Heads Up

To those who would miss redundant photos and rambling stories, I probably won't be posting until the pains in my head leave. Every episode lasts over an hour, and, for that time, I'm good for absolutely nothing. Chores and sleep deprivation are piling up, so I wisely hack computer time. For once, Abigail makes a wise decision! Savor it now..


See you in a few!



I have just diagnosed myself (maybe), and almost every piece fits. Credit goes to the jolly doctor for saying that this seemed the most likely culprit. It was after I asked the cause of and remedy for these that he responded with, "They're fuzzy wuzzy." After skimming this page and this page before thoroughly muddling my brain with the medical jargon on this page, I agree wholeheartedly. They are fuzzy-wuzzy. I hope it's really something else--preferably less fuzzy and wuzzy.

No More M.D.'s and
Filling Bellies with a Vengeance

Yesterday, a young, jolly, Asian doctor diagnosed my severe head aches [of late] in the class of "fuzzy wuzzy." This made me laugh. I paid a $20 co-pay which resulted in a children's rhyme. I'm glad I went, though, because he ruled out some things, and they'll hopefully soon leave me in peace. I now enjoy imagining that Children's Rhyme and Reason classes are mandatory in medical school. Other hoped-for news----> A test this morning showed that the chance of another ectopic pregnancy has not greatly increased. God is good. (I don't imply that this is so only because the news was "good" from my perspective. His good and gracious will toward His people is everpresent.)

I think I've seen the last of doctors' offices for a while, which warrants a resounding hurrah!

Stoke your ovens, bake some bread, and warm your bones. The day drips grey, and I promised a pizza dough recipe several weeks back. In partial fulfillment of that promise, here's a referral to wonderful tips and recipes, including what appears to be the perfect, thin-crust pizza (just like the pizzamen on Long Island make), in addition to a yummy recipe from Sora's blog, which I've tried once and plan to make again. I think hers would be especially delicious with gourmet pizzas (feta with tomato + spinach...mmm).

Finally, here's the recipe I've been using for the last few months. I usually use all-purpose flour, but you can substitute whole wheat for some or all of the flour, and the addition of a little gluten will increase the chewiness of the crust .
-2 1/2 cups flour (*More if desired; see below)
-1 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. sugar
-1 tbsp. yeast
-1 cup warm water
-1 tbsp. oil

1. Combine salt, sugar, yeast, then add water and oil. Let sit for proofing ('til frothy on top).
2. Mix yeast mixture with flour. Turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. (*At this point, I usually work more flour--at least 1/2 cup-- into the dough as I knead because it provides a denser crust. If you like more airy crusts, skip this.)
3. Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise in warm place until doubled in size. Punch down and pat into a roughly 12" circle on pizza pan or cookie sheet.
4. Add toppings and bake OR do as I do. At this point, if I've planned ahead of time, I cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave it in the refrigerator for 18-24 hours. The flavor improves greatly, and I like the texture better, as well. This last step really is the key reason for my liking this dough.
(For a delicious flatbread, make this crust and top it with 1/4-1/3 cup prepared Italian salad dressing, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/2-1 tsp. garlic powder, 1/4 tsp. oregano, 1/4 tsp. thyme, dash pepper, 1 tbsp. parmesan/romano cheese, and enough shredded mozzerella to satisfy the cheese need.)

And now, because I may as well fulfil my monthly quota in one fell swoop (but mostly because I forgot to send these to Rebecca and can now stun two birds with one stone), here are 2 recipes for York Peppermint Patty-lovers. I've already made and consumed a lifetime's worth. I use peppermint oil, to taste, instead of the extract because I have it in my cupboard. I also use more chocolate than the recipe calls for and melt a bit of shortening with the chocolate for easier coating.
Tried and True Peppermint Patty

This recipe is the original recipe for York patties, but as it calls for egg whites (without cooking them), I've not tried it.
Untried but still True Peppermint Patty

I don't pose her. I looked up and she had put herself behind bars...again. Posted by Hello

Pine cones, now constant companions Posted by Hello

Disgruntled (even tho' she's wearing her cool birthday sweater, which I wish fit me, made by my mom of fire-engine red)Posted by Hello

Happy Posted by Hello

VERY happy Posted by Hello

Sober. Posted by Hello

HAPPY! Posted by Hello

John and the Pixie Posted by Hello



What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.

What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
................-T.S. Eliot (from Four Quartets)

Today's Notes: psuedo-aphoristic style
(induced by one short meandering of the morning's sermon)
* Don't fret over what has no remedy.
* When you've been wronged by gossip, steer clear of the same. (And even if you haven't been...)
* Don't put much stock in second-hand stories.
* One side is still only one side.

I'm still slowly reading through Till We Have Faces. The familiarity of rereading dulls the urgency that I feel on first readings, and I've enjoyed picking it up every few nights and knowing where I am, what has come before, and what is yet to come.

Millie tried to wrench my head off yesterday. Holding my head between her little palms, she twisted, pulled, and tried to unscrew it from the niche of my neck. When I told her she couldn't take it off, and that, furthermore, heads usually just don't come off, she insisted, "But I want to take it off!" She
might have been a master executioner during the French Revolution. I should read A Tale of Two Cities to her to develop tenderness and sympathy toward lost heads. (On a related note, I've been reading her-- somewhat unfaithfully-- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. She can handle a chapter at a time, and though she doesn't quite understand how it happened, she likes the fact that Mr. Tumnus is a "man with goat legs.")

The weekend is almost at its end, and the rototiller did not materialize.

I've consumed coffee cake, hot cocoa, donut holes, and cookies today, with no wholesome food-- apart from milk-- for balance. My belly almost aches, and my spirit is tired. The two are quite possibly related.

Annika is wearing a disposable diaper right now, which allows me to rest. This is not-so-very news. Look at the photo of my hand-me-down, Evergreen shirt (composed of 100% certified, organically grown cotton) sandwiched between cotton diapers of the past 2 days. Now, go ahead, sneer at the irony.

I wasn't kidding when I said that we like everything behind bars now... Posted by Hello

Posted by Hello

wasn't. Posted by Hello

one Posted by Hello

two Posted by Hello

three Posted by Hello

I'd forgotten just how many... Posted by Hello



In honor of Matt's recent posts, we also shout, "Goodbye OPEC!!" Posted by Hello

and "Hello MPGs!" Posted by Hello

Now that John's pursuing a job as a prison librarian, everything looks better behind bars. Posted by Hello

Just one more, then I'll give you all a break...

Because I doubt many of you follow my links, here's one of the aformentioned Harry Clarke's illustrations from Andersen's Fairy Tales. After seeing the detail and design of this illustration, the fact that Clarke was originally a stained glass artist comes as no surprise. Posted by Hello

This drawing in colored pencil by Amanda Morley is great. Although I only have two littl'uns, no maid, and a less luxurious apartment, the resemblance to my vacuuuming experience is striking. Posted by Hello

Artist again Amanda Morley  Posted by Hello


Ink and All.

John put an illustration blog on my blogrolls. I usually skim through it, but sometimes one taste of an artist's work lures me to their site. Such was the case with Harry Clarke.
Envy overtakes me. If you look at nothing else, click the link for his illustrations for Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales (color and black + white). A few are reminiscent of Arthur Rackham, one of my favorite illustrators, and for that alone, I'm a sickly shade of celery-green.

This post is mainly for you, Rebecca. Don't expect anything the likes of these to come from my pencils, although I'd love to oblige.


Souther Salazar created this. It will be alright.
I learned of him via the illustration blog, too; his style is vastly different from Clarke's. I like them both.Posted by Hello

DaNews in Depew

My fingers, having forgotten the temperature of a few months ago, are ice cubes on this chilly May day. (And, yes, I consider that news. My fingers are very important to me.)

In several days, we expect a visit from a rototiller. Soon this blog will overflow with dull and dirty pictures. (Garden dirt, of course.)

I just started another reading of Till We Have Faces last night, a week later than I intended. It's been a few years since I read it last, and the opening paragraphs snagged me as neatly as they did the very first time I opened it.

I am old now and have not much to fear from the anger of the gods. I have no husband or child, nor hardly a friend, through whom they can hurt me. My body, this lean carrion that still has to be washed and fed and have clothes hung about it daily with so many changes, they may kill as soon as they please. The succession is provided for. My crown passes to my nephew.

Being, for all these reasons, free from fear, I will write in this book what no one who has happiness would dare to write. I will accuse the gods, especially the god who lives on the Grey Mountain. That is, I will tell all he has done to me from the very beginnning, as if I were making my complaint of him before a judge. But there is no judge between gods and men, and the god of the mountain will not answer me. Terrors and plagues are not an answer.
If I read it as much as I'd like, I'd finish by tonight, but I'll probably have to move through it slowly in the evenings. Night light. If it weren't for electric light, I probably would have started many a blaze through negligent night-time reading. (Imagine taking a lantern or candlestick under the covers. By the age of 12, I would have been scored with burn scars.) I do like the softness of candlelight, though.

Without further ado, here are a few......


(Surprise, surprise.)

Little Nero's latest invention is the stringless fiddle. Let's hope she doesn't set the place ablaze when I finally glue these wooden legs more permanently to their chair frame. (She even dances to her own tune.) Posted by Hello

Millie reading an invisible book in her latest roomy house. Annika, strangely enough, views it as a jail cell any time that Millie traps her inside. Posted by Hello

a smile reveals distrust of The Camera Mother Posted by Hello