Monday, March 30, 2009

Ugh, the moving gear-up

The Army life is, in a word, transient. People are forever asking me if I miss that place or I'm looking forward to that place. Well, here's the thing: when we love something about a given place, we only have the chance to enjoy that for about two years. If there is something we really can't stand about a place, we only have to put up with it for about two years. (Just call us Alec Bings. And I tip my bonnet to anyone who recognizes that reference. That includes you, "nabby", which ought to be your screen name.)

The part that is troublesome is the actual process of moving. We have to decide what goes into the vehicles we drive, mark those with labels saying "do not ship" and otherwise try to help have the process streamlined. The lovely organizational tips people have for DIY moves (as Michelle Duggar described in their new book) aren't any help when movers take your things out of your storage boxes and put them in their own boxes! The best we can do is to put like with like and consolidate. We stack pictures from the walls on the guest bed. We put all the knick-knacks in the china cabinet, bag up outgrown clothes, etc. It's a nuisance either way, although I'm definitely glad we don't have to move our large items of furniture around ourselves.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I love these books!

The artist we're learning about in our homjeschool right now is Ruth Heller. When I went looking in the library I only found one book under her name in the Easy Books section,and then I recognized the artwork as the same ase in the books about the parts of speech. Behind a Mask, Up Up and Away, and several others are books she's written and illustrated that ewxplain the parts of speech, done in rhyme. I was framiliar with them beforehand, obviously, and then I found several in the junior non-fiction section. I would highly recommend those books for any homeschooling family. Parents will learn something, as well as everyone enjoying the pictures. I imagine they could serve as a good introduction in grammar.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Please tell me you've been here!

Would everyone mind just leaving a little comment to tell me how they found my blog?

20 years. Right.

I've been following the CPSIA debacle pretty closely, thanks greatly to Deputy Headmistress over at The Common Room and a few others. The latest absurdity is that the commission claims that children's books have a useful life of 20 years. If, which is not specified, that means that a given copy might wear out after that much time, I can see an in-some-cases point. But just as the whole rest of this mess, nothing is spelled out as being so narrow.
The Headmistress' response was extremely well done, as always. She included a book called The Story of the Bible. This is a retelling of the Bible, as the name implies, but at an older reading level than the Children's Story Bible
by Catherine Vos. It was first printed before the turn of the twentieth century.
We have in our posession a copy of that book, which I think is the 1911 printing, that is the one and only thing I've ever seen, let alone that I have, that belonged to my great-grandfather John Towson. (This would have been Father's maternal grandfather.) It's beautiful, bound nicely, and a very good book for teaching Bible. Guess what: I fully intend to use it when Bluebonnet is older. We have my mother's copy of the Catherine Vos book, which we've been using for Bible since she was born (we're on our third read-through already). As a matter of fact, the 1950s Vos book is in less-pristine condition than the older one; evidently Mother et al used hers more. (A good problem to have with a book of Bible stories!)

Congress- have a reality check.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Early in the morning, around 6:00, I was very surprised to hear at least one owl calling. It seemed to be close by the open windows, and another bird of some variety joined in after a few minutes. Like most noises that break otherwise silent time, they likely seemed louder than they truly were.
Perhaps this is one of the blessings of the early time change, that there is darkness in the early morning such that we can hear owls. I happen to like owls particularly, so for me this is more enjoyable than for someone ambivalent about owls!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Junior Cookbook Thursday- Cocoa

We made cocoa and had it with some toast for breakfast this morning. I don't think I'd ever made cocoa from this recipe before, but it's surprisingly similar to the in-my-head, just-do-it "recipe" I've been using for a few years, with a dash of salt and some vanilla. In my own version, I occasionally substitute almond extract, to make it that much more decadent. Both my husband and I really like almond extract to flavor anything sweet. Within reason, of course. I don't think it would improve peppermint ice cream!

Bluebonnet poured almost everything into the saucpan, and stirred before I turned the heat on. I think she could have safely stirred with the heat, had she been able to reach fromt he angle where she was standing on her stepstool.
I think I would leave out the water from this recipe the next time; it made the finished product taste a trifle thin.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


It seems that in Virginia, as in south Jersey, no one seems to think that snow has ever happened before. They all act like it's a calamity. The base was shut down altogether yesterday, and my husband didn't go in until 10:00 this morning. The library was closed yesterday, the mail came quite late, and the YMCA has had cropped hours both days. And the parking lot of our apartment complex wasn't cleared, nor were sidewalks. Without Bluebonnet having any wellies, we can't get out for a walk farther than the mailbox. Wellies are going to be very necessary, and I hope not horrifically expensive!

From this, we'll be going to upstate New York, where snow stops nothing.