Thursday, April 17, 2014

Brain Growth

Miss M read my most recent Books Bygone newspaper essay column this evening after supper.

For some reason, Miss M found "brain growth" highly amusing.

Here's what got her laughing:
... the questions must not be suppressed, because that means death to intelligence and to brain growth. ...
To which I said:
No grownup in his or her right mind wants to stifle the growth of children’s brains, and so we look to encyclopedias for intelligent answers for our children and ourselves.

"The Kiss of Betrayal"

Lots going on today!
Since tomorrow is Good Friday, lots of businesses and such will be closed-- even State!-- so today substitutes for Friday-go-to-town-day. But first I have to get the first coat on. But before that I must post at least a little something. So I turned to a crappy old book, Christ and the Fine Arts, for inspiration. 

There's a nice little commentary to quote. But before I do that, I need to find the color version of this painting. Easy-peasy, right?

How sad is this?
Three search engines later-- including which claims to never track anyone-- and I give up. I've got things to do. 

Christ and the Fine Arts Revised and Enlarged Edition: An Anthology of Pictures, Poetry, Music and Stories Centering in the Life of Christ. Cynthia Pearl Maus. Harper & Row, Publishers, New York. 1959.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I'm taking over Wednesday Evening Comment Drive to bring you these.

Thanks to all who participated!

The blue sky is for suek who dries her clothes in the sunshine.

For the Fun Loving!

We continue this week's etsy impromptu features with Ivan Werks, the shop owned by family members of loyal reader and frequent commenter (thank you!) 'suek.'

Here are a few of my favorites....

Check out Ivan Werk's shop and if you'd like a different combination, let them know and they'll make it for you. 

What's your favorite etsy shop?

Pass it on

Posted to the shared Pintrest board "G.M.O.Y.A." by Miss M.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What's Happening Now!

That's Mr. Big Food's shop light that he uses to see the grill when he's grilling after dark. I put it up under the covers on the walkup greenhouse.  
"They" "say" it will get below freezing tonight-- maybe even as low as 28 °F. That's cold for tomatoes and peppers and eggplant and tobacco and stuff. 

Let me make a statistical point. There is no such thing as the "average last frost date." That is an impossible statistic, given the nature of the data. And don't even get me started on the Lickert scale. 

That said, it is April 15th! That's the latest last frost date I saw predicted for this region. With all this rain-- and the sun and wind today-- it will frost in places over night.

But I doubt that it's going to get below freezing here on the patio. But that's not the point. The point is, tomatoes and peppers & such do not like cold weather. It is cold. 

Cruel, cruel April

For my friends who are suffering through this on-again off-again spring.


April, April,
Laugh they girlish laughter;
Then, the moment after,
Weep thy girlish tears!
April, that mine ears
Like a lover greetest,
If I tell thee, sweetest,
All my hopes and fears,
April, April,
Laugh thy golden laughter,
But the moment after,
Weep thy golden tears!
--William Watson (1858-1935)

Found while looking for another poem about April in The New Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1918 (New Edition), Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. Oxford University Press, New York, 1955 (first published 1900).

Monday, April 14, 2014

Just when you think it's safe enough to stay inside...

this happens.

That's one of the buckets the Girls gave me for Mother's Day a few years ago. It's coming in handy. It sits about... two feet from me. There's another bucket just under the ceiling vent up there in front of me. When the sky is falling and I leave the house, I move all of my electronic gizmos into the breakfast room.
So it rained today. A guy came out yesterday to assess the situation. He called today. You just can't do what he needs to do in the rain.

The other day, A. Leland asked if it was always like this-- one thing and then another. I replied that this winter was exceptional with respect to the sheer number of things that had gone wrong.
  • We ran out of propane. This never happens.
  • The furnace stopped woking.
  • Turns out we had a bad regulator.
  • We got that fixed.
  • Next day, A.L. & I smell gas everywhere. 
  • A gas leak explains everything.
Did I mention the busted/frozen pipes so keep the water dripping all night water bill? 

And the dryer that quit? And the dishwasher that would not drain?

And the tomatoes that are desperate to go into the ground but cannot on account of the fact that it's gonna be freaking freezing tomorrow night? 

It's not even safe to go outside!

[Shelter in place.]

etsy 2A
Hat tip to Aggie who found the etsy site for 2nd Amendment Jewelry. Thank you!

As you can see, Brenda and Glenda really do create their jewelry in Starkvegas, Mississippi!

Here's the necklace Daughter C got for me from their stand at the Arts Festival this weekend.

Recipe: Mexican Baked Eggs

How about that curly bacon!
Serves 4

6 slices bacon, cut into small pieces, plus 4 additional pieces cooked and formed into curls
16 oz tomatoes (can use stewed or canned)
¼ C chopped green chilies
1 clove garlic, minced
4 eggs
Salt, pepper
Tortillas, heated, buttered, and rolled

Preheat oven to 325 °. Cook bacon pieces slowly in skillet until crisp, drain off excess fat, add tomatoes, chilies, and garlic, and heat through. Divide mixture evenly among 4 baking cups and carefully slide an egg on top of tomato mixture in each cup. Sprinkle each egg lightly with salt and pepper and bake 20-25 minutes or until eggs are set. Top each egg with a bacon curl. Pass heated and rolled tortillas.

Recipe: Pot Roast I

Can you believe it? Mr. Big Food has never made this dish before! That's fresh parsley, by the way.

4 lb boneless chuck roast (or other boneless roast)
2 tsp Creole seasoning
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp celery salt
1 ¼ tsp sweet basil
3 Tbsp flour
1 ¼ C vegetable oil
14 ½ oz beef stock (preferably homemade—see recipes in Basics section)
½ C spicy vegetable juice (like V-8)
½ C water
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Teriyaki sauce (preferably homemade—see recipes in Grillin’ … section)
Onion (white or yellow), cut into thin rings
2 carrots, pared and cut into 2 inch slices
4 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
¼ C fresh parsley, chopped fine

Combine seasonings and rub over roast surface. Dredge roast in flour. Brown on all sides in hot oil in stock pot or Dutch oven. Drain excess oil. Add broth, vegetable juice, water, Worchestershire sauce, and teriyaki sauce. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 1 hour (or longer, depending on desired tenderness). Add vegetables. Cover and simmer 45 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Cook uncovered during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking time. Remove roast to serving platter and slice. Surround with vegetables. Top with gravy and garnish with parsley.

Recipe: 24 Hour Slaw with Hot Dressing

4/12/14 6:28pm 
4/13/14 7:35pm
Serve with North Carolina Pork Barbecue

Serves 8-10

¾ C sugar
1 large head cabbage, outer leaves removed, cored, and shredded
2 large red onions, sliced thin
Hot Dressing

Stir sugar into shredded cabbage, place half of cabbage in a large bowl, and cover with onion slices. Top onions with remaining cabbage. Pour boiling Hot Dressing over all slowly. Do not stir. Cover and refrigerate at once for 24 hours. Stir well before serving.


1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1 ½ tsp salt
1 C cider vinegar
1 C oil

Combine all ingredients except oil in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Stir in oil and return to boiling.

Recipe: North Carolina Pork Barbecue

Serve with 24 Hour Slaw with Hot Dressing


Makes about 8 big sandwiches

4-5 lb pork shoulder roast or Boston butt
1 C white vinegar
½ C water
2 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp crushed red pepper
¼ tsp black pepper
8 kaiser rolls, split and toasted if desired (preferably homemade—see recipes for French Bread in Baked Goods section)

Place roast in bottom of (at least a 4 quart) slow cooker, and add remaining ingredients except rolls. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 10-12 hours, or on high heat setting for 5-6 hours. Remove meat from cooker and cool slightly. Remove meat from bone, and shred or chop meat. Stir in as much of the cooking liquid as desired to moisten meat and serve on rolls.

Recipe: Skillet Chicken with Biscuit Dumplings

Canned biscuits can substitute for dumplin’s when you’re in a pinch …


1 chicken, cut up, or chicken pieces, 3-3 ½ pounds, skinned
½ tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
¼ C (½ stick) butter
10 ¾ oz chicken stock (preferably homemade—see recipes in Basics section)
1 small onion, chopped
½ tsp poultry seasoning
½ tsp black pepper
1 lb bag frozen vegetables, any variety, thawed
1 package refrigerated biscuits
Parsley, minced, for garnish

Sprinkle chicken on both sides with salt and paprika. Melt butter in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add chicken pieces and sauté until browned on all sides. Remove chicken, pour out drippings, and add broth to skillet. Add onion, poultry seasoning, and black pepper. Return chicken to skillet, moving aside onions. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 25 minutes. Add vegetables to skillet around chicken pieces. Return liquid to boiling. Top chicken and vegetables with biscuits. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Cover and simmer 10 minutes longer or until dumplings are cooked through. Sprinkle with parsley.

Happy Monday!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Details, details

It was Super Bull Dog Weekend in Starkvegas!!

The Cotton District Arts Festival. 

State played Ole Miss in baseball.

FB (football) scrimmage. 

Everyone except Mr. Big Food and I went. We stayed home.

That's my birthstone!
Daughter C returned to the Farm bearing gifts! 

She said the woman who does this is local, and that she sells on etsy-- with which I am not all that familiar. But I just searched: 

2,170,000 results

I thought after last evening's photo dump, I owed the blog a few words. 

Post Haste!

Look at all the pollen on his shell.
Ring Ring


"Mom. Come outside, quick. Bring the camera. Post Haste!"

I hurriedly got my camera, went out one door, looked, ran to another, and another. Oh there they are! (I didn't hear Daughter C come home.)

I got close enough and slowed my gate.

It's a turtle. No hurry.
posthaste 1545, usually said to be from "post haste" instruction formerly written on letters (attested from 1538), from post (3) "system for sending mail" + haste. The verb post "to ride or travel with great speed" is recorded from 1558.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Photo Post with No Captions

I haven't done this in a long time.

Here Mr. Big Food interrupted my picture taking. He needed some parsley.