Saturday, October 10, 2009

Old Commerce

There's this department store, right? Like, an old-fashioned department store, on the main street of a village about 15 miles from us? And they sell really good outdoor clothes, like wool socks and work boots and stuff? They're celebrating their 149th year in business this year.

I just think that's cool.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Johnny On the Spot

In case you ever find yourself pregnant or otherwise weakened, it is extremely useful to have a husband who works from home. Then he can be prevailed upon to stack all the firewood on a weekday. Which A. did yesterday, pretty much by himself. He also split it as he went, which increases the workload by about 200%. After about an hour of me "helping," which consisted of trailing along after A. and the loaded wheelbarrow, stacking one piece of wood to about every five of A.'s, I went inside and took to the couch. With a heating pad on my back. Because I had apparently crippled myself by bending over for a whole half hour picking up black walnuts in the morning.

This impending man-cub has turned me into an 80-year-old woman.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Big Day Yesterday

The firewood man finally delivered our wood. He's apparently very busy this year. As if I couldn't tell that by the fact that he was supposed to come the last two weekends, and yet never showed until last night. No matter. We have our wood, it will be stacked today, and all will be well and warm at Blackrock. At least in the dining room where the woodstove is. The bedrooms are another story.

Also, I went in for a 20-week ultrasound yesterday afternoon, at which we learned that we are most definitely having a boy*. A very active boy with a large head. Also a very stubborn boy who refused to be nudged into position so the technician could see everything she wanted to see. No pushing THIS kid around, obviously.

This may not bode well for the future.

* Actual quote from the technician as she was recording the stats in her computer: "Usually I put 'male' with a question mark. No question mark for this boy, though." Mommy's little exhibitionist. We're so proud.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What Wind Does to Me

I have mentioned before that I do not like wind. I especially don't like wind at night. Because then I don't really sleep. Last night we had violent thunderstorms at 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., with continuous hard wind all night. Which meant I spent the night lying in bed thinking things like, "If the power goes off, I won't be able to take a shower. But I have to go to the doctor today, so I'll have to start the woodstove and heat water in saucepans so I can take a sponge bath."

And, "I hope the MiL's wheelchair (left in the covered portion of the patio) doesn't get blown out into the open and get soaked."

And, "I did bring in A.'s shoes from outside, didn't I? And those jackets that were hanging over the backs of the patio chairs?" (I did.)

And, "I wonder if the dogs (in the pasture) commandeer the sheep barn when the weather's bad, or do they let the sheep have it? Is there a brawl? Bonnie (one of the large Cotswold ewes) is pretty big; she could probably take on a dog. Especially since her fleece is so thick right now, they could bite and only get mouthfuls of wool. I'll have to see if they have wool in their teeth in the morning."

It should be obvious that my brain may be a little unrealistic when semi-conscious.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Color Coordinated

Now here's one of those posts where I should really have a photo to accompany it, for illustrative purposes. But I don't, so boot up your imaginations and prepare to envision my dinner last night.

(I know--the excitement of envisioning my dinner is too much. Just try to contain yourself.)

Completely inadvertently, I limited our meal last night to a purple/pink color palette. Looking at my plate, I was reminded of my favorite My Little Pony, which was purple with a pink mane. Possibly not the most appetizing of associations, I know.


See, here's what went down. I was going to make cabbage. Duchess's Burned Cabbage, specifically. I knew I needed to use up some of the green cabbage hanging in the Pit of Despair, because, um, I could smell it when I went into the Pit to do laundry. I could smell that it was rotting, that is. Tasty! So I steeled myself for a disgusting ordeal, grabbed the net bag the green cabbage was hanging in, and hauled it up the stairs and into the light to see if any of it was salvageable. Then I dumped the cabbages out onto the picnic table, where they promptly melted into a semi-solid puddle of black goo and rotted cabbage. With some slugs in there for added deliciousness. YAY! Into the compost heap with THAT mess, and onto plan B. That is, the purple cabbage. Which keeps better and was not a revolting, smelly, slimy, sluggy mess.

So, the color scheme is established with purple cabbage. Moving on.

Next, I later asked A. to get me some potatoes from the Pit of Despair. I asked him to do it because he was wearing shoes at the time, and venturing into the Pit of Despair in slippers would be very foolish, seeing as how the floor is mud and there could be any variety of woodland creature lurking down there. We have six varieties of potatoes stored in boxes, but I told him to just grab a few of whatever he came to first. He grabbed the Adirondack Reds, which are an absolutely delicious variety of potato that is a light purple-y pink color all the way through and makes some very girly-looking pink mashed potatoes. Which is what we had, to go with the purple cabbage.

You're seeing the theme now?

The main course, hearkening back to many a TV dinner and cafeteria lunch, was a kind of Salisbury steak*. What can I say? Ground beef was the first thing I surfaced with after freezer diving, and I didn't feel like making meat loaf. Now of course, this was not purple or pink--it was a very dull brown--but I'm counting it in the color scheme because the onions I used in the gravy were from a 25-pound bag of purple onions A. picked up the other day at a farm when he went far afield to hunt. So the onions were purple, even if the meat really wasn't. I barely managed to restrain myself from heating up some leftover beets, just to complete the theme. Restraint is one of my more notable characteristics.

So, can you see it in your head? Purple cabbage, pink mashed potatoes, and purple-onion-based meat?

Yeah. My life, it is so fun.

* Incidentally, even if you never click on links, I would encourage you to go to the Wikipedia explanation of Salisbury steak. It is enlightening. Also gross. The phrase "skeletal origin" is in there. As is the interesting fact that the USDA has benevolently decided that beef heart can be used for the meat in Salisbury steak. Bon appetite!

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Matter of Manners

Now here's a question: As a child, were you expected to call adults only Mr. or Mrs. Whatever? Or were you encouraged to use first names for everyone?

I, being the child of both a military officer and a southern mother, was instructed that my elders were never to be called by first name. Made sense to me. They weren't my friends. They were adults. They were Mr. or Mrs. I had a couple of friends whose mothers asked me to call them by their first names, claiming Mrs. made them feel old. And I always thought to myself, though of course I never said it aloud, "But you ARE old." And they were. To me at 16. Calling them Mrs. Whatever was actually a mark of respect. Interestingly, I never once had a friend's father request that I use his first name.

However, I think this may be a practice that is falling out of fashion. So here's the poll for today: Do you think children should address their elders as Mr., Mrs. or Ms.? Or are you firmly in the first-name camp?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

All Grown Up

I watched "Footloose" for the first time in a long time last night. Besides the fantastic 80s music and the opportunity to giggle at 80s dancing, it provided me with incontrovertible evidence that since the last time I've seen it, I have become an adult.

Remember the scene where Ren and Chuck play chicken with tractors? And remember how Chuck ends up rolling the tractor over an embankment? I actually said, out loud, with no trace of sarcasm in my voice, "Oh no. Such an expensive piece of farm equipment."