Category Archives: Life

Sickbay and snowstorm

The whole family has been sick with a bad cold. NatureBoy was ill last weekend. Beloved wife and I succumbed this week. I had to leave work early twice, and then took sick days Friday and today. BW and I spent most of our time sleeping or watching videos from the folded-out futon.

I’m glad to say that we’re on the mend. BW tried to get to work this morning, but the big snowstorm made travel impossible. So we hunkered down for one more day of recuperation.

I’m glad to say that during some of my more lucid moments, NatureBoy and I did get in some gaming. As a solstice gift, I got the Mouse Guard RPG and Warcosm space fleet combat game. (Both purchased from Indie Press Revolution as Book + PDF bundles!). I will post about each separately

Last night and today, we’ve had quite a bit of snow. Traffic was moving pretty slowly on Route 15.



Snow always makes the barn stand out.




I liked the way the snow mounded on the feeder echoes the shapes of the crook.

Anyway, I will post more details about Mouse Guard and Warcosm soon.

Killer Bunnies

The Solstice Cardinal brought me gaming gift called Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot. It’s a silly, fun card game with a number of different aspects that make it quite interesting.

Playing Killer Bunnies.


Basically, you try to keep get lots of Carrot Cards, so that you have a good chance of having the “winning carrot,” which determined randomly at the end of the game by a die roll. You try to keep your bunnies alive while ruthlessly eliminating your opponents’ bunnies. And there are numerous expansion packs.

The very best part, though, is that Beloved Wife enjoys the game! So that makes it a keeper. She even mentioned it in her blog.

A good friend passes

I must say goodbye to a friend of many years, that passed away suddenly late last week…


This electric kettle provided service faithfully since it was gifted to me for my birthday in 2004 by my Beloved Wife. It has produced boiling water for thousands of cups of tea, which has become an important part of our days’ rhythm.

We are now trying to identify a worthy successor. But this Braun Tea Kettle will always have a special place in our hearts.

CraftyMomma, you make me proud

As we approach our 13th wedding anniversary, I am reminded of how very proud I am of CraftyMomma.

She takes on new challenges with an open mind and a plan. She has very high expectations of herself, and works very hard. Sometime things don’t go according to plan, but when she encounters difficult situations, she handles then with grace and resolve, and makes sure to take something good from them.

I hope that I am able, through conscious effort and the mystical process of marital osmosis, to adopt some of her habits.

CraftyMomma, you rock!

Happy 2009

Wow. I took a two-week vacation over the holidays, and it was delicious. We’re all a little sad that it has come to an end, but it will be good to get back to our respective vocations.

I think we had a pretty successful 2008, and I’m looking forward to what 2009 has in store. There are a few things I’m planning on working toward, this year.

One lesson that this vacation has taught me, though, is that I need to make space to be with my spouse and son. With our busy schedules, this will take some conscious effort.

Beloved Wife starts her field work, today. I know she’ll do well. NatureBoy goes back to school; he’s thrilled. (Did I mention that he got straight As on his most recent progress report?)

I’m looking forward to going back to work, too. Well, I better tackle the remaining morning tasks.

Happy New Year!

Holiday season meme

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

I enjoy wrapping gifts; NatureBoy would say that’s because it’s "nit-picky." Last year, Beloved Wife made some drawstring bags out of holiday-themed fabric, and I have used raw cloth from BW’s stash to wrap some things using the Japanese furoshiki technique. Some day I’ll actually make finished furoshiki cloths.

2. Real tree or Artificial?

I really can’t abide artificial trees. I prefer Fraser Fir to Balsam, but they’re quite similar. I remember my paternal grandparents often had something very similar to Charlie Brown’s sad little white pine. I could never quite understand why.

3. When do you put up the tree?

As BW said "The day after Thanksgiving. No exceptions." This is more important to BW and NB than it is to me. I would mind waiting a little, but they get so excited that I can’t help but get excited, too.

4. When do you take the tree down?

Christmas day. Since we really celebrate the Winter Solstice, we’re pretty done with it. and the tree itself starts to drop needles that last week. Can you say fire hazard?

5. Do you like eggnog?

Not especially. I can drink a little, but I’m not a fan of nutmeg.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?

Hmmm. The Dungeons & Dragons Basic set was a big one. 🙂 I got that and a cool miniature red dragon on a pile of gold (when minis were still made of lead). I still have the dragon; I recently purchased a copy of the D&D basic set I had (purple box).

I also have a set of miniature building blocks around the size of a box of playing cards, which has always been precious to me. (Yes, have. It’s in my sock drawer).

7. Hardest person to buy for? My mom.

8. Easiest person to buy for?

NatureBoy and Beloved Wife. Hardest thing is to stop buying for them.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? No.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?

This is something that I’m not very good at. Usually, BW is on top of this, but with going back to school, some things just have to wait. We do have very nice cards, and we tend to send a small number of cards to close family and close friends. Last year, we included a little newsletter of the major happenings of the year. I expect we’ll do the same this year.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? 

Wow. I’m just not sure about this one. Could be the occasional garment of questionable aesthetic value.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?

The original How the Grinch Stole Christmas is tied with Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. Spoiler: Yukon Cornelius is looking for a peppermint mine! (Revealed at the very end of the restored VHS version. DVD doesn’t have it.)

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? November-ish.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

I don’t think so; doesn’t mean I wouldn’t, just can’t think of anything.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

Smoked cheddar cheese and port-wine cheese spread with crackers; also cookies, pies, candy canes, and Wassail.

16. Lights on the tree?

Yeas. I used to be a white lights only purist, but BW has won me over to the beauty of jewel-toned colored lights.

17. Favorite Christmas song?

John Rutter’s Carol of the Children, which I first heard on a public television special (which I found on VHS and game to my mom a couple years ago). It’s available on the CD John Rutter – Music for Christmas.

That special also included the story of Brother Heinrich’s Christmas, now available as part of Three Musical Fables, which is a special seasonal story.

We have a collection of special seasonal books, too.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?

We celebrate Winter Solstice at home, and usually trade off Christmas Eve between my mom and BW’s parents. Both are live within a few miles, so travel isn’t a significant part of our winter holiday.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

Yes, and in tune, but without the Gene Autry twang.

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?

Presents on Solstice morning, though I think we’ve allowed a single present Solstice Eve in the past. Don’t know about this year, yet. We also open gifts with the parents’ in turn on Christmas Eve/Christmas.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?

The short days. Although I appreciate the darkness, the resting and incubation energies, I find it hard to be motivated to do much when there are so few hours of daylight. Come back, Sun!

22. Favorite ornament theme or color?

Botanical themes; mistletoe, holly, pine and fir; also winter birds.

23. What do you want for Christmas this year?

I’m interested in learning to work wood and make furniture. I’ve been reading books and magazines, and I hoping to start collecting hand tools. (Can’t fit stationary power tools in my apartment.)

Also, there’s some gaming coolness that will be fun for all, but I can’t say too much about it, yet.

24. Angel on the tree top or a star?

BW found a pretty Gingerbread-like snowflake tree topper that we’ve used for several years. Last year, though, NB created a special tree topper out of felt. It had a sad/sleepy sun on it, but on Solstice day, he turned it inside-out and there was a Happy Shiny new sun.

25. Favorite Christmas dinner?

Apple pie. 😉

Olbermann – Gay marriage is a question of love

A slug for this video flickered across the bottom of (one of) my IM client. I’d not heard of Keith Olbermann before, but it was nice to see this kind of message in such a visible way.

Olbermann: Gay marriage is a question of love
Olbermann: Gay marriage is a question of love
 Click to watch the video

I also learned that a protest will be held on Saturday, November 15 at 1:30 PM in Burlington City Hall Park, as part of a nation-wide effort to counter California’s Proposition 8 and other anti-GLBT state initiatives.