Monday, January 31, 2011

Take Off That Hat!

There are times when my Brother-in-Law, The Mouth, and his blunders remind me of a Three Stooges comedy routine.

He came over for dinner as usual, and as usual, he was afraid to take off his hat. The man would leave his own rear end behind if it were not attached. Keys, wallet, glasses, attache case, hat, coat, everything that can possibly be separated from his person is in continual danger of being left behind wherever he goes. In fairy tales they leave trails of bread crumbs. He leaves trails of belongings in his wake. It wouldn't take a trained detective to follow his path and know exactly what he has been doing, where, and when.

So he comes over for dinner, and not only do i cook a meal, i pull out all the leftovers and sometimes grab a few things i stashed in the freezer, too. He isn't called The Mouth for nothing, although he does have a knack for saying the wrong thing at the exact wrong moment, too.

Pot roast, gravy, rice, soup with lots of veggies. turnip greens, leftover brisket, leftover pasta and shrimp, leftover pork and veggie stir fry. He's in hog heaven, he loves a spread.

He takes the leftover pork and veggie stir fry, warms it up, and wants to add it to the soup. Sounds odd to me, but he likes it, so okay. He is ladling the soup up, and true to his clumsy self, manages to tip his bowl and spill half the stir fry into the gravy, into the turnip greens, onto the stove, and i even had to pull one of the grills off and clean out from under it.

"Darn!" he yelled at the top of his lungs. "Himmel!" Yes, darn and himmel are his worst. He doesn't smoke, drink more than one glass of wine a night, or cuss. Yes, he does play piano at church, why do you ask?

He then snatched off his hat, that he had left on so he wouldn't forget it, and tossed it onto the counter in frustration, knocking over the bottle of olive oil.

I shrieked, dashed past him and grabbed the oil just before the top could come loose. Safe!

At that point, i made him put his hat in the refrigerator with his spinach that i get for him at Sam's Club where it is cheaper, and, so that he wouldn't forget the spinach or the hat, his keys. Can't start the truck without the keys.

The whole time i was cleaning the mess, i was thinking of the time Curly Howard was in court, and the Judge told him to take off his hat. He did so, and then the Judge said, "Raise your right hand." Curly put the hat back on so as to have his hand free to raise it. Then he is again ordered to "Take off that hat!" Over and over. Never did he think of putting down the cane he held in his left hand, or setting the hat in his lap.

Dealing with my Brother-in-Law is a bit like that. Laugh so you don't cry.

Today is:

Backward Day

Eve of Brigantia -- Ireland (St. Bridget's Eve, the night when she crosses the countryside and bestows blessings)

Feast of Great Typos (I've made several of those!)

Feast of Hecate -- Ancient Greek Calendar

Independence Day -- Nauru

Inspire Your Heart with Art Day

National Brandy Alexander Day

National Gorilla Suit Day -- Mad Magazine's Maddest Artist, Don Martin, says this is the day to pull that gorilla suit out of the closet and step out in style.

National Popcorn Day

National Seed Swap Day

St. John Bosco's Day (patron of editors, apprentices)

Valkyries' Day -- Norse Calendar

Birthdays Today:

Justin Timberlake, 1981
Kerry Washington, 1977
Minnie Driver, 1971
Kelly Lynch, 1959
Nolan Ryan, 1947
Charlie Musselwhite, 1944
Richard Gephardt, 1941
Suzanne Pleshette, 1937
James Franciscus, 1934
Ernie Banks, 1931
Jean Simmons, 1929
Carol Channing, 1923
Norman Mailer, 1923
Mario Lanza, 1921
Jackie Robinson, 1919
Thomas Merton, 1915
Garry Moore, 1915
Tallulah Bankhead, 1903
Eddie Cantor, 1892
Zane Grey, 1872
Tokugawa Ieyasu, Shogun of Japan, 1543

Today in History:

Guy Fawkes is executed for his plotting against Parliament and James I of England, 1606
The first venereal diseases clinic opens at London Lock Hospital, 1747
The Corn Laws (tariffs on imported grains) are abolished in Britain, paving the way for more free trade, 1849
The United States orders all Native Americans to move into reservations, 1876
The Bulletin of Sydney is founded, publishes for 128 years, 1880
An automobile exceeds 100 mph (161 kph) for the first time, at Daytona Beach, driven by A. G. MacDonald, 1905
The Soviet Union exiles Leon Trotsky, 1929
Scotch tape is first marketed by the 3M Company, 1930
President Harry S. Truman announces a program to develop the hydrogen bomb, 1950
A North Sea flood causes over 1,800 deaths in the Netherlands, 1953
Explorer 1 – The first successful launch of an American satellite into orbit, 1958
James Van Allen discovers the Van Allen radiation belt, 1958
Mercury-Redstone 2 – Ham the Chimp travels into outer space, 1961
The Soviet Union launches the unmanned Luna 9 spacecraft as part of the Luna program, 1966
Astronauts Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell, aboard a Saturn V, lift off for a mission to the Fra Mauro Highlands on the Moon, 1971
The first McDonald's in the Soviet Union opens in Moscow, 1990

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Uncle P

My brother, the children's Uncle P, came by to spend time with us before he moves away for a year.

He is hitting the big time, moving to The Big Apple, to live with a mission group that works with the homeless there. He has committed to stay for a year, and if he loves it he has the option to simply remain there.

So he wanted to visit, and only had a couple of hours. They all went across the field and the creek to the pond, and fed the ducks. It is something i try to get them to do when we end up with lots of old bread in the freezer, and it had built up quite a bit. They had wanted to take him to the zoo, but it is too far for a two hour visit. Getting there takes up 45 minutes by itself.

He came to visit, and talk, and he also brought forks! Because he is emptying out his house to sell, and everything is going, he brought us his flatware. Like mine, not a full set (in fact, all 5 of our forks are from different patterns), but now we have plenty.

No, we aren't picky when we set a table. In fact, we don't have a table right now to set, so everything is a bit scribbly.

We hope to have bar stools soon, and a small table to use for the microwave and fruit bowls.

Uncle P also brought plastic containers, one without a lid. It got me to thinking about all the things you have to dispose of when you break up housekeeping. The plastic baggies and box of tin foil (as my grandmother taught me to call it). The can openers -- ours died recently, he brought 3! Whisks and a stirring spoon, a couple of mismatched bowls that Sweetie has claimed because they hold his favorite serving size, LARGE.

So we had a good time talking and visiting. This is something i hope works out well for him. Seminary didn't, and he has never married, and he wants to do more with his life than just the usual nine to five. If he likes it, this may become his life work. Better than paper pushing, that is for sure. Work that makes you feel like you've really done something at the end of the day.

Being a creature of the South, i also hope the weather isn't too much of a shock to him.

Today is:

Escape Day

Ka Molokai Makahiki -- Molokai, Hawaii (harvest festival)

Martyr's Day -- India

National Croissant Day

National Inane Answering Message Day

Puce and Ochre Day -- Fairy Calendar

School Day of Nonviolence and Peace -- Spain

St. Aldegund's Day (patron against cancer, childhood illness, fever, eye disease, sudden death, wounds)

St. Bathild's Day

Three Archbishops' Day

World Leprosy Day

Yodel For Your Neighbors Day (Why? Do you hate your neighbors?)

Birthdays Today:

Brett Butler, 1958
Phil Collins, 1951
Steve Marriott, 1947
Marty Balin, 1942
Dick Cheney, 1941
Vanessa Redgrave, 1937
Boris spassky, 1937
Tammy Grimes, 1934
Louis Ruckeyser, 1933
Gene Hackman, 1930
Dorothy Malone, 1925
Dick Martin, 1922
Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1882
Thomas Rolfe, 1615 (Only child of John Rolfe and Pocahontas.)

Today in History:

The Jews of Freilsburg, Germany, are massacred, 1349
King Charles I of England is beheaded, 1649
Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, is ritually executed after having been dead for two years, 1661
The Forty-seven Ronin, under the command of Oishi Kuranosuke, avenge the death of their master, 1703
Henry Greathead tests the first boat intended to be specialized as a lifeboat for rescue purposes, which he invented, on the River Tyne in England, 1790
The burned Library of Congress is reestablished, with Thomas Jefferson contributing, 1815
Edward Bransfield sights the Trinity Peninsula and claims the discovery of Antarctica, 1820
The Menai Suspension Bridge, considered the world's first modern suspension bridge, connecting the Isle of Anglesey to the north West coast of Wales is opened, 1826
A fire destroys two-thirds of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, 1841
The city of Yerba Buena is renamed San Francisco, for the nearby mission of the same name, 1847
William Wells Brown publishes the first Black drama, "Leap to Freedom," 1858
The US Navy's first ironclad warship, the Monitor, is launched, 1862
The pneumatic hammer is patented by Charles King of Detroit, 1894
The Canadian Naval Service becomes the Royal Canadian Navy, 1911
The House of Lords rejects the Irish Home Rule Bill, 1913
"The Lone Ranger" begins a 21 year run on ABC radio, 1933
Indian pacifist and leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is assassinated by Pandit Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist, 1948
American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.'s home is bombed in retaliation for the Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1956
The Beatles' last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London. The impromptu concert is broken up by the police, 1969
Carole King's Tapestry album is released, it would become the longest charting album by a female solo artist and sell 24 million copies worldwide, 1971
Pakistan withdraws from the Commonwealth of Nations, 1972
The Monitor National Marine Sanctuary was established as the first United States National Marine Sanctuary, 1975
Richard Skrenta writes the first PC virus code, which is 400 lines long and disguised as an Apple boot program called "Elk Cloner", 1982
Peter Leko, of Hungary, becomes the world's youngest chess grand master at age 14, 1994

Saturday, January 29, 2011

You Do Know How Kittens Come Along, Right?

Twice this week we have dealt with cats and kittens from an older lady who thought she was doing the right thing taking the cats in. The cats, of course, had babies. She didn't have money for spaying/neutering.

So, when it got to where there were 20 cats in the house, she starts calling for help.

The four kittens, weaned but not looking great, ended up with a new foster mom, Nicky, who i watched with pride as she learned to dose them. We met up at the building so i could give fluids until they could be brought to the vet the next morning, and she wormed them herself. She's going to be a great asset to the program, along with her young teen son.

When cleaning the shelter, we dealt with several of the other cats from that house. Some of them are semi-feral, and will be altered at spay day and taken back to the lady. She can handle several cats, just not when they keep increasing in number.

Meanwhile, Turtle and Corrie were adopted last week.

Grady is losing weight! Running around the big room is working for him. It's a shame it's not working for Prissy, Ginny, and Baby. Candy and Clint and Gidget don't need to lose any.

Frieda was not a happy camper. Apparently she had already had enough attention, so when i petted her, ears and neck only, she told me to stop with a quick swipe, but no claws. She and i then talked a while. She wanted conversation, not petting, which was fine with me.

Lucky is looking better, but old. He eats anything and everything, and stays skinny. He has staked out his territory in the storage room, and is happy. Not much more can be asked for a geriatric, hyperthyroid cat.

The cages were very full. Rosie is on meds for an upper respiratory, Buttons has an scratch on his cornea, Samantha, Cheri, Perry, Rusty, and Cami (some of whom came from the older lady) had just come back from vetting and are recovering nicely.

Rocky is recovered, and has been neutered. As soon as there is a spot, he will get a room, and be able to run, finally.

The Six, most of which will go back to the lady, are sharing 3 huge cages. They are all orange boys, and rather skittish most of them. One cannot be held at all.

Angel is on meds, and because she was taken to South Vet, we can't find out what med is for what. They can't even tell us which of their many vets she saw. Thus i stick with my vet. That place treats our cats like garbage, sorry to have to say that about any vet. She is still limping, and no answers.

Teddy has been moved in with Bowie and JuJu. He is very friendly, so i hope he will help Bowie get back to his usual loving self.

Monty is most certainly eating, finally. So are Sophia and Roxanne, one of whom celebrated Corrie being gone by gorging and barfing. People party, cats barf, at least that's what we think. Just a whole different way of relating to the world.

Scottie, Gulliver, Portia, Tiffani, Molly, Heathcliff, Devon, and Kati are doing well.

Other than needing to really increase our adoption rates, if we can, things are going well.

Our Executive Director has plans to hold more adoption events. Let's hope that helps.

Oh, and if you don't know where kittens come from, please call us before you have a colony of your own on your hands. We know you only took in a couple of strays, one of whom was pregnant, but call us right away, before we end up with your mess in our laps. We're glad to help you get low or even no cost spay/neuter, and when you only have 5-6, instead of 20.

Today is:

Blue and Pink Day -- Fairy Calendar

Bubblegum Sculpture Day

Carnation Day

Freethinkers Day (To honor Thomas Paine)

Fun at Work Day

National Corn Chip Day

National Puzzle Day

St. Juniper's Day

St. Sulpicius Severus' Day

Thomas Paine Day

Anniversaries Today:

Kansas becomes the 34th US state, 1861

Birthdays Today:

Adam Lambert, 1982
Jonny Lang, 1981
Andrew Keegan, 1979
Sara Gilbert, 1975
Heather Graham, 1970
Greg Louganis, 1960
Oprah Winfrey, 1954
Teresa Teng, 1953
Ann Jillian, 1950
Tom Selleck, 1945
Katharine Ross, 1942
John Forsythe, 1918
Victor Mature, 1913
Huddie William "Leadbelly" Ledbetter, 1885
W.C. Fields, 1880
Anton Chekhov, 1860
William McKinley, 1843

Today in History:

The first performance of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, 1595
John Beckley of Virginia is appointed the first Librarian of Congress, 1802
Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven" is first published, 1845
The Victoria Cross is established to acknowledge bravery, 1856
Karl Benz patents the first successful gasoline-driven automobile, 1886
Liliuokalani is proclaimed Queen of Hawaii, its last monarch, 1891
Walt Disney starts his first job as an artist, earning $40/week with the KC Slide Co, 1920
The first inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame are announced, 1936
The first inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame are announced, 1963
Hungary establishes diplomatic relations with South Korea, making it the first Eastern Bloc nation to do so, 1989
President Jacques Chirac announces a "definitive end" to French nuclear weapons testing, 1996
La Fenice, Venice's opera house, is destroyed by fire, 1996
The first direct commercial flights from mainland China (from Guangzhou) to Taiwan since 1949 arrived in Taipei. Shortly afterward, a China Airlines flight lands in Beijing, 2005

Friday, January 28, 2011

Snow Is Bad Enough

Snow can be pretty, especially in pictures. It is also very nice from behind a picture window, when you have a nice fire going and something warm to drink.

When your city has gotten more than twice what it usually gets in a winter, and winter isn't over yet, it's not so pretty. Cities running out of money for plowing, no ice or sand available, hundreds of cars and trucks abandoned on the roads, power out in many places -- again, not very nice.

Flights canceled, no Amtrak either, and then the icing on the cake, people getting killed by snow plows running into them.

Yes, on top of the insult of having to resort to beet juice to melt the snow and ice on the roads, add the injury of the places that do still have plows running have reported deaths due to plows backing over people.

We need some good news. Even though i don't live where it snows, this makes me sad.

How about this gem, from the BBC. Elsie and Leslie Harper, married before the War, and divorced after, have decided to remarry 57 years later. Each had another marriage in between, that ended with the death of the subsequent spouse. It seems they get along better now than they did the first time, so with Leslie at age 93, and Elsie at 90, they are tying the knot again.

Good news. I hope they have many happy years together.

The next good news i read i hope is about snow melting.

Today is:

Army Day -- Armenia

Clash Day (Dress any way you want, and make sure it clashes. Celebrate at your own risk.)

Democracy Day -- Rwanda

Festival of the Lenaia to Dionysus -- Ancient Greek Calendar, end January through February 5

National Blueberry Pancake Day

National Kazoo Day

National Spieling Day

Rinkydinks Annual Snowball Fight -- Fairy Calendar

Runic Half Month Elhaz commences

Serendipity Day

St. Charlemagne's Day

St. Thomas Aquinas's Day (patron of students, pencil makers, theologians)

Birthdays Today:

Elijah Wood, 1981
Nick Carter, 1980
Joey Fatone, Jr. 1977
Sarah McLachlan, 1968
Nicolas Sarkozy, 1955
Rick Warren, 1954
Alan Alda, 1936
Susan Sontag, 1933
Jackson Pollack, 1912
Robert Stroud, 1890 (The Birdman of Alcatraz)
Arthur Rubenstein, 1887
Colette, 1873
Jose' Marti, 1853
Peter the Great of Russia, 1775
St. Thomas Aquinas, 1225

Today in History:

The Walk to Canossa: The excommunication of Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor is lifted by Pope Gregory VIII, 1077
The first Crusaders begins siege of Hosn-el-Akrad Syria, 1099
Pope Alexander VI gives his son Cesare Borgia as hostage to Charles VIII of France, 1495
Edward VI, age nine, succeeds his father Henry VIII as king of England, 1547
By the Edict of Orleans, the persecution of French Huguenots is suspended, 1561
Articles of the Warsaw Confederation are signed, sanctioning freedom of religion in Poland, 1573
Sir Thomas Warner found the first British colony in the Caribbean, on St. Kitts, 1624
The Russian Academy of Sciences was founded in St. Petersburg by Peter the Great, and implemented in the Senate decree (it was called St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences until 1917), 1724
Horace Walpole, in a letter to Horace Mann, coins the word serendipity, 1754
London's Pall Mall is the first street lit by gaslight, 1807
Pride and Prejudice is first published in the United Kingdom, 1813
The first locomotive runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean on the Panama Railway, 1855
In a snowstorm at Fort Keogh, Montana, the world's largest snowflakes are reported, being 15 inches (38 cm) wide and 8 inches (20 cm) thick, 1887
Walter Arnold of East Peckham, Kent became the first person to be convicted of speeding in an automobile. He is fined 1 shilling, plus costs, for speeding at 8 mph (13 km/h), thus exceeding the contemporary speed limit of 2 mph (3.2 km/h), 1896
The Carnegie Institution is founded in Washington, D.C. with a $10 million gift from Andrew Carnegie, 1902
An act of the U.S. Congress creates the United States Coast Guard, 1915
The first Jewish US Supreme Court justice, Louis Brandeis, appointed by Wilson, 1916
A symbolic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is installed beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to honor the unknown dead of World War I, 1921
The name Pakistan is coined by Choudhary Rehmat Ali Khan and is accepted by the Indian Muslims who then thereby adopted it further for the Pakistan Movement seeking independence, 1933
The Lego company patents the design of its Lego bricks, still compatible with bricks produced today, 1958
The current design of the Flag of Canada is chosen by an act of Parliament, 1965
Tropical Storm Domoina makes landfall in southern Mozambique, eventually causing 214 deaths and some of the most severe flooding so far recorded in the region, 1984
Supergroup USA for Africa (United Support of Artists for Africa) records the hit single We Are the World, to help raise funds for Ethiopian famine relief, 1985
Space Shuttle Challenger breaks apart after liftoff killing all seven astronauts on board, 1986

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Felines on Duty

In Boston, apparently they were having trouble filling the jury box last year, and called in a family cat to serve. The family tried to have him dismissed, but weren't successful until it made the local news.

This got me to thinking about what my cats would say about jury duty. I can hear them now.

Kida: Well, it's about time someone recognized that we Siamese cats have more sense than you humans. Of course jury duty will be a bit of a bore, having to listen to those silly humans discussing their foolish actions, but it should be easy to set them straight about what they should do. Make them our slaves, of course.

Horizon: (furtively looking around) I lived on the streets, and remember characters like what end up on trial. Don't like them. Put them where I won't have to see them again.

Little Girlie: How much of my nap time will I miss? Or may I sleep through it? Oooh, will I have to deal with mean people? I don't like mean people, they interrupt my nap time.

Badlands Blackie: They are going to wish they never had me on a jury! I'm tough, I'm mean, I'll put them away for ... oh, is that tuna? Um, what were we saying?

Hope: Will they feed me? I like anyone who will feed me. Or brush me. Or both. Yes, both! Make sure they have food and a brush.

Today is:

Brussels Lace Day

Chocolate Cake Day

Family Literacy Day

International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust

Mozart Day

Punch the Clock Day

St. Angela Merici's Day

Thomas Crapper Day

Anniversaries Today:

The University of Georgia is chartered, the first state university in the US, 1785
The first sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, is founded at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, 1870

Birthdays Today:

Jennifer LB Leese, 1970
Patton Oswalt, 1969
Bridget Fonda,1964
Cris Collinsworth, 1959
Mikhail Baryshnikov, 1948
Nick Mason, 1944
Troy Donahue, 1936
Donna Reed, 1921
David Seville, 1919
Skitch Henderson, 1918
Jerome Kern, 1885
Samuel Gompers, 1850
Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson), 1832
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756

Today in History:

Trajan becomes Roman Emperor, 98
The Rashidun Caliphate ends with the death of Ali, 661
Song Dynasty General Yue Fei is wrongfully executed, 1142
Dante Alighieri becomes a Florentine political exile, 1302
The trial of Guy Fawkes and other conspirators begins, ending with their execution on January 31, 1606
The first American lime kiln begins operation in Providence, Rhode Island, 1662
Mustafa II becomes the Ottoman sultan in Instanbul, 1695
Czar Peter the Great sets the first Russian state budget, 1710
Abdication of Stanislas, the last king of Poland, 1736
The US Congress approves the opening of Indian Territory for settlement, which led to the forced relocation of Native Americans on the "Trail of Tears," 1825
Manitoba and the Northwest Territories are incorporated, 1870
Thomas Edison is granted a patent for the electric incandescent lamp, 1880
The National Geographic Society is organized, in Washington, D.C., 1888
"Tarzan of the Apes," the first Tarzan movie, premiers, 1918
Apollo 1 – Astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee are killed in a fire during a test of their spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center, 1967
More than sixty nations sign the Outer Space Treaty banning nuclear weapons in space, 1967
Through cooperation between the U.S. and Canadian governments, six American diplomats secretly escape hostilities in Iran in the culmination of the Canadian caper, 1980
The pilot shaft of the Seikan Tunnel, the world's longest sub-aqueous tunnel (53.85 km) between the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido, breaks through, 1983
Germany first observes International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 1996
Western Union discontinues its Telegram and Commercial Messaging services, 2006

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

These Kids Need More Than Crispy Treats

Sometimes my co-teachers at homeschool co-op remind me why i keep getting elected to teach the cooking class.

Please don't misunderstand, these are nice ladies. Few of those i've taught with, however, know anything about cast iron, how to just decide what tastes good with what with no recipe, or what really has to go into choosing a recipe for the class to make.

One of them offered to choose the recipe and bring all the ingredients for this week's class. We are talking 10 young people, ages 11-16, in a class for 40 minutes. They have to fix something and eat it in that time, and clean up. Often i teach "cooking show style", meaning i have the dish already prepared, pull it out when the one the first class prepares gets put on the stove or into the oven, and use the one the first class made to feed the second class when theirs starts cooking.

So we have to come up with semi complicated, but not overly complicated, recipes that require all of the kids get some time doing hands on work with the food.

She picked Peanut Butter and Jelly Rice Crispy Treats.

Anyone out there know how easy it is to make rice crispy treats? Yes, this added peanut butter, and yes we used blueberries to make a jelly like topping, but still.

Add to that the fact that she misread how many ounces each bag of marshmallows held, thus making them far too sticky and gloppy, and we had a bit of a mess on our hands.

Plus, peanut butter and jelly mixed with rice crispy treats is just a bit ... odd. Some of the kids liked it, some ate a bit and said no thank you, some declared it disgusting.

If you ever want to try it for yourself, just add 1/3 cup of smooth peanut butter to the basic recipe, and cook down some frozen or fresh fruit of your choice with 1/8 cup sugar and a tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken, and pour that over the top. Yes. Really.

There are a few ideas bubbling around in the old bean about what we will do next week to get that taste out of our mouths, and it will be a more complicated recipe, although not excessively so.

Meanwhile, if you want good rice crispy treats, add the peanut butter, yes, but also a bag of butterscotch chips, and leave out the jelly. Much better.

Today is:

Australia Day (Commemorates Captain Arthur Phillip's arrival at Sydney Cove with the First Fleet, on January 26, 1778.)

Duarte Day -- Dominican Republic

End of the Fifth Quarter of the Ninth Dozen of the Thirteenth Set -- Fairy Calendar

Liberation Day -- Uganda

Lotus 1-2-3 Day

National Peanut Brittle Day

National Popcorn Day

National Speak Up and Succeed Day

Republic Day -- India

Spike the Punch Day

Spouse's Day

St. Paula's Day (patron of widows)

Toad Hollow Day of Encouragement (Began at Toad Hollow School in Kalamazoo, Michigan in the 1800s, a day to encourage your friends.)

Anniversaries Today:

Michigan becomes the 26th US state, 1837

Birthdays Today:

Kherington Payne, 1990
Kirk Franklin, 1970
Wayne Gretzky, 1961
Anita Baker, 1958
Ellen DeGeneres, 1958
Eddie Van Halen, 1955
Lucinda Williams, 1953
Gene Siskel, 1946
Angela Davis, 1944
Scott Glenn, 1942
Bob Uecker, 1935
Jules Feiffer, 1929
Paul Newman, 1925
Anne Jeffreys, 1923
Maria Augusta von Trapp, 1905
Douglas MacArthur, 1880
Mary Maples Dodge, 1831
Emperor Go-Nara of Japan, 1497

Today in History:

The fifth recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet, 66
Vicente Yáñez Pinzón becomes the first European to set foot on Brazil, 1500
The Council of Trent issues its conclusions in the Tridentinum, establishing a distinction between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, 1564
Isaac Newton receives Jean Bernoulli's 6 month time-limit problem, and solves the problem before going to bed that same night, 1697
The magnitude 9 Cascadia Earthquake took place off the west coast of the North America, as evidenced by Japanese records, 1700
The British First Fleet, led by Arthur Phillip, sails into Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) to establish Sydney, the first permanent European settlement on the continent of Australia, 1788
The Rum Rebellion, the only successful (albeit short-lived) armed takeover of the government in Australia, 1808
Tennessee enacts the first prohibition law in the United States, 1838
Hong Kong is proclaimed a sovereign territory of Britain, 1841
The first US income tax, passed to raise funds for the Civil War, is repealed, 1871
Muhammad Ahmed ("Mahdi") rebels conquer Khartoum, Sudan, 1885
The World's largest diamond, the 3,106-carat Cullinan, is found, 1905
The Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Mk III is officially introduced into British Military Service, and remains the oldest military rifle still in official use, 1907
Glenn H. Curtiss flies the first successful American seaplane, 1911
Richard Strauss' opera Der Rosenkavalier receives its debut performance at the Dresden State Opera, 1911
Former Ford Motor Co. executive Henry Leland launches the Lincoln Motor Company which he later sold to his former employer, 1920
Rioters burn Cairo's central business district, targeting British and upper-class Egyptian businesses, 1952
Danny Heater sets a worldwide high school basketball scoring record when he records 135 points for Burnsville High School (West Virginia), 1960
Ranger 3 is launched to study the moon, but misses its target by 22,000 miles (35,400 km), 1962
Hindi becomes the official language of India, 1965
The Great Blizzard of 1978, a rare severe blizzard with the lowest non-tropical atmospheric pressure ever recorded in the US, strikes the Ohio – Great Lakes region with heavy snow and winds up to 100 mph (161 km/h), 1978
Israel and Egypt establish diplomatic relations, 1980
An earthquake hits Gujarat, India, causing more than 20,000 deaths, 2001

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

All's Well That Ends With Friends...In One Piece

"Hey, mom, good news!"

Coming from #2 Son, that could mean anything, and usually with him good is relative.

"Sammy's mom says we can hang out again!"

There was a problem?

"Well, yes, ever since New Year's Eve and the explosion."

Do i really want to hear about this?

"Yeah, it was awesome! You see, Fred and me decided to set off one of those artillery shells, and you're supposed to put them in a tube, see? So we did, but we forgot that it has to have back pressure to push up against, and so we lit it, and then Fred says, 'Hey, dude, we don't have a back on this thing!' and I said, 'Oh, this is going to be bad!' and about then it blew up. And it burned my hands, and set Fred's afro on fire, and it was really, really loud, and Sammy's mom said I was a bad influence and couldn't hang around with Sammy any more. But I explained to her that we only set stuff like that off on New Years and Fourth of July, and besides I won't set stuff off if he's too close, 'cause he's younger'n me, so she said we could hang out together again."

You set your hands and Fred's afro on fire?

"Yeah, but we're both okay, and it wasn't too bad."

To me, that did not end well. To him, if he still has his friends, mostly intact, it's all good.

Today is:

A Room of One's Own Day

Aukland Day -- New Zealand

Better Business Communication Day

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day

Compliment Day

Conversion of St. Paul -- Christian

Dinner Party Day (for Bobby Burns, of course)

Dydd Santes Dwynwen -- Wales (For St. Dwynwen, the Welsh Valentines Day)

Festival of Constructive Energy

Macintosh Computer Day

National Irish Coffee Day

Observe the Weather Day (A beautiful St. Paul's Conversion day means a prosperous year, precipitation means an expensive year, clouds mean much loss of livestock, and wind means war looms in the year ahead.)

Old Disting -- Norse Calendar (A market day held at the same time as a sacrifice to the female powers.)

Opposite Day

Robert Burns' Night -- Scotland; Newfoundland

St. Tatiana's Day

Up-Helly-AA Day -- Lerwick, Shetland (fire festival)

Anniversaries Today:

Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn, 1533 (secret wedding)
Moscow University is established, to coincide with St. Tatiana's Day, 1755

Birthdays Today:

Alicia Keys, 1981
China Kantner, 1971
Etta James, 1938
Corazon Aquino, 1933
Dean Jones, 1931
Edwin Newman, 1919
Virginia Woolf, 1882
William Somerset Maugham, 1874
Robert Burns, 1759

Today in History:

Founding of Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1554
Battle of Mikatagahara, in Japan; Takeda Shingen defeats Tokugawa Ieyasu, 1573
The Treaty of Utrecht marks the beginning of the Dutch Republic, 1579
Eliakam Spooner of Vermont patents the first seeding machine in the US, 1799
The first US engineering college opens, Rensselaer Polytechnic, Troy, NY, 1825
Sojourner Truth addresses the First Black Women's Rights Convention, in Akron, Ohio, 1851
Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" is first played, at the wedding of Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Victoria, to crown prince of Prussia, 1858
The soda fountain is patented by Gustavus Dows, 1870
Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell form the Oriental Telephone Company, 1881
Bilu, a Russian Zionist organization, forms, 1882
Nellie Bly beats Phileas Fogg's time around world by 8 days (72 days), 1890
The first US transcontinental telephone call is made when Alexander Graham Bell in NY calls Thomas Watson in SF, 1915
The League of Nations is founded, 1919
The 1924 Winter Olympics opens in Chamonix, France (in the French Alps), inaugurating the Winter Olympic Games, 1924
The Guiding Light debuts on NBC radio from Chicago (in 1952 it moves to CBS television, where it remains until Sept. 18, 2009), 1937
At the Hollywood Athletic Club the first Emmy Awards are presented, 1949
The Clementine space probe launches, 1994
Russia almost launches a nuclear attack after it mistakes Black Brant XII, a Norwegian research rocket, for a US Trident missile, 1995
During a historic visit to Cuba, Pope John Paul II demands the release of political prisoners and political reforms while condemning US attempts to isolate the country, 1998
Three independent observing campaigns announce the discovery of OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb through gravitational microlensing, the first cool rocky/icy extrasolar planet around a main-sequence star, 2006

Monday, January 24, 2011

Not a whole lot to blog about right now. If you think that is going to stop me, you are mistaken, however.

Because he can't really do anything more for me, and my insurance has "run out" in that i have to pay for everything out of pocket for the next however much it is that we don't have, i canceled my appointment this week with the orthopedic hand specialist. My regularly scheduled yearly checkup with my primary doc is this week, that will be enough.

Our church is planning the "Becoming Beautiful" evening for the kindergarten through 5th grade girls again, and once again i will be presiding, with Miss R, over the kitchen. We've decided on taco salad, with lots of healthy choices of veggies for them to have with it, and lean ground turkey or grilled chicken as their choices of meat. Like most kids, they will probably just eat the chips and cheese, but at least we can offer them the good stuff. You can lead a kid away from candy, but you cannot make them eat rabbit food. Or something like that.

We have run out of kitten chow again, and the animals that are the most upset about it are the adult cats that like to sneak around and eat it! At their annual check up last week, all of our cats had gained weight except Kida, the one who is on steroids for asthma. The only one with an excuse to gain. Go figure. The kittens are happy to eat the adult food and do so all of the time anyway, but it costs me when they do, so i need to make a run to the shelter for more kitten food.

There were no adoptions this weekend, so we still have 9 fosters in the house. I need to check with the vet to see when i scheduled these guys for surgery, and try to fit Ming in, as we couldn't tell if she was sick last time we tried. Every time they tried to listen to her lungs, she would purr so much they couldn't hear anything. One of the advantages of having other pets, i guess, you can actually listen to their heart or lungs and not have to try to sneak up on them and catch them when they aren't making a noise that masks what you want to hear.

Brother-in-Law, The Mouth, really outdid himself this weekend. We are officially cleared of leftovers for the time being. Which is a good thing and a bad thing. It means nothing to fall back on if i have a bad day, but it also means no bacon grazing on the lettuce in the back where i won't catch it.

Speaking of bacon and such things, my fridge, after being repaired last year, is working a bit too well. Stuff at the back, and especially on the left side looking in, tends to get frozen. Probably i had been turning it colder as the coil was going bad last year, and i've never readjusted it back down. Something to attend to before we lose anything that should get that cold. So far, it's just frozen some meat that needed to be kept that cold anyway, and put some ice crystals on a couple of things that ice didn't hurt.

Okay, okay, i'll quit rambling. Maybe something more tomorrow, but no promises.

Today is:

Alactis Fair -- Aymara Indians, Bolivia (offerings to the god of prosperity)

Beer Can Appreciation Day

Compliment Day

Economic Liberation Day

Eskimo Pie Day

Fairy-Four Paganalia -- Fairy Calendar

National Peanut Butter Day

Paul Pitcher Day (So called because it is the eve of the Celebration of St. Paul's Conversion on the road to Damascus. Cornish tin miners would traditionally set up a water pitcher in a public place and throw stones at it to destroy it. A replacement pitcher was then bought and filled with beer, which was drunk and replenished through the day. These miners were great inventors for reasons to celebrate, and they did this to rebel against the rule that only water was to be consumed during the work day.)

Sementivae, in honor of Ceres and Terra, begins -- Roman Empire

St. Babylas' Day

St. Francis de Sales' Day (patron of journalists, editors, writers; against deafness)

Tricknology Day (celebrating the clever tricks of a ruling class conspiracy)

Anniversaries Today:

Popeye meets Olive Oyl, 1929 (in Elzie Segar's Thimble Theater comic strip)

Birthdays Today:

Tatyana Ali, 1979
Mary Lou Retton, 1968
Nastassia Kinski, 1960
Jools Holland, 1958
Yakov Smirnoff, 1951
John Belushi, 1949
Warren Zevon, 1947
Sharon Tate, 1943
Neil Diamond, 1941
Aaron Neville, 1941
Ray Stevens, 1939
Maria Tallchief, 1925
Jerry Maren, 1920
Oral Roberts, 1918
Ernest Borgnine, 1917
Granny D (formerly Granny Haddock, or Ethel Doris Haddock, political activist)
Edith Wharton, 1862

Today in History:

Caligula, known for his cruel despotism, is assassinated and succeeded by his uncle Claudius, 41
Connecticut colony organizes under Fundamental Orders, 1639
The first Jewish doctor in US, Jacob Lumbrozo, arrives in Maryland, 1656
Henry Knox arrives at Cambridge, Massachusetts with the artillery that he has transported from Fort Ticonderoga, 1776
The University of Calcutta is formally founded as the first full-fledged university in south Asia,1857
The Romania principality arises under King Alexander Cuza, with Bucharest as the capital, 1862
General Baden-Powell's publication of Scouting for Boys starts the Boy Scouts movement, 1908
The Gregorian calendar introduced in Russia by decree of the Council of People's Commissars effective from February 14(NS), 1918
Vincent Massey is sworn in as the first Canadian-born Governor-General of Canada, 1952
A bomber carrying two H-bombs breaks up in mid-air over North Carolina. The uranium core of one weapon remains lost, 1961
Jackie Robinson is elected to Baseball Hall of Fame, 1962
Japanese Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi is found hiding in a Guam jungle, where he had been since the end of World War II, 1972
Soviet satellite Cosmos 954, with a nuclear reactor on board, burns up in Earth's atmosphere, scattering radioactive debris over Canada's Northwest Territories. Only 1% is recovered, 1978
The first Apple Macintosh goes on sale, 1984
Voyager 2 passes within 81,500 km (50,680 miles) of Uranus, 1986

Sunday, January 23, 2011

They're Arriving

One by one. They are arriving. Dreaded, expected, awaited with all of the welcome you would give a burglar, appearing in the mailbox with depressing regularity.

The tax forms are arriving.

Those that tell how much you earned -- so depressing! Where did it all go? Those telling you what you gave to charities -- a bit less depressing, except that you really wanted to give so much more. The "friendly" ones reminding you to get your taxes to your CPA early, or to buy the program to help you file now, while you can get a $5 early buyer discount.

Yes, we know it is going to be tax time in the blink of an eye, but can't they at least let us catch our breath over what we spent on Christmas (or on that car we had to buy to replace the wrecked one) before they are in our faces, demanding that we warm up our calculators and start pulling what's left of our hair out?

This year will be especially fun, with having to file for all 4 kids, since they all now earn an income. We were hoping to have enough to start retirement funds for them because they have earned income, but with the car fiasco that is not happening. I hate putting it off, but there it is, they have to eat today first.

So, at least for now, i can put the papers aside as they arrive, and sort them soon. Just don't ask me to define soon. No, i do not mean the night before the tax deadline. The accountant has to have it all by the end of February, so it really will be soon. Just not tonight, i have to go do something less painful, like hand feed these shark kittens that bite, or stick my sore, cracked hands into the wash water in the sink without gloves.

Today is:

Bounty Day -- Pitcairn Island (celebrates the burning of the HMS Bounty in 1790

National Pie Day

National Handwriting Day

National Rhubarb Pie Day

Measure Your Feet Day -- one can only ask...."Why!?!"

Ragwort Dance -- Fairy Calendar (Pixies only)

Snowplow Mailbox Hockey Day

St. John the Almoner's Day (known for his generosity to the poor, "If we are able to enter the church day and night and implore God to hear our prayers, how careful we should be to hear and grant the petitions of our neighbor in need.")

Anniversaries Today:

The founding of Georgetown University, the first US Catholic college,


Birthdays Today:

Princess Caroline of Monaco, 1957
Antonio Villaraigosa, 1953
Rutger Hauer, 1944
Chita Rivera, 1933
Jeanne Moreau, 1928
Ernie Kovacs, 1919
John M. Browning, 1855
Edouard Manet, 1832
John Hancock, 1737

Today in History:

In China, the war elephant corps of the Southern Han are soundly defeated at Shao by crossbow fire from Song Dynasty troops, 971
The first printing of Ramban's Sha'ar ha-Gemul, 1490
The first printing of the Pentateuch, 1492
The second version of Book of Common Prayer becomes mandatory in England, 1552
What is probably the most deadly earthquake in history kills 830,000 in Shensi Province, China, 1556
Queen Elizabeth I opens the Royal Exchange in London, 1571
Blaise Pascal publishes the first of his Lettres provinciales, 1656
Joseph Pease, a Quaker, is admitted to Parliament on his affirmation, 1833
Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first female physician in the US, 1849
The first bridge over the Mississippi River opens in what is now Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1855
Alesund Fire: the Norwegian coastal town Alesund is devastated by fire, leaving 10,000 people homeless an one person dead, 1904
Charles Curtis of Kansas becomes the first Native American US senator, 1907
Pianist Ignaz Paderewski becomes premier of the Polish government in exile, 1940
Duke Ellington plays at Carnegie Hall in New York City for the first time, 1943
The bathyscaphe USS Trieste breaks a depth record by descending to 10,911 m (35,798 feet) in the Pacific Ocean, 1960
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts its first members: Little Richard, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley, 1986
Final communication between Earth and Pioneer 10, 2003

Saturday, January 22, 2011


All was not happy in Shelterville this day. We arrived for our weekly cleaning in the middle of a bit of commotion.

Two cats, Ollie and Felicia, had just been adopted a half hour before. Another caretaker volunteer was there, waiting for a friend of hers, who showed up at the same time we did. There was also a meeting going on. Meg took me aside and said that, depending on that meeting, she might be turning in a resignation effective immediately. Talk about walking into it.

The other shelter caretaker's friend turned out to be someone i knew also. A very wonderful lady named Paula who, since her parents became unable to do so, has devoted her life to working as an attorney and taking care of her mentally disabled younger brother, Jerry. Jerry used to attend the same clinic for neurodevelopmental therapy that Bigger Girl attended, and so we had a nice reunion. Jerry will never be any better, although he is able to hold down a small job sweeping and raking and fetching and carrying for a lawn service. Paula has given up any kind of personal life she ever could have had and takes care of him as if he were her child, dropping him off at his daytime caretakers in the mornings, picking him up in the evenings, and getting only occasional weekends off when one of the other sisters takes Jerry. He is like a small child mentally, and needs constant watching. We paid a lot of attention to him as he paid attention to the cats.

Paula and Jerry had two cats until recently, when both of them died of advanced age -- over 20 years old each. Jerry keeps saying he "needs" a cat, and Paula loves cats, too, so they came up on a non adoption event day to look around. It is better that way for Jerry, who could be easily overwhelmed if the place were crowded with lots of other people looking at the cats also. They went from room to room, spending time, asking questions, and Paula will come back again and decide. She is leaning toward Devon, and Jerry loves Heathcliff. They might take both, Paula is sure they will adopt at least one cat.

More commotion commenced when Bigger Girl let Grady out, and then i went in the big room and found him, Gidget, Baby, Ginny, Prissy, and Candy, but no Clint. I searched that room three times, and finally found out he has a new hiding spot, perched way up high on a shelf in the window where he can play king of the hill. Better, i guess, than hiding under things all day long, but i didn't like not being able to find him for so long. It made me nervous.

Lucky has been designated the shelter mascot, which i guess makes him very lucky indeed. He still takes anything you put in a pill pocket, so he gets his thyroid medicine regularly, and eats tons and holds his weight. Not much more you can ask for an ugly, 15 year old cat.

Frieda was happy, as the meeting was going on in the office, and as i cleaned near there i heard our Executive Director smoothing ruffled feathers a bit. He has the makings of a peacemaker, which is a good thing. Meg came out of the meeting saying everything is fine for now. Dodged a bullet there.

Rocky kitten has only one more week until he can come off of cage rest, and i know we will all be happy to see that. Tyler was going crazy in his cage because he just got neutered and was ravenously hungry, having traded breakfast for surgery. He got a bit extra when no one else was looking. Turtle needs to be called something else, she is one messy eater in her cage, i hope she turns out neater in her room, when she gets one. Conan, meanwhile, is not sure what he thinks of this new shelter gig. Some cats don't know how good they have it, off the street and safe and warm.

Monty and Scottie have been sent to separate rooms not because of anything bad, but because no one had seen Monty eat for a while, and he seemed listless. The answer is that yes, he is eating, but not much.

Bowie has been spooked by having to get medicine for so long, and hides on a shelf now until he is sure you have no nefarious plans. It seems JuJu is rubbing off on him, which is a shame, he was so ingenuous and friendly.

Molly, Katy, Corrie, Roxanne, Sophia, Tiffany, and Rosie are all doing well, i'm glad to say.

Poor Angel is not. Dustie seems fine, but Angel is sneezing, with a runny eye again, and is limping from the shoulder. We're not sure what would cause that, it's not her paws this time.

So a bit of commotion this week, let's hope it calms down and things go at a more even keel for a while.

Today is:

Answer Your Cat's Questions Day

Celebration of Life Day

Dance of the Seven Veils Day

National Blonde Brownie Day (I thought these were just called "blondies.")

St. Vincent's Day (Spanish martyr and patron of winegrowers, schoolgirls, vinegar makers) - a sunny day today indicates a good wine crop next season

Unification Day -- Ukranian

Wellington Day -- Wellington Province, New Zealand

Birthdays Today:

Steven Adler, 1965
Diane Lane, 1965
Michael Kelland Hutchence, 1960
Linda Blair, 1959
Steve Perry, 1949
John Hurt, 1940
Joseph Wambaugh, 1937
Sam Cooke, 1935
Bill Bixby, 1934
Piper Laurie, 1932
Ann Sothern, 1909
George Balanchine, 1904
D.W. Griffith, 1875
Grigori Rasputin, 1869
Nat Turner, 1800
Lord Byron, 1788
Sir Francis Bacon, 1561

Today in History:

The first contingent of Swiss Guards arrive at the Vatican, 1506
Postal service between NYC and Boston is inaugurated, 1673
The Native American Iroquois tribes renew their allegiance to the British against the French, 1690
Spain ceded the Falkland Islands to Britain, 1771
A severe earthquake in southern Syria kills thousands, 1837
The Zulus attack the British Army camp in Isandhlwana, South Africa, 1879
The Ancient Egyptian obelisk "Cleopatra's Needle" is erected in Central Park, 1881
After 63 years, England stops the sale of Queen Victoria postage stamps series and begins King Edward VII series, 1901
First live radio commentary of a football match anywhere in the world, between Arsenal F.C. and Sheffield United at Highbury, 1927
KTLA, the first commercial television station west of the Mississippi River, begins operation in Hollywood, California, 1947
Apollo 5 lifts off carrying the first Lunar module into space, 1968
The Boeing 747, the world's first "jumbo jet", enters commercial service, 1970

Friday, January 21, 2011

Another Yo Yo Day

Quote for the day:
"I like liquor – its taste and its effects – and that is just the reason why I never drink it."
Thomas Jonathan 'Stonewall' Jackson, American Confederate general, born on January 21, 1824

May i add to that, i would never get the errands run.

Called someone about getting another car for #1 Son, and went to meet him at the dealership. That was the beginning of a run that took me all over town, all day long.

There was a vehicle available that was "just within" our price range. At least, that's what i thought. We added a very, very basic warranty, so that we wouldn't have to do major repairs. Came up with a price that was a stretch. Then it was time to go get everything taken care of with the insurance people.

Across town to get the insurance paper that had to be notarized. Got it, and went to Sweetie's workplace, where the nice lady in the office down the hall notarized it for free.* Back to the house to find the title, which was right where it was supposed to be and still in the envelope the state mailed it to me in.

Back to the insurance company, deliver the papers, get the check, off to the bank. Then home, take the kids to school.

Now on to the rental car place to turn in the rental and back to the dealership, where the snags come in, of course.

The key they had with the vehicle, the only key, doesn't quite work right. You have to hold it at just the right angle to get it to turn the car over. They had promised two keys anyway, but didn't have another blank and couldn't seem to locate one. Then there was the matter of me writing them a check.

Ah, the check. I had figured up what it should cost, and it came to almost $500 more. It seems there were plenty of fees they didn't tell me about. So now, instead of being just outside our range, or a bit of a stretch, it is at the "we have no savings, and no way to pay bills the rest of the month" area. Great.

Also, they are supposed to have it cleaned, and make sure there are 5 gallons of gas in it. It was dirty and on empty. "We'll get that taken care of when you come back in for the key!" i was promised. After this, excuse me for being a skeptic.

Finally, after they make you wait an eternity (why? they already have the deal and your check!), we are able to go. #1 Son drives off and stops for gas, we both get home.

Just in time! Go get the kids from school so we can go clean the shelter.

Oh, did i mention dinner? Of course not. For heaven's sake, eat leftovers for once! We have plenty.

Also, forgot that in the middle of it all, Sweetie split his pants open at the seam (too many home cooked meals that he really goes to town on?) and wanted me to drop everything and bring him another pair. Couldn't do it. He had to run errands for the building and put a stop in at the house to do that for himself. Sorry, sometimes you just can't fit it all in.

Like the kittens. They needed to go to the vet. They have the runs again, and are losing weight, which they can't afford to do as they are so little anyway. No way to get them in with all the other running, and tomorrow is work, so they will have to make do with the very strong diarrhea medicine i have in the house and hope i can get a sample in at some point so we can find out what is going on with them.

Next week, i want to hibernate.

*That was big for around here. For those who don't know, in Louisiana, you have to study a huge amount and take a big test to be a notary public in the state. Once you pass, you can do almost anything a lawyer can, except argue in front of the bar and a couple of other things. This harks back to the time when the only attorney in a rural parish might be at the parish seat, and that was a huge distance away on foot or by horse, so you used a notary for everything except going to court at the parish seat. Now it is just that those who have studied and passed don't want it made the way it is in other states, because then they did all the work for nothing. Thus they charge a pretty penny to do everything, because they aren't dime a dozen and can do so.

Today is:

Anniversary of the Elf Wars -- Fairy Calendar

Babin Den -- Bulgaria (Grandmother's and midwives day, celebrating the tradition of the grandmother's role in traditionally helping the new mothers of the family give birth.)

Celtic Tree Month Luis (Rowan) begins

Errol Barrow Day -- Barbados

Feast of Jolly Roger

Feast of Our Lady of Altagracia -- Dominican Republic

Get to Know Your Customers Day (quarterly)

International Fetish Day

International Hot and Spicy Food Day

National Hugging Day

National Granola Bar Day

Own Your Own Home Day

Quebec Flag Day -- Quebec, Canada

Squirrel Appreciation Day

St. Agnes' Day (patron of virgins, Girl Scouts)

Thorrablot -- Ancient Norse Calendar and Modern Iceland (festival for Thor, serving traditional Scandinavian and Icelandic food and drink)

Women's Healthy Weight Day

Birthdays Today:

Robby Bendson, 1956
Geena Davis, 1956
Jill Eikenberry, 1947
Mac Davis, 1942
Placido Domingo, 1941
Jack Nicklaus, 1940
Wolfman Jack, 1939
Benny Hill, 1925
Telly Savalas, 1924
Benny Hill, 1924
Paul Scofield, 1922
Barney Clark, 1921
Karl Wallenda, 1905
John M. Browning, 1855
Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, 1824

Today in History:

Philip II, Henry II, and Richard the Lionheart initiate the 3rd Crusade, 1189
The Swiss Anabaptist Movement is founded, 1525
The first American novel, WH Brown's "Power of Sympathy," is published, 1789
After being found guilty of treason by the French Convention, Louis XVI of France is executed by guillotine, 1793
Edward Jenner's smallpox vaccination is introduced, 1799
The envelope-folding machine is patented by Russell Hawes, Worcester, Massachusetts, 1853
The first US sewage disposal system that is separate from storm drains opens in Memphis, Tennessee, 1880
Kiwanis International is founded in Detroit, 1915
The first slalom ski race is run in Murren, Switzerland, 1922
The Flag of Quebec is adopted and flown for the first time over the National Assembly of Quebec, 1948
A B-52 bomber crashes near Thule Air Base, contaminating the area after its nuclear payload ruptures. One of the four bombs remains unaccounted for after the cleanup operation is complete, 1968
The current Emley Moor transmitting station, the tallest free-standing structure in the United Kingdom, begins transmitting UHF broadcasts, 1971
Commercial service of Concorde begins with the London-Bahrain and Paris-Rio routes, 1976
Production of the iconic DeLorean DMC-12 sports car begins in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland, 1981
NASA's MER-A (the Mars Rover Spirit) ceases communication with mission control. The problem lies in the management of its flash memory and is fixed remotely from Earth, 2004
Black Monday in worldwide stock markets. FTSE 100 had its biggest ever one-day points fall, European stocks closed with their worst result since 11 September 2001, and Asian stocks drop as much as 14%, 2008

Thursday, January 20, 2011


The call finally came in for #1 Son's car (actually, my car, but he drives it to school and work). They decided to call it a total loss. Surprise, surprise. note the sarcasm.

So it was off to the body shop to get his stuff out of it, and grab that license plate, we don't want to lose that one for certain. It's a personalized tag that will go on the next car, and has been in the family since personalized tags were allowed over 30 years ago.

Armed with my trusty pink tool kit and a couple of bags, i went and hunted up the guy who runs the body shop. As i was about to ask him where it was, i spotted it, much to my horror, in the field behind the shop. Horror because it had rained hard the day before, and i knew it was in mud and water.

Yes, it was. I balanced as much out of the water as i could and opened the passenger door, as the driver side door won't open far any more, got a bag ready, and almost passed out. The stink! The trash! The stink! Later, the body shop guy said his first thought was that this was a college student car. How right he was.

The bag of garbage, stuff that was mostly paper and a few cans and plastic bottles that might have been recyclable, was almost full before i got the passenger side of the car done. By the time the back seat was finished, it was full.

I unearthed, amongst the rubble, one of my good plates from the kitchen, and a fork (yea! another one!), cups, his other pair of driving glasses, earphones the kids have been searching the house for in the past few weeks, CDs, and one shoe. By this time, my feet were wet and cold and i decided not to grab the shoe, after all, it wasn't one of #1 Son's friends and the friend had probably already given it up for lost in that heap and tossed the other and what are you going to do with one shoe, anyway?

I moved the umbrellas, loaded the stuff i had found in the cabin of the car into my van, and went back to open the trunk, which was empty the last time i looked. Not any more. A t-shirt, looking much worse for the wear, peeked at me out from under the ripped up old books that he no longer needed for classes. Side note: the way they do it now is to sell you a book you can only use for one semester, that you can't resell or reuse in any way, because it only works if you have a brand new disk with it that is one per person. So he had stuffed the old ones back there and was simply letting them deteriorate in the trunk.

His scientific calculator i grabbed, and called him to ask if he needed anything else. He assured me he didn't, and i perched in the mud, tools in hand, to try to get that plate. We had trouble attaching it in the first place, i had similar trouble getting it off.

By this time, so help me, i was whooped. I asked the nice body shop guy if it would matter if i didn't clear out the trash. He said i could leave anything in there i wanted to, as long as i had everything out that i needed. I stuffed the garbage bag in the trunk rather than try to lug it over that mud, shut the trunk and the doors, gave him the keys, and got out.

Oh, and the stink? Apparently #1 Son had gotten a fresh lunch, still in the fast food bag it came in, the day he had his wreck. In the shock of the wreck he had forgotten it. It wasn't fresh any more.

Today is:

Armed Forces Day -- Mali

Camcorder Day

Celtic Tree Month Beth (Birch) ends

Heroes Day -- Cape Verde; Guinea-Bissau

International Life Day

La Tamborrada de San Sebastian -- San Sebastian, Spain (celebrating their patron saint with 24 hours of drumming)

Martyrs Day -- Azerbaijan

National Buttercrunch Day

National Disc Jockey Day

Penguin Awareness Day

Rio de Janeiro Foundation Day -- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

St. Sebastian's Day (Patron saint of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, archers, athletes, and soldiers, and is appealed to for protection against plagues.)

Take a Walk Outdoors Day

Tenmangu Kowakamai -- Setaka, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan (festival of old style Japanese dances)

Tu B'shvat - Jewish

Birthdays Today:

Rainn Wilson, 1966
Bill Maher, 1956
David Lynch, 1946
Dorothy Provine, 1937
Arte Johnson, 1934
Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, 1930
Patricia Neal, 1926
Federico Fellini, 1920
DeForest Kelley, 1920
George Burns, 1896
Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter, 1889
Carolus Linnaeus, 1778
André-Marie Ampère, 1775

Today in History:

The first elected English Parliament called into session by the 6th Earl of Leicester, and meets in the Palace of Westminster (a/k/a Houses of Parliament), 1265
The present-day location of Rio de Janeiro is first explored, 1502
The Casa Contratacion (Board of Trade) is founded in Spain to deal with American affairs, 1503
The cornerstone of Amsterdam town hall laid, 1648
The third and main part of First Fleet arrives at Botany Bay. Arthur Phillip decides that Botany Bay is unsuitable for the location of a penal colony, and decides to move to Port Jackson, 1788
China cedes Hong Kong to British, 1841
L.A. Thompson patents the roller coaster, 1885
The first full length talking motion picture filmed outdoors is released, "In Old Arizona", 1929
Nazi officials hold notorious Wannsee conference in Berlin deciding on "final solution" calling for extermination of Europe's Jews, 1942
The first atomic submarine, USS Nautilus, is launched at Groton, Connecticut, 1955
Witnesses report sightings of a Bottlenose whale swimming in the River Thames, the first time the species had been seen in the River Thames since records began in 1913, 2006
A three-man team, using only skis and kites, completes a 1,093-mile (1,759 km) trek to reach the southern pole of inaccessibility for the first time since 1958 and for the first time ever without mechanical assistance, 2007

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Herd of Zebras

There is a saying in medicine that goes something to the effect that, when you hear hoof beats, think of horses, not zebras.

It is supposed to mean that when a patient presents with symptoms, you look at the most common things first, and then go after the uncommon if the common is ruled out.

This mimi is bone weary. After days spent shuffling to doctors, labs, back to doctors, to the pharmacy again and again, everything is pointing to a probable simple solution, and yet my doctors are all out zebra hunting.

The hand surgeon, of course, wants to open up my fingers and take samples. The dermatologist isn't going to let him, insisting that if they need samples, he will get smaller ones a better way, with less pain and faster healing.

The infectious disease specialist wants me to see a rheumatologist if certain tests come out one way, but so far, none of them have, and he is stumped.

The family doctor is just sitting back shaking his head, spitting out theories and watching the other doctor's tests results roll in.

As test after test blows their favorite, and complex, theory out of the water -- a totally normal CRP disproving both infection and inflammation, anybody? -- they come up with more complicated possibilities. The simple solution, offered by an observation of Sweetie, has been discounted, although every test points to it.

There is one more test result we await. If it comes back normal, and the latest cream works, i am assuming a diagnosis and sticking with it.

Meanwhile, i don't think i hear zebras in the middle of Louisiana, especially since i am nowhere near the zoo.

Today is:

Annual Visit of the Poe Toaster (The mysterious person who, dressed in black with a wide brimmed hat and scarf, annually visit's Poe's grave on his birthday, leaving roses and cognac.)

Brew A Potion Day

Champagne Day

Confederate Heroes Day -- Texas, US

Full Wolf Moon

Mahayana New Year -- Buddhist (through the 21st)

National Popcorn Day

St. Canute's Day (patron of Denmark)

St. Henry of Uppsala's Day (patron of Finland)

St. Wulfstan's Day

Theophany/Epiphany -- Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Christians who still follow the Julian Calendar

Timkat -- Ethiopian Orthodox Christian

Birthdays Today:

Jodie Sweetin, 1982
Shawn Wayans, 1971
Wendy Moniz, 1969
Junior Seau, 1969
Paul McCrane, 1961
Thomas Kinkade, 1958
Desi Arnaz, Jr., 1953
Dewey Bunnell, 1952
Robert Palmer, 1949
Paula Deen, 1947
Dolly Parton, 1946
Shelley Fabares, 1944
Janis Joplin, 1943
Michael Crawford, 1942
Phil Everly, 1939
Tippi Hedren, 1931
Jean Stapleton, 1923
Guy Madison, 1922
John H. Johnson, 1918
Lester Flatt, 1914
Paul Cezanne, 1839
Edgar Allan Poe, 1809
Robert E. Lee, 1807

Today in History:

Rouen surrenders to Henry V of England completing his reconquest of Normandy, 1419
San Agustin Church in Manila is officially completed; it is currently the oldest church in the Philippines, 1607
The second group of ships of the First Fleet arrives at Botany Bay, 1788
The United Kingdom occupies the Cape of Good Hope, 1806
Goethe's Faust Part I premiers, 1829
Verdi's Il Trivatore preniers in Rome, 1853
The first electric lighting system employing overhead wires, built by Thomas Edison, begins service at Roselle, New Jersey, 1883
Ibsen's play The Master Builder premiers in Berlin, 1893
Georges Claude patents the neon discharge tube for use in advertising, 1915
The US Senate votes against membership in League of Nations, 1920
Coopers Inc. sells the world's first briefs, 1930
For the only time in recorded history, snow falls in Miami, Florida, 1977
The last VW Beetle made in Germany leaves the plant, 1978
United States and Iranian officials sign an agreement to release 52 American hostages after 14 months of captivity, 1981
The Apple Lisa, the first commercial personal computer from Apple Inc. to have a graphical user interface and a computer mouse, is announced, 1983
Czech Republic and Slovakia join the United Nations, 1993
The New Horizons probe is launched by NASA on the first mission to Pluto, 2006

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Taco Soup

Co-op is in full force, and last week we did a home made king cake that was easy and they enjoyed.

This time, taco soup.

1lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1 onion, chopped and browned with the beef
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
1 can pinto beans*
1 can kidney beans*
1 can hominy
1 can cream corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with chiles
1 envelope Ranch dressing mix

Put all of the above in a pot and warm. Or put it all in the crock pot when you leave the house in the morning, on low, and come home to dinner.

Serve with chips and shredded cheese.

*Actually, you can use any kind of beans you want, we especially like black beans around here.

Today is:

Carrot Day

Confession of St. Peter -- Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, and Anglican Christian

Feast of the Cross -- Eastern Orthodox Christian

Four an' Twenty Day, Scotland

Jazz Day (Jazz gets recognized, it plays the Met!)

Metric System Day

National Peking Duck Day

Revolution Day -- Tunisia

Royal Thai Armed Forces Day -- Thailand (former Siam)

Santa Prisca Day -- Taxco, Mexico

Thesaurus Day

Tsuruga Tsunahiki Matsuri -- Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, Japan (Tug-of-War Festival, for the god Ebisu, for fishing luck; this one is similar to the one a few days ago, except that fishing teams compete against each other, not against harvesters, and are in the water.)

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Through the 25th) -- Christian

Winnie the Pooh Day -The Birthday of Winnie's author A.A. Milne

Birthdays Today

Dave Batista, 1969
Kevin Costner, 1955
Bobby Goldsboro, 1941
Constance Moore, 1920
Danny Kaye, 1913
Cary Grant, 1904
Oliver Hardy, 1892
A.A. Milne, 1882
Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, 1856 (The African-American doctor who performed the first open heart surgery.)
Thomas A. Watson, 1854 ("Come here, Watson, I need you," said Bell)
Daniel Webster, 1782
Daigo, Emperor of Japan, 885

Anniversaries Today:

Wesley College, Melbourne is established, 1866

Today in History:

Emperor Huizong abdicates the Chinese throne in favour of his son Emperor Qinzong, 1126
Francisco Pizarro founds Lima, Peru, 1535
The first documented UFO sighting in America, by some very perplexed pilgrims in Boston, 1644
Pirate Henry Morgan defeats the Spanish defenders and captures Panama, 1670
San Jose, California is founded, 1777
Captain James Cook stumbles upon the Sandwich Islands (Hawai'i), 1778
The first elements of the First Fleet carrying 736 convicts from England to Australia arrives at Botany Bay, 1788
Electro-Magnetic Intelligencer, the first US electrical journal, begins publication, 1840
Dr. William Price attempts to cremate the body of his infant son, J. C. Price, setting a legal precedent for cremation in the United Kingdom, 1884
Modern field hockey is born with the formation of The Hockey Association in England, 1886
The X-ray machine is exhibited for the first time, 1896
President Theodore Roosevelt sends a radio message to King Edward VII: the first transatlantic radio transmission originating in the United States, 1903
The first shipboard landing of a plane (Tanforan Park to USS Pennsylvania, flown by Eugene B. Ely), 1911
English explorer Robert F Scott & his expedition reach South Pole, only to discover that Roald Amundsen had gotten there before, 1912
Japan issues the "Twenty-One Demands" to the Republic of China in a bid to increase its power in East Asia, 1915
A 611 gram chondrite type meteorite strikes a house near the village of Baxter in Stone County, Missouri, 1916
The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City hosts a jazz concert for the first time. The performers were Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge and Jack Teagarden, 1944
Willie O'Ree, the first African Canadian National Hockey League player, makes his NHL debut, 1958
A Disengagement of Forces agreement is signed between the Israeli and Egyptian governments, ending conflict on the Egyptian front of the Yom Kippur War, 1974
Scientists identify a previously unknown bacterium as the cause of the mysterious Legionnaires' disease, 1977
Phil Smith and Phil Mayfield parachute off a Houston skyscraper, becoming the first two people to BASE jump from objects in all four categories: buildings, antennae, spans (bridges), and earth (cliffs), 1981*
The International Olympic Committee restores Jim Thorpe's Olympic medals to his family, 1983
Boerge Ousland of Norway becomes the first person to cross Antarctica alone and unaided, 1997
The Tagish Lake meteorite impacts the Earth, 2000
Sierra Leone Civil War is finally declared over, 2002
A bushfire kills 4 people and destroys more than 500 homes in Canberra, Australia, 2003
The Airbus A380, the world's largest commercial jet, is unveiled at a ceremony in Toulouse, France, 2005
Hurricane Kyrill becomes one of Western Europe's deadliest storms, 2007

*Leading me to wonder why, and whether i am looking at the future of my own daredevil child!

Monday, January 17, 2011


One thing i am very glad about is that i never had twins.

Now, nothing against mothers of multiples, heaven help them, they deserve all the kudos, sympathy, and blessings they can get, and no lip from me.

I am, however, married to an identical twin. Twins can be, quite frankly, weird.

This can be true of even the nicest and most normal of twins. When one of them is very high functioning Asperger's. and the other has his moments, it makes things just plain awfully awkward at times.

Thus, Brother-in-Law, The Mouth. Has "borrowed" a stick of deodorant every month since we got married (over 25 years ago) and has yet to pay any of them back. He also "borrows" toilet paper and light bulbs.

He is chronically poor and on the edge of falling off that edge, yet gives things away that he can't afford. Forgive me if i've told the story before, but he once met a man who had no coat. The Scripture says that if you find someone without a coat, and you have an extra, give that person your extra. Well, B-i-L didn't have an extra, so he gave the man Sweetie's only winter coat.

Things have actually gotten better. When we were first married he tried to correct my behavior as a wife because, "Your husband isn't doing it." That got straightened out very quickly, but the stories i could tell and won't. He now only comes over on average once a week, instead of spending 2-6 hours a day, 6-7 days a week here. Seriously.

So, that is why his things are here. He claims, in his two bedroom apartment that he shares with no one, that he has no room to put anything. He also says the stuff will be "safer" here, although he has had items destroyed by both cats and children. The books he never looks at take up a good bit of shelf space, but there is no getting rid of them, and Sweetie just isn't up for the battle of "take them or they are going away." Some battles he has fought and won, this one he just would rather we store the stuff and say nothing.

Thus, as i sort out the house, B-i-L's things will stay, although my desire is to get them to where they are out of sight and taking up as little room as possible.

Twins. Don't marry one, if you can help it. It makes for a strange, often tangled life.

Today is:

Blessing of the Animals -- Hispanic Christian (in association with St. Anthony's Day)

Customer Service Day

Ditch Your New Years Resolutions Day

Felicitas -- Ancient Roman Calendar (goddess of good luck)

Hot Heads Chili Day

Kid Inventor's Day

MLK Holiday -- US, observed

National Hot Buttered Rum Day

National Public Employees Appreciation Day

Patras Carnival -- Patras, Greece (opening ceremony, through Clean Monday)

Professional Boxer's Day

St. Anthony's Day (patron of basket weavers, brush makers, butchers, domestic animals, grave diggers, herdsmen, swine; against eczema, ergotism) and patriarch of all monks

St. Devota's Day (patron of Corsica, Monaco)

Zirgu Diena -- Ancient Latvian Calendar (Day of the Horses)

Anniversaries Today:

Octavian marries Livia Drusilla, BC38
George Burns marries Gracie Allen, 1926

Birthdays Today:

Kid Rock, 1971
Michelle Obama, 1964
Jim Carrey, 1962
Susanna Hoffs, 1959
Anthony Glise, 1956
Andy Kaufman, 1949
Muhammad Ali, 1942
Maury Povich, 1939
Shari Lewis, 1934
James Earl Jones, 1931
Vidal Sassoon, 1928
Eartha Kitt, 1927
Betty White, 1922
Al Capone, 1899
Nevil Shute, 1899
Mack Sennett, 1884
David Lloyd George, 1863
Anton Chekhov, 1860
Anne Bronte, 1820
Benjamin Franklin, 1706

Today in History:

Pope Gregory XI moves the Papacy back to Rome from Avignon, 1377
Cesare Borgia returns in triumph to Rome from Romagna, 1501
Giovanni da Verrazzano begins his voyage to find a passage to China, 1524
The Edict of St Germain recognizes Huguenots in France, 1562
England's Long Parliament passes the Vote of No Addresses, breaking off negotiations with King Charles I and thereby setting the scene for the second phase of the English Civil War, 1648
An avalanche destroys every building in Leukerbad, Switzerland, kills 53, 1718
Capt James Cook becomes the first to cross Antarctic Circle (66° 33' S), 1773
The first cable car patented, by Andrew S Hallidie (begins service in 1873), 1871
Queen Liliuokalani is deposed, the Kingdom of Hawaii becomes a republic, 1893
Sir Robert Falcon Scott reaches the South Pole, one month after Roald Amundsen, 1912
The first fully automatic photographic film developing machine patented, 1928
Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character created by Elzie Segar, first appears in the Thimble Theatre comic strip, 1929
Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews from the Nazis, is arrested by secret police in Hungary, 1945
The United Nations Security Council holds its first meeting, 1946
The Goldbergs, the first sitcom on American television, first airs, 1949
The Great Brinks Robbery - 11 thieves steal more than $2 million from an armored car Company's offices in Boston, Massachusetts, 1950
A B-52 bomber collides with a KC-135 Stratotanker over Spain, dropping three 70-kiloton nuclear bombs near the town of Palomares and another one into the sea in the Palomares incident, 1966
Harald V becomes King of Norway on the death of his father, Olav V, 1991
The Czech Republic applies for membership of the European Union, 1996
Mount Nyiragongo erupts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, displacing an estimated 400,000 people, 2002
Rioting begins between Muslim and Christian groups in Jos, Nigeria, which resulting in at least 200 deaths, 2010

Sunday, January 16, 2011


The gauntlet has been thrown.

The goal is to go through the house, bit by bit, as quickly as i can, and get rid of everything that we do not currently use, or use during another season, or that the kids don't want to inherit.

This way, the decisions are easy. Not using it, or going to use it in summer or at Easter or whatever, it's gone. Kids don't want to have it someday, it's gone.

Searching online has even brought up a place that buys silver. You know, the kind everyone makes such a big deal about buying you for your wedding. That makes ours over 25 years old, and we have yet to use any of it. At all. And i hate polishing silver. The acquiring of such stuff is an outdated foolishness and if this place gives me a few dollars for it, at least i don't have to store it any more, watching it tarnish.

For Brother-in-Law, The Mouth -- well, his books are going in boxes. Not sure where they will be put, they won't be thrown out, but i'm not keeping them front and center in the library anymore when no one here is interested in them. Even he isn't interested in them, and hasn't looked at most of them in years.

Really i'd like to have the majority of the parts of the house people see the most done before the family vacation in March.

It's time to stop pussy footing around with having too much stuff. It's time to realize that i'm tired of cleaning around it all, and stepping around it all, and looking at it all.

Some of it is just annoying, like the silver. Some of it is from "who i thought i was" or maybe "who i wanted to be" at one point in my life. None of it needs to be here.

Have to tackle the taxes and paperwork at the same time, for us and for co-op. The homeschool co-op doesn't file taxes, but this is my last year in it as Little Girl will go to the private school next year. Thus, if they ask me to stay on just as treasurer, because it's hard to get someone to do that, i will. I want to be ready, though, to pass the stuff on if someone else does take it over.

So, it's time to buckle down.

Today is:

Appreciate a Dragon Day

Concordia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (goddess of harmonious relations)

Festival of All Fairies -- Fairy Calendar

Haru-No-Yabuiri, Japan (Day of No Work for the Overworked, an extra day off for those who worked over the holidays.)

International Hot and Spicy Food Day

Magen David (Shield of David or Star of David) Day -- Israel (equivalent of Flag Day)

National Fig Newton Day

National Good Teen Day

National Nothing Day

National Work At Home With Your Spouse Day (Try if you dare, i won't, as much as i love him, i'd have to kill him.)

National Religious Freedom Day -- US

Sight-Saving Sabbath -- to alert church members to the importance of regular eye exams

St. Priscilla's Day (Patron saint of widows.)

Teacher's Day -- Thailand

There's No Business Like Show Business Day (Ethel Merman's Birthday!)

World Religion Day -- Baha'i

Birthday's Today:

Kate Moss, 1974
Sade, 1959
Debbie Allen, 1950
John Carpenter, 1948
Dr. Laura Schlessinger, 1947
Ronnie Milsap, 1944
A.J. Foyt, 1935
Dizzy Dean, 1911
Ethel Merman, 1908
Frank Zamboni, 1901
Harry Carey, Sr., 1878
Robert W. Service, 1874 (Poet, The Cremation of Sam McGee)
Andre Michelin, 1853

Today in History:

The title Augustus is bestowed upon Gaius Julius Casesar Octavian by the Roman Senate, BC27
The Ostrogoths, under King Totila, conquer Rome after a long siege, by bribing the Isaurian garrison, 550
A great storm tide in the North Sea destroys the German island of Strand and the city of Rungholt, 1362
The Medici family is appointed official banker of the Papacy, 1412
The first grammar of a modern language, in the Spanish language, is presented to Queen Isabella, 1492
Ivan IV of Russia aka Ivan the Terrible becomes Tsar of Russia, 1547
English parliament passes laws against Catholicism, 1581
The first edition of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (Book One of Don Quixote) by Miguel de Cervantes is published in Madrid, 1605
The Continental Congress approves enlistment of free blacks, 1776
The Commonwealth of Virginia enacted the Statute for Religious Freedom authored by Thomas Jefferson, 1786
The refrigerator car is patented by William Davis, a fish dealer in Detroit, 1868
The Pendleton Act creates the basis of US Civil Service system, 1883
The British explorer Ernest Shackleton finds magnetic south pole, 1909
The British House of Commons accepts Home-Rule for Ireland, 1913
Writer Maksim Gorki returns to Russia, 1914
The US ratifies the constitutional amendment on Prohibition, to take effect one year later, 1919
The League of Nations holds its first council meeting in Paris, 1920
The first photo finish camera installed at Hialeah Race track in Hialeah Florida, 1936
Benny Goodman plays the first jazz performance at Carnegie Hall, 1938
Crash of TWA Flight 3, killing all 22 aboard, including film star Carole Lombard, 1942
Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 perform the first-ever docking of manned spacecraft in orbit, the first-ever transfer of crew from one space vehicle to another, and the only time such a transfer was accomplished with a space walk, 1969
Buckminster Fuller receives the Gold Medal award from the American Institute of Architects, 1970
The Shah of Iran flees Iran with his family and relocates to Egypt, 1979
First meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force., 1986
El Salvador officials and rebel leaders sign the Chapultepec Peace Accords in Mexico City ending the 12-year Salvadoran civil war , 1992
The UN Security Council unanimously establishes an arms embargo and the freezing of assets of Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaida, and the remaining members of the Taliban, 2002
The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for mission STS-107, but disintegrates 16 days later on reentry, 2003
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is sworn in as Liberia's new president, becoming Africa's first female elected head of state, 2006

Saturday, January 15, 2011


We came home from work to see two young boys, probably 8-10 years old, on bicycles and hanging out where the scorch marks are in the park/playground. It immediately aroused my suspicion, especially as most kids that age are in school at that time of day. Yes, they could be homeschooled, like mine were and like Little Girl still is. Most homeschool parents don't let the kids out alone during school hours to ride bikes, though. Too many older residents of this neighborhood make a stink about it.

The boys got nervous when they saw us pull into our driveway right across from them, and as "the criminal always returns to the scene" is what #2 Son has been saying, he stood around watching them.

So they rode off, but kept coming back. They would leave when they realized they were being watched, but came back at least 3 times. At one point both #1 and #2 Son were in the car, driving next to them as they rode off. Both said the kids looked horribly nervous and were acting suspicious.

If Mike-Next-Door had been around, we could have asked if they were the same two he saw the day the fire was set. He was at work, of course.

Meanwhile, both of my boys claim they could identify the kids again. If that was the two who set the fire, they need to learn their lesson and just stay away and out of trouble.

Today is:

Armed Forces Day -- Nigeria

Army Day -- India

Carmentalia -- Roman Empire (2nd day)

Ebisu Daikoku Tsunahiki -- Suruga, Fukui Prefecture (Two teams, representing the gods Ebisu and Daikoku, have a tug-of-war; a win for Ebisu brings good fishing, for Daikoku, good harvests.)

John Chilembwe Day -- Malawi

Korean Alphabet Day -- North Korea

Moliere Day -- France

National Hat Day

National Strawberry Ice Cream Day

Pilgrimage of Cristo Negro de Esquipulas -- Esquipulas, Guatemala

Procrastinator's New Year

St. Paul the Hermit's Day (the first of the Egyptian hermits)

Tree Planting Day -- Egypt

Anniversaries Today:

Elizabeth I is crowned Queen of England, 1559

Birthdays Today:

Charo, 1951
Margaret O'Brien, 1937
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1929
John Cardinal O'Connor, 1920
Lloyd Bridges, 1913
Gene Krupa, 1909
Edward Teller, 1908
Aristotle Onassis, 1906
Pierre S. du Pont, 1870

Today in History:

Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon lays siege to Jerusalem under Zedekiah's reign, in a siege lasting until July 23, BC588
Christopher Columbus sets sail for Spain from Hispaniola, ending his first voyage to the New World, 1493
Third sitting of the Council of Trent opens, 1562
The British Museum opens in Montague House in London, 1759
John Etherington of London steps out sporting the first top hat, 1797
The first US built locomotive to pull a passenger train begins its first run, with Mr. and Mrs. Pierson on board for the first US railroad honeymoon trip, 1831
The donkey is first used as a symbol for the Democratic Party, in Harper's Weekly, 1870
The Coca-Cola Company, then known as the Pemberton Medicine Company, is originally incorporated in Atlanta, Georgia, 1889
James Naismith publishes the rules of Basketball, 1892
Tchaikovsky's ballet "Swan Lake" premieres in St Petersburg, 1895
Dr. Lee DeForest patents a 3-element vacuum tube (one of the inventions that later made radio possible), 1907
The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority becomes the first Greek-letter organization founded and established by African-American college women, 1908
The Boston Molasses Disaster, 2 million gallons of molasses spill, 21 killed, over 150 injured, 1919
The first building to be completely covered in glass, built for the Owens-Illinois Glass Company, is completed in Toledo, Ohio, 1936
The world's largest office building, The Pentagon, is dedicated in Arlington, Virginia, 1943
The US Supreme Court rules that "clear and present danger" of incitement to riot is not protected speech and can be a cause for arrest, 1951
The first Super Bowl is played in Los Angeles; the Green Bay Packers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10, 1967
The USSR launches Soyuz 5, 1969
The United Nations deadline for the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from occupied Kuwait expires, preparing the way for the start of Operation Desert Storm, 1991
Wikipedia goes online, 2001
An intense solar flare blasts X-rays across the solar system, 2005
ESA's SMART-1 lunar orbiter discovers elements such as calcium, aluminum, silicon, iron, and other surface elements on the moon, 2005

Friday, January 14, 2011

On The Shelter Front

Adoptions this past week: Buddy, Tiger, Manny, Leo, Louie, and a few foster kittens (none were my fosters, who continue to sneeze). Things seem to be picking up.

At the shelter, Angel, one of my favorite darlings, who rooms with Dustie, another beauty, has had bleeding paws again. She has been diagnosed with an infectious inflammation and contact dermatitis. Wow. That's one of the things they think might be wrong with my hands. She's had rough paws since she came, and has only recently started having serious problems. Hmmm. Very interesting. Miss W even thought so when we talked about it, especially as my fingers are starting to crack and bleed a little. They even gave Angel antibiotics and cortisone. Starting to sound a bit weird to me, but probably a coincidence.

Bowie is still on eye meds, and JuJu continues to stay on the top shelf or in her cube if she thinks anyone is coming in to see her.

Lucky still looks like a walking skeleton, although he has put on about a pound. He's up to almost 6 pounds, in fact. His pills go right down if wrapped in a treat. so his thyroid is being suppressed. He waits for his wet food now, though, and only eats the dry when no one is there to con into giving him a can.

Rocky is still on the antibiotic and doing well. Such a love, he wants to play and must stay quiet until he heals.

Ollie, on the other hand, showed up with two abscesses, just about the distance apart that tells dog teeth did it. He is glad to lie down and remain in his cage. The abscesses are going to be seen by the vet, and meanwhile he is eating and grooming and sleeping and nothing else. That's actually a good sign.

In the big room, Baby is back to hissing at everything, especially Prissy. Clint was easy to find, as he seems to have settled on a sleeping cube to stay in. Grady got out twice. Ginny, Candy and Zoe are doing well.

Frieda was totally back to normal this week. Of course, there were no other cats visible when i went in there to see her.

Roxanne has been put in the room with Sophia and Corrie, and they seem to be getting along well. Bobby the Bobtail startled #2 Son, who had never realized before that he was just that, a bobtail. Anyway, Bobby and Tiger Lily seem happy together.

Monty and Teddy have only recently moved into the same room, and Teddy has taken to getting on the shelf and looking at Monty, something he wasn't doing before. Monty, though, is a huge sweetheart. Huge and a sweetheart. They had notched his ear, thinking he was a feral, but we spent a huge amount of time loving on him. Nothing feral about the boy.

For the rest, Molly, Mamie, Isabelle, Francie, and Iggy are doing well.

Today is:

Art Deco Festival -- Miami, Florida, through the weekend

Assembly Line Worker's Day

Cakes and Ale Day -- UK

Celebration of the 2nd Week of Moonhopper -- Fairy Calendar

Feast of Divina Pastora -- Barquisimeto, Venezuela

Feast of the Ass -- Medieval Christianity (commemorates the Flight Into Egypt)

Lee-Jackson Day -- Virginia, US

Makar Sandranti -- India (part of the sidereal solstice festivals)

Mallard Day -- All Souls' College, Oxford University

National Dress Up Your Pet Day

National Forest Conservation Day -- Thailand

National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day

Niino no Yukimatsuri -- Izu shrine, Niino, Nagano Prefecture, Japan (offerings to the gods for good crops next year)

Organize Your Home Day (One Day? Try a couple of years!)

Pongal -- Tamil New Year, among the Tamil People

Sagicho -- Oiso, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan (burning of old shugatsu decorations and replaced with new)

Sidereal Winter Solstice Celebrations -- Throughout South and Southeast Asia

St. Sava's Day (patron of Serbia)

Take a Missionary to Lunch Day (To honor Albert Schweitzer's Birthday)

Winterskol -- Aspen, Colorado (Aspen's annual "toast to winter", through the weekend)

Anniversaries Today:

Joe DiMaggio marries Marilyn Monroe, 1954

Birthdays Today:

Faye Dunaway, 1941
Jack Jones, 1938
Andy Rooney, 1919
William Bendix, 1906
John dos Passos, 1896
Hal Roach, 1892
Hugh Lofting, 1886
Albert Schweitzer, 1875
Thornton W. Burgess, 1874
Benedict Arnold, 1741

Today in History:

The Knights Templar are formally approved by the Roman Catholic Church, 1129
Pope Leo X issues a papal bull against slavery, 1514
Spain annexes Cuba, 1539
The "Fundamental Orders", the first written constitution that created a government, is adopted in Connecticut, 1639
Massachusetts holds a day of fasting for wrongly accusing "witches", 1699
Congress ratifies the Treaty of Paris, formally ending the American Revolutionary War, 1783
The US Supreme Court rules that racial separation on trains is unconstitutional, 1878
An earthquake in Kingston, Jamaica, kills more than 1000, 1907
Henry Ford introduces the assembly line to the production of the Model-T, 1914
The first prototype of the MiG-17 makes its maiden flight, 1950
The Reserve Bank of Australia, the country's central bank and banknote issuing authority, is established, 1960
Toronto, Ontario Mayor Mel Lastman becomes the first mayor in Canada to call in the Army to help with emergency medical evacuations and snow removal after more than one meter of snow paralyzes the city, 1999
The national flag of Georgia, the so-called "five cross flag", is restored to official use after a hiatus of some 500 years, 2004
Landing of the Huygens probe on Saturn's moon Titan, 2005