Monday, July 26, 2010

July Psalm Sing

We only had a handful of people at Saturday afternoon's Psalm sing.  A lot of people had other obligations and weren't able to attend.  This is a busy time of year for many of us.

On the bright side, most who were able to attend can read music, so we took advantage of the opportunity to learn some tunes that we don't know as well.  Our two precentors each had a tune in mind; James suggested that we learn the tune St. Etheldreda, and Jesh suggested that we learn the long-meter tune Soldau.

So after some practice and lots of zucchini bread, we produced these two recordings.  Please remember that these tunes were new to us, and refrain from criticizing accordingly. :)

As before, if you would like to download these recordings to your own computer, they are available at the following address:

Monday, July 19, 2010

Barbecue in July

On Saturday, Caleb and Leah hosted a barbecue at their house.  Saturday was also Jeshurun's birthday, and the day prior had been Aunt Terry's birthday, so this was sort of a birthday barbecue.  We ate some delicious food including Leah's excellent stuffed jalapenos (my favorite), the usual assortment of grilled meats, fresh watermelon from Carl's garden, and some really good chocolate cake prepared by Sarah.  The young folks and grownups enjoyed some nice conversation indoors and out; the little ones played on the slip n' slide and in the kiddie pool.

 Jesh is camera-shy.  When he sees the camera focusing on him, he gets really absorbed in whichever baby he's holding (Louis, in this case).  He is always holding babies.

One super cute little niece. :)

The other super cute little niece. :)

Sam, camera in hand as usual.  He's not really that pale--it's just that the light settings on my camera were all wrong.  All of my pictures looked really washed-out, actually, until I boosted the contrast with Picasa (my favorite free photo editor).

Moms with babies. :)  Oh, and Mark.  We missed Joseph and Carolyn and James and Hayley, and their respective children.

Carl, Jeshurun, Nat, Mark, Mercy, and Sam.  In this picture, you can actually almost tell that Mercy is five months pregnant.  She isn't showing much yet.

The other grownups were visiting inside, where it was nice and cool.  Sorry, the flash on my camera doesn't work, so no indoor pictures. 

Last but not least, Shona and Gerrit relaxing in the hammock at the end of a lovely afternoon. :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One of Those Days

I'm short on sleep today, and having trouble staying awake.  I think it's time for the 20 Minute Coffee Break Mug.  This cup holds a lot of coffee.
This cup was my grandfather's.  I think it was a gift from his coworkers.  He drank his coffee from this cup every day.  I remember how the spoon would clink against the sides of the cup as he vigorously stirred in the creamer and sugar.  Towards the end of his life, Grandpa got forgetful.  After he had been stirring for a minute, he would forget that he had already put the sugar in, and he would add more.  Mom used to worry that he was getting too much sugar.

This is my Grandpa in 1944.  He was in the military.
And just for fun, here is my grandmother in 1948.  Wasn't she pretty? 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Reasons Why

Isn't this a pretty picture?  This is at George Bush Park on the west side of Houston, just after an impressive thunderstorm had passed overhead.  After I took this picture, I decided to follow that path over the hill, to see where it went.  But first I had to put my purse in my trunk.  I popped the trunk, got out of the car with my purse, locked and shut the doors....

....and then realized that my keys were still in the ignition.  *sigh*

George Bush Park is almost an hour's drive from my house.  I had to borrow a vehicle (thankfully, this was an option), get the boys, drive home to get my spare key, drive back to get my car, and then (finally) drive home again.

I firmly believe that all things happen for a reason.  As I drove (and drove, and drove), I wondered why it was that I must make such a foolish mistake, and drive an extra two hours, on that particular Tuesday.  Of course, the obvious answer is, "to learn not to be so absent-minded," but how, exactly?  The only thing I could think to tell myself was "remember to remember things," which, let's face it, isn't particularly helpful. 

Well, perhaps there's a profound lesson hiding somewhere in my experience last Tuesday.  Or perhaps I was just meant to hear the spectacular performance of Handel's Messiah that was playing on the radio late that night. :)  You know, Elijah was sound asleep in his carseat as The Messiah was playing, but the next day I heard him singing to himself, "For the Lord God omni-potent reign-eth, forever, forever..." 

I am happy to have rediscovered this piece, definitely one of my favorites.  If the 80's hairdos are hurting your eyes, you could try watching this performance instead:
I would have posted it here, but the "embed" option is disabled.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Writer's Block!

I am still struggling with writer's block.  Or publisher's block, or whatever.  It's not that I don't have any topics in mind.  For instance, I have now been in Texas for one year.  Obviously, this calls for a post.  The theme of the post will be something along the lines of "Texas ain't half bad" but beyond that, I am stuck.  I mean, I can spit out words easily enough, but I have to strike just the right tone.  For instance, I would like to mention how nice it has been to get to know my two (very special!) little nieces, but I have to avoid being overly sentimental and embarrassing y'all.  Writing is tricky business.

Maybe I need to take my writing more seriously.
Or maybe I am taking my writing too seriously.

Maybe I should skip the writing,
and post pretty flower pictures instead.

I took these at the Houston Garden Center, 
which has an extensive rose garden.

I thought they would be fitting
since this blog has "rose" in the title.

My ancient camera with the broken flash and the broken zoom
still takes pretty good pictures, if the light is  right
(diffused natural light is key).

My favorite roses of all (for now, anyway) are the yellowy-peachy roses with red tips, but I didn't see any of those.

I think one of these rose pictures should be my new avatar on Facebook and elsewhere.
But which one?  Let me know what you think.

Have a nice weekend, y'all. :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Top Five Posts

I've been blogging at this address for six months now. :)  I just had a look at my blog statistics.  The five posts which you, my dear readers, have found the most interesting (or, to be more precise, that you have clicked upon the most often) are as follows:

1. What Should I Wear?
2. What Should I Wear? Part 2
3. Gardening and the Environment
4. Psalms :)
5. Family Worship (and Blogging Woes)

Close runners up: Iced Tea and Bugs Eating Bugs

(In other news, the comments on all old posts have reappeared!  Thanks, Blogger, for fixing that bug.)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!

This postcard was printed around 1907 or 1908.

It's available for purchase in my Etsy shop.
*Edit* this postcard has been sold.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Rainy Days

Well, Hurricane Alex ended up in Mexico, but the outer reaches of the storm have been dumping heavy rains upon us for days.  We've been cooped up inside.  It's been kind of nice, actually, to stay inside eating hot soup and garlic breadsticks and cookies and milk and drinking hot tea, while listening to psalm recordings, and to the hush of the rains on the roof and the faint rumble of thunder.

The back corner of our back yard flooded.  Juneau (our dog) was stranded in his doghouse, looking out and whimpering as the water grew deeper.  Finally, when the water threatened to come in at his door, I donned a jacket and went out into the rain to move his house to higher ground.  I had to wade through some water to get to him, but the water was warm so I didn't mind much.  The rain feels kind of nice, actually; it's heavy but gentle and warm.  Now and then I send the boys outside to splash in the puddles in the driveway.

The rain brought out the frogs.  We hear them peeping and chirping and a few of them (must be big ones) baa hoarsely like rams.  At night, we find little frogs clinging to the back window; they are drawn there by the bugs that come to the light.  We have to be careful opening the back door, because the frogs will spring inside without warning, and then we have a fun time chasing them down; they sit perfectly still until we've almost got them, at which point they suddenly leap sideways several feet, which of course makes the boys jump and shriek with excitement.

Yesterday, parts of our county got eleven inches of rain.  I wouldn't be surprised if we've had that much already today.  Though this rain is not nearly as intense as that one spring in Indiana when we got ten inches of rain in twenty minutes, and my basement flooded.  I guess it's nice that I don't have to worry about a flooded basement any more (houses here don't have basements), though I do miss the cool of a basement in the summertime.

I have a few minutes left before the boys' "quiet time" is over.  Just enough time for a cup of gingerbread tea, with a bit of honey. :)