Category Archives: literature

39

Today is my 39th birthday.

This morning I was booted from the house so my kids could “surprise” me with baking me a birthday cake. Surprise is in quotes because I’m the one that set out the cake box and frosting a few days ago. I also made sure to leave 3 eggs in the fridge. 🙂

While they baked a cake, made cards, and wrapped gifts, I wondered around my favorite thrift stores.

Between Veteran’s Day sales (50% entire store) and price tag color mark down (one store had 3 colors at 75% off) I found some fantastic deals.

I found a couple of my brand, my size jeans.

I also found some wonderful old books. (Such as a lovely 2 volume set of “The Outline of History” by H. G. Wells. I’m aware some of its content is not congruent with a Biblical Worldview but I’m still interested in reading the books.)

I think we are ending the day with my choice of dinner (wings?), cake & cards. I love celebrating my birthday and being that I almost didn’t live through my first day, I’ll never be ashamed of my age.

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Books

Here is a list of books I’ve read so far this year. (Some are chapter books I read with the kids and some are books I’ve technically “listened” to via audiobook.)

2019 books

1. Food: A Love Story – Jim Gaffigan

2. The Tipping Point – Malcom Gladwell

3. The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy – Jeanne Birdsall

4. Little House in the Big Woods – Laura Ingalls Wilder

5. Farmer Boy – Laura Ingalls Wilder

6. David & Goliath – Malcom Gladwell

7. Penderwicks on Gardam Street – Jeanne Birdsall

8. Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder

9. Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand

10. On the Banks of Plumb Creek – Laura Ingalls Wilder

11. Origin – Dan Brown

12. The Life You’ve Always Wanted – John Ortberg

13. Frog & Toad – Arnold Lobel

14. Henry Huggins & the paper route – Beverly Cleary

15. The First Consperacy – Brad Meltzer

16. Mary Poppins – PJ Trappers

17. A Cricket in Times square – George Selden

18. Memory of Light – Robert Jordon

19. On the Shores of Silver Lake – Laura Ingalls Wilder

20. The long winter – Laura Ingalls Wilder

21. Little town in the prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder

22. These Happy Golden Years – Laura Ingalls Wilder

23. The First Four Years – Laura Ingalls Wilder

24. Becoming Mrs. Lewis – Patti Callahan

25. The Inklings – Humphrey Carpenter

26. On Reading Well -Karen Swallow Prior

27. Gray Mountain – John Gresham

28. Penderwicks 3 – Jeanne Birdsall

29. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

30. Little Men – Louisa May Alcott

31. Phantom Tollbooth – Norton Juster

32. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle -Betty MacDonald

33. Wait Until Next Year -Doris Kearns Goodwin

34. Mrs. Frisby and the rats of NIMH – Robert C. O’Brien

35. Light in the Attic – Shel Silverstein

36. Henry Huggins Clubhouse – Beverly Cleary

37. Peace Like a River – Leif Enger

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Oh boy

Wowziers. It’s been my longest break from blogging ever.

I’d do a quick year and a half rundown but there have been too many things both wonderful and terrible.

For example, on the terrible front, my younger brother Tim passed away suddenly last October. I’ve done some writing about that but didn’t feel like making it public on this blog.

On the wonderful front, we’ve finally started our homeschool adventure, with my oldest beginning kindergarten. Which means I’m both busy and also don’t really feel like blogging about homeschool all the time.

So for now I’ll leave you with this, I’ve been listening to some amazing podcasts on reading and writing well.

These podcasts introduced me to a few new favorite books. If you haven’t read “Peace Like a River” by Leif Enger, I can’t recommend it enough.

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An Interesting New Project

This is not a Budget related post – it more of an ARG post.  Though – it’s not quite that either.

Some friends of mine are working on a new project, which has encouraged us to have an ’emergency budget meeting’ and back our first kickstarter project.

Ok – I guess it IS a budget related post. 🙂

Anyway, in the past I’ve blogged about friends who made a feature film (Between Notes). These same friends are launching another new project – and the Kickstarter runs for another 12 days.  If you like Stories, Technology, Creativity, Storytelling, Real-life interaction, and trying to push the boundaries on how we use media to tell narratives, I’d recommend you check it out.

It’s setting is London – on the closing day of the Opening Olympics. It’s told through an App & serialized content (first of which drops on Aug 12 – the literal last day of the Olympics).  It follows the life of 7 characters.  Title: Seven Poets and the Assassin’s Secret.

Find out more here.

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Filed under arg, books, budget, friends, ipod, literature, reading, technology, uk & ireland

I Was Wrong

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I was a little off on my time line.  Turns out – middle of May is when the slow down starts for the self-employed one.  That means, in May, we still have large invoices going out, and healthy checks coming in.

The slowdown in income comes about a month or so after the slowdown in work.  We’ve been little worker ants storing up for the slow months, so we aren’t worried about that for our typical monthly budget. Really this just affected when and how much extra we can pay on debt.

I won’t have the final numbers until the end of the month, but it will be better than expected. Mt. Doom is not quite looming over us yet. Apparently, that will start next month.

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Come on – you knew it would happen at some point…

Can I experiencing anything in life and not draw parallels from Lord of the Rings? Probably not.

I was thinking about going with a Mt. Rainier climbing expedition as my example, but before prattling on about different base-camps, distances, and such, I would have needed to do research.  For me – no additional research needed for LOTR.

So, lets face it, the first 4 months were phenomenal.  In January, we had some 2011 carryover money that produced momentum. February through April, we had extra funds come in from big jobs, we had off the charts Craigslist sales, and we scratched out what felt like a multitude of small little orcs that were nipping at our heals. After that we had a hefty HVAC that took longer than we expected, but still – somewhat manageable on momentum and hope alone.

NOW, we get to the difficult part.  Similar to Frodo and the Fellowship which soon became just Frodo and Sam – it was a difficult journey, but doable.  With friendship and supplies, energy and hope, they managed.  But at some point, they got through the walls of Mordor and stared out at the wasteland in front of them, and up at the looming Mt. Doom.

It’s at this point in the story that I feel we find ourselves.  We are staring out at the wasteland called “My Graduate School Loan.”  It’s the biggest amount we owe.  It has the highest interest rate.  When we pay – it feels like most money goes toward interest, and just a little leftover drivel hits the principle.

Added to this we are in May, 30 days from June. From past history, this is the ‘slow time of year’ for my husband.

What will be our lembus bread and memories of the taste of strawberries?  What will keep us going? Probably the Dave Ramsey Show, seeing the eventual tipping of the scales on principle to interest, as well as encouraging words from friends.

This little hobbit is ready to be off riding on the back of an Eagle, seeing Mt. Doom fade in the distance.  But that my friends is still months off.

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2 months

so… the posts become more spread out. 🙂

Today, on our second month anniversary, I can happily report that thank you notes have all been written. *phew!*

Also, not sure if how much I’ve mentioned this, but at the end of last year, I transitioned to a new position at work. I’m now a Web Developer. It’s been a challenge (and occasionally, easy), but also fun.

This last week I’ve been making huge progress forward in learning and working with PHP. We had a training class (where I got 100% on the worksheet) and a practice project. The practice project is not completely done, but it did give me an opportunity to use “Pennies for Debra” as my ‘client’. (The current count by the way is 9252.)

Other than that, I’m busy looking forward to the Mariner’s baseball season starting. Less than a month until Pitchers and catchers report.

Lastly, no, I haven’t finished War & Peace yet. I did however start reading book 13 in the Wheel of Time series.

OH. one more thing – don’t forget the Shamrock Shake. It’s almost that season again. Please contact McDonalds and help us get the Shake in Texas.

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Filed under mariners, marriage, pennies for debra, reading, seattle, shamrock shake, technology, tolstoy, wedding

One month down

We’ve made it one month. 🙂 We are quite enjoying this new phase of life and adventure of being married.

As we head into the Christmas week (which has completely snuck up on us!) we are continuing to putts around the house, organizing, throwing things out, combining, cleaning, and getting settled into our Home.

We are also wrapping up loose ends on wedding things, like pictures and thank you notes (I addressed 135 envelopes today.) I get the week between Christmas and new years off, so hopefully those extra days will help us get a little more accomplished, but also have some time of rest.

Other than that – I’ve finally picked up War & Peace again. See 5 years ago… or again 3 years ago… This time I am already 150 pages in (about 1 / 10 of the way through) and I am finding it quite enjoyable.

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ouch… it’s been a while

So. the streak of life being busy, blogging being non-existent continues.

I needed to check in to say “Pennies for Debra” is still going strong. The current count is 7450. So yep, nearly $75 of ‘free money.’

What else is going on beside that… The Mariners are playing horrible. I’m utterly disappointed. Before the year began I really thought that with their pitching they would be winning more games. I’m sad Cliff Lee had to be traded, and to the Rangers of all teams!?!?!

It’s hot here. My car said 111 degrees yesterday.

I’m currently reading a new Dorothy L. Sayers book. (a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery of course)

I’ve been eating a lot of BBQ. though I haven’t been grilling as much as I wish I were. I did make more beef jerky in the dehydrator (oh yeah! and tomatoes.)

I’ve just finished my annual cardiology check up. All good results. Little to no change over the last three years. So my ‘future heart surgery’ (which is expected, just not on the calendar) is still probably years and years away. All very encouraging news from the doctor.

I’ve been spending more time with people, friends, those important to me. Thus the drop off in blogging.

I’ve been to San Antonio twice since May. Went to Sea World both times. In fact, on the 3rd of July, that’s where we watched fireworks. The wind was blowing in our direction, so at first it was the smoke, then bits of cardboard, then bits of gritty sand/gun powder residue. We held our own for a time, while all of the families with little kids made a mass exodus of our area. Then we too, moved on.

I think those are the things to share from the last two months. It’s been a really great couple of months and as far as I can tell, it will be this way (only growing better) for the next many more. Thanks for stopping by!

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The Mewlips

“The shadows where the Mewlips dwell
Are dark and wet as ink,
And slow and softly rings their bell,
As in the slime you sink.

You sink into the slime, who dare
To knock upon their door,
While down the grinning gargoyles stare
And noisome waters pour.

Beside the rotting river-strand
The drooping willows weep,
And gloomily the gorcrows stand
Croaking in their sleep.

Over the Merlock Mountains a long and weary way,
In a mouldy valley where the trees are grey,
By a dark pool’s borders without wind or tide,
Moonless and sunless, the Mewlips hide.

The cellars where the Mewlips sit
Are deep and dank and cold
With single sickly candle lit;
And there they count their gold.

Their walls are wet, their ceilings drip;
Their feet upon the floor
Go softly with a squish-flap-flip,
As they sidle to the door.

They peep out slyly; through a crack
Their feeling fingers creep,
And when they’ve finished, in a sack
Your bones they take to keep.

Beyond the Merlock Mountains, a long and lonely road,
Through the spider-shadows and the marsh of Tode,
and through the wood of hanging trees and the gallows-weed,
You go to find the Mewlips–and the Mewlips feed.”

one of my favorite poems. “The Mewlips” by JRR Tolkien. Originally printed in “the Oxford Magazine” in 1937, It had a sub-title of “Lines Induced by Sensations When Waiting for an Answer at the Door of an Exalted Academic Person”.

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