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Thank you to everyone for the sweet birthday wishes. It’s a great balm to know that I’m only gone for a bit, not forgotten.

1. The award for best paper title this week goes to: Northern Iroquoian dating strategies. Context indicates that it has to do with the ages of North American languages, but that didn’t stop me from entertaining a brief vision of a pick-up guide for 18th-century Native Americans, written in the manner of an academic paper. All paper titles should be so interesting.

2. My axe came! I had been holding off on my hobby of wood carving until I figured out where to get wood. Lo! and behold, right around my birthday, the winds that have been plaguing us brought down a lovely hardwood, right over the path. Someone took a chainsaw to it to get it out of the way, but all the large branches were just lying there, waiting for me.

birthday wood

birthday wood

I’m now working out a plan of storage that doesn’t involve the kitchen. The hatchet should help.

More birthday wood

More birthday wood

3. Moose hanger. Moose are inherently funny and dignified. And they make me smile whenever I put on or take off a necklace, which is worth a lot more than I paid.

moose hanger

4. Woolen mittens. Aren’t they beautiful?

mittens

5. Clementine applesauce. I tossed two clementines in the crock pot with my last batch, with the skins sliced into thin strips. It’s a little bitter when eaten straight out of the fridge, but it makes an unbelievably rich dessert if you heat it up. (My original applesauce instructions can be found here.)

6. Qwirkle. Like scrabble, but without all the inconvenient words. My husband knows me so well.

Qwirkle

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