Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ecce Romani

Don't faint! because I am doing a homeschooling post. I know it has been a long time.

Warning: I am a complete foreign language imbecile. I once had a teacher tell me to "Give it up! With your lazy tongue you will never be able to do anything more than drawl."

But I keep trying. . . For two years we used Latin Primer, but at Christmas we moved to the story based Ecce Romani. Pink Panther and I learned a good bit of Latin with the Latin Primer Program. We still review many of the chants and vocabulary, but we needed a boost in excitement, so I researched and found this story based program. We love it!!!! With mischievous boys and servants who yell "Abite, molesti!"(Go away you pests!), daring rescues, and everyday life captured in accessible Latin, we have been enjoying Latin rather than tolerating it. I purchased the workbook and audio CDs since I had no prior (before homeschooling) Latin knowledge.

The CD reads the story, reads the story with pauses (so you can repeat the sentences), and reviews vocabulary. We listen and repeat this every day of the week, then work on a few of the exercises. By doing only one chapter a week we get to spend plenty of time with the exercises and practice, while still maintaining our Charlotte Mason inspired short lessons.

You can get the entire program from Pearson Educational. They have a special homeschool registration, but then you have access to all of the Pearson Educational materials.

I just overheard my 7 year old daughter yell, "Abite molesti!" to my son and husband as they were chasing her around the house. I think we have a keeper.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

House Made of Dawn

N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn was my next to last book for The Winter Reading Challenge. This book has been on my "To Be Read List" for far too long. I have on more than one occasion read the opening lines:
There was a house made of dawn. It was made of pollen and of rain, and the land was very old and everlasting. There were many colors on the hills, and the plain was bright with different-colored clays and sands. Red and blue and spotted horses grazed in the plain, and there was a dark wilderness on the mountains beyond. The land was still and strong. It was beautiful all around. Abel was running. . . . Against the winter sky and the long, light landscape of the valley at dawn, he seemed almost to be standing still, very little and alone.

Yet, the prologue was enough so I chose other books. Now that I have read the entire book, I have the details that give earthly reality to opening lines and the mirroring closing lines.

With dawn, though it is fleeting, there is always hope - the expectation of the continuing cycle of nature and the opportunity to start fresh. In House Made of Dawn we are faced with the reality of disconnecting culture and historical natural rhythms from the individual Native Americans who are forced into the fast paced American world. The near demise of Abel in war, judicial system, and then city life is heart wrenching. But, then there is dawn.

Monday, February 26, 2007

We didn't get blown away

When the winds blow and tornadoes are expected, I cannot help but think about The Wizard of Oz - the movie. Though the book is better, much of what I associate with The Wizard of Oz comes from the movie. Did you know that Dorthy's shoes are silver in the book, yet red in the movie? Why o' why can I not stay on topic?

Anyway, as I was lying in bed with both the children listening for the rumble of winds turned tornado (my bedroom is our safe room), I could only think of this:
The wind began to switch - the house to pitch and suddenly the hinges started to unhitch.
Just then the Witch - to satisfy an itch went flying on her broomstick, thumbing for a hitch.

Over and over the voices of the munchkins and Dorthy kept invading my storm watch demeanor. Supposedly, I should have stayed on alert until 3 a.m. If alert means trying to remember the all the words in the death of the witch scene, I was.

We had no tornado here, even though it was a "particularly dangerous situation," but others in Mississippi were not so lucky. My Internet service was out all day yesterday, but I am not even sure the storms had anything to do with that. Today, I was able to look up the rest of the lyrics for that scene in The Wizard of Oz. Isn't the Internet fascinating?

Here they are in case you, too, are obsessive compulsive. I got them from here.
Come out, come out, wherever you are and meet the young lady, who fell from a star.
She fell from the sky, she fell very far and Kansas, she says, is the name of the star.
Kansas, she says, is the name of the star.
She brings you good news. Or haven't you heard?
When she fell out of Kansas
A miracle occurred.
It really was no miracle. What happened was just this.
The wind began to switch - the house to pitch and suddenly the hinges started to unhitch.
Just then the Witch - to satisfy an itch went flying on her broomstick, thumbing for a hitch.
And oh, what happened then was rich.
*The house began to pitch. The kitchen took a slitch.
It landed on the Wicked Witch in the middle of a ditch,
Which was not a healthy situation for the Wicked Witch.
*The house began to pitch. The kitchen took a slitch.
It landed on the Wicked Witch in the middle of a ditch,
Which was not a healthy situation for the Wicked Witch.
... Who began to twitch and was reduced to just a stitch of what was once the Wicked Witch.
Munchkin #1
We thank you very sweetly, for doing it so neatly.
Munchkin #2
You've killed her so completely, that we thank you very sweetly.
Let the joyous news be spread, The Wicked Old Witch at last is dead!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

An Eventful Day

This morning I rushed the chores because I had to be at D's house before 7 a.m. to get the truckload of worm castings. I left the children in bed and scurried. Of course, I woke Pink Panther to tell him I was leaving. D and I loaded the truck with shovels. When I got home I reversed the process but used a wheel barrow to get them to the garden, which means I may not be able to drag myself out of bed tomorrow morning. All this had to be done quickly because I thought it would rain this morning. It didn't.

When I finished fertilizing (with castings) the strawberries, asparagus, and potatoes, I cooked pancakes, among other things, for breakfast and began washing clothes and other chores. The children went out to play and realized The Yellow Dog was not around. I let him out of the house at 5 a.m. and he helped with my morning chores, but I didn't remember seeing him after I got back from D's. I wasn't too worried, but the children were in a panic, so we began a search. We drove the pastures. Doing so yielded nothing except my husband's truck stuck in the mud. I thought about whether to go get the tractor for about 2 seconds, but decided against it. We abandoned the truck and walked all the way home. On the way, we found one of our cats. She was dead. I began to worry about the animals getting into poison. We don't use chemicals, but our neighbors do. Children's panic escalates.

We took the bug and drove the highway and dirt roads, asking neighbors for help. We had no success. I began to panic. What if someone took him even though he is just a mutt? He is definitely not ferocious. He could easily be gotten. In fact, he would probably get in the car with anyone. I placed a few calls. Still, nothing.

Two friends were driving by and saw the stuck truck and offered to unstick it. They did. Aren't people so nice. Meanwhile, the rain I have been anticipating had not begun, but the wind was (and still is) howling and I do mean howling. The children pulled out their kites, but they were almost carried off with the kites so put them away soon. Still, no Yellow Dog.

We started on the evening chores while every gate was ripped from our hands and the screen doors were popping in the wind. When the Pink Panther returned to the house, the Yellow Dog followed him. It is a shame that dogs can't talk. I want to know where he was and what he was doing for 12 hours. I want him to know how worried we were.

Meanwhile, I checked the weather and there is a tornado watch until 9 p.m. It said, "This is a particularly dangerous situation." I think they meant to say a potentially dangerous situation or at least I hope they did. Particularly dangerous, to me, means more than a watch - a statement, not of potential, but of measurable actuality. Off to batten the hatches and ride out the particularly potentially dangerous situation.

What I really want is to take a nice, long, hot bath, but what if a tornado comes and I'm naked?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Gardening Pictures (Otherwise known as pictures of dirt)

Today is gorgeous and tomorrow is supposed to be rainy, so I moseyed out to the garden to plant leeks and potatoes. We have to plant onions, potatoes, English peas, lettuce, spinach, and many other common plants early to produce anything at all because we get so hot so early that everything bolts.

To plant the leek starts, I hoed, picked out weeds, and turned in the wood ashes we had thrown on during the Winter. Then I took a broken hoe handle and made 6" deep holes, then put a leek in each hole. I didn't bother to fill in the hole. When it rains tonight or tomorrow morning the leeks will be perfectly covered for now. Later, I will add more dirt so I will get more white and pale green per leek.

The second picture of dirt is really a picture of the lettuce I planted right before the last cold snap. I thought I might have to replant, but amazingly enough, it appears that enough germinated that I will have to thin the plants. I broadcast these seeds and harvest leaves only, so it won't have to be thinned much. With our hot temperatures, our growing season, without the aid of greenhouses, is short so we rarely expect any of the lettuce to make an organized head, so I never plant any of that kind.

Tomorrow morning, I will go get a truck load of worm castings from my carpenter who also sidelined as a worm farmer. I will add the castings to the asparagus bed, potatoes, and strawberries in liberal amounts.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

View from the Front Porch

When I went to do the chores this morning, the entire farm was blanketed with a thick layer of fog. Even at 7:30, when I made it back to the house, I could only see shadows of the cows across the road. The day looked so expectant with the sun peeking through the moisture. I am farming single again this week. My children have gotten so useful, except in the early morning hours when they linger with their dreams, that much of my day is not actually doing a chore, but reminding someone that the chore needs to be done.

I love the changing view from my front porch. At 8:00, much of the fog is gone, and with the one exception, the cows have moved below the hill. The trees still retain their winter sparseness, yet the clover and Spring grasses are showing green and the birds are skittering across the surface of the pasture.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Return to Normalcy

We use two fireplaces for heating our dog trot house. You can imagine that moving from one side of the house to the other would be unpleasant when the temperatures drop below freezing. So, we usually retreat to one side and make do. Today, the temperatures are rising to 70 F and I can actually enjoy the entire house without having to build and maintain an extra fire. In our long term plans for the house we would like to install some removable glass doors to enclose the dog trot for winter, but like some of the other projects we just haven't formalized the plan. Meanwhile, I am hoping that the last of the truly cold weather is finished. I will check with Miss Betty. She can tell when the last freeze(for us) will be based on thunder. She hasn't been wrong since I started checking. There must be something to those old wives' tales.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Verdi Cookies!!

Today, was a sister day! My baby sister (Of course she is not a baby anymore since she has a four month old and a three year old of her own, but she is ten years younger and I can't teach myself not to think of her as the baby) came out because she is reading Verdi at her son's two day a week pre-school tomorrow and she needed a snack. Instead of the usual goldfish and juice, she wanted something more personal, so we designed figure-eight Verdi cookies in both immature and mature python skins. Honestly, I may have pushed her into it. I can't remember, but aren't they cute.

I think they turned out beautifully, but I can't help believe the cookies are a bit over the top. Did we go too far? Can you go too far?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Known World

As part of the Winter Reading Challenge, I read The Known World by Edward P. Jones. I was prepared for the moral conundrums inherent in books about slavery, but I was not prepared for the intricate manipulations of the usual issues. In this book you have the expected miscegenation, beating and maiming of slaves, attempted escapes, and immoral and unlawful law enforcement, but then the waters are muddied with black slave owners and other subtle manipulations of the recurring themes. The repeated statement, "I ain't done nothin I ain't a right to," seems to bind the whittling away of human respect.

The writing is mesmerizing, though difficult in the beginning because of the movements in time and place. I found myself having to reread beginning segments to create a clearer picture of the characters and how they related to the flashbacks. Yet, once the characters were established, I found the movements in time and place natural and effective - almost quilt-like without the comfort.

I'm working on two more books: House Made of Dawn by Momaday and The Echo Maker by Richard Powers. The Momaday book was originally on the challenge list and I added The Echo Maker at Zilla's recommendation.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Love Is . . . A patchwork of days

On the morning of Valentine's Day, we made cards for people using card stock and wrapping paper samples. My mother got the old wrapping paper sample books from a paper company for free. Each sample is about 6" x 14" so there is enough pattern showing to give much material for collage cards.

Since the cards turned out so cute, I would like to take credit for this idea, but mother hand delivered the sample books and the idea. All we did was to think about what pictures would make the receiver smile, then cut and paste. I printed the card stock and cut it to fit the envelopes before we got started. Both children thought their cards looked better than purchased cards. We had so much fun!!

Check local paper companies for cast off wrapping paper samples and make your own cards.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

My Valentine's Gift to my Family

We haven't had a truly special meal in a long time, so last night since it was Valentine's Day and my husband was in town which is unusual for this time of the year, I made a special meal and served it on fine china. We even had champagne. The finale was a luscious White Chocolate and Raspberry Tart.

I first served this tart for Valentine's Day fifteen years ago. One bite and Hubby and I were in love. We ate half of it at one sitting. That was before we had to set a good example by taking moderate portions. I haven't made the tart in years. Hubby was either out of town or we were both out of town or I couldn't get fresh raspberries. For whatever reasons, it had been a while. Last night, we fell in love all over again. The children want to plant raspberries. The first sentence uttered by Princess this morning was, "May I have just a sliver of that tart, pleasssse?" At lunch we had to divide the leftovers fairly.

I've been moping

With a few exceptions, I've always tried to post about things that make me happy like daffodils, books, perfect food, nature, and baby calves, because the news is filled with traumatic events and the horrors of war, and controversy is everywhere, yet if I take the time to look around I can always find something to make me smile. Sharing the smile makes me smile, too. Yet, sometimes stuff happens and I lose my ability to focus on the happy. That is where I have been.

My husband was away on business, again. He called and suggested that I move the cows in the pecan orchard to the "back forty." It isn't really 40 acres, more like 60 or 80 but back forty sounds better. I rearranged the gates to the corral and opened the bottom gap and the cows went over and I closed the gate. I didn't walk over and check the pasture. What I didn't know was that my husband and some workers left coils of barbed wire in the pasture. A cow got tangled in the wire and died. It wasn't just any cow. It was Crip.

Crip is the cow that got hurt in Katrina when some tin blew off the barn. We doctored her here and turned her out with the others. She just didn't get better, so we took her to the vet. There had been a nail in her hoof that my husband missed when he has treating the other injuries. She had a serious infection. They super glued a block to her foot and loaded her with antibiotics. She stayed away from the herd for 6 months. She came back home and we missed seeing a hoof problem caused by the block of wood. We treated her again. Finally because of the wood block and the long hoof she developed a bad knee, but she was alright. We had Dr. P. look at her a few weeks ago because her limping seemed worse. She was pregnant and the extra weight made it difficult for her to get up and move around in the cold.

Why? you ask yourself did y'all not sell that cow? We felt guilty because we didn't feel like we had been good care-givers. We just kept dropping the ball, over and over and over.

And I dropped it, again. I didn't check the cows the morning after I let them in that pasture. I knew they had hay, water, and grass, so I didn't rush out and count and study. I didn't know there was a problem until Mr. S. (the man whose calf I am feeding) came by and told me someone called the hardware and told them I had a cow down. By then, it was too late. I thought about trying to do a Cesarean to save the calf, but I thought what further humiliation can we inflict on this cow. So we just untangled the wire and buried her.

I picked up the coils of wire left next to the fence and draped them over the fence post at the entrance of the first pasture so that we will have to look at them every time we see the cows.

Farm life deals its share of death, and I do all right with death due to natural or accidental causes, but I just can't shake the feeling that we were poor managers as far as this cow was concerned and I am sad about that.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Over the past week or two we have planted 12 new pecan trees, 10 muscadine vines, 50 strawberry plants, and over a hundred bulbs. The weather hasn't exactly cooperated with our planting schedule, with its rain and cold, but I will finish the bulbs today when the temperatures rise above 60 for the second day in a row.

The trees, vines, and strawberries were a Christmas gift from my husband and a retirement gift from scouting. The bulbs were a gift from Pink Panther's ex horse/rider trainer. One of his tutees is in the landscape/garden shop business and gives them thousands of bulbs each year to help decorate the covered riding arena, barns, and house. This year the bulbs were daffodils and mystery bulbs that could be daffodils or hyacinths. Daffodils naturalize easily in the South, so I was happy to spend the time tilling, digging, and planting the 100+ bulbs in the mud. Though I love tulips, I wouldn't have been as excited because they last only the planting year. I would have had to remove the bulbs and store them in the refrigerator or just waste them. The daffodils will bloom again and again without me having to do anything and that is the kind of gardening I like - a big show each year for nominal work outlays.

The daffodils have been blooming for weeks here. The show isn't as spectacular as in some years because once the blooms emerged the temperatures dropped and burned many of the flowers. I am hoping, even with the late planting, that I'll have another daffodil season.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I Forgot the Mules

Here are a couple of mule pictures from yesterday's trail ride. We wouldn't want the mule owners to feel left out and we don't want the mules to get an inferiority complex.

They are indeed beautiful and strong creatures that don't deserve their stubborn reputation. Of course those mules dragging that wagon that almost flattened Princess were not a good representation.

Anyway, here are the mules!!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Yee Haw!

Last night one group of the Dixie National Wagon Train camped at our Livestock Sale Barn. The Wagon Train and individual riders begin riding about 20 miles from our town, then ride all the way to Jackson, which is about 70 miles from here, and finally ride in the opening parade for the Dixie National Rodeo and Horse Shows.

Mules, ponies, and horses pull a mish-mash of homemade carts, wagons, and mini homes. Some of the wagons are meticulously outfitted and decorated while others look as if they won't make the miles. Cowboys, weekend warriors, and wannabes ride the 80 plus miles, camping along the way. The riders spend the week roughing it, yet some rough it more than others. Many have generators or buy electricity from us to run their electric blankets, heaters, and hot showers. No one is completely miserable. Look at the grill attached to the back of the wagon in the second picture.

This morning the wagon train paraded through town with police escort before heading off the paved roads for a more bucolic tour. I believe they try to make 20 miles a day. Not all days are that long, but many are. The weekend warriors aren't prepared for such long riding days and with their sore legs are a sight to watch when they are saddling, hitching, and moseying. The weekend is completely rowdy!, with revellers who are not necessarily part of the organized ride. They follow the organized participants, but only ride the weekend, then pack their trailers and go to work Monday morning.

Not all riders suffer the misery of misbehaving animals and sore inner thighs, many practice with their mules and horses all year. We've played host for four or five years and seen all types of riders - even babies.

Today, while I was taking pictures of the wagon train pulling out, Princess was standing on the other side of the access road and a man with some wild, runaway mules yelled, "Honey, step back!! I can't control these thangs!" He had cleared the ditches on either side of the road before he had gotten to where she was standing. There were only a hundred yards left until the highway. Can the police pull over a swerving mule driven wagon?

If you overlook the rough edges, the trail ride looks like so much fun. I would love to get a team and a covered wagon and join the parade or perhaps just ride a good horse. The owner of our crazy horse felt his top selling point was that he knew the trail (this trail) and if you over imbibed and fell off he would wait for you to recover, then ride on, knowing just where to go. Maybe next year!

In the event you are curious about the Dixie National, here is the link. We usually go to a few of the competitions, especially the Free Style Reining Event.

I'll leave you with another picture or two since my husband, son, and I took over a hundred. The horses, mules, ponies, and people are so mesmerizing we just couldn't stop.

I love this picture even though the cowboy is a touch out of focus. He looks so happy to be riding.

Another Blue Player!!

More Blue players have been recruited!! Check out Stephanie's abacus, chair-back thingie, Zilla's puffy ball and blue something or other, and a tropical entry from Relaxed Homeskool and make a guess!! Visit Jove, Mull-berry, and my other entries, and remember it's never too late to play.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

And Now . . .

In Paul Harvey fashion, the rest of the story. Can I say that? Is it licensed? Anyway, while I was banging away on my keyboard telling the story, my husband came home from work, noticed there was no action in the pasture or barn, and decided to ride the fence line and pasture to make sure all was well. The cowboys came out of the house and admitted that they knew nothing about cows. Oh, really. We couldn't tell.

Fake cowboy ended up being an all business businessman. He and his brothers recently started a hospice business in town. The younger brother lives across one of our pastures and the older one lives down the road. We have been calling them "The Shoot Family" because the younger one blasts away with enormous guns all the time. He once came over to ask if it bothered us and told us he was going to be in a shooting competition. I hope he is sponsored because he shoots two or three hundred dollars a week in ammo. Sorry, I could help myself.

The older businessman brother decided to go into the cattle business about two weeks ago. He went to a stockyard and bought 40 something head and the younger brother was supposed to watch them. He didn't, wasn't, and probably won't because he is too busy blasting and sneaking around the trees in his yard. I know this because armed with binoculars we have entertained ourselves while sitting on the front porch watching him pretend.

After we recovered from having someone commandeer our farm after we suggested that another time would be better, we have gotten great laugh mileage from the fake cowboy. One of our friends, who trains cutting horses, came over last night and we told him the story. He told us a story that went something like this.

When I see people at horse shows, in the co-op, or around town they always want to consult with me about their horses. I can't stop them so I usually listen. One man told me that every time he got on his horse the horse headed straight for a power pole or a tree and would run into it. Our friend said, "Next time you get on that horse and he heads for the pole, drop the reins." The man looked at him like he was out of his mind. Our friend then said that he had never once in his entire life seen a horse without a rider run into any obstacle and that the man was obviously steering the horse into the pole. He agreed that a horse may try to disengage the rider from the saddle, but he wouldn't actually hit the pole unless you steered or scared him into it. The man was sorely disappointed, because what he had wanted was a confirmation that the horse was crazy and that he was a good horseman. Our friend couldn't do that.

I think that was what the fake cowboy wanted. Confirmation that he had made a good decision getting into the cattle business. He needed to exercise his authority as he does in the business world. He has yet to find the rhythms of the animals, the kinder gentler interaction with neighbors and wet pastures so he fell back on what he knew. He was also embarrassed that his brother was not watching the cows. Insecurity and embarrassment will inevitably mar your people skills. I feel just a touch embarrassed about letting the yellow dog "help!" Susan, you are right. I was unneighborly.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Fake Cowboys

There has been a black cow in one of our pastures for a week. Today, after much searching, the owner showed. He came to my husband's work with two hired hands and said he was going to get his cow, right now. My husband said the cow wasn't bothering anything and that she wasn't coming up for feeding so he probably wouldn't be able to get her today, but that he would help him when he could leave. The man said, "The cow is mine and I'm going to take her now."

Hubby called and warned me Cowboy and hands were arriving. They came with two huge trucks: one pulling a cattle trailer. I went out and told them that I had fixed the gates in the barn so they could use the shoots, showed them where the cows get to the corral via the tunnel under the highway, and told them there was a gate at the underpass. The owner of the cow acted like he didn't need my help. He apologized for the cow getting into our pasture.

I called (I know y'all would love to hear that) the cows; our cows came running from the pasture across the road. Just as my husband told the fake cowboy, the black cow did not show. She isn't a part of the group, yet. My cows aren't unsociable, but they are a bit shy. Fake cowboy, standing in his completely clean rubber boots and starched burnt orange Ralph Lauren shirt couldn't believe his cow didn't show. He was still convinced he could take his cow home.

He told his help to back his trailer to the gap across the road and put some feed in the trailer so the cow would just come into the trailer from points unknown in the 80 acre pasture. To his hired help's credit they didn't laugh in his face, but they did say, "It'll never happen."

He said, "Let's just try."

I said, "The cow isn't bothering anything and she'll come up in a few days." When he didn't seem convinced, I told him that he should go out to the pasture and walk the cow around the fence line and if she wanted to go home she would go back through the fence where she came. He said, "Really!"

I said, "Most likely," but I was thinking "You don't know anything. Who are you? I don't remember you when I was growing up here. Why are you pretending you know what you are doing?"

He told his help to go across the highway. One smart man walked. Fake cowboy and his brother got in their huge trucks and drove them into my pasture, which is not much more than a bog after a week of rain. They drove around the pasture for a while, trying to lure the cow and push her through the fence. Then, they left. They didn't come by the house. They just left.

The cow is still in the pasture.

I have a confession. When I saw them drive their big truck into my pasture, I let the yellow dog out of the house to "help." I thought it would speed the realization that the cow would not be caught on the open pasture with trucks.

Before y'all start judging me, let it be known that if anyone admits that he needs help I would help until I couldn't anymore. I would have saddled the horse and gotten the cow into the trailer. But, I do resent people showing up on my place and pretending that they are cowboys when they have never touched a cow and have never, even, read a book. I do resent fake cowboys driving their big trucks in my marshy pasture so there will be ruts big enough to hide a cow.

More Blue

Okay, this blue thing has become an obsession.

Yesterday, I had a difficult time finding something blue in the house because my mind was set on one thing that happened to be outside where a cold, miserable rain had set in for the week. Everywhere I look, today, I see blue. Since Mull-berry has gone above and beyond by posting four pictures (one of which I still have not deciphered), I thought I could add two more. I promise I will stop here, unless I find something fabulous.

We need more participants!!!

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Mull-berry suggested in the comments of the last post that we play a game to alleviate boredom. I love games, so I will start. Here is the blue picture. My sister thinks that if we are going to play a game we should have some rules or, at least, some general direction. Since I am first to post, I will add some. Take a close up picture of some ordinary blue household object. Post it and let people guess what it is.

I'm at a disadvantage because it has been raining for two days and I don't want to stand in the rain to take a picture.

All right. Everyone go take pictures!

I'll post the players here:
One Jelly Donut, Please has a more difficult image.
JoVE has a good image, too.