Oreo Day and Michaelangelo’s Birthday

(forgot to post this one on March 6th)
This has been another really quiet week. The weather has been mixed, sometimes warm, sometimes snowing. Theoretically it’s great for the maple harvest, but we’re not doing that this year.
I would like to have spent more time working on getting the house in order, if I haven’t got work outside the house. I’ve been trying to catch up on paperwork, taxes, stuff like that. Takes a lot of will power, and it’s SO easy to fall into watching old clips from the Carol Burnett Show or other stuff on the internet. I’m still having a lot of trouble remembering to do the spanish now that it’s on the computer. I’m so used to doing it in the car or when I’m working somewhere around the house.
I got a check from Dad’s life insurance, so I was able to get tires I needed to pass inspection. Tire express had them for about $700, but Winkles could get them for $500- guess which I chose. Sadly, when they switched them in, they discovered that one of the wheels had cracked- that would account for why it wouldn’t hold air I suppose. Gary says it’s just that they were getting old.

I also got a camera to replace the one that broke. Let’s see how long this one lasts. I don’t seem to have much luck with cameras. I did pull the memory card from two cameras back- found pictures from Birka 2009, and pictures I took of Lyndeboro: the post office, our old house, the library…

I inaugurated my new camera by having Willow take a picture of me in my wonderful bed: Surrounded by fur and books, what more could one want? It’s a wonder I ever get up!

Having not bothered to go out during the snow, when I did the grocery shopping this week, the receipt was nearly as long as my arms. I also am “nesting” pretty badly in the kitchen as well as the bedroom. Kat commented that she seems to spend all her time either eating, or getting ready to eat (setting the table, dealing with food), or cleaning up after eating. I pointed out that for most of the animal kingdom, that’s what you spend your whole life doing, either getting food, or trying not to be food. I’m getting into the “comfort food” thing. Pork and pasta, potatoes, and gravy. I’ve made apple crumble three times recently. (Theoretically, it’s better for you than apple pie, since it’s got oatmeal rather than flour, and that only on top.) I’ve got a corned beef on the stove now, and am thinking fond thoughts of shepherds pie, and stuffed potatoes, and “Glop” (tuna, cheese and rice).
This week I finished the last of the Falco books, in which, at one point Falco’s Ma threatens to dump an onion casserole on the head of the Chief Spy. That sounded so good, I had to make one. (I peeled and saute’d a dozen onions and it cooked down to a mere smear in the bottom of the pan by the time it was golden brown enough to suit me. Still, it was good.) In another section of the book Helena was feeding invalid’s cabbage broth, and that sounds so good I picked up a cabbage to make some. Right now I’m SO suggestible when it comes to food! I tripped over a store pamphlet with a half dozen ways to cook pork chops and want to try all of them!
Steve came up this weekend and I made a pork roast and Tiramisu. Not surprisingly, it’s hard to fit in Tiramisu after a pork dinner, and it’s so rich I’m thinking I should get some special tiny “Tasting Spoons” for such rich desserts. Let’s face it, you start with a 5 egg yolk custard, add a tub of marscapone, and then because there aren’t enough calories, you add whipped cream‽ If you have more than a few tablespoons your mouth starts to stick together in self defense!
While cooking, or doing embroidery I’ve had on the seasons of Bones and Medium that I got for Christmas (finally). Kat and I have now followed All Creatures Great and Small up to the beginning of the war. She had to laugh because in the final episode, Tristan (played by Peter Davison) got his doctorate, and as Kat pointed out, that’s when he leaves All Creatures to go play Doctor Who for three seasons. She also notices when other actors who’ve been in Dr. Who come on in other roles. (I think that she has chosen the theme of BBC TV shows for her birthday party this year.)
I finished listening to the audio course Icons of the Iron age the Celts in history and archaeology, and scanned the pictures I didn’t think I’d seen anywhere else from the books I took from the library on Greek and Roman Art. The next one I’ve taken out is on the Vikings. We’ll see how the Modern Scholar course compares to the one from the Great Courses. I have to say that I found this last one frustrating. I don’t mind being reminded to consider the context or source, but it seems to me that most of these 14 lectures consisted of professor Susan Johnston griping about problems that bug her about other people’s scholarship, with a smattering of facts tossed in. It may be that I already knew a lot of the facts, so I dismissed the ones I didn’t know in my eagerness for new ones. But she did seem to be venting her spleen against archeologists who weren’t also anthropologists (as she is), far too much. I’m sure it was good for me, and hope it will help me restrain that tendency in myself.

This week I watched a recent romantic comedy He’s Just not That Into You, which was about the urban dating scene. Personally, I get disturbed by images of people “dating” that are reminiscent of my responses to lawns. I’m OK with lawns as a simple thing- a place around the house where you can play without getting hurt if you fall down. What skeeves me out is the “lawn worship” stuff where there’s so much toxins used on the lawn to prevent dandelions and other herbs from ruining the “look” that it wouldn’t really be safe to play on. Also, lawns are the US “crop” on which the most money is spent, and that’s pretty freaking wasteful. Similarly, the idea of people investing huge amounts of time and energy looking for someone to have for a boyfriend or girlfriend when they should simply be doing things they enjoy, and at which they are likely to meet someone with whom they have something in common,…. It’s just disturbing. Yes, the people involved tended to have happy endings, and they did have some who didn’t end up paired off, and were OK with that, but by and large, it was a sad commentary on modern life. I don’t think life is like that. I hope life isn’t like that. We gave the film to the library. Hope someone else enjoys it more than I did.

It occurs to me that perhaps part of why I can’t think of interesting things to write about recently is because I am scheduling more of my activities to happen regularly, and just like someone going to work, something you do over and over hardly seems newsworthy. Every Tuesday I put out ads for the New Normal, and I try to update my websites regularly. I really need to post to Tchipakkan.com. Josh and I are trying to work out problems with the CTCW website. WordPress still loses my password every single day and I have to redo it in order to work on the website! Jane and I also have to come up with an advertising plan. When did we become grown-ups? (When did that happen? How do we make it stop?)

I’m also listening to C-span, listening to Rand Paul suggesting that we really shouldn’t suspend the 5th amendment. Sigh. Free speech and rights of assembly already abridged (as we aren’t allowed to protest near politicians), many people want to chuck the 2nd amendment, what’s next? I doubt they are going to start quartering troops in private houses- as with the private ownerships of arms, the world has changed, so it’s not the same world as the late 18th century. Still, there’s a delicate balance between hiding your head in the sand and hoping everything’s going to turn out all right, and paying so much attention to the news that you depress yourself. There’s some good news out there too- I saw a clip of a new “concrete tent”. It’s based on the idea of casts- you add water to the concrete soaked fabric tent, blow it up with a compressor, it hardens, and you have a solid “house”. There are new bee-centered hives being developed, there are new scientific discoveries being made. Cool people are doing all sorts of crazy wonderful things. (and I have a set of honest mechanics looking after my car!) Life is good.


“You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.” Navajo Proverb