Saturday, March 29, 2008

Roaming Cats

Cats go outside. It's what they do. City cats roam the neighborhood. Country cats roam the fields. Cats do not stay contained in a yard like dogs do. And they have NO desire to please their masters by staying put.

Earlier this week, a neighbor came over to introduce herself. She mentioned that we might want to keep our cats indoors because there are coyotes here.

Today Rosie disappeared. Eventually a neighbor came over. She had been in the vicinity of his bird feeder, so he took her inside. When he saw the kids outdoors with the basketball, he asked them if she belonged to us. He mentioned that we might want to keep our cats indoors because there are diseased cats around who will likely cause our cats to catch said diseases. Also, she was hanging around his bird feeder.

I know there are bird-watchers who detest cats and want every feline on a leash. I know my cats are going to be utterly miserable if they have to stay indoors forever. I know there is no way to teach a cat to stay in its own yard. I know I don't want to start off on a bad foot with the neighbors. So now what?


I adore pegboard. I love pegboard. I love the neatness. I'm crazy about how much space it saves. I love having tools and shop-items organized and easy-to-find instead of stuck in labeled boxes. I love the pegboard in my basement! (But I do need to go out and buy gobs and gobs more pegs!)


Long ago, I used to recycle. Then the government made it mandatory. At that point, municipalities wouldn't let non-residents drop off at their recycling centers anymore. Our local government didn't provide pick-up for recycling, and the drop-off place was open 2 hours a month when they could get somebody there to man the place ... which wasn't consistent at all. So I pretty much gave up on recycling.

Besides, we don't make much garbage anyway. I don't buy cookies or pies in those plastic containers; I bake. I don't buy fast food to have cups that go in the garbage. I don't have those styrofoam trays that meat comes in; it comes wrapped in butcher paper instead. I like to compost during the non-winter months. We buy little "stuff" so there's not oodles of packaging that then fills up our garbage can.

So now we live in a subdivision where there's weekly trash pick-up (as opposed to monthly which we had in the previous house). And they have those little blue recycling crates, and we're supposed to separate the trash. Today's dinner was cowboy soup. This is one of my favorite insta-foods, but it comes in tin cans: 10 of them for the double-recipe I usually make. And I'm thinking, "Hey, that's a LOT of can-ends to cut off!" It's not just the 10 to open the cans, but 20 to cut out the ends so that the cans can be properly flattened as per the govt's instructions on How To Recycle. And I have a manual can-opener. I suppose I could buy an electric can opener to make it easier to comply with the recycling instructions. But would THAT make sense? Using electricity so that we can recycle and save energy???

And then, after cutting off all those blasted tin-can ends, I had to wash them. Again, where's the sense in this??? I waste water to wash a can, all for the sake of putting it in the garbage. Those tin cans rust and decompose pretty quickly anyway. I'm probably using more energy to recycle the can my kidney beans came in than the [ta da!] recycling conserves.

Green people need to learn to look at the big picture.

Psalm 118:16

The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.
The right hand of the Lord is exalted.
The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.

Interesting how that's said three times in a row. Kinda like earlier in the psalm it says three times in a row, Let [someone] now say, "His mercy endures forever."

Usually "is exalted" can be translated just as validly by "lifted up." Interesting how the middle one of the triplet happens to be "lifted up."

As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Cat Food

When kitty does not have acres in which to hunt gophers, the lady of the house must purchase vaster quantities of kibble. Poor kitty, she's trying to do her job, but we seem to have taken most of her job away from her. Yet she is rather content to take more naps, sun herself more, and go on safari for whatever few snacks she can capture.

Issues, Etc (again)

Mollie's article is in the Wall Street Journal today.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Last time I cooked beef tongue, I put it in the crockpot with barbecue sauce. It tasted fine, but it was way too tender. Almost like a custard or pudding.

Today's attempt turned out better. I cooked the tongue, covered, in a small amount of water for about 30 minutes. This water was disposed of. Then I skinned the meat and sliced it. It was then simmered for about 45-60 minutes in more water, with some onion slices, salt, pepper, garlic, red wine, and Emeril's Essence.

I think we were all prepped for a plate of edible beef, knowing that we would have cherry-filled and streusel-topped coffee cake to reward ourselves for managing to eat the tongue. But the tongue turned out GREAT. Gotta remember that for next year's tongue.


Maggie got a gmail account and has been chatting chatting chatting with everybody she can get a hold of. If she gets a hold of you and won't hush and won't take a hint that you have other responsibilities, please be "rude" and tell her you have to go. But if you don't mind chatting, I suppose the writing-time does her no harm!

The wonderful guy at the local Ace Hardware matched my kitchen paint for me with his wonderful little machine. It's such a good match that I'm going to get by with painting just a 10' stretch of wall. The spattered cupboard insides are done, and all the contents of that huge cupboard tucked away again -- instead of congregating on the meal table and the kitchen counters and various locations of the kitchen floor. The cubby for the refrigerator is also painted, so the fridge is no longer sitting in the middle of the room either.

Got drivers licenses changed.
Registered to vote.
Rachel got a job.
Bought Andrew jeans so that he can go out in public now without exposing his naked little knees.
Skipped church last night as we didn't get home from errands until a few minutes before service started.

Watched Enchanted on Monday. It was superb; it even made me laugh a couple of times. And with how things went on Sunday and Monday, that's saying a whole lot!

Wednesday is dollar-day at the laundromat, so I took all the sheets and washed them yesterday. The weather cooperated so I could dry them on the line. Normally I can only wash 2-4 loads a day, so that I don't end up with a back-up of wet clothes awaiting their turn in the dryer. (Oh, we will luv luv luv it when the new septic is installed and we can return to using water less frugally.)

Got nothing accomplished today but mailing some packages, getting an oil change, and preparing a birthday dinner. Thankfully, my day wasn't spent wielding a snow shovel as the forecasters had threatened.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Melody has some excellent observations today on the war, the statistics we're hearing about the war, the effectiveness of our soldiers, and what we hear from the media. Highly recommended reading, and it's not too long either.


With these words, Pr Asburry closed a wise blogpost on the topic of Issues Etc's cancellation:
If I were in the shoes of either Pr. Wilken or Mr. Schwarz, I'm sure that I wouldn't want to return to a place of employment that made it so abundantly clear that I was less wanted than window dressing.

Gary's been working an average of 11-12 hours a day, 7 days a week, for eight weeks now. Well, that's not entirely true: he did have a couple of hours off for the legal transactions to buy the house. It is not good for the body nor for the soul (nor for the family) for there to be no day to rest or day to help with family matters.

Someone called Sunday morning after the sunrise service and eagerly asked who was preaching for the services on Easter. When told, her response was a disappointed, "Oh, I thought he was gone."

"Less wanted than window dressing," eh?

Jesus wasn't wanted either. But nevertheless He came and ministered and suffered and forgave our rejection of His loving service. Thing is, we are not capable of measuring up to "what would Jesus do."

Monday, March 24, 2008


There is a reason wine bottles are topped with corks instead of screw-on lids. If the wine was not fully fermented prior to bottling, it is possible for a tiny bit of fermentation to continue after bottling. Problem is, fermentation puts off carbon dioxide, and that gas needs to go somewhere. If the bottle is topped by a cork, the cork can blow and the wine can spill out. If the bottle is not topped by a cork, the only thing left is for the glass bottle to explode.

Yesterday was awful. It took me until after 10:30 this morning to manage to force myself out of bed to face another day. I made it all the way to the couch to sit down with Maggie and watch a Schlessinger video about life in pioneer days. At the end of the video came a loud crash from the kitchen and the sound of glass breaking. Assuming the cat had naughtily jumped on the counter and knocked down about $30 worth of oversized (and hard-to-find) glass jars that were drying and hadn't yet been put away, we ran to see what was up.

It would've been better if the cat had broken the jars.

We had received a gift of homemade black raspberry wine. It exploded. It had a cork. I don't know why the cork didn't blow out and why the glass gave way instead. That whole cupboard was full of broken glass, and sticky ant-enticing wine was sprinkled and poured over everything. With three of us working, it took an hour to clean up the glass and spills.

However, black raspberry juice stains. The white kitchen walls are stained with the spray of the wine. The only paint-can downstairs is for the bathroom. I don't know how I'm going to match the kitchen paint. Given the nature of the house, I'm not going to be able to paint the stained walls, but will have to do the whole kitchen, the hallway, and one wall of the living room. I think I can get by with ignoring the stairwell to the basement which really should be done to match the kitchen, but wouldn't absolutely have to be.

I can't believe this. When I can't even keep up with the basic necessities of life (food and laundry), I get to do all the work associated with moving, and now, while the to-do list daily grows longer and never shorter, I need to paint several rooms too.