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Archive for February, 2008

Eclipse


Last Wednesday night there was a lunar eclipse, a phenomenon I considered really cool, since I had never seen one before. My brother and I sat out on the porch for nearly an hour, looking through binoculars and taking pictures in the single digit temperatures.

In case you missed the eclipse—I pity you if you have—I’m sharing with you the pictures above. At first glance, the top picture looks a lot better than the second one, but if you want a good representation of what you missed, the second is closer to the color we actually saw. Still, the pictures don’t come close watching to the amazing display itself. Mark your calendars for the next one, in 2010.

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Little sign of spring

Walking through our woods yesterday, I found a nice little plant poking through the recently fallen snow. The picture is pretty dark, but in real life the leaves were a beautiful bright green, a cheerful reminder of new life. How nice it is to think that winter is ending! Unfortunetaly all hope of an early spring has left me, as of this morning, after realizing that my runny nose had frozen while bringing the chickens fresh water.

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Ruling the roost

My brother and I are home alone this weekend. *BWAHAHAHA! * My parents went to a conference downstate, and evidently decided that Patrick and I were mature enough to stay home and take care of the animals, keep the house clean, and generally maintain order. *Eyebrows go up and down* Strangely enough, they didn’t make us promise not to have friends over or not to stay up late watching movies or surfing the net. *Pumps fist* I suppose they trust us enough, now that we’re 16 and 18, to be responsible young adults. *Giggles*

Seriously, I’m actually feeling pretty good about this. I remembered to feed the cats, I reminded Patrick about giving hay to the cattle, and the kitchen sink is mostly free from dirty dishes. Last night I remembered everything I had to do… lock the front door, let Bo out for one last run, turn out all the lights, and, even though I only remembered after I had been in bed for 10 minutes, I shut the cats in Mom and Dad’s bedroom so they wouldn’t roam the house and leave me any surprises for the next morning.

The only thing that potentially could have gone wrong was yesterday when I sprayed some cleaner on my carpet to freshen up some dingy spots. I tend to be a little sensitive to cleaners that don’t come from the organic co-op, they give me headaches and the smell bothers me too. It turned out that this one was a real doozy. It had been on the floor for all of 30 seconds when I started feeling faint and was getting a bad headache. Thankfully I had enough sense to open up a window and go to the other end of the house for some fresh air. I’ve never passed out before, so I can’t say if the fumes were actually bad enough to make me do so, but I certainly felt like it!

So, all in all, I suppose I did okay. Hey Dad, would you and Mom like to go away for your anniversary, too?

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I finally gave up on Sheetmusicplus.com and ordered Jane Austen’s World from Amazon.com, which—as of my recent non-transaction with the former—I consider the more reliable source. Even Amazon has a delay notice… they predict my order to be shipped anywhere from February 18th to March 4th. Still, it’s better than the offer of a 12-week wait given to me by Sheet Music Plus.

Through these seemingly endless weeks of Jane Austen deprivation, I’ve been comforted by the realization that I have enough sheet music to play for an hour and a half straight… and that’s not even counting two or three classical books, a Christmas book, a stack of random sheet music I consider below my skill level, a praise hymnal, the songs I’m not familiar with in the other two hymnals, and a few books of secular/less than soothing music. Not to mention a shelf full of the Alfred’s basic piano curriculum and easy-play Christmas music I used for the first 8 years of piano lessons.

Anyway, if you’re wondering how in the world I had enough time on my hands to figure this out… it actually counted as school, or more specifically, work. I was asked to play background music for a fundraising Valentine’s dinner at a local Christian camp I worked at over the summer. (The camp’s Christian standards and desire for a quiet evening being the reason for leaving out my secular and un-relaxing music, such as “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off”, by Gershwin.) I’m required to play for 1 ½ hours, hence the discovery of my never-ending sheet music supply.

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I saw this on somebody else’s blog. I found it rather interesting so I thought I’d give it a go. It’s pretty useless, but hey, it counts as a post!

  1. I play piano
  2. I teach piano
  3. My room is usually a mess but is very clean now, and has been for the past 4 days.
  4. I play hammer dulcimer
  5. After nearly 12 years, my bed has finally moved to a corner of my room, rather than sticking out from the middle of a wall. I love it there
  6. I’ve been 16 for over 6 months, but I don’t have my permit yet… a problem I wish to amend this April
  7. Although the vast majority of dogs bug me to death, I have a soft spot in my heart for our lovely dog, Bo, and only 2 other dogs that belong to friends of ours
  8. I love zucchini
  9. If I could, I would have an entire 20×20 garden full of herbs
  10. On Wednesday nights I babysit 6 kids, only one of which over the age of 2
  11. I talk back to my cat
  12. A friend and I once spent an entire hour in the car singing Veggie Tales songs
  13. When I’m sick, my bed always feels to squishy, so I sleep on the floor
  14. My hair is very long, it goes well past my waist
  15. Even though I am a messy person, I love to organize
  16. I love to read
  17. Math has always been my least favorite subject in school, but I love the geometry course I’m working on
  18. I like to write, but most things I write have never (and will never) be shown to anybody
  19. When I was 5 I had a crush on Baloo the bear and Robin Hood (from Disney’s Jungle Book and Robin Hood, respectively)
  20. I love children
  21. I love cats who cuddle
  22. I love kids who cuddle
  23. I love dogs who cuddle
  24. I like to cuddle =)
  25. I used to have a pet duck
  26. My pet duck was tragically eaten by a some horrid rodent two summers ago while I was at camp
  27. I’m trying to convince my dad that we should replace our chickens with ducks
  28. I would rather give up half my jeans (which really only means 2 pairs…) than my penguin socks
  29. I would love to carve stuff if I had the talent in me
  30. I only have 2 1/2 scrapbooks done so far
  31. I have probably made over 50 cards in the past 2-3 years
  32. I love to climb trees
  33. I love to swim in lakes or streams or ponds
  34. I hate swimming in the public pool
  35. I was a counselor at a Christian camp last summer, and even though the kids in my cabin were mostly screamers and fit-throwers, I had the time of my life
  36. Although I can’t pick a favorite book of the Bible, I’d have to say I tend to read Ruth, Romans, and Corinthians a lot more often than the other books…
  37. I love chick flicks, but rarely watch them because it’s annoying to hear my dad sigh and “tch” through them
  38. My latest cooking discovery is that I can make pie crusts
  39. I had to beg my mother to let me attend a writing class that most other kids were forced to go to
  40. I secretly aspire to be a professional pianist (some secret now, huh?)
  41. Tie dying is one of the most fun things on earth, in my opinion
  42. I’ve been playing piano almost non-stop for the past 1 1/2 days, and will be for the next 3 days, because…
  43. …I’m playing background music for a Valentine’s dinner and need an hour and a half of music
  44. I despise the idea of going to college
  45. I need at least 8 hours of sleep, but 10 is optimal for a non-grouchy, non-crabby, non-exhausted day
  46. I have never had a boyfriend, and won’t until I’m ready to get married
  47. I don’t do drugs, I’ll stay in school, I’ll follow quite a lot of rules (For those of you who think that was a weird line, it was a quote)
  48. If I had control over the weather, it would be spring for 4 months, summer for 4 months, autumn for 2 months and winter for 2 months
  49. I love everything about rain…. puddles, mud, thunder storms, the sound, dancing in it….
  50. I can’t believe that I’m only at number 50… you’d think I’d be able to come up with more stuff about me!
  51. If I could, I would go everywhere barefoot
  52. I have (and am wearing now) a shirt with an insane-looking crab on it that was given to me years ago by my Aunt M.E.
  53. I find sweat pants cozy, but I would never wear them in front of anyone
  54. I think I have more pajama bottoms than full-length pants…
  55. I’ve always wanted a pet turtle named Ray
  56. I’ve always wanted an iguana
  57. I love absolutely everything about the church we go to
  58. Most of my friends are quite a bit older than me
  59. I tend to be more popular with grown ups than people my own age (is that a good thing?)
  60. Being homeschooled is awesome
  61. I hope to homeschool my kids
  62. I’ve written out lists of things I’d like to name my daughters, but I’m never able to come up with names for sons…
  63. I want one of my daughters to be named after my Aunt Sis, Margaret Mary, she could be called Meg for short
  64. If I could, I would shoot 4 years ahead, when I’m 20
  65. When I get a job, I’m going to try for a secretary position
  66. I like liquid soap better than bars
  67. My favorite kind of pie is banana cream
  68. My favorite kind of cookies are M&M
  69. My smallest pair of shoes is a 6.5, although I’m normally a 7.5
  70. I actually asked for a pair of muck boots for my 15th birthday
  71. I have a hammock in my room (the sitting kind)
  72. Soon I hope to repaint my room yellow…
  73. …and instead of a border, I’d paint Bible verses on the wall near the ceiling
  74. I love flowers… especially daisies and butter cups and yellow roses
  75. The thing I struggle with most in piano is improvisation
  76. I love banana flavored things
  77. I love root beer flavored things
  78. I hate anything that is cherry or grape flavored… it reminds me of that disgusting cough syrup…
  79. I hate carbonation…
  80. …however, I like the soda my brother makes, if I stir it until it’s flat
  81. I am more likely to take care of a health problem with a change of diet or homemade herbal remedies than go to a doctor
  82. Doctors scare me
  83. When I was little, I was afraid of the dark and of thunderstorms
  84. Our family owns possibly the most lazy, dirty, 17-pound cat that ever existed
  85. We milk a dairy cow named Carmen
  86. We drink the milk un pasteurized
  87. We are raising Carmen’s calf, T-Bone, for meat
  88. I like plucking birds
  89. I have a fear of falling, but I’m completely fine with heights if I am securely attached
  90. I was thrilled to find that I am 2 and a half inches over other 5 foot mark
  91. I was thrilled to find that I am taller than my mother
  92. I have only met one person (besides a few adults) that is older and shorter than me…
  93. Once a year, if not more so, a grouse flies into one of the windows of our house. If we find it before the dog does, we usually eat it
  94. Tall people intimidate me
  95. People I don’t know intimidate me
  96. My own brother intimidates me, and he’s not even all that tall
  97. About 75% of the times I answer the phone, the caller thinks I’m my mother
  98. I’ve always wanted to… set a whole box of matches on fire, put a full blender on high speed without the lid, set off my own fireworks, have a “condiments” war
  99. My favorite dream ever involved tons of butterflies flitting about my bedroom and landing on the tips of my fingers
  100. I wear my slippers even if my feet aren’t cold
  101. I’m writing this last fact just to prove to myself that I can think of over a hundred things about myself

So there you go… 101 things about me you probably didn’t want to know!

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Tuning day!

Those of you who do not play an instrument will think I am crazy when you read this, but if you do happen to be blessed with some sort of musical talent, especially in the hammer dulcimer department, you should be able to empathize with me at least a little bit. Our piano was tuned last Monday! It sounds so nice… I love sitting down and banging away on a freshly tuned piano. I was so excited to have it sound perfect again. Of course, it is an old piano, so I suppose I’ll always have to deal with the little annoyances like the un-wanted sustain in the highest octave, the squeeky pedal, and the lack of clear sound in the lowest octave. But I suppose, now that middle C sharp is tuned as middle C sharp, allowing me to play Canon in D without that disagreeable “off” sound, I can live through those problems. =)

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Ice on the cake

Everything outside is covered in ice! It’s truly amazing how weather can change so much in just one night… Yesterday when Mom and I stopped at the bank in town I was walking around in a sweatshirt. Today, I’m inside with two layers under my sweatshirt and I’m still freezing! (Must be time for those slippers, eh?) My morning was spent (after a nice hot shower and a steaming egg for breakfast) calling my piano students and telling them our driveway was not safe. I’ve canceled activities so many times because of weather you’d think I live in Greenland! But no, I don’t. Just on top of a cold, windy hill.

It’s days like these that I wish I lived in a sunnier climate. My Uncle and Aunt have a nice little house on a quiet street about an hour away from Los Angeles, and I can’t help thinking of my dear ol’ Uncle Ben laying in his hammock after work, or my Aunt M.E. lounging in a lawn chair listening to the fountain in her back yard, letting the sun warm her bare feet. Wouldn’t it be perfectly heavenly to live out there with them?

Of course, as soon as summer weather hits in southern CA, the heat would quickly become very uncomfortable. There are other downsides too. I’d have to swim in a public pool (an activity I despise) or in the ocean (although that is not as despicable, it’s also an activity that I’d prefer not to do, because of the salt and crowded beaches). There probably wouldn’t be those days of hanging on to a boogie board for dear life while flying down a shallow, dirty creek filled with crayfish and minnows. There probably wouldn’t be mud fights in the back yard or leaf piles to jump in with my buddies like we were 1st graders!

I guess my Aunt and Uncle will have to tell me if that stuff would ever happen at their house! Even if it would, I don’t think I’d want to move. I’m happy right where God put me!

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