(My kids will tell you – and so can I- that my title is "alliteration" – a word on last week’s English test. . . those education dollars at work)
I didn’t have to work on the farm this weekend. We had some friends over, and the husband went out and did what I normally would be doing (digging a trench for a faucet by the barn and piecing together water pipe – skinny stuff . . . a one-man job). Prince Farming was on the borrowed excavator digging a trench from a water source (broken pipe in the field) to the old barn for the water pipe to rest in (and not freeze during the winter). So I feel really blessed, and amazingly rested. And without a funny story for your reading pleasure.
Last Monday I shared a post about despair. For some reason my humor is sort of leaning toward the political genre, which is odd because politics and me just aren’t that close. I’m not a US citizen (nor am I here illegally, if you’re wondering ). I have a hard time following what’s going on and giving any kind of intelligent analysis. Actually – I probably have a hard time giving intelligent analysis anywhere in my life, but that’s a whole ‘nother post. Maybe it’s just that politics is the primary topic every time I turn on the radio. But every week I get this little video podcast that makes me smirk, or giggle, or laugh out loud, or sigh with a "I wish I could have thought that out and said it first." And sometimes, no matter how simplified it is, I just don’t get it. Or it doesn’t strike me all that funny. Which is okay too. Helping little minds understand big things, Uncle Jay has a great way ‘splaining things and I thought maybe you’d enjoy hearing a couple of my favorites. I would hazard a guess that it isn’t so much the politics that strike me as funny as the irreverence does. That’s probably more like it.
I haven’t watched this week’s video cast yet. But with everyone talking about the financial mayhem that we find ourselves in, I thought it would be appropriate to share a simplified version of what’s going on. Check this out.
Another one that is fairly popular (by vote of most clicks) is the congressional recess episode. It’s pretty funny too.
No, no – I’m not completely heartless. I don’t laugh at people who are experiencing despair (I might laugh WITH them though). I laugh at the company and the writers who work for www.despair.com . Their company slogan is: "We’re not happy ’till you’re not happy." They do these crazy lithographs that smack of the popular "Motivators" posters. Here’s their "Despair" demotivator:
There are about 100 other lithographs – all laugh-out-loud funny. Here’s a fairly current one, for which they’ve gotten a lot of flack:
And in response to an irate citizen who reamed them for their complete insensitivity in the government demotivator, they created this one:
If you have a hard-to-shop-for cynic on your Christmas list, this is a great place to find a gift (I get no kick-backs from this endorsement – it’s purely for your convenience and enjoyment).
Here’s an example of another one of their recent releases. You can get this on a T-shirt. I own the Pessimist’s Mug (the non-executive one). This is a take-off from that mug (I think these people consume truck-loads of caffeine and work between the hours of 1am and 4am)
If you go over and browse their site, be sure to check out their video podcasts. You might get a chuckle from one or two of them too.
Stop it – I told you I was going to post some stamping. Here’s a card I made for Prince Farming for our Anniversary – way back when I started blogging (okay, not THAT far back – it was July of this year).
This card is a departure from the norm because a) it’s fairly plain and simple, b) there’s no paper involved and c) there’s only one layer and NO ribbon. I also don’t normally use metal hinges to create the spine of a card. It is within acceptable norms, because a) I used stamps and ink; b) There is one layer; c) it is embellished (hardware); and d) it is embossed (a process through which color crystals, adhered to a surface with embossing ink, are heated / melted, giving a "raised" impression of the stamped image).
This card was copied "verbatim" (as far as my memory serves) from a card I saw demonstrated by Brent Steele on the Stampin’Up! Bermuda cruise (April ’08). So it also meets my normal criteria because it is "cased" (copied and shared) as are all of my creative endeavors.
Cutting the sheet metal was a bit of a stretch because I was trying to keep it a surprise for Prince Farming, and I couldn’t find the right tool (it was way down in the shed – HE knew where it was, but I couldn’t find it in any of the tool boxes here at the house). I ended up heating it up (with my heat-gun) and then trying to snip through it with something he brought home from the hospital (why they need industrial-looking snips, I’m not sure. They definitely WEREN’T suited to what I was cutting, but they did work). Then I had to file the edges so no fingers got sliced. And I used a "Crop-a-dile" to make the holes for the hinges/brads and to make the "shot marks" through the road sign (that’s what signs look like around here – why do people shoot signs?). I also distressed it with my little pliers – just for effect (and to copy Brent’s card).
I think this card was a good choice for my first real "card" share because I’m feeling rather manly with all the farm work I’ve been doing for the past week. Hay is almost done (just needs to be hauled to the barn). My life is going to settle down a bit now that it’s done. Besides, my kids are leaving for Outdoor School for a week. My plan is to dig out my stamp room. If that happens, I’ll show you before/after shots next week.
This is something I received via email, but just crack up every time I see the picture. Thought you might enjoy it too.
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Tough Love vs. Spanking - Good Argument
Most of the American populace thinks it improper to spank children, so I have tried other methods to control my kids when they have one of ‘those moments..’
One that I found effective is for me to just take the child for a car ride and talk. Some say it’s the vibration from the car, others say it’s the time away from any distractions such as TV, Video Games, Computer, IPod, etc.
Either way, my kids usually calm down and stop misbehaving after our car ride together. Eye to eye contact helps a lot too.
I’ve included a photo below of one of my sessions with my son, in case you would like to use the technique.
Two weeks ago I created a Wordle ( here.) A wordle is a crazy word-cloud made up of the most used words on a blog (or other writing that you enter). I thought it would be fun to see how my blog has developed. Or changed. So I took a snap shot of my blog wordle again, and here is the art that was generated.
I love how prominent "Rooibos" is. And "Prince" and "Farming". "Chicks" is cool too. And, as is true in my life right now, "housekeeping" is nowhere to be found.
So I finally got to go see the Allergist. Again. I went last month, but when I made the appointment they failed to tell me to cease and desist any allergy medication I was taking. I should have known this all by myself, had I been thinking. But I wasn’t thinking, and nor did they think for me. So I made another appointment – one month out. First appointment of the day. Lucky me (didn’t have to wait for the doctor to be done with patients who might have arrived late or who use up more than their allotted time). I didn’t totally know what to expect. I knew that a person gets these "scratches" with various toxins, and then they rate your reaction to these toxins. But again, I wasn’t really thinking. Nothing new there.
After the doctor rolled up my sleeves (I had short sleeves on – she just rolled them up further), she cleaned both arms thoroughly with a drenched, single cottom ball (no avoiding the drops – she meant business. . . I was to be all clean/er). Then she took this thingy which I can’t describe, and the best picture I could find is this:
That thingy in the hand is like 8 "scratchers" with needles in each middle. The scratchers have been "living" in a puddle of allergen matter. The doctor put all eight against my skin and wiggled the device around to make that poison enter my body. "Just like a little scrape," she said. (FYI – that thingy is a one-time use deal. She put it in the sharps container after she used it once. I was relieved to see this.) She had 3 trays like the one above. But I think only 8 of the 9 slots had stuff in them – I only see room on my arms for eight sets. So she went down the insides of both my arms with these poison "scrapes". I asked her if I could scratch them. She thought I was kidding. Right after she was done administering the poison, this is what my arms looked like (BTW: It’s hard to take pictures of your own arms using an iPhone – excuse the angle):
I’m not joking when I tell you I started itching. I mean, I’M NOT JOKING!!! The doctor looked at me like I was so cute, and I couldn’t possibly be ready to scratch. Let me tell you, I was READY TO SCRATCH!!!
But I didn’t.
Not even once.
I did use the magazine to fan madly, but no touchy, no scratchy.
She said she’d be back in 20 minutes. Fine. I’ll just sit here and wait. Don’t mind me. I’m fine. Really. (Can you say "creeping madness"?) Never mind! I’m fine.
She came back 20 minutes later. Her eyes flew open. She said "OMG, I’m so sorry! OMG!" etc etc etc.
Now, her reaction was of only slight comfort to me. See, it’s not like I’m surprised I have allergies. I made the appointment after all. I KNOW I have allergies. I was just trying to figure out exactly to what (other than cats, cleaning, cooking, loud kids, and disrespect). But to be completely honest, I did sort of relish her huge surprise. She said "you must be itchy!"
Umm, let me think about that one, hmmmm. YYYYEEEESSSSSSSSSS I’m about to climb the walls!!!
She kept on making exclamations of shock/horror/surprise. It was enough to disrupt my crazy desire to scratch the skin off my arms and start making me worry about whether she’d let me walk out of the office without some sort of insulated protective suit against the terrible out-doors. There were welts on my arm. The largest were probably dime-size. There were three of those (Cats, Dust mites, and . . . can’t remember, maybe Ragweed). After listening to her go on about it all, I realized that it wasn’t the size of my reaction to individual toxins, but the fact that there were scratches from every single batch that had a more-than-mild reaction. She was also very excited about my reaction to molds. Of all the batches, I thought the mold one looked the least worrisome. But she explained that the mold scratches were actually only very mild toxins, and most people didn’t react to them much at all. I had mosquito-bite size reactions for all the molds. My arms were totally red and splotchy. I’d never seen anything like it. I am not allergic to horses at all. But I am crazy allergic to their environment. I can play golf, because that grass is fine with me, but the trees on golf courses put out pollens that might make me stop breathing at any moment. The way she was talking, my life is just about over. I can kiss it all good bye. I will check in to my glass room, and never venture out. Ever. I was all excited about walking out of there with these huge growths on my arms so people could marvel at this freak of nature and give me all sorts of sympathy, but that didn’t happen. She washed me down with that glorious and generous alcohol rub again, and the itch (and the lumps) all but disappeared. This is a picture of that. . . sorry it’s not as exciting as I’ve built it up to be:
The doctor was kind enough to take the picture for me, and asked me to email a copy to her. It’s not that impressive, looking at it. But it gives you a slight idea.
I left her office with a whole sheaf of papers: the kind of whole-house filter I need. The kind of pillows and covers – both for pillows and mattress and comforter. The dehumidifier – to keep the humidity below 40% (my hair doesn’t do well with humidity over that anyways – I’ll play that game). I was waiting for her to write an order that would prevent me from ever cleaning or cooking again. When I said so, she just looked at me like I was confused. Duh. She gave me medicines, and coupons for medicines. And brochures from several vendors pushing their wares on poor allergy-stricken people like myself. She told me I can definitely NOT work on the hay process (oh woe is me, reluctant no more). And I shouldn’t ever mow the grass, unless I’m wearing a significant (and nerdy) face mask. And on. And on. And on. She says there’s never a season or place where I’m not allergic to something. How terribly comforting.
I have been debating for a long time going for allergy shots. She said I’d only have to have 2 a week for the first several months (TWO a WEEK!??!?). And eventually I could wean myself down to 2 a month over the next 5 years (FIVE YEARS?!??!?). Umm. Or I could just itch. And scratch. And water. And snort. Just like I’ve been doing for 40 over 30 years.
This week’s Topic on the Heads or Tails site is: BOXES
And today is a perfect day to talk about boxes. Yesterday I made a phone call to the Post Office, asking whether they had a special delivery for me. Nope – not yet. This morning I woke up early and made the same phone call. Steve (at the PO) didn’t even have to look through the mail – the box was in. So I dragged myself out of bed and drove and a respectable speed the nine miles to the post office. I walked through the door (6:47am) and I knew my box was there. I totally knew. This was my box:
I knew the box was there because I could HEAR it. From outside. I’m sure that Steve didn’t mind my coming to the PO before business hours, because it allowed them to do their work without the extra sound effects. It’s amazing how much noise this box made. When I got home and looked inside the box, this is what we found:
Thirty-something chicks. They were hatched on Monday in northern Ohio, and mailed (priority mail) to us here in the boondocks. How cute are they? And LOUD!!!
Obviously, the chicks couldn’t stay for long in this box, so we moved them over to this:
We had to dip their little beaks into sugar water, and then into their starter food. This is what introduced them to their sustenance for from now on out. And they picked it up like champs. Amazing. Apparently baby chicks don’t need food for the first couple of days of life outside their eggs because they have reserves from their yolk sacs. Who knew!!? But around day 2 or 3, they start getting hungry and thirsty. And we helped them out. They arrived just in time.
By the way, this box is housed in another box. . . this one:
Prince Farming and our son made it good and cozy so that the chicks can’t get out, and the dogs can’t get in. And this box is actually inside the garage, so other wild critters can’t get to them either. For now. They’ll live here for a while until they’re older, and until Prince Farming has figured out and built their out-door fortress.
When the kids got home from school, there was tons of excitement. If these chicks look a little stressed, you can figure out why. They’ve had a rough few days of life, but from now on out, I think they’ll be very happy in (and out) of their box
Hopefully these critters will do better than these did. And here starts another chapter, or sub-story line, of my farm life.
You can play Heads or Tails too, or check out other BOX posts by clicking here.
Whenever people come to Gredemeer, they drink tea. Not just any tea, though. It’s the best tea in the world. Really! They can have it hot, or cold. Iced tea is made almost daily and is ever-ready. A gallon and a half of it. When the pitcher starts looking like this:
It’s time to start brewing. It won’t be long till it’s totally empty.
This tea is special, because it’s something I grew up with. It’s one of the few things I’ve been able to hold on to or revisit over time. Not only is the tea delicious, it’s very good for you. It’s chock full of antioxidants. That’s not all. Rooibos (pronounced roy-boss) tea has an abundance of other amazing properties. Rooibos was first documented as far back as 1772. But it’s healing properties weren’t recognized until much later (1986) when the mother of a colicky baby used it in the baby bottle. The crying stopped. Studies were done and it was found that Rooibos has many healing properties.
"Rooibos Tea has a tasty flavor. It doesn’t have any caffeine. It relieves depression. It relieves stress. It even relieves constipation, among a wide variety of other problems ranging from insomnia to colic. It helps you relax at bedtime but also keeps you refreshed during the day. The list of benefits goes on and on, but this herbal tea doesn’t have any negative side effects!"
Here’s the recipe:
Three teabags in the brewer basket. Add 24 cups of water run through the brewer (with the same teabags)
Add a cup of sugar to the first batch (brewer holds 10 cups) so it can dissolve while it’s hot.
There comes a problem though. When you open up the box and it looks like this:
Then it’s time to log on to African Hut and place another order. You could go to some trendy place and buy it like this or like this. But why spend that much for so little, when you can get
80 teabags imported from the very place it’s produced in the format traditionally used and loved for a fraction of the cost?
Any way you prepare it, Rooibos Tea hits the spot. Stop by for some delicious, soothing, aromatic and wonderful Rooibos Tea. Hot or cold. With milk or mint or not. You’re welcome any time.
This entry was started on our way to the weekend. I thought it would be pretty cool to blog from a blackberry. But it was interminably slow, and then we drove out of range. Too bad. So here I sit on my apple – it’s much less cumbersome.
We went camping at Cades Cove this weekend. We saw it advertised quite some time ago. Prince Farming took Friday off from work, and I made arrangements for the kids to skip school (shame on me) so we could call it a vacation. We were supposed to be packed and ready on Thursday evening, but that didn’t happen. Lots of reasons. So we woke up late (not late like 10am, but late like at the time we normally leave for work/school) which was really nice. We got everything ready to go – and packed. And packed. And packed. When we go camping, the only thing missing is our temperpedic mattress and the air conditioning. Everything else, including the kitchen sink, comes along. Really! Prince Farming is an excellent packer person, having been designated the packer-person since he was around 10 years old. So he can get LOTS crammed into small spaces.
Normally when we go camping we pull a trailer. Not a camper trailer, but a utility trailer. This is very convenient, because we can throw everything in there (and store it in between times) and then pull it to our destination. Then we neatly arrange everything outside the trailer, and use the floor (with the back hatch down) as our off-the-ground tent floor. Except with no tent. It’s really quite nice. And spacious. And private. And level. But the camp site where we were going didn’t allow for trailers. Anywhere. At least in the group site, which is what was reserved for this occasion. So we had to wing it with camping how we used to do it. Let me tell you, it was quite a challenge.
Added to the challenge was the detail that all food, and anything that might have anything to do with something consumable had to be stored inside a vehicle outside of meal times. Can you begin to imagine how much stuff we had to cram into the truck cab when we weren’t eating? Added to this discomfort was the fact that we couldn’t bring vehicles very close to the camp sites – they had to be parked in a loop around the perimeter of the camp site. Good grief – hike to the truck for a pan. Oops. Also need a spatula. Oh yes, and the oil. Did you bring the salt? No? Go fetch. You get the picture.
Here’s our camp set-up. Actually this is on break-down morning, so there’s extra stuff lying around. Prince Farming & I slept in the yellow tent. The kids occupied the green one. My daughter had a really tough time being okay with sleeping that close to her brother. She was all for camping in the truck. Too bad all the food and stuff had to sleep in there. There was NO ROOM IN THE INN. Besides, I made the very excellent point that when a person travels, one has to be willing to be in less than optimum conditions. Mostly only briefly. It was a hard lesson. And a hard swallow. But once she made up her mind, she bunked with her brother with the grace of a champ. And guess what? She’s still alive to tell the story. And so is he.
This entry is inspired by this Meme website. The current challenge/topic is "Three Things from Any Category"
My Category: Things I’d love to blog about but can’t yet because . . . .
1) A few of my favorite things. . .
I had great pictures of several of my summer time favorite things that were the makings of a really good post. My hard drive crash and the loss of my pictures postpones this really good post. Hope you’re not suffering as much as I am over this loss.
2) Stamping projects . . .
I keep threatening to stamp and share what I stamp. I’m sure the anticipating is killing you. It’s killing me. Next week is looking better than this week for stamping. Don’t hold your breath.
It isn’t here yet. I haven’t convinced Prince Farming of the necessity of a new critter. Actually, I can’t decide what the critter is. Either a donkey (first choice), or (currently) a little dog. Our house guests have a little Yorkie that doesn’t bark or stink or shed. Nor is it high maintenance like I’ve understood Yorkies to be. I think I might dog-nap the little rat and rename it "Gremlin" when they move out. Don’t tell anyone.
You can play "Heads or Tails" every Tuesday. Just visit this site for the rules and the games.