Friday, April 29, 2005

In case you were wondering

No, I have not found my keys yet.

But they weren't in the trash.

Notes for the science-impaired

I never had this problem in high school. If we did a science experiment, I could get it to work. Now, suddenly, when I do them in my own home, they flop. Not every time. Just enough to catch me off guard. It's not that I don't understand the concepts. Or that I'm using the wrong materials. I'm doing everything the way it says to do it. What is my problem? Here are some examples:

  1. We put a pat of butter on the end of a wooden spoon, a metal spoon and a plastic spoon. Then we put the other ends of the spoons into boiling water. The point of the experiment is that metal conducts heat. Well, nothing happened. None of the butter melted, not even a little bit. How does that happen?
  2. We filled two identical shallow tuna cans with water. We put white paper over one and black paper over the other. We then positioned a 60-watt light bulb over first one, then the other. The temperature of the water under the black paper was supposed to increase more than the water under the white paper. It didn't.
  3. We mixed corn starch with water in predetermined amounts to make "goop" that has the properties of both liquid and solid. It didn't work.

Those are just three of the many experiments we've tried this year. Now every time an experiment comes along in the curriculum, I hold my breath. Will this one work? Is my son actually going to believe me when I tell him what was supposed to happen, or will he say, "Yeah, sure."

I love science. I always have. Why has it turned against me?

Let's have a retrospective!

The baby at birth Posted by Hello
The baby at 4 days Posted by Hello
The baby at 4 weeks Posted by Hello
The baby at 6 weeks Posted by Hello
The baby at 2 months Posted by Hello
The baby at 3 months Posted by Hello
The baby at 4 months, 1 week Posted by Hello

I did major in English, after all

Thanks to Sandy for this website.

English Genius
You scored 92% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 100% Advanced, and 86% Expert!
You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog:

Take the 80's quiz!

I scored a pitiful 77 (though it did earn me a silver Rubik's cube). In my defense, I stopped listening to the radio in '84, so I got most of the music questions wrong. You can bet I aced the television and movie sections!

Google me!

Now I realize this might not work for someone with a less unique name, but I typed my first name into Google. What I got was very interesting. Apparently, most people with my name are either artists or in the adult entertainment business. So if you meet a Jana, she's probably creative in one way or another.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

He's full of it (or he will be)

If you look at the White Cloud logo, it says these diapers feature the art and lyrics of John Lennon. I'm guessing Yoko didn't think through this decision...

Get your 80's arcade fix

It's fun watching my kids discover things that were new and cool when I was a kid. My 8-year-old was thrilled I found this.

Coffee, the bean of my existence

I saw this story on 20/20 the other night. For some reason, the whole thing about coffee that was on the show is not on the website. I thought it was really interesting, though, so I will share it.

Basically, they asked if more expensive coffee is necessarily better. They listed several brands. One was $12 a pound, but I can't remember the name. Starbuck's was $10 a pound. Folgers was $5 a pound (this is according to 20/20). They also listed Marques de Paiva, an organic coffee sold by Sam's Club. Anyway, they did an unscientific taste test of 8 or 10 coffees, and Starbuck's won! Now, I have only had Starbuck's once, and I didn't like it. But then again, it could have been the way it was brewed. Second place was Marques de Paiva. I am always one to take recommendations for good coffee, so last night I picked some up.

Let me tell you, it is good coffee! It's not flavored (so hubby probably won't drink it), but for coffee lovers, I highly recommend it. And it's less than $4 a pound for whole beans. I get coffee from Greencastle Coffee Roasters all the time that's twice that! What a deal!

I just have to add that the #1 brand in America, Folgers, came in dead last. Which just goes to show once again that if you advertise enough, the quality of your product doesn't matter (sorry, Rockapella).

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Is there an internet etiquette?

I know some people crave conflict. I am not one of them. I like everything in my world to be peaceful and happy. So if I come across the blog or website of someone with whom I disagree, I surf on. I do not in any way feel compelled to leave that person nasty messages telling them they are wrong, fooling themselves, blind to the truth, or anything else. There is so much negativity in the world already.

Until the last few days, I wouldn't have thought that people who don't know me would have so much to say to me. So much that I had to turn off my comments. I certainly appreciate those of my friends, both online and IRL, who left me kind and encouraging comments. For the hundreds of you (yes, hundreds) who have been flocking to my site since Friday, please stay and get to know a little about me. It's much harder to badmouth someone you actually relate to than it is when you read only one thing she wrote.

It really makes me wonder, though. Is it that easy to create traffic on my blog? What if I were to say (this is not true, BTW, just an example) that I am a cannilesbian - I sleep with women and then I eat them. How many people would come flying over here from their seach engines to tell me I am depraved? I bet you a hundred bucks it wouldn't be as many as showed up when I used the "h" word!

But I have learned my lesson. Don't mud wrestle with a pig. You'll just get dirty and the pig will enjoy it. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

If you have kids, the answer is yes

Have you ever had the uncomfortable feeling that your 3 year old has thrown your car keys in the garbage?

Monday, April 25, 2005

I apologize... those of you who wished to leave comments, but I have been treated hatefully in the last few days by some, and I frankly don't need that in my life. I will enable comments again some day. In the meantime, you are welcome to continue reading my blog. I will avoid saying anything controversial so that you will not feel cheated out of being able to comment.

Who says these quizzes aren't accurate?


?? Which Natural Wonder Or Disaster Are You ??
brought to you by

This explains even more about me

You are Buck Russell (from Uncle Buck)! Your
relationships aren't the greatest (mostly by
your own accord), but if anyone has a huge
heart, it's you.

Which John Hughes Character Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Here's what it looks like today! Posted by Hello
This is what the front window area used to look like. Posted by Hello

Progress is being made

We are definitely making progress on our new room. We actually painted (well, primered) part of it this weekend. Yippee!! I will post pictures of what it looked like before and what it looks like now. So, this room that was supposed to be done before the baby was born might actually be done before his first birthday! We are looking at putting wood floors in the bedroom part, and tile in the bathroom, laundry room and kitchenette. But first we need to get the painting done. I have to say I have not been a huge fan of painting ever since working as a painter in the summer of '88. But at least I know how to do a nice professional job, so I know it'll look good!

And we actually have a door on the room now! It's an outside door, good and strong, to withstand all the pounding to be done by the boys. Next comes the deadbolt... (just kidding)

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Why a 5 year old and 3 year old should not be left alone with markers: Posted by Hello
Third son called himself "Mr. Eagle" when he finished the masterpiece on his face. Posted by Hello

Monday, April 18, 2005

How could I not post this picture? Posted by Hello
The baby is four months old now! Posted by Hello

Grass = Bliss

I remember when I was a teenager, one of my chores was cutting the grass. I would get on our big old riding mower and chug around my parents' land with my headphones on, listening to music and singing at the top of my lungs. It was pretty fun. I think I only hit a tree once.

Well, somewhere along the way, this chore became my husband's. And I kind of forgot how much fun it can be. Truth be told, he sort of scared me away from it. "Oh, the land here is so rocky. It's easy to hit the blades on a stone. Be careful of the hills - you don't want to tip over." I admit it - I'm a chicken. It sounded awfully risky. So I let him do it.

Well, Saturday, I was faced with a choice of either A) keeping BIL company while he worked on our new room or B) cutting the grass. I gladly let Hubby keep his brother company and took what I saw as the easier of two tasks. I was a bit trepidacious at first, but cutting grass sounded easier than sanding drywall.

Let me tell you, I had a wonderful time! I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Just me, along with my thoughts, cruising around the better part of two acres all alone. Granted, it's spring and not hot yet, but I have totally been missing out! The only bad part was when I drove too close to the ash pile and got a faceful of black powder. But as soon as I finished, I told Hubby I would be happy to take over this chore from now on while he stays inside with the boys. There is no where else in or out of the house that I can be that alone for that long!

And then I get to take a nice long shower. Mmm, bliss!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Is it June yet?

I can't remember ever wanting school to end so badly as I do right now. I'm just tired of it. The kids are not into learning anything anymore. I find myself starting school later and later every day because I just don't want to do it. Maybe it's their attitude, the way the kindergartner says, "Ohhhh" in that whiny voice, or the way the third grader growls and stomps his feet when I say "Time for school!" Maybe it's the warm weather that just beckons me to drop everything and go sit in the shade with a book. Maybe it's just sheer exhaustion from all that we've been through in the last year. I don't know. All I know is I need another 125 hours for the oldest and over 200 for boy 2. And I need to decide ASAP what they're doing next year. If we're continuing with the charter school, they need to know. If I'm going with Christian school for one or both of them, the school needs to know. I don't feel emotionally equipped to make this decision. Maybe all I need is the summer off and then I'll be fine. I don't know. That seems to be the theme here. I don't know, I don't know, I don't know!

Seriously, is it June yet?

Saturday, April 09, 2005


I did this whole post about spring, and it disappeared. So I did it again, and then they both showed up. So I'm changing the second one to this explanation.

See ya later!

Ah, Spring!

This is about right. It's 75 degrees out, more or less, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the bees are buzzing. Our apple tree is in full blossom, and the grass has grown two inches in the past three days. Now if it could just stay like this instead of moving on into the dreaded summer heat!

I've just finished digging holes for some plants I bought at Sam's Club. Hopefully they will not die. I got them because I was told I could return them within 90 days if they do die. I have two blackberry, two raspberry and two blueberry plants. I also have four different kinds of grape vines, for which Hubby is going to have to build an arbor of some type. If all goes well, then by next summer at the latest we should have our own crop of goodies.

We also have a bunch of seeds planted in little starter pots in the house. I think so far just the cabbage and broccoli and some of the flowers have come up. The kids are very excited about planting a garden. My SIL is helping them with it, which is good, because we all know I don't have enough interest in gardening to sustain a whole garden of my own for an entire summer.

The boys are out playing right now, which I'm glad of. They've been cooped up all winter driving each other nuts, and they seem to get along better when there's plenty of space between them. I've got to get their work samples for the month of March together and mail them, so I am stuck in the house for a bit. The baby should be waking up soon, too.

Enjoy the weather, everyone! Happy Spring!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Web surfing - cool, dude!

I will be the first to admit I've been spending way too much time on the internet lately. I check four different bulletin boards on Baby Center throughout the day, I google things that pop into my mind from time to time, I go to my blog and hit that "Next blog" button in the upper right to look at someone else's random blog. I can't stop - it's like a compulsion. The internet moves so fast, I'm afraid if I turn it off, I'll miss something.

Of course, it doesn't help that the school I'm using for 5+ hours a day is also online. So there I am in front of the computer anyway - might as well open another window while the oldest is reading or the five year old is painting and check my email and bulletin boards again! It's like making a drunk work in a bar and expecting him not to take a drink!

My latest thing is figuring out how to add stuff to my blog sidebar. I've found all sorts of cool things on other people's blogs and I want them on mine! See my new blogroll list? Cool, huh? And I added a button in my favorites so no matter where I am online, I can click once and add that site to my list. I'm having fun spreading the word about my blog, too.

You know, when Andy Warhol said that in the future everyone would be famous for 15 minutes, I don't think he could've envisioned the internet. But he was absolutely right. There are people out there with websites and blogs that get thousands of hits a day, and people all over the country "know" them. How cool is that?

Surf's up, dude! Hang ten (fingers on the keyboard, that is)!

Monday, April 04, 2005

When I figure out how to get over there, I'm going to eat that camera. Posted by Hello

How do you like the oldest's new haircut? Posted by Hello

Just kidding! Here are their new haircuts! Posted by Hello

I found another one! Posted by Hello

I found it right over there! Posted by Hello

It's easy to find eggs if you use your head. Posted by Hello

Hair today, gone tomorrow

They say pride goes before a fall. Well I must be really proud of my hair, because it's falling. Yes, I have had three other babies. Yes, I have lost hair after each pregnancy. But somehow you never get used to the sight of large clumps of your own hair going down the drain like little escaped hamsters. It's hard to just smile passively when my hairbrush looks like an abstract sculpture of Sasquatch. And every time the baby pulls my hair, he gets a nice fuzzy handful.

I'm reminded of that old Garfield cartoon in which Jon combs him until he has a huge pile of cat hair, and then asks, "What am I supposed to do with all this cat hair?" and Garfield says, "Build another cat?" Maybe I could scrape together all my lost hair and build another mommy. She can take care of the laundry and the cleaning and the cooking while I teach. Yeah, this sounds like a plan.

Speaking of hair, stay tuned for pics of the boys' new haircuts later today, after I seize my computer back from the oldest, who must play Buzz Lightyear the minute he wakes up (it only runs on our computer).