May the 4th be with you!

Somewhere … sometime … a long time ago … in a galaxy we’re in right now, somebody noticed that, “May the 4th,” sounded a lot like, “May the force,” and thus Star Wars day was born. So may the 4th be with you … always!

I have a lot of catching up to do on this blog. We’ve been busy. Sometimes super busy! And it meant that I had to lighten up on something or I’d just fall down exhausted and become a blob. Actually, I did become a blob and exhausted, so I guess I should say that I would have been a worse blob. So the blog got lightly set aside. Sorry, blog. Sorry, WordPress.

I’ll do some catch up in the coming days and weeks … things we’ve been doing … are doing now … and stuff that may be yet to come. Subjects covered with include Science, Robotics, Apatite, Salad Surprise, Dance, Balcony Gardening (Herbs and Plants that Survived the Winter), and more!

I hope you enjoyed the rainbow I posted on May 2. The photo was actually taken on May 1. Rainbows may be a little cliché in some ways, but they are still so amazing when they show up in all their spectacular glory. It was a really impressive start to May.

May the 4th be with you, and may it be a good one!

Checking In – 6 Days ’til

Okay, it is less than a week to Christmas. I’ve taken a vacation day today, so I can get some things done before Christmas. I’m going to blog a smidge because I haven’t in over a week. There is less time to Christmas than days since my last blog post. I feel like I should freak out now.

Though I have some shopping done, I’m not finished yet. We have partly decorated for Christmas, but aren’t finished yet.

We got an adorable tree from the tree lot where my daughter volunteered. It was one of the largest trees in the small-tree category. It is beautifully full and nicely shaped with a good top branch for the star.

I love the smell of fresh-cut trees. If I put my fingers into the tree water to check its depth, my fingers smell awesome. (I know, that sounds kind of weird, right? But it’s true.) The tree water is like some kind of beautiful fragrant, cold-brewed tea.

We have a smallish artificial tree that we purchased several years ago. We used that last year. It’s getting kind of sad looking. Some of the branches are a little droopy (because the cat likes to climb it) and the fake needles are falling off as much or more than any real needles. Plus it smells so not fresh. It smells like the storage area and old cardboard. Not really something that brings to mind the holiday spirit. I’d need some Glad spruce-scented spray or something to make that one a little more appealing. I should probably dig it out of storage and pitch it.

We went to a wonderful Christmas party on Saturday night where we got to see good friends and eat yummy food. I want to eat more yummy food and see more of our friends. Things get busy.

Sunday my daughter’s Girl Scout troop made and decorated Christmas cookies. More yum.

The past week had some extremely cold days, so if my tomato plants had any life in them at all before they are now completely done for the year. I rescued a few small plants from the balcony and brought them inside during the extreme temperatures. At least it felt like winter while we were thinking about Christmas.

I left one squash out on the balcony which froze rather solidly. It was like a big rock. I could probably take out zombies with that squash. Do not drop it. Once thawed it needs to be eaten or cooked quickly. So we made a large pot of squash soup for dinner yesterday. 

The good part of partially freezing is that once thawed, the squash softens up some, so it is much easier to cut than fresh and raw. 

But I think generally squash tastes better if it is cooked before being frozen. The squash soup makes a nice compromise. Plus it’s super healthy. Today I still have more squash to use up.

We’re still debating if we should see Santa at the mall this year. We’ve been every year since my daughter was tiny. Now that she’s a teenager, we almost didn’t go last year. But then we did and it was cute. Except that there was a TV crew filming the Santa at the mall. That turned out to be kind of fun and kind of embarrassing for my daughter.

Our mall has had the same man-in-the-red-suit for many many years. So he’s in all of our photos. It was only natural to go back there. I guess the TV crew had the same idea about Santa and was filming a piece on Santa at the mall since he’s been there so long. They didn’t want to use a small child in the piece, so they used my daughter. It was also timing — she just happened to be the next, older child in line when they were filming. It looked cute. She looked very nice on the local TV station.

But a couple of teachers saw her. So back at school they said, “hey, we saw you on the news with Santa!” So it got a little embarrassing for her. (Hey, the TV interviewer even sat on Santa’s lap. I thought there was a lot more potential for embarrassment in that.)

I have reassured my daughter that odds are extremely good that the same thing won’t happen again this year. My biggest hesitation is the line. It’s always massively huge. I hate to take up so much time just waiting. (Though I can bring electronic devices for playing games or writing, so it’s not that bad if I plan it right.) But we missed out on making a reservation since we weren’t sure if we were going. Now that we might go, we’ll have to wait in the line. Hopefully, we can go during a weekday when the line won’t be as long.

My daughter has been busy making lots of peppermint bark for gifts and dipping pretzels in chocolate too. We get to eat all the mistakes and “test” the non-mistakes too. We have very happy taste buds right now. She made more this morning. I need to go find a tin to put it in.

Hope folks are having a great week and enjoying lots of yummy things.

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World’s best peppermint bark. I could eat the whole tray myself.

 
 

The Week

It was a busy week. With the election on Tuesday, I got up early to vote. Then, like a lot of people, I didn’t get much sleep that night. I dozed, looked at incoming election results, then woke up. Then dozed a little more. It was very surreal.

Wednesday, I had a meeting at my daughter’s school. So there I was talking with her teachers, and so very tired. Though, I think we were all a little tired. The teachers had very nice things to say about my kiddo, and I’m very proud of her.

Thursday,  before work I took the cat to the vet to get his blood drawn. Then dropped him off at home before I went to the office.

My daughter had Robotics club after school, so I had to pick her up.

The school was having an International Night that evening. Since it started several minutes before I arrived at the school, my daughter was already in line to sample the many tasty foods, and I went inside to see what it was like.

I’m so glad we went in. International night was really cool. Our area has students from so many places. We got to taste foods from around the world.

One of the desserts was called, Casery (maybe also spelled Kesari). It was from India and flavored with cardamom. It was different but yummy!

Then we saw a video the students made and watched part of a talent show the students performed.

Then I had pinball league. I stayed awake enough to play a few good games. Yay!

I came home and tried to blog. I. Was. So. Tired.

I kept typing and falling asleep mid-sentence. And I kept typing the wrong thing. Finally, I managed a couple of tiny sentences and was done.  I had to count that as my NaBlogPoMo.

Friday’s blog post didn’t go much better. I was so tired. But I was a little peppier since we got good news about our little old kitty cat. He’s a lot better. That made me happy.

Today is catch-up day … for many things. Laundry. Groceries. Blogging and writing. Resting. But still driving my daughter to and from places. At least I’m getting a few of these done.

Wishing everyone a great weekend!

NaBloPoMo November 2016

NaBloPoMo Day 2, Concert

Just a quick entry for NaBloPoMo Day 2. I managed a Day 1 entry, so I wanted to keep rolling. NaBloPoMo is National Blog Posting Month. Writers pledge to blog at least one post every single day of November. Here’s a link to some writing prompts which I may or may not use.

I didn’t get any writing done for NaNoWriMo yesterday. (National Novel Writing Month.)

My daughter had an orchestra concert at school yesterday evening plus a lot of my free time in the morning was consumed with finishing the hem and alterations on her formal orchestra dress. Got it done ,and it didn’t look bad. Yay.

The orchestra performance was wonderful!

This was the first concert of the year and my daughter’s first concert as a high school student. I’m amazed that the musicians are just high schoolers.

Many of the students wore Halloween masks, and there was a separate contest for audience kids in costume. They were way cute! Loved the Eiffel Tower girl! My daughter wore a mask that was either a fox or a cat. I’m still not sure which. Maybe a foxcat. That’s a thing, right?

I hope to get more writing done tonight.

Today is the Day of the Dead in Mexico and other countries that celebrate it. And it’s All Soul’s Day for many Christians including Catholics. So greetings to those of you who celebrate. I will remember my grandparents and also hunker down at home to get things done including writing.

I’m going to try to go about this with an amount of time set aside for writing each day. I find I can do little chunks of time and just keep going until I have some writing done.

NaBloPoMo November 2016

In Other News – Three Things

Two Three things of note happened:

That’s right. It’s an empty washer and dryer at the same time!

I didn’t even realize until I opened the washer to put clothes in the dryer, and it was empty. This is a rare thing.

Also, I finally painted my fingernails (which I’ve been wanting to do since July). I know that seems trivial. But I thought it worth mentioning since, well yeah.

I also reached 100 Followers here on WordPress which is even cooler than the washer and dryer being empty at the same time. (Empty didn’t last long anyway.) More

NaBloPoMo Day 9: No Apologies

Conveniently the Daily Prompt for November 9 was:

No Apologies.

Convenient because I didn’t get a blog post out for November 9 (aka NaBloPoMo Day 9). It’s like the universe was saying to me, “It’s okay. No apologies are needed.” 

It knew I had work. It knew that it was Monday. And it knew that we had our monthly homeowners association meeting that evening. 

I like to go to the meetings when I can because our community has issues. We had six months of pink insulation and no windows just last year … I like to know what’s going on. 

More

NaBloPoMo – Whereby I try to write every day in November and other people do too

I’m going to try NaBloPoMo (National Blogging Po Month?). I’ll have to find out what “Po” stands for. I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with Teletubbies.

So this is my first post here on November 1, 2015. It’s not a fancy post. I have more things coming for November, though I’m sure some days will be harder than others. Writing everyday is not the worst goal in the word. I already have it has a basic goal whether it involves posting on my blog or not. (Hmm, does “Po” stand for “Posting?” I’ll have to find out.)

I have other goals too. I’d like to participate in NaNoWriMo which is the National Novel Writing Month (aka November). But while I’m going to work on stories I’m not very likely to be able to write enough words per day to complete an entire novel in November alone. I mean, HELLO, November — that’s the month before Christmas and the one that contains Thanksgiving. There’s other stuff to do like cleaning our home and getting rid of stuff. And that whole food and eating and feeding my family thing. Bathing (hopefully). Laundry. Always with the laundry. And more other general getting caught up on stuff that I need to get caught up on. That list is too long.

As a start NaBloPoMo, I’m putting some handy links here because I have a feeling I’m gonna need ’em. I have a tendency to misplace things. I may update this has I find more stuff. Anybody else out there doing this? Yes, I know the answer is “yes,” so “hello and good luck!. May the force be with you!”

DailyPost WordPress: Making It Through NaBloPoMo.

Blogher’s page on NaBloPoMo.

 

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One Possible Future, With Trees

Here I am — already one week into this thing called “the future” that our Day-20 assignment, from WordPress Writing 101, asked us to look toward. I’m a veritable time traveler. Look out world! Bam!

I still have more posts both to finish and to start. Some from Blogging U. and some that I just want to do. I expect this to be the case for a while longer. Possibly a long long time.

First there are ideas. Then starting to write. And then finishing a post or story…

All that life stuff keeps happening too — feeding the foundation, pumping fluids, circulating air.

It’s a cycle kind of shaped like a Christmas tree for me – lots of ideas form the wide bottom, somewhere in the middle I have all the stuff I’ve started. At the top are the those I’ve finished — this section is a little sparse. But if I plant enough trees and help them grow, hopefully I can keep some alive and some might thrive and maybe I’ll even manage to put a shiny star on top once in a while. (Then I’ll just have to manage to take it down before February, right? Oh, wait.)

I’m happy when I manage to finish a blog post and even happier when I finish a story. So going forward that’s what I’ll continue to aim for. More of both with special emphasis on stories. I’m even working on a schedule for myself.

Along the way, I look forward to gatherings of friends and family, old and new.

Way in the future, perhaps I can look back at my little Christmas tree farm and remember each one with fondness — even the ones that twisted and turned unexpectedly. And hopefully I’ll manage it all well enough that the laundry still gets done, some of the fish survive (gotta pick your battles), and the cats and humans in our family are happy and fed.

The cats do love to play with Christmas trees. The humans like them too (just not quite so much February to September … Or maybe October.)

Summer’s Tail – Kicking and Screaming

It’s still hot like summer, but in many places kids have already gone back to school. Some as early as August 1. Summer is over for them. It’s the tail end for us, and I want to grab on to these last few weeks kicking and screaming as I lick the last bit of salt off my fingers before summer goes away again. My daughter can’t wait for school to start back up. She’s excited to experience her new classes and see more of her friends. I still have unfinished plans and goals and more tomatoes to grow!

We did some fun things this summer. We took a trip to Pittsburgh where I participated in Pinburgh, a pinball tournament. Pinburgh has been around a few years, but this year it was held at a huge new classic video game festival called Replay FX. I brought my daughter because, hello, video games and pinball! And they had other kids’ activities like a velcro wall, giant inflatable obstacle course, and slides. For a video game festival my daughter actually got a lot of exercise!

While Pittsburgh may not bring to mind the typical image of summer vacation paradise, there was much fun and our hotel room had extra niceties that kept us saying, “wow, cool!” This made for a fairly complete vacationy experience.

Our room had a motion sensor foot light (like a night light at the floor that turned on when we stepped out of bed), pull-down individual book lights on each headboard, and in the evening, when we returned exhausted from a full day of game play and activities, the hotel supplied milk and cookies (free of charge for kids 12 and under). It was great!

We had another very mini vacation this past Friday night when we slept over at the National Museum of American History as a Smithsonian Sleepover. Last summer we did this at the Natural History Museum and loved it. There are scads of activities and crafts centered around various exhibitions in the museum. Then folks get to roll out their sleeping bags and camp out under a whale or antique machinery as museum lights are dimmed. Continental breakfast is served in the morning. And it is all so way cool!

Next year my daughter will be too old to do either of these sleepovers (there’s an age limit), and we’re super glad to have done them. I’ve always loved the Natural History Museum with animals and minerals, but I forgot how much fun the American History Museum can be. I feel like we made the kind of memories that can last a lifetime, and I think (I hope) my daughter feels that way too.

Earlier this summer my daughter had camp, so most weeks I had to drop her off in the morning and then run out on my lunch hour to pick her up and drop her off either at home or somewhere else like another camp (from which I’d have to pick her up again later). Most of the camps have been wonderful! She’s learned more music and dance and even cooking.

For me, one or two days of driving at lunchtime isn’t a problem, but week after week gets tiring. Exhausting even. I need some down time, or I start to shut down. On top of it, I fell and injured my knee last March (for crying out loud) and it has been slowly healing. At the beginning of summer it was much better but still painful on a regular basis. Pain is exhausting. (I have much more empathy for folks who live with chronic pain.) I’ve been trying to fit physical therapy exercises into my daily schedule to help my knee heal. Here at the end of summer I finally feel like I can squat to take care of our balcony plants without groaning in pain at the same time.  Long and short of it, instead of writing and blogging more this summer I remained rather unproductive.

These last few morsels of summer I have no plans of driving anywhere at lunchtime — at least nothing major. I may still run occasional shopping errands or drop my daughter off at a friends house and such. But mainly I plan to eat lunch.  I plan to write.

I’ve set goals for myself.  I want more summer fun. Maybe a quick trip to the beach! Maybe tubing. Definitely more swimming. I want more tomatoes to grow! More peppers! I want to write regularly and am setting daily and weekly goals. Really, I want more summer!

Now That I Started

I’ve started half a dozen blog posts since the end of the school year — even more of you count the ones I started in my head. There’s a lot going on — gay marriage is legal, the flag has come down, photos of former planet, former non-planet, now dwarf planet Pluto are streaming in — and I’ve managed to publish exactly zero of the blog posts I started. I can make a lot of excuses as to why. Many of them are legitimate excuses… But I still think I should have been able to manage to publish some with just a wee bit better time management or focus or something

It’s not for lack if topics!  Along with all that stuff in the news, we have a small balcony garden again. Yay! And my daughter has been having fun in Strings camp (kind of like band camp only it’s a day camp for orchestra). Zomagad, I even found Zote laundry soap in flake form instead of bars. 

That whole 10-minutes-of-writing-per-day thing worked well for a while. But I seem to have misplaced my 10 minutes (maybe under a tomato plant).

The one blog entry that I might actually manage to publish is about how I’m not blogging. This one. Which makes exactly zeros cents. I seem to best be able to blog about how I’m not blogging. I need to work on my priorities!

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