Sunday, July 27, 2008
It has been a busy past few days. Let's see. Thursday afternoon I got one of those rare moments of inspiration to actually do a deep cleaning vacuum job. (Not that I DON'T vacuum, it's just rare for me to be inspired to do so.) I had no sooner began than I was scared out of my wits by my husband coming in behind me. As per usual; when I get inspired to do something, something else always come up to interrupt it. A cow up the road needed help calving. So I was called on to act as nurse. I will spare the details; but the short of it is that the calf was in the wrong position and was dead when hubby finally got it out. The cow is doing OK though. I always hate it when that happens; it's depressing.
Friday I went shopping then came home and did another batch of those garlic dill pickles. I sure hope they turn out. They smelled so good, I will cry if they are icky when I try them in a few weeks.
Sat we did an all day trip to Marshfield to get a couple of things hubby needed.
5. I care so much less about what people think about me. I wish I had learned that about 25 years ago.
6. I try and say what I think needs to be said instead of keeping quiet about it.
7. I am working on not putting off until tomorrow what I know needs to be done today. The trouble is finding the time to do it. HA.
8. Much to my surprise I am finding myself becoming fearless in the kitchen, with regards to trying new dishes andto doing new things; like making dill pickles.
9. I find myself having more patience with other peoples' failings now. Maybe that is because I am more aware of my own.
10. It has taken awhile but I have worked at eliminated sarcasm from my conversation and thoughts.
11. I have much less tolerance for those who rely on sarcasm; especially when it is obvious they are using it to try and make themselves feel more important.
12. Kids don't bother me as much as they used to do; obviously that is because I have one of my own now.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
So. Here I am. At the moment I am in the process of pickling beets. Our beet crop didn't do so well this year, for which Iam actually eternally thankful. But I will probably get 2 or 3 quarts out of what hubby brought in. I dislike pickling beets because of the mess they make. I am not the most prim and proper of cooks, so by the time I have finished pickling beets it looks as though some large creature met it's fate and was slaughtered in my kitchen. But since I am only going to have one batch, I am not too resentful of them this year.
Day before yesterday I did a batch of sweet cuke pickles. I have enough cucumbers to do another batch of one kind or another, but not today. I will keep them in the fridge until tomorrow and perhaps do one of the simpler recipes.
Yesterday was my birthday. Yes. A full FORTY years have come and gone since I made my earthly appearance. Yesterday I was going to blog on Forty Reflections on being FORTY, but I didn't have the wherewithal to do so. Not to mention trying to think up that many all at once. So maybe I will try to do so over the next few blog posts. Remind me if I forget...my mind is going. Maybe it's because I keep getting interrupted by Ellen, who is dragging books from the bedroom in here and wanting me to read them to her. So if I type something about Pooh or Little Miss Muffet, please understand.
Forty Reflections on being FORTY
1. Really it doesn't bother me THAT much. Last night at church I told the teens that what really bothered me was that my brother will turn 50 next month. For some reason having a brother who is 50 bothers me more than having turned 40 myself. Never mind that my husband turned 50 two months ago. That didn't bother me, either. Dunno. The mind plays funny tricks on you.
2. Ten years ago when I turned 30 and was living in a metro area, walking on pavement every day, working in a jail, going to a church of 5,000 and drinking Starbucks coffee almost everyday, I never dreamed ten years in the future I'd end up on a dairy in the Ozarks hosing muck off my rubber boots, scratching chigger bites, checking for ticks and canning my own produce.
3. Having a 17 month old rampaging around the house when you are 40 is a challenge. I don't have the energy I had when I was 30. But maybe that has something to do with much less sleep and getting up at 3:45 AM every day.
4. Gray hair. I started going gray when I was in my mid-20s so this is not too big of a deal either, except for the fact that there is much more of it now. What drives me nuts is that I have more than hubby does, and he is, as stated earlier, 10 years older than I am.
OK. That's 4 reflections. It's a start. Any suggestions?
Saturday, July 19, 2008
What got me thinking about ducks is the fact that they seem to play such a major role in babies lives; cute little duckies are everywhere, seemingly, when you go looking at baby things. They also feature in songs. A couple of weeks ago I got one of those little CD song books for the baby, with different animal songs in it. Two of the songs feature ducks. For some reason one of them just quacked me up, it is sung to the tune of Star and Stripes Forever and starts off "Be kind to your webfooted friends, for a duck may be somebody's mother..." Listen to it at this site:
Monkeys are also prominent in kiddy lyrics; chasing weasels and jumping on beds. Why? Why ducks and monkeys so much? Dunno.
And some kiddy poetry is gruesome; blind mice getting their tails chopped off, Jack breaking his crown, Humpty Dumpty breaking himself apart, Jack jumping over a candle and burning his toe (Jack seemed prone to injuring himself, didn't he?) among others. I told hubby I probably could write stuff just as good as all that. Maybe I ought to try.
Friday, July 18, 2008
He stayed up the tree for at least 2 hours; from about 9:30 AM 'til 11:30 AM or so. For a couple of the classes it was a fun surprise, but the older ones had caught on by the time their turn came.
Here's another shot of one of the classes in their camouflage. Note the mascot, Cooper the dog, in the middle of the kids. The particular girl, aged 12, who volunteered to be Cooper said; "Never again!" Ha. She had to pose for a shot with every child there; some 50 or so over the course of the week. I guess she got tired of that pretty quick.
Anyway, we had a good time. Sunday will be the big program, where the kids will do their songs and skits and whatever else they've worked on all week. They will also get their crafts and a treat from the teachers.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Today's snack at VBS for the kids was Rocky Road Cups: a cup of chocolate pudding with two graham cracker sections pushed down in it and a few mini marshmallows tossed on top. Voila. Ellen had a couple of the strawberry newtons left over from yesterday. I wasn't going to mess with chocolate pudding for her. Nope!
Moe observed in a comment on a previous post that the kids go home and tell their parents about their teachers; yes, of this I am aware. I try desperately hard to not reveal any of my terribly personal secrets during my time of teaching. But I am sure they pick up on what seems to them my peculiarities and spread them abroad.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Down the center of a cupcake place a section of one of those nasty-tasting fruit-flavored licorice-like ropes, on either side of which place a Nutter Butter cookie.
Friendly Fig Bars
On a fig newton, or strawberry newton, or whatever flavor you might prefer; using vanilla frosting attach two mini marshmallows upended on one end, then place an M&M candy on top of each marshmallow-these are the eyes. Under the eyes place half of a gummy LifeSaver candy. Tah-dah! A smiling friendly fig bar! Each child got two of these and there were 51 kids. It was quite the production line assembling these.
Monday, July 14, 2008
A couple of years ago I taught one class how to sing "Jesus Loves Me" in Spanish. They drove their parents nuts at home singing it.
One thing I learned long ago from my mom, who was a teacher's aide in gradeschool, is that kids are so honest and you learn the beatin'est things about their family lives from them. Things you don't really WANT to know. So far they haven't divulged too much personal stuff. But one Wed night (I teach the Wed night teen class) one student was disgusted that his mom collected and read those cheezy romance novels; has a whole wall of shelves full of them. Hmmm...not really info I cared to know.
So today, after herding 9 children ages 8-10 around for 3 hours during the morning, I came home and processed 66 cups of corn that my hubby and m-i-l had shucked and cut off the cob this morning. I boiled it for a couple minutes, packed it all into freezer bags, iced them down and then tossed them in the upright freezer. YUM!!! There's nothing quite like homegrown corn.
I remember when we were kids my dad would grow what seemed to be a vast field of corn and we would go out and raid it; eat it raw, straight off the stalk. That is one thing that evokes the strongest memories of childhood and summers; the taste of fresh, raw produce straight from the garden. Hubby thinks I am crazy for going out in the garden and grazing off of stuff raw; green beans, carrots, cucumbers, peas, corn, turnips. But to me that's the tastiest way to do it; hose it off and chow down.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Then I tried something new; a wax bean soup. It's easy and turned out pretty good. I will attach the recipe at the bottom. I grew some wax beans this year, unbeknownst to hubby. He seemed to like the soup, but said the wax tasted funny. *sigh* He has a sense of humor that must be endured rather than enjoyed at times.
He's been hauling hay off and on this past week, so yesterday he comes in with some tomatoes and green peppers the hay guy had given him. I sliced them up. We also had sliced cukes and onions (also homegrown) in salt/vinegar water, which is how hubby likes them served. Oh, and at the last minute hubby brought in some corn on the cob he'd just picked from his mom's garden. Hubby was pleased that the only things we had that weren't homegrown were the chicken and the bread and margarine. And seasonings of course.
Here's the wax bean recipe:
Wax Bean Soup
Green beans can be used in this recipe but yellow wax beans make a more attractive soup. It makes a wonderfully creamy soup.
½ lb fresh yellow wax beans cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon flour
1 small onion chopped
1 egg beaten
1 Cup whole milk or half+ half
Salt and white pepper to taste
Cook beans, salt and onion till tender in water to cover. Do not drain. Beans and water will be the base for the soup
In another pot bring milk just to a boil (scalding). Turn heat off and cool while you are cooking beans.
Beat into the milk, the flour and egg mixture.
Carefully add milk mixture to the bean mixture off the heat so as not to curdle. Soup will thicken.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
¼ C margarine or butter
1 ½ C sugar
2 Tbs cocoa
2 C flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp soda
2 C peeled, ground or shredded zucchini
1 C chocolate chips
½ C nuts-optional
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, cream; add zucchini and beat again. Add flour, salt, soda and cocoa. Place in a greased 9x13 inch pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until it tests done.
There isn't too terribly much going on in the dairy department. Last week hubby happened across a fellow who was combining in a neighboring field to get the grass seed. Hubby told him to come and try the dry cow field if he wanted. The Seed Guy does this on shares; 50/50. So he came and tried it..
In a field of about 20 acres he got just a wee tad over 1,000 pounds of seed, 700 pounds of which were good grass seeds. That blew me away. How could grass seeds weigh that much?!
Monday, July 7, 2008
6 cups thinly sliced cucumbers (I sliced mine paper-thin last time...will make thicker this year)
1 large onion, sliced thinly
3 Tbs. pickling salt1 cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 Tbs. dill weed
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional-I didn't use it because we don't like spicy stuff much.)
Mix cukes & onion together and set aside. Combine sugar, salt, vinegar, garlic, dill, and red pepper. Stir until all sugar is dissolved. Add mixture to cukes. Mix well. Pack into freezer bags, squeeze out as much air as possible. Place in freezer. When ready to eat – thaw in refrigerator.
Last year I packed them into pint sized bags, then when I took a bag out of the freezer, I let thaw and then emptied into a pint jar and kept it in the fridge. Hubby doesn't much care for them because of all the dill floating around in the jar, but I think the taste is superior to store bought dills. I loved them; plus they are hilariously easy to make. It's a quick way to use up any extra cukes you may have on hand.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Well, it's almost 9 PM, the baby is squalling and I need to get to bed. I will try and read your comments, if any, tomorrow.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
More on my next escapee tomorrow!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
This will be a great challenge to blog every day and there is a great probability that I will NOT be able to blog every day. I haven't figured out how to do the cheater thing with regards to messing with the dates. I just don't have time. This week I am going to have to can green beans (highly appropo for this month's theme though) and I am gearing up to teach the 3rd and 4th graders in Vacation Bible School the 14th-18th of this month. Summer's are busy around here.
Anyway, here is my quick food offering for today's blog, a short but pithy poem from Ogden Nash:
Reflections on Ice-Breaking
Not that I sanction boozing it up to break the ice and get to know a bunch of strangers, but I like Nash's way of cutting to the chase to get his point across.