Monday, February 16, 2009

There's a new survival supplies website that just made its debut on a prominent survival blog. is contributing a model 1400 Pelican Case to the auction with hopes that it might drive some decent traffic and people will buy wilderness survival supplies. Wish me luck!

Penelope gets her first Valentine

Penelope is the sweetest girl by far. Very true. The cutest, too.

Blow Out. Big Time.

I wouldn't be a good mother if I didn't talk about Penelope's poops, and take the occasional poopy photo. She's never really blown out of her diaper before, not until Friday night, anyway. We had just finished dinner, some friends had come over to hang out and Chris smells some stink. We're both thinking it's all normal, until Chris pulled off her onesie to discover green avocado/grape poop all up her back.

I was SO glad that a) we weren't at someone else's house b) our friends were there to witness this hilarious mess and c) Chris was home to help out. It took us a good 30 minutes, a bath and two showers to consolodate the mess. Wow. So funny.

Friday, February 13, 2009

More Marshmallows Please!

This darling little girl was so fun in the kitchen yesterday. Not only did she discover the joys of banging pots and pans, but she also helped mom clean off the marshmallow remnants from the spatula, whisk and bowl. The fun ended when she realized that there was no more left.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Beyond Weeds.....Way Beyond

With apologies to Brooke, can you guess what's in this photo?  If you guess a type of food, you win a completely free copy of the recipe.  It began as a school project, which is all well and good.  She thought that since the recipe was tied to her Czech heritage, that it would be extra special to make.  She's good at following recipes, even if she leaves the salt out of the banana bread occasionally.  But somehow just the thought of Czech dumplings in a meatless gravy sounds way too gelatinous to me.  She produced the recipe, and it looked just like this and tasted just like it looks.  We each had just a spoonful.  The modernized meatless version is not an improvement.  Give us some beef and carrots and onions, and more vegetables from the garden, and maybe a few dumplings on the top.  I promise, her great great grandparents knew how to eat much better than this.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Devin "Moses" Gardner

This is Brooke's friend, Devin Gardner.  She and Brooke and the rest of the gang came home from school when I was busy with Junior burning weeds.  They were quite interested, since most 13 years old have a natural interest in burning up stuff.  So I continued to tell them how much fun I was having, and showed them exactly what was happening to each weed, and they kept watching and talking about it until they were all drooling and begging to take a turn.  It was quite a bit like Tom Sawyer and the white washing of the fence.  

Brooke was first, and she seemed fine, so I ran inside for a quick drink of water.  All was well upon my return.  They had switched operators.  I watched for a bit, then asked if they were okay while I went to get a rake.  By the time I got back, smoke was billowing out into the street, and Annie Lambert had already gotten a hose and was spraying down the bush.  Devin had gotten her turn with Junior and came too close to the bush and set it aflame.  It's a dry grass type of bush and it went up in a hurry.  Quick thinking Annie knew right where to find the hose, and got it down there very quickly and put out the fire.  I guess Moses didn't have a hose.

The Big Dog

Move over Junior, the Big Dog has arrived.  This weed incinerator throws flames across wide swaths of gravel and destroys all life in its path.  It's a Calvin and Hobbs dream.  Actually Cordell borrowed it from Roy Hatch, and it's not quite as effective in real life, but it's more powerful than Junior and saves time.  The large green expanses of the front yard have been transformed into large blackened expanses.  If it rains as predicted this weekend, it should wash the rocks up nicely.  Our weed killing is not finished, but Cordell and the Big Dog have made lots of progress.  At least we now have the right tool.  Well, Roy has the right tool.  Cordell has to go buy his own.


This is Junior, our entry into the second chapter of weed control.  Note the canister of propane on one end.  The other end shoots out fire when you light it up, which makes it a very mini flame thrower.  Weeds don't like flame throwers, even if they are very mini in size.  Of course you have to aim at each individual weed and wait until that individual weed has been crisped and blackened into vegetative oblivion.  No boiled spinach here; just ash.  

The problem, of course, is that Junior is meant for a stove.  The pressure is great for boiling water to make hot chocolate when you're camping, although even then it seems like you have to wait a while.  Then the anticipation makes it worth the wait.  Here the anticipation can be a bit frustrating.   So Junior is a little underpowered.  

The advantage:  Junior has its place working under and around plants that you don't want flash flamed.

The disadvantage:  You can't even fire it up unless you are prepared to take a shower because you smell like you've been playing in the campfire for hours.  After burning weeds for a little while, the entire neighborhood smells like a campground and the neighbors are out looking for the fire.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Buns of Methuselah

Alas, I have no photograph.  Double alas, I have no Buns of Methuselah.  Somebody cleaned out the bread drawer and threw them away.  Cordell denies it.  Shelley denies.  Brooke never throws anything away.  That leaves Eric as the prime suspect.  He thought they were gross, anyway.  I am not exactly distraught over the loss, but I am severely disappointed.  I bought that package of buns about the time that Lindsay went to Hong Kong (October 2007), and they are so saturated with preservatives that they haven't grown any mold.  They weren't exactly rock hard, either.  I had intended to triumphantly pull them from the drawer and have a good laugh with Lindsay, and then we could throw them away together.  It's a girl thing.  Eric doesn't understand.  Oh well.  It's over.  At least we know that hamburger buns would be safe in a year's supply of food, even on the shelf.  Maybe they're best just left on the shelf.