Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Hebrews 12:1

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Extra! Extra!

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! 2 fish drop dead within days of each other. Could their murders be linked?

So far this week we have had  2 fish murders. On Tuesday evening, Myrtle dropped dead for no apparent cause. This morning Pebble was discovered with chunks of his beautiful tail missing.  He and Malibu were quickly separated. Later this evening when I went to feed Pebble, I found him lying upside down on the bottom of the tank. So the serial fish killer, Malibu, has been arrested and trial is pending. The guilt of the accused is obvious. The only thing left is sentencing. Does our serial fish killer get the swirly chair ( aka the toilet) or is he allowed to rehabilitate with fish that he can be nice too?  The judge (me) is leaning toward finding him new friends, as I can't bear to kill almost any living thing aside from mosquitoes. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

New Friends, Old Friends

     Just in case our house wasn't already a zoo, we added three new pets. Meet Malibu (the yellow one), Myrtle (the orange one), and Pebble (the yellow and black speckled one) just like the beaches.I love water, the beach and fish so they go perfectly with my decor.  We were returning things this morning and I decided that now was the time to fill the empty fish bowl. Aren't they soo cute? I love watching them swim. 

These beauties (who should be afraid for their lives) join three very weird cats.


Commando Kitty,  also know as Red.  If Red isn't outside hunting or prowling then she is upstairs in Jacqueline's room asleep in or under something.

Lazy ,slow Twitch has to much hair for his own good. He constantly sleeps on the A/C vent or next to a fan. In this case, next to a fanned drying rack. He also sleeps on his back like a person and he snores louder then Dad sometimes!


Weighing in at 10+ lbs, Cecile thinks that she is a dog and will eat anything. How about:
                                             Cheese popcorn            Doritos
                                             French Fries                 Pepperoni
                                             Tuna with Mayo            Butter
                                             Lunch Meat                  ribbon 

and finally she licks dust off the blinds. 

     She also drinks from the tub and few times we have found her with her head in the toilet. For someone with such a beautiful and refined name she acts like a barn animal and she smells like one too.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Great Fall Clean-up

Now that fall is right around the corner, we have been doing some clean up.

Dad has spent every evening this week triming bushes.

Mom has been battling the deer for control of our fruit trees.  They are supposed to bear fruit next summer/fall but some how I don't think that will happen.  Dad starting built a grape arbor for Mom two weeks ago. He has to finish this one and build another.  Then a fence will need to be built. Hopefully that will keep the deer away!

Another project in the making is our pool. The liner has started to pull away from the pool, creating big pockets of air, and it has a leak.The concrete around the pool is cracked.  So starting in January, we should start working on the pool, tearing up the concrete, replacing the liner, etc... For now though it is just an empty hole. 

Hope that wherever you are, you are having cooler weather then here. The high for today is 83 degrees . Ugh..

Saturday, October 9, 2010


How would you define the word?  Webster's New World Dictionary defines the word as "the quality of state of being of sound moral principle".  Some synonyms are uprightness, honesty, sincerity, trustworthiness, faithfulness, justness, courage, principled.   We would also recognize that a person with integrity has good character, and character can be defined as what you do when no one else is around.

Thomas Jefferson personifies the word.

The Real Thomas Jefferson by Andrew M. Allison chronicles the life of Thomas Jefferson.  The author has chosen to allow Jefferson's own words to speak for him.  The first part of the book is a carefully documented biographical sketch drawn chiefly from Jefferson's own writing.  The second part is in an encyclopedia format and includes quotes on various topics, events and people.

Jefferson lived a life based upon high standards and ideals.  I'm not saying the man was faultless.  We will never be able to create a utopia--perfect will have to wait for heaven; but if you are looking for a man who not only espoused high standards but also lived his life in accordance with them, then Jefferson is your man.

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Over the course of his life Jefferson became proficient in areas such as architecture, horticulture, animal husbandry,  music and the law.  He held positions as husband, father, farmer, violinist, inventor, college president, statesman, diplomat, ambassador, secretary of state, president, advisor and prolific writer.

He was able to achieve all of these by being highly self-disciplined.  It was his habit to rise before the sun and his day was structured.  He spent at least two hours daily reading--not novels.  He involved himself in the running of the estate and often incorporated new farming techniques.  When Jefferson was running the estate, it made a profit.  He distinguished himself early in his law career and was easily elected to the state legislature.  Although initially unknown outside of Virginia, his abilities were quickly recognized while serving in the Continental Congress and were later called upon to write the Declaration of Independence.

This pattern of public service continued until his death.  When he was no longer in the public eye, he kept up correspondence with many key figures and was frequently called upon for advice.  For example, Jefferson was in France when the Constitution was written, but his signature runs throughout the document.  Madison relied heavily upon him.
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There are two examples I consider very revealing.  The first occurred at Monticello.  A servant named John Hubbard had stolen some nails.  Jefferson dealt with the situation directly.  Upon seeing the great remorse of the man, for he was crying and asking forgiveness, Jefferson quickly said, "Ah, sir, we can't punish him.  He has suffered enough already."  Jefferson's kindness impacted the man greatly.  The servant considered it a display of true religion and the act encouraged him "to find religion" himself.

On another occasion his grandson recalls

            "His manners were of that polished school of the colonial government, so remarkable in its day-under no circumstances violating any of those minor conventional observances which constitute the well-bred gentleman, courteous and considerate to all persons.  On [my] riding out with him when a lad, we met  a Negro who bowed to us.  [My grandfather] returned his bow; I did not.  Turning to me he asked, "do you permit a Negro to be more of a gentleman that yourself?"

These events were private, and since character is revealed when no one else is around--they speak volumes.

In stepping out of the way and allowing Jefferson to speak for himself, the author has given the reader the chance to know Jefferson the person and to draw your own conclusions regarding him.  This book is a great place to begin learning about Thomas Jefferson.
 Guest Posted By Momma...

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Utopia

World Famous Libraries 

George Peabody Library, Baltimore, Maryland, USA  

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.  ~Anna Quindlen, "Enough Bookshelves," New York Times, 7 August 1991 

I don't have to say anything more....

Thursday, October 7, 2010


 By Audrey

Who will remind you of the name of your favorite doll
Or that famous fall?
Your Sister

Who taught you to braid your hair
And gave you that piece of fool's gold, oh so rare?
Your Sister

Who, whispering and laughing stayed up too late,
And gave my favorite shoes for your first date?
Your Sister

Who annoyed and pestered but always loved
and told you she wanted a pet pug?
Your Sister

Who made you laugh so hard you thought you'd die
And made you cry when we said goodbye?
Your Sister

Though roads part and take different bends
Your Sister I'll be untill the end.  

Reality Check

Bossy Older Sister

Pesty Little Sister

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A New "Do"

Look who got a new hair-cut. 

Since it was sooo nice out, Jacqueline and I spent our lunch break out of doors with a mock photo shoot. We took turns taking each other's picture.  These are my favorite pictures of Jacqueline.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Napkin Origami

     Last week when we were at the library, we also got a book about napkin folding called  Napkins with a Twist by David Stark . Jacqueline spent multiple afternoons learning the art, and has several steam burns to prove it. Hopefully, we will have an occasion to use these beautiful but highly starched creations on an up coming Sunday dinner. 

This one is called the Shamrock.

The Pocket

The Envelope

The Place Card

And, of course, the great artist herself.