Friday, December 28, 2007

3-Ginger Gingerbread: seasonal yum!

A recently attended wedding featured this delicacy as the wedding cake. Best...wedding cake...ever. I brow beat the bride in to sharing the recipe. OK, I just asked, but that's not as dramatic. It looks complicated at first glance, but it's not! Note: our local brewery was out of stout when I made this, so I substituted porter and it was just as divine. Basically, you want a full-bodied, toasty, oaty brew for the liquid, not wimpy American horse water. Support your local brewery!3-Ginger Gingerbread Cake

From “The Great Scandinavian Baking Book” by Beatrice Ojakangas

With a few modifications by the Bride (Cindy)

Bring to a boil in a medium (to large) non-reactive pan over high heat:

1 c Guinness stout
1 c mild unsulphured molasses

Remove from heat and whisk in: (it will foam up a lot… keep stirring)

t baking soda

Let stand 1 hour or until cool.

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter three 8” cake pans, line bottoms with a circle of parchment paper, then butter the paper. Lightly flour the pans.

In a large bowl, whisk together:

2 c all-purpose flour
2 T ground ginger
1 ¼ t baking powder
¾ t ground cinnamon
¼ t ground cloves
¼ t freshly ground nutmeg
⅛ t ground cardamom

In another bowl, whisk:

3 large eggs
½ c sugar
½ c packed dark brown sugar

To eggs, whisk in:

¾ c vegetable oil

To eggs/oil, whisk in:

The Guinness mixture

Gradually stir the liquid into the dry.

Stir in:

1 T minced fresh ginger
¼ c minced crystallized ginger

Divide between prepared cake pans. Bake until cake pulls slightly away from the sides, and tester comes out clean – about 25 minutes. Cool about 15 minutes, then invert onto racks. Peel off paper.

Keeps at least a week (at that point we had eaten all that was left!!)

Cindy’s Glaze: brown sugar + sour cream… measure out as much sour cream as you think will be needed, then add brown sugar until it tastes right.

(A touch of vanilla goes well, and sprinkles of minced candied ginger is always good over the top, although we did not use either on the wedding cake…)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Green eggs (no ham)!

This won't be a big deal to anybody but me, but I just collected a green egg from my henhouse. Lobelia, my fluffyheaded Auracana, is laying again! All of my "older" birds stopped laying months ago, for some reason. Except Emma the crabby Gold Sebright (banty). She's been laying right along...until she went broody on me a couple of weeks ago. Now she just sits on everybody else's eggs and screams at me when I take them away. She's a little goofy.

Anyhoo, right now I'm getting 5-6 eggs a day at least, what with the new Rhode Is. Red, Sophie, in the mix. I have 3 dozen in the fridge because I can't seem to find takers for my extras. Methinks it's time for pickled eggs: yum.

The Lurking Jingle

Oh, yes, pity those who work in retail. Especially at this time of year...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cavalcade of Bad Nativities 2: Electric Boobaloo!

I've been remiss in posting the link to this. Bad me. I'm getting a lump of coal now, I just know it.

Just so everybody is on the same page, and before I get irate comments from a well-meaning Christian: I am a Christian. I am not anti-Jesus or anti-Christmas or anti-creche, k? What I am, is anti-schlock, anti-dreck, anti-cheesy quasi Christian trash "art". I applaud this documentation of bad "art" and pass the savings on to you.

Oh, and, yes, that is an aggressively Irishy leprechaun-y nativity scene. The mind reels (pun intended).

Sunday, December 09, 2007

It's Christmas! Christmas, I tell you!!!!

Tired of all of the bland, generic "holiday" nonsense? This gentlemen has a nice response to emulate. He calls it "Merry Tossmas". Thanks to Will for the heads up!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Varmints

Do NOT go after my chickens or I will SO blast you with my, um, air gun.

D'oh!

My chickens are really stoopid. That's a redundancy, I know, like "annoying children" or "smelly dogs", but they will keep wandering out in the pasture where we no longer have a giant dog-eating draft horse. The current horses, when they actually notice the coyote walking right past them, pretty much say, "Huh, lookit the coyootie."

I've been very remiss about lining our board fence with wire mesh, to keep bird in and predators out. I'm slowly getting there, but my wonky back limits me to about an hour of fence work at a time. Feh. So, anyhoo, a short while ago I heard a commotion involving squawking barn fowl out in the pasture, and glanced up to see my gang of "teenage" hens fly-running in the general direction of the henhouse or the neighbor's pasture, depending on your perspective. I bolted for the kitchen door, jumped into my wellies, grabbed a rifle from the stack, and ran out along their angle of escape. Sure enough, there was a pile of yellow feathers under the cedar trees. I actually yelled "Aaaaagh!" as I poked the clump of fluff, looking for blood. Nothing. I still figured I was down one Buff Orpington. Of course I couldn't see a dog-shaped anything anywhere, although it was probably peering at me from the brush at the edge of the back pasture.

I found Roxanne (the barred rock) in Gallant's, the neighbor's thouroughbred, stall. The other girls were all, yes all, under a stack of tin roofing next to the stall. With the help of Mrs. Neighbor, who wondered what I was doing peering under her roofing materials, we flushed out the birds and I herded them back to their yard. One of the Orpies is missing a dog mouthfull of feathers from her left "hip", right in front of her tail. There's a bit of tearing, but I'll just put some antibiotic goo on it tonight when she settles down. It looks clean and she's not limping. Poor baby. I've seen worse, though, and maybe they'll stay closer to home now.

Note to self: do more target practice and learn what all those darned guns next to the kitchen door actually are. Even if I had actually seen the offender and shot at it and not missed, which I always do, I'm not sure an air gun would have dropped it. I loathe the idea of merely wounding an animal. No suffering, please, and fewer predators, double please. Sound cruel? Sorry, Mrs. Neighbor also informed me that the reason Mrs. Goat Lady, another neighbor, is down to one goat is that the coyotes got the female. I shoot to kill. If you're a dog, and you're in my pasture, I will, and I quote Capt. Mal Reynolds, (try to) "end you".

Sunny...and still windy

Woke up to blinding sunshine this morning: OW! The wind, which was supposed to slack off by 1900 last night, is still going strong. My parents' basement flooded yesterday when they were out, of course, so they came home to a swamp. Love that wall-to-wall carpet. My brother and I pitched in to move furniture and shop-vac up the water. It's going to be fine, but it was just too much work for a couple in their 70s.

Here's Granny Cat toasting herself in the sunshine today. Usually she toasts outside on the roof of the garden shed, but today the wind would probably roll her off. I don't know why my chickens haven't blown away like fluffy tumbleweeds, but they haven't. Maybe they grasp the turf with their claws like Spider Man climbing up a wall. Hm. Anyway...

The power never went out, which is probably due to the fact that the power was constantly going out last year at this time and all of those branches and bad poles came down already and/or were fixed. The local infrastructure has been beefed up with taller, stronger poles and a new substation down the road, so we're in much better shape.

Aren't adults boring? "Weather" blah blah blah "electricity" blah blah blah. Gah, I sound like my Civil Engineer dad!

Well, I'll have you know that I'm only masquerading as an adult! I'm really irresponsible and spend way too much time fooling around on my computer, so there.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Rainy

Yes, it's Washington, but rain here is usually pretty wimpy. It's a total deluge at this point. Every watercourse is flooding or about to. Culverts are over capacity. There are landslides, washouts, and standing water in general all over the PNW in general and our county in specific. My parents' basement has flooded and I spent the evening moving everything out of a bedroom so the carpet could be pulled up before it molds, while my brother vacuumed up vat after vat of water with his super shop vac.

The power could go out at any moment because of the high winds.

Can I have the snow back?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Snowy

It's snowing right now. Big, white, wet, floofy flakes. I predict broken branches about the area in the next few hours. It's just not cold enough for good dry snow that looks nice but doesn't do damage. I let the horses in because they were turning in to yetis. The chickens didn't want to walk in the snow from the under the porch to the henhouse, so I carried them one by one. Birds.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Silly Quiz thing: I have 7 guy traits and 8 girl traits

YOUR GUY SIDE:
[ ] You love hoodies.
[ ] You love jeans.
[ ]Dogs are better than cats.
[ ] It's hilarious when people get hurt.
[x] You've played with/against boys on a team.
[ ] Shopping is torture.
[x] Sad movies suck.
[ ] You own/ed an X-Box.
[x] Played with Hotwheel cars as a kid.
[ ] At some point in time you wanted to be a firefighter.
[ ] You own/ed a DS, PS2 or Sega.
[ ] You used to be obsessed with Power Rangers.
[ ] You watch sports on TV.
[ ] Gory movies are cool.
[x] You go to your dad for advice.
[x] You own like a trillion baseball caps.
[ ] You like/d going to high school football games.
[ ] You used to/do collect football cards.
[x] Baggy pants are cool to wear.
[ ] It's kinda weird to have sleepovers with a bunch of people.
[x]Green, black, red, blue, or silver are one of your favorite colors.
[x] You love to go crazy and not care what people think.
[ ] Sports are fun
[ ] Talk with food in your mouth.
[ ] Sleep with your socks on at night
TOTAL: 7


YOUR GIRL SIDE:
[ ] You wear lip gloss/stick.
[ ] You love to shop.
[ ] You wear eyeliner.
[ ] You wear the color pink
[x] Go to your mom for advice.
[ ] You consider cheerleading a sport.
[ ] You hate wearing the color black.
[ ] You like hanging out at the mall.
[x ] You like getting manicures and/or pedicures.
[ ] You like wearing jewelry.
[ ] Skirts are a big part of your wardrobe.
[ ] Shopping is one of your favorite hobbies.
[ ] You don't like the movie Star Wars.
[x]were u in gymnastics//dance? ("u"? I assume the word "you" is implied.)
[x]It takes you around/ more than one hour to shower, get dressed, and
make-up (yeah, because I don't do all of that very often!)
[ ] You smile a lot more than you should.
[x] You have more than 10 pairs of shoes.
[x] You care about what you look like.
[ ] You like wearing dresses when you can.
[ ] You like wearing body spray/perfume/cologne.
[x] You love the movies.
[x] Used to play with dolls as little kid.
[ ] Like putting make-up on someone else for the joy//joke of it.
[ ] Like being the star of every thing
TOTAL: 8

Repost this as I have ___ guy traits and ___ girl traits

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Rant alert! Teen sexuality in the media

"Hive Mind" memetic hazard alert: just because "everybody" does it that doesn't make it right!

I subscribe to a couple of casting notification boards, and a call came in for a spec pilot today that just set me off. Read more...

Friday, November 02, 2007

WriMo: not today

Wrote 1,800 or so words yesterday...today I cleaned the kitchen and started editing (with new software) the video from our last paid gig. The client is probably wondering what's taking us so long...sigh. Should have a draft hammered out tomorrow, then I'll just have to tweak it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

NaNoWriMo

It's that time again! National Novel Writing Month starts tomorrow, and I'm going to take another fling at it. Didn't finish last year's effort, what with Gordo's computer dying and other crises, although I made a good start on a novel which I would like to finish, maybe after I'm done with NaNoWriMo, which goes all November. The goal is to write a 50,000 word (minimum) novel by the last day of November. This year I'm going to work on anecdotal stories, mostly about animals I've known and worked with. It won't have a plot, per se, so I don't know if it really counts as "novel", but at least I'm working on a project which I've been thinking about for several years.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Coffee obsession

First of all: yes, I'm still chasing that cold down. I almost have it licked. Horrible, unspeakable, squamous things are draining from my sinuses. Out, out...begone! Almost there...

Now then: today's Wondermark has prompted a little editorial piece!

I don't buy coffee drinks for the same reason I don't drink in bars. 1) Too expensive! 2) too fattening, and 3) I avoid trends. (Not that drinking in bars is exactly a late-breaking trend.) I mean, seriously, can't we all just drink our coffee at home where it costs .3 cents per cup vs. $3? The alcohol scenario has always boggled my mind. The money people would save by having a drink at home with a couple of friends would buy them a car after one year! Not only that, you can actually hear what your friend is saying in the comfort of your own home, rather than a noisy bar. Oh, and don't get me started about the ubiquitous TV sets droning on. At least at home I can choose to turn the thing off when company comes over. But I digress.

If you want your fancy-schmancy coffee cocktails, just pick up a few Italian syrups from your local grocery store; I have a chocolate one for foo-foo coffee drink moments. That plus some soy or rice milk, or actual dairy products for visitors who must have their nasal congestion, and what more do you need?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Insty Villain!


Archie McPhee does it again!

Although I think this could double as an "Instant Elizabethan Guy" kit by replacing the monocle with a pomander. What's not to like?

Yes, this is what I do when I'm sick and cranky from editing video on my stoneknivesandbearskins computer...I window shop at McPhee's.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

"I'm dying, you know!"

It's true. That's not just a quote from Pearl Forrester in a host segment from Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode #703, "Deathstalker and the Warrior's From Hell", it's my life right now. Right on cue (a little theater pun, there), during the very last performance of "Bell, Book & Candle", last night, I could feel my throat swelling up and becoming painful, my sinuses swelling, and aches starting to climb from my feet through all my joints. As of now I am officially SICK thanks to some carrier of vile diseases whom I have encountered in the last week, thank you so much.

I have a tendency to hold myself together when life gets busy and stressful, then completely go to bits the minute it's over. Soooo, after months of ren faire and the aforementioned play...here we are: the infirmery.

To add insult to injury, I found several months ago that there are NO clips from the MST3k treatment of "Deathstalker" to be found anywhere on the internet, including the usually bountiful YouTube. I can only guess that the makers of this gem don't want their precious product being bandied about the web willy nilly with no fees changing hands. Did they systematically track down the nefarious "pirate" postings and demand their removal? If so, they just axed the only free marketing they'll ever get, because it's a BAD movie folks! The only watchable version IS the MST3k version, and I'd love to buy a nice commercial copy, but I'm guessing the rights expired and are not about to be renewed for the folks at Rhino home video. So I give you a lame screen cap of the bed-ridden Pearl, instead.

Do I feel better now. No! I feel like I've been waylaid in an alley by drunken press-gangers and beaten with a belaying pin over 90% of my body. To quote another fine screen villain, Dr. Smith, "The pain! The painnn!!!" Luckily, I have a big bottle of nighttime cold meds with my name on it, sweet oblivion, here I come...

PS For those who care, that's not all I'm doing. I'm also overdosing on Vit. C and zinc, so I expect improvement soon...I hope.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Catflap

Got the cat door/insert thingy more or less finished just in time for the rains to start in earnest. If we get a nice warmish day next week maybe I'll put some paint on it so it doesn't look quite so okie.

I just glued the shims/spacers in because I was too lazy to find screws, but that can be retrofitted later.

At least it's sealed and not just rattling around in the plywood anymore. Now, if the cats can just deal with having to open their own door (the horror!)...

When I said The Rains had started, I wasn't kidding. Yesterday's gale force winds have sucked major moisture in off the ocean, and we're about to get a good soaking. For those of you who think it rains non-stop in western Washington, I have news for you: it doesn't. Yes, we have a lot of gray days, but actual garden-watering rain? Nah. To quote a preacher from Uganda who was guest speaker at our church late this last Spring on a misty Sunday morning, "Never have I seen such small rain!" You want "big" rain? Visit his home, or anywhere in the tropics, or the Carolina's. There's a reason it's humid back east in the Summer. Unless you're out on the East side of the Olympic Mountains in the official rain forest (one of two temperate rainforests in the world), it's just not that rainy here. But I digress...

As I puttered away on the cat door project it grew darker and darker. Then just as I was installing it, there was a flash of lightening and a huge clap of thunder...which seemed to roll on for much longer than was warranted by such a quickie lightning strike. Concerned about the horses, I hurried over to where I could see into the pasture. Stampede? Agitation? Anything? No, our animals are poster children for the "Too Dumb to Come in Out of the Rain" society. That's Woody, too mellow to notice the life-threatening fire from the sky, which is fine by me.

Today's Happy Homemaker Hint: Get your husband to split some cedar logs salvaged from your dad's summer tree trimming project, then stack the logs by the wood stove. Instant cedar room freshener!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Biscuits!

In the past few years I've been experimenting with baking using ingredients that are actually good for you, unlike the usual white wheat flour (a.k.a. wallpaper paste) which has next to NO food value and is actually bad for just about everybody on the planet, and not just for the high gluten and carb content. Oops, almost went on a "white food" tirade there. Anyway... I've been having good results in the scone, biscuit, cake, and cookie departments, and have decided to start sharing my results with you, the viewers at home.

Why bake with anything but wheat flour? How about because if you put it in your mouth it should be actual FOOD, people! Seriously, we are what we eat, in more ways than one. Remember "an apple a day keeps the doctor away?". Well, it's more than a trite truism, it's God's own truth. Why is diabetes and heart disease so rampant in our (mostly Western) society today? Because we eat GARBAGE! Processed wheat, sugars, and cow derived dairy products (un-cultured) are a major contributor to a general decline in health over the last hundred years. Stop it! Eat whole, raw, unadulterated (un-processed, -genetically altered, -over-hybridized) food and reap the benefits! Ack...inadvertant tirade. Sorry.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program...


Biscuits. What's not to like? Unless you're getting them from out of a cardboard tube. No matter how cute that little pasty doughy mascot is, those biscuits will never hold up against anything you can make from scratch. Not only do they have a funny aftertaste, but, nutritionally speaking, they are approximately equivalent to coating your insides with wall putty, only with more net carbs. Modern wheat flour is a tool of Satan. You know why it has such long shelf life? It's the same reason so many top brands of flour say "enriched": they have to put a few things back in there because they processed all of the actual nutrition out of it. For those of you who saw "Supersize Me", this is the baking ingredient equivalent of a McBurger: it doesn't decompose because it's not food.

My answer? Get in your time machine and journey back to a place before over-processed nutritionless baking ingredients. No time machine, you say? Just dart down to your local health food store, co-op, or big grocery store that carries tons of cool things. For me, here in western Washington, it's Central Market. We don't have a Trader Joe's on the peninsula...yet (hear the big hint, Corporate Joe?)


My alternative to wheat is spelt (not to be confused with "smelt", which is a small fish and will net you something altogether different in the oven). Spelt is basically a pre-hybridization, primitive wheat. It's higher in protein, lower in gluten (which many people are sensitive or allergic to), and higher in fiber. I supplement this with other "flours" to enhance the texture of whatever I'm making, because, on it's own, it can be too coarse. Following is my recipe for baking powder biscuits, which I test drove in two different batches yesterday. My evaluation: yum! Fluffy, tasty, and never pasty (like the tube type). Good hot or cold, with jam or under stew, try them out!

Time Machine Biscuits

1 cup shortening (if you can get the 0-Transfat kind, so much the better)
3 cups white spelt flour
1/2 cup whole spelt flour
1/2 cup rice flour
2 Tablespoons sugar (I use 1 T Splenda or a dollop of agave nectar, which is healthier)
6 tsp baking powder (adjust up if first batch isn't as fluffy as you like)
1 tsp salt (use less if you increase baking powder)
1 1/2 cups soy or rice milk or cultured milk product (cow's milk is for baby cows, humans are all allergic to some degree or other)

Oven to 450 F. Cut shortening in to dry ingredients, add "milk" a bit at a time, stirring by hand until combined. There will be lumps. Knead on floured board ten times or so to even out texture. Pat out flat and use biscuit or other round cutter to cut out. Bake on ungreased sheet for 10-13 min or until just browned. Makes about 24 with a 2" cutter.

Next up: scones!

lolcats: Eric

Yesterday's photo of Eric (and Gimli and Granny) needed captions:

So there.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Storm a comin'

Looks like we're going to get the first big blow of the season sometime late tonight and into tomorrow. The jet stream is diverting our way, pushing down from the NW and into the center of the western states...which means Texas and points east are in for a rough ride. I need to get off my hinder and finish the cat door and chicken doors (in the henhouse, of course).

Update, 21:38: Got a temp hatch on the ventilation hole in the henhouse (read: put a hinge on the polygonal chunk that Bev cut out several months ago and slapped it back up with some roofing material as an additional rain-shedding device.) The cat door is crudely in place. The cats did NOT help... It just needs weatherstripping around the edges, and shimming around the actual cat flap (it's built to sit in an actual exterior door, not a piece of 1/4" plywood). Tomorrow is another day...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Comment This

I'm so slow...been blogging for months with the "comments" thingy hidden or turned off. Something weird must have happened when Blogger switched to the new format. Well, now all three of you alert readers can comment madly away now...

Those daring young men...

Just heard a radial aircraft engine wildly changing pitch and darted outside. Somebody in a biplane was up NE of our place doing acrobatics! Of course, by the time I remembered where the camera was and ran out into the pasture, he was about finished. Just as I opened the gate I heard the engine cut out: aaaaagh! He was at the top of a steep climb, hammerheaded over, went into a dive and restarted his engine. Please don't give me a heart attack like that!

No usable footage, especially since Woody stomped over and jogged my elbow while I was trying to catch the guy in action. People wonder why there are no pictures of Sasquatch... I can't even get a stinking biplane. People will never believe me.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Happy (belated) Columbo Day!

OK, so I'm late. I was belatedly celebrating my 44th birthday yesterday and besides Wondermark doesn't come out until Tuesday, so there!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Milestones

I'm very excited to report that, as of today, I am officially ten pounds lighter than I was almost a year ago! This may not sound particularly profound, especially considering there are persons in this world who are starving and would like to have that ten I shed, but still I consider it a small achievement. I'm 5' 8", and 165 lbs was pushing the envelope (and my trouser waistbands) a bit further than I liked. In fact, it put me in panic mode. Anyway, this is a nice birthday present for myself, since I'm 44 today!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

50 Questions

Blame Scott. Here I go:

My 50 Confessions

1. Who was the last person to call you baby? My first husband. He was drunk. On our wedding night. Did I mention we're not married anymore?

2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart? Well, I return it to somewhere, usually the cart roundup area.

3. If you had to kiss the last person you kissed, would you? "Have" to? Of course I'd kiss him! Like Scott says, these quizzes are not really for married people, are they?

4. Has someone ever sang a song to you? Yes, many times. My mom sure did, and my husband has done and will do it again, I'm sure. It will probably be something at least 200 years old and perhaps in a foreign language.

5. Do you play Sudoku? I don't even know what that is, which is a relief, because I'm sure it's trendy and fashionable and therefore anathema to me.

6. If abandoned alone in the wilderness would you survive? Depends on where and for how long, but the odds are good.

7. If your house was on fire, what would be the first thing you would do? Get Gordo and the critters out while dialing 911, then start to fight the thing myself.

8. Who was the last person you shared a bed with? Gimli and Ted, two of my orange boys. I needed a nap.

9. Who do you text the most? If by "text" you mean "send text to somebody", then it's my friend Bev followed by Gordon. And it's email. Phone's are for phone calls, people. Spend some time with yourself for five minutes together ok?

10. Who last said they loved you? Gordo.

11. What color are your eyes? Hazel

12. How tall are you? 5'8"

13. Do you like ur parents? I'm just going to quote Scott here, because he TOTALLY stole my initial response and I can't say it better: '"Ur" parents? Sorry, I don't know any parents from ancient Mesopotamia so it would be untoward of me to pass judgment on their parenting skilz. ' Also, shouldn't "ur" be capitalized? What DO they teach in schools these daze?

14. Do you secretly like someone? Secretly? No. I secretly dislike some people, but that's because I'm a curmudgeon.

15. Why did your last relationship end? Because the guy was a complete and utter low-life loser and after a year of patience and love he still preferred drugs and lying and entitlement behavior so I had him physically removed from my life by his brother and a moving van and I was SO DUMB TO GET INVOLVED IN THE FIRST PLACE. Um, what was the question again?

16. Who was the last person you said you loved on the phone? Gordo

17. Favorite ex? Ex cogito ergo sum

18. Where was the furthest place you traveled? Australia

19. Do you like mustard? There are people who don't like mustard? My friend Bev only likes the sugary yellow stuff, because she's lame, but I like dijon because it has things in it.

20. Do you prefer to sleep or eat? Sleeeeeeep! I can fly, breathe underwater, shoot straight, kill dragons, swing through the trees, and ride horses really well in my sleep. Much better.

21. Do you look like your mom or dad? Don't know, I'm adopted.

22. How long does it take you in the shower? Take me to do what? Is this a trick question?

23. Can you do splits? Nope, never could....unless you're talking the banana variety, and then only under protest.

24. What movie do you want to see right now? Batman Begins. Just got it from the library and I can't wait. Christian Bale and action sequences: yum!

25. What did you do for New Year's Eve? Danced at Aladdin's Palace in Silverdale. Yes, I was working on New Year's. Who am I to turn down a paying job?

26. Do you think The Grudge was crappy? Who's grudge? It must have been a doozy because it's capitalized. Boy, am I out of the loop.

27. Was your mom a cheerleader? In that she encouraged me to strive and achieve (even if it didn't work)? Yes, still does.

28. What's the last letter of your middle name? "n"

29. How many hours of sleep do you get a night? Hopefully at least eight. Nine or ten is peachy.

30. Do you like care bears? Please, not to mention the little vermin, I beg you...

31. What do you buy at the Movies? Um, a ticket?

32. Do you know how to play poker? Not really.

33. Do you wear your seatbelt? Yep. I stove in a windshield/dashboard with my noggin when I was little. I'd rather not do it again as I'm not as sturdy as I once was.

34. What do you wear to sleep? Nightshirt, since it's night.

35. Anything big ever happen in your town? The town where I was born? That would be Seatlle, in which case LOTS of stuff. Where I live now? That would be Kingston. Well, JP Patches does the 4th of July parade every year, that's big enough for me!

36. Is your hair straight or curly? Straight as a limp, thin lifeless straw. Can I have Helena Bonham Carter's hair instead?

37. Is your tongue pierced? Only when I bite it accidentally, thank goodness.

38. Do you like Liver and Onions? I like my liver (where it is, thank you), and I like to eat onions.

39. Do you like funny or serious people better? Funny.

40. Ever been to L.A.? Yes

41. Who or what is on your mind right now? The play I'm in reahearsals for.

42. Any plans for tonight? Major sleep action.

43. What's your favorite song at the moment? Song? Oh, how about "The Jolly Broome Man"?

44. Do you hate chocolate? It's always been good to me. Seriously, "hate" chocolate? Am I missing something, here. I know people who don't really care for it, but to HATE it? That's a goofy question.

45. Are you in college? No

46. Do you need a boyfriend/girlfriend to be happy? No. My husband makes me happy, but he's not the source of ALL happiness or anything.

47. If you could have any job what would it be? Film actor, making at least $80,000 a year doing fun, challenging parts. I'm waiting....

48. Are you easy to get along with? Yes and no.

49. What is your favorite time of day? Dusk (and dawn). I like transitions.

50. Are you a generally happy person? I like Scott's mention of Michael Myers' 'site-specific extrovert', because I think that applies to me in small ways. Generally I'm an introvert, and I'm not happy (as in giddy with joy) a lot because I'm a perfectionist and I'm never really satisfied with where I am or what I'm doing. I should probably just relax and be in the moment, and I'm working on that.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

And then it rained...

Don't often get honest to goodness thunderstorms around here, but we sure did last night! The weather was supposed to be nasty all day yesterday, but instead it was just a bit overcast with the occasional drop of rain. Quite nice, actually. In the afternoon the sky looked "disturbed", and if it had been hot during the day, I would have expected some serious weather. We got the weather anyway.

Around 2300 I began to hear rumblings. I decided to interpret it as God saying, "Get off of eBay and go to bed, you moron." So I hit the shower. By then there was actual lightening and loud thunder, so I lit a candle in case of a power outage while I was under the hose. When I turned off the water the shower noise didn't stop because it was now raining cats and dogs. More thunder and lightning. I put on some oilskins and checked on the animals, turning on the heat lamp for the chickens and turning up the radio and some lights in the barn for the horses. I probably needn't have bothered, as all three of them were doing their stoic Midwesterner impressions, standing out in their paddocks in the rain, blinking at each other saying, "Well, that's different I guess." No complaints, I'm glad we don't have spooky horses.

The "storm" continued for another hour or so, and I went to sleep to gradually diminishing meteorological disturbance.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I Survived the Ren Faire

We made it. Nobody died. Injuries were minimal. No animals were killed or maimed in the making of this faire. We had good audiences who actually laughed at our lame jokes and applauded the cool stuff. It only rained on the last day and stopped early enough for things to start drying out before we wrapped. We is tired...but already thinking about how to make next year better.
(that's me on the ground right)

For more pics and thoughts, go here...

There will be video at some point. I have some footage, but right now I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open at 15:15. I should be out picking berries, and I'm going down for a nap. Pathetic.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Goofy Name Thing

Got this from Lizzie's MySpace blog:

YOUR REAL NAME:
Nancy (never liked it...too "girl next door")

YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (first 4 letters of real name plus izzle.)
Nancizzle

YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (fav color and fav animal)
Grey Cat

YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (your middle name and street you live on)
Eileen Tilbury (hm...more like a Romance Novel name)

YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name.)
Fryna (ok, that sounds more like a character in a Brother Cadfael story)

YOUR SUPERHERO NAME: (Your 2nd favorite color, and favorite drink)
Green Tonic (she has the power of quinine!)

YOUR ARABIC NAME: (2nd letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, 1st letter of your middle name, 2nd letter of your moms maiden name, 3rd letter of you dads middle name, 1st letter of a siblings first name, and last letter of your moms middle name)
Ayesirn (is it just me, or does that sound like somebody from a Norse myth?)

YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION NAME:( Parents middle names)
Joan Emil

YOUR GOTH NAME: (black, and the name of one of your pets)
Black Hathor (pretty slick)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

1st Weekend: WA Renaissance Fantasy Faire

Photos are coming in. This first batch is by Chris Yetter, and they are out...standing!

Lady Devon doing her warrior thing...







Rittmaster Frye as the Prince of Anglia, going for Borgo's ring...




Neb as the Queen of Aragon, doing the, um, Queen thing.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Blog thing time: 3 things

Thanks to friend Amy, I'm frittering away my time on this silly blog thing (well, I needed a break):

Three names you go by:
1. Neb
2. Nebbo
3. Neburrito

Three Parts of Your Heritage
1. German (blood: mother)
2. Norwegian (adopted family)
3. English, Scottish, Dutch, etc. (blood: father)

Three Things That Scare You
1. propellers
2. talking on the telephone
3. failure

Three of Your Everyday Essentials
1. God
2. music
3. peace

Three Things You Are Wearing Right Now
1. spectacles
2. khaki cargo BDU style pants
3. ivory henley shirt

Three of Your Favorite Bands or Musical Artists:
1. Hans Zimmer
2. Howard Shore
3. John Williams

Three Things You Want in a Relationship (other than Real Love)
1. Romance (in the traditional sense of the word, not the gooey cheap novel sense)
2. Laughter
3. Devotion

Physical characteristics that appeal to you
1. Overal good physical condition
2. Cheerful countenance
3. Slender build

Three of Your Favorite Hobbies
1. Gardening
2. Dance (all kinds)
3. Reading/studying

Three Things You want to do really badly right now
1. Work in my yard/garden.
2. Go on a cruise.
3. Finish my hen house.

Three Places You Want to go on Vacation
1. UK
2. Egypt
3. Disneyland

Three Things You Want to Do/Be Before You Die
1. Make sure my animals will have somebody to take care of them.
2. Do my best to give my friends a chance to know God.
3. If my husband is still alive (and he probably will be), make sure there's somebody to take care of him.

Three Ways that you are stereotypically a boy/girl
1. I want to look good.
2. I want my house in order.
3. I want to be cherished by my man.

Three Ways that you are NOT stereotypically a boy/girl
1. I prefer the company of and friendships with men (most women are utterly silly to me).
2. I love running around in the bushes and carrying weapons, in fact I have delusions of soldier-hood.
3. I'm happy to get dirty, scruffy, whatever (if I can go to bed clean).

There it is, for what it's worth.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Good Egg

Just found this article on free-range chickens at Mother Earth News. I already knew my chickens produced great eggs, all you have to do is look at the watery, pale yolked things from the store compared to my girls' (or even store-bought free range) firm white, dark orange yolked eggs. I just didn't know how much better they are than store-bought jailbird eggs until now. Half the cholesterol? Twice the vitamin E? It goes on. Maybe if folks just stop buying the cheap, concentration camp eggs there will be more free-range farms and the price will go down a bit.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

RIP, Natalie

Some time last night my ailing Americauna hen, Natalie, passed on to that great free range in the heavens. She'd been ailing for weeks; dropping weight, poopy butt, low energy. I finally took her in to the kitchen and washed her backside about a month ago and discovered lice! Poor baby. I dusted her, then we dusted all the birds (and their bedding and dust wallows) with Sevin and diatomaceous earth, but I think she was just too worn down. Now I'm worried she might have picked up worms. After all, they all lived in the barn until recently, co-habitating with the barn swallows (cute, but probably full of vermin). At any rate, yesterday she was moving pretty slow, then just sat down on the henhouse porch last night instead of going in. I put her in the "isolation" cage in the coop with doctored food and water and dropper-fed her some of the water, but this morning she was gone. I hate it.

I don't know which is worse, losing an animal to a predator and being filled with grief and rage, or losing an animal to disease and being filled with grief and guilt and self-doubt. I'm going to worm all of the birds just because I can't stand the thought of another one getting sick. Of course neither of the local feed stores has the wormer I want, Ivomec Eprinex, which is a nice topical thing I can apply between their shoulder blades (like flea drops for cats). Yes, it's supposed to be for cattle, but after a day of researching wormers ad nauseum it seems like the way to go. For one thing, it's the only cattle wormer that doesn't require a waiting period before utilizing the milk or meat. Apparently the other ones are a lot more toxic! I think I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and order some online, because I don't really want to wait on this. I have enough stress in my life right now, thanks.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

A little 1850s (judging by the clothes) Independence Day art. I think what the artist was trying to say was, "Liberty is going to have a heck of a struggle since she can't lift her arms in that fashionably extreme bodice. She's going to need our help, since swinging the sword of freedom is obviously going to be a problem for her. Rally 'round the flag!" or something like that.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Seabeck School 2

The lady who hired us for the Seabeck school gig just sent us some photos. I've just added a couple of the best ones to my entry on that day...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

19th Century Ramblings

This weekend has been the annual Civil War shindig in the town across the bay from us, so we paid a few calls. On Friday night we rode into the woods and met up with a party of Union soldiers on patrol. They very appropriately "asked" us to accompany them (after checking to see if our weapons were loaded, being good soldiers), and we marched with them for a bit. I surreptitiously shot a few seconds of video in the deepening twilight. There would be more, but I didn't want to wave a camera around and "pop their bubble". Yes, we were in full 1860s civilian kit, including the horse tack. They were doing a "primitive" total immersion operation, and spent the night bivouacked in the forest. We rode with them for a few miles but eventually bid them good night, much to their surprise as they thought we were with the Civil War organization, and rode back to the trailhead in the dark: an adventure for us and the horses! There was a bit of a moon last night, but between clouds and deep forest, it was verrry dark and spooky. I'm glad horses have good night vision, because I have none at all.

Today (Saturday), we visited the camps as the characters we portrayed last night and had fun visiting with folks we had met on the trail. Later, we went home to change into evening kit, and I magically turned into a girl. In SL I can magically snap a photo whenever I want, in RL I actually have to pull out a camera, so of course I didn't get anything of the dance from which we just returned. These shots of us back at home will have to suffice.

Gordon is a bit trans-decade with his Mexican war jacket and Indian wars cap and boots, and I'm wearing my 1860s tea gown with an 1850s hairdo. How's that for being eclectic? We still looked pretty spiffy, I think (so do the cats, apparently).

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Yahoo Video

As my many readers have probably noticed, I've switched my video-hosting over from YouTube to Yahoo. I'm sure both of you are finding, as I have done, that it's a slightly spiffier gizmo. So far the only thing Yahoo video does not offer, that I've noticed, is a "private" option. All posted vids are for public consumption. So, for rough cuts that I only want to share with collaborators, I'll still be using YouTube.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Peep Show

I was only going to get one of each, but the lady at the feed store gave me such a deal...! So now I have five little chicklets: two Rhode Island Reds, two Buff Orpingtons, and one Barred Rock. I may be able to trade one each of the Rhodies and Buffies at the chicken swap meet in Poulsbo this Sunday, but we'll see.
Gimli has been doing chicken toasting duty, sitting on top of their crate, since I brought them home day before yesterday. Today I caught Beany in the act. The stack of pewter plates and serving dish is to keep the kitties from interacting too closely with the peeps, because these peeps are much better than mere marshmallow peeps, you know. Luckily, they grow up to be big, scary clucks who chase kitties, as it should be.


Monday, June 11, 2007

June Faire Vid: Warhorse Guild

Edited together a little short thingy of our first public outing of the year. June Faire for us is basically a dress rehearsal with an audience or dressed-up practice for horses and riders. Still, it's a nice event because it's just across the bay from us and a whopping eight minute drive:


Just thought I'd mention that this is the longest short I've ever put together so far. I'm slowwwwly getting the hang of editing, and since I'm using Win Movie Maker I'm already getting frustrated with its limitations. Still, it gets a product out, and since I'm basically just making a video diary of personal and Warhorse Guild endeavors it's ok. For now.

Update 01-08-09: I just looked at this vid for the first time in months and noticed that I totally left Squire Robert Cannon (of Ravenrook) out of the credits! Yes, that's him holding Woody's head under the opening titles. D'oh!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Seabeck Elementary School

Did a school demo on Tuesday, and it went pretty well despite our forgetting the bridles (duh) and then getting rained on (big deal). Gordon did what he does best, which is talk about military history, especially horse-related. I think I looked right smart in a combination of his and my Medieval stuff (just ignore my modern riding boots).
Can you see the rain in this one?












Gordon and his giant lance.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Spring Training Continues

Gryphon is fattening up. Here's a photo of him from yesterday with "Lady Devon" getting ready for a run down the list. Compare this to one month ago. The photo angles are different, and you can't see it in this shot but his ribs are not longer painfully visible. More at the Rittmeister's blog...

This coming weekend is the local SCA chapter's June Fair, mundanely known as the Pt. Gamble Medieval Fair. We'll be doing some horsey demos in conjunction with the Madrone Equestrian Guild (SCA). Good folks. Easy commute. Yay! Weekend before last we had the good folks, hellish commute situation: not "yay". Six hours each way to Toppenish in Eastern WA and dirt and foxtails. Ugh.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

Take some time today to remember those who have gone before us, fighting to preserve our peace and security. Yes, peace and security suffer entropy just like anything else in this fallen world: if you don't put energy in, it degrades.

Side note: You know how Google almost always modifies its logo to reflect the holiday or historical happening of the day, no matter how obscure? Events like, say Leonardo da Vinci's birthday or compost awareness day are cleverly noted, so what's the deal with there being no clever logo for Memorial Day?! Exceedingly, embarassingly lame, folks.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Period Authenticity Rant

The other day I was link hopping from the fabulous website of Drea Leed (who has inspired my efforts to dress like a Flemish fishwife), and I found a nifty article on cassocks. Of course I shot it right over to the Rittmaster, for whom I made a cassock last year, to see what he thought of the essay. Next thing I know he's going on about this person's web site and how he's been there before and how great it is. The thing I had already noted was that this woman did her hair up right. No Farrah Fawcet or Betty Page bangs, no rock-n-roll shag hanging out all over the place: just fab Elizabethan hair.

This morning he's sitting at his computer chuckling away, still navigating this stranger's site. "Read this one!" he says. OK, it's a rant on the increase in "farbiness" (innapropriate beyond mere anachronism) of the SCA. This woman is a goddess. That she remains in the SCA confuses me a bit, because there are better organizations out there for people of her calibre, but then maybe she's one of those sainted ones who attempts to lead by example. Anyway, her essay pretty much sums up why I let my membership in the SCA lapse many years ago, and why we only go to the occasional event as non-member participants IF it has horse activities. If the SCA were less beauracracy and drama and more re-enacting, it might hold an attraction. At its present level of "all-inclusive, non-judgemental, history-be-damned" mediocrity: forget it. It's not that I want to attend activities where people rush up to me to compliment my hand-sewn clothing or ultra-period camp furniture, I do those things to my own (and my husband's) standards. I just couldn't bear to be lamer than I was last year, it's all about constant improvement. No, it's that I don't want to go to the effort of putting together a pretty decent kit...and then have to pay money to go to hang out with people who, as the Extreme Costumer puts it, can't even make the minimum effort.

June Faire, the local SCA's stab at a "Medieval Fair", is coming up quickly. We (Warhorse Guild) will be doing the horse thing there again. It's a nice event for us, because, although it's held on a historic site with buildings that only date back to mid-19th century (the disadvantage of being West Coast USA...sigh), it's a whopping ten minute commute from Tilbury Camp. Last year the local SCA poobahs decided to make a kind of "gypsy caravan camp" about 100' from the horse field. I thought, "Hey, no problem! Pavilions for a backdrop." Imagine my chagrin (but really not surprise) when I drove over to check things out on Friday night and saw a giant cluster of glowing R-flipping-Vs!!! Light's ablazing, awnings deployed, nasty aluminum chairs dotted about the landscape, sparkling in the light of the Coleman lanterns. The cherry on the cake was the humans in this diorama of modernity, proudly wearing their cotton-poly T-tunics, capes, and fake fur hats, sipping sodas and and talking on their cell-phones. Aaaaaagh! This is not a hardship camping site. We're talking manicured lawns, running water, portapotties every 100 feet or so. Come...on...people! This is Western Washington, for crying out loud. There are no scorpions, chiggers, fire ants, deer flies, or anything else. You can throw down a bed roll and be cozy, ok?

Hey, now I'm ranting. I guess it's contagious.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Joust Training: Day 1

My first video experiment. Don't be too critical, I shot it on my mom's little still cam:
The DP needs to learn to keep mouth shut when filming, and the editor needs to get better at sound engineering.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Meet Gryphon

He's our new horse, an "appendix Quarterhorse", whatever that is. All I know is he's smaller and dainty-er than the drafts and half-drafts we already have wandering around. He seems entirely less spooky than Jaran, who is now for sale (need a big, sporty Percheron?). Unfortunately, he came from an unhappy home and was being, shall we say, underfed. We'll cure that in a hurry. They don't call our place the "fat farm" for nothing.
Tomorrow we try him out with quintiain, etc. Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Reality Check

So, the other day my friend Bev (see blonde girl in armor in earlier entry) was at the stables where her new horse is being trained. She took a dufflebag of armor to "sack out" ye horse (his name is Darshan). "Sacking out" a horse basically means getting them used to terrifying, horse-mauling predatory things like, say, crinkly paper blowing by in the wind, mud puddles, umbrellas that loom up at you (which I find scary, too), pieces of string lying in the road, etc. For those of you who don't work with horses, I am totally serious. The most unlikely things appear as DANGEROUS PREDATORS to the average horse. Seriously, my husband's current horse, Woody, a huge half-draft behemoth, once jumped about ten feet sideways when one of my cats came trotting down the fence rail toward him. Luckily he jumped away from Gordo, who was bent over adjusting the saddle girth, and not right on to his head. Yes, a cat is a predator, and horses are prey animals, but it's kind of irrational in my mind to shy away from a predator who's, say, smaller than your nose... but that's just me.

Anyway.... armor can be really really scary! It's shiny and it clanks and clacks and it's a NEW THING and oh my! So, what you do is things like, say, tie some clanky armor bits to the saddle and lunge the horse around a bit until that clanky noise every time their toes hit the ground becomes old news. Then, you graduate to wearing the armor and sitting on the horse. With a horse like Darshan, you get the "Why are you dressed like a trash can? Can I have a cookie?" response. Other horses are pretty sure you are from outer space and have come to perform vivisection.

Anyway again.... there was some guy there at the stables, who asked Bev what was in the clanky bag. When she told him, he said, "Oh, but it's not real armor, is it?"

"Actually, it is." She replied. "We do jousting."

"Yeah, " he aceded, "but it's not real armor, like they had back then."

"Well, actually, it is." she repeated. Which is true. This is not plastic, fiberglass, tin, or otherwise cobbled together prop armor. It's real armor made on real olde patterns by real armorers using the same types of tools used centuries ago for people to wear as protection so they won't kill each other playing dangerous horse games.

Mr. Ferrous Craneous continued to bleat, "Yeah, but it's not real." At this point I might have been tempted to hit him over the head with a vambrace or something. "Does that feel real to ya?" Whack! "How about this?!" (Bonking him with a close helmet). I think the idea of somebody reviving a Medieval or Renaissance equestrian sport like jousting is just so outside of some people's personal reality that they just can't believe it really happens. Excuse me: what's the state sport of Maryland? Hm?

Jousting, real jousting of various types, is going on pretty much around the globe these days. There was a recent episode on some kind of infotainment show (we saw this on tape, since we don't have cable or watch TV since Fox cancelled Firefly, harumph) with a "warrior" theme where they took their hand-picked "average people" and trained them as jousters. The bombastic host of the show, a stunt-coordinator in real life, I believe, was blathering and blustering about how "This is the first time real jousting has been done in over 500 YEARS!!!!!!!!!" Um, I repeat: what's the state sport of Maryland? Yes, there are people all over the world who "joust" on bicycles with nerf bats or whatever, but there is also a lot of real jousting going on, and pretty much has been continuously for hundreds of years. There were tournaments in the 19th century using antique, refurbished armours from "back then", even. Now, if you know the right people, you can have brand new armor made to order that's every bit as nice and "real". So there.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Signs of spring #2: Chickens in bushes

Yesterday was sign of Spring #1: removing snow tires. Today the birds are in the flower beds, sunning themselves against the white (ugh) garage wall. Now, they've been doing this for months, but only in the last few weeks have there been so many flowers in there with them.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Yesterday's Warhorse "practice"

Friend Raph and Crystal have moved to their new place over in Preston (near Snoqualmie Falls). They invited a bunch of historic horse nuts over to work on gear and technique and view the new digs, so that's what we (Gordo, Bev, moi) did yesterday. Oh, and Bev got to try her new armor!

Here they are, suiting up. Note the cool lance arrette (sp) that she didn't even ask for, but the cool armorer in Brno (or somewhere else in Czech Republic) thought she should have.

Yes, Gordo needs gauntles and legs.... but he still looks cool.
No, Bev doesn't normally wear wellies with her armor.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Here comes cavalry season!

Spring is lurking in the shadows, and we know what that portends: tourney season! Little Honor had his first trail ride today (that's him on the left, the giant grey baby). Nobody died: yay! At 17.2(?) hands, he's the biggest baby I know. Now if his mommy can just find him a happy home...

It was so nice and balmy this morning I didn't even have to wear gloves in the woods! Meanwhile, I talked to some folks in Second Life (who live much farther East) who had to shovel snow this morning. I love the Pac. Northwest, thank you very much.

As you can see from the photo left, Woody's mane is growing in nicely from his "high & tight" cut last year. The sweet itch was bugging him so bad during the Summer that he'd rubbed his mane all raw in a couple of spots. Right before Faire Bev shaved it all off because it looked so ratty. This year we'll get him on an antihistamine so he doesn't suffer all season, poor baby. No itchy!!!

Gordon on Jaran, Woody's head in lower right corner.

trail ride 03-07
Bev describes Honor's canter...

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Awfully BRIGHT outside...







This is why we don't take off our snow tires until March or so...



The chickens hate the snow, and are all in the barn thank you very much.

The cats are mostly in the house. Beany hasn't gone out but maybe three times since October (she thinks she's delicate). There are Gimli tracks making a beeline for the barn as per usual. Eric made a foray, but even though he's a pretty large cat, the snow is just about up to his tummy. Very disquieting! He went directly to the dry spot under the awning where I feed the chickens in bad weather. He was waiting, I think, for the little brown birds to come clean up the spilled corn. They saw him sitting there and stayed in the lilacs. I went and picked him up and brought him back inside. Catz.

The horses were baffled: no place to roll! Woody rolled anyway and came up looking like a snow sculpture until he shook it off. It's really beautiful outside, and I wish I had a better camera with which to share it! Here's a snapshot of my little wattle fence project, anyway.


Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Frightful Weather

Yes, it's snowing again. Granted it's wet, fitful snow and will likely melt by afternoon, but still...

My rhubarb is coming up, so I put some more manure around it for good measure. I have three plants, but is that really enough? I saw some bare-roots for sale at Valley Nursery for cheap the other day. As soon as I have a few dollars to rub together I'm going to get one or two of them. I can't help but remember when we lived in wretched central valley, California, and I tried to grow rhubarb. It was so hot in the Summer they just fried in the concrete-like ground, and then in Winter they rotted in the concrete turned to slime. A potted rubarb cost me over $14 at a nursery in Nevada (the nurseries in California just glazed over when I asked, as though I had requested a Venusian Liquid Metal slime mold or something).

Rubarb: it's not just for breakfast.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Victory!

After two weeks (as of tomorrow), this nasty cold will finally be pretty much history! Yesterday was the first day in awhile where I felt like I had any energy at all, and with all the yard work/sewing/etc. I need to be doing the timing was pretty bad. Still, I feel fortunate since this is the first illness I've had in over a year.

Ah, I hear clucking outside my door... time to feed the chookies!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Another Personality Test

This one is actually pretty accurate! I took the long test, of course...

My Personality

Neuroticism
44
Extraversion
7
Openness To Experience
49
Agreeableness
54
Conscientiousness
43

You are introverted, reserved, and quiet with a preference for solitude and solitary activities. Your socializing tends to be restricted to a few close friends. Stressful and frustrating situations can be upsetting to you, but you are generally able to get over these feelings and cope with these situations. A desire for tradition does not prevent you from trying new things. Your thinking is neither simple nor complex. To others you appear to be a well-educated person but not an intellectual. You have some concern with others' needs, and are generally pleasant, sympathetic, and cooperative. You are reasonably reliable, organized, and self-controlled.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Chilly

Got a little dusting of snow last night. Just enough to re-apply what melted yesterday when the outside temp rose to a sweltering 42 F or so. My suet bird feeder is empty, and now I can't find the mould to make another suet cake! Fooey. I guess I should clean my kitchen, then it will magically appear.

Bev brought over her big baby shire Honor yesterday to get him under saddle a bit. He's just four years and I think yesterday was maybe his third time with a rider. Nobody died. This was a distinct possibility considering that the ground is frozen right now, and coming off a 17+ hand horse could be ugly.

There is a lot of ice down by the drainage ditch/creek right now. In fact, there are huge sheets of thick ice where there has been seepage from all the rain we had. When Gordon went to retrieve Jaran and Woody from the back pasture, they were slipping all over the place: a giant wreck did NOT occur, miraculously.
Also of note: Natalie layed her first egg this weekend! It was actually a pretty decent one for a first egg, and (drum roll please)...she's a greenie! Yay! I'm on the way back to tutti frutti egg cartons! She layed her second this morning. I'm just positive that Americauna/Auracanas can lay blue eggs, too. I must find a blue girl somewhere...

At any rate, after a few months of maybe one or two eggs a week (from Ophelia, my die-hard Cochin fluff ball), we're back to business. Keridwen is almost grown back from her molt and should start laying again soon, especially since the days are getting longer. Lobelia should start pitching in, too (she's so lazy). Emma, little Seabright bird, will lay again when she darn well feels like it, because she marches to a different drummer.

Let's see. How much more prosaic can I be? I know...a cat picture!

Gimli loves his snuggly bed.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Second Life update

Well, my love affair with the Star Trek afficianadoes of Second Life has cooled considerably. I'm just weary of the barely socialized geek factor. Trying to engage most of them in conversation is an excercise in futility, and the tactical events I tried were giant clusters. Can we say "no military training"? Gack. I'm still maintaining my "membership" in the group, but I've discovered a much happier place...Caledon.
Yes, I'm back in the 19th century, where my serious historical re-enacting began, anyway. What a joy this place is. People with social skills! People who dress like civilized ladies and gentlemen! People who can string polysyllabic words together in a coherent fashion! Beautiful architecture and actual zoning!
It's not strictly "19th c", but a kind of steampunk Jules Verne-y sort of place. Fine by me!

Colder than last time

OK, it's officially really cold. It was 37F in my kitchen this morning, 20F outside. To you folks in the Dakotas, I realise this is shirtsleeve weather, but it's really unusual for, say, sea-level in the Puget Sound region! I made the chickens a mash of lard and flax seeds to eat today, and now they can burn calories and be happy.

The upside? No rain!!!