Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Still chewing on JB and his wizened, flinty, ass-kicking ways. I wonder what his scriptural basis for opposing slavery was? The book hasn't discussed that. Probably partially because it was assumed and partially because the author isn't interested in biblical justification. But he tells how JB referred often to Gideon and the Gileadites, some of those Old Testament warriors who had jwh on their side. The OT seems like it would agree with JB's basic personality type. Yet there was plenty of slavery in the OT. JB visited former slaves and freedmen and invited them to this home. He seemed to treat them with more respect than most of his fellow mid 19th century white folk including other abolitionists. I wonder if JB's anachronistic belief in the equality of all men regardless of skin color comes from the NT message that in Christ there is no Jew nor gentile, no slave nor free? Is it that simple? Perhaps I can find a book written on this subject but what I'd really like is a short essay.

On beyond pizza at home, here's CN's pasta for a crowd with crock pot tomato sauce recipe. Looks easy. Score!

New name of wonder:  Shamoil Shipchandler, first name pronounced shame-oil. Heard a reference to them on Morning Edition and can't stop saying that name.

I received a postcard yesterday from my college friend who still likes to correspond via the mail. He made the postcard out of cardboard from a catfood box, a crow's feather and packing tape. I'm delighted to see that he liked my feathers and packing tape craft idea. It's so much fun to be mirrored and have someone else find amusement in my amusing thing. JLew is planning a wedding to his wonderful Jason in San Francisco, possibly for next July. I'm happy for him and also hope the party planning doesn't overstress them. Hellwiththat, I will raise a glass in anticipation of a good nuptials fiesta.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

John Brown

I'm reading Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War by Horowitz. I now have a much better understanding of the battle of Black Jack. It happened near here five years before the start of the civil war. Mean old John Brown felt called to resist the institution of slavery with violence and all the squishy eastern abolitionists had a use for him even if they found him distasteful or were ambivalent about his methods. Here, they said, have some guns. This book tells that pro-slavery forces mostly from Missouri (they were handy) but also from other southern states were raiding, assaulting and had killed a few anti-slavery settlers without significant resistance until JB came along. He not only resisted, he went out on his own raids and killed pro-slavery settlers. Knocked on their doors and took them out to cut them down in the road. A ghastly retaliation that made some of JB's followers/henchmen (mostly his sons and sons-in-law) sick and sad. I'm surprised at how readable this book is. Does that mean I need to fact check? So far it feels informative and well balanced.

I finished HP and the Sorceror's Stone which was very good October comfort reading. Am trying not to start murder mysteries that I won't want to finish. It's hard to give up on the whole genre.

The neighborhood community is hosting a Halloween party on Sunday afternoon for the kids. I'm going to bake cookies for them to decorate. 4 dozen or so and frosting in two or three shades. I'm happy doing that (with my girls' help, bien sur) rather than doing crowd control during the event. Kat will help with the kid herding since she's good at that.

Bun's Perry the Platypus costume still needs a duckbill but I found a good homemade scheme. We'll make some feet flaps out of the craft foam too. She's already cut a tail out of cardboard and wants to paint it. Painting seems like unnecessary extra effort to me. Bun and her dad will do that part. Turquoise gloves occurred to me but it's hard to do things with gloves on so I'll let that go. We'll pin her hair up under the hat. Kat may paint Bun's face blue but I hope not. Kat's got most of her gypsy fortuneteller costume together. I think she still needs a psychic accessory (crystal ball, cards, magic-8 ball?). Nod suggested that she dye her hair black last night and I vigorously vetoed. I am uncomfortable with 'gypsy' as a costume and trying to be swarthy really sets me off. Plus dying her blonde hair black might have weird color consequences for weeks afterwards.

I've just been given two 24" monitors at work. They get bigger and bigger and bigger. I've gotten used to working on both screens, my team uses so many applications that it's nice to have the real estate to stash everything without it all being behind the scenes. I do wonder where this will all lead.

I must try the lazy pizza recipe from Smitten right away. Though th500° oven temp is spooking me. Deb mentions Orangette at the end and you should probably read her recent posts about pear clafoutis and the women's writing retreat on Whidbey Island. We have friends who moved to the Island last spring and I have heard about it since the early '90s. Must get to the west WA coast before another decade passes.

Friday, October 18, 2013


Humph. Waiting for rain today and hoping that when it starts my headache will be gone. This cold is a slight thing, no suffering to speak of until the sinus pain this morning. Sounds like it's (a good excuse for/)time for chicken soup and a hot toddy. I don't actually know if I like hot toddys but I like the idea of them. Maybe with honey instead of sugar. This digression reminds me of Auntie Mame pronouncing the secret to her host's daquiris with a shudder, "It must be... honey."

Many things to remember for today and this weekend. Youngest can go to archery tomorrow if we give $4 and permission slip to her leader today. No idea if she wants to do archery. Big sis says she will so I guess I'll email scout leader. K needs to do science homework and prep for test on Monday. L sings at church on Sunday.

Rain started and it's sleety, temps in lower 40s. Am going to scurry and pick up kids after school. If I'd sent youngest out in waterproof winter coat and boots I'd let her tough it. Or so I tell myself.

That cat is not mine, it is from Cute Overload. Makes me laugh and is the correct season.

Monday, October 14, 2013


Have decided to read the word "evangelicals" as evangelicats" from now on.

Saw many colorful hot air balloons fly in ABQ last week. On our last day we watched a couple go over my mom's house and then land in a field down the way. Good landings, must have been good pilots.

Got a call that by taking my child out of school for 5 days I've triggered a school district letter warning me of excessive school absences. Oh well.

Have some homework of my own to do, downloading our balloon pictures and finding the most delicious eye candy.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Thank you to the Go Fug Yourself wimmen for letting me know that filming of Into The Woods is underway. Anna Kendrick is Cinderella and ol' Meryl is The Witch. Humming now.

This Belgian window pumpkin that Waffle featured on her blog looks remarkably like a pig's butt.

Which reminds me of the butts song from Bob's Burgers that we saw last night. Here's a list of Bob's Burgers songs: these all look good, and I haven't seen any of those episodes yet. The Capoeira episode is my favorite so far.

I am emphatically hormonal at the moment. I snapped at all three of my nuclear family members on Monday evening. I cried at the 12 y.o. pianist story on NPR yesterday and my boobs hurt all day long. I sniffled after screwing up at work today. I want to spend the rest of the afternoon sighing and eating chocolate. But I'll be brewing a cup of tea and getting through what needs to be done here. A week of vacation next week plus no coworkers on site means no frivolous vacation hours for me this week. Grrrr. The grudgingly admitted upside is that I'll get through with all this before I travel.

Have been trying to enunciate to myself the nature of hormonally skewed thinking that I experience. I would like to communicate this to my daughters who will experience something similar at some time in their lives. I'd like to let them know to distrust absolutist awful thoughts. Sometimes I feel especially ugly and unworthy. Sometimes I feel that doom is hanging over me and soon the worst will happen (no idea what that would be, this doom stuff is very nonspecific). Sometimes I feel that other people are going out of their way to make me angry. Once I could recognize these as temporary emotional weather conditions I felt much less caught up in them. Oh that, it'll blow over.

Yes, even on beyond my cranky state in general,  I am disgusted by my government at the moment. There's so much to loathe: posturing, the statements that mean exactly the opposite of the words in them, the refusal to do any damn work. It's not just the Republicans. I'd like to see the budgeting credentials of every national politician from now on. Can you draft a budget? Can you compromise on a budget? Have you enacted a budget? Have you reviewed a past budget with actual income/expenses? I'll take a home budget, this doesn't have to be for an entire state. But I want to see some evidence of the ability to a) effectively communicate during this process and b) bring it to a conclusion. Here's a good expression of my attitude toward the reaction to the new health care insurance law. Fah!