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Hi, remember me?

I can't believe it's been six weeks since I posted anything, woah. And I was pretty spotty for a while before that. Real life has been keeping me pretty busy -- our local Ren Fest started which takes up most of our weekends, I've been deep into a re-read of Stephen King's Dark Tower series, we did a ten-day trip west to see family and take care of some business/financial stuff, there's been a bunch of aggravations at work, we've got family coming to visit, there have been some tough times for a close friend, and underneath it all is the constant barrage of nonsense coming from Washington, D.C. which I find more dispiriting every day.

Still, that is no excuse for not keeping up with friends, whether real or virtual. I hope some of you are still around lol!! As a kind of apology for being AWOL so long, I have some books to give away :)

These four I would love to get in the hands of a teacher or home-schooler. They're terrific activities for kids -- math, English, etc.

https://www.amazon.com/Workjobs-Activity-Centered-Learning-Early-Childhood/dp/0201043114
https://www.amazon.com/Workjobs-II-Number-Activities-Childhood/dp/0201043025
https://www.amazon.com/Mathematics-Their-Way-Activity-Centered-Childhood/dp/020186150X
https://www.amazon.com/Ideas-learning-centers-Discovery-children/dp/B0006W1KME

And then there are all of these:

The Hobbits: The Many Lives of Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin
A Window Opens by Jennifer Egan
After Alice by Gregory Maguire
Ghosts, Demons and Dolls
The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror by Joyce Carol Oates
A Fair Maiden by Joyce Carol Oates
The Elementals by Michael McDowell
A Darker Place by Laurie R. King
The Gabriel Hounds by Mary Stewart
Twenty-Five Years of American Short Fiction, Vol 19 No 63 Fall 2016 -- 8 short pieces by established authors (e.g. Joyce Carol Oates) as well as brand new ones, winnders of ASF's writing competition.

First come, first served. No need to pay postage; if you want to do anything in return, please donate to these folks or these folks or your local animal shelter.

Also of course if you get one and read it, come back and tell us what you thought :)

More Snapey goodness

Second round of prompt claiming is open over at sshg_promptfest!

SSHG Prompt Fest

Merci, mes amis français

The French election has made me feel rather better about things. Toutes nos félicitations et tout mon amour, all of y'all :)
Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this amazing opportunity. Srsly :)

"The American Shakespeare Center, a regional theater company in Staunton, Virginia, is looking to stage new plays as companion pieces to William Shakespeare's classics -- all 38 of them.

'We're looking for remarkable playwrights from all walks of life. Do you have a great play that vibes off of Shakespeare's canon? Can you write a great play to be a companion piece to one of Shakespeare's plays? We want to see it.'"

Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape this offer. Get thee to a keyboard!!

In which I am ambivalent about parsnips

One of my goals this year was to get out of the usual menu items that we have in regular rotation and try some new things. The best so far have been sweet potato-green onion pancakes with eggs, ham and pepper jam and Smitten Kitchen's crispy broccoli with lemon and garlic. Tonight I thought I'd try roasting some carrots and parsnips tossed with olive oil, sea salt, fresh-ground pepper, and herbs. I was pretty sure I'd had parsnips at some point in my life, and how bad could a root vegetable be?

Nowhere did any of the recipes I consulted warn me that for the first ten minutes roasting parsnips smell like melting plastic. Ugh ugh ugh.

We soldiered on, however, and in the end they...weren't bad. They needed butter (which is unusual, in my experiene, for roasted veg; perhaps I went too light on the olive oil?) and more seasoning. I also grated a little manchego on top because cheese, you know? The first bite was meh but then they rather grew on me, though I admit that could have been the butter, salt and cheese.

So all I can say is that where parsnips are concerned, I remain uncommitted.

Happy birthday!

I have no idea what the time difference between here and there is (though I should know, because [personal profile] nursedarry lives there too), so I'm just going to go ahead and post this today.

For the talented and entertaining [profile] shiv5468, because blond with peacock. Happy birthday!!

(Edit: Please note, this isn't my own work [I only wish!!]. Click the image for more info about the artwork.)

Disney princesses and their mothers

We went out for dinner with some friends last night (mmmm, seared ahi tuna...) and while yakking about this and that, B. pointed out something I'd never noticed before. Not one of the Disney princesses has a mother. She said that that's why, in the new live-action Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson, they added a sort of "vision" of the past where Belle has a chance to see her mother and learn what happened to her.

Of course, given that the Disney princess stories generally draw on fairy tales, and girls don't often have mothers in the fairy tales either, perhaps it's not so weird. But even the non-fairy tale ones -- Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Pocahontas, Jasmine (Aladdin), Elsa and Anna (Frozen) -- don't have mothers.

The only two exceptions I could think of are Merida (the red-haired Irish Scottish girl who wins her own hand at the archery tournament) and Mulan (the Chinese girl who learns fighting from her father and goes off to war). So basically the only ones that have mothers are the ones who apparently don't need mothers because they're off doing "boy" things.

Isn't that weird?

Thanks, and some pimpage

Heartfelt thanks to you all for your kind and comforting comments on my last post. Mr Psmith and I are slowly getting used to the house without our beloved Demi; it's tough and it hurts, but she's always in our hearts so we feel like she's still close to us.

On a happier note, [profile] sshg_promptfest is open for claiming! There are some wonderful prompts this year, so go forth and stake your claim :)

SSHG Prompt Fest

RIP Miss Demi

Yesterday we had to say goodbye to a loving, faithful, sweet-natured companion. We are not good for much today, what with this big hole in our hearts. *snif*

"When the Man waked up he said, 'What is Wild Dog doing here?' And the Woman said, 'His name is not Wild Dog any more, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always.'" -- Rudyard Kipling

(click for more)


@#&$*(@($#

It's snowing again still. Argh.

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