Thursday, February 28, 2008

A good loaner

I finished reading this book yesterday, loaned to me by my mother. Now, I do a lot of reading, always have. It's been QUITE a while since I read a good, ooey-gooey, romance novel. That's what this book is. I'm rather surprised my mother liked the book, but then again, it IS set in France, and it DOES dig into some medieval history, and it DOES include a little gardening, and yummy tasting food. I devoured it in a little over a day, another reading tendency I haven't practiced in a long time. It felt nice.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Twins Have Arrived!

That's right! There they are!

The kids, lounging on the puffy softness.

Aren't they pretty?

Mr. Cool likes his new spot.

Very, very red.

Poor Adam: when he pulled up in the truck from the store, he looked so sad. He told me that, as he was driving back on the interstate, one of the couches lifted out of the back of the truck, and fell onto the road.

I was not happy.

However, the Lord was good, and the couch was barely damaged -- only 2 spots on the upholstery, on the back, and they don't show at all. Not structurally damaged at all. He's still a little gloomy though. He's had a LONG week.

I'm VERY happy to have my new couches. It took almost 8 weeks for them to get here. I've never had NEW couches before!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


We'd love to get some ice overnight.
Even just a little ice.
Just enough to get us out of school tomorrow. Or just a 2-hour delay would be acceptable.

Philip has decided NOT to set his alarm for the morning. He's optimistic. I told him we'd wake him up. 6:15 as usual.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Back to the Mountains

Isn't he cute? I got a pic of him without his glasses, but I like this one better :)

Two peas in a pod

One cat on a pillow. She's a master at finding the softest spot in the house.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My sweet hubby

made this wonderful dinner for our family, upon my return from the mountains. Here is the salad course. Note the wedding china, and even the crystal, which we have almost never used.

His homemade bread, with honey butter. I think Philip ate about 2 loaves all by himself.

Main course: chicken with melted gouda inside, wrapped in Black Forest ham, sauteed asparagus with lemon pepper sauce, boiled red potatoes, with a wine sauce underneath it all. Oh my.

Anna was very happy. She likes romance.

Here is the man himself. He ENJOYS all that work! Wants to do it again! I'm one blessed woman.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Valentines Date

We took our romantic evening on Friday. Our favorite place to go is Birkdale Village. There was a new Italian restaurant there, Positano Osteria. It was absolutely wonderful. For the first time in about 2 years, Adam got a truly good seafood plate, with octopus, squid, clams & mussels. I ordered chicken, wrapped in prosciutto, with melted goat cheese in the middle. Our appetizer was a classic antipasto with olives, cheese and Italian cured meats. And a real Italian waiter. At Barnes & Noble, I bought a book about Tuscany and food, plus a book for each of the children.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day to Us!

Here's my hubby. Note the beard. He is growing it because he was asked to play the part of the Rabbi in "Fiddler on the Roof."

"Is there a blessing for the Czar?"

And here's the fun t-shirt I got him for Valentine's.

And here's the box of chocolates he brought me during class today. My students were pleased.

And here is a random picture of my pumpkin, which I bought in October, before Halloween. I found out years ago that a pumpkin will keep for a VERY long time, as long as you don't let it freeze. This one will probably dry and keep even longer.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


There's steady rain falling outside. That's a sound we didn't hear for many months. Philip's practicing his trumpet downstairs. And that's a sound we haven't heard enough of, considering we're paying for weekly lessons. The more fun that boy has, the less he plays his trumpet.

My try at grading only at school is going swimmingly thus far. A little light reading of very familiar literature in the evenings, and I'm done. Right now we're slogging through: essay writing, theses, outlines & works cited pages, early American short stories, and Sophocles. And sonnet format. I have one new student, frustrated and disruptive, who disturbs my first block class. Otherwise my teaching is going smoothly this semester.

I'm enjoying reading MFK Fisher again. She's one of my favorite modern writers. I could see her moving eventually into the ranks of the much-read, anthologized & dissected writers. She has a perfectly smooth, natural style. Her book of short stories (some autobiographical) called "Sister Age" is very nice. They are the kind of stories that haunt me long afterward. One, about a trip she and her daughters took to a remote French village high in the mountains, beckons me back to it every few years, and I cannot resist.

Choir practice tonight. Adam and I will take a much needed date on Friday evening. On Sunday I plan to visit my parents with Julia overnight, since I haven't been there since Christmas.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I had a cold over the weekend - nothing big, but enough to keep me resting in bed. Better now. I've started a new work policy: try harder not to do school work at home. I'm gonna get all the grading done that I can while I'm at school, but do much less at home in the afternoons/evenings. Don't you think it's about time I focused on being a wife/mom? Perhaps this new approach will help me not want to scream "I quit!!!" at the end of each school year.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Young Entrepreneur

Anna's cookies. She's been honing this skill for a couple of years now. She's come a long way since the day when she mistook teaspoons for tablespoons!

Now, she's selling her cookies. She had orders for 5 dozen @ $3.00 per dozen. The nice ones in the Valentine's tins are, of course, more. Doesn't she look pleased with herself?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Julia's latest reading

Can't see the title, can you? If I'd gotten any closer, she would have bolted.

Bet you can't guess.

Yep, she's reading Dracula. Her daddy told her it was scary. That was all it took!

A sunny 63 degrees

Our front yard camellia has finally decided to grace us with her lovely presence. I like the soft pink.

As I wandered the yard, I scared up 2 wild young animals, hiding in the bushes. This one took off like a rabbit.

This one cowered behind the shrubbery, hoping I wouldn't notice him.

The Ugly Pile is gone. The back yard is looking better. Now all we need is grass. And a fence to separate us from that rather plain-looking backyard neighbor house, in the distance.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

What Julia's doing

It's that time of year again! Julia and I have been out delivering the goodies!

This is Julia's "reading tree." She is an avid reader. Lately she's finished "A Wrinkle in Time," "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," and "Through the Looking-glass."

My quince just can't decide whether to bloom yet. I think it's time. This particular bush actually bears fruit. I thought the flowering quince didn't do that.

Adam did not get all our ugly-pile carried away. Here's the next load to go. Notice all the metal pipes that we've found buried in our yard.

The ugly-pile is greatly reduced.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

He's got mail

Pulled the mail out of the mailbox today. All of it -- ALL of it -- was for Philip. That's what happens when you have a high school junior in the house. Sigh.

Monday, February 4, 2008

comfort food

Well, that turned out to be a terrible picture. Still, it was yummy -- sausage gravy & biscuits. The biscuits were fabulous, if I do say so myself. Layers - lots of lovely layers.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

A day's work

I know it doesn't look like much, but I worked all morning and part of the afternoon to get that slope cleared. It looks rather like a wasteland, but when we put grass there, it will improve.

Adam is adding another raised bed to the garden. This will give him two beds for lettuce, which he will be putting in next Saturday! Spring is almost here!

Adam spent his morning making this gardening table. He wants to root plants we already have, and start having fun with bonzai, among other things.

Philip, the master of the chainsaw. Adam promised that this is the LAST tree they will cut down.

And, the ugly-pile gets higher, and uglier. Adam's taking a personal day on Wednesday to haul it all away to the dump. Finally.

Saturdy morning menagerie

This morning I rebelled against my husband's coffee (so strong it can stand on its own legs), and made us all cafe au lait. Ahh. I warmed the 2% on the stove, and we all added a liquid dollop of cream. The children loved it. Why haven't I done this before. It reminded me painfully of how I miss southern France.

An odd assortment in my kitchen window, enjoying the early light: weeping fig, cilantro, aloe.

And Mother, here's a little pic for you. Remember than dead African violet you brought me? He's making a fine recovery. Just call me the resurrection lady.

Our new bird feeder. This, of course, indicates that I'm officially becoming an Old Lady. There are 2 birds there, but you can't see them. Now, I only need a bird book so I know who's who.