Wednesday, January 28, 2009

just one more...

I know you're tired of me harping on the CPSIA, but if you will permit me another post with a good, informative link...

Please visit Sarah Jane Studios blog and read her post on the CPSIA. Then do what you can to help! If nothing else, check out the Etsy link to see the products that sellers have priced to show us what it will be like to factor in this unnecessary and redundant testing. Anybody want to buy your child a Valentine patchwork skirt for $15,160? It is very cute, but I think I'll have to pass - with that kind of money, I'd better buy a car.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

more CPSIA madness

I just saw this article about how the new lead legislation, the CPSIA, will affect libraries.

I am dumbfounded.  I have no words to express how absurd this is.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

a strange measure of prosperity

Have you noticed how new clothes leave a lot of lint in your dryer's lint trap?  Then as they get older, they leave less and less.  If you wear your clothes as many years as I do, there's hardly any at all.  I hope you're not as much of a skinflint as I am - maybe your clothes have never reached that point.  And maybe no one but me notices these things.

A few years ago, we were struggling to get out of debt.  We did without anything we could, which included new clothes unless it was absolutely necessary.  It would make me depressed to check the lint trap after a dryer load, because you would need a microscope to find any lint there.  It came to be so rare that I noticed it; dryer lint made me feel my family was taken care of, provided for, safe.

So you might feel prosperous and protected by the numbers in your bank account.  I would agree, those are nice when  you have them.  But in the daily grind, I have come to enjoy dryer lint.  We found a big sale last night, almost by accident, so I'm rolling in it today!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

small change, big difference

Lizi has been working on a homeschool language arts lesson the last couple of days which called for her to write an essay. No big deal - intro, 3 paragraphs, closing. But the subject they suggested, and used while walking her through the steps of writing, was of no interest to her. It wasn't a bad subject; it just didn't suit Lizi.

So today, yet another day of plodding on through this thing, I said "You want to do a different subject?" She considered the idea, and we batted around a few alternate subjects. One of those was a hit, and within minutes she had her thesis statement and outline rewritten. The anxiety and misery were gone; now just feverishly tapping keys as her essay took shape.

I thought to myself, now that's the difference between schooling and learning. And it's so very cool to see learning happen. Someday soon she will learn how to write about things she doesn't particularly care about. But for right now, she is loving learning to write this essay, and the teacher (me) is happy with that.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

easy bean dip

Today is the first day of our church's annual Daniel fast, so it's been a meatless, sweetless kind of day. I look forward to it, even though I no can has cheezburger for 21 days.

Yesterday, in preparation, I cooked a pot of pinto beans. The usual, pound of dried beans, onion, bell pepper, salt, pepper, cooked like it says on the package. We had those for supper tonight with some cornbread. (I'm not sure cornbread is entirely on the fast, with milk and all. But give me a break, I gave up coffee!)

After supper, I wanted to use the leftover beans to try making some bean dip to eat with corn chips or tortillas. Please note that I have never made bean dip, so I don't know how it's normally done. I took about 3-4 cups of the beans, draining most of the liquid away. I put them in the food processor with a can of undrained Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles, original. I processed it until it was nice and smooth, and boy, is it good! It's a little hot, but one could just use the mild Ro-Tel instead.

That's one thing I love about this fast; we usually find family favorites that stay with us the rest of the year!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What am I doing?

Allow me to introduce you to one of the most simple, pleasant, insidious, addicting games ever made:  Boomshine.

Finally beat level 12.  Going to bed now.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

new beginning

The last few  years, New Years Day has been just like any other day to me.  But this year, I've "felt" it a little more; I've done a little more reflecting, dreaming and maybe even a little course correction.  More on that later.

Today we went outside and did a job I've been dreading, and therefore putting off:  cleaning out the old, dead plants from last year's garden to prepare for new plantings.  We also planted some seeds for sugar snap peas, one of our family favorites.  They should be really sweet this time - each one Lydia planted, she blew it a kiss as she "put it to bed" in the dirt.
A new day, a new planting season, a happy new year.  I hope yours is the same!