News of the Day: Daylight Savings Pushed Back One Week

Surprise! Daylight Saving Pushed

Back One Week by 2005 Energy Conservation Act

If you turned your clocks back one hour one hour Sunday morning thinking it was the annual move back to Standard Time, all you succeeded in doing was moving into a new time zone.
The move from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time doesn't happen this year until the first Sunday in November, instead of the usual last Sunday in October.
That means computer software, cellphones and other electronic equipment that is programmed to automatically change will have to be manually reset Monday morning back to Daylight Saving Time, then changed back one hour next Sunday.
President Bush in 2005 signed the Energy Conservation Act, which pushed back the time change in an effort to squeeze just a little more daylight — and a bit of energy savings — into the daily lives of Americans.
The legislation also changed the "spring forward" to Daylight Saving Time, which next year will be on March 9.
Government estimates place the overall energy savings at just over 1 percent.

I was aware of this and didn't change my clocks. My laptop adjusted the time and confused me for all of an hour before realizing what the problem was.

However, my body and mind which has been programmed these past 40 years to the time change, felt like the time had changed. I was having that jet lag feeling you get with the time change and we were all so tired yesterday. It really felt like we had already changed the clocks.

How weird is that!

Fun Monday: Security Blankets

Fun Monday #39

hosted by Candid Karina
“I want to see your security blankets. No, not the kind Linus carries around with him in the Charlie Brown cartoons, although, if you have one of those, by all means share it. What I want to see are the items you just cannot leave home without. What is it that if you leave your house without, you feel naked, incomplete, not quite right? This can be one thing or many things. And since most of us don't live in a clothing optional society, lets just assume we all leave the house fully dressed...I want to hear about those other things...the extras. The things that make women's purses so heavy and men's pockets so messy (I'm going to get grief for this one, aren't I?) What can't you leave home without? Show us pictures, tell us stories...have fun!”

Well, of course I can’t leave the house without my purse, but you don't need to see a picture of that. Would feel naked without it, plus has all the essentials of life that keep you from getting arrested such as a driver’s license and insurance card.
What is in that purse that is essential to me and can’t leave home without?
Well now that I am over 40 and suffer from the eyes are going, hands are dried out and lips feel like a prune syndrome, must have the “cheaters”, Aveeno hand lotion and Vaseline (get your mind out of the gutter). The phone is for emergencies only, but feel naked without it. Money is always important to have and yes, I still carry cash. Of course, the keys – can’t go anywhere at all without them. The rest is unremarkable or non mentionable.

Book Reviews: Fall Into Reading Challenge

The fall into reading challenge is progressing and a little more than 1/3 over. Have finished half of the books planned and have been making adjustments along the way, adding and deleting books. I did read the whole Twilight Trilogy based on other challengers reviews and suggestions but decided not to do reviews on them.

I recently started reading Terry Brooks Genesis of Shannara: The Elves of Cintra and discovered that just couldn't get into it; too dark and bleak and depressing. So, setting it aside and will read it another time. (Maybe) Also going to set aside Bodie Thoene's A River Runs Free and the non fiction book The Other Parent.

Found 3 interesting books at Berean's and decided to add them to the challenge. I seem to be veering toward and enjoying reading books by Christian authors lately.

A new one by young adult author Wayne Thomas Batson called Isle of Swords. He is the author of the The Door Within Trilogy which totally captivated me and I enjoy his writing. The description according to "Swashbuckling drama on the high seas! When a young boy awakens on an island, alone and injured with no memory of his past, his adventure is only beginning. What will he face next? Ruthless pirates, raging battles, a rumbling volcano, and sea creature slithering in the deep! "

Stephen Lawhead's Hood, book 1 of the King Raven Trilogy looks quite interesting. Lawhead redoes the story of Robin Hood . According to "An epic of Robin Hood, the "prince of thieves"! Lawhead spins the tale of the merry outlaw---in this telling, he's from Wales, not England's Sherwood Forest---in a far more earthy, eerie, and elemental way than ever before."

And more of a light hearted read by Cathy Marie Hake; Bittersweet which is described by as "Laney McCain believes that all of her years of pining after Galen O'Sullivan might finally pay off as he starts to notice the woman that she's become. Squatters on Galen's land divert his attention from Laney's wooing, however. Galen shows mercy to siblings Ishmael and Ivy Grubb, allowing them to stay on the land in return for help around the farm, despite their crass language and behavior and uneducated ways. The arrival of the Grubbs disrupts more than Laney's plans, throwing life as she knows it into turmoil, but allowing for Christian grace and forgiveness to enter into lives that need it the most."
I am almost finished with "What the Bleep do we Know" and will have a review done before November 1st. Also started reading "Holy Yoga" but that is one that will take some time to read and absorb. Really need to get back into doing the treadmill and Yoga, so will have to work that into my schedule.

Writing Challenge: NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo Challenge

Well, I have come up with a story that want to write about, so am working on figuring out the characters. Currently working on an outline of the story over the next few days, so when November 1st hits, will be ready to start writing. The title and the synopsis of the story are:

Seasonings of the Soul

Samantha is a 2nd grade school teacher who is recruited by a nun from the Catholic church to teach in a experimental school in Holly River Valley. The school is the brainchild between the Catholic church and home school parents, who are required to be involved in the school, but are not required to be catholic. It is a melting pot of religons and different family types which makes it quite interesting for the Catholic Priest and Nun who run the school. It has been two years since the school formed. Sammie has been teaching there for one year. The story will be about her interactions with the students, parents, teachers and the school staff. Also, she is a Christian who is having a faith challenge and thinks something is missing in her spiritual life, so she sets out to find it. She will explore pentecostal, episcopalian, baptist, presbyterian and catholic religions. A new teacher, Adam, comes to work at the school and he is a devout cradle to grave Catholic. He teaches her about Catholicism and and in the process they fall in love. She decides to convert to Catholic - maybe!

The book will be written from a third person viewpoint and may have it from both Samantha's view and Adam's view. I am sure this thing is going to segue all over the place since the goal is just to write, write, write without editing. I am going to go with the flow of the pen and see where it takes me.

I am not so sure about the title and came up with several. If you like one of these titles better or have a suggestion for a title, let me know.

alternative titles:

1) Capturing Sammie's Soul

2) Spirits in the Window

3) Teacher in the Body

4) Sammie's Soul

5) Holly River Valley (generic title of the town)

6) Floating on the Surface

7) Window of Samantha's Soul

Talk amongst yourselves and let me know what you think. Have to start working on my outline.

Homeschool Weekly Report

We had a pretty good week. I tried to keep it light since James is just about over his cold, but still a little draggy. I'm draggy too but haven't actually came down with anything. I don't know which is worse - actually getting sick or just feeling like you are coming down with something, but don't.

Day to Day Devotions was about keep following God. Discussed and memorized Galatians 6:9 Don't get tired of doing good things.

Lord teach me to Pray was about uncovering any obstacles that may hinder communication with the Commander in Chief. I think I'm getting more out of this than James. Invested in 3 or 4 of Kay Arthur's adult 28 day studies for moi to start doing.

English and Spelling: Completed Lessons 13,14, and 15 of Unit one and practiced writing and putting more sentences together. Completed Lesson 15 in spelling learning about adding suffixes to words.

Math: Completed math worksheets for minuends 6 through 9. When doing the problems, James is counting in Spanish.

Tuesday James and Father read all about Heat Transfer in Usborne's Energy, Forces and Motion, then put the knowledge to practice. Father had James help him with soldering parts onto his microphone pre amplifier circuit board.

Thursday after completing math worksheet and writing practice sentences, they read all about how animals adapt to the Desert and Ms Frizzles Adventures in a Medieval Castle.

Non planned educational stuff: James did Lego Loco, math adventures and Typer shark on the computer. He watched Fun with Spanish dvd on TV a couple times.

He has been watching Dora and Go Diego Go DVD's and all the Spanish is rubbing off on him. We have been having mini conversations in spanish and some of my 7th grade spanish lessons are coming back to me. I asked him if he is ready for me to put Rosetta Stone back on the computer to learn more spanish: Not yet!

Book Review: The Alchemist

The Alchemist


Paulo Coelho

Someone of the Fall Challenge may have mentioned this book and that is why the title seemed familiar when I saw it in the bookstore. I picked it up and read the prologue, the first page of the first chapter and a snippet chosen randomly in the book. The story piqued my interest. Once I actually sat down and read the book, I was fascinated.'

From an Amazon Review

“Paulo Coelho's enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world, and this tenth anniversary edition, with a new introduction from the author, will only increase that following. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasures found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.”

Book Review: Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud

Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud


Julia Navarro

I was having difficulty coming up with an adequate description for this story so borrowed from
“Marco Valoni, chief of Italy’s Art Crimes Department, is convinced that a fire in the Cathedral of Turin that leaves a strangely mutilated, unidentifiable body on the scene was no accident. It is only the last in a long line of mishaps, going back over a hundred years, which have occurred in the church – which happens to be home to what millions of the faithful believe, is that authentic burial shroud of Jesus Christ.

Valoni and his crack team of specialists embark on an investigation that soon leads them into dangerous territory, territory controlled by some of the most powerful men in the world. Not only do they discover evidence of a secret Christian sect that traces its priests to the very disciples of Jesus himself, but also that the Knights Templar – supposedly destroyed forever when Philip the Fair of France watched their last Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, burn at the stake in 1314 – may not have disappeared at all, and may indeed be very much alive and active in the 21st century.

Julia Navarro skillfully weaves the Italians’ thrilling present-day investigation with the spine-tingling history of the Holy Shroud itself, and with a chilling tale of ancient rivals, equally devoted to the relic, and equally willing to sacrifice anything – perhaps even their immortal souls–to possess it.”
The story follows two timelines: The present of Marco Valoni and the past starting with the death of Jesus and the removal of the shroud. The two timelines are expertly woven together creating a very fascinating story.

What I found interesting and had never considered before was the explanation of why scientist can only carbon date the shroud back to the 1200’s. According to the story, the shroud was wrapped in another cloth. When the shroud was unwrapped at the end of the journey, it was discovered that an exact duplicate of the image had imprinted on the other cloth.

Excerpt:Jacques de Molay was right: God had worked a miracle upon the cloth that had enfolded the Holy Shroud during the long perilous journey of Francois de Charney so many years ago – a cloth of soft linen, of the same texture and color as that in which Joseph of Arimathea had laid the body of the Christ to rest.”

It was an aha moment for me even though the book is a work of fiction.

The story is fascinating and well worth reading.

Wordless Wednesday: Notebooks and Nanowrimo

Wordless Wednesday

Not so wordless, after all!

Wordless now, but come November 1st, this notebook will be filled with words, words and more words. I was thinking about and finally decided that I was going to challenge myself and join in on the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMO).

The picture of the notebook: You see - I can't think and type at the same time (most of the time). I have to write my thoughts down, then type them out. Once I know the gist of what want to say, then my thoughts flow freely and my fingers follow on the computer. Hence, the notebook.

National Novel Writing Month challenges you to put aside your internal editor and write a 175 page, 50,000 word fiction novel. Chris Baty started the concept back in 1999 with just a few friends and the movement has grown to 79,000 strong as of last year. 79,000 people worldwide committed to try and write a novel within 30 days. People are still signing up on the site, so they don't have what the numbers are this year. The key word is writing. NaNoWriMo is a way of committing yourself to writing without editing so that by November 30th, you will have a rough draft of that novel you always wanted to write, but never got round to it. When the month is over, then you can go back, edit it, decide if you like it, pitch it to someone or throw it in the thrash. But, you will have a completed rough draft.

I bought Chris Baty's book "No Plot, No Problem! A low stress, high velocity guide to writing a novel in 30 days." How impressive is this. I ordered the book from him last Friday and received it on Saturday. Read it and was sold on the idea.

For the past few days, I have been figuring out what to write about - you know, the plot. It is helpful to have some sort of plot. Though Chris says just start writing and a plot will occur. Yeah, write, err right! I have been pondering and figuring out who my characters will be and coming up with some sort of outline. The key is you can't actually start writing the story until November 1st, but you can take the week before to get your ducks all in a row making up characters and thinking about your plot.

my5wolfcubs is also going to do NaNoWriMo and I agreed to be one of her writing buddies, so I really committed myself and there is no looking back. Some of the ladies from WTM who are "almost certain" they are going to join in the fun: Debbie in Ohio, K-FL's two daughters, Kay in Cal, Jennifer GWOTW, and maybe Julie in Georgetown.

I have my plot, characters, and settings worked I just need to come up with a title for the story.

What? You want to know what the story is going to be about? You will just have to wait a little big longer before the big "reveal."

Book Review: Illuminated by Matt Bronleewe




This was a very interesting, fast paced suspense thriller that held me spellbound for the entire book. The story follows August Adams, his wife April, and his son Charlie. Hidden within the Gutenberg bibles are clues to finding a treasure and two secret organizations want that treasure, but first they must get their hands on the Bibles. They have been following August and know he is transporting one he had just bought and that April works for a museum housing one of the Bibles.

They hold Charlie and his grandmother hostage while forcing August to decipher the hidden messages with the illuminations in the Gutenberg Bible and forcing April to steal the one at the museum.

"According to Amazon “the clock ticks, the suspense mounts, and the body count rises as August pits his knowledge and his love for his family against the clock, secret societies, and even Johannes Gutenberg himself.”

Book Review: Silver Tower




This was one of my used book store finds. Dale Brown actually lives here in the Sacramento Valley and is a very prolific writer. He writes high tech military thrillers which are rich with detail. I happen to be into those types of books and find the technical part of the stories fascinating. Dale is a former U.S. Air Force captain and has participated in numerous air war scenarios. I know what those are like because my dad attended the air war college in Alabama for one year and it was quite intense for him.

Silver Towers is an older book published back in 1988; Pre Dreamland series and pre Middle East crisis. It is set in 1992 and the United States is allied with IRAN. The Soviet Union is about to launch an invasion against Iran and we have to protect them. Our only hope is Silver TowerAmerica’s first permanent military space station with high tech laser defense system.

The only gripe I have is with the characters. In his Dreamland series and other books, you get to know the characters intimately. In Silver Tower, he skates just above the surface with out much detail, so you really don’t get drawn into them as much. The finite detail goes into the space station and other military hardware. So, when a couple of the characters fall in love, you really didn’t see it happening. Great for the guys who don’t like all that mushy stuff. LOL!

Book Review: Promises to Keep by Charles De Lint



Promises To Keep is about Jilly Coppercorn and her life pre Widdershins. De Lint gives us flashbacks into her life as a teen runaway and how Angel helps her get off the street and introduces her to Geordie, Sophia, and the others. The book deals with some serious subjects: Abuse, drug abuse and death. Jilly had a pretty depressing life and the book is more gloomy than anything. It is a short book of 173 pages and a short read.

In the story Jilly runs into Donna, an old friend from her days on the street. Donna leads her into an alternate world where 95% of the folks are dead, but happy living their lives, and coincidentally are being given whatever they need to make them happy: House, food, money, jobs, etc. Jilly has worked hard to fix her life and the alternate reality is just too easy and doesn’t seem right for her so she tries to find a way back into the real world.

If you are a Charles De Lint Fan, than you will probably like the book. If you have never read any of his books, don’t start with this one. If you like secular science fiction, start by reading Onion Girl, Tapping the Dream Tree or his most current book about the town of Newford – Widdershins.

Fun Monday - Clothing Art

Fun Monday # 38

This week's Fun Monday is being hosted by Willowtree at A Dingo's got my Barbie. He wants to see some clothing art. That's tee shirts, baseball caps, hoodies, sports uniforms or any bit of clothing that you or your kids own that has interesting, funny or artistic graphics.

This is my most favorite shirt!
Most people who see this shirt will give me a huge grin and a big thumbs up. There have been a few times, I have been on the receiving end of a rather baleful glare, in which I just flash them a sweet smile and keep moving.
This one leaves most people puzzledHave you figured it out yet?

I have fallen in love with Edward Gorey shirts

My most recent acquisition since decided to actually do it.
Cute Christmas find from Wireless Catalog
and one well worn and laundered shirt that gets worn a lot

Got this one while visiting sister in Texas at the local Walmart. The only and one big store in the little town of Gun Barrell City, Texas.

News of the Day: NaNoWriMo Writing Challenge

I know, I know!

I am supposed to be working on my midterm, however I came across NaNoWriMO and am having the INSANE notion to give it a try. What is it: National Novel Writing Month which runs only from November 1st through the 30th"

"National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30"

I am only contemplating it at this point, but seriously considering. With every thing else I have to do, it would involve writing at least 1666 words per day for 30 days. Do you think I can do it! Would you?

Family Life: Cookie Monster

You Are Cookie Monster
Misunderstood as a primal monster, you're a true hedonist with a huge sweet tooth.

You are usually feeling: Hungry. Cookies are preferred, but you'll eat anything if cookies aren't around.

You are famous for: Your slightly crazy eyes and usual way of speaking

How you live your life: In the moment. "Me want COOKIE

This is interesting because way back when working for the Sacramento PBS station, I was THE COOKIE MONSTER. We were having a special event and they needed one person to be cookie monster and one person to be big bird. I don't remember if my boss volunteered me or I volunteered. What does silly me do the day before I am supposed to do this event. A friend came over to my apartment and we laid out by the pool sunbathing. Except, instead of using sunblock, I used suntan oil. I was freshly baked. So, I had to pour my sunburned body into the cookie monster outfit, stuff it with pillows to fill it out and stand out in the 100 degree weather shaking and baking. The kids and some of the parents, too, thought I was the real deal, so did my best imitation of Cookie Monster. I carried a basket of cookies to hand out to the kids, but every time I shook my blue belly, they all fell out. Then everyone would go scrambing to pick up the cookies. I even got to take a ride in a hot air balloon with the Mayor. Have you ever tried climbing into a hot air balloon basket in a cookie monster outfit. Let's just say I fell in at the mayor's feet.

A fun time was had by all, but boy was I sick afterwards.

My Education: Science and Religion Midterm

It's midterm time for my Science and Religion Class. I have 5 essay questions to answer and post by Monday October 22 at 11:55 p.m. Eastern time.

The Midterm

Provide clear answers to each question below. Include a defense of your answer by appeal to the specific passage or page number from one of the required texts of this course. As always, write clearly and coherently.
  1. What were the three broad types of responses (approaches) within the Christian tradition of biblical interpretation to the Copernican models of the universe?

  2. How exactly is the movement known as “Deism” motivated by the scientific discoveries of Isaac Newton? That is, precisely what aspects of Newton’s mechanistic worldview offer support to advocates of Deism?

  3. How exactly did Darwin’s theory of evolution challenge traditional Christian teachings about the origins of life?

  4. Based on the doctrines of logical positivism, does the statement “God is all-powerful” have any possible meaning (that is, could be true or false)? If so, how is that meaning determined? If not, why not? Include in your answer the relevant doctrine of logical positivism.

  5. What exactly are the three major approaches to the question of God’s action on earth? Be specific and make sure that you identify the similarities and differences among these three approaches.
So, I am off to think and write and think and write some more. If you see anything else posted such as a book review or something, it's because I needed a break from all that thankin'

Fun Monday: Meet Cute Story

Fun Monday # 37 is being hosted by Janet

Janet wants us to "Describe your meeting with your spouse/significant other. I especially want to hear "meet cute" stories. And it doesn't have to be your actual current sig/other. Perhaps the "meet cute" story is a former boy/girlfriend... or even a best friend. Illustrate with photos, of course."
I never thought I would find my soul mate .... through a want-ad. That's right, a want-ad.

At the end of 1991 whatever the reason was at the time: silly, dare, bored, curious or what, I placed an ad in the Sacramento Singles News Magazine. It said
Ward Cleaver, Where are You?
SWF, 32 seeking a 1950's type of guy. A gentleman with sense of humor and the gift of gab, affectionate (i'm addicted to hugs and backrubs), physically fit, intelligent, catholic. I am 5'2", 115 lb., multifaceted southern lady who is educated, intelligent, stubborn, conservative, honest, passionate, catholic, with sense of humor who still believes in old fashioned marriage. Unlimited interests including science fiction (books and movies), murder mystery parties, adventures, discussing politics to philosophy, evenings out on the town as well as staying home, watching videos or cuddling by the fire. I also give wonderful backrubs. Must be willing to share me with a very possessive cat. If you are a SWM, nonsmoker, please write. Photo appreciated.

My mother takes credit for the headline!

I received about 40 replies running the gamut from a photograph with just a phone number to a four page letter detailing exactly what this man wanted in a woman and the type of wife she should be. I still have the letters in my memorabilia box. 

I received a letter from Father and liked what I read. I called him and we arranged to meet for lunch on January 24th at the Peppermill. We exchanged details of what we looked like so would recognize each other. I got to the Peppermill early and sat down in the bar, facing the mirror. Father walked in a few minutes later: Handsome with a beard, but shorter than I expected. We introduced ourselves, then walked in to the restaurant for lunch. Walking behind him gave me to opportunity to check out the back side view which wasn’t bad at all.

Our lunch lasted three hours but only seemed like a few minutes. Since we liked each other, we arranged to go on a date the next weekend. After that date, I never answered any more replies from the ad. Somehow I knew he was going to be a part of my life forever.

He told me later that when got back to the office, he told his office manager that “this is a woman I could introduce to my parents!

Do you want to know the rest of the story: go to our engagement story

Book Review: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer



Stephenie Meyer

Monday the 8th, while we were still in New York we were all tired. James was sleeping, Father was sleeping and I had finished the two books I had brought. While my two guys were resting, went over to Borders at Penn Station. I found Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and just had to get it. I started reading Twilight as soon as got back to the room and couldn’t put it down. 

Many people, starting with Mental Multivitamin had read the book and said it was a delightful, enchanting book. I couldn’t agree more. They just left out the part about it being a thrill ride with many ups, downs, twists and turns.

It held me breathless with anticipation as few books do. It is a story about a 17 year old girl Isabella who has just moved to the small town of Forks to live with her dad, the town sheriff and go to high school. At the small high school, she sees Edward, the most beautiful boy, she has ever seen. She is entranced by him.

Excerpts from pg 18 and 19
“They were sitting in the corner of the cafeteria, as far away from where I sat as possible in the long room. There were five of them. They weren’t talking, and they weren’t eating… They didn’t look anything alike… and yet, they were all exactly alike…”
“I stared because their faces, so different, so similar, were all devastatingly, inhumanly beautiful. They were faces you never expected to see except perhaps on a airbrushed pages of a fashion magazine. Or painted by an old master as the face of an angel. It was hard to decide who was the most beautiful – maybe the perfect blond girl, or the bronze haired boy.”
However, she doesn’t understand Edward’s first reaction to her. He seems to hate her and can’t stand being next to her. He is different, something not quite human about him. They become friends and she learns his true nature. He is a vampire living with his “siblings” and the town doctor. They fall in love despite the problems it could cause.

Excerpt from page 259
“I reached the edge of the pool of light and stepped through the last fringe of ferns into the loveliest place I had ever seen. The meadow was a small, perfectly round, and filled with wildflowers – violet, yellow, and soft white. Somewhere nearby, I could hear the bubbling music of a stream. The sun was directly overhead, filling the circle with a haze of buttery sunshine. I walked slowly, awestruck, through the soft grass, swaying flowers and warm, gilded air. I halfway turned, wanting to share this with him, but he wasn’t behind me where I thought he’d be. I spun around, searching for him with sudden alarm. Finally I spotted him, still under the dense shade of the canopy at the edge of the hollow, watching me with cautious eyes. Only then did I remember what the beauty of the meadow had driven from my mind – the enigma of Edward and the sun, which he’d promised to illustrate for me today.
I took a step back toward him, my eyes alight with curiosity. His eyes were wary, reluctant. I smiled encouragingly and beckoned to him with my hand, taking another step back to him. He held up a hand in warning, and I hesitated, rocking back onto my heels.
Edward seemed to take a deep breath, and then he…………………..”
Bella is accepted by his family, who are thrilled to see he has found someone. She is curious what it would take to become a vampire, but Edward won’t tell her.

Suddenly Bella’s life is put in danger when an outside clan of vampires traveling through the area discovers her with Edward and his family and decides to hunt her. The danger and excitement mount as Edward races to save her life.

The book is actually part of a trilogy written by Stephenie Meyer for young adults, but adult of all ages will enjoy reading this exciting, enchanting, thrilling story. I can’t wait to read the sequels “New Moon” and “Eclipse.”

News of the Day: Al Gore


You either love him or hate him. Me - I can't stand the man and think he is a complete and total blathering idiot. He is the Democrats Dan Quayle. However, father likes the man and hopes he runs for president and knocks Hillary out of the ball park. In a way that would be good and we can be assured nothing would be accomplished during his presidency. Hmmm!

My brother in law just appeared on NBC news a couple nights ago as the spokesman for, a movement by Democrats to get Gore to run for president. They are hoping to get enough people to sign a petition that will entice Gore to run. Check out the website - it is very well done. (good job B - proud of you)

I got myself into hot water on the WTM board because I disagreed with Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize. You really aren't suppose to bring up political stuff, or rather, you are asked not too. However, I had to say something and vent and the result was not pretty.

What I said was "I have to go throw up, bury my head in the sand and die now: Al Gore Won Nobel Peace Prize for his "work" on climate change. What a crock of *&&^&#." (i did not actually use any swear words - just the symbols as you see)

Anyway, at some point, someone started using profanity in the headers which totally upset me. Why? Yes, I am an adult and swear myself but I respect SWB and the forum she has provided us to use. It is for homeschooling moms and dads, the majority of which are Christian. I have seen other boards quickly go down hill and fail, once profanity is allowed to become the norm. It reeks of immature, high school behavior to me, when someone can't make a point without using profanity.

I didn't want to be responsible for starting that downfall. So I asked the webmaster to delete the thread, which I am happy to say they did. Some folks misunderstood my intent and thought that I couldn't take the resulting comments or arguments and that I was throwing a temper tantrum. Far from it, but no body else complained which made me very sad. I am going to take a break from the boards, starting tomorrow. I have been spending way too much time on the boards when really could be doing something else, more productive.

In the Sydney Morning Herald "ONE of the world's foremost meteorologists has called the theory that helped Al Gore share the Nobel Peace Prize "ridiculous" and the product of "people who don't understand how the atmosphere works".

Dr William Gray, a pioneer in the science of seasonal hurricane forecasts, told a packed lecture hall at the University of North Carolina that humans were not responsible for the warming of the earth."

For more interesting comments about Al Gore's winning of the peace prize explore what The Anchoress has to say. She always has something eloquent to say and links to other sites.

Slide Show of New York

New York vacation: Oct 4 Day One - On our way

OCT 4th Day One: On our way to NEW YORK!!!!

Thursday we took off for New York. I wasn’t able to get a non stop flight from Sacramento so we are going through Denver, then on to New York. We will be arriving in New York at 11:30 p.m. their time. When we got up, all we had to do was finish packing up essentials, my laptop, do the dishes, sweep the floor, last minute litter box clean out and throw out the thrash. At least that is what was on my list of things to do before we left at 12:00 p.m. for a 2:55 p.m. flight.

 When father got up, he had a different list of things to accomplish – he needed to call and make arrangements for a circuit board to be printed up, email it to them, then call his AES associates. I asked him to finish three things before any of that: get his shaving kit and whatever else needed and pick out ties to be packed, and get the cash. I had packed all clothes and other stuff the night before.

We are packed and ready to hit the “hurry up and wait twilight zone.” We leave at 12:00 p.m. and turn around 5 minutes later when I remember to ask if father put the cash in his wallet.

We get to the airport and park in the economy lot and hop on the airport bus for a ride to the United Terminal. We check in at the curbside kiosk and get the test of “when is your son’s birthday.” We passed, but for some reason, I am on the special “cap” list (whatever that is) and he is restricted from printing my boarding pass. We have to check in at the counter. Guard leads us over to the front of the United check in line and hands us off to the counter person. She has no idea what the problem is and issues all boarding passes. I think I messed them up because went on United’s website the night before and tried to do their Easy online check in. However, since they didn’t have James birth date, it wouldn’t work, so canceled out of it. It must have put up a red flag.

On to security…we strip off shoes, take the laptop out of the bag, pull off my glasses, empty pockets of cell phone, change and associated other stuff, and put all, plus James cowboy hat into the gray plastic bins and slide them through the x-ray machine. Pick up all on the other end and proceed to our gate. Since they won’t be serving lunch on this leg of the flight, we grab chicken melt sandwiches and French fries. Of course, the French fries were the wrong kind of fries (but mom: they have skin - ewww) so James decided not to eat.

Three gentlemen from Mongolia and a lady (their interpreter) sit down next to us and are very taken with James in his cowboy hat. They clamor for a picture of James, which I felt very strange about. I generally don’t let complete strangers take a picture of James. However, the interpreter said one of the men had a boy James age, missed him and his son would be delighted to have a picture of him with the American boy. I let them take the picture and the interpreter apologizes for her friend’s bad behavior. We get up to go back to the gate when one guy says something, takes off his lapel pin and hands it to James. The interpreter said “he wishes you to have this.” It is a silver pin with and raised relief of a cowboy on a horse throwing a lasso.

He seemed sincere and it didn’t look like an expensive piece (at least I hope it isn’t), so we accepted it.

We boarded the plane for our hop to Denver and settled in for the two hour flight. I started reading “Silver Tower” by Dale Brown, Father read his AES magazine and James watched a DVD on the laptop. Before we knew it, we were in Denver and had a one hour layover.

This is a statue of Apollo 13 Astronaut Jack Swigert at the Denver Airport. We get James french fries and milk from McDonalds (they seem to have a chain in every airport now, except Sacramento….. Hmmm!) and waited for our connection. We were suppose to leave 6:06 Denver time but the plane was delayed 30 minutes. No big deal….right!

Well, as we are boarding the plane, the flight attendants are hurrying every one along as quickly as possible. They are telling every one to hustle because New York has a 12:00 curfew and if we don’t leave NOW, then we will be diverted. That’s right…La Guardia shuts down at 12:00 a.m. to do construction on the runways. According to another passenger this has been going on for the past 6 months.

We take off in a reasonable amount of time and the flight crew is ready to do the standard safety speech. What I hear is “everyone cease your conversations right now, close all reading material and pay attention to the monitors.” I laughed because it sounded like a very polite “shut up and pay attention.” The in flight movie was Evan the Almighty with Steve Carroll, which I had no problem ignoring because I can’t stand him. I set James up with the laptop and he watched one of his dvd’s. We had an uneventful flight and made it to La Guardia with 15 minutes to spare. We got our luggage pretty quickly and a helpful airport worker directed us to the cabs.

We arrived at the Radisson Martinique on Broadway in midtown Manhattan around 12:30 a.m. and checked in.

The room was small and had double beds but I asked for a mini refrigerator which was delivered within 30 minutes of checking in! Why is having a refrigerator a plus? Because my guys could have their milk whenever they wanted it without paying $2.00 per glass.

The hotel is right at the border of Korea town which was quite interesting. We decided to go out and buy some milk and goodies before going to bed. Mind you it is now 1:00 in the morning New York time and it felt strange taking James out that late at night. A bellhop told us about a bagel café and store about 2 or 3 blocks down and we were able to get some milk, water, fruit loops, cheerios, Pringles and Pepsi’s. Ah! The staples of life… ha!
We all fell into bed and tried to sleep…however there was a strange wooshing sound that occurred every few minutes. It was like the sound your toilet makes when leaking and it is filling itself back up again. Of course, it didn’t help that we were trying to sleep in a double bed, when we are used to a King. Every time Father or I moved, we were hitting elbows, knees, or other body parts and waking each other up. Reminder: always request a room with king size beds when traveling. So between those two things, plus the time difference, it was a while before we went to sleep.

New York Vacation: October 5 Day Two - Empire State Building

Oct 5 Day Two: Plan for the day -- The Empire State Building 

We finally all wake up about 12:30 p.m. New York time. James never eats cereal for some inexplicable reason and only eats toast for breakfast, so we decide to go try and find someplace that is serving breakfast. According to the hotel information, they only serve breakfast til 11:00. So….we ask the bell hops who advise us that the restaurant is no longer serving breakfast. They kindly point us in the direction of café “Whozits” a couple blocks down the street in Korea town. We get there and nope, they don’t serve breakfast in the afternoon, but a kindly customer directs us to go to café “Whatzits” two blocks down and to the left. We get to café “Whatzits” who also doesn’t serve breakfast, and again a kindly customer says go to café “Wherezits” two blocks over. At which point it is now 2:00 p.m. and I am tired of the who, what, where game. I hungrily and huffily advise the boys that we are going back to the hotel and eating and it doesn’t matter what it is.

We get back to the hotel and sit wearily down in the restaurant and look at the menus. Glaring out at you from right in the middle of the page:
LATE BREAKFAST 11:00 A.M. TO 3:00 P.M.
I have two bellhops to throttle!!!! The food was delicious – I had a three egg cheese omelet, Father had steak and eggs and James had --- French Fries.

We freshened up and on our way out mentioned the loud wooshing noise to the desk clerk. She said that if there is a guest staying in that room, there isn’t anything they can do, unless THEY complain. “Well, gee thanks for being so helpful.” At this point, I was firmly ensconced in the room, unpacked and didn’t feel like packing again, just to move to another room that might be equally noisy. Besides, it wasn’t bothering my two guys (yet), so decided to get used to it.

Off to the Empire State Building which was just one block down. You can purchase tickets in advance on line and go the express route, which means you don’t have to wait in as long a line, but do have to pay a ticket surcharge for the pleasure. It would take me longer to do down to the hotel business center, go online, buy the tickets and print them off versus walking there. We were just around the block and it was Friday, so how long could the line be? The sign at the door says the wait time is approximately 55 minutes.

We go through the revolving doors into the lobby of the Building and up the stairs to the 2nd floor following the directions of various guides to get in the first line which is for security. The line of people move slowly but constantly forward, as you wind your way down the red ropes to security. Security has the x-ray machine for your belongings and walk through metal detector just like the airport, except you don’t have to take off your shoes, glasses, belts or empty your pockets. Kinda speeds things up a bit. Once past security, you get to the ticket booth.

We purchased tickets to go up to the 102nd floor observatory in addition to the 86th floor observatory. Then we went to the 3rd line which was for the elevators.

The guides had the lines running like clockwork. The lines winded this way and that way through halls and foyers, which also lead you through getting your picture taken in front of a blank green screen. So, we figured the picture would end up being us in front of the Empire State building, of course. James had on a green shirt, the same color of the back ground. We wondered if he was going to disappear in the shot.
At one point, the lines for going up and going down merged in one hallway. The folks going up are coming in from the left and the folks going down are coming from the right. The left hand folks are directed to walk to the right side of the red rope and turn right down the hall to get to the UP elevator. The right hand folks are directed to walk to the left side of the red rope and turn left down the hall to the DOWN elevator.

WELL…just as we reach the front of the line, there is a lull with the folks going down. I happened to be looking back at the people in line. Two ladies several feet behind us just see an empty area where a line should be. They hop over the rope and scurry over beside us on the other side of the rope. The guard directs them to the left side of the rope and they are off with smirks on their faces, thinking they have managed to slide ahead of us. Unbeknownst to them, they just spent 55 minutes in line to go back down. LOL!!!!!!

We reach the elevators, go up to the 80th floor, down another hallway to another bank of elevators and go up to the 86th floor, then get to ride an antique manually operated elevator up to the 102nd observatory. It was actually quiet up there without a lot of people. It was also hazy and visibility was only 2 ½ miles in any direction, so unfortunately couldn’t see the statue of liberty, but what we could see was amazing.

To the north we could see the whole of central park and the Hudson River

To the east is the Queens and past the river, Long Island.

To the South was Wall Street area, New York Bay, the Statute of Liberty and the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. It was hazy and the sun was shining in our faces. We could barely make out the statue of liberty.

To the West was the view on One Penn Plaza, Madison Square Gardens, the river and New Jersey. The tall black building is One Penn Plaza

James said the people down on the ground look like ants. Father took quite a few pictures, then after a while we headed back down. The elevator operator let James “drive” the elevator which made me a little nervous. It must have gotten the attention of someone else too because James made it start to go back up and then down again and the operators phone started ringing.

We made it safely to the 86th floor observatory where most of the people were. We wandered and took more pictures and bought some souvenirs (of course). James got a penny flattened with the image of the empire state building pressed into it.

The funniest part of the whole thing was, people were more intent on feeding the pigeons and getting their pictures, rather than the fantastic view; my two guys included. 

When we were ready to go, had to do the lines all over again, which means taking the elevator down to the 80th floor and winding through the halls to the express elevator to go the rest of the way down. They offered the use of the stairs to go from the 86th floor to the 80th floor. We thought we would be smart and take the stairs forgetting how tired and slow my little boy was getting. Everyone was quite nice about hanging a left around him as we plodded down, with James counting every step. We finally got to the 80th floor and the elevator line again.

Once we reached the 2nd floor, we headed over to the picture spot; looked at the picture of us and it was a night time view of the Empire State Building. James shirt blended in with the skyline and actually looked pretty neat. Of course we had to purchase it, even if it was $20.00.

There were actually many stores and offices in the Empire State Building but by this point we were footsore and weary and just wanted to get back to the hotel. As we were leaving, we saw a Walgreens and went in to get more food and goodies. We got back to the hotel room and collapsed on the beds.

Father decided he was going to have fruit loops for dinner and I decided to order room service. I ordered the Chicken Balsamico with garden potatoes and fresh vegetables. I have to say the meal was enough for three people and once Father smelled it, he just had to have some. The whole meal was quite delicious and the vegetables were absolutely fresh and yummy. We polished off the whole thing and were quite satisfied. We read for the rest of the evening, then tried to go to sleep at a reasonable time. Do you remember the song: Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. Just think of that while trying to sleep. Whoosh!

New York Vacation: Oct 6 Day three - American Museum of Natural History

Oct 6: Day Three: Plan for the Day
American Museum of Natural History

We all wake up around 11:30 or so New York time, got our showers and headed down for a late breakfast. While we are having breakfast, there was an annual Korean American day parade and we have a good view out the window of the restaurant of floats, marching bands, Korean traditional dancers and martial arts. They actually shut down the street down outside the hotel for the Festival, but we were off to the museum so missed that.

We ask the concierge what subway to take to get over to 81st street and he tells us the best route is to take subway C from Penn Station; just turn right out the door and down three blocks. We exit the door and look down the street and see Penn Station in the distance. Wow…I didn’t know we were so close.

We walk across the Avenue of the Americas, down to Penn Station which is surrounded by Madison Square Gardens. We take the escalator down into Penn Station and discover another world. Major transit hub which includes the Subway, Long Island Rail Road, New Jersey Transit, and Amtrak. The place is full of shops including Staples and K-mart, grocery stores and food courts.

We start walking and walking and walking til we reach the subway way in the back. Tickets are two dollars per person each way, except kids under 12 are free. We tell the ticket clerk, we want tickets to train C to go to 81st street. “OH, C train is not working today – you have to take the A train.”

Now, C train takes you all the way to the doorstep of the museum, so we ask “does this train takes us all the way to 81st” The answer is yes.

Then, the gal says we don’t need a ticket for James and “just push your kid under the turnstile, not through.” Neither Father or I are sure we heard her correctly and sound like broken records, both asking at the same time: “push him under?” “Yes, yes,” she says “just push him under.” We look at each other saying “push him under” quizzically. So, we tell James to go under after I go through…he looks at me, looks at father, shrugs his shoulders and goes under. One hurdle down.

We walk up and around and down stairs to get to the C platform. Okay, C isn’t running, but A is, so we need to go to A platform. Kindly person directs us to the stairs that go down and under and back up to A platform. We get over to A platform and father starts chatting with a kindly new Yorker. After a while, someone tells us we have to go back to C platform because that is where the A train is running. We all tromp back over to the C platform and hop on the train. 

We hear periodic announcements from the driver which stop is coming up. We have just arrived at 72nd street, when we hear that the next stop is going to be 122nd street. WHAT? If you need to get to 79th street or beyond, please get off and take the next subway. Urg! We get off and wait for the next train and climb aboard. At 79th street, the next stop is 90 something, so we need to get off and walk to 81st street. We get off and walk up the stairs and as James put it “I see daylight – yeah!”

Father decided at some point he needed a belt, because his jeans were loose so we stop by the store next to the subway entrance. He wanders off to look for belts and James and I stand outside the door for a few moments people watching. I am trying to get my bearings and figure out where we go from there to get to the museum. I also realize that Father will take forever and we go after him, because it is now 3:15 and the museum is only open til 5:45.

We left around 1:30 and it has taken us almost 1 ½ hours to get from 32nd street to 79th street. The museum is on the west side of central park at 81st street and I see absolutely no signs or anything pointing the way. James and I walk upstairs to the men’s department and find father looking at TIES!

I get him over to the belts and he is trying to figure out whether he should be black, brown or ……..I grab a belt, size it to him and tell him to get it, we need to go. We walk up to 81st street and go inside a store for directions to the museum and we are told go left up a few blocks. We go left and start walking, walking, walking. We finally come out on some boulevard, with a park across the street, with what looks like a museum. But, I also see a sign across the street that says Museum of Modern Art with an arrow pointing in the direction of a building.

I am about to lose it at this point, because all I know is that from looking at the map, the Museum of Modern Art is on the opposite side of Central Park. Are we on the wrong side of the park? We walk across into the park, sit down on the bench and I am fuming, hot, footsore and did I say fuming. We sit there a few minutes, trying to get our bearings. Somebody on the bench across from us points over at the building and says “it’s right there.” Bubbububububbub!!!!!!!

We walk along the pathways, past the entrance to the Rose Center for Earth and Space, which is attached to the Museum. We walk around the corner, past the closed subway entrance to the front of the American Museum of Natural History. We have arrived.

The museum is amazing and has four floors of things to see. We only got to see about ¼ of the place. We started out at the hall of African mammals, wandered through the hall of Asian peoples before deciding that what we really wanted to see was the dinosaurs.

The museum is home to the single largest collection of dinosaur fossils in the world with more than 100 specimens of all shapes and sizes in the four halls.

 We go up to the 4th floor to the fossil halls and enter a whole other world. The Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs examines the branches of dinosaurs whose common ancestor had a grasping hand, with fingers that differed in size and shape. This hall included the Apatosaurus and a tyrannosaurus rex, but maniraptors which includes on its evolutionary branch living birds.

The Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs examines the branches of dinosaurs that had backward pointing pubis bone such as the stegosaurus and triceratops.

The Lila Acheson Wallace Wing of Mammals and Their Extinct Relatives included the Hall of Primitive Mammals and The Paul and Irma Milstein Hall of Advanced Mammals. The halls show how the mammals evolved at nearly the same time as the first dinosaurs and the roots of the mammalian line reach back almost 300 million years. We saw fossils of a sloth that was almost the size of an elephant.

More than 600 of these specimens, nearly 85 % of which are real fossils as opposed to casts, are on view.

We also saw a short film called the Evolution of Vertebrates that was very informative. I never remember learning any of this stuff when I was in school.

I will be working up a photo bucket slide show because we just have too many pictures to post separately.

We were all tired and headed for the first floor. We noticed the Hall of Planet Earth and that there was a huge rotating earth in the middle of the room. We wandered through the room for a few minutes which exited in to the Rose Center. We looked at the space stuff for the last 20 minutes before the museum closed.

It was overwhelming to say the least, but very interesting. If you ever plan on going, make sure you plan on a couple days. There is so much to see and do.

We walked back out to the front of the museum, hailed a cab and got back to the hotel in about 20 minutes, driving past trump tower and all the swanky designer clothing stores. We collapsed for a while, ordered room service and spent the rest of the evening reading or using the computer. We fell asleep to the wooshing noise, which Father timed by the way and said it occurred every 5 minutes. We think it might have something to do with the ice machine just down the hall, but we never figured it out.