Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Blanket Fort

Miss Adventure was pretty proud of the latest blanket fort she built.

She insisted that we take a photo.

Adventure is out there!
(or in here, secure in the fort)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Books and Butterflies

Our local library's logo is an open book with fluttering pages.

It reminds some of a butterfly. Thus, our library's unofficial mascot is the butterfly. So to celebrate is anniversary last month, the library invited patrons to bring paper butterflies to help decorate.

Miss Adventure and I thought that it would be a fun thing to do. I used the pattern they provided, dug out some origami paper, and we made some butterflies.

Miss Adventure was so excited when the library shared this photo of her with our butterflies on their fb page.

Flying high to celebrate our library. :-)

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Dirt People

 Geologist Ben was a part of this team for his university in a soils judging contest. Yep, looking for quality dirt.
  The team went to another university for a week. First, they spent some time in a hole in the ground, getting in some practice.

Spending a day in a hole in the ground makes for a hungry crew.

Their team took first in the overall category, just missing first in the team competition. They missed first by 1point in a contest that had some seven to eight hundred points possible. They also had a team member place second in the individual event, missing out on first by 1 point in a contest that had some four to five hundred points possible. Great job team!

My son, one of the dirt people. :-D

Monday, October 3, 2016

What a Week

While the chemist is launching quickly, there are still several hurdles to leap as quickly as we can. One was accomplished last week - she has a new-to-her vehicle. Yay!

We had put off replacing her car until she had work. Hers still functioned, and should it not, we were close by. We are not so close by now that she's in the big city. We can't run her to work if it doesn't start. We can't rescue her from the side of the road if it just dies.

So this past week we hunted down a vehicle. Purchased on Wednesday. Insured and licensed on Friday. Delivered on Saturday. Whew! Big Item number one accomplished. We feel so much better about her driving now.

Time to tackle Big Item number two.  I went up to see her and deliver her vehicle on Saturday. Then we went apartment hunting. We've found a great apartment so close to work that if something did happen she *could* walk. (Though the big city seems to really dislike sidewalks. There isn't a single sidewalk between what we hope will be her place and her work.) She delivered the application paperwork and deposit checks today. Hopefully, the screening won't take too long and we will know for certain soon. Shouldn't be a problem, but I still worry. Once approved, there is still the wait until the apartment is open. Then the final Big Item, actually moving her in. Whew!

I will rest much easier once she's settled. She's handling the commute, but a mother worries. We will miss her, but we are *so excited* for her. Soon to be independent in the big city. Wow!

Big city or small town -
Kindness Matters!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Books! Books! Books!

One of my goals for this year has been to declutter. I just have too many closets, corners, shelves, and such filled with too much "I'll get to that someday" type things. Too much psychic burden. All these "things" I "should" be devoting my life energy to. But my life is worth so much more than many of these "things" deserve.  And one of the things that I tend to collect is books.

Books have a special magic, especially if one tends to read a lot. There is such promise of knowledge. The keys to unlock mysteries. The information one needs. They also have this aura of value as well. I grew up reading the Laura Ingalls Little House series. The family had one book besides the family Bible, and that one book was treasured. For centuries, books were only found in the homes of the wealthy or the libraries of religious institutions. The depths of the book a mystery only to all but the privileged few. One simply does not "throw away" a book.

But ours is an age where what was once scarce and valuable is now plentiful and, perhaps, not so valuable. There are bad books. There are mediocre books. There are books past their usefulness.


And I have taken this truth to heart this year. I am still buried in books, but . . . I have sold several school books that Miss Adventure and I no longer need or will not use. :-) Not a huge sum collected, but enough to pay for this year's science curriculum.

I have given away several stacks of books. :-)

And I have tossed quite a number of books into the recycle bin.

I have a shelf in my bookcases full of items I know I do not want, but haven't yet decided what course to take: toss, donate, attempt to sell. But each time a book leaves the house, I feel this sense of lightness. I still have two piles of books in my bedroom, a crate of books in the living room, two or three crates of books under the stairs, and four boxes of books in the garage to go through for the first go around.

My goal for this year is to gather all books to the bookcases and have done an initial purge of unwanted materials. Next year, once that's done, I want to go through the remaining books, culling down to one bookcase. I keep reminding myself that I love our local library and use it extensively. I don't "need" a lot of the school books I have. The library does an excellent job of storing books.

Here's to a lovely fall and the lightness of less.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

For the Love of Singing

It has been over five years since I've done much of any singing, and nearly ten years since I've sung any good choral pieces. Singing is such an enjoyment for me. I have needed to find an outlet. So last February I began searching the internet off and on for somewhere to sing. I never could find anything for my hometown, but I did find contact information for the chorus for the symphony orchestra in the city. WooHoo! Well, except that I was too late to join for the spring concert. Rats! I ended up painting the house and hosting a graduation party instead. :-D

But I knew where to watch for start times for this fall. And I did it. I joined the chorus. We've had three practices thus far. And it is so much fun! As a bonus, I ran into someone I knew from my hometown who had contact information for a chorus here at home. They just do a spring concert, but their practices, for the most part, do not conflict with the city's rehearsals. Yay! Message to that coordinator in process. We shall see if I can wrangle and invitation to join the local chorus.

In the mean time in the city, we are singing a gorgeous Brahm's piece . . . in the original German. I love the piece, especially the second part which descends into hell. Love those lush, dark passages. I have found learning the German particularly challenging, but finally I have these German phrases running through my head. I will have it memorized by performance, I'm sure.
So. Much. Fun.

It has meant that Mr. Wonderful does have to be sure to be timely home on rehearsal nights. And remember Miss Adventure at dance class. So it has added some scheduling stress. But Mr. Wonderful understands how important it is to me. So very nice to have something for me. :-)
 It does make me so very happy.

Doch uns is gegeben auf keiner Statte zu ruhn,
Es schwinden, es fallen die leidenden Menschen
Blindlings von einer Stunde zur arden,
Wie wasser von Klippe su Klippe geworfen,
Jarl lang ins Ungewisse hinab.

Ah, such good stuff! :-D

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Launch Two

When we launched Ben into the world, it was a rather soft launch. First to dorms, home on holidays and weekends. Then dorms further away. When he was working on an oil rig, it was gone for four or five weeks, home for one or two weeks. Now he's in an apartment at university, pretty much on his own. A successful, but gradual launch.

For our chemist, it has been a much longer time to actual launch, but a much faster lift off. She has lived at home during her college years for several reasons, money certainly, but others as well. Now graduated, she has been living at home while job hunting. I had really thought she'd find work fairly close by summer's end. But August came and went with no prospects.
Then it happened.
With unexpected suddenness, she is launching.

Two weeks ago, she was baking cakes and going to the zoo with the littles and me.

Finally, she got a call for an interview. Scheduled for Tuesday, a week ago. In the bigger city. Three hours away.

She and I packed a picnic lunch and hit the road. (We simply didn't trust her car, she can't drive my stick, and who wants to spend 6 hours on the road solo when you can have company!) While we sat in the parking lot of the company she was to interview with, eating our lunch and unwinding a bit, she got a call. Another interviewed scheduled for Friday. This one much closer, in our close city. Wow! Two face to face interviews in one week.

She felt the interview went well. We traveled home.

Wednesday, she had a job offer. Wow! Going to an interview with an offer in her pocket. Very cool.

She felt the interview Friday went well, but they had to get authorization to make an offer. We discussed things. She pondered things. She accepted the offer in the bigger city. To start Wednesday (yesterday as I write this).

I was expecting a week or two delay between interview and offer. And another week or two delay between offer and start date.
They needed her.

So yesterday, Mr. Wonderful followed her to the bigger city to make sure her car made it. We are searching for a better car for her. She is living with Mr. Wonderful's sister while she gets settled in at work. We've begun the apartment search. But she is out in the world on her own. Wow. That was fast. We are so proud of her.