Monday, April 30, 2012

Signs of the time

I still can't get over that remark from one of our employees. She characterized us-- the citizens of the Hospitality State-- as "disgusting and shameful." She's entitled (isn't everyone) to her opinion, but I think it's ill-mannered to talk this way about your employers.

I was disappointed that there were so many weeds (not pictured) in the flower beds at TSUN.
As I mentioned, we traveled today to That School Up North (TSUN), located in Oxford, Mississippi (not to be confused with the real Oxford). I didn't purposefully go looking for evidence to the contrary-- that we are not disgusting & shameful-- but after reviewing the photos I took, that's what I found. We are neither disgusting nor shameful. (I think there are some grammatical issues in what she said, but it was a Twitter post.)

Granted, TSUN & Oxford are... how to say this?... different from the rest of Mississippi so we shouldn't be too quick to generalize, but still, that's what I found. 

B&N serves Starbuck coffee. I don't care for Starbucks coffee. But it's hardly disgusting. I will say the student body at TSUN used to dress better than they do these days. I guess it's a sign of the times that they look remarkably like State students.

Walk this way.

 Zoom in. It says, "[T]he heartwood is resistant to deterioration." 

There should be no shame in growing old. That's a normative claim. 

There's a bench beneath the tree.

Loyal Rebel.
I could be wrong about this, but I don't think it's shameful to be loyal to rebellious cause, is it? 

Especially when you have a Creed.

Class of 2005
Disgusting and shameful-- to Believe in Respect, Fairness, Civility, Integrity, Honesty, Freedom, Stewardship.

I make fun of TSUN a lot. But it's a good school.

Lyceum below.

I am disgusting and shameful.

As are Mr. Big Food, Daughter C., neighbor Ken, D.C. and his Piglet coworkers, Christine at the Dollar General, Bro Mike and his congregants, Nancy at the US Post Office, Jesse & Mary at the welding shop, all of the folk who will come out to the Farm for the Event this weekend, and let's not forget our friends at That School Up North (where we will be later today).
On her Facebook page, Voting Section supervisory civil rights analyst Stephanie Celandine Gyamfi says about the people of Mississippi:

“Disgusting and shameful. Hey, that should replace the state motto: ‘Mississippi: Disgusting and Shameful’. . . forget the Magnolia State motto.”

From J. Christian Adams' "DOJ Employee Contempt for Mississippi Citizens on Facebook" at PJMedia. 

Stephanie's miffed that we-- that would be the Citizens of The Disgusting and Shameful state-- voted for voter ID. 

Oh. By the way, Stephie, the state motto is The Hospitality State. But you're not welcome here.

Upper right portion of my FIREARMS PERMIT issued to me by the Sovereign State of Mississippi

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Who is A. Leland?

We've We're tired. We worked all weekend. I had the tiller out. I'm fixin' to plant some okra. Mr. Big Food did some hard cuttin'. We're having company. Or so I hear.

A. Leland is to Suzy's left.
We're not in touch with Christopher and Lindsey anymore. But the rest check in from time to time. Max & Diana are married. Kat & Ton are married. Kyle-- bless his heart-- is getting married. Mr. Big Food & I are married. Sam is in a committed relationship with a wonderful young woman and a cartoon dog. Aaron needs to meet Bruno.

Big Life.

Supper was good. Recipes tomorrow.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

You know what's really funny?

Editing funny video of funny dogs barking while funny dogs are in the room.
They bark at themselves barking. It's metabarking!

Funny stuff.

I should sew some valances for the windows in this room. I like naked windows, but I think the room would feel cozier to guests if there were valances. Unlike sheers-- which would be my first option-- valances wouldn't obstruct the dogs' view.

"So you want to own a gun (Part Two)"

The Ruger Bearcat

The second installment of Bob Owens' series is up over at PJMedia. This one focuses on taking a non-shooting beginners class to learn basic gun safety and so on. He then goes on to extoll the many virtues of the .22 caliber long gun and handgun. 
If your eventual goal is to obtain a concealed carry permit or to obtain a handgun for personal protection or sport, the course of action I’d suggest is to first look at a handgun chambered in .22 Long Rifle (.22 LR). The .22 LR is an inexpensive, low recoil, and relatively quiet cartridge that allows shooters of every skill level to focus on the fundamental skills of shooting without being distracted by the kick or noise of larger-caliber weapons. I’d advise trying out both revolvers and semi-automatic pistols to decide which appeals to you, which feels more comfortable in your hand, and which has controls that you can manipulate.

At this point, you may notice a very loud wailing and gnashing of teeth around you. In all likelihood, that is the multitude of handgun shooters crying out in anguish at the mention of “.22 LR” in any proximity to a discussion of concealed carry and defensive handguns. Their complaints are not without merit — the conventional wisdom is that the smallest acceptable cartridge for self-defense is a .380 ACP in a pistol or a .38 Special in a revolver. I’m not disagreeing with that sentiment at all.

I’m suggesting you’ll learn faster, and often without imparting many bad habits you have to overcome later, if you learn your fundamentals with a .22 handgun. It’s all about the fundamentals.
I completely agree about the class and the .22.  I didn't like the fact that we had to take the class in order to get our carry permits in Ohio, but I was glad we took the class. Both .22 guns and ammunition are significantly less expensive that other calibers. If you are learning by shooting a lot of rounds, why waste money?

It's a beautiful day. I wonder if Mr. Big Food would like to do some shooting?

Friday, April 27, 2012

"Bring guns, fishing stuff, and wine.

Looking forward to seeing you!" read the invitation.

We are having a Thing next weekend.

Rumor has it A. Leland is coming.

He better not disappoint.

Farm Safety (con't): I've been to Romania. I know.

That, Dear Readers, is an example of a logical fallacy known as the "Anecdotal Fallacy":
You used a personal experience or an isolated example instead of a sound argument or compelling evidence.

It's often much easier for people to believe someone's testimony as opposed to understanding complex data and variation across a continuum. Quantitative scientific measures are almost always more accurate than personal perceptions and experiences, but our inclination is to believe that which is tangible to us, and/or the word of someone we trust over a more 'abstract' statistical reality.

Example: Jason said that that was all cool and everything, but his grandfather smoked, like, 30 cigarettes a day and lived until 97 - so don't believe everything you read about meta analyses of methodologically sound studies showing proven causal relationships.
From Your Logical Fallacy Is which simply explains 24 common logical fallacies. 

In this case, however, I have been to a Romanian farm and I do know. It has nothing whatsoever to do with The Children's safety.

In the last few days, the general blogosphere has become aware of the Department of Labor's attempts to prohibit kids from working on farms-- including (and especially) family farms. I recently posted about it here. Over a month ago I posted some thoughts on the 80+ pages of DOL regulations. Those posts had a bunch of crappy old stuff about tool/farm safety, etc. (The most recent post has links to my posts and other relevant sources.)

I am happy to report that the new regulations-- which would have prohibited kids under the age of 16 from using a power screw driver-- have been scuttled. I'm sure you've seen mention of the decision already, but if not, read about it at The Hill or PJMedia. (Shoot. I had some blogger probs and the links didn't transfer.)

From PJMedia:
"The decision to withdraw this rule – including provisions to define the ‘parental exemption’ – was made in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small family-owned farms,” Labor said in a statement. “To be clear, this regulation will not be pursued for the duration of the Obama administration.”

While not targeting kids under 16 who work in “agricultural vocations,” the Labor Department said it would be setting up an “educational program” regarding kids on farms.
From The Hill:
“[T]he Departments of Labor and Agriculture will work with rural stakeholders — such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union, the Future Farmers of America, and 4-H to develop an educational program to reduce accidents to young workers and promote safer agricultural working practices,” the Labor Department said.
As someone once said, "Are you serious?"

It has nothing to do with safety. These organizations already have safety education programs. I know this. They are advertised in the newspaper. Seriously, it's not as if parents and other adults in farming communities want kids to get hurt.

I am not alone in hypothesizing that it is about family farms vs. corporate "farms." [insert missing link] Nor am I alone in noticing the eery, although more subtle (maybe?), similarities to totalitarian takeovers.

"The People's Palace" in Bucharest, the world's largest civilian building (Image from Wikipedia)

I've nothing to say.

Just kidding. 

It's a busy Friday. I'm heading to the metropolis of Starkvegas. I'll keep my eyes peeled for something interesting.

Taken on my first trip to Starkvegas.
Enjoy your afternoon!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Red Staegall: About 'More About Big Food, etc.'

Red Steagall (pronounced with a long E; accent on the first syllable), is
a multitalented showbusiness personality whose career has covered a period of 35 years and has spanned the globe.
(That's how the Wikipedia entry begins. Doesn't sound very much like an encyclopedia entry to me.)

The Redneck Collection of redneck, blueneck, Texas, jazz (there's some unidentified Pete Fountain), rock, high school and kid rock, and Southern-- including Southern Gospel-- , etc. songs Mr. Big Food collects in his spare time is at an interesting place in its history. It's evolving! Yuck yuck.

Quite some time ago, Mr. Big Food began listening to Red Steagall and decided to devote a CD in the ever changing Redneck Collection to Red Steagall's poems and songs. (Did I mention that both are Texans?) Back in the crappy olden days we identified songs as being on, for example, Redneck 7. The original Steagall CD was to be in the low 50's, if I'm not mistaken. 

We very much enjoy Red Steagall's poems and songs.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Recipe: Creative Cooking Sweet Soda Bread

One of two loaves of "Creative Cooking Sweet Soda Breads" (and variations) about to experience -4 degrees F.
The Word Doc that is the recipe for Creative Cooking Sweet Soda Bread in Mr. Big Food's Big Food Manual and Survivalist Flourishing Guide begins,

 “Soda breads: Bread, by definition, is a baked product made with dough that has been raised by yeast or other gas-forming (leavening) agents. Soda breads, introduced here, are among those breads not leavened by yeast. They belong to the category of Quick Breads, so named because their dough is not made with yeast, and therefore does not require additional time to rise before baking.

            The ingredients baking powder, baking soda, and buttermilk, leaven soda breads and give them a biscuit-like texture. Because they are without yeast, they do not rise as much as yeast breads. However, they are equally delicious and much easier to prepare. Many sweet and savory varieties can be made from a basic recipe, and the three breads which follow, Sweet Soda Bread, Cheese Soda Bread and Onion Soda Bread are excellent examples.

            Sweet Soda Bread is given its mildly sweet flavor with a small amount of sugar and 1 ½ cups of seedless raisins. This quick and easy recipe, which requires only 2 to 3 minutes of kneading, makes two loaves, delicious when sliced and buttered.

            The recipes for Cheese Soda Bread and Onion Soda Bread are simple variations of Sweet Soda Bread. The sugar and raisins have been omitted, and savory cheese and onions added. These breads are a flavorful attraction at any meal.”—The Creative Cooking Course (1982)

BIG LIFE: I buttered a slice not five minutes out of the oven. I try to not cuss too much here-- although I do a lot in real life. So you will pardon me when I say that this bread is one damned fine bread.

Recipe below.

Aside: The crosses I cut were too deep. You only need to go about 1/2" deep.

Missy is a Prepper

She's stockpiling. (What an interesting word.) She's hoarding. She awaits The End Times.

I won't fault her.

She is a very messy housekeeper. Pretty much everything on the right side was piled on the food on the left side.
Seeing how much of her food Rocky eats, I don't blame her one bit for wanting to put some away.

She's out now, alone in The Den. Suzy just barked at her. Good for Suzy. Missy's all full of herself because she had a feast. She'll need to replenish her bowl tomorrow.

We Don't Need No Stinking Values

“What would be more of a blow ... is not teaching our kids the values of working on a farm,” said Jeff Clack, Cherokee County (Kansas) Farm Bureau president when asked to comment on "a proposal from the Obama administration to prevent children from doing farm chores."

Read the article at The Daily Caller here.

I had some things to say, and some crappy old references to share concerning the Department of Labor's attempts to prohibit kids from using power screwdrivers and climbing ladders.

If it takes all week I'm going to get this pile of old books off my desk

If I recall, the DOL's proposed regulations are 80+ pages long. There is some push back in the legislature. The first post (above) has the relevant links. 
I'm making Across the Garden Soup today, and baking some soda bread. I think I'll watch The Waltons while I'm working in the kitchen.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It has come to this...

home everything.
Those flowers are micro-greens gone to seed.

Junk yard dog

I think it's a Ford Mustang.
Yesterday I mentioned the little hellions who had no respect for property. Today Rocky & I were tilling up the front "flower bed" and dug up a few cars-- three so far. Rocky likes playing with toy cars!

Apparently, at one time there actually were flowers in this "flower bed." I know this because we also dug up a few J&P rose tags. I can imagine this bed might have been quite pretty at one time. 

Remember this line from The Secret Garden?
Where you plant a rose, lad, a thistle cannot grow.
If you plant roses and no one tends them, you wind up with a good old fashioned Southern (toy) junk yard.

I hope the digging explains the sparsity of blogging.

Monday, April 23, 2012

My walk with Rocky

This will be brief, and there will be no photo.

Rocky was bored with the Pond Pasture and asked to go somewhere different today. That's easy! To the North Pasture!

Setting aside that we had to hopscotch around the fire ant hills, it began quite nicely. There was scat for Rocky to examine, and I checked the progress of the dewberries up by the leaning tree. (They are setting fruit and coming along nicely.)

An old photo. The leaning tree is on the left.
We made the right turn at the top of the west path and could really hear Mr. Cotton Farmer at work down below. We paused a few moments at the summit and then continued on, turning right onto the east path of the North Pasture.

I do not believe I have given any history of the Farm-- which is quite interesting, but long. For now let me just say this. The former owner had some kids who Sue at State Farm described as "hellions." To say that they had little respect for property is an understatement. We continue to find crap (and I mean that in a bad way) all over the property. Earlier this spring, I found a broken bicycle in the Pond Pasture. Rocky has dug up cat food cans in places he's allowed to dig near the patio. I'm digging up the front "flower beds" (scoff) now and have unearthed several spoons. (Who just tosses a spoon in a "flower bed?") 

As Rocky & I began walking down the east path, I looked ahead and saw a rather large piece of inter-tube right in the middle of the path. Nothing surprises me. There's even a broken down bush-hog near the pile of railroad ties.

There is no photo of today's walk because just as soon as Rocky bent his little head down to sniff the inter-tube, it slithered away, I screamed, and Rocky jumped pretty darned fast.

It would have made a good photograph. "Black snake sunning."

I think we will avoid taking any walks through Copperhead Crossing.

And now, to dig up some more spoons.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day!

 You go ahead and Learn More if you dare.
$5,100,000,000 annual budget and this is the best they can come up with for a banner? Who are they targeting? Where are Kermit and the Kids? What ever.

[UPDATE: I have no idea what's going on with the photos. I'm seeing the ones below the fold just fine. But of course, I was seeing these just fine a little bit ago.]

In honor of Every Day is Earth Day-- and with The Children in mind-- I opened up the special bookcase and removed this crappy old slim volume:

All Around Us (Beauchamp, Crampton, and Gray, Scott, Foresman and Company, 1956)

I've had this book for quite a while and have always-- even now-- enjoyed looking through it.

There are very few words. As the front matter indicates, it's a picture book of "Basic Studies in Science." It begins with a section on Animals which presents lots and lots of pictures of all sorts of animals, both domestic and foreign.

[Some great illustrations below. Remember, you can click on each to enlarge.]

Saturday, April 21, 2012

About those freeze dates I posted earlier... .

They were collected in The Delta, specifically, in Greenwood, Mississippi. 

According to the US Census, Greenwood has a population of just over 15,000 folks, 72% of whom have graduated from high school (5% fewer than Mississippi total), and 19% of whom have a bachelor's degree or higher (same as Mississippi total). 

The median household income is almost $25,000 (compared to $37.8k in Mississippi). 

At 48%, Greenwood's home ownership rate is well below Mississippi's 70%. But-- and folks, keep in mind it's The Delta-- the "median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2006-2010" (homes and condos, right?) is about $81k, far less than Mississippi overall ($96.5k ), but still greater than my little county's $72.5k. 

Thirty-six percent of Greenwood's population is living below the poverty level (21% in Mississippi). 

Here's an interesting statistic. The percentage of foreign born persons in Greenwood is 3.1. As a percentage, there are a lot more foreign born persons in Greenwood compared to my little county (1%) and Mississippi (2.2%). Heck, statistically it's probably the same as in Starkvegas (2.9%; Go Dawgs), but no where near large as in that Rebellious Town Up North (6.3%). 

Based on these statistics, what picture are you painting of Greenwood's population? 

Your tax dollars at work

I'm actually o.k. with some agency of the Federal Government collecting data on the weather. I would voluntarily donate $1 every year to fund such an agency. Imagine what would happen if we were able to vote on every line item in the Federal budget, assuming there is one some day.

It would be fun to plot these data, from NOAA-- and agency that does far too much.
Think about it for a minute. This is what counts as income [insert short list: wages & compensation (not tips), rent you are paid, profit from sale of a product you produce or service you provide, interest on investments, etc.]. Add them up. Multiply by 0.10. This is what you owe the Federal Government for executing only Constitutionally mandated jobs. What follows is a list of Constitutionally Legitimate entities of the Federal Government. Please indicate, in whole cents, to which entities your payment should be allotted. The amounts must sum to at least the total you owe. If the sum is greater than what you owe, please include a check for the overage. Thanks!

Wouldn't that be a kicker? You like the EPA? Give it your all. What's given to the EPA by the Citizens will be what the EPA has to work with next year. Think your Senator deserves a pay cut? Give him one. 

If I were to give $1 to an agency that collected, and made public, data on the weather, I would  insist that the folks working at the agency and doing the reporting report medians, not averages. You cannot average a date. It just don't make no sense. See? That's how to make folks accountable. Pay them and expect them to do a good job.

Of course, we'd have to look into the legitimacy of this agency-- and a lot of others.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Poor puppies :-(

I need to work through Before and After more quickly. If I had, I'd be able to correct this photo by now.
Ahh. They are expecting Daughter C. and Mr. Big Food to come driving up the driveway any time now. Their expectations will go unfulfilled this evening.

Beet thinnings

'Burpees Golden' and "Cylindra'
(Seed from Victory Seed, which I recommend.)

Those with the red stems are 'Cylindra.' The seed packet tells me 'Cylindra' will produce 6-8" long roots ideal for slicing.  'Burpee's Golden' will produce sweet dark golden/deep yellow beets. (How you can claim a beet is "sweet" is beyond me.) 

Immature beet tops are great in salads. Indeed, most micro-green seed mixes contain a gracious number of beet seeds. Beet thinnings-- like micro-greens-- can also be used to garnish soups and sandwiches, cracker spreads... think of micro-greens/thinnings as edible decoration! Tastey, nutritious decoration.

Mature beet tops can be sauteed or cooked as greens (like collards, mustard, and so forth). Don't forget: Swiss Chard = Beet Tops. They are the same plant, one has been bred to produce tasty roots, the other, tasty leaves!  One cautionary note, some varieties' tops are stronger than others.

I have one 20' row of beets, now thinned to about 3" apart. [(12 x 20)/3] That's a lot of beets. I don't care for beets but Mr. Big Food does.

Those were the days.

There's a gas station in town that has been closed for some time but the sign is still advertising Regular at $2.859/gal. 

The truck has a 36 gallon tank.

Normally, I fill up when it's about 1/2 empty-- it hurts less. But what with driving to MEM and being anxious to get back to the Farm, I waited.

When the Farm is on Full-- that is, when all of the tanks of the various pieces of gas-powered equipment plus the truck & Daughter C's car plus the reserve tanks are full-- ... . WOW. And we don't even have a tractor. I feel sorry for Mr. Cotton Farmer. I'm glad cotton did well last year because it's going to take a lot of money to pay for the gas to plant this year's crop. (Some calculations on this here.)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

'Highway 55N between 4 & 5:45am is not any fun' and other thoughts

It's not quite light by 5:45am, but the frequency of exits with tall street lights is increasing. And it is getting lighter.

The early part was the worst. I lost count of the number of cars who were not smart enough to keep themselves between the lines.  And it's a 4-lane road.

Just FYI: Mr. Big Food has arrived safely at his top secret destination. I'm not kidding about this. I know where he is and I know what he's doing there. I searched for detail. I couldn't find anything. And then he told me that these sorts of things are not publicized all that much. I thought that was funny because I'm pretty sure you paid for Mr. Big Food's limo ride from the airport to the top secret destination.

I choose to go the long 4-lane way to MEM rather than the shorter state highway way to MEM. It was dark--there's more time and space to react to something stupid on the 4-lanes. I did get into the wrong lane as I was leaving MEM and found myself headed to Memphis. I recovered. I took the really back road way home, through Mississippi. Mr. Big Food will be introducing Mississippi to some folks.

The dogs were fine. They did enjoy their runs in the pasture after I got home a little after 9am. I was glad the chairs were dry. There was one thing of note-- so noteworthy that I told Mr. Big Food when he called to describe his top secret location.

One of Bo's cats is dead and the black vultures found it just before Missy and I went for a walk.

Missy is such a Bird Dog!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mr. Big Food is venturing off the Farm.

He'll be in the company of folks whose necks and forearms are not red and who scoop doggie poop into plastic bags where the Dung Beetles will never find it. 

I'm sure he will have an excellent time haunting the halls that some very interesting people have haunted.

I will be going to the Cotton District Arts Festival.

Recipe: Creative Cooking French Peasant Soup

Entrant #2 in the Spring/Summer Soup Contest
Last weekend we enjoyed a French provincial supper al fresco featuring Creative Cooking French Peasant Soup. (More photos here.) This is a hearty soup, perfect for supper after a day of farm work-- and fun to make, too. I especially like collecting items from the garden for the Bouquet Garni.

As you know from recipes I've posted previously, Mr. Big Food often includes a bit of commentary from the cookbook where he's found the particular recipe as he enters it into The Big Food Manual and Survivalist Flourishing Guide. Here's the introduction to this soup recipe:
Main Dish Soup: French Peasant Soup is a main dish soup which is actually a hearty, healthy meal in itself. It is eaten in vast quantities by the simple peasant folks of France. They accompany it only with a little local wine, French bread and a bit of cheese or fruit.

Since this reputable French soup makes such a satisfying, hearty meal, we can hardly classify it as an appetizer, so we have included it here …”

“This hearty, delicious French Peasant Soup may be made in quantity and frozen in quart containers for convenient use. It is generously filled with pork, white beans, carrots, leels and cabbage.”—The Creative Cooking Course (1982)
Recipe below the fold. (We cut the recipe in half and still had some leftover for lunch, and some to freeze.)

The dogs were

lichen their run in the pasture after being cooped up.
It was so refreshing to take a relaxing walk this morning, I thought I'd share 25 seconds with y'all. (Be sure you've turned the volume all the way up so you can hear the peace & quiet.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It's rained all day

and this little patch of lettuce couldn't be happier.
We'll have a salad of some thinnings for supper tonight. But I'm afraid the corn on the cob and the chicken will be baked, not grilled. 

On the other hand, it's rained all day and the dogs couldn't be more unhappy. Come hell or high water-- and we are under a flash flood watch-- they will have to go to the pasture tomorrow. And that is my segue into the next (I hope) post.

For now, my camera, my truck and I will take a drive to town.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Middle-aged Delinquent with Hope

Some escalloped sweet potato apple thing with apple juice & tumaric
I've shirked my responsibilities as a homemaker who eats Big Food, and has a Big Garden and lives a Big Life, and blogs about same. I've failed to post several recipes, and I've only barely managed to keep up with the food photos.

If I were prone to making excuses-- and I do when I think it's expedient!-- I'd blame a spate of computer problems.

The nice thing about blogging on my new computer with my new paid for unlimited ability to  up/download stuff to the World Wide Web is that-- if I choose to be-- I can be reformed.

So now that Mr. Big Food no longer needs to take his computer that has a keyboard designed by a moron, and contains all of Big Food, to work with him, I might be able to easily post recipes.

Nonsense and Sensibilitiy

Welcome to Tagxedo, word cloud with styles
Rocky. Rocky. Rocky. 

I don't want to offend Rocky's sensibilities by having his name in a smaller font size than Miss that other dog's.

Rocky. Rocky. Rocky.

What do you make of this?

We think we have an idea. (How's that for certainty?)
But we're not sure.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Degree in Den Management

Mr. Big Food and I used to call our room the "Master Suite" because that's what it was-- a master bedroom sufficiently large enough to accommodate typical bedroom furniture plus my desk that looks out on the shooting range, and a couple of other odds and ends pieces of furniture including the couch and chair my mom & dad bought some time around the time I was born. The couch is in dreadful shape, but I cleaned it up as best I could. 

UPDATED. So it has something to so with my phone

and the latest security updates to my computer.

It's after 8-- well after our bedtime-- and I've been trying to figure out why I couldn't log on to blogger-- i.e., access my blog-- for hours. And it finally occurred to me that I should try to log on using the mi-fi, instead of my phone. 

Here I am. 

My uneducated guess is that the security update I downloaded doesn't like something. 


In the future, I will write something, mimeograph it, and mail it to y'all. Which assumes there will be a mail service.


UPDATE: It was my phone. And for quite a while I had the geniuses thinking it was Apple's fault that the update didn't like my phone. But in the end, and after quoting Sherlock Holmes to the genius (who knew the quote), it was what I thought was improbable, not what he thought was improbable. I hate to be wrong but I'd rather be connected than right.

For "newbies"

Bob Owens at PJMedia is starting a series, "So you want to own a gun: Advise for the first-timer." The first installment begins
For those of us who grow up in “gun cultures” where firearms are merely another tool and fact of life, getting your first gun may consist of getting a pint-sized .22-caliber single shot rifle almost as long as you are tall when you are a child. It is a simple and expected rite of passage that is a mark of growing expectations, trust, and new-found maturity.
Bob goes on to give advise to those who didn't come to know guns this way.

"There are no French peasants."

As you may have guessed from the photo-post without captions post, after a productive day of farm work, we sat down to a French provincial supper. French bread. Olive oil infused with freshly picked rosemary. 

It's not French but you work with what you have.
Wine. French Peasant Soup. Fruit and cheese. Cognac.

I thought the tablecloth was a nice touch.
We listened to some music and chatted with a friend (who reminded us that there are no French peasants). 

The soup is the second entry in The Spring/Summer Soup Contest. After it's assembled, it bakes! There will be a separate post.