A day in pictures

Zinnias Tomatoes Cucumbers Basil Tomatillos Black raspberries Cherry tree Black raspberries which were made into jam today Photo credit: Brian Cassella, Chicago Tribune G. Lotus root This is no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave. If we were free, we could gather in public without fear of being gunned down. If it were the land of the brave, our legislators would enact reasonable gun laws including banning military grade weapons. But they are not brave. They are too afraid of running afoul of Trump and his ilk or losing their funding from the NRA. Every single Republican who refuses to vote for these laws is as culpable as the shooters they are tacitly arming. And frankly, every single Republican who has elected these spineless fearful law makers is equally as culpable.  None of my family were near Highland Park today, though it is close enough that my mother contacted me just to make sure. I grieve for the families who lost loved ones so needlessly. No one should have

The wheels on the bus

No bus at the station     D. sits and waits,     Sits and waits,     Sits and waits, No bus at the station, D. sits and waits In the middle of the town. The bus show up     It's two hours late,     Two hours late,     Two hours late, The bus shows up, it's two hours late In the middle of the town. The babies on the bus     Cry wah, wah, wah,     Wah, wah, wah,     Wah, wah, wah, The babies on the bus cry wah, wah, wah, All four of them. The smoker on the bus     Lights a smoke up,     Lights a smoke up,     Lights a smoke up, The Smoker on the bus, lights a smoke up Inside the bus. The driver on the bus     Says, put out that smoke,     Put out that smoke,     Put out that smoke, The driver on the bus says put out that smoke Or else you'll be out. The doors on the bus     Go open and shut,     Open and shut,     Open and shut, The doors on the bus to open and shut All over town. The driver on the bus     Says I'll leave you right here,     Leave you right here,     Leav

Time and safety and connection

This is Java. I know I've shown you pictures of her before. I think I've also mentioned that she can be... challenging. For the first two years she was with us, everything scared her. And like a scared dog, a scared horse is not necessarily a safe being to be around. She and I had come to a detente, but I needed to be extremely mindful of my own emotional state and my actions whenever I was around her. Any sign of fear of nervousness from me and she would match my state and up the ante. It was excellent training for me, but wasn't always pleasant. Part of the problem was that she was losing her sight completely in one eye and partially in the other. I had reached out to the director of the rescue where she came from with my concerns and he assured me that he had seen this many times before. He helped calm my fears that this behavior was not permanent, but a reaction to her current situation. When she finally grew accustomed to her depleted sight, she would probably calm dow

Weekly Updates - July 1, 2022

And here we are in July.  Tonight J. took P., K., Y., G., and L. to a Kane County Cougars game (our area minor league team.) When he asked H. if she wanted to go, she most definitely did not. She has been to a couple of games and I'm pretty sure the whole thing makes no sense to her. So I stayed home with H. and R. (who did want to go, but would not have ended up enjoying it, thus J. wouldn't have enjoyed it.) They watched a movie and I'm sure they both had more fun here than they would have there. Without TM at home to run errands for me, we were running out or very low of many ingredients that we need for Chinese and Vietnamese food. Things were getting dire, so I planned a big stock-up trip to H-Mart this morning. It ended up being much bigger (price-wise) than I had anticipated. A lot bigger. Usually Asian ingredients are pretty cost effective, but I was shocked at the prices today. You should actually be pretty impressed that I didn't pass out when I saw what the t

Art openings and ice cream

Fine Line Creative Arts Center has a new exhibit... On the Wing ... which opened tonight. J. and I had been feeling a little as though we needed to up our summer fun quotient, so we decided to have an early dinner (for us, we ate at 6:30) and take everyone to the opening. To add to the fun, we decided to stop by our local ice cream stand for dessert. I recommend the exhibit if you are in the area. It's all bird-related art and there are some really interesting pieces on display. Of course the ones I liked the best were also the ones that were most certainly not in our budget. It seems our family tends towards quirky, as it was the quirkier pieces that caught everyone's attention. I think this dodo was the hands-down favorite. Here are a few more. There was heavy lobbying to buy the penguins. I did love them. L. offered to make me my own set if I bought her a kiln and pottery wheel. Suddenly, the penguins seemed like a much better financial choice. We did not buy the penguins...


One of the things I took away from reading Braiding Sweetgrass was the idea that the natural world is full of gifts. Instead of something that we just take, it changes the relationship to see us living with other living beings who share their gifts with us. As things ripen outside our house, this idea becomes more and more tangible.  H. has been a mulberry picking machine.She loves to help and having defined tasks is perfect for her, so picking mulberries is right in her sweet spot. It's wonderful because the picking is often the one thing I don't have time to do. I have mentioned that we love mulberry syrup, and at the rate we're going, we will have syrup to enjoy when the snow is on the ground and mulberries are a long away dream. Today I canned 4+ more pints. (The plus is for what ended up in the refrigerator because I didn't have enough to make a full pint and thus couldn't process it. The jar in the refrigerator was very close to full, so it was actually close

Fiber Monday - Angst spinning

I don't know about you, but I could use some far less serious and concerning things to think about right now, so it's good it's Monday. All of the serious and concerning things I don't want to have to think about could also be an explanation as to why I have so much spinning to show you this week. I find spinning to be incredibly calming, and you get cool yarn out of it to boot.  So let's start with the show and tell. First, the sock yarn I showed you last week. Nothing has changed except that I wound it into a skein in order to wash. Oh, and there is one teeny tiny skein you can see on the bottom. I had two bobbins with a little bit more yarn on them than the third, so couldn't use them to make a 3-ply. So, I decided to learn how to chain ply which is where you take a single yarn and then using loops and things turn that single into a 3-ply. It has been on my list of things to figure out, so that felt like a success this week.  Next I finished spinning two hug