Archive | May, 2009

Aussie Recipes

28 May

Donna Hay cookbooks are wonderful to peruse, with their stylish layout and lovely photography.   They have useful recipes, too.  When in a bookstore, I flip through the magazine, but the substance does not support the subscription price.  The books are a much better buy.  And the library system carries a few of them.

Then I discovered there is another Australian food magazine, Delicious.  Almost was I ready to fork over a lot of money for a year’s subcription until I found out that both magazines have recipe indexes online.

Not only that, but there is an Australian recipe search engine which includes the magazine Delicious. And Donna Hay has her own search engine for recipes.   So save your money, but check out the wonderfully different recipes, like the chocolate banoffee pies, Beef and Guiness pies, or healthy fried rice.

Brother Update

27 May

There  is now a definitive diagnosis: John has stage IV melanoma metastatic cancer.
It spread from the skin on his back where he had a patch of melanoma removed nearly two years ago.

He will have another series of scans, this time incorporating PET:
in order to locate any other sites of metastases.

The doctor has given an estimate of 6 mos – 2 years for him to live, depending on what the PET finds.

Jay will have two doses of radiation to start: each dose will target two different (of 4 total) tumors remaining in his brain. Doses will be delivered serially with a (week?) rest between them.  The first dose was to be given tomorrow.  He had preparatory work (a face mask) done last week.  Doctor indicated they will know within two weeks of the first dose if the radiation will work to kill the tumors.

The doctor indicated he saw no reason Jay could not return to work:
the contractor has already hired him back and is willing for Jay to work at whatever capacity he is able.  This is a blessing!
My brother was quite positive and upbeat when I spoke to him. Indeed, Jay and my father return today from a week’s visit there during which time they did many and sundry guy things.

Last night though, my brother started vomiting uncontrollably and is now in ICU awaiting whatever the doctors consider is the best next step.  another tumor stopped fluid flow into and out of his brain.

Spring Recital and July Student of the Month

27 May

Friday night Isabelle played the Gigue from the fifth suzuki violin book for her spring recital. She did well until the five lines from the end, when she skipped a line and a half.  This greatly confused her accompanist, who happens to be her mother.

I managed to figure out where where she had got to before the end, coming in the nick of time to finish things off nicely.  So I did my job well, since afterward her teacher said, ” She sounded fine.  It sounded like you didn’t know what was going on.”

Last night we went to the local Kiwanis club’s dinner to honor senior high school students who have been chosen, one per month, as their “Student of the Month”.  Isaac was chosen for the month of July.

This recognition is based on public service and volunteer activities.  He was awarded a framed certificate and a savings bond.  He was one of two young men so honored since January.   Huzzah!

Eating Snakes, Snakes Eating

19 May

by guest poster Isabelle

Today I decided to change my snakes’ habitat.  I put my two snakes, Shy Boy and Sly Boy in a white cup, then emptied everything out of their bucket.

I then went up to the garden and put a shovelful of soil in the bottom and stomped to pack it down.  Then I went over to my sand box and looked for slugs around the outside.  I found quite a few, and some worms.

Then I went to the water barrel and moistened the soil.  The slugs I dampened and put in a pile inside the bucket.  I pulled some grass and put it in the bucket.  Then I went over to my snakes and put them in the bucket with their piece of bark.

I had noticed that they looked kind of empty so I decided to search for some slugs, since previously it had been too dry.  I sat and watched them.  Sly Boy the not so shy started slithering around.  He stopped.  There was a slug right in front of him.  He sort of looked at it and then followed it while smelling/tasting it with his tongue.  Then he started to swallow it head first.  His mouth was able to become quite wide.

After swallowing it and letting it slide down his throat he slithered away into a ball soaking up the sun.  Meanwhile this whole time Shy Boy was under his bark.  He then came sliding out from underneath and slithered around.  I wondered if he would also eat.  So I picked up a wandering slug and dropped it in front of him.  He immediately recoiled, scared.  The he loosened up and followed it around as the slug crawled away.

Then, as the slug crawled before him he smelled it–making sure it was a slug.  The he started to swallow it sideways, rotating it back end first.  His jaws began to gulp and swallow.  It went down.  I could see it slide behind his head down his throat.  It was so amazing watching a snake eat.  They are so flexible.

The Shy Boy slid over to his friend and they entwined themselves together while they rested, soaking up the sun.

Tonight’s Supper

15 May

Was made and presented with flair and dash by our (drumroll, please)


As a surprise!  For the occasion of our 23rd anniversary!

We went to Skaneateles for part of the day and returned home at suppertime to this:


Mockingbirds and Bobolinks

14 May

The title reminds me of Heffalumps and Woozles for some reason…

The Mockingbird up in the hedgerow bamboozled Jay for quite awhile into believing the bluebirds, rather than the sparrows, had claimed the nestbox by the garden.  The Mockingbird on the home farm has its nest in the cedar right near the porch.  She had one inch-long brown-speckled grey-blue egg in the nest when Isabelle found it Tuesday afternoon. Isabelle wanted to know if the car would stay warm inside overnight, so I said “No, you may not take the egg home to incubate!” She has decided a Mockingbird baby would be a wonderful addition to the family menagerie.

This morning I watched the Mockingbird sit on the roof corner,  listen to a song sparrow singing in another cedar tree, and then sing a song sparrow song right back to it.

Before we left home I thought I heard a Bobolink, but wondered if it was the real Bobolink or some bird making mockery of it.  In the pastures here on the farm set aside for the prize-winning Shorthorns who come eat them each summer the real Bobolinks are quite apparent and very vocal.  This morning in the very high winds,  while Hawthorne was investigating the cows and I was sitting in the pasture to comfort him after each hestitant foray, the  black, white and yellow Bobolinks were singing,  winging from fencepost to fencepost and swooping down into the tall green grass where they build their nests.


12 May

She asks “Aren’t they so cute?  Don’t you like them? They are my babies.”


These are all a new “crop” she has gathered since the last three were disbursed around the property.  All Redbellies.

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