Sunday, January 31, 2010

Conscience strikes back

One of my favorite books from college was Budziszewski's What We Can't Not Know, which talked about conscience and how you really can't escape it. He went into the Greek Furies and all kinds of fun stuff. This article from Boundless just linked Budziszewski on conscience with why there's such an all-fired fuss about Tim Tebow's pro-life commercial for the Superbowl. The opposition must be silenced: if nobody else tells them they're wrong, maybe their consciences won't, either.

I can't prove it, of course, but it has a lot of explanatory power.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Happy one-month birthday, Meg!

Today is Meg's one-month birthday! To celebrate, Richmond got several inches of snow. Jonathan and I had a big pot of a stew and a Settlers of Catan marathon, with a few photo shoots of the baby in between.

If you look, snow is drifted up on the sill, nearly covering the bottom pane of our kitchen window. That's how much we got today.

How to deconstruct almost anything

Ben A. was kind enough to forward me this article on literary deconstruction, which is not only hilarious but quite accurate in certain regards. I highly recommend it. (Caution: there is just a bit of language.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's up!

My beautiful sister and her fiance officially have their wedding website up. Many kudos to them for accomplishing this (and all the rest of the wedding-planning!).

The "Proposal" section is particularly worth visiting. I merely note in passing that there's something about Los Alamos that makes serious boyfriends propose at the FIRST POSSIBLE opportunity. My own Jonathan did too, the very night he flew out from New Jersey. It's wonderful.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Meg and a bread pudding

"Isn't it amazing how peaceful the house is when Meg isn't screaming?" Jonathan, just now.

She actually doesn't mostly. But when she does scream, she fills the house. It's like light or packing peanuts - it expands into all available space - only more, um, shrill. She came equipped with excellent lungs.

In other news, I recently made a lovely bread pudding and yesterday we went exploring and found a beautiful lake. And I haven't made these button cookies, but aren't they adorable? (You have to scroll down for pictures.)

I actually made a half recipe of the bread pudding (without the applejack). The half-amount was precisely how much maple syrup we had on hand, which was a pity because what I made disappeared really fast. It came out of the oven a delicious mound of moist, apple-ey, maple-ey goodness. The only change I would make next time would be to cook it on a lower shelf in the oven because the top apples crossed the line from "caramelized" to "carbonized." But that recipe is definitely a keeper.

As for the lake, we need to go back when it isn't raining and nearly dark and January, and bring friends. :-)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

'An excellent electioneering potion'

"But they were the progenitors of the cocktail, which made its official debut in print in 1806, in a publication called The Balance and Columbian Repository. In a letter to the editor, a reader had queried the meaning of a new word, cocktail. The editor wrote back:

'Cocktail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters. It is vulgarly called a bittered sling and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head... It is said also, to be of great use to a Democratic candidate because, a person having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow anything else.'"

"The Craft of the Cocktail" by Dale Degroff.

And there you have it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Many Happy Returns

And it looks like today is A.A. Milne's birthday! I adore this Semicolon post: it's full of delightful bits and snippets, some Winnie-the-Pooh-ish, and others not quite so much.

Meg and I have been reading The House at Pooh Corner. That is, I've been reading it, and she's been mostly sleeping through it. That's all right. But it appears that not everyone liked it when it came out, and Dorothy Parker went so far as to write an unkind review. To which (according to the post linked above) Milne replied he didn't write it for her. " . . . no writer of children’s books says gaily to his publisher, ‘Don’t bother about the children, Mrs Parker will love it.'"

And there you have it.

Word games

Jonathan's parents came to visit Meg (and us), and this evening she decided to take a 4 1/2 hour nap. So the rest of us played games. We get pretty intense about Boggle, let me tell you. I won.

Regarding my use of the word "fere", with great disgust: "It's an archaic word. She got it out of a poem." Jonathan

"You sounded so affronted that I got it out of a poem." Me
"I was." Jonathan
"Kanary sent to me." Me
"And that makes it better?" Jonathan
"Yes!" Me
"Kanary had an Assyrian beard." Jonathan
"Yes, he did." Me
"Red herringed!" Jonathan

Well, despite such dubious provenance, it's still a good poem. I may have posted it on here before; I can't remember. In fact, once Jonathan read it (in a grand Sco'ish accent, nae less), he admitted it was awesome enough I was allowed to get the word from it. :-)

"Fere," incidentally, means companion or spouse. It's connected to "faran," as in to "fare forth" or "fare thee well," so a fere is apparently someone you travel with. It's quite a nice word, really.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Welcoming Meg

Jonathan and I are pleased to welcome Margaret Hope to our family. :-D The details:

Born 12:39 pm, December 30
8 lbs, 1 oz
20 1/2" long

She came home from the hospital January 1, and she is a beautiful and very good baby. She sleeps for three or four hours at a whack through the night and actually tolerates diaper changes, though she isn't a fan of sponge baths. She had some trouble nursing at first, but that cleared up and she now eats voraciously. At last check, she had re-gained nearly six ounces in two days and was well on her way back up to her birth weight. Meg likes being with her people, riding in the car, and being read and talked to in Latin. (Seriously. It must be the rhythm or something. I'm going to have to brush up.) She has my nose, chin, and skill at making faces, and her daddy's general face structure and eye and hair coloring.

Pictures are up on Facebook. If you don't have an account and simply must see her, let me know. :-)