Thursday, October 31, 2013


Dad sent me this poem last year and I liked it.  (If you have little people who can read looking over your shoulder, it has a few bad words).  It's a special Mama kind of terrifying.


Her face, blood-streaked, is no longer my daughter's.
She'll wear no lace this year, no tiaras, no bows.
She bobs, fangs bared, through the thin skin of water.
She's bitten the apple.  Triumphant, she goes
to collect her prizes.  And I'm left to remember
my own father sewing, under my collar,
a blood-stained cape.  His warning, like thunder,
still rings in my ears.  With each stitch he'd holler
Beware the God-damned sons' a' bitches
with their poisons and candy bait.  Now I wait
for my daughter, who has entered a night full of witches.
Gone, before I could kiss her goodnight,
and the doorbell keeps singing:  too late, too late.
Even the full moon is missing a bite.

Richard Michelson

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Streaming TV

I just call it all Netflix, like all tissues are Kleenex.

We actually are using Amazon Prime, and I'm pretty happy with it.

Right now we're watching Doc Martin, as recommended by my friend Sarah.  It's about a fancy surgeon who develops a phobia of blood and becomes the GP in a small village in Cornwall.

It is wonderful and hilarious and sweet and perfect.  Though perhaps the story of a teacher falling for a wonderfully intelligent but socially difficult man is just something I would like.  ;)

Jimmy and Katie and Anna all love Shaun the Sheep, but surely you already know about Shaun.

I just started watching The Pioneer Woman's cooking show, so, you know, I'll be a better cooker and stuff.

I asked MJL if watching this show was going to magically make me into the sort of person who makes delicious food.

He said no.  It was sad.

What are your TV recommendations?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Closet

My closet has always been one of my favorite rooms in this house.  In the beginning I thought it was because it was one of the first places that was "done".  I convinced MJL that we could go in before we were supposed to and hang shelving, so when we moved in I could put my clothes away right away and it was lovely and organized.

That's probably it, it's the only place in the house that no one else messes with so it stays nice.

So it's odd to me that it's also one of the places where I'm the most "wanty".  Or maybe it's that I know these things are ridiculous so I'll never buy them for myself but they're also super boring so MJL is not going to buy them for me.

I want clear shoe boxes from the Container Store for my shoes.  So I could see them and they would all be in the same size box.

I've pared down my shoes-wouldn't they be lovely in clear boxes?  

Although it would be more obvious that I have 9 pairs of pink shoes.  

I love these velvet padded hangers-I have 6 I think, all from thrift stores, in all different colors.  I don't even know if you can buy them new.  (I Googled it, you can, but I didn't see any lovely hot pink velvet ones)  I like to hang my most precious sweaters on them.  

I love clothes.  I notice what people wear.  I could definitely tell you what sorts of things people wear before I could tell you their eye color, for example.  But I hate shopping.  I would really like to figure out what I like to wear, and only buy that, and have just a few things that I love that I wear over and over and over.  I haven't quite figured it out yet.  Except I know I love pink shoes.  

 I'm trying that thing you read in magazines, where you turn your hangers around (only I have my hangers high and low) and when you wear something you move the hanger.  At the end of the season you have to get rid of everything that's still hanging up high.  It makes me kind of scared and sad, because I love all of these clothes, but I suspect there are things that I don't ever wear.  

And really, this is too many t-shirts.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Katie and Daddy

In which we discover a new word in Katie's vocabulary--

(I could not get the video to load in blogger-so I'm trying YouTube.  Has anyone else had trouble?)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ingleside 10/24/13

Whew-this was a very introspective week.  Not my favorite.  But I think we've made some good progress.  The college will be a great place to look, and I can talk to Abby and find out which of her friends are still in town.  Thanks for all of your help.  Meanwhile, here's what's been happening at Ingleside...

I made most of Jimmy's costume one day while Katie and Jimmy made giant messes in my craft room.  But we had fun together!

Jimmy still naps in his swing, but now he also climbs in and swings it himself-so high and fast, it scares me.

This bottle of something has been in the fridge for a couple of weeks.  An experiment with cousins.

Anna's work from PSR this week.  

Grammy Joan gave Katie this prayer cube and it has our old daycare meal prayer on it.  Very fun.

He did manage to take her down just after this picture.  Watch out Katie!

Anna's awesome piano teacher made a simpler arrangement of the Cosette song from Les Mis.  She's loving it, and it's really fun to hear.  

Anna vacuums on Thursdays, and it is my favorite thing ever.  I like how she vacuums right up to the gnome, but doesn't move him.  

Happy Weekend!  

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Yesterday was so great-it was good for me to think about what the problem is, and think about what I really need to do, and I was reading your comments and thinking it all through (I do the 6 thing too at work Brandy), and then Melanie hit the nail right exactly on the head.

My problem is really the child care bit.  I don't like to ask people, so I put it off, hoping that by some chance Daddy will be free, but he's not ever free 9 months out of the year, and then it's a mess.

My family expanded while my crew of baby watchers contracted.

So here's my plan.

I have to look at the schedule every week and see what I'm going to need help with, and then, on Tuesdays, I have to call and make arrangements.  Yuck.


I think I have to find some babysitters!  So today's edition of "help Betsy figure out her life" features these questions:  How on earth do you find a good babysitter?  How does it work these days?  How does it work in the country?  Back when I was a babysitter, parents picked me up and took me home until I was of driving age, but that doesn't seem like it would work in the country.  And wouldn't we need a babysitter who could drive anyway, for emergencies?  Do kids still babysit?  They have so many activities!

And how much do you have to pay a babysitter?

This is all very overwhelming.  I think I'll be a hermit.    

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Think Ahead!

Yesterday, as I was driving back to school for Parent Teacher Conferences, after making last minute arrangements for people to take care of Katie and Jimmy, because I completely forgot about Conferences, I remembered years of my Dad admonishing me to “Think AHEAD!” and I realized all of a sudden that this was not a new problem.  

I hate thinking ahead.  I really hate it.  I don’t like to make plans and arrangements and it is always getting me into trouble.  It’s why I have so much trouble with regular meals, and why I have trouble finding time to work on my classes, and why I am missing Abby so much these days.  I could call on her at the last minute and she could often help me out.  

I’m wondering if this is one of those things you really have to figure out how to do in order to be a grown up.  It makes me feel very grouchy inside, like it’s the last straw of responsibility.  

I don’t quite understand it, because I like making lists and goals and even elaborate schedules.  But thinking ahead to plan how some day is going to go, that is the part I don’t like.  

There are some advantages to my natural nonchalance.   It goes very well with the farming life.  Making plans is just plain foolishness with farming, because you never know what the weather or the machinery is going to do, or when the farmer is going to need to do something right this minute, or when something that should take a minute will take five hours, or vice versa.  So in that sense, it’s a very good thing, but I also suspect that it’s something I ought to work on.  

So, responsible friends, any tips?    (And do you all hate it too, you're just better at being a grown up than me?)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Instructional Media and Technology

I have three more classes, one more year of classes, and then, oh please, I think I should be done for a while.

This semester it's a truncated course, just eight weeks, and it just started.  It's all about technology in schools and social media and blah blah blah.  (I definitely need to work on my attitude about it).

I'm wondering though, what you all think about technology in schools.  You all have a variety of professions, and your children are different ages, and live in different places, so maybe you can help me out and I can use this in a discussion or a paper or something.

What is different about schools now than when you were in school?

What do you like about technology in schools?

What do you dislike?

What concerns do you have?

What do you think about kids using social media in school?


Monday, October 21, 2013

Fr. Klein

This Fall at St. Dominic we've had Fr. Terrance Klein as our interim pastor, and the snatches of homilies that we are able to hear while keeping Katie and Jimmy in the pew are fantastic.  

I don't quite understand how we got to have a priest who has written four books and is a professor of theology, but we thoroughly enjoyed having him.  

And we just found all of his homilies and articles online!  I haven't read them all, though I look forward to it. 

From the past four months I can recommend 

A Center for the Self,  which will forever change the way I see the Fall landscape in Kansas,  

Lost and Found, about the Examen Prayer, something I've been trying to remember to do,

Stewards of the Land, about an issue that divides this part of the world, and

Creative Rewrites in which he quotes Snoop Dogg and Dante in the same paragraph.  :)

There are homilies about poetry, history, current events, saints, literature, and all with wonderfully clear nuggets of truth.   What a blessing for our little parish.  

Friday, October 18, 2013

Katie language and Anna questions

1.  Rehearsal
2.  Careful
3.  With
4.  Toothpaste
5.  Cloth

And a few weeks ago we had a doozy of a ride home where Anna asked me three separate questions that I did not know the answers to.  Any help?

1.  What was WWI about?
2.  If you are flying faster than the speed of sound, can you hear?
3.  Why do some things melt and some things burn?

I'm sorry, Dad.  I'm sure I should know the answers to all of these.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

More Katie Language

A few more quick words.  She's getting clearer all the time, and I want to keep these in memory.

1.  Forser
2.  Corefur
3.  Yis
4.  Pooftase
5.  kwoss

Give it your best shot!

And read this from Uncle Steven.  It's so good.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Work In Progress-Christian's Quilt

Sure, he graduated last month,
and may be shipping out to the Army anytime,

but he still couldn't use it until after Basic Training anyway, right?

It's been a really fun project to work on.  I think I'm over halfway on the blocks.   

Sorry about the timing Christian!  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A moment of peace and joy

Yesterday morning I walked by Katie and Jimmy's room and there they were, reading together nicely.  
It was such a blessing to see, and even more so that it lasted long enough I could grab my camera and capture 30 seconds of it.  :)

Monday, October 14, 2013


Have you heard these crickets yet?

I kept seeing the link last week and rolling my eyes until finally I read this post and had a minute to click on it.

Psalm 96

Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

Praise to God Who Comes in Judgment

96 O sing to the Lord a new song;

sing to the Lord, all the earth!

2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name;

    tell of his salvation from day to day.

3 Declare his glory among the nations,

    his marvelous works among all the peoples!

4 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;

    he is to be feared above all gods.

5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols;

    but the Lord made the heavens.

6 Honor and majesty are before him;

    strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

7 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,

    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!

8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;

    bring an offering, and come into his courts!

9 Worship the Lord in holy array;

    tremble before him, all the earth!

10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!

    Yea, the world is established, it shall never be moved;

    he will judge the peoples with equity.”

11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;

    let the sea roar, and all that fills it;

12     let the field exult, and everything in it!

Then shall all the trees of the wood sing for joy

13     before the Lord, for he comes,

    for he comes to judge the earth.

He will judge the world with righteousness,

    and the peoples with his truth.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Lentil's Vocation

Every life has a purpose.

We were going to have a baby on Good Friday, and we were calling him Lentil, but he skipped all the hard of this world and slipped right into the next.

MJL and I have been trying to think of the things that Lentil accomplished during his little life, and it's pretty impressive, I think.

1.  He inspired me to go through the entire house and donate at least 15 big bags of things.  I think I touched every single item on the main floor.  He was generous.

2.  He helped us to realize that a) MJL really wants me to quit my job and b) I really don't want to.  So that'll be fun to figure out.  :)

3.  He brought us all a LOT of joy.  We've just been so happy the past three months, I don't know how many times I thought "I've never been so happy" and happy like that is a rare gift.

4.  He made us laugh so much.  Here's one of the craziest things ever--  

   I get very sentimental when pregnant.  Katrina said that she would have known even if she hadn't known because of all of the references to crying.  But this-this is a new low.

Beyonce's "Run the World Girls"  is on my sister's wedding mix, and it was playing in the car.  I usually skip this song but I didn't.  And at 3:29-I welled up in pride and solidarity.  I listened again the next day, and yep, still made me cry.  And then laugh a lot.  Because it is CRAZY to cry at a Beyonce song.


I linked to this video because it's quite a bit less strange than the official video.  Hear the line at 3:29?
"Strong enough to bear the children, then get back to bidness."

Thanks Lentil!  Give Grammy Rita a hug and we'll see you soon.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Best of the A's

This semester in the Library I'm reading in the Easy section, authors A-E.  I finished the A's a few weeks ago and thought I ought to highlight some of my favorites before I forgot.

This one was kind of sad, about a girl who doesn't want Winter to come, but I liked it.

This one was just so interesting and strange, a family of painters who worries about their son, but it all comes out in the end.  

A very nice story about how good things can make us better.

We have a whole series of these about different painters and I loved them all.  My highest recommendation.

I checked this out for Anna after I read it, she loved it, and it's been circulating quite a bit in 3rd grade since.  :)

This one has Aesop's fables, and a little explanation, and some fantastic and detailed artwork.

A pioneer story that broke my heart. What a hard journey!

The true story of elephants who paint, with pictures of their artwork and of the elephants painting.  

Those are MY favorites, and not the kids favorites.  The kids love the Fly Guy books by Tedd Arnold, but I read them and I don't get it.  

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

I Shall Not Want

I Shall Not Want by Audrey Assad
from the 2013 release Fortunate Fall.

From the love of my own comfort
From the fear of having nothing
From a life of worldly passions
Deliver me O God

From the need to be understood
From the need to be accepted
From the fear of being lonely
Deliver me O God
Deliver me O God

And I shall not want, I shall not want
when I taste Your goodness I shall not want
when I taste Your goodness I shall not want

From the fear of serving others
From the fear of death or trial
From the fear of humility
Deliver me O God
Deliver me O God

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Sweater Fix

My favorite purple cardigan got a few moth holes in it a couple of years ago.  I've been just wearing it with a dark shirt underneath, but I wanted to actually try to fix it.

I read online that you could needle felt the holes back together, and that worked on the smaller holes, but not on that big one.

So I cut a little moth shape out of another old sweater and stitched it on.  I hope it looks like a moth and not like a giant tooth.

It's a little strange, but hey, I'm a Spanish teacher and I can wear crazy things  I'm a librarian and I'm supposed to wear cardigans all the time, right?

Strange but fine, or too strange - try again?

Monday, October 07, 2013

Handmade gift ideas

I'm trying to keep Christmas really cheap this year, (sorry everyone!) and I'm hoping to start thinking and working early enough to make some really nice gifts with things I already have.  As I've been brainstorming, I realized that I'm not sure which handmade gifts are actually nice to receive and which aren't.

Banana bread is easy and yummy, but it's easy for everyone to make, so does that make it a not-nice gift?

Hot pads are not at all glamorous, but doesn't everyone have grimy hot pads?  So maybe they would be a nice gift.

What about those soup or muffin kits in the jars?  I always like them and think that they are fun, but I like to make stuff.

Notebooks?  I love notebooks, but I'm crazy about lists.

So I'm looking for more input from my neighborhood. Imagine we're standing on the corner waiting for the bus, or watching the kids swing in the park.  What would you say makes a nice gift?  What's actually NOT nice?

Thanks.  :)

Friday, October 04, 2013

Good Reads for Kiddos 9-14

This Summer NPR did a Backseat Book Club series where they talked to kids and authors of good kids books.  I heard a few of them and enjoyed them, I keep meaning to see if they have them on a podcast so we could listen to all of them sometime on a trip....  Nope.  You can listen online though, so maybe someday I'll remember that.  Here's a link to the Backseat Book Club.

Anyhoo-here's their list of 100 Must-Read books for Kids 9-14

I've only read 37 of them (Shhh!  I've only been a librarian for a year!)  Anna has read 27 of them.  There were many squeals when she was reading the list-"Ella Enchanted is on here!  That's my favorite book ever."  "The Borrowers!"  "Percy Jackson!!"  etc.

(As a side note-when should she start Harry Potter?  The problem I have is that the first few books are fine, but then they get pretty scary and dark.  It worked initially, because the kids grew up as they were waiting for the books to come out.  But Anna could read all of those in a month!  And won't she want to once she starts?--any input?)

Looks like a pretty good list to me.  What do you think?

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Adopted Ethics?

One of the things I've wondered about as I do my Library training is the Code of Ethics for Librarians.

  1. We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.
  2. We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
  3. We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.
  4. We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders.
  5. We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness, and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.
  6. We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.
  7. We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.
  8. We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.

It's all fine, I suppose, but I don't like the idea that when I took this job, I was supposed to sign on to a certain code of ethics.  I just want to have my own ethics and have them apply across all areas of my life.  What do you think about that?  Do all jobs have this sort of thing?

I think the real problem I have with it all is this idea of censorship.  I've just about made the decision not to order the William Allen White Nominees for 6-8th grade.  We are a K-6 School, and I don't think it's a great use of our resources, and frankly, I don't like the content of most of the nominees.  I think it's fine if that's what they want to nominate, and the kids certainly have access to those books all over the place, but I don't feel good spending 10% of my budget every year on books that I can't in good conscience recommend to anyone.  

My principal will support me on this, but she did ask- "As a librarian though, are you concerned about the whole "banned books" thing? 

I don't think NOT purchasing something is on par with BANNING it.  

(But I suspect the ALA would say I'm not living up to this code of ethics I was supposed to adopt when I took this job.) 

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 02, 2013


I'm looking for inspiration for a Christmas gift project.

What are your favorite inspiring/funny/thoughtful quotes?  Fewer words are probably better.

And do you have any good fonts to recommend?

I love this quote, but it's hard.  Just because I like something doesn't mean that my recipient will like it.  Maybe they would feel all yelled at or something instead of inspired.  So share some quotes with me because hey-maybe it's for you!  And then you'll be more likely to get something that you would enjoy.  ;)

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Things I've liked lately

Here are some things I've enjoyed lately:

This storage organization project is amazing and gives me such hope for the giant tangled mess that is the entire basement.  Sometime soon I'll take some pictures, but for now, look at this and drool.

I love Pope Francis just as much as the rest of the world, but I don't like how people compare him to Pope Benedict like one of them is "good" and the other "bad". I liked this post that considered that question.  

My sister's super football blog is right up my alley.  

These two videos both made me cry.  But honestly, how hard is that?

Happy October!