Monday, July 20, 2015

Miscellaneous Monday


Shamefully, I must confess something: I'm tired of summer already. I don't know how it happened or why I can't just bask in the little bit of free time I've managed to cobble together. Even when you don't "work," if you're a bit of a project junkie like myself, you can always fill up your schedule. This summer has been no different, in that regard. It just seems like there's so much more I want to do that won't happen till Fall. 

So, how have I been spending my time? 



First of all, there's Gonzo maintenance (see kid in red shirt). Friends from Viet Nam visited and he has really been looking forward to hearing an update on their lives on the other side of the world. As of today, two out of three of the pictured dudes are off to do mission work in Virginia and Tijuana, Mexico. Just think: they're going to spend a week doing backbreaking work in the hot sun when other kids are sitting by the pool...and yet, they are still smiling. I kinda dig that.


To liven things up a bit, I've been trying out "tips" and "hacks" to see which ones are worth doing. Buzzfeed had a video clip that showed a different way to cook pasta...it seemed too good to be true. Lay the pasta in a deep skillet or shallow pan and cover with cold water. Bring it to a boil and stir occasionally. Cook till all the water is gone. No huge pot of boiling water, no strainer, minimal clean up. Why did I need a YouTube video to tell me to try this? It's so simple and it works. Score.


Critter watching continues. All the baby birds have flown off and now I turn my sights back to the cow-boys and cow-girls. Literally. I have a longstanding habit of never saying "calf", "heifer" or "bull." The main reason is because I think it's cute that my husband corrects me each and every time, especially when I call calves "baby-cow." I've only been doing it for a couple of decades or so.

There's an African Brahma cow-boy in the field and every time I look at his horns I think three things: 
  1. How does your head hold those monsters up in the air?  
  2. Do you have a headache - daily? 
  3. Why do I want to give you a demon name, my African buddy? 

Those horns are weird shaped and creepy. The cow is lovely, friendly, and sweet-natured. It's not his fault that I'm weird. 

Meanwhile, I continue my "Lap Cow Project 2015" where I attempt to make these three cows so tame that it will make you feel good all over. 

As it is, they play with the dog (Coco Loco) and run along the fence line with her. Whenever we check the garden, they give me a moo-shout-out. Part of that may be because I keep feeding them goodies...but I'm going to pretend they just like me and they are very smart. 

Of course, I'm doing a little more cow photography than the average person. 

Actually, I think the cow-gang (I also omit "herd") have their eyes on the cantaloupe patch that mysteriously appeared on the compost pile. If I'm translating the moos correctly, they're saying, "hay stinks - throw a cantaloupe over." 

I'm glad there's fencing between them and the melon patch. It gives me hope that we might successfully harvest a few.


Seriously, there is at least a dozen gorgeous cantaloupes. You're saying to yourself "this is a side of her I've never seen...melon obsession..." I'm think the cow obsession was weirder, but okay...I'll go with melons... 


The other two things that occupy my time AND are growing like mad are the sunflowers and my art supply purchases. Ironically, the two are linked. The supplies are being purchased for kids that have taken an art class with me next Fall. Meanwhile, I keep going out and taking pictures of the sunflowers to use as reference photos for sketching homework. Something tells me they will be drawing cows, too.

Bees are supposed to be in trouble; great numbers of hives collapse and the population of these buzzin' brothers are diminishing...but not in my yard. In fact, I think there are abnormally large numbers out there this year. I can't take a picture of a sunflower without 5-10 bees in the frame. I swatted them away repeatedly till I finally gave up and took the picture below with three bees saying "cheese."


I'm getting into a whole lotta nothing overall. Fall can't come soon enough. Stay tuned for October when I rant about the cold.

28 comments:

  1. That is awesome those kids are doing missions works.
    I think that cow looks like Satan as well.
    Would a cow eat a cantaloupe? Or do they just want the greenery?

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    1. I do, too, Alex! :-) They could be sitting around playing video games and acting like the media's sock puppet (not that I'm noticing that).

      Those horns are so weird. They look like they weigh a ton.

      If I cut up any vegetation, especially fruit, they go nuts. I wouldn't give them a lot because I'd be afraid they'd bloat (but this is coming from a goat person...I don't know all things cow).

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  2. Is it bad that I'm ready for summer to be over? It always lasts forever! I think it's because Fall here is from about October to November. Winter is from December to February, and spring is from March to April. So summer is April to September, which is longer than any other season! It's 100 degrees here for almost half the year. That summer season seems to get longer and longer and longer...although this past winter lasted longer than usual. The bees seem to be out of hand this year...but are those the bees they were worrying about disappearing? Because if so, there's no danger of that now!

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    1. Are we just Tennessee-tired of summer, Stephanie? You've got the schedule down pat.

      Bees are out of hand in your end of TN, too? A friend keeps bees and they've been super healthy, too. No joke, though, the bees on the sunflowers are ridiculous in number and pretty sedate (so it's not a crazy group of killer bees waiting to pounce...so that's good).

      Take care, girl!

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  3. Good morning, dear Cherdo!

    You have a neat place up there. It reminds me of the farm property owned by my aunt and uncle when I was growing up. They had a small herd of cows and I loved to stroll among the bovines, pet them and feed them apples. That African Brahma does look evil and, as you stated, it's not his fault. If we take one look at him and judge him to be mean then it is our mistaken interpretation because he is actually a sweet and friendly animal. It's a life lesson for us all. I promise I will never get tired of your cow pictures or melon pictures or sunflower pictures. It's encouraging to know you are doing your part to help replenish the dwindling bee population. It's a good thing you're tired of summer because it will soon be on the run in your part of the country. I've been tired of the Florida summer ever since it started around February 15!

    Happy Monday to you, dear friend Cherdo!

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    1. Shady:

      Like Stephanie mentioned, it seems like our summer gets longer and longer. I've been a huge Fall addict all my life. In Ohio, I have to admit I loved all the Fall festivals. Many of them revolved around large Catholic churches, saint days, etc. I'd have to say about 90% of the population of my town in Ohio was Catholic. We don't have those types of festivals here in the South...definitely Baptist and Methodist make up the bulk of the church folk.

      I think the big difference is that northern festivals are geared equally to kids and adults. Food is fabulous, ethic and homemade by a group of somebody's grandmas from the old country. The grandmas get up early one morning, go to the church kitchen, and whip up a thousand periogi or rigatoni to feed 2500 (all while gossiping and poking at each other).

      Southern festivals are more kid driven...adults get to come. Food is bake sale heavy. Meh.

      How did I get on this topic and off what we were talking about? No one knows for sure. I may have Senior Attention Deficit (SAD).

      Have a great day, dear!

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  4. I am tired over summer too! Here in Florida it's just way too hot. Our summer starts early and drags on and on. I still have to deal with 2-3 more months of this heat.

    I wish I had a melon patch like that! I'm trying to start a pumpkin patch this year. And I just planted more sunflower seeds, so I'm also excited for October. :)

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    1. We had great luck with melons at our old house and ZERO luck at our currently house. That's the story behind why we are so focused on the accidental melon patch. It's lush and beautiful...and we did nothing.

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  5. YES I am so over this summer already!! Texas is now inferno Hell heat everyday and it sucks that its cooled down to 90 degrees at 9pm. I hate the heat and you wont ever hear me make one single complaint about cool weather. I am happiest in the cool temps.
    That baby bull is too cute with his wonky horns. Your just teasing the poor cows with them so close to the cantaloupes.
    Good for those boys to be working hard during the summer volunteering. More kids need to do that in my opinion.
    Hope you have a fun day! I have lists of projects a mile long and yet I still go buy things from garage sales so I can sand them down and paint them in my "free time". LOL

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    1. Oh, I'm doing the refurnishing, too - except it's so stinking stuffy and hot in the barn that I have to resort to night time. And then there's inadequate light.

      Those cows get hand-fed many yummy things from their pal, Cherdo. Why do you think they are so friendly? I will probably lose my camera one day to a giant tongue. One of the cows wants to lick anything in my hand, just in case it is food. Do you know how big a cow's tongue is? And my old pal, Satan the Cow-boy, has a pointed tongue. That does nothing to change his demon image.

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  6. The cow-gang could also be referred to as the moo-group.

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    1. I'm totally stealing that. Then I'm filming them for MooTube.

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  7. I was tired of summer before it already started. Too hot and since I don't drive, I literally go nowhere during the week unless I can fanagle someone into driving me.
    I'm going to have to try that noodle thing! How's the texture. I like mine a little towards al dente..

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    1. The texture is perfect! I use Dreamfields or Ronzoni SmartTaste pasta mostly. I hate overcooked stuff and lean toward al dente. I'll bet you could play around with the amount of water to get it perfect (but it turned out good for me).

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  8. Definitely not a cow I'd want to mess with. Hopefully their mission work goes well.

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    1. That demon cow deserves a poem, Pat.

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  9. I'll put the kids on the prayer list, but if those cow-people like cantaloupes, they are on their own. YUKKKKKKKK!

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    1. Hey, if you cut it up and hand feed them, they'll eat anything. Including the hand, I'll bet...they just need better chompers.

      (Thanks for putting the kids on the prayer list.)

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  10. The summer is only half over, and the heat is oppressive. Any outdoor activities like walking are only before 9 A.M. I like the expression cow-gang. Will they turn to drive by mooing?

    Cantaloupe goes well with an orange or lime sherbet ice-cream.

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  11. Moo! I would never think of cooking pasta that way. It's good to know I don't have to pick up a steaming pot of pasta ever again.

    Love,
    Janie

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  12. I wonder if thete's a cure for cow or melon obsession.

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  13. While there is NO WAY I want to shovel snow anytime soon, I, too, am weary of summer. I'm looking forward to October, my favorite month.
    Before the damn leaves fall off the trees.

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  14. I'm still trying to figure out why you called this blog bit "Miscellaneous Monday". Anybody who can't see the theme that is running throughout this blog bit isn't very perceptive.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  15. Satan cow looks a little top heavy-he could be called Dolly Parton and pretend he is transgender...just saying. I actually love to see bees because I have not seen many and we need those critters. I find that I in the house when it is so hot. I can't keep cool and become a huge bear

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  16. The cow images made me laugh, I love it! Thanks so much for the laughter, dear Cherdo. :)

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  17. I'm also anxious for it to be fall, but that's because it's upwards of 100 degrees Farenheight when I walk to work every day. I'm also fairly certain I spelled "Farenheight" wrong but autocorrect isn't telling me so.

    Now I want some melon...

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  18. "I never saw a purple cow..."

    ^Can't say that no more.

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo