Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Christmas One and All

Emil (the hairball) at his Christmas party

Scott's brother Bruce and his Uncle Jack provided the musical entertainment

While clients and staff danced away the afternoon

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Writing for Justice

What I did while oatmeal rolls were in the oven

Some people donate a kidney to a stranger; this can extend the life of a struggling kidney patient by 10 years, or so I heard on the radio this week, when a man of 21 was interviewed after doing so. I don't have the guts to give up a kidney — not right now, anyway — so I do what I can in my own small way. I thought I was being pretty brave to sign up to donate bone marrow if I'm ever found to be a match to someone struggling with leukemia. And of course if any of my body parts could be of use when I die, others are welcome to them. But donating a kidney while you're still using it displays compassionate courage that is beyond my grasp at present. Knowing of others who have recently made this sacrifice for someone they've never met drives home to me just how noble I am not. In case I was kidding myself before.

Instead I send Amnesty International a monthly donation to help carry on the fight for human rights around the world, and today I sat down to write letters to world leaders on behalf of prisoners of conscience and their families. I'm adding my little drop to the river of pressure brought to bear on the policy makers of countries that torture, imprison and murder those who don't agree with them.

A read through Amnesty International's quarterly newsletter, making me aware of specific people being held in captivity right now for their peaceful protest against their governments, is a potent reminder of how fortunate I am to live where I do.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Farflung Friends

The train passes as we wait, on our way to the Hendon Hotel for chicken wings last week. Not much snow for this time of  year. Nice for walking -- not falling on my face due to ice.

The stop sign is perfect for me for the moment, as I am itching to post the photos of Sifeta and her husband and home and village in Bosnia. Yeah! But first I must have her permission, so you will just have to wait. With me.

If you aren't catching it in the comments, Sifeta is a woman in Bosnia that I sponsored this past year through a small (less than $30) monthly donation to Women for Women International, which is one way of helping women who have suffered war in their country (click HERE to see what it's all about). She has handwritten and snailmailed me a couple letters and I have replied via an email to WfW, which must have recently delivered my letter to her because a couple days ago she commented on the blog.

Scott has gone to take Emil back to his home in town and then will go to the family farm a mile down the road and do "chores" for a couple hours. He and his brother shipped some calves off for sale this week so I don't know how many animals remain to look after. I think they usually put out some bales for feed, and some straw bales get spread around for the cattle to "bed down" on, and they have to give them drinking water, and I suppose they're already giving them grain ("chop").

Anyway, I have to wait till he gets back to show him the photos. He will be as thrilled as I am, I'm sure. He will see details in those photos that I have not given a second thought to, and point them out to me. Always, always take Scott along on any tour. He misses nothing.

In other news from overseas, Scott's cousin Lasse who lives in Sweden has said he and his sweetheart Marit plan to come and visit. Woo hoo! Marit recently had a healthy lottery win and the two of them took a trip she had dreamed of since she was a little girl. They blogged about it here: Svalbardresan. You will have to use Translator to read it, but it's worth the time.

Further down my page here there is a list of blogs kept by a few of our family members, listed under "Famdamily." Lasse has been lazy about getting around to updating his recently (Yes I'm talking to you, mister!), but can you blame him? He usually writes it in English out of kindness toward his Canadian readers, so I am sure each entry takes a little more time than he has to spare. He seems to be the "busy" type, something like another man I know well.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Saturday in December

For once I managed to snap a picture of Emil before he had a chance to put a shit-eating grin on his face.
He likes this bed in the office, he tells me — often.
He can't wait to go to his dad's at Christmas, he tells me — often.
He's the one who likes to give me kisses, he tells me — often.
There are many Emilisms, but naturally they don't all come to mind when I try to access them.

In other news, here is my second attempt at "Hearty Oatmeal Rolls." I broke down and replaced half the whole wheat flour with white. And threw in a handful of flax seed.  And used honey instead of brown sugar. And some are different sizes on purpose, although I could never make them all the same size if I tried. They're delish, but next time I'm just going to make the large ones. Eight giants instead of the 32 davids suggested in the original recipe.

This morning Scott watched a "huge" coyote chase the red fox across our yard, followed by our border collie cross. I missed the show, but later had the misfortune of watching Ace the Cat snacking on a bird he caught at the feeders. I hate that.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Out, Out, Damn Cat!

One of three poor-tasting oranges I, from the front door,  used as projectiles to deter a cat from stalking (and catching, dammit) the birds
It didn't work. He thought they were something to play with.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Click to enlarge.

Posted for WiseWebWoman, who is suffering a bout of bronchitis.

Ready for a Snow Day

Slowcooker baked beans, frozen in sandwich bags

I must be a bit weird, because as I post this photo I'm well aware that most people couldn't care less what is in my freezer... but I'd love to see what is in yours!
What've we got here ... drained water from steamed vegetables, frozen to use next time I bake bread; sunflower-oatmeal-honey-wholewheat bread, sliced; pita bread; ice cubes in trays and ice cubes in a bag, where they don't stick together; and what's left of the homemade beans I made on the weekend. Good thing I doubled the batch, that's all I can say.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fox Lady

Emil's Christmas party was last night so he stayed in town, but phoned this morning to request I drive in and pick him up. On the way home, not far from our driveway, we spotted this lovely red fox that has been stalking the barn cats. It is not remotely afraid. It was in the field on the other side of the ditch, and when I stopped my van it stayed put ... and actually came toward the vehicle as I dug the camera out of my purse and Emil rolled down his window.

Perhaps it is half blind, or deaf! Or just starving and intent on its hunting. Because after snapping these photos I even had time to find the movie setting and follow the little creature for a while. I whistled several times to get its attention when it was looking away from the camera, and then got out of the van and called after it, "Shouldn't you at least be a little afraid?" It ignored me.

It should be afraid, but it isn't. Scott says it came right up to his truck the other day. That's not a good thing, really, but it sure is a treat to have time to observe a wild animal instead of watching it fade into the distance the moment it notices you.

In the little video I got, you can tell it is definitely hunting; it pounces on the snow, probably after a mouse. Better that than the kittenfish.