Friday, March 2, 2007

What's Going On ...

... around our house.

Spring break begins next Friday and she'll be home! Woohoo! She recently went rock climbing outside on real rocks with some friends who were experienced climbers. And she survived. Which was my main concern. And she loved it so I guess I'd better get used to nagging her guardian angel to keep a closer eye on her when she's climbing.

This has been tech week for the spring musical, L'il Abner. That means that anyone working on the musical makes it home at around 11:00 at the earliest. Add to that her U.S. history timeline due today and it makes one tired kid. Not to mention that Tom and I have been waiting up for her to get home (as is our custom until the kid is going to college) and so we're all rather tired.

We went to dress rehearsal on Wednesday and it confirmed my belief that comic strips shouldn't be made into musicals. It had some very funny parts and the kids all did a great job ... but the musical as a whole just doesn't hang together well.

Rose being gone all week resulted in me watching no television whatsoever since she'll want to see everything too. Good thing I didn't give it up for Lent. I didn't miss it a bit. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I realized that. So there's at least one thing that I'm detached from. Woohoo!

I've been working and reworking the menu mentally for our visit from The Darwins! Not that I'm excited about it or anything .... so far I'm thinking Oven Fried Catfish, Mashed Potatoes, Jalapeno Spinach, Coleslaw, Potato Rolls and Chocolate Pie. The only part of that set in stone are the Potato Rolls because I made them earlier this week. Mmmm, Potato Rolls...

Rose will have a couple of friends spending the night on Friday so they can work on a group project all day Saturday ... before they all go off to work on Saturday night's musical. I'm the catering crew for that project.

As well, there is the likely possibility that our house will be overrun with various musical-working acquaintances next Thursday and Friday during the gap between when school ends and they have to show up for the evenings' performances. So many kids live far away that it is easier for them to find a friend's house to stay at ... and then they get fed also. We're close enough that we've provided the crash pad and catering in past years. Occasionally, they'll come by to sleep too. The only thing I have to know at this point is ... how many?

  • Earth Abides by George R. Stewart
    One of the more boring end-of-the-world stories I've read. Stewart was all caught up in the ecology of what happens if mankind succumbs to a disease that wipes out practically everyone. He writes about mankind as if they were animals with no real urges for religion, no creative spark if not pushed, and no incentive to better themselves. I found it especially unrealistic in the way that everyone responded to the emergency ... with good manners and leaving all the trappings of civilization in place to provide a living for the survivors.

  • The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope
    A real swashbuckler with lots of adventure, a lively sense of humor, and an intriguing love story. Englishman Rudolf Rassendyll has a practically identical resemblance to the king of Ruritania which he discovers when accidentally meeting the king the day before his coronation. The King is kidnapped by Black Michael and Rassendyll must impersonate the King in the coronation ceremony in his romance with Princess Flavia. Highly enjoyable.

  • Bumping into God in the Kitchen by Fr. Dominic Grassi
    A friend recently was suffering from a terrible sinus headache and asked her husband to get her a "sweet book" about the faith. I provided him with some gentle fiction only to discover later that her real desire was for nonfiction. If only I had received this book at the time. Grassi's book is a delightful blend of stories about growing up, food, friends and life ... and the lessons we can learn about our faith and God if we pay attention to little details along the way. It is simple and sweet but nevertheless kept me up until midnight last night as I just couldn't put it down until I finished it. Highly recommended.

  • Not One Less
    This is a simple movie about a 13-year-old substitute teacher in a rural Chinese village. She is not the brightest teacher or even the most dedicated, however she definitely is the most determined. She is promised a bonus if none of the students leave the class by the time that the real teacher returns. When one boy steals away to the big city to support his starving family, she determinedly heads off after him. Watching this we know in advance that it is a hopeless task to find one unattached individual in a city, but the teacher has never been to the city and we see her working pluckily through every alternative she can find to get her student back. In the meantime, we are shown the plight of the young boy who is reduced to begging for food to survive. This is a simple and straight forward story and, yet, unexpectedly moving and insightful by the end. As an extra note: we were amazed to see in the credits that no actors were used. If someone portrayed a restaurant owner that is because they actually were a restaurant owner. It added another dimension to the movie when thinking back over it. Highly recommended.

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