Archive for December 2009


The Swiss Family Robinson, chapter 6 part 1

December 30th, 2009 — 10:01am

Hooray for the Swiss Family!

The Swiss Family Robinson, Chapter 6 part 1 – 19:07

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Audio books for Grandma

December 29th, 2009 — 2:04pm

Santa brought my 89-year-old Grandma an mp3 cd player, hooray! When I called her to chat the other day, I could hear my recording of A Postcard from the Volcano in the background. She says she’s really enjoying it.

I’m burning a whole bunch of librivox audiobooks to cd for her. So I don’t send duplicates next time, I’ll note the titles here:

The Wrong Box (Andy Minter)
Life on the Mississippi (John Greenman)
A Room with a View (me)
Helen’s Babies (me)
The Adventures of Sally (me)
Persuasion (Karen Savage)

It was a bit difficult to choose! I downloaded several more, but decided I’d better not send too many all at once.

Forgot to mention that we cataloged our 3,000th audio book a few days ago :)

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The Swiss Family Robinson, Chapter 5

December 28th, 2009 — 10:42am

Hooray for the Swiss Family!

The Swiss Family Robinson, Chapter 5 – 32:29

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The Swiss Family Robinson, Chapter 4 part 2

December 25th, 2009 — 10:44am

Hooray for the Swiss Family!

The Swiss Family Robinson, Chapter 4 Part 2 – 16:14

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The Swiss Family Robinson, Chapter 4 part 1

December 23rd, 2009 — 10:36am

Hooray for the Swiss Family!

The Swiss Family Robinson, Chapter 4 Part 1 – 22:18

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family!

December 22nd, 2009 — 12:02pm

My sister Kirsten and her husband Marcos are visiting, yay! The other night Chloe and Bob came over too, and we practiced making the strange face that our family likes to make. Kirsten can’t quite do it :)

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And here is Chloe showing Kirsten and Henry stuff on her iPhone:

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We’re having a wonderful time!

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The Swiss Family Robinson, Chapter 3 part 2

December 21st, 2009 — 10:02am

Hooray for the Swiss Family!

The Swiss Family Robinson, Chapter 3 Part 2 – 27:45

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Christmas Carol Collection 2009

December 20th, 2009 — 9:10am

In 2006, someone at LibriVox ran a Christmas Carol Collection. Those carols have become some of my very favorite Christmas music, so every year after that I’ve hoped that someone would come along and do another carol collection, but since no one ever did, I decided this year that I would be that someone. About two weeks ago I set up the project, our volunteers obliged me with song after song, and yesterday I finished cataloging our thirty free, volunteer-performed Christmas carols! That’s nearly an hour and a half of music.

http://librivox.org/christmas-carol-collection-2009/

I love this collection. Sure, there are one or two songs which are not quite to my taste, but that just means there’s something here that will please everyone. I’d list a few of my favorites but they are too numerous and anyway I don’t want to bias you. Go download our collection and enjoy the sound of your LibriVox friends singing Christmas carols to you. I guarantee there’ll be many songs there that put a big smile on your face.

Ok, I guess I can’t resist mentioning the multi-tracked, very traditional, all-male songs with which I placed at the beginning, middle, and end of the set list. And the Kunkel family’s “Joy to the World”. And Karen’s “Gaudete”. And my favorite version of “Carol of the Bells” EVER. And Ryan’s ukulele-accompanied “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear”. And Bellona Times’ very appealing “Go Tell it on the Mountain”. And Mark and Laurie Anne’s “Lo How A Rose ere Blooming”… I could go on and on and on. Download, listen, and find your own favorites!

Amazingly, we already have two 5-star reviews at archive.org (they host our files for free): http://www.archive.org/details/carol_collection_0912.

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The Swiss Family Robinson, Chapter 3 part 1

December 18th, 2009 — 8:26am

Hooray for the Swiss Family!

The Swiss Family Robinson, Chapter 3 Part 1 – 33:12

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The Swiss Family Robinson, Chapter 2 part 2

December 16th, 2009 — 8:48am

Hooray for the Swiss Family!

The Swiss Family Robinson, Chapter 2 Part 2 – 29:23

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The Swiss Family Robinson, Chapter 2 Part 1

December 14th, 2009 — 9:33am

Hooray for the Swiss Family!

The Swiss Family Robinson, Chapter 2 Part 1 – 37:31

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Good soup

December 13th, 2009 — 9:48am

I made really good potato-leek soup last night. I’m going to write down my recipe so I can make it again!

3 potatoes, unpeeled, cut in hunks, sauteed for a couple minutes in butter and then simmered till soft in turkey broth.

2 leeks and one stalk of celery, sliced very thin, sauteed in butter till very soft.

Mash up the potatoes, mix in the leeks. Salt, pepper, add a little water if it’s too thick.

YUM.

Chloe and I did our Jane Austen jigsaw that Grandma gave us, and we watched the Amada Root “Persuasion” and listened to loveline. And then Bob came over and we all watched four episodes of the 2nd season of Breaking Bad. And I worked on Christmas knitting until my hands got too sore to continue.

I loved doing the puzzle. It was just the right difficulty to be fun and a bit challenging but not frustrating. The illustration is very detailed so, if you think about it hard enough, you can figure out exactly where each piece might go. I loves jigsaw puzzles when I was little, and doing this one made me feel really happy :)

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The Swiss Family Robinson

December 11th, 2009 — 7:57am

Time for our next book. This is one of my all-time favorites! Let me introduce you to my dear friends Fritz, Ernest, Jack, and Franz, and their resourceful and loving parents:

The Swiss Family Robinson, Chapter 1 – 37:31

First published in 1812, The Swiss Family Robinson may sometimes seem old-fashioned to modern readers, especially the family’s attitude toward wildlife (if it moves, shoot it). However, it’s a truly exciting adventure and a timeless story of warm and loving family life.

As the narrator says: “It was written… for the instruction and amusement of my children… Children are, on the whole, very much alike everywhere, and you four lads fairly represent multitudes… It will make me happy to think that my simple narrative may lead some of these to observe how blessed are the results of patient continuance in well-doing, what benefits arise from the thoughtful application of knowledge and science, and how good and pleasant a thing it is when brethren dwell together in unity, under the eye of parental love.”

Written by Swiss pastor Johann David Wyss and edited by his son Johann Rudolf Wyss (this edition lists J.R. as the author), the novel was intended to teach his four sons about family values, good husbandry, the uses of the natural world, and self-reliance. It’s fun to think of the long-ago author reading his own books of natural history and writing this novel to share his interests with his boys.

(If you can’t wait, download the whole book: http://librivox.org/the-swiss-family-robinson-by-johann-r-wyss/)

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Rainstorm video

December 9th, 2009 — 9:22am

Forgot to post this video of the rain out our back door on Monday:

Wild! Yeah, I know this is not unusual for most of you, but it is exciting for me! We might get even more rain tomorrow. Cross your fingers. Except I hope our power doesn’t go out again. It went out for 2 1/2 hours on Monday night. That’s what a little rain does to San Diego ;-)

My little sinus/throat illness was very mild and is already clearing up. I’ve just got a bit of congestion today and my throat is slightly irritated. I’ve been using my neti pot several times a day which really seems to help. Last night I made a double batch of gingerbread cookie dough and today, after piano, Henry and maybe Chloe and I are going to bake cookies!

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The Story of Mankind, ch 64

December 9th, 2009 — 7:55am

The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik van Loon, read by Kara and Michelle.

64 As It Shall Ever Be – 1:32

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marvelous rain

December 7th, 2009 — 4:22pm

It started raining in the middle of the night and now, at 3pm, it’s still raining. This is amazing. It’s incredibly rare for San Diego to get a few hours of rain, let alone a whole day! I know there will be bad flooding all over (this city is not designed for rain) but we’re high and dry here. I had to drive up to north county this morning but traffic was ok and people were even (gasp) driving slowly and carefully, so it was rather pleasant.

Not feeling great today, really tired and my sinuses seem to be draining down my throat and making it feel funny. I suspect a proper sore throat is not far away. But I’m resting and updating podcast feeds and watching the lovely rain, and Henry made a grilled cheese sandwich and gave me half :)

On Friday look for the first chapter of my next podcast book, The Swiss Family Robinson!

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The Story of Mankind, ch 63

December 7th, 2009 — 3:55pm

The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik van Loon, read by Kara and Michelle.

63 A New World – 20:00

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cozy!

December 5th, 2009 — 6:30pm

I just had the nicest afternoon. After I dropped Henry off with his dad for the weekend, I went to Chloe’s house and we set up her tree and then we worked on Christmas knitting and watched “Love Actually” which I’d never seen before. It was so cozy, knitting together on this cold dark day and watching a movie together. And there were about a thousand actors in that movie who looked vaguely familiar (I’m going to have to spend a while with imdb), not to mention the ten or so really famous ones. Oh, Mister Darcy and the Portuguese girl, that was the best bit, just delightful. Although Tim from The Office’s bit was adorable too. So much fun!

And now I’m home and it’s just Dan and me and we’re going to catch up on our TV shows and eat leftover shepherd’s pie and it will be a nice cozy evening :)

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The Story of Mankind, ch 62

December 4th, 2009 — 8:48am

The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik van Loon, read by Kara and Michelle.

62 Colonial Expansion and War – 18:09

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The Story of Mankind, Ch. 61

December 2nd, 2009 — 10:00am

The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik van Loon, read by Kara and Michelle.

61 Art – 28:54

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