Emergency Status Report

Yes. Here I am, pretending to drink tea.

Near freezing temperatures last night. Central heating is out—heating with electric space heaters throughout the house [and lots of baking and drying of clothes planned today to warm up again]. This has been an emergency status report.

*Your status report may vary. Note: no exclamation marks were used in the writing of this report. Thank you.


Candied Ginger

Peel the ginger (use a spoon…potato peelers choke on the rough skin), then slice thin. Blanch in boiling water for five to ten min. Then boil 2 parts sugar to one part water, and add ginger and cook down on med. heat until ginger is translucent and syrup starts crystallizing. (Took 40 min. for me but depends on the amount of water and amount of heat) Then transfer ginger to cooling racks to cool. And save the sugary bits under the cooling racks for dessert topping..IMG_20151120_143120


This is just an nonsponsored link to a cool website/app. The website is IFTTT.com. In short, it facilitates links between social media and apps and other internet-connected stuff. You select a “trigger” (when I tag an Instagram post with #paintingsbywess, for instance) and you select an action (post the Instagram picture to my Facebook page, for instance)—and IFTTT.com does the rest! They’ve been expanding their capabilities for awhile now, and I couldn’t possible list all the possibilities—you’ll have to check it out yourself. There are many “recipes” to choose from. Have an internet-connected heater at home? Set a trigger for your smartphone’s location and an action, turn on heater, and you will always return home to find your heater on . . . that sort of thing (though there are many more things that don’t involve internet-connected heaters).

I was reminded of the website when I received an email today telling me that tonight there is a freeze warning in my area—I’d forgotten that I’d set that up. The trigger is the freeze forecast in my area and the action is the email warning me of it. Brilliant! (and I totally use the #paintingsbywess trigger all the time)

*note to self: find out which parts of the garden I need to cover before tonight!

Apocryphal Word

Here’s a word I’ve always gotten wrong. I always assumed the word apocryphal meant “related to the apocalypse, a.k.a. the end of the world . . . no duh!” However, it turns out I was wrong about that (and my younger self apologizes profusely to my older self yet again for making an erroneous assumption).

apocryphal: (adjective) of doubtful authenticity, although widely circulated as being true. “an apocryphal story about a former president” synonyms: fictitious, made-up, untrue, fabricated, false, spurious;

I’ve made the same type of 1 mistake many times before—we all have, am I right?—and I’m looking forward to making many more in the future. It’s funny: this is the type of mistake that, when made by a great number of people, ends up changing the English language over time—little changes in common usage becoming bigger changes and eventually taking on a different meanings altogether. In summation, I think we’re all at fault here.2

I almost wrote, “I’ve made the same apocryphal mistake,” but that wouldn’t fit the definition, would it—it isn’t a mistake “widely circulated as being true” . . . that part wouldn’t have fit.

note to self: stop blaming everyone else for your own misunderstandings

Infinite Land

Wess Foreman – editing help by Matt Foreman & Micah Foreman

Before the rise there was a hollow where the ground was always soft, where in the spring the road gave way to floodwater and the property beyond became an island caught between canyon walls and the turmoil of the runoff. But the house sat on this higher plane and the flat land below ran clear and open and without blemish. She sat in the evenings and watched the land. She thought of those who had gone before. Pioneers. Searchers. How many had passed just beyond this hollow, looking up to see for themselves this shelf of high ground and turning their heads with a sorrowful cluck-cluck to continue their journey west. Had they but seen what her husband had seen—the infinite land with its miraculous color and brute majesty—had they only seen what Jacobi had seen from up here, looking back the other way around. Things might have been different.

She sat in those moments of reflection hearing the hens pecking and fighting over insects in the yard, and she thought too about those early years after the house was built and after Sam was born. She kept her mind on those early happy times and only when the last thread of it escaped her memory did the other thoughts creep in. And then, inevitably, the sun would set too soon and she would find herself sitting out in the quiet din of dusk and wishing there were more hours in the day and caught in the mire of those awful thoughts again. Those thoughts that did not belong. Not here, amid otherwise pleasant evenings. She would sigh and shake the thoughts away. Then she would withdraw into the house letting the screen door close behind. The night would hang on that solitary squeak of door hinge and all but disappear with that final clap of hardwood, except for the brief, merciful lamp light, a soft glowing specter in the front window, and then that too would be put out and all would be gone.

a few words

A few words I’ve looked up recently in writing my book-in-a-month—most of these I knew the word but didn’t know the exact definition, some of them I was just searching for a synonym.

  • wend (verb) – go in a specified direction, typically slowly or by an indirect route.
    synonyms: meander, wind one’s way, wander, amble, stroll, saunter, drift, roam, traipse, walk
  • pastiche (noun) – an artistic work in a style that imitates that of another work, artist, or period. “the operetta is a pastiche of 18th century styles“. synonyms: imitation, parody, takeoff
  • polemic (noun) – a strong verbal or written attack on someone or something. “his polemic against the cultural relativism of the sixties” synonyms: diatribe, invective, rant, tirade, broadside, attack, harangue, condemnation, criticism
  • carrion (noun) the decaying flesh of dead animals
  • nostrum (noun) a medicine, especially one that is not considered effective, prepared by an unqualified person. “they have to prove their nostrums work” synonyms: medicine, patent medicine, potion, elixir, panacea, cure-all, wonder drug,quack remedy, magic bullet
  • antiserum (noun) a blood serum containing antibodies against specific antigens, injected to treat or protect against specific diseases
  • psychotropic (adjective) relating to or denoting drugs that affect a person’s mental state
  • daemon (noun) (in ancient Greek belief) a divinity or supernatural being of a nature between gods and humans. 2. archaic spelling of demon.
  • saccharine (adjective) excessively sweet or sentimental. synonyms: sentimental, sickly, mawkish, cloying, sugary, sickening, nauseating

All these came from Google, my quick-lookup reference (“define: _____”)