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: Uneventful day. I went to work, tested my students, worked in the lab. Blah blah. One student didn't show up for the test. She is a Naughty Girl. After lunch with the ladies I came home and crashed. Now I have made salad (homegrown lettuce and onions, commercial other stuff) for me and Susie. The Book Group is going to the screening of To Kill a Mockingbird, but I decided not to go because the tummy is unhappy.

I'm going to turn in early and keep wading through The Pity of War. Ferguson overturns everything anyone ever thought they knew about the origins of World War I.

: Quotations from Women: Never eat more than you can lift. --Miss Piggy

It's so beautifully arranged on the plate--you know someone's fingers have been all over it. --Julia Child

The trouble is. . .that everybody sneers at restrictions and demands freedom, till something annoying happens; then they demand angrily what has become of the discipline. --Dorothy Sayers, Gaudy Night, p. 89

For when two beings who are not friends are near each other, there is no meeting, and when friends are apart, there is no separation. --Simone Weil

Blind obedience in the name of patriotism or religion ultimately takes our lives. --Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge

For there is no friend like a sister in calm or stormy weather; to cheer one on the tedious way, to fetch one if one goes astray, to lift one if one totters down, to strengthen whilst one stands. --Christina Rosetti

The only constructive approach to evaluating human differences is to take each as an opportunity to learn more about the rich diversity of the human condition, and to take what one learns as a gift that will enrich one's own life. --Ruth Purtilo

Woman too commonly commits the sin of self-sacrifice whereby she consents to be sequestered in the home, without intellectual stimulus, so that the tranquil flame of her unspoiled soul should radiate purity and nobility upon an indefinitely extended family. --Rebecca West, 1913

“When you know better, you do better.” --Maya Angelou, in a speech at BYU, 1970 or 1971, in response to LDS former doctrine about blacks

Vanity working on a weak head produces every sort of mischief. --Jane Austen, Emma

Men of sense, whatever you may choose to say, do not want silly wives. --Jane Austen, Emma

"When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country." --- Elayne Boosler "I base most of my fashion taste on what doesn't itch." --- Gilda Radner

"Behind every successful man is a surprised woman." --- Maryon Pearson

"Our struggle today is not to have a female Einstein get appointed as an assistant professor. It is for a woman schlemiel to get as quickly promoted as a male schlemiel." --- Bella Abzug

"In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man; if you want anything done, ask a woman." --- Margaret Thatcher

"If I were going to convert to any religion I would probably choose Catholicism because it at least has female saints and the Virgin Mary." --- Margaret Atwood

"I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career." --- Gloria Steinem "Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry." --- Gloria Steinem

"Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then." --- Katharine Hepburn

" I never married because there was no need. I have three pets at home which answer the same purpose as a husband. I have a dog which growls every morning, a parrot which swears all afternoon and a cat that comes home late at night." --- Marie Corelli

"Nagging is the repetition of unpalatable truths." --- Baroness Edith Summerskill

"If men can run the world, why can't they stop wearing neckties? How intelligent is it to start the day by tying a little noose around your neck?" --- Linda Ellerbee

You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 today and we don't know where the heck she is. --Ellen DeGeneris

I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They've experienced pain and bought jewelry. --Rita Rudner

I'm not into working out. My philosophy: No pain, no pain. --Carol Leifer

If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can't you're right. --Mary Kay Ash

No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he only had good intentions. --Margaret Thatcher

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. --Harriet Beecher Stowe

I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship. --Louisa May Alcott

The healthy and strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it. Whether he's got an abscess on his knee or in his soul. --Rona Barrett

When we can begin to take our failures non-seriously, it means we are ceasing to be afraid of them. It is of immense importance to learn to laugh at ourselves. --Katherine Mansfield

Yesterday I dared to struggle. Today I dare to win. --Bernadette Devlin

You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you're going to live. Now. --Joan Baez

Action is the antidote to despair. --Joan Baez

My idea of superwoman is someone who scrubs her own floors. --Bette Midler

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain. --Dolly Parton

Life is easier than you'd think; all that is necessary is to accept the impossible, do without the indispensable, and bear the intolerable. --Kathleen Norris

I used to think there was luck in the world…but now I know it’s luck with two halves. You’re in the right place at the right time, and that’s luck. But you’re only half of it. Whatever or whoever’s waiting for you has to be there, too. So you only ever carry half of the combination of luck around with you…and you’ve got to be ready, and by that I mean both determined and receptive. --Judith Freeman, in The Chinchilla Farm

We are not here to be successful; we are here to be faithful and to live with integrity. --Mother Teresa

Man is not by nature a tyrant, but becomes a tyrant by power conferred on him. --Lucretia Mott

I believe unconditionally in the ability of people to respond when they are told the truth. We need to be taught to study rather than to believe, to inquire rather than to affirm. --Septima Clark, 1975

I am made in the image of God, good as I am, without unnecessary adornment. --Kathleen Norris

If we learn from the experience, there is no failure, only delayed victory. --Carrie Chapman Catt

None of us can do anything great on our own, but we can all do a small thing with great love. --Mother Teresa

The heaviest burden is great potential. --Jan Temple

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. --Anne Bradstreet

Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education; they grow there, firm as weeds among rocks. --Charlotte Bronte

And who knows? Somewhere out there in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the president's spouse. I wish him well! --Barbara Bush, commencement address to Wellesley College

It has taken me years of struggle, hard work and research to learn to make one simple gesture, and I know enough about the art of writing to realize that it would take as many years of concentrated effort to write one simple, beautiful sentence. --Isadora Duncan

You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you. --Mary Tyler Moore

Take your work seriously, but never yourself. --Dame Margot Fonteyn

I've been married to one Marxist and one Fascist, and neither one would take the garbage out. --Lee Grant Someone asked someone who was about my age: "How are you?" The answer was, "Fine. If you don't ask for details." --Katharine Hepburn

You take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame. --Erica Jong

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. --Helen Keller

It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life. --Sister Elizabeth Kenny

Be bold. If you're going to make an error, make a doozey, and don't be afraid to hit the ball. --Billie Jean King

Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life. --Sophia Loren

Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers. --Mignon McLaughlin

The worst part of success is to try to find someone who is happy for you. --Bette Midler

What is sad for women of my generation is that they weren't supposed to work if they had families. What were they going to do when the children are grown - watch the raindrops coming down the window pane? --Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

My only concern was to get home after a hard day's work. --Rosa Parks

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity. --Gilda Radner

I've always wanted to be somebody, but I see now I should have been more specific. --Lily Tomlin

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. --Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Age is not important unless you're a cheese. --Helen Hayes

Old age is like climbing a mountain. You climb from ledge to ledge. The higher you get, the more tired and breathless you become, but your views become more extensive. --Ingrid Bergman

Eve tasted the apple in the Garden of Eden in order to slake that intense thirst for knowledge that the simple pleasure of picking flowers and talking to Adam could not satisfy. --Elizabeth Cady Stanton

If the shoe doesn't fit, must we change the foot? --Gloria Steinem

There's a lot more to being a woman than being a mother. But there's a lot more to being a mother than most people suspect. --Roseanne Barr

I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity. --Eleanor Roosevelt

You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled then something has been lost. --Martha Graham (1894-1994)

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands. --Anne Frank

When will our conscience grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it? --Eleanor Roosevelt

: Another bangup day in the lab. I've rebooted computers, printed reports on all my students' time, awakened people, rubbed necks, straightened chairs, and started a list of people who crashed on Suderman's Project Two. Sigh.

Julie B. came by to harass me for having my shoes off.

: After work I went to the tire man to get new tires for the Pathfinder. Axeman was there getting a flat fixed on Edward's car. I told him Misty had gone to Heaven. "Are you sure?" he said.

Susanna and I went to Youngs to buy ingredients for Arroz con Pollo for the Ahmansons and the missionaries tomorrow. They didn't have any achiote.

: My child was Student of the Month at the Che Guevara Institute for Anarchy Studies.

: I went to a Mexican market to find the achiote. Dinner turned out scrumptious.

My little Jellybean is ten years old today. I took her in for her annual shots and showed Dr. Reno how well she is doing on the homemade food; he was pleased. Jellybean was NOT pleased, but what can you expect with hypodermic needles and rectal thermometers coming at her? Susanna made her a "cake" of tuna.

O. asked me to teach a 50 class in the fall, so that has me working four days a week again.

: Continuing on my way through Ferguson's history of World War I. (The Pity of War-- what an unfortunate title! I bet it cost him a lot of readers.)

An outstanding gem from today's chapters, wherein he analyzes the intellectual support on both sides for going to war: "It is scarcely credible, but true, that intelligent men in Britain thought they were fighting footnotes and intelligent men in Germany thought they were defending E-flat chords."

: Susanna and I went on a trek today to the mountains to find a group camp location to hold the Ward Campout. We gave up on Methuselah State Park and settled on good old Quaking Aspen, my original choice. Methuselah is free and Quaking Aspen costs money, but oh well. We'll just have to cut back on the Christmas party.

Susanna and Gretel hiked down the creek that Susie remembered from former camping trips and Gretel made "yellow snow."

Gretel was, once again, carsick once we got into mountain roads.

: Today at church Sherrie Lewis gave the Relief Society lesson about "Relief Society Rocks" that someone persecuted her about because the title might make people think about "evil rock music." I sat there studying the woman's face but couldn't read anything in her expression. I thought it was a good lesson, based on Elder Maxwell's conference talk about turning stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

Gimmeabreak!

Came home from church and crashed, then took dinner over to the Thiessens. I cooked artichokes and hollandaise for dinner. Now, it is time for bed again.

: Today we finished grading the proficiency exams. Only five more days of classes.

The chitalpa tree is blooming, all puffy pink flowers. I planted a whole flat of vinca and some zinnias so that we will have some summer color. I also planted a blood orange tree, but don't know if that counts because Susie dug the hole.

: Last night we got the Ward Campout all planned. This morning I made myself a breakfast burrito to see how many eggs, what the liquid volume of beaten egg was, and how many ounces of cheese per person so we can calculate the food for the campout. I got all full, so I didn't eat my sandwich at noon, and now I am HUNGRY, with two hours to go until a break.

My innovative idea is to beat the eggs with my mixer at home and take them to the campground in plastic gallon milk jugs. Dinner will be sloppy joes, also made at home.

My next word in the Merry Menopause scrabble game will be a bingo unless Valerie takes my spot.

: She took my place, but I found another word. 74 points.

: Yesterday I wired up the grapevine and cleaned out the fishpond. "Cleaned out" is not an accurate word for what I did. I grasped great handfuls of slimy angel hair and pulled some of them out, stirred muck, and hosed out the main filter. I didn't clean the filter on the pump that runs the turtle spitter; I was too scared of what I would find. Also, I didn't find Quasi, no matter how many bushes I beat. Quasi is the Runaway Bunny. I WILL find him.

There are many water snails living in my pond now. I don't know where they came from. There were none a year ago when I filled it. I've been meaning to go over to Jill Langley's and get some parent stock of water snails, but so far have not. Now I have my own snails. Spontaneous generation! Aristotle, eat your heart out! (But don't eat escargot d'eau).

Floating the surface was a discarded dragonfly skin. It was perfectly formed and complete-- and completely hollow. Even the little segmented legs were intact, as well as the transparent wing membranes. It had blind skin eyes, and was perfectly slit up the underneath center of the abdomen and thorax, as though it had been precisely snipped with scheerenschnitte scissors. I carred it over to where Susie was pruning the Rosa banksiae 'lutea' and she screamed and said it was disgusting.

My E Drive (the Zip drive) is misbehaving. I suppose that shouldn't come as much of a shock, since the whole computer is misbehaving.

: Mothers' Day. Susie brought me See's Candy in bed, which I consumed, and then felt vaguely sugarfull the rest of the morning. Six teens spoke in church, and it was a refreshing change from the usual momday drivel. Then, for a gift, Brad Davis and some kids brought--- See's Candy!!!!-- into Relief Society for a treat. What a change from a wilted flower. He remarked that it takes some of them a while to catch on to what's important in life. Yeah, chocolate, that's it.

The lesson, given by Cheryl Settlemeyer, was punctuated by happy wrapper-rustling and crunching. I didn't eat my "San Francisco Brickle Bar" yet, having earlier suffered a surfeit of See's.

: More wisdom from Ferguson:

Nothing can detract from the central fact that the Central Powers were significantly more successful at killing, wounding, and capturing the enemy than the Entente Powers_~ But what is even more astonishing is that they did so at much lower cost. One (admittedly rather callous) way of expressing the difference between the two sides in a way which takes not only military effectiveness but also economic resources into account - in other words, a way which measures integrated war efficiency - is to say that Germany succeeded far better than the Entente at inflicting ‘ maximum slaughter at minimum expense'. As we have seen, the Allies spent approximately $140 billion between 1914 and 1918, the Central Powers around 80 billion. Yet the Central Powers killed many more members of the Allies' armed forces than were killed of their own men. On this basis, a simple calculation can be made: whereas it cost the Entente powers $36,485.48 to kill a serviceman fighting for the Central Powers, it cost the Central Powers just $11,344-77 to kill a serviceman fighting for the Entente. To complete the macabre balance sheet, these figures could, of course, be related to Bogart's estimates of the notional economic value of each individual soldier killed to his country of origin. According to Bogart, an American or British soldier was worth 20 per cent more than a German ($1,414 compared with $1,354)1 but nearly double the cash value of a Russian or a Turk ($700). But no soldier was worth as much as it cost to kill him. Ultimately, the financial historian can therefore do no more than pose a question to military historians: why on earth did Germany and her allies-who were more than three times more efficient at killing the enemy--than Britain, and her allies–end up losing the war?

As I am wading through Ferguson I keep reminding myself that I'm not "wasting time wading through Ferguson; I'm "doing research for the novel I'll write about Grandpa."

: We are not feeling any of the earthquakes. This is because the building is already shaking so badly from the tamping and pounding the contractor is doing for the alleged "earthquake" retrofit that we could have a niner and nobody would even leave their seat.

: Mary Anne and I have been following the quakes on the Caltech site. It occurs to me that this was the reason Gretel wouldn't go to bed last night. She paced and whined and pawed. Eventually at one point she started to all fours and scrabbled across the room, waking me up. I went to jump out of bed --half asleep-- and caught the big toe of my left foot in the hem of my right pajama pantleg and positively slid on my face across the floor. Gretel came snuffeling at my [embarrassed and thoroughly awake] and prostrate form and I limped back to bed. Now my shoulder aches and I have sidewalk burn on both elbows.

: Another one! I feel as if I'm egging them on!

: Last night Susie and I went and bought a lavender betta (Dillydilly) for the large vase and three comets and a fantail (Mohawk) for the pond. This morning when I went out to see how they were doing I could only see one comet, but he was doing wind sprints, like....well, like a comet.

: I excused my 11 a.m. class today to attend a "Teach-In for Peace in the Middle East". I dragged one of the RSP kids who hangs around the computer lab with me too. One of the class members is a Palestinian girl who represented the Islamic viewpoint and showed horrifying slides of Israeli tanks rolling through the streets with soldiers standing on top pointing machine guns at little children. HELLOOOO! George Bush, you idiot, are you watching?

Amit gave a really good and convincing presentation. Afterward I went down to the podium and hugged her and told her how proud I was of her and kind of shoved away some kind of extremist looking fellow who had come to argue with her. He found someone else to argue with, and then he latched onto the reporter for Channel 23 News, who, ironically, thought *I* was the professor in charge there. Nope nope. The Forum was packed, which was nice to see. One of the music professors performed John Lennon's "Imagine" and one of the black history professors spoke on nonviolence and recited Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech.

Wow, the whole thing made me think I was at a college!

Today was the last day of the 8 a.m. composition class. I am NEVER going to drag myself out that early again.

: We only have five students in the lab now. Usually, at the end of the semester we have more "lifers" trying to get their hours in. It's slow today. I wish I had my papers to grade while I'm here, but they are upstairs in my office.

: Today-- not a particularly productive day, but I did balance bank statements, sleep a lot, and take the computer apart to find out the serial number of the zip drive. Evening was Becca Mitchell's wedding, where I had a really nice time.

I have finally finished Ferguson's book, including looking at the ghastly pictures. The end chapter summarizes the entire 500 page text, so why bother?

Also went over to the Langley's and held little Paige Elizabeth, three days old. She is very alert and active and has red hair--such a cutie. Payback time for mom Sara.

: I got up fairly early and started in making a month's supply of dog and cat food so Susanna will have food for the critters while I am in Washington. It's such a chore to do both the same day. Later in the morning Doris and Denise Jackman came over and borrowed "stuff" to use for Robyn's wedding reception: crystal plates, punchbowls, cake tiers, tablecloths and both patio umbrellas. That shot the morning, and then Susanna and Rachel took me and Grandma to Olive Garden for a late Mothers' Day lunch. I wasn't feeling so hot and didn't do justice to it.

I kept waiting and waiting for Mike James to show up; he finally did, about 4 p.m. and we agreed he would come back on Monday and we would FINISH the sprinkler system. (I hope.) There are so many weeds growing in the garden, and I have such a tussle keeping up with them. I can't wait until I get the landscaping under control.

I read a bunch of Stephen Jay Gould.

: Vintage Gould: "...Why should intellectual content correlate with difficulty of physical access-- a common supposition that must rank among the silliest of romantic myths? Some of the greatest discoveries in the history of science have occurred in libraries or resided, unsuspected for decades, in museum drawers. By all means, take that dogsled across the frozen wastes if no alternative exists, but if the A train also goes to the same destination, why not join Duke Ellington for a smoother ride?"

This concept appeals to me because I am 100% Taurus.

: Gretel STOLE four raw (unbaked) German pretzels from Susanna's big baking bash last night. Then we spent a gaseous, yeasty night, culminating in a desperate wee-hours dash for the garden door. Toward dawn, a gentle rain began-- thin, grey, and cool.

: There are no words for the sadness I feel today. Stephen Jay Gould dead -- dead, oh alas!-- of cancer at the young age of 60. I think it's fitting that I am reading some of his work-- worshiping at his rhetorical altar, if you will, at this momentous time, and knowing that he is one of the outstanding rhetoricians of all eternity. (This from someone who has sampled the lot of them.) Stephen Jay Gould is the fourth member of the Trinity. "Now, he belongs to the ages."

: Gould: "Nature always bats last."

: Yawwwnnnn. It's so slow in here-- but my last shift in the computer lab for the forseeable year. I was reduced to playing scrabble after looking at Susie's Romania scrapbook over and over. Finally, when I had fifteen minutes left to work, a student came in with a review he wrote of the spring Pops Concert and asked me to proofread it.

Now, off to Home Depot to buy black widow killer and snail killer. The snail is cute, but he ate my lily!

: I just finished my evaluation meeting with the Dean-- got slightly dinged for having blue hair. Oh well. Student comments were positive. I've turned in my grades via WWW, and hopefully they went. Almost DONE with this semester!

: Yesterday Susanna and I went to the temple where she was baptized for a bunch of family members. Afterward we had salads at Earth, Wind, and Flour, where we haven't been since Leonard was at UCLA.

Today we worked all day in the yard, mostly on sprinkler system and anti-dog fences, and I got really sunburned.

: Hooray for Susanna! She beat me at Scrabble, 339-313.

However, I won yesterday at the Davises, with everyone ganged up on me.

: Worked all day on the dog fences and STILL didn't finish. Perhaps tomorrow will be the magic day. Susanna has been a great deal of help.

I made squash from my garden for dinner, and also cucumber/red onion in vinegar. This is the way my grandma always made a nice summer cucumber "salad" and now Susanna informs me she never liked it.

Quote: "He [John Bull] was captured and taken to St. Albans, where he was tried, hanged, and then drawn and quartered. It was a very exciting month for him."

: Gadzooks, it's HOT here! I wish I had more time. "finished" the dog fences. That is, until she finds another way in. I planted a bunch of zinnias and other summer flowers--just threw the seeds at the ground. I need to go out tonight and work on the sprinkler system.

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© 2001-2006 Frances Whitney.