Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Breaking The Habit

I'm so proud of my sister Phyllis! This week she has been cigarette free for five months!!!

This is especially significant for P.J. She has tried to quit so many times in the past and has never been able to make it this long before. She is prone to a very nervous disposition and has been smoking since she was a teenager (she turned 56 last month). But I guess this time her desire to quit is stronger than the nicotine.

She isn't on the computer as much, so I don't get to interact with her on Facebook as much as before. The reason? Because she recognizes that the computer is one of her triggers. She was used to sitting down at the computer to relax -- with a cigarette. So she'll go on at least once a day just long enough to check her email, and perhaps check in on Facebook for just a few minutes, but she doesn't play any of the games she used to enjoy or spend a lot of time just surfing the web. Of course, she uses a computer for work, but that's different. I guess I can give up my only real computer-buddy sister for a good cause!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Please Vote for Chance


I'm going to ask a favor of my friends.

Chance Anthony is the son of Bruce and Debbie (Stinnett) Anthony, both friends of mine from school. I went all through school with Bruce, 1st to 12th grades, and knew Debbie all four years of high school.

Chance is up for the Rudy Award and has made it into the Top 50. He plays football and basketball and plays well, and that with the loss of the lower half of one arm. Please take a moment to click on this link and cast a vote for him. Just click on the drop down menu next to "player name", click on Chance Anthony, and then click on the vote button.

You can read more about Chance and the Rudy Award here. The top 12 finalists will be announced on December 28, and we hope that Chance will be among them.

Thank you!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Last Day of NaBlo and NaNo

Well, November has come to a close. It's hard to believe that December begins tomorrow. Oh well, it means that Spring is just that much closer.

I finished NaNo early, early this morning. (It is titled "Piece of Work", in case you're wondering.) If you've kept up with the word count on my sidebar, you'll have seen that I've updated it in spurts. My plan to do 90 minutes a day was shot pretty early in the month. Surprise, surprise! But I'd do spurts of several thousand words at a time, and so I stayed pretty much on target. My own word count was a bit more than NaNo's official word count after I submitted it, but it's still over 50,000, and that's all that matters. Perhaps they don't count chapter headings.

The last third is absolute drivel. It's going to be embarrassing to read it to do the edit. But I will, because it would hurt too much to leave that wound gaping. I must fix it! Then I'll turn it over to my sisters to get their opinion, like I always do.

So, other than 50,000 words this month, what else happened? Let's see. Eler Beth had a horrible cold but is just about over it. She got a deer on the first day of gun season, and Thomas has goten five since then -- four does and one button buck that is counted as a doe. A friend of ours who is currently out of work will have a freezer full of meat at least for the winter, and so will we and a few family members. I watched and was enchanted with the first season of Sherlock!

We lost Copper, which was very hard. I got a sweet little, prickly hedgehog named Sophia. I wrote some humorous haiku and loony limericks to please my sister, Barbara. I decided I wasn't going to rake (read: have Andrew and Eler Beth rake) my front yard until I was good and ready. (I have gotten good and ready yet.) I got to see Thomas roller skate for the first time in many years. And I lost another 2.6 pounds, bringing me down to 1*0.8. I'll push for two more in December, and then maybe I'll get serious and go for four in January.

Guido suggested I do NaBlo again in December, but I don't think I'd better commit to that, although I would like to commit to doing a bit on my other blogs, perhaps a different blog each week. I will try to post semi-regularly, though. I've been keeping up with my blog reading this month, and I'm very proud of that.

But for now, I will leave you and the month of November with this cute little video via The Office of Letters and Light. This guy could have been writing for me!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Further Proof That I'm Not A Southerner

I eat my grits with butter and sugar, and I eat them for breakfast.

Yes, I'm from Kentucky, and some would consider that pretty southern. But no, I never had grits in all my young life. Thomas introduced them to me after we were married. We were "country", but not necessarily "Southern" in most of our inherited cultural traits, tastes, and habits. Perhaps if I'd been from further down in the southern parts of the state I'd have grown up eating grits every day. Perhaps if some of my ancestors had come from more southerly states more recently than 150 years ago, I'd have grown up eating grits every day. I don't know.

But I'm from Breckinridge County, which is North-Central, bordering the Ohio River and 70 miles West of Louisville. My father's ancestors had come from England in the 1600s and had made it to the part of Kentucky that would become Breckinridge County less than two centuries later. One of the three brothers who had set out from New York stayed in that part of Kentucky when they got there, and after a few generations of "begets" my father was born. There was plenty of Scottish, English, and German influence from both his parents, but nothing uniquely "Southern".

My mother's family came to the U.S. from Ireland and England a bit later, more like the late 1700s for most of them. But her grandparents and great-grandparents came over from Virginia in a covered wagon in the later 1800s to Kentucky. I suppose Virginia is southern, but I can't really see that we got much uniquely "Southern" influence from those Irish, English, French ancestors either (with a bit of Native American on Great-Grandmother Eler Elijah's side.).

So while I grew up having oatmeal or white rice or Cream of Wheat for breakfast, sweetened and buttery and hot and delicious, I'd never had grits in any way, shape, or form. After we'd been married for a while, Thomas bought some grits and cooked them one day. He was having them for breakfast with bacon and eggs, and when I tasted his I expected them to be sweet, not salty. But Thomas had grown up eating them with salt and butter, so I'm afraid I made a face. I fixed my own bowl and put in butter and sugar and decided that they were absolutely delicious!

Unfortunately, my dear husband could never learn to like them sweet -- which is really particularly strange because he sweetens everything. His sweet-tea has sugar standing an inch in the bottom of his glass! It was many years later when I actually tried grits as a side dish with fish. They were okay, but I would have preferred rice. I tried them with cheese. They were okay, but I would have preferred potatoes. I have never made fun of or teased anyone or put them down for liking their grits the way they like them, but I'm sorry to say that the relatives who served me my grits with cheese made a big deal out of my not liking them that way and then treated me like I was nuts when I said I liked them for breakfast with butter and sugar. And that still really rankles!

Most of our tastes come from our childhood. Then we acquire new tastes from traveling or moving or being around other people whose tastes are different from ours. Sometimes we try something new and simply don't like it; it just doesn't suit our tastes. Sometimes we like things as adults that we didn't like as children. I'm never afraid to try something new, but I'm not going to pretend to like it if I don't.

Rice is another thing that wasn't served as a side dish when I was very young. My parents had never had it as a side dish; it really just had never been a part of their staple diet as they were growing up except as a breakfast food. I was eight years old and we were traveling to Houston, Texas, when I had rice as a side dish for the first time, in a restaurant. I liked it. I can remember my father getting a can of Spanish rice at the grocery one time, because he had had it somewhere during his Navy years and liked it. I LOVED it (and I think at some point they served something called Spanish rice at school). My brother-in-law, Ronnie, introduced the concept of serving beef stew over rice to my family, and I loved it that way. After that, as I was exposed to more pre-packaged, convenience foods, and more travel, I was able to try rice in a lot of different ways. (I really loved broccolli and rice and cheese and still do.) And my sister used to make a pork chop and rice dish that is out of this world!

But my point is that we don't just eat the same things our parents, and grandparents, and great-grandparents ate. While we may be raised on certain regional dishes and recipes and while these are passed down to us, we don't limit ourselves to them. We marry and bring other traditional tastes into our new family. We travel or move, try something at a friend's house or a restaurant, read of or see or hear of something that looks and sounds good to us. We aren't limited like our ancestors were to seasonal foods or the fish and wildlife that are convenient to us. We hang onto certain traditional tastes and dishes that touch on our own past, heritage, or memories. We cherish those "comfort" foods from our childhood.

I'd love to be able to make a "scratch" cake with home made caramel icing that would taste exactly like my Mamaw Dowell made -- the cake that is legendary in my family, that all of my first cousins -- and many of the second cousins too -- always bring up when she is mentioned. It, along with her sweet tea, brewed with loose leaves, have become synonymous with Mamaw Dowell. No one can make either of them to taste exactly like hers, though sometimes one of us will come close, and excitedly tell others in the family, "I almost made a "Mamaw" cake!"

I had never had butternut squash pie until after we were married. That's a recipe that Thomas brought with him. And I love them. I'm sitting here looking at one cooling on the table in front of me right now. (Thomas made them late, and I got the job of checking on them until they were done. Guess there's going to be a slice out of one of them in the morning!) I had never had tomato gravy, another Thomas contribution, but sometimes now I crave it.

I wonder what interesting foods or dishes Andrew and Eler Beth's spouses will bring into the family when they marry. I wonder what recipes they'll hand down to their children from me and Thomas. Will Eler Beth say, "Now let me show you how to fry that chicken the way my Momma taught me." Will Andrew say, "This is how my Mom taught me to brown the roast before you put it in the oven."

So, no, if you define "Southerner" by how you eat your grits, then I guess I'm not a southerner. I'll keep on eating my grits the way I like them, but if you'd like to fix me some to try some other way, I'll be happy to do so.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Grand Sophy

Updates on my girls:

Eler Beth slept a lot today. I think yesterday really tired her out, but there was no way she wasn't going to go with me to get the hedgehog. Her cough had gotten dry but became productive again overnight. She still doesn't have her appetite back, but she did eat a bit more today than she has all week.

For now, at least, I'm going with Sophy for the hedgehog (see previous entry). She looks kind of like a Sophie, and she certainly has a mind of her own. She's better about uncurling from her ball when we get her out though, and she ate today, so I guess she's getting used to her surroundings. She really is a cutie.

And that's about it for today. I'm going to bed soon. It has been a very tiring week!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Fretful Porpentine


Only she isn't fretful.

And she isn't a porpentine (porcupine).

My little animal broker (
Eler Beth) found me a hedgehog last night, and this morning we picked her up.

Why a hedgehog? And why me?
I've wanted a pet hedgehog for a few years now, ever since I real
ized they were kept as pets. I didn't say anything to anyone until maybe a year ago, and then it was only as an aside, like, "If I ever had a small animal for myself, I'd like a hedgehog." I just think they're so cute!

Well, since Copper died, I've been seriously thinking about getting one. I guess I kind of miss a little face (a mammal face, that is; there are still little bird and gecko faces in the house) looking up at me and asking for attention or food. But I didn't say anything because I knew that as soon as I did Eler Beth would find me one, and then I'd get attached to the idea and not be able to back down.

Well, a few days ago I decided that I for sure wanted one. So I emboldened myself to ask Thomas if he'd mind if I got a hedgehog, and, like the wonderful, loving, and caring husband he is, he said, "Go for it!"

Eler Beth promptly got on Cra
igslist and found me one. That one was almost two years old, and before I could get it they had sold it. So she expanded her search to cities a bit further away, and we found this little girl. She's only 10 weeks old which is really more like what I wanted anyway. A young one is easier to train and bond with.

A Name?
I had said a long time ago that if I ever did get a hedgehog I would name a male Shakespeare, with Hamlet as a backup possibility. But don't you think Shakespeare would be a cute name for a hedgehog?

Of course, this is a female, so I had to come up with some other possibilities. I like Portia, from "Merchant of Venice", but then people would think I was saying "Por
she", and I wouldn't like that. And most people wouldn't get the reference. I also thought Ophelia would be a pretty name for a female, although Ophelia is not a favorite character of mine.

I really liked the idea of naming a female "Hero" from "Much Ado About Nothing", a favorite. This would have the added benefit of also being from a favorite book (Friday's Child) of my
favorite author (Georgette Heyer). But again, there would be few who would know either reference, and most people would think Hero would be a boy.

Then I thought I could call her Georgette (for Heyer), Georgie, for short. That would be cute. And with her seemingly independent nature, she would make a good "Grand Soph
ie" from the eponymous title also by Georgette Heyer. She kind of looks like a Sophie, and the literary Sophie was a very take-charge kind of gal.

So the name hasn't been decided
yet. Eler Beth advised me with a straight face that I should consider it very seriously and not just pick the first thing that came to me. I believe she was remembering some similar advice I'd given to her many years ago when she first embarked on her zoological life.

The Hedgie
I drove two hours away to get her. The lady had bought her when she was five weeks old, and then realized that she didn't have the time to spend with her properly to bond with her early. She is going to school for -- get this! -- vet tech (what Eler Beth will probably eventually do)! When we got there she told us that when you first go to get her out of her cage, she'll hiss at you, but then once you have her out she's okay. Well, she was curled up asleep in her igloo, the woman picked up her igloo and we just stood there for a minute talking to her. Then I was pleased to see that she unrolled a bit, stuck her face out and sniffed us curiously. I figured that was a good sign.

She is getting used to us, and so far so good. We'll keep you updated on how she's doing and what name we finally decide on.

Hedgies are prickly, but, unlike porcupines, their spines (quills) aren't barbed, don't contain poison, and they don't shoot them. She's losing her baby spines right now; in the process of getting her "big girl quills!"


"But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison-house,
I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their
spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine:
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood."

The Ghost to Hamlet, from Hamlet, Act 1 Scene 5, William Shakespeare

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wacky Weather

I'm going to blame my kids being sick on the wacky weather we've been having. It' up, it's down, it's up, it's down. It rained all night Wednesday, all day Thursday, and most of the night Thursday. We briefly had a bit of snow mixed in, but not enough to either do any damage or be pretty. Today was sunny but cold.

Andrew is pretty much over his cold; he almost always gets over them quickly -- takes after his Dad. But Eler Beth is still pretty miserable. She coughed most of the night and what sleep she did get wasn't very restful. She doesn't seem to have an infection, though. There's no fever, or if there is, it's very low-grade. Her glands aren't swollen, no blisters in her throat, no painful sinuses, and the congestion is loose. She is coughing and sneezing, but she's getting rid of the congestion, so that's good, it's just miserable.

She's resting now, and I've only heard her cough in her sleep a few times. I have been babying myself as well as her because I don't want to catch it even if it is just a cold. Momma can't afford to get sick right now!

Only four more days of NaBloPoMo, and then, I'm afraid, I'll probably only post a few times a month. But it has been nice being here every day. Hope everyone is safe and healthy out there.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Alberta Lori

For my post today I would simply like to ask you, if you haven't already, to please call by Lori's blog and leave a comment. She has opened up her blog to comments again. I see that many of you have already left messages, but if you haven't, please do. You can also leave her a message on Facebook if you are friends with her.

Today I'm keeping Lori and her family in my thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Posting Early

I will make my post early today, so I don't forget.

Andrew and Eler Beth are both feeling bad. Actually Andrew is feeling better. He came home Sunday with the beginnings of a cold, and seems to be doing better. But now Eler Beth is sneezing and feeling chilled, has a sore throat and a cough. I'm doctoring her up, but it may keep us from going to my Mom's tomorrow.

That's it for today.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Before Printing Was Discovered...

Today I enjoyed learning about the Linotype machine, which was before my time. When I worked for a newspaper in the mid-eighties, it was just before newspaper offices were all converted to computers for printing and mock up, what is called the paginated process. We used a big old letterpress typesetter machine, the name of which I cannot recall. We used two sizes of paper, one about the width of three or four inches and the other about three times that size. (Actually there may have been three sizes, I honestly can't remember.) The paper was put on cylinders that were locked inside the big old machine. On the smaller we would typeset columns of print for articles, picture captions, small print for ads, and small headlines. On the other we could use larger-sized fonts for headlines and larger print for ads. The print was "dispensed" from the machine, and you had to watch to make sure it came out right. We would cut it and lay it on a heated metal plate to dry. Then when we were ready to mock up a page, we would roll melted wax on the back of the sheet and place them on the news sheet "dummy." Sometimes when we were getting close to deadline and in a hurry, we were cutting off front page headlines, captions, articles, filler, or segments of corrections as they were spewing from the machine, and hastening their drying so we could get them down as quickly as possible.

It was a small weekly paper, so we all wore many hats. My title was layout artist, but I also did typesetting, reporting, photographs, and feature articles. I was also, along with the editor, the proofreader. It was my job to proof everything, including ad type, all throughout the week as copy was made. The editor, as he had time, would do so as well, as copy was put down. Then on Monday I would go through each page as it was finished and put a check mark on the top right corner when all type had been proofed. Brian, my boss, would go through each page, one at a time, in order (except the front page, usually the last to be done), proof everything and put a check on the top left of each page. Sometimes he might check off a page before I did, and it was a friendly contest between us to see if we could find a typo or other mistake that the other had missed. Rarely did either of us have the opportunity to gloat! (Our production day was Monday, and we had to put the paper to bed by 4 a.m. Tuesday morning in order to get it to press on time.)

Right before I got married and quit my job, small weekly papers like ours were starting to be put together with computer software, and the technology we were using was becoming outdated. I'm glad I got in on it before it died out. I even won a couple of Kentucky Press Association awards!

A couple of my uncles were newspapermen, and I'm pretty sure that at least one of them had worked for a paper when the Linotype was used. Revolutionary for its time, the Linotype transformed communication much like the Internet is doing now. Unfortunately, technology at the time began to overtake the Linotype and they relatively quickly began to be scrapped, leaving very few of them still in existence today. There are some people who are trying to keep the old Linotype from dying out completely and are working on a documentary about the old machine. I hope you watch the trailer below. Click on this link for Linotype:The Film to learn more about it, and perhaps you'll even consider donating to them. They are certainly enthusiastic about their project!

"Linotype: The Film" Official Trailer from Linotype: The Film on Vimeo.


"Before printing was discovered, a century was equal to a thousand years." ~~ Henry David Thoreau

Monday, November 22, 2010

Storm's A-Comin'

Maybe.

It was in the 70s and very windy today. North of us they had tornado watches. I noticed that the man in the moon had a rather perplexed look on his face tonight. I think he's wondering about this weather! I actually had doors and windows open today, letting that fresh air blow through. But it felt weird!

There's a chance of thunderstorms tonight, but so far we've had none here. By 7 a.m. there's a 70% chance of showers, so I doubt we'll escape those. I know we need rain, but I just really don't want cold and rain and that yucky, gloomy light that comes with it. I'm needing sunshine right now. Linda in WA is getting a lot of snow, and right now I'd rather have snow. But no ice!

Oh well, I enjoyed it today while I could.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Can I Just Call This One "Day 21"?

We had a nice, slow, lazy Sunday, not really much to write about. The weather was wonderful, which is a good thing because it's supposed to rain for most of the week.

Since it looks like there will be a few more skating parties in the future, Eler Beth decided she'd like a pair of skates instead of renting them. She outgrew hers a few years ago, and since she only went skating maybe once a year, there was really little reason to buy some.

But we found a lady on Craigslist with a pair that had only been worn twice, the right size and for only $25.00. We drove out there, and they felt great on Eler Beth's feet. Thomas said they are a very expensive pair with the really good wheels, so it was a good buy.

And I guess that's it. It's back to classwork tomorrow. I'm going to try to cram as much in on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday as I can. Ta-Ta for now.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'



We had a skating party with friends tonight, and it was a lot of fun. And no, I did not skate. There's too much damage that could be done to this back, believe me! But I enjoyed watching those who did.

Eler Beth is a very go
od skater, and she gets it from her daddy. I love watching Thomas skate. He grew up going to skating parties in the 70s. It was funny -- two of the guys there grew up with Thomas, and the three of them were the best skaters out there. They really showed up those kids, with their dancing and speed skating. I must take a video camera with me next time. Two little kids came up to Thomas afterward and told him he was "the best skater EVER!"

Afterward several of us went to CiCi's to eat, and we ended up staying
there for about two hours talking. I got to catch up with a friend from my teenage years whom I hadn't seen in a while. She has a daughter just a bit younger than Eler Beth, and they exchanged phone numbers.

It was a really nice evening and a good mix of adults our age and young ones Eler Beth's age, most of whom she wa
s already friends with, but a few that she met for the first time. I think we're going to try to get a big group together and do this again in January. We had a great time, but...

Thomas is REALLY going to be sore in the morning! LOL

Friday, November 19, 2010

But you doesn't hasta call me Johnson!

Remember that old commercial? The kids and I got to talking about names and nicknames today, and I remembered it. (Ray J. Johnson)




When Andrew was born we named him Thomas Andrew Helms II, and I announced that he would be called Andrew or Drew, but not Andy. When he was a baby he called "candy" "nan-dandy", so my sister Barbara called him "NanDandrew" as a joke. I don't think I'd dare call him that now. He called himself Baby, though, until he was about three years old. And instead of saying "my" or "mine" he would say "Baby's". When he was two years old he is on a video getting off a boat in Florida and walking toward the bank of Matanzas Bay with his hand held out toward us, saying, "Where's Baby's fishing pole?"

When we knew I was going to have a daughter we decided to name her Eler Elizabeth and call her Eler Beth. When she was a baby she couldn't pronounce her own name correctly, but said it as "Air-Bets," and she referred to herself as Air-Bets. One time Thomas called her "punkin" and she said, "I not punkin! I Air-Bets!" So once in a while I will still call her Air-Bets.

Thomas has always preferred to be called Thomas and not Tom or Tommy. But some older people who have known him since he was a teenager call him Tommy because that's what they called him then. As a teen he would never have corrected them, so he doesn't correct them now, of course. But if anyone who should know better calls him Tom or Tommy I will pointedly call him Thomas. I prefer Thomas, and besides, I think it's proper to call someone by what they prefer. As a matter of fact, when we first met I asked him what he preferred to be called.

When I was a very little girl I was called Franki. My middle name is Frances, after my mother's middle name. My mother was named after both her grandmothers, Eler and Frances. Her grandmother Frances went by Franki. My father's mother knew my great-grandmother Frances and knew that she was called Franki, so she's the one who started calling me Franki. Mom and Dad never called me that, but my sisters did. I didn't know that Mamaw Dowell was the one who started it, and I never liked it when I was little. I thought it was my sisters making fun of me. When I was older I thought it was rather cute, and then when I found out that my grandmother was the one who had given me the name, I liked it. But at the time I liked my name, Lori, and that is what I wanted to be called. It was, I think, one of the very few things that I, as a young child and the youngest of seven, felt that was my very own. (I think little kids think that way at times. I mean, really, when you think of it, what do they really own besides their own names?)

Names were and are important to me. So, how do you feel about nicknames? Do people ever get your name wrong or pronounce it wrong? I hate when people call me Laura or Laurie (lar-ee). "It is Lor-ee, with an 'I'," I will say.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rainy Day

Well it rained off and on today. Thomas came home early, so he has spent the afternoon and evening packaging up deer. Now I have one upright freezer full of three deer (and a bit of elk left from last year). Still have another upright freezer ready to go.

I was his support staff -- handing him things, fetching, labeling packages and arranging them in the freezer, giving him snacks and drinks, and providing entertainment in the form of an audio book that I've been wanting him to listen to. He has to keep busy if he listens to a book, otherwise he falls asleep.

I guess that's about it for today.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I Didn't Rake My Leaves

And I'm not going to. I like the way they look on my front yard. It is now covered in pretty yellow maple leaves. My neighbors on the right haven't raked theirs either. Miss B. on the left probably doesn't like this.

Well. I may rake them. Eventually. But not right now. When they dry out (it actually rained yesterday!) I will enjoy the way they crunch underfoot.

And that's my post for today!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Not Much To Write About

Well, I don't really have much to write about today. It finally rained!! I know we needed it, but I wish it would just rain at night. It would be so much more convenient. It poured down all day today, but is supposed to have finished by 3 a.m.

Thomas cut up deer today. We will package tomorrow and probably Thursday too. I fixed some of Eler Beth's steaks for dinner tonight, and they were luscious! I guess that's about it.

My sister Maxine is coming in from Florida next week, to spend a week with my Mom, so it will be nice seeing her.

Seriously, that's about all I've got for tonight. Maybe I'll have something more interesting tomorrow.

Oh yes, I'm about halfway through my 50,000 words and it's the 16th, so that's good!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Elephant's Breath and London Smoke

Another interestingly titled book on my reference shelves is Elephant's Breath and London Smoke, Historic Colour Names, Definitions, and Uses, edited by Deb Salisbury. This is such an interesting book. Have you ever read a period novel and wondered about the color of some piece of clothing, drape, or upholstery? No? Well, why not?! Have you ever read the color of something in a book and wondered exactly what the color looked like? No? Is it only me???

Well, apparently it isn't only me, because Ms. Salisbury has put a lot of effort and research into compiling this book of names for colors throughout history. For example, what is an Abraham skirt with fauvre ribbon embellishments? It is a dingy yellow skirt with ribbons of deep yellow. She has consulted numerous books of dye recipes, fashion magazines from more than a hundred years ago, painter's manuals, period dictionaries and encyclopedias, and hundreds more sources to bring us this book, covering 400 years of color names in fashion and in textiles.

There is a dictionary of over 200 color names and descriptions along with sections of commentary from different historical periods, covering historical color names for fashion, dyeing, make-up, horses' livery, covering cloths, and even color symbolism. There are dye recipes and paint ingredients, a discussion of mourning colors, and even the colors found in theatrical make-up.

It is a great book, really lots of fun to read. I bought my 2009 copy from Amazon, and it wasn't cheap. I'm not sure if your local library would carry a copy, but it would certainly be worth checking into, even if you never need to use the book as a reference guide.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Poetry of Logical Ideas

Eler Beth has had quite an extra Fall Break over the past week or so. She got to spend a few days at Heather's, then a sleepover at the Johnson's, and then preparing for and going hunting. This week we must knuckle down and get caught up on some school work.

(By the way, Thomas got four does today. Two of them came home to our freezer, and two were given to a friend who will appreciate them. So along with Eler Beth's doe, that's three deer so far for our freezers.)

The title of this post comes from Albert Einstein: "Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas." Math is what we are mostly concentrating on for the next month or two, specifically algebra. Eler Beth is a high school freshman this year, and I have, over the years, been asked by several mostly well-meaning people how I would handle the higher maths when we got to them. (Well, some weren't so well-meaning, I know. Some people seem to feel threatened by parents who home school. At least they seem to me to speak defensively and even challengingly about it.) So, anyway, I will tell a little about how I handle algebra: Step By Step.

Earlier in the year I decide what Eler Beth should be proficient at for her age and abilities. I go to the state's proficiency requirements on Indiana's government web site. Then I choose texts and workbooks that seem to cover a nice combination of things she's already got down pat with the next steps she needs to be building to get where she needs to be by the end of this year. I find videos showing easy-to-follow steps for things like multiplying and dividing fractions, plotting graphs, building algebraic equations, and oh so many other things. YouTube is good for this, and so is Netflix. There are a LOT of scholastic videos on Netflix that you can view instantly on your computer at any time with your subscription. You don't have to get them in the mail. I use Netflix all the time for almost every subject.

Then I map out our lessons for each week. I try to build a new skill or two each week while reviewing ones we learned in previous weeks. I may print out worksheets, use workbooks, or we might just work together with a white board or pencil and paper. But there are two things I have learned this year with algebra. One is that Eler Beth learns best when I sit down beside her and we learn together. Or, rather, she learns, and I RE-learn.

I don't pretend to be a math whiz. It was not my best subject, and it takes me a while to get things. But I was rather good in algebra -- I think because it is so much like a language to me, and I have always been good at language. Algebra is a way of speaking, a building of parts; learn the parts and the correct order in which to put them together, and you will be able to compose something that gets a message across. That, to me, is language. But it has been many years, so I learn along with Eler Beth; I don't teach her. When we get stuck, we research together to see where we went wrong or what we need to do differently, or -- and this is the second thing I have learned this year -- we ask Andrew. Andrew is my secret weapon. He was a math whiz in school, and he comes in handy now. And Eler Beth will quite often listen to him with more patience than she does to me.

So tomorrow we get back to our algebra. I know Eler Beth won't be exactly happy about it, but personally, I'll be glad get it behind us for the year.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Great Huntress Strikes Again

Well, once again, Eler Beth got a deer on the first day of gun season. She called me a bit after 10 this morning to tell me she'd gotten a doe. She describes it here much better than I could. Thomas didn't even see anything today, but Lee, the other member of their hunting team, got a buck. Thomas usually has Eler Beth placed where if anything is going to come by, she's going to get the first shot at it. She hit it just under the shoulder blades, which is what she was taught to do, so it took out one lung and the heart.

(Sorry, if you're not into hunting. We do fill our, and friends and family's, freezers with deer meat, and I don't even buy beef anymore; haven't for years. It's leaner, healthier, and tastier than anything you buy at the grocery. I respect the feelings and opinions of anyone who is against hunting, and only ask that you respect mine as well. We are a hunting, meat-eating family, and that's all there is to it.)

The doe field-dressed at about 175 lbs., so that was a pretty good-sized deer. Right before Thomas and Eler Beth got home a guy we know called to see if Thomas had gotten anything. I knew as soon as I saw who was calling that he must've gotten something, otherwise he wouldn't be calling. He's only been hunting for a few years now, and he is really jealous of Thomas' hunting record. So when he calls during deer season, it's sort of a tallying-up for him.

I answered the phone and answered him that no, as far as I knew Thomas hadn't got anything today, but Eler Beth got a big doe this morning. He said something along the lines of, "Eler Beth must be grinning from ear to ear that she got something and her dad didn't." Well, that really irritated me a lot, because neither Thomas nor Eler Beth thinks like that. Thomas will go out of his way and sacrifice a shot if he thinks Eler Beth can get it, and Eler Beth just loves venison, so as long as the freezer is full, Thomas could get them all, and although she'd be a bit disappointed that she hadn't got one, she wouldn't begrudge her dad getting one.

So I said, "Oh it doesn't even matter. She always gets at least two, and Thomas always gets at least three or four, so it doesn't even matter who gets what or when." And he knows that's true. He's irritating in general, so I shouldn't even let it get to me.

Both my hunters are out cold right now. They came in and put away their gear, I fried up some loin, they ate, and then they went right to sleep. Thomas will be back out there tomorrow, but Eler Beth is taking tomorrow off. She has earned it. Oh yes, I asked her if she'd called or texted Heather (her new best friend), and she said, "Yeah, I texted her right after I called you. We texted for a while." I love that visual of her in her camouflage 15 feet up in a tree, texting!

They forgot to take a camera, but she got a few pics with her cell phone, and then on their way to check in the deer they bought one of those one time use cameras. So as soon as I get the pics developed, I'll post one or two.

Okay, so that's it for now. Better than yesterday's post, right?

Friday, November 12, 2010

One Minute

OMG I have one minute to make today's post!!!

Edited after publishing with one minute to spare: Phew! Just made it. And the sad thing is, this is probably the best post I've made all week!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reference Sources

I thought I would spend a few blog posts writing about some of the reference books I own and use when I'm writing. One of them is The Oxford Companion to Food, published by Oxford University Press.

This is a heavy tome, compiled by Alan Davidson and published in 1999. I own an ex-library copy, in excellent shape, with dust jacket. I believe I bought it off eBay. There are newer editions, but mine is 1999.

In some of the books I read, and in some of the things I write, I come across or want to include food or dishes that fit the time period I'm reading or writing about, but that are fairly foreign to the modern cook. And that is where this book comes in handy.

For example, recently a heroine in India during the Napoleonic Wars was eating aubergine out of a tin. To make sure I knew what aubergine was I looked it up in my handy dandy book, and sure enough, there it was. Aubergine is simply an eggplant, and it originated in India. There are two whole columns devoted to the aubergine, discussing the origin of its two names, and how it came to be used widely in Europe, where it was at first considered deadly and was only used as an ornamental plant. Very interesting.

Sometimes I just pick up this book and begin reading. There are some unusual items in there that have been, if they are no longer, considered food. One example is Aardvark. I'll save that for another post.

A while back I did a post on the poke plant, and I found a wonderful entry in this book on that plant.

I'll discuss this book more in the future, and also some of my other reference sources.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Sister Conspirator

I got a letter today (snail mail) from Barbara, my sister who is closest to me in age and in mind. Barbara is the writer/artist/musician, the one with the genius IQ, the one I used to be as scared of as I was champion of when I was very little, the one whose mind I greatly admire.

Her letter came at a very good time. I was needing some inspiration for my scribbling. I wish I could write here exactly what she sent me, but I'm worried she might not like that. Suffice it to say that, without knowing that I was needing a writing prompt, she sent me one. She had made a typo that, to quote her, "looked oddly significant and pregnant with hidden meaning, and in a moment of unguarded contemplation, took on a life of its own." So she took those three words containing the typo and repeatedly used them as the beginning of some verses of haiku. I think she sent me about eight examples. They were brilliant and very funny. She closed her letter with, "This could easily go on forever, and I dread the onset of the limerick. Maybe I can pass it on, like a fever. Share the wealth!"

So she wants me to put my hand to it to see what I can come up with, and it will make a very good writing exercise. Maybe it will shake some cobwebs loose. And if I get permission from her, I will share this interesting little writing prompt with you, too.

I have gotten interesting things from Barb in the mail before: poems, drawings, clippings from the local paper, full of hilarious typos, bad grammar, and worse syntax. When I first got married, I got a letter from her with a post script in Latin. She was brushing up on her Latin, she said, and she wanted me to see if I could translate it and then send her one to translate. This went on for some time. I'm not sure my brain could handle trying to do that now.

Before I got married it wasn't unusual for me to go into my room and find that she'd left me a poem or drawing somewhere, sometimes written or drawn right on my mirror. And I have home made greeting cards from her with original drawing and verse, quite often written with just me in mind.

When I first started writing I would run ideas by her or read her bits of prose to get her opinion, and she's had me edit work for her. We even collaborated on a project once. When she was oversees she'd send me lyrics and ask me to put music to them, or she'd have me go to her house to hunt up a specific notebook, to find a particular piece of writing in that notebook and send it to her so she could work on it further.

Well, anyway, I just thought it was neat that I got that letter today of all days. Here we are well into the second week of NaNoWriMo, and my characters have stopped cooperating with me. I tell them to do one thing, and they stick their tongues out at me and do the opposite. I give them some decent dialog, and they stick their feet in their mouths so that their words come out sounding stilted and jumbley. The plot holes that I had foreseen have gone from the size of cherry pits to coal pits. But all will be well. I'll get back in the groove. I'm a fourth of the way done, and once today's word count is finished will hopefully be a third done. (Of course the point of NaNoWriMo is to just write, write, write, even if it's bad. You're not supposed to edit yourself -- that's for December. But it's hard to write, write, write, when your brain is saying, "well, that's just stupid" or "that sounds terrible!")

When this happens it is often good to break away from the project for a bit and write something completely different. Sometimes it helps to do some timed writing prompts. And just when I was getting ready to do this -- as I was going through my bookmarks to find a couple of sites I like to use for this purpose -- as I was turning my mind away from my novel and getting ready to re-focus -- the mail came.

And when I saw her name on the envelope I smiled because I knew that whatever was in there, it was going to be good, it was going to make me laugh-out-loud, and it was going to be the push I needed.

Thank you Weird Egg!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Prodigal Daughter

Yay! My girl is home tonight!!

She had a wonderful time with her new best friend, Heather. They went four-wheeling, went to see Mega Mind, and I don't know what all. They have so much in common, and I'm glad they're friends!

I'm not feeling very well today, so I'm not even going to try to make much of a post. Hopefully I'll have something interesting to post tomorrow. I need to catch up with reading blogs anyway. I caught up a few yesterday.

So, that's it for now. Hope everyone is doing well.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The White Faced Owl

I thought this article about The Contortionist Owl was very interesting, so I'm just going to link to it today. It's just too late, and I'm too tired to do a proper entry right now.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Empty

I have nothing to write about. :(

No inspiration. :(

Had a great day, though. Andrew is in Ohio, and Eler Beth is spending a few days with her new best friend, Heather. They went four-wheeling this afternoon and apparently had a blast. I don't know any details because so far I have only had a short text from her -- short texts mean someone is having a great time. lol I expect she'll call or text to tell me goodnight. I'm so glad she's enjoying herself, though.

Guess that's it for today!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

How One Thing Can Lead To Another

It all started with a Facebook post by a girl I went to school with. (Stick with me; after the boring part is a kind of funny story, I promise.)

She asked if any of her classmates remembered going to school with a girl named Lisa D. (last name withheld). She had read the name on the local radio station's web site in a news report where this lady had allegedly murdered someone, and the name had sounded familiar to her.

I replied that we had gone to school with a Lisa D., that she was a year ahead of us, and that I was actually distantly related to her through my Dad. I then checked the radio station's web site myself to see if there was any other information. It listed her name and her age as being 44, which would be right, but there were no other clues as to whether it was the girl we'd gone to school with.

Well, now I had to know if my memory was correct that I was related to this lady. So I called my Mom's house, and my sister Lois answered. She didn't know anything about the news report, but confirmed through Mom that Lisa D.'s grandmother Helen was a cousin of my Dad's.

Now here's how some of the conversation went from there.

Me: I never really knew Lisa that well. I knew Toni and Timmie (her half-brother and sister) better.

Lois: I think Lisa was raised by her grandparents after her mom and Jimmie married. I remember Lisa vaguely. It was a long time before I knew that she was a sister to the Felts kids. I can remember the school bus going down into the valley and picking her up at her grandparent's house, and then picking Toni and Timmie up at their house and wondering how they could be related if they lived at different houses. I hadn't had any knowledge of that kind of family unit where all the brothers and sisters didn't live in the same house, and it kind of confused me for a while.

Me: That's funny. We were kind of naive, weren't we? Even all of our extended family were in regular households with one mother and one father. It's funny how kids can get confused about things like that when they're first aware of something different.

Lois: I remember asking Mom and she had to explain it to me.

FUNNY PART Me: Oh my goodness, that reminds me of something Mom once had to explain to me!! Remember the Higdons? (Two sisters, one unmarried but with a daughter, the other single.) I remember wondering how Marie could have a daughter but still have the same last name as her sister. (I was nine at the time.) So I asked Mom. She looked at me kind of funny and said, "Well, she never married." So, naive, sheltered little girl that I was, I asked how she could have had a child if she wasn't married. Now, earlier that day I had seen the rooster getting on one of the hens, and I'd told Mom that the rooster was fighting with the hens again. So after this (simple and perfectly reasonable to me) question about Marie, I guess Mom thought I needed to have The Talk. Or maybe she heard an entirely different question from what I was actually asking. So she took me to her bedroom and started telling me about the birds and the bees. Or should I say the chickens. (Lois is laughing hysterically by now.) I have absolutely no memory of what Mom said to me, except that she started it by saying, "Remember when you told me about the chickens fighting this morning? Well, they weren't really fighting." I do remember sitting there thinking, "Oh my goodness, she's telling me about sex!!" All I wanted to know was how you're allowed to have a kid when you're not married! And I remember thinking that there was no way I was going to tell her that she wasn't answering my question -- I was too embarrassed to say anything! I know I didn't know the mechanics of sex at that age, but I did know that it took a man and a woman and that there were physical parts involved. I had seen the dogs and cats, after all, and had never, up til then, wondered about the physical aspects of a man and a woman having sex. I just honest-to-God didn't know that you could have sex and not be married!!! And that's all she would have had to tell me to answer my question. So, anyway, I let her finish, and I never did tell her the truth about it. I guess I eventually figured out on my own that marriage didn't always come before sex.

(As funny as that was, if you knew my Mom, it would be even funnier!)

Lois (Once she'd stopped laughing -- she does know Mom): Do you remember that Andy Griffith episode where Andy thinks Opie is asking him about sex and tells him the facts of life?

Me: Yeah, and afterward Opie's friend asks Opie if he told him he already knew all about it, and Opie said, "Nah. I didn't want to spoil it for him."

At about 9 minutes and 32 seconds in:




Friday, November 5, 2010

A Loss

Copper died suddenly and very early this morning. Eler Beth got up at 5 a.m., and shortly after that found him. We have no idea what caused his death. Perhaps he'd had a parasite that finally did him in. They are prone to several different types of parasites, and for the past several months he'd had some trouble with his back legs that left him slower than usual, although he never appeared to be in any pain.

My girl handled it very well. We cried together for a couple of hours, talked, hugged, and reassured one another that it was nothing we'd done. Eler Beth is a very fine steward of her pets.

This afternoon, all by herself, she dug a tiny little grave beside my yellow irises in the back yard, and we laid him to rest.

Rest in peace, Copper. You were a very special, tiny little companion for the time we had you in our lives, and my daughter so appreciates having had this unique opportunity to care for you. We'll miss you!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Game is On

If you haven't already seen the new BBC series, Sherlock, you must give it a try.

I had second thoughts about a 21st century Holmes and Watson, until I read this review, from a blogger whom I respect. After reading that I couldn't wait to see the first episode, and there is no way I could write a better review than she did, so please use the link and read it yourself.

The first episode is called A Study in Pink. It is available to watch on the PBS website, on Masterpiece Theater, until December 7. You can watch it here. Well, go ahead. I'll wait.

Okay, so just make sure you DO watch it. I tell you, I was prepared to dislike it, and 18 minutes into that first episode I had my first laugh-out-loud moment. I was watching it on my laptop, lying back in bed, and I woke Thomas up. So I had to explain, and the next day he and Eler Beth and I watched it together, and they agreed it was very well done. There's a nice little surprising twist at the end, too, that has nothing to do with the mystery. That's all I'm going to say.

I love a show or movie where the main characters can communicate as much with a look or with body language as with words, and these two fellows do that. Steve McQueen and Natalie Wood were brilliant at that, by the way.

I'm picky about portrayals of Holmes and Watson. I want to be able to like and even sympathize with Holmes. He's always right, is arrogant and self-absorbed; not too easy to like, right? But the writers of this series and the actor, Benedict Cumberbatch got it just right, I think. Also, I don't want Watson to be short, short-sighted, or not an equal to Holmes. Again, the writers and Martin Freeman did a great job with him. I even liked how they did Lestrade!

The second episode is The Blind Banker, and I'm just going to let you look forward to that without saying anything about it. It, too, is available to watch online until December 7.

The third episode, The Great Game, airs in some areas this Sunday on Masterpiece on PBS. I haven't seen it yet. But make sure you watch the first episode so you can see how Holmes and Watson got together before you watch either of the other episodes. That's an order.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Burning the Biscuits

I made breakfast for dinner tonight. I decided I wanted biscuits and gravy, and since no one else had any objections, I fixed omelets for whoever wanted them, fried some sausage, and made home made biscuits and gravy.

When my biscuits are done, I always turn on the broiler to brown them on top for a couple minutes just before I take them out. While they were browning I was stirring gravy, and wouldn't you know it, I burned the tops of the biscuits! It wasn't too bad, just bad enough for Andrew and Eler Beth to scrape off or take off the tops. Thomas and I just ate them. Some were more burned than others, but they really weren't that bad! And the gravy was so good, that it didn't matter if the tops of the biscuits were a bit darker than they should have been.

But that reminded me of my Uncle Johnny, my mother's baby brother. He liked his biscuits burned. He would have approved of these, and might perhaps even have preferred them a bit blacker on the top than they were. I don't know why he liked them that way, but whenever he and his family would come up to visit us, Mom always had to "burn" a batch of biscuits just for him. It became a family saying -- "these look like 'Uncle Johnny' biscuits." Well, that's what I made tonight, Uncle Johnny biscuits.

And by-dogies, they were really good!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Another Commitment

Back in September I decided that I must lose a bit of weight over the next few months. I say a bit, but you know I mean a LOT!

I can lose weight quickly, if I really try, especially if I walk a lot. However, when I do that it ends up giving me lots of trouble with my back. When I walk I first lose around my hips and waist, and I guess that causes a re-distribution of weight that effects my scoliosis, bad discs, and the nerves that are already damaged down there.

But if I lose slowly, it doesn't pain me as much. Since slower is the way to go, anyway, I set myself a simple, reachable goal of 2 pounds in the month of October. I know that doesn't seem like much, but I figured if I reached it, I would be encouraged and more likely to keep it off and keep taking it off in future months.

I began October at 1*5.8. Yesterday morning when I weighed I was 1*3.4. So I reached my goal, plus 4 extra ounces. Yay, me!

My goal for November is to lose another 2 pounds.

Monday, November 1, 2010

First Day

Okay, so this is my official NaBloPoMo for today, although I don't really have much to say. Eler Beth did MUCH better with her first post of the month.

Of course I can excuse myself by saying that I was trying very hard to get 1,667 words written for NaNoWriMo, and that took priority. I made it to just under 1,300. Close enough! There were also other things to do today, like teach school, clean, cook, do laundry, and run errands.

So how am I going to make time to write? I'm going to try to set aside 90 minutes each morning just for writing. And I'm going to MAKE myself write before I check Facebook or email. Thomas leaves for work at 6 a.m., so between that time and 7:30 I should be able to get some good writing in. Then it's breakfast and morning routines, and then school. The only problem is that many mornings Eler Beth is already up at 6 a.m. This morning she got up at 5!!! (But I love it the challenge!)

Okay, so that's it for today. I'll try to be a bit more interesting tomorrow. I have all kinds of subjects to write about running about in my head, but I'm too sleepy to write about them tonight. Until tomorrow, then!

NaBloPoMo


I decided I would do NaBloPoMo again this year, as well as NaNoWriMo, mostly because Eler Beth decided she would do it. I figured if I did a blog post every day, first thing in the morning, then wrote on my NaNo for an hour or so, that would be a good way to start the day.

Is anyone else doing either NaNo or NaBlo this year? It's not yet too late to sign up!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Holy NaNo, Batman!

According to my sidebar counter, NaNoWriMo starts in 9 hours!!!

I'm getting all quivery inside! :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It Never Hurts To Repeat Yourself....

In honor of my niece Sheila's starting a blog here at Blogger, and because she is the first and ONLY member of my family other than Thomas and the kids that I am (knowingly) sharing my blog with, I have decided to re-post an entry I did my very first year of blogging in 2005. This is a post that is in my Dusty Pages Archives blog, and features possibly her first attempt at diplomacy.

Dated Wednesday, October 19, 2005:

And that reminds me.........

Well, Sunday I redeemed myself by making homemade vegetable soup and cornbread, and as I sat down here to decide what I was going to write, the vegetable soup reminded me of a "soup" story. This story was written down by the family "historian/scribe", my sister Barbara, years ago, and I'm sure she did a better job than I'm going to do, but I'll give it a shot -- because it's a cute story.

I was about 10 years old, and it was a cold, snowy, blustery day. My nieces and nephew and I had been playing outside and were very happy to come in to my Mom's nice warm kitchen, smelling deliciously of her homemade vegetable soup. We gathered around the kitchen table, bowls of soup in front of us, my mom and four of my sisters ladling soup into their own bowls, pouring cups of coffee and talking away.

Suddenly in the middle of their conversation, my three-year-old niece, Evonne, piped up with, "Pidah in my tsoup!" The conversation continued, so she tried again, "Pidah in my tsoup!"

"What's she saying?"

"I don't know; sounds like she's saying there's a spider in her soup!"

"Well, there is! There is a spider in her soup!"

No one knew how the spider came to be in her soup, but the soup was disposed of, a fresh bowl was given her, and talk turned inevitably to such topics as -- places in the earth where spiders might be eaten -- times of famine in which perhaps we might be happy to have spiders to eat, etc. My seven-year-old nephew, Bill, always a picky eater anyway, stated, "Well, I wouldn't eat it!"

My seven-year-old niece, Sheila, (definitely her mother's daughter!), tried a compromise. "Well, if you cut its head off...."

Bill: "I still wouldn't eat it!"

Sheila: "Well, if you cut its legs off...."

Bill: "I still wouldn't eat it!"

Sheila: "Well, if you drained all the blood out!"

Bill: "I STILL wouldn't eat it!"

At which point Sheila's mother, my sister Dennice, offered reassuringly, "That's okay, Sheila. Sometimes no matter how you prepare something, the men won't eat it!"

I hope everyone enjoyed that, and Sheila, if you are reading this, I hope you don't mind! :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

{{Singing}} "Brush Up Your Shakespeare...."

I have been very bad about keeping up with my reading of Shakespeare for the past two months. I just really haven't been in the mood. I want to read all his works within 12 months, just to say that I read them all in one year's time, but it's hard to make myself read something I'm not in the mood for.

I shall persevere however.

Here is my updated LIST, if anyone is interested. I've recently read "Romeo and Juliet" (not ever a favorite by ANY means!!!), mainly because I figured it was a good one to use to introduce Eler Beth to The Bard, "King John" (a bit weak, but still Shakespeare), the Sonnets (again, because it fit in with Eler Beth's poetry unit we're doing), and two of my very favorite comedies, "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Twelfth Night". We read them, and then we watched the movies.

Has anyone else kept up with your Shakespeare lately?

Can anyone tell me (without googling) what the titular quote is from?