Chicken Mission · Gardening · General

Stuff and Nonsense…

Jen-and-MinThese two make me want to start singing “Sisters” from White Christmas….I’m going to do it, “Sisters! Sisters!  There were never such devoted sisters….”  Minerva on the left is definitely Rosemary Clooney.  I love the was she’s staring down her schnoz at Vera Allen, I mean Jennie Weasley.

Buff-and-CatThese two just want some more grass clippings.  You’ll note Buffy has saved a tiny piece for later.

Ash-climbing-TreeA tree blew down during a storm last week.  It was dead and we were actually pricing having it taken down when thunder storms eliminated the issue for us.  Blessedly, the storm was traveling in a rare southerly direction, thereby preserving the fence you see behind it.

Kids-on-TreeThat’s not the only miracle either-you’ll note that not one, but two of my children are playing outside.  Playing! Outside!

Ashton-Garterstitch-scarfI tried to coax this one to model my Keyhole scarf-he was not pleased.  Looking back with the clarity of hindsight, I’ve had better ideas.

Flowering-weedYou see that?  That’s a weed.  The picture is pretty, but the weed is not.  It has stickers in addition to the little flowers and it is vining through my dwarf azaleas in a way that is not ok.  Weeds, we have lots of them…

Budding-Live-OakWe also have lots of these.  At the moment this picture was taken, this sweet little Live Oak Seed pod was still attached.  I don’t think any of them are attached anymore and they’re covering every square inch of the place with their polleny presence.  I don’t think “polleny” is a word, but I’m going to pretend it is.

And just when you think you can’t stand the pollen any more-not even one more minute…

Purple-Iris-BudYou remember…that pollen, it has a purpose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bookmarked

April’s Book Selection

“With the aurora borealis flaming coldly overhead, or the stars leaping in the frost dance, and the land numb and frozen under its pall of snow, this song of the huskies might have been the defiance of life, only it was pitched in minor key, with long-drawn wailing and half-sobs…”

Buck

The most eloquent dog ever!

Anyone want to join me?

The_Call_of_the_Wild_(Classic_comics)

I'm loving this!

A Practice Run

Egg-in-HedgeHave you been practicing?  We have…Our Sunday forecast calls for thunderstorms, and we have all these beautiful eggs, so we called it a practice run…We choose to be optimistic.

Egg-on-MailboxSometimes the most obvious are the hardest to find…

Egg-in-Crepe-MyrtleUsually we dye our eggs fantastically bright colors-electric jewel tones. This year, we’re more subtle…a little more covert…

Rock-EggDo you see it?

Closeup-Rock-EggA bit of a chameleon…

Egg-in-Flag-BracketHmmm….good one.  It took a minute or two…

Egg-In-TreeDelightful…don’t you think?   Happy Easter everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

Bookmarked

Treasure Island

intelligent-pleasures-classic-literature-8175964-575-349I didn’t hate this book!…And I won’t lie, I was scared.   Frankly, Crane and the Red Badge of Courage were a bit of a set back for me.  I went on a binge of pleasure reading to clear my head.  Mostly pulpy nonsense like Lee Child or Debbie MacComber.  Book after book of pure fiction indulgence until I could again bring myself to step into the ring with literature of the masculine variety.

So I puzzled over where to go next and finally I picked a book based solely on a practical metric-word count.  Because quite honestly, if this book had sucked it like the Badge of courage did, I needed it to be short.

But it didn’t!  Hooray!

robert_louis_stevenson_by_sargentRobert Louis Stevenson was born Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson in Scotland in 1850. He was a sickly child-pale, thin and perceived as eccentric. As he moved into his 20’s, he embraced Bohemian dress and cheap pubs and brothels.  When Robert fell in love, it was with a married mother of three named Fanny de Grift Osbourne.  He followed her to the United States where they fell into an affair that culminated in her divorce and their marriage in 1880.  (I think I’m beginning to see a pattern in the personal lives of these guys. They’re a hot mess!)

In the summer of 1881, Stevenson was on holiday with Fanny (and children) in Scotland.  Forced indoors by rainy weather, Stevenson and his stepson, Loyd, whiled away the hours creating and coloring a treasure map of an imaginary treasure island. Stevenson’s imagination was sparked and he began to write a short story based on the map to entertain the family. First published as a book on May 23, 1883, it was originally serialized in a children’s magazine between 1881–82 under the title Treasure Island or, the mutiny of the Hispaniola with Stevenson adopting the pseudonym, Captain George North.

Treasure_Island-Scribner's-1911

I’m sure you’ve all seen the movie..so I won’t prattle on, but here’s a quick overview:  The story is narrated by young Jim Hawkins.  He’s likable and he’s not stupid.  Yes, I liked him (as opposed to the dodo in the Red Badge of Courage).  From the beginning of the tale, there is suspense and high adventure. A treasure map falls into Jim’s possession, and he soon finds himself at sea with bearings set for Treasure Island!  Cool.

So here’s what I liked about it:

  • There was an authenticity to Stevenson’s characters in the book, and he dealt with moral ambiguity on a very interesting level – especially considering it’s a “children’s book”.
  • John Silver is a rascal of the first order! I love a villain that you find yourself liking consistently through the story, don’t you?
  • Stevenson was a gifted writer.  There were passages in the book I would stop and re-read because they were quite beautiful.images

It was amazing to me, how much of what we consider to be typical “pirate lore” seemed to originate with this story.  The songs, the parrot, the dialect…yes the dialect.  Predictably, Stevenson utilized  a heavy dialect for his characters throughout the text.  Accurate and contextual?  I’m sure. Written dialect just isn’t my thing.  It was done well, but I could have used less of it.

When he wasn’t using dialect though, he was pretty awesome.  I’ll leave you with a brief passage,

“I have never seen the sea quiet round Treasure Island.  The sun might blaze overhead, the air be without a breath, the surface smooth and blue, but still these great rollers would be running along all the external coast, thundering and thundering by day and night; and I scarce believe there is one spot in the island where a man would be out of earshot of their noise.”

treasure-island-photoWhat are you reading?  Share with me.  Or better yet, join me in my literary adventure.  Check out my 2013 Resolution and I’ll keep you posted on my next selection.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

General

The Enemy of Leisure

A month.   That’s how long it’s been since I’ve posted.  January 8th-February 10th.  That’s whack.  Why?  You may ask-I’ll be glad to share.

Work.

A month of grueling, thankless (except for the paycheck), work.

It’s the enemy of leisure, you know.  So I’ve had to be selective with my time.  Kids…hubbie…tired.  Fatigue is also the enemy of leisure.  I haven’t been completely off-goal, but I have been very limited.  I’ve done some reading, and I’ve done some knitting, and that my friends, sums it up.  Throw in a couple of rented dvd’s and a few good meals and I’ve just recapped the last month in 105 words.

2013 Resolutions

Resolution #2 and New Year’s Miscellany

Happy 2013!

chair-fire

At my house today, we have napped and eaten, eaten and napped.  I have two very lethargic and slightly fussy rascals due to a New Year’s “Lock-In”.  Little brother came home at 1am.  Big sister stayed the night. Hubbie and I rang in the New Year at the grocery store.  We laughed-did not kiss-and enjoyed the fact that we were at least grocery shopping together.  (What can I say?  We had time to kill between our  movie and picking up the little man. and we needed milk.)

I found a great and “non traditional” recipe for black-eyed peas yesterday at Simply Recipes.  Well, scratch the non traditional piece-apparently it’s traditional in Greece.  It’s a black-eyed pea salad, and we had it for lunch, ensuring good luck in the new year.

black-eyed-pea-salad-a

A Greek medley of black-eyed peas, spinach, kalamata olives, feta and sun-dried tomatoes-I cut the sun-dried tomatoes in half and added some beautiful red and yellow bell pepper.  Festive and delicious! We’ll have our cabbage (for prosperity) this evening.  I even picked up a head for the chickens!  Goodness knows, they deserve it.  We’re having our brief but very chilly Texas winter, and those little rascals are still laying like champs!

Finally, I’ve decided that two is the perfect number for this year’s Resolutions.  The reality is that I have so many self-development concepts underway already, I don’t want to dilute their progress or add undue pressure with additional formality.  It’s all about self-discipline after all.  They all utilize the same muscle.  So I picked one resolution that’s somewhat personal and supercilious (i.e. Great Literature I’ve never Read), and one that’s truly for the greater good. So, number two on my very short list of 2013 New Year’s Resolutions

Improving my kiddos eating habits and nutritional intake-limiting their access to junk

I cut back on their junk and increase the number of home-cooked meals consumed at table, ergo I cut back on my own junk and increase the number of home-cooked meals consumed at table.

veggies

This will be challenging for three reasons.  1) They’re nerds  2) They’re picky nerds with texture issues 3) Their father and I are often weak-willed due to fatigue and stress.  I’ll even add an unofficial fourth-their dad and I have wicked travel schedules this spring and we tend to utilize the drive-through pretty exclusively when the other parent is away.

Guilt is a powerful motivator, however, and I’m committed to turning the tide on their junk food habits.  May the force be with me….I’ll certainly need it.

What are your resolutions? How are you taking your black-eyed peas and cabbage this year?

General · I'm loving this!

Comfort and Joy!

I woke up this morning and cuddled with my six year old.  He still likes to cuddle with mom, thank goodness!  I made Nutella cocoa and a rich, strong latte and sat down with my family in the morning light.  And I felt happiness.  In that way that you feel it in random moments.  Tired, but relaxed and content.  So lucky. Such Comfort and Joy!

LatteAnd I spied our tree sitting there in the morning light and it was beautiful.

Latte-treeSo I grabbed my camera, because that what you do, right?

Christmas_Tree_Wideangle

 

You take pictures of things that are beautiful!

Christmas-Tree-Day

Pictures of Comfort and Joy!