Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sheep Shearing

Every spring one of the annual duties on our farm is the shearing of the sheep.  This task belongs to me and two of my sisters.  Since we have neither the skill nor the physical ability to stand the sheep on their backs like the professionals do :), we stand them in a milking stand and use scissors and shears to clip them.  But, first, we have to catch the sheep.  No easy task, let me assure you.

For the last few weeks the sheep have been penned up and the shearing has been on the schedule, just waiting for the right day to come.  Well, today was that day.  A friend had already sheared half our sheep so my sisters and I didn’t have quite as many to do as we normally would, for which we were profoundly grateful!  It took a few hours this afternoon but before supper all of the remaining sheep had been sheared; leaving us exhausted, ready for a hot shower and a hot dinner, but with a triumphant surge of adrenaline - the sheep shearing is now done for another year!

Miss Melody Muffin

I'm Joining the June Crusade

Manic Mother

I have decided to join in Anne-girl’s June Crusade.  If you’re wondering what that is, you can read more about it here

The story I’ll be working on is the first book in a series set in Victorian England.

Series title: Gemini  (Latin for twins)  This is currently just the working title.

Book title: Hyacinths of Change

Synopsis: Fourteen-year-old twins Cordelia and Penelope are the daughters of Lord Lewis West and his wife, Lady Roxana.  Though born in England, for nearly ten years now they have lived in sunny Italy.  Then tragedy strikes with the death of their beloved father; and Lady Roxana immediately decides to return to her native land, to the horror and grief of her daughters.  Certain they could never feel at home anywhere but in Italy, as the ferry pulls away from the dock, Penelope weeps and Cordelia promises herself, “I am coming back.  Someday.”

Arriving in England, to a land they barely remember and a family they know only through letters, the girls are surprised to discover that their cousins are wonderful playmates who are genuinely glad to have the twins back, although Cordelia’s hoydenish ways cause some raised eyebrows among her relatives. 

Plunged into the upper echelons of Victorian British Society, the girls are swept up in a dizzying array of huge estates, bewildering protocols and numerous relatives.  Yet, underneath all, there still lurks a current of pain and confusion….

I’m excited to get started on this!  I’ve done some work off and on for the last year , but just didn’t have the drive this needed.  For awhile the words simply refused to come properly!  But now, they seem to be flowing and hopefully I’ll be able to finish most of the first draft during the Crusade.

Miss Melody Muffin

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I Knew Not Where

I was going to write a post on one of my WIP stories but unfortunately, I’m just too tired tonight!  So, instead, I’ll share one of my favorite poems.

The Arrow and the Song
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of a song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

The moment I first read this, it stuck with me.  I guess because it is quite thought provoking for me.  To think that one never knows just how something they say or do may come back to them someday.

Miss Melody Muffin 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Family Quiz


My answers to Rachel and Sarah's fun family quiz.  Thanks, girls! 

1. What are some of your family's favorite phrases, exclamations, or sayings?
"For the love of Mike" (sometimes changed to "For the love of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John",  "For Pete’s sake",  "My foot"
"What goes around comes around",  "If it was a snake, it would have jumped out and bit you" (when someone has overlooked an object)
'Which is why we’re too young to know that certain things are impossible.  So we will do them anyway!' (our favorite), ' Well hurrah for you!',  'What'll we do with Fox?',  'Put him in a box!'

2. What's the number of boys to girls in your family?

4 boys, 8 girls.  Yes, we outnumber them 2-1.  They thrive in spite of it. :)

3. What is your favorite tradition your family has?

Our annual New Year’s Eve party when we ‘young ones’ always stay up until midnight and clink our glasses full of cider together at the stroke of midnight.

4. What do you call the midday meal at your house?
"What’s for lunch?  I’m starving!"  :)  Lunch usually, sometimes dinner.

5. Is the majority of your family morning people or night owls?
Morning people by habit; by nature some of both.  I happen to be an early bird as well as a bit of a night owl.  Definitely a bad combination, making for too little sleep too often!  :)

6. What is your favorite vacation location? :P
We rarely vacation.  If we had to choose, it would be camping in the mountains.

7. Are your family's weekends usually full of activities such as sports, parties, and outings, or are they more of around the house, fix-it-uppers?
Mostly fix-it-uppers.  In the summer we have some activities going on.

8. What is the nationality/ies your family comes from? (i.e. Scotch, Russian, etc)
Polish, Italian, Black Irish, Norwegian, and a wee bit of Lakota Sioux

9. Do you go away for holidays, or celebrate at home?
Usually we stay at home.

10. How did your parents meet?
At Bible College.  The very first time my mom saw my dad, he was driving a bus full of students –including her- to Worlds of Fun (an amusement park).  He jumped up into the driver's seat and the students went wild cheering him (obviously, my dad was pretty popular).  My mom was certain they’d end up in the ditch before they got to the park!!  Well, she lived to tell about it... and the rest is history!

Miss Melody Muffin

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I’ll Have Another…Triple Crown, Please

May 5,2012 dawned cloudy and muggy in northern Kentucky.  At the historic Churchill Downs racetrack, a record crowd of 165,307 people were waiting for the start of the most well known horse race in America, the Kentucky Derby.  Post time came at 6:24 p.m.  The favorites were Bodemeister and Union Rags.  Not many people paid attention to the chestnut colt in gate 19.  That is, until I’ll Have Another outran Bodemeister to win the 138th Kentucky Derby by 1 ½ lengths.  Still, many people dismissed it as the colt’s lucky day.  But two weeks later on May 19th at the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes, before another record crowd, I’ll Have Another added the second jewel of the Triple Crown to his achievements after a neck and neck battle with Bodemeister in the final furlong.  No longer was it just a lucky break.  Now people are asking “Will I’ll Have Another be able to win the Triple Crown?

The Triple Crown is a series of 3 races run every year in the US.  Only 3-year-old colts and fillies are eligible.  The Kentucky Derby, run on the first Saturday in May, is the first leg.  The second is the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Downs in Maryland, run the third Saturday in May.  The third and final leg is the Belmont Stakes, run the second Saturday in June at Belmont Park in New York.  Only 11 horses have ever won the Triple Crown.  The last winner was Affirmed in 1978.  Since then, 11 horses have tried and failed to capture Thoroughbred horse racing’s brightest jewel.

So far, I’ll Have Another is unbeaten this year.  He won the Robert B. Lewis Stakes by 2 ¾ lengths at Santa Anita Park on February 4th.  It was his first start of the season and he was a 43-1 long shot.  And on April 7th he won the Santa Anita Derby, one of the most prestigious Kentucky Derby prep races.  He was also the first horse to win the Derby from post position 19 and the win was jockey Mario Gutierrez’ first ride in the Kentucky Derby. 

A bit of trivia:
The colt’s name was inspired by the response that owner J. Paul Reddam gives his wife when she asks if he wants more of her freshly baked cookies. 
A neat coincidence: the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo fell on the same day this year and Mario Gutierrez is Mexican.

So, will I’ll Have Another be the first horse to capture the Triple Crown In 34 years?  Only time will tell, and I’ll be eagerly waiting to find out on June 9th.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Welcome Traveler!


Thank you for stopping by my new blog!  I hope you enjoy your stay.

I am a young Christian woman and the eldest girl and second child of 12.  I started this blog as a new adventure, a new challenge.  I have way more interests than most sane people ever should have!  I hope to share many or all of them with you in the upcoming months on this blog. 

Some of the things I’ll blog about include: costumes and costume design, history, horses, drama, sewing, the language of flowers, folk dance and music, world culture and travel, foreign languages, the Scarlet Pimpernel, Arthurian Legend, knitting, crochet, tatting and my never-ending reading and writing.  I’ll also have book and movie reviews and possibly some music reviews.

In short; little bits of all the bits that make me me!

Thanks again for stopping by!  I hope you’ll come back often and please tell me what you think!

Bon Voyage!

Miss Melody Muffin