Tuesday, March 31, 2009
What a glorious day it turned out to be.. over 60* and sunny! Oh.. so beautiful! I spent some time outdoors today just because it was so lovely..
Don't you just LOVE spring !!! With the last rain we had, the grass got greener, crocus are all over, and leaves are forming on trees.. robins all over the place ! I'm so thankful for seasons. I think if we had to have one season year round, I'd be bored pretty quick.. but God gave us 4 more than excellent seasons and each one has it's good points, though I'll have to think about winter..hmmmm.. I KNOW there is something good about it.. yes, the beauty of a blanket of fresh dropped snow.. hanging onto branches of trees.. and a cardinal or two in those trees.. waiting for a handout. Smoke floating mystically out of chimneys.. I'll stop there.. otherwise I'll get into snowblowers around us and the sound of spinning tires stuck in the icy ruts....... yeah.. I will stop there. All the seasons are really a blessing. Spring just happens to be MORE blessed.
I'm signing off now.. it's been a long day and I'm very tired.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Don't be intimidated by you enemies.…you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.
Philippians 1:28-29 NLT
Finding God in Russia
In the 1930s Stalin ordered a purge of all Bibles and all believers.
In Stravropol, Russia, this order was carried out with a vengeance. Thousands of Bibles were confiscated, and multitudes of believers were sent to the gulags where most died for being "enemies of the state."
Years later, CoMission sent a team to Stavropol.
When the team was having difficulty getting Bibles shipped from Moscow, someone mentioned the existence of a warehouse outside of town where these confiscated Bibles had been stored since Stalin's day.
After much prayer by the team, one member finally got up the courage to go to the warehouse and ask the officials if the Bibles were still there.…The answer was, "Yes!"
The next day The CoMission team returned with a truck and several Russian people to help load the Bibles.
One helper was a young man—a skeptical, hostile, agnostic collegian who had come only for the day's wages.
As they were loading Bibles, one team member noticed that the young man had disappeared.
He had slipped away, hoping to quietly take a Bible for himself.
What he found shook him to the core.
The inside page of the Bible he picked up had the handwritten signature of his own grandmother.
It had been her personal Bible.
Out of the thousands of Bibles still left in the warehouse, he stole the one belonging to this grandmother—a woman persecuted for her faith all her life.
He was found weeping—God was real.
R. Kent Hughes in 1001 Great Stories and Quotes
Adapted from The Prayer Bible Jean E. Syswerda, general editor, Tyndale House Publishers (2003), p 1285.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Tax Day Tea Party - April 15th 12PM
Wed 12:00 PM
Location : Market Square
Market St & Forbes AvePittsburgh, PA 15211
How to find us: "Look for the Tea Party!"
Enjoy the talents of Quinn & Rose for 104.7 Talk Radio.
Bring your friends and family - and a few signs.
If you can't make it to downtown Pittsburgh --
Beside the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept as we thought of Jerusalem. We put away our lyres, hanging them on the branches of the willow trees. For there our captors demanded a song of us. Our tormentors requested a joyful hymn: "Sing us one of those songs of Jerusalem!" But how can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?
Psalm 137:1-4 NLT
In captivity in Babylon, the Jews wept for their homeland and prayed for the day when they might return.
But when the day of their release from captivity finally came and they were allowed to return, only about fifty thousand (out of hundreds of thousands) made the trek back to Jerusalem. Why?
For one thing, some of the Jews were making a good living in Babylon—a better living than their fathers had made in Jerusalem.
Others had married Babylonian spouses and become assimilated into Babylonian culture.
They had forgotten Jerusalem.
Can you blame them? Seventy years of captivity is a long time.
Whatever the reason, some of the Jews weren't like the writer of Psalm 137, which apparently was written shortly after their return from exile.
The Bible speaks of heaven as our Jerusalem and suggests that where we are now living is Babylon on earth.
How comfortable are you in your Babylon?
How are you faring there?
Have you forgotten that you, too, are an exile, a pilgrim in a foreign land? What are you looking ahead to?
from The One Year Book of Psalms with devotionals by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen (Tyndale) entry for November 11
Saturday, March 28, 2009
‘SEC. 125. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND INELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS.
‘(a) Prohibited Activities- A participant in an approved national service position under this subtitle may not engage in the following activities:
‘(1) Attempting to influence legislation.
‘(2) Organizing or engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes.
‘(3) Assisting, promoting, or deterring union organizing.
‘(4) Impairing existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements.
‘(5) Engaging in partisan political activities, or other activities designed to influence the outcome of an election to any public office.
‘(6) Participating in, or endorsing, events or activities that are likely to include advocacy for or against political parties, political platforms, political candidates, proposed legislation, or elected officials.
‘(7) Engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of religious proselytization.
‘(8) Providing a direct benefit to--
‘(A) a business organized for profit;
‘(B) a labor organization;
‘(C) a partisan political organization;
‘(D) a nonprofit organization that fails to comply with the restrictions contained in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 except that nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent participants from engaging in advocacy activities undertaken at their own initiative; and
‘(E) an organization engaged in the religious activities described in paragraph (7), unless Corporation assistance is not used to support those religious activities.
‘(9) Conducting a voter registration drive or using Corporation funds to conduct a voter registration drive.
‘(10) Such other activities as the Corporation may prohibit.
‘(b) Ineligible Organizations- No assistance provided under this subtitle may be provided to the following types of organizations (including the participation of a participant in an approved national service position under this subtitle in activities conducted by such organizations) or to organizations that are co-located on the same premises as the following organizations:
‘(1) Organizations that provide or promote abortion services, including referral for such services.
‘(2) For-profit organizations, political parties, labor organizations, or organizations engaged in political or legislative advocacy.
‘(3) Organizations that have been indicted for voter fraud.
‘(c) Nondisplacement of Employed Workers or Other Volunteers- A participant in an approved national service position under this subtitle may not perform any services or duties or engage in activities which--
‘(1) would otherwise be performed by an employed worker as part of his or her assigned duties as an employee or by another volunteer who is not a participant in an approved national service position; or
‘(2) will supplant the hiring of employed workers or work of such other volunteers.’.
It's a beautiful spring morning. I feel like taking a walk or something. First, breakfast. Gotta energize the body.
But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God. I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Paul and I were discussing tapping some of our maple trees for syrup here. Maybe next year. The sap is running now and we just never thought about it till he took the family to the Jennings Nature Center and they did a demonstration. I remember Wendell's dad telling me he'd show me how to do that years ago.. never did. I've got some instructions and a list of items we'll need to start. I hope we can make just a gallon of syrup eventually. But not this year.
I've posted to Downsizing Blog.. for anyone interested. You can click on the right side of the page here to access it.
Time to get lunch..
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
It's been one of those days.. I went into the office in good time. I arrived at 9am for my first patient scheduled at 10am. Except, she was changed to 11am, so I had a 2 hour wait for the first IV. Then she called the office, and changed to 1pm leaving me with my first patient at 12:30. UGH. I went out to get gas in the car while I waited for my patients, and realized I didn't have my wallet. I had to go home to get it, then get the gas. I picked up an apple at home and it was a good thing, as I didn't get lunch today. UGH again.
The good news is that each patient got one stick with a needle, and all infusions went well.
Tonite I am tired and will go to bed early..well.. earlier than usual. I have to get Wendell's snack for him before he goes to bed.
We had a fabulous supper.. grilled steak and grilled chicken.. salad, potatoes, and snap peas.. oh, yummy!!!! John is a master griller.
Tomorrow is pool day.. we plan to go. Hopefully nothing else will interfere and we'll do at least an hour's worth of walking IN water... not ON water.
We did get 56* today.. sunny and just a bit windy. Tonite it will be 33* and tomorrow we expect 53*.. spring has sprung! Oh.. I did see a robin and a crocus.. yippee! Trees are beginning to bud too.
Good morning.. it's Tuesday and office day here. I'll be leaving in the next couple minutes. Just wanted to request prayer for my patients.. for no events..and for myself, that my hands would be capable to hit the mark without difficulty.
It's chilly this morning.. 25* with a promise of 53* today. Isn't spring the most wonderful season of the year?!
Monday, March 23, 2009
It was a beautiful day yesterday..around 57*..though the wind was blowing and gusting making it feel cooler.
We had a picnic in the late afternoon.. kids came and rode their bikes and flew kites. Paul brought hickory for the fire, and we grilled hot dogs and burgers.
Saturday the children went to an exposition on preventing brain damage by using bike safety. When it was over, each person attending received a brand new bike helmet.
Annabelle, Joyce, Daniel, and Paul3 in the bed of Keith's new truck, Big Bird.
Everyone wanted a look at the new truck
Flying kites was high on the agenda for the day. I had flown mine even before the children arrived, and had caught it in trees and brambles 3 times before the string broke. Sigh.
Joyce is helping Annabelle get her's in the air.
Joyce and Annabelle
Daniel got his in the air
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Ahhhhh.. YES! It's the weekend.. and a cold one at that.. 20* this morning...brrrrrr Have no fear, 49* are forecast for today and 57* for tomorrow. Typical spring weather. I love it!
Yesterday I spent some time 'policing' outside. I got a couple of trash bags full and it was when I was taking them behind the house that I noticed the box buried down in the trash pile.. there were about 2 dozen brown eggs in the box. How funny those chickens are!
Today I'm again working on the bedrooms. I really need to go through a lot of 'stuff' and dispose of much of it. I really am a serious packrat. Gotta get rid of the junky stuff.
Wish I had about 5-6 rubbermaid tubs to pack the good stuff. It would be temporary, but at least contained. Oh.. well... I suppose cardboard boxes work just as well for the moment.
I still have laundry to put away..
Next week I'll be updating the Downsizing site for Wendell especially. He's decided to go ahead with bariatric surgery. I've called the surgeon and his PCP and the first thing he needs is a visit with the PCP for a weigh in and a supervised diet/weight loss plan. That's Monday. He'll also stop by the surgeon's office and get the paperwork and lab requisitions and information he will need.. The actual surgery won't take place for 6 months. That's the insurance company's rule. So we have to go back to the ADA diet for now. Though he hasn't lost much weight on the present diet plan, his blood sugars are in a normal range now, which is half the battle.
Hopefully, Monday and Wednesday will be days at the pool too. Exercise is important.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Last evening I watched Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.. I thought it would be really funny, but it was pretty mediocre. While I watched, I started a new afghan.. I'm using the Granny Ripple pattern- so far, it's looking good. This is my first try at a ripple afghan.. I chose shades of green, one of them is a variegate.
Time for a shower..
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
Psalm 139:13-16 NLT
Praise for God's Workmanship
Any biology text can illustrate how wonderfully complex the human body is.
From brain cells to blood cells—each intricate component of our bodies is carefully designed.
You don't have to take a biology course to marvel at how our eyes can take in the bright blue color of the sky, how our ears can detect a pin drop, how our nose can enjoy the aroma of ground coffee or the scent of a beautiful flower.
How exciting it is to enjoy the body God has made for us!
David expressed this same wonder as he prayed this prayer.
Set aside a few minutes today to praise God for his sovereign care.
Prayer for today:
Dear Lord, thank you for making me with such marvelous workmanship …
from The One Year Book of Prayers edited by Bruce Barton, Tyndale House Publishers (2000), entry for January 13
I am gathering up our dirty clothes and sorting them for the laundromat this morning also. It's been too long, and we are down to the last couple washcloths and I think there are 2 clean towels.. now, that's taking 'er down to the line, eh?
I'll be glad to have all this done.
I'm also planning to do some cleaning here.. I'm off till next Tuesday.. nice break.
In the mean time, we hope to get to the pool this afternoon. I don't think we got there at all last week.. other things seem to force our pool time out, much to my disappointment.
So our day is full to capacity. So much to do.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Word came last evening of the death of cousin Irene's daughter. Please remember to pray for her family and pray for Irene too.
We also had another death in our family this past weekend.. Ruth Moniot, Wendell's aunt. She was 94.
Gotta get moving..
Monday, March 16, 2009
So that's how my day went.. paperwork all the way.. I met the mailman on the way to the mailbox, and our return has been sent. Of course, we have ended up owing the state and local taxes, but I have to say, not bad.
Those 'bills' will be payed when I get paid April 1st.
O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer!
From the ends of the earth, I will cry to you for help, for my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings!
Psalm 61:1-4 NLT
A request for protection
As the commander of Israel's armies, David was an expert at analyzing an enemy's defenses and planning fortifications.
Under David's leadership, the strong fortress of Zion (later called Jerusalem) was captured from the Jebusites.
And after he captured it, David oversaw the building of additional fortifications around Zion (2 Samuel 5:6-10).
But David didn't place his trust in the fortress he had built.
He knew God was his true "towering rock of safety."
There was no safer refuge than the Lord's sanctuary—the presence of the Almighty.
Although we might not realize it, we are just as vulnerable as King David was.
We need to be led to God's rock of safety.
Run to the Almighty in prayer and trust in him to keep you safe.
Prayer for today:
O God, lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge…
from The One Year Book of Bible Prayers edited by Bruce Barton, Tyndale House Publishers (2000), entry for February 5
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wendy just called. She just had her sonar done and she called to let us know that the baby is growing normally and all is well.. she also said I could finish the baby's afghan with a BLUE trim..
This morning she talked to the kids and asked what they'd like if they had a choice.. Esther and Isaac want a baby brother.. Gayle prays nightly for a baby sister. Wendy explained to the children that God alone knows what is best for our family.. to which Esther replied "Does this mean we're getting a kitten?"
aaaccckkkk!!!! I saw snow flurries this morning!!! NO more, please!
I have one patient to see today later this morning.. just pray all goes well and no events. This patient is a fairly easy start and has never had any reactions.. pray this remains so today..
It's cold.. 29* right now and the high is not quite 40*.. but no rain in sight either.. just those nasty few flurries of earlier today. I've been awake since 3am when my back just was screaming at me to GET UP !!!! So I did. My shower helped some.. but it still hurts. Fortunately, one patient will not do more damage, and I'll be able to take my crocheting with me today. There won't be much to do while she gets her infusion after I set up for next Tuesday.
BEAUTIFUL CHRISTIAN SISTER
By Maya Angelou
'A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ
That a man should have to seek Him first to find her.'
When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not shouting 'I'm clean living,'
I'm whispering 'I was lost, Now I'm found and forgiven.'
When I say... 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.
When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.
When I say.. 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.
When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.
When I say... 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain...
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.
When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner Who received God's good grace, somehow!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Make sure your yeast is fresh. Avoid a disaster by checking the back of the yeast packet. There is an expiration date plainly printed on it.
Yeast is what makes a yeast bread rise. It is combined with warm water and that causes the yeast to grow and multiply rapidly. Another thing that helps it grow is sugar. Yeast loves sugar. The biproduct of yeast fermentation is carbon dioxide which gets caught in the bread substance and makes bubbles that rise upward causing your dough to rise.
When you add water to flour you get the proteins glutanin and gliadin which combine to form gluten, a protein that makes a sort of web through the dough and catches the air bubbles from fermenting yeasts.
Depending on what type of flour you use, your bread will have different texture, color, and flavors. If you use a whole grain flour, remember to also add all purpose flour, as that is where the gluten is that makes the web to trap the CO2 bubbles that makes the bread rise.
Water gives the bread a crispier crust. Milk will give it a finer texture. Oil, butter, and other fats added to the bread give it flavor and moistness. Eggs can be added to breads to give it a delicious flavor.
Salt is added to a yeast bread recipe because yeast can and will become over zealous, and the dough will over rise. It also adds flavor to bread.
If you are planning to add seeds to the top of your bread, you have to have something to stick it to the crust. And egg yolk glaze works well. It gives the bread a shiny and golden crust as well.
The important thing is to know why you use the basics that go into a loaf of bread. Otherwise, you may court disaster.
Kneading the dough is one of the most important parts of breadmaking.
Kneading does three crucial things for bread: it distributes the yeast and other ingredients evenly and thoroughly, it develops the gluten in the dough, and it introduces air. The gluten, or wheat protein, is what enables the dough to stretch instead of collapsing when the yeast grows inside it. If the gluten isn't developed, the dough won't rise well and will produce a heavy loaf - rather like a brick. (So THAT'S why we had our doorstop in Texas.. yeah.. )
Now, don't you feel smart?!
I also got some hand wash done, but the towels are dwindling down.. we're gonna have to break down and go to the laundromat.. gotta wait till the 20th for enough cash to do so. Gotta make those towels s t r e t c h out a bit.
I've been so frustrated with this computer. It's actually fine.. it's me I'm frustrated with. John worked with the phone company and got internet access via them.. then he got a router and I got an adapter so I could have broadband access too.. it worked great .. until the last big electrical storm that put the power out for 2+ days.. and when everything came back on, it was gone.. and I can't figure out how to get it back. I bought a new adapter and my computer says it's functioning perfectly.. except, I still have the slow connections with dial up service. I just can't get it to do what it's supposed to do. Anyone have a clue? Nothing else is malfunctioning...just the adapter.
It was beautiful today. It was in the lower 50s most of the day, but the wind was blowing so hard, the wind chill made it feel like low 40s.. I hung clothes out anyway.. not too many, just a couple pairs of pants for work and a couple of shirts.
Right now it's about 36* and tonite it's to be in the low 20s.. that's spring for you... up and down like a roller coaster!
I looked for a plastic container today and when I opened the doors on the microwave stand, they all came tumbling out at me..so.. I got a stool, sat down , and reorganized the whole mess. Now all bowls and containers have their lids and they are all easy to find without tumbling out all over the floor.
Tomorrow is office day and I'm going to try to change the 1 patient I have to see to next Tuesday. We have a real time crunch with the doctor out of the country, and the PA leaving at 1pm..at the latest. I left a message for the patient to call me back, but so far.. nada.
I hope she doesn't show up anyway.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Pray for our pastor's uncle who is facing double amputations after heart surgery, for skillful hands guided by the Lord, and a swift recovery.
Pray for our leaders around the world, and especially our President. Give thanks that God is in control of it all, no matter what prideful men might think.
Monday, March 09, 2009
Yesterday it rained all day.. Lake Blair was overflowing most of the day. I'm glad it was rain.. snow would have given us 4 feet of the stuff.
I wonder, with all this wind, if the power will go off yet again..? No sign of it at this point.. but one wonders with the high winds and the fact that the big storms tend to cause power outages, ..I really don't cherish another one. Wish our lines were underground.
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
Today I baked bread again. I changed the recipe to just a white bread. I'm having difficulty getting it to raise properly. One recipe, 2 loaves.. one is perfect and one is flat. Go figure.
The first round raised nicely, then when I put it in the hot oven, they both flattened out. Now, I've made a ton of bread in my lifetime, but I have NEVER had this kind of trouble before. What am I doing wrong? Not enough kneading? We cut one flat loaf tonite.. wonderful texture, not gummy, crisp crust, taste is superb, but it's flat. Maybe the bread pans are too big? I dunno. I'm in a quandary.
I'm NOT giving up.. tomorrow is Saturday and I plan yet another round of breadmaking. I will not quit until I get this right.
(I was the original poster girl for the strong willed child, ya know?)
Thursday, March 05, 2009
This weekend clocks get adjusted.. We 'spring' forward losing an hour of sleep. Lovin' it here.
I saw 9 patients today.. all one jag apiece. I felt soooo happy.. same thing this Tuesday with 10 patients. And NO events! Happy day. Not that we have 'events' routinely, we don't. But I'm always aware that at any time someone can have an infusion reaction.
Most of them are mild.. occasionally someone will have shaking chills... chest pain.... and in 7 years, I've had 2 people pass out.. 2 develop hives.. and have called 911 twice, but one was not infusion related at all. Just a patient who came in for her infusion and mentioned she'd been feeling 'funny'.. I couldn't get a BP, and her pulse was 220 ish. Yeah.. not an infusion thing at all, but definitely reason to call 911.
I had to smile today when one relatively new 80 yr old patient came in and after I taped down her IV she looked at me squarely and said "Marilyn, you really are good".. made me chuckle.
I thank the Lord for giving me this skill. I have known for all my working years that I had it. I can't explain it, it's sort of like threading a worm on a fishhook. Except real people are involved here, and the goal is one painless jag. I meet that goal with God's help at least 90% of the time. My percentage goes up to about 99% if you leave out the 'painless' part. Sometimes you just can't avoid the 'pinch'.
I pray often before actually inserting a needle under the skin, and always utter 'thank you, Lord' after. I don't know how most patients feel about this, but I owe gratitude to my Lord who guides my hands with each needle.
Tonite I'm achy, but not like Tuesday after the office. I think weather has a LOT to do with the back pain and spasms. Wendell and I went to the Y and did an hours worth of exercise on Wednesday. I still hurt when I got out and even after the hot tub. This morning I felt nearly healed and it hasn't been too bad tonite.. I'm walking without pain at least.. and not whining like I did before.
Have a lovely evening, Bloggers.. I'm gonna try to do the same..
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts.
Even if he wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, forgive him.
Since forgiveness is an expression of love, a person whose life has an endless supply of love should be demonstrating an endless supply of forgiveness.
We can experience unlimited love in our relationship with God.
It is this resource that makes it possible for us to forgive others again and again.
First, we recognize that God forgives us time and time again.
Second, we want to express God's love in a world that needs desperately to witness it.
adapted from The TouchPoint Bible with devotional commentary by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers, Tyndale House Publishers (1996), p 904
It's a little after 5am.. today is office day and I'm always up early to get myself pulled together before I go in. I was just thinking about the day I was hired and how the doctor asked me for long term employment.. he's kept me for 6 years so far.. I started right after NY day 2003. Hard to believe I'm in my 7th year already. I guess that could be considered long term. I hope to be there the rest of this year depending on the economy.
Wendell's doctors have all suggested bariatric surgery to help him lose the weight that is now life threatening for him. Last night we stumbled over a talk show on KDKA radio with doctors from Allegheny General Hospital discussing pros and cons of the surgery. The surgery is gastric banding and is a fairly simple operative procedure. It was good for him to hear this.. it wasn't by accident- I think God wants him to move forward. Pray he makes his decision soon.
Monday, March 02, 2009
Charlie looks like the Pied Piper as he walks across the yard. He has this adoring throng who follows his every step. Though I think there is a certain amount of love they have for him, my guess is that they don't want to miss a handout. (Greedy little beasts)
I really feel quite neutral about the chickens.. Charlie loves taking care of them , and that's good enough for me.
Brrrrrrrr!!!! It's gonna be even colder tonite with 4 degrees.. and the breeze out there should take the wind chill to minus 12-15. Oh, cold for sure! The good news is that the chance of precipitation is '0'. Hooray! I believe we have had our share for this winter season.
Spring is on it's way.. these little stop and starts are typical for pre spring.
I heard there was a global warming conference in DC today.. wonder if anyone was able to make it because of all the snow and sub zero temperatures?
Tomorrow is office day.. pray for the patients if you would and for me too.
The bread I made yesterday turned out well. Oatmeal bread doesn't raise like other breads.. it's a 'short' loaf, but it did raise. It's also a heavier loaf because of the oatmeal in it. I call it hearty.
And it's really really good toasted.
I used to make bread a lot.. but in recent years haven't done much. I have a huge washbasin that I used to make 4-6 loaves at a time. I settled for the 2 loaves yesterday. I need better bread pans.. mine have disappeared. I borrowed one from Charlie, but it's wider than I prefer, and made the loaf a bit flatter than the regular bread pan that I did locate.
I'm wondering how the east coast is doing with all the snow that was forecast.. it sounded like they were in for a blizzard last night.
Sunday, March 01, 2009
I've been trying to make home made bread. A month or so ago... oh, I don't even remember now when it was.. I tried to do so and the bread was nasty. I gave it to the chickens. (they would eat anything) So yesterday I decided to give it another go.. and my yeast must have been too old, it just wouldn't rise for the occasion at all. I baked it anyway, and it was tasty, but needed some leavening.
I decided to try again this afternoon.. white oatmeal bread with honey. We'll see. It is supposed to be never fail bread, and honestly, I've made it hundreds of times and it really was no fail. .. except for the last 2 times. So far today, it's looking good.
Well, it's cold out there. 24 degrees and WINDY ! Tonite will be 9 degrees, but no snow in the forecast yet.. at least not any accumulation. Nothing like what the east coast is expecting the next couple days. But I have to say, it looks like the wind is blowing from the east, and that always brings bad weather. However, the sky tonite is so intensely red.. makes you wonder..
It's cold out there.. but could be a lot worse. No new snow, but just brown grass and trees, wind, and cold.
Yesterday I thought I was smart and washed out some shirts and pants by hand since neither of us is up to the laundromat at this point. I let them drip for a while in the tub, and then, since it was a breezy sunny day, I hung them all on hangers and took them outside to 'blow dry'. I love the scent of clothes hung outside.. so clean and fresh.. and full of pollens that make me sneeze, cough, and cause my eyes to burn. Oh, well... I still did it. Later in the day I wanted to see if they were dry yet and as I picked up the pantleg of my slacks, I was shocked to find that they were frozen stiff as was everything I'd taken out!!!! We had a good laugh over this and I brought them all inside where they dried overnight in the bathroom.
Charlie and Jane have returned from their travels and I am now relieved of my 'harem' duties. I think raising chickens is supposed to be relaxing, but I found myself (in the 4 days I was in charge of the little beasts) trying to outmaneuver them over the cat feed... let me explain...
Wednesday morning the chickens were already outside the coop when I got up. They 'free range' so that they shouldn't require a lot of extra feed. At 4pm, I checked the 3 egg boxes in the coop and was delighted to find 16 fresh eggs. I took them into Charlie's place, scrubbed them and placed them in egg cartons and into the refrigerator. Then I tried to feed the cats.. Charlie has 4 full grown 'Heinz 57' cats, and they are all very pretty. I had put out some scratch feed behind the house and the chickens were preoccupied scarfing it up.. so I figured the cats should be fed next. I didn't notice the one hen standing guard at the corner of the trailer watching my every move. She was the appointed sentry. At the moment I poured the cat food into their pan, the 'sentry' let out a cackle, and the whole flock of birds from behind the house suddenly came running as if they had a fox on their tail. They pushed the poor cats aside and I believe they actually inhaled the cat food. It was gone in seconds. Standing there watching this horrific scene, I decided to feed the cats after the chickens went to roost for the night.
Thursday morning , bright and early, I let the chickens out. I filled the feeder trough in the chicken run, and then tossed out a bucket of scratch for them to peck at. I'd put cat feed out before I let the chickens out to avoid the sentry. I figured they wouldn't see me put it out, so they wouldn't bother the cats. But they have been at this for a long time, and I am such a novice. They had me all figured out and though the chicken feed trough was full and the scratch was there waiting for them, they made a true Bee line for the cat pan, and once again, chased the cats and inhaled what was remaining of their food. That afternoon I got 35 eggs and wondered how many chickens there actually were. I'd find out on Friday morning. Later in the evening, the chickens went in to roost, I locked the doors and fed the cats..again. At least they could eat in peace even if it was dark outside.
Friday morning.. I did a census of the hens as they came out of the coop.. I had to stop at 40, as they were coming out so fast, they were falling over each other and I lost count. No matter whether I had their feed out or not, they headed straight for the cat's pan.. it was mostly empty.
Friday evening we planned to go to the church for a meeting, so I collected the eggs early- 16 more in the 3 boxes. I had to scoot a couple of hens off the boxes and dig around under another one to get all the eggs. I took them into Charlies place and scrubbed them and placed them carefully into the egg cartons and into the refrigerator. I took 5 dozen eggs with me to church and gave them to anyone who wanted them.
It was dark out when we got home and I didn't get over to close the coop door. I wondered if the chickens would do okay or if some preditor would scoop up one or two of them at night...
Saturday morning all the chickens seemed to be there.. who could tell if one was missing anyway? I fed them and made sure they had water, and then checked out the cats.. all was well. In the later afternoon I decided I'd collect the eggs before Charlie arrived at home.. I got 20 or so.. filled a bucket. I had a plan for the chickens. I put the mash out, then the scratch, and then I slowly backed up to the side of the house, then when they couldn't see me, I dashed over, grabbed the tub of cat feed and put it carefully in the cat dish just in time to look up to see the sentry chicken and hear her cackle just once. The birds came in a flock.. flying around the corner of the house. I was ready.. I waved my arms , shouted and stomped my feet to turn their direction. I was determined that the cats would get to eat. I really did do a good job of keeping them back, but , you know, those hens are so smart. They made a wide circle around me and the cats, and then kept coming closer and closer , closing in on us on all sides.. and finally, they just pounced and ate what was left of the cat feed.
I'm glad Charlie had a good time.. but I'm also glad he's home again. I'm afraid war was about to be declared. I'm not much of a chicken farmer.