Friday, October 31, 2008

Blessed Samhain!



Do the ghosts look worried to you?

Havoc is off at school in is PJs for their party. Mayhem keeps changing his mind about what he wants to wear for his class party. He is currently insisting on a skeleton. He's going as either a pirate or a bandit because that is the costume we have. These last minute changes just don't work around here.

We haven't decided whether to do trunk or treat tonight at one of the churches in the town or wait until tomorrow and do the one at the county high school. We'll do silent supper on whichever evening we don't trick or treat. Tomorrow is the school fall carnival. Apparently they are going to have a forest of bounce houses for the kids and lots of food and crafts. I suspect I am not going to be very interested in doing ToT tomorrow after that.

I finally got my CT stuff downloaded.  Be sure to check out SSD and CGEssentials for DSD tomorrow. They have some great stuff coming out.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Purging & Reorganizing

Lack of a consistent internet connection is giving me lots of spare time. I cold be scrapping but I'm just not feeling it right now, which is a pity because I have some great stuff from Kim Hill to play with it.  But I want to do something productive so I decided it was time for a purge, followed by a reorganization.

So far I have purged 3GBs of scrapping stuff I never use, another 4GBs of audiobooks I have already listened too (backed up onto DVD in case I want to listen again), numerous blurry photos of tops of trees, the ground, random body parts and pictures that were supposed to be of my kids but somehow ended up being of other people's kids. I also backed up and then deleted a bunch of music I never listen to anymore. I feel lighter!

Then I tackled my bookmarks, which fortunately can be accessed off line. I have things I bookmarked back in 2004 in there. Info I no longer need, items I have already purchased, etc. I deleted all the useless stuff and reorganized the rest of it, then used one of my intermittent connections to go through & delete the sites that no longer exist. I can actually find stuff in my bookmarks now!

The other thing I have been doing when my connection works is purging blogs from my reader. I have this binge & purge habit with my reader.  I go through phases where I add dozens of blogs every couple of weeks, usually finding them through links in posts of other blogs I read & from blogrolls on the new blogs,or from blog trains I participated in 6 months ago. But then I don't end up reading most of those new blogs and some of the older ones change focus or post less frequently or I just lose interest for other reasons and I need to purge them.  I had almost 400 blogs in my reader when the internet went out Tuesday. Blogs about food, crochet, photography, digital scrapbooking, parenting, pagans, tarot, books, news, and just random stuff. It's safe to say I maybe read a third of it and skimmed the rest. It was time for a purge.

I'm down to under 100 blogs now and they have been reorganized into better defined folders. I'm glad that is done. I'm going to visit my folks in December. That is prime blog binge time for me. They have cable internet and I have hours with nothing to do but read blogs.

And I'd like to add a plug for Windows Live Writer software. It makes blogging with random internet possible. I create my post, tell it to post and it keeps trying until it finally goes through. You should try it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Random thoughts about my kids' school

My kids go to public school here in our underpopulated (meaning poor in tax money), rural, conservative, nearly entirely Baptist, county. The county only has one of each kind of school -elementary, middle, junior & high school and to say they are underfunded is putting it mildly. The richer, more populated counties in the area spend more on high school sports than we do on the entire elementary school. They have a computer lab with 6 computers in it, for about 250 students.

They only do one bus run per area. All the kids from all the schools on a road get on the same bus, and the bus stops at the various schools. So my 5 year old is riding home sitting in front of 16 year olds. This is bad from a "what might they hear and pick up" standpoint, but could be good from a 'need a babysitter' standpoint. So far neither has happened.

I went to Catholic for grades 1-12 and before that I was in Montessori school from ages 2-5, so I'm not familiar with how public school works. Specifically I am not familiar with how religion works in public schools. I grew up with prayer after the Pledge (and no one made a point of leaving out 'under God' when they said it), going to mass every Friday, an hour or so of religion class 2-4 times a week. We learned about abortion as a medical procedure in relation to the pregnancy portion of sex ed and we learned that life begins at conception. We learned about the mechanics of sex and that God said we should wait until we were married. We learned about creationism and evolution at the same time. I've had numerous people give me grief for being able to hold conflicting opinions at the same time, but it's what I was taught to do.

Anyway, I'd always been under the impression that the mere mention of religion, let alone God, was forbidden in public schools. You certainly do not learn about God during school time, unless it is an historical or philosophic context. You have winter pageants and spring breaks, we don't mention Christmas and Easter. Halloween was ok though, like Valentines' Day because it was secular. But apparently not. At least not here.

Shortly after school started a form was sent home for me to complete if I wanted to allow Havoc to take a 45 minute Bible Class once a month, off school property, in a bus or something in the soccer field I think.

Huh? Bible school? you get out of regular school to go sit in a bus in the soccer field and learn about Jesus? How's that work? I can only assume that it works under the theory that should another religious group buy a bus and want to park it in the soccer field once a month to teach kids about their faith, then they must be allowed to do this and permission slips will be sent home asking me if Havoc can spend 45 minutes a month studying the Torah, or the Koran or sacred Buddhist texts. Apparently they have been doing this for 70 years so they must be legally allowed or no one has ever tried to protest it. I'm not going to because it's not that big of a deal to me. I have no problem with it, it's just one of those odd, unexpected things I don't understand. 14 out of 16 kids in Havoc's class attend the Bible bus. Havoc and another student do not. Fortunately they are both on the accelerated reader track and their teacher uses the time to give them individual lessons.

Another odd thing is about Halloween. Havoc's class (all of the kindergarten classes actually) are having a 'dress up day' where everyone has to come in pajamas rather than costumes, so everyone can participate in the fun (School wording, not mine) But there are Halloween decorations, candy, games, the works - just no costumes. Who is supposed to be fooled by this - parents? God? Or is it some attempt to keep from dictating and regulating a 'no scary costume' rule. That isn't really what is odd. What is odd is that Mayhem's class (in the same school, attending the same events) is having a Halloween party & everyone should come dressed in costume. No weapons allowed.

The Ren Faire has a rule like that too.

Are 4 year olds less likely to dress in scary costumes than 5 year olds? What are the 1st -3rd graders wearing?

Then just to add to the wierdness, yesterday I was sent a form asking permission for Havoc to be in the Christmas play. Did everyone get one? Is it because he doesn't go to Bible bus? I didn't think you were allowed to have a Christmas play. I thought you had to have a Winter play.

Let me be clear. I did not send my kids to public school to keep them away from religion. I send my kids to public school because I cannot afford to send them elsewhere. "Elsewhere' would be the Christian, Catholic or Lutheran schools in the area and if we could afford it they would be going to one of them. Even though we are heathens.

I don't know what is going on. I'm not offended or upset. I'm just confused. I was given to understand that there is no religion - period - in public schools and I have friends in other areas who get wigged out when I tell them about the Bible bus and the Christmas play, so I'm guessing this is some county cultural thing. I don't mind it being there, on the assumption that other faiths would get equal time should they ask for it. I just don't know enough about how the system works I guess.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Today's blog post

has been canceled due to high winds.

I get my broadband internet from an antenna, that due to the location and configuration of my house, is mounted at the top of a 50 foot pole. Picture a giant weather vane. It's tied down and can withstand most wind.

But not really high gusty winds so strong they blow the front door open.

My front door has been blown open twice now and is currently deadbolted in the hopes that will keep it shut.

My weather vane, er, antenna, is currently pointed due south. Which is nice. But my signal comes from the east.

I'm getting intermittent signal. 

It's horrible.

I've actually cleaned the house and made granola bars

Pray for me.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A nice weekend

Saturday is bucketed down rain all morning. The boys were very high energy & had no place to direct that energy, except into annoying the crap out of us. Which they proceeded to do with much joy. My SIL called to let us know the wedding had been moved to the Equestrian Center, where the reception was being held, due to the rain. She mentioned it was a bit chilly there the previous night, but once they got the huge wood stove going it might actually be too hot. So I thought jackets for everyone would be nice just in case.

I was not looking forward to loading 2 high energy boys into a car for a 2 hour drive to a place where they would then be expected to sit still for 30-45 more minutes for the ceremony, but that's how things are so we're all just going to have to deal with it. This is my ongoing problem. Solemn events, which I think my children should experience & learn to deal with, always seem to happen a lengthy car ride away and it's hard on small energetic beings to be strapped in one place for a couple of hours and then be expected to hold themselves still in another place for another hour.  I think it is a bit unfair really. So we don't do it very often. So they aren't used to it. So it's difficult.

We set up the DVD player, got some movies, loaded everyone in the car and drove off in the pouring rain. I once again got car sick on the first half of the drive, just as I had a couple weeks previously when we drove up to visit friends near Dinosaur Land. I never used to get sick on it. I blame advancing age.  We all had a snack along the way because who knew when dinner would be.  I had the Saltines.

When we reached the Equestrian Center I realized I had made an error in assumption.  There are equestrian centers around (in the general sense) where we live. They are like stepped down country clubs for the most part. Lots of riding area, riding rings, a couple of barns and a main building, usually one of those easy to assemble all metal building, that is used for parties & meetings. Big open area with small kitchen at one end sort of thing.  Slow to heat in the chill, but heatable. 

That is not what this was.

This was a barn. Open to the air mostly. With a freshly scraped dirt floor where the reception & wedding were being held.  And a huge pile of dirt at one end that had been scraped off, with some screens in front. There were ponies in stalls in another section of the barn, the part where the buffet was set up. There were pigs and ducks in pens outside. Not really a place for high heels.

Had I been expecting a barn I would have dressed differently. Jeans, a sweater, my Ren boots, and been much more comfortable. I would have dressed the boys in decent, but dirt friendly clothing and warmer coats.

It was a fun reception. The boys & I missed the wedding while they looked at the ponies and ran around outside from the pig pens to the duck pens and around the silo. My heels sunk in and stuck in the soggy ground every third step. We sat with DH's family & he got talk with his brother who we haven't seen in 5 years. I talked with his sister & her husband.  The boys played with their little girl cousins (daughters of DH's nephew). They are the same age as my brother's little girls, blond and dark eyed like my brother's girls and I think the boys came away with the idea that little girl cousins are pretty much interchangeable.

It was a very pretty wedding. Autumn colors, apples wrapped in ribbons on the tables, mums and squash for decoration. It was just a bit chilly. It doesn't win for coldest wedding I have ever been too. My friend Pixie holds that distinction. She got married a few years ago out on the C&O canal, at the end of December, in the snow and biting wind. DH & I and other couple, stood at the 4 quarters of the circle, each representing an element. I was water, or 'ice' as the case may be.

I took my camera but the battery was dying and the replacement battery was dead. So I only got about 6 photos & all of my immediate family. Here are some of them.



Mayhem weddinga



The dirt pile


Sunday, October 26, 2008


This is my amigurumi dodecahedron. 


I adapted the pattern from Berroco, found here, to make it amigurumi.  I ended up with 2 different patterns, one makes the points more rounded & the other more pointy. I used the more pointy version I used a ball of some worsted weight cotton that I have had for years and a 3.50 sized hook. My dodecahedron ended up about 7 inches in height and width.

Rounded point pattern

Ch 3, 4 sc in 2nd chain

Row 1 - 2 sc in each sc around - 8 sc

Row 2 - sc, (2sc in each sc around) 7 times - 15 sc

Row 3 - sc around - 15 sc

Row 4 - (sc, 2sc, sc) 5 times around - 20 sc

Row 5 - sc around - 20 sc

Row 6 - (sc, sc, 2sc, sc) 5 times around - 25 sc

Row 7 - sc around - 25 sc

Row 8 - (sc, sc, 2sc, sc, sc) 5 times around - 30 sc

Row 9 - sc around - 30 sc

Row 10 - (sc, sc, 2sc, sc, sc, sc) 5 times around - 35 sc

Row 11 & 12 - sc around - 35 sc

Leave long tail for stitching - 4"-6"


Pointy point pattern

Ch 3, 4 sc in 2nd chain

Row 1 - 2 sc in each sc around - 8 sc

Row 2 - sc, (2sc in each sc around) 7 times - 15 sc

Rows 3 to 5-  sc around - 15 sc each

Row 6 - (sc, 2sc, 2sc) 5 times - 25 sc

Row 7 to 9 - sc around - 25 sc each

Row 10 - (2sc, sc, sc, 2sc, sc) 5 times - 35 sc

Row 11 & 12 - sc around - 35 sc each

Leave long tail for stitching - 4"-6"


Now for assembly,which I find challenging to explain,even though it is really simple once you see the pattern, so I have photos to help

Crochet 12 points, using whichever method pattern you prefer


Mark one as point one. Stitch another point to it, joining 7 scs together, using one of the point's long tail.



Take a 3rd point and attach it, using it's tail to 1 and 2, with 7 scs on each point, for a total of 14scs joined


Attach 4th point to points 1 and 3 as before.

Attach 5th point to points 1 and 4 as before.

Attach 6th point to points 1, 2, and 5, for a total of 21 scs joined, completing the bottom circle.



At this point you can probably see how the rest of it will be assembled.  Take point 7 and attach it to points 2 and 3 (or any 2 points really), for a total of 14 scs joined. Attach point 8 to points 7, 3, and 4 for a total of 21 scs joined.


Continue attaching points 9, 10, and 11 this way (11 being attached on 4 sides for 28 scs)


Stuff the dodecahedron as firmly or as loosely as you prefer. Leave all the loose ends of tails inside. If you used the more pointy shaped version of the points, be sure to get the tips of the points well & firmly stuffed or they will squish flat quickly. Once you have it stuffed, attach 28 scs of the 12th point, stuff the 12th point and stitch the final 7scs closed.  Weave in the end of this tail.


Weekly Winners Oct 19-25

This week's photos are all from my Project 365-Boys Play collection.

Havoc received some Legos for his birthday a couple weeks ago. This week they got together with the few Legos we already had and decided to stage a coup against the dinosaurs.

They thought the best thing to do was to get the smaller dinos out of the way initially.


Indiana Jones led a hand


The dinos were loaded for transport out.


But then the larger dinosaurs realized what was happening


The Legos never stood a chance


Oh no! Indiana!


Despite the dinos victory this time, I suspect the Legos are just biding their time until their numbers are reinforced at Christmas.

For more Weekly Winners check out Lotus at Sarcastic Mom

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rainy Day

It is chilly and bucketing down rain here. It's the first real rain we have had since sometime in July I think. I don't mind it but it does mean driving 2 hours in the rain to a wedding that has now been moved indoors. I'm sure that is a bummer for the bride & groom. To go from getting married in the beautiful fall mountainside to getting married in a random building that will either be very chilly or very overheated, because it was not intended to be used today, must be a bit of a letdown.

DH and I have colds so we're grumbly. The boys are, naturally, very high energy. Not sure how we are going to rein them in for a 2 hour drive and then a wedding ceremony. They want to watch Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls, but I'm not too sure. They've seen the other 3 over the summer with no ill effects but this has better graphics and there is that long chase scene in the jungle and the whole lead up to the dramatic ending, plus the ending, which might be a bit much for a barely 6 and not quite 5 year old. But I suspect we'll be watching it.

I've ironed the boys dress shirts. I contemplated not bothering because we will be sitting in a car for 2 hours so it's not like they won't get creased again. But I decided I'll hang the shirts in the way back of the car, let the boys wear tees on the way up and then dress them when we get there. If I am going to go to all the trouble of ironing, by god those shirts will be wrinkle free when everyone sees them.  Mayhem has never seen an iron before, or seen me use it. After I set the board up and started ironing a shirt he went around the house shouting "Havoc! Daddy! Come see!! Mommy's ironing!!! She really ironing!!"

I'm doing a Pay It Forward today. I signed up with

Mrs B of Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom

Here are the rules: The exchange focuses on doing an act of kindness without expecting anything in return other than that the recipient will, in their turn, pass the kindness along and pay it forward in their own way. This is how it works... I am going to agree to send something fun, inspiring or uplifting to the first 3 blog owners who post a comment on this entry saying they want to participate (please leave your email address if I can't get it from your blog.).

In turn you will then post about this on your blog, link to me, then send something to the first three people who sign up to play along through your blog. There are no cost restraints, but don't go crazy! The little something you send can be something you made, bought, were given or found. No biggie, just a gift that will make the person smile. Maybe something unique from where you live? And remember that kindness don't have to involve money; there are untold ways to hel others every single day, everywhere you go - just look around."

If you would like to participate please mention it in your comment. The first 3 to say they would like to participate will get something special from me & do a Pay It Forward post themselves.  You can still comment without wanting to participate though.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Did some shopping

and some exchanging.

I tried on a bunch of dresses and skirts.

Ok... designers who design  pleated skirts with wide pleats that start at the top of your hips are just plain MEAN and obviously hate any woman who doesn't have the body of a 14 year old boy.  AACCKKK!!

Then there is the 'high waisted' style dress, that doesn't take into account the fact some of us at this point in our lives are in possession of low waisted boobs. At least build some underwires into where you think my boobs ought to be sitting, to help keep them in the general vicinity.

There were some no waistline dresses that made me look pregnant, both the form fitting and the bag style.

Lots of skirts and dresses that were just the wrong length. Some were too short to bend over to deal with small kids and some hit me at mid-calf, giving me a dumpy, stunted appearance.

Have I mentioned that Vanity has watched every episode ever of What Not to Wear? Vanity finds duplicating the results of $400 dresses, altered to fit, from New York boutiques with only $50 and Target, Kohls and JCPenny to choose from, very challenging.  Common sense doesn't help matters by knowing damn well I will not be taking in those seams myself or tracking down someone who can.

I did find a  dress though and vanity was so happy it agreed to exchange the permanent hair color for a 20 washes version.

This was my hair - in direct sunlight. Those bottom couple of inches are brassier in normal light


This is my new hair, new dress, my favorite shoes and my favorite shawl. (I am a closet shawl person. Meaning I love shawls, but rarely wear them so they stay in my closet all the time). Excuse the strange look on my face. My camera's timer is not to be relied on. The angle is a little weird because the camera is on a stack of books and slightly tilted. I did end up with a high waisted dress, but it's waistline most closely matched my boob line.


A close up of my shoes (just for Jenni)


We decided after much looking around and pricing things to just give the happy couple cash.

We got the boys little dress shirts & ties and I am hoping to get someone at the wedding to family photo of us, because this will be the first time since Havoc was born that we have dressed up as a family. 

It's DH's niece that is getting married & will be the first time his entire family has been together (assuming they all come),and the first time we have seen all but 2 of them, since his mom died in 2001.  I'm hoping there might be a whole family portrait opportunity.  My kids have only met DH's 2 sisters. His brother came to visit once when Havoc was 4 months old.They have never met their 5 much older first cousins (aged between 21 and 30) or their first cousin once removed, who is 5 months younger than Havoc or any of DH's siblings' spouses. It should be interesting.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Common Sense vs Vanity - round 2

I have not dyed my hair yet.

Common sense & vanity have been distracted from the hair issue by something in my previous blog post. I knew when I wrote it that there was *something* odd about it, something about that post rang a tiny distant note in my brain. It took until Tuesday afternoon before that note was loud enough to be heard.  Wedding, it said. When was the last time you were invited to a wedding?..hhmmm....

Oh my god! I'm supposed to go to a wedding on Saturday and I have nothing to wear!!!!

Yeah, vanity has been much much too busy trying on every even slightly 'nice' item in my closet and fantasizing about wearing my purple, pointy toed, kitten heeled shoes to even think about hair. Common sense has been going on about budgets, a lack of wedding gift, squished toes and shooting pains up my calves & hasn't even thought about hair.

Vanity and common sense agree that my summer 'nice' dresses are too summery & light for an outdoor (yes, outdoor. In West Virginia!) October wedding & reception and my 'nice' pants, matched with my 'nice' blouses scream BUSINESS MEETING and not wedding.  So perhaps a new skirt is called for. Or possibly even that old standby - the little black dress.

Because I don't actually own one. Vanity has never been happy with the fit of any I can afford.

They also agree that I don't need new shoes, but they are arguing over the really cute aforementioned purple shoes and the less interesting but more comfortable black, low heeled, square toe pumps. (I suspect one will be worn for awhile and then the other pair exchanged as the evening wears on)

So the box lingers on the counter while I go shopping for a skirt or dress...maybe a new purse to go with the shoes....

oh, and a wedding gift.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Common Sense vs Vanity

I am at heart a practical person. I have my vain moments & a quick glance at my shoe shelf will reveal that I own a number of very impractical pairs, but by & large common sense tends to win out over vanity. It has always had, at bare minimum, a 50-50 chance of coming out ahead, even during the worst of my 1980's excesses (and I was 13 in 1980, so I got to experience the whole glorious decade in full).  Commons sense said that one really wide belt was sufficient, even if everyone else was wearing 3 at once. So was one necklace and perhaps 2 layered shirts instead of a Mr T starter kit and 4 shirts in varying states of coverage.  However, there were bad perms a plenty in the 80's and some truly huge amounts of teasing and Aqua Net went into my hair. But those choices were as much common sense as vanity.  I didn't think my hair looked particularly stunning with 5 inch tall bangs and wings out so far they made taking off a t-shirt impossible, but it was the look. No one just had, you know, hair.  Hair that just sort of hung there, washed and ready to go. Common sense said hair required lots of work in the 80's.   Then the 90's came in with the grunge look and common sense said "really?!? You can just let it go?!? Awesome!"

Ever since 1990 common sense has been slowly gaining ground over vanity. I had my last perm in 1992. I had my last permanent hair coloring in 2001. I had my last highlights done in 2004.  Most of my shoes are realistic for my child chasing lifestyle & budget. I am well aware that this time around, leggings are not for me & however cute that tiny tee shirt is, it is completely wrong for my body shape. There is a 75% chance these days that common sense will quell the pleas of vanity.

Commons Sense:"Yep, that's a wonderful dress. Perfect color, great shape. YOu do look nice in it. Where are you going to wear it? Do you have shoes for it? Seems a bit much for a night out with the kids at Chilis. When was the last wedding you were invited too? When was the last date night to a really nice restaurant (because you can't afford it AND a babysitter) Dancing??  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Seriously. Where are you going to wear that dress? You have better uses for $100"

Vanity: sulks and puts the dress back but consoles itself with a $15 shirt

Lately vanity has been thinking about hair color. Common sense usually stomps on that pretty quickly by shouting "DAMAGE!!! HORRIBLE DAMAGE" and vanity cannot deny that in the long run hair coloring always ends up with washed out fuzzy hair, so vanity drops the issue & consoles itself with some pretty hair clips.

But it's October. Vanity for some reason, gains strength in October when it comes to hair color. Vanity actually had me standing in the hair coloring aisle of CVS this morning, staring longingly at all the pretty red-brown hair dye.  Common sense was catching up from behind.

Vanity: Look at the beautiful colors!!!

Common Sense: Have you ever been happy, really happy, with a color from a box? Honestly?

V: I always like the colors

CS: For 2 weeks tops. Put the Crushed Garnets down.

V: Sometimes longer. Anyway it's been years. There have been advances.

CS: No there haven't. Not in boxes. Put the Auburn Espresso down. Maybe in salon color but it always ends up the same . Fuzzy brassy washed out hair.

V: I do have time now. I could go to a salon. Remember how pretty my hair was in 2002?

CS: You have no money. Put the Mocha Raspberry Glow down. Yes, your hair was pretty for a few months that time, but remember how it looked when Havoc was born & you couldn't afford to keep it up? Brassy, washed out. Fuzzy.

V: See it says new improved formula

CS: You choose NOW to believe marketing ploys? Put the Rad Red Brown down. It always ends in tears. Why are you doing this?

V: It's fall! Look how pretty the trees are with their red, gold & brown leaves!

CS: You are not a tree. Put the Medium Auburn Brown down. You have mouse brown hair with gold undertones. You do not now, nor have you ever had red hair. You are always ultimately unhappy with the results of reddish dye.

V: (fingering a bit of ponytail) I hate this part.

CS: ah yes, the huge brassy highlights left over from the last time you failed to listen to me. Put the Dark Rich Auburn down. If you hate it so much cut it off.  A missing 2 inch chunk of hair will look no worse than faded brassy fuzzy hair & it will grow back, unlike the dye, which you will be stuck with until you cut it out.

V: *sulks* Maybe you are right about the red. Maybe just a brown would be better

CS: (seeing victory escaping as I head to the check out) No it won't! It's still dye. FUZZY!!! You will have fuzzy hair inside a week!! At the very least get temporary dye.

V: No, then it really will look washed out in a couple weeks and we won't know who is right

(yeah, vanity's logic is amazing isn't it)

I bought the box of permanent Rich Brown L'Oreal hair color and common sense fought a valiant rear guard action the whole way home, which mostly consisted of shouting FUZZY! and bringing to mind images of all the fuzzy hair I have ever had as a result of hair dye.

Right now we are at impasse. The dye sits on my counter,with receipt, while I consider fuzzy hair and the possibilities of semi-permanent hair color. The thing is, common sense knows darn well I am unlikely to return the hair dye, it's a long drive back into town & senseless to make just to return a $10 box of hair dye. It would have to wait until I was going into town for other errands. And the longer the dye stays in the house, the more likely vanity will win.

I'll be interested to see how it turns out.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weekly Winners Oct 12-18

Took some shots at local orchard this week




Mayhem had an art project for preschool. The dinos pitched in to help


Things got a little out of hand


The favorite outdoor toy


And the dinos' supremacy is coming under attack


Tune in next week to see what happens next

Visit Lotus at Sarcastic Mom for more Weekly Winners

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Scrapbook Saturday

Scrapbook Saturday

I've been a bit lacking in digi mojo this week. I did get one layout done though with Traci Reed's new Sweater Weather kit. It is for the cookie challenge at SSDautumnmem1 Visit MammaDawg for more scrapbook Saturday

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm asking you to ask

I've got nothing for a post. Nothing but a rant about how I don't want to get a dog, but repeated attempts to make it sound less vehement & hostile have failed so I am not sharing it. I'm not hostile about not wanting a dog, I just don't want one, but I can't seem to get that across in writing without sounding like some malevolent dog hater. I like dogs. I just don't want one.

So instead I've decided to make this an "ask Stacey" post. Specifically it's an 'ask a witch' post. Go on, ask me anything about wicca or witchcraft you want. It's close to Halloween, all sorts of things are out there in the bloggy world both pro and con about modern day witchcraft. I'm sure some of you have read stuff that have made you think "I wish I knew an actual witch to ask about that." Here is your chance.  Ask me anything witchy related and sometime next week I'll post an answer.

It can be anything - How did you get into the Goddess thing? Are you all naked & having sex with each other?  Can you cast a love spell for me?  I heard you worship trees. Is that true?  How about the Devil? Do you really have a black cat?  Can you fly on a broomstick, have a pointy hat, a wart?  Do you weigh more than a duck? What's with witches and newts anyway?

And if no one has any questions then I'll probably just do a random post about Samhain, what it means to me and how I celebrate it when there are no organic newts available locally.:)

Disclaimer - the thing about witches and pagans in general is, we have no central tenants of faith or authority. I do belong to a coven but what my coven does & believes may be rather different from another coven. And what I personally believe & do is occasionally different from the members of my coven. So the answers you are getting are my take, not the Official Wiccan Line, because there is no such thing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Speaking of the past...

Sierra Exif JPEG

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Revisiting the past

I went to the Maryland Renaissance Festival this weekend.  I went with some friends. It was our annual coven outing so we went without spouses or children. I have not been unencumbered at the Fair since 2002. It was liberating! 

It also made me very nostalgic.

The first store we went into was a pottery shop. It was the people who made this bowl. I bought it from them in 1997


It is currently on my kitchen island full of recently picked apples.

They had been a guest vendor in 1997. They had a single weekend spot in a temporary pavilion near the jousting arena. Over the years they progressed to a tiny shop on a side corner to a shop in the back row, to this one, on the main road. The temporary pavilion is long gone, replaced with a permanent building.

The next shop was Catskill Mountain Moccasins. They've been in the same place since we started coming to the Fair. I gave them almost an entire month's salary in 1998 in exchange for the custom made boots I was actually wearing right then.


That works out to almost $45 a year for these boots and let me tell you, they are worth EVERY PENNY! They took a cast of my foot and made the boots to fit exactly. Never before or since have I owned a pair of boots that fit as well as these. Every other pair, no matter how well made either squishes my overlarge big toes or blisters my slightly narrower than normal ankles.

The whole Fair was a walk down memory lane for me. DH & I first went in 1993. There were fewer buildings, fewer trees and fewer people.

I bought my first bodice at Moresca in 1994. I still have it but I nearly suffocated myself trying to get it on last year. I'm a good 15lbs heavier and my ribs are wider thanks to 2 kids.

We brought some friends along in 1995 for Celtic Days and DH first attempted a Great Kilt.

1996 saw us all in garb, enjoying the music at Celtic Days. I got a headdress.

The apple bowl and long leather belt, from a leather shop still located on the corner of the back row, highlighted 1997. 

The boots were the shocker of 1998 along with a easier to wear bodice.


1999 was the first Pirate Invasion weekend and DH bought ghillies from the leather moccasin guy who got him drunk on whiskey while he was trying on different pairs.

We added more people to the group for Scottish weekend in 2000.  DH finally mastered the Great Kilt and I had a new dress.


Then there was Sept 15, 2001. That was possibly the most incredible group experience I have ever had. The Fair was packed with people, the most crowded I have ever seen. The energy of everyone was amazing. We'd all been in mourning for 4 days and it was as if we were experiencing a vast collective release.


I also bought my favorite coat from Moresca that year

Sierra Exif JPEG

"You will bring Han Solo and the Wookie to me"

I must admit that one of the things I love about the Ren Fest is that it is a giant outdoor shopping mall. There are so many interesting things to look at and, obviously given my narrative so far, so many interesting things to buy. But 2001 was the end of the indulgent shopping for a significant reason:

I went to the 2002 Fair 37 weeks pregnant. It was 4 hours away from my OB. Some people thought I was nuts to travel that far that pregnant but I thought then, and honestly still do, that having the baby at the RenFest would be an awesome experience.  Now there is a birth story!  I barely knew my OB so it really didn't matter to me where I had the baby. Turned out he wouldn't show up for another 4 weeks.  I had a tree of life hennaed on my belly and walked around the Fair showing it off.


8 months from now, for my 42nd birthday I will be getting an actual tattoo of this, only smaller.

We took 11 month old Havoc, in his baby kilt, with us to the 2003 Fair.

Sierra Exif JPEG

Mayhem joined us for the 2004 Fair



The boys got new kilts when we all went to the 2005.


Then it happened.

They outgrew the double stroller.

They were too little to do much walking and too young to really understand the need to stay near us. No wagon exists that is both large enough to hold 2 children and also small enough to fit in my car. I find keeping track of small boys in large crowds extremely stressful.

So we missed 2006 & 2007. :Sniff:

I was glad for the chance to go this year. I have really missed going to the Fair. I missed the sights and the sounds. The food, the jousting, the shows and seeing all the people in their various garb and costumes. (the Goth contingent was way down this year from previous years. They seem to have been replaced by a plethora of belly dancers.) The Fair has been a part of my autumn activities since 1993 and it's been hard giving it up.

I think next year though we will go as a family. I think the boys will be up for the walking. I think they will be able to sit still and enjoy the shows. They seem to be getting a fairly good grasp on the importance of staying with Mom & Dad when in crowds. I think next year will be the year we restart the Ren Fair tradition.

I am so looking forward to it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Parenting Fail

Havoc bought home a homework folder last Monday. In it were 7 worksheets and a list of various things to do. It was supposed to be returned on Friday. Monday we did a worksheet.  Tuesday we did 2 worksheets. Friday, around noon I realized that I had forgotten to send the folder back & it was just as well because we still had 4 worksheets to complete. Havoc was upset with me because he got into trouble for forgetting his homework. We did a worksheet Friday night & I intended to have him do the other 2 on Sunday afternoon. I forgot about it until bedtime Sunday night.

Oh, and Mayhem? He came home Thursday with a project to complete by Monday as well.

It didn't get done Sunday either.

Mayhem didn't have school until Monday afternoon, so he had all morning to color in his project.

Havoc stayed up for 20 minutes last night doing 2 of the worksheets. One involved coloring in pumpkins of various sizes & Havoc is a bit of a perfectionist so it took most of the time.  He completed the second one, coloring in different items in a pattern, then choosing what item would come next in the pattern, this morning before school. He gets up at 6am on his own, so it was no big deal but this shouldn't be happening.

I need to find a place to keep their uncompleted homework and I need to find a way to keep track of what is due when

I suck at this homework thing. I'm good with stuff due the next day, but if you give me a few days, I will forget all about it & so will they. I can see this is a habit we are going to have to develop but I expect there will be more fails before we regularly succeed.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weekly Winners Oct 5-11

The week went to visit some friends. They live near a place called Dinosaur Land, which is one of the boys favorite places to visit.

We saw a Pteranodon & a mammoth


A Stegasaurus


EEKKK!! a Velociraptor


There was a King Cobra


and a Parasaurolophus


along with 148 other dinos and ice age creatures. It's a fun roadside stop.

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