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SLCBookMy friend slc makes books, like the one in the picture. I always love her books, but I’m especially intrigued by her newest creation: a neckheld book.

That’s right. A book, held by your neck. Also known as a book on a necklace. Or should we call it a neckbook? Check it out!


Simplify. Declutter. Eliminate. Streamline.

These are big themes in my life right now. I’m frustrated by the amount of clutter (physical and mental) in my life right now, but my progress in simplifying has been halting, at best. Today, I was thinking about how I could simplify, and I had a very freeing thought.

You can’t change what other people expect from you, but you can change what you expect from yourself. Therefore, you can simplify by eliminating expectations for yourself. It’s something that you can do almost instantly, and the results are wonderful.

Think through your task list, and even beyond it to the “ought list.” The “ought list” is that impossibly long list of things you ought to do, hope to do, beat yourself up about, but know you’ll never get to. In my case, my ought list contains the beginnings of projects that sounded wonderful at the time, but no longer hold any interest to me. In many cases, the ought list contributes to clutter in my house. I save things that I ought to use for a craft, and books that I ought to read.

The crazy thing is–no one is telling me to read those books. No one else cares if I read those books. I’m the one that decided that I should read them, and now I don’t want to read them anymore. So guess what? I don’t need to read them. And I don’t need to make those crafts. In fact, I can cut my losses and get rid of the clutter associated with those “oughts.”

You can do it too.


These turtles illustrate one of the very important roles that parents must play–reality coach.

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Strange title, huh? Yeah, that’s what I thought when I first saw this BBC article about octopuses snatching coconut shells and running across the ocean floor. If you want to find out what they use the shells for, you’ll have to read the article! Make sure you watch the video too. Octopuses are such funny creatures!

disclaimer: I thought the video was funny, but I did not “almost drown laughing” like the scientist in the article.


Have you heard about Wolfram Alpha? If you haven’t, you should definitely check it out! It’s a new search tool that uses massive databases to give you useful information. If you’re looking for data or statistics, this looks like a great place to go. Need to solve a math or science problem? Wolfram Alpha is much better than a calculator.

I’ll be in Rothenburg ob der Tauber for one day this summer, so I tried punching that in. It shows me a map, gives me the population, local time, temperature, etc. Lots of great stuff, all on one page.

However, when I tried “history of Rothenburg ob der Tauber,” Wolfram Alpha told me that it does not support Latin.

I don’t support Latin either. Oh well.

I think the name “Wolfram Alpha” is funny. But I also think it looks like a useful tool, one which I will use in spite of the funny name and the obvious prejudice again Latin!


I’m trying to learn some German before our mission trip to Europe this summer, and I just found a great tool to help me.

The Phonetics project gives pronunciation examples of every sound in English, German, and Spanish. For each sound, there is a Flash animation of the mouth, a step-by-step description of making the sound, and a video of a native speaker saying the sound plus three words that have the sound. My only gripe is that the descriptions for the German part are in German, and I don’t understand them. No, I haven’t yet learned the German word for “soft palate”! I guess it’s time to get out the dictionary!


I’m not allergic to peanuts, but it seems like this article from the NYTimes would be good news for anyone who is allergic to them.

I found this older article from Freakonomics amusing. The “complications” of doing a double-blind study involving God made me smile. Of course, Christians don’t need a study to tell us that prayer works, but it’s interesting to think about anyway.

Sometimes I like Peggy Noonan’s stuff, and sometimes I don’t. I liked this article, and not just because hedgehogs are cute.

Speaking of hedgehogs, if you like to sew, you might like this free pattern for a hedgehog softie from LollyChops.

That’s all for now.


Sometimes I wonder if we aren’t all a bit like Walter Mitty. We dream of living rich, exciting, adventure-filled lives. Ask kids what they want to be, and you’ll get answers like basketball player, actress, ballerina, president. When those kids say that they want to be president, they’re not talking about the Rotary Club, either. They’re aiming for the top. (more…)


the beautiful pattern from domestic diva

the pattern is called domestic diva

I really like this pattern from Thimble Blossoms. If I keep looking at pictures like this, I will have to spend some serious time getting to know my sewing machine!

Don’t the colors look so cheerful and springy? I don’t even know if the fabrics would be available anymore or where I would find them. So, maybe it’s time to do some research! I never thought that I was into sewing at all, but now that I am seeing the cool things that can be done, I just might have to starting sewing!

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Last week as part of my cleaning-out activities, I made a post about my Firefox tabs. I thought I might do that again this week, as a quick way to share interesting things. (more…)

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