follow A Selection of Varied Topics

Monday, August 31, 2009


Various bits of news:

The dance yesterday was okay. I had a huge amount of fun when I was dancing, but the trouble was I didn't dance more than about half the time. Lots of swing-dancing [yay Danzibar! I love it too!!] and line-dancing, all to great country songs.
The meh-factor was introduced by the fact that I did not get asked to dance very often. And most of the people there already knew each other, but not me. Dances are not fun if you aren't dancing, and don't have anyone to talk to. MEH.

Today I noticed that the shirt I had worn had HOLES in it. Yes, that was one of the lovely new shirts I bought the other day!! The seams didn't stand up to vigourous dancing. I am extremely disappointed about this, as prob. all three shirts will have to be returned now--they are all the same exact style/fabric. I did so like those shirts!! Meh--or rather wahh!!

Went shopping again today and I did not find anything that I needed except a pair of socks. Oh, and at Ross dress-for-less I did find a shirt very similar [same brand, even] to one of the Kohl's ones. Not so nice though. It is afflicted with indecision; it can't decide whether to be a shirt or a dress.

I am terribly picky when it comes to clothes. Hence my un-enjoyment of shopping.

m-oh I won't say it again.

Last day of August.

Bad mood. Meh.

sorry this is a gloomy post!! I'm sure I'll feel better tomorrow.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Have you ever...

...tried to put a HUGE head of lettuce in a tiny plastic bag? [Note: it doesn't work well.]

That was at the farmers' market yesterday. Last night for dinner I dispensed with the niceties and ripped the bag open with one effortless, bridge-burning flourish.
Later on I decided that that was not the best idea ever thought of by yours truly. I can think of many ideas that were more clearly stamped with Bethany's own particular brand of genius---for instance the time I left the goats' gate open whilst I was inside the pen, or perhaps one of the happy episodes involving my leaving a pan of eggs cooking, lonely and unloved, on the stove whilst I was busy at the computer. Tee-hee.
Yes indeedy. Anyway, there was still the greater part [much greater] of a head of lettuce needing to be dealt with after dinner. I made the best of matters and shrouded it in the sad remains of the bag.

Other doings and goings-on included getting some very interesting news from a dear friend, which elicited a whole bunch of exclamation-points on my part; trotting off to rehearsal/audition at the Grange which did not have many attendees; cooking potatoes; picking up branches from the cut trees at my grandmother's place; cooking garlic bread and heroically refusing to eat any of it [after all, I have a social-life tonight];
today I weeded the garden, went hazelnut-hunting, and cleared out the extremely congested My Documents which is the catch-all in our poor abused computer. Several very large movie-files [from my own movie-making escapades] were simply hogging all the hard-drive space.

Tonight I'm off to a dance at the Grange. I plan to wear one of me new shirts. And blue jeans. And I need to hunt up some hard-soled shoes. Lots of boot-scootin' fun. :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009


No this is NOT the clothing I bought yesterday! It's for the play we're working on.
Nice, huh? Sort of an untraceable older era, between the 30s and the 50s. What do you think?? [about what time-period it looks like]

Friday, August 28, 2009

Shop-a-holic.... something I am not. I cringe at shelling out the cash. And I hate to be such a consumer.

But today I went clothing shopping [men, you can look at my nice sidebar now, if you like].
Kohl's, and Old Navy, and a few assorted other purveyors of fine clothing made in China.

How I loathe [with a deadly loathing] the music they play in Kohl's!! It drives me up the wall! Some stupid pop-star girl singing about how "I really don't care". Even rap was a relief after that. [Oh for the peace of The Book Bin, where [last night] somebody appears to really like Tom Petty; we were there for four or five Petty songs straight. Very passable.]

And most of the fashions are just as bad. So ugly! I hunted through the entire department, cringing at the prices and paying special attention to the bargain-racks, before I found anything. There was quite a nice selection of these plaid, very long shirts that are becoming quite the style [I fancy that I was the trend-setter here, I started wearing Western shirts several years ago.]

Also the cute little vest-y items that I've mentioned before--but they only came in a set with another shirt that I didn't much care for.

I was in the throes of sticker-shock until we got to the register and found all the shirts were about half-off, which made me very happy.

I should post some photos. Remind me.

Old Navy, as always, was better. A couple of plain t-shirts, very cheap.

Whee-hee! Back-to-school shopping is almost complete! Just a few more socks, and that sort of thing. Last year I was extremely into long woolly socks and I couldn't find them anywhere....wound up buying some from a historical outfitters' catalogue. And this year they're all over the place!

Ahm. What else. Should I get my ears pierced? [The link is to a humorous, albeit painful-sounding, post on Equus Delirus' blog. See my comment.]

Dear dear. I do hope I'm not getting "girly". I think not, though. When I was in Hollywood Video yesterday with Dallan we commiserated on how we detest pink-and-purple Barbie/Bratz/chicflic stuff.

Oh yeah....I beat my dad at arm-wrestling a few days back. He says he doesn't know what happened. [I think it was just a fluke, I certainly couldn't do it again.] That was a great moment! [Then there was the time we were arm-wrestling and somehow I wound up on the floor....I don't know how that happened, either.]

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Well! Wasn't that last post epic!! I worked on it for several hours, I believe.

So I told Kendra that I had a story about speaking Elvish, and here 'tis.

It was when I was fourteen. I had just started taking a few classes at the private school where my dad teaches [I've always been homeschooled]. My math class; I was terribly obsessed with Lord of the Rings that year.

Well by the end of the first week both my French [high-school] and my math [8th grade, I know, I'm always the oldest in my class] classes knew that Bethany was Elvish. Or at least my French teacher did ["There's always one student that insists on writing in Elvish. But this is the first year it's been a girl."] And in my math class I believe it started when the guy in front of me noticed that I was doodling Elvish all over my homework, and the cover of my notebook was in Elvish. ["What is that?"] Then after that general announcement from Matt, the whole class became aware of me. Matt insisted that I speak some Elvish, a request in which I was glad to oblige him. [Just the traditional "Elen Sila " etc greeting.

This other guy [Ian---humorous fellow----at junior high graduation that year he was described as "the Will Ferrel of the 8th grade". Nickname of Nacho.] was the next catalyst. At the next football game I was sitting quietly in the bleachers with my dad, minding my own business, when up trots Nacho with a couple of friends in tow. I imagine that he and his friends must have had a conversation something like this: "Yeah there's this girl in my class, she can speak Elvish." "No way! You're kidding." "Well if we see her, I'll show you!"
Anyway, up he comes and asks me to speak Elvish. I let rip with Elen sila again. He thanked me politely and my dad says [I didn't notice] that he "sort of made a little bow". Oh how funny.

Yesterday was another fun day with my pals. Eva and Dallan [the same ones I went to town with last week] came over to work on the script for the play we're putting on. There was some major hilarity. Also some funny quotes for my ever-growing collection. Both from Eva: at one point we were trying to decide what to say in a difficult scene and she said, "This is an opportunity to sound really lame". The next one was when we were being somewhat annoyed at Dallan for goofing off a wee bit, and we were joking about, and she said "Well shame on you for being so amusing".
There was a pleasing interlude that involved chucking CDs at each other, too. Okay they were not CDs, but the little useless clear plastic things that come in a pack of blank disks. Tiny frisbees. We got the scene done, though. Then we were going to go into town for dinner, but Eva wasn't sure if she could go because she might have to trot people about [she's got a large family, and she just got her license]. She was on the phone with her mom and Dallan and I were so hoping she could go, we both had our fingers crossed and our eyes screwed shut. We picked up info from Eva's words [darkly inscrutable] and expressions [varying between jubilant and chastened]. She said thanks, hung up and we practically burst into song [okay, that is an exaggeration. But still.]. High-fives all round. Dallan mentioned how we were "groveling on the floor" and that struck me as hilarious.
We went off to town. Had a hard time deciding where to eat. I convinced them of the benefits of Big River, the best [and probably most expensive] restaurant in town.

The food takes a long time in coming at Big River, but we passed the time very pleasantly indeed. For one thing there is a dish of olive oil and plate of Big River's awesome house bread on the table.
We ordered two different pizzas. [I had previously been there and declared them to make the best pizza in town.] Oh how tasty. They were very glad I convinced them :) Very high-class pizzas--artichoke hearts, roasted garlic, goat cheese, the works.

Chatted at length. Discussed just about everything. We three do get on so very well despite the difference in ages [Dallan is almost 15, I'm almost 17, and Eva's almost 18].

Then for about 10 or 15 minutes the conversation turned to how to pay. We were trying to figure in three equal shares of the two pizzas, two drinks only, and then the tip. My steel-trap mind [hehe] made short work of most of that, including the 15% tip, but we stuck a bog, as our shares turned out to be around $12 and we just had twenties with us. There was discussion of elaborate schemes for change, two twenties and pay-back later. We finally worked it out.

Then at about 7:45 Eva had to leave, and Dallan and I mosied on over to the video rental store, as he had been specially charged by his dad with bringing home a movie. That took a while. Oh yes, we were carrying little take-out boxes this whole time, with the delicious left-over food [which was promptly pounced on by my parents when I got home, haha].

Then we walked to Safeway [as Dallan wanted something], commenting on how the skate park is the number one creepy spot in town after dark. As we got to the store I said, "But you know, the Safeway parking-lot has to take second prize". We got in and out without incident. After all, we live in a very safe and small town. Still, on the way out, I was like, "Let's power-walk" to which Dallan replied "Let's run!". Off to The Book Bin used-book store. My dad finally came to pick us up, after much plying of the cell-phone. Gotta exercise those thumbs.

Great fun! More good times here.
Oh dear. The audition is tomorrow. I've got to get that dratted script typed. It is in a very rough form at this point, spread out all over me desk. At least I don't have to worry about a real audition, it's more of a first rehearsal/meeting.
must run....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Here's dinner! Clockwise from top left we have: flowers [duh], sweet corn, bland white melon, Ginger Gold apple, lemon cucumber, Daddy's homemade bread with green mozzeralla and basil, and tomatoes.

Ahem. That is not what I was talking about when I mentioned awards. I know you all rushed here directly you saw that tantalizing word on the "blog updates" section of your dashboard. [tehe] Here's Bethany's very first awards session!! The awesomeness is unimpeded!!! [I made that phrase up.]

Here's the Dancer Award: [okay, I had so much fun in Photoshop that I made two, and couldn't decide between them. You have options!]

Take it if you love to dance!! Specificaly, it goes to


And Calico Zak, and Equus Delirus, you like to dance too--you've admitted it--but this is a terribly girly award, you needn't take it if you don't want to! ;) ;)

and I KNOW there are a ton of other dancers out there, but I can't bring them to mind just at the moment--so please everyone, take it! :)

Next up we have the Goat Lover's Award.


Olive Tree [I saw a photo of a goat on your site, hehe]

Now somebody else mentioned they like goats...was it Kendra?

And Jillian!

There are more of you! Leave a comment, and I'll put your name on here! :)

The coveted Hazelnut Award for Random Awesomness! [A personal favorite :)]

Kendra Logan
Lady Hannah



Olive Tree

The HilarityAward! Oh dear. This is hard. You're all hilarious.



Danzibar [when you are funny, you are side-splitting. But you don't try to be funny often enough. ;) ]

Calico Zak

The Scotland Award!! Take it if you love all things Scottish!


Josiah [of course]


La Belle Blog [oh dear, is 'blog' masculine or feminine??] Award goes to



The Lovely Dreamy Moonlit Blog Award goes to

Rochelle Blue


[is it not pretty? I hope I'm not breaking any copyright laws. I think it's not an enhanced image tho, so hopefully we're okay...]

The Artistic Writer's Award goes to





and any other artistic writers! :)

The Anne of Green Gables Award goes to

Lauren Ann [oh dear...I can't find your webpage! Help!!!]
myself :)

+ Anyone else who LOVES Anne!! Or has Ann/Anne for a middle name!

Did I do it?? I did! I think I've awarded every blogger who's commented or I know well/almost all my followers! woot! Do you know how long this took to type??? All those links!! And making the awards in Photoshop!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'm back!

Just got back from staying at a beach-house on the coast. Wow is my dashboard FULL of blog updates!! I'm following around 40 blogs, give or take.
And I've gained two new followers!! Thanks Ophelia and Cassidy Street! You make me happy! :)

Yes--the holiday was fun. Beach-house, near the sea, in the tiny town of Neskowin. Nothing terribly out of the ordinary happened--although I did have to tape one of my t-shirts over an annoying light in my bedroom. I can't bear to have lights where I sleep.

I've been noticing a few of my followers have commented on other bloggie friends' blogs--so I'm a connector! Yay! That makes me happy!

I've been tagged by Gwyn--a fun one--30 things about me. Which is easy [hopefully] as I love to talk about me [want to talk about me/want to talk about I/want to talk about number one, hahaha I hate that song.].

1. my fingernails are happy and long right now.

2. right now I'm nervous my mom is going to come and find some other chore for me to do instead of be on the computer

3. She did. Had to connect a TV cable that had got unplugged before the trip. After a long fruitless period of trying to screw in a tiny pin, I discovered I was trying to put it into the wrong hole!!

4. My fashion style: is somewhat nonexistent. As mentioned in the last post, I do enjoy being slightly "Brit punk"-ish---but true punk is rather awful, I think. I mostly wear jeans and western-style plaid cotton shirts [as I am in my profile pic], but I do wear t-shirts. Nice ones. [tho there is that extremely ratty polo-type shirt that is really spotted, and faded, and the collar ripped halfway off and that bugged me so I ripped it all the way off---which pretty much put paid to the shoulder seams---then it was getting pretty risque, even for painting, so I put a safety-pin at each shoulder].
I abhor turquoise, and most of the bright artificial colours now in style---there does seem to be a trend towards plaid this year though, which is cool. Also these cute little vest things, over a white long shirt.....very snazzy, but I can't seem to find any at Goodwill--which is where I get alot of my clothing.

5. the last entry was getting rather long, but here's more clothing stuff: I have the most awesome cloak ever!! Green wool. I got it last winter from a historical outfitters' company, for the movie. I wore it all over town. *heart!* Can't wait to break it out again when the weather gets cold!!

6. One of my absolute favorite dances at folk dance class: Little Man in a Fix--waltzing, and there is one epic bit where two couples dance together in a circle, the girls holding onto the boys' shoulders and flying....sounds impossible but it's awesome.

7. I'm a goatherd! Nigerian Dwarves. Nigerian Dwarves are the rockin'est goats in the world!!

8. I eat WAY too much pasta. With tomatoes, and olive oil, and cheese, and basil, and YUM.......

9. I didn't take biology last year [too busy making a movie, amongst other things] and I have to do it this year. Meh.

10. Meh is a good word. So's epic, and awesome, and "ooh! That's not awesome!"

11. We've got two [political] bumper-stickers on our car.

12. I still don't know how to ride a bike. Awful isn't it. Ergh.

13. I haven't eaten fast-food for several years. And proud of it. Mwa-hahahaha.

14. Oh! I had a good one! What was it!! Huh. Oh well: I like goats' milk far, far better than cows'. But I like cows. Jersey cows.

15. The best role I ever played onstage was Anne of Green Gables. Boy was that fun. I was Anne. [hehe, aint I modest and retiring. But really, that's what people said.] I suppose because when I was growing up I was Anne. To the life. [Except for the red hair.] Even my middle name is Anne.

16. I am so hopeless at any and all sports involving contact with a ball. Chess, now, that's more my style. Or robotics.

17. I'm almost seventeen! !!!!

18. Favorite weird foods: [because this wouldn't be any fun if I just listed normal foods]
-kombucha [fermented, vinegar-like tea]
-kefir [like sour yogurt]
-bee pollen [just what it sounds like]
-dried fruit--any dried fruit
-goat Brie [omygoodness. yummy.]
-most esoteric seeds and nuts
-hawthorn berries [a wee bit mealy, but come on! They're weird!!]
-red or black currants [the red ones taste almost like blood. Sounds disgusting, I know :) And don't ask me how I know. ]

19. Which brings me naturally to the hot topic on everyone's mind: Twilight. Love it or hate it? I haven't read it, so I shan't pass judgement. I do hate the posters for the movie. Edward just looks creepy.

20. I am very sensitive to smells. Not clinically so, but the least bit of perfume is unpleasantly noticeable. I can't stand to have bath towels smell funny. Or any towels, come to that. Tide is a no-no in our house---cack. I can smell the tiniest bit of blood--my dad makes "shark" references--and if it hits water, whew! Sometimes I will come home from being "out" and complain that "I don't smell like myself--I smell like other people". Weird, I know.

21. Pogo Possum is my favorite comic-strip. My dad introduced me to it. It dates from the 50's.

22. I can't stand flappers!! or 20's style. 40's fashion [the New Look especially] is fun though.

23. I am supposed to be receiving a call pretty soon, about...... theatre business. Ahem. Very important stuff.

24. Grishko pointe shoes are cool! I commented on somebody's blog to that effect; now whose site was it????? Do you know? I can't remember, darn it!

25. I do not have Facebook. Alas. Am still working on that one.

26. I have black running shoes [Champion brand] which are really nice, and get this: two other girls in my folk dance class [before it more or less disbanded] have the exact same ones.

27. I have a positive phobia of shampoo, soap, detergent, makeup, etc that has toxic chemicals in it.

28. If I could take a vacation anywhere in the world right now, I'd be in England. Mmm.

29. My favorite store in my home-town is the natural foods grocery.

30. I have not watched my favorite movie [Lord of the Rings] in over a year. Frightful!

I tag [oh boy, this is going to be fun]:

*nips over to view her followers*


that is, if you don't hate tags and haven't done it recently! heh.
now tis off to visit those people and let them know!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

too much stuff going on!!!

Argh! Too busy! But it's been fun.

Where to start!! Yesterday was absolutely the most fun I've had all summer. Period.
Spent the morning pottering about the house. I was going to do lunch in town with my friend E, but the night before D had called to ask if he could come too, since there was no meeting at the park as usual on Fridays. E enthusiastically agreed.

Anyway, my parents were supposed to be home early enough to get me there, but they wound up not getting back from errands til a few moments to spare. I for some reason decided to dress up a bit, in my"Brit punk" outfit, haha. A fabulous red plaid wool skirt, black tights, brown "Montana" t-shirt, aspen-leaf necklace, and red tam o'shanter. EPIC!!! I'd been really chilly all morning but I got a wee bit hot walking about town in wool!

So we stopped by D's house to pick him up and met E in town, by the river-front fountain. She'd just come from work. Wavered as to where to have lunch, decided to walk to American Dream pizza. Yum. We were able to get a spot on the rooftop which is sweet, the only other time I've been there it was dinner-time and packed. We got up the stairs balancing our pizzas and salads and drinks, sent D back down for straws and napkins. Then we settled down to our food and talked talked talked. Hair colour changes, D's anecdotes about how much food [$25 worth] he and a friend once sneaked into a movie theatre, stuff for our play, casting for the play, etc.
There was one interesting interlude when a large jet of water sprouted up and doused us slightly. Evidently a sprinkler for the plants had become disconnected.

Lunch took about an hour. We then went to get gelato, and I got my usual two: Lemon and passionfruit. Sat at the sidewalk tables for another while, talking about self-defense stories, intra-personal relationships, and who we should call to join us in town. We really didn't have to be home at any set time. Oh yes, I related the incident in Bozeman Montana, when this old guy came up to me in the bookstore, and I said "I managed to fob him off after a bit" [you know, the classic British expression meaning "to distract, or decoy away"],and E said, "I love the way you say things Bethany! 'A portly white-haired gentleman.' 'I fobbed him off'." And D said, "I'd have punched him long before you 'fobbed him off"" and we all hooted.

Then meandered about town for the next few hours, candy store, bowling [25 blocks and two incidents away], library for water, back into downtown, along the riverfront, to the skate-park, and finally E's dad picked us up to take us to her house after renting a movie.
At one point we were walking down the street three abreast and doing some fairly epic percussion. Here we go: Thump chest with fist, snap fingers, clap hands, two thumps, snap, clap, snap, thump and back to the beginning.

The two incidents ocurred in between E and myself doubting whether or not D actually knew where he was taking us.
Once we nearly got run down whilst innocently and legally crossing an empty street, at the corner, some absolute JERK just zipped in front of us [with a few feet between him and a long explanation to the police], honked, and flipped us off. Man were we upset!

Then came the Hazelnut Incident. We pass a fairly public hazelnut tree, with nuts. D picks two, hands one to me. I put it between my molars and "CRUNCH". Yum yum. He does a SWEET and EPIC and AWESOME move that we talked about for the rest of the day: threw the nut to the pavement, the shell broke, and a perfect nut-meat bounced up, he caught it. Oh my goodness what fabulosity!!! He hands the nut to E, she tastes it and spits it out, we all collapse into laughter.

We walked a few miles all total, probably. So many jokes and stories and "I hope you know where you're going"s . Immense fun. We three get along so well, even though there's a lot of age difference.
At E's house we ate pizza and played badminton outside in the long summer evening. More awesomeness. D and I swapped Monty Python stories [Albatross! It's albatross flavored albatross!] and managed to confuse everyone else present. Teenaged boys LOVE Monty Python. Tee-hee.
Then we arm-wrestled. I managed to win exactly half of my contests, which made me happy. Never did manage to win against D, but got close, and oh well, he's a boy. ;-)

One of the phrases of the day was "Ooh. That's not awesome" from me, say when E dropped her phone, or when any other unpleasantries happened. I like that phrase, and EPIC of course. The Hazelnut was the most epic thing.

Today I got together with them for some script-writing. They are going to [hopefully] get the script for our play done whilst I'm at the coast. Which reminds me, I will not be writing for a few days. :(

Yes, I was moving the hen-cage for about 2 hours this morning, with my dad. Very much work. That was after getting up way too early to go to Staples, and farmers' market which was as brilliant as usual. Mmm. Sweet corn for lunch, and I've a pot of tomato sauce simmering on the hob, as it were.

More stuff:
-Welcome back Lenore!!
-Yay for Stella's new computer :)
-Role-play here: I will try to post!! I promise!!
-A Dance of Sisters is a really good book!

Oh my goodness, Mum just said we have to go to the Co-op!!!! [natural foods grocery, so epic, I like that word :)] SO HAPPY!!!! Gotta stock up on food for the trip! The above-mentioned D [who lives 2 minutes away] will be taking care of the house and yard and critters.

mmmwoooot!ahhhhehehe! I'm happy, did you tell? ;)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

art contest

Here's me entry for the art contest at HorseFeathers!

I did it at a class last fall with Catharine Alexander (lovely, hyper-realistic botanical illustrations).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Role-play begins!!!!

Please read the role-play rules before joining, thanks.


The time: now. This month, this year.

The place: a town in Western Washington, about 40,000 people.

The scenario: Today at 2:31 in the afternoon the power went out. For good.
But you don't know that yet. In fact there's been a change in the laws of physics that makes all electricity, cars, and guns useless.
Danger stalks the streets: looters are already beginning to emerge, and store shelves have been stripped of food--customers paying with cash, as credit cards don't work either.

One thing is certain: the power is not coming back on.

Have fun!!!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Role-play HERE!!!!!

Well hello! I'm having so much fun over at Gwyniver's medieval role-play that I decided to start my own.

Knowing me, though it's a wee bit different. Yes, folks, here is your chance to try out your survival skills in a post-apocalyptic world!!!! Sounds gloomy, I know :-p, but I think it could be quite fun.

The scenario we are envisioning is The End Of The World As We Know It [teotwawki, as it's known in prepper circles]. [Not Biblical, mind you, just socio-economic collapse.]
Let's say an EMP [electro-magnetic pulse] which has disabled all electricity, cars, and etc. We could take things a step further and add in a change in physics [a la "Dies the Fire"] which also renders guns useless.
SO basically we're back to Square One: medieval weapons, candles, horse-power and such.

A small town in Washington, well away from Seattle to avoid the crowds leaving the dying city.

A quest might be fun: does your character have friends on a ranch in the country that they're trying to head to? Is a family member missing? Trying to find/salvage/loot a horse/get home? Who do they meet on the way???

Food: you're welcome to have your character be a prepper and have two years of beans laid in, but will you help others or not? Other characters may try to bargain with you once they figure out where your stash is.

Get medieval and flourish your cloak....after all, cloaks are quite practical. Lucky you if your dad has a sword stashed above the mantel....and if you know how to use it :)

Let the post-apocalyptic-fiction fun begin!!!

1. Keep it clean, please. Gore is okay, in moderation ;-)

2. You can have up to 3 characters.

3. Don't kill another player's character without asking them first.

4. Be sure and put your character's name at the top of each of your posts.

5. A brief physical description of your character would be nice.

I believe we will continue for several days, maybe a week.
Invite all your friends!!!

I shall come up with a brief back-story in a day or two. Be prepared!! lol
Any questions, feel free to ask me.
For an example of a role-play, check out the link in the top of the side-bar.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

a little better...

I'm feeling better today!! Guess 'twas not the flu after all, but a mere dastardly cold.

J. William's book November came in the mail today [an advance copy, as friend of the author :) --it won't be available for sale til late fall] and I was extremely excited and read the whole thing at one sitting [propped up in bed with a supply of tea and bran muffins and tissues for me nose].
'Tis excellent!!! I shall be promoting it more as the release date draws near :)

Where are all my lovely followers coming from?? Yay! You're the best....thanks! My dashboard is filled to bursting!

And there'll be some awesome Medieval role-playing going on starting tomorrow over here....join me!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bethie is sick :(

Awww.....come and feel sorry for me....[lol]....I believe I've got the flu. The dreaded Swine Flu, H1N1, no less.
My throat felt a wee bit funny last night before bed. I went to sleep hoping it wouldn't get worse. It did. Woke up at 3 and was sure I was influenzal. Came downstairs and took various remedies, homeopathic and other.

Slept in til 10 this morning, and I only just got out of bed. My throat hurts [classic swine flu symptom], my sinuses are congested and I've got a headache. No fever or joint-pains yet, but I'm sure those will come.
I haven't eaten anything all day...I think I'll haul myself upstairs and go back to bed.

Stay tuned, dear folks, for more breaking updates on Bethany's battle with the flu!! :)

and no, you needn't feel too sorry for me, I don't really feel all that sick.

Oh and the script is coming along very well!! A few new characters have walked onto the stage which is fortunate but unexpected.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lots of excitement!

Have been running around all day, cooking tasty goodies for two of my friends who came to tea this afternoon. That was fun. Half an hour before they arrived I got a phone call from a fellow committee-member from the Grange, asking if we could have a committee meeting regarding the PLAY. Still waiting to get that figured out, and I've an email sitting in my outbox waiting to be sent to the very large group of people who want to be involved in this production!! "A Highland Fling" by Myself. Which is sitting in Word, waiting to be worked upon!! The script has to be revised a great deal, mostly to accommodate all the other people who want in. I'm getting excited!! Stay tuned for in-the-moment updates! lol

And MAY I ask, who else is answering "survivalist" to my latest poll?? Come forth and let us wear our tin-foil hats with pride together! lol, I thought I was the only one! I'm noticing that no-one is "gregarious"---[it means "likes to be with other people" :) ]

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Midnight exploits

Spent a very interesting evening yesterday.

Started off with going to the final theatre performance, which was excellent. Hung round afterwards chatting with people, audience members and others, and discovered there is a lot of interest in the theatre group I am getting together this fall. [I do NOT know how I ended up on the "drama committee" at the Grange that I am a member of!! NO IDEA how it happened!! lol]

Did not get home til 9:45, or into bed til after 10:30 and lay awake for quite while--mind buzzing with theatre ideas. At 11:45 I decided I might as well go outside, as the moon was very bright.
Pottered downstairs and outside; encountered my dad out also, baiting slugs [I heard the tell-tale shaking of the bait can]. The goats were out in their pen, of course. The moon keeps them up. Really I think they must hardly sleep in summer! I took them out for a midnight snack of foliage.

Then inside myself, where I consulted with my dad in the matter of what to buy at this morning's grocery sale. By now it was after midnight but we decided to start a pot of beans cooking, for a long slow percolation process all night.

Went back upstairs and wrote in my journal for a bit. Listened to some music in my iPod, which I never do at night. Was still awake at 1 am.

This morning twas ap at 7:30 [groan!!] and off to Co-op Sale Day. Very crowded.

I came home and watched some of a video I got of AAA Theatre's performance of "The Foreigner", said by some to be their best production so far--rehearsed in about a week. It's really good.

Now I am deep in the throes of writing a script. The script I was planning to use for the theatre this fall will simply not accommodate all the thespians that I seem to be gaining wherever I go!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Aaahh! Just finished a story!

I just put the finishing key-strokes on a short story prior to sending it off to Scotland for the monthly newsletter!! It's a retelling of the St. George and the Dragon story, inspired by the time I spent at White Horse Hill [the authentic Dragon locale] in the South of England.

It's a typical mushy romance [at least, as mushy as I ever get, haha]--a bit predictable, but oh well. 'Twas fun to write. Here 'tis. And the poem at the top, well, that was just a scrap unfinished verse I had lying about that seemed to fit with it tolerably. Copy and Paste ingnored the italics, and I'm not going ot go over it again.
I really would rather not have this blog cluttered up with a lot of writing, so this is probably the only sotry for a bit [to be honest, it's the only thing I have finished.]. If reading 6-page stories is not your thing, feel free to skip to the next post down :)

And wind and grass and white-chalk horse.
The earthen ramparts of an ancient fort
Rise tall; on their steep sides the harebells thoughtless bloom,
Remembering not the conquerors
Who crushed their sky-blue bells beneath avenging feet.

The full moon shone over Uffington, shining white where the chalk road wound up towards the hill-fort, picking out glints on rustling beech-leaves, putting stark shadows behind the rises of the downs. A breeze, warm and laden with the dusty golden scent of cut hay-fields, stirred the long grass on the hill.
Not enough light to see the flowers by, the harebell and scabious, but enough to show the girl's dark shape against the grass in a fold of the hill. Frolicking as a lamb might caper in new pasture in the spring-time, recking not who might be watching and indeed not caring. Small she was, a little under average height and slender. A cloud of dark red hair floated around her shoulders, crowned by a wreath of harebells. Barefoot, she danced on, taken by the mad joy of a summertime moon.

At last Myrna threw herself down on the grass, and lay back looking at the stars, breathless, with hair wild and harebell-crown askew. As abruptly she sat up again; a noise had come from behind her. Oh, it would be too bad to have been watched by someone! The clan's herbalist and healer had her dignity to consider, after all!
She turned and looked straight into the eyes of the person who had been watching her. Tall (he seemed still taller by the fact that he was standing above her on the slope), clad in a worn tunic and leather jerkin with a staff in his hand. Myrna quickly took in the sun-browned skin and blond hair, lighter than was common in the downlands. He was not as old as she had at first thought, indeed not much more than her own age; and injured, to judge from the stained rags wrapped about his sword-arm. There was a peculiar expression on his face. Doubtless he thought her ridiculous for doing such a childish thing as dancing about with flowers in her hair. Well, let him! She did not care.
"Greetings to you," she said warily, and then, as he did not reply, "Do you seek shelter with our people?"
"Aye. I would be grateful." His voice sounded strange, an unfamiliar accent (and perhaps feverish. Mayhap the wound was worse than it seemed.)
Myrna turned and walked swiftly up the hill—the young man followed, somewhat slower and with halting step. She waited, then, and asked, for courtesy's sake and not from real interest, "Have you come far?"
"I have. From far to the south-west." Indeed, he sounded ill. And now he stumbled, and only his staff kept him from falling.
"My lord, you are injured. Let me help you." Such was the healer's task, to help even when she did not wish to! Myrna put her shoulder under the stranger's good arm, and they got in the gate without more trouble. She could feel the heat of his skin through the rough tunic—clearly, a bad fever. Probably the wound had gone bad, and travel and lack of food (for he was thin as a reed) had made it worse. She supposed she would have to deal with him!
First to the chieftain, sitting by his fire with his hound like a rug over his feet—"My lord, this traveler is injured. Have I your leave to treat his wounds?"—and then, acquiescence gained, to the turf-roofed building where she prepared her salves and other herbal brews. The clan healer had always a sleeping-place apart from the others, to keep an eye on her patients.
"What is your name?" she asked, gathering water, bandages and a light.
"It is Finn, my lady," he said, voice weak.
"Well then, Finn, you need not call me lady. I am only the healer of the clan. Myrna is my name."
Myrna had been removing the clumsy bandage as she spoke—evidently he had tried to dress the injury himself. The wound was a clean sword-slash, but it had not healed properly. She washed the wound, paying no heed to his obvious discomfort, and put on a compress of yarrow, and bandaged all neatly. Finn still seemed to be burning with fever. Well, many cups of yarrow and pennyroyal tea would settle that.

But indeed it took more than one brew of tea, and much cold water, before his fever broke. Myrna sat up with him through the night, mopping his brow and forcing him to drink still more tea. At times he was positively delirious. Before dawn he awoke again, and cried out "Nay! Don't send me away—" in such agony that she was at last moved to pity, despite her vague irritation with this strange visitor, and curiosity as to what had befallen him. His fever subsided soon after.
With the passage of a few days, and careful nursing and good feeding, Myrna pronounced Finn well enough to leave the infirmary. She would have insisted on his sleeping with the men in the chieftain's hall, but he suggested it himself, and indeed seemed eager to oblige her.

The truth was that Finn had fallen instantly and madly in love with Myrna, and now could think of nothing but her. His first sight of her, dancing in the moonlight, had seemed, in his fevered state, to be that of an elf or fay, not altogether of this world. On closer view she seemed no less beautiful. Others might not think her so, face too pale and hair too red, but there was something in her that called out to him, that seemed akin to the wildness of the moors near his home, and yet somehow also like primroses flowering under the beech-trees in spring, like a dove-call in the woods.
He could not recall the dark fields and fevered valleys where he had wandered in his fever; he only remembered rising through shadows, at last to Myrna's face white in he firelight, and her hand wiping his forehead, and her eyes looking into his.
It was quite clear that she only felt compassion for him, as she might for any wounded creature. Finn supposed he would soon have to leave the fort; he ought not to overstay his welcome. The road north was long, and waited for no man. And then, with a stab of pain, he realized he would in all likelihood never see Myrna again. A lonely road was before him, and no prospect of home-coming beyond.

The other folk of the clan had been curious enough about this stranger, for few enough ever came to the fortress, but Finn, who had been merry and ever ready to talk at his home, now presented such a forbidding aspect that they did not get much out of him.

It was at this time, as the summer waned and a few beech-leaves turned yellow and drifted down, and the swallows went south, that the people of Uffington began to hear to hear rumors of fear stirring. First there was a story told by a traveler from the western mountains, of a shepherd whose flock had been decimated by some unknown thing. The bodies of his sheep were found in the morning with the flesh picked from their bones.
Then a few days in which people talked late around their fires, and finally decided there was nothing to fear—and then there came another traveler, but this time from nearer the downs, who had heard a tale of a child wandering lost outside a settlement at night who was found next morning—but not alive. He had perished in the same manner as the sheep.
Finn had not paid much attention to these stories, and Myrna was inclined to discount them; but the clan became uneasy, and spoke of wolves, though it was still summer.

Myrna was kept busy with her herbs, treating the occasional wound from a scythe or such. She sometimes found Finn's sharp-boned face and fierce grey eyes intruding into her memory. Indeed, though, why she should be thinking of him she didn't know! He was a chance-met stranger from the south, who would undoubtedly soon depart; but her mind shied away from that thought.

It was night when the tidings came. All day the sun shone strongly, but the wind had been rising, and by dark there was positively a gale blowing from the west. The stars were bright, and the waning moon just rising from behind the swell of the down, showed the dark figure running up to the gate. It was the shepherd Cradoc, who in summer slept with his flock on the open down. Myrna was close enough to hear him gasping out his story to the guard at the gate.
"At the foot of the down—there's something terrible! The sheep were frightened, I couldn't see anything but there was a hissing sort of sound and something must have grabbed hold of one of the sheep, she was bleating so. I saw it then—it was huge—the size of a cow—two cows—but with a skin like a snake. It was tearing with it's teeth at the ewe—all the others were panicked, I couldn't do anything with them."
Cradoc had been speaking loudly; the commotion had roused some other of the clan members, and they came crowding from the chieftain's hall, firelight spilling out and casting their shadows across the courtyard. Some carried torches which streamed in the wind, displacing the moonlight. Myrna saw Finn's fair head among the others.
She was not much frightened—surely the shepherd's fright had magnified what he had seen. But Cradoc was not one to leave his flock.
Now he was answering the chieftain's questions. Myrna heard him say " big as a house..."—oh surely he was exaggerating now! First it was as big as a cow—but he must have seen something. Now she remembered the tales of the travelers from the west; and were there not rumors of great dragons in the hills of Cymru; might this not be one of the same?
Myrna turned to Finn, who must have come up to her from the press of men at the gate, and exclaimed in alarm, "Oh Finn! What shall we do?"—but if he replied it was lost in the chieftain's voice, now raised above the clamor of the crowd.
"Hear me, my people! Cradoc has told me of some unknown peril outside our gates. No one may leave the enclosure without my leave. Tomorrow my swordsmen will go forth and rid us of this creature. Go now about your business."
Myrna began to walk back towards her sleeping-house and noticed Finn still beside her. Still not knowing why she turned to him for reassurance, she asked, "Do you think there can be such a beast? Surely Cradoc was mistaken."
"I do not know. In my home land there are tales of monstrous creatures, some that breathe fire, but I have never spoken to anyone who has seen them. I do not think you need be afraid."
Strangely comforted, less by his words than by his tall presence at her side, Myrna paused at the door to her cottage. "Good night, Finn."
"Good night—Myrna," he said, then turned and walked away. As she ducked her head beneath the thatched door-lintel, Myrna realized that it had always been "My lady"—this was the first time he had said her name.

* * *

Next morning the unseasonable wind had died down. At first light a band of the clan's men, Finn among them, searched the downs and surrounding woodlands but found no sign of the beast, save for the unhappy remains of the sheep. Cradoc went with them, and gathered in his scattered flock. Not a few had hidden themselves in various places, and were not brought in until noon; but the armed men returned before then, having found nothing. The chieftain decreed that no-one was to leave the fort. The sheep and few milch-cows kept by the clan were brought into the enclosure that they did not usually occupy until winter, when prowling wolves and deep snows threatened their safety at night. Food both for them and for the people of the clan presented no problem, for the hay had already been cut and the barley was in.
Myrna however was distraught, for her stock of herbs needed replenishing. Indeed that very day she had planned to gather yarrow and mugwort for drying, and the round fury leaves of lady's mantle from the stream a mile or two from Uffington.
A day passed, and two more; the clansmen became less nervous as parties went out to search for the mysterious beast and returned empty-handed. Still no-one was allowed out; but the guard at the gates was relaxed in the daytime.
Myrna became increasingly restive. At last, early n the morning of the fourth day, she came to a decision. She was milking her small shaggy cow, behind the turf hut. Most of the milch-cows were kept in the wattle stock enclosure, but Myrna kept hers close at hand, for the beast had been injured by one of the other cows' horns. Myrna cleaned the wound and reflected that what was really needed was a poultice of comfrey leaves—which she did not have on hand. Really she had to do something, she needed other herbs, no sign had been seen of anything unusual outside since Cradoc's story. She went to fetch a basket.

* * *

A few minutes later, having made the cow comfortable, armed with basket, staff and cloak (for it was not much past dawn and still cold on the high downs), Myrna crept out through the gate. The guard had just gone away after his night-duty. Autumn was at hand; the beeches at the foot of the down were beginning to yellow, cobwebs dotted the grass, grey with dew. There was a heavy covering of mist near the stream, but the down was clear. The low sunlight lay pale on the hills.

Myrna was more nervous than she would have liked to admit as she neared the bottom of the down. She went under the shadow of the beech trees, gold leaves crackling under her feet. The faint smell of dry leaves hung sweet in the air.

There was a noise behind her. Myrna jumped, uncontrollably afraid, but her fear turned to irritation upon seeing that it was Finn.
"Finn! Where have you sprung from!" she said, almost angry with him, and angry with herself for having startled like a panicky sheep.
"I—saw you leave. Myrna, where are you going?"
"Herbs are needed. I am going to get them," she said curtly.
"May I come with you?" he asked. "The beast—" Myrna cut him off. "You need not come. I will be quite safe." And turning, she walked swiftly away from him, at the same time wondering how she could have been so rude—and perhaps foolish.
When, a few minutes later, she risked a glance backward, Finn was no longer in sight.
Myrna was relieved, but still regretful and trying to think what had gone wrong between them. After half an hour's brisk walk she was at the stream. By now the mist had nearly burned away. The sun, still low, glanced through the leaves and grey branches of the alder trees that lined the water. Comfrey, lady's mantle and dock grew rankly by the damp stream-side. As Myrna bent to gather the leaves from a thick clump of comfrey, she sniffed—was there an unpleasant smell in the air, vaguely dry and musty yet somehow sickening? But no, she must have been mistaken. She straightened and moved towards the water—and as she did so, at last her eye caught that of the creature that had been watching her, from behind a large alder to her right.
It was the most horrible thing Myrna had ever seen. Somewhat like one of the tiny lizards that scuttle over warm rocks in the sun, but monstrously overgrown. From behind the numbness of terror she thought, "Cradoc was wrong—it is much bigger than a cow." Great claws, and leathery sides—surely this creature was undefeatable! But it was the eyes that fascinated her; nothing else could keep her body from bolting, from running from the danger. As big as her hand, unblinking, cold and emotionless, they stared at her. A forked tongue whipped snakelike from the mouth. The creature moved towards her and the smell became stronger, dizzying.

Myrna felt her senses leaving her. If only she had listened to him! Oh Finn. It was too late now. She fell heavily, striking her head against a tree-branch; whispered his name before the blackness took her.

* * *

After the quarrel, Finn strode away from Myrna, hurt and anger contending in his heart. Oh, that he had never laid eyes on the girl! Obviously she cared nothing for him. That was very well—there were plenty of other things in the world besides that red-haired vixen!
And then he could not help thinking about how she had looked up at him the night the alarm had been raised, her hair turned the colour of flame in the torchlight, the fear evident in her voice; and he forgot to be angry. By this time he had come to a halt, and turned and looked back the way she had gone.
Finn never knew afterwards why he went after her—he did not recall the feeling he had at that moment, that he was needed at the foot of the hill. Running the way Myrna had gone, heart pounding, he came at last to the stream-bank, and stopped short at what he saw.

She was lying by the side of the stream, hair tumbled about her pale face, a basket on the ground where she had evidently let it fall. The creature of Cradoc's story crouched a few feet away from her. But Finn scarcely heeded that, his only thought was with Myrna; he knew only that he loved her, and she was dead—killed—
Filled with a sudden fury he drew his sword and ran at the monster. Disturbed while at its prey, the creature's jaws snapped, ripping Finn's sleeve and missing his wrist by a fraction. His sword-arm was still maddeningly stiff from the old wound; but with every ounce of strength he drove his heavy sword deep into the foul gaping mouth. The beast gave a harsh tearing scream. Finn was unprepared for the violent death-spasms of the creature, indeed he did not at first believe he had killed it. He was hit by the thrashing of the massive tail and knocked to the ground. Fouled by the creature's blood, sweating, breath aching in his throat, he rose to his knees and bent over Myrna.

Her face seemed even more beautiful in death, though it was very pale and there were tear-stains under her eyes.

Finn had been hopeful even when he had been forced to leave his clan; he had thought that he would make a new life for himself. And what, he thought bitterly, had happened? He had met an elf-fair wisp of a girl who had all but spurned him—and he had been too late even to tell her he loved her. If he had come a moment sooner she would still be alive, if he had kept her from coming, not gone away in a selfish rage...he had only himself to blame.
There was nothing now to keep him from taking her in his arms and touching her still lips, yet he felt that it would be as much a violation of her spirit as if she were alive. He took her hand in his and kissed it.

No, no her hand is not still warm, she is not moving, not opening her eyes....this is a dream. She moans, touches the wound on her head. It is a dream. Let me never wake.
I have not wept since I was a child. The tears fall from my eyes, onto her hair. She is in my arms, saying my name, weeping also. There is blood from the wound on her head, and tears from the dream I am dreaming. Our lips meet, in this dream. I shall never wake.

I am not dreaming.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

summer dreams of winter

I'm feeling sort of dreamy this morning...I've been reading Lenore's lovely blog and that is influencing it... :)

I woke up at 8:45 this morning and was too comfortable to get out of bed for a while, smelling smoke--it was nice at first but got unpleasantly strong when I got up.

Off to farmers' market; the sun popped out at last and made our weak Oregonian eyes hurt! hehe, usually don't have to make that joke til winter.

And the title of this post----well, it's been quite chilly lately and I got out my red wool plaid skirt again, and last night actually considered wearing a jersey or whatever those thin sweaters are called, to the play: which was very good, again. I think last night was a bit better; I could tell all the actors were less nervous tonight, though. There was one bit where Phillip (onstage) had a terribly funny expression on his face when he was looking at one of the actresses (as he was supposed to), and she cracked up, and one of the other girls in the scene was trying hard, and the entire front row of the audience (including me), who all know the cast very well, were laughing.....whew! Fun stuff. But they were able to continue without much trouble, fortunately, and it was supposed to be a comical part of the scene.

Oh right, title: I guess I've just been thinking about winter recently. But I do not want summer to end!! Pretty soon we start seeing those loathsome "Back-to-school!!! REJOICE!!!" ads in the stores. They make my dad (a teacher) particularly unhappy.

There is yet time! And melons!!

The figs are pretty good, too.

At market we bought a bag of lovely soft green ones, and did not even get done with our next errand in town ( going to the Asian market for chocolate-hazlenut spread) before they were nearly gone. Back to market!

At last we are nearly done working at my grandmother's! Woot! The entire summer has been taken up with painting and cleaning and nail-pulling (not really. but it feels like that.).

Tis really rather lonesome in town this week, except for the theatre goings-on; one of my four dear friends is out of state, and is going to college in Michigan this year, and another is busy with relatives/camp all week, and my other two have grandparents staying through the weekend, and I just left a message to see if we can get together next week before we head off to the coast, but they don't get phone messages very quickly. Alas.

And I really must take some time to make a new header for ole bloggie! The generic green swirly thing at the top of this one is less than original!

I have decided to persevere and read A Tale of Two Cities. My mom was reading it out loud to me earlier in the year, but we never got very far. I can read very fast, and one does need to re-read Dickens' complex sentences to discover exactly what the subject was verbing adverbally to the object! So far it is going pretty well; I've heard it is so very good, that I really must read it.

I updated my "favorite things" list, in the sidebar! There's a poll about halfway down, as to where you'd rather go on holiday in Middle-earth.
Aha! the mail just came--I must venture forth and see if it includes Countryside magazine--then out down the street to pick wild plums--

Friday, August 7, 2009


Last night I went to the AAA Theatre performance--it was really good. Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband.
For those of you just joining us this evening [ ;-) ], here's a quick intro: the Alexander Avenue Actors theatre group evidently started back in 1993, roughly, and has been doing plays several times a year pretty much ever since. They're based out of one of the families' basements, the actors are mostly high school/college aged, and mostly self-directed.
The stage is just the basement floor, but the lighting system is splendid and complex!
It's really fun, I managed to get a front-row seat and you are practically in the actors' laps.
I took some photos last night, but they're mostly rather fuzzy. I'm going again tonight, and Monday, and shall endeavor to get better ones!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

my bookshelf, and the herbal teas I drink

Ah-ha! I haven't posted in a while! I've been keeping up with everybody, though. ;)

I got into a rather heated online debate; I discovered this site,, and got quite het up over Eowyn's reputation being put into doubt. Know first off that Eowyn is one of my favorite characters from Lord of the Rings, and I and several of my friends rather dislike Arwen/Liv Tyler, at least in the movies. I came into the blog's comments section with an indignant bounce. You can check out the excitement here and here. In retrospect, I probably got overly upset!

Now let's move on to a more soothing subject: plants. And in particular herbs.

I love plants. Herbs, trees, vegetables, flowers. The way they look, the way they smell, the way they taste. I've been able to identify wild plants for as long as I can remember; we have a video, I believe, of me when I was about 3 years old, going around saying "This is an onion...a dandelion...(etc.)" Once a few years back I was in a park with some friends, and we were walking and I spotted a COPPER BEECH TREE, and was totally freaking out with excitement because you hardly ever see beech trees here, and they're so pretty!
When we got to England two years ago, well, I recall the bus ride from the airport to our town, and being so thrilled at seeing all the British vegetation by the side of the road.
A year or two ago I became positively obsessed with finding out exactly what species of wild yellow iris grew in the Gladden Fields. (It's Iris pseudacorus, btw--you wanted to know that, you know you did!)
Anyway, suffice it to say that I love plants.

Favorite medicinal herbs: too many to name.
Sage; and mint; ginger; pennyroyal (more on that later); mugwort of course; yarrow; lemon balm mint; anything in the mint family, basically.

I've got quite a few herb books; but stay, let's detour into my bookshelf. Downstairs, by my desk--the less-read fiction books are upstairs. We have more books in our house than anyone I know.
Yes: One shelf of fiction and one of non-fic. Redwall books (I have practically the entire series, including an autographed one I bought at a booksigning by the author); Lord of the Rings, two editions. I've got one edition that my dad bought in the 70's, in Texas. And two or three companion LotR sorts of books, Letters of Tolkien, Unfinished Tales, Book of Lost Tales I and II, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, movie guides and behind-the-scenes, The Tale of the Children of Hurin, and quite a few other Tolkien things.

The Shakespeare Stealer trilogy--historical fiction. Jane Eyre; James Herriot's Dog Stories; Great Expectations (I AM going to read it, really!); Watership Down, Tales from Watership Down, The Plague Dogs (by the same author); a selection of Agatha Christie mysteries; a lot of Rosemary Sutcliff hist. fic. ; That Hideous Strength, by CS Lewis; The Man who was Thursday, by GK Chesterton; some westerns; The Irish R. M. (hilarious, and very lucid); probably a mushy Louisa May Alcott or two; and my dad's and my collection of antique Pogo Possum comic books.

We move into non-fiction. We start out with a bang with 5 herb books: general things, women's health, Indian herbology, how to grow. On to self-sufficiency: various manuals from the 70s including the splendid First Time Farmer's Guide, and survival (The Worst-case Scenario handbook), and a few others. Livestock: Guides to raising chickens, goats (I used to read those for FUN!! I am not kidding.), Natural Goat Care, Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable, which ties everything together and brings us back to what I started out to talk about: herbs!

I've been doing herb teas since I was about 12, more or less. That was also when I started getting "political"--which I use as a collective term for various general opinions and thoughts classified in my head under keywords as follows:
organic, Monsanto, Ron Paul, The Presidensity, food, farms, feedlots, alternative medicine, methylparaben in shampoo, preparedness, Campaign for Liberty, the Constitution, survivalism, doomsteading, Countryside magazine, vaccinations, 2nd Amendment rights, and other hot topics which most people would not call politics at all!

My sometimes unconventional views have resulted in some interesting discussions with my friends, particularly at sleep-overs--we mostly stay awake talking about world politics, conservatism, and our favorite foods, and of course catching up on celebrity gossip (i.e., our favorite actors and actresses in Lord of the Rings and Narnia), and have usually solved all the world's problems by day-light!

Right---tea---! I am not getting off topic!
So anyway, pennyroyal. It's considered toxic nowadays, because many years ago a woman wanted to have an abortion the "natural" way and drank several ounces of pennyroyal essential oil. She died. Essential oil is the very last thing to drink a large quantity of, I think even mint oil would make you deathly sick.

I believe this is just about the only case of recorded toxicity of pennyroyal, but nevertheless it got on the bad list. I've read enough about it to feel informed. I've drunk pennyroyal tea on occasion, for cramps or colds or such. Even I have shyed off recently though. You don't want to mess with your liver. But oh the fragrance!!!

Mugwort is related to wormwood. It's very bitter but I love the taste, and the smell just takes me back to holidays in the mountains. And it's supposed to promote dreaming, as I've said before. I've also heard it can make you sleep less deeply, which is not so awesome.

In early spring (about February, here) I'll go out and hunt up the first green stuffs, mint and green-house sage and plantain, and lemon balm sprouts and make a bright green tea. This often coincides with the beginning of dandelion season (I love dandelions!), and I eat dandy greens and poached eggs from my own hens, and I really feel good.

This post has turned out to be less about herbs and more about general life! Which is the way my conversations go, pretty much. Here on Dandelion Farm, as I like to call our little corner of the Pacific North-West.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


How many emails have I titled "things"??

The sky is an absolutely insane coppery orange colour. It clouded over earlier and I've never seen a sky like this. I took a photo but who knows if it'll turn out.

Farmers' market this morning; very nice. At one of the stands there was this fellow who looked exactly like Billy Boyd (Pippin in LotR). I've never seen anyone so hobbity looking. Curly longish hair, rough shirt, slightly grubby feet. Oh serendipity.

A few hours working at my grandma's---painting walls with clear-coat, and clipping grass and brush.

Then home, where I spent way too long catching up on people's blogs...that dashboard sure does fill up quickly!
And out to play with the goats. Oh, they are so. cute.

I weeded the garden for a few hours this evening; it's been terribly neglected. There are various random happy little sprouts here and there, where I scattered seed earlier. "Oh look! There's some more lovage! Eh--no, it's a blackberry. (pause, while I prick my fingers on thistles) Is that a rabbit? Good grief that's the biggest rabbit I've ever seen. So much for the fence. Miserable fat thing, sitting there eating my garden. (I chase rabbit out, squishing the carefully nourished soil beneath my feet in doing so).

I brewed another batch of mugwort tea. It's good for encouraging dreaming.

Shall I, or shall I not, change my blog colour scheme? I rather fancy green, again.

and a gen-yoo-wine tag!

Well I got this from Elizabeth, and I've been seeing it going around a lot of people's blogs, so here goes for the Hopeless Romantic tag! Which may be interesting, as I do not think of myself as very romantic--at all.

I just realized that half of my followers are guys, so, sorry! Hopefully you won't mind too much ;)

What two qualities do you want most in your future husband (besides being a Christian)?
Being able to apologize when he's wrong (something I struggle with) and, definitely, being a survivalist. I think that's going to determine a lot of things, in the coming years.

Is there a fictional character you see as a model for your future husband? Hmmm. No. Well, maybe Flagan Sackett, from Louis L'Amour's western novels.

Where do you want your wedding?I don't Top of Mary's Peak?

What are your views on courtship?Nice idea. Don't know if it's going to happen.

What are your views on your first kiss? First (or any) kiss should not be treated lightly, but in engagement, well I think that's okay.

Do you have or want a purity ring/locket? I don't feel like I must have one.

Do you have or want a hope chest?Why??? A nice collection of seeds, towels, cook books is far more practical! When I'm on that ranch in Montana, I won't be wantin' no fancy carved chest!

Will you wear a veil at your wedding?Yes!

What kind of wedding dress do you want?White; maybe medieval.

What flowers do you want in your bouquet?Lavender and roses and wheat.

What do you want to name one of your daughters?Anne--my middle name.

What do you want to name one of your sons?Husband's middle name

Do you believe in the 'knight-in-shining-armor' view of courtship? Erm...sort of. But I'm no princess and I don't want a prince. Let's say more the 'cowboy with one hand on the Bible and the other on his six-shooter' view.

What music do you want to play at your wedding?Theme from Lord of the Rings! And probably country. Yes, definitely. And something hoe-down-ish for the party.

Are you a hopeless romantic?I wouldn't say so. Hopeless country western romantic, maybe so!

Oh yes, and I tag--umm--let's see. Evergreena and Lauren Ann...unless you've already done it. :)