Wednesday, August 27, 2008

it's a small world after all


Take a moment to read about the Nielson family -- Mom and Dad (Stephanie and Christian) were seriously burned in a plane crash a few days ago. A third person on the plane was killed. Stephanie's sister and her husband, who have one young baby, are caring for the four Nielson children, ages 2 - 6. The Nielsons are in induced comas and will be hospitalized for months. Crafty moms from around the world are donating items for an Etsy sale to be held Sept. 23 and 24. Please consider donating or buying. And the family has asked that you include them all in your prayers, so be sure to do that, too.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

making stuff


What do you need to make muscadine jelly? Around here, you need about nine pounds of muscadines, a lot of sugar, a little lemon juice, some fruit pectin, sterile gauze (for the second degree burn that comes from dripping the boiling mixture on your thumb), a wonderful husband who helps and 16 half-pint jars.

It's official: we are the jelly family.


I also finished a quilt top for a wonderful new little one who will soon enter the world -- a sneak peek is below. (If you know me and are soon to give birth, stop reading this now. Thanks.) Can gingham be overused in a baby quilt? I think not. I am so crazy about that vintage embroidered gingham.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

on my desk


I swear I thought it was washable ink.

The forensic science section on fingerprints got off to a rocky start. But it ended well.

positive press

My friend, Rebecca Howerton, wrote a wonderful story about homeschooling. It is featured in today's Tribune-Times. I love it when stories are accurate. Kudos and thanks to Rebecca!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

culture shock


Ack. My friend's son is a college freshman this year. She emailed me the annual Mindset List -- a list of cultural references that the current freshman class understands and that makes their parents feel like dinosaurs. My favorite is number 31: 

  • They have never been able to color a tree using a raw umber Crayola.


    Above: Our annual first day of school picture. Nolan was still in his pajamas (one of the luxuries of homeschooling), so we will have to get his later in the day. And for a little reality check, here is the same photo from four years ago:


    Check out our latest recycling activity over at Basically Green.

  • Monday, August 18, 2008

    needing a nap


    Why, yes, naps are quite good. Too bad I can't join Buddy for one.

    Thursday, August 14, 2008

    cardiologists, rejoice


    Live life on the edge: eat this quiche.

    I started with this recipe for the crust. The quiche base is four eggs, about a cup and a half of milk (you can totally drink whole if you want), a half cup of heavy cream, a half cup of freshly grated mozzarella, salt and pepper to taste. Whisk violently, pour into the super easy crust and bake at 375 until set, about 35 minutes or so.


    I recommend serving it with a side of homegrown (but not by me) tomatoes and peppers. Also, if I were to make a personal pan quiche, this would be made with goat cheese in lieu of mozzarella. Of course, I would need a team of cardiologists in that case.

    Thursday, August 7, 2008

    the greatest generation*

    (* and the current one is proving to be pretty darn good, too.)


    We had a wonderful encounter with a World War II veteran a few months ago. You can read a bit about it here, on page 38.

    On a different note, I just had to Google the symptoms of heat exhaustion. I spent too much time waiting in the car for my daughter today, because I am stupid, obviously.

    Heat is better than cold. Heat is better than cold. Heat is better than cold.

    If I keep saying that, maybe I will feel better.

    Wednesday, August 6, 2008

    cleanliness is next to impossible

    My house is so dirty. It has been in a state of perpetual squalor for weeks, it seems. Mostly because we spend a lot of time doing this:




    Eh, who cares? I'll clean when it's cold outside.

    Tuesday, August 5, 2008


    Yes, my kids thought it was beyond cool when I showed them that the caller ID on my office phone read "Grant Imahara." As it turns out, Grant is as nice and personable as you would think and he was a good sport, fitting in a phone interview during the middle of a hectic shooting schedule. Engineers are cool.

    Monday, August 4, 2008

    starting strong


    The first day of school got off to a great start. Nolan was enthusiastic about everything, but maybe that's just because we played fast and loose with the schedule and the curriculum today. He did a lot of work related to the Olympics, though our next school day (don't know what day that is -- we are only doing two this week) will turn to the egregious state of human rights in China, and that's not so fun. We also started The Magician's Nephew, the first (but not really) in the Chronicles of Narnia series. I do love me some C.S. Lewis. Wow. I remember taking the kids to see Narnia and seeing a grown man literally weep as Aslan triumphed. I'd say it stands the test of time. (About 2000 years, right?)

    A couple of weeks ago, I DVRed (that's a word) an episode of Nova about the ice man and forensic science. I had intended to save that for a few weeks down the road when we are full into our forensics unit, but the kid begged me to let him watch it, even though school is done for the day. His argument was that I said it was for "after school started" and well, school has started.... How do you say no to that?

    My desk is a disaster -- one of the lesser known side effects of homeschooling.

    Saturday, August 2, 2008

    the reports of blogger's death have been greatly exaggerated

    Many blogger sites are currently inaccessible, and mine was included in that group until a few minutes ago. If you hit a friend's site and you get the "Internet explorer is unable to open" error, please email them and let them know that this is not related to the current "blogger sites as spam" issue (that's a different can of worms that the folks at blogger are working to fix). This is related to Sitemeter. Sitemeter html needs to be removed until the issue is fixed or the site will not load.

    That's all I know about html. Really.

    Edited to add: OK, I know less than nothing, so don't take my word for this, but I think it has to do with Internet Explorer interacting with Sitemeter. I don't know if Microsoft is fixing this or Sitemeter or both or neither. :) And I could be wrong.