Cloudy with a Chance of Pain

Today's Headache Forecast.png

Perhaps you've heard of people being able to predict when a storm is coming with their "trick knee" or because some other joint starts to hurt. It took me awhile to realize that their is a connection between my headaches and the weather. From my own experience, if it is going to rain, the likelihood that I'm going to get a headache goes way up. Add in some of my other headache triggers, like hormonal changes, alcohol, and stress, and I'm in for a perfect-headache-storm.

I know I am not alone in my weather-induced migraines, for I just discovered that accuweather.com has a migraine module on their local forecast. The website shows that I am currently experiencing headache weather (it's raining). However, according to the their iPhone app, my migraine risk is low. 

Accuweather App Migraine Risk.PNG

At any rate, thankfully I don't have a headache today and my forecast for the weekend looks pain free.


What are your headache triggers? How does the weather affect you?

Weblinks: Vintage Graphics, Duck Dynasty, and North Korea

Vintage Graphics

I love vintage graphics. Not only do I like the way they look, but I also like the fact that they are often in the public domain which means you don't have to worry about copyright infringement when using them. Two of my favorite websites for free downloads of vintage images and graphics are Vintage Printables and The Graphics Fairy.

This week Vintage Printable highlighted their category pages "Animals Acting Human" here and here. Here are a few of my favorites:

[Click on each image to enlarge and open in a slideshow, then hover over enlarged image to show caption]

The Graphics Fairy posted "30 + Best Vintage Stock Easter Images". Here are a few of my favorites from that collection:

[Click on each image to enlarge and open in a slideshow]


Our family loves the television show Duck Dynasty. If your family watches t.v., I highly recommend you check it out. It is about as "real" as any reality t.v. show ever is (meaning, the situations are totally set-up), but the people are real and it is good enough that we don't care. This week a friend shared this interview with the patriarch of the Robertson family, Phil, telling his story about deciding to follow Jesus.


Curtis' Pick for the Week

A North Korean propaganda video translated into English showing what it is like to live in modern-day America. Birds will be eaten on Tuesday. Only one cup of hot snow per day. 

Apparently, the translation may not be entirely accurate, but it is still funny.

Weblinks: Harlem Shake, Thrift Shop, and Rednecks in Trucks

My husband, Curtis, is much more up-to-date with current happenings and trends than I am. He commented once that my web-links were not very "cutting edge". So I asked him to contribute. Here's what is trending and interesting, according to Curtis.

DISCLAIMER: I take absolutely no responsibility whatsoever for any of this content. Except for the cute dog at the end. That's all me.

The Harlem Shake

A week ago this video appeared on YouTube. (Please don't feel bad if you can't stand to watch the whole thing. I couldn't.)

Since then it has gotten over seven million views and has inspired people all over the world to video themselves doing the Harlem Shake, including the Norwegian army and Jeff Gordon. Curtis finds the progression of these viral videos very interesting, in a sort of anthropological sense. 

You can search YouTube for more videos, if you wish.


Thrift Shop

For the past couple of weeks Curtis has been obsessed with pop music. I think it is akin to being unable to stop yourself from staring at an accident scene on the highway. At least I hope it is nothing more than that. For the time being, it has made family car rides where Dad controls the radio much more interesting. (Pop music makes me annoyed and aggressive. Who knew?) The song that started Curtis' "pop" phase was Thrift Shop by Macklemore.


"Here, Honey, hold my beer while I try something."

Another of Curtis' picks for today's web-links is a video of a pickup truck going over a jump. It is going way too fast. It ends badly. Enjoy!


Swims with Dolphins

After that, I think we could use a little detox. How about a dog swimming with dolphins?

Ah.... that's better.


So, what do you think? Would you like to hear more of Curtis' picks for the latest and greatest on the interwebs?

It's okay. You can say, "yes". I know you still love me.

Book Lover Baby Steps

Summer Reading Bookshelves.jpg

I wish my boys were avid readers. I make sure they always have a variety of quality books from which to choose. Since we started homeschooling using the Ambleside Charlotte Mason method, they are exposed to many classic living books in all their classes. They particularly love our read aloud selections (where I read and they listen), but when it comes to reading on their own, in their own free time, there are a million other things they would rather be doing than reading. [Sigh]

The only time they do read on their own is when we let them stay up a half an hour past bedtime to read. To them reading is at least better than going to sleep at bedtime, but that is not saying much. Despite all the excellent literature I have available to them, the only books I've ever seen them get really excited about are the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney (Is it a coincidence that my children's favorite author is also a video game designer?), The Guinness Book of World Records and Ripley's Believe It or Not.

Recently, however, there have been signs of hope:

King started reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, a true classic! (Shout outs go to King's grandparents, Joan-Joan and Bob-Bob, for giving him a boxed set of Tolkien books; and to New Line Cinema for making the books into movies.)

After a long whiny debate with Mike over whether we had any good books to read, he reluctantly agreed to give the book Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata a try. (Shout outs go to Mike's grandma, Mimi, for giving us this book; to Grandpa Mike for bravely serving in the Vietnam War; and to Mike himself for being an animal lover.)

They are still only reading these books at (instead of) bedtime, but I am encouraged that they are truly enjoying books that don't have pictures! King says he intends to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy next. Michael was so excited about his book that one morning he was eager to share a passage that he had read the night before. My heart swelled.

He opened his book and read a few choice lines from a scene where Cracker is being bribed with hotdogs:

He reached into his pocket and took out his secret weapon: a wiener.
"Wiener?" he said in a low voice.
"Wiener for Cracker?"
Everybody in the world seemed to know her name, even this man with a wiener.

My heart shrank a bit. Mike thought it was hilarious. At least he was excited about reading, right? Baby steps.


What books did you love as a child? What books do your children love? Please share!


[This post contains associate links. Please read my disclosure.]

Weblinx: Cheezburger and Femina

Jethro wants to be a meme when he grows up.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 4:6-7

I loved this reflection on Philippians 4:6-7 focusing on the promise that peace will guard our hearts.

It is security from true threats, from true problems, from true darkness. This peace is a peace that is fierce. It protects your heart. It protects your mind.

The blog, Femina, which I follow, features posts by Nancy Wilson (wife of Douglas Wilson, but NOT the guitarist from the band Heart, although I love her, too) and her daughters. I've read many of the Wilson's books on Biblical marriage and parenting and I love them.

[Amazon Associate Disclosure]

Weblinx: Cute Overload and Real Food

 
 
 
 

Come on!? A puppy in a cup!? And an incoming duck!? How can you not love that?

Cute related: we will definately be watching Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl IX on Sunday. I mean, Mike and I will... in the other room... on the small t.v..


I have enjoyed reading this series by Keeper of the Home on simple ways to put more real food in your diet and avoid processed food. She gives lots of great ideas, tips, information and links. Of particular interest to me was her link to a Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce.

T"GIF"

A friend of mine introduced me to the iPhone app Cinemagram, which you can use to create animated GIF files, or little moving picture files made from movie clips. I find the medium to be sometimes cool and funny, and at other times annoying and head-ache inducing.

I've already shared one of our barn falling down (then coming back up, then down again, then up again...) on Facebook.

I also included one in a previous post, showing Curtis cutting Mike's hair. This one was created using a different app called Giffer. Giffer converts a series of still photos (instead of video) into a animated GIF file. Also, the Giffer GIF files can be downloaded onto your camera roll and don't have to be shared with the public or hosted on an external site like the Cinemagram GIFs do.

Do you have a headache yet?

I think animated GIFs are best in small doses. So I will show you one more and then be done, for now. Here is a nice, calm GIF which is less likely to send you into a seizure.


This kind of GIF is called a Cinemagraph. The difference is that you can select only certain parts of the image to move, while the rest of the image stays still. Pretty cool, huh?

[My techie explanations are attempts at giving you the general idea about animated GIF files. It is very likely that I don't know what I'm talking about, so don't quote me. However, I do stand by my statement: "Pretty cool, huh?" You can quote me on that.]

Playing at Work and Gastro-Explosions: A Gift Guide

I've seen two toys advertised this Christmas season that have me a little baffled.

The first is Doggie Doo.

The product description states,

"Europe's top new action game has come to America! Feed and walk your little pup, if he makes a mess, you clean it up! When you squeeze his leash, he makes a gassy sound that gets louder and louder until...plop. The first to clean up after the dog three times wins!"

At our house, this is one of the boys' actual, real-life chores which we affectionately call "poop patrol". Why play it, when you can live it?

The second is Pop the Pig.

In this game, you feed the pig hamburgers until his stomach ruptures. That's what the product description hints at anyway, but from what I could see on the promotional videos, it looks like his vest just pops open. What a jip. Kids all over are going to be disappointed on Christmas morning when they find out his stomach doesn't actually explode. Incidentally, this toys is made by the same folks that make Doggie Doo. It is also a big hit in Europe where they call it "Feed the American Capitalist Pig until He Explodes". Just kidding. I don't think they call it that.

Fairy Tales Aren't for Sissies

This summer I decided I would read to the boys from a book that my brother recommended* called Favourite Grimm's Tales. It contains familiar stories like Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin, Puss-in-Boots, Little Snow-White, Rapunzel, and Little Red-Cap. The boys were skeptical. When we were trying to decide which story to read first, they turned down all stories princess related because: "Ew!" Other stories were dismissed because they had "already heard that one." We settled on "The Bremen Town Musicians", as none of us were familiar with the story and the pictures suggested it might prove interesting, or at least amusing. We were right. It was an entertaining story and not at all predictable.

Next, we decided on "Puss-in-Boots". Thanks to Shrek, he was a familiar character, but none of us could really say that we knew his story. When the estate of a Miller was divided, all that was left for his youngest son to inherit was the family cat. "Bummer!" But wait... as it turns out, this kitty in his swanky boots was quite the clever puss and managed to turn things around for the poor fellow. The boys were impressed.

After being pleasantly surprised with our first two selections, we decided to venture into princess territory with Cinderella ("Ew!"). If you are not familiar with the true story of how Cindy hooked up with her prince, let me tell you it is not for sissies. Many parts of the story are similar, like the stepsisters big ugly feet not fitting into Cindy's little slippers. What I didn't know was that, at their mother's suggestion, one sister cut off both of her big toes and the other cut off both of her heels, so that their feet would fit into the shoes. It was all the blood leaking out of their shoes that tipped the prince off each time that he had the wrong girl.

Much to our surprise, the boys thought the story of Cinderella was kind of... "Awesome!" Ew.

 

*My brother's school has an Amazon Online Store with prescreened book recommendations for children. If you end up buying anything through these links, his school gets a percentage of the sale from Amazon, although you don't have to pay any more than you normally would for the item. I, on the other hand, get nothing for mentioning this book, or my brother's school, or the school's store. I just wanted to share a good book with you and tell you how I found it.