Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Veeka becomes a TV hog

Sigh - I knew it had to happen but Veeka has now discovered a cartoon called "Noggin" (or maybe it's a channel - don't know) - anyway, she glues herself to this "pre-school channel" whenever she can. Must say it's nice to have something for her to do that allows me to relax over the paper after dinner instead of her threatening to scrawl red crayon on the walls if I am not paying her close enough attention. I think Noggin is pretty harmless but I've been aghast at some of the PG-13 stuff on teen channels only a few clicks away from Noggin.
We are fine - going through the yearly ritual of the social worker visit for Veeka's annual report to the Kazakh embassy on how splendidly she is doing two years into being my daughter. And yes, the court date was two years ago this week - Jan. 25. The photo you see attached to this is of Veeka dancing last month at a synagogue. Taken by the WTimes' Joseph Silverman, it shows Olivia Veronika as her perennially dancing self.
We woke up to snow falling out of the skies today but fortunately the daycare was operating. Mommy is working on yet another book in her spare time during this quiet time of the year when it's not all that desirable to be running about outside. Things are ho-hum: the cats went in for their annual check-ups; I am doing physical therapy for rotator cuff problems from lifting Veeka and I taped a show last week on CBN. Click here to see my video. Also appeared Sunday on Rabbi Lapin's show on KSFO-AM out of San Francisco. So, we're still pushing "Quitting Church." No word as to a second printing yet.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The era of naps endeth

I wanted to post my latest faith and family video that I did with Cheryl Wetzstein, a longtime friend and social issues reporter on the paper, that we taped last Wednesday. Heretofore I have been unable to copy and paste video to this blog and the photo is too small but this link works. You can also call up www.washingtontimes.com, then click on "videos" on the top right and scroll down til you see "Faith and Family."
She and I have had fun taping these things. As for everything else, nothing major - today was typical in that I was up four times last night to help Miss Veeka who gets these nasty croup attacks in the middle of the night. Fortunately I have a vaporizer steaming away by her bedside. The doctor's office said this is typical among kids under 5 that their airway passages are not developed all that well so they get blocked. Sooo, I was up a lot.
A babysitter spirited her away for several hours while I got some work done but once she was back, she refused to take a nap (this is happening more and more) and wanted to be amused all afternoon so my work came to a standstill. Couldn't go outside much as the weather is truly frigid and the pipes to my washer (which are in an outside wall) seem to have frozen.
One nice thing: I will be in a short segment on CBN (the Christian Broadcasting Network) this Friday at 4 pm. on one of their news shows. That tape may be replayed during the 700 Club as well. All this will help sell more books.
Veeka is coughing again so must go help her.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Another booksigning

This one was last Friday at the Tyson's Corner Barnes & Noble store where a lot of folks - about 30 - sat and listened to my lecture. Got some good questions too. Not bad for a Friday night I only sold 12 books, tho, which surprised me a bit considering how many people were listening in. A number of people were personal friends I managed to coax to come out (on what was a lovely moonlit night here) and some of them brought their friends which was gratifying. So that is my 3rd booksigning to date. The 2nd one in Seattle sold more books but that was a Christian bookstore with an evangelical constituency.
Today's photo is Oma with the little moppet sitting by the window in their Seattle-area living room. Yes, that is a lake in the background. Veeka talks about flying back to Oma and Opa all the time. Hmmmm. She is doing well. All the Christmas decorations are down and we are steeling ourselves for the Invasion of the Body Snatchers that will begin this weekend when the mobs pour into town for the inauguration. We who actually live here wondering just how we are going to get to work now that the Secret Service is closing down every road they can get their hands on.
Those of us in Maryland have it better than those poor Virginians who (this is not a joke) are being told they must WALK across one of the bridges if they even hope to get into town Jan. 19-20. Because all of the bridges over the Potomac - except for those underneath the Beltway - will be closed. Of course there is nowhere for most of these Virginians to park before they can walk and the metro that is supposed to transport everyone will probably completely break down from the weight of all the crowds. I really wanted to be out of town this weekend but was told by the folks at work that they really want me around as back-up.
Plus I am covering the prayer service the day after the inauguration but again, I cannot fathom as to how I will actually get to the National Cathedral that day as the closest metro stop is a half-hour walk away. And lugging a laptop along- WHY did I volunteer to cover this, I ask myself.
So currently I am doing about one article a day on some aspect of religion-and-the-inauguration which is not hard, really. Like today when a gay Episcopal bishop got invited to give one of invocations at a razzle-dazzle opening ceremony on Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial. Why do I have a funny feeling that Obama would love to re-stage the "I have a dream" speech atmosphere from what happened on those Memorial steps 45 years ago? Well, let's hope he's got great speech writers.
So anyway, watch my "belief blog" on the TWT web site and do a byline search daily to find my stuff (just type in "julia duin" in the search box and voila).

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Potty training

Yes, that's the big activity here. Veeka even wore "big girl" pants for a few hours today until - oops - she didn't anticipate a little accident. But at least the desire to do the right thing is there, especially when it's reinforced by candy.
Am sending along a photo of what she looks like all bundled up in her little Victorian coat and purple scarf. Very little news here other than I have a local book signing for "Quitting Church" at the Tyson's Corner Barnes & Noble this Friday evening. Am hoping we will sell out the 20 copies the store ordered. Wish I could say I was a big enough name that they'd order tons more but we are not at that stage yet.
I really have little to do for the inauguration except cover the interfaith service the morning after. Am doing everything I can to NOT be sent to an inaugural ball. Went four years ago and it was the most boring thing imaginable.
With all the holidays basically over, we're now in our Winter Slump time til the end of March. Which is good as I have lots of writing projects to complete.