Quote of the Day


burn first aid

If you tend to get burns when you can -- as I do -- Tecnu First Aid Antiseptic & Pain Relieving Gel is your new favorite thing.  It kills the pain instantly.  Who has time to soak in cold water when there are jars to fill? 

We have had good success when using this on:
* bee stings, mosquito bites, etc.
* nettles
* those scratchy marks that squash plants bestow
* cat scratches -- which are notorious for leaving fine thin scars
* slivers -- makes them stop hurting and swells them up so they ooze themselves out.
* mild hives from food allergies.

It contains Tea Tree Oil and Lidocaine.  I like it so much I'm considering giving it as Christmas presents.


female, respect, deserve

"When Will Female Authors Get the Respect They Deserve?"  Three key words: female, respect, deserve.  I am so weary of this idea that because an individual is a member of a certain group they automatically deserve a certain level of respect above and beyond what they would deserve if they were not part of that group.  Wasn't the whole idea of the civil right movement that we should evaluate people on their individual merits or lack thereof, and not on their status as members of this or that demographic group?

How about "When Will Quality Authors Get the Respect They Deserve?"  That would work for me.


end of summer wardrobe check

One of the things I dread each autumn is going through the kids' clothes and seeing what still fits (not much) and what needs to be replaced.  Not only does it cost me money, but I am stuck in their rooms for hours as they try things on.  Andy is not so bad, but for Juliana, every new article on her body means a new dance routine and conversation.  Even this would not be so bad if she could change clothes and chat at the same time, but she cannot.  She comes to a complete halt and needs eye contact.

The solution:

They bring their clothes down and change behind the divider whilst I make bread, dinner, type blog posts etc.  At least I can get something done during the dance routines.


how to give a dog a pill

Or at least, how to give my dog a pill.

  1. Put some plain live yogurt in her dog dish, make sure she sees this.  Maybe give her a lick the first time, so that she knows what it is.
  2. Chop up some beefstick or other meat.  Make sure she sees this.  
  3. Get out the pill -- antibiotic in our case, hence the yogurt.
  4. Set out the yogurt, treats, and pill where she can see it all.
  5. With a helper, open her mouth and push the pill down her gullet. 
  6. Give her lots of treats, by hand, into her mouth -- you want her to associate your hand in her mouth with good things.
  7. Give her the bowl of yogurt. 
The first time we did this, it took both adults and lots of dog-wrastling.  After 5 doses, I can do it alone and she doesn't resist at all.  She has figured out the the pill is the necessary preliminary to the beefstick and the yogurt.


One Second After by William R. Forstchen

This is a must read. Current technology allows for a device that wipes out electrical systems: phones, cars, radios, freezers, thermostats, security systems, everything. In this alarming story, unknown enemies use this weapon on us and we are thrown back to a pre-electric life-style, without the skills that made it liveable.

Read The Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the U.S. from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack, Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives, One Hundred Eighth Congress, Second Session, Hearing Held July 22, 2004 found at http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/security/has204000.000/has204000_0f.htm


The Dark Is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper

This is a fun good-vs-evil series with lots of connections to old tales. Wholesome and enjoyable middle grade reading.


The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Really enjoyed this narrative of Achilles life told from the perspective of his companion Patroclus. I didn't know that Achilles and Patroclus were thought to be lovers, so that was a bit of a surprise.



Introducing Poppyseed Chandler b. 4.13.12 adopted 8.7.12

She's a first generation YorkiPoo and she'll be the kids' dog, as Nutmeg only has eyes for me.


blueberry facial

Blueberry season has started here, so I'd like to share with you the Joys of Blueberrying.

1. locate an organic blueberry farm near you
2. pick a mild day or go early in the morning
3. don't bother feeding your kids before you go
4. pick zillions of berries
5. watch kids stuff berries into their mouths.
6. be happy that you don't have to wash the berries first as they don't have nasty sprays on them.
7. go home
8. put berries in bag (do NOT wash them first)
9. freeze bags

(time passes)

(snow falls)

10. open a bag of berries
11. notice with admiration and glee that they are still individual berries, not a frozen mushy clump (this is why you didn't wash the berries before bagging them).
12. put berries on breakfast cereal, in muffins, etc.

Did you know that blueberries are the fountain of youth? Yes indeed. In August of 2006 CNN reported that
Wild blueberries rank Number One in antioxidants for fruit, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with a score of more than 13,000 for total antioxidant capacity per. Cultivated blueberries are the second highest, with about 9,000 (for comparison, Gala apples score around 3,900).
There's no official recommendation for daily antioxidant consumption, but they are known to be important for fighting off free radicals in our body and from the environment. Free radicals cause damage to cells, disrupting the DNA and potentially setting up the body for disease. And the cell damage may be at the root of a host of health issues, from aging to macular degeneration to cancer to Alzheimer's disease. But antioxidants scavenge those free radicals in the body, neutralizing their effects. According to the National Cancer Institute, considerable research suggests that antioxidants may slow or possibly prevent cancer. They also fight inflammation, now known as one of the main causes of diseases like arthritis and cancer.
They are just plain good. Good tasting and good for you, whether applied internally or externally.
In your blender or food processor, combine about
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries,
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice,
  • a dollop of honey,
  • 1 Tb cornstarch,
  • 1 Tb rolled oats.
Whirl until it is smooth. Let rest a bit so the oatmeal and cornstarch can absorb the excess liquid. Apply to your face. Sneak up on your kids and say boo! (optional). After about 20-30 minutes, rinse off with warm water.

If you have very fair skin, you should do a test patch, as blueberries make a great dye. My skin is olive colored and I'm tan, so it works fine for me.

:: this post was originally posted in August of 2007

Blueberry Sauce

Blueberry Sauce

  • 2 C Blueberries
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T lime juice