Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I'm on a Mission from God.

Not really, but that sure is what it feels like.

I don't like to make excuses, but this is the best I got by way of explanation for my silence recently: I am cataloging my books. (Plus, putting in the rest of the garden.)

These will be #357-366.
Cataloging and tagging crappy old books (and new ones, too!) gives me an opportunity to sit for a minute or so with each. In so doing, I've realized God is omnipresent in my library. It isn't that I have a great number of books on religion, or a stockpile of Bibles. It's that every crappy old page (but not new page) I turn has a reference to God, Christianity, The Bible or religion. I suspect this is because God was omnipresent back in the crappy olden days.

Three quick examples and then out to the garden!

Looks Purple to Me

Giant Red Mustard

Monday, April 29, 2013

$0.99 / pound

Mr. Big Food got this four pound pork roast about three months ago and stuck it in the deep freezer. Saturday, he defrosted it, marinaded it for several hours (or was it over night?), and prepared it for roasting.

That's caraway on the top.

Served with a veganized cabbage dish.

It was great! Very moist. Recipes to follow.

Today, Mr. Big Food weighed out a pound and a half of leftover pork roast-- what he needs for carnitas later in the week. And he froze the remainder-- another pound and a half.

So, by my calculations, we spent just under $4.00 and will wind up with at least eight servings of pork. That's $0.50 per serving. And yes, yes, yes, please do figure in the cost of the caraway seeds and the propane for the oven. And the onion (although we'll soon be using homegrown onions). Plus the cost of running the deep freezer!

What are we up to now? $0.53/serving?

It's fun to be frugal!

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Bean, summer squash, winter squash and pumpkin seeds are in the ground! 

The plot is 9' x 60'. At each end, I've reserved two 10' x 9' blocks for corn. I'm no corn planting expert, but I think it's a little too early to plant corn. If corn doesn't come up likedysplit, the stupid birds get the seed. So maybe next weekend.

Meanwhile, I have planted 40' x 9' in beans and squash.

The 9' rows go like this: Beans (every 4-6"). Summer Squash (3/ 9'). Winter Squash/Pumpkins (2/9'). 

I have seven 9' rows of beans and 7x 3 = 21 summer squash plants. My plan is that in about two, two & a half months, the beans and summer squash will be winding down.  I'll then pull the plants, giving the Winter Squash room to expand. 

That's my plan.

Missy. What is your problem?

A Remarkably Sucessful Day

I hummed a tune in my head in great detail for about 30 minutes and then asked myself, "What is this tune?" Turns out it was something from Carmen, and try as I might, I cannot recreate it now in my head. But it led me to remember what I'd asked for, and forgotten that I'd asked for, for Mothers' Day-- not that I need anything more, but I'd asked for and forgotten I'd asked for this before Kat's great gift arrived. The New World Symphony

I challenged someone's assertion that E.O. Wilson was the greatest biologist of the 20th Century. What foolishness. Mr. Big Food and I amused ourselves thinking about ... . Watson & Crick.

I entered 25 titles into my Library data base. Good for me. 

And I picked up 17 more books at Palmer Home. Someone with an interest in mathematics must have died recently. I scored texts on plane geometry, trig, calc-- all from the very early 20th Century. They all have Tables. They are all marked up. 

It's sad that the people cleaning out their dead relatives homes have no respect for their dead relatives lives.  


When I cease to exist, my books will still exist. As will my garden. But neither my books nor my garden are to be thrown away.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Clean Bill of Health | Updated. Shoud be "spat" not "spit"

Well. That was exciting!

I was just getting ready to recall events of the day-- notably, two trips to the vet, a careful reading of Chapter 7, and Mr. Big Food's phone interview with someone from CNN regarding guns and 2A, when Missy asked to go out one last time.  I tied her out (it's dark).  I brushed my teeth, spit spat, opened the door, and Missy was nowhere to be seen.

I did see a busted up cinder block. 

As a rational agent, Missy chose to come back to the house when I called, rather than spend the night outside tethered to half of a cinder block. Smart Dog.

Rocky is a great dog. He aims to please. He's very sociable. He is, is fact, a pretty mellow dog. As I write, he's belly up on the bed. The fact that the Vet Folks don't recognize that they are strangers to Rocky, and don't appreciate that Rocky's natural response to strangers/stress is fear, and that he manifests fear by growling, is no reason to castrate him and put him on doggy Prozac for 6 months. 

That's just not going to happen.

They both have a clean bill. No worms. 

Ain't Life Good?  

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


It's been a very book-oriented day. 

1.) I received a package in the mail today-- a Mothers Day gift from Kat!

A 5" x 30" matted photo Kat took of the interior a bookstore in Salem, Massachusetts. click to enlarge.
My photo of Kat's photo does not do her photo justice. Hers is stunning. There are so many bits of color! Miss M and I were chatting about the colors this evening as we were thinking about how to frame it and where to hang the finished product. We have a plan!

But. We will run our ideas past the professional in the house before we commit. 
Daughter C, 

We are thinking of hanging it above the buffet (where the mirror is). Double matting as we did with the boot and the pig. Off white for the larger mat, red for the secondary. Gold frame-- sort of ornate in keeping with the formality of the dining room. I like the juxtaposition of a semi-ornate frame (like the mirror has) with the clutter of the books in the photo, which mimics the clutter of the books in the other areas of the great room.

Note also that there are no books in the dining room. So this framed photo-- proportionately scaled to like 17" x 42" (minus frame width)-- puts books in the dining room without actually putting books in the dining room.

What do you think?


2.) While I was on the phone with Kat thanking her for the book photo, she clued me into some free software for book inventorying. I learned Evernote this afternoon and have cataloged more than 70 of my ~1200+ volumes!

Okay-- Evernote is not for book inventorying. But I can use it to do my book inventory.

3.) Late this afternoon I received a Pintrest notification: Miss M had posted something to out shared board, G.M.O.Y.A:

Books! They are everywhere.

This Is Reasurring

The toxic level of nicotine in dogs is 5 milligrams of nicotine per pound of body weight. In dogs, 10 mg/kg is potentially lethal.
The tiny lozenges are 4mg each. Missy must weigh at least 90 pounds.

It's raining like crazy. Just what I need is a nicotine-buzzed 90 pound dog.

It's going to be a long day. I think I'll wait to call directv until after the dogs have watched The Dog Whisperer.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


That's how much money we have shelled out to Directv these last seven years. 

Give or take, ~$125/month.

Over the course of these seven years, I've argued for various reductions based on our good customer status, and the fact that the customer service folks aren't all that keen when it comes to rational argument. So I've managed to save us $25 here and there. And I felt good about my negotiating skills. Silly me.

But we've had it. 

A couple of weeks ago, Mr. Big Food inquired about a sports package. All he wanted to do was watch the Reds. So he subscribed to "Sports Package" for $12.99/mo with a $5 discount for the first three months. And for a week or so, he was able to watch the Reds and many other teams with-- and this is important-- the occasional blackout. 

And then, SERVICE NOT SUBSCRIBED 721. On all 100 or so channels.

And so he called. 

Is This True?

Origanum heracleoticum
Is True Greek Oregano better for use in cooking than Common Oregano, Origanum vulgare? You tell me!

Okay. If you've never had True Greek Oregano, you'll not be able to tell me. So permit me this opportunity to tell you. It is true.

O. heracleoticum is more aromatic and peppery than the common-- vulgare-- sort. It holds its flavor through cooking processes. (It's crazy good fresh on homemade pizza.) Home-dried is far superior to store-bought, which is a mix of common and Mexican oregano.

Now, if you don't want to take my word for it, here's a paraphrase of what one of last Saturday's guests said when he tasted a few leaves, "Wow. I've never tasted oregano this punchy. There's so much more to it than the oregano I'm used to." By the way, he left with a pile of fresh and some I ripped out so he can start a pot of True Greek.

I'm getting ready to cut this mess of True Greek back and dry it in the dehydrator. I'll probably do this three or four times over the growing season. (Dried True Greek Oregano: Christmas presents!)

Oregano is a perennial. Here in Mississippi we can pick fresh all year long, although it does die back considerably in the winter. But it comes on strong in the spring!

I got my seed from Botanical Interests. It did take a season to become well established. 

Thus concludes our herb interlude. Back to planting. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Here's an Idea!

It's that time of year. I am behind schedule.

So here's an idea to mull over while I try to catch up.

From an upcoming (still draft) post:
If you're feeling anti-anti-social (i.e., want to interact with real people, not your phone) and want to be really sociable, here are some ideas from Group Socials for Every Month by Jane Kirk (1957, Abingdon Press, Nashville). I'll turn to May, so you'll have time to prepare!
May Basket Party

What has happened to that fascinating custom of hanging May baskets in the dusky twilight of of a May evening, ringing the doorbell, and running off so that the recipient will have no guess who left the delicate token of esteem?  
Kirk suggests reviving "some of this spirit of mystery and loveliness" with a May basket party. Hers is an idea for a party of teens who've made homemade baskets of wildflowers, nuts, candies, etc., and which includes a "slip of paper describing the donor." As guests arrive, assemble the baskets on a table "outside the party room." With some fanfare simulating doorbells, each guest in turn retrieves a basket. "The fun comes, then, in guessing from the description who has brought it."

The May Basket Party-- both the original and Kirk's version-- has a lot of potential!
Be sociable!

Recipe: Whole Grain Bread Salad (vegan)

As I mentioned, some friends came over for a barbeque last Saturday. Alix brought a wonderful vegan salad. She sends along the recipe.

Whole Grain Bread Salad OR Springtime Stuffing

Modified from a recipe by Mark Bittman
Serves 6
Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes active


8 oz (~ 4 thick slices) of whole grain bread (stale is fine), cut into 1-inch pieces, crust included

1 acorn squash, cut into ½ -inch cubes

1 cup cooked kale

¼ cup plus 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

½ cup dried figs, chopped

¼ cup pitted dates, chopped

1 shallot, minced

1 Tablespoon fresh sage, minced

¼ cup fresh parsley, minced

salt and pepper

¼ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts (optional)

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Toss the acorn squash with 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and spread on a baking sheet.  Roast, stirring occasionally, until easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.  Spread the bread cubes on a sheet as well and throw them in with the squash.  Toast them, 10-20 minutes depending on their thickness, turning once or twice.

While the squash and bread are roasting and toasting, respectively, cook the kale if you haven’t already.  I just throw it in a medium hot pan with the water on its leaves from washing and stir it around until wilted.  Squeeze out as much water as you can (I put it in a strainer and mash it with a wooden spoon, since its still hot) and chop.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Sorry about the absence. It was a beautiful weekend here on the Farm. We had company late Saturday-- 11, counting us. We feasted on barbequed chicken, squash casserole,* delicious sides-- courtesy of our experimental-cooking guests-- and chocolate cake and coffee.

Naturally, the kids stayed over. We had buttermilk pancakes for breakfast! Later, Miss M, Bruno, and I took the dogs for a run.




Ah. Look at them play!
This and other weekends remind Mr. Big Food and I of the section in our weekly newspaper titled "Time Capsules." The staff at the newspaper office-- I've only ever seen two people there-- scour the archives and report on what was happening in the county 75, 50, and 25 years ago. A taste:
March 31, 1938

Mrs. Roxie Fox spent Saturday night with Mr. and Mrs. Cooper Hitt

Mr. and Mrs. Watson Fox spent several days with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Cooper Hitt.

Mr. and Mrs. Grant McCain of McCain Town spent a while Sunday afternoon in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Cooper Hitt.
Now, let's fast forward.
April 20, 2013

Ms Historian and her friend Ms Soil Management, both from Starkvegas, The Preacher from Sturgis, The Continentalist from The Coast, and The German visited Mr. And Mrs. Big Food's Farm for a barbeque.

Ms Daughter C, Ms Librarian, and Master Bruno, all of Starkvegas, spent the weekend at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Big Food. 

Rocky, of Farther Along Farm, was elated to see his mistress, Ms Daughter C of Starkvegas, this weekend. They played stick.
I learned today that come next month I'll be able to report something like this:
May xx-yy

Mr. and Mrs. Tony, of Richmond Virginia, visited her parents and sisters and his friends, Mr. and Mrs. Big Food, Ms Daughter C, and Ms Miss M, at Farther Along Farm.
May xx'

Ms Daughter C of Starkvegas, Ms Kat of Richmond, Virginia, and Ms Miss M of Farther Along Farm tie-dyed a beautiful tablecloth for their mother, Mrs. Big Food. 

May xx''

Mr. Tony of Richmond and Mr. Big Food visited.

*I'm getting ready to plant squash. We still have squash in the freezer. Big Life. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Miss M and I had coffee today

in Starkvegas.

Talk of the news of the day... . 

Yadda yadda yadda... .

"I need a gun," said Miss M.

"Yes you do," said I.

I'm thinking Miss M would like a little semi-auto. What do you think?

What a mistake! UPDATED

I have the television set on and I just heard that the residents of the greater Boston area are "waking up today... ."

It's freaking 11:00 eastern time in Boston. Waking up? Lazy bums.

In Mississippi news, you may recall that an Elvis impersonator sent our junior US Senator a nasty little letter recently. As it turns out, the two are acquainted.
“I have indeed met the gentleman before,” Wicker said in a statement to The Clarion-Ledger on Thursday. “He’s an entertainer. He’s an Elvis impersonator. He entertained at a party my wife and I helped give for a young couple that were getting married.”
Now, I ask you, who but a Mississippian would refer to a guy who sent you poison as a "gentleman?"  

UPDATE: Here's the link

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Farm News

1. We buried Lucky.

2. It's raining like crazy.

3. We'll not be going to the Over-Grown Pasture again until Fall. Poor Dogs. They did all the right things. Sit. Stay. ... Sit. Stay. I got them back to the house and loaded the 20g but the copperhead at the gate was then nowhere to be seen.

Listen My Children...

and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
who remembers that famous day and year

-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1860) 

Painting depicting the midnight ride of Paul Revere” -1937.
Artist A.L. Ripley.
Courtesy of the National Archives & Records Administration

[Full text of the poem as well as fascinating information on both Longfellow and Revere, below the fold.]

Two hundred and thirty-eight years ago Paul Revere made his famous ride to "warn Samuel Adams, John Hancock (who were also members of the Sons of Liberty) and the other colonists that the British were preparing to march on Lexington."

From the link:
On his way to Lexington, Revere stopped at each house to spread the word that the British troops would soon be arriving. Sometime around midnight, Revere arrived at the house of Reverend Jonas Clark, where Hancock and Adams were staying, and gave them his message. Soon after Revere’s message was delivered, another horseman sent on a different route by Dr. Warren, William Dawes, arrived. Revere and Dawes decided that they would continue on to Concord, Massachusetts, where the local militia had stockpiled weapons and other supplies for battle. Dr. Samuel Prescott, a third rider, joined Revere and Dawes.
[my emphasis]

Reflecting on yesterday's news and commentary regarding same-- for those who have lives, I'm talking about the crushing defeat of gun control in the US Senate-- I think there is, and always has been, in this country a fair number of Folk who are still ticked off that they are not subjects of the Crown. They are ticked off because they think they'd rather be in the House of Lords than in the United States Senate. And then there are their underlings who'd rather be in the House of Commons than the House of Representatives, where, you know, they're just representing.

Note that I call them "folk." That ticks them off, too.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Project Lucky

When I have a big project coming up-- say, planting the garden or staging yet another whooha or writing about experts, eugenics and posthumous cleansing-- I often look around and say, "Hey. First, get the house in order, and then proceed with the project." If the house is clean and in order, day-to-day housekeeping chores will require a minimal amount of energy. My remaining energy can be spent on making progress on the project. And, in a perfect world, I'll have some left-over energy to deal successfully with the unexpected two-week old kitten or whathaveyou.

From Lucky's point of view, housekeeping is homeostasis-- tick-toc staying alive: exchanging CO2 for O2, ingesting water and nutrients, breaking down carbohydrates and proteins, and fat, efficiently eliminating the by-products of these processes, maintaining an internal temperature that is optimal for the enzymes that do this work. The project is growth and development-- still tick-toc but far more complex. The unexpected is-- what? A change in formula? In feeding apparatus? The exponential growth of something she picked up from her feral mother?

Unlike me, Lucky can't just pause growth and development and tidy up her little internal house without anything unexpected happening. Lucky's little body-- her systems, organs, tissues, cells, receptors, second messengers, enzymes, promotors, DNA, and let's not forget about hormones-- are trying to do everything all at once, according to a script that, at this stage, allows for very little improvisation.

That Lucky is warm and alive in the guest room with Miss M over a week after being plucked from what was sure to be a nasty brutish and short life is a testament to just how much improv Mother Nature is willing to entertain.

We here at the Farm are an optimistic lot, although pessimism is a guiding influence on our behavior. 

Meanwhile, your thoughts and prayers for Lucky are welcome.

Monday, April 15, 2013

You won't believe it!

Someone who writes for CNN is communicating with Mr. Big Food and will be phone interviewing him next week.

The topic?

You won't believe it!

The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms.

Just in case you were unsure of Mr. Big Food's position on the matter.

Lucky is Asleep.

And so is Miss M, I hope.

Lucky had a rough night last night.

But I think she's doing okay.

Look at it this way. She's alive.

OMG! You know what would be the perfect heat source? A laptop!!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

You Can't Trust Anyone These Days

I have on jeans, a long sleeve shirt and a regulation winter sweater. It ain't no 88°F out there and it certainly ain't 31°C.

Furthermore, it is not raining. It is not foggy/misty. It is breezy. So the National Weather Service is batting 25. 


I've been reluctant to post photos of Lucky.

Life is tenuous.

If you were an ~2 week old kitten rescued from the Bowels of Hell by Missy, you'd probably want to make sure you were actually rescued and alive before you posed for photos.

We are almost there.

There's Not Much to Say Except, "Rubber Chicken."

Mr. Big Food asked if I'd be blogging about the so-called "banquet" we attended this evening. That was more than an hour ago. 

Tick toc. 

Here's what I came up with in no particular order except chronological except until I loose track of the order of geniuses talking.

1. The floral center pieces were inspired and quite lovely.

2. Rubber chicken. Mr. Big Food and I had kidded about this earlier in the day while we were working around the garden. As the big event neared, I was hopeful, because I was hungry. I do like appetizers! But when we saw the big van from XYZ Caterers-- specializing in weddings, funerals, and elegant parties-- parked at the front door, my hope blew away. There were no appetizers. As I was examining the buffet table from my place in line, and saw that there were no choices other than between white or yellow salad dressing, I decided I'd better load up on roasted potatoes. And hey. You can sprinkle as much dried colorful stuff on rubber chicken as you want. It's still rubber chicken.

3. I liked the simple glass plates, and presentation is important. But the vegetable medley of broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, and mushrooms was thoroughly overcooked and over heated and over heated again and again. Putting it on a glass plate just highlighted how much of the good stuff had been heated away.

4. We were seated at the hoo-ha table at the front of the room with very bad acoustics. (I choose to not wear my name tag, by the way.) Cool. Except that three of the eight hoo-has were absent. No doubt they were enjoying a home grilled Saturday supper on this glorious evening. The woman seated in the seat next to the vacant seat next to me told me she liked my rings. She loves rings. Thank you. That killed 10 seconds. 

5. [Aside] In fact, I can tell a funny story of history of my rings. Mr. Big Food entered into an arrangement with a former student whereby she got his microwave oven and I got her grandmother's diamond and wedding band. The big giant pink heart-shaped ring on my left middle finger? There's a story there, too. But as I said, the acoustics were bad and there was initially a marked but unclaimed seat between us. Didn't seem worth the effort.

5. Ah! In an attempt to start conversation, the guys seated next to the woman (above) began discussing Daughter C! That's killed a few minutes. For Daughter C, I can overcome bad acoustics. I love to talk about Daughter C!

6. I chose the keylime pie for dessert. 

7. The catering staff needs to learn how to produce fake smiles.

And now-- at 30 minutes into the "banquet"-- they are ready to begin talking.

And talk they did.

Do you really want me to go on? Because I can. 

But I'll cut to the chase, instead. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Dear Staffer Who Crafted This Email

response to what must have been a flood of emails chastising Senator Wicker for voting to allow S.649-- the "deeply flawed legislation" titled "Safe Schools Act"-- to move forward,

[Page break b/c my first response is not for children's eyes.]

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I Don't Care for Potty Talk

but I am pleased to announce that Lucky has pooped twice today! This last time, a nice little kitty turd.

In other non-potty news, Lucky is 

a) clearly still alive; 

b) still being fed from a small syringe-- I knew those remnants from retired biology professors' lab would come in handy one day (crappy old stuff);

c) making suckling motions against everything that's warm. (Janette at our vet told me they have teeny tiny nipples in stock. I'll pick some up tomorrow.);

d) squirming like crazy;

e) controlling her body temperature by moving about her box.

I take these all as good signs with respect to Lucky's prospects for the future. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

However, let's not forget about Lucky's Mother. And (I'd bet, semi-incestuous) Father.* And my T-shirt that says, "DNA is Life. The Rest is Just Details." We are doing the best we can with respect to the details-- the environment. None of us have any control over Lucky's DNA (although we can control its expression by manipulating Lucky's environment). 

Life is complicated. 

* Our neighbor has a boat load of cats. (I understand how one can come to have a boat load of cats so I'm not passing judgment, although someone should.) One of his boatload-- the black cat that wanders around the farm-- is Lucky's mother. And another-- the back and white cat that I'd seen earlier this spring/winter hanging out with the black cat-- I think, is Lucky's father. How distantly related Lucky's parents are is anybody's guess. 

One final thought. 

We feed her-- yeah, sure maybe Lucky is a "he" but I think it's better to err on one side or the other than to be neutral-- every three hours. Yesterday, I offered to take over the 9:30 feeding because Miss M had done the 9:30, 12: 30, 3:30 and 6:30 feedings the night before. Miss M said, "No. You got to be with her all day."

Don't Know Much About History

April 8

1513: Ponce de Leon landed in Florida near the present site of St. Augustine. 

1812: Louisiana admitted to the Union.

April 9,

1691: La Salle reached the Mississippi.

1870: Nikoli Lenin, founder of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, born.

1912: Children's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor established.

April 10,

1790: U.S. patent system established.

1847: Joseph Pulitzer born in Hungary.

1866: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals chartered. 

[Lucky's still alive & kickin' by the way.]

April 11,

1862: Charles Evans Hughes, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1930-1941), born.

April 12,

1776: Halifax Resolution of Independence adopted in North Carolina. "The example of North Carolina was influential in bringing about the adoption of the Declaration of Independence."

1777: Henry Clay, "brilliant and beloved statesman, orator, and political leader," born.

Dates, information and quotes from Anniversaries and Holidays: A Calendar of Days and How to Observe Them by Mary Emogene Hazeltine published by American Library Association (Chicago) in 1944.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Recipe: Broccoli on the Grill with Lemon Juice and Garlic

The Grill
The broccoli
Tender on the outside, crispy on the inside and oh so tasty! Timing is everything. Times given in the recipe are predicated on a hot chicken fire.


1 lb broccoli florets (defrosted if frozen)
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 lemon cut in half
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
Heat olive oil with garlic on the grill for five minutes. Stir in brocoli and cook under covered grill five minutes. Stir broccoli. Douse with juice from 1/2 lemon and cook 10 minutes with grill covered. Stir. Squeeze juice from remaining 1/2 lemon over broccoli and grill 10 more minutes under covered grill.

Mr. Big Food made this recipe up on the fly.  Danged good for just winging it.

Recipe: Barbequed Chicken I

The Grill
Barbequed Chicken I

You would think that with a name like that, we'd have had "Barbequed Chicken I" before. Maybe we have. But if so, I didn't remember.

A very Spring barbeque. Light. Complimented perfectly by the broccoli.


1 small 2.5 lb chick quartered
1 stick butter
Seasoned salt
Fresh lemon juice to taste (lots)

Melt butter on the grill in a grill proof pot. Stir lemon juice into melted butter. Grill chicken on a sprayed grill. After 10 minutes, turn chicken and douse with lemon butter and sprinkle with seasoned salt. Every 10 minutes, turn chicken over and douse with lemon butter.

Total grilling time 50-60 minutes. 

Note. You have to know how to make a chicken fire in order for this to work.

The Grill

Barbequed Chicken I and Stirred Fried Broccoli on the Grill with Lemon Juice and Garlic
There's a storm rolling in-- should arrive later this evening. It was a beautiful evening to sit with the dogs while Mr.Big Food was grillin'. Mr. Big Food and Rocky did "guy" things. Mr. Big Food thinks it won't be long until grillin' over charcoal and hardwood becomes a lost art. 

Me? I'm doing some reading. Post-Reconstruction to Pre-WWI. Context for the Great Depression. And planting. And I cleaned the patio in anticipation of grillin'.

Miss M? Writing a paper and tending to Lucky, who has past the 36 hour hurdle and is becoming noisy!

Daughter C? Poor Dear. Pine Pollen's got her down. 

Kat? Researching kitten development. 

Tony? Working on copy-edits, I guess. 

And you?

Recipes to follow.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Feelin' Lucky?

After the Birthday Weekend, and Monday at That School Up North, I was looking forward to a routine day. No such luck. 

We began our day in the overgrown pasture. It started to mist as we were making our way back to the gate. I realized something was amiss when neither Missy nor Rocky came a runnin' for a treat. I investigated. Good Lord! Missy had something in her mouth. Again.

I finally got her to drop it-- and it was much more interesting than a treat!-- put their leashes on them and high tailed it back to the house where I grabbed a clean towel and then headed back to the pasture, hoping I could remember where she'd dropped it.

Luckily, I found it. And I did look everywhere for its nest. No such luck. So I took it inside. I mean, what was I to do? It's not like it was a mouse or a baby rat. (I once saw a swarm of fire ants on a small rat and I didn't want that to happen to it.)

Fast forward 10 hours or so and you'll find Miss M pulling the two-week-old-kitten-rescue-night-shift in the quarantined guest room surrounded by eye droppers and syringes and baby kitten bottles and kitten rescue formula and towel swatches that are supposed to substitute for mothers' tongues.

As an aside, this may surprise. I have no crappy old books on kitten rescue. But it's amazing how fast news and information travels these days. I sent Miss M that photo (taken on my phone) as soon as I had Lucky settled in her nest on top of my seed germinating heat pad. Within minutes Kat had emailed with a web site on how to care for rescued kittens-- including feral kittens.

Lucky. Lucky to still be alive after having been in Missy's mouth. (Lucky weighs 5 ounces. Missy weighs about 1520 ounces.) Lucky to not be eaten to death by fire ants or picked apart while still alive by buzzards. Lucky to be warm & dry. 

So we'll see what happens. There are good signs-- when stimulated after feeding, Lucky pees! But at this stage of the game-- no matter how well we care for Lucky-- it's luck of the draw. Did Missy pull the runt from the litter or the most robust? Was its mother reasonably healthy and virus free? (I know who its mother is, by the way, but cannot attest to it health.) Can we-- not being mother cats-- balance heat and water? Lucky is at least lucky we understand enzymes. 

I was surprised to see how low the protein content of the kitten rescue formula was. 

Wish Lucky good luck. Or Pray. However you think you control the universe, please ask the universe to be kind to Lucky. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Party's Over

April 8, 2013.

The Party's over.

The Imaginary Dinner Party Game began February 18, 2013. I proclaimed the Dinner Party Game over on March 2 when all of the seats at the table had been filled. On March 3, I posted this:
I was one-upped by Miss M's Friend the other day. I pronounced the Dinner Party Game finished. He countered with a question, "How can we be finished when our guests haven't had any conversations?"

Right he was! How can you have people such as we all invited around a table and then not allow them to converse?

Silly me. 

And so... . We have the basic framework of how the Conversation Game will go, we're just working on the Game Board logistics.

To begin...
On March 4th our imaginary guests began conversing.

By April 8, 2013, we'd all had our say. More or less.

The Conversations on the Conversations Page is now in text format.

Thank you all for playing like we were having a dinner party!

Let There Be Light

Thomas Jefferson (me): All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.

C.S. Lewis (Dughter C): If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.

Ayn Rand (me) [written by "Equality 7-2521," the main character of Rand's novella Anthem (1938)]: We made it. We created it. We brought it forth from the night of the ages. We alone. Our hands. Our mind. Ours alone and only. We know not what we are saying. Our head is reeling. We look upon the light which we have made. We shall be forgiven for anything we say tonight. . . .

Sunday, April 7, 2013

"Why are you giving me rubber bands for my birthday?"

she asked.
And size L and XL cotton T-shirts? And... . Oh!

Call 1-800-C&M-TiDy ... that's 1-800-C&M-TiDy ... or go online at C&MTieDyedotcom to place you order now!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sisters Collude to Bake A Cake

Tomorrow is Miss M's birthday!

This is the vegan Strawberry Cake Daughter C baked for Miss M.
Kat was instrumental in the cake's creation. She found the recipe. She answered our initial questions.

Bless her heart. Daughter C is neither a vegan nor a baker. And as I recall, Daughter C said she called Kat thirty-seven thousand times this afternoon, while she was baking, for detailed instruction. Although not a vegan, Kat can bake.

The end result was a vegan birthday cake, baked by Daughter C,  assisted by Kat, for their sister,  Miss M.

Isn't it lovely? And it tasted good, too!

BIG Life. 

And the Hits Just Keep Comin'!

Anton D'Vorak: I am convinced that the future music of this country must be founded on what are called Negro melodies. ... These beautiful and varied themes are the product of the soil. They are the folk songs of America and your composers must turn to them.

Jerry Garcia: You have to get past the idea that music has to be one thing. To be alive in America is to hear all kinds of music constantly: radio, records, churches, cats on the street, everywhere music. And with records, the whole history of music is open to everyone who wants to hear it.

Men of Deeds

Theodore Roosevelt: Knowing what's right doesn't mean much unless you do what's right.

James Cash Penney: The men who have furnished me with my greatest inspiration have not been men of wealth, but men of deeds.

It's been a remarkable conversation!