Friday, November 30, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

UPDATE: Ha ha ha ha ha

UPDATE: By "you" I do not mean you, Dear Readers, but "you"-- the folks I was talking to in person yesterday.

I have so little in common with you.

And yet I try.

Food? Gardens? Guns?

I try.

Public Service Announcement: GMOs

via Organic Consumers Association, a group with which I'm not always in agreement. But this time I am. 

Link, in case you have trouble reading.

Three years ago

I wouldn't have believed this even if I'd seen it with my own eyes.

Daughter C. driving the truck.
She built this fire, too! From scratch!!
Self-reliance. Ain't it great?

Coyote Experts: They're Everywhere!

Yes. I meant that to be ambiguous. Seems as if coyotes and coyote experts are everywhere these days. 

I don't mind it at all when the coyotes who live on the Farm bark at night. I especially like it when we have City Mice staying with us-- the howling contributes so much to the City vs. Country Mice experience, I think. 

I'm afraid, however, I'm going to have to re-think that.

Seems Chicagoans are becoming quite familiar with coyotes.
From the article at MyFOXChicago (via Drudge):
"It doesn't concern me. I'm not afraid of them," a resident told us. "I'm personally just not worried about it."

"Unless you got cheeseburgers in your pocket or something you should be okay," another man said.

But hey-- even if you did have a cheeseburger in your pocket, what's the big deal? It's just a coyote. I bet you could take out a Chicago coyote with your concealed carry weapon coat or purse.

None of us have been bothered by the Farm coyotes. I read our newspaper every week and I've never seen mention of a coyote attack. So maybe the experts are right.

Related story:
"I can't fathom the idea of going to the mall and just thinking that under that coat over there, or in that purse, there might be a weapon," said Ald. Ricardo Munoz of the 22nd Ward. [IN CHICAGO] "We cannot allow concealed carry to be the law of the land."
 I bet he could if there was a coyote in the mall.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Freedom to homeschool
at HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) via Tea Party Economist via Newsalert

In case you can't read the legend, Green=Good (fewest regulations); Yellow; Orange: Red=Bad. The site has a state specific list.

Mississippi (in part):
A child must be educated in a “legitimate home instruction program” which is one that is not operated for the “purpose of avoiding or circumventing the compulsory attendance law.” Miss. Code Ann. § 37-13-91(3)(c).  

It is not the intention of this section to impair the primary right and the obligation of the parent ... to choose the proper education and training” for their children, and nothing in this section shall be construed to grant the State of Mississippi “authority to control, manage or supervise” the private education of children. “And this section shall never be construed so as to grant, by implication or otherwise, any right or authority to any state agency or other entity to control, manage, supervise, provide for or affect the operation, management, program, curriculum, admissions policy or discipline of any such school or home instruction program.” Miss. Code Ann. § 37-13-91(9).

[My emphasis]

This was not the attitude in Ohio when we lived there. Trust me. 

BONUS POINTS if you spotted the grammatical error in the high-lighted phrase.

If I had the time

I'd do it myself.
Unfortunately, I'm rather busy today.
I just don't have time today to get the deer gun, shoot the danged thing, drive the truck down to the range, load it in the truck (how much does the big one weigh, I wonder), and take it to the processor. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Kitchen Table is

a Blank Hunk of Wood

Around Which Our Lives Revolve.

A Tabla Wood.

Here, Mr. Big Food has just gotten off the phone with Miss Marly, who he'd been talking with-- while standing around the Kitchen table-- about cooking kale.

Here, Rocky and Missy are tidying up the floor under the Kitchen Table.

Good Dawgs Earn Their Keep.

It's a Pleasure to Serve

As you may recall, I am a Marker's Mark Ambassador. I take this very seriously-- I have business cards!-- because in the coming days, weeks, months, and years we are all going to need some good bourbon. Next to encouraging gun ownership and Libertarian thinking, introducing folks to bourbon is one of the most Patriotic things I do.

Unlike some entities which treat their ambassadors shamefully, Marker's Mark treats its well. They give us business cards, invite us to special tastings, and send us Christmas gifts! Here's last years which was just plain silly-- and why I liked it so much.

This year's gift came with instructions: I am to "fool" my friends "into thinking they've received something terribly tacky."

Terribly tacky gift boxes sized just right for a bottle of Maker's Mark!
Who will get the 100 Year Old Fruit Cake

Which lucky man will receive the Chest Hair Waxing, Tanning, and Styling Kit

Who should I fool with Cat Weights?

It's a Pleasure to Serve as a Maker's Mark Ambassador.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Via Daughter C. whose boyfriend* participated in making this video about Jackson, Mississippi. Interesting. The garden plots are awesome!

[One typo in the first 10 seconds. The population of Jackson has lost 11,000 people, not 1000.]

*UPDATE: In case you were looking for him, Mr. Bow Tie is not pictured. He's one of the video's creators. 

*UPDATE 2: I stand corrected. From the comments, "*Mr. Bow-Tie actually does make a brief appearance in the last thirty seconds exiting peaches restaurant."  

Should We Laugh or Cry?

There's a Hostess Outlet store in town. 

Ah heck. There is no way to write this but to use a truthful tense.

There was a Hostess Outlet Store in town. In addition to bread and Twinkies it had a wide assortment of goodies including some Bob's Red Mill items. Yesterday we drove into the parking lot, and yes, it's closed permanently. The handwritten "Bread 50₵" sign was our first clue. The completely empty and disorganized shelves and "Everything Must Go" sign were confirmation. 

The Hostess Store was the base for several-- maybe four or five-- Hostess delivery trucks. Two of our neighbors-- themselves next door neighbors-- were drivers. One of them has four kids, three of them in ninth grade or below. I'm not sure about the other's married/kid status, but Bo is raising Walker, Savanna, and Caroline alone. (Tyler's gone off to school. Bo got custody of all four of the kids in the divorce-- even though Tyler wasn't even Bo's biological kid.) 

Last summer the other guy-- who apparently really liked his job-- put up a new mailbox. It looked sort of like this, except it was a mailbox and instead of "Wonder" it said "Hostess."

It was very cheerful, if a bit odd.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Forests & Trees

Miss M. has been making forests of trees
from crappy old magazines.

Meanwhile, the Persistent Hunter tried again while Missy and I wished we could shoot the deer gun out of the bedroom window.

Seriously. BOOM.
This is getting silly.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I Want One! | Or Do I?

It's a beautiful day here on the Farm--

a bit chilly but beautiful.
The Bartman's here and as per usual when the Bartman is here

there's some shootin' goin' on.
I tried out The Bartman's latest acquisition

and I don't think I did too badly at 7', having never shot his new sidearm before and having no particular love for semi-automatics.
But do I want one?

31-28 WOW

21-13 at half time
This must have been quite a game! There was a rally in town last evening before the game, and signs up all along the highway taunting the Bruce team. I think this means they advance to the playoffs. 

The Egg Bowl starts at 6pm this evening. Cross your fingers.

Football-- especially high school and college-- is such a great distraction

Score board courtesy of MaxPreps.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Planning, Co-operation, and Thanks

Sauce for pre-assembled vegan green bean casserole
and a couple of pies were planned for Wednesday.
There were seven of us. Before Daughter C and Co. came out Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Big Food and Miss M. did some prep cooking. After they arrived, we put away the fruits of their labors-- Ula's homemade breads, Bruno's sweet potato casserole, piles of veggies for nibblies, wine, wine and more wine... . What am I missing? Oh, yes! All of the ingredients for a third corn bread dressing, courtesy of Mr. Bow Tie

On the day itself, there was a tremendous amount of co-operation

and after dinner.
It was such a beautiful late afternoon that on the spur of the moment we decided to eat outside!

The Art of the Skillet Lunch

I've learned to put the cranberries between dressings so as to avoid pink mashed potatoes.
It will take about 30 minutes for everything to heat up. Meanwhile, on a nearby burner

the turkey carcass is simmering away.
It will simmer for about eight hours, be refrigerated over night and then be skimmed and then there will be a roux and then The Bartman will come over and then there will be shooting and then ... and then ... there will be TURKEY GUMBO!

And just exactly what would you expect

when you start calling the day after Thanksgiving "Black Friday?"
via Drudge which (who?) I know deals in hyperbole, but still.

By the way, the man who was punched in the face by a rabid line-cutting shopper had a Texas concealed carry permit and will not be charged.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


As you know, the Pilgrims arrived in December 1620,

and I doubt they really looked like this. (Courier and Ives)
To say the least, they struggled. In all seriousness, it is fascinating to read Bradford's account of their fist few years. As it turns out, there were deceitful men on both sides of the Atlantic back in those crappy old days, too.  You've got to give the Pilgrims a lot of credit and admiration. They persevered.

Here's what Bradford says about the response of the Original Settlers in 1623 to another boat load of folks from the Old World who hadn't brought provisions for the colonists.
Now the original settlers were afraid that their corn, when it was ripe, would have to be shared with the new-comers, and that the provisions which the latter had brought over with them would give out before the year was over-- which indeed they did. So they went to the Governor and begged him that as it had been agreed that they should sow their own corn for their own use, and accordingly they had taken great pains about it, they might be left to enjoy it. They would rather do that than have a bit of the food just come in the ship.  They would wait till harvest for their own and let the newcomers enjoy what they brought; they would have none of it except by bargain or exchange. Their request was granted them and it satisfied both sides; for the new-comers were much afraid the hungry settlers would eat up the provisions they had brought, and then they would fall into like conditions of want.
William Bradford in Of Plymouth Colony, Chapter IV: 1623. [my emphasis]

(From A Modern English Version with an Introduction, George F. Willison, Walter J. Black, Inc., 1948)

Here's what he had to say about Harvest Time.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I Had One or Two Good Intentions

And that's about as far as I got.

Today, Daughter C and I traveled to Exit #168 on I20 in Alabama to meet Miss M.

11:20 Central, I arrive to pick C up.

11:20 Central, I'm waiting for C.
4:25 Central, we're in Gordo Alabama, heading west.
8:45 Central, The Pack is Back.
And you know what the funny part is? After Daughter C had disrupted her schedule, and we'd driven three hours to meet Miss M., Miss M said, "Hey. If I'd know it was this easy I could have driven three more hours."

Really funny. On the other hand, three hours drive time afforded Daughter C and I three hours of delightful conversation.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Numbers | Calculations | & of Course, Missy

I've been looking at some numbers,
calculating drive times, ETAs, & cetera,
and dealing with Missy as I've been doing these other things. 

Stay tuned! Hopefully it will be a quick trip and Miss M., Daughter C, and I will be back on the Farm in time for more numbers looking.

Poor Mr. Big Food. He'll have to deal with Missy for a few hours tomorrow. As men often do, he's more inclined to exciting them than to calming them down. Geeze. Even as I'm typing this-- they are in den with me-- Mr. Big Food is egging them on with 'woofs' from the kitchen. 

Should be an interesting day tomorrow. Pray for our souls.

Way Down in the Fall

In 'researching' how to spell the name of this French Peasant dish, I stumbled upon the cassoulet entry in that infallible source, Wikipedia
Haute cuisine versions require mixing pre-cooked roasted meats with beans that have been simmered separately with aromatic vegetables, but this runs counter to cassoulet's peasant origins.
I'd say!
Expect a recipe dump soon. We've been eating well.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Black Friday, 2012

In what looks to become a yearly chit-chat ritual, Mr. Big Food has begun asking me when the term "Black Friday" became part of our your the Christmas Season vocabulary. And I've begun answering that I should know the answer to that question because I answered it last year. 

If you are interested, the answer is here. You'll have to scroll down a bit as the post begins with a short quote from a crappy old guy who was the founder of the Golden Rule Store, known today as JCP-- because apparently calling retail establishments by the names of their founders is just not cool.

Those who have acquaintance with the urbane city of Cincinnati will find the answer funny.

No Relation

That young woman standing next to Mr. Big Food is not Daughter C's sister.
But you can see why some folks might think otherwise.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cultural Differences: Now, see, that's aseptible.

'Aseptible' is an inside joke I'm outing. One of The Girls' Grade School Teachers had problems pronouncing the word 'acceptable.' She probly didn't even know One of the Girls told us about her prblm and that her prblm was continues to be a source of great fun for us. But let's not be krewl. I, myself, get tongue-tied pronouncing 'hypothesis'-- which is sort of funny, given what I used to do for a living.

And now to the point of the post.

The Hunters came out last nite. I got a fone call asking if they could camp out overnite. Sure. But I asked if they wouldn't be more comfortable camping out in the Bunkhouse. Yes, they would be. And so they did. And here's how they left the joint:

Todaly aseptible.
And get this. As opposed to our Italian guest, who did not make his bed and contributed nothing but interesting idle conversation that amused us for an evening, The Hunters have a shot at contributing real goods-- in addition to good conversation.

Friday, November 16, 2012


... Harvest time had come now, and then instead of famine, God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many for which they blessed God. And the effect of their particular planting was well seen, for all had, one way or another, pretty well to bring the year about, and some of the abler and more industrious had to spare, and sell to others-- in fact, no general want of famine has been among them since, to this day.
William Bradford in Of Plymouth Colony, Chapter IV: 1623. [my emphasis]

(From A Modern English Version with an Introduction, George F. Willison, Walter J. Black, Inc., 1948)

Today's Story

Wonder what captured Rocky's attention?
While Rocky's attention was otherwise focused, I thought a game of hide-and-seek would be fun.
I hid near the falling down sheep shack.
Rocky tracked me down,
and after a bit of exploration, we were on our way.
Missy below.

Very French

Roquefort squash casserole with home grown patty pan
Chicken smothered with onions and lots of paprika