Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Your Tax Dollars At Work

I can still fit ten days’ worth of gear into a 14x22 inch bag.


A very foolish intruder  strolled across the living room floor about five minutes ago.  Domestic Security (R. Cat, prop.) has secured the area.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Calling All Canadians

If you live in the Yukon and know what a bakneesh vine looks like, can you contact me?  I’m trying to find out if it’s a real plant or something James Oliver Curwood made up.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Vintage Images - Hallowe'en

Copyright-free, from Dover.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Those Who Can, Can

image from The Graphics Fairy

I put up a half bushel of apples, half sliced and frozen for pies and half as apple butter using the recipe in the Ball Canning Book (my preserving Bible, after Putting Foods By).  I’ve been snooping around in my older cookbooks and if we get any pears this year, I’m going to make this.


9 c. sliced ripe pears
1 cup diced pineapple
Grated rind and juice of 1 lime
5 c. sugar

Grind the pears through the fine blade of a food chopper and combine all the ingredients in a preserving kettle.  Bring to a boil and cook the jam over a slow fire for about 20 minutes, or until the fruit is clear and the liquid is thick.  Pour into hot jars and seal.

The Complete Book of Home Preserving, by Ann Seranne, 1955.  Recipe as written, but I'm pretty sure Ms. Seranne expects the cook to peel the pears first.

Saturday, October 24, 2015


UPDATE: I got curious and looked up string theory.  Now my brain hurts.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Quote Of The Day

Of all the things that drive men to sea, the most common disaster, I’ve come to learn, is women.  ~ Charles Johnson

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Online Bookshelf - Birds, Illustrated Through Color Photography

Multiple volumes with beautiful color plates available on Project Gutenberg.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Knitting -- The Khaki Knitting Book

If this were 1914 we’d be reading about the first week of Ypres.  And, depending on our location, we might be knitting something in scratchy grey or navy or khaki wool.

(You can buy a copy from Amazon or download it for free from

Saturday, October 17, 2015


Friday, October 16, 2015

Quote Of The Day

I was fifteen before I saw any form of television, twenty by the time I was properly introduced to the nuclear American family happily in residence on network television – Mom and Dad, both white and presumably Protestant, content in their love for one another, his steadiness of heart and mind matched by her comforting spirit and competent managing of the household that was clean, well-lit, above all nice; two children, both adorable and neither of them known to the police; no crippling disease or black people anywhere in sight; nobody talking about money.

I’d never met such people, didn’t know the neighborhood, but apparently it is their exemplary innocence and charm that the saviors of the republic these days have in mind when they trace the cause of many of our sorrows back to the deterioration of the once-upon-a-time triple-A-rated American family values…the economy stumbles into recession, the schools decay, the currency is debased, the middle class implodes, the hope of the future is foreclosed, and why, pray tell, is that?  Not enough family values left in the minds of the free and the hearts of the brave.  ~ Lewis Lapham

Thursday, October 15, 2015


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Because I'm Worth It

photo from Pinterest

I’m giving myself a little retirement present.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Shouting and the Tumult

Another week of this and he won’t have any voice left.

Knitting -- Children's Mittens From 1881

"Now that Thanksgiving is over, the little folks are of course beginning to think about Christmas. And how many presents there are to make! And what are they to be?

The question is so bewildering that we know some of our girl readers will be glad to receive a suggestion. Who will make a warm pair of mittens for some cold pair of little hands? If the following directions are only followed, there will be no trouble:
These mittens are worked with white zephyr worsted and steel knitting-needles of suitable size. The knitted part is all plain, with the exception of a round of holes, through which is run a cord finished with balls. The cuff is crocheted in Afghan stitch, and is set on the mitten. For the mitten make a foundation of 36 stitches; close these in a ring, and knit, always forward, as follows: 1st and 2d rounds—all knit plain. 3d round—all purled. 4th round.—Always alternately throw the thread over, knit two stitches together. 5th round—like the 3d round.
 6th to 50th rounds—all knit plain. But for the thumb gore in the 7th round widen 1 stitch on each side of the first stitch, working 1 knit, 1 purled, on each stitch before and after this stitch. In the 10th, 13th, 16th, 19th, and 21st rounds work one widening in a straight direction above the widening in the preceding round, the number of stitches between the widenings increasing by 2 in each round. In the 22d round take up the stitch of the gore and the stitches on both sides on separate needles, and finish the thumb in 12 rounds, working always forward.

 In the last 4 rounds close the thumb, narrowing three times, one above another, in a straight direction, at regular intervals, and work off the remaining 3 stitches together. Lay on the thread anew at the main part, and finish the mitten, narrowing in the last 8 of the 50 rounds four times at regular intervals, one above another, in a straight direction, so that in the last round all the stitches are used up. For the cuff, worked crosswise, make a foundation of 9 stitches, and on these work 3 pattern rows in Afghan stitch.
 The 4th pattern row is worked on the lower vertical veins of the pattern row before the last, and thus becomes raised. The 6th pattern row is worked on the third, and the 6th on the 5th pattern row. Repeat always the 4th to 6th pattern rows until the cuff is of suitable width. Join the stitches of the last pattern row with the foundation stitches, and edge the cuff with 1 round as follows: * 1 single crochet on the first edge stitch between the next 2 pattern rows, 4 chain stitches, 1 single crochet on the fifth following vein below, 4 chain stitches, 1 slip stitch on the first of the 4 chain stitches before the last, 4 chain stitches, and repeat from *; finally, 1 slip on the first single crochet in this round."

Harper's Young People, November 29th, 1881.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Vintage Images - Columbus Day

Saturday Evening Post cover from Pinterest.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


Friday, October 9, 2015

Quote Of The Day

Whenever you give any living creature cause to depend on you, be careful on no account to disappoint it. ~ Sarah Trimmer

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

1st Week of Retirement -- Going Well

Of course, it’s only Tuesday.

(This coffee mug was left on my desk in a carefully-wrapped package by one of the nurses who worked with me last year.  When I opened it, it was full of white powder.  I’m plotting my revenge).

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Men Are From Mars, Women Are Vegetarians


Oven-barbecued Swiss Steak
Baked Potatoes with Chives
Buttered Corn
Cabbage-Carrot Salad
Brownie Pudding          Coffee

Oven-barbecued Swiss Steak

2 pounds round or chuck steak, 1 inch thick
2 8-oz cans seasoned tomato sauce
1 T. sugar
1 T. vinegar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 dashes bottled hot pepper sauce
1 medium onion, sliced

Combine 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, a teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper; coat meat with mixture.  Brown slowly on both sides in hot fat.  Spoon off excess fat.

Combine next 5 ingredients and pour over.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer uncovered 5 minutes, add onion slices.  Cover and bake in an oven going skillet or Dutch oven at 350 for 1 to ¼ hours or until for tender.  Makes 6 servings."

Better Homes and Gardens, So-Good Meals, 1963.


Herbed Spinach Bake
Carrot-stick Bundles     Radish Roses
Graham Gems    Butter
Banana Brittle Dessert   Hot Tea

Herbed Spinach Bake

1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, cooked and drained
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup shredded sharp process cheese
2 slightly beaten eggs
2 T. soft butter or margarine
1/3 c. milk
2 T. chopped onion
½ t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t.  salt
¼ t. rosemary, crushed

Combine ingredients.  Pour into 10x6x1 ½ inch baking dish.  Bake in moderate oven (350) for 20 to 25 minutes or till knife inserted between center and edge comes out clean.  Cut in 6 squares."

Better Homes & Gardens, Lunches and Brunches, 1963.

Saturday, October 3, 2015


Friday, October 2, 2015

Quote Of The Day

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy. ~ Sir Ernest Benn