Joan the Heretic

On this day, in 1431, Joan of Arc, condemned as a heretic, was burned at the stake in Rouen, France.

heretic |ˈherətik| (noun) a person holding an opinion at odds with what is generally accepted.

And there you have it.

Somebody had to cut the wood for that deal.


When I was a young girl…. what the heck….. when I was an older girl, a young woman and a middle-aged woman, I didn’t like to wear dresses. I still don’t. They are foreign to me. It’s like putting on a….

Hmmm. I’ve been sitting here trying to come up with an analogy for about 5 minutes. The only thing that is coming to mind is…

It’s like putting on a ….. a DRESS! (It must be how dogs feel when they have to wear the collar of shame.) So it is pretty clear that I don’t like wearing dresses. But why? I suppose (mainly) it is because it kept me off the ball fields, and out of sandboxes. I wasn’t allowed to do much good playing in a dress.

I have a brother who can make just about anything he sets his mind to. Beautiful homes, amazing cakes, magical gardens, and, you guessed it. Dresses. He sews like a mad man. He makes crazy-good dresses. He does it for a living. (Shameless plug for my bro: )

Why do I speak to all of this today? Well, today is Ebenezer Butterick’s birthday (May 29, 1826 – March 31, 1903). Who in the world, you ask? Ebenezer was an American manufacturer and he developed use of paper patterns for clothing and dress making. Happy Birthday Eb. Because I know there are a lot of people out there who like to wear dresses. Way to sew, dude. Way to sew.

What Ebenezer came up with.
What it kept me from.


“Wisdom begins in wonder. ” -Socrates

….well, I wonder what the heck that bird is doing over there on that branch. You see this spot on my shoulder, you darn cowbird you?!?! This is your fault. You put this here. Last week, I had one right on top of my head. Lay off the suet, will ya’? Oh my goodness, he’s flying this way. Hey, shoo. You. Shoo. Oh, I wonder where that bird is now is what I’m wondering. I’d move off of this rock if I could. I wonder if I maybe start wiggling a little bit, back and forth, if I could just slide down off this rock and take cover in these leaves. Hmmmph. Hmmmmph. No use, darn it. Where has that bird gotten off to? I wonder what time it is now. Seems like I’ve been sitting here, forever! I wonder….


A coil is a series of loops. A loop is a a shape produced by a curve that bends around and crosses itself. A curve is a line or outline that gradually deviates from being straight for some or all of its length. As you can see, things can get complicated, quickly.

I toad you…

Apparently, one can get quite large by snatching bugs from the air with one’s tongue, and then swallowing said bugs.

This fella has been living on our porch for a few days now. We’ve named him Timmy. The ground shakes a bit when he hops to and fro. No tiptoe-ing through the tulips for this guy. He thuds.

Timmy the Tough Toad

Lots of kinds of berries

Today, I found out that there are more than 600 different varieties of strawberries. Who knew.

This one came from our garden. It is the garden variety, then, I guess.

Berry good, to me....

Birthday Parties in the Hood.

I grew up in a great neighborhood. Lots of big families, ethnic families, Catholic families. We didn’t seem to notice any difference between our tribes. Everybody, all the little clans, gathered for stick ball, hopscotch, frog catching, and tag. And we all seemed to operate under the same, ominous rule: You had to go home when the street lights came on. Magical, really.

We had neighborhood birthday parties. God, I loved those. We wore pointy hats. We ate cake and ice cream. We played pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, and dropped wooden clothes pins into milk bottles from the tips of our noses. Fabulous.

Tonight, this photo reminded me of it all. When I was six, I went to Elena Mikalauskas’ birthday party, just up the street. She was turning five. At one point, just before the “opening of the presents”, she became exceedingly happy and excited. That wacky Elena raised her arms over her head in a celebratory fashion, and when she lowered them, she trapped a wasp in her right armpit. Stung. Shouts of joy quickly transformed into cries of pain. Kids running every where. Tables over turned. Mayhem. Panic. All because a young Lithuanian Catholic girl was assailed by a WASP. Hmmm. Not so good.



You know, I looked up “corn” in the dictionary, and it said it was a North American cereal plant. (And it yields large grains, or kernels, set in rows, blah, blah, blah.) But hey, the interesting thing is that it’s called a cereal plant. What exactly does that mean? The obvious ones, I get. Kellog’s Corn Flakes. I see that connection. But what about Cap’n Crunch? Or…. Or…. Fruity Pebbles? Do they have cereal plants too? What the heck do those plants look like? Lucky Charms, for crying out loud. Is that little green fella’ for real? Oh my gosh. What about the Jolly Green Giant. I saw ears of corn in one of those commercials. (and WHY ears?) Now, I am spinning. Oh my aching head.


Half Crazy.

Daisy, Daisy,
Give me your answer do!
I’m half crazy,
All for the love of you!
It won’t be a stylish marriage,
I can’t afford a carriage
But you’ll look sweet upon the seat
Of a bicycle made for two.

made for two....