Saturday, February 27, 2010

Doing what I do best

I have many roles in this life....teacher, mentor, counselor, mender of broken hearts, comforter, advocate, nurse, listener, cheerleader, leader.....

But first and foremost, my job is wife and mother. The Man and I are empty nesters enjoying a quiet existence, well, maybe not quiet because we still have a lot going on in our lives. The Boy likes to think that our lives are boring when he's not here and he has said that he feels sorry for us because we're all alone. We'll let him believe that. ;)

I look at that list above and realize I'm good at a lot of things, but what I do best is mothering my son. He just got home last night from school. We haven't seen him for two months, so it's great to have him home. I can cook for him, wash his clothes (really, it's my pleasure to do so), listen to him, laugh with him, rejoice with him for all of his hard work....

I look at him and think to myself that The Man and I did our jobs well. He's a well balanced, responsible young man who works hard in school and in his job, enjoys life, and is very happy. We're still here to catch him if he falls, to give advice when asked and yes, to offer financial help by paying for school and other miscellaneous needs. But for now The Man and I can relax and pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Happy Birthday to my friend, Sara!

My sweet "Illinois Mom" had a milestone birthday yesterday. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures to share. I take a lot of pictures, but for some reason, I don't have any of her. I didn't want this occasion to pass without highlighting some of the great memories we've made together (even with the lack of photos.)

  • We have baked cookies and other assorted goodies together at Christmas
  • We laugh together...a LOT
  • We drove to Chicago to shop, eat, and to see a one man show
  • We took cooking classes together
  • We planned a wedding together
  • We have spent much time talking about our lives with one another
  • We are in a book club together
  • We used to work together...before she retired
  • She planned a trip to see both of her daughters after she retired and I excitedly listened to the details
  • She has three beautiful grandchildren and I love hearing stories about them and seeing their pictures
  • She has two daughters, who I don't know personally, yet I feel like I know them because of everything she has told me
  • She loves to garden and has the most beautiful yard....I don't garden and have a black thumb, but I love looking at hers!
Happy Birthday, Sara! You are a lovely lady and a wonderful friend. May you have many more birthdays...I pray we make many more memories together!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Journey to better health

The Man and I have each struggled with our weight for years. We have tried Atkins, Weight Watchers, The Zone, Protein Power, name it, we've tried it. At the end of last year, I was talking to my friend Pam about what her lifestyle was like. Because, really, it isn't about a's about a lifestyle change. She recommended Nina Planck's book. Basically, Nina recommends eating natural foods and to stay away from processed, imitation garbage. Read the labels...if you don't recognize what you're reading (or even can't read it!) then don't buy it and don't put that food into your mouth. Step away from the fat free crap....go ahead and eat cheese, have some healthy fats, whole grains, eat your fruits (that's a tough one for me since I'm more of a veggie girl) and veggies, even eat red meat, poultry, pork, and fish. I nibble on dark chocolate and almonds for a pick me up. It seems like such a no-brainer, right? Well...not for us. It took us many years to get to this point. Advertisers are good at making us believe that low fat/fat free=good for you. the beginning of 2010, we have been eating whole foods. We haven't turned all crunchy-granolafied, but we do feel so much better....and we're losing weight! It's just crazy, right? Could all of that artificial garbage we've been eating hinder our weight loss? Of course it could and it did.

So, here's to a healthier and leaner 2010! Of course....the Snickers and Reese's cups still call my name from time to time, but I don't feel as guilty eating them knowing that the rest of the food I'm eating is good for me.

Oh...and stay the heck away from high fructose corn syrup. That's all. ;)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Happy 100th Anniversary BSA

In 1998, The Boy was in 2nd grade. He came home from school one day with two fliers. One was for soccer and one was for Cub Scouts. He was so excited and wanted to do both. We had agreed that he could have two extracurricular activities throughout grade school, and we knew he wanted to learn to play guitar eventually, so that meant that he had to make a or Cub Scouts. He played soccer in kindergarten. It was precious to watch, however, his future wasn't in soccer. So, I talked to him and encouraged him to choose Cub Scouts. I told him that he would get to go camping and other fun adventures......and since socializing was his strong suit, he would excel in Scouting.

So, The Man and I took The Boy to the informational meeting. We learned that since he was in second grade, he would be a Wolf Scout. I called the Cubmaster after the informational meeting to find out who The Boy's leader would be and he told me there was a slight problem. There was no Wolf leader....yet. So, I did what any loving mother would do, I volunteered right on the spot. I knew nothing about Cub Scouts, but I've worked with children my entire adult life, so how hard could it be, right? The Man and I became den leaders and we held the meetings in our home once a week. We worked on skills, played games, and made crafts. We had so much fun as leaders. We started that first year with three boys, and our little den grew to nine boys by the end of the year.

The Boy and some of the boys in our den at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago

The following year, the Pack needed an Assistant Cubmaster. So, again I took on that position, as well as Bear den leader. A year later, the Cubmaster moved on, guessed it, I became the Cubmaster while leading our Webelos den with The Man. He did a lot of the work for Webelos I and II since the skills got more technical and well, I wasn't a master at knot tying.

The Man is an Eagle Scout, so he has had much experience with all things Scouting. He helped me plan our Pack meetings, which we held once a month at a local church. I planned fun gathering activities to keep the boys busy before we started the meetings. We built an amazing time machine in our garage for a skit at one of the meetings. We sang songs, did skits, and just had a great time. It was a lot of work, but it was worth every minute.

The Boy at the crossover ceremony

In February of The Boy's fifth grade year, he crossed over to Boy Scouts. Boy Scouts has been another wonderful adventure that we have enjoyed as a family. The Man and I were on the committee for many years. I served a term as committee chairperson and The Man was the advancements coordinator for awhile. He is now assistant Scoutmaster and is having a great time.

The Man and The Boy at Scout camp

The Boy at Cache Lake in Canada

The Boy at Scout camp

Nick achieved the rank of Eagle shortly before his 18th birthday. That day was one of the proudest days of our lives as parents. Watching him grow through Scouting...watching him work at Scout camp....watching him become such a wonderful young man has made us so proud! His experiences in the Scouting program are priceless.

Eagle Court of Honor cake

The three of us after the Eagle ceremony

Looking back through the years, we have had a lot of fun in Scouting. Even though running a den and a pack was a lot of work on top of having a full time job, it was worth every minute. Spending time on the Boy Scout committee is rewarding and a great way to give back to the community. Scouting makes a positive impact on boys'...and adults' lives.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Go visit my friend!

My friend Melisa with one s reviewed a 2010 Lincoln MKT over at her review blog. Go check it out for a chance to win a $500 Visa check card! Good luck!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's a Dog's Life

I've mentioned our lazy lab Dutch in previous posts. He's my 'baby.' The Man gets up first in the mornings, Dutch follows him out of the bedroom, and The Man closes the bedroom door behind him so that I can sleep a bit longer. The Man makes coffee and lets Dutch outside. For the next hour or so, Dutch paces in front of the bedroom door waiting for me to get up. He can't stand it when I'm still in bed. Around 5am, The Man awakens me, has my coffee ready (he doesn't trust my motor skills to pour my own coffee first thing in the morning.) Dutch gets so excited to see me and proceeds to 'follow me from the front' to the living room. He gets in front of me and walks backwards as I'm walking forward. He cracks me up.

Once I'm up and enjoying my coffee, he'll lay at my feet and is content, until he notices one of his toys lying around and then he'll throw it at me so that I'll play with him. Nine times out of ten, that makes me spill hot coffee down the front of me. Did I mention I don't function well first thing in the morning?

Around 6am, I get up and make breakfast for the three of us. I put food in Dutch's bowl, and make oatmeal and eggs for The Man and me. I clean up the mess, get into the shower and then go to my half bath off of our bedroom to finish getting ready. Dutch tries to follow me in there and lay at my feet, but I have to chase him out because there just isn't room for the two of us. So, he usually lays outside the door looking at me the entire time.

When I get home from work, he is waiting at the top of the stairs with a look of relief on his face. He gets so excited to see me and immediately runs for a toy to bring to me. He's good at sharing. :) Once he's fed and let outside, he is content again and all is well with the world. Then, The Man gets home and the dance starts all over again. He greets The Man with a toy, wags his tail and breathes really hard, as if to say, "Where have you been all of my life?"

Imagine if we humans greeted one another with that same love and affection. There would be no wars, no arguing, no petty disagreements. Maybe we could learn something from our pets. Just throw your frienemy a toy and ask them to play and maybe you could put your disagreements aside. Thanks for the life lesson, Dutch! ;)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Life is a Journey, Not a Destination

I love this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It's also in the lyrics of my favorite song by my pretend boyfriend. Lately, I've been thinking of all of the changes that are going on in my life. The Boy graduated and left for college. The Man and I have suddenly become empty nesters and are rediscovering ourselves and each other. Things are changing at work. The world is changing.

Change is a good thing, right? It's scary, but it happens. Time marches on and we have to go right along with it. I'm trying to reinvent myself and decide what the heck it is that I want to be 'when I grow up.' Funny, but shouldn't I know this at 43? Do we EVER know the answer to this? Will I ever grow up?

When I need a little pick me up, I crank my favorite cd and listen to this song. And, after today, I NEED a little pick me up!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Great PW Book Signing

I have read blogs for a number of years, but have never had the courage to start my own, until now. One of my favorites is The Pioneer Woman. She has become quite popular and has written a cookbook, been on talk shows, and even went on a book signing tour at the end of last year.

A few of my friends and I decided that we HAD to see her in person. So, when we found out she was going to be in Skokie, IL, which is about 2 hours North of Farm Country, we decided to go and meet her! YAY! And, if we were lucky, maybe we'd get to meet Marlboro Man and some of the Punks.

We started out in Farm Country...that includes wind farms....

Made our way through Chicagoland traffic.....

....and finally got there around 6pm. We got our numbers to see her and we waited and waited and waited. Finally, the time came and Ree appeared and had a question and answer session before the book signing.

Once the Q&A session was over, we took our places in line (up the stairs and into the balcony of the book store) and started to entertain ourselves while waiting.

Here is Cheryl...

Brooke taking a picture of me taking a picture of her...

Brooke and Cheryl people watching...

Becky and I still waiting...

And then, finally, around 10:30pm, we made it to the front of the line! Here is sweet Cheryl chatting with Ree.

This may have been when Cheryl admitted that she was there to see Marlboro Man and PDub told her to stay away from her man! ;)

Brooke....she was so nervous and when PW told her that she loved her hair, she got verklempt and smiled and nodded...

Then, it was MY turn. Ay yi yi....I suddenly got diarrhea of the mouth and wouldn't. shut. up. I think in the short amount of time that I sat there while she signed my 5 books, I told her my entire life story. Imagine ME talking like that? Hard to believe, right? Right.

A member of the B&N staff took many pictures of the two of us (with my camera) and this is the
only picture that I didn't have my mouth open. Seriously.

Next in line was Becky. I only got pictures from her from the back (sorry, Becky!) I was visiting with Marlboro Man and...well....that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Marlboro Man was a great sport. He signed all of our books and even had his picture taken with the four of us.

They even gave away t-shirts to everyone. How sweet! Here is my book, signed by PDub, proving I AM her biggest fan. ;)

It was a great trip. We got back to Farm Country at 2am and had to be back to work bright and early the next morning. We were dragging quite a bit, but it was worth it!

The best part? Spending time with my friends!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Nothing says 'I love you' like....wild game?

I had planned on making a special Valentine's dinner of homemade spaghetti sauce, whole wheat penne pasta, and a tossed salad. What the reality of the situation is...The Man came home Friday night and announced, "Nothing will be eaten this weekend that hasn't been shot!" Hmmm, yummy. Not. However, if that's what makes him happy, that's what we'll do, as long as he's not asking me to shoot anything. That's where I draw the line. The things I do in the name of love.

Last night, he did all of the cooking, I just tossed a salad. He broiled deer chops, baked potatoes, and made broccoli. I wasn't looking forward to the chops because I'm not a fan of venison. It's just too gamy tasting to me. I was pleasantly surprised, though. It wasn't bad. Day one down, one to go.

Tonight is pheasant. I like pheasant, but not enough to put it on my menu. When he laid out the pheasant to thaw, I looked at him wide eyed and asked, "Seriously, Hon, how many people are you planning to feed with all of this meat?"

So, for St. Valentine's Day, I'm cooking pheasant. I'd like to say I'm making something exotic like "Pheasant Under Glass" or whatever that is, but the reality of the situation is that I'm probably be making beer butt pheasant. Classy, eh? Nothing but the best for my man. ;)

Saturday, February 13, 2010


When we were young, we had some 'fun' names for our grandparents. My brother, since he was the oldest and also the first to talk, named all four of our grandparents. Then, when my sister was a bit older and able to speak, she renamed our paternal grandmother. Our grandparents doted on us. We were our paternal grandparents' only grandchildren, since my dad was an only child. The sun basically rose and set on us. My mom's parents were pretty busy raising a child of their own. My aunt was a huge surprise to them. She was born shortly after my parents were married, and is 2 years older than my brother and 3 years older than I am. However, they still doted on us and we had a wonderful relationship with all 4 grandparents.

My brother named our paternal grandparents Grandma and Dugga. Dugga was the best! He would come over every Saturday morning and play with us and watch cartoons with us. When we went to their house to visit, we would have 'parties' in their kitchen. We'd sit on the floor and eat ice cream. We would go on vacation with Dugga and Grandma. We'd all pile into our stationwagon in the 'night morning' (the term Dugga came up with when it was so early that it was still dark.) They dosed me up with Dramamine and stuck me in the way back with a bucket, blanket and pillow, so that I didn't hurl the entire trip. Grandma would have bags of snacks and a container of ice cold water that she kept between her legs the entire trip to the beach. We would get in trouble because we would want a drink of water as soon as we picked them up in the night morning. hehe She would say, "Why sure!" and then my parents would tell us "NO WAY!" LOL

Christmas Eve was a magical time. We'd go over to Dugga and Grandma's house. Grandma would have a roast cooking and a huge plate of cookies that she got from the bakery. The would be stacks of presents in every corner of their living room. Once the presents were opened, Dugga would disappear to his bedroom and come out with things hidden behind his back. He would make a grand announcement...This is for.......Dawn! This one's for.....Sam! Purely Magic! Then, we'd all head to church (Dugga, my family and I would head down to 'our' church Westminster Presbyterian) and my grandmother would head across the street to the Catholic Church. Afterward, we'd visit for awhile longer, then pack up the stationwagon and head home to wait for Santa's arrival.

On Christmas morning, Dugga would get up and come over to watch us unwrap our gifts from Santa. Mom would put the turkey in the oven and later, Dugga and Grandma would come over together to have dinner with us. Sometimes PapPap and Momal would also have dinner with us, depending on whether they were going to my uncle's or not.

Once my sweet sister was born and was able to talk, Grandma's name changed. She became Mimi. Looking back, the name was more appropriate for our Mimi since it just oozes love. So, we had Dugga and Mimi and PapPap and Momal.

In August 1976, Dugga died of cancer. It was the worse day of our young lives. I remember being at PapPap and Momal's house. Our parents were at the hospital with Mimi and Dugga. The phone rang and then Momal came in and gently told us that Dugga was gone. We kicked and screamed and were just wrought with emotion. My grandparents let us get it out, then they comforted us the best that they could.

PapPap and Momal......What a wonderful couple! PapPap was a giant in my eyes. He was a gentle giant, though. How I loved that man! I can still see his smile and see his huge hands. I felt safe at their house. Momal was a very classy woman. I don't remember ever seeing her in slacks, except for when she was cleaning the house. She always wore skirts or dresses and pantyhose and heels. Always. I spent a LOT of time at their house because my aunt Pam and I were the best of friends. Momal would bake wonderful goodies. She made the best homemade noodles I've ever had. The best!

PapPap was a principal. He started out being a teacher/principal at a one room schoolhouse in a small town. Once the school and town grew, he became the principal. He was married before to a woman who was in an accident and she passed away, leaving him with 2 small children. He met Momal and they got married and she had an instant family. He was 11 years her senior. They were in love until the day he died.

Momal grew up in a large family. During the depression, she was forced to quit school at 14 to work at the pottery to help support her family. When I hear the story from my mom, it just makes me angry, considering she had older brothers who were able to stay in school. She lived the rest of her life thinking she was ignorant and dumb because she didn't finish school. However, she was one of the sharpest, most classy women I've met in my lifetime. There wasn't an ignorant bone in her body.

Fast forward to 1985 when The Man asked me to marry him. PapPap looked at me with his sweet smile and said, "So, you're going to marry a man in the Navy!" He was so proud. Unfortunately, he was ill and in the hospital the day we got married and he couldn't be there for the wedding. Mimi and Momal walked down the aisle to their seats together, holding hands. We went to the hospital to see PapPap in our wedding attire, The Man wore his Navy blues and I wore my wedding gown.

In December 1988, PapPap passed away. Another sad day in our lives. Momal and Mimi became best friends and since Mimi didn't drive, Momal would take her everywhere.

In 1990, The Boy was born. He was the first grandchild in the family and the first great grandchild for my grandmothers. Everyone doted on that baby. We lived far from family, but every time my parents, or The Man's parents had a chance, they would come down to visit to 'see The Boy.' Suddenly, The Man and I became obsolete. LOL

In 1991, The Man went on another 6 month deployment (his third since we were married in '86.) I didn't want to stay 500 miles away from my family with a small baby without support. So, since we were supposed to move to Wisconsin after the deployment, we put our things in storage and The Boy and I moved back home to WV. The Boy grew and thrived. My grandmothers doted on him, The Man's grandparents doted on him, The Boy's grandparents doted on him.

The Boy would pull himself up by the staircase and yell "DAD!" when my dad when upstairs. We would correct him and say, "That is GRAND dad. Daddy is away!" We didn't want him to get confused. So, my dad's name became 'Did Dad'. My mom was still just Grandma because The Boy didn't talk much...well, he talked, but it was pretty much just gibberish at that point. Once The Boy honed his speaking skills, my mom became 'Gumba' and that morphed into Gumbunk. She is still Gumbunk. She will probably be Gumbunk to The Boy's children, if Lord willing, The Boy has children...many years from now!

Times change, years rush on, all of our grandparents and my father are now in Heaven. We have our memories, which are wonderful. The Man and I still talk and laugh about the things The Boy said and did. We remember with fondness my father and our grandparents. We tell stories and laugh and sometimes cry. We know that we wouldn't be who we are without the people and experiences in our lives.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's Thursday...Do you know what that means?

At our house, Thursday is what I refer to as "Survivor Pizza Night." I fire up the bread machine, make pizza dough and make a pizza for The Man and me. Here is my recipe:

10 oz tepid water
3/4 tsp salt
3 Tbs olive oil
4 cups bread flour
2 tsp yeast

Set the bread machine at the dough setting and turn it on. Once it's finished, I cut the dough in half and freeze one half of it and then use the other half for our pizza.

Preheat the oven at 525 degrees and stretch the dough onto a pizza stone. Once it's stretched, poke holes all over it with a fork and bake it for 10 minutes. Take it out, put on the sauce and cheese, and toppings of your choice (usually pepperoni and pineapple on my half, and pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, and onions on The Man's half.) Bake for an additional 5 minutes. Cut with a pizza cutter.

Take a plate of the deliciousness down to the family room, turn on Survivor and enjoy!

What do you do on Thursday night?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Puppy is Getting Old

It just came out of the blue....Dutch, our precious black lab, got old. Well, it didn't technically happen over night. He IS 12 years old. He turned 12 in October. However, he has always acted like a puppy until recently. He still likes to 'follow us from the front' whenever we walk around the house. However, there are times that he can't hear us put his food in his bowl, so we have to search the house for him when it's time to eat.

Two years ago, we had to put our beloved yellow lab, Duke, to sleep because he was getting old and having problems with incontinence, pain, hearing loss, etc. It was the hardest decision of my life. I had to ultimately make the decision because The Man couldn't bring himself to do it. We took him together, I drove and he sat in the back of the car with Duke. It was the worst trip of my life....the longest too, even though our vet is only 15 minutes away.

Ever since Duke died, Dutch has slowed down quite a bit. He went into mourning for a good two weeks. He would lie around and whimper and even look out the window waiting for Duke to come home. It was just so sad.

Dutch has always been my 'baby.' He follows me everywhere and knows where to come when he's afraid (and he's pretty much afraid of everything.) Sometimes he climbs onto my lap (all 97 pounds of him) and sits there like he's a lap dog.

Duke was The Boy's dog...brought back from the North Pole when The Man and I took his list to Santa back in '95. But really? He was The Man's dog. They were inseparable. Dutch was also bought for The Boy in '97, but other than occasionally sleeping with him...and knowing where his gravy train was, he is my dog. It's funny how dogs pick their 'people.'

Reality hit me the other day when I was sitting in the family room and The Man was upstairs cooking. Dutch woke up and struggled to climb the steps. It was like a slap in the face.

I really prefer living in doesn't hurt as bad.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Leaning tower of Fiesta

I have an addiction. Well, actually, I have many addictions, but this is one of the many. I love Fiesta. I guess part of the reason I'm addicted to it could be that I am originally from the town one mile from Homer Laughlin China. There is a rich history of potteries and steel mills in the Northern WV area where I was born and raised. My maternal grandmother had to quit school at the age of 14 to go to work in the pottery to help support her family during the depression. She was an amazing woman, but that's another story for another time.

Every time a new color is introduced, my mom and stepdad buy us a place setting that includes a dinner plate, salad plate, bowl, and mug.

I didn't start collecting Fiesta until some of the colors were retired. This is one of my favorite colors, but I only have a couple of pieces that I found in the outlet store seconds room.

That room is so fun to look through. I have found many treasures in there, including a huge scarlet pizza plate.

These dishes are virtually indestructible, but because I am who I am, I have broken my fair share of them. I need to replace a couple of large dinner plates when I go to the outlet store this spring. Hopefully I'll find them in the seconds room!

What are your addictions?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

We made sausage!

Ever had one of those Tom Hanks moments? You know the moment he had in the movie Castaway when he made fire? That is the feeling I had when we got finished making sausage. :)

Yesterday, we spent about 3-4 hours cutting (well, The Man cut, he doesn't trust me around sharp objects) and packaging the wild hog that he shot in Texas. As he cut the meat, I washed it and put it into packages. I did do a bit of cutting to get rid of the excess fat from some of the cuts of meat. We had a huge pile left over for sausage making. We decided to wash it and then refrigerate it until today because we were pretty tired of looking at all of that meat.

I put a roast in the crock pot when we got finished last night and let it cook all night long. I cooked it in 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar, 3 Tbs Worcestershire sauce, and 1 Tbs chili powder. I woke up around 7am and took it out of the crock pot. It was falling apart and smelling delicious! We'll pull it and add BBQ sauce for dinner. The Man likes Buffalo Wild Wings mango habanera sauce and I like their honey BBQ sauce.

I woke up this morning thinking I'd savor my coffee and enjoy my morning. Hmmmm, the reality was I woke up to a funny noise that I hadn't heard in a while. The Man was in the kitchen. He was already grinding meat with my Kitchen Aide and the meat grinder attachment. He was also cooking up some fresh sausage patties while he was grinding. We made toast and had homemade red pepper jelly, a gift from one of his coworkers, and sausage patty sandwiches. I think I'm in love.

So, we still had 8 pounds of ground pork to make into bulk sausage (we didn't attempt to stuff it into casings). So, I made a spice blend of:
8 tsp sea salt
4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground red pepper flakes
4 pinches ground cloves
8 tsp ground rubbed sage
4 Tbs brown sugar

Then, I added it to the ground pork.

Finally, I put on my rubber gloves and mixed it all together.

Then, I got out the food scale and measured out 1 pound packages.

We left 3 pounds of ground pork unseasoned for other recipes, and we made 8 pounds of bulk breakfast sausage. I didn't count how many packages of loins, chops, steaks, and roasts we got, but we won't have to buy meat (we have 1/4 side of beef in the freezer) for a very long time. It was a lot of fun to do.

When we were finished, this was our conversation:
Me: Hey, Hon? Let's raise hogs so that we can do this all. of. the. time!
The Man: Seriously? Do you know how bad hogs smell? I could smell this wild hog before I even saw it! No way!

So, no raising hogs for us, but it sure was fun while it lasted. :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Updates and rambings....

  • This is the card that Mom made. Isn't it adorable? The ladybug is made from fabric and she has real buttons for spots. :)
  • This is the one of the pillow cases that my mom made. Mickey Mouse is the only rodent that I like, by the way.
  • The roast is still cooking in the crock pot. We're having bbq pulled pork tomorrow. YUM!
  • The Man fried some chops in his huge cast iron skillet. They were delicious! They didn't taste gamey at all.
  • The Boy called today. He said that his area of Ohio was under a level 3 snow emergency and that he couldn't go to work. If you travel under a level 3 snow emergency, you risk paying a $250 fine, unless it's an emergency. Who knew? (Working at KMart isn't an emergency.)
  • I don't think IL has 'snow emergency' classifications.
  • We got snow yesterday, but it quickly melted from the roadways. I'm sick of winter! I need some sunshine and warmer weather!
  • I have a huge mountain of laundry that needs my attention......I suppose that's what I'm going to be doing tomorrow.
  • I bought a new ceramic curling iron (gotta take out the curl to put curl in, you know) and burned the heck out of my hand while using it on Thursday! I asked The Man to buy me those grilling gloves to use while curling my hair in the future. I have a nasty blister on my left index finger. Luckily I can still type. :)

Hog Butchering Time

No, we don't live on a farm or raise hogs. However, this past week, The Man went to Texas with a friend and hunted wild hogs. I am a little wary of eating wild meat. I'm not fond of wild game, in general.

He brought a cooler full of deboned, skinned hog meat. He and I donned rubber gloves and set out to cut the hog into roasts, chops, rib meat, and we have a large amount of meat and fat to make homemade sausage. Currently, I have a roast in the crock pot for pulled pork. It looks just like pork from the store, so, fingers crossed, here's hoping that it tastes good.

I'll keep you updated!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I have the best mom!

I got a surprise in the mail today. I'd post a picture, but for some reason, Blogger won't let me upload my pictures right now. So, in another post, I'll show the pictures.

Back story: Growing up, we took many, many family vacations to the Happiest Place on Earth, otherwise known as Disney World. 'Back in the day' (late seventies), there was only one park to visit...The Magic Kingdom. My parents, brother, sister, and I were so excited when we visited after EPCOT opened. We went every year from '77 until The Man and I got married in '86, sometimes even twice a year. My dad was a big kid at heart. I don't know how my parents afforded such extravagant vacations, with him being a school principal and her being a school nurse, but they did and we went.

As an adult, The Man had no interest in going to The World. So, one year my mom and I took The Boy on his first visit. That was a magical visit. A few years later, The Boy, his cousin, my sister's family and I went to The World. That was also a very magical time. However, I still wanted The Man to share in the magic. This past spring break, Disney was running a special: buy four nights plus tickets, get three free. The Man actually suggested that we should go! Don't have to tell me twice! I got on the internet and booked our stay at Pop Century with the dining plan. The three of us had such a great time and made wonderful memories together.

Back to my gift in the mail: Mom knows my love for all things Disney. I'm a freak! She found some beautiful material in Amish country in Ohio during her last visit and made us a pair of pillow cases out of it. It's pink with black Mickeys on it. Just beautiful!

My mom is a very talented quilter, seamstress, needle worker, etc. She has talent and patience that I can only dream of having.

Mom, I love you!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Don't Blame the Groundhog!

I find it hilarious that people get all up in arms over whether the groundhog sees his shadow or not. Seriously? If he sees his shadow, six more weeks of winter. If he doesn't see his shadow, spring is only six weeks away. UM, six and six are the same number, right?

Don't worry....Old Puxatony Phil is about as accurate as our meteorologists. In fact, I'm sure I could do about as good of a job predicting the weather as they do! ;)

As for my predictions: I predict that the first day of spring is March 20...which is a mere 6 weeks away!

BTW, The Man and his grandfather used to hunt those pesky groundhogs. Yummy....for them, not for Ganny and me. We would eat REAL hog.