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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

crazy pills, all of them are taking

Thoughts had while contemplating the situation of the British teacher in Sudan, not all of them fair:

  • Why aren't people freaking out about this?
  • This is happening in Sudan? Figures.
  • Really? Muslims taking offense where none is meant? Wow. That never happens.*
  • Huh. I guess it's not just in America where people abdicate their parental responsibility, expect you to teach their children for little or no pay, and then get all up in your face about the myriad ways you suck at your job.
  • Serves her right for trying to teach those poor children that their vote can effect change.
  • That Muhammed must be some smooth talker to convince so many people that God--any God--would want them to abuse and murder people.*
I can't even think about this situation for very long, or I get all whipped up into a froth about how stupid people are, and how religion is often a handy excuse for atrocity. Deep cleansing breaths . . .

Okay. Thanksgiving report. The turkey was outstanding, because my Grandma knows from good cooking. It was moist and juicy and perfectly done (grr, raw turkey last year), and there were two of them, which is even better.

Pardon me while I go kill the spider who has broken The Pact and is brazenly walking around on the printer.

And we're back. The Pact is our agreement that I won't kill the spiders if they live outside or stay out of our way. You can't have critters climbing all over stuff.

The vegetable contingency was woefully underrepresented at our meal. There were a bunch of "salads" which were basically desserts, and my candied sweet potatoes, which, see above re: desserts. I ate some pumpkin pie filling without whipped cream, forgetting until I was halfway through that there is dairy in the filling itself, so . . . sorry, Willa. Thanksgiving afternoon we tied a quilt for my cousin who just got engaged.

We stayed Thanksgiving night with cattle ranching grandma, who is getting her bathroom redone and new carpet. We slept like babies and were almost on time the next morning to go tree fetching. Luckily my sister's young man was even later than us, so he took the heat off a little. Thanks, Jordan! We trekked out into the mountains and after very little searching or fanfare we cut our specimen, which was prettier than last year's tree. I got a lot of ribbing for that one. I like a Charlie Brown tree, because then the ornaments can hang. I hate those ones that you just kind of smoosh the ornaments into the rat's nest of branches. We all went back to my grandma's for chili and leftovers, then hit the shoe department at Al's, and I got some awesome skater shoes. I figure they're cute and comfortable, and I have a surly attitude toward The Man, so I'm cleared to wear them.

The buck isn't doing his job. No one has been bred so far. Lazy poo. What are we supposed to eat and drink next year?

I want to take all the money we would spend on buying Christmas gifts and use it to buy a goat or something else useful from the Heifer Project. Is that sucky of me? I don't know when I'm supposed to go Christmas shopping, since I'm a Voice Male widow for the next month. And what on earth am I supposed to buy everyone? John suggested Lofthouse cookies. I told him that was offensive because it's like saying, "Not only am I getting you something you don't need, I'm getting you something gross you don't need."

*I know, I know, the opinions expressed in Sudan and by the fundamentalists/extremists or whatever are not necessarily shared by the management of Islam, but like any religion, it's the creeps that get all the press.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

green is the new black

I'm getting a little tired of "Green" being shoehorned into every avenue. I admit that it's nice to have more products available that are all earth-loving, but I hate that no one seems to be able to act responsibly until Hollywood in its infinite wisdom and knowledge gets involved. NBC with its execrable "green programming" week is a particularly egregious example. I loved the episodes of 30 Rock and The Office, but that's talented writing, not green writing. Anyhoodle, back to the glitterati and their fat mouths--aren't they responsible for more than their fair share of the hideous waste and conspicuous consumption that goes on? If people would just not be irresponsible slobs in the first place . . .

And why is it newsworthy that Christians are saying "God is Green?" What Christian--or any other religious person--wouldn't already believe that? Why would anyone who believes in a Supreme Being want to take the beautiful home He gave us and turn it into a pigsty?

It's all just a little too self-congratulatory for me. So shut up, everyone. Stop being pigs, and then don't go yelling about how great you are when you do. Unless people ask, and then go ahead and proselyte a little bit. I think I probably need to heed my own advice, because I often find myself lecturing about why Chucking It is the best way of life, but I hope I don't come off as self-righteous as some people *cough* Al Gore *cough* do.

The buck is here. He stinks so much, you have no idea. And he truly is a very different kettle of fish--even the way he moves is violent, whether he's angry or not. He puts his front hooves up on the fence so he can get a better look at what's going on out in the yard, and he looks like a coiled spring, like he could launch over the 5-foot fence at any moment. Thankfully he's in there with 5 lovely does who have grudgingly accepted him into their fold for the time being, so he's not interested in leaving the goat pen.

I got my first seed catalog this week--it must be winter! I despair of ever being able to grow a fruit tree, since that's the first thing the goats go for whenever they escape. Our apple tree is still in okay shape, but it needs to grow a good many secondary branches on the south side to compensate for the eaten primary branch. And the apricot tree is an out-and-out failure. Maybe we can try grape vines. They're fast and easy, and maybe my lovely parents would be willing to help us build a trellis. I hate asking them to help us with anything because they're so busy, and they already have done so much, but I'm selfish enough that I do it anyway. I need to get my graph paper and write some good plans for how to organize and landscape our yard so we don't make a confused mess of it all. I'd like a bunch of native fruity trees to go along the back property line, some nice big shade trees, a pasture, a barn, some other outbuildings, the basement bathroom finished, a treadmill, double ovens, a new car for John . . . probably some world peace, too. For reals, though, making a house your own is a simultaneously joyful and vexing process. I hope that it's a good long time before Honeyville gets so populated that we have to move because they're putting the new highway through our living room, and that when they do the county pays us enough for our property that we can afford to move our house to a different location. I LOVE THIS HOUSE. I love everything about it, except for the usability problems of the basement, and we could fix that if we moved it onto a different foundation!

So, John's car. It went kaboom on Friday night, something related to the last time it went kaboom, and John's getting pretty sick of taking it back to be "fixed." But as Dave Ramsey says, we could expect as much now that we're debt-free except for our house. The oven is going out, too. We're hoping that with our mileage reimbursements and Charlie Tuna's no-longer-necessary car payments we can afford a good commuter car before too long.

Things Chucking It that I did this week:

  • made a chicken/turkey pot pie from scratch with our turkey leftovers (with top AND bottom crusts, which is the only true and proper way)
  • cleaned the DI chairs I bought for our living room
  • got new lamps for the living room, but made do with the existing side tables
  • put off buying a new rug and pillows until I make sure I really want them and can fit them into our budget
  • did the animal chores every day
Don't tell John, but next week I'm going to take a sledgehammer and knock down the shelves in our toy room downstairs to prepare it for our boys to move their bedroom down there. Ha! I make the jokes. I totally already told him, and I think we have agreed that he doesn't like the idea, but realizes I'm going to do it anyway. And I think he unwillingly agrees that the boys would really be better off down there. And they want to be downstairs, so there you have it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

giving

This just in: the Feed bags are FINALLY back in stock on Amazon, so everyone go and buy one right now. Also, you should try playing this vocabulary game that will make you feel either smart, dumb or frustrated, but any way you slice it you send 10 grains of rice for every word you know/guess correctly. And then we can compare vocab levels! I loves the English language, I do.

love is in the air

It's breeding season here at Baba Capra. We've got to figure out how to get the smelly bugger here. I hope he isn't too bad-tempered, but he probably is. The Male of the Species tends to be that way, no? Not always, which is why we love Bobcat so much, but usually they are nasty, foul-smelling reprobates.

We did some more manure transfer on Saturday, so it's smelling awesome out in the yard. I love those goats. While I was pitching the manure over the fence into the wheelbarrow they kept coming up and rubbing their heads on me and trying to get me to pet them. Sure, they're in heat, but they're kind of like that all the time. Such personable animals. Traci is such a good queen, and I really hope that Edna turns out to be as docile as her mom. Finola, even though I love her, is a freaknut and I'm sure it would affect the herd dynamic if she became the queen. Tilde still doesn't trust us, but I think she'll come around. I don't know what we're going to do for a milking parlor next year, because we certainly can't afford to build a barn yet. I have such lovely plans drawn up on my graph paper for an L-shaped barn with hay and feed storage, animal housing, and a milking parlor all accounted for. It would be wonderful, but as our Rich Uncle Skeleton hasn't passed on yet, we've got to wait and figure out how to pay for it.

The hot water tap in our shower is kerploo, so I got to fill pans of hot water out of the kitchen sink and transfer them to the tub this morning and have a bath. It was just like being a pioneer! Except for the cholera and malaria and outhouse and no running water at all and no women's suffrage and various other minor differences.

We also got most of the garden spots tilled on Saturday, at least enough that we can plant all the early, cool-season crops and till the rest of it once it warms up enough to plant the squashes and other heat-loving plants. I'm so excited for next year's garden. I think I might try potatoes, because I love them so. I am truly a product of my birthplace.