Category Archives: Mysteries

Kitty Lit

Photo Credit:  Alice Feigel

Nimue is not a super-cuddly kitty.  She comes around for treats and most mornings and evenings, she’ll curl up next to me on the bed if I’m watching tv or listening to a book on tape.  Very occasionally she’ll actually climb into my lap for cuddles. 

But if I want to guarantee her attention, all I need to do is read a book.  Every single time.  Doesn’t matter if I’m upstairs or downstairs, sitting on the sofa or laying on my bed.  I’ve seen her sitting in the back window watching me when I read in the yard.  She needs to be touching the book and preferably laying right on the book.  She doesn’t like to be nudged off when I have to turn the page.

I know this isn’t unusual but nobody seems to know why they do this?  Do kitties actually know how to read but can’t get the books off the bookshelf themselves?

What do you think?

Astonishing

As you all know, one of our family traditions is apple-picking each fall.  It’s just one of many places that YA and I enjoy going and things we enjoy doing together.  Zoos, petting farms, state fair, museums, apple picking, tree selection, shopping, gardening. 

You’d think that I’d be overloaded with photos considering all the things we do but you’d be surprised.  YA is very resistant to posing for photos.  If I’m lucky, I can get one photo per “out and about”, but that’s not a guarantee.  I plead, I wheedle and sometimes I bribe; these attempts don’t always work.  I don’t know why she resists.  

Yesterday we headed out to the orchard and after we’d filled our first bag (Sweet Tangos), she asked me to take her picture with an apple tree behind her.  I was surprised but took a few photos.  Then she wanted photos in front of a different tree.  THEN she wanted photos in front of the corn maze.  Now I was practically in shock.  When I asked why, she said she wanted to have pictures to show she had been on “an outing”.  At first I thought this was some feature of Instagram or Tik Tok or even the activity app she has through work but it turns out it’s nothing official.  She just wants photos in case she decides she wants to post somewhere. 

Lots more photo sessions ensued including the big adirondack chairs they have in the orchard and the most surprising of all, next to the dinosaur sculptures up near the barn.  I would have bet money she would refuse those but she happily posed.  All these photos were taken on my phone and she spent the miles back home looking through them and sending many of them to herself.  I was a little concerned she might delete them off my phone when she was done, but she left them.  I’m still in shock.

Anything extraordinary or atypical in your world lately?

Falling Weather

The weekend Farm Report comes to us from Ben.

Rosie and Guildy are still good. They look like they’re finally growing. They’re still spending most of the day hiding under something, but they do come out and go in by themselves morning and night so that’s progress.

We lost one of the creamy colored adult ducks. Still the two black and white, one creamy, one poufy, and 6 mallards. And two guineas. And roughly 52 chickens. Daily egg count is somewhere between 7 and 12, down from summer peak. Newest hens haven’t started laying yet; late October they’ll be 6 months old and they start laying somewhere in there.

This is Rooster #3 — Kelly calls him ‘Top Gun’ because he thinks he’s hot stuff.

Some of the latest batch of chickens have more black around their eyes than other years. They are ‘Black Australorpe’ breed and they have good longevity, but they can be kind of ornery. I like them. Most chickens in a close up just look ornery.

I’ve been busy at the theaters this week. The HVAC being installed brought in a scissor lift and I use it when they’re not. Replaced a bunch of non-functioning fluorescent lights in the theater with LED retrofit kits. Pulled down all the cables for the stage lights so we could redo them. (It just turns into a rat’s nest after a while. Good to pull down and start fresh.)

Created some new doorways and redid other odds and ends over the summer break between shows. On Saturday all the platforms for the seating are going back in place so I must finish the bulk of the work that I want with the lift before that.

I’ve been saying there’s not much happening on the farm. That’s not true. I’M not doing much on the farm, but there’s a lot happening. The corn and beans are both maturing and drying out. Beans are losing their leaves and drying down, corn is turning brown, maturing, and drying out. Birds are migrating, bees are busy, deciduous trees are turning colors, the world rotates, planets are moving, the moon changes phases… there’s a lot happening. Just not by me.

I watch some youTube farming channels; they’re busy getting things ready for harvest. Soybeans could be going in our area in another week or two.

The pod right in the center of the photo has 4 beans in it. BONUS! Most only have 3. Four isn’t unusual, but it’s not the normal either. See the pods at the very top of the plant? Those are the ‘bonus’ pods. Not only because the deer didn’t eat the buds off the top, but the plant develops from the bottom up, so the better the conditions, the better resources the plant has, the more pods it can create. It’s looking like a pretty good year for my crops. Knock on Wood.

WHO HAVE YOU KNOWN, OR DO YOU KNOW, THAT LOOKS ORNERY BUT WASN’T OR ISN’T? 

OR ARE THEY?

DO YOU HAVE AN “RBF”?

Dog Beds

Guinevere has multiple beds.  YA can’t resist them so there is one in her kennel in the breakfast room, one in my room and one in YA’s room.  Recently we’ve changed up sleeping arrangements; during the day Guinevere and Nimue pretty much ignore each other but nighttime is a different matter. The last month or so, Guinevere has moved from my room to YA’s room at night.  Every day YA moves the dog bed from my room to her room because “Gwen likes that bed during the day”.   I noticed today that both of the upstairs dog beds are still in YA’s room. 

Beds & Lambies

In addition, Guinevere has FOUR lampchop chewy toys.  This is in addition to a huge basket full of other balls and toys, but the lampchop ones are definitively her favorites.  YA and I used a giftcard last spring and bought several of them, so we have extras on hand if the current flock gets nibbles too much.

Guinevere is also refusing to eat her kibble this week.  This happens every couple of years when she just decides that her currently dogfood isn’t fitting the bill.  While YA and I are both fine with changing her food, neither of us is willing to throw out half of a large bag of kibble.  I voted for letting her go hungry on the theory that she won’t starve to death and eventually she’ll eat what we have.  YA is frantic about the non-eating.  So far this past week on different occasions I’ve seen lots of delicacies added to Guinevere’s dish: peanut butter, vanilla yogurt, maple syrup, pumpkin and also some very smelly dog sauces in pouches.  Each of these items worked moderately well but we’ve still got at least 2 weeks before we’re ready for a new brand of dry food. Good grief.

Have you ever had a hand in spoiling someone?

Can’t…. Stop….

I decided to put the egg table up Sunday afternoon (since I had to skip Blevins due to continuing cough).  This just involves setting up the candle, cutting wax into teeny bits, lining up the kistkas that I’ll need for this year’s design and also making the dyes I’ll be using.   The actual set up takes less than an hour but there’s a 24-hour lag before I can start working on eggs.  The dyes need to be completely cooled and the eggs need to be room temperature.

Yesterday when I woke up at 5:30 (about the norm), it was all I could do to keep myself from going downstairs, firing up the kistkas and getting started.  I know myself well enough to know that the minute I start, I’ll be obsessed until I’m done.  Sitting in that chair for too many hours in a day just makes my back and shoulders hurt so starting at 6 a.m. is not a good idea. 

There are very few things that I get this obsessed about.  In card-making, I don’t have any problem putting things away at a good stopping point.  Jigsaw puzzles can keep me busy for quite some time but I do tend to run out of puzzle steam after 3-4 hours.  Reading is a passion, but except for the rare “I just have to finish this book right now” situation, I can stop when I need to.   (I do occasionally have to throw YA out of my room if I’m down to the last few chapters of something I’m really into and I was once late to work!)   But once I start the first egg, the decks need to be cleared because I want to keep going and going.  In prior years (before retirement) I used to take the egg week off from work because I’d end up sitting at the table until 2 and 3 in the morning.  Several years ago when I didn’t take the week off, I ended up pulling an all-nighter; that was ugly.

Waiting until 7:30 to go downstairs was a good idea.  I ate all my meals at the table today and except for an hour when there was a tradesman here measuring stuff, I worked straight through to 8:15 p.m.  Then I hobbled upstairs and headed straight to the ibuprofen bottle!  I figure, based on yesterday’s work, I’ll have four more days before I’m done. 

What do you obsess about?

Dish Drainer Jenga

I saw a funny picture on Facebook last week – dish jenga.  I laughed because it’s true – at least in my life.

Usually it doesn’t come to this but on Monday, it was the perfect dish drainer jenga storm.  YA took the last brownie to work – an empty Tupperware.  Cooked down the last of the raspberries into a sauce. Made a bundt cake – mixing bowl and then bundt pan.  Three jars of pesto – that was a biggie as it uses the salad spinner and most of the food processor and accessories.  Then add in the dishes from breakfast as well as all the measuring cups, spoons and spatulas for all the morning endeavors and I was well and truly jenga’d. 

If the dishwasher were working I suppose I could have filled it up instead and if I’d been willing to get out a dishtowel to dry, I could have put things away as I was working.  But for some reason, while I am willing to stop between steps of projects to wash things, washing AND drying doesn’t seem like a good use of time when I know dishes will dry on their own.  I’m guessing this is the kind of thought process that results in most folks who end up with dish jenga.

I’ve never liked the actual Jenga game very much.  The groups I’ve played in haven’t managed to keep the game going very long and it’s not that much fun when you are constantly having to pick up all the pieces.  And life-size Jenga is terrifying; I only played it once on the beach in St. Thomas and it gave me nightmares.

What are your favorite board games?

Mysteries of Life

When I was visiting my mom mid-August, we talked about the State Fair – more than once.  She wanted to know about all the things that I like to do, which is funny since Nonny would hate the State Fair.  In fact, it would be a toss-up as to which of my parents would hate the State Fair the most.  Probably my dad.  I’m not sure where my genetic pre-disposition to loving the fair came from… certainly not from either Nonny or JB.

The food, the things for sale, the animal barns and the pet pavilion are easy to explain.  Crop art was harder to explain and when I got around to the Butterheads, I was really at a loss.  I’m not sure it ever made sense to Nonny.  Truly when you think about it, how could it make sense to anyone who hasn’t seen it.

Dairy Princess and her court having their heads carved into huge chunks of butter over the course of the fair?  Sounds clear enough, typed out like this, but it wasn’t that easy to explain to my mother.  I did send her the above photo a few days ago but she hasn’t responded yet.  She’s probably still shaking her head over how I “turned out” after she so carefully raised me!

What’s the latest mystery you’ve read?

Corn Fed

I remember the first time I saw someone take a picture of their food about 20 years ago.  It was dinner with a client at Swan Court, at the Hyatt in Maui.  It was a lovely evening and we were seated outside along the lagoon when we noticed a young couple sitting close to us taking photos of their plates before tucking in.  The client and I were too polite to laugh out loud, but we did roll our eyes and we talked about it more than once over the next two days. 

Little did we know that we were witnessing the beginning of a worldwide trend.  These days social media is filled with pictures of people’s snacks, meals, drinks…. any edible will do.  For this trend, YA is all in; we can’t ever eat anywhere without the obligatory photo before she begins to eat.  And often I have to move my plate or my glass or my coffee cup so it doesn’t mess up her photo.

State Fair is about the only time I join in the food photo frenzy.  Cheese curds and cookies subtitled “Breakfast of Champions” got texted to several friends.  My pretty Margarita lemonade made the cut as well as the French Toast Bites but most of my comestibles went undocumented.  YA took photos of everything, including her roasted corn in the photo above. 

Considering how common food photos are these days, I was really surprised when a woman standing near YA said in a loud voice “Oh it’s just food.  Eat it already!”  YA just ignored her; as the aggrieved mother, I was mustering up a zinger for this woman but she had already disappeared into the crowd.  I was really stunned by this, first because YA wasn’t obstructing any traffic at all and second because taking pictures of food is so very common these days.  I can only surmise that this poor woman had been driven to distraction by her kids that day at the fair, keeping her from all her first bites of fair food by taking photo after photo!

Tell me one of your favorite corn recipes!

Digging Up The Past

Things took a grisly turn in Grand Forks last week when police dug up someone’s yard where a presumed murder victim was thought to be buried. The disappearance of the young woman occurred about 25 years ago. The current residents are unrelated to the murder victim or the alleged crime. The location was a construction site at the time of the disappearance.

Nothing was found. I can’t imagine how the current owners felt about the prospect of a corpse under their front yard. Would they hope something would be found, or would they be disappointed the search was unsuccessful? I would worry the remains were still there and I would think about it every time I mowed the lawn.

Other than finding some Wedgwood porridge bowls buried under several inches of spruce needles when we trimmed off the bottom spruce branches (they had been left there by daughter and her best friend when they were little girls and used the space under the trees as their fort and hiding place), we have never found treasure or horror as we have gardened. Our neighborhood was originally the town’s first golf course. We have found nary a golf ball or a tee.

What would you like to bury in your yard for future generations to find? Where would you hide a corpse ?

Mystery of the Week

I can’t remember a summer when so much of my psychic energy is spent thinking about rain, or the lack of rain.  Usually my “flowers not grass” protocol does just fine without much H2O intervention on my part but not this summer.  I’m trying to use as little as possible but it’s been an issue. 

So why is it, that the ONLY day of any precipitation in recent memory was also the one out of two days a year that a case of toilet paper is delivered and left on the steps.

Any ways that Murphy’s law is messing with you this week?