Sunday, September 23, 2012

7 Quick Takes

We Martins entered several items in the Tri-State Fair this year. John won ribbons for a sugar pumpkin and a butternut squash. Anna won for her applesauce. Sissy won for her grape jelly. It was the kids' first year for entering. I fully expect schemes for a half dozen entries a piece next year, especially when that prize money comes in. $10 between the three of them!

The other night we had an electric fence malfunction that scared our dog out of his wits. He went into hiding and wouldn't come when we called him. Since we couldn't find him inside and none of the kids were 100% sure they'd not let him outside, we were worried we had a lost dog. Given the coyote situation around here, stray dogs don't last long (FYI to the people who dump dogs in the country hoping they'll survive in the wild: they don't). All was well as soon as the dog food hit the bowl this morning and our Drover came out of his hiding spot eager to please in his timid and easily cowed way. Thank goodness!

Drover is an adopted doggie who suffered much abuse before we took him in. He's so easily intimidated that even a verbal rebuke sends him into hiding. As a result we have a two dog system for alerting us to strangers, strays, and evil mailmen bent on world domination. We have a 6 inch high Dachshuahua named Daisy (a.k.a. Crazy Daisy) to do all the barking and menacing. She's backed up by our wimpy Lab. Since his protective instincts are a tad stronger than his self-preservation instincts, he stands guard over her standing guard over us. No one coming by would notice that he's playing second fiddle to a squirt, so the system functions. It's not Plan A, nor is it pretty (mainly because Daisy is so strange looking), but it works.

Having grown up in The Church of Christ, I have a profound love for a capella music. This has twisted itself into a real appreciation for Beat Box. I'd like to share with you two versions of a song and tell you my favorite is the latter, for various reasons, though those elephants are pretty cute...

 I'm late with my Quick Takes again. I shamefully stuck it down here in the Quitting Spot hoping plenty of you had wandered off before I had to apologize again. Probably should have led off with it, but I really hate to repeat myself.



The Quitting Spot

The Quitting Spot is that just-over-halfway point in any job where the temptation hits to quit. That's actually at around 4 or 5 on a list like this. You see that halfway mark go by and think something like, "I've got to give this just as much effort to finish as I've already put in." It's not a good thing to think when you are in the middle of a nasty, hard, repetitive, or otherwise effort hungry job. If you can hang in there past the temptation, the end will come in sight and your efforts will have a purpose again. I've thought about that spot many a time when I slogged past it, determined to finish. On the other hand, I avoid thinking of The Quitting Spot when I succumb to it. Instead I use all that leftover effort on dreaming up adequate excuses to justify quitting.

Here we are again, at perfection. The sun is no longer a bossy brute. The garden is past middle age and needs a rest. The breeze is remembering itself as something gray and wild, promising to bite. I have pumpkins to bake and beans to soak. Happy Fall, y'all!

A spot in Chilicothe, Texas

Butternut Squash 

1 medium butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 teaspoon butter
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Salt and pepper
2 TBS cream


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place butternut squash halves on a large baking sheet flesh side up. Spread butter over the flesh of the squash halves and sprinkle brown sugar evenly over both. Season with salt and black pepper. Roast 25 to 30 minutes, until flesh is fork-tender. Spoon out into a bowl, add cream and mash with a fork. Serve steaming.

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


  1. Thanks for the squash recipe, it sounds delicious!

    1. It's so easy, too. Use an ice cream scoop to get rid of the seeds. Happy baking!