Sunday, June 30, 2013

Being Self Sufficient Doesn't Mean You Don't Ever Need Help -

Hunting the Wild Yam

I have a number of readers who are "preppers", but not of the "quick ma, let's hide in the bomb shelter, the revenooers are coming!", that is a mistaken public perception. Rather, they are people who simply have the sense to learn ways they can conduct their lives with a minimum of assistance from the taxpayers, as stewards of their land and law abiding members of their community. 
My prepping is limited, a bit of grain, sugar and salt stored in nitrogen that will last 20 years, canned goods and water for a few months, a way to clean water, medical supplies, the skills to hunt game, not just for fine eating, but for necessity, if it ever came to that.  Those are small skills compared to many folks, just enough for any famine, tornado or a Bridal Days Sale at Macy's that can wreck pandemonium on a community.
 You ate the LAST roll of toilet paper
On my blogroll are a number of women who sustain their households,  some with family, some all on their own, growing their own food, canning, and much more.  One who I have learned a lot from reading is Kat M. at  Self Sustained Living. 
She does it all, cheese making, soap making, growing food and tobacco and raising goats, living a self sustained life. She even kills and preps her own game.  I was introduced to Kat and her blog by my good friend Kymber at Framboise Manor.  The two of them were involved together in the early days of the American Preppers Network and the Canadian Preppers Network.
She's put in a lot of time helping those that take self sufficiency seriously, encouraging people from all over the world to try it, offering advice, and support.  For someone like her, asking for help can not be easy but she needs it.  She is in danger of losing her farm due to a domestic violence situation with her spouse, (which you can read about here.)

Reading this struck a chord with me for reasons many of you will understand.  I try and limit my "help this person" posts on my blog as there are so MANY that need it, but this one, this lady, doesn't deserve to go through this without support, something that is measured in more than dollars. 

For rather than cry, or throw a pity party while sitting, waiting for someone to "save the day" she's come up with a sound business plan (which you can read here) while working to get the farm  based business going (her bread sold out in 45 minutes at the market Friday). It will take some seriously hard work, and another job on the side, in addition to the commercial kitchen, but it's a sensible plan, from someone who is no stranger to backbreaking work. From what I hear, her artisan cheeses and breads alone would draw in a good business. 
So let's help how we can. Drop a word of encouragement.  Donate to the business fund for the commercial kitchen that's underway to sell her goods on a larger scale. She's got a Paypal tip jar on the blog, and for those that don't like Paypal, there's an Indiegogo donate link on the business plan page linked in the paragraph above.  Even a dollar will help, and if you don't have  a dollar, simply share her story on your blog or other social media site, that's worth more than gold.  
Twenty years ago when people were hurting, battered and abused, they often remained silent. If they were sick and alone, or simply dealing with the damages of mother nature and time, there was not this blog community to rally around them, to let them know their talents are important, their willingness to share, a gift.  Let's show Kat why this community works best together.
Thank You- Brigid

Friday, June 28, 2013

Storm Troopin'

The  little blue frankenshoe was changed out for the big structured "boot", the metatarsal being fractured.  It didn't show up with the initial X ray, not until they did weight bearing X Ray, after the swelling and pain just got worse after I put some necessary miles on it this week.

On the plus side, the infection is about gone, the clot history.  The fracture, a simple stress one, will heal in a few weeks (if I limit my travel and activity).  But all I could think of was I am going to look like a Stormtrooper if the doc makes me wear the  big boot.

Maybe  I should just get targets of  Luke and Han, take them to the  gun range and complain bitterly about never being able to hit them.

All is well,  just another evening at


Thursday, June 27, 2013

What's On Your Bookshelf?

 I loved reading from an early age. Charlotte's Web, Madeline, A Little Princess, The Wind in the Willows, A Child's Garden of Verse, Grimm's Fairy Tales. As I got older, there were poetry books and a scarlet leather-bound edition of the complete works of Shakespeare which held more interest for me than any fashion magazine. When my classmates were reading The BoxCar Children and Pippi Longstocking I was reading the works of Ayn Rand and Robert Heinlein and a whole other way of thinking opened up to me.

But reading is for me not just intellectual but embracive. I love the way the spine of a book feels in the crook of my fingers. The smooth, hard end boards snug on either side of the pages sewn together, their edges flush and perfect. The smell of ink, the texture of a page as my fingers gently turn it, sitting there in the easy chair late in the evening. As I open the page, I draw in breath, like a swimmer taking in one last draw of air before diving from a great height.  As the words begin to flow, they seem bigger than they are, as a shadow is larger than that which casts it.

I often lose track of time, as the words rush slow and effortlessly above the sound of the wind, above all the world that lay outside.  I take a sip of old Scotch and turn another page, the din of the world beyond these windows, nothing but diminishing noise, a soft sound of tearing silk.
Even during times of travel I always have a book tucked into my bag. Even if I'm in a crowded terminal, when I pick up a book, time retreats as the story itself clears away the noise and clutter, providing me a space where thinking is possible. There are so many that I've read multiple times, Robert Ruark, the early Robert Parker (though like Wilbur Smith, finding his best ones in his early work) - Looking for Rachel Wallace, Catskill Eagle, the pages dogged eared. I think what I like most about Parker's character Spenser is his belief in personal responsibility and the concept that there is seldom honor without difficulty.

The best moments are when I  I'm reading a new book and come across something, a thought, a way of looking at the world, an emotion, which I thought was unique and particular to me, and now here it is, set down by someone who's probably been dead two hundred years. Powerful stuff. So, as I return back to duty, a few books for your perusal from my library here at the crash pad.
Books I Planned to Read But Probably Never Will:
Emma by Jane Austen. I had a teacher who so wanted me to read it. Look, it's 400 pages of nothing much happening before the heroine grows up and marries some old guy and lives happily ever after. Make everyone a vampire and it's the same book you find on any teenage girl's shelf. Nothing blows up, young girl lives happily ever after . . . yawn.

The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Van Loon. This was the biggest book in the library as a child and for that reason only I was challenged to get through it. It's not really all that long by adult standards, but Barkley and I both lost interest pretty quickly.

SPARC Architecture, Assembly Language Programming, and C - for Dummies. A relative of mine wrote the original book -non dummy edition. Every time I open it I feel so beyond stupid I just put it down.
The Books You’ve Been Looking For,  For Years, Without Success:
The Beer and Bacon Diet. Lose 30 pounds in 3 days. Still looking for it.

Bad Cow Puns - by Terry Bull

The Books You Want To Own Because They're handy.
The complete Jane's Books of Aircraft. I want the real shelf-hogging McCoy, not the ones on compact disc. I want big books of planes I have to move with a dolly.

Books That Might Be handy But You Really Don't Want to Own.

The Books To Put Aside To Re-Read This Summer:
Safe Return Doubtful - The Heroic Age of Polar Exploration by John Maxtone-Graham. Until the early 20th century, both the North and South poles remained alluring unknowns shrouded in a biting cold mystery that demanded resolution. Only a century ago, intrepid men dreamed of conquering the planet's last continent with tools unfit for purpose. For those men, heroism alone sufficed.

The author really does a fine job in exploring the fraternity that experienced not only heartbreaking defeat, but even death. Salomon Andree and his Arctic balloon vanished, Ernest Shackleton called it quits only ninety-seven miles from the elusive south pole, and his countryman Captain Robert F. Scott succeeded, only to cruelly perish retuning to base. Yet, with his death pending, Captain Scott wrote these words. " Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every every man, these rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale. . . "
Articulate grace in the face of death. Courage to even begin the journey. Such are what drives the courageous, the visionaries. Those that earn their names know what risk is, and they elect to it anyway. They pursue, without ambivalence, one bright shining goal, be it exploration of a new land, or promotion of an ideal that should be heard. Walking headlong into the swirling mist of the unknown, they serve a hidden flame and sacrifice what is theirs for what is good. Such are men of courage.

The Books That Fill You With Bemusement:
Book of Etiquette, by Emily Post. I am only a generation or two past those things, taken as matter of fact now, previously considered positively scandalous. For example, in the edition released when I was a baby, it says that public airings of buttocks, cleavage and multiple piercings were not acceptable at a Cotillion (gasp).

Books that will give Big Brother the wrong idea. (Yes, he bought it.)
Books Read Long Ago That It’s Now Time to Re-read:
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold By John Le Carré There are few things quite as entertaining on a brisk fall night as the well-written thriller. This, one of many novels set in the Cold war, will certainly make you shiver. It chronicles the life of Alec Leamas, on his last spy mission, burned-out, seeking a redeeming end to the journey. Rendered with the symmetrical, mathematical precision of Bach, I still get goosebumps on reading the line, "And suddenly, with the terrible clarity of a man too long deceived, Leamas understood the whole ghastly trick."
Uysses - By James Joyce. Ulysses is an epic that loosely follows The Odyssey, but within it dwells the heart of modern people with all their foibles and misdemeanors. It's so intricate- that I had a little trouble delving into it at first —but something struck a chord in me when Joyce talked "ineluctable modality of the visible." You shut your eyes, open them again, and find the world continues without your witnessing it. Seasons shift, people we love leave, yet the world continues on with beauty and wonder. It's a beautiful reflection on time and change and where one stands in the scheme of things we can not control.
The World As I See It - By Albert Einstein. A collection of softly brilliant essays by one of the great minds of the past century. "A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labours of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving".

What's On Your Book Shelf tonight?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I am NOT Sleeping on Your Good Sofa

I'm SITTING on it.

Until you get back home I'm also not:
eating your slippers
humping the dog bed
barking at the neighbor's dog
seeking out your last Hostess Snowball
wearing your clothes (OK, I  briefly had a pair of panties on my head but it wasn't what you think).

Love Barkley

P.S. I do know the combination to the gun safe though

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cattle Chutes and Cake - It's Saturday

It's been a week, as they say, capped off by another trip to the hospital one evening for further testing on the foot and the clot therein. The doc gave me a list of "if you see this go to the hospital immediately". Come on, it will buff out.  Not.  So there I was. The foot had swollen up so badly they decided to x ray in case there was bone injury in addition to the puncture wound.

Let's just say the x ray tech believed the whole "bends like Gumby" until the tears came. It was not a pleasant stay, though everyone did what they could to make an unpleasant experience bearable.

Nothing was broken, just serious inflammation from the infection. But the antibiotics are working and the clot should be absorbed without running amok (though staring at it saying "I am Borg, you will be assimilated" does NOT work).  I was sent home in the morning, with some serious pain meds, which I've not, yet, tried to take as I hate the "help" of things that numb.  Friend around helped, Partner and other friends checking on me, but I was trying to be the kevlar gumdrop, not showing that I was hurting.
But this morning I needed help, as Barkley had his yearly check up at the vet we both like so much.

Though I could hobble my away around the kitchen,  there was no way I could wrangle with him in a pressure bandage with a frankenshoe.  He actually LIKES going to the vet and about pulls my arm off going inside where the pretty Vet takes care of him and gives him a treat!

 This calls for back up!
Fortunately, I know a strong and capable young man who can be talked into going to the vet on Saturday morning at o' dark hundred.   The visit mostly went well, At age 10, Barkley is in great shape and a healthy 89 pounds. He had two little lumps on him, both needle biopsied, and as suspected, just fatty growths in an aging animal. But he had an ear infection in both ears, even though he'd not been scratching at them. which needed ear drops and antibiotics.

Ironically though, Barkley and I are on identical antibiotics. Same name, same milligrams per dosage, just a different dose.  His were a LOT more expensive. I told him to get a job with  health insurance. He ignored me.

I can't get him to clean my firearms either.
I'm not looking forward to a week of  daily ear drops. Let's just say he does NOT like his ears messed with, and trying to hold onto him with a bandaged foot and the bad knee, while he tries to buck me off, is NOT going to be fun, if this morning was any example.

I need to build a cattle chute or something to round him up and get him in. But today, thankfully today at least,  I had help.

So, by way of thank you, there was  freshly made cake (and no creamsickle cake this time Old NFO!)
Guinness and Molasses Cake - An experiment of science and alcohol and a kitchen.  I had help getting all the ingredients  and utensils I'd need gathered up, then sitting on a barstool at the island, and one by the stove with a stool to prop the foot up with, I could conduct my little experiment.  I sort of jotted down what I was doing on a piece of paper in case it turned out.

"It turned out", if two people eating the photo piece with one plate and two forks while jockeying for position at the counter, is any indicator.

It's much richer and darker than gingerbread, denser (stouter :-)  than regular cake, though still with a tender crumb.  Paired with a simple whipped cream topping infused with just a trace of vanilla/sugar, it was a huge hit and I'll package up the rest to be taken home.

I may still need that cattle chute though, for the rest of the week.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Line Up

How many of you use a clothes line?  The crash pad has a washer/dryer built into a little closet but at home, a line is used, in the winter, set up across the laundry area. Yes, the clothes are a little stiffer and they often need the touch up of an iron, but it's surprising how much energy that drier uses.

I lived in a subdivision once and clothes lines weren't allowed, as only hooligans and hillbillies use them, you know. You couldn't even hang a beach towel off of your porch or paint your front door the color you wanted. I quickly moved away from the Stepford Subdivision, never to return.

A washer is a must.  Even as much as I love old machinery I have no desire to run my clothes through a wringer like Grandma Gullikson.  But to pull in a big batch of sheets from the line, kissed by the sun with the warm scent of summer on them, there is no fabric softener scent that can match that. There's something quietly satisfying about taking things that are dirty, the clothing of the people you love, and rendering them clean, a ritual of care that feminists would probably vilify me for actually liking. But holding the clothing of someone you love, something that bears their scent, their labors, and then carefully getting it ready for them to wear again, has an intimacy of its own.
Growing up, we always had a dryer, the avocado green Maytag one. But in the spring and summer, Mom always hung the clothes outside  I have vivid memories of those days. I would help gather the clothes in, that being one of my set chores. For we had assigned chores as children, daily ones that had to be done without fussing if we hoped to get an allowance to buy us a bit of candy on Saturday. No chores, no allowance, that became obvious early. We were given things to do that were in the scope of our abilities and some that were beyond, with supervision only when necessary, so that we would learn, painfully if we didn't listen, but learn nonetheless.

The clothes would hang, with the linens, dresses and dress shirts, the modest nightwear, the men's briefs and big "Granny panties" that we wore, ones that did not peak out of low slung jeans but only the Sears Catalog. There was our Sunday best, to be appropriately scratchy for young ones in the pew to squirm around as Father Erickson talked of Genesis and Exodus and fathers therein who dared talk face to face with God.
On laundry day when the clothes were off the line inside and sorted, Mom would set up the ironing board in front of the TV.  There she would watch As the World Turns, The Secret Storm or Guiding Light while she ironed and I put together the puzzles that fascinated me, Big bro off at school. Dad still has, to this day, a jigsaw puzzle of bears on the coffee table that was purchased for Big Bro, not that it stopped me from putting it together time and time again, until the edges were worn.

While I played, Mom would iron everything, including the sheets, from the hand embroidered ones of the 50's to the harvest gold striped ones from the late 60's and 70's. She'd use a wine bottle that had a cap that allowed for water to be sprinkled out in lieu of a steam iron as if subtly blessing the sheets. There was almost a zen like ritual to it, much as I feel when I reload, a series of defined movements, done in proper order with the right amount of physical force and the elements that comprise the process.
Then she would get  the after school snack out and dinner prepped, giving her just enough time to freshen up and make a martini to greet my Dad at the door when he got home. Lest you think my Mom a demure Mrs. Cleaver type, prior to adopting us, when she wasn't doing laundry she was the County Sheriff.  College educated when most women didn't get past high school, Mom could kick keester and take names, help pluck out a drowning victim from the river and deal with the trauma that was rape, domestic violence and abuse. 

I'm sure she missed the challenges, but after 18 years as an LEO, she found greater satisfaction in maintaining order in a house of redheads and occasionally fishing someones toy out of the toilet. Everything she did, she did with care and attention to detail, even after she got so sick, her days filled with weariness and, I suspect, pain.
I still remember the days when Mom washed my stuffed animals and carefully hung them up by the ears on the clothes line, giving each one  a little kiss and a pat while I watched to make sure they were OK. One of them had no eyes, and little fur, he being loved so hard, but she very carefully hung him up by the ears with a special kiss.  I thought he had disappeared, but when she was in her last days, and I was leaping into adulthood, she put him away where I'd find him again when I was grown, and remember those days.

I remember her as well, dealing with Big Bro's and Dad's filthy and smelly fishing garb, simply smiling a patient smile and handling them as delicately as vestments.  She worked away, a patient smile on her face, the birds on the lines and in the trees,  singing a hymn of praise as she labored for love.

While the clothes fluttered on the summer line like the last valiant leaves of the year, we'd run and play.  If we fell down, we got up, if we skinned a knee, we washed it off with the hose, running in and out of the hanging sheets, bright red heads flashing in and through them like birds. We did so with a zest for breathing that is wrung out of most people by the time they're 40, playing as if we were eternal and in that moment, we were, there in the open clean air, away from the walls of dust and shadow and sickness.
We played hide and seek and cowboy and Indians. We stalked squirrels and each other with nothing more than a plastic weapon and iron courage.  Our games had elements of make believe, of magic and super powers, soldier, secret agents and spies. But we weren't so sheltered from the world that we were unaware that to be careless with the tools and talents we were given, was to meet up with a beast that, though lightly slumbering, sleeps with breath tainted with blood. As we grew, we watched as deer fell in the woods under our guns, a firearm being more than a toy to play cops and robbers with, but the means of putting food on the table, a means to protect, one that came with heavy responsibility.

We understood early one, that some things do NOT wash out.

The clothes line eventually came down. I don't recall when actually. It was about the time Big Bro went off to the Navy, to submarine school.  I wanted to go with him, we did everything together, but I had a  few years of school left. All I could do was stand there as a line that no longer held his shirts stood like a barren flag pole and the vehicle in which we'd had so many adventures, drove off towards his future.  I watched as long and as hard as I could, thinking that old blue panel van would turn around.  But the red tail lights just got further away and closer and closer together until my last memory was a small single spot of red that made my eyes weep as if I had dared to stare into the sun.
Things change, processes evolve, how we live and where we live. But some things, the good things, can continue and I don't care if they are considered "tacky" or "old fashioned", they are a ritual of love that goes beyond blood and care that goes beyond obligation.  Like my clothes line. The clothes are different, there's more t shirts than dresses, a lot of khaki and navy and black. Some of the shirts have pictures, some just have big letters on them. There's the plaid flannel nighty for when it's really cold but most of the underthings, if  made of paper, not fabric, wouldn't be big enough to start a fire with. Styles change, but some rituals don't.

As I hang up a button down dress shirt, I think back to those days of my childhood, as my Mom did the same things for those she loved. As I work, I talk face to face with God as He helps me with the biggest puzzles of all.  As the wind flutters through fabric, around me come the sound of birds, perched on lines of their own, rejoicing without fail, their ceaseless, silver voices singing as if they are eternal, and for this moment may very well be.

 - Brigid

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Schemes o' mice an' men

Well, you what they say about best laid schemes.  Mine were simple.  Eat cake, run or ride around in an assortment of misadventures. Eat more cake.

Laying on my back with my leg (note, that is, ahem, ONE leg, one, singular) up in the air was not in the plan.

I got a little puncture injury to a lower extremity while squirreling about last week.  Cleaned it up, put a bandage on it, no muss, no fuss, no blog post. Went back to squirreling. It hurt but it was hardly more than a sharp poke, though it was pretty tender and sore over the weekend. Monday it was really sore. Yesterday, my left foot looked less like a foot than an inflatable sheep..
What's an inflatable sheep?
Sometimes I wish I'd majored in liberal arts, I'd know less. But I didn't, so I went to the ER, explaining I believed I had complications from an injury.

It wasn't long before I was in an exam room.

How did the injury occur? - I tell her, one eyebrow goes up, she doesn't call people into the room to point or laugh, that's always good.

Are you diabetic?  No.

Have you used birth control pills long term?  No, bad Netflix choices and a limited bar at home always seemed to do the trick.

Are you on any medications? - Gummy vitamins in my desk on days I don't get to eat right.  I had a Fred and a Wilma yesterday.  Daily glucosamine and fish oil.
What is the pain scale on 1 - 10.?  Look, I gave birth to a ten pound six ounce baby the old fashioned way and set my own broken arm once.  My pain scale is not YOUR pain scale.  Call it a six.

I was told "we'll have a nurse practitioner in here in a minute" as I took my slipper off for her (there was no getting a shoe on it, even one of my post torn miniscus ones that look like something Mickey Mouse would wear.)  She didn't say anything but an MD quickly showed up.

The pathophysiology was not a surprise.  There was an intimal injury to a vein from trauma and a bacterial infection, which caused swelling, with the end result being a blood clot (thrombosis) inside the vein. So - I get to spend a few days doing something I do NOT do very well. Take it easy. With my foot elevated so that the clot doesn't try and head north and throw a party in my lungs.
There is no fever.  The wound is healing with primary closure and I have an assortment of antibiotics, anti inflammatory and anti telemarketers to take. I know the signs of pulmonary embolism, acute myocardial infarction and and cardiovascular accident, though, with the location away from the main sephenous vein, that helps. (Though when I keep telling myself "it's not close to the saphenofemoral junction", I can't get the Heywood Banks"Trauma to the Groin" song out of my head.)

I will take my medications. I will not play contact football or juggle knives. I will not dangle my legs off a tall chair all afternoon playing Angry Birds.
On the plus side, from the knee up I feel good and the thrombosis is unlikely to add insult to injury with peptostreptococcus or fusarium proliferatum (which would be as much fun as Spa Day with Nancy Pelosi) though septicemia is always a risk. I've got the draft of Peter's new book in the Steve Maxwell sci fi series and a bunch of Bon Appetite and Model Railroader magazines purchased for fifty cents each from Half Priced Books.  I have a bunch of episodes of Pinky and the Brain, Dr. Who and Archer.

Even better, I was treated promptly and efficiently through a health care system that hasn't yet been totally bollocked up by some new age version of socialized medicine. If so, I'd be pasting my happy unicorn sticker to the back of my ice flow, setting a seat up on the four cases of Yuengling and asking Partner to give it a good shove out to sea.

So not to worry, I'm not going to.  There are people out there with a whole lot worse things to worry about.  If you say a prayer, say one for my Big Bro, say one for Roberta X's Mom, for Squeaky, for the folks in Colorado that lost everything in the fires and the families of Oklahoma, still reeling from the tornadoes, say one for folks you know that are dealing with serious, long term illnesses not just a minor hiccup in their week.

And have a piece of cake, you never know how long it's going to last.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday Night Temptations- Creamsickle Cake

I occasionally bake goodies for my colleagues.  Since on any given day, a lot of of folks are tied up with a complicated task or in the field, usually one recipe will feed whoever is actually near a desk.

If I know it's someones birthday or if they've done a very difficult assignment,  they get a choice of dessert, to keep to themselves, or share.  Sometimes they decline, citing dieting, but half the time I'm met with "cool!" and everyone always shares.

This week I made the offer, whatever kind this fellow wanted.  I was told "can you made  a cake that tastes like a creamsickle?"   All adults remember Creamsickle, that tasty ice cream bar from Popsicle that had the creamy vanilla center wrapped with tart orange. 

After a little Internet searching and some mental tweaking, as some of the old standby recipes use a lot of science experiment ingredients and some had ingredients I don't think they even make any more,  I made one.  This one uses a cake  mix as a base, as I was wanting a recipe that anyone could whip up in a hurry.

It has an easy but real whipped cream frosting (you can use Cool Whip, just ignore my twitch) infused with two kinds of vanilla and  the barest hint of orange essence topping a citrus cake with a spike of tart orange.

I tasted the frosting. Oh, this is going to be one dangerous cake.

Creamsickle Cake

UPDATE: I didn't get to try it, long story, for another time, but everyone said it was the best cake I've made (and it was probably the easiest)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Adventure is spelled with a "B"

I stayed in the Indy area on my days off, as driving up to the Range would have been too far for Peter and his wife Miss D. who wished to visit from down south, something they'd not done in a while as Peter has been  pretty busy with his first novel, recently published.

As I sit here and write, Barkley getting a snooze in, I think how quickly the last three days went by.  I think perhaps there is something in bacon that effects the space time continuum, or perhaps it was the good company.

There was certainly plenty of both over the course of a few days

BLT's with candied bacon and Basil Aoili (From Black Swan Brewpub near I70 and Highway 267)
Bacon Waffles with Sriracha Maple Syrup (recipe in comments)  a HOTR Breakfast for Dinner favorite
Then there were Bikes.

Tam's trusty stead
And another potentially famous bike, if only for one of those "guy who fell down the mountain on skis Wide World of Sports" moments. (Yes, thank you, the first aid kit next to the bikes IS a good idea.
Then there was Barkley. . .
with a Big Ball.
It was little surprise from Big Box Mart.  He went into modified point with it. I knew it wouldn't last long, but for a $2, Miss D. and I  just considered it "cover charge" as we watched.

He tried to first hump it (get your blurry dog photos here!) but as it rolled that didn't work out so well, think less love scene in Romeo and Juliet and more bears mating on roller skates.

Then he tried to bite it. That also wasn't working so well, the jaws, just NOT big enough.
Miss D. and I watched from the tailgate of my truck safety of the jeep, with a glass of mead.
It was only a matter of time.
Is there another one?
Of course, there's Bandages, when one has lathes and labs there's going to be bandages.

Then there were Brewpubs.

Twenty Tap with Tam and Roberta.

Topics included Bats at the Indianapolis Zoo and Batman, an actual Batmobile having been spoted in I-70 by yours truly a few days prior.

Me.  "I waved, he waved.  But he didn't signal when he was changing lanes." (Seriously, I about ZAP! POW! BAM!'d his back bumper when he suddenly cut in front of  me.)

Roberta X: "The Bat Signal is only for use in emergencies."

Miss D: "People signal Batman; Batman doesn't signal people."

There was much laughter, some beer and some iced tea and many tales of adventure.
Then, it was back to Barkley for supper and some later conversation with Zercool, who missed dinner with us due to traffic from construction and a major fire in Indy. Fortunately he had time for a little plate of home cooking (which included roast sweet potato with cinnamon pear balsamic glaze) and some visiting before he continued his trip West in the morning.
He had his dog with him,  a cute hound-mix female. Barkley hasn't been around a girl dog much, so he was the equivalent of the High School Geek with WAYYY too much Testosterone (Wow! She doesn't roll!) With great enthusiasm but no finesse whatsoever, he sniffed and pestered, showed off and further pestered and she finally gently but firmly growled at him to just go away. Not understanding the "no", he was put in the other room behind the baby gate where he just looked at us from behind the bars with a "don't I at least get a conjugal visit?"

The dogs finally curled up and sleeping, we talked, a Scotch was poured and it was time for sleep

It's Sunday - another breakfast. . .
and Books.  There's always some great finds at Half Priced Books.
Plus, you can learn all KINDS of things at the Bookstore.

Or just needle someone.
I realized as we got back to my place and everyone packed up  to get on the road, how Blessed I am.

Three out of the last four weekends, I've had friends, people I've met on the Internet, people who are now family to me, visit my home, to laugh, to share, to toast, to share my table.

Even if the table just has on it the remains of a game of Mexican Train Titanic Dominoes.