Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas, NBC-style!

While channel-surfing, I just came across Al Roker talking about this year's Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center. He explained that the tree-- "which was near the end of its lifespan" (by whose accounting, I wonder?)-- was cut with a handsaw to conserve energy. . . . . . . Ha ha ha ha ha!

Well, thank you, NBC (or whoever), for saving the world! Heaven only knows how much energy you'd have wasted if you'd used a chainsaw! ;o)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Slitherin' snakes!

Well, actually that ought to be in the singular-- "slitherin' snake"-- as there was only one.

Yesterday evening, Donald and I went to see what Molly was barking about so ferociously, at the back door. I assumed we'd find Daisy having another seizure (though thank goodness, I think she's fully out of the last awful cluster of them and is finally getting back to normal), but no, Daisy was standing on the porch, looking a bit concerned.

Molly, meanwhile, was just off the porch, barking angrily at something small and dark. In the twilight, I couldn't quite see what it was-- some very small animal. I thought for a moment that it was probably a dying mouse or a bird that she'd found. However, after seeing it make a couple of striking motions, I realized what it was-- just as Donald said it-- a snake! A tiny snake, but still a snake, striking repeatedly at Molly, who was crazily attacking it.

Molly completely disregarded our calls, so Donald hurried the more obedient Daisy through the back door into my care and then went out to try to get Molly by the collar. I think the snake escaped into a flower bed before Donald could get a good look at it. It might have been just a garter snake. (We see one every so often, so we know they're around.) On the other hand, it could have been just about anything!

So far (knock on wood) Molly doesn't seem to be getting sick, and she showed no sign of pain or soreness when we took her inside, after the commotion.

The barking is good-- lets us know there's something that shouldn't be there-- but I wish she would keep a safe distance, herself!

There's never a dull moment, with these dogs! ;o)

"Some Little Bug"

I can't remember where I found this, originally. I think I was looking for a poem to recite for an "oral communications" assignment, so it probably turned up in some old book of verse. I'm sure I have it copied down somewhere, but I didn't need to go hunt it up, thanks to the Internet. I didn't realize there was more to it than the first stanza, though, so some of it's new to me. . .

Anyway, after reading an e-mail warning of the possible health risks associated with drinking "Wal-Mart milk" (or any milk from hormone-treated cows), I pondered the fact that these days it sometimes seems that nothing's really good for you to eat. Even your water and spinach may be tainted!

And then I started thinking that, you know, that's really nothing new. Apparently (supposedly?) this poem (or maybe it's really a song?) has been around (in one form or another) since the 1890s!

Some Little Bug

In these days of indigestion it is oftentimes a question
As to what to eat and what to leave alone.
Every microbe and bacillus has a different way to kill us
And in time they all will claim us for their own.
There are germs of every kind in every food that you can find
In the market or upon the bill of fare.
Drinking water's just as risky as the so-called "deadly" whiskey
And it's often a mistake to breathe the air.

Cho: For some little bug is going to get you someday.
Some little bug will creep behind you some day.
Then he'll send for his bug friends
And all your troubles they will end,
For some little bug is gonna find you someday.

The inviting green cucumber, it's most everybody's number
While sweetcorn has a system of its own.
Now, that radish seems nutritious, but its behavior is quite vicious
And a doctor will be coming to your home.
Eating lobster, cooked or plain, is only flirting with ptomaine,
While an oyster often has a lot to say.
And those clams we eat in chowder make the angels sing the louder
For they know that they'll be with us right away.

For some little bug is going to get you someday.
Some little bug will creep behind you some day.
Eat that juicy sliced pineapple ;and the sexton dusts the chapel
Oh, yes, some little bug is gonna find you some day.

When cold storage vaults I visit, I can only say, "What is it
Makes poor mortals fill their systems with such stuff?"
Now, at breakfast prunes are dandy if a stomach pump is handy
And a doctor can be called quite soon enough.

Eat a plate of fine pig's knuckles and the headstone cutter chuckles
While the gravedigger makes a mark upon his cuff.
And eat that lovely red bologna and you'll wear a wood kimona
As your relatives start packing up your stuff.

Those crazy foods they fix, they'll float us 'cross the River Styx
Or start us climbing up the Milky Way.
And those meals they serve in courses mean a hearse and two black horses
So before meals, some people always pray.

Luscious grapes breed appendicitis, while their juice leads to gastritis
So there's only death to greet us either way.
Fried liver's nice, but mind you, friends will follow close behind you
And the papers, they will have nice things to say.

For some little bug is going to get you someday.
Some little bug will creep behind you some day.
Eat that spicy bowl of chili, on your breast they'll plant a lily .
Oh, yes, some little bug is gonna find you some day.

Just a little something to cheer you up on this rainy Monday morning. ;o) (Of course, it's probably not raining where you are, but. . .)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's that time of year again. . .

. . . time to make some paper snowflakes!

Or, if you're like me and probably won't make any of the "real things" this year, you can go to the Make-a-Flake website and do it digitally. Have fun! :o)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Even if you don't live in a place that celebrates Thanksgiving today, please consider this an invitation to indulge in a tasty treat, get together with family or friends, and acknowledge the blessings in your life. :o)

We had an "early Thanksgiving" supper last night with my father's side of the family. The only one missing from the table was one of my cousins, who lives in Orlando, FL. The branch of the family that lives in Georgia was down for the holiday. It was good to see everyone again. My two youngest cousins have grown since I last saw them-- especially Olivia. Children are so much more interesting once they learn to talk. (g)

Today, we'll be going to Thanksgiving dinner (lunch) at my maternal grandparents' house, where I'm sure we'll eat more than we should. ;o)

We're still undecided on whether we'll do any early-bird shopping Friday. It really depends on whether or not we see any great deals in the papers, I guess. If we don't, it'll be nice just to have a long weekend.

I'm almost afraid to write anything optimistic, for fear of somehow jinxing it, but Daisy seems to be slowly recovering from her cluster of seizures. She still has one every now and then, and she's not 100% back to her usual self, but she's having nowhere near as many fits as she had last weekend. I hope the good trend continues. It's amazing how stressful and saddening it is when even "just your dog" is sick. We're looking into a few treatment options in the hopes of avoiding similar problems in the future, but epilepsy isn't really something that is "cured" or even easily controlled. Today, however, I'm just going to be thankful that she's better for now.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Buy Nothing Day"?

Apparently this has been around for at least a couple of years, but I don't remember hearing about it until today (on another blog).

The basic idea of "Buy Nothing Day" is that we North Americans are consumption-obsessed pigs, and the absolute least we can do is make a "statement" by taking a day off from the shopping. So no shopping on November 23rd, 2oo7 (aka "Black Friday").

Of course it's none of my business if someone wants to boycott shopping on a particular day, but I won't be participating. Frankly, I think the whole thing's ridiculous. It's not like I shop every other day of the year, so what's the big deal about not shopping on this day in particular? Isn't it an odd "coincidence" that Buy Nothing Day just happens to be a day that is known for major sales and bargain opportunities (in the U.S., at least)?

One of the ads on the movement's(?) website compares how much a North American consumes with the consumption of someone from Mexico or India. Yeah, well, in case these people haven't noticed, many Mexicans are doing their best to get in here with us shameful consumers-- and I have no doubt that if we shared a border with India, many Indians would do the same. The majority of people who have disposable income and the opportunity to spend it will do so, no matter where they come from. (I am so, so sick of Americans and Westerners in general being vilified for doing what almost any human would do, if given half a chance!)

Is there waste in our country? Do some people spend more money than they should? Do many of us have piles of possessions that, strictly speaking, we don't need? Yes, to all. I'll be the first to agree that money (and the possessions it equates) can't buy happiness. Some simplification might allow us to focus on and enjoy those aspects of our lives that we value most. And yes, buying fewer unnecessary things might do the environment some good (since that seems to be part of the argument for the "no-buy day").

:::Tangent::: I do wonder, though. . . If we were all to stop buying do-hickey thing-ums, how long would it take the supervisor of the do-hickey thing-um factory to realize that they need to pull back on production? How long before it starts to have any real effect on the environment? And. . . won't these same "NO NO NO to shopping" people be the ones who immediately start crying out and demanding justice for the now-jobless workers at the do-hickey thing-um factory? After all, someone has to make the do-hickey thing-um, and that's where their bread money comes from. And then there are the people who make/harvest the raw materials-- the ones who transport the do-hickey thing-ums to the store-- the workers at the store. . . See, Buy-Nothing People? It's not as simple as you'd like to think. :::End Tangent:::

However-- what difference will not shopping for one day make? Shouldn't a lifestyle change-- a true, day-by-day commitment to making practical, conservative (Hee hee-- Wouldn't they love my choice of words?!) shopping decisions-- be the ultimate goal?

No, that's not splashy enough. It doesn't involve making a show of yourself. Where's the fun in that? ;o)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Another hobby?!?

I've started work on a denim rag quilt.

Because I really need another craft to work on. And because I'm an expert seamstress and know everything there is to know about fabric, thread, and needle.

Ok, not really. (I'm guessing you knew that already.)

However, it is actually partly because I'm not an expert seamstress that I decided this might be a nice project. I'd like to learn how to sew simple things-- curtains, pillows-- possibly other little things, and this will force me to use the sewing machine long enough to learn more about how it works.

I've already learned a few new tricks over the weekend-- from Donald, who had to learn to sew in school. Maybe I should've taken home economics in school, myself. I grew up seeing Mom sew on a fairly regular basis-- Hallowe'en costumes, Sunday dresses for us girls, curtains, etc.-- but I guess that casually watching someone else sew doesn't mean you'll automatically be able to do it yourself. (Surprising, isn't it? (g))

Anyway, I've progressed this far: I've cut out my denim squares (from my old jeans that I knew I'd find a use for, someday) and I've started figuring out how I want to place the "fancy bits" (labels and other decorative pieces) on random squares. (It's been a challenge deciding how many is "enough, but not too many". I like the decorations, but I'm afraid that if I add too many-- however many that is!-- it won't look right.)

denim squares

I also used some smaller pieces of leftover denim to make a couple of test squares-- just to remind myself of how the machine works and to get an idea of how the denim might fray. (I know you're not "supposed" to wash the completed quilt in your home washer, but I figured a couple small squares shouldn't do any harm.)

rag quilt practice

You aren't laughing at my crooked sewing, are you? It's not nice to laugh at a novice, you know. ;o) When I did the heart, I had forgotten from last time that it's easier to reposition the fabric if you "leave the needle in" and just pivot the fabric around. I was trying to reposition it with the needle hanging in mid-air. Obviously, that's not easy to do. I had also meant to do a double row of stitching around the outside of the square, but I got in a hurry and forgot. Well, they were just for practice, anyway. (Though I have seen these types of things used as coasters for drinks, so I might keep them for that. They'll do for the craft room or office, at least.)

I guess my next step is to either begin cutting out the flannel squares for the backing or take the plunge and begin sewing the decorative elements to the random squares. I hope the sewing machine will play nice and not do that weird "top thread getting caught in the bottom thing-a-ma-jig" thing it was doing yesterday. . . We got the kinks worked out, eventually, but sewing machines seem to be capricious beasts. You never know when they'll balk. ;o)

I solemnly vow never to use another person's machine until I learn (if I ever do) how to use them properly. My own machine, on the other hand, will just have to suffer through it as well as it can. If you're nice to me, I'll try to be nice back, Ms. Singer.

ETA: Psst! If you've stumbled across this blog searching for rag quilting info, you might want to head over to my sewing blog. I've transplanted all my sewing-related posts over there, and that's where I do most of my "fiber arts" rambling, now. :o)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Clay Sale

No, I haven't accidentally posted this here instead of at my clay blog. Don't worry. It's just one entry. ;o)

At least a couple of family members have expressed an interest in trying out polymer clay. If you're still interested, now is a great time to pick up some clay on sale. Michaels will have 2-ounce blocks of polymer clay on sale for 99 cents each, starting today and running through Saturday. Two ounces may not sound like much, but it can go a pretty long way-- especially if you're making beads or putting the clay on top of a wooden or aluminum foil base (armature).

I suggest Premo brand. (Kato brand is supposed to be at least as good as Premo, but they don't stock that at Michaels.) Fimo can be ok, too, if the Premo stock is low. I would avoid Sculpey III, as it is the weakest of the major brands-- much more likely to break than Premo.

It's easy to mix just about any color you want, so if you can't find the exact shade you want, keep that in mind. If I were just starting out, I would buy at least one of each of these colors: black, white, fuchsia, turquoise, and a lemony yellow. (Of course, that's just a suggestion. (g)) If you know that you want a specific color-- red, brown, green, golden yellow, purple-- then it can save you some trouble if you go ahead and get that, too. (You can still tweak it to get just the right red, etc.)

It's also fun to play around with the translucent and metallic clays. Common metallics are pearl, gold, silver, and copper. There are sometimes also "green pearl", "blue pearl", etc. I think I like pearl the best of the bunch. It's easy to get pearly pastels by mixing a pinch of any color with pearl. Translucent clay is a must if you want to make "faux stones" from clay. Mixed with glitter, spices, dried flowers and other things, it can take on some really neat looks.

I'll be happy to tell you what I know about the clay, if you like-- and there are lots of websites and books (several in the local library system) that can help, too. If you'd like someone to walk you through the basic process, I'd be glad to host a clay party sometime, as well. Just let me know what you think. I know that we're coming up on a busy time of the year, but there's no reason we can't plan ahead. ;o)

On a lighter note--

On a lighter note from the last entry. . .

I just noticed that the AccuWeather widget I have on this blog currently describes our weather as "dreary". (g) Well, it does look a bit grey out there, I guess, but I don't know if it's that bad.

Oh, Daisy just had another seizure.
:o( !!

More Evidence of Man's Stupidity

Or maybe the "stupidity" would be more accurately described as a lack of respect and concern for the well-being of others. But when I get mad, I'm apt to fall back into a childish tendency of calling infuriating people "stupid".

Why will people persist in allowing their dogs to roam far and wide? It's not only dangerous for the dogs themselves, but it also brings my blood to the boiling point when they wander onto my property, where my own dogs are carefully kept in a fenced yard. This morning, there were two big, scary, growling (probably "playfully" to each other, but I don't care-- it was still a growl) boxers (or something similar) running down the recently mowed strip between our yard and the (mostly) open field. We hurried our dogs inside before they saw the intruders. The strange dogs were big enough to be able to jump our fence, if they wanted to, so we didn't want to take any chances.

In other news, Daisy's going through one of her periods of having seizures, again. She will go for days or weeks without any, then suddenly have a cluster-- say, three or four in two days. This time, the bout seems to be more severe than usual. She had two yesterday (I think) and six (again, I think-- too lazy to go look for the paper where I listed the times) so far this morning (the first one coming at 4:30). Each individual seizure is no worse than the others she's had, but the fact that they're coming so close together worries me. I guess we'll just keep an eye on her over the next few days and decide what to do based on that.

Poor baby. It seems unfair that such a sweet, good-tempered dog should be afflicted in this way, but of course there are examples of that sort of thing everywhere; unfortunately they're not restricted to the "dog world".

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I oughtn't to read blogs, apparently. . .

No, (sometimes) I oughtn't to read strangers' blogs, because even when I'm just looking for an interesting meme, I can't seem to help finding people whose opinions depress me. Why? I don't know these people. In all likelihood, I never will know them. I shouldn't give a fig what they think-- and I don't, really-- but it still depresses me to see how. . . well, how stupid so many people are. Not everyone can be as brilliant and all-knowing as myself, of course, but still, one hopes for some measure of intelligence. . . ;o)

And now, with that off my chest, I can proceed. (g) (About time, too, because I know you're dying to read this meme. It's been a day or two since the last one I posted, after all! ;o))

Some random meme about food (a relatively safe subject):

Do you have any weird "food rules"? List as many as you like:
Hm. Well, I wrote about some of these recently, so I'll try to keep them brief. I don't think they're "weird", but maybe I'm mistaken. Oh, and some of them aren't really "rules". . .
  1. Meat must be very thoroughly cooked-- especially chicken.
  2. I keep certain cutting boards "sacred" for the use of veggies and other foods that won't be cooked. ("Sacred" means I don't cut chicken or other raw meats on them.)
  3. I don't like mayonnaise on sandwiches, but I will eat it if it's mixed into certain foods-- such as ham or tuna salad.
  4. I'm a little bit picky about dairy products. Milk, cheese and cream cheese are good, and I've learned to like sour cream on baked potatoes (probably would've been just as well if I hadn't, though), but I'm not at all interested in yogurt, fil, or cottage cheese. (Cottage cheese is ok if it's been cooked, as in lasagna.)
  5. I like raw broccoli and cauliflower better than raw tomatoes. (Well, raw tomatoes are good in salsa, but that's about it.) I can make myself eat raw carrots, but I'm not thrilled about them.
When you were growing up, what one thing did your parents always remind you of during meals?
No one thing in particular comes to mind. . . There were the usual things parents say to kids-- "Did you eat your vegetables?", "Don't put your glass so close to the edge of the table.", etc., but no single thing stands out.

Is there anyone you know whose food you won't eat (for one reason or another)?
No. I wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Besides, I don't eat at that many different people's houses, and none of them are that bad as cooks. (g) This question does remind me of something L.M. Montgomery wrote about in her journals-- an awful tea at someone's house. Not-quite-clean dishes and that sort of thing. I seem to recall that she suffered through it as cheerfully as possible. What else can you do, unless there's a dog handy to smuggle bits to, under the table? ;o)

Is there anything you "specialize" in cooking, that people actually ask for?
Not that I can think of. I don't cook for many people. I'm not a very confident cook. I mean, I like what I make, and Donald isn't shriveling away to nothing for lack of decent food. ;o) But I'm just never sure if other people will like my cooking. I worry that what tastes good to me might not taste so great to anyone else. I have a recipe for soup that people like, but it's not really "mine"-- I just got it from someone else. . . Donald usually makes "Lucia katts" around Christmas, and I think people enjoy those. (And I help him. (g))

When you were growing up, what one meal do you remember as being your favorite?
White rice and gravy (beef- or chicken-flavored) is one "dish" that stands out as a childhood favorite. Once, I ate so much of it that I had a stomach ache, which ruined my appetite for it for a while. (g)

Did your family have particular ethnic foods different from those eaten by your friends?
Not that I can recall. My friends and I were pretty much all the same "ethnicity"-- i.e. we were all just Americans eating regular American food, as far as I can remember. Southern home cooking (fried chicken, rice and gravy, cornbread, turnip greens, etc.) and coastal delicacies (fried fish, battered shrimp, gumbo, and hush puppies) don't seem exactly "ethnic"-- and since most of my friends were born and raised in the South, too, I imagine they ate similar foods-- but it's the best thing I can come up with as an answer to this question.

Today, what is your IDEAL meal?
Um, anything I don't have to cook? ;o) Seriously, I don't have a single favorite. I like lots of things. Unfortunately, I'm generally more attracted to fatty, sweet, and/or high-carb foods than vegetables and fruit and other healthy stuff. But that's true of most of us, isn't it?


I thought that local readers-- you know who you are ;o)-- might be interested in this blog that I just found: BaldwinReport.

The most recent entry says that a "county commission projection" indicates that the county's population will double in ten years. (And for those of you not familiar with our area, that's on top of some pretty extraordinary growth in the last ten or twenty years, too.) Frankly, it's not great news, in my opinion. I just wonder when it'll ever stop. Will the continuing influx of all these new people ruin the very aspects of the area that attracted them in the first place? Oh well. It's better to live in an area that's growing than in one that everyone's fleeing, I guess. At this rate, I may end up being a city girl without ever leaving the "country" behind! ;o)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Book Meme

Ooh, found another book meme. It's updated on a monthly basis. You can find it here: Shelly's Book Shelf: Booked by 3.

Here are the questions (and my answers) for November:

Adaptations this time.

1. Books Made Into Movies (can include TV shows)

  1. Do you prefer to read the book before or after seeing the movie?
  2. Do you prefer to not see movies or TV shows made from your favorite books?
  3. Do you prefer a faithful adaptation or does it not matter?
My answers:
  1. Usually, I think I'd prefer to read the book first. However, I think it might be wiser for me to see the movie first. The reason for this? If I love a movie adaptation, I'm probably going to love the book even more (because it goes into more detail). I'll still love the movie, because it was my first introduction to the story. If I see the movie after reading the book, I'll be constantly comparing it-- it can't possibly depict things as I pictured them while reading-- and I'm probably less likely to love the movie, however much I loved the book. Yet still I say "book first"-- something about wanting to form my own impressions of the story. (shrug)
  2. No, I'm not that much of a purist. I'm definitely interested in seeing film or TV adaptations of books I love.
  3. I don't think I've ever seen-- or will ever see-- a completely faithful adaptation. Actually, sometimes, the more "faithful" the adaptation tries to be, the less I like it. It's simply not possible to translate everything in a book into film. They're different media and they work differently. A movie that tries to encompass every single thing that's in a book feels as though it's plodding painfully along, I think. I'm much more concerned that the adaptation be faithful to the spirit of the work. Details aren't quite so crucial.
2. Novelizations of Movies/TV Shows
  1. Do you read them?
  2. Do you prefer reading them before or after seeing the movie/tv show?
  3. Do you prefer a faithful adaption or does it not matter?
My answers:
  1. I read a few-- a very few-- as a teen. These days, I'd probably not be that interested-- but maybe I'm missing out on something great.
  2. I imagine I'd prefer seeing the show first. That way I'd know which story lines and characters interest me most. Besides. . . maybe I'm mistaken, but I don't think these types of things qualify as high literature, do they? I don't think many people read them without having first seen (and loved) the show or movie. It's basically glorified fanfic, isn't it? Printed and bound-- and rather better than most amateur fanfic, but in essentials much the same. (Uh oh, my book snobbery's showing. (g))
  3. I can't really say for sure, having so little experience. I think I'd feel the same about this as I do about film adaptations of books. You want the spirit to be the same: characters should behave as they normally do, major scenes should be included, etc. On the other hand, it might be nice if it adds a little something new to the story. Otherwise, you might as well just watch the show again, right?
3. Miscellaneous
  1. Are there books you'd love to see adapted for movies or TV shows or any you hope will never be adapted?
  2. Do you envision favorite actors as characters while you read?
  3. Are there adaptations you think are dead on or any that make you cringe?
My answers:
  1. Hm. I'm sure there are some I'd like to see adapted. . . Oh, yes! I'd love to see good miniseries adaptations of LMM's lesser-known series-- the Emily and Pat series. Or any of her other books, for that matter. The Blue Castle would make an excellent film. I'd also be happy to see adaptations of Charlotte Bronte's "other" books-- especially Villette. I know there are others, but that'll do for starters. ;o) I can't think of any book that I hold so sacred that I'd not want to see it ever adapted. (Seriously, people. Just don't watch it, if it bothers you that much.)
  2. No, I don't think so. . . Not unless I've already seen them play the role in a movie or on TV. In that case, I can sometimes find it impossible to read certain scenes without seeing that person's expressions and hearing that person's voice, as I read. (That's only true for portrayals that I like, though. If it's something I didn't care for, I tend to forget it very quickly. Which is good; otherwise it might ruin the book for me! (g))
  3. There are several I love (BBC's Ehle/Frith version of Pride and Prejudice, Sullivan's Anne of Green Gables, Masterpiece Theatre's Jane Eyre, etc.), but I don't know if I'd say they were "dead on". . . Certain aspects of characters or scenes might be very good, but "dead on". . . no, probably not 100%. (In some cases, such as Jane Eyre, they made quite a few changes, but I still like it very much.) Even if they aren't "dead on", however, I still find them very enjoyable, and I think each manages to capture the feeling of the book. As for cringing, I tend to block the stinkers out of my mind. Usually it's not the whole thing that makes me cringe-- just certain parts. Like when Anne in the (recently re-released) BBC version of Anne of Avonlea drops her g's. Every time she said "talkin'" instead of "talking", for instance, I did cringe. (shudder) It still gives me the willies. It's not that I'm personally offended by the occasional dropped "g". But that's not how Anne talks!! (g)

Thursday Memes

From (last week's) 3x Thursday:

1. Weather you have kids or not, if you were given a kid to take care of (say, it *had* to go to you for whatever reason), would you raise it? Why/why not?

Well, if the child "has" to go to me, I'd assume that means it has nowhere else to go. In that case, I can't imagine any decent person turning him/her away. That said, some people definitely shouldn't have children, and it's unfortunate that so many of them still do. However, I flatter myself that I'm not one of that group, so of course I'd raise the child.

Why? For starters, because it's the right thing to do.

Now, my answer might come with more hesitation if I already had a few children of my own to care for-- or if it involved an older child/teen. I would worry about how a new child might disrupt the dynamics (and finances) of my existing family. In the end, though, if the child truly had nowhere else to go, I don't think I could possibly turn it away. I imagine that most people would say the same.

2. How do you feel about pain meds? Do you like them? Do you condone the use of them for anything other than what they were prescribed for? Why/why not?

I haven't given them a great deal of thought. Of course if I'm in pain, I like being able to take something to lessen my discomfort. I might worry about possible dependence/addiction, if I had to take stronger medicines, but I'd still take them if I felt I needed them. I'd probably be cautious about taking medicine for something other than it was prescribed, but if I had a leftover pill (that wasn't out of date) and I had a flare up of pain, I think I'd take the pill. I don't think it'd do any real harm, so long as I wasn't taking them all the time-- but I'm talking one or two leftover pills, here-- not going out and getting a whole new bottle just to have on hand.

The part about "condoning" use of pain medicines for "anything other than they were prescribed for"-- seems an odd question. No, I don't think it's a good idea to abuse any drug (medicinal or not), if that's what's meant. Why not? It's risky; it puts yourself and those around you in greater danger of death. I don't like that sort of thing. ;o) However, I don't see using up a few leftover pain pills as drug abuse. (shrug)

3. What's your favorite kid movie? Why?

I'm not sure. I don't really have a favorite. I like (or did the last time I saw them) many kid movies-- animated Disney type, Pixar type. . . the old musical type (like Mary Poppins). I can't narrow it down to just one, because I like different ones for different reasons.

Really, why do I even bother with "favorites" questions? ;o) I can rarely choose a single favorite.


From The Back Porch (the Thursday Threesome):

::Classic Christmas Elves!::

Onesome: Classic-- get togethers? Is that on the list for next week, say about Thursday? ...or do you 'lone wolf' the Thanksgiving season?

Yes, there'll be a family get-together on Thursday-- possible one another day, too. There is no lone-wolfing on our major holidays. That sounds pretty sad. If we didn't have a way to see family on holidays, I'd want to come up with something else "different" to do that day-- start up a new tradition to fill the gaping void. ;o)

Twosome: Christmas-- Ready or not, here it comes! Complete with shopping and decorations and wants and needs and yeah... Are you ready for the experience? ...or does a nice South Seas cruise sound like a workable alternative?

Yes, I'm ready. Well, ready for the experience, that is. I'm nowhere near ready for the actual day, yet. (Need to get busy!) A cruise would be fun, too, but I don't really want a Christmas that doesn't feel like Christmas. Sure, it can be tiring-- and maybe I'd feel differently if I bore a heavier burden (such as preparing major meals, taking kids to 100 different holiday events, etc.)-- but it wouldn't feel like Christmas if it wasn't a little-- just a little bit hectic. Not a lot, but just a little.

Also, a cruise ship doesn't seem like the kind of place I'd like to spend Christmas. Of course, I don't live in a terribly cold, snowy place, so maybe I'm not able to fully understand the appeal of a Christmas cruise.

Threesome: Elves-- and other helpers? Do you have any lined up to assist on Thanksgiving Day? ...or to decorate in the weeks to come. ...or do you even need them?

Well, since I'm not hosting Thanksgiving, I don't need any helpers for that. (If anything, I'll ask if I can be of any help.) I'll probably decorate for Christmas without help. Donald might help with part of the tree, but apart from that, whatever decorating is done, I'll do. Sometimes I feel uninterested in decorating for holidays because there's no one to see and enjoy it but ourselves. Maybe that should be enough, but some days I'm not sure. . . (g) I'd consider having a few people over sometime in December so that I feel I have a reason to decorate, but it's already such a busy month for many people that I hate to bother them with an invitation to yet another "event"-- even if it's just a small gathering for snacks and games. We'll see. . . In any case, I think I'll always want a tree. I do like having a nicely decorated Christmas tree to admire all month.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Autumnal Beauty

The next time you're in the mood to admire photographs, I recommend a visit to Zsaj's photostream. Given the time of year, I'm especially enjoying the Autumnal set of photos. They have some of the most beautiful colors and compositions I've seen on Flickr.

How does she do it??

Seriously, if you have tips, please share! (g) I'm pretty sure she's using some sort of softening filter for many of the photos-- either on the camera or through Photoshop-- but beyond that, I'm not sure. I need to learn more about Photoshop... Well, until I can take such gorgeous photos, I'll have to be content to admire what others have done.

Dewy morning

Fog this morning left behind dew, which made every tiny spider web in the area something worth looking at.

I took a few photos (and then got sidetracked by Photoshop's "glowing edges" filter), if you care to visit my Flickr photostream. :o)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Random Quiz-Type Things

Feel free to skim or skip this post. There's nothing "real" in it. It's pretty pointless, even compared with the recent memes.

First, a quiz to determine whether you know the difference between "its" and "it's" and "they're", "there", and "their".

You Scored an A

You got 10/10 questions correct.

It's pretty obvious that you don't make basic grammatical errors.
If anything, you're annoyed when people make simple mistakes on their blogs.
As far as people with bad grammar go, you know they're only human.
And it's humanity and its current condition that truly disturb you sometimes.

Whew! What a relief! ;o)

Next, a quiz that determines your "pizza personality" (whatever that is):

Cheese Pizza

Traditional and comforting.
You focus on living a quality life.
You're not easily impressed with novelty.
Yet, you easily impress others.

That is so, so true. About me easily impressing others, that is. ;o) Ok, maybe not. And I'm really more of a pepperoni girl, though cheese pizza will do, too.

This next one is amazing. Just by asking me to select one photo from six options, this quiz can tell me about my hidden talent. (Isn't technology wonderful?!)

Your Hidden Talent

You have the power to persuade and influence others.
You're the type of person who can turn a whole room around.
The potential for great leadership is there, as long as you don't abuse it.
Always remember, you have a lot more power over people than you might think!

It's incredible how they can tell so much about me just like that! ;o)

Next, you'll be happy to know that:

There's a 8% Chance You've Been Abducted By Aliens

There's virtually no chance you've been abducted by aliens.
But there's always hope for the future!

Good to know. ;o)

This next one is very important. It tells you what kind of donut you are.

You Are a Glazed Donut

Okay, you know that you're plain - and you're cool with that.
You prefer not to let anything distract from your sweetness.
Your appeal is understated yet universal. Everyone dig you.
And in a pinch, you'll probably get eaten.

Are they kidding?? The plain glazed donut (preferably from Krispy Kreme) is the epitome of donutty deliciousness. There is no other donut, as far as I'm concerned. No, I'm serious. Krispy Kreme, glazed, no filling. No other donut need apply. (g) Well, ok, I'll eat the little ones with a dusting of powdered sugar, but I really do prefer the glazed ones.

Okay, enough nonsense.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Basking in the sun. . .

A couple of nights ago we had our first frost. Somehow, I forget the extremes of each season until it rolls around again. This time, I'd forgotten how my hands tend to stay cold all day on chilly winter days. (And it wasn't even that cold outside.) Maybe I need some of those fingerless gloves so that I can stay warm without the clumsiness that regular gloves create. Or maybe I should just turn up the heater a degree or two. ;o)

Today's warmer, but the past two chillier days have reminded me of why people from colder climates reverence the sun more than I usually do. A sheltered pool of sunlight when you're shivery endows the sun a glow of benevolence. I'm more used to thinking of it as something harsh and relentless. But that's my summer persona's point of view, and she's not due out again for a few months, at least. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy a few moments of basking-- not baking.

Daisy snoozing. . .

Daisy snoozing.

Friday's Feast

Yes, another meme. This time it's from Friday's Feast.

Which snack do you like to get when you go to the movies?

I don't buy snacks at the movies. I don't see the sense in paying those extraordinary prices. The tickets are high enough as it is! I have been known (on occasion) to carry a little candy in my purse, but it's not a particular kind-- just whatever I happen to have on hand. And no, I don't feel guilty about it. If the theater-owners want me to buy their candy, they can lower the prices to a reasonable level. So there!

What year did you start using the internet?

I'm not sure. I know I used the computer to gather information for a project in. . . 10th grade or so, I guess? Ok, I just found the paper (Is it weird that I saved my papers from high school? ;o) Don't answer!!) and I wrote it late in 1995 or early in 1996. I must've been using the Internet or newsgroups or something like that, though at the time I had no idea what it was. Someone (Mom or Dad?) showed me how to get the info and I just gathered it, not bothering much about where it came from. (g) At that time, I thought the computer was just something for games and word processing. It wasn't until after I graduated in 1997 that I started using it more for "surfing the web" and such.

What is your first name in Pig Latin?

I've never really understood the appeal of Pig Latin, but if you insist. ;o) "Ichaelmay".

Main Course
Name something you are picky about.

Well, once upon a time, I was picky about organization. I still like things to be organized, but I'm not as good about keeping them that way. (It was so much easier when I had just my room at home and my locker at school to keep tidy! (g))

Something I'm still picky about (and will be forever and ever) is preventing germs in our food. I try to refrigerate left-over food as soon as possible after we eat. I probably overcook meat (especially chicken) in an effort to be sure it's safe. I'm very, very picky about chicken juice (from raw chicken, obviously)-- or as I call it, "Salmonella sauce". ;o) I want that stuff cleaned up immediately-- preferably with a cleanser that contains bleach-- before it has the chance to be picked up and spread through the whole kitchen. I may be a tad bit obsessive about chicken germs. (g)

Fill in the blanks: I ____ ____ yesterday and I ____ ____ today.

If you'll excuse my saying so, that doesn't feel very "dessert-ish". Kind of bland, actually. Well, beggars can't be choosers, I guess. ;o) I suppose I'm only "allowed" two words there, since that's how many blanks there are in each spot.

I neglected e-mail yesterday and I must reply today.
I dread writing some of this e-mail stuff. It's not as bad as I make it out to be, but I can't help dragging my feet where it's concerned.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Booking Through Thursday

Haven't done a meme in a while, so . . . various prompts selected from many you'll find at Booking Through Thursday:

Would you say that you read about the same amount now as when you were younger? More? Less? Why?

I was all set to say "less". I do have my nose stuck in a book much less often than when I was school age. Why? I don't know. Partly because I do other things in my spare time. (Clay is a big consumer of my free time.) Partly it's because I just get out of the habit. When I'm reading something new-- if I'm enjoying it-- I want to read, read, read it until it's done. That gets tiring after a while, and it's difficult to get things accomplished if I'm constantly tempted to read, so it's probably good that I don't read as many "new to me" books as I used to. ;o) I still re-read favorites, but often it's only a bit at a time, so it's somewhat less disruptive to the other areas of my life.

However-- after initially thinking "less", I realized that on the other hand, I read much more nonfiction now than as a youth. I read blogs, news stories, informative articles, and so on. That's quite a bit of text, so it's entirely possible than I actually read more now, over all. If that "counts".

Do you read horror? Stories of things that go bump in the night and keep you from sleeping?

I sometimes do, but it's not usually the "blood and guts" type of horror. That just doesn't appeal to me, either in film or in writing. I'm more interested in "classic horror" (Dracula, Frankenstein) and "spooky stories". I like suspense and creepy-crawliness. Or at least, I think I do. When I'm in the thick of it, to the point that my usually friendly surroundings begin to feel sinister, I second-guess myself. ;o) Nothing I've read in a long time has kept me from sleeping, but I can certainly give myself nightmares.

Do you have any family-oriented memories with books and reading?

Definitely my best memory of the combination of family and reading is the bed-time story. Being read to-- and later reading aloud myself-- was a wonderful, soothing ritual. Unless I'm completely exhausted, I still like to read at least a few paragraphs before turning in for the night. Without question, that's a habit I'd want to start with children of my own. I firmly believe that it helps children develop a love of reading. Besides, it's just so much fun. Let's face it-- many children's books are at least as good as "grown-up" books.

Do you have multiple copies of any of your books? If so, why? Absent-mindedness? You love them that much? First Editions for the shelf, but paperbacks to read? If not, why not? Not enough space? Not enough money? Too sensible to do something so foolish?

When Donald and I combined books, it was inevitable that we'd have some duplicates. However, because Donald was at one time an active book collector (and still has the disease, though I'm trying to get it under control before we run out of space ;o)), we have more than two copies of some books-- particularly the Swedish translations of L.M. Montgomery's novels. I appreciate a nice-looking book, but I think I care less for "book as object" than I do for "book as message/idea/story". I'm perfectly happy reading my battered paperback. Generally, I'll leave the nice hardback on the shelf. Wouldn't want to mess it up by actually reading it, and it's the same story, no matter what package it's in. (g) . . .Have I answered this one before? It feels familiar. Oh well. (g)

Edited to Add:
When a story is all text, no photos, I don't care much about the book's physical form. I'm just after the story-- the pictures and voices it creates in my head. When it's a picture book, on the other hand, I'm just as much interested in the photos as I am in the words-- maybe more interested, depending on the book. I'm can also be somewhat sentimental about books that I've had for a long time, especially if it was my first contact with a well-loved story.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Is it a "Lost" cause?

The writers' strike didn't really seem worth mentioning. I mean, I do watch TV, and I won't really like it if the programs I like to watch are re-runs when they're supposed to be new episodes, but I didn't think it was worth getting worked up over.

Until now. ;o)

When this TV season geared up, I wondered why I wasn't seeing trailers for the new season of "Lost". A quick google soon revealed the reason for this: new episodes of "Lost" weren't going to air until February 2008!! Kind of annoying for those of us who've been waiting months for the show to pick up again.

Well, now at least one TV gossip columnist is suggesting that if this strike lasts too long, the new episodes might not come until Fall 2008-- or worst case scenario, February 2009! I'm thinking they're going to lose some people if they keep us waiting a whole extra year. Personally, I've probably already half-forgotten some of the plot lines! (g) By February 2009 (if things don't go much better than I'm pessimistically expecting), I might not have the heart to watch silly TV programs. I'll be trying to recover from a serious case of politics-induced depression and preparing for the downfall of Western Civilization (whatever of it is still standing by then)... Or perhaps I exaggerate.

Come on, you crazy Hollywood people. Don't tell me you can't find someone else to take those writing jobs, if the strikers persist. Honestly, based on what I see on the ol' tube, these days, I'd say some of them should've been let go quite some time ago. . . ;o)

More YouTube Clips

Seeing how easy it is to embed clips from YouTube, I went back for more. ;o)

I think this is my very favorite episode of "Little House on the Prairie"-- "Monster of Walnut Grove". (I don't care so much for the non-humorous episodes, and I was surprised, upon seeing them again as an adult, to discover how many of them are so serious.) This is only clips from the episode, but it's better than nothing. (Though they did leave out the bit where Mr. Olsen finds "gold". Remember that, Kimberly? (g)) The music on this episode still gives me the creeps. (g)

And from that, I found this-- a voice-over parody of a LHOP scene. Be warned: it's very silly. Molly especially loved the part where Nellie "sings". ;o)

Then I found some Disney cartoon theme songs in Swedish. (g) Here are a couple of them-- "Duck Tales" and "Gummi Bears":

And last, I found the intro for "She-Ra". Considering that this was very, very cool when I was a young-un, I'm surprised at how little I remember of it. Well, I knew she held the sword in the sky and all, but most of it didn't so much bring back fond memories as, well, make me think, "Wow, this is weird." (g) (Watching a few clips of the show tended to confirm my suspicion of weirdness.)

Then, better still, I found the intro in German. (bg) "Ich bin SHE-RA!" ;o)

I'm supposed to be writing e-mail. . .

. . . but I don't want to, so I'm here instead. ;o) Come on, let me put it off for just a few more minutes!

There may be a few readers out there who aren't family, so they may not have seen this.

Here are a couple of clips of my maternal grandfather playing and singing with the country/bluegrass (not sure how they'd describe themselves) band he's a member of, The Southern Sounds.

Wreck of the Old '97:
(Grandpa's singing in this one. He's the one seated in the middle.)

White Freightliner Blues:

My mother also has a couple clips of my youngest sister singing last year with a high school choral group, the RHS Rhythmics Ensemble. :o) (If you look at those, she's the second from the left, on the back row, in the "All the World is Winter" clip. She's third from the left in the other one. The setting is the cafeteria at "my" old high school. You know, the one where I never ate a single lunch in all of four years. (g))

Sweden in 100 Little Pieces

I stumbled across this today:

Thank You, Sweden

It's an article from The Independent. No, not the one in Baldwin County. For those of you who even know where Baldwin County is on the map. Gee, I wonder where it could possibly be. . . ;o) Anyway, it's also apparently the name of a paper in London. Or at least it was in 1999, which was when this article was written. (With the way newspapers are going these days. . .)

The article (for those who haven't already left me to check it out. . . is there anyone still here?) is 100 bits of info-- history, pop culture, vocabulary, and other assorted trivia-- relating to Sweden. Some of it isn't anything I'd be proud of or "thankful" for, but it's still an interesting read for someone with connections to Sverige.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Welcome to the new spot!

It's my inaugural post at the new blog! How exciting! ;o) Well, mildly interesting, at least.

I've switched the site of my on-line journal a few times, now, but this is the first time I've used a web-based system for my personal journal (though I've had a polymer clay blog for several months). I hope this will mean I'll post more often, because it is so easy to post here at Blogger. Don't be surprised, though, if my posts are also shorter than my old journal entries used to be. (Probably, that's a good thing. . .)

I think that (according to The Powers That Be) blogs are "supposed" to contain short entries (with lots of emphasis on links), while journals have longer entries and are more like traditional, paper journals in that they are text-centric. Or something like that. But I think it's silly to get too worked up over that sort of thing, so I'll just post what I feel like. If there's a long, wordy story to tell, I'll tell it in a very wordy fashion. If I have nothing but a link to share, I'll be brief.

Based on my experiences with the clay blog, I do think I blog differently than I journal. (Sorry to all of you-- any of you?-- whose linguistic sensibilities are offended by the haphazard morphing of nouns into verbs. I've long since given way, myself.) But for the few of you actually reading this, I don't think the difference will be shocking. If it is, feel free to tell me so. ;o)