Thursday, March 31, 2005

I have a sunburn and poison ivy.
I am officially saying goodbye to winter.
Au revoir l'hiver.
Now if I could only stop itching.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

3:53 p.m.

My dog is a little shit.

Twice in three days Biscuit has come home covered in deer crap. I can only assume that it is deer crap as deer are the only woodland creatures I can think of that would possibly smell like sheep. Biscuit smells like a sheep. There are no sheep nearby so it must be deer. She comes into the house with a jaunty air of superiority. Smell me! Don't I smell fabulous? Damn dog.
I have to then dump her into the tub and soap her up and hose her down a few times. How do you feel now Biscuit? Damn dog.

On a more pleasant note - the spice bush are blooming and bloodroot has joined the trout lilies and violets on the forest floor. None of them, however, can mask the smell of deer crap on a rotten little red mutt. Damn dog.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Happy Easter

Why is it always cold and rainy on Easter? It's not actually too cold here, just damp, grey and gloomy. It hasn't stopped Monkey from having a fabulous day. She is finally napping after overloading on Easter egg hunting, jelly beans, chocolate bunny ears and Cadbury eggs. There was an Easter egg hunt at church this morning between services. People were asked to dye eggs and bring them for the hunt. Well some genius dyed the eggs, but didn't bother boiling them first. Who does that? I decided not to trust anyone's egg dyeing ability after that and threw the whole lot on the compost pile when we got home.

Big Daddy is outside constructing the chicken house and run. Yesterday we got in the fence posts and frame and floor of the house. I'm going to have the coolest little chicken palace in Western North Carolina when he is done. It was a beautiful day yesterday. We spent the day outside doing yard work and building. Monkey supervised our work.

I was raking the debris from under the raspberries, Big Daddy was digging holes and Monkey was spinning around dancing to the radio. That one moment is the reason we moved here. Life is good when the sun is shining. We all got a little sunburned yesterday. I only ended up with one small patch of poison ivy on my arm. Yes, life is good.

There are lots of things sprouting in the garden. Some of them have not been invited and I will have to remove them. I am of the opinion that it is much too early for weeds. I can't wait for radishes and fresh lettuce. We'll plant potatoes next week. In another three or four weeks I should be able to start planting the warm weather crops - beans, okra, black-eyed peas, squash, cucumbers and annual herbs and flowers. I will wait a few more weeks before I set the tomatoes and other plants. Last year I was over-eager and had to cover them on several occasions.

I should go outside and help Big Daddy. We have guests coming to dinner. None of us are ham people and a leg of lamb was $40 at Ingles, so we are having barbeque. There's a boston butt on the smoker. We'll pop open a jar of Big Daddy's secret sauce and one of homemade pickles. The baked beans are in the oven and the slaw is in the fridge. Lent is over so I will be drinking beer once again. Life is good.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

5:57 p.m.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Counting My Chickens Before They Are Hatched

I spent a large part of yesterday inside because of rainy weather. The supplies for my new chicken house arrived and I could see them sitting out on the driveway. I kept thinking about my chicken order and wishing I had ordered a Dominique cockerel instead of a Black Australorp.

This morning I called and changed my order.

Those chicken people are mighty friendly at 8:30 a.m. I was still struggling to formulate complete sentences. So now I have a month to wait for my little chickens to arrive and I'll have a pretty little flock of Dominiques someday.

9:07 a.m.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Here Chickie, Chickie

I ordered my chickens last night. I had to order 25. This is due to the fact that they ship them when they are a day old and 25 is the magic number for keeping the little girls warm. It was so difficult to choose what type to get. My problem is that I look at all the pretty feathers and weird features and I want one of each. And don't even start to tell me that something is rare, because I want it even more!

I decided to go with decent all-around birds that would be calm and nice to live with. I wanted Dominiques. I fell in love with them last summer. I also like the Black Australorps, all shiny green-black, so I ordered a few as well, including one Australorp rooster. I like the idea of a big black rooster looking over all those hens, except now I wish I had ordered a Dominique rooster instead. Then I ordered a few Golden Polish, just for their mop heads. Next were the Golden Laced Wyandottes and a few Rhode Island Reds. They should make a colorful lot, although I'm not sure what I'll do with 25 of them. Actually it is 26 because McMurray Hatchery sends one rare goofy chicken as a freebie with the order. The suspense is killing me. I can't wait to paint them.

I want to thank my friend, Kristin for her insight and experience with chickens even though she wanted me to order all the truly strange. The baby chicks arrive the week of April 25. That's plenty of time to get their new home prepared.

Monday, March 21, 2005

I was listening to the frogs sing.

6:48 p.m.

Illustration Friday - Another Bloom

another bloom

I just can't leave well enough alone. Spring is officially in my blood. I'm blooming! I have to post another illustration for Illustration Friday. Please feel free to check out my first entry.
This one is ink and watercolor. I picked up a scrap of paper - most likely Arches.

7:51 a.m.

This day is starting with promise.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Welcome Spring

Trout Lilies are blooming in the woods. What a lovely day.


Saturday, March 19, 2005


Blogger is not letting me add links or edit posts (like the last two) without a lot of difficulty. Hmm...
I thought it might be bloggerbot, but NO-O-O! It's doing it with this post as well.
It is pissing me off.
Don't make me come over there and kick some ass.
Fix it already.

Illustration Friday - Bloom


The Illustration Friday topic this week is Bloom. The topic is now given on Friday and participants have to post by Thursday (I think...). At least we have the weekend to work on our entries. I am already looking forward to summer, thus the sunflowers. I am more than ready for things to bloom.

*Because of the overlap this week, check out the illustration for fragile as well.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Happy Birthday Brother Bill

Happy Birthday Brother Bill

Until my brother went to kindergarten my mother thought his birthday was Saint Patrick's Day.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Illustration Friday - Fragile


This week's Illustration Friday topic is fragile. I'm feeling a little delicate myself today.

8:43 a.m.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

2:57 p.m.

Five days until Spring.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Beware the Ides of March

Et tu Brute?

It was a typical Tuesday - Kindermusik, the bakery, then home. Monkey surprised me and sang today. Sang her little heart out. The goat goes bump. The donkey goes kick...

The weatherman is threatening snow, but it stayed a mild 50 something today (just like yesterday). Monkey and I enjoyed the sun again today. We ate lunch on the back porch. I raked out the flower beds and cut back the sprawling rose on the fence. Monkey sat in the dirt.

I managed to run two miles without losing a lung. I need a new dog to run with. Chelsea, Queen of the Compost Bin is now 12 and just can't do it. The heart is willing, but... And Biscuit the Wonder Dog is a sprinter. She starts slowing down after a half mile or so and drops farther and farther behind. I need a speed demon with endurance.

The weekend was beautiful with temperatures in the 70's. Like thousands of parents we took our little monster to see Robots. She said she preferred Pooh's Heffalump Movie. I was slightly let down as well. The animation was impressive, but the story kept losing my interest.

We spent the rest of the time outdoors enjoying sunshine. It was heaven.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Where's the lamb?

3:19 p.m.

February is by far the most tedious of months. It's grey. It snows. It rains. It's the shortest in days and seems like the longest in length.

I now award the title of Most Dramatic to March. It came in like a lion. The lion has been bellowing for the last couple of weeks with high winds, snow and rain. When it's sleeping the temperatures soar and I can feel Spring trying to break through. The lion is wearing out his welcome. Spring is 10 days away. I took the above photo just a few minutes ago. It was followed by a brief ray of light, then a 15 second blizzard. Now I'm looking out at blue skies.

March is a Drama Queen.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Southern Fried No. 2

I was at the YMCA today. There was a woman in the upstairs bathroom putting on make-up. I thought it was a little odd as the women's locker room has great big, well-lighted mirrors for just such a purpose. Was she in a hurry? Maybe she didn't have time to go downstairs to the locker room. No. She went back out into the gym, put her little make-up bag in a cubby and headed for the elliptical machines.

Does this happen in any other region of the country? I wonder.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Cruel Tuesday

12:37 p.m.

Winter wins once again. Yesterday the high was 58 degrees with a winter storm warning for the evening. The storm arrived in the night. The wind kept me awake. The wind and my stuffy, mucous clogged head. I woke up and watched the trees out my window bending at unbelievable angles. I don't particularly like to see 70 foot tall trees bending quite like that. I watched the rain turn to snow. The snow doesn't seem to stand a chance. The ground is too warm for it to stick to much but the taller grasses. It keeps falling and blowing though.

On our way to kindermusik this morning I saw plenty of downed branches. A tree had fallen across the road, but someone had cleared it off to the side. It's disheartening and a little frightening to see a 100 foot spruce cut in to chunks and moved out of the road. As I drove along I kept thinking of one falling on the car. Should I drive faster or slower to avoid falling timber?

I'm fighting a cold and sore throat. The chicken soup I made on Sunday has been my meals for the last couple of days. Lunch today was the last bowl. I think I'll make some curried beef and noodles tonight. Maybe the peppers will kill the virus raging in my head. My recipe calls for a cup fresh basil. I'm going to have to leave that out. It cost more at Ingle's than the sirloin that was on sale. I'm on a tight budget this week. I can't wait until summer when I'll have so much basil that I won't know what to do with it all. I'm dreaming of fresh basil and tomatoes.

Today it is snowing. The temperature is 28 degrees. Spring is 14 days away.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Aah, Sunday...

4:07 p.m.

Right now there is a pot of chicken broth simmering on the stove made from last night's roast chicken. I think I will add some mushrooms and barley to it. Mmmm. We took Monkey to the park at Tomahawk Lake today. Big Daddy helped her feed the ducks and geese. I ran around the lake. It's a nice surface to run on and fairly level. My knees needed the relief. Monkey played on the swings and slides and then we came home. She's been sleeping for a couple of hours now.

Big Daddy and I have been working in the yard and garden. I managed to turn the compost that was frozen solid a week ago. Big Daddy tilled up the bed for our new asparagus plants and got them planted. I cleaned out my herb, flower and strawberry beds near the house. I also cleared out the dogs' trail through the woods from the bottom of the garden up to the drive. I thought it would be a nice shortcut to use from time to time. Big Daddy is still outside, clearing and cutting back the raspberry and blackberry canes. I hope they produce as well as they did last year because I'm running low on blackberry jam.

I can see Big Daddy right now from the office window. He should have been a plumber. His pants are always hanging too low. Poor man, he has no butt to hold up his Levis.

The weather is sunny and in the mid 50's. Only 15 days until Spring.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

I had a dream that our yard was full of crocus.
The sun is shining and it is raining.

Spring is only 16 days away.

Friday, March 04, 2005

3:11 p.m.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Let's not repeat this day.

I will ramble, but it's my blog and I feel like rambling.

My patience and aptitude as a parent was tested today. My darling Monkey is finally showing signs of the "terrible twos". I had to take her along to a meeting this morning. She managed to talk throughout. She has been talking non-stop for at least three weeks. She isn't bad, she just asks volumes of questions and involves herself in conversations. Luckily, for the moment, most adults we encounter seem to think it is charming and precocious. She has some sort of pheromone or evil psychic mind ray that affects rational adults in close proximity. Strangers come up to us and ogle her. Old women bring her handmade gifts and offer her candy.

She talked through my meeting. She talked through lunch. She talked through our trip to the library. She talked while she played at the playground. She prattled on in her carseat all the way home. She then refused to pick up her toys. I wouldn't let her watch her cartoons until we put the toys away. Here is where the battle of wills began. She sat on the couch and glared at me. She told me not to touch her toys. I ignored her glare and continued to clean. Finally she smacked her hands down on the couch and said, "Dammit!" She then stormed to her room and slammed the door. I am not looking forward to the teen years. My mother would call it poetic justice.

Now comes the part of the day that we cannot tell my mother about. Mom, if for some reason you are reading this, stop now.

Big Daddy came home early today as the Monkey was wearing me out. We were both in tears. I was tired. I had a headache. She smelled blood. Big Daddy to the rescue - HA! While his intentions were good, he thought toddler/dog wrestling was a good thing. He is in so much trouble. He is grounded.

I was in the bedroom when I hear a blood-stopping cry and Big Daddy yelling at the dog. The Monkey was screaming and crying and ran to me all covered in tears. Chelsea, the dog, had snapped at her and broke skin on her eyelid and below her eye. Her beautiful grey-blue-green eye. The left one. The guilty dog was hiding and shaking. The non-guilty dog was hiding and shaking. I'm not sure what Big Daddy was doing when the violence occured, but I blame him. Bad Daddy. And I couldn't get a straight story out of any of them. Big Daddy wasn't talking - stammering, not talking. Monkey wasn't talking. The dog wasn't talking.

So we call the doctor. The wound was not stitch worthy, but as a concerned parent I'd like some reassurance that the Monkey won't be disfigured. We are put on hold for 40 minutes. We decide to head to the emergency room. It is a dog bite after all. And I was in quite the over emotional state. On the way to the hospital I blow up at Big Daddy. Big Daddy just keeps driving - apoligizing and driving. I don't deserve him, even if he is the cause of my daughter's disfigurement. We arrive at the hospital only to be told that it will probably be a wait of 4-5 hours if we want to wait, that is. Encouraging.

The Monkey wasn't in pain. She was developing quite the shiner, but was already talking to the nurse about chocolate and her dog who growled at her. The dog is fully vaccinated. Five hours is a long time.

We decided to go eat pizza instead. I'll call the doctor tomorrow. Better yet, I'll call some of my friends and see who they take their kids to here. Put me on hold for 40 minutes when I'm distraught will you? Bastards.

When we got home the Monkey curled up on the floor with Chelsea the Guilty Dog. All sins were forgiven, at least by Monkey. She then had a creamsicle and we read "Olivia Saves the Circus" before bed.

Oh, and we plan on weeding the word "Dammit" from Monkey's vocabulary real soon.

Illustration Friday - Jazz


The topic for this week's Illustration Friday is Jazz. I've been busy all week with another project and thought to skip this week, but I needed a little paper cutting relaxation this evening.
I also think the exercise of making something each week is a good idea.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

7:35 a.m.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Happy Birthday Dad!

12:13 p.m.