Category Archives: Humor

Has this ever happened to you?

Yesterday I was thinking of baked potatoes to go with the broiled lamb steak and broccoli I wanted to serve for dinner.  Usually we don’t get baked potatoes for dinner because I fail to prep in time to serve them.

So my reasoning for quick baked potato prep went like this:

Wash potatoes; put into cold oven; set heat for 375 degrees; set timer for one hour; go watch program on TV while they bake.

Easy-peasy-baked potatoes!

The timer went off and I went to the kitchen to check to see if the potatoes were done.  I gave the one on the right a quick squeeze and it appeared to be done.  I checked the one on the left and it still felt a bit hard.

“Odd.”  I thought

What happened next was stunning!  I began to pull my hand out of the oven, thinking to let it finish baking, and

POOHhhh!

It exploded covering the entire oven and the oven door with potato dust!

Now I am certain that we have all heard the admonishment to prick your potatoes before baking, but has any one of you ever actually experienced this event?  I would venture to guess that you, like me (until last evening) has not.  ;)

I went looking to find some scientific explanation of how this works, and strangely no one learned speaks of such common science.  However, those of us with even limited exposure to scientific learning know that anything that builds up pressure without allowing it to vent will explode.  Ever had a balloon pop in your face when you tried to inflate it?

(Only in the 60s could they bring this to you with such verve… HA!)

In the case of my potato, it had built up steam and my little squeeze caused a weakening in the skin.  I am very grateful that the exploding potato waited for me to remove my hand and stand up before blowing up!

Potato-explosionOf all the potatoes I have ever baked this is the first to explode on me.  

Well, I guess it had to happen sooner or later.   My brand new oven has now been christened.   :shock:

~*~

There were two things I did differently this time:

  • I didn’t coat the skins with olive oil 
  • I put them in to cook while the oven came to temperature

This could have had something to do with it, or it could have been just a fluke.     One thing is certain;  from now on I will stab all my potatoes before baking!

~*~

Now there are some out there who think this can only happen in a microwave, and others who think this is just an old wives tale.  I am here to tell you that they are wrong.

~*~

Has anyone else out there been the victim of strange kitchen science?

~*~

ACCOLADES:  My husband Bob cleaned up the mess for me while I went out put the animals away, and when I came back in the mess was gone.  Isn’t he sweet!

Relative indicators: cold, colder, coldest!

Saying this winter is cold is an understatement.  We may not be in the negative digits as those to the north of us are suffering, yet I believe it is all relative.  Let me explain that statement.

The serious bits…

We are all facing a propane shortage.  Because of this shortage, the Governor of our state has declared a state of emergency.  This will protect us from price gouging.  Cold below freezing will hurt you, and if you can’t keep your house heated, then sadly, it doesn’t matter how many degrees below freezing you are, below freezing is going to hurt you.  I had no idea about the propane shortage when I called to have our tank filled yesterday, and I am grateful that it is full now, because we don’t have a fireplace here.  Normally we get through the winter with only one fill up.  This was our second!

We in the eastern portion of the nation, and this does include the deep south, are facing unseasonably cold winter weather!  Homes built in the south are not accustomed to prolonged freezing temperatures.  We are near the Tennessee border and our walls are pretty thin.  The further down towards the gulf you go, the thinner and less insulated your home will be.  When it gets this cold you might as well be living in a cracker box!  This also means higher energy costs. Few living in the south have a home that was built to be protected from frozen pipe damage or insulated well enough for sustained freezing temperatures.

For all the water we have here in the form of rivers, lakes streams and reservoirs, it may seem quite odd that there were some localities that experienced a water shortage.  This was due to all the households running their taps at night to keep their pipes from freezing.  No one wants to waste water,  yet in weather like this, it has to be done.

Then there are the animals that are affected.  I’m not so worried about my own, because I have provided them with a heat source, unfrozen water, and warm, protected shelter.

On realizing that we were headed into the deep freeze, with possible windchill factors below zero, we put up a wind break for the poultry.  It works really well for the chickens, but for the most part, the geese seem to ignore it and wander about the yard looking for anything that is still edible (not freeze-dried  ;) ).  Well, I suppose they do have a layer of fat and all that down to keep them warm.

P1068404-2“What!  You gave the chickens a heater? Where’s our heater?”

Ever wonder where the wild things go to find food and water?  Well, apparently here in N. Alabama,  they are getting it from my chickens and geese!

On keeping a sense of humor…

Now it must be said that even in all this cold, there is still some fun to be had!  Remember the property across the way with the derelict house on it?  Well, now that it is cleared, and a proper berm tractored into place, we have a smallish catch basin.   (It is kind of a swamp really, but the frogs will think its grand in the summer.)  For now, it is frozen over and the neighbor kids have begun using it as an ad hoc skating rink!

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Did you ever wonder:  “How do the little squirrels stay warm?”

They move FAST!

This squirrel has a scratch feed addiction!  ;)

~*~

No matter where we are in this cold season, and whatever the circumstances we face, we have to be aware, be safe, help others in need, try to stay warm, and if possible, to keep our sense of humor intact.

~*~

Sending blessings out to all who are suffering in this weird weather!  

~*~

Life goes on…

Where do I start?

If you live in the east or the deep south, then you know what COLD is.  Me?  I never experienced anything colder than 30 degrees till we moved here, and now we are getting lows in the single digits.  The lowest so far was 4 degrees, and with a little wind chill added it was well below zero.

Now I know it is far worse for many and I wouldn’t bring it up, but our part of the country is known for its heat, humidity, and sultry atmosphere… practically Jurassic in summer and maybe a frost or two in winter.

To make it worse, the weatherman either lies or doesn’t know what he’s up against, you know I jest here, but on the serious side, he predicted an overnight low of about 17 degrees and when we woke up I had over two inches of ice on the goose’s water buckets!  It had actually dropped to 6 deg. overnight.  Perhaps that beautiful crystal clear night sky had a lot to do with it?  Well, actually, I am certain of it.

Our plumbing in the south is not made for this weather.  We are keeping the pipes from bursting here by letting the water drizzle out overnight.  No pressure expansion from freezing water this way.  However, up at the Mountain Farmlet we did not have that option.  Can’t let it run 24/7 now can we?

We did cut the water to the house, left the spigot open, and this worked until our first 5 degree night.  Last weekend we found that the main had burst at ground level, and under the house of course!  The water will remain off for the duration of this weird cold, and the rent-a-potty will be back till further notice.  Sadly,  it is simply too cold to safely do much of any work up there at the moment, so we are going up to check doors and windows, fill the kitty feeder, make sure their water is still full and unfrozen in the heated water dish, and that the kitties are OK.  In case you’re wondering, we have made friends with another neighbor who has agreed to look in on them in our coldest of weather, and to make sure the raccoons haven’t raided their food again!  :shock:

So how does the lady of the Farmlet stay warm when out feeding and watering her charges?

Fleece long johns, two fleece robes, an old London Fog rain coat, fleece gloves, a thick velvet neck scarf, and the infamous Crazy Chicken Lady hood.  ;)

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How I’m surviving the cold, or, how old ladies do selfies.  ;)

NOTE:  If the cold *water  er, weather is forcing you to leave a sink running, and the sound of it drives you crazy, as it does me, then you might try this trick:

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Take an old pair of panty hose, cut off one leg and tie it to the spigot.  Voilà!  No nagging dripping sounds to keep you up all night.  ;)  Hint:  adjust the end to find the most quiet position at the drain. 

Hey, whatever works, right?

*(Thank you, Sweetie!  ;) )

~*~*~*~

Oh, the knee?  Still racked up, and I don’t go back the Dr. till next Tuesday.  :|  However, I have purchased a cane to assist me in getting around.  It is much more comfortable than the staff, and affords me courtesies in public I never knew existed!  :D

Once Upon a Time in the West: a first kiss and a fisticuffs

fisticuffs:  to fight with the fists. 

First Known Use: 1605  ~ This correct definition is from Merriam Webster  and can be found HERE

~*~*~*~

Once when I was seven we lived in an unincorporated little suburb of Southern California.  Somewhere in the middle between Pomona, Montclair and Chino if I recall correctly. The little two bedroom house on Kadota Street was  surrounded by cows and cattle fence.  Smaller even than our current Farmlet, it was our family’s little bit of heaven on one-quarter acre.

I had a few friends, but being a bit of a Tomboy back then I really rather favored the friendship of a little blond-headed boy named Johnny.  We use to walk the pastures, build forts, climb trees, and play in the hayloft.  We loved to spin tales and then act them out.

Because of our boyish friendship it came as quite a shock, when one day in the hayloft Johnny tried to kiss me!  On the lips!  He leaned in, and I defensively crossed my arms over my chest between us,

and then pushed him away…

hard.

He went flying back and over the edge of the hayloft.  Crawling to the edge and looking down, I could see him laying there, on his back, and underneath the cow.  He was looking shocked and shouting up to me he exclaimed,

“Well, what’d ya do that for?”

I told him,  “Kissing was for grown-ups”, then climbed down the ladder and ran for home.

Over the next few weeks I avoided Johnny at school.  So it was a complete surprise to find him waiting for me on my way home one day.  He was angry and trying to pick a fight!  I wasn’t having any of that, so I crossed the street and tried to walk on by, but he caught up to me, grabbed my arm,  and hit me!

Of course I got really mad and lit into him, punching him right back, until he cried and ran off for home.  When I got home I said nothing to my parents, because I didn’t want to get in trouble for fighting.

Later that day, his dad came to the door with him in tow.  His dad wanted to speak to my dad.  The conversation went something like this as I recall,

J’s dad:  Your son beat up my son and gave him this black eye!

My dad:  I don’t see how that is possible…  (he was cut off)

J’s dad:  You’re calling my son a liar?

My dad:  I have two son’s.  On is two, and the other is in a cast over there in the living room, and he can’t even walk!

J’s dad to J:  You told me he beat you up?  What’s going on!

J:  No daddy, not him, her!

J’s dad:  You let a GIRL do this to you?  (smack)  Get along home!

Poor Johnny!

~*~

Johnny and I never were friendly after that day in the hayloft, and he never tried to fight me again either.  ;)

Of note, a favorite song of mine from about that time was Perry Como’s Catch a Falling Star.  I used to sing the refrain all the time, because it was catchy and I liked the idea. 

“Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket, save it for a rainy day…”

However, the whole song has a line in there that may have given Johnny the wrong idea?  Who can say?  :D