Monday, March 21, 2011

Learning Thai -- E.

Queena is on the home stretch of Second Language And Culture Acquisition class. Her practicum language, Thai, might end up being a language that our entire family will learn (if we move to Thailand, for example!).
Queena has learned to use a computer program, Vocabulary Manager, which does exactly what you think it does. Starting from scratch, Queena has made recordings of Thai words and matched them up with pictures. Now she can use Vocab Manager to practice her Thai anytime.
And Dorie likes to join in! She's learned a handful of Thai numbers and animal names; here she is practicing a greeting with the wai gesture:

video

Monday, March 7, 2011

When Life is Disturbingly Normal -- E.

Keeping house. There have been very special days here at home in Dallas, when I have been surprised to discover how fulfilling it can be to keep a house running. Special days, when the mundane tasks of doing laundry, keeping kitchen, and cleaning house bring me a lot of joy. Special days, when I become Ranger Bill in my own home, doing it all "for the satisfaction and pride of a job well done" (cue terrible radio organ).
Saturday was not one of those special days. Saturday I saw this . . .
. . . and just got depressed. I know, I know -- I hear you, everybody, thanks -- that's not even very many dishes. But it's big messy pots, and I hate those. Well, with or without deep fulfillment, the dishes need to be done. There's my deep thought for the day. So I did them, without much joy.
Then I realized why I was feeling down. It was because I needed, on an emotional level, to bake cookies with my daughter.

Peanut butter cookies, in fact. I've got a great recipe. You just put a bunch of this stuff together and it comes out great every time.
There, you see? A little butter, a little shortening, plus an egg, peanut butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Flour, salt, and rising agents are forthcoming. Awesome!
They're even better baked, yes. Come over and have a few.
And the Great Circle of Life continues.