Life in the A-Frame

Life in the A-Frame

Thursday, October 30, 2008

troopers bowl

The troopers from our 2 counties qualified yesterday at their required physical assessment exercise. They had to meet 100% of the standards set by the state for running, situps, pushups, agility etc.-afterwards they had their area meeting. Then when they were done, and off duty, they met at this game center for an afternoon of bowling and pizza. There was a bit of friendly competition, a lot of joking around and even cartwheels performed by one of the troopers every time he bowled a strike. It was fun to watch and I hope they do some more of these type things together.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

do it yourself exercise equipment

My husband was looking for a little variety in his workout regimen and came up with the idea of making himself a stationary bike. It works, just floats a little he says. He is very creative. All he needed was some ropes and the rafters to the second floor of the shop. I think he also got a workout from actually constructing this piece of equipment.

I have a name!

After a weeklong search, and trying on about 20 names, my son has picked....Ace!. So now we have Amos and Ace in the family. Look how much he has changed and grown since last week's post.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

abandoned baby boy

found at midnight by my son on a county road near our house
brought to me to babysit while the kids were at school, unnamed as yet

lets us know that he much prefers being outside, he can jump off the deck but can't get back up

discovered that he doesn't mind being indoors if he can sleep on someone's lap

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The mysterious hole

Amos sat outside in the same spot. I thought he was watching for the cranes that come to feed on our tank but he didn't chase after them as usual. I was busy in the house but after 2 hours I realized that he didn't come to the door to be let in so I was worried. He was still in the same spot that he had been and he was just looking at me. I called, he didn't come. I walked closer and he didn't move. I thought he was sick or hurt. When I got close enough, he got up and ran over to me as he usually did. Then I saw the hole. He had been guarding it. He stood over it, claiming it so I would get the message that it was his hole. Then he stuck his head in and dug. He was caked with dried mud from going into the tank inbetween the digging and the guarding.
Look at the stuff caked on his face and the fur on his chest.
Nothing came out of the hole, (a sigh of relief from me) but he guarded it for two days before he lost interest. I'm not sure what made the hole. It started out about 4 inches in diameter but Amos dug it out so that it was bigger. And, it was in hard, dry dirt. A complete mystery...

Friday, October 10, 2008

My limes are really lemons after all

Back in the Spring, I bought a Meyer lemon tree and it produced fruit. On June 29, I wrote a post about my family's concerns that it was a lime tree, not a lemon. Even I had my doubts when, month after month, the fruit remained bright green. Even when they measured about 3 inches in diameter, they were solid green. After consulting the internet, I was reassured that a Meyer lemon ripens in late October or November. Yes! They are turning yellow and getting ripe. Soon I'll pick them and make something for Christmas (limoncello?)out of them. After all, these are special fruit. It takes a long, long time to grow a Meyer lemon.

Uh Oh-I looked up the following recipe and I'll be cutting it really close if I try to make limoncello for Christmas gifts. It takes 80 days and 15 lemons-I have 11. I'll let you know if this works out.
If you have ever been to Italy, you'll instantly know about Limoncello. It is a lemon liqueur that is served well chilled in the summer months. It is wonderful as a palate cleanser or as an after dinner drink. Keep your bottles of limoncello in the freezer until ready to serve. The ingredients are simple and few, and making a batch doesn't require much work, but you'll need some time. Limoncello must steep for (80) eighty days
Italian Limoncello
15 lemons* 2 bottles (750 ml) 100-proof vodka** 4 cups sugar 5 cups water
* Choose thick-skinned lemons because they are easier to zest.
** Use 100-proof vodka, which has less flavor than a lower proof one. Also the high alcohol level will ensure that the limoncello will not turn to ice in the freezer.
Step One:
Wash the lemons with a vegetable brush and hot water to remove any reside of pesticides or wax; pat the lemons dry.
Carefully zest the lemons with a zester or vegetable peeler so there is no white pith on the peel. NOTE: Use only the outer part of the rind. The pith, the white part underneath the rind, is too bitter and would spoil your limoncello.
Step Two:
In a large glass jar (1-gallon jar), add one bottle of vodka.
Add the lemon zest as it is zested.
Cover the jar and let sit at room temperature for at least (10) ten days and up to (40) days in a cool dark place. The longer it rests, the better the taste will be. (There is no need to stir - all you have to do is wait.) As the limoncello sits, the vodka slowly take on the flavor and rich yellow color of the lemon zest.
Step Three:
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and water; cook until thickened, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
Let the syrup cool before adding it to the Limoncello mixture.
Add to the Limoncello mixture from Step One. Add the additional bottle of vodka. Allow to rest for another 10 to 40 days.
Step Four:
After the rest period, strain and bottle: discarding the lemon zest.
Keep your bottles of Limoncello in the freezer until ready to serve.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

profusion in all its (morning) glory

Profusion Explosion Proliferation Abundance Wealth Heaping Bounteous Plentiful Cornucopia

Friday, October 3, 2008

Up A Tree With No Place to Go

I don't know if you can see the squirrel at the top of this stump. It has always been Amos' dream to corner one. I heard him barking and went to see what he had found. This squirrel was perched on a very narrow piece of wood. He was trapped but...wait! a woman with a camera distracts Amos just long enough for the squirrel to make an extremely long jump and a fast, furious run to safety.

Little Stangers

I noticed two little stangers in my yard. They just came up one day without any help from me. My guess is that some birds or squirrels helped carry the seeds and spread them around. I love when I find some of these strangers in unexpected places!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My favorite book, a review

This is my favorite book in the whole world and if you haven't read it, please take time to at least read some excerpts. And, if you have seen the movie instead, don't let that stop you-it is actually almost 2 different stories.

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell (her one and only book).

This is the story of the South during the Civil War era. Scarlett is the oldest daughter of well-to-do plantation family in Georgia. She is privileged and spoiled (and mean, revengeful, without conscience, willful, manipulating and so on......she's a very complicated character). She is all about saving herself and her childhood plantation while trying to win the love of Ashley, another woman's husband. The book is about poverty after wealth, toiling to feed oneself, crooked business practices in fear of going bankrupt, turmoil, death, upheaval, and determination to survive. She learns what it is like to be poor, starving, to lose friends and family, to actually love someone other than herself (of course that would be Rhett Butler).
Scarlett-beautiful on the outside, wicked and self centered on the inside. You will both love and hate her.
Melanie-plain on the outside but magnificent on the inside. She has more substance than Scarlett would ever have. She is also married to Ashley, the man Scarlett convinces herself she has to have.
Ashley-the gentleman of the "Old South" who is forever saddened and changed by the war.
Rhett-the "scoundrel" who sees Scarlett and Melanie for who they really are. He disdains the South and the Civil War but joins the cause at the end of the war in spite of himself.
Keep in mind that the movie is just a skeleton of what the book actually is. Wonderfully written, heartbreaking, humorous, sad and intriguing. You will feel like you lived through the Civil War yourself.