Monday, December 31, 2007

Scooters and Skates

NTS got a wee leetle scooter for Yule. He rode it around the house, very gingerly, and the first couple of times we took him over to the park he insisted on standing on it and being pushed. He watched me and his older brother ride it a bit, and yesterday something - just- clicked and all of a sudden he was really pushing himself around on it. The video below is from today. We found the razor scooter for NOS at Goodwill yesterday, and you can see how icy it was today when NOS slips in it for a second:

Another video of the kids at the park today. NOD is wearing the roller skates we found at St. Vinnie's yesterday (Goodwill and St. Vincent's are right next-door to each other, and we were looking for, and found, a snowsuit for NOD).

Notice the trick dismount from NOS. Also, the ever-present gum. Ah, eleven...

Also, at the end of that video you can see NTS mired in the grass and trying to turn his scooter around. About an hour after I took this video, he figured out how to turn the scooter so he can actually go around corners, now.

It never got above 30 degrees F, today, and GRAY!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

White Christmas

We did get a white Christmas. We had to hike up to the top of Spencer Butte to get it, but we got to the top and it started to snow, and it snowed on us all the way back down to the parking lot.

I really wish we had remembered to bring the camera, because it would have been great to post a heart-stopping video of NTS vaulting down the rocky trail in his free-fall "Hi! Catch me!" style. He had a blast. Had his older brother worried, of all people.

NTS: "Hee hee!" [Jumps off rock in general direction of older brother]

Everybody made it back down in one piece, and once we got the mud cleaned off we found that we did indeed leave with the ones we came with.

Tidings of comfort and joy

The swag today included a big box of dress-up clothes from Godparents.

NTS got a packet of M&M's, mostly because there was a cute train on the top. Oops, he spilled them. Got them all cleaned up, though.
We're working on having his extra feline head removed surgically, sometime after the holidays are over.

The Season of the Reason

"I'm so worried about being mental that I'm mental!"


"Isn't that mental?"


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Shameless Defective Yeti referral

The Scene You Hate.

Read through all the comments. It'll take a while, but they remind me of why I don't watch that many movies.

Please note: if you are easily offended, I invite you to never, ever, click on anything linkable I post on my blog.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Why do people bother buying toys for kids, part 14

When just a table and a window will suffice?
[Disclaimer: He got up there with *no* help at all]

We think we have a future Parkour hobbyist on our hands. His other favorite thing to to is to stand on the arms of the computer chair, one foot on each arm, behind whomever is at the computer.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Boil that cabbage down

Home again for one final (I hope) day of recovery from this flu. I worked yesterday but it was a really bad idea.

Some vintage Smothers Brothers, my favorite:

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Influenza, part 2

Just switch the genders for our household:


After having two bereavement days off for the funeral and related travel, I worked two whole days before becoming too sick to go in on Friday. So I spent Friday curled up in The Big Chair, draped in various children, but Friday night was when the fever came on. So there I was all Friday night, with the two sleeping children, alternating between puking and writhing around in some sort of delirium which had something to do with congruent triangles. Saturday morning I found that my eyes were burning up and I could feel both entire eyeballs inside my head since they were so hot. I slept all day, and the fever finally broke in the evening and I was able to eat a bowl of oatmeal. Another night with slightly less writhing but just as much head-pounding, getting up every few hours to down some Tylenol, until early this morning when I decided I was recovered enough to take a couple of Excedrin Migraine to take care of the pounding head. So now, no fever, no headache, but I'm AWAKE and actually starting to feel hungry. This means I'm going to live.

Speaking of which, I have a picture to share from the past weekend's trip to SLC for the funeral. It was the first time since 2000 that all my husband's siblings were together:
What's funny is that the last time they were all together, Teresa was pregnant then, too. That baby will be born later this week, so stay tuned. My kids also got to play with seven of their 13 (soon to be 14!) cousins.

I just love that picture. I wish we could be together more often.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Tagged by Elisa

I hate these things.

5 Things I was doing 10 years ago:
  1. Attending UCSC.
  2. Living in Santa Cruz.
  3. Going Lindy Hop dancing as much as possible (Lindy in the Park was only 1 year old!)
  4. Ending a misguided long-distance relationship with a depressed bipolar individual.
  5. Math. Lots of math.
5 Things on my to-do list today:
  1. Sit and be sick.
  2. Watch movies.
  3. Grade Geometry tests.
  4. Sit and be sick.
  5. Eat popcorn.
5 Snacks I enjoy:
  1. Popcorn with butter and parmesan cheese.
  2. Tortilla chips and cheese
  3. Quesadillas
  4. Cheese.
  5. Cheese.
5 Songs I know the lyrics to:
  1. Violent Femmes's first album (that's a generational thing)
  2. Poisoning Pigeons in the Park
  3. Hot Rocks Polka (Al Yankovic)
  4. Sunday in the Park with George
  5. In My Merry Oldsmobile
5 Things I would do if I was a millionaire:
  1. Remodel the house (this from my House Bean).
  2. Buy a better bicycle.
  3. Buy the house next door and remodel it.
  4. Plant a bunch of fruit trees.
  5. Get our backyard landscaped, patio in the back.
5 Bad Habits:
  1. I don't call people.
  2. I don't like to answer the phone.
  3. I'm not good at finishing things.
  4. Getting angry.
  5. Not mentionable here.
5 Things I'd never wear again:
  1. Big plastic glasses.
  2. Spike heels.
  3. Miniskirts.
  4. Anything tight.
  5. Underwire bra.
5 Things I like to do:
  1. Sleep.
  2. Sit Zazen.
  3. Eat.
  4. Drink tea.
  5. Pee.
(All of the above from my daughter)

5 Favorite Toys:

  1. My computer.
  2. My sewing machine.
  3. The stuffed rocking tiger.
  4. Digging fork.
  5. Sparkly lights for my bike.

5 People I tag:

  1. Barack Obama
  2. Hillary Clinton
  3. Mike Huckabee
  4. Bruce Willis
  5. Sandra Bernhardt

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Alfred C. Nielsen

I have many thoughts from the last several days. Many of them I'm sure I won't have the time or the eloquence to record. The Salt Lake Tribune Obituary Notice for Alfred Carl Nielsen.

Thank you, Grandpa Nielsen, for being part of my life and for welcoming me so warmly and lovingly into your family. Thank you for giving your blessing to my son, William Charles. Thank you for all you did for the people in your life. I love you and miss you.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving dinner, days 2 - 5

Day 2: Leftovers heated in the microwave.

Day 3: Turkey & pumpkin soup with rice

Day 4: Biscuits with Turkey and Turkey Gravy

Day 5: Turkey noodles with cream sauce

Coming soon...Days 6 - 10!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

November trees

Some visions of late November, Oregon style. This stand of trees is in a wetland next to the bike path, and I pass by it every day:
Looking west down the bike path. My neighborhood is on the other side of those trees.

Why do people bother buying toys for kids, part 13

I came back in from the garage this morning, and this is what I saw...I swear, he does these things by himself!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Day after Thanksgiving beach trip

We packed up the kids and headed for the coast this morning. I was chomping at the bit to go at 6am, we didn't wind up on the road until 9am. We drove out to Heceta Head:Took a tour into the lighthouse:

It was an amazing crystal clear day. It was extremely frosty at home when we left, but the coast was warm and sunny for a change. The cove at Heceta Head is sheltered from the wind and it was beautiful.

After the beach we stopped in Florence for supplies:

On a side note, thanks to The Reluctant Blogger I've discovered Pandora Radio. The links to my stations are in the sidebar over there. Also FreeRice.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

First Fall Hard Frost

27 degrees this morning.
The frost on the peas was lovely:

Garlic sprouting through the frosty hay:

And finally, I think it's curtains for this summer's marigolds:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

The new czicken palazz, at work

We finally finished the new tractor several weeks ago, but I never got a picture of it in action. I made this tractor four feet wide (the width of my veggie beds) and six feet long (my beds are 15 feet long). The girls are now employed in scratching and fertilizing my garden for me. Up until Saturday, they were positioned over the end of this particular bed, and we moved them a few feet further down so they could get at some fresh vegetation. It only takes them about two days to completely denude a 4x6 section of dirt. The dirt in the foreground is where they were up until Saturday. After we moved the tractor, I forked it up (they also compact the dirt where they walk, and it gets horribly uneven where they scratch and fluff), raked it smooth and seeded it to crimson clover (because I didn't have any winter rye).

Dorothy, behind bars

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Why do people bother buying toys for kids, part 12

When you could just buy a major appliance (or rather, have your relatives buy you a major appliance) and give them the box?

I couldn't resist taking another shot:

Friday, November 02, 2007

Why do people bother buying toys for kids, part 11

He'd been doing this for some time. So when I finally got the camera, he had stopped, and the Housebean said, "He's pooped." So, translation of what NTS is saying, at the very beginning: "I'm not pooped."

Run around...Run around...Run around...


This was the only picture we managed to take on Halloween, post trick-or-treating:

Friday, October 26, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

New link over there on the side

I've added a new link, that one to my registry at DonorsChoose. On their general site, you can search for teachers and classrooms by any topic/area, and make donations online to fund their projects. I've got a list started. The Fast Food Nation one is at the middle school (now reorganized) where I did my student teaching. It's in a high-crime, poverty-and-drug area of East Oakland. They need this teacher and that lesson.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Jon Carroll is right. Why anybody in their right mind would want to be President of this country right now is quite beyond my understanding. There's a right mess to be cleaned up, and we know going in that whatever man, woman, or beast is President, he/she/it is destined to really screw up because what's broken is really broken.

I would rather that person be a Republican than anyone else. Is that dreadfully petty of me?

I'm also really bummed that Newt isn't running for Prez, because I would like to see a candidate up there who would say whatever he damned well pleased, and screw your opinions on it. Contract on America and all that.

So, I'm out of the closet now. I'd vote for Newt in 2008 and Al, Jr. in 2012.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Hotel a la Swing

Roughly one half of our household is down with the stomach/intestinal flu. Well, NTS is not exactly down, he's just puking about once a day and nursing a whole lot. I'm the one who is more affected by it. Went in to work yesterday anyway, just to grade tests and get my progress reports done, and when I came home the House Bean was about to put on an Astaire/Rogers movie, Swing Time, for NOD. That fit in perfectly with my idea of how to spend a sick, flu-buggy afternoon, so I settled down, draped in children, to watch as well.

Afterwards, we did a bit of exploring on the DVD. They've included, on the DVD, a cartoon and a short feature, the other things you'd be expecting to see if you actually attended the theatre in the 1930's (there's no newsreel, unfortunately). The short feature was Hotel a la Swing, which had some cute musical numbers in it. There's this weirdly-conceived dance number called "Holiday in Hades" which starts out with a bunch of dancer-starlet types in cheesy satin "devil" outfits dancing around with pitchforks...who then give way to some guy in what looks like bondage gear doing a modern dance with this Frank-n-Furter-looking woman (hair and eye makeup!) in this really flowy too-long dress. That modern dance interlude featured some amazing moves, and was really a highlight to the whole thing. But then the starlets crowd in again, and finish the tap-dance finale to "Holiday in Hades" while the two modern dancers pose in the background. Very strange.

NTS wishes to add this: v c

Thursday, October 04, 2007

zen mind

"I have this, like, E.D.D. when I'm talking to E-- [the priest at the Zendo]. He's talking, and I'm nodding, and I get it, and then he stops talking and I'm like, ummmm, what did he just say?"

"Hmmmm, I wouldn't worry too much about it."

"But I'll have absolutely no idea what he was just saying, not just not understanding, I can't even remember the topic. I told him this today during our meeting."

"What did he say about it?"

"He said something. I DON'T KNOW!"

[Heart of Great Perfect Wisdom Sutra, courtesy of Great Vow Zen Monastery]

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

What's in a name?

"Charlie, say daddy!"


"Charlie, say mommy!"


"Say Ruthie!"


"Hey, Ruthie, did you hear that? You're 'Eeeee!'"

"Yeah, mommy, and you're 'Efffff!'"

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Overturned bowls

In today's Dharma talk, our priest's topic was "giving," and he began by describing the importance of the symbolism of the Burmese/Myanmar monks marching with their begging bowls overturned. This is an act which violates their core tenets of faith, that they should live by receiving alms. I was more curious when I got home, and I did a little InterWeb research in which I found this letter to the Buddhist Channel by Visakha Kawasaki of Sri Lanka. Here's a relevant quote:
Precisely because the Burmese military rulers have violently mistreated innocent members of the Sangha, monks in Burma have looked to the vinaya for an appropriate remedy.

That is pattam nikkujjana kamma or "overturning the bowl" against the military. This refusal to accept alms should be understood as a stern rebuke to a lay person guilty of one or more of eight offenses. These eight are: striving for that which is not gain, striving for that which is not benefit, acting against a monastery, vilifying and making insidious comparisons about monks, inciting dissension among monks, defaming the Buddha, defaming the Dhamma, and defaming the Sangha. If a lay person acts in any of these ways, he should be ostracized with the Sangha refusing all contact. This is not a joking matter nor is it being frivolously resorted to in Burma today.

In 1990 the monks of Mandalay declared pattam nikkujjana kamma after the army opened fire on a dignified procession of 7,000 monks walking to receive alms in commemoration of the second anniversary of the August 8th democracy uprising. On that occasion two monks and two students were killed outright, seventeen others were wounded, and one novice disappeared.

After the massacre, a boycott was declared in a ritual performed by more than 5000 monks. After that Sangha act, monks didn’t accept offerings from the military, which tried to break the boycott by offering cooked meals at various intersections in Mandalay which were untouched.

If a lay person harms the Sangha, the Sangha should shun him by not accepting religious offerings, not performing religious ceremonies, not going to them and not giving religious sermons to them. According to vinaya, offenders can be boycotted until they make an apology.

The purpose of overturning the bowl is a compassionate one, viz. to help evildoers repent their deeds, to forsake their wrong ways, and to return to the true path. In 1990 the military rulers rejected the correction. Since then conditions in Burma have gotten worse for the people and the Sangha. Burma’s prisons hold many monks as political prisoners.

In the villages and towns, people know that their monks suffer with them.

Now, these monks have been barricaded in their monasteries. Because they traditionally live by begging alms daily, they have no stockpiles or even simple storage of food. How long before they starve?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Fall done fell. The report.

About a week or so ago I posted something about how it was really getting to be fall. Now we've had our first fall rain (as opposed to all that summer rain) and, after initially warming up when the clouds were rolling in, the temperature plummeted. My tomato vines are clinging to life out in the garden, and I plan on pulling them out this weekend. The spinach I planted last month has suddenly bushed out (well, the ones that the cats and toddler left in the ground). The shelling peas are taking off skyward.

The new Czicken Palazz is almost finished, after the House Bean and I put in a sustained effort last weekend.

The Fall Ango period for the Eugene Zendo began a week and a half ago. This is a 90-day period of intensified practice. I've made Ango commitments to sit Zazen every day for at least 20 minutes (what I do first thing in the morning) and to finally read Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Suzuki Roshi. Well, I started out by carrying the book around in my bag for a week, but I wasn't getting time to actually read. Then I got a chance to sit and read at some point last weekend, so I put in a few pages. Realized that I had made the commitment to read, but didn't commit to understand, so that took some of the pressure off. Hell, them Zen masters are always telling us not to cling to understanding, anyway. More progress was made this week, because I discovered that I could download the audiobook of it, so I can listen to it while I am grading papers. And will probably listen to it again, and again.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Conversation in a few years: Me and My Husband

"Sweetie, remember when R-- was four years old, and she so wanted to help out in the garden?"


"Remember how she decided to pull out weeds and she pulled out all my beautiful kale plants that were just starting to get to a decent size?"

"Oh, yeah. You were sad about that. But she watered your garden that day, too."

"What a sweetie. She'll never be that age again."

"Thank heavens."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

At least a peck...

...of pickled peppers. And flanking them on either side, four jars of spiced peaches.

Here's a close-up:

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Wow. It is seriously fall, now. A week or so ago, it was kinda fall. Now, it is really, actually fall. The dew on the grass that I see on my bike ride to work has developed an aura of, "Hey, Bud, in a few weeks I'm gonna be frost, so get used to it!"

This morning was the first one in which I could actually see my breath when I first went outside (at something around 7am).

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Anybody got some cash?

The house next door to us is *still* for sale. We would so love to buy it. It would make a great rental property.

Why do people bother buying toys for kids, part 9

Why buy them toys when, given a rag and some vinegar, they'll clean the house for you?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

That niggling feeling

I just realized why I'm so unhappy with the 2008 presidential race. Six out of the eight candidates from the Democratic Party are SENATORS or FORMER SENATORS, while only two of the nine candidates from the Republican Party are Senators. Since when has a Senator been elected President? Not since Nixon. And there's only been fifteen Senators elected to President, out of forty-three? I don't like the odds.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Saturday, September 08, 2007

I hear the secrets that you keep...

This morning, at about o'dark-thirty, my Little Guy sighed, rolled over, and stretched out his legs. "Daddy," he sighed, "Daddy. Balloon. Open. Open. Apple. Daddy." He sighed again, rolled over, and was quiet.

Monday, September 03, 2007

J Friends

I've been watching Classic Sesame Street with the daughter.

I posted the above, which then reminded me of this one:

Notice that they're letting those kids jump WITHOUT HELMETS!!!!!!!!! OMG!!! Probably one of the reasons why the DVD set carries a disclaimer that the vintage episodes are NOT SUITABLE FOR TODAY'S CHILDREN.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

New coop

You've heard of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, right? At our house it's Charlie and the Chicken Coop.

Work on the New Improved Coop proceeds apace, after a break of about a week to visit with the Mother-In-Law (actually, she helped on some of the building one of the days she was here). We've had three eggs in the past week from the Black Hen (Dorothy). Nothing from the other two Dorothys, yet.

Monday, August 13, 2007

First egg!

This evening I was showing my neighbor what to do to take care of the cats, chickens, and plants while we are away camping, and I was just telling him that we haven't had any eggs, yet, but he'd be welcome to check, here's how you get inside the coop, and voila! There was this little beauty sitting there. It's from the barred rock hen, the black one.

Monday, August 06, 2007

First mother/daughter camping trip

Last weekend, I took NOD on a camping trip for Friday and Saturday nights. She'd been agitating for one for some time, and since the House Bean has gone off for the weekend three times already this summer (once with NOS and NTS, once with just NOS, and once ALL BY HIMSELF) (OK, I did make up for the all by himself one by going off all by myself to a retreat this summer, also), we took the opportunity of a party out at Grammy's house to make a getaway. Well, we missed (most of) the party at Grammy's house, but we had a spectacular time. The first night we camped at Tahkenitch Landing, and then stopped the next day to swim at Tugman State Park.

Here's a picture of our campsite (and my successful campfire, yeah!) our second night, at Cape Blanco State Park:

Sunday was absolutely gorgeous down at the beach at Cape Blanco, so we spent some time down at the beach. That's Humbug Mountain in the background:
We flew our kites:
And visited the Cape Blanco Lighthouse. NOD did indeed climb all the way to the top:

After the lighthouse, we made our way back up north, stopping for lunch and swimming along the way. It was a wonderful time. The daughter is already talking about the next time she gets to steal me away for a weekend.

Why do people bother buying toys for kids, part 8

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Another reason to have chickens

"Mommy, I had a nightmare last night, but then I took it outside, and the chickens ate the nightmare."

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tonight's accomplishment

8 bunches of sweet basil, 1 liter of olive oil, 2 heads of garlic yields 12 cups of pesto, now stored in half-cup measures in my freezer.

Thanks to Horton Road Organics for the yummy basil. They're starting to offer their storage special orders, so stay tuned for canning season!

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Sometimes children leave you the most fascinating gifts:
Detail from above*:
*Note the Christ imagery in the bottom doll. Obviously the draped red fabric is meant to symbolize the suffering on the cross. The Barbie doll above must be the Mother, note how she is prostrate as if in childbirth. She is carried on the back of the Black and White Horse. Of course, the White Horse stands for victory, but the Black Horse is the symbol of famine. This could be the artist's commentary on War, and tying in the powerful Christ and birth imagery (notice that the mother is carried, quite helpless, on the back of the War machine) makes this quite a remarkable new work by this fresh young artist from Eugene.


Something quick that I could start and finish: We acquired, from a friend, a rocking horse that needed some TLC. One new mane and tail, and one new ear later:
Hopefully, I've got the staples holding the yarn tamped down enough to hold it in once the boys get at it. But then again, I have lots more yarn.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

My daughter, the dancer, Part 2

Originally uploaded by pangolina
Yesterday was her last day at dance camp. The camp was for four- to six-year olds, and I think NOD was the only four-year old there. All these long, lithe girls...and then my short, round daughter. But she did elicit a bunch of "Awwwwwwwwwws" from the audience of parents at the end-of-camp show.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Donald Duck in a WWII propaganda cartoon:

Makes you wonder, don't it? Especially since these days we are told that we need to "spend, spend, spend!" in order to do our part.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Katie posted a cartoon, and it reminded me to post one of my favorites. My grandmother used to sing what she could remember of this song pretty often, which was the part that goes, "You can go as far as you like with me, in my merry Oldsmobile!" Must have reminded her of something. Or someone?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Blondes preferred to Gentlemen, continued

The current czicken residents:
And the previous czicken resident:

Mmmmm, tasty he was, too.

The following are the pictures to share with prom dates of the future:
"We'd say 'Momma' and she'd say 'whhhhhuuuuuuuut?'"

"Why have toys when you can run around in your sister's clothes, with her underwear on your head?"

Friday, July 13, 2007

Blondes preferred to Gentlemen

RIP Rooster. Buh-bye. Or rather, "Bye, bye, rooster, so long, Donna has an axe!" (A hatchet, really, but it doesn't scan)

Picked up two new hens yesterday from a woman east of Cottage Grove. There will be a picture of them posted as soon as Blackie lets them come out. Right now she's got them holed up in the nester and if they venture out, she pecks at them and chases them back in. They're a few weeks younger than her and about half her size. They're also blondes.

My children have been getting a good lesson in how undesirable male animals are. Also that a rooster keeps his testicles up against his spine (we had an impromptu anatomy lesson yesterday) and they look like kernels of corn.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I may have finally found an outlet for my fiercely sadistic side.

All those earwigs that were hiding in the leaves of my artichoke plants are now inside a chicken.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Transgendered chickens

Whitey appears to be a boy.

Bottled up

11 of the Top 20 Bottlenecks in the Bay Area are in Alameda County, 6 of them in Oakland/Berkeley, 4 of those being on the stretch of I-80/580 that I once asked my husband to make sure I never had to drive on again once we had moved to Oregon.

Introducing...The Ladies

So, we've placed the Czickenary pretty much right outside our bedroom window to start with, since we all need to get into the habit of getting out there to take care of them. You know that feeling when you're just waking up and you feel like you're being watched? I opened my eyes this morning to see two pairs of beady little yellow eyes peering at me.

The kids are now pretty fascinated by "Chicken TV." This morning I allowed the Number One Son to fish a couple of worms out of my worm bin to give to them. Those were *very* popular.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


I'll post a picture tomorrow...right now the light is really bad where they are. Two barred rocks, one mostly black and one mostly white. WARNING: POLITICAL INCORRECTNESS ALERT!!!!! Thinking of naming them Honky and Negro. Actually, just like when we got our black kitten (now named Cathy).. I already had a cat named Berkeley (white, with a little bit of black on him) and so we thought we would name her Oakland (black, with a little bit of white on her). Time for dinner.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Czicken Palazz, still almost finizhed

Work was slow-going today, because I'm running out of useable scrap. Also because the two smallest have found out that a czicken houze devoid of czickens makes a great playhouse. Note to self: Must build a playhouse for the kinder. So, there's some hardware cloth in place, but the outer part is not entirely covered, yet. What I have has also lost its uniformity of look (it looked so handsome this morning) because there's been a bunch of new white- and silver-painted scrap screwed to it (I found a bunch of door moulding in the garage, and that's helping to hold the hardware cloth in place).

Yesterday I posted to Craigslist looking for hens, and I just got a message from a woman in Springfield who has a couple of 4-month old Barred Rocks to give away. We might have czickens as soon as tomorrow! Better get the rest of the darned coop covered. The inside portion, at least, is entirely secure.

What I *really* need is about five 5' pieces of lumber, 3" to 6" width. Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?

Czicken Palazz, almost finished

El Palazzio de pollo, my most recent project:
Most of this is scrap wood and hardware that we inherited when we bought this house - except for some of the plywood, which came from a chicken box/coop/thing we got for free from Craigslist. I completely dismantled that thing; it was ugly and not suited to our purpose. I have only had to buy the two 1"x6"x8' lumber pieces that are the long edges, the 1"x2"x8' piece along the top, the two strap hinges in the foreground above, and a bunch of hook & eye (spring-loaded type) to fasten the doors with, which are not attached yet. Grand total: about $25. That price includes the $10 can of wood-stain (the bulk of what I've spent) which, once applied, made this motley collection of bits look a little more cohesive.

Today I'm affixing the hardware cloth (also free/inherited) to the triangular openings in the top of the Swiss Chalet/IHOP part, and wire to the outside portion for the enclosed run.


Now, all we need are czickens.

(My thanks go out to Katy Skinner at The City Chicken website, who has posted so many great pictures of backyard chicken tractors.)

This is the coolest chicken coop in the world.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The case for organized crime

Because all of this disorganized crime leads to STUPID CRIMINIALS.

And speaking of stupidity, make sure you read the paragraph in that article about one of their victims, Virginia Thackwell. Virginia, darling, WHAT THE HELL KIND OF STUPID PERSON IS WALKING AROUND WITH $400 (cash) IN HER WALLET? Oh, wait, I guess it would be someone who has a $600 Prada wallet to carry it in. And her response to the theft?
"They are really slick," Thackwell said. "Now I'd like to have revenge. They are awful people. I want them to march down Market Street naked."
Wow, there's some modern, liberated thinking there. Why don't we also cut their hands off? I hear that's a popular punishment for theft in some of the more advanced societies.

(The House Bean has suggested that we should all march down Market Street naked, but I really don't advise that, especially in June or July in San Francisco, because you'll freeze your tookies off.)

So once again, the case for more organized crime. Guilds (alá Terry Pratchett). Mafia. International Corporations. I'm talking STANDARDS, here, people!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Daughter, with rasberries

What the females in our household do, first thing in the morning, is go out and eat the rasberries that have ripened in the past 24 hours. The early birds get the...BERRIES!

The purple ruffled basil looks particularly voluptuous in the early morning. Haven't eaten any of it, yet, since we keep getting loads of sweet basil from our farm share, but I just love the way it looks. The weediness behind it is destined for the tiller later on this summer.
And my "Heart o'Gold" has put up one, georgeous blossom. Probably the only one we'll get this year, since I just put it in this spring, and the scent is heavenly:
Today is the one-year anniversary of our having arrived in Eugene.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My heart is full

Yesterday was NOD's birthday party.
It was a cloudy day, so we ended up coming back over to the house to have the cake and ice cream. She had two friends come over, and - relief! - the party was just the right size of manageable for me (the House Bean and Sons Numbers One and Two are camping this weekend). It was also just the right size of manageable for the daughter.

The m**m*** doll was a huge hit. She slept with it last night. And snuggled with her this morning. It's nice to see that much work be so worth it.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Cookie TV

I finally got around to doing some end-of-the-year gift for a child's teacher. Been meaning to for the past five years. And, as a teacher, I really can't emphasize enough how much these little gestures are appreciated ("It isn't enough she slaves teaching your stupid kids how to read and write, you have to bawl her out!"). Anyway, NOD was fascinated by the whole cookie-making process.

"I want to pay for my drink!"