Quote of the Day


sex lives of cannibals

Just finished this and no, it wasn't a naughty book. It tells the story of a man who lived two years on Tarawa, a teeny-weeny island in the middle of nowhere. J. Maarten Troost has excellent voice and it was a pleasure to be stuck on an island with him. The title? A marketing ploy, I'm sure.

Here is one of favorite passages:

Stealing, I was told, was a major offense in the I-Kiribati culture. I could see why. There is absolutely no good reason for stealing in Kiribati. That is because of the bubuti system. In the bubuti system, someone can walk up to you and say I bubuti you for your flipflops, and without a peep of complaint you are obliged to hand over your flipflops. The following day, you can go up to the guy who is now wearing your flipflops, and say I bubuti you for your fishing net, and suddenly you have a new fishing net. In such a way, Kiribati remains profoundly egalitarian.
Who needs government social aid in such a culture? Troost goes on to describe how the local people avoid well-paying jobs (leaving those to the I-Matangs -- the outsiders, who can refuse bubuti) as there is no point taking a good job as the bubuti demands would leave one worse off than before.

I learned a lot, and it was a pleasant read -- a good summer travelogue.


:: this post is included in Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books for June 30.

cheese report: mozzarella & ricotta

Whoop-dee-doo. I made cheese today. First I made mozzarella which we covered with basil-infused olive oil and served with the yummy walnut and flax seed bread from the other day. Oh how I longed for the tomatoes to be ready, but they are not.

Then I used the whey from the mozzarella and made ricotta.

Then I mixed the remaining whey with the fruit sauce I made last week and made a super nutritious drink for the kids which they loved. I cleaned out the pantry last week and ran across jars and jars of fruit canned back in the 90's. It was safe, but rather bleakly colored and very mushy. So I popped it all into the blender (pie cherries, apricots, pears, applesauce) and made a fruit sauce to pour over the children's daily bowl of plain yogurt. It works beautifully mixed with the whey.

So there you have it. The mozzarella was awesome and quite fun to make; one kneads and stretches it like taffy. I would show you pictures but we ate it all up before I thought to get the camera out.

I will be looking for a larger slotted ladle as it took forever to ladle the curds out with the one I had.


kiddie pool question

Other than dumping it out and scrubbing it every other day or so, does anyone know how to keep a kiddie pool gunk-free? When I google 'pool cleaning' I get products for real pools, ones with pumps etc. Any advice?


Suzanne needs

I found this silly amusement over at Shelby's Life and Whatnot, so I googled the phrase "Suzanne needs" and this is what I learned:

1. Suzanne needs to get dressed.
2. Suzanne needs to know about the group.
3. Suzanne needs a reality check.
4. Suzanne needs information.
5. Suzanne needs a safe place to land.
6. Suzanne needs more than the traditional basic Speech therapy.
7. Suzanne needs her own iPod.
8. Suzanne needs you healthy.
9. Suzanne needs to accept personal accountability for her errors.
10. Suzanne needs to admit that she failed.
11. Suzanne needs help.
12. Suzanne needs hundreds of dollars worth of dental work.
13. Suzanne needs more than traditional basic speech, occupational, and physical therapy.
14. Suzanne needs an Honorable Discharge and intense therapy just to survive.
15. Suzanne needs the sun!
16. Suzanne needs $100000.
17. Suzanne needs a bigger gun.
18. Suzanne needs to send an email to Vivian.
19. Suzanne needs to learn to keep her hands to herself.
20. Suzanne needs to get to Hollywood.

Wow. I had no idea! #15 is the only one that really works for me. The rest of the Suzannes out there look rather clueless and/or high maintenance. Hrmph.


Adoption BlogPost Round-up #2: attachment

If you are looking for the annotated round-up, (links are sorted and commented upon), look for the July 9th post, or merely click here.

Edited to change the date from 6/1 to 6/23 6/30 to bump it up to the top of the page. This is the last Saturday for this edition. I'll do the round-up over the weekend.

For our BlogPost RoundUp #2, our theme will be attachment, by popular vote (Attachment 1: Other 0).

For those of us waiting to adopt, you could share your attachment concerns and/or resources you are using to prepare yourself.

For those of us with children home at last, you could do the same (concerns or resources) or you could share sweet attachment moments to encourage those amongst us struggling, or distill your hard-earned wisdom into a coulda, woulda shoulda, wherein you tell us what you wish you could do over or both (sweet moments and wishin' for a do-over).

Or you can post about some other facet of attachment. I'm just throwing out ideas that may get you thinking and let both our pre-adoptive and post-adoptive participants, well, participate!

Please do NOT link to your whole blog. If you can't decide, pick two posts. Please don't ask our readers to read your whole blog looking for your pearls of wisdom. The roundup is intended to be the showcase for your best pearls.

If you would like to host a future round-up, drop me a comment. I'd be happy to rotate this with someone else. Warning: it is a black-hole of time; though a fun one.

Adoption BlogPost RoundUp
If you participate in any Adoption Blogpost Roundups, you are in our blogroll. If you would like to add the Adoption Blogpost Roundup to your blog, here is the coding for it. In the Mongo Blogroll section of my right sidebar you can find our blogroll if you want to take a peek first.

If you do decide to add the BlogRoll, drop me a comment, will you? I'm just curious if anyone is using it.

Adoption BlogPost RoundUp Button


Adoption Participants
1. Suzanne (2 months in)
2. Suzanne (2.5 months in)
3. Stepping On Legos (The Dance of Attachment)
4. Forever Parents (Reactive Attachment Disorder)
5. Forever Parents (more on Reactive Attachment Disorder)
6. Pickel
7. A Breakfast Platter
8. ~Crystal
9. Rhonda
10. Alison
11. Kimmie
12. kate (just musing)
13. Jenni
14. cloudscome (Grief Stories)
15. Jena
16. Wendy
17. cloudscome (book review: Black Baby, White Hands)
18. cloudscome (book review:outsiders within)
19. Debbie (Top 10 Tips for 1st Year)
20. Laurie (Why AP\'s Don\'t Talk About the Hard Stuff)
21. Jane
22. Owlhaven (dating/nurturing attachment)

Learn more about Adoption here.

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Today is this blog's three-month birthday and it looks as if this is also the day that the ole stat counter will roll on over to 10,000.

To celebrate, how about leaving a comment? I would love to know where you are and why you read my daily ramblings. And it would be fun to see how many comments we can drum up. Oh, and tell us what the stat counter says on your visit (it's under the little map in the right sidebar).

If you are wondering why posts show up in the archives from more than 3 months ago, I moved a bunch of them over from the old blog, Jamie and Suzanne Go To Russia, At Last.

honeyed walnut & flaxseed bread: stand mixer & bread oven

This bread is sweet and nutty and rather dense. It does not like being sliced too thin, but does keep for several days (in theory, that is, we always eat it right up).
Honeyed Walnut & Flaxseed Bread

1 1/4 C water
5 Tb honey
3 Tb walnut oil
4 C flour +/-
1 t salt
1 1/4 t breadmaker yeast
1 C chopped walnuts (toasted, or not, your call)
1/2 C flaxseed

recipe heavily modified from Best Bread Machine Recipes
Put ingredients into your stand mixer and run mixer on low for 20 minutes. Pull the dough off the hook and out of bowl (I just balance it in one hand for a minute). Flour inside of bowl and return dough to bowl; leave bread hook in place.

et dough rise until double (about 2 hours) and then pop the bread hook back into the bowl. Knead for 4 minutes.

urn oven on to 400-425 and put the empty bread-oven into the oven to preheat.

et dough rise until double (about 20-40 minutes) and then put the dough into the hot bread-oven.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when thumped.


growth report

The children are apparently sneaking Miracle Gro when we are not looking. Or perhaps it is the buckets of food they eat everyday.

Click on the words "READ MORE . . . " for current heights and weights (clicking will not make your browser reload the page).


October 3rd (age 6 yrs 11 mths): 48.5 inches & 50 pounds.
May 9th (7 yrs 6 mths): 50 inches & 55 pounds (1.5 inches & 5 lbs in 7 mths).
June 28th (7 yrs 8 mths): 50.75 inches & 57 pounds (2.25 inches & 7 lbs in 9 mths).


October 3rd (age 5 yrs 3 mths): 38.25 inches & 34.6 pounds.
May 9th (5 yrs 10 mths): 40 inches & 37.6 pounds. (1.75 inches & 3 lbs in 7 mths).
June 28th (5 yrs and 11 mths): 40.5 inches & 38.6 pounds (2.25 inches & 4 lbs in 9 mths).

I was worried that Chickadee is not gaining in weight as rapidly as her brother is, so I asked our Physician's Assistant. She plotted their growth and reports that Dandy is growing at a typical pace for a boy his age, is taller than average and of typical weight, which of course makes him look slim.

Chickadee is much shorter and lighter than average (we knew this) but her growth rate is much higher than average, meaning that she is putting on height and weight at a faster pace than other 5 yr old girls. So that is happy news.


Friday Poetry: Goblin Market

Fresh fruit season always reminds me of this poem by Christina Rossetti (for best results, read aloud):

Click on the words "READ MORE . . . " to read the whole poem and to access the Poetry Friday button coding (clicking will not make your browser reload the page).

Goblin Market

MORNING and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
"Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,
Plump unpecked cherries-
Melons and raspberries,
Bloom-down-cheeked peaches,
Swart-headed mulberries,
Wild free-born cranberries,
Crab-apples, dewberries,
Pine-apples, blackberries,
Apricots, strawberries--
All ripe together
In summer weather--
Morns that pass by,
Fair eves that fly;
Come buy, come buy;
Our grapes fresh from the vine,
Pomegranates full and fine,
Dates and sharp bullaces,
Rare pears and greengages,
Damsons and bilberries,
Taste them and try:
Currants and gooseberries,
Bright-fire-like barberries,
Figs to fill your mouth,
Citrons from the South,
Sweet to tongue and sound to eye,
Come buy, come buy."

Evening by evening
Among the brookside rushes,
Laura bowed her head to hear,
Lizzie veiled her blushes:
Crouching close together
In the cooling weather,
With clasping arms and cautioning lips,
With tingling cheeks and finger-tips.
"Lie close," Laura said,
Pricking up her golden head:
We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?"
"Come buy," call the goblins
Hobbling down the glen.
"O! cried Lizzie, Laura, Laura,
You should not peep at goblin men."
Lizzie covered up her eyes
Covered close lest they should look;
Laura reared her glossy head,
And whispered like the restless brook:
"Look, Lizzie, look, Lizzie,
Down the glen tramp little men.
One hauls a basket,
One bears a plate,
One lugs a golden dish
Of many pounds' weight.
How fair the vine must grow
Whose grapes are so luscious;
How warm the wind must blow
Through those fruit bushes."
"No," said Lizzie, "no, no, no;
Their offers should not charm us,
Their evil gifts would harm us."
She thrust a dimpled finger
In each ear, shut eyes and ran:
Curious Laura chose to linger
Wondering at each merchant man.
One had a cat's face,
One whisked a tail,
One tramped at a rat's pace,
One crawled like a snail,
One like a wombat prowled obtuse and furry,
One like a ratel tumbled hurry-scurry.
Lizzie heard a voice like voice of doves
Cooing all together:
They sounded kind and full of loves
In the pleasant weather.

Laura stretched her gleaming neck
Like a rush-imbedded swan,
Like a lily from the beck,
Like a moonlit poplar branch,
Like a vessel at the launch
When its last restraint is gone.

Backwards up the mossy glen
Turned and trooped the goblin men,
With their shrill repeated cry,
"Come buy, come buy."
When they reached where Laura was
They stood stock still upon the moss,
Leering at each other,
Brother with queer brother;
Signalling each other,
Brother with sly brother.
One set his basket down,
One reared his plate;
One began to weave a crown
Of tendrils, leaves, and rough nuts brown
(Men sell not such in any town);
One heaved the golden weight
Of dish and fruit to offer her:
"Come buy, come buy," was still their cry.
Laura stared but did not stir,
Longed but had no money:
The whisk-tailed merchant bade her taste
In tones as smooth as honey,
The cat-faced purr'd,
The rat-paced spoke a word
Of welcome, and the snail-paced even was heard;
One parrot-voiced and jolly
Cried "Pretty Goblin" still for "Pretty Polly";
One whistled like a bird.

But sweet-tooth Laura spoke in haste:
"Good folk, I have no coin;
To take were to purloin:
I have no copper in my purse,
I have no silver either,
And all my gold is on the furze
That shakes in windy weather
Above the rusty heather."
"You have much gold upon your head,"
They answered altogether:
"Buy from us with a golden curl."
She clipped a precious golden lock,
She dropped a tear more rare than pearl,
Then sucked their fruit globes fair or red:
Sweeter than honey from the rock,
Stronger than man-rejoicing wine,
Clearer than water flowed that juice;
She never tasted such before,
How should it cloy with length of use?
She sucked and sucked and sucked the more
Fruits which that unknown orchard bore,
She sucked until her lips were sore;
Then flung the emptied rinds away,
But gathered up one kernel stone,
And knew not was it night or day
As she turned home alone.

Lizzie met her at the gate
Full of wise upbraidings:
"Dear, you should not stay so late,
Twilight is not good for maidens;
Should not loiter in the glen
In the haunts of goblin men.
Do you not remember Jeanie,
How she met them in the moonlight,
Took their gifts both choice and many,
Ate their fruits and wore their flowers
Plucked from bowers
Where summer ripens at all hours?
But ever in the moonlight
She pined and pined away;
Sought them by night and day,
Found them no more, but dwindled and grew gray;
Then fell with the first snow,
While to this day no grass will grow
Where she lies low:
I planted daisies there a year ago
That never blow.
You should not loiter so."
"Nay hush," said Laura.
"Nay hush, my sister:
I ate and ate my fill,
Yet my mouth waters still;
To-morrow night I will
Buy more," and kissed her.
"Have done with sorrow;
I'll bring you plums to-morrow
Fresh on their mother twigs,
Cherries worth getting;
You cannot think what figs
My teeth have met in,
What melons, icy-cold
Piled on a dish of gold
Too huge for me to hold,
What peaches with a velvet nap,
Pellucid grapes without one seed:
Odorous indeed must be the mead
Whereon they grow, and pure the wave they drink,
With lilies at the brink,
And sugar-sweet their sap."

Golden head by golden head,
Like two pigeons in one nest
Folded in each other's wings,
They lay down, in their curtained bed:
Like two blossoms on one stem,
Like two flakes of new-fallen snow,
Like two wands of ivory
Tipped with gold for awful kings.
Moon and stars beamed in at them,
Wind sang to them lullaby,
Lumbering owls forbore to fly,
Not a bat flapped to and fro
Round their rest:
Cheek to cheek and breast to breast
Locked together in one nest.

Early in the morning
When the first cock crowed his warning,
Neat like bees, as sweet and busy,
Laura rose with Lizzie:
Fetched in honey, milked the cows,
Aired and set to rights the house,
Kneaded cakes of whitest wheat,
Cakes for dainty mouths to eat,
Next churned butter, whipped up cream,
Fed their poultry, sat and sewed;
Talked as modest maidens should
Lizzie with an open heart,
Laura in an absent dream,
One content, one sick in part;
One warbling for the mere bright day's delight,
One longing for the night.

At length slow evening came--
They went with pitchers to the reedy brook;
Lizzie most placid in her look,
Laura most like a leaping flame.
They drew the gurgling water from its deep
Lizzie plucked purple and rich golden flags,
Then turning homeward said: "The sunset flushes
Those furthest loftiest crags;
Come, Laura, not another maiden lags,
No wilful squirrel wags,
The beasts and birds are fast asleep."
But Laura loitered still among the rushes
And said the bank was steep.

And said the hour was early still,
The dew not fallen, the wind not chill:
Listening ever, but not catching
The customary cry,
"Come buy, come buy,"
With its iterated jingle
Of sugar-baited words:
Not for all her watching
Once discerning even one goblin
Racing, whisking, tumbling, hobbling;
Let alone the herds
That used to tramp along the glen,
In groups or single,
Of brisk fruit-merchant men.

Till Lizzie urged, "O Laura, come,
I hear the fruit-call, but I dare not look:
You should not loiter longer at this brook:
Come with me home.
The stars rise, the moon bends her arc,
Each glow-worm winks her spark,
Let us get home before the night grows dark;
For clouds may gather even
Though this is summer weather,
Put out the lights and drench us through;
Then if we lost our way what should we do?"

Laura turned cold as stone
To find her sister heard that cry alone,
That goblin cry,
"Come buy our fruits, come buy."
Must she then buy no more such dainty fruit?
Must she no more such succous pasture find,
Gone deaf and blind?
Her tree of life drooped from the root:
She said not one word in her heart's sore ache;
But peering thro' the dimness, naught discerning,
Trudged home, her pitcher dripping all the way;
So crept to bed, and lay
Silent 'til Lizzie slept;
Then sat up in a passionate yearning,
And gnashed her teeth for balked desire, and wept
As if her heart would break.

Day after day, night after night,
Laura kept watch in vain,
In sullen silence of exceeding pain.
She never caught again the goblin cry:
"Come buy, come buy,"
She never spied the goblin men
Hawking their fruits along the glen:
But when the noon waxed bright
Her hair grew thin and gray;
She dwindled, as the fair full moon doth turn
To swift decay, and burn
Her fire away.

One day remembering her kernel-stone
She set it by a wall that faced the south;
Dewed it with tears, hoped for a root,
Watched for a waxing shoot,
But there came none;
It never saw the sun,
It never felt the trickling moisture run:
While with sunk eyes and faded mouth
She dreamed of melons, as a traveller sees
False waves in desert drouth
With shade of leaf-crowned trees,
And burns the thirstier in the sandful breeze.

She no more swept the house,
Tended the fowls or cows,
Fetched honey, kneaded cakes of wheat,
Brought water from the brook:
But sat down listless in the chimney-nook
And would not eat.

Tender Lizzie could not bear
To watch her sister's cankerous care,
Yet not to share.
She night and morning
Caught the goblins' cry:
"Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy."
Beside the brook, along the glen
She heard the tramp of goblin men,
The voice and stir
Poor Laura could not hear;
Longed to buy fruit to comfort her,
But feared to pay too dear.

She thought of Jeanie in her grave,
Who should have been a bride;
But who for joys brides hope to have
Fell sick and died
In her gay prime,
In earliest winter-time,
With the first glazing rime,
With the first snow-fall of crisp winter-time.

Till Laura, dwindling,
Seemed knocking at Death's door:
Then Lizzie weighed no more
Better and worse,
But put a silver penny in her purse,
Kissed Laura, crossed the heath with clumps of furze
At twilight, halted by the brook,
And for the first time in her life
Began to listen and look.

Laughed every goblin
When they spied her peeping:
Came towards her hobbling,
Flying, running, leaping,
Puffing and blowing,
Chuckling, clapping, crowing,
Clucking and gobbling,
Mopping and mowing,
Full of airs and graces,
Pulling wry faces,
Demure grimaces,
Cat-like and rat-like,
Ratel and wombat-like,
Snail-paced in a hurry,
Parrot-voiced and whistler,
Helter-skelter, hurry-skurry,
Chattering like magpies,
Fluttering like pigeons,
Gliding like fishes, --
Hugged her and kissed her;
Squeezed and caressed her;
Stretched up their dishes,
Panniers and plates:
"Look at our apples
Russet and dun,
Bob at our cherries
Bite at our peaches,
Citrons and dates,
Grapes for the asking,
Pears red with basking
Out in the sun,
Plums on their twigs;
Pluck them and suck them,
Pomegranates, figs."

"Good folk," said Lizzie,
Mindful of Jeanie,
"Give me much and many"; --
Held out her apron,
Tossed them her penny.
"Nay, take a seat with us,
Honor and eat with us,"
They answered grinning;
"Our feast is but beginning.
Night yet is early,
Warm and dew-pearly,
Wakeful and starry:
Such fruits as these
No man can carry;
Half their bloom would fly,
Half their dew would dry,
Half their flavor would pass by.
Sit down and feast with us,
Be welcome guest with us,
Cheer you and rest with us."
"Thank you," said Lizzie; "but one waits
At home alone for me:
So, without further parleying,
If you will not sell me any
Of your fruits though much and many,
Give me back my silver penny
I tossed you for a fee."
They began to scratch their pates,
No longer wagging, purring,
But visibly demurring,
Grunting and snarling.
One called her proud,
Cross-grained, uncivil;
Their tones waxed loud,
Their looks were evil.
Lashing their tails
They trod and hustled her,
Elbowed and jostled her,
Clawed with their nails,
Barking, mewing, hissing, mocking,
Tore her gown and soiled her stocking,
Twitched her hair out by the roots,
Stamped upon her tender feet,
Held her hands and squeezed their fruits
Against her mouth to make her eat.

White and golden Lizzie stood,
Like a lily in a flood,
Like a rock of blue-veined stone
Lashed by tides obstreperously, --
Like a beacon left alone
In a hoary roaring sea,
Sending up a golden fire, --
Like a fruit-crowned orange-tree
White with blossoms honey-sweet
Sore beset by wasp and bee, --
Like a royal virgin town
Topped with gilded dome and spire
Close beleaguered by a fleet
Mad to tear her standard down.

One may lead a horse to water,
Twenty cannot make him drink.
Though the goblins cuffed and caught her,
Coaxed and fought her,
Bullied and besought her,
Scratched her, pinched her black as ink,
Kicked and knocked her,
Mauled and mocked her,
Lizzie uttered not a word;
Would not open lip from lip
Lest they should cram a mouthful in;
But laughed in heart to feel the drip
Of juice that syruped all her face,
And lodged in dimples of her chin,
And streaked her neck which quaked like curd.
At last the evil people,
Worn out by her resistance,
Flung back her penny, kicked their fruit
Along whichever road they took,
Not leaving root or stone or shoot.
Some writhed into the ground,
Some dived into the brook
With ring and ripple.
Some scudded on the gale without a sound,
Some vanished in the distance.

In a smart, ache, tingle,
Lizzie went her way;
Knew not was it night or day;
Sprang up the bank, tore through the furze,
Threaded copse and dingle,
And heard her penny jingle
Bouncing in her purse, --
Its bounce was music to her ear.
She ran and ran
As if she feared some goblin man
Dogged her with gibe or curse
Or something worse:
But not one goblin skurried after,
Nor was she pricked by fear;
The kind heart made her windy-paced
That urged her home quite out of breath with haste
And inward laughter.

She cried "Laura," up the garden,
"Did you miss me ?
Come and kiss me.
Never mind my bruises,
Hug me, kiss me, suck my juices
Squeezed from goblin fruits for you,
Goblin pulp and goblin dew.
Eat me, drink me, love me;
Laura, make much of me:
For your sake I have braved the glen
And had to do with goblin merchant men."

Laura started from her chair,
Flung her arms up in the air,
Clutched her hair:
"Lizzie, Lizzie, have you tasted
For my sake the fruit forbidden?
Must your light like mine be hidden,
Your young life like mine be wasted,
Undone in mine undoing,
And ruined in my ruin;
Thirsty, cankered, goblin-ridden?"
She clung about her sister,
Kissed and kissed and kissed her:
Tears once again
Refreshed her shrunken eyes,
Dropping like rain
After long sultry drouth;
Shaking with aguish fear, and pain,
She kissed and kissed her with a hungry mouth.

Her lips began to scorch,
That juice was wormwood to her tongue,
She loathed the feast:
Writhing as one possessed she leaped and sung,
Rent all her robe, and wrung
Her hands in lamentable haste,
And beat her breast.
Her locks streamed like the torch
Borne by a racer at full speed,
Or like the mane of horses in their flight,
Or like an eagle when she stems the light
Straight toward the sun,
Or like a caged thing freed,
Or like a flying flag when armies run.

Swift fire spread through her veins, knocked at her heart,
Met the fire smouldering there
And overbore its lesser flame,
She gorged on bitterness without a name:
Ah! fool, to choose such part
Of soul-consuming care!
Sense failed in the mortal strife:
Like the watch-tower of a town
Which an earthquake shatters down,
Like a lightning-stricken mast,
Like a wind-uprooted tree
Spun about,
Like a foam-topped water-spout
Cast down headlong in the sea,
She fell at last;
Pleasure past and anguish past,
Is it death or is it life ?

Life out of death.
That night long Lizzie watched by her,
Counted her pulse's flagging stir,
Felt for her breath,
Held water to her lips, and cooled her face
With tears and fanning leaves:
But when the first birds chirped about their eaves,
And early reapers plodded to the place
Of golden sheaves,
And dew-wet grass
Bowed in the morning winds so brisk to pass,
And new buds with new day
Opened of cup-like lilies on the stream,
Laura awoke as from a dream,
Laughed in the innocent old way,
Hugged Lizzie but not twice or thrice;
Her gleaming locks showed not one thread of gray,
Her breath was sweet as May,
And light danced in her eyes.

Days, weeks, months,years
Afterwards, when both were wives
With children of their own;
Their mother-hearts beset with fears,
Their lives bound up in tender lives;
Laura would call the little ones
And tell them of her early prime,
Those pleasant days long gone
Of not-returning time:
Would talk about the haunted glen,
The wicked, quaint fruit-merchant men,
Their fruits like honey to the throat,
But poison in the blood;
(Men sell not such in any town;)
Would tell them how her sister stood
In deadly peril to do her good,
And win the fiery antidote:
Then joining hands to little hands
Would bid them cling together,
"For there is no friend like a sister,
In calm or stormy weather,
To cheer one on the tedious way,
To fetch one if one goes astray,
To lift one if one totters down,
To strengthen whilst one stands."

~Christina Rossetti


Here is the coding if you want a button and a link to this week's poetry round-up over at Shaken and Stirred:

:: this post is included in the poetry round-up over at Shaken and Stirred


apostrophe rantings & ravings


applesauce bread: stand-mixer & bread oven

This is a nice use for that wee bit of applesauce left in the bottom of the jar. The bread is slightly sweet and is a nice choice for a pbj.
Applesauce Bread

1 C water
2/3 C applesauce
4 t butter, cut up
1/2 C rolled oats
4 C flour +/- depending on how thick your applesauce is
2 t brown sugar
1 t salt
1 1/4 t breadmaker yeast

recipe heavily modified from Best Bread Machine Recipes
Put ingredients into your stand mixer and run mixer on low for 20 minutes. Pull the dough off the hook and out of bowl (I just balance it in one hand for a minute). Flour inside of bowl and return dough to bowl; leave bread hook in place.

et dough rise until double (about 2 hours) and then pop the bread hook back into the bowl. Knead for 4 minutes.

urn oven on to 400-425 and put the empty bread-oven into the oven to preheat.

et dough rise until double (about 20-40 minutes) and then put the dough into the hot bread-oven.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when thumped.




I shared the post about transferring the motivation (the clean underwear and face-washing post) with the Carnival of Family Life. When she did the round-up, she said this:
Another funny post - I relate to the desire to have such an effective tool when the kids lose their minds, although I sincerely hope Suzanne at Adventures in Daily Living removes the post before her son or his friends read it. (He sounds pretty young now.)

and repeated the admonishment in an email. What do you think? Was it a TMI post?

bats in my washer

Sandy asked if the bats in my home disturb me. I don't care for them in the part of the house that we live in, but I don't at all mind that the attic is full of little brown bats as they are wonderful mosquito-eaters, each eating about 3,000 mosquitoes a night. We can sit out on our deck at all hours and not use bug spray. We don't access the attic -- it's not a storage kind of attic -- just a big bat house I guess.

Sometimes they get trapped in the pantry, which has a glass door. I think that's pretty neat as we get to see them up close. They are really rather cute, like mice. The German word for bat is Fledermaus, flying mouse.

When I was a little girl a bat flew into my sister's room and I had to rescue her by thunking the bat with a broom. She had convinced me that the bat was sure to fly into her hair but wouldn't fly into mine; yes, I was rather gullible back then.

The absolutely worst place I have ever found a bat in the house was in the bottom of the washing machine after I had taken all the clean laundry out. It was a very dead and very clean little baby bat. Yes, I rewashed that load of laundry.

works for me: rocks in my tomatotes

I briefly considered the red plastic tomato mulch being sold at Lowes, but I dropped it like a hot potato when I saw the price. Hmmmm. What could I use to keep the splash down (splashing leads to blight) and the heat in?

"Rocks," suggested an acquaintance. And rocks it is.


:: this post is included in the Works for me Wednesday hosted at Rocks in My Dryer


Click to enter to win a Krups Ice Cream Maker or an Arizona get-away or some Mommy-Cards or a fetching new swimsuit.




who us?

Do you recall when I used to complain about the cats playing with their mice while we slept? It could be worse, we have learned. It could be bats.


latte frother

Okay, I do confess that I like gadgets and the BonJour Primo Latte Frother is one of my favs. It whips up anything in a jiffy, plus it is cute and red and has a stand. It does a great job with the Carnation Instant Breakfast powders, not that I approve of such pre-packaged high-processed sugar-laden convenient breakfasts available from Costco in big boxes.



first fruits: heirloom tomatoes

Remember the heirloom tomato post? My Silvery Fir Tree tomato has set fruit. They are about the size of my thumbnail and I coo over them every morning.

We have 16 tomato plants growing, so we have high hopes of a tomatoey summer. We are growing Cherokee Purples, Green Zebras, Black Krims, Tigerellas, Yellow Bradywines, Garden Peaches

and a bunch of others whose names I don't recall and whose tags have gone missing.

:: this post is part of the Sunday Garden Tour hosted at a wrung sponge.


home-made cheese on the horizon

I've gotten the homemade yogurt cheese down pat and am ready to move on to bigger and better cheeses.

Leeners Basic Cheese Kit and Ricki Carrol's book, Home Cheese Making, are en route to my house. I'll let you know how it goes.