Saturday, April 28, 2012

7 Quick Takes

Hypocrisy Girl needs a better uniform
(and a picture of a woman wearing it)
P.S. Anyone else creeped out by the lack of arm hair?

1 Hypocrisy Girl: Self-Serving Humanity Since 2003!

My husband and oldest son were both cranky and tired after a long and stormy night kept them from getting enough sleep. Both were reacting to minor irritations by increasing their volume. Since I'd suffered through the same sort of night, the noise was getting to me. Finally, after my husband delivered a routine instruction at full volume, I snapped, "Can we cut the yelling? John's been at it all day. You coming in and doing the same thing is just...blah...blah...blah..."

I hope I was kind, but I realize I was in full Teacher Mode (i.e., obnoxiously lecturing). Mercifully I was busy enough to be brief. As soon as I turned back around to finish getting dinner, my youngest son grabbed the cup I was in the process of filling with his powders and supplements and turned it over.

"No, Simon, no!" I yelled. He gave me his patented you-clearly-have-no-idea-what-you-are-doing eyebrow lift before dumping the cup again, showing me in his nonverbal way that I hadn't filled it before donning my Hypocrisy Girl super suit of moral infallibility. I blushed furiously, met my husband's eye, and pantomimed a grisly moment from the original Men in Black movie. I reached behind my head, pretended to pull my skin tight, stretched my mouth wide and said in a cockroachy voice, "Is that better?" Without missing a beat, my husband leaned in and whispered, "More sugar" before kissing my cheek.

You've gotta love that man.

2 Nieces: You gotta love them, too!

President Bush Bikes Here
My youngest niece flew in for a visit over her very short Spring Break. I've not seen her since she was in elementary school in California and now she's a Freshman BYU, Utah. To tell you the kind of awesome kid we're dealing with here, not only did she opt to visit a houseful of Martins in lieu of partying in someplace like Cancun, she happily took charge of canning a flat of tomatoes that came our way unexpectedly. Not only that that, this Freshman will be graduated before the end of next year. She sings opera, too. Sings it well, I mean.

We did attempt to entertain her in more traditional ways than peeling tomatoes. We took her to Palo Duro Canyon days before the media discovered it. She can always say, "I was there before the President made it cool." If she mentions her visit to outsiders, that is.

3  Cheeses
I have officially made my first solo batch of goat cheese cheddar (solo, yet well supervised by my friend Rozanne). I had to get up a little early this morning in order to take it from the press and salt it. It's happily drying out on a make-do cheese cradle consisting of Pyrex and plastic cutlery. I got the curds a little too hot a little too soon, so they matted up on me. It won't be a pure cheddar, but since cheddar recipes are the basis for most cured cheeses, I think we'll have something edible. More news on that when it cures.

4 Sold!
We have now committed to the switch from Nubian goats to La Manchas. We bought one La Mancha goat and she outproduced the combined total of milk from all three of our Nubians. With last year's drought still a prominent factor in our decision making, we had to make the difficult choice of selling goats. Last year we barely had enough milk for daily use and I could only make a fresh cheese once every two weeks or so. Now I am getting enough milk from our new goat that I can make plenty of fresh cheeses, like ricotta and mozzarella, and still have enough left over to "store the milk" in aged cheeses. Truly a goat worth her feed!

5 Moths and Drought Effects
We have been inundated by a plague of moths. They aren't a new species, just a whole lot of our usual ones. Explanations have varied from "climate changes affecting migratory routes" to unseasonably warm temperatures speeding up the annual life cycle timetables. I think a simpler explanation may serve. Last year the drought was so severe that only the earlier emerging moths survived long enough to breed. Any later developing varieties were either burned out or scooped up by birds desperate for food before they abandoned the region. Not only was there no greenery last year, there were no bugs and hardly any birds. I know this because I am in charge of cleaning windshields and lawn mowing. After April last year, I didn't clean bugs off the windshields once. Nor did I mow a single blade of grass. Birdsong was absent all last year. This year each blade, each chirp, each flapping moth has been a relief. The biggest effect of the drought has been an increased tolerance for such nuisances as mud, moths, and bug splattered windshields. It's annoying to clean tracked in mud, gross to remove bug parts from wipers, and eyewateringly itchy to mow a weedy lawn, but it's much more disconcerting to live an entire year without ever needing to.

6 Lot's of short stuff
Nothing says Spring quite like a girl and a hammock!
The blogging has been a little sparse lately. We're busily schooling, renovating, living. The usual. I've been reluctant to get up early enough to write, so there you go. June will be a breather, so I'll be blogging more then. Meanwhile here's a few random shots of the kids.
Sylvia smiling at her favorite neighbor!

Anna exploring nature.
That look, that one right there...that's why!
(It explains everything.)

P.S. I am in desperate need of some shots of John! He's got a charmingly gap toothed smile at the moment. We've chewed through several cameras in the last year and our latest computer is the usual Martin Clunker, so current pictures are scarce. These were all glommed off of friends.

7 A Disturbing Report
The neighbor boy came by with the alarming news that we have two dead chickens. It turned out to be one dead rooster, one wounded rooster, and one missing hen. It looks like our skunk is back and our chickens' days of "free range" are over. Back to the tractor, the lot of you! 

Le sigh...

Jennifer Fulwiler
Thanks to Jennifer Fulwiler, a fellow Texan, for hosting
7 Quick Takes Friday 


  1. First time here.

    I had to see what Hypocrisy Girl and her super suit of moral infallibility were all about!

    And, I LOVED IT!

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    God Love You and Your Gorgeous Family ♥

    1. Hypocrisy Girl is the only superhero whose mild mannered alter ego is the preferred option, but I have to admit that if you hang around long enough, you'll see her again. Thanks for coming by! :)