Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rock of Ages - article to consider what a church is?

Read this article to consider what a church is and as Christians what are we called to do.

Rock of Ages article in the - A product of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Given the needs of many, what are we as Christians called to do? Is it more important to repair a steeple or feed your congregation? Is oil in the church more important than oil in the home of someone in need?

Interestingly, this was also the subject of this morning's sermon. What makes you a Christian: a ritual practice or compassionate action?

"For as the body without the spirit is dead,
so faith without works is dead also."
James 2:26

What are your thoughts?

Mystery Solved

DS has noticed that on many of our taller glasses a ring has shown up about ½ the way up the side of the glass. The line is actually etched into the glass. He noticed not in one glass in many. I somewhat dismissed it when he showed me at first, but then I noticed he was right. It wasn’t just on one glass but on many of the taller glasses. I wondered where such a ring could come from.

Today as I stood at the sink washing the dishes for the millionth time (the dishwasher doesn’t work in the new house). It suddenly all became very clear to me. My hand was pushed into the glass trying to get the dried on juice or milk or whatever out of the bottom. I swished right and left, trying to get the sponge down into all of the crevices. CLINK. I stopped dead. It was me. I was making the mark. It was just like all of those Encyclopedia Brown books that I read as a child. The answer was right in front of me. On my right hand, I wear a ring that was given to me by my mother that her aunt once gave her. My ring was etching the glass as I twisted the sponge on the bottom. The mystery was solved.

Friday, August 28, 2009

What did you say? Hearing Problems

Ok, so I am officially old. My hearing has gone completely. DD on the way home this evening asked me what we are doing tomorrow. I told her that nothing was in the plans. She said, “Good then I can read Beowulf.” I heard, “Good, then I can eat bagels.”

To which I responded, “With melon.”

I cannot even describe the giggles that broke out in the backseat. “With melon? I can read Beowulf with melon, Mom. What are you talking about?”

I tried to dig myself out of the hole by explaining what I thought she had said, but they could not let it go there. DS had to pipe in, “That is almost as bad as last week when I asked for the nail clippers and she asked me why I wanted a hamburger.”

DD added, “You should have heard her the other day, ‘Who ate your seeds?’ I had told her that I was waiting for my seeds to GERMINATE, but she thought someone ate them. She went on and on about someone eating my seeds.”

Everyone really had a good laugh at my expense. I quietly thought of all the times I used to make fun of my mother for not hearing me. I thought she might be having a good laugh in heaven listening to this conversation. And then I joined them in a good laugh about the whole situation.

Amusing Sign

I have driven by this sign several times and I have to tell you that it gives me a chuckle every time I see it.

If pedestrians are not to use the sidewalk, then who exactly is the sidewalk for? And how about the bench?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Garden Steps

We have this hill that has just been left array this year. I’m sure the butterflies, bugs, snakes, and rabbits enjoyed the disarray, but I can’t say that I love it. My brother-in-law let me know that it is ok to leave an area of your yard unmowed, but I find it UGLY, especially since it is in front of our house. Yesterday, a friend of mine posted about a catalog of perennials and I was inspired. Today, I got out and got dirty. I uncovered a set of stone steps that DS uncovered when he was mowing and I dug up both sides of the steps up for some hosta and lilies.

By no means is this project over, but I sure made a start. I think that I am also inspired to make an even bigger change there. I think this would be the perfect place for the garden a mix of vegetables, herbs, fruit bushes, and more perennials. The land is virtually unusable for anything else. It gets a good amount of sun and it is screaming for something to be done. So I have a lot more work ahead of me, but here is to a good start.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Little Red Machine

Ok, this may not be as exciting as a little red GTO, but I was pretty pumped when we finally got it: my little red lawn mower. Our old push mower died a few weeks ago and we have been trying to figure out how to find money in our budget for a new one. Thank goodness again for credit card points. DH uses a credit card for expenses for which he gets reimbursed. Although I find this process a real pain in the neck, the point have really been helpful. Last year, his points helped us to afford Christmas presents for the kids. This year, it has helped us afford our little red machine. As soon as DH got her up and running, I was off and mowing. It may seem to be a pain in the neck to hand mow an acre yard, but so far it has really been a help to me as I battle the bulge. Between that and the clothesline in the cellar in lieu of a dryer (the bedrooms are on the second floor), I certainly get my exercise. Who needs a treadmill?
I'm hoping we will have enough points left over to get my doorbells.

Don't you think they are adorable?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pre-Christmas Christmas

As many of my fellow bloggers are starting to mention Christmas (I know – this seems like sacrilege at this point in the year), I thought pre-Christmas may be more appropriate to celebrate. With the thought that Christmas is not really that far away, perhaps it is time to finish with the gifts from Christmas’ past. You know the gifts I mean: the ones that have too many parts or take time to put together. The kids opened them so eagerly, but then you put them aside to do “later”. Somehow though later hasn’t come and the item is still in the box tucked in a corner.

Yesterday, DS actually started me on this. He pulled out his Smithsonian Crystal Growing Kit.

With us moving, I could not have crystals growing here and there at the old house, so I put it aside. I’m not sure what inspired him to pull it out, but yesterday he pulled it out and we have begun our crystal growing experiment.

We did just one experiment yesterday, #8 “Emerald Green”, and expect to do more over the next few days. This inspired DD to pull out her Aqua garden fountain for which we will buy some seeds today.

As the credit card commercial says, “What’s in your wallet?” or in this case, “What’s in your closet?” Before the new season comes, perhaps it is time to use what we got before.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Prayer Shawl Complete

Remember when I told you about Prayer Shawls back in July? Well, I have finally finished mine.

It is certainly not a crocheting masterpiece, but I like it. DH wondered if I was ever going to finish it since it seemed like I was pulling apart as many rows as I was putting in. I did learn during this shawl that I am not ready for all the beautiful different sized fluffy yarns. I'm still too much of a beginner. I did use it though for the fringe.

The beautiful model above is my DD. Can you believe she has gotten so big? Where does the time go.

Unbelieveably, I think I'm going to try working on another shawl. I'll let you know how it comes out. Have any of you tried one yet? Please show us a picture if you have.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Boot Tray

Sometimes you just have to take action into your own hands and stop wishing and dreaming. I have been dreaming of a shoe holder like this:

For my breezeway, but there are so many needs that come before this item that I’ll be lucky to have it in a couple years. Frankly though, I am sick of the shoe spread that has infected this area of the house. In our family, we have made it a habit to take off our shoes when we enter the house, which is a great help to house cleaning: no muddy tracks, less sand, and grass; but it makes for such an untidy look for our entry. On the positive point, the breezeway is in the back of this house and not the formal entry, but let’s be honest it is the entry that everyone uses. So I took matters into my own hands, grabbed a piece of wood, the hand saw, a hammer, and nails. Tada – a shoe rack:

Not perfect, but a little organization and serenity in my life.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Buddha, my son

This may seem like a strange addition to a Christian household. But these Buddhas are not for worship, but in commemoration. DS has been called our Buddha since he was born. Our first child DD was extremely intense. I could barely put her down. She was very intense and demanded attention. When DS came along, things were so different. It seemed impossible that they could share DNA. DS was quiet, placid. I used to joke that I could have left him in the corner and left him for days without a problem (not that I would ever do that). His serenity has continued as he has grown. He has a palpable peace about him that is contagious. Thus, he became our Buddha. DD was the first person to gift us with an actual Buddha to commemorate him. Then DS and I found the second one. I dare say you can’t call it a collection, but I’m sure we’ll add more in the coming years as they bring me great delight and are like having a picture of his soul as opposed to his face.

To see other’s special items, visit:

Show and Tell

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Journey

I guess I should let you all in on my latest journey. It is a journey of many steps, but I don’t move very far as they are all on a treadmill. DS started this with his Personal Fitness Merit Badge work in which he was required to start a physical fitness routine. Then DD’s foray into the Sea Cadets also required a workout plan. How could I let them get fit and leave me in the ditch? The energy in the house was almost palpable. I had to join in. And so I have. I decided that I could definitively put aside 20 minutes a day minimum for my health.

I also have been trying to eat better not just in content but in quantity. Unlike my post the other day chiding the quality vs. quantity parenting argument, when it comes to food it is a true statement = less quantity with more quality. I realized when it came to food, I was truly becoming part of the Super Size Me generation. Not because I ate at McDonalds, but because I fill my plate and go back for seconds . . . no wonder my weight had gotten so far out of hand. Last night I realized how much my husband and I were passing this on to my children when we stopped at Ruby Tuesdays. DS ordered two mini-burgers and was quite happy with them, but DH couldn’t believe that he didn’t order the Super Colossal Burger. He was upset that DS was ordering so small a portion when he could have something else so large. Large! Huge! Enormous! I finally spoke up, “Leave him be. This is a much better portion size for him than that gigantic thing.”

DS added in, “The last time I ordered the Super Colossal Burger I couldn’t even finish it, Dad.” I thought this is what we have done. We have taught them to eat until they couldn’t eat any more. What a huge mistake. How had I gone from a mother so careful about nutrition: even making my own baby food to avoid additives to one that put mounds and mounds of food on the table or ordered ridiculous portions at restaurants and had appetizers and dessert? What was I doing to my kids, let alone myself?

My weight became very apparent to me as I took pictures for this blog. I had to pluck through many to pick out some that were reasonable and even those I was cropping to avoid showing certain body parts. This is not good. Plus, I am on the cusp of my 39th birthday and hoping that there are many more to come. So don’t be surprised to hear more of my (and my families) exercise and better eating experience.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Recipe - Lime Chicken

juice & zest of 3 limes
3 Tbsp vegtable oil
dash of pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts fillet in half
1 jar Crate & Barrel Frontera Cucumber Lime Salsa - chilled

Mix marianade (lime, oil, and pepper) and chill with chicken for several hours.
Grill chicken until done. Serve with chilled Cucumber Lime Salsa on top.

The Cucumber Lime Salsa had been a gift with a beautiful chip & dip bowl from my brother and his girlfriend. The evening I made this chicken, I had not made it to the market to pick up the fruits needed for the topping chutney so I scoured the pantry to decide what else to use. I thought the cucumber salsa might have just the right mix between cool and saucy and I was right. It was super yummy and a healthy option too.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Manna from Heaven

One of the special things that we did this week was serve at a nearby homeless shelter. Like many of the missions that we undertake, I always think that we get far more than we give. This mission reminded me of an especially important lesson about God providing. It is so easy to think that it was we who served at the shelter, but really we were just the hands of God. I was especially reminded of this as I was trying to put the meal together.

As usual, money is tight and I wasn’t sure how I was going to afford the food materials that I needed to cook. I was frustrated at myself for volunteering and specifically saying exactly what I was going to make. Without having my old big freezer, I did not have a store to pull from but had to buy what I needed. DD had convinced me to try to make a meatloaf that a friend of mine had made for the crew that went to KY, but ground beef was $3.59 a pound. I kicked myself for not buying ground beef when we drove by a store with it on sale earlier in the week. I did not know how I was going to pull everything together.

I quietly prayed for God’s help in doing what my family needed but also fulfill His work on this earth. With that prayer came quite inspiration, I could combine ground beef I had with the turkey that I had bought on sale. Also, I had wanted to buy corn, but thought of the extra salad that I had on hand. I whipped up mashed potatoes and some pumpkin pies. As I cooked away, I thought of Moses and the Hebrews being fed with manna from heaven and while I was not gleaning this food from my lawn, the result certainly seemed the same. Where there was nothing, there now was sustenance.

Amazingly this was not the first time that I had experienced this mini-miracle, I had cooked for church or other mission type projects and somehow I had just enough flour or one more egg than I thought. It always seemed to me that God was working with me. I was doing His work and He was helping me along. Thank God for all His miraculous ways. I pray that he will continue to use me and my family. We are ready to follow.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

It's A Wonderful Life

What a wonderful day. DH decided that we should go for a hike. We haven’t gone in so long due to DH’s back and then DS’s arm, but today we went out for a beautiful hike.

I’ve been eyeing an area nearby (the Rock House Reservation) and finally we got the chance. The hike was easy, no aggressive terrain and although it took some serious convincing of DD to go, once she was hiking, she was enjoying it. Afterward, we even went to see the birthplace of Lucy Stone and therefore fulfilled part of our homework from the Pen & Parchment to visit the site of an important historical woman. Plus, this visit helped to put our curiosity to bed. Every time we pass through West Brookfield signs would proclaim, “The birthplace of Lucy Stone”, which unfortunately meant nothing to us.
Now I know that Lucy Stone was an abolitionist, a leader in the suffragist movement. She was the first woman to graduate from college in Massachusetts and amazingly that was without the help of payment by her father. Lucy Stone was an amazingly strong, independent woman. They even credit her speaking with bringing Susan B. Anthony to the suffragist movement. She also was the first woman to keep her name after marriage.
After a wonderful picnic at her homestead, we went for a delicious ice cream and then a visit to an incredibly interesting old book store. It was filled to the rafters with books of every shape, size, subject, and age. To a homeschooling mother’s delight, we were there because the libraries were closed and DD wanted to finish reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. She had started reading it the evening before at the Opening night of her play The House of Seven Gables (Nathaniel Hawthorne) and desperately wanted to finish reading it. She had made it to chapter 18 and didn’t want to give it back to the girl she borrowed it from. All and all it is a wonderful day and there are still hours left to enjoy.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Primitive Appeal

When we bought our new home, one of the things that appealed to us about it was its primitive style. One elements of this style was evident in this dining room fixture. It was certainly not a fixture that I would have chosen, but I absolutely love it. It is as much a piece of art as anything else in the house and surely make a style statement.
I am not sure if you can quite see in this picture but the entire center conical shape is punched out in different designs. I can't wait to decorate it with greenery for Christmas.
To see what others wish to Show and Tell, visit There is No Place Like Home using the link below.

Show and Tell

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Rising DesignStar - Dan Vickery

OnDemand (the ability to watch TV shows when you wish) is one of the greatest inventions of modern day, especially for busy mothers. My time to sit and watch is erratic and it seems when I do have time there is nothing worth watching or I am catching it in the last few minutes or worse than that can start it but not watch the end. Lately, I have been enjoying OnDemand to allow me to watch the Duggars and DesignStar. The Duggars, I have been following for a long time, but DesignStar is a new interest.

I’m not sure how I got into this show, but I am hooked especially on one particular designer, Dan Vickery. Dan’s vision and execution in the few rooms that they have done is so far beyond what the other designers have done, I cannot even verbalize. I keep watching because I want to see what innovative ideas he comes up with. Even in his grocery shopping room, I would be happy to live in it.

A show like this is best of reality tv. It is inspirational and full of creative ideas. I look forward to watching Dan Vickery’s future HGTV design show.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dear Detroit - Creating the MOM-mobile

I think that as GM, FORD, and Chevy reconfigure their automotive style, they should really consider moms. I have really started to think of all the hours that I spend in my car and it is disgusting. I think that my car my rival my bed for total number of hours used a day. Mind you, it is not just the traveling but also the sitting time. After the gas price rise about a year ago, I seriously reconsidered how much driving I do and if it makes sense to drop the kids off and come back for them or to just stick around. Needless to say, I spend hours waiting in the car. I read, crochet, take naps, write, but I’d like to tell the automakers that a few key changes in design would be greatly appreciated:

Screen windows – Certainly as I sit because I am trying to save on gas the car is turned off and therefore can get very warm so I have to open the windows which inevitably lets in mosquitoes. Screens would be very helpful (and perhaps conversely in the winter a small solar powered space heater).

Swivel seat – While the driver’s seat is comfortable for driving, sitting in it for such long periods can get uncomfortable on the legs. So the ability to turn would be great especially if I could turn toward a work surface.

Central Console / desk / work surface – Wouldn’t it be great if I could bring my scrapbooking or Christmas cards and work right there in the car: Swivel that chair and bang a great work surface (perhaps it could be created by just flipping over the passanger's seat). Especially in those new cars with blue tooth technology, I could actually work and meet my family’s demands.

Removable pillow / changeable window tint – I can’t tell you the number of naps I’ve taken in the car especially during “Hell Weeks” (the week before a theater performance). But I am always concerned that someone will think that I am in distress so I would love to just “tint” the windows temporarily while I sleep. The pillow goes without saying and can conveniently be stored in the head rest. The tint will also be helpful for those times when the backseat is occasionally used as a dressing room as we run from one event to the next.

I think these are more than reasonable requests and not quite as unreasonable as some of my other ideas like remote driving, cars that can be driven as a pod two seater or transformed to a van, a holder for my yarn; so I hope Detroit will seriously consider these adaptations. What do you think should be added to the MOM-mobile?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Opportunity Knocks - Saco, ME

When my sister visited from out west, we said goodbye pledging to see each other as soon as possible. Oh, how I wish I was infinitely wealthy or had a Star Trek transporter. There are so many places that I wish to see and people I wish to visit, but alas there are taxes, house repairs, car maintenance, cable bills, etc., etc. All I could promise is that if opportunity knocked, I surely would take advantage of it. Our family has been very lucky in that respect and has done most of our traveling that way. We have tacked many a personal trip onto business trips or taken business trips and added in a few hours of personal time. This was one of the many reasons we actually chose to homeschool. The freedom of a homeschooling schedule allowed us to go if the opportunity arose.

Last week DH mentioned an arising opportunity, a trip to Maine; granted it isn’t for very long – just overnight, but I am truly excited. I have never been to Maine. Ok, let me adjust that, I have driven into and out of Maine twice. But this would be a verifiable, actual overnight in the Pine Tree State. We will be in the Saco, ME area. The best part of these kind of trips is the limited cost on our part. DH would have to reserve a hotel room anyway, so we are just stowaways. The gas is covered too as he would be driving regardless. We just pay for food and extra activities. What is the difference between buying food here or buying food there? So opportunity has knocked and I am answering that door. Maine here we come.

I welcome any ideas of what we should do on this brief trip. If you have a favorite restaurant or destination near Saco, ME, please let me know.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Quality Time vs Quantity

One of the great things about DH’s job and the new house is that we have time together. We usually now are able to have breakfast and dinner together. Occasionally, we even pop over for lunch. After over a year of him commuting over 3 hours a day, this has truly been a God send to our family. I have often argued that you cannot have quality time if you don’t have quantity. I think as a society we have fooled ourselves in this debate to nullify our guilt about not having enough time together. Quality time is not necessarily something you can identify until after you’ve had the time together. I think some people believe quality time is when you plan special time together with your children i.e. Six Flags, the beach, a show, but I can tell you that some of the highest quality time I have had with my children and with my husband has come during the most mundane tasks.

Today for example, during breakfast we had a great conversation about how life has changed since we were children and certainly since our parents were children. Things like body wash vs. bars of soap, which somehow led to a conversation of hairspray, and then smoking. Smoking led to the Marlboro Man, who of course the kids had never heard of. So we pulled out the computer and found this on YouTube.

The kids were amazed that smoking was so prevalent. We were sure to mention during this conversation that the viral, manly, independent Marlboro Man died of lung cancer. It was a very interesting advertising conversation and one of the many conversations that I’m sure we will have on the subject of smoking.

You can only have quality time, if you have quantity.

You can only get to the important conversations of life, if you make the time to talk.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Peanut Butter Cookies

As promised yesterday, today's post will explain this picture:

This may make the story clearer for you:

Did you guess correctly?

I have mentioned before that our neighbors have been none too friendly here, with the exception of our closest neighbors who were the first people to greet us when we arrived. They have been helpful by offering phone numbers, inviting us over for batmitton, and just generally being friendly. So I decided to say thank you. A few days ago, I made several homemade cards including a card for them and then I planned to make peanut butter cookies. DD actually took over the task. We used the recipe from the KitchenAid mixer booklet (page 42) which is easy and yummy. We picked the best and most perfect cookies to send over and then we packed them up. DD ran over to deliver our delicious thank you for all their kindness. Without them, our new home would be very lonely.

I think my next project is to cook something up for the unfriendly neighbors, but I need to cook for coffee hour and the homeless shelter first. What projects do you do to make people feel special?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Our Homeschool Classroom

Several of the homeschooling websites have been talking about how to set up their school rooms, so I thought I’d share a preview of mine:

Granted this is only today’s classroom. We don’t always have such glorious days to allow us to study outside, but we did love it today. Our “classroom” changes with our needs and desires. Sometimes we are in the living room, sometimes the dining room. We’ve been known to do experiments on the kitchen counter and certainly do enough studying in our car (we used to do more than we do now – thank goodness). Sometimes we start early and other times late. The word standard doesn’t really exist, but I can tell you that there is no room in our house that looks like a schoolroom as one might think of it.

I look forward to seeing what your classrooms look like.

Here is a hint on tomorrow’s entry:

See if you can figure out what the post might be about.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

It is all in a name

When DH and I were pregnant with DD (15 years ago), we had a big debate on her middle name. Although her first name was a gift from God and was just known to be her name, her middle name seemed elusive. We joked that it should start with an “F” so that her initials matched that of the family business, but DH said that the “F” should stand for Fox. Although I thought it sounded pretty cool, I remembered the middle name reveal that occurred for every child around middle school. I figured DD would not appreciate Fox too much at that age. I, also, could not imagine myself hollering her name out. I could just imagine the other parents looking at me thinking “Did she say what I thought she said?” I tried to convince him that Faith would be an acceptable replacement, but he wasn’t crazy about it. We bantered back and forth for weeks until we went in a completely different direction and gave her the middle name of Troi. Several of you are wondering how this is any better than Fox, but there are a few of you who are saying that is cool, because you know the origin.

Troi comes from Deanna Troi that was an empath on the Star Trek Enterprise during the Next Generation series. Uniquely, Deanna has the ability to discern other people’s feelings. She couldn’t quite read their minds, but she could feel if they were being honest or not. She also had the honor of being the highest ranking female officer on the Enterprise. We thought this was a perfect name for all that we could hope for our DD and so we both agreed that Troi was perfect. And so it has been. . .

Flash forward to today; DD has now embarked to live up to her name. We always took the name to be symbolic representing strength, courage, empathy, etc. Yesterday, she has begun the path that may potentially lead her toward it being an accurate description. DD went to her first Sea Cadet drill. She has been talking about an interest in the Navy for several years and she is very excited about the opportunity to see if this may be a direction from her life. Sea Cadets is a Youth organization that prepares children from the Navy or Coast Guard. It will allow her the opportunity to participate in any of the trainings that the adults do and if she chooses the Navy as the direction for her life then she will be ahead of the other enlisted men and woman. I think it is certainly too early to say if she will stick with it or not. I can tell you that she was extremely enthusiastic about it after visiting this week and that we will be back for the next drill in two weeks.

So I guess the moral of the story is that you better think long and hard about the name that you give your child because perhaps you are subconsciously edging them toward that future.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Glass Harmonica II

Mrs. Momma let me know that she actually found a You Tube performance of Vera Meyer playing the glass harmonica, so I thought you would all like to hear it:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ice Cream Ball

Have you ever seen one of these?

If you don't already have one, you must put it immediately on your Christmas list. I bought ours a few years ago for DH (but actually the whole family too). This is certainly not the way you want to make ice cream everytime you have it, but it is enjoyable once in a while, and it really allows you to have fun and make some really unique flavors. You can find all sorts of recipes online for the ball:

You only need rock salt, a bit of ice, and a whole lot of shaken to make the ingredients turn into yummy, yummy ice cream.

We made coffee ice cream this particular day - my favorite. Of course between the coffee ice cream and the large hazelnut coffee from Dunkin Donuts (both after 8pm), I did not fall asleep very well that night.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Glass Harmonica

When we went to Boston this weekend and more specifically the Paul Revere House, we were treated to a Glass Harmonica concert. I had never seen such an instrument. I did know about playing glasses. I was originally treated to this at my junior prom. After the prom, my date played the glasses for my parents. I was, of course, in awe. But it never crossed my mind that such an "instrument" could be improved, but apparently Benjamin Franklin took one look at people playing crystal glasses and thought, "this can be done better". He ordered the stems be cut off and stacked them on a cork axle so that they could rotate as opposed to the player's hand. In this harmonica's case the gold rings help to identify sharps and flats, similar to the black keys on a piano. This change in design also meant that water did not have to be in every glass to make different tones, but instead could be added to the player's hands instead.

The woman playing did a wonderful job. She started with some Japanese music and moved into some more traditional fair. She joked that music for this instrument ranged from the obscure to the very obscure.

One of the people in the audience asked why was it named a harmonica since it looked so little like a harmonica. Her response was that actually, it was the other way around. Why were harmonicas (the one that people blow into) named as such since they looked nothing like harmonicas (i.e. Benjamin Franklin's device). Actually, Harmonicas are named after the Italian word "harmony" for the beautiful, ethereal, haunting quality of sound that it emits.

Here is a link to some information / activities to learn more about the glass harmonica:

Sunday, August 2, 2009

On the March in Boston

What a crazy, busy, wonderful week. The house seems so quiet without my five year old nephew and his parents. I'm so happy that we got my bed into the guest room up over garage in time for their visit.

Yesterday was their last day with us, and we spent most of it in Boston. DH didn't think that he was going to be able to spend the day with us because of his work load, but he relented and decided that family was more important . . .and for his efforts, he at least got a good picture with DD (this is a rare smiling teenager, especially rare and prized when viewed with its paternal partner).

Don't they look great?

It was a good think that DD was there, because she was great with my nephew. She made sure that he held hands when crossing the street, waited for the adults to catch up, and even caught his head when he was falling asleep at a glass harmonica concert (I'll post more about this tomorrow.).

We spent most of the day following the Freedom Trail, which is for those of you that don't know and actual red painted and brick line that guides you through Boston historical sites. Following this visiable line was a great way to keep my five year old nephew's attention. A few times, he actually kept us in line and caught us from going the wrong way.

Of course, poor DS's arm started to bother him as the day wore on, but he was a real trooper. Here he is with his cousin and his Dad.Now that we know how close Boston is, we certainly will be back.

It was very sad to say goodbye to my sister and her family. We had such a wonderful visit and I know it will be a while before the next one - - -3,000 miles tends to get in the way. But I sure will try to make it a priority to see them again soon. Maybe next time it will be us traveling to the West Coast.

Cirlce of Friends Blog Award

Ohhh, I feel so special. Mrs. Momma passed me a circle of friends award.


Here are the rules for this award:

  • To pick up the Circle of Friends Blog Award cut and paste the award logo and use it on your own blog.
  • Nominate 5 other bloggers you feel have become part of your circle of friends.
  • Link to your nominees within your blog post.
  • Include these instructions on how to pick up the award in your blog post.
  • Link back to the person who gave you the award in your blog post, to show your appreciation.
  • Comment on their blogs to let them know they've received the award.

This is not going to be easy:

First, I will have to list one of my in person friends who also happens to be a very talented decorator. She doesn't necessarily blog everyday, but when she does, watch out. If you live in CT you can check her out on channel 8 Connecticut Style or even better, you can visit her at her gallery in Glastonbury. For the rest of us, we will have to settle for her blog.

Second, I will include my first blog buddy, Gauri, all the way from India.

Third & fourth, I will go for inspiration. Owlhaven is that plus some and Andy's Bethy .

And Fifth, a new, old friend Carolyn's Postcards from Suburbia. Carolyn has a column also in the Meriden Record Journal. I was thrilled to find out that I could keep up with her great writing online.

I hate to say, that I could go on and on, perhaps even with people that blog more often or write better, but rules are rules, so here are my choices. If you get a chance, stop by and say "hi" to them.

Thanks again Mrs. Momma. You made my day.