Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gruesome Even for Blackrock

Early yesterday morning Cubby was ramming around the living room and ended up on the chair in the bay window, from which he perched to view the happenings outside. I was sitting on the couch and I heard him say, "Lee? Lee? Ee? Ee?"

"What?" I said. "Leda? Eat? Yes, Leda already ate her breakfast."

Then from Cubby, "Lee? Ee? Chukah? Chukah?"

"What? Chicken? Oh no."

I ran over to the window, and sure enough, Leda was chewing on something bloody that did look exactly like a chicken. I didn't think Leda would have killed one of the chickens, as the dogs have shown not the slightest inclination in that regard. I yelled upstairs to A. to let him know that Leda had one of the chickens and that I was afraid something might have gotten into the coop in the night. Then Cubby and I went outside to inspect further.

It wasn't a chicken. It was the head from the lamb A. had killed the day before. He had skinned it and salted the pelt in preparation for tanning, but, obviously, cut the head off the pelt. The head and the innards he had put in a feed sack and put in the back of his truck to dispose of the next day. But the dogs got there first.

I've done a lot of disgusting things since moving to Blackrock, but picking up a severed lamb's head by the ear and putting it in a bucket is by far the most grisly. That, without doubt, qualifies as gross.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A.P.D.--White-Knuckle Driving

Last night as A. and I were reluctantly leaving the house to drop the Awesome Subaru off at the mechanic, I said with some false cheeriness, "Well, at least it's not snowing!"

Them's famous last words.

It was drizzling as we pulled out of our driveway. It was snowing three miles up the road. On the way home, the snow was so bad, A. could barely see and drove about 20 miles an hour the whole way.

Driving in snow is always way worse when it's dark, of course, because then your headlights reflect off all the snow flying into the windshield, effectively blinding you. As A. was creeping our way home, I was reflecting on the worst driving conditions I had ever experienced.

I've driven in some pretty nasty snowstorms in the mountains of Arizona and through rain that was so heavy I could barely see through the waterfall on the windshield. But my absolute worst driving experience was in fog.

When I was in college I worked at a dude ranch in the mountains outside of Fort Collins, Colorado, for a couple of summers*. One very early morning--as in, around 2 a.m.--I was chauffeuring several of my fellow workers back to the ranch after a night out at a bar in Fort Collins. Everyone in the car was asleep except for me, and about halfway up the mountain, I drove straight into a bank of fog so thick, I could literally see only a few feet in front of me.

Talk about a white-knuckle drive. I thought I was going to die. I'm not kidding. I thought I was going to drive the car off the mountain and everyone in the car was going to die. This was a serious Colorado mountain road, with the sheer drops and hairpin turns and everything. It was not a road I had driven a whole lot yet either, and I couldn't see anything.

Needless to say, I did not die, nor did any of my passengers. But I did go out the next morning to find my car parked at a very odd angle and far too close to the horse barn for comfort. Yeah. The fog was so bad, I couldn't see a barn.

Now your turn, duckies! Hit me with your worst driving conditions. Fog? Snow? Ice? Sandstorm? What weather on the road made you contemplate your mortality?

* Perhaps I haven't mentioned this before. I am a woman with a mysterious and intriguing past.**

** Not really.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I have been lucky enough to be graced with a child who loves vegetables. LOVES them. He'll eat any fruit and vegetable put in front of him (though he's a little suspicious of eggplant). He chews on raw chard stems in the garden.

I realized last night how odd this might be as I was dishing up dinner and told A., "I don't want Cubby to see the C-A-B-B-A-G-E before he eats some of his meat and squash, because once he sees it, he won't want to eat anything else."

That's right. I have to spell cabbage lest I excite my child too much. Granted, it was Burned Cabbage, which is pretty damn good, but still. Weird kid.

But the best kind of weird. Definitely.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What Day Is It? Tuesday?

So, not a Friday and not a Monday (which is the new Friday). But I'm still going to talk about alcohol today. I suppose this means that every day is now eligible to be an Alcohol Day here.

Don't read too much into that.

Today we will discuss the Apple Sidecar. This is apparently a thing already, but I swear I didn't know that until I started writing this and searching for things online to link to.

Last night I decided to take one of my favorite cocktails of all time and once again twist it to suit my own particular ingredients. This time, we had some cider (some, HA--about two gallons still) and applejack, which the MiL had picked up along with some more Cava so we could all have some more Manzanitas de Piedra Negra.

But I think I'm just going to call them Blackrock Apples from now on, because that Spanish name is too long to type.


We had our Blackrock Apples on Sunday, and they were again delicious. I highly recommend that cocktail. Then we still had plenty of applejack left. Applejack is basically apple brandy, but with some grain alcohol added. Brandy is the main ingredient in a Sidecar, along with triple sec and lemon juice. So, I figured if I used the applejack instead of plain brandy, then I could use apple cider in place of the triple sec--for the sweet element--and then keep the lemon juice. Plus some water, because I nearly always water my drinks. I'm weak like that.


As you may have guessed, this is a winning combination. My pleasure in it was only slightly dimmed by discovering that someone else had thought of it too. So I'm not totally original. So what? It's still a damn good drink and you should try it.

So! If you want to try this at home, it's a shot of applejack, half a shot of cider, and the juice from about half a lemon. Plus ice, and, if you're weak like me, some water to taste.

Have a happy Tuesday, duckies! Even if it doesn't feature cocktails.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Boy Crazy

Not that kind of boy crazy. No, the kind of crazy that happens when it's All Boys, All the Time, which seems to be the case more often than not in this place of boy babies.

A climbable farm utility vehicle plus a dog? Boy heaven, right there.

A swing full of juvenile testosterone. And my friend Alyssa, who is the mother of two of these boys, bless her patient and courageous heart.

These three are going to be an even more formidable trio in ten years or so. And in 15 years, all of them will be driving. God help us all.