ellyssian: (Default)
After much delay, and I don't know how much anticipation (nobody told me they missed it! sniff!), the 2012 Warren Family Kissmas Card Type Thing is available! Get yours now! We're out of ink, and can't afford to mail 'em anywho! =)

(To be fair, the kids did there poems in time, it's mine that was a bit later than last minute!)
ellyssian: (sphinx)
A couple of days ago, some thundersnow played a fanfare for Chico, a great send-off for a great English mastiff.

Yesterday, I selected the spot Grandmother Bear visited me at back in July. I went out, did a soil test, made sure the forest floor was going to be workable, as my attempt to get a backhoe gratis (or in exchange for some plowing) fell through. I was able to sink the soil probe 6-8" in without any effort, a good sign that the 8-10" of snow provided a good insulating blanket that largely prevented the ground from freezing.

Today, Stacy, Jesse, and Steve brought Chico up and joined Rachel, Lily the Monster Dog, and me, and we cleared and dug down into the ground. One large stone ~ the largest I've ever unearthed on this property ~ gave up a good portion of the depth we needed.

We laid Chico to rest and sent him off with a quiet ceremony, accompanied by a song or two from Lily, and then laid the large stone back down and set some fallen trees across the grave.

Rest in peace, my friend, I'm sure I'll see you in the Summerlands one day.
ellyssian: (Default)
Late last week, I received some good news about Rachel from her instructional supervisor...

She did phenomenally well in the Pre-Algebra DORA/DOMA tests... "unbelievable" results, to quote her IS. We just checked the results, and the DOMA (the math one) was 100% correct.

Her reading is on the 10.5 grade level (she is in the 8th grade because we homeschooled her a year earlier than policy wanted, so most kids "her age" are in 7th grade).

Her IS said she's working on the IEP/Gifted level.
ellyssian: (Default)
A nice relaxing morning... for a little while.

I'll have to hurry along soon enough.

I've got a lot to do, but it will need some time, so it will wait until this afternoon. Meanwhile, I need to entertain myself while Rachel teaches karate later this morning. Maybe I'll drag Justin out of bed and take him on a walk along the canal. It's been a while since Lily got that much exercise, and she could use the workout. Us two-legged types could also benefit from an hour long hike.

Bit of heavy frost or very light snow crusting the forest floor this morning, but it seems warm enough outside. Good weather for sitting out on the porch (bundled up a bit!) and writing poetry, but there won't be time for that today. Maybe I'll finish the current work in progress later this evening.
ellyssian: (Default)
When she was two, we thought she had already passed through her teen years and acted as if she was in her early twenties.

Now, for the first time ever, she really is a teenager.

Today, Rachel turns lucky thirteen.

She is making the transition from being an incredible kid to becoming an incredible young woman.

I am so proud of her.




Also, if I may remind any potential gentleman callers, I have chainsaws. Before you take her out on a date, I will discuss which ones are sharp and which ones would hurt more should you accidentally come in contact with them...
ellyssian: (penguin)
Guess what Rachel was researching today...

=)

ellyssian: (Default)
This morning, Rachel woke up suddenly.

"What time was I born?"

She was off by a few minutes. =)

A dozen years, minus about a half hour, after we spent the night at the birthing center with the midwife, I piloted Deb and the midwife down an icy hill, almost driving right into the emergency room entrance (The smokers sitting on the bench in front of the glass entry way got up and moved. Quickly.) The midwife commandeered ~ and by this I mean that the under 5' tall woman barked orders like a commanding general to an infantry squad ~ an ambulance crew who were intending on reloading a stretcher (once they got around my car, which was stopped almost blocking the door), and re-routed them back into the hospital and up to the delivery room. After parking the car somewhat more legally than the "don't even think of driving here" area the midwife had me drop them off at, I was able to find the delivery room quite easily, as ~ well, there wasn't quite a swath of destruction, but for some reason, there was still a clear path from the charge of the midwife's phalanx. I just had to walk a little bit further, and I think I might have had to ask "Which way did the..." once, without getting the entire question out, and people just pointed, and I found them.

Minutes later, with everyone in the hospital and probably the entire state watching (seriously, it felt like an old operating theater, with crowds of people...) I held my favoritest daughter ever, Rachel Laurana, in my arms.
ellyssian: (Default)
Mr. B: How do you spell "Mahna Mahna"?

Rachel, Justin, Me: Do doo be-do-do

Mr. B: No! How do you spell "Mahna Mahna"?

Rachel, Justin, Me: Do do-do do

Mr. B: Arrggh! How do you spell "Mahna Mahna"!!!

Rachel, Justin, Me: Do doo be-do-do be-do-do be-do-do be-do-do-doodle do do do-doo do!

(Repeat three times, with variations)

Mr. B: How do you spell "Do doo be-do-do"?

Rachel, Justin, Me: Mahna Mahna

Mr. B: How do you spell "Do do-do do"?

Rachel, Justin, Me: Mahna Mahna

Mr. B: How do you spell "Do doo be-do-do be-do-do be-do-do be-do-do-doodle do do do-doo do!"?

Me: (improv on Birdland)... Mahna Mahna...

Mr. B: But how do you spell "Mahna Mahna"?

Me: The question is, how do you spell it?

Mr. B: I T!
ellyssian: (Default)
  • September
    • READING:
    • 6-12 Amadeus (1756-1791)
      • Movie vs. Book
      • Fact vs. Fiction
      • Lessons Learned
      • Current Events: 1756-1768
        • Music
        • Technology
        • Art
        • Cooking
        • Americas
        • Europe
        • France
        • Spain
        • Hapsburg Empire
        • Russian Empire
        • Ottoman Empire
    • FRENCH REVOLUTION
    • 13-19 Time Bandits
      • History vs. Mythology
      • Fact vs. Fiction
      • Lessons Learned
    • 20-26 Napoleon (1769-1821)
      • Napoleon
      • Lessons Learned
      • Current Events: 1769-1788
        • Music
        • Technology
        • Art
        • Cooking
        • Americas
        • Europe
        • France
        • Spain
        • Hapsburg Empire
        • Russian Empire
        • Ottoman Empire
    • 27-3 A Tale of Two Cities (1789-1799)
      • Movie vs. Book
      • Fact vs. Fiction
      • Lessons Learned
      • Current Events: 1789-1793
        • Music
        • Technology
        • Art
        • Cooking
        • Americas
        • Europe
        • France
        • Spain
        • Hapsburg Empire
        • Russian Empire
        • Ottoman Empire
ellyssian: (Default)
Just in case anyone wants to play along, here's the work for the first month:

  • August
    • READING:
    • 23-29 The Man in the Iron Mask (d. 1703)
      • Movie vs. Book
      • Fact vs. Fiction
      • Lessons Learned
      • Current Events: 1625-1724
        • Music
        • Technology
        • Art
        • Cooking
        • Americas
        • Europe
        • France
        • Spain
        • Hapsburg Empire
        • Tsardom of Russia
        • Russian Empire
        • Ottoman Empire
    • 30-5 The Mission (1750s)
      • Fact vs. Fiction
      • Lessons Learned
      • Current Events: 1725-1755
        • Music
        • Technology
        • Art
        • Cooking
        • Americas
        • Europe
        • France
        • Spain
        • Hapsburg Empire
        • Russian Empire
        • Ottoman Empire
ellyssian: (Default)
My mom's dad used to like to mis-read cards. Drove my grandmother nuts when he would read a Father's Day card as "Happy Fathead's Day"... and, of course, it set us grandkids to giggling. Grandma was even less impressed when he'd try to help her read her "Happy Meathead's Day" cards, of course... =)

I miss both of my grandfathers, but the loss of my dad a few years back changes the mood a bit. Not all that much, because Father's Day is really more about the children than the father himself.

Mr. B and Rachel are off in the wilds of western Massachusetts today, so I do miss entertaining them with all the talk of being a Fathead, but I did talk to them on the phone earlier. They authorized [profile] aequitaslevitas to hand out the loot, and so in a little bit we're going to listen to Dream Theater's Systematic Chaos and watch Ian Anderson Plays the Orchestral Jethro Tull.

[profile] aequitaslevitas ran out this morning to pick up bagels and cream cheese (nearest deli that knows what bagels are is about an hour round trip, not counting time to stand in line...) so all is well on that front...
ellyssian: (Default)
Rachel is done with 6th grade ~ the evaluator was by and everything was great, so now they just have to drop off her portfolio at the school district.

[profile] aequitaslevitas finished off his 11th grade year today as well, with his last virtual class, and his Latin final. He doesn't get all that much of a break ~ I think he's taking some more college courses over the summer...

Mr. B is reading through his flashcards, so he's all primed and ready for kindergarten next year, and Rachel's about to assist him with getting his chameleon suit because it's a really hard part that he can't do so good (says Mr. B, in reference to Spy Island on Poptropica).
ellyssian: (Default)
Beautiful misty morning here in northeastern PA. Haze across the forest, about 50-100 songbirds singing*, nice, quiet sleepy day, Mr. B hollering HAL YAY YOU YA on the other side of the door...

The newish green that forms a semi-circle around me, balanced by the faux-stone wall of the house a foot to my right, seems to play with you: is it really hazy, or do the leaves just smear the colors like an oil painting?

Speaking of magical woodland type stuff, you know, in the movie Legend, during the opening credits, there's all that fluff and stuff floating around, giving the forest that enchanted feeling?

Those were our working conditions earlier this week. I'm not sure what the tree was ~ I didn't ID it, although with the proliferation of seeds, I wouldn't it be surprised if it was the evil Tree-O-HeckHeaven ~ but it was definitely related to the dandelion. For two days straight, the air was filled with floating fluffballs. Sometimes it was as sparse as those opening credits(!!!!). Once in a while, it stopped for a few moments. Here and there, it was so thick, that we joked we'd be competing with the guy with a fir tree in his lung... you couldn't take a breath without inhaling a few of the things.

Today will be Rachel's last day of school. We're going on a field trip to the Lehigh Gap Nature Center for a talk by Pat Sutton on Backyard Habitat For Birds and Butterflies (For those in the area who might be able to join us it's at 1:00 p.m.-- Special program by naturalist Pat Sutton from Cape May, New Jersey; with lots of tips on how to attract birds and butterflies to your garden).


* Estimated. I lost count at 25 different types of calls. Sounds kind of like I'm in an aviary, which is good.
ellyssian: (sphinx)

the daredevil girl
By Everett A Warren
February 25, 1999

precarious
her position
atop the world
balancing on the rocking horse
her hands held out to the side
as she casually looks around
at first
grinning
proud of herself
as if to say
look ma no hands
but then it is old hat
and she rocks back and forth
while looking to and fro
as if it was no concern

and when
the gate comes down
like a rocket she tears
up the stairs
almost standing for each step
and down the stairs
after completing her mischief
and if you blink you will miss her
turning
looking
and then she comes running
from another direction
climbing atop the couch
climbing over any obstacles
(including you, if you happen to sit for a moment to catch your breath)
and then she leans in for a kiss
or more likely a hug
if you are big brother you are lucky and get both
and then she is off again

they call her ricochet rachel
fastest girl in the west side
thirteen months worth of
ohmigods and other
minor heart attacks


Copyright (c) 1999 Everett A Warren

ellyssian: (Default)
Now, with bullets!

  • [livejournal.com profile] aequitaslevitas just practiced him some parallel parking, so he should be all ready for the the driving test middle of February
  • Rachel has taken up sewing as a hobby, and does repairs in addition to beanie toy & cat toy projects
  • Rachel has also been organizing a bunch of the brown belts into a cleaning company, so they can take care of the floor and mats
  • Mr. B is convinced that, like his two older siblings and his 'elf, Aqua Energizer was also manufactured in mom's belly
  • I wrote a couple of bass riffs for a new song, and [livejournal.com profile] aequitaslevitas has the start of the piano part
  • I haven't been playing the bass enough, and so, after a quarter of the slap parts to 5 on Reserve, my fingers gave up, and now my index and middle fingers have nice, red, pouffy bits
  • Wrote some on the company blog yesterday
  • Thinking about my uncle yesterday, I looked back over the posts from this time three years ago, and realized I still haven't replied to most of them... and that some of the people who expressed sympathy back then aren't on LJ anymore, or worse, aren't even alive now...
ellyssian: (Default)
A bit late, but I neglected to post these on the 20th ~ I uploaded them along with the driveway plowing pics I did post here, I guess I got distracted before doing a second post with these.

Anywho, a bit of Kissmas cookies under construction and after:

Cookies!

More under the cut... )
ellyssian: (Default)
There's a clump of stuff in the middle that Deb needs to sort through. She had said it was all mine, and to just throw it out, but her hammock isn't mine... her hiking boots aren't mine... so I think she needs to take a look and make some judgements. There's a dead Mac monitor that we need to get to the proper recycling type folks.

We took the PVC pipes up to the attic, spread around the boards that were up there, failed to get the large plywood sheet up there, cut it in half, and then put it up there... and then we put the ladder hooks up, got the ladder up on the wall and out of the way, and cleaned up the rest.

We've been here five years, and we're finally going to get a car in the garage! =)

(There's no hope on getting the other one in, not until the company gets it's own place to live, and, even then, possibly not until we also get a shed.)
ellyssian: (Default)
(with a lithp)

Yeth, that'th right! I'm Thor! =)

The moving of [livejournal.com profile] dragonflypug went smoothly. Arms and legs didn't turn into Jell-O and the back didn't start hollering and moaning and groaning until most of the truck (a 24 footer) was unloaded. In fact, I think they waited until the last four or so items were left. Of course, the last two items were a love seat and a couch... oy!

I didn't get the manufacturer of the couch, but I may ask Deb to ask [livejournal.com profile] dragonflypug. These things were absolutely the lightest bits of furniture I've ever had the pleasure to move, and I mean that with all due respect and not any of the sarcasm that generally springs up during a move. My brother-in-law's couch, on the other hand, is the heaviest one. I am sure, at it's core, it is filled with heavy metals. This set probably has helium inside it. Seriously. You know U-Haul's "Mom's Attic"? [livejournal.com profile] aequitaslevitas and I hauled the loveseat down from there without any strain whatsoever. I had pretty much tossed it up there, and, if it weren't for the bulk, probably could have done it myself.

Rachel helped out, too ~ her first time helping us with a move (other than our own, although she was only about five or so for that one!) While we were loading up, her job was Pug Patrol ~ she kept Ike in line (or vicey versa), but she ran a lot of stuff inside for the unloading.

~ ~ ~

In other news [livejournal.com profile] patrixa and my brother made it back home safe and sound.
ellyssian: (Default)
  1. Ate bagels from a (nearly!) local deli
  2. Drove over to Beltzville and parked my car along one of the tall-curb islands in the lot
  3. [livejournal.com profile] patrixa parked her car behind mine, leaving some room between them
  4. I went for a walk with [livejournal.com profile] patrixa while [livejournal.com profile] aequitaslevitas, under the direction of my little baby brother, learned to parallel park.
  5. [livejournal.com profile] aequitaslevitas and I hung Kissmas lights
  6. Aforementioned brother, who was a roofer for four or more years, climbed up to the roof, cleared out the two gutters that are a royal pain to get to (steep angle, no good access) and slipped in the gutter brush thingies
  7. Rachel and Mr. B played basketball
  8. Went out to dinner at Marblehead Grille and Chowder House as an early celebration of Rachel's birthday a month away.
  9. Rachel opened presents my mom and brother imported


How I'll Spend the Day After Black Friday
Moving [livejournal.com profile] dragonflypug. Again. It's been almost a year since the last time, I think... =)

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Everett

July 2014

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