Upsaid journal entries and comments by user: cerise

Upsaid journal entries and comments by user: jpm14
(File created on: May 26 2008)
For the Record
Jay shot five more geese yesterday–Saturday. He and Brian went out in the rain and stood in a hedgerow. Because of the rain, Daren decided to remain in bed. The geese came in as expected. Brian went out again in the afternoon with a different friend and Jay’s decoys–and brought home the decoys and the friend with no geese to show.

The son went to track practice and to help build a set for the IMO poorly chosen spring high school play: ‘State Fair’. If you have seen the movie version of this musical you will know why. Inappropriate.

Four of us went to the Blacksheep Handspinners Guild annual Rock Day celebration. M and H and Belle and I went. M brought back my wheel, which she borrowed last Christmas time and H ended up learning to spin on it later in the day. H had only ever used a drop spindle before and is pleasantly surprised at how much quicker a wheel spins wool into yarn. I was amazed at how many people showed up–a hundred or so and at least twelve vendors. M became a Black Sheep Guild member.

I had ordered ahead ten pounds of lamb meat from Robin of Nistock Farms. Belle was given a dollar from my cousin to buy five silk cocoons from Nancy’s Shadeyside Farm and I bought a couple ounces of bamboo top from her, too. And about half a pound of multicolored dyed wool batts fromThe Spinner’s Hill Shop which H and I picked out. (Lisa has been lambing (73 lambs so far) and not attending her website.) A small handmade sheep on a beaded ring also followed the girl home.

There was food galore. There was a raffle. None of us won anything. But I noticed there were lots of papers in the numbered bag for the prize my cards were part of.

There were many, many old aquaintances whom I see only at this gathering. And a few whom I see only here and one other place–the Troy County Fair– and many more whom I see as often as I go to meetings, which is not often.

One of the people I see usually only at Rock Day is my cousin, Julie.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 14 2007 at 9:10 am
My Life
Sometimes I see it as a straight line

drawn with a pencil and ruler

transecting the circle of the world

or as a finger piercing

a smoke ring, casual, inquisitive,

but then the sun will come out

or the phone will ring

and I will cease to wonder

if it is one thing,

a large ball of air and memory,

or many things,

a string of small farming towns,

a dark road winding through them.

Let us say it is a field

I have been hoeing every day,

hoeing and singing,

then going to sleep in one of its furrows,

or now that it is more than half over,

a partially open door,

rain dripping from the eaves.

Like yours, it could be anything,

a nest with an egg,

a hallway that lead to a thousand rooms–

whatever happens to float into view

when I close my eyes

or look out a window

for more than a few minutes,

so that some days I think

it must be everything and nothing at once.

But this morning, sitting up in bed,

wearing my black sweater and my glasses,

the curtains drawn up and the windows up,

I am a lake, my poem is an empty boat,

and my life is the breeze that blows

through the whole scene

stirring everything it touches–

the surface of the water, the limp sail,

even the heavy, leafy trees along the shore.

—-by Billy Collins

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 14 2007 at 8:15 am
Ushpizin is a wonderful movie. It was recommended by my friend Uberimma. It is a lovely story about an Orthodox Jewish husband and wife and some visitors that show up for Succoth. But most of all the movie is about relationships: their relationships individually with God and the visitors, their relationship as a couple with God and the visitors, and their marriage relationship.

It was the first movie I requested after we received a 3-month movie rental-by-mail present for Christmas. We all liked it–so much so that we kept it to show friends who rarely choose to watch movies. They liked it also.

Odd as it may seem to some, I, a Christian, was able to identify with the main characters in this movie more than any other movie I remember with “Christian” characters in it. Perhaps it was the relational point of view. I could totally identify with how the main characters related to Father God since it is almost identical to how I relate to Him.

Highly Recommended.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 08 2007 at 8:41 pm
The only thing I didn’t like about that movie? The last five minutes, from “We’ll name him Nachman.” Because of COURSE she’s going to have a BOY.

I really wanted the last scene to have been them having a girl and everyone shouting “mazal tov!” at the naming. Nachmana?


Comment posted by (ip: on 01 / 10 / 2007 at 12:03 AM
But OF Course it would be a boy.

The fact they smoked startled me.

And what does Nachman mean?

Comment posted by Deborah (ip: on 01 / 10 / 2007 at 10:29 AM

Deborah’s website:

Recent Recipes
The Soup of five names

The weather here has been so balmy that it was a pleasure to dig turnips, carrots and beets out of the garden. (Leeks, kale, and cold-frame lettuce, dill and parsley are still available, too.)

The cleaned, cut root crops were joined by potatoes and pumpkin and cooked in a water and broth mix until soft. Then I pureed it in the Cuisenart, added a little powdered onion and salt, and

eventually a half cup of heavy cream. The pre-cream soup color was a vibrant salmony orange and incredibly delicious. The cream toned it down both in color and taste, but my Jay still is not as flexible as I would wish in the culinary arena and the soup was supper.

Each member of the family was served a differently named soup.








Friday, for an early Three King’s Day Dinner I made “Simple Red Mole” from one of Rick Bayless’ Mexican cook books.

It has been blogged about before here. For a dish with the word simple in the title, it takes

an awfully long time–about three hours. But it is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful served as he suggests with shredded chicken and corn tortillas or with rice or bread.


Fake Boursin

Herbed cream cheese spread is a big hit and very easy to make if you have fresh herbs available. The favorite combination for New Year’s Eve was rosemary-leek. Runner-up was garlic, dill, parsley, black pepper. (I added too much salt to the latter mix.)

In the Cuisenart I mix a package of cream cheese, or regular or lower-fat Neufchatel, the herbs, salt and some cream or milk to thin. Scrape it our into a pretty bowl and let it sit in the fridge to ripen a couple hours. Serve with fresh rolls. Yum!



Also have made a few batches of chile using a mixture of beans, home-canned yellow tomatoes and a secret ingredient in both vegetarian and carnivorian versions.

The latest batch had the leftover third of a package of bacon, cut small and cooked in a large pot with eight or ten cloves of garlic, a large onion (or two?–can’t remember), a package of ground venison. Then I added a quart of cooked black beans (grown by neighbor farmers friends of my father), a can each of Cannelloni and garbanzo beans, Ancho chile powder and sauce, black pepper, salt, and a quart of Sun-gold canned tomatoes. Let this all cook together nicely. Add towards the end a great tablespoon of cilantro flakes, at least half a pound of frozen baby lima beans and then (here is the secret ingredient) the better part of a can of chunked pineapple cut up small, with its own juice. Let sit for a couple hours before serving if you are able so the flavors blend–or marry–nicely.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 07 2007 at 8:57 am
One comment:
A couple of us actually liked the garlic dill dip best. The chili was fabulous. I did experience some methane effects the day after, though; I wonder if the combination of legumes was reponsible, or if it was something else? πŸ˜‰
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 01 / 07 / 2007 at 4:44 pm
On nurslings
Over at Matt’s

there is a funny picture of their son sucking on a calf bucket. It reminds me of a similar incident.

The child I recall is now a young woman in her twenties. When she was three her parents had a deuce of a time weaning her from bottles; she preferred drinking her meals to eating. Eventually the deed was done and she ate, rather than drank, her meals.

I was single then, and spent a lot of time in the home. The family had a ditzy golden retriever named Penny. Penny was a sweet dog of very little brain who was often sequestered in an alcove leading outside by means of a baby gate. One day soon after the trauma of weaning had finished, I glanced over to where the child and dog were communing. Said tot had her hands wrapped around Penny’s muzzle and her mouth over Penny’s nose, sucking away.

Both seemed pleased by the arrangement. The rest of us were horrified.

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 04 2007 at 12:34 pm
One comment:
How com you never say “deuce” in front of me-your son
Comment posted by Saac (ip: on 01 / 09 / 2007 at 2:42 pm
There is a kind of love called maintenance,

Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it;

Which checks the insurance, and doesn’t forget

The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;

Which answers letters; which knows the way

The money goes; which deals with dentists

And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,

And postcards to the lonely; which upholds

The permanently ricketty elaborate

Structures of living; which is Atlas.

And maintenance is the sensible side of love,

Which knows what time and weather are doing

To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;

Laughs at my dryrotten jokes; remembers

My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps

My suspect edifice upright in air,

As Atlas did the sky.

U. A. Fanthorpe

Entry posted by jpm14 on January 04 2007 at 12:13 pm
If you are Eleven and horse-mad,
learning to crochet leads to this:

Poor Zeke!

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 22 2006 at 1:19 pm
Poor Zeke looks a bit confused…

I used to do that to stuffed toy dogs, as there were no live dogs (or toy horses) available!

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 12 / 24 / 2006 at 12:38 AM
Nice skirt!
Comment posted by uberimma (ip: on 12 / 25 / 2006 at 5:35 PM
Goose Guys
Jay and friends did their part to knock back the local Canada goose population this fall. Jay estimates they killed 40 during the two different seasons. And the goose season opens again on the 28th of December!

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 22 2006 at 1:12 pm
Winter Solstice Lettuce
Look what came out of the cold frame for supper!

There was also fresh dill and parsley. And enough salad greens left for another big salad.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 22 2006 at 1:07 pm
The Good Master
Angela gave her childhood copy of The Good Master by Kate Seredy to the girl of our house the last time she visited.

It is a Hungarian horse and girl story. Once she started it, our girl zipped through it within a week and bemoaned the fact of its finishing.

Tonight she made me sit down and read a story within the story about a Hungarian prince who ‘had never done any work a day in his life’, was miserable, mean, and who had a dream. That story within the story impressed her particularly.

Has my friend of Hungarian descent ever read it?

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 15 2006 at 7:33 pm
Glad she’s enjoying it. You know there’s a sequel, right?
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 12 / 17 / 2006 at 4:16 PM
No, we were unaware of it until now. Thanks!
Comment posted by Deborah Miller (ip: on 12 / 18 / 2006 at 10:50 AM

Deborah Miller’s website:

Bethlehem Down
‘When he is King we will give him the Kings’ gifts,

Myrrh for the sweetness and gold for a crown,

Beautiful robes,’ said the young girl to Joseph,

Fair with her firstborn on Bethlehem Down.

Bethlehem Down is full of the starlight

Winds for the spices, and stars for the gold,

Mary for sleep, and for lullaby music

Song of a shepherd by Bethlehem fold.

When he is King they will clothe him in gravesheets,

Myrrh for embalming, and wood for a crown,

He that lies now in the white arms of Mary,

Sleeping so lightly on Bethlehem Down.

Here he has peace and a short while for dreaming,

Close huddled oxen to keep him from cold,

Mary for love, and for lullaby music

Songs of a shepherd on Bethlehem Down.

Music by Peter Warlock (1894-1930) and words by Bruce Blunt (1899-1967)

Number 112 in the New Oxford Book of Carols.

In D minor and 6/2 time. Very slow and quiet.

Christmas eve I hope violin will start, then violin, piano and voice singing only the first and third verses, violin ending.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 14 2006 at 11:49 am
Will Isabelle be playing the violin part, and will you be playing piano and singing?
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 12 / 14 / 2006 at 12:45 PM
Gretchen on this one. I hope Isabelle will play with Gretchen and me on another–Torches by John Joubert, a Galician traditional song also out of the same book.

Isabelle is working on a small duet hopefully to play with Gretchen, too; The Heavens are Telling by Hadyn.

Comment posted by Deborah Miller (ip: on 12 / 14 / 2006 at 3:49 PM

Deborah Miller’s website:

Squirrel Update
Banner is getting a new tail! He has a nice fat full one for two-thirds of its length now. He has also gained quite a bit of weight and looks like a regulation winter squirrel.

He remains very silly. This afternoon when he got a piece of walnut meat, Banner jumped up onto the snow covered roof and buried it there under the snow, patting the snow down very carefully. He also “buried” one in the eaves trough under the snow and on top of the ice. He paid no mind to my explanation that during the next thaw–tomorrow if the weather forecasts are correct–his nut meat will be whisked away to parts unknown in the lawn.

Last Thursday when the high was in the teens Banner poked his head out of his house once when we went calling, then pulled it back in and stuffed grass in the door hole. “No visitors today.” He has been out every day since then. The colder the day, the later he appears. On very cold days he won’t come out until early afternoon.

Miss E. sent the following article from the Chicago Tribune about squirrel research.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 10 2006 at 2:46 pm
Meaningful Family Advent and Christmas Traditions
There is a young parent group at church who has requested input from the congregation on how to make Christmas meaningful and special for young children.

Here are some of the things we did (and some we still do) that

our children feel were most meaningful for Advent and Christmas:

1)Helping set up the nativity scene–we used Playmobils when they were very young.

2) We had Joseph and Mary travel around the house during advent, arriving at the manger scene on the 24th. This is to get us thinking about M and J having to travel

to Bethlehem to be counted in the census and mirrors Hispanic tradition of Posada.

(see the story Nine Days to Christmas by Marie Hall Ets)

3)We spoke yearly about Santa Claus as an historical person, St. Nicholas, and the fact that St. Nicholas was a Christian.

To further separate “Santa” from Jesus we celebrate St. Nicholas Day on December 6th by having the children put their shoes outside their bedroom door the night before– St. Nicholas puts a small gift in them for the 6th.

4) We celebrate all 12 days of Christmas, from the 25th of December through the 6th of January.

We do not put up the tree until very close to Christmas.

We leave the tree up until after Epiphany/ Three Kings Day–which is January 6th.

We do not open all the presents on Christmas day. Several are saved to open on days during Christmas itself–there are lots of saints’ days during Christmas.

5) We celebrate Three Kings’ Day with a family gift ( usually a game) and a special cake. Whoever gets the bean in the King Cake become the king for a day and is dressed in a crown with the main jewel being the bean and a robe and must give a speech reflecting on some godly aspect of rulership. Then they may rule for the day. We used to regularly invite friends over for a 3 Kings Day party.

6) Opening a daily Advent calendar, or making one and then using it.

The book To Dance With God has been a really useful reference throughout the years. It is Catholic in orientation but has many

meaningful, insightful ideas to use throughout the year to bring the Gospel story alive in one’s home.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 10 2006 at 2:34 pm
The Skinny
Chesterton House is the brainchild of Karl Johnson, a friend of ours. He used to make fun of my blogging.

He has joined the lemmings.

Check out the rest of his website devoted to Chesterton House, too.

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 06 2006 at 3:19 pm
12 Days of Hunting
On the twelfth day of hunting my true love gave to me

12 deer a-hanging

11 empty casings

10 crows a-cawing

9 daylight hours

8 goose flocks flying

7 turkeys feeding

6 grey squirrels nutting

5 hours alone

4 juncos hopping

3 chickadees

2 red squirrels

and a hawk sitting in a pine tree

Entry posted by jpm14 on December 03 2006 at 9:35 am
But we are so much smarter now
Read about the research which has just figured out that the Antikythera Mechanism was a very ealy astronomical computer here at the NYTimes. Or, here at the NYTimes. This second one has a diagram.

How silly we are, thinking the ancients were so much less intelligent than we are now. How many of us, now, can make a computer from scratch?

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 30 2006 at 2:57 pm
Grandma and Sweater photos

The sweater is so much more lovely than this picture indicates. And it is constructed wonderfully. The sleeves and “bodice” are all one piece, knit from wrist to wrist. then the bottom half was knit on downwards. Ribbed wrist, neck and button bands. Gorgeous heavy silver nordic buttons. There is an intermittant simple design row every six rows or so that incorporates a purl stitch every other stitch. The fiber is wool and alpaca. (That’s a guess, Uberimma, based on the long guard hairs). Hand dyed in colors which complement the vast majority of my daily wardrobe.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 30 2006 at 2:48 pm
It’s wool and llama, actually, 50/50. I bought it in England with Grandma E and dyed it with… ummm… Landscapes dyes, probably. The buttons are scavenged off an old LL Bean jacket. My friend C did the button bands for me–I hate doing button bands. And the pattern is loosely based on a lett-lopi pattern from I book I bought in the mid-90s sometime, also in England. I think I steeked the bottom half of the body–can’t really remember.

I wore it for about three days in 2004, while visiting my SIL, and found it too thick and heavy to nurse a baby in. So it has never really been worn. Hope you enjoy it for many years!

Comment posted by uberimma (ip: on 11 / 30 / 2006 at 3:38 PM

uberimma’s website:

It matches Isabelle’s skirt!


Comment posted by anja (ip: on 11 / 30 / 2006 at 11:29 PM
On Grandmas, and a sweater
You should really read the blog Door Number Three if you have not yet got round to it. Uberimma is a great writer, besides being an Uber Imma. And the stories surrounding grandma E’s visit are really very amusing and adorable.

Today my mother came for a quick visit from the farm and my ailing father. She brought uncounted pounds of sugar and flour bought on sale and a desk my Uncle Paul made long ago. Uncle Paul died the year I was thirteen. His was the first death that made a real impact on me. He was the husband of my Aunt Adaline, my Mom’s older sister. In my mind he was a fisherman and it meant a lot that I was given his tackle box and lures after he died. I never had gone fishing with him though. What I remember doing is going to see The Sound of Music in a movie theater in Rochester. That was the first movie I ever watched in a theater. I still remember walking out of the theater after the singing stopped and the family was safely walking towards freedom over the mountains and being absolutely astonished that the sun was shining and it was still daytime.

Anyway, Grandma came today. She always feels she is interrupting our day and needs to leave quickly, which we do not want, of course. Isabelle said “But Grandma, you coming has made our day!” Perfect answer.

She got to meet Banner. I tried to take their picture together. It was not a complete success.

Jay brought home a bag from E’s today, too. Its contents came from the aformentioned Uberimma. It is a very beautiful sweater that I have a very hard time believing she did not wear at all, as it was reported to me. Perhaps I fif not mention before that she is also an uber knitter? Perhaps it was interrupting her days? Along with my mother, the sweater made mine.

Photos tomorrow.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 29 2006 at 10:28 pm
Skirt, Groundhog, Woods
Isabelle finished her second skirt. She needed much less help than the first time around.

On the way home from church we saw a groundhog out, up and eating in a field. November 26th is the latest we have ever observed one active. It should really have been asleep for its long winter nap by now.

I sat in a high, newly put up stand in the woods behind the house Saturday evening. One can see for quite a ways in three directions. No deer, I could see all at one time a turkey, a pilated woodpecker and a gray squirrel. Lots os red and gray squirrels, chipmunks and up to 14 wild turkeys.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 27 2006 at 9:03 am
Nice skirt! Lovely fabric…
Comment posted by uberimma (ip: on 11 / 27 / 2006 at 10:39 AM
Thought you might find it familiar…
Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 11 / 29 / 2006 at 4:27 PM

Herself’s website:

More Photos
Thanksgiving Day. Note the squirrel motif favors. Menu included wild turkey, deer hearts, mashed garlic potatoes, creamed onions, dressing, rolls, raw cranberry-orange relish, roasted turnips, leeks and carrots, choclate pecan and pumpkin pie with whipped cream, chai and coffee.


The big buck. He yielded 65 pounds of meat, more than any other deer we remember.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 24 2006 at 5:11 pm
In Hardwood Groves
The same leaves over and over again!

They fall from giving shade above,

To make one texture of faded brown

And fit the earth like a leather glove.

Before the leaves can mount again

To fill the trees with another shade,

They must go down past things coming up.

They must go down into the dark decayed.

They must be pierced by flowers and put

Benieath the feet of dancing flowers.

However it is in some other world

I know that this is the way in ours.

–Robert Frost

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 23 2006 at 5:29 pm
I was an Exchange Student in 1975
on a property 30 miles outside the town of Walgett, NSW. Walgett is SE of Bourke. I have been to Bourke. It was dry and dusty then, too. It was droughty then, too. So was all the outback between there and Walgett, except when a couple rains turned the dirt tracks to a slick clayey mud.

This article in the Telegraph indicates it is even drier now.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 20 2006 at 6:54 am
Eight Point Buck

At about 9.45AM this morning. I had been sitting since 6.30AM.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 18 2006 at 1:06 pm
Wow! Congratulations!
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 11 / 18 / 2006 at 2:12 PM
Why does that deer need you to hold its head? And what is that pink stuff on the stomach?

…Hey wait, you killed Bambi, didn’t you?!

Heh, heh.

Comment posted by Clueless City Slicker (ip: on 11 / 18 / 2006 at 8:49 PM
My November Guest
My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,

Thinks these dark days of autumn rain

Are beautiful as days can be;

She loves the bare, the withered tree;

She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay,

She talks and I am fain to list;

She’s glad the birds are gone away,

She’s glad her simple worsted gray

Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,

The faded earth, the heavy sky,

The beauties she so truly sees,

She thinks I have no eye for these,

And vexes me for reason why.

Not yesterday I learned to know

The love of bare November days

Before the coming of the snow,

But it were vain to tell her so,

And they are better for her praise.

–Robert Frost

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 18 2006 at 5:33 am
Warm and Wet Autumn
Temperatures still get near 60 and we have had many days or afternoons or mornings or nights of rain. Yesterday it was torrential for about 40 minutes and this morning Fall creek is at spring high levels, and muddy. And currently it is in the 50’s and raining more; a regular, heavy pelting. The high humidity and temperatures haave delayed many reptiles’ winter hibernation.

Each day I walk there is still at least one squished salamander found on one of the roads. Today there were two rather large 4-5 inch yellow-spotted salamanders and an infant snapping turtle with a shell the diameter of a quarter. And frogs, worms, slugs ad nauseum.

Tomorrow is opening day of gun season for deer. There was a small buck eating the drop apples under the old trees west of the house this morning before 7:30. We watched to see where he went afterwards. I will be stationed in a metal ladder stand on property owned by a neighbor woman south of us. Last fall I saw deer from that stand as they ran across a field a couple hundred yards away. Am hoping for deer to walk much closer tomorrow. I also hope it is a dry morning. Sitting in the cold I can take for up to three hours. Sitting in rain and cool cuts my endurance time in half.

Although it has been so warm. Most years we go out and sit in 20-30 degree temperatures opening day. Many’s the time I have had to brush snow off branches and seat.

Good hunting!

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 17 2006 at 10:12 am
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Cookies
Created these this morning. The kids love them, and so did a single guy at the meeting they were intended for this evening. He hauled away a half dozen after the meeting to munch on later. Mine did not spread so you may wish to use more pumpkin or less flour. Of course many measures were approximate.

Cream 1/2 cup butter and two large eggs. Add about 1.5-2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin,

1-1.5 cups brown sugar, 1 tsp. baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, mace, nutmeg and cardamom (about 1 T. total of these spices in whatever proportions you desire), 2-3 cups whole wheat flour. Stir in one cup chocolate chips. Bake full teaspoonfuls at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 16 2006 at 10:21 pm
Sounds yummy. Do you add one cup of chips? And what sort?
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 11 / 16 / 2006 at 11:01 PM
Yes, one cup chocolate chips.

What a rotten speller I am that time of night!
I sat down and wrote the recipe out to get my mind off unpleasant remarks from the meeting.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 11 / 17 / 2006 at 9:49 AM

Herself’s website:

Did you forget to mention sugar?
Comment posted by Sora (ip: on 11 / 17 / 2006 at 11:40 AM

I used about one to one and one-half cups brown sugar.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 11 / 18 / 2006 at 12:40 PM

Herself’s website:

Banner Returned
At least for a little while…
Entry posted by jpm14 on November 16 2006 at 2:34 pm
Is he full-grown now?
And if so, is he seeking a mate?
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 11 / 16 / 2006 at 11:00 PM
There is quite a bit more to the story of his return involving the capture and death of a much larger male gray squirrel.
So, no, I don’t think he is all grown up. Banner is about 1/3 the size of the male I dispatched yesterday. And I think with winter coming on the fall youngsters wait until spring before they find mates.

It has been a remarkably mild fall here. Lots of rain.

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 11 / 17 / 2006 at 9:51 AM

Herself’s website:

It was a Banner couple of months
Banner has been ranging further and wider as time has passed. Monday I saw him up at the edge of our land in the Mountain Ash tree, then running along the raspberries. Jay speculated it would not be long until he found his way into the hedgerow above us.

Isabelle met him in the garden seat up by the apples. He would appear down by the house for food and fellowship and would come to his pen for late afternoon nuts and was closed in for the nights. He also went and took a nap during the heavy downpour during the day.

Tuesday late morning he came in the house with Isabelle, but it was almost immediately apparent he was very anxious and wanted to return outside, where he immediately wanted to play with us. It was almost as if he came in to invite me out to play. He played and played, around and around us, over and under us, wrestling with our fingers, jumping from us to the tree and back, up and down the roap, zip, zip. Intense, joyful play. It seemed he was so intent I wondered at the time if this would be one of the last times. /but he was back for a meal and a bed that evening.

He had been protesting the door shutting behind him each evening for about a week.

Yesterday early morning Banner rushed from his pen and went up into the trees without looking back. We never saw him all day. About 3PM as I was talking to Jay on the phone I spied a grey squirrel in a tree out west, but there was no sign of him when I went out a few minutes later. He did not come back to the pen last night.

I just went out in the dark to open the pen door. There are black walnuts (his favorite) partially cracked waiting and ready for him. Now I will go see if he comes fro breakfast. But it appears the Banner days may be ending.


Entry posted by jpm14 on November 16 2006 at 6:44 am
‘food grown locally and sustainably’
The NY Times has an article today about why more people are eating locally grown produce. Fear. Local is a relative term.

Take this quote: “In the Yahoo cafeteria, chefs are required by The Bon Appetit Management Company to use produce and ingredients from a 150-mile radius in at least 20 percent of the menu.”

At our table we do not use tomatoes which have flown further than we have this month. Our radius of local use is close to the Yahoo cafeteria’s. The wheat which is ground for our bread is grown about 125 miles west of here. So are all the nuts and vegetables which come from my paternal family’s farm.

Our percentage of local food is probably inverse to the cafeteria’s, 80 percent being grown or produced locally, including wine, milk, meat, vegetables, fruits, greens, butter, eggs. The vegetables, greens and meat are mostly home grown or harvested and processed.

The most frequently eaten foods I use which are not produced in the 125-mile radius, or in-state, are pecorino romano cheese, olives, citrus fruits and noodles.

Recent home food meals: pumpkin soup, squirrel soup (no, not Banner), marinated grilled venison london broil, leek and potato soup, roast wild turkey with leeks, carrots, turnips and mashed potatoes, parsley pesto on home made toast.

The leek and turnip growing experiments were successful, much to Jay’s chagrin. He thinks he does not like turnips although he has eaten them and their greens in a few soups. The turnips are not like those of my childhood memories which were large, bitter and strong. Ours are small, very mild flavored, almost sweet. The large kale plant is holding its own against the deer. Still have swiss chard, lettuce and dill, the latter two in the cold frame.

And nothing to be afraid of except the occasional round shot in the turkey, missed bit of grit in the greens, or extra protein carrying small green worm in the broccoli.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 15 2006 at 10:36 am
MMM. Leeks. I like leeks. And collard. In soup.

I get them from my local CSA, so they’re organic and local, too.

I get all my dairy, meat, fruit, and vegetables from a 20 mile radius or so.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 11 / 16 / 2006 at 12:30 AM
I am jealous of your local dairy products.

Years ago I wanted a small dual purpose beef cow, but Jay is not into the one cow family idea. Isabelle is!

Comment posted by Herself (ip: on 11 / 16 / 2006 at 6:32 AM

Herself’s website:

Afternoon hunting
Jay tried to call in the flock when they broke up after I shot. After a while it became glaringly apparent that the flock was all togethr except for Jay who was pretending to be a lost lone turkey. The head hen was furious with this lone loser of a turken who would not come when called. She finally gave up and left with the rest of the flock. We went home.

And Jay shot two more Canada geese on his way home.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 02 2006 at 3:49 pm
One comment:
The afghan is so easy there’s barely a pattern. Cast on 10 stitches and knit 20 rows (10 ridges). Change colors and do it again. Cast off and break yarn. Then pick up one stitch in every ridge along one long side (it doesn’t matter which as long as you are consistent from square to square), 20 sts. Knit 20 rows. Cast off. Turn the square and pick up another 20 stitches, knit 20 rows. Turn again, pick up 30 stitches, knit 20 rows. That’s it. It’s just like a log cabin square, but knitted.
Comment posted by Abby (ip: on 11 / 02 / 2006 at 9:17 pm
Turkey and Autumn Crocus and me
Entry posted by jpm14 on November 02 2006 at 3:42 pm
I just shot a turkey
Picture to follow.
Entry posted by jpm14 on November 02 2006 at 2:59 pm
Breakfast Nut
Entry posted by jpm14 on November 01 2006 at 12:51 pm
Reformation Day
At the request of the Faithful Reader, I will fill her in on what has changed in life that I no longer blog as faithfully as she reads.

Both my husband and doctor have determined that walking is a necessary thing for me to do. So approximately three times a week I walk 3-4+ miles. Since many creatures or plants capture my

attention, this takes an hour or more. We are now beyond the weeks of smashed salamanders and snakes, crazed caterpillars crossing the road, lovely leaves to take home and press, and black walnuts dropping from trees which must be picked up and lugged home for the squirrel. It is now the week of ‘eight point bucks who know they live where no one can hunt them so they stand and look at you with a smirk as you walk past.’

My father was diagnosed with a rare cancer; this week that diagnosis has been called into question. He has daily health problems and was unable to renew his private pilot license. So there are lots of phone calls to family. There should be more visits home than there have been.

The Friends Book Sale board and committee take up time and emotional energy. Currently it seems certain powers that be wish me to make a decision to remain as committee chair or not before it becomes clear whether they will appoint me to remain in that post.

Missions committee and choir practice each get nights of the month and week, respectively. And driving 40 miles (one way) to Isabelle’s violin lesson. And home schooling her, teaching piano, helping the teenager, periodic worship rehearsals and playing, cooking, cleaning, gardening–you know, the usual things.

Reading had to stay in the mix–it helps me cope.

The husband and father of fellow church members, an acquaintance of Jay’s, died this summer–dropping dead of a heart attack at work. He was our age. Another friend of the family–another father and husband–has recently been diagnosed with stage 4, aggressive terminal cancer. He is our age.

Another acquaintance, a former county DA who is married to a girl Jay went through high school with, dropped dead of a heart attack yesterday. Another father and husband. Our age. All Christians. All physically active.

Having friends over for meals has become more important. Living life in real time has become more important.

Jay shot ten Canada geese and two wild turkeys. One turkey underwent smoking and was absolutely luscious. Deer season is fast upon us. Jay and a friend went out early this morning for more geese.

Oh, and Banner is still very much part of our lives. He comes in for breakfast or just a visit, then spends the day all around the property in various trees, doing whatever young squirrels do. He comes back to his pen for supper and sleep. He obligingly wakes up and comes in for supper visitors to meet him. He is a delight, a joy. I still crack his black walnuts for him.

I have been spending the time on the computer learning how to download, send, change photos.

We have had some really great soups lately. Today’s: a pureed butternut, onion, garlic and red pepper soup in a cider and chicken broth base with a couple dollops of sour cream stirred in and seasoned with punjab garam masala spice. I will serve it for supper (the girl and I had it for lunch, too) with homemade bread and a spread of cream cheese processed with garlic black pitted Spanish olives and roasted red peppers. And local sweet green Delaware grapes. And maybe a orange hazelnut cake–the hazelnuts from my Mom’s tree.

But I will try to be better about blogging more frequently. This was written on wordpad and then will be (hopefully) dropped onto the blog so I could write in fits and starts as the day went along.

Entry posted by jpm14 on November 01 2006 at 12:08 pm
One comment:
Lurker from GA stops by to enjoy your posts/walks/recipes and now pictures. Yay!
Comment posted by Dana (ip: on 11 / 04 / 2006 at 6:47 am

Dana’s website:

Six Ounces
The answer to the question “What does Banner weigh now”? It means he has gained 2 ounces the past week.

He also has claimed the giant white pine as his climbing tree. His days are divided between a) the house-for breakfast milk, morning nap, evening milk

b) the white pine- for exercise and exploration

c) his pen- for eating and sleeping

d) hanging (literally) around with us–especially when I am working outside. He may leave me and go to the white pine.

He is also slowly weaning himself from milk. He has not fininshed his breakfast allotment of cream and milk the past two days. By evening he always still cleans it all up. All two to three teaspoons of it.

His belly is nice and round all the time. He has chewed a considerable bit of corn off of a gleaned cob from the field next door. He is starting to open his own acorns.

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 28 2006 at 10:19 am

I just wanted to let you know that I changed our blog site again. . . because it was always going offline. The new site is:

Comment posted by coyote (ip: on 10 / 02 / 2006 at 7:17 PM
Entries needed! Entries needed!
Suggestions: October harvest, October meals chez Miller, the kids’ latest doings, your dad’s health update, NY politics (what’s the view around there of the Senate race, for instance?), books, etc.
Today’s news of us:
Jacob is going to Chattanooga next week to race in an 8 (a boat with 8 rowers) on the Chattahoochee River. The rowing club will take a 16-hour bus trip overnight to race in the regatta, then a 16-hour bus trip overnight to get back to Texas. There should be some nice autumn scenery in the mountains around Chattanooga.
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 10 / 23 / 2006 at 12:28 PM
Banner picked the raspberries with me today. We got two quarts full! Then the girl came out and we wandered over to the oak grove I thought Jay had in mind as Banner’s future home. We needed to resupply his acorn stash since he is eating more now.

Anyway, the youngster was riding on the other youngster when I told her to let him climb up an oak. He did. And he didn’t want to come down. It was pretty obvious he hails from an oak home originally. He hung from his hind toes along the tree trunk 9 feet up, curled his front feet up like a contented cat, and watched us. Didn’t come closer. Later he explored the fist notch in the trunk.

We finally left him there and went home to lunch. Sadly. We came back about 50 minutes later to find Banner on the ground in the longer weeds, waiting for us. He ran over to greet us and came home.

Ibl said, “When I saw him waiting for us my heart just melted.”

Mine too.

He later fell asleep in the dining room in a tumble of tablecloths, had milk for supper and seemed very pleased to be back.

For now.

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 21 2006 at 7:31 pm
Christian Suicide Bombers
Excerpts of diaries from Christian Japanese men forced to participate found in this book on Kamakaze pilot diaries and blogged about as Christian Suicide Bombers.
Entry posted by jpm14 on September 21 2006 at 7:24 pm
Nuts and milk
When I wake Banner up to show him off he nuzzles and mouths my hand. Yesterday late afternoon when it happened again the light finally went on–he was trying to nurse. The sun was out after a rainy morning and he sunned himself and napped in the light by a window.

I place a very minute amount of sugar and a slight layer of whole milk on a nearly flat saucer, heated it in the microwave for 7 seconds, stirred, and showed it to him. He thought it just lovely and lapped the whole amount up, leaving teeny, tiny sets of three milk drop paw prints all over the table in between drinks.

It warmed this mother’s heart to see his tummy so nice and full–like a drum head.

Jay brought home two green acorns last night. This morning–the first morning Banner has been up when we are for breakfast– I split one open. Another epiphany!

The second one is cracked, but Jay wants him to work it open for himself.

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 20 2006 at 8:29 am
Now that you know one personally, does this mean you will no longer be serving squirrel cacciatore? πŸ˜‰
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 09 / 20 / 2006 at 6:26 PM
Well, not this particular squirrel.
And we will not serve squirrel while he lives here.
Comment posted by Deborah (ip: on 09 / 21 / 2006 at 7:18 PM

Deborah’s website:

Little Cutie
I may have mentioned something about the squirrel who is part of our lives right now. Have I mentioned how cute all his ways are?

Yesterday the girl and I spent a lot of time outdoors as Banner is in the stage of his young life which wants to be with us and follow us and be onus most of his waking moments. He even splayed himself on my belly in the dappled shade and took a nap.

His hopping jumps to follow us are a joy to behold. When we sit a few yards apart he will hop from one to the other of us, taking a circuitous route over our body before returning to the other person, speaking softly into our ears as he moves about our head and shoulders.

He likes to perch up high on one’s head and get a large view of the world.

He took a couple bites from small crickets held up for him to eat and had a battle with a large locust. It kicked him in the face and he got angry, loudly growling and roaring in fury–for one his size. He grabbed it and bit it twice, three times, then cast it away.

With relish He ate two late blueberries in a row, leaving his mouth stained purple.

We cracked an English walnut from the farm for him in the evening and he reacted as if he had never been fed a nut before. “Now this is what a nut should be, not those dried up things from the freezer!” He proceeded to eat the insides from one and one half before retiring for the evening. He would growl if we tried to take it away from him. And he was able to get every last bit our of the shell without a nut pick.

Banner was allowed in on the table for awhile as school went on. Zeke the dog whined and licked him as he scooted onto chairs. And then Zeke ever so gently took Banner’s tail in his mouth and pulled. Zeke spent the rest of Banner’s in-time out on the enclosed porch. We are not sure if he was trying to taste the squirrel, but we don’t want to find out for sure.

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 19 2006 at 7:45 am
Three Wheats and a Tart
Thanks to M.A., I grind wheat for our bread. And thanks to H. D_____y, a farmer friend of my farmer father, I currently have three different kinds of wheat to grind into flour. H. grows wheat for seed so it is lots cleaner (fewer awns and husks) when we received it than regularly just-as-you-get-it-from the combine wheat.

H. sent us home with about 2/3 bushel of three varieties: Caledonia, Harus and Freedom. Caledonia and Harus are white grained. Freedom is red. All are soft winter wheats, which mean they have a lower protein content and therefore less gluten.

I add 2/3-3/4 cup gluten to 2 1/3-2 1/4 cups ground flour and get really nice high loaves.

Parching the wheat in a low oven (300 degrees F) for about 30 minutes makes it grind better. I did about a gallon of each variety last time and “Caledonia” got placed on the bottom of the oven near the gas so some kernals got a tad brown. But it smells and tastes deliciously nutty.

The favorite dessert the past couple weeks has been a fruit tart whose crust is made with this parched ground “Caledonia” wheat. My Mom-in-law thought the crust was made with ground nuts!

No Recipe Tart Recipe:

1 cup freshly ground flour

6T. butter

2T. sugar

1-2 T.+/- water

Place the dry ingredients in a food processor and mix. Add water in a dribble until dough comes together in a ball. Chill a little in the fridge. Roll our and place in tart tin. (Mine is square).

Mix in the processor: 2/3 package cream cheese, 1-2 T. sugar (brown is nice) and one egg. Pour into crust.

Top with sliced fresh peaches. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes.

Just before or as you take the tart out, sprinkle the peaches with a little sugar–not too much or the sugar will melt into liquid. Add fresh raspberries.

Let cool. Remove from tin and serve. Yum!

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 18 2006 at 9:42 pm
Lots of Adventures
Saturday, the squirrel who has been dubbed “Banner” thanks to Ernest Thompson Seton’s squirrel tale Bannertail, the Story of a Grey Squirrel, did lots of new things.

Started eating homemade granola with abandon. Ate a couple fresh red raspberries.

Had his pen moved to Lily the bunny’s old pen and spent most of the day there. The smaller pen was carred back inside for the night.

Was carried about outside on our arms and shoulders and had a go at running around on the crabapple tree.

I made a place in the kitchen on the clothes tree that is connected to the wall for him to be in with me when I work. I clothespinned a dry dishrag to two spindles for a ort of sling-y support area. He had trouble getting around and over the spindles. But liked hanging out there just fine. He fell off once.


Today, Sunday

It is amazing how he advances in strength almost hourly when he is awake. Banner slept in this morning so we didn’t see him before we left for church.

When we got home, he was carried up to the tree where he ran with more agility and sureness than yesterday. He even made a small jump off a low branch onto Ibl’s head. Much more active and strong. We had a small photo shoot.

He climbed down the locust tree from the bird feeder and climbed on the large rock at its base, to the grass and then up to me, up my dress to his preferable outside perch–my shoulders.

Inside on his perch, Banner was able to manage climbing on the spools and even climbed up into the hat basket on top of the rack.

He adventured up to the garden with Ibl and me to pick squash. He met our lunch guests. Then food and a long nap.

When he finally woke up about five PM, at Jay’s suggestion I gave him a few pieces of milky field corn off a fallen plant. It was love at first bite. I went and tore the whole ear off–he ate as if crazed.

Then Ibl and I took him back up to the crabapple and sat on the grass. He ran back and forth between us. How very exciting! HIs first real hop/runs through the grass. It left him breathless. Isc joined us after a bit.

When Banner started gently nibbling my thumb I took him back to the pen and he started in on the corn again until I removed it. Jay and I think such intense, shaking voraciousness may not be a good sign. Slowly, slowly.

More grass was dried in the sun for bedding today, so I gave him two good handfuls. He was investigating those and preparing to sleep in the outside pen tonight when I left him.

I lack the skill to explain how vocal he is in a soft, subtle way. There is the purr when he is quite happy and content. There are a couple kinds of soft grunts or chirrs which variously indicate worry, alarm, inquiry–maybe even just chatter.

When he is afraid he makes himself long and flat against my arm and stays perfectly still until the danger, in his mind, is past. A large hawk came by while we were out walking around. He instinctively knew the danger a hawk represents to one of his kind.

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 17 2006 at 6:59 pm
No More Peanut Butter
The squirrel baby is doing well. We just put him back in his pen. He likes to climb around on one’s arms and body. He is up for some exploring–that’s a good sign.

Also today he started spurning peanut butter in favor of dry toasted bread and nuts and fresh raspberries.

We know the answers to two things I never really considered before this:

Q: Why do you never see squirrel poop in the woods–even thought there are lots of squirrels?

A: They poop little tiny dry-ish poops very frequently on the branches as they run around. So the refuse just falls off the branches or dries up–unless your arm is the branch.

Q: Do squirrels purr?

A: They do! He was doing so this evening as he happily moved from Jay’s arms, to Isaac’s, to mine.

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 15 2006 at 9:14 pm
Squirrel news
The squirrel youngster has made it through two nights. Seems longer.

The first morning it woke up in the afternoon. Yesterday, 10:30AM. This morning it was out eating breakfast when we were.

It is still wobbly and weak, but is now able to balance on the edge of the dish when it eats, and holds its tail in a normal squirrel fashion–up along the spine curling over its back–instead of straight out flat behind as it did the first evening.

Also changed are its vocalizations. That first evening, the poor creature keened loud, piercing, mournful cries. Yesterday it was making satisfied little grunting, chirring noises when it returned to its nest of dried grass in the tissue box. This morning, when I put a small piece of apple near its mouth as it was eating, the squirrel gave an irritated sort of small growl.

Yesterday it had a problem eating too much peanut butter too fast and the girl thought it might be a goner. Breathing problems. I was called in to wipe its nose. Only normal little child-like resistance.

Still eats only PB and water. No sunflower seeds.

Visually, it is obviously much more hydrated–its skin is no longer slack. Still very thin. This squirrel is not ready for the woods yet, and not yet out of the woods, healthwise. It still seems almost oblivious to the world around it–its interaction with me this morning is the healthiest sign of recovery yet.

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 14 2006 at 10:07 am
Adventure, Continued
Well, then I went out to find the girl holding a butterfly net and jockeying for position while watching Pounce. Another ratling? No, a chipmunk this time.

I helped it escape, much to daughter’s chagrin. She wanted it to keep.


Jay came home and ostentatiously weighed his lunch box. It weighed several pounds more heavy than it ever does. He ceremoniously opened the box, took out a plastic bag full of–goose breast meat!

He finally got permission to hunt one of Cornell’s farms and did so over the lunch hour. He killed four Canada geese with one shell. “A once-in-a-lifetime shot”, he thinks.

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 12 2006 at 7:30 am
Wow, that must be a pretty dense flock!
Comment posted by anja (ip: on 09 / 13 / 2006 at 5:23 AM
It was. A hundred and a half, at least, he thought. And they let him walk up pretty close before they spooked since they had not yet been hunted.

This is the early goose season–strictly for residential Canada Geese. The later season is for migrating flocks.

Comment posted by Deborah (ip: on 09 / 13 / 2006 at 9:49 AM

Deborah’s website:

Our New Baby, and other Adventure
Our new baby squirrel, that is.

The one Jay brought home in a lunch bag clothespinned shut. It was picked up out of a driveway a week or more ago with its sibling. They had been kept in a cat carrier and fed on grapes. The residential house supervisor told the finder they must leave. The finder works with Jay and told Jay.

The sib was dieing as Jay took it out of the carrier. The one that came to us was also in very poor shape. It was very dehydrated and starving. An hour and a half later, after drinking an astonishing amount water and eating peanut butter, it was much more lively and slept the night in a dry grass and tissue bed in an empty tissue box.

I changed the water and checked this morning. It lived the night. It is still in the box. I could (barely) make out its inhalations. And the tail twitched. Hurrah!

It is probably 1/3 grown, a grey squirrel, and now lives in the same cage the flying squirrels did, on a table in the dining room. The cage gets covered with a tablecloth until it wakes up.


Pounce had an exciting day yesterday which he extended to us. When he called to come in the house in the late morning, I saw he had brought a present for me. He left it on the blue rug on the porch. When I went out to pick it up it seemed–large, and the tail was too long and too thick and the ears were too big–for a mouse. Trying to talk myself out of the possibility that what he had caught was a baby rat, I went back in the house and looking out the door once more, glanced out to the sidewalk.

There were two more dead bodies. They chewed on, and also were too big, with large tails and ears. Oh, no.

Then, Isabelle found a fourth body off in the grass.

I called Jay at work and told him I required the services of a Nuisance Wildlife Control Officer.

He set three traps in the basement and six in the garage last night. One in the basement caught another young rat before he went to bed. (And he didn’t tell me until this morning–a kindness I appreciate) Nothing at all in the garage.

News flash: I have just been informed another youngster was caught last night in a mouse trap placed in the crawl space under the kitchen. That makes six. Six!

Our guess is Pounce found a nest and stirred it up, caught and killed most of the occupents, and the (hopefully) last one found its way into the basement.

But we have more traps set under the crawl space now…

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 12 2006 at 7:22 am
Good Kitty!

He’s doing his job! (mostly)

Feline Nusiance Wildlife Control.


Comment posted by anja (ip: on 09 / 13 / 2006 at 5:21 AM
Yuck, yuck, yuck. YUCK.

I am not that squeamish. I can deal with, and have dealt with, mice, roaches, ants (you saw those) and bugs of every description. But rats… they are just in a different league of disgusting.

Comment posted by Abby (ip: on 09 / 13 / 2006 at 12:16 PM
I’m with Abby.
Rats near my home? In my home?
No more caught, with all traps set. But I question the chief
trapper each day: Where is the mother? Why have we not caught her?
Where did those rats come from?
Comment posted by Deborah (ip: on 09 / 14 / 2006 at 10:39 AM

Deborah’s website:

Current Book
Based on a blog entry I requested the book, Declare, by Tim Powers from the library.

Now, I have read history books and spy books and books by men who travelled the Arabian Empty Quarter with the Beduoin. I know first hand how superstitious muslims are. I am a member of Another Kingdom. But to tie them all together into a compelling read. Wow!

This book manages to combine historical facts surrounding WWII and the Cold War, John Le Carre-type spy intrigue and the supernatural.

Here is a bit of an interview where the author himself talks about this book a bit. He classifies himself as a sci-fi/fantasy author.

I am two-thirds through Declare and recommend it.

From what I gather, each book of Powers’ has a different focus.

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 10 2006 at 8:00 pm
One comment:
This is a better discussion of the book by Powers himself.
Comment posted by Deborah (ip: on 09 / 10 / 2006 at 8:20 pm

Deborah’s website:

Bee my Baby
The girl likes nature. If you have followed any of our adventures here, you know all sorts of creatures come through our lives. In the summer, insects are the order of the day.

A week ago, she discovered the wasps had re-colonized the hollow metal tube that forms the central top support of the old swing set. She figured out a way to deliver lots of water into the nest so the wasps would exit and spent quite a bit of time over three days harassing the insects in this way.

Wednesday as she was washing out the compost bucket in the rain barrel, she discovered a bumble bee, waterlogged. She let it climb up onto her left forefinger. It was wet! “So I thought I would blow air on it to dry the bee off. But he must have gotten scared.” She still thought it was “cool” to watch the critter inject all the venom it had into her finger through its stinger when she came in and told me a moment later. It didn’t hurt! Didn’t I know bees liked her, and maybe even knew her?

Within five minutes she thought perhaps she would not let a bee sting her again. It seemed to hurt morethan the wasp or honeybee stings she remembered from the past. She decided she didn’t like bumble bees as much as she thought. And she surely did not like the pain and swelling. Baking soda paste was applied.

The two of us went to choir practice Wed. eve. On the way home I hinted that tomorrow her hand would be worse and it would start itching at some point. She was sure her stings never itched.

Thursday’s hand was hot, red, and very swollen. And itchy. Quite itchy. Ice and plunging the hand into the cold rain barrel for a count of one hundred were repeated many times. There was much anxiety over “Is it very noticable?” Uh, yeah, it was. I gave her some Benadryl–only a teaspoon–in the morning thinking that might help the edema. All it did was make her loopy until it wore off.

All day she wondered if her finger and hand would split open. “They might if you keep trying to bend them!”

By Thursday night the repeated rain barrel dips had soothed her hand enough that she wanted to play violin for an elderly friend who came to supper. Not her best playing, but do-able.

By yesterday–Friday–it had receeded significantly. The girl credits God hearing prayer for its fast subsidence. By this morning before soccer practice, the only discernable difference on her left hand was the looser skin over her pointer knuckle where she kept stretching it by bending the finger constantly. That will go away soon.

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 09 2006 at 8:28 am
One comment:
I emphathize. Right now I have stitches in my hand following a stupid kitchen accident. I was shocked at a) how much it hurt and b) how hard it is to change diapers one-handed…
Comment posted by uberimma (ip: on 09 / 09 / 2006 at 9:56 pm
NYS Trooper Joseph Longobardo, 32, husband and father of a one-year-old son died yesterday. The couple’s wedding anniversary would have been this Thursday.

Trooper Longobardo was shot in the back of the leg with a high powered rifle, severing his femoral artery. He never regained consciousness, even though he was given at least 40 units of blood and his leg amputated in attempts to save his life.

He was one of two troopers shot in the back by career criminal Ralph ‘Bucky’ Phillips in a sniping ambush last Thursday.

The other trooper shot on Thursday night, Donald Baker Jr., 38, on Sunday had surgery for a third time and was in serious condition at Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa. He was shot in the side, with the bullet exiting his body. High powered rifles can go through body armor.

My brother, a NYS Trooper, says Trooper Baker may also die. He actually used different words that were less hopeful than those.

Our family is praying for the families of these Troopers and for the safety of all the State and Federal Police hunting the murderer Phillips. We are also asking that Phillips be thwarted in his attempts to do more murder.

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 04 2006 at 9:43 am
Is this the same guy I read about last year who had become a folk hero in small town western NY? The guy people were giving aid and shelter to as he ran across the countryside evading the police?
Comment posted by Jeni (ip: on 09 / 04 / 2006 at 1:40 PM

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 09 / 04 / 2006 at 10:56 PM

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 09 / 04 / 2006 at 11:11 PM
Yeah, pretty sick. A burger and T-shirts commemorating a “career thief” who spent “half his life in jail?” And that’s BEFORE he became a cop killer.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 09 / 04 / 2006 at 11:14 PM
Mom called last night.

As of this morning(Tuesday, Sept 5) Charlie is now on manhunt duty for the next week. 12 hours on, 12 off, stayng in Fredonia.

Comment posted by Deborah (ip: on 09 / 05 / 2006 at 10:12 AM

Deborah’s website:

May Phillips be caught quickly, and with no more loss of innocent life. I take it Charlie is one of a couple hundred manhunters?
Comment posted by jeni (ip: on 09 / 05 / 2006 at 12:04 PM
They got him. No more injured lawmen.

Comment posted by anja (ip: on 09 / 08 / 2006 at 10:03 PM
Local Farmers made Large
Can you tell I am away from home and tomato management detail?

Today with Mom, coming home from the terribly tiny farmer’s market for such an agricultural region, we passed the home of childhood friends of mine.

Behind the house is large scale equipment to sort beets. Genesee County at one time grew 1/3 of the nation’s beets. It still does grow quite a few. I can’t say how many. But to give you an idea, the scale of this sorting facility was bigger than anything I have seen since the coal processing/sorting machinery outside Chicago, on Lake Michigan.

This farm and its two families is the nexus point, the beginning, the home of OXBO International Corporation.

OXBO started by improving the method of harvesting pea acreages. It used to be that pea fields had to be cut, windrowed, then combined. It was a two to three step operation–for each process a machine had to cover the whole field.

They came up with a pea combine that does all the steps in one pass.

The peas are then trucked to the processing plant where they are blanched, sorted, packed and frozen. I spent a summer working in the local processing plant. That is a tale I can tell some time…

These same families are involved with


Read their ‘story’.

It is enough to make you want a family cow.

And, if that isn’t enough for a couple of farm families, their home farm, L-Brooke, is over 7,000 acres. Whew.

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 01 2006 at 8:49 pm
Alien Invasion
There are only a few living things I declare war upon. All are non-native species.

Japanese beetles is the first.

Galinsoga quadriradiata , known around here as ‘quick weed’ and named on the web as ‘shaggy soldier’ is the second.

Joining their ranks this year is Purple Loosestrife.

Purple Loosestrife has come into our area within the past three years. On our road, this year is the first year it has caught my attentiona and I am appalled at how much area it has begun to invade.

So on the day Isaac’s friends were with us, I walked down the road westward and pulled and dug all the loosestrife for a few hunderd yards in the ditches on both sides of the road. There were less than a hundred plants. The north side ditch had all but one plant. I corralled Isaac and his pals to carry some home to the burn pile. I brought Isabelle and our little red wagon down the road and we piled the rest on and (barely) made it home with the couple hundred pounds of stuff. The weight was mostly the rootballs entangled in mud.

The pile has since made its fiery farewell in a kind of ancient Nordic manner, sans boat and water.

Jay also sprayed Round-Up on one large plant that was right near the pond.

Take that, you villainous invader

Entry posted by jpm14 on September 01 2006 at 7:10 pm

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