Sunday, October 31, 2010

Reformation day

Pastor Joe did a children's sermon today, and it was such a crackup. "I have just one question for you guys today. What day is it today?" "Halloween!" "That's right! It's Reformation Day!" Love it. He's always hilarious.
My own child is going to dress up as a blue fairy once she wakes up from her nap. My mom bought the wings for her about six months before she was born, and on Friday I made the skirt to go with. I used blue tulle and a layer of sparkly white tulle, and I think it turned out rather pretty. (White elastic would have been better, but you work with what you've got, right?) I also added the organza flower-poof to the back of the wings. She's going to wear this with a white leggings with silver dots and a white shirt. I can't wait. :-)

What we can't decide is what to do with ourselves this afternoon. I was going to have a party, but the initial guest list didn't work out and I never got around to inviting anyone else. We would kind of like to go hiking because it's a lovely day, but I'm having trouble finding anywhere good nearby. I just can't tell from the online guides what would be fun with a small child, what would be dorky, and what would be insanely overambitious. Oh, and I'm irrationally opposed to paying entrance/parking fees. I really want to go hiking in New Mexico, preferably at East Fork, but that's not convenient for a day trip. Decisions, decisions...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Beethoven's fifth, salsa style.

I love it. Meggie liked it too - she sang and danced along with it. But then, Beethoven's Fifth is one of her favorite songs. And then Jonathan introduced me to this gentleman, who specializes in improvising tunes into various styles. Pretty fun.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fall leaves, a power outage, and related adventures

I've been trying to get this post written for a week, and life keeps happening. Anyway, last Friday afternoon I noticed that the tree outside my bedroom window was casting a gorgeous golden glow on the wall opposite. I was going to note this fact to the wide web, but then I discovered I'd gone off and left my power cord at the library, and by the time this had been rectified my afternoon was mysteriously over.

Then I had kind of a surreal experience. Out front, the ground was covered by bright red and yellow leaves. I went out the back door and had to blink a few times, because everything was in drab greens, grays, and blacks. Leaves on the ground in October aren't supposed to be black. Something had obviously drained the world of its proper color! Was there a weird filter on my glasses? Were my eyes having trouble adjusting to outdoors?? HAD SOMEONE STOLEN MY WARM TONES?

I looked up. The big maple out back had no red on it at all. The green leaves were turning black and falling off, and that's what I was seeing all over the grass. What a disappointment.

On Wednesday, day before yesterday, it was hot and muggy as all-get-out. Finally, late afternoon, we had a five-minute tropical storm blow through complete with tornado warning. The rain pounded down in a thick gray wall, and when it blew away, the power had gone with it and there was a beautiful deep puddle on our front steps!

So Jonathan and I jumped in it, and then we folded boats and set them asail. Mine carried a cargo of jewel-toned leaves.

We came inside and dried off our feet and waited for the power to come back on. I lit candles. We staved off dinnertime with handfuls of Cheerios. I played with my new camera until it ran out of battery.

Meg woke up. By this point it was really dark, despite candles. So we all packed up and went to IHOP for dinner, where we played Pass the Pigs and Meg helped eat our hash browns and flirted with the waitress. And when we came home around 8:30, the power was back on. Yay!

Thursday mornings, Andi comes over with the twins she nannies and we try to do crafts. So yesterday I revved up the evil-minded sewing machine, which had been working great earlier in the week, and... it had ceased to work. The machine worked just fine if I cranked around it by hand, but the foot pedal would go up and down and fail to relay any information to the machine. The power returning must have fried its circuits. I can't think what else could have done it. I think it has bitten the dust for good this time. Sad days! But all is not lost - Andi kindly lent me her sewing machine so I can put together Meg's fairy skirt.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Meggie status report

I can't believe how big Meggie is getting. At small group, Lisa commented that she's looking more like a girl and less like a baby, and it's true. She's getting taller and more dexterous and positively agile. Right now she's at the pulling-up and cruising stage, and can stand on her own a little. She can walk a little with help. Nothing below waist-level is safe from her curiosity.

She's learning new things every day. This week she learned how to clap her hands. She pairs it with a knockout grin, and pretty much comes out seriously cute. Then today I caught her crawling into the laundry hamper we use for a toy bin. She just swarmed up the side, settled down matter-of-factly on the music cube, and from that more convenient vantage point grabbed her theoretically off-limits changing pad, which she pulled out, unfolded, and waved around. Then, when she was done, she carefully tipped the hamper over and crawled away. Hilarious.

She and her daddy have a favorite game: he puts things on end tables, and she takes them off. She and I have a similar game: I put laundry in the dryer, and she pulls it out. She also likes books, board and ordinary. She'll sit on the floor and flip through pages. She's actually mostly very gentle with them, and enjoys pulling off dust covers.

She's just short of ten months old right now.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


We're all healthy again, and happily socializing!

On Sunday, we helped with Sunday school, and sat next to friends during the service. Then that afternoon, Josh and Rachel came by to retrieve the wedding presents we'd transported back for them, and were astonished at the pile of, um, other stuff that they were expected to find a home for: things like serving dishes, and disposable coffee cups, and the guest book, and poker chips. I explained that people just kept bringing stuff out to our car, and what were we to do? I hadn't even done most of the loading and packing. ;-) We had coffee, bread pudding, and a nice long talk.

It was a lovely sunny day, so after they left we went for a walk and gathered rocks from the creek bed for a scheme I had. We went home by way of Jonathan's law-school friend Kris's house, so we popped in and asked him to dinner. So he came and hung out, and after he left I brought in my potted plants from the front porch. Bertie Woozle, the Original Schefflera from my dentist's office days, had waxed and grown fat in his new bigger pot, so in the interest of fitting him inside our apartment I cut off some sprigs and stuck them in butter-dishes of water on the kitchen windowsill for a nice jungle effect. The other plants were pretty leggy from the summer too, so I trimmed them all round. We'll see if they survive inside. And we put Meg to bed, and went out with a chart for a spot of stargazing.

On Monday, Meggie and I got together with a friend of hers from the church nursery. They got along about as well as not-even-a-year-old girls are likely to; they seemed vaguely pleased with the company, and would occasionally swipe each other's blocks. Meg had a grand time with Story's toys, though, and played with all the ones with interesting sound effects. We mean to try it again next week at our house. Then we spent the afternoon grocery shopping and going to the library.

This morning we stuck around home. Meg and I bundled up (it was a cloudy, chilly morning) and swung, slid, and bounced up and down on the teeter-totter at the playground. She really got a kick out of it, I think. Then we looped round to the office and got a cup of coffee, and home.

For my afternoon's adventure, I made Rebecca's famous scones. I haven't made scones since I've been married because I was kind of intimidated and anyway thought I didn't have a blender that would work, but then I discovered a stick blender tucked way far in the back of my evil appliance-eating cabinet - apparently a wedding present - so I gave it a shot. And they were wonderful. I put craisins and chocolate chips in them.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A birthday, a wedding, another birthday, and no funerals

I was going to title this post something about birthdays and weddings, and it struck me that since major life events were under discussion, I ought to make it clear from the beginning that nobody died. Just so you know.

Anyway. The first birthday in question was mine, last week; Jonathan took me out for dinner, and we went to Red Lobster. Their cheese biscuits are just as good as ever, and their new coconut shrimp with pina-colada sauce is amazing. Definitely yum. Meggie behaved herself and ate mashed potatoes, and the tableful of young guys next to us behaved themselves, and rebuked one of their own for swearing around a baby. Which was pretty great too. Jonathan was a darling and got me a jacket and a sweater, and Mama B. got me a dress to wear to the wedding, and then Mom sent me a whole bunch of fall clothes - gorgeous red and flame colored tops - and everything fit - so I made out like a very fashionable bandit this year. :-)

The wedding was Josh and Rachel's. Congratulations, you guys! We went up Friday and helped decorate and then onto the rehearsal dinner picnic and bachelorette party (both great fun). Rachel's sister-in-law came through and did a great job whipping the decor into shape, ably assisted by the groom's mom and sister and Lindsay, the maid of honor. Josh almost missed the rehearsal because of all the going-out-of-town-for-the-long-weekend rush-hour DC traffic, but the great thing about being the groom is that the rehearsal will wait for you. Convenient, that. My Jonathan stood in for him at first, and then he stood in for a groomsman, and then he stood in for two grandparents at once, so he really pulled his weight at a rehearsal he didn't even need to be at.

The New Mexico contingent was there in force, including spouses and the new little Emma, which was awesome. Only one of the old debate team was missing. (And we really missed you!) Josh was the last of the debaters to get married. I really enjoyed this wedding because on one side, it was New Mexico people I knew, and on the other side, it was college people I know. The bachelorette party was great (and very decent) girl-time. It was a very sweet weekend.

Friday night, we stayed with Frank and Christi, who showed us pictures of their new granddaughter, who had just occasioned the second birthday in question. She's an absolute doll. Yay!

On Saturday, we got up and got slightly lost on the way to the church, but were still there before the bride. When she arrived, I went out and assisted with the photography, and came inside to discover some slight pandemonium in the kitchen. So I pitched in. The inimitable Finnegans made everything better - and it all turned out great. Whew! My only complaint is that I didn't get to talk to everybody at the reception that I'd have liked to, especially college people. If you were there, and I didn't talk to you, I'm so sorry. We should catch up.

But I don't think the bride would have noticed anything short of a complete lack of cake, anyway. She was absolutely walking on a cloud. When they recessional-ed out of the sanctuary, they drifted through the reception room, and right on through the opposite door, and the photographer had a terrible time tracking them down again. So cute.

I have pictures up on Facebook. I didn't get many of the bachelorette party because my camera doesn't do well in low light, and I didn't get many of the reception because I was running around, so I can't wait to see other people's pictures. Post them soon, please!

Walpurgis Night

I came across a reference to "Walpurgisnicht" in a mystery I was reading; previously I'd seen it as "Walpurgis Night," and it occurred to me I didn't know what it was all about. So Jonathan and I looked it up on Wiki and in the dictionary of saints we picked up in Scotland.

St. Walburga/Walpurga was an English nun, the niece of St. Winnibald, in the eighth century. She went with him as a missionary to Germany - hence the "nicht" version. She was trained in medicine and wrote a vita of another saint, and when Winnibald died, she took over rule of his monastery. Her relics were moved to Eisenstatt and caused a well of miraculous healing oil to flow from a rock. She apparently died on May Day, so that became her feast day.

Walpurgis Night is known as the time when witches fly to their creepy rendezvous. Apparently there's no particular connection to St. Walpurga except that May Day was a previous pagan feast day: it's not like she was known for fighting witches, or anything. The saints dictionary speculated that one of her symbols, the three ears of grain, might be a transferral of the pagan fertility stuff, but her more usual symbol is a flask of oil.

So now we know. Interesting.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Dishwasher sirens (I wish they'd wash our dishes)

Hello, readers. We really are still alive. We all came down with various ailments last week - Meg's sniffles, earache, and associated distress was the most impressive (two doctor's visits), but I got the loudest cough. Jonathan was only sick one day, lucky duck. I still kind of sound like I'm dying, but basically we're healthy again. I'm grateful!

This evening, we were talking about how hard it is to keep on top of dishes, because we don't dare empty the dishwasher with Meg around. It has this magnetic attraction. She zooms straight over to it with her awesome lightning-speed crawl and starts cheerfully removing all the silverware, with a special emphasis on knives. If there is no silverware available, she'll grab plates and toss them on the floor. When thwarted, she will cling to your knees and wail.

Jonathan's take: "There are mythical Sirens living in dishwashers that sing songs only infants can hear, trying to lure them into a sudsy doom." Turns out he was reading the Nodwick blog. So timely. So true.