Without reason, I've always loved Leap Day. Perhaps I love it because it adds one more day to my birthmonth. I did a little reading this morning and found that Leap Day has an interesting old tradition. According to legend, in 1288 St.Patrick declared that on this day women were allowed to propose to men. Any man who refused a woman had to pay a fine.

I did some further investigation to find out that Sadie Hawkins Day is associated with Leap Day. As a teenager, I always looked forward to any opportunity to chase the boys. No wonder I loved Leap Day! Unfortunately, my high school never had a Sadie Hawkins dance. Somewhat more unfortunately, this did not stop my overly-zealous boy-craziness.

It's a good thing I got this guy to chase me instead!


Shades of Gray

Due to the most recent ice storm, classes were cancelled once again today. I've yet to leave the house, and it has been great. Like so many others, though, I am itching for the arrival of Spring. While I do miss the sunshine, it's the chilly temperatures I really dislike. The ice has managed to cover every bit of color left outdoors. This was the view from our front door this morning. No, it's not a black and white picture.

Our bird feeders have been hopping! At one point today, I saw five male cardinals at one time. We've had at least ten different species, the most I've ever seen. I've tried several times to take picture of all the birds, but they usually scatter when I open the door. I was able to snap a few shots of a cardinal. He didn't seem to mind me or the camera. In fact, I think he was hamming it up!

Inside our kitchen is a small trace of my garden from last year. I clipped a branch off one of my favorite plants, got it rooting in some water, then planted it in this little cup. It has kept me quite happy since I currently have nowhere to dig. Not to mention, the little splash of purple and green color is a nice pick-me-up when all you see is gray.


Nervous Mumblings

Tomorrow I have my very first exam in my Voice and Articulation class. I am quite nervous, as this has been a very challenging class. I love the material and I need to know it well. There is, however, an awful lot to remember! I am taking a short break from studies to tell you about my favorite TV game show, Cash Cab. It is on the Discovery Channel.

I've enjoyed it for a while now. It's an intelligent little trivia show that takes place in a NYC taxi cab. Contestants are random people off the streets, and today I witnessed the most impressive contestants ever. Three professors of Physics/Astrophysics answered some very tricky questions with ease. They rocked the cab and had a record setting win of $3000. Not too shabby for a cab ride across town!

Also, I would like to commemorate this week as the week I made the best meal I've ever made (so far). I think it pleased my husband more than usual, which is why I am so thrilled. I made shrimp scampi, buttered noodles, garlic cheese bread, and salad. I wish I had taken a picture because I was one proud homemaker. I don't even like shrimp scampi, but cooking for others is so much better than cooking for myself. The only trouble is, I can't test my products. Oh well, he seemed quite satisfied and for that I am gratified. It seems silly, but I want him to think my cooking is the BEST!


I biffed it. Twice.

For those of you not from central Illinois, to "biff" it means to fall down in the most embarrassing way possible, to bite it, to take a very bad spill, etc. This word was at one time a mystery to my husband. Today, I biffed it twice. The first time was on the wet, glassy service called my driveway. My neighbor was having a hard time backing her truck out so I went over to help her push. Our final heave did the trick, but knocked us both down. We both slid under the truck while it was rolling forward. A very scary moment, but we are both okay.
The second time I biffed it was on the way to my last class. I stepped onto what looked like crunchy snow to avoid a massive puddle. The crunchy snow turned out to be glassy ice. I went down spread eagle, belly down, face in the ice, like a five point star. This was witnessed by no less than 50 people outside Lawson Hall. SIU has done a horrible job of clearing sidewalks and parking lots. Many letters to the editor poured into the Daily Egyptian from furious students who've had to brave campus pathways.
Until all the ice melts, be careful out there and don't biff it.

This is for you, Alisha.

Maybe you saw it already. I just now did. Maybe its not nice, but it makes me laugh! I'm probably going to take a lot of crap for this...



I had a very good birthday. Thanks to everyone who made it so. The best part of my day? Finding out that I get to forever share it with Nella Ruth Billingsley! Congratulations to our friends Caleb and Keli on the birth of their first child, baby Nella!

Kyle brought me birthday in bed yesterday. I got to open all my presents before I even set foot on the floor! What did I get, you ask?
Birthmusic. I delightful little mix of French-themed songs played on accordion, violin, clarinet, and other things. It took me back to the streets of Paris, or at least to the movie Rattatouille... I also got Season 7 of Frasier, a new pilates mat, and some brownies.

Birthshopping. After class, I did a little shopping. I got a new shirt to wear for the night from O.N. and some new "lip plumper" gloss from V.S. It's kinda bad, but not much makes me happy like these girly things!

Birthdinner was enjoyed at my favorite, the Cracker Barrel. And birthdessert was this delicious Hershey's chocolate creme pie, bought and paid for by my always thoughtful husband.

Birthpicture. On the day I celebrated my twenty-third year of life, I had a very good day. I had hoped to spend it in Louisville, KY at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. This is the weekend of the annual Give Me an Answer conference, which I have always enjoyed. Alas, we couldn't get away for a number of reasons. Anyway, it turned out alright. See, I'm smiling!



I've always been a firm believer that one doesn't just celebrate a birthday, rather, a birthweek or even birthmonth. I have a few things that have been making me happy so far on my birthweek.
Birthloaf. My own blend of bread dough, sausage, and mozzarella all baked into one. It makes a delicious little lunch or appetizer. I made it for Kyle and I on Saturday and it was gone pretty quickly. For the superbowl party, I made some stuffed mushrooms, bruschetta, and a fruit dip with peanut butter, yogurt and chocolate chips. It was delicious!

Birthflowers. My mother and grandmother came down for a visit on Saturday. I received some lovely flowers, amongst other things. I love the way they brighten our living room.

Birthbowl. I wish that I'd taken pictures at the Superbowl party yesterday. We had a wonderful time with friends, though I didn't see Kyle much. There was a pretty solid line between most of the girls upstairs having "girl talk" and the men downstairs watching the game.

Stay tuned for more birthweek updates.