For my regular visitors, if you find that this blog hasn't been updating much lately, chances are pretty good I've been spending my writing energy on my companion blog. Feel free to pop over to Moving On, and see what else has been going on.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I shall not procrastinate...

... at least not this time!

The last few weeks have been busy and I neglected to post our library lists before we ended up returning various books and media. We just got back from our library trip a little while ago, so I'm going to post the list NOW .. *before* I start on supper and the other stuff that always creeps up and distracts me. :-D

Youngest seems determined to work her way through the Time-Life Enchanted World series. She just returned three of them, then took out three more. Dwarfs, Magical Beasts and Fabled Lands.

Eldest had been determined not to take out any books at all, because she still had 3 architecture books she hasn't even looked at since last week. Of course, things don't always work out as planned... ;-) She ended up taking out:

Fashion Accessories: The complete 20th century sourcebook with 2000 full-colour illustrations. After a title like that, what's left to say about it??

90 Years of Fashion. An illustrated book of clothing and accessories from 1900-1990

Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution. This book discusses the intellectual revolution of the 17th and early 18th centuries.

Higher Superstition: The academic left and its quarrels with science. In the book, the authors "...raise serious questions about the growing criticism of science by humanist and social scientist on the "academic left." As literary theorists deconstruct scientific "texts" and feminists condem scientific "patriarchy," they argue, principles and practices that underlie 300 years of scientific achievement come under attack from scholars with little actual knowledge of science." I think I'm going to have to read this one, too.

English Costume from the Early Middle Ages Through the Sixteenth Century. Another one I'll have to go through myself - our home school group's Medieval Day is coming soon.

Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit on the Halls of Science. Dang. Another one I'm going to have to read, too! *L*

The next batch were my own finds. Now that we've finally found a propane tank for the BBQ I got for my husband for Christmas, I made a point of getting BBQ cook books. These include:

The Backyard Barbecue Cookbook
Barbecue Secrets: Unbeatable Recipes, Tips & Tricks from a Barbecue Champion
and Barbecues 101: Mare than 100 Recipes for Great Grilled, Smoked and Barbecued Food Plus All the Fixing for Perfect Outdoor Parties. Gotta love those long sub-titles! *L*
I also snagged Menus from An Orchard Table: Celebrating the Food and Wine of the Okanagan. I'll be honest, here. I grabbed that one because of the beautiful photo on the cover, as well as the great photography inside. I'm sure the recipes won't disappoint, though. :-D

I was going to grab the next Cadfael Omnibus, but the one on the shelf had 2 stories that were included in one of the omnibus' (omnibi?) we'd just returned, and only one we haven't read recently. So I picked a bunch of individual books, instead. The Summer of the Danes, The Confession of Brother Haluin, The Potter's Field, The Holy Thief and A Rare Benedictine: The Advent of Brother Cadfael. The good thing about picking all these up separately is that Eldest and I won't be fighting over the same omnibus any more. *L*

From the audio/visual section, I grabbed a couple of new cd's - well, new to the library, at least.

The Music of Namaste: Composed and performed by Tim McCauley
He'eia: Cyril Pahinui

On the dvd front, I grabbed a couple more from The Great Courses, each with 2 dvd's. I found part one of The Nature of Earth: An Introduction to Geology. We hadn't finished watching the part 2 we'd borrowed before. We really don't have much time to watch them, but we liked it enough to make the effort to get the first set. These courses are simply university lectures - a prof at the front of the room (Professor John J. Renton of West Virginia University) talking, with a few graphic illustrations added in. Sounds boring, right? It wasn't! We all really enjoyed the lectures. So much so that my husband, who had been playing WoW with his headphones while we watched got too distracted to play and watched with us. *L* I'm hoping the other set we got, Science Wars: What Scientists Know and How They Now It: Part 1 of 2, is just as enjoyable. This one features Professor Steven L. Goldman of Lehigh University.

And finally, we got The Viking Age from a 6 title series called The Story of Civilization.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Wishing everyone a peaceful and joyous Easter.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Pretty much ready...

Dh and I are finally feeling better again - and thankfully, the girls didn't catch whatever it is that laid us low! So we've been busily getting things ready for the basket.

First, we got a few pizanki done. Eldest did the 3 black ones, plus the green and yellow one. I think she did much better than I did. Youngest wasn't interested in doing any this year.

After these were done, I needed to figure out how to store them. I got out the carton with last year's eggs to see how much room I had and made a discovery. I think something heavy had thumped onto the carton, as one of the raw eggs was cracked and leaking. Actually, my biggest surprise was how little smell there was. It was quite gross. Thankfully, only one other egg was close enough that it was damaged and needed to be thrown out as well. Sadly, the two that had to be thrown out where the only two that Youngest had made, so now we have none from her. Ah, well. There's always next year.

I got the Dragon's Eggs done today as well. I find them so beautiful, right from when they're finished cooking...

... to the insides of the shells after they've been removed...

... to the finished eggs.

I also got the bread for the basket baked. I decided to go with an egg bread instead of our usual rye. It's just our basic white bread recipe using 2 eggs for some of the liquid, and honey instead of sugar. This one is for the basket, but I had enough for a second, smaller loaf that I made into a twist and baked in a small cast iron frying pan. That one promptly got eaten. :-D

So all the baking and dying and stuff is done. All we have to do now is assemble the basket tomorrow morning for blessing. :-)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A sick house today...

Dh and I are both sick today. When I saw this picture, it captured how I'm feeling - and our cat's habit of jumping up and getting comfy on my back at the most inopportune moments - perfectly.

Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics

I hope you're having a better day than we are!! *L*

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Preparing for Easter

Easter is another of those celebrations where I like to continue traditions I grew up with. As a Polish Roman Catholic Family, Christmas and Easter were the two biggest celebrations. Here's a link describing some of the Easter traditions we celebrated.

In the next little while, we'll be starting on the eggs for our basket. I'll be blowing some eggs for wax resist colouring, though I might keep some raw. Raw are easier to dye, since they don't bob and float or fill with dye that needs to be drained. We shall see. We'll also be doing kraszanki and kit dyed eggs like last year, too. Those and some Dragon Eggs will be done as late as possible. Our basket always has peeled eggs in it, as even peeling eggs counts as work, and no work is to be done on Easter Sunday, if at all possible.

Here are a few links about Easter eggs and the traditions around them for you to enjoy.

Pisanki (pdf)

Polish Easter

Polish Easter recipes

The Decorated Easter Egg

Easter Eggs at Poland by Mail

Lithuanian Easter eggs - these patterns are much closer to the ones I'm familiar with.

Swieconka (pdf) - listing contents and symbolism of the traditional Polish Easter basket.

Easter Saturday in Poland
- bringing our baskets in for blessing was a favourite event for me. I loved seeing all the different things people included in their baskets and wondered about them. Some were giant baskets, overflowing with breads, sausages, fruits and a bottle of wine. Others were nothing more than a loaf of hearty rye bread, already sliced. Soon the entire front of the church would be filled with 40 or more baskets, and the smells would be just heavenly!

At some point, my mother started to bring an extra empty basket. She would put in near the alter, slightly apart from the others, and add a few items from our own baskets. Others would add to it as well, soon filling it - a gift for the priest. As one of the only people who had horseradish of our own, my mother would also dig up extra roots to share with others.