Monday, February 25, 2008

"Blue Screen of Death" and so on

Yesterday afternoon, our "main computer" (not the one I use most of the time, these days) came up with the dreaded blue screen. Donald tried a bunch of things I don't understand well enough to name, but all to no avail. Fortunately, the company he does freelance web design work for just happens to specialize in this sort of thing, so they're having a look at it. (I really, really hope they can get it back in working order without our having to lose too much stuff! Back up your computers regularly, folks! (g))

_ * _ * _ * _

I've got a slightly sore throat again, today. Allergies or something else? It's probably not improved by the fact that I haven't been drinking much water, lately, so (raising my glass) here's to health! ;o)

_ * _ * _ * _

I just celebrated another birthday, last week. (Thank you, everyone, for the well-wishes and the thoughtful gifts!) Only one more year before I'll have to change that blogger blurb describing myself as "twenty-something". . . The years really do sneak up on you, don't they?

Caution: Now I will blather on for a few paragraphs. It's really not worth reading, but I don't have the heart to press the "delete" key. . .

When did you first realize that you were never really going to feel "different" as an adult-- that you'll probably feel essentially the same at eighty as you did at eleven? Ok, some things do change, I guess, but you always feel like the same person, don't you?

I guess that as a kid I thought I'd magically transform at some point. Maybe the fault likes with the whole "little girl blossoming into a woman" type of thing. (g) They never tell you, though, that underneath the obvious external changes-- despite the frenzied accumulation of knowledge that continues for a handful of years-- you don't change all that much. (Or, if you do, it must happen so gradually that I somehow missed it. . . Or maybe it wiped out my memory of the former me?)

I think I was in high school when I understood that I was always going to be me, for better or worse (or for better and worse, with both my my personal set of talents and tendencies toward certain faults). There wasn't going to be a moment of exponential change in my personality. I'd go on growing and learning, bit by bit, as I had for the previous however-many years of my life, but at the core, I would remain mostly the same person. Just like we all do.

Well, that's ok. I'd rather be myself, anyway. I wouldn't know how to be someone else. ;o)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday's Feast meme

Here's the feast for this Friday:


Have you ever played a practical joke on anyone? If so, what did you do and who was your victim?

The one that comes to mind is from several years ago. I'm not sure how long ago, exactly. . . I was probably in middle school-- maybe high school. My youngest sister, Kimberly, was still young enough that she had this PlaySkool-type kitchen and lots of pretend food made of plastic. We were all having a campfire and roasting hot dogs, one evening. For some reason, Mom and us girls went back in the house-- maybe for condiments or drinks? Anyway, we happened to see a plastic hot dog (frankfurter) in the play kitchen and one of us hatched an evil plan. ;o)

I don't remember the particulars, but somehow we managed to give Dad a (real) hot dog bun with the (carefully cleaned) plastic wiener inside. (g) It was dark, so he couldn't see anything wrong with it, but of course the first (attempted) bite gave it all away. ;o)

The moral of the story: Don't eat in the dark unless you really trust the chef. ;o)


What do your salt and pepper shakers look like?

Nothing fancy. They're little clear-glass jars with handles and plastic screw-on lids. The glass is decorated with a raised circular pattern with a "horn of plenty" in the middle and the words "Golden Harvest" above it. Basically, they look like miniature caning jars. I got them because they were relatively cheap and the lids were plastic. (I'd been having trouble with metal lids of shakers getting rusty.) Plus I like the idea of home caning, even if I'm not likely ever to do it. That whole "fresh country charm" thing really appeals to me-- especially in the kitchen.

While in Sweden over the summer, Donald and I bought a pretty, old* vintage set of shakers in a thrift store. They are marked with the Swedish names of the contents, and there are three in the set-- salt, peppar (pepper), and ingefära (ginger). I'm not sure if there used to be more in the set and these are all that are left or if it used to be common to keep ginger on the table with salt and pepper. (g)


Where is the next place you plan to visit (on vacation or business)?

We have no plans set in stone, but there was a little talk about a road trip up toward Prince Edward Island (Canada). I'm not so sure I really want to do that, though, and we'll have to give it a lot more consideration, one way or the other. Travel's ok, but I don't want to over-do it. ;o) Apart from feeling that there are other things we should spend that money on (a garage, for instance), I just really don't relish the thought of all those nights in hotels. I'd so, so much rather sleep in my own bed at night. If I had my way, I just wouldn't sleep during vacations. It's a waste of good time, anyway! (g)

Main Course

What kind of lotion or cream do you use to keep your hands from getting too dry?

I'm trying to work my way through a stash of lotions (some gifts, some things I bought for myself). Right now, I'm using a product that isn't being made any more (as far as I know)-- Extra Thick Body Cream by Sarah Michaels, Milk & Honey scent. I like the fact that the scent isn't overpowering, and it does feel very luxurious, lightly scooping the lotion-- er, excuse me, extra thick body cream-- from a tub, vs. squirting it out of a bottle (with an accompanying "rude noise", if the bottle's almost empty). (g)

I think the best lotion I've used, so far, has been the Equate (i.e. Walmart store brand) version of Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion. (I'm of the school of thought that most of the store brand versions are pretty much exactly the same thing as the name brand, and I can't justify spending more for the privilege of a different label.) The container doesn't look like it came from an expensive spa, nor is there a selection of delicate scents with catchy names, but it definitely moisturized my skin-- and kept them moisturized longer than anything else I've tried. I intend to buy more. Most of the lotions I have smell great and are fun to use as a light perfume, but they're not nearly as good for those times when my hands get dry.


Make up a dessert, tell us its ingredients, and give it a name.

I'm not very adventurous in the kitchen. (g) I mean, I can season by instinct and taste (maybe not to everyone's taste, but I like it and Donald hasn't starved yet), and I don't always follow a recipe to the letter. But I don't think I've ever made up a dish entirely out of my own imagination.

I don't know. . .
Take a pound cake (made according to any recipe you like-- or buy one ready-made from the bakery). Put a good-sized slice on a plate. Pile on some homemade whipped cream (if you like-- personally, I don't care much for the stuff) and top with thinly-sliced strawberries. I call it Pound Cake with Strawberries. ;o) Yeah, I'm a culinary genius with a gift for naming stuff creatively! (g)

* Help! I think I'm addicted to "strike-throughs"! It seems like I'm using them more and more often, and I don't know how to stop! ;o)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

More widgets :o)

What a dreary, drippy day we're having!
How about a few widgets to cheer us up? ;o)

My first find is especially for the folks in Sweden, as it's only available in Swedish. DryckoMaten ("drink and food") helps you determine the "proper" alcoholic beverage to go with any proposed meal.

I don't drink alcohol, and I didn't grow up in a family where people regularly drank wine with meals, so the whole concept of certain drinks going with certain meals better than others is a bit foreign to me. I guess it makes sense, though. Just like the thought of drinking milk with some foods makes me ill. (g) Anyway, here's a link, if you're actually interested.


The Spelling Bee helps you check your spelling on words you're not sure about. I haven't tried it, but I think if it doesn't recognize a word, it suggests likely possibilities. Sounds like a pretty good idea, since most of us have certain words that we just never can seem to spell correctly. Even if we know that we have trouble with a given word, it's almost as though we're physically incapable of memorizing it. (Or maybe that's just me. (g))

However, these days, I don't think there are many programs I use that don't already have a built-in spell-check that offers suggestions for misspelled words. Maybe this widget will help for those unusual words that spell-checkers don't know.


Moody is a mood ring for your pc. "The results are based on a combination of factors, including your CPU utilization, your memory utilization, and (in the case of computers that have batteries) your battery life."

Here's a screen shot of my computer's mood ring:

(It doesn't have to be that big; I enlarged it so it would show in the photo.) Back then it was green, so I guess it was feeling "active, not under great stress". Now it's more blue-green, though, which indicates that the computer's "inner emotions are charged", though it's still "somewhat relaxed". All very good to know. ;o)

Oh, and that's another widget-- Nu Jongg-- in the background of that photo. There are sodoku and other game widgets, too, if you like that kind of thing.


The real reason I started looking into widgets was this little fella'-- the FD Flickr Uploader. If you have a Flickr account and update fairly regularly, you might be interested in something like this. :o)

Well, enough typing! Time to get up and move around. My fingers are freezing!

Booking Through Thursday

Here's today's question from Booking Through Thursday:

All other things (like price and storage space) being equal, given a choice in a perfect world, would you rather have paperbacks in your library? Or hardcovers? And why?

Even though I readily admit that hardcovers look better (and last longer) than paperbacks-- not to mention that a good hardcover will stay open at the right page without being held the whole time (very useful for when you're reading while brushing your hair, applying lotion, etc.-- I think I generally enjoy reading more when I'm reading from a paperback.

It's strange. . . I like the idea of hardcovers, but when I paint a mental picture of the perfect reading experience, I see myself holding a slightly worn paperback. I think it's probably because I grew up reading paperbacks, mostly. My very favorite books (not counting children's picture books)-- the ones that helped shape who I am and are still favorites-- were paperbacks. When I hold and read those same books, now, they feel "right". The texture of the paper's the same-- the rustle of the pages is an echo of my past-- the smell is comfortingly familiar-- the very font helps roll away the years and take me back to the magical first reading. . .

So I'd definitely keep all my own paperbacks, in this fantasy-world library-- but I might make all my new books hardcovers.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I've never really gotten into the widget thing before. Oh, sure, I've dabbled. I have a couple of weather widgets-- my Flickr "badge"-- and a couple other things. But it wasn't until tonight that my eyes were truly opened to the vast and wonderful world of widgets. ;o)

LOST fans, check this out: There's a widget that simulates being the person stuck in the hatch, charged with the all-important job of typing in "those" numbers every 108 minutes.

It only accepts the numbers within four minutes of the "deadline"-- and if you miss it, there's supposedly a rather startling "Mission Failure" sound clip. (g) The only problem is that people are reporting problems with entering the numbers. Plus it must be really annoying, having to keep tabs on when you need to be back at the keyboard. Kind of like those little digital toys that were supposed to be "pets". You had to "feed" them or something, didn't you? I never understood the appeal of that-- maybe because they were popular with my youngest sister's age group and probably not aimed at teens. ;o) (Ah, they were called Tamagotchi, I guess.)

Anyway, I imagine you have to be a die-hard fan to willingly subject yourself to this type of thing.

. . . So, how many of you are gonna download it? ;o)

The collar returneth.

Yesterday, I found Daisy's collar in the dogloo, but it took two separate tries. (Not sure where it was hiding the first time!) In between dogloo-ransacking, I'd very nearly convinced myself that I'd taken the collar off her myself and managed to forget all about it. (Obviously, I don't have enough faith in my own memory/sanity.)

She wasn't exactly thrilled when I first presented her with the recovered collar, but I think she's resigned herself to it. ;o)

(glances to the side)
Gah! She's spying on me through the atrium doors! She can look a little creepy when she's not smiling. . . I wonder if she knows I'm writing about her? ;o) Nah, she's just trying to guilt me into letting her inside, even though it's perfectly comfortable outside-- especially if you're wearing a thick fur coat (like she is).

So, anyway, at least now you can take comfort in the knowledge that this ferocious ear-nibbling, hand-licking fiend is back in her collar. ;o)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More Keywords. . .

As I mentioned last time, there were more keywords / search terms that I didn't see when I started the last entry, so here's the second installment:
  • jeans quilt / jeans quilts / denim jean quilts / denium jeans quilt / jeans hobby /quilt out of jeans / etc.-- Seventeen visits from these. Seems like jeans quilts are a popular proposition!
  • hobby quilt
  • "new glasses"/ "new glasses" nearsighted
  • al roker use handsaw to save energy-- Two for this one. (g) I wonder if those visitors thought it was as ridiculous (and amusing) as I did. . .
  • motorized tree topper-- (g) Must've come from that story about Aunt Cathy's spooky angel tree-topper.
  • "in these days of indigestion"-- "it is oftentimes a question. . ." ;o) Three people looked for this. At least they must've found what they were looking for-- that poem.
  • "jane eyre"-- Of all the sites there must be out there that mention Jane Eyre, they clicked mine?!
  • "up on a rooftop", christmas song lyrics
  • baldwin county polymer clay -- Hm! I wonder if someone's thinking of starting up a local guild or something?
  • bronte or bront or brontë or brontes or brontës or "jane eyre" or "wuthering heights"-- Phew! What a mouthful!
  • chances odds abducted by aliens -- More aliens?!
  • children's books from the 80s about a bug family-- Doesn't ring any bells. . .
  • eye flick blood pressure-- . . .sounds scary!
  • flash back mids the 80s-- You too?? ;o)
  • grinch colored cookies and cake-- Yum yum. (?)
  • how to sew decorations on denim-- Pretty much the same way as you sew anything, I'd imagine. If you're using a machine, you may need to change to a different size needle. (Refer to your manual for more info.)
  • hunting land for sale in alabama-- Ok, which of you is planning on moving down here? ;o)
  • ich bin she-ra-- It was great, wasn't it?
  • i'm all knowing in song-- Personally, I know more in prose.
  • mrs. roper's poncho-- LOL!
  • quizzes to determine things-- Try for one source of pointless quizzes. Have fun!
  • random quiz cheese-- I didn't know you could make cheese out of. . . Ok, ok. That was a bad joke, even for me. ;o) But seriously, two people were looking for cheese quizzes. Now I'm curious. . .
  • random things to know about a person quiz-- Oh, is that kind of like that game we used to play at birthday parties? "Who Knows ______ the Best?" Everyone answer questions about the birthday girl/boy's favorite things, then whoever gets the most correct wins a prize.
  • really nearsighted-- I'm sorry. :o(
  • rifftrax-- Hope you enjoyed the YouTube video!
  • slitherin garter snake-- So much better than a slitherin rattlesnake!
  • sziklai pair-- . . . Huh? Oh, ok. That was from a wikipedia randomizer meme. 'Cause goodness knows I wouldn't be talking about a sziklai pair in my regular day-to-day blogging! (g)
  • winn-dixie-- I wondered when I ever wrote about Winn-Dixie, so I had to look it up. I was mentioning how I didn't like the WD version of Dr. Pepper. I hope I didn't hurt someone's feelings. ;o) How many pages of search results do you think they had to go through before they found that? (Well, maybe they were using a search engine just for blogs. . .)
And there you have it! (I left out some of the less interesting ones and about a bajillion "vintage children's clothes/books/photos" type things.) So, now I just have to wait a few more months to rack up a new batch of keywords. I know you'll be sitting on the edge of your seats until then. ;o)

Content Courtesy of Google Analytics ;o)

Here are some things people have been looking for when they've found this blog:
  • slitherin snakes -- Two people came in on this one.
  • "patterns using towels"-- Yes, I'd noticed several people accessing this blog through that entry, since adding the Feedjit live traffic feed. I never knew that was such a popular craft!
  • "yes ma'am" -- See, people still say that, 1920's Etiquette Book Lady! ;o)
  • all knowing ipod meme -- Another one I've noticed on my Feedjit widget.
  • any colour you like, mid -- Looking for a midi file, I guess? Sorry, none here.
  • avila jennys meaning -- No idea. I've never paid much attention to the lyrics, before now.
  • baldwin and the whiffles sh-boom -- Fun song, isn't it?
  • curly sue soundtrack -- Several music-related hits, lately!
  • figuring out squares for rag quilt-- Depends on how big you want it to be and how "raggy" you want it. Most people figure in a half-inch seam allowance. If that's what you want, decide how big you want the finished quilt to be and how many squares you want (across and down). Divide the desired length and width by the number of squares you'd like to get the size of the finished (quilted and ragged) squares, then cut the squares one inch bigger (in width and length) than that. (That leaves 1/2 inch "spare" on all sides.) If you aren't too picky about the size of the finished quilt, I think it's a lot easier to work with even inches-- or half-inches, at least. When you get down to quarter inches, you're more likely to make a mistake on your calculating or cutting. Besides, one of the main attractions of rag quilts is that it's so quick and easy-- so why complicate matters? Don't forget to double the number of squares so you'll have enough for the front and the back. If they're using flannel and no batting, some people like to triple the number of squares to give the quilt a little more warmth and thickness. In that case, you'll probably want to use your cheapest (or your least favorite) flannel for the middle layer-- but keep in mind that the colors will show in the ragging.) Have fun! :o)
  • ipod imposter -- You have one, too? ;o)
  • kids vintage fashion pics -- (and more similar to this.) Sorry to disappoint.
  • movie that ends with gnossienne -- No idea, unless it was The Painted Veil, which was the movie I was writing about when I mentioned it. . .
  • nearsighted in one eye -- Well, I guess it's better than nearsighted in both eyes (like I am). (g)
  • odds on random things -- Like the odds of winning the lottery, getting struck by lighting, finding an honest politician, etc.? None of those here.
  • plastic ballerinas+cakedecorating -- I hope you liked the picture I found. (g)
  • pushing daisies retrospective -- I don't think I've written one. . .
  • random quizzes about cheese -- (laugh) Are there such things?
  • sunnyroad manasseh mix -- (multiple variants of this one.) It's a great mix. I wish it was on the original CD. . .
  • unique personality traits -- Plenty of those here. ;o)
  • what is the chance i have been abducted by aliens quiz -- Speaks for itself.
Maybe I ought to write about some of these things. I hate to think how disappointed these folks must've been once they got here. ;o)

Oh, I just realized that I was only looking at the keywords from the last month. (I thought there ought to be more of them!) I'll have to do another post looking back all the way to the beginning of the blog.

Other tidbits of the analytical type*:
  • 54% of pageviews are the "index"/main page/the page you get when you type in the URL.
  • 15% of pageviews are of the entry about "Sweden in 100 Little Pieces". (g)
  • 5% of pageviews are of the entry where I first mentioned rag quilting.
  • Pages of this site have been viewed 1,079 times, with 939 unique visits.
  • This blog has had 271 absolutely unique visitors.
  • Sixteen different languages are represented by this blog's visitors. (Of course, I think this is a bit skewed, as there are different categories for English, US English, and UK English, as well as two for Swedish, I think.)
  • Nearly 34% of my visitors have come here just one time. (Didn't like what they saw, I guess. Maybe they're the disgruntled readers looking for quizzes about cheese, etc. (g)) 12% have visited 26-50 times, and another 12% have read this blog 51-100 times. 5.5% of you have been here over 100 times.
  • If I understand the Visitor Loyalty report (which is a bit iffy, to tell the truth), that loyal 5.5% is made up of 44 individuals. That more than I would've thought!
  • Most of my traffic (74.9%) has come from referring sites (mainly and The rest is fairly evenly divided between direct traffic (people typing in my URL or using a bookmark, etc.) and search engines.
  • Nearly 55% of visitors are using Internet Explorer, but 42% use Firefox. (We use Firefox. It was Donald's idea, and at first I was resistant, because I'm too lazy to learn new programs a creature of habit, but now that I'm adapted, I'm a faithful Firefox user.)
*All stats are based on the entire time I've had this blog-- since November of last year.

It's pretty amazing that you can have all these statistics (and more) for free! Just look up Google Analytics. (There are probably others out there, too, but that's the one I'm using.)

Pesky Eskie

Pesky Eskie
Originally uploaded by MossyOwls

Here's a photo of my sweet pesky Eskie, to balance out my little rant. ;o)

Last night, while petting her, I discovered that she was no longer wearing her collar. She must have wriggled out of it, somehow. I'll have to look for it (and maybe put it on a little tighter next time). Even though our dogs are fenced, I like to have a way to quickly grab them if I need to, and the collar helps with that.

Poor Molly doesn't get photographed as much as Daisy. It's just so much more difficult to photograph a mostly black dog-- plus she doesn't sit still and look at the camera as much as Daisy does. . . Well, I have a feeling Molly doesn't know she's not photographed as much, nor would she be likely to care, even if she was aware of the fact. (g)

Ok, I'll admit it--

I'm probably naive. And frankly speaking, I try to keep myself that way, in some respects. (g)

Wandering through this curious digital realm of blogs and comments, I'm frequently amazed by the extremely varied opinions (not necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes mindbogglingly different from what I've assumed was widely accepted), the "random acts of rudeness", the ignorance, and (often) the downright stupidity of people.

I suppose there has always been a certain number of stupid and/or rude people making things uncomfortable for the rest of us, but I have to wonder if the percentage is increasing.

Some of it can be attributed to our relative anonymity in our online lives. It's easier to be rude to someone when you think that no-one knows who you are. (It's also easier to say vicious, vile things about/to someone when you aren't looking him or her in the face. Well, that's true for most of us, at least.)

That aside, how much of this is due to the breakdown of long-held standards of decency and respect for self and others? Why is it ok-- or if not quite "ok", at least to the point that the rest of us just ignore it-- for someone to post a crude, angry comment about something as harmless (and completely unoffensive) as some random blogger's list of things they'd like to read?


It's discouraging. A little thing, to be sure-- or rather, many, many little things-- a thousand pinpricks, perhaps? Maybe it's not worth bothering about these little things when there are such bigger problems facing us... But then again, what good is defending our way of life from outside threats if we're slowly (or not so slowly?) rotting away from within?

I know I'm not the first to comment on the rudeness of the Internet Age, but I needed to vent! (g) Anyway, the grumbling is officially over, now, and I'll try to remind myself that the extreme rudeness is probably magnified by the fact that rude people tend to be louder than the rest of us. Not to mention that the ignorant and the stupid (separate groups, but both dangerous) likely spend more time blogging than our brightest minds. (I suspect that they're otherwise engaged.)

. . . Hm. Maybe I shouldn't blog so much, myself. ;o)

Monday, February 18, 2008

More YouTube clips.

Just what you wanted on a Monday afternoon, right? Well, fortunately, nobody's going to force you to click them. ;o)

A few songs I've been enjoying, lately:

Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" (aka "If I Just Lay Here").

Landon Pigg's "Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop". You might recognize this one from a diamond commercial. The accompanying footage is from Gilmore Girls, by the way.

Blondie's "The Tide is High". Kind of a weird video. I'm no expert on the subject, but I guess that 1980 was pretty early for music videos... Actually, come to think of it, most of the music videos I've seen (not that many, really) are kind of weird. It must be required. ;o)

Mazzy Star's "Fade into You". Has it really been fifteen years since this came out?! I thought it was from 2000 or so, but it says it's from 1993. For that matter, can it really be fifteen years since 1993? Wow...

And for a laugh, Weird Al's "White and Nerdy". Ever since Rachel mentioned it and we looked it up, it's been amusing us. (g)

If you like that one, you also ought to check out "eBay". (Just try to overlook the irritating flashing "Gona' Buy".(g))

Hee hee. I just noticed that both of those songs mention bubble wrap. (g) Maybe he really does have some strangely intense interest in it (as is suggested in "White and Nerdy")... ;o)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Clay sale again, this week.

There's a 99-cent clay sale at Michaels this week (starting today, running through Saturday, I think).

If anyone's interested in polymer clay but not sure of where to start, feel free to write to me for some suggestions of useful websites, etc. Now that it's no longer the busy pre-holiday season, maybe it's a good time to see if anyone would like to have a "clay day"-- either here at our house or anywhere else that's convenient. All you really need is a little clay. (I suggest Premo or Kato-- anything but Sculpey III, which is the weakest of the bunch.) I have tools and extras to share.

Just a thought. Maybe the threat prospect of having people over would be a good incentive for me to do a more thorough house-cleaning. ;o)

Tomorrow, moonlit skies. . .

I just noticed that the weather widget on my sidebar says that tomorrow and Tuesday we'll be seeing "a moonlit sky". Which seems odd, considering that very brief, general forecasts usually tell you what the weather will be like during the day-- and then there are the tiny sun symbols to further confuse things. . .

I don't know-- it just struck me as funny. (g)

Also, if it's "mainly clear" today, why is there a dark thundercloud?

I think there's a problem with the forecast. . .

It's a beautiful world we live in. . .

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Oh, for simplier times. . . ;o)

Thought I'd share some excerpts from Lillian Eichler's Book of Etiquette. I don't think I'd ever really looked at it before this weekend, but some of it is amusing and/or interesting. Here are some snippets:

From the section on visiting cards:
The Chance Call

If a married woman calls in return for some hospitality shown her and her husband, she leaves two of her own cards and two of his. But if it is just a social call, she leaves only her own card. In this latter case, she asks at the door to see the ladies. If she is informed that they are not at home, she gives the card to the maid and departs. On the other hand, if the ladies are at home, the card is placed on the tray in the hall, and the caller goes into the drawing-room to be welcomed by her friends.

If the maid does not know whether or not the ladies are at home, and says she will see, the caller gives her own card and goes into the drawing-room to wait further word from the maid. Should the ladies be out, she leaves two of her husband's cards on the card tray in the hall before leaving. If the ladies are at home, she does not deposit her husband's cards in the tray until her departure.

Very often a lady will call on a very good friend, more for a friendly little talk and for companionship than for social duty. In this case, she is privileged to send up only one card; and leave it behind, whether that lady is out or in, without any other cards.
Mm-hmmmm. . . Well, obviously. ;o)
. . . Why would you ever need to leave two cards?

Backtracking a bit, I find that there are pages devoted to calling cards-- what size they should be (for ladies, no larger than two and seven-eighths inches in length and two and one-eight inches in width-- but no smaller than two and one-half inches long by one and seven-eighths wide-- unless you want to be the gossip in Town (g))-- what font they should use (nothing too fancy)-- what material they should be-- what information they should include-- how your name should be formatted (no nicknames, please)-- and so on.

There's also a part describing when more than one card should be left. . . But I still don't see an explanation as to why more than one is necessary. (Maybe so both husband and wife would have a copy?) As you might expect, there are rules about when a woman may or may not leave a card for a man. Even a married woman shouldn't leave her husband's card for an unmarried daughter in the house she visits!

Here's something more about the multiple card issue:
In many instances it may seem more courteous to leave more than one card, but a woman calling alone should never leave more than three. It has not been many years since she was almost compelled to leave half a dozen or more but common sense intervened and this custom like most others has been simplified.
Well, thank goodness for that! ;o)

There's a whole section on children, too. For instance. . .
A child should never seat himself until those older than he are in place though not even this should be ostentatious. As soon as the mother or whoever is presiding at the table indicates that it is time for them to be seated they all should take their places almost simultaneously.
Such formality! Sounds more like a military display than a family meal. . .
In addressing elders the child should know exactly the correct forms to use. For instance, it is no longer considered good form for anyone except servants or tradespeople to use the expressions "Yes, ma'am," and "Yes, sir." Still there is some deference due parents and elders, and the correct method of address is, "Yes, mother," or "No, father," or "Thank you, Mr. Gray." The manner of the child is just as important as the form of expression; a courteous, respectful manner should always be used towards elders.
Only "servants and tradespeople" say "sir" and "ma'am"? Even when I was growing up in the early 80s, polite children addressed adults as "sir" and "ma'am" unless instructed otherwise. (Maybe it's a Southern thing? Or maybe my parents were weird? (g)) I still catch myself doing it, sometimes, if I'm talking to a certain type of person-- if they're quite a bit older, not someone I know very well (family/friend), and if they're polite, themselves. I'm not sure how some people will feel about it, and I feel a bit awkward saying it, these days, but sometimes it just pops right out.

There are a couple of pages devoted to mourning dress-- down to such details as jewelry and handkerchiefs! ("Handkerchiefs may have a black border or they may be pure white.") Here are a few paragraphs from those pages:
The length of the mourning period depends upon the tie which existed between the deceased and the bereaved. Except for an elderly woman whose husband has died and who never intends taking off black the longest period is usually two years, the first in deep mourning, the next in "second mourning" during which time gray, lavender, purple and black-and-white may be worn. This may be shortened at discretion to six months of deep mourning followed by six months of semi-mourning or three months of deep mourning and six of half mourning. The change from black to colors should never be so abrupt as to be startling.

A girl does not wear mourning for her fiance except under extenuating circumstances. If he died on the eve of the wedding it is permissible but if the date for the wedding had not been set or if the engagement had not been announced it is questionable form for her to go into mourning for him. It is a very delicate matter and the final court of appeals is the young lady herself. But she should remember that the garments of mourning are after all only a symbol of grief and she should hesitate a long time before assuming them. Her mourning outfit is like that of a widow and she wears it for the same length of time.

Children should never wear black. Upon the death of a parent they may wear white perhaps relieved by lavender for six months or so. They do not use mourning stationery and they do not carry black bordered handkerchiefs. A girl fifteen or sixteen may wear delicate grays, lavenders, and mixed goods as well as white, but she should not wear black.
This bit made the act of "going into mourning" seem a little more logical (to me, at least): "It is a sort of protection, for strangers and thoughtless friends will not be so likely to make remarks that will wound, if they have a black dress to remind them of the bereavement. . ." I still think the extremely structured nature of mourning dress an odd thing, but maybe it's true that it would help others not to speak thoughtlessly. On the other hand, wouldn't the unusual clothing be a constant reminder of the loss-- to the mourner, as well? It seems like it might make it even harder not to dwell on it. . .

I guess it makes sense in a book of this sort that there's a lot about introductions, but somehow it grates on my nerves. In a section on the subject of "speaking without introduction", the author starts out well enough, indicating that it is ridiculous for people to be "indignant when addressed by someone to whom they have not been introduced." However, she goes on to say that "a lady, of course, may not on any condition address a gentleman whom she does not know, nor may a gentleman address a lady who is a stranger to him." Really? Even in the 1920s in America?? It must have been very difficult for "civilized" people to meet one another, if they were not so fortunate as to have a built-in system of friends and family to introduce them! (What percentage of the people do you think truly followed these "rules"?)

Though it's "ok" for one man to talk to another without introduction, it's vital that you know the following: "If a friendship is to be developed later, a formal introduction may be sought; but for the present, though they have never been presented to each other, the men may enjoy a conversation without feeling that they are trespassing beyond the boundaries of etiquette." How reassuring!

Then there's a section on letters of introduction, but I doubt many of you are still reading, at this point, so I'll call it quits. (g)

If you are hungry for more, you'll be happy to know that the ebook is available online. It's free! Enjoy! ;o)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Little Bits--

~~Donald and I both have slightly sore throats, but no other symptoms. I think it has something to do with all the pollen in the air right now. The pines are definitely pollinating, and some other things probably are, too.

~~I found a red, heart-shaped note in that old Book of Etiquette (published in 1921) I mentioned in my last entry. Written on it in white script is the following message:

Mrs. Frank Bridgeman
Mrs. James Stevenson
February thirteenth
One o'clock

Funny that I should happen to find it so near the same time of year. I wonder how old this little note is. . . And do you think Mrs. Frank Bridgeman took up playing bridge because of her name, or was it just Fate? ;o)

~~Over the weekend, we watched Galaxy Quest, which is a parody of Star Trek. We finished the movie, turned off the DVD player, and what just happened to pop up first on the TV screen? Yep. Good old Captain Kirk, Spock and the rest of the gang. (g) Well, we thought it was good for a laugh. ;o)

~~You quilting folk out there-- Have you considered documenting your quilts? I think it might be a fun thing to do. You could even do it digitally (in a blog, for instance), if you preferred-- but if you also like scrapbooking, it could be a fun way to combine the two interests. A quilt scrapbook. Just passing along the link. . .

~~I was also interested in this link from the same quilting info source: Used fabric softener sheets as a foundation for crazy quilt blocks. I'm still too much of a novice to think seriously about this, but maybe someday. I think a crazy quilt could be fun. It'd have to be really crazy, though-- like the one Anne sleeps under when she spends the night at the Tomgallon House-- so crazy that you're almost afraid to sleep under it. (Incidentally, before searching for the right passage just now, I never realized how many times the word "crazy" appears in AoWP/W.)

ETA: Psst! If you've stumbled across this blog searching for rag quilting/sewing 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, February 10, 2008


(Argh! Accidentally published prematurely. . . Sorry if you saw this before it was done.)

Meme meme meme. (In that order.)

Meme the First:
Cult TV--
Untouched means I've never seen it.
means I've seen it at least once.
means I watched it a lot or watched it religiously.
Struck out means I've seen it but didn't like it.
Parenthetical statements are in (parentheses). ;o)
P.S. Older relatives who may be reading: Don't worry-- this has nothing to do with any actual cults-- just tv shows with "cultish"/semi-obsessed fans. (g)

30. Square Pegs (Never even heard of it.)
29. Rags to Riches (No idea what it is.)
28. Wonderfalls (Saw the commercials for the millisecond that it was on TV. . .)
27. The Daily Show (Saw teensy clips of it; think it's overrated.)
26. Firefly (Again, do commercials count?)
25. Freaks and Geeks (Heard it was good, but never saw it.)
24. Absolutely Fabulous (Ditto.)
23. Forever Knight (Sounds vaguely familiar. . .)
22. H. R. Pufnstuf (Not that I know of, but maybe as a kid? In reruns?)
21. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (Was there really a show by that name?)
20. Twin Peaks (Too young at the time it first ran.)
19. Dark Shadows (I think I've seen bits of it, but not a whole ep.)
18. Doctor Who (Maybe bits of one of the newer series, but not the original.)
17. The Avengers (Nope.)
16. My So-Called Life (Just less-than-1-minute snippets.)
15. Quantum Leap (Again, never a whole episode.)
14. Beauty and the Beast (More than once, but not a lot.)
13. Babylon 5 (Not that I know of.)
12. Family Guy (So, so weird.)
11. Mystery Science Theater 3000 (On DVD, not so much on TV.)
10. Pee-Wee's Playhouse (Stop! You'll give me nightmares!)
9. Xena: Warrior Princess (Not a whole episode, though.)
8. The Twilight Zone (Mostly on "marathons" on SciFi.)
7. The Prisoner (I don't recognize this one. . .)
6. The Simpsons (Only within the past several years; not growing up.)
5. Monty Python's Flying Circus (Ditto.)
4. Farscape (Nope.)
3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Not this one, either.)
2. The X-Files (Yeah, but by the time M. left, it just wasn't worth watching.)
1. Star Trek (Saw reruns of the original series when I was younger-- watched the Generations series regularly when it came out-- never really liked the rest of the series as much, though.)

Meme the Second:
Another (5) Book Meme--
1. Take five books off your bookshelf.
2. Book #1 -- first sentence
3. Book #2 -- last sentence on page fifty
4. Book #3 -- second sentence on page one hundred
5. Book #4 -- next to the last sentence on page one hundred fifty
6. Book #5 -- final sentence of the book
7. Make the five sentences into a paragraph.

I'll try to be random with the books-- one off each shelf, picked with eyes shut. (Because it's so very important. It's really worth all this extra effort. Really.) Ok, here we go:
Once upon a time, sixty years ago, a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, in a little gray house made of logs. Ford scrambled round and flung his shoulder uselessly against the reclosing hatchway. The flowers that she had taught me to distinguish by their names, the flowers that I had taught her to paint from, were gone, and the tiny white paths that led between the beds were damp and green already. If the person called upon feels the loss so poignantly that he or she cannot be composed, it is far better to leave a cordial note at the door asking to be excused from all callers, than to greet them and cause embarrassment by a display of emotion. "My dear," replied Valentine, "has not the Count just told us that all human wisdom is contained in the words 'Wait and hope!'"
So. . . Didn't make much sense, did it? I don't suppose you can expect much better, though, from such a random assortment of sentences. It's interesting that the three internal sentences all happened to relate to loss/trouble in some way, while the last was more hopeful.

Books used:
1. Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder
2. The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
3. The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins
4. Book of Etiquette, Lillian Eichler (1921)
5. The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas (abridged, but still 500+ pages)

Looking back, I think it might help if the books were at least all in the same tense and told from the same point of view (second person, first person, etc.). Maybe I'll give it another try, but this time only keep five books that have at least that degree of parallelity.
It was a warm, golden-cloudy, lovable afternoon. She was assisted, however, by that perfect indifference and apparent unconsciousness, among the only three of her own friends in the secret of the past, which seemed almost to deny any recollection of it. "I'll never improve," the Turk answered, but his arms began to move faster than before. He said, "If you haven't found it so far, you better look harder. One thing's sure. I better not find it first." And, somehow, Sara felt as if she understood her, though she said so little, and only stood still and looked and looked after her as she went out of the shop with the Indian gentleman, and they got into the carriage and drove away.
Not that much better. Oh well. (g)

Books used:
1. Rilla of Ingleside, L. M. Montgomery
2. Persuasion, Jane Austen (Wow. That was a pretty bad sentence!)
3. The Princess Bride, William Goldman
4. The Bad Seed, William March
5. A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett

Meme the Third:
Music Meme--
(It's pretty bland, but at least it's short and to the point.)

1. Grab the nearest CD (or your mp3-player, etc.).
2. Put it in your CD-Player (or start your mp3-player, I-tunes, etc.).
3. Skip to Song 3 (or load the 3rd song in your 3rd playlist)
4. Post the first verse in your journal along with these instructions. Don’t name the band, nor the album-title.

Ok, here goes: "Close your eyes; give me your hand, darling." I bet at least a couple of you out there know the song, right? (g)

Well, that ends my Sunday Afternoon MemeFest!
You can now return to your regularly scheduled last-minute weekend business, while I go off to contemplate that eternal question-- What's for supper tonight? ;o)

No memes were harmed in the making of this blog post.
These and other memes may be found at

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Things that have been happening lately:

  • Daisy's slowly recovering from another bout of seizures. At least we think we know what brought it on this time. The dosage on her medicine was off, due to a mistake at the vet's office. It's pretty frustrating that we'll have to watch them more carefully from now on-- but at least she's getting better again.
  • Highs today will be in the mid-70s, followed by a chance of rain and maybe thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow. It doesn't feel much like February! It's nice to be warm for a day or two, but I'm glad the temperature will be going down again, soon. I don't mind spring, but I'm not ready for summer, yet. (Ok, I'm not ever ready for summer. It simply has to be endured.)
  • Yesterday, I noticed new leaves on our hydrangeas and the beginnings of daffodils poking up here and there. I guess spring is on its way. (Today, it feels like it's already here!) I need to get into gear and do some yard work before it's sweltering again.
  • Donald and I watched the extended versions of The Two Towers and The Return of the King over the weekend. I think that might have been the first time we say the latter since we watched it in the theater.
    • I still can't see why Tolkien chose two names ("Sauron" and "Sarumon") that look and sound so similar. I remember being a bit confused when I read the books, too. Two of the very few women in the books also have similar-sounding names-- "Arwen" and "Eowyn". They're not identical, but they're pretty close, considering that he had his choice of all the names in the world (or out of it, since this is fantasy).
    • I can barely remember the books. Of course, I was in middle school when I read them, so it's been a while. (g) I might try re-reading them, sometime. I'm not generally a big reader of fantasy, but a little variety can be nice.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Couple of things. . .

I read today that there is a new version of Match Game in the works. I think whether or not it's worth watching will depend mostly on the panel of celebrities, but I also wonder what the tone of the show will be. The old one (the re-runs of which I used to watch on GSN, with some of my family) was pretty risqué for its time (the 70s), but depended a lot on insinuation and the double entendre. These days, it sometimes seems that almost nothing is off-limits, so I wonder how far the writers and panel will choose to go. Will the old formula translate well to a modern audience? Will they even try the old formula, or instead opt to push it right over the edge into raunch?

At any rate, at least this should be a departure from the usual game show fare of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? mimics. Donald is deeply annoyed by the fact that every new game show to come along has to have the same dramatic lighting and music-- and the same agonizingly "dragged-out" snail's pace. I'm not fond, myself, of the irritating "You'll have to wait until after the commercial to find out!" aspect. (g)

One other tidbit, which will only be amusing to the two or three of you who watch/have watched Mythbusters, but so be it. ;o) I found this on a blog earlier today, and since I don't think any of my known readers also read that blog, I thought I'd pass it along. It's originally from I Can Has Cheezburger?, which is a good place to satisfy your need for funny animal photos with creatively spelled captions. (g)

(I'm writing a lot about TV today, aren't I?)

Just chatting. . .

Random snippets:

It's a Swedish tradition to make "semlor" (that's the plural, singular is "semla") for Fat Tuesday (or as they call it, "Fettisdagen"). Donald decided to make them this year. He got his recipe from his mother, but here's one online (in English) if you're interested.

I think he's only made them once before since moving to the US, and I don't remember much about them, so I'm a bit curious. I guess we'll probably make them over the weekend, which will be a longer one than usual for us, since he's taking Monday off. :o)

~ *~ *~ *~ *~

I'm feeling a little bit nostalgic for the 90s today. Just thought I'd let you know. (g)

Seriously, though-- at the time, I never thought "Yeah, boy, these are the years!" Just like there probably aren't many people walking around today thinking "Early 2008 is the greatest time of my life! If only this year could last forever!" And yet in ten or fifteen years, some of us will probably look back fondly and think how simple life was for us "back then".

I'm not saying that I'd like to relive the 90s-- no more middle and high school, thanks; I've had my fill-- but we're all allowed a little nostalgia. ;o) This particular bout was brought on by a familiar song I heard while grocery shopping yesterday. With a little creative googling, I identified it as "Hazard" by Richard Marx and even found the music video on YouTube. (I keep telling you, this Internet thing is downright nifty!) It's not a warm, fuzzy song at all, but it still brought back a lot of pleasant memories. Funny how even an ominous song about a murder can be nostalgic, huh? Or maybe that's only true for the dark and grungy 1990s. . . ;o)

~ *~ *~ *~ *~

LOST finally returned with a new episode last night. Which I'm sure you already knew, if you care at all.

Still, just to be on the safe side-- If you haven't seen the newest episode, there are spoilers coming up now.

Big, bad LOST spoilers!!

Right now! After just another line or two of warnings!

. . . So stop reading if you don't want to be spoiled! ! ! (This also applies if you haven't seen the show and don't give a hoot about it.)

--So, what did you think? As far as season premiers go, this one probably wasn't the most spectacular the series has ever offered. (Remember the disoriented feeling when we realized that the first few moments of that one premier wasn't a "flashback", but was following the normal routine of someone in the bunker, just moments before John blasted off the door?) Still, it wasn't bad. It did feel pretty hopeless, though. . . I mean, the ones (six, I guess, since Hurley referred to "The Oceanic Six", right?) who made it off the island seem to be in trouble. I'm a bit confused and lots curious, but that just comes with the territory for this show. ;o)

Here are some things I was thinking about while I watched. Feel free to comment/discuss in the comments section, if you like. Or not. (g)
  • They need to stop "killing off" so many characters. I'm getting tired of it. Yes, every now and then it's a powerful plot twist, but it's also possible to overdo it. I like some of the secondary characters better than their precious Jack and Kate, but given the rate at which they keep flicking these characters into oblivion, I don't want to get too invested in them!
  • So, since Hurley is going to hide and Jack and Kate aren't-- and based on the preview for the next ep.-- I guess we can assume that they aren't immediately rescued (since we know all three of them are rescued). I wonder who the other three rescued castaways are. . .
  • I'm sure the folks on the message boards have been playing around with theories since the season finale, but who do you think was in the coffin? Someone related to the island, almost certainly, but it must not be someone they liked. (Not friend or family, Jack said, and Kate wondered why he thought she'd come to the viewing.)
  • Is Jack's dad still really alive? Jack was drugged up and somewhat out of it when he referred to his father, so it's possible that he just slipped up, but the other doctor (albeit maybe a new kid on the block) didn't look startled, so it seems likely that he is still around. Very, very weird.
  • Something FutureHurley said gave me the impression that some of the people are still on the island. But that doesn't make sense, unless they were hiding. Otherwise, you'd think they'd be "rescued" even if they said they wanted to stay.
  • What does GhostCharlie want FutureHurley to do?
  • And based on what FutureJack said, we get the impression that they're not supposed to give away the truth about the island-- or something like that. (At least, Jack seems worried that Hurley will say too much.) What's the big secret? Did they have to agree to secrecy in exchange for rescue? Are they protecting whoever/whatever's still on the island?
  • Incidentally, I'm not sure if the "future" scenes are really supposed to be set in "our" future. I'm not such an obsessed fan that I recall when the plane crashed, how long they've been on the island so far, etc. Maybe the "future" in the show is actually our present? Anyway, for ease of use ;o) I'm referring to "on the island" as "present" and "back in the real world" as "future".
  • Speaking of present vs. future-- Do you think this episode and the season finale set the tone for the whole season? Instead of flashing back to character's lives before the crash, will we continue to flash forward to their lives after rescue? (Or at this point, since the season finale may have started in the "future"-- I can't recall-- maybe they're still flashbacks, but they're flashing back to the island and the new status quo is the "future", off the island. . .)
  • When FutureKate and FutureJack meet (in the season finale), she says she has to go because "he" will be wondering where she is-- or something like that. I wonder who "he" might be. . . It could be Sawyer-- maybe he wouldn't be too happy about Kate going to meet Jack-- but that just doesn't feel "right". It must be someone else. . .
  • Weird how people's lives are so intertwined in this show, isn't it? (g) Of all the detectives for FutureHurley to talk to, it just happens to be one who knew Ana Lucia. What was the point of that, do you think? Just to forcefully remind Hurley of the horrors he experienced on the island-- and bring on the hallucination and panic attack-- or was it setting the stage for something more with that detective?
  • That "haunted house" thing is creepy! (g) Who do you think they eye peeking out at Hurley was supposed to belong to? I mean, we saw a shadowy figure (Jacob, I assume) in his spooky rocking chair. . . Then up pops this eye! If it's someone else, then who? John Locke, who conveniently turns up a moment later? Could John have gone back to the shack in search of Jacob? You wouldn't think so, considering how he turned tail and ran away the first time he heard the disembodied voice, but John's a strange character, so who knows.
  • The whole "Jacob" thing is just so weird that I don't even know where to begin with it. What is Jacob? A ghost? The black cloud of smoke? (No, probably not.) I hope they'll at least show us soon how Ben came to find Jacob.
  • Oh, and while they're at it, can they please explain to me why that one guy (the one who looks like he's wearing eyeliner) looks exactly the same age "now" as he did when he first met Ben as a kid, even though Ben looks 30 years older? (g) Maybe the guy just has good genes and a great nutrition/exercise plan-- or a skillful plastic surgeon-- but I'm skeptical.
There are more questions, of course, but the biggest one of them all is-- Will any of this ever be explained? ;o) I'm not too concerned. As long as I'm interested, I'll watch.