Saturday, March 31, 2012

The tail end of the March of 2012

  It's really hard to take pictures of uncooperative chicks.  LOL So, neither of these pictures is particularly good, but it's what we got.   You can see how they are getting gangly and less cute than they were a week ago.  BUT, we love them


  So today is the end of March and I just realized that I have laundry hanging on the line that I completely forgot to bring in.  Oh well.  It's 61 degrees out there right now (midnight) and tomorrow is supposed to be 88 and Monday 90.  They'll dry.

 We had a busy day today, sort of.  I mostly puttered, but got lots of little things done AND baked 2 loaves of artisan bread.   My son was here and did a lot of cleanup out in the backyard...took the chainsaw and cleaned up several big branches that have been laying around back there for too long, and then cleaned up all the debris too.  He was out there for a good 4 hours.  Then the Irishman  came home with a truckload of composted leaves and they spread those out on the potato bed and started in on the other beds.  I did a little shopping--needed soy yogurt and some green stuff like cucumbers and parsley and spring mix. And bird seed.  Can't forget the bird seed.


  Made a beautiful pasta primavera for supper, with a nice green salad and slices of 7 grain bread. I've been using Bob's Red Mill 7 grain cereal in my artisan bread and it is awesome. A dense, chewy healthy bread. Anyway, it was perfect with  the angel hair pasta and all the veggies. After supper, we watched some goofy movie on tv and now it's winding down. Ready to go to sleep and wake up to a fresh new month.  April. Mmmm...can't wait.  lol


  Some of the seeds we started are finally coming up (I am so impatient) and I am more than ready to get going on some real dirt planting. Himself has been all impatient about getting things going, and I've had to remind him  more than once that it's still early in these parts, that we are right on time, and that it's all going to be okay. lol  He has come home from working his 10 hour shift a couple of nights and wanted to go out and work in the garden before eating supper.  lol


  One of my friends is coming home this next week sometime and she's been gone for 4 months almost. It'll be good to have her back.

  I have had a new chiropractor recommended to me and think I will call them on Monday.  I am having a lot of trouble with my neck lately. A new pair of eyes to look over this problem will only be a good thing.  I have been procrastinating about doing this and need to just stop it and go.  I really am tired of being in pain all the time. Same with the knee.  sigh....


  The chicken seems to be getting better. I got some vitamins and electrolytes to go in the water and today she was looking a little better, and ate some chickweed and scratched in the dirt a little.  (CiCi- this update's for you.)  lol  She actually went into the coop by herself tonight, so that's a good sign.

   The babies are eating me out of house and home. lol  I refill their little feeder at least twice a day, and have been giving them little bits of kale and spinach too. They are gobbling up everything in sight. It's such a joy...

  I cleaned their pen yesterday and all the surrounding floor and anything else in that room that gets covered with the fine dust they seem to generate.  Between the chicken feed, the bedding inside the pen, and their little constant dander , it gets pretty dusty.


  My cousin had knee replacement surgery a couple of days ago. Not sure if they did both--that's what they were talking about. He's still in the hospital, and I will call his wife tomorrow.  I think it all went well. He's a plumber..and I guess that's part of the job hazard.  I'm worried that's what I'm in for too...I don't think there's much else they can do, at this point, since he took 45% of the cartilage out last time.  Not a lot left to work with...(and that was my second knee surgery in 10 years).


  Guess I'd better hit the hay. Tired and ready for a good nights sleep. Sat with my neighbor's husband 5 hours on Thursday and then for 2 hours on Friday. Got a lot of housekeeping done in between, as well as finishing up 4 loads of laundry.  Couldn't pass up the opportunity to strip the bed and wash those linens and hang them outside.  Sooooo nice.  Also did the dog blankets, as they were getting pretty stinky too. The Irishman can never smell them, and I can smell them across the room. As usual..the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.  lol   But I washed them anyway, and hung them out to dry.  I might do the slipcovers tomorrow or Monday...Monday I guess---see?? I've already forgotten (since last week) that I am taking Sundays off. I change them out or wash them about every other week..maybe not quite that often. Depends on the weather...if it's raining a lot, the dogs stink up the couch and love seats like nobody's business...


  Okay...night all.  Hope your Sunday , this first Sunday of April, brings you lots of sunshine and flowers. All the lilacs are in bloom around here and the smell is heavenly...lilac has to be my all time favorite smell. And vanilla.  Oh, and rose.

Never mind. I've obviously gone around the bend...

Sweet dreams !!!


 There is no hope for me.  lol

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday tired....

This picture was taken in May of last year. It about what my yard looks like NOW, except that the cherry and apple trees there are full of flowers.


  I mowed the front and side yards today. I didn't do much of anything else, because it almost killed me.  lol 

It was a beautiful day, in the low 80's, and sunny and clear. My husband took a day off work and spent the whole day working in the gardens, turning the manure under, spading it deep into the beds, which look gorgeous this year. We did have to tend to a chicken that is acting ill, and hopefully she'll live through the night and I can get some electrolytes and stuff in her tomorrow morning. She hasn't been laying, I don't think, and seems to have a poopy butt, so we cleaned it all up and she was amazingly docile through it all. The Irishman said he had to pick her up and lift her into the coop tonight when he went to shut them up.  Doesn't sound good...

Ah, all in all though, it was a good day. And we had a huge breakfast and then didn't want much lunch and then were starving by supper.  I convinced himself that we should clean up and go to Mr. Curry's, a local Indian restaurant in Edwardsville that we like. He immediately brightened up and declared it a great idea, and off we went.  I really did NOT feel like cooking anything tonight.  lol  I had a Paneer Tikki Masala that was extraordinary and he had prawns tikki masala.  I absolutely love that sauce, all cream-and-tomatoey...


  We're both sore and tired and he's in bed and I'm heading that way. It's always hard when you do the first hard days work in the spring, after having been on hiatus all winter. lol   I'm hurting in the places where I used to Leonard Cohen so aptly put it. I just took some Alka Seltzer nighttime cold medicine, because I have this naggy little cough that's been bugging me all day, plus--it's loaded with stuff to make your poor stiff tired muscles feel better.  I could really use some of that.  I have a massage appointment tomorrow afternoon at that will help a lot. Thank Goodness!!


I'm having a political conniption over all this Ultrasound crap and started to write about it and changed my mind. Maybe tomorrow. I don't want to go to sleep with THAT on my mind. Not to mention  that young boy in Florida that was killed. Not to mention ALL OF IT !!!!  The world goes crazier by the minute and I feel like [sometimes] nobody is paying attention ! 

It'll be better in the morning, after a good nights sleep.  It always is. 


  I made banana/black walnut muffins for breakfast this morning. Along with potatoes cooked in big wedges with lots of onions and stuff and fresh eggs. It was a feast, by any standards. Then I heated up the lovely French Onion soup I made the other day for our lunch, along with a little leftover salad that was hanging around the refrigerator, for our lunch at about 2 o'clock. Somewhere in between there, my son showed up to do a little fishing. He caught 4 or 5 beautiful crappie and said he could have caught more if he stayed. I took a break from the mowing to sit in the rocking chairs and chat with him--good timing on his part, as I was so ready for a break. He offered to finish the mowing for me, but I told him no, that I really need the exercise. He said--you're limping pretty bad, mom.  After I was finished, I iced 'er down for an hour...

  It hurts pretty bad.


  Looks like Miss Roxie is wanting something and I guess it's time for me to head towards the bedroom. 6 AM shows up mighty early around these parts, lol. 

I hope you all have a grand Wednesday and  it looks like they've changed the forecast for tomorrow. It was supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow, but that sky is clear as a bell, and they've changed the rain forecast for tomorrow too.



Monday, March 26, 2012

A delicate situation...

  ...around these parts.  People do not want to believe that Monsanto is as bad as everyone is making them out to be. On two separate days, in two separate places, I was asking about the seed potatoes and no one knows anything. Now, I don't even know if they've been fooling around with potatoes or not, but I'm suspicious. And at the second place, where we have often bought seed in the past, I asked about where they get their vegetable seeds. They told me about some seed place in Missouri that gets their seed from different places.  Asked me why I was asking and I said that I was making sure I didn't buy anything that came from the Monsanto Corporation. And that I knew that seed that came from a company called  Seminis was owned by Monsanto.  The proprietor told me that they weren't doing anything to garden seed..just farm crop seed.  I said I wasn't so sure about that, and he laughed at me. "More conspiracy theory stuff" he said.  "Maybe" I said, and whistled my way out the front door.

  Here's the thing. I do not trust any money grubbing corporation with my health. None of them. That includes (often) pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and giant medical corporations. It's just how I roll...


   It has been absolutely gorgeous here.  Even the rain was nice, and afterwards everything just went over the moon.  The fruit trees are all 'abloom...the peaches are even leafing out now, with only faint wisps of the beautiful pink blossoms peeking through.  The Japanese maple in the front yard that I brought from my house in North Carolina is full and red and looks to have grown another foot.  The irises and the lilies are all getting big and beautifully green, the lilacs at the end of the driveway are blooming--I cut a small bouquet yesterday to bring into the house..they smell so wonderful.  We have redbuds, dogwoods, and another tree I don't know the name of--all blooming and coloring up the landscape and hillsides. The myriad shades of greens and golds are stunning. I do love spring...

  And beautiful in a different way are my garden beds, all topped with luscious dark brown composted manure. The grass needs mowing and I thought about getting out there to see if I can get the mower started...but I haven't done it yet.  And it's already 2:30 in the afternoon. Almost time to start supper.  Well--there's always tomorrow !


  I'm thinking about making adzuki beans and rice for supper.  That's a nice dish to make because there are a lot of different things you can do with the burritos. The big question is: do I go into town for buttermilk and make cornbread to go with ??  mmmmm....I love to throw a little chopped carrot and celery and garlic into the beans when they cook, and then right before they're done, throw in some ribboned kale too. It adds a sweetness and a lot of nutrition to the pot. And looks pretty (prettier with white beans, but, pretty enough with the little red beans too!)

  We are planting some Christmas Limas (a pole bean) this year, and are making teepees of branches for them to climb. It's a really fun and very efficient use of space when you're planting.  We'll dry them right on the vines, so they'll be a low maintenance crop. I adore lima year maybe we'll plant pintos, as they do well here too. But I have a lot of pintos in my pantry this year, so--limas it is !


  The baby chicks are growing like weeds. I put some greens into their pen yesterday and they've eaten every bite. lol   They're getting big enough to look a little gangly now--taller and more active. They are not, however being very cooperative about letting me hold them....grrr..


  Guess I'll get out and do something.  I'm feeling lazy and sleepy, after eating a baked potato and a pint of home canned green beans for lunch. lol  Yes, my dears...I ate the beans RIGHT OUT OF THE JAR..  Didn't heat them or anything, and man--were they good.  This is one of those days when I am reminding myself of the old woman who shall wear purple...remember her??


When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other peoples' gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickles for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purpl

~Jenny Joseph (1932 - )
Visit Jenny's WebsiteGet Jenny's Book at Amazon: "Warning: When I Am an Old Woman"

  Oh, yeah.  That's what I'M talking about.....

Have a grand Monday my dears!!!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Busy Splatterday...

  Been trying to clean up my mess  Vacuumed and dusted and straightened and did not mop, because in the middle of my vacuuming, DH came in and said he was going to get the manure.  If you don't live the kind of thrilling life that I do, then you won't know that when it's manure time on the old homestead, every loose running dog and cat will be out there helping with the poo.  And by helping...I mean, tracking it in and out of my house, eating enough of it to make them vomit, and in the case of Le Weiner Dog, carrying around mouthfuls of it until she gets inside the door, where she adoringly deposits it on my floor. She does the same thing with regular mud, but horse manure seems so much more attractive, for some reason.  And now, DH has gotten the truck stuck in the back yard [again] and is waiting for our neighbor to come over with the tractor. I politely (and helpfully!!) suggested we put him on retainer for the remainder of the garden season.  He did not take kindly to my suggestion, and when I offered (in penance) a freshly baked shortbread cookie, he snapped "I don't WANT a cookie!"  I smiled lovingly and said..oh,. okay.  And went back to my wifely duties.  They are out there now and sound like they're having way too much fun. 

  I do have to remember to mention to him that the dogs don't even bark at the tractor anymore....or not....


   I baked cookies and I made granola bars and I baked hamburger buns today. I have a tray of sweet potato fries in the oven and will make veggie burgers for supper tonight to go with them. We didn't get any of the rain forecast for today, thank goodness, so were able to get the manure on the garden beds.  ON the other hand, we didn't get to attend the Spring Equinox celebration at La Vista either...but we have gone the past four years and so...We'll make the summer one. They really are a lot of fun.

  I've been putting raw sunflower seeds and flax seeds into the veggie burgers when I make them the last few times. It really adds a lot of nutrition, as well as makes them a little more substantial.  I usually saute onions to go on top too. I start with a nature burger mix and embellish it as I see fit. Sometimes I add beans to it for more protein too.  They are very good...and they'll be especially good on the home made whole grain hamburger buns. They turned out really nice today. And the recipe made about a dozen, so I froze half of them for next time I don't have the whole day to play in my kitchen.  :)

  Smells like it's time to turn the sweet tater right back.

 Okay.  Yup...they're about halfway done. The burgers are a quick fix, which makes them nice for a busy Saturday. I thought about making a few batches ahead of time and freezing them too, but really, they're so fast that it would be a waste of freezer space, lol


  Thanks everyone for making me not feel so alone re: the grandbaby thing. I know you're all right and I am mostly always okay about it all...but every now and then it just triggers some primal instinctual thing in me, and knocks me down for a minute.  I am very happy for every woman I know that gets to experience the joy of having a grandchild...I just wish I was one of them.  Sometimes.


  I have a radio station playing today that's been playing all kinds of old beach music kind of's been awesome.  Playing a very eclectic mix of stuff too...and a bit ago was Ritchie Havens singing a Beatles song.  Brings back a lot of memories.  Now it's an instrumental steel guitar kind of thing.  Nice for a change...

  So, it's been a lovely, if busy, day here at Honeysuckle Hill.  My lilacs are blooming, the cherry tree is in full flower too.  The irises are over a foot high and the wild violets are popping up all over the yard.  We planted seed flats last night, and got lots done.  We went to a late morning matinee to see Hunger Games and then to lunch.I was appalled at the number of mothers there bringing their 8,9 and10 year olds, It was a really violent movie.  The acting was great and the  film sported quite a few actors I really like, like Donald Sutherland and Stanley Tucci and Woody Harrelson.  The star, Jennifer Lawrence was quite good, and has apparently been nominated twice for Academy Awards, and is only 20 years old.


  Alrighty then...I need to go get some supper on the table. It's 6:30 already and himself is getting ready to come in.

  Have a wonderful Saturday, everyone!!!!



Thursday, March 22, 2012

Prayer Flags...

  Check this out.  It was posted on my Facebook page by Wild Magnolia...and I think it's an awesome idea. I'm gonna get to work on mine tomorrow...


  It's been a long chilly rainy gloomy day around these parts.  I went over to sit with my neighbors husband for most of the day and then came home to make some vegetarian chili and get ready to head to the discussion group at 6:30.   It, of course, was wonderful.

  So was the chili.  lol    I started out with sauteed onions, added some small diced carrots and celery, garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, cannelini beans, bell pepper, yellow crookneck and zucchini squashes. I put in a small can of diced mild chilies.  I added extra water. I threw in a couple of handfuls of dried corn.  I added cumin, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoky paprika. Then I put in a little more salt.  lol  It was really wonderful.;  There was enough to freeze a couple of the big yogurt containers and still put a container with another meal's worth in the fridge. We had it with sun dried tomato tortillas, warmed with a little butter. I'm tellin ya, was good. Chock full of chunky vegetables and nothing bad for you in it at all.  And EXTREMELY flavorful.  That smoky paprika (that I bought for another recipe recently) has been worth every penny it cost. It really lends itself well to dishes like this one.  I think it cost something like $1.07 per ounce .


  I'm pooped tonight. I went to bed in tears last night after some emotional breakdown and then couldn't quite make it stop. So, naturally, I woke up my poor husband and he was well, just wonderful. And then my nose was so stuffed up from crying that I couldn't hardly sleep.   It all started when  everybody I freaking know had to get grandchildren this past few days. I swear... and when I read Mary Moon's blog about Lily's home birth and all the family there and saw the pictures of that little guy....I just lost it.  I just sat here and sobbed and sobbed.  It was all triggered (I'm sure) by the fact that my daughter-in-law went in and had her tubes tied on Monday. Which means that I will most definitely never have grandchildren of my own.  And I guess last night was just my night to process all that grief. And I'm tearing up again, just writing this.

  It isn't like I haven't  always known that she wouldn't be having more children. She has 2 from previous marriages. And has always been very clear that she didn't want more.  And I respect that. It's her body and her choice. But....I actually thought, last night..."He's only 40...he could still meet someone in her 30's who's been dying to have children, and have 4 babies in 5 years...."   Sweet lord.  I really did think that. Fleetingly. 

  Just more proof that I am demented or going senile or something.

  Anyway... I am tired from not enough sleep and am turning in a little earlier tonight.  Hopefully I will sleep like I need to and wake up early tomorrow morning, refreshed and ready to jump into my life.


  Leaving you with a lovely hopeful quote from Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

    " The winds of grace blow all the time.
       All we need to do is set our sails."


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Springeroo !!

A beautiful prelude to the beautiful season of rebirth.  Woke to an amazing 65 degrees at 7 AM ...outside the birds are singing and the skies are blue.  I was out back tending my small flock of chickens when I saw the bluejays and cardinals visiting the birdbath over to the side of the yard.  It's full of rainwater...pure and clean...a perfect beginning to their morning. Right now I can hear a seriously industrious woodpecker drilling away across the road and the squirrels are chittering their little hearts out.

 It's as if everyone knows that spring has sprung. lol  The clematis continues its climb  and the lilies have turned into huge clumps over night.  The Eqyptian walking onions have suddenly filled up their little area and yesterday I went out to see if I could cut enough kale to make Susan's (e-i-e-i-omg!) recipe for massaged kale salad...and the bed is overflowing with beautiful dark green baby kale.   Some not-so-baby...and all extremely delicious. And the salad, btw...was to die for !!

  It's really beautiful out there. Our windows have been open day and night for almost 2 weeks. The weather has been gorgeous...but I keep waiting for a freak snowstorm or something. lol  Somewhere I have a picture of the first day of spring where we had about 4 inches of snow!


   Today I am going to rip this office apart and clean it and re-arrange some things. There's not a lot of room for anything major in was originally a very small child's bedroom with a monstrous walk-in closet. (Which makes no sense to me, but....)  Now it is an office/meditation room with a monstrous walk-in pantry. The walls got painted last year a buttery yellow color and it's the haven for cats and blogger girls. lol  But it's gotten a little disheveled and is in dire need of a reno and massive cleaning/dusting. There are 3 tall bookcases in here that need culling and dusting and straightening...since there are about a hundred more books than there is really space for. Those cannot be relocated, as they are on the only solid wall in the room. There is an old black rocking chair that my husbands mother used with all 5 of her children (she died when he was 18, and he's the oldest) .  There is an old cabinet sewing machine that used to be the bird cage table, but is topped full of incense, Buddhas, prayer beads and flowers.  There is a long sofa table that my computer tower sits on (at one end of it) and the rest is full of crap. There is a metal file cabinet by the window that could easily trade places with the sofa table, and then it could go under the windows on the south wall. If I put it there it will become a "cats-laying-in-the-sun" table. But...that's okay too, I guess. lol  MAN...I'm getting myself motivated here!!!  (I'd better go lie down a minute....LOL)


  There's a really nice station on satellite tv here that has all piano and guitar music. It's playing now, and it soothes my soul. I love instrumental music. I love classical music, but this is not that.  It's not so soothing that it makes me want to lie down and close my eyes either.  Once the work starts around here today, I may have to switch it to some more lively stuff. There are about 20 stations or more of every kind of music you could want. I always like reggae to work to...or salsa.  Both are on there.


  Tonight after supper (and NCIS) the Irishman and I will start seeds. He wanted me to just go through and see which ones I want to start ahead of time. We bought a lot of seeds and so it will take some thinking. lol  Not squash, they grow too easily and too fast here. Direct seeding for them. I'm planting butternuts and maybe a yellow summer squash this year. I have 3 different kinds of tomatoes, including a Purple Cherokee, that I am very excited about. Those definitely will be started. And the Chinese cabbages too, I think. One packet of them for now and then another packet to plant for fall. I'll have to figure it out...I'm really glad he is taking more interest in things around here than he ever has. He was always peripherally involved, don't get me wrong. But the past year he has gotten a lot more excited about a lot more things. Yay! And he wants to be involved more...before he would let me do what I always do and then kinda come on the scene after the fact.  He also wants to start cooking more...and I suggested that he cook the meals on Sundays, since the other days he works and Friday we usually go out and Saturday is his day to spend doing his "thing"...hiking, playing music with his friend Jerry , etc.  I told him to think about what he wants to do and let me know what he needs and I would make sure he has the ingredients. He liked the idea and so we are set.  lol  We'll see how long it lasts....he's a pretty spoiled Irishman....


  Okay. Time to turn this box off and get busy.  I'm going to be making bagels today too...almost half of the last batch got moldy because they were in the bread box instead of the fridge.  :(   And it turned into summer in March.  Sigh....interestingly, it's only the whole wheat that molded...the one plain flour bagel that was left did not... (yikes).

  Have a grand first day of spring everyone.  I'm itching to get going here....


Monday, March 19, 2012

Long time, no post...

  Seems like, anyway.  lol  This was Sunday morning's breakfast..Homemade granola with vanilla soy yogurt and some raw cashews on top. Apple slices with peanut butter to dip them in. I love apples and peanut butter....and the granola, even though I over-browned it, tastes really good. Probably just knowing that it's full of flax seeds and wheat germ and sunflower kernels...I'll be more careful with the next batch.

  Part of it is my old gas oven. I have figured out that the thermostat is somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 degrees off, and so I usually set it accordingly. I can't really make myself pay a service call for some man to come out here and adjust it...I just cannot.  lol  So, from time to time, I forget to set it appropriately or can't set it appropriately (for instance : when you are trying to toast granola at 250, and at 200 the damn thing practically turns itself off.)  But still and is NOT (thank goodness) an exact science, and so I manage.  lol

  The other thing that happens, is that more and more, there is so MUCH of me that when I am doing anything on the stove, my midsection is up against the front of the appliance, right where some idiot put all the knobs. (This is NOT a child-proof stove).  So it gets nudged and if I don't look at it, it might suddenly be about a hundred degrees hotter than it was to start with.'s not easy...

  At any rate, the little fancy breakfast was quite lovely and the Irishman said "What a beautiful presentation!" and I remembered why I fell in love with him, lo these many years ago...


    What a busy crazy week.  And apparently I'm not the only one. (Mama Pea). I haven't written a word since last Thursday.  On Friday, I tried to get some things done around here before going to sit with my neighbor so his wife could go to lunch with some of her old teaching colleagues.  After coming home from there, I puttered around a bit and then the Irishman and I went to see The Lorax at the matinee.  It was a great film, and then we ate at the Japanese place again.  And IT was wonderful too.  Then it was home again and I tried to get to bed a little early because I was getting up at a little before 6 to go pick up my cousin.

  She and I went to Panera's for coffee and a scone before leaving to pick up my sister and head down to southern Missouri.  The outing was a little over 300 miles round trip. We had a great time. Met cousins we'd never met and went over family records and then went out for lunch and then to a cemetery where quite a few of our relatives are buried from back in the late 1800's/early 1900's. I learned a lot more about family than I had known...and that my cousin has submitted her information to the powers that be to have certification that we came over on the Mayflower.  How cool is that??  Of course, that two dollars will get you a cup of coffee, but 


  I spent yesterday doing some heavy housecleaning...carpets and stuff. The house looks nice and though it has been in the 80's here for a while, the rains are here the past few days and apparently  all this coming week. So I didn't mop the hardwood floors, figure for a few days I'll just spot-mop, until the mud is down enough that the dogs track in. It's cool-ish this morning,  66 right now at 9:30.  Of course, to call that cool-ish in the middle of March is ridiculous.  But the peach trees are blooming, the clematis grew at least 6 inches yesterday alone...the lilies are getting big already ...all the dogwoods and magnolias are blooming like crazy. 

  AND....(drum roll, please....)  -----  MY SEED ORDER HAS ARRIVED !!!!!!!!  I had them spread out all over the table yesterday, salivating at the thought of getting flats and egg cartons and litter pans and whatever else I can find to use...filled with darling little sproutlings.   I can't wait...I'll probably start tomatoes and squash first, to give them a head start. Then the Chinese cabbages. I want to plant so bad...I bought 3 blueberries to plant, so maybe that will be enough to satisfy me for a little...


  MY goals for today are to get to Petco for fish food and a water treatment.  Get some bean sprouts started in my sprouting jar (I'm going to make spring rolls to take to class on Thursday for a snack).  Love me UP some little chickies (they are so adorable...the Cherry Eggers are really developing color on their wings and are turning darker red all the time).  I have a few things on my list to do, but as a LOOPHOLE, I wrote  Monday/Tuesday  at the top of that list.  The carpet cleaning was a little hard on my back, which was still hurting from all the walking and standing around that cemetery on Saturday...So, I may spend more time than necessary just  being lazy today.  because I can.  lol


  My son was here yesterday too...did some fishing and then put a new light in my living room for me. Naturally, it turned into a bigger job (frustrating) than we/he thought...and isn't that how electrical and plumbing jobs always are??  But he got it in and it looks so much better than the ugly old hangy-down thing that was there. Now it's a nice flush white and gold fixture and I love it. I got it for free, which makes me love it even more.  It's so awesome to have a son who can (and will!!) do things like this for his poor old maw.  I told him, when he finished, that I was so glad I didn't kill him when he was


  Alright...I'm off this machine.  The birds are singing and the sun is peeking through the clouds and it might just turn into a nice day, in spite of the forecast of rain. It feels pretty humid, but it isn't so warm that you'd really notice, except that the floors in the kitchen feel a little sticky, since the windows were open all night.

  But I have high hopes that this is going to be a great day, no matter what turn the weather takes. 

  Have a great Monday, all y'all....


Thursday, March 15, 2012

On a scale of 1 to 409,756,960....

  It's been a pretty good day. Remembering to stop and understand that only a very few things are really that important anyway...and to mindfully take the day one bit at a time.  I had plans, of a sort, for the day, and not a single one of them worked out.  So, I took a breath and did something else. 

 I heard a wise woman say once that ..."if I start hitting roadblocks, then I change where I'm going."  It is a lot easier to do that than to get my knickers in a twist and be angry or resentful or frustrated.  Keeps the blood pressure down and keeps the song in my heart. Flexible.  That's the key...and keeping gratitude at the forefront of my mind helps me to remember that it's all a gift anyway.


   The first part of the day was incredibly beautiful--sunny, 65 degrees when I woke up, blue skies. I absolutely reveled in it.  By late afternoon, the skies were getting dark and the wind was picking up and the clouds started rolling in.  There was thunder and lightning and not a lot of rain. Yet.  lol  It was so warm that when Roxie and I went in search of pine shavings for bedding for the chicks, I had to put the cars AC on. We went to 3 different places and found only cedar, which won't work. It's too strong for the babies...And since we were there, we went ahead and got the oil changed in the car and new windshield wipers put on. All ready for the big trip on Saturday.  I stopped and picked up a few groceries too and then we came home.


  I have a big stockpot of vegetable tailings simmering away on the stove...been saving them in ziplock bags for making soup stock. I'll can it tomorrow, maybe. Although I'm thinking of freezing this batch.  So the house smells like cabbage and onions, lol, since there's a lot of cruciferous  vegetables being eaten around here lately.  Pat came in from work and said "Mmmm...what's cooking?"  lol


  I didn't cook anything or bake anything today. I did make egg salad from the eggs I boiled yesterday. My lunch was a bit of leftover salad with an egg salad sandwich made on a whole wheat bagel.  It was really good and really satisfying.  The Irishman went off tonight to the shindig at the Jacoby Arts Center and I stayed at home. For supper I had a big soup bowl full of sauteed onion, Chinese cabbage and spinach with salt and pepper and a cup of leftover steamed vegetables on top. It was awesome.  

  Tomorrow I will sit with my neighbor's husband for about 4 hours so she can get away and have lunch with her friends. Then I'll come home and figure out what we're going to do for date night...usually dinner out and a movie. Then I' up early on Saturday morning to go pick up my cousin and my youngest sister and the three of us will take a trip to southern Missouri to meet (for the first time) my paternal grandfather's brother's family.  It's about 3 and a half hours from here.  We've chatted online, but none of us have ever met...


  I need to get the flyer made for our family reunion in June and get that out. I want top get it made so that we can take some down to Missouri with us and hopefully some of these folks can come to the reunion and meet more of us crazy Morss'... Exciting stuff. 

   I have the day use site all reserved and paid for, so that's a done deal. I do this every year for the last too many and I think it's time somebody else took over. I'm putting it up for discussion at the Sunday noon meal at the reunion.  


  Thinking today about all the things in my life I have to be grateful for... it's funny how we go through our lives and never even look around...only focusing on how bad we've got it, or how good we've got it..and not realizing that somewhere in the  middle is where all the good stuff the days where we get a respite from pain, or from poverty or from tedium.  In the moments when someone calls and says "I've had you on my mind"...and we suddenly don't feel so lonely anymore.  Those times when we get to do something for someone else, even if it's just make them smile, or feel cared about, or fed.  I know people who don't feel like they matter, who think they are a waste of space.  I know people who are the opposite--who have SUCH high opinions of themselves that they set themselves apart from the rest and become lonely beyond comprehension.  

 There was a guy in the grocery store parking lot today that triggered some of this. He was sitting off to the edge of the lot, in a beat up old car that had definitely seen better days. When I was driving by, he had his head on the steering wheel, shoulders slumped and looked just..hopeless.  I circled around to see if he was okay, when I saw a woman and a little girl coming through the lot towards him. The mother had one small grocery bag in her hands and the little girl was skipping alongside as they made their way to the car. They got to the door the same time I pulled into the parking space beside them. At first they didn't notice me, and he was smiling as the little girl climbed in to the front seat with him. Then the little girl waved and I waved back...and rolled down my window and said "How are you guys today?"   The little girl excitedly said "We got bananas!!! "  I laughed and said "I got bananas too!"   He started the car and I watched them drive across the street to the little park.  I sat there thinking..I've sure been there. And once again, I was gobsmacked by a gratefulness so strong that it nearly knocked me over.  There isn't nearly as much gratitude in my daily life as there should be. Not nearly.  

   We don't have a lot, but we have everything we need.  We have a roof over our heads and two cars and enough food to keep us fed.  We have enough money to pay our bills and then some. And we have family and pets and books and computers and the list just goes on and on.  And like the little family in the beat up old car...we have love. And that, my friends, is one of the most precious commodities on this planet.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I wanna take a nap, but there's granola in the oven...

I'm not sure what's happening here, but I've had to  restore this graphic too many times.  It's getting on my last nerve.
Old hippies shouldn't have to go through these kinds of gyrations...we're too fragile.

OK-I'm gonna just write and go back and put it in as an afterthought.  I'll show 'em.

I made whole grain bagels today. They don't look real pretty for some reason, but they surely taste good.  After that was finished, I made a new batch of honey almond granola, and now it's in the oven, finally almost finished.

There are a couple of things I don't like to do. I don't like to bake cookies for the same reason I don't like making granola. At least, thank goodness, the granola lasts a while.  It's that every 10 minutes crap of stirring or putting new ones in over and over and over again. LOL

 So now it's finished and I left it in a little too long, so it's overly browned. Damn.  Oh well. It'll be fine.  Once it cools, I'll put some dried cranberries and raisins in it and then put it in gallon jars. It's got oats, almonds,flax seeds, coconut, sesame seeds, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, honey, blah blah blah...Done.

  I still have a couple of things to do, like run the vacuum and get the new babies pen cleaned and in the house.  Right now I am so hot from running that oven that I'm about to fall asleep.  I should probably go do the pen first since it's outside and I can cool down and wake up a little. 


This morning I took a trip to the county seat, to go to the Market on the Square.  There's a blog I follow called 2 Acre Farm, and Nathan and Aimee are the proprietors of this lovely market (and blog). They operate a small CSA  and also sell stuff there.  Nathan wasn't there today, but Aimee was, and she was delightful and so helpful.  I bought some local coffee and some local-ish Havarti cheese and a jar of stone ground mustard.  Almost everything in the store is from Illinois. I puttered around wasting a lot of time, so I haven't got quite as much done here as I'd hoped.  But I'm really glad I went and I'm really glad to have met this lovely young woman.


 Thinking we'll have leftover lentil loaf for supper tonight. I'm not in the mood (right now, anyway) to do anymore cooking. Or...maybe egg salad sandwiches and salad... I was going to bake some shortbread cookies, and I still might, but don't hold your breath. lol Might make a Hawaiian pie instead, if I have crushed pineapple....not sure if  I do or not...pineapple, coconut, mmmm...pina colada in a crust! That sounds like a summery dessert to have on an 82 degree day in MARCH, doesn't it??  (And there's no baking involved...I bought a pre-made graham cracker crust.) I swear--we're having Florida weather up here... It's spooky....


OK--I need to get that pen in here. So, off I go, traipsing around the place like I own it.  Oh, wait....LOL



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I'm a new mommie...

6 little babies...sextuplets!!  Sort of.  lol

  The black one is Petunia, the 2 brown ones are Cherry and Eggers, the 3 Buff Orpingtons are Bubbles, Sweet Potato, and  Chinky.  Welcome home, babies !!!!!!


 As you can see, the direct result of this incredible spring weather we're having is that I have lost my mind. lol  I got a call from the Irishman and he says "I probably shouldn't tell you this...."  He was on break and they had a flyer there in the breakroom  that said that the Farm Home Store in Jerseyville would have the first of their chicks on sale today, which is Tuesday, which is a Senior/Military discount day.  How could I not go ?????  He did set a limit on how many I could get (hah!)  I wanted to get 10 and he said that was too many. So, we compromised and I got 6.  Which will, eventually, give me 9 laying hens.  Yippee!!!I have to pay more to get sexed chicks, but I didn't want to run the risk of getting stuck with several roosters (cockerels, the baby boys are called), so it makes it worth it to me. They're a dollar more each... but I got a 20% discount off everything I bought today, so...I bought 3 blueberry bushes too. And baby feeder and waterer. And chick feed- a small bag of all natural.

  I win!   


  OMG, it's gorgeous out there. 81 again today. I'm going to go out and clean up the back deck and put a tablecloth on the table so we can eat our supper outside tonight.  It's going to be some kind of a salad supper tonight...mixed greens and hard boiled eggs and steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots,  green onions from the garden (YES!!) and gorgonzola and whatever else I dig up. Pickled beets for sure, maybe some pickled okra/green beans...I think I have some of both already open in the fridge. With toasted bagels and cream cheese on the side. Then it will finish up those bagels and I can make new ones tomorrow.  yippee!!!

  Well, I did the back deck and sat on the front porch in the rocking chair and ate an apple while looking through the Storey Book of Chickens, as I like to call it.  Just for a little chick-refresher. lol  Having some water now and then I'll get to finding the tablecloth for back there and put some chairs out.  SPRING !!!!!  I have a new tablecloth I got at a yard sale that has roosters on it. Think I'll put it out.

  It's a nice ride across farm country to get to the town where I bought the chicks...maybe 25 miles each way(?).  I drove slow, there was no traffic to speak of, and we had the windows open so Roxie could ride with her ears flapping.   All in all, it's been a nice day, though I wish the housecleaning fairy could have found her way here. (A girl can only get so much done...esp when she accidentally sleeps until almost 9  That would have been nice.  I did get a place made in the spare room for the chick pen once the Irishman gets it out and into the house. For some crazy reason, he buried it in the shed behind so much stuff I couldn't get it out if I tried. It's a good sized pen, and they'll stay in it until they're big enough and it's consistently warm enough to introduce them to the big chickens.  It's about 4'Lx3'Hx3'W...nice and roomy, enough to accommodate them until they're grown.

  For now, they're in a dog carrier in the little bathroom, hooked up with a heat lamp and food and water. Roxie is living with her nose stuck under that door, dying to get in there and see what's going on. Silly dog. Of course, just to torture her, they are singing their little hearts out.

  Enough for this sunny afternoon. I'm agonna get some eggs boiled and some vegetables steamed and maybe straighten the living room just a tad. Himself will be home about 6, which means I have an hour and a half to pull it off. 

  Whaddaya think?  Can I do it ???   lol


Monday, March 12, 2012

Just...stallin', know...procrastinatin'..slackin'...

   Had a really ridiculous conversation with someone this morning...the kind that leaves you scratching your head, and you'd be walking away with a snort if you weren't on the damn computer.  LOL

    The conversation went something like this:

  G-- I don't know why you bother. It doesn't make any difference anyway.

 Me-- Well, it makes a difference to me.

  G--I don't know how it could. 

  Me-- ...What? How can you even say that?

 G-- Well, it's not like it impacts your life or anything.

 Me-- How in the hell can you know what impacts MY life or doesn't?  Everything I do impacts my life in one way or another. That's true for all of us.

 G-- Well, it's just basic logic.

  Me-- ..WHAT?  It's got nothing to do with logic, my friend. It's got to do with ME..with my core values,    with the mindfulness of living MY life the way I need to.

  G-- No, you're wrong.  

  Me-- What? ( in disbelief).


  Sigh...I have another friend who is a strange bird, and is always saying things like--people are so stupid--and I shake my head in amusement. But this one...this one I wanted to reach out and touch someone..if you know what I mean.

   I don't spend a lot of time thinking about the depth and breadth of the way I live.  Mostly because I'm too busy living it. lol  But I have learned a lot about surrounding yourself with like minded people if you want a little peace in your life. Otherwise you're that salmon swimming upstream, and getting the crap beat out of you all the way. Is it worth that journey? I don't know.  I do know that I like some diversity in my life too...keeps me thinking about things and on my toes. So, I didn't think--I'm done with this one.  lol  I just had to step away from the fray for a minute.

  Here's the thing, see...I am a very flexible person. I have become this way from too many times of refusing to bend in the wind and getting snapped off at the trunk.  It's much easier in this life (for me) to have a few steadfast things that I will not budge on..things like animal and child abuse, and justice and equality. The other things I can get on board with or stand on the shore.  Just depends on which way the wind is blowing, lol.  One of my favorite people in the world used to say..well, I don't have to attend every fight I'm invited to...and I kinda use that as a compass sometimes.  However, being human as I am, I sometimes get drawn into things like this because I react defensively to something someone says to me, interpreting it as an attack. And sometimes it is and sometimes (more often, probably) it is not...but I have reacted so quickly that I don't see that.

  That's probably what happened this morning.

  Like most people, I think, I don't like having my personal lifestyle or behaviors challenged.  Usually I can laugh it off and say--If you don't like it, then don't do it. 

  I do a lot of the things I do because in my long trek across this planet, lo these many years, I have learned and relearned something I learned in my youth.  It is this:

   "If it feels good--DO it."

  Of course, it means a little something different to me now than it did in the 60's. But's a good rule of thumb. 

  Organic gardening makes me feel good--so I do it.
  Eating healthy foods make me feel good--so I do it.
  Living in a clean smoke free house makes me feel good--so I do it.
  Having dogs and cats that live in my house makes me feel good--
 Learning to make as many things from scratch as I can so that I don't have to buy them--
 Sharing what I have with ones who have less, when I can--
 Reading books with paper pages--
 Listening to Reggae music (like right now)--
 Petting my chickens every morning when they parade out the coop door--
 Cooking for my friends and family--
 Raising my arms up to a starlit sky and spinning in the dark--
 Opening the windows on a breezy day and watching the lace curtains flutter back and forth--
 Burying my face in the laundry after it comes in off the line, and smelling that clean---

And the list goes on and on. Little things of no consequence to anyone but myself maybe... things that make me feel good. Things that brighten my meager existence, lol. Meager. that's funny. 


   I think I'm going to get the juicer out and make some carrot and kale juice for lunch. With a salad.  Or a lentil loaf sandwich on home made bread.  I have green bunching onions coming up out in the garden and the kale has a new lease on life these past warm days.  The chickweed is brilliantly green and I might put some of that in too--gave the chooks a big bunch of it this morning and they were happily gobbling it up as I walked around the yard.

  It's a beautiful day to not care about anything political (Republicans) or anything ludicrous (Limbaugh) or anything scary (GMO's)  or anything ugly (everything has a seed of beauty in it, doesn't it?).  I don't really have plans to go anywhere,  or any big jobs to do, but might make a new batch of bagels today (or tomorrow)...just make a glass of iced herbal tea and go sit out on the porch in my hunter green rocking chair and listen to my wind chimes that are tuned in the key of D...and reflect on just how lucky I am to be here now.  To have lived long enough to see the beauty in my simple life.  To be me.  Just for today.