Let’s Have a Catch Up


I write blog posts in my head. Shoot, I write series of blog posts in my head. (One imaginary series is entitled A Walk to Remember, with photo highlights and musings from different locations and walking partners.) But still, the blog stays silent.

Today, I’m going to interview myself. Maybe if I can clear out my mental debris the ‘flow’ will return.

Who are you? The big project of the last five months is to reinvent myself. {laugh track} When I wake up in the morning, I typically anticipate that day’s reading, be it audio, Kindle, or print. I can plant my bottom and sit; sit through noon, sit until the moon is high in the midnight sky. I also love two-hour phone calls with my siblings (while sitting) or copying quotes into my journal. Or playing the piano (sitting down). Or entering every receipt into Quicken.

It’s all rather boring. Unless you’re me. Then it’s a delight.

But I long to be able to consider myself an outdoor woman without smirking. The kind whose face lights up when someone suggests a hike. A person who thinks there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.  Let’s be kind and say this is a work in progress.

What’s not working? Photography, for one. I’m in an in-between space: shooting raw photos, but not editing them. Meanwhile the backlog grows. Wanting to improve, but not putting the time in or buying the software. Frustrated by my lack of discipline to learn a new skill.

Um, OK. Is anything working?  Yes! There is one hack I’ve discovered. Ditch the snooze alarm. I started walking with some friends in September. My alarm goes off eleven minutes before I leave the house. When the choice to keep sleeping is removed, one gets out of bed. It’s truly been a life changer.


Anything new?  Yep. The day after I received this wooden sign, a deer ran into my car. Where I live, sadly, it’s so common that people start yawning when you mention it. The deer didn’t stick around, so I don’t know the extent of its injuries.  I am grateful that the only damage sustained by me was to my car. Cars can be fixed.

What surprises you?  When I was a student, science was my least favorite subject. Suddenly, I’m studying science! Neuroplasticity, metabolic issues, hormones, biometrics. Weird.

What are you reading?  Much on nutrition by Jason Fung, Gary Taubes, David Perlmutter, and Nina Teicholz. I always have a C.S. Lewis book going, but found that some of his earlier books are rough sledding. Reading classics along with the Close Reads Podcast is fantastic. Most recently, we read Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory.  And for comfort and joy I’ve been residing in Mitford with Jan Karon and in Thrush Green with Miss Read. My goal is to read through the Bible yearly. This year I chose the Living Bible that my dad gave me when I was 15. (It looks just like the one in the link.) Reading notes my teenaged-self wrote has been interesting and the vernacular in this paraphrase is fresh.

What about music?  So the neatest thing happened. OPB, our public radio station, gave our library heaps of CDs they had culled from their collection. Our library sold them for a quarter each. I brought heaps of them home. I’m listening to all kinds of music. Some go straight to the thrift store. But I’ve found several gems. It’s cheap entertainment!

I thought this was going to be quick.  I get the hint. Later, readers!




Converting to Metric?


This is what a child (back then) needed to know about measurements. I don’t want to ponder on the method used to measure a mouthful. Eww!
Two mouthfuls are a jigger;
two jiggers are a jack;
two jacks are a jill;
two jills are a cup;
two cups are a pint;
two pints are a quart;
two quarts are a pottle;
two pottles are a gallon;
two gallons are a pail;
two pails are a peck;
two pecks are a bushel;
two bushels are a strike;
two strikes are a coomb;
two coombs are a cask;
two casks are a barrel;
two barrels are a hogshead;
two hogsheads are a pipe;
two pipes are a tun–
  and there my story is done!

The curious thing about reading S. Carl Hirsch’s 1973 Meter Means Measure is his assurance that the metric system would be ensconced by now into our society. His opening sentence:

A healthy American baby girl born in the year 2000 may tip the scales at exactly three kilograms–instead of 6.6 pounds. And her body temperature will undoubtedly read about 37 degrees–Celsius. At school age, when she is perhaps 100 centimeters tall and drinks a liter of milk a day, she may ask her father, “Daddy what was an inch?”

I found this history of measurement fascinating.  In the same way that working with different base numbers in mathematics takes you outside your comfort zone, thinking through different methods of measuring length, weight, time, and temperature boggles the mind.  Thomas Jefferson suggested this master plan for linear measurements:

10 points make 1 line
10 lines make 1 inch
10 inches make 1 foot
10 feet make 1 decad
10 decads make 1 rood
10 roods make 1 furlong
10 furlongs make 1 mile

Four questions illustrate the difficulty the English system of measurement.

How many acres in a square mile?
How many cubic inches in a bushel?
How long is each side of a square one-acre lot?
What is the weight of a quart of water?

Hirsch waxes eloquent on the superiority of the metric system. Yet there is great resistance to switching over. “Change,” Hirsch assets, “is strange.” It took Japan forty years to change over.  Great Britain did it in ten years. 

The United States, Myanmar, and Liberia are the only countries in the world not using the metric system. I admit that I was ambivalent about metrication before reading this book. We cling to what we know, how we were taught. Yet, I see the benefits of going metric. More on Metrication in the United States. And, just for comparison, Metrication in Canada.

What do you think?