Wednesday, June 28, 2006

What shall I do with my summer?

Now that summer vacation is over, I can get back in the swing of things. What, may you ask, counts for swinging around here?
  • Finishing a second Elderberry sock in Wildfoote
    (done, 6/28)
  • Work on the remaining 30 rows of the Faroese Shawl
  • Read David Copperfield
  • Read Merchant of Venice
  • Read lots of Genesis and other accompaniments to Precept's Genesis 4 study
  • Forge valiantly onwards into Greek Verbs (the next chapter is Contract Verbs. I dislike them, since I haven't mastered them. I also dislike any small word that has more meanings than letters.)
  • Practice harping away. On a harp.
  • Garden/housekeep/cook/laundry/pay bills/etc
  • Classical Writing stuff
  • Plan for the upcoming school year
  • Other craft stuff (such as finishing A's quilt)
  • (starting mid-July) Euclid!
With a to-do list like that, who needs boredom? Certainly not me. I'm sure I've forgotten some things, but hopefully not too many. Learning to bake gluten-free bread should probably be there, as my husband has discovered that he does not get along with wheat gluten. Ever since we married, he thought it was a lactose problem ... and now it's looking like a gluten issue instead. I get to enter a new world of Potato Flour, Xantham Gum, and Arrowroot Powder. Good thing I like rice!

No pictures today. My finished sock looks much like the first finished sock, pictured in last week's blog. Tune back next week to see if I've got evidence of a Finished Faroese Shawl laying around the blog.

Monday, June 19, 2006

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

We're back from our summer vacation - a bit early this year for reasons you will see if you last this entire entry - and things are settled enough that I have a few spare minutes to blog about it.

On June 7th, we arose bright and early and drove all the way to
Rising Sun, Indiana. The only incident was someone else's motorcycle accident which held us up a half hour or so, but it looked like the rider was not seriously hurt, so that was a good thing. We found a cozy little hotel and its brand new owners and spent a pleasant night there. Dan and Patrick stayed up late watching the Reds on TV, but Abigail and I were up before the sun and got some nifty pictures of the sunrise.

In the morning, we went to Harps on Main where I tried hard not to drool over the lovely harps there. Seeing them first-hand helped me determine that I have fallen in musical love with the Logan Meadows harp. Picture it in cherry, with not much (if any) ornamentation, and that is
what will be headed my direction several weeks after I stop dreaming about it and get it ordered. I got my harp instruction book two days before we left on vacation, and have been having great fun making my fingers behave.

After the harp store, we went to the Freedom Center in Cincinnati. It was an interesting place, but the films were very much on the
loud side (we decided that the crickets must both have amps and be on steroids) and a bit too much in-your-face for some children. I'm still wondering about their usage of 'Enslaved Persons' rather than 'slaves' ... as in 'John Smith kept 200 Enslaved Persons on his property'. I suppose it's more PC. Abigail also got stuck in the revolving doors, and was chided for playing with them (ie, trying to get out.)

We spent the night in Cincinnati, then headed off to Brown County, Ohio. We girls were going to have a quiet night while the guys went to watch a fabulous Reds victory. Plans have a way of not happening. The Reds lost by one run, despite having the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom
of the 9th inning. And the quiet night for the girls ended with Dan's aunt heading off to the hospital in an ambulance. She's doing better now -- the hospital found several problems, including sleep apnea and an infection

After that came Dayton. Dan attended his 25th college reunion there, and Patrick decided he never, ever wants to go to a Catholic college. One of the priests Dan knew from his student days was officiating (if that's the right word) at a Reunion Mass, and Dan really wanted to go, so we did ... to a standing room only, overflowing out the doors, 90-minute long, delightful music loudly and joyfully praising God Mass. We were in the very back, standing (except for Abigail .. wheelchairs are handy things to have in standing-room only crowds). Patrick had no book. He could see nothing. He didn't want to see anything. And the music was loud. It was a new low in his list of 'Things I Am Required to Behave Myself Through". And it was 45 minutes longer than we'd thought it would be. The next day, we went to a talk given by one of Dan's friends. It was supposed to be 45 minutes, but ended up being two hours. Patrick had a seat, however, and took as many books as he could conveniently carry across campus. He was a relatively happy camper.

Next (and we're up to Sunday afternoon here, if you're still with me) came visitng some friends we made at a previous Joni and Friends Family Retreat. They have a GORGEOUS log cabin in the woods outside a small town in Ohio. We had a perfectly lovely stay there, and got a good night's sleep, some much-needed down-time, excellent fellowship... the only blot was that our friend's son was rather heartily sick and spent much of our stay camped out on the bathroom floor. This meant he couldn't play foosball and PingPong with Patrick, who to his credit, didn't even ask if that was a possibility.

Then, on Monday, we finally, really and truly, headed off to Family Camp at the Oakwood Inn
We took the scenic route, stopping at Young's Dairy for milkshakes and some animal petting, and got to Syracuse around 4 PM. The short-term missionaries there descended upon us, unpacked our minivan, and by the time we got to our room (5 minutes later) all our luggage was waiting for us. So delightful after several days of 'packing our own.' We had a great time there, left Friday morning, and got home Friday evening.

Since then, I have been working to catch up. I'm actually caught up .. but there's work that was waiting for me before I left, and most of it is still hanging around my desk. I've got Euclid to work on, a Precepts Bible Study to prepare, books to proof, things to knit, a harp to play ... and all those other sorts of things that keep me out of trouble.

But you know, all this so far has been about where I went on my vacation. What did I do? Look and see!

Friday, June 02, 2006

God provides!

This is a harp.

A beautiful harp.

A harp that appeared almost out of nowhere.

It has been loaned to me by a person who, although I knew of their existence vaguely through a prayer chain, I had never met until Monday, when I went to a Memorial Day picnic, which I learned of only Sunday afternoon.

Somehow, introverted little me began talking with another person ... and in the first three sentences we managed to establish that we both know too much about hospitals, and that she had a spare harp.

God is good. God is great. And I can hardly wait for the harp store in California to open so I can order a book or two.

Did you know the doxology can be played on a lever harp by a rank amateur?