Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

February Already?

February 3, 2009 @ 9:37 pm | Filed under:

The baby is three weeks old today, can you believe it? He smiled at me this morning, a big, real, eyes-lighting-up-in-recognition smile when he focused on my face. Scott was there to see it. It was one of those moments where you wish life came with a freeze-frame button so you could stay in that flash of time for ages.

Scott went back to work today after two weeks off, sob, and my parents, who flew in for a short visit (yes, my mom was just here helping before and after the delivery, but my dad hadn’t seen the baby yet), went back home this evening. We are missing them already. And of course this means that tomorrow, for the first time, I am on my own. It’s a day full of stuff to do, too: big kid stuff, running around. Should be interesting…

Speaking of big kid stuff: It’s time for one of our favorite activities of the year: the Journey North Mystery Class. We have done this fascinating project four times, either alone or with a group. This year, another mom in our circle of homeschooling friends has very kindly offered to host the Journey North gang, what with my being three weeks postpartum and all. Jane is extremely excited. Truly, this geography project is one of the highlights of our year.

Our Shakespeare Club took a two-month hiatus for the holidays and my delivery, and we’ll be maintaining a low-key pace during the ten weeks of Journey North so as not to overload anyone’s schedule. But my Taming of the Shrew kids will be working on their scenes during the break, and we plan to get together now and then to rehearse. Jane spent this afternoon walking around muttering Katherina retorts under her breath. We’re doing a couple of scenes, which means a couple of Kates and Petruchios. Fun fun.

Haley S. sent me the link to Academic Earth, a WAY COOL site full of video lectures from top university professors. Thanks a ton, Haley. I’m psyched about the Nabokov lectures, having recently shuddered my way through Lolita for the first time.

Gosh, I read a lot in January. Eight novels and two nonfiction books. For the first half of the month I was too pregnant to do much BUT read, and during the second half I was snuggled up with my sweet bairn, under doctors’ orders to take it easy. I’ve been working on a “books read in January” post, mainly for my own records, but I keep getting too chatty about individual titles and it’s taking forever to write.

The January Carnival of Children’s Literature went up last week. I haven’t had a chance to peruse the posts yet but it looks like a doozie.

Speaking of children’s literature, I’m pretty excited about the new Kidlitosphere Central website that was just launched by a team of my favorite children’s lit bloggers:

KidLitosphere Central strives to provide an avenue to good books and useful literary resources; to support authors and publishers by connecting them with readers and book reviewers; and to continue the growth of the society of bloggers in children’s and young adult literature.”

Spread the word!


January 8, 2009 @ 7:47 pm | Filed under:

My Twitter widget was being persnickety (seems to be a widespread problem today), so I nixed it from the sidebar. But I know a bunch of you are dropping by to see if I’ve twittered any baby news, which I most likely WILL do when the ball finally gets rolling, so here’s the link to my Twitter page for all my friends on babywatch. 🙂

(And thanks for all the well-wishes!)

What the Song Looks Like

January 2, 2009 @ 10:41 pm | Filed under: ,

A commenter (named, delightfully, Jane Wiley) on my recent Signing Time post asked:

Melissa…have you heard about “Sign Art” the interpretation of music through sign language…
Sign Art is a beautiful way to see a picture… of a song… through the interpretation in sign language…

Several years ago, Scott called me to the TV to watch a clip from a Pearl Jam concert DVD he was watching. “Trust me,” he said. “You’re going to love this.”

As usual, he was right. I stood transfixed as a young ASL interpreter accompanied the band in a performance of “Given to Fly.” Her movements are lovely and captivating, lifting the song itself to a level of beauty I would never have associated with Pearl Jam.

I found the clip on YouTube so you can see for yourselves. (Parents with younguns looking over your shoulders, be aware that Eddie Vedder drops an F-bomb at minute 3:28—with a bit of sign language of his own).

Helping Those in Need

December 12, 2008 @ 7:14 am | Filed under:

Margot Davidson of Hillside Education has organized a marvelous way to help a family in a tight spot. Her “Helping Those in Need” page contains a list of books and other materials donated by folks around the ‘net. All proceeds from the sale of these items will be given to a particular family in need.

I’ve donated a couple of hard-to-find Martha and Charlotte books. These are hardcovers, and are, of course, the original, unabridged editions. If buyers include inscription information with their orders (or just drop me a note after you’ve made your purchase at Margot’s site), I’ll be happy to write a personal message in the book before it ships. We’re pretty close to Christmas now and I can’t guarantee the books will arrive before December 24, but if someone orders right away I’ll do my best to get them in the mail within 24 hours.

UPDATE: Y’all are quick! My books have been sold, but there is a lot of good stuff at the site, so please do pop over and take a peek.

Save My Sewing Machine!

December 6, 2008 @ 5:33 pm | Filed under:

UPDATE: Well, I guess it isn’t all the way broken. I went back and messed with it some more, and broke the needle, and after I replaced it I changed back to the regular foot, and now it’s working again. Maybe Karen (who commented below) had the right idea—the needle was bent or something? I’ll try again with the walking foot another day. This was enough excitement for one afternoon. 😉

All right, you sewing types. I’ve just messed up my machine somehow. It’s a 12-year-old Brother XR-29, decidedly non-fancy. I just put on a walking foot—first time I’ve ever changed the foot. It worked all right for a couple of practice seams, but all of a sudden the needle seemed to get stuck. I tried turning the manual knob on the side of the machine toward me but the needle would only go so far and no farther. I took out the bobbin case and then removed the removable parts that are what the bobbin slides into. (I don’t know the right names for anything and I can’t find the manual. 12 years!)

OK, so looking into the area where the bobbin goes, I can see a curved piece of metal that moves when I turn the knob/wheel on the side of the machine, the one that makes the needle go up and down. And I can see that the needle is now hitting that curved metal piece. There’s a scraped-shiny part on the curved metal piece where you can tell the needle has been scraping across it. But now it’s like the position of the needle (maybe?) has shifted ever so slightly, so that instead of merely scraping along that curved metal piece, it’s hitting the metal and therefore can’t go any farther.

Does any of this gibberish make sense to anyone? What the heck did I do?? More to the point, how do I undo it?

Comment Rescue

October 12, 2008 @ 4:01 am | Filed under:

I just found some nice comments from friends (Jennifer, Helen, Explore Academy) in my spam folder. Sometimes good comments get marked spam because they contain links. If ou ever send a comment that doesn’t go through, please give me a heads-up. Thanks!

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