Saturday, July 31, 2010

Failing with style

Here is yet another lesson on how to fail with style.





ps. I'm actually out of town, and wrote this post last Wednesday. I'll tell about my adventures when I get back! :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Funny sign

I guess that the sign itself isn't funny, it's just that I've never seen one of these before. I'm used to seeing tsunami evacuation signs on the coast, but never these -- and that's despite growing up in volcano country where people still talk about what it was like when Mount Saint Helens blew her top.




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sad

We're leaving town a little later than planned today, because mom is covering for one of her coworkers who has a family emergency. You see, he found out last night that his unborn grandchild (whose due date is in about two weeks) is dead.

I can only imagine what it's like for him, the parents, and the rest of the family.

I can't really say much else, because I don't know what else to say. It's got to be horrible, especially since they lost the baby so close to the due date. And this is the couple's first baby. I'm saying prayers for them.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Swim lessons for otters

Did you know that otter pups have to learn how to swim? I didn't, until I saw this adorable video.



Isn't the baby so cute? Too cute for words, I'd say. :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Failing an exam with style

I'm here with more tips on how to fail a test with style! You may remember that I got these a while back in an e-mail, and thought they were so good that I had to share them here.





Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Spinning wheel

Guess what guess what guess what guess what??? I got a spinning wheel on Saturday!!!!! =D

The first place mom and I went to didn't have anything in my price range that I liked. I bought some roving, but left that particular store without a spinning wheel.

We were on the way home when I suddenly spotted spinning wheels in the windows of a store. I told mom to pull over, and soon found that the shop had an inexpensive (relatively speaking) spinning wheel in stock that I liked. I was very very happy, and got it.

Mom took the following photo of me at the wheel. I had to put it together myself, which I found to be a nuisance at first but now I'm actually glad of it. Having to assemble it taught me a little more about how it works, and I like that. :)


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Haggis

Have you ever heard of haggis? It's traditional Scottish food, and totally not vegetarian. The last two Highland Game seasons I was vegetarian so of course I had no interest in trying it. Actually I thought that being vegetarian was good, because it gave me a good excuse to not consider eating it.

But now I'm eating meat again, and I'm trying to decide what to do about haggis. Should I...

1) Get even more into the spirit of being an honorary Scot for one day (because of course everyone is an honorary Scot at the Highland Games) by trying at least one bite?

...or...

2) Shun it because it seems too weird? After all, its main ingredients are the liver, heart, and lungs of a sheep -- the leftover parts after you've used the rest of the body for proper food and regular stuff.

I'm inclined to do number 2, but I'm not sure.

So what do you think? Should I bravely try haggis, or should I protect my taste buds?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Good things

One of my mom's friends, I'll call her Elly, bought a small table at an antique shop. The only problem was that her car isn't big enough to hold it! So she talked to my mom (who has a Honda Element), and it wound up with my mom shipping the table today and Elly feeding us lunch.

Yes, I went along for the ride. The three of us drove over to the antique shop, and I fawned over everything in the place while others got the table out to the car. I even found an old violin! It was somewhat banged up, with only one string fully attached, but I was able to get some sound out of it. That was rather exciting, since I've never even touched a violin before.

When mom came looking for me the table had been loaded and she had some news for me: "It turns out that there isn't enough room in the car for both you and the table, so we're going to have to come back for you later. Here's some coffee money."

I gave her a hard time about it, but honestly I didn't mind. It meant that I was able to look around some -- I found the most adorable little bookstore! -- and I got a delicious java chip thingy at Starbucks. It cost slightly more than what I would usually want to pay, but since it was my mom's money...

After my mom finally retrieved me we had lunch at Elly's place. It was yummy, and I especially loved the pot stickers. I confess that I stole the last one, they were so good.

Fast forward to the evening, mom and I were going to Craft Warehouse. Unfortunately we found it was closed, so we went instead to Michaels. Just as we were getting there, we discovered that it was closing! So I suggested that we go hang out at a bookstore.

I hadn't meant to buy anything at the bookstore. Honest. Why buy a book when you can get it free at a library? (Don't give me any reasons because you might weaken my resolve to save money by using my library exclusively.) But when I left it was with a Tolkien book. *sigh* And I thought libraries were dangerous. At least when I pick up a book at a library it's free.

So that was my day. It was pretty good.

Oh, wait, I forgot! Mom and I stopped for ice cream on the way home from the bookstore. Yummy yummy yummy. :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

"Gross!"

I was spinning yarn (or thick thread, I'm not sure which), and had a rather interesting conversation with a young man that I just had to share here.

YM: Is that your hair?

YT: No, I don't think that anyone spins with human hair.

YM: Oh.

YT: But I am saving up some of my cat's fur...

YM: Gross!

YT: Huh? Why? How is it any different from wool?

YM: Gross!

YT: Ok, what about cotton?

YM: Gross!

YT: *pause* What are you wearing?

YM: Gross!

Maybe it never occurred to him that his clothing has to be made from something, and that something has probably been spun. Perhaps not by hand, but still, it's the same as what I was doing.

And how is turning wool or cotton (or cat fur) into yarn and/or thread gross? Would he have preferred that I be using human hair?

Anyways, I just think that the conversation was funny.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Refrigerator woes

I mentioned a while back that our fridge broke down. What I didn't share was the repairman's visit soon after. But first, I need to tell you exactly what our fridge was doing. Or more precisely, what the freezer was doing. We also have trouble with the fridge side of it, but that's not as problematic. Or as noticeable.

The temperature kept rising and dropping in the freezer. Rising and dropping. Rising and dropping. So on and so fourth. As you might imagine, this made our freezer slightly useless. It was frequently too warm, and things would thaw out. But on the other hand it did drop below freezing regularly, so the ice cubes that we kept in it would sometimes be properly frozen. Sometimes.

The freezer happened to be at a decent temperature when our landlord got a repairman to our house. And please note that we have a landlord, and do not actually own this house ourselves. So it was up to the landlord, not us, to get the fridge fixed. Well, the repairman listened to our tale of woe, looked at the perfectly frozen freezer, and told our landlord that it simply isn't possible for a refrigerator to do what we were describing.

Hmm, so...we were hallucinating?

Anyways, the landlord paid the repairman and refused to get us a new refrigerator since ours couldn't possible be broken. After all, it's impossible for fridge's to do what we were describing. Right?

So dad figured out a fancy way to measure the temperature in the freezer: he got some kind of thermometer in the freezer that was hooked up to something outside the freezer that let figure out what exactly the temperature was without opening the door. Pretty neat, I thought. We collected data from the readouts, and dad (who likes his gadgets) made a graph using the computer.


The graph seemed to convince our landlord to bring in another repairman, and we hoped that this new one would take us seriously. Fortunately, he did! After a brief discussion about whether it was best to just fix our current 18 year old fridge our buy another, our landlord decided to just buy a used one to replace ours.

I think we should get the new (though used) fridge on Monday, and am looking forward to it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Guess what?! =D

First of all, I'm growing an avocado tree from seed. It is finally growing a root, and I was so excited that I just had to share it here!

Second, I finally got ahold of some new roving. What's roving? It's wool (or cotton or something else) that is ready to be spun into yarn. The roving I got is very colorful, and I cannot wait to start working with it. :)

Also, I'm trying to make up my mind about something: now that I know how to use a spinning wheel, do I want to buy one? I have the money, so it's just a question of whether I want to save the money for moving out (which I will, sooner or later!!!) or spend some of it on this. Everyone I've asked -
- ok, the two people I've asked -- have
recommended that I go ahead and buy a spinning wheel, but I'm hesitating. The problem is that they're darned expensive, and cost a few hundred bucks. I would probably be lucky to find one for a measly two hundred dollars.

So that's what's going on in my life right now. Nothing much exciting unless you like making things or growing things. Oh, and books! Don't forget my summer reading. And the occasional Highland Games. :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Skagit Valley Highland Games

Have I ever said what all goes on at the Highland Games?

1) Bagpipe solo competitions
2) Bagpipe band competitions
3) Drum competitions
4) Various dance competitions
5) Various athletic competitions
6) Vendors selling really cool stuff
7) Clan tents (I don't know what they do, but they're there!)

It's impossible to see everything at one game. But I guess that's why they're called the Highland Games (plural) instead of the Highland Game (singular).

This weekend was the Skagit Valley Highland Games. I think that they're my favorite, because in addition to all the above they also have...

1) Dogs and cats for adoption, and I get to pet the kitties!
2) Sheepdog trials
3) A spinning tent
4) These particular people who sell awesome locally grown strawberries on top of ice cream

It was at the Skagit Valley Games that I learned to use the drop spindle last year. This year I learned to use the spinning wheel, something which I was afraid I might never be able to do. I am so happy that a spinner allowed me to sit at her spinning wheel and learn. =D

And as for the sheepdog trials, I have a video to share. It's really neat to see the sheep being herded. There's running commentary during the video, sort of explaining things.




I also have a video of the massed bands. As I've discussed before the pipers and drummers would consider the world to be a better place without massed bands, but I personally love them. There's just something about that many pipers and drummers playing together, even if they are slightly out of tune.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Summer reading

I forgot to share something in my last post

Over at Goodreads.com I've got a list of books I've read this summer. The list stands at 12 right now, and is growing.








Sarita's bookshelf: summer-reading-2010


Math, Science, and Unix Underpants: A Themed FoxTrot CollectionHank the Cowdog and the Dungeon of Doom #44A Room With a ViewA Friend at MidnightThe Ransom of Mercy CarterWhatever Happened to Janie?
More of Sarita's books »



Sarita Rucker's summer-reading-2010 book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Thursday, July 8, 2010

This and that

My goldfish, 'Maeus, died this week. He was an interesting fish, and was quite acrobatic. He frequently swam upside down, even when he was perfectly healthy.

I don't plan to get another fish, but this evening mom suggested that I get fake fish for the tank. Well, fake fish would be cute, and that would solve the problem of figuring out what to do with an unwanted fish tank. So it's now my mom's job to get fake fish for the fish tank!

*******

Remember my new Etsy shop, Dragonfly's Laughter? Well, guess what? I've had my first sale!!! True, it was to my mom, but it was still my first sale. :)

And while I'm on the topic of Dragonfly's Laughter, I'd like to say that I've expanded my inventory. I now sell bead buddies and jewelry, in addition to the heating pads and scarves I already had.

*******

I'll be heading out of town tomorrow morning, and will be back late late Saturday evening. Like, midnight, maybe. So maybe I'll be getting home on Sunday morning, rather than Saturday evening.

In any event, you get the point. I'll be out of town, and I'll probably come back with fun stuff to share. :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Then vs. Today

I got to thinking about where I am now versus where I was a year ago.

A year ago I intended to become a music therapist. Today I have no idea what I want to be.

A year ago I was eagerly awaiting my first term (even my first day) at Marylhurst University. Today I feel a little uncertain of what I'm doing.

A year ago I was entering the music therapy program. Today I am enrolled in the English program.

A year ago I planned to live with my parents for a few more years. Today I'm impatient to get a place of my own.

It's amazing what can change, in a single year.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Me and librarians

I think that the librarians at my local library start thinking "Uh oh..." when they see me approach. Why? Because I never come to them with an easy question. After all, if the question is easy then I can probably find the answer for myself, in which case I don't bother them. But here are some questions that Google wasn't able to answer for me:

1) Years ago, when I was in Girl Scouts, I was looking up info on Vanuatu for World Thinking Day. (On World Thinking Day we would research a particular country and then share food/games/info about it with other Girl Scouts, and hear about the countries that other Girl Scouts researched. It was like a big party, and really fun.) Well, when I went to the youth librarian and asked "Could you help me find recipes and games from Vanuatu?" she scratched her head and asked, "Where???" Eventually we found some info on Vanuatu, but I don't think it was about food or games.

2) A few years ago I was trying to find the definition of a particular kind of rhyming couplet, or something poetic like that. The poor librarian searched and searched, but could find nothing, absolutely NOTHING about what I needed to know. Oh well. Maybe the professor I got the term from didn't know what she was talking about?

3) I wanted info about Barbershop music, specifically Sweet Adelines (a women's Barbershop organization that I'm part of). I was doing something about it for a school project, and I was required to cite books. Unfortunately, the few books I found that did talk about Barbershop music didn't have very much info, and what they did have wasn't very relevant to Sweet Adelines, so I wound up doing something else for the school project.

4) I was researching Taliesin, also for a school project. It turns out that the info about him is very little and far between. Unlike question number three I did manage to find enough for my project, but just barely.

5) Today I walked up to the reference desk and said "I understand that you guys have resources to help people job hunt. I'm looking for a job, could you help me out?" They (yes, I wound up with two librarians helping me on this) had to search and search before they could finally find the info I needed.

So I guess I always go to them with questions on obscure topics (questions 1 through 4) and questions that other people don't usually bother them with (number 5).

Thursday, July 1, 2010

On mixing politics and religion

Ok, I didn't really do much for Pagan Values Month. Oh well. However, I am here today to talk a little about religion. Kinda sorta.

This particular post was inspired by Anne Johnson over at The Gods are Bored. In her most recent post, she talks about the words "under god" in the Pledge of Allegiance. You might say that she sorta disproves of the presence of those two little (or not so little) words in the pledge. Her post got me thinking.

I usually don't think about the words "under god" when I say the pledge. I used to never think about them at all, until I was attending a flag ceremony in Girl Scouts and the girl next to me left those words out. I thought that was strange, so afterwards I asked her about it and she said "I don't believe in god." I was surprised, but I decided that what she did made sense. If you don't believe in god, why should you have to say the words?

And yet...by having those two words in our Pledge of Allegiance, are we saying that there's something wrong with the people who don't believe in god? Could it be that we're implying they aren't properly patriotic? Hmm....this was actually a line of thought that only occurred to me as I was typing up this post, so I'd have to think on it...

But onto what I was actually trying to work my post towards, which is that some of us believe in polytheism. Those of us who pray to multiple deities come across the words "under god" and we immediately wonder, "which one?" Obviously Jesus is the god who the words are intended to mean, but does it have to be him? Can't it be someone else?

And yet, whose name should be in the pledge? Who should we ask to look over the entire USA? Maybe someone who was here to begin with? After all, unless we go with a Native American god/dess we'll have to import a deity from somewhere else. But hey, why not? We're the USA, we like outsourcing jobs! So why not this one?

*pause*

Ok, I had actually meant for this post to be somewhat serious. And I've managed (I think) to be both serious and silly in this post. Why? Maybe because when politics get mixed up with religion you sort of have to either laugh or cry.

What do you think?