Sunday, March 30, 2008

would you just LOOK at these eggs?

You can't really tell, but that white one in the back row is friggin' yooge. As big as a duck egg, I am not lying. I mean, I'm for expediting and cutting out unnecessary steps, but I bet that leghorn was feeling like maybe saving money and having all her purchases shipped together wasn't that great of an idea in retrospect.

Friday, March 28, 2008

my mouth tastes sick

How do I hate thee, Crest Pro-Health, Clean Mint flavor? Let me count the ways:

  1. You taste like brushing my teeth with stale lemon root beer.
  2. When I am done brushing my teeth, my mouth literally feels no cleaner, to the point that I often can't remember whether or not I've actually brushed--BOO!
Okay, so that's only 2. But they are both deal-breakers. BUT. I called Procter & Gamble (I always want to spell it like a test proctor) to complain about the manky toothpaste, and the toady with whom I spoke apologized very nicely and sent me a coupon for free replacement toothpaste. So yay, I guess.

What we ate last night:
Yogurt-glazed chicken thighs, orzo and broiled asparagus. Super good, and super easy. Get some plain yogurt (confession: I had no plain yogurt, only raspberry and lemon, so I went with lemon, and it turned out okay) and mix a little cumin, coriander, curry, and salt and pepper into it--probably about 1/2 tsp of each of the spices, S & P to taste, in about a half cup of yogurt. Brush the chicken (I used the boneless, skinless thighs that come in giant bags from Costco--yeah, it's more expensive, but it saves huge amounts of time) with the yogurt and let it sit while you're preheating the oven. Then pop the chicken in and let it bake--45 minutes at 375* for me. About 20 minutes before the chicken is done, start heating the water for the pasta. Cook it according to the package directions. With 10 minutes to go, clean and cut the bottom 2 inches or so from the asparagus (just leave it in the rubber band and cut it all at once), stick it in a single layer on a cookie sheet, drizzle it in olive oil and rub it all around so all the spears get covered, then season with kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper. When the chicken is done, stick the asparagus under the broiler for a few minutes. Turn it once or twice, and cook it until it's tender and has nice brown blisters on it. Done! Under an hour, and it's delicious. Nothing fancy, but at least it's something to eat.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

but what if I like the taste of methoxychlor?

If you're like me, you're suspicious of the term "organic," and even if you weren't, you (also like me) are not independently wealthy. So, here is a list of foods that some earth nerds say we should spend the extra bucks on to get organic (or grow your own).

  1. meat
  2. milk
  3. coffee beans
  4. peaches
  5. apples
  6. peppers
  7. celery
  8. strawberries
  9. lettuces
  10. grapes
  11. potatoes
  12. tomatoes


On page 123 of the nearest book (this required some creative interpretation, since I am sitting next to the bookshelf), fifth sentence in, we find:

"The potatoes I'd been expecting have apparently either been clarified to an essence or were used to stoke the grill."

--from Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

To complete this tag on your own:

1. Pick up the nearest book (at least 123 pages)
2. Turn to page 123
3. Find the 5th sentence
4. Post the 5th sentence on your blog
5. Tag 5 people

I tag Kellie, Emily, Courtney, Amy and All8

Also: I haven't forgotten, CLAIRE.

Monday, March 24, 2008

sometimes we are responsible

It's been spring break around here, so I've had to keep our little varmints very busy. We organized and (sort-of) dejunked the toy room on Friday, since our workmen were having a lot of difficulty getting past the piles of broken junk on their way to work on the bathroom.

On Saturday we worked so hard you wouldn't have recognized us. Like, as hard as my parents would work if they got the flu really bad, that's how hard we worked.

Today the boys are on toy room duty again. What? you ask. Didn't they just do that on Friday? Well, yes, but as any experienced parent knows, that just gives them license to mess it up again, and it's really a lot like living with slugs, because my children leave a slime trail behind them wherever they go.

Here are the things we did on Saturday (our camera is gasping its last, so apologies for the poor quality):

We trimmed the goats' hooves and gave them their CD&T booster shots that they get once a year. On the stand is Finola, who is a little bit my favorite, even though she's the most demanding.

I planted a bed of lettuce and spinach. I have great hopes for this method, because planting greens in rows is a sucky job.

The chickens got some free time, because we were cleaning out the nasty chicken coop. Normally we don't let them out too much around this time, because they try to dig up all our plants. We had to put the kids on chicken patrol to keep them out of the garden.

Here is our brand-fresh chicken coop. I had to put that soap bucket in the corner, because the chickens really like laying their eggs there for some reason, and it's really hard to reach them.

Now our only major outside jobs are getting the kidding pen ready and buying/building a milking parlor. No sweat. I hear that every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven, so . . .

Thursday, March 20, 2008

a yummy dinner for my undeserving children

We ate a colorful meal today. Roasted chicken with shallots and garlic, stuffing, carrots and broccoflower, which tastes just like you think it will. We loved it. The chickens were already cut up and cost about $4 apiece on Manager's Special, which usually means This Is Poisonous Now, But Knock Yourself Out, Cheeseparing Skinflint, but in this case meant Take Advantage Of Our Markdown Zealotry.
Are you done taking the picture yet? Can we eat now?

pipes in the ghetto bathroom

ghetto shower

We've had some work done on the bathroom, finally. It's time to go buy the sink base and paint the floor so when (heaven forbid, but I'm fully anticipating this) our darling sons urinate on the floor we'll have an easier time cleaning it up and it won't smell like Crazy Bill's house. You think I'm making him up, but not so. He lived with rabbits. Hundreds of them, with free reign of the house. Jealous much?

from Slate

Here's a good article about unwed parenting. Old-fashioned or not, children need good moms and dads.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

the whirlwind is in the thorn tree

I don't have time for a real post right now, but I am going to tell you that the song "The Man Comes Around" is my new boyfriend. Johnny Cash has always reminded me of my grandpa, and I'm not going to lie to you, part of the reason is because I think when my grandpa went to the toupee store he must have said, "Gimme the Johnny Cash." But I digress. They played this song during the season finale* of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (I hate myself for typing out that smurfy name), and it was incredible. Such a perfect match of cinematography and soundtrack. I love a good action movie, and this show is my other new boyfriend. It's like watching Terminator every week! Because it is! Exactly, in fact!

*possibly disturbing imagery

Friday, March 14, 2008

I do not support the use of whipped topping

Okay, that's a terrific generalization, but it's mostly true, and it makes a snappier post title than "I typically do not support the use of whipped topping except in situations similar to the one I will now describe."

I usually don't mind it when it's mixed with other things as part of a recipe.

The reason I'm discussing this is I was watching Martha this morning while I was treadmilling (it's streaming video from a previous broadcast, so I don't know which day it aired), and she had a woman on making Tres Leches cake, which has never sounded appetizing to me. It sounds soggy and gritty, but a lot of people like it, so maybe I'm crazy. Anyhoo, the lady made a "lighter" version of the cake, and she got to the end, and put LIGHT WHIPPED TOPPING on it. Martha just about had a bird. She said, "That's the first time we've ever used THAT on the show," and then? When the cake was all plated and ready for her to try? SHE DIDN'T TASTE IT. I was giggling to myself as I ran and sweated at how Martha was ready to fall on her sword about the whipped topping. Because, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the protocol on cooking shows that you taste whatever creation the guest chef makes, gagging it down if necessary, and then declare that it tastes great, even if it doesn't? But you taste it. Martha feels fairly strongly about it, I guess. I agree with her. Real ingredients are worth it, even if you have to eat a smaller piece of cake. See previous lectures of mine on the topic of How We're Killing Ourselves With Fake Everything.

Monday, March 10, 2008

springtime in the mudhole

If you look closely, you can see the West Desert Trio singing and playing their instruments up in the hayloft. Aren't we old-fashioned?

Every year my dad's business holds a customer appreciation breakfast, so that's what we did on Saturday. They used to clean out the tractor shop and have it in there, but starting last year they hold it in a great big barn a few miles down the road from our house. It's a much more scenic location, and this way they don't have to put the shop out of commission for a week getting everything out of it--and it doesn't require nearly so much schedule witchery for any tractors that might need to be repaired. It's a fun little community event, because it turns out that almost everyone around here has been a customer at some time, or at least thinks so. There is nice old-timey country music sung by the West Desert Trio, and everyone has a good meal.

This afternoon we planted two rows of peas and two rows of carrots. Short rows, but so what? It's spring! We're experimenting with a newfangled invention called seed tape--the carrot seeds are all embedded in what appears to be miniature toilet paper. You just lay the tape down in the row, cover and water. No thinning, no losing handfuls of seeds. I wonder if it will work.
Look how straight our rows are! It's the seed tape.

Also I have glass in my foot from the windows.

I was talking to my grandpa today, and he mentioned that he has a neighbor who sells additive-free beef and lamb at their farmers' market, and he has people asking him for goat meat all the time--more than any other meat, he said. So my grandpa wanted to talk to me about it. Hee. I can't even give goats away down here, because everybody thinks goats are for eating ditches, not for meat or milk. But not me. I'm so far ahead of this curve. See how I have my finger on the pulse? Finger! On the pulse!

Friday, March 7, 2008


Here's something that needs to be chucked--bandeau swim tops for women. I will not link to a picture of them because: naughty, and also: UNFLATTERING. My reaction to seeing a woman--a model, even--wearing a bandeau top was, "Wow. That is not a good look for her." I hate them INTENSELY.

Also: our local school district is totally insane, and has suspended a teacher because the students in his class accidentally scraped up some loose tiles that MAY CONTAIN ASBESTOS. Why is it his fault that the district is too sloppy to protect the lambikins from the asbestos, that, judging from the aura of terror that surrounds it, has become sentient and composed a detailed map of students' homes, with the best vantage points for sniper attacks? We wonders, precious, we asks ourself, then why is the asbestos still in the classroom?

The other day my mom wondered how I got so eccentric, and compared me to a lady she knew who wanted to get all her fillings taken out, something to do with aliens, I guess. I've got to believe that it's partly my parents' fault that I have become a hippie-libertarian-feminist-conspiracy theorist-puritanical scold. Right? Either that or they should never have taught me to read.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

tag, I'm it

10 years ago . . .
I was living by myself in Provo, tech writing for a non-profit educational software company, and my subtle plan to become John's wife had begun to bear fruit.

5 things on my to-do list today:
feed and water the animals
start potty-training my 3 year old
throw the cat outside for coughing up hairballs
remove most of the glue from the floor
have den meeting--barf

What would I do if I were suddenly a millionaire?
pay tithing
pay off the house
put in a fence
build a barn and milking parlor
build John a recording studio
buy all the land around us
move our house further away from the road

3 bad habits:

6 places I have lived:
Bear River

5 jobs I've had:
office grunt at my dad's business
telephone survey person (don't JUDGE me)
manual laborer at my dad's business
tech writer

5 things people don't know about me:
I have a terrible sense of direction and quantity
I get carsick, but not seasick
I was embarrassed of my super-sharp canine teeth in high school and asked my uncle (who was also my dentist) to file them down--he wouldn't
I love binomial nomenclature
Seeing Smokey the Bear in parades makes me cry

I tag Claire (even though we'll have to wait awhile to see it) and I was going to say Jill, but I think she might be out of stuff to say, so I'll tag Crystal instead.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

shut up, stupid eloi

I'm a little annoyed right now. I have had some business dealings with a group of people who are rubbing me the wrong way. You know when you meet someone, and he/she starts right off talking about Our Sexist Patriarchal Society, or It's So Difficult Having Gifted Children, or Our Gentrified Neighborhood Is Just So Authentic, or Did I Mention The New Thought Paradigm I Developed, or Others Feel Threatened By My Abilities, or It's Actually Pronounced Kah-Rah-TAY, and your hitting fist starts to itch a little bit? And you want to tell them to stop cluttering up your life with their uselessness? That's how I feel dealing with these people. Any one of their quirks taken singly would be just that, but together they need to shut their gobs.

*addendum: These are all discussions I'm perfectly willing to have, and I've certainly been guilty of behaving this way myself, but it's like, settle down, already! I promise that people will think you're smart if you just quit telling us you are.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

buying, gestating, lying fallow

what the bags look like

they are 10 bags for $15.99

We got our re-usable shopping bags yesterday. I gave up on the idea of sewing my own out of old jeans, even though it makes me feel guilty to throw them away. But the D.I. is too good for holey jeans now, like, what is their problem? I guess next they'll be telling us they don't want dead batteries and half-empty cans of paint. Anyhoo, I don't have time to turn them into a denim quilt, even though I'd like to. And I can't really justify buying a serger just to make some bags. So I created some waste to eliminate other waste. This is where I just have to decide that I've done what I could do for now and let go. Chucking it!

We're about a month and a half away from Baby Goat Season--the anticipation is killing me! Well, I guess not killing. Causing moderate interest is more precise. This will be the most babies we've ever had, and the most does I've ever milked. I hope I can keep up. I'll tell you one thing, if Catwoman doesn't have better output this year, she's getting culled. And I'm sure it's going to be a wrestling match just getting Tilde to the milking stand--she's a freaking lab monkey. And I hope that Finola has a better kidding than last year. She was so sad when her babies died. So much to think about. I'll post some pictures of the whole process, because I know how everyone likes to see the miracle of life! Yum.

Our garden seeds are here as well. I was overzealous in my ordering, just like I always am, so we'll see if I actually plant all the things I want to. The main things are peas, greens, tomatoes and squash. Anything else I get in the ground will be, if not a miracle, at least a surprise. I'm taking Emily's advice and growing some onions this year for sure, though.