Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rants, Rants, and a Sock...

First of all, I hope everyone had a happy Easter, a blessed Passover, and a successful Whatever-Else-You-Celebrate! Oh, and Happy Earth Day to our favorite Mother... 

The knitted Earth is, I believe, on Ravelry. Go take a look. It's adorable. You could probably make it out of stashed yarn.

For Earth Day, we didn't do anything huge; but I've begun a "compost" of sorts, using both Hubby's used coffee grounds and the tea leaves that I've steeped. I still can't convince him to use a compost ball - I'm still trying. Also still trying to convince him to use rain barrels... 

It's a process, I guess. Anyway, I'm still hoping that he'll come around. 

What we HAVE done is to order some seeds from Seeds of Change for our garden. All of them are certified organic and non-GMO. And I'll be "strongly suggesting" (he says "nagging") that he NOT use Round-Up this year. I'm kind of done with it. It's time we just tried to heal our little patch of Earth. 

2014 Monster Bleeding Heart
Speaking of which: Here's the 2014 edition of "The Monster Bleeding Heart." Lookee - it's just going to be huge this year. This is its 28th or 29th year, I believe. The two larger patches are the traditional pink. The little one at the top-ish there is a white one. It generally gets overshadowed by Big Pink, but then, the White is a bit smaller anyway. 

Sad news: I bought my friend Deb one; I missed the "sharing" date for cutting a bit off the Monster, so I just got her one. And her landscape company killed it, thinking it's a weed. Really??? Anyway, I told her where to get another one and suggested a plaque or sign or something. She said she'll definitely mark it.

Hubby and I are putting in a "bee, hummingbird, butterfly" kind of garden in the bed just to the left of the Monster. It's going to consist of lavender, Prairie Blazing Star, Coneflower, Black-eyed Susan and some herbs. He nixed a "prairie garden" kind of set-up. He's one of those "mostly manicured" guys. I'm still trying to convince him to just turn over that whole half of the front yard to me. That being said, he's probably right - the city probably wouldn't appreciate a big chunk of our front yard looking "weedy." Not exactly raging environmentalists, that lot!


Antique 2-part lamb pan
So, the cast iron lamb turned out ok. But I had to do 2 of them, because the from-scratch pound cake was a little weird. It was served with berries and Cool Whip... It's my sister. She doesn't do "real" whipped cream. I've tried. I just know which battles to pick, you know? 

And then I did a "regular" lamb. Pardon, but I didn't get pics of him with eyes. My mom had the jelly beans, so I waited to get him put together. He's double-chocolate, so my BIL is now totally my biggest fan... 
"Black Sheep" Chocolate Lamb Cake

And the techno-colored deviled eggs? Yes, in this shot they look a little (ok - a LOT) weird. I was quite dubious about them myself, and convinced that everyone would hate them.

However (and no, didn't get that pic either), the colors settled overnight, and the "black" is really a lovely purple. And they were a HUGE hit. Nephew Kurt wanted "a bluuuuuuuuuuue egg!" and he was thrilled. It was super-simple to do, but I have to refine my "hard boiled egg" technique. Even though I used a recipe which GUARANTEED a clean shelling, it didn't happen. And it doesn't help that my left thumb is fused. Oh well. Hubby made more eggs using his mom's "patented" technique. So we'll see. 
Techno eggs

Next year, perhaps I'll not use the pickle relish and we can pipe them full. I think it's prettier and if someone objects, then next time, it's THEIR job. 

Finally, we got the food right, and we will continue to harass my sister. She made the potatoes. 

We're Polish for the most part. We like our spuds probably more than the Irish. She made scalloped potatoes, but they were gone before you blinked! You have to make a LOT of potatoes for our family. My kids teased her mercilessly and then said THEY would do spud duty, since "we know how to do it right." Luckily, they adore their aunt and she thinks they're magnificent kids. Which they are, of course...

The ham worked out just fine. The beet/horseradish relish? Not so much. I inherited that for next year. If you don't eat it (Mom) then you shouldn't make it!! It cleared out my sinuses, just fine, thanks... But it was entirely too strong. 

Oh, and I am now the family "Potica Queen." That's fine. It's time, likely. 

And the Exsultet went off fine. I have to grab the recording off my phone. I'm also now my church's "Chant Queen." Which is also fine. But we have "Easter Hangover." The Vigil lasted till midnight, I got home but didn't settle down till the wee-wee-wee hours, and we had to be up and out to Easter Mass at 10:30 a.m. I was hoarse, but it also went off quite well. Two pieces in Latin, one Mozart, and the usual Mass parts. It was lovely. 

Rant Number One...

REALLY, Cardinal Dolan??? Salon says you think women just "walk into the local 7-11 for birth control." Well, technically, birth control IS located in your local 7-11. 

It's called CONDOMS. Why a celibate old white guy thinks he can comment on birth control, even though he is a "Prince of the Church" is still beyond me. Look, Tim... (May I call you that, since I'm actually no longer a member of the Roman Catholic Church? I feel as if we need to get cozy for this conversation...) -- The Catholic Church, for ages upon ages, has shamed women. It has denied rightful leadership roles to perfectly competent women. It's told us that Mary Magdalene was a slut. It's told us that women need to "be quiet" in church. Hey, I didn't say it. It's in Paul's first letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 14:34). It's told us that our place is to sit down, shut up, and produce babies. It ignored the early-alert systems that the nuns had when they were concerned about "Father" and some altar boys, banishing those nuns to peel potatoes in some outpost in the basement. 

But guess what? It's 2014... And women are doing a lot more than staying at home making babies. And guess what else? It takes TWO people to make a baby. I thought that you, being an educated man, might remember Biology 101. I don't know when YOU took that class, but I took it - taught by a NUN - in high school. And Sr. Faith pulled no punches in the "reproduction" unit. Our final exam included filling in the line drawings of both the male and female reproductive organs. 

So, why, Tim, do WOMEN have to walk into "the local 7-11" to buy birth control, specifically when said birth control works on MEN?? As I recall, birth control is against the tenets of the faith. So if we extrapolate a bit, we see that the "sin" is in the person committing it. So the WOMAN walking into that 7-11 is the one committing the SIN of purchasing birth control. Does she therefore commit the sin of having sex without intending to procreate? Again - let's shame the woman who has sex. Where's the man? 

Just asking...

Rant Number Two...

In the "Guaranteed to make you feel safer -- NOT" category is this little gem: the KKK is forming a neighborhood watch in Fairview Township, PA. No, I'm serious.

Truly. Here's the Time Magazine link. 

Yes, I spat my tea when I saw this. "Oh, but it's NOT racial" they insist. 

Guys. White sheets. Sworn secret allegiance. Burning crosses. Whites only.

Yeahhhhhhhhh. Tell me how that's not racist. 

And yes, the cops know about it. And no, they can't do too much, because it's a "First Amendment" issue. You may hate the Klan, but you can't impose on their freedom of speech. 

Though they seem perfectly happy to impose upon yours. 

Sleep well, Fairview Twp, PA. 


The Pink Sock #2 is just about done. Well, about 85% done. I just put everything else aside and knitted. And knitted. And knitted. The heel was turned on Monday. The gusset was finished Tuesday. The foot is in progress. 

I really think the "grind it out" thing works well for socks. Not the other projects. I'll continue to rotate those through, but socks - they'll become the "instant gratification" items. 

It feels good to move the ticker. 

I know - I'm easy to please. 

Random Picture...

A pensive Quinny -- I'm really liking the Nokia 1020 camera. Still figuring out the whiz-bang parts of it, but we got all my stuff off the old camera, onto SkyDrive, and I'm going to continue to organize them into files. 

Quinn thinking...
I think I'm consolidating the Tippi TDI pics. Once they're on her FB page, I don't need to keep all of them. 

Quinn is doing quite well. She's playing with Raisa, she and Tippi are in a period of truce, and she's actually becoming calmer. 

She's a cutie-pie and while she frustrates me sometimes, she's a faithful guard dog who is very attached to us. Not sure how she'll handle it when Kid #2 moves out, but she'll still have us. 

Raisa is finally nearer-to-heat and we're not sure if we'll be taking her to obedience class this weekend. Dog in heat + PetSmart + stupid owners? Recipe for disaster.

And Tippi the Robo-Dog is continuing to please everyone as a therapy dog. She's not the fastest walker, and yesterday she had to sniff Every. Blade. Of. Grass. 

But she helped a parent and child at Will County Children's Advocacy Center, and that's what she's the best at. 

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