Friday, August 29, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Vol 274)


When next we meet, t’will be September. That just seems so wrong. Where did my summer go?? You know what you must do. When you have finished harvesting the last season blather you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of departing Summer, over to Conversion Diary.

Just enough blather to make you nuts.

Friday is my day off and so far I have made the most of it. The temperature was cool, the sun was shining so I hopped in my car and drove out to pick raspberries. I had been hoping to pick at a place closer to Chez Knit but Greenfield Berry Farm was berriless. So I drove over to faithful Monroe Orchard which is further east even than OCK. But I love Monroe so it wasn’t a problem.

Holy Schlamoly Andy there were tons of berries on their canes and only two other people picking when I got there. I was fully prepared to pick while listening to an audiobook on the trusty iPod but once I got out there I just didn’t want to disturb the peace and quiet. The wind was blowing. The birds were singing. It was quiet and naturey….until I butt turned on the iPod that was in my back pocket. Don’t ask me how it happened because I cannot possibly tell you. Or more likely I don’t want to think about the fact that my big bahookie is able to do this thing. All of a sudden I heard Fernando Ortega singing softly and I thought, “Wow, how nice that they provide some faint music for the people working in the field next to where I am standing!”

And then I realized that the music was coming from my buttocks. I am so talented.

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Oh bright jewels of late summer, you are going to make us so happy in the middle of winter.

And after I was done communing with nature I stopped at my favorite farm stand and bought a dozen ears of corn and a BIG bunch of plum tomatoes.

Guess what I am going to be doing this afternoon.

Most of the schools in our area seem to have started.

I have an almost overwhelming urge to go out and buy school supplies that I do not need.

Pencils! There must be a need in my life for pencils!

Surely I can do something with a notebook or two and a box of crayons.

Someone stop me!

We are fast approaching our last poultry CSA. That will mean no more Brunty Farms eggs until next year. I love them but I am not going to drive 30 minutes to buy a dozen eggs. I will find a closer source.

HHBL and I have decided that the flavor of the chicken that we have been getting is so vastly superior that I am not sure I can ever buy a chicken again from the grocery store. The meat is a bit tougher than something you get at Giant Eagle, which is to be expected. But these things taste so good that it really doesn’t matter to me.

Last night we had what I like to call “Special K Chicken”. That just means that I dredge the chicken in flour and then buttermilk and then crushed up Special K with some grated Parm cheese, powdered garlic, salt and pepper in the Special K. No, I do not have measurements.

Then you bake it at 375F for about 45 minutes.

Mother may I have another piece PLEASE! In fact, that is what I had for breakfast, cold and straight out of the frig. Ambrosia.

I am pretty sure that we will sign up for the CSA again next year. Now lets just hope that my stockpile of frozen chicken lasts that long.

The thing I am remembering about working with HHBL is that we have to be careful not to talk about work all the time.

You may laugh but it is something that happens. We could talk work all through dinner…and while watching Johnny Manziel and the Browns…and while getting ready for bed.

We are making a conscious effort not to do that.

Cousin Hadoo had to make the hard decision this week to put her sweet doggie, Honey, down.

HHBL and I look at each other when we hear news like this and just pray that Max lives forever.

We know that cannot really happen but right now every year that we get out of him is a gift. He is the best dog that either of us have ever had and we really just run away from talking about “that time” when we have to make that decision.

Max is going to live forever. I have decreed it.

You know what Monday is?? It is All the Animal Butts that you can stand Labor Day. Here is a little peak at what you can expect to see from me come Monday afternoon.

I know you can hardly stand the excitement.



Lady! Quit taking all those pictures of animal butts! What is wrong with you??

Try to contain your excitement.

And here for your enjoyment are the usual lazy Instagram photos.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

I Look For The Thing That No One Else Sees

Even when I am not the wedding photographer I still have to take the odd photo. The wedding was finished. The Bride and Groom were beaming with joy. I was frantically trying to get the rest of the wedding party gathered in one place all the while directing the guests to go a different way around so that they could enter the building where the reception was being held. Dani and Dan had specifically asked me to make sure that they had 10 minutes to themselves after they walked back up the aisle so that they could spend those first minutes as husband and wife alone together.

I was determined to make that happen and I did.

Everyone was gathered in the right place. I was here. I was there. Telling people what to do.

And then I saw the shoes.

I wanted to grab the photographer and make her take a picture of the shoes. The way that they were scatterd on the concrete just spoke to me of the relief that the girls must have felt as the took off those agents of toe manglement. They were a beacon of the happy event.

But I didn't. She was a young photographer who had never shot a wedding before and had barely had time to take her camera and kit lens out of the box. She was working hard and I wasn't going to break her concentration. I am not sure she would have even seen the beauty fo the shoes. Perhaps I am selling her short on that, she might have seen what I did.

But photography wasn't my job that evening. I really did have to remind myself of that several times as I might have stood in a different place or crouched to take a photo at a different angle. I had to content myself with taking out the trusty iPhone, crouching down and trying to translate what I was seeing in my head. A unknown family member was standing there as I took the time to take a picture of the happy shoes. He looked at me quizzically and inquired as to what I was doing.

I am a photographer and I look for the thing that no one else sees.

He will just have to be content with that.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

They Even Served Jello!

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This is the Little Church in the Vale. No really, that is the name of the church. I know that because the first nine years that HHBL and I were married we attended this church. Very small, no more than 125 members when at it’s largest. Uncle Dean (my Auntie Jane’s hubby) was the pastor. They introduced HHBL and I all those many years ago. It was a gentle church to attend the first years that we were married. Young families having babies all at the same time. Older believers shepherding the younger ones. It was a great place to start married life.

In time HHBL and I started attending another church that was closer to home, one that was attended by other families whose children were friends with our children. That is sort of the way that things work sometimes.

But we have never forgotten those people who we came to love during our years at LCITV.

Several weeks ago a small envelope arrived in the mail. The return address was for some friends who still attended LCITV. In reality the letter should never have actually made it to us. It was sent to the address at OCK and the forwarding order has expired there. But here it was, yellow forwarding sticker on the front, nestled in our mailbox. In the envelope was an invitation to come and participate in a time of worship and thanking God for Bill and Ada Banfield, their life and their ministry.

And there would be food.

Yes please we will definitely be there.

So Sunday found us back at LCITV for the first time in a long time to worship with friends that still attend and to celebrate the life, marriage and ministry of one particular couple

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Bill and Ada Banfield have been members of LCITV for almost the full 79 years of it’s existence. Bill’s father, one of the cutest little men I have ever had the privilege to meet, was one of the founding, or should I say re-founding members of the church in 1935. That is a long and involved story on it’s own so let’s just say that Bill has been there from the beginning and Ada arrived soon after. They were married in 1949 and have been ministering in the church and in the community ever since. The list of those whose lives they have touched, both in the local Cleveland community and in the world, won’t ever be known. But I can guarantee that when they arrive home with the Lord they will be met with a mighty cloud of witnesses.

Sunday we gathered to say thank you to Bill and Ada for all their years of ministry. They are “retiring”, if that is even possible with these two. I am not sure that it is actually. Bill led us in singing and it was as if I was right back there as a young wife and new mom with Bill encouraging us to sing louder and joyfully. Then they talked about growing up in the church, how they came to know the Lord, LCITV through the years. It was wonderful. As a young wife, without a clue about what to do, Bill and Ada were an example of what it meant to have a godly marriage that was full of laughter and love and that it was perfectly OK to disagree with your husband. We were able to spend time with Bill and Ada and many other friends that we do not see on anywhere near a regular basis (like maybe once every 10 years).

And then there was food.

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It was a true LCITV spread. There was chicken. There was the ever present Cheesy Potatoes. There was the green bean casserole and a Broccoli and cauliflower salad with BACOS! in it. And there was jello!! Just like the LCITV spreads of old.

I might have overeaten just a bit.

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So I might have had to have a cup of coffee. Cindy knew I would because…..she is my Facebook friend and therefore is subjected to knows about my propensity for a morning coffee poem.

We had a wonderful time visiting and laughing and catching up. And then we took the long way home.

It was a wonderful Sunday.

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See Cindy, I told you that I would put you up on the blog.

Friday, August 22, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Vol 273)


Where did my week go? Did you take it? If you did then I would like a day or two back please. You know what you must do. When you have completely cleaned your plate full of blather you may click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of August fast approaching it’s end, over to Conversion Diary to see what has been happening in the wider world.

Blather of a curiously strong nature.

Well, I made it through my first week of work and my head didn’t explode. I take that as a positive. Monday was a bit of a whirlwind, as you might expect. Our IT guy had already set me up with an email several weeks ago but on Monday, when he was adding me to various things, other things became completely messed up and at one point I was getting EVERYONE’S email. I felt like the most popular person in the entire universe.

And it was completely annoying. Also a bit nerve wracking as we use Exchange which meant that I couldn’t just delete emails that were not meant to go to me because that deletes them completely from all the places where they have landed. I spent time in the afternoon forwarding a bunch of email to people who should have been the correct recipient.

Welcome to the company Deb!

I also spent time, in between meetings and processing payroll and some projects, claiming my work space.

I cannot work effectively in a space that is not set up to my liking. Now I think that I have everything as I like it and I know where the basics are. I still have to go through files to get familiar with where things are. And files need to be labeled…and alphabetized. That is next week…along with meetings…and projects.

I am not sure how someone works outside the home and gets things done inside and around the home and in life in general without a list.

You are a better person than I if you can remember everything that you have to do without having it written down somewhere, whether on a designated piece of paper or digitally. I say designated piece of paper because random and scattered pieces of paper with various notes doesn’t count as organized in my book. Call me picky, you won’t be the first.

For the last several years I have used an app called List Master for all my little list making happiness. We all know how much I love lists.

Years ago there was a series of books called “The Big Book of Lists”. Oh how I loved them.

But I digress.

So, I love my list app. And I hate my list app. I love it more than I hate it but there are those days when that is reversed. It is powerful. You can add picture icons. You can have columns total for your grocery list. You can make it do all sorts of things.

But if you don’t do things in the correct order then lists don’t sync correctly between devices. I actually pay a nominal fee to have the privilege of syncing between iPhone and iPad and since I plunk down money for it I want it to work correctly. I haven’t been a happy camper in the past few days. Last night, it ate my work to do list. Gone. ByeBye. See you later. No more list. No more list on the iPhone either and no more list on the website so I couldn’t sync it back.

I said a bad word at that point. And I was very unhappy because that list had some important things that I need to do on Monday. I think I got it all re-inputted but I wasn’t happy.

However, I am still obsessed with the lists. I am so obsessed that I am currently keeping a list of all the movies I have watched this year.

Call me obsessed. You won’t be the first.

We are experimenting at the moment with Max the Magnificent staying home all day by himself while HHBL and I are both at work.

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Alpha, I get so lonely.

He seems to be tolerating it well. There hasn’t been any great ripping up of garbage, peeing on the floor or sleeping on the bed.

Well, I don’t worry about the bed. He can’t even jump up into my car and he won’t even get on the bed unless you physically lift him up there. And then he wants to get right down.

But the ripping up of garbage things is sometimes an issue.

I think I will occasionally bring him to work with me. Everyone is excited about that and he will sleep most of the day I would think, after making the rounds to see everyone.

We will see.

There was another Bugikaze incident this week. What is it with these bugs?? I did not take a picture this time. The thing looked like a horse fly that had been on injectable steroids for a long time plus was a product of some 1950’s sci fi radiation horror film.

In other words… was big.

It chased me around the laundry room for a bit until I was able to grab the fly swatter, kept for just such invasions as this, and swatted him into bugikaze oblivion.

It felt so good.

Just to add a level of specialness to the week, I have been dealing with a wicked case of sciatica.

Just what you need to make your waking moments, and sleeping as well, is the feeling that someone is stabbing you with a red hot poker all the way down your thigh and buttocks whenever you stand up or roll over in bed.

Whenever I say or write the word “buttocks” I hear it in my head in the voice of Forrest Gump.

Does that seem odd to you?

But back to the subject of sciatica. Copious amounts of ibuprophen, heated corn bag usage and making sure that I get up and walk around are all helping. This morning was the best morning for the amount of pain that I have had in about 10 days.

I am fairly stoical about pain and this has been bad.

I hate sciatica.

I have gone from having tons of free time to do as I chose to having very little free time. On top of the office gig I am also coordinating weddings through church and I picked up two photography jobs this week.

Egads when can I knit??? I didn’t knit at all yesterday. I was just too tired when I finally got home from a full day of work and then going to run an outdoor wedding rehearsal in heat and humidity. Today is full of getting through my home to do list and then wedding coordination in the evening.

Oh please do not rain!! It is going to be a tight squeeze getting 170 people inside for the wedding. All we need is a window of time to get the ceremony in.

I may have to knit a bit this afternoon just to stay calm. 

Instagram. Because, in the end, I am just a lazy bum who can’t be bothered to do anything else. And there aren’t even that many of them this week.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

It’s Déjà vu All Over Again

Just about a year ago we were doing this on a warm and muggy Thursday night….


Practicing for a wedding that is happening the next day, rain or shine.

A year later………

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I find myself at the same place, at almost exactly the same time….only this time I am the wedding coordinator and not the Mother of the Bride. Even the pastor performing the wedding ceremony is the same!!

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You can’t see it here but the bride is beaming with enough joy to light up an entire city.

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Look at what everyone gets to take home. A little succulent plant. So cute. So Pinterest.

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They even have a table set up at the reception for the little kids.

They are going to need it.

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Let us just say that the flower girls are very energetic and leave it at that.

We ran through the practice twice and the first time M & E made it down the aisle without parental assistance. But not the second time. Mom was worried but I said to just walk them down. Tomorrow they will do fine………

I will let you know how it goes.

And just look at the E. with her purse over her shoulder. Be still my beating heart.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The 8th Plague

Saturday. A happy Day. A day filled with crossing things off of the never ending, ever growing to do list. My to do list is never too done. Dang List Master app that makes it SO easy to make list after list after list. Never ending list. It makes my heart sing with joy.

Now back to my Saturday. I had cleaned the floor. I had done a bit of work. I had answered emails and inventoried the freezer and the canning goods. And then it was on to harvesting some of my basil. I had several basil plants growing on the patio this summer and they have been all happy and please pick more leaves for your pizza. But we are making our way towards Fall and they are getting a bit tired. I figured that I would just "top them off" and see if I can force a bit more growth out of them before the end.

Out to top off the basil I go. Look at the pretty sky. Happy sunshine shining down. All is right with my gardening world.

In I come with the basil in hand, putting it down on the counter. Lovely green basil. SO happy. I get all my stuff prepped for drying. Paper towels? Check. Old and clunky but still functional microwave? Check. I go to pick off the leaves so that I can dry them in the microwave.......

And something flies out of the basil at me.

I should probably tell you that there will now be some bad language. You have been warned.

Where were we? Ah yes, something green and possibly the size of a 747 flies out of the basil at me.

SHIT!!!! Oh shitshitshitshit! What was that???? Is it on me?? Where is it.

At this point I might have screamed just a bit. Or more than a little bit. And, even though I will deny it if you mention it, I might have done a little jig in the kitchen. Sort of a jumping around and waving my hands in terror kind of thing. My biggest fear, other than the fact that I wasn't exactly sure what had scared the ever long poopoo out of me, was the fact that I didn't know where the offending green flying agent of insect doom had actually landed. I stood there for a moment in quivering fear, waiting for little insecty feet to start climbing on me. It has happened before and I have never quite gotten over it.

And then there was movement. Right there on the lip of my clean coffee travel mug. I drew a deep breath and moved closer.

Run for your LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVES!!!!!!!!!

I looked at him. He looked at me and had the audacity to rub his little front feet together as if in anticipation of doing something awful to my psyche.

And then I thought, "I have to take a picture!"

You know I would. How could I not. Thank goodness I had my iPhone in my pocket because I didn't want to actually step away from him in case he decided to go walk about. Several pictures later I was then confronted with what to actually do now. The easiest thing, it would seem to me, was to just carefully pick up my coffee mug and transport the offender to the outside. He was big. I wasn't going to actually smack him with anything because that would then cause a major exposion of bug guts and i just didn't think I could handle the clean up. Call me squeamish. I picked up the mug. I took two steps.....

And he flew at me with evil intent.

I might have dropped my mug, screamed a bit more and yelled some words that even I cannot put up on the blog.

I didn't feel any evil buggy feet crawling on me so I figured, correctly, that he had flown somehwere else. There he was, walking along my cabinet, bold as you please.

What to do now??? I SO wasn't going to actually pick him up. I am brave but not stupid. Then the lightbulb went on. I will get a plastic container and put it over him, slip a piece of paper under to slide between Mr. Locust and the cabinet, thereby trapping him in my homemade cage and then I will transport him outside. The first part worked like a charm until I realized I had forgotten to get a piece of paper.

Well shit.

I removed the plastic container and Evil Locust moved on to climb around on my window. By this time I had both plastic container and paper in hand and I managed to trap him. But even at this time he was still trying to fly out and kill me. He kept throwing himself at the paper as I quickly and gingerly carried him to the sliding screen door.

And then another problem arose. How to get the dang door open. My hands were very much tied up in keeping the killer from getting out. I stuck my little pinky out like I was at High English tea, slid the door open, and just as I did that....... the paper slipped away from the plastic container and Evil Locust made a break for it.

I screamed yet again, loud enough that the neighbors might have thought to call the police. I didn't see where he flew to but I decided to take it on faith that he didn't want to be inside any more than I wanted him to be. I quickly shut the screen door and retreated to my woman cave to survive.

If I act this way with just ONE Evil Locust can you imagine how the Egyptians felt!