Notes to myself

Did you know President Bush read a book a week while in office? Read about his reading challenge with Karl Rove.

how to get started submitting poetry very good page with excellent and simple ideas

Book to buy if I am going to continue to write on GT

Nicholson and Mohler’s article

Shakespeare in Slow Motion Apply with references by March 6.

Can’t apply for this conference, because it is limited to full-timers only. Such discrimination.

Good website on Mansfield Park.

Search engine for all of Jane Austen’s novels.

A far more detailed list of things about Mansfield Park, and all Austen’s novels.

Africa Needs God

Now a confirmed atheist, I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.

from a Time Online UK column

Go read it all. Fascinating stuff.

found via The Common Room

Too much to say, too few words to say it in.

I am working on a paper which is supposed to be published next year. The stated length was 3,000 to 5,000 words. Presently I have 6,300 words. In addition, there is at least one other section that I want to add (though I think I should add two). I could make it a bit shorter by leaving out two of the sections I have already written, but those are the two shortest sections. Three of the others must remain and one I want to remain because I think I add something new to the conversation in it.

I have tried to reorganize. I have shortened it already by more than a thousand words. So I have done some things well.

Of course, the paper is due in six days. That limits how much work I can put into it. That’s probably good. No matter how well written something is, I always think it can be improved.

Right now I have
nature of man
reality versus perception

I think that a more coherent/comprehensive work would have examined

However, I haven’t written those other two sections. And I am not sure I want to throw away 4100 words and start again. Especially six days before it is due.

In case you think I have been lazy and putting this off, I did not receive the assignment until the day after Thanksgiving. Since then I have graded 15 sets of papers, including final exams, written another paper (2,500 words), and written a review (850 words).

I had, before yesterday, only read one book for pleasure in that month. Now I have read two. Usually in a month I read between 30 and 120 books.

I guess I will remove the two shorter sections. That will get me to almost the limit. But I won’t be able to add anything. Neither learning nor reason.

Those do give me another paper to write on the topic though.


Reuter’s Health had a post:

“Adults with a sibling who’s suffered from a mental disorder may themselves be at risk of depression, a new study suggests.”

Er, duh.

If you have a major issue in your life, one that involves someone you love, one that is ongoing, then you are more likely to have depression. Did they have to study that to see it?

“So this is Christmas”

Andrew Luckabaugh could hardly contain himself. The Fairfax County 9-year-old was aboard a Boeing 777 at Dulles International Airport, bound for the North Pole. Soon, he would be meeting Santa Claus and telling the big guy what he wants for Christmas this year.

Read the rest.

The whole song about “so this is Christmas” just sang in my head while I read this post.

Christmas Eve night

Christmas eve is not as fun when your kids are almost grown. They have no big wants. They have money (from birthdays and Christmas.) They’re not into anything they don’t already have.

So what do we give them for Christmas? This year E got a magnetic sculpture made of a strong magnet and bolts. This can be changed around and it reminded me of his bobble head and his art model. He also got a $15 pair of headphones. M, on the other hand, made out like a bandit, with a pair of gloves and the same headphones. I spent $15 more on him than on his brother. (We also paid for one and a half months of their insurance as a present. They made enough Christmas money to pay for the next four months.)

R got a wallet, that he picked out, and a watch, that he picked out. I also dropped by the mall today (There are no limits to my love.) and purchased Blink for him. So he did have one present he wasn’t expecting.

I got three steel birds from R. (They were a request.) E purchased Understanding Poverty for me. That may seem like a small gift, but he called the bookstore to find out if they had it. Then he went and got it. Then he brought it home and wrapped it himself in Christmas wrapping paper. My favorite Christmas wrapping paper. I thought it was sweet. M and I went to the Lifeway bookstore and he purchased my gift and a card with an ornament in it. I picked them out. He didn’t sign the card, just put them both in a gift bag he chose from the closet.

It was a small Christmas, but sweet.

We ended it by watching Stranger than Fiction, a wonderful movie that everyone should see, especially if they have an English teacher in their household. Interesting. Very interesting.

He IS the bee’s knees.

That’s what the Anchoress, I believe it was, said about President Bush. And The Washington Times makes clear one of the reasons why:

Mr. Bush, for instance, has sent personal letters to the families of every one of the more than 4,000 troops who have died in the two wars, an enormous personal effort that consumed hours of his time and escaped public notice.

In an age when people don’t write actual letters at all, when protests against soldiers who are walking in the hall are considered “patriotic,” when all things Bush are despised, this is amazing. And an indication of the greatness of the man who has been president the last eight years.

Oma White’s Grilled Veggie Bake Recipe

2 red peppers
2 red onions
2 TBS butter
6 oz each: broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini
10 oz blackeyed peas
2 carrots
2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayene
3 TBS red vinegar

Melt 2 TBS of butter and cook the red onions in it. (about 3 min)
Slice red peppers, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, cauliflower.
Add these vegetables to the blackeyed peas.
Add vinegar, oil, and spices.
Add red onion/butter mix to the other veggies
1 TBS water goes in now.
Put in aluminum foil and crimp to seal.
Grill 15 minutes on medium.

Best Gingerbread-forming Cookies on the Planet Recipe

This recipe makes a lot of dough. And it is delicious. You need a 1/2 c cold coffee. The better the coffee, the better the cookies. Last time I made this, I went and got a cup at Randall’s because they were giving it away free.

1 c butter, softened
1+1/2 c sugar
1 c light molasses
1/2 c cold coffee
6 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 egg

Cream butter and sugar
Beat in molasses and coffee
Mix flour, baking soda, salt, and spices together.
Add and mix well
Chill 1-2 hours
Roll dough 1/4 in thick
Cut with cookie cutters dipped in flour
Place on ungreased baking sheet
Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes

Grama Willine gave me this recipe. I made it with my boys when we lived in the apartment in Austin. We took little cookies to the families around us. We had a lot of fun decorating them to match the people in the other apartments.

I’m going to make these again sometime.

Nappa Cabbage Salad Recipe

Nappa cabbage, shredded or torn
green onions, optional
2 pkgs Ramen noodles- raw, not cooked, and crunched up
1/4 c sesame seeds
12 oz pkg spiced almonds

1/4 c oil
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp pepper
6 TBSP rice vinegar

R really likes this.

Pappa Wayne’s Cheese Dip Recipe

Pappa Wayne likes high scofield numbers. There is a revised version following it that people who are not from India or still have their taste buds can use.

The Volcanic Version:
2 lb box Velveeta cheese
1 med red (purple) onion, chopped
8 oz Pace picante sauce, hot
1 can (10-12 oz) RoTel chopped tomatoes and peppers, extra hot
1 can (4.5 oz) green chili peppers, chopped
1/4- 1/2 chopped jalapenos.

Combine all ingredients and cook in crock pot or microwave, stirring occasionally.
Note: Microwave tends to burn cheese.

Note: Overcooking it makes the Velveeta cheese separate, so cook it long enough to melt it and then put it on low heat.

The normal tongue version:
2 lb box Velveeta cheese
1 medium red (purple) onion, chopped
8 oz Pace picante sauce, mild or medium
1 can (10-12 oz) Rol-Tel tomatoes and peppers, mild or original
1 can (4.5 oz) green chili peppers, chopped

Combine all ingredients and cook in crock pot or microwave. See both Notes above.

Oma White’s Vegetarian Tamale Casserole Recipe

She’s 90 now.

8 oz cheddar cheese (shredded)
8+ oz whole kernel corn, drained
8+ oz pinto beans, 1/2 drained
8+ oz black beans, drained
8+ oz garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 c green onion tops, sliced
1 TBSP chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin

To the top add batter from 1 pkg Jiffy cornbread mix.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.
Serves 6.

Vera’s Brownies Recipe

Amaze your friends with homemade brownies.

2 sticks butter, softened
2 c sugar
4 eggs
1/2 c cocoa or 1/2 c Nestle Quik
1 + 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 c nuts
1 + 1/2 c flour

Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.

Mom’s Sausage Balls Recipe

3 c bisquick
1 lb sausage
1 lb grated cheese
3/4 c water or bullion

cook meat
make balls
15 minutes at 350 degrees

Good stuff. Great comfort food. Good breakfast/brunch snack too.

I can relax now.

E should be an automatic admit to A&M. All of his required stuff is in and processed. (Some of that took a long time.) So he should be good to go.

Now, we’ll wait to hear from UT and UNC.

Goals for this year:

I know you think this is about 2009, but it isn’t. It’s about 2008. There are eleven more days in the year.

I want to do well at salsa class Monday night and have fun.

I want to finish a first draft of my paper by Wednesday. Then do a rewrite by Saturday. Then send it to my dad for editing. I’m probably making it harder than it has to be, but I want the article with my name on it to be a significant piece. So I am working hard to make it that.

It would be cool if next year, we could use a book with my work in it as a supplemental text. That would probably mean changing the plan for the class, but I’m doing that anyway as I go along, so that wouldn’t be a problem.

Oh, and I want to do something fun/cool/exciting with my husband without spending too much money next week. Something to mark 20 Christmases.

I think you can probably tell which of these is causing the most angst.

But I am getting closer. I have 5000 words written in a partial first draft. It’s supposed to be 5000 words total, but I did one part in a way that I don’t like, so that needs to be redone and it is a significant word count (maybe 1500 words). I have another three sections to put in too.

So we’ll see how it goes. I took yesterday off and then today I was incredibly efficient at writing. But I’m not sure I want to plan on that idea (day off/day on). I’d really rather get it done before Wednesday and have extra time to rewrite. But I’m aiming for a reasonable goal.

You are probably wondering why I waited till now to write it, aren’t you? Well, I got the job Nov. 26. And I got another writing project that week too. So I did the writing project I thought would be harder first. At the tail end of that project I was taking notes for this one. But it took way longer to take notes than I thought. (Seven days of three to six hours a day.)

And then I didn’t have enough secondary sources to suit myself. So I went back to find those. That slows the whole project down.

I think instead of writing this blog post, I should work on my paper again. Night, night.