Upsaid journal entries and comments by user: cerise

Upsaid journal entries and comments by user: jpm14
(File created on: May 26 2008)
Home Visit
We are having a home visit today. We have had two over the years, prior to the adoptions of our children. Nowadays one is needed to adopt a dog.

We are pursuing adopting 14 month old Harry Airedale, who is in Columbus Ohio.

There is less paperwork for this adoption, so far.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 13 2008 at 8:22 am
When do you find out if you passed? He’s cute! How much $$$?
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 03 / 13 / 2008 at 8:15 PM
Suzanne, who came to check us out indicated she thought Harry would have a good home here. So I think we passed.

Tell you a final figure when I know.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 03 / 13 / 2008 at 8:49 PM

Herself’s website:


I’ve always liked the name “Harry” for things with lots of fur. It’s just so apt.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 03 / 13 / 2008 at 9:12 PM
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 03 / 14 / 2008 at 8:42 AM

Herself’s website:

South Americans, Tropical Soils and Agriculture before Columbus
Until recently it was a given that tropical soils were nutrient deficient and easily destructible. Slash and burn agriculture was as good as it got for the soil once the forest was cut; that method gives the soils some chance of replenishment every few years. Monoculture, where large swaths of forest are cut and turned into wheat or corn or soybean fields, degrades what fertility and tilth are inherent in tropical soils incredibly quickly.

Last year I read 1491

It is a very good book and I recommend you read it. It does not bang the political drum of the evil Europeans knowingly destroying all in their wake. It does look at what diseases, parasites and changes the Europeans brought and what anthropological research is beginning to think happened because of their advent.

Seeds of Change is a certified organic seed and plant company in New Mexico. They sometimes have very interesting articles.

One is The Promise of Terra Preta by Wade Collins.

A taste:

“Until very recently, conventional wisdom assumed quite a number of things about the pre-Columbian indigenous societies of Amazonia. Restricted by the poor soil of the tropics (low fertility, low pH, and mineral deficient), human settlements, it was thought, could not achieve the type of urban, sedentary organization and development evidenced in other regions of the New World. The crops that sustained the Inca, the Maya, and the Aztec could not provide the same type of dietary surplus in the Amazon as they could in their native lands. This forced early Amazonian societies to rely more heavily on wild forest products which were hunted and gathered, and small scale, shifting agriculture—so called slash-and-burn agriculture. It turns out, however, that these assumptions, primarily based upon ethnographic data collected well after Western contact had decimated local indigenous populations with various waves of lethal epidemics and genocide, were quite mistaken. Amazonia, like the rest of the New World, was in fact heavily populated prior to European contact—its people living in large, networked communities, sustained by agricultural abundance.”

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 11 2008 at 9:56 pm
One comment:
here are the current news and links on Terra Preta (TP) soils and closed-loop pyrolysis of Biomass, this integrated virtuous cycle could sequester 100s of Billions of tons of carbon to the soils.

This technology represents the most comprehensive, low cost, and productive approach to long term stewardship and sustainability.Terra Preta Soils a process for Carbon Negative Bio fuels, massive Carbon sequestration, 1/3 Lower CH4 & N2O soil emissions, and 3X Fertility Too.

After many years of reviewing solutions to anthropogenic global warming (AGW) I believe this technology can manage Carbon for the greatest collective benefit at the lowest economic price, on vast scales. It just needs to be seen by ethical globally minded companies.

The main hurtle now is to change the current perspective held that the soil carbon cycle is a wash, to one in which soil can be used as a massive and ubiquitous Carbon sink via Charcoal. Below are the first concrete steps in that direction;
S.1884 – The Salazar Harvesting Energy Act of 2007

A Summary of Biochar Provisions in S.1884:

Carbon-Negative Biomass Energy and Soil Quality Initiative

for the 2007 Farm Bill

Bolstering Biomass and Biochar development: In the 2007 Farm Bill, Senator Salazar was able to include $500 million for biomass research and development and for competitive grants to develop the technologies and processes necessary for the commercial production of biofuels and bio-based products. Biomass is an organic material, usually referring to plant matter or animal waste. Using biomass for energy can reduce waste and air pollution. Biochar is a byproduct of producing energy from biomass. As a soil treatment, it enhances the ability of soil to capture and retain carbon dioxide.

There are 24 billion tons of carbon controlled by man in his agriculture and waste stream, all that farm & cellulose waste which is now dumped to rot or digested or combusted and ultimately returned to the atmosphere as GHG should be returned to the Soil.

Even with all the big corporations coming to the GHG negotiation table, like Exxon, Alcoa, .etc, we still need to keep watch as they try to influence how carbon management is legislated in the USA. Carbon must have a fair price, that fair price and the changes in the view of how the soil carbon cycle now can be used as a massive sink verses it now being viewed as a wash, will be of particular value to farmers and a global cool breath of fresh air for us all.

If you have any other questions please feel free to call me or visit the TP web site I’ve been drafted to co-administer. http ://

It has been immensely gratifying to see all the major players join the mail list , Cornell folks, T. Beer of Kings Ford Charcoal (Clorox), Novozyne the M-Roots guys(fungus), chemical engineers, Dr. Danny Day of EPRIDA , Dr. Antal of U. of H., Virginia Tech folks and probably many others who’s back round I don’t know have joined.

For all the links go tothe web site

Erich J. Knight
Shenandoah Gardens
1047 Dave Berry Rd.
McGaheysville, VA. 22840
(540) 289-9750

Comment posted by Erich J. Knight (ip: on 03 / 17 / 2008 at 9:58 am

Erich J. Knight’s website:

A Story Someone told me today
“Last night my friend called and said that down in E____ they had lost all power. So I called A and we prayed that the power wouldn’t go out in I___.

Just as we got done praying, there was a large crash. A huge tree had gone down outside A’s apartment and hit the cars there.”

“Did A’s car get hurt?”, asked I.

“No, she doesn’t own a car. But the tree fell on a lot of them.”

A couple of seconds pass while I absorb this.

Then the person said: “Do you think we prayed for the wrong thing?”

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 09 2008 at 10:09 pm
A Visit to Trevorwood
Pouring rain all day yesterday. Basement streams. Pumping water through a hose from near the house and from the cellar. Then everything froze.

In town the trees were covered in ice and sparkled in the sunlight this morning.

Crystal woodlands. Branches and some trees down. We heard about some power outages. A story about that later. Out where we were, no ice on the trees and power was continuous.

The trees out near Trevorwood were immoderately, exorbitantly festooned with heavy ice and by early afternoon the sun through them made individual trees look as if chandeliers had been planted upside down to wave in the wind. Even though the sun was high and bright the temperature never got above twenty. There was so much ice it acted as prisms and some individual trees standing alone looked like they were covered in multi-colored Christmas lights that glowed more brightly in the daylight than ever colored lights did in the dark.

There was also a lot more snow out here.

Carol was gracious and her crew of animals lively and friendly.

In addition to the Airedales she has cats, including this wonderful Cornish Rex whose pelt feels just like high class corduroy.

Her macaw who she says is smarter even than the dogs.

An Airedale lounge act.

And the young’uns.

The girl and I, at least, are hooked.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 09 2008 at 10:03 pm
Do they have a puppy available for you?
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 03 / 09 / 2008 at 10:10 PM
Puppies?! Heck, I like that Rex! What a sweetie.

Cute photo with the girl.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 03 / 10 / 2008 at 7:24 AM
Yeah, the rex is outrageously charming. He was pouring it on. Wish Jim Richards could have seen that photo.

Maybe you could get a dog AND the rex. Pounce wouldn’t mind…right? Just a minor revolution in the household.

Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 03 / 10 / 2008 at 12:26 PM
All the puppies were spoken for before their advent.
And the rex loves where he is. He was just a sweetie, trying to get his time in between all the dogs.

The fur on him was the greatest.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 03 / 13 / 2008 at 8:15 AM

Herself’s website:

Cheddar, Onion and Smoked Paprika Spread
The past couple months I have made this many times. I just made it up on the fly one Saturday when Angela was visiting, we were playing games and it was time for a mid-afternoon snack. She and my family seem to enjoy it quite a bit. Jay thinks it tastes better on crackers than on rolls. As usual, amounts are approximate, since I rarely measure. Make sure all ingredients are room temp.

one small onion, diced

6+ ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cut in small pieces

8 oz. cream cheese (Neuchatel or regular)

a little kosher salt

1-3 tsp. smoked sweet Spanish paprika

Place the onion and cheddar in food processor and process. You might need to add a tad of milk to help. Add the cream cheese and process. Add the salt and paprika.

The paprika really makes this spread.

And even better:

Spread the mixture on a small rimmed plate and drizzle with a Raspberry-chipotle sauce. Serve with crackers or bread.

When we last were in Texas Jeni and I found some. I mixed it with a balsamic vinegar reduction and used it over plain cream cheese and served it with crackers for her book group. Mmm. Then I found some on a trip with M to a large lot store I had never been to and used it over this cheddar spread. Double Mmm.

Here is a recipe for a raspberry chipotle sauce

But I think raspberry jam, sugar and a little chipotle/jalapeno/ancho peppers ground up would do the trick. The bottle had jalapenos listed and chipotles far down on the list.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 09 2008 at 4:43 pm
Personally, I think the raspberry-chipotle sauce is what pushes it up from fantastic to fabulous…
Comment posted by anja in IL (ip: on 03 / 09 / 2008 at 8:54 PM
Yet another reminder that I need a food processor!
Comment posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) (ip: on 03 / 13 / 2008 at 8:20 PM

Valerie (Kyriosity)’s website:

Dog Hunt
After a lot of online and off-line looking, introspection, thinking, talking to God and each other, we are actively pursuing getting an Airedale either through rescue or buying a puppy from a breeder. We are still open to God directing us to a dog like he did with Zeke, but that has not happened so far.

We have filled out an application with Aire-rescue. The Airedale rescue folk seem to really love the breed and be enthusiastic about helping us.

We have already spoken to one family fostering a dog. But he had never been around children and they felt he was not a good fit for us. I agreed.

I have emailed another lady about an Airedale in Ohio who needs a home.

Sunday we hope to visit Trevorwood, which is near us, to see some Airedales ‘at home’. And some puppies, though all are spoken for.

We, especially Isabelle and me, still miss Zeke very much. And though no other dog will be him, he was such a good dog and so much a part of our family that the two of us now long to have another to fill the dog-shaped hole in our hearts made when he died.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 07 2008 at 10:31 pm
Speaking of terriers, how about this cute alleged wheaten in NJ?

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 03 / 08 / 2008 at 9:28 AM
Here are a bunch of airedale mixes – unfortunately the one in Binghamton doesn’t like cats.
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 03 / 08 / 2008 at 9:31 AM
Early kittens
I think I have not mentioned that we are fairly certain Banner had her kittens right around March 1st. Since there is no ladder up to her box anymore we have not looked, but she is much skinnier and her nipples are apparent.

About 5.00PM Thursday (the same day)

Jay was splitting wood near Banner’s house when I went out to help. He moved a ladder over at my request, she popped out when I climbed up. I handed over the bread I had. Then I cracked a couple nuts for her. While she was up the next tree taking care of a nut I quickly climbed up and took a peek in the nest box.

At least 4 kittens as big around as Jay’s thumb and more than half as long! No time to scoot them around to make sure as my lookout said “Danger approaching”. Banner hightailing it back to check out what exactly did I think I was doing.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 06 2008 at 2:10 pm
Daren called a few nights ago. He had been attending the scene of an accident between car and deer. He took the deer, gutted and skinned it. Jay brought the hindquarters home this morning after the goose hunt.

Jay took Isabelle hunting this morning. They both thought they could have come home with more. But here is what they brought.

Oh, and this.

Jay figures its hide will be worth about $15.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 06 2008 at 2:06 pm
What is that last animal carcass? A weasel?
Comment posted by Matt (ip: on 03 / 07 / 2008 at 9:06 PM

Matt’s website:

In the family.
It is a mature male mink.
The photo does not show how large it is–as long as my forearm, without its tail.
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 03 / 07 / 2008 at 10:17 PM

Herself’s website:

…and? How much WAS it worth???
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 03 / 08 / 2008 at 9:16 AM
Well, we don’t sell hides until the fall. Jay skinned it and the hide will be in the freezer until then.
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 03 / 09 / 2008 at 11:41 AM

Herself’s website:

Six geese alaying (on a stone wall)…
Comment posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) (ip: on 03 / 13 / 2008 at 8:24 PM

Valerie (Kyriosity)’s website:

Dressed up Guys
Saturday we had a very nice visit from Angela. Games, food, a movie and an overnight stay. Isabelle and Gretchen played a piece from Handel’s Water Music in church during offertory Sunday. They did a good job. Isabelle’s primary need at this point is to listen to her instructor and mother regarding ‘stand up straight’!

Friday Isaac went to a dress-up dance. That afternoon, assisted by Suzanne, I had picked up the new-to-us car. A 2002 Dodge Intrepid, for those who care. The last one ably saved our lives so we stayed with that kind. We drove over to E and M’s for a wonderful supper with them and R and P. Monte actually cooked! He made a shrimp and scallop and wine and carrot saute (with the little mark above the ‘e’) which was served over rice.

R is a dairy farmer who has a closed, disease free and very low somatic count herd. Because of those things he has contracts with the LA Zoo and Disneyworld for colostrum for their infant animals.

Anyway, Isaac, dressed up:

And then this guy showed up the other night:

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 06 2008 at 1:40 pm
That guy is really scary. Looks like one of Henry’s Mafia buddies from Jersey. I think it may be Nicky.
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 03 / 06 / 2008 at 3:53 PM
Ah, then his plan is working. He hopes to fool a friend of his at a winery into thinking he is from NJ.
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 03 / 06 / 2008 at 3:59 PM

Herself’s website:

Good Lord! Is that JAY?!

To really look urban, I think the turtleneck might need to hug the actual neck a little better…

Still, it’s an impressive disguise.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 03 / 08 / 2008 at 9:19 AM
Helleborus multifidus
Entry posted by jpm14 on March 01 2008 at 8:55 am
Cold to be Hunting a Dog
Well, the kids eventually did pass their wretched colds on to us. Jay is a day or two behind me in getting it and getting well.

It was -10 degrees F here this morning on the thermometer in the most protected corner of the house. My guess is it might have been -15 F up on the gardens. Yesterday it got up to +12 F in that same protected spot. I am very thankful we have a snow cover of about eight inches protecting most perennials.

No Banner yesterday. She was sleeping in. She is so pregnant now that Jay and Isabelle have seen her trying to enter her house through the hole, get stuck (a la Pooh in Rabbit’s hole), back out, and chew the hole a tad larger before pushing her way in.

The woodpeckers were out in full force though. The Sapsucker and the Red-bellied actually fought over who was going to have precedence at the suet. They grabbed onto each other and fell to the ground, each latching onto the others’ chest. This happened a couple times before the Red-bellied won.

The Sapsucker was at the feeder first thing this morning, before the other big guy showed up.

Jeni, I wish you were with Isabelle and me yesterday on a jaunt to check out a free dog. It turned into an Appalachian anthropological journey. After her violin lesson we left the wide valley where her teacher’s home is located and climbed, climbed, climbed on the nearly snow-free and mostly paved roads up over the ridge east of there. It was a sparkling sunny day and the pines were still covered with heavy dollops of snow. Beautiful. We eventually descended into the next higher and narrower valley and followed a main road south for many miles. Then we took a left-hand turn and started climbing the next ridge until we were up so high we could see range upon range of wooded hills to the north. Just beautiful. The wind was blowing snow across the road up here and we had to go fairly slowly. The quality of housing started deteriorating as we turned onto the road we had sought. Isabelle did a good job navigating.

We slowed even further to see house numbers on mailboxes. If you could call some of them houses. There were many, many dead vehicles under the snow in the front yards. The trailers tended to have boards where once were windows. There were no fresh vehicle tracks, only an occasional footpath. I stopped at one place and ran in the bitter wind up a narrow track to knock on the door. I left Isabelle in the truck and told her to keep the doors locked. The woman who answered had not heard of the lady I was seeking.

A new, large, dark blue SUV passed us as I was scrutinizing another particularly unsavory looking place that seemed to have to be the house number we were looking for although there was no evidence anyone lived there. The SUV slowed down and backed up. The driver, an older weathered black man, told me who lived in two places and thought I should ask in another house I had driven past. There, a large Rottweiler/Doberman in an outdoor pen tried to scale the wire fence when it saw me coming. At the house, a woman had to yell several times at a large vicious sounding dog to “get back, get down” before she could open the door a few inches. At one point I wondered if it would come through the window. The screen had been pushed out at some point in the past, and the window itself bulged when the dog lunged. I was glad for the cold and the closed windows. She knew who it was I was seeking.

“Oh, she lives down there. The place all covered up without windows. The one beyond the one you can see that is all boarded up.”

So we turned around again and stopped in front of the said residence. I followed a footpath up to the house. The door opened a crack and a woman just lighting a cigarette welcomed me, said she would “get my things on” and come out. “He’s just over there”, pointing with a nod of her head. I turned to look and could see nothing indicative of a place where a small dog might lodge.

There were heaps of boards, and wire, and snow-disguised stuff. A cast-off packing crate turned out to be where the little dog resided on a scrap of dirty blanket. He had to be woken up and dragged by his chain from his dark, marginally warmer place into the sun and wind. He was no fox terrier. There might have been some rat terrier in him. Taz was a little brown and black dog with white around his pointy muzzle. He had matted long hair, was filthy, bur-covered, and all bones. He was not as heavy as our cat. He was shivering. But he turned out to be surprisingly chipper when Isabelle and I took him out to the road for a walk. What change in situation for that poor beast. He had been an elderly woman’s pet lapdog until she died and the relatives kept passing him on.

I almost took him just to fix him up and feed him. But the lady said there had been quite a few calls interested in him although “you are the first who have come all this way to see him”. So we trusted him to God and admired the lady’s horses, a Mustang stallion and a Paint mare who lived in a poorly fenced in area that seemed to be no more than twice the size of my living room and had a falling ruin of a shed as shelter. She and her husband had bought the horses within the past six months and were hoping for foals. For the older of their 18 grandchildren. The mustang was unrideable. She was hoping to ride the mare in the spring. The mare had jumped the low fence once and had come at her call “after running for awhile”. I think the mare is what kept the stallion in. Then the bitter, bitter cold and wind got the best of us all, and she went in, the dog to his abode, the woman to hers, and us to our truck and the long, long drive home.

And wondering if Taz made it through the cold of last night.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 29 2008 at 1:21 pm
You know, I think it’s a DOG Pounce wants, not a large rat…


I would have found it hard to leave that poor thing, for the same reasons you describe.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 29 / 2008 at 6:47 PM
Your vivid description merged with my memories of driving out along the ridges outside of Dryden and Slaterville and Danby. The winter beauty is so stark and timeless, and it’s jarring to see how destitute people seem to be out there.
Imagine one of those boarded-up old houses, some of which could date from the early 1800s, a hundred and fifty years ago in the winter. I wonder what their lives were like. They probably had more village centers scattered among the valleys. And I wonder if some of the people up there are living as fourth or fifth generation on the old farm. (Remember the Bartons, across the road diagonally from us? The back of their house is the original Barton cabin, from the Revolutionary War land grants. I think their family’s been there since the 1820s. There are probably others like that.)
Keep us posted on the pup search!
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 02 / 29 / 2008 at 11:19 PM
Visitors revisited
Couldn’t resist.

A and two of three girls.


And a double hellebore.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 27 2008 at 3:27 pm
Sunday C., A. and their three girls came for a visit! What a treat to see them. We last had seen Lily as a babe in arms, and it was a first time visit for C. and the younger girls. C. just graduated the USAF jet pilot program. We are very proud of him.

A. is doing such a wonderful job with three young girls. They were in fine spirits even though they had been traveling for a long time. The twins and Lily were great fun. Lily liked the horses.

The whole family consented to listen to Isabelle on violin.

Monday, the kids and I finally saw the puppies.

They were cute. But obviously not reared in the home. And still too expensive for us.

Among the daily visitors to the feeder are juncos.

The old wreath comes in handy. Yesterday there were two pairs of Downy Woodpeckers, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and a Red-bellied Woodpecker all visiting at the same time.

And lastly, here is a lovely Helleborus viridis.

Dealing with the aftermath of the accident has taken a lot of time.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 27 2008 at 8:38 am
Went to part of our church’s women’s retreat this weekend. It was an almost perfect balance of teaching (not too much, and applicable), sharing, and time to talk and get to have fun together with others.

Among lots of goings on:

Got to talk to two women who are farm wives on the way home and the difficulties that presents for them and their families, my roommate had a self-induced hard life which she is allowing God to redeem her out of, was allowed to give some advice as an ‘older woman’ to a couple mothers with young children, had plant and garden talking time with a couple ladies, diagnosed a knitting problem, discussed teen-age sons with knowledgeable mothers who have had a few, gave someone a nightmare by means of what I had written about God and holiness and put my two cents’ worth into a discussion about what direction our local church should take–which has implications for how and where and in what context women interact with other women.

I have hope a couple new friendships will blossom from this time.

Some said that the home as a place of refuge, hospitality, comfort, the center of family life is on its way out. The church as a substitute for home and mall, including food court and diversions, is springing up in some areas. I think if this is so, then this is one area we Christian women need to present a more lovely redeemed alternative, not fold into the dominant culture. Yikes!

On another front, this article is a letter written by the wife of a young man whose family are our friends. It was published in the local paper where she hails from. There were photos with the email version we received.

Here is a way to help Americans help Iraqis in need. The wealthy helping the poor. Christians helping Muslims. Individuals helping individuals rather than NGO’s helping ‘target groups’. You won’t hear about this in the popular press.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 24 2008 at 10:11 am
One comment:
Not sure I understand the comment about the church substituting for the home. Literally or just as a place of ministry? I guess with most women working outside the home, that is probably a realistic asessment, at least during the week. The weekends would be a different matter.
Kids who are school age are alone during the afternoon and with activities and sports, families hardly ever eat meals together on weeknights. When would they find time to have guests during the week?
This would leave those of us who are home to prepare dinner for family and guests only having others who live the same lifestyle over for a meal during the week. I guess the church providing hospitality for everyone else seems reasonable if we want to include all lifestyles.
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 02 / 27 / 2008 at 1:05 pm
The Semidouble Hellebore
Lest you misunderstand how unusual the care Pine Knot Farms bestows upon the plants they sent, here is another shot of the just opened box.

All the plants are in their potting media–finely ground pine bark–in the pots in which they were grown. Each plant is in bloom. Each plant had a piece of damp newsprint carefully rubber banded securely in place to prevent soil shifting, then they were all placed in a plant tray and again banded in. The plant tray fit snug in a cardboard enclosure. Then the whole– plants, tray, cardboard wrap–was put in a box twice as tall as the plants and tied in so nothing would shift. The plants are in perfect condition.

This is the Southern Belle I asked for especially. It reminds me of a fancy fairy or ballet dancer dress.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 22 2008 at 8:18 am
Hellebore Box Arrives

And Pounce thought he had to help unpack.

The plants were packed wonderfully well. And they are all in bloom. I will put up one or two a day for awhile so you can see how wonderful they are.

Judith very generously and kindly included an extra, gratis, for Mom M.

Here is the red hellebore Mom requested:

I highly recommend Pine Knot Farms for the service, plant quality, packing quality and value for price.

The plants are fabulous.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 21 2008 at 6:04 pm
Bam into a Three Hour Tour
It all started with the cat. Pounce has not been the same since Zeke died. He has gained weight and is much less active. He has begun refusing to go outside, something he and Zeke did numerous times each day regardless of the weather. Worst of all, he now imagines he can relieve himself indoors. Wrong-o, Cattie. It has become apparent to me that we need another dog for Pounce’s sake. Even though I have no real desire for a dog yet. I’m still grieving.

I had done some looking online at terrier breeds. One of the few I liked was the Wheaten terrier.

When we visited the farm this past weekend, I looked at the pet classifieds in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and the Buffalo Daily News. And, lo and behold, in the Rochester D+C there was an ad for Wheaten terrier pups. With a very familiar looking telephone exchange. In fact, the exchange of the next town to the north, of a woman who lives less than ten miles from us. Go figure.

So yesterday after we returned home, unpacked and settled back in to home, the children and I called her and asked to see the puppies. We were under no illusion that one was coming home with us. Jay and I do not think a puppy, any puppy, no matter how wonderful, is worth the price of a horse. Or a couple cows, or a whole flock of sheep. We told the kids that if the Lord wanted us to have one of these puppies, they could pray they would not sell and maybe she would lower her price to a less exorbitant, but still expensive, figure we are willing to pay.

Just after we got home a snow storm came through. Our road was fine. Two roads to the north, road conditions were worse –greasy, blowing and drifting snow. But not terrible or impassible. We went slowly, since we were also deciphering rather intriguing, cryptic directions to the dog lady’s home.

Just before we reached the base of a hill on Pleasant Valley Road, an oncoming Ford Escort started its descent of the same. I remember thinking the driver was going fast for road conditions when he braked, lost control, almost got the car back, braked again and then went into a series of spins down the lower third of the hill and back and forth across the width of the road which eventually brought that car into ours. I was almost at a stop and had gotten over to the right hoping perhaps the car would not hit us.

As it was, his left front tire and door area slammed into our right front. The airbags deployed. Smoke filled the car. We all got out the left doors–the right passenger door would not open. I managed to turn the car, heat and lights off, turn the emergency lights on. The teenagers in the other car got bumped, were very shaken up emotionally, but otherwise OK. The young man who owns the car was apologetic, accepted responsibility and was kind. He had just that day put the car on the road.

Our car, in the words of a deputy sheriff, is “hammered”. It most likely will be considered unrepairable. But we all are safe and unhurt except for bumps and bruises. And one lens popping out of my glasses. The Lord preserved our lives.

It was three hours almost to the minute from the time of the accident to the time we came home in the truck with Jay. Much of the time was spent waiting for the tow truck. AAA does not help expeditiously. Even the deputies were miffed about that.

Yesterday and in the night thinking over events, I have formed some conclusions. I had about seven seconds to decide what to do. If we had not been there for that other car to hit, their injuries might have been much more severe–their car would probably have rolled as it hit the dirt and ditch, or continued on and hit headfirst into some very large trees on the other side of the road. (The young man was very cognizant of this) If the car had missed us, we would have stayed to help. God orchestrated the whole event–even from our interest in a certain type of puppy–to preserve lives and to provide an intimate object lesson for my son.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 20 2008 at 10:54 am
Aah. So THAT’s why you said you only had one car this weekend…

Glad no-one was hurt!

In about three weeks from now my car will be living there, if you want to use it…

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 20 / 2008 at 11:01 PM
We are all so very glad that everyone in both vehicles walked away safely. Give the kids a big kiss from us.

Hope no burns from the air bags.

We are picking up our puppy this weekend, if she is ready to come home with us. She is a Australian Shepard if you are interested she has a really cute brother.

Take care and hope things go smoothly with replacing your car. We know how hard it is when you are without one.

We love you all.

Comment posted by Amy (ip: on 02 / 21 / 2008 at 8:56 AM
Mom-in-law M and I love them. I think I mentioned the new book we have poured over.

Well, Judith Knott Tyler is one of the owners of Pine Knot Farms. She answered the phone when I called down there a few weeks ago to order. She was very kind and our Southern Belles and a few others will be shipped to us this next week!

We are very excited, Mom M and I. Photos when they arrive.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 17 2008 at 8:45 am
For more about Hellebores:

Comment posted by Barry Glick – Sunshine Farm & (ip: on 02 / 18 / 2008 at 10:28 AM
I’m excited to see the pictures when you post them. Take a look at Heronswood Nursery. They have a huge selection of some magnificent Hellebores.
Comment posted by thebench (ip: on 03 / 11 / 2008 at 11:20 AM
Vocabulary Game
Free Rice is a very fun game. Julie told us about it.

And grains of rice are given to needy individuals when you play.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 16 2008 at 10:28 pm

You have now donated
1020 grains of rice.

Wow. They have some good words on there. I got sucked in, but I think it’s time to stop on “‘larrup,” because I’m not sure what it is: (honor,reason,bewilder,flog), and it sure doesn’t SOUND like a verb, and guessing really isn’t my thing, and besides, I’m getting sleepy!

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 17 / 2008 at 12:59 AM
OK, I couldn’t stand it, and looked it up. It’s like “wallop,” i.e. flog.
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 17 / 2008 at 1:08 AM
You are up early. Or late, maybe.

My best level is 51 or 52. I can not stay there too long, though.

I think reading O’Brian helps, though. There are quite a few words from that era and before.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 02 / 17 / 2008 at 8:36 AM

Herself’s website:

Sheesh. Beaten at my own personal thing!

OK, I spent more time on there, and thought about my Latin and Greek rootwords, and indulged in a little guessing…


…took me a bunch of rice to get there, though!

You have now donated
4360 grains of rice.


Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 20 / 2008 at 11:39 PM


You have now donated
1080 grains of rice.

…But mostly due to learning their words, not from what I already know.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 05 / 19 / 2008 at 10:56 PM

anja’s website:

Through the Valley of the Shadow of Adulthood
Which is adolescence, and in which we are right in the middle.

Isaac just got his driver’s permit.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 16 2008 at 9:27 pm
Sacks on Patterns in Migraines
In the last couple years I slowly have been observing that most patterns in textiles are found in nature and coming to the conclusion that Creation is the source of most of our creativity. More on that another time.

In the same vein, though, is this excellent essay by Dr. Oliver Sacks on the shapes seen in migraine auras as the basis for many geometrical patterns found in art.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 15 2008 at 8:32 am
One comment:
My mom used to call them the “blind staggers” and described them as similar to the garish zigzag knit patterns that were so common in the 1970s.

Fortunately that’s one thing I seem to have escaped inheriting.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 16 / 2008 at 12:01 am
Squirrel News

Banner has been around all winter, but recently changed her place of residence from the top of the broken off spruce in front of the house back to the nest box Jay made for her last year. This followed on the heels of her having a suitor or two for a couple weeks.

She is behaving rather differently than her normal easy-going self, too. She is stand-offish, snarly, grouchy, and prone to bite. She is very protective of her home and the tree to which it is attached. We believe she is gestating. She sleeps in many mornings.

She is also more choosy of the food she ingests. A few weeks ago nuts were preferred.

The food Banner squirrel now prefers:

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 14 2008 at 7:25 pm
If I come and sit in your tree, can I have a roll? I’m not pregnant, but at least I don’t bite (too often).
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 02 / 16 / 2008 at 1:13 PM

Suz’s website:

You don’t even have to sit in a tree–just come on down!
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 02 / 16 / 2008 at 9:24 PM

Herself’s website:

Heh. Youse guys crack me up.
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 17 / 2008 at 1:05 AM
Goings on and Comings
Yesterday Angela and her sister came for lunch, a couple games of Settlesrs of Catan, supper and a couple games of Set (the card version). Angela showed off a beautiful roman-type glass goblet and bottle made during a week-long class at Corning. Rose showed us lovely beaded necklaces she designed and made with a hexagonal stitch.

We ate mole with chicken, cream cheese spread with green onions, rosemary, celery leaves (all fresh from the frozen garden) and lemon juice, fresh rolls, carrot and apple salad, local blackberry wine, rice, boughten cheesecake pieces, chai, and later on, brownies with Cointreau. Mmm.

Today, Isabelle and I met Ellie at the Lab of O for a quilt show of works by Elsie Dentes and Alice Gant. The pieces were in the auditorium adjacent to of the Fuertes Room.

“Known among birders as the “Sistine Chapel of Birding,” the Fuertes Room is a replica of the library of Frederick Brewster, who donated it from his mansion. The room features original artwork by Louis Agassiz Fuertes, one of the world’s great bird artists.” The paintings are along the top of on long and two short walls and are fabulous. And the quilts are beautiful and fabulous also.

Last Saturday evening, Nita and I went to Anita’s and had some delicious homemade carrot cake and watched The Real Dirt on Farmer John which is a funny, sad movie that reminded us of Jim’s roots. And mine. And the movie has a happy ending: “The Peterson family farm has become Angelic Organics, one of the largest Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms in the United States, a beacon of today’s booming organic farming movement. ”

have also been thinking and writing a little bit about ‘God is Holy’ for the women’s retreat later this month. Have to go finish that.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 07 2008 at 2:50 pm
The Disciplines of Praise and Grief vs Complaint
Thanks to Valerie

for pointing to this article by Rich Bledsoe.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 31 2008 at 12:53 pm
One comment:
Just wanted you to know that my blog is active again! Also~ thanks for bringing Petra home last night 🙂
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 02 / 04 / 2008 at 11:34 am

Suz’s website:

Third Life
for oatmeal.

First time: as steel cut oatmeal cooked in the new Zojirushi rice cooker Isaac bought me for Christmas after ours quit.

Second time: in bread which did not come out nicely. Slices looked like heads with long ears. So much so, Isabelle thought I could make bread ‘just like this’ and be able to use it for a party by using various food items to put animal faces on individual slices. Jay wanted me to chuck the whole loaf out in the field as an offering to the crows. My critique: too moist and too much dough. I had to open the machine and touch the baking bread, deflating it, because it was all stuck to the top inside of machine. Another Zojirushi appliance.

Third time: as French toast casserole. I had cut and air-dried the loaf in slices. Last night I mixed 5 eggs, cream, milk and brown sugar and poured it over the roughly torn bread pieces in a lasagna dish. The covered pan sat out on a cold porch until bedtime, when I set the oven up to cook for 50 minutes at 325 degrees. The pan was placed in the oven and the timer set. It was a hit. Jay even took some to work for breaktime snack and Isabelle ate the little remaining for lunch.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 31 2008 at 12:34 pm
What’s Happening Here
This weekend Jay cut down one of the large spruces to the west of us. Isabelle and I pulled it in the proper falling direction as he cut: away from the blueberries and house.

Jay trapped a couple gray squirrels on a nuisance wildlife job. He cooked one up to take to a man at work who had expressed a desire to “try squirrel some day”.

Jay also took the large cage we kept flying squirrels in one winter to a young lady now working with him. She and her roommate have flying squirrels in their apartment. She had been asking Jay questions about what creatures could be causing troubles in their place. Then they found one drowned in the toilet.

The kids and I helped Mom and Daren grind, weigh and bag the meat set aside from his seven and our four deer into burger.

From the chunk of beef fat brought home for us from relatives who just butchered a steer I rendered several cups of pure tallow for cooking.

Isabelle had her second recital. She played piece number 2 in Suzuki book 4- Seitz’s 1st movement of the 5th Concerto. Her accompaniment, a pianist she lives with, started playing the wrong piece for an inexplicable reason. Isabelle caught it. I wondered why the music just didn’t seem right. What a doodle am I. She did a fine job and was one of the most advanced players at this recital. It was almost painful having a progression of little 3-yr-olds sawing and banging away seemingly with no notion of what it was they were supposed to be doing.

Mom M. and I had a fine time talking about Hellebores and looking at a book

on them from Mann Library. I have been doing some looking online, too.

Isabelle worked on a skirt, started something on her bead loom and covered a headband with the same fabric as her new skirt.

Angela brought her sister and a new game up to Suzanne and Henry’s and I spent a happy, though too short time there after the recital. We played Settlers of Catan. It was very fun and one must not only look out for ones self, but cooperate in order to do well. Jay came and hung out with Henry, home from another far-off jaunt for work.

Banner continues to come daily. She even comes when I call her now if she in hearing distance. She particularly likes homemade rolls.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 28 2008 at 11:35 am
35th Anniversary of Death
on demand for any child deemed ‘unwanted’.

Just think what glory those extra 50,000,000 souls could have brought to God and our nation; what inventions, solutions, medical insights and innovations.

Last night I heard an advertisement on the radio extolling inventions and great fruitful, productive ideas that help us all; the tag line was that the long list had something in common–all were invented by black persons. According to the Guttmacher Institute “Black women are 4.8 times as likely as non-Hispanic white women to have an abortion.”

Doug Wilson has some insight on the matter.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 23 2008 at 8:37 pm
Old and New
Here are my favorite photos of myself when I was about three years old:

Here is the favorite china pattern my mother gave me just a couple years ago:

And here is a small portion of an older rug we just put down showing the name of the family which wove it:

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 20 2008 at 7:03 pm
Meet Elena
Well, here she is:

Isn’t she lovely?

And what does she like to do?

Her hair we dyed black using wool/alpaca I had in my stash from Lamb O’Lakes.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 20 2008 at 6:54 pm

You did a great job with Edetha! I’m very impressed!

Comment posted by Kiny (ip: on 01 / 26 / 2008 at 9:45 AM
Sorry, I was not wearing my glasses, so misspelled her name 😦

Miss you guys awfully………

Comment posted by Kiny (ip: on 01 / 26 / 2008 at 9:46 AM
Hyperbolic Planes of yarn
Saturday the Blacksheep had our annual Rock Day Celebration. I estimate 200 people came for part or all of the time. I did a quick count twice: the first count was about 110 and the second, hours later, was about 120. In between times many, many people had come and gone.

Our speaker this year was

Daina Taimina, who spoke about creating hyperbolic planes using crochet. She is a fabulous speaker and brought fantastic models. (Click on her gallery to see them and their explanations.) A good friend actually studied under her. Under her needle donated dyed wool yarn became what looked like a sea slug. It was a lovely hyperbolic plane.

Read the history of men trying to construct models of hyperbolic planes and how to create your own.

Her crocheted constructions have caused a firestorm of interest not only in the math community but also in the art world since hyperbolic planes are found in creation. In addition to sea slugs think of lettuce and coral. Can you think of others?

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 14 2008 at 1:15 pm
One comment:
Check the link to Daina Taimina.

The photos on the Cornell site look like some crochet mistakes I’ve made! 😉

Comment posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) (ip: on 01 / 29 / 2008 at 7:51 pm

Valerie (Kyriosity)’s website:

Now that we are done celebrating one birthday,

it is time for the next.

Can you guess which one is seventeen years old?

And what does a new 17-year-old request for his birthday dinner?

Why, lasagna, of course. And brownie pudding for dessert.

This is the beginning of the sauce:

Butter and a dab of olive oil, onions, Hg* garlic, Hg celery (picked Monday), ham, Hg tomatoes, Hg tomato juice, salt

Here is after simmering for awhile.

Mix up at least 2 cups (I use more) ricotta with eggs, Hg frozen basil, freshly grated nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Oil a glass or ceramic 9×13″ pan, put about 2/3 cup sauce in the bottom. Lay uncooked lasagna noodles direct from the box to cover. I snap pieces where necessary. Cover with a thick layer of ricotta mixture, then grated mozzarella, and some parmasan. Then more sauce, more noodles, more ricotta and cheeses. Another layer of sauce, another noodle layer and top with sauce.

I bake the lasagna covered with a ceramic pizza stone. Remove the stone when done, sprinkle more mozzarella and parmesan on top.

I use regular lasagna noodles, not any fancy ‘don’t have to boil’ variety. Just make sure your sauce is juicy.

* equal Homegrown

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 10 2008 at 10:50 am
Reading Aloud to the Youngsters
I finished reading 100 Cupboards out loud to the kids Monday night.

It is highly entertaining. We all highly recommend you read it.

On the Incarnation is also being read aloud, though at a much slower pace than 100 Cupboards and with much less enthusiasm on the part of the listeners.

However, during Advent we found it appropriate, and soon it will be Lent, and then comes Easter, so now and soon are and will be appropriate times also.

And finally, last night I started out loud to the same audience My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir by Clarence Thomas. I had read a library copy by myself and was so impressed with it a copy came to the family for Christmas. Had to explain to them _both_ who Clarence Thomas is and why we should read about his early life.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 09 2008 at 9:01 pm
A New Category
Early Sunday morning, which was Three Kings’ Day, I followed the trail of two coyotes for over a half mile. Lost the trail where they had doubled back twice in a row under an old apple tree near a stream. There was still plenty of snow and the tracks were no more than six hours old.

Later in the afternoon Isabelle and I and the P family went to S’s where the adults and some children talked politics, children played games, I knit lace, there was lots of good conversation and food.

A high wind came up Sunday night and the dripping began. By Monday morning there were no tracks and not much snow left. Pounce was taken on a forced march. He yowled in protest much of the way, but was pleased with himself afterwards. There were still small snow patches where the sun did not hit directly.

Tuesday there was no snow to be found. During a piano lesson the kids ran in and Isabelle wanted to know where I kept the .22 as a raccoon was on its way over from the neighbors’ house. He had shot at it and missed. So I excused myself, got the gun, told the kids to stay inside (with their puppy). I saw the coon coming through the window but by the time I got out the door it had gone under the tarps covering the woodpile. Oh joy. One of my least favorite activities is trying to get a holed-up, sick animal out of where it has hidden. Especially when it would most likely attack me.

The neighbor drove over after I yelled asking him for help. He had stood on his side of the field making sure I had a gun to dispatch the creature. At first he lifted the tarps. Then I gave him the gun and I lifted them free. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find the safety when we at last uncovered the raccoon and it ran around the house. I took the gun and gave chase, finally closing and killing it beyond our property as it took to a ditch. It was a small, snarly coon. My guess it had distemper.

Dealing with wild sick animals guarantees adrenaline coursing through one’s body. Teaching piano afterwards was helpful. My one male student was eager to help bury the body after his lesson.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 09 2008 at 8:39 pm
Solstice Nightlights
Outside. There are seven. Can you count them?

Inside there were blue ones.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 23 2007 at 7:33 am
Very pretty!

How are they faring in this thaw?

Almost all of our snow has melted here!

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 12 / 23 / 2007 at 9:47 AM
Gone, gone, gone.
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 12 / 23 / 2007 at 4:14 PM

Herself’s website:

Avery’s Browns Come to Our House
Aaron and Avery fish. A lot. Aaron called Tuesday night and came over with these two brown trout caught that day on Fall Creek near the base of the falls.

Jay has never caught one fish this big out of that stream in his entire life. Avery and Aaron routinely catch these monsters, as in, each time out.

Did you know Jay has lived here since he could walk? Did you know that Jay is an avid fisherman? Did you know we have known these two young men since they were infants?

The fillets off these two fish alone weighed seven pounds. Seven Pounds! The fillets are currently resting in a brown sugar and salt brine preparing to be smoked.

Jay has now sat under Aaron’s description of specifically how they fish for these big boys.

He will try a modified version out tomorrow since he does not own a ten foot bamboo pole.

If he fails we are planning a trout for venison swap.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 20 2007 at 8:51 pm
One comment:
Too bad the winters chop back our bamboo – if we were in CA, you’d have lots of long bamboo poles, by now!

Would you marinate an albino trout in white sugar? A rainbow in multicolored sanding sugar? Just wondering. 🙂

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 12 / 21 / 2007 at 1:14 am
I need to learn how to take a photo without flash on my camera.

So here is daylight:

OK, I have learned. But by now there are only two left alight. So another try tomorrow. Here is what is outside now:

And the lone candle up by Zeke’s grave is out, too.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 20 2007 at 8:25 pm
One comment:
Pretty! More pictures, please!
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 12 / 21 / 2007 at 1:15 am
Lyrics That Remind me of Zeke
What I’ll give you since you asked

Is all my time together

Take the rugged sunny days

The warm and rocky weather

Take the roads that I have walked along

Looking for tomorrow’s time

Peace of mind—

As your life spills into mine

Changing with the seasons

Filling up the world with time

Changing time to reason

I can show you all the songs

That I never sang to someone before

We have seen a million stars

Lying by the water

You have climbed the hills with me

To the mountain shelter

Taking off the days one by one

Setting them to breathe

In the sun

Take the lilies and the lace

From the days of childhood

All the willow winding paths

Leading up and downward

This is what I give

This is what I ask you for

Nothing more

—Judy Collins

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 20 2007 at 8:05 pm
First Poem for Zeke
Thanks to Angela.

The House Dog’s Grave

(for Haig, an English bulldog)

I’ve changed my ways a little; I cannot now

Run with you in the evenings along the shore,

Except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment,

You see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door

Where I used to scratch to go out or in,

And you’d soon open; leave on the kitchen floor

The marks of my drinking-pan.

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do

On the warm stone,

Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the night through

I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet

Outside your window where firelight so often plays,

And where you sit to read–and I fear often grieving for me–

Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard

To think of you ever dying

A little dog would get tired, living so long.

I hope than when you are lying

Under the ground like me your lives will appear

As good and joyful as mine.

No, dear, that’s too much hope: you are not so well cared for

As I have been.

And never have known the passionate undivided

Fidelities that I knew.

Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided. . . .

But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.

I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures

To the end and far past the end. If this is my end,

I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.

Robinson Jeffers, 1941

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 20 2007 at 8:03 pm
Two More
More reasons to be sad, that is. Back in October when a few of us went to Rhinebeck to the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival, Anne called Ellie the morning we were to leave and said she could not go. The doctor had just called and told her husband Jim he had cancer of the esophagus.

Well, Jim died less than seven weeks later. That was two weeks ago. Anne is the third friend of mine to lose their husband to death this year. Jim was an accomplished stained glass artist. He did commissions for public buildings, churches and private residences. Anne and Jim have three grown children. He was 67.

Then yesterday I heard on the radio that Dan Fogelberg died of prostate cancer. He was only 56.

In college we listened to him almost constantly. And the Eagles. And Fleetwood Mac. Guess that dates me, huh?

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 18 2007 at 8:29 pm
Here I sent out some Christmas cards and letters and send y’all to the blog and then do not post for a long time. Sorry.

Our dear old Zeke, the Snorb, the Good Dog of the North

is slowly dying of kidney failure and I have been very sad while caring for him.

Changes one’s view of Advent–I have noticed more the songs which tell why the Savior is coming.

Banner has been coming daily. Today she was trying to cut threads from my sweater or remove pieces of fur from my coat’s collar. This is her guilty face caught in the act.

Jay shot a doe with the muzzle loader from my father last night. That is his fourth deer. Daren got his sixth.

Someone had motherly help finishing her potholder presents. She bought the fabric, designed, cut and sewed the tops, cut the fillings and backings. Pretty good job. Now if you get one, pretend you have not seen it.

Yesterday I asked the children to make a snow dome to put a candle in at dark. They rolled the giant snowball down near the house and Isabelle spent a long time hollowing it out. It was beautiful last night so I went out and made a few from slabs of iced snow today.

But that is for another post.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 18 2007 at 5:19 pm
One comment:
Here’s a virtual [[[HUG]]] about Zeke. He *is* a nice, friendly, snuggly dog. It’s been sad for me too, to see him slow down. He’s been very happy with you.

Maybe you could offer Banner some dryer lint? That might be nice and warm…

I want pictures of your luminaries!

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 12 / 19 / 2007 at 5:26 am
Hark the Glad Sound
Hark the glad sound! The Savior comes,

The Savior promised long;

Let ev’ry heart prepare a throne

And ev’ry voice a song.

He comes the pris’ners to release,

In Satan’s bondage held.

The gates of brass before Him burst,

The iron fetters yield.

He comes, from thickest films of vice

To clear the mental ray

And on the eyeballs of the blind

To pour celestial day.

He comes the broken heart to bind,

The bleeding soul to cure,

And with the treasures of his grace

T’enrich the humble poor.

Our glad hosannas, Prince of Peace

They welcome shall proclaim

And heaven’s eternal arches ring

With thy beloved name.

-Philip Dodderidge, 1735

to the tune of Chesterfield by Thomas Haweis, 1792

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 18 2007 at 5:08 pm
I have been thinking about grosgrain. I had never seen true grosgrain ribbon until last week when the elegant soaps a friend makes came with elegant labels in cellophane bags tied with elegant wide black grosgrain ribbon neatly swallow-tailed on each end.

Gros=fat; so grosgrain = fat grain; a wide weft; and this lovely ribbon has nice wide weft bumps. Lovely like the walk I took to the woods this morning in blaze orange with a loaded 12 gauge.

That seems to say it all, but the subtlety is lost; the air’s edge as it cuts cold in your nose, the densely delicate sifted snow settled around each grass blade. The way I as hunter can follow each slight indentation of deer toes in the snow dust on the laneway–similar to the way I as mother can follow each slight indentation of child fingers in the sugar dusting the cake.

On a flat woven silk ribbon one can almost not see the individual threads, smooth, shiny–no hint of larvae or their spit. And I can not make known the small intimacies of a morning walk: a small web swinging, shining in the sun; sudden flight of six surprised turkeys and the susurrus of their wings; nattering of nuthatches and startled screams from crows; the sadness around an old gut pile near someone’s tree stand.

My description is grosgrain, my experience more finely woven. Walking home in the clear morning sky the sun sublimates the shining sparkly snow dust and tracks disappear.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 30 2007 at 4:00 pm
Hot Cocoa Mix
The new microwave came with a recipe book. The basic mix recipe came from that book.

Yields 3 cups mix, 12 servings. (Enough for 2 children to have one mug each breakfast for a week)

Use 1/4 cup mix per mug of hot milk.

2 cups nonfat dry milk

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 cup powdered nondairy creamer

1/8 teaspoon salt

Mix them all together by hand or in the food processor.

Augmentations, as usual, are encouraged. Mine include: mix into hot milk, not water; use the highest quality unsweetened cocoa you can afford; stir in miniature marshmallows after the mix is made–kids get a few with each serving; use the seasonal peppermint mocha nondairy powder creamer for December.

This mix is very economical, even using the best cocoa powder and nondairy creamer. My children think cocoa made with the homemade mix is far superior to the old standby, N____Q__k.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 30 2007 at 2:34 pm
Wreathmaking 101
If you were here this morning, we could have done steps 2-6 together.

1. Buy a wire form. Fill the depression with straw or dry grass and wrap floral wire securely around the form and filling. Tie off.

This form is the base one sticks greens and berries into. It lasts for years. After wreath season, remove the greens and store the straw-filled form in a dry place. We use a drawer in Jay’s shop.

2. Gather materials. (I like this step.) Prune your pines, junipers, spruces, cedars; your winterberry, arbor vitae, holly, myrtle. Or ask your neighbors if you can have a branch or two of theirs. Wander around and gather interesting looking plant parts: fern seed heads, fluffy dry grass blooms, wild rose hip sprays, hosta seed sprays, flowering cabbage heads, pinecones, Hellebore leaves. Use your imagination.

3. Cut the greenery down to manageable size: 3-8 inch long pieces.

4. Start sticking the pieces in the form, placing stems under the wire you have wrapped around and around and on top and into the straw base.

I am left-handed so I stick the ends in from left to right and turn the wreath clockwise as I go.

There are a couple ways to do this: lay a thin base of one kind of green all around the circle, then go back around and fill in with other kinds of greens or place a variety of greens at each ‘stop’ as you work on the wreath.

5. After the green base is made, add larger elements, berries and other special items.

6. Hang with a special wreath hanger or loop a double piece of string around the wire frame.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 29 2007 at 2:01 pm
One comment:
Those are lovely.
Comment posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) (ip: on 11 / 29 / 2007 at 8:03 pm

Valerie (Kyriosity)’s website:

The big local news today is that the the Common Council, the official elected legislature which makes decisions for of the City Which Thinks Highly of Itself, did not re-vote to extend the rights of the “dog-walking park” down near the marina. What a hue and cry!

Why did the Common Council not accede to this desire as it does for all others?

The mayor had to admit on a live radio broadcast that it was because there were not enough council members present at the meeting. At least ten members need to be present to vote positively on an issue. There were only six at the meeting. All the council members live right downtown. She also admitted that meeting attendance is “an ongoing problem”. Imagine that.

I can not adequately describe how nasty some of the elections for seats on Common Council become. So it is a mystery why an individual would fight for the privilege of sitting and then not show up for work.

Meanwhile, at our church Missions committee meeting last night we had eight people. And the eight were from all over the county. And we are all volunteers. And we discussed issues–retirement policy, how to best help some schools in Africa, and prayed, and sent ideas to the elders for consideration. Imagine that.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 29 2007 at 12:04 pm
Monday night we went downtown to the art movie theater–it was cheap night–to see Bella.

We liked it. Jay liked it very, very much. It resonated with us. Is that too trendy to say?

Bella was the People’s Choice Award winner at the Toronto International Film Festival.

It is a Latino movie! Actor Eduardo Verástegui took the lead role partly “to elevate the dignity of Latinos in this country.”

The opening line: “If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans for your life.” The storyline is about families and how our lives can change direction quite quickly.

Here is a nice interview about Bella.

Go see it!

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 27 2007 at 6:45 pm
One comment:
K and I very much enjoyed it, too. I loved the role of food in the movie. Hip hip hurray for supporting Christians in the arts.
Comment posted by JulieJ (ip: on 11 / 29 / 2007 at 1:35 pm
The 10-Minute Deer Hunt
At 7.15 this morning Jay walked up back with his shotgun. He says he was wondering if it was worthwhile since he had slept in and we had to leave for a test at the hospital before 8AM. He saw a deer or two moving away through the woods after he had to stop and cough right as he reached the edge. He thought perhaps he should tun back since he probably ruined his chance of seeing anything else.

Then he walked down into a dip and as he came up out of it in the fallow field covered with goldenrod, there 40 yards away was a buck, pointed right away from him, feeding. He dropped to his knees, the buck turned, started walking away, he gave a muted shout. It stopped, turned towards him, he waited a second or two, then shot. It jumped and ran another 50 yards before falling down, shot through the heart.

He was back at the house by 7.25 to tell us the news. He and Isabelle took the truck, gutted and retrieved it. This snap was taken about 7.35AM. He was concerned you all would not like the blood.

So this one was taken later in the afternoon today.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 27 2007 at 5:02 pm
Dolly gets an exoskeleton
Since her head was smaller than the pattern required, we resized the pattern for her body. I guided the math, and Isabelle did the majority of the work drafting the revised pattern.

Next: Stuffing! The wool from Caspian and Dominic will be used.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 27 2007 at 4:50 pm
Happy Birthday
Angela had a birthday yesterday and she spent part of it with us.

She had a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. She brought her pal Sun-mew with her. Isabelle took charge of the kitten.

We all played Zendo

Here is the Zendo reference from Angela’s blog.

It is a fun thinking game. Highly recommended.

We also looked at a new Tomoko Fuse modular origami book. But we used magazine pages to fashion the rectangles we folded and that particular kind of paper did not stick together as well as we would have wished. The modulars were also very– modular. I ran out of patience for repetitive folding of small bits of paper and had to go pick up Isaac.

Mostly we visited. Hurrah!

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 24 2007 at 7:42 pm
One comment:
The fun! The laughter! (my abs are still recovering) The handmade cards I forgot to bring home with me! The many games of Zendo! The interminable kitten cuteness! The kitten exhaustion! The kitten’s questionable digestion of dog food! (he’s a bit gassy today)

One of the nicest birthdays among the 42 I’ve experienced. 🙂

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 11 / 24 / 2007 at 11:25 pm
The Doe Standard
Jay shot a button buck during our first drive Monday afternoon. During the second drive I shot a large doe. It was 45 feet away and came from the direction opposite the drive. I was dressed in a blaze orange hunting coat standing in front of a massive wooden power pole wider than my body on a cut in a field of mixed scrub and goldenrod. She came out from a stand of gray dogwood and goldenrod at about 10 o’clock (my upper mid-left). At first I saw only ears and muzzles. The doe and her fawn started crossing the cut, I lifted the gun, sighted, and shot her. She bounded across and we found her via a small blood trail later 70 feet away, dead, shot through both lungs. The slug went right through. Her fawn remained standing there, confused. As was I. Was I invisible? I had a hard time getting the empty shell to eject and then pumping another shell in, yet that deer stood there and looked everywhere but at me. It ambled across.

Then I noticed there were still more ears and muzzles where the first ones had been. Another doe came across. It also did not see me; its fawn did not see me. What was wrong with these deer? I decided to shoot at this fawn also, but missed, it seems. We searched long and hard for any trace of a blood trail. Post shot jitters? That fawn remained behind after its dam had fled and walked across, still not looking at me.

The dead doe weighed more than me. She was as big as the largest buck taken so far. Her hide was more than five feet long. When Daren called tonight about another doe shot by a neighbor today he told Jay “It is a big doe. Not as big as Deb’s, but good sized.” Jay decided the one I shot must be the doe standard.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 24 2007 at 7:23 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: