Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve. We had some snow. I helped shovel.

video

The boys in front of the tree.



No rabbit ears during Christmas. You must make reindeer antlers.



The traditional opening of one present on Christmas Eve.



More snow Christmas Eve night.

Christmas morning. See the Uno Attack Santa brought (behind the Legos)? Totally fun!



Snow. Snow. Snow.

Here is our grill.



The railing on the back deck.



This morning, I decided to take a walk around the block and snap some photos.

Here are some trees in the neighbors' yard.



One of the county roads before the plow.



After the plow.



Neighbors' cars.



A bench at the park.



This merry-go-round won't be going around any time soon.



Poor horsie.



Not much room to swing!



Lonely play structure.




More neighborhood trees.



Our street.



Our house.



Hi!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Brrrrrrr and then some

Did you hear it snowed up here?

(These were all taken through windows. That's why they are sorta blue-ish.)

They plow the roads up into big piles all over town...



Then they load the snow into dump trucks, take it out and dump it beside the river.



Here's the side door of the library. One of the medium-sized drifts in town.



This is one of the roads on the East side of town looking out over a corn field. The wind is still whipping the snow around.



Cooper says, "Ha, ha. Now open the door, woman."



Here is the birdhouse on our back deck. I took this yesterday afternoon.



Here it is again this morning.



I find it is better to just not ask questions...



And remember! If the temperature gets below freezing where you are, make sure you go outside and blow bubbles. It is so cool the way they freeze and pop. I'll see if I can get some photos this year.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Birds of a feather

The Commander went to the store last night to stock up for Snowmageddon '09.

Today, while he was in class, I decided to stop by the store and get a few more things. Just in case.

He called me on his way home and, surprise!, he had stopped at the store as well.

Here's where it gets creepy.

I bought a gallon of milk. He bought a gallon of milk.

I bought two bags of chips. He bought two bags of chips.

I bought spiral mac and cheese (we never buy spiral). He bought spiral mac and cheese.

I bought Pepperoni Pizza Lunchables. He bought Pepperoni Pizza Lunchables.

Weird.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Hickory Farms Product Review

The Commander came into the kitchen the other day and saw a box from Hickory Farms sitting out on the counter. His eyes lit up and he asked if it was a Christmas present. I told him that it wasn't. I had gotten it to review for my blog.

The next time I saw the box, it was open and parts were missing.

This is how it looked before *someone* got ahold of it.



He had opened up one of the summer sausages and the sharp cheddar. And most of it was gone. I managed to snagged a few slices of the summer sausage. It was as tasty as I remember.

But the real surprise was the sharp cheddar. I don't like cheddar cheese much. I REALLY don't like sharp cheddar. THIS STUFF WAS OMG GOOD. I ate a healthy portion of it.

We haven't opened the other sausage or cheeses (Apple Pie Cheddar and Edam) yet, but we will probably have them a little closer to Christmas.

Hickory Farms gift boxes have always been a gift we know will get used. We buy at least one every year (if not more!). And yes, we have since purchased one and it is wrapped and under the tree.

If you are looking for that hard-to-buy-for person (or anyone else, for that matter), keep Hickory Farms in mind.

It's good stuff.

(When I was younger and haven't quite developed the palate for summer sausages, I always laid claim to the strawberry candies. I still get a little thrill when I open up the box and see them!)


__________

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Hickory Farms and received a Hickory Farms gift basket to facilitate my review.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

6:30am is too early, but I did it anyway.

The Boy just came into the kitchen and exclaimed, "I woke up to the sound of bacon cooking!"

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Yowl!

You remember that sweet, little kitten we recently got?

She's driving my husband up the crazy wall.

We didn't know how old she was when we got her, but we guessed a couple of months.

Evidently, we were off some.

She's in heat.

Yowl! Yowl! Yowl!

Day and night.

Night and day.

We've had to put her in the utility room at night so we can all get some sleep!

The vet says she could be in heat 8-9 days and that he could spay her after that. We told him we would be calling him at 8 days, 1 minute.

Then he said that if she doesn't come out of heat (WHAT???!!!) he could go ahead and spay her.

I hope she comes out of it soon or I'm going to have to buy The Commander some ear plugs. (Being a Mom, I can tune her out.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Grrrrrr

Martha Stewart said about Rachael Ray, "She's more of an entertainer with a bubbly personality than she is a teacher like me." Another reason I can't stand that woman. I can honestly say I have made more RR recipes than I have MS's.

Diane Sawyer added after the interview aired, "Can I say something? Rachael Ray? You cook for me anytime."

I got a free subscription to MS's "Everyday Food" magazine (Rachael Ray's magazine is called "Everyday with Rachael Ray".) and let me tell you, I have yet to find one so-called "Everyday" recipe in there. I've never even heard of some of the ingredients.

Grrrrrrr.

__________

The first full recipe The Boy cooked was a RR recipe for Mega Meatball Pizza. It was so easy! And good!

(And I have photos! Somewhere!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You decide

Operation Introduce Cat To Christmas Tree

Human says - Not go so well.



Kitten says - Looks good to me!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

One of the many reasons...

...I read her blog.


"As for grammar pet peeves, the misplaced plural/possessive apostrophe drives me BATSHIT. Jesus Lord God. Here, people, IT'S EASY:

RIGHT: I don't like blogs because I don't think bloggers are good writers.

WRONG: I don't like blog's because I don't think blogger's are good writer's.

RIGHT: I cannot stand that blogger's overuse of the caps lock key.

WRONG: I cannot stand that bloggers overuse of the cap's lock key.

Got it? Good. Please don't ever do it again."


Amen, Sister Friend.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Therefore and thusto

Nowhere, and I mean nowhere, does either of these proclamations say anything about "TURKEY DAY". I know people think it is funny to call it that, but I'm not one of those people.

[New York, 3 October 1789]

By the President of the United States of America. A Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor--and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be--That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions--to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

AND

By the President of the United States of America. A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

_______

And to show you that I do indeed have a sense of humor...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Love, peace and hair grease




You Are a Hippie



You may not have long hair or a closet full of tie-dye, but you definitely dance to the beat of your own drum. (And you may even play the drum as well.)

You are a true free spirit. You don't let yourself be weighed down by rules and expectations.



You are creative, philosophical, and caring. You want everyone to have a better life.

For you, the worst thing in the world is being stuck in some rat race. You rather be broke than have to wear a suit every day.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Spooky and Annoying

So there is this broom in Prattville, Alabama that stands on its own.

The video swept (pun intended) across the country! Pretty creepy, right?

But then I walked passed my kitchen last night and saw this -



Whaaaa???!!!

The Boy did this. It was pretty impressive. He took it down and stood it up a few times just to show me how he had balanced it. I told him to take it closer to the stove to see if it would balance in a different area. IT WOULDN'T BALANCE THERE!

OOOOOooooOOOoOOO Even creepier when it is in your own house.

Hey TV stations! Come see us and bring your cameras!

__________________________


In other news...Cooper wants to know what's up with little sisters and can we send this one back?

video

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Brusha Brusha Brusha

A couple of weeks ago, The Boy and I started a little something new - the "October Oral Care Challenge" created by Listerine and Reach.

We were given a huge box of dental care products including Listerine Total Care mouthwash, Reach toothbrushes and floss, Agent Cool Blue and Smart Rinse. We also recieved a set of tooth shaped stickers and a calendar to keep track of our activities.

The goal of this challenge is to brush, floss and rinse every day, twice a day for two weeks — a key step in building a strong foundation of good oral care habits.

First, a swish around with Agent Cool Blue! This tints the plaque on your teeth so when you brush, you can make sure you have visual proof you are getting rid of it. (This is a kid's product, but I used it too. Remember when we got those little tablets in school that we chewed and turned our plaque red so we could brush it off? This is along those lines, but way better.)

Brusha, brusha, brusha!

Then the floss. We had two choices: Reach Access Daily Flosser or Reach Ultraclean Floss.

I'm a big fan of the Access. The Commander and I both have them and use them all of the time. It is so much easier to use the toothbrush shaped flosser way back on the molars than it is to get my ginormous hands back there.

The Ultraclean floss caught my eye though. It has "proprietary flexible MICRO-GROOVES technology" and cleans 2X more plaque. As much as I like the Access, sometimes I have to pull out the big guns for something that is stuck pretty well. This did it! (A little tip from my former dentist - if you have something that just won't come out after you have flossed and flossed, tie a knot into the floss and pull the knot between the teeth. I have had to do this several times and it has always worked.)

Finally, the rinse. The Boy had Smart Rinse and I had the Listerine Total Care. Both worked very well and left us kissable!

We were very happy with this challenge and recommend the products mentioned above (especially the Access Flosser.)

If you would like to try something from Listerine, Listerine Kids or Reach, they currently have a special offer on their websites to receive coupons for their products.


___________

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Listerine and Reach and received Listerine and Reach products for the Oral Care Challenge and a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Shoop, shoop

We had seven kinds of fun on Saturday

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wrist Pain Update

I went to the doctor and got an xray.

Bad news.

I'm not big boned.

heheheheheh

Nothing is broken so he thinks it is tendonitis. Wrist brace 23.5/7 (I have to shower ya know.) for two weeks (He said that or a cast. I'll take the brace, tyvm.) then slowly start doing range of motion exercises. Two Aleve twice a day and Tylenol for pain. I have to wait 7-10 days after the pain is gone to start bowling again. :(

If it doesn't get better, orthopedic surgeon for further examination. Something could be torn.

He said where my pain is is not a usual place for wrist pain. Why am I not surprised?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Too many cooks in the kitchen

So I left.

He wanted to learn to cook, so we turned him loose on the Indian Tacos.



Frybread thief!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

For your viewing pleasure.

Fifteen years ago...

My folks.


His folks.


The oldest.


He's grown since.


Happy Anniversary. Mwah.

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's Fall, Y'all

The leaves are turning a gorgeous rainbow of reds, yellows and oranges.



Soon, we'll be raking the leaves into large piles, ready for young children to jump and frolic amongst them.



Can Winter be far behind?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Awwwww.



Scotch will play with her. Cooper says, "Stop touching me!"

Monday, October 05, 2009

Cough

The Boy has been coughing for about a week now. It has been a dry cough usually when he gets up in the morning. Nothing a few cough drops couldn't handle.

This morning though? His cough sounded seven kinds of juicy.

That means we get to test our (CUE OMINOUS MUSIC) health insurance company (rhymes with Banana.)

When we signed up last year, we chose the policy with the ungodly high deductible so we would be able to afford the premiums. We can pretty much handle an occasional office visit (we don't get sick much, knock wood and all that), but we wanted something in case we had to go to the hospital. And we wanted prescription coverage (I'm looking at you, High Blood Pressure! You too, Migraines!) One bonus to this premium is that we get six visits per year where we just have to pay a co-pay before we start doing the deductible.

Fast forward to one year, one office visit (not in network, dangit) and a few prescriptions later. We get the letter in the mail for the policy renewal. Surprise, surprise. The premiums had gone up $80 (EIGHTY DOLLARS!!!) a month. Bastards.

The Commander called and got himself taken off of the policy since he can go to the VA clinic. It nearly halved the premium.

So today, I took The Boy to a Banana network clinic in the town 20 some-odd miles away. (What's that, you say? Why didn't I take him to the clinic here in town. 'Scuse me while I laugh in your face.)

The Boy saw a physician's assistant and was diagnosed with Tonsillitis. I pay the co-pay, go to the pharmacy, gather the prescriptions and head home. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

WRONG.

WRONG.

WRONG.

Ring-a-ling. Hi, this is the clinic, we don't do Banana. But we will give you a 15% discount making the total NINETY-SOME-ODD DOLLARS.

(Expletive deleted.)

I sign on to MyBanana online and sure enough, there is the doctors' names listed as providers.

I call Banana and explain what we have been told. She tells me that as long as they file under a doctor's name (not a PA's [there are a lot of those here]), they will pay for it.

I call the clinic back and the lady was GONE FOR THE DAY. Of COURSE she was. I passed along the information and hopefully it will be covered.

I think I may need some of the "with codeine" that came in the pharmacy bag. (Kidding! Against the law. Never do that!)

Maybe.

When you wake up at 3am, you look for things to do.




You Are Warm Apple Cider



You love to feel warm and full. You love all the small comforts that come with fall.

Unlike most people, you are as active in fall as you are in the summer. You just make sure and keep warm.



For you, fall is the perfect time of year to visit cafes or go for long walks. The season makes you feel energized.

You love the bustle of everyone being back from the summer vacation and back to work.







Your Hippie Chick Name Is: Promise



Right on, sister!







Your Birth Month Says You're Flexible



Unique and creative, you seek your own path in life.

You love change and are able to adapt to any situation.



Your soul reflects: Sweetness, joy, and a complete life.



Your gemstone: Emerald



Your flower: Lily of the Valley



Your colors: Yellow, red, and green





Sorry Sweetie




You Wear the Pants in Your Relationship



You definitely wear the pants in your relationship, and you sweetie doesn't seem to mind.

Your partner seems to worship you, and you could get away with murder... if you wanted.



Enjoy your top dog status, but don't exploit it too much.

Even if your sweetie doesn't require compromise, it if you compromised every once and a while.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

He's smart, this one.

Me - How was your day?

The Boy - I learned something, but I forgot what it was.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I was actually a paid "professional" once.

So. Or should I say "sew".

I'm not a sewer so much. I was the official seamstress for the OSU Cowboy football team once (for about two weeks), but other than a straight line, I'm not so good.

The Boy is now a Webelo Scout. This means he gets a new Scout shirt. That means he gets new patches.

(See where I am going with this?)

I had to sew on a new council patch (shoulder), two new pack numbers (under council patch) and a world crest emblem (above the left pocket). That is where my troubles lie.

I did pretty well on the council patch. Awesome on the pack numbers. But when it came to the world crest. I buggered it up.

First - I put it up too high.
Second - It is round. (See straight line comment above.)

You couldn't even see it the way the collar folded over on it. I had to use my seam ripper (I love seam rippers.) and carefully remove it. These shirts aren't cheap and I didn't want to have to replace it.

I repositioned it and used some straight pins to hold it in place. Every time I had to spin the shirt on the curve, the patch would move, but not the shirt.

Say it with me, "Frustrating."

Finally (and there may have been some Super Glue involved) I got it on. Now he is good to go.

I hope he stays in Scouts. The oldest boy got his Eagle Scout last year. It would be nice to have them both be Eagles.

We had to change packs this year. The one here kinda fell apart. The Boy was the only one in his den to earn his advancement badge. Most parents did not help their boys at all. It was sad. Now we drive up into Minnesnowda. I think we are going to like this group much better.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Some people call it a sport.

Shopping. I do it well. Most of the time, I'm just lucky.

The other day, I was jonesing for some sweaters at an online store I lurve. I put three of them in my shopping cart just for giggles.

This morning, an email from that store appeared in my inbox. It said, "Buy one, get one 50% off!" and "Buy three items, get $3.00 shipping!"

That clenched it. I only had to throw one more thing in my shopping cart. (You can't just buy three things at a BOGO sale.)

But wait, surely there must be a code somewhere online to SAVE EVEN MORE MONEY. Sure enough. I found a code for $20 off a purchase of $80 or more.

Cha-ching.

Now I'm set for winter. (Almost. I still need winter footwear.)

Good thing. High today is only getting up to 67 degrees.

Yippy-skippy!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

We finally made it!

We finally made it to the county fair.

This guy was here. He's a lot cuter when he cleans up. The Commander wanted me to tell him he has seen his wife nekkid. I didn't wait in line to see him, though. I figured I would get up there and babble like a fool. So I just stood back and snapped some photos.



I did get my fried Snickers bar. Mmmmmm. I could have had another, but I'm too cheap. Of course I had to buy an RC Cola. You can take the woman out of Oklahoma...



My feets hurt.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

OMG!

Patches used her eye lasers to stun Scotch!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

R.I.P. Black Dog

I killed a dog tonight.

I was driving down the highway out in the middle of nowhere, doing a little over 55 MPH (Thanks Iowa! for giving me great gas mileage.) and I noticed a dog sniffing around in the ditch on my right.

I was getting ready to turn off of the highway, so I started slowing down while looking at the dog. I was saying to myself, "That dog looks like (The Commander's cousin Joe's dog) Sammy. But it doesn't have the white tipped tail."

When all of a sudden, Not Sammy made a bee-line for the other side of the road. I barely had time to slam on the brakes and no time at all to swerve. I hit him dead center. (No pun.)

He looked like an adolescent dog. Medium sized. Gangly. Sorta doing the "yup, yup, yup" gallop across the road.

I looked in my rear view mirror and didn't see him. I thought, "Great, he's stuck under the car." (Not really cold hearted. More like OH NO!)

Then I looked in my side mirror and saw him come to a floppy stop on the opposite side of the road. I wanted to stop, but I didn't want to stop. Know what I mean? I ended up not stopping. I was on my way to take The Boy to piano and didn't want to be late for the first lesson with the new teacher.

The Boy glanced over at me and said, "What was that?"

I told him I hit a dog.

He didn't say anything for a while. Then he asked me why I looked so sad. I told him that I was sad for the dog and sad for the owners if it had any.

He didn't say anything for a while, then he reached over and patted my leg. "Was he dead?"

"I think so."

"What position was he in when you hit him?"

"He ran out in front of me."

Oopsie. He didn't know I had hit a live dog, he thought I had ran over an already dead dog.

I'm still sad. I have never done that before. I have been in the car when my dad hit a dog, but I have never been the driver.

It isn't pleasant.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

His first solo.

His first solo ride. It wasn't very long, but he did real well. The second ended with a fall at the end. The third ended with an almost fall and me yelling at him, "NO! NO!" As soon as he stops, he wants to hop off which is exactly what he did with his bicycle. We told him after ride #2 that he couldn't be jumping off like that. He did anyway. It wouldn't be so bad, but he doesn't put it in neutral before he hops off. The third ride, he hopped off and gunned the thing and it took off without him. I think he learned his lesson.

video

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I'm officially an Iowa Housewife.

Sweet corn time here in Iowa. We have been getting it from roadside stands for a couple of months. You have to be careful and not buy too early. They charge and arm and a leg for the first couple of weeks. I saw some for $7.00 a dozen and passed on them. The most I have paid has been $5.00 for 13 ears (the ones below and the most delicious) down to $3.50 for a dozen (they weren't too shabby either).

Yesterday, I bought $20.00 worth and ended up with 55 ears of corn. We ate six last night and I set six aside for tonight. The rest I put up.


Here I go!



Mmmmmmm.



Token artsy shot.



Most of the worms were at the top of the silks, but this little fella had dug down deep.



Boil them up for a bit.



Quick ice bath to blanch.



Debris.



Scrape, scrape, scrape. I bought a tool to use, but it was worthless.



Ta-dah! I got nine bags of two cups each and two bags with six ears each. That should last for a month, right?



Now, who's coming to clean up the mess?