Friday, August 29, 2008

When You Really Need Your Camera

Life hands us situations all the time. There's the occasional squirrel who falls out of the tree. NO camera handy on that one.
There's the Bu-Dawgh who takes advantage of the open door and bolts out of it into the next county. No time to find the camera there either.
There's the coffee pot, who through no fault of my own, decides to brew the coffee all over the counter rather than into the convenient pot that is still in the sink. Why bother to collect evidence against myself. Nope, no camera warranted there.
Or, while viewing just about the biggest moon I've ever seen and actually having my camera, giving it to The Mouth so she can snap it, and having her say to me, "Can you get a little bit closer"? Yeah, that one really happened. And I did get a shot of the moon, but not of her face when she realize what she'd just said.

Ya just gotta laugh, that's all there is to it.

This morning, as in all mornings, my critters were desperately letting me know that I hadn't fed them in at least 8 hours, actually probably closer to ages! Eons! They were starving and with the freezing temps (62 deg.) they were on the verge of extinction. OK, fine, I'll go out to the barn and throw them some hay.
And what do I find?

One of my calves, not the brightest calf in the pen, has his head stuck in a bucket. The handle was wrapped around one ear and a horn(ette), as his horns aren't really all that much there yet, just nubs actually. And he was moo-ing away, bumping into things, banging his head on stuff. And it was perfectly obvious that he hadn't been that way for a real long time, so the chuckle deep belly laugh that just about had me rolling on the ground that inadvertently (thank goodness for spell check!) may or may not have escaped from my being was not really all that cruel. I did however, feel that it wouldn't be very nice to leave him like that whilst I ran for the camera. So I freed him, and he was able to eat and drink again, for probably the first time in like 1/2 hour or so.

Poor baby, he'll probably be scarred for life. Either that or he forgot about it in like 3.2 seconds and was all better once he found the hay.

And that happens in real life with real humans too! You know that funny cartoon where the person falls off the ladder and the bucket of whatever ends up all over their head? That happens. Don't ask me how I know!

So, sorry, no picture, even though I knew where the camera was and could have easily procured it, it just didn't seem right to leave him like that any longer than necessary.

Yeah, I'm basically a nice person, way deep down under, even if I am still chuckling.

Hey, if you want to read about all of my knitting adventures, go to and you can find me there!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Banana Bells Are The New Zucchini!

Banana Bells! They're everywhere. I'm not sure who did the Collecting Of The Seeds From All Available Sources and then later planted all of these seeds, and then apon (upon?) all of this germination, found places to plant all of this stuff, but they need to be talked to.

I'm blaming it on Bu-Dawgh!

He doesn't even like banana bells. Actually, I guess I don't know that for sure, but he's definitely not a salad eater, so I'm guessing that anything of the "green" variety would be out.
The chickens would love them, ahhh, there's the link. Bu-Dawgh loves his chickens, so it would stand to reason that he would want them to eat well.
And they do! They're getting all kinds of weeds, weed seeds, garden leftovers, and "stuff". And, they're Staying In Their Pen! YAY!! Well, all except the mama and the 5 babies, who will be put in the pen probably this weekend.

So back to the banana bells..... if I can get past "why in the world would I someone plant so many of these things, I'm forced to find things to do with them. Already people run when they see me coming. They don't want any more of these, yet more is what I have. And tonight when I go out to the garden, even more will be there. Laughing at me. Taunting me. Daring me to come up with new and inventive ways to use these suckers.

Anyone got any ideas? Don't even suggest Google, they saw me coming too, and I got nothing from them.
Actually, I know what I can do with them. There's a small "honor system" vegie stand in my way to work, I can stash them there, however I'm thinking they'll find their way home.

Maybe I can invent some sort of fountain of youth skin cream to use them in. Yeah, that's it! I'll be rich! I'll be famous, and I'll forever be known as "That Crazy Lady Who Assaults Her Victims With Banana Bells But Who Found A Way To Make It Work!"

Yeah, I can live with that.

Hey, I have a new blog. Check me out at ! And I'd love it if you'd actually leave me a comment!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cukes, Peppers and the Mystery of Life.

Absolutely nothing happened last night.
Well, except that a bunch of people stopped over. It was like everyone decided that they were gonna come see us. All on the same night. Well, ok, they actually came to see hubby, but I kinda went along for the ride. I'm like that.


My garden has seen fit to produce about 368 tons of cukes, all at the same time. I know what you're thinking. Pickles. Me too, except I've never successfully made pickles. I make them all the time, but they are usually soggy.

I have a new recipe that I want to try, it's called Sun Pickles. True to it's name you need to stuff everything in a big jar and leave it out in the sun for 3 days. That's the trick, finding 3 days worth of hot sun this time of year. I can put it out on my black bar-b-que grill, which will provide the heat, if the sun is out. Which, again, is questionable.
Then there's the time involved. First I have to actually nail down the recipe. And I mean, nail it down. Since I have a hurricane and a tropical storm living in my house, everything that isn't nailed down gets lost in the flurry. I have to find it. Then nail it down.
Then I have to decide what I don't have and what I need to get and what can be creatively substituted.
How hard can it be? I need onions, garlic, dill, and a piece of bread and salt. I have the garlic. Guess I need to make a food run. Maybe I'll stuff a banana bell or jalapeno in there just for kicks.

And peppers! Whoda thunk they'd get mixed up?

I started all of mine from seeds. Planted green, yellow and red sweet bells, banana bells, jalapenos and habaneros. (I don't know how to make the little squiggly thing that goes above the n's, hang in here with me though, I'm sure you'll figure out what I mean.)

So I started all these from seeds, and then planted them when the weather was appropriate. And forgot what I planted where.
So now I have a plethora o peppers in every imaginable shape, color and size. Gonna have to figure out which is the sweet bells and which are the jalapenos. Seriously, I do know the difference, but the difference between the jalapenos and habaneros is a bit fuzzy. Since both of them are for the salsa the my Texas friend makes I guess it doesn't matter. I like it hot enough to make my ears water.

What to do about this? I googled it, and now I'm in trouble. I figured habaneros and jalapenos looked similar. But guess what? Habaneros, as it turns out, look like baby sweet bells. uh oh! This might not be good! This could be epic. And it might be a real problem.

I don't want sweet bells in my Hot Enough To Make My Ears Water salsa, nor do I want to stuff hamburger and rice into a habanero, take a big bite out of it expecting the sweetness of a bell only to find a few real angry seeds wanting to make the next 20 mins of my live miserable!

Guess I better have some milk ready. Where did that cow go? And why is my spell check having a fit over the word "habanero"? Life's mysteries...

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Mouth Vs. The Mower!

Here in the Little Cabin In The North Woods we try really hard not to mix technology with blonde. Or at the very least we try to keep the power tools away from them.

There is an occasion, however, when we all need to hold our collective breaths, run for cover and pray to the gods for safety. This occasion happens roughly every other sunday during the summer, as evidenced by the following:

The Mouth grabs her sunglasses, cd player and a drink and sunscreen, and heads to the garage for that which we shall call the Bi-Weekly Mowing Of The Lawn.

Before you go and call CPS on me, its not a reel mower with no motor. It's not even a push mower but a riding mower and she expends about the same amount of energy mowing as she would laying out on the beach. It's not a 106 acre field, but about 1 acre of lawn.

But this day would be different.

First she would have to do the Dance Of The Dead Battery requiring a battery charger and, of course, accompanied by an appropriate amount of whining. (my girls all know how to do these most basic of things so she wasn't totally lost, she was just trying to get someone else to bail her out). After that little squirmish was won she commenced to do the riding thing while I pushed the hand mower around the edges. When I noticed her sitting there not doing anything I immediately assumed we needed major repairs such as a gas tank refill, but no. All she said is it's not cutting. Well I'll give her points for that, at least she didn't mow along happily, oblivious to the world around her, mowing the 57 acres (she'd like you to believe) and not actually accomplishing anything.

After determining that the PTO was not engaging, therefore the blades were not spinning, and after a phone call to my brother (hubby was unavailable) we were off again, but only for a bit when it quit again.

Ok, at this point we have exceeded my limited knowledge of how that stuff works so we'll go to plan b. She can do the edges with the weed whip. More whining ensues sprinkled with what can only be called blonde logic such as "Are you sure you want me to touch the weed whip thing. I might break that too? Besides that won't start either." Well, we did get that started and working but then the pizza drove in.

Pizza is standard fare after a morning of whining/mowing. Not much got done after that! But she did learn to check "belty thingies".

Friday, August 22, 2008

Houdini Chickens

Last night I made another futile attempt to confine my chickens. I've seen other people with chicken coops, and chicken yards, and their chickens are IN the coops and yards. But not mine. Nope! Mine have discovered how to morph themselves from medium sized feathered birds into jello-ey slime so they can slip through the smallest hole in the wire.
I took left over chicken wire (this is chicken wire, chickens, chicken wire! It's supposed to hold you in!) and patched up every hole and space I could find where they might be getting out. I've clipped their wings. I've only fed them in the coop.

Oh, sure, they all go in at night, to roost, and I snicker and giggle that now I've really got them confined. But when I get up in the morning, they're all out in the yard again.

This seriously has me stumped!



I've been outmaneuvered by horses and cattle before, but they're a bit bigger than I am, but chicken? Come on!!

Pigs have gotten the better of me, but not chickens. That's just wrong.

Now I'm on a mission. I MUST find where they are escaping. Either that or forfeit the tomato crop I've worked so hard to weed and unearth.

They do love them their tomatoes!

So, tonight, again, I will put them away, clip all previously unclipped wings (of which there can't really be too many) and hope again, that tomorrow morning there will not be chickens running rampant in my garden.

I guess I can look at it one of two ways.

1. The chickens are going to ruin the garden, there's no getting around it, or

2. At least I don't have to spend money on a lot of feed for them, and whether it be through meat or eggs, I will eat my tomatoes one way or another!
But regardless of how they're doing it, I need to set up my camera so I can catch them in their morphing or houdini act, seriously, that's really not a bad idea! I'll talk to hubby about it tonight, he loves a challenge!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Gardening With Chickens, Chewing Gum and the Ultimate Red Neck Night Out!

Yesterday, I promised before and after pics of my garden. The first is "before. The buckets hanging are my "upside down tomatoes" experiment, definitely a success!
The next picture is after, I at least cleared a path, and got to the end of a few rows of tomatoes and peppers.
I need major amounts of more sticks to hike these things off the ground though.

And this is what promptly happened after I weeded.
I think all I really did was make it easier for the chickens to find the tomatoes.
Tonight... gotta get that hen house secured!!

Last night Hubby and I had the ultimate "Redneck Night Out"! We loaded up a couple of head of cattle into the stock trailer, took them for a little drive down the road to the slaughter house, and unloaded them. Sure makes for a fun evening! Actually we did have fun, but we usually do. After that we enjoyed the cuisine of Mickey D's Golden Arches and promptly laughed at how little it takes to entertain us.

That's OK, someone has to enjoy this stuff!
So 2 of our cattle have been delivered to a neighboring slaughter house, and another 2 will be killed this morning, here. It depends on who buys them and who wants them butchered and where.
Still gotta call the butcher, I should do that...

Oh, and while I'm at it... I have some advice for you.
Never chew gum and attempt to blow a bubble whilst riding a motorcycle. It's not pretty. Ask me how I know!

Oh, and another thing, remember yesterday when I said it was "a bit nippy" on my ride to work? Yeah! 35 degrees was the official reading! Good grief! I guess if I'm gonna keep riding, I'm gonna have to get out my long johns and woolen helmet liner!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oh Where, Oh Where Did My Garden Go?

You may or may not have guessed, but today's topic is my garden. It's not really a big garden, only probably about 1/2 acre, but it can sure grow some weeds! The vegies grow good too, during the winter it's a horse pasture, but previously, it has held pigs, chix and turks, cattle, sheep and a goat or two. Yup. The soil's mighty fine!

This is NOT a picture of my garden! I wish it looked so good! I won't share a before picture, it's awful. Terrible. Shameful really! That I would have let it get so out of control, but I'll try to take an after picture. I expect to unearth pickles, beans, tomatos and peppers. That's all I remember planting, but who knows, even after my valiant efforts to rid the garden of zucchini, I'm still there is some that has survived.

Oh, yeah, I planted garlic and potatoes too. Oh, and onions! I really should check on those. And, since I plan to try to overwinter inside some tomatoes and peppers, I need to think about where in the world that little experiment will live for the next 8 months.
Back to the garden. I will pull, tug, hoe, shovel, toss, and otherwise eliminate most of the weeds that have covered my carefully cultivated lines of yummy vegies. (Don't expect a lot, my rows were never really all that straight to start with!) I will emerge victorious, and maybe even with some produce to show for it!
And, to keep myself on track and focused, I PROMISE I will post a picture of the finished results (I didn't say what year I plan to do this), and then you can see for yourself, that I can indeed finish a simple task or two once in awhile.
Although this task will not be simple, and will most likely involve a Parrot Bay or 3, it will get done. I want to see a weedfree garden more than you do, trust me on this. I also have to find the weedcloth I put down earlier to make this easier, it's buried under the weeds, and since our frost date is just about apon us, I need to know where to spread out the plastic, tarps, sheets... to cover this valuable produce. No need to protect the weeds from the frost, they can take it.
Tomorrow... a report... and maybe a picture or two!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Augh. Have to hurry and get my barn cleaned out. I got more hay coming.
Also gotta venture out to find more sticks for my tomatoes.
Oops one of the chickens is out again. Ok got that done.
Now to find some branches. Let's see. The ideal branch should be fairly sturdy, have at least one fork and be.. Blackberries! The blackberries are comin, on!
A bit of a historic detour here if you've never had the pleasure of picking blackberries.
Blackberries are (or should be) a winter sport. You have to put on long jeans, socks and something a bit sturdier than flip flops.

I don't like flip flops, the thing that goes in between my toes and all.

Anyway, You also need a long sleeved shirt and dont' forget to put up the hair.
Picking blackberries is not a sport for the faint of heart. If you can fend off the hungry insects, there's the occasional bear or two who may have already marked that berry territory for himself.

Ok I made that up.

Yeah the bears are there, you see signs of them regularly, but actually see them very unregularly, but I've really never had to go one on one with a bear over a blackberry.

So let's say you've risen victorious over the insects and the bears.
There remains an arch enemy you will not win against, and that is the bushes themselves. They will reach out and grab you, pull on your hair, snag clothing and leave their little barbs deep inside your clothing (or skin if you didn't wear you armour) and itch and scratch you.

Are they worth it? You bet, they are good! And they only last a week or so, due to the birds and bears and all.. So get em while you can, boys and girls, and then you can resume your stick hunting adventures. Oh yeah, and get the hay loft straightened up! Did that chicken really get out again??

Friday, August 15, 2008

Murphy Has Returned!

I should have known it would happen, it never fails. I had a couple of wonderfully productive days at work, beautiful weather, gorgeous rides to and from work, and then it happened. Got to knit night last night and my bike stalled. This isn't really all that shattering, the clutch is messed up a bit and "touchy" as hubby likes to call it. So it stalled.

I tried to start it again and it wouldn't. Start that is. Wouldn't really even try. It acted all like "My battery is dead, hello!" So I was like, "duh, I can tell that, but I've been riding you all day, why are you dead?" And it was like, "Did you not hear me? My battery is dead". And on and on it went. You can imagine. So what does anyone do in such a situation? Deal with it - later.

Yup, I'm all about Dealing With It Later.

When "later" happened, after several hours of enjoyable, relaxing knitting I tried to pretend that I didn't know what had happened earlier. Tried to ignore the previous discussion I had had with my bike, ignorance being bliss and all, and you know what? It worked!

Shhhhhhh, I'll say it again, but I'm gonna say it really, really quiet: "it worked!"

There we are! Hey, the font sizie thingie is kinda cool! We can go extra large or we can go really small. I'll bet there are colors involved too! Let's see... this is red, and this one is green. Yup! works pretty well. I should play with these buttons more often!

All of this nonsense is a ploy, really, just to throw Murphy off track. And the reason I'm blaming Murphy, is because hubby got my egg fixed and it is now driveable again, so, of course, it stands to reason that my other vehicle would break. We can't have more than one driveable vehicle after all!

Pretty lame post, but that's all I got for you.

Closing in on getting GD's sweater done, just sew it up, put on the binding and do the hoodie thingie. And it's off in the mail. And not a moment too soon (however it is about 4 months too late!)
Coming soon, a picture of said sweater!

Hey, I have another blog now that I'm writing, check it out, I'm the new Knitting Editor (all fancy title, complete with caps!) for

Here we are:

Check me out!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

100 posts!

100 posts and none of them have anything to do with under-eye circles! I don't know how that one slipped by me.

But I'm nothing if not conscientious on these matters, so in sincere repentance, I will fix that.

Under Eye Circles.

Did someone smack me in my sleep? Am I not getting enough sleep? Are the cucumbers I've been instructed to put under my eyes to get rid of them not cold/hot/big/small/ripe enough? Or were they supposed to be pickled first? The tablespoons that are to go into the freezer and then put under the eyes, are they not frozen enough? Am I not taking enough B vitamins or eating enough spinach? (highly unlikely, I LOVE spinach!)

Come on, I can't get rid of these suckers for anything! I've even resorted to cover up (of the make up variety, which I own none of and don't know the proper way to use it anyway) doesn't work. Oh sure, I can photoshop it out in pictures, but in real life there's nothing that works.

So what to do????

Oh, oh, oh, pick me, pick me!! (hand waving wildly in the air..) Do you not know how to work the internet? Don't you know that Google is there, just waiting, for these all important, life altering questions? So I will search Google for an answer because I have nothing else to do.


Ok, you know what Google said, besides the tablespoons, cucumbers, tea bags, sleep, smacking.... options? Allergies! Yeah, you got it, not only does allergies cause runny noses and all sorts of skin issues, it also causes under eye circles. Ok, I can do this. I'm soooo a For The Moment kind of gal. So I took it a bit further and asked the Gurus of Google "what foods are most likely to cause these allergies?" And you know what they told me?

Are you ready?

Are you sitting?

Cause this is, again, life altering!

The highest probability of foods that cause allergies are wheat, dairy, sugar and yeast.

Ok, I'm all over it, until it's time to eat that is, because there is now nothing that I can eat!

Wheat is in basically everything, and yeast is in everything else! (even beer is out!) (gnashing of teeth and wailing, or, wailing of teeth and gnashing, depending on which version you care to go for, personally either way works for me).

And dairy? Come on, without dairy you have no yogurt, no cheese, no butter and basically, no dairy!

What blue-blooded, red-neck farm girl would be caught with a dairy allergy. That's one for Google!

Maybe I should just go back to sleep, that at least will eliminate the probability of sleep deprivation causing this.

So with breakfast right around the corner, I'm kind of caught here. So I'll drink my coffee first. Wait, no coffee because I have to have creamer with my coffee, which violates the dairy and sugar rules. But without my coffee, I just don't function, so we'll start this after the morning coffee.

Ok, now what can I eat for breakfast? Since my favorite smoothie thing is out (sugar and dairy) we're forced to be creative. Oatmeal. Yum, especially if you can't drown it in brown sugar. Next... eggs? Takes too long to cook besides I'd have to go out to the chicken coop and hunt some up and I have to eat first. Bacon and sausage? Too many ites and ates. Maybe I'll just go out and enjoy some alfalfa with the cows, I'm sure they'll share with me. Oh, wait, since they eat baled alfalfa, there's likely to be a bit of mold in it, again, yeast.

Well, at least on this diet I'll lose some weight!

Looks like we're back to fruits and vegetables and whole grains (of the un-wheat variety). But first I have to eat all of the food I already bought.

And that, my friends, is how I can talk myself all around a circle and right back to square one! It's a talent, a gift even, but, don't try this at home.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's All About Relaxation

I've come to a conclusion that relaxation and having your ducks all in one puddle, that you can actually find, on command, are both related.

This insight all came to me on my ride from work last night (and it only took 50 some years to get to this conclusion)!

Beautiful night, gorgeous, looking forward to the meteor shower and all (it's all about the universe!). But it's a bit chilly on the toes, (wearing socks might have helped, but they were in another puddle - probably in another universe). But I was relaxed because I was riding, and knowing that I'd be witness to a majorly cool solar event later that night (after dinner, laundry, dishes....) And then it rained. Rain = clouds, and clouds = no view of night sky. There's probably a mathematical equation in there somewhere, and I'm sure one of my engineer brothers would love to help me out with that one.

Relaxation is accepting that rain is good, and that meteor showers will be visible again, at another time. The tomatoes and peppers like the rain, as does the corn and cucumbers. And I really don't like watering the garden from the well and since I don't have the watering systems set up yet, that's what has to happen.

Relaxation is knowing I'm right on top of a major life changing deadline at job #1 (and having the confidence to actually acknowledge that I'm right on top of it, and I WILL meet this deadline. (now that I've sufficiently jinxed that one...)

Relaxation is starting a new job without leaving any of the previous jobs and figuring out how to get another hour or so out of every day (it is a part time job, after all). But, hey, the universe will get me through that one, and the extra money will buy me a really, really awesome vacation in January in Colorado.

Relaxation is knowing that I have to have 2 sweaters done by the middle of Sept. and that both of them are nearly done. (I just did the jinx thing again didn't I?). But both are extremely enjoyable and are easy to knit while watching tv (what's that?) or walking.

Relaxation is riding to work with a turkey carcass strapped to the back of the bike, so that even though I have to work until late, my son (who is home from Iraq for another week) can have his turkey noodle soup that he loves (have to make it at work for various reasons, mostly so I only have to cook once, and my Dad can eat too). Gotta love the looks you get from people, although this being farm country and all I'm sure I'm not the only one who has attempted this.....

True relaxation comes in knowing that tomorrow night, come hell or high water, I'm going to my Knit Night, even if I'm late, and even if it's raining and I get wet, cause, well, that's what I want to do.

And most of all, relaxation is having a soft puppy to cuddle with. Awwwwww. No, not the Bu-Dawgh, he's not soft, although he is cuddly. But The Mouth has a Siberian Husky, who is very, very cuddly and of the Soft Enough To Spin His Fur Into Yarn To Later Knit Into Something That Will Hopefully Not Smell Like Dog Hair When Washed variety. Plus, he smiles too, now that's relaxing!

Relaxation is conquering my demons one at a time with a grace and strength (still working on those, but hey, gotta have goals..) that sets me apart from, well, ok, not from anyone else who's ever conquered demons, but they will be conquered. I will whip them into submission. I will win! I will rise victorious, and there will be no jinxing of this! I WILL WIN!
Alot of this recent "I will win" attitude comes from a friend, who recently in an accident, and is now paralyzed from the neck down and may never even breathe on his own again (a Christopher Reeves type of injury) fights his own battle. I'm told he has a 1% chance to breathe on his own again and a 1% chance to actually walk again (if he actually pulls through, and this hasn't been verified yet). This has sparked discussion between myself and hubby about what ifs and what nots. We're fiercely opposed on this one. I'd like to believe I'd take the 1% chance they've given him and make it 2. Then make it 4. And go from there. Hubby, not so much. I'd like to believe I got this attitude from my Dad, who fights his own battles daily with a fierceness unparalleled, but on the same plane also hope I never have to find out. I'd like to believe that if forced into a fight such as this one, I'd be able to walk the walk and not just talk the talk, again, hopefully I'll never find out, I'm afraid I'd fall far short of my own expectations.

But, it's all about relaxation, and ultimately, taking what life throws at you, making the best of it, and smiling through it.

And that's deep enough for now!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Hubby!!

Happy Birthday Honey!

He's officially old! Isn't that what everyone says? So what did we do to celebrate his "old-ness"?

Well, we worked on my car, of course. Now, when I say "we" worked on it, I mean, I ran for wrenches, held the light, swatted mosquitos and kept the beer cold. He doesn't have much faith in my mechanical abilities, I mean, come on, I can do more than hold the darn light!

I can "hold stuff " while he secures it. My hands are way smaller so they fit into tighter spots than his (and since this isn't a full size chevy truck with enough room under the hood to park a smaller vehicle we're talking about, this is an important plus).

I'm smaller all around (although the "around" part is questionable), so I can crawl under, in, around, through, up, down and back into spots where he can't. And all of this has been proven, but all I get to do is hold the light. Oh, yeah, I got to work the cherry picker too (a technical term for the large thingee that holds up the motor while it is being secured). It's also an important item in any mechanic's arsenal, to be tripped over, walked into, and generally mostly in the way, all of the time. So I got to work that too. Which pretty much involves moving the lever either up or down, on command, of course. Yay, what fun!

We also worked a bit on my son's sand rail. Now THIS would be a fun vehicle! Apparantly there are choke problems with this buggy, and while the kid was describing what was happening while he did this and what happened when he did that, it sounded an awful lot like what my bike does occasionally, but I just stood there, making a mental note to tell hubby about it later (as in previously trying to describe what the bike was doing, I failed miserably).
All in all it was an eventful night. We tripped over cherry pickers, invented words, determined that the choke was the problem on the buggy, invented more words, swatted mosquitos, drank beer and eventually succumbed to the lack of natural light.
Absolutely no knitting was accomplished last night. NOT ONE STITCH! (or two or even three). Homesteading? Nope, well, fed the critters, and verified that the turkeys no longer existed, but other than that, nothing!
So there! Wasted nght? Not really, after all I spent time with my best friend, and what's better than that?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Good News and Bad News

whaddya want first, they always ask. The good news or the bad news?

Well, I'm gonna sprinkle it around cause there's 6 bad news'es and 1 good news. Here's Bad News #1. Yes, it's real. No, it's not brown, it's really orange, yellow and green, and yes, it's on the ground and it wasn't yesterday.

Exhibit #2 and 3, 4, and what the heck, the rest of my "leaves on the ground at the beginning of summer" pictures:

Ok, here's the good news:
SQUEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! I got a part time job!
This one is sooo cool. I still have my 2 or 3 depending on the week full time jobs, but this one brings in a bit of extra money without requiring any change of plans, current employment, or location!
I am going to be the new Knit Blog Editor for!
Not sure when it starts yet, but how cool is that?????

More of the bad: Yeah, it's not all that unexpected, it's the middle of August and all, and on my way to work this morning, I did notice a few of the trees were starting to show some color. Ugh. Better get my spring planting done, eh?

After completeing my chores last night and noticing that all 3 of my turkeys seemed to have disappeared into thin air, I kind of figured that that's exactly just what they did; disappear into thin air. I'm thinking they heard the call, and all, and flew off to join some of their less-than-domestic cousins. Grrr. So much for Thanksgiving dinner this year. I really don't want to buy a turkey, maybe I'll do a ham instead, but here I am talking about Thanksgiving at the beginning of summer. What's up with that. Seems like I should be getting ready for our annual 4th of July celebration!
Tonight I have to fix the chicken coop, as my little houdini's are endlessly proving to me that they don't deserve to be penned up.
And, yes, I'll knit some more. My GD's sweater is almost done, and soo pretty. I love this pattern. I used a women's small, even though she's only 10 she's very tall. And instead of the size 7 and 9 needles, I used a 6 and 8, to make it just that much smaller, and a tighter knit. Very nice.
And.... hockey season is but a mere 6 weeks away!!!
Gotta get to job #1!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Don't Talk To Me. Ever. I Will Bite You!

I need someone to make me a sign that says: Don't Talk To Me. Ever. I Will Bite You!
Seriously, this is why we don't usually find me in a public place unaccompanied. It's not that I am a mean sort who looks for innocent victims to bite, it's just that I am an anti-social sort, and am best just left alone. Actually, it's best to just leave me in the company of my critters, without much human contact at all. I'd make a real good hermit!

This was inspired by my trip to town yesterday, unaccompanied, to go to the chiropractor, as for some reason, every haying season finds me in his office, to get whacked around and make my body make noises that I don't really find natural. Not really painful noises, but uncomfortable, except when he's done, I can move again. So we put up with it, once a year.

After that, and a lengthy conversation with him (I know him, therefore am relatively comfortable carrying on a conversation with him), I think to myself: "Myself, I am in town anyway, might as well stop at the Army recruiting office to get the sign I want for my front yard, and since that is right next to the grocery store where The Mouth works as a Pharmacy Tech, I'll go in to get the onions and carrots for tonight's dinner, and drop off the sign for her to take home since I'm on my bike and all. (Just once, it would be fun to diagram these sentences, don't ya think?).

In the recruiter's office I go, and he doesn't just hand me a sign, like he's been doing all along, no, he wants to talk! There's no danger here, I'm way past the point of being recruited, seems he's just lonely and wants to talk. I don't. I don't talk to people I don't know, but apparently, that's a recruiter's strength so he talks, and I stand there, looking all dumb and everything and just nod politely and inch toward the door.

What happens next defies description. I got out the door and am walking with my "too large to put on my bike sign" and a couple of people sitting at the picnic table between recruiting office and grocery store see fit to strike up a conversation with me. Do people actually do this? Talk to others that they don't know? Is this a regular thing? Or is it possible that in my sleep, some idiot, in his/her best intentions to make me more sociable, has written in invisible ink on my forehead, "please talk to me, I'm a hermit and need to be socialized"? Come on.

I go into the grocery store, still carrying my sign, with a stunned look on my face because I've just been violated. The Mouth, takes my sign and asks what's wrong. I tell her and she assures me, between fits of laughter, that no, I do not display any such verbage on my forehead or any other place, and tells me to roll with it. Hermits do not roll. We cringe and crawl under immovable objects when spoken to, but we do not roll.

For some reason she finds this hilarious. I do not, but I'm used to her bouts of insanity, so I go on with my shopping.

Pick up my carrots and onions, remember I need toilet paper and a few other things (forgetting that I have my bike) and check out.

Yes, I did remember where I parked my truck, but forgot that it wasn't my truck that I parked, but my bike. And, yes, you got it. Another person had the nerve to approach me with questions about how I was going to transport all of this home. After demonstrating my acquired skills in creative bungi-ing, and the overdue oohs and aaahs that are deserved for one so creative, they finally leave me alone. And I go home.

This morning, I'm still in shock. Why would perfect strangers talk to me and especially, why would I expect to go into town, ALL BY MYSELF AND EVERYTHING, and expect anything different? Because usually I make The Mouth go with me and she fields any unexpected and unwanted advances.


OK, I'm done.

No, new homestead news, but I did find my camera, right where I left it, and here are pictures, as sort of promised of the recent stealth knitting completion:

The first is a close-up of the cute button I found in my stash, and the second is the sweater itself. It's really a lot cuter in real life, really gotta figure out how to adjust the settings on my Awesome Camera That I Bought Myself For My Birthday A Few Years Ago.

Tonight is Knit-Night so I'll be working on my next to finish project, pictures hopefully coming on Monday!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Down To Earth Vs. Grounded

So, the stealth knitting project has been completed, and delivered AHEAD OF TIME!!!! Again, it's done, completed, and received by it's intended owner, ahead of schedule. This almost never happens. Never! It's a curse, or something, or probably the result of my thinking "ok, I have 2 weeks to get this done, I can do it". Yeah right. Problem is, I have too many other things on that same plate.

So, did I get a picture? Of course I did, silly you!

Do I have a picture to show you? Of course not. Come on, 2 out of 3 and all!

Why do I not have a picture to show you, if I indeed did take a picture? It's the fault of the Universe. That and the fact that if I had to grab my Awesome Camera That I Bought Myself For My Birthday A Few Years Ago, all quick like, and run out of the house because it was on fire, I wouldn't be able to. Find my camera that is. I have a general clue where it is. It's somewhere in the house! But between working extra hours to get a MAJOR project at work done, and trying to convince myself that here in N. Mich, in August, I really need to stop concentrating on planting things, and start concentrating on getting the already planted stuff harvested, well, I lose things.

Which brings me to the differences between being grounded and being down to earth.

Most everyone who knows me would put me on the Down To Earth shelf. I don't go so far as to wear overalls and braids while I sit on a stool milking my cow and singing pretty songs (well, ok, it's been done, before I cut my hair, it's too short to braid now...) but I definitely fit more on that shelf than any others.

Yeah, Down To Earth, that's me, but grounded? That's a whole other issue entirely. No, I am not grounded (except in my yarn purchases where I have definitely restricted myself, but, again, I get off track).

Grounded, to me, implies that I have it all together, which I do, but it's not all in one place where I can find it. It implies that when on a trip to the grocery store, automatically, the information on how to find my truck, or bike when I come out of the store is put into place. Nope! Picture me wandering around the parking lot with a cart full of groceries, not only not being able to find my truck, but forgetting that I rode my bike, and have no clue how to get all of this home (which leads to really creative bungie-ing).

Being grounded would imply that wearing a white t-shirt to work, knowing that I am riding my bike on a dirt road would be a big no-no. But I continue to do it. Regularly. And then acutally wonder why I have dirt speckles and bug dots all over me when arriving at wherever my destination is.

To say I spend a lot of time in the stratosphere orbiting around would be fairly accurate. Acutally, a lot of time is spent trying to stay grounded, but it is what it is.

We could go on and on about the differences between grounded and being down to earth, but I think you get the idea. No? Ask my hubby. Or ask my kids, chances are, if they actually get it (and I have one who does..) they'll just roll their eyes. Hmmm, wonder why?

But the sweater did turn out really cute. Picture it. Little. Baby girl pink. Mixed with silver and white. Big cute button. You get the idea.

Maybe tomorrow you'll see it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Is Autumn Really Coming?

I read an email yesterday about how a gal in Wisconsin is getting her garden ready for fall. Excuse me, it's only the beginning of summer, well, maybe more toward the middle. What? August already???

What's up with that??

In Wisconsin?? An awful lot of Wisconsin is S. of us. She signed her email as "Zone 5". I'm in Zone 3. What does this mean?

There's only one explanation. Well maybe 2. One, I'm in denial about the whole "summer coming to an end" thing, and the other, that Wisconsin is in a parallel universe somewhere else and is really just an illusion. (Insert Jimmy Buffet song of choice here...)

So hubby and I took a LOOOONNNNGGGGGGG bike ride last night. Perfect night. Warm summer breeze (or was there a hint of cool?), beautiful green trees (I refuse to see the first tinges of orange, that tree must have been dying or something), and is the wildlife really starting to get a bit furrier that it should be at the beginning of summer?

Aaauuugggghhhhhh! Summer CAN'T be coming to an end, it can't be! No, no, no, no, no.

I still don't have my firepit dug for those late night bonfires. The greenhouse isn't done (or even started except in my mind - a scary place to be). The barn isn't full and overflowing. I don't have my watering system set up for the critters yet, and worst of all, I haven't opened up my pool for summer yet. (sometimes I get a bit behind!), and, - and this is a big AND), I don't have my firewood brought up to the deck yet. Actually this is what my firewood looks like.

And this is what it doesn't look like. This isn't my cabin, because my firewood isn't stacked up here where it needs to be.

Ok, breathe, it's not like there's snow in the forcast (although snow in August certainly isn't a surprise), the frost date is like WEEKS away, (mid. sept.) and it's all good. And besides, the leaves haven't started to fall off of the trees yet. When all that happens, then we shall truly have a reason to panic!
So, tonight I'll have to re-evaluate my "to do" list. I should probably stop planting things and start working on harvesting, getting critters ready for winter, and the most important, GET SOME HAY IN THE BARN and GET THE FIREWOOD CUT AND STACKED!!
I really do love this life, but right now I'm thinking I need to go back to bed!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Girl Kids!

There's no getting around it. Girl kids=drama!

There's a reason they're called "drama queens" and not drama kings.

Technically we have 4 girl kids, but a lot of the times there's more, as many as 8 actually that I can think of without doing a whole lot of thinking. A bunch of friends who have moved into and out of our lives, some staying awhile, some just floating through, and they all come back. And then leave. And then come back again.

And the drama that these girl kids create is nothing short of phenomenal! I had no idea that problems could be created that would make planets colliding look like a minor thunderstorm.

We have the current divorce and custody drama. Actually, technically, not one of our natural born girl kids, this one is a transplant, however is currently staying with us. This little gal, while we love her with all our hearts, is sometimes her own worst enemy. Standing on the outside and looking in at this 118 lb hurricane and her 24 lb tropical storm is enough to make anyone a fan of prozac. Thank God I can walk away!

The oldest two have thankfully outgrown most of the need for drama, or on the rare cases that they haven't, they have husbands who have to deal with it, and don't live here so we aren't a party to it on a regular basis.

The 3rd oldest of our natural born girl kids is her own little mini storm just because of one reason. She has to have the last word. Period. Can't shut her mouth and walk away, nope, gotta keep the pot stirred, gotta create just one more little thunderstorm, having the last word is where it's at. And of course, her significant other is the same way. Actually, he could be accurately labeled a drama king, and while actually he's a pretty good guy, the two of them together could (and regularly do) create enough wind to blow out the sun. Let hope that doesn't happen. That could open a whole nother can of worms!

The 4th and youngest of the girl kids has it together, at least on the surface. She's learned from the others, and can see through the clouds they create better than I can. She keeps me grounded, but is hurt easily by all of this. Her natural place is a peacemaker and when it blows up in her face, she takes it personally. At least the drama that she creates is minimal. Like last night.....

The phone rings, I don't bother to answer it, cause transplanted daughter number (I don't know, I've lost count) is in the house, and I'm in the garden. But it goes unanswered. No problem, whoever it is will call back if it's important. And it was, at least to #4. So she called back. This time I answer and am barraged with life altering questions, like "where were you when I needed you"? Well, you're still alive and breathing so what's the problem.

"I needed to know what temperature to cook chicken", she says like the house is on fire and she forgot the phone number for 9-1-1.

Hmmm, yeah, that's important, just like it was THE LAST 15 TIMES I'VE ANSWERED THIS QUESTION FOR YOU!

"well, you weren't there so I called one of my friend's mom and she laughed at me, but she told me what temperature to use" (same one I've always told her!)

Yeah, drama, it's what my girls live on. Without a bit of drama in their lives they'd have to... well, create more....). And planets colliding have nothing on these girls!

And then there's the youngest, our only male child, and while the drama that he creates is very minimal, you'd think from having at least 4 sisters at any one time that he would have learned how to deal with it (like walk away), but no, he's funny. He gets frustrated, and angry, although he'd never show his anger to any of his sisters, he can't deal with their problems, almost like he's the one who has to make it better and this is just too much for him.

I can almost hear the conversations that take place between him and his friends.

"Dude, you'll never guess what _____'s life altering problem was last night".

"Hey, pass me another beer."

"So, like she was all worked up because she called the house and noone answered. She needed to know what temperature to cook chicken. How am I supposed to know the answer to that (acutally he probably does), and she expects me to fix this for her".

"Hey, you wanna go to KFC? I'm getting hungry".

"Yeah, me too, maybe we'll meet up with some of the girls."

Boys, they never learn!

That's ok, most of his friends have sisters too, and since they're all about the same age have learned from each other how to make their own drama scenarios.

And they wonder why I talk to the cows!

Homestead update.... I butchered the last of last year's turkeys this weekend, our son (who is back to Iraq in another 10 days or so) LOVES turkey noodle soup, so..... I'm actually getting pretty good at this. Can take this critter from walking around the yard to cut, packaged and in the freezer in under an hour.

Waded into the garden to find my tomato plants and what did I find? Tomato plants (this is a good thing!) and lots and lots of little green tomatoes. But... they're all over the ground. Whoever created tomato cages, didn't really take into consideration what tomato plants planted in compost would do. So... tonight it's off to the woods (well, like 30 feet from my back door) to find some sticks with bends and branches that I can pound into the ground and drape the tomatoes over. They get ground rot too easy if they lay on the ground, so that's the project for tonight.

Also found some cucumer plants when I weeded. Think I got the zucchini under control, but I'm watching it, it would be naive to believe that just because it's gone that it will stay gone!

Stealth knitting project has been completed. It's a wittle baby sweater for a wittle baby girl, due to be born any day. This has become my favorite quick to knit project. Still needs to be blocked, so I'll take pics tonight.

And she's off........