Upsaid journal entries and comments by user: cerise

Upsaid journal entries and comments by user: jpm14
(File created on: May 26 2008)
What’s Up with Hawthorne?
As of today he has been with us less than six weeks.

He is changing more rapidly now–and we have a better handle on him.

Hawthorne is feeling more at home. Asks to be petted now. Wanted this morning to be in where we all were before the guys leave. Jay’s “strong hand of love'” techniques seem to be bearing fruit. Hawthorne’s nicknames: Mr. Wiggles and Stumpy (for his tail) Isabelle is constantly amazed at how puppy-like he is. He is like a 50+ lb. toddler.

Last weekend he was left home alone for more than the usual amount of time. (it was about 4 hours)

There was a large mess to clean up–plants and stuff from a table in the kitchen, urine puddle in the dining room. And he was beside himself with fear when I got home.

I could not connect with him he was so afraid. He spent the night in the crate. He had not eaten anything that fell. He was trying to get out of the windows.

We are pretty confident now that he is freaked out by the low sound the furnace boiler makes when it runs. Last night we forgot to turn the heat to ‘off’ when we went to bed, and within an hour I woke up and ran down because I heard him scratching and whining at the door leading to the living room. (He and Pounce sleep in the kitchen/dining rooms)

He was frantic. I took him outside, thinking he had to pee. Nope. He started digging near the lilac. I moved him away. Maybe he needed to poop? Nope. Fine starry night out. He just stood gazing around and at me. After I had peed and when I decided I was cold enough, and we should go back in (obviously I was not ‘getting it’), Hawthorne again wanted to dig near the tree.

Ah! He wanted to bed down outside. Then I ‘got it’ and wondered if the furnace had been left on.

Sure enough. Turned it off and all was well.

I have been feeding him a ball with treats in it when the furnace comes on during the day or making him stay right with me and comforting him, or putting him outside. It was so warm when he first came the heat was off, but it has cooled down to spring-like temps here now.

Any other ideas to help reduce his anxiety about this sound or train him to endure it better will be appreciated.

In other Hawthorne news: with little trouble I trimmed his toenails yesterday. He didn’t object very much.

I kept him standing and did the front and back at different times. He has all his feet dried with a towel when he comes in, so maybe that has helped. And I purposefully handle his feet when he is sleepy.

He is still so skinny. Maybe anxiety? So as of yesterday I started adding crumbled bits of cheese crackers or other treats in with his dry food to entice him to eat more. It worked yesterday, but is too soon to tell if will increase his overall intake. Full bellies seem to be less anxious, I think. He does love to help with dishes after supper. He is on the first rinse duty, before they are washed.

He wanted to go in the car with me yesterday on errands, so I took him. He was less anxious than he had been another time. He loves to go in the truck. This weekend he will accompany us to my folks’ farm. There is another dog there. What fun! I hope.

Last night I had to go down on my knees, pick his front end up and schlep him along the rug in the living room towards the dining room and his bed as he indicated he was just too tired to move by himself. Once we hit

bare floor he decided to walk the rest of the way. He is vocalizing much more. Groaning and sighing when he is tired.

He is a silly dear and we are coming to love him.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 23 2008 at 2:13 pm
A Fork in the Road
Listening to the outstanding high school senior oboist who performed

a Mozart concerto with the Youth Orchestra of the Fingerlakes, I was reminded of a turning point in my life. Back in 4th grade after a time of learning flutaphone, students were encouraged to choose and instrument to play. I chose clarinet. Then, a few years later, Karen and Margie were chosen from among our clarinet numbers to play oboe and bassoon, respectively. I do not know how Miss ___, our teacher, chose to whom the exotic instruments were given. I was exceedingly jealous of Karen.

The clarinet seemed then, and still to me now does seem a less refined, doudier cousin of the willowy ethereal sound produced by the graceful oboe. I never saw a future in clarinet. I could have seen a musical future with oboe. Karen never gave it the attention it deserved. I was given no opportunity, and back then, one did not ask if it was not offered. So when the music teachers in high school encouraged me to attend Eastman School of Music, it was not a difficult choice to refuse. Maybe if I had played oboe, or heard of Klezmer music, or heard more jazz, my life would be different; it is all long past now.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 20 2008 at 6:50 pm
I see a different side of you so often in the blog. I am grateful you are so honest.
Comment posted by ellie (ip: on 05 / 22 / 2008 at 6:32 AM
But can you imagine yourself without your science background?

Oboe is a wonderful instrument. One of the things I enjoyed most about playing in a good orchestra in high school, and in community orchestras, was being able to listen to the variety of woodwind instruments arrayed behind the string section. Some pieces called for English horn, or alto flute, or contrabassoon–things not usually displayed in a band.

Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 05 / 22 / 2008 at 2:30 PM
Arrowhead Alpines Plants
Wednesday the order from Arrowhead Alpines arrived. What speed! What packing! What lovely plants! I had faxed the order Saturday from the Staples downtown. Late. Very late in the year.

And what came? Oh, a fair-sized Callicarpa dichotoma in such good shape that Jay, when he saw it in its new home last night, could not believe it had traveled from Michigan to live here. Gotten for its purple berries in the fall.

Viburnum sargentii “Susquehanna” and Cornus officianalis round out the shrubbery. Both for blooms and berries.

Plants: Clematis integrifolia and Clematis macropetala hyb., Anemone Japonica ‘Pamina’ (dark pink), and two Campanulas: C. Portenschlagiana and C. Portenschlagiana ‘Resholts’. The first is blue, the second, purple. You may have seen this particular species, as I have, in full bloom in pots around Easter sold in up-scale grocery stores for $15.00 or more.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 16 2008 at 3:34 pm
Young Things
Tonight as I was planting carrot seed before the rain began, the girl was ‘training’ Hawthorne to be a horse for Elena, her dolly who regularly rode Zeke.

Hawthorne would much rather chew on Elena’s foot, or hair, or dress. So the girl had him down and up a lot. And I thought that perhaps a young, spunky, headstrong Airedale is the perfect animal for a similarly charactered girl to train.

The girl also is training him to pull a sled/ge.

Banner is very lumpy looking with six youngsters pulling on her. She is famished as well. The kittens are out of the box and running around most of the day now. They are quite entertaining.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 07 2008 at 8:57 pm
One comment:
Lumpy with youngsters? Hmm, sounds familiar…
Comment posted by Abby (ip: on 05 / 08 / 2008 at 2:17 pm
Saturday I watched the first hummingbird early in the morning as I was weeding. He hovered and then sat on a small twig in a spruce tree for quite a while.

Yesterday I confirmed Isabelle’s Monday report that she saw an oriole. I heard two, flinging their fluting songs back and forth, then saw one in the apple tree. They are already at it early today again.

The bluebirds won a box and seem to have set eggs. We see them rarely, and for only moment at a time.

The tree swallows, which were warring with the song sparrows for a box, are now trying to decide which box to take. Isabelle shot the first pair of sparrows, then another moved in. She didn’t want to kill the second pair. So she went back up in the hedgerow and reclaimed the bird box we had placed up there several years ago for flying squirrels and mice, fixed it up and placed it on the opposite end of the grapes. And cleaned out the sparrow nest once more from the first box.

Isabelle reports seeing miniature hummingbird moths. We both saw a small sky blue butterfly yesterday. I have had at least four small weevils land on me. Even though they are charming in looks, I take off their heads. If that many are around to land on me–woe to my plants.

The peas, edible and flowering, are up. So are chard, lettuce, herbs. Potatoes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, onions, poppies are in. Next: carrots.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 07 2008 at 6:42 am
Garden Changes
Jay wishes to have an ongoing series of snaps of one of the gardens so we all can see how things change as the year progresses. Initially, he wanted one photo per month taken from approximately the same place and day. But the weather has pushed plants from three weeks behind to three weeks ahead here in just over two weeks time, so the photos will be as noticeable changes occur.

April 9th: Aconite, early iris, buds on the hellebores, crocus

May 2nd: Hellebore second wave blooms are coming on due to the heat the past couple weeks, aconite is setting seed, tulips in bloom, lilies, peonies, clematis, monkshood, clematis, violets and just in the upper left you can see a bit of the gloriously in bloom flowering quince.

Almost unbelievable how much greener and alive everything is in so short a time. It often is the same with life circumstances, I have found.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 02 2008 at 10:30 am
Memory and Intelligence
An article is in the NY Times today on research on memory training. The research abstract indicates gains in measured intelligence are possible with memory training.

I have been thinking of memory training more frequently lately as I am rereading Jonathan Spence’s wonderful book The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci. Ricci was a Jesuit priest in the 1500’s who used his (to us) amazing abilities at building mnemonic memory palaces to gain hearers of the gospel in high levels of Chinese government and royalty. It is a fascinating, well-written, interesting book. One of my favorites.

The girl studies violin via the Suzuki method, and comparing and contrasting what Suzuki says about memory and intelligence with Spence’s reports of what Ricci and Chinese young men preparing for the governmental exams back then were doing is thought provoking and informative.

I plan to read Suzuki’s Nurtured by Love again, too. Although I do not agree with all his philosophical stances, the outworking of Suzuki’s philosophy has been very beneficial for our daughter.

The three also remind me of an article in the NYTimes a year ago about “How to Grow a Super-Athlete”. A quote from it: “K. Anders Ericsson, a native of Sweden and a professor of psychology at Florida State University, is co-editor of “The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance,” published in 2006. If talented people can be thought of as a singular species, then Ericsson is its John J. Audubon, and the handbook is his painstakingly annotated field guide.

Every talent, according to Ericsson, is the result of a single process: deliberate practice, which he defines as “individuals engaging in a practice activity (typically designed by teachers) with full concentration on improving some aspect of their performance.” In a moment of towering simplification, “The Handbook” distills its lesson to a formula known as the Power Law of Learning: T = a P-b . (Don’t ask.) A slightly more useful translation: Deliberate practice means working on technique, seeking constant critical feedback and focusing ruthlessly on improving weaknesses. ”

And that seems to be the case with the new research, Ricci and other mnemonic devises, how the Chinese studied for their exams, and why the Suzuki ‘method’ works.

Slow, deliberate repetition which concentrates on reducing error and improving technique will result in memory (and long-term intelligence) gain. It does not seem to matter if one is learning music, sport, scripture, scientific pathways, history, or pi to the nth place value. Incorporating all aspects of learning–visual, auditory and kinesthetic helps speed the process.

But remember, slow is fast. The slower, more concentrated effort to do excellently, even for a short period of time, is more advantageous than a longer, sloppy effort.

Entry posted by jpm14 on May 01 2008 at 10:23 am
Postum No More
I thought it was just my imagination, or the local stores. Have not been able to find Postum the past few months. Then last week at Wegman;s, where I went specifically to look for Postum, a young check out girl told me the sad news.

Kraft has stopped making Postum. She knew because her parents drank it and were upset.


Looks like there are a few substitutes .


Entry posted by jpm14 on April 30 2008 at 9:22 am
Shawl Progress
I started the Myrtle Leaf Shawl from Victorian Lace Today last fall with yarn I bought at Kinderhook.

Late last week I finished the body of the shawl. It is longer than I am tall. Now I am beginning the edging. Only 12 stitches and 8 rows. Over and over and over and…you get the idea.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 27 2008 at 5:17 pm
The Kittens Emerge
Most of the six are here. They were scampering quite briskly about their box this morning.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 26 2008 at 9:37 am
First Turkey
No, not him; Isabelle’s first turkey. NY has a special youth spring turkey season and this morning was the first day. Jay and she were up and out about 5.30 this morning. I hear a gobble and a shot about a half hour later as I was shooting, in a different fashion, Banner’s kittens as they emerged from their nest box.

After taking more pictures of various flowers in bloom and taking Hawthorne for a walk and still the two hunters hadn’t returned, it seemed the shot had missed.

But while I was on the phone with my folks about 7.30ish, in drove the truck containing the smiling, victorious arm pumping pair.

Three large puffed-up toms had walked within 20 yards of them. Then the first tom must have seen a movement from one of them. He deflated and turned away. The other two were following. Jay urged Isabelle to shoot. She did, but all three turned and ran away, seemingly unscathed. Jay did not follow them with his eyes assuming she had missed. He was already thinking “what to try next”.

Isabelle, however, watched them run away and saw in the distance one of the birds seemingly trip and fall on his face as he went over a log. “I thought to myself that turkeys don’t trip over logs”, she reports, “and so I told Dad that I thought maybe I had got one”. Jay looked and eventually saw a wing, rising and falling beyond said log. So he lit out running, came to the log, and found a large tom turkey with its head just raised, living out its last few moments.

It weighs 17 pounds. A beauty. Both are beauties, in their own ways.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 26 2008 at 9:21 am
One comment:
Wow, that bird is as big as Isabelle!
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 26 / 2008 at 12:46 pm
Sard Harker
A calm like Jove’s beneath a fiery air.

His hands most beautiful and full of force,

Able to kill the wolf or tame the horse

Or carve the granite into angel’s hair.

His brow most noble over eyes that brim

At thought of truth or knowledge wanting aid.

His mind a very sword to make afraid,

A very fire to beacon at the turn.

His step swift as a panther’s, his will fierce

To be about the beauty of some deed

Since beauty’s being is his spirit’s food.

His voice caressing where it does not pierce;

His wrath like lightening:he is king: indeed

He is much more, a king with gratitude.

A lean man, silent, behind triple bars

Of pride, fastidiousness and secret life.

His thought an austere commune with the stars,

His speech a probing with a surgeon’s knife.

His style a chastity whose acid burns

All slack false formlessness in man or thing;

His face a record of the truth man learns

Fighting bare-knuckled Nature in the ring.

His self (unseen until a danger breaks)

Serves as a man but when the peril comes

And weak souls turn to water, he awakes

Like bright salvation among martyrdoms.

Then, with the danger mastered, once again

He goes behind his doors and draws the chain.

by John Masefield (1878-1967)

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 25 2008 at 10:49 am
Getting to Know You
Hawthorne is progressing.

He sleeps in his crate with the door open now. Pounce the cat was in the same room last night with no problem. I do not trust them alone together when both are awake without supervision.

The squealing like a puppy (me–when he mouthed me) worked for a day or so. He looked at me quizzically the first time or two. I think he thought he might be able to run things if I were going back to puppy status. Things got progressively worse for a day or so.

Then I had enough. My poor forearms. I look as if I have been beaten. A few days ago when he started in, I just grabbed his muzzle and laid him right down like the top dog would. Then again. Then again. Then all was OK. The next day, only twice. Since then, only one time period a day.

He has one time each day when he is over-excited. Usually late afternoon/early evening. That is when he seems to lose control of himself and is now when the nipping/excessive jumping/ out-of-control and somebody gets hurt rambunctiousness is in play. (that is when I assert my status) We also used the ‘Gentle Leader’ for one evening walk. Boy, he didn’t like that at first. But this morning when I put it on again there was no struggle at all.

He seems much more secure. He is dropping things when told more often than not, now. He comes when called, mostly. Always does outdoors.

We have not worked out how he is to tell us he wants ‘out’, but an increase in restlessness and me being more in tune with that will help, I think. He tends to do naughty things then. That is really the only time he has pulled out stuffing from his bed. He has never ‘wreaked havoc’. Has not touched the throw rugs. He would like to get hold of a shoe, though.

Loves all kinds of treats and will pay very close attention to direction to receive them.He is ‘waiting/staying’ for more than 3 minutes now–esp. at supper time when he begs.

Loving him up works for ‘come’, and most other commands (‘drop it’, ‘wait’) when not mealtime. His favorite toy is 18″ length of 1″ rope with knots on both ends.

Today is the first “normal” day we have had since he came with just Isabelle and me doing school. He has been lying in his crate resting. We think he is starting to know he is part of the family. He does have an outside area he likes to stay in when we are out working.

We expect he will be a totally different dog in 6 months. He has not yet been here alone without another dog for a week and we all can see how well he is progressing. Letting him know with no uncertainty his place marked a watershed evening for him.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 21 2008 at 6:27 pm
In Bloom
It has been unreasonably hot here. 80 degrees F the past two days and in the mid-70’s today. Very dry.

The list of flowers in bloom or just past:blood root, hepatica, pulmonaria, crocus, species tulips, hardy cyclamen, daffodils and narcissus, scilla, myrtle, hyacinth, miniature iris, winter aconite, violets, crown imperial, and of course, hellebores.

We have been eating salads from the cold frame. Peas, chard, beets, lettuces are planted.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 21 2008 at 6:23 pm
Aunt Betty’s Chocolate Chipper Cookies
These came from a “The Nice Family Cookbook”.

I have revised the recipe:whole wheat flour, less than half the sugar and an oil and butter mix.

The cookies are tender when they come from the oven but crisp right up and stay that way for several days. If your cookies last that long. I use either chips or M+M’s.

1 stick butter

1/2 cup canola or other oil

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2.5 cups whole wheat flour (Use white whole wheat if not grinding your own)

4 cups crisped rice cereal

1 cup raisins

1 cup chocolate chips or M+M’s

Cream the butter with the oil, add the sugar and beat well. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Add dry ingredients starting with the soda and ending with the crispy rice cereal. Stir in raisins and chips.

Bake 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Makes 6+ dozen.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 21 2008 at 5:41 pm
One comment:
Ooh, those look delicious.
Comment posted by Abby (ip: on 04 / 24 / 2008 at 12:59 pm
An Experiment
Having read articles about research showing breathing technique can lower blood pressure and expensive machines that help you learn to breathe slower, I have been playing with the idea on myself. Not that my blood pressure is high, but I wondered if it might help with the migraines.

What you do is count the number of heartbeats per breath and slowly increase the number of heartbeats per inhalation and exhalation. I usually count 6-10 beats/in or out. I can feel a change in my body, but was unsure if it signified that blood pressure was changing.

Until Wednesday AM, when my friend M, a nurse, agreed to use a blood pressure cuff and record my blood pressure before and after. She didn’t tell me the results until we were all done.

I only controlled my breathing for a minute or so, and burst into laughter at something the girl said in the middle of her reading–she started over.

Before: 112/70

After controlled breathing: 100/68

A 12% drop on systolic and 3% on diastolic. A pretty good drop for 60 seconds worth of effort. I think you do not need to buy a several thousand dollar machine to practice the technique.

This article indicates the systolic is the number that is important for those with high blood pressure.

And though not quite what I did, this is interesting:Contemplative meditation reduces ambulatory blood pressure

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 18 2008 at 7:37 pm
One comment:
Be well trained and observant
Blood pressure recording is a process that should be practiced and re-practiced. The reading that is taken is an important tool in diagnosing a patient. That’s why it is considered one of the Vital Signs. When taking a blood pressure always be sure to concentrate on the task at hand. Good eyesight and hearing, as well as hand-eye-ear coordination is important.1

Use actual numbers
Most people have a tendency to round off numbers; for example, 152 becomes 150; 166 may become 170. In blood pressure recording, a few millimeters may make the difference in a patient’s diagnosis. Always record the reading to the nearest 2mm Hg.2

Don’t be biased
Just because a patient (or yourself, in the case of home readings) is normally around 126/82 (for example), don’t prematurely assume the next reading will fall near that range.3 Record each reading based on your observations at that time.

Position the patient properly
For regular blood pressure recordings, the patient is seated with the midpoint of the upper arm at the level of the heart.4 When the arm is below the heart level, the reading will be too high.5 In fact, it has been reported that the reading can be as much as 8mm high when the patient’s arm is hanging at their side.6 However, some circumstances may require the patient to be in a different position. When lying down, position the patient’s arm at the side of the body, slightly raised; when the patient is standing, raise the patient’s arm and support at the heart level.7 Document the patient’s position when recording their measurement on their chart.

Have a calm manner and peaceful environment
Try to keep the patient relaxed and have everything ready (equipment, charts, pen, etc.) for the reading before the patient is seated. Since blood pressure levels are affected by emotions, physical activity, and the surroundings, minimize disturbances that may affect the reading.8

Check your equipment
Routinely inspect your blood pressure equipment – sphygmomanometer, cuffing system, bladders, tubes, valves, etc. – to make sure it is functioning properly. Check to see if the mercury level of your instrument is at zero. Check aneroid gauges over the entire range against a mercury sphygmomanometer.9 Repair, replace, and clean as necessary. Consider using a cuff that has an antimicrobial agent to help prevent bacterial growth and mildew on the cuff fabric. It has been reported that blood pressure cuffs can carry significant bacterial colonization, particularly in the Operating Room, P.A.C.U. and I.C.U, and can actually be a source of transmission of infection.10

Select the right size inflation system
Choose the appropriate size cuff based on the circumference of the patient’s bare upper arm. The bladder (inside the cuff) should encircle 80 percent of an adult’s arm and, for a child less than 13 years old, 100 percent.11 A cuff/bladder that is too narrow for the arm will result in a high blood pressure reading.12 This situation may lead to the overtreatment of hypertension; conversely, using a cuff too large may lead to the undertreatment of hypertension.13 Have a full range of cuff sizes available to accommodate your patient population.


1 “Human Blood Pressure Determination by Sphygmomanometry,” American Heart Association, Dallas, Texas, ©1967, 1980, 1987, 1994 American Heart Association, p. 13. 2 Ibid., p. 14. 3 Ibid., p. 14. 4 Ibid., p. 14. 5 Ibid., p. 25 6 Cooper, Karen, “Measuring Blood Pressure the Right Way,” Nursing92, April 1992, p. 75. 7 “Human Blood Pressure Determination by Sphygmomanometry,” p. 14-15. 8 Ibid, p. 15. 9 American Society of Hypertension, “Recommendations for Routine Blood Pressure Measurement by Indirect Cuff Sphygmomanometry,” American Journal of Hypertension, April 1992, p. 207. 10 Sternlicht, Andrew L., “Significant Bacterial Colonization Occurs on the surface of Non-Disposable Sphygmomanometer Cuffs and Re-Used Disposable Cuffs,” Anesthesia & Analgesia, February 1990, p. S391. 11 “Human Blood Pressure Determination by Sphygmomanometry,” p. 15. 12 Ibid., p. 24 13 Manning, Dennis M., “Miscuffing: Inappropriate Blood Pressure Cuff Application,” Hypertension, October 1993, p. 765.

Comment posted by AZReam (ip: on 04 / 18 / 2008 at 10:37 pm

AZReam’s website:

Harry Hawthorne is wonderful. He is big. He can be loud. He has a large mouth and lots of teeth. He likes to snuggle. He snuffles. He likes to chew. He has a stubby little tail he wags. He likes to have a disc or frisbee or stick or length of rope and have you tug with him. While he growls a truly fearsome growl. He is learning “Drop” since we want socks, mittens, sweaters, etc. left intact. He snatches at things within reach he thinks might be good for a tug or a chew. Examples include slippers, paper napkins, a newly made wee folk fairy, washed wool, dish towels. You get the idea.

And sometimes when excited he “mouths” and grabs my forearm. I look like the spotted lady from the elbows on down because he does not know how strong he is. SE, our local Airedale contact, said to give a puppy squeal to tell him it hurts. So yesterday afternoon I did. It seems to help a lot; he stopped immediately, although he was confused about why the big Mom leader would make a hurt puppy noise–as if she hurt .

My thighs are covered with nearly two dozen small bruises as well, and the lower legs have half a dozen big beauties. But those are from helping our elderly (high 80’s) neighbor split, load and unload wood from the two large maple and oak trunks Jay had cut into chunks for him after Isabelle discovered him working alone last week.


The ability to focus and the power to concentrate on a given task to its successful completion seems to magnify extraordinarily if a treat at task completion is involved. This is very true for Hawthorne. He practices laying and waiting a few times a day. He is concentrates attentively when he suspects raw venison is involved.

We also bought him a toy heavy rubber ball which has slits along the sides. It is a Kong Stuff-a-Ball. Instead of buying treats, I am using jerky and other meat–last night it was wild turkey. I put a piece that fits very snugly in it. I have not yet seen him go for more than five minutes before he licks and worries anything out of it. But he willingly will go into his crate to do so.

Chocolate bread pudding has been a good treat for other young things in my house over the years.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 15 2008 at 7:35 pm
Hawthorne who was Harry arrives Home
Yesterday Jay, the girl and I got home from fishing–caught five large trout weighing about 5 pounds after cleaning–to Isaac saying the people were waiting an hour away at a diner for us. We (probably me) had misunderstood what day we were to me. So we jumped in the car and drove up to Magee.

And brought home a very thin dog with big teeth. I think he was quite dehydrated. His ribs and spinal processes are not so prominent this morning. He has been drinking prolifically.

As many of you know, our children are both adopted. We gave them new names. As a sign of redemption, if you will. I am giving Harry a new name, too. I think Hawthorne fits him. The girl is already calling him Thorny.

This morning Hawthorne had his first visitors, friends of our come to borrow a shop vac. They have a German Shorthair named Gunnar. Nita said Gunnar came to them at 10 months acting like a ten week old. And that Hawthorne, who is 16 months, acts like a 6-week-old. She is right. But he learns fast.

We had him out on the horse lunge line throwing a plastic disc for him to retrieve. He learned quickly that letting go gets him loving and another chance to chase.

He was able to get a piece of jerky our of this toy within five minutes this morning.

He has a sweet disposition. He is smart. He will be a different dog in a week. Most of us are very happy! Isaac is taking Pounce’s part and is not as thrilled, yet.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 12 2008 at 10:57 am
One comment:
What does Chester the Cockerpoo think of your Hairythorn?
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 12 / 2008 at 12:59 pm

anja’s website:

Upcoming Suppers
Remember about Jay taking some of us fishing? We brought home 13 brown trouts. The neighbor boys we took with us brought some home, too. The 13 cleaned fish weighed about 3 pounds.

Jay cooked two to take for lunch and one for my breakfast.

This morning I went back. From the time I left the house to the time I put the cleaned fish in the fridge was an hour and a quarter. I caught my limit (5). Two on a spinner and the other three with small worms. The five, cleaned, weighed just under 1.5 pounds. Which made me wonder if Jay weighed the other right.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 10 2008 at 11:42 am
Two More April Suppers
Last night we had these.

North American Pot Scalloped Corn

1 quart frozen sweet corn

1 1/2 medium onions, chopped

1 pint canned tomatoes (Sungold)

salt, white pepper

Cook the onions in a tablespoon or so of butter, add the corn. When it is mostly thawed add the tomatoes and cook until all bubbly. Add more pepper and salt than normal. The sweetness of the Sungolds overcame even the starchiness of the sweet corn that the pesky Mexican corn bred last year.

South American Stew

1/2 medium onion, chopped

about a pound ground lamb, thawed

1 1/2 – 2 cups quinoa, rinsed well with cold water to remove the saponins

3 cups water


ground coriander

dried cilantro leaves

a little poultry seasoning

Cook the onion with the lamb in a medium saucepan. Don’t bother adding any butter or oil, the lamb will take care of that. When lamb and onions are cooked, add the rinsed quinoa and water.

Bring to boil, add the salt, ground coriander and poultry seasoning. When the quinoa is done (it swells and unspirals) add the cilantro leaves.


A few nights ago we had this, probably not reproducible for us or anyone else.

-All the greens from the cold frame (at least nine types) with

cashews, raisins, pecorino romano cheese and dressing.

-home smoked trout

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 10 2008 at 11:37 am
Secret Gardening Tool for Teens
If yours are anything like mine, gardening is an “ugh” chore for them. True, they mostly carry, haul, cart and weed. I do, too. But getting gardening help from them is harder and harder. Even with all the great food and flowers from which they benefit. Go figure.

But today I discovered fire.

I was out burning off a small patch that includes the pile we dump all compost plants since it was sprinkly and there had been no wind when I began.

The 17-year old son came out and asked if he could take over while I went in to cook supper so we can eat as soon as Jay gets home and then go fishing right away. Got all that?


And I pointed out where he could get more dead plant matter to keep the fire going if he so chose. It was all dead stuff I had been harvesting as he came out. The daughter followed him. I went out 15 minutes later and told them to start on another bed, if they wanted, as there was lots of stuff there that would burn and had to be taken off anyway.

The two of them have been out there for 45 minutes now.

I feel like Tom Sawyer.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 09 2008 at 4:39 pm
One comment:
Oh man, burning things is THE BEST.

I don’t think your principle only applies to teens. My house would be very tidy if decluttering involved FIRE.

I recall in middle school I went to a Girl Guide camp in Canada one summer. They had chores we were supposed to rotate every day. On something like the second day I got the “chore” of burning the trash (they didn’t have air quality laws up there at the time).

Oh wow, that was so much fun! It was SO much fun, that I traded chores with every single person after that, so I could keep doing it for the rest of the week.

It was just… so… GRATIFYING.

First, it was done in the morning after breakfast, while it was still a bit chilly, so the heat was welcome. Second, it was fascinating to watch different materials burn, or melt and burn, or just melt, etc. Dyes on packages made different colored flames. Things with foil liners glowed and curled up into fragile shapes that would disintegrate in a breath of air. Third, smoke would uncoil and writhe like a reptile taking flight. Fourth, it made a really pleasant crackling, crinkling sound.

What’s NOT to like?!


Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 09 / 2008 at 9:01 pm
Lindera Benzoin
Jay and I planted a Spicebush last night in a space where multiple blueberries have failed.

I am hoping for more Swallowtails. And to try tea from the leaves.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 09 2008 at 12:13 pm
August Crayfish Catching
We are going

August crayfish catching.

Some warm green stream strolls,

strokes the sunburnt, flaking shale

and as sun bakes we

rotate rocks,

sneabily gratching

those gray green

pinchered guardians,

we tender fingered giants

intruding on their

stone-walled liquid kingdom

taking captives.

August-September 1984

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 09 2008 at 9:43 am
I’ll be happy to help you take captives anytime. (Especially anytime that the ambient temperature is warm so that wading in cold creeks is pleasant.)

Especially if I get to try EATING said captives.

Crunchy or not, I’m very curious, since I am very fond of briny decapods.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 09 / 2008 at 8:45 PM
P.S. I’ll even be happy to gratch them sneabily. Whatever that means? Sounds like it’s from the Jabberwocky.
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 09 / 2008 at 8:50 PM
Current Houseguest
Chester has been with us now for about a week and is due to stay for a little over a week more. He is pretty used to our ways now, although he had some difficulty being treated as a dog at first. He thinks he is an extra child in the family of five kids to which he belongs. We are keeping him busy, too.

Last night until this morning we had another house guest. A neighbor brought us a gray squirrel kitten she caught in her pole barn under the impression it needed help. It had a full belly so I really don’t think its mother had abandoned it or kicked it our of the nest. And it was very anxious to go home. So the girl and I took it back this morning. The box was empty and it was no where in sight this evening. Whew. Just what we did not need. Another squirrel.

We are counting down the days until we get Harry. Saturday is “H” Day.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 08 2008 at 7:52 pm
One comment:
Looks like you done gone and worn poor Chester right out.

Hope he gets along with Hairy.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 09 / 2008 at 9:05 pm
April Suppers
Lately I have been on a quiche kick. Turn the oven to 350 degrees F.

Because it is much quicker, I use leftover rice for the crust, spraying the pie plate with oil, then using the plastic rice spatula to press a thin layer down and around. I cook up a thinly sliced onion in butter either in a pan or in the microwave, depending on how short the time to dinner. Tonight the last of the frozen dill weed got used. I have been putting about 1/3 cup on the rice, then the onions, whatever other spices I feel like, then grated cheese. Usually Romano, but tonight an assortment.

Then the liquid part, which is four large or extra-large eggs whisked with enough half and half. You can estimate as well as I can, or learn to. Some kosher salt and maybe some sweet smoked Spanish paprika in the eggs, too.

Then pop it in the oven. About 30 minutes later, it is done, looks great and I just cut it in quarters for a meal. Serve a salad beforehand. Or, if you like and your bait trap has what ours had in it and Bass season is still months away, have an appetizer.

Well, you must cook them first.

And the master of the house says to keep blogging.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 08 2008 at 7:47 pm
Are those crayfish?!

I’ve never seen one – for this reason I thought maybe they only lived in the geographical locations where call them “crawdads.”

What do they taste like?

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 08 / 2008 at 8:44 PM
Well, I’ll be danged. There are 13 species if them right here in NY, 5 of which are supposedly native:

Here are some pictures of introduced ones:

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 08 / 2008 at 8:55 PM
More Research.

Some people keep them as pets?!

I like the way this site is written:

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 08 / 2008 at 9:16 PM
What! You, world traveler extraordinaire, never had crayfish?
We can take care of that this summer. Maybe when Rose is here. They are shedding their old skins then and are not so crunchy. Hunting them in shallow streams under rocks is fun, too.
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 04 / 09 / 2008 at 8:37 AM

Herself’s website:

Only Two Days to go
until my account expires on Upsaid.

I am thinking of not renewing.

Anyone care?

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 07 2008 at 10:39 am
Depends on whether you’d keep me up to date via emails and phone calls. I think I’ve been leaning on this blog to stay in touch.

Also, I don’t know what it costs you, in money or time that you’d perhaps spend somewhere else.

Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 04 / 07 / 2008 at 3:24 PM
I think mine might already have expired.

I’m considering archiving the site and switching to a free one, like

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 07 / 2008 at 8:34 PM
I’d miss you!
Comment posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) (ip: on 04 / 08 / 2008 at 6:01 AM

Valerie (Kyriosity)’s website:

I read and enjoy your blog. It is up to you to decide what is best for you. How on earth will we keep up with Banner. Ellie
Comment posted by Ellie (ip: on 04 / 08 / 2008 at 6:47 AM
Banner and her kittens
Someone had an idea and her father helped take the photo of a squirrel on a horse. She is not clutching at the reins, though, but a roll.

Have I mentioned she likes her rolls buttered?

One reason why: we visited her box yesterday when she was not at home and counted six–yes–SIX youngsters. She needs all the calories she can consume to keep them fed.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 07 2008 at 10:36 am
Half Century Hullabaloo
I am well and truly 50. A surprise dinner party confirmed the fact, with dear friends recalling when we first met, or a story they remember. Animals figured into many of the reminiscences, troubles (either comraderie in or causing) into a couple. Thank yous have been written for the lovely evening and the useful, beautiful gifts. My family celebrated as well.

Then the body in which I reside reminded me. It reminds me still, most days.

In the night I was thinking about where I had lived through the decades. In my first decade my family moved twice. In the second, I moved many times after I went to university; probably about 4 or 5 due to summer sublets. In the third decade (20-30) I moved more frequently than any other; at least 6-8 times. By the time I was 28, though, we had married and bought our home. Since then I have stayed put, and plan to for the rest of our days, unless God has other plans for us.

Staying for decades on one piece of land has distinct advantages. I am more of a naturalist today than at any point in my life; staying in one area for a long time allows one to become intimately familiar with and gives one time to study the land, the plants and all the varied lives in and on it. Changes which others may not see, or which seem small, gain importance and significance. The foxes which used to den only 150 yards from our home disappeared as the coyotes increased. We loved watching the kits in the evenings. The entrance to the woods used to be blanketed with hepatica in the spring. Then the farmer renting the fields adjacent sprayed an herbicide on the fallow field and wind drifted the spray tens of yards into the woods. The hepatica all died. They have never recovered. A few are slowly re-establishing after 15 years. Want to see salamanders, a red-tailed hawk nest, two springs, old dumps, walk for a couple miles without seeing a road? I can take you. Our kids know where the best place to build a fort is, or where to find a snake.

Closer to home, in my own yard, I have cultivated many perennials which enable many unusual species of insects to perpetuate. Or maybe not unusual, maybe I live slow enough to see them and know where they live. The carrion beetles, the hairworms, the thousands of larvae for a certain butterfly. And we notice the unusual clouds of moths, or a newly hatched cicada eaten chunk by chunk by a wasp; hear the chewing of pine beetles; find the swallowtail larvae on the parsley and see the mantis laying her eggcase on the cold frame.

And the plants are some of my closest companions. I watch their lives with interest, care for them, harvest some for food, others for beauty and others for usefulness.

Living closely with the same outside life daily, yearly, enables me to be more aware of nature when I do travel elsewhere since it varies from home. I do hope I will have another chance to smear (to the horror of children) cochineal larvae on my lips direct from cactus pads. To see tiny flowers springing from what sure looks like a dead, peeled stick stuck in a rock in a desert.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 07 2008 at 10:25 am
One comment:
In a weird but somehow very real way, I always had the feeling that my dad’s tomato plants and other vegetables were his true friends and family for all those many years he lived alone in California. (between 1983 and 2006)
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 07 / 2008 at 8:40 pm
Spring in the Northeast
This is what we woke to yesterday.

School for Isaac started late–again.

But the Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas) branch, also from a tree of Dawn’s, is starting to bloom.

It is colder than normal here. My brother in Tucson said it was 70 degrees in the shade there last night. We were huddled under blankets.

The Cornelian Cherries in protected areas usually bloom before the end of March. It will not happen this year.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 29 2008 at 9:04 am
Restoration of Wet Tropical Forest in Costa Rica
Carl Leopold, Aldo’s son, has spent over a decade with his wife and some friends seeing if you can regrow a rain forest.

It seems you can.

Article in the BTI News.

Some pictures of volunteer under story plants at Ecological Restoration

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 27 2008 at 7:58 pm
One comment:
A rain forest does not need much help.
Comment posted by Eco Interactive (ip: on 04 / 13 / 2008 at 9:29 am

Eco Interactive’s website:

Good Books Online
Canon Press now has an online library which includes some great books.

And in case you forgot, Librivox has books to listen to for free.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 26 2008 at 9:29 pm
Don’t forget the grandaddy site of them all, (17,000 titles currently)
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 03 / 26 / 2008 at 11:11 PM
That’s right! I did forget.
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 03 / 27 / 2008 at 9:39 AM

Herself’s website:

Fence and Witch Hazel
For the benefit of those interested in our adoption of Harry, a photo of the work done so far on the new fence. Jay placed it around the elderly play equipment to provide the girl some structures to use for her agility training.

And because I just love the look of it in the early morning light:

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 25 2008 at 2:16 pm
Been There, Done That
The NY Times has an essay on a new book The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Risen and Fall of Civilizations.

Personally, I would love for it to warm up.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 24 2008 at 11:02 am
Once in a Full Moon Easter
Jesus is Risen. He is Risen indeed!

We arose to a full moon and went to bed by a full moon.

When we played at the ladies’ luncheon I learned for the first time how Easter dates are chosen. At the First Council of Nicea, not only was the business of the nature of Jesus in relationship to the Father settled; the method to chose a yearly Easter date was, also.

To wit: The first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the vernal equinox is when we Westerners celebrate Easter. This year’s Easter was the earliest we will see in our lives. Unless we are Methuselahs. Easter will not arrive this early again until 2228.

The discussion of how to chose the date to celebrate upset the girl in our home. “You mean Easter Sunday is not the actual day Jesus rose from the dead”? She wondered why we bother to celebrate at all, if it is not “the real date”. Which led to more discussion about redemption and celebration.

At Dawn’s there was a beautiful Hamamelis virginiana in full bloom. She gave me a branch to bring home. The Witch Hazel is sweetly scented indoors. It was too cold to smell it outside. In the teens again this morning. Brr.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 24 2008 at 9:24 am
In Order
Last Saturday Isaac had his last time running sound for the high school performance of “On The Town”. The music was very well done. Isabelle had given her blue-ribbon 4-H demonstration on “Crocheting Beaded Jewelry” earlier in the day.

We had wonderful guests Sunday from the Crimea in Ukraine and from Kazahkstan who said they felt right at home with hosts who hunt, fish and garden.

Monday we learned to our sorrow that Gerlinde had gone home to Jesus ending a three year fight to get well after falling from a bicycle while visiting relatives in Germany.

The aconite and hellebores had a chance to start showing because most of the last snow melted and the sun came out.

Inside, the forced forsythia start blooming.

We were informed we can adopt Harry! We scoped out another dog, but he didn’t seem to be the one for us. Jay started putting up a fence for Harry’s arrival in April.

Rain and snow came again. More streams in the basement.

On Wednesday these two characters went off trying to fool a friend. It didn’t work.

Meanwhile, I finished this blanky for a coming baby.

The girl and I played three pieces for a women’s brunch; the 1st movement of Seitz’s 5th Concerto, a nice rendition of “The Wayfaring Stranger” and the hymn “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”.

Worship services and singing will fill the rest of the week. And the bitter cold and snow have arrived again. Some of us just lie around waiting for the outside to act like Spring.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 21 2008 at 11:24 am
Christmas is been and gone so here is a small shot of some of the potholders given as gifts.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 13 2008 at 8:48 pm
She comes a couple times a day now. Today she licked up the last little crumbs of the bread pieces I brought out for her.

With the cold there hasn’t been much liquid water available and since she’s nursing…

Banner also likes nuts, cracked, thank you.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 13 2008 at 8:46 pm

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