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Lydia the ballerina May 13, 2010

Posted by Joe in Family, Uncategorized.
3 comments

During a recent trip to Beck’s house, Lydia had a spontaneous burst of dancing. Never mind that there was no music; that didn’t stop her.

But not to be outdone, Timothy joined in on the fun, too.

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Mother Bird May 5, 2010

Posted by Joe in Uncategorized.
5 comments

Yesterday Rachel discovered 2 baby sparrows that had fallen out of their nest right by our porch.  It surprised me that the fall didn’t kill them, and though I tried to gently dissuade her, she insists on mothering them.  She has them in a box lined with toilet paper.  She has already shed many tears over them, concerned they are cold or hungry or Coco will get them or want light so they aren’t scared…

Bless her, those babies are so ugly.  Nearly bald and flailing around with a little gray fuzz and the biggest mouths I’ve ever seen.  It’s like they have grown-up beaks they have to grow into.  She has been digging up worms for them and trying to put the pieces down their throats.  The parent birds (swallows I think) have been flying around nearby but have yet to come to the box she has them in.  I helped her look up info on them and it says they are “aerial insectivores.”  She’s having a hard enough time digging up enough worms (forget catching flies!) and the fact that they open their mouths and cry every time she comes near is causing her anxiety.

County Fair Highlights August 30, 2009

Posted by Laura in Uncategorized.
4 comments

Just smell the corndogs, funnel cakes, and fried pies!  Listen to the cacophany of animals, blaring music, shrieking midway riders, and children begging for money to buy trinkets and play games.  Look at the blinking, racing lights in a rainbow of colors.  We must be at the fair!

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This year, we decided to do more than just improve the local economy-  we decided to participate.  We have been 4-H members for the past 2 years, but this is the first time we have entered anything.  Benjamin took part in the Chick Chain and so we knew we would be entering his birds for competition and auction.  While we were at it, we decided to try our skills in the art, baked goods, canning, and produce divisions also.  It turned out to be lots of fun and a good experience for everyone.  And we were fortunate to win quite a few ribbons too.

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These Black Star chicks won Benjamin a blue ribbon.  They sold as a group for $36 at auction on Friday night.

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Rachel brought a Buff Orpington pullet that we raised from a day-old chick.  By the end of the fair, she had sold it for $10.

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Benjamin entered corn muffins using Grams’ recipe.  He won first place.

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Rachel made a complicated 3-step pecan pie for which she also was awarded a blue ribbon.

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Lydia has been practicing making her own sandwiches at lunch time.  Here she is making a PB & J to enter (in her new favorite PJ’s from Beck).

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Here she is with her finished product- she fancied them up by using a star cookie cutter.  The competition was fierce in this category.  Who would have guessed that she’d face more rivals than any of the rest of us?  She is delighted with her green ribbon.

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Here they are with all of our ribbons.


We ended up placing in the following:

Lydia-  green (participation) for her PB & J and red (2nd) for Purple Smudge tomatoes she helped me grow

Rachel- blue (1st) for her pecan pie and a blue for a watercolor painting of a frog

Benjamin-  blue for 4-H Chick Chain pullets, blue for corn muffins, yellow (4th) for Pinewood Derby car, white (3rd) for a charcoal drawing of a knight, blue for a pastel picture of a chicken with her chicks, and white for his iris folding art project.

Laura (me)-  blue for banana walnut bread, white for strawberry jam, blue for Sweet Tangerine tomatoes, red for Brown Berry tomatoes, and blue for a blue potato (in the Unusual Vegetable category).

And since we are 4-H members, we’ll get checks for double the usual prize money.  How exciting!  The kids can’t wait until next year!

Here chick, chick! May 8, 2009

Posted by Laura in Uncategorized.
3 comments

Lydia is so proud of her rapidly expanding abilities.   She has moved to a “big girl bed” and is delighted to be allowed to help however she can.  Her job when we put away dishes is to do the silverware- “Dis goes here.  Dis goes here…”  Who says you need a fancy sorting toy to teach that skill!  Here she is helping to feed chickens this morning.

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And when we told Timothy about her accomplishment, he was very proud too!

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Here Comes Lydia Cottontail, Hopping Down the Bunny Trail… April 11, 2009

Posted by Laura in Uncategorized.
3 comments

Lydia LOVES her baby brother!  She wants to kiss him and hold him and love him (and call him George- no wait, that’s another story).  MANY times a day she demands to “hold it, T-Man” as she refers to him.  One of her favorite things to do is to feed him a bottle of pumped milk and repeat motherly things to him.  Here she is posing with the bunny ears she got from her grandmother Beck.

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Twittering December 27, 2008

Posted by Joe in Uncategorized.
3 comments

A few months ago, I started using Twitter.If you’re not familiar with Twitter is a free web site where you can sign up and create your own little “what I’m doing right now” web site. Posts, or more aptly tweets, are meant to be short and sweet. They are limited to only 140 characters and are generally intended to let others know what you’re doing at that moment.

But I think it’s probably grown beyond that for many people. It’s almost a cross between blogging and Instant Messaging. You see, you can follow what other people are doing and even reply to them. Your Twitter web site only shows your tweets and replies. You don’t see other people’s tweets and replies. To see their replies you must follow them on their web page or through a Twitter application.

There are lots of good Twitter applications out there that allow you to follow a group of people without necessarily having to visit their Twitter web page. I have one on my desktop and one for my iPhone. I enjoy seeing what others are up to at any particular moment.

For me, I tend to tweet about my day and things that I’ve found interesting online. Some of those things are work-related. Others are farm-related. And still others are semi-random thoughts that come to me during the day.

I’ve added a “Recent Tweets” section to this blog. It on the right hand side near the top. You can see the ten most recent tweets that I’ve made. To see more, you can visit my Twitter page. Anything that starts with a @ sign is my reply to another Twitter person so that may not make a lot of sense since it will appear somewhat out of context.

I hope you find it entertaining. My only warning to you is that once you start down the Twittering path and build a network of followers and friends, it can become quite addictive. You’ll find that you regularly check to see what you’re friends are up to.

So, do any of you Twitter? If so, post a link in the comments section of this blog post.

Cheers!

Lord willing, today is the day October 22, 2008

Posted by Joe in Family, Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

Laura just checked into Vanderbilt Hospital. If the Good Lord is willing, we will welcome Timothy Holt Webb into this world later today.

I plan to post updates to my Twitter account. If you are interested you can follow our joy at http://www.twitter.com/joewebb

No Kin to Me August 29, 2008

Posted by Laura in Uncategorized.
2 comments

“Mama, can we turn up the fire?”

WHAT?!”

“We’re freezing!” exclaim the children huddling in front of the pilot light on the propane logs.

“No!  It’s August!  The thermostat is set on 79, I’m cooking dinner, and I’m 7 months pregnant!  You canNOT turn up the fire!  Go do some work!”

These same children pile blankets on themselves while they do their schoolwork and I sweat profusely.  Apparently, my side of the family left no mark on them.

Eating Well: Some Background August 28, 2008

Posted by Laura in Uncategorized.
6 comments

Some of the strongest evidence supporting the idea that it is modern processed food that is causing our health problems was presented by Weston Price, DDS.  He became interested in the link between diet and dental health back in the early 1900’s.  He spent time living with many tribes and groups of people who still existed entirely on traditional diets of local foods.  What he found astounded him.  No matter the cultural heritage, the environment, the amount of saturated animal fat they consumed, or even number of calories eaten, they were extremely healthy.  Despite the fact that many had absolutely no dental care or even toothbrushes, they rarely had any dental health issues.  He found they had excellent bone structure and almost no cancer or other serious illnesses to speak of either.  The women easily birthed healthy babies and fertility among them was quite high.

The really telling part of his research though, came when he tracked their health on a “modern diet.”  Occasionally, some group members would take jobs outside their homeland or move to “civilization” for some reason.  The change in the members’ health when they adopted a modern diet of processed foods, high in trans fats and sugars, was drastic.  They began to exhibit atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, cancer and all the other health problems so common today.  Their health only improved again if they returned to a traditional diet and swore off commercialized “food.”

I think that is fascinating and so telling.  The traditional diets of the various groups were quite diverse.  The Eskimos existed almost entirely on raw food from the ocean.  Some African tribesmen drank up to 7 quarts of fermented raw milk a day.   Some peoples ate huge amounts of red meat and animal fat.  And so on and so on.  The unifying factor in all their diverse diets though, was the absence of processed food.

To me, that begs the question of why we get got away from food that actually tasted good and kept us healthy and adopted the processed foods that make us sick.  Why indeed?

Pictures from Kuwait May 27, 2008

Posted by Joe in Uncategorized.
9 comments

GrandMosque1-2008-05-01

Last month, I had the opportunity to travel overseas for work. This time, it was to Kuwait City. I was there for two weeks and it was really very interesting. The picture above is of the Grand Mosque in downtown Kuwait City. As you can probably tell by looking at the vehicles parked just outside, it was huge.

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Periodically throughout the day, loud speakers would broadcast prayers from atop each Mosque. I had thought that everything would stop during prayer times, but things continued as normal. Although Kuwait is officially a Islamic state, their interpretation is not as strict as some other countries.

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I was working a few building away from the Kuwait Stock Exchange. So I stopped by one day during lunch to see what it was like. I even had lunch in the cafeteria.

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Inside lots of men were intently watching the markets.

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Since the oil industry is nationalized in Kuwait, most everyone I met there knew a great deal about the oil market.They knew how many barrels per day were being produced, what the going rate per barrel was, and Kuwait’s percentage of overall OPEC production levels. It was something like the housing market or interest rates here in the U.S. Ships were docked and being pumped full of oil at various places around the city. It takes almost 24 hours to pump the water out of the hold and to then fill it with oil.

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These are the Kuwaiti Towers. There is an observation deck and restaurant in one of the balls. You can see for miles from inside. During Iraq’s invasion during the 1990’s these two towers were a target of many of the Iraqi war planes, not for strategic or tactical purposes, but symbolic reasons – destroying a symbol of Kuwait’s identity. One of the seldom used palaces just across the street from the Kuwaiti Towers was also a target of the Iraqi aggressions.

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Getting a picture of the skyline of Kuwait is difficult because it’s very spread out. There are plenty of skyscrapers, and many more under construction. But unlike most U. S. cities, they are not confined to just one “downtown” area; they are scattered out over broad areas.

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Most of the buildings in Kuwait are what I would call designer buildings. They were not just standard rectangular buildings of 30 to 50 stories. They have unique shapes and curves.

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I went to a mall there. It was remarkably similar to what you’d find in the U.S., except that in addition to a parking lot, it also had a marina attached.

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I was told that Kuwait has approximately 3 million people and 2/3 of them are ex-patriots from other countries. English seems to the common language that most people can understand.

The thing I remember most about my visit was the work culture. It was completely different than here in the U.S. People were relaxed at work. They smiled all the time and seemed to truly enjoy themselves. There was lots of what appeared to be socializing, yet they some how produced the same quantity and often better quality of work as we do in our stress filled offices in the states. Amazing.

Two weeks was a long time for me to be away from home. But I really did enjoy it and I’m glad to have done it.