Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Fireweed Strikes

I've always known that my mother is allergic to fireweed. When Theophilus and I were small, we formed the Fireweed Brigade and would pull up every last stalk of fireweed we could find. In the last few years, it hasn't been much of a problem.
This morning, Mum told Theophilus and I that she needed us to pick it all. We started gathering, and then decided we should take some photos. A few minutes after this photo above was taken, my arms started to itch.
Then my neck. Then my scalp. Then the rest of my whole body. My eyes were watering and my throat started to close up.

What do you know? I'm allergic to fireweed too.

Monday, 27 July 2009


Daisies and clover. (And my shadow and camera strap!)
Golden-rod. I think... :)

Lupin! I love lupin, or wolf's bane, as the old common name for it was. Such a lovely blue flower.

Fireweed, the judge of Alaska summers and arriving autumns. And they're purple! So yes, I do love them, even if I know destroying them is necessary for my mother's health.

Just a few flowers I snapped photos of today between rain-showers.

The Graveyard of Healthy Eating

This was once a planter box of herbs and lettuce and all those healthy green things for salads. Then... one day... it died. And we just kinda left it there, to be the graveyard of heathy eating. Rather sad, ney?

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Random Jamming

Yesterday, I was invited by my old violin teacher to come jam with her. Now, she in the summer is not a music teacher, but co-head of kitchens at the local Christian camp. (Also the biggest camp in state.) Dinners aren't her responsibility, usually, (they belong to another friend of mine and his mum) and so she said that if I wanted to, to come around three and play. There wouldn't be many people around, just one or two kitchen hands, maybe. All the kids would be out on the trails, or by the lake, and all the staff would be spending a few hours relaxing.
I hadn't played in months, so I figured it wouldn't be so bad to start up again with relatively no audience. Minus, of course, my teacher. So I headed over, and found my friend's mother with another girl in the kitchen. Apparently, my teacher had to run into town to buy about a hundred more pounds of butter and sugar.
"Why don't you just go ahead and start playing for us? We'd love to hear you!" Mrs. S. said.
Well... I suppose. It's not like two people are going to be too harsh on me. Neither of them are exactly Julliard grads. So, I brought out the violin and started fiddling. By the time I finished the first reel set, my friend Jed had joined his mum in the kitchen. He persuaded me to play a few sets more; when I'd finished with those, almost the whole staff was sitting around me listening. I guess I'm just used to performing, because I went on and on till Emily, my teacher, arrived.
What was supposed to be a half hour or so of jamming became a little over two hours, with her and I playing canonic sonatas and fiddle pieces. And we had an audience of about forty.
I had an absolute blast performing. Somehow, I realised it. Of course, I've performed all my life, since I was four or so. Stages, nursing homes, schools, anywhere and everywhere. I even wanted to be a piano or violin performance major for years. I love performing. But I like it best in informal settings, where the people just come up to you. When you stop in between pieces and talk to them. When it's okay to start laughing at yourself in the midst of playing.
And definitely when the whole kitchen crew decides to feed you for free in return for over two hours of playing.
Now I find that I may be joining Emily to play at the coffee shop some time soon. Who knows what we'll be playing, or how long that will go? At any rate, I'm plenty up for random jamming.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Meet the Dishcloth Family

Four little dishcloths, made on Friday night/Saturday morning. I was only meaning to make one, but then, it was lonely. So I made two. And like so often happens... they had kids. :)

Don't you think they made an adorable little gift package?

Tuesday, 21 July 2009


Well, this morning, my family (minus me) left the house around six thirty in the morning to go clamming. The limit is currently sixty clams per person, equaling 18o clams for Mum, Dad and Theophilus if they take as many as the limit allows, which they generally try for. According to Mum, they got 163 today.
So, since they got back this afternoon, we've been processing the clams. Dad and Theophilus freed the meat from the shell, then Mum washed out the sand and cut out the guts, and I diced and bagged.
Of course, they were talking about how they wished the limit was larger so that we wouldn't have to go multiple times. But after dealing with the clams... I'm a little glad that the limit is for eighty a piece.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Thoughts on Truth

Chesterton again. (Tuesday night really got me rolling... I love how he puts things into words and I realize that it's what I've been trying to say for so long.)

"Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable." - ILN, 10/23/09

"It's not that we don't have enough scoundrels to curse; it's that we don't have enough good men to curse them." - ILN, 3/14/08

"There is a case for telling the truth; there is a case for avoiding the scandal; but there is no possible defense for the man who tells the scandal, but does not tell the truth." - ILN, 7/18/08

"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - ILN, 6/11/10

"Truth is sacred; and if you tell the truth too often nobody will believe it." - ILN, 2/24/06

"Civilization has run on ahead of the soul of man, and is producing faster than he can think and give thanks." - Daily News, 2/21/02

"It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong." - The Catholic Church and Conversion

"There'd be a lot less scandal if people didn't idealize sin and pose as sinners." - The Father Brown Omnibus

"All men thirst to confess their crimes more than tired beasts thirst for water; but they naturally object to confessing them while other people, who have also committed the same crimes, sit by and laugh at them." - ILN 3/14/08

"Idolatry is committed, not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils; by making men afraid of war or alcohol, or economic law, when they should be afraid of spiritual corruption and cowardice." - ILN 9/11/09

"I say that a man must be certain of his morality for the simple reason that he has to suffer for it." - ILN 8/4/06

"To the humble man, and to the humble man alone, the sun is really a sun; to the humble man, and to the humble man alone, the sea is really a sea." - Heretics, CW I, p128

"Great truths can only be forgotten and can never be falsified." - ILN 9-30-33

"The voice of the special rebels and prophets, recommending discontent, should, as I have said, sound now and then suddenly, like a trumpet. But the voices of the saints and sages, recommending contentment, should sound unceasingly, like the sea." - T.P.'s Weekly, Christmas Number, 1910

"All science, even the divine science, is a sublime detective story. Only it is not set to detect why a man is dead; but the darker secret of why he is alive." - The Thing. CW. III 191

"Most modern freedom is at root fear. It is not so much that we are too bold to endure rules; it is rather that we are too timid to endure responsibilities." - What's Wrong With the World

"If we want to give poor people soap we must set out deliberately to give them luxuries. If we will not make them rich enough to be clean, then empathically we must do what we did with the saints. We must reverence them for being dirty." - What's Wrong with the World

"The world will very soon be divided, unless I am mistaken, into those who still go on explaining our success, and those somewhat more intelligent who are trying to explain our failure." - Speech to Anglo-Catholic Congress 6-29-20

"What we call emancipation is always and of necessity simply the free choice of the soul between one set of limitations and another." - Daily News12-21-05

"There are some desires that are not desirable." - Orthodoxy

"In the struggle for existence, it is only on those who hang on for ten minutes after all is hopeless, that hope begins to dawn." - The Speaker 2-2-01

"Modern broad-mindedness benefits the rich; and benefits nobody else." - "The Church of the Servile State" Utopia of Usurers

"It is the main earthly business of a human being to make his home, and the immediate surroundings of his home, as symbolic and significant to his own imagination as he can." - The Coloured Lands

"Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere." - ILN, 5/5/28

"The decay of society is praised by artists as the decay of a corpse is praised by worms." - Shaw, 1909

"The artistic temperament is a disease that afflicts amateurs." - Chapter 16, Heretics, 1905

"Savages and modern artists are alike strangely driven to create something uglier than themselves. but the artists find it harder." - ILN, 11/25/05

"The beautification of the world is not a work of nature, but a work of art, then it involves an artist." Ð ILN 9-18-09

"By a curious confusion, many modern critics have passed from the proposition that a masterpiece may be unpopular to the other proposition that unless it is unpopular it cannot be a masterpiece." - "On Detective Novels," Generally Speaking

"And all over the world, the old literature, the popular literature, is the same. It consists of very dignified sorrow and very undignified fun. Its sad tales are of broken hearts; its happy tales are of broken heads." - Charles Dickens

"The aim of good prose words is to mean what they say. The aim of good poetical words is to mean what they do not say."

Thursday, 16 July 2009

"A Duel to the Death"

Continuing with the brilliance of Chesterton, I might just post him for the rest of the week... :)

The whole pleasure of marriage is that it is a perpetual crisis." - "David Copperfield," Chesterton on Dickens, 1911

"A good man's work is effected by doing what he does, a woman's by being what she is." - Robert Browning

"Marriage is a duel to the death which no man of honour should decline." - Manalive

"I have little doubt that when St. George had killed the dragon he was heartily afraid of the princess." - The Victorian Age in Literature

"One of the chief uses of religion is that it makes us remember our coming from darkness, the simple fact that we are created." - The Boston Sunday Post, 1/16/21

"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people." - ILN, 7/16/10

"If there were no God, there would be no atheists." - Where All Roads Lead, 1922

"There are those who hate Christianity and call their hatred an all-embracing love for all religions." - ILN, 1/13/06

"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." - Chapter 5, What's Wrong With The World, 1910

"The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man." - Introduction to the Book of Job, 1907

"It has been often said, very truely, that religion is the thing that makes the ordinary man feel extraordinary; it is an equally important truth that religion is the thing that makes the extraordinary man feel ordinary." - Charles Dickens

"Theology is only thought applied to religion." - The New Jerusalem

"The truth is, of course, that the curtness of the Ten Commandments is an evidence, not of the gloom and narrowness of a religion, but, on the contrary, of its liberality and humanity. It is shorter to state the things forbidden than the things permitted: precisely because most things are permitted, and only a few things are forbidden." - ILN 1-3-20

"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." - ILN 8-11-28

"Puritanism was an honourable mood; it was a noble fad. In other words, it was a highly creditable mistake." - Blake

"What life and death may be to a turkey is not my business; but the soul of Scrooge and the body of Cratchit are my business." - "Christmas," All Things Considered

"If a man called Christmas Day a mere hypocritical excuse for drunkeness and gluttony, that would be false, but it would have a fact hidden in it somewhere. But when Bernard Shaw says that Christmas Day is only a conspiracy kept up by Poulterers and wine merchants from strictly business motives, then he says something which is not so much false as startling and arrestingly foolish. He might as well say that the two sexes were invented by jewellers who wanted to sell wedding rings." - George Bernard Shaw, Ch. 6

"Any one thinking of the Holy Child as born in December would mean by it exactly what we mean by it; that Christ is not merely a summer sun of the prosperous but a winter fire for the unfortunate." - The New Jerusalem, Ch. 5

"The more we are proud that the Bethlehem story is plain enough to be understood by the shepherds, and almost by the sheep, the more do we let ourselves go, in dark and gorgeous imaginative frescoes or pageants about the mystery and majesty of the Three Magian Kings." - Christendom in Dublin, Ch.3

"The great majority of people will go on observing forms that cannot be explained; they will keep Christmas Day with Christmas gifts and Christmas benedictions; they will continue to do it; and some day suddenly wake up and discover why." - "On Christmas," Generally Speaking

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Changing Plans

Well, I realised that I forgot to post much of what's happening in the last few days. For my physical last Wednesday, I had a TB test. On Friday, I was confirmed as a positive for tuberculosis. Since then, it has been decided that I'm a latent carrier (my body's got it under control, I can't get anyone sick, but I have to go on treatments...). Of course, they're awaiting the state official's report on my x-rays, but it's looking good so far.
This apparently is why I've been having that cough that got me down. And why I'm so exhausted that I feel like doing nothing. Why I get tired just being out in town, let alone doing any sort of activity. The nurse yesterday said that in a few weeks I should have more stamina.
A few weeks... of no energy, or the inablity to do things without periodic rests. And those coming about ten or fifteen minutes apart. I had to quit work today because there is no way to carry on like this and do the work needed. (If you can barely get out of bed and showered, one can't run around with customers for six or eight hours!)
But I'm still going to college, still going to London. I'll be okay. It's just... a slight change in plans. And I'll just have to go with that.

Exercising the leetle grey cells...

... As Hercule Poirot would say of using one's mind. Try reading some Chesterton, he seems to be doing a rather grand job of making my mind bend about things I'd never considered before. Maybe I'll be posting some more quotes up tomorrow too.

"When we step into the family, by the act of being born, we do step into a world which is incalculable, into a world which has its own strange laws, into a world which could do without us, into a world we have not made. In other words, when we step into the family we step into a fairy-tale." - Heretics, CW, I, p.143

"The reformer is always right about what is wrong. He is generally wrong about what is right." - ILN 10-28-22

"Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it." - "Charles II" Twelve Types

"When learned men begin to use their reason, then I generally discover that they haven't got any." - ILN 11-7-08

"The person who is really in revolt is the optimist, who generally lives and dies in a desperate and suicidal effort to persuade other people how good they are." - Introduction to The Defendant

"To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it." - A Short History of England, Ch.10

"I believe what really happens in history is this: the old man is always wrong; and the young people are always wrong about what is wrong with him. The practical form it takes is this: that, while the old man may stand by some stupid custom, the young man always attacks it with some theory that turns out to be equally stupid." - ILN 6-3-22

"Misers get up early in the morning; and burglars, I am informed, get up the night before." - Tremendous Trifles

"A change of opinions is almost unknown in an elderly military man." - A Utopia of Usurers, CW, V, p396

"The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice." - A Defense of Humilities, The Defendant, 1901

"A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it." - Everlasting Man, 1925

"Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions." - ILN, 4/19/30

"Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance." - The Speaker, 12/15/00

"An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." - On Running After Ones Hat, All Things Considered, 1908

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

That Chesterton knew what he was talking about...

I have very little mind left to me today, and so I spent a while reading Chesterton quotes online.

"It is terrible to contemplete how few politicians are hanged." - The Cleveland Press, 3/1/21

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected." - ILN, 4/19/24

"The unconscious democracy of America is a very fine thing. It is a true and deep and instinctive assumption of the equality of citizens, which even voting and elections have not destroyed." - What I Saw In America, 1922

"Men are ruled, at this minute by the clock, by liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern." - The New Name, Utopia of Usurers and Other Essays, 1917

"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - ILN, 1/14/11

"How quickly revolutions grow old; and, worse still, respectable." - The Listener. 3-6-35

"Comforts that were rare among our forefathers are now multiplied in factories and handed out wholesale; and indeed, nobody nowadays, so long as he is content to go without air, space, quiet, decency and good manners, need be without anything whatever that he wants; or at least a reasonably cheap imitation of it." - Commonwealth, 1933

"A detective story generally describes six living men discussing how it is that a man is dead. A modern philosophic story generally describes six dead men discussing how any man can possible be alive." - A Miscellany of Men

"None of the modern machines, none of the modern paraphernalia. . . have any power except over the people who choose to use them." Ð Daily News 7-21-06

"Progress is a comparative of which we have not settled the superlative." - Chapter 2, Heretics, 1905

"Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to fit the vision, instead we are always changing the vision." - Orthodoxy, 1908

"My attitude toward progress has passed from antagonism to boredom. I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday." - New York Times Magazine, 2/11/23

"Men invent new ideals because they dare not attempt old ideals. They look forward with enthusiasm, because they are afraid to look back." - What's Wrong With The World, 1910

"Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around." - Orthodoxy, 1908

"When giving treats to friends or children, give them what they like, emphatically not what is good for them." - Chesterton Review, February, 1984

"I agree with the realistic Irishman who said he preferred to prophesy after the event." - ILN, 10/7/16

Friday, 10 July 2009

Why I like working at a greenhouse...

Because I am surrounded by beautiful flowers all day long.
Because I love eating fresh tomatoes.
Because my boss gives me free hanging baskets that are about $48 usually.
Yes, I'll post photos tomorrow, I hope. ;)

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Education is a Delicate Commodity

To quote A Man for All Seasons, "She is full of education, and it is a delicate commodity." I laugh every time I think of this line, but in truth, More might well have said "scarce" rather than just "delicate."
Anyways, just in case anyone was wondering, these are the books I'll be reading and studying in London next spring.

Part I: The Beginning of the West (c. 500 BC to 1050 AD)
A. Greco-Roman Civilization
B. The Judeo-Christian/Greco-Roman Synthesis
C. Germanic Tradition and the Birth of Western Civilization
  • Readings:
    Sophocles, Antigone
    Thucydides, Peloponnesian War
    Aristophanes, Lysistrata
    Plato, Republic
    Petronius, My Dinner with Trimalchio
    Virgil, Aeneid
    Sappho, Catullus, Ovid: Selected Poems
    Genesis, I and II Samuel, Job, Amos
    Luke, Acts, Romans
    Augustine, Confessions
    Bede, A History of the English Church
    Gregory the Great, Dialogues, Bk II: St. Benedict
    The Song of Roland

Field Excursion to Bath

Part II: The Maturing of the West (1050 to 1600)
A. The Medieval Worldview: 1050-1300
B. The Dissolution of the Middle Ages: 1300-1500
C. The Reformation and the End of Medieval Civilization: 1500-1600

  • Readings:
    Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles
    Aquinas, Treatise on Happiness, Treatise on Law
    Dante, The Divine Comedy
    Abelard, The Story of My Misfortunes
    Thomas of Celano, Lives of St. Francis
    Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
    Erasmus, The Praise of Folly
    Vergerius, The New Education
    Pico della Mirandola, Oration on the Dignity of Man
    Vasari, Life of Leonardo da Vinci
    Machiavelli, The Prince
    Luther: Selected Sermons and Hymns
    Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion
    Thomas Kempis, Imitation of Christ
    Ignatius Loyola, The Spiritual Exercises
    Donne: Selected Poems
    Shakespeare, Hamlet

Field Excursions to Canterbury and Cambridge

Part III: The Modern World (1600 to 1900)
A. The Seventeenth Century Crisis of Authority
B. The Age of Enlightenment
C. The Age of Revolution and Reform

  • Readings:
    Voltaire, Candide
    Milton, Paradise Lost
    Bacon: Selected Essays
    Descartes, Discourse on Method
    Locke, Second Treatise on Government
    Swift, Gulliver's Travels
    Pope, Essay on Man
    Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire
    Hume, Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
    Kant, What Is Enlightenment?
    Rousseau, Discourse on the Moral Effects of the Arts & Sciences
    Goethe, Faust
    Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats: Selected Poems
    Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England
    Marx, The Communist Manifesto
    Tennyson, Browning, Whitman, Dickenson: Selected Poems
    Flaubert, Madame Bovary
    Darwin, On the Origin of Species
Field Excursion to Hampton Court Palace

Part IV: The Twentieth Century
A. An Era of Uncertainty: 1890-1914
B. The Culture of Despair: 1914-1945
C. Cultural Cacophony and the Postmodern World: 1945 to the Present

  • Readings:
    Freud, Interpretation of Dreams
    Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents
    Peirce, The Fixation of Belief
    Hardy, God's Funeral
    Ibsen, Hedda Gabler
    Yeats: Selected Poems
    Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols
    Kierkegaard, The Present Age
    Owen, Dulce et Decorum Est
    Pirandello, Six Characters in Search of an Author
    Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own
    Lawrence, Odor of Chrysanthemums
    Ibsen, A Doll's House
    T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
    Yasmina Reza, Art
    Middleton and Walsh, Truth is Stranger Than It Used to Be

Yes, I'm wildly happy with this list... just imagine the discussions we'll be having! :)

Monday, 6 July 2009

Glory Is Fleeting (Like My Energy...)

Well, my cold is nearly gone, minus the cough which is persistently hanging on and leaves me with little energy. So far, going up and down stairs is what I can manage, even when it means my lungs get restricted and I have to sit down when I've gone up and down. However, my brain has cleared more so than it was on Saturday, for which I'm extremely grateful.
I've spent a good deal of today sleeping, knitting, reading and trying to get up and do. (Not so successful, I'm afraid.) The batch of cookie-dough will wait till tomorrow to be baked, and the letters I wrote a few days most likely till they are addressed and sent. Sleep wasn't productive... and at least in knitting I have been getting something accomplished. I find it easier to move fast on that when my mind is on something however.
In answer to that, I am watching A Man for All Seasons on my father's computer. Theophilus and I watched it last night, and he's watched it several times before. It'd been some years since I last saw it, and I'd nearly forgotten why I'd liked it so. I've remembered. For those of you who haven't seen it, I'd highly suggest it. Sir Thomas More is a man I wished lived now. A man who followed his conscience against all the pressure that King Henry the Eighth could bring to bear. (To think, I shall visit the Tower of London next year! I hope to go to More's cell...)

Here is a clip of some glorious music from around that era... I found many pieces that I liked, however, most weren't of good quality. Mayhaps I'll find some in London?

And a final quote, found by my wonderful brother Theophilus.
"Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever." Sir Thomas More

Saturday, 4 July 2009

The Fourth...

So, on our Independance Day, I spent the whole time on the couch. Yes, I got a cold from our friend on our Wednesday hike.
It's interesting, spending the day thinking about liberty, freedom, justice, and government. Especially when I agree so little with our current leaders. My parents marched in the parade with the American Tea Party. I would have if I didn't have this cold, or rather, the cough that leaves me with no energy.
My brother spent part of the afternoon discussing ideological philosophies with me, and that gave me even more to think over. If my mind weren't so befuddled, I doubt it would have taken me all day to think over what I have, but at least I can say that I'm even more excited for Intercultural Studies, specifically my Global Issues course this fall. I'm hoping to get into Democracy and Governance in my sophmore year. Then, maybe I'll have more to think about on future fourth of Julies.
Remember, remember, the fourth of July... - What we did. One shall not forget.
Too many Americans have forgotten important things... whether they happened here in America, or in foreign nations. On that note, this November, I shall remember the fifth. Maybe a Fawksian mask will be making an appearance.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009


My, oh my! What a beautiful day!
Today (or at least this morning) was a gorgeous, sunny day! So, in celebration of that, Theophilus and I went on a hike.
We met up with a friend, drove for a seeming eternity in a hot van with black leather seats, and finally hit the trails. The views were amazing, the trail was easy, and we made the top in practically no time at all. I loved the warmth from the sun, the clear skies... and my camera. Yes, I took quite a few photos. I might even upload them here soon. If I get around to it.
I wrote poetry, listened to the guys talk about math and science, then we headed back down the trail to the Sherwood. It wasn't a very long outing, but our friend had to get back to the camp he's staying at for dinner, so we knew it wasn't going to be an all-day event anyways.
At least I now have a few more lovely summer memories tucked away before the time flies all away and August 28th arrives. Aramis is definitely helping. :)
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