Friday, February 26, 2010


I’d like to thank Czaroma of A Woman Remembers and Silvergirl of Live for Life for the Beautiful Blogger Award and Chin Chin of Stay-at-home Blessings for the Sunshine Award.


Beautiful Blogger Award Rules:
1. Thank and link to the person who gave you the award.
2. Pass this award onto 15 bloggers you’ve recently discovered and think are fantastic.
3. Contact said Blogs and let them know they’ve won.
4. State 7 things about yourself.

Sunshine Award Rules:
1. Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
2. Pass the award on to 12 bloggers. (I’m making mine 15 so all the bloggers I’m passing these to will get both awards. If you gave me one of the awards, pls receive the other one, lol)
3. Link the nominees within your post.
4. Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

7 Things about Me (very random):
- I’m a Francophile. Love the language, the food, the places, the ambience…
- I have a thing for dandelions. In the States, I loved going out in the yard and looking for them. One time I saw some in Baguio and practically flipped out of my mind. I like to blow on them and see if the number of blows coincides with the actual time. Got this from Enid Blyton’s “Thirteen O’Clock”.
- I’m a huge dork. In school, I submitted stuff way before the deadline. I didn’t go around asking what other people’s scores were, but I did moan a lot about doing badly in a test when I didn’t.
- I’m a trivia nut. I love watching Jeopardy and playing Trivial Pursuit. What is, This is just a reinforcement of the above statement?
- I love stinky, moldy cheese.
- I sometimes lisp, but that’s from language shift confusion (Spanish, English, Filipino). I don’t realithe that I’m doing it until somebody points it out, lol.
- I think fungi are cool - certain kinds anyway, lol. I have dreams of going hunting for morels and truffles.

I pass these awards to: Sharkbytes, Bambie, Vera, Dave, Mom to the Power of 3, Annika, ChinChin, Czaroma, Grace, Teacher Mom’s Corner, Silvergirl, LadyJava, Moonchild, Eva, Jade.

Updated: Mean of All About Me also gave me the Beautiful Blogger Award, so in turn, I'm also passing on to her the Sunshine Award. :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

All We Need Are Eye of Newt and Toe of Frog...

It couldn't be delayed any longer. She could already sit on the ends of her hair. Also, the snarls were turning mutant and Marguerite has reached that typical childhood phase of hating to keep still to have her hair combed. With a heavy heart, I talked to my mom about cutting Marguerite's hair. That was her original hair! I know it would have to be cut sometime, but still... that was her original hair! I sound like I'm talking about a future collectible that had to be preserved with its original hair and kept in its original box, lol. Anyway, my mom, who has hairdressing delusions that date back to the '80s (she taught pre-school during the day and experimented on my and Chip's hair after hours, hence my frizzy zombie strands), performed the first haircut ritual. I could have gone to one of those trendy kiddie salons, but you know how much I love the DIY approach. For some reason, I want everything to be personal and intimate. I'd rather have amateurs who do things for love of the craft (and of us, since they're family and friends) than professionals, whom, of course we have to pay (A-ha! That's the real reason! lol). Anyway, we just cut at the point where the next longest batch of hair fell (you know how it is with babies and their layers of new hair), so it's still quite long. Naturally, I preserved the cuttings. I made a certificate page off of her baby scrapbook (which also contains first nail clippings, the umbilical cord scab, and other morbid things) and taped the cutting there. Honestly, the thing is beginning to appear like a voodoo book, lol.

Still uncombed, but the snarls do not growl and attack you...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Realizing the Obvious

When I started blogging, it was really just to be able to share things in an online diary. I wanted to be able to document as much as I could about my adventures as a new mother. Prior to that I had been reading homeschooling blogs and they inspired me so much that I set out to do the same thing. I wanted to be able to show our efforts at creating quality days filled with learning, creativity, and love. At the same time, blogging about such things would drive me to work harder at achieving those results. Something like furnishing a report. Besides the genuine desire to make days lovely (hence the name of the blog), it would also be embarrassing to have the blog reflect falling short of my ideals (as it has in numerous occasions, lol). Anyway, it was really as simple as that. However, as I got deeper into blogging, it became apparent that a blog can be a marketable, profitable product (yes, it took me some time - I can be slow about some things, lol). That’s why bloggers actually spent money for such things as a domain name and an email host. It’s not just because they had money, so they could (lol), but it was essentially an investment. When I was in school, blogging wasn’t a career option. In fact, it wasn’t anything at all. I graduated in 1998 and the term wasn’t coined until 1999 (well, web log came about in 1997, but I don’t think I even had an email address then). It’s just pretty amazing to realize that so many avenues have opened up. I’m so set in my ways that I can be really thick and unobservant about new technology and what all their implications are. Now, I wonder what I’m going to do with all these realizations I’m having, lol.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I'll Make a Cobbler out of Myself Yet

I’m from that lovely little city on the eastern side of Metro Manila called Marikina. I grew up on a street inhabited by people of kith and kin, the kith part of which was sure to be related by marriage anyway. I continued residing at my parents’ house until 2004 when work made me move to Subic. I lived in Subic for two years, after which my husband and I moved back in with my parents for another two years before finally finding our own place to live in. Unfortunately, that move took us away from Marikina again. I think it’s a foregone conclusion that I have this deep yearning to go back to live there.
Marikina is a beautiful little green valley with charming hillocks and a meandering river. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a wonderful place to live in. It’s not only because it’s one of the best cities in the country, but also because I have a sense of attachment and other strong sentiments for the place. My mother’s side of the family traces its roots to the founders and early dwellers of this town. They were among those who built its reputation as the shoe capital of the nation. My grandparents used to manufacture footwear. In fact, the area in the compound where my parents built their house used to be where the factory stood. My grandmother owned a shoe store from which my toddler self had a steady supply of cute little “step-ins”. I grew up visiting friends in houses the first levels of which were small shoe factories (dismal places illuminated by mini fluorescent bar lights with the curious bouquet of leather and glue solvent). My father pastored a church with a congregation composed mostly of shoemakers. Every other house had a sign that said “Wanted: Mag-aareglo (shoe uppermaker)”. It was never a problem having shoes custom-made; the next person whom one bumped into could do it.
As I grew older, cheaper, albeit inferior, shoe imports from China appeared and the once overwhelming presence of shoemaking began to diminish. Many small businesses were affected and erstwhile shoemakers found themselves in another profession. Don’t get me wrong; the industry lives on, but work is no longer as homogeneous as it once was. Notwithstanding that, the locals cling stubbornly to the shoemaking tradition. The old-timers, from the judges and doctors to the retired lamyaan regulars, all claim to have started out as shoemakers. I used to make the sweeping statement, as did many of the youngsters who had no business doing so, that everybody in Marikina knew how to make shoes. This, of course, led to smart alecks wanting to get technical with you (“Really? You know how to make shoes?” “Sure. You just - uh - turn, pull, hammer, cut and sew… Duh?” “What the -! You got that from a song!”). The wiseacres made a good point though. My only shoemaking involvement was a summer gig threading leather strings through eyelets. Other than that, I have no shoemaking experience and don’t know beans about the process.
If I’m to go by myself, it may be an unfortunately correct assumption that the children of Marikina are not learning the art of shoemaking. This is supposed to be our legacy to pass down for posterity. I’m not sure if the movers and shakers of the city or even the remaining family businesses are doing something about it, but I hope they do. I, for one coming from a clan of shoemakers, am interested in exploring this aspect of my personal history. I want to be able to say, “Hi. I’m Ivy. I’m from Marikina and I can make shoes as did my ancestors before me.” Actual learning and finally doing used to all be some distant plan I had no qualms procrastinating on, but then I found a crochet pattern for indoor shoes. I know. Crochet! Don’t even suggest that’s anything close to actual shoemaking! I tried making the crocheted shoes though (you can read about that here) and my shoemaking forefathers who tooled with leather, nails, heavy buckles, etc. may roll over in their graves at my audacious shoemaking claim, but at the end of the day, Marguerite, my daughter, loves them and wears them all the time. You know, on her feet. Like real shoes. Because, most probably, they are, in fact, real shoes. And if that’s the case, I, Ivy of the Supok (long story) clan of Marikina, have made shoes. Okay, I don’t have the actual nerve to say I’m a shoemaker, but I can say without cringing that I. Made. Shoes. Voilà!

I’ll let Marguerite wear the first pair until I’ve completed the next crocheted pair and then I’m storing it in her box of firsts (although technically it was my first). I hope to go beyond crochet and continue making shoes for my daughter. I’ve already looked into simple leather Viking shoes and felt boots. I’ll eventually get to the wood-leather-metal shoes stage and then, maybe I’ll finally deserve the label. More importantly, I hope my daughter will learn along with me. As another daughter of Marikina, it’s in her history as well. The chain may have been broken in a generation or two, but it can be mended. We can later look back at that pair of crocheted shoes and recognize it as the point where the repair began.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Post That Should Have Been about Sherlock Holmes

In the midst of toiling over writing articles, I sneak in this blog post about Sherlock Holmes, both literary and celluloid. I loved reading the stories. My mother bought me my first book when I was 11. I believe the stories in it were The Study in Scarlet, The Redheaded League, and The Speckled Band. As I grew older and started reading the unabridged versions of the stories, I came to realize what intricacies Holmes had in his character. As a child, I imagined him to be absolutely detached, like something of a witty android. I never thought I'd find out that he had a brother (Mycroft) or that he was a cocaine addict (actually, he was addicted to his cases, in the absence of which he needed cocaine to provided a similar stimulus)... Sigh, my daughter is up, my articles are unfinished, the house needs cleaning, we have a dentist appointment at 11:30... I really have no business blogging. I'll have to continue this some other time. :(

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Indoor Mary Janes (Crocheted)


 This is a crochet project that I've been wanting to try doing. I thought the pattern was easy enough to downsize, so I tried it yesterday. Obviously I need to go out and get some yarn. The differing colors were only semi-deliberate. I didn't have enough of one color to make a pair, hence... The pattern needs some tweaking too since I just improvised as I went along, going by how they fitted Marguerite's feet. Also, this was also rather sloppily done since I thought I was essentially just seeing if it would work. Anyway, Marguerite loves the slippers and since they're so easy and quick to do, I'll probably make several for her. No decent pic though as my model was not very cooperative.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Please Point Me to the Direction of Non-messy Art Projects

Watercolor and crayon shavings everywhere. Ah well, it's all in good fun. So yesterday's art projects were more of the usual, plus melted crayon wax and white crayon drawing under watercolor. My cheese grater and iron will never be the same again. Kidding! They're fine. I used a sharpener for the crayon shavings and I used wax paper to protect my flat iron. Look at this.

Is it just me or does it really seem like Marguerite has a particular genius for producing muddy colors? lol The wax melted together, of course since she piled them in an enchanting blob in the middle. I tried showing her how to sprinkle the shavings to create objects or the outline of my hand, but she was having none of that. Well, sigh, it's her art, so I let her do what she wanted, and what she wanted was that and a performance art we're calling "And Crayon Shavings Shall Rain in Our Apartment". As for the white crayon thing, she was less excited about that since we'd done it before. However, I let her use sponges instead of brushes this time and it became more playing with water than actual painting.
I can't wait until she can properly clean up after herself.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ang Paos and Nian Gao This Way

"Keong hee huat chye!"
Congratulations and be prosperous, you guys! The fireworks are starting early and I'm worried they might wake Marguerite up. With church tomorrow, I'm really hoping she'll sleep straight until morning. Anyway, to those who are giving out loaded ang paos (or even nian gao/tikoy), throw some this way, lol. Incidentally, happy hearts day as well! We don't really celebrate Valentine's Day (although that didn't stop me from doing stuff like this, but I see no harm in some light, fun observance - like decorating with hearts and dressing Marguerite in red tomorrow... 
Btw, they're showing "Nights in Rodanthe" on HBO right now and I'm wondering if Nicholas Sparks has a novel where he didn't kill off one of the protagonists. Oh wait. Did somebody die in "The Notebook"? I can't remember.
Speaking of HBO, they've been showing "Dan in Real Life" again. I just love that movie. I don't know that I agree with the loving somebody in just 3 days part, but as far as I'm concerned that's a minor detail. Hmm. Is it Steve Carell? Because I do like Steve Carell. The plot? It's okay. The lines? Sure. I think it's just the light, subtle comedy feel on top of the fact that the setting is so gorgeous.
Um, I love "Chuck" too. Also "Psych" (if I can find where they're showing it now that the Crime and Suspense channel has disappeared from our channel list). I'll definitely be following Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains too. And then there's my manic tuning in to the news channels. Methinks somebody should lock up her TV.

UPrinting 250 Stickers/Labels Giveaway Winner

Thanks to those who joined my first giveaway contest. I truly appreciate the support.:) The winner who will receive 250 stickers/labels from UPrinting is WillOaksStudio. Congratulations! :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Define "Purse"


Here is a quick project I knitted for Marguerite. She can store here her coins and the little thingamajigs she insists on taking with us when we go out to play (or finds and decides to keep while we're out). She can hang it around her neck so it's not cumbersome (she doesn't always have pockets - nor I. And when I don't, that means I'm clutching my phone, my coin purse, and my keys. You wonder why I don't just bring an actual purse. A purse is too much of a commitment. If I'm bringing one, there's a good chance that more junk will find their way in. Plus, a purse will throw off the whole "we're just out to play" vibe. On hindsight, I think I might be the one who needs that pouch. A bigger version though. And not to hang from my neck. Maybe something like a big pouch that I can hang from a shoulder. Or maybe just clutch. What? No. That is so totally different from an actual purse.)

Friday, February 12, 2010

I Do Go on (and on) about Reading

In case I haven't mentioned here before how much I love reading *snort*, I would like to take the time to do so. Hi. My name is Ivy and I'm a bookworm. I also helplessly suffer from frequent attacks of bibliophilia. My condition started in childhood and steadily progressed as I grew older. I actually have this fear that those ebooks and ereaders would become so practical that the traditional books would become, if not totally extinct, then - what's the term? Endangered? Isn't there a sci-fi book with that scenario as the premise? Props to whoever can identify the novel (I probably won't be able to sleep trying to recall it).
As somebody who gets her high from books, I understandably am also fond of libraries. In fact, Library Science had hovered at the top of the list of majors I was interested in. Languages won out, but the interest remains to date. My first exposure to libraries was a terrific one. My grade school library was a wonderful place that inspired a love for books that would last a lifetime. To pay homage to this beloved place and also to celebrate February as Library Lovers Month, I wrote an article about my library memories.
Speaking of reading, so many books are on my list (as is the usual case), but I've really been yearning for a copy of "The Secrets of Pistoulet". In my mind, I've come to consider it as a cross between Peter Mayle's Provence books and Nick Bantock's Griffin and Sabine series. I'm feeling this urge to mention a few more books on the list, so I'll end this now before I give in and become unstoppable, hee.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Marikina Commercial Property for Sale

I just wanted to remind you that this is the last day to join my giveaway contest. Please join. :)

Hullo! My mom is selling my grandparents' house. The area has always been the business section of Marikina, but in the last decade, their street, which is adjacent to Sumulong Highway, the main thoroughfare, has become completely commercial. It is the only house remaining there, save for another which is using a portion of it for business anyway. The lot area is 380 sq m and is selling at Php10M (negotiable). It is walking distance from the city hall, the sports center, two hospitals, the parks, the mall, the supermarket, the public market, etc. It is very accessible and gets plenty of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. If you're interested in investing in a prime commercial spot in this city, contact me at 63-927-877-6444.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Appreciation Award

Thanks to Sharkbytes of My Quality Day for this wonderful appreciation award.  If I understand correctly, I'm supposed to list 10 things that make me happy and then pick other bloggers to pass the award to.

Things that make me happy (I actually already have a list of this in one of my journals, but I went way beyond ten items, so I'm giving you the trimmed down version. Also, I'm not including family stuff here as that's a given.):

1. Books - I'm crazy about them. I especially love Newbery winners, mysteries, Austen, Hugo, Fannie Flagg, Cynthia Voigt...  Connected to this, cozy corners where I can read to my heart's content also make me happy.
2. Writing - It is one of my compulsions and it truly does make me happy. I love being able to verbalize my thoughts and imaginings. There's composition and there's literal putting-pen-to-paper writing; I love both. Honestly, as thankful as I am for the convenience that typing offers, I really love the act of writing itself. I love learning old script styles and practicing them.
3. Tea time - I love tea - regular, green, black, herbal, fruit... I enjoy special tea moments and plan to have plenty of them with my daughter. Tea time has a soothing, civilizing effect on me, I think I've quoted this book before (and please add EL Konigsburg to the list of authors above), but I'll do it again: "She thought that maybe - just maybe - Western Civilization was in a decline because people did not take time to take tea at four o'clock," from The View from Saturday)
4. Musicals - No wonder I'm crazy about Glee, lol. Anyway, I'm absolutely gaga over Les Miserables. My sister and I can get very boring discussing (and oftentimes breaking into song much to everybody else's chagrin) all the musicals we love.
5. Flea markets/vintage shops/thrift stores - While I usually cannot relate to the expected female obsession with shopping at malls for the latest in clothes, shoes, and bags, I apply the same enthusiasm to thrifting and antiquing (although I use the terms loosely since I'm not really as knowledgeable as I'd like to be... just yet). I love coming across great finds. Let this item segue into mention of my love for collecting junk that interests me. I'm a confessed pack rat. While I am not interested in reforming this side of myself, I do need to learn to be tidier and more organized, lol.
6. Craft projects - I love the feeling of working towards creating something lovely and useful. It's even better if it's a project on which I can collaborate with my daughter.
7. Homeschooling - Even though what we're still doing is mostly just play, I love being able to do this. I know it's not going to be a walk in the park, but I have such a conviction about this that I'm just so grateful that I'm able to do it.
8. Travel opportunities - I love seeing new places and experiencing new cultures. It's even better if the opportunity came by way of a scholarship or a contest prize, hee.
9. Taking long walks - It's a great chance to regroup, clear my head, as well as explore. It's even better if my surroundings are beautiful, of course. It is awesome to come across pretty things from nature as I take my stroll.
10. Long conversations with a kindred or somebody interesting - Engaging chats with my friends always give me such pleasure. It's even nicer if it started out as some random small talk and then developed into a great sharing and bonding moment.

Now, let me pass the award to the following bloggers:  Vera, Bambie, Annika, and David.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mad Not-Really-a-Hatter

I made a beret for Marguerite. She won't let me angle and flop it properly though, so there it is. I was supposed to sew on a flower as an accent. Marguerite said to go ahead, but my sister Chip thought that would be too much (in reality TV judge talk, "It will look too busy."). The hat is Marguerite's of course so it's her call. I'm thinking of making the flower detachable since she likes whirling it around. She also likes putting her feet in the hat, so I'm not too sure about her judgment. In the meantime, I'm using a safety pin to attach the flower. Since creating the beret, I've had two other requests: a brown beret for Chip and a black skull cap for Husband. I need to go out and get some more yarn.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Precious Gift for a City Kid

Hi. Even though it's still winter time, the Fresh Air Fund is already hard at work finding host families for Summer 2010. If you live in the suburbs or the country, how about having a child from the city over for a week or two during the summer? To learn more about this wonderful program, go to this page. This is a chance to touch a child's life and give him or her a wonderful experience to cherish forever.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Of Flea Markets and Yellow Police Tapes

The previous weekend we went to a flea market and saw many things that attracted us both for aesthetic and investment purposes. Since we're not at a time when we are allowing ourselves to buy things that we don't really need, we were on the look out for items that we could resell for profit. So many things caught my fancy, but that's when I realized that I didn't know nearly enough about the trade even though I used to write articles about different collector's items (note to self: affecting expertise when writing articles does not effect actual expertise). There was a table with fine teacups made in various places in Europe. I asked the seller if they were antique (they certainly looked it to my untrained eye) and she said they weren't. "You mean they're, uh, new, uh, contemporary, uh...?" See what I mean? I didn't even know how to talk about them, let alone start investing. The seller was happy to enlighten me, "Oh, they're old, but not yet a hundred years old." Apparently, they're careful about labeling things as antique. The teacups were mostly 1940s-1950s vintage. I also saw midget 400-day cupole clocks from West Germany, one of which I want for myself. Husband wanted to get an actual antique camera thingamajig, but like me, he didn't know how much they're really worth. You can bet we spent later that night googling and researching on ebay.

In other news, one of the studios on the ground floor has a yellow police tape barring the front door. Seven floors above, we had no idea anything worthy of the PNP's attention had taken place. I was naturally consumed with curiosity when I saw it, but there was nobody about I could ask. I bumped into one of the custodians and I asked her if it was an actual police tape (I went to UP; we did lots of crazy things for "expression") and she said yes. I inquired as to what happened and she said she didn't know. Yeah, right. I bumped into a neighbor from our floor and asked her. She didn't know either. To not seem like I was just being a nosy parker (although truthfully I was), I expressed worry. Was there a theft, a murder, a drug lab...? Our building has always been pretty safe as far as I know. I asked Husband to investigate since he was chummy with one of the custodians, but so far he hasn't found out anything yet. Aaargh. What could have happened? The police don't just put the tape out for any old petty crime, right? I hope it's not anything serious. We still have 4 months to go on our contract here.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Losing a Big Chunk of My Mind

Yesterday morning, I lost a bit of my mind and decided to let Marguerite and myself have a go at the skin crayons she got for Christmas. No special occasion, just a little pre-bath fun. And then, I thought, might as well go crazy and let her play with her rubber stamps. Ink all over everything. And just myself with Marguerite's version of helping to deal with all the cleaning up. No sweat. Why bust a vein? I caught myself hyperventilating at the mess a couple of times and then checked the reflex. It was fun for her. Why not just share in the fun?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Yesterday's Artworks and Reason to Keep Away from Sugar


Oh hai. Just wanted to show you some of yesterday's addition to Marguerite's homeschool portfolio. The one on the right is obviously a mosaic - just simple shapes. I hope this is not reflective of anything, but she was inclined to choose the black pieces over the other colors. The other one is work with markers and a ruler. I usually just open up her art kit and she chooses the materials she wants to use. Right now rulers rock her world. I guess this is because she has seen me use one for making straight lines. She has yet to master wielding it, but she enjoys using it. Oh, and btw, in case you can't tell, a couple of those doodles are a horse and a duck. Besides these, there were paintings galore as usual. I have a separate binder for Marguerite's paintings as we go through several sheets of newsprint just for that.
And here's another reason why you should keep your kids (and yourselves too!) away from candy. I got it from Dr. Sears, my personal child care guru, hee. According to the latest newsletter (in the article about keep your children's immune system up during the winter months), "8 tbsp. of sugar, the equivalent of about two cans of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs. The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for hours. In contrast, the ingestion of complex carbohydrates, or starches, does not harm the immune system." Just FYI, in case you didn't know. I hope my mother is reading this.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Did You Get the Year off to a Creative Start?

Hi, everyone. I'd like to remind you that I'm hosting a giveaway contest. The lucky winner gets 250 stickers/labels from UPrinting. Go to this page to join. :)

How did your January go? As always time somehow just went zipping past. I haven't even gotten used to saying 2010 and now January's gone. Did you know that January is supposedly the International Creativity Month? I think it's quite à propos considering all the resolutions, changes, self-improvement... ballyhoo going on. I, for one, have already come up with a looooong list of creative projects I want to do this year. I think my list covers everything from art and writing to crafts and parenting. I think I took the creativity thing to heart as I even wrote an article about sparking it. I just shared some of the things I normally do to get the artistic juices flowing. Here's an excerpt from Ten Tips to Tap into the Artist Within (this is tip# 3, I believe):
I know “notebook” is not a verb, but I’m going to use it as one. Notebook obsessively. Bring one everywhere. Document your feelings, the scenes you encounter, the ideas you come up with, the interesting remarks you hear… Free write for kicks, make lists, record dreams…  Practice elegant penmanship, doodle, insert interesting found objects… Several pages into a notebook and you’ll realize that not only has the notebook become a source of ideas, memories, and inspiration; it in itself has become a creative product... Read entire article

Notebooking (that red underline thing is shooting me dirty looks - it cannot get through my thick skull that "notebook" is not a verb, or in this case, a verbal, lol) definitely gives me pleasure. While I love the act of filling a notebook with content, I actually love the notebook itself too. I have something akin to a paper fetish - or I can just go outright and say that I do have a paper fetish... I prefer recycled or tree-free paper though in case you ever think of gifting me with a notebook. ;-p Anyway, the notebook above dates back to 2004. It was given to me by my SIL. You can find two kinds of feather and a movie theater ticket among other things inserted between the pages. I believe the black feather was from a crow while the yellow and black one was from a black-naped oriole, just two of the many tropical birds that abounded in the neighborhood we lived in up in the mountains. I used to go for long walks and pocket interesting things I found, stuff like feathers, pretty rocks, skipping stones... Anyway, I don't know if you can see the title of the movie on that ticket, but it's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I remember the entire school turning up at the cinema to watch on the first day. The following day my 7th and 8th grade classes (just the girls actually, with much heckling from the boys) divided into Team Diggory and Team Krum (I think I leaned towards Team Diggory myself - not that I'm on Team Edward now, I don't really play the Twilight game. Honestly, I find Bella annoying... which means I've read the books and for all my impatience with the hoopla, I do envy Stephenie Meyer her fortune, lol)... Okay, this was supposed to be a short post. I do blather endlessly sometimes.