My progress

Created by MyFitnessPal - Nutrition Facts For Foods

Thursday, September 22, 2016

North Texas Giving Day

Today is the annual North Texas Giving Day, where folks can donate to support any of the listed charities.

One near and dear to my heart is participating again this year, and that is Texas Independent Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue, aka TIRR Rescue.

Donations are ongoing through midnight tonight.  If you have the option, and wish to donate, please see if your company offers a matching program. Many do, and TIRR is a 501c3 charity.  That helps raise more funds, and helps the dogs even more !

Here is the link to the Giving Day site for TIRR.  LINK

I want to say thank you on behalf of all the hounds at TIRR, for your thoughts, prayers, and any funds you feel able to give.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Random bits

Lots and none at all, going on here recently.  We did have a week long break in the hot weather.   But now the heat and humidity has returned. So much for Fall, eh?

The Monkeys and I have started their schooling already.  We also joined the local homeschool co-op, and they get three enrichment classes on Fridays for ten weeks.  I think it's pretty neat, except that I, yeah me, has to teach a class!  I submitted two, and they picked the one I really didn't feel as confident in, of course.  So, yours truly is teaching Intro to Ham Radio, to a group of seven 7th-12th grade boys.  I think I'm terrified!  Of course, being a procrastinator doesn't help me any either.  Still I think I can manage, especially once the text book I ordered comes in for them.

Our chickens are all doing well.  Octavia continues to grace us with a lovely little brown egg a day.  They are quite tasty too, though we need to allow them more time out of the run, to free range, and eat more bugs.  The Monkeys are just worried about raccoons, Mississippi Kites, and dogs/coyotes marauding through the flock, so they tend not to allow them as much time out of the run as I would like.

But yesterday was special!  Yesterday, Oddball, our only Brown Leghorn, laid her first egg!  We know it was her, because it's a white egg, not brown.  She is the only white egg layer in the flock.  Unfortunately, she chose the same nesting box that Octavia prefers.  This may lead to some chicken squabbles.  Soon, we expect the rest of the flock will start laying.  But hopefully they will choose a different nesting box or two (we have 8) and not all try to use the same box!

Today, the Monkeys report that Octavia is sitting in the nesting box, Oddball wants in it too, and that the feisty Orpie is eyeing the boxes also!  Perhaps by the time we return from church this afternoon, there will be more eggs.

Though Labor Day has come and gone, we are still using our pool.  The water temp is going down, from a high of the mid 90's, to a fairly stable 85-87F.  That feels chilly at first, but in reality is quite nice.   Though we do fire up the spa heater, to be able to soak in warm comfort.  I don't think we will actually "close" the pool at all, though we will only use the spa.  And to use the spa, we have to keep the pool in service condition.  They're all connected, you know.  I'm actually looking forward to using the hot spa on a cold winter's night after lifting heavy that evening.

We still have several projects on tap for this fall.  We are clearing out some deadwood from a friend's pasture.  Taht will take cooler weather, and time.  The trees that blew down are huge!  Then we also have to split said wood.  Not having a hydraulic splitter means we are doing it the old fashioned way--by maul and wedge!  There's also the interior work to do in the shop.  And landscaping work...and more!  Plenty to keep us busy.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fifteen years on...

Where were you, early this morning, fifteen years ago?  Me?  I was sitting in my truck, outside the office, some 15min before my shift started, listening to the radio.  The usual news broadcast came on, and I remember the announcer saying something about a plane hitting some big building in New York City.

I remember thinking about the time a B25 Mitchell bomber crashed into the Empire State building back in 1945...and assuming some poor soul had inadvertently flown a light aircraft into some skyscraper.  Little did I know, at 07:45, 09/11/01...

My job was frustrating, annoying, and honestly I hated it.  I was 6mo pregnant with our first child, and although I loved the folks I worked with, having worked with them for most of 13yrs under a different employer, I hated the new job.  I was sticking it out, for the healthcare coverage, until the baby arrived.  So, going inside to start work was drudgery...

There was some smalltalk floating around the cube floor, apparently others had heard something about the plane crash too... We settled in, and I flipped on a small radio.  Soon it became apparent that 'something' was up--that maybe it was not an accidental crash--that it was a big jet, not some little Cessna--and then word came that a second plane had hit the other building.

Only a few folks had limited 'net access back then in the office, and the radios were so full of misinformation early on.  The only TV in the break room couldn't get a picture, as the cable didn't work.  We were tantalizingly, horrifyingly in the dark news-wise.  Then the towers fell.  I had heard a report that up to 30,000 people could have been in each tower on any given day.  I knew it was going to be bad...and then we heard about the Pentagon.  And then Flight 93...we wondered how many more planes...how many more souls would be lost that bleak day?

I went out to the parking lot for lunch, after the FAA had grounded ALL commercial aircraft.  The sky was eerie in its emptiness.  As I looked up, I saw one lone contrail, flying over Lawrence, KS, going due north, well off the usual commercial flight paths.  I realized later that it was Air Force One, after I heard that Pres. Bush had been flown to Offutt AFB, SAC HQ, in Omaha, which coincidentally lies almost due north of Lawrence.

In those days following 9-11, I found the images, and news reports compelling.  Dave didn't want me to see them--he was worried I would be too distressed by some images, such as those who chose to jump.  I wanted to help--but at 6mo pregnant, there was nothing I could do but pray, and I was only newly come to faith, and lacked the confidence in prayer that I enjoy now.

I still find the images compelling--not in a voyeuristic way--but as possibly the most significant news event of my life.  Much as my parents generation recalls Pearl Harbor, I recall 9/11.  There was a tribute video done in the days following, done by a New Yorker.  It uses a song by a singer, Enya.  To this day, I cannot hear that song without that video playing in my mind.

I remember a couple years ago, how in Egypt and Libya, our people murdered, embassies were besieged and damaged--flags torn down and burned, crowds chanting.  It brought to mind, seeing Palestinians dancing and chanting with evil joy on 9/11/01, when they learned of the attacks on America.  I remember too, the crowds chanting and attacking another US embassy, many years ago, in Tehran/Teheran,  when the now-Iranian President was a young well educated radical, taking our personnel there hostage.  I remember watching the news with trepidation, of the so-called Arab Spring...and it occurred to me tonight between what our government is doing now, and what another government that should've known better too, achieved, when in 1938 they proclaimed "Peace in our time!"  Appeasement doesn't work...when will we ever LEARN?

Perhaps more importantly, from whence will come our Churchill?

Fifteen years on...

Where were you, early this morning, fifteen years ago?  Me?  I was sitting in my truck, outside the office, some 15min before my shift started, listening to the radio.  The usual news broadcast came on, and I remember the announcer saying something about a plane hitting some big building in New York City.

I remember thinking about the time a B25 Mitchell bomber crashed into the Empire State building back in 1945...and assuming some poor soul had inadvertently flown a light aircraft into some skyscraper.  Little did I know, at 07:45, 09/11/01...

My job was frustrating, annoying, and honestly I hated it.  I was 6mo pregnant with our first child, and although I loved the folks I worked with, having worked with them for most of 13yrs under a different employer, I hated the new job.  I was sticking it out, for the healthcare coverage, until the baby arrived.  So, going inside to start work was drudgery...

There was some smalltalk floating around the cube floor, apparently others had heard something about the plane crash too... We settled in, and I flipped on a small radio.  Soon it became apparent that 'something' was up--that maybe it was not an accidental crash--that it was a big jet, not some little Cessna--and then word came that a second plane had hit the other building.

Only a few folks had limited 'net access back then in the office, and the radios were so full of misinformation early on.  The only TV in the break room couldn't get a picture, as the cable didn't work.  We were tantalizingly, horrifyingly in the dark news-wise.  Then the towers fell.  I had heard a report that up to 30,000 people could have been in each tower on any given day.  I knew it was going to be bad...and then we heard about the Pentagon.  And then Flight 93...we wondered how many more planes...how many more souls would be lost that bleak day?

I went out to the parking lot for lunch, after the FAA had grounded ALL commercial aircraft.  The sky was eerie in its emptiness.  As I looked up, I saw one lone contrail, flying over Lawrence, KS, going due north, well off the usual commercial flight paths.  I realized later that it was Air Force One, after I heard that Pres. Bush had been flown to Offutt AFB, SAC HQ, in Omaha, which coincidentally lies almost due north of Lawrence.

In those days following 9-11, I found the images, and news reports compelling.  Dave didn't want me to see them--he was worried I would be too distressed by some images, such as those who chose to jump.  I wanted to help--but at 6mo pregnant, there was nothing I could do but pray, and I was only newly come to faith, and lacked the confidence in prayer that I enjoy now.

I still find the images compelling--not in a voyeuristic way--but as possibly the most significant news event of my life.  Much as my parents generation recalls Pearl Harbor, I recall 9/11.  There was a tribute video done in the days following, done by a New Yorker.  It uses a song by a singer, Enya.  To this day, I cannot hear that song without that video playing in my mind.

I remember a couple years ago, how in Egypt and Libya, our people murdered, embassies were besieged and damaged--flags torn down and burned, crowds chanting.  It brought to mind, seeing Palestinians dancing and chanting with evil joy on 9/11/01, when they learned of the attacks on America.  I remember too, the crowds chanting and attacking another US embassy, many years ago, in Tehran/Teheran,  when the now-Iranian President was a young well educated radical, taking our personnel there hostage.  I remember watching the news with trepidation, of the so-called Arab Spring...and it occurred to me tonight between what our government is doing now, and what another government that should've known better too, achieved, when in 1938 they proclaimed "Peace in our time!"  Appeasement doesn't work...when will we ever LEARN?

Perhaps more importantly, from whence will come our Churchill?

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Chicken Little

No, the sky isn't falling, but 'round here it seems the chickens are beginning to lay!  Yes, lay eggs!  It started the other day, when Monkey1 found a lovely brown egg in one of the nesting boxes.  She came running into the house, shouting in excitement.  It was funny, but the egg was lovely.  Unfortunately, we did not see which chicken had given us her gift.

Our first egg! Brown, but the flash makes it look white.
Then there was a second egg the next afternoon.  More excitement ensued.  Then we finally spotted a hen in the box, and got egg #3 from under her.  It was Octavia (she's either a black australorp, or a black sexlink)!  Then  Octavia gifted us with a 4th egg yesterday, which Monkeyboy promptly ate.  Today, Octavia is back in a nesting box, and we eagerly await her delicious gift!
Miss Octavia
It seems to have helped that I bought a pair of ceramic brown eggs, to stash in the nesting boxes.  Apparently it encourages nesting behaviour, and stimulates egg production.  And if you get a broody hen, you can slip a couple underneath her, while you shanghai the real eggs for consumption.

Yesterday, she gave us a softshell (shell-less) egg.  The dogs got to eat that one, as the membrane got dirty, having landed under one of the roosting bars.  And as of today, we collected another small brown egg from the nesting boxes, another Octavia offering I am sure.  If she's an Australorp, she is starting out quite prolific!  Sex links are typically heavy layers for the first three years, and then they sort of burn out.
Octavia, out with the guineas.
 Hopefully, more hens will start laying soon, so I can quit buying eggs at the store!  But I am just grateful for whatever they give us.  They are fun little creatures, all with distinct personalities.  If you are in a position to have a few hens of your own, I highly recommend getting some!