Haman’s Hats

Today is the feast of Purim. It’s not one of the major holy days in the Jewish calendar, and is sometimes more for children than adults. It is the one time of the year in some Jewish traditions when children are encouraged to participate in worship, making noises and hissing whenever Haman’s name is mentioned.

In some families, a three-cornered pastry called “Hamantaschen” or Haman’s Hat (literally Haman’s purse/pocket) are made. We did that for years, until it became next to impossible to find good poppy-seed filling. Solo brand changed their recipe and, well, no. Plus when I was flying, poppy seeds were off the menu. Now, at Redquarters, we make our own filling and cookies. It is a lot of work, but they are so good. Continue reading

Dirty Fields

One of the fastest ways to earn the ire of your neighbors, if you are a farmer or live in farming country, is to have trashy fields. Neglected, weedy patches, uneven rows, equipment left untended or just scattered around the farm-yard… People will look sideways at you, and they will talk. Continue reading

The Pleasure of Adult Company: Or In Praise of Quiet

Those of us who are situational-induced extroverts forget how wearing it can be when we do it five or six days a week for months. Then we get a pause, and ahhhh. There’s a lot to be said for being self-entertaining, and being around other self-entertaining people who are happy to leave you to your own devices for hours on end. Continue reading

1/365th Irish

At least, that’s the joke on one of the Wicked Tinkers live albums about why everyone can celebrate St. Patrick’s day. And knowing how some of my ancestors and relatives got around, well… There’s a reason it is probably the best known saint’s day in the US. I’m not sure St. Nicholas* comes close any more.

Since I’m brain tired from finishing a novel and doing Day Job stuff, some music for the day. Continue reading

Well, That Got my Attention

The central US has been having a bit of weather this week. It is March, and one never quite knows what will come racing out of AZ or charging down from Alberta. In this case, it was much needed and very welcome rain, with 80 MPH winds as a chaser. No, that is not a typo or exaggeration. Even in town we were gusting over 70 MPH. I grabbed the photo below from a live wind map: http://hint.fm/wind/

The wind bloweth wheresoer it listeth.

That whirlpool is a low pressure system. Truly, it sucks.

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Things Fried

I don’t get to eat many fried foods at home. Frying tends to be messy, even if you have an enclosed deep fryer, and the way the cabinets are hung over the counters at RedQuarters, there is a higher risk of splatter and potential for fire. We tended to stew, bake, saute, roast, broil, make casseroles, stir-fry, but not deep fry or grill. (Wasp nest in the gas grill. End of grilling pretty much. The little indoor electric option got moved outdoors because of spatter.)

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Product Review: Buffalo Wool Mitts

Short version – I love these soft, warm, non-scratchy mitts.

Longer version – A store named Herd Wear opened on US 287 at Goodnight, on the road leading to the Charlie Goodnight house and museum. I passed it multiple times going to and fro, but never stopped in. The place advertises buffalo products and western stuff, as well as fine art. And it has a buffalo herd.

On the last trip back from Tinytown, North Texas, I was very, very disappointed to discover that the pecan palace in Chillicothe was not open yet (Sunday at ten, spring break week.) Since I didn’t have that time and funds consuming stop, I decided what the heck, I’d look into HerdWear.

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Influenza and the Family

During 1918-1920, a strain of influenza swept around the world. It is generally believed to have jumped from swine to humans on a farm in south-western Kansas in late 1917 or early 1918, then went to Ft. Riley KS with a young man who was reporting for duty as a draftee. From there it swept out and eventually around the world. It carried a two-fold punch, because many of those who survived the influenza proper appear to have succumbed to a secondary infection. Recall, that these were the days before antibiotics.

My family has a direct connection to the Spanish Flu, as it was later called. Continue reading

Flavors of Floods

Since this seems to be a week of heck and high water, I thought I’d return to the topic of floods. We’re right at that time of year when we start to see flooding from two different kinds of events, one more predictable than the other. There are flash-floods caused by too much precipitation, snow-melt floods, and I suspect urban flooding caused by impermeable surfaces. Snow-melt floods used to be called “the spring rise” and are relatively predictable. Continue reading