Archive for September, 2011

The Joy of Lil’ Brothers

As the oldest (and only) girl in my family, I feel her pain!

H/T Bonz at GCP.

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I Need a Caffeine IV Drip

I wrote up a new and improved List of Things To Do during my commute today. Who says I can’t multitask? No, no, I really DIDN’T write while driving. I just wrote while I was stopped at red lights cursing the chickenshit people that actually STOPPED because I’m on my way to WORK, DAMNIT! Technically, now that I think about it, that isn’t exactly multitasking. Must. Work. Harder.

I did get to cross off one teeny little item on my list. I did stop on the way home and buy groceries. Then when I got home, I ran inside the house, shedding clothes along the way like a big ol’ overstuffed python shedding its skin, threw cold stuff in the fridge, frozen stuff in the freezer, then ran back into the kitchen, divided chicken into various bags for freezing, divided ground beef into appropriate-sized packages for five two people, kept a 2 lb. package of ground beef on the counter, grabbed a couple eggs and whipped ’em, chopped some onions and peppers and tossed ’em in a bowl, stirred in some tomato sauce, a cup of oatmeal, various herbs I felt like adding, and dumped in some salt and the 2 lbs. of ground beef, smushed it all together, threw it in a loaf pan, tossed it in the oven and set the timer, and put some taters on to boil.

I’m late for feeding the livestock! I ran out the door to the porch, remembered I had to transplant some sprouted lemon seedlings (about 50 of them), ran back inside, grabbed my infant lemon trees, back to the porch, potted ’em, then ran out to feed the horse, the furthest sheep in the pasture, a couple stationary chicken houses, back to the house for more feed, then moved, fed and watered three more pens of pastured poultry in the front, three pens to the side, two pens in the lamb pasture, ran back to the feed, added some soybean meal to the lamb feed, fed and watered them, locked them in the barn for the night, back to the house to feed old momma cat, feed Puppy, and out to Swampman’s barn to feed daughter’s two cats and one stray. Oh, yeah. Gathered the eggs, and fed/watered the denizens of the duck pen in the front who will be in the freezer soon, fed the loose chickens on the back, side, and front of the property, and fed/watered the orphan cage of hatchling ducks and injured chick.

Then back inside the house where SwampMan had removed the meatloaf from the oven, and the potatoes were all cooked and waiting for smashing. I had forgotten to cook the Brussels sprouts, and Swampman thought that was a GOOD thing. We just had smashed taters and meatloaf.

It’s 9:40 p.m., SwampMan just retired for the night, and my list only has one thing crossed off of it. Oh, wait. TWO things. I threw some clothes in the washer (and then the dryer). But now I need to add more things to my list, to wit: Fold laundry. Put away laundry. Iron clothes. *sigh* They’re currently tossed in my lazy chair. Would it be cheating if I redid my list to say “throw laundry in lazy chair and forget about them until you need to sit down or wear them?” Then I could cross another thing off my list. Oooh, I didn’t have “post to blog” on my list. Let me add that and cross it out, too. Now we’re getting somewhere!

SwampMan took the trash out for me tonight. Well, technically he took it out of the trash can, tied the garbage bag shut, set it on the floor beside the trash can, and put a new garbage bag inside the trash can. He is pretty proud of that accomplishment. That plus taking the meatloaf out of the oven and turning the oven off. Maybe I can sneaky add that to my list, too.

Every morning I wake up with the enthusiasm that Today is The Day that I will get ALL my chores done inside and out the house and be able to go to sleep with a clear conscience. Unfortunately, every day I run up against the fact that my time for getting my chores done starts somewhere around 9:30 p.m., and in the morning when I make my list my back doesn’t ache (much) from carrying 50 lb. sacks of feed or dragging 300# chicken pens, my feet are not swollen from standing all day, and I’m not exhausted from sweating through a PE class with the class on a 90+ degree day inside a gym with no ventilation or A/C.

Well, now it’s 11:30 p.m. The dishes are gurgling away contentedly in the dishwasher, the counters and sink are clean, and the parts of the house that aren’t near SwampMan snoozing away in the bedroom are vacuumed. I did some ironing, transferred the (folded) clothes off my lazy chair to the living room sofa (so I don’t wake SwampMan by putting them away). NONE of those things were on my list. What IS on my list are big things like shampooing the carpet, washing the windows, getting the rest of the wool washed, dyed, combed, and sorted, and figuring out a small business to do in my spare time. Oh, yeah.

The getting started on a fitness program that requires an hour of hard exercise every night is on the list, too. I’m just not feelin’ it tonight! Wait a minute…I think getting 8 hours of sleep is supposed to be good for making people lose weight, too. Wuh oh. Too late for tonight! Tomorrow night I’ll cross the exercise part off the list and write in sleep instead.

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Weekend Over, Back on My Head

Darling granddaughter went back home with a wet 3D topographic papier mache representation of Florida. I hope that it will be, um, adequate.

You see, I am not a papier mache person. I do not have papier mache objets d’art that I have hand created adorning my house or anyplace else. I have, to the best of my knowledge, never papier mached anything before. Sorry if that shocks anybody, but there it is.

Granddaughter and I wanted to felt a 3D topographic map of Florida out of wool, but…it would have taken waaaaaay too long to prepare the wool. We tried, but weren’t getting anywhere quickly enough. I didn’t have enough dyed in the right colors. Okay. On to the alternative plan. Research on papier mache on YouTube!

Granddaughter and I cut out a downloaded copy of a state of Florida map (enlarged). Then we traced it onto a piece of styrofoam insulation board and sawed out Florida with a steak knife. (I showed her how on one side, then let her do the other.)

We mixed up a papier mache recipe as seen on YouTube. This mix called for toilet paper as the paper. First, remove toilet paper from the roll. Okay. We tossed the toilet paper back and forth to each other. I wrapped her up mummy style in toilet tissue, but she broke her bonds and escaped. We raced through the house (okay, she raced, I plodded) trying to see how many times through the house we could scatter toilet paper, sort of an indoor TP party. Then we had to pick it all up and mix it up in water. Okay, back to the recipe. Ooops. It called for one roll of toilet paper. The one we shredded and dissolved was a super roll. *sigh* Back to square one. We drained the water, smooshed it all out in a colander, and measured how much toilet paper we actually had. We had over 5 cups. The recipe called for 1 and 1/4 cups. Dang. Back to the ingredients. Three quarters of a cup of white glue, check. One cup of joint compound, che….WOAH! When I opened up my joint compound, it was a nasty, smelly, horrible, moldy mess. My emergency back up joint compound was dried out. Off to Home Depot. Back from Home Depot, and to continue: One cup of joint compound, check. One half cup of white flour, check. One girl eager to squish and smush it all into submission, check.

We tossed globs of papier mache onto the styrofoam Florida. We consulted a 2D topographic map. The only decent one we could download was in Russian. “Grandmaw, why are Russians interested in 3D maps of Florida?” Good question. Maybe they want to occupy DisneyWorld. We, uh, roughly followed the Russian map in locating the hills in Florida. Very roughly. How roughly? I wouldn’t actually count on them being in the correct county roughly. Grin. Maybe not within TWO counties.

Granddaughter drew in the St. Johns river in the wet papier mache. I asked her where the biggest lake in Florida was, and the name. “Lake Obesity, and it’s riiiight here!” she said, drawing it in. I told her that I must have been dipped in that one waaaay too often. I had her locate the Everglades for me, and asked why Florida was a peninsula. “Because it’s surrounded by water on three sides!” “Are the Keys an archipelago?” “Yes.” “Is that the old definition or the new definition?” “The new definition.” “Would it be an archipelago under the old definition?” “No!” “What’s the highest point in Florida?” “350 feet!” “AAAAAAANK! WRONG! 345 feet!”

Former DiL called thanking me effusively. She is expecting again with the child due in March. She had been too ill to even go to the store to get any ingredients for the project. Hearing about how ill she was seriously worries me, for she can’t keep anything down. She only weighs 90-something pounds and is *very* thin when she is able to eat, so I hate to think what shape she is in now.

“But I didn’t DO anything!” I protested. “I’m worried that the papier mache won’t stick to the styrofoam cut out of Florida that we made when it dries, and it will all have to be redone! Besides, it wasn’t dry enough to paint.”

“Oh, you got the hardest part done. I was absolutely dreading it and didn’t know how we were going to do it. And if it slides off and doesn’t stick, we’ll go over it with modeling clay.”

“Besides, Arizona did most of the work.”

“She says YOU did most of the work.”

“Nope. She did at least half of everything, and my job with the papier mache was limited to turning mountains into hills (grin) and leveling the papier mache with a plastic knife. And keeping the St. Johns river from flowing into the ‘glades.”

Darling granddaughter helped rescue two ducklings today. A mother duck had left her newly hatched ducklings to watch over her nest, then left them again and went to the hatchlings. A newly hatched duck was there, cold, barely alive, along with the an egg with an outward protrusion on it from an egg tooth. I opened it a little bit. The duckling was alive, but too cold and weak to emerge from the egg. We took them inside and warmed them with a hairdryer, and I helped the hatching along juuuust a little by removing a few parts of thick shell. Eventually the duckling warmed enough to get itself out of the egg.

“Grandma, can I take my duck home? I’ll take good care of it!”

“Uh, you have a Great Dane pup that eats chickens. NO.”

“But I’ll keep him in a cage!”

“NO.”

“I’ll let him swim in my bathtub!”

Snort. “Tell you what. You run that one by your momma and if she says yes, you can take it home next week. It’ll stay here until then.”

It was a sad separation. Her duckling tried repeatedly and clumsily to leap out of a porch cage to get to her, the only momma it had known in its 3-hour hatched life. I had placed the two young ducklings that would not be able to keep up with the older hatchlings in a cage with an injured chick. He was not happy with the solitary life and, as of this moment, the two duckling hatchlings are sleeping contentedly beside their new partially feathered “momma” who has his wings spread over the babies.

I heard her ask her momma when I was on the phone with her about bringing the duck home. “NO!” Heh. Sounded just like me. “But moooooooom….” “I said NO! You know the pup will eat your duck!” “But I’ll keep him in the front yard in a cage…” “I said NO!”

Well. I’ve gotten no ironing done this weekend. I’ve gotten no vacuuming done. The dining room table is adorned with globs of papier mache. So is the carpet. So is the kitchen floor. Good thing we never got around to mopping it right? Somehow we even managed to track some of it all the way to the back door. Hunh. Wonder who managed that, she says, hiding her feet under the desk. No dusting was done, etc. That list of things to do is still all there. Since it is after 11 p.m. and I’ve been up at 5 a.m. for the past two days, I think I’ll take a shower and just collapse. Maybe I’ll get to the papier mache mess tomorrow. Or not.

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Another Busy Weekend Coming Up

I got a call from darling almost 10-year-old granddaughter tonight.

“Did daddy talk to you?”

“Uh, not lately. Why?”

“Because he’s SUPPOSED to call you and ask if it is okay for me to stay with you while he’s at work.”

“Okay! What day?”

“I dunno.”

*sigh* Well, she gets it from her dad.

I talked with her mom, who also didn’t know if I was supposed to be granddaughter sitting Saturday or Sunday. It didn’t really matter. I have a lot of farm chores that HAVE to be done this weekend, plus I absolutely have to do something about my disgustingly filthy house. Ah, well. At least she wouldn’t be too bored with the outside stuff.

Then she told me about the school project that is due Monday. She needs to make a 3D topographical map of Florida with all the cities, rivers, major highways, and etc. modeled in 3D and labeled. There’s more to it, I believe, that I forgot when I went into shock. Her mom asked me what I preferred to help make it out of so that she could have the materials here.

*Poof* goes my vision of having a productive weekend filled with chores actually crossed off the list. Somehow or other every weekend ends with a big list of crap to do, and none of it ever gets done. The list would be about 57 pages long now if I didn’t periodically scream in anguish, rip it up into lil’ tiny pieces, and light it on fire.

“Uh, a what? Made outta what?” I stuttered semi incoherently, because my brain had already shut down and was hiding under a table in the corner screeching like a monkey throwing poo.

“A topographical map of Florida. I was overwhelmed at first, but I think it will be fun. Besides, you’re all artsy craftsy.”

I think she has me mixed up with somebody else. Somebody that is good at this sort of thing. I had a college class that wanted me to do some of the same sort of chickenshit crap. I dropped the class. I have better things to do with my time and money than waste it on some teacher’s idea of cutesy fun ideas.

I protested that this is really not something that I would be good at AT ALL but I was trying to cook our dinner at 9 p.m. and had to periodically drop the phone and run into the kitchen to smother the flames. Former DiL wasn’t buying it, though, and firmly asked me what my choice of material was.

“What are my choices?”

“Uh, you can make it out of cookie dough and frosting, Play-Doh, modeling clay….oh, and you DO have paint, right?”

*sigh* Too bad that I can’t travel back in time in order to invest enough money so that I could afford to have the teacher’s legs broken. Obviously I need to take another look at my planning for the future.

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More Weird Dreams

I had the strangest dream last night. I was outside doing chores around the place (putting up new fence) while SwampMan was at work. I looked up and a glowing object streaked across the sky, perhaps a meteor. Showing a rather uncharacteristic lack of curiosity for me, I returned to my chores as soon as it disappeared over the horizon. As the afternoon progressed, I ceased my outdoor labor and went inside to cook dinner for SwampMan’s arrival. He never arrived. I called his number but got nothing. Well, perhaps he’d gotten very engrossed in a project and didn’t remember to turn the phone on, but I hadn’t even gotten the voice mail. Strange.

I went back outside, then realized how very quiet it was. No vehicles going up and down the road. No trains. No airplanes. No lawnmowers. I frantically went back inside and called everybody I knew. Nothing. I realized that I was completely alone except for the livestock and Puppy. I was so upset that I sat straight up, heart pounding, with the problems before me. How much longer would the electricity last? How would I get water? I didn’t put in a fall garden because of the drought. How will I feed myself and the livestock? I couldn’t get back to sleep.

Well, Swampman was sleeping soundly, so I crossly told myself that if that happened, I could just take a wheelbarrow up the feed store and haul what I needed home, and the critters could graze off the neighbors’ property. Sheesh. Then I could loot the local grocery store, the pharmacies, and Walmart. With those thoughts, I was eventually able to go back to sleep shortly before the alarm went off.

I told Mom about it when she got back from the doctor’s office this afternoon.

“What do you think it means? Maybe it was one of those rapture things, and it was a warning from God that I was definitely going to be left behind.” We contemplated my town and my neighbors, and both said “Naaaah”. If there were a rapture-type event, I don’t think anybody would even notice.

Mom opined that I’d fallen asleep to news about the space junk falling and incorporated it into a dream state. Possible. I remember hearing something about it before I fell asleep. Was the television on when I woke up? I don’t remember!

I thought that there was a possibility, too, that my subconscious was trying to get my attention about preparing for bad times ahead with the message that the only one I (or anybody, for that matter) have to rely on for help is myself/themselves.

Mom said that she frequently has a recurring bad dream of coming out of a shopping center at night (she never shops at night) and, when the dream takes place, it is always a dark and stormy night, and she cannot locate her car.

“Hunh”, I said. “I’ve NEVER had that bad dream. Maybe it’s because I can never find mine in real life when I go shopping, so THAT wouldn’t be a bad dream. It would just be my life. Besides, mine was worse. You just lost your car. I lost all mankind.” Mom didn’t think losing most of mankind would be such a bad thing. “What if we woke up and all the politicians in the world were gone?” We happily contemplated that thought for awhile. What a wonderful world it could be!

SwampMan has recurring bad dreams that he’s a small child being pursued by an angry gorilla or that he’s hiding in a closet and something horrible is walking toward the door and turning the knob. Yikes.

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Up in Georgia Today

I took the day off from work today in order to get long overdue bloodwork done, and then to head up to Georgia to sit with my stepdad so that Mom could go to her doctor’s appointment. My doctor was 45 minutes further away from Georgia, then I needed to go back home, pick up some eggs for Mom, stop by the beauty shop and make a hair appointment, maybe stop at a restaurant for lunch, and then to Georgia. I figured I’d be back home in time to do some good cooking for a change instead of some fast cooking.

Well. My bloodwork that I was assured would be a simple in and out operation ended up taking over an hour. Another woman was waiting over an hour, too, so it wasn’t just me! I started to get a little nervous. When I said I wanted bloodwork done, I didn’t mean that I wanted them to take it ALL! It also confirmed what I thought when the office told me that it would be NO PROBLEM AT ALL for me to get my blood drawn before work and make it to work on time. (That thought was “bullshit!”)

I returned home, picked up my eggs, completely forgot to take something out of the freezer for our nicely cooked meal, ran into the beauty salon where I found that I could have gotten my hair cut if I hadn’t been waiting to get my blood drawn and made an appointment for tomorrow afternoon instead, and headed up to Georgia.

Instead of fine dining (or at least eating someplace SwampMan didn’t like but I did), I settled for a quick sammich at Michael’s Deli in Folkston. When I arrived at Mom’s, we had time for a quick chat before she had to leave to make her appointment. We noticed some gathering clouds and wondered if it was going to rain before she left.

About 15 minutes after she left, it poured down rain. Bob and I were watching sports on the satellite television, and naturally it went out. I asked where his oxygen bottle was in case the electricity went out to his breathing machine, located it, and felt much better. We talked about sports, the past, heaped verbal abuse on every politician we could think of as well as various NFL and college football coaches. It was fun. We were sitting in the dark the whole time, blinds drawn, lights off, because light hurts his eyes. Then the phone rang. I couldn’t find it in the dark. Heh. He finally decided that maybe opening the blinds to watch the rain wouldn’t hurt his eyes too bad!

I was glad that I was there, as Mom’s doctor’s appointment took three hours. It was raining so hard when the doc and his staff were en route to this clinic that they had to pull over to the side of the road and wait until the downpour lightened up somewhat. It would have been really tough on my poor stepdad to wait in the dark for that long with lightning striking all around and the phone out of reach, wondering if the next lightning strike would cut off the electricity and his breathing machine, and he would die of asphyxiation.

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Hitler Discovers ATTACKWATCH Is a Joke!

Heh.

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