Upsaid journal entries and comments by user: cerise

Upsaid journal entries and comments by user: jpm14
(File created on: May 26 2008)
Winter in March
Since those little flowers appeared ten days ago we have had lots of snow and cold.

Those flowers are covered by 6-10 inches of snow. Thank Heaven, because they would be frozen to death otherwise. It was nine degrees this morning at about 6AM on the house. Since the snow is here, the Aconite and Snowdrops will reappear in fine shape as soon as the temperature rises enough to remove the snow cover–maybe this week the weather guy says. We will see.

I have this silly theory that the seasons have been gradually shifting the past twenty years–the Falls are warmer and longer, the snow and cold comes later and later (no guarantee of snow on Christmas anymore) and the Spring thaws and warmth come later also. So I thought, maybe we should shift the months around?

For instance, right now should be the middle of January instead of the first third of March. But it does not hold, alas.

The moon and stars and sun hold to their courses, their rising and setting indicate No Change.

Global Warming would be welcomed here.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 08 2006 at 8:43 am
Church Marketing
I guess so many persons think there is a need for this that there is a blog critiquing how well or poorly churches are marketing themselves.


Entry posted by jpm14 on March 08 2006 at 8:23 am
Fat Tuesday and Lent
Vacare Deo.

To empty the self for God. To make room for God.

To Dance With God is a book I bought near the beginning of our marriage when it seemed we were not going to be able to have children. The author, Gertrude Mueller Nelson discusses ways and means of enriching the family through the church year. I really needed to see Jay and myself as a little family back before I felt like we were. It is a good book on “family ritual and community celebration”. Healthy community celebration has never been a strong suit of the churches where we have been members. Sigh.

Historically Christians gave up meat, eggs and dairy products for Lent. Where I grew up, meat or meatless days were the norm. There was a large pool of Catholic families. After college it seemed to be the thing to give up candy, sugar, sweets, chocolate,desserts, TV watching. We did some of these types of ‘fasts’ even when the kids were smaller.

This year I decided I would forgo cooking meat and eggs during Lent, to see what a more historical 40-day fasting time would be like for us. No more chicken broth or fats from meat. I will use up the eggs we have and buy no more. We will still eat dairy because torturing my skinny son and husband 40 days without some nutritional calorie-dense sources is really not the goal. And eating lots more sugar and cheese than usual is not the goal, either.

For our last fat-heavy, meat heavy day:

Breakfast: bacon, eggs, potatoes cooked in the fat, homemade hot cocoa

Supper: An oversized meat loaf and creme caramel (2 large eggs and an extra yolk, cream, sugar)

That’s right–no vegetables or greens AT ALL. Whew.


But since then we have had

Breakfasts: yoghurt with homemade muesli and apple or orange slices on top.

Supper: Italian Lenten (bean) soup (like minestrone). I admit this had the last of the freshly made chicken broth. Homemade bread, salads, fruit.

For lunches at home I made hummus. Jay takes his usual PBandJ. Isaac told me he is buying vegetarian wraps at school, but it is up to him. I am not the food police; he should be fasting for God, not me.

Isaac informed me his Catholic friends fast from meat only Wednesdays and/or Fridays. But we are taking a historical Christian view of what fasting entails, not a current view.

Tonight we will have canned salmon and mushroom patties with noddles and a salad.

A cookbook I’ve known about for years but only recently bought is A Continual Feast: A cookbook to celebrate the joys of family and faith throughout the Christian year.

It is a good companion to To Dance with God, and is where I got the recipe for the great Italian Lenten Soup.

I hope changing how we eat for a while will help us change how we think and act towards God (and one another?). There probably is no direct correlation between eating more ‘humbly’ and being more humble in our thoughts and actions towards God and one another.

I hope for me that feeling less full–of food, of my self–will encourage me to seek a different kind of sustenance and fullness from our Provider. May my meat come from His words for these next few weeks.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 03 2006 at 11:40 am
Politically Correct Trapping Names
Last Friday Jay and I went to a NYS DEC training short course on making and using cable restraint devices to trap nuisance beaver.

Throughout the class the instructor emphasized we use the words ‘cable restraint device’ instead of the less palatable and politically incorrect word ‘snare’.

Snares in ‘the bad old days’ killed whatever they caught. The way cable restraints are required to be made these days they only restrain an animal and do not (usually) kill it. I guess there are a very few exceptions, especially if an otter gets into a cable restraint device that is not quite properly set.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 28 2006 at 10:13 am
Flowers in February. And Bones. and Birds.
Last Thursday Isabelle and I took a morning walk. There were a couple dozen aconite and about ten snowdrops blooming above the leaves in two different beds.

Since I am not keeping up with book listings in the side bar, I will try listing flowers as they come into bloom this year.

On our long walk we picked up the relatively clean skull from the red fox the coyotes killed last autumn as a present for a friend of mine who is a scientific illustrator. Her children are all grown and gone now, so she is doing a lot more drawing and painting these days. We also found the clean lower leg bone of a male turkey, spur intact.

Friday, the 24th of February, Jay called our attention to the first Bluebird pair sitting high up in the Mountain Ash, scouting out a home for this year.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 28 2006 at 10:05 am
Into The West
Two weeks ago, thanks to friend Angela’s kind invite, we flew into Las Vegas in the evening and met up with her sister, R. then proceeded onto Wynn Las Vegas, a very large complex that consists of restaurants, shops, hotel(s?), gaming floors and at least one theatre where we attended a show, Le Reve.

The building was so very large and very fancy I am sure we only saw a small fraction of the whole shebang.

We ate supper at a sushi bar restaurant in the Wynn. It was the latest and most expensive supper I have ever eaten. The three of us had our own personal chef who made sushi right in front of us from absolutely exquisite fish, roe and (at my request) sea urchin. He also made, at Angela’s urging, his own personal creation for us, not on the menu–a combination of different fishes chopped up, highly seasoned and placed in a rolled up round of dark red tuna. The chef named it “stuffed tomatoes”. Fabulous.

The show Le Reve was worth the large ticket price. Lots of water, acrobatics, costumes, trapezes, antics, sound, light, birds, even rain. Marvelous!

The next day we drove over Hoover Dam–what an incredible sight–and down into the Arizona desert to R and G’s house. The object of our visit lives with them–Angela and R’s father who is now 95 and slowly dying of metaticized prostrate cancer. He is remarkably well and capable for any person of that age and more so for being ill on top of his age.

The desert between Las Vegas and Western Arizona is so forbidding and has fewer types of plants than the Sonoran desert region in southeastern Arizona. There were hummingbirds aplenty (Anna’s and ) which came to the numerous feeders morning and evening and up to 20 Gambel’s quail which came to feed at the same time from seed on the ground in dishes.

Construction is the largest industry, which is a mystery to me. No agriculture. None. One does not drink the water from the faucet. Concrete must be covered with a special coating so you will be able to walk on it in the summer. The weather was mid-40’s in the mornings and got up to low seventies a couple days, sixties the rest. There was a stiff breeze several days so when a cloud covered the sun the temperature dropped noticeably. In the summer one does not venture out much during the day.

I helped plant three red barrel cacti and a saguaro taller than myself. That was quite thrilling! Angela, R and I completed a very nice insect puzzle, watched three versions for “Pride and Prejudice” and lots of Olympic skating. We ate altogether too much good food. We went to a swap meet and a small home show.

On the last morning I walked up the wash outside the house wall for quite a ways–past the last houses in the development and into the desert. The sun shines so much more starkly. The ground seems composed of scree and broken rock. Plants use size, spines and smell to detract predators.

And yet–there was a small plant I found in two places that was just beginning to flower with minute fuschia five-petalled flowers. Another was a long dead and weathered branch protruding from a rock cut but at its very tip were a profusion of holly shaped gray succulent leaves and tiny grey encased yellow flowers. Hummingbirds and rabbits were evident even after one left the sanctuary of the housing development. And I followed a coyote trail back into the populated area.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 28 2006 at 9:48 am
One comment:
R. says she’s very impressed that you “hiked all the way up to the cross” and now she’s going to have to do it too, just so she can tell you she did!


Comment posted by anja (ip: on 03 / 02 / 2006 at 1:10 am
Art Offensive
Over at the NYTimes, in an article about the offense Muslims are taking at the cartoons, the Times shows none of those cartoons. Too offensive? Ha!

Instead the Times shows a picture of some ‘art’ of the Virgin Mary which was controversial a number of years ago since it involves the use of manure.

The Mohammed cartoons are easy to find on the web. And none of them show manure on the ‘father’ of Islam.

But the Times would not want the muslim community to get upset if they actually showed what the controversy is all about—since they seem an excuse, rather than anything else, for all the rage and violence unfolding around the globe.

Since no large bodies of Christians storm embassies, kill or threaten to kill people, or boycott whole countries for insulting Christianity or her people, its safer to show an off-topic picture of the Virgin covered with manure rather than a cartoon of Mohammed with a bomb protruding from his turban. Not that anyone would have any reason to connect the two, huh?

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 08 2006 at 10:18 am
No, not at all. Another take on this here:

Comment posted by uberimma (ip: on 02 / 08 / 2006 at 11:28 AM

uberimma’s E-mail:

And to prove images of Mohammend are not a new thing, take a look at these:
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 03 / 08 / 2006 at 8:31 AM

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Herself’s website: http://u

The Vocation of Staying
Matt has a nice entry about “The Vocation of Leaving or Staying” which references the article.

I had Jay read the essay in the online magazine.

It is so true for us. We have had so many dear, dear friends of which this sentence is true: “Our lives are so closely intertwined that even his employment matters deeply to us—and somehow I think this is what God intended to happen.”

But, having friends move on is also heart rending. God’s good heart rending, I suppose, but painful none the less. And painful for our children.

So we are even more grateful for those other of our friends whose vocation, like ours, is to stay.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 06 2006 at 9:29 pm
books about Afghanistan
It must be going on two years ago I read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini on the recommendation of a friend who hoped to work in Afghanistan. I found it an incredibly depressing read with very little redemption to round out the sad, sad tale. It is a tale. A novel that purports to show how things were in afghanistan under the Taliban.

For all the ongoing hype–different people show me The Kite Runneralmost weekly as if it were a new find–a better, real history is The Sewing Circles of Herat by Christina Lamb. She is a British journalist who has a long personal history with Afghanistan and tells the country’s history from past to almost present engagingly.

And now, even better still, is Come Back to Afghanistan by Said Hyder Akbar. You may have heard him, as I first did, on This American Life (Do a site search for ‘Afghanistan’) when he first returned there as a teen with his father after the fall of the Taliban. His family has a history of giving of themselves to serve their country. Hamid Karzai is a family friend.

If you do not know who he is, you’re behind on current world history.

This last book is the best of the bunch.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 06 2006 at 9:15 pm
Pride and Prejudices I have known
First, the <A href=”

=pd_bbs_3/002-7302304-6192052?%5Fencoding=UTF8″>book by Jane Austen. A love story, a novel of social manners, lots of smart repartee and not too much descriptive detail about settings, clothing, hair–so there is lots of room to imagine…

which BBC and A+E did in this six hour version. I used to think this production could not be topped.

The modern Mormon version. Interesting and slightly askew. If you kiss, you must marry.

Then there is the Bollywood meets 50’s musical version, called “Bride and Prejudice”. This one is wonderfully fun. Noticeable tension between traditional Indian culture and Western modern (immodest) culture.

And most recently, the two hour theatre version. This version is now my favorite, having seen it a second time. It has beautiful, period costumes and activities, shows real economic disparity between the families involved, the younger sisters are truly young, great use of British scenery and weather and music. And there are lots of very nice small touches that make the characters real. Here are two: Lizzie and Jane’s eye contact and kicking each other under the table as Mr. Collins goes on at supper about his sponsor, Lady Catherine DeBurge, and Jane surrepticiously removing an article of clothing Lizzie has packed for her and stuffing it under her pillow while Lizzie is in the closet.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 04 2006 at 3:50 pm
Here’s a comparison of three productions:

Pride and Prejudice
Casts and Production

Script       Aldous Huxley,    Fay Weldon        Andrew Davies
             Jane Murfin
Dir or Prod  Robert Z. Leonard Cyril Coke        p. Sue Birtwistle
                                                 d. Simon Langton

Role              1940              1985            1995

Elizabeth    Greer Garson      Elizabeth Garvie  Jennifer Ehle
Darcy        Laurence Olivier  David Rintoul     Colin Firth
Jane         Maureen O'Sullivan Sabina Franklyn  Susannah Harker
Bingley      Bruce Lester      Osmund Bullock    Crispin Bonham-Carter
Mr Bennet    Edmund Gwynn      Moray Watson      Benjamin Withrow
Mrs Bennet   Mary Boland       Priscilla Morgan  Alison Steadman
Lydia        Ann Rutherford    Natalie Ogle      Julia Sawalha
Kitty        Heather Angel     Clare Higgins     Polly Maberly
Mary         Marsha Hunt       Tessa Peake-Jones Lucy Briers
Mrs Phillips May Beatty        Shirley Cain      Lynn Farleigh
Mr Collins   Melville Cooper   Malcolm Rennie    David Bamber
Mr Wickham   Edward Ashley     Peter Settelen    Adrian Lukis
Capt Denny   Marten Lamont     Andrew Johns      David Bark-Jones
Caroline     Frieda Inescourt  Marsha Fitzalan   Anna Chancellor
Mrs Hurst    ______            Jennifer Granville Lucy Robinson
Mr Hurst     ______            Edward Arthur     Rupert Vansittart
Georgiana D  ______            Emma Jacobs       Emilia Fox
Col Fitzw'm  ______            Desmond Adams     Anthony Calf
Lady Cath.   Edna Mae Oliver   Judy Parfitt      Barbara Leigh-Hunt
Anne DeB'rgh Gia Kent          Moir Leslie       Nadia Chambers
Sir William  E.E. Clive        Peter Howell      Christopher Benjamin
Lady Lucas   Marjorie Wood     Elizabeth Stewart Norma Streader
Charlotte    Karen Morley      Irene Richards    Lucy Scott
Mrs Gardiner ______            Barbara Shelley   Joanna David
Mr Gardiner  ______            Michael Lees      Tim Wylton
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 05 / 2006 at 1:22 AM
Oh wait – here you go:

They list 10 (!) Pride and Prejudice adaptations:

2004 (Bride & Prejudice)

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 05 / 2006 at 1:33 AM
Recently read Books
Faust,, by Goethe. Wow. Rhyming poetry and spiritual concepts. In a play. No wonder it is a classic. Wish I were in a book group to discuss this one with others. Did Ernest Hemingway get his title “For Whom the Bell Tolls” from this work?

My guess is: yes.

Eliot Coleman’s Four-Season Harvest. Jay is building me a cold frame! I might buy this one. I’m not moving anytime soon. Lots of good ideas, seed planting time lists, growing times, small tools to make at home to improve the vegetable garden.

And since that one was so good, I took out another ‘classic’ year-round gardening book: Solar Gardening:Growing Vegetables Year-round the American Intensive Way, by the Poissons. Much too intensive for me, thank you very much.

And Eliot Coleman’s earlier book: The New Organic Grower.

It was OK. Geared primarily towars large-scale market gardeners. Think acres.

If you are going to read one, Four-Season Harvest is better.

Restoring American Gardens by Denise Wiles Adams. In which I found that 98 per cernt of the perennials, shrubs and trees I have or anticipate having are considered ‘heirloom ornamental plants’. Guess they match my 150+ year-old home.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 30 2006 at 8:20 pm
Have you read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte?
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 01 / 31 / 2006 at 1:05 AM

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No. It is a classic too. Should I put it on my list?
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 01 / 31 / 2006 at 7:27 PM

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I thought “for whom the bell tolls” came from John Donne.
Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 02 / 01 / 2006 at 12:21 PM

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Sorry, that should be John Donne – blame the baby who is using one of my typing hands as a pacifier.
Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 02 / 01 / 2006 at 12:23 PM
Yes, put Jane Eyre on your list. If you want a laugh, read the intro (c.1991 in the edition I got from the library) describing the book as a “revolutionary feminist text.” I can’t recall the name of the literary expert who wrote the intro to that edition, but I imagine that her intro would be interchangeable with any literary pro’s political interpretation of this classic. A revolutionary feminist text. Man, oh man.

I read it for my book club, which meets monthly up on the north side of Austin in a little French cafe. My neighbor invited me to join the club, which consists of 6 or 7 other moms, all Christians from various north side churches. I joined to get to know my neighbor better and to be forced to read something other than the books I’m reading with my kids (which I enjoy hugely). We had fun talking about Mr. Rochester (verdict of one of the ladies: “He’s a PIG!”), Jane, and 1840’s English marriage and home life. The excellent croissants and French onion soup by the fireside helped.

Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 02 / 02 / 2006 at 2:46 PM

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John Donne preceeds Goethe by a number of decades, so maybe Goethe ‘borrowed’ the phrase from him.

Or maybe the translator did?

I will get Jane Eyre.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 02 / 04 / 2006 at 3:54 PM

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Snow Worms and other not so nice things
The most interesting thing worth sharing that happened recently were the ‘snow worms’ I found Tuesday week walking home in a snow storm early one morning. Seven larvae of two species–a large dark greeny-gray type two-thirds the size of my pinkie (two of those) and a small three-quarters of an inch long by 3/16th of an inch dia. black scalloped edge ones. All alive on top of fresh snow on the road edge–the oncoming side I was walking. At the first one I thought: “fresh bird dropping”, then saw I was wrong, picked it up and figured maybe it fell from a tree. But then, a couple hundred yards on, there was the second, and then every few yards another one. And there were no trees to fall from on this road section. Hmm. No ‘tracks’. Any guesses?

They were all alive and crawling when I brought them home and put them in a dish; before I put them out in the bird feeder…

Another interesting thing, but not so nice, is the continued occurance since August of random periods of dizziness ranging in intensity from mildly annoying to incapacitating. Then there are all the scans, tests, neurologist appointments. Yuck.

And the last and least nice thing was the first board meeting of the year of a volunteer organization to which I have given much time and effort. The board chair had appointed me head of a committee which had seen no member turnover for decades. Some committee members were livid and furious with him, and screamed at him during his meeting with them.

Then, at the board meeting, the fact he appointed me was greeted by 20% of the board with howls of rage and protest. And personal attacks on himself and moi. This particular committee has responsibility to hand out ten thousand plus dollars a year (this year-25k) to various non-profits—with very little oversight.

Guess he was right and it is time for a change. I have had a difficult time getting the records–they are still not in hand. And the two older committee members I asked to remain, refused. One, nicely; one, nastily.

As a friend of mine said–“They just made your job that much easier.”

I hope so. Now to find new committtee members. And get the records.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 30 2006 at 7:20 pm
One comment:
I saw your mention of random bouts of dizziness and just wanted to mention my experience. I had all the tests run that you could possibly have and they had pretty well given up on me, when I found a dentist who could help me. Turns out I had TMJ and that was causing my dizziness. Almost no dentists even know about it, but I’ve been being treated for 7 months and am doing so much better, after a year and half of increasingly debilitating dizzy spells. So, try all the other stuff first, but if they can’t solve it for you, please do try to find a dentist who can help you with TMJ. E-mail me if you have questions or want the name of my doctor.
Comment posted by Laura (ip: on 01 / 31 / 2006 at 1:35 pm

Laura’s E-mail: lauraelliott AT cox DOT net

Saturday afternoon there was a fierce strong high wind which came from the west–my parents had it on the farm in the morning.

The wind took the top off the one tree remaining in the front of the house that still had a top. About twenty feet of top, a foot across at the bottom, went clunk into the driveway and the forsythia bush. Thankfully it did not hit either the house or take down the power lines. Jay and Isabelle spent over two hours cutting it up and moving the pieces so we could exit the driveway.

And thankfully my husband had the foresight years ago to top all the pines to the west of the house, cutting about forty feet off each of them. They still tower over our home. But they will not fall, clunk, onto it.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 24 2006 at 9:19 am
I Survived
my sons fifteenth birthday celebration which involved making two dozen small pizzas, a dozen small individual fudge pudding cakes and fruit juice and ginger ale punch. That wasn’t hard.

But the potential energy of five teenage boys being released in spurts over the course of an evening at times seemed catalytic. Or catastrophic.

They played chess, ate, joked, watched “The Brothers Grim”, and acted crazy.

Two girls also attended. They kept a low profile.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 21 2006 at 9:13 pm
Glad to hear you survived cataclysmic 15-year-old-ness.

They showed that Brothers Grimm movie on the flight from San Diego to Chicago today. Yikes. It was so bad that I finally just turned off the sound and went to sleep somewhere in the middle.

Gilliam really needs help editing his films; this one was all over the place – it was as if they had tried smushing the plots of three separate movies together into one. The elements just did not fit together.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 01 / 23 / 2006 at 8:54 PM
What I remember about the making of this movie is it took a very long time with lots of wrangling and that Gilliam almost refused to have his name on it.

I could not hear most of the dialog as the boys were vociferating all through it, not to mention poking, pushing and prodding each other.

The guys thought it very weird: but it had lots of typical Gilliam elements—the a-typical.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 01 / 24 / 2006 at 9:06 AM

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Good Movies
This Netflcks idea (yes, I know it is spelled wrong–on purpose) is nice for this time of year.

We recommend “The Story of the Weeping Camel” and “Born in a Brothel”.

Even though the second is rated R, there were only two small sections of screaming and slight child hitting we would not let the girl watch.

If you don’t count how toddlers are kept under control: chain wrapped around the ankle and tied to concrete so one does not wander.

There were several similarities between Calcutta and Bolivia apparent: the type of transportation and its madcap way of hurtling round cities, the garbage, the color. Oh, and of course, the poverty.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 13 2006 at 10:16 am
One comment:
Have you seen “Shine”?
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 01 / 21 / 2006 at 4:49 pm

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We Didn’t Get Out Much
A few years ago we were all invited to the fancy local wedding

of the daughter of friends who had moved south. The daughter

married a hometown guy and they married here. It was the first wedding

our children had ever been to, sit down dinner and all.

Our kids had a table to themselves as there were very few children invited. A waitress came to them and asked if they would like to have chicken fingers for their meal.

After giving each other and the waitress

an alarmed look, the waitress decided she should come check with us.

When I went to the table to see what was up, Isabelle exclaimed, “Mom, they

want us to eat chicken toes!”

It took a few minutes to convince them both they

would not be getting cut up chicken feet to eat, but the chicken equivalent of

fish sticks. They had at least had fish sticks once or twice in their lives.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 09 2006 at 8:26 pm
First Seed Order
Ordered from Fedco:

540BD-Bodacious Yellow Sweet Corn

710CL-Coral Shell Pea

884SL-Sugar Lode Snap Pea ECO

1522SP-Seneca Prolific Yellow Summer Squash

1719NE-New England Pie Pumpkin

1827SJ-Snack Jack Pumpkin

1957AW-Autumn Wings Gourd

2128GO-3 Root Grex Beet

2136CH-Chioggia Beet

2441PR-Prisma Shallot

3158GI-Gigante dItalia Parsley

5198BC-Blue Cloud Larkspur

5318EO-Elka Poppy OG

5322BP-Black Peony Poppy

5360PS-Prairie Sun Rudbeckia

5439SS-Sunflower Sampler

5454MM-Mammoth Mix Sweet Pea

5458MS-Mixed Streamers Sweet Pea

5790EX-Exotic Nigella

5960PM-Purple Majesty Millet

6426SS-Sunsugar Cherry Tomato

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 02 2006 at 3:10 pm
New Year’s Eve
There were eleven of us. We had a wonderful supper of which hobbits would approve.

Three sheep cheeses from Spain, and Italian peccorino romano, pistachios, cashews, membrillo (quince paste), two home made cheese spreads, tangerines, oranges, apples, crackers, home made rolls, Italian bread, liver pate, all sorts of olives, figs (mission and calmyra), medjool dates, sparkling grape juice, raspberry-honey mead, home made eggnog, hard cider, juices with tonic water, fresh spinach and watercress.

Later there was 20-year-old Portugese port, Italian hazelnut torrone and marzipan fruits.

We watched the story of the Weeping Camel, played Wise and Otherwise, checkers and called far away friends via Skype.

We went to bed about 1.20AM with everything washed and put away and very grateful to God for friends and the New Year.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 01 2006 at 11:47 am
And pomegranite, sardines in olive oil, smoked oysters
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 01 / 02 / 2006 at 9:44 AM

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…and a lovely time was had by all! 🙂
Comment posted by (ip: on 01 / 04 / 2006 at 2:05 AM
I guess I should have signed that!
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 01 / 04 / 2006 at 2:05 AM
And pomegranite, sardines in olive oil, smoked oysters
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 01 / 01 / 2006 at 12:07 PM

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New Year’s Day
The guys went to church. The girl is too goopy and blowing too often to expose to those you love outside immediate family. So I went for a walk.

It snowed more than an inch last night and there has been no wind at all since so it is ideal for tracking creatures who were out after the snow stopped.

I followed a large deer (I like to think it is the buck grazing which scared as I was going in to the blind the first day of gun season) from the lane behind our house all the way across fields and woods to where it crossed the road almost a mile west of us. Found where he and a friend bedded. For once I wished I had a cell phone so I could call Mr. Y___, who owns the land they crossed into so could have continued tracking them.

Large canid tracks in the deep tangle of pine block and older ones (in hours) along and in a hedgerow. No where near anything having to do with man; they probably belong to a coyote.

Lots and lots of rabbits out eating, playing, jumpng. Also lots of squirrels and small rodents. Tracks everywhere one walks.

A raccoon came from across that road a mile west of us under a row of mature pines, wandered around and then returned to the west woods.

Two grouse flushed as I was following old doe and fawn tracks back towards home. Their inch and a quarter tracks were neat and clear in the snow, too.

We keep a rabbit-free zone around the house. Therefore a trap must be set for tonight. A bunzer has infiltrated the no-bun zone.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 01 2006 at 11:39 am
From where do you order seeds?
Johnny’s in Maine, Seeds of Change in New Mexico, Totally Tomatoes in Minnesota, I think.

We have also used Pinetree Garden Seeds, also in Maine. They specialize in smaller sized, less expensive seed packets.

Thompson & Morgan , a British company is great for harder-to-find flower seed.

I stopped in at the greenhouses this morning to talk to L., who works with Jay. Their family have three large fields where they raise vast amounts of carrots and potatoes to sell and garlic for themselves, along with the usual garden stuff. She told me about Fedco, but I have yet to take a good look at it. They carry a particular kind of tomato we love for half as much as the only other place we know of that carries seed for this variety.

There will be a post about what in particular we will order this year later.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 31 2005 at 1:41 pm
December Thaw
Early this morning, while walking along the road to the Post Office to put in the first Netflick movie we watched yesterday, a large slow creature lumbered towards the stream. It was a beaver. They really are more able in water than on land.

The Netflick subscription is a Christmas present from one of Jay’s sisters. What a great idea for the winter! No driving in the (choose two or three simultaneously) wet/sleet/snow/ice/rain/slush/pelting,blinding snow/howling winds.

Isaac and I watched the most recent Batman movie–the one that tells how it all began. I have only seen one of the others. This movie was much better than that one. Next on the list to come is “The Weeping Camel”.

The other thing we have been doing lately is talking to friends overseas for free via Skype. We highly recommend it!

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 29 2005 at 3:59 pm
Advent piece
This was pretty heavily edited by the powers-that-be at church before being included. Some history and all the politics got cut. Too bad, really. Jesus’ kingship is an indirect affront to alternate political and religious systems of this world.

The alternate title of this hymn should be: Jesus, Baby of the World. Doesn’t it sound just like the family of a new baby? Practically everyone thinks their child is the most (insert adjective) baby that ever was. For the Son born from Father’s heart these words are not exaggeration.

This hymn is part of a poem written in Latin by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, the first Christian poet. When he wrote this poem he was an older middle-aged man from the Roman province of Spain; a wealthy lawyer and regional governor in the imperial Roman civil service.

In power hundreds of years before Jesus was on earth, Rome also occupied and controlled the land where Jesus was born, grew up, worked, taught, was killed and resurrected. By the time this poem was written, about 370 years after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, Rome was in decline; Christendom was on the rise. Within the decade Visigoths would sack Rome.

Rome started as a Republic run by citizen representatives and gradually became an empire ruled by kings who called themselves gods. Rome also had the first Christian king, split into separate Western and Eastern empires, and after her fall became part of the first Christian empire: Byzantium. Rome, that great hulking entity which controlled much of the world and ruled millions of her souls for hundreds of years, changed. Ultimately she bowed, with all other powers and dominions, before the Source and Ending who was ‘ere the worlds began to be. The pagan Teutonic Visigoths who eventually overthrew Rome would themselves become Christian. Islam would not appear for more than 200 years. Jesus, baby of the world, unchanged since the beginning of time: all will eventually bow before Him.

Here is a stanza of the poem not found in hymnals: “He is found in human fashion, death and sorrow here to know, that the race of Adam’s children doomed by law to endless woe, may not henceforth die and perish in the dreadful gulf below, evermore and evermore ”

As I learn more of the work and life of sculptor Andy Goldsworthy, there at times rises in me an indescribably strong unreasoning jealousy, hunger, yearning to have a life like his – free to be creative, to have no daily cares beyond being creative (he has a wife and employees), to discuss your creative feelings and ideas, and to be paid handsomely, recognized, encouraged and lauded for so doing. In contrast, my life at those moments seems one of almost perpetual slog and grit. My inarticulate, wild abandoned creative spirit has been shaped by and bounded and reined in by family and body, by time and place and choices I made to do someone else’s will and not my own. In this minute but at times excruciatingly painful way I think that somehow I might remotely grasp how Jesus sometimes felt; that he himself felt something akin to the anguish occasionally felt at finding ones’ self squished into a useful role, maybe even the best use of one’s life, but not feeling at home there.

In John 8 Jesus tells Israel’s leaders the truth about himself; they do not or will not hear him. In verse 8.25 He says, (sounding peevish): “Why do I speak to you at all?” A life of denial, restraint of self, relatively silent suffering, frustration and perpetual misunderstanding, of being one thing but becoming something else, of cultivating skills you do not desire nor naturally possess instead of using those born in you. To do Someone else’s will, and not your own. To lay down your life, instead of taking it up and making the most of it. To watch what could have been, die. Discipline rather than abandon. Abandonment as part of fulfillment.

Jesus, baby of the world, became Jesus, man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. How much should we now honor and enjoy him, and celebrate the beginning of his time here on earth. Let no tongue on earth be silent, every voice in concert sing. He knew what we were, knew what was ahead, and came for us anyway.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 22 2005 at 8:03 am
The 2005 Year Highlights
Our succinct Christmas notes: (minus some identifiers)

• To Tucson, Arizona in February for ten days to visit relatives John, Rose and Janine _____, friends the M______s in Phoenix and museums, caves, churches, gardens.

• Attended a performance of Carmina Burana at Ithaca College in April in all its glory.

• We rescued and raised two Blue Jay chicks in the cold, dry spring who kept jumping out of their nest because their parents could not find enough food. We named the smaller one Chip. He lived and grew for six weeks before dying. The larger sibling, named Pig, we successfully fledged back to his parents and the wild. He still comes to the bird feeder.

• Jay and Isaac, with 40 other people from our church raised money all spring and went to Rosa Rita, Mexico for a week in July to help build one of two homes for a family there.

• Lily bunny taken by a wild beast in the early summer.

• A hot, dry summer of friends visiting and playing, gardening, watering.

• Deb needs to use glasses for reading and close work.

• Fishing, trapping, hunting. Jay and friends shot many Canada Geese in the fall. Jay and Deb saw a Fisher (martens pennanti) up back in November. Jay shot three does and Deb didn’t even see that many deer while hunting. A pheasant provided meat for soup and feathers for ornaments.

• Isaac finished up home school and began September as a freshman in ______ High School where he is on the high honor roll and the winter Indoor Track Team.

• Isabelle turned ten with a making cookies birthday party, joined a horse 4-H club, played Sertoma Soccer and got braces.

• In the flower bed, hardy Cyclamen bloom and leaf out in the fall for the first time!

• New flooring in the kitchen and dining rooms replaces the 70+ yr.-old linoleum.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 22 2005 at 7:52 am
One comment:
Interesting. Jay______


Comment posted by Jay (ip: on 01 / 04 / 2006 at 9:01 pm

Jay’s E-mail: you know

First Deer with Muzzleloader
As of about 7.45 this morning, Jay added his fifth deer of the season; he shot a buck fawn with the muzzleloader he and his brother bought last year, a first.

We had about seven inches of snow last night with no wind at all, so the hedgerow and woods are beautiful with all the dark branches and twigs picked out with a 2-3 inch layer of bright snow on them. The lack of visibility, or perhaps I should say the confusion inherent in such visibility helped Jay. Two deer fed within 30 yards of him before he shot as he was standing near a row of hemlocks that runs along a stream filled ravine.

We all went up and helped drag the deer home.

Next up: more firewood into the basement.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 16 2005 at 10:12 am
Family Provisions
There is a silly video clip

here of a “hunter” detailing how he gives his family the “most expensive meat in the world” by hunting venison. His family’s venison cost in the area of $156 per pound.

Here is Jay’s tab: 2005 deer hunting expenses

4 shells target practice 2.00

4 shells shot at deer 2.00

1 box granola bars 2.00

half tank gas 20.00

hunting license (big game) 19.00

freezer bags 3.00


$ 48.00

Yield: four deer @ 40 pounds of meat each

40 x 4 = 160 pounds


———— = $ 0.30/ pound

160 pounds

If we bought venison around here it would run about $12.00 per pound. With bone in. Ours is all meat–no bone or fat frozen with it.

Oh, we also got $3.00 apiece for the deer hides. That brings the cost down to

$36.00, which brings the price per pound down to about $0.22.

We are doing much better than that guy.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 14 2005 at 12:26 pm
The Seven Point Buck
After a morning of fruitless drives, as I was teaching piano lessons Tuesday afternoon, Jay went up back to the woods. He walked in to the middle of the woods and stood around, trying, in his own words “to decide what to do”. Should he go to a stand? If so, which one? Walk over east to the gravel pit? Still hunt?

As he stood there considering for five minutes or so, he became aware of a deer off to his left about forty yards. Jay has used up all his tags for antlerless deer. This one, it became apparent, was not antlerless. He let it walk until its head was behind a tree, when he raised his gun, and soon after, fired. The buck fell about forty yards further.

When we dragged it out and Jay hung it in the garage we saw a large old wound, three inches wide by six long, on the back of its neck made, probably, by a bullet graze. And then yesterday, when Jay skinned it out, we saw on its back and hide wounds made by at least one bullet–maybe two, by the number of holes. The deer had been hit early on in the gun season right near the spine, but not enough to paralyze it or kill it.

Jy thinks it is a yearling buck. It has no fat at all, a consequence, we think, of laying low not eating and being in pain from those wounds a couple weeks ago.

For the record, Jay shot as the buck was walking and hit it between the third and fourth ribs from the back end about three inches from the spine. The hepatic artery, liver, and lung were all hit. The creature died quickly.

And I still have not seen a deer to shoot at, even after putting more hours into hunting this year than in recent memory.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 08 2005 at 2:15 pm
A Grinding We Will Go
MA is the youngest from a large family out west. Her grandkids and my children have been good summer buddies for over seven years. Today MA brought me a present that she has not used in twelve years.

I have used it twice already!

It is a motorized grain mill with two stones which used to be her mother’s, then hers. By moving a lever the two stones can be moved closer together (fine) or further apart (medium and coarse).

On a table in the basement the machine got cleaned and ready. I set it to ‘coarse’, plugged it in, and ran the kernals from an ear of corn through. Out into the drawer beneath came relatively fine cracked corn for the birds.

Then I poured whole wheat from my family’s farm in on the fine setting. In the drawer, lo and behold, was lovely, fine flour. The first batch of rolls is already mixing.

I think I will make some cookies and see how the flour works…

A mill is something I have wanted for decades. Oh, thank you, MA!

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 08 2005 at 1:56 pm
A Faustian Christmas
You must really go to Mr. Leithart’s blog and read this very funny play.
Entry posted by jpm14 on December 08 2005 at 10:33 am
Recently read Books
Oh, and reading. Have done some of that, too, lately.

From the Holy Mountain by William Dalrymple. A journey among the Christians of the Middle East. Fascinating (my favorite adjective). Great travel writer. Insightful. His other books look interesting, too.

The two Bartimaeus

books in the series by Jonathan Stroud. The third just came out. Better characterizations than HP. Occult employed as the means magicians use to enslave spirits/demons which enable the magicians to rule the world. Power through evil. Well-written. My guess is in the third book the commoners find a way to release the bound spirits/demons and put the magicians out of business.

Angels and Demons by the same Dan Brown of Da Vinci Code fame. Too long by half, same conspiracy type stuff. Pass it up.

The Historian by Elizabeht Kostova. What a great writer! There were many times I would stop and go back over some delicious metaphor, adjectival phrase or description. Great travel writer, too. Makes me want to visit Eastern Europe. Great intertwining story lines. This book has history, travel, anthropology, suspense, relationships, scariness (but not too much) all in one. Can her next book possibly be better?

Anything the library has on or by Andy Goldworthy. In another set of circumstances, this could have been me. That he has made such a fabulous career for himself by playing incites jealousy to rise in me. Ah, well. The question remains: how can such a creative artist, who works exclusively with creation as his ‘pallette’ ignore the Creator?

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Really well written account of her growing years with two selfish parents who carted their family all over kingdom come. Feeling stifled? Underappreciated? Read this and thank God she lived to share: I don’t think I would have had a tenth of her optimism.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 29 2005 at 9:02 pm
Have you seen the “Jane Austen Mysteries” by Stephanie Barron? I read Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor. It was enjoyable, but reminded me of other books I like better.
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 12 / 05 / 2005 at 11:29 PM

Jeni’s E-mail:

No, have not. I did start a mystery that supposedly was set in the town and time where Beatrix Potter lived in England–with talking animals, too–but it didn’t remind me of anything I liked and I ditched it early on. It was very ‘cutesy’.
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 12 / 08 / 2005 at 1:59 PM

Herself’s E-mail:

Herself’s website:

Skip the Dan Brown altogether and go straight to the Real Thing, Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum… 🙂
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 12 / 09 / 2005 at 6:31 PM
After Thanksgiving
Too much real life to sit and type about it much.

New floors. Jay shot three does. We saw a fisher. I have seen more hunters on hunts than I have seen deer. Snow, then rain. Thanksgiving with my younger brother’s second family for the first time. I am an aunt again. Hannah and Seth home with us to the farm for Thanksgiving. Singing rehearsals. Meetings. Doctor and orthodontist (for Isabelle) appointments. Meat cutting. Jerky making. Liver and heart eating. Dog and cat are very happy it is hunting season again.

Today I went out in the record breaking 66 degree air and saw that during the snow days the wretched deer had eaten, not only all the swiss chard, but had also attacked and destroyed the beet greens, pulled out and chomped on some beets, and eaten the carrot and salsify greens down!

Made borscht for supper. I need to “beet” the deer at their own game and hope to use them up before they eat them.

Isabelle made a gigantic snow deer Sunday. By this morning it had left for colder climes.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 29 2005 at 8:35 pm
November so far
We have had only one day so far this month like the October goose hunting day. The thin white snow blanket melted by noon. Most days have been breezy, sunny and into the fifties. Hard to believe we live in the Northeast. Last night was heavy rain and today it is overcast and in the forties. There is a last bouquet of pale apple pink roses and small yellow-stemmed swiss chard leaves in a porcelain cream pitcher on the table in the bathroom.

There are four extras guys in my kitchen and dining room with knives, power tools, staple guns, plywood, and stuff that looks like mud. For the past two weeks I have packed up everything from the hutches (three), the sideboard and the cupboard on the basement landing and moved them elsewhere.

The green table is out in the garage. The microwave and bread machine now reside in the bathroom, along with the metal kitchen table and accoutrements: bread board, knife, slat, sugar, a few bowls, potholder.

These guys were due yesterday and didn’t make it. So at Jay’s urging, I removed the nearly 20-year-old wallpaper border that ran on a board above the wainscoating (and which I really, really liked), took apart the heater, and bought new semi-gloss white paint. Jay had already sanded and washed most of the kitchen Sunday night. Late yesterday afternoon I taped all the borders and we started painting when he arrived home. After supper at Audrey’s (what a pal!) Jay continued and finished after midnight.

This morning I made chicken noodle soup for lunch and supper from absolutely marvelous home made stock (chicken boiled with onion, sage, rosemary, and lovage, an herb that is like very strong celery), fine egg noodle and a bit of salt because there will be no stove use for the next couple days. It is in the living room, next to the bathroom at present.

Isabelle and I decided the new kitchen chair rail border will be vertical 6 inch cuts from the leftovers of the William Morris Chrysanthemum wallpaper on the east wall of the piano part of the living room. (We have the cream, pinky-mauve, blue-grey, blue-green, sand on gold paper colorway)

After these guys moved all the furniture to pre-ordained spots in the living room, I washed walls and furniture. We also all discussed hunting, and deer in particular, since they noticed the buck with the thick ten-point rackwho hangs above the piano and were astonished when Jay told them who had shot it.

Isaac is busy with school and winter indoor track. Did I mention he made high-honor roll the first sextant (or whatever one calls the first of six marking periods)? Thanks to his parents. If he does so this next marking period it will be thanks to himself. and may he do so! It still astonishes me how very little homework he has. Even he has admitted the work seems negligible after home school. And he is in all the high level honors classes.

Back to the seemingly endless paperwork for the Friends of the Library. My penultimate month as secretary for the Board, whew.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 15 2005 at 1:04 pm
Jay’s morning off
What would make men leave their warm wives and beds in the dark wee hours of the morning, get dressed in up to seven layers of clothing, drive ten miles, then carry a couple hundred pounds of high priced gear and a gun into the screaming wind and pouring rain, canoe across a snow-flecked lake and stand in the dark, hip-deep in bone chilling water?

You guessed it: the chance to bring home his own Canada goose, dead.

After six hours Jay returned with two geese. Let’s figure out opportunity cost per bird, shall we?

Well, maybe not. It is embarassing.

Instead, I shall remind him of this morning when I next need to go away on my own for a couple hours.

All we eat from these geese are their breasts. The rest of the meat is almost nonexistent, and incredibly tough. The breasts are only moderately tough, requiring days of marination or aging or both, preferably.

Entry posted by jpm14 on October 27 2005 at 10:33 am
One comment:
Where do you find a snow flecked lake already????? I’m jealous…
Comment posted by Kiny (ip: on 10 / 31 / 2005 at 3:48 am
D*** Ineresting
A VERY interesting blog site is Damn Interesting .

I almost could not read this article on an accident during “experiments to further explore the behaviors and potential of nuclear energy”: Bitten by the Nuclear Dragon

And check out the one about Ancient greek astral computers!

Entry posted by jpm14 on October 23 2005 at 9:02 am
Nice link.

About the “Nuclear Dragon,” at least Louis Slotin knew the dangers he was dealing with. When I was a grad student in CT I took a 10-hour NRC-approved course in radiation safety and they showed us the documentary “Radium City.” I’ve pasted below a review of it (since Upsaid won’t let me post a link here).

Another thing they told is is that in those days you could tell which dentists had been practicing longer than others by how many finger joints were missing (from handling the isotope).

September 26, 1987
Film Festival; A View of the Radium Dial Horror

LEAD: It must have sounded like a good job at the time, painting luminous numbers onto the faces of clocks. In old photographs, the teen-age girls who worked at the Radium Dial Company’s factory in Ottawa, Ill., during the 1920’s look happy, and they also look prosperous, since the pay was high. The work was even challenging, since it took skill to fill in the outlined numbers properly.

It must have sounded like a good job at the time, painting luminous numbers onto the faces of clocks. In old photographs, the teen-age girls who worked at the Radium Dial Company’s factory in Ottawa, Ill., during the 1920’s look happy, and they also look prosperous, since the pay was high. The work was even challenging, since it took skill to fill in the outlined numbers properly. The better to master this intricately detailed painting, the workers were encouraged to lick their brushes.

The consequences were dreadful and, as documented by Carole Langer in ”Radium City,” as far-reaching as the wildest nightmare. Many of the women developed radium-related cancer and of these, most died young; Miss Langer establishes that quickly because it is, in a terrible way, the very least of Ottawa’s troubles. Or in any case just the beginning, for Miss Langer’s film tells a tale that gets worse at every turn. ”Radium City” outlines the complex aftermath of these events with as full an awareness of social and political consequences as medical ones. What emerges is as chilling a real-life horror story as anyone could imagine.

After the Radium Dial workers began to get sick, according to the film, a lawsuit brought pressure to bear upon the company. With that, it closed and then re-opened under the name Luminous Processes in another part of town. The young women, though more apprehensive, kept on working. (”At 19, nobody asks questions about how dangerous anything is, you just take the job because you need it,” said one of the women interviewed.) This was during the Depression, and with World War II Luminous Processes grew even more unassailable. Its president met with Albert Einstein and President Roosevelt about helping the war effort, and Luminous began using its facilities to turn out polonium, for possible use in atomic bombs.

Meanwhile, the death toll continued to rise, and an ever-greater shroud of mystery surrounded Ottawa. Three elderly women recall the death of their sister and the doctors’ efforts to have her buried immediately, in the middle of the night, before an autopsy could be performed.

After the war, the Atomic Energy Commission began research into conditions in Ottawa, a town whose cemetery is still highly radioactive. (The three elderly women say they were told it would be centuries before their sister’s body, which had been exhumed from its grave at the time of filming and sent elsewhere for tests, would lose its radioactivity.) Most of the results of their research remained secret. And in 1968 the original Radium Dial Company building was torn down, after having been used as a meat locker for a while. One woman said that of the family that ran the meat locker, all but one has since died of cancer.

Pieces of the building were scattered throughout the town and used as landfill. One man shows off the old counter he scavenged from the wreckage and installed in his basement. Another shows the spot where he kept an ornament from the building until a year ago, when someone took it away for tests. The spot is empty, but it still sets a geiger counter to ticking. So does much of the town. It has a high rate of birth defects, and the pets are sickly. One hunter was alarmed to bag a severely disfigured, tumor-covered deer.

”Radium City” is as much about the townspeople’s efforts to deal with these ghastly facts as with the facts themselves. In addition to outlining the anger and grief of some residents, it also focuses on the fearfulness and boosterism of others.

The Mayor, who politely plays down the problem in an interview with Miss Langer, is also seen on a videotape (made by a local man named Ken Ricci, who serves as a geiger-counter-carrying vigilante) of a city council meeting, introducing a discussion of how to dismantle the now-abandoned Luminous Processes building with the news that anyone asking rude questions will be escorted out by the police. Not surprisingly, in view of this, the town’s efforts to dispose of radioactive waste have been ineffectual. Carelessly hosing down factory sites has spread the problem even further, contaminating the water supply.

The people of Ottawa express varying degrees of resignation, bitterness and confusion, emotions that are brought into even sharper relief by the glimpses Miss Langer offers of the hardships in their lives.

A deeply religious woman whose young son has cancer talks about faith and frustration. The boy’s eyes widen when his mother mentions a moment in which she felt that perhaps God ought to take him quickly.

A woman whose sister has Down’s Syndrome recalls her mother, who worked in the radium factory and also had two miscarriages. Her mother used to say that ”it’s not who you know, but what you do as a person that counts in this life,” she recalls. ”And a few months before she died, she looked at me and said ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’ And it was really sad.” ”Radium City” is about more than an isolated calamity. (And it’s by no means isolated. An abandoned radium factory in Woodside, Queens, owned by the same family that ran the Ottawa plants, is currently under investigation.) The film is about the desire for independence that led those teen-age girls to the plants in the first place, about facing up to hardship and about the dangers of being too well-bred to ask questions. Miss Langer’s tone is more accusatory than objective, and at times more sentimental than it needs to be, but the story she tells makes those lapses understandable. It is a story too important to be ignored.

”Radium City” will be shown tonight at 6 P.M. as part of the New York Film Festival. The Credits RADIUM CITY, directed and produced by Carole Langer; photography by Luke Sacher; edited by Ms. Langer and Brian Cotnoir; music by Timmy Cappello. At Alice Tully Hall, as part of the 25th New York Film Festival. Running time: 110 minutes. This film has no rating.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 10 / 23 / 2005 at 7:34 PM
The review doesn’t mention the fact that as lawsuits closed Radium Dial factories, the businesses just packed up and moved to towns where no-one had heard of them yet. There are many “Radium Dial towns” in the US, four in CT, alone.

See “Radium Girls” at Wikipedia – “For fun, the Radium Girls painted their nails, teeth and faces with the deadly paint produced at the factory, sometimes to surprise their boyfriends when the lights went out.”

See also “Deadly Glow” at Amazon.

Here’s another article:

‘Radium girls’ wrote tragic chapter in town’s history
By Martha Irvine, Associated Press
Copyright 1998 Buffalo News
October 11, 1998

The year was 1923, a giddy time for a small-town teen-ager who had no money for college but found herself able to buy silk dresses and high-heeled shoes.

Margaret Looney, a soft-spoken redhead known as Peg, was fresh out of high school when she and dozens of other young women were hired to paint glow-in-the-dark watch dials at the newly arrived Radium Dial Co.

It was no easy task to trace the tiny numbers on the watches, made popular by their use in World War I. So the women were encouraged to make a fine point on their brushes by rolling the tips on their tongues before dipping them in the radium-laced paint.

“Not to worry,” their bosses told them. “If you swallow any radium, it’ll make your cheeks rosy.”

Discovered in 1898 by Marie Curie, the naturally occurring radioactive element was the wonder substance of the new century, thought to cure everything from arthritis to cancer. The women at Radium Dial sometimes painted their teeth and faces and then turned off the lights for a laugh.

What they didn’t know was that the substance was killing some of them.

Radium Dial and its successor, Luminous Processes, are gone. But the radium scattered when their buildings were destroyed in 1969 and 1984 remains in Ottawa, a sleepy river town in north-central Illinois.

“The tragedy really still lives there,” said Ross Mullner, an associate professor of health policy at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

That tragedy, he says, began with the dial painters, who worked in studios in Ottawa; Orange, N.J.; Waterbury, Conn.; and on Long Island.

Peg Looney was one of an estimated 4,000 workers nationwide.

A 1922 yearbook from her all-girl Catholic high school describes the senior as a bookworm, with “a voice ever so soft, gentle and low” prone to the occasional giggling fit.

At Radium Dial, Miss Looney would make about $ 18 a week, compared with the $ 5 she could make elsewhere. The company prospered as the glow-in-the dark concept expanded for use on military aircraft controls and the hugely popular Westclox “Big Ben” alarm clock.

All the while, staff doctors routinely checked the dial painters for radioactivity, though the women didn’t know it at the time.

Miss Looney’s family later learned that she tested positive for radioactivity in 1925 and again in 1928 — the year before she died. “I’m angry because they knew years before she died that she was full of radium,” her sister said. “And then they lied.”

Results of the tests would become public in a Chicago courtroom in 1938 after one worker, Catherine Wolfe Donahue, sued Radium Dial.

She testified that she and a co-worker asked supervisor Rufus Reed why the company didn’t post the results of the physical exams.

“My dear girls, if we were to give a medical report to you girls, there would be a riot in the place,” Reed said, according to testimony in court records.

Ms. Donahue, who was so ill she had to be carried into the courtroom, died that same year, shortly after the company agreed to pay her a few thousand dollars. Earlier lawsuits filed by five Radium Dial workers in New Jersey also ended in settlement.

But most women who got sick never sued.

“Let’s just say they didn’t have a whole lot of social authority. They couldn’t just bang on doors and get noticed,” said Claudia Clark, an assistant professor of history at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Mich., and author of the new book “Radium Girls.”

Deaths were often attributed to other causes, anemia one of the most common. But experts, including scientists at Argonne National Laboratories, now affirm that radium did kill some of the women.

There is still disagreement about how many. Some say a few; others believe radium caused hundreds to die or suffer bad health for years. “There are a bunch of cases where people know there’s something wrong,” Clark said.

Some women had tumors bulging from their jaws or leg bones, where radium was said to settle. Declining health forced Miss Looney to leave Radium Dial on Aug. 6, 1929. Eight days later, age 24, she was dead.

An autopsy by a Radium Dial doctor listed diphtheria as cause of death. But her family has never believed that, in part because the company asked them to rush the funeral.

“They wanted the whole thing done with — just gone,” said Miss Looney’s niece, Darlene Halm of Ottawa, recounting the story her mother told her. “It was like a big cover-up.”

A 1997 study at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb documented an above-average cancer rate near the factory. But no follow-up search for a direct link has begun, in part due to lack of money and staff. “And, frankly, the community is not screaming,” said Ruth Anne Tobias, the researcher who oversaw the 1997 study.

Besides Illinois, at least two other states have radium hot spots. Cleanup on radium-laced landfill in Glen Ridge, N.J. — the last of four towns in that state — is beginning this month, according to EPA spokesman Rich Cahill.

In all, the EPA expects to spend more than $ 144 million for radium cleanup in New Jersey and New York, with detoxification begun in West Orange and Orange, site of the defunct U.S. Radium Co.

A site in Montclair, N.J., is now free of radium, said Cahill, as is the site of the former Radium Chemical Co. in New York’s borough of Queens.

Officials at the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection have found contamination — including in apartment buildings that are former dial painting studios — in Waterbury, Bristol, New Haven and other cities.

With a report due early next year, state officials say they are asking the EPA to help with federal funds.

Scientists at Argonne do know, at least in part, what happened to Peg Looney.

Twenty years ago, they exhumed her body and those of about 100 others nationwide. Using a tiny measurement named for Madame Curie, they found 19,500 microcuries of radium in Miss Looney’s bones, more than 1,000 times the amount scientists consider safe.

Robert Rowland, the Batavia, Ill., scientist who oversaw the Argonne study, calls this “an awful lot of radium . . . one of the highest we found.”

The results were used, in part, to develop safety standards for plutonium workers.

“I guess you could look at this story and say, ‘It’s the canary in the coal mine,’ ” said Katie Troccoli, a real estate agent and outspoken environmental activist in Ottawa.

“It was a terrible thing to happen,” she said. “Somehow, we have to get the word out.”

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 10 / 23 / 2005 at 7:50 PM
I seen this documentary on the learning channel back in the early 90’s. I haven’t seen it since. Do you know where I can get a copy?
Comment posted by Ted (ip: on 11 / 24 / 2005 at 7:27 PM

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Double Digits
She is well and truly ten now. Monday night we went to Grandma M’s. All Jay’s sibling have their birthdays this month also so there was a party. Watching 50+ year-olds open presents is not as exciting as watching a new ten-year-old so you can readily imagine who got the most presents to open.

Tuesday was her Gotcha Day. Two books from the booksale were her present: Dealing with Dragons and My Name is Aram.

Wednesday was the official birth day. A dress, a beautiful cloth napkin, My Friend Flika and The Black Stallion from her brother, a springerle mold of a unicorn, a pair of spotted tights and Kaya’s Paper Doll book were distributed at AM and PM meals. Her birthday dinner request consisted of chicken pot pie and chocolate bread pudding.

Thursday a present from Aunt Janice came: a small llama direct from Chile, from whence A. J. has just returned.

Friday a present from O in Texas! O frabjous day, callo, calay! A much cosseted small black poodle, a hand-made cell phone (“I wish it really worked so I could call O.”), a book about the making of beautiful letters.

Saturday, the once-in-five-years birthday party. A bake and eat tea party to which eight other little girls were invited. Ready for them to shape and complete were doughs to make Micey morsals, Cute Kitty (faces) cookies and Cardamon cut-outs.

Each girl chose a cookie cutter, decorated a small white box which they filled with cookies, a copy of the mouse and cat recipes.

The girls were asked to bring a small gift or two to be placed in an Operation Christmas Child box. We made a good start on four boxes. (“And the best part is, I don’t have to write any thank-you notes!”)

After making and baking, the tables were cleaned and set with cloth, china and silver and they sat down to a tea party. Fun and many cookies were had by all.

After the last guest departed, the three of us drove down to the book sale and we each spent about 30 minutes looking and choosing. Fun and many books were had by all.

Entry posted by jpm14 on October 23 2005 at 8:57 am
Today, Sunday, provides a poignant postscript to such a week of pleasant emotion.

We will attend the dedication of the playground built to honor the memory of a friend who died at the age of six several years ago.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 10 / 23 / 2005 at 9:06 AM

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Happy birthday! And I came here anyway to let you know that I had a dream about both of you (Deb and Isabelle) last night. I was sitting on the back stoop of my grandmother’s house trying to decide what kind of fish to make for dinner (a real-life question for tonight). I saw Isabelle coming across a field yelling hi and Deb coming the other way, and then both of you came and sat on the stoop with me. Isabelle said to make fish with vegetables. Somehow, we decided to make meatballs instead. So that’s what we’re having for dinner, in real life.
Comment posted by Abby (ip: on 10 / 24 / 2005 at 10:13 AM
Post party…
Meg – I am going to eat vegetables for dinner, bursh my teeth, and go to bed!

I guess she ate enough cookies!

Comment posted by JulieJ (ip: on 10 / 25 / 2005 at 9:29 PM
This weekend
Friday afternoon Isabelle and i stopped at Sauder’s, and Amish grocery store outside Seneca Falls on the way to the farm. While shopping I almost literally ran into Susan, a missionary to Africa from our church, who had just returned from there for a month to check up on her aging parents.


Last Monday morning cousin Nancy finally succumbed to metatisized ovarian cancer after 18 months. She fought long and hard and lived six times longer than the doctors had told her she would. She got to spend time with her first grandchild.

Last Sunday she played organ and sang at church, went to a large family dinner, for a long walk with her husband John and to bed early. Her biggest concern was being bedridden and not able to be outdoors. God honored her desire.

She went a long way to help herself and was a model of courage, cheerfulness and discipline.

The church she went to,Trinity Lutheran, was overflowing Saturday morning. A long and honoring service–honoring both Nancy’s life and her Lord. Communion was served; I note for those interested that the church is paedocommunist. After the service family and friends walked, following the coffin, across the road to the cemetary where her body was buried.

The ladies of the church put on an enormous spread in the basement fellowship hall afterwards. Isabelle and I spent time with lots of family before returning to my parents’ farm.


My parents returned from a short trip that night about 11.30. At 3.30Am the nearby town fire siren sang out and Zeke started howling. Mom and I both eventually got up. She thought he needed to go outside, and as soon as we stepped out the door the reason for the alarm was apparent: one of the grain drying bins the next farm down was on fire. It looked like a gigantic squat blowtorch. As we watched, trucks from three local companies arrived. Mom woke my father, who drove over on the gator to ask if the fuel line had been turned off. (I don’t think it had)

As soon as the propane was off, the fire started to recede. The contents–just harvested corn–are toatlly destroyed. The bin is ravaged but may be able to be salvaged. CY Farms, who own this bin, are one of the best managers in the country. Yes, country, not just county. They were top three in their field on a recent national list. But even large farmers have difficulty absorbing losses this large.


We returned home by late afternoon in time to welcome Jay and Isaac’s return from the Adirondacks where the Boy Scouts had been camping and canoeing on Moose river that had risen five feet overnight due to rain. They were happy to sleep in dry beds and have hot water to use.

Jay said the amazing thing was that the water was still clear amber: no farms are that far north, the ground is sand. The 4-6 inches of rain went straight down and into the river, amber colored from the pine tannins and still clear, no topsoil erosion at all.

They also saw evidence of hundreds of beavers slides on the banks, but all the dams were submerged by the rising water otherwise the guys would have had to portage quite a few times to get around them.

Entry posted by jpm14 on October 10 2005 at 11:20 am
The Pig Family
A while ago, Sora, gave some titles of children’s books she and her children are partial to and asked for suggestions.

One of my favorite is the Pig family series written and illustrated by Mary Rayner. The first title is Mrs. Pig’s Bulk Buy.

The whole series is delightfully illustrated, funny, and wickedness, personified by a wolf, routinely gets its just desserts.

We read and re-read thses when Isaac was little. It has taken me awhile to recall the title and author, but I just requested them all from the library so Isabelle and I revel in them.

Other titles include “Mrs. Pig Gets Cross and other Stories”, Mr. and Mrs. Pig’s Evening Out”, “Garth Pig and the Ice Cream Lady” and Garth Pig Steals the Show”

Entry posted by jpm14 on October 04 2005 at 12:04 pm
Take that, you larval strip mining wasp!
In China, hives of native honeybees defend against the predations of gigantic wasps by covering them with bees and cooking them to death!

Creation is so amazing.

Entry posted by jpm14 on October 03 2005 at 12:46 pm
Outdoor Update
A bouquet of roses is on the table. I thought it would be the last, since frosts were predicted the last two nights and we had made it almost to October without one. But no frost, so there will be roses in October this year. Nice roses, not ones just able to squeak out in the last sunny days.

There is also a bouquet of sweet peason the table. Ditto.

Jay pulled the squash, pepper, bean and some tomato plants yesterday and helped me finish planting transplants from the garden of an old friend who is planning to move south to join her grandson. We planted a mock orange, a flowering almond, a peony, monkshood, two sage plants and costmary. He also cut most of the volunteer cleome.

The grass is greener than it was all summer since we had about 1.5 inches of rain just this week, more than we had most of the summer.

Three hardy cyclamen plants are blooming. Oh, joy! Altogether there has been close to three dozen blooms. The leaves are now appearing as much as ten inches away from the blooms. Fascinating.

The autumn crocus and morning glories are waning.

One Monarch of less than a dozen now sighted was seen yesterday.

Did I mention the very large frog missing a front leg I picked up along the road which I then opened for the kids as an impromptu biology class? It was a female full of eggs for next spring and full of ropes of orange fat for the winter.

There are still a few dragonflies. Yesterday a very large one repeatedly circled the lawn and gardens in the sunlight. A small bright red one was at the pond.

Thursday I picked 2 2/3 quarts of red raspberries. There will be more today as the frosts did not hit. Hurrah!

The last potatoes were dug and the kids washed them off.

Entry posted by jpm14 on October 01 2005 at 7:50 am
Thinking Styles
It is really difficult to teach a child that is so different from me. I can see things in my mind and figure them out. One decade long ago I had a business where a finicky piece of equipment was an integral part of what we produced. If there was a problem with it during the day, that night I would go to bed thinking about the machine and the problem to be solved. By morning I could visualize what needed to be done/fixed/changed to accomplish the work. I also can see the end from the beginning. I could spend the day just thinking about ideas and plans. I analyze and am a strategic thinker. Guess that is good, since I have to use those skills constantly to successfuly teach Isabelle.

Isabelle is a kinesthetic child. She wants to taste, touch, feel, hear, see, experience, do it all. In her natural state, thinking about ideas occurs, shall we say, infrequently. She lives in the moment. She has analytical abilities, but in her earlier years they were used mostly in figuring how to manipulate people and environment to get what she wanted. This instant.

She has matured remarkably in her ability to deny herself instant gratification. She is generous and (usually) thoughtful of others. She mostly recognizes and controls her manipulative behavior. She has come a long way and is very thoughtful about some courses of action and their results. We talk about reaping and sowing a lot.

Grammar and Latin have been very difficult for her, and me, by extension. It is difficult for me to accept that she really does not “get it” about concepts that (to me) should seem obvious after innumerable repetitions and that she is not just manipulating the situation so she does not have to work. Examples? I am almost embarrassed to give any. How about: which letters are consonants and which vowels in English, or, how to determine the subject of a sentence in Latin?

All this to say that Writing Road to Reading and Lingua Latina are proving of real value this year. She loves making her grammar and vocabulary notebook (it is kinesthetic!) and with daily repetition she is “getting ” the rules. Isabelle feels (and I know) she is learning and retaining knowledge she uses every day and helps her think. She is starting to like Lingua Latina; I now give her a review sheet to fill out almost every day. Even though we had covered a lot of Ecce Romani 1A last year she retained virtually nothing by this fall. But now we are in Capitulum Secundum I know I have the Genitive case down better now than I ever have, and I think she can say the same. And the value of watching Matt teach Isaac and Jacob is still in full force, as reviewing gender, number and case for each noun in certain sentences is helping her regain and retain Latin (and by extension, English) grammar.

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 23 2005 at 11:10 am
One comment:
Thanks for this post, Deb. Keep up the good work.

I agree, LL is a great book.

Comment posted by Matt (ip: on 10 / 21 / 2005 at 11:55 am

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Science this week
Science this week

Sunday we all went to Judy’s Day at the Cornell Plantations. The theme this year was grasses and grains. We made fragrant grass sachets, learned how to thatch roofs and weave grass mats, tasted three sugar syrups from grasses (sorghum, rice and barley), ate tsampas, the regular breakfast and travel food of tibet. It is made of roasted barley flour, butter, tea and sugar mixed together with your fingers and eaten in lumps. We pounded corn, winnowed wheat, wove wheat straw ornaments, compared animal skulls, saw bamboo flutes being made, honked on bassoon reeds made of bamboo, ate sugar cane, and met three goddesses of grain: corn, wheat and rice. We did more, but that is what comes to mind. When we got home Jay and Isaac turned around and left for another social gathering. Isabelle promptly gleaned an ear of corn from the harvested field next to us, found a 2-3″ wide cut elbow of wood and began making her own corn flour. Over an hour later, after she sifted it, she had about three ounces of really fine corn meal which will go into bread. We are reading a book on grasses and grain, too.

The praying mantis we took off my dress and put in the round flower bed near the garage is still there. Isabelle found it while it was eating another bumblebee it had just caught. This is the second bumblebee we are f aware of that this individual mantis had eaten. The poor bees are eaten from the abdomen up and buzz pitiably as they are eaten. A philosophical quandry ensues for Isabelle: should she save the bee (by taking it away immediately) or the mantis (by letting it eat)? Which creature is more important? Why? The mantis was left alone to finish its dinner.

Some of the large garden spiders are recipients of Isabelle’s largesse: she captures smallish grasshoppers, removes their hind legs and puts them in the webs as meals. That these individual spiders are growing is a source of pride for her.

Yesterday we found three red efts flattened in the road. These newts presumably had been brought out of hiding by the thunderstorm early in the morning but had not succeeded in crossing the road. We peeled them up from the pavement and brought them home to finish drying on the hot car dashboard.

Isabelle rescued a bumblebee which fell in her lunch milk outside. She dried it in the sun on her shoe. It left its pollen load behind in her milk, which she drank. It did not taste noticeably different.

We splurged and bought a bag of sunflower hearts and have been having lots of fun watching the chickadees, goldfinches, cardinal pair, nuthatch and two kinds of woodpeckers come to the feeder. She also put gleaned shelled corn in the feeder and near it on the ground. One bluejay comes. We think and hope it it Pig. Yesterday he ate seven pieces of corn at one go. He frightened himself once by landing too hard on the hanging feeder. When it rocked, off he went, screaming. That and other subtle indications, like how he jumps from branch to branch, and his vocalizations, make us think it is Pig himself.

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 21 2005 at 12:23 pm
Open House
BTI had an open house Wednesday evening. Jay worked and we all visited. We learned how to extract DNA from bananas and Isabelle used clear nail polish to remove to a slide impressions of Rudbeckia stomata. We learned about the fungi which inhabit a certain kind of alfalfa, saw under a flourescent microscope the minute roots of the legume, and then, using the flourescence the fungi themselves, looking like small green vehicles travelling along miniature roads. Fascinating.

Of course there was food and drink, too. The kids each got to choose and repot a coleus to take home. Water Bear played lovely music in the refurbished auditorium. We saw how whole plants are gradually grown in agar from tiny pieces. Hormone manipulation! We saw tomato examples showing naturally occurring mutant genes.

Mark, our friend from Maine, came too. He is in town for a semester to learn how to be a farrier. He will come to supper tonight.

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 10 2005 at 9:08 am
Water Bear was the group that Ruth (Gretchen’s violin teacher) played with before she moved on from Ithaca. Did they replace her with another violinist? What was the music like?
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 09 / 15 / 2005 at 10:20 AM

Jeni’s E-mail:

Oh, their music was lovely, odd, Skandinavian-ish classical something. Which made more sense when I went and looked at the web site.
When listening, I wanted to run right down and ask them what it was and where to get it. But I did not. But I am considering one of their “name” pieces.
Wish you were here so we could play some.
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 09 / 21 / 2005 at 12:26 PM

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Red Soup
Supper last night consisted of soup made from the last piece of organic red cabbage from Liza’s garden and four large beets fresh from our garden, ground up in the Cuisenart. They were added to a chopped onion which had simmered in the fat left by four pieces of bacon cooked in the pot first. Then a chopped lone large potato, some leftover tomato juice and a couple fresh tomatoes, chopped (all grown here) went in the pot. Some tinned chicken broth and about a half pound of ground smoked kielbasa were added. Lastly, after all else had cooked nicely, the rest (about 1/3 cup) of the olive paste Sue gave me was stirred in.

The bread served with the soup contained hull-less green pumpkin seeds from the pumpkins Jay grew this year, a tad of leftover sliced almonds and a teaspoon or so of Nigella seed, from my own flowers.


Entry posted by jpm14 on September 10 2005 at 8:29 am
The Energy Problem solved in 700 facile words
here, by Lileks.

Mr. Lileks is a writer I enjoy very much.

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 06 2005 at 8:08 am
A radical idea about relief
My Father sent me the link to this essay by Joseph Farah.

Here are a few quotes:

“…there is just no way to justify coercive wealth transfers by Washington. I know we do them all the time. I know we do them for admittedly rotten reasons and causes. And I know it will be extremely unpopular to suggest we should suddenly stop this misguided practice when a seemingly noble cause arises.”…..”Politicians do it only to empower themselves, to make themselves look better, to feel compassionate – all at the expense of others.”


“Another problem with government handouts is that when you accept them, you also accept government control over your life.

Americans seem unable or unwilling to accept risks in their lives anymore. They want the government to turn their lives into risk-free zones. If anything bad happens to anyone, it’s up to the government to take care of the problem and make the victim whole – whether it’s a tobacco smoker who claims he just didn’t know the risks or someone lobbying for a new government health-care program. ”


“In (Daniel Boone’s) famous speech, “Not Yours To Give,” he eloquently explained to his fellow congressmen, intent on transferring federal funds to a needy widow, why it was not within their scope of responsibility and authority to do so. He offered, instead, real compassion – his own money.

That’s the way it is supposed to work.

When government takes over the responsibility of charity, it undermines charity. It undermines our willingness – and ability – as a people to help our neighbors, our families, our friends.

With that in mind, let me ask you a question: Where are the churches in this disaster relief? Has anyone seen a massive mobilization of churches and synagogues in this country? Wouldn’t that be wonderful to see? Couldn’t they do the job more effectively and demonstrate true Godly compassion at the same time?

That’s the biblical approach to disaster relief. “

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 06 2005 at 7:28 am
One comment:
There are plenty of churches and religious organizations doing a lot of work. For starters check out FEMA’s list of charities here:
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 09 / 06 / 2005 at 7:53 am

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Canning is Complete
The majority of canning for the year is completed. Estimating, without taking a census of the jar population on the shelves in the basement, I think there are about 2 3/4 new gallons of tomato juice produced using a Mehu-Maija (joining a leftover gallon or two from last year), about ten pints of paste from the same batches, two canner loads of peaches (each canner load is seven jars–quarts in this fruit), about two loads of yellow tomatoes, about six quarts of chili sauce, and four to six loads (28-42 jars) of red or mixed color canned tomatoes.

Years ago I used to skin all my tomatoes. But all the nutritional research has shown that the cancer-fighting flavenoids are more highly concentrated in the skin of tomatoes and more available once the skin is cooked. So for the past five years at least, I just cut them up, bring to a boil, (I can hot-pack usually) and can them. I also used to add a teaspoon of vinegar and salt to each jar but have dispensed with that the past three years. The fruits still contain enough acid to can well and I would rather add salt while cooking.

If any more canning is to occur this year it will be jams and jelly. But there plenty of jars of jam and jelly left from last year. It is hard to resist the wine grape juices produced in this region from September on, though. The more acid of them make incredibly flavorful jelly–juices that make red wines, like Dechaunac, one of my favorite juices to make into jelly.

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 03 2005 at 6:23 am
Song of Praise
Outside, insects are now constantly singing. Day, night, mid-day, there is constant music from the crickets, bees, katydids and other creatures who will so soon end their short lives. The first thing I hear in the morning, the last I hear at night, what is in my ears at this very moment is the multitudinous variety of sound. Some might say this music perhaps has all to do with procreation. Even so, creation calls out in praise to her Creator. May we do the same.
Entry posted by jpm14 on September 02 2005 at 9:27 am
Doomba Farkletush
Ok, just for fun. But note, I email stuff like this to only a couple friends. I have too many family and friends in computers who insist this sort of funny is actually a clogging tool.

So do not send it on. Just put your name below.

Sometimes when you have a stressful day or week, you need some

silliness to break up the day. And, if we are honest, we have a

lot more stressful days than not.

Here is your dose of humor…Follow the instructions to find

your new name.

Once you have your new name, put it in the Subject box


forward it to friends and family and co-workers. Don’t forget

to forward it

back to the person who sent it to you, so they know you

participated. And don’t go all adult – a senior manager is now

known far and wide as Dorky Gizzardsniffer.

The following in an excerpt from a children’s book,

“Captain Underpants. And the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants”

by Dave Pilkey. The evil Professor forces everyone to assume

new names…

Use the third letter of your first name to determine your new first name:

a = snickle

b = doombah

c = goober

d = cheesey

e = crusty

f = greasy

g = dumbo

h = farcus

i = dorky

j = doofus

k = funky

l = boobie

m = sleezy

n = sloopy

o = fluffy

p = stinky

q = slimy

r = dorfus

s = snooty

t = tootsie

u = dipsy

v = sneezy

w = liver

x = skippy

y = dinky

z = zippy

Use the second letter of your last name to determine the first halfof your new last name:

a = dippin

b = feather

c = giggle

d = burger

e = chicken

f = barffy

g = lizard

h = waffle

i = farkle

j = monkey

k = flippin

l = fricken

m = bubble

n = rhino

o = potty

p = hamster

q = buckle

r = gizzard

s = lickin

t = snickle

u = chuckle

v = pickle

w = hubble

x = dingle

y = gorilla

z = girdle

Use the third letter of your last name to determine the second half of your new last name:

a = butt

b = boob

c = face

d = nose

e = hump

f = breath

g = pants

h = shorts

i = lips

j = honker

k = head

l = tush

m = chunks

n = dunkin

o = brains

p = biscuits

q = toes

r = doodle

s = fanny

t = sniffer

u = sprinkles

v = frack

w = squirt

x = humperdinck

y = hiney

z = juice

Thus, for example, George W. Bush’s new name is Fluffy

Chucklefanny. Now when you SEND THIS ON…

And remember that children laugh an average of 146 times

a day;

adults laugh an average of 4 times a day. Put more laughter in

your day

Entry posted by jpm14 on August 21 2005 at 3:17 pm
Once Ellie finishes her most recent jaunt I will have to talk to her and see when we can visit between her travels and Isaac in high school. I had forgotten that your area is known for its fresh breezes.
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 08 / 24 / 2005 at 8:52 AM

Herself’s E-mail:

Herself’s website:

Very Amusing.
Comment posted by Dumbo Dippintush (ip: on 08 / 24 / 2005 at 10:15 PM
My name is now Zippy Dippinsprinkles.
My DH is Sloopy,
DD #1 is Crusty,
DD#2 is Tootsie
Comment posted by Zippy (ip: on 08 / 22 / 2005 at 12:01 AM

Zippy’s website:

I won’t even tell you all the things I already call Mr. Baby.

So, are you coming?? Three more months till it’s seriously cold. Did Ellie tell you there’s a museum here with a real U-boat?

Comment posted by Abby (ip: on 08 / 23 / 2005 at 10:12 AM
Summer Food
Tomato Sandwiches:

Every day for lunch we have thick slabs of homemade bread slathered with mayo (not the sweet stuff, Abby), loosely covered with thin slices of fresh garlic, then fat slices of hot from the sun, freshly picked tomato, sprinnkled with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. If you are a child you can have cheese on top. None for me, thanks.


These are freshly picked home-grown soybeans boiled in the shell in highly salted water for three minutes and eaten hot by squeezing the shells with your teeth or fingers so the beans pop right into your mouth. Marvelous.

Sweet corn:

Picked and shucked as Jay drives in the driveway, placed in boiling water for 5-7 minuts (it depends on if he is doing the cooking, or I am), strained, rolled on top of a stick of butter and salted and eaten hot, hot, hot. We have contests to see who can clean their ears the neatest.


Eaten out of hand, over cereal, covered with cream or on top of ice cream. Mostly eaten out of hand, though. Why spoil such a perfect food?

Entry posted by jpm14 on August 21 2005 at 3:10 pm
One comment:
I miss stopping in at your house (see above).

My mom went through a peach-pie stage when I was about Isabelle’s age. Her pastry recipe that summer had a bit of vinegar and sugar in it, and the peaches were local (Ohio), and I still, decades later, remember the crispy, sugar-dusted top of that pie and the intense flavor of the peaches inside. I’m not saying it was an improvement on fresh, unadorned peaches, but it didn’t do them any harm.

Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 08 / 25 / 2005 at 10:29 am

Jeni’s E-mail:

Another Negligent Blogger
Like Sora, I too have had so much going on that blogging slid to the sidelines.


Enjoying summer, the flowers, the garden, walks, the still-screaming juvenile hawk.

Canning tomatoes and peaches. The Sungold tomatoes are so sweet that when I cook them down I must watch them very carefully initially as they will burn on the bottom of the pan until enough juice is released.

Jay painted the cellarway walls and I cleaned out/reorganized the cabinet there.

Necessary dentist visits.

I made four new cards and had them copied.

We visited the local flooring store to pick out vinyl flooring (we like the W710–oak) and Marmoleum for the dining room and kitchen, respectively while a sale on those products was happening.

Isaac went to my folks’ farm for a week, and was returned afterwards. This involved hours of driving on my mother’s and my part.

Isabelle had her first 4-H horse club meeting.

Breakfast with a friend I see once a year. She and her husband live and work overseas and make it back to this area for just a few days.

Gretchen, Isabelle and I drove to The String House where we met my Mom and the adults and Isabelle chose a full size violin and bow for her. Many thanks to my father for funding this venture! More driving.

Isabelle then went home with my Mom.

We have been eating edamame fresh from the garden. Yum!

Jim from the flooring store came and measured the living and dining rooms. I had lots of questions about what would happen to my old house. He reassured me. He had questions about the large buck above the piano. I told him how I shot it. I await their estimate of the work cost.

Suzanne, Marsha and I went to a book reading/signing of The Fool’s Path , written by a church member. I just started the book, which is fairly well written.

Jay, Isaac and I drove up this past Thursday for a family reunion. My brother, J. and wife, R. and niece, J. drove from Arizona in the new diesal Jetta my parents had them purchase there since New York won’t sell them. My cousin, A. and her fiance, D. came from the Washington, DC area. We all met at my Aunt Janice’s yesterday with relatives from western NY.

We returned today with cousin Z. in company.

Pounce was very glad to have us home.


This week: Contact the high school to find out why I have not received any information about Isaac’s starting there in three weeks.

Contact the flooring stor to find out why I have not received any information about the estimate.

Think about Isabelle’s schooling.

More canning.

Entry posted by jpm14 on August 21 2005 at 2:50 pm
Piano Epilogue
The newly covered piano keys were returned to their places yesterday by Mr. and Mrs, S____k!

They came last week, tuned the piano using an old Stroboconn machine, fixed the broken part of the high C#, took apart the piano way down to bare keys, re-numbered and removed the white keys to have them re-covered by a company in Rochester.

I spent over an hour vacuuming out 80 years of thick felt-like dust build up from beneath and around the keys and felts after they left.

Total charge for their three visits, tuning, repairs, key recovering: less than $200.

While he was tuning, Mr. S___k explained the mathmatics of sound relating to how the chromatic stroboscope worked. Each note’s octave is either twice (if higher) or half (if lower) the wavelength (measured in megahertz) of the previous octave.

‘A’-440 (mhz) is typically the baseline for all notes. It is the ‘A’ above middle C. One octave higher is ‘A’-880. One octave lower than ‘A’-440 is ‘A’-220. There are twelve tones between each octave. Each note, then, is one-twelfth the square root of 2 different from any note next to it.

He explained that he tuned the bass end lower than actual and the treble octaves higher than actual: our human hearing is not mathematically perfect.

Entry posted by jpm14 on August 06 2005 at 10:18 am

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