Wednesday, October 29, 2008


So crazy lady says, you know, it isn't anymore mess or trouble to can 35 pounds of beans than it is to do 5 pounds. We might as well do them all.

and the part that always surprises the crazy lady, is that people say, yeah, you're right. It isn't anymore trouble, let's do them all.

Crazy lady forgot that each canner took time to warm up, 90 minutes at pressure, and 30 minutes to decompress...... that's a lot of canner time - lot of time sitting in the kitchen watching little weights jiggle back and forth..

I was so going to stay up and run that last cycle of beans, but I was having such trouble staying awake, and I had sent Alicia to bed at midnight. I could just see myself falling asleep and blowing up the house, so we decided to just wait until morning to reconsider. When we got up this morning, we just decided to feed the last 5 pounds of beans to the chickens. They really enjoyed them.

I would still like to can another 20 or 30 pounds. The point of canning them is of course so that you don't have to store the water to rehydrate the dried beans. I think people store lots of dehydrated food and then forget that they also need to store the corresponding amount of water. Plus, the ready cooked beans are so handy to have on hand.

Anyway - check alicia and justin's blog for the pictures. and the rest of the story.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I'm a Bette

I took the test on Alicia's blog and I'm a Bette Davis.... hmmm. Scariest movie I ever watched had her in it. It was one of the triggers that started my adulthood of panic attacks.... anyway, i didn't come here to tell you that. Just the Bette Davis part. i usually see myself as more of a Doris Day.

No weigh in this week to report. ummmmm I haven't been a good eater this week - I'm on hormones all the time now, after 15 years of not being on them, and my family is sort of afraid to see what will happen if I don't eat the stuff I'm craving. I definitely know it is the hormones because I have been craving stuff that I literally have not even thought of in 15 years since I quit taking them.

So to all you out there, within my reach, we just have one thing to say: BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID....... (you might think i'm joking, but i'll let my roommates tell you if it's a joke or fear). Big Sigh.... I love being a guinea pig .

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Weigh In Wednesday

I finally dug the scales out of hiding after the big remodel and reluctantly got on them. SURPRISE ! ! ! I'm still at a minus 15. YAY !! I was totally shocked after not weighing for 3 weeks that I had maintained the loss. Very excited.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Flat Stanley here to visit

Flat Stanley is here to visit again. This FS belongs to Taylor Gulley - the younger sister of the Flat Stanley we had last year. He wants to visit all 50 states, so we'll have to work hard and fast to get him around the country quickly.

He was going to go snow machining here this week, but it warmed up to 50 and all the snow melted. It is still supposed to snow for 5 more days, but with the temp so high, I don't think it will stay. Justin will be sad, but I think there will be enough winter left for him to enjoy, later.

Anyway, Taylor is in kindergarten in Georgia and they have only lived there a couple years and they miss their grandparents and family in Ohio, so we want to do everything we can to help Taylor with her Stanley project. Hope you are all willing to help again... we did a good job last year for Taylor's sister.

By the way - Gulley's are cousins of Brian's on the Carper side. We met thru genealogy. Really nice people - good people to call friends and family.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Maunder Minimum

I read a really interesting article last week about the lack of activity on the sun and about the lack of solar winds. They say the sun is quieter than it has been in decades and may be heading us into a small ice age like in the 1700's. I know you folks in the lower 48 have roasted this year, but we have had the coldest "summer" on record - which is a bummer since we have had 2 polar winters on either side of the missing summer.

I wish I could find the article to post it here - it was very educational. Even if we don't go into an ice age, the lack of solar activity should help cool the earth a little and give some comfort to those who are freaked about global warming. (Don't flame me - I'm not saying we shouldn't be environmental caretakers, I'm just saying, we're freezing our tushes off up here.) It has snowed in Homer three times this week.

Alicia found the article. But it was in the NY Times and they wouldn't let me copy it - so here is another one. This one doesn't talk about the cooling effect this event could be predicting, but it is still interesting.

Spotless Sun: Blankest Year Of The Space Age
Left: A photo of the sun taken Sept. 27, 2008. The face of the sun is "blank," i.e., completely unmarked by spots. Right: The sun on Sept. 27, 2001. The sun's face is peppered with colossal sunspots, all crackling with solar flares. (Credit: ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO))
ScienceDaily (Oct. 7, 2008) — Astronomers who count sunspots have announced that 2008 is now the "blankest year" of the Space Age.
As of Sept. 27, 2008, the sun had been blank, i.e., had no visible sunspots, on 200 days of the year. To find a year with more blank suns, you have to go back to 1954, three years before the launch of Sputnik, when the sun was blank 241 times.
"Sunspot counts are at a 50-year low," says solar physicist David Hathaway of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. "We're experiencing a deep minimum of the solar cycle."
The image taken on Sept. 27, 2008 by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) shows a solar disk completely unmarked by sunspots. For comparison, a SOHO image taken seven years earlier on Sept. 27, 2001, is peppered with colossal sunspots, all crackling with solar flares. The difference is the phase of the 11-year solar cycle. 2001 was a year of solar maximum, with lots of sunspots, solar flares and geomagnetic storms. 2008 is at the cycle's opposite extreme, solar minimum, a quiet time on the sun.
And it is a very quiet time. If solar activity continues as low as it has been, 2008 could rack up a whopping 290 spotless days by the end of December, making it a century-level year in terms of spotlessness.
Hathaway cautions that this development may sound more exciting than it actually is: "While the solar minimum of 2008 is shaping up to be the deepest of the Space Age, it is still unremarkable compared to the long and deep solar minima of the late 19th and early 20th centuries." Those earlier minima routinely racked up 200 to 300 spotless days per year.
Some solar physicists are welcoming the lull.
"This gives us a chance to study the sun without the complications of sunspots," says Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center. "Right now we have the best instrumentation in history looking at the sun. There is a whole fleet of spacecraft devoted to solar physics--SOHO, Hinode, ACE, STEREO and others. We're bound to learn new things during this long solar minimum."
As an example he offers helioseismology: "By monitoring the sun's vibrating surface, helioseismologists can probe the stellar interior in much the same way geologists use earthquakes to probe inside Earth. With sunspots out of the way, we gain a better view of the sun's subsurface winds and inner magnetic dynamo."
"There is also the matter of solar irradiance," adds Pesnell. "Researchers are now seeing the dimmest sun in their records. The change is small, just a fraction of a percent, but significant. Questions about effects on climate are natural if the sun continues to dim."
Pesnell is NASA's project scientist for the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), a new spacecraft equipped to study both solar irradiance and helioseismic waves. Construction of SDO is complete, he says, and it has passed pre-launch vibration and thermal testing. "We are ready to launch! Solar minimum is a great time to go."
Coinciding with the string of blank suns is a 50-year record low in solar wind pressure, a recent discovery of the Ulysses spacecraft. The pressure drop began years before the current minimum, so it is unclear how the two phenomena are connected, if at all. This is another mystery for SDO and the others.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Alicia accidentally dropped her beautiful perfect cell phone in the bathtub last week and the screen fried. She had to change to a different phone and all our contact numbers are in her old phone, so if you were expecting us to call you about something and we didn't.... it is possible, your phone number is in her phone, circling the bath tub drain.

Would you drop one of us an email with your cellphone or office phone or home phone - what ever number we usually call you at? Thanks

Poor sick Daddy

I have been trying to convince Brian to get a pneumonia shot for several years now. He and Alicia fight pneumonia every winter, but his personal physician last year said a man of his age didn't need the shot..... my doctor would have told him to get it to protect me, but his doc doesn't know he lives with a loopy lupus patient.

Also lots of students up here don't have shots - between the earthnics and the Russians that grew up around the world and the natives.... so Alaska leads the country in TB and whopping cough. A couple years ago, our dear Bishop, who was principal at a Russian village school, contracted whopping cough from his students and it almost killed him.

They have now come out, just recently, saying that adults our age should get that Tetnus, Pertussis, Diptheria booster again. When we got shot as kids they thought it would last us a life time, but they are finding out it doesn't.

so I had mentioned to Brian that he needed to get a new vaccine now that he is working directly with kids.... On Monday, they unexpectedly brought a vaccine clinic to school for the staff, so being the loving husband he is, he got the pneumonia shot for me, and the flu shot, and the TDP.

I was surprised when he came home and said he had gotten all 3 shots - and I was really surprised today to find out he got them all in the same arm - his good arm, no less. How did I find out he got them all in the same arm, you ask? He can't straighten it, or move it. He has a terrible fever and aches and pains. Last night he tossed and turned all night and would go from overheated to literally shivering in bed at a moment's notice. Poor sick daddy. I tried to convince him to stay home today, but you know Brian.

A lot of the high school staff got shots - I hope for the student's sake they are on good behavior for the next couple days. A sick daddy is sometimes a grouchy daddy.