Thursday, March 29, 2007

Chickens from Space

Errr... chickens as seen from space, maybe.

I just checked Google's satellite imaging for our town and they updated it sometime last summer to a much higher resolution image (still not perfect but a giant improvement). I can tell it was last summer, because Loretta's house and the other house on the block have been demolished. I can see our chicken house (what I was looking for to start with); moreover, I can see Lil Miss A's slide, and I can see our inflatable swimming pool in the back yard!

Lemme see if I can post it. Not sure how well this is going to work.

Edited: Not all that well, as it happens. I'll try a link.

Chickens from Space

Yep, that worked. Our house is right smack-dab in the middle of the image, with the garage in the back, along with the chicken house, a round blue blob (the pool) and a small yellow rectangle kitty-corner to the house (the slide).

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

BSG Goodness

They gotta bring Mark Sheppard back. They just gotta. I hate admitting things like this, but his performance in BSG was far better than his Firefly performance. He is improving with experience, I believe.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


This is a quick shot taken looking down into the incubator during an egg-turn this morning. Ten little eggs that we hope contain blue cochin bantam embryos! I talk to them and sing to them and tell them I love them and turn them faithfully 4 times a day. (The Xs are on one side only; one turn, all the Xs are up, the next turn they're all down.) I'm using the "dry" method, which is not dry at all, really, but with controlled humidity throughout the incubation, then a closed 'bator for the last couple of days for the hatch.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Homemade Barbecue Sauce Recipe - Yummy!

I'm cooking beef back ribs for supper tonight. I found a recipe for homemade barbecue sauce on and made a few small alterations, and this sauce is soooo good I keep sneaking spoonfuls of the sauce reserved for basting. Here it is.

1 c. chopped onion
1 tsp. instant minced garlic
1/4 c. oil
2 tsp. prepared mustard
1 c. tomato paste
2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 c. white vinegar
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1/2 tsp. liquid smoke flavoring
2 tsp. salt

Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft. Add mustard, tomato paste, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, hot pepper sauce, liquid smoke flavoring and salt and simmer about 15 minutes.

The recipe said to strain the sauce after you simmer it, but I couldn't bear the thought of throwing out all those lovely onions, so I left them in. I bet you could throw the works in a blender if you wanted it smooth and yet oniony.


As of today, March 23, there are now two teens in our household. Master K. is now 13 years old!

I could embarrass him by posting on this public blog the fact that he has peach fuzz on his upper lip and his voice is cracking all over the place, but I love him far too much to do that to him.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sleepwalking scare

Last night everyone was in bed but Barry by around 10:30. I was in bed, dozing off, when I heard Lil Miss A come out of her room and head down the hall toward the bathroom. I called to her but she didn't answer (not unusual).

A few minutes later I heard a child crying outside. It woke me up and I jumped out of bed to go check if a child was lost outside in the cold and dark. Just then our back door opened and in walked Lil Miss A, crying. She was confused and didn't know where she had been or why.

We checked her over and made sure she was warmly dressed for bed. The only thing she could tell us was that she thought she had been playing in the rain.

I'm so thankful she woke up before she had been out there for long and that it was not a bitterly cold night. Still, she would not have lasted long in the 30-degree temperatures.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Papa Reading Long Distance

Lil Miss A's Papa (her maternal grandfather) has been working off and on at a recording project, recording himself reading some of his favorite children's books out loud. He burns the recordings to CDs and sends them to his grandchildren. Today, Lil Miss A received a CD from Papa on which he read two stories, one about a lion. Here she is on the couch listening to the story. Her own personal lion hopped into her nice warm lap as she listened.

Cataloging our Library and Movie Collection

I've wanted to catalog our huge book collection and our growing movie collection for some time, if nothing more than for insurance purposes. We have a good collection of movies on DVD, including some rare ones and some out of print (though Criterion is doing a good job of bringing back some goodies like M. Hulot's Holiday) and it would be difficult and expensive to rebuild the collection if we ever had a fire. Not to mention the fact that books burn (!) and if we lost our book collection... well, let's just say, I'm more attached to my books than I probably ought to be, with my old Walter Farleys and Stephen Meaders and wonderful old cookbooks that have been out of print for decades. "Where moth and dust doth corrupt and thieves break in and steal," to me, means when your books get mildewy or burn up, and when you loan out DVDs and then forget who borrowed them.

Anyway, after test-driving a number of catalog software, we finally settled on BookCollectorz and MovieCollectorz. Being a real cheapskate, I used a coupon plus the discount one gets for buying the two software packages together, and then I bought the barcode scanner on eBay, and ended up with a much better deal than it appears. The barcode scanner is not indispensable, but it sure does make things go faster. Anything with a barcode you can just scan in, and then let the software search online for a match. Of course only about half of our books are recent enough to be barcoded, so I end up manually entering many from their printed ISBNs, and then there are still a ton that are too old to have an ISBN printed in them, so those I add manually. It's a very slow process. I do a shelf of books at a time. Master K. scanned our movies in for me which was very helpful of him; we have a grand total of 176 DVDs at the moment, with several of those being boxed sets.

Any time I sort books, dust books, alphabetize books, move books around or search for a specific book, it takes a lot longer than it should, as I have to visit with my old friends. So this is going to be a long-term project.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

St. Patrick's Day 0.01K Update

This is a photo of the course from last year. Note the barriers alongside. We wouldn't want anyone taking a shortcut, now, would we?

Barry and I are going to be "running" this year.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Migrators Returning!

Just before dawn this morning I leaned out my back door and heard a flock of migrating mallards passing overhead! This is always a momentous occasion.

Poor things were looking down on nothing but frozen marshland, no open water and several feet of snow, but it's only a matter of time now.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Do lovebirds go to heaven?

This has been a recurring topic of discussion in our house for the week or so since Janie passed on. Little Miss A is quite concerned about what happened to her dear little lovebird. I have told her I do not believe there are pets in heaven and that God gives them to us for a short time to love, but that then we remember them with love for the rest of our lives. Our neighbor, however, firmly believes beloved pets do go to heaven and keeps assuring Little Miss A of this.

This morning over breakfast, A said, "I know why animals don't go to heaven. It's prob'ly because some people up there are allergic to animals."

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Annual 0.01K Fun Run for Hunger Task Force

That's right - 0.01K, you read it right. That's 32.8 feet. It's on St. Patrick's Day in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and benefits the Coulee Region Hunger Task Force. If you are tough enough to take the punishment, the finish line is in a pub, where there's a nice refreshing beer awaiting you.

Have you got what it takes?