Upsaid journal entries and comments by user: cerise

Upsaid journal entries and comments by user: jpm14
(File created on: May 26 2008)
Yesterday in the rain Suzanne, Jeni, Angela, Sora, and Julie took me out to lunch at Taste of Thai on the Commons for my birthday. It was a wonderful meal.

We had the coconut chicken soup (Angela will know the name), another home made soup, spring rolls, fish cakes and various entrees. I had Pad Thai for the first time. Delicious special treats.

At the tail end of our time a singing generic white rodent bedecked with birthday regalia danced and sang while tempura-style fried bananas were presented. Stunning.

The best part was all of us together, conversing.

This morning my children greeted me with a present of a bittersweet chocolate bar. They know what I like.

Jay was called into work. His co-worker could not make it in from Hammondsport. The snow on the hills made driving impossible.

He let me open his present to me before he left for work: It is a beautiful pendant of silver and gold, arch shaped, with a swirl of sun beneath the arch and organic looking (plant/flower-like) nodules of silver at the base. A pearl is suspended beneath all, a tourmaline is beneath the swirl and a black opal is above the buds of silver. This description does not do it justice. It is so, so lovely.

And I get to keep _him_ for the rest of my life!

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 30 2003 at 1:11 pm
Guess it was time for a change.
The gardens are cleaned up, bulbs moved, mulching started, grapes and shrubs pruned, lettuce, spinach and coriander planted.

4-6 inches of snow will sure change things. Now I have time to blog…

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 30 2003 at 12:31 pm
One comment:
Oh, and I just sheared Zeke. Poor dog. He looks so sleek but feels so cold. What a shock to go out into snow above your hocks minus the 3 inch fur coat you have come to expect.
Comment posted by Deb (ip: on 03 / 30 / 2003 at 1:02 pm

Deb’s website:

This by the Assyrian Christian who went to Iraq as a “peace shield” and the story of why he came home with a different POV.
Entry posted by jpm14 on March 30 2003 at 12:27 pm
The attractions of sun and snow-free ground have kept me away from blogging. Several flower beds now are free of most dead stuff left from last fall. The bed near the road has been raked of stones that are flung there by snow plow and snow shovel. The children have picked up manure piles. Ah, the joys of pet ownership.

Lots more to do. Raking, trimming, weeding.

Lots of things to discuss, but not here.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 24 2003 at 6:48 pm
A Sunny Saturday–Yay!
Isaac went hiking up the Fingerlakes trail with his Boy Scout troop. Jay went to work and wrassled with the humidity and temperature in the rice house. Isabelle and I made doll clothes, took Lily on her leash under the pines where ground was again visible, harvested hay for Lily and walked down to visit Sparks.

Pounce attacked the dead two foot high cat nip plants, breaking off the tops and chewing on the dead blossoms. He also chased Lily and her leash. He wished to chew her but I intervened.

Zeke snorbed around on his newly shorn feet. He now looks like a grey marshmallow with toothpick feet. Ridiculous.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 15 2003 at 4:13 pm
Science for cold spring days
Interested in organic chemistry, anatomy and physiology, animal behaviour?

Want a look at how evolutionists derive ideas? Can science be serious and silly at the same time?

Check out

this page

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 14 2003 at 10:15 am
blogging- the new cutting edge of marketing tools
Mary sent this CNN article to me via email yesterday.


Entry posted by jpm14 on March 14 2003 at 9:07 am
One comment:
So…are we trendy teenagers or activists?
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 03 / 14 / 2003 at 8:17 pm

Suz’s website:

Doldrum Relief
These are from Angela ‘s cousin via Suzanne‘s blog comments.

Health Information

Q: I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?

A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that’s it …. don’t waste

them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart

will not make you live longer; that’s like saying you can extend the life of

your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and

corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an

efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat

chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy

vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily

allowance of vegetable slop.

Q: Is beer or wine bad for me?

A: Look, it goes to the earlier point about fruits and vegetables. As we all

know, scientists divide everything in the world into three categories:

animal, mineral, and vegetable. We all know that beer and wine are not

animal, and they are not on the periodic table of elements,so that only

leaves one thing, right? My advice: Have a burger and a beer and enjoy your

liquid vegetables.

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

A: Well, if you have a body, and you have body fat, your ratio is one to

one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise


A: Can’t think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain…Good.

Q: Aren’t fried foods bad for you?

A: You’re not listening. Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In

fact, they’re permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for


Q: What’s the secret to healthy eating?

A: Thicker gravy.

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little thick around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should

only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?

A: Are you crazy? HELLO ….. Cocoa beans … another vegetable!!! “It’s the

best feel good food around!”

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about

food and diets. Have a cookie…flour is a veggie!

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 12 2003 at 9:20 am
Return of the birds
Jay spent the afternoon Saturday cutting and burning brush from under the pines to the west of the blueberries. We all helped some.

The big event of that day was the return of the bluebirds! The male went from bird house to bird house and from tree to tree, singing. He is a beautiful sight.

This morning in the high wind and with the temp in the teens he is out in the mountain ash, singing.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 10 2003 at 8:11 am
Theatre and Company pics
“Crossing Delancey” is the current production at Theatre & Company. You can view production photos here

thanks to Linda (Bush) S-W. We highly recommend any production Stuart, Linda and company put on. Linda and Allison are on stage together in this one.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 09 2003 at 2:55 pm
Allison is theyoung woman with long dark hair . Linda is the older dark haired woman (in hat the pictures I saw–eating gefilte fish-I think).
Then there is a grey-haired older woman who I do not know.
Comment posted by Deb (ip: on 03 / 10 / 2003 at 8:13 AM

Deb’s E-mail:

Deb’s website:

Is the younger woman Linda or Allison? The older woman isn’t Linda…is it?
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 03 / 09 / 2003 at 4:59 PM

Suz’s website:

The Quiet American
Yesterday on the walk from the library parking lot to the Assessor’s office I saw that the movie “The Quiet American” is finally at a Cinemapolis in Center Ithaca.. An adaptation of a Graham Greene novel starring Michael Caine it is set in Indo-China (Vietnam) in the 50’s just before the French leave and the Americans get involved. It has been on my list of “really want to see” for months.

Ellie came through and went with me on the spur of the moment. It is a very interesting film. Ambiguity and foreign love—similar to the Green novels I have read. There is a parallel between the young girl (who is the mistress of a British correspondent (Caine) and the center of a tug of war between him and the American, played by Brendan Frazer) and the country itself. The rich older men falling in love with beauty which can not, or will not, take care of herself. They both think they know what is best. They both use her. They both use deceit. And she deceives herself and allows her own use for her benefit.

There were a couple people in the small (10 or fewer) audience who thought there were great implications to be applied to current events, by their hooting and outbursts. I don’t think so.

It is filmed in Vietnam. Beautifully. The music is great. Well acted. Good disturbing film.

“There is none righteous, no, not one.”

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 07 2003 at 7:55 am
One comment:
Well written
Comment posted by Jay (ip: on 03 / 07 / 2003 at 3:13 pm
books I am reading
“Evolution doesn’t depend on will or intention to work; it is, almost by definition, an unconscious, unwilled process. All it requires are beings compelled, as all plants and animals are, to make more of themselves by whatever means trial and error present.” Michael Pollan, p.xxi, The Botany of Desire.

“But obviously the lack of recognition of a need does not prove its absence. We are responsible to present Christ to those who are aware of the emptiness of life and to those who are perfectly satisfied with life. Once a man contemplates Him, in the integrity of his heart, he knows his need.” Elizabeth Elliot, p.134, The Savage My Kinsman.

“Many are the plans of a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose which prevails.” Proverbs 19.21

“I know that thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of thine can be thwarted.” Job 42.2

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 07 2003 at 7:40 am
Is it suprising that evolution (no one in control) is presented as the exact opposite of creation (God in control)? I think not. What should we learn from this?
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 03 / 07 / 2003 at 10:17 PM

Suz’s website:

Angela thinks I misread the quote from Pollan’s book because I read too much 19th century stuff. She thinks he is saying “to make more of themselves” indicates reproduction.

If so, it was a poor phrase choice. There are still several of us who think it means pull yourselves up by the bootstraps. Oops, another 19th century phrase.

Comment posted by Deb (ip: on 03 / 08 / 2003 at 9:20 AM

Deb’s E-mail:

Deb’s website:

Yep, Pollan’s choice of phrase was unfortunate. I’m 99.9999% sure he meant “more” in the sense of quantity rather than quality. But what the heck, let’s email the publishers and ask them what he meant? 😉

Some people might argue that the complexity that appears to have arisen from the simple principles of natural selection is amazing in its own right, and evidence of overarching things greater than the rest of us, no matter what name you give it/them.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 03 / 08 / 2003 at 1:06 PM
March 4,5,6
Reading recently about a skin whitening ingredient, albutin, got me thinking about trailing arbutus, a wild flower.

Just near Valentown, where there was a three or four story wood building holding all manner of ancient artifacts and just old interesting things was Monkey Run road. Across the main highway was a huge deep open pit, grown up, where many of the Indian artifacts were found as a village was located there a long ago time. Down winding Monkey Run Road a few miles was where my mothers’ mother and brother and some cousins lived.

The farm where my mother grew up is now pretty much gone to suburban housing development as the city of Rochester continues to expand and relatives in control of the land have sold out. I have not been back in years. The last time there were too many houses and bulldozers in places where there should be open fields and woods. The pine forest my grandfather planted, the spring and pond were all just amendments to a golf course with fancy houses surrounding it.

When I was a child the long chicken house still stood. It was full of old machinery by then. As a girl my mother had the chore of collecting eggs from a hundred or so hens. I have been told Grandpa Lovejoy would occasionally shoot a woodchuck, axe it open and throw it into the chicken coop for the hens. My guess is the girls got 10 days worth of snacks: fresh meat, then lots of maggots, then more meat and tissue as it all decayed and broke down. Mom remembers the high horrid smell and her father removing little more than bones.

Across Monkey Run and up the long broad hill back into the woods following a stream in the spring, if the timing was right, we could find trailing arbutus. I remember seeing it once, when mom took me. That hill was one of the highest in Monroe County. The soil in those parts is sandy and slightly acidic. Melons grow well. Fruit trees.

Bulldozers and houses came. A gas pipeline was put through the high spot. Mom went up and hunted for arbutus but found none.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 07 2003 at 7:25 am
Last Day of February
Friday Sora cooked three kinds of pizza for lunch. Mmmm. The pesto/pepper and onion mushroom were both winners. Can’t tell how the pineapple cheese was as the children devoured it. My guess is it was just fine.

The little girls started (Talia finished) felt creatures. A dog for Olivia, a horse (what else) for Isabelle and a snail for Talia. Sora made a ball for Ezekiel, though he did not seem thankful for it. Jeni started a seal. I coordinated.

Isabelle is incredibly frustrating to be around for me when she just does not listen. She sewed hooves shut on two consecutive legs. One I took out, the other I just let go and finagled a hoof onto this morning.

The boys had a high old time with the baby until they harassed a sister too much and were sent outside where, I was informed, they pretended to be elves captured by the Dark Lord while attempting to rescue Gandalf.

Friday night Jay and I went out and left the children home alone for a whole hour and a half. It is only the second time. Isaac is now legal age to babysit. We ate at CTB Appetizers, a local place

I had Thai chicken and Jay had salmon penne. We bought a marjolaine to bring home for Saturday lunch with the kids. (A marjolaine is hazelnut meringues filled with one layer each of vanilla buttercream, coffee buttercream, an a top layer of thick chocolate truffle-like stuff dusted with cocoa.)

Then bought some herb infused grape seed oil to try. Then home.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 01 2003 at 4:46 pm
Happy March 1st!
We went for the first walk up back since all the snow—a couple months at least. Grey and red squirrel, cat or fox, coyote or medium dog, small bird and rabbit tracks. It is easy to understand why the deer are not about. Even our feet punched through 18 inches or so of snow at unexpected intervals.

One rabbit has, within the past week, arrived down at the blueberries so Jay is setting a trap baited with apple as I write.

“What does the Bible say about trapping on the Sabbath?” I asked.

“It doesn’t matter in this instance. He will be in there before midnight” Jay replied.

Jay started a snowball that I helped roll after it got too large for one person. It came to a rest at about four feet across—too large for the two of us to push. The kids are now playing king of the snow ball.

The new DVD/SACD/CD player has resulted in a rearrangement of the audio equipment so we can actually use the 21st century point and click technology while watching a DVD. Audio stuff used to be in a separate room, out of site. Only speakers were to be seen and heard. But standing in the office with the clicker while a second person in the living room reads what the menu on the screen is was a Rube Goldberg kind of activity that wore thin after one go.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 01 2003 at 4:18 pm
Forsythia in bloom!
Thanks to Jay we have forsythia blooming in the house!

He cut several 2-foot long branches and brought them in a couple weeks ago. Some were totally encased in ice. The buds were slow to swell and we wondered if the cold, snow and ice had done in the blossoms. But lo, Sunday when I returned home there were two yellow cheery flowers open. Those first two blooms have been followed by others. This morning I distributed the stems between two rooms.

Spring will arrive, though perhaps tardy.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 25 2003 at 12:48 pm
I’m jealous! Forsythia is one of my favorite blooming things. And daffodils. It’s the yellow that floats my boat.
Comment posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) (ip: on 02 / 26 / 2003 at 4:53 PM

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

Valerie (Kyriosity)’s website:

Comment posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) (ip: on 02 / 26 / 2003 at 4:53 PM

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

Valerie (Kyriosity)’s website:

I’m also quite fond of forsythia. There was one that grew up to my 2nd story bedroom window when I was growing up and it was always a happy harbinger of spring. One of the flower ladies at our church has forced some forsythia this winter and it always makes me happy to see it.
Comment posted by dawn (ip: on 02 / 27 / 2003 at 9:45 AM

dawn’s website:

I prefer flowering quince. Forsythia looks an awful lot like those peg “flowers” that were in a “lite brite”sort of toy I used to play with when I was sick… It didn’t glow, but there were “flowers” of different colors you could stick into a board to make patterns.

(Something about those four spindly petals gets to me!)

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 27 / 2003 at 12:33 PM
Our spinning guild (the Black Sheep Handspinning Guild) has a retreat in late February most years. For years it has been at Watson Homestead.

The new venue is much more lovely and comfortable. But lacks a swimming pool.

This past Friday evening I drove to Stell Maris Reareat Center in Skaneateles, NY .

Skaneateles is an unusual town. It has no useful stores downtown. Antique, jewelry, high-end knitting, art and crafts stores.

It is a tourist town. The large lovely homes are summer vacation homes for wealthy people. The end of the lake was frozen and people were walking their dogs and ice fishing.

The guild retreat is a time to sit, spin, talk and eat. There were only eight of us. I did not bring my wheel. I brought all the supplies to make small gnomes for the children and ended up making four. I brought books to read. I took two long walks. I prayed. I went to bed at 8 o’clock both evenings. I had a wonderful restful time.

We shared the building with a Christian group of women from Fort Drum, NY.

They were all military wives and younger than us. Believers associated with the military brought out latent antagonism from a few of my fellow spinners during our mealtimes together. Thank God several of the Fort Drum ladies were well aware of it. They went out of their way to woo the most vocal heckler in my group. Our time ended on a positive note.

Within our guild I steered conversation away from nasty topics only once or twice on Saturday.

And talking about Isabelle, dresses, and church at breakfast Sunday morning brought up a surprising amount of positive recollections from unexpected sources.

Two people who came with the Black Sheep were new members learning to spin. These two women, we discovered, were last-born children. All the rest of us (6), many of whom have been in the guild for over 15 years, are first-born children. Hmm. Is that why we are so opinionated?

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 25 2003 at 12:47 pm
If first born children are opinionated, only children must be especially obnoxious! (Tee Hee!)
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 02 / 25 / 2003 at 3:00 PM

Suz’s website:

I resemble that comment!
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 25 / 2003 at 7:04 PM
Jeni thinks there is a blog somewhere in the fact that I not only hunt but am an audiophile. She said “You are the only woman I know who is both. I always thought they were male tendencies until I met you.” Or something like that.

Her husband, Chris, as a writer and reviewer for The Absolute Sound has equipment arriving at his office each week. He sets the new gear up and lets me listen to great music on it. Something which does not encourage a “moderation in all things” mindset.

We finally ordered the Sony DVPNS755V. It is a DVD, CD and SACD player all in one. It is our first audio advancement since we have had children. The kids do not realize their mother is a latent audiophile. Jay does but has never held B&O turntable against me.

Isaac is excited we will be able to play DVDs. The DVD playing capacity was an extra, the excuse to get this SACD player.

Ah, Ithaca, where you are told to do business locally and to suck up the almost total lack of service. I gave the local big box a chance. Best Buy did not want my money; they had neither the machine, nor anyone who offered to get one for me. We got a great price at ABElectronics in Chicago, Illinois. No taxes. Free shipping.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 20 2003 at 2:18 pm
Sis I hope you did not pay much more than $80. That seems to be the going rate for the new DVD players. If you were to buy a DVD -rom player for your computer you would pay arount $60-70. We (read Rose) bought one because friends have one and Janine wanted to watch some more recent movies. We bought some DVD’s around X-mas time. Got Chttty-Chtty Bang-Bang, and I got a couple of Yes concert DVD’s.
Have also figured out how to watch them on my Freebsd OS boxen.
If you want to listen to some tunes, and you have not responded to my previous emails … try these links with winamp. (with browser)

Jay S

Comment posted by Jay S (ip: on 02 / 21 / 2003 at 7:59 AM

The ogg streamer seems to have timed out; is your server offline?


P.S. I got the impression that the big deal with Deb’s CD/DVD/SACD player is the multifunctionality, not just the DVD part…

P.P.S. I hear a kitty moaning outside the office door, reminding me that this is the weekend, and therefore time allocated to THEM, not the ‘puter! 😮

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 23 / 2003 at 12:58 PM

anja’s E-mail:

Speaking of Ithacans insisting we sacrifice our money and time for substandard service and selection (just to buy local and avoid the “big box” stores)…
We were in Target to get some baseball card binder-refills, and I saw at the checkout one of the most notorious local activists, a lady known for her anti-car, anti-development, and anti-everything stand. I felt like shouting, “Hey, aren’t you—-? What are you doing shopping in TARGET?? Go buy your Tupperware on the Commons!” But I didn’t.
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 02 / 24 / 2003 at 12:34 AM

Jeni’s E-mail:

Do they even sell Tupperware on the Commons? Maybe all they have is baskets and handmade bowls at 1K Villages?
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 24 / 2003 at 4:12 PM
You understand my point. Not all of us can afford to stow our leftovers in handthrown pots.
Anyway, maybe the activist lady was there to reconnoiter. Maybe the anti-Targetistes will target Target one of these days? Sigh.
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 02 / 24 / 2003 at 10:06 PM

Jeni’s E-mail:

Right after the Valentine party participants left for home the children and I quickly got on multitudinous layers of clothing, jumped in the car and met some people from church to go tubing at Greek Peak .

From 6-9 PM we rode covered inner tubes with straps and rubber handles up to the top of slopes via a cable, then slid down slippery snow slopes into hay at the bottom that stopped us. It was mucho funno. We were glad we dressed warmly. The moon was out bright and full, with stars accenting the dark sky like jewels in dark hair.

Little Rebecca stuck close to Isabelle and me. “Us girls” she said repeatedly, “will go down together.” This was accomplished by slipping the rubber handle rings through the handle of another inner tube so the tubes were all attached (sort of). Then you slid down in a group.

We slid down 16 time in the three hours, with one stop for hot chocolate.

At the end of our time mammoth growling snow grooming machines zoomed up the hill just beyond where we were tubing. The machines had a meeting place just above where we started. Like a meeting of the Titans. Imagine having a job like that. “I drive a giant machine for hours around on steep hills in the dark.”

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 17 2003 at 10:23 am
One comment:
Sounds like a dream job for “big boys”!
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 02 / 18 / 2003 at 9:57 am

Suz’s website:

Valentine’s Day Party
The little girl group had their St. Valentine’s Day tea yesterday. The girls gave each other lovely Valentines. Guests included Rebecca, Isaac, Aedan, Galen and Jeni’s Mom-in-law Madonna.

Thanks to Sora we had organic Jersey milk in our chai. Thanks to Jeni we had Purity ice cream, which is made with milk from Jersey cows which live about four miles from our home.

Jay remembers Leo, the founder of Purity, from the 70’s when his school bus would occasionally stop in to Purity on the way home. Jay says “Can you imagine that now? Just the bus driver and a bus load of kids. We would all pile out and get an ice cream cone, then pile back in as soon as you got yours.” He hypothesizes that the bus driver, who was also an older man, may have been a friend of Leo’s. Jay also was the culprit in an ice cream cone throwing incident.

We had cinnamon sauce on our ice cream. It is made by heating red cinnamon heart candies with half (or less) the same volume of water until they all melt. We had confetti cupcakes with pink 7-minute icing with a Necco heart message candy on top.

After the food the some boys disappeared upstairs, the girls dressed up as various Lord of the Rings characters and the moms chatted.

We had a great time.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 17 2003 at 8:58 am
True Confession of a former teenager
As we were going back down from school on the bus after stopping at Purity through downtown Ithaca I spied a convertible in the heavy traffic. I thought “Gee, I wonder if I could bank the cone off the inside of his windshield and make it fall in his lap. Naw, but I will try it anyways.” I had the advantage of height; he was five or six feet below us from where I was.

When they had driven slightly by my window on the bus I took the last couple bites of my ice cream cone and threw it out the window. It caroomed off the inside of the windshield of the convertible and fell back into the drivers’ lap. It was what I was trying to do, actually. It was a great shot. The perfect shot.

Well, the bus did move ahead in the opposite direction of course, but then heavy traffic stopped us and we did not move forward as fast as I would have liked. The irate driver abandoned his car and ran over and began talking to the bus driver through the bus window. The bus driver turned around and said “Who did that?”, making a slight inquiry into the perpetrator of the crime. Nobody admitted to it.

Somebody said “Miller” but also on the bus was another Miller, a senior, a more well-known Miller, who denied it and took the pressure off me. The older kids’ peer group started yelling “Miller, Miller”. They were in the back of the bus and I was in the middle. I felt I shouldn’t take credit because it wasn’t supposed to be successful. And I was scared, too. That’s one of the few times I ever remember lying.

The traffic was helping us. There was no opportunity for slow justice because the driver had to go back to his car so he got no satisfaction.

Somebody told the driver a few days later and he told me “Don’t do that stunt again.”

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 17 2003 at 8:53 am
Friends of the Library
My Dad is a local politician in his county whose political genes obviously did not get passed on to me.

Have you ever been in a board meeting of a volunteer organization and suddenly realized that political waves are swirling around like unseen water currents? You feel that something is going on but you do not understand exactly what it is or where it is heading. Is it aimed at you? Is there some subtle point you are missing utterly? How long has this been going on while you sit there, clueless?

Welcome to my life.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 14 2003 at 8:27 am
One comment:
Only in Ithaca can the library board be political. I will be interested to see their reaction to the type of books being donated to Rachel’s memorial fund!
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 02 / 16 / 2003 at 8:16 pm

Suz’s website:

Jon Barlow is correct. “Who are you?” a personality test with little glitz but with an interesting designer can illuminate very interesting aspects of one’s personality.

It was right on the money describing my weakest area.

Not an easy test, but worth the time to take for insight.

Be sure to read about Robert S. Hartman.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 13 2003 at 3:32 pm
Last Saturday night at Angela’s
Angela describes it well here.

We are all very happy she has rejoined us after her time out in Philadelphia. Which is what it seemed like.

“Naughty Angela for being so smart. We must punish you.”

Well, she showed them. She did well and learned much. Now she is more invaluable than ever. So there.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 13 2003 at 1:53 pm
She is a good little grasshopper.
Comment posted by Sharon (ip: on 02 / 13 / 2003 at 2:30 PM
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 18 / 2003 at 3:05 AM
Vanity Faire
A source of amazement and consternation are persons in positions of local government who think their authority extends beyond the city budget and snow removal to national foreign policy decisions.

There is something seriously amuck when proper spheres of authority are so disregarded. Not to mention that if I paid city taxes I would be mad as hell that councilmen (excuse me, council persons, in Ithaca) are spending time on this rather than the work they were elected to do.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 13 2003 at 7:53 am
DMV redux
Matt told his DMV story. So here is mine.

Jay had the day off today. He ran multiple errands while I took the children to their eye appointments. (Isabelle gets glasses in a week. That will take some getting used to.)

After that harrowing two hour experience Jay drove us all down to the DMV. He had filled out a check and made me sign a paper in a couple places this morning for my license renewal while I was trying to do some early morning teaching.

Everyone else waited in the car. A big sign on the door notified me that four persons were absent today (due to the early morning high winds and blowing snow no doubt) and thanking me for my understanding and patience. Inside I was sixth in line to the cashier. There were only three women running the place, a main cashier, a secondary cashier/photographer and a woman who seemed in a supervisory position, that is, I saw her do no work but heard her complain bitterly on behalf of them all.

The person at the cashier’s window was the object of intense interest for the other persons in the line, even as the audience grew smaller as each person was helped and moved on. A written test of some sort for a young woman with a man and small child. An older woman who needed a new photo and talked loudly and at length with the 2nd cashier even though another man was waiting, waiting his turn there behind her. The man fourth in line was applying for a driver’s license. He picked a poor time, in many senses, to do it. He carried a passport and looked quite Middle-Eastern. He was given a long blue form and told to stand to the side. There was no help for him as he read and re-read it and filled in blank spaces. The woman ahead of me was another license renewal. She said to the cashier “How are you today?” “Don’t ask.”

The supervisor then lost control and yelled at a woman who came in, asked for a waste basket and promptly vomited into it. It was being a hard day all around.

The phone rang and the cashier behind the window answered it. I slid my neat, prepared papers in to her. She explained four times, politely, that the caller’s insurance company must contact Albany directly as the computer said the caller was now 44 days without insurance and no she could not give her a license.

The form with check paperclipped to it seemed to hearten the lady. She had me read a row of letters off the wall, asked if the same old photo would do (it would) and printed off my new temporary license. “Are you a registered voter?” “Yes” “I knew you were” she replied. Once before her it took less than two minutes.

Poor ladies.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 12 2003 at 8:44 pm
Does this mean we say, “Happy Birthday?” If so, “Happy Birthday!” I just went through the same thing 2 weeks ago! Except for the vomit part…
Comment posted by Julie (ip: on 02 / 12 / 2003 at 10:22 PM

Julie’s E-mail:

Not yet. Jay is ahead of the curve. Happy Birthday to you Julie!
Comment posted by Deborah (ip: on 02 / 13 / 2003 at 7:56 AM

Deborah’s E-mail:

Deborah’s website:

My young friend Theresa has a blog. She snowboards!

She is the eldest daughter of our long time friends Martha and Jeff and a horsewoman with whom I recently had the opportunity to exchange stories. She has had her own set of foal intrigues these past few months.

Last week she came to visit with her Mom and younger siblings to learn to dye skeins of wool yarn they had hand spun. The same week kids and I dyed cotton yardage.

Anna and Isabelle are the same age and both afflicted with supernormal affection for equine species. They disappeared to play.

While Isaac was typing his new epic onto the computer the ladies and I dyed, drank chai and chatted. Hard white winter wheat milling, hand sewing and quilting, horse and cat rearing, book and movie reviews. Yellow and red skeins later they left for home to dye the rest, leaving their hand made (from scratch) soap. Thanks!

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 12 2003 at 6:35 pm
Isabelle begged me to play checkers.

When we had played two games and had she lost both times she said “I hate this game.

Let’s play again.”


Our friend Angela came to a quick supper. After she was gone Isabelle asked

“Is Angela married?”


“Hmmm. Angela isn’t married. And Uncle Daren isn’t married either. I think they should get married to each other!”

Jay gags on his food.

In my minds’ eye: Angela- mid-30’s intellectual scientist, witty, free-spirited, Californian

Daren- mid-50’s athletic outdoorsman, taciturn tending towards grouchiness, Northerner

Me: “Hmmm. I don’t know….”

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 07 2003 at 6:41 pm
That’s so cute! It’s fun to see your blog. I’ll be back!
Comment posted by teresa rhinehart (ip: on 02 / 11 / 2003 at 11:17 AM

teresa rhinehart’s website:

Um, I’m not as Californian as I used to be… People from the Bay Area would probably consider me incredibly hard-assed and reserved!

And as for free-spirited, I like to think of myself as more freely-opinionated. 😉 I have to admit the spirit is splinted and kind-of limping along, these days.

By the way, I love Isabelle’s reaction to losing. I can understand that, in spades! hehe.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 12 / 2003 at 9:47 PM
Oh no!
I just read the previous blog to Isabelle. She had wondered why I needed the lyrics to copy.

She wondered what ‘steed’ meant. So I told her.

“Mom, but we bought that (CD) off the computer.”

“Yes, dear.”

“You mean I could have bought another horse!?”

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 07 2003 at 4:05 pm
Music, lyrics and spiritual metaphor
Living with horse girl deluxe we frequently listen to the music from “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron”. She bought the CD (birthday money) instead of another plastic steed.

Isabelle saw the movie June 1st with friend Annie and her mom. I had to stay behind as Sparks was born 3.30AM that morning and the vet was coming to check him. So my first viewing of Spirit was over Christmas when the video came out. I got sucked in, horse eyebrows and all, and cried at the sad part as Spirit leaves his homeland at night by train.

The music is good and the lyrics are not inane. The music and lyrics relate well to the action in the movie. I know Isabelle can see the movie in her head when she listens to the CD. (She is “being Spirit” right now, actually.)

But music and words can be more than they mean to be. Isabelle does the same thing I do with lyrics and music, so perhaps is it not anomalous. We take some lyrics out of the given context and apply them toward God as worship. Many lyrics speak of or to life situations, relationships, trials. So they can apply to life with God. Or maybe the lyricists just appeal to “universal themes” that strike home because they emanate from the Creator.

On my Christian walk I have felt this way too many times in the past and can strongly identify with these terms.

Sound the bugle now – play it just for me

As the seasons change – remembering how it used to be

Now I can’t go on – I can’t even start

I’ve got nothing left – just an empty heart

I’m a soldier – wounded so I must give up the fight

There’s nothing more for me – lead me away…

Or leave me lying here

Sound the bugle now – tell them I don’t care

There’s not a road I know – that leads to anywhere

Without a light I fear that I will – stumble in the dark

Lay right down – decide not to go on

Then from on high – somewhere in the distance

There’s a voice that calls – remember who you are

If you lose yourself – your courage soon will follow

So be strong tonight – remember who you are

Yea you’re a soldier now – fighting in a battle

To be free once more..

Yea that’s worth fighting for

And this love song of horse to horse is, in my mind, transferable to my God.

I hear the wind call your name

The sound that leads me home again

It sparks up the fire – a flame that still burns

To you I will always return

I know the road is long but where you are is home

Wherever you stay – I’ll find a way

I’ll run like the river – I’ll follow the sun

I fly like an eagle – to where I belong

I can’t stand the distance – I can’t dream alone

I can’t wait to see you – Yes, I’m on my way home

Now I know it’s true

My every road leads to you

And in the hour of darkness

Your light gets me through

You run like the river – you shine like the sun

You fly like an eagle

You are the one I’ve seen every sunset

And with all that I’ve learned

Oh it’s to you – I will always return

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 07 2003 at 3:59 pm
At lunch today
Isaac: “When did you first use a computer?”

Me: “In grad school.”

Isaac: “Wow.”

Me: “Personal computers were just coming in. Only departments had them, not persons. Most work was still on a mainframe.”

Isaac: “So the first computer you ever owned was the one before this one?”

Me: “Yup.”

Isabelle: “Was there TV when you grew up?”

Me: “Yes dear.”

Isabelle: “Was there fishing poles?”

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 06 2003 at 11:58 am
No, honey, no fishing poles, but we did have spears.
Comment posted by sharon (ip: on 02 / 06 / 2003 at 2:05 PM
Isn’t it amazing how fast technology has advanced in our lifetime? I still get a chuckle out of the time one of Petra’s friends asked to use our telephone and then stood and stared at our rotary wall phone until I showed her how to use it!
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 02 / 06 / 2003 at 9:53 PM

Suz’s website:

When Chris got his lime-green New Beetle, Andrew (then four years old) eagerly pointed out to me the “new kind of window”–it had a hand crank instead of a power lift!
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 02 / 06 / 2003 at 11:03 PM

Jeni’s E-mail:

MY what a Wonderful blog
Comment posted by Jay (ip: on 02 / 07 / 2003 at 3:09 PM
Y’know, until further notice I should just refer all comers to Lileks bleat. He is a great writer and wickedly good commentator.

On this site only less interesting stuff will appear.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 05 2003 at 1:35 pm
Recipe of the month — chai
If you have ever bought the cold bottled oversweet insipid stuff labeled ‘chai’ from a store (yuck!) now is the time for you to find out what chai can be. This site is good. Note chai is continental Indian in background. The chai I make is similar to Masala chai. In older recipes (in an Indian cookery book I have) ghee (clarified butter) is added to the final mix. Not a real western taste, that.

I boil the herbs in plain water, not milk. To two cups water I add a cinnamon stick, broken up, a slice of ginger, 1/2 – one star anise, about 5 crushed cardamom pods, a couple allspice berries. Clove has been omitted as it is too overpowering a taste for me. Bring to a boil, then simmer 10 minutes or so. Add a black tea bag. Turn off heat and cover.

Strain off the liquid. (At this point it can be refrigerated.) Pour a half-cup full. Add an equal amount of milk. Add sugar as you will. Nuke to heat. Voila! I find the sweetness of the herbs obviates the need for much sugar.

Te de cannela was a staple in Bolivia. The cinnamon sticks were broken up and simmered in water. The resultant liquid was diluted to a drinkable flavor and served as tea.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 04 2003 at 6:45 am
A (not-so-quick) blog before bed
A result of once having owned a one-of-a-kind knitting business is all the leftovers. For many years that was not necessarily a bad thing. BC. (Before Children) stuff was no problem. But AD. (After ‘Doptions) I found out—gee—kids seem to attract stuff like a floor attracts dust bunnies.

Where now to store hundreds of pounds of dyed and undyed wool yarn? Two knitting machines? All the papers associated with a business? It all used to have homes in the ‘knitting room’ or the back porch.

Surprise! Toys have conquered the back porch. Books, school and adoption records, more toys have transformed ‘knitting room’ into either the ‘Library’ or ‘Daddy’s Office’ depending on the errand one is on. I had ditched the vast majority of grad school stuff soon after Isaac came. My former business partner Kathy finally had to absorb the two machines into their household. Last year or two I assiduously foisted beautiful hand dyed yarn from hand picked fleeces off on whomever I came across that could possibly use it. I kept about fifty pounds of undyed yarns. And all the dyes. Dye does not take a great lot of space.

So, when doll making caught my eye, and I saw how expensive buying colored cotton knit for skin is, and then found a couple yards of off-white 100% cotton knit on sale, I dug out the fiber reactive dyes.

Now, if you know anything about dyes, you are wondering “What is she doing with fiber reactive dye if wool was what she used?” And that is a good question.

For those of you who have not had lots of dyeing experience here is a short primer. There are two types of dye for the two types of natural fibers: animal fibers (wool, mohair, angora, camel, silk) are made of protein and acid dyes and heat are used to color them; plant fibers (cotton, rayon from wood pulp, linen, hemp) are bast fibers. Fiber reactive dyes in relatively cool, low pH solutions are used for bast fibers. Bast/protein fiber mixes take fiber reactive dyes as well. One can use fiber reactive dye on protein fibers, but (in my not too humble opinion), it is a waste of time. You get great colorfastness, quickly, cheaply, with acid dyes on wool.

I have a few fiber reactive dyes on hand because we played with dyeing rayon and cotton yarns for awhile. We ended up buying them already dyed. It was a lot less trouble. I hand painted some skeins.

Today, we dyed the cotton knit three skin colors. If you want a blow-by-blow of the process, please ask. It is much more time and commodity consuming than acid dyeing. It involves many more chemicals, added in the proper order. It was nice to have water hardness test strips on hand from when Cherry was about to foal though. (That is a whole ‘nother story.)

The dye bath was a light peach. Using 0.5% weight of the dry fabric we got a nice representative ‘white’ skin tone. That piece of cloth had been pre-washed.

Then the kids wanted a more real skin color, so I divided what (un-prewashed) cloth was left in two, dipped some of the activated peach solution into another container and added some red and purple and a tiny tad of green. Using strips of paper towel we tested and adjusted with more peach until we got a nice chocolate (blue) brown.

Next they decided we needed a ‘real Indian’ skin color. By this time the peach cloth was OK. Isabelle had been stirring it for 20 plus minutes. The peach cloth and some solution were transferred to a smaller container while the remaining piece went into the bucket along with some green dye —oops—way too much! And some red and quite a bit of yellow and a bit more peach until the paper towel test strips said it would be an olive-y brown color. Sorry kids. Stir hard for a bit, then leave in a hurry for violin lesson and latin go-overs.

Tonight, after the rinsing and the washing and the drying, we have nice tones of pale cocoa, yellow/olive brown and peach on the three fabric chunks. On to dolldom!

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 03 2003 at 10:27 pm
One comment:
Henry’s aunt has been making dolls for around 30 years. She started with making gifts for people and by word of mouth, she suddenly had a lucrative business. She embroiders the faces on before any sewing is done and does all of the yarn hair one piece at a time. She keeps piles of “doll parts” in her sewing room, which her family affectionately calls the “doll morgue”!
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 02 / 04 / 2003 at 9:54 am

Suz’s website:

Burning words
This time of year I really do not mind that the New York Times has gone downhill so much since the advent of its new editor.

I used to look forward with eager anticipation to occationally buying the Sunday Times. Even with all its smarmy liberalism, the Sunday Times had great articles and essays on overlooked current world events, book reviews, the arts, travel, the marriage page, even at least one sports article that was a good read. The Magazine, complete with recipes I would never use, fashions I would never wear but articles that were intriguing.

Now, it seems all it is really good for is making the fire in the wood boiler easier to light. Such a nice lot of pulp.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 28 2003 at 8:50 am
Ooo! Burning literature now, are we??
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 01 / 28 / 2003 at 9:56 AM

Suz’s website:

You forgot the crossword puzzle. That’s the best part!
Comment posted by Kyriosity (ip: on 01 / 28 / 2003 at 1:48 PM

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

Kyriosity’s website:

Just War
Well, well. No takers on the war issue. Except privately.

Silence equals assent, Sir Thomas More said. Hmm.

Those of you who do not have relatives or friends in the armed forces may expand your mind by listening to Somewhere in the Arabian Sea. Last year, during the conflict in Afghanistan, the staff of This American Life spent two days aboard the aircraft carrier Stennis stationed in the Arabian Sea. This week, as more and more troops deploy to the Gulf in preparation for a new war, we rebroadcast that hour of stories from the people on the ship, about what life is like fighting in the war on terrorism.

In First Things , Richard John Neuhaus discussed Just War Truths and Fallacies.

There is a lot of discussion about just warin First Things. You may find it enlightening.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 28 2003 at 7:51 am
One comment:
I don’t understand why some Christians feel that war is, somehow, an unGodly thing. I guess they haven’t read Revelations in a while. It gives the picture of Jesus as a warrior and the “armies of heaven”. Granted, we are not God and we do not have a perfect view of justice. Yet, a father resorting to “violence” to protect his family doesn’t seem to be a reason for debate. I need to read First Things. I really love their perspective on things.
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 01 / 28 / 2003 at 9:39 am

Suz’s website:

Oh, and Lileks has some great stuff about the peace organizers(the bleat above) and about Real men. Scroll to the top of this page for an interesting historical photo…….
Entry posted by jpm14 on January 25 2003 at 9:14 am
Is there nothing new under the sun?
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 01 / 27 / 2003 at 12:30 PM

Suz’s website:

That Lileks site is hysterical.
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 01 / 30 / 2003 at 12:13 AM
Some of my women friends of 15 years have liberal politics and anti-Christian views. We are handspinners, so politics and theology have only rarely been the topics of conversation throughout the years. I usually listen without comment.

Recent events in the world have prompted certain of these friends to go on a couple peace marches in Washington, and leave literature out at meetings advocating individuals give money to the UN (since our government will not give as much as they think fit), give money to put up road signs saying ‘Peace is Patriotic’, and generally demeaning the current administration’s decisions. I have read and listened without comment.

On NPR recently I heard part of an old speech, given during the Gulf War, (being re-aired) by a WWII bomber pilot. This man had had some sort of epiphany and was sad and upset that he dropped bombs and napalm on cities and towns where German troops were “just hanging around”. He could no longer justify violence of any sort in answer to violence. He figured “there must be at least a thousand ways between appeasement and war” to end violence. I, sotto voce on the other end of the airwaves, asked him to name two. He did not. My guess is he could not. Instead he made verbal jabs and ironic comments about those who still think war is necessary even as we come to the beginning of the twenty-first century. How uncultured, unenlightened, how vulgar, how unfeeling, how stupid they must be. ( I am pretty confident that in his view genocide via abortion does not count as violence.)

Last night Amy, Cindi and I went to see the the Pianist. It is based on the biography of Wladyslaw Szpilman. This movie and Jeffrey Goldburg’s articles will be my answer to those friends who willfully neglect reality.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 25 2003 at 8:41 am
One comment:
Christian friends who sport ‘War is not the Answer’ buttons are another interesting subset. I have yet to hear what they think the answer is. Hope it is not appeasement.
Comment posted by Deborah (ip: on 01 / 25 / 2003 at 10:10 am

Deborah’s E-mail:

Deborah’s website:

Sunny Saturday
This weekend the sun was out, though it never went above 20 degrees. Saturday Jay dug 25 feet of intersecting trenches in the snowpack on the lawn and uncovered a square foot of grass for Lily. She had room in the sunny trenches to run, hop about, look above the snow and eat grass.

Ten feet away, Pounce was eagerly digging in the snow for some perceived mousey, getting his head all snow covered. Then he caught sight of two small black ears poking above the snow. He stalked and chased Lily. She turned around and chased him. They had a high old time. And we did also, watching them.

On a visit to the horses, Jay haltered Sparks and I put a saddle on him for the first time just to see how he would take it. The girth, of course, was no where near tight, but the weight did not bother him. Amy’s saddle is Australian. It took many minutes using a screwdriver as lever and the two of us to take it off because I put the tightening strap through the bottom hole rather than the top of the buckle. Guess it has been too long since I have ridden.

Jay’s poor fingers suffered. They get cold awfully fast due to frostbite when he was in his 20’s hunting young and foolishly.

We watched the neighborhood Percherons pull and spread on the snow covered field their own manure using an old wheel spreader like my Dad had when I was growing up. Isabelle got to pet them when they were returning to the road.

Jay put up his last length of page wire fence to protect the blueberries from deer. They had come in through the closely grown spruces just west of the berries and he put the fence up between the trees and the bushes.

We think all the branches brought down by the ice/snow storm will be a godsend for the deer, providing them with new edible buds and bark they could not have reached on their own. Deer are having a tough time of it now. We have not had this hard a winter in five years. Jay thinks this may be a year the turkeys eat maple buds.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 20 2003 at 7:53 am
It took me a moment to realize that Lily was not a child. ;^P
Comment posted by Kyriosity (ip: on 01 / 21 / 2003 at 4:34 PM

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

Kyriosity’s website:

Pounce and Lily seem to have an interesting relationship. I think Gertrude would have taken this game a little more seriously!
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 01 / 24 / 2003 at 1:09 PM

Suz’s website:

Good Dessert
Angela took me out to a local Lao/Thai restaurant after Christmas. The highlight was dessert, which I am almost at the point of reproducing for the family. The mangos need to ripen a day or two more. It took learning a new cooking technique for a different kind of rice. Sweet rice/glutinous rice/sticky rice. Soak a cup or two in water overnight. It will soak a lot up. Then place it in a steamer basket lined with cheesecloth and with water underneath steam it for 40 or so minutes until it is translucent and soft. Mix together a can of cream of coconut and coconut milk. I had to heat the cream of coconut to get the solids to soften. So much for tropical desserts in the dead of a northern winter.

You now have the three components: rice, coconut cream, mango.

Put a serving of rice on a plate or shallow bowl. Spoon coconut milk/cream mix over it generously. Top with mango slices. As close to heaven as food can get.

The kids and I had some with orange pieces instead of mango for snack this morning. My guess is that most fruits will taste marvelous this way.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 16 2003 at 11:21 am
Isabelle said before supper “It’s better than cinnamon! It’s better than bread pudding!”
We used the last home canned peaches.
Comment posted by Deborah (ip: on 01 / 17 / 2003 at 8:22 AM

Deborah’s E-mail:

Deborah’s website:


That WAS a good dessert! I can hardly wait to try your version of it, next time I’m home!

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 01 / 17 / 2003 at 11:32 PM
So Matt and I went there for lunch today while the bigger kids were sledding at Jeni’s. The spring rolls were perhaps the best I’ve had. The pad thai was quite respectable. But, alas — the portions were so large that I had no room left to sample the sticky rice!

(So we’ll have to go back some time just for desert…)

Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 01 / 20 / 2003 at 2:08 PM

Sora’s website:

Ok. So I’m not sleeping very much. The dentist says the tooth pain is because I grind my teeth when I do. Stress, he says. Grief, I think. Rachel is OK. She is with Jesus her Lord.

But as a mother, (and Jay, as father) we are identifying strongly with what Donna and Doug are going through. Their depth of grief is incomprehensible, but not grief, loss, and what they mean for the future of a family.

Some of the children are young enough that Rachel’s death will be a footnote in their lives. The daily emptiness. The hole in the family. The longing for what can never be. We went through this in a shallower way (though it was wrenching for those long years) when we were desperately trying to get, and stay, pregnant. A deep sadness. The heavy rock in the chest of missing one who was, and is not; of hope denied.

We hope God counts this time as sharing one another’s burdens.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 16 2003 at 11:10 am
One comment:
It is always very hard to find any comfort when a child has died. Sarah’s father lost a brother, his brother was 12 the rest of the siblings were about 18-23 in age…they said that along with the grief a hard thing to deal with was the shift in roles. Nathaniel was no longer the youngest, Monica was, Patrick became an only son of a farm family, when his brother was the one that really enjoyed farm life. Patrick always felt relief in knowing that his brother was someplace better, and made the comment to me…”if you die young you never have to feel the heartache that you do as an adult, your time was spent with play and friends and optimism.” He has a point. I am terribly sorry for your grief and your friends loss, my heart goes out to all of you.
By the way…his mom, in her healing, did some things that I thought were kind of neat, one being…there is a fear that this person that you loved so much will be forgotten, and Nathaniel loved Legos and had several of the big projects done…she bought a display case where she put the things that were the “essence” of Nathaniel, lego’s, awards, FFA stuff, etc. I thought it was a wonderful tribute of sorts to her son. She also helps other people that go through the loss of a child in her community.
Comment posted by sharon (ip: on 01 / 17 / 2003 at 10:31 am

sharon’s E-mail:

“real biblical scholarship”
Most people assume WWJD stands for “What would Jesus do?” But the initials really stand for “What would Jesus drive?”

One theory is that Jesus would tool around in an old Plymouth because the Bible says, “God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden in a Fury.”

But in Psalm 83, the Almighty clearly owns a Pontiac and a Geo. The passage urges the Lord to, “pursue your enemies with your Tempest and terrify them with your Storm.”–Psalm 83:15

Perhaps, God favors Dodge pickup trucks, because Moses’ followers are warned not to go up a mountain “until the Ram’s horn sounds a long blast.”–Exodus 19:13


Entry posted by jpm14 on January 14 2003 at 9:27 am
That has to be the funniest interpretation I’ve ever heard of the Bible, and I’ve been going to church for 19 years.

If you take your focus off the Bible, what do YOU really see God driving? I actually see him in a small aircraft, but that’s just me.

What if you change the question? “Who would Jesus date?” Yikes, he’d always know what you were getting him for Christmas, even if you hid it really well. Or …. well anyway, you get the point.

You have intrigued me, please continue to do so!

Comment posted by DarkestAngel (ip: on 01 / 14 / 2003 at 10:00 AM

DarkestAngel’s website:

who would Jesus date? His bride of course.
He’s a one woman kind of guy (like he tells the elders in I Tim 3).
As to what he would drive: it wouldn’t matter!
The oil (=gasoline) would never run out!
The tires would never go bald (the Israelites shoes didn’t wear out in the wilderness).
Comment posted by Dennis Bratcher (ip: on 01 / 23 / 2003 at 4:02 PM

Dennis Bratcher’s E-mail:

Too Real
This is such an inadequate, impersonal medium for so much real life.

Tuesday there was another automobile accident due to ice. Friends who go to our church. Their six-year old daughter Rachel is dead. Dear sweet Rachel.

My brother-in-law, Daren, a fireman and an unbelieving stoic, was at the scene and has been more traumatized by this than he has by anything in years.

Another friend whose husband was one of the ER doctors that night did not attend Rachel directly, but told his wife it was the hardest night of his life. Her family donated her organs.

God’s sovereign goodness and our almost unbearable grief coexist together. A mystery.

There are still over 700 people in the county without electricity. Friends of ours who live on a hill out near Shindigin Hollow have had electricity only one-half hour this past week. Jeni’s neighbors said 4 acres of pine came down yesterday up behind their home due to the accumulated weight of ice and snow, and Jeni could count 8 trees that fell into the field from the small patch of pine across the road from her home this morning.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 09 2003 at 2:26 pm
Oh, Deborah, I’m so sorry! May the God of all comfort be lavish in His comforting of your friends and your whole community.
Comment posted by Kyriosity (ip: on 01 / 09 / 2003 at 7:58 PM

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

Kyriosity’s website:

Please pray for the family of Rachel: her parents, Doug and Donna, siblings David, 10, Daniel, 8, and Rebekah, 5. (Rebekah was in the car, but seems to have been mercifully shielded from fully seeing what happened to her sister.)

As a mother of a six-year-old daughter, as a friend of Donna, I could say much more. I write a few paragraphs about Rachel, then I delete them. I can’t express the many facets of a loss like this in a concise way.

There are a lot of people in our small town with tears in their eyes today. As Deb mentioned, in our own hearts coexist both assurance of God’s grace and love, and excruciating pain.

Comment posted by Jeni Martens (ip: on 01 / 10 / 2003 at 12:34 AM

Jeni Martens’s E-mail:

Here is today’s paper describing Rachel (it sounds like Donna’s writing), with her picture.

Rachel Elizabeth Stauffer age 6, went to be with her beloved Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on January 7, 2003. She was the most loving, cheerful, and sweet daughter anyone could want, and we miss her profoundly. Her 6 years with us were a gift we will cherish the rest of our lives, but oh, how short they were. She is survived by her sister Rebekah, brothers Daniel and David, mother Donna, and father, Doug. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones (Psalm 116:15).
Friends may call this evening (Friday) from 6 to 8pm at the Bangs Funeral Home. A celebration of Rachel’s life will be held on Saturday at 2pm at The Bethel Grove Bible Church with Pastor Chuck Tompkins officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Bethel Grove Bible Church for a fund to be established in Rachel’s memory.

Comment posted by Deborah (ip: on 01 / 10 / 2003 at 8:14 AM

Deborah’s E-mail:

Deborah’s website:

Thanks for posting the info about Amy. It’s been terrible being so far away. But it’s terrible being there. And so I mourn from a distance and cling to the promises of Jesus.
With love,
Comment posted by Alyssa Yengo (ip: on 01 / 10 / 2003 at 7:09 PM

Alyssa Yengo’s E-mail:

There are still two towns in the county where there is no electricity. These are hilly, rural areas. Jay came home with Isaac from Boy scouts tonight with stories from the local firemen. All the Dryden town snowplows got stuck the night of the big snow. Some snowplows could not continue down certain roads because the power lines were so low across the road.

On a walk a Saturday two crows landed in a spruce tree to keep track of my progress. They were the crows that broke the branch’s bark. The additional weight of those two crows on top of all the snow and ice caused the branch to immediately break off and fall to the ground. The crows flew off.

We played for Amy’s viewing. It was a long, sad afternoon, though we saw lots of old friends.

Gretchen and I did not go up front until we were done playing. (I thought I might be unable to play any more if we went up earlier.) Seeing Amy’s body made one realize more than ever that SHE certainly was not lying there. Her life spark, her soul, all that was essentially Amy was not in that stiff, made up flesh manikin.

Isabelle was very interested in hearing about the body. The only thing I could relate it to within her experience is the difference between live deer and the carcasses the hunters bring home. Maybe that was not appropriate?

Later this morning is the memorial service. Gretchen and I will be two of many musicians there. We will play the Adagio from the Haydn Konzert in G major. And seating music.

There have been snow moles at work outside. Yesterday afternoon while I was gone they built an amazing complex of tunnels, courtyards and walled arenas for Lily to hop in and through and around. With the snow moles, of course.

And a large (4-5” diameter) branch fell off the old white pine while Isabelle was building underneath it. Isaac got her out of the way.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 06 2003 at 3:29 am
One comment:
Hooray for Isaac.
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 01 / 06 / 2003 at 6:49 pm
A Day in Reverse
Quick, write the blog before the power goes off again!

May the scientists who truly believe in global warming live in my county. We do not. There is good science a’gin it. And now we have a doozy of a snow storm to follow the ice storm. There is a (conservative) two feet of nice powder as of this morning.

Just as we prepared to go to bed last night, after taking all the ornaments off the tree so we could safely move it a foot and mop up the water the cat had slopped on the hard wood floor (he discovered he could remove the cover we had placed over the tree pan),

After the second evening shoveling when the fresh snow was midway to Jay’s kneecaps—15 inches,

After a flurry of late evening phone calls and practice and deliberation because the last time Gretchen and I played together was as Amy’s wedding, and now it will be at her viewing…

The power went out.

The power went out twice, staying out until about 7AM. We got to use our small oil lamp. The trick to those is to look where you go, not at the lamp (you blind yourself) and move slower so the lamp does not go out.

With all lights out in and out and all around, the night and the snow take on a blue cast. Electric lights add a yellow haze to everything. I prefer an un-electrified look at winter.

The spruce trees look like closed umbrellas. The deciduous trees have a foot of snow on all the branches large and small. Added to the ¼-1/2 inch of ice underneath it is no wonder limbs and whole trees have started coming down.

One limb broke and crashed down from a spruce in front of the house while the kids and I were working on getting the car in the driveway late yesterday afternoon. I had to back up across the road and make a running start a couple times to get high enough in the driveway to allow Jay’s truck a nice space.

That was after I had slid into the ditch at Angela’s and she, Isaac and I had dug and salted me out. Her driveway is paved and was sheer ice underneath the snow.

That was after we had run up to the neighbor’s to get disposable aluminum pans to put sweet rolls in (Sarah’s recipe). In the less than 10 minutes’ time it took, a small SUV had gone grill first into a very deep ditch at a corner where two roads meet. No way was it getting out without help. And a tractor was already coming.

And That was after Isabelle and I had spent our first half hour up shoveling so Daddy could go to work. Isaac’s pre-adolescent whatever may be kicking in. He got out of bed just as we came inside.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 04 2003 at 8:35 am
New Year’s Death Notice
Detached cold hard icicle fact

plummeted down the air waves

skewering, incising

my snowy breast which

Riven in twain, heart heat

melted all to tears.

Amy, 24, only daughter of her parents Betty and David, wife for 18 months to husband Damon, mother to six month-old daughter Maya, died in an auto accident after the ice storm.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 03 2003 at 7:39 am
I was at Deb’s house when she found out.

I only just met Amy’s parents and little brother at Suzanne’s house on Christmas. I like them.

Here’s the official notice from the paper.
It is very sad. 😦

FREEVILLE – Amy E. Young Cochrane, age 24, of 5 Johnson St., Freeville, NY, died Thursday, January 2, 2003, as the result of an automobile accident on the McLean-Cortland Road.
Amy was born in Trenton, NJ the daughter of David H. and Betty Hatala Young of Dryden. She was educated at Covenant Love Community School, Dryden High School, Mercer Co. Vocational-Technical School, Monmouth Community College and Tompkins Cortland Community College. On September 8, 2001, she was married to Damon R. Cochrane at Sage Chapel, Cornell University. She was employed at Whoville Day Care Center in Dryden. Amy was with us but a brief time, but leaves a richer life for all who knew her. To her parents, brothers, husband, daughter and friends she is irreplaceable.

Survivors include her husband, Damon R. Cochrane of Freeville; her beloved 5 month old daughter, Mya Elizabeth Cochrane at home; her parents, David H. and Betty Young of Dryden; two brothers, Matthew D. Young of Seattle, WA and Aaron J. Young of Dryden; her mother-in-law and father-in-law, Vickie Thayer and John Cochrane of McLean; also many aunts, uncles, a niece, two nephews and many cousins.

A celebration of her life will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, January 6, 2003 at the Reach Out for Christ Church, Johnson Road, Freeville, NY. Pastors Ken Negvesky and Peter Hopper will officiate. Delayed burial will be in McLean Cemetery, Dryden. Friends are invited to call from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, at the Perkins Funeral Home, 55 West Main St., Dryden, NY.

Friends are encouraged to consider memorials, in lieu of flowers, to a trust fund for her daughter, Mya E. Cochrane, in care of the First National Bank of Dryden, P.O. Box 25, Dryden, NY 13053.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 01 / 04 / 2003 at 11:22 PM
There aren’t really words….

I’ve read two things recently about death (in e-mail, blogs or forums, can’t remember): 1. Don’t ever buy the line that death is natural. It’s not. 2. The resurrection doesn’t make death less horrible, it only keeps it from being more horrible.

May Christ grant deep comfort and peace to all who grieve this tragedy.

Comment posted by Kyriosity (ip: on 01 / 03 / 2003 at 5:28 PM

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

Kyriosity’s website:

Thoughts in the morning of the Day Before New Years
We watched the first “Christy” video last night. Based on the autobiography of the same name by Catherine Marshall, it was an enlightening eye opener for our children. Children with no shoes? In America? Hungry, dirty and poor, yet their parents were doing their best for them? Yes, yes, and not so very long ago. And even still. I can highly recommend the book for those of you who have not read it. Will have to dig out the copy I first read while a freshman at Cornell.


There are two visitors here for a few days. They were born the first week in December, a decidedly unlucky time to be born if you are a chicken. But not if you have Sue S. as your owner. She has been rearing them in a fish tank in the house and in classrooms in her sons’ school district. I wonder which reptile gave up its home? They remind us of Reepy and Cheepy (an earlier pair of Sue-rescued chicks), so I cannot recall their given names. Isabelle likes to walk around with them on her hands and shoulders. They like the fact they can nuzzle into her hair and peck the bands holding her braids. Isaac is more interested in the Fellowship of the Rings right now.


A couple excruciatingly difficult situations in the lives of some of our friends are self-inflicted. The law of sowing and reaping works even if one ignores it. Like gravity, it does not care if you are a Christian. My hope is in his word: that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.

We share some of their anguish as we continue life’s journey together.


I want my (ongoing) life to be this kind of story. If I understood the radio correctly, Yann Martel won some large award for his book “Life of Pi”. Aunt Janice loved it and has sent it (back) to me in the mail. The author’s note has sucked me right in… a great little story in itself that has near its end

“Then the elderly man said, “I have a story that will make you believe in God.”

I stopped waving my hand. But I was suspicious. Was this a Jehovah’s Witness knocking at my door? “Does your story take place two thousand years ago in a remote corner of the Roman Empire?” I asked.


Was he some kind of Muslim evangelist? “Does it take place in seventeenth century Arabia?”

“No, no. It starts right here…..””

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 31 2002 at 8:09 am
One comment:
I am a Silly Goose!
“Catherine Marshall’s fictional story, based on actual facts that happened to her mother Leonora Wood”
Comment posted by Deborah (ip: on 01 / 02 / 2003 at 11:16 am

Deborah’s website:

Bad Dog Tricks
When Isabelle and I came home from feeding the horses THIS afternoon we discovered that Zeke had heisted the butter and a small cheesecake from off the dining room table. The 2/3 stick of butter was intact on his bed. Only the crust of the cheese cake remained.

Maybe it was because I picked up the dish of cat food and put it out of reach before we left? He seems to think if I leave it on the floor its his by rights.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 28 2002 at 9:11 pm
Training, part 1
Isabelle and I had something like this conversation coming home from feeding the horses yesterday.

She: “Why does Sparks need to be trained?”

Me: “If you love an animal you need to train it. Training makes animals pleasant to be around. Training gives beasts something interesting to do with their time instead of just standing around waiting for their next meal. Life is boring for (domestic) animals without input from humans (older and wiser). Training also increases their usefulness and value.”

She easily understood this. And she identifies so strongly with horses. So…

“You need to be trained for similar reasons Isabelle. Mama and Daddy train you so you will be pleasant to be around, so you will be useful to God. Think how boring your life would be if you were not learning something new all the time.”


Entry posted by jpm14 on December 28 2002 at 8:46 pm
One comment:
hehehe. No comment. 😉
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 01 / 04 / 2003 at 5:54 pm
Training, part 2
Well, that naughty boy turned his backside to me again, so I had to yell at him.

No, not Jay!

Sparks. He will have to be haltered and worked with tomorrow afternoon. Guess we have let it go too long. With this 8 inches or so of snow maybe we can even lunge him for the first time.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 28 2002 at 8:44 pm

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