Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z is for Z - I am done

Goodness! There were times I did not think I was going to make it this year. Slow periods of inspiration combined with more stuff to do at work slowed me down, and made me a bit late with some entries.

At this point I am wondering whether to participate next year.  Let me think about it a bit and write a later reflection post -- then decide.  Or, don't decide until next March 30!

Anyway, a good run this year, and I discovered a few new blogs of interest.
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Y is for Year

And what do I mean by this?  Several things.

As I get older the years are slipping by faster.  I would not be the first human making this observation, but I find it to be very true.  In 2014 I try to stop and enjoy the moments, esp. with my children.  They are growing up so fast!

Even though many of us in the USA spend so much time indoors, we still respond to the rhythm of the seasons, and the turn of the year.  This year Spring is so much anticipated!  What a cold hard winter we have had. Another thought I had this year was to spend more time outside.  That hasn't happened yet, with all the work I bring home, but soon, soon, as the semester ends.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tuesday Quilt block Apr. 29

Missed a week or two - wrapped up in the A to Z blogging challenge!

Back to sharing progress on my various quilting projects.  Everything seems to be a UFO: unfinished object.  Some day I will layer and quilt these!  Today, another block in the style of Jane Stickle, done in 1930's reproduction fabric:

This block is called Brandon's Star (I think).

I am linking up with Connie at Freemotion by the River and Quilt Story as I do most weeks I have blocks to share. Both blog hops have of pictures of pretty quilt blocks and other projects. I am also joining Work in Progress Wednesday - some colorful and interesting projects there!

I have a page on Facebook: keep up with my infrequent quilt posts at

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Monday, April 28, 2014

X is for Xebec

X is a difficult letter to blog. I hope the blogging fairies don't punish me if I copy my entry from last year. (plus I liked last year's entry!)

*** *** *** *** ***
Finally, this morning, it hit me. What does this blogging month remind me of?

Why, when my daughter in kindergarten was putting together an ABC's book, and pasting in pictures of things that began with a certain letter.  There were challenges along the way, but all went well until we came to X.  I, of course, wanted my daughter to be different and inventive, and break away from the tired X-rays and Xylophones.  So I looked in the dictionary and found Xebec.  Its picture is below.

An older-style boat, used in the Mediterranean for trade.

But my daughter refused! "But mommy," she said, "That's a BOAT, and that starts with B!"

So off we went on the internet to find a picture of a xylophone.

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W is for weather

Yes I am a bit late with this post.

I was stuck on this letter, and then, hearing the rain tap on the window, I thought of the Weather.  It's really a big part of our lives, even though we live so much of  our lives indoors.  It's temperature and precipitation folks!  Plus wind speed and direction, barometric pressure and all that good stuff.  But mostly we need to know whether to wear a jacket or raincoat, or bring an umbrella or raincoat.

Today: raincoat, no sandals but sneakers.

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

V is for Vertigo and Viridian

Getting close to the end, you can do it Viridian!

Vertigo: not the movie, though I understand the feeling.  For me it is dizziness when I get up or down quickly, or turn my head a certain way (usually to the right while trying to lie down).  The room spins.  Yes I have seen a specialist for this.  They did some head manipulation and the vertigo went away, but sadly it has come back, in a milder form.  I have adapted to it, and try not to move my head in the way that I know will make me dizzy.  And although would probably say it's a hoax, giving up diet soda and other forms of aspartame has really helped.  The vertigo symptoms are much less.  And when I have a diet soda or two, the symptoms are worse.  So I am drinking water now.

About Viridian: it is my on-line name.  I did not want to use my own, for obvious privacy reasons.  As I am a quilter, I wanted to use a color name or a name relating to color.  And not something like red-orange.  What to use? Puce? Magenta? Fuchsia?  Periwinkle?  Ugh, no, no, ugh.  And somehow I though of viridian, which I mistakenly remembered as being a deep forest green.  A swell color, but no, viridian actually means depending on the dictionary you use:
a bluish-green pigment or
a green pigment containing hydrated chromium oxide.

Still a great color.
That was more than 7 years ago.  And I have kept it since, and I am glad I picked it, and am not using my real name.
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Friday, April 25, 2014

U is for Unexpected Texas, and unexpected new blog finds

One things asked of bloggers is that they visit other blogs, read and comment. And people will probably visit back. And others on the list will visit you.  If I have more TIME I would be doing more of this!

But you do find unexpected gems.  And I'd like to mention Tui Snyder's blog,  Offbeat and Overlooked travel. at  She visited me first, and I visited her back and was intrigued by her whole blog, esp. her photographs.

She has published a book called Unexpected Texas, and that is her U entry, and I am making it my U entry for today.

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T is for Time

I am so close, we are nearing the end of the alphabet, I just don't know if I can make it.

I am short on TIME.  I work in an academic setting and it is the last week of the semester.  Everything is due and that means everything must be corrected, quickly, so that the students get feedback before finals, which are next week.  I am not doing as much work as the students (well, most of the students).  But the time crunch is real.  And it's Friday, and I should have had this post up on Wednesday.  Oh well.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

S is for Spring!

Here in the midwest USA, this Spring is long anticipated and very much enjoyed.

After freezing rain and a polar vortex or two, warmer weather is so wonderful!  And now everything is bursting out with green, trying to catch up, or so it seems.  Little leaves already out on some trees, just swollen buds on some others.  Tulips and daffodils. Cool and warm breezes.  Sunshine.  It's a wonderful time of year.

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R is for redbud trees

It is a lovely time of year: When the redbud trees are budding and opening.

The name is not quite right - these trees have purplish-fuchsia buds opening to a lavender flower.  The bud color is intense however!  And that is where we are now in the midwest USA. Such color against the pale greens and bare branches of other trees.

R is also for It's getting rough - and I have fallen behind.  I will try to take today to catch up on my alphabet and my blogging.

Viridian Pin It

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q is for Quilting!

Of course! Quilting is my main hobby and mania at this time.
 Here is the next block I am sharing with the blog - should have posted it Tuesday:

This is one of the blocks from the Jane Stickle quilt.  This block is called Granny Weaver.  Instead of making it in reproduction 1860's fabrics.  I have a new project going of blocks in the pastels of the 1930's.  Yes, like I need another unfinished project.  I am much better at starting a project than at finishing one!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

P is for Postcrossing and for...

As for last year, P is for Postcrossing. After quilting, it is my favorite hobby. I send off postcards to the great unknown of people out there, and then receive postcards in my mailbox.

 From the website:

About Postcrossing:
"The goal of this project is to allow people to receive postcards from all over the world, for free. Well, almost free! The main idea is that: if you send a postcard, you will receive one back from a random Postcrosser from somewhere in the world....The element of surprise of receiving postcards from different places in the world (many of which you probably have never heard of) can turn your mailbox into a box of surprises - and who wouldn't like that?"

So much fun, in a quiet way, to receive mail other than bills and advertising.
Recently in my mailbox:

Card from Thailand (top) and China (bottom).  Both with wonderful stamps, too.

Now for the other P that is an important part of my life.  And that is poop.  I will not get graphic, but any mom with three children knows that dealing with poop is part of the job.  And though my children are grown I still have problems with one of them, not using the toilet often enough.  Enough said.

I have a page on Facebook: keep up with my infrequent quilt and stamp posts at


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Thursday, April 17, 2014

O is for Obsession

Every so often the song Obsession by Animotion gets played on the radio, and then it gets stuck in my head. An earworm, if you will.
Sometimes, I don't even need to hear the music on the radio.  Ah the 80's.

Here is a link to the music video.  It's a really bad music video but I love the song anyway.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for Nap

How I would have liked to take a nap at work today. I felt so sleepy on the drive home.
Babies and little children take naps.  Cats take naps. Older children do NOT want to take naps, no way, that is babyish.

And then time goes by.  We become middle-aged.  A nap is appealing again. one might feel a little funny about this, but after awhile you realize the nap is refreshing.  My, I am feeling sleepy just typing this.  Maybe it's time for my post-dinner nap....

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for Mail

Postcrossing mail, specifically. Something other than bills, advertising circulars,and catalogs.

Send a postcard to someone in the world, and soon you will get a postcard from another stranger in return.

Such as a beautiful one from Japan:

Mount Fuji and cherry blossoms!  A classic!
Or how about one from Russia:

You just can't beat it.
I will try to be more on time and post early tomorrow!
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Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for Lunch

Ah, the favorite time of the day for both adults at work and children at school. Of course younger children also get recess, another favorite time.

At lunch I feel I can look at my fun websites (such as the A to Z challenge!), comment on blogs, check the news on CNN, and so on. It is so easy to be distracted during the day (wonder if anything new is on ebay in my favorite category) either during a task on the computer or between tasks (let's check Zappos for summer sandals!)  I can check ebay or Zappos during my time, which is lunch.

Of course I should be taking a walk, even a little walk, during that time.  Maybe now that the weather is better.  But somehow I doubt it.  Maybe this summer.

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

K is for 11 days and Kounting

OK, so I couldn't find a proper noun or verb beginning with K for this post.....

It is Saturday and a busy day at chez Viridian.  Getting groceries for the week, dropping off daughter at track, picking up daughter at track, getting lunch for daughter, taking son out to buy birthday presents.....

But I am home now and time to KEEP up with blogging.  Maybe make some chocolate chip cookies and think ahead to L -- but not until Monday!

Viridian   Pin It

Friday, April 11, 2014

J is for June

June? But it is April you say.

 June is my new, lovely niece, my brother's daughter.  She is 4 months old.

Brother called today because apparently someone named this Siblings Day.  He also likes to have June talk to me (and other relatives) on the phone and of course we love it.  So June gurgled, burbled, and shrieked happily as daddy talked to her and showed her some of her favorite pictures.  Oh baby June, I miss you!  I hope to see you soon.

Viridian Pin It

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I is for Intrepid

And the bloggers in the A to Z challenge continue on.

Based on last year's experience, this is where the going gets tough, at least for me.  Trying to fit in a blog post around my normally busy schedule.  And to visit other bloggers!  Thanks for your comments, and I will visit back, I will....

This is where we must be be Intrepid.  We said we would blog this month, let us continue on our journey!

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H is for Hope

Here are some messages I received in the mail recently.

"Keep your dreams alive." Lionel in Canada

"I wish you to feel love inside you too!  Because LOVE is everything our world holds on [to]!"  Anna in Russia

"Live well, laugh often, love much."  Michael and Sandra in the Netherlands

How did I receive these messages?  I am a member of Postcrossing, a program where you send postcards to strangers around the world, and you then receive postcards back, from a random Postcrosser somewhere in the world.  I have received back such warm and happy messages at times. Never any mean messages.  I try to send out positive messages too.

 These past few days I have been stressed and feeling a bit low so the messages above have given me HOPE.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

G is for Geology

This is the same as last year but you know - I never tire of geology. It is a good thing that I teach it and do research in it for a living!

Geology is the study of the Earth, from the center out to the outer atmosphere. It encompasses rocks and minerals, the hydrosphere (ocean, rivers, ice), and the atmosphere and the weather that takes place in it.  It interfaces with biology as we study how the biosphere affects the soil and the atmosphere, and many other things. I've been told by astronomers that even the planets are considered the realm of planetary geologists, and astronomy begins beyond the Solar System.

I think my students are surprised that I spend only a week or two on rocks and minerals in the intro class, and we soon move on to plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, surface processes, the hydrosphere and the atmosphere.

I also find the natural world so beautiful: rocks, landscapes, seascapes, etc.

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Monday, April 7, 2014

F is for Flowers

Although they say Spring is coming, it isn't here yet.
Although my daffodils are up, the buds are not and they are not ready to bloom this week.  Maybe next week.
In the meantime: here are some flower stamps from the US postal service, showing late winter/early Spring blooms.  Enjoy.

"Each of these four stamps depicts a close-up view of one plant—(clockwise from upper left) amaryllis, cyclamen, Christmas cactus, or paperwhite—with detailed and colorful renderings of its blossom and foliage.

These winter-blooming flowers are popular potted plants, especially during the holidays when people enjoy them as gifts or as festive decorations. Just as these flowers brighten our dark winter days, these stamps will add a decorative and cheerful note to all your correspondence."

Who is at a loss for word today, apparently
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Saturday, April 5, 2014

E is for Eclipse

I was at a loss for today. What begins with E?

But then I saw on the internet that there will be a lunar eclipse on April 15.  Sometimes the earth's shadow partially covers the moon and lends it a bloody glow.

According to The Universe Today:
"This marks the first total lunar eclipse visible from since December 10th 2011, which was visible at moonset from North America, and marks the start of the first of two eclipse seasons for 2014. Totality will last 1 hour, 17 minutes and 48 seconds, and will be visible in its entirety from the central Atlantic westward to eastern Australia. Unlike a total solar eclipse, which occurs along a narrow track, a total lunar eclipse can be viewed by the entire moonward facing hemisphere of the Earth."

This will be the Europe/Asia/Africa side of the Earth so we in the USA will not see it.

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Friday, April 4, 2014

D is for Daffodils

A funny name for this flower, now that I think of it.
My daffodils have pushed up several inches in the past week, what with the warmer weather and the rain.
However, only one bud to be seen.  But Spring is in the air, and it is coming!

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

C is for Children

Oh yes, just like last year, C is for Children.
 I have three: First Son, Second Son, and the Girl.
They are now all teenagers, and that keeps the house busy and noisy.  This week is their Spring Break, which of course never lines up with my Spring Break at my University.  Today was dental appointments, and the Girl seems to have survived having three small fillings done (according to Grandma, who took her to her appointment.)  Not without some drama of course - she is thirteen after all.
The Children fill my life outside of work and they fill my thoughts and heart always.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

B is for bored yet busy

I am already feeling the pressure of blogging everyday. Recall that I am used to blogging once a week.

I am realizing that I am bored, a bit, with my job.   Yet I am quite busy.  If you think about it the two do go together.  I work at a local university.  New students every year keep it fresh, but I am teaching the same old stuff from the same powerpoints for awhile now.

Hope is here though.  1. I am switching to a new textbook for my introductory course, which always freshens things up.  2. This coming fall I am co-teaching courses with some great people.  3. This semester I am trying new teaching techniques in one class ( a form of flipping the class room) and that class is not boring!

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A is for Anonymous, and the A-Z challenge!

OK are you ready?  It's time for the A to Z blogging challenge!  Click on the big box at the top of my side bar to learn more about this, although I think signups are closed.  The detail on the origin of the challenge is at
Can I go for 26 days of straight blogging, with Sundays off?  We'll see!  It got a little tough last year, when I did this challenge for the first time.  You see, I am used to blogging only about once a week, perhaps twice.

So, for the second year of this challenge, here I go.

A is for Anonymous.  This is the same as last year.  I am glad that my real name is not out there, drawing unwanted attention to my family.  I do not think anything I post here would affect my standing at my job, but you never know.  It's more likely people would say "I thought you were a better writer than that!" :-)

I have no plan or theme this year, but I will try to pick different topics, and not repeat myself.  Maybe Spring will arrive here in the American Midwest and I can document that.


Tuesday Quilt Block April 1

Good grief, the weeks are going by quickly, from Tuesday to Tuesday!
Time for another Tuesday quilt block.

This is another block in the style of Jane Stickle, and it is called Walter's Place.  Depending on your monitor the fabric may appear orangey red but it is a true red and white print.

I am linking up with Connie at Freemotion by the River and Quilt Story as I do most weeks I have blocks to share. Both blog hops have of pictures of pretty quilt blocks and other projects. I am also joining Work in Progress Wednesday - some colorful and interesting projects there!

I have a page on Facebook: keep up with my infrequent quilt posts at

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