September 29, 2008

To the Bird Rescue! (3 Comments)

Filed under: Life,Photos — The Spider Herself @ 9:46 pm

Directly across the lane from us is a five acre plot that no one lives on. The people that own it make improvements off and on and we carefully watch the goings on- you know, to keep an eye on the place for them (cough). Some people were over there working late last week so, being the thoughtful neighbors that we are, the kids and I walked over to check things out. There were large holes in the ground for the poles that would support their new garage/shop (at least, that’s what the building permit called it- just trying to be accurate here. You want us for neighbors, don’t you? We let our weeds go and we snoop.) We checked out what was in the holes and found a bunch of garbage.


There are cigarette butts, ear plugs and gloves down there. Eww.

Then the Girls said “There’s a bird in this one!”


Sure ‘nuf.

Bird in hole

I have no idea how it got down in there but it couldn’t get out because the hole wasn’t big enough.

Here’s a closer look- it’s a Killdeer.

Bird in Hole 2

So being a innovative person, I stuck a stick down in there hoping that the bird would be able to use it to climb out. Maybe that should be “not to smart” person because it was a wild bird, not a trained parrot and so it did not use the stick in such a resourceful way. The bird and stick were still there when we checked on them after we got the mail.

I talked about the situation with my much more resourceful and innovative husband and he thought that using a rake to try and lift the bird out might work.

Unfortunately, I am not a good judge of size.


The rake would fit but didn’t have a lot of room to maneuver. I knocked some dirt down on the poor bird a few times. I could get the bird on the rake…

Rake and bird

but it would hop right off. So we gave up and decided we’d have to wait for the true hero to arrive home from work. (photo credit: The Boy)

I had plans in town so I took off right after The Col. got home but the kids dragged him down to check out the bird. The bird continued to be unhelpful and wouldn’t stay on the smaller rake that The Col. used. The next idea was to lower a child head first, because there was no room to bend down if they went in feet first, into the hole, grab the bird and be pulled out by their strong father. They all chickened out. Pixie was held upside down but wouldn’t let go of his legs. So the bird was left there again.

All the long, cold night.

I prayed that it would somehow find it’s way out of the hole when I got home and found out it was still down there. I was half afraid that in the morning instead of finding a bird we’d find a coyote in the hole. Him, I was not going to rescue.

The Col. got up, and while it was still cold, he and The Boy trudged on out there again. I sent the camera with The Boy to capture photos of the great rescue. He took things like this-

Photo by Boy

and totally missed the Event. There was no coyote in the hole just the poor cold, hungry bird who finally gave up and stopped hopping off the rake and allowed himself to be brought up.

Rescue complete.

September 27, 2008

A Wedding (9 Comments)

Filed under: Life,Photos — The Spider Herself @ 7:33 pm

We went to a wedding today. It was lovely to see two young people, in love, making a commitment to each other before God. It was a joy to see their families and friends support them as they start their journey together. I thought I’d share some of the 322 pictures I took.

Two guests arriving at the Church.

Papa and Sunshine

In the receiving line the Bride complimented me on my dress. I told her that was what *I* was supposed to say! She did have a lovely dress.

The Dress

I asked before the wedding if I could bring my camera and they said “yes!” I warned them that I took pictures of odd things.

The bouquet.

The Bouquet

The Bride.

The Bride

We are friends of the Bride’s family. In fact, the Father of the Bride has made an appearance here before. The receiving line was long- I think the Mother of the Bride had the right idea.

Mother of Bride

The Bride again, getting pelted with wheat.

Bride 2

The Groom helped his lovely Bride into the car- which, surprisingly, wasn’t too decorated up- and got in himself. Then the horn started honking. I thought that was rather odd. Until I realized that every time he pushed on the brakes the horn would honk. We laughed as they drove down the street and honked to a stop at the intersection. We had a grand time listening to them drive off into the sunset.

Now, do you think I should go into the wedding photography business, or keep my day job?

September 23, 2008

Jupiter House (2 Comments)

Filed under: Life — The Spider Herself @ 10:37 am

On the third Sunday of the month you can find us at a local Assisted Living facility, (Sunshine mangles the name and calls it Jupiter House) singing hymns and praise songs with the people that live there. Of course, I use the words “us” and “singing” loosely- it’s really code for Col. Panic playing his guitar and singing, me trying to stay somewhere in the right tune and the kids reading or coloring in the corner. The Folks there seem to enjoy it and we enjoy getting to know them and feel blessed afterward.

I was observing some of them last time. Some of them are sharp and funny- others, well- they don’t have the minds of their youth anymore.

One lady was always dressed classy, hair impeccable, nails long and painted. She was better at putting outfits together than I will ever be. But…. she would ask you the same question over and over again. I was amazed at the deep ingrained part of her that knew how to be groomed so well. I could tell that it was something that was important to her all her life.

A few months ago when we entered the people there were telling us to get the door closed quickly as one lady was trying to get out. I watched this lady while we were there, marching determinedly up and down the halls, agitated, unhappy. She had a Faithful Companion, another older lady, who followed a few steps behind, watching. I wondered at their relationship and why Faithful Companion felt the need to stay with Agitated. I wonder if I would be that faithful of a friend? I saw Agitated this time too, not quite as upset but still wandering the halls, trying the doors to see if any were unlocked and possibly a way out. She carried her purse with her this time- as if to be ready when she found the door out. Faithful was there too, a few steps behind, carrying her purse also. Faithful cast a few glances at us as we sang- I wondered if she wanted to join us- but she turned and continued on her journey.

A lady that sometimes joins us was there. She stood right in front of The Col. as he sang. He tried to get her to sit but she resisted until part way through she decided that wasn’t a bad idea. It’s interesting talking with her as you never know which direction the talk will head.

“Are we going to dance now?” she asked when we were picking up. She indicated we should move the table to have room.

No, not today.

“I hope they aren’t hungry when they get here. They didn’t eat last time before they came. That was bad.”

Yes, I hope they eat too.

She enjoys the music and is always clapping in time to the music or tapping her feet. I watched her lips when we sang those old favorite hymns and she was getting the words right. Deep ingrained in her mind are the words to those songs. Maybe she sang them as a child at church and at home.

I wonder what will come out when, in reality, I am no longer here in this shell. I hope I am one that stays sharp, don’t we all? I know I will not be Ms. Impeccable- that’s a given. I’ll be more like my Grandfather and refuse to bathe or change my clothes. I hope I am not Agitated and that I will be more like Faithful Companion. Most of all, I hope that the love of my Saviour will shine through the fog and bless others.

September 22, 2008

Sofrito (3 Comments)

Filed under: In the Kitchen — The Spider Herself @ 9:51 am

It’s the time of year when the garden is full of tomatoes and peppers.

That is, if one had a garden that wasn’t growing weeds.

But, we shan’t let that deter us, that’s what Farmer’s Markets and Farm Stands are for.

OK, where was I? Oh, yes, lots of tomatoes and peppers.

Actually, what I am going to tell you about doesn’t use a lot of tomatoes. So forget that part.

Do you have peppers,cilantro, onions and garlic in abundance?

Then I have the recipe for you!

Sofrito. I learned about Sofrito during one of my less energetic periods when I was watching afternoon cooking shows on PBS. We live in the dark ages with no cable or satellite- just an antennae up in the air catching random, but free, signals so I don’t have the “24 Hour Cooking Channel”. More the pity. What was I talking about again? I keep distracting myself. Oh yes, so I watched a show called “Daisy Cooks” (I will not link to that site because Google has a warning that the site could damage my computer- how odd.) and learned all about Sofrito. Daisy Martinez says it does “everything but make the bed”. I wish is did make beds but it does make adding fresh tasting zing to dishes easy.

So what is it exactly? “Exactly” might be hard to come by. But it is a chopped up mixture of mainly onions, garlic, peppers and cilantro that can be frozen and added to dishes like Spanish rice and beans.

Here is the link to Daisy Martinez’s recipe (this site is ok to go to). Now you will notice she uses things like “culantro” and “ajices dulces”. Yeah, I don’t know what those things are either and will not likely find them in the local stores. Do I let a lack of ingredients listed in a recipe stop me? Ha! Yeah, right. I just plow on ahead. Actually, I did look up some other recipes online and never found a consensus of what should be in there. So I make up my own mixture.

Can I tell you what is in my mixture? Umm, no because I forget from time to time. Actually, I follow Daisy’s basic instructions about onion, garlic and cilantro then I improvise. I use quite a bit of green pepper or red, if I have it. Then, I add what ever kicks my bucket- jalapeño (sans ribs and seeds), banana chili or fresh green chilies. I put it all in my little “food processor”- it fits onto my blender motor and is not very large. I have to do it in batches and then mix it up by hand. This last time I didn’t even have enough cilantro but the other things were trying to turn bad on me so I had to take the matter in hand and made up a batch anyway. I then put 1/2 cup portions into freezer bags, label it (important step!) and throw it in the freezer.

Do you notice how quickly cilantro will turn slimy on you? This is a good way to use up the extra you had to buy when you were making a recipe that called for three sprigs.

Then when I want to make Mexican rice, I grab out a bag- throw it in the skillet and as it thaws, it cooks. This way I can make great tasting Latino dishes without having to keep all sorts of fresh ingredients on hand plus saves money because I can buy the ingredients in season.

Now that you know all about Sofrito (or maybe not- I’m not being too clear here) go forth and make some. It’s great stuff.

But it doesn’t make the bed.

September 19, 2008

Arr! (2 Comments)

Filed under: Life — The Spider Herself @ 9:45 am

(See note at bottom of post.)

Question: What activities are “outside” activities?

  1. Running, jumping, wrestling?
  2. Playing with balls?
  3. Riding bikes?
  4. Playing with dolls quietly?
  5. Playing with toy cars, quietly?
  6. Drawing?
  7. Standing on the porch?

Question: Which of those activities do my children consider “outside” activities?

If you guessed 4-7 you would be correct.

Question: Which of those activities listed do my children consider “inside” activities?

If you guessed 1-3 you would be right on the money. (Except the bikes aren’t allowed in the house)

They have it all backwards. I send them outside because they are running, yelling and wrestling in the house and they go outside to partake in a quiet activitiy.

Outside is not for running in. It’s for quietly playing with your dolls on the porch or sitting in the tree.

Yes, yes indeed. Maybe it’s not them that have it backwards- it might be me and my small brain that just doesn’t grasp the concept that the carpet is much nicer to wrestle on and run on than grass. It’s just that I lack edukaton that I can’t wrap my head around quiet and peaceful outside play in order to not disturb the ecosystem.

I guess I must get past my small perception of things and just throw caution to the wind and allow bikes in the house.

You can find The Col. and me living in the Shop, twitching.

Note: Today, and I didn’t know this until I posted this already, is Talk Like A Pirate Day. So in honor of that I changed the spelling of the title. Arrr Matey!

September 17, 2008

Tan Lines (5 Comments)

Filed under: Life — The Spider Herself @ 3:48 pm

Alternative title: I Am So Classy.


I apparently wore the same pair of sandals out in the sun too much this summer.

Tan lines 1

It looks really classy when I try to act mature and dress up.

Tan lines 2

Note: For demonstration purposes only. I do know enough (barely) to wear matching shoes.

September 15, 2008

Pixie and Clothes (5 Comments)

Filed under: KJ,Personalities,Photos — The Spider Herself @ 4:30 pm

I was asked a question in the comments on this post and I thought I’d answer it in a blog post since it was going to be a fairly long, drawn out affair. I am good at making short stories long.

The question was:

“I’m curious… when Pixie refuses to wear the clothes she has vowed to wear, do you return them knowing that she will never cave in, or do you hang them in the closet to be “stashed” until you pass them on to someone else? I have often wondered the fate of Pixie’s rejects.”

I don’t take them back usually because it’s been too long before I realize that she has “issues” with it, or I’ve washed it first, or it was bought at a store far, far away in a another galaxy. In the case of the jeans, I had washed them in an attempt to set color and keep them from fading as quickly. I bought two skort outfits at the beginning of the summer that she swore she would wear- she’s worn one once or twice and the other not at all. I hope her sister likes them- which is usually my back up plan. There is also the chance, which does happen- see below story about the jeans, that she will change her mind.

Pixie just gets strange ideas in her head about things. She doesn’t want to wear some shirts because they are too long and cover up the waist band of her pants/skirt. I don’t want her having short shirts and flashing her belly ring to the world. (Just seeing if you are awake.) She finally wore her new jeans on Saturday, which is a long, drawn out story in itself but I am sure you are tired of hearing all the angst, she wanted them rolled up even though they are a great length. I don’t know what it is with her and short things- preparing for the flood that is bound to come, I guess. I refused and she some how managed to get through the day and now declares that she likes her jeans and has worn them everyday since. Heavy, heavy sigh.

Anyway, what should I do with the things she will not wear? One suggestion was to make her buy the clothes with her own money and return on her own what she doesn’t want. She is only 5- would that be a good idea? She tends to be very visual and I know we will have to work with her about “wanting” everything and blowing her money on all things pink. So would putting her on a clothing budget at this age be a good idea? Also, I often go alone to the great Mart here in town and pick things out of season from the sales rack at great discounts- she’d have to be with me on those occasions to help pick and pay for those items. Although, one could argue that even if bought very cheap, if she will not wear it then it’s of no value. There is a beautiful pink polka dot dress hanging in the closet that is just such an example.

What other suggestions do you have? Give her two choices daily of what she can wear instead of letting her pick? I’m open to suggestions.

I am getting tired of the whining and upset about what she is going to wear. I’m also getting sick of seeing her in her favorite outfit.

Pixie Favorite Outfit

Even if she is pretty cute.


September 10, 2008

You Know…. (3 Comments)

Filed under: Life — The Spider Herself @ 12:00 pm

You know that you are getting old when the Oldies Station starts playing songs you loved when you were in High School….or after.


Pixie said “I’ll be 14 when I grow up!”

Ah, I guess from the perspective of five- 14 sounds pretty old.

Well, I’m only 16- is that middle age?

September 9, 2008

August 40th, 2008 (2 Comments)

Filed under: Gripes,Life — The Spider Herself @ 3:57 pm

I am allergic to August. (The month, not anyone who happens to be named that as far as I know)

I thought I was doing well this year. Whatever seems to bother me in August wasn’t causing me too much trouble. I thought I was doing the right things this year to hold off the worst of the symptoms.

Yeah. I do tend to get delusional, don’t I?

August came late this year.

No, I am not crying about it- it’s just my eye watering.

Excuse me, I sneezed.

Sigh. Let me know when September gets here.

September 8, 2008

Odds and Ends (3 Comments)

Filed under: Life,Photos — The Spider Herself @ 3:43 pm

Hummingbird Whoosh! Where does the time go?

(Warning: This photo has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the subject matter of this post. To view larger, click- at your own risk- on image.)

  • My children get very excited when they get new underwear. They need to get out more, the children- not their underwear.
  • Boxers are, apparently, a sign of manhood.
  • We bought Pixie new jeans, even though I swore I was not going to buy her any new clothes. She was all ready for a flood so I caved. She tried them on, liked them, said she’d wear them, yada, yada, yada.
  • She is refusing to wear them.
  • Pixie comes alive while shopping and trying on clothes…. as long as they are for her.
  • I canned 27 pints of tomatoes. My first time canning tomatoes- all of them sealed.
  • I canned 14 quarts of peaches Sunday afternoon between church services.
  • The pears are ripening while they wait their turn in the canner.
  • We went to a parade on Saturday but we got there too late to get a spot on the curb which means the kids didn’t get hardly any candy. (The rules of the parade are that the candy cannot be thrown so only the people right on the curb get any.) The kids were disappointed. I tried to tell them it was fun to just watch the parade and not get candy. Yeah, I know, they didn’t believe me either.
  • Sunday we joined other churches in a service at the park. We were about the last to leave- even the clean up crew was gone. Hey, there were people to talk to- who are slower to leave than us.
  • We went back to town for evening church because there was a special singer there. Very nice.
  • This weekend just flew by!
  • I think we are all caught up now.