Everything is much brighter now

So my mom spent a week in the hospital, but she didn’t die. Yay, Mom! Now she’s at the “spa” which is what we’re calling the facility where she is staying for the next month because “rehab center” doesn’t sound right. She’s working with physical and occupational therapists every day to regain strength and mobility. The goal is to get her walking again. If ferocity and determination count for anything, she’ll make it.


I picked more than 50 tomatoes from my garden this morning, which means we’ll be eating gazpacho all week. Has anyone tried to freeze gazpacho?

I received the ARC of the British version of CHAINS.

Here’s the British cover.

This is the American version.


real life sadness

Author and children’s literature expert Coleen Salley has recently had a down-turn in her health and has entered a retirement home. Coleen wrote the Epossomundas books, helped found the Coleen Salley/Bill Morris Literacy Foundation and spread the good news about children’s literature across the world.

She recently had a birthday and would be very cheered by any and all cards. You can send them to her at St. James Retirement, Attn: Coleen Salley, HCE 503, 333 Lee Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70808. Thank you, Kimberly Willis Holt, for the news.

It appears to be a season of struggles for classy dames everywhere.

My mom was put back in the hospital late last week. She’s feeling better now and may come home in a few days, but things are a little complicated, so I’ll probably not be posting for a while. Please forgive this interruption of your regularly scheduled blogreading. I’ll be back when I can.

(edited to add) This is the woman who let me read instead of doing chores:

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our flag-bearer

Lopez Lomong is carrying the flag of the United States in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics today.

He is a refugee from Sudan, one of the Lost Boys, who came to America in 2001 and settled in with a foster family in Central New York. His foster parents, Robert and Barbara Rogers, took in six boys from Sudan who had lost everything. This article about Lomong and his American family should raise a lump in your throat.

We are very proud to call this amazing guy one of ours!

to the jerk who trespassed in the Forest

Over the weekend someone slashed our “Obama for President” sign with a knife. Sliced it into ribbons.

In honor of that person, I’ve decided to make another contribution to Sen. Obama’s campaign.

I am actually a more conservative person than most people might guess. I am a registered Republican, although the leadership of both parties makes me weep. You have to be a registered something around here. My husband and I own guns and we hunt. I believe in balanced budgets, personal accountability, small government that stays the heck out of people’s lives, and in the old-fashioned concept of Americans caring for each other. I believe that the Bush administration is the worst thing that has ever happened to America, and that under Bush’s leadership our country has been sold out to the interests of major corporations. I want my country back.

I support Sen. Obama’s position on energy use, healthcare, education, and getting us out of Iraq.

I have read Sen. McCain’s position papers. I don’t agree with most of them. If he is elected, I don’t think the country will be in as dangerous a position as we have been under the Bush administration, but I don’t think Sen. McCain really grasps the situation of working people in America. He seems out of touch and his proposals lack vision and depth.

So the Obama signs are going back up on the trees that face the road. They will be hung so that they can be seen by passers-by, but anyone who wants to destroy them is going to have to hike a little to get to them.

Along with the “Obama for President” signs, we’re going to post the following message, to anyone violates our Constitutionally-protected private property and destroys our Constitutionally-protected right to free speech by ruining our statement of political support.

The extra sign will say this:

“God Bless America!
If you are standing close enough to read this, you need to know three things:

1. You are trespassing on private property.

2. You have already been photographed. (by a scouting camera)

3. You are standing in a sea of poison ivy.

Three cheers for the First Amendment!”

a sea of musket balls and gunpowder

I am neck deep in 18th century lists of military stores; things like powder horns, bayonet belts, grapeshot, and bear skins. It is heavenly!

I spent the weekend on the road. On Saturday I went to the Fort Plain Museum in Fort Plain, NY for a small (but wonderful) Revolutionary War encampment/reenactment.

Sunday was a long, fantastic day at the RevWar encampment/reenactment at Old Sturbridge Village. Nearly one thousand reenactors were there: soldiers, artisans, women, and lots of their children. All of these people are passionate about understanding the Revolutionary War and have made it their hobby. They go to these encampments to live as people did in the period. They dress, cook, work crafts, relax, have military drills and mock battles all as close to the original thing as possible.

This is a Patriot militia unit.

The British had fancy-pants uniforms and they still lost.

There were plenty of women with General Washington’s army. They were not ladies of the night. They were hired to cook, clean, sew, and help the sick soldiers. Many of them were married to soldiers. Some had their children with them.

The reenactors could not have been more generous with the time. I asked a bazillion pesky questions about the tiny stuff – how does one fire a flintlock musket in the air (answer: one usually doesn’t), the finer points of cooking in a dutch oven, and the art of rolling paper gunpowder cartridges.

Back to work on my story now. Remind to tell you about the guy who let me taste gunpowder…