Apr. 8th, 2017

via http://ift.tt/2oi8PJa:klyaksa1 replied to your post “deputychairman answered your question “Tonight’s question, over…”

You mentioned that your MIL is Latvian and her condiment sets include a mustard pot. I don’t know when she (or her ancestors) came to the US, but the mustard you are probably talking about is the kind sold in Russian stores. Thick (it is sold in little jars and you spoon it out, no squeeze bottles) and very, very hot. American mustard is much sweeter and almost tasteless by comparison.

Her family fled as refugees from the Soviets during WWII, and so arrived in the US circa 1945. She was born here, but her oldest sister remembers Latvia, and her brother was born in a displaced person’s camp in Germany. 

Needless to say, she is personally horrified by current politics. 

We actually do have access to an astonishing array of mustards, out in Buffalo, but I have yet to attempt Russian ones. I’ll have to consult with dude’s aunt; she’s hosting Easter this year.

A couple of years back, we went to Easter at her house and none of the cousins were in attendance, and neither was Dude’s mom so it was just the four of us, me and dude and Aunt and her recently-now-deceased husband, and Uncle Vitalis got a little tipsy and reminisced about Old Country. He was a few years older even than her, and remembered the war; her English is extremely precise and notable for its lack of accent, but he spoke with a faint indistinct accent his whole life, worsened later by teeth problems.

 He particularly remembered a fighter plane coming over and circling the farm, German I think, and he took cover under a pile of wood, and thought he’d been shot and was screaming, but when his father came and got him out it was just that a piece of the wood had nails in it and he’d poked himself. 

He also reminded us that under the old ways, Lent was a real thorough fast, and you ate no eggs or milk or meat for the duration, and so by God, on Easter morning there had better be a feast– but it was always a great feast composed of entirely cold foods, because the women had to spend all morning at church too, you know! 

But, he mused, there never really would have been much to eat during Lent anyway– the hens were usually in their molt, and laying few eggs, and you might be planting but there wasn’t much coming up yet, and your stores of meat were dwindling but the new livestock weren’t really ready to slaughter yet, the cows were dry because they were due to calf soon, so it was just as well to have an excuse to save everything up for a big feast, as something to look forward to, as it was lean times anyway.
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I babysat tonight for Farmsister and her husband to go to the annual church supper for the Unitarian church they belong to. Children are welcome there, but it’s so long beyond Farmbaby’s bedtime that she’d be unmanageable.

She and I are in that sweet spot currently, where she’s seen enough of me that she’s thoroughly comfortable with me, but not so much of me that she’s bored of me. (Middle-Little manages to constantly be in that sweet spot. I’m often around too much for it, and she won’t be good for me, but currently, I’m golden.) So we had a lovely evening. At one part she started running around doing her Wild Thing frantic laugh and screeching and throwing things, and I said, “are you being wild?” and she screeched, “Yes!” and I said, “I’m sorry if you didn’t get enough wild time today, but we don’t have time to be wild right now, not if we’re going to read the rest of that book before bed!” and she thought that over for a moment, wheels visibly turning, and then sat down and said, “okay,” and that was that for being wild and crazy. Which was good, because she’s been absolutely a pest lately, for its own sake– and I mean, not unduly, that’s part of being three, but Christ. She’s just so mean to her mother– pinching her and the like. Being in the sweet spot is great, because sometimes I can deflect the meanness, but not always. And, I mean. She’s three, she’s really genuinely not clear on the distinction between jokes, defiance, and cruelty, which are all actually shades of the same kind of behavior, and really important to get the nuance of, but really hard to master when you have as little context as someone born so recently does.

In this photo she’s eating her bedtime snack– at which she consumed, in total, twice as much as she’d eaten at dinner, and a great deal more readily– and rocking herself upside-down in the chair in the upstairs front hall– and she’s saying, to herself, meditatively, over and over, the word “paleontologist”, in whole and in parts, over and over. 

I let her meditate on that for a while, and when she’d finished her apple, I read her close to 100 pages out of two different books. Her mother recently bought her Neil Gaiman’s Odd and the Frost Giants, and it has now been read to her in totality at least twice, and I sat and went through sixty pages of it without stopping. Her favorite character is Freya, for some reason (honestly? probably the cats), so I told her today was Freya’s Day, and this delighted her enormously. 

I always enjoy reading to children, but I really do a much better job of not losing my place or getting bored or distracted when it’s something like this with a lot of plot. I would’ve thought three was too young for a book like Odd, but she’s not too young at all, she seems to really be able to follow it, though she doesn’t react much– she asks questions about it at other times, and has especially had a lot of interest in discussing Odin and Thor and Loki and Freya. 

I also read her some of the first five chapters of Travel Light, which I have on my Kindle– which gets heavy, but starts off great, with an abandoned princess raised by bears, until the bear-mother realizes that human young don’t hibernate, so she manages to scrape the child off on a passing dragon, who proceeds to raise her as a dragon. I got as far as when a passing Valkyrie tries to abduct her before we had to switch back to something with pictures– and Odd it was, because there aren’t many pictures, but there are some, and they’re nice to look at, and you don’t have to stop the story to look at them. 

(There’s a one-eyed rooster on the farm named Odin, so the idea of Odin as a one-eyed bird– he’s an eagle in Gaiman’s book– is pretty easy for Farmbaby to grasp. Amusingly, Odin the rooster went into exile after the hazing from the other roosters that cost him his eye, and now has reigned for about two years in increasing magnificence as the guardian of a flock of exceptionally free-spirited hens numbering between eight and twelve, all of whom fly out over the fence if put in with the other chickens, and who spent all winter this year roosting on the breeding pigs’ backs in the barn– reliably enough that b-i-l built them a nest box and they all faithfully laid eggs in it all spring. Now, the summer chicken enclosure is parked next to the barn to get its final repairs for the season, and in delight, the free-range flock has moved into it and is using it, despite the fact it’s parked in the driveway and all the other chickens are still in winter quarters in the nicest of the hoop houses. Odin is a marvellous free-ranger, despite his handicap, and it’s great fun because that flock patrols the creek bed and especially vigilantly guards the grain bin. When Sister and I were cleaning in the barn, two of the hens came in very officiously to Supervise. They’re extremely nosy.)

(Anyway. TL;DR my niece is going to be a three-year-old Norse mythology nerd. And a paleontologist.)
via http://ift.tt/2nonsM2:Asexual Visibility and Inclusion:




HELLO! I’m a gender & women’s studies major and queer studies minor and I’m doing my senior thesis right now on asexual visibility and inclusion!

I have a survey as part of my research so if you identify as asexual or on the asexual spectrum, I would be super grateful if you could take this survey and help me out! It’s 40 questions long but most of them are yes or no answers so I don’t think it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes at most.

If you aren’t ace/on the ace spectrum you can still help me out by reblogging this post or sending it to people you know that are ace/ace spectrum.

That’s pretty much it! So yeah your help is very very much appreciated!

@leveragehunters @im-notlookingback for your blogs because you have a larger follower count than me. I asked if she wants demi responses as well and will update this post accordingly

Updating to let my peeps know she’s looking for demi responses as well.
via http://ift.tt/2pd4tjR:seramarias replied to your post “danceswchopstck replied to your post “more animal husbandry on the…”

Huh. I have a gray-and-white bicolor cat which had to have a big patch of her back shaved once, and her skin was also grayish-and-pink in patches matching her fur. I guess I’d just assumed all animals worked that way.

Yes– that’s what I assumed too!!! And if you look at the pigs, a lot of them, the hair is really pretty sparse and wiry, so I just assumed the patches of color were their skin!

Maybe it is, and it’s just the really superficial top layer? Not to be gross, but they do scald them to get the hair off, and maybe it takes off enough of the skin that any pigment that’s in the skin goes too?

In that case, creepier still I think, to consider that white people are the color of skin with pigment stripped out. I mean, I knew that, I knew it was just that we don’t have any coloring, but ew. 
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Farmbaby isn’t great at making change but she’s practicing. (at Troy Waterfront Farmers Market)
via http://ift.tt/2oQwPEa:danceswchopstck
replied to your post “theforceisstronginthegirl
replied to your post “more animal husbandry…”

Fabio the rooster! �� Would love to see a photo of him, sometime, if convenient.

Here is a photo of him from today. Best part is that I crouched down in the henhouse to take this photo and was immediately surrounded by curious hens wanting to know what i was doing. My lens wouldn’t focus close enough to get a good shot, but they were all around me. Hens are extremely nosy. 

Isn’t he magnificent? He’s similar in shade to the hens but they’re really much more red, and he’s golden, in the sunshine. Also I don’t know if this conveys how big he is.

And how closely he was watching me. He wanted no nonsense from me.
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any gay couple holding hands in public who caught me staring at you: i’m not homophobic, i’m gay and jealous

When I was with a woman, we couldn’t hold hands because it wasn’t allowed. We linked elbows a lot, and got away with it because we were young, but school administrators frowned on that, and told us, I’m not making this up, to maintain at least six inches between ourselves. They backed down from that when it was pointed out that everyone else linked elbows all the time too, and it would call more attention to us if we didn’t. But we certainly weren’t allowed to hold hands.

Now I’m with a man who doesn’t like holding hands. I can only get him to link elbows with me if I’m wearing very high heels and he admits I need to hang onto him so he remembers not to stride off without me. (I normally walk fast. I can’t, in very high heels.) But he won’t hold my hand. He just doesn’t like it.

I’ve convinced myself that I never really wanted to hold hands with anyone anyway. But. I do sometimes stare. Sorry. 



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