Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The one wear my brain flies into ADD and I can't bring it all together.

I started talking about opening my windows and regretting it since the house is 85 F and I'm hot.  There are people out there that have no AC at all and frankly, I think that I'm whining about something trivial.

I started another post about the sadness I have about the Colorado shooting, how disturbing I feel it is that sales of firearms have been on the rise and what possesses someone to decide to kill anyone, much less mow a bunch of people down with an assault rifle when they did nothing anyhow.  (Not that I could find a defense for doing that at all.)

I then began with the thought of how I made sweet corn cake and took that to my sister's house a few weeks ago.  I was out of creamed corn and decided that I could just spin some canned corn in the mini chop and certainly that would do it.  I assure you, it was not a sufficient substitute.  I also used raw sugar vs. granulated.  Finally, after re-reading, I discovered that I used baking soda instead of baking powder and that would be why the whole recipe kind of tasted, in my sister's words, "Earthy."  I made it again last Thursday, being careful to follow the instructions completely, and it was amazing how incredibly delicious it was!  See, following directions and not making it my own did work. 

Surprisingly, I had no purple shirt to wear for purple night at VBS, so I wore one of K-'s purple hair doodles in my hair.  There, I had a lick of purple.  Being that I like lavender, I was surprised to find that I have winter things, but no summer things in that color. 

Canned food collection went better this evening.

The horse that K- was supposed to ride for horseback riding (we traded fishing lessons for riding lessons with my cousin) is injured and cannot be ridden.  However, K- is excited about, "Taking care of it, watering it, feeding it, brushing it and telling it how much I love it."  She just wants to scratch a velvety nose.  If she can't ride, she gets it and has found alternate things she can do to be happy.

I think that I may have run out of things to ramble about. 


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tales from the Trenches: Giving of the first fruits.

This week at Vacation Bible School, I'm in charge of running the Missions project.  I gave the director a quick overview of past projects that I had done and she and Rev. K chose for me to do a kid-friendly food collection to benefit a local charity. 

The first few nights were a little thin.  The director was very sad, but I told her that things would start to come in.  They started coming in today.  13% of the items donated have expired, including some from 2008.  I know that I've touched on this in regard to the collection that we do at the school each year. 

Cleaning out the cupboards just for numbers kills me.

We're to give from our first fruits.  Particularly in this case, we're collecting for those in need.  If we wouldn't see fit to feed our families expired evaporated milk, soup from 2008, boxes of potatoes and so forth, why would we think that people who are in need would be wanting the cast offs? 

For K-, I went to the store and purchased things that I knew that she loved.  I wanted her to not only give, but to sacrificially give.  I bought her favorite cheesy crackers, fruit snacks that we don't buy but she loves, gold fish, banana chips (which I thought she liked but she doesn't) and macaroni and cheese.  I loved the initial, "Mom!  I love those!"  I loved it because I knew that to her, she was truly donating something that was a love of hers.

For this evening, I'll be going down to my shelf in the basement to find more things to donate tomorrow.  I need to beef up the givin's. 

Yes, I'll check the dates. 

Smiles in my day:
-  My MIL took K- to her very first county fair.  They had a truly lovely time and turns out that K- was a clown in the children's circus.  She played games and won lovely things.  She had a grand time and reports that she was thankful and let grandma know so.
-  K- is having a fantastic time at VBS.
-  The grocery is across the street from the church and I was able to dash in to get a sandwich before the evening began.
-  The church sponsors a uniform swap and I was able to swap 3 uniform pieces for 3 that fit. 
-  I'm getting to know a lot of people from the church is this week.  They kind of seem happy to have me there.  That's always a good thing.  The very beginning started out a hair rough, so I'm glad that it all shook out. 
-  Grandpa's house appears to have sold.  I'm so glad that my dad won't have to go through another never-ending house for sale saga like they did with Poppy's house.  That took 2 1/2 very long years.  I don't think that they even buried a St. Joseph in the front yard. 

Have a great night!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

It's like planning a party and all of your guests are late.

My regular readers will know that we have butterfly gardens out back.  Our out back is part of our 40' x 120' plot of dirt. 

It's not so big.

Still, I have planted, tended, watered in the drought (not crazy, but reasonable enough) to the point that our water bill greatly reflects that.  We've traded for plants, bought them, raised them, lost them, thought we'd love them, then had to rip some out when they were found to be invasive.  We've weeded, despite being a bit wild and woolly.  A perfectly manicured bed isn't really how I roll.  I like to have the butterflies flutter about on our little city plot in a way that might mimic what they find elsewhere.

The last few years have been tough on butterfly numbers here.  It isn't anything we've done wrong.  We still have their lovely plants and bushes, garden organically and so forth.  Weather has not been our friend.  Last year, we had flooding and I only used municipal water twice. This year, we've been in a drought.

Those are not conditions that butterflies truly love.

Last year, monarchs were so low in number that we were having difficulty finding the number we needed for the tags that were purchased.  In the end, it worked out fine and me in a cast, but we used them all.

This year, we've had little action.  Truly, we have had years when monarchs were hanging by 30 at a time on the bushes.  I saw my first monarch here just a few days ago.


But now, our guests are finally arriving.  We've had some monarchs.  We've had more tiger swallowtails.  We've had black swallowtails.  There have been silver spotted skippers and some red admirals.  The Peck's skippers have finally returned, along with our hummingbird moths.  Early in the season, we had commas and question marks-- butterflies we aren't used to seeing here.  Just a few days ago, I got photos of a spice bush swallowtail.  That is the first one we ever saw.  We also had the never-seen-here fiery skipper and Zebulon skippers.  (They were a pair that I took photos of and Hubs very tactfully said that they were "courting.")  That was certainly my guess.  He said that he has never seen that before.  Score one for me.  :)

Finally, they are starting to visit.  My camera batteries are all charged.  When I have time, I'll even be able to download all of them!

Smiles in my day:
-  Checking on K- (as I always do each night) and finding that she is actually sleeping with the pair of clearance marked (hooray) Twinkle Toes light up Skechers that I bought her for school this year.  She has wanted them for years, and finally their price was what I was willing to pay.  I did take a photo and know that will be a part of some photo collage when she graduates or gets married.  ;)

Have a great day!