Monday, September 23, 2013

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch

I get a lot of enjoyment from the blog Everyday Ruralty.  Today we are having Chats on the Farmhouse Porch.  Please join in!  
  1. What's  the one thing you feel is the biggest waste of  your time during an average week?  DRIVING!  I spend so much time and gas getting the kids from place to place.  We live far from both of their schools (and, yes, they attend different ones...); Nathan has soccer; Sara often has early morning cross-country practice along with soccer and more cross-country after school Only a year and a half until Sara has her drivers license.  I can't wait!  Or can I?  When I think about what it means to put a young person behind the wheel of a car, I feel a bit queasy.  
  2. When was the last time you baked a pie?  Last weekend.  Apple, and it was soooooo yummy! 
  3. What do you want to spend time doing that you aren't right now? I want to sew.  I want to finish my quilt, but I never get a moment to sit down and work on it.  Between my job and housework and kids and friends and the garden, it is hard to eke more minutes out of the day.  In my previous life, I would just stay up very, very late, get more done and not get any sleep.  But in my new life, Chuck is insistent that part of being my husband and looking out for me is making sure I get to sleep at a decent hour.  
  4. What do you do with old clothes?  If they are in really good condition, I bring them down to my work. I run an adult education program for immigrants, and they are always happy to see donated clothes or household appliances.  If they are not in good condition, I have them picked up by Friends of Big Bothers and Big Sisters.  My friend Mark works for them and has explained to me how no cloth goes to waste.  If it is not wearable any more, it will be ragged and used for other purposes. This question is a little funny for me, because I am also the answer to what OTHER people do with their old clothes!  I shop for clothing almost never, instead gleaning hand-me-downs and shopping at thrift stores.   
  5. If we were having lunch on the porch today, what would you bring for the potluck styled lunch?  Peach Cobbler!  I made a really good one last night, with a crust superior to my prior cobblers.  Pride is a sin, I know.  I would need to beg forgiveness.  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursday's Special: (Jokes from Victor)

I enjoy reading the blog of Restless Jo when I get the chance; and today she posted an entry under the heading of Thursday's Special.  I would like to do this too!  I just have to figure out how to get Thursday's widget to link up.  While I'm getting that sussed, we'll just do a little primitive linking, here.

My English as a Second Language student Victor M. made today special for me, with these jokes.

Victor:  How do you put a camel into a fridge in three steps?
[Shit!  he has told me this one at some point in the past, but I forget...]
Kate:  I give up.
[Pause here to explain how, "I give up" is what we always say when we don't know the answer to a riddle.]
Victor:  One:  open the fridge.  Two: put the camel in the fridge.  Three: close the fridge.

Victor:  Kate!  How do you get an ELEPHANT into a fridge in three steps?
Kate:  Let me guess:  One:  open the fridge. Two: put the elephant in the fridge. Three: close the fridge.

Victor:  OK...How do you get the camel into a fridge in FOUR steps?
Kate:  ....... I give up.
Victor:  One:  open the fridge.  Two:  take the elephant out of the fridge.  Three:  put the camel in the fridge.  Four:  close the fridge.

OK, OK.  One more.

Victor:  One time, God threw a dinner party, and he invited all the animals of the world to attend.  All the animals were honored to be invited and all of them attended except one.  Which animal did not attend?
Kate:  I give up.  Which one?
Victor:  The camel.  He was still in the fridge.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Yesterday's Superlative

I couldn't post last night, because the Internet was so slow.  But here is the smallest kite I have ever seen:  a wedding present from our friend Dale. 

Friday, September 13, 2013


I really have no reason to be grumpy.  But today, everything just felt like a demand.  Sara climbed into the car and told me that she had a special cross-country practice at 6:15 AM tomorrow. 

And I'm throwing a (hopefully) big party tomorrow night. 

And I really should be working in a long run tomorrow, but I already know that I won't have time.  And anyway, my knee is bugging me, and the race is only two weeks away.

And our Internet sucks.  And maybe I am a Luddite, and I should have a Smart Phone or a Tablet, because apps are the wave of the future and the technology train is leaving the station without me.

And the weather is cool, but we only have about a quarter of the wood we need.  Sara says, why not just heat with propane? I point out that propane is far, far more expensive than natural gas.  Then Chuck teases me about how much propane we would save if I took shorter showers.

All of this has made me irritable.  I am running a hot bath.

Sara has just come in and told me that she left her running shoes at her dad's house.  Is it OK if we go there on the way to cross-country in the morning? 

(Sigh.)  I need a Scotch. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Quote:  We all travel the Milky Way together, trees and men; but it never occurred to me until this storm-day, while swinging in the wind, that trees are travelers in the ordinary sense.  They make many journeys, not extensive ones, it is true; but our own little journeys, away and back again, are only little more than tree-wavings – many of them not so much.
-John Muir
There is a powerful smell of skunk out there tonight.  One must have blasted only a short distance away:  I can taste it, and it’s making me dizzy.  Skunk drunk. 
It was a spectacular day today.  The warmth was mellow and I kicked off my shoes to enjoy the warm, freshly mown grass in the park where I was watching my daughter’s cross-country meet.  When the runners were out of sight, off suffering at the other end of the park, I read my book.  Then, when the leaders came into sight, I tucked it under my arm, stood up and clapped for Sara.  She was brilliant again today.  There were five or six schools participating in the meet, and she placed fourth overall.  It was a tough route with a lot of hills; and there was a breeze.  The girls suffered.  I watched one girl from another school slump over a fence and vomit at the finish line.  A teammate came over to her and asked,
“Did you have 1:00 lunch today?”
“Well, that’s why…”
I showed my basement rental unit to three more groups today.  Lots and lots of people want to look.  Not one application for a lease has been returned, yet, though.  It’s frustrating, but I am trying to be patient.  One family came to look today but is not interested because their six-year old daughter is (as her mother told me) sensitive to paranormal activity.  The mother asked me whether I had owned the house long and whether I knew its history. 
“You know, we looked at a little house that was built in the ‘50s, but our daughter wouldn’t go into it at all.  Then we found out that someone had… had…” 
She honestly couldn’t say the word.  She just made an “exit this way” gesture with her hands.  I helped her out. 
“You mean, died?” 
[Whispered] “Yes!”
Oh, brother, I thought!  One of the folks who lives in the neighborhood did imply very delicately that someone HAD died in the house.  I’m not sure, but I also don’t CARE!  It’s an old house, for Pete’s sake.  Someone surely must have died in it.  Maybe even several someones.
Today's blog includes a rant.  Back up a couple of feet:  I need my space. 
I really hate it when people call me about the apartment and, when I tell them the amount of the rent / deposit, etc… they ask, “Will you work with me on the deposit?”  I feel so tempted to say, “I would be open to working with someone whom I TRUST; someone who has already developed a relationship with me; maybe paid a few months’ rent.  If that person came to me and asked me to 'work with' them, I would do it.  But you have zero history with me and there is no reason why I should 'work with' you when you haven’t been able to get even one month’s rent into my rent-box yet. "  And it's always "work with".  A euphemism for "cut me a special break".
Wow.  That felt very good. 
And, today’s biggest, best superlative!  Goatheads are the WORST weed on the planet.  Their thorny seed pods are so pokey and hard that they pierce leather work-gloves.  When I was done pulling goat head plants from the front yard at the apartment today, I felt like I was wearing platform shoes.  So many thorns had poked into the soles of my shoes and stuck there that they lifted me off the sidewalk entirely.  We didn’t have those in Wisconsin, where I grew up.  Thistles are about the worst like can throw at you in the Upper Midwest.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Let's Pretend it's Fall!

I woke to a gentle, all-day rain this morning.  That is very rare in Utah.  It doesn't mean that autumn is here; but it means that we could be forgiven for thinking of it.  I baked an apple pie and picked squash.  I invited our frend Cliff down for supper and we experimented with different squash stuffings.

The smackdown:
ground beef, mushroom, onion, Swiss cheese and peas
Chorrizo, almonds, raisins, onion, cheddar