Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I Been Thinkin...

About who I will be voting for on Super Tuesday. I admit to not paying much attention to this point, knowing that some candidates would be eliminated, and I might have to shift my loyalty. For example, there was something about Rudy Giuliani that I just liked. Not everything, just something. Well, that doesn't matter anymore, does it? It might surprise you, since ALL homeschoolers will vote for Mike Huckabee, that my vote will likely not go to him. But I haven't made a final decision on anyone yet. I'm still listening to what they're saying, and how they're acting. I don't really want to cast my vote for someone I like; I want to cast my vote for someone who would be good for me, or, really, for all of us. See, politics, in my mind, are a lot like cod liver oil. It smells nasty, and tastes FAR worse. But, in the end, what it gives a person is healthy and beneficial. Really. It is.
Oh, and I guess you've read enough here to know that I won't be voting for either of these people.

The Obligatory Homeschool Post

I mention it in my profile, and many who read this already know me from that universe, but, yes, we homeschool. For the past 10 years, we have, for the most part, refused to partake of what passes for ordinary education in these United States. We keep our kids home and teach them at their pace and on their time schedule. We have an eclectic style. I really like the concept of unschooling. Free learning is mostly what I did as a kid, meaning that I went to school and did the assignments, but, when I think of what I learned, it was what I found in the dictionary on the way to finding the vocabulary word. Or what I learned while on a camping trip with my mom, that sort of thing. But I also like the concept of classical education, mostly because I admit to being a history freak and I like the idea of learning the way thousands of successful people have learned down through thousands of years of history. I've seen it work with my own history freak kids, when they were learning history and literature. I've seen the style of grammar stage repetition (hey, you know what that means if you followed the link. If you don't, then why do I waste my time?) work as we made our way through math facts, grammar rules and the like.
So, as we wander down this path, we do a little of both. We have piles of textbooks for the learning of specific facts and ideas. But we also have piles of books, dictionaries, and encyclopedias for "I don't wanna learn today, so I'm just gonna read." (Yeah, sometimes we fool 'em into larnin.') Sometimes we watch -gasp- videos or television programs, and sometimes I have the "teacher joy" of seeing them pick up a book to learn more about a character or an event. We take them on trips to Acadia and Colorado and Ft. Hood. We go to the museums in Chicago and Rockford and to see Shakespeare in Milwaukee. Somehow it works, and we know we like it much better then shipping them off in the big yellow bus. That big yellow bus IS a learning environment; but you don't wanna learn THOSE kind of lessons!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

When I Was 17...

I also had recruiters courting me. It was 1976, and I was graduating from high school. Only a year before, the US had pulled out of Vietnam in a messy and painful way. The military did NOT have a good public image, to say the least. I was a B student, and the constant refrain was, "Tell them to get lost. Only losers go into the military."
Losers. Like this guy, or this one. People who hold compassion and honor above personal concerns. Yeah, losers.
I have a matted piece of calligraphy around here somewhere, waiting for a frame. It reads, "You don't raise sons to be heroes, but, if you raise them right, they become heroes anyway, even if it's just in your eyes." I hold my military boys as two of my heroes. Even though one "has issues" and the other "can't take care of himself" (and there's lots of sarcasm and humor in those two quotes!) they are among the bravest and most honorable people I know. One enlisted just before 9/11/2001, and was at Basic training when the world changed. But he reenlisted last winter, under the "crossed swords" in Baghdad.

Do you think he's a loser?

Then there was boy #2, who enlisted just as The Dreaded Surge was beginning. Would you call somewhat like that a loser?
Not to his momma's face, you wouldn't!

So, now, boy #3 is 17. And, later today, the cheesehead recruiter will stop by to pick up his transcript to take to the EdSpec (educational specialist) to evaluate. I know he's no loser, and the recruiter knows he's no loser. In fact, the recruiter is really trying to turn him toward ROTC, instead of enlisting. But EP wants to be a soldier before he's an officer, so it doesn't look like ROTC is where he's going. In fact, if I don't stop blogging and get the transcript WRITTEN, he may not even go enlisted!
So I'm off to turn another loser into my hero. Prayers would be appreciated.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Family Tour, Part 3

I realized we hadn't included GRANDMA in the mix! My grandmother, Irene, is 95, and came to live with us last spring. She was on her own for about 17 years, and decided she didn't want to do that anymore. So she moved in with MSP and has added to the chaos and fun of our household.This is a great picture of Grandma, taken this fall. JP4ling#1 had broken her leg, and was using a walker, so these two fun-loving girls decided to have a walker race across our living room! Grandma, by the way, is the taller of the two! Grandma likes to read, watch TV and suggest ways to improve our home. Sorry, Grandma, but you KNOW it's true! She has a busy life, between keeping an eye on the dogs and MSP, and playing with the JP4lings when they're in the house. Once a week the females in my family stop by for our big outing; lunch and WalMart. We all have a good time with it, and take turns driving Grandma. It's been good, having her here. I hope someone will do this for me, if I reach 95!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

More Farm Stuff

Little basils and oreganos are becoming toddler basils and oreganos...Parsley and lettuce are still germinating.
Right now we're in the process of our annual beef order. Every winter, Mr. Haber from around the corner sends information about ordering Angus beef from him. He grows these steers from calf stage, feeding them on grass and some grain, but no antibiotics or hormones. You do know your supermarket beef is giving you more than Nature intended, don't you?
So Will contacts me, and I contact a select group of friends to arrange an order. Right now we have 5 families vying for a cow. I'm trying to explain to them that we need two, or else we'll run out of beef before Memorial Day. We'll work it out in time, but the volume of phone calling and describing has kept me away from blogging! What up with that?
It may help, too, that Pine Ridge Farm (that would be our homestead, thank you for asking) may soon have a few hundred pounds of hamburger to sell. The sad fact of life on a farm is that animals that can't produce while alive get the chance to do so when they're not. And our Dexter cow, Bessie, has now had about a year to allow herself to become with calf, so to speak, and continues to avoid or refuse. This included a couple of artificial insemination attempts and almost 6 months with Bill the bull. I am sure that 6 months of honeymoon would have produced some form of infant with most females, but Bess is having none of it. She is not too old to breed, but too old to be used for more than hamburger. Next month Dr. Bill will come out and "preg check" her. Ladies, remember those last 4 visits to the OB/GYN? OK, then, you know how this will work. Only it's waaayyy messier when Dr. Bill does it. For reference, see here. Arncha glad I shared?
And, if after all of Dr. Bill's hard and messy work, the rabbit doesn't die, well, Bessie will go off to Sam the Butcherman, and we'll have hamburger.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It Begins Again

I don't need a groundhog to tell me that spring is just around the corner. And so, 5 days ago, I began the ritual. My first seeds went into the ground.
I planted basil, oregano and Italian parsley into one of those little greenhouses; this one is smaller than a six-pack. The little basil and oregano plants are already up; the parsley is going to take much longer. It's a little surreal to be planting when, that night, we got 5-6" of snow. But I'll be glad come July.
Then, 2 days ago, I planted about 5 different kinds of lettuce in a 3-foot indoor greenhouse tray. Again, snow on the ground, and baby lettuce waiting to make it's appearance. It sounds a little odd, I suppose, when I have international produce markets within a half hour of me. But it's satisfying to head out to the yard before supper and pick tonight's salad.
Today I picked up some sweet potatoes. Some will be cooked for supper, probably tomorrow night. Some will be sprouted for the garden. Stay tuned as the garden season progresses.
Oh, and MAP has a pay-as-you-go cell phone now. We should be talking to him more regularly!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Family Tour, Part 2

I really hadn't intended to do this today, but some of us felt left out...
MAP is #2 son. Not that he isn't as important as anyone else, but birth order can be unforgiving. Here's a recent shot of him in his environment; eating while in uniform. The photo was taken at the airport in Bangor, Maine, while he was on his way to play in the sand. Some very nice folks make sure that someone greets every military flight, outgoing and incoming. An actual human shakes every military hand, goodies are handed out, and pictures are taken as well, to be posted on their website. MAP said it all passed like a blur, as it was late enough to be almost the middle of the night, but he did appreciate it. As do all the moms, dads, spouses, families and friends who get the heartwarming experience of seeing their soldier/airman/Marine cared for so well. MAP has always been the silent type; kinda shy, does what he is interested in...and not much else! He and EP are our history buffs; MAP went so far as to join a reenacting group while he was in high school. He reenacted WWII; from the German side. It made for interesting travel; sending my little boy off in his Waffen SS uniform to die for the Fatherland. [German reenactors don't "live" long; GI's (who don't "take their hits") finish them off pretty quickly.] But, as he said, if you're gonna have "good guys" at a reenactment, someone has to be the "bad guys."
Last but not least is #1 son, JP4. Despite the shorthand, he has nothing to do with aircraft. Here is one of our favorite shots of him. It's about a year old, and was taken the day he returned from Iraq. Those are the "JP4-lings," who make us smile and often make Daddy smile, too...and grump a little, on occasion! He's a full-time music student, full-time dad, and part-time job hunter? Anyone got a job for someone who won't be in this country on any reliable schedule? :)
I suppose we should include a picture of the mom and dad of this rodeo. However, it seems we don't take picture of ourselves anymore! At least not alone; we ARE to the right in the picture of EP from yesterday's post. But it's either being too busy taking pictures of younglings, or being too aware of the extra pounds the camera adds (as well as those added by nachos, chocolate and good German beer!) that keeps us from taking any of ourselves! I have been searching files for about half an hour, and have come up with nada. Nothing. Bupkis. No pictures for you today! So stop looking already!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Family Tour

I tend to be a nosy person. When people talk about someone else, I try to conjure up images and personalities. I wanna know what that other person is like, and sometimes I get a little grumpy because I wonder why I'm not good enough to have met them. Well, I talk about other people on this blog from time to time, and I don't want to leave you out in the cold, so to speak, which is saying a lot for northern Illinois this weekend! So I will share some pictures and descriptions of my family this week, just to, you know, be fair.
And it's Monday and my brain is not yet in high gear and I really don't have much to blog about. Just being honest.
Let's start with...the youngest. MSP made her appearance almost 13 years ago and looks about like this now.
She's coloring here; art is one of her great interests. If I could get her as interested in writing....But that's beyond the scope of this post.I'd say, for her age, she's appropriately horse and boy crazy (boy crazy enough to worry her dad, but not lose him any sleep. Yet.) Ironically, she's our most athletically inclined kid. The boys were more likely to be found reading or computing. Fitness became an issue when they wanted to enlist. She's our kid who HAS to be active during the day, or we go crazy. Get that? WE go crazy. "MSP, GO OUTSIDE for a while!"
Working up from the bottom, we get EP, Civil Air Patrol cadet, college student, and fencing and Airsoft aficionado. Here's our "baby boy," mostly grown up and earning his Billy Mitchell. Oh, and being named Outstanding Cadet Officer of the Year. Not that we brag or anything. He'd be, by the way, second from the left. He's always been pretty focused; not driven, just focused. Right now he's focusing on finishing his Associate's degree (he'll be 18 when he's done in December) and enlisting in the National Guard, as a combat medic. The jury is still out on whether he'll stay in Illinois or if Wisconsin will get him....
I think that's enough about us for one day. The dogs are up and ready to rock, the coffee pot is calling again, and the phone is ringing!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Go. Play.

It's the Sabbath, for God's sake. And yours!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Phone Call!

MAP called today. He sounded better than he has in a while. He's looking forward to R&R, for which he has a tentative date. I'm not telling...Actually, I'm not being mean. I'm not allowed. It's OPSEC, folks.

My Children Want to Disown Me

I am so ashamed.

Your Inner European is French!

Smart and sophisticated.
You have the best of everything - at least, *you* think so.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Goin' to College

I have been asked to "at least audit" a class a friend of mine is teaching at the local community college. It's title? Women's History. Taught by a conservative. A conservative conservative. There will be much to report, I am sure!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I Want to Tell You What's Happening to a Soldier I Know

He has been serving for 7 years. He has a wife and three small children.
He and his wife are separated. It happens a lot to soldiers. This particular wife could not remain faithful during his first deployment, but he forgave her. During his second deployment her existing mental illness worsened to the point that she spoke of hurting or killing the children. She continued to be unfaithful and violent, and, so, they separated.
She wants him to go away, but send child support. He wants to be a full part of his children's lives. In his state, he recently learned, it is likely that she will be granted what she wants. As his third deployment looms, he wants to provide the children with time away from her, with grandparents taking the time he would spend with them, if he were home. While this could be arranged, she does not want it, so it will not likely happen. Even if it did, she could go to court and change it while he's gone. Thanks for serving your country.
He attends college full time, is running out of money, and wants to work to support his kids. He cannot lie to employers about his military status, but worries that they won't hire him if they know he'll be leaving for War not too long from now. Some have already refused. Thanks for serving your country.
He wants to provide health insurance for his children. His state's governor pushed for a much-ballyhooed insurance plan that would cover veterans' children. One of the rules of the plan is that no policyholder can be eligible any other plan and remain eligible for this one. He is eligible for regular veterans' insurance, so his children cannot be covered by this plan. Only children of those with dishonorable discharges, who would NOT be eligible for veterans' coverage, can be covered by this scam of a plan. Thanks for serving your country.
But I truly thank him. His "hang in there" attitude, despite his moments of despair, keeps me going when I worry about my kids. He is an inspiration.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I think I'm going to stop saying that I stay up too late, and admit that I've changed my body clock. I'm like the 3 month old who has it's days and nights mixed up! Changing back will be Job 1 for the rest of the week.
But, you'll be glad to know, the world is safe, or at least California is, once again, safe from nuclear threat. True, we stayed up too late and slept in this morning. And, true, Jack has lost the girl (again) and has had to go into hiding. But Tony and Michelle are together again, Chloe has earned a little respect and Kim and Chase are, well, where are they? Yeah, we're a couple of seasons behind, but we've been enjoying catching up.
We aren't huge TV watchers, usually picking a couple shows to watch and leaving the rest for someone else. In the past it's been ER, Law and Order and The Love Boat (we were very young!) But, as it happens, and, thankfully, in the case of The Love Boat, we moved on to others. Right now the frontrunners are The Unit and Criminal Minds. But there's this doggone writers' strike and we're tired of reruns. So the nice people at Netflix have been sending up DVDs. They really are nice, those people at Netflix. If you've been thinking about it, take the plunge.
We had been hearing about 24 for years, of course. At first, I thought the premise was kind of silly; follow a guy around for every minute of 24 hours. That's a season? But I wasted, er, watched a season of "I love her, she loves someone else, he loves me" on ER. Then I found out Jack never goes to the bathroom, picks his nose, or eats, some of which I'd rather not see. (He may pick, or cut off, someone else's nose, though. Just a warning.) So we decided to give it a try. Being advised that 1) it'd be best to watch from Season 1 and 2) it's a pain to wait for the next episode each week, we decided it'd be best to get the seasons on DVD and watch them one by one. We figured, one episode a night. We started at about 10pm one night late in December 2005. We went to bed at 3am. It was too gripping to toddle off to bed after one episode. It's kind of been that way since. We have to make solemn promises to each other to cut each other off if we want to stay watching too late. It was worse when the kids watched with us, as they did until Season 3. MSP lost interest midway through that one. EP lost interest midway through this last one, Season 4. He missed out on Jack almost being sent to Chinese prison, although he didn't mind missing the Tony/Michelle kissy face. We didn't miss out on grumpy kids the next morning.
And Kiefer has his own issues, but they're beyond the scope of this blog.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mom's Battle

Thanks to Some Soldier's Mom

by Sgt. Wm. M. Golden, Jan. 6, 1945

Mom's battle is the toughest one,
Cause it's the kind that's never won.
It's not a fight with fire and gun;
It's all day wondering, "Where's my son"?

It's not a war. It's a fight within.
It's where I'm at, and where I've 'bin?
It's what I eat' am I getting thin?
Am I steering clear of "hell and sin"

Do I pray to God to see me through
My every day, like I used to do?
Am I still the carefree boy she knew?
It's been so long...a year, or two.

It's remembering, when I was small,
How 'round the house I used to crawl:
And the day that I began to walk,
And later when I learned to talk.

The things I said; the things I did
When I was nothing but a kid
It's all these things that haunt Mom's mind,
It's a battle of a different kind.

A day ne'er starts, a day ne'er ends,
Without a prayer that dear Mom sends
To our Heavenly Father up above,
That He'll watch o'er her fondest love.

She has no defense against attack,--
Just prays to God to send me back
She fights her battle for her son
With prayer her weapon...not a gun.

But I guess that's what a Mom is for,--
To guide the son she proudly bore,
Whether he's home or off to war
A guy can't ask his God for more!

Friday, January 11, 2008


I had much to say today, and even some pictures to share. But after grandchildren and friends came to visit, and a rousing Airsoft campaign was held in my yard, I am wiped out. That's about as much writing as I can handle today.
I'm off tomorrow for a women's retreat, and then to spend some time with good friends. Maybe I'll pop in Sunday. Maybe not.
I SAID I was tired!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Can you say, "Challenge?"

First, a correction. The tornadoes of which I spoke yesterday did not wander into Illinois from Wisconsin. They wandered into Wisconsin from Illinois. That is all. Carry on.

Today was one of my twice-weekly visits to the physical therapist. After carrying 4 children and countless bales of hay, among other things, my back decided to rebel during some "extreme gardening" this past spring. I've been hurting off and on ever since, although this guy really seems to be helping.
Since the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results," here's where I put my plug in for a little less loyalty. See, I'd been seeing some physical therapists all summer, and didn't feel like things were moving along as well as they had when I'd seen them in the past. Then, when they got really busy and couldn't fit me in for another round, they suggested the guy I'm seeing now. Not only is he closer to home, but he's actually HELPING me. Go figure. So, in future, boys and girls, remember that if something isn't working, it's OK to try something else, within reason, of course.
So he worked me and stretched me and pulled me and I feel tired but improved, thank you very much. One challenge out of the way.
Second challenge comes this afternoon, when #3 son, EP, will welcome into our home the very nice National Guard recruiter. There are so many challenges in that statement. Firstly, this is my BABY boy, the very last boy to pop out of my very own body. (I use the term "pop out" very lightly, don't I, ladies?) He should still be 5 and climbing up on my lap for a "snuggle." But he wants to go and pull wounded soldiers away from danger so he can, like, help heal them or something. Combat medic, phooey. Second challenge is that this would be my third, count 'em third boy in the military. Uncle Sam, haven't you had enough yet? (You can't have my little girl, at least not until she gets old enough to tell me I can't make those decisions for her!) Lastly, but not leastly (is that even a word?) this National Guard recruiter is from the WISCONSIN National Guard. The Cheesehead Guard! And a traitor Illinoisan who crossed the border, no less. Lord, have mercy.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Face it, Melody. You'll never be Pioneer Woman

Fans of the above blog may catch the reference; the very savvy rancher's wife with the really great blog; funny, smart, getting-real-technical-with-the-Photoshop. At one time, I think most bloggers will say, "I wanna be like Ree." I'm not gonna make it.
Take today, for instance. A perfect opportunity to show off my story telling, parenting and photography skills. Today was the day that Cain, our little wether goat, went to the butcher. Yep, you read right. We took him to the butcher, from whence he shall return in little white packages labeled, "Italian sausage." Goat meat makes wonderful Italian sausage. But I digress. I had a plan; to take pictures of the process; no, not the kill floor, just the loading, transport and unloading. But...I forgot my camera. Three of us in the car; three cameras between us. We all forgot.
After we dropped Cain off with Sam the Butcherman, we headed off into northern Illinois to see the tornado damage. Now, that's a real treat, iddn it? On Monday, a tornado touched down in Wisconsin and wandered over into Illinois, destroying the barns and shops of our favorite apple orchard, as well as the homes and barns of several families, and causing the evacuation of Lawrence, IL. The very town, by the way, where Cain met up with Sam the Butcherman. But I digress. I took the kids past the damage to "enrich their education" with an up-front-and-personal discovery of the damage a tornado can do. Having never seen it myself, I can only say, "Wow." A tornado can do SOME damage! It was an awesome sight. I will take now take seriously those announcements to take cover, one of which I shrugged off just this past Monday. I would love to share some pictures of the scenes we saw today. But...I forgot my camera. Three of us in the car; three cameras between us. We all forgot.
Actually, the car is a Chevy pickup. But I digress.
And don't get me started on how I messed up on the parenting skills. Think Mom learning how to run the transmitter for the MP3 player. 17 year-old son driving and "advising" Mom. 12 year-old daughter in the backseat, within arms' reach of her brother. No one had eaten until we stopped for a healthy, tasty MacDonald's. Driving through the countryside with a goat bleating in the back of the pickup. My parenting skills were tested to the limit. I even resorted to...
But I digress.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Ooops. Left out an important step.

In my election post, I left out primaries. In my perfect (hee hee) world, candidates would announce their candidacies on July 4 of election year. Not one minute before. They would then have about 7 weeks of campaigning, until August 22, when ALL states would hold their primaries. The top 3 candidates for each party would be announced; no numbers, no, "He was first, she was second, etc." Just the announcement of 3 names per party. Things would then continue just as I outlined below.
Thank you. Carry on.

I'm Tired.

It's been along day of ferrying Grandma to the doctor, which also included WalMart and the hearing aid place, for batteries. Oh, and locking the keys in the trunk. Yeah, can't forget that. I had to rely on the kindness of strangers for a ride to the Buick dealer, where yet another stranger cut a key for the trunk. Crisis averted in a swift half hour. Not too shabby.
Unlike this whole run-for-office system we have. There. I said it. While I love the right to vote and make decisions that affect me on the most personal levels, I really don't like the process. I mean, what should be appealing about a nasty, bitter process that gets longer year after year? Can anyone tell me why the primaries don't rotate? Why do Iowa and New Hampshire get so much attention and responsibility, campaign after campaign? And why do we have exit polling? Why do we know HOURS before Hawaii does, who it is that will be leading our country for the next four years?
Back in the day, communication was SLLLOOOOWWWW. And still they managed to begin campaigning relatively close to the election. People still managed to find out who was on the ticket. Why the long, draining process we have now?
When I run the country, (snicker) here's how it will go. Labor Day weekend before the election, the parties will meet to appoint candidates. Candidates will be appointed by their parties, who will have to find candidates who "fit" with the parties' platforms. The parties will have to be very careful to decide what they're pushing this year, so that they don't embarrass themselves by finding someone who, well, embarrasses them. Got that?
Beginning immediately that Tuesday, campaigning will start, and will last for 7 weeks. Just the candidates. Just the 7 weeks. In a world where we can see Britney Spears' life fall apart the evening it happens, no one should be able to complain that they didn't know who was campaigning or what they stood for. The last week before the election there will be NO CAMPAIGNING. Give the people some time to THINK about what they're doing, without the background noise.
And on election day, no exit polling. No discussion of election results until Hawaii counts theirs. We may have to go to bed at a decent time, and get up the next day to find out who the winner was. But then we'll have the sleep we'll need to discuss what happened.
There. Now you know some of the thought process that will keep me from ever running the country!

Monday, January 7, 2008


MAP called last night. He was too tired (it was late in the sand) to have a really good conversation; he gets pretty grumpy when he hasn't had his beauty rest. But it was good to hear from him.
One point of our conversation touched on money. We're trying to get his money into something that earns a good interest rate; something he was "too busy" to do before he deployed. He was also advised not to give us (or anyone) power of attorney before he left, complicating things to many degrees.
Sadly, it's all too common to have soldiers become targets when they're earning that base pay plus combat pay. On the easiest level, someone gets access to an account and just spends the money while the soldier is gone. With power of attorney, debts can be signed for that the soldier had no intention of taking on. There is even a lovely scam where a returning soldier meets someone he or she thinks is the love of their life. Love needs help with money; money is given. Before long, the soldier is out of money, and Love decides the "feelings just aren't there." Parents I know have done the research to find out that, in their situation, Love was wandering from post to post, looking for returning soldiers to scam. This is not an isolated incident. Their son lost $30,000; others have lost other large sums, and "bought" cars they never see!
I've heard it said that today's soldiers have a little advantage over those from, say, the Vietnam era. At lest many of us are paying lip service to welcoming them home and being grateful. Some of us really mean it, though.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

This is one of my favorite websites.

Spend some time this Sunday with your family or friends. Then thank God and these guys that you can.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


I got so caught up in the Christmas break we've been taking around here, I just didn't blog. Or do laundry. Which wasn't too hard; our year-old dryer decided to take a break, too. I really don't get it. I think it just likes that Huntington Service guy. If it doesn't see him in what it thinks is too long, it just quits. I knew, when I washed towels, and it took two hours to dry the load, that we were in trouble. But we're not calling. We're just not. We're washing and trucking the wet stuff to the laundromat. And we'll keep up with that until the machine gives in...or it becomes advantageous for us to call Huntington. Not before. But WE will NOT give in! In the words of someone who was a better writer than I:

Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

People don't write that way anymore.