Saturday, 27 June 2009
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
Sunday, 21 June 2009
My sibs and I grew up with all sorts of pets: cats that had kittens, and then more and more kittens; our mini collies Tippy and Candy; Fuzzy the hamster; various fish and turtles other aquatic creatures. One year we raised a pair of ducklings for Easter, feeding them and watching them grow, and "teaching" them how to swim in one of Mom's flower barrels (we kids were so very proud of that). We named them "Huey and Duey" but later discovered that they were actually "Donald and Daisy." We also enjoyed our holiday trips to "The Farm" where we collected duck eggs and shoveled cow manure.
Due to crazy call schedules and apartment restrictions, I have not been able to enjoy the company of a pet for a few years now. After all, it is hardly fair to an animal if their owner has to work for 40 hour straight! Life got a little nicer when I came to PNG. My schedule is a bit more regular, and even on call there is a good chance I will sleep in my own bed for at least a few hours. And I also have a roomie who is at home when I am not.
Becky already had two cats when I moved in. She had adopted Meki shortly after her arrival in PNG six years ago. Meki was sick for the last few months with some sort of cancer or infection, and has now gone on to cat heaven. The Dooley girls come by on occasion to lay flowers on her grave. (She is probably the only cat in PNG that has a "mat mat" or memorial grave.) Peter was added to the family a few years after Meki, and was king of the house until recently. I use the phrase "king of the house" very loosely. He is actually scared of just about everything (especially Meti and the sweeper) and is more of a chicken than a cat. Thus the nickname "Pete the Chicken Cat."
About a month ago, we learned that someone from one of the other local missions had lab puppies for sale. Most of the dogs around here are mutts, and occasionally you will see pure bread German shepherds that are better for security than as pets. Lab puppies? How could we resist.
So Becky and I added yet another member to the family this week. "Brutus the Wonder Dog" is a now seven week old black lab puppy. I'm a native central Ohioan and a graduate from the school, so by default I am a big fan. My sis has a dog named "Buckeye" therefore that name was already taken. So our dog is named for "Brutus the Buckeye," the mascot for Ohio State. Becky has no ties to Ohio State but agreed that "Brutus" would be a good name for a dog. The "Wonder Dog" addendum is because we fully anticipate that he is going to grow up and be brilliant. He did learn to "sit" in one day. But he also thinks the front porch is the same thing as the grass when it comes to doing his business (after all, they are both "outside") and the electric cord is just another chew toy, so we'll have to see about that.
By the way, two of Brutus' yellow brothers were also adopted by Kudjip families. The Dooleys are now the proud owners of "Coppertone." The Radcliffes and Riggins are co-owning "Buckeye."
More adventures coming soon, to be sure.
"And God said, 'Let the land produce living creatures...' And God saw that it was good."
~ Genesis 1:24-25
Friday, 19 June 2009
Monday, 8 June 2009
Friday, 5 June 2009
A few days ago I acquired a pumpkin. One of the PNG ladies who works part of our garden (it is too big for just Becky and me, so we share the space with a couple of nationals) gave it to us. Now PNG pumpkins are not the big round orange ones like we would carve at Halloween. They are smaller and green, more resembling a squash.
"Hmmm... a pumpkin," I thought. "What in the world do I do with this?" So as with any question about living and surviving here, I called Kathy Radcliffe (who knows just about everything) and she gave me the save. Apparently you can cook them in the microwave, boil, or bake in the oven, puree, serve as a side dish, top with butter or brown sugar. All sorts of good things. Who knew pumpkins were so useful?
On my day off I was inspired to do something with this lil green pumpkin. I cut the thing in half, spooned out the seeds, and placed the two halves in a pan in the oven for about 45 minutes. While it was baking, I cleaned and boiled the seeds. These were subsequently tossed with olive oil and later toasted in the oven. (I think the toasted seeds are my favorite part!) Timer went off. The pumpkin was pulled from the oven and allowed to cool. I scooped out the tender flesh and pureed it in the blender. Half of the puree became the base for pumpkin pie and the other half will be frozen and used for a future pumpkin experiment such as bread or ice cream. I used Aunt Naomi's famous pie crust recipe and discovered why it is so good (though mine not quite as good as hers)... it uses a TON of shortening (or butter in my case, 'cause you can't get shortening in PNG). Becky made home made whipped cream to top the pie... deeeeeelish! And much better than anything you could ever make with an avocado.
So just in case you ever wondered, that is how you cook a pumpkin.
P.S. Canned pumpkin is not available here in PNG. If we could buy it, I don't think I would be quite so industrious.
Thursday, 4 June 2009
|Start:||Apr 21, '09|
|Start:||Jun 8, '09|
(Actually, the more appropriate title for this blog entry would be "hailing avocados," as they don't fall very gracefully. But I'll get to that later.)
The Carter's were my Texas family: Mark and Robin (dad and mom), and Jeremy (who played the part of lil bro quite well) and Tiffany (lil sis). I adopted them and they adopted me. It was mutual. We attended church together and I would frequently join them for lunch after Sunday service. Some of our favorite restaurants were Mexican. Mark would order extra guac, and I scooped the mushy pile off of my plate and add it to his. He always remarked on how good it was and I would retort that the green stuff was just something that ruined a perfectly good Mexican meal. It was a similar routine every time.
We recently discovered that there is a avocado tree in our front yard. This fact was previously unknown to us because the tree is rather tall (we never looked up that high) and the base was surrounded by plants (so we never saw avocados on the ground). Meti cleared away the brush and found the evidence. The avocados have now started to ripen. The problem is that the tree is so tall that we are unable to reach the produce before it falls to the ground and explodes with the impact. Well, not a problem for me (see above). But Becky does enjoy an occasional avocado. Apparently the Dooleys have developed some sort of contraption to pick them which involves a very long bamboo stick and a bucket. We might have to give that a try. I'll take a picture for you all.