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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Langdon Hall was elegant and relaxing on Thursday. Many thanks to my mom-in-law for giving Jeff and me this gift last Christmas! By coincidence, we ran into Larkin and Chris Boland when we arrived, a couple we've known for a long time (Larkin's mother gave her that name because she liked Jeff's sister's name). Chris owns The Tasting Rooms restaurant in Toronto.

Our room had a wonderfully deep tub (I'm a sucker for baths, did I mention?), so one of the first things I did was to fill it up, add some of the Penhaligon mineral bath salts provided, and soak for about half an hour. After dinner, Jeff and I read by the fireplace. I finished Karen Cushman's Matilda Bone in one sitting. I -love- doing that.

I didn't like Matilda Bone nearly as much as The Midwife's Apprentice, but still enjoyed it (thanks to Ruth for lending this to me!). Learned more interesting facts about medieval England. My main problem with the story was that I found the protagonist a tad too weak and whiny, though she did buck up in the end.

After wandering through some of the hiking trails on the 200-acre property, Jeff and I packed up and set off for Windsor to visit with his brother and family. Slept during most of the drive. Those who know me well will tease me about my tendency to fall asleep very quickly in a car. I developed the habit early in my childhood because of my susceptibility to motion sickness (I can't even watch Jeff play Quake on the computer without feeling queasy).

We got a tour of Case's and Debbie's house, which was huge (at least compared to our apartment). I kept getting lost while I was there, not remembering which hallway had which bathroom, etc. I drooled over all the rooms and cupboards (I tend to see all rooms as potential bookshelf and book storage space), despaired in the children's playroom (those kids have every toy on the market! what on earth am I going to get them for Christmas??).

I enjoyed getting to know my nephew Garrison and niece Olivia better over the weekend. Jeff and I tend not to see them nearly as often as we see Sara and Annie. Garrison obviously adores his older sister, and follows her around everywhere. My heart melts when he toddles over with a book, contentedly settling himself in my lap.

I was quite tickled by Olivia's enthusiasm for singing (inherited from her mom, I suspect). Not only can she sing reliably on key and remember all the words, but she'll put in all the vocal expression and physical choreography associated with the song. That girl belongs on stage. :-)

While doing some test online surfing from a laptop he was helping to set up, Jeff discovered a flamewar in progress in my Waiting For Frodo message boards. Apparently several people (mainly one person) had been posting unflattering comments about J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter books, and some of the Harry Potter fans fought back.

I shut down the boards and switched to a UBB equivalent where I had control over who could and couldn't post. Have to confess, though, I was pretty disappointed. I mean GEEZ...I felt like I was a junior kindergarten teacher sorting out a squabble over a toy. Especially hard to be patient with this sort of thing (bickering and namecalling over fictional comic strip characters fighting about other fictional characters) in the aftermath of Sept. 11th.

But enough ranting. Not a good way to start the morning.

Time to make myself a nice cup of cinnamon tea (thanks, Beckett!), put on a soul-soothing Kim Robertson CD, and do some writing. :-)


Experimental new comic by Scott Adams. Adams has posted 20 comics online, and invites feedback from readers.


- My niece Olivia.

- My nephew Garrison.

- Case's Corvette.

- Part of one of the children's playroom areas, which I estimate was about three times as large as my home office. :-)

Today's Poll: (Courtesy Jeff)

Are you planning on seeing the Harry Potter movie during normal work hours this Friday?

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