Saturday, 31 May 2008

Field At Sunset

Almost every evening now, I take a walk for about twenty minutes or so through the field that is down the road from us. I don't remember when I started doing this, but it was perhaps about two months ago.
I enjoy walking in solitude, and musing on whatever was on my mind and in my life. Over time, the field has become greener - the grass which was brown and dead is now bursting in fresh, soft green newness. The trees have begun putting out their leaves, and show signs of spring turning to summer.
At sunset, which is now very late, the field is especially lovely. The patterns of shadow across the ground, coupled with the brightness against the mountains' snow. Also, the trees shine and glow, almost unearthly, and remind me of Loth Lorien or other places of my own imagination. Birds are often my only companions out there, because everyone else stays on the road - and I'm left to the field. I don't mind.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Notes From Jenn

In my last post, I showed the gifts from graduation. Now, Jenn gave me a new notebook; a lovely green and brown shiny diary styled book. I always have uses for notebooks, so I'm very grateful for these gifts. But unlike others, Jenn wrote me a note in the back. She and I met when I was about ten years old, at a roller-skating rink. I could barely stay upright, and neither could she, and her little sister crashed us together. We've been friends since - and there are so many ways that I wouldn't be the person I am without her.

"Hey girly-o, I'm so proud of you. ^-^ The adorable blonde girl I met years ago, who couldn't keep upright on her skates, has become this adorable blonde lady who's so talented, whimsical and silly as the day we met. That's so amazing!
Everything that you do you do the very best that you can. That's something to be proud of girly. So give yourself a big smile, throw confetti, hire a band, and all that good stuff. ^_^ And, at the risk of sounding like some cheesey high school movie; don't ever change!
Things change, girly-o. People move around, they move out, and move on, and a lot of times we can't do anything about it.
But no matter what, you'll always be my Moriko-chan, my Willow-sister, my blonde-haired elf girl, and my dear, dear friend. Always. ^-^
I'll always be glad about falling on my butt that day at the skating rink... because I landed next to you."

I haven't quoted the whole thing, some of it is far to personal for that. But Jenn, just know that I love you too... and I'm glad that we both couldn't skate because if we had been fast like everyone else, we would have just skated past each other and none of this would have happened. Our paths are seperating this summer, but our hearts are not.

Harrison and the Zapper

The bugs are beginning to come out now, and the mosquitoes are especially not so nice. We have a couple of bug swatters which send out an electrical charge when you press a button so that you end up frying the bugs.

Harrison has deemed himself the "Official Zapper". So today, as we were sitting on the swing, he was faithfully discharging his duty. However, I noticed that a lone mosquito had lodged onto Harrison's arm.

"Hey, look to your left arm."

He shook his arm. "Don't worry, I've got it covered!" And then he swung that zapper up to truncate the bug's life indefinitely. But he missed and ended up zapping himself and doing a jumping jive all over the deck.

Yes, he had it covered, and can now tell that yes, the bugs do feel pain and the zapper really does work. Quite well. He found out through an electrifying experience.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Gifts from Graduation

Well, I thought perhaps you might like to see some of what has been given to me. I was rather surprised at the ammount of gifts I recieved, as I never really caught onto the idea of giving lots of things except at Christmas.
My grandmother made this beautiful book-bag - she knows me well - and this pencil bag, scarf and bookmark.
Jenn made me this wrap, hat, notebook and a length of gorgeous cloth. She knows me as well! (I'm thinking of either a very swirly skirt, or a pretty, drapey dress.)
My German teacher gave Theophilus and I some books and chocolate. What I especially liked was the German songbook... We both recieved lots of cards, and many monetary gifts, which of course are very useful! The cards are going in my box with the past ten years' worth of cards. The money is going either to my account, or to my stash; I haven't decided which yet.
And my parents decided to kick my brother and I out of the house, or at least hint at it. But I really am grateful for the five piece suitcase...

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

The Graduation Party

It's the only sort of party that I've ever hosted aside from the birthday kind, and I didn't even host it by myself, as I would have been lost without Mum and Gramma. Although the days before were stressful, because we had no idea how many people were coming, the day was actually fairly easy and non-problematic. Several good friends stayed for quite some time, and others only stayed for a little while, but I enjoyed them all. Jenn stayed from the first few minutes until the next morning, being the longest except for my grandparents.
The food took three days or so to prepare, and only a day to disappear. Of course, we have a little left over, like meats, cheeses, and vegetables. But the macaroni, which grew beyond Mum's intentions, was soon gone, much to my sadness as I'd been looking forward to macaroni salad lunches for a least four days. The potato salad fared much the same, and I managed to get a friend's brother to take a large bowl of cookies away with him.
Sue and Jack, two lovely musicians whom I know very well, came over and some others brought instruments, so we began to have a folk-jam. Sue is probably one of the best country and bluegrass fiddlers I've ever met, and Jack is equally good on his guitar; but I am the Celtic fiddler around here, and so we've agreed that if I teach them Celtic, they'll show me bluegrass styles. We played a mix of Celtic, country, bluegrass, hymns and classical and jazz. Not too bad for a few musicians and most of them teenagers. (We even had a harmonica going! And a few classical singers thrown in with the folk singers wasn't too bad either.)
Although I got really silly for an hour or so, and was teasing dear Theophilus and his friends, for most of the day I dealt with the numbers of visitors quite well. Generally, I am not fond of large parties and crowds at all, and am tired, grouchy, and hermitile for days afterwards. But Jenn kept me company all day, and gave me a lovely wrap and notebook; Gretel gave me chocolate, as did my German teacher, and so I got through the day rather splendidly. And then, after everyone else, including Leah, had left, Jenn and I went down to my room with ginger ale and a bucket of cookies and watched most of Cranford together. However, we didn't watch the last bit of it, and so she'll have to come over again... and Leah and Lana, Halleymarie and any other of my friends who love such things.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Kitty Days

Some days, I want to be a cat and just curl up asleep on the warm rug.

Then I've always wondered what my cat is thinking... and I want to be able to warm my nose with a furry tail and look mysterious all at the same time!But other days, I could be awake and curious about my surroundings. I could jump and leap, and no one else would know why.

And I could rest, and watch over the people I live with. And lay on the nice afghans, and purr when someone is nice to me.

But then I think: Don't I do that already?

Monday, 26 May 2008


It turns out that most of the photos from graduation are blurry. However, there are a few of me playing the piano, and one of my brother and I and my parents. So I'll post a few of them, and the photo credits to my grandfather today!

You can't really see us too well, the problems of our last name and all, but we are in the back row, if you needed a hint.I think my parents could have about a million photos of me playing the piano if they wanted to, but since this was graduation, they decide to take a few more... And this is hopefully the last time I'll wear all white until my wedding day.

My brother is so tall. It's not fair, but just note that he was pushing me down for this picture. And I have no idea what I was laughing at, or why I'm the only one not looking at the camera. (or the only one looking like an idiot...)

Saturday, 24 May 2008

You Are In Cranford Now

PBS has been showing Masterpiece Theater's Cranford recently, and being a hopeless daydreamer, I fell in love with the show. Tuesday, before graduation, Dad stopped at the bookstore and found me the series on DVD. So the past few days, between cleaning and photo albums, I've been watching snippets of it on my computer.

Then last night, my Gramma revealed that she'd never watched it before, and so I'd finally beaten her to a period drama. So I began it all over again, and we watched about half of it last night, until nearly midnight when she decided it was high-time to go to bed.

The series has wonderful quotes and highly amusing portrayals of the lives of various inhabitants of the town of Cranford. Now some of the ladies annoy me with their silliness or Mrs. Bennett-like behaviour, but others have quite won their ways into my heart. I find myself wrapped up in the intricate, confusing lives of the spinster ladies (who have too much time on their hands!) and the men whom they confuse, especially poor Doctor Harrison.

One of their dresses would make a lovely present, but I know that I haven't the time to make one. And I don't know Kat or Jhaniel's sizes, and I doubt they'd really wish to wear one, but if I could, I would still make them one. (Hint to Kat or Jhaniel: if you do like them, send me your sizes and perhaps I'll find a way to make you one!) Mum complains that I'm talking like them, and I am daydreaming of writing lengthy letters, drinking tea and visiting the way Miss Matty and Mary Smith do. And I'm wishing that I was like Jessie Brown, with that lovely Scotch officer always waiting for her...

But instead, I'm just an American teenager who's preparing for a graduation party who is surrounded by jean-clad girls and not so great tea. Oh well, perhaps one day I'll hear someone like Miss Deborah Jenkyns say: "You are in Cranford now." Of course, photo credits to those who made the show, not me!

Friday, 23 May 2008

Memories In Photos

I'm still going through those pictures for the albums. I have lots and lots of photos, but I find that there still aren't that many of me that I like. And even Theophilus hasn't had many taken of him.
Most of my photos are of our foster kids and such. I can't post those, but I was filled with memories as I paged through hundreds of shots of the little girls, and my special boy. Of course, there were photos of the other boys, but my special boy had way more - about as many as the little girls.

I found the file when we went to a glacier a few hours away from Naptowne, and nearly burst into tears when I saw Tink in a pack Theophilus carried, resting her little head against his. And then there were several of Belle dancing on the path, and Annastasia twining green and gold leaves into her long, dark hair. I think that the best pictures I've taken of people, especially my family, are those outside, and children running around are wonderful. And my boy Norwood was extremely photogenic, and I adored photographing him. His grin and charisma transfer easily to pictures, and they lighten my mood and just cheer me up so well.

I miss them all, and wish that they were still here. Of course, it's wonderful that they are with their family, but I still love them and think of them as my brother and sisters. I'll love Harrison and Lance too, but there's always a special spot in my heart for my Tink, Belle, Annastasia and Norwood.

What joy is mine!

And She'll Be Gone...

Last night, shortly before going to bed, Mum called me over, and showed me the news clip about an accident. Apparently, Stephen Curtis Chapman's son drove over his little sister when he didn't see her. She was adopted from China, and so Mum and I sat there crying and watching the videos. Listening to this song nearly broke my heart...

I hope you'll join me in praying for the family.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

My Life in Photographs

So, we're having an open house on Sunday for our graduation, since Theophilus and I have been homeschooled all these years together and Mum and Dad are getting rid of us at the same time. (At least, they're getting rid of him, because I'm not going to college next year.)

Now, my Mum is a wonderful cook, but has never been a crafty or artsy person, and so the only scrapbook that I have is one that my Gramma made several years ago. Mum decided to get adventurous with our grad party and said that we should have photo albums for people to look at. One for Theophilus and one for me. And then a joint one for all the pictures of us together, since we've always been doing similar stuff, although we are very different people!

However, I find that there aren't many pictures of me when we were little. Now, there aren't that many of Theophilus either. We do have reasons for that: we didn't have that much money to spend on film, some pictures were lost, and Mum doesn't take pictures. Add to that, I was born with snow-white hair and extremely fair complexion. So I looked like a glowing blob in most of the pictures, or made everything else in the pictures look so dark that you can't really tell what it is.

This is why most photographs of me are self-photos which have been taken in the past two years. Also, there are more Theophilus photos because I'm an extreme shutterbug and will take photos of anything, even my shoes if I haven't anything else more interesting. There are a few photos taken by other people; my dad's taken a few, so have a few friends, but beyond that, there just aren't that many photos of me.
But there are some photos from my childhood which I'm putting in the album, and I'd like to share a few with you. The credits go to most likely my father, grandmother, and my uncle. (I don't think there's anyone else...)

Yes, I drove back then too... and I don't honk my horn anymore. But watch out for me around town!

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

I've Walked

Yesterday at four o'clock in the afternoon, I walked down the aisle and sat with ninety other kids for nearly three hours. Then they called my name, I walked across the stage, and my dad handed me my diploma. After all these years, it's hard to believe that I'm graduated from high school. School in general, actually, since I'm not certain if I will be attending college. I thought Mum was going to cry, but she held together. My dad's parents and his uncle and aunt came as well, and so I thought I might have been the one crying. But I was too happy and was prone to being random and laughing at the jokes in my head.

I saw some kids that I haven't talked to in years and met others that I've never seen before and likely won't again. We all laughed and celebrated together, and then left. I don't think the entirety of the reality of graduation has set in, especially now being an "adult". I'll post photos later. I think most of them were taken by my dad and grandparents. I was obviously a bit busy during most of it.
What joy is mine!

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Mum's Birthday

Sunday was Mum's birthday, and she's officially seen fifty years. Well, I was thinking about the difference that half of a century's made, and it was really inspiring. I know she'd probably not enjoy me mentioning her age, but I can't help thinking that it should be seen as wonderful, not embarrassing or horrible, that she's lived half a century. Now my family's not much into cakes; yet ask anyone who has lived in our home for any given period of time since I was about eight, and he can tell you that if there's something I'm good at, it's baking. Cookies, pies, brownies, cobblers, name it and I can probably make it. So Mum requested this pan of brownies, and when I looked at the recipe, I was shocked at how little chocolate it called for. So I doubled it. Let's just say that it was the most chocolaty thing I've ever eaten other than plain chocolate itself.

I also wanted to share with you some thing which was published on May 19th, 1958. Just to show you what was being read the day after my dear Mum was born.

Doesn't he look young there? Well, my Mum was a cute baby, but I don't think she'd like me to share any pictures of herself, now or then. Perhaps one day...

Monday, 19 May 2008


A while ago, I was obsessed with looking at items for kitchens, mostly dishes. I sent an email to my dear friend Kat about a set of china that I especially liked. She replied that while the set I mentioned was very pretty, she was more into clear glassware. Well, I liked clear glass as well, but I wasn't very sure that I'd like them for common use.

Last weekend, I was up in Anchorage and Mum decided we were to pay a visit to the largest greenhouse in the state. I'd never been in there before, but the idea of getting more herbs for my herb garden was quite appealing.

Little did I know that this greenhouse also had another section. They had crystal jewelry, stationary, and assorted knick-knacks that even my Grandmother would have a hard time beating their collection. After a while of aimless wandering, I discovered a tiny little side room full of clear glassware.

This goblet caught my fancy, and I decided that Kat had a certain point with liking clear dishes. And of course, I took pictures of the blue because of how much I love that colour. But Mum liked the green, and the purple was very pretty as well.

But I didn't take that many pictures, due to the saleslady watching me suspiciously. Honestly, I was only taking pictures, not stealing the beautiful displays.

And then there was this kind as well. There were plates, bowls, and so on that had little pedestals of clear glass. The only problem I had was that the sets only came in twos and fours.

I wonder how expensive it would have been to get a set for ten...

Kat, you won that round.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Sighted: Dating Birds

Today, it got really warm: for Alaska. So Theophilus came up with the brilliant idea of biking with Lance to one of the local M&D stations to get ice cream.

Lance and Theophilus took their good old time on the bikes, and I honestly tried to not go fast. But I soon outdistanced them, and stopped to wait for a few minutes.

Some rustling in the bushes off the side of the road attracted my attention, and I went to investigate.

Why do I never seem to have my camera when I really really need it?

It turned out to be a pair of American Robins, and they seemed to be mating. But the female was being a bit coy... it seemed as though they were attempting to act like dating teenagers.

After five minutes, the boys still hadn't caught up, so I continued on anyways. They'd probably taken a detour, and would catch up with me later, I thought.

About a mile from my home, I saw another mating pair, acting the same way as the first had. And then as I turned in on my own lane, yet another couple were doing it.

So is this why girls are sometimes called chicks?

Bring on the Warriors

Harrison and Lance came to visit over the weekend, and so Theophilus and I were left alone at home while Mum picked them up. Well, Theophilus, as you may know, is always good for having his computer running, Internet connected, tabs aplenty, and at least three research topics buzzing in his brain. While I was working on my knitting project, (a subject for another post), he called me over to see some videos that he'd been linked to while researching orthodoxy. I don't remember how he got onto that in the first place, but I'm willing to guess he doesn't either.

Several years ago, I was reading about Jason and the Argonauts, and fell in love with mythology. I watched and read everything that I could get my hands on and my parents would allow. I stumbled across a theory of the golden fleece, and thus Medea, being from Georgia. Now the only Georgia I'd ever heard of at that point (being just a third grader) was a state down south that most likely suffered from cockroaches. Being me, I did some research in one of the old encyclopedias and soon decided that I wanted to go to Georgia. Later on, Theophilus was kind enough to burst my bubble and tell me that I wouldn't be able to go, since it was half-way across the world and hard to get a visitors' visa. So I moved on with my little third grade life, but never quite forgot the interest I had in that country.

And what did Theophilus have for me to see on his computer? Nothing other than some traditional Georgian dances, songs and legends. And so following those, we were linked to some videos of Georgian martial arts training. I was won over by their immense skills and fighting abilities. Trust me, those guys were tough!

Then Mum came home, and the two boys had to watch the videos with us again. Lance decided that he wanted to be able to use a quarter-staff like they did, and Harrison said he was going to have one of their training knives. I'm not sure which part Theophilus liked best. I certainly liked everything (including the guys doing it!). But Mum came and sent all the boys outside, and I returned, rather preoccupied, to my knitting.

A while later, I heard from them that they had been playing that they were Georgian Warriors. Perhaps it was just Theophilus' way of showing them how to javelin properly, or sling stones, or block blows, or wrestle and thus defend yourself. But I say, if it takes being Georgian, I'm going to dream of going to Georgia again.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Spring Has Sprung!

I woke up this morning to Mum telling me that spring had sprung at long last. Needless to say, I didn't really believe her. After all, I'd spent the night before in the drizzling rain and gone to bed throughly chilled, hadn't I?

But staying in bed wasn't an option, because Harrison and Lance were coming over in the afternoon. When I got upstairs, I was over-joyed to see sunlight streaming in our southern windows. The Lord is good! He didn't want us to use those Noah lessons we'd been having with all the rain the week before. But just in case, Harrison had told me that he'd learned how to make a raft out of sticks and limbs the night before. We were covered if the sun decided to become a secret agent again. That is the pussy-willows found a little down the lane from my house. Actually, I took it a few days ago, and shall soon be expecting it to burst into green leaves. Here is one of the raspberry stems, beginning to bud out. Some of them are taller than me now, and all of them are covered in these wonderful, new green leaves. All popping out in beautiful colour. I love raspberries...

This is my King's Crown plant. I'm immensely proud of it. About eight years ago, I was visiting a friend and she showed me this plant. Hers was dying and she informed me that almost no one could get them to grow in Alaska. I was determined to try, because I was intrigued by the uniqueness of this plant. So she gave me a cutting, and my little patch continues to come back every spring, and usually doubles every year. These are about two inches tall now, and by the end of summer, I hope they'll be about eight or nine.

What joy is mine!

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