Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Show Them the MONEY

Creative Minority Report: Evil Judges Knee Deep In Baby's Blood:

but......but......no taxpayer money is used to perform abortions! That's what they say, but when the money is cut off, they don't whine about not being able to do pap smears and breast cancer screening, they scream about not being able to kill babies.

Disgusting and unconscionable.

'via Blog this'

Just Because

Someone finally took photographs of me that I actually like.
Lightning McQueen, Birdman, Rally-Man and me

Uncle Birdman with a smiling (!) Hatchling

Clockwise from upper left: Velvet, Lighning McQueen, Mrs. Rally-Man, Rally-Man, yours truly, and Birdman

Deo gratias for family!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Could St. Jerome Help Here?

The reason I asked about St. Jerome is that, in the very center of the photo above, is a hornets' nest. Hornets are known for their grumpy disposition and general unfriendliness when disturbed, and St. Jerome had a bit of a temper too.

This particular hornets' nest is overhanging the street beside my house.  It is in a maple tree that is in my backyard; the one that provides shade for my chicken coop.  It's NOT the one that's dying and needs to be cut down (isn't that always the way?)

If I had normal children I could say:
"See that? It's a hornets' nest. If you bother a hornet, not only will it get mad, but it's kind of like throwing a rock at a gang member; the hornet you aggravated will give the super-secret distress signal to his brothers, sisters, cousins and aunts and THEY will then be aggravated at you for daring to irritate their relative.."

And after that little speech, the normal children I do not have would carefully consider things and decide that a different spot would be better for playing in the street.

But no! (So I suppose I need a saint for wayward children too; any suggestions?)

MY children are outside, in the street, directly UNDER the hornets' nest, happily playing with paper airplanes, which they are carelessly flinging into the air with utter abandon, completely unconcerned that at any moment, given a wayward puff of air current, one of those paper airplanes could SMACK into the hornets' nest and


Sixteen years ago, when living in another place, I discovered a hornets' nest on the eave of my outbuilding. I called an exterminator, and ended up having to pay for TWO sservice calls.....one to determine that it really was a hornets' nest (evidently some people confuse paper-wasp nests with hornets' nests, although personally I cannot see how that could ever happen, they look nothing alike), and then for the hornets to be exterminated and the nest destroyed.  Sixteen years ago that cost nearly $150.  I shudder to think what it would cost now.
Money I haven't a lot of.  Prayer, I'm kind of good at that, so that's what I'll go with this time.  Any other ideas?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Daily Bread

Dough almost ready for the first rising
 I baked bread the other day, and happened to take a couple of photos.  I really enjoy baking (but I wish my kitchen table wasn't so wobbly so I could really put my back into the kneading), even though I am not presently allowing myself to have any bread, since I am pursuing a state of non-lumpiness and carbs are TEH ENEMY!

I rarely purchase bread at the store, and when I do it's usually something off the day-old display, some artisan bread that is usually $5 a loaf but didn't sell so I can get it for way cheaper - sometimes as low as a dollar!

My overused foil bread pans
Here are my bread pans.  Yes, they are the disposable foil kind.  I know they are only supposed to be used once.  But I like THIS PARTICULAR SIZE and I cannot find it in a 'real' bread pan.  So I buy the foil ones and use them until they are just so utterly misshapen that I cannot stand to use them any more, throw them out (or use them for holding table scraps for the chickens and THEN throw them away) and buy new ones.

I wish I could say I bake every day, or that I bake ALL my family's bread, but sadly I haven't achieved that level of pioneer-ness yet.  I could do it if necessary, but right now it isn't.

Oh! If you look back up there at the first picture you will see that my dough is resting on a wooden board.  My mom got me the most wonderfully fantastic Paula Deen pie board at Wal-Mart a month or so ago, and it is the greatest thing to knead bread on!  One side has different size circles etched into the wood so you can roll your crust out to the right size with no guesswork, and the plain side is the side I use for kneading bread. It's acacia wood, kind of slick like bamboo but darker and a lot heavier.  This is really like an easily-moved-around butcher block, but I don't ever plan to put a knife to this board.  Bread and pie crust only, thanks.

Anyway, wobbly kitchen table, ugly dented bread pans and everything, I still make pretty good bread.

Kind of like what God can do with us when we choose to let Him lead.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I'm So Vain.....

I nominated myself for one of The Crescat's Blog Awards.  Once voting opens, I would appreciate your vote.

(Photo has nothing whatsoever to do with blog awards, voting or anything else referenced in this post.  I just posted it because I think this is a pretty nice looking dozen eggs; six from our new girls and six from Crockpot  - Drumstick having not laid a good egg in quite a while).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

In Which I Ramble Disconnectedly

There's a good point here in this article; I'm one of those Christians who knows about the existence of a LOT of things that make some of my friends cock their heads and go "wha--?"
Things I shouldn’t know exist. | Stuff Christians Like – Jon Acuff
Some of the things I know exist that I probably 'shouldn't' (although I risk being tyrannized by the shoulds) know about?  Pink, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Harry Potter, Lady Gaga, where to buy a good but relatively inexpensive strapless bra, the purpose of body tape (and where to purchase it), boutique denim.....

And as if that wasn't enough to think about in one blog post, here is a really sad story about what happened to a woman who tried (successfully, but REALLY, what she had to go through) to retrieve her miscarried child's remains from the hospital in order to give the baby a proper burial. That touched me because, way back in a previous life, I was pregnant and the baby died at 20 weeks in utero. The doctors tried all sorts of things to induce labor but nothing worked, so I ended up having a D&C.  I was young and confused at the time, and it never occurred to me to ask either the baby's sex or to have the body released to me so the baby could be buried. I did try not very long ago to see whether the hospital bothered to record whether the baby was a boy or a girl (because in God's Providence I happen to be friends with the wife of a person pretty much a grand poobah at the hospital in question), but records were searched and alas I will never know whether it was a Samuel or a Zoe. I'm not really even sure why that matters, but it does, a little.

I saw a guy running along the side of the road earlier today in Day-Glo green running shoes.

I met a gal for lunch today, with whom I went to high school. We hadn't seen each other in THIRTY YEARS (my heavens, there have been wars that were shorter.....). The server had to come back twice before we quit talking long enough to decide what we wanted to eat, and I'm surprised we ever got anything into our mouths. It was really great to reconnect with her, and I hope to be seeing more of her in the future. She said I haven't changed at all - she's a very good liar, ha ha!

Last Monday night was the university's Fall Fest thingy - they have bands come in and do concerts on the plaza of the student union, yada yada. Normally we can't get to bed until it's all over with, because we are about a quarter mile as the crow flies from the stage.  So our tradition the past three years is that we have Movie Night!  This year's movie was Soul Surfer, suggested to me by one of my Facebook (and real life) friends.  It's the true story of Brittany Hamilton, a young surfer whose arm was bitten off in a shark attack.  A really good movie!  My big thing about movies I let my kids watch is 'is it a movie that shows that perseverance, honesty and hard work are VIRTUES, and that doing the right thing is always THE RIGHT THING even though it's difficult?' This movie has that and more. Great scenery, good acting

'scuse me, there is a chicken in my dining room

now she is in the living room

and a wonderful story (even if the part where she gets attacked by the shark shows a LOT of blood, but it's all highly relevant to the story).

(Oregano has been escorted back out to the yard where she belongs.  I have no idea who let her in.)

Speaking of chickens, we've gotten three eggs every day for three days straight, and Drumstick has developed a limp.  We don't know what's the matter with her, so we have her in the puny ward (dog crate next to the coop with a tarp covering it) to keep her from running around and perhaps injuring it further.  We're giving her yogurt as a treat for the extra protein. She hasn't laid a good egg in a couple of months, one of the limitations of this breed of chickens - they lay extremely well but their 'career' is rather shorter than that of heritage or non-production breeds. We'll always have a couple of Red Stars, but I'd eventually like to have six hens and the other four will be heritage dual-purpose breeds - Dominiques and either Leghorns or Orpingtons (most likely Leghorns because they lay white eggs and we've had some requests for those).

I have more randomness but I think I've blathered enough! One last thing: Birdman turned 14 on Wednesday (yikes).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Now You Have to Subscribe to My Channel

Because I successfully uploaded my first YouTube video this evening!

Granted it's just a short clip of Drumstick with a limp, but who knows what I'll come up with next!

Back to more regular blogging tomorrow evening if I don't have to stay at job #2 too late. Sorry for the hiatus, but things have just been not conducive to writing for the past few days.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Singin' the Egg Song

Oregano's freshly laid FIRST EGG!
 Wednesday was a big day for Oregano; she laid her very first egg!  As you can see from the photo, it's quite a bit smaller than Drumstick's egg.  Eggs generally start out small and get larger as the hen gets older.  Our breed of chickens, Red Star, typically lay very large eggs once they get some "experience".  Crockpot's and Drumstick's eggs, as a matter of fact, are so large that a carton meant for jumbo eggs will not close on them!
Comparison to one of Drumstick's eggs :)

I was surprised to find that Oregano's egg, while small, was very heavy for its size (it felt like its weight was very close to Drumstick's egg!).  I plan to invest in a scale of some kind so I can weigh them.....I found a listing that tells how heavy the different sizes of eggs are, and I'd like to be able to tell the folks who buy our eggs what the comparable size of store eggs is.

We're still waiting for Barbecue to start laying, but I imagine it won't be long now. They are 19 weeks and a day old today; Red Star pullet generally begin laying somewhere between 18 and 22 weeks of age.

It was truly amazing to hear Oregano "announcing" her egg, and then going out to the coop to find her still in the back of the coop (not in the nest box, but at least next to it where the pine bedding is nice and clean), arranging bits of bedding around herself as if to make a better nest, and looking very proud of her accomplishment.  The flap-door I cut in the back wall of the coop was handy for photos, as well as enabling me to collect the egg without either having to contort myself into a pretzel or send one of the kids in after it. We can just reach in and get the eggs now!

Plus, these eggs are made even more special by virtue of the fact that they come from hens that we raised from week-old chicks!

Stay tuned; I hope to be posting about Barbecue's first egg soon........

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What I'm Reading

Right now I've got several books going.

The Soloist, by Steve Lopez.  Story of a newspaper columnist who befriends a talented musician who suffers from mental illness.  It's my 'downstairs' book, the one I read over lunch, or when I am waiting for a client to arrive for a fitting appointment. I'm about a third of the way through this. (When getting the link to the Amazon.com listing for this, I discovered that it has been made into a movie).

The Last Ship, by William Brinkley.  Naval novel of nuclear holocaust leaving just one American ship and one Russian sub. I've read it before so it's going quickly this time around; I'm in the final quarter of the book. This is my 'light bedtime reading' book.

On the Holy Spirit, Saint Basil the Great.  Discussion on the third Person of the Trinity by one of the greatest of the early Fathers.  This is very slow going, as there is a lot to digest in every paragraph.  I expect it to take me about a year to finish this. I generally pick this up in the morning before I start work, while I'm waiting for my iron to heat up.

What have you read recently, or what are you reading now?

Too Good Not to Share

Recently found in my facebook feed:
Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossiper, Martha was a worrier, Thomas was a doubter, Sara was impatient, Elijah was moody, Moses stuttered, Zaccheus was short, Abraham was old, and Lazarus was dead.... God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the CALLED!

Have a wonderful Tuesday, everyone.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Stigma of Single Parenthood

I just read one of my favorite bloggers' very well-worded rant about how insulted she is when parents crow/complain about being 'single parents.'

I'd like to add my two cents.

I commented on her post and mentioned that a lot of people tend to lump all single parents into the same category - that of 'unwed mother' as if the only way a parent could possibly be a single parent was to find themselves pregnant "by accident" and then not marry the child's father.

I have five children. They have three different fathers. I was married to two of those men.  I have made some pretty poor (crappy, actually) choices in men over the past couple of decades. However I like to think that perhaps now I have my head on and pointed in the proper direction, and while I'm as sorry as I can be that my poor decisions left my children without a 'traditional' family in which to grow up, the fact remains that I am, and must continue, to do it on my own.

(Minor clarification: I did not get to raise my eldest for several reasons, and my second eldest hasn't been a member of my household for several years now as we are estranged. But the three youngest have been 100% my responsibility for about the past seven years; the father of children #4 and 5 is prohibited from any contact with them).

Now that my youngest child is 10 years old I don't need a sitter, but from the number of people who were willing to help out when I needed one, you'd think I live my life under a rock.  Exactly one family was 99% always willing to watch one or more of them when I needed to take another to a doctor appointment or I had some child-prohibited activity I had to do.  There were three other families who watched them......once or twice each. Those other families, by the expression on their faces, the tone of voice as they (obviously reluctantly) accepted my pleas in need of a sitter, made it perfectly and painfully obvious to me that they were REALLY doing me a favor.

The end result of all this?  I haven't been to the doctor since I fully recovered from my very necessary carpal tunnel surgery three years ago.  I haven't been to the dentist in about 5 years, I think. I got sick and tired of ALWAYS having the same (large) family watching my kids so I just decided I wouldn't do that any more. My kids have been 'sat' in their own home exactly ONE time by someone who wasn't their grandmother. Every other time someone has watched them, they've been at the other family's house. When I go away on a retreat my mom comes and stays with them - she got terribly offended the few times I had them stay with the same big family who would watch them for short stretches - but now she says she isn't going to do it any more. No, I have no idea what I will do now. Most likely not go on retreat until they are old enough to stay at home alone.

I realize that the majority of single parents do have a pretty decent support system (heck, I know single parents who actually have social lives!), but there are those like me who don't. (I think this probably has something, if not a lot, to do with the fact that I and a good many of my 'real-life' friends are Catholic - and I'm sure even my non-Catholic readers know that being Catholic and divorced is not the most friend-attracting combination).

So if you're married, thank your lucky stars.  If you're married and know of a single parent who could use a break now and again, how about OFFERING?  And if you happen to have the ability to actually sit those kids in their own home, how about OFFERING to do that? Married couples have sitters out the wazoo, and the last I checked the sitter came to the kids' home the majority of the time.  Maybe that single mom you know would love to not have to load her kids into the car and schlep them to your house so she can go to the eye doctor/job interview/gynecologist (I once took my three youngest kids with me to a mammogram appointment, because I had to. I changed the appointment five times in an attempt to get a sitter and finally just told the appointment nurse that I had to bring them with me).

Oh, and you might have to OFFER several times before that single parent you've decided to help out will actually accept the offer.  We single parents get used to the idea that it's all us, all the time, because usually it is.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Home From the Fair

The fair closed last night with a really good Demolition Derby and a nice car show. Here are some photo highlights from Thursday (poultry show), Friday (Marty Stuart concert) and Saturday (car show and Demolition Derby):

Lightning McQueen with Oregano and Barbecue, at the livestock show barn

Lightning McQueen waiting to enter the show arena. Oregano won 1st Place and Barbecue won 2nd place in their class.
The smaller of the TWO Ferris Wheels at the fair, neither one of which I rode :(

Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives!

Love those old Mopars

Full-size class at the Demolition Derby. Studip lights!

Velvet's feline anatomy exhibit

Lightning McQueen's canine anatomy exhibit

Velvet's horse breeds exhibit

My Bayerische socks

Friday, August 12, 2011

Just to Clarify.....

I have absolutely no problem with people who choose to order their lives completely around exclusively religious activities.

What I DO have a problem with, though, is people who live exclusively religious lives and look down their collective noses at people who choose to enjoy secular things in an effort to maintain a sense of balance in their lives.

Imagine never feeling comfortable sharing about a really fascinating book you've read because you know you'll be looked at as if you have suddenly sprouted a second head.

Think about how you would feel if you knew that if you invited a person to some activity or event you really enjoy, your invitation would be either refused or ignored because it doesn't first and foremost involve church.

Imagine knowing that if you asked a group of people to get together with you a few times a year just for a snack-and-gab, the only way you could get them to commit to showing up would be to have it be a prayer group-with-refreshments.

What if you always had to go shopping by yourself, with no one but the sales staff in the shops to tell you whether those pants make your butt look fat, or those shoes really don't go with that dress.

Because I really do make an effort to being a "glass-half-full" type of person, a couple of advantages to these sorts of situations are that you really get some good practice in 'custody of the tongue', and you learn to be very comfortable with enjoying things alone.

It's almost like tunnel vision in many ways.

If you read anything much about icons, you will eventually (probably sooner rather than later) come across a discussion about how, in an icon, perspective seems to be somehow 'reversed' so that instead of looking forward toward a 'vanishing point' somewhere in the far background of the subject being portrayed, YOU are standing at that 'vanishing point' and looking OUTWARD. Icons aren't pictures or paintings, they are windows.

And it is through the window of my religion that I see all the other things in the world.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Are You a Pharisee?

I've been mulling over a post about this for a while now, and reading this in my reader this morning made me decide that perhaps it's time to get it written.

That post, as you know if you clicked over and read it, is mostly about the 'women wearing pants' debate that occasionally bubbles to the surface of the Catholic blogosphere.  One excellent point made by 'priest's wife' is that even if all Catholic women were to immediately, right this instant, begin wearing long skirts, these same women would still be considered to be dressed immodestly by the standards of the Amish, Orthodox Jews and Muslims.

Amish women not only wear long skirts, but they wear a headcovering, have sleeves to the wrist, and their necklines NEVER expose the collarbone.

Orthodox Jewish women either wear a voluminous headscarf or a wig that conceals ALL their hair.

Muslim women wear the hijab, a scarf to cover the hair, and the more observant ones also wear abaya, a (usually black) robe-like garment that reaches almost to the floor and has long sleeves and a high neckline. (I refuse to discuss burqa, as Muslim religious dress is not the focus of this post).

Why is it that women are, in many places, tasked with the responsibility of making sure that the eyes (and minds) of men with whom we interact are not 'led astray' by our clothing? Where are the diatribes against men with wandering eyes?  Where are the Catholic bloggers waxing eloquent about men who LOOK at women to whom they are not married? Don't give me any of that junk about it being harder for men to control themselves.  Self-control is, after all, one of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, so if men can't control themselves, did the Holy Spirit mean that gift only for women? I don't think so!

Not to say that women can just throw on any old thing and prance about, trusting the men around to NOT LOOK. We do have a responsibility to look feminine and fashionable without appearing 'loose' or 'easy'. (gasp!)

I think Catholic bloggers who have nothing better to do than whine and gripe about women in pants, need to get a life.  Get over it.

And yes, I wear pants. I even wear jeans!

Which brings me, finally, to the point of why I started furiously typing in the first place.  One of the things that irk me no end is the way, all too easily, people get so caught up in RULES that they forget what was the point of the rule in the first place, which or course takes all the FREEDOM out of being obedient to whatever rule you've got a bee in your bonnet about.

People who, when you mention a book you read and enjoyed, don't ask about the plot, or where they can find the book, but ask instead "Is the author Catholic?" "Is there anything anti-Catholic in it?" "There's no kissing, is there?"

People whose first thought (or question, sometimes) about meeting someone new is "is he/she Catholic? If not, are they anti-Catholic?"

People who do NOTHING unless it has a specifically religious purpose (and if it's a Catholic purpose, even better) because secular activities are eeeeeeeviiiiiillllllll.

People who trumpet their disdain for any (and all) secular activities at every opportunity (see above).

Sometimes I feel as if there is a group of Catholics out there who think we all need to be one-dimensional (or at least we should hide and be ashamed of the extra-Catholic - meaning "outside of our Catholic identity" - parts of ourselves.  Hide that love of books - or at least only admit to reading books by or about Catholic Saints! Don't talk about movies or music, unless it's "Into Great Silence", "The Passion of the Christ", "The Song of Bernadette" or Catholic composers.....preferably of Mass settings and Gregorian chant.  No hobbies - how dare anyone have an interest that doesn't revolve around spending time cheek-by-jowl with family members 24/7 - if you have a hobby and it doesn't include your family, then you are a bad parent/husband/wife/child! Vacations to destinations that aren't first and foremost an opportunity for pilgrimage? Nix 'em!  Friends who are Protestant/Jewish/Muslim/atheist/agnostic? Barely acceptable, although you'd better be talking up Catholicism at every breath and spending hours on your knees for their conversion......and their conversion should be the ONLY reason you associate with them.

 Credit:  http://thefieldlab.blogspot.com/2011/08/holstee-manifesto.html
Where would the woman at the well have been if, when Christ approached the well to ask her for a drink, she had instead scurried away with her face hidden in her veil? (And for that matter, what if the only thing He had said to her was to ask her for the drink and then dismissed her, because after all she was a woman to whom He was not related). Zacchaeus? A "tax collector", which really meant he was an extortionist for the Roman Empire. Hated by his fellow townspeople. He would've been out of luck, stuck up in the tree there. Those poor souls possessed by the demons whom Christ expelled into the herd of swine? Condemned to torment in this life and the next (it's not likely they were Jews, since swine are treif to Jews).

To me, being a 'well-rounded' person does not mean knowing the responses to both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Mass as well as being able to sing the responses of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. It doesn't mean owning both a Douay-Rheims and a New American Bible. It doesn't mean adding prostrations to the Liturgy of the Hours.

A well-rounded person can converse about a multitude of different subjects, is able to admit when they don't know/aren't interested in a subject (without condemning the other person's interest, by the way), and has interests and knowledge of subjects outside those completely contained within the sphere of Catholicity.

(interestingly, this post appeared in my reader as I was working on this one. I think there's much in it that has to do with my poorly composed little rant here.  And shortly afterwards, 'priest's wife' posted a replay of her "Perfect Catholic Mom" post that gets to the bottom of things from her perspective; I admire how she makes her point without ranting the way I always seem to do)

All around me I see people who are figuratively chewing their fingernails to the quick, developing ulcers over whether they are 'good enough' Catholics. They make me glad I'm already Catholic, because I'm not sure I'd be inclined to convert if they were my only example........they are constantly worried about this or that, whether they pray enough of the "right" kind of prayers, whether their association with non-Catholics is scandalous or sinful, and they just don't have any JOY.

And I thought JOY was what life in Christ is all about.

What brings you joy?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Two Years In A Row

Lightning McQueen and I took a stroll over to the exhibit hall at the fair last night to see whether his and Velvet's 4H projects had won ribbons (and I wanted to see how my socks fared too).

Lightning McQueen:  second place for his exhibit on canine anatomy

Velvet:  first place for exhibit on horse breeds, second place for feline anatomy

I had entered my Bayerische socks:

First place!

Photos to come; we'll be at the fair the next three evenings - tomorrow is Lightning McQueen's poultry show debut, Friday is a concert I've been looking forward to for months, and Saturday is the car show and demolition derby.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Terse Tuesday

Evidence that my kids do not, in fact, fight ALL the time.
Happy summer!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pool Party!

Saturday evening we went down to Clarksburg to River Bend Park to a pool party. Only one other family showed up so there were only 6 of us swimming in an Olympic-sized pool! A few highlights:

Velvet comes down the slide

Velvet after exiting the slide

Birdman tries the diving board

What happens when I pull this rope?  :D

Lightning McQueen off the diving board

Lightning McQueen comes down the slide
All in all we had a great time, even though we didn't get home until after 10.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My Imaginative Friends

 Drew this face on a tomato they got from their garden, and it was in the basket of fruits and vegetables they brought to Divine Liturgy this morning to have blessed for the Feast of the Transfiguration.

They did have the presence of mind to put it 'face' down in the basket so it wasn't grinning insanely at Father while he was doing the blessing.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Going to the Fair!

Oregano being tested for typhoid
Lightning McQueen is showing his pullets (who are really hens now, as at least one of them has laid an egg, but I digress) at the county fair next week.

The birds have to be tested for typhoid and have a leg band put on before they can go to the fair, and the County Ag came and did the testing a few days ago.

First we had to catch them.  Ha ha! They quickly figured out that something was up, and they were literally all over the place trying to get away from us.  Birdman finally cornered Barbecue over in the corner of the yard, and Velvet managed to get Oregano before she got completely under the chicken coop. Oregano had her turn first, and behaved rather well.  There was some trouble with the leg band, and the first one broke, so they had to do that twice. But she was finally pronounced healthy, banded and then it was Barbecue's turn.

Barbecue waiting her turn

She has no clue!
 Chickens are not very bright.  In fact, they are rather stupid.  Actually, they are very stupid (in some ways).
Bok-BOK! What are you doing?
Barbecue was a bit uncooperative
 Afterwards they both strutted about the yard as if they'd won some super prize. Silly chickens.
Thank goodness THAT'S over with!
I'll let you know how they do at the fair after the show next Thursday!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Back to Tech-Free Tuesdays

For a while there our attempts at staying unplugged on Tuesday evenings were pitiful to nonexistent. But without a lot of fanfare (so as to hopefully avoid weeping and wailing, gnashing of teeth, and casting into the outer darkness) we had a pretty tech-free Tuesday afternoon this week.

I had a political meeting in the evening, and took Lightning McQueen with me, and even if I'd said not to watch tv, Velvet and Birdman would have had it on, scurrying to the back door every so often to see if I'd come home yet so they could turn it off without me knowing.  And I let Lightning play with my phone at the meeting: two sound recordings, a video, multiple sessions of Angry Birds and at least one visit to my Facebook page that I saw out of the corner of my eye.  Sigh.

So the revised plan is this: to have one evening a week off the technological grid.  It'll still be called Tech-Free Tuesday, but depending on our schedule it might happen on Monday, or Thursday, or even Saturday. (It's my day and I can call it whatever I want. :-p) No tv, no computer games, no blogging or facebooking.  Radio permissible.

Now, in other unrelated news, remember I posted about some mom who came ranting to my doorstep about my kids terrorizing the neighborhood "for weeks"?  Well, a bunch of kids were roaming the streets around my house today and it turns out they are the kids whom that mom says my kids were so mean to. These are AWFUL, unruly kids.  Two of them were riding their bikes up our driveway, turning onto the walkway that goes from the driveway to the back door and then on to the side street!  Didn't their parents ever tell them that's trespassing? I know a lot of kids who seem to have no idea about how to respect other people's property; what are these kids' parents teaching them?  That it's ok to just go wherever you want because it looks interesting and you're having fun? Next thing you know they will be helping themselves to the produce from my garden; they were running through my yard outside the fence already. (For the record my kids were not outside playing with these kids, they were doing their chores and finishing up a bit of schoolwork). I don't care that these kids were riding their bikes around our street, but they need to STAY ON PUBLIC PROPERTY unless they are in their own yard.
Yes, it seems I am turning into a real grump. But from the way those kids' mom talked to me, I can just envision one of them falling off a bike and running home to say it happened on my driveway and there we are with a ginormous lawsuit.  So don't go where you're not invited, children, and if my kids aren't out, stay OFF my driveway, sidewalk and grass!

The second job goes well.  I think I will get my first paycheck next week.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Slugs Come Out At Night......

Some more detailed (and less emotionally infused) information about slugs can be found here.

Monday night Birdman went outside to give Eli his final p-break before bedtime, and he called me to come outside.  When I went out the back door, he pointed at the side of the house next to the back door, where I saw what looked like a huge wad of snot suspended from more snot, with yet MORE snot hanging off the bottom end of the whole thing, and all of it gently waving in the night air.

But no.  It wasn't snot.  It was a pair of slugs.

Slugs being both boy and girl at the same time, I don't suppose I could say it was Mr. Slug and Mrs. Slug enjoying a romantic interlude in the total non-privacy of the wall of my house by my back door.  I never did figure out which one was being the male and which the female (because they didn't get any privacy after we realized we had an episode of "National Geographic" suspended from a string of slug-slime right outside the door).

This was interesting (in a gross sort of way).  I have never in my life seen anything as completely creepy and odd as these slugs 'having a moment'.

The pale string at the top of the photo is the string of slime that was anchored onto the siding just out of the top of the frame.

You can see how the slugs are curled around each other all lovey-dovey. (shudder)

That pale bluish blob there at the bottom?  That is the slugs' genitalia.  You can refer to the Wikipedia article I linked up there at the beginning of the post to see how this all works; I can tell you that from my observation, the article is accurate. (more shudders)

And what happened to our ga-ga gastropods?  After I went inside, Lightning McQueen took the salt outside and sprinkled them into oblivion.

I can only assume that they went happy.

Monday, August 1, 2011