Entries to Win Afghan

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Answers to Vocabulary Game

vocabulary dayAnswers to this month's vocabulary additions.

If you don't care much about the real meanings, check yesterday's comments for some great daffynitions from Chuck!

1. Pullulating
b. experiencing a growth spurt, spreading
from the Latin pullulare to spread out. It can also mean to teem or swarm

2. Pederast
a. one who practices sodomy (particularly man and boy)
from the Greek paidos a boy and eros love. Not such a nice word, but there it was in the book I was reading

3. Harled
a. a wall coated with lime
b. dragged forcefully
c. snarled
d. made of filaments like cable or a braid
It means all of those! It comes from Middle English harl to drag or scrape. I'm not sure how it evolved to the braided strand thing. It can also be a barb of a feather used on a fly for fishing. I may have heard it in this context. And, it also means to split the hind leg of a carcass (between the two leg bones) so you can hang it to draw and dress it. How interesting that there is actually a word for that. For a word with so many meanings, you would think it might be used more often

4. Quotidian
d. daily
from the Latin quotidianus daily. It often refers to a daily return of a fever, such as with malaria.

5. Prole
c. a common person
This is apparently slang for a member of the proletariat, the lowest class of persons in Rome, and now refers to the working class.

I'm in Grand Rapids (Lowell, actually) with Maggie. Tonight was the NCTA Christmas party for board and staff. I'm neither, but I got invited, and I'm delighted to see these people. There were about 25 people stuffed into Bruce & Linda's house. These are just a few of them. We are all folks who are in love with the North Country Trail. (And Bruce is a fantastic cook!)

See Vocabulary Day
See Last Night and Today with the NCTA
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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Vocabulary Day

vocabulary dayThis was going to be a monthly feature. Ha! How long has it been since I've done this? I'm not going to look it up or I'll be too embarrassed.

No matter: Here are some recent new or re-learned words for you to guess. Answers tomorrow. Any daffynitions are welcome.

1. Pullulating
a. oozing pus
b. experiencing a growth spurt, spreading
c. using a pulley
d. yodeling

2. Pederast
a. one who practices sodomy
b. the base of a statue
c. a footrest
d. one who travels by foot

3. Harled
a. a wall coated with lime
b. dragged forcefully
c. snarled
d. made of filaments like cable or a braid

4. Quotidian
a. a person who likes to use adages
b. a French carriage
c. a French dance
d. daily

5. Prole
a. the primary role
b. to roll
c. a common person
d. a baby buggy

By the way, today, I ran into one of the words from the list I posted in March and I remembered what it meant!

Also by the way, I used to keep a card file of words. Then when I entered the computer age I wrote a program to test me on random words I entered into the database. Now, you have to go out of your way to be able to run any programs you write yourself. (One of my pet peeves, Chuck). So my old BASIC program is worthless.

Maybe I'll try to find the old card file and bring it up to date. Sometimes low-tech is JUST FINE.

See Vocabulary Day- October 2010
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Timing is So Important

"Just" a sunset again today. But, isn't it an interesting truth that there are maybe two to five minutes out of every 1440 when one might see a great sunset. And not every day offers one. So, at BEST, that is three-tenths of one percent for sunsets of the minutes we have available. I think we should treasure each beautiful one we see!

I locked one up in pixels for you tonight.


See Sharing a Sunset
See Blue Sunset
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Polka Dots and Stripes 2

I was out doing assignments today, and had writers' group tonight. Busy day.

One project I've been working at for a bit is getting all my previous blog posts printed and into a notebook, so all those memories aren't lost if something happens to the on-line versions. Big job. But I'm making progress.

One thing that has been impressed on me even more strongly is how much I appreciate all your comments. It took several months of blogging here at MQD before people began coming by and getting acquainted. Feedback makes it so much more fun!

I think, beginning in December I'll get back to rewarding the top commenters. With Entrecard and Adgetize gone the number of comments has dropped dramatically. I get that... no hard feelings. But I'm thinking I might reward the top five each month with a larger ad.

Anyway... one of my early posts was Polka Dots and Stripes. Not sure if that was on my mind today, or if these images were simply there waiting for me to collect.

full moon through branches

OK, so it was just one big polka dot this time.

light through fence

Plenty of stripes, though!

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Just a Spot of Color

Nothing went quite right today. Nothing went really wrong, either- no major complaints. But here I am nearly at bedtime, and I don't have any picture from today. I decided I could use a spot of color myself, so went hunting for a summer garden flower.

This is a tiny hosta that my friend Ester gave me years ago. It spreads like wildfire- a good thing in my rotten soil. I love the bloom, as it is a darker purple than most hostas.

Each leaf is only about two inches long.

I have quite a few hostas, but my garden has been neglected terribly the past few years. Maybe I'll get the bug in 2013. It can be quite nicebetter than a messy weed patch when it's cleaned up.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

First Skiing and ???

OK, so it was crappy skiing, but I went out anyway. The first time each year is still the first time. Can't argue with that logic, eh?

ski tracks

And, I'm starting a major project. Omer's gone on an end-of-paper-route celebration trip, so I can make as big a mess as I want.

wood on a tarp

Any guesses?

See Swish Glide Clomp Clomp
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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pi(e) is a Relationship

As noted the other day, there has been no blog proof of pumpkin pie. The mathematical proof of π is simple. In fact, it doesn't need any proof. It just is. It's the relationship of a circle's circumference to the diameter. It doesn't matter if the circle is large or small, if you divide the circumference by the diameter you get π. Exactly. Although there is no exactly, because it's an irrational number, a number that goes on infinitely with the division never coming out even. And it can't be represented exactly by a fraction. When we used 3.14 or 22/7 in high school, those are only approximations that are close enough for most problems.

If you want the area of a circle there's another relationship with π in it, πr2.

Interestingly enough, we've just wandered into calculus. Since d=2r (diameter equals twice the radius), then the circumference = 2πr

If you integrate that "line" you get πr2, and the integral of any line gives you the area under the line.

OK, I almost kept going, but I expect most readers have already had enough math fun for the day.

Pie is a relationship too. It's the relationship of fat, flour and liquid worked into a crust, and some filling, sweetener and thickening, baked to a state of perfection.

pumpkin pie

I'm not about to start complaining about sunshine, so you'll just have to deal with the dappled light in that picture. If you look to the far right, you'll see the filling in the blender. I guess that's the only not-quite-conclusive proof I can offer that it was made from scratch. The crust speaks for itself.

pumpkin pie

I've learned that a 10" pie holds twice as much filling as a 9" pie. How's that for an interesting relationship?

pumpkin pie

The relationship of the size of the pie to the number of servings is also an irrational number. No matter how big the pie is there is never enough and it doesn't come out even.

See Rhubarb Pie
See Crabapple Pie
See Cherry Pie
See Apple Cranberry Pie
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Friday, November 23, 2012

How the Queen Packrat Saved $35 and Made the Dog Sad

Yes, it's the cone of shame for Maggie.

dog wearing cone of shame

Fortunately, I don't think she has to wear it all the time. I don't have it on her right now. But she's crashed across my legs, and I have my eyes right on her.

She has a hot spot on that horrid lump on her leg that she licks a couple of times a day until it is bleeding. I won't show it to you. Let's just say it looks a lot like Darth Vader's head when Luke removes his mask. OK, that's enough of that.

I totally understand the problem. When I have poison ivy, there are one or two times a day that I simply can't leave it alone. Fortunately, I don't get infections easily. Neither does Maggie, but we have to get that mess healed up.

I tried putting an old pair of shorts on her. She gave me some pretty strange looks at that, and they worked fine when she wasn't interested in the licking project. Then... she worked at the shorts until she got the fabric out of the way and took the scabs off. Sigh...

I looked at a lot of different cone collars on line, pricing them, and seeing what they were made of. When I found some that were made from semi-rigid foam, I said, "Aha! I have some of that!" (and I knew where it was) Add some duct tape and we are good to go.

dog wearing cone of shame

Maggie is now 14 years, 8 months old- the oldest dog I've ever owned. She's slowed down, but is in good health and mental condition except for that horrible lump. I don't want to have to make unhappy decisions just because she can't leave that alone.

I hate the sad eyes from wearing the cone, but it beats the alternatives.

See Maggie's Turn- A Trip to the Vet
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Om and I ate a nice meal at home mid-day, and then set off to have some fun. This was our first stop, our pastor's house and their guests. (Just a note... I'm just showing one picture from each location. It's Thanksgiving! Most everyplace had lots of people there.)

photo label

Everyplace we went, we had people do a little project. Each person had to write something they were thankful for on a paper "turkey feather." Here you see this project in progress.

photo label

The feathers were fit into the tail of an origami turkey, which went to whatever home we went to next. Here, friends Doug and Cathy show off the turkey they were given. Their family isn't coming till the weekend, so they were happy to have some company and a little fun. You might notice that Om has a basket.

photo label

The basket had a selection of those breads you saw yesterday. We passed those out along the way.

photo label

The picture above doesn't begin to show the number of people at this place. However, the lady on the left is my friend Betty. She was the first friend I made when we moved up here in 1969. Their dinner was being held at her second daughter's house, with 19 people! All four daughters were there, seven of the 8 grandchildren, and a collection of boyfriends/girlfriends, and spouses. The only one missing was the granddaughter who just had the first great-grandchild. An amazing group!

photo label

Our final stop was with a family who was home alone with sick kids, so they enjoyed the visit.

We weren't quite out of breads, but we were almost out of daylight, and Om isn't 100% better from his cold yet. So we came home.

We had a great time!

See An Evening with Betty
See Thanksgiving 2011
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cast Your Bread...


Cast your bread...

quick breads

Oh sorry, you'll have to wait till tomorrow to see what happens.

Whole wheat pumpkin, Chocolate zucchini, Lemon raisin, Wayside Inn nut, Cranberry orange.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, my friends!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012


The day began with fog, and about the only thing that changed during the day was how thick it was or where it was collecting.

Not only that, poor Om now has my cold, so he's kinda foggy too.


Tomorrow will be a busy day- don't expect pictures of fog.

See Frost, No Fog
See Fog and Frost
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Monday, November 19, 2012

1 Hill = X Pies

Do you like my algebra? It would be a lot easier if the whole equation wasn't also a function of rabbits, deer, bugs, and personal inertia.

One regular reader knows what the heck I'm talking about, but I'll let you all in on the secret.


What? That picture didn't help you?

garden plot

I got tired of hunting for actual pie pumpkins this fall. I've decided to put in one or two hills of them next spring. So I dug up a space and worked in some of the compost I've been hoarding for years.

I took a nice picture of the compost before I worked it in, but that picture didn't record. I need to figure out if this problem is with the camera or this memory card.

Anyway... I may get one more hill dug up, or not. But the soil should be nicely prepared to accept some "Small Sugar" pumpkin seeds.

Yes, I have fencing, but it seems silly to put it up to protect some compost for the winter.

Oh, and I make more pumpkin muffins, breads, and soup than pies, but the best pies come from the small ones that seem to be impossible to buy.

huh! I have no pumpkin pie posts in 4 years of blogging.
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Sunday, November 18, 2012

We Saw Lincoln

No pictures today.

I felt a lot better, but not very energetic. Thanks for all your well-wishes!

We went to Muskegon to see the Spielberg movie, Lincoln.

Definitely the best movie we've seen for a long, long time. I would be surprised if it didn't get several Oscar nomination.

We chatted about history most of the way home in the car.

That's about it for today.

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Last Paper Day

Today was Om's last day of doing the paper route. Ever. He is ecstatic!

I went along to take pictures. Just discovered that half of them didn't record, so that's a bummer. Looks like some kind of memory card error. But we have some.

newspapers in rack

Here he is putting papers on a shelf in a store.

newspapers in bag

When the stores aren't open yet, the papers are just left outside the door.

The pictures of putting papers in home tubes and in a rack (the boxes where you put in coins and take out a paper) didn't save.

However, we got one really important one:

holding a pencil

We all have little quirky things we just don't like, right? One of Om's is that he hates using pencil. But he's been required to use one on the paper record-keeping pages for these six years. So, he's handing off the pencil to me. He hopes to never have to use a pencil again in his life.

Another of his goals is to never see another sunrise. At least not unless he wants to.

This is a major milestone of our lives. Woo hoo!

I'm going to bed. I've been on the couch all day with this cold.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Star Wars: the Cold Insurgency

The theme of the day is "the cold that won't give up." Yes, the runny nose, and cough and sore throat are back. I can't seem to shake this stupid thing.

So I settled in with... Star Wars.

Star Wars movies and books

Since the recent purchase of the rights for episodes 7-9 by Disney, I decided I'd get busy and read the books for those stories. I don't read much sci-fi fantasy, but I do love Star Wars.

I'm only a third of the way into Heir to the Empire (episode 7), and was already needing to get people and places back in my head for the series. I can't count how many times I've seen the middle three movies (the earliest ones filmed), but I'm less well-acquainted with the first three, chronologically.

Solution: settle in with movies. I watched The Phantom Menace (episode 1) and Attack of the Clones (episode 2). I never could follow the plot of that one. However, watching it while reading the plot on Wikipedia made it all make sense.

I fell in love with the stories in 1977 when Star Wars (A New Hope episode 4, although no one ever calls it that), came out. Based on the date it came out, we had all three boys, although I have no memory of Joshua being with us when we saw it. I do remember that Steve was two years old, and we had concerns about how he would react. He loved it. And that was when they didn't clear the theater between showings. We sat and watched it through a second time right then.

The film technology was so cutting edge and we were amazed at how realistic Yoda was (his ears moved!), and what bold girl couldn't fall in love with Princess Leia- a girl who toted a gun and knew how to use it? And she held her own against the flip Han Solo.

We're all so used to CGI being used to make any fantastic thing look ordinary now. But the original movies were a jump into hyperspace with realistic creatures and spaceships.

OK. That's how I spent my quality day today.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

My First Sun Dog (Not a Rainbow)

Seriously? Well, it seems to be the first one I've posted on a blog. I suppose I think they are trite, even though they are beautiful.

This one was a bit odd, though. It hadn't rained at all. Nor snowed. I had finished my last assignment yesterday and was headed home. I was in Ludington, and had to find a place where I could get off the street and still see the color to take a picture.

You might think the "burned out" part of the image is the sun showing through the clouds. Not so. The sun was a good 15 degrees away from the rainbow. I don't know why that one spot was so bright.

Next odd part. This was all there was of it. It was more like a rain-spot. That doesn't sound as pleasant as rain-bow, though, does it? Sounds more like a puddle.

It was sort of a color puddle in the sky.

OK, enough build-up. Here is is.

sun dog

Vanilla and Chuck suggested this is a sun dog. So, today I have learned something new. The red side of a sun dog is toward the sun, so that is exactly what it is. I always thought the blue side was toward the sun, but the light is refracted (through ice in the atmosphere) rather than reflected, so the colors are reversed.

Thanks, guys! I love learning things.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Are You Missing a Pet Grouse?

I'm half kidding. I doubt that this ruffed grouse is anyone's pet, but I've certainly never known one to act so tame before.

I was just backing out of a driveway (today was an assignment day), when this grouse ran across the lawn. Then it stopped running, and began walking slowly toward the car.

ruffed grouse

It kept coming toward the car, and I even moved forward a bit, and rolled down the window so I could take pictures. It wasn't even bothered enough to raise it's crest, but kept walking toward the car. I decided to chance getting out, to try for better pictures.

ruffed grouse

That's a good one! Notice the black line across the tail with no break near the middle. That means it's very likely a male. I guess that makes sense with how bold it was. I'm only about 10 feet away from it at this point. Before it turned around I actually wondered if it was going to charge me.

I think he's asking me for confirmation that his feathers are gorgeous!

ruffed grouse
I guess he finally decided he should act like a wild bird, and leave. But still no flying or running! He just lengthened his stride and walked away. Very strange, but wonderful!

ruffed grouse

I'm better again tonight. Sore throat almost gone, and despite a very full work day, I feel good.

See Ruffed Grouse
See More Grousing
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