September 30, 2010

My shameless annual appeal

Now that I've got you smiling at the irresistable cuteness of my kid, I'm going in for the kill. (Don't say you weren't warned!)

Each year, I walk in the Jingle Bell Run/Walk benefiting the Arthritis Foundation.  It's my cause, because, well, I am a cause. Because just like 1 in 5 Americans, I have arthritis; psoriatic arthritis, to be exact.  It's an autoimmune disease with no cure that causes some pretty intense pain and overall body stiffness.  And I am now taking immunosuppressive medication, which requires 2 hour IV infusions in addition to weekly oral chemotherapy and steroids, because no amount of diet, exercise or supplements change it. (Have I got your sympathy yet?)

And so I'm walking, as I do each year, through the Milwaukee County Zoo on Sunday, Nomber 7th.  And you can now consider yourself officially invited to join my team (ARTHUR ITIS) and walk with me. (Register by 10/18 to get the cheaper rate).

Too busy to walk? Too far to come?  Then click HERE to donate.  Because after all, it'll make you feel good.

Don't want to do either?  Of course that's your choice.  Just know that I am not responsible if there are some Jedi mind tricks used against you when you least expect it.

September 29, 2010

On my way

This morning, on my way to meet a friend before another 2 hour infusion, I noticed some fantastic light in the sky.  Sunrise is coming later and later each day.  In my usual morning hubbub, I hadn't realized really how much later until this morning.  It is definitely fall.

So I stopped my car for a couple of pictures.  (Because, of course, I had my camera with me, although I had the totally wrong lens on for this type of shot.) And while there, I took a few deep breaths to calm my nerves.

Things have been falling apart around me lately, so it was extra-special nice to be able to do this, even if it was only for a moment.  So I'm sharing my moment, just in case you need a moment too.  Maybe next time I'll take a video so you can get the sound of the waves too.

September 28, 2010

The good life

This week has pretty much sucked. And that's saying something when it's only Tuesday.  So I'm going to be more like my dog Harry today (no, I won't be eating any poo nor waiting expectantly for someone to rub my belly. Hell, I'm just happy if someone knows I exist these days.), and look at some things that are good about my life.
  • Tomorrow's infusion will give me 2 hours of time to knit the latest sweater I'm working on.
  • I am drinking Alterra Blue Heeler coffee right now.
  • Last night, my son wrote an apology note to his teacher for mouthing off to her at lunch. It ended with "Best Regards".
  • OPI just came out with a Swiss collection. I have From A to Zurich on my toes. (I might order the whole line totally on principle).
  • I found my kaiserschmarnn recipe and made it successfully.
  • I'm working from home tomorrow.
  • Someone from a place called "Butterworth" visited my blog.  (Do you think it's the land of pancakes?)
  • FEMA gave us $1090 for our flooding troubles. I don't know how in the world they came to that number, but it's $1090 more than I had last week.
  • I had a major breakthrough on a long-standing stand-off at work in my favor today.
  • The sun is shining.

September 27, 2010

And now I can stop obsessing

I finally made the kaiserschmarrn and it turned out pretty well.  The best part is it's pretty simple.

First, you soak the raisins in rum.
While they're soaking, you mix up the batter of flour, egg yolks, milk and cream.
You whip up the egg whites with some sugar and fold it into the batter.  Then, you throw it in a buttery frying pan and sprinkle the raisins on top.
After 5 minutes, you flip.  After 5 more minutes, you pull it apart into bite sized pieces with forks, and coat it with sugar.
Once it's properly caramelized, you plate it warm with some powdered sugar on top.
C-man declared it tasted like a pancake.  Beerman even liked it. I decided the recipe was missing one key ingredient to make it totally authentic.
Ahh, that's better.

Little Fishy

So my child who used to be water phobic is now so in love with swimming, I can't keep him out of the pool.  He's a backstroking, front crawling, somersaulting fool. 

Which was all perfectly great until we went to the health club on Saturday.  And that's where my story gets good.  (I'm going to try to keep the "and then she saids" to a minimum.)

We entered the health club and checked in like always.  The woman checking us in calls another woman over and points at something on the screen.  I'm then told, in a pretty rude tone, that I'm violating policy and owe $10 to bring in a guest and owe $10 for each time we'd previously come to the club.  I explained that we're members, and my child is enrolled in private swimming lessons.  She continued to quote policies to me, getting louder and louder, as I was getting more and more confused as to why we owed $10.  Finally, she said she'd "let it pass this time, but if member services found out she'd be in big trouble," and turned her back to me when I informed her that she was going to be in bigger trouble when member services found out why I was canceling my membership.
I was so angry, I swear the pool water boiled for the hour that I was in it.  So as soon as we got home, I fired off an email to the club.  (If there's one thing I can do well, it's write a well-crafted screw you email.)
I got a message a few hours later from their headquarters with huge apologies for their behavior.  The next day I actually spoke to him.  The corporate guy apologized again and went on to tell me that it never should have happened, and they have been clearly spoken to so it doesn't happen again to another member.  I have to say, he handled it really well.  And as it turns out, C-man wasn't on my membership with a health waiver.  Something I was ignorant and totally in the wrong about, but truly would have had no way of knowing that never got added.  And get this, it's only $12.50 per month to have him on it.  So the evil screamer lady wanted to charge me $10 per time, when all it would have taken was for her to politely inform me that I needed to add C-man to the membership for $12.50 a month.  She could have been a hero for the day with a membership upgrade.  Instead, she got nasty.

I'm a total weenie in situations like this.  Give me crappy food? I say it's fine and make a peanut butter sandwich when I get home.  But lately, I'm been a little better about standing up for myself.  And American TV, the Village of Bayside and now the WAC have all had the pleasure of seeing the "new me".  And I've got the next 3 months of a free health club membership to prove it.

September 26, 2010


Oftentimes after school, C-man and I will stop at our favorite coffee shop to pick up smoothies. It's not an every day thing, so not necessarily a routine.  But we do it just often enough that he is so happy and excited, bouncing up and down on his tip-toes along the counter while the barrista does her work.  So while it isn't a routine, it is a bit of a ritual, if you will...  Him getting excited.  Me falling even more in love, if that's possible, with those wiggly little fingers and squirmy little toes.  I love these times so much, seeing his pure joy and anticipation of something he loves, I cannot even accurately describe it.  Suffice it to say, it's one of the best parts of my day.

September 25, 2010

Finders Keepers

As if I needed yet one more reason to love my kid's school.

September 24, 2010

Fete Accompli

As my grandma once said about me, Whatever C-man wants, C-man gets.  And so it is with a blue sweater he's able to wear to school.  It is knitted, finished and blocked. I knit it as a 6T, and he wears a 5T. So yes, I know it's a bit big.  But the way he's growing, I'm pretty sure he'll be just fine before the winter's over. And, he assured me, the sleeves are still a good enough length that he can still do the monkey bars.  A true testiment to any successful sweater, according to him.  I'm just glad I can take some time to selfishly knit something for myself now!

September 23, 2010


I still haven't found my sought-after apple bread pudding without the pudding recipe from Oktoberfest in Zum Stiftl that I think was named King's dessert or something like that, but can't quite find an exact match.  But a friend directed me to Ofenschlupfer, which is pretty close.  And I modified it a bit to be more like what we had. So for now, until I can get the right recipe, I'm calling it good enough.  Because, well, I made it and it was fantastically tasty.  So I'm sharing it here in case you want to try it out for yourself.

3 - 4 ripe apples
3 T sugar
1-2 t rum
10 oz stale white bread
1/2 C milk
2 oz butter
5 - 6 eggs, separated
2.5 T sugar
1 t cinnamon
grated peel of 1/2 lemon
2 T grated almonds
2 ozs raisins
Butter and Bread Crumbs

Into the oven...  Whenever something calls for generous pats of butter, you just know it's going to be worthwhile.
  • Peel apples, cut in fine slices and steep in 3T sugar and rum.
  • Cut bread in 1" x 1" cubes and moisten with milk. (This was my modification to make it like the Zum Stiftl dessert.  Plus, it's easier to eat this way.)
  • Cream the butter, mix in egg yolks, 2.5 T sugar, cinnamon, lemon peel and grated almonds.
  • Beat egg-whites separately until stiff.
  • Fold together apple slices, raisins and whipped egg-white with the butter-yolk mixture.
  • Grease a fireproof basking dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  • Alternate bread chunks with apple mixture and generously (Think more Warren Buffet and less Donald Trump) top with small pats of butter.
  • Bake Ofenschlupfer 30 - 40 minutes at 375 until the top is slightly brown with caramelly goodness.

Serve warm with a vanilla sauce or pudding.  (Or just eat it directly out of the baking dish like a rabid dog).

It's good for dessert or breakfast.  Hey - before you judge, think about it as appley french toast without the syrup.  Or don't think about it at all, and just enjoy it.

Vanilla Sauce
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups milk
1 T vanilla sugar or 1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat the egg yolks and sugar (and vanilla sugar) together until the yolks are thick and pale yellow and the sugar is dissolved, about 4 minutes.

Bring the 2 cups of milk to a boil in a heavy 2-quart saucepan and then pour over the egg yolks in a thin stream, using a whisk or electric mixer to stir constantly. Pour back into pan and heat without boiling until mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla extract, if you are using it instead of the vanilla sugar.

September 21, 2010

It's that time of year again

The geese are flying south, and I'm getting ornery.  Yup, despite the hot weather today, it must be fall.

Here are my gripes of the day:
  • If you break something, don't leave the garbage on the floor and then walk away for me to step on with my already sliced open foot from the broken glass in the basement that went through my shoe the other day and now doesn't want to heal because of all the crap medicine I'm on. It'll make me really mad. You know, hypothetically.
  • My employer donated a load of money to breast cancer. This is not my gripe at all. My gripe is that it now looks like pink threw up around here.  Because after all, nothing cures cancer like a pink lightbulb.
  • A doctor's rant about universal health care has gone a bit viral on Facebook, and I'm sick of it for 2 reasons. One- Viral chain letters are annoying.  Two- He contends that we don't have problem with our healthcare system, but a cultural crisis "in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on vices while refusing to take care of one's self, or heaven forbid, purchase health insurance."  As I open my monthly bill for $10,000, the result of something that had zero to do with how I did or did not take care of myself or the exorbitant amount I've paid on my health insurance premiums, I just find it offensive.  There will always be poverty in our country.  But the longer we let those people flounder, with low income and low education, without help (both of which don't place an emphasis on health care), we will have this problem. But to write a blanket, albeit more than slightly racist, letter about all health care based on the lowest common denominator, and then make me see it over and over and over again on Facebook?  Ugh! It's almost a reason to un-friend.
  • I can't find that German bread-apple-raisin recipe we had at Oktoberfest last year.  A friend kindly directed me to Ofenschlupfer.  It's close enough that I'm going to try it, but it still isn't it.  I emailed Zum Stiftl, the tent we were in last year, to see if they will tell me.  But since it's Oktoberfest, I doubt I'll get a response this week.
  • We got a call last night from C-man's Spanish teacher informing us that his Spanish class (which was supposed to start tonight) is canceled. I then had a 25 minute conversation with her - wait, conversation would imply a 2-way discussion - a 25 minute I-don't-know-what of this woman going on and on and on and on and on. I heard about every place she's ever been in her life over the past 40 years. And I'm not exaggerating. It was exhausting.
  • The woman has offered to teach him out of her home. Really? You want me to send my 5 year old to your home? Especially since I know think you're certifiable?  Getting Spanish lessons to my 5 year old shouldn't be this hard.  Seriously. "You quiero dos Coca Colas y dos hamburguesas, por favor." It's not that difficult!
  • A co-worker is all thrilled that she's figured out a time to bring her baby up from the daycare for me to see her today.  I've met this child before. And really, I kind of have to psych myself up to be thrilled for someone else and their babies.  I'm at work. I really don't have time for that.  I think I need to make a chiropractic appointment to get out of it.
Okay, I have more, but I'll leave that as enough for now.

September 20, 2010

Appley goodness

In spite of not filling up our bags (yet still having to pay for full bags- grrr!), I have entirely too many apples in my house.  So, of course, I did the only logical thing one would do in this situation; I made an apple pie.  And after that, I still have, let's count them... 2 bags of apples left.

I really, really want that delicious dessert recipe from Oktoberfest.  I think it was just bread chunks, apples, raisins and some sugar all baked together in a perfect gooeyness whose taste may or may not have been improved by having an overabundance of the other German perfection in my belly, and might have been named after King Ludwig.  (Shocking, it being named after crazy King Ludwig.  And yet, I don't have a photo of it.  How do I not have a photo of it?!?)  Because we all know I don't have the patience to be rolling out strudel dough.  I might just have to learn how to make German pancakes this weekend, though.  Sigh... off to find some creative apple recipes.  If you have one, please share!

September 19, 2010

Apple picker

Today, between rain bursts, C-man and I went to an orchard to pick overpriced apples.
The way I saw it, we were paying for the chance for C-man to race around the orchard and be encouraged to climb trees.  Something that needed very little encouragement, by the way.
Since C-man was doing all the picking, I was just catching the apples being thrown down to me.  Well, that and taking pictures.
I'm not a lover of fall, but the colors are undeniably beautiful.  As are the smiles...

September 18, 2010

That was fun

A year ago today, I was helping to open the best party in the world, Oktoberfest.  A year ago today, I was eating pretzles with mustard, roast chicken and potatoes, and a King Louie bread and apple dessert I've been trying to find a decent recipe for ever since.  A year ago today, I was drinking my 4th liter of golden tastiness while singing with 1500 of my new best friends; a precursor to me believing I could participate and win in the strong man contest.

Man, that was fun.

So today, in honor of the best party man ever created but sadly didn't invite me to be at this year, I'm raising a Coors Banquet beer. (It's no Paulaner, but it's the only thing Beerman left in the fridge.)

Ein prosit!

September 17, 2010

Work in progress

Every time I start knitting something, C-man decides the next project is going to be for him.  And, of course, I always comply.  Mostly, because I'm a total sucker.  We don't always agree on what I should knit, though.  For example, this time, I said I'd make him a hat and mittens. He said he wanted a sweater.  Once I said okay to the sweater, he then wanted a robe.  We finally settled on the sweater after some debate. (Read: me saying there was no way in hell I was knitting him a robe).  This pattern is knitted top-down on Berroco Vintage Chunky, and I'm about 1/3 done. (Currently working on the left sleeve) It, much like me, is a work in progress.  We'll see if he wears it once it's done.

On a side note, I took it to my IV session the other day, which was nice to help pass the time. (All I need is those exercise pedals at my feet, and I'll officially be one of the people on hemodialysis I used to visit when I had that horrible job years ago.)  It always cracks me up when I bring out a project, because it never fails that someone approaches me about her inability to knit and asks me to show her how. So we have a date next week.  She's going to bring her yarn, and I'm going to teach her. Seems I've done this before...

September 16, 2010

Thursday Thirteen: My favorite books

Clouds over my house during sunset for no particular reason, other than I like them.

In no particular order, these are my top 13 books that I think about all the time:
  1. The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkein
  2. City of Thieves, David Benoit
  3. A Separate Peace, John Knowles
  4. Elegance of a Hedgehog, Muriel Barbury
  5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
  6. Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War, Karl Marlantes
  7. Alchemist, Paulo Coelho (I prefer it in its original Portuguese)
  8. Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
  9. The Help, Kathryn Sockett
  10. Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd
  11. Gabriel Allon Series, Daniel Silva (I'm counting this as 1 big long story)
  12. The Book Thief, Marcus Zusak (I just finished this one, and it was amazing.  Time will tell if it sits in my top 13 list, though)
  13. Housekeeper and the Professor, Deckle Edge

September 14, 2010


Our backyard hops, waiting to be picked and turned into delicious beer.

I've been on a toxic medicine for arthritis for 3 months. It's been miserable.  I've been nauseous. I've been in pain. I've had no energy. I've been depressed.  All.summer.long.  (I can't even fathom getting this poison at cancer patient dosages!) It turns out, this isn't all that uncommon from this stuff. So imagine my surprise to learn that the reason I went through this is because you have to be on this medication for 3 months before the insurance company will approve another treatment option. No lie. My body was miserable and in pain.  My doctor is by far, the most intelligent person I've ever met in my life - in fact, I suspect he has an honest-to-goodness photographic memory, and knew it wasn't the right course of treatment.  But none of that mattered, because an actuary in an insurance company is who dictates treatment plans.  Something that made me wonder if it's better to be uninsured.  That is, until I learned this new treatment that I start tomorrow, 2.5 hour IV infusions every 2 weeks, is $5000 per session.  It makes all those stories about people bankrupt over their medical costs a bit closer to home.

 Don't forget to vote today!

September 13, 2010

My life in bullets. Again.

I fully acknowledge that this is the absolute laziest way of blogging ever. But whatever. It's all I've got today.
  • The Craigslist saga: I've sold 2 car seats so far. One last night to a really sweet couple (She's Chilean, he's Scandinavian- not sure from exactly where, but he was blonde as could be, had an accent and his name was Odin, so I figure it's a pretty solid guess.) who are sending it back to Chile with her nephew next month. I supposedly have people coming for the tricycle, jogging stroller and sandbox. I say supposedly, because they both changed the pickup dates from today to later in the week.
  • I am very tired of those who don't know the difference between Bayside and Bayview and have to change their pickup times because of it. Honestly, this city isn't that big to screw the two up. Seriously, they're on opposite sides of the county!
  • I really hate hagglers. And stupid people. Both appear to be rampant on Craigslist. Case in point: A woman sends me an email asking me to call her about the bicycle.  I call her. This is what I get. Her: "Who is this?" Me: "You emailed about the bike ad and asked me to call you." Her: "Which bicycle?" Me: "The 12" Hotwheels one you asked for me to call you about." Her: "How much is it?" Me: thinking- didn't you reply to this ad? "Um, $25." Her: "Would you take $10?  Wait, what kind of bike was it again?"  Seriously.
  • I'm going to try to start selling off the baby clothes on ebay. I figure it's fewer people to deal with in person.  Plus, clothes ship more easily than exersaucers and jogging strollers.
  • I'm trying not to think of why I'm selling all this stuff, and focusing on the cash that's coming in instead.  Come on, plane ticket to my floating market in Bangkok!
  • Beerman keeps asking what we're going to do about paying for his ticket. I told him he can sell his own crap.  The brewing equipment he never uses should bring in a pretty penny, right?
  • I had a chiropractic appointment this morning. I hadn't been in ages. After all that car riding, it was reeeealy nice to be put on the magic stretching machine he's got. I heart my chiropractor even though I now kind of hurt.
  • I found out during the back to school night that another kid in C-man's class learned how to ride on 2 wheels, and C-man told him he could too. He can't. So last night while on a bike ride, I asked him if he wanted to learn to ride on 2 wheels so what he told the kid at school would be true. He's so freaked out I know he said it, he keeps asking me how I know. I think I'll torment him with it until he actually does learn.
  • It's been almost a year since we were in Europe at the I really want to go back.  I'm really itching for a trip.  Who are we kidding? I'm always itching for a trip.
  • I'm now in a walking club at work. I still have no idea how in the heck that happened.  Anyhow, I'm supposed to walk 10,000 steps a day.  For someone who considers getting out of bed a daily victory, this is going to be interesting.
  • While in Target the other day, I came across the latest Gabriel Allon novel. I LOVE the Gabriel Allon series. How did I miss that a new one came out 6 weeks ago?  Anyhow, I'm halfway through, and it's fantastic.
  • I love Gabriel Allon and James Bond.  Apparently I have a thing for beautiful assassins with accents.
  • I went grocery shopping at my not-usual store yesterday.  In front of me was a very pregnant woman with a toddler paying for her food with public assistance money. I don't have an issue with that.  If you need it, that's what it's there for.  This woman, however, was carrying a Coach handbag and buying Diet Dr Pepper, Lucky Charms and Cheetos.  I had to remind myself a billion times to not judge, because you never know the circumstances.  When someone's carrying a more expensive handbag than you and having yet another child, though, it's a pretty tough sell.
  • I finished one sweater for Christmas (Come on, you know you love my lopsided creations, so aren't you positively thrilled it could be for you?) and am now knitting a sweater for C-man at his request.  This morning he told me I should knit him a robe.  Um, I don't think so, bucko.  This sweater is going to take me all month the way it is!
  • I had extra yarn leftover after sweater #1, like I always do. But do you know what I learned? The store is willing to TAKE IT BACK! (Yes, I always knew this, I'd just never done so, so was pretty proud of myself that I actually did it this time.)
  • It's not Friday yet.  I'd really like it to be Friday.

September 12, 2010

Best days

Another shot of my sweet nephew, Sam.

This morning, C-man jumped into our bed to cuddle and chitchat.  It's often our weekend routine if he sleeps in. (If he doesn't sleep in, then the blessed routine is for Beerman to get up with him while I sleep in.)  During our chat, C-man proclaimed it to be "the best day of his life".  When I asked why, he gave me the following reasons:
  • He had a great sleep
  • He's the oldest he's ever been
  • It's Sunday
  • He was going to go to swimming lessons today with the best swimming instructor ever
  • He has a new nephew
This is a child who has pretty much every advantage available to him.  Yet in his 5 year old mind, those 5 things are enough to make this day amazing.

I overcomplicate things.  I overanalyze too much. I worry about everything. I think C-man's approach is way better.

September 11, 2010

New family

This weekend we were excited to be able to meet the newest member of the family, sweet sleepy 7 day old baby Sam.

And got to play with his older sister, Ava. I'm pretty sure she was thrilled.

September 10, 2010


My kid smiles a lot.  Blame it on his personality.  Blame it on his good life.  Blame it on the fact that I diligently ate chocolate every day while pregnant (Studies prove this to be true. Don't believe me? Because I took that study to heart!) But everyone notices it.  And it's such a beautiful thing. Everyone loves a smiler.

So imagine my surprise when during my monthly rheumatologist visit today, I was told to stop smiling.  "I don't know how you're feeling if you fake it all the time." Which really shocked me.  Because what else am I supposed to do? Frown constantly? Sob everywhere I go?  I've actually been concerned that I haven't been happy enough lately - always focusing on the bad crap happening inside me. Always thinking about how tired I am and the things I can't do in my day. Always worried how I'm shortchanging my family because I just can't physically do what I need to.  So it was really shocking to be told my outside isn't matching my inside.

Because to be honest, the inside is pretty crappy.

So far, the medication hasn't done anything but make me sicker, so now I'm moving on to get IV infusions of more poison starting next week. When I went to a shrink the other day, desperate for any sort of relief from anywhere I can get it, I got a lot of silent "understanding" nods and more misunderstanding about what I'm actually going through. (Further confirming my previous thoughts about shrinks, but that's an entirely different post!)  And I'm just completely exhausted.

To admit that to the world makes me sad; mad even. Because we all know how admired those who face adversity with a positive spin are.  But I don't know how to be that way, because on the inside I feel completely "crumbly" (C-man's description).

Living with chronic pain is draining. I feel robbed of a normal life, of who I could be for my family, of the family I should have but can't because of this.  I feel like I'm fading away into the background, and what's worse is I'm okay with it because it's too difficult to do anything else.

So instead, I try to smile. Not because I'm strong, because I'm not.  But because I'm just going to fake it 'til I make it. I just wish that "make it" day would hurry up and get here.

September 9, 2010

Ducks in a row

I've never quite understood the phrase "Get your ducks in a row".  Maybe that explains why I'm such a mess 3/4 of the time?

September 8, 2010

I'm part Wampanoag

Wootonckuaske, 1639-1676 (daughter of Chief Corbitant) married Metacom Pokanoket, 1639-1676 (son of Massosoit and Saunks) in 1660.

Wootonckuaske and Philip are my 11th generation grandparents through my maternal grandmother's line.

At the request of his brother in the Plymouth Courts, Metacom's name was legally changed to Philip.  After his brother's death, Philip became the Great Sachem of the Wampanoag Indian tribe and was dubbed "King Philip".

The story of King Philip is one written from the perspective of the settlers and not the Indians, but it goes something like this:

Philip was accused of the death of John Sassamon (or Sausaman), a Christian Indian. Philip killed John becasue John alarmed Josiah Winslow, one time governor, with the news Philip was preparing his forces for a large scale attack on Swanse. Sassamon was a well established Indian working both sides between the Indians and the Colonists. He had retired between Pokanoket, Bristol, formerly Mt. Hope, Bristol County, Rhode Island and Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts and spent his time fishing and exchanging intelligence with passersby. He was found lodged beneath the ice with his neck broken after failing to return from his last fishing trip, apparently having gossiped once too often.

Philip was charged with Sassamon's death but released from further action as the trial was recognized by English authorities as a lynching party. Two witnesses had been hanged and a third shot. The authorities were concerned the reaction of the Indians would be disastrous. Even so, the process was infuriating to Philip and, with 40 warriors, when attending an invited meeting with the authorities in Providence to settle wrongs, he let it be known that he would be trouble in the near future ending a speech with "I am determined not to live until I have no country".

King Philip's War began during the Summer of 1675 - the end of a long period of peace formed by his father, Massasoit. Swanse was the first settlement attacked by Philip who had created a formidable force of more than one thousand warriors from six tribes. The town of 40 new homes was burned to the ground. There were murders, rapes, torture and looting. Brookfield, Lancaster, and Worcester in Worcester County; Medfield, in Norfolk County; and Chelmsford and Groton, in Middlesex County, Massachusetts attacks soon followed. Some Colonists were flayed alive, some impaled on sharp stakes, or roasted alive over slow fires. The Indian's atrocities were ferocious as they vent their rage.

King Philip's War was coming to and end by the Summer of 1676. Benjamin Church, an English officer new to the War, soon caught-up with Philp and his sister-in-law Weetamoo. His brother had been killed, his wife and nine year old son captured and sent to the West Indies. Weetamoo drowned during a skirmish. Philip's mood was then such that he killed one of his counselors with his bare hands when the counselor suggested peace. Alderman, brother of the killed counselor, offered to take Church directly to Philip's hideout near Mt. Hope.

Philip was killed near Mt. Hope when guided there by Alderman whose gun misfired when Philip was confronted. He was shot in the heart by an Englishman. Indian tradition called for a man of Philip's stature to be beheaded by an Indian which was done. English tradition called for Philip to be cut into four pieces which was also done. Philip's head and one hand were saved while the four body sections were put in trees for the turkey vultures to feast on because a burial was forbidden to make sure Philip was not venerated.

Alderman was given Philip's hand who, for years, proudly displayed to those willing to pay his price, mostly in drinks. Philip's lower jaw bone was considered a trophy in Boston where it was displayed. His head was mounted on a post and kept in Plymouth for many years.

Wordless Wednesday: Flying dragon

September 7, 2010

The random and the miscellaneous

C-man and Me
Eagle River, Wisconsin
  •  I posted a bunch of baby crap to Craigslist.  So far I've gotten a spammer and a mailbox full of hagglers. I will not consign it, because they give you a mere fraction of what it's worth.  And since I held on to it this long, I'm not just giving it away. But so far, I'm totally unimpressed with Craigslist.
  • I'm not looking to overprice my stuff in the least.  I am, however, hoping to sell enough stuff to buy one airline ticket to Thailand. Is that even possible? I do have a lot of stuff...
  • I do not like the weather turning fall-like. And I really don't like people telling me how great it is that it's getting colder. Fall means winter is coming.  And what's great about that? I hate winter.
  • At least winter will put an end to the Grecian sandals. Now if someone could just kill the skinny jean.
  • This weekend, Beerman and I watched a PBS Soundracks episode on Kazakhstan.  The writer of the Borat soundtrack was invited to compose an orchestra for the national orchestra of Kazakhstan. Fascinating.
  • C-man is supposed to start Spanish lessons later this month. I say "supposed to" because Nicolet High School flooded this summer, and they still aren't open for school. They haven't officially changed the dates yet, but I'm not banking on it happening.
  • C-man also wants to join the school chess club. (I know, it sounds pretty nerdy, but there's a pretty large contingent of kids in his school who do it, so I'm not totally afraid he's going to get beat up over recess because of it.) It's a lot of stuff for him to be in, but chess club meets during the time he'd normally be in extended care anyway, so it is more palatable.  Plus, how do you deny your kid wanting to learn how to play chess, of all things?
  • I signed myself up for a cake decorating class. Soon, I'll be able to check #95 off my list.
  •  Rosh Hashanah starts on Wednesday.  I'm not Jewish, but I'll be sure to eat apples and honey anyway.
  • Beerman is getting his retainer taken out today.  He's had it in for at least 20 years. Thankfully, he started going to my dentist, which is a way better decision than his dentist.
  • I saw Hot Tub Time Machine and thought it was hilarious.  Feel free to judge.
  • I've also seen all 6 Harry Potter movies multiple times in the past month. C-man is obsessed.
  • Thank God it's a short week. My attention span is already toast.

September 6, 2010

Long weekend accomplishments

  • Watched a movie outdoors
  • Ate some s'mores
  • Got a new fish filter 
  • Listed a bunch of baby stuff on Craigslist (anyone want a car seat, jogging stroller or exersaucer?)
  • Took the kid to swimming lessons
  • Got Harry bathed
  • Knitted some things (I broke my New Years Resolution and bought some yarn, but have knitted 2 gifts out of it, so I'm considering myself absolved)
  • Waxed the dining room table
  • Cleaned out the kitchen gadget closet (this would normally be an easy job in a normal household, but when you have to figure out where to put the asparagus peeler, mango corer and automatic stirring machine, it's a different story)
  • Steam cleaned all of C-man's sutffed animals (I really love my new washer)
  • Took a family bike ride