". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Sometimes my daughter and her friend like to be "random." Seeing as how I still seem to be experiencing major blogger's block, I've decided to take a page out of their playbook and post some random life stuff.

It has been a rather disjointed week for us as a family. My husband spent it at Kitsap Naval Base in Washington (state), leading the music (again) for a Doxology retreat. This one, as well as one at Shaw Air Force Base in North Carolina the week before, was especially for Lutheran chaplains. One of the highlights of the week for this naval officer's son was touring the USS John C. Stennis. Phillip is on the right in the burnt orange shirt.

He was also given an official Navy compass and coin as keepsakes. I am so glad he was able to be a part of this week.

While Phillip was in Washington, the children and I also headed west, although not quite so far! After a wonderful spring break with Trevor home, it was time for him to get back to the books. This time I took Caitlin and Evan with me and we spent an extra day visiting friends: two long 12-hour days of driving (thank goodness for cruise control, satellite radio, and mp3/DVD players!), but it was worth it. The drive there was especially challenging as I had terrible insomnia the night before (I seem to be experiencing another one of my periodic insomnia phases these days). I managed to keep myself going with extra coffee and, when things really got rough, a shot of Five Hour Energy. It is a vitamin/amino acid/caffeine drink that promises "no crash" (the fine print guarantees "no sugar crash" but says nothing about caffeine crashes). One shot has the equivalent of only one cup of coffee, but I suppose the caffeine hits your system much faster than with a cup of coffee since the drink can be downed in several swallows. The bottle says a "niacin rush" is normal due to increased blood flow near the skin. The only thing I noticed was a a little pressure in my ears, but who knows, maybe that was allergies or a cold coming on. Otherwise, I tolerated it well and had no jitters (but I have a pretty high caffeine tolerance) and no trouble getting to sleep that night. I was exhausted!

Unfortunately, I did return from the trip with a nasty cold and spent a couple of days in bed. Haven't been that sick in quite a while. I am feeling better now but wishing I could get those two lost days back! On the other hand, it was a good excuse to watch a couple of movies with Caitlin: Pirates of the Caribbean (first time ever) and Stranger Than Fiction (two completely different viewing experiences, both recommended, the second one particularly if you are a writer or avid reader).

In a couple of weeks I will be playing in the pit orchestra for a school production of Bye, Bye, Birdie. I have done a cursory read through the score but need to get to seriously practicing on it. It is technically not that hard but some of the numbers are in some tricky keys. Also need to file the personal taxes (at least the corporate ones are done--must have something to do with that March 15 deadline!). Yikes!

After several years of going without a lawn service, we have decided to enlist one this year. Our do-it-yourself approach is not eliciting the desired result. The construction project that tore up half of our back yard did not help matters. I expect this will be a "rebuilding" year where our lawn is concerned. I am also hoping to revisit a number of house projects this spring. Since making some major dining room progress a few months back, I have stalled where the house is concerned. Next up: finishing painting the kitchen. Wish me luck.

Nothing in the garden yet except for the chives that come back no matter what we do. :-) I am amazed by my friends who plant early enough that they are already harvesting by this time. We do well to get one round of growing done a year.

School has been hit-and-miss for the last few months. I guess Caitlin's studies have not suffered too much--she attends a homeschool geometry class and has regularly scheduled times for piano, voice, choir, and Tae Kwon Do. And her dad stays on top of the French instruction. She is also quite self-directed and is making her way through Apologia Physical Science. But her history/literature teacher (who shall remain nameless) has been AWOL for the past month. Meanwhile, Evan has been unschooled by default this winter. There has been some reading aloud and geography (via Highlights' Top Secret Adventures) and the occasional math or handwriting page, but it's all been rather intermittent, including the piano instruction (the piano teacher seems to have disappeared about the same time as that aforementioned literature teacher--no doubt, they are off somewhere together, probably up to no good).

Speaking of Tae Kwon Do, Caitlin passed her most recent test! Here she is breaking her board:
I finally finished The Hobbit! Yay, reading success! Now I have moved on to The Hunger Games. It is going much faster than Tolkien. Maybe I am learning to concentrate again or maybe it's just a much easier read. Or maybe both.

I mentioned in my last post my newly discovered passion for sushi. In recent weeks I have had some "cadillac" sushi and some mediocre sushi. The former is some of the best eating I have ever done in my life. Tomorrow we are going to take Caitlin and Evan here after Palm Sunday worship. I think Caitlin will love it--she has a very sophisticated palate. Evan, probably not so much (we did make sure they have a children's menu). Who knows, maybe sushi on Palm Sunday will become a new family tradition! :-)

I am feeling rather resigned about this election year. Not that I am resigned to losing. But whereas I did lots of blogging about the 2008 election, I have not felt motivated to do much this time around. Maybe that will change. But maybe not. I figure most of my readers already know what they think and probably don't need to hear my sophomoric political ramblings. And I am just also feeling rather fatalistic--as if what's going to happen is going to happen and my worrying and thinking and obsessing about it is not going to make any difference. Ora et labora.

This type of blog post doesn't need a conclusion, right?

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