Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Roots of Power

I have a great deal of respect for, and value in, tools. In your tools lies your freedom. --Me

Thought of the Day

"Life is all about energy. Try to feel it around you, through you, and in you. Distinguish the positive from the negative." --Author Unknown

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An Actual Conversation

Getting children ready for bed last night, I hear the doorbell rung quickly twice, followed immediately by a staccato knock. As yesterday was rather unwelcomely eventful, the last thing I wanted was someone at the door. So, I went down and opened it, to be greeted by a nervous-looking man in a purple sweatshirt, standing a good dozen feet back from the door.

Him: "Hi there! Idelivertoyourneighbors (motioning to a truck with beef and other meats on the outside) andthoughtI'dstopbyandseeifIcouldhelpyouout."

Me: "We're vegetarian."

Him: "Oh.Well,I'llletitgoatthat,then.Hey,doyoueatseafood?I'vegotseafood."

Me: "No."

Him: "Oh.Wellokaythen.Haveagoodnight."

Door-to-door sales visits are something I definitely won't miss.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mommy, he's copying me!

I'm so tired of patent law and it's attendant disputes. Even though the concept is frightening to a lot of people, I think Benjamin Franklin was right in opposing patents.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Moving On Up

Part of Unschooling is providing your children with the things they need, when you understand they need them. Play is the work of small children . . . but work is also important "play", as children grown and seek to find how they fit into the larger world around them. Well, MrC is nearing his 10th birthday, and it has become apparent to me that he would thrive with some structure. Yesterday, I read about the Robinson Curriculum. I really like it . . . the foundational principles, the fact that it follows very closely the model of the original small-scale frontier schools that worked so well, and that it teaches children to think. I love that it's full of original sources, that I can buy it once for all of my children, and that it provides a very solid approach: reading, writing, arithmetic. Best of all, the manner of learning isn't dependent on the children having me hold their hands. I'm there to answer questions, help solve problems when they're stumped, and keep the structure of our home solid. But it engenders self-sufficiency of mind--one of the most vital traits of a strong individual.

I know this is short . . . but it covers the subject, and there's plenty to read at the RC website. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

So Apropos

Calling all knitterly geeks . . . I love the IT Guy's "test run" of the new Knit Picks Zephyr needles.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I could see the lights of houses, twinkling in the distance as we rounded the Point of the Mountain. The little white car's enging purred, kitten-like, as Cathy drove along the Wasatch front. One hand on the steering wheel, the other always seemed on the move . . . from the gear stick to the air to help tell a story, or to motion to something I should see out the window. She kept up a steady monologue, reeling off story after story with relish. And I loved listening to her. Cathy loved life with an intensity belied by her ability to brush off just about anything negative. She made the best of things, often with some cackling sarcasm, and she had always been a stalwart friend, even though she was old enough to be my mother.

Cathy was taking me home after a night out. She had picked me up at the Salt Lake City airport in the late afternoon, and had taken me out to dinner and then to the grocery store. "D'you need any pit polish?" she had asked in her matter-of-fact, dryly humorous voice. Now, I listened to her tell a story I had heard her tell the last time she had given me a drive home; about traveling to visit friends in the South, punctuated with bits of advice on how to travel without as much baggage as she'd seen me pack into her trunk. "I only need an overnight bag with a change of clothes and a Sunday dress when going to visit family or friends. They have a washer & dryer, and they all use shampoo and soap, after all," she'd say.

On our way down the hill, past the place where Thanksgiving Point would later be built, she told me the story of the last time she brought me home at night . . . how the snow was falling so thick you couldn't see, and how they closed the Point of the Mountain right after her car went by. She had followed the snow plow's and a police car's flashing lights all the way up and over, singing the same snatch of the Primary Song, I Am a Child of God, over and over to try to stay calm because she couldn't remember any more of the words. And yet she laughed and laughed as she told me, and I laughed, too.

Tonight I'm thinking about what if's. What if Cathy hadn't died in her early 50's from congestive heart failure, a complication of diabetes? What if I could have convinced her that if she would only break her lifelong rule of never eating anything green? What if? What if?

She would have seen her 13 year old daughter grow up. She would have been around for grandchildren. She could have met my children, and gotten to see how my life has turned out. I would still be able to pick up the phone and see how she was doing, hear all of the gossip from the little California town where I grew up going to church with her, and listen to her latest adventures in travel.

I miss my friend.

But one thing I have definitely learned: I will not allow time to steal away from me the opportunities I have to include loved ones in my life. I miss Cathy. I pray that God will allow her to know that. And I pray that I will remember it, so I won't let precious days slip past without calling a friend.


The Tiger

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake 1757–1827.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Monday Morning

The light only held for a minute . . . just long enough to snap this.

Getting up early does have some perks, after all . . .
Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 17, 2009

Chaos Reigning

Still life, photons on CCD.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Overheard at the Sock Summit

These are awesome . . . many of them even if you're not a knitter.

(My apologies to those who aren't Ravelers, if that link won't work for you. However, it's fast and easy to sign up, so why miss out? ;o)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

On Rough Days

"Tough times never last, but tough people do."

-- Robert H. Schuller

Monday, August 3, 2009

Thoughts of Gerard, a Reckless College Boy

"Waking in a sweat, it was a little time before he could throw off the impression of the dream, and realize that whatever else Rotherham might do, he would not challenge his ward to a duel. But Rotherham was a boxer, and whether he would consider himself debarred by his guardianship from wreaking a pugilistic vengeance on his ward was a question to which Gerard could find no answer. Of the two fates he thought he would prefer to be shot."

--Bath Tangle, by Georgette Heyer

. . . "wreaking pugilistic vengeance" . . . I love it. :o)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

If you've wanted to try Soap Nuts . . .

. . . but haven't yet, you can go leave a comment at Passionate Homemaking, for a chance to win one of 20 free samples of a new liquid soap nut detergent. The 1 oz sample will wash 12 (that's right, TWELVE) loads in a front loading HE machine, or six regular top-loader loads.

I wasn't excited about the seemingly imprecise nature of the whole soap nuts, but this liquid version is really attractive.

Have a great day!