Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Something Lighthearted

After a stressful few days, I found this over at Winterpast:

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Lady Madame Courtney the Amicable of Barton in the Beans
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Commitment to Loveliness

Emma is hosting another Commitment to Loveliness this week. Since I wasn't around last week and missed her first one and Mrs. Wilt's Anti-Procrastination Challenge, I thought I'd better join in this week!

Here's my list for January 28-February 3:

1. Get my hair cut and eyebrows waxed! I haven't had my hair trimmed in about three months and it's looking very ragged. I'm trying to grow it out again, and it's important to keep it shaped up. I haven't waxed my eyebrows since before the baby was born, so I'm long overdue!

2. Serve supper at the dining room table instead of the breakfast bar.

3. Make the bed as soon as I get up in the morning instead of waiting until 9 or 10 AM. When the bed is made first thing, it always gives me a sense of accomplishment and motivation for the day.

4. Get up no later than 6:30 so I can exercise and shower before the baby wakes up.

5. Light candles during the day to bring an extra sense of coziness and warmth (and good smells) to the house.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Seven Months

Baby is seven months old today! I can't believe I'm saying it, but where has the time gone? I suppose form now on I'll find the days, weeks, and months speeding by! He's been giving me a run for my money (and sanity) over the past few weeks, and combined with the househunting/selling, I really haven't had the time or inclination to sit and blog!

I think the Baby's been so difficult because he's so close to being and independent mover, and it's frustrating (infuriating) him that he still has a little work to do. He uses rolling and scooting on his back and tummy to get where's he going, but he's desperate to crawl. He can't get his arms and legs quite coordinated enough to go far, and he gets mad! He's also been pulling up, and he's not happy that he can't quite get to full standing, much less go anywhere once he's up! I spend a lot of time helping him move to where he wants to be, putting him back to sitting, helping his stand, and retrieving him from underneath the couch! (No kidding, he finds his way there no matter what!) With his little striped Baby Legs, he looks like the remains of the Witch of the East poking out from under Dorothy's house. One minute they're there, and the next, *poof* gone.

We had prospective buyers at the house yesterday while we were at DH's grandparents for Sunday dinner. We got a call at 8:30 Saturday night that they were anxious to see the house the next day. They were at 12:30 (as we were pulling out of the driveway) then came back at 4:00 with more family members and were here until 4:45! We had to drive around town for twenty minutes before we could go home. We haven't heard anything yet, but I am encouraged that they were here so long. The realtor did leave a note that they found my book collection impressive. Hey, maybe they'll be dazzled by how much we have fit into this little house and will be wild to purchase it. If this doesn't pan out, we have an open house scheduled for February 11.

There's the baby waking up!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

It's not the pictures I promised, but this is almost as fun.

You scored as Elinor Dashwood. As Marianne's older sister,

Elinor lives at the other end of the emotional spectrum.

She rarely reveals her intense feelings and is more concerned

with being honest and loyal than having what she deserves.

Even though her intentions are pure, she sets herself up for

loss by constantly placing other people before her own needs.

Overall, Elinor is gentle and rational but is just as capable

of radical emotions (despite her withholding them) as her sister.

Elinor Dashwood


Elizabeth Bennet


Jane Bennet


Emma Woodhouse


Marianne Dashwood


Charlotte Lucas


Lady Catherine


Which Jane Austen Character are You? (For Females) Long Quiz!!!
created with

I admire Elinor, but I am also thrilled to be closely identified with Elizabeth Bennet! Funny, the two don't seem to really have that much in common.

Thanks, Emma!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Old homes

Both Jenny and Babygirl_nz have asked about the house we currently live in. Here are a few stats about it:
  • It is a colonial (I'm pretty sure).
  • It was built in 1900.
  • The foundation is original.
  • The stairs, banister, and railing are original (though the stairs were recovered this spring)
  • Most of the interior doors are as well with doorknobs.
  • I think the entry way and dining room floors are probably original to the house, but they might be 75 years old or so.
  • When we ripped up the carpet upstairs we did find the original soft-wood floors. They were painted blue.
  • Most of the woodwork is original too.
  • The floor plan probably has seen some alterations since the living/dining/kitchen areas are much more open than they would have been.
  • The floor plan has changed upstairs too when the bathroom was put in. The third bedroom (Baby's room) shrunk considerably.
  • The window glass is new (other than stained glass), but the window frames are their original size/shape. (Except for back door and big picture window in kitchen.) They are huge! Six feet or so. There is so much good light in this house.
  • Most of the houses around us are this age. Nothing in our immediate neighborhood/street is any newer.

I do have pictures of the interior I can post. Some will have to be resized, so I'll try to get to them soon! It will probably take a few posts.

For anyone keeping score, apples have registered as an "okay" on the food scale for Baby. He made an absolutely priceless face when he first tasted one yesterday! It was tart, but once he got used to it, he gnawed on it pretty well. Prunes are still number one, though. Go figure!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Stained Glass Windows

Babygirl_nz asked to see pictures of the new house. Well, I don't want to post any yet since the whole thing could still fall through. She did, though, express an interest in American homes so I though I'd share something unique about ours! It has a stained glass window! This isn't too unusual in homes of this style and age. When we walk around town, one of my favorite things to do is spot the stained glass windows in the homes. Ours isn't very fancy, but it's pretty when the morning sun hits it! (The new house has one too!)

100 Things about Me

Thanks to Chrissy's reminder, here are 100 things about me and some about my family:

(I know you all were wondering!)

1. My name is Courtney Ann

2. It was supposed to be Dorothy Ann, but my parents changed their minds at the last minute.

3. I love The Wizard of Oz. It's probably my favorite movie.

4. I have a large collection of Oz ornaments.

5. When I was a kid I went through a phase where I would only answer to Dorothy, so they say. I have no recollection of this.

6. One of my grandmothers is named Dorothy. Also a great-aunt.

7. Dorothy is my confirmation name.

8. I was received into the Church April 10, 2004 at the Easter Vigil at St. Joseph University Church, Buffalo, NY.

9. I have a Masters degree in Library and Information Studies with a concentration in school media.

10. I have a New York State Public School Teacher Certificate.

11. My B.A. is in dance.

12. My mother-in-law was also a dance major.

13. She and I received our degrees from the same college and had some of the same professors.

14. I spent my first year at college at Simon's Rock College of Bard.

15. I was 16 when I started.

16. Kat was my R.A.

17. Three cats and a dog lived in the dorm. Two of the cats routinely found their way into my room.

18. During that year at SRC, I had two roommates. Both were from Florida.

19. I've never been to Florida.

20. I have been to California more times than I can count.

21. My dad was born in Van Nuys, CA and grew up in the Bay Area.

22. Most of my extended family still lives there.

23. My mother was born in Iowa, but spent most of here childhood in CNY.

24. I've been to Iowa once.

25. Most of my mother's family is deceased.

26. Her sister Jane lives in Virginia.

27. I am of Scottish/Czech descent.

28. My husband is 100% Italian.

29. I have blond/red hair and blue eyes.

30. I sunburn very easily.

31. As a kid, my sister and I were never allowed to go outside during "the worst part of the day." According to my mother, that was between 10 AM- 4 PM.

32. I have one younger sister.

33. Her name is Whitney Paige.

34. That's right...Courtney and Whitney.

35. We give my parents a lot of grief for that.

36. My mom calls my CAM though my initials are now CAG.

37. Almost everyone calls me Court.

38. Except don't do it if you don't know me well.

39. One of my childhood friends came up with some play on our names: "Court goes to court. Whitney's the witness." It was expanded to include friends: "Jamie's the judge, etc."

40. My first cat was named B.J. for Baby Joe.

41. Eventually it was changed to Big Joe.

42. He was hit by a car.

43. This is a common fate for cats around our home. Country roads, fast drivers.

44. My mom told me this morning that Dasher hasn't been around for a few days. He's 13. :-(

45. I've also had cats named Dancer, Prancer, Angel, Samantha, Mew, and Pawsie.

46. Also Carrots, Celine, and Mr. Holland. They were stray kittens we found on the road at Thanksgiving.

48. Currently, I have Zuzu and Nunzio.

49. Zuzu was a Christmas gift from Whitney after Mew and Dancer died.

50. Along with Zuzu, we adopted Scooter, who lives with my parents and Whit.

51. Zuzu, Scooter, and Nunzio are indoor cats.

52. Took a while, but we finally learned.

53. My husband and I met in 1994 in sixth grade.

54. Eventually, his mom became our piano teacher.

55. Yes, I had a crush on him then.

56. He liked my best friend.

57. She's still my best friend (outside my family).

58. We started dating after my family's combined HS graduation (Whit)/grad school graduation (Me)/retirement (Mom) party in August 2004.

59. We got engaged December 24, 2004.

60. We originally planned to be married July 23, 2005.

61. We closed on this house May 24, 2005 and decided to move up the wedding.

62. We were married June 4, 2005.

63. There were 15 people at the ceremony, including us and the priest.

64. We still had our big reception July 23.

65. I got to wear my wedding dress twice!

66. Our June 4 wedding was a secret to everyone outside the family.

67. We went to California to visit my family for a honeymoon after the July reception.

68. I call it more "familymoon" than "honeymoon."

69. We had a blast, though!

70. For a year and a half, I was the librarian at our former elementary school.

71. I took my mom's job when she retired.

72. We found out we were expecting at the end of October 2005. It was the same weekend we attended a dear friend's funeral.

73. The baby's due date was June 29.

74. My water broke around 7:10 PM on June 28.

75. He was born at 4:55 AM June 29, weighing 8 lbs. 9.5 oz. and was 20.5 in. long.

76. The baby is named after one of the Archangels and has his father's first name as a middle name.

77. We are an "attached" family.

78. The baby is 100% breastfed, despite the hospital's best efforts to persuade me to use formula.

79. He will probably be over six feet tall, like his dad.

80. I am 5'3".

81. We are planning on homeschooling him.

82. My sister and I were homeschooled for awhile.

83. My secret wish is that he'll be a priest.

84. Before I started dance, I was a gymnast. Too many injuries, though.

85. An injury also ended my dance career.

86. I'm right handed, but bat lefty since my dad believes it's superior to batting right.

87. I've only every been to one Major League game. Blue Jays vs. Giants in Toronto.

88. I'm a die-hard San Francisco Giants fan.

89. I HATE the Yankees.

90. Ditto for the Braves.

91. Other than baseball, my hobbies are reading, blogging, and watching old movies.

92. I am a gym rat. I literally cannot function without working out to a very specified routine.

93. I may be a tad obsessive-compulsive!

94. I am definitely a perfectionist.

95. I love black and white photography.

96. I just know that I'm going to have all boys.

97. I own about 2,000 books.

98. I hate clutter.

99. I can sometimes be inconsistent, though I usually don't realize it until afterward. (See above.)

100. I sometimes (okay often) watch too much TV.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Page 123 Meme

Tagged by Kat...

The Page 123 Meme
1. Grab the book closest to you.
2. Open to page 123, look down to the 5th sentence.
3. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog.
4. Include the title and the author's name.
5. Tag 3 People.

"We'll discuss next how to meet with your child's teachers to deal with an ongoing homework problem. And, if you're up to it, we'll show you how to work with your child's teachers, school administrators, and even your school district to try to implement saner homework policies for the future.

(New paragraph)

"According to the parents we interviewed and surveyed, close to half of elementary and middle schools parents help their children decide what order to do their assignments in."

The Case Against Homework by Sara Bennett and Nancy Kalish

Not very interesting, I'm afraid. There are far more thrilling books with tantalizing sentences upstairs on my nightstand. This book was sitting next to me because I'm giving up and returning it to the library.

Tagging: Winterpast, Charming the Birds from the Trees, and My Days.


With my entry about putting the house up for sale yesterday, I reached 100 posts! It only took 1.5 years. Any bets on how long to reach 200? 500? 1000?? :-p


Late yesterday morning, my husband called me to let me know that the owners of the house we're interested in had responded to our offer with a counter-offer. I wasn't surprised since we were offering $10,000 under the already-reduced asking price. We debated for a while since the counter-offer was nearly out of our comfort zone. This really is our dream home, though, and after doing a little searching (and praying!) we realized that in even a slightly lower price range there is nothing available other than complete fixer-uppers or tiny houses with no land. (As you know my husband is a former electrician and very handy, but neither of us are thrilled with the prospect of gutting a place and starting over! Well, he wouldn't mind too much, but not with a baby!) Anyway, we agreed to their counter-offer and re-signed the paperwork! We haven't heard much today, but our realtor thinks that's a good thing. The other family needs to sign the revised contract as well and send it back. Our closing date is to-be-determined since our house now needs to sell. We're hopeful it will go quickly and two families have viewed it already.

I'm pretty excited and just praying, praying that our house sells and all this works out. More importantly, though, that God's will be done! If it doesn't happen then we are confident that the Lord has something different but just as good for us in mind. (I don't always feel 100% confident in that since we love this house, but I really do know it to be true.)

The house is about 2.5 times the size of this one and even older: built in 1850! Four bedrooms, 2 baths on five acres with a garage! (This is a big deal in Central New York. These past two winters have been miserable having to park outside!) Room for a library/schoolroom and for DH to have an inside and outside workshop. About half the distance from work that our current home is (though it is an hour away from our families). What a blessing to find it!

Fun fact: we're going to live in a town that shares its name with another country. Think you can guess?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Tums, anyone?

Well, it's official...

Our house is for sale and we've put an offer in on another.

Just typing is makes me hyperventilate a wee bit.

Our home when we bought it in 2005:

Cute 'lil place.

Baby, Baby

The baby has mastered scooting backward, but has yet to figure out crawling forward. It's the cutest thing to watch him steadily c r e e p backward! Maybe that's a good thing...seems like there may be less potential for rapid movement this way!

He has also had his first tastes of solid food: avocado! It wasn't such a big hit for taste, but it was great to smush and smear on everything in sight! I believe in child-directed feeding (no purees or baby food), but I did let him play for minute with a baby spoon someone gave us, and that was the most fun of all. I think we'll be exclusively nursing for awhile yet.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

This is more like it!

Winter has returned with a vengeance to Central New York. Almost all the schools are closed today. There's that "lake effect machine" in gear! I was tempted to take a snow day (the school schedule is so ingrained in my being), but I resisted! I have a lot to do today, and some of it can't really be postponed.

For my own organization:


  • Exercise/shower/dressed
  • Apple pie
  • Laundry (actually in progress)
  • Supper (leftovers)


  • Pack boxes for Goodwill
  • Put away baby's new clothes and finish packing away old size
  • Sweep/scrub kitchen floor

The things I still have to do could be deferred in favor of enjoying the weather (other than the kitchen floor), except that the realtors may be coming this weekend so we can get our house on the market. DH has the basement to tackle tonight too, and we really need everything in tip top shape! (More on all this later.)

My sister did come over yesterday and we watched Emma. Actually we played with the baby more than we really watched it. It's put me in an Austen/romantic movie mood, and the weather isn't helping! It's a great day for Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. Maybe if the baby takes a good nap later I can work on the Goodwill boxes and watch at the same time. Ah, multitasking.

As I was typing this and IMing with my sister (who is enjoying the snow day), she sent me a text message that they've lost power! This demonstrates two things: the weather is bad and my parents live so far out in the country that they routinely lose power. Actually, they live on the edge of a grid, and they lose power (as do the close neighbors), but half a mile down the road it's electricity city.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Kindred Spirits

Since it appears I have a few Kindred Spirits reading my blog (Hi Kat!), I thought perhaps I would chat about LMM today. I admire Bronte, love Austen, but I adore Lucy Maud Montgomery. I think that without a doubt she is my favorite author. Emma asked if I had read Kilmeny of the Orchard. I have two copies! My love (obsession?) with LMM developed slowly, though, and I'm ashamed to say I owned many of her books (The Story Girl, Magic for Marigold, and The Blue Castle) along with the Anne series long before I ever read them. I distinctly remember receiving the three above-mentioned books for a birthday from my friend Colleen when I was 12 or 13, but they were never taken from my shelf. Oh, the folly of my youth!

Like many other, I suspect, I was won over my Maud through the Sullivan adaptations of Anne of Green Gables. I am ashamed to admit it because they are so poor and scorned by many who love Montgomery's work. I still love the movies (not Anne 3!), but try to think of them as separate from the books.

Once I actually picked up a book and read, there was no going back! I can't actually remember what I read first. It may have been Anne of the Island or The Story Girl. I know it wasn't Anne of Green Gables. Funnily enough, AoGG still isn't my favorite book. The Blue Castle, A Tangled Web, and Anne of the Island are my top three, I think. I especially love ATW with its interwoven story lines about the Dark and Penhallow clan. The Blue Castle is just such a sweet romantic story, and Anne of the Island I love because of my fondness for my college years.

I also enjoy the short story collections. They are great to pick up when you need an LMM "fix." "The Doctor's Sweetheart" is just the most charming little take! I haven't finished reading the journals yet, although I do own Volumes 1-4. One day...

The pride of my collection are a 31st impression of Anne of the Island from 1931 and a third impression of The Story Girl from 1911! I’m not sure where I picked them up, but possibly a used and rare book store in Cooperstown. Wherever it was, the seller didn’t realize the treasure!

Romance Courtesy of A&E

A few weeks before Christmas my mom, Baby, and I went to a Books Are Fun bookfair up at the hospital. (If you aren't acquainted with Books Are Fun you are missing so much!) I found some neat things like a collection of vintage cookbooks, and hardcovers for the baby at wonderfully low prices. I also found a set of four games (Scrabble, Clue, Yahtzee, and Sorry!) for our giving tree gift for $20! You can barely buy one game for such a price these days!

The gem of the morning, though, was a collection of A&E book adaptation DVDs for an outrageously reasonable price. Five movies, twenty hours on eight DVDs for $50 or so (Ivanhoe, Tom Jones, Jane Eyre, Emma, and Pride and Prejudice). The collection also came with a booklet on the life and times of the authors, trivia, etc. My mom decided it was too good a deal to pass up and purchased it for my sister and I to share, as I already own several of these films. (I'm going to wear out P&P one of these days!)

My sister was thrilled, being a huge Janeite and book/movie lover that she is. (She actually took a course last spring on reading and watching all the Austen adaptations.) She sent me a text message last night and we are going to have a movie fest today or tomorrow evening! As she said: we are dorks but we own it and we love it! I'm not sure which one(s) we'll watch, but I'm voting for Emma to start since I haven't watched that version in a long time, not to mention it's shorter than the 5-hour marathon that Ivanhoe, Tom Jones, or P&P are.

So excited!

Side note: Some day I'll have to write a post bragging and boasting all about my sister. She is an amazing person!

Friday, January 5, 2007

Checking the calendar

It is January, right? I do live in Northern New York, right? Home of the lake effect "machine?" Yup, 'tis true.

Yup, it's 61 degrees outside right now.

Guess I didn't need to buy a new winter coat after all! El Nino year or not, this is so unusual! Can't say that I mind, but my goodness, I have the worst case of spring fever this week! It's made it nearly impossible to get anything done! My routines held up early in the week, but other than laundry, I haven't done anything productive yesterday or today! The baby is napping so I should sweep and wash the kitchen and dining room. You know what, though? I'm going to read!

My sister is coming over to go for a walk with us after work (she's a 1:1 aide for an autistic girl during her break), and then we're going to a Christmas party!

Monday is a new week. I'll get caught up then and enjoy the weather today!

Thursday, January 4, 2007


During December I reread the Annes and the Emilys. Oh, how I love those books! By the time I'm finished with them, I always want to back my bags and move to Prince Edward Island. Or at the least, a seaside farm! Or failing that, at least back to the country in an old house. I grew up amongst farmland, but in a 1970s raised ranch! Very nice with wood siding, but still. New houses lack character and history.

DH gave me a new set of Anne books for Christmas as my old ones are literally falling apart at the seams. The cheap paperbacks are crumbling from so much use, especially Anne of the Island and Anne's House of Dreams. I wish, wish I could find all eight books in hardcover!

My italics seem to be getting out of control! Must be all that Emily Climbs. I wonder if Emily would have ever written a blog. She did intend her diary to be read after her death. How would she have felt about one being read live, moments after she wrote an entry? Or for that matter, her creator, Lucy Maud Montgomery?

Goodness it feels wonderful to be reading again! I barely had a chance during the baby's first few months! Well, I read plenty of Goodnight Moon and assorted board books, but this is much more refreshing!

On a related reading topic, one of my goals for the new year is to read the entire Bible. I have a daily Bible to make it very easy on me. Also, a few months ago, I wrote about taking a course through the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. I never had a chance to get started, so I'm hoping to now!

I think I'll get started on Pat now.