Thursday, December 31, 2009

Little Johnny Said..

Gracie sent me this, I laughed so hard I had to repost it.

It is near the end of the school year. The teacher has turned in her
grades. There is really nothing to do. All the kids are restless because
there is nothing to do and it is near the end of the day.

The teacher says, "Whoever answers the questions I ask first and
correctly can leave early today." Little Johnny says to himself, "Good, I want to get outta here. I'm smart and will answer the question".

The teacher asked, "Who said 'Four Score and Seven Years Ago'?" Before Johnny could open his mouth, Susie said, "Abraham Lincoln". The teacher said, "That's right Susie. You can go". Johnny was MAD. Susie answered first.

The teacher asked, "Who said, 'I Have a Dream'?" Before Johnny could open his mouth, Mary said, "Martin Luther King". The teacher said, "That's right Mary. You can go". Johnny was even MADDER than before. Mary answered first.

The teacher asked, "Who said 'Ask not, what your country can do for
you'?" Before Johnny could open his mouth, Nancy said, "John Kennedy". The teacher said, "That's right Nancy . You can go". Johnny was BOILING MAD. Nancy answered first.

Then the teacher turned her back, and Johnny said, "I wish these b*tches would keep their mouths shut".

The teacher asked, "WHO SAID THAT?"

Johnny said, "TIGER WOODS! CAN I GO NOW?"

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

How to kill a rosemary tree






Hubby started the South Beach diet ( more on that in a later post ) and a lot of the recipes call for fresh rosemary. I can't get fresh rosemary here so I have been using dried. I found this beautiful little rosemary tree in the store for $10 so I picked it up. I took it home and lovingly read the care instructions which said "Water when soil feels dry". I stuck my finger in the dirt and it felt dry, so I watered it well and set it on my counter to brighten my kitchen for the holidays. I went about my day and when I came into the kitchen a few hours later, my tree was gone! I looked and looked and couldn't find it. Now, I know it didn't grow legs and walk away so I rounded up the usual suspects and demanded to know what they did with my tree. I was met with blank stares and "I dunno, what tree?"

Argghhhhh! You know the only tree in the house!

"Ohhhh, that tree! It's over here behind us in front of the fire."
I grabbed my tree from the intense heat and placed it back on the counter. I noticed a few of the branches in the back were wilting where they had been too close to the fire. I thought it must be dried out so I watered it again. The next day the wilted branches were black and there were tons more wilted branches. I panicked and watered it again. A few days later, half the tree was black and the other half was wilted. Yikes! It must need more water!
I did some research online and found out that these plants like poor soil that drains well and very little water. I rushed out and bought a clay pot and transplanted my poor tree. It was seriously root bound and actually dripping wet. I was actually able to wring out the roots before I seperated them and transplanted it into the clay pot. I used some potting soil that was extremely dry and I am hoping I can save it. I still see a very very small ammount of green so hopefully it will pull through. I doubt it will ever look like it did before, it was 2 years old already. But if I can get it well enough to actually use some of it in my cooking from time to time, I will be happy.
And that my friends is how you kill a rosemary tree.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays

Hope everyones holidays are happy and safe! Talk to you all in a few days!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Women's birthing rights!

I am all about a woman's right to choose. When and how and if are human rights and a woman is a human being last time I checked. I saw this story on CNN and felt a bit surprised that still hospitals are refusing to do certain things for "safety". Yes a VBAC can up the chance of complications but if your doc is skilled and you want to at least try for one then they hospital should support that. I choose a c-section with Squeak because my birth experience with Bug still affects me and I was so glad I had the choice. Every woman should have a choice

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fiction Awesomness - True Detectives by Jonathan Kellerman

I am all about the mainstream fiction. Now don't get me wrong I can dig literature if the story is right. I can bury myself in stories with meaning and a tale to tell. However I am all about reading for fun. A good novel can take you on an adventure. You can become the hot witch, the private eye, the murder cop, the deep in love English lady, the down on your luck mom. You can become anything that your imagination allows and I love that. It is a huge part of why I write.

Anyway one of my favorite authors is Jonathan Kellerman. He writes crime books of the fictional variety. I adore him!!!! So this week I picked up one of his books that doesn't focus on his usual main crime fighter Alex Delaware but instead dealt with two brothers. One a homicide cop and the other a private eye. Both very diffrent. They share a mother but they have different fathers. Each was a cop. One died in the line while the other drank himself to death. This made for some interesting dynamic between the brothers. They each were working a case of a missing college girl that lead to a Hollywood double murder. The story had everything I love about Kellerman. The psychology side of crime as well as the mystery and suspense he is so good at. The story was quick. I read it in 2 days. I am a very fast reader though, lol. I wholeheartedly recommend this book!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The awesomeness of a bread machine!!

So about a week before Thanksgiving we were flipping through channels looking for one of our crime dramas when QVC flashed up. They were selling my Breadman bread maker that I have been dreaming about. Hubby said to buy it so before he could change his mind I did just that. I am so happy I did. I have made a ton of white bread as that's the usual favorite. Also made some cranberry almond bread that was devine. I used it to make pizza dough that was sinfully awesome. I think that it has to be one of the best kitchen tools ever. Prep time is about 5 minutes and about 3 hours later I have a beutifully golden loaf of awesome bread.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas is right around the corner......

and I am not sure what to do about it, lol. My husband is 1 of 7 kids and I am the oldest of 5 so our list could be huge. Add 22 nieces and nephews with 21 being from my husband and we are full to bursting with names. If we bought for everyone we would be broker than Gracie's thermometer. So our solution has varied depending on family but for the hubs side we draw names as families so there are 7 entered and you buy a family gift for under $30. Great solution. My family has procrastinated so who knows what's up there. I also plan to have Bug adopt 2 "Angels" off of a giving tree so she can learn more about the spirit of giving rather than focusing on the getting side. This weekend I am going to decorate and hopefully get the tree. (We have to do fresh because husband is allergic to plastic.) That will help fill the house with the spirit of the season. For me that is my favorite part. The joy and love, the smells and tastes, the lights and the music. Hubs and I as usual spoiled each other and the girls despite telling the other to buy nothing, lol. He says thats what couples do. We also are going to follow up on some traditions. For example I am not a fan of those large packages of ornaments that are all the same. I like individual. So Hub and I started when we were first together each picking an ornament every year that is unique and all our own. After Bug came she joined in and this year we have Squeak so we will add 4 new ornaments. I think it is one of my favorite things. What traditions do you guys have? Let us know!!

Eating Pantry Staples

My goal this last month of so, has been to eat as much as I can out of my pantry and food storage. I've been stockpiling things on a regular basis, but I've also been forgetting to rotate anything out. One solution for this (although not the best solution granted) is to stop buying groceries for awhile.

Obviously, I have to buy some things, like fresh veggies and dairy here and there, and meat at least once a week. But so far I've been able to pull some decent meals together without having to seriously put myself out on a limb.

Since I'm only feeding 1.5 people, a little can stretch a long way. A pan of cornmeal can be a side at one meal, and be used for a Tex-Mex style casserole the next. We can eat a pound of spaghetti for 3 days straight. And instead of worrying about having to buy expensive fresh red meat every few days, I can supplement it easily with frozen Jimmy Dean Sausage and my leftover Venison from last hunting season.

I'll try to keep you as updated, although I've been pretty bad about keeping up with the blog! Sorry about that!

Wahhhhhh.....more snow.

We got about 18 inches of snow on Monday. The temp took a turn for the worse and we were lucky to get above 0 for the last three days. This afternoon we are supposed to get hit with yet another snow storm. This one is scheduled to last three days. I may have to tunnel out.
Hrmph. I really hate winter.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Nutty weather!!

Can you believe this crazy weather? Maggy has been lucky to get out of the teens for over a week now. We have had highs in the 40's and I am in the dessert for goodness sake. Poor Gracie has snow out the ying yang. I am a firm believer that humanity is affecting the climate but I am not sure that we are warming totally but going more extreme in both directions. My Husband has been lucky to get to work and have it be above freezing and when you work outside that can suck rocks. How is everyone else's weather? I sure hope everyone is warm and dry!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I did it!!

I hit the 50k mark and won NaNoWriMo this year. I even took 3 days off for Thanksgiving weekend. I have to say it is incredibly gratifying to be able to accomplish such a wonderful goal. The book isn't done, lol, but I have an awesome start and I hope to finish by February.

In case you ever wanted to know...

This is what 35 cents looks in the stomach of an almost 4 year-old.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Writing......

I am working on a new book. No real title yet. I call it Sam's Book 1, lol. Yes I know I am the queen of original. Anyway this month is NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month for all of you not in the writing community. The goal? Write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I passed the 35k mark last night and am on track to meet the 50k by the 30th. Book won't be done at 50k though, lol. The story is flowing, the detail is amazing, and I think it is my best book yet. It has romance, shapeshifting were animals, ghosts, crime, and some undercover digging. I am loving it. So here's to hitting the mark and beyond and making a dang fine book in the process.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

And the emmy for forgetfulness goes to . . . .

ME!!! I swear I am going absolutely cuckoo. So Monday I decided it was time to actually buy the Thanksgiving dinner fixings. I figured Costco was the place to go since we are hosting this year. I took Bug to school and knew that Costco still had an hour to open so I figured I would go to Walmart to get diapers for Squeak. Once inside the store I remembered that we had a guest bed being delivered this week and we needed bedding for it. So I got mattress covers, sheets, blankets, and pillows. I went through the check out and remembered I needed diapers. Dumb Lila! So I put the bedding in my truck and went back in. Got diapers and some clothes for Squeak. Checked out. . . . and remembered that we needed milk. I was about to go back in when I realized Costco's milk was cheaper and tasted better. So I went to Costco and I got milk and other odds and ends. Got to the car and discovered my brain had totally fried as I had forgotten every single Thanksgiving item. 2 hours of shopping and not a single thing I had originally planed to get.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Flacita Burritos

When my beautiful sister was in college in Chicago, she worked for a time at a Mexican restaurant. The cooks there called her Flaca (meaning skinny) because she is tall, skinny and very blond. For Spring Break, our parents let me fly to Chicago for a visit, and I spent quite a bit of time hanging out around the restaurant while she worked. The cooks quickly dubbed me Flacita (or Little Skinny). I decided to called these treats Flacita Burritos, not because they are skinny or healthy, but because calling them that takes some of the guilt out of eating them. Denial is a powerful thing.

I got the idea of these in my head on Friday, and just couldn’t shake it. I wasn’t sure how I was going to pull it off, but by Pete, I was going to figure it out. I ended up spreading out a buffet of warmed corn and flour tortillas, apple butter, peach and apple jam, toothpicks and a pot of hot oil. Okay, really the pot was the end of the buffet line, but I’m guessing you get the idea.

I tried corn tortillas first because I wanted to do a sort of taquito, but since I was using apple butter as opposed to diced apples, they were hard to roll tight enough without ripping them. I tried both rolled and fold ones, and although they fried up well, the crunchy texture and corn taste were a bit more than I wanted.

I tried round 2 with the flour tortillas, which were quite a bit larger. The rolled/taquito style still didn’t work too well, but the burrito-style ones I tried worked perfect! Simply roll them up, and stick a toothpick in somewhere to keep everything nice and compacted once you put it in the fry oil. If you don’t have toothpicks, you can use metal tongs to hold them together for a good 25-35 seconds just to be sure they’ll hold their shape.

Once in the fry oil, the burritos only take about 1 min on each side. or until lightly browned on each side. Remove from the oil, and place on a baking rack to drain. I use a roasting pan with paper towels between the rack and the pan to keep it clean and keep the burritos crispy. As soon as you get them on the cooling rack, sprinkle them generously with a mix of cinnamon and sugar. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Serve these immediately, preferably while piping hot. Or if you’re like me, bite them the second they cool enough to be picked up, therefore burning your tongue repeatedly in a wanton fashion.

Flacita Burritos

Flour Tortillas
Apple Butter
Cinnamon and Sugar, blended
Toothpicks (optional)
Oil for frying

Heat tortillas in the microwave, covered with a wet paper towel, for 30 seconds or until pliable. Lay flat, and place 3-4 table spoons of apple butter on bottom 1/3 of the tortilla. Roll up, pin with toothpick, and set aside.

Heat 1″ of oil in a pot (I use a dutch oven) to 350*. Place burritos in the pot, with the ‘tortilla flap’ down so the burrito doesn’t expand. Cook for 1 min on each side. Remove from oil unto cooling rack, quickly sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, then allow to sit for 3-5 minutes to drain off excess fat.

Serve immediately.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Yeah my friday the 13th sucked lemons.

As Gracie said my Friday the 13th had some lovely moments. It all started that morning. I had been up off and on with Squeak as she is teething so we slept through the alarm. (Very rare for me.) Then I woke and got Bug up and set her to getting ready for school while I got Squeak and I ready for the day. I was going to register my truck in our new home state and get my local driver's liscense so had to gather the proper things like my SSN card to prove I am me, birth certificate as another form of ID, marriage certificate to prove my name change, previous license and registration, vehicle insurance card with proof of meeting state laws. Took Bug to school and headed into town. One joy of our location is a freeway that is never full of traffic between our usual point of travel. Such a change from ther PNW. I went to the bank to withdrawl cash to pay the fees wich were huge but nessecary. Went to a check station for emissions testing, went to a VIN verification station and then headed to the DMV. There were a ton of people but I was early in the day and it seemed to be a hive of comings and goings. Hubs said he figured I would have an hour tops which is why I did it rather than him, it would be easy to do. Yeah I hate to wait in line for 30 min to get my number and have the information desk review my paperwork. I was assigned G228. I looked at the board to see us on G150. OMG!! Also was told I needed my tags of my truck so I could surrender them for in state tags. Pushed the strolled back out to my truck, dug for a screw driver and removed the tags while being honked at because people wanted my spot and were mad I wasn't actually leaving. Hurry back in because the info guy said it would be quick and if I missed my number I would have to start over. Yeah it was on G153. So I sat, with a 10 month old, and waited. And waited. And waited some more. 3 hours later and I got called forward. Baby is screaming, has eaten all of her snacks and is mad as a hornet because I haven't nursed her and she hasn't gotten her nap. Took 15 minutes to actually do my business of registering my car and doing the eye exam for my DL. Then I have to go wait in another line to have my picture taken. Baby has wailed herself to sleep, people are giving me dirty looks, I was a wreck. Got out of there and treated myself to a thin mint blizzard at DQ. Man those are good. I have decided that next time Hubby can go to the DMV or he can keep the kiddo with him.

And you wonder why we call him Brusier.

Bruiser landed his little butt in the ER.....again. He was in the garage (mistake #1) and jumping on a pogo stick (mistake #2). Dad had forgotten to put some of his tools away (mistake #3) and the pogo stick came down on a screwdriver. The screwdriver rolled, Bruiser went flying and landed on his head. I am unsure at this point if his head hit the sledge hammer or the cement or both. Either way, he has a concussion. He lost conciousness and doesn't remember a thing. How is he supposed to learn from his mistakes if he can't remember them?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

Life today has almost been as scarey as the movie!
I got a phone call this morning saying my boys got off the bus and immediatly started fist fighting. Bruiser somehow convinced the principle that he was totally innocent. Not sure how he accomplished that, but he knows better than to try it with me. I got th real story out of him. He was mad at Butch for keeping him in line so he started kicking him. Butch got sick of being kicked so he doubled up a fist and punched his brother in the face. What a day! I hae an appointment with the principal on Monday so Bruiser will be getting detention along with Butch. He isn't going to skip out on punishment when he was just as much at fault.
I have been on the phone all day with various chores and rescue stuff so the house is still a mess. Guess who gets to spend their evening (possibly the whole weekend, hrmmm that has potential!) cleaning? Not Mom! There are a ton of chores to be done, I hope it makes them think twice about losing their temper.

Maggie and Lila have had similar days. I wonder what it would take to just rent an island for a while?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My thoughts on the Ft. Hood Massacre and aftermath

I watched much of the Ft. Hood Massacre aftermath on TV along with the rest of the nation. Speculation varied from all over the place, from multiple spots to multiple shooters. I was horrified to be honest. I've mentioned before that my ex-hole is in the military. And through the years of our marriage, I met and befriend many soldiers, their wives, girlfriends, kids and families. My heart went out to the soldiers and families. I can't imagine having something like that happen on our post.

Yesterday, I found myself at our post's Readiness Center (long story I won't bore you) and could help but look around and think that it could have happened to anyone in that room. The thought floored me. I've taken several days to try and organize my thoughts on it, and I still don't have a good grasp on my feelings and I still haven't. I'm anger, terrified, and saddened all at once.

But today, something happened that shaped at least one thought. On Facebook, you can make/take quiz's that usually involve some sort of current events. Today, I saw one that asked the question "Should Muslims be allowed to serve in the US Armed Forces?" At almost 80%, the answer was 'no'.

I was floored. The only number I could find on Muslims in the US service branches was that the Pentagon states the numbers are around 3,500 Muslims out of 1.4 million U.S. service members.

Of my personal experience, I met people of all religions and backgrounds. Conservative Christians from the Midwest, Catholics from Boston, atheists from Alabama. And one Muslim. His name was Kareem, and he was born and raised in NJ.

I didn't know Kareem well. He was more of a friend of a friend. But once my boys left for Iraq, his name popped up more and more in the stories I heard. My friend Scottie and he grew very close, and slowly I learned more about him. He joined the military because he wanted people not only to change the world, but to show his patriotism. When he was finished with his service, he wanted to go to medical school. And in the pictures I saw of him he was often goofing off and making funny faces.

On August 6th, 2007, Kareem and 3 others (Nick Gummersall, Jake "Tommy" Thompson and Juan Alcantara) were killed when an IED went off in a home they were entering to search for insurgents. These men were my friends, my "family by choice" as Tommy used to say. And their deaths were devastating to me. Never once did it cross these boys minds that Kareem was Muslim. He was an American, a soldier, and their brother.

But Kareem became known to the world when Colin Powell mentioned a photograph taken of his mother at his grave site, used by the New York Post in a photo essay about the War on Terror. I agree the image is powerful, but for me it's for another reason.

I was at the service where a 21-gun salute was made in his honor. Saw his mother break down in front of the helmet and dog-tag memorial meant to represent his honorable service. Saw the tears fall down his fathers face as the notes of "Amazing Grace" wafted through the Chapel Air.

For me, those who question the rights of Muslim-Americans to protect their country. I feel they directly question every action Kareem made for his country, including his death and the honor he gave our country by serving it.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Eat your pet, save the planet

Dogs cause more damage to our planet than SUVs, according to a controversial new book, Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living. The environmental footprint of an average "resource-guzzling" hound is twice that of a typical sport utility vehicle, say New Zealander researchers Robert and Brenda Vale, who note that a surprising amount of land is required to produce Fido's meals each year (roughly 2 acres). The book has caused a ruckus by saying people should go pet-free—and even consider eating strays. Have environmentalists gone too far? So what is acceptable — pet millipedes? The green movement is becoming "progressively batty," says Ralph Reiland in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. First we have to "shut down our oil, gas, and coal industries, bike to work," and take the briefest of showers. "Now they want us to cook our dogs"? Apparently, a pet "bug" is the only companion these "hysterical" activists would consider guilt-free. The authors' research is sound: OK, eating our pets "is surely a non-starter," say the editors of New Scientist. But the Vales are right about the science: "Man’s best friend, it turns out, is the planet’s enemy." And while giving up Fido might be "a sacrifice too far," we can take smaller steps. The solution might start with "green, eco-friendly pet food."You can’t quantify a pet's value: Even if we Americans were to adopt "petless lifestyles," says The Washington Times in an editorial, we’d still be "major carbon offenders in the eyes of the green theocracy." Anyone obsessed with sizing up "carbon pawprints" is missing the point: "A pet’s value, like the worth of a human being, cannot be reduced to a rude carbon quotient." They make us happy, and "that is enough to justify their existence." Why not eat pets? "Dogs are wonderful," says Jonathan Safran Foer in The Wall Street Journal, but they’re not any smarter or more affectionate than pigs. In fact, unlike farmed meat, soon-to-be-put-down strays and runaway pets "are practically begging to be eaten" — and "in a sense," we’re already consuming them. Millions of euthanized cats and dogs are already "rendered" into livestock feed each year. Why not just eliminate this "inefficient…middle step"?


ARE YOU KIDDING ME!! Ok, yes there are some valid points, but seriously people, this is sick.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Justice after the Justice's injustice!

Woot woot! Saw this today on my headlines and loved it. I could go on and on again but I won't. Just a note that I think letting him resign was to nice.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Quote of the day

Once your reputation is ruined you can live your life quite freely! - German saying (or so I am told)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Getting handier with the sewing machine

Well since I have nothing else to blog about and I am sort of proud of how this turned out, here is a costume I made for Bruiser.





I dyed the sweats but made the rest. I had no pattern or guide, just a picture in my head of how I wanted it to turn out. Honesty, I really like it.
Can anyone guess what he is?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Life is crazy

My life being crazy translates into posting less. When I have to balance my time cleaning my house, helping three kids with homework I barely understand, feeding and taking care of 5 dogs, baking and overseeing a monthly bake sale for the rescue, attempting to teach 12 eight year old cub scouts something, planning a Halloween birthday party for my soon to be seven year old, and working on my projects; things like blogging kind of fall to the wayside. Sorry about that, hopefully after Halloween and parent teacher conferences and bake sales are over I will have some time untill it starts over again next month.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Justice's injustice: Take 2

Saw this article tonight. I knew that outrage would ensue, as it should. We need to hold our public servants responsible for their misuse of office. I think this was a misuse. Maybe I am wrong but allowing a personal prejudice to influence a public servant job is absolutely not okay. I hope he faces consequences.

I am a firm believer that crime can be committed equally across the spectrum of people. I am also a firm believer that miracles for the betterment of humanity can also be committed across that spectrum. No one's race, religion, or sexual orientation defines who they are and/or what actions they will take in their lives. Children from low class homes can and do persevere, often achieving more greatness than the well off kid does. Does the well off kid have it easier? Sure financially. I think the struggling kid though is better off morally and socially because they value what they achieve more and do more with their greatness. No one's life status is a definition of their potential. Saying a biracial child will have a hard time may be true in some places but if you give a child the potential to succeed in how they are raised and loved then even the kid who lives in a box can become president.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Holy rotten Justice Batman!

I read this tonight in my news scrolling and am just stunned. Yes I know prejudice is a part of humanity. People judge. It is a fact of the world that every one of us will have someone else judge our choices. However those in the legal fields have an obligation to not let their personal judgments taint their legal choices. Discrimination has no place in law. We make a huge deal about equality and fairness and we expect our judges and lawyers and law enforcers to embrace that equality. To have someone who deals with the law allow his own prejudice to influence how he does his job just appalls me. Maybe this will tick people off and maybe I am wrong in my reading of this. Tell me what you think!

Finally done!

I got my website up finally. Many thanks to KWalshDesigns and the work she did for me!! Check it out and tell me what you think! Read Lila Williams.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Yet another pathetic excuse for a parent.

So I am working on getting rid of a headache and was just catching up on my news. A link on CNN's Nancy Grace's web page said "Toddler found dead in trash." I had to read it because stories like this just rip my heart out. Then I read the story and not only did my heart break but the anger factor went through the roof. I am so tired of reading and hearing about women who kill their children rather than ask for help or give them up. Race is no excuse, age is no excuse, laziness is no excuse, IQ is no excuse. There is no reason that children should die. Infants have safe haven recourse and older kids do have options. You can give up your rights. I know there can be legal ramifications but this has got to stop. I can't have any more children for a variety of reasons but we would love having more. We would adopt in a heartbeat and have actually talked about adopting a sibling pair from foster care once Squeak is older. My husband was in the system purely because his parents didn't want him. It was so hard sure, but better than being neglected and starved and abused due to shear stupidity and laziness. I miss the days when family was the most important and raising the children as a group was encouraged. It does take a village and all of us need to step up if we see a child in need so that these type of senseless acts never happen again.

Monday, October 12, 2009

We survived!

We are officially part of society again today as we are no longer contagious with the dreaded swine flu. The illness part of it wasn't any worse than any other cold.
What was so hard for us was the confinement. The kids had to stay home from school for a week. They felt well enough to fight and terrorize each other but were not allowed out in public. Once they were feeling better, I kicked them outside during the day when all of the other kids were in school. They had to come inside promptly at 3 pm and work on homework.
Today they can go back to school. FREEDOM!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Swine flu

I know the swine flu thing has been beat to death but now I have it (I think). I was pretty prepared because both times there was a local panic over it, I went to the store and got masks, hand sanitizer, meds ect. What I wasn't prepared for was how completely horrible I would feel. The kids got it first and are already almost over it. I on the other hand just came down with the worst of it this morning. I seriously want to crawl into a hole and die. I have a headache that makes my migranes feel like a walk in the park. My throat is sore and swollen, its hard to breathe. As fast as the kids felt better, I don't think we got it really bad. If this is mild, I am grateful we didn't get it really bad. I will keep you up to date on if I get better as fast as the boys. In the meantime, I have three hyper active boys home from school for a week. That might prove to be worse than the flu.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mattress Woes!

With all the space we have now we wanted a guest bed. We also hate our bedroom set. We are not fans of particle board. We bought our set as a gift for Hub's brother and then discovered it would not fit into the room we needed it to so we kept it and gave him our raw pine set. I miss that set, lol. anyway we figured if we had to buy a mattress why not buy us a bigger one and put the old mattress and bed frame in the guest room. So we went online to search. We love our queen so we decided to look at the same model and name brand but in king. Found a great deal on USMattress.com. Their site said two-day delivery was available and we were stoked. We needed it by the end of the week so that we could have the guest bed for family coming in this weekend. So I ordered it and kept waiting through the process for the place to confirm shipping. It never came. I called and was told it never gave me the option because our mattress was not available for quick shipping. So I canceled the order. I need a bed this weekend not in 3 weeks. Well my money has yet to be returned because it can take "Up to 4 business days." Lovely. Anyway I went to a local furniture store and they had the bed I need cheaper than what I found online. We went with Englander instead of Spring Air. 5lb Memory foam layer on top of individually wrapped innerspring. Sooooooo excited. Iwould totally recommend Englander. They are super affordable and a lot of the big name actually use the Englander insides wrapped in their own covers at a huge price jump. Total score on the bed front. Now just to get my money back from the dumb online place. Luckily they took paypal so I can go after them if needed to get my money.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

found in nature pain killers

I suffer from migranes, and am a big boob when it comes to pain. We do have some ibuprofin in our food storage but I think I would rather hold onto that in case of severe pain. I have books that talk about plants that are natural pain killers but I am a little scared to try them. Has anyone else had to resort to this? Or done it as an experiment? How effective was it? Any side effects?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fried Green Tomatoes

When I see bright, shiny and oh so lonely vegetables just sitting there I can’t help myself. I have to buy them. It’s like they call to me “please please just take me home… I would go so well with that recipe you’ve been thinking about“. On a trip to the Farmer’s Market with the Boy, my sister and her husband I stopped at a stall I frequent often enough to buy some green onions. Then some cherry tomatoes. Then some carrots (the Boy won’t eat baby carrots anymore, spoiled brat) and then I saw them. The holy grail of my obscure vegetable cravings: the Green Tomato.

I bought the two tomatoes they had left, and scurried home with my spoils. The next day, I found a recipe and went to work. I sliced the tomatoes (the recipe calls for 1/2 an inch thick, I wouldn’t go that thick actually. 1/3 is the biggest I’ll go next time) and slathered them with salt and pepper.

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I’m going to be honest. This is about the last step of this recipe I should have followed. I got it from a site I’ve gotten terrific recipes off of before (not Pioneer Women, FYI) , so I had quite a bit of faith in it. Not a good idea. The recipe called for dipping the seasoned tomatoes in milk, then flour, then eggs, then cornmeal and then pan frying them. Don’t get me wrong, they were okay. But they weren’t… right. Fried green tomatoes seem to be a lot like Fried Chicken; in that everyone has a way they like it. Some dredge, then coat. Some just coat. To coat people use cornmeal, bread crumbs, flour or cracker crumbs.

Personally this “double dip” technique I didn’t like. And I also wasn’t a big fan of the cornmeal. Next time I think I’ll go with a more simple recipe. Season with salt and pepper, egg dip, breadcrumbs, fry. In that order. In fact I think I might add some hot sauce to the eggs ala Paula Deen Fried Chicken for some spice. Even with my disappointment on the crust, they were pretty good, and look very pretty. Topped off with some homemade ranch, and they made a good afternoon snack.

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Thief!

A co-worker of my husbands asked him last week if we wanted any tomatoes. He said he had a ton and would give me all that he didn't want to use himself. Now, I got visions of spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, bottled tomatoes, ketchup and all sorts of wonderful tomato based products dancing through my head and told Hubby to tell him I would take anything he was willing to give me. I would in turn give him some spaghetti sauce or whatever else I had made that he might want.
Hubby came home from work yesterday evening and told me this co-worker had sent me something. I got all excited untill he picked up his lunch pail. What I had in mind would not fit into his lunch pail. He pulled out a ziploc bag with four tomatoes in it.
The co-workers garden had been raided and these 4 tomatoes were all that was left! He spent all spring tilling and planting, all summer watering and weeding. He went away for the weekend and came home to an empty garden. They cleaned out everything he had grown. He has NOTHING to show for all of his hard work. Why would someone feel they were entitled to something they had no part of producing? I don't know how this individual feels. but I would be furious if it happened to me.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Up to my elbows in apples


My neighbor paid my boys to pick and deliver around 70 lbs of apples to me. I had no idea this was happening untill they pulled a wagon right into my kitchen and started unloading them. I quickly called my mother and got her apple pie filling recipe. I have made 18 quarts so far. I plan on making a few more and them moving on to apple butter. There are still three more trees to pick so I should have plenty. If anyone else has an urge to do anything anywhere near this big of a scale, I would strongly recommend an apple peeler. I bought one that peels, cores and slices the apple in seconds. It cut my prep time in 1/3. It is going to be a good Thanksgiving : )

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jessica Simpson, this one is for you.


Ok so Hubby finally got a coyote yesterday. He skinned it and salted it and rolled it up. Today I get to take over the process of tanning (no, Ryan. I am not using brains.) the hide and disposing of the carcass. Bleck. Sound like fun? We (read I) will salt it for three days and then dry it and scrape it again. This is a practice hide and the dog gets it anyway so I am not too worried about making mistakes. I will let you know how it goes.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Grief!!

I have had the chance lately to reflect on grief. Everyone feels grief at one time or another. It can be from the death of a loved one, the ending of a relationship, the last day of a job, or even because something you loved broke. we can be 10 or 110 and still have moments of grief. One thing I have realized is that no one feels grief the same way. Sure others can feel sympathy for your loss but NO ONE will feel exactly the way you do. I think the worst thing to say to a grieving friend is "I know how you feel." You may have shared a similar experience but you do not know how that person feels about their loss. My biggest moment of grief came not at the death of a friend or grandparent close to my heart. It came at a miscarriage. I had had one before many years ago but this one hurt more. This pregnancy we were trying for. I was almost desperate in my need for us to have a second child. It took years to get pregnant. When I did and then lost it I thought I would not be able to survive. That baby had a name, a face in my head, a life of possibilities. It reminded me that my grief was not less or more than anyone else though. It was just mine. Respect those you love who grieve by letting them.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What have you done this week to prepare?

I am stealing the idea from the boys. It will at least get me thinking about what I did or what I need to do to get ready for a major disaster. This week, I added to my savings and bought some canned goods to replace those we have recently eaten. Hubby also bought some bullets but that was more for entertainment than storage. I am still trying to find the time and motivation to go to spinning class. I have the wheel, they have the wool, why not, right?
Maggy and Lila, feel free to edit and add any preps you made.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Obama's speech to the children

What do you think? Did your kids watch it? My kids watched it. I wasn't too worried about them being brainwashed in a mere 30 minutes. My kids don't listen to anything anyone has to say anyway! I read some of the speech online and didn't see anything out of line. The basic message was "Stay in school, get good grades and make your dreams come true" Hrmmm, yeah that one is really frightning, isn't it? I talk to my kids about doing well in school on a daily basis. I asked my boys when they got home if they had watched it. Butch and Spike say they didn't see it. Bruiser watched it but couldn't remember what it was about. See, no worries, they pay just as much atttention to a boring presidential speech as we always did when we were kids. No big deal, no brainwashing, nothing out of line at all. I guess I just don't see what all the hubbub was all about.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Yeah, someone got branded

So our camping trip was a disaster by Hubby and I's standards. The kids on the other hand think it was awesome! I think the dogs agree with the kids.
We got where we wanted to camp late and pulled into the first spot that we could fit our enclosed utility trailer. We started a fire and got to work on dinner. Then we unloaded the wheelers and got our beds set up in the trailer. The kids were running around playing in the campfire and river trying to give their mother a heart attack. We finallly got everything together and ate dinner. We put the kids to bed and turned the dogs loose. We sat by the fire for a while and listened to the hound plunk around in the river. We finally dragged him out of the water and went to bed.
The next morning we found a much nicer spot and moved everything over. The kids and dogs ended up in someone elses camp at way too early in the morning. By the time we got everything set up, Hubby and I were at each others throats and wanted to go home. But we bucked up and had breakfast. Then we went for a 4wheeler ride. Hubby was first in line followed by Butch on his wheeler and Bruiser on his motorcycle. Spike was riding with Hubby. I brought up the rear with the boston terrier on my lap and the hound on the back rack. The hound has quite an attitude and throws a huge hissy fit because we werent in the front of this little procession. Each time we passed a camp, I would put my hand around his muzzle to shut him up. Things went along like this for a while untill Bruiser started having problems with his motorcycle. He would lose power each time we went up a hill. He would have to paddle with his feet and go full throttle all the way up the hill. We dealt with this for a while untill we found a cool place to stop and rest for a while. Hubby worked on the bike for a while and we started back to camp. The bike got worse and worse untill the clutch finally fell apart. Hubby used the winch on my wheeler to hook the bike onto the front of my wheeler. Bruiser rode with me and the dogs were on the back. This made my machine really heavy in the front and caused me to fishtail all the way back down the hills to camp. Quite the sight we made all the way home. We FINALLY made it back to camp and made sandwiches because we were starving.
We took the boys into town (its really more like a small village) for icecream and just chilled for a while. Then we went back and started the fire for dinner. We gave up on stroganoff and just roasted hot dogs over the fire and I used the dutch oven to make cobbler. After dinner, we went for a walk on the river and lost the hound. He had caught a scent and took off. We got back to camp, got on the wheelers again and went looking for him. We finally found him and he spent the rest of the night on his chain. Eventually the kids got tired and fell asleep and soon afterwards we did too. We FROZE all night long, it was soooooo cold! We got up in the morning and decided to get an early start on packing up and going home. This whole trip the kids were playing in the fire, lighting stick on fire and waving them around making smoke signals. Thus the branding occured. Bruiser was waving his stick around and hit Spike in the ear. We handed him a can of cold soda to hold on it and finished packing.
Home at last! I have washed my hair twice since then and still can't get the smell of camp fire out of it. Oh well, we all made it home in one peice.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Prayers.

I am not one for prayer requests. Yes, I pray. Often and with passion. I also am pretty private about it. I like haveing the relationship to God that I have. Well now I am asking. I found out today as I am on vacation with my family that a woman I admired and liked who has been an important member of my brother's "family" passed away this weekend. she was 23 and has two small sons ages 2 and 3 months. she and her Air Force husband were alone in the car when they were sideswiped and she was killed. Now her babies are without their mother and a friend is without his highschool sweetheart. I am a huge believer in Heaven and in there being a better place so for her I feel some peace but for her boys and husband I can't help but be broken hearted. I pray for them and that they may find some comfort when all they want is to have her back. I can't seem to stop crying for them and for me. Is that selfish? I feel so angry and hurt and I have a hard time with that usual question of WHY? Why her? Why them? Why leave those little babies without their mama? My husband said that I need to remember that there is a pland and that obviously she was needed somewhere else more than she was here. I hope that is true but I have a hard time thining of a bigger need than small children of their mother. So please pray for the Goldin family, that they may be comforted and held close and that they may have the strength to endure what no child that young should ever have too. Thank you and God bless.

Friday, September 4, 2009

I can't even find Words.

This makes me sick.

Dutch Apple Pie, I surrender to you.

So in this particular instance, I suppose last night my kitchen was my Mama’s kitchen. Or at least it smelled like it. One thing I’ve been basically terrified to try is the wonderful, spicy, crumbly sweet-ness that is Dutch Apple Pie. My mother makes a mean apple pie. Seriously, it’s amazing. For holiday’s she even makes one of my cousin’s a whole pie just for himself, because it’s all he’ll eat (frankly, I don’t blame him). So obviously although I’ve helped make this recipe 1500 times, it’s a bit daunting for me because I’m more then a little afraid I won’t measure up.

Then came the challenge. This last weekend, the Boy and I went to a friends for dinner, and since I had about 10 minutes notice, I just ran to the store and grabbed one of their bakery pies. They didn’t have a ton of choices, so I just grabbed a lemon meringue because it’s fairly generic so usually most every one likes it. Sad day for me,because in this case, that wasn’t so. Our host (or one of two I should say) not only doesn’t like meringue, also not a fan of citrus custard pies. In case you’re keeping track, that makes my store bought pie 0-2.

Now, I basically feel like an a-hole. I know that may not make sense, but I like to feed people. When people don’t eat, it upsets me. So I promised to make him a pie, any pie. Peach? Cherry? Apple? Bam, he wants apple. Alright, what about Dutch Apple? That’s his favorite! Sweet, good I know what to make! And I even have apples from the local orchard!

Tuesday I sat down to make the pie and the little voice in my head started to have a panic attack. I’ve never made a Dutch Apple by myself, let alone using only my memory to (try to) recreate my Mama’s specialty. I may or may not have stopped several times purely to spew a string of obscenities, gather myself back together and continue. Happily for me, Luck was with me and everything came out great. The dough was perfect, the apples were spiced just perfect and the crumble was sweet and buttery.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Camping

We are taking the boys camping this weekend. Hopefully we all come back in one peice and no one else gets branded (story for another day). There will be plenty of hunting, wheeler riding and dutch oven cooking. Tell you all about it when I get home!

Ah, the French...

Dear Dad:

A funny thing happened to me yesterday at Camp Bondsteel (Bosnia): A French Army officer walked up to me in the PX, and told me he thought we Americans were a bunch of cowboys and were going to provoke a war in Iraq. He said if such a thing happens, we wouldn't be able to count on the support of France.

I told him that it didn't surprise me. Since we had come to France's rescue in World War I, World War II, Vietnam, and the Cold War, their ingratitude and jealousy was due to surface again at some point in the near future anyway. I also told him that is why France is a third-rate military power with a socialist economy and a bunch of pansies for soldiers. I additionally told him that America, being a nation of deeds and action, not words, would do whatever it had to do, and France's support, if it ever came, was only for show anyway.

Just like in ALL NATO exercises, the US would shoulder 85% of the burden, and provide 85% of the support, as evidenced by the fact that this French officer was shopping in the American PX, and not the other way around.

He began to get belligerent at that point, and I told him if he would like to, I would meet him outside in front of the Burger King and whip his ass in front of the entire Multinational Brigade East, thus demonstrating that even the smallest American had more fight in him than the average Frenchman. He called me a barbarian cowboy and walked away in a huff.

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Dad, tell Mom I love her,

Your loving daughter.

This came from Marine LtCol Mary Beth Johnson, and this letter is epic!

(Thanks TJ)

Site goes Viral!!!

So Maggy showed me this web site and it is sooooo funny but kind of sad too. CNN even did a piece on it because it has gained a lot of momentum in cyberspace. I like that the creators told CNN they do have certain rules to what they post and what they don't. I also could see myself or people I love landing on their site in one of those frenzied mom moments we all have which is why I feel okay laughing at it. I do tend to be the queen of self deprecation though. What do you guys think? Harmless fun or derogatory?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

What's the norm these days?

So as all of you know we recently relocated to the beautiful, hot, vast desert. Honestly I like it in a lot of ways. We have a wonderful house, we are is easy driving distance of family, we are in easy driving distance to some awesome places like the Grand Canyon and Disneyland. I also have mentioned how the people seem so different. It is holding fairly true. Hubs and I are very down to earth and easy going. We would rather go to a movie than a club. We would rather I be home than I work just to have what others view as more. We like playing games and relaxing with our kids. So far not many people I have met feel like we do. It is hard to make friends here, even for the Hubs. He is a great guy and he likes to have connections. He likes knowing the bank teller's name or visiting with the gas station clerk. We are great friends with a store owner from the PNW. so it is hard for us to find our footing here. Finding people who love what we love, who hold life above things and money seems to be as elusive as snow. Hmmmm. Here's hoping it gets better.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tis the Season to be Canning

So I already have about a million jars of dill pickles. Alright, not a million, but it might as well be. I'm going be finishing off the last of my case of cukes tonight. I was holding off to make dill relish, but never got around to getting peppers and things, so looks like they will have to be plain ol' dill pickles.

I also got a case of peaches, and wanted to do those tonight, but I'm thinking I'm going to make cupcakes instead. I know that's a bit counter-productive, but dammit, I want cupcakes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Grrr

I've been in a foul mood the last couple days. Not totally sure why, I'm not actually sure if I really have a reason. I'm just cranky. Very cranky.

Monday I spent making 14 quarts of dill pickles. Yes, 14 quarts. And I'm not even done, I have more cukes I should use. I also have a case of peaches I need to use; either making jam or canning slices, or both. But I just haven't been in the mood (like I said. Cranky.)

I feel like I'm probably in need of a vacation, but unless some rich relative I don't know decides to bequeath me a chunk of cash for no reason, that's not gonna happen.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Garage Sale!

I'm having a garage sale today, and although I've had a few straglers, there really aren't as many people and most are looking for certain items. I'll take a wild guess here and say the shitty econom might not be helping with my customer numbers. I even made a few types of scones and threw out a 'fresh scones!' Sign, but it doesn't seem to be bringing in much. The worst part is the things I need to go are pretty big (love seat, king bed set) and I'm starting to doubt if they'll really sell...

Friday, August 21, 2009

So my secret should be revealed!

I write. HAHA! More than this blog actually. I write romantic suspense books. None published yet since I teamed up with a do-nothing agent who refused to do the work he was supposed to. Anyway I am working on my website and when it is done I would love input from everyone. Besides my family and loved ones writing is my passion. I chose romantic suspense for a couple reasons. 1- I love a good love story. 2- Suspense lets me kill people on paper that drive me insane thus relieving stress and helping me to not want to really hurt them, lol. Like an ex sister in law who shall remain nameless. So I look forward to sharing another big part of me with all of you!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The hard truth....

Tonight I was watching a movie I had never seen. Based on a well known teen book series it falls into the category of husband will never watch with me. One of the characters was dying. As she lay under the stars discussing this with a friend she said something that struck home for me. She said that it wasn't death that scared her but more that she would not be able to become who she was supposed to be or that she would miss so much. I have always been afraid of death and I think this explains it better. It is not that I lack faith in what lays beyond this life but that once this life is over I will not have become what I was meant to be or that I will miss things in the lives of people I love. I think that is why I worry so much about death and keeping it at bay. I strive to be the best mother and wife that I can be. I put my heart and soul into all I do for my girls and all the life that I live. I make sure that every moment of every day my husband knows that I love him, that I have always loved him, and that my love for him grows richer and fuller with each breath we take together. I am devoted to my family, to Gracie and Maggy, to being all I can for them. My greatest fear is not the dying but that I will not have fulfilled something for those that I love that I should have. I know that all of my life is in the hands of a higher power, I trust that all will be as it should, I just hope that as it should be is after a long life of seeing my girls grown and happy and of having my marriage continuing to thrive and grow as each year passes.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Army of Dude

I generally avoid military blogs. Especially "I'm in Iraq" blogs. I have some war issues, as most of you know (if not see here). Hell, I know a fair amount of the boys in My War by Colby Buzzell, and I still haven't read the damn thing. But I was stumbling today and came across a blog called Army of Dude. This soldier served in Iraq with Ex-hole unit. They weren't in the same battalion, but it was the same brigade, and they were generally in the same place, same time, same games.

Possibilities.

I love and hate possibilities.

This past weekend was spent with extended family celebrating the baptism of one of my nephews. We also went to the local county fair. My husband and I try very hard to do things we not only enjoy but that the kids will love. we love the carnivals. Sure the games are rigged, lol, and the rides more expensive than needed but that is part of the fun. We had saved so we could treat all the nieces and nephews to the carnival. We bought 210 ride tickets, passed them out, and set them loose. None of the children except my daughter Bug had ever been on the rides of a carnival. WOW. The eldest was 13. How is that possible? Now of course we are the coolest aunt and uncle around, lol.

Anyway that night I also had the opportunity to reflect on the possibilities. People, things, places can come along in our lives offering us the chance to experience them. Sometimes it is not a real chance, merely a glance at the potential. For me this possibility came in the form of a child we were to adopt before the mother changed her mind. This was the first time I had seen the child in person and I found my arms aching for her. It was as if just that possibility over a year ago made her mine even though she was not with me. Her circumstances are not the best right now and I could not help but reflect on how much better her life would be if she were with us.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

RIP laptop

So my laptop is breathing its last. I will post if and when I can but if I am offline for a while, it's because the computer is dead and I have more important things to spend my money on at the minute than a new computer. Maybe Lila and Maggy will pop in a hello from me from time to time. (hint hint) Keep safe everyone.

Uplifting news.

So I have been doing my usual news wandering. In all the crime, and economic, and depressing news a story I read really stood out to me. A man who had a heart transplant is competing in Ironman this year. How awesome is that? This guy has had years and years of illness and hardship. He beats one thing ad another jumped him like a street thug yet now he is so healthy that he is running one of the biggest races on the planet. I say 3 cheers for him and for others like him who continue to fight against all odds and come out winners. Even if all he does is finish before the deadline to me he is a huge winner!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Slutty Cyrus?

I can't even believe I'm blogging about stupid Miley Cryus. A small piece of my soul withers up and dies any time someone mentions her or her multiple personalities. But she's a big hit on the celebrity gossip sites and tabloids, and well, I might read several of them. Maybe, but I'm not admitting anything.

Most of this started when some time ago, when doing a shoot for Annie Leibovitz a controversial photo of her 'topless' was taken and released. She and her parents released statements expressing their "shock" and yata yata blah blah blah. I think it's a crock of bull. It's Annie Leibovitz (one of the most successful fashion photographers in the world). My guess is she was all for it.

Next, someone hacked into her phone, and released several racy photos onto the Internet. REALLY not impressive of someone who is 15 (I think at the time) but whatever. Sounds like something her parents need to take care of. It isn't for us to judge her. Not to mention, many everyday 15 year olds are doing MUCH worse. Like I said, not impressed, but really people? Calling her a slut and a whore I'm sure is going to make her change her opinion of herself, right?

Last week, Miley performed on the Nickelodeon Teen Choice awards. I didn't watch it, I'm not a teen and really I don't care. The next morning, every site I'm on is screaming "Miley Cyrus was pole dancing!". I ignored it for a while, but today I was bored and curious so I found a video on YouTube. I will give it to the critics, I'm a mom albeit a young one and I wouldn't want my 7-10 year old to see this. But I have more of a problem with her bra hanging out and her ass hanging out of her shorts (after all the girl is 16!) then her 'pole' dancing. But then again, when I was 16 I don't think I wore much more then a bikini the whole summer. Honestly I think if someone had had to brains to add a collapsed umbrella to the pole no one would have said a thing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Jackpot!

Like Lila, I excited for this hunting season! Not only because it means a plethora of home-soaked and smoked elk jerky (JERKY!) and venison steaks, but because all my little hunters are emptying out their deep freezes to make room for the new! Yesterday, a friend of mine stopped by and dropped off 5 lbs (in 1lb wraps) of ground venison for me to have! Sa-weeet! He's also getting me a couple cords of wood for the winter, but that's a whole 'nother thing.

My own problem is, although I've had enough venison and elk and moose (yum, moose...) to be bursting at the gills, I've yet to really cook it myself. I know venison can be amazing, but I'm worried about the gamey taste a little bit with feeding the Boy. I'm not sure he'll notice, but this meat has been in a deep freeze for almost a year and I'm not sure how that will affect the taste.

Anyone have any wondrous sage advice or forewarning I should know about?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Time for the Bow Hunt.

So it is that time of year again. Time to break out the bow, put the broad heads on the arrows and go hunt some deer. We are pretty excited. We are firm believers in only hunt what you will eat so we have not hunted for a few years because we had no place to store the meat. Welp new house meant more space meant we bought a deep freeze. WOOT. So now we have the space to store some meat and I am so excited. We have to go to a diff state because we are not residents here yet and out of state tags are like 1200. Yuck. So here's to fun weekends in the mountains. I'll let you know how we do.

Sunday drive

Yesterday afternoon we decided to take the hound for a run and turn it into a nice little sunday drive. We started off with a certain destination in mind. We had no idea it would take so long to get there or what route would most effeciently take us back home. Our little " sunday drive " ended up taking 9 1/2 hours and took across state lines. This is something we have a tendancy to do each time we want to check out a new location. At least this time we stayed within range of a gas station at all times. And we didn't start our vehicle on fire. Ahhh, what adventures we have!

For the Love of Cooking

Everyone views love differently. I like to think I'm a sort of Italian grandmother trapped in a 25 year old body. I love to feed people. If I could spend the rest of my life just cooking for everyone I love, I would. You know I love you if I want to cook for you. To me it's like giving someone a little piece of edible feelings. I cook when I'm happy. I cook when I'm sad. I cook a lot if I'm angry. Trying out a new recipe and seeing peoples reactions is just about the highlight of my day, although having someone say "Oh, will you cook 'this' for me?" might even better.

It's funny though, because I never expect anything to turn out well. Maybe it's a 'hope for the best, prep for the worst' type of attitude, but I'm really not kidding. The other night, I cooked up a meal that I basically made up. I had an idea of what I wanted it to be, but mostly winged it. One friend was in from out of town, and I thought it'd be fun to make something new for him. I had him take a bite, and he with all seriousness looked my in the eye and told me it was horrible. I almost cried, luckily for my sanity he quickly said it was great and he was joking.

Cooking to me is like a scrapbook. Certain flavors and tastes and combinations send me back to wonderful times in my life. The crunch of snap peas takes me to my grandmothers kitchen table in summertime. One slice of apple pie and it's Thanksgiving, no matter what time of year. The smell of Cajun spices and it's like I'm back in New Orleans on a bar terrace cracking crawfish in the summer heat. Tastes and smells combine with places and people in a beautiful ribbon through my life.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Oh, son of a...

It's 9:46 pm on Sunday night. I worked all weekend. I had the plan to do next to nothing tomorrow. And by nothing, I mean organizing my garage, sorting things for a yard sale, canning my raspberries, and making apple butter hopefully. Oh, and picking more peas and probably canning those. And cleaning my house that has sat for a full weekend empty. But...

I just realized my sister's birthday is tomorrow.

I do not have a present.

I have not even fathomed what to get her.

Now, I have less then 24 hours to come up with an amazing present for a beautiful lady who has just about everything.

*insert inappropriate words here*

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Quote of the Day

Butch saying the blessing on the food last night: "Please bless the sick and deflected,"
(Supposed to be 'sick and afflicted)

Lila's Home Adventures

So this week was filled with paint and baseboards. The area Lowe's was kind enough to match the paint for us. To bad they matched it wrong, so touch up turned to full painting duty. We did all of my office and then installed the baseboards. They look great compared to the old cheap stuff.

Then last night the AC went out. SUCKY. I don't think any of us slept much. I know I spent 2 hours pacing with Miss Teether at 3 AM. This morning we found a great cooling guy to come and replace the intake motor costing a nice chunk of change. Upside is the house is cool again and we are able to hide from the heat.

While scouring the house for any info on the AC unit I did find a book that says exactky what brand and shade of paint is on our walls so hopefully Lowe's suckiness will be in the past and touching up will be all the rest of the rooms require.

Quote of the Day

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

-Winston Churchill

Friday, August 7, 2009

Snap Peas!

I stopped by a friend's house yesterday (the Boy was chillin' with Grandpa and having some 'man-time') and interrupted a pea-picking bonanza. The whole family was out (literally, 4 generations) picking both snap peas and snow peas. I'm not sure if it was a combination of the intense heat we had and the lack of moisture, but these bushes are just throwing out peas like it's going out of style.

We picked several grocery bags full of each, and I was lucky enough to be able to sneak some off before Nana (as the Boy call her) noticed. Well, she noticed and she just smacked my knuckles and told me I was naughty but didn't take back my pea contraband. Once I managed to pry the Boy back to our house, I showed him the snap peas, showed him how to pop them open and then watched him promptly inhale them all. I think I got one out of the whole bag.

At least he likes veggies.

Friday Funny

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

WTF Part 3

I'm really starting to wonder who the hell is in charge of our Dept. Of Transportation, if they're even elected, and how the hell I can get them fired. Beyond that even, who looks at county road projects and says 'Ya' or 'Nay', because they are also on my list of people with whom I'm quickly losing patience.

I understand that our weather here isn't the most accommodating when it comes to road construction. We have 3 months of hot followed by 9 months of cold, sideways rain. Everything has to be squeezed into a horribly small time period. That doesn't excuse blatant stupidity. For example, in a very large flood early this year, a portion of road was washed out right outside town, but not on a 'main' route. It was hastily patched, and included a HUGE speed bump asphalt dump type thing. It stayed there for 7+ months. A friend mentioned the other day they had taken it out so I decided to drive out and take a look. They did take it out. They also left in its wake an unmarked section of (now) gravel about 10 feet long at the peak of a hill in a 50 mph zone with gullies on both sides. Smart, real smart.


Friday I drove out to the Logger's to check out the chickens and the garden and came to a section of road that had been completely torn out. It isn't even gravel anymore. It's just ungraded dirt. I drove, and drove and drove. By the end of it I realized they had torn out probably 6 miles or so of road. I'd swear it was longer, closer to 10. The road wasn't in amazing shape, but it worked. It's a back country road that's basically only used by the people who live on it or have a reason to be down there.


I asked around and found out that the county decided to remove a set of 'dangerous s-curves' somewhere in the middle of this mess. To do so, they had to buy out a portion of a family's hay field (that was full of hay). Apparently removing an asinine amount of road from each side was also required. Moreover, they did this prior to one of the hottest weekends of the year, when the road is actually traveled a lot because of its easy river access. Now it has huge potholes and they are going to have to re-grate it all before they do a thing to fix it.

The 'hazard corners' in question

There are a few things in this world that get my goat, but this sort of thing is one of them.

Breath....

So I have been up to my ears in family and dogs. First off, I picked up a new foster dog who had been attacked by another dog and is now scared of any dog larger than she is. She's sweet and playful and will find a home quickly. I have also been dealing with a neglected dog who's living conditions are becoming better as the days go by and an 80 lb brute who was abandoned by his owner in the back yard. So dog stuff has been keeping me busy.
On top of all the dog stuff, we had a pretty exciting weekend, especially for my middle son Bruiser. He turned eight this weekend and for a Mormon family this is a huge deal. It means he is able to be baptised. His birthday was on Friday and we gave him most of his gifts, little brat got spoiled rotten this year! Saturday he got baptised and even more gifts and a special birthday dinner out. Sunday he got to sit up front with the bishop and was introduced as the newest member of the Church. I was so proud of him standing up there. He looked so grown up in his suit and tie!
Anyway, hopefully now that all the families have gone home and I got the kids detoxed from all of the sugar the grandparents gave them, things will settle down enough to blog more.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Parenting

I am surrounded by parents, as we all are, and as my own children grow I pay more attention to the parents I see around me. What they do that works, what doesn't. I see the toddler throwing a tantrum and wonder about the parent behind that child. I see a sweet polite helpful child and wonder the same thing.

I am a firm believer in parents raising children as much as possible and have been blessed with the ability to be home with my kids. I know many such women and still I see so many differences in the way we do things. Since we are all different people that is not surprising but some things others do completely confound me. Like the women desperate for a child to fulfill her. She plans and plots, uses fertility help even though she doesn't need it, and gets pregnant. She talks of her joy in the child, all the things she wants to do with and for the child. Then the child is born and she puts it in a chair so she can go about her day without a worry for the child. Instead of nurturing, the child is more a fashion accessory. Then there are the women who talk of homemade baby food and cloth diapers and co sleeping and sling wearing. They talk about how good their plan is but once it comes time to implement it they realize how much work goes into these things and give up but bash those who didn't try that way first.

Don't get me wrong, I applaud all women who do all they can for their children. I know there are many ways to parent, to teach, to love. I just hate seeing people have children for any other reason than that they want to provide life and love to another being. I hate seeing women who are looking for a way to trap their guy, an added tax deduction, a fashion statement, or because they think they are supposed to. What happened to children being the product of love and of a want to share the love between mates with a being that was created by that love?

Friday, July 31, 2009

And break...

So, I took a bit of time off this week to just veg out and not do anything. The Boy and I have taken to going for long car rides with the windows down and radio up in the evenings. Good way to cool off (although not very "green" of me to be burning gas) and it's a de-stresser for me to be able to relax and just drive. The Boy likes to give directions, and is actually starting to get a decent map in his head of where he wants to go. Twice this week, he very much on purpose took us to a Dairy Queen. He went two different directions and tried to be sneaky, but he got far too excited when we got close for it to be a coincidence.

Tonight I'm going out to a concert at a local pub-type spot. A friend from school's band is in town from Nashville, and they are actually decent so it's worth the babysitting money. It'll be nice to kick back with some cold beers, great music and good friends.

Not sure yet what's up this weekend, but I'm sure I'll let you know.

Friday Funny


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Huh!?! That's weird.

We are working on the house. The previous owners seemed to not care about the house very much. The walls are banged up, the baseboards are horrible, there are black marks all over the place and holes in the walls from where they just ripped stuff from the walls. So we are patching holes, painting and replacing baseboard throughout the house. We were going to do crown too but encountered 2 problems. 1- We have rounded corners so would need to get something to go around the corners. 2- The inward corners are annoying to cut for. You would think it would be a 45 degree angle right. After all a corner is 90. Nope 45 does not work. It is actually a 33.9 degree angle. Weird huh? Who knew there were so many oddities in houses.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hot hot hot.

I'm whining again, but guess what, its my blog so I don't care. The PNW has been having one hell of a heat wave, and there is little sign of it breaking until the end of next week. Todays high so far is 102*, which doesn't sound like much but toss in the humidity and it gets pretty uncomfortable really quick.
Since we only have a few weeks a summer of truly sadistic weather, the amount of central AC in homes is slim to none. Most people (like me) rely on fans and cool nights to make it through. My dad has rigged some pretty cool things for his house. He drilled tiny holes in some pvc tubing and hung it around the main living area windows. Hook them to a hose, and add a fan or two and you have some decent swamp coolers (not to mention it waters the plants and my tomatos). At my house we really have no shade, so I shut down all the windows and blinds and things and that tends to help a bit. We also have good ol' fashioned kiddie pools and sprinklers for the kids (and adults) once the sun goes down a bit, and they aren't in as much sunburn danger.

What do you do to combat the heat?

Peachy Keen Cobbler

It's been incredibly hot lately (yes, that is me whining) and so cooking just about anything is totally out of the window. We've been eating a lot of salads and light food, with some BBQ thrown in here and there. I did have a couple of things I wished I'd put up here, but I didn't really take a lot of pictures and I'm a visual person so I just didn't feel right posting without them.

Right now is the blitzkrieg of berry season. All the commercial berries (except strawberries) seem to be going right now. I went to pick up raspberries for jam on Sunday and almost walked away with blueberries and marionberries also. Luckily, I have a friend who worked at a blueberry farm and is hooking me up a bit of this years first crop. And marionberry and blackberry all grow like wildfire just alongside roads and streams, so I can pick pounds and pounds of those for free on my own here soon.

I did pick up a flat of raspberries for myself and another for a friend. I helped her make freezer jam, but really wanted to make mine regular jam so I took mine home and put them in the fridge. It'd been quite a weekend, so I decided I needed to bake something for my sanity. I've been chomping at the bit to use some peaches I picked up, so I decided to make a peach cobbler to share with the neighbors, David and May. The recipe came together easily, although peeling peaches is much more tedious then I thought. You have to peel them before you cut them, but once you blanch them and pull off the skins they are a sticky mess that are nearly impossible to cut. I ended up just using a paring knife and cutting them directly off the pit.

I threw in some raspberries because well, I had them and it sounded good. Threw it in the oven and 45 mins. later out popped a beautiful concoction. Overall, I give this recipe 5 stars. It was so simple, but amazingly good. I made some vanilla whip cream to top it off, and served.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Where I stand

TOR posted this quiz on TSLRF after a few people questioned how 'libertarian' he is, and I thought I'd take it also. I've been slowly but surely leaning further towards the middle as time goes by. But consider my thoughts on some social programs and ideas, I don't see my status as the 'token bleeding-heart liberal' (as the Boys call me) changing any time soon.


Gracie here, Maggy and I had the same idea for a post. She just beat me to it. Here are my results.

Lila here! I figured I should add mine to the mix so you all see where all of us sit!


Friday, July 24, 2009

FML

I just got a letter from TriWest (aka the military insurance company) informing me I have a week to choose my new PCM (aka Primary doctor). Um, excuse me? I was granted my final divorce decree from ex-hole late last year. He told me he had notified the Army, which we obviously hasn't seeing as they still have me as his dependent. I called the office number I was given, and they explained to me I couldn't do jack-crap about it. Even if I fax/mail them our divorcee decree, they still have to recieve all the same information from Ex-Hole and big fat chance of that happening seeing as he gets a chunk of cash each month for having the extra person on his stuff.

Wouldn't you think that the Army would want to know this sort of thing? Maybe save themselves a couple bucks along the way?

So angry right now.

Friday Funny


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cows and Capitalism

Maggy here. I was Stumbling again and saw this on Manbottle Library. I had a chuckle so I thought I'd throw it up on here.

TRADITIONAL CAPITALISM -- You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.

AN AMERICAN CORPORATION -- You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when the cow drops dead.

FRENCH CORPORATION -- You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows.

A JAPANESE CORPORATION -- You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create clever cow cartoon images called Cowkimon(tm) and market them world-wide.

A GERMAN CORPORATION -- You have two cows. You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

A BRITISH CORPORATION -- You have two cows. Both are mad.

AN ITALIAN CORPORATION -- You have two cows, but you don't know where they are. You break for lunch.

A RUSSIAN CORPORATION -- You have two cows. You count them and learn you have five cows. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 12 cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

A SWISS CORPORATION -- You have 5000 cows, none of which belong to you. You charge others for storing them.

A HINDU CORPORATION -- You have two cows. You worship them.

A CHINESE CORPORATION -- You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim full employment, high bovine productivity, and arrest the newsman who reported the numbers.

AN ARKANSAS CORPORATION -- You have two cows. That one on the left is kinda cute.

ENRON CORPORATION -- You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release. The public buys your bull.

canning

My neighbors gave me 22 rhubarb plants and told me I was welcome to ALL of the Nanking cherries on three bushes and all of the pie cherries on their tree. I spent an hour picking yesterday and picked 5 lbs of tiny nanking cherries. I didn't even make a dent in the one bush I was working on. Today is overcast and I think I am going to bribe the boys into picking the rest for me. I am going to make jam out of the nankings and pie filling out of the pie cherries. I will blog again when I come up for air. Pray for me! I may need it, lol.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Too hot to do just about anything

Today has been the kind of day I just want to strip to my skivie's, grab a huge jug of sweet tea, and melt unto the floor in front of a fan. Even the boy's chaos seems to have knocked down a notch. I originally wanted to can some peaches, but turning on my oven just sounds like unneeded torture. I do have a bunch of laundry to finish, so I'm considering hanging a clothes line out back. The humidity has dropped some, and the temps are still in the mid-90's so it should dry fairly fast.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Well, I finally have my life back...

My sisters wedding is over, and went off (mostly) without a hitch. It was a wonderful service, and I can honestly say I've never seen her look more beautiful. The reception was a blast and although I cried from sheer terror, I made it through my toast (I don't do public speaking well). Ryan the 3L came to part of the reception and after-party with me, and all in all I can say it went, well, splendidly.

Two very cool things stand out for me: one personal and one blog related. The first, was the gift my sister made me as maid-of-honor. The backstory is that while my grandfather was stationed in the South Pacific during WWII, he wrote my grandmother nearly everyday. They met on a train when he was leaving for the war, and she was headed to college in Bozeman (she graduated with a degree in Agriculture, and was one of the first women to do so). My sister found this letters in a box among my grandma's things when she passed away nearly 3 years ago. One of the letters was filled with sand and cowery shells from Manilla. They were both raised as Montana farm kids, and my grandma had never seen an ocean so he wanted to share his experience with her. My sister took the shells to a jewelry designer and had then crafted into twin braclets, one of which she gave to me. We were both very close to her and miss her very much, and it was such a thoughtful gift I could believe it.

The other I will explain tomorrow :)

I wish more people thought of others.

Hubs got the weekend off, which is a treat for us, so we decided it was time to go see Harry Potter. We had a marathon of the previous movies throughout the week so we were ready to go. We went Saturday morning. I loved it!

Anyway when we came out we saw a completely flat front drivers tire. It was 115 out and the ground was easily 125. Hubs put the girls and I into the car, dropped the spare and proceeded to change the tire at the theater in the sun. Easily 100 people walked by as we were right at the front door. Not a single person stopped to offer sympathy let alone a helping hand. I find that so wrong.

Not even a week ago Hubs was late coming home because he helped a pair off teenagers in a broken down car get up and running again. We both see the blessings in our lives and feel we need to do what we can to share with our fellow human beings. If even a few more people thought to offer a kind word, a smile, or even that helping hand maybe this country could get back to what it should be and wants to be.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Security comes from more than weapons!

We had a home security system installed. I am stunned at how much safer I feel. Sure we still keep the Judge by the bed but I love how much more at peace I feel. I know that if an intruder really wants in this isn't going to stop them like our weapons will but it will deter those not wanting to risk the alarm. I am so glad we did this and have no complaints. The installer was great, the system is not hugely complicated.

Friday funny (to Maggy and Lila)


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Whose holding the shotgun?"

-my 92 year-old grandfather when I reminded him my sister's wedding is Saturday. Not sure exactly what context he was planning for the shotgun, but hilarious nonetheless

Emergency car kit

I went to a church meeting years ago where a woman was talking about what to put in an emergency car kit. I tend to believe this woman knows more about what is necessary then most, she survived a week trapped in her car in a blizzard. When she was found, her rescuer admitted they were no longer looking for a live person. She talked about what she had that helped her survive and what she wishedshe had that could have made a difference. So here is a list of things she keeps in each and every vehicle she and her family owns:

FIRST AID (very basic)
------------
BANDAID 25 ct $2.79
SOAP $1.29
ASPRIN 36 ct $3.99

MATCHES (WATERPROOF) $0.65
POCKET KNIFE OR UTILITY $1.65
FLASHLIGHT AND BATTERIES $1.76
SAFETY PIN $0.35
NEEDLE, THREAD AND BUTTON $2.00

TOILET PAPER 4 pack $1.89

SOLAR BLANKET (84x52) $1.99
HANDWARMERS 2 pack $2.31
RAIN PONCHO $1.39


FOOD SEALED
---------------

HARD CANDY $1.79
CRACKERS $2.50
JERKY 8 pack $3.99
GRANOLA BARS 10 pack $2.89
CANS WITH POP TOP 12 pack $2.50
WATER BAGS 2 gallon $3.85

CANDLE 5 pack $2.31

GARBAGE BAGS 30 pack $2.29
DRY SOCKS 5 pack $4.99
FOOD STORAGE BAGS 75 count $2.29


POSSIBLE ADD-INS
---------------------

JUMPER CABLES $7.70
DUCT TAPE $1.65
12 HOUR LIGHT STICKS $1.99
ICE PACK $0.80
METAL WHISTLE $0.99
TOW ROPE $ 1.65

MOST OF THESE PRICES WERE FOUND AT IPREPARE.COM
(Gracie in: this was also 7 years ago so prices have most likely changed, but I thought they still gave a rough idea.)