Thursday, September 30, 2004

Hornets, Lizards and Food, Oh My!!

Well, The Ewe has received a couple of complaints because I've haven't blogged in over a week...Well deserved rebukes! My apologies to you if you've been gracious enough to surf over here and there was nothing new. Suffice it to say that "Life on the farm [hasn't been] kinda laid back...Ain't much an ole country boy like me can't hack..." OK, so who knows that reference? C'mon...leave a comment--I know someone knows that song.
Anyway, I thought I'd tell you about our hornet saga. A few weeks ago (or was it months now?) the girls came running in, saying, "Mom! There's a bees' nest in the front bush!" After calling a couple wise ladies, we determined it was actually a hornets' nest. Ever wonder why so many athletic teams call themselves The Hornets? Well, I think it's because they're diligent and aggressive. :-) We were advised to stay clear of the nest until winter, when all the critters would be gone from it. Then, we could carefully cut it out of the bush and rid ourselves of it. So, we have gotten good at steering clear. There was a fright a couple of days ago, though, when the girls accidentally threw their basketball into *that* bush. You should have heard the thundering hooves as the girls came barrelling through the back door--pale faced with eyes wide. Evidently, the hornets were in no mood to play basketball. No one was hurt, but it was a good reminder to stay away. Then today, our poor Lawn Mower Man rang the bell and (also wide-eyed) said, "DID YOU KNOW YOU HAVE A HORNETS' NEST IN THIS BUSH?!?!" We had figured he knew about it, as he is more attentive to the goings-on in our yard than we are, but he hadn't noticed it until one of them *flew across the yard* and stung him on his punkin head. Poor guy. He had goose bumps like you get when you get stung (You get those, right?) I was afraid he might be allergic, but he assured me he wasn't. He was fine, but he said you'll definitely know it if you get stung by one. What alarmed me was that L.M.M. (Lawn Mower Man) wasn't even around the bush when it happened. I would have "shooed" him away if he'd gotten close. So, I'm on Hornet Watch now, directing the girls to the *back* yard. We're hoping the cats don't get curious. Ick.
Speaking of cats...I came upon Georgina the other day. She was acting strange, so I moved closer. She slunk farther. I moved closer. She slunk farther. Finally, I saw what had her so defensive. She was eating a lizard. It was still alive and whipping its tail around as it (the tail) stuck out of her mouth. Goodness! It hadn't been *that* long since we fed her! ;-) Anyway, down it went, still fighting back. What a cat.
We nearly (temporarily) invited Georgina into The Ram's bathroom the other day. I was in the living room with the girls when DH motioned me into the kitchen. He had that "I've-got-to-tell-you-something-you-don't-want-to-hear" look on his face. I hate that. He whispered into my ear, "There's a lizard in my bathroom, but it's very small and its tail is already missing." As if its size and amputation would make its presence less offensive. EEEEEKKKKK!!!!!!!!! It was difficult to not screech, but I did well. I kept my mouth shut. I climbed on top of the step stool. I made preparations to evacuate to the upstairs. The Ram cleaned his bathrooom, picking up the laundry, etc., but no lizard. We figured he got out the same way he'd come in. Later, when I needed something out of that bathroom, I gave in to my cowardly, deceiving tempation and asked Lovable to go get it. I stood on my stool and waited for the blood curdling scream. It never came, and Lovable appeared a few minutes later with the requested item. Shameless, I know, but I was nearly sure the lizard would *not* be there and since Lovable didn't know he'd *ever* been there, she would have no fear...And, moreover, the lizard wouldn't have hurt her anyway...and even MOREover, she *likes* lizards. How's that for rationalization? But read that last line again... SHE LIKES LIZARDS!!! See, no harm would have befallen her! I just don't like lizards! Ok...another topic...
One Friend of The Ewe asked for this recipe. It's from the First Family Fixin's cookbook from First Baptist Church, Martin, TN.

Mexican Skillet Spaghetti

1 lb ground beef 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
4 3/4 cups water 2 1/4 oz pkg. taco seasoning mix
2 T instant minced onion 1/2 t. salt
8 oz uncooked spaghetti shredded cheese

In 12-in skillet, brown ground beef and drain. Add tomato sauce, taco mix, water, instant minced onion and salt. Bring to boil. Add spaghetti. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, until the spaghetti is tender, stirring frequently, 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle w/ cheese.

Well, I must run. Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Ya take a *bad* boy, make him dig holes in the hot sun all day, and ya turn him into a *good* boy..."

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Ghastly Dental Revelations

Hi, Friends,
I can't believe it's been so long since my last entry! Time doesn't "march on," it "double-times it" on...Let's see...since my last entry...hmmm....
Sat. I took the Lambs to the park, thinking it would be covered over with families. It was a beautiful day--warm in the sun, but cool in the shade. I was so surprised to find that there was only one other family there! We had brought a "delightful" lunch from the haute cuisine place in know the one...with the golden arches? Yeah, that one...Anyway, we got there and found the park virtually deserted. It was nice for us, but I was a little sad for the children who didn't get to be there. :-) Our town has just installed new play structures, so the slides were still reaaally slick. The girls loved that.
Sat. night I received news that a lady from church had just had a baby. Yes, they were expecting it. ;-) What a blessing.
Sunday morning, many folks at the church were either missing or very droopy-eyed from being at the birth the night before.
Mon. the Lambs and I went into town to buy a few groceries. I've discovered that once I enter The Place (i.e. Walmart) I have about 1.5 hours until I totally panic and have to leave. :-) So, whatever I have in the cart at that point, I just pay for and go home. When the Ram watches the children for me, I can usually get my whole list before the hour and a half...when I have the Lambs with me (as yesterday), I generally can only get a fraction of my list completed. Still, I had bought the critical items.
Last night after dinner our Musical (4yo) made an observation..."Our teeth are tables to the bugs." (She was referring to the bacteria in our mouth that can cause cavities.) I was impressed..."Yes! That's right!" I went on to explain the way the bugs do the damage--that they don't actually eat the teeth, but the food on the teeth. Then, the "by-products" eat through the enamel. DH, seeing that the term "by-products" wasn't connecting with the Littles, rephrased it...."It's 'Bug Poop.'" Two girls, Musical and Lovable were eating cookies at the time. Their eyes suddenly widened, and from the looks on their faces I was afraid they were going to eject the half chewed dessert into the floor. Lovable, wild eyed, was able to swallow, then rampaged up the stairs to the bathroom to scrub her teeth with her toothbrush. Musical burst into tears, cookie mush dribbling from her mouth, "aaayee eddd III yaf ugggg oop in iiiiii owf!!" (Translated: "Daddy said I have bug poop in my mouth.") We spent the next few minutes trying to calm her down, saying, "No, it's not Bug Poop, it's 'by-products...'" Evidently, the change in semantics worked, and she quieted. But she still went up and brushed her teeth. Right away. You know, the Bible tells us that the power of life and death is in the tongue. Last night, we learned that the power to compel children to brush their teeth is there, too.
Must run...Y'all keep your wool dry...
The Ewe

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Yum, yum!

We just enjoyed a yummy dinner and good fellowship w/ some friends. I made an old fashioned meatloaf with homemade wheat rolls, mixed veggies and a potato crockpot dish. How tasty! After we all ate, the two men went out and fixed the Ram's van--it needed new brakes. We had planned to have no bake cookies and vanilla ice cream for dessert, but we ladies got involved in looking at dress patterns on the internet--much more comfy than those high stools at the store with the huge pattern catalogs that nearly rip your arm off when you flip them open...(was that a run-on sentence? ;-) Anyway, I thought I'd share the potato dish with you...

Cheesy Crockpot Potatoes
6 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced (just pretty much fill up your crock w/ sliced taters)
can of Cheddar cheese soup (mine was
3 T butter (I actually used coconut oil, but that's a topic for another day--leave a comment if you want more info)
seasonings to taste (I used salt, pepper, and a dash of garlic powder)

So, you just slice up those potatoes and stick them in the ol' CP (crockpot ;-). Mix up the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and pour over the taters. I like to give it a stir then, to be sure that no tater's left behind. That's it. Oh, yeah, I cooked mine for 4 hours on low, but that particular cooker I used cooks fast for a crockpot. YMMV (your mileage may vary) according to your particular CP. The lambies thought it was great. Cheese and potatoes...what else could you ask for? LOL

Must run...Lambies are dropping like flies (from sleepiness). Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

The Blue Ewe

Hi, Friends,
The Ewe is feeling blue today. The reality of Hubby's upcoming deployment is setting in. It's hard to enjoy the days left, knowing that time is short. He'll be missing Tiny Tot's first two birthdays. And, of course, multiple other milestones. Pray that we'll "redeem the time" left and not waste it.
Ivan the Terrible Hurricane is in Alabama now. We have family and friends down there--so far everyone is fine--just wind and rain, but no major damage. Of course, he just made landfall in the wee morning today, so there probably won't be good damage reports until the sun is up. This makes the third hurricane in the last month, with the fourth (Jeanne) cranking up down at Puerto Rico.
Must run...I've got 5 lbs of ground beef in the fridge that's not getting any younger. :-)
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Incon-theivable!!"

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Just Checkin' In and Sept. 11

Hello, all you F.O.T.E.'s (Friend of The Ewe),
I want to encourage you first-timers to start at the bottom of the page of posts and work up--otherwise you'll miss some background...

Well, this is the first chance I've had to get on here since last Friday, Sept. 10. The Ewe had a great weekend visiting with her dear parents-in-love, who stayed with us Sat. and Sun. nights. It's always a joy to have them here. I must tell you about Sat., Sept. 11. I got up early, before the Lambs, and went into Walmart (sometimes we call it The Bad Place, but most folks think of somewhere else when I say that ;-). I generally detest going to Walmart, just because of the extreme drain on emotional, physical and financial resources it causes. Anyway, I went and to my delight, it was practically deserted. Even with the sparse crowd, though, the noise was rattling. As I was standing in the diaper aisle, weighing my options, an announcement was made, pointing out that at "exactly this time" three years ago, our Nation was victim to the worst terrorist attack in history. The announcer went on to ask that there be a moment of silence in remembrance of the people who lost their lives, their families and all the heroes of that day. Friends, it was amazing. In Walmart you could have heard a pin drop. Never have I experienced that, there. Very sobering. I was reminded that had that event not happened, my Dear Ram would not now be getting ready to leave us. He's my hero. A man of honor and courage, as are the overwhelming majority of our soldiers, sailors and airmen. God bless 'em.
Sunday, Sept 12, we went to church and had a fine day. Our church eats together every Sun. lunch except the first one of each month. It's a very relaxed time for the children to play, the ladies to chat and the men to visit.
Yesterday, Mon. Sept. 13, I spent some time organizing one of my kitchen cabinets. I will admit, I did this because we couldn't fit the cookie sheet in there without a major remodelling. I was amazed to find out that I own 4 9X13 pans. I discovered this after I had complained to a friend on the phone that I didn't have one. Ah, the treasures we find right under our own noses. My wish for you today is that you uncover something you forgot you had. :-) ( And I'm not referring to any festering mystery meal that got shoved to the back of the fridge.)
Well, I must run. Gotta go rouse the Flock. Big doins' on today...Y'all keep your wool dry...
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "I know! We'll go somewhere where there's CHEESE!!!"

Friday, September 10, 2004

Don't Just Drop the Cookie!

Are you familiar with the saying, "His [God's] ways are not our ways?" As I read Bible passages, say for example the part about Gideon charging the city with a pot on his arm...or Jesus picking out a bunch of sailor/fishermen to be His disciples...(you know how they talk!) ...I think, "Wow, God, I wouldn't have done it that way." But, His way is perfect! We just can't see the wisdom of it sometimes (so what is it about "the last shall be first" anyway? Does that make sense? ) Yes, indeed, sometimes His ways are very mysterious to us. This came to my mind this morning while I was working in the kitchen with Musical. We were clearing the counter of remnants of last night's cookie making. (Don't you love those chocolate no bake cookies?) She found a half-eaten cookie then mentioned that she'd like to give it to the cats. I told her that was fine (Do cats even *like* chocolate cookies?)...anyway, then she said, "First I have to drop it on the floor..." which she did as she said it. I was aggravated. "Musical! Why did you do that?" I fussed. She was not to be discouraged; as she bent to pick up the cookie, she said, "Mommy, you always say we can only give the cats food that's been dropped on the floor!" She happily ran out to indulge the cats. I had to grin. She had me. I had no idea that she misunderstood the *reason* we give the cats only *dropped* people food. It made me think about our running around, doing good "for God." Does He really *need* our help? I believe He *allows* us to be part of His work. I believe He *wants* us to serve our brothers and sisters...but He doesn't *need* us. We also need to remember that when we serve others in His name, He doesn't love us any more than when we, say, sit around eating chocolate cookies. :-) It is *good* for us to serve. It's not particularly *good* for us to eat chocolate cookies . But, His love for us isn't dependent on our performance. (Of course, He disciplines us, but that's a topic for another day...) That doesn't really make sense to us--on the job, if you perform better, the boss likes you better, right? You get paid more, right? But our Lord loves us because we're His. No matter what we do. We can't earn His love. It might not make sense to us, but His ways are mysterious. Like our rule of "cats get only dropped food." What a mysterious rule! Let's remember: We're not dropping the cookie so that the cats will like it better and we're not serving the Lord so that He will like us better. :-)
Gotta go...y'all keep your wool dry.
The Ewe

Quote of the day: "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming....what do we do? We swim, swim..."

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Feline Moments in the Flock

Well, there have been developments on the Feline Front for The Ewe's family. Musical came in a bit ago and said, "Mama, where's Little Kitty? I miss her so much..." I took a deep breath, took Musical into my arms and said, "Honey, Little Kitty was run over by a car." Musical frowned, looked sad, dropped her head...and then suddenly jerking up her head, said in one breath, "Can I get a new cat?" And that was it. Ok...The Ewe responded more emotionally than Musical did. LOL The dreaded moment was over and without a tear shed. I guess I'm just a softy.
Shortly after that, Lovable came running in...
"MOM! George [her kitty] is A GIRL!!!" I thought surely my daughters were mistaken. I snatched up Tiny Tot and went outside to find my 3 DDs holding George on his back, feeling his belly.
"Mom, George is a girl--see, he has nipples," said Carnival.
"Carnival, even boy kitties have nipples." I replied, all knowing. :-) (By the way, is that true? Someone let me know. I never really investigated it that closely.) I went on, "You have to look between their back le......IT *IS* A GIRL!!!!" We enjoyed a good laugh and Lovable changed George to "Georgina." As long as s/he doesn't have any "Georgettes." (MommyX3, my attorney will be contacting you regarding false advertising...LOL)
Well, must chase the Lambs. Y'all keep your wool dry...
The Ewe

Quote for the day: "It all comes from liking hunny too much..."

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

A Sad Dilemma for The Ewe

Oh, Friends. I have just found the missing, dead cat of our Musical (4yo daughter). (MommyX3--you knew it would happen...) Little Kitty is still wearing the red collar Musical saved her chore money to buy. Oh, it hurts to know how sad she'll be. I'm torn between wanting to pretend I don't know where Little Kitty is, hoping Musical will somehow "forget," and just doing the hard thing and gently, tenderly letting her know a hard fact of life. As we pulled out of the driveway this morning, Musical gayly called out, "Goodbye Little Kitty, wherever you are!" I had just spotted the furry, little lifeless body. When Musical sang out her farewell, I nearly burst into tears. Our Lord grows us through things like this, but it sure does hurt. As our Loving Father stretches us, so we must let our little ones stretch. I wonder if His heart hurts the way ours do? Blessings. The Ewe


I thought I'd introduce you to Lovable, our 6 year old middle daughter. Each of our children has a symbol/nickname. Lovable's symbol is a heart. She wants everyone to be happy. She doesn't like conflict, unless it's between her and Musical, our 4 year old dear daughter. Actually, Lovable doesn't *like* it then, she just engages in it at the moment, then feels guilty. Her mother's daughter. When Lovable was learning to talk, she substituted the "l" sound for the "r" sound...for instance, we'd put the milk in the "flidge" and Lovable would hug her best "flind." Last night, The Ewe put her hair up (I have very long, straight hair) without using a mirror--my back was hot and I just wanted it out of the way. Well, when I walked upstairs Carnival (10yo) burst out laughing. I was offended. I thought, "My hair can't possibly look *that* bad." Besides, no one else commented on my hair. Carvinal was just being rude, right? Well, I walked into the bathroom and--EGADS!!! Carnival was right--I *did* look like CindyLou Who. (think Grinch that Stole Christmas) Lovable was standing beside me and I said to her, "Lovable, thank you for not laughing at my hair. It really *is* funny!" Lovable replied, "Yes. It's funny, but I didn't want to hurt your feelings." Having been given the "go ahead," she enjoyed a good belly laugh about the hilarious hair style I'd just given myself. I then went in to tell Carnival "sorry" for being offended and humorless. I was touched, though, by Lovable's self-restraint and respect. I do need to work on not taking myself so seriously.
Well, The Ewe must go. The Lambs need attention. I will return.
Quote of the day: "It's a geographical oddity! Two weeks from ever'where!"

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

A Little Joke on the Ewe

Have you ever read _Cheaper by the Dozen_ by Frank Gilbreth? You should. You'll bust a gut...In one part, a tot plays a joke on Dad and nervously laughs, saying "Th-th-that was a good joke on you, Dad?" Well, The Ewe opened herself up for ridicule this past Saturday.
It all happened like this...
The Ewe, Hubby and Carnival (eldest daughter, 10 yo) were watching the television, where a reporter was standing outside in Florida, with Hurricane Frances swirling about. Under the reporter was typed "INDIA LANTIC." I burst out laughing, pointing--"Look! Her name's 'India Lantic!!!' And she's "in the Atlantic!!" Get it?! Isn't that hilarious?!?!" Hubby laughed a minute, then said, "Ewe, that's the name of the TOWN!" Sigh. Well, the font was really hard to read....the spacing was very close. And, my goodness, it was written *right under her!* It could have happened to anyone.
"This is Indy Middleofdacountry, signing off."

Origins of the Ewe's Gnus

Have you noticed how many folks are these days researching their family histories? I think it's fabulous to do that. I still know very little about mine, except that somewhere way back, someone in my ancestry happened to be Anne do you spell that, anyway? Well, no matter, Henry VIII cut her head off because she wouldn't bear him any sons. After our third daughter, a lovely little sprite, I might add...I worried that that same fate might befall me. Graciously, though, Hubby decided that he'd give me another chance, and "Viola!" A man child. (Please understand...that was a joke! Hubby loves our girls and once told me he would take a dozen children, and didn't mind if every last one was a girl. What a guy.)
So, in the spirit of helping out future Hall Family Genealogy, Hubby and I decided this was such an exciting time in our life that we should document it. So, we set out to "BLOG." He wrote the "description," then we began to think about a name for our blog. Tiny Tot was gooing and gurgling and gnawing on everything, sitting here by the computer desk. Hubby said, "So, Dear, what do you want to name this?" Tiny Tot replied, "GOO!" We laughed and Hubby said, "So, you wanna call it 'Goo?'" I said, "How 'bout 'The Goo Chronicles?'" So, we decided on that. In the process of typing it in, we began playing with words until I burst out with "The Ewe's Gnus!!" referring to my being the mother ewe of this flock and using the pun "gnus" for "news." Hubby and I rolled around, laughing for a long time, and I felt very satisified with my play on words. So, The Ewe's Gnus it was. Note that blogspot won't allow an apostrophe, so in the URL, you have to pretend it doesn't need one. You'll do that for me, won't you? Using poor punctuation really bothers me. I'm a bit sensitive about it. Be kind.
Well, thank you for reading this small explanation of the Origins of The Ewe's Gnus. If you think of it, be sure to record the URL in some easily findable place, so that a hundred years from now, our descendants will come across it, read up on history, learn how we used the World Wide Web and maybe find a functioning computer in an antique store and somehow, through time travel, learn what was happening in The Ewe's family waaaay back in 2004.
Quote for the day: "It's somebody from sumpin, sumpin..."

Friday, September 03, 2004

The Ewes Gnus--Sept. 3

The Ewes Gnus
Today my eldest daughter and I spent most of the day playing with my new toy--a sewing machine. I have two old ones of my mother's, but neither has an owner's manual. I'm the sort that has to have The Instructions. I actually read them. I'm paralyzed without them. Anyway, I bought a new sewing machine this week. It's wonderful. It has an automatic needle threader. It has a one-step buttonholer. It has a "quick set bobbin." It has The Instructions. So, we are constructing a freehand, go-with-the-flow, "rules? What rules?" quilt top. At least I think that's what it is. We'll see what it turns into when we run out of fabric.
We also baked bread--using my other new toy, the grain mill. Yes, I now grind my own grain. You always new I was a nut case, didn't you? There's something very satisfying about baking bread. I know the Atkins folks would run like the wind, Bulleye at all the grain in this house, but I love bread. Didn't Jesus call Himself the "bread of life?" Seems to me that that would be at least an implied endorsement of the stuff.
I'm watching the approach of Hurricane Frances off the FL coast. I have many e-friends down that way--I'm praying for God's protection over them. DH also has relatives in a nearby state; not sure how they will be affected.
Well, it's Friday night. That's "t.v. night" here. We try to keep the set off on the nights Dad is home, with the exception of Friday. We watch Joan of Arcadia, then JAG. JAG's my favorite. Must sign off for now. Stand by for more of The Ewe's (that's my) Gnus (like "news"...get it?)

The Saga

Well, let's see...I'm not a "geek." (Is that the right term?) I don't know much about technology (sounds like an old song, eh?) But I do know that I love you...oops, I got carried away. I do love my husband, though. He's a great guy. He just spent about an hour putting this together for me to have a forum for putting down my thoughts. My thoughts are usually somewhat disjunct. One day, I was carrying on 3 conversations at once. (Hmmm...I have 3 daughters...3 conversations--are you picking up a connection there? ) Anyway, it went something like, "No, we can't go to the park right now...Yes, that's a very nice picture; I like the colors...No, that is *not* goats' milk." My daughters are convinced that all cheese served in Mexican restaurants are really goat cheese. I think I told them that, after a friend told me. That's probably how urban legends get started. I imagine it would take a mother or at least a person who is accomplished at multitasking to follow my least right now. Today, I don't really have a point except to put words on are these words on? Whatever they're they are. I once wrote that I had read "a writer writes, always." Then I wrote that I was always writing--at least in my head. So, if you'll bear with me, there will eventually be a point. Just not today. And, no, that's *not* goat milk.
Quote for the day: "Ma name's BRUCE!"