Friday, February 29

Wildlife seen in February

  • 4 pine grosbeaks
  • pileated woodpecker
  • red squirrel
February's Backyard Birds
  • chickadees
  • common redpolls
  • downy woodpeckers
  • goldfinches
  • hairy woodpeckers
  • red-breasted nuthatches
  • ruffed grouse
  • white-breasted nuthatches

Thursday, February 28

I'm sure this doesn't happen too often

Yesterday, my daughter went out in public wearing her grandmother's bell bottoms.

I bet y'all would love to see a picture of that!

Tuesday, February 26


If Matt Drudge wants my attention, he need only use the following headline:

Falling icicles kill 6 in Russia...

This has all the elements of a Heidi-attention-getter.

How very tragic.

Garrison was on to something.

Grace struck fear in my heart when, as I was writing this, she looked out the window and said, "Wow, Mom, that's a huge icicle."

She hasn't heard the news. And comparatively speaking, this isn't (yet) a huge icicle. But I was quick to warn the children of the danger, you can be sure!

Monday, February 25

Have you ever read....

A book with an upside down page? Well don't feel bad if you haven't. Fact is, They're fairly rare, and although I've been reading for over half my life, I have only come across one. Here is my wonderful narration:

One day, a young lady by the name of Lynae went to the library. With card in hand, she set out across the parking lot, her blond hair flying around her beautiful face. A moment later, she stepped out of the library onto the sidewalk with a small red book. The cover had a pattern of black and white lines on the front and back, and on the end, in white letters, it read, "The Lost Queen of Egypt" and below that, "Lucile Morrison". The young lady climbed into a maroon vehicle and was off like a flash.

After several days of enjoyed on and off reading, Lynae had finally reached chapter 16. She picked up the book once more and plopped herself into a comfortable green recliner, turned on the lamp beside her, and began reading. After only 12 pages, she saw a most peculiar thing...the page was upside down. She blinked to make sure she wasn't dreaming, picked herself up, and brought the book to her mother's immediate attention. Shocked and amazed, her mother took a quick snapshot with her handy-dandy digital camera and they both started laughing.
Fortunately, I have gotten a hold of the photo to further your enjoyment, and shall post it right here.

Friday, February 22

I didn't feel like having apple pie, so I'm here typing

With Manoah at my feet and a confused frontal lobe. During supper Dad was telling us about how to keep your frontal lobe in good health.

Oh, Thursday night I went to the pretty little town of Duluth to see Bill Staines at Amazing Grace bakery. He sang some songs we knew, and I got to talk to him. We didn't leave Duluth until about midnight, which is probably a good thing because I was laughing my fool head off for about 1o minutes while we were sitting in the parking lot of the gas station eating our supper, and I'm not sure Mom would be able to concentrate on the busy interstate with me laughing so hard.

We decided to eat at McDonald's in the drive through. Now, for some mysterious reason concealed to everyone except the eccentric contractor responsible for this project, there is a sign out on the main drag with an arrow saying to follow it to McD's, and it points to two different alleys. It doesn't specify which, and you can't tell which way you should go because of the high snow bank between them. But they both lead to the McDonald's drive through. Weird, huh? Anyway, I wasn't hungry so I asked for a strawberry shake. Mom wanted me to eat, so I explained that I wasn't hungry, and we compromised and I said that I would order a Big Mac, but I just wanted the Mac. Then we started talking about all the food that should be on the McDonald's menu, including the Mini Mac, the Slightly Downsized Mac, and the Mac. When we received our food, we headed across the street to the gas station to enjoy the food...
All these years I thought Mom just wasn't good at making jokes. No, I was wrong. She's plenty good at making jokes, but she saves them for when I'm tired. I was sitting in the passenger seat attempting to eat a Big Mac, and being thwarted in my every attempt. I mean, I was laughing so hard I choked on a piece of shredded lettuce.

I'll talk to you folks later when my frontal lobe is ready and I have another SYH and when the day is new.

Wednesday, February 20

Three Short Novels

It's taking me forever to get through Wendell Berry's Three Short Novels. Most of the time, my reading opportunity comes at night, before I go to sleep. That doesn't really work unless I'm in bed. There's a light switch within reach... for the closet. I'm fine with reading by the light of the open closet, especially when I have a fresh batch of soap curing in there. And the fact that the light from the closet is a little dim out in the bedroom isn't generally a problem. But my copy of this particular book is in very small print. My vision is not what it ought to be, nor will it be any time soon. This discourages my bedtime reading habit. So there you have it. I've finished Nathan Coulter, and am enjoying Remembering. It's just slow going.

Tuesday, February 19

Cabin fever? Naaah...

In the spirit of last year's Legohenge, my children created -- for the enjoyment of local drivers and blog readers alike -- Snowhenge!

Grace was responsible for the miniaturized miniature version:

Saturday, February 16

Chinese dinner

I'm not going for authentic, y'all. I'm just looking to satisfy this chronic craving for a decent Chinese meal. They simply don't have good Chinese restaurants, to my knowledge, in my neck of the woods. So I start with homemade egg rolls.

We chop, shred, and grate veggies.

Lynae really gets into this part.

We saute the onions, add the carrots, then the garlic...

Finally we add the cabbage and cook it down.

Lynae cooks up some chicken bits separately

We add them in, mix it up, and we're ready to put the egg rolls together!

I get out my package of handy-dandy egg roll wraps, found in the local produce section.

The yummy filling is placed across the middle of the wrap, laid diagonally in front of me.

A corn starch and water mixture is brushed around the edges so it will stick once it's rolled.

Fold the bottom over the filling

Fold the left and right corners to the middle, then finish rolling.

The egg rolls are now ready to be cooked!

Meanwhile, we employ our delightful servant, the rice cooker. I am not prejudiced against single-job appliances. Prior to owning a rice cooker, I often forgot to make rice to go with the other Chinese food. Unthinkable, I know! This also keeps our stove top free to prepare the rest of the meal.

With the rice cooker working hard across the kitchen, I can focus on cooking my egg rolls to perfection. Meanwhile, Lynae follows my myriad instructions behind the scenes, and the rest of the family tries to stay out of our way and wait patiently for dinner to be ready.

Once they're cooked, they drain and cool while I move on to the stir fry.

We cook up the marinated chicken in the wok

Add in two bags of frozen stir fry veggies (Convenience has its place. This is it.)

Slather it in garlic sauce

And recruit hubby to help serve it all up!

A delicious Chinese meal, and what's that? Chopsticks?

The boys catch on quickly.

Grace gets straight to the point.

Jon scarfs his down so he can read his fortune. "In being kind to others, you will receive kindness back." Sometimes it's easier to hear when it's not coming from Mom and Dad.

After many tries, Lynae figures it out. Good thing it's sticky rice!

Friday, February 15

SYH #12 today

Yeah, my first rabbit in 6 weeks. You know, I've been catching skunks (Mephitis mephitis) lately, not on purpose but because the little black and white bulldozers are attracted to anything that remotely suggests anything interesting. No, seriously. I caught my first skunk of the year in a mink (Mustela vison) set by a creek, then I caught another in a blind set on a rabbit trail... who would've guessed that skunks use rabbit trails? Anyway, I was plenty tired of catching large, smelly, black and white mustelids, so today I was very pleased to have caught a SYH.

You know, when I saw the size of the rabbit, I felt sorry for him because he was so skinny. He lived out in the brush and probably didn't try to eat what fell out of our bird feeders, so most of his diet had been bark, wood, leaves, etc. I'm glad that I was able to harvest some rabbits several months ago, because if I hadn't, there would've been 11 others competing with him for food, and they would all have been in worse shape than this one was. Rabbits in our area are at their highest population of the decade, and aren't predicted to be this abundant again for another 10 years.

Friday, February 8

Fair weather resolution

I absolutely hate taking the dogs to the vet. Strange smells, unhappy sounds, unclear boundaries, and a barrage of additional products and services that I'd be sure to add on if I truly loved my pets. Imagine all that, plus PMS, plus finding out your dear dog who was overweight at 54 pounds has gained another 15 pounds in the past year. (Manoah lost 2 pounds.)

I admit it. I cried all the way home. No specific reason, just all of the above, and everything else, besides.

I'm getting big, itchy welts at my insulin injection sites. I haven't found relief for the itching yet. It's wearing on me. So is the constant high blood sugar and the agonizingly slow process of finding the right insulin dosage. The nurse came up with a solution for the itching -- a longer needle. Doesn't that sound wonderful?

I think I've had PMS for the past 3 weeks now. NOT fair... to me or my loved ones.

So here's my fair weather resolution. India (my dear snuggle puppy) and I shall do what we must to get through the rest of snow season, and also the ugly part of mud season. This may include baths and chocolate and floral scents and snuggles and long rides in the truck, as appropriate. And then we will walk, whenever the weather is fair. We will love ourselves and each other and the fresh air and the earth under our feet and the birds and the flowers and whatever health we have. And we'll smile, and see who loses 15 pounds first.

Oh, and don't give up on me now. When I'm feeling a bit better, I'll post a picture of my new hair!

Wednesday, February 6

Attack of the Killer Grouse

Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration. Now you know who Toby gets it from.

Yesterday evening, I was supervising jumping jacks and a nap (as unlikely as that sounds), playing Pyramids, and wondering if I'd bother sharing the picture I took of the grouse who now visit daily outside my window. Suddenly, I heard a giant crash and thanked the Lord for this sturdy house of ours. A peek out my other window confirmed that a grouse had crashed into the house.

There are 4 in this picture. One is in the crab apple tree. You can hardly see it against the blue of the sky, just above the tree line. Because of their timing and my lack of skills, it seems unlikely I will get a GOOD picture of them.

Monday, February 4

Just so you know that I know...

(huge sigh)

There are some things a reasonably mature woman should not blog about.

(sigh) I know.

So I won't.

Sunday, February 3

Escape of the Superbowl Widow

I took myself to a movie, and I let Miss Lynae tag along. I warned her that she'd better not drive me nuts, and she didn't. Whew! We grabbed a bite to eat, bought a puzzle book in case she decided she didn't want to watch the movie (thinking she could sit in the lobby... it's that kind of theater), and sat through a perfectly mediocre chick flick. Then we went for a sit down, relaxing sort of evening meal, bought giant muffins for the fam to enjoy in the morning, and headed home.

My darling husband is taping the new episode of House for me. He didn't tell me of any crises when I walked in, so I assume things went fine while I was gone. If they didn't, I don't want to know yet.

I think I'll sneak back out and watch for the northern lights.

Book Meme

  • Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
  • Open the book to page 123.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post the next three sentences.
  • Tag five people.

I was going to do this last night, but the print in my book was too small to read with my tired eyes. So even though my books have moved, I shall use the same one: Three Short Novels by Wendell Berry.

I cannot afford to quit. I realize that this is not ideal. But I am not an idealist.
I hereby tag the first five people to read this and say to themselves, "Hey, why not? I can do that."

Friday, February 1

Look, Ma!

She's reading Bernd Heinrich!

Everybody sing: It's a world of laughter, a world of tears...

Oh, and Mom... did you see the picture?

And did y'all see my prize-winning blog comment?

Happy February!

I currently have a pair of ruffed grouse enjoying their supper of crab apples in the tree outside my kitchen window. They've been making their way closer and closer to the house over the past week. Seeing them so close feels like a treat from God.

I'd take pictures, but it's nearly dark out.