Upsaid journal entries and comments by user: cerise

Upsaid journal entries and comments by user: jpm14
(File created on: May 26 2008)
How Fortuitous, and an Experiment
Cousin Julie and me at Rock Day

We arrived late and I took the food to the kitchen. As I was working I heard a familiar voice say “Deb”? Turning around I saw my cousin Julie, from my mother’s side of the family. Her grandfather and mine were brothers. We had not seen each other since another cousin’s funeral about a decade ago. What a nice time we had!

Julie was with her friend Robin of Nistock Farms . We will be visiting the lambs and Julie later in the spring.

I can highly recommend Nistock’s lamb chunks which I used to make stew a couple nights ago. If you look at their sight you will notice that they are making a good go at agriculture by selling high end fleeces –by name–to spinners. For those of you who have not been in the sheep business–the Federal price for wool has been less than 50 cents a pound; that is, if you do not sell your wool to buyers yourself, but directly to the Federal Government program you will receive 10-20 times less than Nistock is making for their wool.

My fellow guild friend, Anne, took this picture. I cropped the original by over 50 percent, but was unable to get a small enough picture to wish to post it here directly.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 19 2005 at 8:03 am
Great Film Directors: Terry Gilliam
Brazil , Time Bandits, The adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Fisher King, 12 Monkeys, and those do not include Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
Entry posted by jpm14 on January 18 2005 at 10:21 am
Life Everlasting?
A certain Aubrey De Grey has decided he is the man who will help us live forever. Here, within the next 100 years.

“De Grey calls his program Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence, which permits him to say that it makes SENS to embark upon it. Here, in no particular order, follow his seven horsemen of death and the formulations for the breaking of each animal and its rider. (Those seeking more detailed information might wish to consult de Grey’s website:”

Check out the article.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 18 2005 at 9:53 am
One comment:
Another testimony to the strangeness of humanity.
De Grey looks as if he has already lived forever.
I especially liked the part about the author referring to living beyond our allotted years as being against “secular spirituality”. Spirituality without God? An interesting notion. Stupid, but interesting.
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 01 / 20 / 2005 at 11:07 am
Felt need: Felt
Is it just Juli and me, or has anyone else really wanted to buy the whole colorway of wool felt from Magic Cabin ? But I cannot justify spending $120+ on felt.

It so happens there is a washed fleece waiting for attention on the porch. So last week , after a lot of thought, I dyed small (less than 4 oz) amounts of this luscious creamy wool. I brought out the dye pot, scooped most of the old dyebath water into five glass widemouth canning jars and put them in the dyepot along with the remaining two or so inches of dyewater. Then I pushed a large handful of fleece in each jar, added some dye (I use Procion Acid dyes, dry powders that were bought by the 4oz. plastic jar in the 80’s and 90’s when I had a business) and brought the pot to almost a boil. The water only has to get to 150 degrees or so.

After rinsing, spinning and drying,

Voila, handfuls of Valentine’s Day colored wools, with some violet and acid greens for contrast.

I did three dye pots, and almost 15 colors.

Then last week, Isabelle and I carded some colors. I carded some more. More remain to be done. Carding is a labor intensive process if you wish nice uniform batts. I do.

Last night, I ripped a batt into a small square chunk and using a method a new guild member says works great with her children, put it in a (larger) sealable plastic

bag with less than 1/4 cup cold water and three dribs of dishwashing soap. Push out all the air and rub the package on the rag rug in the kitchen. The younger child showed up within a couple minutes and desired her own bag, with her own preferred color to work on. So be it.

After a while, the heat of one’s hands transfers to the water and contributes to the felting. Only a few minutes later, 5, maybe, you can take out the piece, rinse it off, wadding it up to make sure all soap is removed and squeezing it almost dry.

Home made wool felt. Add locks. Mix colors. Cut and sew. Use a thin fabric, like voile to felt onto (We will try this today).

More ideas simmering… cropped felt picture

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 17 2005 at 12:13 pm
OK, its still too large. I will try again tomorrow.
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 01 / 18 / 2005 at 9:24 PM

Herself’s E-mail:

Herself’s website:

You need to upload your photos to the web somewhere. Upsaid is one option — Anja’s link to “file hosting” on the control menu. When we had a Cornell email account, it came with enough web space for all the pictures we needed. There are also a few websites out there that give people places for free online photo albums (paid for by advertisers on the sites). Any of these option should have help files or real people who can help you with the process of getting your photos from your home computer to the web server.

Once you have the photos on the web, adding them to a blog post is as simple as clicking “image” in Upsaid’s new entry box and typing in the URL for the photo.

I shrink my pictures to a manageable size on my home computer before uploading them… large numbers of very large pictures make web pages load very slowly for people with dial up connections.

I have every confidence that such a multitalented woman as yourself will be able to provide your fan club with the desired pictures!

Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 01 / 18 / 2005 at 2:14 PM

Sora’s E-mail:

Sora’s website:

I take it you FELT like you really needed to do this? Can’t wait to see the 15 colors!
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 01 / 17 / 2005 at 11:14 PM
P.S. I like their earth tones and harvest hues. Surprised? I bet not. Could you order their swatch for fun little projects, and get all the colors that way, for cheap?
Comment posted by (ip: on 01 / 17 / 2005 at 11:17 PM
Deb, I have a felt need for your blog. It involves the use of a digital camera. πŸ˜‰ Pictures of all your fascinating projects. (It would enhance garden posts too… though perhaps we could do without dead journal photos.)
Comment posted by Sora Colvin (ip: on 01 / 18 / 2005 at 8:09 AM

Sora Colvin’s E-mail:

What Sora said!
Comment posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) (ip: on 01 / 18 / 2005 at 9:01 AM

Valerie (Kyriosity)’s E-mail:

Valerie (Kyriosity)’s website:

But ladies, I have No Clue how to put photos onto blogs.

Felt, I can make. Gardens, I can grow. Photos I can take.

There is even a loaner digital camera on my desk that has sat here for months, unused, because although I can throw the pics into my computer I can’t figure out how to get them to my blog.


Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 01 / 18 / 2005 at 10:02 AM

Herself’s E-mail:

Herself’s website:

Log in to upsaid, and then go here:
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 01 / 18 / 2005 at 12:03 PM
What a difference a day makes
Yesterday afternoon at 3PM when I went downtown to do a long put off errand, it was 40 degrees F.

At 5PM when I returned it was 60 degrees F. At bedtime it was almost 62 degrees outside.

During the night the high wind came, the rain came, the snow came.

This morning it is 30 degrees with over an inch of snow on the ground.

Tuesday noon Brian sent Jay home from work. He spent the rest of the day in bed, getting sicker with rapidly progressing sickness in his chest.

Wednesday Jay saw our doctor, at my insistance. The downward spiral continued. No more repeats of pneumonia, please. Diagnosis: bronchitis, with a powerful antibiotic prescribed.

By yesterday, Thursday, Jay was returning to his less than totally taciturn self. He took the children skating. He and Isaac made supper.

By this morning, he returned to work and was almost cheery.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 14 2005 at 7:54 am
What is it about guys and ignoring sickness? Henry would rather die than miss a day at work. Unfortunately, everyone at work feels the same way, and round and round we go…
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 01 / 17 / 2005 at 9:40 AM
Yeah, what she said.

My dad got a nasty cold from the rehabilitation center he was in for a couple of weeks – he called it a “dehabilitation center”

He gave it to me

I gave it to my brother

Who brought it to Colorado with him.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 01 / 16 / 2005 at 11:31 PM
Glad Jay’s feeling better!
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 01 / 14 / 2005 at 4:26 PM

Jeni’s E-mail:

Toxins delivered via Breast milk?
A disturbing article in the NY Times about the accumulation of heavy metals and other toxins, notably PBDE’s, polybrominated diphenylethers, in breast milk. PBDE’s are fat soluble non-molecularly bonded organic compounds used as a flame retardants: they end up in household dust, soil, food, water, and (organ) tissues.

A quote:

”There is almost no example of a toxic chemical in breast milk that doesn’t have a nontoxic substitute,” said Sandra Steingraber, a visiting scholar at Ithaca College and author of ”Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood.” ”We haven’t yet compromised breast milk to such an extent that it’s a worse food than infant formula, but why get to that point?”

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 10 2005 at 11:35 am
Hey Deb,
Probably not appropriate here, but email me if you get a chance. Just got your card.


Comment posted by Marie R Drake (ip: on 01 / 13 / 2005 at 10:59 PM

Marie R Drake’s E-mail:

There are probably many worse things in there as well. Why are they so concerned about breast milk being contaminated when infants are also breathing the air, dust etc. where all these things are coming from? Don’t forget the flame retardant pajamas they are wearing!
I haven’t had time to read the article yet. They may speak to some of these questions.
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 01 / 13 / 2005 at 11:54 AM
Another blog you might be interested in: , she is a missionary in Ukraine, and also a homeschooler.
Often some interesting posts.
Comment posted by A Friend… (ip: on 01 / 10 / 2005 at 1:10 PM
Rock Day
Our guild hosts Rock Day each year on the second Saturday of January.

It conforms loosely to Epiphany and was the last day of ‘free time’ for spinners and other laborers before Christmas ended all returned to work.

We have a dish-to-pass, some games, an exhibition of work done the previous year, vendors and a speaker. This year there will be a variety of types and styles of wheels on exhibit, many available to spin on, and a talk on wheels.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 08 2005 at 9:06 am
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
We are listeing to a tape from the library, a Vanguard EVERYMAN classics, that contains Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, Fantasia on “Greensleeves”, Flos Campi, and Five variants of “Dives and Lazarus”. Great music.

Isaac noticed that the ‘Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis’ sounded Lord of the Rings-ish. Fascinating that modern composerers such as Howard Shore can freely borrow musical ideas, even themes, and the bulk of those who hear their music have no clue that someone like Tallis in the 1500’s was the initial spark that led to today’s movie music.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 08 2005 at 8:42 am
I am not good at keeping up-to-date with computer stuff. Just checked the guestbook and found all sorts of spammish garbage. All deleted now.
Entry posted by jpm14 on January 08 2005 at 8:36 am
Three Kings Day
We had a nice party to celebrate Three Kings Day.

The Kings brought the last gifts of Christmas, someone found the bean in their bread and became king for awhile. The bean which was to be the center stone in the crown would not stay put. Ah, well. Far too many sweet things were eaten and drunk.

We read the two stories in Madeleine L’Engles book The Sphinx at Dawn (see sidebar) as one story has to do with Jesus and the kingly treasure while he and his family were in Egypt.

This evening we played Pente, which the Kings brought our family.

Thank goodness they came even though there was no grass put out in shoes for their camels to eat!

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 06 2005 at 8:02 pm
Neti Pot
Isabelle has had a nasty cold that has hung on for going on three weeks. She coughs up stuff from her lungs that came from her sinuses. She blows her nose way too often.

Today I had enough and used the Neti Pot on her in the late morning. It is a method of nasal irrigation. The link shows one similar to ours, which is well over a decade old. I pour in about 1/2 teaspoon Alkalol and fill the pot the rest of the way with very warm water.

Isabelle kicked and squawked terribly the first time. But tonight, she said “I’m ready for the neti pot!” And afterwards informed me she felt like she had a new nose.

Isaac used to get serial sinus infections during the winter when he was in public school. Using the neti pot twice a day kept him healthier than repeated courses of antibiotics. When he came home to be schooled, the infections stopped. The particular building he was in was terribly full of mildew.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 06 2005 at 7:40 pm
Hi Bonnie!

My mom-in-law first told me about Alkalol.

I had been using a straight saline solution for me and the family, but Alkalol is a much kinder and more effective alternative.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 01 / 10 / 2005 at 10:02 AM

Herself’s E-mail:

Herself’s website:

This is wonderful information! How did you determine to use Alkalol? I is it available in regular pharmacies?

I need to learn more about Blogs!

Comment posted by Bonnie Hoggatt (ip: on 01 / 07 / 2005 at 1:43 PM

Bonnie Hoggatt’s E-mail:

Soliciting ideas here!

I have spent way too much time trying to find information about goose carts and specifically a Currier and Ives print that contains the same.

There is a C+I reference work I will try to get from a library listing 7500 of their prints.

Have found two plant pots which purport to be simulcra of goose carts, but do not have the goose hitched up correctly.

A old friend has several very old wooden goose yokes and wishes a picture of them in use.

As would I. It would make hitching up goslings during training much easier if we had a picture….

Anyone have any ideas?

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 04 2005 at 12:14 pm
The one-eyed god
What is astonishing to me is not that when I walk at 5 to 6 AM approximately one-third of the 30+ houses I pass have the tube on, but that this morning between 2.30 and 3.30AM when I went for a walk there were three homes where someone was worshipping at that alter. Made me think of Fahrenheit 451, sadly.

Drippy. Skunk smell, starting at the house that still has a ‘Bush Must Go’ sign in their little raised square flowerbed. Male cat smell a little further on. Scared three separate groups of deer out eating, and a big plop, probably a beaver at a bend in the stream. Only one car unevenly drove past as I crouched out of sight behind a pine.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 04 2005 at 12:03 pm
Security Begins at Home
While purging paperwork I found a September 2003 article from Forbes (from my Dad) on home computer security.

Thanks to Angela (see sidebar) we already have(free downloads) Ad-aware and Zone Alarm, but today I downloaded, also for free, Spybot Search and Destroy, which found an astonishing 75 sneakware programs sending info about us into the ether. We also have Symantec Antivirus Corporate thanks to Cornell being paranoid about things getting in their system.

If your machine is gradually slowing down, you do not have these free security programs and does not just need defragging, do yourself a favor and download one or all of these and use them on a regular basis. They help.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 04 2005 at 11:51 am
I don’t know if you’ve heard but the Firefox browser seems to work really well security wise (as well as being fast and free). More and more people are switching to it every day. You can download it here:
Comment posted by Coyote (ip: on 01 / 06 / 2005 at 12:28 PM

Coyote’s E-mail:

Coyote’s website:

Yup. It is what we use.
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 01 / 06 / 2005 at 7:41 PM

Herself’s E-mail:

Herself’s website:

Aramco World Magazine
Free for perusal on the internet, or, you can subscribe also for free, Saudi Aramco world Magazine .

The lead story in the issue the link will take you to is about dates, a favorite food of mine.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 02 2005 at 4:44 pm
One of Angela’s sisters lives just south of the largest date growing region in Southern California.
One of these years maybe Angela and I can get there when the dates are ripening….
Fabulous Medjool dates come from there. I would really like to try a Khalasa that melts in one’s mouth.
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 01 / 04 / 2005 at 10:48 AM

Herself’s E-mail:

Herself’s website:

Matt’s parents get that magazine (they lived in Saudi Arabia for a few years when he was a toddler) and I read the articles on dates a month or two ago at their house.

Made me hope that I someday have the opportunity to taste a fresh date.

Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 01 / 03 / 2005 at 10:29 PM

Sora’s E-mail:

Sora’s website:

Saudi Aramco World Magazine is extremly interesting, I’ve been getting it for almost a year now, and have never been disapointed with an issue.

I actually still have the issue on dates, even though it is online, if you want, I can give it to you.

Comment posted by Joshua (ip: on 01 / 03 / 2005 at 12:06 PM
Curry as medicine
This Hindustan Times article indicates the chemical that is the yellow pigment in curry may be more effective as a treatment of Alzheimer’s than any current high-tech drug.
Entry posted by jpm14 on January 02 2005 at 4:28 pm
I have been looking at a blog called ‘BoingBoing’ that has wonderfully eclectic articles that appeal to my scattered interests.

Yes, the research noted that India in particular has the lowest rate of Alzheimer’s of any developed country.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 01 / 04 / 2005 at 10:45 AM

Herself’s E-mail:

Herself’s website:

How did you come across this?

I wonder if the curry-eating population has a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s.

Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 01 / 03 / 2005 at 4:23 PM
Sungold Salsa
And for my vegetarian friends, let it be noted that the sungold salsa is best stuff I canned last year. Wish there were more than four pints…

To Make:

Take extra Sungolds, fresh onions and cilantro. There were not enough cilantro leaves so I ended up using green, unripe cilantro seed. Will do so again as they taste marvelous this way.

Whiz up in the cuisenart. Cold pack into sterile pint jars, and process.

In December and January open the glorious fragrant yellow sauce and eat with tortilla chips while planning to put up more next year and looking at seed catalogs.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 01 2005 at 10:55 am
As I ate, it became apparent there was also a bit of garlic and a few leaves of quillquina in this particular batch.
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 01 / 01 / 2005 at 8:06 PM

Herself’s E-mail:

Herself’s website:

Sounds marvellous. Sungolds have always been mong my very favorite tomatoes.
Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 01 / 01 / 2005 at 11:11 AM

Sora’s E-mail:

Sora’s website:

Cacciatore New Year
It means ‘hunter’ in Italian, so Webster’s says. Cacciatore used to be the way hunters cooked their game, in tomatoes and wine.

We had a true cacciatore stew last night: Start with four squirrels, a pheasant, and a boughten chicken. Cut all the meat in pieces: legs, backs, breasts. Carefully clean the pheasant, taking out the feathers pushed into the holes where the shot went. Cover and boil the squirrel and pheasant in home canned tomato juice mixed with three onions and seven cloves of garlic, sauteed.


While that meat cools and you remove it from the bones, clean and boil the chicken in just enough water to almost cover, with lots of fresh thyme and sage.

Remove the meat from the chicken.

Remove the spent herbs and salt the chicken broth. Add about 35 ounces mushrooms, four pounds carrots, the majority of a bunch of celery, all coarsely chopped. Bring it almost to a boil. Add back in the tomato broth with onion and garlic. Season with ground coriander and ancho chili powder. Add a cup or two of good greek black olives cut in half.

Turn off the heat and let sit for a few hours. Reheat less than an hour before serving. Stir in some cornstarch paste to thicken the broth some. And add some good glugs of Henry’s homemade Baco red wine.

Serve over lots of Three Elephant Brand Thai Jasmine Scented Rice.

Invite lots of friends.

Happy New Year.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 01 2005 at 10:40 am
A Stable Prayer
Infinite Lord, my infant king

Throned in humility;

Your only robes your swaddling clothes

Crying your first decree

Your grand domain,

Your crown and train

Darkness and dust and sheep.

Jesus in dust and hay I kneel

Stabled in deepest need;

My only robes your righteousness,

Mercy my only plea;

My light your gaze;

My song your praise

My hope and prayer your peace.

Infinite Lord, my infant king

My hope and prayer your peace.

from a song published in the 90’s

details of author to follow when I find them.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 25 2004 at 7:58 am
Hair Doings
Jay was disappointed I did not share this at a party we attended last night, so I told him I would tell the joke here:

We were in the bathroom finishing our primping prior to departing for the party. Jay had just washed and dried his hair and it looked like he had been pulled out of a light socket.

“I see we are both wearing our hair up tonight, eh, dear?”

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 19 2004 at 6:45 pm
Groceries in Bolivia in 1996
While cleaning I came across a letter from Jeni in the US to me in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. We were there a month adopting Isabelle.

On the back I had made a hand written calendar and was crossong off days. It indicates we left home October 15th. The letter was dated the 26th, written after I had called Jeni. (Back then ATT was the only reliable international telephone game in town and the charges were enormous compared to today.)

Also on the back was a list of what I had bought and paid for at the mercado shopping for groceries one day:

1Kg hard rolls – 2B

1Kg zanahoria – 2.5 B (carrots)

1Kg tomate – 2 B

2pc. chick boullion – 1.5 B



Back then there were about 4 Bolivianos to the dollar. So for US$2.00 I got quite a lot of food. We also bought better pineapple than one ever has the opportunity to find here for US$.50-1.00 apiece from a man and his wife who came from their farm into town daily. And from the little tienda across the street I bought the true dulce de leche which we ate with bread, pineapple and eggs for breakfasts.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 19 2004 at 6:40 pm
Twelve years ago today we were handed our scar covered, sick, starving little son who weighed not quite 19 pounds and was 29 inches long. He was three weeks away from being two years old. He could neither walk nor talk. He had kwashiorkor; his intestines were so atrophied it was three months before he could fully digest food and drink.

Isaac was from Oruro, from one of the poorest orphanages in Bolivia. He was the first child ever adopted out from that orphanage. He was covered with chicken pox scars that did indeed fade as the years went by.

It is amazing what food, care, prayer, the blessing of the Lord can do. The doctors anticipated Isaac would be stunted as a result of those early deficits, but he is now taller than his 5-foot, 3.5-inch mom. And growing.

Remember the story of the three young men in the book of Daniel?

Someone had named our boy Misael.

It is the Spanish form of Mishael, renamed Meshach by the Babylonian palace master.

Instead of Nebuchadnezzar, it was the Holy One who who said:

“Misael, servant of the Most High god, come out! Come here!”

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 17 2004 at 1:52 pm
Praise God for your faithfulness and His!
Comment posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) (ip: on 12 / 25 / 2004 at 2:08 PM

Valerie (Kyriosity)’s E-mail: valerie@APOXONSPAMMERS!

Valerie (Kyriosity)’s website:

I love your story. What dedicated, loving parents. What a great son. What an awesome work of God.
Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 12 / 19 / 2004 at 1:01 AM

Sora’s E-mail:

Sora’s website:

Singing Cells May Tell Stories
Fascinating article on Sonocytology, the new field of studying cell sounds, initiated by James Gimzewski.

This Sciencentral news article has lots of links to look at.

This Smithsonian article has some more detailed info.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 16 2004 at 10:32 pm
The Gulag Across the Pond
from a business email letter we receive:

“from Martin Spring:

“We are nightly offended with disgusting adverts on

television in the Government’s anti-smoking hysteria,”

writes my adviser on these matters.

“You will now get fined for smoking almost anywhere, for

chewing gum, for wearing an anorak with a hood, for

smacking your infant (five years’ ‘porridge,’), for trying

to sell your house without an ‘information pack’ (cost

Β£600), for chasing a fox with a dog, for possessing a

handgun unless you are a policeman or villain (neither of

which are to be trusted with them), for owning a horse

without a passport (so that we don’t poison ourselves when

we eat old Dobbin – a Β£5,000 fine or three months in the

slammer), for using a mobile phone in your car, even if

stationary, for snogging if one or both of you is under 16

(but not if of the same sex). It will be an offence to

smoke in a public toilet (but not to commit buggery,

providing it’s behind a closed door), and to set off a

firework after 11pm.”


Our family had planned, God willing, on visiting England to celebrate Jay and my 20th wedding anniversary in 2006. The museums there need visiting.

Spain has good museums though, too.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 15 2004 at 12:10 pm
One comment:
Having been to the UK several times, I find the above could be a commentary on almost any country, including our own. Further, if you dig, I’m sure you’ll find the same to be true of Spain. I object to the title as well as it serves no purpose. Being a judgmental person myself, life and faith have slowly taught me that more good comes from an open mind and heart than from judging and labeling.

And, perhaps a more true opinion would be formed not by the generalizations expressed by another as by our own judgments from our own experiences.

The UK is a marvelous place filled with wonderful people, history, music, etc. It is the cradle of our birthplace as a nation, and for that alone worth the trek. I would just hate to see the proverbial baby thrown out with the bathwater. As a professed Anglophile, I have mostly favorable things to say.

If you’d like to discuss the UK with me, I’d be delighted as it is a favorite travel topic of mine.

Good travels whatever destination you decide upon.


Comment posted by Alexandra (ip: on 12 / 27 / 2004 at 9:42 am

Alexandra’s E-mail:

New Blog listing
Check out Sounding the Trumpet which is listed as Church and Cornell Friends to the right.

Good stuff from good friends.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 14 2004 at 11:47 am
Spot Update from Quarantine
Isabelle by no means has had a hard case of chicken pox. She had an inoculation against it, so perhaps that has buffered the virus.

There are no more than 40 poxes, the most notable being one on the bottom of a foot, several in her scalp and about eight on her face. One of those is right on the end of her nose. She had scratched three open before diagnosis and those continue to look the worst; two on her trunk and one on a cheek.

Fever has just about disappeared, irritability remains with general lethargy.

Only one piano student today–her mother wants to test her immunity as she had only a very mild case when younger.

Almost three weeks to the day the spots appeared we were in New York City. I suspect that is where Isabelle contracted the disease.

I am most worried about Mom M., who diagnosed what the baffling spots were about. May she not get shingles!

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 14 2004 at 11:23 am
Inspired by Sora, I went out and bought an eleven pound bar of Callebaut bittersweet.

Jay was appalled: “We will have that bar around for years!”

I confess I was slow on the uptake. Twenty eight ounces at one time was a bit much for me.

But after talking to Julie, who is also making truffles, and poking about on the web, I embarked on an inaugeral recipe with 1/2 cup cream, eight ounces chocolate, 2 Tablespoons butter and 2 Tablespoons Chambord.

I decided I do not like the hard chocolate crust added in the last step, so all future batches will be just fillings rolled in coverings.

Second batch: substitute about 1/8 teaspoon orange oil for the liqueur and add a dollop of corn syrup. Dip out teaspoonfulls, chill, then re-roll into nice balls by hand. Roll in a mixture of finely ground, dried mandarine peel and high-test 68-70% cocoa.

Both the cocoa and Callebaut came from Ludgates . Mike and Jay went to school togther and had dueling farm stands in high school. You can see who eventually “won”.

Third batch: Plain chocolate filling, rolled in pulverized peppermint candies and cocoa mix. I used the coffee grinder and put two teaspoons of cocoa in with about 1/4-1/3 cup candy.

Stay tuned for more! Coming up soon: decreasing the cream by 1/8 cup and substituting Irish cream liqueur to make up the liquid difference (after boiling and melting).

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 14 2004 at 11:15 am
Heh. I ran through my 11-lb bar in a week and regretted not getting two. But of the 300+ truffles I made, most were / are being given away.

Dark chocolate keeps really well. I wouldn’t worry about having too much. πŸ™‚

Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 12 / 14 / 2004 at 6:47 PM

Sora’s E-mail:

Sora’s website:

A week! I have given away many of those I made but have only made only a few over 100 total. Your recipe for one batch will yield over that number.

Still making small batches as I do not have the large amounts of time to spend doing more all at once. I think I have used about 2.5 pounds worth

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 12 / 15 / 2004 at 12:13 PM

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I got an average of 120 truffles out of each “batch”, depending on the size of the finished truffle. But your chocolate will go much, much farther than mine did because you’ve eliminated the dipping… that outer shell takes a good bit, and the dipping is itself a somewhat wasteful process. Anyway, the ganache centers — which don’t have a terribly long shelf life to begin with — keep even less well without tempered shells, so small batches are probably best. πŸ™‚ My finished truffles are very well wrapped in the freezer, and I expect them all to have been handed out and consumed within a month of having made ’em.
Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 12 / 16 / 2004 at 12:16 AM

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The Red Spots
that started showing up on Isabelle Thursday afternoon are now increasing in number and accompanied by a low grade fever.

Chicken Pox!

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 11 2004 at 5:42 pm
I remember when I got those at 25.

It was the itchiest, most unpleasant thing I’d experienced so far in life. 3 nights of successively worse outbreaks accompanied with ridiculously high, sweaty fevers. It was about this time of year, too, which really spoiled Christmas, because I spent it in quarantine.

I had those things EVERYWHERE. And I really mean everywhere: soles of my feet, inside my eyelids, inside my ears, down my throat, and in other places we won’t mention here. Ugh.

And the worst part was not only feeling terrible but jumping at the frightening sight of my reflection in the mirror every time I saw it.

Hope Isabelle’s case is much milder!

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 12 / 12 / 2004 at 8:10 PM
Be glad she’s getting them now! Chicken pox is generally much milder before puberty.

We painted a box with red spots and put treats, crafts to do, etc. inside. The kids got to choose one each day for the week of the worst outbreak. They remember the “Chicken Pox Box” more than they do the itching and discomfort.

Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 12 / 12 / 2004 at 9:44 PM

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I just have to tell you my chicken pox story. When I was 8 years old there was a huge blizzard in Indiana and my family was snowed in. I started running a temperature of 104, mom called the pediatrician and they said “tamp her full of aspirin” (Ryes Syndrome was a non issue then). I break out in chicken pox. The fever returns…gets up to 105…and I broke out in German Measles on top of my chicken pox. I remember lying on white sheets with socks on my hands crying because I itched so bad I thought I would surely die. I recall lo0king in the mirror and just seeing this very red, very lumpy little girl. They say I came through it unscathed hehehe…but alas not unscabbed πŸ™‚
Comment posted by sharon (ip: on 12 / 13 / 2004 at 6:22 PM
Walking in the rain
This morning in the dark I startled a muskrat who ploshed into the rising water. It has been raining since about 1PM yesterday.

Then, further down the road aa truck came towards me I moved over to the right hand side of the road. There were a couple fat, short pines there, and as I slowed down, a bird burst out of the tree, followed by about ten otheres. The starling band I see hanging out regularaly in that area, I think.

Heard the owl hooting, and four shotgun blasts. The first two were before true daylight, but it is the last Saturday of season and maybe someones were anxious to get that deer.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 11 2004 at 8:24 am
One comment:
Living adjacent to a whitetail-rich part of Sampson St. Park,
I have to say that all during hunting season I’ve heard shots regularly before dawn and after dusk. Sometimes WAY after dusk, like 10pm, 11pm, etc.


Comment posted by Map from ESPN (ip: on 12 / 11 / 2004 at 9:01 am

Map from ESPN’s website:

Snow Belt
This photo and text from the space station, via the Ithaca Journal and Angela, proves we live in a snow belt.

We live in the white area east of the big Finger lake (Cayuga) on the right.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 11 2004 at 7:59 am
Comment posted by this is the link you want… (ip: on 12 / 11 / 2004 at 4:10 PM

this is the link you want…’s website:

Oops. Didn’t check to see if it worked.
Thanks, Angela
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 12 / 14 / 2004 at 10:51 AM

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Angela sent me an email about mondegreens,

which I think when Jeni was getting her MS in ESL had a different name. I remember her telling about the misheard words her students would bring to class.

So, on the subject of words–

New York City impressed Isabelle by how people crossed the streets: “like herds of horses” and by the many different languages she heard people speaking.

In order to feel part of those speaking in languages other than English, she began using her rudimentary Latin to speak in public while we were there and at one point informed Miss Ellie that the Ladies’ room door title was written in Latin. Miss Ellie replied, “That may be so, Isabelle, but I believe it is also Spanish. I think the two languages are closely related.” Miss Ellie has a wonderful way with kids that I wish I could integrate into my thinking.

She and I started reading the Landmark book The Landing of the Pilgrims just this week. A tad behind, yeah, well. Within the first two pages she complained she did not understand what was going on. When pressed for specifics she mentioned this word in particular which she could not put in context: “Not so William Brewster, who, with his many duties, found little time for idleness.”

“Does that mean he has no time to worship idols?”

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 08 2004 at 8:01 am
Special Doings
The children and I visited Jay at BTI today. We all attended a concert of Charles Gounod’s Petite Symphonie by the Cornell U. Woodwind Ensemble which was held in the BTI auditorium. Then the kids and I went upstairs.

I had never been to the second floor in all Jay’s years there. Lovely library. Absolutely magnificent old pendulum clock in an ornately hand-carved massive dark wooden case. In the adjoining meeting room went a small class of high school seniors and the three of us to hear Dr. Carl Leopold, the son of Aldo Leopold, of Sand Country Almanac fame.

The elderly Dr. Leopold is professor emeritus at BTI and his personal interest and work on rainforest reforestation in Costa Rica rainforest reforestation in Costa Rica we heard more about and saw some slides of.

Jay and Dr. Leopold have spent time together talking about World War II. Jay’s father was a fighter pilot over Europe. He was shot down while proecting bombers and spent a few years in German POW camps. He and a friend escaped successfully after a couple attempts before the war ended. The Germans were coming into the camp shooting their own people by then. When Dad Miller got home after the war he weighed less than 100 pounds. He told me stories about his time there when I would come to lunch while in grad school.

Anyway, Dr. Leopold is a compassionate liberal, and a very thoughtful man, in most things.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 07 2004 at 9:03 pm
That’s funny; I was at BTI yesterday, too, for a meeting in the 4th floor conference room between 10am and 12 or so.

While waiting for my colleagues who were using the restroom adjacent to the lobby I puzzled over the incongruous musician-practicing-type sounds emanating from behind the closed auditorium doors.

Thanks for solving that mystery!

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 12 / 08 / 2004 at 3:25 AM
Aha! If we had only known….
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 12 / 08 / 2004 at 5:33 AM

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I wasn’t there for long outside the meeting time; I’d carpooled down with others from Geneva who were anxious to return, so I didn’t have much time in Ithaca.
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 12 / 08 / 2004 at 6:04 PM
Three Bucks in a Barn
Children helped on two drives yesterday. The first yielded a sighting of one squirrel.

The second yielded a 4-point large-bodied buck for Daren and a nice 4-point buck for me. It was the first deer I had seen and the seventh time I had hunted this year.

I sat at the very end of a very long, intricate drive covering a woods and several brushy areas; the children walked home on the road behind me at least ten minutes before this buck showed up.

Daren shot just a minute or two before my buck came walking down the one laneway he had, looking back. He stopped, I aimed and shot. He went down immediatley and never got up again. Post mortem examination tends to indicate the slug hit the lungs and severed a main artery. The shot was almost in front of the left front leg.

It is a solemn few moments watching an animal die. Even when you know it is not suffering much. I thank the deer for its life. I thank God for its life, and the bounty it means for us.

Jay was very pleased. He seems to garner great joy having an outdoorsy wife, for which I am truly thankful.

He went out and hunted after the two deer were taken care of and shot a deer just before nightfall which had to be tracked with flashlights after supper. He and Daren found it in the dark. Jay had nicked a lung; the blood trail was off and on again for about 100 yeards from where he shot. A nice three-point. A long drag.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 07 2004 at 8:39 pm
Stars and porcupine quills
The children and I visited Angela Wednesday and made Moravian/German/Swedish paper stars from postal wrapping paper that is green on one side and red on the other. They are a fun project.

This morning I experimented with sticking porcupine quills, dark ends out, into the pointed star ends.

The quills give the stars the appearance of having rays coming out. They will look better on manilla colored paper stars.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 03 2004 at 9:21 am
Cool. Where did you find the paper?
Comment posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) (ip: on 12 / 03 / 2004 at 10:52 AM

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The paper was bought a couple years ago in Eckerd’s, a (local?) drug store. It has been waiting for this opportunity ever since.
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 12 / 05 / 2004 at 2:07 PM

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What timing! I just volunteered to come up with a craft for Talia’s class’s last-day-of-school-before-Christmas party. Guess what we’ll be doing?
Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 12 / 07 / 2004 at 6:24 PM

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These are fun to make!
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 12 / 07 / 2004 at 8:40 PM

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Here is the piece I wrote (by request!) for the church Advent devotional. It is today’s reading using Isaiah 9:1-2; Matthew 4:13-16; John 8:12

The Light of Christ

Won’t you come with me now on a little field trip down a country road? It is an hour or more before dawn. Let’s walk out and meet the morning. Wear lots of layers and a hat and mittens — it is cold outside.

How dark it is! Yet not uniformly so. We can distinguish the dark grey of the road, the black trees, the lumps of houses, and the midnight blue night sky — impenetrable save for the diamond stars, the moon and the morning star, Venus. It is brightest by far. Once an angel in his pride and beauty was likened to it. But this brightest star is no light at all beside the coming light of the sun.

Careful — stay on the road — without a light it is easy to stumble in the dark. If we go off the edge and in the ditch we could get bruised or broken. Let’s be careful how and where we walk. We don’t want to lose our way. There are countless stars shining with their feeble light like shiny bits of glass on dark velvet. And up above us is the Milky Way. The Incans thought it was the road to heaven. They did their best to find a path to God in the dark.

If we keep moving we will eventually warm up. You probably know that most ancient peoples believed the sun was a god. Many myths anticipate some aspect of Jesus’ coming. The Aztecs thought only human sacrifce would keep the sun rising each day. The Incans chose special children to be messengers to the sun. The Greeks have the story of Helios daily driving his chariot of the sun through the sky dragged by fiery horses. Though his father tried to save him, Phaeton, Helios’ human son, wanted to be just like Dad and tried to drive the sun chariot one day. The result was chaos and destruction for earth and death for Phaeton. All peoples were walking in darkness, longing to know God.

Look– the eastern sky is becoming pale. The dark and the stars fade before it. The Word of the God of the Bible, Creator of heaven and earth, of sun, moon and stars, holds the truth– Truth stranger than any fiction. From the beginning of time the Triune God planned the death of His only begotten son to bring mankind redemption through a new covenant. Jesus stepped off His throne and came to us robed in flesh as a human baby. The road to heaven is through Him–God’s messenger to mankind. He came not as an equal to His Father, but as a servant, laying down his life. The dawn colors display the majesty of a king coming. Look now–the sky just above the horizon is a pale butterscotch; the clouds overlaying it are bright fushcia and an incandescent orange.

All stories are swept away by the True Son’s coming just as the veil of night is swept away by the sun’s rising. Jesus, the Great Light, has come to all who live in the land of the shadow of death.

Wow–Look at that sky! Dark rose and pink spread high up into the clouds in the eastern sky, and are reflected even in the west. A scarlet thread of light is seeping, bleeding across the dark horizon’s edge. Each dawn is a symbol of the availability of the mercy and forgiveness open to all through the blood of Christ. The sun shines on all, good and evil alike, and gives light and heat even if not readily seen at a particular time or in a certain place. Just so, God’s redeeming love is available to all even if never recognized or received. We are people of the Light, walking the Way of Life. Now we prepare our hearts anew to celebrate the coming of our King of Light. Let us shine His glory upon those around us who still walk in darkness and live in the shadow of death. Dawn has come; God Himself came to be with us. The sky is turning golden– here comes the great light once again.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 30 2004 at 8:27 am
One comment:

I have enjoyed reading your postings, this one most of all. One of my New Year’s resolutions shall be to be in better touch… I realized how much I have missed our communications with one another, even though sporadic at times.

Happiest of Christmases and New Year’s to you and family.


Comment posted by Alexandra (ip: on 12 / 27 / 2004 at 9:27 am

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Beaver and Deer
While we were away in NY City, Jay put recent reading and lure to use and trapped his first beaver, a large 30 pound male.

Yesterday we ate beaver loin for lunch. I sauteed onion in butter and then put in the collops and cooked them. Very nice. A mild, soft meat. Next beaver we will eat the hind legs also. The Iroquois and other northern Indians ate a lot of beaver in the winter when they were trapping hides for the European market. It was one of the staples during the decades when they depleted the population. We had read beaver meat was quite good as long as the fat was thoroughly removed–and it is.

Beaver have repopulated upstate New York and are becoming a nuisance animal. Jay expects we will have lots of chances to use the beaver trapping skills in the coming years.

Yesterday morning Jay went up back to hunt in a permanent stand bordering two properties. He fought the urge to come home when it started raining and was rewarded with a large doe coming by about five minutes after someone shot on the other side of the road. she left those woods, crossed the road and hot-footed it up into the pines whose edge Jay was in. She is now hanging up in the barn at Mom’s.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 25 2004 at 7:41 am
As the Robin so am I

All fine and chirpy until an unwelcome

interruption, then I break out in sharp loudness — distress call

intrusions bring out the worst in me.

Until the hawk flies over. Then we

both shut up and cower. Predation is

worse than inconveniance.

Those sudden changes lurching in from stage left —

-the farm accident resulting in a lost limb

–police calling to inform of a felony arrest

–friends daughters dieing – diabetes

– car accident

– car accident

-no drugs or surgeries that assist pregnancy

long flights and delays ending in live

babies born to others but given to us. You

did that, God.

Hawks and hunters in the air — death from above.

Help me keep in my small woodsy world,

insulated from the hard frosts, sheltered

yet surrounded by the constant sound stream

of traffic in the world – the dull repetative

roar of movement, instability, longing for more.

My world of leaf litter and tree — the one you made and

gave us. Alien branches, thorn, ice, strong

wind, cold – my world, but not mine —

Latin, Greek, architecture, heating elements

cobwebs and dust bunnies,

mildew and moths (wool and grain), mice

dishes and surfaces and clothes to

clean again and again and again

Deer paths in the woods, regularly trod

mud and twigs, leaves twitching in

breeze, flock of chickadees and crown

sparrows coming through for breakfast.

Nuthatch and his one word to

praise you.

I Will make my robin throat red with

effort to the same.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 23 2004 at 3:39 pm
That was lovely. Admittedly, my judgment of such things is quite uneducated, but I don’t often say that of poems I read in blogs.
Comment posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) (ip: on 11 / 23 / 2004 at 4:04 PM

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And your book will be published when? Can I get an autographed copy? I love having talented friends!
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 11 / 27 / 2004 at 12:00 AM
Thanks, Valerie!
They are unexpurgated musings from a tree stand.
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 11 / 25 / 2004 at 7:33 AM

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First Day of Gun Season
We are hunting in a new place this year. Long story.

I saw nothing but squirrel wars. Jay saw three deer, but they were in goldenrod, heads only and too far away. he also saw one buck, far away. We did see close on to a dozen as we drove to the hunting sight and home…

Tim from PA got a nice nine point that Daren, Carl and Tim saw multiple times through the morning before Tim shot him.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 22 2004 at 8:12 pm
The Metropolitan, II–Incan Textiles
Draw a square with one-inch sides. Now draw 35 lines from top to bottom. They will just about fill the square. Now imagine each line is a 2-ply thread. Each individual thread was tightly spun of cotton with a staple length of an inch or less on a drop spindle, then plyed to a similar thread. That is the fineness of the warp. Imagine a warp a meter wide and two long of that fineness.

Incan fabrics are weft-faced. The weft is what you see; the warp is totally covered. The weft: 2-ply threads of camelid fiber (vicuna, alpaca, llama) that are over 7 times finer than the warp, spun on a drop spindle and plyed, dyed with natural dyes that have kept their over dozen bright hues for five hundred years. Up to 260 threads per inch for the weft. The royal designs on the cloth are small, intricate, complex, multi-colored, geometric and from nature, repeated. The designs are not applied nor woven on the warp separately (sectional selvages), but woven so that each color change thread locks with the thread next to it (interlocking sectional wefts). The technical skill required is beyond any handwork done today.

It is almost impossible to imagine the amount of labor involved to produce the garments for Incan royalty. Young girls who showed skill were taken from their families and brought to royal work houses where they apprenticed and eventually became royal weavers, spinners or dyers. These women never married. Their textile work was their life. In at least one book I have read, it has been reported that the Incan king wore each garment only once. It was then stored in special chests and never touched or handled again. He had the spoiled attitude of some rock stars of today. Or worse.

Once the Spanich Conquest occurred, clothing for the royal house incorporated European royal design elements: lions with manes, flowers. The thread count on both warp and weft decreased. The death of 50% of the population in the first generation probably accounts for some of the decrease in technical ability. The work is still better than any handspinning and weaving we see today.

Eventually, large tapestries were made for export to Spain. Thread count decreases yet again, color palettes narrow, designs grow large. Asian design influence appears: peonies, the dogfaced dragon guards. As much as half the silver mined from Potosi, Bolivia made its way to Asia for trade.

The second biggest export from the the former Incan Empire by the Spanish? Cochineal, those little insects found on cactus. Their red and purple dye power changed the face of European textiles.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 21 2004 at 6:33 pm
One comment:
Amazing. And very sad. To think that all of that excellence, done for a pagan king, should have been done to the glory of God. And we who know the God of glory too often give Him labors fit for far less than a pagan king.
Comment posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) (ip: on 11 / 22 / 2004 at 8:58 pm

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The Metropolitan, I
Some people live at the Americana instead of renting, but mostly there are foreign travellers and others, like us, on a budget. We bought earplugs after the first night. There was a lot of traffic noise from 6th Avenue and a very angry woman screaming at someone while walking up and down the street in the middle of the night. I kept the window open until bedtime because the room was overheated.

The walk from Grand Central is only a bit over six blocks. That first evening we bowed to the children’s wishes and ate at a McD’s, then wandered over to Times Square to see all the lights in the dark. The Americana is in the garment district so we passed lots of shops selling gowns (to the trade) and others specializing in buttons, ribbons, beads, jewelry, hats, rhinestones. Isabelle bought a large faceted teardrop semiprecious stone in one the next day. We walked past closed Bryant park.

The next morning we discovered the NY Public Library shared the other half of that block. The stone lions were covered with giant blue tarps in the morning but unveiled in the afternoon. We took the no. 1 bus up to the Metropolitan: the stores are all decorated with tableau and lights.

The boys spent about half an hour in the Inca exhibit then went back and spent more time in Dresden Court exhibit. Lots of weapons and armour there. At that point Ellie and I were still not out of the first three rooms full of Incan textiles made in the 1500’s prior to the Spanish conquest. We took a break to all go to the China exhibit together.

Upon entering you are greeted by 1800+ year old bronze models of two columns of horses with warriors parading before two bronze carts with umbrellas in the rear. Isabelle liked that the Chinese left a lot of artifacts which indicate that horses were highly prized in the cultures of 200-750AD. At one time a stable of horses was likened to a harem of women. The horses were Rubenesque with large rounded bellies and rumps, lots of curves. (“They are fat, like Cherry!”, exclaimed Isabelle.) The silk road was running then: we saw glass from Rome (found in China), Chinese silk woven in Persia with Persian script woven into it, a blue printed cotton hanging with a picture of a Chinese goddess of plenty–with a cornucopia–one square over from Hercules fighting a lion. There were carved and painted guardians for tombs: catlike figures with horse hooves, men or monster heads, fangs, eyes on their sides, horns, wings, painted blue with spots like a cheetah, or mulitcolor. They had snake tails, cat tails.

There were scraps of very finely woven silk which were almost 2,000 year old and which retained their colors. Carved stone images, large incised stone tablets, pottery of horses and camels, bronze or earthenware water vessels shaped like a frog, a bear, one with a spout shaped as a chicken head. Cut glass bowls and containers from eastern Rome and Persia. Very finely wrought small gold animals with colored jewels. Carved bone and stone belts and saddlery. Ornaments horses wore, brass covered wooden stirrups, fantastically colored and ornamented wool and silk saddle blankets. Many thing I did not see: Isabelle was getting tired from doing too little and seeing too much. There were ten times as many people in the China exhibit as in the Incan exhibit. Ellie thinks people just are not as interested in textiles, which may also explain why they are mixed with silverwork for this exhibit. There has also been a lot of publicity about these new, never before seen here, recent finds from China.

While the boys went to the Ancient Near Eastern Art section to see the large black stone carved wall panels of Assyrian and other kings, The rest of us returned to the Incan exhibit, then to lunch in the cafeteria. After lunch, some shopping: Isabelle for, guess what, two plastic medieval jousting horses; I looked at the Inca exhibit catalog. The textiles were poorly done. What a shame.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 20 2004 at 9:57 am
Home again..
Mom, Ellie, Isaac, Isabelle, nephew Zachary and I returned within the hour from a trip to New York City. We left Wednesday afternoon about 12.30, took the train in from Croton-Harmon and stayed two nights at the Americana Inn , a very clean, friendly, hostel-like hotel.

The primary object of our visit were the Colonial Incan Tapestry and Silver and China

special exhibitions now on at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The pre-Spanish Incan textiles were magnificent. After Spanish colonization, textile work simplified in color, structure and design. Although still absolutely magnificent it wa not nearly as technically or artistically perfect and awe-inspiring. So much to say, but

I am pooped. Kids are out in the dark playing flashlight tag. Jay is skinning the freshly road-killed gray fox I saw on the way home and he and I went back out to pick up. Nice healthy heavy animal with a prime fur.


Entry posted by jpm14 on November 19 2004 at 8:23 pm
Eating Texan, sort of
This morning I’ll sing thre praises of my friend Jeni, and food she sends from Texas.

First, the Mexican chocolate, Popular which we have had this morning now the cold has set in. Tapioca pudding, apple slices and Mexican hot chocolate for breakfast, mmm, mmm.

Popular is a large bar containing cane sugar, ground cocoa beans and ground cinnamon. Using a square per cup I put a quart of milk and four squares in the 2 quart Pyrex measuring bowl and microwave it until hot. Then use a whisk to make a froth and make sure the chocolate has melted. There will be nibs in the bottom so you know this is the real thing!

We brought home another package of of hot chocolate bars that was made by Nestle. It might have had a name like “Grandma’s Best” or something like it. The bars were six or eight sided and stacked in a red and yellow box with the same number of sides. I have actually seen this kind in Ithaca since January.

Two kinds of regional Campbells Soups made their way up here in the travelling box. One was Cream of Squash Blossom and the other, Cream of Poblano. Three of us thought both kinds were wonderful. But the guy who has never had the fortune to eat at “Taco Cabana” passed after the first bite. I especially liked the poblano version.

Jeni also sent three packages of various Kool-aids unavailable to us in centrally isolated New York.

Pineapple, mango — both made and packaged in Mexico and labeled in English and Spanish. Then there was the Tamarind flavored “Klass”, more Hispanic looking, made in Mexico for an American Company in Texas.

It is fun to experience regional cuisine (sort of) via the post.

Thanks, Jeni!

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 16 2004 at 7:38 am
One comment:
Don’t mention it! I only wish i could get all my lovely friends down for a visit. C’mon down!!
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 11 / 16 / 2004 at 11:47 am
Critique Marriage
Critique has an article on marriage by Mardi Keyes online now.

Lots on the history of marriage.

There are still female friends my age pining for marriage. Mardi brings up and discusses the idea that marriage can become an idol. Good stuff.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 15 2004 at 1:03 pm
Truthquest History curricula has just been brought to my attention. It looks wonderful.

Anyone out there have experience using it? Or comments on the author’s comments? The theology in the sample pages I have read seems right on.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 14 2004 at 4:06 pm
Temple of the Earth
A week ago Friday the kids and I finally got up on the other side of the lake to visit The Museum of the Earth.

It is a small new museum run by the Paleontological Research Institution, which historically is known as the place that has a great fossil collection donated by an elderly Cornell professor. I had walked through the building while it was still under construction as a representative of the Friends of the Library. It is designed to be an artificial gorge, copying one of the natural features Ithaca is well-knowmn for. Hydrothermal heat is used, and the mass of the building is underground in a long cleft shape.

When one enters the building you are greeted by the gigantic skeleton of a right whale, so called because these were the ‘right’ kind of whales to harvest for oil and blubber. (See Patrick O’Brian’s sailing stories) The tale of how this particular museum aquired these bones is very interesting and there is a video right there at the entrance to tell it.

Unfortunately, this exhibit displays the weird kind of dichotomy one sees repeated at the mastodon skeleton later. Concern and care for an individual creature in a museum dedicated to displaying in all its glory the mechanistic, Darwinian philosophy of life. There is a disconnect here between what is taught as truth and what is taught as important.

There was even a holy of holies: A small inner little room, a ‘sanctum sanctorum’ almost hidden in the very center of the museum, that purported to explain the mysteries of evolution. It was hilarious! Like a parody of the temple in the Old Testament. I wonder if it was placed there consciously, or not? I also wonder if believers of this particular worldview and the designers and patrons recognize how they have copied a religious design in the museum setup.

Lots of great fossils, a few disjointed short videos, and not very persuasive. My kids wer not converted. They thought the evolution room was the most boring. They got to look for fossils in some pieces of shale. They did some rubbings of rubber skeletons.

The giant mastodon bones and the video reconstruction of what may have happened to the creature it once was, and the right whale bones and its accompanying story were the highlights for them.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 14 2004 at 3:59 pm
One comment:
“a holy of holies”… you are too funny. It sounds more like a designer with a sense of humor putting one over on the evolutionary gurus.
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 11 / 19 / 2004 at 4:01 pm
We went on a cleaning frenzy this morning. Jay washed windows and re-caulked and vacuumed.

I dusted and cleaned.

Recently I bought a dry Swifter. Our old house is terribly dusty no matter how much I dust. Part of it is a daughter jumping around pretending to be horse. Horses create a lot of dust.

I also bought a large microfiber towel designed to be used as a hair towel. I had seen smaller versions of this fabric for sale as dusting cloths. Very expensive dusting cloths. It seems microfiber has great static electricity and attracts dust well as long as you do not use dryer sheets. No problem with that here. I cut this towel up into Swifter sized pieces, finished the edges, and voila! I won’t have to buy their throw away cloths.

In addition to the usual dusting places, I did some walls and ceilings–we have lots of blue-blood spider lines which have descended through the 150 years the house has been here still residing in their particular niches. The new washable cloths worked great.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 13 2004 at 1:22 pm
Oooh, Thank you , thank you!

One is better than none.

Safe travelling home.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 11 / 14 / 2004 at 2:55 PM

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Yes, Swiffers work really well on hardwood floors, linoleum, etc. Microfiber cloths is a really good idea!

I went to a really big bookstore in Cambridge yesterday and they only had one of the books you wanted, _Consequences_, so I got it. They other two they would have needed to order.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 11 / 14 / 2004 at 5:23 AM
how do swiffers work??????????
Comment posted by carla (ip: on 10 / 18 / 2006 at 9:26 AM
Morning walk
All the landscape was covered with a thick white rime of frost. It was in the teens.

As I walked by in my five layers of clothes with only a slit to see through, a neighbor greeted me. He had run around the block (what we call a block is following the roads in a square)–in only his sweats. He was out sitting on his porch trying to cool down. “It’s beautiful out!” quoth he.

Now that the leaves are gone, the tones of color in the deciduous landscape have deadened down to a brown-gray range. Sounds have become more important when I walk. This morning I heard a wild turkey, crows, an owl, a hawk, bluejays, a couple woodpeckers, and later , a woodpecker drumming on a tree, a nuthatch, titmice, chickadees. I saw juncos. They don’t make much noise.

When the sun rose from the horizon the bare trees blazed in a red-orange bath of concentrated light. Little birds flew from the dark to the sunlit trees.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 13 2004 at 1:18 pm
Transgenes in food do not enter muscle
For those who are weirded out by the thought of grain being genetically ‘messed with’ and who do not realize that man has been playing with the genes of plants for thousands of years (guess what “hybrid” means) here is a study to make you fell better:

“A study by a team from the College of Agricultural Sciences of the Southern Illinois University in Carbondale (SIUC) have recently found that no traces of a “foreign” gene wound up in the flesh or blood of 56 piglets fed genetically modified (GM) corn.

Under the leadership of swine expert Gary A. Apgar, the team fed GM corn to weanling pigs. Younger pigs are more efficient at turning a pound of feed into a pound of gain, hence increasing the potential for the transgene to be absorbed.

When they looked for evidence of the gene in the pigs’ stomach contents and feces, they found nothing. They, however, detected fragments of transgene in the stomach contents of 50 of the piglets, and found fragments in only one of the samples screened from the small intestine. This suggests further that the additional gene generally does not survive the digestive process.

This new study reinforces findings from an earlier work, also by the SIUC, where larger, older pigs were used as model organisms, and where no remnants of the transgene were found in samples of contents from the small intestine and feces.”

The full story here

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 12 2004 at 7:59 am
God of Old is not the God of New?
Recently I had a unique experience.

A Fullbright Scholar from Africa shook her finger in my face and told me what for. She is a sister in Christ and a lawyer. The upshot of her rant was that she believed that God has changed his character. The God of the Old Testament has become a kinder, gentler God via Jesus.

At home afterward I reflected that she, a lawyer, does not see God as Just Judge.

She is young. She is ignorant. God grant her grace to learn.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 09 2004 at 12:22 pm
She could not conceive that God could now (since Jesus’ coming) ever sanction war.

When I pointed out that the OT was full of war, and nasty brutal stuff at that, and that God had not only sanctioned, but commanded a lot of the atrocities there, she got very upset and said he would never do so today because “things have changed” in the NT.

I did not press too much, she got much more emotional and upset about it than I. And it was not because she had any personal experience with war. She is upper-crustian African.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 11 / 11 / 2004 at 11:24 AM

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Wow, I’ve never heard of Upper Crustia, but it must be one of those rare, stable, peaceful African nations. πŸ™‚

Seriously, of all the continents I think Africa has the least polical and economic stability. Cote d’Ivoire sounds like it’s positively melting down. I’ve tried emailing Marie-Noelle and asking how her brother and cousin in Abidjan are, and haven’t heard yet.

I have a hard time reconciling the idea that one part of the Trinity could have such an overriding effect on the whole.

In my universe, if anything has changed, it must be the people, not the deity, or their relationship to the deity. Frankly, I don’t think people can have changed very much in the past few thousand years. Most essential human nature is pretty recognizable in the OT.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 11 / 11 / 2004 at 12:44 PM
I will tell you the country she is from in person–not here.

Is Marie-Noelle in Africa or still in France?

I agree that God, whole or part, does not change. Human nature being what it is, redemption tends to be a messy business.

There were a couple other very interesting conversations I sat and listened to that day carried on between African PhD and post-docs about situations in Africa generally and in their countries specifically. Those conversations generally confirmed how young and ignorant we all were in grad school, regardless of the degrees.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 11 / 12 / 2004 at 6:37 AM

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Hehe. I don’t think academic degrees confer wisdom, unfortunately, no matter how you slice it. πŸ™‚

M-N is in Bamako, Mali, I think (last time I actually heard from her she was on travel in Costa Rica).

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 11 / 12 / 2004 at 11:29 AM
Greetings from the UK. I haven’t found your books yet (Imperial College is science/technology oriented), but I’ll look some more in Cambridge this weekend.

This definitely sounds peculiar. Was she saying God’s essential character has changed, or just that the human perception of Him has changed?

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 11 / 10 / 2004 at 1:23 PM
Free Reading
This week the Wall Street Journal online is allowing non-subscribers to read everything for free.

I just read a fascinating article titled “Scans of Monks’ Brains

Show Meditation Alters Structure, Functioning”.

The link is Online wall Street Journal

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 09 2004 at 7:07 am
One comment:
This is a good article also:
Why Did Kerry Lose?
(Answer: It Wasn’t ‘Values.’)


Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 11 / 09 / 2004 at 7:12 am

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