Upsaid journal entries and comments by user: cerise

Upsaid journal entries and comments by user: jpm14
(File created on: May 26 2008)
“Chickadees can’t be wrong”
Jay reports that after showing Isabelle and Becky the grub in a goldenrod gall and explaining that some were empty because the Chickadees had opened the galls and eaten the grubs, Becky volunteered to eat one. Jay had been afraid to offer to eat one, as he has a reputaion (deserved) for eating worms and grasshoppers.

So Becky went ahead, said “Oh, it tastes good!”; Isabelle tried one and agreed.

They went off together and harvested a patch of dead goldenrod for galls with grubs.

Isabelle says “They taste like sweet sugar milk, like when you put three teaspoons of sugar in your cereal.”

As Jay says: “Chickadees can’t be wrong,”

But what will Becky’s mother say?

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 16 2005 at 5:36 pm
Oh no! A whole new generation of bug-eaters. Imagine the shock value when they amaze and stupify their friends with this new skill.
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 04 / 16 / 2005 at 9:47 PM

Suz’s website:

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 27 / 2005 at 2:39 PM
Nuisance Wildlife Control-April
Jay caught a woodchuck which was digging too close for comfort to a family’s hot tub motor. When the wife called later in the day to inform me the chuck was in the trap, she wondered if there was anything she should do for it.

“If it is in the sun you might want to cover it up with an old sheet or blanket so he doesn’t get sunstroke.”

“But should I go out and feed him a few carrots?”

Nope. This animal just survived the whole winter with nothing to eat. It will last a few more hours.

And the usual now-I-am-thinking-about-what-I-have-wrought question:

“What will you do with the woodchuck? Can you let him go?”

“You’ll have to talk to Jay about that. Legally, we have to have permission from another landowner to release any wildlife onto their property.” (and guess what, most people don’t want woodchucks released on their property! Remember why you called us?)

“If Jay doesn’t have such a place, the woodchuck will have to be killed.”

Fortunately for her (and the chuck), Jay did have a place to release it.


Isaac is not pleased with me because I shot one of the large gray squirrels that has been frequenting the bird feeder. The largest, boldest one, a male, which turned out to be one of the biggest squirrels I have ever seen. It weighed almost a pound and a half (22 ounces). Of course it had been eating a whole sunflower seed diet.

It wasn’t doing anything except adventitiously eating. Scaring the birds away. Having to be driven away every few minutes many times twice a day. When I went out with the gun the beast almost sauntered away to the base of the white pine and sat there, hidden by lilac suckers. After waiting a minute, I had to take four or five paces towards it for the furry bravo to even start up the tree trunk.

It had a good life and a very quick death with no pain. Which is more than we sometimes give to our own.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 16 2005 at 7:43 am
Sounds like a delicious, juicy Squirrel Cacciatore recipe might be in order.

One day this spring I woke to find a large grey squirrel and a small red squirrel eating from the bird feeder. They were obviously different species, and the red squirrel was avoiding the grey one.

Never saw them again. I figure either the grackles or the neighborhood cats scared them away.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 16 / 2005 at 8:10 AM
In deference to Isaac’s distress, the squirrel went to feed local wildlife, not us.

The other squirrel has not returned after we chased it away once this male was gone. They both were coming from across the road–a dangerous long-term feeding strategy.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 04 / 18 / 2005 at 7:58 AM

Herself’s E-mail:

Herself’s website:

Thanks Joshua!
Joshua came with his Mom and and select siblings this afternoon. We had sweet glutinous rice with canned peaches and coconut milk. I know I’ve blogged about the time Angela and I had it at a restaurant and the cooking trials afterwards but am unable to find it in the archives. We also had chai and the salsa I wrote about a couple days ago with tortilla chips.

Anyway, what I meant to write about is the fact that the computer savvy guy not only somehow re-downloaded Firefox and got the bookmark function to work, but he also located all the bookmarks I thought had disappeared forever in the bowels of this machine. Hurrah!

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 15 2005 at 5:26 pm
I put 1.0.2 on your computer–today they just released 1.0.3! Oh well. . . (I don’t think it will make much of a difference).

You should install Linux on your computer–and use it instead of windows–it is much easier!

Comment posted by Joshua (ip: on 04 / 16 / 2005 at 1:31 PM

Joshua’s E-mail:

Glad to hear your Firefox is working.

Try, recipe#58164 for the mango rice.

Pounce doesn’t look thrilled in the second photo.

M&L send their regards and are glad there are no dolly clothes available for being dressed up in!

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 15 / 2005 at 7:04 PM
Heh, heh. That’s what I said!

Next time I see them I’m bringing a Games Knoppix live CD.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 18 / 2005 at 1:03 PM
Pounce dressed for Spring

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 14 2005 at 4:40 pm
Do I have an email for you….!
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 04 / 15 / 2005 at 12:14 PM

Suz’s website:

Talia says, “Poor cat… but it does look like fun.”
Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 04 / 15 / 2005 at 8:59 AM

Sora’s E-mail:

Sora’s website:

First Spring woods walk
We will never see the beauty of their leaves again–the early yellow-greens, the deep dark greens, the golds, reds, purples. So there is sadness watching the continuing removal of the hedgerow just east of us and suprise that more trees at the edge of the woods had been removed. But that emotion gave way to joy at the sight of the first blooming hepaticas, the bloodroot in heavy, almost-blooming bud, the almost purple rue and blue-green dutchman’s breeches coming up thickly on the very grey-brown forest floor. One of the hawks flew off its new nest. Hurrah! What a blessing they relocated only a few hundred yards away from their old site. May they have many nestlings which fledge! The tree in which the old nest sat for a decade and a half was cut two years ago. The chance of their lost company was another little sorrow.

In the sun a large rock with large fossil shells, Spring Beautys blooming, trillium in bud, the running stream: how little it takes to make one truly happy. And then, O glory–a salamander. Another later on. Then another. Then three young ones together under one rock, red cup fungi near water pools and May apple plants just poking their noses above ground; a pileated woodpecker flies by. I followed the posted signs across the creek to where they met the next neighbor’s, followed those to still another neighbor’s and cut down to the old circular hand-laid stone spring pool where I fished out some branches that had fallen in over the winter. Beetles on their way and small red ants warming their larvae under rocks, a mourning cloak butterfly sunning itself. On the way home, in the huckleberry field, the head and bare spine of a small one-point buck, skin still on the head, with busy carrion beetles attending to their jurisdiction.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 13 2005 at 7:28 am
High Tech Textiles
the NYTimes had a wonderful article today on high tech textiles.
Entry posted by jpm14 on April 12 2005 at 11:00 am
A Some Day Road Trip
One dream of mine is to be able to visit

Heronswood Nursery, buy lots of unusual plants and bring them home. Year ago, when postage prices were still reasonable, Amy and I sent off an order. We ordered plants that would live in our zone or below (4-5). The Japanese maple she ordered made it through a couple winters befor kicking the bucket. The weird and wild pussy willow I procured is producing marvelously sculptural whips now. When I showed them to Amy she thought they were worth the loss of most of the rest. One Siberian syringa (lilac) still survives also, but it is so small and has just managed to hang on all these years. The other things we bought are long gone and forgotten in the mists of memory.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 12 2005 at 10:36 am
Sightings and Salsa
Jay and Isabelle saw the most unique leaf cloud Saturday late afternoon. How I wish they had called me. It was sunny, no wind, clear blue sky. Neighbors were with them, talking, when a handful or two of oak leaves fell from the sky. “Look, Daddy, its snowing leaves!” There were indeed leaves floating down. There are no oak trees anywhere nearby. Then, looking higher up–maybe as high as a thousand feet–he saw a cloud of thousands of leaves being borne slowly along southwards by some higher air current.

Could a dust devil have picked up that many leaves and carried them that high, to glide for miles? Where were the leaves from originally? Could a warm thermal pick up so many leaves? But thermals usually originate on worked soil which is dark–not a place oak leaves are found. Our older neighbors had no answer. Do you?


Nuthatches, cardinals, bluejays, juncos, goldfinches, song sparrows, mourning doves, grey squirrels, purple finches, chickadees, tufted titmice, cowbirds all seen the last 24 hours on the bird feeders. Pounce is in heaven although he is not allowed out while the birds breakfast and eat supper. What do you have eating from your feeders?


Available at our local supermarket, Swad Coriander Chutney mixed with home canned tomatoes makes a very easy and delicious salsa.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 12 2005 at 10:09 am
Last week into this one
Tuesday week three of us drove around the bottom of two lakes, around the top of a third and down its west side, far up in the hills, to my cousin’s home and Nistock Farms. There remained on the ground several inches of snow of the seven which fell that previous Sunday. But it was very good to reconnect with my cousin Julie, and the lambs were very cute. The orchards full of bony old men (Isabelle’s metaphor) and vineyards were being pruned. Then we raced home so I could teach piano in the latter afternoon.

Wednesday after our school the children started classes with friends at their homes, taught by their mothers, on economics (“Whatever Happened to Penny Candy”) and British Literature (“The Time Machine” by HG Wells and then “Animal Farm”) for Isaac and newspapers and S. American geography for Isabelle. Then two of us raced home for violin lesson and to help with the teacher’s college music theory class. As I have never taken college level music theory, I don’t know how much good I did, other than catching one mistake, but I got to read about and understand figured bass finally. And the ice cream attachment came, was washed and put in the freezer. That night I frantically mostly made a batch of high test chocolate ice cream custard before our small group meeting.

Thursday Jay was home. Schoolwork. I froze half the ice cream using the new KitchenAid attachment. It needed a few more minutes than I gave it. It was sunny and warm: I weeded and cut old growth off flower beds. Jay felled two trees down the road for neighbors. The rest of us stopped traffic (two vehicles), moved wood out of the way and swept up. The wood gets loaded up and comes home. We all went fishing in the afternoon for newly released brown trout, five of which came home with us later on: four stayed for supper and one changed residences to the pond next door. We had lamb stew for supper and home made chocolate ice cream for dessert.

Friday, another lovely day. Schoolwork. The second set of classes that were not given Wednesday. Isaac makes final preparations for a scout bicycle trip to Gettysburg. Isabelle goes to a friends’ home, missing class, since I hadn’t known the meeting time when I made the playdate. I run errands, and Isaac to his meeting place. Then run to the library and get him a copy of Well’s stories to read for the class to take with him. Snatches of outside work. Fish for supper. In the evening I trace New York Beauty paper pieces and choose fabrics for a class the next morning I have been cajoled into attending. Really, I want to, but I am so tired…

Saturday: frantically cut fabric; Jay and Isabelle go up back to cut wood. Fifteen minutes before class is to begin I force myself to actually go through with it. What fun. Many women who are friends for years attended. More digging. Cleaning.

Sunday Jay worked. The girl and I go to late service, then home. Mom M. is coming to supper so I make vanilla ice cream for her especially. On the eldest hellebore I count over 90 buds and blossoms. Isaac comes home.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 11 2005 at 7:57 pm
One comment:
Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 04 / 12 / 2005 at 8:26 am

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high water marks
Recent rains were heavy and prolonged, resulting in at least two smallish streams in the basement that were substantial enough for a small pond to form, Jay to spend an evening down there with hose and pump, and wetness to remain for the forseeable future.

Not the worst by far but the worst since April 1992, which holds that distinction. Isaac and I had finally returned home in March after three months doggedly working our way through Bolivian and US beaurocracy and corruption (Bolivia) to complete all necessary for his adoption. His arrival home remains a high water mark in our lives.

A few weeks later found me in the basement frantically scooping five gallon pails of water into the washing machine as water rose around my feet. A veritable stream was moving downhill in a deep subsoil layer after heavy rains and ended up running right through the 150-year-old hand-laid North rock wall in the basement. Unfortunately, all that water didn’t just run right out the South wall, which was not as permeable, and where the small drain hole to the ditch was located and overwhelmed. The reins on emotion slipped out of control.* In a despairing frenzy I called Jay and shrieked that he needed to come home NOW.

He came. The boiler, on the high side of the basement, barely escaped as the water topped out just as it crested the raised cement pad it stands upon. The high water mark on the deep side was between ten and twelve inches.


Down on the roads that run along the creek water covered parts of the roads and washed them clean most of man’s debris and his dogs’ filth

*Reflecting back on the times when the reins and chains of discipline failed and emotion escaped out of control, most of those times, at some instant I let go willfully, allowing the wildness of unfettered emotion to run rampant. Emotions are like young cattle or poorly trained, willful horses. Once heifers escape it is a good deal of hard work getting them back into pasture no matter how good one’s intentions. And you probably will need help to do so. Better to make sure of fences before escape attempts. Runaway horses are even more of a nightmare. (Is there a reason we call bad dreams nightmares? Probably not, but it sounds good here) Only two or three times have I been so stunned by events that emotion ran wild while I was senseless. This was not one of those times. I did not do my utmost to keep myself in control and my emotions where they belonged.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 07 2005 at 8:07 am
A very small common shrew eating worms on the road was waylaid by a car and came home with me earlier in the week to be drawn by the children and closely observed by the cat. Alas, it was burnt up by Jay before I took a snap of it to compare with the kids’ drawings.

The snow has almost all gone and the winter aconite, snowdrops, early croci and (almost) hellebore are blooming.


Foolishly, in hindsight, I downloaded the new Firefox when it popped up and asked me if I would like to. All my bookmarks disappeared. I can make no new bookmarks in the new Firefox. For all my looking at help sites, no avail on either front. Blah.


Spent a large part of my birth day in the car, running errands: applied for children’s passports, picked up the coupon to add a new-to-me gun on my pistol permit, lunch with Jay, errands.

At the county clerk’s office the ladies required I hand over the original documents of Isabelle’s US birth certificate and Citizenship paper. Would give me no receipt, since “we don’t keep them, we send them on to the Federal gov’t”. All the old high anxiety at dealing with official, legal nasty paperwork rose in my being. “And what if they do not return them to me? What guarantee have I they will come back? You have no clue how much work I went through to obtain these documents originally!”

“There is a phone number right here (pointing to the front of the passport application) you can call.”

“I know all about gov’t phone numbers. I will get a machine and my papers will be gone forever. I need the name of a person!”

“Oh, no–you will get a person at that number.”

(“Right”, I thought sarcastically, “if the recording of a person is considered equivalent…”)

At that juncture Jay stepped in and asked if maybe we should just not get a passport for Isabelle. Upon reflection, it seemed the wiser thing to go through and over the fences and hoops now, as she will certainly wish to leave the country one day and this will all have to be done at some point.

So I very relunctantly gave hard won, expensively obtained original documents into the hands of local beaurocrats to send on to extra-local beaurocrats. One of the hardest actions I have done in a long time. According to the ladies they should return to us befor May 12 of this year. May it be so. I have already thought about how long it will take to drive to an office somewhere in this or another state to accost and harass the people in the office for the papers should they not return.


Jay graciously took me to a Japanese restaurant for lunch. Edamame, a bento box lunch of sushi, sashimi and fried tofu and for Jay, deep fried shrimp. A young man behind the counter was cutting up whole fish. An older man came out to speak with another older, Japanese man seated behind us. They spoke in English, in Japanese and then, to my surprise, in either Italian or Spanish. (My scruples were bent far enough already just listening to them–I chose not to turn so I could hear them better for a definitive answer). My guess is they chose the third language so both their other countrymen and the American customers could not understand their conversation.


I ordered a ice cram maker attachment for my mixer using birthday money. An easy ice cream maker is something I have thought of for years. When it comes I will tell y’all how it works.

The children made special cards and gave great gifts (silicone potholders, a gift card) Jay presented an amethyst necklace and a gift certificate to Wayside Gardens where I am contemplating this willow–Coral Embers.


A lovely end the day- friends came over and we talked, drank chai, ate chocolate and prayed.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 01 2005 at 9:25 am
One search is over
In 1988, Jay and I went to a party at the home of the then new professor in the Animal Science Dept. I ran a laboratory back then, but within six months of this party I left the job.

Other technicians and grad students attended and some brought music. One section of one song from a Randy Newman album caught my ear. This same section of music was used as a segue for years on the local NPR station Sunday afternoons between Car Talk and Prairie Home Companion, about the only two shows we listen to with any regularity.

Hearing it once a week for years whetted my ear enough that I didn’t bother hunting it down, but recently this snippet of music has disappeared and was replaced with a variety of other snippets. I also was unwilling to invest any money in albums just to try to find the piece. So the search was on.

From the library I was able to borrow this album , on which is the song “Dixie Flyer” from the album Land of Dreams. Within this song is the music I have wondered about all these years. Unfortunately, the 30 second sections of “Dixie Flyer” you can hear on Amazon do not contain the marvelous musical snippet.

The intro, instrumental bridge and end of the song all have the same recurring 4/4, 6/4 bars– styled a tad differently each time. (Two bars of 4/4 followed by a bar of 6/4, repeated 3+ times: is it a musical picture of some aural aspect of a train–short, short, long?) These sections are significantly different musically than the rest of the piece.

Also it all comes clear just why, in addition to the cool rhythm and beautiful little melody, I like these sections: Mark Knoffler not only played guitar on the piece, but produced it as well. The instrumentation and mix bear his ‘marks’. No pun intended, really.

As an aside:

For years I have thought to myself that Mr. Knoffler’s/Dire Straits long instrumentals for “Telegraph Road” on the album Love Over Gold are some of the most worshipful music I’ve ever come across.

If you can get either album from the library give these songs a listen. I will be interested in hearing your opinions.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 29 2005 at 7:48 pm
Terri and Johnny
As more information on Terri comes forth, I can’t help but think of the literary character Johnny in the book Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo.

Johnny couldn’t move or respond except, as one nurse figured out, by blinking. Unlike Terri, Johnny did not have to worry about being killed for his inability to communicate, for his loss of appendages and senses.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 29 2005 at 7:05 am
Pull the plug life support is not the same as withholding food and water.

Judicial refusal to allow someone to be fed by mouth is legal murder.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 03 / 30 / 2005 at 7:45 AM

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Herself’s website:

The character you describe had a frontal cortex with which to respond with blinks. Terri does not have this. She has been brain dead for 15 years. Upsaid won’t allow links to be posted, but you can google for her brain scans and see for yourself.

Those videos online are some of the creepiest things I’ve ever seen; human as automaton.

I sure hope everyone reading this has done a medical advance directive. If *you* want your body to be kept alive on Medicaid like that (planning on a big malpractice win is unwise), then make sure your wishes are in writing, witnessed, and distributed appropriately. Likewise if you do not. I am in the latter category, thanks.

If you want there to *be* Medicaid to pay for something like this, you need to contact your elected Republican representatives and let them know you disagree with their recent vote to cut Medicaid.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 03 / 29 / 2005 at 5:25 PM
Even (some) liberal media see the hypocrisy involved in this death:,hentoff,62489,6.html

The Village Voice is calling it ‘judicial murder’.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 03 / 29 / 2005 at 9:42 PM

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There’s plenty of hypocrisy in this case to go around. Upsaid disallows commenters to put in links, so I’ll just cut and paste:

While govenor of Teaxs, Mr. “W” Bush signed into law a bill allowing hospitals to pull the plug on life support if the patient’s family did not have the means to pay for continuing treatment. This week, that law was upheld and six-month-old Sun Hamilton died despite his family’s wishes simply because they had no money.

Yet when Terry Schiavo’s husband wants to allow her to pass away, suddenly our representatives all in favor of not only the federal government’s power to overrule a state court’s decision, but they demand that she be kept alive because all life is sacred?

This couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that Sun Hamilton was poor and black, and Terry Schiavo is white and lives in the swing state of Florida, could it?

โ€”Scott Ricketts

And then there’s Tom DeLay, whose own father’s life was apparently not as important as Terri’s.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 03 / 29 / 2005 at 10:29 PM
Feeding tubes are not “feeding by mouth.” I believe Terri’s tube goes directly through a hole in her abdomen.

How do you view “life support” as different from a feeding tube? I’m not asking to be confrontational; I’d like to hear how/where you draw the line.

Just out of curiosity, would you consider withdrawing an IV drip from someone subsisting on TPN (total peripheral nutrition) the same as pulling out a feeding tube?

If a patient has left explicit written instructions not to feed by tube, would those that comply be guilty of assisted suicide?

Is Mr. Bush (and the TX legislature) indirectly guilty of the murder of Sun Hamilton?

Comment posted by (ip: on 03 / 30 / 2005 at 6:37 PM
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 04 / 08 / 2005 at 10:05 AM

Herself’s E-mail:

Herself’s website:

Happy Easter
Good Friday evening service: “Behold the Lamb of God” and “Surely” sung five persons to a part.

It was powerful in the small box of a practice room beforehand.

Next morning as the sun rose two trees full of red-winged blackbirds singing their hearts out–

more like Easter morning than the Saturday before. Palest gold (goldenrod and grass), platinum

(horefrost on the trees and weeds) and white (snow) in the fallow fields, the sky the palest purest

blue. A couple hundred yards further on, around a bend in a more open field, the white bumps of

snow casting shadows bluer than the sky and the crystallized snow reflecting light like piercing

diamonds. Geese, deer, a Merganser, birds singing constantly.

Three batches of rolls. Cleaning. We heard the bluebird singing.

Then, late, a walk up back with Jay. Those four footed wretches have strewn the ground beneath

my <A href=””>Ilex verticillata (Winterberry) with branches they have ripped off in their zeal for the berries.

Some of the branches are as big around as my fingers. The stinkers.

Underneath a wild rose in the hedgerow I spied a woodchuck and we followed its tracks as it

bounded fifty feet almost like a rabbit to its holes. Some animal’s blue pee in the snow. Dark blue!

Buckthorn berries is my guess. A large flock of robins grazing. A dozen deer feeding.

Then early this morning up to set the table with the real china, crystal, silver, white tablecloth. Bake

the sweet rolls set to rise on the porch overnight, cook bacon, make fruit salad (crushed pineapple,

apples cut fine, currents and a few spoonfuls of coconut cream mixed together). Get out the dyed

hard-boiled eggs, decorate the table, mix the juice and tonic water. Jesus is Risen!

We saw the male bluebird during breakfast checking out two available houses.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 27 2005 at 8:15 pm
Spring, flu, beaurocracy
We had two great weather days. The bright sunshine melted some snowbanks far enough that the winter aconite (eranthis) uncovered burst into bloom. Lily was put out to pasture for a few hours. Spring pinecone pickup duty was reinstated. Did it last?

Of course not. We woke up to a school closing and a few new inches of white recovering what long unseen bare ground was there yesterday.

I had plans to photograph aconite blossoms and throw them up here but an icky flu intervened.

Maybe it was the head to tail flu. Started in the head and then pain and fluid loss progressed over a few days to the throat, chest, lower realms. Yuck. I hope yesterday evening was the end of it.

We need to update our passports if future family plans are to be planned. Jay took the children down last Saturday for photos and since I am finally feeling alive thought maybe I could do the legwork at the County Clerk for him after my photos are taken.

Unsolicited advice: call first and see what you need to take. Isabelle’s application will be a pain; shades of the paperwork we went through for the adoptions. She has no ‘old’ US passport. So the government now requires a) her US birth certificate, b) her Bolivian passport c) the original adoption decree. Why the third document? Because she entered the country at over a year of age, and that raises questions, the lady indicated, about the legality of her adoption since most children are adopted as infants. Huh. Sure glad Isaac has an ‘old’ US passport.

But the county does not need to see her citizenship certificate.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 24 2005 at 10:15 am
Deer in the Dark
About 2.30 Saturday morning I heard the distinctive ‘whump’ of a vehicle hitting a living thing and told Jay I thought a car had just hit a deer. The deer use an area just to the east of our home as a crossway and as their numbers have increased over the years so have the collisions.

The lights of at least two cars were stopped just there up the road so while Jay checked the fire I got dressed and went out to see if the people were OK. A lady in a nightgown covered with a jacket was on a cellphone and lighting up a cigarette.

There was a fawn sitting stunned on the yellow lines in the middle of the road.

There was a man standing within three feet of the fawn looking at it.

She informed me she had just gotten out of hospital and told me she was not injured.

told her I could put down the deer for her. She gave me the phone and aked me to speak to 911. I told that lady about our qualifications and that I could put the deer down. “Did the lady want an accident report?” I handed the phone back to the smoking woman and went for a gun.

Jay gave me the .22 after I reassured him the police were not coming and went to get dressed. A shotgun blast would surely wake the neighbors even if an accident on their front lawn did not.

When I returned, the man was even closer to the deer so I asked him to back away and as he did it got up and hobbled over to the road’s edge and jumped the ditch. From the woman a sharp inhalation and groaning as we saw the lower six inches of its left hind leg were hanging by a shred of skin.

“Couldn’t it live like that?” one of them asked.


The man moved to chase it and I asked himnot to so I could shoot it in the head as I hoped it would fall into the ditch. I shot it twice in the head and it fell in the ditch. The man was upset it didn’t die instantly. “You watch too much TV” ran through my thoughts. He wanted me to hand over the rifle. “No”

“Well then shoot it again, here”, pointing to the back of the fawn’s head. I obliged, and as the deer continued thrashing he returned to his large truck and rapidly drove away. The lady had gone after seeing the deer’s leg.

Jay came just afterwards and helped pull it out of the ditch, cut its throat and drag it up under the west pines. We were back in bed by 3.15.

This morning our friend, a father with a family of eleven, came and Jay helped him skin, gut and cut it up. Not an ounce of fat, but the muscles were in good condition. The fawn’s carcass was the size of an adult sheep.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 20 2005 at 8:59 am
Birds = Spring
During the last few days I/we have seen

* Kestral, called sparrowhawk, up close and personal as I walked up from behind

* Killdeer already searching for nesting areas on the patches of grass appearing between the snowdrifts

* Red-winged blackbirds singing

*paired Canada geese–one pair grazing 15 feet from a grazing muskrat, all intent on food

* three big old tom turkeys out working in Sue’s garden

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 20 2005 at 8:30 am
Dears and Deer
A blog I read frequently is The Bleat. One of the best reasons to read it is how totally ga-ga he is over his daughter.

When he writes such lovely cute things about his daughter I am abashed that I am so frequently full of BAD ATTITUDE towards my own kids. Maybe I need to send them away for a few hours each day and do what I wish? (As he and his wife do) Then perhaps every little thing they do upon return will be charming.

I plead close proximity to immature mouthy persons during a lloonngg winter without enough adult-time antidote. Well, those and the ever pervading tendancy to lose perspective and drift off the mark. Sin, in other words.

The snow is very slowly retreating. Not fast enough for the deer population, which is very hungry after months of solid snow pack.

*Friend Julie left a note on the answering machine saying she barely made it back to her door before six deer were wrangling over the compost she just dumped.

*Mom M. says she has a herd that come right up onto the patio each night to eat leftover bird seed–pushing and shoving is involved.

* Suzanne was on the phone with me when three deer came and ate the bird seed under her feeder, watching her through the window. They broke through the fence to get into the lawn. One was kicking its neighbor away to get to the food first.

*And yesterday early evening we looked out the west window and there were four deer- two doe, two fawns- just on the outside of the blueberry fence. They milled around, trying to decide whether to cross the road, decided not to (good move, the evening traffic was fierce) and started feeding on the bare patches below the far west pine trees. When the big doe got too close to my perennial beds–the tree peony, in particular– I ran out and yelled at them. They turned tail and bounded away. That they spooked so quickly told us these particular deer were first time visitors. Long may they stay away.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 17 2005 at 11:48 am
Of snow and threats
Each day it melts. Each night it snows. The melting is ahead of the snow now though.

The snow has retreated to such an extent that on yesterday’s walk one could note there was a reason for two weeks of distinctive oniony, oily skunk smell just before the second bridge. A fresh vole carcass earlier on the same road.

There are ten dogs I could conceivably come in contact with in this direction. There are more who are more closely confined to quarters. Four of these ten could be objects of concern were they ever to escape from their chains or pens. Only one has.

It is a large rottweiler whose bad character precedes it. It has bitten one of my friends. It was banished from the home to the outside when the baby was born. It was loose one day about six weeks ago and came for me as I walked by. Standing one’s ground and saying “NO” in a very deep, very loud voice is the most effective means of countering an attack if one does not have a stout stick or sizeable rocks at hand, I have found. In this instance it worked once again, persuading the beast that perhaps I was kin to its master and it should just turn around and go back where it belonged. Quietly calculating just where one could grasp and hurt a dog the worst with bare hands and teeth as it hurts you may help attenuate one’s fear also. Again, from personal experience.

The worst instance I personally have had is walking with one’s little (one a toddler) children down a deserted, unused road on a sunny, quiet day when there suddenly appears an unknown dog of questionable character, suspicious build and menacing behavior. Alone as an adult is one worry. Alone with two small children is a host of concern. Such experiences convince me it is the right thing to do to train children to obey unquestioningly, immediately. I positioned myself ahead of the children and told them, sotto voce, “Do not move or talk”. The brindle square-jawed, silent beast just kept moving closer, so I started chucking rocks at it while yelling “No”. As it got closer my yelling got more vehement and the rocks got closer to the mark.

It was not a well cared for dog. It was skinny. It could have been looking for a friend. But its silence, the absence of tail wagging and its dogged persistence to keep coming toward me and my children tipped the scales in my mind from any sort of humanitarian feeling towards it to the andrenalin induced fight mentality of a mother protecting her young. The dog eventually got my drift and turned back after closing to within eight feet and feeling a couple rocks. I felt safe to move only when it was twenty five yards away, finally not looking back every few feet.

Scared? I trembled so violently I had trouble walking back home. When we got there I lovingly got out and held my French batonne rolling pin and considered carrying it on our next walk.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 14 2005 at 8:31 am
One comment:
Having been on the teeth-end of that particular rottweiler, I highly suggest pepper spray. They sell it in bicycle stores and Gretchen is required to carry it in her purse. Frankly, I had hoped that “that dog’s” personality might have improved after neutering, but I guess not.
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 03 / 14 / 2005 at 1:32 pm
Where have all the notes gone?
I notice during the day, when I need them, and then forget to ask Jay at night about the mysterious disappearances of notes I have left to myself (stuck on the fridge or a cabinet in the dining room) for various odd and sundry useful information purposes. Examples: library card numbers to plug in when ordering books from the library system online; my running list of movies to rent; scraps with word phrases that are evocative–to use in poetry or writing, made up names I use when logging in certain places (usually a play on the first two letters of the names of everyone in the family)

Granted, some lists have been running for a long while. But I do use them. And I NEED one right now–and it is missing!

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 12 2005 at 4:07 pm
One comment:
If I leave a note here will it also disappear? Sorry. Didn’t mean to rhyme.
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 03 / 14 / 2005 at 1:28 pm
Arizona Pecans
On the way back to Tucson from the Queen Copper Mine tour in Bisbee

we stopped at a pickup truck on the side of the road in St. David. We had seen

rows of bare limbed trees with ditches dug at the sides of their trunk feet on the way down and had speculated they might be pecans.

An old weather beaten man was sitting in the cab. The blue truck’s tail was down, facing th road, displaying pecans in the shell in paper bags by the pound or half pound ($3.00-4.00/lb.), pecans cracked and bagged ($5-6.00/lb) or

shelled pecans (about $7.00/lb). He had a small tray of cracked pecans there to sample.

He was generous, encouraging us to try them, have more, help yourself.

We wanted to know if he knew about the trees just up the road.

Yup, they were pecan trees-

the ditches were for irrigation, the water for which came from a well that pumped over 1,000

gallons a minute. The ditches were flooded every two weeks during part of the growing season.

And what about these pecans?

They came from those trees.

How many trees on that farm?


How many bushels or pounds did the 140 trees produce a year?

38,000 pounds of pecans.

Wow! And how were they marketed?

Right here, from the back of this truck.

All of them?

We sell some from the farm–there’s a sign on the gate.

Jay and I silently did the math in our heads.

Too bad pecans don’t do well in the north.

He pulled out a plastic 5 pound potato bag full of pecans and sold it to

us for $10.00.

They sure crack easier than black walnuts, too.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 09 2005 at 6:52 pm
One comment:
I found your blog via Sora (I’ve been checking her tongue meditations daily. . .)

The first sentence of your post caught my eye. Bisbee! I spent several years of my childhood there, and my folks own 10 acres on a mtn top near the tunnel. *grin* They don’t live there now, but will eventually.

I can totally picture the area you drove through near St. David. Thanks for bringing up the memories.

Comment posted by TulipGirl (ip: on 03 / 10 / 2005 at 3:03 pm

TulipGirl’s E-mail:

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Great Editorial from the local paper
Here is a taste of what is going on in the news around here:

“I have to respond to the Feb. 26 front-page story about our rising assessments.

It is disgraceful that residents should have to bear such increases. Double-digit rate increases and assessment hikes are nothing more than a money grab. Why should people who have been living in their homes for many years have to shoulder the brunt of this area’s real estate boom? Assessments should only make a large increase upon sale, otherwise, increases should be tied to inflation.

Perhaps the “progressive thinkers” we are surrounded by should make sure that our money is spent wisely and departments are made to run efficiently, rather than keep putting their hands out for more.

Residents should not be forced to refinance their homes or move away because of the ever-increasing tax burden, nor should they be penalized for making improvements to their homes. Again, make the large adjustment upon sale. I certainly don’t have the luxury of telling my employer that I must increase my salary because the property taxes assessed on me have risen. I just have to operate more efficiently or do without something.”

K L of B

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 08 2005 at 9:35 pm
One comment:
I don’t think I need my ivy league education to figure out that there is something wrong with a 117% increase in the last 4 years. The past year
My wise father told me years ago to leave NYS.
Comment posted by Julie (ip: on 03 / 09 / 2005 at 2:17 pm
Weather and movie woe
Last Thursday Jay waded up to the garden and dug around in sixteen inches of snow to eventually find the carrots. He marked their spot so we can relocate them. They taste great.

Yesterday, when the air was in the fifties after the sun had been shining for a couple hours, I was able to finish removing the large chunks of ice blocking the eaves troughs Jay had begun in the morning. The south facing lower part of the driveway melted almost completely off.

Last night the rain poured down, beating on the roof as Jay and I watched The Chronicles of Riddick and he frequented the WC in preparation for a colonoscopy today.

We woke up at 5.30 this morning to slow moving vehicles on the ice and snow covered road. The temperature had dropped thirty degrees. The ice was covered with a new layer of snow which was still falling and being blown around by the stiff wind.

Winter’s last gasp. I hope.

The Chronicles of Riddick proves there is nothing new under the sun. Except maybe some stunts and special effects. Within the first few moments, mercenary bounty hunters in a light craft chase Riddick across the rocks of Maine in a January blizzard. No, perhaps it was a planet somewhere far away in the future. Obviously we were to be impressed with how cold, snowy, rocky and windy it was. We could tell that the California people who filmed this movie were impressed with winter weather as a metaphor for toughness.

Jesus’ name was mentioned (in a tone of awe, but not of reverence, and not directed to Him) during this hunt. Proof of the enduring power and majesty of our God–His name used as an epitet centuries from now on odd worlds–people only swear by persons they value.

Since teaching history is not something considered of much value in the public schools anymore, I guess stealing the clothing, architecture, social and military motifs of Rome may have impressed the general public as cutting edge Science Fiction Storyline Innovation. We laughed.

The theology of the movie is at variance with what is said even within its own framework. These evil, death loving planet destroyers can only be stopped by Riddick, of course, who is said to be even more evil. Yet he does nothing nasty in the whole film. He killed lots of evil-doers. He aquiesced readily to the request for help from a little girl. He was remorseful for his inability to help another woman (whom he loved) in times and places past. He wishes to be left alone. He rescues everyone but himself. Shades of Rocky.

Vin Diesal is capable of amazing physical feats. My favorite stunt had him hanging suspended from a long rope chained in wrist manacles. He flips himself upside down, feet up along the rope, then proceeds by winding or twisting his body to roll himself upwards so that the rope wraps around his torso numerous times. He then uses the momentum gained to break the chain attaching the manacles and the rope.

I got a movie we wouldn’t usually watch to take Jay’s mind off his woes. I know this played in the theaters. Is this an example of common movie fodder?

The manure on the shelves at the video store seem to indicate this is a cut above most. Maybe we need another depression or something to reduce the amount of money being flung into the movie industry to manufacture items of horror or sex comedies–the two most popular genre on the shelves.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 08 2005 at 2:21 pm
Perhaps it might help to stick to films that have actually won awards, or maybe at were least nominated for something? ๐Ÿ™‚

And maybe, (just maybe?) it would be a good idea to stay away from things nominated for a Razzie Award… (I can’t put a link here, but you can google for “Razzie”)

Just some suggestions… ๐Ÿ™‚

I prefer foreign and art-house films, myself.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 03 / 08 / 2005 at 6:34 PM
By the way, I hope the colonoscopy came back negative! ๐Ÿ™‚ Jay must be relieved it’s over!
Comment posted by (ip: on 03 / 08 / 2005 at 8:22 PM
You know Angela that we mostly watch good stuff. Henry recommended this film. I knew a foreign film would not keep Jay’s mind off the present. He needed the high octane action which Diesal is known for.
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 03 / 08 / 2005 at 9:30 PM

Herself’s E-mail:

Herself’s website:

Yep, I know you usually watch the good stuff. The vast majority of “entertainment” available, however, appeals to the lowest common (titillating) denominator, unfortunately. I suspect that’s been pretty much true throughout human history. ๐Ÿ™‚ (e.g. Nun’s Priest’s Tale, etc.!) ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

There are good action movies out there. The movielens site has a convenient way to help one pick movies in a certain genre.

Did Jay like Riddick more than you did? Maybe it’s a guy thing. After all, if I recall correctly, Rollerball is the favorite movie of the recommender! ๐Ÿ™‚

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 03 / 09 / 2005 at 3:28 AM
University Education and Life
From Sora’s blog I followed the link to Cynthia’s musing on higher education.

My Ivy League undergrad degree enabled me to meet other women that are friends to this day–two and a half decades later. During graduate school I met the man who became my husband–while doing research in the sheep barns.

University/college educations are not just about academics. The friendships and relationships formed there are probably more important than the information learned. Lots of knowledge can be self-taught.

Also, I am sufficiently educated to converse (relatively) knowledgebly with those in science academia–a length, breadth and depth of education that left to my own druthers would not be as broad, wide or deep. Still not broad enough–history was not required for the sciences and I am still making up for years of neglect there.

The discipline of learning: did it come from college or innate? For me, wanting to learn new stuff is innate; the discipline side is learned behavior. I’m not a Sora.

By-the-by: do I use my undergraduate degrees in Animal Science, Education and Internation Agriculture or my MS in Animal Nutrition and Agricultural Development?

Not directly. But animal science and nutrition spoke to a lot of areas in child development and rearing, especially when one’s children came nutritionally impoverished and behaviorly neglected. Development issues are related to missions work. The Education degree was pretty nearly a waste of energy. That had virtually nothing to do with real learning.

And none of those degrees made me theologically wise enough to avoid being ‘burnt’ by twisted man doctrine passed off as God’s.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 04 2005 at 10:46 am
Clothes and Attitude
Anyone else have a daughter whose attitude is negatively affected by wearing some sorts of clothes?

Isabelle has entered a pre-adolescent stage. One of the symptoms is an almost unbelievable forgetfulness about routine matters. Another is a haughty, arrogant demeanor that accompanies the wearing of outfits she deems ‘very fashionable’. Unfortunately for her, pants almost universally bring on this attitude. The addition of accessories such as watch and rings only heightens the snotty factor. She says it “makes her feel more grown-up.” In a negative way.

When this occurs, she has to remove the articles that seem to push her into another mode of thinking and behaving and put on those who bring her back to her (more or less) sweet self. She concurs that this happens, that she ‘puts on’ a license to behave badly when certain clothes are worn.

Guess we will read about putting off the ‘old man’. Besides that, any ideas?

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 04 2005 at 9:46 am
1 Peter 3?

Talia has had a fairly strict family dress standard since she was little more than a toddler, so we haven’t observed the clothes / attitude connection with her. However, wearing only long skirts and dresses does not completely prevent the occasional 9-year-old know-it-all snottiness.

But the origin of the family standard is in my observation of the phenomenon in my own life. I distinctly remember putting on a different attitude and demeanor with my Doc Martens and black leather jacket when I was 16 or 17. I even walked differently.

Matt tells his sons, whenever they see green-haired punks or teenage boys walking around looking like hoodlums in jeans 10 sizes too large, etc.: “Fools wear uniforms so that you can see them coming.”

Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 03 / 04 / 2005 at 10:03 AM

Sora’s E-mail:

Sora’s website:

Mark 7:15
While I agree with your parenting of having your daughter remove those items that affect her behavior, I can’t help but mention that this is basically a *heart* issue. That is, the item is not innately *evil* and some children can wear pants and *behave* and others *cannot* (unless they are taught?) The same principle applies when a child misbehaves when spending time with certain friends. In my parenting, I rarely held the friend *responsible* for my daughter’s sinful behavior, but I would limit associations, until the appropriate attitude could be maintained even in the face of temptation.
Comment posted by Dana (ip: on 03 / 07 / 2005 at 5:45 PM

Dana’s E-mail:

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Arizona Flavors
Jay thawed and prepared the last package of venison destined for jerky. The mesquite twigs he had collected on our last day walk in the desert just beyond the subdivision where family live were cut up and used to produce smoke. They were powerful both in smell and amount of smoke produced. The finished jerky is significantly different in taste from batches where hickory or apple twigs were used for smoke.

On that walk we also collected a couple arm pieces from long dead cholla cactus skeleton.

We heard and eventually saw a large flock of wild Gambrel quail –this one is sitting on a Cholla skeleton. They were very talky and skittish compared to the small flocks we had encountered at the botanical garden and Desert museum.

Rose had taken us to play miniature golf at a facility which had lots of old (50-75 year?) pines and lots of grass. On one walkway while dawdling along I noticed a pair of small pruned trees full of plump, ovoid, perfect orange fruit. Some were on the ground. They looked liked kumquats. They were kumquats! Oh frabjous joy! Calloo, callay!

Rose and I filled her purse with them and we ate them fresh the rest of the time we were there and had a few to bring home.

They were better tasting than any that make their way to the frozen north: those need to go into kumquat marmelade since they are soft and shrivelled and not fresh.

Happiness is fresh kumquats hand-picked by ones’ self off the tree.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 04 2005 at 9:29 am
Arrg, matey!
My pirate name is:
Iron Morgan Kidd

A pirate’s life isn’t easy; it takes a tough person. That’s okay with you, though, since you a tough person. Even though you’re not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 24 2005 at 8:03 pm
I think they had help with the answers, Sparky! But don’t want to fight with you about it, arr!

They would be fine mates on a ship, if only they keep from sea-sickness. With them aboard we wouldn’t be worrying about rats in the coffee. Arr.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 02 / 25 / 2005 at 7:41 AM

Herself’s E-mail:

Herself’s website:

My pirate name is:
Black Jack Kidd

Like anyone confronted with the harshness of robbery on the high seas, you can be pessimistic at times. Even though you’re not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate. Arr!
Comment posted by Latte (ip: on 02 / 24 / 2005 at 9:19 PM
Well, I guess you’re related to Miaumoto and Latte, then. Arr!
Comment posted by Bloody Anne “Sparky” Flint (ip: on 02 / 24 / 2005 at 9:20 PM
My pirate name is:
Mad James Kidd

Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. Even though you’re not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate. Arr!
Comment posted by Miaumoto (ip: on 02 / 24 / 2005 at 9:16 PM
My pirate name is:
Bloody Anne Flint

Every pirate lives for something different. For some, it’s the open sea. For others (the masochists), it’s the food. For you, it’s definitely the fighting. Like the rock flint, you’re hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you’re easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 24 / 2005 at 8:18 PM
Barlow on Theology in the Times article on Design
Jon’s analysis of the article’s misuse of logic and theology which criticizes Intelligent Design theory.
Entry posted by jpm14 on February 22 2005 at 9:34 am
More Arizona Doings
We know now what is meant when my brother says “I am the only Lockheed-Martin IT guy at D-M”.

Isabelle and I took a tour of AMARC , which is where brother Jay works while husband Jay and Isaac went to the Pima Air and Space Museum.

The Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center adjoins Davis-Monthan Air Base and is income producing. It is called “The Boneyard” because lots of planes are cut up for parts or to fulfill treaty obligations, yet many of the aircraft will fly again, either sold to another country or for our own use.

The USAF aircraft letter designation system was new to me; for some reason I had not thought about the reason why some aircraft have an ‘A’ or ‘C’ or ‘S’ in their names. “A’= attack, ‘C’ = cargo/transport, ‘S’= anti-sub, etc.

I have decided I like A-10‘s; they have practiced in the skies above us a lot while we are here; they are unusual looking, stolid with high survivability and have the ability to put a relatively small shell through eight inches of steel.

Friday we drove up to Phoenix to visit friends, the Heard Museum, and the Desert Botanical Garden. Rained hard all night Friday and into Saturday. The Gila River was actually running, a rare occurrance we were told. Phoenix is totally unlike Tucson. More later…

We drove through the college town area of ASU, where Hugh teaches, giving the once over to one of the last buildings Frank Lloyd Wright designed–an auditorium. We stopped in Guadelupe at a mercado there–almost like being in Mexico.

After hearing John play his viola, we returned to Jay and Rose’s in Tucson. Sunday we did a grand loop, first driving up Mount Lemmon (part of Coronado National Forest) where there were cataracts (also very unusual), wind formed rocks, several plant zones, snow and the temp was 32 degrees at about 8000ft–half what it was on the valley floor. That was a beautiful drive whic may get more mention later.

Then down Rte 82 to Sonoita, through Patagonia down to Nogales: all country the Apaches lived on before the US confiscated it—beautiful grasslands. Up on Rt 19 to Tubac, where there is a large artist’s market and very high touristy prices and back to Tucson past the large operating copper mine in the Green Valley area which one can see as a mesa-like soil mound that runs for miles.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 21 2005 at 5:15 pm
A Hindu Model for Christian Scientists and Businessmen
Krishna Ella and his wife sold all they had here and went home to Hyderabad, India where they ultimately set up a facility producing hepatitis B vaccine which sells to developing countries for 28 cents a shot.

Krishna Ella, in 1995, knew he could purify the vaccine in a more efficient manner than Smith-Beecham.

They are now working on other third-world disease vaccines. Read more here.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 21 2005 at 9:46 am
Arizona happenings
We now know the differences between the venoms of Gila monsters and Diamond-backed rattlesnakes. We have seen Javelinas, Roadrunners, Ground Squirrels in their native environs. We were buzzed by Harris’ hawks. We watched a hummingbird take nesting material and use her beak to needle weave it into her nest.

We have been hundreds of feet inside a closed cold, wet Copper mine and conversed with an elderly man who survived the Bataan Death March and four years of Japanese POW camps, among other notable acts of his life. We saw a two headed Hereford calf (mounted).

We have been hundreds of feet underground in a dry, warm cave system where Hohokam indians stored food and robbers used to hide.

We have seen the restored Mission San Xavier del Bac church on the Tohono O’odham reservation and read all about its history. Fabulously beautiful fantastical theologically symbolic art from the 1700’s.

We have seen incredibly varied vegetation and guess at regional differences in altitude, soil, water to account for the differences. Predominant colors include a blue-grey green, a bright spring green, a dry straw yellow, a dusky grey lavender.

We have seen and heard many types of fighter jets practicing manouvers overhead; sometimes so close together you cannot distiguish between them, sometimes doing long turns where their wings remain at 90 degrees vetical for half a minute.

There seems to be multi-hued blues layered in the sky clouds ranging from a pale clear blue to a smoky grey.

Smells: flowering shrubs are all astringent; Bisbee, the copper mining town, smelled metallic–residual sulphuric acid from the mining process; San Xavier del Bac had the heavy waxy perfume of the hundreds of candles lit at the foot of various saints in the retablo; the dry cave– tangy (old bat guano and wild animal urine) and dusty; near the PIMA Air and Space museum oil, fuel, machinery smells predominate.

We have become partial to the Cactus Wren , who is ubiquitous wherever there is relatively undisturbed or regrown vegetation. They sing, actively hunt small insects by turning over stones and leaves and build their nests in a very spiny medium high cacti. One can see their nests, but not get too close.

We have watched in the mornings as Gilded Flickers poke their heads out of Saguaro cacti holes where they make their homes then fly to the top of nearby house bathroom vent tubes and pound out early morning drumming on the metal tops.

Oh, the sun shines!

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 17 2005 at 10:05 am
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum was where we saw lots of the animals.

There seems to be so much more sky here–lack of big trees, I guess. Today (Sun) we will go up Mt. Lemmon.

Just returned from Phoenix, which was a totally different sort of place– rained most of the time–an unusual thing for that area.

Much more to write, but must get ready to be on the go again–

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 02 / 20 / 2005 at 11:22 AM

Herself’s website:

‘Going to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum?

Regarding your last line: What do you think of the light?

Have you been up in the mountains yet?

Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 02 / 17 / 2005 at 11:47 PM
Tubing in Western NY
Where we live there are actual hills, and if you want to go tubing it is no problem finding a place.

As we drove to Buffalo this morning we passed a manmade mole hill with a name something like “Snow Wave”.

There were a few dozen cars, parents and kids siding down a pitifully small mound. Paying for the privilege of doing so in flatland western NY.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 12 2005 at 10:30 pm
We Have a Big Country
We woke up this morning to three more inches of snow and temps in the twenties.

Tonight we will go to sleep two times zones west in the Sonoran desert region in about fifty degrees.

It took a long time in the air to get here from Buffalo.

My brother’s new home is large, open, beautiful. Thanks to his wife.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 12 2005 at 10:22 pm
Mole: say “Star-nosed”
from the NY Times article :

” Researchers at Vanderbilt University have found that the star-nosed mole can eat 10 mouthful-size chunks of earthworm, one at a time, in 2.3 seconds, or 0.23 second a chunk. It is the fastest eating ever measured in any mammal.

The star-nosed mole (Condylura cristata) has perplexed biologists for decades. For the most part it looks like an ordinary mole, except for its nose, which sprouts 22 fleshy rays that squirm like miniature fingers.

Studies carried out by a Vanderbilt neuroscientist, Dr. Kenneth C. Catania, have found that the star is an exquisitely sensitive sensory device. It is covered by 25,000 sensory receptors and contains 100,000 large nerve fibers – six times as many as an entire human hand. A large part of the star-nosed mole’s brain is dedicated to using the signals it detects to create a sort of touch-portrait of its surroundings.

To understand how the moles actually use their stars, Dr. Catania built an artificial tunnel with a glass bottom, through which he could film the animals searching for food. When he and a research assistant, Fiona E. Remple, began reviewing the films, he could not believe that the moles were feeding so quickly.

“It was so fast, I thought it might not be correct,” he said. “I had to recalibrate the camera.”

The films showed that a mole swept its star back and forth, its rays touching the glass 13 times a second. As soon as it encountered a piece of food, the mole probed it with a pair of particularly sensitive rays just below its nostrils. If the mole decided to eat the object, the two rays moved apart, so that it could grab the food with its tweezer-shaped front teeth.

This entire sequence required as little as a fifth of a second. Dr. Catania could find no other mammal that took less than a full second to handle food.

“I don’t know of anything that comes close to this,” he said.

To squeeze so much activity into so little time, star-nosed moles have pushed the nervous system to its speed limit.

“You couldn’t go much faster,” Dr. Catania said.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 09 2005 at 12:17 pm
Stephan Fairfield Quotes
Stephan (down by Lyons village description) was the other speaker. He is walking the Gospel, moving his family into Fifth Ward in Houston, Texas twelve years ago. Fascinating. Courageous. He quoted Calvin a lot. He spoke out of Micah 6 the session I heard him.

“The rule of love forgoes rights for everyone to get equitable treatment.”

“Sacrifice without spiritual committment profits nothing.”

“Calvin regarded elected public service as the highest calling.”

“Recover passion for proper things: Trust in God’s provision, Recover sense of unified identity in christ, Make those things God loves the things we love, Overcome our passivity and become proactive.”

“Sophisticated oppressions: predatory lending, dirty air, lack of true educational choice.”

“Throwing money at a problem is fast and easy; solving problems involves time, thinking, relationships. In the US our notion that what God wants from us is our money is a primary indication of our materialism. Jesus wants you–your life–not (just) your money.”

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 07 2005 at 1:12 pm
Paul Borthwick Quotes
Paul was one of the speakers this past weekend for the 14the Annual Institute of Biblical Studies.

Title of the conference: Communicating Grace and Doing Justice: Being Church in Every Culture

“Use your ethnicity for the sake of the Kingdom.”

“70 percent of Christians in the world live in S. America, Africa and Asia. If we (American Christians) think we are the mainstay of what God is doing–beware! You might miss what He is doing. He is Lord of the nations, not Lord of the USA.”

“The 2 industries in the US most abandoned by Christians: politics and the movie making industry.”

The appeal of Christianity to all the senses. This was done in a series of two talks and was very good.

“How can I add flavor to other people’s lives; add value to someone else’s life?” (taste)

“Be a darkness dispeller.” “There should be something about our lives that is conspicuously Christian.” (sight)

“The Gospel needs proclaiming in more than just words. Lifestyle witness without words is not enough. Speak up.” (hearing)

“The worst pain in all the world is mine. The point of my life is not to ignore my pain, but to get past it to others. Do not neglect our own pain–get past it to care for someone else. Compassion means suffering alongside.” “Do something that reminds you of the poor and afflicted.” (touch)

“Whereever we go, are we leaving the scent of Christ?” (smell)

“You have so many choices: what will you do with the choices you have?

1-Will you choose to get and stay informed?

2-Expand your prayer life to be more globally relevants.

3-Integrity, integrated into a bigger picture of God.

4-Involved locally in a cross-cultural context.

5-Investigate: Is there somewhere in the world I might be more useful than here?”

Isaac went with me Friday evening and Saturday morning and (I think) was suprised how many of the small ways Paul mentioned our family is already actively doing.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 07 2005 at 12:43 pm
Simple Red Mole: The Recipe
serves 6-9, with about 6 cups of sauce: more if you just dip bread in the sauce!

For about 1 cup Ancho Seasoning Paste:

8 garlic cloves, unpeeled

8 medium (about 4 oz–but I used more) dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded

1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, preferably Mexican (I did not use)

1/2 tsp. black pepper, preferably freshly ground

A big pinch cumin, p.f.g.

scant 1/4 tsp. cloves, p.f.g.

about 6 cups (home made) chicken broth

Roast the unpeeled garlic directly on ungreased heavy skillet (I use cast iron) over medium heat until soft, (they will blacken in spots) about 15 minutes; cool and peel. While garlic is roasting, toast chiles on the other side of the pan, 1 at a time, open them flat and press down firmly on the hot surface with a spatula; in a few seconds, when they crackles, even send up a wisp of smoke, flip them and press down the other side. In small bowl, cover the chiles with hot water and let rehydrate 30 minutes (or overnight). Drain. (I keep the water and added some back in in lieu of some broth).

Combine oregano, pepper, cumin, cloves in food processor or blender with the chiles, garlic and 2/3 cup broth or chile juice. Process to smooth puree, scraping and stirring every few seconds. Add a little more liquid if necessary.

3Tbls. vegetable oil or lard, plus a bit more.

2 oz. (about 1/2 cup) almonds: recipe call for whole, I use whatever: this time, sliced

1 medium onion, sliced 1/8 inch thick

1/4 cup raisins

5 oz. tomatoes (I use my canned ones)

scant 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, p.f.g.

1/4 cup chocolate (recipe calls for roughly chopped Mexican chocolate, which I had–but I use high test cocoa powder instead)

2 slices firm white bread, toasted

salt, about 2 1/2 teaspoons, depending on saltiness of broth

sugar, about 1-2 Tablespoons

18 corn tortillas

3 cups cooked, coarsely shredded chicken

In medium-size (4qt) pot heat 1 1/2 Tblsp. oil. Add almonds and cook, stirring regularly, until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon to processor. Add half the onion to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until richly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove as almonds, leaving as much oil behind as possible. Add more oil if you need to, the add the raisins, stir for a minute as they puff and scoop them in with the almonds and onions.

Add tomatoes and cinnamon, chocolate and bread, 1 cup of broth all together in the processor with the above and blend to smooth puree, scraping and stirring every few seconds.

Return the pot to medium-high heat and if necessary add a little more oil to coat bottom lightly. When very hot, add the ancho (the first) mixture and cook, stirring almost constantly, until darker and very thick, about 5 minutes. Add the pureed almond mixture and cook, stirring constantly for another few minutes, until very thick once again. Stir in the remaining 4 1/3 cups broth, partially cover and simmer, stirring occationally, over medium-low for 45 minutes. Taste and season with salt and sugar. (Mole should be slightly sweet–the sugar balances the strong flavors).

Steam the tortillas. I used the microwave and a clean, damp kitchen towel.

Combine chicken with 1 1/2 cups mole. Scopp 2 generous tablespoons chicken onto a tortilla, rolling it up and placing on a (warm) dinner plate. Make 1 or three per serving. Then douse liberally with hot mole. Strew with remaining sliced onion and sesame seeds. (I don;t bother).

Also good over rice, with crackers, etc. One could write a “Chicken Soup with Rice” kind of story about mole….

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 07 2005 at 10:45 am
One comment:
I don’t think I want to see the recipes for complicated Mole…
Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 02 / 08 / 2005 at 8:49 pm

Sora’s E-mail:

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Angela came to supper last night. It was the first time we’d seen her this year as she has been practicing the sixth commandment in California. She shared some funny Dad stories.

She helped me download and set up Gimp. (Actually, she did it all) She gave Isaac and me a tutorial on the very many cool and technowizardy things one can do on Open Office because I had been bellyaching about missing Microsoft Word. Wow! Can’t do that anymore.

She showed me how to resize photographs in Gimp. She told about open source software.

Here is my first homework project showing how I feel about having Angela as technofriend:

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 06 2005 at 12:56 pm
*Which* 5th and 6th commandments? ๐Ÿ™‚

Protestant (King James Bible):
5. Honor thy father and thy mother:
that thy days may be long upon the
land which the Lord thy God giveth
6. Thou shalt not kill.

Catholic (Catechism, 1932):
5. Thou shalt not kill.
6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Hebrew (Bloch Publishing, 1922):
5. Honour thy father and thy mother;
in order that thy days may be prolonged
upon the land which the Lord
thy God giveth thee.
6. Thou shalt not kill.

The First Tables
of Stone (Ex. 20)
(later smashed by Moses)
[Microsoft Bookshelf 98]
5. Honor your father and your
6. You shall not kill.

The Second Tables
of Stone (Ex. 34)
(โ€œthe words that were on the firstโ€)
[K. Budde, History of Ancient Hebrew Literature]
5. Six days shalt thou work,
but on the seventh thou shalt
6. Thou shalt observe the feast
of weeks, even of the first fruits
of the wheat harvest, and the
feast of ingathering at the
yearโ€™s end.

Ten Punishments
[Jyoti Shankar, Bubbles Online Magazine]
5. Ex. 21:17: He that curseth his
father or his mother, shall surely
be put to death.
6. Ex. 22:19: Whosoever lieth
with a beast shall surely be put
to death.

By the way, with regard to the last one, I sure hope letting the cats sleep on the bed doesn’t count! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 08 / 2005 at 9:10 PM
It is a good thing blushes are not visible on blogs. Can you tell I am theologically, as well as technologically, challenged?

Angela actually did adher to the the sixth commandment, but she went out to her father to practice the fifth.

If I was sneaky I could say I was trying to see if anyone caught the mistake. But that would be breaking the, let’s count…

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 02 / 08 / 2005 at 9:14 AM

Herself’s E-mail:

Herself’s website:

Believe me, I’ve suggested it. Many times – I even offered to install Linux on her “old” computer, but she declined. Next up in the Conversion Strategy is dropping off a Knoppix Games CD…


Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 07 / 2005 at 8:39 PM
Very good for you! Your already using Gimp, Firefox, and OpenOffice. Now you really should switch to Linux! Angela probably can help you with that also–you should ask her:-)
Comment posted by Raccoon (ip: on 02 / 07 / 2005 at 11:54 AM

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Friends who can show us how to do new things. Pictures on Deb’s blog ast last. What a blessing.
Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 02 / 06 / 2005 at 9:06 PM

Sora’s E-mail:

Sora’s website:

You silly Bumble – I only know all that stuff because other people taught ME… It’s just a chain, doncha know. ๐Ÿ™‚

Having said that, I do truly think that Free Software (“Free” as in Freedom, not necessarily as in Beer, although that’s OK too) is a good thing to support.

For more information, and to understand why there’s a “G” in GIMP, Google for “Free Software Foundation.” (Upsaid won’t let me paste a link here.)

You get an “A” on your assignment, by the way. Congrats on being able to post pics. Now the rest of us can *see* what you’re blogging about! ๐Ÿ™‚

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 06 / 2005 at 6:01 PM
Mole: say Moe-lay
If I could have mole everyday I would consider vegetarianism. Except for the chicken broth…

Long ago I had promised Nita mole when their family next came to supper. But it has been so long since I made it I could not readily find the specific recipe I’ve used in the past in Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen. Perhaps talking to Angela, helping her card and make felt, downloading Gimp, seeding dried anchos, putting supper away all at the same time had something to do with it. Maybe.

All the recipes I saw used ingredients I never remember using (grated avocado pit, fresh avocado leaves)

This morning I found it: Simple Red Mole Enchiladas. I don’t usually make the enchiladas, but tonight will do so: the trial run with corn tortillas was marvelous. At about 5.30 this morning I started the final few steps for the mole. I fried the dried anchos and garlic last night and left the chiles to soak overnight in hot water. The almonds, onion, and raisins were browned, bread toasted, spices ground and added, chocolate and tomato added, everything ground up in the food processor and then seared, then simmered with fresh broth from the chicken which was simmering at the same time.

Ah, mole for breakfast–on bread. Mole for lunch–on corn tortillas. Mole for supper on tortillas and chicken, with friends.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 06 2005 at 12:33 pm
What she said!
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 07 / 2005 at 7:08 AM
Deb, Deb, dear, dear, Deb.

You MUST NOT torture us this way. It is cruel.

Sing the praises of the mole, knowing full well that we don’t get to taste it, even this is forgiveable. But to leave us without a recipe….

Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 02 / 06 / 2005 at 8:51 PM

Sora’s E-mail:

Isaac gets Dwell magazine. It says of itself “Dwell delivers fresh, intelligent coverage of modern residential architecture and design, communicating sophisticated concepts in a style that is engaging”.

It does. And boy am I out of step. The three articles in the latest issue that I have read all had young, childless couples or individuals buying 50’s-80’s homes and ripping out walls and windows to make one large living space. They look clean, open, airy.

But after looking at them awhile the lack of nooks and crannies and color made me nervous. Also, children would be in danger and a hazard to others in at least one of the designs: not to mention the noise levels when in an open house–essentially a large sound box.

A neat magazine, though. Jon Barlow mentioned it on his blog, which is how I first found it for Isaac, he being ‘into’ architecture and house design these days.

Anyway, in the mail yesterday came a catalog that immediately screamed: “THE ONLY REASON I AM HERE IS BECAUSE YOU SUBSCRIBE TO DWELL”

It is called

FLOR and on the cover are cute flowered rug panels for a play on words. The concept is modular, removable, interchangeable floor carpeting that can be cut with an exacto knife to fit around obstacles. Or made into patterns. Like quilt patterns, or leaves, or..well I am sure you can think of lots, too.

If they get dirty, individual squares can be taken up and washed off, dried and replaced. If they get damaged–remove the square and replace it. Tired of the look? Buy a few more and move them around into a new design.

Great idea. And some lovely designs. The one I liked the best was the most expensive: a “hand-felted acrylic” called Vienna Swirl.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 04 2005 at 5:09 pm
Thoughts on a full moon
When the moon was last full I was awake one night as it shone on my face. Why do neither the Old nor New Testaments use a full moon as an analogy for disciples reflecting God’s light?

Jay thought it was because no one knew the moon was just a reflection of the sun; I disagree: Jesus knew.

Upon (bad pun alert) reflection, it seems to me because the moon’s reflective capabilities are sterile and fundamentally useless. No heat, and no true light. Reflected light can not keep plants alive: it has no effect upon the dead moon itself or anything it reaches. It is an external phenomena.

The pictures we are given of Jesus’ followers: salt, candle light, wheat, fruiting plants. All with intrinsic internal potential and direct power. Saltiness, light, heat, growth, life, fruitfulness. Salt and direct light change those things or areas to which they are applied: flavoring, bringing light, preservation, heat. Seeds and plants themselves undergo transformation and yield new life.

Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. He in us: not He on us, as gold leaf applied upon an image.

Our reflection of God should be internal, life changing, powerful, direct. Not some pallid lovely dead heavenly body–or whitened sephulcre.

God help us all be more like Him internally, so that truth may be reflected externally.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 04 2005 at 4:51 pm
We started making valentines this morning. Colored paper, home made wool felt, artificial flowers, lace, tissue, buttons, needle and thread, boughten stickers, handmade paper from a class the children took years ago, gold foil from some chocolates we received at Christmas, the last two red lacy hearts from a package I bought over a decade ago, old red envelopes.

I discussed and asked the kids to use planning, design, use of contrasting color and textures. Isaac really likes everything to be same colorway and texturally the same so it was a big request; he calls it “clashing”. His last few cards ‘clashed’ wonderfully.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 04 2005 at 11:37 am
The long skinny pale things stuck in or on hearts are porcupine quills. Those are two of the cards I made.
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 02 / 04 / 2005 at 5:37 PM

Herself’s E-mail:

Herself’s website:

A few samples can be found here:

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 02 / 04 / 2005 at 5:29 PM

Herself’s E-mail:

Herself’s website:

Again, cruel of you to leave us photo-less with such a post! ๐Ÿ˜‰
Comment posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) (ip: on 02 / 04 / 2005 at 12:42 PM

Valerie (Kyriosity)’s E-mail:

Valerie (Kyriosity)’s website:

Historic Bird Houses and Silly Sushi
Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see some old Turkish birdhouses, which are made of stone. Doesn’t look as if they are able to be cleaned, but my, what a fashion statement!

I was sort of aware there is/was some kind of ‘Hello Kitty’ fad in this country, but it seems some people are so smitten by this creature she seems good enough to eat.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 02 2005 at 9:07 am
The maker of the sushi might be Japanese, however she seems to have some other interesting avocations, too:

I have a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Currently, I’m in graduate school, working for my Master’s in Genetics. I love crafts of all sorts! For example, some of the crafts I enjoy most are cross-stitch, crochet, pressed flower design, “Shrinky dinks,” beaded jewelry, and polymer clay. I love collecting Sanrio, lambs, especially rubber stamps, pens, stationery, and stickers. If you like the Sanrio characters, check out my Sanrio site because I have a Sanrio craft page with origami & cross-stitch patterns as well as other crafts!

(To get there, back up in the original URL to “” and click the “about me” face.)

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 04 / 2005 at 12:35 PM
Hello Kitty is originally from Japan. This is about the extent of my pop culture. I do know that the Japanese people go loco over character stuff. A couple of years ago, I sold an unopened inflatable Bozo the clown to someone in Japan via ebay for something around $50.
Comment posted by Julie (ip: on 02 / 04 / 2005 at 12:11 PM
Hares and Hair
A few weeks ago Jay trapped a rabbit interloping on the property. Isabelle requested the hide so she participated in the salting, drying and cleaning process. The rabbit skin is now used as a fur pillow for one of her dolls. The hide is about 3 by 6 inches in size and stiff as a board: she has a boughten, commercially prepared rabbit skin to use as a doll blanket: it is approximately 12 by 18 inches with soft supple skin.

The tail of the bunny was dried and is now attached to a string for a cat toy.

That project went so well that Isabelle convinced her father to let her set a rabbit trap and check it each day up in the hedgerow. No catch yet.


Yesterday I chopped and trimmed about 12 inches off Isabelle’s hair. Last Sunday there were an astonishing number of nests that took a long time to carefully remove. Since hair upkeep was not as high a priority as it needed to be–out came the scissors.

I put all the first cut lengths together in a ponytail type bundle and they will be taken to the hair shop to be sent to an organization that makes wigs for persons with cancer.

Now her hair is about shoulder length. It is darker, since the foot that was cut off had been lightened by the sun. One big barrette or hairband keeps it out of her face.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 02 2005 at 7:57 am
Good-bye Big Zoo
We have used Big Zoo as our long distance carrier for several years. No federal or local taxes and we could use it anywhere in the country. They are closing up shop now, though and we have had to move to another compay. Angela researched the options and taking her recommendation we just signed up with Onesuite.

For as low as 2.5 cents per minute, lets you call anywhere in the continental US at anytime. You can even save more on international calls.

Here is a mild plug for it:

Sign up here and we’ll both get a free 20 minutes.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 28 2005 at 10:23 am
One comment:
If you live where there’s a local access number, the price drops to 2.4 cents per minute.
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 01 / 28 / 2005 at 5:44 pm
Mrs. Mannix
The brothers and I went down the road to Mrs. Mannix’s when Mom taught as a substitute, when Dad lost his hand, and other odd, needful times.

Mrs. Mannix and her husband had raised several children of their bodies and fostered 6-12 more. She was a widow when I knew her, all the children grown up and gone (but still in active communication with her): short, round, grey and cheery. She laughed more than anyone I knew. She taught us card tricks and showed us the quilt tops she worked on.

During the second World War the women’s group at the Presbyterian church she was a member of had made bandages for soldiers, then switched to making quilts after the war. Bright cloth from used clothing was cut up and made into quilt tops in variations of the nine patch. Usually cottons were used, but I vividly remember at least one top which was made of–euw–bright orange, yellow and pink stretch polyester. The tops were then made into tied quilts; a colorful whole cloth back was used.

When I graduated high school by far the best presents I received were a portable electric typewriter from my parents and, from Mrs. Mannix, a bright, cheery quilt. It still reminds me of her.

Made of highly colored and contrasting printed and plain cottons from the 60’s and 70’s, the quilt top has blocks made of four squares. Each square is made of two rectangles. Individual rectangles are 4 by 2 inches making a square that is 4 inches on a side and a block with eight-inch finished sides. Four squares of two contrasting prints are sewn together to make a pinwheel effect. The quilt is tied at the center of each pinwheel. The backing is a red/orange/white heavy cotton paisley.

I used the quilt all during college, and dug it out several years ago only to lament over a couple squares where the cotton had worn through. But recently, I decided that I did not care and it is now on our bed, on top of the coverlet I designed and made when we were only a few years into marriage. It reminds me of Mrs. Mannix, a joyful, productive Christian woman. I miss her; she is one of the people I hope to visit with when I get to heaven.

A photo of part of the quilt, with Pounce and part of my Schacht spinning wheel is here.

Alas, the photo program on the computer does not allow me to resize the pictures.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 28 2005 at 10:11 am
Good Reads
In addition to Gavin Menzies’ book below and a re-read of the Aubrey/Maturin series, Color

is the book I am taking time to enjoy.

Author Victoria Finlay showed perhaps more scruple than I would have in her research on the religious use of ochre among the aboriginal people of Australia since their decision to make their beliefs relating to its use private is of relatively recent origin.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 23 2005 at 2:29 pm
One comment:
In between volumes of the Aubrey/Maturin series, I read Expecting Adam by Martha Beck, and some of my kids’ Bethlehem Press historical fiction titles. (We’ve read The Hittite Warrior by Joanne Williamson, Augustine Came to Kent by Barbara Willard, Beorn the Proud by Madeleine Polland, Iain Serraillier’s translation of Beowulf the Warrior, Clear for Action by Stephen Meader. When Andrew finishes them, I’ll get to the Allen French books set in Burgundy, Cornwall, and Iceland). Has anybody else read the Bethlehem Press books, and do you have recommendations for more historical fiction for young people? And, here’s a long shot, does anybody know where to find the out-of-print Allen French books?

Oh, yeah, it’s 75 and sunny here. Sorry. (And I’ll *really* be sorry in six months, when it’s 99 and steamy and sunny…)

Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 01 / 25 / 2005 at 10:32 am

Jeni’s E-mail:

The year China discovered the world
It was 1421 , also the title of the book by Gavin Menzies, a retired Royal Navy Submarine captain.

Fascinating account of lost history and the research to recover it.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 23 2005 at 2:10 pm
We had a high, if it can be called that, of 3 degrees F yesterday. -10 in the morning, and then the temperature went down to -13 or so until late morning.
Entry posted by jpm14 on January 22 2005 at 9:02 am
Elderberry Pudding
Isabelle rhapsodized so much over this last night, and it was what she asked to eat for breakfast that here is my cobbled together recipe, for those of you who have frozen elderberries sitting in your freezer that were picked by your mother from her bushes and stored in her freezer a couple years before coming to your house.

Take two cups frozen elderberries and thaw on the counter all day, wondering how to use them. 35 minutes before dinner, put them in a pan with a few tablespoons of cornstarch, an egg, about 1/2-2/3 cup sugar and about 1/2 cup coconut milk and heat, stirring, until it becomes pudding. Pour a glug of Chambord in once the heat is off. Pretty good pudding.

Jay slipped half his portion back into the pan (not being an elderberry-in-any-form fan), Isaac left for a meeting before he finished his dinner; Isabelle went on and on about how she will be a good mother and make elderberry pudding for her children someday, how she will ask for it on her birthday and use her dessert ticket for the glorious purple pudding.

But, do we have another hand-me-down package of elderberries in the freezer?

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 20 2005 at 7:09 am
One comment:

We made a creamy and tart dessert recently. Andrew thought of it, and Liv and I executed it: raspberry-rhubarb pie, done in the “Swedish” style, with and egg and flour custard stirred into the fruit. We put it in a butter pastry (Martha Stewart’s pate brisee). The top crust was pastry cut into oak leaf shapes and overlapped to cover the pie, then brushed with egg and sprinkled with sugar.

Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 01 / 21 / 2005 at 12:29 am

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