Wednesday, May 27, 2009

From the Fernnook Times:

(Paraphrased)

A 2007 Supreme Court Ruling on automobile emissions has
an endangerment finding that will affect other sectors of
the economy, including agriculture.

The bottom line is that a fee or tax of $175 per dairy cow,
$87.50 per beef animal, and $20 per hog could be assessed
to the farmers and ranchers. (Apparently this will not
affect those with less than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle,
or 200 hogs). As these producers are forced out of business,
one wonders where the food will come from.

Is it yet time to say that our court system and legislature
are run amuck?

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Life is always busy, but Spring has got to be the busiest
of all. How can it help but be with all the life that is
bursting out around us.

True conversation (which has nothing at all to do with the
above sentences.)

Laurie: I am not stubborn.

Dad: Laurie, as Mom always said, "Arguing with you is like
arguing with a road sign."

Laurie: Do you mean Mom always said that about me, or G'ma Opal
always said that about me?

Dad: Neither. My Mom always said that about me. But, it applies
to you as well!

Laurie: Humpfh!!

And so, I offer another of G'ma Opal's witticisms. "Arguing with
you is like arguing with a road sign."

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Friday, May 15, 2009

I love Psalm 19 with its emphasis on both general and
particular revelation.

Verses 1-6 have been on my mind lately, especially during
the night time hours. This is the time of year when it
is almost painful to go to bed.

The soft velvety air is pierced by the flashes from the
fireflies. The frogs (sorry Uncle Jim) are raucous. The
crickets keep time as best they can with the frogs. Our
whippoorwill wakes us up at all hours of the night and
early morning. The full moon, or the half-moon, or the
sliver of a moon lends its magic to the whole.

Truly:

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech no language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world."

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

We birthday partied yesterday again. This time for Kent.
Cousin Mary, who was promised a game of High Five for coming,
came in the morning to give her regrets. She found out that
Blue had a dr. appointment at the same time as the party, but
she was kind enough to drop off lettuce and onions from her
garden. Everyone else was there. Uncle Jim, Aunt Jenny,
Papa, Tandy, and Stacey and the kids.

Kent, of course, requested quiche.

The Menu:

Quiche Lorraine (but with ham instead of bacon, and with
mushrooms added in)
Crustless Spinach Quiche
Roasted Veggies (a hodge podge)
Green Beans
Hot Dogs (for the kids who might not like quiche)
Campbell Peaches (from the freezer)
Salad (from Cousin Mary)
Hot Bread
Three Layer Cherry Cobbler (really a glorified pie, with
cherries from Aunt Jenny's tree)
Vanilla Ice Cream

It took me from lunch to dinner to cook it all, but it was
delicioso.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Do Whippoorwills, the ones which are whipporrwilling at 5 AM,
ever stop to breathe? Kent, Billy, Tyler, and I would like
to know.

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009















Up and Down the Gravel:

Uncle Jim has had some interesting adventures with birds lately.
A month or so ago a little bird keep hopping closer and closer to
him and finally hopped onto his head. He was thrilled.

But...the other day a little bird did the same thing. It kept
eying him from a little distance and then hopped onto his head.
This time, though, it began to dig in his hair with its little
feet. I don't know if it was trying to nest or possibly trying
to get some material for nesting. I do know this, according to
Uncle Jim, it hurt! He finally shooed it away and yet, within
a few minutes, it hopped right back again. He tried to slowly
reach his hand up and catch it, but he spooked the little guy
and it flew away. But it stayed within an easy hop of him and,
as soon as Jim stood still, right back it came again.

Tyler started drinking coffee. Now, that may seem like a strange
item to note, however, the way it happened was interesting.

I started to drink coffee to get me through college all-night
study sessions. Kent got to liking the brew when he was driving
a bus for the Hope youth group home from Wisconsin and, as was
normal for any trip to and from WI, the bus broke down. As he
was waiting for the bus to be repaired, he had a cup of coffee,
and that was it, he was a full-fledged coffee drinker. Billy
started to drink it last summer during his internship. Work
was slow sometimes and the coffee kept him awake and going.

Tyler is different. No circumstances of the moment could drive
him to such a step. He is much more deliberate. Months ago
he told us, "I am going to start drinking coffee, black, on
the 20th of April." And he did. Why, you may wonder, did he
choose the 20th of April 2009 to start drinking coffee? The
answer is very obvious, at least to him. April 20 was the first
day of Turkey Season. A man needs a little pick-me-up if he is
going to hit the woods in the wee hours of the morning for three
weeks straight.

It's been a rough year for turkeys, in case you were wondering.
Tyler said the other day, "I love turkey hunting, Mom, but I
wish I'd get my turkey so I could stop."

Hattie reminds me of me. The other day she said, "Mom, there are
two words that I just love that I don't think people use often
enough. They are 'latter' and 'vexed'. Aren't those two words
just delicious?" I guess I never thought of "latter" as being
so delicious, but I can quite see her point on "vexed".

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I forgot to mention that the New Fern Nook calendar,
compliments of Uncle Jim, is posted below...that is
at the bottom of the whole page.

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Life in Fern Nook is busy. The hummers help to keep it so.
First there was one; he sat on the Mock Orange bush and
looked in the kitchen window waiting to be noticed so we
would drag a feeder out of the shed and fill it. In a day
or two the one turned into three. Then the group grew to
five; and they have now become seven. There will be more.
It takes awhile for them to all make the long journey.

The little guys are extremely entertaining. Of course the
bullies keep the show at top billing. Even when there were
just three, a bully rose to the top. Because of that, we
hiked out to the shed to pull out, dust off, and fill feeder
number two. That helped for a day or two. But with the
increase in numbers comes an increase in bullies.

We now have what I affectionately have named The Bully and
The Bully Indeed. The Bully guards the feeder on the left
(as you look out the door to the porch). He will keep five
other birds from eating. As any approach he will buzz at
them and shoo them away. Why all five can't gang up on him
at one time is beyond me. But he is just The Bully because
every so often he lets down his guard and you will see the
five able to swoop in for a little sugar water.

The Bully Indeed weaves quite another little drama. He acts
nonchalant, but beware, his guard is never down. Usually he
sits on the drain pipe. Sometimes he perches on the vine that
covers our bell. Occasionally he will even fly into the
Tulip Poplar that is 30 or 40 feet away. But he never rests.
His back might be turned to his feeder, but nothing escapes
his notice. At the slightest whim of interest from another
bird he is on the attack. No bird, ever, gets to feed from
him feeder but himself.

Sometimes I think I should go knock him over the head to
let the others have their share. I guess it would be nice
and sweet if they all got along; but it wouldn't be nearly
so entertaining, and it wouldn't be nearly so hummingbirdish.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009















Max is on duty these days. He will not leave the baby geese
and duck when they are in sight. His inbred herd instincts
keep them from wandering out of range.

It is loud on the farm these days. When we lay our heads
on our sweet pillows at night there are crickets, bullfrogs
(which are just now starting up, but haven't yet reached levels
that drive Uncle Jim bonkers), whippoorwills, distant dogs,
and coyotes. When I get up and sit on the couch with the
window open behind me waiting for the coffee to brew there
are dozens of birds calling, twittering, and tweeting. There
is also the loud buzz of the hummers as they zip around. Added
to that is the crowing of Joel's rooster, which we can hear even
though it is a field away.

I know these are sounds that can drive a person from the city
to distraction...but they are life and breath to us. They are
part of God's common grace to mankind and we love it. Add to
that sauteed zucchini, mushrooms, and onion, and once again we
say, copying the old puritan, "All this and heaven too!"
Amazing.

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