If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


It's not like you'll miss me, since I've been blogging twice a week maximum lately, but I'll be away tomorrow and Monday. Alex and I are going to visit a couple of colleges. Pray for us if you pray, otherwise wish us luck. Let the games begin.


The Every Day Cookbook

The economic downturn has me nesting a little. I'm not just weeding out what we don't need; I'm exploring old sources for doing things. Going low tech is a defense mechanism for me. Looking at what I have for multiple uses is another.

I inherited a number of old books from my grandmother, including two old cookbooks. One is 'The American Woman's Cookbook', copyright 1942, which has not only recipes but also instructions on planning menus, packing lunches, and marketing (grocery shopping, not selling to others). In flipping through it, I found margin notes in Grandma's writing, so I know she used that one. The other book is older and has missing pages, but the header on each page was 'The Every Day Cookbook.' It is also more than a cookbook; more like an almanac or encyclopedia. It reminds me of the 'Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook' I got as a wedding gift, which has a section on basic nutrition and instructions for chopping onions and other things I took for granted.

Being a sucker for historic detail, I looked up 'The Every Day Cookbook' online. It was written by Miss E. Neill and published in 1889. I could not find any other copyright information until I found a link to Barnes and Noble. Apparently it was reprinted in December 2007. It has some really good information in it, most of which would have been common sense in 1889: Do your own grocery shopping rather than leaving it to your servants (i.e. husband or kids these days?), pay cash unless absolutely necessary, choose only the best produce and meat. Some of it is outdated, such as saving someone from choking by quickly bending the end of a hatpin into a hook and using it to extract the obstruction. That one makes me shiver!

I'm considering buying a new copy to have for reference so I don't trash my original, although I may wait to see if I get it for Christmas. If the gloom and doom the news portents comes to pass, we may all find ourselves going back to the way things were done in 1889.

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Thursday, October 09, 2008


I'm almost embarrassed to admit this, but I've signed up with Twitter*. I only did it to help Holly Lisle celebrate her birthday, and a lot of my online writer friends signed up, too. I stayed away from it because it just seemed silly. My life is totally not exciting; who cares what I'm doing right this minute?

My online friends, evidently. I have found that context makes a big difference. I've read Twitter feeds from others' blogs and they just seem random and irrelevant. On my own page, it's like an on-going chat session. Here's my link if anyone wants to have a peek, but it's not any more interesting than what you find here. :-D

*If you're not familiar with Twitter, it's sort of a hybrid of blogging and instant messaging. It's also highly addictive.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Getting shorter

Not me; the days. This is the first year I've noticed it before daylight savings time ends. (First weekend in November, BTW, if you care.) I'm up by 6:30 during the week, and it's barely dawn now. Anything that needs to be done has to be finished before dinner because by 6:00 p.m. I'm a lump. It's pitiful. I can't ever remember being ready to go to bed that early without being sick. My energy is sapped in spite of the lovely weather, which tells me I probably need to pay close attention to my diet and get my lazy arse out walking every day. I'm open to suggestions at this point.

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