So Mom and Dad threw a suitcase each together and took off in the truck. They'll be there in a few hours.
I'm close to my dad's parents.
ETA: This side of the family is my dad's side of the family - the grandfather I'm close to. (My mother's parents died when I was in my teens.)
If anyone was worried about that. I know I've had some lengthy brainstorming and worldbuilding conversations in comments with some of you over the years. So.
I signed up.
(I think this new trend towards programs that are online so you can only sign up once the program starts is kind of dubious - especially since it means you really can't sign up in person or anything. hey do have handouts for the wee-est littlest ones though, so I guess that's something? I don't know, it just seems counter to a reading program's community building functions to me. But maybe I'm wrong! There might be boatloads of literature on this I just haven't read.)
My last book of the day - my last book of the workshop series! - was a frankenbook. I'd been working on a section of very fragile books packed in tight together all day. Some of them were missing covers and had their spines broken. Some of them were pamphlet bound to begin with, with paper covers barely to not at all heavier than their textblock pages. I'd found some interesting stuff. A textbook of psychiatristry from Turkey from the late 1930s, autographed by the author. The papers presented at the first conference of Geographical Medicine in Geneva (in French, German, and English).
But the last book... I thought at first it was another pamphlet bound medical text from the 1880s. A number of publishers sold these cheaply, largely through mail order, in the latter half of the 19th century and into the early 20th. They're very flimsy and the type is cramped - they often don't even have a proper title page. Instead they'll have the title and author and publisher given on the upper half of a page, with the start of the preface underneath for the second half of the page. There's always multiple pages of advertisements. Originally they sold for five cents each: if you wanted, say, a solid cloth binding with stitches instead of staples, you'd need to pay more in the neighborhood of a dollar fifty, and it went up from there if you wanted leather or what have you.
It wasn't until I got it back to the table and (very very carefully) opened it up that I realized it wasn't one cheap pamphlet bound medical text - it was six! Someone had gone to a lot of trouble to get those pages flush, and had even made a spine to cover over the six spines bound together.
People who study manuscripts call that kind of thing a 'miscellany'. They're very common in Medieval and even Early Modern books - people would bind together a group of short works that interested them into a size of book that they felt was 'reasonable', that was an aesthetically appealing size and shape. They become less common the closer you move to the present, and I'd actually never seen one from the 1880s before.
I wonder why the person who went to all that trouble did it? It was a very odd assortment of texts. They ranged from 1875 to 1883. There was one that was a surgical manual, and one that was a primer on women's health, and one that was a student's manual of "venereal diseases" and, which seemed most out of place to me, one of the Asylum Reform Society's pamphlets on how to construct and furnish an effective and humane mental hospital. I say it seemed the most out of place to me because the others, including the volume on proctology, were the sort of things a general practitioner might need on a fairly regular basis in the usual course of their practice. It makes sense to me that you might want them all together and easy to hand. But generally, if one does need to choose a suitable site for a new hospital, there's some warning beforehand. It's not the kind of thing life springs on you suddenly and on the regular.
Unfortunately, who ever had put this miscellany together had chosen to bind it with metal wire, which was now rusting, so I marked the book down for As Soon As Possible attention and copied out all the bibliographic data for each book, and recorded the whole as "miscellaneous medical texts."
I have so many questions! I know I'll never get the answers to them, most likely, but I have them, to turn over in my head and contemplate on. Who was the person who put the books together? How did they choose? Did they do that to more texts from their library? What was the reasoning behind their method? What kind of practice did they have? How did the person who donated the books to the academic collection they belonged to come by them? Was it the same person who bound them together? Why in the world did they scratch out the original "5 cents" publisher's price marks and write in in heavy red pencil "100 cents"?
Well, when you're as pale as I am, the resulting sunburn is an interesting shape (you can see the bow I was wearing at the back of my neck on my skin!) that unfortunately makes wearing a bra while it heals pretty much pretty uncomfy!
Heck with it. Eight in the evening is a perfectly respectable time of day for pyjamas.
And the epilogue is adorable. I enjoyed it so much.
It was a good visit - the cooper's hawk decided I was too interested in their breakfast and carefully took it away to the back of their enclosure, one of the rescue big desert tortoises was very near mutiny because it's been so warm that they'd had had lots of time outside in their big outside field, and they did not believe it was too cold this morning for desert tortoises! (It really was too cold for desert tortoises.) And I spotted one of the prairie chickens! Always a treat - they like to hide. But the really surprising thing was when I left, on the road in front of the visitor center, I spotted a killdeer!
It spotted me at about the same time. We stared at each other for a moment. And then it went tippa tippa tippa toe running across the street and across the grass. Nope! Not today, Monkey!
(I wasn't gonna chase it, but I did watch it out of sight, because they have the most interesting gait.)
So now the kitchen smells like banana rum!
EDIT: Sourdough Banana Bread (From Mrs Stankey, via Don and Myrtle Holm)
1/3 C shortening
1 C sugar [this is actually a bit on the sweet side for me - I used 1/2 C brown sugar, packed, last night and that worked well, so I am planning on experimenting a bit more, with a bit less sugar, but I'm the only one who thought the 1 C white sugar versions were a bit too sweet, so]
1 C mashed bananas [or however many you happen to have - I haven't measured.]
1 C sourdough starter
2 C flour [the recipe calls for all purpose - I've used half white all purpose and half whole wheat all purpose in all my renditions and it's not been too heavy ever]
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla or 1 tsp grated orange rind [I haven't tried the orange rind yet, due to never having oranges in the house when I'm making it, but I mean to!]
Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan. Cream together the shortening and the sugar. Add egg. Mix until blended. Add in bananas and sourdough starter. Add orange rind or vanilla. In separate bowl mix flour, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add flour mixture to first mixture, stirring until just blended. Pour into the greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 F for about an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. [And then it says Cool Before Slicing, but I haven't done a good job of that ever. Ahem.]
(From The Complete Sourdough Cookbook, Don and Myrtle Holm, The Caxton Printers, Caldwell Idaho, 1982. ...addendums in parenthesis added by this blogger.)
Well, I say all the birds. All the birds had breakfast available, but the owls were mostly blinking slowly and wondering why the hour of half past ten in the morning existed and, if it had to exist, why they had to have breakfast at it. What is wrong with two am, they would like to know? A much more civilized hour.
The turkey vulture who lives with two bald eagles was super into their mice, though. It ate the tails first.
I've thought about the scene of Bucky buying plums a lot and what it says to me, especially taking this tumblr post on how the way he orders the plums is strange into account, is that Bucky is deliberately ordering the plums weird. He's doing a cognitive behavioral exercise! An exposure! He is deliberately (and harmlessly) breaking a small, harmless, unspoken rule. He does that, the person at the farmstand Socially Disapproves but doesn't do anything terrible to him, like electroshock him into forgetting things, no -
All that happens when you ask for “about six plums” is that you get a judgey look and exactly six plums.
I think he's pressing himself way out of his (probably incredibly narrow) comfort zone in that scene. His demeanor is forced as he interacts with the vendor, and after the interaction ends, he's visibly trying to get himself back under control. He's jittery before he ever spots the headline at the news stand. He's trying to work through that fear and carve out a wider space where he doesn't need to be afraid. He can break the rules and Not Do It Right and Something Bad (an unnameable earth crushing cosmic consequence) will not happen!
...of course. Well. Something Bad does happen, which probably puts him back at square one as far as that exposure goes, but that is the problem with the practice – sometimes your fears may come true after all, even if it isn't likely that they will.