Editing, Writing, and Proofing—Oh My!

Term-Paper-Under-Construction3I’ve been called upon to do one of my favorite things: proofread my daughter’s final papers for school. I really enjoy this. She’s a great writer already, so reading her papers is a pleasure, especially compared to the writing of other students, regardless of their level of education. I’ve honestly been quite surprised at the dismal writing that most students offer their professors.

Today, she is finishing a paper on gender roles and stereotypes as demonstrated in Junot DíazThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Jhumpa Lahiri’s unaccustomed Earth, both of which I have read. (Great books! I was pleased with both, especially Oscar Wao, since I work with Hispanics.)

Sophia reads me sections of her paper and asks for advice about word choice (“Mom, what’s another way to say, ‘provocatively’?”) or phrasing (“I don’t like how this is worded. Can I say this a different way?”), though most of the time she’s right on the money. She writes thought-provoking papers that inevitably raise questions, and I like that.

A day without sunshine…

Memorial Day 05-Deviled Eggs (Irma calls them ...

Image by Old Shoe Woman via Flickr

is a day in LaGrange. Another day of rain. We had a two day respite, and now we’re supposed to get up to one half inch of rain every day this week.

Easter dinner was great though. Ham, mashed potatoes, pasta salad, corn, deviled eggs, rolls, jello and dirt pudding. Yum.


Vicki's Flowers 002

These are the flowers I planted last fall at Chris and Vicki’s! Daffodils and Hyacinths. Just in time for Easter, although it’s supposed to rain again tomorrow. Yuck. Too bad Easter isn’t today.

Planting bulbs is always an exercise in faith. You have these dry, onion-like objects, that you put into the ground in the fall (for spring-blooming flowers, that is) and they stay in the ground all winter long, during the cold and snow. There’s always the chance that the soil isn’t good for them, too wet or not enough drainage. They might get eaten by an animal, or just dug up and planted somewhere else. (We found some in the back yard!) But then in the spring, up they come! Hooray!

And just look at all these related articles about spring flowers. They’re so inspiring.

Making cupcakes

Cupcake BakerI bought Sophia, as a Christmas present, something called “The Original Cupcake Baker.” Today, Good Friday, we’re using it for the first time. We’re making the cupcakes for Easter, instead of Lamb Cake. I was tempted to put coconut on them, but Sophia says her boyfriend won’t eat them then (he hates coconut).

I was a little worried, because at Brett’s, they don’t have a cake rack, and I forgot to bring one. But lambcake5lofortunately, the small diameter of the mini cupcakes makes them less liable to sogginess. So far, they are quite yummy!

P.S. Update at 7:46 pm: 5 dozen cupcakes, and 2 dozen each of blueberry and cranberry orange muffins. Fits of Domesticity!

Stuff Catholics Like: Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday 001Oh yeah, bring on the Palms. It’s the craft of crafts, for the King of Kings! Hosanna!

Back when I was a kid, and went to a Catholic parochial school where actual sisters taught, there was a whole palm crafting culture going. Nowadays, most people just seem to take them home and tuck them behind their crucifix or portraits of dead relatives.

But not I! I actually make stuff out of palms—the way I was taught in a small way, but mostly the way I taught myself. A couple of years ago, my old priest, Friar Mark Weaver, OFM, Conv., called for old palms to burn to make the ashes used in the Ash Wednesday service. Most were just that—old palm leaves. But some were really cool—like flowers and intricate braids, so I asked him if I could keep them and figure out how they were made. He said sure and so I went to town. I’ve now elaborated on the braid and turned the top into a cross. I’m excited, but there’s such a short window of time to make things like this before the palms get too dried out. I’m trying to find a distributor so that I can get enough for myself to really learn some things. Naturally, the church only gets enough for people to wave at the start of the service.

But there are still a lot of cultures around the world that make things out of the palms that we get. Slowly, year by year, I’m increasing my repertoire. I’d like to do a class on it next year. We’ll see.

Living the Laura Ingalls Life

Author Laura Ingalls Wilder used her experienc...

Image via Wikipedia

Or trying to, at least. I was looking around my cluttered apartment this past week and figured, well, Laura Ingalls certainly NEVER had this much stuff. No wonder she got so much accomplished.

I usually re-read These Happy Golden Years at least once yearly, and I think it’s about time. It always puts me in the mood for getting things done. And there’s so much to do at this time of year. Anybody who thinks Christmas is the busy time of the year doesn’t know what country or farm life is like in the Spring.

But fortunately, today is Sunday and so I only have to “work” as a pianist.