(301 to 364 of 364 replies)
friuduric 2:24pm, 22 July 2007
Hi, I'm Imperatrix. From July 2007 to August 2008, my family (me, my Consort, and our two girls Impera and Trixie) will be living in New Hampshire while the Consort spends his sabbatical year writing a book. This diary will record our adventures.

I blog at peaceableimperatrix.blogspot.com.

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(301 to 364 of 364 replies)
Dragonhide 11 years ago
Any relation to the Shiraz and the broken teapot? ;-)

Hmmm I like the Beowulf story-- hated reading it, but the cliffnotes were pretty cool... *Ducking flying rotten veggies from literature purists*

Glad to hear your review of the movie. It looked rather interesting.
friuduric 11 years ago
Oooh, ha ha, jallen -- verrrrry funny. Actually ... no. I was the only one drinking that night, and I usually drink less when I drink alone.

We only read an exerpt in high school, and it did nothing for me then. I didn't really get into it. Now, I think I want to read it. (heh).

I won't throw rotten vegetables at you. The Consort admitted once to me when we were going out that one semester in high school, his girlfriend (my nemesis) and he watched all the movies instead of read the books in English. I was an English major, so I was SHOCKED that I dated such a person. But, he had such a sweet smile, I kept him (but I still tease him about that semester, tho).

Everyone should see that movie, if only to confirm something for me: As a young man, Beowulf liked to sleep in the nude. When Grendel attacks him and his men, he fights -- nekkid as a jaybird. Interestingly, there's always another character, or a bowl, or flames, in just the right place to keep us from seeing anything. Except for one bit of time when Beowulf is running towards the monster. I swear there was just a big gray rectangle where we should have seen something (like, during production, the team couldn't think of what to use to hide the nekkidness that time, and they said, what the heck, we'll come back and fix that later -- but never did).

Anyway, my family didn't notice it. They thought I imagined it. I need someone else to see the movie and tell me if they see the gray rectangle, too.
Dragonhide 11 years ago
That's not a gray rectangle, that's his penis.. Oh my, give the poor guy a break!

hahahahaha No, I don't know, I haven't seen it.. But that's very funny! If I were to take a wild guess.. they thought it was pass as R, and at the last minute the censurers wanted to make it NC-17 and they didn't have a plan B.... or something.

Wonder if it'll be in DVD... :)
ebilflindas 11 years ago
Have you seen the actor who plays Beowulf?

It's his grey rectangle! lol

Love the combination of a Vampire novel and red wine...YUM!
CollardGreens PRO 11 years ago
Oh so sorry to hear about tragedy at any age.

Tea cups, wine and computer generated gray squares...the tale is interesting (no pun intended...). NC-17?? huh?
Dragonhide 11 years ago
You almost never see NC-17 in the theaters.. that's why movie producers often scramble to reduce the movie rating to R in the States- NC-17 = No Children 17 & under... the new way of saying X. NC-17 isn't supposed to be exactly porn.. but....

What I find amusing and appalling at the same time is that bloody violence (I mean really really nasty stuff) is OK, but the natural naked human body and natural activities- a big no-no.

I would much much rather my son catch the occasional peek of how he came to be, rather than learn 101 ways of blowing the brains out of a fellow human being..

I guess there's something wrong with me-- Hippie in heart I guess. ;-)
friuduric 11 years ago
I agree, jallen. I wondered if part of why they made Beowulf as an animated movie was the Beowulf was naked so often, and lord knows the American viewership couldn't handle a naked man on screen!

I'll tell you, though, when the kids get to early teen years, they would *much* rather see blood and gore with their parents than a sex scene. The cringing is palpable, even from across the room!
friuduric 11 years ago
3 December 2007

They cancelled school today, the wusses.

The snow was too dry to make snowballs, so instead, the girls had a snow-stuffing-in-the-hair fight.

During the season's first snow
ebilflindas 11 years ago
I remember barely being able to watch the Love Boat with my parents, let alone enduring love/sex scenes at the movies.

We might be able to enjoy xmas parties in the backyard, but we don't anything so lovely as a snow day!
Dragonhide 11 years ago
I WANT SOME OF THAT SNOW!!!!!! and that little snow-- school closing in New Hampshire??!!! I thought in New England that a school only closes if a kid's nose falls off.. :)
ItinerArts 11 years ago
I'm with jallen on the sex vs. mayhem issue.

I also could barely endure The Love Boat, but for different reasons. (I'm obviously older!)

friuduric 11 years ago
4 December 2007

Meh. A boring day. Nothing happened. Might as well just curl up and go to sleep.

Curled up
ItinerArts 11 years ago
Did you select the sofa to match the dog, or vice versa?

friuduric 11 years ago
Aha! Someone who recognizes my mad genius!

How can one love a dog if it doesn't match your furniture, I ask?
friuduric 11 years ago
5 December 2007

Every day, I make sure I have all the tools of my trade at my fingertips. This morning, I looked at my desk cup, and what was missing?!

No pencils!

No pencils! There is a pencil thief in this house. I know who she is. She likes to use sharp pencils for math homework. Well, I like sharp pencils, too -- which is why I always make sure I have two ready to use in my desk cup. She has no qualms about STEALING my pencils, rather than getting her own.

Let me tell you, missy: I brought you into this world, and I can take. you. OUT!

Consider yourself warned.

ebilflindas 11 years ago
Ah, good ol' Cosby wisdom (I remember Mr. Huxtable saying that to Theo).

And what about that purple one, with no eraser? Not a pencil?

Love the personalized cup, btw!
RobW_ PRO 11 years ago
Oooh, vengeance is on the way for the pencil thief!

I had to go all the way back to the soapnuts to catch up. Now I know what they are, what they do, and I'm convinced. Lot's of good food and changing weather on the way down to here, not so many outings and hikes.
friuduric 11 years ago
That on, ebil, is a light violet colored pencil. Not many authors like to get their stuff back in light violet pencil. (And the compositor can barely read the edits, anyway.) I have no idea why it's in there. Neither am I sure why I have so many paintbrushes in my cup. It's not like I am artistic that way -- even with Crayola paintbrushes!

The cup was a birthday gift several years ago. The whole thing says "Mommy's pens and pensils" (although a pensil seems more something one would *think* with than *write* with).

Rob, welcome back. Yeah, this in-between season is not so active, and it is driving me nuts! But after the new year, skiing should start, so that is the fun I am looking forward to.
Dragonhide 11 years ago
Hey you know, at least she was thoughtful enough to leave behind a buck for the pencils she took. Just pointing that out in case you missed it in your boiling rage.. :-D
ebilflindas 11 years ago
lol! So it's true--you're other senses are sharper, like your sense of sight and sense of humour!
friuduric 11 years ago
That's *my* dollar, guys. My girls have this habit of calling out, "Hey, I found a quarter on the floor in the kitchen -- can I have it?"

"found"? The kitchen is not like the street -- you can't happen to "find" a quarter there! It's mine. Like the clothes I notice on the ground in Impera's bedroom: "Hey! that's my shirt on the floor all crumpled up!" or, "So *that*'s where my robe is!"

Really, she's a sweet kid --she just has a looser definition of ownership (when it comes to parental ownership, that is).
friuduric 11 years ago
6 December 2007

Tonight was the 6th grade music concert. We heard the Chorus, the Strings ensemble, and the Band, with Trixie on clarinet!

Winter Band Concert

I also tried out the Piknik thing, for your viewing pleasure.
friuduric Posted 11 years ago. Edited by friuduric (member) 11 years ago
7 December 2007
My family's blended Belgian-American tradition of celebrating Saint Nicholas in the land of Santa began last night. This is what the girls found in their slippers this morning.

St. Nicholas and his mule

I blogged it, in more detail, here.
friuduric 11 years ago
8 December 2007

These two gnomes arrived today. They'll be busy doing prep work around here in the next two weeks, and I'm sure I'll be able to catch them in action a time or two. They're happy for the work -- heck, even with us keeping the house at 59 degrees during the day, it's warmer than in the forest, and gnomes are easily paid with a pint of barley beer, especially if it has nice thick foam and a sharp bite to it.

Two gnomes
friuduric Posted 11 years ago. Edited by friuduric (member) 11 years ago
9 December 2007

We visited the cousins down in south New Hampshire for the day. The Consort's sister knew we hadn't brought any of our Christmas boxes, so she took out all her crafty supplies, and we went to town making ornaments.

Making ornaments

Then, we played Elferaus and ate Fig Newmans. After we got home, we watched A Christmas Story. How could a day be more perfect than that?
friuduric Posted 11 years ago. Edited by friuduric (member) 11 years ago
10 December 2007

One reason (not the only reason, mind you) I like to cook is that sometimes, the recipe calls for a cup of wine to be added to the broth. And heck, we all know wine doesn't last long once it's opened (unless you happen to like vinegar). So it would probably be a good idea to have a glass with supper.

Baked chickpea stew
ebilflindas 11 years ago
...it would probably be a good idea to have a glass with supper.
Can I get a 'allelujah?!

Gnome-labor? What'll ya give me to keep my mouth shut?
friuduric Posted 11 years ago. Edited by friuduric (member) 11 years ago
I don't have to keep you quiet. You know "The death by a thousand cuts"? Well, in gnome moral code, one small act cannot be responsible for death. So, one thousand gnomes each using their hunting knife to make one tiny cut, ... well, I think you understand what I'm saying.

*Never* get between a gnome and a warm place for winter.

(Kind of off-topic, but, I highly recommend _Wee Free Men_ by Terry Pratchett. Verrry funny.)
Dragonhide 11 years ago
OOhhh the horrors!! Gnomes with tiny peices of paper giving papercuts would be even worse.

The dining room scene is THE perfect crafts day scene... awesome.
ItinerArts 11 years ago
You really seem to be well infomed about gnome culture.

RobW_ PRO 11 years ago
Yeah, I hope those gnome-helper immigrants are fully documented in this political primary season. We don't want any controversies in New Hampshire, do we? Just as well you don't have a Zwarte Piet as well, definitely an uncomfortable, non-PC throwback to a colonial past, hehe.

I defiinitely approve of a glass (at least) of wine with your meals, as long as you share it with the gnomes.
friuduric 11 years ago
What a wash this week has been! Impera's strings concert was cancelled due to weather on Tuesday night (we saw no weather...) and rescheduled for Thursday evening. Wednesday, school was cancelled due to weather (we saw about an inch of snow on the ground...). Thursday, the strings concert was cancelled *again* (although a boy slipped and broke his leg outside the school, so I agree the weather was bad yesterday).

To top it off, photo shooting has taken a back seat to finishing up Christmas gifts I need to send out ASAP.

friuduric 11 years ago
13 December 2007

As you can see, the gnomes are hard at work getting the newest Nature Table item set up. Good thing you can't hear them cussing at each other.

Gnomes at work
friuduric 11 years ago
14 December 2007

Loki is a fruit-lickin' cat. Impera had a pear this morning as part of her breakfast, and the cat spent a long time licking the core.

Fruit-lickin' cat

Zephyr thinks the cat is a little bit weird.
RobW_ PRO 11 years ago
He's thinking "Core blimey"!
CollardGreens PRO 11 years ago
Hello there - stopping by in a furry of posting to tell you HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and yours. I have enjoyed your point of view and photos this year and am looking forward to the coming year with anticipation...best to you.
friuduric 11 years ago
Rob: That's *exactly* what the dog was thinking! LOL.

CG: Thank you!
friuduric Posted 11 years ago. Edited by friuduric (member) 11 years ago
15 December 2007

Finally painted those salt-dough ornaments we baked a while ago.

They came out really nice, don't you think?

Salt-dough ornaments
friuduric 11 years ago
16 December 2007

On Saturday, we trudged out in the snow, cut a fresh fir tree, and brought it home.

On Sunday, we decorated it.


You can see the other shots in the Xmas tree set.
RobW_ PRO 11 years ago
That's very pretty, as are the painted home-made salt-dough ornaments. Are you snowed in? I have seen some scary coverage of your big weekend snow storm. I hope all the Sabbaticals are snug and warm, with enough firewood and food.
Dragonhide 11 years ago
I'm such a sucker for motion pictures with lights in motion.. its so cool!
friuduric 11 years ago
17 December 2007

Amateur manicure. Supposed to be candy-cane stripes.


Uh, nope.
friuduric 11 years ago
18 December 2007

Rob asked about the snow storm. Here's what we have, two days out.

friuduric Posted 11 years ago. Edited by friuduric (member) 11 years ago
19 December 2007

I made fruitcake this evening.

Final product

Recipe, with photos, blogged here. (Or you can just look at the set here.)
ebilflindas 11 years ago
Wow, that looks like a fruitcake I might actually want to try!
ItinerArts 11 years ago
Great Xmastree shot!

Yes, that fruitcake really belies all the old jokes.

Happy holidays to you & your family!

CollardGreens PRO 11 years ago
Sooooo - just how much armagnac did the cake soak up ??
friuduric 10 years ago
I haven't posted for 12 days. But I did take some pictures!

So, let's go!
friuduric 10 years ago
20 December 2007

Last day of school before Winter break. When I took the dog for a walk, I loved the way the white winter sky gleamed where the sun was trying its best to peek through.

friuduric 10 years ago
21 December 2007

Loki in the snow.

friuduric 10 years ago
22 December 2007

I finished up the family Christmas gifts today. And a good thing, too, considering the 23rd we are hosting a pre-Christmas luncheon with the Consort's mother and sisters. On the menu: Mother Wolff soup and home baked bread.


(Oh, and fruitcake, gingerbread cookies, coconut sticks, and raspberry shortbread cookies.)
friuduric Posted 10 years ago. Edited by friuduric (member) 10 years ago
23 December 2007

When I noticed this ad in the newspaper today, I did a double-take.


At least urologists have a sense of humor!
friuduric 10 years ago
24 December 2007

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring...

...except for the mama dog having puppies!

Basenjis go into heat once a year, and typically have their puppies at the end of December. I think I mentioned before that my MIL is the #1 basenji breeder in the US. This year, she had two litters due -- one of them came on Christmas Eve morning, and the second arrived on Christmas Eve evening. So she brought the mama dog to my SIL's house where we were gathering for the cousin gift exchange.

The kids got to see three puppies being born. In all, there were five puppies in this litter.

friuduric Posted 10 years ago. Edited by friuduric (member) 10 years ago
25 December 2007

On Christmas Day, Grandma came for a quick visit to give out her gifts. She also brought the puppies from last night -- she brought them in a handbag, lined with a warm blanket!

(They'll be cuter in a week or so, once their eyes open...)
friuduric 10 years ago
28 December 2007

One of Impera's sketches.

friuduric 10 years ago
30 December 2007

You noticed that once Christmas Day arrived, I didn't take daily pictures? Wonder why? Well, see, Santa only brought one gift this year. But no one was disappointed. Because this is what Santa brought the family:


A 26-inch iMac. As you can imagine, there has been lots of World of Warcraft playing on this thing. It's so big we put our borrowed TV downstairs and use the new iMac as our TV/DVD player (we inaugurated it with the LOTR movies). Sunday was a Kraaazy Day -- unlimited WoW playing, with the girls taking turns on the iMac. At one point, we had 3 computers going at the same time. Like I said, kraaazy!
friuduric 10 years ago
And what was I doing during kraazy day, you ask?

Working on a sock.

Dragonhide 10 years ago
I like the color palette in that sock!

*giggles* at your family geeking out big time... That's such a sweet picture. Your family seems very well balanced with geeking out and actual human & natural interaction activities.
friuduric Posted 10 years ago. Edited by friuduric (member) 10 years ago
jallen -- You don't know how happy you made me using the word "palette"! Even in print, where one would expect newspapers/magazines to have copyeditors, I've seen that word spelled "palate" and "pallet". More times than I can count!

So, thank you! :-)
friuduric 10 years ago
31 December 2007

As is our tradition on New Year's Eve, we made solder fortunes. The first step is opening the sealed box with the 2007 ones. We checked them out, to see if they had actually given us any hints as to what would happen during the year:

Last year's fortunes

Then we took turns melting a bit of solder in a spoon over a candle, and quickly dropping the molten metal into a glass of water. The quick cooling creates funky organic shapes. We try to decipher the meaning behind the shapes.

After we each write down what we think our personal solder fortune means (and tape the fortune itself to our strip of paper), we return them to the box, now labeled "2008 Fortunes", seal the box, and squirrel the box away in the closet, not to be disturbed until December 31, 2008.
ebilflindas 10 years ago
Solders of Fortune! What an awesome tradition, solder scrying. How accurate were the 07s?

A friend's husband is supposed to get a vasectomy soon--I sent them a link to your 12/23!

What a special gift for the kids to witness puppies being born on Christmas Eve.

I love Impera's sketch. Not sure who it's supposed to be, but I see Scarlett Johansson.
ItinerArts 10 years ago
The clinic shot is hilarious!

You have an interesting new year custom-- I've never heard of anything like it.
Dragonhide 10 years ago
Wow... Solders of Fortune... I like that!
RobW_ PRO 10 years ago
Just coming by to see how you finished off the first half of your sabbatical. Puppies on Christmas Eve - that's a special present! Giggled at your Vasectomy joke. Things look very wintry outdoors.

Now to 2008, where you are right in the centre of attention today, Obamamania and all.
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