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


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.


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


TOILET PAPER 4 pack $1.89

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


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


ICE PACK $0.80
TOW ROPE $ 1.65

(Gracie in: this was also 7 years ago so prices have most likely changed, but I thought they still gave a rough idea.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Oh, the bounty of Summer

I've been canning a good amount of fruit lately. Mostly in the form of jams and pie fillings. In the next two weeks, both blueberries and raspberries will be in season. I have several things planned for both those berries, but I'm having a bit of trouble deciding what else I'd like to can. I didn't can aspargus like I wanted to, and frankly I'm a bit scared of my dilly beans (as in eating them without dying).

I get that canning fresh fruit now, you have it (in some form at least) during the winter. Obviously veggies and things are more $$ during the winter, and usually have been shipped in somewhere. But not being a child of canning (aka, my family didn't can anything) I'm really on the fence about how much canning to try for my first year. Is canned corn from home really that different then from the store?

If you can produce, fruits or meat (or meals like soups even) what to you see as the pros? Cons?

What dreams may come!

I tend to dream a lot. Usually just weird non-sense stuff that got put together from all I saw and did during the previous day. Sometimes though they can be very disorienting. I woke this morning having dreamed we had moved to Texas (I spent 8 years of my childhood there) but our things were in other places. It was very weird to wake and be unsure of where I was. I also seem to start and stop the same dream all through the night as I wake to nurse the baby and get Hubs off to work. It is kinda like a psycho movie in my head. Does anyone else dream like this?

Quote of the Day

"God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference."

Shelf reliance

I finally gave up on building one and just bought it. I LOVE this shelf! It freed up sooo much space in my pantry. I rearranged my whole laundry room while my kids were with the parents and got everything put back together. It is so easy to look at this thing and see how many cans I need of what so I can keep everything stocked. It was an all day project to set up though. It's not that its hard, its just that I was doing it by myself (wanted to surprise hubby) and I had to rearrange the shelves a few times to make it fit what I needed. Seriously, this thing is GREAT!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Project ADD update

One more down, two to go. I finished this afghan for another nephews wedding and I also finished another lanyard for Hubby's coyote calls. I got an order for a dog sweater that has already been paid for so that is next on the agenda. Whew, someday, I will catch up on my craft obligations.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cooking, family, and one busy blogger

My family began to descend this week for my sister's wedding. My favorite uncle in the whole world currently resides in Australia and hasn't been home in over two years. He's a blast, and has pampered my sister and I since we were teeny (he never had any kids himself). The last time he saw the Boy he was barely walking so I'm very happy Jack and I get to spend so much time with him. He also has a homemade smoker (and by homemade, I mean rigged from a 50-gallon drum) that has been languishing at my dad's place and he intends to clean up and show me how to use so I can take it to my house.

I haven't done much cooking since the fourth to be honest. I knew I was going to be busy, so I've made several large batches of things that store and re-heat well. Yesterday we had a sort of family pow-wow and I made a large pot of my Taco Soup. All you require is beans (I used canned chili, pinto, black and kidney in equal portions, liquid included) corn, ground beef and taco seasoning. You cook the meat according to the spice directions, throw all the beans (and corn) and juices on top and simmer for a while. I let it stew at least on hour, but it's fine to let it go most the day and people can dip out of it when they want.

I also finally got around to making tortilla chips. I used flour tortillas because I had them around, but boy do they whip up quick and tasty! I did plain salted and cinnamon and sugar, both. I did have an unfortunate incident where I dropped my very very expensive cell phone into the frying oil, but by some fluke accident it seems to be none the worse for wear.

Tomorrow I've roped a couple of cousins into helping me make and can pie filling (muwahahaha) so hopefully I will have some pictures and fun things to update tomorrow.

Soft water come and slime me!!

Okay so here in the desert you need soft water in the house. The water is so hard here that it will ruin your pipes and appliances with out it. So we went and ordered out unit and the installation. I don't notice a huge difference but my husband says soft water makes him feel slimy. Oh well!! We also decided to go with potassium pellets over sodium pellets. Our bodies have a hard time with the sodium but potassium is what we loose when we sweat so we figured this was a much healthier way to go for us. We have little ones who drink the water so we need it as healthy as possible.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Friday Funny (a bit late)

Quote of the Day

"I probably bought too much stuff, but it's all shelf stable so I can just throw it in the food storage"

-Me to Ryan the 3L, and a great example of when you know you've taken prepping into your everyday life without thinking about it.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Another Long Day

Yesterday was Day 5 of cleaning my dads place. Don't get me wrong, he doesn't live in squalor he's just a horrible pack rat. The more clutter he gets, the less he cleans. It's a vicious cycle. Since most of the house is done, we moved outside ('we' being myself and a friend whose out of work and therefore very easy to bribe). My dad's place has a large flower bed next to the door and another 'island' type bed in the middle of the driveway. The sun wasn't too bad, but the humidity has been a killer the last couple days. It took about 2 hours to clean out the first patch, which in the end only had about 10 flowers in it. Monday we start on the large island and it shouldn't actually take long. Back in the day, my mom had the damn thing cleared out then laid the garden tarping down and then landscaped with bricks and things. Although a lot of weeds have grown on top, they take little to no effort to pull out.

Also on today's list is some cooking. I'm headed to the butcher's soon, and I think I'm going to try some chili con carne. I also found an interesting BBQ sauce made for canning that I'd like to try.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bad Blogger! Bad bad blogger!

Okay, so I've been horribly MIA, and I apologize (again). My sister is having a large, fancy (did I mention large?) wedding in a little over a week and the poor thing managed to get laryngitis over the weekend. Therefore I'm trying to help her out as much as I can with last minute details/calls/visits to the reception hall/etc. On top of that (and working, and having a 3.5 year old) my dad isn't the cleanest guy on the planet and his side of the family plans to camp out at his place. He also is the King of Procrastination and at 2 weeks out from the ceremony hadn't done a thing, and so I'm stuck cleaning his house top-to-bottom spic-and-span by this Friday in addition to the other said things I have taken on.

Hopefully most everything will be finished up this weekend and since I'm pretty sure I'm working I plan to play quite a bit of catch-up on things I've been up to. Until then, I'm taking all the spare time and energy I have to not blow my lid and hurt someone.

Valley of Fire!

So we did a road trip to see family for the 4th. On our way home we decided to take the "scenic" route. We had never drove this way and were excited for the adventure. Well it took us through the Valley of Fire. OMG does it deserve the name! The rock formations were just beautiful and the road was a treat to travel. We had a lot of fun and have decided that we will need to go back for some camping fun!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Palin - Quitter or Fighter?

So I voted republican in the last presidential election. I have always liked McCain and his values and choices were the most in line with what my family wants and needs. I liked Obama a lot to though so was not throwing a fit when he won. I think he deserves the chance he earned by winning to show us that he wants to make it better to be American.

Anyway as most of the world knows now Sarah Palin has resigned as Alaskan governor. Even after her speech I am still feeling in the dark as to why she quit. When she became VP nom I was excited. A woman I could get behind. Then she took a few mis-steps and honestly I couldn't fault her. She was a small town politico thrust into the national and international political field. Who wouldn't stumble a bit? This resigning thing though makes me mad. It also makes me not want to vote for her should she run in 2012. I want someone who chooses the office to remain in that office until death or the public remove them or their term ends. I want someone who will fight for me and for the leadership role they took on, knowing what that entailed. I see this as quitting. A part of me can't blame her. Politics has become a free for all in the media, just as bad as Hollywood, BUT resigning shows she will run when times get tough. I do not want that in my president. What do you guys think?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Things you will only find in Utah

So on my recent trip to Utah I had to laugh at some of the things I saw that could only be found in this kind of area.

#1 Emergency Essentials. We actually found their store!
#2 Food storage aisle in Walmart, this is where I bought my new shelf reliance system. They also had an area in the front in place of an arcade called Canning Central.
#3 Dead sheep in the middle of the freeway. I think it must have fallen off a livestock truck and been hit. No one was in the least bothered by this and simply swerved around it and went on their way.
#4 Herbal farms with acres and acres of lavendar. Probably not a Utah thing, but breathtaking enough to mention.
#5 Small drive through restaurant that only serves....are you ready for this?.....Jerky!
#6 Mormon Crickets. We have them here in Nevada and I know Idaho does too. They are the only living creature that creeps me out *shudder* I seriously do the girly thing and run and scream.
#7 Billboards advertising "Fieldstone Homes, free food storage....and a place to put it with the purchase of any home!" Now tell me THAT can be found ANYWHERE else!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

It seemed like a good idea at first

So yesterday Hubby and I went for a hike. Without the kids, there didn't seem to be a reason to attend the parade, small carnival or fireworks. We were feeling a bit sorry for ourselves so we decided to spend the day secluded in the mountains. We packed our backpacks will all the necessities plus a few things we didn't think we would need but you never know. One of those items was a raincoat for each of us.
We hiked for three hours up the canyon stopping on occasion to catch our breath or eat something. We were attempting to find a lake that was supposed to be at the top of the canyon. When we got to the top of the canyon, there was a sheer rock face with a beautiful waterfall. We were trying to decide if we were tired enough to turn back or if we wanted to go ahead and keep going over the rocks in hopes that the lake was there. The weather quickly decided for us. We were in a stand of trees when the thunder and lightning started. We turned around and started down. It was apparent we were going to need the raincoats so we stopped and put them on just as the rain started. We kept on traveling keeping an eye out for a rock overhang we could sit under just in case things got worse.
Things got worse. Soon the rain turned to hail. We found a shallow rock overhang that protected us from the ice, but poured water over us and quickly soaked our pants and shoes. We decided that wasn't a good idea and ran down the trail looking for something better. Soon the hail got BIG and I know we have a few bruises from it today. The average ball of ice was the size of a marble but some were bigger. Hubby and I were running as fast as we dared down the now slippery trail. Our poor dog was whining and yelping running as close to us as he could hoping we could protect him from the hail. We never did find anywhere to get out of the weather and just decided to get down the mountain as quickly as possible.
What took us 3 hours to hike on the way up, we traveled in one hour on the way down. 30 minutes of this we were pelted relentlessly with giant hailstones. The rest of the way we were walking through cold, icy slush that had formed on the trail. We ran along side the trail as much as possible but there were places we had no choice. Half way down the mountain we stopped to wash the rocks and mud out of our shoes and for Hubby to wring out his socks. By this time my feet were bleeding from wearing my wet sandals.
When we were almost back to the trailhead, I slipped and muttered a calm "Oh s%#*" as I tumbled head first into a wild rose bush. Hubby gave me a hand and we made our way, wet and cold to the jeep.
What started out as a nice hike turned into a real problem really fast. If we hadn't had our raincoats, we would have been in real trouble.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July

Happy independance day! I hope all of you enjoy celebrating our nations birthday. Stay safe.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Rain rain come again!!

We finally got a rain storm. It only lasted a couple hours but it was wonderful. Bug and I danced in it just to show our joy. What wonderful things are going on in your life today? Even if it is a day where you want to hide under a rock I dare you to tell me one blessing of the day!!

Update on Life

So I've been unexpectedly MIA this last week, and I apologize. The Boy was hospitalized (as Gracie said) but is feeling much better, at home, and doing well. The last day has been playing catch-up, and tonight and tomorrow I'm going to be out of town for a family event.

Hopefully I'm going to have a break on the 4th so that I can enjoy the holiday and celebrate our great country and all the men and women who have fought for it.

If I don't post by then, Happy Fourth of July!

PS> Here's a picture of an old-fashioned cherry pie I made last night!