A home without books is a body without soul. - Cicero


Love at First Bite...

We started with eating dinner... pizza, of course!

Then The Girl had to pose with her boys. (I love this photo. I want this photo to be displayed at their weddings later in life. I want these boys to be her very best friends forever. And I want them to be forever ready to play the knight, defending her honor, and the racecar driver, to run over the boys who break her heart.)

 Then we had to do a serious vampire pose, of course. It's hard to hold in the excitment of the prospect of 87 pounds of candy, though.

 And then one more with Mama before the candy orgy begins.


Second Grade...

Today, The Girl started Second Grade.

It seems like I was just dropping her off, diaper bag and all, at day care.

She loves school and it's like a second home to her, so there were no tears, and I barely got a hug goodbye.

My sweet independent girl didn't need her mama today. And I was proud of that.

But I was just as happy that she needed a little extra snuggle last night, to calm the nerves she wouldn't admit to.

It's going to be a good year.


Works In Progress...

You'd think I could finish at least one of them.

And none of these is the one I'm supposed to working on.


Goodbye old girl...

We lost our beloved Boo last night. She was eight and a half, and just didn't wake up this morning.
I wish I had more photos, but she was terrified of the camera.
She was ten pounds and three months old when we brought her home.
She was sixty pounds at six months.
She was just under 150 when she was full grown.
She was the sweetest, biggest, drooliest puppy in the world.
You know how they say that Mastiffs don't droll the way it's shown in the movies?
They don't.
They drool more.

Goodbye my friend... I will always miss you.


Fair maidens, turkey legs, and burly men...

A couple of weekends ago, The Girl and I loaded up with her aunt and uncle and went off to the annual Bay Area Renaissance Festival. (Or, as the traveling gypsies performing there called it: B.A.R.F. I wonder what it says about us that we never picked up on that anacronym.)

Sadly, we missed out on the giant turkey legs and passed on the pickles (did they have pickles in Renaissance times?), but enjoyed some shows, marveled at what passes for Renaissance themed items these days, and employed the use of some burly men to push The Girl around on the swings. A lot. A whole lot. A whole lot times three dollars each time. Ahem.

And of course, we stopped at the pub for a pint, where we enjoyed the
Bawdy Boys ("Ireland...by way of Detroit") perform a very impressive - and very long - version of The Green Grass Grew All Around. (I secretly wish we had been able to stick around to see if they knew Railway.) The Girl was so impressed she even tossed some money in the hat.

Note: Ren Fest still has two more weekends two go. This weekend is "High Seas Adventure" (where I'm sure the pirates will be out in force), and next weekend is "Huzzah to the King". Be forewarned: it's dusty and dirty (in more ways than one). But where else can you find a man in a leather leotard and thigh high boots, accompanied by a dog in a cape?


Spring has sprung...

...and that means flower boxes.

This past Saturday, the girl and I headed to Home Depot for one of their kid clinics. This month's project involved balsa wood, nails, a hammer, and wood glue. Lots and lots of wood glue. Turns out, wood glue comes out a lot faster than good old Elmer's. Also, it turns out, while one can easily peel wood glue off of one's hands, one cannot, unfortunately, peel it as easily out of one's hair.

Next time, we'll wear ponytails.


Out of Africa...

My oldest friend and her girlfriend left earlier this week for Africa. They saved up money, quit their jobs, moved their stuff into storage, and took off for the Dark Continent. They're planning on being gone for months, hoping to be back in the States for Christmas.

While I can't say that backpacking and staying in hostels throughout Africa is my cup of tea - my idea of roughing it is staying in the Holiday Inn - I think the trip sounds, at least for them, unbelievably amazing.

Think of all the things they'll get to see and do, the people they'll meet, the places they'll go.

They're blogging about it when they can - go here to read about their adventures - and they're sending email updates when they can as well.

Did you know the flight from the States to Johannesburg is fifteen hours? Non-stop?


Safe travels, my dear, sweet friends.

And come back to us soon.


Work in progress...

First, the fabric selection...

...then, the pressing...

...and the cutting...

...and the layout...

...and an almost finishing project.

We should be able to finish this in the next week or so. The Girl wants some "squiggly stuff", otherwise known as rick rack (for which I have an unhealthy love), and we have to do borders and a backing.

(Small quilt pattern from Nancy Halvorsen's Count On It, available at Amazon.)