Tuesday, March 31, 2009

American Idol 3/31

"Hello, my name is Chris, and I love American Idol"

There, I admitted it!

I'm sure that I'm not in AI's target audience of young, hip, top-40 music lovers, (the number 40 is the only part of that phrase that fits me!) but I do love music, and a good vocal, and the opportunity that AI gives talented people.

For the first time, I decided to join other bloggers and journal my opinion about tonight's show, so here goes . . .

Anoop - his performance was okay, he's got a good voice, but I don't see him as a true artist.

Megan - honestly, I really hope this is the last week I have to listen to her voice.

Danny - my FAVORITE! I just love his voice and he was outstanding tonight; the minute he starts to sing I wish that he could keep singing the rest of the night - he's got a great gift, I'd buy his album.

Allison - (was she trying to look like Pebbles Flintstone tonight?) she's talented, has a good strong voice that's very mature for her age, but I'm just not a rocker girl so she's not one of my favorites; didn't really like tonight's song.

Scott - he sang well tonight and is a great pianist; he may have a long career ahead of him, though not in the pop genre; a little boring sometimes(or predictable, as Simon would say, although he actually didn't tonight!), but nice.

Matt - a fellow Michigander; I like him, but he seemed off-key some of the time tonight; I didn't think the song was a good fit for him, but I don't think he should be in the bottom 3 again.

Lil - this didn't seem to be a good song choice for her, she sounded off-key also; what's happened to her the past few weeks? I liked her better at the beginning of the season.

Adam - he was okay although I didn't really like the song. I do think he's a talented artist who knows what he's doing and can make songs his own, so he'll probably be around for a while; at least he didn't have black nail polish on again tonight or completely freak me out like he did when he sang "Ring of Fire"!

Kris - I've been liking him more and more each week; this was a nice arrangement; he did a great job tonight; he seems to growing as an artist also.

Well, for what it's worth, that's what I thought of tonight's show. And now I have to go to bed; it's past my bed time. Goodnight!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Everything I Need

Not much to blog about. I'm mostly doing a lot of nothing. Still not feeling well most of the time. Trying to be patient with my body. Other than a couple short trips to the grocery store, a doctor appointment, or sitting in the car while Rashed took me on a drive in the country last Sunday, I've just been at home. Just eating as healthy as possible, taking my supplements, hoping for (though usually not getting) some good sleep, reading a lot, watching too much TV, and keeping the kids alive and somewhat schooled!

So I guess I'm really not doing "nothing", but sometimes it sure feels like it. I've had to adjust my expectations as it appears that this process will take a while. Longer than I thought when I first started. Improving your health naturally takes time. So I'm in it for the long haul, even though it's difficult. After being on medication for so long, my thyroid and adrenal glands, among other functions, were forced to work until they became exhausted. Without medication, they're slowly re-learning their jobs again. I've kind of been "here" before, years ago when first seeing a holistic doctor; so I know that I'll see improvement eventually. I need to keep my focus on that, and on the Word.

My dad sent me this reminder the other day from Psalm 23:1 (New Living translation)

"The Lord is my shepherd;
I have everything I need."

In this crazy, busy, over-achieving world, we think we need and deserve far more than we really do. I'm trying to rest in the knowledge that I really do have everything I need.

And some day, these earthly trials won't even matter any more. Some day we have no more sorrow, no more death, no more pain (Rev. 21:4). That will be a great day!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Winter Scarf and a Good Book

Well, just in time for spring, I finally finished knitting the wool scarf I started in February!

For any knitter who might be interested, the pattern is from here. It's called the "My So Called Scarf" - strange name, but I loved the stitch pattern. I even found a short video on Youtube that demonstrates how to do the pattern, which I loved since I'm a visual learner, and I haven't done much else knitting-wise besides knit, purl, increase, and decrease. I did make my scarf thinner, for an every day scarf, as a wide one is sometimes too warm for me.

The yarn I used (bought from a local knitting store) is hand-dyed by (also local) Yarn Hollow - Gaia yarn, 100% Merino Wool. I used size 10 needles, but I think if I did this same scarf again, I'd use a size 11 needle to make it a little looser, as the pattern is fairly tight.

(oooh - how fun; I'm getting used to putting in links!)

I just finished a book that I really enjoyed, so I thought I'd mention it. The book is Washington's Lady by Nancy Moser. It's an inspirational biographical novel about Marth Washington, George Washington's wife. I never knew that much about Martha Washington, and this book was quite interesting as well as very enjoyable to read.

I learned a lot about Martha and George Washington, and gained some insight I didn't ever learn (or at least remember) about that time period in American history. I love learning history through a fictional account - I got so caught up in the character's lives, and I will remember more about them than if I'd read a typical biography.

I also love at the end where Nancy Moser has several pages about "Fact or Fiction". She details what elements of the story are historical fact, and what elements she fictionalized to bind the story together.

This is the third in a "Lady of History" series. The other two are about Jane Austen and Mozart's older sister. I'll have to check those out.

Have a good day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Signs of Spring!!

Ahhhh . . . the weather this past weekend was beautiful; upper 40's on Saturday and upper 50's on Sunday (I know, that still sounds cold to some of you southerners). But with a bright sun and clear blue sky, it was plenty warm enough for us northerners to enjoy some early signs of spring . . . . .

birds chirping

buds emerging cautiously

someone hammering

being outside without a coat

a woodpecker pecking

(woodpecker photo by Noah)

windows open for fresh air

the smell of meat on a grill

bike ride to the park

and, most importantly for some members of this family, the trampoline is back up!

I do have one question though - if the grass is still mostly brown and lifeless, WHY are there already green, healthy-looking weeds in our vegetable garden??!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Being Thankful

I haven't been feeling well most of this week; still working on balancing out my thyroid, and it's been very sluggish this week. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I'm trying to focus on the things I have to be thankful for:

1. A husband who does dishes and laundry (but not my clothes because he tends to shrink things)

2. Boys who are old enough to do most of their schoolwork on their own; and aren't bothered at all if I don't make them do everything when I don't feel well!

3. A preschooler who is SO into Legos right now that he plays well alone much of the time when the other boys are doing school and I'm resting

4. A comfortable house to live in

5. A cozy bed, pillows, and blankets (and fans; love my fan for white noise at night)

6. A doctor who is helping me get better, the natural way

7. My husband still has a job (he works in the automotive industry; fun place to be lately)

8. Spring is coming

9. A great family, even though we're spread out and don't get to see each other very often

10. A God who loves me, even when I complain to him about not feeling well again

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Fun Friday and Soggy Sunday

Friday afternoon, the boys and I took advantage of the mild weather and went to the zoo. We did eventually make it inside the zoo, but only after I dragged them away from the pond outside of the zoo. I think they could have poked frozen fish with sticks all afternoon if I had let them! (hmmm . . . fish sticks?!)

Saturday and Sunday were colder and rainy - lots of rain; I'm very glad it wasn't snow. Sunday afternoon we played one our newest family board games - "Ticket to Ride". It's a great game (made by Days of Wonder). If you've never heard of this game or company, you should check them out. They're typically sold through educational toy stores and on-line. The object of the game is to get the most points by claiming railway routes across the USA. Very fun, and educational!

The game is too hard for Aaron, but he did a great job playing by himself with Legos most of the time; until he came bouncing in wearing a goofy hat to get some attention!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Apparently, Spring Fever = Mud

Okay, as a mom of 3 boys, I've gotten used to lots of boy things over the years. I know far more about, and have become much more tolerant of bugs, spiders, bees, frogs, toads, weird noises, and weapons than I did 14 years ago. And I don't usually make a big fuss about them getting a little dirty or messing up clothes, all in the name of letting them be adventurous boys and have some fun.

But discovering this in the backyard today was a little more than I'm used to:

Lots of snow melting last week before quickly freezing in puddles when the weather turned very cold for a few days, and then reaching 61 degrees yesterday afternoon resulted in a huge, lovely, muddy mess in the shady corner of the backyard where grass doesn't grow well.

"Sorry, we got a little carried away. We'll just rinse the shed off with the hose!" turned into, what hose? It's in the shed! We can't get to it, it's way in the back behind all the other stuff we put away for the winter! And then me searching everywhere for a bucket, not finding any (they're probably in the back of the shed too), and then filling a few big containers full of water from the house, before realizing we could partially fill the big watering can (thankfully reachable in the front of the shed) from the outdoor faucet without a hose . . .

Fill . . .

Scrub . . .

Rinse . . .

Repeat until clean.

I might expect this from my 5 year old, but from the 10 and almost-14 year old?!

Spring fever can make you a little crazy. They've been forgiven!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Old Books

I collect old books - the older the better, as long as they're in fairly decent condition, not water-damaged and moldy or falling apart. Besides the fact that I just love books in general, I like to think about an old book's history - who's owned it, who's held it in their hands and read it, what shelves it's sat on and where. If only they could talk and tell me their own story, aside from the story held within their pages. The first thing I usually check is the publication date; the older the date, the more exciting the find.

Last week I found this book at an antique store. It was apparently a health textbook in "The Health and Happiness Series". I'm guessing it was written for late elementary grades.

It was published by the American Book Company, copywright 1934. It was a revised version of the original, published in 1928. The preface says that a revision was "desirable" because of the many advancements and new information that had risen during those 6 years. "The American Physical Education Association has made some valuable contributions to the study of physical education and hygiene." And also, "Likewise, the American Medical Society has of late years given special attention to problems of personal and community hygiene." There's more details that follow in the preface; but it makes me chuckle to see what they called major advancements in the field of health 80 years ago, and that's exactly one of the things I love about old books.

The wording they use is often amusing to me, due to being written for children and simply using the common language of the time. At the end of most chapters, after some review questions, there is a small drawing with a clever statement pertaining to a part of that chapter.

When discussing how to avoid getting sick, they recommend -

" . . . keep your body in good physical condition by eating plenty of nourishing food, by having sufficient sleep, and by taking regular exercise in the open air."

Good advice for all of us that is simple, and still true today.

And this cracks me up: in the chapter about food and digestion -

"Few people realize how much their health depends on the way in which the wastes of the body are removed. The regular removal of waste is a duty which cannot be neglected without serious results."

More good advice for us to heed - don't neglect your waste removal duties! (is this an OPTION??)

Responsibly follow public health laws. This book was written before the use of antibiotics, when quarantines were still carried out. When I see obviously sick people out and about, coughing and hacking or other unpleasant symptoms, I wish people would have the wisdom to "quarantine" themselves at home and stop spreading their germs. Especially if it's a child being allowed to play in a public play area with a gross running nose; don't get me started!

One other comical heading I noticed (in the chapter The Nose, Mouth, and Throat) -

"The Mouth is for Food; Do Not Misuse It"

Speaking of health, I've definitely been feeling some improvement the past few days. My thyroid has calmed down, even though it's still being somewhat sensitive. I'm surely not yet where I'd like to be, but I'm not where I was; for which I'm very thankful.