Heloise in the Chemistry Lab

I went home this weekend for a wedding (more about that to come) and I was ready to leave straight from work on Friday afternoon.  I had planned to run by Target on my way out of town, but my lovely mother went and picked up my needed item so that no extra stops were necessary.

Unfortunately, as I was packing I couldn’t locate my fingernail polish remover, so I figured I needed to stop on the way out of town anyway.  Wanting to get on the road, an extra fifteen minutes wasn’t exactly desirable (this will be funny whne you read an upcoming post), but when a girl has chipped fingernail polish, she doesn’t have much choice.

Unless she works at a college with a lab.

My friend Liza heard about my planned side trip and came up with a solution.  Why not use some lab grade Acetone?  It’s basically fingernail polish remover… right?

She asked our boss, our resident Smart man, if it would hurt (since there were lots of warning labels about how you shouldn’t handle it without gloves…)  He didn’t think it would hurt, but just in case he tested it on one of his own first.  When it appeared to be safe, I went at it!

Life is never dull with us.


Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

Or… just automobiles.

Yesterday I went to visit my friend Dan at his weekend gig, the Lane Motor Museum.  He had been telling me to visit the museum since I’ve moved down here, but yesterday was the first time I made it over there.  I wasn’t disappointed. What a fun little place!  It’s not so little, though — it’s the largest collection of European cars and motorcycles in the United States.

And it helped to have my own personal tour guide.  (I even got to go see the basement and the shop, too!  Shhh…)

There were several highlights, and I can’t even name them all because I don’t remember all their names.  But I’ll take a stab at a few:

They have a lot of Fiats on the floor right now, because Fiat is attempting to introduce the new 500 over here in America.  I love, love, love Cinquecentos, so I loved seeing both the 500s and all the other ones.  They’re so cute!

I wanted to stick him in my pocket and take him home.

Or maybe this guy too:

On the opposite side of the size spectrum, they have an enormous Army vehicle in the back — a 1959 LARC.  Next weekend they’re going to run stuff over with it, including a car.  It was enormous.

The Lane Motor Museum’s 1959 LARC-LX weighs in at 194,000 pounds and is one of the largest amphibious vehicles ever built by the U.S. Military. On Saturday, July 23rd it will be the highlight of the museum’s Summer CRUSH event when, at 2:00 pm, it attempts to crush a Pontiac 6000! Museum guests can participate by bringing items of their own to be crushed as long as the items don’t contain glass or any flammable or toxic substances!* Guests should be prepared to take home any crushed items as souvenirs.


The neat thing about the museum is that something like 90% of the cars are in working, running order.  So it’s not a museum of cars that are pretty to look at but may or may not work.  They have a really impressive shop where they fix the cars — sure, to make them look nice, but also so they run.  Sometimes it means manufacturing a part themselves for some car that probably hasn’t had a part made for it in 50 years.  They still take some of the cars out on the road, too.  So that’s pretty sweet.

They also have the world’s smallest production car, the 1965 Peel P50.  It’s basically a seat with a fiberglass body.  You can fit 43 of them in a two-car garage!  There’s no reverse because it’s has a scooter motor, so there’s a handle on the back and you just pick up the car and take it where you want it!

(Don’t mind my annoying voice on these videos.)

Dan started it (eventually… it has a sensitive clutch!) and then… away he went!

Dan let me sit in it, and then a cute little family had been watching him drive around, so he let them take turns sitting in it too.  When one of the women got out, the other woman quipped, “That’s probably the only time three people have been in that car.”  She was pregnant with twins! : )

one headlight!

I highly recommend a trip to the museum!  And who knows, if you go on a weekend and mention you know me, maybe you’ll be lucky to have your own personal tour guide, too!

Requiescat in pace

The world has lost a fine man today — one of the finest.

Warren H. Carroll, may the angels lead you into Paradise, may the martyrs greet you at your arrival and lead you into the holy city Jerusalem.

On a bittersweet day such as this, I’m reminded of what I was taught by Mr. O’Herron– a good friend of Dr. Carroll and a fellow warrior in the cause of authentic Catholic education-

“The world is better off when a good man dies.”

It’s far better for us to have great men and women praying for us on the other side of the thin veil.

So for Dr. Carroll, I raise a toast.  To a scholar, a warrior, a hero, a historian, and a keeper of truth and Catholic culture.

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

UPDATE:  This is how I’m planning on honoring the man tonight.  Run, don’t walk, to download these lectures.  I’ve made a nice little set that I listen to on my road trips home.  I highly recommend listening to him.  He makes history come alive.


Okay, so I said I wouldn’t be posting for awhile.  But it seems that after you’ve packed your apartment, moved in 95 degree weather, and now find yourself sitting in a new living room surrounded by boxes, the last thing you want to do is unpack.  And I’m too tired to do much of anything, so I’ll sit here and blog.

I have the best friends.  I guess everyone thinks that.  But I look at my friends and realize they’re a step beyond the usual “friend” — friends willing to go out and get a drink, friends that are full of advice when you need it, stuff like that.

My friends are the type that will make you dinner and bring it to your apartment while you’re attempting to pack, and then proceed to pack your entire kitchen for you.   They’re the type that will take you to the airport at 4 in the morning.  They’re the type that will get a moving truck for you and bring a friend and move you in 95 degree heat.  They’re incredible.

Sometimes I don’t know how to respond to friendship.  When I got off the phone just now with one of my “movers,” who was calling to say he’d come over again this weekend and help me with things if I needed anything, I almost burst into tears.  I’m so moved when I stop and think about the amazing people God has put in my life.

I went to a friend’s wedding back in May, and it was a good opportunity to stop and thank God for the friends He has given me.  The friend that got married was my roommate our freshman year in college.  Here we were, two girls who didn’t know each other, thrown together during one of the hardest transitions of life.  For the next nine months, we lived in the same tiny room in the midst of huge life lessons.   That was almost ten years ago, which is hard to believe.

How do you thank people who have made such a difference in your life?  Or who so selfishly give of their time to help you when you need it most?  The friend you’ve only really known for a few months, who offers to help you move, even though you had never dreamed of imposing upon him?  And then after he helps you move, he goes to the hardware store for you to buy a steel rod for your door to make sure the sliding door is secure?  All without being asked?  

As I was writing this, I was interrupted by a phone call from another friend, who invited me to come over to her place for dinner!  Proving, once again, that I have the best friends in the world.

And now I’m going to bed.  Unpacking can start tomorrow.

see you in a few-

Sorry I haven’t posted much.  It’s been a little stressful on this side, and I’d rather only post when life is full of butterflies and fun times. : )

There have been some fun moments over the past week– my sister and parents came down and we had dinner together in my messy apartment, and I always love time with the fam; tonight was my weekly Bible study, and no matter how crazy and stressful a week can be, get me a podium and a room full of students, and I’m a happy gal.  And there will be fun times to come — a friend is getting married next weekend and I get to sing for the wedding — but for now, I just ask for your prayers and I’ll see you on the other side of the next few days!

feels like…

It was hot today.  It was that oppressive heat and humidity that makes it hard to breathe.  I’m thankful I work in air conditioning.

When I got in my (super) hot car after work, I saw that the temperature registered 106.  That isn’t too unusual, with the car sitting out in the sun, so I waited on my drive home for it to tick down to the real temperature.

102.  104.  102.  100.

And it stayed there.

It got up to 103 today.  Lovely.  As I type this- at 9:00 at night- it’s 89 degrees and, according to weather.com, feels like… 102.

And yet the crazy kids from the apartment below me are still running up and down the apartment stairs, past my door, and through the parking lots screaming.

Only a few days left before the move…

we don’t say that.

Generally, when I title a post this and tag a post with that phrase, I’ve overheard something particularly offensive to the English language, like “liberry” or some atrocious use of grammar.

But what I just overheard here at Panera is offensive and atrocious for another reason.

A mother, arguing with her young son (age four?) just said, “You are going to bother me.  By your very presence.”

Ugh.  There’s an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach.  No child should be spoken to in that way.  I know I’m not a mother, and I know that mothers have hard moments every day where they lose their patience.  But no child deserves that treatment.  Perhaps that child didn’t hear his mother, or perhaps he will never remember her statement.

But maybe he will.  And even if it was spoken in impatience or as a result of a stressful day, that child is a beautiful gift to that mother.  He was given to her, by God, out of love.  Maybe somedays he’s a blessing in the form of a cross.  But he is never, ever a bother.

Please, mothers, think twice before you speak to your child in impatience and anger.  He will possibly carry your words with him forever.