Saturday, November 15, 2008

Shaken and Stirred

Tonight we went and saw the new 007 movie

It was

Friday, November 14, 2008

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..."

Today I found the Christmas music station on satellite radio and listened to Christmas music all day at work. Usually I try to exercise a little self control and at least wait until the day after Thanksgiving to break out the Christmas music.

But I just couldn't help myself.

It made my heart happy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Grandpa Livingston

When we bought and renovated our c.1890's house, we were excited to discover the hidden history of our house and the families who lived in it before us. Things like the blue glass door knob on the front door that a couple who lived here in the 1950's brought back from their honeymoon in Italy as a present to the house. Things like the marble tile fireplace mantle that was walled over and covered with carpeting in a second floor bedroom. Things like the markings on the wall at the top of the basement stairs that records the growth of three children who lived here with their parents in the 1980's. There was also a tombstone in the basement.The gentleman from whom we bought the house was nice enough to pass along the genealogical research had done on the family who originally built the house. The Taylor Family owned all the land for several blocks and built their home (The Taylor Mansion) on Broad Street. They had six children and our house was built behind the Taylor Mansion as a wedding present for Mary Cornelia Taylor. There is another house about a block north that looks very similar to our house and was built for one of the sons. But getting back to the tombstone. Edward Chinn Livingston was the maternal grandfather of Mary Cornelia Taylor. He was born in 1783 and was a Colonel during the War of 1812. As you can see, he lived to be 60 years old and died on November 13th.

So how did his tombstone end up in our basement? The theory is that when the Taylors owned all the land in the area, there was probably a family cemetery somewhere close by. But when they started selling off their land, rather than move the cemetery, they just plucked up the tombstones (which I guess was not an unusual thing to do at the time) and maybe Mary Cornelia held onto this one for sentimental reasons.

When we bought the house, we had our closing on November 13th- the anniversary of Edward's death. Whenever we leave the house to go on a trip we always say as we're going out the door, "Keep an eye on the house while we're gone, Grandpa Livingston".

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Llama llama surviving Barak Obama

Okay, so the world didn't end. And thank goodness or we never would have had the opportunity to go to Alpacafest.When we were in Bedford a few weekends ago we visited an Alpaca Shop that had just opened. They carried sweaters and scarves and socks and other things all made from alpaca (to be honest I'm not clear on the difference between an alpaca and a llama). Rick got a really nice sweater that is lightweight but very warm and is so soft. The ladies in the store told us about the country's biggest Alpaca Convention that takes place right here in Columbus Ohio! Seriously, the Chamber of Commerce could do a better job of advertising these things.So we spent the morning at the fairgrounds today strolling among the alpacas, watching the alpaca judging, chatting to some very nice folks, and (spoiler alert for family members) doing a little alpaca apparel Christmas shopping.Alpaca Fun Facts we learned:
(1) Their hair is called 'fiber'.

(2) Alpacas come in two varieties, Huacayo, which has fiber that grows straight out from their bodies giving them a fluffy teddy-bearlike look, and Suri, which had fiber that grows in long graceful dreadlocks.
(3) If you own alpacas you have to have more than one because they will die of loneliness.
This little boy is trying to lead his alpaca through an obstacle course. The alpaca sort of looked like it didn't get the point.

Our favorite alpaca: a black Suri named 'Surius Black'. We chuckled at the Harry Potter reference because we're nerdy like that.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election Hangover

Today we are not so smiley.

Distressing that our country would demonstrate an obvious disregard for strength of character, sincere love of country, and a strong and long record of service.

Distressing (though not surprising) that our country would buy in
to slick packaging and catchphrases with at best very little substance behind the rhetoric and at worst a track record of questionable moral judgment.

Most distressing of all was to hear many of my contemporaries say that it doesn't really matter who the president is. The country essentially runs itself and nothing that a politician promises ever really happens, so why not vote for the more novel candidate? I say, how is it NOT racism to NOT vote for the best qualified candidate just because he is NOT black?

I think I will quit my job and join the ranks of the welfare moms. I interact with them every day and they don't seem to have it so bad. They have cars and cell phones and their kids get great medical care. Plus they don't have all the hassle and stress involved in providing for their family and contributing to society. As long as wealth is going to be spread around, better to be on the receiving end, no?

Well, I may not really quit my job, but I certainly am resigning my Commission in the Navy Reserves. Whatever "testing" goes on in the global community of our weak and inexperienced leader, I certainly do not want to be involved in any part of it.

Columbus has become an even more attractive place to live to me because it is unlikely to be the target of a terrorist attack.

Probably because I've been avidly watching the AMC series 'Mad Men', set in the early 1960's, the one comforting thought is that this is probaly how a lot of people must have felt when John Kennedy was elected (though I am IN NO WAY comparing the moderate Kennedy to the ultra-liberal Obama). Kennedy was young and inexperienced and (gasp!) a Catholic. Despite those things, the world survived the Cuban missile crisis.

Along the same line, I pray that no idiot gets it into their head to assassinate Barack Obama. We certainly don't want Joe Biden in charge of things.
My favorite Biden quotes from the past few months:
"Let me introduce you to my incredibly beautiful wife. Oh- she also has a doctorate."
"We are going to address the three letter word that Americans care about the most: Jobs."
And to a female reporter who asked him a tough question: "Who writes your questions?"
Nice. He's a misogynist and has poor math skills. Then we really would wish that the country ran itself.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Treat or Treat!

In what has now become a two year tradition, we were invited by our good friends Rich and Vannessa to partake in the Halloween festivities in their Westerville neighborhood. They have 2 darling boys, one about a year older than Will and one about a year younger. They and two other families gather at the house next door for an evening of family fun.The dads and kids make the rounds of the neighborhood while the moms pass out treats from the driveway. In the garage are crockpots full of chili, chips and dips, sweet treats, and a cooler full of drinks.Sarah Palin stopped by to campaign a little and get a sugar fix.
The boys are back with their booty.After it cooled off a little, everyone huddled around the fire pit and told ghost stories (not really, we just talked).In a Skittles-induced stupor.
Surveying the plunder this morning.

Thanks Vannessa and Rich! We had a wonderful time and it was so great to see you and catch up on all the news!