Thursday, November 29, 2007

Greatest English Novel?

I read once that Alessandro Manzoni's The Betrothed is considered the greatest novel in Italian literature*. That got me to thinking about the greatest novels in other languages: in Spanish it is Don Quixote, in Russian it is The Brothers Karamazov, what is it in English?

Since my husband is in a graduate school which has a large literature student population, I started asking around. Most of the people I have asked said Moby Dick, although a couple said Persuasion and one said Pride and Prejudice. (There were a couple other answers which I don't remember.) When I searched online to see if I could find lists of great literature Ulysses is what came out on top most often.

What do you think the greatest English novel is?

*If you haven't read it then you ought to because it really is one the greatest novels in existence (in my humble uneducated-in-literature opinion).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Reeda's godparents are engaged! When we chose them to be godparents they weren't even dating yet, so this is quite fortuitous. They are such a wonderful couple; we wish them the very best.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Day-After Thanksgiving!

How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was probably the most peaceful one I have ever had. We got together with a couple of people whom we knew in college. We provided the turkey, but they cooked it. I also made cranberry sauce and a pumpkin pie.

There was a nice surprise for us after dinner when someone pointed out the window and said that it was snowing. That was very exciting, especially since it had been warm enough to run the AC just two days previously.

Now we get to enjoy all the yummy leftovers. Hopefully I can find a couple recipes for casseroles that use leftover turkey, since we have several pounds of it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thanksgiving Countdown

Do you know that Thanksgiving is a week from tomorrow? I just realized that today and it gave me quite a jolt. Normally, when a holiday is approaching I am doing all sorts of planning for it. This time I just plumb forgot.

We have absolutely no plans for Thanksgiving. In the four previous Thanksgivings of our marriage I have always had some sort of plan by the beginning of November. Since we have never lived near family we have always had to come up with our own plans for the holiday, and sometimes we even had backup plans. Not this year. This year I haven't purchased a single Thanksgiving-related item (unless you count pumpkin ice cream), or even thought about whether to fix any special items.

I guess I need to figure out if we will be spending it with others (so I only have to fix a couple dishes) or if we are having it by ourselves (so I have to do the whole shebang). I don't mind doing the whole thing, especially since my husband loves to help out in the kitchen, but I always felt that Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that are meant to be celebrated with others. It sees that some quick decisions are in order.

What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Tis the Season. . .

For heaps of catalogs! Every day I get two or three in the mail. I try to get rid of them quickly, but sometimes I am not fast enough. If Happy Boy sees one he loves to take it and look at all the pictures.

Despite all the toy catalogs that he has looked at, the item he keeps coming back to time and again is the wet/dry vacuum from Lowe's! He loves vacuums - when they're off that is. (If they are on he is either on the couch in safety or screaming from fear.) To him, the vacuums in the catalog were like clothes for a fashionista. I couldn't wipe the drool away fast enough.

Emergency Preparedness Part II

Sometimes when thinking about planning for emergencies or disasters I ask myself, "How much of this is prudence and how much of it is paranoia?" Different people will have different ideas of where the line is between the two and that can occasionally make discussions of disaster preparedness difficult.

In the two years before 2000 I heard many people talking about the Y2K bug with grave concern. I knew people who sold their home, move to the mountains and bought expensive solar paneled appliances for the eminent technological meltdown. I considered that paranoia, but they thought that people who didn't do that were in denial.

Here are what I consider the bare minimum preparations for emergencies for a prudent person:

Three days of water - one gallon per person per day.
Three days of food that can be eaten without cooking.
A manual can opener for said food.
Various sanitation supplies for bathroom, feminine, baby and cleaning needs.
Evacuation bags filled with clothes, diapers, light reading, first aid kit, etc.
A first aid kit separate from evacuation bags.
Flashlights and batteries.
Radio, either hand-crank or with extra batteries.
List of phone numbers of friends and relations and a designated out-of-state contact.

I know that some people would frown at the shortness of this list, but as I said this is the bare minimum. Most people don't even have this much ready. FEMA has its own list of essential items.

The Mormons are well known for being concerned about potential emergencies or disasters and many people think that they have crossed the line into paranoia. I have heard (but haven't varified) that Mormons have to have a least three months of food stored but are encouraged to have two years worth. Here is a blog post by a Mormon woman whose stake house had a mock disaster. It is humorous, but also is good food for thought.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

One More Time

More Chinese recalls, this time because they contain the same chemical formula as the "date rape drug." When will it stop? When western capitalists realize that quality and safety are more important than the almighty dollar padding their wallets.

I like capitalism as much as most Americans, but it is a flawed system and this is one of the problems with it.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

This is a Surprise

I found this over at Nutmeg's blog and was hoping to get college graduate status. I can't figure out how it came up with this. If only it were true. . .