Sunday, December 26, 2010

Edited: To the Merry Lunatics with Fire

Congratulations for NOT burning the Galve goat before Christmas! I applaud your resistance against the need for pyromania. Well done.

Happy New Year to the Gavle Julgoat. You made it to 2011!!!!!!!

Update: Dec 28..... It's still there........ Fantastic!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thanksgiving Recap

We went to Rockport to spend a week with the family and farm. I love going there and seeing what they are working on next.
Reminder: this is the land of bees, exceptionally large dogs and goats.
Yes. Goats. More on that later.

When we thought about finding a spot of land to try farming, we looked first in South Texas. This is "home" as we knew it but the area had been under a serious drought for so long, all the inland lakes and ponds were dry. It looked grim for the kind on vege-planting we aspired to that we turned our eyes back on Louisiana.

Well, The rain has begun to fall again and their 3 acre LAKE is full. I mean to the brim and where once it was covered in green-growth, it is now clean and filling with tilapia! Which the cormorants in turn fill up on as they feast without restraint. I know because I watched this. In they dive and out they munch. I wonder how quickly tilapia reproduce....

On our drive over, we spotted several pecan peddlars on HWY 59. This the stretch blanketed with pecan trees. We thought we'd stop on the ride home and buy a bag. That proved more difficult than we thought as it rained a good part of that day. However, there was one old guy, one intrepid soul out there and as we pulled off the road, he barely registered our existence. Until we asked about where he got these excellent pecans (and they were). Then he opened up like the skies themselves and the next thing we know, 15 minutes pass. We learned where he lived, what he did in the war, where his parents grew up, that Georgia pecans were superior this year (have to agree) how much it rained this year.

There looked like there was going to be no graceful exist to be found. We paid for our stash and began to walk backward to the truck, while he followed and changed the subject to some other topic and continued away as we opened out doors and climbed inside. He was a lovely guy! I wanted to invite him in but we had a long way to go and said as much. Mistake. That started another conversation.
I still don't remember exactly how we extricated ourselves. The pecans were worth every sentence.
Back on the farm, the goatherd has increased since we were there last year. They are up to 18 goats and ten of those are pregnant. This makes for fun photos!
The weather here is turning colder so we have been covering all the citrus and raised beds. Today is our quilt group Christmas party and I have made another batch of Green Gumbo to bring. While I was out there, I harvested our first chinese cabbage: Witness the beauty of this baby!

Here is shot of the beds before we covered them. Ahhh the kale is splendid! The carrots are almost ready and the beets! The beets!!!! They will be perfect for the Borasmord!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Here Todayyyy Is a New Birddddd! No, That Is A Goat!

Do you remember last year my lamenting the burning of the Gavle Goat in Sweden?

I'd post a photo of it here but cannot sort out how to save one from Google.

Well, here you can go to see the beautiful structure for yourself. It is a WebCam that refreshes several times a minutes. But you must hurry hie there quick before another idiot Grinch comes along and burns this one to the ground!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Barn Is Done

and it truly is beautiful.
We know we hit a homerun too.... everyone who sees it is in awe. Women gasp......"OOhhhh it's greeat!!!!!"

Men are the biggest kick to watch.... much more discerning. They will walk in and just take it all in for a minute. To a man, they stand there with one arm across the chest, hand cradling the elbow of the other arm. The hand of the cradled up by the face, stroking the chin or cheek, lip pursed, eyes scanning the ceiling, the walls, the shelves, the worktop...... If there are more than one, they huddle together, stroking and furtively pointing at the attention to detail in construction.

And then they say, in reverent and slightly whispered tone, "I want one."

I know! We want another one already!

The veggies are growing and thriving. We ordered and received a roll of row cover material and have so far covered only two beds; the artichoke and tender greens but I am ready with the hoops to cover two more. The broccoli are looking great and although there are plenty of flowers on the peas, not all that many have pods. Some, and those are slow to grow. SO now I know, I should plant them farther in the north raised beds if they are going to get enough sunlight in the fall. Once the leaves finish falling, these will get more warm sun, but at the moment, they live in heavy dappling shade. I will do all I can to keep them alive under the wraps as the days get colder and the winds increase.

My daughter rescued a chicken in Florida and is going in with her neighbor to have a small flock!!!! How cool is this!? Very small, however. The towns restrictions are 2 per household..... ridiculous. 2? It's hardly worth the bother..... and only half the fun. You need enough to have a proper self-respecting flock! I mean, how on Earth can they establish any form of pecking order? 2 is just a squabble, surely. .... Well, if they EACH get 2 and house them in the same coop, that's 4. I think they could handle that. The chickens, I mean. Girls can handle anything!

Had a blast learning how to program a computerized quilting machine yesterday. Once you know the HOW, it seems (almost) easy; but getting to that place was a long process. The one I use has no computer but I look at it now and wonder....... can I get an after-market add-on? I really like free-motion. It's a thing about the freeness of it but I can also see the freedom I would feel at the end of this long list of quilts ready to finally use. I have a closet of quilttops that are neglected and shelves of fabric waiting to be cut. At this rate, I'll NEVER die. (of course, that IS my ultimate plan......)

Friday, November 19, 2010

One in Five

This was from CNBC today. The headline on Drudge said "1 in 5 Americans Mentally Ill"

Nearly 1 in 5 Americans had mental illness in 2009

Published: Thursday, 18 Nov 2010 | 1:13 PM ET
Text Size

CHICAGO - More than 45 million Americans, or 20 percent of U.S. adults, had some form of mental illness last year, and 11 million had a serious illness, U.S. government researchers reported on Thursday.

Young adults aged 18 to 25 had the highest level of mental illness at 30 percent, while those aged 50 and older had the lowest, with 13.7 percent, said the report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA.

The rate, slightly higher than last year's 19.5 percent figure, reflected increasing depression, especially among the unemployed, SAMHSA, part of the National Institutes of Health, said.

"Too many Americans are not getting the help they need and opportunities to prevent and intervene early are being missed," Pamela Hyde, SAMHSA's administrator, said in a statement.

So, one in five. And they all work for the TSA.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


has the best food, the best weather, the best events, the best people in this already terrific country. I hate to say it, but comparatively speaking, we got it ALL. Plus, we have sense of humor about it. And we like to share our bounty and blessings with the rest of the country.

While much of the US is about to go under wraps due to cold weather, we are walking shirts off and sandals and shorts, enjoying a lengthy autumnal splendor display and deep blue skies overhead. It's a joy to be outdoors!

This has been a most splendid week of fine weather wit the 3 Rivers Art Festival in Covington (this has to be the Supreme collection of craftsmen gathered along a 6 block stretch of downtown Smalltown, America.) To top it off, it starts on a Saturday and they keep the weekly Farmers Market open as well, so we are able to enjoy both things simultaneously. How great is that?

But enough gloating on our great good fortune. On top topical stuff like what's growing.

We have in the garden a vast number of different greens; 4 types of kale, onions, broccoli, raab, rutabagas, beets, carrots, arugula, collards, peas, much more. A friend had asked what all was out there and when I rattled off the list, she said, "Oooohh you have the makings of green gumbo!" which was news to me! I have never heard of this so I looked up the recipe online and made it last night.

Green Gumbo (Gumbo Z’Herbes)

4 ounces thick cut bacon chopped up 12 ounces andouille sausage sliced 1/4″ thick 3 tablespoons flour 8 cloves garlic finely minced 1 large onion minced 2-3 jalapeno chilis seeds removed and minced (add less if you want it mild) 1 pound greens ( 1 bunch of lacinato kale, 1 bunch beet greens, mustard greens, and some carrot and celery leaves) and Chris added to this arugula, more kale, collars, raab, oniontops, shallots, everything growing out there went into that pot! 8 ounces clam juice (Chris did not use this. I used instead fish stock) 2 cups vegetable stock 6 ounces okra trimmed and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon celery seed 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Cooked brown rice

AWESOME!!!!!!!! I am thankful I made such a large pot of too, because I want it again and fast.

But today, I am itching to make meatballs and sauce. Working our way thru the pantry stocks.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How Many Men.....

...does it take to install one electrical meter?

3 and here are 2 of them.
and they arrived in ..... wait for it... 3 separate installation trucks. True.

But this means we have illumination in the barn. So how cool is that?

Also I have finished the second Leslie BOMb, the Christmas Quilt.

So that a plus.

Yesterday was splendid outside and took advantage of the warmer weather to plant the leeks I started weeks ago and they are still quite small. I used the English method of growing and planting and got 28 seedlings started now in the beds. We ordered row covering last week that I hopes arrives quickly.

I love leek soup but here's a question...... why are they so darned expensive in the grocery? Because they take so long to grow? Then why are lettuce so expensive? They pop up overnight! Short shelf life I suppose. I am grateful to be able to grow our own.

Last week we had a forecast of exceptionally cold nights so we covered the peas and I think that really helped them. Alas, the lettuces, chard and onions took a direct hit. I think they will revive with the covers.

The chickens are slowing down on production now... the hours of light have diminished to less than 12 each day. And daylight savings has changed the dawn from 7 am to 6 am but that doesn't stop Stu from screaming at what is now 3am. Fool. They see me coming and make a beeline to the gate in hopes of treats. Have they got me trained, or what!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Okay... Seriously....

They come as pets in pairs?

How do you get 2 anteaters in a BED? Did someone build a ramp?

I only ask because I think I want one. How cute is this?

or two. Yes two. Definitely two. That is so cute. I thought cats were cute. But this...... and funny.

Oh my gosh!!!! There are more videos! Did YOU know people have anteaters as pets? Really? This never occurred to me before..... but I suppose if people have skunks as pets...... Really?

No I don't want an anteater! Yes they are cute but whoa.... I just watched another vid:

Uh clearly.... they don't NEED ramps!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


The price tag for Prez. Obama 3-day "visit" to Bombay, India.

Primarily for Security. Understandable when you consider that Bombay was the target not that long ago, and from the sea. And India, where Indira Ghandi was assassinated by her OWN guards in Delhi.

6oo million dollars.

6 Hundred Million Dollars

At least, that is what we've been told it's costing. You have to wonder what else it's gonna cost us.

Compromise. Of Course!!!!

It's both unbelievable and predictable.

NOW, after 4 years of hammering the right with her mighty mallet, Pelosi's Left want the Republicans to "come to the table" and compromise. Now, they tell the Republicans they have to present ideas to get the country moving again.

Right right right..... as though they haven't been elbowing their opposition out the door, told them to sit in the back and "they won" so shut up.

You better remember.

Remember this face. This is the face you get to look at in the Senate for 6 MORE YEARS!

Okay now to the Right: you BETTER not forget what the "great unwashed" has elected you to do, You will get no more chances.

And Media: you're as done and gone as you can possibly be. Exposed as the enablers you are to the Progressives.

George Soros..... keeping spending your billions, you hypocrite. Or better yet, go mess with Russia! or China! or Cuba! GO "help" them be the country you think THEY should be.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 6 of Melatonin

Well, I have to say it appears to be working. I get deeper sleep and stay asleep longer now. I have been taking it consistently at 8:45 and fall asleep immediately but I think that is my normal self anyway.

The one thing troubling is the vivid dreams. They are what I used to experience and I rarely remember them after a day but if I awaken in the night because of one, I lay there thinking about them. A couple of times I had to get up. I am making a concerted effort to NOT get up. But if the dream is unnerving (and two HAVE been) I find I am afraid. So I get up and walk around.

So, dilemma... which is worse: 1. lack of sleep or 2. scary dreams?

In my life, I have found that if I remember to add the request of no dreams or sweet dreams (if I MUST dream) in my prayers, the request is ALWAYS answered. Isn't that weird?

I'll say (or think) "Ok God... I really need to not dream tonight so if you could work that out for me, I would really appreciate it, but if I have to dream could you at least make it not scary?"

Works every time it's tried.

Another side effect of the Mel is high energy levels. I wake up raring to go... don't know where that might be but by golly, I'm ready!

I am also ready to get the holiday preps underway. I want to slide into Christmas stressless. Well, who wouldn't?

I am not going to make my targeted project in time, alas. I have only the borders to go on the 2nd Leslie BOM, the Christmas one but at the rate of speed, I will not finish all six, quilted, before Dec.31. Ain't gonna happen. The Blue and Gold is done (not quilted) and I have the fabric lined up to complete the tops of the Oriental and RW&Bs but I still have blocks to make for the Brights. Boo. OK I must give myself slack and think if I get 2 more completed (not quilted) by New Years, that will still be an accomplishment.
And at the end of the day (year) the deadline was imposed by me alone with no reward for completion nor demerit for failure. I refuse to think of NOT sewing EVERYTHING as a failure but, rather, sewing lots of stuff a success.

It really is all about perspective and balance.
On that note: here is the status of the veg garden

Closest to you is the kale, arugla, more kale and Chard
The back bed has beets and carrots! Carrots!!

Left: kholrabi, lettuce and cabbage, collards, brussells and raab
Right: Kale, spinach, broccoli
Can you tell we like kale? And lots of it, please!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Someone Posted This....

in a comments section on Facebook..... isn't it lovely?.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

It's ALIVE!!!! Obama and the Democrat Base on Nov. 2

No. No it's not. It's a cobbled-together mess.

MMmmmm... I don't think so~

Mr. President ... you tried to create a monster! How appropriate to the spirit of today, Halloween.

And Katie Couric,

katie-couric-crying.jpg...... the "great unwashed" you refer to....... they've voted you one of the weakest links as well. Your contract's up soon, isn't it?....... it will be very interesting to see who comes to her emotional and financial rescue.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Yam What I Yam. Restfully So, Too!

I am glad I didn't let that phone experience yesterday get the better of me. We ran up to the little town to pay an electrical bill and get bread and I stopped at the pharmacy that closes at 5pm. (So strange, to me, because people heading home from work at 5 pass right by it and can't use it for their medicine!!!! )

Anyway, the pharmacist in there was a delight and helpful in letting us read up on melatonin before we bought a bottle. I took 2 mg at 8:15 pm.

Hallelujiah!!!!!! I slept like a champ last night. Woke up at 2am and thought "crums!!!!!" so I wandered into the guestroom and played the "left toe is relaxed.... right toes relaxed... ankles relax" game for however long it took to fall back asleep and wakened at 6:53am!!!!!!! What a Feeling!!!!!

Then I stumbled onto this test and found exactly what I thought I was, I am.

Your true political self:

You are a

You are a

Social Conservative
(35% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(63% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

Also this:

You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness.

I'm glad to see a random computer-generated test revealed what I suspected. I was slightly surprised as well.

Now, as I was taking this test, here is what I experienced (because I think this is what was MOST interesting to me...) there were questions that I initially answered one way and NO I am not going to reveal which ones (mainly because I can't remember...) but stopped and thought about it. When I applied my "oh really?" test to those reactive answers, I found that no, I really didn't think that... I really THINK THIS! and changed my answer. The initial answers were my PC responses and this test didn't care if I thought against what MSM thinks I should think!

I wanted a true revelation and I got it.

I am exactly who I thought I am

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Work Ethic Part 2

I have been told about this supplement called Melatonin for circadian rhythm disruption and how it might help me get a more normal sleep. John finished out in the barn area (more on this later) and said he was running into town for something so I hopped in the car with him and called the local pharmacy to check their hours. It was a few minutes to 5:00pm.

The person answered on the 2nd ring (yea!!) and I asked if they carry melatonin. She asked someone and then said yes. "Great! What time do you close?"

"Oh dear. I am 3 miles away in the car. I don't think I can get there that fast."

Now here is the opening for someone in business who has a needy customer on their way to buy a product. They have 2 options: 1. Tell this customer something along the lines of "I'll stay open til (pick a time) say 5:10pm. If you can get here , I'll be happy to ring it up!" or 2. "No."

They went with option 2. That's cool. But I'll remember.

Now back to the barn. Steve put the barn quilt up yesterday! And the electricians wired for lights all day so today we should get the inspection done and they will finish that installation by Thursday. We may have light by the weekend!!!!!
And now that I see how good it looks on the barn, I am really motivated to paint the one on the coop.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Amazing. I'd Have Slapped It!

For s a second there, I thought he was going to do just that.

Look how unconcerned and focused this prairiedog is on feasting.....

Our chickens behave the same way... I'll be handing a piece of bread to Stu and the others will snatch it out of his mouth. Even as he is merely standing there and they have their own... they take from him as well.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I remember when I used to moan about not being able to sleep past 4:00am.

This is getting ridiculous. I wake now at or before 2:30am and toss & turn til I finally leave the bed and go watch tv in the other room.

Does this ever end? I've never in my life been one to lie in. But 2:30? Come ON......

Lightbulb....... all this really started so long ago..... but..... also right about the time I got serious about my hypothyroidism. I had been prescribed Synthroid years before but was lacksidasical about taking it.

Back then I had ALL the symptoms of someone with low thyroid and got a new prescription. I took it daily but incorrectly. So although the levels were better, I was still wasn't "right". This is when the sleep starting getting whacky.

Some years later, I found a good physician who explain the importance of when and how and how NOT to take it and now I have really good results but this insomnia thing has me struggling.

It has just dawned on me that there MAY be a connection between the drug and the issue!!!!!!! Duh!! Maybe not as well, but still......

How can I have been so clueless FOR ALL THESE YEARS!!!!!. It isn't ME. Well, it IS me but it IS what it IS. I need the medicine. The medicine has a side effect.

Now learn to make the best of it!

Any suggestions?

Okay, further googling reveals InsomniaYoga.. I can try that tonight.
Warm epsom salts bath. Check
Warm milk. mmmmm No.
Exercise. Yoga?
Here's a curious suggestion: Sex. Alone or with others. Whhhhaaattt????

See this is why it's hard to take the internet seriously.

Sleep medication. Okay..... now that has to be a crazy suggestion. Have you seen the list of side effects for THAT stuff? Thoughts of suicide, depression, sleep walking. Sleep EATING. Please. I like to be awake and alert while I eat, but thanks anyway.

If my choice is bewteen insomnia and cheerfulness or sleep and depression..... I think I'll go with the first one every time.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Give Up

I'm still trying to learn how to use this Mac ....... I can crop a photo using iPhoto but I can't figure out to save the altered image.

Anyhoo.... here is the first Leslie BOMb, Blue and Gold...... I like the borders.

Now the dealio is: I challenged myself to make these quilts, one of six, using only the fabric I had in my stash. Which is sizable. So although it might have been better..... or maybe not, it wouldn't have been in the spirit with which I began.

It is large. 81" But small enough that I can quilt it all myself on my machine.

So. What do you think?

Raise Bed Veg

Here are a few shots from over the weekend to show the state of things out in the garden.

To the front are sweetpeas and chinese peas and to the back are Romaine lettuces. Did you know you can eat the leaves from the sweet peas? Toss them in our salad!

This bed has brassicas: in the very front are a few rows of kohlrab. Then, buttercrunch lettuce and collards. Only 3 plants this year..... last year I had 8 or and that was WAY overkill. Then to the back are 2 brussell sprouts and that last large thing is the broccoli raab. which I used in a risotto the other day. Very good green.

The onion bed. Red and yellow, garlic bulbs and shallots in the back. Still struggling to get leeks to do ANYTHING

Kale to the front, spinach (such as it is.. I planted more seeds) and lots of broccoli in the back
So that shows 4 of the beds. I have rutabagas and carrots and beets and more greens in others. It's a good garden spread.

Louisiana is a great place to live if gardening year-round is your thing. Eating is my thing and I love it that I can cook everyday with something I harvested in walking distance. That simple pleasure rocks my world.

and the chickens sweeten it. Believe it or not! They are lovely creatures.

Doo Doo Doo ---- Lookin' Out My Back Door!

One of our concerns when discussing the placement of the barn was that of blocking the beautiful view of the land behind us. It isn't ours but we sure like the vista.

We struggled with the exact place til we settled on where the concrete was poured. And once the framework went up, we saw this. What a picturebox. In fact, this "frame" just makes the whole thing into a work of art.

And here you can see the worktable I will use when cleaning the veggies and potting new plants. The red colour is terrific. The trim is grey as is the steel roof. That hole above? the hayloft.
The cats hang around, waiting for Steve to leave so they can go scope out the insides.... places to hang out in the future.

The left side will remain open for the tractor and mower and the right side is the workshop. It will have a garage door.

I am thinking that in the event of a hurricane.... this might be the place to be. It's built Ram Tough this barn and there are no trees above it. Or around it, for that matter.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

One Of Six

sans borders.

Where Am I Wrong -Update

We have been told for quite a number of years that a college education is vital for a person to get a good-paying job. So, young adults and others attend and pay hefty sums to do so, and end up with a library of overpriced textbooks. Now I read that 85% are moving back home with the Old Ones.

We can see for ourselves that people don't WANT to work for minimum-wage jobs and will avoid them for however long they can. Who can blame them when it's been drummed for years that a diploma is your Golden Ticket?

Reality is another matter. And there was a time when high schoolers had courses available, like "shop" and "mechanics" that prepped them for something other than their entrance exams.

Now, saddled with student loans and low prospects, they head home and stew in a funk.

Our Government has allowed unemployment compensation to last 99 weeks. (There are 52 of them in a YEAR) so there goes incentive to accept something beneath one's place. (and yeah, I worked all kinds of minimum-wage jobs, so I know of what I say) (and never had unemployment checks) (and I have a college degree)

You have to WANT to work, folks. It's the desire for something you DON'T have and WANT that makes you move.

It seems to simple, so elementary to me.


If the Govt/ takes a CHUNK of your earnings before you even see it and makes the very people responsible for hiring you in the first place out to be somehow suspect, and the press/media in lock-step writes endless fantasy/exposes about Evil Business and the down-trodden workers, where is the incentive?

Business is not investing IN THE USA. Business People are not taking what they have been allowed to keep and using it to make MORE. Sorry folks.

And why SHOULD they when they can't keep the profit? Anything that MAKES money is suspect and anything that TAKES money away is for our supposed benefit. There is something terribly wrong with this.

Government should never have become so cushy. These ARE THE FAT CATS. And the "EVIL EVIL BIG' Business is sucked by the vampires to KEEP THEMSELVES THERE.

THEY are the ones who should have been placed on MINIMUM WAGE. They, those Representatives of the PEOPLE are the ones who should have been given low wages so they would make LAWS that protect wage EARNERS to KEEP what they WORK FOR and encourage them to do more of it. NOT LESS.

And then, with small bits of change in THEIR pockets, those Representatives would have the incentive to JOIN us, not shackle us while they swim in OUR MONEY.

Propostion: Cut EVERY GOVERNMENT WORKERS SALARY TO MINIMUM Wage. CUT EVERY GOVERNMENT WORKERS Pension Plan. Do not impose Term Limits. Let THEM figure it out. See how long they stay in the job.

Seriously. The Founding Fathers didn't want the People's Representatives to end being there as a career!

Where Am I Wrong?

UpDate: I am not believing that "85%" number. I don't believe it. Where did they do the polling, is what I'd like to know! And what was their collective "majors" breakdown!? I'll bet that does some explaining.

AND I'd like to see a list of the "Professors" from whom they matriculated.

Up Date: I love it! I'll bet THIS was one of them. And no... I didn't go looking for an example. They show up on their own.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I need a secretary.

I thought I had a clear calendar yesterday and headed south to help Kathy process lots of apples. We had a pot of sauce in one station and another of apple butter going when the cell phone rings. It's the shop

"Chris? You have a class here waiting" (or words to that effect.)

me: "No I don't! That's Jayne's Build a Block! (said with great conviction because, darn it! I KNOW my schedule!)"

No It was my class! And Kathy was signed up in it too!

So clearly, I can't hire her to be that secretary

But that class was fun. And what I fretted over concerning color choice was unnecessary. The color scheme they chose was terrific.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I just read this amazing article in a British newspaper where home buyers are moving into houses that have been completely stripped of the most sundry of items...... light bulbs, toilet roll, okay..... I get that. We're talking: light switches, the carpets, door knobs, the WHOLE DOOR! the toilet roll hanger. The notion of something being taken if it isn't nailed down is gone.

"Screwed in? No problem! WE'll take it. I know we SOLD it but we didn't get the price we wanted or you didn't SPECIFY that you expected to find it IN the home when you arrived so it comes WITH US!"

The most common disappearances include washing machines, radiators, fireplace surrounds, light fittings and boilers - while others are more unusual.
When Tim showed a marketing executive and his wife, a teacher, photographs of a Victorian terraced house in Brackley, Northamptonshire, they were instantly smitten by a log cabin in the garden.
Six weeks later, their £250,000 offer had been accepted and they moved in with two children and removal men in tow. only then did they discover that all that was left of the log cabin was a slab of concrete: the foundation.
'They were furious, especially as the outhouse was pictured in the brochure,' explains Tim. The vendors were mid-divorce and, desperate to sell, had agreed on a price of £20,000 less than they wanted. They retaliated in the only way they could - by keeping a bit of the house.

Read more: Daily Mail

We are completely on the other side of this story. When we negotiated for this home, our daughter really liked the dining table so we included it in the purchase agreement. The owners responded and said the sideboard went "with" the table..... and could I take them both? Now, the "suite" also included small sofa tables as well but they didn't ask us to keep ALL of the suite together, just the 2 items in the dining area. We agreed to keep them both together. Everyone got what they wanted and no one played fast and loose with convenience.

One person over there even took 15% less for the selling price so he could take the grass from his cherished putting green! Good Grief! Couldn't he simply build a new one!? At least he "paid" for it.

Nevermind. We went kayaking on Saturday and the distance was (much) farther than I would have expected. I should have asked. After 2 hours of paddling, (nonstop I might add) I asked how much further to go. We weren't half done. By the time we got to the end, my shoulders were cords. Stiff, tight angry cords of muscle. Why didn't I merely coast? This articular river is a wild and scenic one which means it is LITTERED with trees everywhere and twists so much you must constantly stand vigil for potential problems in navigation. I found myself high and dry any number of times and banging into submerged trees in other. I am grateful there was NO white water to have to deal with. I would not have returned dry

We went to the Hattiesburg Quilt and Fiber Show on Friday and saw beautiful quilts and some beautiful land/property as well. Some old quarries were filling up and subdivided for purchase. But back to the show. The best thing for ME is to find new quilting motifs to use on the longarm and as I have another quilt on my machine ready to and inspired as I was, I got busy with it yesterday.

Only to find something is not right with the bobbin and I have alot of stitches now to unsew.

Yea me!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

New Favorite Ad

Never Too Old To Learn. Right?

lI have retrieved the PC from the best Techie on the Planet. The fellow has puled me back from the brink once more and I asked him if I could reveal him to others in need of computer help. So if you live in the SE Louisiana area and need computer help, reach me and I will put you in touch. I will not post his name and number here.

I can't tell you how frustrating it is for me to be able to get as far as I can into a computer and understand how to resolve issues but not be able to delete these insidious programs! I buy the suites that protect against viruses and spywares. I know how to program them to check weekly to keep the harddrive safe. But this is the second time I got an infection. The first one, ok I deserved it. Never go looking for a photo of CarrotTop. It ain't worth the grief.

But this time? No. I have no idea when this worm wriggled in or from what dank swamp it crawled out of and into my C drive. And this worries me!

I don't want to go there again!

But clouds and silver linings, yeah yeah yeah. It HAS forced me to learn to use this new MAC OS (leopard) system. And once I find what I am searching for, it isn't diffy at all. It's just that Apple has named things differently than I expect and so the learning curve is slowly arching in my favor.

As such, I just spent this early hour learning to DownLoad photos from the camera. With the PC, I merely plug the cord into the USB slot and automatically the XP sys opens a window to prompt me what to do.

Not the same with Maccy. I waited til I figured I wasn't going to see any pop window and went in search of the program to do the deed. So now, I can UL photos to this blog and reveal where we stand with the barn.

It is taking on the siding now, and Steve framed a 4 foot square on the gable facing the front street where there will be a quilt block painted and inserted shortly. I am going to be one of 3 barns with quilts in this area on LA and hope to start others to join us. How COOL would THAT be?

This is a barn in the USA with the block I THINK I will place in the frame.

But HERE is a shot of the opposite end of the barn. That opening is the "hayloft" door. There will be a pulley on a post from the roof

Whether there will be any hay up there is another matter. I understand the view from up there is great but I ain't climbing any ladders to find out for myself. I'll wait for proper stairs!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Few New Things To Show

Two months ago, I found that some of the marigolds I had planted from seeds were getting seriously leggy and thin. One bunch broke off and had scraggly roots still attached so I put it in an empty bed. Look at it today! That, my friend, is a CLOSE UP!

That was beautiful, now here comes scary. We went for a bike ride yesterday and as we took the bikes out of the screened patio, look what John found, wrapped around the handlebars!

"Here's a nice quiet place to SHED!!!!!!"

This, clearly, was BEFORE the chickens got in there and scratched around.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I Think I Know What You're Thinking

"So, what is happening with the barn?" Am I right?

NOTHING. It's been a slow week, what can I say?

But the back plot it 97% plowed under and awaiting a cover crop to be sown. The remaining 3% is a few pepper plant stragglers with more pep. And the raised beds now have the following either planted, sown or actually up from seeds:

3 Kales with one more to go
Arugula (AKA Rocket) (who knew?)
Neon Chard
Butter Crunch
Red Onion
Yellow Onion
Green (pencil) Onion
English Peas
Snow Peas

So that is a pretty good spread for the winter crop.

Still growing out there is eggplant & peppers, and you know we dug the sweet potatoes up.

Louisiana is a brilliant State. There is no month in the year when you can't either be planting or harvesting something!

We planted a fig tree that Marty gave us last week and a Mock Orange from their garden. While I was at it, I shifted over a Banana Magnolia that I had planted too close to the fence (couldn't get the mower between) (and the chickens had thoughtfully dug half out of the ground in search of grubs anyway) AND PROTECTED ALL OF THIS with a circle of chicken wire.

Those rascals dig at everything. Now get this: I noticed some fat caterpillars chewing on the parsley (wouldn't you?) so I pulled the leaves with the worms and gave them to the girls. The would not touch them! I guess they taste bitter...

It's been almost a year since those chickens came to us and I am so glad we did this. They are everything I had hoped the would be. And smart! But they are sweet...... I lock them up at night and now the are all on the same roost, all in a row with Stu at the front, closest to the door, protecting them. We got 6 eggs yesterday. I don't know why I mention this other than it doesn't happen every day and we have 7 layers. That has never happened and I don't expect it will.

John BBQd a brisket yesterday and it was so delicious. I will beg him to do this once a month now that the weather has turned cooler.

It's almost 6am so when the day lights up, I'll go shoot a few photos and add them.


Ok so 'm doing the techno-shuffle all morning because my PC got another virus and Keese is sorting it out *(Thank you God for Keese) and in the between time, this has forced me to address using the new old Mac Pro.

Which is fine and a great machine except: It does the thinking for you until you hit a snag and have to configure.

Take MAIL for example. I "set up" the mail program which means it did it for me using what it thought was the correct info but it isn't. I tried everything I could think of to configure it but in the end called ATT.

ATT and I worked it out and this took hours, but it is working (sort of).

Meanwhile, I had let the chickens out and forgot to latch the gate between them and the veggie beds.

When I went out there just now to treat them to bread, I found them in there, loose, scratching up the planted seeds and feasting on the broccoli and raab.

So I put everything back to rights and forgot I had an apple pie in the oven.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sweet Potato Heaven!

Monday was such a gorgeous day..... and it started out splendidly.

We dug up the sweet potatoes!

I had allowed the vines to creep out of the raised bed and wander a bit. I didn't realize what that meant.

Give a plant an inch and they'll take the whole yard. The vines grew through the black ground cover and rooted. Then they conquered the fence and over to the compost piles.

So when I went to hack away the vines to get to the beds, I quickly realized I was stepping on something! You could see the humps of potatoes under the blastic. (black plastic) and I was forced to pull it out and replace it. The potatoes underneath were not particularly special but check this out!

The left side is from where all the greens on the right came. That was a lot of vines!

Those are 5 gallon buckets, ya'll

Ok but here's the rub. For one week, I have to try to keep them in a warm humid environment out of the sunlight to toughen the skin and then cooler to bring out the sweetness. It's 65 degrees out there with no sign of warmer. So, with this luck I may well reverse the process.

There's really nothing I can do to change this.

Have You Ever.....

...seen a chicken lay an egg?

Surely, now, your life is complete!

I cleaned the coop out thoroughly yesterday and sprayed it down with a flea/tick spray. Afterwards, I left the door to the coop and layboxes open to air out the moisture and had forgotten all about.

Around 11 am I remembered and dashed out to shut it up. I found a couple of the hens pacing out front impatiently. As soon as I dropped the lid on the boxes, two of them ran in and fought over the center box (with the brown fake egg, naturally. We've covered this in the past). They bickered and crawled under each other and tried to fight the other one out and finally, one gave up and scooted over to the left box. Muttering the whole time. (I wish I could speak chicken)

Before the Drop

Afterwards, the one that layed the egg protected the space for twenty-five minutes. Or I should say, rather, she tried to protect the space. The one on the left really wanted to be in the center box. I still don't understand what the deal is with the brown egg. They fought over it! They each wanted that fake egg UNDER their chest when they layed. So strange!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Aging Brain

I like to stay abreast of technology. But there are some things beyond I which I do not travel.

Example: I could program a VCR (remember those?) but if a power outage knocked the clock back to 12:00, I rarely bothered to reset it. That chore would have to wait til I needed to set a Recording Time and again, I was never so invested in any TV show where that became a priority.

And I put off ever up-dating a computer "operating system" until I actually need a whole new computer itself. I really don't require every bell and whistle available and the learning curve is tedious at best.

We were a Mac family til 1999 when I could no longer bear dealing with the fact that EVERYONE else was sending me email attachments in Word or who know what and I could not read it. Well, the OS in the Mac at that time was not the latest, greatest and didn't translate the info like was possbile (had I up-graded the OS....which of course I am loathe to do. Ever)

And now, I am the (or was) the last man standing with a PC (OS XP, BTW) ( ;P) and everyone else in the family has been lured to the Mac Side of the street with both computer and cellphone.

So I am back in the Land of Re-Education. My 2nd daughter has given me her (not so) old Mac Book and we have left Sprint for ATT (bundled family) and I now have a new cell phone and all this has my brain hurting.

But I think I can boil it all down to one thing: passwords.

I hate them. I understand the necessity for them but I hate them all the same. And by that I mean I hate remembering them.

I spent part of the day yesterday learning how to USE A CELLPHONE! Remember when having a phone in your pocket at the ready was all you needed to feel empowered? Like a Girl Scout, I was ready!

But they are so much more than that these days and God forbid you lose one! Your life is in that small box. So you better protect it and all the info crammed inside.

Today I will spend many hours more than necessary to blend the info in one iTunes with another and then sync that to the phone and hope to heaven I didn't erase it all.

Back up!

My brain is bleeding at the mere thought of it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I Love Karl Pilkington

I really do. If you don't know who he is, here's a run-down.

Ricky Gervais had a radio show some years back in England. Probably London but I don't know. They started allowing for "podcasting" which basically means you DL it to your computer or iPod player and listen to it at your leisure. The show is in the Guiness Book of Records as the most listened to "podcast" ever. It didn't have a lot of competition back then, but I think it even surpassed Rush Limbaugh for audience. Ok it is a different audience, granted, but still. Credit due.

Any hoo... the premise was two guys playing music and talking between themselves on current topics as they found amusing on Sky Radio, I think. Their producer, sitting off-mic was a man named Karl Pilkington, who occasionally said something that made them laugh and they quickly added him to the round table.

End of story: They produced 26 Podcasts and turned themselves into legend. And very wealthy so good for them! And if you have never heard of them, it's called the Ricky Gervais Show and I implore you to look it up and give it a chance. I listen over and over and still laugh at what he says and how he says it and here's the thing:

He is not intentionally trying to be funny. He merely IS. This is the best part of it. Sometimes he is stupid and sometimes he hits it square on the head. But he is ALWAYS sincere and this is rare. Gervais and Merchant, the other man, are much better educated and have internal "filters" that keep them from ever sounding stupid, except when they jump on Pilkington for being stupid. Then they simply keep piling on while Karl sits there and goes, 'hmmmmm....." like he has either tuned them out altogether or is dubious as to which of them is probably right, him or them. Either way, hilarious.

OK so fast forward to "An Idiot Abroad", the new Sky TV show where Gervais has sent Karl around the world to see first hand how it is in China, India, Jordan, Peru, Mexico etc. and he has a camera crew following on these adventures.

Here is a portion that DIDN'T make the cut

You must know at the outset that KP is never happy about this sort of thing but he goes along to get along and finds himself in situations that he sums up as only he can. And he has been keeping a diary for several years. No exception here either. Read for yourself:

India Diary

Brief excerpt:

We decided to lose the crowds and catch a view of the Taj from a boat on the Humana River. It was much quieter on this side of the building. In fact, it was probably the most relaxed I'd been since arriving in India. No car horns, no begging, no shouting, no mantras. It was almost perfect. I say 'almost' as I noticed a plume of smoke coming from the edge of the river just next to the Taj. I asked Remish what it was, and he told me it was where they were burning dead bodies.

Like I've said, you're never far away from something mad when you're in India.

To wrap this up, I have to say the following. He started with Gervais, living in a flat with his girlfriend, the butt of every joke and jab. I believe he has a house now as well, and has published several books and is flogging this TV show* and I bet has a potload of money stashed somewhere while he continues to live his life HIS way.


* I tried to join Sky TV to watch the show but you have to live to live in Ireland or England. Boo!!!!!

What's Up, Doc?

...takes on a while new meaning on a "farm".

In our case, it means carrots and beets! I have been spending the odd hours these last two weeks or so planting the fall croppage. Is that a word? Pilkington's Dictionary includes it so I shall, too.

Yesterday saw the rutabagas, green onions, kale, lettuces and kohlrabi join the already planted garlic, broccoli, sprouts and red onions. The peas are growing up and I hope I got them in the ground early enough this year to get some. Last year, the plants grew very nicely but the flowering finally happened just before the January winds ripped them apart.

Now here is something interesting to report. Remember the sweet potatoes? They have really produced an outstanding quantity of leaves..... they grew up and over the fence.

When I first looked at digging them up, the potatoes looked like this:
Discouraging, yes. But I glanced to the left and saw this mound in the raised bed, and sure enough, there was a sweet potato sticking up out of the ground. So I covered it with soil and left it another wee or so.

I have been stressing over when to harvest and we settled on yesterday afternoon. We weren't at it 3 minutes before the rain chased us indoors. Where did the cloud come from that fast, is what I want to know.

However, just as the drops started, I noticed a bulge under the black sheeting we have over the walkpaths. I think the potatoes are growing there as well!!!!!

Click above and see how many of those signs you remember. It's fun. And sad.