Friday, April 30, 2010


and I wanted to say FAREWELL to April.
It was fun, and I'm looking forward to what May brings.

Her Fearful Symmetry

by Audrey Niffenegger
(who wrote The Time Traveler's Wife which I did not read or see)
I actually liked this book enough to finish it--a feat I was worried I was not going to accomplish because of my decision not to waste time on books that weren't really good.  A selling point was the setting.  The story takes place mainly in and around Highgate Cemetery in London.  I do love cemeteries... (and who wouldn't be interested in the burial place of Karl Marx and Michael Faraday?)
One of my favorite books from last year was The Graveyard Book.  We even used a cemetery as the backdrop for our family Christmas card photo one year. 
Her Fearful Symmetry was good in the way a creepy movie is good.  I also felt as though the characters were more actors/actresses than actual people.  I got sucked in and wanted to know how it would end.  I made a few friends with the characters, was interested in the part of the plot that involved twins (have I mentioned before that I am a twin?) and really grew to like Martin, the upstairs neighbor with an over-the-top obsessive-compulsive disorder.  The NY Times review states, "Obsession is the order of the day. Niffenegger digs deep into various forms of love, including the oppressive closeness between both pairs of twins and the beyond-the-grave ardor of Elspeth and Robert."  If you're not already trying to read thousands of books, try it.  You might like it.  Interestingly, this book was not on any of my to-read lists--I just happened by it at the library, and somehow it ended up in my pile of things to check-out.  I'm probably not going to run and read her other books, but this one, altho' uniquely strange, I did enjoy (except for one major detail at the end--no spoilers here).  I'm more excited about reviewing the book I'm currently reading.  Coming soon!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

It was a good trip home

we stopped at Arlington National Cemetery
watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
drove through some gnarly traffic
and enjoyed the sights along the way.
It was good to GET HOME.

A GOLDEN anniversary!

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary
to the BEST parents and in-laws
we could wish for.

Virginia's beauty beckoned me

to sit and stay a spell.

Before April is gone

I have to share this picture with you:
because I still laugh when I think of NINE children running around the yard looking for Easter eggs, and THIS ONE, sitting in the middle of the grass eluded ALL of them,
hidden in plain sight.

Friday, April 23, 2010

par three

Gram and Bop's back yard sits alongside the 8th hole.
So naturally, we've been doing a lot of this.

three times a day

whether you need it or not.
(some think a hot tub replaces a bath tub)

a hidden treasure

We found a nice spot to hide our very own letter box.
Leeli's holding it here, with our very enthusiastic group of clue-makers.
It was hidden VERY well...
...take a minute to check out letterboxing dot org.
It's a fun way to take a walk, see parts of your region you may not have seen before, and enjoy some time hanging out with people you like!
We're fond of letterboxing, and are thrilled to have come up with one of our own in Central Virginia.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

a sweet reunion

Yonder finished his semester at school.
We finished living without him (for now).
He left Utah.
We left home.
We met somewhere in the middle...
...and it's SO exciting to be ALL together again!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

On the road (again)

and a Cherry Limeade was just the ticket!
... life in the fast lane ...
an educational stop we all enjoyed

I loved this really cool barn at Antietam
and the girls liked the Clara Barton Memorial.
After 13 and a half hours of driving, this little Union Soldier went to bed TIRED.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Generally, Young Men deserve what they get

Just for the record yesterday was one of my favorite holidays in Massachusetts.
Patriot's Day is one of Boston's finest days, and we're usually right out there with the masses, celebrating in some way, shape or form. This year we were anticipating a parcel of pavement at about mile 19 on the Boston marathon course. Instead we hunkered down and concentrated on taking our proper doses of medicines and resting. Of course, little did we know that Enrique was harboring the germ-du-jour while he hosted most of his young men compadres for a sleep-over prior to rising in the middle of the night to attend the re-enactment of the battle at Lexington. I wonder how many of them have become unsuspecting carriers?
You're welcome, gentlemen.
[Oh dear.]

another one bites the dust

[please ignore the fact that I've chosen to focus on the plush interior of our vehicle instead of the objects of interest in this picture] ...and just in case the last and only remaining healthy child in our house decides to become ill while we're trying to take our long-awaited vacation, our pediatrician has kindly filled a prescription for her, too.
And THAT will be the end of our Springtime schlep with strep.
...on to blazing healthy trails ahead...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Our newest addition

I couldn't be more pleased to introduce you to our STRAWBERRY garden! Planted today with ALL hands on deck... who wants to EAT the strawberries? I asked, and they ALL came to help. The little red hen has nothing on me!

the dispensary

Made my FOURTH trip to the doctor in a week, and then my FIFTH trip to the pharmacist for antibiotics this morning. Not only are we dispensing medicines of many varieties, we are also dispensing HOPE. (I HOPE that we are done being sick!)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dear Roonie,

I read your book, and you were right.  I loved it!
I stayed in bed this morning, and didn't get out until I had finished.
(Having strep throat on a Saturday turns out to have some perks.)
One of the million reasons I love you is that you like to root for the underdog.
Me too.  And there were more than a couple of underdogs in When you Reach Me.
Thanks for insisting that I would really really like this book.
I love you tons,

When You Reach Me
by Rebecca Stead

One of the opening chapters of the book is called "Things You Hide" and starts like this: 
I was named after a criminal.  Mom says that's a dramatic way of looking at things, but sometimes the truth is dramatic.
"The name Miranda stands for people's rights," she said last fall, when I was upset because Robbie B. had told me during gym that I was named after a kidnapper.
Miranda and Sal are best friends, and live in New York City.  After having just visited some of the same places that Miranda and Sal navigate on a daily basis, another chapter called "Mom's Rules for Life in New York City" resonated with me:
1.  Always have your key out before you reach the front door.
2.  If a stranger is hanging out in front of the building, don't ever go in--just keep walking around the block until he's gone.
3.  Look ahead.  If there's someone acting strange cross to the other side of the street, but don't be obvious about it.  Make it look like you were planning to cross the street all along.
4.  Never show your money on the street.
When You Reach Me won the 2010 Newbery Medal, and is an exciting adventure with mystery, science fiction and bullies.  I devoured it in less than three hours.  Two thumbs up for a book that just about everyone will enjoy.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Old Sturbridge Village

These were my field trip peeps.  Seems Leeli takes after her mother, needing to be in control of the camera during most of our visit to the village.  After trying to move a group of eight high schoolers through the crowded streets of NYC, this was a walk in the park.  Except with third graders.  Who don't seem to walk at a very leisurely pace most of the time.

In a cash-poor society, learning about going to market and the role of banks was interesting.  I'm sure that even though most people today are probably relatively cash-poor, they don't have the same concept of debit and credit as they did in the 1830s.  We would all do well to learn a few lessons from the past.
It was a good trip.