jennythereader: (Lily)
By now everyone who knows [livejournal.com profile] purpura has probably heard about her current state of health. (If you haven't, let me know and I'll summerize and point you towards more detail.)

If anyone is on Pinterest and wants to help find Cool Stuff for Katie let me know. I'll add you to the list of folks allowed to add pins to the board.

If you want to help but aren't on Pinterest, ask me for an invite. I'll need an email address, so you'll probably want to message me rather than comment.
jennythereader: (Lily)
By now everyone who knows [livejournal.com profile] purpura has probably heard about her current state of health. (If you haven't, let me know and I'll summerize and point you towards more detail.)

If anyone is on Pinterest and wants to help find Cool Stuff for Katie let me know. I'll add you to the list of folks allowed to add pins to the board.

If you want to help but aren't on Pinterest, ask me for an invite. I'll need an email address, so you'll probably want to message me rather than comment.
jennythereader: (Default)
I've seen a couple versions of this floating around, but this is the one I decided to do. It might take me a bit more than 10 days, because I'll probably only do it on weekdays.

Day One: Ten things you want to do some day.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight qualities you think are awesome in other people.
Day Four: Seven (semi)interesting things you've pondered or thought about recently.
Day Five: Six things you are glad you did.
Day Six: Five books/movies/tv series/etc that you'd recommend.
Day Seven: Four silly quirks
Day Eight: Three pet peeves
Day Nine: Two things for which you're proud of yourself.
Day Ten: One secret plan.

1. The Saturdays (Melendy Quartet) by Elizabeth Enright One of my favorites since I was a very little girl.
2. Bound for Glory A bio-pic based on Woody Guthrie's memoir.
3. Girl Genius The best webcomic out there. They've won the Hugo Award three times, and are generally awesome.
4. Holly Near A folk singer with a beautiful voice. One of my favorite things about her is how she advocates for all sorts of issues I'm passionate about, without sacrificing the music. HARP - A Time To Sing!, which she recorded with Arlo Guthrie, Ronnie Gilbert, and Pete Seeger in 1984 is one of my favorite live albums.
5. The Avengers This is the first movie in years that I've seen twice in the theatre. I like it so much that I was seriously tempted to see it three times in the theatre. I don't think I've ever even considered doing that before. the DVD will be purchased as soon as it's available.
jennythereader: (Default)
I've seen a couple versions of this floating around, but this is the one I decided to do. It might take me a bit more than 10 days, because I'll probably only do it on weekdays.

Day One: Ten things you want to do some day.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight qualities you think are awesome in other people.
Day Four: Seven (semi)interesting things you've pondered or thought about recently.
Day Five: Six things you are glad you did.
Day Six: Five books/movies/tv series/etc that you'd recommend.
Day Seven: Four silly quirks
Day Eight: Three pet peeves
Day Nine: Two things for which you're proud of yourself.
Day Ten: One secret plan.

1. The Saturdays (Melendy Quartet) by Elizabeth Enright One of my favorites since I was a very little girl.
2. Bound for Glory A bio-pic based on Woody Guthrie's memoir.
3. Girl Genius The best webcomic out there. They've won the Hugo Award three times, and are generally awesome.
4. Holly Near A folk singer with a beautiful voice. One of my favorite things about her is how she advocates for all sorts of issues I'm passionate about, without sacrificing the music. HARP - A Time To Sing!, which she recorded with Arlo Guthrie, Ronnie Gilbert, and Pete Seeger in 1984 is one of my favorite live albums.
5. The Avengers This is the first movie in years that I've seen twice in the theatre. I like it so much that I was seriously tempted to see it three times in the theatre. I don't think I've ever even considered doing that before. the DVD will be purchased as soon as it's available.
jennythereader: (Default)
Today is the 132 birthday of Helen Keller, one of my childhood heros. She overcame huge obstacles to become a public figure, advocating for people with disabilities and travelling the world to speak. Everyone admires her, right?

What's been left out of the popular perception of Helen Keller is her politics. No one seems to remember that she was a suffragette, a member of the Socialist Party, a supporter of birth control and family planning, a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, and a member of the Wobblies. Having all of these political opinions doesn't negate the strength of character it took to overcome the challenges she faced, so why does this aspect of her life get ignored? My theory is that it has something to do with people wanting to protect children from controversial ideas.

Thinking about Helen Keller led me to another of my childhood heros, Mary McLeod Bethune. In 1904 she started a school with 6 students, and over the next 37 years built it up into a 4 year college, now Bethune-Cookman University. She was a personal friend of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and an advisor to both of them. She was the first African-American female head of a federal agency (the Division of Negro Affairs, which was a subsection of the National Youth Administration.) She worked to integrate the Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the precursors to the United Methodist Church. She's been included in several different "most important women" and "most important African-American" lists, and has had a stamp issued in her honor. So why have I never met another person my age who's even heard of her? I have no theories about that. If anyone does, I'd love to hear them.
jennythereader: (Default)
Today is the 132 birthday of Helen Keller, one of my childhood heros. She overcame huge obstacles to become a public figure, advocating for people with disabilities and travelling the world to speak. Everyone admires her, right?

What's been left out of the popular perception of Helen Keller is her politics. No one seems to remember that she was a suffragette, a member of the Socialist Party, a supporter of birth control and family planning, a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, and a member of the Wobblies. Having all of these political opinions doesn't negate the strength of character it took to overcome the challenges she faced, so why does this aspect of her life get ignored? My theory is that it has something to do with people wanting to protect children from controversial ideas.

Thinking about Helen Keller led me to another of my childhood heros, Mary McLeod Bethune. In 1904 she started a school with 6 students, and over the next 37 years built it up into a 4 year college, now Bethune-Cookman University. She was a personal friend of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and an advisor to both of them. She was the first African-American female head of a federal agency (the Division of Negro Affairs, which was a subsection of the National Youth Administration.) She worked to integrate the Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the precursors to the United Methodist Church. She's been included in several different "most important women" and "most important African-American" lists, and has had a stamp issued in her honor. So why have I never met another person my age who's even heard of her? I have no theories about that. If anyone does, I'd love to hear them.
jennythereader: (Default)
Given that we're actually starting to take baby steps towards homeownership, I decided that I should actually write down some of my thoughts and the things I want to do once I have land to do them on. Some of these are realistic, while others are pipedreams or things that will take a couple of decades to pay off.

- As soon as possible after we move in, I want to build a dozen raised garden beds. I think 1 yard by 2 yards will be the optimum size for me, but I still need to figure out how high to make them. I'll start planting in one or two of them right away if it's the right time of year, and the rest I'll fill with scrap wood, brush, and soil for the hugelkultur method. I figure I'll add one or two beds to cultivation each year until I reach as many as I can handle.

- In the first round of planting I'm going with onions, garlic, green peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and maybe potatoes and hot peppers. Not sure what I'll add to later rounds.

- Stay organic. What's the point of growing my own food if it isn't going to be any better than what I can get at the store?

- Use local heirloom varieties whenever I can find them. Again, what's the point of growing my own food if it's no better than from the store or if it's not well suited to local conditions?

- I'd like to end up with 6 apple trees, 3 tart (pie) cherry trees, 3 sweet cherry trees, an edible crabapple tree, and a pear tree. This may take a few years.

- A strawberry bed.

- A grapevine.

- A raspberry/blackberry patch.

- I hate lawns that are cut so close to the ground that they look shaved. I like grass that's long enough to move when the wind blows.

- I'm also not fond of lawns that are solid blocks of green. I like multiple shades of green, and even some color.

- I'd like to make a mix of native grass seed, violet seeds, clover, and a few fragrent herbs, and use that to fill in any bare patches on the lawn. I'd have no objection if the entire lawn ended up being things that smell lovely.

- A few chickens

- I'd like to grow the majority of the vegetables we eat, using saved seeds as much as I can

- a peach tree or two. I know it will take more effort than the other trees I have listed.

- a fruit salad tree, but only if I do the grafting myself.

- a patio and fire-pit that are comfortable for large groups

- interesting sculpture in out of the way corners

- a milk goat

- a rose garden. All varieties choosen for 1)their hardiness, 2)how well suited their blossoms and hips are for making food or cosmetics, and 3)how fragrant they are.

I also have a yard and garden board over on pinterest.

This list will get edited and added to, and the individual items will get changed and expanded upon. Some things might even get deleted.
jennythereader: (Default)
Given that we're actually starting to take baby steps towards homeownership, I decided that I should actually write down some of my thoughts and the things I want to do once I have land to do them on. Some of these are realistic, while others are pipedreams or things that will take a couple of decades to pay off.

- As soon as possible after we move in, I want to build a dozen raised garden beds. I think 1 yard by 2 yards will be the optimum size for me, but I still need to figure out how high to make them. I'll start planting in one or two of them right away if it's the right time of year, and the rest I'll fill with scrap wood, brush, and soil for the hugelkultur method. I figure I'll add one or two beds to cultivation each year until I reach as many as I can handle.

- In the first round of planting I'm going with onions, garlic, green peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and maybe potatoes and hot peppers. Not sure what I'll add to later rounds.

- Stay organic. What's the point of growing my own food if it isn't going to be any better than what I can get at the store?

- Use local heirloom varieties whenever I can find them. Again, what's the point of growing my own food if it's no better than from the store or if it's not well suited to local conditions?

- I'd like to end up with 6 apple trees, 3 tart (pie) cherry trees, 3 sweet cherry trees, an edible crabapple tree, and a pear tree. This may take a few years.

- A strawberry bed.

- A grapevine.

- A raspberry/blackberry patch.

- I hate lawns that are cut so close to the ground that they look shaved. I like grass that's long enough to move when the wind blows.

- I'm also not fond of lawns that are solid blocks of green. I like multiple shades of green, and even some color.

- I'd like to make a mix of native grass seed, violet seeds, clover, and a few fragrent herbs, and use that to fill in any bare patches on the lawn. I'd have no objection if the entire lawn ended up being things that smell lovely.

- A few chickens

- I'd like to grow the majority of the vegetables we eat, using saved seeds as much as I can

- a peach tree or two. I know it will take more effort than the other trees I have listed.

- a fruit salad tree, but only if I do the grafting myself.

- a patio and fire-pit that are comfortable for large groups

- interesting sculpture in out of the way corners

- a milk goat

- a rose garden. All varieties choosen for 1)their hardiness, 2)how well suited their blossoms and hips are for making food or cosmetics, and 3)how fragrant they are.

I also have a yard and garden board over on pinterest.

This list will get edited and added to, and the individual items will get changed and expanded upon. Some things might even get deleted.
jennythereader: (Clef Note)
Not only do I dislike the music Bjork makes, I also dislike the music she listens to.

To be fair, I might have liked these songs if they were interspersed with selections that were more my style. All in a row like this, though... Not for me.
jennythereader: (Clef Note)
Not only do I dislike the music Bjork makes, I also dislike the music she listens to.

To be fair, I might have liked these songs if they were interspersed with selections that were more my style. All in a row like this, though... Not for me.
jennythereader: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] uawildcatgirl asked me "What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?"

That's a really easy one: I read.

I read books, my Kindle, LJ's, blogs, fan fiction, and magazines both physical and online. I read packages, instruction manuals, encyclopedias, dictionaries, web comics, newspapers, and online forums and discussion groups. I read anything I can get my hands on. I've been known, when there was nothing else around, to read cereal boxes.

I usually have one book going on my Kindle and a couple of dozen tabs open on my computer, each with a different site on it.

A close second would be making things. I knit, embroider, use both a lucet and a kumihimo to make cord, collage, cook, bake, and make my own liqueurs. I'm learning to tablet weave, finger-loop braid, garden, and make my own household and personal cleaning supplies. I have the bad habit of making something because I think it would be cool to try out, but then either getting bored and leaving it 90% finished or finishing it but not having anything to do with it once I'm done. Or I buy lots of tools and supplies but never do it enough to justify them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm trying to post more often, and am looking for writing prompts. You can help by asking me a question or giving me a topic. Anything you want as long as it's safe for work. No promises I'll actually be inspired by your idea, but I'll do my best.
jennythereader: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] uawildcatgirl asked me "What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?"

That's a really easy one: I read.

I read books, my Kindle, LJ's, blogs, fan fiction, and magazines both physical and online. I read packages, instruction manuals, encyclopedias, dictionaries, web comics, newspapers, and online forums and discussion groups. I read anything I can get my hands on. I've been known, when there was nothing else around, to read cereal boxes.

I usually have one book going on my Kindle and a couple of dozen tabs open on my computer, each with a different site on it.

A close second would be making things. I knit, embroider, use both a lucet and a kumihimo to make cord, collage, cook, bake, and make my own liqueurs. I'm learning to tablet weave, finger-loop braid, garden, and make my own household and personal cleaning supplies. I have the bad habit of making something because I think it would be cool to try out, but then either getting bored and leaving it 90% finished or finishing it but not having anything to do with it once I'm done. Or I buy lots of tools and supplies but never do it enough to justify them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm trying to post more often, and am looking for writing prompts. You can help by asking me a question or giving me a topic. Anything you want as long as it's safe for work. No promises I'll actually be inspired by your idea, but I'll do my best.
jennythereader: (Wherever they burn books they will in th)
I've been trying to get down to New York City more often lately. My goal has been once a month, and I think I'm actually managing about every 6 weeks. Normally I pick a neighborhood and explore it, including whatever museums/tourist sites are there.

My next visit has been planned for this Saturday for a while, but this time I'll be doing something a little less trivial.

I'll be attending the Unite Women NY march and rally in lower Manhattan.

From the site:
  • "On Saturday, April 28, 2012, women and men across the United States will converge in state capitols and cities to give voice to our opposition to the oppression of women’s access to health care and women’s rights. Politicians in Washington and in legislatures across the country have been trying, and in some cases succeeding, to legislate away the rights that women have fought for and won over 40 years ago. We will not let them turn back the calendar to the middle of the last century.
  • Join us as we march united against the war on women in New York City and celebrate the history of women in the United States. The march and rally will also provide a platform to honor national and local organizations struggling to support women and to advocate for equal rights as well as local and state government officials who stand with us in opposition to the current social agenda aimed at reducing women’s rights.
The national site: Unite Women
Other events around the country
jennythereader: (Wherever they burn books they will in th)
I've been trying to get down to New York City more often lately. My goal has been once a month, and I think I'm actually managing about every 6 weeks. Normally I pick a neighborhood and explore it, including whatever museums/tourist sites are there.

My next visit has been planned for this Saturday for a while, but this time I'll be doing something a little less trivial.

I'll be attending the Unite Women NY march and rally in lower Manhattan.

From the site:
  • "On Saturday, April 28, 2012, women and men across the United States will converge in state capitols and cities to give voice to our opposition to the oppression of women’s access to health care and women’s rights. Politicians in Washington and in legislatures across the country have been trying, and in some cases succeeding, to legislate away the rights that women have fought for and won over 40 years ago. We will not let them turn back the calendar to the middle of the last century.
  • Join us as we march united against the war on women in New York City and celebrate the history of women in the United States. The march and rally will also provide a platform to honor national and local organizations struggling to support women and to advocate for equal rights as well as local and state government officials who stand with us in opposition to the current social agenda aimed at reducing women’s rights.
The national site: Unite Women
Other events around the country
jennythereader: (A Classic is a Book that has never finis)
For some reason I've been thinking a lot lately about one of the major messages from Louisa May Alcott's book Little Women and its sequels. The message is basically that you need to find a balance in life between work and play, and it's most clearly expressed in Chapter 11 - Experiments. Here's what I see as the money quote, from the very end of the chapter: "Have regular hours for work and play, make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life become a beautiful success".

I feel like I'm not doing a very good job finding that balance. I get my eight hours of paid work in everyday, but it doesn't feel particularly useful. In theory I'm making a difference to people's lives, but that difference is so abstracted from what I do that it's hard to see. I put in another hour or two of work at home making dinner most evenings, and try to do some other random chores around the house then too, but I'm so drained by my unsatifying day job that all I want to do when I get home is collapse. So most days when I'm done with work and chores that's all I do. I plop myself in front of my computer and proceed to not accomplish anything for 3 or 4 hours. I'm not knitting, I'm not writing, I'm not embroidering, I'm not crafting, I'm not even playing Sims. I'm just bouncing from website to website, reading a little then moving on.

One of the few websites that has really been speaking to me is Down To Earth. Rhonda blogs about homemaking as her vocation, and makes it sound appealing in a lot of ways. There's definitely a significant part of me that would like to go that route. It seems like the days I feel most accomplished are the ones that I spend going back and forth between household projects and personal ones. I go to bed at the end of a day like that and I'm both physically and mentally tired, but feel satisfied, not drained.

I don't know... I said these weren't very articulate thoughts. :)
jennythereader: (A Classic is a Book that has never finis)
For some reason I've been thinking a lot lately about one of the major messages from Louisa May Alcott's book Little Women and its sequels. The message is basically that you need to find a balance in life between work and play, and it's most clearly expressed in Chapter 11 - Experiments. Here's what I see as the money quote, from the very end of the chapter: "Have regular hours for work and play, make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life become a beautiful success".

I feel like I'm not doing a very good job finding that balance. I get my eight hours of paid work in everyday, but it doesn't feel particularly useful. In theory I'm making a difference to people's lives, but that difference is so abstracted from what I do that it's hard to see. I put in another hour or two of work at home making dinner most evenings, and try to do some other random chores around the house then too, but I'm so drained by my unsatifying day job that all I want to do when I get home is collapse. So most days when I'm done with work and chores that's all I do. I plop myself in front of my computer and proceed to not accomplish anything for 3 or 4 hours. I'm not knitting, I'm not writing, I'm not embroidering, I'm not crafting, I'm not even playing Sims. I'm just bouncing from website to website, reading a little then moving on.

One of the few websites that has really been speaking to me is Down To Earth. Rhonda blogs about homemaking as her vocation, and makes it sound appealing in a lot of ways. There's definitely a significant part of me that would like to go that route. It seems like the days I feel most accomplished are the ones that I spend going back and forth between household projects and personal ones. I go to bed at the end of a day like that and I'm both physically and mentally tired, but feel satisfied, not drained.

I don't know... I said these weren't very articulate thoughts. :)
jennythereader: (Time for Dessert)
This is what I made:

Maple-Glazed Pork Chops

CHOPS
4 pork chops
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

GLAZE
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp dry mustard (this was my own addition)

Grilling Directions:
1) Heat grill. Rub both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper. In small saucepan, combine all glaze ingredients; mix well. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Set aside.

2) When ready to grill, place pork chops on gas grill over medium heat or on charcoal grill 4-6 inches from medium coals. Cook 15 minutes, turning once.

3) Brush pork chops with glaze. Cook an additional 10 minutes or until pork chops are no longer pink in center, turning once and brushing frequently with glaze. Bring any remaining glaze to a boil; serve with pork chops.

From SEASONAL CELEBRATIONS COAST TO COAST

We also had baked butternut squash brushed with the same glaze and a cherry wine that Dad and Nancy brought from Michigan on their visit last summer.

The only change I think I'm going to make next time is to increase the amount of mustard.
jennythereader: (Time for Dessert)
This is what I made:

Maple-Glazed Pork Chops

CHOPS
4 pork chops
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

GLAZE
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp dry mustard (this was my own addition)

Grilling Directions:
1) Heat grill. Rub both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper. In small saucepan, combine all glaze ingredients; mix well. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Set aside.

2) When ready to grill, place pork chops on gas grill over medium heat or on charcoal grill 4-6 inches from medium coals. Cook 15 minutes, turning once.

3) Brush pork chops with glaze. Cook an additional 10 minutes or until pork chops are no longer pink in center, turning once and brushing frequently with glaze. Bring any remaining glaze to a boil; serve with pork chops.

From SEASONAL CELEBRATIONS COAST TO COAST

We also had baked butternut squash brushed with the same glaze and a cherry wine that Dad and Nancy brought from Michigan on their visit last summer.

The only change I think I'm going to make next time is to increase the amount of mustard.
jennythereader: (* Who Can Tell What A Day Might Bring)
There's a lot of awful stuff going on in the world right now. I'm fighting really hard to not get cynical about it.

This particular recording of Pete Seeger's song "Well May The World Go" is being especially helpful. Lyrically any version of the song makes pretty good mental medicine, but this version also includes Pete himself talking about some of the wonderful things that have happened in his lifetime that no one ever expected. To me, that's magic.

If you can I strongly recommend buying it. If you really can't buy it right now let me know and I'll see what I can do for you.
jennythereader: (* Who Can Tell What A Day Might Bring)
There's a lot of awful stuff going on in the world right now. I'm fighting really hard to not get cynical about it.

This particular recording of Pete Seeger's song "Well May The World Go" is being especially helpful. Lyrically any version of the song makes pretty good mental medicine, but this version also includes Pete himself talking about some of the wonderful things that have happened in his lifetime that no one ever expected. To me, that's magic.

If you can I strongly recommend buying it. If you really can't buy it right now let me know and I'll see what I can do for you.

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