Thursday, October 30, 2008

Are Y'all Color-Challenged?

Pulling again from the comments box, where Zoomer and Cousin Annie are talking whites...

Truth be known, even I'd thought this background was some shade of off-white or even white. It was many moons ago, that I popped a graphic into the text space and discovered the white graphic background didn't match the color of the text area. I poked around and found the html code for the background.

Loo and I have fussed about the colors of things on my blog, so that one day I brought a particular item to the computer and compared it with a posted photo. Winning is SO important, don'tcha know. Since I was looking at the real deal, with the photo also in my face, I could confirm that I was seeing true color on my monitor...even if it is a cheap little thing, not nearly as nice as Cousin Annie's planned purchase. *major snorting*

You are about to see -- or not see -- two color blocks in the center of this text box. Ya got white on the left and off-white on the right. They're sitting on this green background, and I deliberately didn't put borders around them, so you may have to hunt -- especially you, Cousin Annie, since you've been looking at chicken tails and bits of straw. There's no tellin' what you're going to see!

For cryin' in a bucket, is this a slow day, or what?
I'm all done with my color tutorial now.
Something tells me y'all won't be done with me.
Oh worra, worra, worra.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. ~Isaiah 1:18

Soft Crust Quest

A few weeks ago, Little Loo told me she isn't fond of the crust on homemade bread, since it's never soft like store-bought bread, but she'd searched online and found a remedy for that: spray water on the top of the loaf before baking. She'd tried this, with pleasing results. I've never, personally, had an aversion to the crusts on homemade breads, but I thought this was a great tip I'd want to employ.

My own spray bottle had recently dealt me fits, as I was trying to douse the flames devouring the meats I was grilling; the spring kept sticking. In desperation, I'd removed the sprayer and chucked water willynilly on our dinner, lest it be cinderized, then threw the spray bottle in the trash. I bought a new one, so I could mist my bread.

Before I could test this spray-the-bread tip, I got another call from Loo, with further information about misting her homemade bread. It seems she was so taken with her lovely bread that she decided to soon make another loaf, although this time, her husband saw her pick up the spray bottle and walk to the kitchen with it. She was poised to spray, when he called out, "Loo, what are you doing?" She told him she was going to spray the bread dough before she put it in the oven, and he said, "Loo, that's plant food."


This past week, she's been experiencing some pain which she and her husband agreed seemed to fit the description of growing pains. At nearly 27 years of age, she deemed that ridiculous...until she remembered the bread basted in Miracle-Gro. You don't suppose...? Naw.

I don't want to eat Miracle-Gro. Does anyone make Miracle-Shrink? I can tell you misting with water did my bread crust no good whatsoever, so I opted for the next tip Loo supplied: set a pan of water beneath the bread in the oven.

I took my bread -- potato bread -- out of the oven, and I didn't need to bite those crusts in order to judge their tenderness. One tap on the top told me I could use them as step stools. Sides and bottoms -- tender. Tops -- steely. I've always had a fair measure of success with buttering the tops of loaves when they come out of the oven, and much as it pained me, I buttered the potato bread I'd authentically and artfully dusted with flour before baking, eradicating, of course, my QueenKitchen artwork.

1. Spray with plant fertilizer. (better) NOT
2. Spray with water. NOT
3. Bake with a pan of water beneath. NOT
4. ________ (fill in the blank) (PLEASE!)

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 6:35

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

From the Comments Box

Cousin Annie said...
And, CarolineNot, don't be jealous of me getting a new computer while you struggle along with your old one. Sure wish you'd get this page fixed. teehee (Ü)

CarolineNot said...
For real? Is the page a mess? *L* I know it's busy, and that kinda makes me twitch, but is it a mess on your monitor (other than being tasteless; *snort*)?

Cousin Annie said...
OOPS!! I didn't mean to insult you about your blog page. Maybe it's supposed to be this way??? The border runs off the sides of the page on my screen. I see what I've determined is parts of leaves & the comical chicken sitting on her nest. But I only see like the tip of her tail & a tiny bit of straw; leaf halves, etc. Other than that, it's great!!! :\

Oh yeah, sure, Cousin Annie. I decorated here with severed leaves, a chicken tail, and bits of straw. It's ready for the cover of Better Homes & Gardens. Why, smack my paintbrush and call me Martha!

Those camera batteries which were taunting me the other day croaked without a lick of warning. Otherwise, I could snap a shot of my screen and post it here, so we could figure this thing out. What I think I'll do, instead, is shop together the elements from my graphics, reduce the image, and set that here. If anyone or everyone is seeing something else, I can try to figure out what to do about it. Can't be havin' a piggledy bloghouse.

So other than the fact that those chickens are a little bit higher on the page when it loads, and they remain static while the center scrolls, that's what on my monitor.

Is that what's on YOURS? ºÜº
(Not yours, Dear Cousin Annie -- we already know you're the page is a mess in your world.) *grinning, ducking, & running*

aka MarthaNot

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chicken Neuroses



In winter, we switch the coop floor covering from straw to pine shavings, which change was made this past weekend. As winter progresses, rather than mucking out the coop, pine shavings are added, and the resulting decomposition is supposed to help warm the coop.

How quickly chickens forget. Come nightfall, they were not going into that coop! They gathered near the door, took turns poking their heads in for a look, then scurried away.

I'm not goin' in there. You goin' in there?

No way. You go in there. I'm not goin' in.

So this was the scene:

As darkness continued to descend, and thoughts of coyotes howled in their heads, a chicken would carry the torch, enter the coop, then come rushing out when another followed course. One in, one out, one in, one out....

Note the barred rock perched in the bush:

Eventually, most were in the coop, but Son4 found some stragglers perched on barrels behind the coop and scooped them one-at-a-time from their perches, depositing them in the coop, where he said they stood frozen in whatever position they landed. This report came with a reenactment by said son, which made the chicken debacle worthwhile.

The following morning, we discovered two barred rocks had escaped notice and overnighted in the elements.

Silly chickens.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:18, 19

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's a Dog's Life

The fellows made a run to the feed store on Saturday, and poor Pierre was left behind. This just shouldn't happen, because he was beside himself. No, he was beside the door. With tail tucked and head hanging, he just stood there.

And stood there.

And stood there.

See, he's still standing there.

So I grabbed the camera...of course.

As it would turn out, the feed store forgot to load the chicken feed, which my fellows only discovered when they got to the barn, so they stopped back by the house to say they were traveling to town again.

"Would you please take Pierre with you. He can't handle this."

He doesn't look like a farm dog, the little fancypants beast, but he doesn't know that and thinks he is one. The fellows probably put a sack over his head when they got to the store.

The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. ~Psalm 145:8-10

Sunday, October 26, 2008

See See See See

It's time to start buying the ridiculous junk coveted prizes for the Thanksgiving games, which are part of our holiday tradition. Once or twice a year, we travel the 50 miles to Topeka (Toeeee.PEK.Ahhh) to shop, and we dragged SugarPlum with us Friday to cruise real stores, which mostly don't exist where we live. Target. Mmmm, Target.

So we were browsing the junk prize bins, when what to my blind wondering eyes did appear, but reading glasses! Color me greedy, but if you knew the struggle I have keeping track of my reading glasses, you'd cut me some slack. Just do. At $1 (one dollar) per pair, I indulged. INDULGED. I'm stylin' now.


How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. ~Psalm 139:17, 18

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I Can't Be Trusted

Zoomer sent me a photo of her petite squash ... squashes ... squasheses.

Nice harvest.

I couldn't help myself. It wasn't there, but I immediately saw it in my mind's eye and had to make it happen. At least it isn't as bad, though, as the time I was in a snit over Zoomer's fancy shoes, pinned a rose on her nose, and slapped her onto my blog.

I gotta quit getting up at 3:30 in the morning. Cut back on the sublingual B's or something.

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. ~Proverbs 17:22a

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Autumn Leaves

I don't know what's gotten into me, crafting post titles, then setting up a yammer about things not pertaining one whit to the topic. We'll just hope this little jag is short-lived.

You need to run over to Janie's new blog,
This Little Mommy Went to Market..., because I know some of you are interested in her topic and may even have a comment or two to toss into her box, as time wears on.

I'm supposed to be answering a couple of emails from my darling daughter-in-law, but she knows I'm a photo hound and will understand I happened to remember those leaves in the camera, shortly after I sat down here.

I hollered into the other room, "Son3, have you downloaded any photos?"

"No. Why?"

"I didn't want a repeat of the trauma I suffered a couple of mornings ago."

It went okay this time, exceptin' for that little bout with "(Not Responding)." Tell me something I don't know. I'd been staring at the white screen for at least 15 seconds when the little advisory appeared. Do I have Dumb As Dirt on my forehead or something? I'm 'bout up to my gizzard with the computer sticking its tongue out at me. Rude.

Leaves. But I'll be poking them under the flowers label. A girl doesn't want to get too carried away with her labels, and I'm not so keen on the world's scientific classification system anyway. I'm no more animal than the sofa is. Just call me a scientist, and I can happily poke my leaves under the flowers label, simply because it suits my purpose. *brushing hands*

Everyone has them, but can we enjoy too many? ºÜº

For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. ~Isaiah 55:10-12

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Veteran and Novice Eggs

...which delighted me when I opened the carton a couple of mornings ago, but I have to computer-talk first.

There's the part about me accidentally expunging my entire blog template a few mornings ago, and I told Zoomer I wasn't going to mention it, but everyone should know my fuzzy, morning head just isn't with it, and it's too bad there was no one around to snap a shot of my face when I realized I'd pushed the wrong button. What have I done now!? All those tweaks I'd made in the canned template's html, and now the whole stinkin' thing was completely evaporated, a different template was in its place, and my blog looked Pathetic.
(note the capital "p")

Then there's the part about our computer going berserk, and twice now I've answered, "No," when Charles asked if we need to buy a new one. I must be crazier than the computer.

All I wanted to do this morning was download photos from the camera, which is supposed to prompt the Olympus software to open when I plug it in ... but noooo. First it has to say it's going to install the printer. You know, the printer that's been installed and fully operational for two years now. Then it'll open Olympus. NOT. This time, after it stopped trying to install the installed printer, it decided to go to a file in drive G. Drive G? Where'd that come from, and how many letters are there, assigned to holes in the back of that tower -- back where the spiders live and where my hands refuse to go.

I eventually teased, coaxed, rammed the computer brain into the Olympus menu, selected Transfer Photos, then From Camera, and the screen said 0 photos.

Don't you be lyin' to me! Look again!

I'll tell you what, I repeated the whole Installing Printer / Drive G: removable disk / tease-coax-ram / Transfer Photos / From Camera process two more times, before I accidentally hit the Browse Photos button, instead of Transfer Photos. You think I'm kidding? At that point, my head started hurting, because the camera's little green battery light had been taunting me for many minutes already: "You're sucking the life out of us." Now I'd poked the wrong button, and I was waiting for the October photo menu to load -- so I could close it -- when what I'd wanted was the transfer menu.

Imagine my mounting confusion, when the October photos appeared on the screen, and I saw thumbnails of my eggs which were supposedly sitting in the camera ... and some thumbnails of multiple-Great Grandma Margaret. How'd that happen!?

When Son3 decides he's going to download photos from the camera for the first time in his life, he should tell his poor, old mother, so she doesn't -- while he's comfortably sleeping -- needlessly wage war for ten minutes with a berserk computer. If he hadn't told me over the campfire last night that he was thinking of changing his blogger ID photo to a shot of Grandma Margaret (okay, our sense of humor is a tad odd), I might have run screaming from my seat this morning, when she appeared on the screen...near my eggs. Thankfully, he had told me about his plans for Great Grandma Margaret, so I was able to piece together what had happened ... well, except for the part about the incessant attempts to install the installed printer, and I'm never going to figure that out. He must have been serious about adopting Margaret's visage as his ID and photo'd her image in the opening pages of "The _____ of Kansas," a family history book; then he downloaded the photos. Poor Margaret. Poor me.

Okay, with all of that off my chest and having dizzied the reader, here are the eggs which made me smile:

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. ~Ephesians 2:4-9

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Favorite Thing - When God Paints the Sky

7:02 p.m.


7:28 a.m.

Favorite thing -- When God paints the sky.

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
~Psalms 8:3, 4

Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!
~Psalms 71:19

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Wardrobe SwitchNot

It's cold now. I haven't gotten around to making the wardrobe switch yet, but I don't want to be shivering either, so I buried my hand in a bag and was delighted to pull out my live-in-it outfit. When Zoomer and I met for the first time, she said, "I knew I'd see that outfit." Of course she did. She and I had been emailing photos for several years, and she probably didn't know, or would have believed, I even owned any other clothes. In fact, she insisted on seeing the interior of my closet while she was here. [She might call me on that exercise of literary license, so the full truth was about her interest in seeing what styles and colors I am in my daily life.]

I share with you my live-in-it outfit -- in what may be its final season -- because it's certainly seen finer (and many) days.

My Autumn & Winter Me

Yes, I always buy shoes to match the flooring. They're homemakers' camouflage, sold in many stores online, if you've a mind to have a pair.

Son3 also built a fire for me. When Charles got home, he pondered the concept of wasted wood and began throwing open windows. Okay, okay, 82º is a bit toasty, but who knew the afternoon sun was going to dash the chill? Not this comfy frog. ºÜº

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. ~Galatians 2:20

Friday, October 17, 2008

More P...P...P...

I better not say the word any more, lest someone throttle me, but the you-know-whats on the second you-know-what tree are finally ripening. I gathered enough from the ground to peel and slice four dehydrator trays worth of dried treats.

Zoomer called, and we'd been on the phone for a while, when I asked, "You know what I'm doing with you-know-whats right now?" although I said the word to her, because she loves me, and she'll put up with me saying it in a measure equaling the harvest poundage. "I'm dehydrating them." Zoomer did that last year and shared the tasty results with me. Yep, she mailed a generous portion of dehydrated you-know-whats to me, along with other of her harvest fare. I don't know if I would have thought to dehydrate any of our fruits, had it not been for tasting Zoomer's. I'll give her the credit ... if I must.

I can't recall how the cat got out of the bag, but I think I said something about how sweet my you-know-whats are, "...but of course, they would be."

"You didn't put sugar on them, did you!?" Zoomer's all about eating healthy, and I'm mostly about healthyNOT.

"C'mon, you know me. Why would you even ask?"

Son4 and I had quite laboriously dipped each and every little slice in a pool of sugar. I must say that there was an awful lot of intensive labor resulting in a mere bowlful of dried, candied you-know-whats. Candy. Mmmm, candy.

Zoomer, sorry but I won't be able to share with you. You know I would -- I WOULD -- because I'm such a generous person, always thinking of others before myself. I wouldn't wanna go making you sick or anything. (You buying any of this? ºÜº)

The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant. ~Psalms 25:14

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I Think I Swallowed a Fruit Gnat


It was an accident.

Just thought you should know.

Too much information?

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. ~Matthew 23:23, 24

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Favorite Thing -- Apple Peeler

I swiped it.

Exhale, exhale. I mean the photo. The peeler is currently attached to the dining table in the living room, and if I turn on the light in order to take a picture, it may wake the sluggabeds, because it's pret-ty early in the morning.

I can thank Kandi for my acquisition of this little gem, because she told me she has one and (finally) convinced me they work. She even offered to loan me hers, but I was thinking about lots of apples and dulling blades and years of use, Lord willing.

We peeled a gazillion apples, which became sauce, butter, diced, pie, and cake (with caramel sauce and so lip-smackin' good, one might skip dinner and go straight to dessert, insisting this is "a fruit" on the food pyramid, and one hasn't yet met their daily fruit requirement). The peeler may even serve us well with round two of the pears, which are a different sort than those on the first tree: firm and thusfar refusing to ripen. They taste like strawberries, but that's off-topic and sort of a weird thing to be saying.

Now, I can peel an apple by hand and keep the peel intact, if I've a mind to, but I'm rarely bored enough to seek that sort of entertainment, and note that I was not of a mind to peel a single apple in the first place -- entertainingly or otherwise. I cannot, however, do it like this:

Favorite thing -- apple peeler.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. ~Psalms 46: 1, 2, 10, 11

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What's Your Sign?

I'll tell you mine, and you tell me yours.

Some of us just don't dink around with astrology. Okay, we shun it like the plague. But we do have signs. I was on the computer when I saw mine. Hey, that's my sign! I've spent 55 years earning it, so I decided to wear it.

What's your sign?

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee. ~Deuteronomy 18:10-12

Monday, October 6, 2008

Best Parade

Last year, I wrote about the annual "Our Village Days" parade and included, amongst others, a photo of my favorite entry, the speckled ox. That ox didn't make it this year, and the parade was smaller, but it was the best village parade, because the SugarPlum went with us.

Here she is, waiting for the parade to begin:


She got a little tired of waiting, so she busied herself with further disassembling a pen some car had crunched:

Positioned near the end of the 3-block parade route, we could see it coming, and the Plum got a little anxious. Time for a Nana-squeeze:

She was on the ground again, when the first entry passed: Veterans of Foreign Wars, men who honorably served our nation. We clapped -- all five of us ... loudly ... and alone. We weren't in an ocean of onlookers, because our village just isn't that large. But we were in a pond of people, and we were clapping, and the rest of the crowd was silent. Pregnantly silent. How odd.

There were only two marching bands this year.

One seemed a little bit loud for munchkin ears.

There was no shortage of tossed candy to be gathered.

Very few of these next ones even made it into the bag. I suppose we now know what SugarPlum's favorite sugarplum is.

Who did this child's hair? Me thinks I've read too many Dr. Seuss books.

My friends, this is toilet tissue, and while it appears she's offering it to the horse, she is not. No horse presented need of tissue, and she had other plans for it.

Toilet tissue was a first. Being pelted with candy is a time-honored tradition all over the land, makes pretty good sense to me, and you've seen I came prepared with a Ziploc bag for storage. But what's up with the tossed rolls of toilet tissue? Is this about the precariously and artificially propped-up economy and some parade entrant's desire to see to it that everyone has what they really need? I have to admit, it was sort of fun to see streams of toilet tissue fluttering through the air on this slightly breezy day. And SugarPlum thought the tissue a prize ... to bestow on Nana. I lost count of the number of tissue lengths she chased across the ground and delivered to me with a pleased, "Here, Nana!" Umm, thanks? You can be sure I wasn't offered a Tootsie Roll. And the minute she turned her back, I'd stick my hand behind my own and release each prize to the breeze ... for some other parade viewer's use. I bought a 24-pack just last week.

It was the best parade.

Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. ~Psalm 89:15