Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm Still Here

I think that's the most common post title I see.

So much for my uniqueness and go-against-the-flow-ness.

But really, I AM still here. And I'm sore.

Gi-gi came on Thursday, to spend a few days doing my laundry and getting my girls to keep their shoes in one place. It was better than the alternative, she said, being alone with thoughts of Mary. Better to be in the company of joy, with thoughts of Mary.

I made the mistake of running to the greenhouse one last time. I really have a lot of extra garden space this year (well, I always have extra... but this year the garden area is fenced in and therefore more difficult to dismiss the empty parts), and wondered if the greenhouse didn't have a tomato plant or two leftover. Prior to my trip, I had a total of 16 plants; 6 Siletz, 6 Mortgage Lifter (both seed-started from last year's leftovers), 3 Sweet 100, and a floundering Roma. A couple weeks ago the greenhouse had tomato plants... about the size of a quarter. I really didn't have much hope. However, whatever chemical concoctions they undoubtedly feed those quarter-sized tomatoes sure did some work! There were plenty of big, lush plants begging to come home with me. After all, tomatoes were a certain need, easily processed/stored, and unmatched in any grocery store. So I bought 22 more plants. Twelve Beefmaster, six Early Girl (yes, I know nothing will be early after planting at the end of June!), and four Roma. I also bought a dozen pepper plants and a nice Sage. Did I mention last year's Catnip is really taking off? Homemade mosquito repellent is in the plans. Also, I was thrilled to find Oregano still alive. Not so for the basils and thyme. In any case, I had some serious work cut out for myself. I searched the sheds for the plastic weed-mat stuff I swear I had on hand, but never found it. I splurged and spent $10 on a 10x25 roll. I'd pay ten bucks to not weed an area that size, wouldn't you? Of course, we had to weed it beforehand, so Gi-gi and I were in the garden at 6:00 Saturday morning. We weeded piles of dried weeds from the parched dirt, and I rototilled in a cloud of dust. We put the mat down (about 10x18) and tucked the edges in a trench. I cut X's 9 across and 4 down and put in the peppers. The girls had awakened to join us, and Baby was in her playpen (which we moved to the garden) shaded by the beach umbrella.

After midday, I returned and put in a dozen tomatoes. I had to shower and change and ready the girls for a company BBQ -- Hubby had been at work since six, then golfing (!) with the guys from work before the BBQ.

Sunday morning I got up early again and put in the last of the tomatoes. It got to 106.3 degrees on our thermometer that day! Yikes!

I've spent the non-triple-digit-heat hours watering and weeding and using muscles I ignore most of the year.

The lack of sleep is catching up to me, and I only got up at 7:00 this morning, and wasn't in the garden until 8:00. I watered and weeded for an hour, and used the old cultivator Hubby put together for me. THAT'S a workout. It's not even 11:00 a.m. and already 94 degrees out! It's going to be another hot one today, certainly. I hope the critters handle it ok.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Supreme Court

I'm utterly delighted with today's ruling that reassures my right to own a gun as many guns as I want.

I love how the 2nd Amendment is walked through, step-by-step, in this ruling.

The “militia” comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms... [p. 2]

Beginning on page 6, and moreso on page 8, they carefully dissect the wording of the 2nd Amendment, showing how indeed there is no ambiguity therein.

The only opinion rendered in support is from Justice Scalia, and he writes,

But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.... what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct. [p. 67]

Now, one thing bothers me immensely about this... And that is the fact that this was a 5-4 ruling, not a 9-0 ruling. Do you realize how close America just came to overthrowing the most incredible founding document in the history of the world? How the opinion of one man could've overturned what is arguably the most freedom-ensuring Amendment of that document?

I'm beginning to wonder if Justice Kennedy doesn't just wake up and flip a coin to determine his opinions. He seemed so reasonable and right on this one; keeping with the Founders and their Intent today.

Yesterday, however, was another story. I'm sure you heard how it's somehow unconstituional to put a raper-of-children to death, per the 8th Amendment about cruel and unusual punishment. Cruel and unusual? I say keeping these dirtbags alive, paying for their meals and cable TV is cruel and unusual punishment for their victims and the families of their victims. I don't understand how the death penalty is cruel or unusual (though I think it has to be cruel and unusual to qualify here, in my mind). The way it's done today, it's probably the very best possible death to experience (of course, I'm not experienced in death). Better, certainly, than a car accident or cancer. It's also hardly unusual. It's probably among the oldest and most common forms of punishment in the history of the world.

But what do I know?

I also think giving foreign enemies from foreign ground Constitutional Rights (which, you know, I thought might be reserved for, I don't know, American Citizens...?) isn't supported by our Founders either.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Just Can't Shut Up

There is an acquaintance of mine, and older lady who has been acquainted with my family for far longer than I've been alive. I am on her emailing list, and I think forwards take up a good portion of her daily life. Some are cute and funny, others are probably more enjoyable to the over-70 crowd, what with the saggy-boob jokes and all, and then there are the others. She forwards many things that have a, shall we say, leftist tendency. I love a good debate, but when someone's claiming as their reference, there's not a lot of logic or reason to pit myself against. I have asked her in the past to remove me from her list for such articles (and the men-are-stupid jokes), but apparently my email address crops up anyways...

So, with nothing left to do, I engage.

Today's was an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by a Jonathan Rauch on the many ways gay marriage is good for America. You can read it in it's entirety here.

... imagine your life without marriage. ... imagine your first crush, first kiss, first date and first sexual encounter, all bereft of any hope of marriage as a destination for your feelings. ...Imagine that in the law's eyes you and your soul mate will never be more than acquaintances. ....What is this weird world like? It has more sex and less commitment than a world with marriage. It is a world of fragile families living on the shadowy outskirts of the law; a world marked by heightened fear of loneliness or abandonment in crisis or old age; a world in some respects not even civilized, because marriage is the foundation of civilization.
[On the argument for private contracts for legal matters]...No private transaction excuses you from testifying in court against your partner, or entitles you to Social Security survivor benefits, or authorizes joint tax filing, or secures U.S. residency for your partner if he or she is a foreigner....Marriage, remember, is not just a contract between two people. It is a contract that two people make, as a couple, with their community - which is why there is always a witness. Two people can't go into a room by themselves and come out legally married. The partners agree to take care of each other so the community doesn't have to. In exchange, the community deems them a family, binding them to each other and to society with a host of legal and social ties.
... Marriage makes you, on average, healthier, happier and wealthier. If you are a couple raising kids, marrying is likely to make them healthier, happier and wealthier, too. Marriage is our first and best line of defense against financial, medical and emotional meltdown .... its absence can be calamitous, whether in inner cities or gay ghettos.
... society has a powerful interest in recognizing and supporting same-sex couples. It will either fold them into marriage or create alternatives to marriage, such as publicly recognized and subsidized cohabitation. Conservatives often say same-sex marriage should be prohibited because it does not exemplify the ideal form of family. They should consider how much less ideal an example gay couples will set by building families and raising children out of wedlock.
Nowadays, even opponents of same-sex marriage generally concede it would be good for gay people. ....

....America needs more marriages, not fewer, and the best way to encourage marriage is to encourage marriage, which is what society does by bringing gay couples inside the tent. A good way to discourage marriage, on the other hand, is to tarnish it as discriminatory in the minds of millions of young Americans. Conservatives who object to redefining marriage risk redefining it themselves, as a civil-rights violation. souls and straight society are healthiest when sex, love and marriage all walk in step.

To which I had to reply:

[Old Acquaintance Lady,]

Interesting op-ed. Of course, there is at least one thing I have to point out...

Rauch writes:
Marriage, remember, is not just a contract between two people. It is a contract that two people make, as a couple, with their community -

I think herein is where the author misses the point entirely. The religious conservatives in his bullseye view marriage very differently (at least, I do). Marriage is not a contract between a couple and their community. Marriage is a covenant, made between two people and God. And God is the one who came up with the 'one man and one woman' thing.

Please don't misunderstand; what people do is their business. But when gays (or Marxists, or secularists, or pagans, or space aliens) want to redefine marriage so they can 'feel like everyone else' and gain some sort of recognition or legitimacy, then it stops being their personal choice and business. Their business morphs into a legally-sanctioned requirement for me to abandon my belief in the meaning and purpose of marriage and God's order. Suddenly what was holy and sacred for me (marriage) is reduced to a community contract so Social Security benefits can be passed on.

Why do they pursue marriage so much? Why not limit the pursuit to a Community Contract of some sort? It is still problematic, but wouldn't carry the added insult of basically blaspheming God's plan for marriage. In CA this past week I heard a gal quoted: "we're just like everyone else." Um, no, you're not. You're seeking either a.) to call your relationship holy and sacred, which, by definition of The Definer, it can't be, or b.) to reduce that which is holy and sacred to the 'contract' level. We Evil-Conservative-(Religious)-Hatemongers have a problem with that.

Now, I do not pretend to have my finger on the pulse of the homosexual community, and I suppose you might not either, but you probably have a better idea than I do... Why is 'marriage' so pursued?

To be fair, Rauch does say, "or create alternatives to marriage, such as publicly recognized and subsidized cohabitation" in answer to which I can only choke and sputter on my home-brewed organic Kombucha. SUBSIDIZED cohabitation? The SAME democrats who want to tax the middle class into oblivion, part of which involves a marriage tax penalty would like to subsidize??? cohabitation??? of gays???

Any reasonable explanation you have for me (I know you're probably not good friends with the author, but give it a try, please?) would be very welcome. You believe in this enough to forward the article around, PLEASE help me make sense of this.


I promise to get back with any reasonable explanations, but don't hold your breath. However, if anyone out there has some reasonable explanations they would like to offer, you're welcome to. I'd love to hear them.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Funeral Day

Yesterday was a long one.

Yes, I know today is supposed to be the 'longest day of the year' (isn't it?), but yesterday felt like it.

I got up early, like 5:30, nursed baby, got dressed, loaded the car, and about 7:00, headed to the City where Gi-Gi and most other familial types live. My aunt's funeral was at 11, and we got there about 9:00. In time to feed the kids, dress them, fix their hair and instruct them that the Urn of Ashes is not to be opened.

Organique decided that 11:20 was naptime, and the as-yet-unfinished church was amazing in it's echo-ey acoustics. I only had to climb over 3 people before hurrying my squalling infant down (up?) the center aisle. Of course, I was in the second "reserved for family" row, so that was a long, loud trip. Once outdoors, I realized I hadn't grabbed my carkeys, so searched for a shady, discreet corner of property to nurse her. A group of mexican construction workers were enjoying lunch under the nearest tree, so we found a more distant one. Of course, the church, school, parish hall, parking lot and old church are crammed into half a block along a busy street, and there were only a handful of trees in a narrow patch of grass along the street. Ah well. She fell asleep, and we made our way quietly back to the foyer of the church. I missed a good portion of the service, but that didn't bother me tremendously. I am not much familiar with the traditions of Catholic funerals, to say the least.

The after-service-all-you-can-eat-time (wake?) was nice. A cousin of my mom and aunt's hosted it, and their home and patio were simply amazing, to say the least. I enjoyed seeing the relatives, and squelched my inferiority complex long enough to actually converse with a few of them. Even if *I* don't want to be a physicist or a biochemist-in-the-field-of-energy, I feel inadequate when such goals are piled up in every demographic in the room (except myself). Don't misunderstand; no one questions me or judges me (that I'm aware of), it's just that the 'go-against-the-flow' stuff really becomes obvious once you step into 'the flow.'

We left around 4:00, and went back to Gi-gi's. The girls played and some friend's of Gi-gi's came to visit. I went and saw some friends for an hour or two, admired their amazing trees (we have so few hereabouts... and I'm taller than most of them), enjoyed their air conditioning and conversation. By 8:15 we had the car loaded up again and the girls in their pajamas again, and headed home. Organique started howling at 9:00 (she does NOT like being in the car when it's time for bed), and continued for nearly 45 minutes before I stopped and tried to console her. She consoled immediately, and nursed a while, but turned it up again when I replaced her in her carseat. She did eventually quit, about 25 minutes from home. We got home around 10:30. Hubby had worked until 9:00 anyway, and while I wouldn't have seen him any more yesterday had I not left town, it felt like I'd been gone a long time.

I'm so glad to be back. Now, to tackle the morning glory that has grown sixteen feet since I left...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My aunt passed away this morning. She is at peace now. I could fill an entire series of posts about her, but I'll just say that she is certainly in a better place. She was not happy here.

I've been getting some garden work completed, if only in bits. It's tricky to juggle the garden with tending the baby, household chores, and the chicks. Add to that avoiding the midday sun and excessively windy days, and no wonder June's half over and my garden half in. I planted the sweet corn yesterday and put out my gourd and squash plants. The other day I got in all the tomatoes and peppers. The black beans (that I planted from my pantry stash) are growing! I hope they do well. Morning Glory takes considerable time and effort. It's everywhere. *sigh*

I just discovered flying monkeys in my expensive brown rice. Well, they weren't monkeys, but they were some terrible flying creature that has expensive tastes. I'm not sure what to do. I've emailed the order-gal from whence I purchased the rice, but I don't know if there's anything they will do about it. Online reading makes me think it was probably 'infected' before I got it (I've never had these bugs before, and keep things fairly airtight), but there's no proof of that.

I spent $100 at the feed store. All feeds have gone crazy, even as recently as last Friday, and with the Iowa flooding and such, it's not going to get any cheaper any time soon. That $100 worth would've cost me $60 last year, I'm thinking.

Now, to check all my stored flours/grains and figure out who will feed the poultry while we go to a funeral out of town...

Thank you everyone for all your prayers. They've been very, VERY appreciated.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Rough Weekend

Eight years ago late May, Hubby and I were married. My mom was in attendance. She was a week away from being 48. She suffered from chronic-progressive Multiple Sclerosis, and was quadriplegic.

One week later, on her birthday, she spiked a fever. Two days after that, Hubby and I saw her, passing through the area on the way back from our honeymoon. She seemed to be doing fairly well at that time. Whenever her temperature rose, her already-compromised speech ability took a nosedive, but the evening/morning we spent with her showed little of that. I was so relieved to have her on the upswing.

We continued to our 500 square-foot apartment two hours away from her.

Within a few more days, she had really lost ground, and my grandma 'didn't think she would make it'. I found this almost unbelievable. We returned to spend time with her that weekend, and my active-duty military brother got leave to come as well. Again, she seemed... okay. It was very surreal. Sitting at her bedside as my grandmother dialed old friends, so mom could say goodbye. It was on speakerphone. "Laurie's not doing too well. She's been sick and we don't expect her to make it." Loudly. Beside my mom. The caller would gasp, and ask for information. Grandma would reply, "She's right here on speakerphone." "Laurie, oh my goodness, I'm so sorry. How are you doing?" My mom would reply, "Oh, pretty good." As though her impending doom hadn't just been announced to yet another acquaintance. She rallied enough for 'one last wish:' to go four-wheeling in my brother's pickup. You've never laughed until you've seen a quadriplegic mother tied in to the cab of a small pickup. Her head was tied to the headrest, seat belt fastened, arms and legs secured where they needed to be. He took her on some rough foothill terrain, amid her ... peals of laughter. I don't know if her laughter really pealed or not... Slow inhalations of excitement, like the squeaks of washing windows, but louder. Death did not seem to hover near.

It did, however. That evening she pulled herself inward, it seemed. There were definite signs that she was not long for this earth, if you were trained to see them. My grandma (her caretaker) could feel the grinding of her pelvis when she turned her. Years of medication had taken their toll, and the bones of her pelvis had broken in the middle. She was on morphine by this time, thankfully. The skin on her hip tore loose in an area.

Three days after four-wheeling, she died. It was a Thursday, before 4:00. She was surrounded by dear friends and family.

Sunday was the 8th anniversary of her death.

Just over a week ago, my aunt (my mom's younger sister by 8 years) went to the ER. No one knew until Friday that she was in the hospital, and I heard about it Saturday. She is suffering from liver failure and kidney failure. They tried dialysis on Saturday night, with the understanding that if this didn't work, there was nothing else they could do.

It didn't work.

She is 48 as my mom was.

I would be so grateful if you prayed. While physical healing would be wonderful, far more important is a healing of her heart. She needs to know and understand the love of Jesus, even if it's in her sedated state.

Her husband needs to know the same thing. They have no children. She is the second child my grandparents will bury, barring a miracle, and they are grieving, of course.

I'm sorry for the bizarre, rambly nature of this post... We covet your prayers, and that was my intended post here, but the memory of my mom and the suddenness of this is all bubbling around in my heart.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Body Count

Does that sound dire?

Current (critter) bodies on the place:


Cats: 2 (down from 8)

Dogs: 1

Ducks: 1


Hens: 6

Chicks: 50-ish

Turkey Poults: 6

Guinea Keets: 10

Goslings: 0... yes, Gus didn't make it.

He started acting funny the other day. Standing wobbly, and couldn't walk well. He would fall backwards sometimes. He stopped eating much, and this morning he was laid out on his back and flopping to try to get up. Hubby put him down and buried him. I am sad. I am sad he died while he was still cute, I am sad I don't get to eat goose for Christmas dinner, I am sad he didn't live a good long(ish) life.

G'bye, Gus.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pure Evil

And I really mean that.

We have a weed around here. It starts tiny. In fact, just above the "weed" I'm pointing to is a baby one. One started from seed. *shudder*

Back when we lived in town, a mere five years ago, I was blessedly ignorant about this thing. In fact, Gi-gi visited us once, and was horrified when I told her I wasn't sure what was growing along one tomato cage, but it sure was cute the way it wrapped itself up the wire. *double shudder*

She informed me quickly that that wasn't a cute little volunteer flower, but that it was Morning Glory and I better get it out of there quick.

I was actually kinda sad to do it.

Fast forward to Life in the Country. Oh my. This stuff is Pure Evil, and I mean that. What? You plant Morning Glory on purpose? To have those pretty trumpet-shaped flowers? Don't even start with me. This is it's evil ancestor.

I have never dug up an entire root of one (save the little seedlings). Never. I have dug bushels and bushels out of my garden space this year alone. It doesn't take long, digging up Morning Glory before you begin to understand the truth.

The truth is, this is no simple weed. No-o. The reason you can't dig the entire root? They go and go and go.... all the way down to hell. This weed grows from the Pit. It is sustained by the Dark One himself, I'm sure of it. No shovel formed against it shall prosper, I'm afraid. No 2-4-D laced with Roundup will make a dent. After an hour in the sun, I begin to think that spiritual warfare might be as appropriate as my carnal tool. I realize that if I die on this property an old granny, gardening every single year, I will still be fighting the wicked plant with my great-grandchildren.

These roots stemmed from a section of 'old' root less than an inch long. The white ones below were mostly not even above-ground yet.

Oh, and these pictures were taken from my garden area. I didn't bother taking pictures of the front flowerbed or the entire back lawn which is about 100 x 130 feet.

If you live in an area with good weather and no Morning Glory*, please put me in touch with a good realtor asap. Thank you.

*Also, no hurricanes, tornadoes, super-long winters, or large, prolific bugs, please.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

We Start 'Em Young

With the chores, ya know?

I mean, if you're gonna wear the diapers, and dirty the diapers, you need to do your part in caring for the diapers. Just because you can't reach the washer doesn't mean you don't need to pull your weight. There's always folding.

And apparently, self-application.

And then, when the diapers are mastered, we move them onto the bigger things.

See how happy she is to be such a helper?!?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How Shall We Then Live?

Yesterday it was in the high 70s, and we actually had a reprieve from the driving winds. It was pleasant.

Today, the high will be more than 20 degrees less, and while it's only breezy now, winds are expected to get to 40+ mph today and tomorrow.

My tomato plants languish on the porch.

The ones the stupid kittens didn't uproot and destroy, that is.

Gas is through the roof.

Groceries are through the roof.

The weather isn't promoting gardening self-sufficiency.

What are people doing in the midwest where they're dealing with tornadoes or flooding? How does their garden grow?

The idiots in charge of Congress think taxing oil companies will help. Let me ask you something... If no more dairies or cows were allowed to be in production, and milk was an absolute necessity to the operation of every aspect of America's economy and citizens, should we be punishing the dairymen? Should they not be allowed to profit from their business? In fact, what if it was the cows that, each day, demanded more feed to produce the milk? What if it was the cows that got together and decided what they would require in exchange for production, and whether (or not!) to produce any more, even as demand went up? What would you expect the price of milk to do if we started levelling extra taxes upon the bottlers/distributors of the milk?

Doesn't seem reasonable, does it?

What if the dairymen came up with a plan to get their own cows for milk production, figuring that if they had some cows that weren't part of The Milk Union, they could flood the market with milk produced at far lower cost... And the price would drop (even for milk provided by The Union).

Oh, wait. The same idiots that desire to further tax the producers WILL NOT ALLOW that. No more cows! Cows are bad!

So what if other Non-Union cows were right across the fence, producing for places like China! Yes, China has oil rigs off our coastline, and they're slant-drilling. They're taking oil from right under us.

But we won't, because it might hurt the environment. By all means, leave the local drilling to China! We know how much they care about the environment.

But, shouldn't we tax the oil companies just because they make too much money? What do you suppose their profit margin is? The way some in Congress talk, you'd think the CEOs were sitting around in a cloud of cigar-smoke, plotting ways to hurt America. Guess what? Their profit margin (depending on where you look) is anywhere from 4% - 10.7%. Evil money-grubbers. Oh, wait again... Microsoft's margin of profit is 26%! And as far as I know, there are no excise taxes on Windows. On the other hand, the government makes four or five times as much on a gallon of gas as Big Oil does. At least Big Oil transports, refines, supplies and delivers the stuff. Government? Notsomuch.

I don't understand how this doesn't create an uproar. Oil, at least for now, is the fuel on which America operates. Until we have another option, we need to keep that oil flowing. What else is so necessary? Food? But no one lobbies to tax those evil farmers. No, in fact, the government subsidizes food production. Subsidizes! They help pay for it!

This paradox is almost as brain-cramp-inducing as 52 degrees, and 30mph winds in June. But I can't blame big government for the weather.


Monday, June 09, 2008

My New Friends

Meet my 52 54 66 62 61 howevermany new friends! They've been arriving over this past couple weeks, and while we've had some challenges in housing them all, we are blessed to have them.

This is Thanksgiving dinner a turkey. There are six altogether, living in a side-turned rabbit cage.
This is Gus, our Christmas dinner goose. Until a few minutes ago, (s?)he was living in part of the garden cart. Now he resides in a milk crate, but that will probably be temporary, until we can move the turkeys into a larger cage, and give Gus their current pen. He's very cute now, but I hope he saves his hissing/attacking until just after he reaches slaughter weight. Did I just say that?
Below are guineas. They are fun, so far. When I was younger, my folks had several of these. For the life of me I don't remember them actually benefiting anyone... We never ate them, indeed the log trucks on the highway were the main harvesters of them. They hide their eggs, and if/when they actually hatched them out, the babies all died, their parents draging them through tall, wet grass. They are native to the African Savannah and don't do well in the Northwest. They are alarmists, squawking loudly to announce anything out of the norm (visitor in the driveway?), and apparently take shifts at night, leaving at least one awake to sound off if necessary. We have three types. The dark ones are the regular "pearl" kind, the brown ones are a "chocolate" breed and that light one in the middle is "lavendar." Click here to see their crazy adult look. We got 11, locally, but lost one. Dressed out they sell for $20 each to idiots the 'elites' an hour or two from here. These live (for now) in a galvanized washtub we use for scalding the birds at harvest.

Finally, the chickens. They don't hold still long enough for me to count them. I think I ordered 52, but one was lost in transit, so I only got 51. They say. They had an emergency today, their big water fountain got off-kilter and leaked water very badly. I found them splashing around in a muck-swamp in their pen (also the garden cart). Had to move them temporarily and completely change-out their pen (Gus' too). One was foundering pretty badly, so spent some time in the ICU - seems to be doing better now. The "pretty" one in the picture is an Aracauna - a layer of bluish/greenish eggs. She will live happily here for at least a few years if things work out. She is Big Sister's favorite; we only have a handful of aracaunas, and each chick is unique. This one has 'yellow cheeks' and is easily spotted in the group. We ordered several cockerels (males) with the plan to eat most of them. After last year's suicidal Cornish-Cross broilers, we thought we'd do it the old-school way, i.e. raise non-mutants for the crockpot.

Here's hoping!

Friday, June 06, 2008


Free to good any home:

We ship USPS, FedEx, and UPS.

Just kidding. Our cat had kittens! We're hoping her brother isn't the father, because that would be just... terrible, but they sure are cute. She (and her brother) has a siamese look/pattern, but these kittens don't. Which gives me hope. I love that girl above; her nose is half brown. Some of the others are like that too.

There are six: All have stripes, even the black one. Two are gray and white (one lighter gray than the other) and three are the brownish-stripe you see here. Each of them is unique, though, because one is all brown-striped (above photo, far right, shaking his head and looking freaky), one has white toe-tips (above photo, far left), and one has mostly white toes, but a few brown toes, randomly. I would like to take a closer picture, but I haven't. The bottom pads of her feet are brown, not pink like the other white-footed ones.

I thought we'd lost the kittens, because after giving the girls the go-ahead to begin touching them, they disappeared. I assumed Chrissy had moved them, but eventually she was around too much for me to be comfortable. I figured if she was still nursing them, she'd not be underfoot all the time.

But then the girls found them, quite grown, under a pallet of wood pellets. After a day of mishandling them, they moved again, under the porch. Now they're old enough that Chrissy couldn't keep them in one place if she wanted.

But they eat a lot, so we will be saying goodbye, soon, I hope. Two are spoken for.

Including this one, shockingly:


Thursday, June 05, 2008


Don't these just look lovely? Last year was the year of the carrot, in my garden. Carrots are frequently planted around here, but last year I went a little overboard and planted lots of carrots.

These were called "Purple Haze." I also planted an assorted rainbow mix that had orange, yellow, and white carrots, each with a different flavor. Then a bunch of the cheap 11-cent (on sale) packages of Nantes and Danvers half-long.

Which turned out to be unwise, because right around harvest time, Hubby got his crazy food-sensitivity test results back, and guess what was on it, that he had to avoid for a good long while? Yep, carrots. They didn't specify whether Nantes, or Purple Haze, or whathaveyou; apparently carrots of all kinds were bad for him.

So -- all the months of prepping, planting, watering, weeding, thinning, etc, while pregnant, were to (mostly) no avail. Eventually, when we harvested the popcorn in it's entirety, I begged Hubby to preserve some carrots. He dug a hole, put in a burlap sack, dug up one (yes, only one, doggone it, but I had to leave to nurse the baby) row of carrots, stuck them in the sack, then filled in the hole.

And Fall turned to Winter, and Winter lasted forever, until it gave up occasionally for Spring to visit...

And I decided I needed carrots to make some soup for a friend.

So I went to dig them up.

I dug.

I dug some more.

I dug over here.

I dug over there.

I dug with a fox.

I dug in a box.

Just kidding.

But I dug four holes where I was certain that burlap of carrots was buried. But with the corn out, and the weeds dead, my sense of location was all off-kilter.

So I gave up.

Later, Hubby came home and he dug in a few more places and... found it! He dug up the sack and emptied it on the lawn so I could hose them off. Three days later I gathered up a few to add to my soup. I daresay it wasn't enough, considering the time and effort that went into the original carrot crop, but it was something. By the way, the Purple Haze Carrot is only purple on the outer layer, and when cooked it turns to orange. They look very cool grated into salads though!

Next time we'll plant a flag.

Which means I should maybe plant some carrots pretty soon.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Food Pharisees

I've seen that term a few times on different blogs, and, being accused of such (not with such creative words, though), have spent some time thinking on it.

And thinking on it almost always translates into blogging about it.

In case you're not sure: The phrase is usually used to describe a person who eats healthy (their version of it, anyway) as often as possible. It's usually used in blogs to say, "we're doing x, y, z, but we're not Food Pharisees or anything." Apparently this is said so that no one reading, who happens to NOT be doing x, y, or z will feel in any way judged or offended.

I think I'm finding a double-standard. I say think, because I'm open to other explanations that I may not be seeing here. Feel free to educate me.

But so far, the double-standard I see is this:

The phrase, indeed the judgment, is almost always applied to healthy-eaters exclusively. Usually fresh-food lovers, organic/local eaters.

I've never seen it used to describe anyone else.

Which is strange, to me.

WHY does someone adhere to 'healthy eating?' For myself, it's because I'm thoroughly convinced that to take the best care of myself (my temple) I need to be making conscious, careful decisions, in what I buy, how I cook, what I eat. I do it because I want to be a good steward of my body and it's health and strength. Because I have so many responsibilities which take so much of me. Because I have a husband and children who I want to be with for many more years. Because to accomplish what God has called me to, I must be at my best, and I think nutrition plays a huge part in that. Nutrition is doing my part.

Apparently that is offensive to some.

But take, for instance, another similar person.

They have a lot of weight to lose. They become convinced that they must lose the weight so as to be a good steward of their body. Because they want to 'be all they can be' in God, and the weight is hindering that. Because they have others that depend on them. Because they want to extend their healthy years... When this person starts Weight-Watchers, or goes on the Atkins' Diet, I don't see anyone terribly annoyed. When this person declines cake and ice cream at a birthday party, no one takes offense or assumes they're "too good" for what's offered.

Celiacs avoid gluten (i.e. a HUGE percentage of American food) for their health. No one feels judged when they bring gluten-free dishes to a potluck.

ADD/ADHD sufferers find some help in avoiding dyes and additives.

Autism shows positive responses with diets high in raw- and fermented-dairy products.

So what is it with the healthy/organic/natural adheree? Why do they enjoy special status? Is it because they don't usually lay their convictions at the feet of another (i.e. "Atkins' Diet, Feingold Diet, Vegetarianism, Kosher")? Is there some unnoticed compound in organic food that causes the eater to exude offense whithersoever she goest?

*I* don't feel offended if someone declines some freaky healthfood I might offer. I may tease them about it, acknowledging that it might not meet their beer-and-twinkies preference, but that it won't kill them either. Too, I think it's only appropriate to inform people about what's in something they might eat. I often write ingredients on a shared dish, or tell it's intended recipient what's in it. Perhaps that may come across as a criticism.

Have you heard the term "Food Pharisees?" Do you see it as a double standard, or are there other meanings I'm missing here?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Ooo, Lookie!

It's back in stock at this site.

Is that a sign?

Am I hopeless?

Am I a black hole of 'gimme-gimme'?

Can I argue with Hubby that we can't afford a grill if I tell him about this?

Should I even try?

It's A Miracle

That I get anything done at all around here is miraculous when I have eyes like these go gaze into.

Since I can't get It, I'm doing my best with what I've got...

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Location, Location, Location!

Or, in other words, "Where am I?"

So far:
Garden somewhat planted; nothing put in as seed is growing yet! Cucumbers, pole beans, bush beans, popcorn. Got strawberry plants in, and some potatoes have started peeking through. Carrots, tomatoes, peppers still await planting.

Chicks and Poults to arrive Tuesday and we need to get their respective brooding places put together.

Barbecue this afternoon, but Hubby worked late last night and was called out again this morning... With lawn to swath mow and other chores, we might not make it.

Frugalness is sparring with It's-Expensive-But-I-Want-It again. It (or something similar/cheaper) would be SO NICE to have, though, right?

House needs some serious attention, but lusting over researching It when Organique sleeps has put a dent in my attentiveness. Too, Organique is quite mobile these days, making non-naptime-cleaning almost impossible.

Ordered some reading books for Big Sister from Veritas Press. I'm not all-sold on Classical Education, but books are important no matter what.

My brother is wanting requiring us to go camping/backpacking in July/August. It is entirely wrong for him to think such an excursion could be anything but difficult with a baby and a river and a firepit and dirt and no laundry facilities. Someday he'll understand... :)

Must get to work!