Saturday, December 23, 2006

Global Warming

A friend of my dh stopped by and for whatever insane reason, the topic turned to global warming. I quipped that I'd heard on NPR that the greatest cause of global warming, more so even than all of man's activities combined, was cow, uh, gaseous emissions. Both laughed.

Well, I said, it takes a lot of energy also to raise a cow and then the cow farts a lot. So what are we to do, they asked aghast? Turn vegetarian? Then, one man, I don't remember which, rationalized that we'd all have to eat lots of beans to compensate for the lack of protein, and in turn, man would become the source of those gaseous emissions. Ew!

BTW, we are having prime rib for dinner tonight.

Sibling Rivalry

I found a photo on my computer from my sister. She and her children had made a ginger bread house last year:

Thinking to follow her example, I set out to make my own. My mother-in-law, Marilyn, was visiting, and she's a good cook and quite crafty. I made the pieces from kit a friend gave me. They turned out quite well. The house, however, looks like a snowblower ran past at high speed, shortly after a cement truck had run into it:

The more Marilyn and I tried to fix it, the worse it got. I wish I could say that this was after she and I shared several bottles of wine, but sadly, that isn't the case. We were really just that pathetic. The chickens enjoyed it.

I should have stuck to a present she brought to us, a gingerbread boy decorating kit. Here are the decorated cookies the kids made:

Anna was insulted because I couldn't guess the identity of her cookie in the top right corner. I thought perhaps it was the victim of a car accident due to the large amount of red icing on his forehead. Turns out, that was supposed to be Harry Potter's scar. Go figure!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Fruit Cake

Fruit Cake about describes my mentality during the holidays. Last night, I stayed up late wrapping presents, but couldn't locate one very important one. Likely, I thought, I was busy when it arrived and didn't put it in my locked hidey-hole for all presents. I looked everywhere but where it was, of course - in my hidey-hole for all presents. Way in the back it was. Now, I can rest easy.

Perhaps, I've not cooked enough fruit cakes. What?? You don't like fruit cake. Perhaps you don't have a recipe like this one:

The Best Fruit Cake Ever

1 cup butter
1 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
Lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup dried fruit
1 cup nuts
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 or 2 quarts whiskey

Before you start, sample the whiskey for quality. Good, isn't it? Now, go ahead.
Select a large mixing bowl, measuring cup, etc.
Check the whiskey again, as it must be just right.
To be sure the whiskey is of the highest quality, pour one level cup into a glass and drink it as fast as you can.
With an electric mixer, beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.
Add 1 tsp of thugar and beat again.
Meanwhile, make sure that the whiskey is of the highest quality.
Dry another tup. Open second quart if necessary.
Add 2 arge leggs, 2 cups fried druit and beat until high. If druit gets buck in steaters, just pry it loose with a drewscriver.
Sample the whiskey again, checking for tonscicticity.
Next, sift 3 cups of salt or anything, it really doesn't matter.
Sample the whiskey. Sift 1/2 pint of lemon juice.
Fold in chopped butter and strained nuts.
Add 1 babblespoon of brown thugar, or whatever color you can find, and wix mell.
Grease oven and turn cake pan to 350 gredees.
Now pour the whole mess into the coven and ake.
Check the whiskey, again, and bo to ged.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


My husband works for a company that has vendors vying for their business. Around this time of year, goodies arrive at the office. I know this from past experience, and quizzed dh at dinner last night. Where are all the chocolates and goodies.

"Oh," he exclaimed. "You would not believe the piles of cookies, doughnuts, candies, stacked this high," he said holding his hand over the table.

"Where's the chocolate?" I asked.

"Oh, we got a WHOLE box of Godiva chocolates."

"And where are they, and why are they not HERE?" He has to know that it is Christmas, Prozac season for any mom. Given that I haven't a prescription, chocolate will have to do for self-medication. Evidently, in the spirit of the season, he was forced to share them with the office women, who I am sure need the boost as much as I. But Godiva chocolates? Give them the doughnuts.

"I do have a very large Hershey's chocolate bar on my desk, but I didn't bring it home. It says "From Rachel" (a vendor)." He was weighing how he'd come out on the deal, giving me chocolate but with another woman's name on it. Would it be positively received or I bite his head off? "WHO'S RACHEL," might come unwillingly from my throat, a deep gutteral, possessed sound.

No, I said, I want that chocolate, bring it home. I'll rip off the label, neatly taking care of Rachel. I want those Godiva's, too. One piece at least. I've got a week to survive yet.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Betrayal starts early. Around age four, I would venture. That's when the sheen of "mom is God" starts wearing off. Today, I got a glimpse of reality setting in with my son. We are expecting my in-laws, wonderful people, on their way home from their winter home in Florida for their base home in Northern Ohio. Life has been full lately, and well, I made the comment that today, they were going to see how we really live. My daughter asked me to clarify. Well, not that these loving people would ever say anything about it, but the house isn't exactly clean.

That's when Junior piped in. "You know whose house is really clean?"
I don't want to hear it, I don't want to hear it, I repeat silently in my brain. I don't want to hear that my son knows my house isn't worthy and someone else's is.
"Yes, Mrs. McWoy's (McCloy)house is really clean," he offers, implicating on of my closest and dearest friends. "REALLY, she has the cleanest floors."

My hand shot out as a tumbleweed of dog hair blew by and I stuck it in my pocket, hoping he wouldn't notice. "Is that right?"

He headed outside for a moment with my daughter, as I hurried to run the dust mop. If he knows this at four, what will he think when he's older? I better look at the 5012 emails from Flylady that are backing up in my inbox.

As of this moment, I am writing only because he's cleaning out the wood stove. I heard, "Oops" as ashes spilled on my newly cleaned floor. Back and forth he is going from the stove to the garbage can, dribbling ashes as he goes. He's helping to clean, he insists. Who am I to argue?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


We were at the Breakfast with Santa event at our Church. William first showed his skepticism when, sitting on Santa's lap, his first comment to the bearded fellow was that we had no snow. This, in his mind, presented a problem, because we all know Santa drives a sleigh, and sleighs work on snow. Santa promised to see if there was something that could be done about the snow. I didn't know Santa doubled as a weatherman, did you?

The breakfast presented another opportunity for outright lies. William will eat nothing resembling real meat, that is, muscle. Processed meat sometimes will work, for it little resembles what it really is. Will picked up a piece of sausage.

"What does sausage come from?" he asked, holding a piece skewered on his fork.

"It comes from the sausage factory," I said vaguely, knowing if it got tied back to the pig, he wouldn't eat it.

"No," he insisted. "What was it before that?"

"It grew on the sausage tree," I flat out lied.

"Na-uhhhh." Wm wasn't going to buy it. Repeated lies did nothing to convince him.

He still believes a fat man in a red suit will ride a flying sleigh to our house and squeeze down our chimney to bring just the presents he's requested, magically. But, sausage can NOT grow on trees. Everyone knows that!

Getting Our Christmas Tree

Two weekends ago, we purchased our tree from friends who grow trees on their farm. Here's our friend, Steve, shaking the needles from the tree:

Monday, December 11, 2006

Losing Our Sponteneity?

Smile! You're an Unwitting Net Star

Article in Newsweek: Will fear of exposure on the Internet cause people to lose every day spontaneity?

"It's a new fact of life in the digital age: any time you step outside your door, the possibility exists that you may wind up an unwilling figure of shame and ridicule—if not in the "Borat" movie, then at least on YouTube."

I hope not. Sharing funny moments and adults riding down the driveway on a trike encourages us to not take ourselves too seriously, to remember to laugh. There is enough serious in this world. True, you may be caught by some blogger with a camera:

In my best Miss Manners voice:
Ladies of a mature age: We, the public, do not need to see your backside. Neither does my husband. This photo was snapped at a Breakfast with Santa. Ladies, those hip hugger jeans combined with a short sweater? You are not the target consumer. Please pass these garments along to your TEENAGE daughters or wear longer shirts.

See? Now we all have to worry about not only what we look like from the front, but now we also have to concern ourselves with the view from the backside. Oh, dear!


When we demolished the barn, the chickens were bereft of their coop, an unused horse stall. I hastily built a chicken tractor, which the chickens accepted as their night roost, but they would not lay there. Free to roam during the day, they found a hiding spot for their nest, and despite having many searches, we couldn't find the stash. Chickens, you might know, have had the broodiness (desire to sit on eggs) bred out of them, but they still have the instinct to hide them from you.

Over time, our front porch was beginning to resemble Ma & Pa Kettle's, with chickens sitting on the porch rail. That's very scenic for visitors, but the chicken poop all over is very unappealing. Given that and the cold, I've confined them to my garden which was fenced already with rabbit wire. And, lo and behold! We have eggs!

I feel a little guilty though. One hen might have been holding back for lack of a good nest. She must have saved up and laid a whopper. Boy, that must've felt like having a fifteen pound baby. This Aracauna isn't a big hen either.

From left to right, a bantam hen egg (the last one of Chicken Lickin', sniff sniff), a large store-boughten egg, an egg from our Black Giant breed, a normal Aracauna egg, and this 3.5 inch double yolked gianormous egg.

I've read before that these double yolked eggs will not hatch live young, but I'd like to try sometime. Here's a close up of the two eggs laid by the same hen:

This last photo is the egg opened, just before I ate it!

Sunday, December 10, 2006


What is up with Blogger???? Half the time, the icons aren't showing for adding photos, changing text, etc. and the other half of the time, the buttons are there but don't work. The other day, I lost a whole post when I hit "Publish". Luckily, and due to past experience, I had copied all the text to a file. Blogger said that BETA was going to be better. Since I switched, I've seen nothing but problems. I guess you get what you pay for.

So, in reference to another post in which I said that if I'm not posting, I'm either depressed, busy or both, please add the excuse that Blogger isn't behaving.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Heads Spinning

Here's the girls having a little fun being air-heads, literally. (Note: No animals were harmed in this production.)

What Homeschoolers Do.....

....when they get together.

I think I've met my match in willlingness to try the outrageous. Here is my friend, Becky, ( riding my son's three wheeler on my driveway:

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Private Space

If you think you can take your laptop to an indoor playplace and accomplish anything, think again. The world is full of lonely people with only four year olds to talk to. Such was the case just an hour ago. Armed with my Christmas wish lists, a desire to write some and a good book, I happily sat down to my Chicken Cesaer Salad as I watched Wm go off with his friend to play.

I'd positioned myself against the wall, so my laptop screen wasn't visible. I was loading CDs onto it for later listening as I read and ate.

"What are you working on?" said a man walking over from a table where he'd obviously exhausted the conversation with another stay-at-home dad. That dad now nodded in slumber over his baby's carseat.

"I'm a writer," I lied, thinking he'd take the hint that I was busily working, and he should GO AWAY. No, he put his back to the wall and sank down to a crouch.

"Have you written any books?" The acid test of a real writer.

"Ah, no, I freelance," I offered. He didn't ask if I got paid.

He continued to talk all through my salad eating, as I gazed longingly at my book. He has a four and two year old, and seemed obviously starved for adult conversation. I've been there. I remember being home with a four and two year old, I remember wondering how best to parent, needing reassurance I was doing things the best way. I tried to put aside my annoyance.

He asked for websites where he could read more about parenting. I told him about Dr. Sears and Attachment Parenting. Finally, it was time for him to leave. He left, talking the whole time.
So, now I'm back to my writing and was just about to get out the wishlists, when I heard a loud scream from the playplace. My son was playing swords, which somehow resulted in the (loud but not serious) injury of another child. Maybe I ought not have any expectations. Oh, Lord, now a mom is over talking to my son who is in time-out. Over and out for now.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Dh asked when the last time I'd written on my blog. He hadn't for some time received an email from Blogarithm notifying him of a new post.

I explained that when I was very busy, depressed or both, I didn't tend to blog much. But of course, I said, if I am blogging he was not to assume that I was not busy, not depressed or both, either. He shook his head, saying that he was reminded of a diagram that illustrated his own difficulty in understanding emotions of women in general and me in particular:

True, I said, women [I] need the dials to be fiddled with now and again. The on/off switch doesn't do it for me! Continuing with analogies, I compared women to a wood stove. To keep a fire going, I submitted, you had to put in a log now and again.

"Ah, ha," smiled dh. "So I need to stick a log in the old stove now and again."

This is why analogies of a woman's needs are wasted on men.

P.S. If you'd like to receive an email notifying you each time I post a new entry, click on Blogarithm to the right and enter your email address. It'll send you an email when I post, that is if I'm not busy, depressed, or both.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Amusements of the Day

One has to laugh, or cry. We went from temperatures in the 60's yesterday to a blowing rainstorm in the night. As the next day dawned, the cold blew in, and we're now at 28 degrees. The difference is almost too much to bear in one day.

So, today, Wm. came to me with a "surprise". He took care of "wiping" himself. This would ordinarily be a tremendous and joyous development, except for the part that he was responsible for the destruction of several trees in the rain forest to produce the amount of paper he used. Hopefully, he'll learn before my ancient septic system self destructs. Later in the day, he announced that he'd also learned to use the plunger himself.

And Anna presented me with a paper she is writing for religion class. Having chosen her sister, Lauren, older by two years, for her confirmation sponsor, Anna was assigned to write what she could learn from her sponsor. Anna wrote:

From Lauren, I can learn fairness, generosity, and patience. She is not afraid to show others their faults and help them sort things out.

Needless to say, I've asked her to do a little re-writing.

Keep warm!


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