Thursday, January 19, 2012

open mouth, insert foot

First things first, Inky sent me a really wonderful gift for Christmas/New Year. I've a picture of me opening it, but Aedon's cat chewed through my chord so I can't upload the photos yet! I'll save talking about it until I can do that, but I did want to shout out a thanks to her for that while I was thinking of it!

What I really wanted to write about was a problem I seem to often get myself into :( I got into a discussion with some of the kids at school, and it didn't go well.

See, we all have different hobbies, though sometimes they overlap some. You know how people who have things in common seem to hang around and be friends with one another though? I think the thing we have in common in this household is that we're not very... well, normal. Actually, maybe 'average' is a better way to word it, since 'normal' may imply that there's something wrong with us, and there's not, it's just that most of is are not very... mainstream? And sometimes I get use to having that, and sometimes I get really emotional, because I'm passionate about things which is good! but it means I'm not always careful when I open my mouth.

Someone at school was saying about how lucky she was that her boyfriend was understanding that she had dolls. It made me think of Aedon, who collects a whole bunch of different dolls. Aedon doesn't have a boyfriend but in the past she has had friends who thought the dolls were creepy or whatever. Thing is, I don't think someone is "lucky" if a friend or boyfriend or girlfriend or anyone really who is suppose to care about you merely tolerates you having a hobby that they don't get. Someone who cares about you should be MORE supportive than that! Iona isn't really a doll sort of person at all, but she has sewn clothing for Aedon's dolls for her, because even if she doesn't like dolls, she DOES like Aedon. Does that make sense? I just don't get how "not sneering" and "tolerating" turn out to be to some people as "being supportive". I was trying to explain that sort of thing to the girls at my lunch table, and they just got argumentative and mean. Yet they accused ME of being mean!

Whenever I state my opinion, that seems to happen, and it always hurts me as well as frustrates me. I talked to Riley some about it, since she's always so level headed, and she said sometimes I am a bit more blunt about things than people are use to. She did also say though that she thinks that I'm right, and that many times these things don't come up when it's girls wanting to do boy things (like a girl is encouraged to be more supportive of her boyfriend's sports), than the other way around, and that she thought it was because of sexism, and how things which are "girl things" are seem as being less awesome, and though you'd see a girl play hockey in a tv commercial, you rarely ever see a boy playing house/cooking (which is crazy considering.. did you know that most famous chefs are men!?) or sewing (same! Iona tells me many famous fashion designers are men). She said she thinks that even if I don't know what it is I'm seeing, that I do SEE these sorts of things more than most people, and that I'm not 'average' that way. She said it was good that I saw them though, and that she hoped that I didn't feel like I shouldn't say anything about it, because everyone would benefit from people like me (aww) saying more things, but that I just have to be more careful to be nice when I say things.

She's pretty awesome, I don't know why other people think she's kind of cold/weird.

Friday, December 23, 2011

nearly Christmas!

So we had the party last night and it was really good. I think everyone had a good time, anyway. Joy made SO much food; I know she made rugelach which were vegan, sufganiyot filled with preserves she said she'd made last summer and had canned herself!!!, and she made a chocolate cake shaped like a yule log decorated with marzipan mushrooms, and the usual sugar cookies, though those she'd decorated with coloured sugar in the shape of pentacles (five pointed stars with the corners connected, you know, like teachers use to mark your papers) and she even brought out a FLAMING christmas pudding. I'm not going to lie, a lot of the Americans were kind of meh about how it tasted even though we were impressed that it was ON FIRE.

Xander, Song, Aedon, and Riley (who plays the piano) all played songs for us, and someone had brought a mixed tape of songs and we sang along and sorta danced to those. We played a bunch of games including pinning a nose on Rudolph where Trinity totally put it right on the butt! I had a great time.

We had a gift giving thing where we had to steal the gifts. I ended up stuck with the gift that I'd brought (drawing supplies since I tried to get something that the boys wouldn't mind ending up with) which wasn't so bad since I could use them, but Alejandro had glittery hairbands, so I swapped with him afterwards and that works out too since I had hairbands on my wish list!

Yesterday and today some people were traveling to see family. I'm trying to finish up and wrap the gifts that I'm giving. How are all of you? I hope you've a very good holiday season, whatever you celebrate!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

a short wish list

Okay, Fin was on my butt to post a wish list because it's already December 6, and she said I have to consider mailing time, etc, so here it is:

- things for my head, like hats, headbands from LizzieBee (I really like the new silver, gold & white ones!), or flower clips

- some sort of rainbow decoration for my room, either like, six origami cranes (like, one each of roygbp) or maybe a pennant banner

- jewelry (I don't have my ears pierced yet but I like wearing necklaces & bracelets (& I hope to get my ears pierced soon))

- gauntlet/arm warmers (t-shirt type material)

- apples to apples (in my size)

- Elephant Calico Critters

- art books (like, drawing technique, or watercolor)

- a rainbow (roygbp) afghan

- a rainbow quilt (roygbp too)

- handmade things and art!

I think I'm doing something wrong: blogspot help?

While I've a little bit of time because I've finished my computer science assignment:

I follow a bunch of blogs, but only some show on the left hand nav bar. I know that I can read from the dashboard, but I remember to read and comment more if I can see that they've updated (also, it's nice, because I imagine it increases traffic for those blogs too). Does anyone know what I can do to make those other blogs come up in that nab bar?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

tagged for Christmas meme

1) What is your favorite part of the holiday season?

Aurora: so many baked goods!
Aedon: time off school
Xander: getting to see family

2) Who do you celebrate Christmas with?

Aurora: my grandmother, and other family come over for dinner
Aedon: sometimes we stay in the states, sometimes we go to England, so it depends
Xander: my parents, my brother and I go visiting my grandparents.

3) What is your favorite gift you have ever received?

Aurora: my drafting table
Aedon: my american girl dolls
Xander: a racing video game

4) What are your favorite Christmas Carols?

Aurora: We Three Kings
Aedon: Partridge in a Pear Tree, particularly how silly people get with five goooooolden rings, and then they can't remember all the verses and start making things up
Xander: In The Bleak Mid-Winter

5) What is your favorite Christmas food?

Aurora: all the baked goods! and also jellied cranberry sauce
Aedon: ham!
Xander: Christmas cake

6) Can you sleep on Christmas Eve?

Aurora: My grandmother and I exchange gifts on Christmas Eve and stay up late wrapping everyone else's, so by the time I get into bed (in my new jammies) I'm normally really ready to sleep.
Aedon: I never believed in Santa, so it's not like I stay up trying to listen for him or anything. We don't even have a fireplace.
Xander: no, but I get up at 5am on Christmas Day!

7) When do you wake up on Christmas morning?

Aurora: I normally get up around 9 or 10 to carry the gifts down and put them under the tree, and to help Grandma start the cooking.
Aedon: Normally around 8 because the kitties never let me sleep much later because they want to be fed.
Xander: oh, I answered that already, whoops!

8) What is your most memorable memory?

Aurora: I once burned the rolls I was making and set off the fire alarm :(
Aedon: the one time it actually snowed on Christmas
Xander: opening presents at my grandmother's house

9) What are you Christmas traditions?

Aurora: we always make a bunch of these cookies that the recipe is from my grandma's grandma's cookbook. and like I sad, Grandma and me exchange gifts on Christmas Eve, after we get home from church services.
Aedon: my parents and I trade gifts on Christmas Eve too.
Xander: watching the Queen's Speech before we open our presents

10) Do you have a real tree or an artificial tree?

Aurora: a really fake tree, like, super fake silver tinsel
Aedon: a fake tree, but it looks real. we have to have a fake tree because otherwise the kitties climb and eat it.
Xander: a real tree. every year we get a real tree, and my father tries to plant it in the yard, and every year it dies.


Friday, December 2, 2011

cleaning for holiday party

With the holidays coming, we've been doing some spring cleaning sorts of things, except, you know, winter. We've all been cleaning up our individual rooms and getting rid of clutter. I went through all of my paints and got rid of the old dried up tubes, and made sure my containers of various crafts were neatly put away. Ember had a lot of stuffed animals, and decided to get rid of them, so Wednesday when we had a half day (teacher in-service) we took them to the laundromat so that we could use one of the enormous washers to give them a good bath before being donated to a local shelter for abused women and their children.

I know that in a lot of families, they put up the Christmas decorations right after Thanksgiving, but in both my and Fin's family, it's traditional to put it up much closer to Christmas, because it has to stay up through out Epiphany. This year Yule, the Winter solstice and the holiday that Ember observes, is on the 22nd, and all of our schools have stopped for the winter break by the 21st, so Fin says that we can put the tree and decorations up on the 21st, so that things look festive for Ember's holiday too. I was worried that putting up a Christmas tree on her holiday would be bad form, but Ember says bringing greens inside the house is actually an old pagan custom that got co-opted anyway, so it's fine.

We're going to have a party on the 22nd for friends of ours to come over and exchange gifts, since most of us will be busy with family any closer to the holiday. Fin found these boxes online and printed them out for us for putting our presents into. I thought that you might like the link as well. Joy's over the moon planning all the cookies she's going to bake, I think that she actually likes that there's so many different religions and places of origin and stuff with all of us, because it gives her a fine excuse to make even more treats, and even try some new things! She was telling me some yesterday about how she can use substitutes to make some thing or other that normally isn't vegetarian so that Ember and Riley can have them too.

Fin's also encouraged us to make gift lists, but I haven't gotten to mine yet. Have you made a wish list? What have you asked for?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Have you ever felt just sorta 'meh'? I've been having periods of that, where I really don't want to do anything, it's like being really tired, but not just in your body, also in your heart. I actually feel bad about feeling so bad, because nothing's really wrong, though, there's no reason I should feel bad. Fin said that's not really how things like this always work though.

I've been trying to hide out in my bedroom, and even though part of me is annoyed, another part of me feels relieved when the others come in. Even if they do disregard the 'do not disturb' sign I put on my door - Xander said it was too late, I was already disturbed! I know he was trying to be funny, Aedon told me that British people like puns like that long ago, but I think he was worried I wouldn't know that because he apologized right away. Him and I have been listening to the audio version of The Hunger Games so that we can see it when it comes out. Sometimes I get kind of anxious and worry that they don't like me, that I'm annoying or too opinionated or whatever, so its nice to see them trying to cheer me up because they'd probably only do that if they liked me.

Joy made me carrot cake, since that's my favorite, and she recently made macaroons, which I'd never had before. Llinos has been taking Omicron & Epsilon (my doggies) for walks with Terebinth. Aedon offered to bring in her laptop so that we could watch Dr Who on it. I don't really have the oomph to cope with higher energy people like Niamh, Zora, and Alejandro, though he did offer to help with some of my chores, and Araminta and Ember have just quietly done their homework with me, to make sure that I at least keep up with school work. Riley offered to show me how to meditate, or to crochet - she says that crochet is like a kind of meditation where she has a scarf to show for it, in the end. She said it would be a neat idea anyway, because then I could make things for gifts, but I think I'd just suck at it and who would want to wear that?

So, I guess that why I've not been posting much. It seems so sad to just talk about how meh I feel. Have any of you evert felt just all deflated? What did you do to get out of the funk?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

etsy treasury: autumn looks

Hi everyone, it's Iona again. I helped Fin put together an etsy treasury of currently available looks this autumn! I'd never put together an etsy treasury before so this was really fun. Fin said we should only include one item per store, to be fair/spread the love. I had the idea, since there were 16 slots in four rows of four, for each row to represent one outfit, and pick four components for each outfit.

You know what, in all that searching, I didn't see too much of, but is a hot trend for this season? Harvest colours like mustard, goldenrod, pumpkin, rust! Bright trousers are also in, so that would be a great way to work those colours in. Chartreuse and jade are also great for pops of brightness with more sedate shades of the aforementioned warm tones. Chunky sweaters with long gauzy maxi skirts are also in, but lacking from what we could find offered on etsy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

whether weather

It rained a lot. Then we had a hurricane.

We lost electricity for awhile, but luckily we were prepared! Our stove and ovens are electric in this house, so we either had cold food or we cooked on the grill. The worst part was all the tuna and peanut butter. Fin tells us that peanut butter is pretty awesome disaster food: cheap, nonperishable, doesn't need much prep, fairly nutritious, etc and encouraged us to remember this when we're in college - but I don't think I want to eat it almost once a day for a week then either. The best part was when Fin showed us how to use a cardboard box to make an oven that we could used on the grill and made us cake! Another best part may have been having the time off school, since they didn't have electricity either.

Then the weather was okay for a few days, and things started to go back to normal, except then it started raining some more. A lot more.

Our town has two rivers, that meet together, and all of the area right near them, particularly where they meet, flooded. We live far from the river, so we were reasonably okay, but our basement still had water in it, and Fin and Alex had to pump it all in a hose up the stairs and outside. There was enough that it took a lot of hours, we could hear the pump going still when we were trying to sleep. The following weekend we all helped out carrying things out of the storm doors and lying things out on the grass to dry and see what could be salvaged. It was better than Fin had thought it would be, but worse than Alex did; Fin says that's because she's a champion at worrying.

So that's why I've not posted in ages! Things are finally getting back to normal again, and hopefully saying that won't jinx us all and we'll get some other catastrophe! For awhile we didn't make plans, because we just couldn't count on anything, so I'm not sure what we'll be doing in the near future. I do know that art club starts meeting next week, and band practice has started back up for Aedon. Riley's been talking about taking a yoga class at the Y's fall session. Maybe I can have Aedon or Riley post about one of those things.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Alejandro and preparing to go back to school

Alejandro and his stuffed puppy:

I took the best photo that I could indoors. About fifteen minutes after I took that photo of Myfanwy the other day, it started POURING rain, and it has been for the past few days. I woke up this morning because an enormous thunder/lightening boom, in fact.

Back to school preparations are consuming the house right now, as some of us only have two more weeks before we begin. When do you start school? What's your favorite part about going back to school - I love all the fresh supplies! (I always get plain, light colored folders so that I can doodle on them!)

Friday, August 12, 2011

new dolls and old lovies

Everyone's talking about the new American Girl dolls, Marie-Grace and Cecile, and then how all American Girl dolls have a a special toy, plushie, lovey, etc (except that Marie-Grace and Cecile don't have them yet!) and then, what OUR special item is.

Aedon: Kit & Ruthie AG dolls
Xander: I've a plushie racoon
Ember: hmm, my Breyer horses, maybe
Myfanwy: my plush sheep, Carys
Llinos: a red plushie squirrel
Joy: a teddybear named Cookie
Riley: a JLY AG (#9)
Sara: plushie elephant
Mili: a stuffed unicorn
Alejandro: a stuffed puppy
Zora: a rewigged JLY to look like me!
Araminta: Addy

Maybe later on this weekend I could take photos of them with their lovies, even!

Niamh, Song, Poppy, Victoria, Sako, and Iona weren't around when I asked. I didn't list anything for myself, because I'm not really sure what mine would be or if I even have one!

Do you have anything like that? Are you planning to get Marie-Grace or Cecile?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

my new green corset

Fin's friend MsTangledWebs totally surprised Fin and I with matching green corsets that she made us! Isn't that awesome!? MsTangledWebs made them because Fin once said that she'd never wear a matching outfit with one of us, and MsTangledWebs made it like a personal challenge to come up with one! And she totally did too!

Fin took a photo of her wearing hers yesterday and people mentioned wanting to see mine on me as well, so here you go!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

fireworks and memes

We've seen a lot of fireworks this summer. We've been to three different professional ones, and two picnics/backyard bbqs where once it got dark we set off some small ones as well, because that's legal in our state. Not the big ones, though, you need a licensee for those. It's really hard to get a good photos of fireworks because they don't last very long, but here's a decent one that Xander managed to get:

There have been a fair amount of trips too, sometimes for the whole weekend, sometimes just for a day. This weekend we want to a carnival, last night they had an 'all you can ride one price' night, you just had to buy bracelets and show the people the bracelets to get on the rides. The carnival breaks down on Sundays though, so that it can move on and be somewhere else tomorrow, so today is just a lazy day, which is good because after so many trips in a row, it seems like we've a lot of wash to do (I'm old enough to do my own laundry).

My online-friend, Sabine gave me the idea to do a meme, so I figured that while I was waiting on that load to finish before I could hang it up. I'll get a few of the others to answer, too - we'll do a short one since multiple of us doing it will make it seem much longer for anyone reading it.

1) Name/Nickname:

2) From:
Aurora: Pennsylvania
Aedon: Pennsylvania/England
Xander: Colchester, England
Ember: Oregon

3) Age/Grade:
Aurora: 11, 6th
Aedon: 10, 5th
Xander: 12, we've a different grading system in the UK, I'm in year 8
Ember: 11, our schooling co-op doesn't really have formalized grades

4) Hair/Eye Color:
Aurora: warm medium brown, brown
Aedon: dark brown, dark brown
Xander: brown, hazel/brown
Ember: brown, hazel-brown

5) Family/Siblings:
Aurora: only child, mom, grandmom
Aedon: only child, mum, & two dads
Xander: younger brother, mum, dad
Ember: an older brother, a younger sister, mom & dad

6) Religious Affiliation:
Aurora: nothing really, though I do to church with my grandmom
Aedon: Atheist
Xander: CoE
Ember: eclectic neo-pagan, a bit toward the secular side

7) Pets:
Aurora: two dogs, Omicron and Epsilon
Aedon: three cats- Stravinsky, Shostakovich, and Bach
Xander: none
Ember: a few fish

8) Special Talent/Know For:
Aurora: artsy stuff!
Aedon: music stuff, the blowing stuff up kind of science!
Xander: violin, piano
Ember: being unflinching in the face of frogs, bugs, and other things of that nature

9) Favorite Color:
Aurora: bright secondary colors
Aedon: black, fuscshia, and red
Xander: red
Ember: pink

10) Favorite Food:
Aurora: mm, spaghetti
Aedon: grilled cheese
Xander: chocolate
Ember: tomatoes and peaches

Monday, June 20, 2011

summer starts

argh, such a bad photo, I know. It's just so bright and hot out! It seems like we went from a reasonably chilly and exceptionally wet Spring right smack into Summer in full tilt! After lunch, Iona and Mili went for a walk to get some frozen treats, and brought me one back, too. Aww <3

The last week of school was pretty hectic - Aedon and Myfanwy had chorus/choir concerts, Aedon, Xander, Song had band/orchestra concerts, I stayed after school a few days helping the art teacher tidy up the room, and brought home oodles of supplies, too! - but now that most of us are out, it's pretty boring. Not all of us signed up for camps or activities, so a fair portion of us have just been sitting around wasting time. Aedon keeps IMing me links to lolcats. That sort of thing.

What's everyone else doing for the summer?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Spritely Moon purse

Spritely Moon was hosting a give-away on Facebook to commemorate getting 200 Likes. When the first winner didn't contact them back, the second name they pulled was Firinel's! We all congratulated her because she'd never won a give-away or drawing type thing before! It arrived last Wednesday, and Fin's been telling us she wanted one of us to model it so that she could take some nice photos to say 'thank you'. Finally it was a nice day today, and she had time, so asked who wanted to volunteer. Since both Iona and Victoria are into fashion and "looking smart", but Iona's been mentioned here in my blog, the group voted for Victoria.

You can find Spritely Moon on FaceBook at the link above or at their website:

For those curious, Victoria would like me to add that, as for the rest of her ensemble:
- the white puffed sleeve top is from Camelot Treasures,
- the black flared skirt is from Suzy M Studio,
- the black vest and black sling-back kitten heels are authentic American Girl.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day plans?

We have a long weekend this weekend for Memorial Day. It started with a half day on Friday, and then we've off on Monday.

We always use this time for a combination of yard work, picnics and day trips, so when the non-Americans in our group asked us what was Memorial day about, a bunch of us largely chimed in with things like cook-outs with hamburgers, some of us who've lived close enough to the shore said going to the beach, the first time the pools open for the summer season, things like that. I knew that wasn't why the day existed though (because it would be called Grillin' Day if it were, not Memorial Day, right?) so we looked it up. It's to honor all the Americans who have died in all of our wars. Victoria said that sounded a lot like their Remembrance Day (you know, except not Americans then).

Yesterday after school we went grocery shopping for things for the weekend, and in the evening after it had cooled down some, we did some yardwork. This morning we did some more yardwork (we've a big yard!) and right now we're inside cooling off again and having lunch. Then we're heading to the Mütter Museum for the afternoon, and having dinner in the city, which is neat because there's more different kinds of food to choose from than out in the middle of no where, where we live. Tomorrow we're going to go to the beach - it's a pretty far drive for us so that'll be most of the day, so we've no other plans. Monday we're staying home and having a cook-out party, that a bunch of friends are coming over for, which is why we've been doing so much yard work!

The weather is funny, it went from kinda cold and rainy, to really hot pretty quick, so we've been working in our bathingsuits so that we can take breaks and hose off or run around in the sprinkler. I'm afraid to take my camera out and take photos with the water going, but here's a photo Fin took earlier or Aedon, Joy, and Joy's little sister Grace, cooling off in the sprinkler.

Do you have any plans for this weekend?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

rainy day packages

It's been raining really bad here all week. Luckily I was able to get a ride home from school every day so I didn't get soaked walking.

After we were done our homework, Fin said that we had some packages. They were some clothing that she'd bought for us, so of course we had to go and put things on and take photos. They're not great photos because Fin said it was "too wet for that nonsense" but that we could do it ourselves if we needed it done right then, but that if we wanted better photos later, she'd do it the next day it was reasonably dry. heh, so we waited until it was just drizzling, and quick ran out and took photos all ninja like. I took the one of Song, Song took the one of Joy, and Joy took the one of me.

Song is wearing a babydoll top made by PattiKuz and knit capris by DollCloset. Her hat and boat shoes are AG brand.

Joy is wearing a puffed sleeve tee by Katie J. Designs and a shift dress by MissSissy. Her hat and flip-flops are AG brand. Her necklace was made by Lizziebee Designs.

Me! I'm wearing a puffed sleeve tee also by Katie J Designs, a patchwork skirt made for me by PattiKutz, and a crochet shrug from Lavenderlore. Fin made m necklace, and both my hat and shoes are AG brand.

Around this time of year, and around then again in August or September is when we usually get some new things (summer outgrown stuff now, and then nicer/warmer stuff at the start of school - though of course people always seem to get a few things around the holidays as well). Have you gotten anything new lately?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

dry spell

I haven't drawn in awhile. I mean, I've doodled on school work when I finished early, but I've not really done any proper art. It's so frustrating to not feel inspired. It makes me question who I am, you know?

Is there anything that if you suddenly couldn't stop doing, you'd feel less like you? I asked some of the others here that, and this is what they said:
Llinos: write code
Zora: dance
Xander: play violin
Joy: bake
Aedon: read

Joy said when she has trouble baking, like if things keep messing up, that she'll make a recipe that she knows by heart, and try to make something completely different out of it; she said that's how she turned oatmeal cookies into the cranberry granola that Riley's so crazy about, so maybe I could take a medium I know and do something really different with it-- but I can't think of any way to do that! Llinos said that sometimes if she's come to a rough spot where she can't make any code, she goes for a walk to clear her head. I've been walking so much this week! I even went out jogging with Niamh and Riley a few times. Zora said that if she doesn't feel like dancing, that sometimes it's because she's tired, so she listens to bouncy music that'll make her feel like getting up again. There was an artist who was really into combining music and art, named Kadinksy, but he was an abstract painter, and that's not really my thing.

I'll brainstorm some ideas, I guess, but if you have any ideas, feel free to suggest them!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

new post, but no new pictures

Argh, I didn't post all of April! I'm bad at this blogging thing.

See, I'm so visual, I feel like each post must have at *the vey least* one photo, and so if I can't get out and take photos, or have photos taken of me, I feel like I can't really post, because no one'll be interested in just me talking. For awhile I couldn't find my micro-USB to upload photos off my camera, and also it's off and on been really windy and/or rainy, and really, not a whole lot has been going on.

But the other girls said that that's not really true that people only want to read things with pictures, and also that they'll help me out with writing more, too, if I'd want. I think that sounds like a great idea, and we're coming up with some sort of rota with them brainstorming what they'll post. Song and Xander thought maybe they might post music, and Mili thought maybe she'll write a story she can post as serial, or maybe just review her favorite books. The others are still thinking, though, but it got me all excited!

I also figured that I could probably draw sometimes and show you that, but I'd have to ask Fin to get the scanner hooked up to this machine again. If I drew something to post, what would you like me to draw?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Spring!

I've never celebrated Spring before. I mean, I guess everyone sorta celebrates it, they acknowledge that winter is over, the days are now equal with the nights and will soon be longer. They move their clocks back. But I've never really celebrated it before.

Ember is Pagan and celebrates the seasons, and invited those that wanted to to celebrate with her. She was careful to point out that not all Pagans do the same things to celebrate, just like different Christian families have different traditions for their holidays, and so that what we did with her today wouldn't be necessarily what other Pagans did. She said that her family didn't always even do exactly the same thing year to year, and that this year we were going to do something a bit different.

She said that she doesn't do so much "woo woo magic" type stuff, that for her personally, that the scientific aspects of nature was the focus of her belief. It's a lunar holiday, and this year there was something called a "super moon", which Ember explained was when the full (in this case) or new moon happens at the same time when the moon is really close to the earth making it seem really big and low. She said the next time that happens won't be until 2016! In order to see it, we got to camp outside in the back yard, and we didn't have a bedtime! It has been warming up lately, but it was definitely pretty chilly, even with a bunch of girls stuffed into a little tent. Good thing that we had a small campfire to keep us warmer!

I woke up when Ember shifted out of the tent around 7am. I think she must've had a tiny alarm set or something because all of the other girls were out cold. I didn't get up until she left the tent though, and even then I stayed in my sleepbag and just watched, since I wasn't sure if she'd wanted to be alone. She relit the fire, and sat in front of it, writing in what looked like a journal. She tore the page out, stuck it on a stick, and put it into the fire until it had all burned up. She sat there for awhile, but I think I must've fallen back to sleep. I asked her about it later though and she said that she'd written down some things she wanted to start doing.

I woke back up again later, must've been closer to 9, when I heard the back door close, and Ember was carrying a big tray, so I rushed out to help her. She'd made us scrambled egg wraps, which is sort of like an omelette in whole wheat tortilla. Aedon and I had ham and cheese and Riley and Ember just had asparagus and mushrooms in theirs since they don't eat meat. Ember said that eggs, spring greens, and ham were all fairly traditional foods to eat for Spring celebrations. After we were done eating we packed up everything but the tent (because an adult had to break it down so that it could fit in it's case) and went back inside the house.

We made flowers from pipe cleaners and crepe and tissue paper, and little paper cones to hold them to give others, and after we had lunch, we went to a nearby park for a walk. On the walk Ember told us some of the things that her family had done in previous years, like egg hunts and egg races, but she said she thought she was a bit old for things like that. She said that one year her family stayed with another family who owned a non-working farm with a lot of land, and that they had an enormous bonfire that a bunch of people danced around, and that there was a basket of bells and other instruments, and that the children used those to make a lot of noise to "wake up the Earth". She said other years when it was too cold or snowy still for outside stuff, they had cleaning games inside. I told I was glad that she didn't make us do cleaning, even if she did make it into a game!

On the way home from the park, we picked up some stuff to plant a few things in pots, and we worked on those before dinner.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Sorry that I've not posted recently, my Hatshepsut paper had to be turned in on Wednesday, and I was working hard on that. Last Saturday I wrote up all of my index cards of notes for each paragraph, and though Sunday I started turning that information into sentences, Monday I mostly got distracted drawing things for on my cover sheet. Doh! So Tuesday evening was a mad dash finish turning my notes into something that resembled a paper that had to have one opening paragraph plus five more paragraphs (each paragraph consisting of, at least, 3-5 sentences) detailing who they were and their notable accomplishments. I thought that you might like to read my paper, I think that it turned out fairly well, considering how much I hated sitting down and focusing on it:

While Hatshepsut was not the last, and posibly not even, as she was long-believed to be, the first, women to rule Ancient Egypt as pharaoh, her reign during the Eighteenth Egyptian Dynasty New Kingdom is frequently regarded as the most successful. Despite this, because deliberate erasures, vandalism and defacing of her accomplishments meant that information had been missing from histrical records until the early twentieth century, we may not have known the scope of her success.

Hatshepsut's father was Thutmose I, her mother was Queen Ahmose. Her husband and consort was Thutmose II, her half-brother. When their father died, Thutmose II became pharoah, and when he died, the next in line to become pharoah, Thutmose II's child with another wife, Thutmose III was next in line to become pharaoh (because Hatsepsut and Thutmose II had only one child, a daughter, Neferue). However, since he was just a child at the time, Hatshepsut became regent. It was not long before she identified herself as pharaoh rather than regent, and when he was of age, Thutmose III was co-regent, reversing the expected roles. Upon Hatshepsut's death, Thutmose III was made pharoah.

Hatshepsut's reign was the longest of all female rulers, twenty one to twenty two years long, as well as the most prosperous. While she experienced success with warfare early in her reign, she is general considered to have brought to her people a long peaceful and prosperous era due to reestablishing trading relationships. The wealth that this brought allowed or building projects that raised Ancient Egyptian architecture to a much higher standard, high enough that it would not be rivaled by any other culture for a thousand years.

One of her major accomplishments was reestablishing the trade networks that had been disrupted during foreign occupuption of Egypt. This allowed for a mission to the Land of Punt, where notably, the Egyptians returned baring thirty-one love myrrh trees, which were then replanted in the courts of Hatshepsut's mortuary temple-- the first recorded attempt to transplant foreign trees. The depiction of this expedition in relief is also famous for a realistic depiction of the Queen of the Land of Punt, who appears to have suffered from steatopygia. Hatshepsut was also one of the most prolific builders in Ancient Egypt, with hundres of building projects, ans so numerous was her statuary that almost every major museum in the world has some of it amongst their collections.

Many of her more public works of were willfully defaced, rather than eroded or broken due to weather or age, and it was once widely believed that this was an attempt by Thutmose III to erase the name of Hatshepsut from the history of Egypt, due to negative feelings of being reduced to co-regent and denied his place as pharaoh. However, all of this vandalism and rewriting of Hatshepsut's accomplishments only occurred during the end of Thutmose III's reign. When one considers that Thutmose was the head of Hatshepsut's army for over twenty years, that he had considerable power, and that he could have easily orchestrated a take-over had he been willing to, as well as more private depictions of Hatshepsut were left to remain, it makes the premise of a personal vendetta seem questionable. It is instead posited by many Egyptologists that Thutmose III's successor, and co-regent during his reign, Amenhotep II, would have had a motive to do this because his position in the royal lineage was not so strong as to assure his elevation to pharaoh. That he also usurped many of Hatshepsut's accomplishments as his own also supports this premise. Who did it, and their motives, have never been proven completely, however.

The erasure of Hatshepsut's name, whoever did it, and their motives, almost caused her to disappear from history. It is only when 19th century Egyptologists became confused when they started to interpret the texts on temple walls began to suggest that things did not add up. The 2006 discovery of nine cartouches bearing the names of Hatshepsut and Thurmose III in Karnak may shed additional light on the attempt to erase her from the record and correct the nature of their relationship, and her role as pharaoh.

I'm so glad to be done! We'll get them back graded on Monday; I'll let you know how I do!

On Tuesday the British kids collectively made dinner for the rest of us, which was super nice. They made these things they called pancakes, but they're more like crepes I've seen, and we ate them with lemon juice and confectionary sugar, so it was a lot like eating very flat funnelcake. They said that it was traditional to eat pancakes on the Tuesday before Lent, that they called it Pancake Day. Part of my family's heritage is German, and there's a lot of people with erman heritage in this area, and around here we eat fastnachts, which are a bit like sugary doughnuts made of potato flour, on that day. My grandmother brought some home from work with her for all of us, so it was quite a carb-tastic day! It's funny to think how some traditions are similar, but get changed as they move around to different locations or cultures. Is there a time of the year when you eat something specific?

Monday, March 7, 2011

gone to the dogs

Since it was nice on Saturday, and I needed a break from working on my paper, I asked if the others with dogs wanted to get out and take their dogs to the dog park with me and Omicron and Epsilon. It's an off leash park so the dogs got to run around and play a bit which was fun.

Llinos brought a frisbee and Terebinth (above), Myfanwy's Seren (to the left), and Omicron and Epsilon had a good time running around after that, until they were tired. I got a good photo of Myfanwy and Seren while they were resting.

Niamh brought Beagan and kept him on his leash, though she ran about with him a lot. She said that he's a Patterdale terrier and that that breed tends to be really excitable and she was worried if she took him off she'd never catch him to get him home again. I had to laugh, because Niamh is a bit like that herself!

Myfanwy said that Seren is a bit like that too, and needs lots of exercising and attention or else she can get onto trouble, like digging through her drawers and eating socks. Myfanwy said it's because Seren, who is a Welsh Sheepdog, and Beagan are working dogs, and that those breeds are very intelligent and use to being active so you have to keep them busy and stimulated or they get into trouble trying to entertain themselves. I don't know what kind of dogs Omicron and Epsilon are, we adopted them from someone who fostered them after they were left abandoned in an apartment after their previous owners moved - can you imagine!? :( How sad. They use to get in trouble doing stupid things, too, though not so much now that they're no longer puppies. They once really did eat my homework (well, they chewed on my whole backpack)!

I wish that they'd eat my stupid Hatshepsut paper! It rained all day on Sunday, so I pretty much did nothing but worked on that.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fashion Friday! (guest blogger Iona McKenzie)

Hi there, this is Iona here. Aurora was telling me how she needed more clothing which was appropriate for Spring, and we got to talking about what's "in" this coming season. I nattered on at her for a bit and she suggested that I make a blog post telling people my thoughts.

First thing: colours. The biggest colours this coming spring are pinks. Anything from carnation to coral to "honeysuckle pink", which is a slightly subdued hot pink. Other popular colours are neutrals like nude, beige, and white, and subtle femininely coloured versions of neutrals like bronzey rust, and mauve, particularly in pretty floral prints, which compliment the overall nostalgically sweet romanticisation of the the 50s, 60s, and a bit of the 70s styles that's also going on.

Some of the style elements being recycled and updated for this season are:

- sheer elements, lace, crochet and macramé

- wide legged trousers like bell bottoms, flared trousers

- nautical looks such as stripes, all-in-ones like jumpsuits/playsuits, and military inspired jackets and vests

- bohemian looks that pair seemingly-contrasting elements together; ex: a) 50s styled floral playsuit with a military vest and a pair of heavy-looking boots, or b) high-waisted wide leg trousers paired with a tucked-in billowy shirt w/ bishop sleeves. Remember to use sense when interpreting these look for your own closet, though. We're young ladies, no need to be vulgar. Here's some examples, because I know people like visuals:

-- Sadly, I couldn't find much in the warm pinks for sale that had good shape, but this peach top from The Dolly Stand is a great age-appropriate way to introduce the colour via a simple staple. I think it would be great with Julie's meet jeans.

-- However Lavenderlore's Crochet top can be ordered in a variety of colours, and 6, 8, 9, 10 & 11 would all be great colour choices. I think it would look fabulous worn over a simple tank with the pair of white trousers from AG's 2008 2-in-1 Beach Outfit.

-- The silhouette of this BunnyBear pattern, even though meant for historical Molly, is very up to the minute. It would look very now in a slightly oversized floral with a removable leather belt! For dressier occasions, you can't go wrong using AG's 2005 Gala Gown's shoes with this look.

-- This is a great non-fussy outfit for a more casual day. I'd pair this with a pair of lace leggins and a pair of boots like Nicki's meet boots.

-- The 2010 Pet Show Dress has a great silhouette but is rather dull on it's own. I'd probably bump up the colour drama by pairing it with the 2006 Petals and Plaid's jacket; that is such a hot hue and looks brilliant with navy!

-- Alternatively, if you crochet, you can make your own fashions. Crochet doll clothes can easily become tacky, so keep in mind to stay in scale - cotton thread works better than acrylic. Here are two great, and free! patterns; one for a top, and one for a dress.

Other AG bits that you may already have and could re-use with other bits to update them:

- the sheer/satin blouse from the 1998 snowflake Jumper

- navy jacket from 1998 Riding Outfit

- boot cut jeans from 1999 Blue Jeans Basic

- 2003 Beachside Outfit

- 2004 Garden Party Dress

- 2008 Sweet Kitten Heels

Thursday, March 3, 2011

rain, rain, go away

It's been raining off and on here, lately. In fact, on Monday it poured all day, and the ground still hasn't completely dried out from that. It's not so bad because it's also starting to warm up. I said that it feels like spring is right around the corner and Ember reminded me that it's only a little over two weeks until it's officially here!

Since it was the first day nice enough to be out in short sleeves, Poppy and I went for a walk in the wooded area behind our house yesterday after school. The ground was still squishy, so we needed to wear our rubber boots. It was really windy, too, and I had to chase after my hat once! Maybe we could get some kites and try flying them this weekend. Well, maybe if I ever finish my report project on ancient Egypt and Hatshepsut.

Oo, time for school!