Monday, 29 December 2008

Sunday with the Russians

Sunday morning... the thermometer read -20 Fahrenheit. Yes. that's cold. -28.8888888888889 Celsius. Simply put, it was freezing cold outside and sparkling clear with about a foot and a half of snow. I haven't worn so many layers of clothes since... last year. 
We returned to the Orthodox church with the whole family this time. The church is on a bluff that over-looks the inlet, so the wind there was biting cold. The service was beautiful (they had lots of candles and that makes me happy) and I loved all the singing. However, I ended up having to sit for the last part because I was cold and shaky. That didn't bother me though, and after the service, we were invited to the Old Fort for lunch with the congregation. 
That was a lot of fun, and we talked with a woman who is currently building a prayer chapel. She had an interesting life story, and I enjoyed it very much. Afterwards, we talked with the priest a little about incense and some other things. All in all, it was a wonderful visit, and very unusual compared to most western styled church services. 

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Today is... December 15th!

Today, Theophilus took me to the Orthodox church for vespers. 
It was lovely, and I enjoyed the singing and the prayers very much. Icons have always fascinated me, and so I liked looking at them while we sang the service. Let me tell you, they sing everything there! And I haven't crossed myself that many times in ages, but all the same, it was very nice. 
The priest and choir-leader were very friendly and we stayed a little after and talked to them.
They told us how half the Orthodox church is on the Gregorian calendar, the one that almost everyone uses. However, the other half - including the one we were at - is still on the Julian calendar.
That makes today December 15. And Christmas is on January seventh for the rest of the world. So... does that mean we get to have another Christmas soon? 

Friday, 26 December 2008

On the Feast of Stephen

No, we're not doing a huge feast today... not after these last few days!
My whole family was in shock when I decided not to update on Christmas. Well, it's like Sunday - a holiday, and so no blogging.
But, I do intend to tell you all about them!
On Wednesday, we baked and stuffed ourselves and put the presents under the tree. However, my dad's love of taping everything to survive Pearl Harbour-like incidents caused a lot of alarm amongst the rest of us. (Thank God for the use of knives when opening presents!)
At seven, we went into town because I was playing violin for another church's candlelight service. This year was really very lovely, all the candles made me wish I'd brought my camera. I always conveniently forget them at home whenever there's a really good opportunity for a lovely photo. Some dear friends of mine played together, and I enjoyed all the music and the sermon. Leah came, which was very nice of her, and we talked after the service was over.
When we got home, it was time to open presents. Yes, in our family, we do all of them on Christmas Eve. Aren't we lucky? Anyways, that was a lot of fun, and I took loads of photos. And still haven't gotten them on the computer. Hmmm.... working on that.
But my friends and family are amazing, I was surprised and happy with all my presents. (Okay, none of the books surprised me... Jhaniel hinted that she was getting me The Last Unicorn and Orthodoxy, and I told Llewellyn that I wanted Land of Time and Over the Hills and Far Away. You two are awesome!) Leah's presents amazed me, and I've been wearing the earrings and purse since. It was entertaining to me that for the key chain, she chose two pictures of me (one with her, one with her sister) and both were taken by myself. Yes, I'm easily entertained.
My dad bought me some really lovely Russian things - one a hair barrette (Kat, I bought you one just like it!) and a brooch of the same lacquer style. And Theophilus gave me what I'd bugged him about since before he left for college: a tie-on wrap skirt of old sari material. :)
Leah was amazing (like usual) and gave Theophilus a sketch of him, and then she gave another sketch to my parents that was of all of the family before Theophilus went to college. Yes, with Belle and Tink and Lance and Harrison. It's a cute picture, and the best present she could have given us. (Thanks Leah!!!)

On Christmas Day, I slept in and then decided to wear Theophilus and Leah's presents with a green top that I'd gotten from Mum four years ago for Christmas. All of that was green, so I took the bow ribbon that Leah had used on my parent's present and tied that in my hair, which looked very nice. We spent a good chunk of the morning baking more cookies and then getting the ham ready, before settling down to our computers. I also knitted for a while, and talked on the phone with friends, and wrote for a few hours. (Yes, some productivity!)
Later, we ate dinner and had a good time and after that, we settled down and watched The Muppets' Christmas Carol. Jhaniel, you would have been happy. When we'd finished with that, I went and knitted for a while in bed, while I believe Mum slept and the guys watched Bourne Identity. Oh, for the fun of Christmas!

Today, well, it was a slow day; I wrote, we visited friends, and we've all spent a good deal of time on the computer. Didn't get any more of those packages or cards mailed out, but tomorrow's as good as any. However, I did post a writing-present to my friends on my other blog! So, not a waste in the least.

And I had to have a new background after having the same one for over a month. (I have to change constantly... or I get tired. Like renovating a house, only cheaper and a lot easier, and more fun!)

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Wait - Already?

~ The Man-In-The-Moon Tree. ~
It struck me today. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve.
WAIT! What? Tomorrow? You have got to be kidding me! I ... haven't wrapped... haven't sent... oops. Well. They're still presents even if they are late. I still love everyone just as much. Apparently, even shopping two months ahead doesn't do me much good in getting the packages out in time. A few people have their presents.
Today we went to Leah's house for their family's Christmas party, which was a lot of fun! Sometime, I'll post pictures of that and how lovely their house was. (They are all artists, so their house is a work of art.) I was very tired however, and not completely myself - a side effect, it seems, of my concussion. Plus, I was using my old glasses, so my sight was not completely there. However, I had a lovely time and am so glad they invited us.
Anyways, it's a little late, and I'm tired, so I'm not going to write much more here.

Monday, 22 December 2008


Yes, they make doggie-lover trees...

Well, sorry, no photos of kitties today. They are being quite lively, and won't stay still for photos. Or, they're all asleep on top of each other and you can't tell quite where one kitty starts and another one ends. Hopefully I'll get those soon.  But hey, I remembered that I was supposed to take them, which is positive.
What's this about memory? Well, yesterday, I went out skiing with Leah, my dad and Theophilus. And it was icy, and I didn't have that great of control over my skiis. On the way down a hill, I did a somersault and then slid on my head for about twenty yards. At least, that's how far Dad says I went. I don't remember past the somersault - I blacked out and broke my glasses. So, now I'm slightly blind. My face sustained most of the damage but I could ski myself out to the van. I was fine for a while, just a little sore, then I got home. 
Too avoid scaring anyone -including my family- badly, we'll just say I had a hard time with remembering some people, even those closest to me, like Andromanche, very clearly. But that passed, I was pretty bad for about an hour, and then it all came back. I'm very thankful, and now feel a little silly for some of the questions that I asked her, and others. 
Unfortunately, we weren't able to fix my glasses, and so today, I had a concert. And I couldn't read the music very well. Good thing it was all just carols and on my violin, right? And no one was paying enough attention to notice when I made mistakes, so it was perfect. 
All in all, I had an interesting weekend, and my apologies if I was supposed to call you yesterday afternoon - I think I had a slight bit of an excuse. 

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Christmas Concert Photos!

Well, many of the pictures were blurry, but here are a few. The top one is me and my piano teacher, who also plays violin and viola, during the Telemann piece we performed.
The next two are of the chamber orchestra, which is one of my favourite groups.
And yes, kitten pictures later! Right now, they're working on opening their eyes, so some are rather piratical.

Friday, 19 December 2008

After the Concert

The Hunter's Tree.
So, I told Jhaniel earlier that I was going to post pictures of the kitties... and especially of Earl Grey, since she asked. Well, I haven't taken them, and haven't loaded them on the computer. I'm way too tired today! 
However, our concert was fantastic. We had a very large crowd, and everything went smoothly. Of course, on my quartet, I couldn't hear two of the players, but apparently we sounded good to the audience, and that's what matters. 
It astounded me how fast the evening was over, and how little of it there seemed to be. But the time had gone by and everything was wonderful. I got to see many friends whom I haven't seen in far too long, including several college-students - one of whom had told me a week ago that he wasn't going to be there. 
Tomorrow, I'm going to go through the pictures my dad took and get those photos for Jhaniel. 

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Cats, Christmas and Concerts

Here are the long-promised kitty-pictures! You can't see them too well, but this was the first night. I'll probably take more in the days to come. 
Here is another snowflake-angel-Christmas Tree decorated ... Christmas Tree. Yes, that's right, decorations that match the tree. 
Sorry I didn't blog last night, I was tired and doing everything else. Today was interesting, I spent a lot time talking to a friend of mine and then spent the rest of the day in town with Theophilus. I enjoyed hanging out at the coffee-shop because I'm so used to being alone there, or with mere aqquantances. After that, we had rehearsal for our Christmas concert tomorrow night, which went well. I'm quite excited and will blog about that late tomorrow most likely. 

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Of Snowflakes and Blogging

Today's tree is the snow-flake tree... and that's not just because it's very snowy out right now! I rather like this tree, it's very pretty and elegant looking. 
It's been a long time since I was posting regularly about my life, but I suppose that's because my blog-posts have been of Christmas trees and such rather than the day-to-day happenings around the house. Of course, the kitties merrited their own post, and with them was the announcement of Theophilus coming home. But other than that, I haven't really posted about life since November. Perhaps I ought to leave the tree posts till the evening and add them to what I would normally have written for that day. Perhaps I'm the only one who noticed this and cares that I haven't really been writing much here. 
Let me know what you think, and I'll probably do another post this evening with pictures of the cats and with a update on the doings of Laura. 
So, until tonight, my blog-offering of a tree will have to do. :)

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Monday, 15 December 2008

Gramma's Tree!

This isn't from a store, it's actually my Gramma's tree. She sent me pictures of it last night and I thought I'd blog about it! I love her Nativity set... the colours are amazing. The only thing I have about the tree is that it'd be too thin to fit everything I'd want for ornaments.
And yes, it's an angel tree. :) My Gramma really loves angels.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Fly Home For Christmas...

For all my friends in college and away from home, this tree is for you, reminding you to fly home this Christmas! And how?
All the birdhouses of course!
How Santa fits in with birdhouses, I'm not yet certain, but he does, and so perhaps it might be that flying reindeer qualify him to remind you to fly home for Christmas this year.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Of Latte, Mocha, Chai, Earl Grey, And Cappuccino

Okay, no, I'm not zinging on caffeine. Although, coffee might help me right now as I'm staying up till Theophilus comes home.
That's right, he's coming home tonight. He was supposed to have arrived an hour ago, but his flight was delayed. Am I excited to see him? You bet. I've had the count-down till tonight going for at least a month now. It seems like an eternity since I saw him in August, but I suppose really, it wasn't that long.
But, you're probably asking, why the title of the blog, Laura? Come on already!
Well, you remember, I have a year-old cat, Noel, right? I somehow forgot to mention that when we came home from New York, she was quite fat. No - not fat. She was pregnant. Apparently, she had been for a while, it was just way more noticeable.
Tonight, she had her kittens. Five of them. And their names? You guessed it : Latte, Mocha, Chai, Earl Grey and Cappuccino. They're all adorable and fuzzy, still blind and wobbly, but so cute! I took a lot of pictures, which I'll load probably tomorrow morning, early.
Noel's doing fine, though she is really tired and weak herself, but she's been a good mother so far, and all kittens seem like they'll survive.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Tree of Mini-Snowmen

As if the large, swashy, creepily-too-many-on-one-tree snowmen weren't enough, we here have a tree covered in literally hundreds of little snowmen. They prevade everything this year. Once it was angels, then it was llamas, and now we're on to snowmen. Honestly, I looked closely at one of these guys, and he was a burly little baseball short-stop who looked like he might've played for the mafia team. (Cheesy imitation of a man with a baseball bat talking to 'is Uncle Louie...)
Anyways, enough of my tired snowman rant, enjoy yet another tree from my collection, and let's hope I don't run out here soon. I doubt I'll be seeing too many around Alaska, and I don't want to be out of the house much at all right now...

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

My Christmas Town

Here is the town under our tree, also known as Laura's Christmas Towne. *smiles cheerily* Yes, I reserve the right to name it after me, since this is my blog, and I set it up.
And this is the cafe of the town! If I lived in the town, this would be my home, and where I'd work and spend much of my time. Not that that's surprising in any way.
The clock shoppe! Also known as the haunt of my brother. I think that's him there on the snowman, and convienently, it's right next to the cafe. (I'm the girl in the centre!)
My parents can have run of the Inn. And yes, there's a fiddler and then a singer, an oboist, and a cellist there. Carolling, something right after my heart!
The Toy Shop. Andromanche's hang-out! Okay, so maybe it would be where a bunch of my friends would be. But I like this building a lot, it's cute, don't you think? Maybe they have some good toys for helping to build snowmen! (nods to Jhaniel there! Moderation is key!)
The fire station. I'm not sure who's haunt this is. But every town needs one, right? And this place is really quite detailed. I'm going to try to hook up some lights to put inside the houses to make them have that special Christmas glow.
The best place in town, the chapel! This one is probably my favourite. I'm actually never quite sure which side is the front, which could be from the fact that three sides have doors, and the most ornate door is on this side you see, the steeple is on the opposite, yet on the third, there are several doors. One of these days, I'll figure it out. Maybe. No promises there.

And now, you're probably wondering why I wrote all that about who's haunt, etc., on all the buildings. Well, a few years ago, Jhaniel wrote a piece that has stayed with me. (I believe she should try to publish it... hint.) Anyways, when Andromanche first read it, she assumed that Jhaniel was writing about a sort of elvish town that somehow was kinda like a normal town, only with elves instead of men. That also stuck in my mind, and I've often thought about writing a story set in a modern, elven town. A Christmas elven town, to be exact. And when I set up these houses and people, I was inspired. I'm probably going to have some of the characters based around aspects of my friends and family - as we would be as elves... modern elves. I hope Tolkien isn't rolling over in his grave right now. I still have a few kinks to iron out, but I'm going to set up a plan for the story soon and get around to writing it as soon as I have time. (After I finish Aredain and Jhaniel's novella-present.) Goodness, I love being able to finish stuff, because I don't like starting lots of new projects while my old ones are half-done.

So, thanks to Jhaniel and Andromanche. And my dad, for getting that town all those years ago.

The Long-Promised Tree

Yes, at long last, I have finished the tree and have loaded the photos to my computer! Aren't you proud? And to think: it didn't take me until Christmas day to do it either. *smiles* I'm happy. And most likely, you're relieved to not read another "Sorry... maybe tomorrow?". Ahem, yes, my procrastination works on many levels. But as you see, my tree doesn't really have a theme like the ones I saw in stores. So, it can be described as a tree that reflects me. And has a bunch of really old ornaments. (Even that, I suppose, could be a reflection of my personality. Depends on how deep into this you want to go.)
Also, one might gather that I like Christmas lights. This is certainly true. I do love lights, they're wonderful and make me feel happy. However, this year, in my room, I have a couple (read, about ten) strands of lights in my room, which my mother believes to be a little... much. Even my father - who taught me pretty much everything I know about such matters - says I might have over-done it just a bit. That's the highest praise I could imagine for my, shall we say, decorating skills. (My parents will be shaking their heads when they read this.)
Anyways, I also thought I'd show you a bit of what our Nativity set looks like. I think it was my dad's grandfather who made it, but I do know that it's very old. [Edit: He made the stable, but not the figures. I have no clue where those came from.] But I like it. It wouldn't be our tree if we didn't have that set under it. I realized after I finished taking pictures that I hadn't got the third king in the picture, but you'll just have to imagine him.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Frosty, The Snowman-Tree

Yesterday was penguins and reindeer, today are odd, melted-looking snowmen. And candy canes. At least this time they sort of go together. It was cute. Really.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Photos from Friday

Lana, after we had been goofing off with her sister's camera... and many other things too. And no, I guess, I will just have to give up on why they had those feathers with the twigs on the table...
Leah, probably telling me and Lana to behave. (Which didn't work.) Yes, these pictures are terribly dark, but they'll have to do.
I realised after I loaded this picture that I somewhat resemble a moon... Yeah, I'm just that pale.
Me and Lana, the queens of goofing off and pretending to be posh.

Here are me and Leah, she looks much better than I do in this photo, but I like it anyways. (Maybe because it's with her!)

The Seventh Tree

This is the tree of the crazy reindeer and penguins. It was cuter in the store. Honestly, I don't know of anyone who'd put penguins on their tree. And the reindeer should have stayed with Santa. But, yes, this is my tree offering. I really will get around to my tree one of these days.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Saturday's Late Tree...

The Tree that Took Flight.
Yes, that's right, this tree is covered in cardinals and red bows. Sorry this post is late, I thought I was going to do our tree, but I don't have it up yet. (I know! But, really, I've had a lot going these last few days, and yesterday was my birthday, so I have plenty of excuses!) And then, today, I was busy cleaning the area for the tree, then I had Music Theory (MET!!!), and then Leah was over and Jess came and we watched Lord of the Rings. I'm actually still watching it. It's lovely.
So, yes, we'll see about having the pictures of my tree on Monday, if not, then sometime later next week.

Friday, 5 December 2008

The Caroller's Tree

Yes, I'm a musician, and so of course I had to take a picture of the tree covered in musical instruments! Honestly, I think they had all of them that would be in an orchestra, and then they had these adorable little music stands too. And of course, I felt like asking if the tree itself played Christmas songs. However, I restrained myself from that. And from bursting into a few carols.
I don't know how I did it.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Keep Warm This Christmas (Tree)

It's the mitten-tree! I just thought this was a really cute idea... Mittens and little snowmen and gingerbread men. Trying to keep your Christmas holidays warm and cosy!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

I'm Alive

Jhaniel wrote that my quiet, reflective posts made her feel better when she was getting down. Well, she returned the favour with her post yesterday - I needed that.
I should start out, yes I am alive. Thank God, I'm still here. That could have been changed yesterday.
Don't worry, I'm not even hurt (beyond the bruise on my knee) or anything. And considering that I could have, in the words of a friend, been a raisin in a crushed coke can; I'd say I got off remarkably well. Okay, no more meandering.
I was driving down a very icy, nasty road to get to my piano teacher's house. All last week, it'd been fairly warm out, and then yesterday, it got cold and everything was slick and really not the nicest conditions. But, I was going about fifteen under the speed limit, and that was doing me fine. When I was still quite a ways off, I decided to start braking, even though normally I'd have waited. But, I didn't want to take any chances, and Dad and I had a discussion the day before about me needing to give myself more time to brake the car. The brakes didn't exactly like it, but I was slowed down to fifteen miles an hour and about to turn.
That's when I realised that the semi-truck that had been a long way behind me was now a few feet from my back and not slowing down. Adrenaline took over and I decided I'd rather ditch the car than get smashed by a semi. I turned right then.
And my brakes froze.
And my 4x4 kicked off.
And what do you know? My tires spun out on the ice.
I missed the road and went down into the fifteen foot ditch, which had about two or so feet of snow. It seemed like the car was going to over-turn when a couple trees stopped me on the passenger side. I began praying right then, and didn't stop. No one stopped to help me, the semi continued on - for all I know, he doesn't know I ditched. Somehow or another, I got the car out of that ditch. When I got to my teacher's house, I was extremely shaken up. However, I wasn't hurt, minus the fact that when I ditched, my right leg had smashed itself into the area where the CD player/heat controls are. But the side of the car looked terrible. There were several big dents in it, and the doors now don't work properly. But it still works, although not quite as well as one would like. Thankfully, my teacher has a large store of tea and got me calmed down.
So, yes, I'm alive, and very grateful for Jhaniel giving me a calm, peaceful post to read. Thank you, my dear friend. Oh, and be glad you don't have ice in Hawaii.
Somewhat surprisingly, I'm not afraid of driving even. Not even in my battle-scarred car.

On The Second Day of Christmas

Little ginger-bread men... aren't they cute???

Monday, 1 December 2008

Christmas Tree for Dec 1st

For every day until Christmas, at seven in the morning, there will be a new Christmas tree on the blog. I took most of the pictures in New York, and will probably only post those, unless I see a tree in Alaska I like very much.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Blogging About Blogging

Yes, aren't I brilliant? I sat down to blog and thought "Hey! Why don't I just blog about... blogging. After all... Saminda did it the other day."
Why I blog... well, maybe I should say that I blog because I write so much. I enjoy letting myself write down my thoughts and having a record of the things that happen. It's a way to let my friends know what's going on. It's a way to make new friends.
I can show my writings, my photos, my struggles and my joys. And, I can update people much faster than I could over emails.
But, I suppose I ought to answer a question asked of me by several people, most recently, by Saminda.
"How do you get the blog designs?"
Well, see the little box in the upper left-hand corner? The one that says "Free Backgrounds & More @"... yeah, that one. Well, you can click on that, and it will link you here. They have lots of backgrounds, and you can make your own if you suscribe to them. However, I'm far too cheap to pay to design my own, so I went to another spot on the site. In the last link, you can find all their free backgrounds.
Then what you do: you select a genre (Floral, Christmas, Shabby Chic, Vintage, Winter, etc.) and look through their little samplers. When you find one you like, you can click on it and it'll take you to a page with just that image on it. Then, you have your blog up on another window.
Make sure your blog is in the minima background. From there, go to Layout, select "Add and Arrange Page Elements" and click on "Add a Gadget". Now you can find where to add "HTML/Java Script" and that will take you to the 'configure' part. On the page that has the image you wanted, there should be a paragraph which is the html coding for that background. You copy and paste that into the HTML/Java Script box, and then click save.
That should update the background. Hopefully I didn't just confuse you badly. Anyways, if you have any questions, just post them in the comments and I'll try to answer them.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Black Friday, Coffee-Shops, and Bach

Could you say I have an interesting mix to talk about today? Well, maybe they're not so interesting to you, but they certainly made my day different.
A few days ago, a friend asked me to go Black Friday shopping with her. I told her I'd probably go, and so, every day since, she has reminded me that I was going to get up early this morning and go shopping with her at five in the morning. Of course, I warned her that most likely, I'd sleep through my alarm and it'd do no good.
However, at three thirty, my alarm went off and I did wake up. Rather grudgingly, I got dressed and carefully made sure that I didn't have that much money with me so that I wouldn't be tempted to spend too much. Then I quietly made my way upstairs and had breakfast and a little bit of coffee. I got the car started and then I was on my way.
I got to Freddy's at about fifteen till five, and it was a little chilly out. Kels hadn't made it yet, but she called to say that she would meet me inside. At five, they opened the doors and pandemonium broke loose. People were pushing and jostling and trying to get in before everyone else, which really just slowed everything down.
It didn't really take me that long to find what I wanted, and so Kels and Kirs (another friend) and I just walked around the store admiring things and trying not to be squashed to death. After an hour, we braved the check-out lines and I got out with paying only fifty. (Yes, I did put one thing back because they'd miss-marked it but really, I still count myself as having shown some remarkable restraint. You know those orange, lime and pink socks with grinning Grinch-goblins and Santa hats and Cheshire cats were tempting me so badly... and yes, I am referring to all of that packed on just one pair of socks)
When I came home, I checked my email and then dropped off to sleep. After all... it was seven by that point and I'd been up for three and a half hours when I would have normally been resting.
At six, I left again, this time headed for Kaladi's because my violin teacher was playing there tonight and had invited me to play for half an hour with her. I was a little nervous, but I think my excitement at getting to play there formally was greater.
She and I talked for a little bit, and then she began the night with some Christmas carols. One of the regulars there asked why I had a violin with me, and then she told me to come up and join her. I was pretty sure that I was going to completely ruin the pieces.
But wonders never cease. I did alright. So, I missed a few beats on the first bit, but for the two remaining sonatas, we were flawless. I was surprised with how many people told me afterwards how impressed they were with my playing. Even the barista, who's heard me play a little before informally, told me that he was really shocked when I started because he'd never paid much attention to my music before.
After most of the evening had passed, Emily - my teacher - started playing some Bach. It made me feel very happy, because I seldom get to hear Back performed. It seemed like it was just her and I; everyone else was talking and laughing between us, but they were worlds and eras away from me and her music. And I think she knew, or at least suspected.
Bach makes everything better. I think his music helps light up the dark times. And when I'm feeling discouraged or worried, it's his music that I turn to for comfort. I was sad when she stopped playing, but it made my car ride home much nicer.
Now, as it's late, I'm going to go to bed and attempt to stop pondering about shopping, coffee and Bach. (Although, in my mind, the last two are irrevocably linked...)

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Giving Thanks

This Thanksgiving, I am giving thanks for Jhaniel. She has not only got me wishing I had eaten a jelly baby once, but also had me listening to crazy musicians just because she knew how much I loved Pachelbel.
On that note, I'm thankful for all my dear friends; here in Alaska, away at college, and all you whom I've never met, but still feel proud to call my friends.
I am thankful for all those whose blogs are on my linked-list, for being encouragement, inspiration, entertainment, and blessings in my life, whether or not you knew I was even reading your blog.
I'm giving thanks for my brother's sense of humour in calling me as soon as I woke up to tell me that he'd indeed made pies himself, and that they had been perfectly edible. All to prove that baking-ablities run in the family.
I'm thankful that Mum decided that we didn't need to make any more pies ourselves. And I'm thankful that she's healthy right now.
And of course, I am very thankful for my coffee-pot. A friend pointed out that I could be forced to drink instant coffee, and I am now extremely grateful for both our percolators. (And the very good coffee to be found in both of them right now!) Without coffee to keep me warm and cosy, winter would be almost unbearable at times.
And yes, I am thankful for the beautiful snow outside.
God has been very good to me.

Small-Town Alaska

Yesterday, there was shock and fright spread about our small little town. A friend of ours called us to make sure that none of our family was in town.
A man, a former employee of the hospital, had gone in there with an assault rifle. He opened fire, leaving one man dead and another severely wounded. Both were executives who had been over him, and probably were the ones who had fired him the day before. The director of the hospital was held up in his office.
As the man tried to flee the hospital, the cops shot him.
Things like this just don't happen in Alaska, well, not in small towns like ours. That may be why we were all so shocked to hear about it. It certainly woke me up to the fact that it's not just "some town" where "some guy shot other people"; it's another person, much like me, who has a hometown touched with sadness like ours was.
Sometimes, reality can be cold and harsh. And very sad. But, let us give thanks for those around us, our friends, our family, those alive and well, and those who have gone on. And pray for the family of the man who was shot, and the man who attacked in the first place.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

The Joys of Writing

Today, whilst at the store, I finally found some stationary! I was very pleased and am looking forward to writing more letters. The paper is actually just plain white (Jhaniel, rather like yours) and not at all what one thinks of as "stationary" if one is thinking something pink and flowery like the stuff used when writing thank you letters to relatives after birthdays and Christmas. (I was never very good at those.) But it was the best I could find, and really, was the only thing I've seen at the store in the eight months that I've been searching for stationary, and I am very happy to have it at last.
However, as I had already started writing two letters before getting the paper, I am afraid that my paper didn't go into use right away. I'm thinking of trying to write my brother again, but I have pretty much given up hope that he'll respond to me. Phones are more his style apparently, although I'm really fairly bad at expressing myself over them. (Writing, as you might have guessed, is my medium.)
As I finished up the letters, my computer was up, and suddenly, a chat box popped up from a friend. Well, of course, it happened to one of those whom I was writing. And as may be reasonably expected, he informed me of what was going on in his life right now... and answered about half the questions in my letter. Oh the joys of letter-writing and being shot-down by the internet, but I shall just have to tell him that it's his own fault the letter he wanted so badly is out-of-date now.
Plus, I got quite a bit of writing done and was very pleased with my progress on Jhaniel's birthday present. One of these days, it shall be finished! I feel rather silly that a two hundred (I hope) page story has taken me five months already. I'm going to have to work on my procrastination, I see.

Monday, 24 November 2008


No, this is not a post on a very wonderful book by Madeleine L'Engle. It is instead a post about how I have been accepted at both TU and HC. Now, I'm hoping to hear from Colorado Christian University soon, but I see no reason that I won't be accepted there either, so for now, we're just going to leave it as I am accepted.
But, the deal with HC was that they have a separate school of music. And one can be accepted at HC without gaining entry to the music school. However, I recieved a letter in the mail today saying that I'd gotten into that as well.

However, and this may shock some people:


There... did you get that? No? Um...

I have decided to change my major. That's right. I'm not going to major in music. I'll definitely minor in music, because I do enjoy it so much, but that won't be the focus of my next four years. Instead, I'm going to major in Professional Writing. Yes, that is more than just journalism, though journalism does figure into it. Basically, I'd be able to work as a journalist, an editor, or for a business in their publications department. And no, this isn't the result of one week's hasty decisions. I actually have been dabbling in the idea for months... especially the last two.
So, here is my public announcement... and now I'm going to scurry off to write somemore in my notebook of that requested story I've supposed to be working on according to Theophilus' college friends. (I have, really!) And no, I don't anticipate anymore major changes, since there are very few things I'd actually consider majoring in otherwise. Being a historian just doesn't pay enough. :) And below is a photo that somewhat reminds me of myself that I saw once on Andromanche's blog - and thus had to use for this! Very striking resemblance, and even the glasses are spot on.

Friday, 21 November 2008

I'm Singing the Blues

Some of you may have figured out that I love Christmas (could be that I've mentioned it a few times!) but maybe, just perhaps, I didn't say that I like Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

So, perhaps, my being upset at finding that on December 3, TSO is playing in Denver. And a friend of mine is going. But, I was only moderately upset, although his rubbing it in didn't help much. In my turn, I played my CDs almost all day to make myself feel better.
Then, this morning, Dad called me to let me know that if I'd made my college trip a month after we had (so, the first two weeks of December) I would have been able to see TSO in Buffalo, NY.
I was very, very upset and pouted for quite sometime. So now I'm singing the Christmas blues because you know that TSO won't come to Alaska, and if they do, it'll be after I've gone to college and before I come home for Christmas vacation.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

When God Says "Come"

I first heard this video on Barbara's blog a few months ago. It's very comforting to listen to.

Completely unrelated, I'm going to give you a link to a friend of Theophilus' vlog. I listen/watch it for entertainment... at last, someone geekier than I!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


Pirates of Penzance! Mum got him the hat, I got him a sword...
Super-heroes! Isn't he just adorable?
And now he's a power-ranger. Yes, I have one with his helmet on too... just this one was too stinkin' cute to pass up.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Well, Actually...

While in New York, I got to meet my four year old cousin, Josh, who is quite the little character. Also, I got to go shopping and got a very adorable chocolate coloured beanie. After a while of playing with Josh, I tossed the beanie onto his head.

Me: Awww! You look like Oliver!!!

A little while later, I put my hat back on, and then he wanted it back.

Me: But it's my hat...

Josh: Well, actually, it looks cuter on me.

Me: Oh really?

Josh: Actually, yeah.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Home Again

I arrived home late on Saturday, and will leave it to the other blog for a full account of the trip. I'll say here that I had a wonderful time, took lots of pictures and was happy/sad to leave on Saturday.
My dear friend Halleymarie house-sat for us while we were gone, and cleaned up the place wonderfully for us. (Thanks!) Most of yesterday I was out of it, very tired and trying to readjust to the time and temperature differences.
Today, I jumped right back into my usual Monday schedule, and by the end of the evening, I was exhausted.
But it is very nice to be back home again. I really have to get back on top of things: emails, the house, blogging... so, I'll try to get back to posting every day and we'll see how that goes.

Friday, 14 November 2008


I would never have believed that two weeks could go so fast. However, today's my last day in New York, and Mum and I are leaving at about four thirty tomorrow morning. I'll attempt to get back into my usually posting behaviour, but the first few days back are going to go by in a crazy blurr.
I forgot to post yesterday about TWLOHA. Some of you may know about it: To Write Love On Her Arms. It wasn't official, but some people had an informal TWLOHA day. So I had "love" inked on my upper arm, along with "love" in a few other languages. Somehow or another, I forgot to take a picture of it. Maybe I'll do the same thing next week, awareness doesn't hurt.
Well, I have to pack up my bag, and then we're going over to my aunt and uncle's house for a family dinner. Which means I get to play with my little cousin (my new favourite person in the world) all afternoon. Yes, I'm taking my camera...

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

You Know You're Not In Alaska When...

Do you remember the old classic movie, The Wizard of Oz? (Dorothy: Oh no! We're not in Kansas anymore Toto!)

Well, today, I had the brief realisation: Oh my! We're not in Alaska anymore Mummy! We went shopping with my gramma, and while stopping at a little country store, Gramma pulled over to the side of the road to park. Other people did the same. That's when it hit me.

You know you're not in Alaska when people are along the side of the road and it isn't because their car broke down. Yep, that's right, my friends. These people had actually pulled over and they weren't hoping that someone would stop and help them out. I was absolutely amazed.

My keen, deeply profound observation was met with laughter from Mum and Gramma. However, it made a lasting impression on me. As in, I am still thinking about how weird it is. Yep, I'm not in AK anymore.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

In New York

Alright, I've been in New York state since Thursday, but was unable to access a computer until right now. I'll try to update more regularly, and see about posting photos from my trip.

I had a fairly nice time in TU, but when I got to HC, I had a blast. Andromanche was there as well, and everyone was really friendly.

Oh, and maybe I should mention that I found out that I have been accepted to HC and may qualify for their honours programme! And that means I could go either to London, or to the Balkans...

Such choices.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Where Cool Was Born

Early this morning, on our way to the first college we visited, I saw a sign for another small town nearby. It proclaimed itself as:
"The birth-place of cool: The town that gave America James Dean.
And Garfield too."

Well, Fairmount can keep Jimmy (I once wrote a six page report on how he and a few other stars began the modern myth of the American teen; I am not a fan of his.) for all that I care.
But, thanks Fairmount, for Garfield. You've made up to me for the other bit.

Actually, I should add what our driver said: "The birth-place of cool, Which left as soon as He got a car."
One more note, I never realized exactly how flat Indiana is. Rolling plains is right about the plains, but I'm still looking for the rolling.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Sign I Saw

While waiting for my first flight in Kenai, Mum pointed out a sign to me. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture.

Maybe you have an itch to play golf.
Maybe you have an itch to travel.
But maybe what you actually have is a rash.
- The American Association of Dermatologists.

The things I never knew...

Saturday, 1 November 2008

So Long!

Today, my piano teacher hosted a mini-recital for me to play my auditions pieces for a few people. I was so nervous that I decided to just ham around and play like I didn't care. Apparently, that worked well because no one seemed to suspect that my stomach had turned into a butterfly conservatory.
The best part was when I was done playing, everyone sat around discussing me and I got to eat cookies and drink tea. Just that makes the trials of nervousness over the trip very much worth it. And my butterflies disappeared; I suspect they got frozen.
We went shopping and got a few last things, including a new top for me to wear for my auditions. Cheers to anyone who can guess the colours. By the time we got home, I was more than ready to take a nap, but instead got turned onto apple-slicing duty. The good part of that is that the house now smells like cooked apples and cinnamon.

Well, this may be the last blog post for a while, since I leave early on Monday morning. But if we (or maybe just me!) are lucky, I'll be able to write sometime during my college visits. I'm going to definitely write once I get to my gramma's house. And since I'm going to be taking a ton of photos and will want to write all about my trip, I've decided to start a new blog!
Introducing: Daughter of December. First, it will be all about my trip and auditions, then I'll turn it over to poetry and stories, since I don't seem to get around to that on here. I probably won't update it nearly as much as this one, but feel free to check in every once in a while.

Just Too Cute

I saw this over at Mommy Life and fell in love with the little girl.

Isn't she just adorable? With that baby-doll too... wow. Such a cutie. :)

Friday, 31 October 2008

Childhood's Flash-backs

As a child born in December, you could say that some of the first music I ever heard was Christmas music. But when I was very little, my mother would sing carols to me, no matter the time of year. My favourite songs as a little kid were all Christmas songs.
As I grew up, I sang them with my mother, and quickly memorized most of the ones I loved best. Then I learned to play piano and violin. What do you know, I started playing the tunes as well. It became a tradition that the morning after my spring piano recital, I would sit down at the piano and play all the Christmas songs I could think of. As the years passed, that number grew.
I've picked up a knack for singing and playing at the same time, which comes in handy as the pianist for our small church. Today, sitting at the piano in the near-dark (it was about six - so the sun had set) I switched on my lamp and pulled out my oldest, and most-loved, book in my possession. It's a carolling book that Mum bought when I was about two, I believe. (She can correct me on the dates tomorrow.)
Half-way through "O Come, All Ye Joyful", I heard Mum's voice behind me. What was started as me just noodling instead of working on Bach turned into a Mum and Daughter carol singing fest.
I may be about to head off to look at music colleges, I may be nearly eighteen, but as we sat there at my piano, in the small pool of light cast by my old lamp, I felt just like I did years ago, sitting on Mum's lap when we sang together out of that book. Back when it still had it's cover. I was a child all over again.
Isn't that the magic of Christmas, though? That our sense of wonder and excitement is given back to us?
For me, it's sitting at the piano and singing out of a book that is in tatters but is held together by the love of a little child whose first memories of reading were from that book, held on her mother's lap. I'm getting in the Christmas mood, just about two months early. Looks like someone forgot to tell me which holiday we were actually supposed to be celebrating today.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Kyrie Eleison

As America spins into political turmoil and we read unbelievable views as expressed by candidates, my heart turns to prayer. Infanticide... and we claim to be a civilised nation! Lord, what have we come to? And then hearing of promises for more government involment in our day-to-day lives, and living to see what it's already like while dealing with social workers.
It's enough to frighten, discourage, and depress one. Thankfully, the Lord is there for prayers.
And so we cry, "Kyrie Eleison!"

Lord, have mercy.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Getting Ready To Go

Monday. It's so close now. Part of me is brimming over with excitement, and another part of me is really frightened of going to audition. But, for the most part, excitement wins out.

Mum will be travelling with me, because she's much better now. (Thank you for all your prayers!) And Andro is going to be with me on Friday, which definitely is something to look forward to. Plus, I'll get to see my family, many of whom I haven't seen in seven years. And I love to make music, so really, auditions aren't that big of a deal.

Today, when I got home from town, I began looking at some of my clothes, books, notebooks, and jewelry and started my mental plan of what to take. I found out something. I like planning for travel. I enjoy getting ready to go. Now I'm really excited.

I suppose that means I actually have to pack tomorrow afternoon. Just so that I don't put it off too late.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Christmas In The Air

Today was the perfect day for thinking about the fifty-eight days to Christmas. It was really chilly out, below zero fahrenheit when I woke up. And I had a few cups of apple-tea and warm toast. Yeah, and somehow, even though I'm over my cold (I hope) I just didn't feel like going outside.
So as I was in the kitchen, I found a CD that I hadn't listened to much before. Theophilus bought it last Christmas for Mum, and somehow, I was always somewhere else when it was being played. But it was Mannheim Steamroller, so I knew it was good.
I fell in love with the music... especially a song called "Masters In The Hall". It just sounded so old, it was based on a mode used during the late Middle Ages.
It feels like Christmas is in the air... the very frosty air that is. Very soon, in the very room I'm in, there will be a beautiful tree all covered in shining ornaments. Oh and let's not forget what goes under there...
Fifty-eight days and counting!

Monday, 27 October 2008

Reason For Cell-Phones - No. 1

Today at youth orchestra, and the class that we hold afterwards, me and a few others got griping about cell-phones. They always ring at the worst moments during rehearsal or class. Finally, one person said "I'd like to know just one good thing about cell-phones." We all laughed and conceeded.
Another person said "Although I hate to say that. Who knows, maybe someone will find a good reason for them by the time the night is over." More laughing ensued.

I left, and was barely two minutes away from the church where we rehearse and the car stopped. I mean, absolutely kaput.
Yes. That's right. I found reason number one for cell phones.
I called the conductor, who was leaving behind me and so was thankfully able to stop and keep my violin warm while we waited. (Her car is much to small to pull mine.)
Next, I called Dad, who was not far away, which was more than slightly surprising. He came, hooked up to me, and pulled me home. (Dad is my hero!)
I guess next time we start complaining about technology, I'll just have to remind myself that I could have stayed out on that freezing cold high-way a long time before anyone else pulled over.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Only Child

I'm an only child.

I've been avoiding that thought all day. Alright, I still have Theophilus as a brother, but he's at college and seems pretty satisfied with only speaking to me about once a week - usually after I've bugged him or gone ahead and called him myself. But the boys left yesterday evening.

In one week, we went from a family of seven, to a family of three. It's so strange that it is very nearly like one of those bizarre dreams where you comfort yourself, saying "don't worry, I'm bound to wake up in about five minutes... right after the teddy bear in the corner starts sing like Bing Crosby". Or maybe I'm the only one with that particular twist...

Anyways, when we took the table down to the setting for the three of us, it sank in that the kids are really gone. It really is just me and my parents. I love them, but it's just weird to have only them around. Can't exactly pull them onto my lap and tell them my newest fairytale I'm writing for a bedtime story.

I think I'm probably rambling, but I'm just trying to get used to the idea.

I'm an only child.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Time in a Box

So, maybe you've picked up the idea that I love books. Perhaps that I love C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as well. But maybe it wasn't so obvious that I like Madeleine L'Engle.
For several years, I heard about her books, but just never made the time to read them. They stayed at the top of my To Read When Time Makes Itself Available list. Funny, considering how the book of hers that I planned to read was named A Wrinkle in Time. Hey, it was an interesting enough title and I was kept wondering for years about what in earth and space a wrinkle in time was.
About a year and a half ago, I finally picked up that aforementioned book because my grandmother kindly bought it for me. (Thank you!) And I devoured it in a few moments time, or so it seemed. Probably was more like two hours or so. Then, going through some boxes of books which were picked up for nickel apiece at some long-forgotten library sale, I found a book which I remembered having an exchange sister read. The cover was torn and the whole book was in pretty sad shape. Opening it to the beginning, I realised that it was indeed the sequel to The Wrinkle, A Wind in the Door. I read it pretty fast, and loved it. Now fully in love with L'Engle's writing, the next time we went to Anchorage, I found myself a copy of the third book, A Swiftly Tilting Planet and read it. However, from there on, I could never find any copies of either Many Waters or An Acceptable Time. I was very disappointed. Andro promised to bring them for me when we visit colleges together in a few weeks, so I was finally mollified.
My brother going to college actually made me think even more about the series. They were the only things I'd ever read that made me interested in science or math. Especially physics. I'm not sure why, but the whole idea of time being wrinkled, of folding time and the limits of things - it was very intriguing. Whilst talking to various friends of his, every time we would get on a science related subject, I'd remember something from the books that would bail me out from the confusion that all their terms induced. But again and again, I found that none of them had ever read L'Engle. (After all, they're in college for maths not for English.) So I found myself constantly suggesting that they read her books. And consequently, I began talking about them a lot more.
Yesterday, Dad went up to Anchorage and stopped by the bookstore up there. As I was going to RCO rehearsal, my phone started ringing. Dad started asking which L'Engle books I was missing. Well- they had singles of books 1,2,3, and 5, but he couldn't find 4... except in the box set of all of them. Would I like to have him pick up the box set.
That was a yes. So, late last night when Dad came home, he handed me off the box. I was happy, to say the least. At long last, I had my little mitts on the whole Time Quintet!
This morning, I was about to dive into book four, when I realized I hadn't read the first three in a few months... and I was a bit rusty. The most obvious thing to do was to read the whole series. A Wrinkle disappeared very quickly, and the second, A Wind in the Door, went a little slower, due to my computer being up and doing things around the house. But now, I'm fully prepared to start in on A Swiftly Tilting Planet and we'll see how fast I get through the other books.
For the time being, I'm estatic with my newly-accquired Time in a Box.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Redoubt Chamber Orchestra

Tonight was the first rehearsal! And we got to play some music never played by an orchestra ever before. Sure makes us feel special.
Best of all, we got to play Christmas music all night long. My fingers are a little sore from the cold, but it was such fun that I don't really mind. Plus, being first chair second violin does a lot to cheer me up.
And we have a new contra-bass player; a position left empty by the absence of Theophilus this year. Who else would do it than the old harrasser-of-strings Kent. He's actually a trombone player and has teased string players for years. I seem to be his usual target, but now, the tables have been reversed.
Our conductor says I have free reign to tease him about now being a string-player. Now, I think I'm going to be playing Sleigh Ride tomorrow... and am looking forward to more RCO music!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Mum's Home

Late last night, Mum came home. But I didn't see her until this morning. It was really good to have her home. We talked, and we spent the morning together... but when afternoon came, it was like the past week piled in on me and I slept. And slept. And slept. It wasn't until the early evening that Harrison woke me up so that I could help Mum with a few things and get dinner on the table.
Things are going okay, I'm still missing the girls very badly, but Mum's home and she's doing better. And that's what matters. One of these days, I'll catch up on my sleeping again, but for now, I'm just thankful that Mum's home and that you have all been praying for her.
It's only nine in the evening, but it feels like midnight. After devotions, I'm probably calling this a night.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Running On Empty

This morning, at seven o'clock, the girls walked out the door with two social workers.

We don't know if they'll be back in a month like the social workers said it might be. We don't know if they'll never come home again. We just don't know.

But a large part of me was torn out when Belle said good-bye. A lot of my last two years have been invested with her; Mum focused on Tink and I got Belle. I love both of them, they are my sisters, and I have had to remind myself that they are only foster children. Not my actual sisters.

Unfortunately, they feel the same way. I've had to deal with melt-downs from Belle after she found out that I was not going with her on this trip. Suddenly, one of my reasons to keep plowing through life when things get hard has been jerked away. I don't have Belle following me around, believing in me all the time, smiling up at me anymore.

Emotionally, I'm running on empty...

Monday, 20 October 2008

Sing Heigh-ho To The Green Holly!

Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art no so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
That dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remember'd not.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most love mere folly:
Then, heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

-Amiens' Song, from "As You Like It" by William Shakespeare.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

And The Days Go On...

Friday and Saturday are all a blur to me. Mum didn't come home, she's away at another hospital where they ran some tests on her. She's regained speech, or she had last night, after she lost it on Thursday evening. The kids spent the weekend with friends, Dad with with Mum and I was going back and forth amonst friends. It was good to know that I wasn't alone, but at the same time, I'm very tired from the week. It hardly seems possible that it was only a week ago that I was dancing with Mum in the kitchen to Jim Nabor's opera.
But the days go on, and life has changed greatly over the last few days. Five days. It hardly seems possible that so much has happened in that amount of time. My mind has been all over the place, as have my emotions, but I've found that prayer is my only resort in the end.
A friend of mine and I started a prayer group together, and hope to be able to be there for others to reach out. We as humans are not meant to be alone. I believe Lewis when he said that Man was not a solitairy creature. Perhaps we enjoy being alone and having solitude and peace, yet our souls were made to yearn for others. I never realized how much others meant to me - their words, company and prayers - until this past five days.
This week, the days will still go on, and life will change even more, but I cannot say more about that for now. I'll explain as things go along and time passes.
Blessings, ~ Laura

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Mum At The Hospital

Today, Dad and I went to visit Mum at the hospital. It was great to see her since the last time I saw her was Tuesday morning. Although she was pretty distant - she had just had another test done - it was wonderful talking to her. And I was happy that Leah came to visit her while we were there too. I really think having visitors helps keep her from getting stir-crazy.

Life still feels like I'm living in a whirl-wind. And I feel like somone super-glued a phone to my left ear, which now has a permanent ring in it. The kids have been great, for the most part, and I'm intensely grateful for them behaving. Goodness knows the melt-downs I could be dealing with right now. I'm just finding that the night's are not nearly long enough for sleeping. Although I'm exhausted, I've learned to take advantage of the times when I'm sitting down and am not on the phone.

Mum's probably coming home tomorrow. It's better than her being at the hospital, in some ways, but she won't have trained people looking in on her, which might be difficult. She called a little while ago, and told me that she actually got to walk about six or eight feet today, with the help of a walker. We're not sure what this next week will hold, but I am so very thankful for all the prayers surrounding my Mum right now.

And now I have to check on dinner and Belle and Harrison, since those are the two I have at home right now. Dad and Tink should be home soon, and then we're off to Lance's band concert! We'll see about pictures of that...

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

About Yesterday

Thank you to my friends for the prayers, and sorry I didn't write much more last night but I was very tired and completely ready for bed.

Yesterday afternoon, while my parents were dropping my sister Belle off for counciling, my mum had basically a mini-stroke. My dad took her to the hospital, where she is now, and they ran tests on her. She seems to have cleared out whatever caused the mini-stroke, and has started moving her left arm and leg again and is able to talk, although she's still pretty distant when she's talking. Hopefully she can come home tomorrow evening, so thanks for all the prayers.

I'm thanking God for this, because she was extremely lucky and it could have been much worse. Continued prayer would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

I'm Ready For Today To Be Over

I am so thankful for my friends and family. Sometimes, I think I don't really show how grateful I am for them.

But, I am grateful, even if I can't find the ways to show it. I'm thankful for Lauri taking time to pray on the phone with me, I'm thankful for the friends who offered to come help with the kids and with dinner, I'm thankful for my brother who took it well (at least much better than I expected) and his friends who prayed, I'm thankful for my grandmother being there when I called, I'm ever so grateful that the kids didn't act up this evening, I'm thankful for Laura driving Belle and Lance home and telling me exactly what's going on.

And I'm thankful for my parents and for God watching over them this evening.

So to all my friends and family, thank you for being there and for the prayers.

Monday, 13 October 2008

The Cookies of Doom

The infamous dough. I felt like it was going to swallow me alive... ahhhh! Save me from the cookie dough!
Here is when I was constructing the base for the tower a'cookay! Ahem. That was a little... odd. Basically, this is when I was stacking the cookies and thinking how it's the only thing I'll ever get to engineer while my brother is actually thinking of becoming an engineer.
Tada! The cookies of doom in their tower of sugared goodness!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

My Bed Came In!

So, on Sunday we went to the furniture store and ordered me a new bed. My old one was soft, and my back hurt really bad every morning.
I found one which somewhat had the cushioning properties of a rock. It was glorious. And it came in yesterday. I was practically in heaven.

Last night, I had the best night's sleep I've had in a long time. I love my rock.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Youtube Is My Friend

Today, I found videos made by students at my hopeful college. Between silly references to places in New York and equally rediculous remarks about church fathers, especially the Wesley brothers, I was snagged.
Then I found a video making fun of opera/movies and computers at the same time. Immediately, I posted it on my facebook and then went on to watch it several times in a row. I'm still laughing at it. Shortly thereafter, I found a spoof of "The Princess Bride" which was chock-full of silly references. Oddly enough, I think I got most of them.
In the days to come, I think youtube is going to be my friend as I look more into the college. Oh, and the one guy in the Opera video seems to correlate to a guy at my brother's school that he's friends with. I will attempt to find the Opera guy's name and when I visit there in November, I'm going to try to track him down.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

I'm So Tired

It's been one of those long days that never seem to end. However, it was lovely to talk to Jenn... which I haven't really done since she moved to California.

Also, I think what really did it was that I volunteered to bring a gross of cookies to our concert on Friday. I don't think I mentioned the concert, did I?

Well, every year, the local musicians put on a concert, called Evening of Classics. I'm not doing any solos myself, but I'd rather not go into the political realm of local musicians on my blog, so I'll leave it there. Our youth orchestra, of which I'm concertmistress, is playing a piece by Vivaldi, which is exciting. Because our conductor likes to include beginners in the orchestra, we generally don't have very challenging pieces. This one is different, so only a portion of the orchestra's playing, but we sound good and I am happy.

Back to the cookies. I got started as soon as the butter was soft enough and I gave myself a certain ammount of time to do them. I make snickerdoodles all the time, so I figured I had it down. Then, being me, I forgot to decrease the temperature that the recipe called for. The cookies flattened horribly and I resorted to cutting the pan into squares for the cookies. It looked like Frankenstein cookies. And the whole first batch, which was supposed to be six dozen, was that way. Well, I figured I could send them to Theophilus; he and a few friends have been asking for some.

After a little break, I made the second batch, and they all turned out lovely. It was good for my self-confidence to see such wonderful, picture-worthy cookies. After feeding the kids and having a long talk with Mum, I went back to the kitchen. The kids taxed my brain cells, so I was eager to be done with those cookies. (I was already behind my schedule because of having to make up for the first batch.)

Right before the time came to let the dough stand for a few minutes, I realized that something seemed wrong. I scanned over the list and knew that I'd put everything in... but... I had doubled the recipe. I was set to make 18 dozen cookies in the end, if you added the batch already made. My brain died. Right. Then.

So now, I'm sitting with my dad's computer because mine won't work and I'm blogging instead of baking cookies. Bad me. But my brain feels happy right here.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Pictures Are Up!

I finally uploaded pictures of my violin! And I thought you might like to see them...
I think I even got the eyes to glow well in these pictures... And so now I'm off to get some warm socks and go practice piano!

Monday, 6 October 2008

When I Woke Up This Morning

The third time I woke up this morning, I looked outside to see what seemed to be the equivalent of someone shaking an extra large bag of powdered sugar over the world. First instinct: go to bed and wake up next spring. Second instinct: pull covers over head and sing lalalala until I can ignore the stuff. Third instinct: I want coffee to make me warm.
I followed the third instinct. And then I remembered, I promised to take pictures of snow and post them up here. Oh yeah, and I had to work today so staying in bed wasn't going to do me much good.
Here's a view from our front windows towards the road.
Out on our deck, and you can see the flowers which we rescued from a cold death a few days ago.
I think you can see the snowflakes a bit better in this picture.
Yes, Alaskans are hardy folk. We paint our toes up pretty and then run outside to take pictures of our bare feet in the snow. Don't tell the kids I did this, it hard enough as is to get them to put on their shoes. Oh, and this is obviously on our deck, in a portion that got minimal snow.
After that picture, I ran inside, got wool socks on and drank another cup of coffee. Oh the bliss... and now I have to venture forth into the snowy world for another full Monday of doing everything under the cold clouds. Fare thee well as I go on to freeze!

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