Tuesday, October 31, 2006

This squirrel

Caught in the act Posted by Picasa

He lives right next door in a very nice burrow with many entrances and exits. He loves us. We're the most interesting campers he's ever had for neighbors. Our site looks like Ma and Pa Kettle live here, and with a kid the landscape changes every day. We keep him on his toes.

Jack O' Lantern

Nibbler Posted by Picasa

This is yesterday. Mr. Nibbler has eaten such a big hole on top now that the lid fell in.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Late night

I've written to a Web site owner and asked her to take down an article of mine that I wrote a few years ago. She hasn't replied. I don't think she's going to.

I will never let anyone publish anything of mine on the Web again. Twice I did. Twice I regretted it. It doesn't bother me when I don't think about it, but when I think about it, it really makes me mad.

Poor Paul McCartney

I've been singing "the long and winding road" over and over for days. It's as bad as Go Dog Go. But I don't know the whole song, only that one, single, stinkin' line. And I change the word 'winding' to 'sordid' because CNN has had an article up for a week titled "The Long and Sordid Road." That's how it got into my mind. It's driving me crazy.

Poor Paul. All those great years with Linda and then he doesn't do a prenup with whats-her-name. That's sad. That's gotta be brutal. All I know is whatever happens, it's gonna hurt.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Homeschool - DST, lobbies, WWI, mnemonics

Today one of the rangers spoke to my husband about how our son has impressed him and he said he wishes now that he had homeschooled his kids. I felt so good when my husband told me about it. I have this constant inner conversation with myself. Am I doing enough? What am I missing? Are we going too slow? What are other fourth graders doing? Then I just have to chill and say, "Lord, infuse me with just a leetle bit of wisdom because I can't mess up on this!" I feel really lucky to be able to do this.

Here are notes I put together that I'm using this week. I'll post them. My kid's an auditory learner. And kinesthetic. I Googled. I Wikipediaed. I thought about where our son's interests lie and collected information. I will share one thing to explain why I do research the way I do. I have a feeling that he may be a person who causes change, who impacts those around him. I don't know how this may be manifested and I don't know why I feel this way, but it's one of those things unexplained. Last month we had a couple two spaces down come over to say good-bye to our nine year old (he assisted the husband who is a Boating Officer with repairs on a small boat) and as they all shook hands, exchanging good-byes, the wife said, "Remember us when you're president!" I did a double take! Not necessarily because I think he's going to be prez, but I know he's going to be something! I don't think much of what follows will be on a fourth grade standardized test though.

So this lesson is primarily about daylight saving time, but we love to go on a tangent too and so I've customized with tidbits I think he will like. Feel free to copy and change as suits you and yours! And away we go! (Much of this only touches on a point as I wish to open discussion and ignite interest, not necessarily delve deeply yet. But with a small foundation set today he will be able to build up on it in the future. We call this having a hook in your mind. It's like a coat hook? You can always hang stuff on it but it has to be there first to hang anything on.)


Who thought of it first? Benjamin Franklin, but he was only kidding about it! It was 1784.

In 1907 a British man named William Willet was serious about it and he really tried to get it changed. He lobbied to get the government to change.
(Use word lobby and explain usage as verb or noun. As with William, a lobbyist can be one person alone, or it can be group of people who try to change things without getting elected.)
(Can you name something in the United States that you think should be changed, that you could lobby for? Seniors citizens are powerful. Farmers have power. Greenpeace protects the Earth and animals and environment. Nowadays people are paid to do this job.)

Enough fodder for the week here: http://www.slate.com/id/2137886/ I will be reading a part of this M-F. Only a couple paragraphs will I skip. Great article with humor, names, and truths.

But he could not get the British government to take it seriously and he died in 1915. (Locate Great Britain on map.)

DST is mostly used in temperate zones.

What time of the year are we, in the U.S.A, on DST? Early spring, summer, and early fall.

We just changed to Standard Time.

Daylight saving time (DST), also known as summer time, is a widely used system of adjusting the official local time forward, usually by one hour from its official standard time, for the spring, summer, and early autumn periods. The term daylight savings time, although commonly used, is technically incorrect.

Europeans commonly call it 'summer time' and I think that's a good idea.

What was the first country to use DST? Germany. When? 1916. During WWI. When was WWI? (1914 to 1918. Also called the War to End All Wars. Did it? Can you name another war the happened after 1918? It is naive to think war will stop. We live in a world where Satan reigns.)

On June 28, 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a 19-year-old high school student, shot and killed the archduke and heir to the Austrian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, (What part of his name tells you he is of noble birth?) and his wife, Sophie, at point-blank range in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. Princip shot Ferdinand at point blank range while he was was traveling in his car from a town hall reception.

We had film, but no television back then. See 8 seconds of Franz Ferdinand at town hall in Sarajevo.


Find Sarajevo on the map.

The United Kingdom was second, the same year. Newfoundland was third, the first place in North America, in 1917. Have him write on board:

1) Germany
2) United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
3) Newfoundland

In 1918 the U.S. Congress established time zones although railroads and most American cities were already using them since 1883, and made DST official for the rest of WWI. But it was unpopular and repealed in 1919.

DST is generally a temperate zone practice; day lengths in the tropics do not vary enough. (Can you name three major climate zones. Polar, temperate, tropical.)

Why should we have DST? Number one reason is energy conservation.
DST in winter would make 7:00am feel like 6:00am, and the sun would not be up yet. It would be DARK outside still! Why would this be bad for kids who have to school? Children walking to school or to their bus stops could be hit by cars. This is one big reason why we don't have DST in winter.

Another argued benefit of DST is increased opportunities for outdoor activities, including shopping in tourist areas. Most people plan outdoor activities during sunlight hours. Other benefits cited include prevention of traffic injuries (by allowing more people to return home from work or school in daylight), and crime reduction (by reducing people's risk of being targets of crimes that are more common in dark areas).


To find fault, or to evaluate. This requires analysis. You can analyze a math problem, a recipe, a sentence, and friendship (as we discussed last week during grammar discussion about sentence structure.) There are two sides to everything; good and bad, proponents and opponents. Looking at two sides of things is a good character trait. It prepares you to speak well and express your thoughts intelligently. Thinkers think about both sides of an issue. Remember, there may be gray areas depending on the subject. In history or in newspaper writing, teachers and editors like to say "There are three sides to everything: one side's story, the other side's story, and what really happened."

Critics of DST say studies show it really doesn't save much in energy costs. They say that it upsets everyone's sleep patterns. They say people miss appointments if they forget to change their clock. What do you think? Well, maybe people do use more fuel in their cars during the extra daylight hours of DST and that's not a savings, is it.

How to remember which way to turn the clock?

Use a mnemonic. (Spell on board. It's a memory aid. Do you use any mnemonics? Yes, you do!) Spring forward (let me see you jump!), fall back (let me see you fall back to Standard Time!). Other some mnemonics we use:

stalagmites - G: grow up from the ground
stalactites - C: ceiling down
Military - righty tighty, lefty loosy
Music - Every Good Boy Does Fine and FACE
Thirty Days Hath September

Name two states that do not observe DST. Arizona, Hawaii. Indiana is fussing over it. Find all on map.


Post–World War I: American farmers fought and defeated urban dwellers and President Woodrow Wilson and got DST repealed, returning the country to "God's Time.” Spotty and inconsistent use of daylight saving time in the United States and around the world caused problems, unusual incidents and, occasionally, tragedies. For example, disregard of a change to DST caused a major train wreck in France, killing two and injuring many.

World War II: All combatants on both sides quickly adopted DST to save vital energy resources for the War. The U.S. enacted FDR's year-round DST law just 40 days after Pearl Harbor.

Fire safety officials in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States encourage citizens to use the two annual time changes as a reminder to check the batteries in home and office fire alarms and smoke detectors.

Computers: Most modern computer operating systems include the capability to automatically change the local time when daylight saving starts and finishes. Did your change automatically?

In Canada, time is under provincial and territorial jurisdiction, not federal. The governments of Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Alberta, the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Yukon Territory have so far pledged to change their DST rules to match the new U.S. rules. In 2007, their DST will start on the second Sunday in March, and return to standard time on the first Sunday in November. Newfoundland and Nunavut will continue to change time on the first Sunday in April and last Sunday in October unless they change their legislation. As noted below, Saskatchewan does not recognize DST.

In 2006
The schedule for 2006 in the United States is that DST began on the first Sunday in April (April 2, 2006), and changes back to standard time on the last Sunday in October (October 29, 2006). The time is adjusted at 2 AM.

From 2007
Beginning in 2007, DST will start on the second Sunday in March (March 11, 2007), and change back to standard time on the first Sunday in November (November 4, 2007). Under Section 110 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the U.S. Department of Energy is required to study the impact of the DST extension no later than nine months after the change takes effect. Congress has retained the right to revert to the DST schedule set in 1986 if it cannot be shown that there are significant energy savings from an extension of DST or if the extension may prove to be unpopular with the American public.


Finally hit my stride

I ran today. Okay, jogged. My husband used to run and by run I mean run. He finished the L.A. Marathon once. I have pictures of him drinking beer at home afterwards. He gave me his medal. I love him so.

Today I finally hit my stride. All the other days (I've been doing this for about a month now) I've been draggin'. Today is the first time I felt good. No, I felt great! I ran the farthest distance in my one mile loop and my breathing was even and I didn't feel my lungs burn. (And I took three whole days off. What a bum!)

Then I had pizza for din-din.

I need to buy a belly dance video. I miss it so much. It's so good for your hips you know. It keeps you from getting all crickety.


I had chicken flavored Top Ramen and Hostess chocolate donuts with coffee for lunch, and a Hershey's chocolate kiss and a piece of Double Bubble gum for dessert.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

What's your personality type

You Are An ISFP

The Artist

You are a gifted artist or musician (though your talents may be dormant right now).
You enjoy spending your free time in nature, and you are good with animals and children.
Simply put, you enjoy bueaty in all its forms and live for the simple pleasures in life.
Gentle, sensitive, and compassionate - you are good at recognizing people's unspoken needs.

You would make a good veterinarian, pediatrician, or composer.

It's mostly spot on. I'm terrible with children though. I thought question 33 was funny. I'm the type of person who has a gazillion windows open on my computer. My husband razzes me. He thinks I'm using up all the satellite energy.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Acorn Woodpecker

Common in northern CA Posted by Picasa

When I lived in southern California I would occasionally meet up with someone who came from northern California. You know, where the cold, rocky beaches and sharks are? Oddly these people would refer to themselves as being from 'The Bay Area.' They'd nod as if everyone knew about The Bay Area, and I'd nod as if I knew what they were talking about. But I had no idear where The Bay Area was, other than somewhere to the north. No one taught us about a Bay Area in geography class. I did know it was a land where people who wanted to break California into two states, Northern California and Southern California, lived. And they seriously wanted to cut off our water supply because they thought we used too much and they did not like sharing. Said we shouldn't be building cities in the desert or something to that effect. Hey, we have a bay in San Diego but I've never said I was from the bay area.

There are tons of bays in the world. How should anyone know what bay they're talking about?

Then I went to northern California and lived there for five years. It all began to make sense. "The Bay Area" refers to the San Francisco Bay area. Aha. If you ever go there, you realize why they talk about themselves as if everyone knows about them. They think they're the center of the universe! Really, San Francisco should just be split from the rest of the USA and allowed to float in the Pacific. It should be its own country. I did once buy an absolutely fabulous custom hand made Victorian corset from Romantasy in downtown San Fran. Purple satin with six garters.

Today my blue flip flop went missing. That squirrel tried to take it into his burrow.

Evidently news of familial unrest travels fast. I received email from both my dad's wife and my little sister last night and today. I guess old dad was extremely upset that I told him not to write things like that to me. Unbeknownst to me, his wife refused to discuss it with him because she was upset about it too. My sis was the only one who would talk to him.

My sister, she's a good egg but she likes to rationalize things away. She can't stand discord. She's the reason why he finally wrote me an apology email. It was possibly, well no, definitely, the worst apology I've ever received from anyone about anything in my life! Not that I was looking for an apology. I wasn't. I don't care if he apologizes. I was said to him what somebody needed to say to him.

I wore a red rose and baby's breathe in my hair today. Sometimes the light fragrance of the rose wafted into my nose. It was nice. I had my husband get me flowers for my hair because I read that waitresses who wear flowers in their hair get better tips. I'm not a waitress and I don't get tips but I was hoping the flowers would get me something. I don't know what. In the same article it said that waiters who knelt down to take orders made better tips. That and a wooden nickel will get you something. I don't know what.

The above photo was taken on 5/4/06 when we were in...The Bay Area...visiting our eldest son.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I can't sleep

Drop an anvil on my head. Please. I want to sleep, but I can't.

My hair is nice though. I heavily oiled overnight with avocado oil, washed this afternoon. I was a little worried that too much oil remained on the ends but it all came out. I asked my husband to buy me some small flowers today so I could put some in my hair for tonight and he bought me a little bouquet of three red roses, still closed, with baby's breathe. Very pretty and they smell good! But, drats, I was too slow getting ready. Wore my hair, what!, down. Yep. Luckily I oiled just the right amount with the monoi so down worked. And I got two nice compliments for having pretty hair tonight. One lady said she didn't know my hair had so much brown. (It looks mostly silver when I have it in a bun I think.) I could feel the sun shining on my hair and I know the auburn really shows in sunlight. She was real sweet and I felt a little uncomfortable because she was so complimentary. Funny how I hope for a compliment, I get one and then I'm uneasy.

My back pockets have flaps and I noticed with we got home that the flaps are sticking out. Looks stupid. Double duh. Next time I'll iron them.

We went to a potluck tonight and wonder of wonders, I, Liliana, had a good time. That's a rare occurrence. I think the people is this small desert town, are more down to earth. People don't put on airs so much here. One of the discussions was about someone's new trailer that has a remote control for the bathroom fan. We were cracking up! I mean, that's gotta be one nice trailer, eh? Our son had a great time with the kids. They jumped on the trampoline and played with the dogs and played dominoes. Don't you love that feeling when the kids are running loose, pink cheeked, having a good time, and the grown-ups are talking and eating and laughing. It's like - time in a bottle. Yeah. I just realized I haven't felt that feeling in a very long time.

Last year was our first year traveling. It was our first year staying in a different place besides "home" for the winter. We were new at this and not exactly sure how we were doing what we were doing. I was eager to drop the baggage of urban life and so I didn't socialize at all. Really, practically not at all. It was just me and the bunnies and the quail, and my family of course. This year though, I feel more like reaching out and being a part. A part. Of something. Life, people, relationships.

Yeah. I think that's something new about this year.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Refiner's fire

For a few days I felt low. You know, about how mean my dad is at times. Sometimes things like that tend to color your whole world. My husband, for over a year wouldn't speak to my dad. I understand, but it doesn't make it easier. Family situations and all, right?

Somehow it all works itself through. I emailed my father and told him he shouldn't email words like that to me. I told him it's like a penny falling from pretty high up. It's just a penny, but it can injure a person, yes? I'm afraid it may as well be a flock of seagulls though. It goes right over my dad's head. I don't know how an over tender Liliana ever came from those genes.

But my online girlfriends help me a lot. I started singing this song today, "Refiner's Fire" and my heart was suddenly joyful. Gone was the bad feeling. I handled the situation, straightforward, to the best of my ability. At first I tried to ignore it, but you can't really ignore things like that. I would never advise our son, for example, to do nothing if someone treated him this way, so I ought to act on my own advice.

I was singing Refiner's Fire while I put the groceries away (which is a bit of a fluff song because my repertoire is limited!) and our son asked, "What is holy?" It's to be set apart, from the world, I told him. To be like Christ.

And I do feel set apart. I feel I've been a good example - to my father, and to my child. I handled it myself without crying to my husband. And I'm not really burned like I thought I was at first. It's the opposite. I'm stronger.

My dad didn't write me back, but I am transformed. I've stepped out of a trial. I am whole.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Knitting progress

A week and a day Posted by Picasa

It's about 20 inches long now. Whew, it's taking a long time. I have to make it 76 inches, then fold ends up to form pockets. I might not do the pocket part. It seemed like a good idea when I found the pattern, but I'll decide for sure when I'm close to finished. The yarn I chose is fabulous for hiding mistakes, and there be a few mistakes in thar! I started with 17 stitches and ended up with 19, so my friend fixed it. Then twice I dropped stitches (which means I skipped them) and she fixed it once and now I know how to fix it. I've ended up with 18 and stayed with that number. I've been recounting them after every single row I knit to ensure I have 18, not 17, not 19. I intended to make a matching cap, but hmmmm, truthfully, caps crush my hair flat and my kind of bangs aren't great in a cap. I don't know if a scrunchie will be enough of a complement piece though.

The other morning we had a javelina at our door. Didn't get to see it, we were sleeping, but our neighbors watched it and told us about it!

There's a piggy little squirrel here. He's a cutie and always looking for things to take into his hole. It doesn't have to be food! He stuffs his cheeks till they're huge. Today I saw him bunch up a paper towel into a little ball and run to his hole. He tried to take one of our son's miniature flags but couldn't manage pulling it into his burrow so we found it just outside the entrance to his abode. Then the top to our jack-o-lantern went missing. Can't find it. I think that squirrel figured he found a treasure and took it home.

Nebraska fried chicken recipe

Due to wide demand, my first recipe sharing. Okay, Kara asked. :)

Aunt Gail's Nebraska Fried Chicken

Ingredients: Cut up chicken unless you know how to cut up a frying chicken. I use all thighs because the breasts are too big and I don't like wings. Flour, salt, pepper, Crisco oil, a paper lunch bag or a plastic bag. Do not substitute anything for the Crisco. Must use Crisco for crispiness.

I cut off extra fat and anything I don't like the looks of
Wash chicken with water and set in plate
Pray over bird, give thanks for this meal
Put Crisco in pan, melt it, then heat oil to hot
Pour a lot of flour in your bag
Add a lot of salt
Add some pepper
Close well and shake
Add a few pieces of chicken (one to three at a time)
Close bag and shake

Use pinchers (metal utensil) to pick up chicken parts and place in hot oil
Be careful you don't burn yourself because the hot oil pops
Shake some more of your chicken pieces
Be sure each piece is well floured before placing in oil

Fry on high till it's a medium brown
Turn pieces to other side and fry on high till it's medium brown
Don't let them get too dark because they've still got to cook inside

Now turn heat way down to low
Cook 'em slow, like simmer for 35 to 45 minutes for six pieces in a large frying pan
Turn pieces over a couple times

The secret to crispiness is to brown both sides fast on high, then turning the fire way low to cook the inside. (No one will tell you this except for me. It's the key.)

After you start the chicken, peel, cut and place potatoes in boiling water
Add salt and bring to a boil
Boil on low till done

Put creme corn in a bowl and place in microwave with paper towel on top

Be sure butter and salt are on the table and lots of napkins

Now the coordination part:

Use pinchers to take chicken out of the pan
Place on plate on paper towels
Let cool a few minutes
Turn on micro and cook canned creme corn for two minutes on high
Pour dinner drinks
Make gravy

Put it all on the table.

You're done.

But! Save your chicken grease. Keep in the fridge. The same week you can buy cube steak. Prepare on a paper plate the same as you did the chicken with flour, salt, and pepper. Warm your chicken grease. Fry in chicken grease and it comes out real good. Use leftover chicken gravy on your mashed potatoes. This meal only takes 30 minutes to prepare. The cube steak cooks pretty fast.

Postscript - Fried chicken makes a big mess on your stove. After dinner use Fantastic to clean stove while it's still warm. A screen with a paper towel on it on top of your frying pan greatly decreases oil spatter. Or, you can camp all the time like me and fry outside on the Coleman stove. Fold up the stove and put it away when finished or you'll get coyotes at night. Heh!

NYT article - Alzheimers

Self-portraits Chronicle a Descent into Alzheimers

Very moving article with slideshow. An artist draws himself through the disease.

Rain this morning! Darn. My plan to change to morning exercise time is foiled. And I was looking forward to dragging myself out of bed at 8:00am, getting out of my jammies and into running clothes immediately, getting hot, and sweaty, and out-of-breath in the chill of the morning.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Just finished my walk/jog

Some days my jog feels great and some days it takes all I've got to do the little old one mile. Today I did it but felt heavy. Still, the way I figure it, as long I do it even if I'm crawling on my hands and knees, at least I'm out there doin' it. Reminds me of the poor guy who just finished the Chicago marathon. This guy does an entire marathon, 26.2 miles, comes in first place, trips and falls at the end. Out of the entire race, what photo does the media run on the front page online? A picture of the poor guy flat on his face across the finish line. Now that's a bummer! That's just wrong.

One of the ladies here told my husband to tell me my hair looked pretty at the volunteers meeting this morning. I had already gone home so I didn't get to talk to her. I have it in a smooth bun that I can't describe. I wanted to wear some make-up but somehow, I ran out of time.

Yesterday I emailed a picture of our nine year old to my pop. He likes to get pictures. He wrote me back and said the hat our son wears s*cks. It's a cute Jughead hat that he wears every day! I don't know how my dad can talk to me like that, but he does. I don't talk like that. I've asked him not to do it around me, and he doesn't stop. It made me heartsick. The more time goes by, the more irrelevant to my life he makes himself. I cannot allow myself to be continually hurt by his barbs, but it's hard. I wish I knew why he does it. When I was young it crushed me. Now I keep a distance and even this distance is sometimes too close. It makes me ill in my mind. It puts me back in a place I don't want to be. Jehovah helps me all the time now and strengthens me. It's good! My husband does too. But I can't tell my husband about this. He will get very angry.

Tonight I'm making my specialty, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, and corn. I make Nebraska fried chicken like my Aunt Gail. It's gonna be gooood!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Church hunting

I'm shopping for a winter church. Went to a Church of Christ this morning. Twenty-five people. All the churches here are small. It's a small population. Everyone is so old. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but me being the next to youngest attendee is a little weird.

Learned one new thing. The preacher said the Bible says not to use instruments for music. Voices only. Also he said some churches are still worshipping on the last day of the week instead of the first day of the week. He didn't name names but our very good friends here are Seventh Day Adventists. I've known some very cool Seventh Day Adventists. They eat very well you know. I miss Calvary Chapel. This church was nice but it's too denominational for me.

They sang a great hymn though. Never thought I'd say that! It had an unusual melody and one lady sang out more than the others. It sounded so good. I'm learning about hymns lately. I've emailed my thoughts about hymns to a couple peeps, as in, "What's up with hymns because I don't get them?" and I got back some valuable background and information and good leads.

I'm tired already though. I didn't eat right yesterday and looks like I'm paying for it today. I had fun working at the Visitor's Center. So many interesting folks come through. We had some German people, some who didn't even speak English! And boy, I'm a sucker for a handsome cowboy. Something else - some people who come to camp and boat are not too upper crust. ...I can now say that I recognize the face of meth.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Early bird gets the worm

Happy Saturday! I'm up early and off to the showers. It's sunny and pretty. We're working (as volunteers) the afternoon in the Visitor's Center; answering questions, giving directions, cashiering. I wonder if it'll be busy. I'll take my knitting in case it's slow. I have a mere two hours to get ready. I better fly outta here now. Hope my hair turns out well. I'm washing out the avocado oil. And I have to think of how to wear it today.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

An American Indian legend from Montana

Her silver hair Posted by Picasa

Photos taken 6/27/06.
This video caught my eye was because of the woman's long silver hair. I walked over and took a picture, then I listened to a famous legend about how the bitterroot flower came to be.

Once, while living in what is now known as the Bitterroot Valley, the Flatheads suffered from a great famine. One old woman who had no meat or fish to feed her grandchildren, no longer able to look at their starving faces, went down the bank of the river. There she sat alone, weeping, and began to chant her death song for she believed her grandchildren to be dying of hunger. The Sun, hearing the woman's song, took pity on this good mother. The Sun instructed a Red Bird to fly to the woman and to provide her with food to nourish her starving people and with beauty to nourish their spirits. "Grandmother," announced the Red Bird, "A new plant will be formed from your sorrowful tears which have fallen to the ground. Its flowers will wear the red of my wing feathers and the white of your hair. Your people will eat the roots of this plant. Though it will be bitter from the tears of your sorrow, it will be good for them and nourish them." And so the Sun caused the bitterroot to grow from the seeds of the good grandmother's tears.

After this, I looked for a flower to photograph. It was the right time of year, June, but I found not a one. Then I dreamt I found one. It was a great dream! But then I woke up. Bitterroot is Montana's state flower (photo).

Lewis and Clark and the expedition men were basically starving by the time they made Lolo Pass. The bitterroot tastes, well bitter, and the Indians mixed it with other food to make it edible. It was a staple. Don't quote me, but if I recall correctly it made the all the men in Lewis and Clark's group deathly ill. They ate too much of it on empty stomachs and it was a food their bodies were unaccustomed to.

Exhibit Posted by Picasa

Lolo Pass was known by the Indians as "Sea of green at the top of the mountains." So poetic. I also love the names of the months that the Native Indians used. There is a list of them here. You need to scroll down a bit. They are beautiful phrases some of them, and descriptive.

Visitor Center at Lolo Summit Posted by Picasa

This is where I watched the video and heard the legend of the bitterroot flower.

Lolo Summit in Montana Posted by Picasa

Pretty amazing that Lewis and Clark made it to the Pacific and back. The only reason why we know about it today, and in such detail, is because they journaled it. Writing. I say to my son, "See! See how important it is to write things down."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sock bun

A new hairdo! Posted by Picasa

Sock buns. I heard about them. I saw them. But I had no idea how to make one until I found pictures. Does the the Long Hair Community rock or what?

It only took me three tries to get this. Usually I do a plain cinnamon bun because I don't like to place an elastic close to my head for an all day, every day hair style. I'm afraid it'll break the hairs. With this sock bun it's held gently at the base by a very soft holding scrunchie. What a great concept. I tried a ponytail elastic and it looked, frankly, stupid on me. It made the bun pop up from my head like a bizarre tulip. Tried the scrunchie and, bam!, it worked.

Monoi oil is giving the shine to the hair that's wrapped. This is third day post wash.

Hairstick from Fox

Abalone aka paua shell Posted by Picasa

I've coveted this stick Fox sells for a long time. Finally, it's mine. You'd never be able to tell that it's not a set. They go together perfectly. Paua is the most colorful of abalone shells. I love to see the play of light on paua.

Twenty years ago I bought the earrings and necklace at Sunny Jim's Cave in La Jolla, California. I wanted to revisit it last year but could not find parking. Parking is a problem there. They have a neat store full of what else, nautical items. You take about 145 steps down to the mouth of the cave. I first went when I was 11 years old. It's a must see! Very quaint. We lived in Pacific Beach back then. Pacific Beach is for the not rich and La Jolla is for the ultra rich. I ate at Top O' the Cove once when a guy took me on a date. It was a little too conservative and quiet for me, but it was very nice.

Sock bun full length

I have a sock on my head Posted by Picasa

Sometimes the whole picture gives a different view. It held for several hours with just one hair pin.

Somewhere on the I-40

Bummer! Posted by Picasa

Man, that would ruin your day, wouldn't it?

Leaning Tower of Pisa?

Or not! Posted by Picasa

Location: Texas panhandle, Interstate 40

Why doesn't this water tower fall down?!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Length 36"

Per current requests Posted by Picasa

Peeps have been asking for a hair photo. I got one! You know I didn't want to do a length pic till JANuary, ahem, but I couldn't help myself. Today I thought I should take one at least for my own records then I thought, "What's fun about a hair photo not shared?" Nothing, of course. There's no fun in a hair photo unshared.

I felt my ends were in a U-ie, but the photo shows they're not. It's still straight across, though not sharp anymore. Funny how what you think it looks like and what it in fact looks like may be two different things. Check me out, I'm inching past the buttons on my back pockets. Woohoo! It was my heart's wish to be beyond those pocket tops. This is Tuesday and I shampood Sunday. I never wear a half-up but I did for the picture. This is the only plastic hair thingie I own and I found it. Finders keepers, losers weeper. Heh.

My stick from Fox came in and I want to do a photo with my hair and the stick. It's paua and very pretty! Hopefully, maybe tomorrow.

I'm indecisive about my trim. I can't decide between 1/4", 1/2" and 1". Immediately after a wash I think it looks a tad longer because the ends aren't all woggly. I'm pretty close to the end of my tailbone. Almost!

Antidisestablishmentarianism for fun

Our nine year old kid can spell antidisestablishmentarianism. He's had a blast impressing the grown-ups with his spelling prowess. There's an old Chinese proverb goes like this: "Teachers open the door. You enter by yourself." Well he had the initial spark of interest and I followed so here's how I taught it.

First I just used the word (forget how it came up but he liked it). I talked about what a popular word it is because it's long and it has 28 letters. It's no longer THE longest word in English though. He enjoyed saying it and played with the word for days. It took a while before he enunciated it perfectly. That's when I got the idea he ought to learn to spell it - just for the ducks of it!

When he was consistently pronouncing it correctly I began to teach its spelling. First I wrote it on the chalkboard - a little intimidating for sure. That's okay. I broke it down and explained that the base word is establish and drew a square around it. I explained there are two prefixes and three suffixes and showed them what they were. We went over it a few days for our break in between subjects. After he could say each prefix, each suffix, and the base word with ease, I began to show him how to write it.

In a column on a white board I had him write (copy from me on the chalkboard):


It looks doable now, doesn't it? Sure enough! So I had him put it all together on one line on his white board. Shazaam! He wrote it all by himself I said! Now I dictated it one part at a time and had him write it from memory.

Whattya think? Now he asked what it means. Haha! I had to look it up. Basically, for him I told him it means the church and the state together and explained that it had to do with the Church of England in 1868. Asked him if he would like it if the government told him he better give more money to the church or else go to prison. For a visual I put one hand out flat, palm up and said, "Church!" and I put the other hand out the same fashion and exclaimed, "State!" and clasped them together and said, "Together!" Now technically, it really means opposition to the separation of church and state but all I need now is to set up a hook in his mind where I can hang more details on it later when he's ready. For now, this'll hold him for a definition. I used Maven's Word of the Day to go over the definition with him. I read it and just let him soak up what he could. Then we hollered, "Say no to antidisestablishmentarianism!" Boys like hollering.

People really do a double take when he spells it out. It's a hoot!

Monday, October 16, 2006

I wasn't looking in the mirror

My husband said tonight that my hair looks pretty. (Purrrrr.) And he said quit looking in the mirror and give him a kiss.

Awwww, I wasn't lookin' in the mirror! (Well, maybe for a second.)

I 'm doin' it

My first knitting Posted by Picasa

Only 70 inches to go and it's going to be a scarf. Knitting is very exciting. I wake up in the morning thinking about it. This is my third day. I practiced on day one and two and started my real project yesterday! I'm fresh in the morning and by bedtime I'm all kinked up. Kinks get in my shoulders, my back, my neck and my hands. Now I've read that you should get up and walk around a bit every 20 minutes. Good idea. It's a whole new world! I always thought knitting was such a mystery. Now I'm a knitter! Michele calls it 'needle arts' which sounds very cool. I already want to make a matching scrunchie and a beanie with a BIG pom.

Continental knitting video (This is the way I learned.)
KnittingHelp.com (A super good forum.)
KnittingFairy.com (I must learn to make this knitted scrunchie!)

Elation. Two comments!

I didn't know they were there! Thirty-four comments going back to May have been waiting for moderation on my blog. I am elated! I feel renewed, refreshed, revitalized. Could it have been a glitch because all I did different was look at my preferences and the only thing I changed was adding moderation. Maybe it needed to be republished and that was the problem.

I have to homeschool right now but I can't wait till 3:00 when studies are done so I can read everything. I will upload them all this afternoon. It's like Christmas! It's like I have a really good piece of the best chocolate cake waiting for me to eat it. I will inhale it all. At 3:00pm! And to think I thought I was all by myself in Blogland all this time. I did think it a little strange that I didn't get even one comment for such a long time, but I dismissed it as just bad luck.

Thank you. :) :) :)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A comment! A comment! My kingdom for a comment!

Word is at the discussion board, someone has left me comments. But I have received neither notification nor a sign of any comments submitted. I thought no one was commenting. Ever.

My feelings were crushed, utterly annihilated, by the fact that my blog has received nary a single comment for a full six months. I figured my writing had become dull, had lost its glow, and my ten devoted readers had simply sought greener pastures. (See? My lower lip is starting to quiver.)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Thank you for your prayers

I'm back. Have I been gone only one week!? It seems much longer than that.

Our satellite dish had an accident! On our first day back there was a big New Mexico storm. There was hard rain, thunder, lightning, and high winds. A wonderful storm, except what do you think is the worst thing that can happen to a satellite dish? Indeed, to fall over. Even with 40 pounds of weight for stabilization it fell alll the way down. Rain eroded the sand away from the feet of our tripod, cracked the dish and the nose was lodged in the sand (the nose part being the important thingie that sticks out of the middle of the dish?). It's an awful sight I tell you. Generally if your satellite falls over you're toast. But we were lucky. My husband ordered a new dish which was about fifty bucks and we hoped that was all we needed. The nose part costs mucho dinero and that's what we'd have to replace if the dish replacement didn't fix it. We had the dish mailed to us with fastest delivery, another fifty bucks there. The new dish fixed our problem and we were able to connect! And my husband didn't have a fit. I was sure he'd be hollering when he saw the dish on the ground but he was so calm; another blessing.

It's sprinkling and cloudy today. Last year we had only ten drops of rain the whole time we were here. This year is different. I'm happy here! I'm relieved to be here.

I'm knitting. Woohoo! My friend two spaces away knits and she lent me some yarn and circular needles and showed me how last night. My project is going to be a scarf after I do more practicing. I'm really a dwid trying to learn this. My practice stitches don't look like any knitting I've seen. But when I started making earrings I tore apart my first pair twice until I was satisfied with them. That's the learning curve.

Hoped that a church nearby might be the one for us. I went alone first, then took our son to their Awana program. Why is it that churches are wanting to be so inclusive that they fail to enforce even a minimum standard of behavior? I know they don't want to turn youngsters away, but this class of 15 fourth to sixth graders with two teachers was quite rough. A girl shoved our son. He's not to hit girls but in a situation like this one must defend one's space or be shoved about mercilessly. Two boys had filthy mouths. Apparently the teachers could not control the class. They ended snack time early because kids were out of control. I saw a boy kick the wall and bathroom door hard. I headed over and he high tailed it out before I could say something. Well, we've been to a lot of Sunday Schools over the past year and a half of traveling - some very good, some so-so, and some bad. I'm not making him go back. Truth be told, I give a more in-depth Bible study at home than what most youth programs offer on Sunday or Wednesday nights. Tomorrow I'm going to a Church of Christ. I hope they have kids. I hope I can find a good home church for us. Fellowship would be nice.

I have email to write and knitting to knit and a quilt to sew and earrings to make. It will be a fun day. I also have to rethink my time on the Web. This past week with the absence of Internet, I've realized that I spend too much time being a mouse potato. It's insidious because I feel like I'm being productive...but I'm really not. It's always something, isn't it?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

If I see one more man at the gas station!

As of this day all men who spit


10 hour driving day

Left Nashville after spending a week there. Last night we spent the night in the driveway of my husband's friend whom we bought our trailer from. He gave us such a good price and we're still in love with the floorplan of this thing. I like my teeny U-ie kitchen and having our own bedroom and two bathroom sinks and little washer/dryer from Europe. If we ever get a new trailie (not that we're thinking of it but when I get dreamy...) I'd like a BIG fridge, a mirrored sit-down vanity in the bedroom, and the microwave down a little lower. I saw these things in RVs at the Camping World showroom!

Today we've been in three states. Started out in Tennessee, passed through some of Arkansas, and now we're in Oklahoma. Saw the cotton fields being reaped. Crossed the mighty Mississippi and videotaped it. Got to pet some big, sleepy show hogs at the fuel station. Found the best diesel price of the year at Flying J - $2.26 in Checotah, Oklahoma.

Tomorrow will be a driving day too. I don't want to go back to Nashville anymore. I'm going to have a talk with myself and I may be a grown-up and give myself permission not to go back.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Dad not feeling well

Forgot to write about the second email. My dad isn't feeling so well. My take on it after talking to his wife is that he's in a funk, depressed. I think his body is not healing like he expected it would and like he wants it to. But it is normally a two month recovery and I told her to remind him of that. I wish I could articulate my faith well enough to persuade my pop. He comes from a Catholic family yet never embraced Catholicism as his siblings did. I think he lets his intellect get in the way. My husband believes in God, but has reservations about Jesus. My father is not sure a God even exists.

I'm reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis in a hopeful effort than I may learn how to speak out loud, as in to people, duh, about faith. I think it makes death much less frightening if you have faith to carry through with you to the end. I don't want my pop to be scared.

There are two things that all human beings must go through alone. Birth and death. When we're born we're greeted, usually joyfully, as soon as we enter the world, but we have to actually get born by ourselves. When we die, we may have our loved ones around us, for comfort and assurance, but still each of us must actually do the dying ourselves. I think if you have Jesus with you it would not be so frightening to leave this world. You don't have to be alone and you don't have to dread an unknown. Fear can be debilitating.

I always remember what Tammy Faye Baker said about her cancer; that she cried lots and lots about how she got the cancer, but she was not afraid to die. She's such a doofus girl but she touched my heart when she spoke those words. We will all be there one day.

Email of the morning

Received two emails this morning. The first one informed me that our newest baby is the family, Emma, to be born in January, is not really an Emma. She is now Jackson! Haha! Incredible.

All we have are grandsons for my dad and his wife. Between four offspring all have had boys. I had two. My sis has two. Little sis has one and the January baby is now going to be a boy. Well, he was always a boy we just didn't know it.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The day ahead

My hair has had a heavy coat of avocado oil on it for two days now. I just didn't have time to go to the showers! Yipes. Well, it seems to be fine pretty much. Hopefully it'll like being in the oil this long.

I bought the Body Shop Honey Shampoo and conditioner I wanted and a new bottle of monoi oil yesterday. They didn't have the big bottles I wanted so I got small, but I really like the Giovanni now so I don't mind.

My husband got a wisdom tooth removed yesterday. It's been bothering him for a few months but we wanted to wait to see the dentist we love here in Nashville. The dentist sent him to an oral surgeon. Don't you love it when you find a really good doc or dentist and they don't hesitate to send you to someone more qualified than themselves to do something? Yes indeed. That's a sign of high quality medical care.

I have to go order flowers now to send to the dentist's office. Husband just handed me their address because he wants me to order them now. I've been sending flowers to everyone lately! It's addicting. The night before our appointment even our son said, "Aren't I supposed to be scared about going to the dentist tomorrow?" Another sign of spectacular dental care.

I get to go to the mall later and we're having two friends over at 3:30 whom we met here at the campground last year.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Toilet paper roll etiquette

Everyone knows toilet paper is supposed to roll off the top and down the side nearest to the person sitting on the pot. At my mom's house I noticed the toilet paper was rolling in the wrong direction. It was rolling down from behind the tissue roll instead of in front of it. You can't have that going on, so I took the roll off and turned it around.

Do you know, someone changed that toilet roll and it was going the wrong way again today? I took it out, turned it around, and placed it properly, the way it's supposed to go. Hehe!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Car window photography

Oklahoma Posted by Picasa

Photo taken 8/22 in Oklahoma, near Texas

Am looking through my August photos and thought I'd upload this one. As we drove south toward New Mexico we came across so many old farm buildings and grain elevators. Seemed we just passed one and there would be another on the horizon.

On Friday we saw two accidents within moments after each occurred. The first was a semi-truck that took an exit curve too fast. It was on its side having fallen all the way over. Too much momentum, too much speed. An inexperienced driver I bet. You know those guys sit way high up and can see far down the road. I'm sure it felt like a long way down till he hit that ground. I think the driver was probably okay as there was no fire and he wasn't hit by anyone else.

Same day, two youths on motorcycles passed us up. They were driving too fast, but having a thrill I'm sure. Their shirts were flying up above their backs and they were staggered as motorcyclists should be, but they were tailgating. They were wearing no helmets as they are not required by law here as they are in California. We exited to a rest stop. Got back on the road and it wasn't one mile down the way our eyes met with a sobering sight. The first motorcyclist was in the grassy median on his knees, just looking straight into the distance. We couldn't see the downed motorcyclist but we believe the young man was lying on the ground at the knees of his friend. I have no way of knowing how bad his injuries were.

We could hear the ambulances coming.

In high school my best friend's older brother, Don, was in a motorcycle accident. Within a week a second guy in our high school was in a motorcycle wreck too; Colette's older brother, Lincoln. Everyone called him Link. Link didn't wear a helmet, but Don did. Don recovered completely. Link finally recovered but he was never the same. It was as if part of his personality was lost. He got along fine but he was never the same. Bones can mend but the brain cannot. Brains cannot be bumped around too much. Helmets do save lives.