Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It Was a Dark and Stormy ........Day.

If summer has the dog days, what do you call the middle of winter besides wet and dark? I would like to hear what other people do during days like this (besides go to work). How do you entertain yourself? What books do you read, movies, hobbies? Usually this time of year doesn't bother me because I am busy planning the garden but this year I am ready to "get to it" but not willing to "get to it" in 39 degree rain. My animals have a better idea. Here is a picture of Lucy and her buddy Emma on a lazy, wet, cold, Sunday morning. And although I don't like pets in the bed these two weren't taking NO for an answer. Especially when the man thinks it is funny to encourage them. Once again I ask "Who's the boss here!" Fortunately I have a very large beach towel for Lucy but being a cat Emma simply wont be bossed around and sleeps where she pleases. Perhaps they have the best idea. Stay in bed and read.  This time last year we were busy building the chicken palace (see Feb.11th post) and looking forward to the post office delivering chicks in February. I had already started tomato seeds and when we finished the chicken palace we went onto the garden fence mainly out of a feeling of already being behind for the garden season. Not so this year. I fear a cold and wet Spring.

So what books have you read? I just finished one called "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. It is on the New York Times best seller list and I would be surprised if it wasn't also on Oprah's book club list. It's a story about black maids in Mississippi in the 60's and a young white lady freshly out of college who decide to write a book containing stories of the maids and their employers. Being in Mississippi they have to keep it secret so there is drama surrounding all that. What I found so intriguing was the way it was written as a story within a story. The author  was born and raised in Jackson Mississippi and has first hand experience with her subject. And that is all I am going to say. It is definitely worth the read. I probably wouldn't have read it except my brother was raving about it and then a friend gave me the book and said it was worth reading. It was.  
Also read one called "The Persian Pickle Club" by Sandra Dallas. Set in depression era Kansas it is about a group of women in a quilting club and their loyalties to each other. It is definitely not about quilting. A short but good read. Also one I probably wouldn't have picked myself. This was given to me by my oldest daughter.  Apparently what I really need is a personal book assistant.

How about movies? Anyone out there have a recommendation? All I have found are violent, sexed up, or slasher movies. How about something with a real story? I suppose that doesn't sell in theaters anymore since the kids are the ones spending the money to go see the movies while still texting on their cell phones.

How about food? Personally I have been pretty bored with food lately but we did go to the Olive Garden to celebrate a birthday last night. I had a terrific Pear and Gorgonzola ravioli in a fettuccine sauce and a balsamic reduction drizzled over the top. Yum! I would be tempted to kill for that recipe. The man thought it too sweet. However our girls liked it.

Bad hair day in winter
Despite the weather the ladies have been laying a steady supply of eggs even though I haven't had a light on them. For those not in the know, chickens need 14 hours of daylight to be in top production. You can augment this need with a simple light bulb in the coup and for the sake of being cheaper and greener a florescent works just as well. Somehow my ladies missed this piece of info because I am still getting 12 to 18 eggs a day without the extra light. Not bad for 23 hens. I finally finished my egg sign so business is picking up and I feel like I have a little more of an outlet for their efforts. They have been free ranging all over the property including the garden and they have done a bang up job of cleaning up weeds and seeds. All those pesky tiny weeds that sprout and are a pain to pull because they are so small make great salad for the ladies. So I will leave you with some pictures taken of them at work.