Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Our village always hosts a very nice Halloween party every year. Each child in the village is invited and they all attend, from pre-school toddlers to kids who hope that nobody asks them if they're not just a bit too old for this. They have party games, costume judging and carved pumpkin (and turnip) judging. We won the carved pumpkin contest one year with this effort. After the party, the littlest ones go home and the rest go on the trick or treat rounds.
Parents take it in turn to go with the children and see that they are safe and don't get up to mischief. In past few years I've taken George and Gordon down to the village with the candy I purchased for the house and handed it out in the village hall.
On Sunday when I was in town, I phoned the house and asked George if he wanted me to pick up a big pumpkin for him to carve. He said that he couldn't be bothered about pumpkins anymore. At 14 he is probably too old to go out trick or treating with the rest of the children so that is that.
I'll still have candy on hand to give out on the off chance that we get a stray visitor. I'll keep all the outside lights on so the place looks welcoming but that's as far as I'll go now.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
I keep away from sticky topics like religion and politics. I go to Mass most Sundays but I do not go as regularly as some. I have very left wing views on politics to the point of almost being socialist. As I know that not everybody shares these views or beliefs, I keep them to myself unless asked.
I also steer way clear of writing about relationships. Thankfully most relationships in my life are pretty smooth. For those relationships that are less than smooth, it wouldn't be fair to air their unreasonable behaviour ;-) in public if they don't have a way to respond. I don't write about my husband or my children unless they have given their specific permission. All of my boys are great guys but as most kids go, sometimes you just want to throttle them. Writing about family squabbles may prolong the squabble and more importantly, record the upset for all time. As you all know, the faster you forget that sort of stuff, the better. It is in these instances that a good memory is unforgivable.
I won't get on a soap box and talk about the loss of civil liberties, stupid politicians and overpriced health care. There are plenty of other blogs that expound on those topics. I'm just going to blog light. It is probably going to bland me out a bit but I'm okay with that.
I'll write about the positive things in my life, the things that make me smile. I will make typical middle aged posts about the loss of my youth and the dreams that passed me by. For instance, I will not now ever be in a rock band or get a PhD in marine biology. I've made an uneasy peace with those bits of wishful thinking. I will write about my garden and the wildlife in it, taking very good care not to photograph the areas where the weeds have taken over. I will document bits of family history and the rise and fall of my chickens' egg production (another egg today by the way) and baking stuff.
You guys KNOW that I'm really not bland in real life, right?
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Most commercial egg producers will only keep a hen for one laying season. A hen will go into a moult (dropping feathers and growing new ones) and then her next laying season will start. Hens will lay fewer eggs in the next season but they'll be larger. Commercial operations will change to fresh hens at this point. I like the larger eggs (and I'm not a commercial egg producer) and I'll keep a hen until she dies of old age. Hybrid hens will be good enough layers their entire lives for our purposes.
I've been uber-busy with work this week, coming down with some sort of stomach-hurts-fever bug on Thursday night didn't help. Why does this sort of stuff always happen towards the end of a month? Stoical me just took something to keep the fever down, and went to work. In case you're worried. It has passed.
I've been going around the house today doing those annoying jobs that I always say I'll get done "sometime", but never actually do. This included touching up paint in rooms that have been painted for some time now, changing all the light bulbs in the outside lights that went out in the summer and getting family photos put on the walls. I feel so virtuous when I do that sort of stuff. I can relax better when odd jobs have been finished and crossed off the to-do list. Next up: defrost the freezer :-(
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Now, any parent with their wits about them will know that if they wanted to "make cookies" then that's what they would have asked. No, they asked if they could make cookie dough. That meant that they'd sit on the sofa, playing on the X-box and eating the raw dough, leaving the kitchen upside down. I just spent AGES getting the kitchen clean. Naturally they promised that they would clean up afterwards but I just couldn't face what would happen to my nice clean kitchen if I let them in there. I was called a Fun Dementor. Then guilt set in. . . .
Because I wasn't paying attention to the time, I let all the cookies burn. There isn't a single one that is salvageable. They are all completely carbonized. Fun dementors will do that sort of thing. They will fail at doing fun things even when they try. Such is the nature of a fun dementor.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
After filling all the nail holes, going around everything with masking tape and covering the floor, I started painting. The stereo is too far away for anybody painting in the hallway to get any benefit from it. The radio was in use in another part of the house, so I thought I'd turn on the tv to a music station and listen to that while I painted. The channel I ended up turning to was of all things the Kerrang channel. It was excellent! Who knew I hadn't outgrown my affinity for a bit of metal. Rock!
Later on that evening, I discovered my husband playing Prince's Purple Rain album. Funky!
There is nothing like a bit of good music to help slap the paint up on the walls. I've put in a Nickleback video instead of a Prince video. Prince won't allow any of his stuff on YouTube.
It also helps if you've got a quality control cat.
(Spot the old colour in the lower left hand corner of the top picture.)
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
This is the non-fiction pile - Future categories will be humour, politics (no they're NOT the same) biography and reference books (dictionaries and the like).
Fiction - Not yet sorted by author.
Travel and foreign language. This includes travel writing and maps.
Another pile of books that I didn't photograph is for music, which will probably take over an entire bookcase. Last but not least at all are the Rupert and The Broons and Oor Wullie annuals. They are tall books and as they have been collected off and on for over 50 years, take up a lot of space.
These guys were very helpful all day. Here Polly and Julio are ensuring that the fire in the stove stays at the optimum level.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Naturally before a single tin of paint is opened, the room must be prepared. I removed all but the heavy sofa bed and then started in with the masking tape. All the skirting boards (in the US they are base boards) needed to be topped off with masking tape and the window sills covered with newspaper and tape. I didn't remove the light and plug plates, but I did loosen all the screws and used lots of masking tape to protect them all from the dreaded paint spatters.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
(The above photo of the red deer stag is not my photograph.)
One of the places I drive past are some holiday cottages and visitor centre for Clan Carmichael. They keep red deer in huge pens next to the road. This time of year the bucks are in their glory. Big antlers and thickened necks these boys are making lots of noise because they're in the mood for love. One big lad was right next to the road. I slowed down to admire him better. What a beauty!Sometimes the beauty of this place is astounding! I try not to take it for granted, but when one is late for an appointment or thinking about stupid things like sales targets it can all go by unappreciated. It is days like today when I can be stopped short by the sight of a magnificent animal in his prime as he suns himself in the low October sun and be thankful that I was here to see it.