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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!