Thursday, April 25, 2013

Shelter in Place

Apparently, that's what I did today.

It seems that about a half hour after I got home from the grocery store, there was an explosion and fire at the malting plant located about four blocks from my home.  According to the news reports I read online later, the explosion shook neighbors houses.  I didn't feel a thing.  I saw no smoke, but I did hear lots and lots of sirens, and then the sound of helicopters, which I think must have been local news people checking out the fire.  Later in the day I saw that there was a message on my phone, and when I checked it, I found that it was an automated call from the sheriffs office telling residents within a mile radius of the plant to shelter in place and stay indoors.

The malting plant has several large grain silos, and I expect that a fire in even one of them could be nasty.  I am told that grain dust is extremely flammable   I am glad that it was a relatively minor event.  There have been way too many things blowing up lately.

So... I sheltered in place and didn't even know it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Music Sooths the Soul

Today I have been busy doing those nasty jobs that just don't seem to get done by themselves.  I would rather be doing about a dozen other things instead of scrubbing and cleaning and rearranging cupboards and closets.  As my cleaning fairy is on strike, the only way this spring cleaning is going to get done is if I do it myself.  Darn.

Usually I like the peace and quiet of my little apartment.  But today I needed something to distract me from the dust and grime that tends to accumulate over the winter.  When I couldn't find a radio station that I liked, I remembered that my computer came with the Pandora program, so I set it up to play the kind of music I like.  I had been grumbling under my breath about baked on spills in my oven and cat hair that clings to every surface.  I think I have washed away enough hair for a whole new cat.

But after about a half hour of music, I found that I really didn't mind the scrubbing and mucking out.  I found myself singing along with the music.  That is kind of scary because I can't carry a tune in a bucket.  I get that from my Dad.  My sister and I never fought about who got to sit next to Dad in church.  We fought about who had to sit next to him, because when the hymns were sung, he was always out of tune.  Which is kind of sad, because he loved to sing.  I can still remember him singing to me when I was just a itty bitty girl.  He loved old cowboy songs and many a night he would rock me to sleep to the tune of "Red River Valley" or some other old timey song.  Funny, I never noticed that he sang out of tune then.  But then, I was just a little girl who loved to have her Daddy sing her to sleep and not a judgemental teenager who found fault with her parents at every opportunity.

Maybe that is the sad part, that when we grow older, we look for the bad and don't take the time to just enjoy the good, whether it is slightly out of tune or not.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ice Age? is Monday morning and there is snow in the forecast - again.  What to do, what to do.  I could stand outside, shake my fist at the sky and yell all sorts of words that if I heard my grandchildren say them, I would strongly suggest washing their mouths out with soap.  Or I could let down the blinds so I can't see flakes falling - again, and curl up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate.

I vote for the book and hot chocolate.  I really wish now that I hadn't watched a PBS documentary last evening that had to do with the possibility of another Ice Age.  I am beginning to be a little bit afraid.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

39 Things...

The third week of April is nearly over.  Snowflakes are gently falling outside my window.  I am told by a grinning weatherman that by tomorrow I should be ankle deep in snow and slush.  It is the kind of day that could use a chuckle or two.  I got the following from a blog.  My fantastic memory, or lack thereof, can't remember whose blog it was, so I can't give credit.  If it was yours, let me know and I will be happy to mention it.
39 Things...

"WE" should have learned by now...

1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
2. Don't worry about what people think, they don't do it very often.
3. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car.
4. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
5. If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.
6. My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.
7. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
8. It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.
9. For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program.
10. If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.
11. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of cheques.
12. A conscience is what hurts when all of your other parts feel so good.
13. Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.
14. Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.
15. No man has ever been shot while doing the dishes.
16. A balanced diet is a biscuit in each hand.
17. Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.
18. Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.
19. Junk is something you've kept for years and throw away three weeks before you need it.
20. There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.
21. Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.
22. By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.
23. Thou shalt not weigh more than thy fridge.
24. Someone who thinks logically provides a nice contrast to the real world.
25. It's not the jeans that make your bum look fat.
26. If you had to identify, in 1 word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, & never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings".
27. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness".
28. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.
29. You should not confuse your career with your life.
30. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
31. Never lick a steak knife.
32. The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.
33. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we put the clocks back.
34. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.
35. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven.
36. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.
37. A person, who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.
38. Your friends love you anyway.
39. Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.

I hope wherever you are that there are blue skies, warm sunshine, gentle breezes and spring flowers.  Send some my way, please!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Is It Spring Yet?

The calendar says it is, but looking outside, I'm not so sure.  I saw a couple of snowflakes drift past my window earlier, and it looks like there may be some more of that nasty white stuff headed this way.  Mother Nature has a mean streak!

I can't complain too much.  Well, actually, I can, but it does no good, so why bother.  Yesterday was one of the nicest days I have seen in a while, so I took advantage of it and was out and about.

My local grocery had whole boneless hams on sale, as well as sausage, so I got some of each and canned it up today.  I wound up with 11 pints of ham cubes, which will be really good in ham and scalloped potato dishes, and 26 half pints of sausage.  Sausage gravy over homemade biscuits, here I come.  Love the sausage mixed with scrambled eggs and topped with a little cheese, too.

Tomorrow morning I'll remove the rings, wash the jars and label them.  Then onto the shelves they go until I get a craving for something delicious and homemade.

The Cub Foods store here has been recently carrying products different from what was offered in the past, and yesterday I saw something new.  They had large packages of sliced pepperoni for cheap, and as I like to make my own pizzas, it looked like a good deal.  I found that the packages included some chunks from the ends of pepperoni sticks, but that was fine with me.  I've got 10 half pint jars of pepperoni on my shelf now.  I probably wouldn't have thought about canning pepperoni if it weren't for Jackie Clay at Backwoods Home Magazine online.  She and her husband homestead north of Duluth, and some time back she wrote about canning pepperoni and other sausages of that type.  Following her instructions, I found that it worked well.  Using this pepperoni along with the pizza sauce I canned last summer, I can have pizza whenever I want, without paying to have it delivered.

Not much else going on here in my little apartment.  I thought about doing some serious spring cleaning, but so far it is in the planning stages.  I just can't get too excited about washing walls and cleaning cupboards until it is warm enough to have my windows open and have fresh air blowing through.  At the rate it is warming up here in Minnesota, we're looking at maybe July?

A Civilized Society...

"Before our white brothers arrived to make us civilized men, we didn't have any kind of prison. Because of this, we had no delinquents. Without a prison, there can be no delinquents. We had no locks nor keys and therefore among us there were no thieves. When someone was so poor that he couldn't afford a horse, a tent or a blanket, he would, in that case, receive it all as a gift.

We were too uncivilized to give great importance to private property. We didn't know any kind of money and consequently, the value of a human being was not determined by his wealth. We had no written laws laid down, no lawyers, no politicians, therefore we were not able to cheat and swindle one another.

We were really in bad shape before the white men arrived and I don't know how to explain how we were able to manage without these fundamental things that (so they tell us) are so necessary for a civilized society."
- John (Fire) Lame Deer, Sioux Lakota, 1903-1976

We should be so civilized.