Saturday, November 28, 2009

NOT a Christmas tree

I went out to cut two Christmas trees this afternoon, and I did, but on the way I found something else. There was frost this morning. Brave? Confused?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

grateful cooking

I spent today at work listening to my co-workers and a number of our clients complaining about how much work Thanksgiving dinner is, or stating happily that they were going to eat out. I think what I'm most thankful for at the moment is not seeing it that way. Three of my grandparents came from large families, where just the people in the household were around a dozen, and they were hardly ever without guests, expected or otherwise, so I grew up on stories of meals with three meats and seven vegetables and four breads.

I just realized that one reason it doesn't seem difficult to me is that those stories made me aware early on of "modern conveniences." It's not difficult to wash and salt a turkey that's already cleaned and dressed, and stick it in an oven that has a thermostat, so I don't have to carefully feed the fire to keep a steady heat. I have a refrigerator (and a freezer!) so I cooked the dessert yesterday, and today after work I made the sweet potato pudding, and fixed the turkey in its roasting pan ready to go in the oven in the morning, and since due to work conflicts we're having the dinner on Friday, when it has cooked I'll put it back in the refrigerator. There's running water, too, a wonder I never tire of. So preparing a feast for somewhere between seven and twelve people for a time not yet determined on Friday does not intimidate me.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

hair FAIL

I was delighted to find, when I checked Locks of Love's web site (, that now you're allowed to cut your own hair if you follow their instructions. I've been cutting dog hair for nearly eleven years now--how hard could it be?

Well, it turns out that cutting my own hair while looking in the mirror is even harder than taking a picture of the back of my head in the mirror. (Third attempt up there.) I tied the hair with string before I cut it, as instructed, and cut it off, and discovered that the left side of my hair was the length I meant it to be, but the right side was about five inches shorter. What you see above is after my attempts to even it up looking at my reflected back in a hand mirror. Sometimes I didn't even get the hair into the scissors; I'd be cutting the air.

Next time--in eight or ten years--I'm going to divide my hair in two, and pull the two sections over my shoulder before I do any string-tying, and cutting, so I can see what I'm doing. That is, if I don't have cataracts or some worse vision problem than bifocals by then.

But the tied-off pony tail in its zip lock bag looks usable, and as soon as I find the right size padded mailer I shall send it off.

Monday, November 16, 2009

getting creative

Not long ago I found this bird's nest.

Since I have to decorate my house much more than my natural tendency because it's going to be in the House Tour this December, I decided to put it to use.

I sprayed it with a little gold glitter spray, proceeding cautiously, adding only a little (which doesn't really show up in this picture.)

Then I added more. I tried the red glitter, too, but I seem to have a defective can of that: it doesn't show up on the nest or on the pine cones I tried it on.

So I kept on building up the gold glitter.

After three days it's a lot more glittery than shows up here. I tried both red eggs, and gold-and-clear eggs; the red were definitely best.

Then I decided it needed a bird.

The eggs must be ready to hatch, since the bird is watching over them from a distance. Will the chicks be red glittery, or gold?

Having finished that project with such pleasure, I did a few more things that won't dry out like the greenery and the trees.

The red basket was painted by a friend of mine some years ago when she went crazy for painted baskets. The pine cones are a few of the ones in my driveway.

Then I got out all my dog ornaments, finding that there aren't really very many, but they do fill up a small window sill, and hung the Santa wreath that a former roommate and I found on the street and added a few things to.

Then I stopped, because it's almost three weeks until the tour, and everything else I have planned involves fresh greenery. Now I must concentrate on putting away all the things that haven't really been unpacked in the past almost-year, and hanging at least a few more of the pictures. In less than three weeks. Yikes.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

a few things

optical illusion

On my way to work this morning, before the sun was all the way up, I saw a black and white cat that appeared to be floating in mid air. It was sitting on a fence post, and the post was nearly the same color as the soy bean stubble in the field behind it.

back to normal

I passed the place where the steer was on top of the hay bale, and now there are two steers, and three goats. One of the goats has horns. Guess who was on top of the bale today?

stove gloat

Last night I put a piece of wood in the stove about an hour before bedtime, and closed the damper when I went to bed. This morning the stove was still warm (not unusual) and I saw there was still some wood unburned, so I opened the damper and the flames woke up, and I got to drink my coffee by the fire. Then I closed the damper when I left, and when I got home ten hours later there was nothing left but ashes, but the stove was still warm. Three pieces of wood put out heat for eighteen hours. Color me impressed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

coyote sighting

Yesterday on my way to work (in daylight!) I saw something run across the road ahead of me, and I thought "That tail is awfully plumy for a dog..." and as I drove nearer it stopped in the field and turned and looked at me.

Since the move out ten miles from town I've heard a lot of coyote voices, and caught glimpses of things disappearing from the side of the road that might have been coyotes, but this is the first clear look at one I've had. How can something standing in a field of corn stubble across the road from a house and barns look so wild?

Friday, November 6, 2009

role reversal

(Or should I say "roll reversal"? When round hay bales were new, some people called them rolls to distinguish them from square bales.)

Since the time change means I'm driving to work in daylight again, yesterday morning I was able to see the pasture occupied by a young steer and some goats. They usually have a bale of hay. This time, the steer was up on top of the bale, and the goats were all eating from the bottom.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sunday morning coffee by the stove

There was frost Sunday morning. By the time I got the fire going well again, my second pot of coffee was ready. Warmth inside and out. What could be better?