Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Maroon and Orange Tears

When you go to Tech, it’s in your blood. I think of the kind of camaraderie and the pride -- they call it “hokie pride.” It sounds corny, but it is how proud the students are of their school.

I never imagined that this is the way Virginia Tech would likely go down in history. I know everyone says that about their town: “Not my town, my town is a little town,” or “It would never happen in my neighborhood.”

But Virginia Tech is a place away from the big cities. It is away from the big city problems, away from all of it. It felt insulated. It felt safe. I never felt uncomfortable walking on that campus.

Then to hear what happened at Tech today, at my school. I couldn’t believe it—I still can’t.

-Hoda Kotb, Dateline correspondent and Virginia Tech graduate

I really don't know what else I can add to this, other than to say that the five years I spent in Blacksburg, VA were happy ones. This was where we lived when we started our married life together, where we had our first child, and where I worked as both a teacher and a grad student in the VA Tech Psychology Department.

Blacksburg always struck me as being a little utopia - a place hidden from the rest of the world, tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, populated mainly by other young adults and professors. We lived very well on very little money, spent lots of time with friends and enjoyed the scenic beauty of the campus and the surrounding wilderness. I missed it terribly when we first moved away, but I had forgotten how much until now.

I am so sad, of course for the victims and their families, but also for my school, a beautiful place that does not deserve this legacy.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Some 2007 Pictures

Just in case you are a friend or family member who hasn't seen the little Savages recently, here's a recap of what Uno, Dos & Tres been doing since Christmas:

Tres still loves to pretend he's a kitty. We have found pictures of him doing this kind of thing as an infant, leading us to believe that he really was a kitty in a previous lifetime.

He and the mailman are great friends, as you can see by the way the mailman just turned complete control over his truck to him.

Uno and Dos displaying their Pinewood Derby cars. This was Uno's 5th and final Pinewood Derby and he came in second, which was very exciting for him. Dos didn't do as well, but last year, he won the "Most Creative" award for his car cut and painted to look like a #2 pencil.

Dos and Rocky sleeping in front of the fireplace.

Uno after receiving the Arrow of Light award, marking the end of his time as a Cub Scout and the start of life as a Boy Scout.

Dos, now promoted to the rank of Bear Cub.

Dos has his own blog now. If you'd like to experience his wacky literary talents for yourself, check out the "Smeethan's World" link on the right. Leave him a comment so he knows he's had visitors!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Early Morning Life

Has it been three weeks yet? Maybe I'm finally getting used to this early morning stuff. Today I woke up before the alarm went off, and when I woke up late a few days ago, it really did feel weird, like part of the day was over and I had missed it.

What am I doing with all of this quiet time in the morning? Messing around on the computer, of course, but also getting those little projects done around the house that are always so difficult once everyone else is up. Like filing pictures, sorting mail, reorganizing the basement, restocking the dog food bin, starting a new batch of ginger soda, etc. Avoiding working on the novel, which always makes me more productive in other areas. Once the garden is planted, I am looking forward to time fussing over the little plants. I'm sharing the garden with two friends this year, so I have to actually take care of it and pull a few weeds this time around!

I've considered starting the day with some yoga, but I'm still wearing jeans, which are too constricting for yoga. And I don't want to have to get dressed twice. Weird, I know, but soon it will be shorts season and it won't be an issue. Once it's really hot, this will be a nice time to take a walk.

I'm going to have to start getting up at 6 to fit all of this me-time in!

Today's project: Making more doggie treats.

They're cheap, they're natural and the dog loves them. (The kids have been known to try a few also.) Here's the recipe:

Rocky's Rockin' Biscuits

2 cups whole wheat or all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoon beef bouillon powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg
1 T oil
1 cup hot water

Mix above ingredients in a medium bowl.

Stir well. Roll out on a well-floured surface to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into shapes. We like squares, triangles, rectangles and circles, but little people shapes are also fun. Place on an ungreased cooking sheet. Bake on center rack @ 275 F. for about 2 hours until dry and very hard. Leave them out overnight to get dry and crunchy.