Tuesday, December 23, 2008


My sister came to visit Sunday. She didn't stay overnight for several reasons. One was the extremely windy Sunday weather prediction for her area coupled with an early Monday morning trash pickup. For some reason having her mailbox blow off the post the week before has left her leery of putting an unattended trashcart on the curb all day in a high wind.

While she was here she showed us her gazumptillion photos of the Great Barrier Reef and Ullaru. I am quite willing to look at these as long as they are in conjunction (as these were) with photos of our cousin Kathy and her family, most of whom we hadn't met as they moved to Australia about 30 some years ago. Kathy's husband was the head of the mathematics department at the school where he taught until his retirement this past year.

On a side note, I had meant to take some photos of my sister's visit, but I mislaid my camera. Before going to work Tuesday, I had noticed that I needed to charge up the battery. I remember telling myself that I would do that when I got home. However the camera was not in sight when I came home that evening, and I forgot about it until Thursday afternoon. Then it worried me that I could not find it. I looked for it on and off this past week, but didn't find it until this morning. For some reason, it was atop the rosewood display case in the living room. I don't remember putting it there. I'm convinced that the Ephemeral Snatcher, a monster out of my daughter's role-playing games, is living in my house—moving things into an alternate dimension and dropping them back in at whim.

The word of the day for December 23, 2008 is "
strayed" — Function: intransitive verb
Etymology: Middle English straien, from Anglo-French estraier, from Vulgar Latin *extravagare, from Latin extra- outside + vagari to wander — more at extra-
Date: 14th century
: wander : as a: to wander from company, restraint, or proper limits. b: to roam about without fixed direction or purpose. c: to move in a winding course : meander. d: to move without conscious or intentional effort [eyes straying absently around the room]. e: to become distracted from an argument or train of thought [strayed from the point]. f: to wander accidentally from a fixed or chosen route. g: err , sin.

Our quote for the day is from Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. “Wild Apples” (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, pp. 301-303, Houghton Mifflin (1906:

Nevertheless, our wild apple is wild only like myself, perchance, who belong not to the aboriginal race here, but have strayed into the woods from the cultivated stock. Wilder still, as I have said, there grows elsewhere in this country a native and aboriginal crab-apple, Malus coronaria, “whose nature has not yet been modified by cultivation.”... But though these are indigenous, like the Indians, I doubt whether they are any hardier than those backwoodsmen among the apple trees, which, though descended from cultivated stocks, plant themselves in distant fields and forests, where the soil is favorable to them. I know of no trees which have more difficulties to contend with, and which more sturdily resist their foes. These are the ones whose story we have to tell.



1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you found your camera. I had to fire up the battery on mine. It's good I came home early--the trash can was out for less than an hour before the collectors came and I had to move it back in place twice. Nasty wind. And today, nasty ice. Sounds like tomorrow will be nasty snow.


Thanks for your comment. ;^)