Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gertrude: Mole Killer

The chicken seems quite insistent that I blog about her. Please, let me indulge my chicken...

Last night about 8ish Isabel went outside to complete the task Matt & Dan have termed "chicken wrangling". Apparently Gertrude is not easy to catch if she doesn't know you. While Izzy & I have little problem and Zoli simply has to appear outside and the chicken is drawn to him like a feathery magnet; It seems that Whilst they were in charge, at various time this summer; Matt and poor Dan (my "good" college age son) had a hell of a time bringing her poultry ass back in at night. She apparently has no fear of raccoons or coyotes, both of which we know full well are in close proximity, and she prefers to "hide" and laugh at the silly humans trying their best to protect her. So, last night was a perfectly ordinary Weds. night and starting to get darker and Iz took it upon herself to "tuck in" her beloved chicken.

About five minutes into the expected routine (it usually takes a second to find her) we hear Isabel's voice has gone up an octave or two and has that tense tone--"Daaaaad" her voice cuts in through the dining room window. "I need somebody tall." The alarm in her voice roused us all from our DVR/Daily Show haze and we quickly emerged onto the back porch. The chicken has been known to chide Izzy (or myself) in our tardy habits by ensconcing herself on the cushioned furniture of the back porch if she feels it is time to bed down for the night. After we wander around the yard clucking and "here chicken-ing" somebody will notice she is sitting there, smugly snuggled on the bench or nestled into a chair cushion. The world's most spoiled chicken. HOWEVER! last night she was not perched on the rail (in order to peek in the windows), nor was she contentedly snoozing on the lawn chair--no dear one, Gertrude had in fact perched herself on the banner of fairy flags, (similar to Tibetan prayer flags) we have strung across the back porch. There she was swinging like grade schooler at recess, perfectly happy--except Iz couldn't reach her and Isabel was pretty sure Gertrude was going to fall. I was laughing so hard, and quite sure that if I took the time to swap out the lens I would miss the moment--but I did get some shots, blurry tho they are-- Zoli was adamant that I blog about it immediately. But I am not about to be told what to do by a 13 year old nor a chicken. I ignored that advice...

Until today...

When- as I was unloading groceries, I noticed Gertrude was quite busy flipping something floppy around the yard. Now generally she is all over largeish bugs, fat bumblebees and grasshoppers etc, and that seems quite normal. You may recall our adventure with the tomato worm that recently attacked me-- and you might if you are a true believer; you will certainly remember the day she got her FIRST Toad. She has since gotten several toads, but this afternoon she has branched out into the mammalian realm and had indeed procured herself a tiny mole! NOW we have something to write about! It was about three inches long and missing most of its entrails. My vicious mole killing chicken. Free range has a whole new meaning!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Voyage of the Short Serpent


For all my freaky darlings who count themselves as Viking--EWWWWWWW!!!!!

I finished the horrible little book I mentioned back in August--The Voyage of the SS by Frenchman Bernard du Boucheron. Okay, it wasn't REALLY about Vikings--persay--But well--yeah.

I mean can a novel that features catholicism, cannibals, gangrene, and "A modest proposal" on a Viking style ship really be taken seriously? I loved the narrative from the First chapters-- it read like an historic document--then a personal log from an omniscient narrator who is so overwhelmed by his situation he just goes on auto pilot--finally the last chapter is written from somebody else's PoV (not quite sure who--) and this chapter really drives home the point that maybe missionaries aren't as awesome as they think they are. It was gruesome to say the least and the grotesque amputations were described with gleeful greed. The tale of a colony of Roman Catholics marooned in medieval Greenland by the encroachment of a new ice age. I was almost sympathetic til I realized he probably only kept his son as a snack for the voyage home.

Yesterday was the first day of Fall

We have had the most beautiful weather. I adore Fall. The temps are perfect. The leaves are starting to turn and the garden is wrapping up.
Today the chimney sweep guy comes. I look forward to pleasant "recreational" fires in our clean fireplace-- as opposed to heating the whole house like we did last winter.

And I should take down the cucumber trellis. It looks dumb. Those plants have been "done" since before coronation. I am at once sad to realize it is fall but when I look back through my gardening notebook (an actual hard copy binder, with handwritten dates/temps and hauls) and see how many cucumbers we got from three seeds I am pretty damn proud of myself... and look at this 'mater!! Veggies aren't the only thing growing--Isabel and Gertrude are in a race to see who will grow faster. Besides trellis removal I need to tidy up the chicken pen. That is such a misnomer. It was a successful chicken pen for about four weeks. Once Gertrude was big enough to not squeeze thru the slats she figured out she could fly over the top!! Bleh. It did make a nice retirement home for Roxy's bunny. For four weeks--then old age caught up with Ribbett and he now has his favorite resting place forever.

So yeah--I have some work to do. get the garden tidied up before Compost Day!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The sherbert twist

I finished another project this morning while I watched Man U limp away from a tie game with Chelsea. Sweet Jesus!! Eight yellow cards?? Speaking of yellow. I am sick of yellow. AND! I do not like eyelash yarn. Let that be noted. Bitching aside--I am pleased that this "infinity knot" is cast off (THAT was a nightmare--like juggling numchucks). Izzy has dubbed it the "fluff scarf" and is prancing around the house singing "I have a orange sherbet cloud on my neck!!". It *is* very soft but this project got especially interesting when the puppy grabbed the ball of yarn and was in the kitchen before I could yell STOP!! Two rows of 350 stitches unraveled but at least I didn't look like this dork!"

Friday, September 19, 2008

something smells purple

The house now has a lovely fresh coat of vibrant purple--and a layer of sunblock. This pic was taken very close to the end of the process; so the old faded purple is still showing on the tool shed. Steve & Rick (my clever painter boys) have moved onto the garage doors. If the dude who makes his living painting wooden things sez maybe you should get aluminium siding-- you start doing research.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A ferry tale

The Northshield Coronation of Kitadate-denka & Aesa was beautiful.

With it's medieval Japanese feast behind me I now look at the remaining items on the To-Do List.

and I can't...I am just too whipped.

Not from the feast which was an adrenal rush all it own..."ya sure you betcha!"--But really because of the journey. We shortened our time at the post revs ( it does seem impossible to have 'just one drink' w/Thomas) & we entirely skipped the breakfast plans in order to be in time for the Sunday return (6pm) ferry in Milwaukee, but alas--despite failing to dissuade us on the first leg of our round trip tickets--(five foot waves may be nothing on the Ocean but on Lake Michigan they are deceptively tippy.) In fact, at one point no sooner did I snatch my pen as it rolled off the table to the right then I set it down and it immediately rolled off the table to the left. If you glanced out the down side windows you could see the waves splashing against the window if you quickly glance to the other side view there was nuthin but sky. Hurricane Ike decided to wreck his vengeance. Not only did "they" cancel the return Ferry trip BUT the highway by Chicago was washed out. Our trip continued to grow by hours--sadly ironic considering how quickly we abandoned our friends in order to be prompt. Thus our glee when Gwenyth, John, Ian & Siri all agreed to have dinner with us. We could slow down now because our schedule was our own. Where we had planned on being home by midnight--our heads hitting the pillows was actually more like 3:30a.m. Then we got Z to school at 7:55 and I gave my students their quizzes. Oi.

Now some of my dear readers maybe familiar with my newfound penchant for motion sickness, these readers could exclaim--"Oh Daye, you poor thing, weren't you all squiffy--riding in a car watching all those towering pine trees zoom by?" Happily I have embraced Dramamine and once I got over my pill popping that wasn't such a problem--it is a beautiful country, mature forest, rolling farms and some of the biggest cows I have ever seen. Yet this moring I am still slightly "woogy", the scenic beauty of Wisconsin and Minnesota is not antidote to wobbly brain.

My brain doesn't seem to want to keep up with my eyeballs. Lightheaded doesn't sum it up. Very odd and discombobulating.

But back to the routine--I have to grade all those papers my pen was so diligently trying to avoid--the ones about fairy tales and hero's journeys. At least my princess is now a queen!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

P&G's b-day

Here are a couple of shots from Saturday night--the rest of the pics are at my .mac album HERE. I'll prly put some up on Facebook so this is just a little teaser.
Here we have LG. MED & Short Matt's. (Cracks me up four days later!!)

Barn season has begun and I lucked out big time for this party-- all I had to do was order the keg!! It was a teamwork kinda let's get this gig together night. See, not all committees are bad! The ringleader was definitely BIKEMAN!!-- Not only did he deal with the bat poo, but my fave party instigator made this brilliant cold milk spurting chocolate cake! Twas Delish!

Kids ran wild, dogs frolicked, babies giggled. Grown women on the midnight trampoline run. We cooked wienies and played scrabble, ate too many marshmallows --tho not enough cuz Stacy wanted to be sure EVERYBODY had plenty of processed sugar--whooo--- s'more's EVERYWHERE! Ray tried to break his ankle tripping over the dog but happily he failed, just a sprain.

We drained the beer barrel which always makes me happy--there is little sadder than half barrel of warm beer. There were some awesome salads and the Japanese pickle experiments all got tasted.

But best of all the good doctors got to celebrate their birthdays with fam & friends!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hot Club@DJF & Obama

I love Detroit. My opinion may be skewed but I do love it. This past few weeks I have had ample opportunity to evaluate big cities and I know "the big D" is not perfect but don't tell me it is "dead"--because in one weekend we had the Grand Prix, The Jazz Fest, a home Tiger's game the annual Labor Day parade and HELLO!!! BARACK OBAMA!!! EEEEP!!!

Judging from the news reports (NPR) this morning, Detroit wins in my "pleasant place to be contest"-- even with it's defunct and lying "hip hop" mayor in jail, we still had fewer arrests than MSP who is hosting the GOP! And our Koegels (tm) kick Central Park Wienies any day! So speaking of public parks,Here I am in Hart Plaza. We were there for the music. Smoking jazz. mmmmmgood. Petey led and I followed. He was very happy. I was happy he was happy. We sat in the shade by the river and listened to Jazz all afternoon. It was all good. Grabbed a ruben at Foran's an Irish pub Chris & Gretchen favor. (with good reason!)
I especially enjoyed the incredible Hot Club of Detroit. HOLY CRAP!! They were amazing. We had fantastic second row seats (right behind Evan Perri's grandma!) and all they did was assure me that I LOVE THEM! They played a lot of cuts from their new album (which I got signed...swooon. They had a special guest, Kruno-- sit in for several songs and he sang... insert happy girl purr. But I did about melt into my shoes when Julian (accordion guy) was signing my CD-- I very shyly said--"tres bien" and his face lit up!! He went from "sign the CD and pass it down to Paul or Shannon" stock smile; a very polite and public smile --to a genuine grin of recognition and happiness. His face lit up!! I smiled back and tried to remember to breathe--god those boys are pretty-- but then his bandmate grabbed my liner notes and I was hustled along.

Saturday night was lovely and so was breakfast on Sunday. Pepper bacon in a buffet? Yeah, I like the RenCen. After an extra sleep in and delish breakfast we toddled back down to the riverfront full well knowing that it was gonna be NUTS, cuz BAYBEE
Barack was in da HOUSE!!! The above photo shows the screen onto which was projected his visage... and that dear friends was about all we could see. Couldn't hear a damn thing and we were only about...hmmm I'm gonna say 1/2 a block away. He was *IN* Hart Plaza proper, and we were mere feet away-- on the sidewalk by Zig's Mighty Fist--(I mean the Joe Louis memorial). We met some really cool people, but none of them were cool enough to have the "yellow ticket"--the "golden VIP pass". We saw Carl Levin and Blanchard walk by with THEIR yellow tickets--and watched city council people cruise on in--but important as we think we are--no VIP pass for us--or the 200,000 other General Admission types who waited in line for hours to watch TV.

humph--shoulda stayed at breakfast and watched the proceedings from the cafe TV--could have at least heard him! I had no idea what he even said till I read the Freep this morning! *sad panda*