Thursday, May 31, 2012


Evidently my niece had her baby earlier this morning too, a little boy named Bennie after his great grandfather.  What a great day!

Summer School, Day 3

Today's summer school moolah will pick up the tab for our gas from Rye, Sussex... Dover, Kent...

...the ferry fare to CALAIS, France...

...the gas from Calais to Dunkirk...

...then to the border of France and Belgium...

...then to the border of Belgium and the Netherlands...

...and perhaps back to England.  It's not as far as it seems to we who live in western North America, where distances are vast.

Day four will have to wait for Sunday, as it's Faire weekend and I will be away, immersed in sixteenth century Scotland.

New BABY!!!

One of the babies we've been waiting for arrived this morning, and I'm so very stoked.  I love babies and all the hope and love they bring along with them.  Congrats to the O'Connor family and welcome baby Sophia!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


'nuff said.

Eye Candy

You're very welcome.  

Summer School, Day 2

Today my summer school wages will be taking care of the gas from Hull, Yorkshire... Rye, Sussex, 

...and back.  It does not, alas, include the cost of a stay at the Mermaid Inn in Rye, which is beyond my means on this trip.  There aren't enough summer school days to cover that even though it has come highly recommended by my main Rye informant, Stoaty Weasel.  Well, her folks stayed there at least...I guess that's some sort of recommendation. :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Printable House Cleaning Checklists

Back in the good ol' days when I was a full-time mom, I had a little box of 3 X 5 cards separated into daily, weekly, monthly, and semi-annual tasks that needed to be done to keep the homestead from falling into wrack and ruin.  The idea was that you would go through the cards, pull the one at the front of the day's pile, do that chore, then put it at the back of the pile until next time.  It only worked so-so for me because I was fighting a valiant but ultimately futile rearguard against sloth and untidiness, but it was a good idea nonetheless. I came across that card box while moving a few years ago and sighed at the optimism I had that its efficiency would rub off onto my family (it didn't, except for Elizabeth, who has always been tidy and organized).

I see that my current favorite housewife Katie B has updated this idea on her new blog, Housewife How To's, with these printable lists that do the same thing that my little 3 X 5 card box did so many years ago, that is, to keep track of what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and when it has been done.  If you're a list maker and a chore checker-offer, you might like perusing what Kate thinks you should do to keep your castle in mother-in-law-surprise-visit-oh-my-gosh-what's-she-doing-here spic and span order.  Failing that, you can always frantically try her hints for Crisis Cleaning for Last Minute Guests. :)

Full Disclosure:  I HATE this part of homemaking.  This is why I pay someone else to clean my house for me.  But I wasn't able to afford that until very recently, and I give up a lot of other things to pay for it.

Entropy is Not Always Our Friend

My daughter Elizabeth is a librarian.  Even if she never again works professionally as one in an actual library setting, she is a librarian, which is to say, she cannot long stand disorder.  Add that to her Aspie brain and you get someone who goes ballistic when things aren't organized by the dewey decimal system.

Okay, not really, but it is true that it is highly dangerous to get between a librarian and disorder, as she will trample you without compunction.  This is being abundantly illustrated today with the following photo:

What you see here are all the bottles we had in the garage--collected over the last year and more to put our mead, beer, and lambic in.  A while back I went through all of them and put them in orderly stacks in the garage, but that was some time ago and many things have been tossed in the garage since. Bottles were stacked and stashed everywhere, and she couldn't stand all that randomness.

So today she went into the garage and brought out all the bottles she could find.  Here they are on the floor of the dining room, and what she's doing now (I can hear bottles clinking downstairs as I type this) is rooting through all of them, tossing the annoyingly moldy ones into the recycling bin (we are grateful for people saving bottles for us, but if they aren't rinsed, they get way too moldy to bother scrubbing out), and sorting them by type:  still wine, sparkling wine, beer.

We brought 15 gallons of beer to the family reunion, and the fam did a great job rinsing out bottles as they drank the beer.  We were also able to salvage many beer boxes to put our bottles (empty and full) in, ready to make beer for my niece's wedding in August.  The still bottles will be set aside for the mead we have to bottle soon, with more coming later this year as we can afford the honey to make it.  The rest of the beer bottles and the sparkling wine bottles will be filled with the TWENTY gallons of lambic we've had aging for a year or so and is ready to be bottle conditioned--raspberry, peach, cherry, and blackberry.

She also has been organizing the Cupboard Under the Stairs (with apologies to JK Rowling), which is the coolest spot in the house and where we store all our potables whilst aging and after bottling. There are shelves in there that WERE stacked with assorted miscellaneous but are NOW with assorted specific.  This girl is death to entropy, I tell you!

Tonight's summary: 289 beer bottles clean, in taped and labelled boxes, ready to sanitize and fill with beer for Matt and Kristina's nuptials.  Kate the Efficient Housewife would approve, I'm sure.

She'll tackle the wine bottles tomorrow.  Come back for an update!


I just received the following e-mail from Norwegian Airlines:

Från och med tisdag 29 maj kommer alla Norwegians internationella avgångar och ankomster att flyttas från Terminal 2 till Terminal 5.
Alla inrikeslinjer kommer att fortsätta avgå och ankomma Terminal 4 som vanligt.
Välkommen ombord
Med vänliga hälsningar
Många fördelar – alltid samma låga pris

It made me laugh that it came in Norwegian, but I really laughed when my son told me it was actually in Swedish.  No, he doesn't know why either.  Anyway, Google Translate renders it thusly:

As of Tuesday, May 29, all Norwegian's international departures and arrivals will move from Terminal 2 to Terminal 5. All domestic flights will continue to depart and arrive in Terminal 4 as usual. Welcome aboard Sincerely Norwegian Many benefits - always the same low price

And there's an icon down at the bottom of the e-mail telling me that they have free wifi on the flight. Sweet.  The flight's only a couple of hours, but it's still sweet.

Summer School

I haven't taught summer school in ages, partly because I haven't been well enough but mostly because it wasn't offered due to lack of funding. Somehow, enough funds were scraped up to offer one 16 day term, and I've got biology. While I would much prefer to just stay home for those 4 weeks, I plan to comfort my whininess by reminding myself just what that day of work is buying. Soooooo...Day 1 of Summer School 2012 is paying for the gas from Hull, in Yorkshire in England... Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland...

...round trip.

Post Memorial Day Stupor

Recovering from a great weekend, and this caught my eye from WUWT:

From Flying close enough to Earth that in astronomic terms one could feel the breeze as it passed, a small asteroid flashed by just after midnight today. NASA reported the space rock, with the unimaginative name of 2012 KT42, was just 8,700 miles above the atmosphere when it went by.

There's a pretty cool gif on Anthony's page, do hie yerself over and take a gander..

And for me, after four days of friends, family, and food (as well as the first day of summer school), I need a nap.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My friend the VK has just launched her new blog, Housewife How-to's and it's awesome already (and it's only the first day!). She's one of those over-edumacated wimmen who actually likes being home with the kids and the dog and the grocery shopping and the Dyson. I so get that, because I'm like that too. If someone offered me seventy grand and bennies to stay home and putter about the house all the livelong day I'd SO jump at it. Make me an offer.

I know a lot of women (and men) who say they'd go crazy staying home and that boredom would soon set in...but not me. I am never bored for more than about ten seconds or so. I always have several irons in as many fires that I can pull out as needed to occupy myself happily and productively. I get great personal satisfaction--a deep intrinsic satisfaction--from making a home. Work just gets in the way.

My mom, God rest her, was not domestic. She had many sterling traits, but domesticity was not one of them (although she was artistic and could sew, knit, and crochet to beat the band). She cooked because she had to feed us, not because she took any particular joy from the preparation of food. My maternal grandmother was the same, although my paternal grandmother was the opposite--and what a shock marriage was to my dad after growing up with his mom. I felt a keen loss growing up with a mom who didn't do girl things with me, and decided early that I was not going to be that way. I wanted to grow up, get married, make babies, and happily take care of all of it in domestic bliss. And I did stay home for most of my children's growing up years, which meant that I raised my own kids, too.

So, yeah. I get Kate.

Anyway, visit her blog, visit it again, and link to it everywhere.

Now THAT's a Wine Cellar...

I don't like wine and don't even drink, but this is some sort of awesomeness in wine cellars:

One word:  WOW.

As an aside, we bottled mead today.  Some is going to the reunion, but most of it will go back into the Cupboard Under the Stairs to lurk in the cool darkness.  I'm sure it would enjoy that lurking much more if it had a wine cellar like this to lurk in.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sutton Hoo

Dadgum it, another place I don't want to miss:

I don't think I'll have either enough time or enough money.

Highlander Clare is not an Aspie

A good post from our Erudite Aspie.

Read it.  She's good.  And cute, too, if I do say so myself.

At the Shamrock'n Half Marathon in March

Studio Day

I never know what the heck will come out of time spent in my studio, which is rare enough due to the day job.  But since it's (briefly) summer holidays, I went down there today and puttered around with some clay.  I liked what I had so well I searched around to find something to make with it, and these two bracelets were the result:

The photo sucks because iPhoto is acting petulant and not letting me edit photos, but you get the idea.  They look like green marble.  One is round and the other a slight oval. Much hand sanding/buffing brought them to a soft shine, and I'm fairly happy with them.  I'll put them on Etsy as soon as I can edit the photos so they don't suck.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mary Stuart's Black Pearls

This is our beautiful queen, Mary Queen of Scots:

She, along with all of her retainers, strive for as much historical authenticity as is reasonably doable in the 21st century, and I think everyone looks amazing.  One thing I think she needs, however, is a replica of the black pearls the real Mary is wearing in this portrait:

Mary had many other jewels, but I think this will do for soon as I can manage to estimate how many pearls I need to get for this extreme opera-length strand and the headpiece, as well as the pear-shaped earrings.  

No, silly, not real pearls.  She's not a real queen. :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Antonine Wall

I had no idea that any of it still existed, but it does.

I knew that Hadrian's Wall was still there and visitable; it's on my list of things to see on our trip up to Edinburgh in July.  I guess I'll have to find Antonine Wall too!  It looks like that'll be between Edinburgh and Stirling.

Wikipedia rocks for things like this!

California, Scotland

Evidently there are SIX towns in the UK named "California," one in Scotland,

and five in England, all of which seem to be very small localities. This town in Scotland was actually named after California, not the other way 'round as is more usual in American town naming for the auld sod.

I must visit at least one.

Last Day!

2011-2012 academic year is in the record book!

Well, not precisely, as I have a bit of grading to finish up and my final grades to upload, but I can wrap that up tomorrow.  And yeah, summer school starts next Tuesday, sure.  But that's only 16 days, I'll be done done on June 21st.  Okay, okay, if you're going to get all technical on my it's not quite wrapped up just yet.  But it's mostly in the books.

The end of the year is always filled with students you're sorry to see go and students you hope you never see in your class again, but at least it's incremental enough that you can say "Whew!  That part of my life is done!"  Since my advocacy graduated last week I won't see most of those kids ever again, which seems strange after seeing them every week for four years--my fourth advo class I've sent off into the big bad world.  It's a strange feeling to never graduate yourself.

The 2012-2013 academic year planning starts tomorrow morning.  We never stop here LC IB Science central, I tellya.

For tonight, nothing pressing.  The rest of the week is booked, though.

Yeah, rambling.  It's my blog, so hush.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bakerella Rocks

She comes up with all sorts of clever and tasty things to, well, bake (duh), but these are particularly adorable:

Doesn't this make you just want to eat one RIGHT NOW?


How about eating ALL SEVEN right now?

Yeah....that's more like it.  Mmmmmm...

Have I mentioned that I like cake?

Anyway, Bakerella.  She's full of things to make and then eat. And eat.

And eat.


I don't have the equipment to take a photo like the one that Anthony Watts posted on WUWT today, absolutely no way could I get an awesome photo like the one that I simply insist you click over to see for yourself.  But I did get a few nice ones with my iPhone:

But be sure to go on over to Anthony's to see a really good photo. :)

Prop Repair Weekend

St. Andrews has a bewildering assortment of props and gear that needs to be maintained from year to year, and this was the weekend.

Items needed sanding...

...and cleaning...

...and MORE cleaning...

...and drilling...

...and sewing...

...and organizing...

...and painting...


...and staining...

 ...and building...

...and much more painting...

 ...and blinging...

 ...and even more painting...

 ...and stacking...

...and drying...

 ...and more drying...

 ...and repairing... name it, I think we did it this weekend.  We had a great time and got a lot done.

Well, I had a lot of fun, anyway!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Class of 2102

They're off! This afternoon our seniors walked across the stage as we called their names and sent them off into the big bad world to finally lift their wings and fly. Godspeed to every one of them, may they have success in all worthwhile endeavors!

Now two days of exams. Not quite so much fun.

For anyone. :)