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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Excitement +

I have a new follower, Warlock Sundance.  Word of warning, this is kind of an everything-blog.  I may be ranting one day, canning the next.  Welcome:)

Oh, my life just gets more and more exciting every gosh darn day.  My adventure today was super special.  I had a meeting at work and I only had 15 minutes until said meeting, so I was looking at puzzle keepers online.  Not exactly what they want me to do, but I figure all the money they save underpaying me I can waste 15 minutes once a month or so. Yeah, you heard me.  It's this mat-thingy you can work puzzles on then roll it up to work on later.  There's not a spare surface in this entire house (with the exception of the toilet lid, most days) that I can leave something as frivolous as a puzzle on for any more than say, five minutes?  Anyhow, I found one at walmart.com and it said it was in-stock at my store and I could pick it up.  So, my 27-year-old-going-on-88-year-old-ass rushes from work to the Walmart only to be told they don't have it.  Being that I was already there, (Interjection:  I know, I know...Walmart is the devil.  But newsflash, folks: I'm in INDIANA.  The only other thing is Meijer.  And Target.  And they are pretty much the exact same thing) I couldn't leave empty-handed, so I grabbed two packages of regular Ball lids and a puzzle.  I was needing wide-mouth jars, but as the store clerk informed me, they only carry novelty items seasonally.  WTF?  Novelty ?  I about died laughing.  I'm glad the people at Walmart think its novel that I am trying to can all these beans and not let out a string of four-letter words in the process of getting them back out of the jar.  (Another side-note:  I've been told, on occasion, that I "can string four-letter words together classier than anybody.")

Driving home today, I was thinking about our big plans for this holiday weekend.  Hunting, canning, doing a puzzle, finishing up this blasted cross stitch I've been working on going on two years and maybe cutting wood.  I know, I know, this kinda livin' will get me killed and all that.  I don't know when I got so exciting.  Maybe it was between putting myself through college up to working 40+ weeks then trying to keep this place in some semblance of order, which is a feat in itself with 2 dogs, a teenager and a husband running himself ragged.

I was also laughing to myself, because all in all, if this life lands me up in a nursing home, I could probably stay pretty content, you know, between putting puzzles together and cross stitching, just as long as someone comes by once a week to bring me a fifth of Woodford and a carton of Marlboros.  And Holy Lord, please don't make me listen to Big Band.  That right there is a deal-breaker.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Beans!


This week, I am canning our dried beans.  At the time, I figured it was easier to store them dry, but after about the millionth time of wanting to make something and being hindered by them not being soaked, I bit the bullet.  When I got up for work at 3:30 this morning, I put a big pot on to soak while I was at work.  Now, I'm in the process of canning them.  Doing Northerns tonight and maybe kidney Friday, pinto on Saturday.  I know, you are jealous because I'm an exciting person.  You know you are livin' the fast life when your New Year's Eve plans consist of figuring out what type of beans you are going to can and trying to figure out if you really want to spend the entire weekend out in the woods since it's the last weekend of deer season. 

Real Housewives of Henry County...oh yeah.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

3 Days Late

Well, it started snowing this morning just in time for my hour trip to work.  It couldn't have done this 3 days ago when I could make Woody drive me around and make it a white Christmas.  It's still snowing.  I would take pictures of how pretty the barns are or Dozer playing in the snow, but my husband for some reason thinks our camera belongs in his truck...in case he sees deer.  I don't know why that takes precedence over my picture-taking, but I'm going to suggest when he gets home he buys me a camera for my birthday.  It's only fair. 

I have to take Petey to the vet today for another round of vaccines and to get my babies their Revolution.  Hooray for another $150 trip to the vet.  Not.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Oh, to be organized...(Alternate title: 'The pain and suffering that Better Homes and Gardens has brought upon me.'

For some unknown reason, as soon as Christmas is over, I have to get the Christmas tree and decorations down.  It drives me nuts to see a forlorn tree the day after Christmas.  As of right now, I have all the decorations put haphazardly in my craft room.  I need to go get a bunch of totes to organize that mess and put it neatly in the craft room closet.

No big deal, right?

Wrong.

Due to some freak of genetics and upbringing, clutter makes me anxious.  Not in the way like, "Oh, I really should organize some of this."  More like, I can't hardly sleep at night thinking of the ways I could organize and simplify and de-clutter.  Almost to the point of clinical anxiety.  And I blame my momma.

Every single Saturday, my momma would have us help her clean the house top to bottom.  Everything in her house has a place, a place that hasn't changed in my entire life.  She is my hero, but to this day, I can't sit and relax if my house is a disaster.  On Fridays, when normal people get off work and look forward to relaxing, I am racing home to clean my house top-to-bottom.  The sad part is, to me, it's still a mess.

To help alleviate this anxiety, this year I'm going to do it...I'm going to organize this house top-to-bottom.  I'm going to buy totes and shelving units until my heart is content and I feel at peace with this unorganized monstrosity.

Even if it kills me...

I got the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens Friday.  In the midst of running around and cooking and taking care of the animals, I saw it...

The mudroom of my dreams!

I completely fell apart.  I must have this mudroom.  I don't care what it takes.  I don't think I'll be at peace until I convince Woody to help me make this happen.  I see no rest for him until he does.  I don't think the good folks at Better Homes and Gardens know what their publication induces in us womenwhodrool over new kitchen cabinets that organize or fantasize about color-coordinated desks with everything 'just-so'.  Or Country Sampler.  That's a magazine that could lead me head-first into a bankruptcy court and a marriage counselor in one fell swoop if I don't watch it.  Please, do me a favor and pray for my husband...I'm not sure he realized how much crazy he was getting.  Bless his heart.

I also have to finish this house.  It's making me a neurotic mess.  We will be "relaxing" and I'll look at Woody and start spouting off lists of what needs finished.  About an hour later, I always say, "See, it's not that much."  It's actually a lot.

Right now, I am fighting the urge to go out with all the crazy post-Christmas shoppers and fill the truck up with totes and organizational tools that frankly, I can't afford right now.

I'm going to spend the rest of my day taking deep breaths in and out, trying to wait until I get paid again to do so.

I'm going to try and control the urge to hyperventilate in this house full of post-holiday clutter.

And I am probably going to fail...epically.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays from the Farmer's

Merry Christmas, everybody!  Hope ya'll are having a good one!
Petey patiently waited his turn to open his presents...


Daddy got new hunting gloves!  Hurray for not getting frostbite!


My husband knows that chocolate trumps pretty much anything else he could get me.  (Look at Petey's face!)




I'm not sure by looking at him, but I think Mason REALLY like his present...enough that this pic maybe featured on the news tonight.

Dozer liked his presents!



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cheapest Flights




Just looked at flights for the vacation I want us to take.

Cheapest: $1300 a person.

Good Lord, I think I may still need a second job even after a big promotion.

And to tell the truth, I was naive enough to think we could hit up England, Scotland AND Ireland.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Some Random Things You Never Knew and Never Wanted To

1.  My favorite color changes week to week.
2.  I was the editor of my high school newspaper...definitely not a good job for me.  I think I gave myself an ulcer trying to teach people how to use spell check.
3.  See above:  The most misspelled word was 'the'.  Really?  Really!
4.  When I first met my husband, I could not stand him.
5.  My favorite meal is whatever is right in front of me with the exception of hamburger-anything.
6.  My dogs names are Petey and Dozer.
7.  I keep myself up at night thinking of the things I would do around here if we ever hit the lotto...and I do this on a weekly basis.  Sad, I know.
8.  When I was a kid, I wanted to be Lita Ford.  Now that I am a grown-up,  I want to be Lita Ford.
9.  I got my first (and only) tattoo when I was 15.  Why I thought this was a great idea, I now wonder.
10.  I can sit and watch Samantha Brown for hours on end if allowed.
11.  My favorite quote is, "And might I add, that is a fine son you're raising!"
12.  Alex Stewart is my hero.
13.  The first time I got sent to the principals office I was in first grade.  The reason: I was reading Louis Lamore and the teacher told me I didn't have to pretend to read.  I told her (and I quote, you can ask my mom.  She got a call at work that day) that "I don't have to pretend to read, I have been reading since I was four, and I read better than you."  My momma taught me never to lie, and now I think she regrets it.
14.  Me and my husband never had a 'real' first date.  I was trying too hard not to be some one's girlfriend and he was trying too hard not to run me off.
15.  The funniest thing that has happened in the last 5 years hands down was watching my stepson fall off a wall and down a 8 foot drop in Tennessee.  And before you say I'm a horrible person, he didn't get hurt and my momma was there and about busted a gut, too.
16.  The best bourbon is Woodford Reserve.  If you don't think so,  I can't be your friend anymore.  Just kidding.
17.  The Tennessee Titans are the best football team ever.  If you don't think so, I can't be your friend anymore.
18.  The preacher that married us looked like Kenny Rogers and sounded like a televangelist.  I still giggle thinking about that.
19.  The best beer in the world is Raspberry Wheat Shock Top.
20.  I won't wear shorts.  I haven't my entire life really.  I'll wear boys basketball shorts.  I'll wear capri pants.  But you'll never get me in a real, honest-to-goodness pair of shorts.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

This Post Should Have Pictures.

I should've took a picture last night of the beautiful bacon-wrapped venison loin my husband made, but I didn't.  Let me tell you, it's the best thing you can ever eat.  I think I'm still full.

Today is the last day of muzzleloader, and I didn't even go.  I slept until 8:30 (!).  I have had sinus issues my whole life so since it's winter in Indiana, I'm starting to go into full swing with fighting a sinus infection for the next 6 months as I have done, oh, going on 27 years now.  Fun times.

Today is football and feasting, like most Sundays around here.  I'll be the first to admit I do not like winter, and that I feel Indiana winter is ugly.  Around November it snows, around Christmas it's ugly brown and rainy, then January through April (sometimes May and June) it's a cold, wet, snowy, icy mess.  I despise it.  If I could just stay out here on the farm and work, I think I'd be okay with it.  Being that I can't make that happen just yet, I will continue my extreme dislike of Indiana weather.

We finished up our Christmas shopping yesterday.  Momma and I have decided that since we are having our family Christmas next Friday (Mom, dad, my sister and her friend, and my family) and we all have to work, instead of ordering pizza (yes, seriously, that was the plan) we are going to do a meat and cheese tray and some other things, which I am thankful for, because eating out makes me sick every single time I do it.  Amen for no indigestion on Friday!  So, hopefully after an uneventful week at work (fingers crossed) I can go get all the stuff Friday afternoon since I go in at 4 am or whenever and get off around (again, fingers crossed) 1 or so. 

I have a couple things to finish wrapping and got my puppies all kinds of stuff.  My dogs are a major part of our family, and yes, their presents get wrapped.  I finally found something for my memaw, who I think is harder to buy for than even me.  I also think after months of pestering my momma I have talked her into letting me make her darn laundry soap so she'll stop dropping a small fortune on that stuff at the store.  I had to pick up more supplies and she laughed at my cart.  All staples, but hey, I don't need anything else and I like to make all our food...not because I necessarily started out as a purist, but because I was a chubby child who was around her Memaw all the time and loves to eat.  She said, "Well, how much will I owe you for the soap?"  Uh, momma, about $0.88 since that's what it costs to make 5 gallons.  I've told her for months just to go buy a five-gallon bucket with a lid and I'll just keep her in soap.  It's not anymore work to make 10 gallons than 5. 

I had started painting something I was going to give as a gift but I've cut it too close now.  So I'll just stockpile these projects for next year's gift giving.  I am thinking about making something for everyone instead of buying things anyway.  Does that even seem like a good idea?  Seriously, comment and let me know.  I think it does, but I worry about what people will think.  In my eyes, I'd rather get a gift with some thought behind it than another gift set full of soaps I can't use (due to terrible allergies). 

I've been looking at seed catalogues again and started a list of what to start in the spring and the fall.  Wood found it and said, "Oh lord, you are going overboard already."  Bless his heart, I don't think he realizes yet that I am crazy and that I can't help it.

Well, I better get busy.  I have a stitching project I've been working on for two years as a Christmas present for me Memaw and it looks like it'll be next years present...again.

Happy Holidays, ya'll.  Have a good one.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gas Stations and Santa Claus



For some reason, this time of year I think about one particular miracle.  Most would say it isn't a "real" miracle, you know, water-in-to-wine and the whole bit, but the older I get and the more I think on it, it really was a miracle.

When I was a kid, say from as far back as I can remember til, well, until I was about 14, I was the beneficiary to a miracle every year.  Now, that I'm older, I can see it for what it was.

To tell this story, I have to explain the situation surrounding it, and I'm not telling this to make anyone upset or hurt, I'm telling it this way so the miracle-part of this will shine through.

Anyhow, when I was a child, and for most of my childhood, my momma worked at a gas station.  For part of it she was a manager.  My mom worked a lot, and then did everything at our house.  My real dad worked, too, but he usually drank or pissed away whatever he made.  I spent all my time either with my mom or my memaw and papaw, for as long as I can remember.  Even if my real dad wasn't doing anything, I still packed up and went to my grandparents.  A decade ago I would tell you it was because he hated me, hell, maybe he does.  But now, I just don't know and given all the water under the bridge I don't think about it much at all.

My mom told me once what she made working at that gas station.  It was what I made a week in high school working 36 hours a week developing pictures and ringing up Pabst Blue Ribbon.  The "miracle", is that on that little amount, I never remember being hungry, feeling the threat of losing our home or electricity, and although we may have not had the latest clothes or toys, we always had what we needed.

Looking back now, I don't know how the heck she did it, but every Christmas my mom somehow kept enough energy that we always spent almost an entire weekend decorating our house, another weekend baking cookies and candy, watching Christmas shows, going to see Santa Claus and reading Christmas stories.  I remember the minute Thanksgiving dishes were done I would get so excited, I spent pretty much everyday until Christmas making crafts or anything Christmas-related. 

The "miracle" is that every Christmas morning, we had so much and I don't know how she ever made it happen.  I never felt we had it bad, or were poor.  Looking back now, I still can't believe it and if I didn't know her any better. I'd have thought she robbed someone.  I don't remember a single year being disappointed.  To me, waking up to that and eating a special breakfast, you couldn't have told me I wasn't the richest person in the world. 

I don't know how she did it, and I don't know how at times any of us limped through some of those years, but whenever things get awful and look hopeless, I just think about my mom working those 60 hour weeks at that little gas station, and her always having the time for my sister and I, and never letting on just how hard it was on her.

I love you, momma.  Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Tomorrow is my husband's birthday!

I really love this guy.  I just wanted to take a minute and say how much I love you more and more every day, and for always being in my corner, even if it means being the only one standing there with me.  You are a great father and best friend.  To many more, honey.  I love you.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Change I Want to See Begins With Me...

I have been thinking a lot lately about, well, a lot.  And it seems to me that the only way anything is every going to change is if I light a fire up under my own ass.  Pardon the language but it's true.  Too often these last couple of weeks I have heard people say the following:
       -"I can't afford to cook and eat well at home, so I take the kids through a drive-thru about every day or just pop something in the microwave."
       - "I'm not going to vote...it doesn't make a difference anyway."
       - "I don't care about what they do to my food as long as it's cheap."

This makes me so mad on so many levels.

First:  I can't stand hearing parents, of all people, say they eat and feed their children fast-food every night or on a regular basis.  Everyone is busy, everyone is broke...not an excuse.  Maybe if you didn't have a $1200 designer purse and a $40000 vehicle you could afford to feed your children quality food.  I've always been the first to admit when I've slacked off or been "busy" and not wanted to cook and ordered pizza.  Every once in a while is okay, but not on a regular basis.  If people knew what they were actually eating, they would never eat it.  That being said, from here on out I am going to bust my rump and stop buying anything processed or iffy.  If I can't understand what the ingredients are (and I am a science major) it's not coming in this house.  Joel Salatin (and I'm going to paraphrase ALOT) said it best that when you figure in what that junk actually costs and the time it actually takes off your life, it's not so cheap after all, and if you have time to watch a movie, you have time not to feed your family veritable poison.  Let's face facts, that's what that crap is.

Second, it does matter if you vote.  If you don't vote, you can't bitch, as my momma used to say.  If you don't like the people running, get behind someone you do.  The American people forget that we have the power to overturn about anything we put our minds to.

Third:  If you just want your food to be cheap, then don't cry and whine when you are obese and diabetic and feel terrible.  Don't cry and whine when your arteries are clogged and you are full of cancers that we didn't see before the Industrial Revolution.  And sure as hell don't cry if you get E. Coli from eating CAFO beef because some idiots at the USDA decided it's okay to pack 500 cows in a dark barn with shit up to their necks and no place to lay down and pump them full of drugs that make them able to live in a situation that NO animal should be put in.

I won't stand for it.  I've passively stood by for so long, and now I just can't anymore.  If I can't get it local or at least organic, I'm not bringing it this house.  The sooner the American people start 'voting' with their food dollars, the sooner farmers trying to heal the earth and be good stewards of the land can stop getting their dicks drug in the dirt by the USDA.  The sooner we put an end to special interests groups who wine and dine our congress people, the sooner we can start to enact change.  I think it's absolutely ridiculous that I can go to jail if I sell our homemade products but I could go out right now and try and sell drugs and get in less trouble.

It's time for change, folks.  And I sure as hell ain't talking Obama who made Micheal Taylor Deputy Commissioner of Foods at the FDA.  Next, he'll let Monsanto make Halloween candy for the kids.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Food for Thought...

I have been reading Joel Salatin's new book, Folks, This Ain't Normal, and I have to say it's made me think alot lately about the way I've done things this year, and how I've approached what we do and our health.  I'm actually, if I'm being honest, ashamed of myself.  This year (like every year), I started out with noble intentions in what I was going to accomplish and how much I was going to put by, and quite frankly, I let it all go to hell in a hand basket.  From flooding rains all spring, a poor planting plan and then a drought all summer, I adopted a 'to hell with it' attitude.  I had things going on in my career and just let it all slide.  There was certainly more I could've done, but instead I choose convenience over health.

And I am feeling it now.

I feel run down, I drank pop and ate fast food the better of the last 2 months and I haven't got any exercise.  You know you've got a problem when pouring from a full gallon of milk makes you want to nap.

So, starting tomorrow, I'm done with this fast-life crap I've been living.  We went to the grocery and the only processed food we had in our cart was tortilla chips.  The rest was staples, and that was more than I would have had to have had I not been worthless half the summer feeling sorry for myself. (Isn't it endearing how my brutal honesty extends even to myself?)  We have too much we want out of this life to live like that.  I don't see how people eat fast food like that.  I never had until recently, and I feel awful.  Sluggish, bloated and just plain run-down.  No more.

This next year will be my red letter year.  No time for mistakes.  All the things I always set out to do on a cold January day dreaming of the warmth of summer and dirt under my nails is going to come to fruition this year. 

I'm done with processed food and pop.  After my coffee creamer is out, I'll use plain milk and natural sweeteners.  If what I buy can sit on the counter for 3 days and not start to decompose, it's not going in my body.  That ain't normal at any rate. :).

"If it's worth doing, it's worth doing wrong."

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I'm still alive

Wow! It's been months!  Sorry for that...it's been a really busy end of summer/fall/beginning of winter. 

The boy was in football and played JV and varsity, so...we were at 2 games a week and had to go get him from practice 6 days a week.

I also got a promotion so that has kept me SUPER busy.  But I love what I do.

The garden was pathetic this year...I call do over!  The weather was horrible, and we tried something new of planting everything in square plots instead of rows that we could till between.  Omigosh.  I would literally spend 6-8 hours a week just weeding.  And the yield was awful!  I also have a horrible habit in the dead of winter looking at every seed catalogue anyone sends me and ordering everything, whether it grows well here, we eat it regularly or it can be put by.  Wood has revoked my seed ordering privileges.  In the winter I have waayyy more enthusiasm and energy to garden than in the summer.  That being said, instead of continuing my futile quest to grow or make everything we eat, I've just got to let that go.  With both of us working 40+ hours a week and running the boy around and spending time with the dogs, it's just not possible.  SO next summer, only things we really do eat and can put by.

It's been kind of a rough Fall for me.  I had to let some dreams go and find new ones.  The new dream being I am going to save up for my husband and I to go overseas on a pretty big vacation.  I was lucky enough young to start my career at a job that doesn't put my young age into account, but my ability, so I have plenty of vacation time to do this.  We're (read: I) thinking about spending some time in England then from there Ireland and Scotland.  I can't wait.



And last but by far the best thing to come of this year, my new baby.  Petey is a Boston Terrier and is a playful, ornery mess.  I love this dog so much.  And Dozer's getting pretty fond of him, too.

I'm back!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Gun Control

The Arizona Department of Safety Officer pulled over pick-up truck owner for a weapons check because of an NRA bumper sticker. When the officer approached the vehicle, the man behind the wheel handed the officer his driver's license, insurance card and concealed carry permit.
The officer took all the documents, looked them over and said, "Sir, I see you have a CCP. Do you have any weapons with you?"
The driver replied, "Yes I do. I have a 357 handgun in a hip holster, a .45 in the glove box and a .22 derringer in my boot."
The officer looked at the driver and asked, "Anything else?"
"Yes. I have a Mossberg 500 12 gauge and an AR-15 in the trunk."
The officer asked if the man was driving to or from a shooting range and the man said he wasn't, so the officer bent over and looked into the driver's face and said "Sir, you're carrying quite a few guns. May I ask what you are afraid of?"
The man locked eyes with the officer and calmly answered, "Not a darn thing!"
 


Saturday, August 6, 2011

What the Heck is WRONG?

Someone forwarded me this...makes you think, doesn't it???

Remember, not only did you contribute to Social Security but your employer did too. It totaled 15% of your income before taxes. If you averaged only 30K over your working life, that’s close to $220,500. If you calculate the future value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer’s contribution) at a simple 5% (less than what the govt. pays on the money that it borrows), after 49 years of working (me) you’d have $892,919.98. If you took out only 3% per year, you receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years, and that’s with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit! If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you’d have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month. The folks in Washington have pulled off a bigger Ponzi scheme than Bernie Madhoff ever had.

I didn't try to clean up the language in this message. It makes a better impact as it is.

Entitlement my ass, I paid cash for my social security insurance!!!!
Just because they borrowed the money, doesn't make my benefits some kind of charity or handout !! Congressional benefits, aka. free healthcare, outrageous retirement packages, 67 paid holidays, three weeks paid vacation, unlimited paid sick days, now that's welfare, and they have the nerve to call my retirement entitlements !!!!!!.....scroll down..............

What the HELL's wrong??? WAKE UP AMERICA !!!!

Daily Bulletin paper, (july 26th, 2011)  ran two articles on the front page side by side:


1- California's 20 Billion Dollar Budget Deficit


2- The California Supreme Court ruling that ILLEGALS can attend college and get benefits.


Why don't they just deport them when they arrive to register?


3- Last year they ran an article on the yearly costs to California Taxpayers from Illegals using Hospital Emergency Rooms for their general health care -

At just one hospital the cost to tax payers totaled over 25 million a year.

Someone please tell me what the HELL's wrong with all the people that run this country!!!!!!

We're "broke" & can't help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless etc.,???????????

In the last months we have provided aid to Haiti, Chile, and Turkey. And now Pakistan ......home of bin Laden. Literally, BILLIONS of DOLLARS!!!

Our retired seniors living on a 'fixed income' receive no aid nor do they get any breaks while our government and religious organizations pour Hundreds of Billions of $$$$$$ 's and Tons of Food to Foreign Countries!


They call Social Security and Medicare an entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives and now when its time for us to collect, the government is running out of money. Why did the government borrow from it in the first place?
We have hundreds of adoptable children who are shoved aside to make room for the adoption of foreign orphans.

AMERICA: a country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to
bed hungry, elderly going without 'needed' meds, and mentally ill without treatment –etc. etc.


YET.....................
They have a 'Benefit' for the people of Haiti on 12 TV stations, ships and planes lining up with food, water, tents clothes, bedding, doctors and medical supplies.

Imagine if the *GOVERNMENT* gave 'US' the same support they give to other countries.

Sad isn't it?

Long time...

I haven't posted in forever.  The boy's got football something every single day, at least once a day, work's been crazy, and this place takes up all the rest of our time.

We finally started getting some rain!

I've canned carrots, greens, out up I don't know how many herbs, I've got tons of onions to get hung today, tomatoes going nuts, beans to can, zucchini to turn into something, food to bake for my family reunion tomorrow, a mountain of laundry, a house to clean, corn to put up... it's exhausting to think about but I love it.  :)

Here's some pics...

Before

After







Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Homemade Archery Target

Since all 3 of us shoot, an averaged-priced archery target lasts us less than a season.  We were going to buy a top-dollar one this year, you know, the ones on the Outdoor Channel that swear you can shoot them with broadheads year after year without them wearing out?  Yeah, well, they are upwards of $100 and we just can't spend that kinda money on an archery target right now.  So we did what every redneck does...we got on youtube and looked up "cheap archery target."


What my husband ended up doing was taking a bunch of old clothes without buttons, zippers, etc. and got a cardboard box and stuffed them in real good so it is really stuffed.  Believe it or not, it stops your arrows dead and they are easy to pull out.  Good, cheap way to practice!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

About Me? Help!

I got an anonymous comment wondering why I haven't put anything in the "About Me" section of this blog...hmmm...good question.  I seen it was there.  I pondered on it for about 2 seconds.  Then, I left it blank.  What do you put there?  I haven't a clue.  What do YOU want to know would be a better question?  I don't know what you want to know, but I tell you what...comment below what you want to know, and I'll answer it.  Then, I'll add it to the "About Me" section of this blog.  No questions stupid or out of line, and I'll answer them honestly.  If you have 25 questions, ask away.  This is the best way I can think of solving this dilemma without me having to think to hard about it...I have a laundry soap crisis and a kid's scrapbook to finish today.  And herbs to put by.  Thanks for the help!

Slowly but surely

I think the garden may produce a little after all.  The weather here is starting a pattern of flooding and continuous rain so you can't get your crops out, then once you do, it's hotter than blue blazes and doesn't rain at all.  Very trying.

I did one heck of a weed job on the root garden yesterday, trying to wage war on life's aggravations one weed at a time.  I can't say that it was a definite cure for the mood I've been in lately, but it at least took the edge off by making me too tired and hot to put forth the energy it takes to be mad. 

I haven't canned a thing this year besides some strawberry jam.  I guess I could go pick raspberries today but my inner procrastinator says it's 100% humidity and 90 degrees.  I still have a lot left from last year as long as I don't give it all away.

There were a lot of good sales this week, but I started a new budget.  I am all for stockpiling goods at good prices, but sometimes we have to put that on hold for more pressing issues.  The prepper in me hates it, but I have to break this cycle I've gotten into to justifying spending every cent I make putting stuff back.  I have to save some money for some things coming up and I swear to you I have think about not spending that money everytime I see a good sale at least every 5 minutes.  It's kind of like quitting smoking, you try to change for the good, but all you really get done doing is thinking about what your giving up.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Why the heck is it?

...I tell my husband that if he gets me a puppy he doesn't have to worry about our anniversary, Christmas or my birthday and he says, "I don't have that kinda money."  Buddy, I know what that gosh darn puppy costs and I know what I spend on you between those 3 holidays...you better pony it up.  I've already decided that if I don't get a puppy one of those 3 holidays, it's going to be hell around here.

Monday, July 4, 2011

WARNING!!! GRAPHIC POSTS BELOW

The following two posts are regarding cleaning turtle.  Do not read or scroll down if you are easily offended or grossed out.  There is blood, guts, etc., just like in any other animal.  Thanks!

"They say a turkle has seven kinds of meat, but I just put it all together." Part II



At this point, you want to get the meat out of the neck.  The title referring to the fact that a turtle has seven kinds of meat, is true.  The white stuff in my husbands left hand that looks like mucus, is one kind.  It's called, "There's-no-way-in-hell-I'm-eating-that."  And I won't.  I don't believe in wasting food, but anything that looks like that and has the consistency of thick mucus is not going in my mouth.  I will only eat what looks like meat.  Sorry, but its true.  So anyhow, you get the meat off the neck, just like any other animal.  I feel at this point I should tell you that the darn turtle is still moving and trying to fight.  I know, science fiction.  I'd feel terrible if you somehow looked at this poor how-to and butchered a turtle and got so freaked out you had bad dreams.  I kinda did. 

Once you get to this part it is pretty much like cleaning any other animal.  It't pretty self explanatory.

Anything you don't want to eat or will not eat or doesn't look like you should eat it goes in the bucket.  About 10 minutes in, I thought we should throw the whole stupid turtle in the bucket and go butcher a chicken instead.  That I can deal with.  Those 'ping-pong' things are eggs.  She was loaded with them.  I was okay with it until Wood pulled them out and I swear to goodness they come out like those sausages that are strung together.  And they bounce like ping-pong balls.  This is where I swore Mason could never leave again and me have to help.

This is what you get.  You then can proceed to cut this up into what ever bits you want.  Give it a quick rinse or freeze it or cook it.  We just froze our's for now, but when he cooks it I'll share how he does it.  I say it like that because it won't get cooked until he does it.  I don't cook turtle.  I never have, and he does a fine job.

"They say a turkle has seven kinds of meat, but I just put it all together." Part I

 A couple weeks ago I posted about how my husband found a turtle.  I also said I would post a how-to.  Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have.  I was naive.  Deer...okay.  Rabbits...okay.  Fish....okay.  Turtle...science fiction.

I must warn you that this is "graphic".  I can't see why knowing where your food comes from and how it got to your plate became "graphic", but I felt I should warn those kind who look at me in disbelief when I tell them those cows standing there staring at us are steak and hamburger.  I'm not trying to be sarcastic but it sincerely pisses me off that 5-year-olds and 40-year-olds alike have looked at me incredulously when I tell them hamburger comes from cows.  So if you don't like seeing how food becomes food, don't keep reading.  I do not want angry PETA people blowing up my email. :)

Like I said I was naive about the turtle-cleaning business.  Luckily every time Wood has got one this old girl has been at work when he's cleaned it.  And the boy had to help.  This time, the boy got smart and went to an all-weekend football camp. 

First off, this is not a one person job.  Woody has done it himself, and he has also laid his knuckle wide open doing it with help.  Do this outside!  There are leaches on these suckers and its messy.  Keep your kids and animals away and in the house.  Make sure you have all this ready to go:
  • a sturdy, large cutting board
  • and extra set of hands
  • gloves for your wife because there is no way she's touching it without them.  And she's a nurse.  She's saw all kinds of nasty and weird.  And she wants demands gloves.
  • a five gallon bucket to throw all the stuff you don't want in.
  • a couple very sharp knives.  You don't want to stop halfway through to sharpen them.  Take it from me.
  • a working garden hose.
  • a large bowl
  • a pair of plyers

The first thing is you don't butcher a turtle right away.  And this goes for hardshell turtle only.  Wood has no idea about softshelled.  You put them in something fairly large with water over them.  You have to put a board and something heavy on it so they can't get out.  Then you change that water every day for about a week or so to "clean out" the turtle.  Be very friggin' careful doing this.  They maybe be slow, but their necks are way longer than you think and they are fast.

After about a week or so or when the water stays fairly clear, your ready.  Make sure you got all this stuff ready to go.  Wood just put his cutting board on the tailgate and it worked ok.


Tip the barrel over containing the turtle and be careful!


Pick it up by it's tail.  For the love of all that's holy they are called snappers for a reason and that beak is going to put the hurting on you.  If you happen to get bit, Wood told me once about how to get them to let go, but I won't post it unless you ask.  So if you get nailed by one of these, run in the house and email me and I'll send you the answer. :)


Put the turtle on the ground near where you have set up your work station and spray her off real good with the hose.  What you want to do here is grab her beak with the plyers and pull her neck out so you can cut it.  Pound for pound these are strong, fighting things. 


This is the head.  It still has a death grib on the plyers.  This is why I say keep animals and children away.  About 3 hours after he cut the head off, I tapped it's beak with a stick and it snapped onto it.


Turn the turtle over and run some fresh water throw the neck for a couple minutes.


The first thing you want to get off is the feet.  These bad boys will claw you to death, and they keep moving even after you cut for awhile.  The quicker they come off, the better it is and the more likely your wife will continue to help you.  (Have her don the gloves, hold the shell with a pair of vise-grips and hold the tail.)


Once the leg is off, separate the skin from the shell.


Do this for the other 3 legs as well.


After you do that, carefully cut through where the breastplate connects to the shell and remove it.

Continued...









Sunday, July 3, 2011

It's finally time for a little break...

Hadn't been on here all week because me and my husband have this 4-day weekend and have been trying to get stuff accomplished all week so we can have a little mini-vacation.  Sometime in the next couple days I'll put the turtle post up and show you how much I didn't like doing it.  For now, going to enjoy this 95 degree heat and sunshine with the family.  Enjoy your 4th, and be safe!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What We Did This Weekend...or What We Did Instead of What We Needed to Do Because I Wanted to Go Fishing

Friday
  • I worked at my job 10 hours and it was a rough day. 
  • Got home, picked the house up.
  • When my husband got home, we went on a "date" to Rural King to get feed for the chickens, Wal-Mart so I could be a new fishing pole (and some Beetle Spins...yes, I already lost one), and to Kroger so I could "extreme coupon" then spend 20 minutes telling the cashier what her company's policy is regarding double coupons only to have her say, "I'm not doing it."
  • Fumed all the way home and called my mom and whined about the cashier not doubling my coupons.
  • Searched for the receipt from Kroger so I could call the manager in the morning for 30 minutes and gave up.
  • Made my wonderful husband Spaghettio's for dinner. (Nothing but first class here.)
  • Played the John Deere game on the computer.
  • Did some laundry.
  • Watched the Outdoor Channel until 11 p.m. which is the latest I have been awake in at least a year or two.
Saturday
  • Took my baby Dozer to the vet which took almost 2 hours and over $100. Ouch.
  • Mowed my yard while Wood rototilled and weeded the gardens.
  • Weeded some more.
  • Weeded some more.
  • Finally said to heck with working and went fishing.
  • Didn't do well.  Lost a beetle spin, caught Wood's rapala in a tree.
  • Came home and made dinner.
  • Ate dinner. It was so good.
  • Watched the Outdoor Channel again until 12 p.m. (Wow!)
Sunday
  • Got up, made us a ham and egg biscuit and took off to fish.
  • Lost NO lures today. (High-fives self)
  • I caught 2 little blue gill, Wood caught 12.  (It's really ridiculous.  I'm going to google him later and see if he was ever one the Pro fishing circuit.)
  • Came home and cleaned up my husband's truck.  It took 2 hours.
  • Weeded some more! (Fun times!  I can feel the envy radiating off you!)
  • Helped Wood clean the turtle.  (I'll post about this later.)
  • Picked the boy up.
  • Cleaned my house up.
  • Doing laundry and half-assed cooking dinner.  Mostly I start it, Woody makes sure I don't burn it.
  • Gave the dog a bath.  Why is it every time you take your animals to the vet they reek?  I love my dog/horse, but I can't let him near me smelling like that.  He usually smells like sunshine.  He smelled like urine that someone had tried to mask.  It's hard to be a loving mom when your four-legged kid smells like a urinal. 
Later
  • More weeding! (Maybe...)
  • Cutting coupons and looking at the sale ads.
  • Watching "Over the Top", which my husband says is about arm wrestling and is a great movie.  Why I need to watch a movie about arm wrestling is beyond me.  Maybe he feels like I'm the Karate Kid of arm wrestling and he's the old Chinese man and is going to make me train and take down the arm wrestling champion of the world.  I sincerely hope not.  I have a bad shoulder.  I don't like to lose.  I think arm wrestling is mildly stupid. 
  • Try to remember that all I have to do is make it through the next five days of purgatory and then the holy 3-day weekend.

Friday, June 24, 2011

And the hits keep coming...

 
                                                                                                                                                                          I went to Kroger to super shop.  I get up there with my fist full of coupons, and the high school cashier wanted to argue about the company's policy regarding doubling coupons.  Okay, actually they didn't know they had a policy, she just was certain she wasn't going to double them anyway.  There will be a manager there at 6 a.m. and I'll be calling him.  Until then, I got this with the half of my money they let me save today to keep me company...

"Well there's no way I could make that up!"

           The other evening I had to take the boy to get some things he needed for his football camp this weekend and decided some Mexican sounded good.  I called the husband and had him meet us at the restaurant.  When I got home, the boy and Wood was standing out at the cattle gate waving me over.  I go over there and in the corner is the cutest little box terrier I have ever seen.  And I don't like little dogs.  

          The poor little guy was terrified of Wood and the boy at first so after they moved away he came to me.  And rolled over.  And I feel like at this point in my story I should warn those who might be offended by what was wrong with this fella to stop reading...it's not for the faint of heart...

           So the little guy rolls over and Wood and the boy utter a collective "Oh my God!" and I look down, and I look down again because I can't believe what I am seeing.  You know the skin that goes over a male dogs privates?  It's severed in half and the poor little guy's equipment is just hanging there.  I'm a nurse, so things of this nature don't weird me out.  So I looked a little closer, and it's not a new wound.  Matter of fact it's not even recent.  It's completely healed.  But there were nats and such so I irrigated the area.  I must go back to this: it's not a new wound and it was such a clean cut it looks like someone did with a scalpel.  Intentionally.

            So at this point I am convinced that God sent me this lil sweetie for 2 reasons: #1  I am not a weirdo who would ever do that.  #2  I am a sucker for animals.   I'm also wondering why in the Earth any compassionate human would have not had little guy's "situation" fixed.

            But I go ahead and do the right thing and Wood goes around to all the neighbors and I put a post on facebook and craig's list.  Then I fall in love with the little sweetie.  I tell my husband I am keeping this dog.  I name him Petey.  I start doing financial figures in my head about what it's going to cost to get him fixed up. 

            I call my vet the next morning and I tell them about little Petey's "issue".  The receptionist says,
         "Are you kidding me!"
         "Well there's no way I could make that up!"

          She proceeds to tell me she knows the dog and the owners and they have been looking for him.  They live right up the road.  She asks me if I can meet Petey's owners at 3:30.  I reply I guess.

           I tell you honestly, the dog didn't seem to want to go.  I'm glad Mason was willing to help with the whole mess.  We get to the vet and the gentleman says, "We figured someone picked him up them dumped him when they seen his disability."  To which I replied, "Oh he was born like that?"  In my head, I knew that it was not congenital, but I figured I ask anyhow, because I am big enough to admit I can be snarky like that.  His answer was no.  What!?  I didn't feel bad for being snarky all the sudden.

          What I wanted to reply was, "What you are really trying to say is that the dog got grossly injured and you didn't have the decency to have it fixed?  Are you joking?  That, sir, is not a handicap.  It's a shame for that poor animal.  I had to irrigate it because nats were in it!"

         I've said this before, I am ashamed to say, but sometimes doing the right thing doesn't feel right at all.  In my eyes, that is the same thing as the boy breaking his leg and us deciding not to have it set and casted and calling it a "handicap." 

         Sorry about this rant, but I have been a mess all day about the poor little fella.  Am I wrong?  Tell me, someone.

        

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The X-Games of Coupons

         Mom's got me "extreme couponing" like a crazed maniac.  She says once I get the system down and used to carrying around a binder full of coupons it'll get easier and faster.  Honestly, I just would love to save the money.  I'll find time to do it if I can save enough cash.

        My first excursion was to CVS.  I have the Plus card, and I am very familiar with the store since it put me through college the first time. 

        I bought:
  • 8 pack of CVS paper towels
  • 2-11 ounce bottles of Gain dishsoap
  • 1-8ounce can of Herbal Hairspray
  • 1-8.5 ounce bottle of Pantene Leave-in Conditioner
  • 1-12.6 ounce Pantene Shampoo
  • 1-12.6 ounce Pantene Conditioner
  • 1-4 ounce tube of Colgate
               The total would have been $43.04. Between coupons, specials, and sales my savings was $28.12.  So I got all this for $14.92.  
                Not too bad, I don't think, for my first time out of the gates!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

It Wasn't Supposed to Be a Lazy Weekend, But It Was

Well, the weather didn't cooperate with my big plans to get everything weeded this weekend.  Or much of anything else done outside.


Thursday night I cleaned this whole house top to bottom.  And, I made a good dinner for the first time all week.  I had been feeding these poor folks little league food all week.  That doesn't fly very long around here.


Friday after I got off work it was hotter than a cut monkey and after the long week we both had at work, we decided to take it easy.  And I mean easy.  I did a load of laundry or two but that was it.  It was too wet to weed or mow so we literally took a cooler and two lawn chairs out in the yard and sat.  The boy had a friend over and they caught a few frogs and skinned them.  I know, the fast life we're leading here.  Better slow down. LOL.


Saturday morning it was raining to beat all hell so we went to Rural King and then the grocery.  I bought me a new rattle-trap to try this weekend.  I ordered some more banjo minnows but they won't be in until the at least the 22nd.  It finally quit raining so me and the husband took the fridge out of the garage and cleaned it all out and under it to see if it starts working a little better.  So far, so good, but I'm a little nervous to put any meat in the freezer since we lost almost all our deer when it went out the last time.  Gosh, is it hunting season yet? I really need to get us a field target so I can practice some more.  And it's fun for the three of us to be out there blowing each other crap.  But anyhow.  Too wet to do much, but Wood did manage to fry up the frog legs for the boys to tray and get the yard mowed.  Me and the boy got a little bit of weeding done in the back garden.  Then we hung out and got some worms to go fishing today.


It rained last night but when the boy woke us up a 6 a.m., it seemed like it might be a clear day.  We went out and Wood started reeling in blue gill in left and right.  At one point he was fishing with three poles and looked at me and said, irritatedly, mind you, "Gosh, I can't get anything done they keep bitin' so fast!"  Aw, poor wittle baby!  I thought we might get stormed out for a minute but we didn't.  About the 7th time I cast my brand-new rattle-trap out the stupid line broke.  Gosh, that really ticks me off-brand new lure, and I lose it the first day.  After we got back I went and seen my mom and dad, then came home and cut coupons for what seemed like an eternity.  I still have to look at the ads. Momma's extreme-couponing-fever has finally wore off on me, as if I don't have enough hobbies and projects.  But hey, if it can save us money and help us build up our food storage, I'm all for it.  The problem is I've all ready been turning the idea around in my head that if I can save enough money I can put what I save back to take Wood and the boy to Real Foot next year to fish.  No wonder I can never get ahead. :)


This afternoon I got some things to finish up.  We made a big meal for Father's Day and had H. out.  Grilled chicken, pork n' beans, homemade cheddar garlic rolls, potato cakes and Scottish shortbread.  I guess that explains why I can't be around people who diet or count carbs.  I tried that Atkins diet once, and I swear I craved biscuits and gravy so bad I dreamt about them.  When it comes right down to it, I could be stick-thin, but you'd have to lock me in a cage or I'd attack people for biscuits and baked goods.  I would stalk the Amish.  It's an ugly thought, so for everyone around me's safety, I have to have carbs.  And fried food.  And gravy.  Any kind really.


By the way, Wood is killing me and the boy in the Great 2011 Fish-Off.  The boy did get honorable mention for biggest fish.


Always the first one to catch anything.  It's aggravating. 

His only catch of the day.  Ha! Ha!  I had to say that. Sorry.


"It's a bird, it's a plane, its....."

...a turtle.  Nice try yelling, "I think I got something huge!"


This picture won't win me any awards.  Why am I staring at this fish like I just hit the lottery?  I am SUCH a dork.  And it really is helped by the just-rolled-out-of-bed-to-go-fishing-and-no-make-up look I was aiming for.  Next time I will put in the effort not to look so gosh-darn excited over a large goldfish.

Today's Standings:
Wood: 15 + a turtle
Mandy: 4
Mason: 1




Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day

          I don't think dads get enough credit.  And they should.  So in honor of Father's Day, I'd like to thank the men in my life that have loved me unconditionally.  Thanks for being the dad and papaws you are.  I love you guys.

           My dad.  I think I get my fashion sense from him. Okay, just joking,dad, but really...what an outfit!  Thanks for being the dad you didn't have to be, no matter how bad of a teenager I was.  I know it wasn't easy, and I now know that you put a hex on me because now I have 3 bad step kids.  (They aren't really bad, but I wouldn't ever tell them that.)  I vaguely remember you warning me about karma.  Anyhow, I love you dad.  Your the best.


       My Pepaw.  This man is my ninja.  He worked all the time and farmed up until he retired.  He has true grit.  My Pepaw would drive 40 minutes 3 times a week to pick me up from school, then another 30 minutes to take me to the clinic for allergy injections, without fail, for 6 years straight.  No matter what happened or what went on, I knew he would be outside waiting for me.  He is quiet, but when he talks you know it means something.  And he always let me read his National Geographic.  I have only heard this man raise his voice once.  Thanks, Pepaw, for always taking care of me and Mom.  I love you.


         My husband.  Drops anything and everything at any point in time for his kids.  Gets up every morning and makes the boy breakfast (real breakfast, not cereal of pop tarts.)  He hangs out with his kids, take them fishing and hunting and it isn't a chore for him.  He really does love those kids with all his heart.  It's one of the reasons I fell in love with him.  I love you babe.


          My Papaw Fisher.  The first time I met him I was probably 13, but I lay odds he loved me just as much as Pepaw York.  He was hands down the orneriest man I will ever meet.  When people talk about someone being a family man, they haven't met this guy.  I'm pretty sure his picture is right next to "family man".  He was the biggest kid at every Christmas.  When I was a teenager, him and Mamaw took me and my little sister to Holiday World, and I think he had more fun than we did.  I don't think he ever let me forget about being asleep in the motor home while he was driving and I rolled out of the bed.  We lost my Papaw in February of this year.  I'm not sure anyone will ever be missed as much has he is in my family.  We all love and miss you.