Good choice

This evening Willow, Rose and I went for a walk. Nothing funny or out of the ordinary happened…we just went for a walk. It had rained earlier, so it wasn’t nearly so hot. The sun was still above the tree tops on its way down which made for beautiful lighting. What follows is a record of our journey.


It was a beautiful evening…one that never has been before and never will be again. I’m glad that I chose to experience it.

Now back in business

This spring, the Executive Director of Alaska Missions and Retreats, asked if I could make metal salmon. I had never done that before, but I said, “Of course!” The idea would be to sell the pieces to make money for Alaska Missions. So, Shawn and I began to collect materials for this ‘salmon art’.

Some of our metal came from the iron yard and some of it we got from the salvage yard.

The best stuff is usually the hardest to get.

But when you don’t have to get it yourself, it’s not too bad.

We made some of the salmon from 18 gage steel.

Then, there’s our ‘Salmon from the hood’ series. These we made using the old truck hoods.

After making ten pieces, we took a break for about a month and a half.

Shawn was out of town a lot

and I was having a new shop built.

But the ‘sisters with the hoods’ are now back in business.

Two pairs are all you need

Three weeks from today, my friend Shawn and I will be traveling to Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula to take part in a short term mission project.

We will be participating in what is called Salmon Frenzy.

Salmon Frenzy is a service project to Alaskan residents who are dip-netting sockeye salmon on the beaches of Cook Inlet near the mouth of the Kenai River.

For a while now, I have been considering how much stuff I should pack and what to pack that stuff in. We’ve decided against checking any luggage, so our bags need to be light enough to run with in the case that we find ourselves in a race against time. So, just how much stuff do we really need?

There is a verse in Matthew that has stirred my curiosity for some time…and perhaps provides a solution to my dilemma. In chapter ten, Jesus is selecting and sending out workers, and amid His instructions we find this statement:

And do not take a provision bag or a wallet for a collection bag, nor two undergarments, nor sandals, nor a staff… (Matthew 10:9-10, the Amplified Bible)

HOW SIMPLE IS THAT! On one hand, this verse is very freeing. On the other hand, it is disturbing…especially the undergarment part. But, if you’re one who takes the Bible literally, what choice do you have?

I, however, am not one of those. I believe that the Bible is inspired by God and that it represents Truth. I believe that Jesus was telling these guys not to let their stuff overload their mission. He was instructing them to go only with what was necessary because He had their backs. And, that’s just what I’m going to do.

So…I got on the internet and placed an order to Tilley Endurables.

For information on Alaska Missions go to or

The Mahafaly tribe

It never fails that when the boys come over, they always wind up with a hose.

This time it just so happened that there was a bucket nearby that they filled with water,

carried down the hill

and then poured it into a hole, which became their stomping grounds.

They said that they were from the Mahafaly tribe of Madagascar. I don’t know how they remembered that word, but I looked it up. Mahafaly means those who make taboos’. After about ten minutes, one of the natives tripped on a piece of flagstone. At first,

the extent of the damage was unclear.

Then we washed the mud off his feet and came inside. He was missing a little skin on his toe, but there was certainly nothing wrong with his mouth. He kept saying,

“I need to go to the doctor! I’m dying! I’m dying! When will I ever be able to walk on two feet again!

About thirty minutes later, the other native said, “Well, you must be feeling better, you’re not complaining”; a statement which I quickly came to realize was taboo…..because then…it began again. “Oh, it hurts so bad! Would you get me some plain milk? That always calms me down.”

All over my land

For several years now I have owned Malaysian Serama Chickens. Malaysian Seramas are the smallest weight bantom in the world weighing in at a pound or less. In Malaysia, they are house pets. But not in Woodworth. A few weeks back, I gave my cousin a pair of them, which left me with a trio. She named hers Bonnie and Clyde. I couldn’t let her out do me, so let me introduce



and Mary.

They do what most chickens do in the South…

eat cornbread

and watermelon.

Like Peter Yarrow from the human trio, Peter Serama is the spokesman for this one. Because he’s so small,


he can’t handle a hammer or a bell.

But he does have a song to sing. He sings it in the morning…he sings it in the evening…all over my land.

Quoth the raven, “Caw! Caw!”

The boys are spending the night with us tonight, so Denton called to ask if they could bring their paint so that I could paint their faces. I told him that would be fine and he hung up. Nikki called right back to make sure that I understood what he wanted and didn’t agree to something that I did not want to do.

We were only on the phone for a second. When our conversation ended, Nikki turned around to find this:

Hudson was being transformed into a crow! Denton said, “All done Hudson! You are gonna look fabalus!

Then Hudson took off around the room

flapping his wings and saying, “Caw! Caw!”

Great-grandmother’s song

Monday morning the boys were at my house and Denton suggested that we go for a hike. Hudson and I thought it sounded like a good idea. Matilda always goes on our hikes, but on our way out they asked if Willow and Rose could join us. So, there we went;

three humans, two goats and one dog.

Denton, (surprise, surprise) appointed himself to be the leader.

We found a little frog.

We went down to the creek and then

stopped to look at the buckeye crop.

There was also a moment of silence at One-eyed Sally’s grave.

As we were approaching this spot, Denton said,

“Listen to the birds singing a beautiful song.” To which Hudson replied,

“Yes, it was my great- grandmother’s song.”

If a hen has a crack

Yesterday while I was feeding the animals and hanging out with Willow and Rose, I heard this peeping sound. I looked to my left to find a hen and two chicks.

I was confused….

and so was Matilda.

You see, this was highly unusual, seeing that this hen had not known a rooster. It entered my mind to call the Catholic Church to see if they would validate this as a miracle, but for some reason I dialed my cousins who, incidentally, happen to be Catholic.

During our conversation, I noticed that the chicks had bright orange legs and feet.

Then I realized that they probably weren’t little chickens at all. Instead, they were little guineas, which means that they are keets instead of chicks. I’ve had five guinea fowl for a couple of years,

but I thought they were all hens. I read that one way to tell the roosters from the hens is that the roosters say, “chi-chi-chi” and the hens say, “buck wheat-buck wheat-buck wheat”. However, when they all start talking at once, you can’t tell who’s saying what.

Before dark, I caught the hen and the two keets and put them in a cage to protect them from any vermin that might happen by.

This morning, when I went to check on them, I saw only one keet. I could hear the muffled peeps of the other, but did not notice its little legs frantically beating the air

toward the back of the hen.

But when the hen turned around,

I saw that poor little keet…

stuck in the crack of that hen………..if a hen has a crack.

Unless you’re a texture weenie

A few years back I discovered that my cholesterol was elevated, so I have been on a statin drug ever since. Recently my doctor agreed to let me stop taking the drug if I agreed to change my lifestyle. Then, after several months we would do lab work and go from there. I was doing very well until the wedding, at which time I began a three week cake and ice cream diet.

Now that I am back on the straight and narrow, I have decided to come up with my own cookbook for lowering cholesterol. Since oatmeal and salmon are both on the list of foods to eat to keep cholesterol in check, I figured that I could kill two birds with one stone by combining them. Hence, “Salmon Oatmeal“.

The first time I fixed it (for myself, of course) Joel said, “Oh my goodness Susan, that’s just not right!” I know what you’re thinking, especially if you’re not an adventurous eater, but just stay with me.

Season a small salmon fillet (I used kosher salt and freshly ground pepper) and cook in a skillet

with a little olive oil, onions and garlic. While that is doing its thing, microwave ¼ cup of old fashioned oats with ¼ cup of water just until the water is absorbed. This takes about 20 seconds.


Put the oatmeal aside.

When the salmon is done, pull it apart with a fork, incorporate it into the oatmeal along with the onions and garlic. Then garnish if you like. I used fennel.

After only about fifteen minutes, you have yourself a tasty, heart healthy breakfast…that is, unless you’re a texture weenie.






It only took seven tries

I don’t think that I would have the patience to be a photographer; or at least the kind of photographer that deals with groups of people. It’s hard to get everyone to do what you want them to do at the same time.

As you know, my son Adam got married last month. After the ceremony, fourteen of us were summoned to the front steps of Loyd Hall Plantation for a group picture.

Of course there was the bride,

the mother of the bride,

the father of the bride,

the brother of the bride,

the grandmother of the groom,

the sister in law,

one nephew and, last but not least,


the other nephew.

Of course there were some who really wanted to get this thing over with and cooperated very well. I don’t feel the need to point them out; except for the grandmother of the bride,

who struck a pose and never moved a muscle.

I guess that getting eleven out of fourteen to work together was not bad…and it only took seven tries.