Saturday, November 29, 2008


Are you sick of hearing about my bread yet? Well, maybe I'll give you a break after this. I think I've finally hit my mark.

Here's the loaves that I made earlier this week with the whole wheat starter that I made:

I'm thinking that's about the best rise I can expect from whole grain bread. And it's totally edible and has a great flavor. I just wish I could get that fantastic high rise and structure...

Last week I got an envelope in the mail from Northwest Sourdough. Hmmm... I thought, I don't remember ordering anything from them... When I opened it, I found that it was a starter sent as a gift from my dear sister-in-law (sister-in-law-in-law? Nathan's sister-in-law? Nathan's brother's wife, anyway). I was thrilled! So I got some real bread flour (from the store! and white!) and got the starter going. Yesterday, I mixed up the bread, today I baked it.

And here's what I ended up with:

Oh. Yeah. Baby.

THAT is what I've been going for. HUGE oven-spring. Great flavor! Beautiful bubbles! Chewy crumb, crunchy crust.

I have arrived.

I was shocked, really, but the trick is in the white flour, of course. I've made very little white bread in my time. Whole wheat is just more difficult, that's all there is to it.

But it surely won't hurt to have white sourdough as a treat, too...

And I love that I've got my artisan style totally improvised. I use a pizza stone with a roasting lid instead of a brick oven, a spray bottle instead of steam injection for humidity, some old baskets that I had around lined with cloth from an old men's dress shirt instead of bannetons for proofing, a razor blade instead of a lamé for slashing, a sheet pan and parchment paper instead of a bread peel... and my old propane oven. Works for me!

And might I say? Yum. Just yum.


Friday, November 28, 2008


I try to make a point of thankfulness. I'm not very good at it, but here's where I'm at:

~I'm thankful that I didn't oversleep and I got up and got the turkey well stuffed, pinned, trussed, garlic buttered (under the skin!), salted, peppered and in the oven in time to go to church for a very good (if sparsely populated) service.

~I'm thankful that I could play the Matins liturgy kinda-sorta well enough for people to sing it (which we only do once a year, regrettably) and not get lost.

~I'm thankful to have an extra fridge, even if it malfunctioned and froze the back of my turkey.

~I'm thankful that even though the turkey took much longer to cook than calculated, it still got on the table with all the other food hot and ready before my poor husband ate his own leg.

~I'm thankful that even though I was missing my (side of the) family quite painfully, I still have wonderful friends and family-of-the-in-law-sort who make long trips to come here and eat my food.

~I'm thankful that my dear mother-in-law washes all my dishes when she comes here!

~I'm thankful that Jonah had some pals for the day.

(cute ones, too!)

~I'm thankful that Jonah gets time with his Opa (the man of the hour, let me tell you) and his Oma, and even managed to share them a little bit.

~I'm thankful that Nathan got that possum before it deprived me of any more eggs and hens.

~I'm thankful that my husband spent the day-after checking off some items on my honey-do list such as fixing my water softener (with the magic wand he's been hiding somewhere... or lost for a while? I dunno, but anyway, he fiddled with it and it started working and I'm looking forward to seeing if my clothes will stay white and uh-holey like they don't when your hardess rating is 383) and (partially) installing a light fixture and spreading old horse manure on my garden.

Blessings run abundant.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Shuddering with Rage and Disgust

I just went outside, it was around 6:20, to lock up my chickens and feed the cats. I did that quickly then went to check behind a straw bale where a couple of chickens lay their eggs every day. There were no eggs there this morning, which was odd, but I figured they would be there tonight. And they were, but when I shined my flashlight there, I also saw a big, nasty 'possum EATING. MY. EGGS. Yuck!!! It's probably the same one that assaulted my poor girls a week or so ago and made off with a Silkie hen (who was the Mommy to a half-grown chick who is now an orphan and very put-upon by the other chickens because she has no one to protect her). And I bet he ate the eggs last night, too.

I had no weapon at my disposal (such as a post-hole digger that my husband relies upon for such instances I kid you not) and no husband at home to call upon.

This is war. (For Nathan, that is. I'm just declaring it for him.)

Oh, and I am SO glad I looked with my flashlight before just sticking my hand back there like I usually do.


The mail lady just drove right by us! She snubbed us! How rude!

Oh, wait... I'm working on not being so pessimistic.

Um... Oh! It was so kind of her not to bring us any more bills!

Optimism-- I haz it!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

When You Open it to Speak, Are You Smart?

Nathan and I were goofing around, joking about something or other. I told him he made me laugh and he told me I was laughable. So that immediately brought the song to my head and I started singing it--
Your looks are laughable... Unphotographable...
And his eyes glazed over.

I said, "You know that song don't you? It's a love song in which he goes on and on about how ugly she is..."

But he wasn't listening because he'd just had a massive brain aneurysm.

So I've had the song in my head all night, but I had difficulty finding a decent version to share here... This will have to do:

Now you can have it in your head, too.

P.S. I know I've been neglecting you, all three of my faithful readers. I've been running around preparing to have company this week. I'm sure next week I'll have plenty of drivel to subject you to. You should enjoy the reprieve! Oh... and also... a confession: I've been reading a novel. (Well, the few times I have a minute to sit down, like while I inhale my lunch.) An old, crumbling paperback Taylor Caldwell that's been languishing on my shelves for years. Yeah, you know... a B O O K. It's gravitational pull is causing further distance from my laptop. That's right... no pixels, no scrolling... just pure, page-turning pleasure. It's been a loooong time, my friends.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Can You Say N U T?

Umm... blank paper, blank paper... er- compose screen that is. What to write? Hmm... Random--

~After finishing a fairly large (for me, anyway) website design project, I seem to be avoiding my laptop. I just don't wanna look at a computer. Odd, considering my considerable addiction to this machine. Remarkable, really.

~It doesn't help that we close the office door to conserve heatable-space and the cold drives me away from my computer.

~Yes, I have a laptop, but it has issues and prefers to be conected to a bunch of wires on the desk.

~I'm kind of excited about learning to use StaticMatic and writing website code with HAML and SASS, which is automatically generated to HTML and CSS. I had a lesson in it the other night with a computer-guru friend and once I caught on, I realized I'm in love. Seriously, it's organized, concise, to-the-point, efficient. Everything that HTML and CSS are not. However, my friend still needs to find a way for me to use it on my machine as it resisted whatever-it-was that he tried to do to it. He said I just need a Mac. Cool, but yeahright.

~Every computer that comes into my possession seems to loose it's will to live.

~I'm planning Thanksgiving dinner! And Nathan's parents are intrepid enough to make the 13 (?) hour drive to share in it with us and some friends from Indiana. Am very excited!

~I have a freshly butchered, 24 pound turkey cooling it's heels in my extra refrigerator. Here's hoping I can stuff it in a roasting pan...

~I also have 26 turkey feet in ziploc bags in my freezer. When my husband brings me gifts, he does it with style.

~Also in my extra fridge: 10 pounds of beef suet to grind in with our venson and 8 pounds of pork fat to render into lard.

~(I was actually very happy! About the turkey feet. And the fat, too. I like fat.)

~I am a first-class nutcase.

~Nathan tried to slice off his left middle finger while quartering our deer. This wound began randombly spurting blood at odd intervals, necessitating a store-run for skin glue and butterfly bandages.

~The deer was resolutely frozen because it's been all of 15 degrees here.

~For Nathan's birthday tomorrow, we get enjoy some "fun" "family time" processing this deer.
Woo to the Hoo.

~Nathan always asks for yellow cake with chocolate frosting for his birthday. This year, he specified that ganache is not acceptable, that it must be "regular chocolate frosting." I said, "oh, you mean, cocoa-colored powdered sugar and butter?"

~I am wondering what illness he has.

~Scratch that. I don't want to know.

~I don't wanna know what I've got, either.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Well, Then, Ya Better Not Step In It

I was baking some cookies to take to a reception that I'm going to tomorrow. Of course, I knew that my husband and son would be needing tastes, so I made extra. When the first batch came out, Jonah sweetly asked for one, so I put one on the counter where he was sitting on a barstool. "Thank you, Mommy" he said. I turned back to my cookies.

Then I heard a mischievous little voice say: "It smells like dog poop..."

Blink. Blink, blink.

Nevermind, kid, no cookies for you.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oh, and Folding Laundry, Too!

I just wanted to share with my dear little readership that I just saw that this here little, ol' blog got a search engine hit for the keywords, "i hate scrubbing toilets."

People, I have arrived.

And just for putting up with that, I'll share this with you, fresh from the demotivational wizards at

Monday, November 17, 2008


Nathan went hunting tonight with a guy from our church. Actually, first they went out this morning and missed a shot again (Larry this time, not Nathan). Larry's a very experienced hunter (lost track of his lifetime bag somewhere around 33) so tonight he got one! A young "button buck." (Larry said if he had known it was a young buck he would have let it go because peole like to leave them to turn into trophy bucks). We're going to split it. It's hanging from a tree in the snowy cold outside my kitchen window (ick). Larry taught Nathan a few things about finding deer and is sure that Nathan's gonna get his first any day now... I'm hoping he's right! And I think Nathan could care less about the "thrill of the hunt" and all the testosterone that goes with it, he's just wanting to put some good meat on the table.

I've never had a problem raising animals for meat and I sure like to eat meat, but I always get a little melancholy... I just have a thing about death. Nathan says it's just natural to dislike it because killing animals for food is an unnatural thing. We just weren't created that way. I'm an oversensitive baby, I guess. ("Pioneer stock... sturdy farm hand" I keep thinking to myself. I'm trying to talk myself into toughness.) We do our own slaughtering (deer and poultry) and it's really not a fun job, but it saves some money, I guess. I admit that I'm a wuss and would rather send them off to the packing house and then go pick up my meat in neat little packages. It's nice to be removed from the uncomfortable parts of where my food comes from. But I try to "grin and bear it" and I'm always glad later when the dirty work is done and I have some meat stored up.

Jonah was trying to undertand and was asking questions about "getting a deer" and "is the deer dead?" and "do we get the meat out?" and "we're gonna eat the deer?" So I explained to him that God gives us animals to eat for food and it's okay to kill them sometimes so that we can eat them. He's been grappling with the idea of death and killing and such lately and it's hard to help him understand. He's only 3 1/2... I just reminded him that we always thank God for providing us with good food to eat. He didn't seem upset or grossed out or anything. He just accepts it because he picks up on our attitude, of course.

So I guess I'll have quite a bit of canning and grinding and freezing to do this week! And then I can relax a little about streeeeetching the meat quite so much (I've gotten good at that lately...). And maybe God will bless us with another one and I won't have to stretch meat again for a while!


These are Jonah's pals:

The soft little bunny is named Hoppity and the pink baby is named Annie.

They get to be snuggled and hugged and carried around. The must be put to bed. They like to ride in pockets.

They also get to ride in trucks, take baths in dirty water, get run over by excavators, be shot with stick-guns, get dragged around on ropes, and be tossed up in the air so that they hit the ceiling and bounce back to the floor.

Hey, boys can play with dolls, too.


I love Irish music and I love cod liver oil so this song really struck my fancy today!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More... uh... Bread...

After my recent post about my sourdough bread efforts, Anna commented recommending What fun site! I've been trolling around over there and I came across a post involving a new way to cut bread. It's a little... disturbing... but very funny!

Opening Day

Last night with great excitement, Nathan prepared to go hunting in the field behind our house. Today is opening day for deer season, you see, and around here the deer are plentiful. And we reeeeeally need some meat.

So I lectured him real good, see, told him he better not be expecting breakfast if he came home empty-handed.

Jonah chattered about how "Daddy got a GUN! Daddy gonna SHOOT da deer! TomAHwo morning, Daddy gonna shoot da deer! No, IIII gonna shoot da deer!" And then he used Daddy's binoculars to demonstrate how he would look through them, see a deer, and "PSHOOOOO!" Through the binoculars... with his eyes, apparently.

I heard Nathan leave to go meet a neighbor and get to their spots around 5:00 this morning. I could hear the rain and wind outside and I thankfully snuggled deeper under my down comforter. The only interest hunting holds for me is the bringing home of meat. Trying to sit still in a field or woods on a damp, cold, early morning with nothing to read, hoping a deer will walk by? Not even remotely appealing. At all. When I was a kid, I thought "going hunting" would be expected of me, so I almost took a hunter's safety course, then I thought, I don't even WANT to go hunting! so I didn't bother. I really don't even like to shoot. It's just... boring. (Don't get me wrong, I DO think that everyone should at least learn to shoot and know how to use a gun.) But I'll gladly cheer-lead my hunter-husband into bringing home some meat (and then I'll try to be cheeful as we process it ourselves-- but that really is a crumby job. Worth it, though. I try to will myself into being hardy pioneer stock...).

Nathan has hunted this field for the last couple of years. He's never actually gotten anything... but others have shared their meat with us, for which I am very thankful. Last year I stood at the window and watched two deer going for a leisurely walk and I knew that Nathan and a couple others were out there... I waited... No shots... Turns out the hunters had gone in to a neighbor's house for coffee.

So this time, I said, "Okay, FOCUS! No coffee visit! No gun jamming! Just bring one home this time!" I even offered to whisper an inspirational pep-talk in his ear while he slept so that it would go into his subconscious like a subliminal message...

This morning I was just waking up when I heard a shot. Then another, then... three more. Come ON, you guys! I thought. I knew there were at least three hunters out there... surely someone was in the right place at the right time!

So I got up. Jonah and I had breakfast. I waited. I looked out the window. I saw some orange blobs moving around in the field! Oh! What are they doing? Trakcing? Gutting? Dragging one home? Coming back for the pickup so that they can bring home the five deer that they shot? The suspense was unbearable.

Finally Nathan came in, thoroughly soaked to the skin. He smiled.


He got a shot, though. Missed. He said there were five hunters and not one of them had any luck with the six deer that were out there.

There are so many hunters, see, that the deer around here have to develop invisible force fields...

He said he had to pause a little in his aim to make sure he was looking at a doe, and this was difficult with his poor eyesight in blowing rain and dim morning light. He didn't get a second shot because they ran in the direction of another hunter and it's really better to avoid human casualties.

I took pity on his cold, wet self and made him some breakfast. But I did give him a hard time about missing. He informed me that in order to sooth his wounded manly pride I was supposed to say, "It's okay, dear, you'll get one next time." So I did. I hope he felt better.

Sigh. Maybe next time.

Friday, November 14, 2008

In Which I Gripe

Jonah has been going through the typical difficulties (and I say this at risk of sounding like a "Parenting Magazine Mommy", which I am totally not) learning to control and appropriately express emotion. Obviously, this is a long road, but it starts at birth. Kids are generally pretty vocal and dramatic with their emotions and eventually, they've gotta learn a little self-control. And it's hard.

In the last couple of days, Jonah has tried both pushing and hitting me when he's angry or frustrated with me. He did NOT get away with that. So today, he tried a less tactile, but still volatile tactic.

He flings his hands toward me and flicks his fingers, kind of like if you were flicking water on someone. And for emphasis, he adds:

"You are MEANIT!"

Those are some... uh... strong words.

All summer, he's had free range to play outside and be a kid. And now, the weather has turned icky and we're cooped in the house together and we're already getting on each other's nerves. I don't know how I will survive the winter. Sure we do fun things, and we do preschool and we go to storytime. But we're still together all. the. time. And he considers me the primary entertainment committee. The poor kid-- he doesn't have anyone to play with. And "playing" is really not my thing. Play is a child's work-- and death by boredom for me. He can be quite good about playing by himself, especially with trucks and tractors, but those times are usually short-lived.

Today, for instance. I was finishing up the website project I've been working on. I spent a lot of time on the computer. I made sure to read him some stories, build him a traintrack, do schoolwork, let him help me make food, but then when I worked on the computer, he was right. there. all. the time. Either sitting/climbing on me, or begging, "Mommyreadabook! MommyI'mhungry! Mommyplaywithme! Iwannawachavideo! Iwannaseethatpicture! Where'smytraaaaaactor? Iwannnaaaaa..." ARG! So then I get short tempered and impatient which leads to snapping which leads to the finger-flicking scenario described above. Sigh.

I'm just gonna get this gripe off my chest really quickly--

It SUCKS that he is an only child.

I know.


I AM thankful. But today I'm also a little crazy.

I know others who would be so thankful to have what I have, and yet I complain. Not usually, just right now. Not that that's any excuse.

And I know that even if he had a sibling to play with, that would bring other difficulties and I would probably still complain.

Sigh. I'm just a whiner.


I'm back to obsessing over sourdough bread and the making of it. I. must. conquer. this. It's just BREAD for pete's sakes. How hard can it be?

See, I have a little OCD goin' on. Besides the quirky things I obsess over in a car-- weaving an imaginary line between the dashes on the center line of the road, making with windshield wipers come down only between the power poles or reflector posts... what? I'm a freak, okay?-- or my manic pantern-finding tendencies, I tend to obsess over things that I'm trying to learn. Trouble is, when I get it to a certian point or run out of steam, then I move on and don't go back to it unless I really need to. That's why I can do so many things, but I'm not really good at any of them.

But my current obsession is artisan-style sourdough bread. I have learned that the lack of a hearth oven is the least of my problems. I've learned how to make up for that over at Northwest Sourdough. (This woman is a genius! She invented a bread baking tecnique involving a baking stone, a spray bottle of water and a ROASTING LID to hold the humidity in like a bread cloche. Wow! Why didn't I think of that! Works great! Her website design is a little befuddling, though, and everytime I'm browsing around I keep wondering if she would trade a website for bread baking supplies...) No, I'm not too worried about the oven-- I've totally compensated for that problem. My problem is... well... everything else. The maintaining of a starter is still a mystery to me. Figuring and controling the hydration is... frustrating (I'm just not that precise. That's why I'm a better cook than baker.) I find myself dearly wishing for a couple of bannetons so that my free-form loaves don't go all flat. Oh-- then there's the mixing and kneading. Ugh. It's reeeally hard to get good gluten development by hand! I'm going to be getting paid for a website soon and I could SO easily blow most of it on one of these mixers right now. (Good thing there are too many bills to allow THAT kind of behavior!)

I went back to Crust and Crumb and spent the past week building a starter. (though I think I might end up splurging on a starter from Northwest Sourdough.) So today I baked the first loaves. And they're... edible. Just.

The crusts are lovely --thanks to the baking method-- that's for sure. Crispy and blistery. Nice! I slashed with a razor blade, so that looks good.

The insides, however... not so much.

Pretty dense and not a very open or strong crumb. Rising didn't go well-- I think my starter is just not powerful enough. I think the particular flour that I used is not good for bread. I'm using white flour from my co-op, but it's not really bread flour. The problem is that I can't find organic (and non-rancid) white bread flour. I really just want to use my fresh ground hard white wheat, but that creates it's own problems. Arg.

So next I'll try a higher hydration dough (but I MUST find something to proof them in or the loaves will really be flat!) and maybe I can get better gluten development and rise that way. Also, I think I'll troll around for a good sourdough discussion forum so I can ask questions and feed the obsession!

Are you bored yet? Don't worry, the obsession is not even near petering out so there's more to come!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's True What They Say About Toys and Their Boxes

I've been thinking once in a while about what we'll give Jonah for Christmas this year. I'd like to give a sanctimonious speech about how we don't give him very many presents because we don't want it to be the focus of the holiday, and I guess that could be true to an extent since we do try to pay more attention to the birth of our Savior. But mainly, we go low key on the presents because a) we're always broke and b) I don't want all kinds of toys and crap around and c) I'm a mean mommy. But it is fun to give him some really cool toy that is the kind of thing that he can exercise his vast imagination upon. Like the (mostly used) set of Brio trains we gave him last year. Those were a huge hit.

So I've been paying attention to what he plays with and how he plays right now.

Here's what I've come up with.

A turkey baster.

Straight pins. (Oh stop. I was right there. He wasn't stabbing his kidneys.)

A rolling pin (for "combining" his "cornfield") and a piece of rope (for fishing).


Bubble wrap.

Sour cream containers.

An old shoebox.

So I've come to the conclusion that for Christmas, I can just wrap up a junk drawer or two.

Problem solved.

I'm gonna just upend his toybox into the Goodwill bin. Really, the only real toy he plays with are his trucks and tractors (and maybe some Playdough to drive them in so that he can drive me crazy asking me to pick it out of the wheels).

Oh, and the kid-sized spade we gave him for his birthday:

So we can put him to work.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

I Am Da Dwead Piwate Wahbarts...

Somewhere on my list of Things to Dabble in Before I Die is Learn to Make Wonderful Handmade Soaps. I have a thing for awesome soap. I am pretty picky about scents (real! not fake!) and ingredients (Also real! Also not fake!) so it can be hard to find soaps that I like. I used to do this with liquid soap but when the Little Wackaloon in my house became capable enough to wash his own hands, I discovered that my teeth really hurt when I knash them upon discovering an entire bottle of EO French Lavender Hand Soap running down the drain. It's all about bar soap now, baby.

Today I was browsing around (Warning: link may be hazardous to the health of your PayPal account. Seriously, Mom, just don't click on it.). Not for soap, or to buy anything at all, just for ideas. It's gonna be a homemade Christmas this year, folks. (Consider that fair warning.) But I happened upon this neat shop that sells handmade soaps-- Savor. I just HAD to share this one: Dread Pirate Roberts soap. Being the Princess Bride fan that I am, the description really cracked me up. I don't have the sort of bathroom that's just begging for chunky black soap to finish it off (why don't we start with, oh, I dunno, a floor and maybe a toilet paper holder?) so I really don't feel the need to buy this soap, just giggle with glee over it.

P.S. Oh, and I now know what it feels like to want to eat soap.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Not My Grandma's Apple Pie

A few days ago, an Amish neighbor of ours was here making a phone call and having trouble reaching the person he was trying to call. This could be due to the fact that the person he was calling was also Amish, thus he also had no phone, thus the phone tag with one of this person's neighbors aaaaand... no connection. (Surprised?) Our poor phoneless phriend was quite annoyed. (Aside: When I suggested that he wouldn't have that problem if he carried a cell phone, he --I kid you not-- rolled his eyes at me. Perhaps I should be slower to point out the obvious.) So he was sitting at the table where we had recently finished supper. Jonah was finishing his drink-- a small glass of Kombucha tea. Our neighbor asked Jonah what he was drinking and smelled it. He noted that it smelled like wine.

(There may have been some shock at the fact that my 3 1/2 year old was drinking this... I'm not saying there was. Oh stop it. Kombucha may have trace ammounts of alcohol, but not enough to hurt anything, especially if I dilute an ounce in water for Jonah and and besides, Kombucha is a healthful drink. It's not any worse than taking a sip of Daddy's beer. Or all that whisky while teething. I mean, uh... The whisky was for me, actually. Really. In any event, I don't make my Kombucha habit generally known. It only serves to cement my weirdness in the eyes of... well, everyone.)

So this started a discussion about alcoholic beverages. Now, I do not know if the Amish around here drink. I have heard third-hand comments referring to "stupid drunken Amish drivebys" and such. But not around here. Maybe the "suburban" Amish down near Shipshewana. I don't know. It depends on the group, I'm sure. Anyway, this neighbor mentioned that someone gave him a jar or "Apple Pie" and he didn't really know what it was --"tasted kinda like beer"-- but he drank it and it was good. Oh, and it involved cinnamon and cider. I had never heard of this. Is it a homebrew of some sort? I wondered to meself. Some fantastic and easy way of fermenting cider? I dearly wanted to know.

Imagine my surprise today when a friend gave me a shot of Apple Pie! I discovered that it is not brewed but rather contains Everclear for a kick. My friend told me her Mom made it and the recipe involves "a six pack of Woodchuck. Drink one bottle. Mix one with some apple cider. Drink another bottle..." as well as apple cider and sugar and cinnamon.

And then I had another shot.

And anosher thot.

And jayme bust one muurrrr....

Not really. I'm a two drink kind of gal, and only one before lunch. Anymore than that and all I can think about is finding a place for a nap. Don't bother taking me to a bar. I'm just no fun.

Eh-hem. All this to say that I discovered a new drink (having heard it first from an Amishman of all people) and it is delicious and I must learn how to make it.

So then I would have to make my way into one of the seedy liquor stores around here and buy a bottle of Everclear because all I have on hand are cheap vodka and brandy. Medicinal purposes, I swear. I only make herbal tinctures, vanilla extract and a kaluah knock-off. And kahluah is very medicinal. Oh, and a kickin' cough syrup of equal parts honey, lemon juice and vodka. I get bad coughs, see.

Anyway, I don't like going into liquor stores. Is there a law that they have to put the bottle into one of those little brown paper bags like the drunks in the movies? I wouldn't be surprised if there were. Have you ever read about the Alcohol Laws of the United States?

This post is getting away from me and now I don't know how to end it. Here, I'll try this:

Apple Pie. It's a Good Thing.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hit Me

I'm always amused by the search engine hits that this blog gets from time to time. Maybe it's not so amusing to anyone else, but it is my blog, so I'm gonna post some of the interesting keywords.

First, there are a million different derivations of the name, Paint Splashes. That's to be expected. Though I don't expect anyone is going to get any "how to" advice here...

Then there are inquiries about "how to paint a chimney." Heck if I know.

There was a search for "raccoon paint." I really don't recommend it...

And, "laying on the couch it wasn't me." Uh, no really... it wasn't me.

I'm not really sure why someone needed a "plumber's crack patch" but when it's found, I'd like to see it. Or... maybe not. Nevermind.

If anyone needs info on "Michigainian vs. Michigander" my blog is not the definitive source, but I've definitely observed the phenomenon.

But the ones that most concern, worry and yay, even cause me great alarm-- "snorting tea" and "snorting paint funnies." Oh... just... don't. Please.

(High quality content on this here website, huh? Aiee. Just doing my part for your daily dose of drivel.)


All day, Jonah has been asking me where the "smoker ticker" is.

"Huh?? What is a 'smoker ticker'?"

"It's in there." he points toward the office.

"But what is it?"

"A smoker ticker!" he says "What is it?"

"Yeah, what is a 'smoker ticker'?"

"No... where? The smoker ticker! What is it for? It's in there! Where is it?"

And then we go through the whole "Who's on first?" routine because he doesn't seem to quite understand question words and I have no idea what he's really asking me. I then give up in complete exhaustion.

I figured it must be pretty important, because he kept asking all day, so I asked Nathan. "Do you know what a 'smoker ticker' is?"


So relayed the conversation. He laughed and said he had no idea. But after a minute, it dawned on him-- during the night when Jonah was up going potty, he saw a little blink of a read light. "What's that Scary Thing, Daddy?" And Daddy told him--

Surely you've figured it out? I'm sure you're faster than me on these things...

"It's the smoke detector, Jonah."

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Jonah: Hi, Daddy. [climbs up in Daddy's lap] I want God.

Daddy: You want... God?

J: Yeah.

D: Um... What do you want to learn about God?

J: About the old man.

D: What old man?

J: The old man who took his pants off.

D: Um. Uh, everyone has to take their pants off sometime.

J: Yeah. And my pants got ripped off! In a accident!

D: Were you in a motorcycle accident?

J: No... a schoolbus accident.

Last Good Days

Is it strange to have 70 degree weather in November? In Michigan?

Decidedly so.

Not that I'm complaining. Oh, no. Not at all.

This could go on until spring and I'd be happy.

Goodbye. I'm going back outside.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I am drooooling over this site: Baking with Sourdough Starters.

I have dream, you see. I dream of baking bread like that. Wonderful sourdough flavors and that fantastic texture. That is my goal. I have been working at sourdough for about a year or so, and my bread still leaves a lot to be desired. The bread I've gotten so far is edible. Decent. Not Good Enough. I want to bake loaves that make me swoon everytime. Loaves that I want to eat in one sitting.

Maybe, that site, along with her store (ack! I could go nuts there!) will help me get a little closer...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dreary Fall Day

The light wasn't all that good for taking pictures this morning after church. But there is a beautiful cemetery surrounding our church and it's always at it's loveliest in the fall. The big maples that surround it turn vibrant colors and give the cemetery and ethereal quality. The leaves are almost all gone and I'm running out of time for fall shots this year. So I took pictures anyway. I decided I'd just have to see what I could do with them.

In this photo, I just did all my usual edits in an attempt to brighten it up and make it more cheerful.

Eh. Whatever. Doesn't strike me. Cemeteries aren't meant to be cheerful. There's so much doubt and mystery about the people buried there. Especially in this cemetery with stones dating back to the 1860's.

So, with this one, I left the color alone and "blew out the lights" a little bit to emphasize the old stone against the trees.

Then I thought, why not bring out the dreary fall day that it is? You know, like in the movies-- every time anyone is buried, it's in the fall with leaves blowing around, and it's almost always raining or cold and drab.

There's just something about fall in a cemetery. It brings out the consequences of The Fall.

So then there's this:

For the wages of sin is death;

but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Roman's 6:23

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I stole this picture from my brother's blog. Yeah, that's right, I pirated it, and I'm admitting it as "stolen". But I'm not apologizing, just being upfront about it. After all, he's my brother, and he used to steal my Easter candy.

Besides, I was only making a copy.

(If you're wondering what that was about, check out his blog and scroll down to the post about piracy. I would link directly to the post, but apparently I can't permalink to his individual posts. Update: Nevermind, here's the link: piracy)

So I really liked this shot because I have a thing for red. A passion. My husband will not let me paint any walls red... otherwise, who knows what I might have done to this house. So I like to find pretty red things. Like this photo. I Gimped it a little and got it to where I like it even more. (But I think it was ruined in the upload to Blogger. Ugh... in fact, now that I'm looking at it in Blogger, it looks... ick. Blurry. Blah. Low-res junk. Well, I'm posting it anyway, and you can use your imagination.)

Just wanted to make sure you got a little dose of red today.