Thursday, June 30, 2011

On my mind ...

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. It opens the door to us sharing our lives through these photos and gives us all a new way to discover each other, and maybe form new friendships. Your photo should show something at home that you're thinking about TODAY. If you're in another country you should join in when you read this, even if it's still Thursday.
To take part,

America Threatened by Morons!

Wrestling with my insomnia the other night, I plugged "Leon F. Whitney" the AKC-celebrated dog man and former head of the American Eugenics Society into Google press archives.

Along with a 1932 New York Times headline noting that "Eugenics Leader Hails Hitler as Statesman," I came across the April 1932 New York Times article below about the first meeting of the Population Association of America.

At the top, of course, we discover that America's population is going to peak in 25 years, and then it will decline and our power and economy will wither with it. 

Right.  What really happened?

Well, we had both a Baby Boom and open-border immigration.  As a result, the population of the United States went from 125 million in 1932, to over 310 million today, and it's projected to top 420 million by 2050.  As for economic decline, we are the most powerful economy in the world, with the most powerful military in the world. 

Now look at the second headline in the picture at top.  Here we have Leon F. Whitney, who was not a demographer, not geneticist, and not a sociologist (he was a small-animal veterinarian, and big-time pamphleteer) telling us that "America's major social  problems arise from borderline morons," and that we have 5,000,000 people who are "feeble minded" and need to be pruned from the gene pool.

Now, to be clear, I would agree that America's problems can be traced to morons, but perhaps not in the same way that Leon F. Whitney might mean!


If Wimbledon Were Run by the Kennel Club

If Wimbledon were run by the Kennel Club, we would hardly care about the score. 

Play tennis?  Practice?  Who needs that when it's all about looking the part?

Tension is growing among fans of attractive women in short white pleated skirts as the annual Ladies’ Prettiness Championship entered its final stages this week at Wimbledon. And, despite complaints in some quarters that the standard of gorgeousness is not what it used to be, there have been plenty of surprises along the way.

Long-time no-hoper Venus Williams surprised many observers by getting to the second round by means of an unusual style of dress but was subsequently knocked out for unfashionable collars, while plucky Brit Laura Robson managed to outscore Italy’s Francesca Schiavone on face, legs and shape alike, before inevitably succumbing to the honey-toned loveliness of Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic in round three.

Should Math Be Taught?

Coffee and Provocation

The Dog Toy That Survived the Pit Bull Chew Test:
I got a lot of suggestions a while back from readers of this blog, but the winner so far is a mail order Galileo bone.  The thing is so heavy it will break your toe if the dog drops it, but it lasts and lasts and my son's Pit Bull likes it quite a lot.  Perfect!  A total Pit Bull failure:  any and all Kongs.

Quite a Terrier Story:
In 1938 in Dubuque, Iowa, it took 12 guys 12 days of around the clock digging to get a 10-pound terrier out of the ground alive.  Iowa is a generally flat state with deep soil, but around Dubuque there are old lead and iron mines and old vertical works.

Idaho Needs to Cowboy Up When It Comes to Wolves:
Over at High County News Besty Marston writes about the people of Idaho going through a little introspection:  "Whiny, weak and what you might call wussy are adjectives that characterize too many people in Idaho today, complains the Idaho Mountain Express, and even some elected officials admit they're living in fear. What fills folks with such anxiety? Wolves -- which, according to one legislator, are loitering at the mailbox, holding innocent women hostage, and hovering near school bus stops, ready to gobble up children. So "with lightning speed," the state Legislature "rammed through" a bill that allows the governor to declare war on wolves whenever he feels they're threatening people, livestock, outfitters or wildlife. This trembling at the thought of the Big Bad Wolf is downright embarrassing, says the state's largest weekly paper: "The chance that someone will ride on a commercial airliner whose top will peel off or develop a hole is higher today than being attacked by a wolf." >> Read the rest!

Our Lefty Military:
God bless the gay-loving, universal-health-care-having, racially-diverse, sensible-pay, day-care-establishing, sucking-on-the-big-tit of Uncle Sam, U.S. Marine Corps! Is any other American institution more liberal?

Worst Horror Movie Ever:
The attack of the rabid beavers. And it's happening in Philadelphia of all places.

Dinosaur Fish:
A 234-pound alligator gar was bow hunted out of the Yazoo River in Mississippi.  Check it out!

Mona Lisa in Coffee?
Of course.  It only took the Australians 4,000 cups.

Remember Jayne Mansfield:
"Remember: Jayne Mansfield never went to Cannes in order to win the Best Actress award. She went to Cannes because that was where she could find the most cameras, so that when she bent over, her cleavage could get the widest exposure. Same thing here: Trump and Palin and Gingrich don’t run for president to become president: running is just the thing they have to do to create their brand." >> Read the rest!

Two Cow Parables:
The parable of the farmer with the two cows makes it to the Middle East.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How Fast is a Peregrine Falcon's Dive?

Real measurement.

The shop is nearly ready

I've been busy this past week with knitting and sewing for my online shop I hope to open next week. It will never be overflowing, just be a few things I can do in my free time that I hope will earn us a little pin money. I've been told I could make a fair bit of money on my blog now but I'm not about to sacrifice my integrity for the sake of a few dollars. I see my little shop as something

Another Mutant Mutt Takes the Prize

Yoda is a a 14-year-old Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix and was named the world's ugliest dog at the 23rd annual contest held the Sonoma Marin Fair.

We used to parade around freaks tooGood times!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Frugal favourites - lasagne, and a not-so-frugal coffee cake

Lasagne is one of those great meals that can be modified to suit a range of tastes and is often a favourite meal from childhood. I make lasagne from scratch, usually with a meat and tomato layer, a spinach layer and cheese sauce. I make the pasta sheets too. The ones I used for this lasagne were the leftovers of the chicken noodle soup noodles I made a week or so ago. I kept the pasta well

That's Why They Call It Hunting

Had a rather uneventful day in the field on Sunday. A good friend came out with me, and it was not a bad day in terms of weather (about 85 degrees or so), but not much happened. 

It started hopefully enough with the dogs appearing to find in a very overgrown thicket of multiflora right by the road, but they never got in very far to this 30-foot sette, and they never opened up. I popped into the pipe, but the dogs seem to lose the story. This may have been a case where the groundhog bolted why we were busy locating the dogs. Lot of holes at this sette!

The same story followed at two other good holes over the course of the day -- the dogs finding in very thick growth, but by the time we caught up to them (once after the dogs had to come find us twice!), there seemed to be no one home even though both dogs were still very interested.  There was no open-up baying all day except for a short burst above ground, on the last hole, when I am pretty sure the groundhog bolted into the brush.  Ah well, no day out with the dogs is an entirely bad day.

Numbing Numbers

Click to enlarge.

This data is from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Check out the rise of Nigeria, versus the collapse of Russia.

Now look at U.S. population growth.

The projection is that the U.S. will add 112 MILLION people to it population in the next 40 years.

To put that number into perspective, that's a population larger that the entire population of the United States west of the Mississippi today.

And where is this population coming from?

Almost all of it is coming from immigration and the children of recent immigrants. 

When we talk about an "energy crisis" and "unemployment problems" here in the United States, it's worth remembering that both of these problems are greatly exacerbated by our open borders.

You would think that once this country found itself in a hole, it would know enough to stop digging, but you would be wrong. 

Welcome to the Modern World

I was reading a bit about spam email and the choke points that come with international banking (PDF), and came across this little paragraph:

On October 27th, the Grum botnet delivered an email titled VIAGRA Official Site. The body of the message includes an image of male enhancement pharmaceutical tablets and their associated prices (shown). The image provides a URL tag and thus when clicked directs the user’s browser to resolve the associated domain name, This domain was registered by REGRU-REG-RIPN (a.k.a. on October 18th — it is still active as of this writing. The machine providing name service resides in China, while hosting resolves to a machine in Brazil. The user’s browser initiates an HTTP request to the machine, and receives content that renders the storefront for “Pharmacy Express,” a brand associated with the Mailien pharmaceutical affiliate program based in Russia.

After selecting an item to purchase and clicking on “Checkout”, the storefront redirects the user to a payment portal served from (this time serving content via an IP address in Turkey), which accepts the user’s shipping, email contact, and payment information, and provides an order confirmation number. Subsequent email confirms the order, provides an EMS tracking number, and includes a contact email for customer questions. The bank that issued the user’s credit card transfers money to the acquiring bank, in this case the Azerigazbank Joint-Stock Investment Bank in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Ten days later the product arrives, blister-packaged, in a cushioned white envelope with postal markings indicating a supplier named PPW based in Chennai, India as its originator.

So six counries are involved in a single spam email transactionAnd they said the world would never learn to get along!

What was interesting about this paper is that it makes it so transparent that the credit card companies and the banks are complicit in maintaining the problem. There are scores of millions of possible bogus URLS, but there are only two or three major credit companies in the world, and only a limited number of banks that will process spam email revenue. The world of spam pharmaceutical companies, fake knockoffs, and bogus herbal medicines could be brought to its knees in a week if the credit card companies actually took action.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Ribbon Lady

Goodness knows I can easily find negatives
 about living where I do, 
being a country, four seasons kind of gal.
But there is goodness here.
And luscious, delectable, mouth dropping 
beauty to be found in unexpected places.

Imagine being able to open your
 mailbox once a month to a package
 such as this...

or this...

Or purchase art creations like these pincushions.

I had heard of the "Ribbon Lady" 
for many years and various
 friends had offered to take me there
 and introduce us, but the timing was always off, 
and the "meeting" eluded me. A month ago I finally 
 succeeded in meeting Carole Sidlow,
and today I spent even more time at her amazing home.
I would show home pictures but I cannot. I was there to take pre-view pics for a wonderful stylist considering Carole's home for publications.
Once they are published, I will link you for sure :D

Carole's ribbon store is located in her
 over sized studio behind her home.
There isn't a ribbon she does not carry
 or cannot locate for you. 
You can "shop" the store via the web,
 at the Ribbon Store  
or in person by appointment only.
You CA gals who visit here on weekends, 
be sure and bookmark this info!

Even better, everyone can join her
This is not like other clubs. Carole and her dear friend Laura personalize each kit to your desires, colors, widths, yardage, usage, vintage, new, trims etc...
Not just an identical box that dozens of others receive.
Each one made specifically for you doll makers,
quilters, scrap-bookers, milliners.
Joining the club, also earns you discount from retail. 
Stop the drooling, it really is that wonderful!
I cannot yet bring myself to open the packages of hand pleated ribbons I have purchased from her.
They are works of art just as they are. 
( be sure and check those out too!)

A small portion of the Ribbon Store

I have an inspirational place to shop,
 two wonderful new friends, and the world is good.

So, where have I been?
just busy...
1.put my design and organizing services on sale,
 so clients signing up for the "discount".
2. repaired most of the broken stuff from 2 weeks ago.
3. Held garage sale Saturday to sell off some extras
to raise funds for DD's apt in NYC this fall.
4. Preparing for photo shoot at the end of July, 
(too many embarrassing dust bunnies)
(actually dog fur bunnies...dust doogies?)
5. Just enjoying the time with darling daughter.
etc etc etc 
Still reading you all, and visiting as I can.
What a summer this is!

Anyone else miss the playlists?
Dang Lowe's for advertising on them.
I miss discovering new songs on your blogs :(


Homemaking in tough times

For a while it looked like our economy was improving and that soon prices would level out and start falling again, but when I researched online for information about electricity yesterday, there was doom and gloom all over the place regarding food, utility and fuel prices. Australia did a bit better than most countries during the recent economic crisis, but now, due to the floods and storms,

The Seed Man's Collies

W. Atlee Burpee and seven of his collies.

Google Books is a deep well for obscure information, and it's one I sometimes dive into just to see what I can find.

Early this morning, suffering from insomnia, I was looking for an ancient snippet on working terriers when I came across an online copy of the January 3rd, 1891 edition of The Fanciers Journal, a magazine that once covered everything from show pigeons and poultry to sheep, pigs and dogs.

Inside the front cover, as was common in that era, were a slew of ads for all kinds of products, pamphlets and kennels, several of which caught my attention. Just as I was about to flip the page, however, my eye landed on the ad to the right below, and I noticed the name.

Burpee. W. Atlee Burpee. The seed man.

Collies, of course, are both working dogs and show dogs and, like terriers and a few other breeds, have some interesting names attached to them.

A quick search for more information about Burpee's collies turned up a terrific little site on "farm" collies and shepherds, packed with history and photographs.

What I was interested in, however, was Burpee.  How did this seed man come to raise collies, and when did he stop doing that?

It seems W. Atlee Burpee borrowed $1,000 from his mother in 1876, at the age of 18,  and launched a small business to sell seed, chickens, turkeys and other fowl bred on his little farm near Philadelphia.

Over time, Burpee expanded to breed collies, sheep and hogs.

Burpee's business plan for dogs, stock and seed was simple: cull through European and Asian varieties and through selection, breeding and hybridization, improve that stock for American purposes and conditions.

In 1877, Burpee introduced a new cabbage variety, the first of hundreds of vegetable and flower varieties created or brought to America.

In 1894 Burpee introduced Iceberg lettuce, in 1902 he gave us Golden Bantam yellow sweet corn, in 1907 the Fordhook bush lima bean.  In 1948, Burpee introduced the world-famous Big Boy tomato -- still a staple of gardens from coast to coast.

A July 5, 1890 copy of The Fanciers Journal gives us a dog's eye view of Burpee's setup at that time:

Most of our readers are aware that Burpee & Co. have one of the largest seed houses in America. The Fordhook Farm is almost entirely devoted to the growing of seed and bulbs. Although our visit was rather late in the year to see the flowers at their best, still what we did see was the grandest horticultural display we ever had the pleasure of witnessing.

As we approached the farm a large field of salvia appeared in view, looking like a rich red velvet carpet. Then plots of phloxes, tuberoses and gladioli were passed. The variety of brilliant colors was a most attractive sight. Upon our arrival at the farm Mr. Burpee showed us over the place, pointing out the numerous new and beautiful plants, how the new varieties were made, the manner in which seeds were tested and separated.

But it was the dogs we went to see; so we reluctantly leave the flowers and pass by the poultry yards on the way to the kennels. These poultry houses, by the bye, are models of cleanliness and convenience. In the numerous yards we noticed nearly all the leading varieties of fowls, particularly some fine specimens of Indian Games, Light Brahmas and Black Minorcas. We also saw a new breed, secured a photograph of the birds, and an illustration and description of them will be given later in our paper.

The Fordhook Kennels are devoted exclusively to Collies, good, big, intelligent working Collies, with stamina and pluck that enables them to endure fatigue and hard work.

The kennel buildings are detached and scattered about over considerable ground, which is fenced off by wire into runs. The lying-in hospital was the first building entered. We found it partitioned off to hold six bitches, each having her private run. Daisy Dean, whose acquaintance we made in 1886 at Boston and New York, where she took first prizes, we found nursing a fine litter of puppies by the well-known Champion Scotilla. In an adjoining stall was Miss Constance, closely related to the renowned Metchley Wonder, with a nice lot of pups by Fordhook Squire. The hospital for sick dogs, an isolated building, we found empty, and Mr. Holmes did not seem anxious to have these quarters occupied.

When did Burpee stop breeding collies, and why?

I have no idea.

The "Fordhook Scotch Collies" kennel supplied collies by mail-order and shipped them by train until at least 1911. W. Atlee Burpee died in 1915, so perhaps the kennel operation died with him -- a personal obsession not shared by his son, David Burpee, who appears to have been more interested in plants and seeds and in moving the company's seed-production operation to California.

Burpee's 1945 catalogue -- the start of many a Victory Garden.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Electricity prices are rising - let's start saving

(Sorry, there seems to be a problem with Blogger's paragraph spacing today.)

There is no doubt about it, household electricity prices have risen a lot and are set to rise even more. Click on this link for a report about it in The Australian. When the cost of electricity rises, so does almost everything we buy - because most of the things we buy are made using electricity. We can't do much about

Fifty five Pounds.

Fifty five pounds.

That's the official weight of what I carry into the field to dig on the dogs. I have often wondered, but never checked.  I just did.  It was easy enough:  sling the pack on my back with water bottles in it, shoulder the post hole digger and the bar.

The postie weighs 15 pounds I think, the bar another five, the shovel a little over 5, and the bar another 5.

Add to that a half gallon of water (about 4 pounds), and assorted stakes, collars, tie outs, two leashes, a root saw, two knives, a long-handled trowel, a scraper, a pole snare, a camera, a locator box, a machete, a small veterinary kit, two short lengths of parachute cord, an extra pair of leather gloves, a collapsible water dish for the dogs, a cell phone, collar tape, and the pack itself, and you have 57 pounds, which I have rounded down to 55 pounds as understatement beats overstatement most of the time.

No apologies.  I have used everything and been glad I had it, and it's mine to carry and I generally carry it alone.  I know how to shave weight in a rather extreme manner when it comes to backpacking, but when a dog's life is in the swing I do not want to wish for a tool to do the job, and I never have, and as a consequence I have never lost a dog underground.  Knock on wood.


God Plays Favorites

How twisted is religious education, when this is the message and this is how they sell it?  Source.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dirt Dogs Chew off Human Toes?

Rubber prop feet are not great chew toys.

Dirt dogs chew off human toes?  One is an oddity, two is a coincidence, but three is a New Trend! 

Let's start with the latest:

In a case study that illustrates the need for people with diabetes to be cautious of foot injuries and to protect themselves from pets, a woman with numbness in her feet caused by diabetic neuropathy slept through a traumatic episode in which her Jack Russell terrier chewed off part of her slightly infected big toe, according to an article published in this month's issue of the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association.

The patient's wound required surgery, and it ultimately led the amputation of her leg, leaving her a double amputee.

The case study, co-authored by Valley Presbyterian Hospital specialist Lee C. Rogers, D.P.M., is only the second of its kind to be published in the medical literature, although more cases like it have been reported in the media. This case highlights the need for diabetic patients with neuropathy to avoid having their feet or wounds exposed when sleeping with their pets.

"Pets have a tendency to lick wounds, and that simple lick can turn into a bite, if there is no response from the owner."

She lost a toe?  Big deal!  She could have lost her life as this Grand Rapids News article reports in another case in which a Jack Russell chewed off the toe of a diabetic:

Kiko apparently sensed an infection festering in his master's right big toe -- and chewed most of it off after [Jerry] Douthett passed out in a drunken stupor.

A trip to the hospital confirmed Douthett's digit required amputation, and Kiko is being heralded by his owner for helping him realize he has been suffering from Type 2 diabetes. Douthett had a dangerously high blood-sugar level of 560 when admitted -- many times the recommended 80 to 120.

"Jerry had had all these Margaritas, so I just let him sleep," said his wife, Rosee, a registered nurse. "But then I heard these screams coming from the bedroom, and he was yelling, 'My toe's gone, my toe's gone!'"

The Rockford man's strange odyssey began several months ago when he started picking at what he thought was a small sliver on the bottom of his toe. He used a knife to cut skin away from the affected area, but it worsened, swelling so much he had to eschew shoes and resort to loose-fitting sandals.

"I was hiding it from people, Rosee included," said Douthett, 48, who is a musician and a well-known wheeler-dealer in Rockford, where he was born and raised.

"It smelled, and I look back now and realize every time we'd visit someone with a dog, their dog would be sniffing all over my foot."

Of course Jack Russell's are not the only offenders in the toe-chewing department. Dachshunds, another dirt-dog, have gotten into the act as well

AN American woman has had her beloved pet dachshund put down after it chewed off her toe while she was asleep.

Linda Floyd said she discovered the toe missing after waking up from a nap, AP reports.

The 56-year-old did not feel any pain because of nerve damage from diabetes.

A vet said the dog may have been attracted to the toe because it had been bandaged due to an ingrown nail.

Is there a lesson to be learned here?  There is, and here it is:  If you have a wound that is not healing or if you are starting to feel numb in your extremeties, have your doctor check you for diabetes. If you are a diabetic, lose weight and stop drinking, take your insulin, get at least two decent blood glucose meters, and maybe get tropical fish instead of a Jack Russell terrier or Dachshund.

Count these as my helpful hints for the day.

Veterinary No Parking Sign

Fly Rod As Art and Craftsmanship as Porn

Scott | behind the scenes from Scott Fly Rods on Vimeo.

This little commercial is marinated in awesomeness.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Weekend reading

I have been enjoying Spitalfields Life for some time now. It's about life, now and in the past, in London's East End. It's an interesting and enlightening read. There is a list on the right side of the page with an index of subjects. I think "Culinery Life" is my favourite.
I wish the West ladies at Homestead Blessings would post more often, but it is what it is and what is there is wonderful. It

Purina and Water

Ingredients:  Purina and Water.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

On my mind ...

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. It opens the door to us sharing our lives through these photos and gives us all a new way to discover each other, and maybe form new friendships. Your photo should show something at home that you're thinking about TODAY. If you're in another country you should join in when you read this, even if it's still Thursday.
To take part,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I was going to write about lasagne today but this is more important so that can wait. I commented yesterday, at 10.30am, that I was at my voluntary job and would be back at lunchtime to reply to the ex-"lurkers", but then we got really busy, I worked through lunch and thought I'd reply at home. When I came home, Kerry, Sunny and beautiful Jamie were waiting for me, so that was that. Luckily Hanno

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Buying a fridge

After 13 years with our old fridge, two repairs to the thermostat and it starting to freeze the food in the fridge again, we bit the bullet and bought a new fridge. We want to reduce our already low electricity bill with the help of our solar panels and hot water system, as well as the prudent use and choice of appliances. We did some research to buy a fridge that was eco friendly and settled on

Monday, June 20, 2011

Generation S - simple, smart, satisfied

I read a report the other day that said the babies born for 15 years after 2010 (our grand babies!) will be known as Gen A, the Alpha Generation. Pffffft, as if we need more labels.  According to the report, these Alpha babies will start school earlier, get more formal training than ever before and then they're expected to work until they're 70 or 80. I can't imagine anything worse than knowing

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Honey, I'm home!

What a weekend! I feel like I'm back in my rhythm, ready again for whatever each new day brings. I had to go to the shop on Saturday morning to buy a soap thermometer because when I came to make soap, mine was missing. I took all my equipment to the neighbourhood centre recently and it didn't return. But a trip to the shop is always a sharp reminder for me to continue along our slow path. I

Thursday, June 16, 2011

On my mind ...

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. It opens the door to us sharing our lives through these photos and gives us all a new way to discover each other, and maybe form new friendships. Your photo should show something at home that you're thinking about TODAY. If you're in another country you should join in when you read this, even if it's still Thursday.
To take part,

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Organising the tea towel drawer

Last week I challenged myself to clean out the bottom of the dresser where I keep my tablecloths. I also decided at that time to clean out my tea towel, pot holder, tea cosy drawer. Well, life got in the way and I've only done one of those jobs - the tea towel drawer. So today I'll show you what I've done and also, hopefully, complete the task by cleaning out the bottom of the dresser.  If you've

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Small changes, big savings

I read a very interesting article the other day that confirmed what I think about Italian and Greek migrants in Australia. That their various abilities to grow, cook and preserve food and drinks made them not only wonderful Australian citizens but helped them live frugally and happily in their new chosen land. According to the article, compared to our UK migrants, Mediterranean migrants paid off

Monday, June 13, 2011

Knitting neat edges

Two very generous ladies sent me knitting-related gifts this past week.  Leanne sent Baby Knits for Beginners by Debbie Bliss and Maria sent two balls of yarn - one a cotton and one a mohair and nylon blend. Thanks Leanne and Maria, I appreciate your generosity very much.

So that leads me nicely onto today's knitting post. I've had a few people email lately asking about how to keep their edges

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Catching up with the family

We had a quiet weekend with a good balance of work and leisure. Some of the family came over for Sunday lunch - we had roast lamb and vegetables and Shane brought one of his lemon meringue pies, which was delicious. Jens and Cathy have just come back from a trip to the US so we heard bits and pieces about that. Shane and Sarndra are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their first baby, due in July.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


It has been a week of breakthroughs.
Not always in the usual sense.
I refer to my broken toilet,
and broken porch light on a vintage timer that 
is no longer made, requiring new rewiring,
a broken garage door opener,
broken wi fi so daughter's computer won't work,
a broken pipe under my sink,
and now a flooded side yard
due to broken valves or some such thing.
No repairman in site that I can afford, and the
one I can afford has not shown up, and the other
has not returned my desperate phone calls.

Although I want to stamp and yell
or plunk down and cry,
I will do neither...

For this week has been spent cheering
 from the sidelines for my friends at their first
booth in a national show.
It has been a week spent reading 
alongside darling daughter.
It was a quick lunch with a dear friend 
recovering from many years of illness,
and a chance reunion with a friend 
who had slipped out of my life. 

The week was several phone calls
 from a far away friend always offering 
support and laughter in the midst of another 
personal disappointment that also came my way.
I caught myself thinking
"When is it my turn for things to be easy?" 
only to quickly retract 
the thought for my blessings are abundant.
These blessings come with each new daybreak.

I bend, I do not break.
I wish to remain like these sunflowers that 
touch almost to the ground in the raging storm and pop back up only to sway far over the other way.
Regardless, they always keep their sunny disposition.

This is me.

and how are you all doing? 
catch me up please..


Friday, June 10, 2011

Weekend reading

A few places of interest if you're looking for interesting info:

Making the most of the comfrey you're growing.
A lovely new (to me) blog.
A quick project - crocheted cup cosy.
Baked blueberry oatmeal
How to use whey, including how to ferment vegetables using whey.

Enjoy your weekend!  ♥

Thursday, June 9, 2011

On my mind ...

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. It opens the door to us sharing our lives through these photos and gives us all a new way to discover each other, and maybe form new friendships. Your photo should show something at home that you're thinking about TODAY. If you're in another country you should join in when you read this, even if it's still Thursday.
To take part,

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Building family relationships

As many of you know, our family is going through a renewal at the moment.  Both my parents and Hanno's have died, we are getting older and now, happily, our children are having their babies. Times marches on. There is nothing more important to me than being surrounded by a happy, productive and inclusive family. It makes the future seem brighter, it makes me feel strong and resilient and I can be

Monday, June 6, 2011

Homemade chicken noodle soup

If there is one meal that is guaranteed to warm you deep to your core on a cold winter's evening, it's soup. It doesn't really matter what it is, soup nourishes us in body and mind; we seem to have this understanding that soup is good for us.  And of course that is true, particularly soups that are based on stock made at home with bones and herbs.

I guess my favourite soup is one my mother used

Planting winter vegetables

I haven't shown you around our vegetable garden for a long time, so here we are today, walking through it. One of my tasks yesterday was to sow seeds. I still have the parsley soaking, which is a good thing to do before you plant the seeds, but the rest of them are in their containers hopefully preparing to germinate.
I did up a full trough of crispy hearted lettuce - winter is the only time we

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A family picnic

We had a good weekend nicely portioned up between productive work, reading, knitting and our family. On Saturday morning I read through some of my book - in one of the final stages before it goes to the printer, and in the afternoon, I made cakes, a roast chicken and potato salad for our family picnic. Hanno picked up Jens and Cathy from the airport on Saturday night and we also said goodbye to

Thursday, June 2, 2011

On my mind ...

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. It opens the door to us sharing our lives through these photos and gives us all a new way to discover each other, and maybe form new friendships. Your photo should show something at home that you're thinking about TODAY. If you're in another country you should join in when you read this, even if it's still Thursday.
To take part,

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Jamie - trying to tick all the boxes

True to her promise that there would be a parcel in the mail for me, Jo's special delivery to Rhonda Hetzel (author) arrived. She made the mistake of adding "(author)" after my name so I've been taking full advantage of it and added it to a couple of emails I sent yesterday afternoon. Funnily enough, I've thought of myself as a writer for about 20 years now, but never an author. Self perception