Saturday, March 27, 2010

Holly and Linnea

At Bea's house in Quebec, Holly (18) and Linnea (4), posing. I like the stripes and the colors. Love the poses. The captions are Holly's from her Facebook album.

Linnea says this is the best. (She's blowing kisses)

How to tickle a medium sized child.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

407 years ago today...

Mar 24, 1603 Queen Elizabeth I died. She was nearly 70, and had been queen of England since she was 25. From the Death of Queen Elizabeth I:
In March 1603 Queen Elizabeth was clearly unwell and seemed depressed. She retired to one of her favourite homes - Richmond Palace. Stubborn as ever she refused to allow her doctors to examine her. She also refused to rest in bed - she stood for hours on end, occasionally just sitting in a chair. Her condition became worse and her ladies-in-waiting spread cushions across the floor. Queen Elizabeth eventually lay down on the cushions. She lay on the floor for nearly four days - mostly in complete silence. She eventually grew so weak that when her servants insisted on making her more comfortable in her bed she was unable to argue with them. The end was clearly near for the great old Queen. Her Councillors gathered around her. Soft music was played to soothe her. She had still not named James as her successor but she made a sign to Robert Cecil and it was interpreted that this was her wish.

(More details)

The funeral wasn't until April 28. The body was in a lead coffin, which I guess can keep Superman safe from kryptonite, and England safe from a month-old body. In the middle of the site linked above are advertisements for wrongful death claims (just in case anyone wants to sue, about Elizabeth's death, I guess. As she was childless, though, and others benefitted from the death, I don't guess there needs to be a claim. If she WAS childless, that is... There are hints and suggestions that she had a son, and a very bright one, too. Sir Francis Bacon. There's a recent book out (2001-recent), not so much serious history, claiming that the plays of Shakespeare were written by a son of Elizabeth, Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford. That he wrote the plays, and William Shakespeare was used as a cover, kind of the opposite of ghost writing. A scholar wrote of the believers of that theory: “Oxfordians are the sub-literary equivalent of the sub-religious Scientologists. You don’t want to argue with them, as they are dogmatic and abusive.” But women aren't having children as they're dying, though they might be thinking of their children. If they had any. The images above and many others, including the funeral procession, effigy and tomb (though those weren't until 407 years and some weeks later) are here:
(I'm including this on the Thinking Sticks blog too.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Kind of a ghost of me

I forget the name of this effect... embossed, I think. It's been available on Photoshop for years, but Marty's new phone can make a video with it (and other effects).

Marty and I were talking about things on the calendar. The calendar and the art on the wall in our kitchen all look like they're carved into plaster. Fun!

Yesterday Marty went driving for fun, and his jeep is appropriately muddy today.

Holly's luggage was delivered early yesterday afternoon, and that's good! (She preceded her luggage by two days.)

Keith's arm is getting stronger, little by little.

I was reorganizing my office yesterday and find myself buried in photos I should scan or file or trash or distribute. Too many photos. But I love seeing all those faces of people I love.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Holly leaving for Quebec

This morning at the airport:

P.S. Holly called me from Denver. She's a sweetie.

Then Keith and I went on errands, and came home and put groceries away. Because I continued to attempt to overlook and cover my agitation that Holly is in the sky somewhere above water and snow, Keith took me here:...

...for the purpose of consuming green chile and potatoes until I was in a stupor, and orange margaritas until I was inebriated, and no longer could have the startle-response every time I thought about where Holly might be right at whichever minute.

And so full, and drunk, I am going to sleep.

Oh, right. Keith had green chile carne adovada. Not traditional, but pork marinated in green chile instead of red, and it was awesome. (We were at the Garduño's at Winrock mall. And one of the photos is "Lenten Specials," being fish and chile in various permutations.)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Holly last week

Tomorrow Holly goes to Canada until July. We're doing last-minute gathering and preparations.

This is her doing something her friend wanted to do last week. I think she had more fun making the signs. :-)

it just started to hail, and I need to take some books to the post office. The chat went well this morning. Now Holly's listening to a Donovan song called "The Rules and Regulations." No relation. I mean they're entirely related, but she's not listening to it because that was the topic of the unschooling chat today. She wasn't in the chat.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kirby and other mysteries

I don't know who took this, but it's my oldest, Kirby, and his friend Katie Gist. I don't know why he's dressed up and she's not. Katie posted it on Facebook and these notes followed:
My friend Laurie is going to borrow my Blackadder DVDs, so I was looking for them, knowing they were around here somewhere.... Found some other things, of course. Found my copy of When Everything Changed, by Gail Collins, which I had been reading before I listened to the audiobook of The Help. They make a very complementary set of images and factoids about American women in the early 1960's. So that book was in the sewing room. Blackadder was on the piano. Why didn't I think of that in the first place? (Well I *was* looking for Blackadder in the sewing room...)

This wasn't in the sewing room (anymore), but by the scanner. It's a brochure I've had for 20 years or more called "How to Sew Fast." And while I did pick up some good pointers from it (and will scan it and put it somewhere because it has some good ideas, and then I will start a hottub fire with it), it has a BAD idea as it's #1. This ideas stinks, for real:
1. Turn off all music, TV, and radio noise while cutting out a pettern—that is when you need to concentrate.
Yeah, okay. I really do get it. But I really don't do it. Occasionally when I was cutting something expensive, I would get a witness to just be there, as I talked through my plans and thoughts, to tell me if I was forgetting something, or to see if they saw a better way to lay it out to get the most of that fabric or avoid a directional disaster.

But for sewing, I *want* more input. I want to be doing two things at once. I need something to watch while I sew. That's why Black Adder was in the sewing room, last time it was.

I was glad to see a happy photo of Kirby this morning, because I was considering asking him (again) to post something cheerier on twitter to cover up the last tweet he made a month ago. If any of Kirby's friends read this, I know he's cheered up a lot. He calls and laughs and tells me cool stories about work and the house and the dog. Ask him to tweet some of that amusement.

Marty got up early to go feed Sadie's dogs. He's #3 in line for the dog sitting. Sadie is in Costa Rica, counting bats. I guess someone has to do it. There are photos of Marty as a baby and a little boy all over my office. Most were out to scan, some have been and some haven't, and I need organize those. This morning (looking for Black Adder) I found a videotape I thought I had lost of Marty's interesting infantile locomotion. He didn't crawl. He used butt, one hand and one leg, so he could always carry something while he moved around. And he was FAST, and sitting up already when he got there. The day he learned to walk, I borrowed Kim Archuleta's video camera so I could get images of his very efficient method of moving. I hope I'll be able to post it somehow, sometime.

Marty's MySpace is filled with photos and videos of him from last Saturday, when he entered Crown Tournament. Keith went; I didn't.

Holly is leaving for Quebec early on Saturday. Yesterday we took two pairs of her shoes in for minor repairs and the guy said "next week." I begged a little. So maybe the boots will be done Friday, and I can send the sandals to her later. Or I'll mail them all, if they're not ready.

This will be the third time Holly leaves for a long time. It's not military long-time. It's not college-in-a-distant-state long-time, either, though this trip to stay with Bea Mantovani's family is the longest yet, at three and a half months. Holly is learning a lot about all kinds of things. That's good, but I will miss her.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Frogs in the Glen

This is one of the best songs ever on Sesame Street. It was performed by Jim Henson, and written by Tony Geiss

We had this on our homemade "best of Sesame Street" video for years, and sang it with friends on the way to SCA events in the van late at night sometimes, and it's one of the most touching songs I've ever known.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Nice home-day, Part 2

The snow is almost all melted, and there were colors under there!

One crocus, and one matching vinca bloom.

I came in to upload these, and the cat (Nuee) was posing in the window. You can see the water coming out of the fountain in that first photo.

Nice home-day

Out my bedroom window as the light came:

It's been snowing ever since, and it's about twice as deep now, over 3". If I were a kid I would be excited to go out in it. As an adult, I'm excited to be able to stay in, dry, with a fire.

Before daylight, I helped Keith get dressed, and took the snow off the van so he could drive to work. He has cleaned the snow off vehicles for me a hundred times, and it felt good to be able to do that for him while he went and got a hat, which I helped him put on and tie. He can't reach up yet, and has no strength in his left arm. He can type. He can drive an automatic. So he can go to work, which makes him happy. He was bored at home without his regular physical hobbies.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Holly Spinning

Her room is too dark for the beautiful silk top she was wearing to show. But that's what the movie was about, how beautifully it swirled.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Princess Holly and some other Hollyness

Holly asked me to try to bring this image to the attention of Carelia in Corvallis, who made the crown and wand; to Brett M-W because of the Uggs; Rebecca Allen, Julie Daniel and Alex Aceves for various reasons they will probably understand, and to say "This is how a princess dresses."

Various other Holly images from the past week:

Thursday, March 04, 2010

"Strewing," medieval English and the public domain

Someone generally involved in trying to discredit me, in changing the subject, used the term "strewing" in this way:
What other little gifts of romance could we strew?
I had been criticized on that list (not by everyone, by one strident het-up individual) for leaving links to my site. I don't have a tagline or sigline as many people do with a link to my site. It would be particular pages, for more information or examples on a particular topic.

When "strewing" was used, I wrote this:
And recommending "strewing" anything, while still badmouthing my site?
One person looked it up and reported this:
The word strew is in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, since, well before unschooling was placed in it. Dates before the 12th century, apparently! Who knew?
Main Entry: strew
Pronunciation: \ˈstrü\
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): strewed; strewed or strewn \ˈstrün\; strew·ing
Etymology: Middle English strewen, strowen, from Old English strewian,
strēowian; akin to Old High German strewen to strew, Latin struere to heap
up, sternere to spread out, Greek stornynai
Date: before 12th century

1 : to spread by scattering
2 : to cover by or as if by scattering something (strewing the highways with litter)
3 : to become dispersed over as if scattered
4 : to spread abroad : disseminate
This made me half amused and half frustrated, which put me at balance, I suppose and I wrote:
-=-Dates before the 12th century, apparently! Who knew? -=-

I did! That's why I used it. Long years of medieval studies for fun.

In response to another clever comeback, about it being in the public domain of unschooling now:
-=-Also, you didn't invent the word "strewing" and as far as unschooling goes, that concept is kind of in the public domain at this point.-=-

It's pretty useful, isn't it? You're welcome. No one else used it before I did, so people who are working hard to discredit me might at least like to know that their public domain concepts came from me once in a while before they assure others that I have no good effect on unschooling.
A few times over the years someone has thought it was a word I made up. I tell them no, it's a really old word, but I brought it to describe leaving things in cool places where kids will find them. I never pretended it wasn't a real word, and I've known it since I was little, because it's in the Bible, in the parable of the talents (and maybe in Song of Solomon). It's in stories about castles. It has to do with throwing flowers or scented herbs around the floor of a room, or of broadcasting seed, or throwing coins into a crowd.

From The Big Book of Unschooling, page 35, under "Any Jargon?"
Strewing: literally, scattering something out, like rose petals or herbs or straw on a medieval floor. Figuratively, leaving interesting things out where they will be discovered.
No doubt my semi-public berating will continue a while. I guess I'm the most exciting thing in some people's lives. Poor people. I mean if it's someone in my family that's cool. If it's a stranger who never met me who's obsessed with me, that's a little bit creepy, but still I'll continue to do what I do with and for other unschoolers.

It's interesting to be someone other people would like to shush up. Someone from Australia told me there's a name for that, there. It's "the tall poppy syndrome"—anyone who sticks up, others will try to chop down. I don't think it's an admirable trait, in Australia, to do that. And part of the reason I "stick up" is that I use my real name online, and have for a long, long time. Others attack me with made-up names. People who are unwilling to use their own full names online try to hoot me down. Interesting, in a train-wreck sort of way.

The photo is from this morning. I was going to make Keith an omelet, and set one egg down where it wouldn't roll. Then I noticed how cute it looked there on that plastic scouring pad. It reminds me of Holly's photo "three round things," on her blog.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

I Can't Stay Mad at You

Holly and I heard part of this in a store somewhere on our trip to Colorado. She wasn't familiar with it, and I was singing along.

On one of the discussions about unschoolers getting along with their spouses, someone asked about movies with happy couples in them. Probably there are some, but movies tend to be about problems more than about peaceful situations. Songs, though... there are LOTS of songs about love. I have a collection, but this one doesn't seem to fit it. Still it's a great song.

My other collection is songs that describe the physical sensation of being in love: LOVE: Romantic Biochemistry

Unblocking creativity

First of all, that's not my truck, and not my goat. Just a photo. It was in a set of photos on the same blog I'm about to write about.

You can click it to see some more photos as cool as that one. I like the snow sculptures added to the bronze monument.

So anyway... on this blog today there was a list. I like the blog. It's by and for intense web/blog guys who work in intense offices, it seems, doing intense computer stuff. It hadn't occurred to me that people could grow up SO much in that atmosphere that traditional, obvious, normal things would be worth putting on a list, but here's the list:

Offline ways to keep your creative fluids going

It's a list of things, with some photos and descriptions. It's inspirational and all, but so... so... mundane? So ¡Duh!

It's worth looking at if you're interested, but I will summarize for you the things to do offline to spur your creativity:
Take a break and rest.
Read a book or magazine.
Come back to it later.
Change your work area.
Take out your pencil.
Get inspiration from others. (not online, though... seriously)
Listen to music.
Do something totally different.
Build up confidence.
Make notes.
Write down lists like this.

The notes there might make it seem less like different angles of "take a break."

But here, then. I saw it on a blog and brought it to MY blog, and some people reading online might thereby find ways to find more creativity. Offline.

That is a snake. With legs. Eating its own tail.
Not my truck; not my goat; not my snake.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Chat while Keith's sleeping

Keith had shoulder surgery Friday. Marty took care of him until we got back Sunday, and I'm taking care of him now. So I'm chatting in the bedroom in case he needs something. I meant to photograph the plate of tuna sandwiches sitting on the bed between us next to the blueberries, but use your imagination.