Thursday, February 28, 2008

What Have I Done

All the blog redecorating sort of reminds me of the time I laboriously stroked and rolled 1½ gallons of paint on Son3's bedroom walls, then stood back and grimaced over the decorative faux pas. I'd have called the color something like Grey Poupon Mustard on Steroids. A tablespoon+ in the potato salad is good. A gallon+ on the walls is bad. So I left it on the ceiling and took the walls to forest green. What!? Uh-huh, I did. And I liked it, so calm down.

Calm. Speaking of calm, isn't green supposed to be a calming color? Can it also be nauseating? I think maybe it's nauseating. Or maybe my current condition is the result of mixing colors, then with keystrokes and mouseclicks splashing them all over my monitor with much greater speed than one can wash and re-dip a paintbrush.

I'm woozy.

I'm also dangerous with a keyboard and a bucket of html.

So having wreaked havoc now with my blog template, I'm slinking away...without benefit of knowing what it really looks like, because I've become cross-eyed and ill. If I've made you sick, I'm kinda sorry. Martha Stewart is really sorry. Hildi isn't sorry at all. Hildi would probably like me.

P.S. Don't even think it'll end here. I'm liable to go through every color in the bucket before it's over.

P.P.S. If you weren't here during the green hour you'll have no idea what I'm talking about. That's okay. I usually don't either.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. ~I John 5:2, 3

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Aww Babies

Captions can be taken care of right here and now: "Here they are standing like this." "Now they're standing like this." "Then they were standing like this." "Then they moved a little and stood like this." *brushing hands*

Listen, I took over 30. I think I'm practicing great restraint.










Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. ~James 5:7, 8

They're Baww-awwk

*heh-heh*
Thought I wasn't doing chicken photos any more?

We have amazing, exotic chickens.

SUMO WRESTLING CHICKENS


Game Hens: HEADS OR TAILS?


THE INCREDIBLE ACROBATIC CHICKEN


Cool chickens. Really cool.

Please do not bite your fingernails or phone me in a panic.
I'm fine...really.

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. ~Ecclesiastes 7:8

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My Shrinking Skirt

"You need to get Son4 up, so we can get the chores done before 8:00," I said to Son3 as I leapt from my chair to get dressed. I walked to my closet in the kitchen (listen, it was either there or in a barn -- kitchen is good), growled, and exclaimed, "I don't have clothes that fit," as I anticipated the quandary awaiting me on the other side of the door.

I opened the closet door, pulled the light chain, and surveyed all the offerings smaller than I. Oh, I thought, that one, and I yanked from the rod a denim skirt I'd bought a few months ago. Gotta love the waistbands in recent fashion, because they're constructed to ride well below the waist. Those of us whose preference is not to mince around partly nude in the first place can buy a size smaller than normal (gotta love it) and wear the skirt at the waist. Now this particular skirt I'd chosen was only barely long enough within this scheme when I bought it. Stuffing myself into it this morning, I tugged and tugged, coaxing it to cover my knees and hoping it would stay put. Mmm, I thought, that's those newest 5 pounds. This thing just keeps getting shorter and shorter. Reckoning the denim would stretch as the day wore on, and the skirt would begin to fall a bit longer, I pulled and stretched the selected sweater, which was once a loose-fitting drape but was determined today to be a second skin, and forced it into place upon my me.

All tugged, stretched, and barely fitted, I strode back to the rear entry to grab my coat. I rounded the corner, where Son3 was donning his outerwear, and I'd lifted one hosieried foot above the neck of a chore boot, when I heard this shrill exclamation: "You're not going out like that!"

Paralyzed in my flamingo pose, I turned to the voice and asked with my own tone of incredulity, "Why did you say that?"

Realizing his outburst had been a little over the top, a more controlled voice answered, "That skirt's too short, and you're gonna freeze," then we shared a laugh. Together, we agreed my ankle-length coat would prevent hypothermia, and the CowNots got their hay and chow. I've chosen another skirt now, though, to finish out the day...and the month...and the year...or however long it takes for that magical little skirt to get long enough again.


In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. ~I Timothy 2:9, 10

My Tasty Coat

Annabelle Nibbles



And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~2 Peter 1:5-8

Monday, February 25, 2008

CowNot Flick

Humor me if you will. From time to time I get a hankerin' to ring some bells and blow some whistles on the computer...and this is one of those times. We're pretty captivated by CowNots, since those two kids were born a couple of days ago, and 5 more nannies are at least as broad as they are tall. So the camera went with us to the CowNot pasture today, and I captured some live action of CowNots with their snacks and toys: people.

video

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. ~1 Timothy 6:10-11

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Kids






And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD. ~Ezekiel 34:31

CowNot Kids


It's a big day in the land of CowNots.


Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. ~Psalm 16:11

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Groan - A Poem

You don't want to wait for hot water from my kitchen faucet, because you could gather twigs and logs, strike a flint rock 67 times to spark a fire, haul water from the crick (or creek, depending on what part of the country you're in), and set it a-boil quicker than hot water travels from the water heater to my kitchen sink. This means, of course, [any green people close your eyes, grope blindly for your mouse, and scroll past this paragraph] that some gallons of water in goodly (/badly) numbers are soaring down the drain while I wait for warm. I'm not about to wash my hands in a glacial flow mid-February. I won't do it.

If any crows were in the house, they'd fly about 15' from the water heater to the kitchen sink. I can walk it under 18'. I'm convinced that the people who -- over a span of 120+ years -- piggled together this house in bits and lopsided pieces, piped that water up the wall, into the attic, down through the living room, into the crawl space, and back across the house into the kitchen. What a great sense of humor they had! (NOT)

So I was exasperated for the 637th time last evening, as I waited for some warm water to present itself. As it happens, we also need to replace the faucet, which is taking on air somewhere and invariably sets up quite a squawk when it's turned on. If my mood is grunchy, I grab the spigot in a stranglehold and shake it until it shuts up. This time, though, I decided to leave the sink and tend things elsewhere in the kitchen, while the hot water was running wherever it goes before it appears in the sink. And I growled as I walked away: "*grrrr*"

Suddenly, I realized the faucet's groan had changed. And out of the mouth of the least poetic person walking the face of the earth (*raising hand*) came this utterance:

The groan
Changes tone
When the water is warm!

Does that count? Am I a poet? Like renowned poets of the past, am I inspired by the tragedies of life, as I draw from the innermost, creative parts of my being and utter profound, moving, lyrical statements which will one day be published and read with rapt attention and admiration?

The groan
Changes tone
When the water is warm! ©

And you knew me!

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. ~John 4:14

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Beautiful(Not?) Snow

I held the breakfast tray, while Son3 bundled and booted for the delivery trek to Bammy's quarters, then swung the door open for him. As he departed, I paused in the open doorway and surveyed the flake-filled skies.

"Beautiful snow. That's a beautiful snow. Isn't that pretty?" I called out to Son3.

Son3 turned his immediately white-dotted head toward me, squinting and blinking against the blinding snowflakes, and said with a hint of exasperation, "Nooo."

I guess it's all about one's vantage point. Oopsie.


The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun. Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter. ~Psalm 74:16, 17

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Kitchen Chatter

I walked into the kitchen to freshen my coffee, just as Son3 was placing his breakfast plate on the counter, having finished his self-prepared pancake.

"You want a pancake?" asked Son3.

"No, I want to lose 40 pounds," I answered.

Son3 flashed me a big smile, raised two fingers, and exclaimed, "In two days!"

"Ah, you're my kind o' guy! You get it. You get it!" and I rushed to wrap him in a grateful, pudgy, mom-like hug.


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. ~ Galatians 5:22, 23

Friday, February 15, 2008

Vocabulary - Icon

[I've pondered the sadness of Heath Ledger's family and friends and most respectfully understand theirs has been such an awful loss, for which I'm truly sorry.]

Original reports stated that Montel Williams' program was canceled by Fox three days after this interview in January, on the Faux Fox News station.

The YouTube clip of the interview opens with, "...the actor gone way too soon; the tragedy a major one."

"...Boy, we're talking about a tragic situation: Heath Ledger," says one of the hosts.

The host later explains to guest Montel Williams, who has stated he would prefer to talk about our individual, fallen soldiers, "We talk about Heath because he was an icon." What, then, is the status of our soldiers on this Support the Troops news station?

Icon. In the context of its usage, this is the defintion:

3. One who is the object of great attention and devotion; an idol: "He is ... a pop icon designed and manufactured for the video generation" (Harry F. Waters).1

I'd never heard of Heath Ledger before his death. To whom was he an icon -- synonymously an idol -- and why? How he must have been loved by his family, and how sorely they will miss him.

I knew Marine Cpl. Ian W. Stewart. He was our Son2's playmate in the '80s. He had trouble pronouncing his "R's" back then, wee fellow that he was; listening to him chatter was a sweet experience. He was bright-eyed, energetic, laughed easily and a lot. He grew into an honorable young man, who served our country and lost his life in that service on December 12, 2004, in Anbar province, Iraq. Every (oft) remembrance of him makes my heart palpably ache for his parents, his siblings -- so much that I can hardly bear it.

I don't know Montel Williams personally, and I don't watch his television program. He got this one right, and I have to wonder why his show was canceled.


Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. ~Romans 13:7

1) Modern Language Association (MLA): "icon." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 16 Feb. 2008. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/icon

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Loo's Loo

Little Loo is toilet training her cats. Toilet. T.O.I.L.E.T

Hold it, hold it, hold it. This wasn't my idea, so save your criticisms and snickers for the OAO Daughter. I'm just trying to be very supportive, don't ya know. What is that pronouncement she makes with regularity? I think it's something like, "You're not my mom. You're my dream crusher." Ex-cuuuuse mee.

On the phone recently...

Loo: So is there anything going on in your life that I haven't thought to ask about?

Mama Moo: Huh?

Loo: Is there anything going on in your life that I haven't thought to ask about?

Mama Moo: Well, I can't think of anything. And if I've forgotten something, that's probably best, so let's not go poking around looking for it.

Loo: Oh, okay.

*finger tapping*.......
*doodling*.......
*twirling hair*.......

Loo: *pouty voice* Well, you haven't asked me about the potty training.

Mama Moo: Oh! Oh! That's right. I'm sorry. Well, how's the kitty potty training going? (Strike 2,437 for the mama figure. Am I out yet?)

Then we discussed the graduation from litterbox on the floor to litterpan on the toilet, and how the cats aren't using the purchased steps to make their way from the floor to the elevated litterpan, but they're leaping to their destination. *yay daughter* *yay kitties* *yawn* (<---kidding! Honest Injun!)

Today, she put me on speaker phone as she cut a hole in the bottom of the litterpan, which is at this point, actually, a disposable roasting pan meticulously duct taped to the toilet. The hole she cut is supposed to accomplish something like acclimating the cats to the absence of some litter; prod them to accept perching above a watery abyss. (Cats are really keen on watery abysses, don'tcha know.) Right now, there's a colander beneath the makeshift litterpan, and if I could remember why, I'd tell you, just so you'd be all knowledgeable about kitty toilet training. Sorry, I can't remember. And at this point, taking meals at Little Loo's house isn't sounding very appealing, since there are bakeware and food prep implements now residing in the toilet. I know they're slated for the trash, but .... ew.

As I sat listening while Loo amended the roasting pan today, I started thinking about silky cat paws and slippery, enameled toilet seats. I suggested it might be a good idea to purchase an inexpensive, padded, vinyl clad seat for that toilet -- you know, in the main bathroom...the one we (and the cats!?!) will use when we visit McSpazzy and McKrunk. I think those cats need something to sink their claws into. Loo doesn't think so. I think Loo's going to be chasing neurotic cats, dripping with toilet water. And they'll be shrieking at her, "Litter Looter!"

What will she think of next?

Oh. Loo reads my blog.

Hey, Loo! You go, Girl! What a great kitty-mommy!


Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Speedy(Not) Dinner Rolls

If you think you're about to get a great recipe, browse through your favorites (IE) or bookmarks (Firefox...or is it Foxfire?) -- see, I know some computer lingo -- and hit another site now. Try allrecipes.com, where good cooks will warn you of all the mistakes not to make. You do not want me explaining to you how to do anything. Trust me. I know these things.

At 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, I'd said, "I can't think this morning." I have to be able to think by 8:00 a.m.every morning, because that's when Bammy is served his breakfast: bowl, plate, glass, fork, spoon, egg, 1 cup cereal, honey drizzles, 8 ozs. milk, 9 units insulin, 7 pills-herbs-vitamins-minerals-animal oils. I have to think. Since I roll out of the sack between 4:00 and 5:30 most mornings, pity those of you who receive my blatherings via email during those earlier hours, and 'xcuse me all over the place, because some mornings I'm still braindead at 8:00 a.m.

So I'd made my confession early in the day. I can't think. And this one stuck, as I repeated it around 10:30 a.m., and you know, that thinker never did sharpen. Around noon:30, I remembered I was supposed to bake bread: specifically, hamburger buns. Too late for lunchtime, but they could be ready by dinnertime, so I set about that task, double-boiling a concoction of cornmeal and other stuff. I have no idea now what the other stuff was. The cornmeal goo was to cool a bit before more stuff was added, so it was cooling when I set my hands to the yeast and water: two packages of yeast; ¼ cup warm water.

Two packages. Two packages. I rummaged through my brain. I don't buy my yeast in packages, but in bulk; I'm all about comparing unit pricing, don'tcha know. Okay, one package is 2¼ tablespoons (<----mark that word...and go ahead and laugh at me right now, if you want to). Math is not my forte on a good day, and this was an I-can't-think day, but I managed to multiply 2¼ tablespoons of yeast and added 4 tablespoons of yeast to my empty bowl. Which of those other measuring spoons I then employed to cover the remaining, multiplied fraction, I can't tell you. Even two minutes later, I had no idea whatsoever which one I'd used. But when I added a quarter cup of warm water and observed the hastily formed, sticky mountain of yeastmuck, I rammed the spoon into the top of the mountain (it stood straight up, looking right solidly fixed in that mess), and I stood back to think.

Two packages. One package is 2¼ teaspoons, two packages would...!!! Teaspoons! I just used 12 teaspoons, plus...and see, that's the moment at which I realized I didn't have the vaguest clue what other measurement I'd added. I'd added some other measure. So technically, I didn't really know how much yeast was in the mess I'd made, and I was rather happy about that, because it meant I needn't bother my silly head with reverse mathage. (I think it's a fine word, so go with it -- mathage.)

I hate waste, so I wasn't about to throw away the gloppy mountain of yeast and begin again. I eyeballed the mass, pried out my approximation of 4½ teaspoons of yeastmuck, and proceeded with my bun-making. With that waste-thing hammering in my head, I then flipped back a few pages in the cookbook and hit Speedy Dinner Rolls. I hadn't made them in several years, having switched to Lion House Rolls, but speedy sounded really good to me, so I set about to use some more of the muck.

More eyeballing and scooping. Then the phone rang, and I was holding it with one hand, while I smooshed around yeastguck in milk with the other, coaxing the guck to disperse itself. Eventually, I had a bowl of bun dough and a bowl of roll dough. (Remaining mountain of yeastguck went to the wastebasket, fatigue having overridden abhorrence of wasting.) I'd used over 10 cups of flour, and I was probably going to have, as a result, a hefty sackful of CowNot treats.

Now our house isn't the warmest home this side of the Mason Dixon Line. Where is the Mason Dixon Line? Which side am I on? Well, it's just not all that warm here, wherever I are, so I set the bowls on the floor in front of a space heater. I reckoned that abused yeast needed all the help it could get. And I was right. Hours later, it was still struggling to develop the slightest pouff. Double? Yeah, right. In my dreams! Okay, it probably didn't help any that I'd forgotten the bowls in the floor, slightly transgressing the doorway space, and had given both a good kick as I walked into the room in the early evening. Speedy Dinner Rolls. *harumph*

Then Uncle Kemtrail came to visit, I forgot about my dough, and at midnight:something, I set the bowls on the table and went to bed. Truth be known, the Speedy Dinner Roll dough was beginning to look pretty pouffy, but I wasn't in the mood to form rolls at midnight-something, so I left it overnight.

Friday morning: the speedy dough had obviously maxed, collapsed, and formed a rigid crust. Now you've done it! Well, this is no time to give up. So I punched and kneaded the crust into the dough, formed rolls, and set them on the counter to attempt a second rising. The bun dough was actually standing tall, but that was mostly because I'd also abused it by adding too much flour, and the crust it had formed rivaled a sheet of plywood in strength and rigidity, which couldn't have collapsed if I'd left it another 5 days. So I repeated the punching and kneading process with the bun dough, formed buns and left them to do their thing...if'n' they had a mind to.

By 3:30 (on this, day two), those Speedy rolls had risen. Yeastmucked, kicked, collapsed, crusted, punched, prodded...and they looked like rolls. Could it be? Could they have survived the punishment? I fired up the oven, shoved those puppies in, and warned everyone, "Now don't get too excited. There's no way they can turn out tasty and good."

Well, would you look at that. "Yeah, but no telling what they're going to taste like or what the texture will be," came an unconvinced voice from one of the witnesses to the two-day, Speedy Roll debacle.


I'll tell you what: I've never baked a better tasting, better textured dinner roll in my life.



T.h.e.y - w.e.r.e - m.a.g.i.c.a.l. Fluffy, fine-textured, delicious. Perfect.

Could I ever repeat the performance? 1) No. 2) Do I have stupid stamped on my forehead? 3) No.

But I'm mighty thankful that I didn't waste 10+ cups of flour (and cornmeal and eggs and oil and sugar and salt).

What about the buns, you ask. Well, they sorta look like buns. But given the recipe was supposed to make 18, and I barely prodded 9 out of the abused mass of stiff dough, I suspect they're DENSE. Probably even dry, gaggy, stick-in-the-throat offerings. The CowNots will love me. They'll think I'm wonderful. They'll think I'm runnin' the best bakery this side of the Mason Dixon Line.

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. John 3:635


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Eggy

Son4 came through the back door yesterday afternoon with this pronouncement: "Mom, I forgot that I had an egg in my coat."

Egg in his coat. Egg in his coat. Egg in his coat? I'd visually scoured his person from my vantage point, deliberately avoiding the area of his sad little face, not wanting to be impelled to deliver a hug to someone reporting "egg in his coat." I didn't see any odd bulges, so I drew closer to the youngster to discover why he was extending one hand toward me.



"Ew."

I looked him over right thoroughly then -- all up close and personal -- and was still mystified. "Well, Son4, what do you mean you had an egg in your coat? Where?"

"In my pocket."

"Ohhhh. Let me see."


"Ohhhhh."

O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
Psalm 96:6

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Visions of SugarPlum

Everything a SugarPlum does is cute. Everything.

Well, okay. So refusing to pick up that play dough from the floor last night wasn't so, so very cute. BUT, when a brief sit-down got us past that little foible, and she crawled from beneath the table, excitedly announcing with a broad smile, "Nana! I did it! I pick up the play dough!" it was cute.

I don't wanna go breaking hearts all over the country, so I better say right up front that this first breakfast photo is merely the result of the SugarPlum realizing the Nana-Paparazzo was once again invading her mealtime. And we've gone black-and-white, in deference to poor little McSpazzy, who gags over chicken combs in photos and might not fare too well with colorful, smeared breakfast bar, chewed Cheerio bits, and dripping milk:


"Does this poor woman have nothing better to do with her time?"


And finally, you must know that the very next photo, in real time, immediately followed the one above, so if any of you were thinking about fretting, pull up your courage and continue.

You know...I kinda think she takes after her Nana:

God, dear God, I love this little kid.

ºÜº

In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. II Timothy 1:12b

Friday, February 1, 2008

Telephone MannersNot

Little Loo and I had been on the phone for quite a while. At the juncture of several silent spots in our conversation, I'd asked, "Are we finished now?" to which she'd replied each time, "I dunno," before one or the other of us had taken up talking again.

So imagine my surprise, when quite suddenly, she announced, "Okay, I'm done with you now."

*pfft*

"Well!" I replied, "Okay then. I love you. Goodbye...ya little pig."

There was a wee chuckle on the other end, then...

"I love you too! Goodbye...ya big pig."

And the theme continues: Nice, Normal Family

He that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15b