Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bringing in the new year

The new year quickly approaches.  Despite T. Leigh's looming surgery date casting a shadow over the usually festive day, I still find myself looking to the future and thinking about what I will do differently.  I saw a list on Lazy Wife's blog and that got the wheels turning in my head.  What did I do this year, what did I want to do, and what will I do next year?

Unlike Lazy Wife, I have no ambitious plans beyond general organization and productivity.  Maybe this is because I have recently given birth to my fourth child, Theresa Leigh.  She is beautiful and precious, and of course, time consuming.  The daily load leaves little time for personal interests, even the most fundamental to maintaining normal social relations.  There is no corresponding, journaling, or writing of any kind really while breastfeeding.  Nor can I carry on an effective phone conversation while cradling a baby to my breast. 

Between breastfeeding there is of course diaper changing and I mean a lot of diaper changing as I have 3 under 3!  Of course I am tired a lot, but the good thing is that I know what to expect (generally speaking), so I know when I have to rest, like it or not.  All of this leaves little time or energy for much else which brings me to my primary and simple goals for the year.



Sunday, December 28, 2008


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Man's essential reading


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

wrapping it up


for Mike


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

All about books today


grand colections

These libraries inspire envy...

Hot Library Smut


grand colections

These libraries inspire envy...

Hot Library Smut




Tuesday, November 25, 2008

La Tartine Gourmande

This is the prettiest food I have ever seen...

La Tartine Gourmande



Monday, November 24, 2008

Something for the kids


Monday, November 17, 2008

where is my book?


Sunday, November 16, 2008



I thought of your cake

when I saw this pool of photos, I thought of the cake Sam made for our wedding and the cookie tradition my mother began...

Flickr: The Real Thiebaud Pool


Saturday, October 11, 2008

We are getting there

When last I wrote, it was the end of Spring, and the chaos of the last few months was just beginning.  First, with 3 children, 2 of them toddlers, and my husband in Iraq (serving our country), I began the ordeal of putting our home for sale and shipping our household goods for storage at our next base.  Around then, I got the news that we are expecting another baby.          

Now that I am finally feeling as though I can get my head above water, the baby is due. In the mean time, we spent the summer in Turkey, sold the house on Laurel, moved most of our household goods to Cheyenne WY, found out that there was not officer housing available after all,  totaled the Mercedes in a flash flood, bought a house in Cheyenne, moved here just in time for school, bought a Yukon because we are now a family which needs third row seating, and are waiting for the rest of our household goods from Texas and Turkey, including my husbands VW.

Maybe sooner than later I can post the photos from Turkey, or describe our home there.  Maybe I will soon be able to convey how it was so rewarding to spend so much time with my mother.  But right now I am uncontrollably driven to nest, nest, nest.  I have not set up her room yet or chosen a name or bought a stitch of clothing, so while doing that, one by one I will try to catch up with friends and family.  I will spend more time writing, recording, corresponding and when at all possible visiting. 


Monday, March 31, 2008

Baby Journal - Pregnancy Day One

I took the early response test over a week ago but have waited until today to make the prenatal appointment. No reason, just very busy with life, they other children, selling a house, my birthday, M's birthday, routine duties...

Mike is still abroad, but he was the first to tell, besides the very observant eight year old girl. What is that for mom? I hope you're not pregnant...

I am starting out overweight, 150lbs today, bigger than I was when Tommy was born! What happened. I realize this will be a bigger challenge than my other pregnancies because I will be trying harder to stay or be fit.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Stuff white people like


Thursday, February 21, 2008

PhotoMail! Otherwise known as V-Mail

from Writing Adventures and Exploration of History by Tony Bandy
(Source: National Archives)

Next to chow, a letter from home is one of the best things a soldier can get. However, getting mail to the soldier is not easy, particularly in times of war. The question becomes, what gets to the soldier? Is it bullets, beans, or mail? During World War II, this question was of the utmost importance, especially considering the amount of manpower deployed by the United States overseas and remote corners of the world.

The solution was V-Mail (Victory Mail) or as the Army called it, "Photomail."

(Source: US Army FM 11-150, Photomail Operation)
(Online Source of Manual: Army Heritage Collection Online)

Technically speaking the process was fairly simple. Using required forms, the letter would be photographed, placed on a roll of microfilm and then shipped overseas. Once arrived, the microfilm would then be printed out on special paper and shipped to the soldier. This also worked in reverse, that is the soldier's letters to home would be converted to V-Mail and then shipped back to the States for processing back into printed mail.

Some interesting statistics can be gathered:

* Mail weight was reduced by up to 98%.
* The printed out letters were approximately 1/4 the size of regular letters.
* During the war over 500 million V-Mail letters were shipped overseas!

I've found some good links below that will give you background as well as the actual field manual describing the daily operations of photomail. Have a great day!

See you tomorrow!


Duke University Libraries Digital Collection (Advertising)

National Postal Museum: V-Mail
Army Heritage Collection Online (search for V-Mail)

Wikipedia link: V-Mail


Thursday, February 7, 2008


"Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming
of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the
early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism.
Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing
to give up something or volunteering and giving of themselves for
others. The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the
wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan. Sundays in Lent are not
counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a
"mini-Easter" celebration of the Jesus' victory over sin and death."


this is awesome

LOC Color Photos, History, and More!

some of you readers this may be old hat, but for others, like myself,
I've just discovered buried treasure in the form of LOC availability on

The end result? LOC (Library of Congress) has in their words:

beginning somewhat modestly, but we hope to learn a lot from it. Out of
some 14 million prints, photographs and other visual materials at the
Library of Congress, more than 3,000 photos from two of our most
popular collections are being made available on our new Flickr page, to include only images for which no copyright restrictions are known to exist...."
Flickr: Photos from The Library of Congress


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Mikey can talk

Jasmine (Jaman)
Rosie (WreeWree)
tractor blanket
bye bye guy singing
bye bye guys swimming
turtle (tootool)
tractor cup
Elmo (melmo)
tractor blanket
go bye bye grammas house
the bus


Monday, January 28, 2008

wish list...

I will take the envelope and it's contents please...
AirMail: Manila envelope laptop sleeve for MacBook Air


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Still Blue

Not as tired as the first two weeks after his departure although just as busy, I have managed to carve out this time to myself for two of the last three Sundays. The Complete Jane Austen, this week is Mansfield Park, pleasant television in the background of bedtime for babies and young girls.

As Rosie has been working on her cataloging and categorizing of rocks found in the creeks of central Texas. Her samples are lined up on the mantle each numbered in it's own babyfood jar, out of reach of toddlers. She has recorder physical observations and tested for hardness. We have gathered reference materials and have the supplies for the stand.

I have much work of my own: letters to write, books to catalog,emails to send, pictures to upload, blogs to write, and so much more.

It looks like DH is at a conference in Naples, and I eagerly await an email with the details and maybe pictures. I wonder, for example, what are his accommodations, or does he have any time to sight see?

Surprisingly the boys are both asleep despite getting two teeth each. Rosie is of course all tuckered out from working hard. I am proud of her.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

January 20


It seems like forever since I had a few minutes together to write anything down so I had better just get to the meat of it:

My DH has gone back to Turkey and I am now in the cold harsh messy house reality stage of him not being around. I generally go the whole day without an adult conversation unless you count the 30 second snippets with the neighbor, grocer, postman, etc. These incidental trivialities will be more important to me sooner than later, but right now I have too much to worry about.

My first priority is getting the passports in order for everyone. This is probably far more involved than I realize, but I hope not. I can probably renew mine, but all 3 kiddos have to get a new one.

I am slowly working on getting the house in order for moving day which is not yet set. For that matter, the location is as of yet unspecified.

Along these lines, I found a great application for cataloging my personal library: Library Thing. So far, the data entry is super easy because the search is linked to the library of congress (and Amazon and something like 23 other databases). The data entry is mostly done for me and in the correct format. I can print cards, download the whole database and see who else has my books, read their reviews and recommendations. Plus there are thumbnails of the covers and widgets for my blog.


Monday, January 14, 2008


Friday, January 11, 2008

Izmir it is

Tomorrow is my DH's last day here before he heads back to Turkey. He was in Izmir for the last six months, and has been home for RNR for 27 days. He has another six months there and we have not even gotten orders yet for the next assignment. The good news is that we (me and my three plus Mom) will be spending up to 90 days there this summer. How awesome does a European vacation sound? Our house there has plenty of room for all, a great view, and is very near the sea.

The difficulty is in our two homes in Austin. We have to lease them both and/ or sell the other. I know, boohoo, still, it is a lot of running around, making calls, meeting agents, contractors, landscapers, stagers, etc. This can be trying on everyone when the homeowner always tries to bring three small children along (that would be me).

The Northwest hills home has excellent curb appeal, schools, zip code, neighborhood and everything. It is already staged and has been on the market. It should not be the time eater. The house we live in now, however, will have to be shown while we still live here! Imagine keeping things tidy enough twenty-four-seven for a visit from a prospective tenant at the drop of the hat. As it is, I cannot even answer the front door when the babies are in the tub or on the bed or out back playing, whatever.

I also have to pack all of our belongings, ship some to the as of yet unknown next duty station, keep what we need and I am not even sure what else. What if I have trouble leasing/ selling the houses?

Enough for now because I am stressing myself out.


Austin tidbits

This qualifies more as a rumor than news, still, I was pretty excited to hear Ingrid Michaelson will be here for SXSW (Austinist: SXSW News & Rumor Updates: 135 Bands And Counting).
I really have no idea about the other 134, or so bands...

Usually I look on SXSW with a sour face because there were about 15-20 years there where it was impossible to go out on my birthday and raise a roucus without the magical wristband of admittance. Not to mention too crowded to be fun. Now, I do different things (like celebrate my son's birthday) during spring break.


Saturday, January 5, 2008

laurel lane

This is the life!
When DH and I were looking for another home, we would come here and sit in this garden imagining our family playing, raking, writing. Now here we are and better than imagined.

i just heard the clock tower (at the University of Texas at Austin) chime thirty minutes after the hour - very sentimental for DH and i because we met there as undergrads. Tommy, our youngest, is in his special rubber seat made to help babies his age learn to sit up. He can barely reach his toys and it seems to be annoying him. Mikey, the toddler, is walking around the yard with a small rake and red toy wooden wheelbarrow helping daddy with the leaves. Rosie is rolling around on her skates (the old school style, red whit and blue).


Inventory and purge

We circle back to the topic of the lists. In my bedroom there is a row of three windows looking over the back yard. I put a low table there, white enameled metal with a black art deco design, coved in paint smears and spills of oil acrylic and watercolor. There are two easels and two tiny chairs with pillows meant for the children.

To the right of the table is my writing desk, tidy and organized, loaded with pens, papers, stamps, sealing wax, and personal photos of my sisters (of which there are 4) holding children. There is a shutter on the wall behind the desk meant for tucking in little notes and memorabilia, upon which hang several pairs of my husband's glasses from before the eye surgery.

To the left is a completely unremarkable bookshelf made of spare wood of different shades and never painted. This houses my unused journals, unread books, and many art supplies: paints, pencils, charcoals, small card stock, etc. This shelf, like my writing desk is sufficiently organized.

It is the table which has become the home of overflow. It was meant to be a peaceful nook for myself and/or the children to work and be able to see into the garden. Instead it is piled high with patters, lace, notions, and other sewing stuff which will not fit into the rather large and full wicker chest near the sewing machine.

So, I believe the task is to begin with the sewing. I have yarn I will never use. Odd colors and textures purchased all at once with some desirable bit in a clear plastic bag when Hancock Fabrics closed it's doors. There are patters from the eighties which also came bundled with some other good bit, like a vintage smock set for my little girl.

The boys are asleep and so is my dh, and because the nursery is adjacent to our bedroom, separated only by French doors with frosted glass panes, I will not venture to take a photo and wake them all just yet. Yes, the precious moments alone are just that when there are 2 under age 2, both boys...


Friday, January 4, 2008

list the lists

There is no need to go into my personal details, but suffice it to say that I will soon have more time on my hands to ready things for the next big move.

In the spirit of renewal, I will enumerate and purge until it is time to pack my tight ship and set sail to the next adventure (where there will undoubtedly be high speed internet, also).
First I will list the lists and then?

1a. Card Catalog for my books (and journals?), probably a spreadsheet
1b. Cookbooks and recipe cards
2. Do the same for the childrens' books

3. Photograph, catalog and research storage solutions for tinted postcard collection

4. Inventory and purge all sewing, crocheting supplies and patterns

5. Inventory and purge paints, pencils, inks, papers, brushes, frames

6. Organize and store supplies such as beeds, buttons, wires, tools

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all five

all five
Christmas day 2007

plus one

plus one
10 october 2008