Friday, April 29, 2011

Watching the Royal Wedding

We're supposed to be heading up to run errands in town. But . . . we've been sitting here watching the "rebroadcast" of the Royal Wedding! Mom and I made it down in time to see the "balcony bit" and after, so we stayed to watch the re-run of the ceremony and all.

What a beautiful ceremony, and it's so cool to see such a Christian witness in the service. There are probably thousands of people watching this who would never go to a church service. In fact, the actual marriage ceremony, which must be the traditional Church of England form, is something that we've been trying to find for years. Part of it is used in the end of the 1995 Pride & Prejudice mini-series, but we've never found it any place else. Turns out that they are issuing a CD of all the music from the wedding. It also comes with a book containing all the words for the ceremony and vows, etc. We've already preordered that and a DVD of the wedding. Can't wait!

We were watching the wedding on YouTube, but the streaming was pretty slow (since probab;y a million others were doing the same), so we saw it in a very choppy form. Every twelve frames or so. Not to mention that it was blurry part of the time. It was so cool. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are so beautiful. They look like the perfect monarchs. Wow! Prince Charles cuts a good picture of a prince, too!

Well, we've really got to go for now. More later.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

An Easter Weekend Full of Fun

Believe it or not, we haven't taken a single picture all weekend. That's not to say that we haven't had a wonderful time, though. It was just so much fun that we forgot the camera the whole time.

We've been "on the go" since Thursday. That was the first day in ages that was all sunshine, so we drove out to Wooster to a fiber mill. I've gotten wool from them at a fiber show last year, and was out of a bunch of colors. I got some beautiful things --- including a bunch of variegated rovings. One of them is going to make a great brown tweed-looking suit for a little Capt. Hastings doll.

It rained all day Friday, but we had to go to Mansfield anyway. Dad had the day off of work, so we took him out to dinner at Pizza Hut and did a few groceries. The next day was spent in the kitchen. We were cooking and baking all kinds of things for the next day, so we were pretty tired that night!

There was an Easter breakfast at church on Sunday, followed by the service. As soon as that was over we were off to Mansfield to visit with the Keultjeses! The girls were up for the day, so it was just like Christmas. :) We spent the afternoon working on a scavenger hunt --- even though it was a bit rainy. That was quite a site: us girls out in our good clothes trying to find acorns, a bird's nest and digging up earth worms! Oh boy. We weren't home until ten o'clock.

Buddy and Kay called on Monday morning with the idea of going down to Colmubus together. Buddy's violin needs a few repairs, so we all drove down in their car and took it to The Loft. I just love that place. I could live there for a week or two --- just to learn all the stuff about violins. Wow. We also went to lunch together before heading home. On the way back, we decided to stop off at their house for a bit. Elizabeth was going to help Kay connect some speakers to their 8-track recorder, so we figured an hour or two of fun. In the end, we were there until after 9:00pm.! Mom and Kay were working on genealogy, so Buddy and the two of us played music and sang together until we were all about asleep on our feet. It was so much fun!

This morning we went out to a ladies' meeting for our church. We're all a bit tired from all this fun, so I think that the rest of the day will be spent taking it easy. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

First Flowers of the Year

Here they are: the first flower pictures of the year! I took these on Friday but have only just now gotten around to uploading them. Nothing looks much different though, as we've had cold and rain ever since. Summer: how much do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

All of the little plants are really popping up. It looks like the Irises have doubled (and in some cases tripled) in size. The hops did the same! I can't wait to see it come up some more, though. It's been great studying it for our novel. Hops is a cool plant, and I'm hoping that we'll get more flowers this year.

Can't wait for Easter to get here. Church is having a breakfast before service, so we're planning on going to that. After service we're going to Lunch at the Keultjes' house! Hooray! I love going there, and we haven't seen them since Christmas.

We didn't make it down to get wool on Sunday, so maybe this week or next. That should be fun. It's amazing to go into a little building that stacked to the ceiling in all kinds and colors of wool!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday, Sweet Little Kitties!

Seems like Spring is here. That means that in a little more than a month it will begin to feel like Summer. Today has been just beautiful, and it's very special. Today is the fifth birthday of the "kittens"! That's Manly, Max, Avis and Iveta. It's hard to believe that only five years ago they were little, tiny mouse-sized baby-kins. Awww. They're sweeties.

This is a picture of them when they were about two weeks old. Seven babies were born, but little Nicki was still-born. She's buried out in the kitty cemetery behind the shed. Cadfael lived to exactly five months and his baby-heart gave out. He was a beautiful, milky grey color with stripes just like Manly. He was also a little lover boy --- and so sweet. Aline lived for three and a half years and was also a little sweetie. The other four are super healthy and have their daily routine of eating, sleeping and playing! They've gotten a bit lazy with age, though. They like to lounge around and watch birds out the window and other easy pleasures.

Something else really cool happened today, too! After receiving the special picture from David Suchet (the one that was made for the doll's box) in time for Christmas, and since he had to actually mail it off personally while he was not working right around Christmas, we sent him a "thank you" note. It also included pictures of the doll and box, since we'd told him all about it. Today he sent the nicest little card saying that he had gotten the photos and that he thought the doll was nice. How neat. That was really nice of him to send a response. That's something for my felting scrapbook!

I have taken a bunch of pictures of the yard and the few flowers that are starting to come out. As soon as I have time to upload them, then they'll be on here. Yesterday was gorgeous and sunny, so I washed blankets and sheets and was actually able to hang them out to dry! I also took advantage and cleaned the ceiling fans from all of the accumulated Winter dust. It's amazing how dirty they can get. Now they are all sparkling. :)

On Sunday afternoon we are driving down to buy some more wool (for felting). There is a lady about forty-five minutes South of us who is a big dealer at fiber shows. She's got fantastic colors available, and she's the only one with the skin-tone that I use for the dolls. I'll post pictures of that later!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

News Flash: Fort Sumter Fired Upon & First Man in Space

Today is a pretty amazing day historically. Fort Sumter was fired on exactly 150 years ago today which began the American Civil War. Then, just fifty years ago today, Yuri Gagarin was the first man to go up into outer space! All on the same day, wow! Okay, so it was 100 years apart.

Nothing so news-worthy here though. Mom and Elizabeth had appointments at the chiropractor, so we ran up there in the afternoon. It turned out that the waiting room was filled with people we know, so I just sat out and socialized. Quite fun, too! We talked about wool and fiber, babies, the state of the church in Europe, canning pickles and warmer weather!

We did stop to eat at Chipotle before coming home. We hadn't been there in ages. Tomorrow marks the beginning of the first rummage sale of the year, so we're off to that early in the morning. Not to mention that I just ran us out of laundry soap! That's awful, I mean, it's a terrible feeling when you can't do anymore laundry. Off to the store we go!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Very Beanie Find at the First Estate Sale of the Year!

It happened! The first estate sale of the year! We went up to Panera this morning and stopped at the sale on the way. We got a couple of really cool finds (including a 1950s crib for $15.00 --- and it has the little lamby decals in tact), and it was just such a nice feeling to go "garage sale-ing". What really thrilled the two of us was the stack of "Beanie Babies" that we picked up. They were only twenty-five cents each! How can you resist that?! Elizabeth and I are just helpless when it comes to refusing a Beanie. I mean, can you ever have enough?

All of these Beanies are from 1993 to 1998, which is our favorite "era". Those are all the ones that we remember being in the store when we were buying them originally. We even got a shark (which is actually one that we don't have!) and a leopard! Hooray. Five of the Beanies are the mini ones, so they're not in the picture, but this puts our Beanie collection way over 100. In fact, we're going to go count them when we go upstairs this evening. ;)

Elizabeth also got a bunch traveling pennants from the 1960s. They're all from Germanic countries. She's been wanting some for ages to put on the bulletin board in our room. All in all, this was a fun sale! There's a big rummage sale opening on Wednesday --- guess where we're going?!

Friday, April 8, 2011

B-T-S of Disney's '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea'

This week we watched Walt Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for the first time in years. We checked it out from the library and the DVD is the two-disc edition. This means that there are all kinds of special features, including an hour and a half documentary of the "making of" 20,000 Leagues. That has to be the best "making of" that we've ever seen! And we watch lots of them. Wow. Actually seeing how the special effects were accomplished was amazing. It goes to prove why Disney was the best. Classic Disney, that is --- back when it was Walt Disney. Even knowing how the effects were achieved, I still can't "see" it when watching the movie. Interestingly enough, this was Disney's first go at live-action filming. That kind of surprised me. The quality is so good.

The interviewed "cast" for the documentary was fabulous, featuring Richard Fleischer (Director), Peter Ellenshaw (Matte Painter), Roy E. Disney (nephew of Walt Disney), cut-ins from an old interview with Harper Goff (Production Designer) and, of course, Kirk Douglas! What a "cast". Kirk Douglas is great, and had all good things to say. The "making of" really showed off the genius of Disney's production company. He had men that were, literally, the best at their craft --- which is why their productions are so flawless.

The stories of filming the underwater sequences were so cool! There had to be one safety man for every two actors or crewmen working underwater. That brought the total up to 33 men underwater simultaneously. "Actor divers" portrayed the four stars underwater, and any shots where the four stars are actually "seen" underwater are a dry-for-wet shoot in a sound stage. Captain Nemo is the only diver with the special lamp on his helmet (as can be seen in the photo above), which makes identifying him quite easy!

Casting the four main characters was crucial. Disney knew that they needed popular and experienced leading names who would be able to carry the film to success in the box office, so they cast four popular veterans. They are all fabulous, and I can't imagine anybody else.

I think that the thing that "hit" me the most was a comment towards the end of the documentary. That all the other major studios in Hollywood at the time were openly laughing at Disney and his plans for the film. They told him that they could "do it better". Why was he bothering? Can you imagine anyone telling Walt Disney that they could do it better? Do anything better? You have to be a pretty big nut about films to remember who Jack Warner, David O. Selznick and Louis B. Mayer were. Sure, lots of their films are remembered, but who reads the names in the production credits? But Disney? I can't imagine that there are many people in the World (even the third-world countries have cell phones and internet) who don't know who Disney is and remember his name. Hind sight is great. All in all, it is an amazing documentary and really enhances the film.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Anniversary of the Ice Cream Sundae!

Today seems to be a big day in the world. Google even put up a banner in honor of this great step in history: the anniversary of the first documented ice cream sundae! I'm eternally grateful to the inventor (whoever he is)! If only we had known that it was such a big day . . . we could have had some ice cream on hand. Next year, you can be sure, I'll be prepared!

Not to be outdone by a sundae, it is also Doris Day's 88th birthday! Wow. She's forever etched in my memory as she appeared in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

We were out for a while yesterday going shoe shopping. How depressing. Shoes are so . . . feo. Translated into English: ugly. We did manage to get some tennis shoes for all four of us, so now we're all prepared. We also took Pop out to breakfast at Panera. That's always fun. Their cinnamon roles are great!