Tag Archives: Bearded Dragon

Belated Happy Birthday to America the Beautiful

Random Thoughts

I am a Patriot.  Flawed though I sometimes feel this country is, I would fight to the death to defend it.  We live a very privileged life in this country and quite often we forget that.  No, we’re not perfect and there are so many things that need fixed (why are there still children going to bed hungry here in the Land of Plenty?).  And being Free also means the freedom to be bad and awful.  Still, I would live nowhere else.

The Stars and Stripes flying high is the symbol of our land.  The symbol of our freedom.  The symbol of all the lives given in her defence.  I never fail to get teary eyed when the flag is flown and our anthem played, still, at 52 years of age.

My son found a video by Red Skelton reciting the Pledge of Alligiance.  I love it.  Yes, it dates me.  Yes, there are those who are offended by the ‘under God’ part.  And, actually, those two words were added later.  But it is a reminder of what the flag stands for – The United States of America.   Our America the Beautiful and the people and the freedom it represents.  I’m posting a link to a version that a teacher did for her students with a photo montage that runs while Red Skelton talks.  It’s beautiful.  For those of you with other belief systems, please ignore or substitute.  Old Glory loses none of her meaning or power, whether those two words are there or not.


Life at Our House

So it’s been nearly a month since my last post.  Yeesh.  There’s been migraines, possible food poisoning?, computer issues (thankfully, finally resolved), storm with power outage, graduation parties, Boy Scout camp (1st of two), a heat wave that threatened to cook the computer (I had ice packs under the lap desk fan under the computer just so I could watch the Tour de France), um, The Tour de France is going on, and that nasty old, need to kick its ass to the curb, tomorrow, tomorrow… (didn’t I do a post about this already? *sigh*)  Oh, and should I say it’s 11:00 pm right now?  Must resolve to do better and then do it.  Some highlights:

I got to help shorten our power outage by helping the linemen find an exploded transformer.  Which, by the way, I had been told no longer existed because the new substation down the road was supposed to have replaced it.  Snort.  The  transformer up on the hill in the woods in front of our house had gone out so often and took at least 5 hours to repair each time that I acquired a nice little collection of oil lamps.  Finally, one year when a serious storm came through and really made a mess which required hours of chainsaws just to get to the transformer, they decided to put in the substation down the road.  Well, we’ve had very few problems since then.  Then this storm came through and the non-existent transformer went and put on a major explosive type light show.  Lightning hit the substation.  No power.  Well, my back up battery for the fish tanks was dead (no air for the fish) and I was fretting and decided to go outside with a battery lantern and pot some plants.  So I was there when the linemen came looking for the reason they couldn’t get the power back up.  Sooo, I walked out to the street to one of the men walking behind the truck, pointed straight up, and told him, “It’s on top of the hill about here.”  He looked up and up and asked if there was another way to it.  I told him there were two ways to get there.  One was to go through the yard of the neighbor diagonal to us and follow the lines.  It was the long way in and horribly overgrown because no one comes to keep the line clear.  Which is what usually starts all the problems.  The other way in, the short way, was to climb the hill (it’s steep enough you can reach out with your hand and touch the hill while going up), tie a rope to a tree and toss it down for the others to use to get up while hauling equipment.  “You’re kidding me, right?!” he exclaims.  “Sorry,” I replied.  So he went up the hill with much muttering.  Shortly after that another guy tried the other route with much muttering.  A guy in a bucket truck came by to see what was going on and left, laughing.  They chose to hike the longer less steep route following the lines.  Power came back on not too much later.


So one of the things on the agenda was my nephew’s graduation.  Already?   *sigh*  It was both fun and not fun.  The not fun sent me to the bathroom immediately upon arrival home.  Spider Bait followed the next morning.  Of my group, no one else got sick.  Turns out we were the only two that ate the chicken.  There wasn’t a mass problem at the party, but my son and I have highly sensitive insides.  It sucks sometimes.  For the ‘fun’, my SIL had a photo booth brought in.  I was forced to wear a chicken on my head.  Don’t ask how my son cut me out of the group photo, I have no freakin’ clue.


I did manage some work.  I got some fresh dill put up for the winter.  Bought a bunch from the farmer’s market.

Snip off all the soft bits and wash.  I leave out the woody stems.

Then put it in a mixer with 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil for every cup of gently packed herb.   Whir till it looks like pesto.

Put in ice-cube tray and freeze.

Pack in zip lock bags or, what I love, use a Food Saver (worth every penny, food keeps without freezer burn for ages).


Okay, Saver of Bugs.  Here is the recipe for

Hamburger Stroganoff

  • 1 lb. ground meat
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper or 1/2 tsp. canned ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic or 1/4 tsp. of garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion or 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 small can mushrooms
  • 2 tbls. flour
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (or cream of mushroom)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • pasta or biscuits or mashed potatoes

Combine hamburger, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, mushrooms, and flour.  Cook until meat is browned.  (Since I have grease issues, I put the ground meat in alone till most of the grease/juice has come out of it and then drain it.  It will still have pink bits.  Then I throw everything in and finish browning it.  The flour binds the grease but is also necessary for the brown bits at the bottom.  If you add the salt, etc. before you drain it, you will drain that out with the grease.)  Add the soup, undiluted, and heat up.  I then turn the heat off with the soup smeared all over the bottom to soften the brown bits and then go finish fixing the noodles.  When the noodles are done, I scrape the bottom of the pan to get up the brown bits.  Then I turn on the heat and add the sour cream.  Heat through.

Fur Babies and Other Friends

 Sooo, I don’t always get caught out with animals, but this time I did.  When I bought my Bearded Dragon I knew he would get big.  But I thought I had time before I needed a large cage.  Oops.  Nothing in the books said how fast they grew.  But I noticed I couldn’t keep this guy fed and he was getting skinny.  Part of the problem was also my fear of impaction.  I decided to go surfing the net and see what I could find that sounded reliable.  According to the breeders, these guys can grow up to 2 inches a month.  2 INCHES A MONTH!!!  -ACK!-  Not to mention the fact that crickets now cost 10 cents a cricket!  (*head to desk*)  So I’m going to have to work on procuring lodgings sooner than expected.  The most likely scenario will be putting all the hermit crabs into one tank and giving the other 20 gallon to him.  I have a 90 gallon that was originally for the hermit crabs once I got the house in order.  (Thanks to a one time job on a construction cleaning crew during our high school remodel.)  But it’s looking like the lizard is going to get it unless I can find a cheapo tank in a yard sale.  Or I score major cash at Christmas.  Oh, and I’m going to start raising crickets again.  I can’t afford to keep buying them.  He’s currently eating mealworms for breakfast (I have a mealworm culture from my last lizard) and 20-25 crickets for dinner.  My 50 lb dog doesn’t cost this much to feed! *sigh*  Say hello to Galen.  His first picture is the day after I brought him home.  The second picture is from today.  Excuse the lighting.  Still working on how to get pictures through the glass.

Wow, long post and it’s nearly 1 am.  I’m off to bed.  Night!

Mug of the Day

Here We Go Again and I Want To Run Again

Random Thoughts

Start early, get everything in the blog, go to bed at a reasonable hour.  Uh huh.  It’s 11:16 pm.  Sigh.  I could blame the thunder storms that surprised us, but they were gone by dinner time.  I have got to get my shit together.  But there are a couple of things I wanted to get up today.  (Here you go, Saver of Bugs.  My finish time for this blog was 1:30 am)

Life At Our House

Okay, Saver of Bugs, here is the bag on wheels I told you about.  I put the little green bag on top so you could see what size it is folded up.  Let me know if this is to be shipped to you.  (I swear I’ll get some recipes up tomorrow.)

Fur Babies and Other Friends

Isn’t he cute when he’s waking up?  I turned on the light and he stayed put long enough for me to go get my camera.  I think it’s hilarious that he goes to bed whenever I turn the light out; even though there is a 15 watt light still on in the room to give everyone a twilight.

Here’s a momma squirrel who didn’t want to share with her baby.  Look up in the right hand corner of the picture.

Out in the Yard

Our header today is an Amaryllis that I found in the garage.  It survived the winter in there!


 So if you’ve been following along you know how much “not fun” I had when I moved my daughter into her new room.  However, I survived the ordeal and fully expected to wind up laid up for a long time.  But here it’s been a weekish and I’m fine.  Even the small tear I had in my biceps has gone quiet.  The only thing that is still complaining is, of course, my back.  However, I did slip on the bank down back with a load of wet laundry in my arms.  And while I didn’t fall, I did wrench things a bit.

We spent some time trying to figure out what is different this year.  I really haven’t done anything different except to make sure I get sleep.  Even if it means totally losing a day.  This is also the first year in 15 years that I have not gotten bronchitis and May marked a year without any sinus infections.  Usually I spend 3 to 6 months every year fighting and recovering from these two illnesses.  Sometimes I have both at the same time.  I think our unusually mild winter helped.  Whatever the reason, this sudden burst of good health has me all excited.  I would love to be able to run again.

I found my old, old running folder a bit back while looking for something I had put in the pit of ‘somewhere safe’.  I went and got it out and started pawing through it.  Wow.  Lots of stuff.  And I know there is more somewhere in this house ‘somewhere safe’.  Here’s a view of the mess that needs to be organized and I seriously need a new folder.

Do you see the woman on the right?  At the time of that article (2003, I think), Helen Klein was 80 years old and running ultra-marathons.  She did not start running until she was 55 years old.  I  admire her.  I would love for that to me some day.  I googled her and she was still running as of 2008 and I didn’t see anything that said she has died since then.  When I get some time, I’m going to do some more searches.  I would love to find out where she is right now and if she’s still running.

I dug through a drawer and found my safety vest for night running and my old wallet watch.  The battery is dead, but I will replace it.  I can’t wear battery watches as a rule.  I kill the battery dead in about 2 weeks of constant wearing.  However, I think the padding between me and the watch plus the stuff I put in the wallet section helps keep me from zapping the battery dead.  Here’s a picture of them followed by a picture of my favorite running shoes.

I started running in the Saucony Jazz back in the 80’s and have been in some version of it ever since.  These are the Original Jazz from the 80’s, retro if you will, and they only cost $55.  Awesome.

Today I saw the clock ticking away and decided to just throw my shoes on and go for a 20 minute walk before I procrastinated my way out of daylight.  As I was putting my shoes on I decided to see if I could touch my toes.  Ugh.  Nope.  So I guess one of the first charts to put together will be for stretching.  And out the door I went.

It was beautiful out if a bit windy.  But I got to watch some crows playing in the wind.  One in particular liked to shoot straight up and then spread his wings as far as they would go and let the wind flip him over.  He would then swoop and spin through the same batch of trees like a ski racer on a slalom course.  Over and over again as fast as he could.  It was so much fun to watch.

I re-learned a few things on my walk.

  • Even small boobies need support.  Definitely need to rummage around and find my sports bras (and running shorts).
  • Gotta find a hat I can live with.  The sun was killing my eyes and I can’t run with glasses on my face.  Visors are out.  They land on my nose.  I used to have this really, really light hat that was barely there, but I have no idea what happened to it.  Sigh.
  • Keep your head and eyes up!  That way you’ll have plenty of time to scramble for safety when some dumb asshole looking and leaning down to the right between the front seats steers right on a left hand bend.  (We don’t have sidewalks where I live.)

Twenty-one minutes later I was back.  That is not good.  Went out too fast.  I jumped in the car to see where I was in mileage.  Curiosity got the cat and all.  Yikes!!!  1.2 miles!  That meant I did a mile in 17.5 minutes my first time out.  I don’t know yet if I should be thrilled or not.  I’ll let you know how much trouble I have getting out of bed tomorrow.  I did have some complaining parts while I was out.  My hips weren’t happy, muscularly, but no joint complaints.  I slipped off a loose section of the pavement and had my right knee bend left.  It has grumbled a wee bit.  But so far nothing that is totally pissed.

My recovery wasn’t real good.  My start out heart rate was 84.  I was slightly jacked about going out.  My finishing heart rate was 162.  It would have been better around 140 or 150.  After 10 minutes post workout it was 102 – okay.  But at 30 minutes post workout I was still up at 96.  It should have been normal by then.  Which is a sign of overtraining for present condition.  So I can’t push any more than what I did today.   However, I’m still thrilled.  It felt so good to go out there and do this.  That crazy moving day with my daughter was good for my mind.  From George Sheehan:

“For every runner who tours the world running marathons, there are thousands who run to hear the leaves and listen to the rain, and look to the day when it is suddenly as easy as a bird in flight.”

Mug of the Day