I’ve always liked chicken cooked a dozen ways, I made a little fenced in chicken coop when the cabin was finished and always had fresh brown eggs, and worked at a chicken processing place for a decade!
My chicken fetish lasted for several years. It’s over now, but I can’t bear to get rid of any of this stuff.
Some aren’t in the kitchen…
And there are a few items collects overseas, a wooden rolling chicken the egg turns around inside I made, ceramics, even a chicken tea cup. No, I’m not obsessed. Am I?
This year with more time, I restarted making my own yogurt. Golly, I’d missed it, and was delighted to get that first batch made. Since then, when there’s only one jar left I scoop a glob aside to make the new batch before gobbling the contents.
To start the fermentation I needed some new culture, the stuff I had in the freezer had been there WAY too long. The easiest way is to just add a glop of one from the store. They used to make the ‘fruit on the top’ kind so getting down to the plain yogurt was easy. To compensate, I used strawberry flavor as I put a spoonful of strawberry preserves in the finished jars anyway.
To begin, heat up half a gallon of fresh milk, 185 degrees F. I let mine set at that temp for 30 minutes because I like it thick. The let it cook to 115 degrees F and mix that reserved spoonful into it. Then put it in the clean jars to ferment!
Oh, the yummy-ness! Add a dab of of any preserves or such you like and enjoy something that’s actually GOOD for you at that afternoon snack time!
I planted my apple trees a few years ago and became accustomed to them just being trees. Lo and behold! Two of the four dwarf trees were loaded with apples this year! I kept waiting for the apples to start turning red, but when they got bright yellow, they began falling off the limbs. Duh, yellow apples, not red ones!
Naturally I had not adequately planned what to do with them yet. Weren’t apples supposed to get ripe in the fall? Well, I use apples in muffins, pandowdy, crumbles and such so I peeled, cored and sliced about 40 of them and mixed them in a great big pot with a generous slop of cinnamon and nutmeg, a little milk and flour, and simmered them until they got to about 40% of their original volume. Ready for anything!
Now they’re in the freezer, awaiting the next cobbler…pandowdy…pie..
I been in an all-out tumult this year! How about you? I had a ton of terrible anxiety at work last year that culminated in getting fired two days before Christmas – Ho-Ho-Ho! I can’t go into it, non-disclosure statement, but let’s just say it was both a magnificent relief to be away from there and also a new mega-anxiety. At my age, a woman has little chance to get a good job. I was at the old place 11 years and got bonuses every year but the last couple. No way can I hire in around here for even half of what I was making there. Where’s here?
Unpack: I bought a fixer-upper in the city to be nearer to work and not have to drive a couple hours to-from each day. Had to sell it this spring too cheap and try to move all my stuff out in my Subaru. Anything I could not stuff in, tie on or take apart stayed. Now all that plunder is piled in the cabin out here in the 100-acre forest. I’m trying to upgrade my online bookstore inventory from about 900 books to 3000. I have an account with ABE Books who harbors independent booksellers from all over and my monthly account is for 0-3000 books. As the Old Lady Who Bookstore, I have about 1500 books in the inventory now and strive onward, often with books I have collected over the last few decades. Some are even worth much more than I bought them for as they’re 1st editions and some have become rare! Speaking of books, I finally did get all my Elise t’Hoot Galactic Adventure series into print…took a while to get the covers right.
Elise is a crewmember who, as an aid to the exiled Agronomy scientist, is the only non-exile allowed out onto the planet surface. The others stay on the main ship in orbit or on the transport ship that delivered the exiles to do the studies.
Elise’s chip says she’s Marta from Germany but her management decided she’s just another ‘Soggy’ and shun her. This allies her with the exiles even more strongly. ‘Soggy’ is a likely phrase as humans have a history of making caricatures of ‘lesser’ folk with such derogatory language.
Elise’s plan was to make enough money to go home and pay tuition to finish her degree. She is flayed when she hears of the plan to destroy the trees planted and the horticultural bounty the wrecked Dutch ship carried. My mentor told me that such heartrending issues affect people now, the world over, and that it will doubtless occur more often when times get tougher. They really do care about us.
When Elise takes a walk though the planted trees, she finds one she does not recognize and is affronted, that was her major in college! She realizes this is not a tree but an alien. And there are more hiding among the trees. I was told life comes in trillions of forms, most that formed by evolution in their home environments. They have a wide span of development, some simple and some highly advanced.
Elise’s Paraguayan friend dubs the aliens Amigos. As life is in many forms, so are the attitudes and emotions of that life. Tehuti said peace and cooperation is most natural, and there is a strong tendency for civilized folk to recognize peace as beneficial. He’s from the Lyran area of the galaxy and there were folk like him there as well as a civilization that thought the weaker or more self-serving beings should be thinned out. For the Amigos I chose smart, peaceful and honest as attributes. Later, other aliens that threatened Earth for example, were more mechanical and unconcerned about others if there was a technical concern.
Elise convinces the other exiles to help her smuggle the aliens to the next Colony planet instead of allowing them to be destroyed with the trees. Tehuti’s major concern was that we show the poorly treated illegal with mental issues from trauma can lead and make pivotal changes for humanity. She sacrificed her future to save the Amigos and bravely introduced this alien species to the humans of Tenembras. This was my way of stating that real heroes don’t let anything stop them.
Elise, now known as Marta, signs up for a colony supply bus that has an initial science stop. She becomes the aid for an exiled Canadian food distribution master, famed for supplying poor populations. Her best friend is an exiled Pantanal peacekeeper who tried to save the Amazonian ecosystem. They reach the initial planet stop and find a Dutch ship full of trees and plants that had launched with grand fanfare was sabotaged and crashed there. There are no human survivors, however the shipwreck also destroyed the transport for a group of aliens. As word of this questionable shipwreck would incite riots, ship command will destroy the shipwreck and the cargo of plants, flowers, trees as well as the tree they were able to plant on this dim and inhospitable planet.
Space tech is making amazing progress considering where we were a decade of a few ago. I was informed that the ET Entities try to inspire some of the most promising scientists.
When the number of refugees get far too manageable and there’s no place for all the bodies, the US and China compete to colonize planets. Then it becomes a real estate race; who can find and keep the most lucrative planets?
I was urged to read of the current planetary findings by NASA and affiliates. Most at the time while I was writing the stories, the discovered planets appeared to have no atmosphere or water and to be very close to the local sun. Ricky told me that many do have atmospheres and water but are more difficult to detect with current methods. There is much life thriving out there according to the ETs, and they should know!
As did the Dutch, the Canadians will probably use their newly warn northern areas to grow great quantities of food which they, in the story, do charge those who can pay but also donate much to support central African countries in particular as they are working on grass root improvements for all. Having a shipload of grain ruin on the dock under US orders looks very probable. Stopping African nations from cooperating on ways to allow a better life for millions will probably not be acceptable to the autocrats.
Elise ‘known as Marta’ is common now. I worked with such a person with an assumed name 25 years ago. The technology will attempt to thwart this by giving US citizens embedded chips that can be scanned wherever one goes. Does it surprise anyone that there are people who can reprogram the chips?
The main and title character of the Sci-Fi series The Elise t’Hoot Galactic Adventures, is Elise. 100+ years hence, the Dutch folk (her mother in particular) are premier at food production techniques and the construction of strong seawalls (her father’s forte) that protect vulnerable populations. Elise’s world is shattered when the outer barrier wall for the Netherlands is destroyed, allowing a ravaging storm to flood the country. Her father is missing. Her mother and brother are herded to a camp where the crowding is made worse by dead bodies and food is dumped for sport, to watch the refugees fight for it. Her brother is killed that way.
No surprise, the climate will pass critical tipping points without dedicated and effective action. All the entities are very concerned as the Angels are tasked with aiding and caring for us, Jesus is hoping to prevent pain and mass suffering, the Elemental share the planet with us and the ETs, many of which helped start human civilization as gods, want to use their technical expertise to prevent havoc. All of them have leaned to care for us, even when humanity does terrible things.
Any competition to the US hegemony on tech, food, status is in danger. The Netherlands devoted much to assisting others by providing innovative propagation methods and rising sea safety. They, particularly Elise’s father, got too much prestige for that and was allowing upstarts to rival the US in some areas.
Elise and her mother got German help. There will always be caring and loving people who can make the situation better. Unfortunately, it seems these folks will need to be more and more careful of speaking out when the authoritarians come into power.
Making sport of food fights? That happened through history, and these camps are much like concentration camps. The difference is, the citizens are herded together for exile as property proof on barely livable colony planets.
Elise and her mother escape and find a German uncle who has a dying daughter. He gives Elise and her mother the identification of his daughter and wife. They arrive in the US as Germany is a favored Eurussian ally. They live with an aunt in Kentucky that operates a forestry reserve. She attends WKU until her scholarship is revoked for unknown reasons. Perhaps the Botany and Forestry section fell from autocratic favor?
The series covers many current issues that we might use to gain a wider perspective on. The series is still in eBook only, I’m having a darned hard time getting the covers right to send to the publisher. I won’t give up!
My hateful, arrogant *&%#^@(@? boss fired me after trying for a year (ha ha!) and since then I’ve had the time at last to format and publish some of the books I’ve written in the last few years.
The oldest were the Elise t’Hoot series, originally written in 2017 as 400 page goliaths and re-done in 2019 as re-edited and cut in half books with cool new covers and a catchier subtitle to make them more noticable and readable. Now they’re all in Kindle as the 10 book series called An Elise t’Hoot Galactic Adventure! I had to go to the ISBN agency and revise the titles and when that change winds through the system, I’ll put the print versions up. Yip! Yip!
The other thing done so far is the dowsing book that I’ve made far to complicated. I had the eBook up first of the year but like the t’Hoot books, I could not get the publishing company I was trying to work with to accept my covers. They were never the right size in one way or the other. Well, I’m taking the t’Hoots off that site to Amazon’s KDP and will do them there. I was going to yank this dowsing book as well but miracles can happen – they took the 6th revision cover for the print book! Conversing with Various Entities is now in print! Whoopee!
Most of the rest of my time has been gobbled up by that dowsing book’s website, blog posts and the store that will sell the 200+ pendulums I’ve made so far. I’m great at making the pendulums at about 6 per hour but keep getting muddled and aggravated in the attempt to finalize the website and store. Yesterday I thought I was fixing some of the store issues and realized I’d made my blog page static and had 40 pendies on sale there. Good greasy gravy!
The Little Brown Bats book will be next, or maybe Otto & Socks Outpost One or I might skip to the dozen Take-A-Break Shorts books ; all of them eBooks that need to go into print so I must format them and design the folding covers and then I gotta jerk them from Ingram to set-up on KDP. For so long I had no time to fool with these and now I can. Yes, I need to get another job soon, but gee willikers, I feel so good about making progress with these books I wrote and hoped for so much. They took time, energy, imagination, a piece of me in each one! I grieved about letting them all languish…why bother writing anything (including this blog) anymore?
Now, I have planned and written out a series of blogs featuring eco-aspects of the t’Hoot books. Coming up soon! Hopefully they’ll be available in print by then. Stay warm!
I’m a dedicated listener who has been fascinated by words since I first chewed on my Golden Book ‘Three Little Kittens’ while teething. I’ve written a dozen Science Fiction books and several others since. I have a library of over 7500 books in my forest cabin in Western Kentucky and also have an online bookstore at ABE Books (I’m Old lady Who?)and I try to sell as many as I can!
To wit: I have bitten the hook you cast out last weekend for nicknames. From the first I can remember, I was called Hoot and Hootenanny. I thought my name was Hoot and told it to anyone I met. We were poor and isolated on a gravel road that deadended at Slop Ditch, all this in the Louisville city limits. My parents never got past 9th grade. Thus I got no preschool or kindergarten, but went straight into first grade. In my Dollar Store t-shirt and high-water pants and smiling with my crooked teeth, I proudly wrote ‘Hootenanny’ on my name tag neatly and as I’d taught myself to read all the books at home including Gone with the Wind, the Wagner Encyclopedia (that I stole from a goodwill donation box) and any books I could borrow from the Bookmobile.
I received the first derision of the unending trail of it throughout school, however after that first occurrence, I learned how to spell Mary Ellen Wall. And after winning the 8th grade Science Fair and using the $50 prize to buy a sewing machine, I learned how to sew my own and my Mama’s and Sisters’ clothes. I was personally proud of them (particularly of my floor-length, low cut waist, purple brushed denim flared jeans) whether anyone else liked them or not. I became indelibly independent and introspective.
I finally relearned real confidence by joining the US Navy in my late teens as a nuclear mechanic tasked with maintaining nuclear submarines; they made me speak up and look the judges in the eyes while getting my initial qualifications on the USS Dixon that was docked at Point Loma in San Diego when not cruising the Pacific. That two years extensive training and experience, a Bachelors degree, a Masters degree as well as multiple professional certifications got me a Nuke Engineer position at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. I worked there ten years to be able to buy 100 acres of gorgeous Kentucky woodland where I built my own log cabin. Full circle, eh? Sorry for the long letter; when I start writing it’s tough to stop!
Thanks for this opportunity to participate!
Mary Ellen ‘Hootenanny’ Wall
P.S. In my 10 volume Sci-Fi adventure series, the lead character is Elise t’Hoot Dutch refugee 105 years from now. She made her illegal way to her aunt’s cabin in Western Kentucky, went to WKU, signed up for an interplanetary trip to supply the colony planets, met tree-like aliens along the way and smuggled them to the first colony called Tenembras. Adventures ensue, including saving Earth from climate change with her alien friends’ aid and from mighty aliens that dislike fusion reactors. Ha! MEW
I fell off the ‘writing a blog’ bus because I was busy writing a new book and getting more of the ones I’d already written published! I hope to get the Elise t’Hoot Galactic Adventure print set out in a week or two. This one on dowsing is out in eBook now, print is coming as soon as Ingram gets off it’s tookus.
The Various Entities Shoppe – in progress! I did put a blog up there with a training video up there if you’d like to try it!
What’s all this about? You’ve heard of folks in the country using a forked stick to locate a spot to sink a well? Same thing, taken much farther. The book covers the history including my experience doing the water witching just described. That stick is cumbersome and doesn’t fit in your pocket very well. A pendulum (see below) works on the same principles but is much more versatile. Get your answers to the rest here!