Sketchy Sunday

Ah, this might be a nice way to make time to do some art.


Sherck’s Thursday Think ‘n’ Share

Friend John has resumed a tradition of asking and answering a few Ungame questions on Thursdays. Want to join in?

Today’s questions:

Complete the statement: something I collect is ________________.

I used to collect stuffed walruses. I believe I still have all thirteen of the ones I collected before quitting. Amy plays with some of them now. It all started with one given on Valentine’s Day by my parents. I know my sister has or had one that I didn’t also have, and I’ve seen a few in other places that I never got, and just the other day I saw a new one and was almost tempted to buy it.

There’s one large puppet, one standing surfer dude, one pink baby, one with a sailor hat, waving, and various other large and small, gray, brown, and heathery, lying down or sitting up, mustached or not, smooth or shaggy.

At one time I collected Precious Moments figurines. I was a relatively new Christian and had no idea there was such a thing as Christian collectibles — I thought they were so cool at the time.

I don’t actively collect anything, now, although I do seem to keep accumulating (and getting rid of) stuff.

Do you like ballet or other dance forms? Why?

Oh my goodness yes. Can’t wait for So You Think You Can Dance to start tonight! I will say, though, that some dance moves me more than others — I got pretty bored trying to watch a DVD of Sleeping Beauty, and I don’t care for ballroom competitions or Dancing with the Stars…

I’ve always done art, and always done music, and then in high school noticed that so many of the magazines in the art classes were dance magazines, and was captivated by the energy and beauty and — wholeness — of the shapes, positions, and movements of the pictured dancers.

Art is perhaps the least whole, for me — it’s only my hands and eyes being physically involved. Music is a little more holistic — my whole body keeps rhythm, and more of my arms and body are involved in playing my instrument. But dance — everything moves, and everything must be wholly committed and wholly involved, even when still.

I took modern dance all four years of college — started as a PE requirement but continued because I needed and loved it. Any good workout is cleansing and strengthening, toning, calorie-burning; but working out by dancing is beautiful and soul-nourishing in addition to being exercise.

I wish I still had access to a good twice-a-week dance class. Something serious, but recognizing the limits of someone who started as a young adult and never got beyond intermediate level and who has no delusions or ambitions to actually work as a dancer. Something led by someone like Shaina.

Tell about the most significant person in your life.

I don’t like superlatives. Lots of people are significant in my life, at different levels, for different reasons.

Daughter and husband are high up on the list of course. Both have stretched and challenged and delighted and disappointed and humbled and uplifted and surprised me.

Not all significance is unilaterally positive — the abundant life is not about being happy all the time but about fullness, richness, openness to all depth of experience, being really and truly present in all moments.

I could talk about a number of people who had a brief presence in my life but whose impact still lasts, or others who have been with me longer… family, friends, musicians, colleagues, bloggers, teachers, pastors, one therapist in particular…

(John, I hope the pingback shows up to let you know I posted my answers here; on this library computer I can’t post a comment at your blog.)

Tagged by Missy

Missy tagged me for another meme.

Where do you dream of traveling to one day, and why?

I’d like to go to Ghana to meet the child we sponsor… back to the Czech Republic because it’s beautiful… and other unusual places.

What do you like to do for fun?

Spend a day with a friend cooking together or something like that… knit, read, scrapbook, make music…

What style of music do you prefer and why?

It depends — my collection includes lots of dulcimer music, some classical, some older Christian stuff, some soundtracks… and there’s other things I’ll enjoy if I hear them on the radio but don’t want to own.

What movies or TV shows do you like and why?

Lately I’ve been watching House, Lie to Me, and Glee. I have mixed feelings about Glee but I watch anyway. House has degenerated from its more interesting beginnings but I watch anyway. Lie to Me continues to be pretty good. I need to remember to look up when The Mentalist is on if it’s still on.

Our Netflix queue has had a lot of Clint Eastwood this year — it’s been interesting. I often do better with a movie I didn’t pick — I hate choosing.

What frustrates you and why?

Many things. Because sensitive people are sensitive to annoying things as well as beautiful things.

What is your favorite food? And for dessert?

Many things. Mmmmm, food. Like music, this depends — sometimes I’m in the mood for Indian, sometimes fish, and so on.

Dessert? Many desserts are too sweet for me… but among my favorites are coconut custard (NOT coconut cream), cheesecake, chocolate mousse, and lots of things with fruit.

What is your favorite color?

Lately? Purple. And blue, and green, and certain kinds of brown.

Do you prefer cool or warmer weather and why?

Spring and fall should last longer — I love having four seasons, including enough heat for the beach and enough cold for lasting snow — but I could do with the summer and winter both being a bit shorter.

A to Z Over

So, the April A to Z challenge is done.

I met some interesting people through it, so that was pretty cool.

It was a LOT of work to blog every day (except Sundays) — especially when I didn’t have anything particularly gripping to write about for a given letter. I really don’t like posting just to post something. The best days were the ones when there was something I really wanted to write about and I found a way to relate it to the day’s letter. There were also many pleasant challenging days when it took a lot of thought but I found something meaningful to write about.

Thanks to Arlee for getting it going, and for everyone who participated.

Another five by five meme

Tagged by Melody:

Question 1 – Where were you five years ago?

1. Ithaca, NY
2. Not thinking about kids
3. The Hanshaw Trio was in the middle of recording our CD
4. I was also working on the score for Cornell’s short nature film
5. Blogging anonymously as The Irksome Girl

Question 2 – Where would you like to be five years from now?

1. Would love to see Amy still in the Montessori school
2. More steps forward in the food journey; raw milk perhaps, or free range poultry
3. Maybe I would have been part of getting an Edible Schoolyard project locally
4. Have a band again
5. Making clothes that fit me and look nice

Question 3 – What is (was) on your to do list today?

1. Fold the laundry
2. Get dressed and make beds
3. Out to lunch with friends for Mark’s birthday
4. Drink tons of water and get rest in hopes of killing the sore throat bug
5. Make scones

Question 4 – What 5 snacks do you enjoy? (Okay, so I’m thinking, NOT desserts)

1. Fruit
2. Cheese
3. Homemade juice popsicle
4. Chips and good fresh salsa
5. Pepper parmesan popcorn

Question 5 – What would you do if you were a billionaire?

1. Pay off the house
2. Fund projects and charities that I care about
3. Stop shopping at the supermarket
4. Go to Ghana to meet the child we sponsor
5. Record the next CD

A is for…


Four apple seedlings started from seeds I found already sprouted inside grocery store Gala apples. This is my third attempt to grow such seeds — that one is really looking nice! Maybe it’ll be fruiting by the time Amy graduates high school or something.


We have a longish spring break here (a little over two weeks) and that means no exercise classes. I did manage to do two of my DVD workouts last week, but alas, nothing this week. Nothing official, anyway. On Tuesday I did maybe twenty minutes of a bike ride that got my heart rate up and used some leg muscles. Today I walked a little bit while we were at the park. Ha! That’s all. My left hand is bothering me again (too much awkward gripping while trying to cut up and sort my fabric stash), so there are several parts of my workout I can’t do right now anyway (weights, push-ups and table-top / plank positions), but I should try to do something. But I don’t wanna. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe Saturday. Maybe not.


Amy’s diapers are falling apart. Especially the ones that were passed down from a family who had used them for two kids. I don’t think our stash will last until we reach dry nights and naps. I’ve looked around a bit for good deals on still-good used diapers, but nothing’s such a great deal that it seems worth it. Then I saw stuff about sewing our own — I’ve seen patterns before but never wanted to try, but now I’m thinking of going for it. I might even try making some flats, now that I understand how easy they are to fold.


Blogging from A to Z

Recipe meme

The idea is to choose one ingredient from your tagger’s recipe, and post a new recipe with that ingredient. Nick tagged me with a chicken recipe. His recipe just happened to have pepper in it, so I’m going to be a little silly and post about the Czech goulash we make.

2 pounds of stew beef, cut up in small pieces.
Half a Vidalia onion
1 T Olive oil
1 c beef stock
1 t paprika
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t salt
2 T flour

Brown the onion and beef in the oil. Add the other ingredients, except the flour, and stew slowly. At the end, make a thin paste of the flour and some water and stir it in and cook until nicely thickened.

We usually serve this with potato or bread dumplings. Here’s the bread dumpling recipe I used last night.

1 slice of bread, torn up or pulverized in the food processor.
1 c flour
1 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1 egg
1/4 milk

Mix the dry ingredients, then add the egg and milk. Shape into two logs and let rest about an hour — less works if need be. Cook in boiling water about ten minutes each side. Slice. Put several slices in each bowl or plate, and ladle goulash over the slices.

I’m a non-tagger most of the time, but feel free to play if you’d like — link here so I can see your post.