Thursday, June 30, 2016

The so-called garden.

Leetle puny squash plants, with
watermelon plant in the front.

Pea flowers!

Tomatoes with Sandy's fool-proof
watering system.

Garlic (l) and shallots (r)

Potato row with Lettuce House

Nasturtiums, catnip, comfrey

Food for my soul

(Weedy) bean/pea/cuke bed - with a side of sunflowers
These were taken a few days ago - before our tiny bit of rain, which has perked things up for the nonce.  I doubt it will do much good in the long run, but it did fill my rain barrel.  Halleluiah!  Such a dry, hot spring it has been.  I pushed it this year with using old bean seeds and ended up having to replant most of them.  Well, duh.  My 'special' cukes did not do well, but since they must be the only cukes in the area, I am trying to coax the two survivors along.  I did, however, plant some non-'special' cukes in the back.  I mean, I must have my cukes or it ain't summer!

The potatoes are going gangbusters and I need to do one more 'hilling' and then I'm done - except for constant patrol for potato bugs.  Carrots did not germinate.  I give up.  I'll buy them from a local farm.  I stubbornly plant eggplant every year and it never produces.  This year, I am down to planting one and nursing it along.  No eggplants this year?  No eggplant plants next year.  Phooey.

All visions of a neat and varied herb garden got lost in the Great Duck Adventure, so it is still 90% mint, with 10% a combination of French tarragon, thyme, cilantro and lovage.  I will try to take pictures of the back this weekend.  The good, the bad and the ugly.

Monday, June 27, 2016


All I can say about the weekend was hot.  And, sorry to say, dry.  Farmers all around were busy getting hay baled.  I was busy shoveling llama manure mountains, cleaning up around the perimeters, taking breaks for copious amounts of liquids, and praying that my well won't dry up.
Feeding my feral charges at the farm.
I've been leaving water as well as food at the farm house for the cats (there are two - the photo is not great, but you can see Pixie's tail on the porch and Fraidy is peering out from under the ramp.  Pixie actually came up and sniffed my shoe on Saturday morning.  She sits about six feet away from me, blinking and purring.  Fraidy just looks terrified.

Wrens have made a nest in the gourd house in my dead birch.  What a glorious thing it is to be serenaded by those rich, voluptuous trills.  I think there are hatchlings because there has been a lot of activity from sun up to sun down the past few days.  you can see some of the nest twigs poking out of the hole.

What's with the weird neck?
The only way I can work outside in this extreme (for me) heat is with the application of my frozen neckerchiefs.  And what is with that weird, wrinkly neck?  Egads.  But it came in very handy for manure shoveling and hay stacking (OMG, so happy!)
Even the peonies are droopy.
I was reasonably happy with the amount of work that got done this weekend - not satisfied, but I never am - the metal has arrived for my roof, the roofer has been chosen and even made a quick trip up to inspect the material to make sure they didn't rip me off (much appreciated) and now I need to order screws (20+ lbs), the 'boots' for the chimney and furnace pipes and the vent pipes, and get 80 12-foot boards (battons, furing strips or whatever they are called).  I put in a call to my handyman and literally begged him to build another duck house before the holiday.  I am toting the Middles (Cayugas) back and forth from their inside pen to their outside pen every day and the time has come for them to be OUT.  My little Kentucky ducklings are growing in leaps and bounds.  I ended up with six - three Blue Swedish, one Cayuga and two Cayuga/Swedish crosses.  They are not as hysterical as the Middles (Cayugas) and are very curious and vocal in their needs.

In their trug while I cleaned their brooder.
There are a few things that must get done this week - I am having a Fourth of July BBQ for twelve people and need to make sure the deck is cleaned off and the house is presentable.  (Insert hysterical laughter).

Thursday, June 23, 2016

This is a test...

I think it's official - I have lost my mind.  It's the ducks that did it.  With help from Norman and Slimbo.

Tuesday, I let the sheep out into the fenced area in the back - full of nice, tall grasses and weedy bits.  Wooba.  I did my duck/chicken chores and was getting ready to head in to take a shower and leave for the yob, when I caught sight of Norman - and his massively bloody hind leg.  I high-stepped it off the deck and out to their paddock and managed to get him to come to me by tempting him with a pan of grain.  I had grabbed a halter on my way out, so I was able to get him haltered and tied to the fence while I attempted to check his leg.    I couldn't tell where the wound was, but, from the amount of and color of blood, I figured he must have nicked an artery.  Holey moley.  I got a bucket of water and my canister of blood stop and managed to get some of his leg washed, most of my legs washed and emptied half the blood stop on the two of us. 

Back in to call my vet - who was solo and couldn't come.  He referred me to another vet and - thank my lucky stars - she turned out to be great.  But it took three hours for her to get to me.  In the meantime, I had a neighbor give me a hand so I could get a pressure bandage on his leg (note to self: do NOT put off restocking your livestock first aid kit) which consisted of an old bit of clean toweling wrapped with an ace bandage.  Then I stalked around the house and grounds, waiting, whining and contemplating the insanity of doing 'this' solo.  More fun and games were in store - I discovered my outdoor electrical outlet was dead.  Slimbo peed on the dog bed (a sign that something is amiss - another vet appointment was made).  My metal roofing was delivered in the middle of everything - that made two large checks I wrote that day.

Norman had, somehow, received a puncture wound that was just above an artery.  He was very good for the vet (not so much me) and we managed to get the wound cleaned out and packed and wrapped.  Tonight I need to get a neighbor back over to help me check and rewrap the leg.  I am going through my list of neighbors, trying to figure out which one I haven't used up...

I know this is a test.  However, I have never done well with tests.  No matter what, reality keeps popping up its ugly little head, and downsizing is in my near future.  Two of my female Ancona ducks, paired with two of my friend, Melanie's male Anconas, are up for sale.  I realized this morning that I have one too many sets of ducks - there will have to be a whittling down of the middle set (Cayugas) as they are the set adding the most work to my already-limited day.  They are not old enough to join the Anconas, but too old (large) to be in a brooder, so they have to be transported out to a pen every morning and back into their 'pool' inside every evening.  It's nuts.  I am, however, totally enamored of my baby ducks.  No whittling there.  I am seriously thinking of selling Norman - he's a dear but not an easy sheep for one person to handle.  But, there's his gorgeous fleece... Ach.

Anyone need a duck or six?  Mama Pea?  :)  I'm thinking of putting a disclaimer on this blog - "Warning!  Don't attempt this at home!"  Bring in the stunt double!  Minions needed!  Calgon ~ take me away!  :)

Monday, June 20, 2016


I have been feeding the feral barn cats (and hangers-on) at the empty farmhouse at the dairy up the road.  My farmer friend - god love him - puts out poison bait and cat food.  I told him it had to be one or the other and he chose the former.  So I supply the latter - well away from the barn.  For months, I have left a heap of dry kibble in a metal food dish and a can of food in a white plastic dish.  Months.  Last Friday, both were gone.  I hunted everywhere, to no avail.  So I used a pie tin for the kibble and a small, aluminum dish for the wet food.  Next morning - gone.  Hmmm.  I figured a raccoon had found it and was hauling away the dishes.  I would outsmart the sucker and retrieve the dishes before evening and then just bring them back in the morning.  Not.  They were gone in the afternoon.

This makes me think it is not a raccoon, as they are not broad daylight creatures (unless they are sick - rabid), but then they would not be interested in spiriting away my feeding dishes.  This is very frustrating, as I have to scramble around to find new vessels.  This morning I appeared with two replacement tin dishes and got permission to nail them to the porch.

If they are gone again, I am flummoxed.

Any ideas?

What? Monday already?

Even with an extra day off on Friday (unexpected), the weekend rocketed by.  We have been going through high summer weather again, with no rain.  This is stressful for everyone and everything.  My well is very deep (500 ft) but it accesses limited water.  That means that every drop counts.  This also means that I wasn't thinking deeply - if at all - when I added ducks to the mix.  I now have three thirsty sheep, a thirsty llama, a large flock of thirsty hens, a small clutch of thirsty chicklets, three thirsty dogs, two thirsty cats and 16 thirsty ducklings.  Oh - and there's the garden.  I have been relying heavily on my rain barrel for the sheep/llama/garden and as back-up for the ducks.  I am very, very careful with using my well.  If push comes to shove, I trot down to my dairy farmer's and fill up two five-gallon totes to supplement the ducks. 

My youngest sis was with me over Saturday night and into Sunday morning, and was a huge help in tackling a few projects - we repotted the fig tree and she cleared out a half-acre of weeds.  The garden is finally popping up in all the beds - except for the dratted carrots, which take forever - but the kale is making an appearance and the Romaine has finally got a root-hold.  I have to make a note to cut garlic scapes this week - I need to replenish my garlic scape pesto!

Over the weekend, neighbors (to whom I refer as my second set of parents) threw a BBQ for our family and a neighbor, and it was nice to be able to walk there.  After all the commuting, not having to get in the car - again - is such a delight.  I got feed, moved the sheep fence and rotated them around, vacuumed, cleaned the cat room, swept, cleaned bathrooms, cleaned waterers, cleaned the duck house, cleaned the middle ducks brooder, the little ducks brooder, and got the middies outside in a pen for some sunshine and green grass time.  I also put a slightly frantic call into my missing handyman, as it looks like Duck House #2 will need to be built sooner than expected.

The metal for my roof will arrive this week and I will begin to amass all the pieces/parts necessary for the roofing job.  I have the roofer I'd like to use - if I can afford him - all I need to do is to get everything needed and then figure out how to squeeze him into the budget.  It's times like these when I am very glad I worked on forging friendships with neighbors.  My dairy farmer neighbor deals with a fellow on a regular basis and was able to get the metal at a very good price.  He is also picking it up for me and delivering it (tonight).  My goal is to get it on before winter.  So I have lots of time, right?

Yesterday, I made Amish Mustard Eggs (thank you, Jaz!) and what has to be the best quiche I have ever made.  It was based on a Farmers Almanac recipe for Mexican quiche - I say based, as I had only a few of the ingredients listed and had to wing it.  OMG.  I had it for dinner last night and lunch today, and will have it for lunch tomorrow, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  And I won't mind a bit.  I apologize for no pics, but will try to get a few to share tomorrow.

There is a very slight chance of rain tonight - but I am going to go home and water everything again.  Because I hope it's like Murphy's Law - spending hours watering your garden is a sure-fire way to make the rain fall.  Crossing toes, fingers, ankles and eyes.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Being born is exhausting work.

I came home to a peeping duckling, with three more on the way .  By 10 o'clock there were two blue Swedish, one Cayuga and a little cross.  When I lifted Little Eva to check on her little clutch, two eggs of the four eggs had pipped !  I'll be up to my elbows by day's end!

Where was I....?

Ran out of steam and daylight (the inside of my house is dim - or, as I prefer to put it, filled with mood lighting.  And the mood is dim...) so I did not photograph the items, but here are some of the most recent 'volunteers' in the Great Purge:

161- white lace t-shirt.  I thought it looked marvelous online.  But, on me, it looked...wrong.

162- blue (faded) mandarin collared cotton jacket.  This has got to be at least 15 years old!  I have held onto it (and worn it) up until last year.  Then I caught sight of myself in the mirror and realized it was faded, and worn to a frazzle.  It was not an easy purge - I tend to get attached to certain articles of clothing.

163- red (faded) mandarin collared cotton jacket.  See #162

164- black knit pants.  With tags still attached.  I resembled a black sausage when I finally tried them on.  At home.  And then promptly lost the receipt. 

165- glass mixing vessel from a St. Germain liqueur promotion.  I kept the St. Germain and dole it out like it's liquid gold.  Which it is.

166- ancient ice cream maker

167/168- bicycle tires.  I do tend to hang onto things for no good (or understandable) purpose.

169- plastic watering can with a hole in the bottom.  And I was saving this for...what?

170- a case of empty baby food jars.  I had two and talked myself out of one, because you never know....

I will continue to try and catch up (catsup, ketchup...snort) until I can get back into my weekly seven.   I also plan on making a laden trip to Goodwill next Saturday.  Good thing I drive an SUV.


I have discovered that I can check out e-books onto my smart phone.  While I still prefer an actual, physical book, my local library's very limited hours do not sync with my equally limited free time.  It is almost impossible to get there when they are open.  I am currently fixated on M.C. Beaton's Hamish Macbeth series.  It's light reading, but the characters are excellent, the plot line delightfully convoluted, I love Scotland and I can tote them around with me.


One of my favorite egg customers is stopping by to pick up eggs tonight and bringing  Limoncello.  I can see that only the basic chores will be completed tonight...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Bluebirds of Happiness

The bright spot on my morning commute.  Someone should get a medal for making this happen.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Everyone into the pool!

My weekend started at 6A by packing the Nuggets into their travel crates.  This was done under an ominously slate-gray sky.  My friend, M, bravely volunteered to transport them to Base Nuggets (my neighbor's), where my 80+ year-old helpers awaited.  Sigh.  At many points, I was reminded of what it must feel like to herd cats.  While I appreciated their cheerful presence and enthusiastic attitude, there was a lot of redirecting, clarifying and more redirecting.  I finally took charge (I was born to take charge - just ask my poor sisters) and took matters in hand.  That did streamline the process a bit.  About one third of the way through the process, the skies opened and it poured.  With some fast-thinking (not mine...I was trying to keep the 'help' focused) a canopy was erected and we proceeded through all 28 birds.  I could not have done it without them - as slow and sort of scattered as they may have been, they never complained and never stopped.  I was also very thankful for the loan of the plucker (I so 'heart' it). 
It continued to rain in buckets and at some point you reach a saturation level that give you a devil-may-care attitude about walking around outside getting things done.  We sent the oldest of our team home with her Nuggets and my neighbor and I cleaned up the equipment, put things away and sorted out our Nuggets for an hour in driving rain.  When I finally walked through the front door - after a thorough Nose Scan by the dogs - I headed for a hot shower, dry clothes and wool socks! 

I "heart" this thing.
The skies cleared later that afternoon and the sun came out briefly - but I was too knackered to do much else.  I slogged around outside and found this: 
I "heart" this thing, too.
And spent way too long watching this:

The only ones enjoying the weather.
Sunday, I finished my garden under blustery, cold, damp skies - although I think I may have to replant the kale and chard, as the rains we have been getting are more like monsoons and I think my seeds may have gotten washed away.  The final raised bed was weeded, carrots are in (I swear this is my LAST try at growing carrots), a replanting of yellow beans went in, potatoes were hilled, strawberry flowers were plucked off.  Then I trooped inside and dealt with the Nuggets.  I have 15 whole, half, and parted birds in the freezer.  Some are going to my sister and parents and some will be used for bartering.

The chicklets were moved into the small coop and the laundry room-cum-brooder central was cleaned and readied for the Cayuga ducklings that I picked up Sunday morning.  After all, why let things get boring when you can complicate your life even more? 

I am way behind on my purging - I was thinking that, just last year I would get days behind, while this year those days have turned into weeks.  Another snag is that I have not been able to get to Goodwill, so I have a backlog that needs to go out the door before I add too much more to the pile.  However, I am determined to get things flowing again by the end of this coming weekend.  Heaven help me.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Recipe.

I found this recipe while cruising through one of my favorite cooking blogs - Dinner with Julie.  I had gone over to search out Rhubarb Brown Sugar Muffins (highly recommended) and thought, "gee, I wonder what else rhubarb she has up her sleeve?"

(from Dinner with Julie - if you don't read this blog, why not?)

Rhubarb Vinaigrette

1 rhubarb stalk, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar (she recommended either red wine or raspberry vinegar, which would be interesting, but rice is what I had - plus it's more on the mild side to balance the tartness of the rhubarb)
2 tsp. grainy Dijon mustard (I did not have Dijon, so substituted my homemade grainy stout mustard)
1/4 cup canola or mild olive oil
Simmer the rhubarb with 1/4 - 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan for 5 minutes, or until very soft.   I split the difference and added 1/3 cup.   Remove from heat and set aside to cool.  Put the rhubarb into a blender with the honey, vinegar and mustard. Pulse until smooth. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil.  If you are not in a hurry (as I always seem to be), adding the oil in a tiny, slow stream will create a lovely pink creamy emulsified dressing.  Mine is not - creamy and emulsified, that is - but it is perfectly fine as it is.  This is now my favorite springtime dressing!
And the beauty of it, is that I now have a new purpose for freezing my rhubarb - I think this would be very nice on one of my winter chopped salads!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Birthday Pups!

My boy.  Sweet 16! A Pisces.

Lovey Dovey is 4! (We were so poor we had to
share a birthday bow...) A Capricorn - that's my girl!

The Pepperoni is 12!  (Where's the steak?) A Gemini!

Their birthdays, of course, are not all on the same day.  But....since I am trying to will Scrappy to live until he's 30....I figured it was just easier to wait until the last one (The Pepperoni) had a birthday and then celebrate all together.  And, yes, there was steak all around.  Our little Gemini, however, had a very small piece and no birthday cake.  He is rotund or, as we shepherds say, 'fluffy'.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Universe has it in for me.

Fresh graze!
Soggy Nuggets

There is no use ignoring the fact that the Universe is having a great big laugh at my expense.  Thanks to changes (none for the good, I may add) in my yob, I lost any wiggle room I had in my mornings and evenings.  It (meaning farm/house to-do lists) all falls on the weekends.  Most often, my Saturdays are not my own and I am lucky if I can manage a couple of hours of item-list-checking-off-things.  This means that the burden of getting done what must be done falls on Sunday.  And, speaking of falls, you could have created another Niagara Falls with the amount of rain we got on Sunday.  I woke up to rain, so I did a few things inside.  The rain stopped around 9ish, so out I raced and struggled with a wad of Electronet to set up a new grazing area for the sheep.  This was not my netting because, if I do say so myself, I am very particular about the taking down, rolling up and storage of my Electronet fence.  Not because I am virtuous, 'cause I ain't, but because I am the one who has to face it in the spring and put it up solo.  This was donated - it's much longer than mine so I can create larger spaces for the sheep - and the person who was so kind to donate it apparently figured they'd never use it again, so what the heck.  Heck was the nicest word I used in the next two hours.  However, it was finally up and (Glory Be!) it held a charge.  The sheep trotted right inside and spent a glorious hour before the rain started again. 
Meanwhile, I was out in my garden.  I knew there was rain forecast, but I was not prepared for a day of monsoons.  I don't mind working in the rain - it's only water - but even I had to throw in the beach towel.  My goal was to finish planting my already-late garden by the end of the day, but it was not to be.  I was just getting ready to put in the kale and chard bed when the skies opened up and that was it.  The last thing I HAD to do was put up more fencing since we have about 234 rabbits this year and they have taken to sitting in my flower planters, chewing on anything green they can reach.  I was so sodden by the time I finished that my overalls reminded me of those cartoons where your pants fill with water and go sloshing around you.  My shoes were squishing, my BGPs were squishing.  And there was still almost a half-day left.  I was not happy.  Yes, we did need rain and I am not complaining about rain.  I am complaining about getting all the rain we haven't had for months in one day.  At least the ducks were thrilled.  I'll shut up now.
Seeing that any work I had planned for outside was now shelved, I busied myself with inside work.  Laundry went up on the drying racks, rugs were vacuumed, brooder was cleaned, and all the dog toys were laundered.  Because I discovered (peeeuuuuwww) that Slimbo had been peeing in the dog toy box.  Joy.  I briefly considered having him become an outside cat.

Prep for Rhubarb Vinaigrette

One of the things I do to make myself feel better is to try something new.  It takes my focus off of my incessant whining.  Since I have a bumper crop of rhubarb this year, I made Rhubarb Vinaigrette (awesome!) and Rhubarb Brown Sugar Muffins (discovered on Mama's Minutia).  I blissfully did NOT follow her advice about not filling the cups too much and ended up with a mess.  A delicious mess, but a mess.  You will not see pictures.  It was ugly.
Bright spot
As the rain continued on (and on and on and on), I settled under my reading lamp with a damp Dachshund smooshed up beside me and leafed through this wonderful book, sent by my DF Sylvie.  And - speaking of mail - through a series of unexpected events, I received a box in the mail full of sauerkraut balls!  OMG.  I have not had them for years and years - not since my Ohio days.  An old flame (may I call you that, K?) got in touch recently and most kindly sent me some.  I believe he said he makes 150 dozen every year .... I don't have pictures because I immediately ate six after opening the box and had to put them in the freezer out of self-defense.  They are wonderful!  Not only were there two big bags of wonderful sauerkraut balls, but as part of the freezer 'paks' used in shipping, he included a frozen container of his homemade chicken souvlaki!

The Universe may have it in for me, but I am holding my own with the help of my wonderful friends.

P.S.  I know I am behind in the purge lists, but will catch up this week - pinkie promise!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Handful of Sunshine.

Why is it that, after bearing through the endless winter up here, with the only thought keeping me going is that of "Spring"?  Glorious "Spring".  Then "Spring" arrives and it almost kills me.  I apologize for the paltriness of posts on this site.  I literally have just enough time in the day to get things partially done.  I have not given up my purge - seven more victims will be forthcoming - but, between the yob, sheep, llama, chickens, ducks, Nuggets, house problems, dogs, cats, chicks, it has been...well...tight.  However, there are bright spots.

Such as my one and only - but, what a beauty - Meyers Lemon.  There were and are plenty of blossoms on the tree, but I have been too busy to put my bee costume on, so only now are those blossoms out there for the real thing.  The fig tree, unfortunately, which was going gangbusters, has apparently been shocked by being outside.  I need to repot the thing - which is on The List.  This would be the BIG List - the one in volumes on 3-ring binders.

Only one week stands between high stress and medium stress.  The Nuggets go off to 'camp' a week from tomorrow and I will be so happy not to have to slog through that creepiness every day.  The grass was growing up under their netting and I could not find the time to weed trim under it.  What to do...SHEEP!  I pulled the netting down last night at dusk and swaddled the hoop house (thinking - what?  That something would be kept out by UN-electric netting?) and let the sheep into the middle paddock.  This morning, the whole area was trimmed for me.

We are taking time to celebrate three birthdays tonight.  Scrappy Doo is 16, the Pepperoni (who resembles a bratwurst in a black angora sweater) is 12 and Lovey is 4.  I had been saving a small, local, grass-fed ($$$$$) steak for just such an occasion.  The Pepperoni is, however, on a diet, so he will be getting a lean smidgeon.  I'm sure I will hear about it.  If the stars are aligned, I will get a video of them.  Here is a (sorry - very dark) clip of Mr. Bunny (Scrappy) mixing it up with Lovey.

I will try to do a garden update soon - it is mostly planted, but there is still a raised bed that needs dealing with.  And then, there are the weeds.  Lawsy.  I am putting the sheep in the back of the house, so need to clear a swath for their netting.  And I need to do it before I am knee-deep in grass.  Due to a series of unfortunate events, my handyman has not finished the Duck House - I am hoping he is back next week.  If not, I will finish it myself.  Much clean up is still needing done, I need to get some flowers planted around here soon to get me through the bleaker moments. 

Speaking of weeds, the chicks are growing like crazy - I did lose one.  I think the stress of almost five days in a box, being hurtled around the country was just too much for it.  The remaining bunch seem to be fine.  Another pair were a little peaky but I gave them a tiny dollop of honey and that seemed to do the trick.

It's an interesting group - Salmon Faverolles, Partridge Rocks, Araucanas, Jersey Giants, and a Free Exotic Chick (Murray McMurray speak for 'rooster').  I have yet to look up breeds to find out what he may be - he's got a Cleopatra Eye-thing going on.  I am also scheduled to pick up six Cayuga ducklings soon.  Maybe I should just go out back and flog myself?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I admit it. I am shallow and regressing quickly.

It dawned on me, as I labored away this past weekend - trying to get my tomatoes planted - that I am shallow.  I read gardening posts about plants chosen through careful and thorough research; making sure that money is well and wisely spent on plants suited to flourish in the correct Zone and all.  I, however, choose my plants strictly on how their name strikes me at the time.  Mountain Magic, Big Mama, Black Krim, Bloody Butcher.  I choose my wine the same way - by label.  If there's poultry or livestock on it, it's in my basket.  It may taste like pelican piss, but oh, that label!

As to regression.  During the usual hysteria of trying to transform from barn slob to reasonable working person this morning, I lost precious moments as I went through the gamut of skirts (garb strange enough on my person that it causes the hair on Lovey's back to stand straight up).  I started with a knee length number, but realized it accentuated the large skinned patch on my knee.  I switched to a below-the-knee version, but realized I had a large, crusty scratch on my upper shin.  I swished out of the house with an ankle-length skirt in hippie tie-dye.  What the heck, the clowns are still in session and no one will notice.  It was like rocketing back in time to when I was 8 and continually sported bruises, scrapes and cuts.

I shudder to think what comes next.