Upsaid journal entries and comments by user: cerise

Upsaid journal entries and comments by user: jpm14
(File created on: May 26 2008)
Gift idea
Listen up husbands!

Jay informed me last night of my Mother’s Day present “because you deserve something _really_ high quality.”

It is here waiting for me now. It must have come this morning while I was away (see above).

Dark, double ground hardwood mulch. 7 yards of it. Delivered to the east end of the garden.

Guess what I am doing this afternoon?

Jay even took the children to poetry class so I am home alone with my present!

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 30 2004 at 1:50 pm
At first I though, “Hmmm. Mulch. OK…and this is exciting because…” Yet the more I consider it, I realize that I would also appreciate such a gift. Is this just a maturing sense of refinement or just a love of digging in the dirt?
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 04 / 30 / 2004 at 5:19 PM

Suz’s website:

Well, at least it wasn’t manure! ;^P
Comment posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) (ip: on 05 / 07 / 2004 at 4:29 PM

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

Valerie (Kyriosity)’s website:

Novel comparison
Suzanne lent me “The DaVinci Code”. I stuck the reading of it in between Patrick O’Brian’s “H.M.S. Suprise” and “The Mauritious Command”.

The one was like watered down Kool-ade. The others are like fine mead .

Patrick O’Brian is one of the finest writers of fiction I have come across in some while.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 28 2004 at 7:37 pm
One comment:
Glad to see you’ve discovered O’Brien! I have read the whole Aubrey-Maturin series on my father’s recommendation, and loved every page of it.
Comment posted by Matt (ip: on 05 / 02 / 2004 at 1:45 pm

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Something is wrong with his hind left leg. It started just after I sheared him. He walks three-legged.

When we were in Boston and he was visiting Grandma M. she said something to Leslie, her next door neighbor who happens to be a veterinary and who also happens to not be able to do too much for such a wonderful neighbor as Grandma. So Leslie called her friend Bob at the Vet school and right away he came and examined Zeke on Mom’s dining room table. That Mom would allow anyone to use her dining room table for such a purpose is extraordinary.

A ligament is not right. Sprained or stretched or ? Zeke has a doggy aspirin to take once per day. He is to lay low and not get excited. He is not to run. He is not to jump. Ha Ha. Try telling him these things. He feels as though he is under house arrest and we are all angry with him. But Dr. Bob says he will be permanently three legged if this does not heal within a certain amount of time.

So Zeke is mostly involuntarily house bound for now.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 28 2004 at 7:22 pm
Boston Notes
Thanks to Susan and Philip, the kids (ours and theirs) got to do almost more than they could take.

I heartily recommend the Concord re-enactment, but not the Lexington. We stood from 4.30 til 6AM in the cold for a less than 15 minute re-enactment of the first shots fired.

At Concord it was light, warm and the whole process was more accessible and longer. Lots more people dressed in absolutely splendid accurate costumes of redcoats and ptriots.

We ended up standing right next to a lady from Yorkshire, England who was there with her British flag cheering on the redcoats! She had brought Yorkshire tea and an ale to share with them. There was a large parade celebrating Patriot’s Day.

There were whole 4-H clubs dressed up and playing fifes and drums. Military bands of all sorts and sizes. Lots of dressed up re-enactors.

At Plimoth Plantation the next day I especially liked the artisans who would talk with you as they practiced 17th C crafts. The man sewing linen shifts by hand, and the man making a carved chest.

It takes 60+ hours to sew a linen shift by hand using linen thread and binding all the seams before one whip stitches them together.

Some of the Wampanoag homesite Native Americans were strangely antagonistic. Lots of deerskin there. And an full body otter hide arrow case. The face seemed to be grinning way down at the bottom.

I wished the docent on the Mayflower II was a little more talky to nosy people like me who wanted to discuss and compare a ship like it to ones used by the British Navy in the mid-late 1700’s.

Plymouth Rock is so small it was a disappointment.

The Atlantic Ocean came home via representatives of stone and shell.

The New England Aquarium is absolutely fabulous! We got there soon after it opened and trawled around until about 11.30 when so many people filled the smallish space up one could hardly move. Jellyfish. Sea horses. Penguins–three sorts, one sort nesting with eggs!

An enormous cylindrical salt water tank jutting up the middle of the museum for several stories full of fishes you have seen only on National Geographic hitherto. Ladies in suits and air tanks inside this cylinder hand feeding mantas, gigantic sea turtles, all sorts of large amazing fishes.

And we took the “T” as has been noted previously.

As we went to board in the morning at Alewife, who should come bounding down the stairs behind us but Philip R! He is getting a MS in aeronautical engineering at MIT. He and Kristin came to dinner with Andrew who is almost 6 mos. Wunnerful, wunnerful.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 28 2004 at 7:13 pm
T Time: Truth Stranger than Fiction
The person who posts the propaganda on the “T” red line from Park St. to Alewife in Boston has a sense of humor:

Two long rectangular posters side by side:

60% of the area of the right hand one is a facsimile of the “Daily Gazette” with 2 inch headlines and bold subtitles screaming “ABORTION CRIMINILIZED” “Right Wing Celebrates Historic Victory”. The right hand 40% dark blue background says

“Before its too late

March on Washington, DC

Sunday April 25,2004”

NARAL ProChoice Massachussetts

The white poster to the left has a bald bespeckled black man in a suit, smiling and looking down (shades of Ghandi). In gold: “Going to the Vineyard made church a priority, not a burden.” Vineyard. Practical. Spiritual. Fun.

The (real) neatly dressed man with a fedora seated beneath these posters was reading a thick hardbacked biography of Dorothy Day.

On the other side of the doorway the two contiguous poasters read

“Shaking a baby can be _Deadly_ –Make sure no one shakes your baby”


“On Mother’s Day, honor a woman you love with a gift to a woman in need.” –Woman’s Lunch Place.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 23 2004 at 8:49 am
One comment:
I would love to see a picture of that! By the way, check out my *new* blog.
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 04 / 26 / 2004 at 11:40 am

Suz’s website:

We’re off the see Susan and Philip. I went to college and lived with Sue for decades. I’ve since been married almost 18 years. That should be enough to figure out my age.

Anyway, Monday is Patriot’s Day and the kids and I and Susan and Carlos will be there at 4.15 in the morning to see the re-enactment of the Lexington-Concord fight that inaugerated the Revolutionary War.

We hope to go the <A

href=””>Plimoth Plantation , the New England Aquarium and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts as well.


Entry posted by jpm14 on April 17 2004 at 4:36 pm
One comment:
Henry’s cousin’s daughter works at the aquarium in the penguin pool.
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 04 / 21 / 2004 at 12:34 pm
Pet Fascism
This is the third story in just a few weeks I have heard.

Mom called this morning. On their jaunts yesterday she and Dad had stopped at the new $600,000 local animal shelter building. Tippy, their dog, died recently and they wish to replace him with an adult dog.

Dad’s application to adopt a brown hound was _refused_.

Strikes against my parents as pet owners under the new fascist regime: they live on a farm and will let the dog go where he wills, they will not let the dog in the house, (In the barn, in a large straw filled shed, in the garage..), the folks there thought they would not give the dog enough “social interaction”. Morning, noon, night, grandkids, walks–not enough not.

The others:

A friend of my parents’ was turned down to own a kitten. She would “leave it home alone too many hours at a time”. Anyone out there who owns felines know of one who wouldn’t rather be alone for several hours each day than be in constant company?

A neighbor family with 7 children was turned down for a dog. They were told they “had too many children and the dog would suffer for it”. Too much love and care, I guess.

Ah, the compassion of godless men. Kill or leave homeless these poor beasts rather than let them go to the unregulated, disapproved environment of loving family. Keep them in doggy daycare at taxpayer expense!

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 17 2004 at 4:12 pm
Leaves me dumbstruck. The ironies of “no-kill” pet shelter advocates, most of whom, I’d bet, are not in the “no-kill” category when it comes to small humans.
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 04 / 22 / 2004 at 9:05 PM

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Dad called the Sherriff who is in charge ultimately of the animal shelter in their county.

By Friday of the next week he received a call from the shelter saying he could re-apply. And when he did he was not turned down. But the woman who truned him down the first time was hopping angry that he had “used political connections” to ge thte dog.

Who, by the way according to her new owne, is smart and sweet.

Comment posted by Deb (ip: on 04 / 28 / 2004 at 6:42 PM

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Plant Genetics at work again!
copied from a piece sent by my Dad cut out of the Buffalo News which copied it from the Washington Post:

“The delicate business of finding buried land mines might get a lot less nerve-racking with the invention of genetically engineered plants that turn red when their roots encounter explosives in the soil.

If the system works as well in the field as in the lab, mine-detection teams could spray seeds over large explanses of land where explosives are believed to be buried, then wait a few weeks and look for the places where the plants are growing red.

The plants were designed at Aresa, a small biotechnology company in Copenhagen. The team worked with a mutant version of the mustard-family plant Arabidopsis thaliana — an ubiquitous roadside weed popular with plant geneticists. The mutant plan lacks a gene that it needs to make a red pigment.

The team gave the plants substitute copies of that gene. But they linked it to and added bit of genetic code so that it would operate only in the presence of nitrogen dioxide — a chemical that is released by soil bacteria as they break down the nitrogen-rich chemicals that leach from land mines.”

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 15 2004 at 5:14 pm
One comment:
Wow. Gives a whole new meaning to the concept of an indicator species.

In CA as a natural history docent at Jasper Ridge I was trained to recognize plants found on serpentine soil. Native California species can live in the harsh environment, while imported European grasses have taken over much everywhere else. The habitat is fragile, and even walking on the thin organic layer in a serpentine area can cause major disturbance. We used to take people on very popular tours in the springtime when you could see islands of serpentine carpeted with flowering native plants in a sea of green European grass.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 15 / 2004 at 10:13 pm

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Redemption and Freedom
This year on this day we celebrated Easter. Jesus has risen!

He is risen indeed!

34 years ago on this day the Apollo 13 space mission took off for the moon.

Seven days later they returned home without setting foot on the moon, but alive. We watched the movie “Apollo 13” tonight with the children. While in Texas we visited NASA and saw the mission control room and the Apollo 13 command capsule.

Ken Mattingly was scheduled to be on this mission but was left behind because his children had come down with measles. He had never had measles and the NASA medicos were sure he would come down with them midflight. It was God’s Providence. Without Mattingly on earth running power conservancy and re-entry simulations it is doubtful Lovell, Swigert and Haise would have made it back.


We took the flying squirrels in their bluebird box back up to the woods this afternoon. Tied the box to a tree, scattered some nuts and seeds over a 9 square yard area and impaled an apple on a branch of a small tree near by. They had pulled in the paper towel we had plugged the opening with by 6.15 this evening. What a joyous night it will be for them. Free at last, free at last, Thank God, I’m free at last.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 11 2004 at 10:11 pm
It was sheer coincidence that we watched Apollo 13 on its launch date anniversary. But cool.
Comment posted by Deb (ip: on 04 / 13 / 2004 at 9:53 AM

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Oh….that is pysanky! Ukranian Easter Eggs…or at least they look just like Ukranian Easter eggs. I have done one of those. It was great fun!
Comment posted by nita (ip: on 04 / 12 / 2004 at 8:24 PM

nita’s E-mail:

Hi Deb,

I have never heard of a psanky! I like your Blog…wait ’til I tell Gregg that you guys ate road pizza.
Too funny. That’s one advantage of the cold weather.

Comment posted by nita (ip: on 04 / 12 / 2004 at 7:26 AM

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This is pysanky! 🙂
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 12 / 2004 at 2:43 PM

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Hanky Psanky
Angela came over Wednesday and graciously wrassled with the computers for me. I have hope the new one will eventually be used for something other than games.

We also spent a lot of time making psanky eggs. Both Isaac and Isabelle finished their first ones this year. Angela did three! She brought a basketful of goose eggs for us to use froma co-worker who had never heard of psanky.

I got the egg tree up yesterday afternoon and discovered we have far too many psanky to keep in perpetuity. Time to hand them round to relatives and friends.

While Isaac was at Latin, Angela, Isabelle and I shopped for her nephew Matt the Marine who is now in the Falluja vicinity in Iraq. Two boxes of handwipes, candy, Qtips, baggies, jerky, gum, batteries, sun/bug lotion, Peeps, and a hunting magazine were sent off yesterday.

Rain again today. Appropriate for Good Friday.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 09 2004 at 9:42 am
This is the kind of thing I used as a little double-boiler for psyanky wax.

It’s hard to find them with metal dishes. Most of ’em come with glass dishes (and you can find replacement dishes for sale everywhere – gee, I wonder why?).

I want to get a set of those nice Delrin kistky! This looks like the best place to go for that kind of stuff. I think the Egg-in-Wraps look like a lot of fun, too, and not so expensive as to make them prohibitive…

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 11 / 2004 at 4:25 PM

anja’s website:

Oh, I had so much fun making psanky eggs with you a few years ago! I hope to do it with the older two next year. This year we just did marbled onion-skin eggs, but we had a lot of other things on our plates.
Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 04 / 11 / 2004 at 5:26 PM
Hmm. I guess this place has pretty much the same prices for things, and more of a selection. OK, back to working on making the house pretty…
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 12 / 2004 at 2:56 PM

anja’s website:

Temporary Visitors
My Mom visited yesterday for less time than it took for here to drive here and back home. We were all very happy to see her, even for an extremely short length of time.

She and Dad took a trip with a tour group of Spain in March. They had left Madrid, by train, for Cordoba two days before the bombing. They did not take the train after that terrorist attack. Even with the bombing, Spain looks and sounds so good through their eyes that Jay and I have been considering changing where our family will go on extended vacation the year of our 20th anniversary. We had planned on England. A visit to the Museum of Natural History is a lifelong dream.

Last night we put the first trout bones of the year on one of the beautiful little plates (for antejitos?, tapas?) with delicate designs in bright colors Mom brought back from Spain. Jay took out our two and several other small male children fishing for the small brown trout that were stocked earlier that day. (You have heard of fish and release. This is release and fish.) We had 12 for supper. And Jay had a great deal of tangled line to take off. He says the new reels for the kids’ poles have way too much line on them and so get tangled almost immediately.


At present there are two complete computer systems set up in the kitchen. The transfer of files is the last big hurdle before one disappears elsewhere. When I downloaded the required driver for the LexarMedia jump drive it seems I made a (big?) mistake when I equated a .pdr file with a .pdf file and designated Adobe Reader to open it. Yuck.

I am hoping computer whiz Angela will be able to undo what I have wrought.

The monitor on the new Dell is not as nice as our old NEC one. It is bigger, but I can see the picture image refreshing all the time. Maybe that is not the correct term. New one also is large, deeper and has external speakers and the space I have to put it in has not expanded.

You know, Sue thought Pounce would be ignoring Buddy after a couple days, but it is not the case. Pounce was over there trying to paw Buddy through the cage as the bird played under papers in his cage. Hissing and defensive posturing ensued on the birds’ side. Buddy eventually just jumped up to his perch and at that point was less interesting.


Brother Charles and his sons will visit Good Friday evening and into Saturday. Charlie is hoping I can help write new papers for inventions he is working on.

Thursday night we may be blessed by a visit by some friends who moved to Michigan several years ago. I first met M at a toy store during a live reptile demonstration. She was speaking Spanish to her son. I had Isaac there. “Excuse me, but I couldn’t help but hear you …”

We were in the planning stages of going back to Bolivia and I was hoping to keep my Spanish up. R is Costa Rican and their son, A, is one year younger than Isaac. Daughter D, is one year younger than Isabelle. We never have spoken much Spanish but have a good time together. And the boys were pretty good friends when they were small.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 07 2004 at 10:17 am
Hi Deb,

Now I know why your phone has been busy all morning. Call me, please?

You can change the refresh rate on your new monitor using the display settings.

You can change the way .pdr files are read – it might take some fiddling for me to figure out how.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 07 / 2004 at 10:23 AM
It doesn’t sound like your household will be quite the same without Buddy.

I just trimmed Liv’s parakeet’s flight feathers, after chasing him through the house for a few minutes. I finally caught him when he landed on a picture frame. Now he’s able to flutter down from Liv’s hand to the floor, or up onto her bed, but not up to the ceiling fans or (completely out of reach) to the top of the light in the foyer.

Our kids still want a dog, but they’ll have to be content with dog-sitting. Since Christmas, we’ve had about two weeks of dog sitting for families on our street. Andrew and Liv did it together both times. Both dogs got more walks (and maybe more petting and food) while their families were away than they generally get.

Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 04 / 08 / 2004 at 10:59 AM

Jeni’s E-mail:

We never got to go to one of Sora’s Seders when they lived here.

So it was great that this year we were invited to attend Seder with other friends of ours. Anita is from a Jewish family. We had a wonderful time.

The Haggadahs we used made the symbolism pointing to Messiah Jesus very clear. Isabelle as youngest read the four questions and found the afikomen.

Anita’s matzoh ball soup was wonderful–hers are large, like dumplings, which are on the list of Highly Desirable Foods for the children at present.

The gefilte fish was described as “the Spam of fish”, but Isabelle thought is tasted “like salmon”.

The college age sons there used the opportunity of imbibing so freely that Jay and their father reminded them the event “is called Passover, not Passouter”. Very funny.

And we ate sugary desserts for the first time since the beginning of Lent. The children were estatic. I had not missed dessert as much as I imagined.

As Isabelle reminded us this morning–only FOUR MORE DAYS UNTIL EASTER!

Remeber the old tradition of serving sweets to children at important occasions you wish them to really note in their memories? I think something along those lines is happening.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 07 2004 at 9:17 am
Buddy Business
As I sat down to the computer this morning Buddy was perched on my shoulder flaring his wings and tail and ruffling his feathers in a most unusual display of –what? Affection? Preening (don’t think so)?

I have been concerned he has a cold. He sneezes, wheezes and shivers a lot. But he is eating and drinking. So I have put a hiatus on handling him. Buddy may fly about and go where he will in the kitchen/dining room, but he is not to be snared by enthusiastic (small female) hands.

Just now he started smooching noises, rubbing his head on and singing to a piece of orange construction paper. He misses Sue, I think! Not enough red hair here for him. Then he started chewing bits of notebook. Not healthy plan.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 07 2004 at 8:47 am
One comment:
I had a friend with an African grey parrot named “Bird” that was crazily fond of her, but jealous of everyone else, especially males. This started when she was a child and continued as she’d grown up.

Her fiance worked in the lab with us, and every week he’d come in with another wound of some kind. We’d just say, “You were trying to make friends with Bird again, weren’t you?” He’d confirm our suspicions. Bird liked popcorn. I recall going over there a few times to watch videos and us making batches to feed some to him. He was basically OK around me as long as I had food to bribe him. He was never, ever friendly with Jeff.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 04 / 07 / 2004 at 8:55 am
Friday Kiny and two of her children visited. She and her husband Lloyd and their (now) nine children moved to Ithaca from Kyrgyzstan. They have lived and worked also in China, Mongolia, Kazakstan, Turkey, Germany, Holland and the USA. They are missionaries, especially to the Kazak people.

Her visit was exceptionally encouraging. I finally heard some of Kiny’s story. She and Lloyd are missionaries like Hudson Taylor and the man in England who helped orphans. They are not with an organization or funded by a church. They have had through the years only one person pledge to help them financially. They do not ask (financial) help of anyone but God. If you (like I) have had any contact with current mission operations in and out of country you will know how unusual this is.

Kiny’s take on this difference is enlightening. She noted that in this country especially we have over the years decreased our tolerance of risk to the point where her family is routinely accused of irresponsibility. We build a hedge of our own protection around us against disease, accident, mischance. All has to be planned out to the nth degree before one makes a move. Even if that move is in obedience to God’s call in one’s life. In my later thoughts, it is almost as if I do not _really_ trust God to take care of me as his word says he will.

She and her family are willing to tolerate more risk. And God has cared for them, although God is not using middle-class American living standards. Her family is willing to live at a much lower standard than most people (including my current self) are.

She is also remarkably unjudgemental of those who are “not comfortable and need the comforts and walls of planning” before obeying God. Her threshold for suprise, flexibility, discomfort, disappointment,, etc. is quite high.


Visiting with us for at least a week is Buddy, one of Sue’s family. He is older than Isabelle, eats less and takes up much less space. He is as entertaining as she is. Buddy is a cockatiel. He is grey and white with a yellow crest and bright orange cheeks. He is the same variety as Chester, who lives in Austen. Isabelle is entranced. Isaac is amused. (Buddy lives in a house full of boys and likes Isaac and Jay very much) Jay is concerned the cat will eat him before the week is up. He has established rigid rules of conduct for When The Bird May or May Not Be Taken Our of The Cage. The rules center on where the cat is.

Pounce also likes Buddy very much. He likes him so much he slept on top of Buddy’s cage last night. Hmm.

Today Buddy fell in love with Suzanne, who has red hair, like Sue. He snuggled right up to her cheek and chatted at length with her. This morning he greeted me with sounds that were suspiciously similar to ‘Hello! Good Morning!”


We had an elderly friend to dinner today. Beth loves to talk about plants, art, and her own history, which I love listening to. She has stories of wild animals in the different places around the state she has lived.

One I recall now concerns large, tall anthills she noticed one morning as she took a walk through some pastures near Berkshire. Noting their location she determined to bring her son to view them the next day. When they revisited the place on the morrow, the anthills were totally destroyed, ripped down, pawed through. There were bear tracks everywhere.

Driving one day in the same vicinity her daughter, then about four said “Mommy, look at the big black dog running in the field!” It was no dog.

And soon thereafter a German Shepherd dog of theirs who loved to wander the hills and woods came home one evening ripped up and with one eye dangling. Her son, about ten at the time, backtracked the dog’s trail and found hair and prints belonging to a bobcat.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 04 2004 at 5:19 pm
Wild Lives
First phone call this morning, at 7.30ish, was from Sue down the road. We lent her a trap as a raccoon had been hoisting off a chicken nightly about 2 AM. Then the roosters would get excited, then the dog would bark vehemently, and she decided she needed more sleep than she has been getting of late. Last night she trapped a raccoon. And Cider, their dog, treed another. The one I shot out of the tree was a large old tom coon. The one Jay shot in the trap was a younger male.


While weeding a few days ago I turned over some decomposing sawdust and found a few odd creatures that sure looked like flatworms (Planaria). How bizarre. You may remember them in petri dishes in bio labs where students cut them up or sliced them in pieces only to have them regenerate. Four heads anyone? After bringing them in and observing them, I got out <A href=”

sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-3118032-7842364?v=glance&s=books”>Palmer’s and sure enough, the little things were Flatworms. These were about 1.25 inches with shovel like heads, pale gold with a brown dorsal strip down the back. One of the 12,000 varieties around. Not all are aquatic. These were not. I sent them to school with Sue for her biology classes.


Pounce killed his first bird of the year yesterday, a song sparrow. Its death did not go entirely to waste. I took its long feathers for Art purposes and gave a demonstration and a lower leg to Nathan M. to take home and amaze his family with. Sparrows have three toes in front and one in back tied to two different tendons. When landing on a branch or perching they crouch, and the tendons automatically contract, causing the toes to grip the branch tightly. There is no chance of falling off while sleeping. When taking off, the sparrow jumps off the branch. The action of pushing off causes the leg to straighten and the tendons to lengthen, opening the toes. Sparrows do not think about holding on or letting go. God is a great designer.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 03 2004 at 1:46 pm
(Belated) Happy birthday! I didn’t realize.

We got the egg-warmer craft (do you always send other people gifts for your birthday? 🙂 and Isabelle’s letter yesterday. Thank you! Talia will be writing back shortly. We have a new “girl’s group” here with two ten-year-olds from our church (they had a larger group last year and then two or three of the girls moved away). Talia is making a quilt — for her bed. Big project. But after the first 50 split-rail squares, she can now sew a straight line on the sewing machine without my help.

We had our “early” seder in Dayton last night (our “late” seder with the church will be Thursday; the actual first night of Passover is tomorrow (Monday). I still wish we’d managed to get your family to one while we were in Ithaca.

So — did the racoons go to waste?

Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 04 / 04 / 2004 at 9:44 AM
Guess I was feeling rather Hobbit-ish this year. And thinking of us all with our little girls….
Comment posted by Deb (ip: on 04 / 04 / 2004 at 2:50 PM

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Ha! I just now finished reading the rest of your comment, Sora. Yes, this time the raccoons did go to waste. Although Cider dog was very willing to have them for her weeks meals. Sue carted them off as I doubt she could have dug a deep enough hole to keep the dog out.

I have eaten raccoon. It has a lot of fat (Yuck). And it is rather highly flavored, being omnivorous. Most persons, even those of rather indiscriminate eating behavior, tend to avoid the meat of carnivorous beasts.

Comment posted by Deb (ip: on 04 / 04 / 2004 at 2:54 PM

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I was actually thinking of those stripey tails… coonskin caps?
Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 04 / 04 / 2004 at 5:43 PM
Trapping for fur runs from mid-late December to mid-late January. In the early years of our marriage, Jay and I trapped raccon for pelts. Back then, prior to the European boycott (a whole ‘nother subject) we could make $25-40 apiece on prime racoon hides. It was our vacation money.

The fur on these two at this late date would not be prime. That means it is not as thick, nor will it be as durable. It did not even cross my mind to save the hides–wrong time of year. Late fall I would have considered it.
Also, one of them had no tail at all! He was the elder and must have run into some trouble somewhere in his life.

Comment posted by Deb (ip: on 04 / 05 / 2004 at 10:03 AM

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After watching “Pride and Prejudice” again I read Austen’s book for the first time. I will be use it in a few years with the children. Her lucid description of character and manners, the verbal repartee, the ability to put into words complex emotions and thought; all enhance and provoke my own thoughts.

Orson Scott Card is a Mormon science fiction writer. Julie had read one of his bboks for her group “Ender’s Game”. I took an anthology of short fiction of his out from the library and like it enough to borrow “Seventh Son” and Sarah”. The first is fantasy/tall tale (first in a series) about a family in an alternate version of this continent. One where folk magic is used and genetically transmitted, and the Church of England is an intruder used by dark powers. Definitely Mormon overtones in the exalting of the natural (by implication God-given) giftings found (or brought) to this continent vs. the Old Church Establishment Who Is Blind To God Working in Other Ways. Interesting.

“Sarah” is an historical novel, one of three Card will (or has) written. It is interesting as a way to see how he fills in the biblical story and makes me wonder how much of what he has written is a uniquely Mormon view of Sarah. He has Sarah being a daughter of a once upon a time king of Ur. Many good observations on marriage, childlessness and life. “…but sometimes happiness consists of nothing more than finding the right balance of misery.” Some particularly good stuff about being childless that I could relate to quite strongly. Good dialog.

And then Patrick O’Brian. Jeni had Master and Commander in Austin, but I did not quite get through it. Just finished the libray’s copy last week and O, Goody, ” Post Captain ” came in the same birthday box as Diana Krall, wishing me Joy of my Birthday. Which it has.

This Aubrey/Maturin series is unlike anything I have ever read. I am not a water person, having grown up and lived my life inland, a farm and woodland person. And certainly not a sea lover.

The ship routines, personnel, politics, parts, technical details of sailing and warfare on water are fascinating. I wish Maturin- naturalist, physician, musician, deep thinker could sit at my table. Jack is almost a foreigner to me–his knowledge base seems at first rather narrow (it is more so than Maturin’s). But I think it is due to O’Brian’s skill as a writer that one thinks this initially. As pages roll by one is more and more impressed by the skill required to be a successful Master and Commander. Highly recommended.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 03 2004 at 1:20 pm
Music Notes
From Jeni, Chris and youths in Austen came a birthday box the other day. In it was Diana Krall’s Live in Paris CD. Oh Goody!

Isaac promptly stole the disc player remote. He was convinced (who knows on what grounds, if any) that it would be torture to listen to.

Isaac, after listening to the first few songs: “This is actually pretty good.” What a wonder. She sings and plays piano at the same time.

“But you do that, Mom”

“It’s not the same, dear.”

Not only do I not have her dark liquid voice, I also have no experience or training in jazz. Nor do I have a fabulous backup band or the Orchestre Symphonique European. It is a wonderful listen. A great gift. Thanks Jeni, et al!


The once-in-a-while girl group I Do sing with will sing two songs this Palm Sunday at a downtown church: _God our Father, Lord of Heaven_ (Tantum ergo) by John Cowley and Jose Maria Beobide and _Lift thine eyes to the Mountains_ from Mendelssohn’s Elijah. We are singing the first verse of Tantum in (ecclesiastical) Latin and English. It is still difficult for me to remember the hard ‘v’ and to make ‘ae’ a long A. Ah well. Over soon.

Then we move on to

a Liszt tune to _Ye sons and daughters of the King_ and Charles Wesley’s _Lo, He comes with clouds descending_ which has music by W. Owen. These last two will be sung the Sunday after Easter at our church.


The children and I have been listening to Gustav Holst’s The Planets. (I have a Deutsche Grammophon disc of the Berliner Phiharmonic directed by Von Karajan)

It is grand.

Then we listened to some of John William’s Star Wars music. I wanted them to be aware that several musical themes and ideas were borrowed or lifted by Williams from Holst. This is the most striking example I know of what borders on musical plagerism. If anyone know of any others I would love to hear them.


And we are listening to Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion directed by Otto Klemperer.

Most memorable to me for it “O Sacred Head now Wounded”.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 03 2004 at 11:52 am

Introverted (I) 68.75% Extroverted (E) 31.25%

Imaginative (N) 58.82% Realistic (S) 41.18%

Intellectual (T) 69.23% Emotional (F) 30.77%

Easygoing (P) 51.72% Organized (J) 48.28%

Your type is: INTP

You are an Architect, possible professions include – strategic planning, writer, staff development, lawyer, architect, software designer, financial analyst, college professor, photographer, logician, artist, systems analyst, neurologist, physicist, psychologist, research/development specialist, computer programmer, data base manager, chemist, biologist, investigator.

Take Free Career Inventory Personality Test

personality tests by

Angela started this.

For those interested more info on INTP can be found here . It describes me rather too accurately.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 01 2004 at 4:06 pm
Seems like the description just about covers mothering.
Comment posted by Mama herself (ip: on 04 / 03 / 2004 at 11:20 AM

Mama herself’s E-mail:

Mama herself’s website:

What? You’re an “I”! What have I missed? 🙂 I think I am becoming more of an “I” as I get older – and my children use up my “E”ness on most days!
Comment posted by Julie in sunny FL (ip: on 04 / 03 / 2004 at 4:18 PM

Julie in sunny FL’s E-mail:

Are you inferring you could not _tell_ I am an “I”? It must be Sarah. She brings out the “E” in me.
Comment posted by Deb (ip: on 04 / 04 / 2004 at 2:45 PM

Deb’s E-mail:

Deb’s website:

April Fool
The three of you who read this may now again comment as I have paid Upsaid for the privilege of blogging. Somewhat like vanity press. Vanity blogging.

Jay requests to inform y’all of our meal of wild road kill grouse. It had broken its neck on a car and was otherwise unscathed. The weather was still below freezing when I picked it up after seeing it for the second time in two days. I had my eyes on the feathers. But Jay (and knowledge of British game aging) convinced me the breasts would be OK. Jay had promised to chuck them out if it smelled when he opened it up.

As it was, they were incredibly good sauteed in butter. The kids refused to eat any (Eeww! You’re going to eat ROAD KILL?) , which was fine with us. Grouse breasts are not very big.

Entry posted by jpm14 on April 01 2004 at 3:07 pm
Oh, good, I’m glad we haven’t lost your blog.

Matt says, “This is just what Upsaid had up their sleeve all along. Get everyone hooked on the free service and then pull it out from under them.” I prefer to think that growing out of their system genuinely caught them by surprise… after all, we blogged for free for well over a year.

So when are you going to put out a recipe book? 😉

Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 04 / 02 / 2004 at 8:39 AM
I’m glad your kids have standards! Love, Julie
Comment posted by Julie (ip: on 04 / 03 / 2004 at 9:49 PM

Julie’s E-mail:

Please tell Jay that your post gave me confidence (seven months later, in November 04) to cook my own roadkill grouse! There are lots of grouse in the woods near here, and I’ve seen hunters with some and found feathers from when hawks get them, and always thought they’d probably be delicious. My kids found this one on the way home from school–I was thinking it might have been forgotten by a hunter (had seen evidence of a hunter earlier in the day), but as it was still there the next morning, I decided it was fair game (!) for me to take. My English mother-in-law, who once served me roadkill pheasant, encouraged me, as did your post, so I cleaned my first ever grouse and cooked it up in red wine with onions! Delicious!
Comment posted by Francesca (ip: on 12 / 01 / 2004 at 8:44 AM

Francesca’s E-mail:

We watched the movie “Cast Away” last night as a family. Then this morning I tried to explain Materialism as best as I could to them. That movie is a prime example of that worldview.


Isaac is now within millimeters of being taller than I. His adolescence is difficult for me. And I at times make it harder for him than I ought.

Just now he wondered if he could be “a strong voice” in politics. After a bit of repartee I replied

“Sure. What would you be a strong voice for or against?”

“Well, I’m not sure yet. I just wondered if you would mind if I was.”

Translation: Just checking to see if I can get your goat.


One flying squirrel escaped over a week ago and has not been seen since, nor has it come back to be trapped. Since that escape we have had several inches of snow and temperatures down to 10 degrees.


Our January time in Texas made most of February seem to fly by. But late February and March winteriness have seen a recurrance of my penchant for negativity this time of year.


Friday Isabelle found a dead doe under the trees to the west. It had been hit by a car and had laid down to die far underneath low branches. Saturday we dragged it to the edge of the road. Here there are so may deer hit that the town road crews drive around and pick them up from the road edges.

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 23 2004 at 10:17 am
Girl with a Pearl Earring
Both the book and movie are good.

Read the book before seeing the movie or you might not get all that is happening.

And miss some subtle filling out of motivations that are left up in the air in the book.

Like any movie, one or two main relational threads are followed from the larger tapestry of intertwining relationships presented in the novel. The director chose well in what to follow and what to let fall by the way.

The movie is beautiful. Director plays with light, copying the style of Vermeer. Dark interiors lit with candlelight. Use of natural light through windows. Great color. Seeing the period clothing and manners, the home (filmed in Lichtenstein and Belgium) and housekeeping was almost as illuminating.

Colin Firth as uptight, pensive, agitated leading man. Again. Remember D’Arcy?

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 01 2004 at 3:21 pm
One comment:
“Colin Firth as uptight, pensive, agitated leading man. Again. Remember D’Arcy?”

Which Darcy?

Pride & Prejudice (Fitzwilliam Darcy),
or Bridget Jones’s Diary (Mark Darcy)?

(answer: yes)


Comment posted by anja (ip: on 03 / 02 / 2004 at 9:54 pm
You are the Tomb of Maussollos!
You are the Tomb of King Maussollos!

Private and reclusive, you just want to be left
alone. Although you do enjoy good
conversation, you tend to avoid confrontations
and keep an emotional distance. As the Tomb of
Maussollos, you are very precise in your work
and daily living and strive to keep out of
other peoples business. Youre a good listener,
and you strive to find logical solutions to
your own and other persons problems. Very
indecisive, you tend to analyze yourself into

What Wonder of the Ancient World are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Entry posted by jpm14 on March 01 2004 at 10:31 am
One comment:
I got the same one.
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 03 / 01 / 2004 at 8:17 pm
Sora is writing daily updates on her Lenten goals. We are not as ardent, perhaps, but wish to serve God with all our being so we as a family this year have given up all desserts and candy except fruit for Lent.

You who know us or have eaten with us will be aware that this is a BIG DEAL. “What’s for dessert, Mom?” is a more common question than “What’s for dinner?”

On Fat Tuesday we had a party with Julie and her girls and after lunch (with cake and ice cream for dessert) and sledding everyone came in and had Mexican hot chocolate and all the leftover candy and cookies both houses had contained. It was a blow out. Elizabeth over-indulged on the candy and felt very ill, poor girl.

Then for supper we had friends over and had lamb, mashed potatoes, fruit salad, rolls and more cake and ice cream. Isaac and Isabelle had made paper mache masks and got to wear them. That was our Carneval. Instead of saying good-bye to meat we were saying good-bye to our fleshly desires for cakes, puddings, cookies, ice cream, candies, chocolates.

The children have done so well. I am so proud of them. They are both voluntarily not eating sugared cereal and cocoa in the morning. Cocoa technically is not dessert (neither is the high sugar cereal my Mom supplies them with) but they are willing and it is a great thing. Isaac reported he refused cookies at his youth group meeting and had only chips instead.

On the bible reading front the kids and I have been reading less intensely than Sora, but we have all year to read the whole bible using the Slackers and Shirkers Bible Reading guide that was published in Notes From Toad Hall last winter by Margie Haack . We are one month into it and plugging along. Jay reads psalms to us most mornings, then we read the chapters from whichever book we are in for that day. Som days we play catch up.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 28 2004 at 6:40 pm
Yes, dinner on the 24th was lovely. Thank you for that, Deb! We also discussed a variety of interesting topics! 🙂
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 29 / 2004 at 1:03 PM
Here is where I have posted more information on those topics:

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 02 / 29 / 2004 at 1:03 PM
Birds and others
I participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count by putting in the data for the pair of pileated woodpeckers I saw while on a walk back to the woods Friday, the pair of Great Horned Owls who hoot to each other in the pines and the five bluejays and nine juncos who swing around to eat sunflower and pine nuts, respectively.

This morning at church I told an avid birding neighbor about the pileated woodpeckers and got such an enthusiastic response I then told him about the owls. He said his wife and eldest son will show up some night soon to hear/see the owls.

The flying squirrels now lodge in their bluebird box in a large insect cage on the back porch. Their diet consists of water, apple slices, bird seed (they do not especially care for millet or other small round seeds but love sunflower seeds), hickory and pecan nuts in the shell and shelled english walnuts from my mom’s tree. Tonight Jay put in a small deer antler as our reading suggests they need calcium to counteract lack of Vit. D due to being nocturnal. We also added a small cartilaginous lamb rib bone just to see if they touch it.

One of them jumped onto my face last week as I was showing them to a piano student and her sister. It jumped right back into the cage, leaving several small wounds on my face that wound be difficult to decipher if you did not know their provenance.

Down to negative double digits tonight.

Entry posted by jpm14 on February 15 2004 at 9:02 pm
Squirrels Again
Now we are boarding them.

Two flying squirrels Jay trapped in a student apartment down by the lake will be living in the basement until the weather breaks. (March, maybe?) They came out from a crevasse behind a chimney during a dinner party and landed in the dessert.

And more are on the way.

Another one was trapped last night and there is at least one more who dragged its apple piece out and away before being caught.

So far they like apple, peanut butter, walnut halves, grapes and uncooked oatmeal.

The two reside in a notecard box (5 1/2 bar size) lined with fine, dried grass in an insect cage (2′ x 2′ x 2′) on a table in the basement. I took off the cardbox cover and petted them just awhile ago as they napped. One did not move. One bit me, but not meanly.

I have always wanted a flying squirrel. Jay had a couple as pets one winter when he was young. If the first site is correct, they may have babies before it warms up enough to let them go!

Here is a good picture on a site for PET flying squirrels. Hmmm.

Jay had said they band up in the winter…how many could there be altogether at this site? I hope he brings home a larger cage tonight.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 26 2004 at 5:06 pm
flying squirrels
for awhile.

They like hickory nuts also.

Comment posted by Deb (ip: on 01 / 29 / 2004 at 1:07 PM

Deb’s E-mail:

Deb’s website:

I can see this is where Deb’s blog is headed… (follow link above for a preview)


Comment posted by anja (ip: on 01 / 26 / 2004 at 11:03 PM

anja’s website:

Crud. the link went on my name. Here is what Deb’s going to turn into because of the flying squirrel adoration: dreydenizen

unless she’s careful… 😉

Comment posted by (ip: on 01 / 26 / 2004 at 11:06 PM

Best site of all.

Comment posted by Deb (ip: on 01 / 26 / 2004 at 5:23 PM

Deb’s E-mail:

Deb’s website:

John, who is 44, needs prayer.

In hospital with pneumothorax and pneumonia.

Thoracoscopy showed no cavities (that they were going to staple shut!) but Dr. did put talc mixture in the pleural space. Several more days in hospital at least.

Oh, and he has had Valley Fever, worked in deserts extensively,

and he has smoked for more than half his life.

He _knows_ what he should do about that last.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 24 2004 at 9:41 pm
One comment:
He is home!
Comment posted by Deb (ip: on 01 / 29 / 2004 at 1:04 pm

Deb’s E-mail:

Deb’s website:

Texas Nature Highlights
1. Cochineal insects on prickley pear cactus pads at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Gardens! Freaked the boys out by smearing them on my lips. Lovely purply-red.

I have used them, dried, for testile dying. Expensive. And now I understand why.

The docent even gave me a pad liberally covered with cochineal bugs to take home. A few survived the rain on the patio and now are awaiting Ellie’s viewing before Jay gets his wish for their fast removal.

2. Tail feathers from either a small bird or a fledgling which were about all that was left but bones from the carcass the fire ants had dragged into one of their nests and cannibalized.

3. Large (this was Texas) Muscovy duck which on Zilker Creek swam over and jumped up onto the same rock as Isabelle, gradually pushing her off! (I was afraid duck would poke her eyes out)

I pulled -hard- at a dark green tail feather trying to pull one out (and get the duck to leave).

It then calmly bit my knee.

I grabbed its head and threatened it with death. It stood calmly.

I picked it up and threw it in the stream. It sat, calmly.


Even more bizarre was the young woman with the studded cheek who sat silently, witnessing this whole episode, and then informed Jeni and me that “the duck is territorial”. She frequents this stretch of stream and “knew” this duck.

Normal ducks would have hit me with their wings or feet, and made noise. Of course, one could argue a normal person would have warned my daughter she was “on the duck’s rock”.

4. also on Zilker Creek–a couple dozen turtles basking on dead branches and swimming in the clear water.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 24 2004 at 9:18 pm
Made it home in time to participate in single digit weather!

One of the places Bonnie and Richard took us to in Houston was NASA.


We saw the control room for the Mercury, Apollo and early space shuttle missions. Our people went to the moon and back using and trusting equipment that is now so outdated it is scary to behold. Feats of faith as much as technical knowledge.

Saw actual capsules the astronauts rode up to space and to the moon.

So small, so crammed with unlabeled switches and buttons.

So un-high tech.

But we did it.

I told myself to remember this next time I whine about having less than I think I need to do something (like school). One can do a whole lot more than seems possible with comparatively little.

Lileks had this to say about Bush’s space plans. I think he has a point.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 24 2004 at 8:56 pm
Future blog entries
will be abstracted amazing doings down here in TX. A visit to a friend in Houston, a fast trip to San Antonio, a demented Muscovy duck, BBQ, turtles, cochineal insects, grocery store itiems not readily available in the North, land and soil differences, NASA, the Alamo, the Gulf, season/plant suprises.

Tomorrow, God willing, we will return home to Jay.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 21 2004 at 9:52 am
Colder in Upstate NY than on Mars
Yes, this

says it all. Brr.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 15 2004 at 6:56 pm
One comment:
Read my weather report…I dare you!
Comment posted by Freezing in Freeville (ip: on 01 / 16 / 2004 at 10:24 am

Freezing in Freeville’s website:

Boundless optimism, meat, pollen:Lone Star State Notes
Well, partner, we all have been bunking down here in Austin with the Martens for a week now.

All days previous the temperature has been up to 70 F and nights 40-low 60’s. today is rainy and in the 60’s–a good thing since rainfall was down by 1/3 last year. Meanwhile, in upstate NY, my poor honey is sleeping alone through sub-zero nights and days. What great timing–for the children and me.

Everything -is- big and better here. The State capital is taller than any other. Even the brass door hinge face plates on all the doors are decorated with the Lone Star and the brand: Texas. The massive bronze Victorian chandeliers in the governing chambers are in the shape of large stars and the light bulbs spell out the state name. Know those theme parks named “Six Flags Over….”? They originated in Texas, the only state to be an governed under six different sovereignties: Spain, France, Mexico, The Republic of Texas, The Confederate Union, The United States. Yesterday I spied the large banners outside the Texas Museum: Land, Identity, Opportunity.

The Texas state legislature meets biannually for 140 days –and votes on a state budget only when they meet. And the remuneration for State Senators and Legislators is $7,500 per annum. Imagine that, New Yorkers–true civic mindedness!

Texans love their state, love being here, see good in their past and expect good things for their future. What a refreshing contrast to the negative mind set found all too often in our home state.


This is not a place for vegetarians. The home of BBQ. The Home of Rudy’s, where one orders by the smoked meats by the pound and eats on wooden picnic tables off butcher paper. Mmm! Where grocery stores sell the largest hunks of beef I have ever seen outside of a processing plant. People take them home, brine or rub spices on them and them BBQ it all. Alligator meat is sold near the shrimp.

On the plus side, mangos are .50 apiece, avocados halves can come already scooped out and sealed in airless plastic bags, as is fresh salsa of various colors and ingredients, ready to be made into guacamole. Piloncillo and mexican chocolate, various Mexican cheeses are all here and inexpensive. We have been to “Taco Cabana” for lunch twice. Their fruity salsa beats anything McD’s ever had.


As I followed Jeni around in the little gold car, it got increasingly difficult to see out the windshield. It was pollen from a ubiquitous Juniper, here called cedar. The windshields are coated with it. The children are sneezing from it. Jeni says you can shake a branch and it comes out in a yellow cloud. Our spruces do this occasionally some springs. Never in January.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 15 2004 at 11:56 am
Travel by air
Since there are less than 24 hours before the children and I board a plane to Austin, I was thinking about the last time I travelled alone in a plane with them.


Jay did, while in Bolivia. After the paperwork was done in La Paz, I went on via plane to visit Elsa, the girl we sponsored through Compassion. She lived with her brother and cousins with her Aunt and Uncle in Cochabamba. (Recently she moved away from Cochabamba because her Aunt found work elsewhere.)

Jay returned to Santa Cruz via plane with both children. Isaac was five, Isabelle had just turned one. Before we had left La Paz we had eaten a meal of saltenas –there should be a tilde over the n, making it an “enyay”.

Jay has a particular aversion to saltenas. But these saltenas were made by the son of the friends we were staying with to prove to us (and his family) that his soon-to-be-opened saltena stand would be a success. There was no way out for poor Jay. He ate a couple. In my opinion they were absolutely fabulous.

The hour flight back to Santa Cruz was rough (ditto the one to Cochabamba). There were terrific thunderstorms and the planes we were in were small.

Isabelle had a very poopy diaper. Jay felt sick from the saltenas, sick from the turbulence, sick from the smelly poopy that spilled over his lap. As he tells it, through super-human effort he made it (barely) back to the hotel before ‘tossing’ the saltenas.

Anyway, we will not serve saltenas for breakfast tomorrow.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 07 2004 at 8:19 am
other things you have never dreamt of
Jay says people come read my blog to learn about us doing “things they have never dreamed of”. Such as hunting and butchering and squirrel soup, I suppose.

Well, for all my vegetarian friends out there (you know who you are), I also took to Angela’s New Year’s eve party Chinese Chestnut rolls. For those of you who wish to duplicate this wonder at home:

1. Visit the Cornell Plantations in the Fall and pick up as many Chinese chestnuts as possible. You will have to fight the gray squirrels for them. There is a way around that, but only if you are not a vegetarian. (see below)

2. After Christmas, when you have a few moments and the chestnuts have dried down, cut open the hulls (I used scissors) and extract the nuts. Boil them in water for 25-35 minutes, until they turn an unsightly brownish grey and are soft.

3. Mash or food processor them. I did this by putting them in the Cuisenart with the sugar and oil used in my potato roll recipe.

4.When they are nicely pureed, incorporate them into your favorite potato roll recipe. The dough is a bit off-colored, but the rolls brown nicely. And the compliments will just -roll- in. Ha!


Last night I woke up about 2.30AM to a sound I missed hearing last year. The Great Horned Owls are back and Who-hoo-hoo-oo-oo ing at one another in the wee hours. The Great Horned Owl is considered to be monogamous in their mating behavior(Houston, 1998). According to this link“The mating season for the owl begins in January or February. During this time the males and females, call to each other with a hooting sound to attract a suitable mate.”

We did not hear them last year and I had worried that the severe winter had done this pair in. They have sung to each other in our hearing in January for years. One of them sits in one of our spruce trees, the other is in the spruce block across the hay field.

The kids and I had startled a Great Horned off its roost Friday when we went for a walk back in the woods. I lay and listened to them for about 40 minutes, thanking God and smiling in the dark.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 04 2004 at 9:56 pm
One comment:
The other day, Matt said, “You know, we still haven’t met anyone as cool as Deb and Jay in Cincinnati.”

(You can take his “cool” to mean “totally unlike anyone else” rather than “trendy.”)

Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 01 / 05 / 2004 at 11:55 am

Sora’s website:

of Squirrels
There is a delightful red squirrel living, we think, in the old apple tree west of us. It comes to the spruces around the house and has piled up lots of cones from which it extracts seeds for its dinners. We have been augmenting its diet with pecan halves and apple slices.

It likes to run down the big rope swing and tug pieces of fiber off the tassel at the bottom, which it takes away to its den, from which behavior we wonder if ‘it’ is a ‘she’.

One morning, when Lily bunny was out eating grass in the yard, the red squirrel came calling, jumped into her pen, grabbed -her- apple piece and disappeared up the tree with it.

—a different take on squirrel—-

The day after christmas Daren called to ask Jay if he wanted five squirrels, all skinned and cleaned. Sure. He had shot them off the bird feeder within half an hours’ time. They were all fat, grain-fed grays.

Jay boiled them up, took the meat off the bones and froze it with the broth.

I thawed it out, added onion, potatoes, frozen parsley and freshly dug carrots.

We took Squirrel Soup to Angela’s New Year’s Eve Party.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 04 2004 at 9:33 pm
Lambs to Slaughter
Yesterday our family went down the road to our neighbor Sue’s establishment where Jay dispatched and I helped butcher two ten-month-old Jacob ram lambs. One for Sue and one for us.

Sue and Cliff and sons invited us to stay for lunch after we had cut up and wrapped her meat. We had discussions on the physiology of death (why meat has to go through rigor), insect art, artists, stones, people we know in common at Cornell and BTI, work in meat packing plants, BSE, how life at Cornell has changed in 25-30 years (Cliff, Jay and I all graduated from there) and how teaching philosophies seem to have changed (for the worse, mostly). It was a wonderful time.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 28 2003 at 6:14 pm
Molecular parts
You are an enzyme. You are powerful, dark,
variable, and can change many things at your
whim…even when they’re not supposed to be
changed. Bad you. You can be dangerous or
wonderful; it’s your choice.

Which Biological Molecule Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 28 2003 at 5:55 pm
And this is Jay:
You are starch. You are rigid, opinionated,
hard-willed and not too friendly about it. You
keep people out of places, or you keep them in,
and without you a lot of things would collapse.
hopefully you’ll never have the authority to
burn people at the stake. Sir. Ma’am.

Which Biological Molecule Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

The scary part is he thinks it is generally a good description of him !

Comment posted by Deborah (ip: on 12 / 28 / 2003 at 6:12 PM

Deborah’s E-mail:

Deborah’s website:

You are water. You’re not really organic; you’re
neither acidic nor basic, yet you’re an acid
and a base at the same time. You’re strong
willed and opinionated, but relaxed and ready
to flow. So while you often seem worthless,
without you, everything would just not work.
People should definitely drink more of you
every day.

Which Biological Molecule Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 12 / 28 / 2003 at 10:56 PM
Isaac’s Gotcha
This day eleven years ago we were handed a small, sick, severely malnourished,scar-covered, almost two-year-old Aymaran/Hispanic boy in one of the poorest, most run-down state orphanages in Bolivia. He was 29 inches long and weighed 19 pounds. He could not walk or speak.

His name at the time was Misael Rodrigo Patino. Misael is Spanish for Meshach, one of the three faithful young boys who were taken with Israel to Babylon, who grew up trained to be diplomats serving the King there.

As God saved Misael and his friends from the fiery furnace, so the Lord had a plan of escape for our boy, Isaac.

We thank the Almighty for His mercy to Isaac and to us, for showing us the way to him, and forging us as a family through the trials it took to make him our son legally.

As far as we have been able to find out, Isaac is the first child ever to leave that orphanage through adoption. It was so difficult a task that no adoptions were attempted after his from this particular orphanage.

At this time Bolivia has closed international adoptions. There is now a lot of political unrest and social instability. Even more than when we were there.

Today he and I will go to the 11 o’clock showing of “The Return of The King”. He also received a copy of Lewis’ Latin Dictionary I bought at the

book sale. And he has chosen brownie pudding for dessert tonight.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 17 2003 at 9:23 am
Happy Belated Gotcha Day! I can’t wait till we get our little daughter home. I’m sure in 11 years it will still feel like yesterday. 😀
Comment posted by ModernMother Tamra (ip: on 12 / 27 / 2003 at 2:15 AM

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Yay for adoption!!! :^D
Comment posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) (ip: on 01 / 06 / 2004 at 5:32 PM

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

Of Bunnies and Sheep
We had 18 middle school children and four (extra) adults in our home all at once for the salad course of a progressive dinner party last night. With Isaac’s blessing Isabelle and I made bunny salads. I have this ’70’s cookbook and made this salad while growing up.

Lily bunny made out very well with leftovers of all but the cottage cheese, which Zeke and Pounce received. Jay and I were astonished at the number of children who did not finish, or barely touched, their servings. The lasagna course even went unscathed by some, I learned from the “main dish” mother.

This morning Isabelle and the rest of her Sunday school class sang the Kirkpatrick version of “Away in the Manger” with animal costume headgear on. Isabelle informs me she was complemented on her accurately-sounding ‘baa-s’ which explains why I heard so many of them on their way in and out of the sanctuary.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 14 2003 at 4:49 pm
Cookie Tales
Jeni (see comments below) tells of spreading gingerbread glee. She is a lot more tolerant of kids making huge messy areas than I am. I make too many myself. Isaac and Isabelle got to make some springerle. No frosting.

Springerle owls made in chocolate almond and orange flavors are perennially a big hit. So many people ask how they are made. At the spinning guild party a friend answered “She takes a teeny knife and carves each one by hand.” Springerle dough is similar to play-doh in texture and the cookies from this deep mold are stunning. He looks as if he could spring off each cookie. Especially if I had a hard time getting the midsection out and his feathers are curved up and out, as if the wind were rustling them.

The penuche pecan bars that take 4.5 cups of pecan halves are kept (mainly) for adult visitors. Brown sugar and eggs are boiled, then flour vanilla and the nuts added in, stirred and baked. Brown sugar pecan fudge cookies. Woo-hoo! This recipe is from one of Maida Heatter ‘s cookie books. The best one, I think. There are lots of recipes I use frequently from here that are excellent.

Dark chocolate almond biscotti and the walnut spice refrigerator cookies are also from this book.

Ellie’s grandmother’s recipe for a layered refrigerator cookie is very good also. the three stripes of this cookie are: chocolate, poppy seed and pink marachino cherry. Ellie brought us some Friday. I will have to make more.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 14 2003 at 4:29 pm
The Girl with Green Anchos
Just finished reading “The Girl in Hyacinth Blue” by Susan Vreeland . It was a lovingly written book of short stories tied together by a (fictional) Vermeer painting. I identified with the last chapter, where one of Vermeer’s daughters wishes she could even ask her father to teach her to paint. She is aware her days are marked out for housewifery. More on that another time.

Anyway, by 8.15 this morning I had made a great turkey picadillo (onion, garlic, green olives, tomatoes, turkey and asiago cheese) and stuffed it into fresh ancho chiles that had been parboiled. How wonderful to realize, once in a while, that all the ingredients are on hand serendipitously for something scrumptious.

Some to freeze and some for tonight.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 04 2003 at 9:09 am
I finally got it!! Girl with Green Anchos….Girl in Hyacinth Blue…it’s been a loong day. (sigh)
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 12 / 09 / 2003 at 10:38 PM

Suz’s website:

C’mon, Deb, time for another entry before Christmas takes up all your time! I’ll make up a topic of my own: What cookies are you making this year? What’s the best Christmas cookie of all time?
So far, the kids and I have made two batches of gingerbread cookies. We made the first one to take to a St. Nicholas celebration (held by some Catholic families that we know here). They were such a hit (one lady had 7, apologizing after each one) that we made another batch for home. That’s all, so far.
My mom used to be excellent at decorating sugar cookie cut-outs. She did it with real artistry. I think hers tasted better than mine, too, even though I have a very good recipe. ??
We also used to make “butter balls,” which were little spherical flour, butter, and ground walnut cookies, dipped in powdered sugar. They were very delicate and fairly addictive.
Anise-flavored pizzelles were big favorites around our house, too. I loved using the pizzelle iron. That cookie was my specialty in high school.
Non-sequitur: My smallest, Galen, got into our bedroom closet and ripped open ALL his birthday presents (he’ll be 5 on 12/17) and some of the Christmas presents. The little wart!
Comment posted by Jeni Martens (ip: on 12 / 14 / 2003 at 12:55 AM

Jeni Martens’s E-mail:

home surgery, or another reason to use open sights
While I took the children up home to visit relatives last Friday/Saturday Jay shot another deer. In the process he cut himself (yet again) between his eyebrows with the gun scope. 1 1/4 inch long and looks like about 3/16 to 1/4 inch deep.

Rhetorical questions:

Did he go to a doctor? Did he go to Convenient Care?

Not on your life. The wife is gone. Let’s see if I can stitch myself up.

He could.

Saturday eve we returned to Frankenhunter, his large wound sewed shut with two widely spaced stitches of heavy duty black thread.

Jay has done a good job keeping the wound clean. There is no evidence of infection. I will remove the stitches tonight.

This is one situation I wish we did have a digital camera.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 03 2003 at 1:43 pm
The stitches were not thread. They were heavy duty gut line used for sewing up severe animal wounds.

Stitch removal successful.

Comment posted by Deborah (ip: on 12 / 04 / 2003 at 8:56 AM

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Hey, when it heals, he’ll be like Harry Potter! Except that he GOT Voldemort. 🙂
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 12 / 04 / 2003 at 9:55 PM
Mastering Life
This year the winterberry (Ilex verticillata is magnificent. And it needed trimming! So there are plenty of lovely red berries for wreaths. There are two cedars (Thuja occidentalis) South of the blueberries that have overgrown their welcome so Jay cut one off about six feet up. The winds brought down plenty of white pine and spruce boughs. The weather has been unusually warm. Wreath making has been the order of the past weekend and this week.

Each child got to make a wreath. I made 8 or nine and a swag.

Jay shot a button buck last Saturday but has not had a good shot since although he has seen deer.

I recommend home school mothers seeing Master and Commander. It has done wonders for my sense of duty to my children. And after prayerful consideration, has helped me reform how some actions and re-actions are performed in this home–to the benefit of all.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 26 2003 at 9:05 am
What, in Master and Commander, got to you?
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 11 / 27 / 2003 at 11:42 PM

Jeni’s E-mail:

The routine physical enforcement of external politeness which leads to positive internal change of outlook.
As opposed to my all too often emotional enforcement of emotions which leads to negative internal outlooks in all involved.
Comment posted by Deb (ip: on 12 / 03 / 2003 at 1:31 PM

Deb’s E-mail:

Deb’s website:

“I like being in control”
quoth my daughter.

“I think that is why I like riding horses. Because I can tell them what to do and even if they don’t want to I can make them do it.”


Thank God she is under the covenant, has given her free allegiance to Christ and has a soft heart. Most of the time.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 19 2003 at 3:48 pm
First Day Report
Pouring rain began about 4.30AM.

I had not sighted in the gun I use and felt uncomfortable hunting until I did so. So while I was in a comfy flannel-sheeted bed, Jay was in his stand, in the rain, by 6.20. He shot a nice 4-pt. buck at about 8.20AM. Then spent the next two and a half hours getting the thing out of the woods. It had run into a swamp to die.

Daren, nephew Ted and PA friends had all decided to spend the whole day in their stands. They left the house about 5 AM and returned about 5 PM. No way could I sit anywhere for 12 hours. Carl saw nothing, zero, zilch. Twelve hours in a tree on a cold, rainy, foggy day. Daren saw a big buck but did not get a shot. Ted passed up several does, fawns and small bucks. Tim passed up several bucks as too small.

Before lunch, I shot a couple shells and Jay adjusted the up/down sighting of my 12 gauge shotgun.

After lunch, Jay and Isaac drove the Lower Dodge woods up to mein the main woods behind the house. I sat in Daren’s new ground blind– “the fort”. A large 4- 1/2 point buck came ambling straight at me early on. I shot for his brisket, but he started running afterwards. One leg was broken, he ran off to the west and either fell or shoved through brush. It did not appear that I had given a killing shot. I felt ill.

A while later Jay yelled that another deer was coming. Then I noticed an odd movement off to the forward right at about 2 o’clock in my shooting zone. Another hunter, waving? In camo? Just after I had anxiously sorted out that it was the weird chaotic movements of shrubby branches in very light breeze–not a person–I noticed a large doe coming towards me off to at about 10.30. My hasty shot missed and she went off, bounding.

Isaac, Jay and I started looking for sign from the buck when they finished up near me. No blood sign at all. But 60-70 yards from where I shot, there he was, dead. I had hit him in the low brisket, right in front. His right front leg was broken. The slug had torn a trough down the side of his heart. His chest cavity was full of congealed blood. The buck had bled out as he had run until there was so little blood pressure left he died. And no blood trail as all the blood had pooled inside.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 18 2003 at 11:00 am
is a favorite meal. Yesterday we had borscht made with beets, onions, carrots, tomato, cabbage, potato, a tad of grapeseed oil, cider vinegar, salt and honey. Chicken broth as the base. Even Jay, who under-appreciates beets, likes it. The deer had been into the beets and eaten the greens off when I picked some last Friday morning. The frosts have made the beets incredibly sweet. Carrots had been picked Saturday. Tomatoes were canned in September. Potatoes were picked in October. And the onions had come from Elba, NY in October. The cabbage remnant had come from a store a long time ago, poor thing.

Last week we had cream of celery soup. Celeries were on sale at the store. Lots of celery and onion chopped fine, saute-ed in butter, whizzed in the Cuisenart and put back in with seasoned milk.

Before that Spanish-style sausage soup and winter squash soup.

This week we will have soup made with pheasant. Jay shot five last night. He left two or three unfrozen. They will make a wonderful broth. All the old folk song herbs are in the small side garden: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. The sage, rosemary and thyme go into the water with the pheasants. And an onion.

I routinely make my own broth. Chicken is so inexpensive and home made broth so much better than canned

Here is a blog I just today visited about The Joy of Soup. We have never had nut soup. Well, maybe some peanut butter in a sauce, but not in a soup.

Tell me soup tales.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 10 2003 at 10:37 am
The cream of celery soup was delicious!

We are eating lentil soup and homemade bread tonight. Talia helped chop up vegetables for it and asked me, “Mommy, how come your soup broths come in so many different colors? I don’t get different colors when I make soup [out in the yard in buckets, chopping up crabapples, catalpa seed pods, and anything else she can find mixed with water from the hose].”

The best thing about soup (I tend to make mostly variations on vegetable / legume / barley soups rather than cream soups for this very reason) is that I can start them in the late morning or while cleaning up from lunch (while I still have some energy!) and then leave them to simmer in the crockpot. When suppertime rolls around and I’m exhausted, there’s nothing to do but call a child to put bowls on the table.

Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 11 / 10 / 2003 at 5:04 PM

Sora’s E-mail:

We made peanut soup from scratch in Cote d’Ivoire. Started with raw peanuts, roasted ’em, and ground ’em up with a rolling pin, if I recall correctly. Very yummy.

The recipe was something between these two:

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 11 / 10 / 2003 at 7:33 PM
Sounds good! Now that I am back on my weird anti-yeast diet, I am always looking for variety. I am now shopping at Wegman’s, an experience I detest, just because I need to eat organic veggies and meat. I never thought I would be in the same isle as the “earth muffins”!
By the way, I always saw numbers as gendered. The odds were male and the evens, female. Seriously! I know you can probably read things into that.
Comment posted by Suz (ip: on 11 / 11 / 2003 at 10:56 PM

Suz’s website:

Black bean chili is one of my kids’ favorite foods on earth. And with a splash of one of our collection of hot sauces, one of Chris’, too. I suppose I should learn to season it in the Texas style, now that I’m down here. My recipe originates from Molly Katzen’s Still Life cookbook, and I mess around with it at will. That’s the point of soup.

I had some tortilla soup in a “blah” restaurant near San Antonio a couple of weeks ago, when we were on our way home from an air show and pulled off the interstate for a quick dinner. The tortilla soup was a big surprise: it was GREAT. Mild, full of vegetables, and intensely flavorful. That’s the soup I want to learn to make next. Anybody have a good recipe for it?

Comment posted by Jeni Martens (ip: on 11 / 14 / 2003 at 12:40 AM

Jeni Martens’s E-mail:


Try this one:

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 11 / 17 / 2003 at 10:37 PM
You can actually go to Ransom Fellowship’s magazine on line now by pressing on the yellow ‘Critique’ name. Finally got around to fixing it.

There is an exellent article on persecution of Christians. Give yourself new prayer fodder–read it.

It is an example of the great writing that does not make it into the paper version of Critique.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 08 2003 at 8:35 am
is not a word that I readily identify with. It has been a slow process over the years assembling domestic skills. At Isaac’s age I was outside driving tractors, doing barn chores, and handing my father tools as he fixed farm machinery. After teaching second graders all week Mom wanted the house to herself. I was happy to comply after being indoors at school all week.

Mom recently enlightened me about washing soda. She showed me some really dirty socks she had soaked in a mixture of 1/4cup washing soda to a bucket of water overnight. The socks were white and the water filthy–this before being put in the washer! I realized it is the same chemical I have used for years as an assist with fiber reactive dyes to dye cottons. Just had no clue it had other value and was readily available. Well, it does, and it is!

The other day I soaked some tablecloths and pillowcases with years-old stains in a mixture of washing soda, ammonia and water overnight. The next morning some detergent was added and all sent through a wash cycle. The stains all came out! A miracle!

(My friend Ellie enlightened me about the amazing uses of ammonia as a grease solvent years ago. These practical uses for chemicals were not covered in university chemistry or biochemistry classes.)

I have begun adding washing soda to especially dirty outside clothes. It is an inexpensive, effective cleaning aid. Buy some!

Fruit of the Month– Quince

Quinces, peeled, cored, cooked with brown sugar and butter. Microwave, stovetop or baked. Fabulous. Mixed quinces and apples in a crisp. Mmm.

My parents’ shrubby tree, which is kept in check with a chainsaw, produced a couple bushels this year.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 06 2003 at 7:22 am
You have the right to freely claim “domesticity” as one of your attributes, right up there with industry, creativity and generosity. The main requirement of domesticity is simply BEING THERE. You’re home. You’re the one cleaning and decorating, planning the meals, wiping the noses, listening to complaints, moving plants around your yard. Being unsure about how to best iron a dress shirt, how to get a certain stain out, etc.–those are handy skills, but minor. You score big-time in the major categories of domesticity.
(This seems clearer than ever to me now, since I am home with my children in a neighborhood of young families which is eerily vacant during the day. Even after school, it’s a bit too serene, because most of the kids are occupied with after-school-care or school activities.)
Comment posted by Jeni Martens (ip: on 11 / 07 / 2003 at 4:26 PM

Jeni Martens’s E-mail:

Domestic is a word I would use to describe a woman who thinks that buying frozen pot pies for dinner is “eating out.” Love, Julie
Comment posted by Julie (ip: on 11 / 08 / 2003 at 3:20 PM

Julie’s E-mail:

You two are too kind.

Yesterday I discovered washing soda at a rate of 2Tbls. per quart of H2O is recommended to wash wood (both painted and plain) for mildew. Then rinse with clean water and dry well.

There is a reason I am finding this recipe so handy. I have not (yet!) become domestic enough to avoid the use of it.

Comment posted by Deborah (ip: on 11 / 10 / 2003 at 10:42 AM

Deborah’s E-mail:

Deborah’s website:

November flowers
Yesterday, overnight and today we have had remarkably mild weather (60-ish) for this time of year in this region (Zone 4b-5a for you gardeners out there). Last Friday it was positively hot!

Flowers still blooming: dianthus (white, reds, pinks), chrysanthemum (purple, rose, dark blood red), fall crocus (pink and purply-blue), miniature rose (peach), oxalis (pink), passion flower (white and blue), cyclamen (pink). Along with the multitude of plants with colored leaves the small side garden we can see from the dining room window is still wonderously full of color and texture.

The cyclamen was put out in the ground this past spring and I thought the frosts would kill it off. It has survived and now has three flowers. I will dig it up soon, but have had bad luck with them once they have been in the ground. Even with a systemic most cyclamens succumb to a kind of (nematode?)worm that invades the corm and destroys it.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 05 2003 at 9:01 am
Congratulations, Dr Matt!
When God shuts a door, He opens a window. Or another door. Or a skylight. Or a vault. A good sovereign and a good parent do sometimes say “No”. You can look out the window. You can visit another room.

A sort of secret disappointment in life was that Latin was one subject I looked forward to take in 9th grade. Unfortunately, Latin was dropped as a class offering the year before I was able to take it. I took Spanish from a Cuban lawyer, a refugee who with his family fled the dictator Batista and the death he threatened them with. A long story. Good accent, no grammar.

A short bio of my life after high school divided into approximately five years segments looks like this: BS, MS, marriage, small business owner and infertility treatments, adoption, home-schooling mom.

Homeschooling and the internet coalesced. I found out about ‘Classical Christian homeschooling’, the trivium. I started teaching Isaac Latin using a popular Christian program. I was a fish out of water.

Then Jeni had a young mother come to her for violin lessons for her daughter. Sora’s husband was a classics PhD candidate at Cornell. A Latin and Greek scholar. Jacob and Isaac had a Latin and grammar tutor! Matt Colvin also had me as a third, less brilliant, student those two and a half years. (Thanks to Matt, I was able to agree to teach Julie daughter Meg first semester Latin this year. Meg is between eight and nine. She is absorbing Latin like a sponge. I am learning declensions (maybe for real this time) along with her.)

Yesterday Matt had his thesis defense. They drove in from Cincinnati and we saw the Colvins Friday at the other Millers and Sora and kids came over for a Saturday romp and tea party. It was Old Home Day. We missed you, Jeni, and your children.

All this to say our time under Matt’s tutelage is bearing more fruit than any high school Latin class ever could have. For me, his class was the window God had held in reserve all these years. A blessing from our sovereign Lord.

Rush right over to Dr. Matt’s blog and congratulate him!

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 02 2003 at 7:29 am
One comment:
We miss you again, Deb. May your Latin teaching be as big a blessing to you as mine has been to me.
Comment posted by Matt (ip: on 11 / 05 / 2003 at 12:39 pm

Matt’s E-mail:

Matt’s website:

Evening Solar Sight
The heavens declare your glory, O Lord!

As we were beginning to watch a video on The Endurance (which I can recommend highly) our olderly friend Beth called.

“Get outside right now if you want to see the Northern lights!”

We all piled outside to be greeted by a marvelous sight.

Radiating down from a bright spot at 12 o’clock high were bright bands of color –pink, purple, bluish, almost red that extended from the Southeast around the North and back down to the Southwest. The moon was rising in the SE. Stars were shining through the colors.

Jay rushed in to call his Mom and Daren. Then I went in and called my folks. Something this spectacular should still be visible 125 miles away! And then Angela.

The lights must have been rather transient because none of the ones we called saw them in all their glory as we did. My folks saw some colored vertical lines, but not in profusion.

The gigantic solar flare(s) that are causing geomagnetic disturbances on earth are also responsible for this varicolored veil.

Keep on the lookout–there may be more tonight!

Entry posted by jpm14 on October 31 2003 at 8:00 am
These pictures are the closest to what we saw that I have found on the web. ( under Aurora Borealis year 2003 re38443, re 38754)

Thanks to brother Jay for the sight link.

Comment posted by Deborah (ip: on 11 / 05 / 2003 at 9:22 AM

Deborah’s E-mail:

Deborah’s website:

Wow. When you called I didn’t see anything like that. Just an almost imperceptible reddishness.
Comment posted by (ip: on 11 / 05 / 2003 at 10:25 AM

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