Monday, April 28, 2014

Stalking wild food

This weekend, we were able to try a new food. My friend's son had gotten a bear during last fall's hunting season. He had it made into sausage. He gave us a pound of breakfast sausage, and a pound each of Italian and something labeled 'hot'.

The breakfast sausage was a part of a lazy Sunday morning breakfast, along with eggs and toast and orange juice. Brianna was the only one who liked it.

I was a little worried about lunch, but the meat was thawed so I had no choice but to cook it. I just put the two rolls of hot and Italian sausage into a crock pot, and covered them with onions, peppers, garlic, and portabella mushrooms. We went out and took a long walk with Dylan and Brittani trying to tire their dog Maggie out before they made the five hour drive back home. William went in a stroller.

It was a nice walk, and we strolled around the Barley home daydreaming about what could be done with a place like that. We talked as we walked, and it was fun.

When we got home, I whipped up a tossed salad to go with a leftover seafood pasta salad from the bridal shower. I also cooked up some fusilli with garlic and chile. I took the bear sausage out of the crock pot, cut it into slices and smothered everything with the peppers, onions and mushrooms.

The breakfast sausage had been a disappointment, but the Italian sausage was a hit, really quite good with all the vegetables. Tim and Brianna finished it off for lunch today while I was at work.

I'm not finished with my 'wild food' adventure. My sister brought me a bag of leeks. Right now, I've got a pot of potato leek soup simmering.


Dylan and Brittani came for the weekend, bringing my granddog, Maggie. She is a golden retriever mix with a beautifully patient face. The unforeseen benefit to her presence was that Paddy, the cat in heat, took one look, doubled in size, made haste to the basement and was not seen for the rest of the weekend, except for her middle of the night visits. She would snuggle in close to me sandwiching my hand between two paws, resting her face against my fingers. There was no yowling and squalling and feline pornographic behavior during the bridal shower, which was nice. The fact that we also did not have to worry about her making a break for the door every time it opened during that busy weekend, well, that was good news too.

After everyone headed back to where they now belong, the house descended into quiet once again. I waited patiently for Paddy to re-emerge from the basement. Except that she didn't.

Brianna came inside holding my cat saying, "Hey. You know that mean bobtail cat next door?"

We are not even sure when this happened.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


When I got Paddy-Paws, I wanted a female cat, for her temperament. I was told Paddy was a she, and so I took her. (I can't tell until the ~ er ~ difference is obvious...) I got her home and then read that like 97% of orange cats are male. Pondering it, I realized that all the orange cats I knew were male. I was grateful that I'd selected a non-gender-specific name.

Someone pointed out to me that the difference should now be fairly obvious, and that if Paddy IS actually a male, he's missing some rather prominent proof of that.

Hm. Again, was was grateful that I'd selected a non-gender-specific name. Since I wanted a female to begin with, it wasn't exactly something I was going to waste time fretting over.

I'm having a small bridal shower for Brittani this weekend. Guess who now has a cat in heat?

Monday, April 21, 2014

William Pulls a Fast One

Today is Tim's birthday. His birthday gift was planned and paid for some time back. I wanted him to have fly fishing lessons. This is something he has always wanted to do. So what with all the holiday stuff going on, his actual birthday, while not overlooked, wasn't exactly celebrated. We work different shifts. I told him happy birthday this morning before work, and I repeated it when he called on break. William, listening to all this, said, "Let me tell grandpa 'happy birthday' too."

This was my first mistake. I put the phone on speaker and handed it to him. He shouted into it, "Happy birthday, grampa!!! We maked you a cake!!!!"

Grandpa said, "You did?!!!" in kind of a surprised voice. Actually, I was kind of surprised too. Because we hadn't. Grandpa is trying to avoid sweets. So is grandma. So. There was no cake made. Then grandpa said, "Make me a round cake with coconut on it."

So we did.

And when his mother got home from work, William said, "We baking a cake for grampa and me."

The little sly-boots.

Monday, April 7, 2014


On the last post, Bob stopped by to say that Hal had put up a post too. I've been following Hal for a lot of years now. Disremember how many, but, I enjoy reading the thoughts of a hardworking person who loves his family like nothing else in this world.

Hal's blog had gone kind of quiet for a while. I knew that he was dabbling around in his music again and I was pleased to see this

Bob, thanks for letting me know, Hal thanks for letting us know what you're up to. I look around me and am inspired by all the things that I see my blogmates doing. Mary Paddock is writing and publishing. Bush Babe is up to greatness with the gals at Outback Papparazzi. Jeanie's dabbling in stand-up comedy. Bob himself is a weekly columnist in addition to everything else.

You all are darned inspirational, know it?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Purple Scarf

Yesterday, I went through the dresser, getting rid of old things that I don't wear, or that are worn out, etc. I pulled out a bright purple scarf, all gauzy and shot through with swirls of gold, and it made me smile. The first time I saw it, I thought of the word 'magic', and yesterday, I thought the word again.

"When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple". The words to that poem popped into my mind, even though I am not yet an old woman, even though I have never worn the purple scarf.

I drape it over my long sleeved black tee-shirt, and I study my reflection in the mirror. The effect was quite good, and I waffled a little, whether to keep it or throw it away, because really, I never wear bright colors, and for the first time it occurs to me to wonder why. And then it suddenly pops into my head that the voice that I have been listening to all these years is not my own.

I return to the task of sorting and discarding. I leave the scarf across my shoulders and I think about that.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Thank Melinda

I've been shamed into posting. I ran into Melinda in the grocery store. She is so very sweet. She is the mother of Cara's 'first husband'. The two of them were in grade school together, and Cole came home and told his parents that he was going to marry Cara. Cara told me very matter-of-factly that she was going to marry Cole. I laughed, but it surprised me that the two of them were very determined to marry for a couple years. They are still good friends, even though they are past their college years. So Melinda and I exchanged news of our children, and she commented that she really missed my blog.

Life has been busy here, full and active and rife with a ton of unbloggable stories. That's not necessarily bad. It's not necessarily good. It's just a whole lotta stuff that is not my story to tell.

I've also been sick for about six weeks, and that has made life challenging. I've been dragging, and really struggling to get the things done that I need to get done. Respiratory problems, almost like asthma, interrupted my sleep, and my wheezing and coughing kept Tim awake, shaming me into moving to the sofa where I could sit upright. I also broke out in enormous hives that were so severe I was waiting for my doctor one morning, my face and lips horribly swollen. Even after the cortisone treatments, the hives did not go away completely, and flared up regularly for a month. Benedryl only made matters worse. I also had an especially awful bout of gastro in the middle of all of the other stuff, one that lasted close to a week.

It was obvious that I was allergic to something, but it was very difficult to guess what. I suspected a food allergy, perhaps to a food additive. I got this idea that perhaps what I needed to do was simplify my diet, eat more whole foods. I wanted a Magic Bullet , but they were pricey, and you know me...I decided to ask for one for my birthday. In May.

I happened to be online, when a message popped up. A seller was advertising a Magic Bullet. He'd received it as a gift, didn't use it. He was offering it on the online garage sale site for $30, still in the original box. I usually am not quick enough to make these purchases, but I quickly replied to tell him that I'd take it. He told me I was first, and could have it. I asked him where he lived and it turns out he's our new neighbor. He lives about a half block down the street. I shrugged on my coat, and out the door I went. I'm sure it was the quickest sale the site ever had. 15 min after the post went up, I was walking home with my new toy.

I'm actually amazed at the results. I make two smoothies a day, which provide me with a minimum of 8 servings of fruits and vegetables. I felt so much better so very quickly it was a little shocking. I haven't had hives since I started this (I'm finishing my second week). The respiratory symptoms have subsided completely. I haven't intentionally become a vegetarian, but my diet has changed dramatically.

I knew that I felt better, lots better, but I'm a cautious person by nature. I was surprised to see my cheeks were rosy. At my dentist appointment, the hygienist said, "Wow. You look great! What are you doing?" I told her I was juicing. She said, "Your hair is great and your complexion is glowing. You really do look great!" I was a little amazed that other people can see what I can feel.

I'm not sure whether it's the fruits and vegetables, or the extra hydration or a combination of all of it, but it is a big relief to be feeling back to my old self again.

So that's a part of what's going on.

I also fell out of bed last night. I woke up, uncurled myself from Tim and went to roll over and get out of bed. Unfortunately, (too late) I realized that Tim was not in the middle of the bed. He was scootched way over on my side. I rolled over not realizing that I was already on the edge of the bed. I hit the floor, sent the bedside table sliding, and the pile of books on it, along with the miscellaneous other necessities went flying everywhere. What a commotion! Poor Paddy-Paws was sleeping at my feet. He went sailing off the bed with me, and I saw him streaking from the room like someone had tied a firecracker to his tail, poor cat-let. I sprawled there totally shocked. Tim slept through the entire thing.

So that's it, really. William and I spend a great deal of time making a great deal of memories. We go to the playground every single day we're not getting snow or rain. Winter has dragged on forever here, and we are due for yet more snow tonight.

Aren't you all glad that Melinda guilted me into posting? You might have missed all this.