Friday, April 28, 2006

In lieu of a gnome...

I went to about ten yard sales this morning. This was my favorite find of the day and it now graces our rose garden in the front yard. In lieu of Jerome, the garden gnome, we have Saint Francis. I guess going to a Catholic college did make an impact on me.

Monday, April 24, 2006

We've Seen the Kidd

Well, it was hot. Hottttt. I don't know if it was just being more south and on the Mississippi or if all that metal on the Kidd was just radiating like crazy but I felt like I was melting. But it was an interesting four hours. I was a little worried about Grandpa going up and down all these steep companionways...You know those things that are like two thirds ladder, one third stairs that you see young sailors hurling themselves down on old Victory at Sea movies? But he did just fine.

My favorite part was sitting on one of those little gun chair things on deck and turning a wheel and moving the whole gun turret.

After much searching, we found where Grandpa's bunk was, and his locker that was destroyed by a friendly fire shell.

I'm glad I have never had to spend any amount of time living aboard a destroyer with hundreds of other people. I think I would have gone mad with claustrophobia.

There were some workmen aboard. I have no idea what they were fixing but we used some of their water from a nice big water cooler thing to hydrate ourselves. There were a bunch of paper cups stacked up on the top of the cooler so we helped ourselves. And then regretted it when we were drinking the water and saw the initials scratched on the bottoms of the cups. Oh my werd.

We poked around the museum ( hallelujah for air conditioning) and talked with the curator or administrator (or whatever his title was) and had a nice little exchange of information.

We were all pretty beat so after we left and got some lunch, (and drove across the Mississippi so I could say that I had been to the other side!) we went back to the hotel and took hefty naps.

And tomorrow, on the road again!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

We're going to see the Kidd

We left bright and not really that early this morning at 8:30. I braided my hair into about twenty little braids, read, and watched video blogs from Drivetime on the ipod. We drove through Alabama, and Mississippi, and into Louisiana...All first timers for me. We stopped five times- the perfect amount because my back gets really stiff these days- and it was nice to have a leisurely pace. We got here- Baton Rouge- around 5:30, and settled into the hotel, before heading out to get some dinnah.

We have stepped back in time. Literally. Or rather, driven back in time. I didn't realize it until I looked at the hotel clock and said to myself, " Why is it 5:17 instead of 6:17? Boy, I thought I was bad for not turning my clock ahead at Daylight Savings Time, three weeks ago...These people are really behind the times!" And then the lightbulb went on, "Different time zone!"

We dined at Olive Garden- "a sumptuous affair..." to quote good old Chariots of Fire. I had some lovely mushroom ravioli. YUUUM. After dinner, when the waitress delivered the bill, she left us with some little chocolate mints- like Andes mints. After promptly popping mine into my mouth, I said aloud," I could eat about ten more of those!" So Grandpa flagged down a waitress and when she asked what we wanted, there was a slight pause and then Brad asked for more mints. I almost jumped under the table but I thought it was pretty funny. Well, we got more mints!

After we left the O.G., we drove down to the Mississippi River- another first for me- and checked out where the kid was. I mean- the Kidd. The U.S.S. Kidd. We did a little off-roading to get right up close, at which point I feared for the safety of the car. I don't think Buick Centuries were made for off-roading. It was quite exciting.

The point of all this ( in case you didn't see the last video post where Brad explains what we are doing down here) is a multi-generational trip to visit the U.S.S. Kidd, the destroyer on which Grandpa Pass served during WWII. It's the first time he's seen it in over sixty years. So it's a pretty momentous occasion for him, I should think. He really wanted to get out of the car tonight as we drove by but we kept telling him that it was closed for the day. Tomorrow. Tomorrow, Grandpa.

I feel pretty lucky to be here. Also, a little bewildered. Happy, but bewildered. I mean here I am with my husband, father-in-law, and grandpa-in-law. Which one of these things does not belong? But Brad asked me to go, and I'm glad he did. I'm having a blast. And we have two more days to go on this escapade.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Video: Errands

This is just some random footage of us the other day doing errands. We had a picture of the yacht Coronet framed, and we were hoping our choice of frame and matting would turn out well. Good times.

In case you can't tell, I am fascinated by the concept of video blogging. There are quite a few interesting video blogs out there, and I think the idea has great potential. Certainly it is fun to read about other people's lives, but there is something very compelling about viewing video of them sharing real moments of their every day lives. I hope more and more people will start doing it. It really doesn't take expensive technology - one of the more interesting vlogs I have seen recently is made by a guy making videos using just the low quality video mode on his digital still camera (and he is on dial-up, too!). Personally I don't find writing to be relaxing (unlike Claire), but I enjoy making and editing video, so I am much more likely to do that.

I have contemplated making a new blog just for our videos, but for now I think I will just continue to post here.

Friday, April 21, 2006

My New Vegetable Border

After many months of indecision and hopelessness, I finally took the plunge and ordered a wallpaper border to cover up the strip of wall in our kitchen that showed signs of formerly having a border. My kitchen theme is...( take a guess)...vegetables! I was intrigued with this border and it seemed to go very well with everything.

It came yesterday and today I put it up with a little fear and trembling, and much smoothing of bumps and gooshing of glue. It adds a much needed splash o' color in that area of the kitchen. I am very happy with it- and what's more- so is Brad! Check it out!

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Video: Charli-Doll's from Start to Finish

Here is a video I made last Friday of the whole Charli-Doll process. Let me preface this by saying that Charli-Dolls don't really make sense to me. I have never really understood the Life-Savers in the middle - the only way to get at them is to destroy the doll. What is the point of that? I do know that little kids really like the dolls, but I have never seen the point once the Jelly-Belly's are harvested from the head (rather gruesome - what does THAT teach children?). I can't argue with the fact that the dolls never fail to delight their recipients. Maybe this is my way of justifying the fact that I am posting video of myself making DOLLS.

I resurrected the assembly of the Charli-Doll mainly as a means to entertain Grandpa, and it has worked. He will sit for hours and talk about when he used to make them (he has made thousands) and all the different people who received them. He hasn't made any for several years, mostly because the effects of his stroke make it difficult. He constantly tells me about when he used to sell them to the "Nut Tree", which was some sort of store in California. I only have vague memories of it. There is something humorous about the way Grandpa says "The Nut Tree."

Anyhow, this video was originally about 2 -1/2 hours long (careful observers will notice the break in the middle for dinner), but I sped it up to make it watchable. It fairly accurately shows the whole process, from face drawing to final tie offs. I am not really a craft-type person, but Grandpa is tickled with the results. He has already given away about 20 of them to kids around the neighborhood and at church.

Now I need to take up some manly hobby like spelunking or chainsaw carving. That would make good video.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Spwing Has Spwung....

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Reveling in my newfound knowledge of how to transfer pictures from the camera to the computer, and thus to this blog...I present to you...the Easter eggs I did yesterday... and the first rose of the season in our front yard!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Dinner

Brad and I both decided that we really wanted to have Easter Dinner at our house. So we invited the fam...and they came! It was a first on many levels. The first dinner we'd eaten on our dining room table- heretofore a game table- the first time I used my silver ( a wedding present) - the first time I used my cake plate and matching server- and the first time I cooked a roast. Men have duels and battles; women have children and dinners. As I have no children, I had a dinner. For Brad, it took a lawn mower to make him feel grown up. Now that I have made roast beef, I am grown up.

It was a truly excellent afternoon. There were girl crafts - egg dying ( check out Penny or Mom Pass's blogs, as they are sure to get pictures of them up before me) - and boy crafts-
Charli-dolls. And thanks to the help and cooperation of all, it turned out to be a marvelous dinner. Pen and Nate brought mashed potatoes, and beverages, Mama brought a salad, and Mom brought dessert- a decadent white chocolate/raspberry/truffle cheesecake! Thanks, Liane, for the Green Bean/Goat Cheese recipe; it turned out great. Hurray! Feasting and Fellowsheep; a good time was had by all, I dare say.

Friday, April 14, 2006


I am not sure what this means, but I am a little frightened. I was minding my own business this afternoon making Charli-Dolls when Claire appeared wearing this Batman mask. She caught my reaction with the camera. Grandpa was amused. I hope this is just a phase Claire is going through.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Video: " Ode to a Missing Cat: Little Jerry"

Being the rabid Josh Leo groupies that we are, Brad and I were watching his recent Vlogging week posts and especially enjoyed the song he wrote on Day 6. We came up with the brilliant idea that I should "cover" this song and post it on our blog, so I started practicing. But as I did, something jumped out at me. I noticed that in one of the verses, he alludes to his cat- or rather, his former roomate's cat- Little Jerry Seinfeld- and mentions that he has been missing for ten days. This sad fact inspired me to go down a different musical road. And so, this song was born: "Ode to a Missing Cat: Little Jerry." Brad helped me write it.

So-- if you don't have a fast internet connection, please, please, please don't go through the agonies of waiting an hour for this thing to download...unless you really feel a deep need to join me in sending out good wishes to Little Jerry Seinfeld.

...Come home safely, Little Jerry. It would be a sad thing if the world lost you.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Toxic Dollies

Recently, I dreamed that Grandpa was making Charli-dolls with pieces of chicken inside the plastic heads. ( What was wrong with Jelly Bellies?) I was OBSESSED with worry because I knew that they were not being refrigerated and so would become overrun with salmonella, and make people sick. I guess I should have made warning labels and attached them to the dolls saying, "Don't eat the meat!" ( For the original "Don't Eat the Meat!" story, see the post of March 15th, 2005...)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Time to crawl under a rock

Okay, I'm really embarrassed right now.

I am in the family room, which, for those of you who have not been to our house, is upstairs. Downstairs, in our living room, a bunch of church leaders are having a meeting. I was online doing some stuff and I got done and turned on the stereo which provides sound for the TV...Well, apparently it was on PBS, and somehow the volume got left on high...( I think that there is a difference in the volume when you are using the stereo to watch a movie, and when you are using it to watch the TV)... and so when I turned it on, I was almost literally blasted away by some horrible sounds, masquerading as music. Now you're thinking, public television? Probably jazz, right? No. They were doing a story on bikers or something. It was that kind of music...loud, obnoxious, screechy electric guitar music...and it was soooo loud that I completely lost my mind for about ten seconds and flailed madly at all the remotes and buttons that I had at my command. It was all a frantic blur. I couldn't find the mute button. I finally ended up diving onto the receiver and turning it down manually. Ten seconds doesn't sound like much, but believe me, it was a loooooooong time. There is no way, unless they were all smitten with profound deafness at that exact moment, that the men downstairs could have missed it.

Oh my word. I am so mortified.

I am the Sunday School teacher who earlier in the day shushed her tiny tot pupils as we walked under the church windows on our way to collect flowers to glue on our Easter pictures. And here I am now, pumping out crazy punk-rock-heavy-metal noxiousness at top volume while there's a church leaders meeting going on downstairs.

I am too scared to even look at the stereo now for fear something will jump out and hurt me.

So...P.S. I wrote this about an hour ago, and Brad just walked in, as the meeting is over now and when I began to apologize profusely about the noise, he said that he didn't hear anything. Oy. All that cringing for nothing.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

That's What It's All About

Sometimes I think it all comes down to one word: dishes.

Life is simply a very long rotation of dirtying dishes and then cleaning them up again. I think we should go back to being cavemen. Cavemen didn't have dishes. They ate with their hands. Why can't we do that? We have soap. We have hand sanitizer. Why use dishes?

Friday, April 07, 2006 April?

As you may have gathered, I have recently learned how to post pictures...after many months of the lazy "just-ask-Brad-to-do-it" method. This morning we downloaded some pictures from a memory old that they were from last October, when we moved here. I seem to remember some sort of half-hearted promise to post pictures of my they are, six months late! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

One of the Most Attractive Pictures of Penny and Claire in Recent History

Weird Pictures...within a weird picture...Are you weirded out yet? Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 02, 2006

An equation of disastrous proportions

Communion Sunday + Potluck Sunday + Daylight Savings Turn the Clock Ahead Day = The Perfect Storm

Ahem. Three guesses which one I forgot about?