Wednesday, January 23, 2008

On stickiness.

Don't ask. OK, ask. I'm not too embarrassed.

Last night I took a chunk of frozen homemade caramel out of the freezer. I cut it into large squares to defrost in the refrigerator, but there was a small piece leftover.

Ulani displayed an unsafe level of interest in the caramel (can you see my dogs full of sticky candy?). I took that final piece, sitting on waxed paper, and set it up high where Ulani couldn't reach it. And I promptly forgot it.

This morning after I got up, got dressed, fed the cats and the dogs, I thought it would be nice to start the coffee pot before I went to feed the chickens so that the coffee would be ready when I came inside. And that's when I discovered my error.

Gee-ross! Oh, yeah, my coffee pot opens by lifting the lid, as most of them do. Can you say "glued shut"?? Yick, yeck, yuck! First I scraped, then I steamed, then I wiped it clean. Only took about ten minutes to be usable again.

This morning I drank my coffee black. Somehow it just didn't need sweetening!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Great Tigger Tug!

A short story in pictures.

C'mon Oskar, let's tug!

Grab a leg! I've got one!

No holds barred! I'm using my big, hairy foot!

Rah! One big pinch and the Tigger is mine!

She cheats.

I win. To the victor go the spoils.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


The waters receded, and the chickens emerged from the coop. While they were decidedly not delighted by the change in their run, the girls wanted some fresh air, so they trotted out, tried to fly over the mud to the grassy area, and eventually left their footprints everywhere.

The red hens' reluctance bothered Egglebert. Here you see him urging them to "come on in, the mud's just fine!"

It's funny, Egglebert appears so small in this photo, like a banty boy! In real life he's a much more manly rooster!

Everyone stayed outside for a good half hour or so of scratching and pecking before they gradually retreated to the dry barn. But they left behind plenty of evidence of their excursion.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Community Spirit

Just as I was getting into my car this morning (after it had de-iced itself, wonder of wonders!), John the On-Time Disposal guy pulled up to remove my trash. He called out "hey, you got a new car! Nice!"

Now you know that in Chicago the trash man is not going to notice that you got a new car.

I walked down the drive to collect my can, and John thanked me for the little holiday cheer I had left for him. We commisserated about the cold and snow, and how they get in the way of business, especially his business. Then as I said "happy new year" and turned to head up the drive, he gave me a little hug. Not a bear hug, just a one armed acknowledgement that I see him as a person, nothing less.

To me that small gesture is what it's all about.

How Much Did You Get?

Around here there's one question. "How much?"

I figured we all need a common scale for measuring. This is the table on my porch. It is sheltered to the north and to a certain extent to the west, so this is by no means the most snow we got here. But I think it makes it clear that the snow just kept on coming.

Each time snow falls, I trudge through the yard with a shovel, clearing a path to the barn. It still surprises me when I lift a shovel full and find grass beneath. The path gets a strong crosswind and I must clear it hourly when the lake effect blows. Since the hens' water freezes solid in these sub-20s temperatures, the path really must be kept open.

Lucky girl that I am, I escaped driveway shovelling this time around because Santy Claus brought me a new car. The Subaru Forester is as much a souped-up station wagon as it is SUV, with just enough clearance and power to get us out of the drive without me straining my back.

Even if I still had the VW, my shovelling would have been modest this time around. The forecast for Monday is 50 degrees.