Friday, February 04, 2011

Speaking Out

Sometimes, I'm amazed at the high quality of writing now available on the blogosphere.  On Blogher, you can read and read and read.  I have several blogs I follow daily that are amazing.  And yes, there is considerable drivel as well.  Yet, the events in Egypt makes one think - what if they turned off the Internet?  Used to now our freedom to speak to the world, what if we were silenced?  How could we tolerate censorship of what we read and write, as in China?  While the events in Egypt make me and the world nervous, I can only think that a few hundred years ago, our country was seeking self-government and freedom at any price.

I have enjoyed encouraging blogging among friends, if only by my poor blog's example that "if she can do it, I can only do better". I'm working now to set up my brother-in-law's, Joe Thomas's, blog.  He is writing it all, make no doubt, and is a very talented story teller.  A professional fisherman, TV show host, speaker, and producer of hunting videos, Joe has lots of stories which he'll share on his blog starting in March.  My job will be to receive the texts and photos by email and post them on his blog.  Fans can follow him on his tournament route and vicariously, learn what the life of a pro-angler is really like.

One of the 5 month old chickens is sitting back on his?/her? legs today, wobbly when walking.  This one is the chicken which has both hen and rooster characteristics.  It could be a number of infections, but also could be nutrition.  Perhaps she is not eating enough of the balanced layer pellets and instead is relying on what she finds in the barn.  I may have to put her up in a cage.

Illness is in the air these days, though thankfully, our family has been healthy.  We were discussing news that studies show that individuals who live in too sterile or clean environments get sick more often.  "That explains it," someone in our family said, referring to our overall health.  Huh, I'm sure he/she is NOT referring to my housekeeping, as that would be a decidedly unhealthy thing to do.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Definitely Not Sugar and Spice

While cleaning out a closet, I found petri dishes and agar (a jelly like substance for culturing organisms).  They were left over from previous homeschooling days when the girls were younger.   William loves "experiments" which usually involves mixing all my kitchen chemicals, spices and condiments in a large container.  We've escaped noxious fumes and explosions so far.

By comparison, growing germs seems mild.  We left one of four dishes as a control and covered it.  We swabbed a toilet and rubbed this in one dish.  We tested the kitchen counter and refrigerator for another.  And lastly, William touched all over one with his bare hand.  His friend, visiting that day, also touched it.  After three days, we have some white fuzz and green spots growing only in the dish touched by the boys.  (Click on the photo if you dare.)  Nothing grows in the others, with the exception of the kitchen one which has one white spot which I think the boys touched when inspecting the dishes as it is near the edge and not in the tracks made by the swab.  So there you have it, my boy's hands are dirtier than a toilet.  Not surprised.  The good news is that my toilets and kitchen are fairly clean.  Perhaps the next class will cover hand washing techniques.

Aunt Mary has started laying again.

Yesterday, I had to go buy a round bale, bring it home, and push it off the truck.  After, I had to get the tractor, put the hay fork on it, move the bale, put the ring around it, put the tractor back, shut all the gates.  This in addition to regular chores and buying grain, carrying the bags in.  It took nearly all morning.  The worst of it is that in pushing a round bale off the truck,  one gets hay in one's underwear which has to be one of the most uncomfortable feelings in the world, second only to hay in the bra (from square bales).


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