ellyssian: (Default)
Two new sets of photos from two different nature preserves run by the Lancaster Conservancy are posted over on Flickr.

Yesterday, we were at Tucquan Glen ~ that set starts here (and move away from the photos of the LGT's headlights to see the rest of the set!).

Today's set from Belleaire Woods starts immediately after the Tucquan Glen set, right here.

Photos of the kids in both sets, photos of me in the Belleaire set.
ellyssian: (penguin)
Poetry was written today, and a kissmas card was made!

Follow the link to see the card (we're not sending any out this year, so this is how you get it!):


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)
Justin made the dean's list at college.

(For those newly arrived, he's a junior in high school, and has been taking one or more college courses during the Spring, Summer, and Fall 2008 semesters, and the Spring 2009 semester.)
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)

#10: The Slippery Slope
#11: The Grim Grotto
#12: The Penultimate Peril
#13: The End
         - All by Lemony Snicket

I really kind of lost momentum by waiting so long until reviewing these books - not just stacking up the last titles, but with such a long interval between now and that last page of the last book.

So instead of focusing on the obvious - a rising level of unfortunateness and the inevitable unhappy ending - I'll just go into wide swathes about the series as a whole, in order to twist your arm and make you suffer through reading each and every book.

I suppose it's not coincidence that I'm writing this on Friday the Thirteenth. As always, the date that the review was allegedly posted has no relationship - not even a casual introduction in some sordid little diner down the road - with the date the review was written.

Of course, with these books being as horrible as they are - a truly insufferable experience - you should ignore all advice not to read these books that you may or may not or must have received, because, truly, you deserve it.

These are quick reads. I read some of them in under an hour. My teenage son and my pre-teen daughter have both rocketed through them at a pace not altogether slower than mine. Of course, the record would have to go to my toddler son, should we ever let one of the volumes come within reach of his teeth. I mean, eyes.

Yes, in less than a second, he would have absorbed all he needed to know about the book, and would then promptly bring it to the attention of an Older Person for general deciphering.

To further shed light on this series as a whole, I do not suspect that a toddler would actually remain interested throughout the whole work. After all, there's better things to do, and they're off and doing them before even the fastest reader could get through all thirteen books.

Those who have read only the first few books and have discovered them to be formulaic, repetitious, and miserable will be in for a surprise if they torture themselves with the remainder of the books. It turns out that the books to have a formula, and they use repetition as part of that formula, and if you stopped at some point prior to the ending of the series, you're certainly not clever enough to discover what that formula is. To be fair, you will - unless you're a complete moron - have an idea of what the author wants you to think the formula is. This, of course, is something completely different.

Of course, if you've gathered that I actually like these books and would highly recommend them to anyone who can read, then you're probably clever enough to click through a link above and order each and every one of the books you don't already own, right?


Nov. 19th, 2005 01:00 pm
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I added a bunch of photos:

Two very late updates to the Kiwi Trellis - May and June! =)

Some pictures from around the yard - late spring, early summer

Wildlife and Other Creatures - from deer to stickbugs to cats to kids and more!

The last set actually has pictures that are (just slightly) over a month old! Someday, I'll get a digital camera, and there will be less excuses for the film to photos to scans to posting delays... =)
ellyssian: (Default)
New Orleans
See [livejournal.com profile] alobar. 'Nuff said.

Rachel is off to school - shipped off on the bus - she allowed for a little photo shoot in the driveway, but refused to let Deb take the camera to the bus stop.

Justin already had his first "class" - they're following the schedule today, but the classes are only 10-15 minute "Meet the Teacher" sessions. School won't actually start for him until after Labor Day.

Deb is still really sick - bad cough that pretty much stops her for ten minutes at a shot; Justin is all sniffly and coughy; Brandon hasn't been up long enough to tell; Rachel seems ok; I'm having some trouble breathing, and feel blah.
ellyssian: (Default)
Yesterday was pretty hot - we didn't make it past the Liederplatz. A Philadelphia Songwriters group had the stage - 4 performers, although we only saw one of them.

Some bluegrass playing there today... I'll probably just stay there today as well. The bands playing the noon to 1:00pm slots on the other stages aren't appealing to me, and they'd have to be halfway decent to bother with the walk.

The Philadelphia Funk Authority - which was, and as far as I know still is, featuring a co-worker on vocals - will be playing that stage tonight. Looks like they'll be coming on around the time the Poetry Circle gets done, so I'll cruise over and check them out.

On that note, Poetry, tonight 7:00-8:00+ at the Moravian Book Store - this marks my anniversary reading - 4 years now. Or 5. Can't count.

In other news, I found a praying mantis in the yard yesterday. Hopefully, he or she has developed a taste for Japanese beetles and everything else nibbling on our plants. I doubt it will grab any passing deer, but one can always hope.

On the home front, Deb has decided she doesn't want me talking about religion to the kids. This, after she claimed I was making stuff up and it would be different if I was reading directly from the Bible. So I did, and I read directly from the Bible, and somehow I was still dead wrong about what ever I said, despite those words being the Official Authorized Words (without any added context or alteration on my part - which is what she was accusing me of doing; skewing them for my own needs.)
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All children are now at home, present and accounted for. While Rachel and Justin each took a week up at my parents house, Brandon spent both weeks warming himself up for walking, as well as the creation of an 8th tooth. We estimate Brandon will be walking unassisted by next weekend, running by the following Monday, and asking to borrow the car by Tuesday.

My new phone should be here on Wednesday, and I was reminded today why we have them - had a slight scare on the drive to work as, while gas prices climb high, the gas in my tank seemed to be alarmingly low. I usually get about 100 miles per quarter tank, and was at the 3/4 tank - nearly 300 mile point on Friday. The empty light came on today @ 320 miles. Fun!

Musikfest this week - which means live music at lunchtime. Accordingly, it started pouring for the first time in quite awhile. If you ever want rain, plan a major outdoor music festival, and it will show up by the bucketfull.
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The application for the refinancing is in, and we should be hearing from the appraiser soon. This should help get us some more equity in the house quicker, as well as prevent payments from skyrocketing - our current mortgage jumps from 8.125% to 11.5% at the end of this month, and payments skyrocket from just less than 2 weeks worth of pay to closer to 3 weeks worth... my lesson from all this is not to sign things when the loan folks suddenly change them last minute at closing.

Deb's at the homeschool conference today, picking out curriculum for next year, so I'm teaching today!

Had Justin using some free time to explore particle physics - I often joke about having the kids work on things way over their heads, and that started off as one, along with "Advanced Calculus." Justin said he had heard of calculus but not particle physics. I reminded him that the part of His Dark Materials that I'm currently reading (and we had discussed earlier in the day) was based on a fictional twist on particle physics. Hence, Justin did a quick Google (or more) and came up with a fun, accessible site - Particle Adventure - and spent the time while I was working with Rachel on her math perusing the site.

Anywho, time for my favorite subject... lunch! =)

Snow Day

Mar. 1st, 2005 12:13 pm
ellyssian: (Default)
Tain't been updatin' much - but... another snow day! Just like last Friday. And last Monday. Aiii, there goes my personal holidays....

I'd work from home, but I still don't have the laptop - and unfortunately, Apple's OS 9.1 doesn't cut it for running any work related stuff.

Shoveled 2" last night, 6-8" today, on top of what ever was left from the 10" inches that fell over the course of last week. Still have to clear the top of the driveway off, taking shifts with Justin while I watch Brandon (who is currently napping.) For those of you who received more snow, please remember my driveway is somewhere between 300-400' long, and gravel, and anywhere from 15-30' wide, so even a soft fluffy skim of snow takes about 2-3 hours to clear (especially considering we have one shovel, which went into a coma last Monday, was revived after emergency surgery removed it's entire leading edge, and is currently languishing with a split front and center that has several pine needles and twigs jammed in it.)

Had a breakfast of Deeper n' EverTM scrambled eggs (12 eggs, 1 package bacon, 1/2 a block of cheddar cheese, tarragon vinegar, tarragon, chervil, fresh ground black pepper) between rounds of shoveling, and followed that up with a dessert of Vermont Snow (Pennsylvania snow topped with New Hampshire maple syrup) between more rounds.

A snow blower is in the budget in about 2-3 years. Has to be a two-stage (more $$) to clear the gravel. Of course, we need another load of gravel to top off the driveway - I'll have to look at the numbers and see if getting it paved isn't cheaper - the one quote for a truck load of gravel last year seemed to high to be believed and left me staggering in shock. Paving should make it quicker to shovel, and easier to use a snow blower on once we get one.

Just checked on the kids - Brandon is still out like a light, Rachel is walking around with handfuls of snow, and Justin is still doing some shoveling. I think he just might be nuts enough to try to finish the job so that he can play.

Took about 20 pics of the house and woods and kids today. That makes 3 rolls since late last year, when we found the still-packed-from-the-move camera. Have to get those over to Dan's for developing. Think I'll have to add a new category to the budget (maybe 0.25%) to save for a digital camera. I enjoy taking pictures - and I'm realizing how much I've missed it since we moved (and, of course, packing the camera in an easy-to-find spot that took us nearly 2 years to find!)

Snow forts are being constructed, Brandon's up, and so is Deb - long rambling update officially over! =)


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