upsaid_Apr-30-2004_Jul-05-2004

Upsaid journal entries and comments by user: cerise

Upsaid journal entries and comments by user: jpm14
(File created on: May 26 2008)
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There is a Scarlet Tanager feeding in the ripening blueberries. Jay says he doesn’t mind it. All birds he does mind eventually meet “Jay’s Shoot and Shave”. He watches out the bathroom window while he shaves, air rifle at hand, and does the burglers in from the window. Sometimes he runs outside to shoot. Redneck; my husband? I am astonished you would ask.

The Bluebirds got off their three fledglings. Hurray! We cleaned out the bird box Saturday PM. I hate maggots. Jay says that kind live on the bird manure, but I know from previous encounters that if those youngsters had not left when they did those nasty grey crawlies would have started eating them.

A few days ago Mr. R___ who lives up behind us showed us the skeleton of a long dead tom turkey. Spurs on the legs are the sure diagnostic of sex. Much to Jay’s chagrin I brought home the large skeletal head bones. Sue, the science teacher friend made noises yesterday that she might be interested in the whole skeleton. Feathers are still laying all askew. Coyotes probably got it in the late winter.

There still are turkeys hanging out in the woods. I found three feathers on a walk yesterday and two dusting holes. Two black and white striped wing and one bronzey back feathers. Also saw a half dozen salamanders under rocks near the slow trickling stream, picked up a small bright orange fading to white neck feather of some songbird, and was relieved that at least some of the Maidenhair ferns survived the onslaught of the six months logging that went on last fall and through the winter.

The Baltimore butterflies are hatching from chrysalises at a rapid pace. Isabelle caught six Saturday morning. We have one chrysalis I found on a morning walk. The empty caterpillar skin was an empty black hairy sock wadded up and left on top of the chrysalis which was attached to a grass stem. The chrysalis repeats the color theme of Baltimores: it is white with orange and black dotted rings. The 1 ½ inch butterflies themselves are black with orange and white patterns.

Carrots, beets, broccoli, chard, herbs, lettuces. Pea remnants. Beans soon. And flowers of all sorts all around. Where could you go to eat out that would surpass home this time of year?

Entry posted by jpm14 on July 05 2004 at 8:06 am
Highlighting one of my pet peeves—A Parable of Two Brothers
Once there was a family with two sons. The sons, as they grew, did not see eye-to-eye at all, and eventually came to blows, each one thinking he was right and the other wrong, of course. They could not even agree on what they were fighting each other about. Each called the other names. One accused the other of subterfuge. It was a vicious fight.

Both sons professed their love and obediance to their Father. Indeed, that same son that accused his brother of subterfuge said he loved his Father most; he accused his brother of just mouthing obediance, whereas he really was obedient. Both sons called for their Father to interceed and decide which one should win the heated argument. Father did so.

The loser has been complaining ever since that he really was, and remains, the one in the right; that he should have won the judgement; that he does not see why he has to lie down and accept the other brother as the winner. This is the same son who professed a better obediance to his Father than his brother, and who accused his brother of subterfuge.

It surely do make one wonder.

Entry posted by jpm14 on July 05 2004 at 8:05 am
Different Kind of Summer Roll
Flour tortillas slathered with cream cheese herb spread and rolled up around lettuce, tunafish, roasted red peppers. Cut in half.

Cream cheese herb spreads are made by grinding up fresh garlic cloves with herbs of your choice, a tad of salt and adding a package of cream cheese. I do it all in the faithful old Cuisinart.

Combinations with cream cheese so far:

1) garlic, roasted red pepper, a few leaves each of fresh parsley, sage, oregano, coriander, and one of the first small carrots

2) garlic, fresh basil and spinach (pesto cream cheese spread)

We have also eaten the first broccolis, beets and carrots. Sugar snap peas are almost done. I froze about 12 pints. Still harvesting spinach and the first lettuce transplants.

Entry posted by jpm14 on July 01 2004 at 9:07 am
Fear of Cerebral Explosion
My children would certainly subscribe to this theory discussed in the education article below:

“The French author Marcel Pagnol humorously points this (popular and medical warnings of overwork) out in his memoirs of childhood at the turn of the (19th-20th) century. As a preschooler Pagnol accompanied his schoolmaster father to work and by quiet observation learned to read. When his mother found out, she was horrified that the process of precocious literacy might burst the brains of young Pagnol:

At dinner, my father affirmed that these were just ridiculous superstitions: I had not exerted myself in any way, I had learnt to read as a parrot learns to talk, and he had not even been aware of it. My mother was not convinced, and from time to time she would place her cool hand on my brow and ask: “You haven’t got a headache?” No, I had no headache, but until the age of six, I was no longer allowed to enter a classroom or open a book, for fear of a cerebral explosion. (Pagnol 1986, 31)

Although Pagnol looked back on the incident with twentieth century nostalgia, discussions of overlearning were quite serious in the nineteenth century.”

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 29 2004 at 8:39 am
One comment:
Yes. We do have that problem at our house. If you look closely, you can see the cerebral tissue stains on the walls. They occur with more frequency over the summer when the reading level increases. If the ceiling is carefully examined, tissue can also be found there from when Mom hits the roof.
Comment posted by Suz (ip: 205.188.117.17) on 06 / 29 / 2004 at 8:45 pm
Telling Tales over Time: Agriculture and Summer Vacation
Here is an interesting article about the myth of summer school holiday as an artifact of agricultural society.

Based on extensive research in the records of Ontario, Canada, it appears urbanization, not agriculture, was responsible for lengthening vacation.

A cogent paragraph:

“Despite the lack of any context, two things seem clear. First, the length of the summer holiday increased as the proportion of urban centers in Ontario increased. In 1850, with year-round schooling and a two-week midsummer midterm holiday, Canada West was a predominately rural collection of farmers and farming communities; by 1913, when the summer holidays had assumed their final form, Ontario had a predominately urban culture.

Secondly, the legislation shows a difference between urban and rural centers: rural authorities appear to have pursued an ultimately futile rearguard action against the summer holidays. Far from being the instigators of the holidays, it would appear that the farming communities were its chief opponents.”

Unhealthy environment and professional jealousy fueled the urban lengthening of vacation time.

“In 1860 the urban Brockville Petition included three key reasons for extending the urban summer holidays of common schools: high absenteeism during the hot and unhealthy summer months due to epidemics, vacations, and general truancy of students; the psychological well-being of students, that is, the need for an extended break after a year of intense study; and the perceived unfairness to common-school teachers of the difference between the year-round schooling of common schools and the much longer vacations of colleges, universities, and grammar schools.”

A rural county petition clearly illustrates the opposition of a good part of rural Ontario to the extension of the summer holidays. It notes that “the “midsummer Holidays as prescribed, are not suitable to the requirements of the rural districts” and that “a general feeling exists among the parents of our constituencies that the Vacations are too long.”

The key reason given was that of attendance: many students, because of age, long distance from school, and winter weather (“the storms of the long winter”) could not attend except in the summer. Thus, the summer holidays, far from being a boon, eliminated the best time that rural students could attend school “as regards time and weather.”

The article goes on the show that Canada followed the USA in how they ran their schools. In 1840, when the bulk of the population in both countries was rural US and Canadian schools were essentially year round with several week(s) long breaks.

Then, “As people left the farms for the larger urban areas, concerns developed about overcrowded conditions, potential health problems, and the propensity for idle working class youth to become involved in a life of crime or at the least to become indigent citizens.

On the economic side, urban youngsters formed a cheap labor pool—child exploitation became a serious problem for social reformers who believed that children deserved to have a childhood. Others saw such a pool as a threat to adult employment since in many instances children and adults might compete for the same jobs.

During the latter half of the nineteenth century, schools were seen as places to ameliorate many of these concerns. This was a harbinger: the use of the school system as an institution to ameliorate social problems.

Other interesting quotes:

“More modern research has shown the powerful relationship between economics and nineteenth century school attendance.” No kidding!

” initially North America began with two distinctly different school clocks. The rural calendar was influenced by a farm clock very different from the urban work clocks. The family was very much the center of control, with the well-being of the family farm the responsibility of all family members, including children. The ideology of liberalism was dominant, with the emphasis on individual freedom and local control. Parents exercised full control over school attendance, and no infrastructure of police/truant officers was deemed necessary to enforce attendance because that was a parental responsibility.”

Lots more in the article: a whole section on various societal “clocks” that began running our lives: urban, rural, work, school, virtual, leisure.

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 29 2004 at 8:29 am
2 comments:
Does this mean that you won’t be taking a summer vacation and would like to start school again? I fear that you may have a cerebral explosion.
Comment posted by Suz (ip: 205.188.117.17) on 06 / 29 / 2004 at 8:40 PM


Suz’s website: http://journals.aol.com/momraupp/FlyingPigs/

You might also want to take a look at the Alternative View of Public Education link to the side of this blog.
Comment posted by Herself (ip: 128.253.49.98) on 06 / 29 / 2004 at 8:41 AM

Herself’s E-mail: jpm14@cornell.edu

Herself’s website: http://upsaid.com/jpm14

The End
Someone who now has installed RSS feeds on her blog will be moving away to become an alien soon. A Romulan! Little did you know it could be done, but here in the Fingerlakes we seem to specialize in outlandishness. The last bash, a wake of sorts before she transmogrifies, will be Saturday PM here.

Tentative menu: -Barbequed chicken using the famous Cornell sauce

-rolls

– green salad with mixed normal and odd herbs (see below).

– pineapple sage couscous; using the herb, pineapple sage

– dessert by Petra (!)

– side dish to be announced

– summer rolls (if my act is together) with Sora’s dips

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 24 2004 at 9:29 pm
3 comments:
Hmm. I suppose I could bring Blue Beverages, simulating
Comment posted by anja (ip: 24.59.111.10) on 06 / 24 / 2004 at 10:24 PM


anja’s website: http://upsaid.com/origamifreak

Wish I could bring a platter of Salt Lick BBQ–it’s not Romulan, but is universally accepted.

Anja, happiness in your new home! I hope the party hosts still get to see you often.

Comment posted by Jeni (ip: 4.167.26.234) on 06 / 25 / 2004 at 12:59 PM

Jeni’s E-mail: rcjlmartens@msn.com

The side dish is announced…………………….
Something noodly and hot, with cheese.
Ramin Romulan Noodles?
Comment posted by Suz (ip: 152.163.253.101) on 06 / 26 / 2004 at 10:53 AM
Packing it in
Jay, throwing out packing material I have kept around for too long a time:

“I may not have friends in high places, but I have friends in the stockroom.”

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 24 2004 at 9:15 pm
Unusual herbs
Quillquina , Porophyllum ruderale, in the Aster family, is an herb we met and ate in Bolivia. It is widespread in Central and South America. The following is a quote from a letter from Bolivia written by a Peace corps volunteer to Seeds of Change, an organic seed company out in New Mexico which carries quillquina seed.

“This herb is used almost exclusively in the preparation of llarwa, a spicy salsa made with tomatoes, ground locoto pepper, salt, and quillquina.” Exactly how we ate it.

The one plant I have of it this year came from a friend’s greenhouse. I have grown it from seed other years. Many descriptions compare it to coriander. Quillquina is much more intense and complex, darker. It will make you sick if you eat too much at once.

Here is a specimen image of it from the NY Botanical Garden herbarium. Here is a poor picure of it fresh. Quillquina has dusky dark blue-green to purple oval leaves.

The other unusual herb I grow is <A href=”http://www-ang.kfunigraz.ac.at/~katzer/engl/generic_frame.html?Peri_fru.htm

l”>perilla which seems at least to have more descriptions on the web. The variety Sharon had, and I have now, is variegated red and purple.

What unusual herbs do you have in your garden?

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 24 2004 at 9:07 pm
Only Healthy Children for Father’s Day
<A href=”http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0767805712/102-8559102-

0958513?v=glance”>Gattaca now seems not far enough off in the future.

The New York Times has an article published on Father’s Day, of all times, about the “grass-roots eugenics” now occurring due to the availabillity of new tests for fetal disorders.

For later readers, when the article is pulled and you wish to read it, contact me. I will save a copy.

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 21 2004 at 8:50 am
One comment:
I posted my own rant at my site.
Comment posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) (ip: 65.170.128.61) on 06 / 22 / 2004 at 12:16 pm

Valerie (Kyriosity)’s E-mail: valerie [at] kyriosity [dot] com

Valerie (Kyriosity)’s website: http://kyriosity.com

High Holy Fish Day
Just in case you did not rise and shine at 5.30 this morning to rush out to the reservoir, please note that today was the first day of Bass Fishing!

You missed out. We caught some large mouth bass.

Jay caught three keepers: 13, 14, 15.5 inchers. And a couple perch.

I caught one 12.5 incher. And way too many suckers, which were thrown back with disgust.

The kids dangled their lines in the water for about 20 minutes then tiddled in the water, stones and sand the rest of the time.

The lunkers got away. Jay will have to go down on his lunch hour and invite them home.

He guesses the best fishing might be a week from now on a bright sunny morning when you can see the bass guarding their nests and incite them to bite by throwing worms on hooks into the nests.

In addition to fish I saw painted turtles, a deer which snorted and chuffed at me before leaving, heard vireos, saw an as yet by me unidentified little greenish yellow bird (a vireo? a warbler?), lots of maidenhair ferns, wild onion with pale purple flowers coming from little bulblets on their stemtops, and the separated wings of a yellow swallowtail butterfly which laid in the middle of the path–the remains of a birds’ breakfast.

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 19 2004 at 8:55 pm
Stepford
<A href=”http://journals.aol.com/momraupp/FlyingPigs/entries/507/AddComment?from=0

“>Suzanne and I went to see The Stepford Wives . I wish all my girlfriends could have gone with us. I have not seen a movie in a long time with so much silliiness, both intentional and unintentional. Glenn Close, Nicole Kidman and Bette Midler must have had such fun making this.

Yeah, I know the reviews are not great. But from where I am coming from this one was a hoot.

Pretend I am a barker on the midway:

“Hurry, hurry, hurry! Go and see it now!

Come see parody of modern woman, of woman 50 years ago, of prairie muffins, of marriage, and of men.

Such silly stupidity made for mere millions! ”

It was worth the matinee six bucks to ridicule ridiculousness, to mock mockery, to scorn scorners.

Then come home and bless your Maker you live in Reality.

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 19 2004 at 8:18 pm
IT IS ALL MY FAULT
A recent evening, Jay and I went to a local field on a main road that twenty five years ago grew a rotation of beans and corn. Since then succession has taken over where agriculture left off. Currently there are thousands upon thousands of 20 foot high young maple trees taking over from the ash trees before them.

I wanted poles for the morning glories and what we had was not tall enough for me.

So. Just after we entered the woods,

“Jay, a car has stopped by the truck.”

“No, why would they be interested in us? They must be just turning around.”

And indeed so it seemed. The car turned around and went away.

We cut three 15 foot maple poles then walked to the interior edge of the woods and looked at the field adjacent, discussing why this next field over was still grass and wild roses. As we returned to the poles I noticed another vehicle behind ours. And we had left the keys in the truck! Then I saw the red lights of a State Troop car. Hmm. We waited a few minutes about 40 feet inside the edge until he left.

In go the poles, saw and trimmer. In we go, and off. Just down the road, the trooper, going the opposite direction, turned around and came after us, lights on. A young trooper of small stature sidles up to Jay at the driver’s window.

Trooper: “Good evening. What were you doing in the woods?”

Us:”We were cutting poles for the morning glory vines to climb on.”

“Do you know who owns that land?”

“No. But it’s not posted.”

“Well, that doesn’t make any difference.”

“Excuse me, but Yes, it does!” (Insert rambling from Deborah about her family’s farm and posting it and how even posted liability is the farmer’s responsibility)

“Yes, I post my farm, too.”

“We have taken poles from this field before. Twenty years ago it used to be a bean field and it has grown up.”

“Really. Hmmm. Well, we got a call about two people running into the woods.”

“Running?” Deb to Jay: “Honey, did you run into the woods?

Jay: “I didn’t think so.”

“Well, if you can let me have you phone number…..”etc.

So he took all our info. I was ready to play the “My brother is a State Trooper ” card if necessary; but it was not. It was just weird. Plain weird.

Jay thinks someone saw us entering with him carrying the tools and thought he abducted me.

Suzanne thinks maybe someone thought we were growing pot in the woods.

Duh, there’s no light in the woods. But if I use that stuff maybe I would not notice. Or maybe I would cut a little opening to plant it in, or maybe…

maybe I should not have been so fussy about poles.

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 19 2004 at 7:56 pm
God’s Grace and Provision
We just returned from a quick trip to the farm to visit my parents. My Mom is not as well as she or I would wish.

In the daily paper there was the death notice:

Herbert E. Broadbooks

Herbert E. Broadbooks, 82, a retired dairy farmer of B___, died Saturday June 12, 2003 at United Memorial Medical Center in B___.

Mr. Broadbooks was born June 27, 1921, in Attica, a son of the late Cleveland and Charlotte Weimer Broadbooks. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church.

Survivors include his wife of 32 years, Adriane Casey Broadbooks of B___; ……

I am not yet 50. When I was an early teenager, Mr. Broadbooks was part of the South B___ Methodist Church where our family were also members. He was a quiet old bachelor farmer who ran a successful dairy farm, who took care of his invalid mother and brought her to church each Sunday. He was solemn, solitary, silent, a hard worker.

Adriane appeared. She was a vivacious, beautiful, older single woman whom my mother remembers being a teacher in a Christian school in Rochester. She was a city person. She was the first person I met who wore makeup! She had a funny name.

Mr. Broadbooks and Adriane started dating. This was a VERY BIG DEAL. I remember whispers of comments at church soaking through my adolescent fog on the order of “Who does he think he is, an old bachelor like him, dating?”, “She is just out for his money.” “It could never work, she is a city girl.” “What ARE they thinking!?”

Mr. Broadbooks and Adriane started teaching my Sunday school class. It was a turning point in my life, seeing them interact. The whispers were wrong. Old Mr. Broadbooks seemed happier than I had ever known he could possibly be. He actually spoke. And smiled. Adriane asked tough questions that made us think. She was beautiful. She smiled a lot, too. They loved and knew God, they wanted us to love and know God, and it was clear they loved each other.

They married, against all the naysayers–their Christian brethren. Mr. Broadbooks was 50 when he amrried Adriane. She moved to the farm. They took care of the cows and his mother together. The Broadbooks had a soiree in the living room of their lovely farm home where we had punch and listened to a young lady play the violin. That was the first time I had ever seen or heard someone play a violin. They had a party out in the garden with visitors of hers from the city who brought the fattest orange tiger cat I had ever seen. He was so fat all he could do was sit.

When Mr. Broadbooks’ mother died they sold the cattle and the farm and moved.

They had 32 years of married life together that started when Mr. Broadbooks was 50.

I am not 50 yet. I am married. What wonderful marvelous things may God yet do with me? Or you?

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 15 2004 at 3:40 pm
2 comments:
I am planning on it! (wonderful things, not marrying at 50)
Comment posted by Suz (ip: 64.12.117.17) on 06 / 15 / 2004 at 11:52 PM


Suz’s website: http://journals.aol.com/momraupp/FlyingPigs/

charming story. thanks for sharing.
Comment posted by Dana (ip: 69.40.87.120) on 06 / 18 / 2004 at 4:42 PM


Dana’s website: http://www.hiddenart.blogspot.com

Early Agricultural Decline in the Fingerlakes
A couple weeks ago I met S-S, a friend of about 30 years that I no longer see regularly, for lunch. We met in the foyer of the big bank downtown, and while I was waiting for her I perused a large old map of Tompkins County.

Down near the bottom where my head reached was a chart that gave the change in numbers from 1845 – 1850 for a numerous variety of agricultural products. This chart indicated by the numbers that agriculture started declining in New York much earlier than I had presumed.

There was a 2-10 percent decline in the following between 1845-1850 in Tompkins county:

The number of these animals:

horses

cows

oxen

sheep

The acreage of these crops grown:

buckwheat

potatoes

peas and beans

flax for seed

teasle

The pounds produced of:

butter and cheese

domestic fabrics (linen and wool yardage are my best guesses)

wool

Also acreage of flax grown (for fiber) dropped in these five years from 55,000 acres to 16,500. That is a loss of 70% of the acreage. Wheat and corn increased, but not enough to make up for the overall acreage loss.

The chart also highlights the change from a high level of diversity in what was grown agriculturally to much less diverse plantings characteristic of agriculture today.

These were the years of the Great Irish Potato famine. What does that have to do with this county? Probably nothing.

A mystery to work on.

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 15 2004 at 1:11 pm
One comment:
Was the railroad in place yet, to bring those goods from the west or the south?
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: 4.166.129.153) on 06 / 15 / 2004 at 10:33 pm

Jeni’s E-mail: rcjlmartens@msn.com

Summer Rolls
Sora made summer rolls when our girls were in a little Keepers group together and we had a three family picnic celebrating their accomplishments. I have thought about those yummy summer rolls ever since and finally a month or so ago hunted down rice spring roll skins.

After much thinking, I used seasoned sushi rice, cooked some frozen shrimp bought months ago, sliced strips off the leftover roast chicken, picked spinach leaves. These formed the basis for most of the spring rolls. Four shrimp, a couple strips of chicken, one quarter cup seasoned rice, three or four spinach leaves.

Isabelle liked soaking the round skins putting on the fillings and rolling them up.

A couple for me had mint leaves and cilantro in them as well. They were the best!

The sauces I came up with were not as good as Sora’s, which used limes. I had lemons. And soy sauce and peanut butter. And cilantro. And some fish sauce.

I highly recommend these as a relatively easy and fillling meal.

Sora, do you make summer rolls anymore?

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 12 2004 at 4:43 pm
3 comments:
I love those… used to make them with shredded carrots and beansprouts and cold rice noodles.

Here’s a traditional recipe for them:
http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/getrecipe.zsp?id=20445
Another recipe at the same site recommends krab meat, which might also be good…

Here’s a Nuoc Cham recipe:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 limes, juice of

Others add rice vinegar in place of the lime juice.

Comment posted by anja (ip: 24.59.111.10) on 06 / 13 / 2004 at 4:33 PM


anja’s website: http://upsaid.com/origamifreak

I haven’t made them in a long time, but they are a great cold summer meal. I recently bought smaller (5-inch diameter) rice paper rounds with the idea of making tiny, appetizer sized summer rolls for party food but I haven’t had occasion to use them yet.

I like to put strips of grilled or baked tofu in them. And definitely cilantro, on the bottom of the roll so it shows through the skin. The kids like very plain fillings with peanut sauce (peanut butter, lime juice, garlic, sugar, tamari, coconut milk if I’ve got it, proportions: to taste); I like both peanut sauce and the lime-cilantro sauce Deb mentions:
1 Tbs garlic
1 bunch cleaned cilantro
1/3 cup lime juice, fresh squeezed
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp hot chile sauce or to taste
(Throw all in food processor. Leftover sauce yummy on rice.)

Comment posted by Sora (ip: 216.68.41.14) on 06 / 13 / 2004 at 7:39 PM
Baked tofu.

That sounds really good. I’ve grilled it before, but never tried baking it; It just never occurred to me.

Thanks for the idea!

Comment posted by anja (ip: 24.59.111.10) on 06 / 14 / 2004 at 9:58 AM


anja’s website: http://upsaid.com/origamifreak

Whew
In addition to the every day life of wife, mom, teacher, daughter this week I had a different role each evening.

Monday: Hostess for friends who came to supper. What fun!

Tuesday: Secretary for the Friends of the Library Board meeting. Not so much fun.

Wednesday: Missions committee meeting member. Ditto.

Thursday: Spectator with my family at Sermon on the Mount . This was fascinating. The gentleman was an expert animal handler and could quote scripture at a pace I could barely keep up with while simultaneously dealing with a horse needing specialized work to retrain it. And the scriptures and his discussion were all related to what he was trying to get at with the horse, as well as relating directly to God training us.

Friday: The whole familye were guests at a party celebrating the publishing of the Zhuang language dictionary. We had a Southern Chinese barbeque which means we grilled our own meat, corn and tofu after wiping it with either oil, beer, chinese BBQ sauce or (can not remember) and then brushing on either powdered cumin or barbeque spice powder. Then we played Chinese word games. Very fun.

Today I went just for a while to the Black Sheep Handspinning Guild meeting, primarily to see Sharon’s garden. My family went to Dryden’s Dairy days where Isaac, in his Boy Scout role, helped run a game involving a tipsy rope ladder. Tonight I am supposed to go see a missionary who has come into town for a quick visit. But I might not. I want to go to bed on time for one night.

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 12 2004 at 4:10 pm
Flying Things
Early this week while working in the vegetable garden I picked up a small bright yellow fly with green eyes. Its’ wings made the aeronautical jet-like triangle of deer fly wings. But it was bright yellow! and smaller. It was kept captive in a glass covered with plastic wrap until it died a few days later. I spent some time trying to key it out. My best guess is it was some kind of deer fly.

Here I pause to wonder if my first attampt at HTML code will actually work?

That same day Isabelle and I captured two horse flies and a small wasp. The horse flies buzzed around madly, breaking their wings and were dead by the next morning. We let the small wasp go. Carnivorous insects with a taste for other insects who prey on my plants are our friends

There are butterflies,moths, wasps, dragon flies and now lightening bugs galore during the days and evenings. Coming home from a meeting in the dark the tall grass field up the hill behind the house was filled with flashes of yellow-green light as if thousands of small silent ships were signalling to each other on a dark sea.

Julie and I were taking a turn about the gardens one evening when we walked into a cloud of small grey-tan moths. They rose in drifts from the ground and the low boughs of the spruces over several dozen yards. Beyond exclamation at the singularity of the event, we were hesitant to speak, they were so thick in the air about us.

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 12 2004 at 11:17 am
Galoshians
A book of the Bible Isabelle reads on rainy days.
Entry posted by jpm14 on June 11 2004 at 10:01 am
One comment:
Petra’s favorite was Thistlelonians, a botanical book of the Bible.
Comment posted by Suz (ip: 64.12.117.17) on 06 / 11 / 2004 at 5:04 pm


Suz’s website: http://journals.aol.com/momraupp/FlyingPigs/

Venus Transit movie
Here is a download of a very interesting short film by Rob West of Venus’ transit across the face of the sun.

From it we got a great true impression of how very large the sun is compared to the planets which circle her.

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 11 2004 at 9:55 am
2 comments:
Actually Venus should look a bit larger on Rob’s movie than it is, relative to the sun, because it’s closer – after all, the moon isn’t bigger than the sun, but it can block it out in an eclipse, which this was, on a different scale…

Having said that, though, the relative sizes of the two objects didn’t look that far off. Here’s a website that shows the relative sizes of the planets and sun: http://www.sciencemonster.com/planets.html

Comment posted by anja (ip: 24.59.111.10) on 06 / 11 / 2004 at 8:53 PM
Hmm. That link didn’t work. We’ll try again: http://www.sciencemonster.com/planets.html

http://www.sciencemonster.com/planets.html

Comment posted by (ip: 24.59.111.10) on 06 / 11 / 2004 at 8:54 PM
Best Book Buyer Award for the Spring Sale
goes to a man from several states away who bought over 1,400 books at $.25 apiece and over 2,000 books at $1.00 per bag.

His goal was to buy and pack in his vehicle (with the help of his wife and children) at least 1,000 books per hour.

What, you may be wondering, will he be doing with so prodigious a quantity of reading materials?

Why, my dears, he will crate them and ship them to China on a boat. There they will be bound in leather with gold printing on the cover and gold on the page edges before being shipped back to the States in about seven months time. He will then sell them for $10.00 apiece to interior decorators who in turn will charge $15.00-18.00 a volume to their clients who use them as a high end wallpaper to fill the shelves of their luxuriant libraries which they do not use because they do not read. The clients make money and spend it to look as if they are educated and interesting.

Certain authors are verboten: No Mitchener. Copyrights are carefully perused and he tries to buy books printed prior to 1975.

There, the home business idea for the day.

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 09 2004 at 8:14 am
One comment:
I would be more impressed if they were being sent somewhere for people to actually READ…
Comment posted by anja (ip: 24.59.97.237) on 06 / 09 / 2004 at 10:09 am
DEAD JOURNAL
I took a walk along the road yesterday and the children imposed themselves on me to come along.

Isabelle found and picked up a few dead bumblebees and found several that were only dazed, but still alive.

On the way back, as we found more things squashed by unobservant drivers she thought perhaps we should keep a dead journal. It would list everything both dead and alive we see as a way to keep track of just what is going on around here.

Herewith, our first list:

DEAD

1 snake, probably garter; blackish with a greenish stripe down its back; 13-15 inches long

2 smallish birds, type indeterminate due to flatness

3 bumblebees

ALIVE

3-4 dazed but living bumblebees

2 snakes whose tails we saw slithering away

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 07 2004 at 7:24 am
4 comments:
Our dead journal would have cicadas in it. Lots and lots of them.
Comment posted by Sora (ip: 216.68.44.217) on 06 / 07 / 2004 at 8:59 PM
Oh, yum, yum, Sora! Liv and Andrew and a neighbor boy, Will, brought me a mega-sized “horned beetle” in a bucket this afternoon. It was the size of a prune plum, of a medium chicken egg. It was dead, but Galen, glimpsing its form through the translucent bucket, ran out of the room and wouldn’t come back to look at it.

Besides the beetle, the Martens Dead Journal would contain about 10 armadillos (road kill), lots of the small deer that overrun Austin like they do Cayuga Heights and Dryden, and mockingbirds. For some reason, we see mockingbirds in the street. They seem to be more prone to getting hit by cars than other birds around here. Even when “flat” like the unidentified little birds along West Dryden Road, they are easy to identify because their feathers have a wide, white stripe. (Okay, Deb, tell me kindly if I’ve got the wrong bird.)

Here’s a Dead Journal entry that turned into a Live Journal entry. My sis up in Colorado, and her family, brought a baby bird in after a rain/snow storm a few weeks ago. Its mother had abandoned the nest in the storm. The temp was in the 30s. The bird had transparent skin, no feathers, just hatched. It was ice cold and limp. They looked at its organs through the skin. My brother in law put it under a heat lamp, just for the heck of it, and its heart started beating. They raised it (60 worms a day, for a couple of weeks), released it, and now it lives in the greenbelt behind their house. It comes and SITS ON MY SISTER’S SHOULDER when she weeds the garden! It sits on the table, on their deck, and snacks with them at dinner time. When my nephew is on the swing set, the robin hangs out on the bar with him. Have you ever?

Comment posted by Jeni (ip: 4.167.29.225) on 06 / 08 / 2004 at 12:36 AM

Jeni’s E-mail: rcjlmartens@msn.com

Wow! That’s quite the story.
Comment posted by Sora (ip: 216.68.14.199) on 06 / 08 / 2004 at 12:47 PM


Sora’s website: http://www.upsaid.com/parah

Wow Jeni!
Have you or Lisa read Little Bear’s Visit (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0060242663/102-8559102-0958513?v=glance
by else Homelund Minarik?

One of the stories in the book is Grandmother telling about saving a baby robin and raising it and setting it free.

Lisa’s tale reminds me of it.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: 128.253.49.138) on 06 / 08 / 2004 at 2:16 PM

Herself’s E-mail: jpm14@cornell.edu

Herself’s website: http://upsaid.com/jpm14

Why I like this time of year
This morning as the sun was rising reddy orange the cedar waxwings were already snacking in the Juneberry, the bluebird father sat considering smack on the middle of the black metal clematis arch, the foxgloves making a pink ruffled hem below, and the bluejay snatched a snack from the compost and flew back by sweeps to the tall western spruce where I surmise his fledglings are.

We saw one fledgling Saturday as it sat dour and serious looking on the lowest white pine branch. Not much tail and a chubby, downy aspect.

The “loud, buzzy bzeep!” call rising repeatedly from the western wet grass field both Jay and Audubon think was an American Woodcock.

Pounce, the rascal, has been caught twice in the ditch by the road up to his knees in water, his brown striped fur face poking up at me from the mint and touch-me-nots. He also came running _FROM ACROSS THE ROAD_ one morning. How long has that been going on? It must be circumstantial that Isaac and Isabelle had brought news of the neighbor cat’s pregnancy the day before, mus’nt it? Mrs. B. is “certain” the wild black and white tom was at fault.

So this morning, to ease my mind, Zeke, Pounce and I walked north through the wet green sea of tall grass and flowering weeds to the laneway. On the way we saw two deer beds, one normal doe-sized and one so small it appears she brought that small printed fawn of hers down to introduce it to our garden. Jay and I saw the tiny toe tracks in the soil of the laneway the other day.

While Zeke was snuffily enjoying a smorgasbord of smells, Pounce alternately waited to practice his name on him and chewed grass blades. The wood thrush used his alternate song, a sharp pit-pit-pit, as he flew up the hedgerow keeping an angry eye on the cat.

Zeke all wet and black looking, very much like a wolf except for his pronounced limp and high curled tail, had to be called back. He and I left Pounce up in the hedgerow and came home through the wet again to make oatmeal for breakfasts; Steel cut oats from Sauders, an Amish grocery up in Seneca Falls.

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 07 2004 at 7:12 am
Food and Flowers
Since, unlike friends in warmer climes, temperatures have risen no higher than 70 recently we have had warm suppers.

I have been buying half and half instead of butter since the price per pound is almost more than I can bear to pay. Thank heaven at least some of the increased price is going to dairy farmers!

Last night was garden salad and fresh spinach quiche with smoked Marsden cheese, fresh thyme and sage. Monday we had warm couscous salad with pineapple sage in it. Other days: tuna noodle casserole; leftovers of grilled lamb and potatoes; tomato rice.

Among the peonies in bloom is Mrs. FDR . This is her second year and the pale pink blooms are approaching the big bowl shape she is renowned for. The scent is great. A peony I bought at a garage sale in Batavia years ago finally bloomed. It was sold as a dark rose red. It has bloomed with medium warm pink guard petals with paler pink narrow center, sort of like this one , but not a bomb type center. Ah well. It is pretty.

Jay graciously allowed and then did the work putting in eye screws in his newly repaired woodwork on the garage so I could put up netting for the Ville de Lyon to climb on. It has the first two blooms. Unfortunately the netting should have been put up six weeks ago so we will see how much of it I am able to train this year.

The foxgloves are blooming strongly. Amsonia, lupines, thalictrum, red Papaver bracteatum, iris, siberian iris, and the dear little saxigrage bloom. The first rose buds on the north bank above the garden were snoppered off by the wretched deer, but seconds are showing up now.

The Blue Jay nest on a branch extending out over the driveway in the White Pine holds at least two nestlings who are increasingly more exuberant in their activities. The parents really dislike Pounce and yell and fly at him. He will have to be chaperoned when the birds fledge.

Yesterday Pounce climbed a good thirty feet into a spruce attempting to snag a wren or creeper who has taken up residence in a small hollowed out log bird house up placed up high in another spruce. The silly then sat up high meowing for someone to help him down. We stood at the bottom and directed him to the branches he jump down to next. Eventually he walked out to the end of the lowest branch and onto my shoulder, purring.

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 04 2004 at 10:11 am
“Don’t Put That On Your Blog!”
Quoth Isabelle as she read my mind while I was scratching her back and she said she wished she had extra hands coming out the back of her head and lower back so she could itch herself whenever she wished.

She relented a moment later.

___

As I was driving chidren to a class, young Aaron asked wistfully

“How often do you go fishing, Mrs. M? I bet you get to go fishing three times a week.”

Herself: “Well, actually Aaron, the day you came over and we had caught all those catfish was the first time I went this year.”

Aaron eyes me sceptically.

Herself: “Mr. M probably DOES go fishing three times a week. He fishes on his lunch hour.”

Via Jay after hearing the above:

The catfish catching day Jay asked Aaron:

“Do you want to cut off the fish’s head with a knife?”

Aaron: “Ooh, yes please!”

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 03 2004 at 4:13 pm
Fun Fur
Rain and green continue.

Last week the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation sent us a letter telling us we will need to take a test in July in order to remain nuisance wildlife control persons; NWCO’s in their parlance. And pay a yearly $50.00 fee! This _is_ New York.

Yesterday we each received large packets containing 3 1/2 pound notebooks on “Best Practices for Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators, A Training Manual”. Six chapters, a few appendices. The first three chapters, which I read, are all definitions, regulations, rules, beaurocracy. My favorite. Not.

Jay and I did not purposely set out to become enmeshed in governmental gears.

We took a trapping class for fun in our early married years and, for fun, used to trap furs to sell. The money we made financed our vacation times. We caught mostly raccoon, a few fox, mink, muskrat. Back in the late 80’s we could get $30-35 for a large prime raccoon hide, up to $40 for a good fox, $3 for a muskrat. And I ran a rather extensive trapline around our very old home for several years. One or two years I caught over 75 mice, moles, voles, shrews on the 7-10 mousetraps I set late fall to early winter.

The largest mink we sold was a great huge male which had been hit by a car. While I was skinning it, the knife nicked a scent gland and a thin stream of musk hit me on the chin. Thank goodness a stiff wind was blowing so I could turn into it while I ran,screeching and eyes streaming, for the house. Think skunk on steroids.

Then, through the nineties, Cornell and subsequently a professor privately were setting up woodchuck colonies. Woodchucks are used in hepatitis research as their liver systems, I have been told, most nearly resemble man’s. The ones born in captivity are also shipped for such research to other countries. Think of the paperwork and money involved in that!

We got in on the ground floor,as it were, live trapping pregnant females early in the spring. The year I returned home from Bolivia in early March with Isaac I carried him on my back while I hunted and trapped. He was so small at two years old it was rather easily done. Our dog Boomer, an intelligent white spaniel mix, and I once worked together and caught a woodchuck by hand and mouth.

In a flat fallow pasture there were several promising holes where I had set traps. When we arrived to check them one day there was a woodchuck feeding out away from any holes. Boomer went and cut it off from returning and engaged the chuck. He was great at that sort of thing and my only fear was he would kill it before I reached him. With Isaac on my back I closed in. The chuck grabbed onto Boomer, Boomer grabbed onto the chuck. Around and around we went and I finally got hold of the woodchuck’s tail and persuaded Boomer to let go. Woodchuck can not bite you if you hold them by the tail, but they are awfully heavy and put you off your balance. Eventually I got the woodchuck to let go also and after a scary time got it into a cage. Isaac was screaming and crying; I was speaking softly to him telling him all was just ducky. I think the sound of dog and woodchuck going at it scared him most. Lots of snarling, growling, barking, teeth chattering.

That spring I also shot two turkeys. Isaac remained in the backpack, which was leaned against a tree, while Jay crouched next to it, feeding Isaac cookies to keep him quiet while I hunted.

That woodchuck trapping naturally mutated into helping people who had woodchuck problems around their homes and gardens. Or skunks. Or squirrels in their attics.

And then NY State decide there was a need for nuisance wildlife people and the health department and the DEC and the animal shelter and Extension put us on a list of “people one can call if you are having trouble with wildlife”.

As that gradually happened raw fur prices here became negligible due first to a European boycott of US fur and secondly, the opening of the Soviet Union with its vast fur resources, both wild and farmed.

Which finds us today answering phone calls from people convinced a water moccasin is in the ditch behind their home or a wolf is chasing their wife or a beaver is destroying their yard by harvesting all the trees. “The DEC gave me your name. I have the necessary permits. Please call me!”

Entry posted by jpm14 on June 02 2004 at 8:14 am
One comment:
Amazing how life evolves! ….and then the bureaucracy steps in to complicate everything……Check out the experience I had today!! Grrrrrrrrrrr
Comment posted by Suz (ip: 152.163.253.101) on 06 / 02 / 2004 at 4:34 pm


Suz’s website: http://journals.aol.com/momraupp/FlyingPigs/

Global Warming…
Here is some interesting news on a just discovered Antarctic volcano .

In a different way we have come to expect hearing of it, global warming might lead to an Ice age, if this gent is correct. He thinks underwater volcanos are raising seawater temperatures which will lead to an ice age.

I wonder if he invested heavily in the new film “The Day After Tomorrow”?

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 31 2004 at 7:26 pm
N.B.: Proverb, not Byword
You are Proverbs
You are Proverbs.

Which book of the Bible are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Suzanne started this.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 29 2004 at 2:16 pm
A Beginning and an End
This morning at 7.45 I was at my station reviewing procedures for credit purchases. The line of potential credit card users stretched almost around the end of the block. Eight AM the doors opened on the Spring Book Sale.

In the course of the next two hours about 85-90 people used credit cards to buy books. Monte and I took credit cards. Three other people took cash and checks. The buyers of books to re-sell are the ones who either come through the line three or four times; if they come through once, they have a helper, a hand cart and over a dozen boxes full of books.

Any book, tape, Cd, game is only $2.00 today. $1.00 tomorrow, and so on down to ten cents a piece or $1.00 per bag the last few hours of the last day. Come get good books, cheap!

I bought copies of O’Brian’s Master and Commander and The Surgeon’s Mate, two Lingua Latinas to use with Meg, my first year Latin student, good chemistry and biology texts to use as references, a reference book of shells so we can for a science project classify a large box of shells we inherited from my Aunt Adaline, a copy of Ishi, Last of His Tribe, and a project book of things to make to pretend you are an American Indian. After perusing that one, my guess is our family does better than the book, seeing we have real feathers and bones, hides, plants, etc…

Jay and Isaac marched in the Memorial Day Parade in Dryden with the Boy Scouts. Jay came home in a rush in the truck as I was newly home and weeding lettuce: “Jump in, Priscilla called this morning and I held them off getting Sparks until you got home from the sale. Everyone is waiting.”

Indeed they were. The grass and I coaxed Sparks out of the pasture and the gent whose trailer it is, and who raises Haflingers, coaxed him into the trailer. Such a good boy. He was not too scared, interested really in all the new things going on. But as soon as he was roped and well shut in, Cherry guessed what was afoot and started high wild screams for her son. He asnswered until the truck and trailer started rolling. He had something else to think on then. Cherry raced around, bugling, screaming. Even a partial bale of hay only slowed down her concern.

Sparks will be two years old June first. He was born at 3.30 in the morning with all the children and their parents in attendance. Sigh.

He is going to a great family who seem to know what they are doing and have the facilities and time to train him. It has been (mostly) a blessing of an adventure from the idea of breeding Cherry to his send-off.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 29 2004 at 1:56 pm
Fish and Fowl
Yesterday was Jay’s day off. We went fishing down on Fall Creek below the falls in a quiet pool area “a sweet spot”, Jay says, where we caught a mess of catfish similar to one Jay and a a co-worker had caught two days before, when the water looked about the same. Rain and time in the interim had brought the water back to its high, slightly green rather than purely muddy cast.

Both children caught a catfish after snags and a break. I caught lots of sunfish, some of which were big enough to come home; four rock bass and five catfish. Jay would say ” this one feels like a catfish”. One or two times in four he was right and caught fish after fish, mostly cats.

There was a dead bloated carcass up by the falls which Jay determined from its front claws and hind webbed feet to be a beaver. The thing was swollen up, had no hair and smelled to high heaven. Isabelle was fascinated with it and the water beetles she sought. Isaac used the copious rocks to build a large city/fortress complex.

Rain totals more than four inches in the past week. Two more storms came through last night and dumped 0.7″.

Jay grilled the wild turkey breast and legs that had marinated in Italian salad dressing for a couple days. He shot a jake late last week– on his lunch hour–which is the explaination for his hasty method of dressing the bird. The wood smokiness is just what the tasty wild flavour of that meat needed.

If our 18 year old 35mm camera continues to have difficulties, I will be sore tempted to invest in a digital camera, partly, I admit, to show off all the wonderous things Jay brings home. I took pictures of him and the kids holding the massive weight of catfish threaded on baling twine in front of the first of the peonies and wished you all could see such a sight.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 28 2004 at 8:21 am
One comment:
Here are some nice links for digicam info:

http://www.photo.net/digital/cameras/basics

http://www.consumersearch.com/www/photo_and_video/digital_cameras/fullstory.html

Comment posted by anja (ip: 24.59.126.100) on 05 / 28 / 2004 at 8:57 pm
Green May
Since last Thursday a series of vast thunderstorms have lit up and pounded in the nights and dropped over three inches of rain.

While those further south are harvesting crops we are still planting.

Yesterday I found some “dear little saxifrage” for sale, in bloom. Thinking of Talia and Sora two of them are now planted next to the new section of stone walkway making its slow march to the driveway from the back door. The best soil we own is in this area so I have some hope they will survive there.

And two little rosemary plants will be set in there somewhere to grow as big as they may until thr frost takes them. In Jeni’s Texas, Rosemary can be used as a hedge!

I put in scarlet runner beans, more poppies and weeded a section of the raspberries. Ground ivy, a.k.a. “Creeping Charlie”, and Bindweed, a variety of wild Morning Glory are the most persistent weeds I fight.

Any day now the deciduous peonies will pop open. The hosta beds are looking wonderfully vast, the Thalictrum aquilegiifolium is taller than me, the perennial poppies Bracteatum, Nora Barlow columbine, Foxgloves, and Trollius are blooming.

Maybe before the piano students arrive I can finish the stone walk….

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 25 2004 at 12:58 pm
Baa-thday Party Meal
Ten Black Sheep came for the birthday supper of two members Friday night. We had lots of good food including green papaya salad , a few recipes of which are mentioned here. The one Kay made had thawed frozen small shrimp, some hot dried chile pepper, no green beans or tomato. Garnished with chopped peanuts. Great.

There was also a sweet potato salad; a potato salad made with sweet potatoes–a savoury unusual dish. And scones and breads and noodle salads and desserts, O my.

I made two quiches– a mixture of cheeses (smoked Marsden, Cheddar, Peccorino Romano) with onions, roasted red peppers, and fresh herbs; quinoa cooked in home canned tomato juice and currants with the rest of a bottle of Lime-cilantro dressing and fresh cilantro, and fresh mint tea which is a lovely chartreuse green this time of year.

Audrey, one of the birthday girls, brought a wheel and initiated Isabelle into handspinning with some purple fleece. Isabelle spun a bit on my Schacht single pedal spinning wheel this afternoon.

I note with pleasure that my wheel is now worth more than twice what Jay paid for it when I turned 30 and said “Surely I am _worth_ a dollar a day for a year?”

Back then Lazy Kates and threading hooks were not “extras” but part of the package. Does this increase in price reflect increasing costs or decrease in the value of a dollar? The former folds into the latter, probably.

Topics of discussion ranged from the ravages of winter and deer kill on gardens to new plants for this year to European-type hotels in NY City if one anticipates trying to visit the Byzantium: Faith and Power exhibit now at the Metropolitan. With a side tour to the Cloisters which we have been discussing for years.

A great time.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 23 2004 at 6:52 pm
One comment:
Hey Sis:
Got bad news on 2 fronts.
1. A dear friend of mine who is ~40 and still Active USAF went into surgery (suposedly routine elective) for hip replacement. On the operating table he suffered a heart attack. He is currently on a ventilator, heart pump, and also in dialysis due to kidney troubles, and a touch of pneumonia. He is at Tripler in Hawaii. He had Hodgkins and beat it under chemo previously. He went to Quatar with us in 2001. I have known and worked with him for ~13 years. He remarried and went to Okinawa Japan a month before I retired, with his new wife who is a DODDS teacher. On Saturday got an email from Steve (Best Man at Rose and My Wedding) and this was quite a shock. Anyways – he is unconscious and is a tenuous 50-50 at best for a recovery. Pray for Ken Shelton and family, please.
2. Rose got word that one of her nephew’s in the Phillipines was stabbed in the chest and went to the hosptal there. She has a cousin who left today for vacation in the phillipines. No word on him, but he has been released from the hospital.
3. All is well here. I cannot recall when the weather has been so cool this late in the spring since I have been here in Arizona. It’s only been in the 90’s down to 60’s at night and dry. . The weather that I can recall since I have been here has been over 100 at this time of the year – the TV stations call the first day over 100 “Icebreak” and they have a big contest.
4. Gas is down to 2.15 for mid grade and 2.09 for regular.
5. Still have no firm date for coming home for vacation., gotta get the tickets soon.
6. Rose and Neener well.

The “Other” Jay

Comment posted by JAY yOUR bROTHER (ip: 68.225.145.201) on 05 / 25 / 2004 at 1:46 am
Wedding Anniversary Tour
This year being no exception to a trend started a number of years ago, we drove to Skaneatles for lunch, sightseeing the green beauty both ways and doing the kind of antique and boutique shopping we do only this once a year. Route 20 is the center of our adventures.

We passed up a freshly hit hen turkey about three miles from home, a choice I argued against seeing Jay has spent several mornings without getting a turkey this spring. Jay did not want to waste 30 minutes of our time.

Jay had something on the list to buy this year: a butter dish. The round glass plate and cover we were given as a wedding present had recently succumbed to the inevitable end of all glass dishes. He abhors the sleek, new , brushed metal, inexpensive rectangular butter dish from Target. It is messy. It does not ‘fit’.

The Bluewater Grill has a great appetizer of Lively Run Goat Cheese (a garlic herb chevre log) served on fresh tomato basil sauce with pine nuts and a balsamic vinegar reduction; it comes with toasts. It is a meal in itself.

We had a high old time and returned home with a “new” glass butter dish and some treats for the children who did a good job at home.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 21 2004 at 9:12 am
Wild Things
Last night Jay caught the wild spotted Tom which has been eating dog food and occasionally spraying the back porch. As attorney for defense, and since I was also the instigator of the trapping, he will be released near fields and a small woods known to be full of rodents and squirrels rather than penalized by death for his feral maleness. There is altogether too much emphasis in these parts on neuters and domesticity.

Yesterday Jay removed the second raccoon a lady downtown had caught which had been entering the garage through their cat door. She finally admitted that through another cat door raccoons had at least once gained admittance to the kitchen and done mischief one night.

Sometime soon Jay will remove a second story shutter under which live several bats whose excrement is annoying another homeowner, as it drops on the pavement just outside her front door.

The bluebirds have returned! I kept clearing out the sparrow nests in the bird box and as of Sunday past it seems if they can resist the swooping of the barn swallows that the bluebirds may stay. Isabelle and I also saw a pair or two of Baltimore Orioles flighting around the horse chestnut in full bloom. They are drinking nectar.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 19 2004 at 7:55 am
Skin Holes
Isabelle delights to put Pounce in his harness and watch him tip over. She found him crounched under a small pine surveying the area the blue birds are now frequenting so I allowed her to harness him up with the proviso that she keep him in the shade.

I: Why?

Oh, now I remember. Because he doesn’t have those skin holes.

D: Skin holes?

I: Yeah, you know, to let out the sweatness.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 17 2004 at 11:32 am
Nurse Crusher
It was even funnier hearing it straight from Suzanne.
Entry posted by jpm14 on May 14 2004 at 8:25 pm
Timber Wolves in the Finger Lakes
Today a man with 5 acres and 27 apple trees in bloom called and told me a timber wolf had tried to kill his wife Wednesday.

What would the County Visitor Bureau say if they heard such talk? They are all hep on drumming up tourists. Who would want to “Come and get et by a wolf in the lovely Finger Lakes”?

We finally settled on calling it a large canine after he heard me say there are no wolves east of the Mississippi anymore a couple times. Lots of coyotes, no wolves.

But these two, he assured me, “are the size of German Shepherds”.

“That would be coyote size”.

“But these are bigger. And last year Mr. R_____, a local wildlife control man came and looked at a paw print in their driveway and told us it had to be a Timber Wolf”.

Gee, there he went again. “Sir, there are no more wolves east of the Mississippi. Let’s just call them large canines.”

The short story of a long and interestingly drawn out tale of horror is this:

His wife was mowing in the orchard on a very loud 25.5Hp riding mower when the brown-black large canine that they have seen over the past two years seemed to stalk her, made eye contact and then ran after her, towards her. The husband had been coming out of the garage, saw the wolf, oops, I mean, large canine start its run, ducked back in to get an implement and ran after it. The creature made eye contact with him both times. Both humans were yelling. Eventually the animal broke off and ran away into the woodline nearby. He later claimed the canid was only 20 yards away when it broke.

There are two large canines: a black-brown and a silver-grey. Jay and my best guess is they have a den with young; the loud noise in close proximity to the den brought out this very rarely seen aggressive behaviour. When coyotes are aggressive it is much more often towards dogs.

He had called the DEC and they had told him we could go ahead and do anything we wanted. When I spoke to him he wanted us to come out with guns because he needed to spray his apple trees and was afraid.

“Don’t you own a weapon?” I asked.

“No, I do not. I don’t believe in them.”

Long pause while I digest this.

“But you want ME to come with a gun and kill this animal?”

Well, yeah.

I thought the best way to insure no further interference was to track the animals back to where they were nesting and “disturb the den”.

He then said he wanted neither the mother nor the pups injured.

I told him my husband would call him tonight.

Upon further reflection, when Jay spoke to him this evening, he made it very clear that he was now in no way opposed to shooting any of the large canines. But neither was he willing to pay our price for an hour of (both) our time trying to incite the same scenario. (An unlikely event)

If I were his wife, I would be insulted!

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 14 2004 at 8:16 pm
One comment:
http://outdoorsbest.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=179669

I guess there was one wolf left…

Comment posted by sharon (ip: 67.35.203.20) on 05 / 16 / 2004 at 3:36 pm
Chocolate and Happy Babies
Good news for my fecund friends:

PARIS : Women who munched on chocolate while they were pregnant gave birth to happier babies, according to a study reported in next Saturday’s New Scientist.

University of Helsinki researcher Katri Raikkonen and colleagues enrolled more than 300 pregnant women and asked them to rate their stress levels and chocolate consumption.

Six months after their child was born, the mothers were asked to gauge their child’s behaviour in such fear, soothability, smiling and laughter.

“The babies born to women who had been eating chocolate daily during pregnancy were more active and ‘positively reactive’ — a measure that encompasses traits such as smiling and laughter,” New Scientist says.

Note there is a link to New Scientist to the right.

Alyssa- There is still time!

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 13 2004 at 5:44 pm
2 comments:
It’s nice to know I did SOMETHING right! : )
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: 207.221.251.113) on 05 / 14 / 2004 at 11:34 AM

Jeni’s E-mail: rcjlmartens@msn.com

And does *higher quality* chocolate yield a happy and discriminating child??? Hmmm….
Comment posted by Julie (ip: 141.149.207.232) on 05 / 15 / 2004 at 7:16 PM

Julie’s E-mail: jlb262@cornell.edu

Quotes of the Day
This morning Sarah J., aged two, came for a visit. The whole family went to get her. As Julie prepared to put Sarah in the car Isabelle said to her:

” I think Sarah is afraid of my Daddy.”

J to S: “Sarah, are you afraid of Mr. Miller?”

Sarah shakes her head yes.

J to I: “Why do you think she is afraid of your Dad?”

I: “I think it must be because he has big muscles.”

Late this afternoon Isabelle, as I was cutting off all the fading red Emperor tulip blossoms:

“Oh Mom, may I have them? I pretend the petals are piles of rubies or I use them as fire flames.”

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 13 2004 at 5:35 pm
Aliens in the woods!
Read a bit about it.

Isaac and I attended a herpetology club lecture a couple years ago on salamanders where this was brought up and discussed. What is not mentioned is that salamanders eat worms and an alien worm population tends to increase the salamander population.

It is fascinating to consider that all the earthworms we encounter in the soil are descendents of foreign alien worms if the conjecturers are correct that the ice age killed all native species.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 12 2004 at 8:16 am
Science Daily
Another online read, Science Daily used to come weekly to my mailbox when I could afford it.

An article here says that “A compound found in the peels of citrus fruit has the potential to lower cholesterol more effectively than some prescription drugs, and without side effects, according to a study by U.S. and Canadian researchers.” That sounds great!

Especially since the doctor’s office has ordered me in for an appointment to discuss the results of a cholesterol blood test drawn a couple weeks ago and I, ever the pessimist, anticipate the worst.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 12 2004 at 8:05 am
2 comments:
And the results are…..?
Comment posted by Suz (ip: 152.163.253.101) on 05 / 12 / 2004 at 6:18 PM
As Valerie
(see blog list)
states: ” Everything is going exactly according to plan!”
Comment posted by Herself (ip: 128.253.49.103) on 05 / 12 / 2004 at 7:52 PM

Herself’s E-mail: jpm14@cornell.edu

Herself’s website: http://upsaid.com/jpm

Seven Requirements for Mothers
by Rhoda C., married 54 years; mother of 7, 6 living; grandmother of 19; member of our church for 40 some odd years.

1. A mother needs to be at peace and in close contact with her God

2. A mother needs to be at peace with herself and what she is doing. Do it heartily, as unto the Lord. Must know that what you cherish most is within your reach at home.

3. A mother needs a model to follow. Needs to understand the dignity of the work by word and example. Her mother taught her that you “don’t just do what you like, you learn to like what you have to do.”

4. To be happy and keep your sanity, one must keep in perspective what home is. R. Frost: “Home is a place where, when you go there, they have to take you in.” Home as sanctuary, place of mutual love, relationships and concern, mutual support.

5. Mother need her husband’s support and encouragement.

6. Mother is happy when the children reward and honor her. Not just the Proverbs 31 ideal. When children make wise decisions and have concern for those they come in contact with they are rewarding and honoring their mother.

7. In order to be happy a mother needs a window above the sink. Diversion to renew and refresh her soul. A window out.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 09 2004 at 3:59 pm
More Nature
So far this morning Isaac and Isabelle have drawn the two crayfish which returned home last night. Then Isabelle took them home to the pond and returned with a large muskrat and a black predaceous diving beetle.

The muskrat was in a trap she and Jay had set a few nights before. The muskrat had broken into the bait trap.

We had a discussion about rodents and looked up domestic rabbits. They are not in fact rodents which are Rodentia, but belong to Lagomorpha, which we think means a body shape with a slim neck and rounded smooth body (similar to Roman casks). We would be interested if someone finds out differently, since, as Isaac points out “Lago could be Greek”.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 08 2004 at 9:32 am
Nature Walk
Kids and I went for our first wildflower walk yesterday and saw several interesting things:

The Bobolinks are back in the fallow hay fields north of us. Hurrah!

Lots of flowering wildflowers of all sorts. Trilliums, squirrel corn, thalictrums, tiarella, violets, spring beauty, etc.

A most unusual small plant colony, not quite ready to bloom, seemed at first look to be Indian Cucumber Root. I have fond memories of eating bread and catsup sandwiches with these roots at FFA camp when I was in my early teens. The roots on this site are white. The plants in the colony whose roots were showing had a reddish cast. On the plants which had a second upper layer the buds were encased in small sepals.

The plants looked more like the Small Whorled Pogonia which this site indicates is of the orchid family and highly endangered. Peterson’s Field Guide indicates that this p[lant can lay dormant for 10-20 years at a time. Also says the stem is hollow and rather large for plant size. These were not: stemmy and small guage.

Guess we will have to return for another look.

We also saw several butterflies including a couple morning cloaks (Brush footed butterflies–Nymphalidae) and one of the larger Polygonias (Angle Wings)–either a Hoary Comma or maybe a Question Mark in its orange form. The orange form is the winter form.

There was a lovely small black and white butterfly I have been unable to find or key out. Help appreciated.

There were a couple skippers I have not keyed out.

We also came upon a cluster of Baltimore

caterpillars right near the narrow-leaved plantain they like to eat. Some years there are many thousands of these caterpillars to be seen in the early wet mornings up high on the tall grasses.

Oh- several large centipedes and seven salamanders –a mix of two sorts.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 08 2004 at 9:23 am
Time Marches On
It does so quite unnoticed for weeks or months on end and then suddenly something happens to pull one up and take notice that the parade is passing rather quickly.

The children clamored to be measured. It is official. Isaac is taller than his mother: by almost an inch.

Alyssa and Suzanne came to lunch yesterday.

Alyssa is now 26 and she along with husband Chris are expecting Lily to make her appearance in August. Indeed, I first met Alyssa as I now meet Alyssa’s daughter, as a bump in mom’s belly. Now, all of a sudden as she says, here she is going to be a mother herself. A lovely, talented godly mother-to-be.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 07 2004 at 3:28 pm
Muesli
is the new breakfast food of choice among the youngsters here for the past few months.

It is easier to prepare than granola and has much less fat and sugar.

There is no “real” real muesli recipe.

I put in mixed rolled grains: oatmeal, wheat, rye, barley, triticale, etc in a largish mixing bowl. There is a ‘basic foods’ shop nearby that sells a seven grain rolled mix. Sometimes I add millet, but it works best if the grains are crushed/rolled.

I mix in what looks like a moderate amount of a seed or nuts and dried fruit.

Favorite combinations of seeds and fruit so far:

-sunflower seeds with craisins and raisins

-pumpkin seeds (pepinos) with cut up dried mango (raisin sized bits)

-cashew pieces with whirled date chunks- the kind that look extruded and are covered with cornstarch

Voila! Muesli!

Put a cupfull in a bowl, cover generously with milk and put in the fridge until morning.

If you want it hot, nuke it when you bring it our in the AM. My kids eat it as is with no additional anything. And then sometimes beg for it for lunch!

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 07 2004 at 8:10 am
4 comments:
Even if there’s no “official” recipe, could you make one up for folks like me who’d like to give it a try but are too timid and ignorant to try it without the guidance of suggested amounts?
Comment posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) (ip: 65.170.128.61) on 05 / 07 / 2004 at 4:11 PM

Valerie (Kyriosity)’s E-mail: valerie [at] kyriosity [dot] com

Valerie (Kyriosity)’s website: http://kyriosity.com

Try one of these
Comment posted by u kno who (ip: 24.97.98.201) on 05 / 07 / 2004 at 4:50 PM
Oh…that’s too overwhelming! Pick one for me!
Comment posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) (ip: 65.170.128.61) on 05 / 07 / 2004 at 5:31 PM

Valerie (Kyriosity)’s E-mail: valerie [at] kyriosity [dot] com

Valerie (Kyriosity)’s website: http://kyriosity.com

I agree with Valerie that those recipes are too—much.
More like granola!

Off the top of my head recipe:
Say 5-7 cups of rolled grains, 1 to 1.5 cups of fruit and seeds apiece. That amount takes the two of my muesli eaters through a week or so.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: 128.253.49.101) on 05 / 08 / 2004 at 6:49 AM

Herself’s E-mail: jpm14@cornell.edu

Herself’s website: http://upsaid.com/jpm

Supermen
Men of Metal is another thing Isac and I have read. Entertaining.

It appears to be a sly advertising tool.

All the links are there to hunt down the trail.

We are sending the copy we received glued into Adventure magazine to our friend Matt who is living the adventurous life as a Marine in Falluja, Iraq. He is one of the real Supermen.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 04 2004 at 10:07 am
One comment:
I’m making up a box to send tomorrow, if you want to just stick it in with the other things I’m sending…
Comment posted by u kno who (ip: 24.59.126.100) on 05 / 05 / 2004 at 3:45 pm
Reading and Planting
Sora

asked what her readers have been reading. For a start, not as much as _she_ does! I have been shovelling mulch.

The Mauritious Command by Patrick O’Brian. Next up in this series is Desolation Island.

Perspectives on the World Christian Movement.

Moosewood Restaurant New Classics.

Baking in America: Traditional and Contemporary Favorites from the past 200 years

a whole passel of Lee Evans Jazz pedagogy books

Audubon’s Birds of North America

Jay is reading The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families by Covey. I need to catch up.

Isabelle is reading the Felicity books of the American Girl series, Palmer’s and various nature guides, other things she finds on the shelves.

Isaac is reading a user’s guide for a CAD home design program, Streams to the River, River to the Sea, Eutropius in Latin. Probably other things I am not aware of.

Spring is a time when I drop the ball reading aloud. We are outside more than in.

Jay is building a rocket for scouts with Isaac. Isaac is busy designing a house on the computer and finishing math.

Isabelle brought home a Leopard frog that she drew and colored a picture of. Today she will read up on and draw a horsetail (Equisetum avensis). Any guesses why this may be an interesting plant to study? She waits for neighbor Sue to return two crayfish we loaned her so we can look at them more closely.

Jay and I planted a Brandywine crabapple last night . Today I will plant hellebores between the peonies put in last fall. Also will pot up the sprouting morning glory seeds and the swelling sweet peas.

Then an executive board meeting for the Friends of the Library. Isaac and Isabelle will go to Grandma’s and then with uncle Daren to collect pheasant eggs. Then home to teach piano, fix supper and out again with Isaac and Daniel to sort books.

And Pounce, the wretch, has caught a lovely little wren, it appears to be a short-billed march wren for which offense he will remain in the basement or porches for much of the day. Bad Kitty!

Oh, and we must fit in _some _ school, I suppose.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 04 2004 at 8:33 am
2 comments:
Sounds like you do school 24/7!
Comment posted by Suz (ip: 152.163.253.101) on 05 / 04 / 2004 at 12:56 PM


Suz’s website: http://journals.aol.com/momraupp/FlyingPigs/

Current Reading List

Be the one by Smith, April
Burning the sea by Strong, Sarah Pemberton
Cuba, Haiti, & The Dominican Republic. by Fagg, John Edwin
Dominican Republic : a guide to the people, politics, and culture by Howard, David
Drown by Diaz, Junot
Francisco by Maiorano, Robert
How the Garcia girls lost their accents by Alvarez, Julia
In the time of the butterflies by Alvarez, Julia
Master and commander by O’Brian, Patrick
The secret footprints by Alvarez, Julia
Song of the water saints by Rosario, Nelly
Yo! by Alvarez, Julia

Comment posted by u kno who (ip: 24.59.126.100) on 05 / 05 / 2004 at 10:50 AM
Spring delicacies
Now that it has reached 80 degrees F the past two days the dandelion greens willl be going downhill in flavor. Prior to this they have been quite benign, and after a good washing, great salad greens.

Daren, Jay’s brother, works at the NYS game farm nearby. Ring-necked pheasants are laying a prodigious number of eggs which are picked up three times a day, washed, sorted and put to incubate. Eggs which are too large, small, wrong shaped or off-color are sorted out as they will not hatch. Seems odd, but in pheasants eggs which are not a typical size, shape and color (a small round spheroid bluish tan) indicate problems.

We are the recipients this years of a number of dozens of those eggs.

Most are too large–double yolkers. The eggs are noticably richer in flavor and creamier in texture than store bought chicken eggs when used en masse in scrambled eggs.

Today and tomorrow are the Cayuga Wine Trail Wine and Herb Event . Thanks to BTI, who subsidized the tickets, Jay and I will be jaunting around Cayuga lake, nibbling little treats, receiving herb plants and Jay tasting wines and hard apple cider. I will be the designated driver and have a few sips and juice. Jay has already wondered if we will be able to come home empty handed from the cidery.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 01 2004 at 7:52 am
2 comments:
I like Bellwether cider too. My favorite is their “Heritage” label. I find their “Liberty Spy” label too sweet (apparently favored by most, and their best seller).
Comment posted by anja (ip: 24.59.100.131) on 05 / 02 / 2004 at 2:13 PM
The vintnors say this may have been the hardest winter in 50 years. Those who had not done so early are not pruning any of their vines. Estimated bud loss is 90-98 percent. This according to three different owners at various vineyards. They recommend buying Fingerlakes white wine now as already vineyards are jockeying for available juice to make wine this fall.

Temps went down to -12 degrees F even right near the lake. Cayuga lake froze further up this year than any I have seen in my almost 30 years here.

Noticeable on Rte 414: the influx of Amish over the last 10-15 years. We saw an eight horse draft team hitched up to one large harrow standing in the field waiting for the farmer to finish lunch.

Oak barrels used in the Fingerlakes come from three sources: France, Hungary, USA. The French government controls the forests and productions of oak in that country. Barrels are shipped ready made from France to USA. Hungary exports the wood to Tennessee where it is made into barrels. Many being used in that state for whiskey, not wine. California produces the barrels made in this country.

Then there is the matter of “toast” which is an indication of how much the barrel head has been charred. Full, half or no toast.

The Juneberries and wild cherries were in full bloom. We came home with a flat full of assorted herbs and six bottles of assorted cider, meads, and a rhubarb dessert wine.
A very pleasant jaunt.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: 128.253.49.137) on 05 / 03 / 2004 at 10:08 AM

Herself’s E-mail: jpm14@cornell.edu

Herself’s website: http://upsaid.com/jpm

Poetry and bird sightings
Guess which belongs to what child?

Homework

Is a torture chamber

Grinding away at your patience

Inserting useless gibberish

Flaying off amusing thoughts

Stretching your mind too much

Beating it with mathematical equations

And all those other things

Those big people called adults

Want us to learn.

__

White pony cloud was

trotting through the sky.

I wish I could jump on your back

and ride away. I ran after you but

you kicked up your heels and floated away.

Haiku

Growing new green leaves

Conducting the stream’s music

Dancing to the beat

___

Sit while the sun sets

No wait! Thats a meteor

Heading right to earth!

___

The other morning I took a walk up back to check on the flying squirrels. They have abandoned the bird box. A Wood Thrush was singing so sweet and lovely high in a hedgerow tree.

The Audubon bird book quotes Thoreau of this thrush: “Whenever a man hears it he is young, and Nature is in her spring; wherever he hears it, it is a new world and a free country, and the gates of heaven are not shut against him.”

Note that the Lab of O wave file on this bird does not do its many and varied beautiful songs justice.

And just this afternoon Jay and I saw out an upstairs window up in the large pines a never before seen here black marked sparrow-sized bird with bright yellow patches. It is a Yellow Rumped Warbler.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 30 2004 at 8:30 pm
Friday morning class
Hickey’s , the largest local music store in town, hosted a piano workshop for teachers.

Dr. Lee Evans spoke from 9-12.45 with one small break about “Teaching Jazz and Musical Creativity to the Classical Piano Student”. He was entertaining and a great instructor with loads of ideas. He has published over 80 teaching books for piano students and is a professor at Pace U. in NYC. Lots of insights into his own history as well.

A very full, worthwhile time. 15 local piano teachers were there. I hope to incorporate some of his ideas and curricula into my classes. What a privilege!

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 30 2004 at 2:00 pm

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