What A Week!
Monday I borrowed my dad to try and help me fix a problem we are having with our well. We have water, but the water pressure in the house is low. Dad says, having gotten an unexpected cold shower, that the pressure in the well pit is great. We still have some more adventures coming with that one.
To brighten the day up, I found that April at The Weaving Inn had drawn my name! Thanks, April!
Tuesday while our homeschooled son was taking the math section of the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP), the elementary school secretary was counting up absences. She said they had 22% out absent Monday, and if they hit 25% they would have to close the school.
Sure enough, that evening I read on a news website that the school district was closing until Monday the 26th. The public library was also closed, and is supposed to re-open today.
Wednesday my new glasses (my first bifocals) came in. I am getting used to the lenses pretty fast, but I need to get the new frames adjusted, ow ow ow!
Thursday I was woken in the night by Truffles, having one of her periodic spells of midnight anxiety, panting bad dog breath in my face for no reason I could figure out. I ended up dozing on the couch with her until daylight. Later in the day I fixed the kitchen faucet that had been dripping for a while.
Friday we drove up to Grand Rapids in the rain after dropping my husband's car off for maintenance. (I drove, since his car was in the shop.) We did some fun fancy grocery shopping, had brunch, and saw my 14-month-old niece and my parents' recently-adopted grayhound.
On the way home, we picked up the car, and my husband and son went home. I went bookstore-browsing, and after looking through a shelf of mushroom guides, I think our earthstar is most likely Scleroderma polyrhizum, formerly known as Scleroderma geaster. (Better picture here.)
None of the Geastrum spp earthstars are big enough, and I was amused to find this thing in a genus with the poison pigskin puffball, Scleroderma citrinum.
Then I was further amused, after noticing that Scleroderma was in the order Boletales, to read the first part of Michael Kuo's article, The Evolution of a Great-Big Headache: "Understanding" Mushroom Taxonomy and Phylogeny.
You don't have to read the whole thing (although he has some fascinating comments about our old buddies Linnaeus and Fries). I'll quote the best part here:
I understand so little of DNA science that I have no choice but to accept unconditionally what the experts hand down. Last month, I thought that DNA sequencing for mushrooms involved injecting rabbits with something from the mushroom and then sending something else that comes out of the rabbits to a big laboratory somewhere. I told all my friends. This month, reading different articles, the rabbits are gone. ...
I mention this rabbit-thing to emphasize my infantile understanding of molecular biology, but I promise I didn't make it up; see for example Jung et al. (1993), an experiment reaching important conclusions about morel taxonomy, in which methods included the following: "Rabbits were bled from their marginal ear vein [sic] to obtain preimmune sera"; and my personal favorite, "100µl of goat-antirabbit immunoglobulin antiserum coupled to horseradish peroxidase . . . were added to each well and incubated"
That has to be my personal favorite, too.
Today (Saturday) the public library was open, so the child and I went up and got the books we had on hold, and then I finally got my painful frames adjusted.
Then we came home and my copy of Susanna Lewis's Knitting Lace, reprinted by Schoolhouse Press, was in the mailbox!
Oh, yeah. And I finally joined Twitter. Because I must follow CryForByzantium.
It's still raining, so we had gray watery light all day. I'm almost to the end of chart B. Tomorrow I will weigh my ball of yarn and take pictures even if it's still overcast out.
Have a good weekend!