Friday, December 22

Skunk Funk

Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
Gelleon gave us an early Christmas present last night (end sarcasm). With company on the way for the holidays, Geek Acres went into red-alert panic-mode as Gelleon strode through the house after being freshly sprayed by a skunk.

The smell in the house is noticeable to me but not over-powering. I think women have much more sensitive noses than men. Jennifer has been suffering through this ordeal with a queasy stomach to start; not a good combination.

I wasn't home when Gelleon arrived to bring the skunk funk indoors. Jennifer was occupied with something and by the time she realized it he had walked the entire house contaminating practically every room. When she did realize he had been sprayed she quickly threw him back outside and began damage control: opening windows and lighting candles and dispensing every odor absorbing or masking spray, powder, or chemical we have.

I came home to assist Jennifer as soon as I could (having been called away from next-to-last minute Christmas shopping). I did some research on the net and found several variants of the same solution (involving hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap) to get rid of the smell.

It was difficult to apply the solution to his face, where I'm sure he bore the brunt of the attack, while avoiding his eyes, ears, and nose as the directions indicated. He still stinks and remains in quarantine until the smell eventually, we hope, wears off.

In the mean time we have warned our company, her brother James and his wife Vonda, of the issue to which they got a great big laugh out of. They said they're coming anyway and can always stay at a hotel if they can't stand to be in our smelly house. Coy Dan and Glenda came up to see/smell for themselves. "Welcome to country life!" Coy Dan laughed and told us. He said he could barely smell anything other than the perfumes Jennifer had applied. Glenda said she could smell it but that it wasn't too bad. They offered up their home if we needed a place to go. Happy holidays!?!

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Wednesday, December 20


Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
One of my favorite things about our family get-togethers is the opportunity to eat some tasty Filipino food. My mother is from the Philippines where my father met her while he was in the service. On special occassions, she will bring out a speciality of hers, lumpia.

Lumpia doesn't always make an appearance at every family gathering due the labor involved in making it. Until recently, my mother has held the recipe secret but I talked her into showing me how to make it.

After a quarter century (and more) of eating her lumpia, I still had no idea what was exactly in it. Such is not the case today. I have pictures and detailed documentation on the process and I have successfully executed the manufacture of this delicious dish twice now. My lovely wife has charged me with keeping her in a supply of lumpia for the rest of our lives.

James and Vonda, Jennifer's brother and sister-in-law will be joining us for part of the Christmas holidays and I decided it's high time to share lumpia with them. Lumpia is kind of a Filipino egg-roll, but that description doesn't do it justice. I mentioned before that it's labor intensive and despite the two nights of preparation and the cursing of separating lumpia wrappers, it is worth it.

Sunday, December 17

Guarding the flock

Guarding the flock
Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
We think we mostly have the dogs broken of eating the poultry as is evident in this image. I thought it was a nice picture of Dobie relaxing in the fall weather while the chickens peck all around him. The dogs generallly do their best to avert their eyes of the chickens and guineas, at least while we're looking. Occassionally though, Dobie will succomb to the urge to pounce in the general direction of an unsuspecting chicken. We think he wants to play more than anything but such a sight can cause a grown man's heart to skip a beat and chicken's hearts, I think, are much more fragile.

In other poultry related news, everyone seemed to survive the first bad winter storm without problem. The chicken house seems to have kept it's occupants nice and cozy during the cold spell. We felt so bad the first morning after the storm though, as we found one chicken who didn't make it in before we closed the door. She had icicles hanging off of her and she was huddled under the "sick bay" pen. She seemed fine though and quickly rejoined the flock when given the opportunity.

There are so many things on so many fronts going on lately that I haven't had much time or energy to post. I suspect many people are feeling the same way this time of year.

We have visitors due to Geek Acres in the middle of the week. An old college buddy and his girlfriend are going to make a quick stop at the farm on the way to see his parents for the holidays. Jennifer and I have been busy preparing the guest bedroom so that it's a comfortable place for them to rest after their journey. Jennifer's home decor skills shine again as she applied a new color to the walls that goes well with the comforter and furniture she had chosen.

This weekend, the guest bedroom will be utilized again as we play host to Jennifer's brother and his wife. They'll be stopping in for the weekend and spending part of the Christmas holidays with us. We got a little get-together planned for Saturday night which should include some delicious Filipino food!

Monday, December 4

This is a blog post

This is a blog post from my intro to Windows XP class.

Barbed Ice

Barbed Ice
Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
Here's yet another picture from this last winter storm. Ice had covered pretty much everything on the first night and it was quickly covered the following evening with a blanket of snow. The morning light is lighting up this ice-covered barb on the strand of barbed wire that tops our horse fence.

The dark vertical structure in the background is one of the brace posts. I want to saw off all the brace posts to a foot or so above the barbed wire, but Jennifer insists I leave them all tall. I'm not sure why she likes it, to me it appears unfinished.

Sunday, December 3

Winter Wonderland

Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
Suey tromped through some of the fresh snow from the recent winter storm. I thought it was a good opportunity to break out the camera. I liked the colors in this picture. It surprised me to see such vibrant colors in this particular picture. Just off camera right the sun was rising and giving me that splash of color.

Winter Gaze

Winter Gaze
Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
I snapped this photo while horses worked on a couple bales of grass hay. We've been really burning through the hay the last couple of days. Jennifer wants to make sure to keep hay in front of the horses during the coldest days so they keep their body temperatures up.