30 May, 2007

A Post-surgical Pirate :-)

The Dread-Pirate Sparsebeard slept (under anesthesia :-) through our big morning storms today. We lost some tree branches and almost lost the trash cans, but our 14 yo son found them down the street. If that's the worst of it, then we can live with that!

DP's knee surgery took about three hours. The doctor found one large tear of the meniscus (cartilage) and also was concerned about a cyst on the side of the knee. He said these cysts generally resolve themselves after surgical repairs are made to the knee, so he'll talk to us more about it at the post-op appointment on Friday.

Sparsebeard really wanted to eat some pizza as we were leaving the medical clinic, but I reminded him that the nurse said he could have small, plain meals today, then fun foods tomorrow. But I ask, do pirates eat pizza??

Physical Therapy begins tomorrow, but the doctor said it wouldn't last long. They sent him home with a cooler full of ice attached to a knee wrap that continually circulates ice water all over the knee area, front, sides and back. It's pretty cool! It's even better that insurance pays for 80% of it, and he'll only need this for about three days. He is able to put pressure on his knee, and won't need to use crutches! He can drive in 24 hours.
That's a good thing, because we both will be teaching summer school, starting on Monday! (DP Sparsebeard: English; me: Spanish).

Just wanted to give you all the news from the surgery. Sparsebeard is sleeping quietly and probably won't remember much of a thing from this morning, thanks to the dose of meds he was given after his surgery. LOL.

I'll update if anything changes. Thanks, all, for your thoughts and kind wishes!!


29 May, 2007

Hubby having knee surgery

The Dread Pirate Sparsebeard has to have a four-hour knee surgery tomorrow, so say a prayer for him and us, when you have a chance. He has several tears in the meniscus, bruised femur, and strained something else.

Recovery is supposed to be pretty quick, actually. For this, we are thankful.

I'll update tomorrow...


Books 'n Things

I've been tagged by Carol to list my current reads. I'm about to begin teaching Summer School Spanish (half-days) at my husband's school, so my choices decidedly reflect that!

Fiction - Classics:

  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  • Las Crónicas de Narnia: El León, La Bruja y El Ropero
  • Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (I'm going to read this during hubby's knee surgery coming up
  • Non Fiction

  • Total Physical Response in First Year Spanish by Francisco Cabello
  • How to Apply TPR for Best Results by James Asher
  • Learning Another Language Through Actions by James J. Asher
  • Spanish Grammar Through Actions by Eric J. Schessler
  • The Incredible Bread Machine: A Study of Capitalism, Freedom and The State
  • Home Education - Charlotte Mason volume one (not the first time)
  • Fallacy Detective by the Bluedorns


  • The Trouble With Poetry and Other Poems by Billy Collins
  • Nine Horses by Billy Collins (completed)

    Bible or Bible Study

    Santa Biblia (Reina Valera 1995) Holy Bible in Spanish

    The New Inductive Study Bible (NASB)

    Bedtime Read-alouds

  • I think I am going to read And the Word Came With Power with our youngest son, who is 12, now, and hasn't read this gem, yet.
  • The Comedy of Errors by Shakespeare

  • 28 May, 2007

    Because I'm too tired to think deep thoughts :-)

    The recovery from all our celebrations means that we have been cleaning and putting things away all morning long. So all I have the mental energy for are silly quizzes right now. Feel free to play along! I noticed this one from DJ's blog: Liberty and Lily

    What American accent do you have?
    Your Result: The Midland

    "You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

    The West

    The South


    North Central


    The Inland North

    The Northeast

    What American accent do you have?
    Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

    Literary Meme

    I saw this over at Bona Vita Rusticanda and thought it looked like fun.

    How it works:

    1.grab the book closest to you
    2.open it to page 161
    3. find the fifth full sentence
    4.post the text of the sentence to your blog
    5.don't search around for the coolest book you have, use the one that is really next to you.

    The book closest to me is Spanish Proverbs, Idioms & S
    lang. I have it here so that I can peruse it quickly anytime I have a few free minutes at one time. It is about Spanish language expressions and what they mean in English.
    "Díome Dios un huevo, y Diómelo huero--God sent me an egg, and sent it rotten."

    Q: Want to know what it means? :-)

    A: It is used to criticize people who are always lamenting their bad luck, or who say that the little they have is useless.

    26 May, 2007

    brief glimpses of a journey

    December 1988 Nine months pregnant

    J~ is on the left, both above in the orange T and in the graduation gown below

    The "ceremony" of it all has been an important mark of "passage" for all of us!

    24 May, 2007


    WHEW!!! All done!

    do check out the decorative and protective headband on the book. I should have added a bookmark, as well. I will for our next graduate :-).

    23 May, 2007


    Above, you see the backside of the endpapers that J chose. You also see the binders board that I will be attaching the textblock into at this stage of the process.

    Notice the bookcloth is brown.

    I am actually about 98% finished with J's book, tonight. This is a record, although I don't want to do this rushed of a job again in such short time. The last Senior book I created took about 60 hours (which includes drying time for all the pages and stages of cutting and pasting the book together). I had five letters trickle in as I was pasting and cutting and gluing up!! So the last five letters have had to be pasted in after the sewing process. I've left several blank pages to be able to cut them out and paste typed letters in from specific families at a later date.

    I have toiled along steadfastly since late Sunday afternoon, stopping long enough to cook quickly, and tonight to throw on a decent outfit and drive the family to our daughter's end-of-year, final Worldviews class speeches. She did very well, by the way...great content and nice delivery. She was just a little quiet, and could use a better variety of hand gestures, but she really did so well! More on that later.

    Back to the book:
    J's book was put together in around 25 hours. I rushed the drying with the help of a hair dryer, along with other (some risky) shortcuts.

    The book is in the press overnight, and tomorrow I will make a Title label to add to it.

    Graduation rehearsal is tomorrow night, and I've yet to
    shop for groceries and run final errands for the ceremony and J's senior table setup during the reception.

    Off to sleep now, for the next two very busy and monumental days!


    22 May, 2007

    Final countdown to graduation

    Part of last week was spent taxi-ing our oldest teens to and from work, since we are down one less car.

    Most of the week was spent scanning photos, photoshopping, and preparing a power point slide show for my son's co-op home school graduation. Dread-Pirate Sparsebeard and I had to prepare a 1 minute and 15 seconds (each) voiceover of memories and blessing to be timed just right for the number and timing of slides. This had to be recorded at a different location, then added later to our slide show. It was difficult to choose which photos would not make the final cut! After burning all of the above to a disk, it had to be delivered yet again to another family two towns over for final compilation with the other seniors' slide shows.

    Other spare moments last week were spent in final prep for the Seniors' Campout weekend, which I spearheaded, since hubby is busy with his own school wrap-up business. Many details covered, there...and some physical labor :-).

    So this week is spent prepping for J's senior table. We've got to collect and display things that represent our son and his journey. Framed photos from his portfolio of work, favorite books, hammock, favorite snack and drink props, power point of more photos running on a loop on laptop...

    The biggest job for me is the compilation of blessing and memories letters sent in to me over the last month by family and friends, to be crafted into a hand bound book. I guarded all the letters together yesterday in an all-day process, then put them in the bookpress overnight. This is what the book looks like at this moment:

    I'm about to mark it up for sewing, then will press it again while I cut the boards for the covers, then add the bookcloth. On for one final pressing, hopefully by Wednesday night.


    20 May, 2007

    ~ Senior Camping Trip ~

    We were blessed by the most amazing weather while camping with my son and his friends. Three sets of parents came as senior sponsors. There was no agenda, just free time to rest and fellowship (and eat)!

    These are some of our best friends...I just love this photo

    blooming prickly pear and butterfly

    After breakfast 'round the campfire

    12 May, 2007

    The Lad!

    Isn't this fun? This one will definitely go in his Senior slide show. Our thanks go out to the Beehive Clan for clothing the Lad and giving him some pointers for his trip to Scotland. Queen Shenaynay said he looked so right in this outfit...because of his hair (quite authentic :-). This was just some of the fun and shenanigans to be experienced at their oldest daughter's graduation reception. I hope they post some photos of the evening soon (most of mine didn't turn out well), It really is such an exciting and bless-ed but incredibly busy season.


    as you can tell in the photo, he does NOT play the bagpipe. Terrible posture and embrasure, here :-)

    10 May, 2007

    Graduation Presents

    Pictured here is one of several graduation presents that I'm making. I will custom cut sketch book paper for the inside text block so that it can be used for sketching, journaling, as a guest or signature book, whatever is preferred. I'm pleased with how this one is turning out. The dimensions are 8" x 8".

    p.s. Now that the party is over and the present is delivered, it was for Fa's graduation. The endpapers are words from a dictionary...and there are some funny ones, but some "splendid" ones, as well!


    The kids' band!

    The kids got to open for Bread of Stone last night. It was their first big gig like this. The Bread of Stone guys were so encouraging and helpful re: what to do next. A friend of mine who works with Song of Solomon ministries took some good shots of J's band and BOS together on her camera, so I hope to have those to post sometime.

    A newer youth group worker enthusiastically volunteered himself last night to design t-shirts for them, and now they need to produce a newer demo CD. They were called back out for an encore, which ended up being there most interactive and fun song.

    After their set, someone in BOS handed their Nikon D200 to J to take some photos of the BOS set and worship time. I cannot wait to see those photos. Hopefully they will be up on their blog soon.

    As I said recently...Good times, (which are sweeter on the heels of hard times ;-)


    08 May, 2007

    nature observances

    Visitors to our yard ~ the ducks stop through every day, making their rounds...in between the rains, that is. Yes, it is a marsh in our yard. No hay problema, I don't mind, at least not in the spring :-).

    Also visiting today ~ Hackberry butterflies (en masse). Our bushes were covered with them, and I got so many photos, some with six or seven butterflies in the frame.

    07 May, 2007


    Dread Pirate Sparsebeard is a luthier, as you may have noted in the margin of my blog. A luthier is a craftsman who makes stringed instruments, such as lutes, mandolins, guitars or violins.

    He is also an English teacher, who has "guitar club" in his classroom. Evenso, he spends as much time as he possibly can throwing sawdust down in the art room.

    This time, he has
    built a ukulele from scratch, instead of a mandolin :-). Yes, it is in a mandolin case, but we already have an antique Martin Ukulele in our only uke case.

    This new one was crafted out of mahogany, with a dark mahogany stain finish. I like that it is so plain and simple. Hubby usually adds inlay and decoration to his instruments, but not this time. The finger board is probably spruce. I'll have to ask him about that.

    Isn't it cute? He's going to narrow down the neck somewhat, and he needs to file on the frets a little, so it will tune up better, but I think it is simply adorable.

    06 May, 2007

    Senior Photo

    J ~ one senior photo

    He shaved the day after this was taken.
    His band opens for a newish Christian band this week, which is a pretty cool opportunity! He even asked his sister to play bass for them.

    04 May, 2007


    Have you ever seen the wildflower "spiderwort?" And if so, have you ever seen white spiderwort? I have not, until now. Isn't it lovely? The inside (stamens) has the tiniest bit of purple. The rest of the flowers in the vase are the more common purple spiderwort that grows along our roadsides this time every spring. The white must be a hybrid.

    Spiderwort flowers have a very short life, only a single day, but each plant will produce 20 or more flowers per stem. The petals quickly die after blooming. These are another of my top five or six favorite wildflowers.

    03 May, 2007

    Flowers and Poetry

    Not only did we have a pitcher full of flowers that I bought for the party (above), some of the girls at K's birthday party brought me bunches of wildflowers. Some of them were three feet tall! Those are some old, healthy plants! You can see them (well, maybe not the tall ones) in the photos below of the feet.

    Here is a poem one of the girls made for K with our fridge poetry magnets:

    Good times :-)

    This 'n That

    Our daughter got the job she has been pursuing, now that she's old enough :-). She starts on Monday. She'll officially get her driver's license in about two weeks.

    Oldest son finally got his fund raiser letter finished so that I can get them in the mail. He was recruited to work and train at a youth discipleship camp this summer in Scotland. I've been busy making mailing labels, and becoming frustrated by the word processing program.

    We got almost all of our son's graduation invitations out. It is almost like sending Christmas cards...there are always a few unfinished, not quite addressed envelopes lying about. I hope we can find the correct addresses and get them sent! I do not want to see them six months from now tossed aside in a card box on a shelf somewhere!

    I'm still collecting memory and blessing letters in order to make our graduate a hand bound, hardcover Blessing Book.

    I organized all my plannings and details for May-June in a binder today. It has multiple sections in it with the following labels:

    Homeschool Graduation Plans/Needs:
    ~Bind J's Blessing Book
    ~make handbound journals for some graduation gifts
    ~Plan joint reception with son's friends
    ~Scan photos (about 60) for graduation slide show and write the voice-over script
    ~Arrange slide show in power point
    ~Dry Clean graduation gown
    ~Attend Senior Banquet
    ~Invitations to close, important family/friends for the banquet
    ~Get J's senior pictures printed (he procrastinated...the photographer with photographer

    Scotland Mission Trip details
    ~Manage mail
    ~Purchase tickets
    ~Check on status of passport

    Final Prep for co-planning and chaperoning the Senior Camping Trip

    Bookbinding and Mending/Restoration Projects:
    ~I won't type them all here, but I have TEN on my calendar!

    Speech camp for our final three students ?

    Family summer trip together to south Texas

    Review New Spanish Class resources and possibly teach summer school where my hubby teaches English and lit.

    College Prep info and updating and submitting of all transcripts for DD (who wants to go the dual-credit route) and DS (who may stay in Scotland and take a gap year).

    Sign dd up for entrance exam and for a summer class at one of the local colleges. Find myself another bookbinding class for late summer. I will actually have a degree for this with two more classes under my belt.


    Now you know why I'm too busy to blog most days. I apologize.

    Pray for lasting energy, safety, and open doors as my family pursues all these things this summer!

    ¡Muchas gracias!