Well this explains a lot

It seems that there is another, little known, benefit of having a large family: the ability to play telephone around the dinner table. Now, I know almost all of you are familiar with the game, but since I know I have a large international audience, I'll explain it in case it's an American thing. To play telephone, you get a large number of people to sit in a circle. One person comes up with a sentence, and whispers it to the next person. That person then whispers what they heard to the person on their other side. The message gets passed from person to person around the circle until it reaches the last person before the one who started the message. That person then announces what the message is, often to the hilarious amusement of others because it is often extremely far removed from the original message.

So last night we played telephone at the end of dinner. I don't even remember what started it, but it was pretty funny. The most hilarious example was the one the L. began…

Putting the cart, er... saddle, before the horse

We continue to prepare to have horses. If you are at all aware of the equine world, you will know that inexpensive and horses do not go together. Besides the actual animal itself, there is a lot you need. So when I saw a notice that someone was selling a bulk lot of horse supplies for a pretty fair price, I jumped on it.

Three saddles, not in pristine shape, but decent enough for trail or casual riding. Some girths, stirrup irons, a huge stack of breeches, an even bigger stack of horse blankets of various weights, feed buckets, hoof picks, halters, fly masks, and a few show coats are just some of the things J. and I hauled home today. It was a good deal even if some of the things don't end of up working. I do have a little repair work to do on some of the blankets, but that is something I can manage.

So to recap... horse trailer? Check. Saddles? Check. Blankets? Check.

Fencing? No....

Some kind of shelter? No....

And thus no horse.

I have a new article published. …

Friday bullets, July 13, 2018

And here we are again...

Look at this:
These are the first two eggs laid by our hens. They are probably, at this point, the most expensive eggs in history. And since they're the first eggs from a young hen or hens, they are still a bit small. Here they are next to a regular store bought egg.

Y. was the first one to find the egg. It was very exciting.
It gives me hope that the rest of the hens will start to get with the egg laying program, and won't just be feed-eating patio decorations. What in the world did I ever blog about before we had chickens?With J. home for the time being, we are working on jobs that can get done. Painting the kitchen has risen to the top of the pile. It truly has the worst paint job in the world. It's sort of pinky-lavender, but with "decorative" splotches on it, so it is not one single color. There are many things to dislike about it, but the thing that drives me most crazy is that it always looks dirty. Dirty looking walls in a kitchen ar…

Life is just a bowl of cherries

Guess what we did yesterday? In my continuing efforts to can all the fruit, we went cherry picking. I adore cherries; they truly are my favorite fruit.

The cherry orchard is a couple of hours away, so we first had to have our picnic before the grueling work of cherry picking.

Then it was on to the cherries.

We picked 12 gallons. Want to see what 12 gallons of cherries looks like?

After you pick them, you take them to the wash stand to wash them. After they are clean, you then have them pitted. I really love the fact that we don't have to pit 12 gallons of cherries!

Guess what I will be doing over the next few days? I have the cherry jam and cherry pie filling recipes already laid out and ready to go. Is it odd that there is a small part of me that worries we didn't pick enough?

Serial obsession

I came across this phrase a while ago, and found that it pretty perfectly describes how I learn. I will find one thing overwhelmingly interesting, and spend all my free time reading about it or trying to do it or generally learning about it. After a while, once I have sated my curiosity or reached a functional level of ability, I will set that thing aside and move on to something else. Usually, I will circle back and revisit that thing, but at a different level. Even as a child I would do this, with non-school subjects.

I find many of my children function the same way. The past two days, the current obsession has been hand sewing. L. (who so often is the instigator of the next obsession) decided that BlueBlue, her precious blue teddy bear needed lunch to take to school with him. So she got out the felt and thread and started creating felt food.

Here is BlueBlue with his entire lunch.
He has a glass of milk.
Cookies with candy on top, salad with tomatoes and dressing, and a couple of s…

How to have a rotten day

Step 1: When you wake up, be sure to focus on all the bad or worrisome things in your life. Do this before you have even gotten out of bed. It will set the tone for the entire day. Do not under any circumstances think of all the things you have going for you. Brains devote more space to things that are repeated. Thus, a brain practiced in looking for the good or being thankful for what is around them will do so easily and habitually. If you want to have a rotten day, you will need to guard against this.

Step 2: Delay getting up and going. If you can do this while also focusing on the less-than-spectacular aspects of your life, so much the better. And to truly get your day off to the worst start possible, delay getting up until you are well past your usual rising time. Being dressed and put together before heading out of the bedroom can make you feel organized and on top of things. This could very well derail your rotten day, so be sure to avoid it. Lounge around in pajamas for as long…

Garden update

As I mentioned last Friday, the garden is booming. I still have moments of just standing and staring at it, because I find the whole thing so surprising. I thought you might like to see some pictures.

Look at all my tomato plants!
And cucumbers
If you look carefully, you can see some very large hot peppers on this plant.
This odd plant is called a cardoon, and its presence in the garden is due solely to staring too long at seed catalogs in the dead of winter. It seems you eat the stalks, after more than a little bit of labor. I'm sure I will let you know how this little experiment goes.
See that squash growing up the side of the dead tree? This is another too-much-seed-catalog purchase. This is an edible gourd, which I'm told can be used like zucchini. The cool thing is that the gourds grow very long and look like snakes. I picture them hanging down from the dead branches of this tree. It sounds pretty cool in theory, huh?
The garden from the other side.
This is the other, sma…