Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Morning Staff Meeting

I'm very grateful that so many staffers turn up for this meeting. It's not required attendance and we all know how boring staff meetings can be. The Farmer and I do our best to keep things interesting, what with the hornet and fires it seems we are attempting to reenact the plagues and pestilences of the Bible.

This morning I have some mini cinnamon Danish rolls. They're terrible. Seriously. Take one if you wish but they're basically empty calories, empty of taste and texture. The Other Mother got them from the bakery department of the local food store. I'm not even going to include a photo. That's how bad they are.

None of their baked goods resemble the real baked goods from the real bakeries of my childhood. The Schlachta's would rise at 3 in the morning to start the baking process for their shop on 5th Avenue. I'll never forget the taste and texture of their wonderful Danish rolls. The fresh loaves of bread would be lined up on racks in their front window, inviting us inside to experience the sights and smells.

I can't even think of a real bakery anywhere in the area. I know there's one out in Sycamore.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In the absence of delicious baked goods, I'll provide a little eye candy.

This was taken at Johnson's Mound Forest Preserve. It's quite surprising to see this mound rising from the flat, corn covered landscape. It's not a manmade mound but a natural deposit left over from the ice age.

Here's what the Forest Preserve District website says about the mound:

"Johnson's Mound is a heavily wooded classic example of a stratified gravel hill known as a "kame", which was deposited by glacial ice and water some 10,000 years ago. This kame is a prominent feature on our mid-county landscape, rising 50 feet above the surrounding tributaries of Blackberry Creek and the glacial outwash plain. "

Fifty feet!!! That's a mountain in these parts. And Jenni, you're correct, we're not as flat as Kansas. We're not as flat as southeastern Missouri either. There are definitely different levels of flatness.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Ang - I'm sorry I didn't respond whether I was going to be at the Pumpkin Fest. I was trying up to the last minute to make that happen, but it wasn't to be this year. I swear we're going to meet up sooner or later. You too Heidi!!!

Kate, one of my rural readers has posed a question that perhaps one of you can answer. She's finding that soon after her barn cat gives birth, some of the kittens are being killed. She hasn't found anything on the internet that seems to answer the puzzle. I am thinking it's perhaps a raccoon that is gaining entry into the barn. Unfortunately, the number one culprit is usually the tomcat.

Does anyone know about this phenomenon? It's sad to find those newborn kittens in such a state and any information would be greatly appreciate.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Last year for my birthday our daughter gifted me with a subscription to Netflix. I am in love with Netflix. Not only because they send us movies really fast but they save me from terminal boredom during football season. We have three TV's in this house. The Farmer ties one up with sports, the Other Mother watches hers in her sitting room and our son's TV is not hooked up. As you can surmise, that leaves me high and dry in the television watching departments.

Netflix to the rescue! I have my computer set up in my sewing studio and Netflix offers movies to watch instantly on your computer. I've been watching documentaries while I sew. It's great company for me and I'm learning a lot. One of the first documentaries was a PBS show about the Shaker movement. It was very interesting and shortly thereafter I found a Shaker cookbook at Goodwill for 89 cents. I'm going to try some of these recipes. I'll let you know how they turn out.

I've also watched documentaries on natural artist Andy Goldsworthy, "Rivers and Tides", one on blind Tibetan children climbing a Himalayan peak. The most interesting documentary was about two widows of September 11th who turned their tragedy into a mission to help widows in Afghanistan. It was very moving. It's called Beyond Belief and I highly recommend it.

The women set up a non-profit organization that provides education and ways of making a living for these women. I often suggest charities and this is a good one. It's called Beyond the 11th

Note: No, Netflix didn't pay me to say this, although I wish they would! HA.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I've been very busy here and to prove it I've updated my shop with twenty new APRONS, twenty new WALLETS, old fashioned COTTON DISHCLOTHS, and something new..... hand crocheted SCARVES.

There's one Halloween apron that can be shipped next day.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Thanks for taking time from your busy day to visit with me. I really appreciate the company!

Now, tell me what you've been up to.


Becky K. said...

About the poor kittens, I had also heard that it is usually the male cat. That they should be sheltered until they are several weeks old.

The photo of the yellow woods is awesome.

I am attempting to rid our home of those nasty piles of old mail, coupons and other papers that seemed important at one time...but no longer hold their charm. That is what I am up to, in addition to preparing for another day of schoolwork with the children and job app pickups with the eldest.

Becky K.

lifeinredshoes said...

Good morning, and no thanks, I'll skip the empty calories.
I have talked to several people that are very happy with netflix, perhaps I'll give it a go.
The apron is beautiful, as always.
And for some reason I cannot get the topic of last weeks discussion about homelessness out of my head...

chocolatechic said...

What an adorable apron.

I heart Netflix. I have had it for about a year now, and my que is still over 150 titles.

Anonymous said...

I just finished a breakfast eggs with leftover steak in them, so I will pass on the pastry. I remember the bakery in my hometown and walking by it on my way to school and seeing all the fresh things in the window! Sometimes on the way home from school we would stop in for a treat.
Our momma barn cats usually hide their kittens for the first several days, so I have no idea if some are killed.
We had a 'mound' like that near here, but it was 'mined' off for the gravel in it. I went sledding on it when I was growing up, one reason the owners of the property had it levled off was people sledding there without permission and one actually suing them when he got hurt-he did not have permission to be there-it was posted too.
Have you ever seen the PBS show The Farmer's Wife? I taped it when it was shown, it must have been in the early 90's. I think it was an American Experience show.
Well, gotta get to cleaning my room.
I love your blog and miss you when you don't post.

Anonymous said...

sorry about my typos, I should have previewed my comment before I posted! Pam

Jenni said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I'm going to look for Beyond Belief on Netflix and I've bookmarked the site. It's so inspiring to hear of two women who lost so much yet found a way in the midst of their grief to reach out to others in need. The world needs more of this.

Ang. said...

Its okay. :) It was a crummy weekend for the Festival anyway. Too wet and too cold! The craft shows were well attended though! You should think about setting up at one of them. I saw one booth selling aprons but they were not near as nice as yours. My head is now swimming with all sorts of crafty ideas!

Yes, sometimes toms will kill kittens. I am not sure what state the kittens are found in but toms usually don't consume the babies. If something is eating them then it could be a coon or even a possum.

lisa said...

Wow, that’s a lot of stuff! I am doing my first blog giveaway! I decided to do it for my birthday, and I hope you can come by and check it out!

Karen Deborah said...

not much yet, if you really thought a good bakery would make it out there...well...

scmom (Barbara) said...

Don't you think it's sad that no one wants to be a baker any more? It's just too hard and you can't get rich. Sad, sad, sad. If I weren't raising a family and homeschooling my children, I'd open a bakery. Back in the day the bakery was a regular (almost) daily stop.

J'Ollie Primitives said...

Twenty aprons?! I'm impressed! How long does it take you to make one? They're so pretty!

No Netflix, alas....the cable TV bill is something I'd like to do without, but I was outvoted. Men, hmph.

Ang. said...

I meant to comment on the bakery in Sycamore. I haven't been in there in years but they used to have the best eclairs! Yummy! We used to make a donut run during ag class about once a week. Good times!

Mary Rex said...

I would like to put in my two cents about the kittens. Please do not breed your animals for barn cats. Have them trapped/spayed/neutered/vaccinated and get some other cats from a shelter/rescue/newspaper ad if you want more. Thousands of animals need homes already. Even if that home is a barn. Heck... I have two here that I could give you. I am fostering two adult males and two kittens that someone dumped off in my neighborhood.

Heather said...

I've never heard of the kitten problem. That's so sad! I love love LOVE your adorable apron!! Will you be making any for Christmas??

Ruta M. said...

Talking of bygone shops, when I was at secondary school I used to walk past an old fashioned sweet shop. And not just any old shop, it was run by an elderly Jewish couple who made the sweets in the backroom. Through an open doorway you could see some very basic equipment with which they made toffee, honeycomb, coconut ice, soft mints and different sorts of boiled sweets. I think they only sold sweets that they made themselves. I never had much money to spend but once in a while I would buy 2oz of honeycomb. A shop from a long gone era.

Anonymous said...

When my son was growing up, there were times when I kinda understood why some animals eat their own. Heh. Just KIDDING! Seriously, I never took a bite out of the boy. The worst I did was make him clean his room, which you would have thought was akin to driving him to the gallows.
Regarding the poor deceased kittens... my mom once had a stray cat wander in and it had kittens in her garage, and sadly the male came back twice and slit the throats of the little kitties. It was SO sad. We were all just sick about it. Tomcats can be nasty creatures when they're not neutered.
By the way, your apron is beautiful. You're so talented! I love your stuff!


Heidi said...

Hey there.. tom cats do it to bring the female back into 'heat'.. at times the mothers do it if they are not healthy enough to care for the young.. and some do it because they are just idiots.. lol

Jody Blue said...

I would guess its the tomcat, they are usually the culprit. Across the river in Winona MN is the most amazing little bakery Bloedow's. They have been in the same little wood floored, original cabinets, etc. place for decades. Netflix should pay you!

Anonymous said...

have you tried the coco bean in geneva? They have mini desserts, i buy a couple of them and then everyone gets to try some of everything. Beyond good... they have pastries as well that look amazing.