29 June 2009


No, not the biking class! (I cannot even imagine doing that!)

But the old fashioned way with a spinning wheel...this past Saturday, I spent 5 hours at Cloverhill Yarn Shop learning how to spin. I tried out five different spinning wheels-The Ladybug (which I did not like-too difficult to treadle), the Kiwi (which was pretty good-although just a beginner wheel), the Traveler (also did not like too much), the Joy (definitely did not like-too low to the ground) and the Traditional (which is the wheel that I am thinking about purchasing). I want to go back to the shop and try out all the wheels again just to make sure since spinning wheels can be quite pricey!

I also learned how to comb and card wool fibers as well as plying spun singles into what everyone knows as yarn. It was a great class and Jen, the teacher, was fabulous!

In July I will be taking another class, but this time learning a different technique for knitting socks with one long circular needle from the toe up called magic loop.


It seems to me that my family is diminishing just a bit more quickly than I would like it to! Since February, there have been 7 (yes, I said seven) deaths in my family.
  • Aunt Ellen (mom's side)
  • Dad
  • Kas (Aunt Ellen's daughter, a cousin of mom's)
  • Ed (cousin of mom's)
  • Harry (Dad's cousin's husband)
  • Mary G. (Grandpop's last surviving cousin)
  • Pop Hovel (father of mom's oldest friend's husband)
Today was Harry's funeral. It took place at Garrison Forrest Veteran's Cemetery where my maternal grandparents, some cousins and even a classmate of mine (HS) are buried. Mom, Chris and I went and stopped by the graves to pay our respects. It was sort of like playing hide and seek since there is a system to how the graves are laid out, but even when you know the system it is like finding a needle in a haystack!

My grandmother always used to fear January because that seemed to be when all the folks in our family passed on and usually only three. Now I'm beginning to think it just needs to be in the first six months of the year and who knows how many...

16 June 2009

And then there were three...

On Monday, Megan and Stan (Jason's sister and brother-in-law) became the proud parents of Lilian Kaye Walsh. Lily weighed in at 6 lbs. 15 oz. on June 15th! All are doing well, except maybe Jack, who still thinks he's got a little brother!

10 June 2009

1,000,000th Word

Apparently, today is the day that the 1,000,000th word was added to the English language. The Global Language Monitor is responsible for the formula that is used to calculate how many words are added per day (that would be 14.7, if you were curious). The word was added at about 5:22am our time (10:22am Stratford-on-Avon time).

The 1,000,000th word is....(drum roll, please!)

WEB 2.0

This is a word that those of us in education and especially me (having just finished my masters in Library Media) have known for quite some time. If you do not know what Web 2.0 is, it is a technical term that refers to the next generation of the World Wide Web (basically blogs, wikis, etc. that we "normal" people create).

Other words that were possibles: Jai Ho (from Slumdog Millionaire), Noob, Slumdog, cloud computing and carbon neutral.


Safety Follow Up

Yesterday afternoon, we had some wild storms here in Maryland. We were supposed to go to the Orioles game but decided to turn around and come home. We stopped at a local BBQ/Pit Beef place to pick up dinner. It's still raining and starting to get heavy again. We were waiting to turn out of the parking lot...tons of traffic since it was rush hour. Cars were coming just far enough apart that we could not get into the turn lane. Finally traffic lessened so that we could cross, but to our surprise a minivan pulled around us to do that same thing. Apparently we were taking too long. Of course, Jason honked and the driver of the minivan got out of the car at the traffic light and gave us an "oh well" shrug. Of course one of the passengers then gave us the finger.

(**And this is why teaching is so difficult...people think this type of behavior is OKAY!!!)

05 June 2009


Those of you who have ever driven with me know that I like to go fast. Not too fast, but typically faster than the speed limit. However, I do not drive aggressively nor dangerously. I follow traffic signals and signs, merge when it is my turn, change lanes when there are dotted lines, make appropriate turns (not too wide and not too sharp), use my turn signals and of course turn on my lights when my windshield wipers are on.

This week the weather has been a bit rainy (downpours at times). Drivers have been absolutely RIDICULOUS! First, the number of people who are driving in the rain WITHOUT lights on is incredible. How am I supposed to know there is a car coming and I'm trying to make a turn??? I thought Maryland instituted a law that if a driver was using the windshield wipers in the rain, the headlights needed to be on. Am I just making up my own laws????

Secondly, one of the big safety promotions of the Spring & probably Summer here in MD is motorcycle safety, for those of us who are not motorcycle enthusiasts. I am always aware of motorcycles. Most of the time it is because they are the ones acting in a DANGEROUS manner. Just in the past 6 days, I have been witness to two very dangerous incidents involving motorcycles. The first, Jason and I were coming home Sunday evening from Mom's. We were merging onto 695 and a guy on a Honda or Suzuki bike was riding in our blind spot. Then passed us at a high speed and changed lanes rapidly, cutting others off. The second was on my way home from work Tuesday. I was on Winters Lane and out of the blue, a guy on a Harley is right on my bumper. He began swerving to see if he could pass me OVER THE DOUBLE YELLOW LINES. I was coming up to my turn (a left), put on my blinker and he passed me! I could not believe it. I think the MVA and the State of Maryland need to remind the motorcyclists of how to ride properly. [FYI, I'm all for those who enjoy riding motorcycles to be able to do so, but I wish they would do so SAFELY!]

Lastly, Jason and I were out shopping and were coming home to our little hamlet of Catonsville. We were approaching the light (green!) at Fredrick and Bloomsbury (on Bloomsbury) and a white car turns from Fredrick Road at full speed, never stopping at the red light and almost hit us head on. WHOA! Sometimes I wonder why I go out of the house when people have no concerns about their own safety or anyone else's.

Just needed to rant and get this off my chest.

03 June 2009

Catch Up

So for the past month, things have been crazy. For sake of making a long post short here is the recap in bullets:
  • We spent Mother's Day with Mom; took her to BoneFish and made her cry with our gift (Mother/Daughter trip to FL once school is out for me)
  • I helped Mom figure out how to find text messages on her new cellphone since I texted the "Happy Birthday" Song to her on her bday...learning how to use technology is a GOOD thing!
  • I graduated with my Masters (in Science...still not sure why all the undergrads at McDaniel received BAs-even those who majored in Science and all the Masters candidates received MSs-bizarre...unless of course any of the academics who read this can share their knowledge on the subject.) It feels good to be finished. I have warned everyone that if I mention going back to school within the next couple of years to beat me over the head with a baseball bat-I need some low stress times for awhile!
  • Friends (Melanie and Mike) have become the proud parents of twin boys...born 13 weeks early! Matthew and James are doing well (they have had some troubles, but nothing out of the ordinary for preemies). Their progress is being followed at Raising The Barrs.
  • I mentioned in a much earlier post that my department chair was also having twin boys. They also were born early, about 5 weeks. Matteo and Giacomo are doing well and even visited WLHS at lunch with their mom last week. We think I was holding Matteo (even their momma can't tell them apart...and they're FRATERNAL!) They are adorable!
  • Jason and I have worked hard to finish the basement. We are almost there! There are two things left for me to do-finish staining and polyurethaning the bar and the stairs. This is one of my summer projects. We are also waiting for our sofa and love seat to be delivered (hopefully very soon!)
  • We found out that my cousin, Jaime, is pregnant with child #2. Congratulations!!!
  • Chris, my bro, and I have both been to see the dermatologist. I had one mole removed last week and will have the stitches and the results on the 10th. Chris will have two moles removed on the same day. I know that a few other family members have gone to either be checked and/or have moles removed. PLEASE go see a dermatologist!!!! You never know...it could save your life!!!
  • Jason and I are planning a cruise for Thanksgiving 2010. If anyone is interested in going, the boat leaves from Baltimore, is 7 days long and VERY affordable! You can contact us for more details.
  • Jason finished the Spring semester and has already started teaching the first session of summer school at Towson.
  • Jason's dad was having double vision. Kind of scary...he had all sorts of tests done (MRI, CTscan, etc.), went to the emergency room, saw his regular doctor, saw specialists including a neurologist. Come to find out, he had a stroke. NOT a stroke of the brain, but of a blood vessel in a muscle surrounding the eye. Apparently, this is very common and most of the time we do not even know these little "strokes" are happening. The doctors all confirmed that Rod is no where near having a stroke in the normal sense of the word. WHEW!
  • and finally, we are getting excited about our anniversary cruise! We are off to Copenhagen and the cruise leaves from there to go to Germany, Estonia, Russia, Sweden and Finland. We've waited a long long long time for this...probably since our Honeymoon cruise (I think we started talking about the upcoming cruise then!). I'm a bit anxious about it because this will be the first time that I've traveled to any place where I do NOT speak the language! I attempted to start learning German on the website LiveMocha (like Rosetta Stone, but FREE) but just have not had the time to keep up with it.
So, the short story ended up being long anyway...that's just life. It happens!