dwarf planet status. The last time I mentioned it on this blog was in this manner:

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So today, when this image came across my path, I couldn’t help it. I had to share.

(Found on a Facebook Feed)

(Found on a Facebook Feed)

(As an aside, Posey saw this and said: “It’s a moon!” To which Princess says, “Oh no, it’s not a moon.  It’s a space station.  So the Dark Side is REAL?!” Oh my.)

Of course, because I’m a geek and Star Wars has replaced even John Deere in the childhood obsessions of our boys, I had to take it a step further. I looked at that image and a line from Hunt for Red October came to mind.

Russian Ambassador: “Perhaps, in the future, the technology will be available to conduct a more thorough investigation.”

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