Friday night and I’m in front of a keyboard!

I’ll be jiggered, I’m able to type while being offline! Not sure why or how, but will not look gift horses in the mouth! Tomorrow the caterpillars are supposed to start their change into butterflies (OK, just noticed something. Being offline won’t fix spelling or underline words that may or may not be accurate. Such as jiggered or caterpillers. Yup, as soon as I got online, many words were marked!). They also need temps between 68 and 78 F, but this week has been in the lower 60’s. With house temps in the middle. (The house is not very warm, except in later summer. Nice because it is a cooler home downstairs and not nice because when outside is 80 F, upstairs is an oven and downstairs is finally almost nice. I prefer 70F for a house temp!) And the very last caterpillar is hanging in the j shape, so soon it will make a sleeping bag and emerge in a few days as a butterfly. I made a mistake and mentioned to Little Bear that the caterpillars might emerge this weekend. He laughed and said that would be a neat trick to NOT change. Although, in retrospect, many of us do that. We hide in a place that looks safe and emerge as the same person that hid. Thankfully, more of us go into a safe hiding place where we can think and grow into something even more lovely than we already are. One of the lovely changes this spring is my purple shamrock. Was convinced it was dead, a few leaves showed up, and now look at it! 

Speaking of Little Bear, he’s not well. The right side of his abdomen aches and at first the doctor thought it might be appendix. After looking at him and poking around, it was decided he needed an ultrasound on his gall bladder. Well, that looked fine, but it seems there are spots of fat on his liver. So, we will try to change his diet a bit for the next two weeks and see if that helps his pain. It is horrid being a mom and seeing he hurts and knowing, at this point, there is nothing that can be done unless he does it for himself. I said we’d try to change his diet, but it will be his choice. I usually serve good foods, but he loads them up with condiments and has two platefuls. His ice cream servings are crazy! Anyway, we are thankful it isn’t anything that may need operated on. Had to laugh at him, though. The doctor told him if the pain gets worse to visit the ER and they will do a CT scan. He looked at the bill for the ultrasound and said there was no way he was going to visit an Emergency Room (or as it is called in the Hospital where mum was, Emergency Department or ED) because that bill would be ridiculous. He’s right on the cost, though. He hasn’t been to work for two days and I drove him to his blood draw today. The lab department gave him a kit to use for stool and urine. He was even less impressed with that. I wasn’t when he said the stool sample could be frozen and the urine kept in the fridge!!!!! YIKES!!! 

And as for yikes. Opted to wear my pretty red bra today and good Lord is it uncomfortable!! I must have gained acres of weight since I purchased it in fall of ‘19!!! I now know why tank tops are preferable. I’m also a tad nervous about removing it since my continuous glucose sensor is on the back of my arm and it was a pain getting the straps over it to put the thing on. Crazy?? Yes. 

And I’ll leave you this weekend with a crazy bit of fun, I give you ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Next Tuesday is a day set aside to celebrate this fun author and his works. I’ve already gotten a pot of purple petunias in a blue bowl (not going to drop them, though!!) and would serve pizza for dinner that night, but we had pizza last Tuesday! Follow the link and see what is going on for folks who keep their towels handy and know the answer to the secret of the universe. (Four.) Please enjoy this great tune from the movie intro and YouTube: “So long, and thanks for all the fish!”

A New Book Favorite and Mom’s Day

Have been reading an old book by Kate Douglas Wiggin….. No, not Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, but one that pulls part of the story from the fanciful and yet incredibly fun and wise story of Kingsley’s Water Babies. This book is called ‘Mother Carey’s Chickens.’ Mrs. Carey is recently widowed and she and her family gained the nicknames of Mother Carey and chickens from The Water Babies. After Father Carey (actual family name) dies, Mother Carey and her chickens move to embrace a different sort of life in a new neighborhood. The family grows and has a multitude of experiences, yet the mother is the one who must hold all together and be both mother and father to her children and help other good birds to find the way home. (another allusion to Water Babies) Much of this book is quotable and often the quotes are pulled from elsewhere. I particularly loved this one, ‘No whimpering, madam! You can’t have the joys of motherhood without some of its pangs. Think of your blessings and don’t be a coward!” 

In another scene Mrs. Carey recalls a verse from somewhere, she knows not where, that also struck me as opportune for mom’s day. ‘You can glad your child or grieve it! You can trust it or deceive it; When all’s done, Beneath God’s sun, You can only love and leave it.’ (Not that I liked calling children ‘it’ so often, but it does rhyme better!!!)

Another character shared his philosophy with the readers, thusly. “The way I look at it,” he said, “this world’s all the world we’ll git till we git to the next one: an’ we might’s as well smile on it, ‘s frown! You git your piece o’ life an’ you make what you can of it; that’s the idee!” 

In one of the last chapters of the book, Mother Carey shares a verse with her family that is taken up as a life motto by some of her chickens. And it is a good one. “And all the bars at which we fret, that seem to prison and control, are but the doors of daring set ajar before the soul.” 

All in all, I’m glad I opted to pick up this particular story. It is old fashioned and may annoy modern readers, but for me, it was great fun. I’d prefer it in paper since mom’s kindle doesn’t appear to have a feature the ipad did. I highlighted and bookmarked selections, but in order to find them, I need to ‘turn’ pages to see where they are! On the ipad, there was a spot for ‘selections’ and it had highlights and notes and bookmarks. One of the most interesting bits for me was to actually see how this author’s writing complimented the time when it was written. Olive isn’t fond of men and wants to paint, Julia is a bit of a snob and learns to be kind, Gilly or Gilbert learns how going to college isn’t the most important thing for a male to do, Nancy writes and is the one everyone loves unselfishly as she loves others, and she finds possible romance, but the story ends before that romance is fulfilled.

I’m also reading Water Babies (May have mentioned that earlier) and it is fun noticing where the two books mesh. 

Finishing the book about the family before and after mom’s day week was uplifting, entertaining, and a joy. I could relate to Mrs. Carey and the characters. Looking at the babies in this house (the new kits-bunnies) and the caterpillars I ordered, I can see how the one will eventually help feed us and the other will fly out into the world to share beauty it has no idea it holds. Each small promise can grow anywhere.

Meanwhile, I think I’ve finally figured out how to add photos to things. It is rather laborious for this gal, but we’ll see what happens when I finally get time to actually post this particular thought. It is time to get myself offline (the only way to effectively type. I can do it offline, but if I walk off and leave it for a bit, I get kicked off the document and need to go back online to get it! Plus, spell check isn’t as efficient offline.), make dinner, and hope my glucose goes down after the rash of cute little chocolate chocolate chip oatmeal cookies I made…and ate several of! Also think I need an updated mouse, this one seems to not want to work well with the old laptop or this chromebook.

While making dinner Little Bear was surprised to hear me say, ‘There’s too much thyme.‘ Of course, he heard ‘time‘ and that is something I rarely have too much of when making dinner and yes, it spilled into the meat.

Not too old to learn new tricks, probably!

Piffle. Typed the title too soon! Put that title in the google doc and then popped offline to write the document and found I had to go back online to tell the document site that I wanted to work offline! But, it was managed and now I will wait for the hub contraption so I can add in pictures from out and about the yard and life in the PNW. (and the dryer just finished, naturally, so will go and fold clothes for a bit.) And after being off the chromebook for a while, I could not get into the document to do anything. Had to go BACK online. Am so very very thankful I didn’t have this in AK. With the spotty unreliable internet up there, I’d never gotten anything done on the internet. (and my laptop journal will go back to basic paper and pen.) So, reckon it isn’t being too old, it is getting used to new tricks (like using the highlight action to delete a phrase instead of back spacing one space at a time or I should say TRYING to use the highlighting feature since I can get it to work sometimes and not others.) and learning completely new ones. 

Little Bear is finally using his bicycle to go to work, after he comes home for lunch (he feels it is too ‘cold’ to ride in the morning still!). I’m rather glad he’s doing this, he tends to not care much for exercise that doesn’t involve hiking in the woods every so often or walking around the grocery store or mowing for his grandma. For years, we’ve been suggesting he do this and we live only a few blocks from his job, so it isn’t like it is a lot of work. He isn’t even confronted with much of an incline on his short journey! New things are often good things.  

But, the most awesome, amazing, coolest bit of knowledge today was in cooking. I adore cooking, it is such a good feeling knowing food I made is filling tummies and stimulating taste buds. Made cinnamon/sugar pretzels for Easter (not sure which thumb drive has those photos–or if they got to a thumb drive!) and a type of Reese’s bar that I had to use ground up honey nut Cheerios in, since I ran out of graham crackers (did I ever share why those were invented? Constantly makes me laugh, especially as May is one of those ‘national’ celebrations for the ‘self abuse’ the preacher was trying to curb!!). Cooking the wild turkey was a definite stretch in learning new things and wanted to use the last of the half I had cooked with rice. While looking for a not quite Spanish rice recipe, I found an article about using rice. The author shared she often had mixed results making rice and finally realised why. She wasn’t cooking it properly each time because not all rice is the same! I was stunned. I always cook my rice the same way and some dinners have crunchy rice and (why on EARTH did spell check change the word ‘others’ to ‘clothes’????) others are perfect. It seems I buy white rice that isn’t all the same..and I’ve sometimes been known to mix it in the rice bin in the cupboard. So, since I have no idea what kind of rice is on the shelf, I’ll cook it and if it is crunchy, I’ll know and add more liquid. Not because it is not done because the machine is off, but because I had no idea different rices needed different amounts of liquid. (am pretty sure GH is falling off her chair in giggles)  

Now, if only The Craftsman would find time to fix the dishwasher. Although, that is whining. He’s been busy doing stuff outside and washing dishes by hand isn’t that horrid. You just need to organise the job and it doesn’t usually take more than a half hour from start to finish. (speaking of whining, I am going to get 6 or more inches cut off my hair next time I get it done. I finally mentioned something and both men in the family responded. TCM: “I thought something looked different the other day.” LB: “I wasn’t sure, but thought dad probably had done it sometime.” I had 5 inches removed in early April!