Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Morel dilemma

Morel mushroom
Do morel mushrooms grow where you live?  If so, how do you know where to look for them?  I have always heard to look where there is an elm tree.  Or a dead elm tree.  Or look for May apples or Trilliums.  This year, I heard a new one and I'll be darned if it wasn't true.  Look under fruit trees.  We have an apple tree and we have two pear trees that tower over the house.  Doug was mowing the yard and found the first batch.  Then, this mushroom, was growing beneath the apple tree on Easter Sunday and was visible from the house.  I went out and picked him and a few others.  Then I went out into the woods and found more.  

my hand is small, but these are BIG mushrooms!
Doug prepared the first batch and cooked them in butter.  He dipped them in egg and milk and and some flour.  I prepared the second batch and this time I won the throw-down.  He even admitted it.  With his, the egg was too heavy and overpowered the wild mushroom taste.  With mine, I cooked in olive oil and just a light egg and milk and flour.  Much better.  How do you prepare yours? 
We are having a bumper crop this year in southern Indiana.  I've heard it is some of the best mushrooming in ten to twelve years.  I've heard stories of people finding thousands.  We have found a dozen or so between us.  I've really been hunting and Doug has stumbled upon the ones he found.  I've heard that you can find them this year even if you aren't looking. 
Today was my last day at my current job.  We are off to see the baby in Maryland tomorrow morning and then on to PA to Doug's nephew's wedding then home on Sunday evening.  Then I will start my new job on Monday.  We have had the chicks since last Saturday and so far, they have all made it.  Everyone seems healthy with the exception of one which I've named "Trouble."  She has a poopy butt and I am bathing her butt morning and night.  I'm thankful only one of the dozen is giving me any trouble.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday 2011

Doug and I were "E" people today.  You know how people who only attend church on Christmas and Easter are "C&E" people? 
I grew up (and my membership remains) in the Foursquare Pentecostal Church.  I believe last Easter I was back home at my home church with my parents.  My mother is still in the rehab facility, and I just saw her this past Wednesday, so I didn't go back home today.  My children live out of state.  Doug has a son that is out of state and two in town and they were doing their own things.  Doug asked if I wanted to go to church.  When we attend (which isn't often) we attend here. It is fun to read the bumper stickers where we attend.  Lots of tree huggers.  I love it that they bring nature in.
Windows with dogwood branches

 I also like it that you can see a tree just outside through the window up front.

 And I like it that the minister wears bunny ears when the service is over.
Minister in bunny ears
We came home and had mimosas.  I cooked a ham and Doug made sweet potatoes and corn.  Then I went mushroom hunting.  I found a few.  Quiet, rainy day.  Happy Easter, everyone. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chicken Virgins

my bible.
Using this book as my bible, I set out to buy chickens.  (See Jenna's blog here.)When I got to the store, I went a little crazy.  I was kind of like "give me one of everything."  I'm not certain what all I got but I think I have some of the following:  Welsummer, Speckled Sussex, California white, silver laced Wyandote, Barred Rock, Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire Red, Buff Orpingtons and Americauna.  I am also not certain how many roosters are in the bunch.  Maybe two.  I didn't want a rooster, but Doug did.  We can have more chicks if we have a rooster.  Some roosters are really pretty.  But then you have all of that damn "cock-a-doodle-dooing."  This may be my new career.  Hell, this could be my retirement! 

meeting a baby

boxes of chicks and cart of chick supplies

one box

the other box

Home Sweet Home

Chelsea meets a baby
I have no idea what I'm doing.  Doug said "how hard can it be?  People who can't even read raise chickens."  We have an out-building.  We have to clean it out and make it secure and add some fencing.  I will let them run sometimes.  I just know I've been buying farm fresh eggs from my colleague friend Mary Jo and I can't stomach store-bought eggs. 
We brought them home this morning and I've already checked on them several times.  I've given them food and water and checked their vents.  (Poop hole that can get clogged with poop- which can be a life-threatening situation.)  For now all is good.  Here we go!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Who has been sitting in my chair?

My fur kids, Chelsea  (doggrs) and Milo (kittrs)
This is where I sit when I write.  That is my red Dell sitting on the bench.  I haven't been writing much, lately.  I went to MD to see my girls, got a new job (still with the university), am going back to MD. (Then starting my new job the day after I return.)  Have been trying to get out to hike- looking for mushrooms to no avail.  Trying to get to the Y to workout.  Trying to do some artwork.  Trying to get together with friends.  Trying to keep up. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Special needs

We live out in the country.
I call it "the farm." 
We don't get too many visitors- out here on the farm.
No one ever knocks on our door and if they do, the house is clean because I knew they were comin' to call.
This evening, while we were eating dinner, we heard someone knock on our front door.  Chelsea went crazy and Doug went to the door. 
I heard a voice say:
"Now, Doug, I know you are probably right in the middle of your dinner." 
(Well, yes, we were.) 
"And I want you to come out here and talk to me." 
(I heard the door open and close and this is when the voices became muffled.)
I think I recognize the voice of our neighbor, the man who is mentally-challenged and lives in a trailer across the road at the back of our property.

Doug came back to the table and asked if I had heard any of the conversation. 
I told him "not really."
He confirmed that it was our neighbor. 
I said "does his care giver know he is over here?"
(He has a twenty-four hour care-giver and isn't supposed to cross the road without his permission.)
On occasion, he will come over to chat with Doug if Doug is out in the yard- or he will come over to see Chelsea. 
This man is probably thirty to forty years old and works at the shelter. 
But my feeling is that if you didn't know he was mentally challenged, there are a lot of people who wouldn't know he is mentally challenged. 
I'm not certain how old he is mentally, but I know he got a kick out of a remote control car that he got for his last birthday.
(But a lot of men enjoy remote control cars.)

Doug went on to explain that the neighbor found something at Walmart that he wanted to buy and he wondered if Doug might pay him to do yard work.
I said "you could have him help you clean the shed."
(This is where I get a look from Doug.)

But you have to admire our neighbors initiative. 
He has a lot more initiative than a lot of so called "normal" people. 
He saw something he wants to buy and he doesn't have the money, so he is trying to find a way to earn the money.
(We don't think he makes much at the shelter.)
Doug is a good friend to him. 
I don't know if he is going to find some work for our neighbor to do or not, but you have to admire our neighbor's gumption!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I think I left my heart in Maryland.

Natalie's hand in Grandma's hand

I left for Maryland on Thursday, March 31to meet my first grandchild.  I was supposed to stay until Sunday, April 2.  I felt so sad to be leaving my granddaughter.  On the way to the airport, my daughter said "too bad you won't be here tomorrow- it is supposed to be in the 70's and we could garden."
I arrived at the airport and did a quick check-in and went through security.  Everything was fine and on time.  By the time I walked to my gate, I started hearing people murmuring that our flight was going to be delayed significantly.  I was making a connection in Chicago at 9:45 p.m. and would have arrived in Indianapolis at 11:40 p.m. Suddenly, they bumped our flight to departure time to 9:45 p.m.  I got in line with a lot of other people to speak to an attendant.  The woman wasn't rude, but she nearly came over the counter emphatically saying that there were no flights. It was due to Southwest grounding 79 of their planes for inspection.   They could get me to Chicago, but they would have put me up in a room and I would have waited until Tuesday, April 5 to fly out.  I told them to just give me a flight out from Baltimore on Tuesday morning.  My daughter doesn't live far from BWI.  I called her and said "do you want to garden tomorrow?"  
I had the most wonderful visit.  My daughter and her wife were so kind with regard to Natalie.  My daughter let me bathe her, my daughter would ask what I wanted to dress her in and Grandma held Natalie a lot.  And,  my daughter and I had a wonderful visit.  I miss her and don't get to ever spend enough time with her.  The day we shopped for the plants, we picked plants together.  I always see other mothers and daughters out together and feel envious.  It was so nice for all of us to be together.  Every visit, I feel as if I know my daughter-in-law a little better, too. 
This is my first grandchild.  I had always heard how wonderful it is to have grandchildren, and thought to myself "yeah, yeah, yeah," but didn't have a clue what they were talking about.  It is a little bit of heaven on earth. 
As I sat and held her I listened to the rhythm of her breathing.  It might be slow and even, so soft you can barely hear it.  Or, it might be quick and short, a series of short pants.   I would watch her eyes open slightly, then close, her face scrunch up, a brief smile pass across her lips, her mouth form into an "o," and then her face would relax.  I never grew weary of watching her. 
On Sunday afternoon, my daughter said "you can just hold her until you leave if you want to."  I spent a lot of time in the nursery, rocking her.  

Rocking in her nursery.  I bought this chair for them.
I took two outfits out.  In this photo, she is wearing on of the outfits that I bought her.  We went shopping while I was out and I bought some things that they picked out.

On Monday, it got up to eighty one degrees and my daughter and I gardened and pulled out some over-grown bushes and put in about fifteen plants.  The beginnings of Natalie's garden.  I'll continue to work on it as long as they live there. 

Because of getting the bonus day with them, by Tuesday morning, I felt a little better about going home. 

I've had a few inquiries about my mother as I haven't posted for a while.  Mother was transferred to a different facility in my hometown, and she continues with her physical therapy with hopes of going home soon. 

When I got home last Tuesday evening, I couldn't get on to the Internet on my Dell laptop.  Last night was the first time I could access the Internet.  I think it was just too overloaded with junk.  I spent hours last night deleting needless photos, bought an external hard-drive for the photos I want to keep and did a total system back up with that.  Then I deleted all games and apps and junk on my facebook account.  I have heard that the games, etc. on facebook will slow down your system, but had not experienced that in the past. 

Dug is out of the country in Nicaragua with an old buddy of his.  The house has been quiet and I've been introspective.  I've been trying to find my heart, but I think I left it in Maryland.

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