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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Maggie Mae in the Kitchen

As I left to go to tutor, the chickens came from back to front yard as I got into the car. They moved a little faster when they saw me. When I backed out and turned to drive away, they stopped dead still as if in disbelief. "She just left us home alone."

When I returned in an hour, I did not see them. However, they materialized when I stepped from the car. They were begging in a funny voice. So, I said, "Come on." They know these words mean food. Maggie May and Thelma disappeared after about four steps. I turned to look behind me and they weren't there. When I turned to continue, Maggie May was standing sideways as close to my toes as she could be without touching me. Then, Thelma came beside me. I cannot for the life of me figure out how they can disappear and reappear. I am not that feeble-minded yet.

As I ascended the steps, they came right behind me. I left the door open just because. I walked across the room and turned in time to see Maggie May already further inside than she had ever come before, almost to the ottoman. She stopped and looked at my bed. "No!"

She hopped onto the ottoman where I had placed my purse as I came in. I froze. She quickly jumped over my purse, then flew over my chair, landing behind it. Now, my chair is not against a wall. She looked around and decided to go into the bathroom.  I stepped toward her and she stepped away, closer to the bathroom. I straddled her, sort of trapping her between my legs/feet. I bent to get her and she was faster and ran between my legs and toward the kitchen. She got past the refrigerator, about 12 feet into the kitchen.

Maggie May was skittish the whole time. I think she thought she was headed to the door when she turned to the kitchen. I talked nicely and caught her. She was unceremoniously dumped outside the door. She turned back as if she wanted to come in again. I give them bread for a snack once in a while. I closed the door and went to get bread. When I came back out, Maggie May was talking to me from the railing, having claimed Thelma's spot of privilege closest to the door.

She looked at my blouse that was three inches from her beak. She always looks like she sees a speck of dust or the pattern of my shirt to peck. IF she ever pecks me from her vantage point by the door, she will be pecking my breast. I think that will really hurt. How do you explain the ER doctor that your nipple was savagely removed by a hungry chicken?

 One hen tried to peck a freckle from my leg; another pecked towels on the line of lint or pollen or something; another brought blood to my little toe and partially ripped off the side of my toe. It took forever to get my toe to stop bleeding. She makes me nervous when I come by her and she looks interested in pecking my chest.

There was no poop in the house after Maggie May's little adventure.

Your turn
Do your chickens or llamas or goats or spotted horses want to come inside?

Chickens in the House

Tuesday night, I actually slept two hours. My friend, the child's mother, wanted to come here to help me as soon as the dripped her children off at the three schools. I let her come at her convenience, so I was awakened by her call saying she was on her way. I stood for thirty minutes as she helped me by tossing what needed tossing and vacuuming. She did the bending, thankfully.

The chickens were released but not fed because I did not want to climb the steps even once to get food.

When she left, I got in bed still dressed and tried to get 45 more minutes of sleep. I didn't. When exbf came, he said the hens were in the front yard, but they followed him to the back door. So, I asked him to get a dirty paper plate and put oats on them to feed them. I as still lying down when he opened the door back obscuring my view of him. "Oh, NO!" He sounded distressed.

I heard him make a loud noise, a start from a surprise. I heard his cane knocking around on the door or wherever. The step out the back door is about ten inches. With his hips being so fragile, he cannot endure a fall out the door onto concrete. I hurried the few feet and looked around the door. He was standing. "Maggie May launched herself from the railing!"

He had not fallen. Maggie May had jumped at the paper plate to get oats. You can imagine how that worked out. Now, the cup or less of oats were all over the floor inside! I just left the door open and allowed both hens in to clean the floor. Exbf looked when they left and was amazed. "They did a really good job!" Plus, they did not poop on my floor. They saved that for the steps and exbf walked it into the house. sigh. I sprinkled DE over the initial pile and over the poop walked up the steps. The million flies on the eight or so places left after I sprinkled DE.

I was exhausted by the time I needed to go tutor. So, I napped. My 45-minute nap really refreshed me before tutoring. However, the short nap wore off fast.

Today, the boy tutee finished the fourth of five projects for art--draw an elephant upside down. So, he did. When our time was almost over, he assured me her could do the other one tonight to have all five sketches  ready for class tomorrow. He has a 33 in Art at this point.

We, exbf and I, ate at the church dinner tonight. I had lots of scraps for the hens--corn chips, tomato, lettuce, shredded cheese, and green onions. Maggie May and Thelma ate eagerly. While I took the short nap, exbf used the weed eater so I could get to the clothes line without walking in knee-high weeds and grass. I love it when he comes on Wednesday so I don't have to cook. However, I did cook, still cooking boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I sent home a hen I cooked, minus most of the breast. He brings back what is left for the hens.

THEN, I took an hour nap while I was waiting for exbf to call and tell me he was home safely. I really think I will sleep soundly tonight.

I have a half-dozen gallon jars, mostly from pickles. I am giving them away because the plans for them were made long ago. I am over those plans. Maybe the woman that helps me will take them to her mother! Keep your fingers crossed her mother is interested. I will have less stuff around here.

Well, this was not an exciting or newsworthy day, except for the hens in the house, but it was tiring. Today was a gloriously beautiful sunny day. But, I hear storms will return. sigh

Your turn
Do you have animals that will clean your floor? Have you left go of valued stuff when you lost the vision momentarily and realized stuff had to go and could be gotten later if the vision returned? Was your day tiring or boring, or was it restful or exciting

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dream, Cherry, Tutee, Egg, Strawberry, Surprise

Last night, I had a doozy of a dream. I was in a very cold climate that had many feet of snow and polar bears. I don't have any idea where this place was located. The house had a porch across the back. My next younger sister was there. Why? Who knows.

She was looking out the back window and told me in a hushed tone to "come look." Or, maybe I was the one looking out the window. Whichever one of who was summoned to the window got too close to the window, attracting the bears. The huge polar bear with her cubs started coming toward the house. We both shrieked a quiet little shriek and tried to run, padding quietly through the house. We both knew that bear could rip off windows or doors.

I remember wishing I had a gun, so we must not have had one. The bear tore off the back door. We could hear her rummaging through cabinets for food. We were terrified the bear would keep coming through doors and get to us, so we lay quietly in one bed, covered up. It was frigid and we were petrified.

Then, all of a sudden my sister was gone. I was shivering.

Then, I awoke shivering and desperate to go to the bathroom. I was awake, shivering, and afraid to go to the bathroom. When I finally went to the bathroom, wide awake, I tried to be quiet so the bear would not hear me. I put a third blanker over me when I finally got back in bed without the bear eating me. I covered up my head and went back to sleep. I have no idea where this dream came from.

My tutee made copies of what he had to draw for art and spent the next hour drawing a cherry. Before we got inside, I had him carry the math book I brought. I mentioned it was so heavy because it was the teacher's edition of the student's math book. He was so serious as he sort of chuckled and said, "This book is starting to scare me." ??? I have no idea why the teacher's book would scare him, so I chuckled, too.

Maggie May gave me an egg today.

I price-matched California strawberries--$1. CA strawberries are the best! The AL strawberries I have tasted are nasty. I am off to wash, slice, and put a bit of sugar on the strawberries.

When I went to the doctor today, the nurse told me I had lost 12 lbs. since I was there in November. At least two dozen people have commented that I looked like I had lost weight. I denied it. BUT, obviously I did.

Your turn

How did your day go? Any weird "animals are going to eat me" dreams?

A New Project

I have committed myself to tutoring a teen boy every day after school for the rest of the school year. Today was the first day. He brought nothing to show me where he was in math or English. No, he left those books somewhere, school or home. No, none of it was on the computer issued from the school. No, he had written nothing down anywhere, ever, EVER.

This is all for the child who was held back twice. The first time, it was the teacher's idea because he was immature. BAD IDEA! The second time had something to do with family life and moving in the middle of the year.

As it turned out, I found things on his Blackboard program that he swore were not there. Lots of shoulder-shrugging and smiles. GRRRRR He was shocked I could use Blackboard. You know us old fuddy-duddies are not quite up with technology.

Yes, I am the most patient tutor you have ever seen.

He got one of five sketches finishd for an Art project due on Friday. sigh When his mother came in, I told her what he lacked for me to help him. She assured me it would be with him tomorrow.

He knows: 2x=6

And, he sees no reason to learn to divide both sides of the equal sign by 2. Well, the one I will bring him to work tomorrow will not be so easy.

I had just bought the $54 drill when his  mother who is helping me for 30 minutes each week uncovered my drill, bits, and special extension cord. So, that money regained has been very helpful for my finances.

It will all work out! He will pass and go into 8th grade next year. Well, the goal is to get him into ninth grade where he belongs.

Your turn
Do you ever tutor or teach a skill and have to struggle with the learner?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Doing Favors and a Recipe

Cake Mix Cookies IV

Cake Mix Cookies VIII
made from a cake mix
I have a very nice neighbor around the block. He takes my garbage to the road each week and carries the recycling out when he sees it is full. One milk jug in the recycling bin is not worth hauling the container to the road, so he does not take it out every week. He hauled my 9 hibiscus trees from the basement this summer and has done various little things that are large things to me.

 He is the one who will feed my hens on occasion. He grew up with a chicken house with 10, 000 broilers, so he is accustomed to chickens. He gets my hens' eggs when he does feed them. I also regularly share eggs with him. Now that he has his nephew, his wife, and child living there temporarily, he will use eggs much faster than before.

He has a group of young people, a religious group not associated with any church, that meets at his house. Several times when they have met, I have taken cookies, sheet cake or brownies to his house beforehand. Sometimes, I just take stuff and figure he can give them away, eat them, or freeze them until they come over. I use a brownie mix that I purchase for pennies.

No more.

There are about a dozen cake mixes in my kitchen, gotten free. I don't need to eat them, don't even particularly like some of the flavors, and cannot seem to give them away. Okay, most are some flavor of I would like those to stay here. On the internet there are recipes for making cookies from cake mixes. But, I cannot stand up very long to drop cookies onto a cookie sheet. So, I decided I would see if there were recipes for making brownies from cake mixes. Well, it turns out there are simple and complicated recipes. I am going for a simple recipe.

HERE is a page of links for brownie recipes from cake mixes.  I chose this RECIPE.


Cake Mix Brownies

One Cake Mix, any flavor
1 egg
1/4 cup water


Press batter into a 9x13 pan. Cook at 350 degree for 20 to 25 minutes. Do not over bake.


As I read another page, it seems this will work for strawberry cake mix, just any flavor. Of course, add-ins like chocolate chips or raisins or nuts work, too.

Some of the recipes have fourteen ingredients and start with a cake mix. ???  Not for me!

Oh, he did make the remark after I gave them a frosted sheet cake and apologized for the horrid looking icing that they were "more cookie and brownie people" I can handle that. I think he thought the sheet cake was harder than cookies or brownies.

Your turn
Have you ever made brownies from a cake mix? If so, please tell me you did not use the recipe with 14 other ingredients.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five

"Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year."

I had to memorize the first two stanzas of The Ride of Paul Revere by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. So, I always remember the date and story.

"One if my land, two if by sea;
and I on the opposite shore will be..." 

These two lines above are probably the most famous. The rest of the poem , published in 1861, is equally enthralling to me.

I m eternally grateful to my teachers for assignments that required me to memorize poetry and prose like the Preamble to the Constitution.

Only one egg today. The hens have been frustrated because I have had no oats for the last four days. So, last night, I purchased whole grains oats. Today, they are happy.

Your turn
Did you have to memorize portions of this poem when you were in grade school?  Mybe you are not a fan of Longfellow? What is your favorite poem he wrote? Do children memorize for school assignments?

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Dream and Eggs and Rain

Fork, Spoon and Knife | Cutlery Coloring Pages

Last night, I had a weird dream. There was something wrong with a tooth on the bottom, left part of my jaw. I thought something was wedged between my teeth. I was eating something really soft, so there was a moment of puzzlement as I got the soft food either swallowed or spat out. I examined the plastic fork I was using only to find all the tines intact. Using my tongue to feel did not reveal the problem.

I tried to pull out whatever it was keeping my mouth from closing even as it wiggled freely. This dream seemed to go on forever. Going to the bathroom mirror I saw the problem. As it turned out, my tooth had split top to bottom, leaving a wiggly splinter still in the gum and attached at the bottom. I was just horrified. This had happened to a top, right side tooth about 20 years ago.

Why did I dream this? These three reasons might explain the dream. This is the first tooth dream ever.
1) Exbf had gone to the dentist on Tuesday for a checkup.
2) A tooth had cracked in the same manner many years ago.
3) A plastic fork had broken and I did have a tine loose in my mouth.

The two hens gave me two eggs today.

It rains every day! The grass is never dry enough to mow! The grass and weeds get higher by the minute. I guess it is good for crops, but I think they can get waterlogged with too much rain.

Your turn
Do you ever dream about your teeth? tell me all about it? How are your hens laying?  Are your April showers unwelcome right now?