Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I give up.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
***And Mom, before you call and chew me out for letting Mae touch the dirty underside of our toilet, I will have you know that she was promptly whisked into the shower and thoroughly disinfected after her helper duties were complete.***
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
The summer sunsets are only better because I don't have to put on my boots to go outside and enjoy it.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
No thank you, I don't care how broke I am, you won't get me to skin a
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Last night I went to the farm for my twice weekly feed, milk and pitch shit session on a very cold and windy evening. This isn't a post complaining about the bitter cold, although school has been cancelled today due to extreme temps, but rather a post about how I am not a farm girl. Just because I live in an old farmhouse, out in the middle of a large farm field and work on a dairy farm, does not mean I was born with the farm instinct necessary to deal with what I witnessed last night.
I was ready to bed the heifers, so I ran up the barn hill and into the upstairs hay and straw storage area to drop down a bale of straw to spread in the pens. As I approached the straw bales, I saw what I thought was just a farm cat leaning up against the very bale I needed to disassemble and toss down through the hole in the floor. As I got closer I realized that this was no cat. No, the tail was too fluffy, and bigger, much bigger than the skinny farm cats, and the mask around it's face??? Then all of a sudden this ran through my brain:
Holy shit! It's a raccoon, probably has rabies, is totally gonna bite me, I'm not carrying a pitch fork and my raccoon eradicator friend, Bonnie is nowhere to be found!!! all of this runs through my head as I stand there motionless hoping that the dirty, miserable thing doesn't see me. I catch my breath, calmly walk back downstairs and announce to the farmer, Ms. D. that "There's a f*cking raccoon upstairs; and this is where I draw the line." She chuckles and says, "did you at least get your bale down?" "Um-no, there's a raccoon standing next to it!" Then she says so matter of factly "Take Peppy (the hyper farm dog) along... and here this too" as she hands me a pitchfork. Reluctantly, I coax the dog outside and up into the barn. We get up there and the dog doesn't notice the raccoon. As I'm pointing with my fork from a safe distance, the dog finally sees the thing and of course as I suspected, all hell breaks loose. Biting, snarling, screaming. The dog had no intentions of just chasing the raccoon out of the barn; that crazy dog was out for blood. After about 10 minutes of screaming and thrashing, equal parts me and the animals, Ms. D pulls open the hay chute and yells,
"did he git 'em out?"
me: "Um-no, they're still fighting, and AAAAHHH!"
Ms. D: "I'm comin' up"
She comes in the barn to cheer on the dog and assist by using the pitchfork to lift the thrashing raccoon with dog still attached out of the barn and into the snow, where the dog could finish him off.
I catch my breath, make sure that I haven't peed myself, then chuckle and admit that "I am no farm girl!" Ms. D agreed as I took the pitch fork from her hand, threw down my bale of straw and left the barn.
After chores, I went out to start my truck and noticed that the raccoon was still lying in the middle of the driveway, motionless and well on it's way to being a frozen raccoon-cicle.
I know this is a fact of life living in the country, but at home, my hubby takes care of these things. It's common to see mice or the occasional rat at the farm, and I have even stepped on a mouse and called the cats over for an afternoon treat, but this was over the top.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
If we ignore it, it will go away.
And the "Leroy the redneck reindeer" song. She asked "what didn't you like about it? I gave her the definition of redneck and said that I thought the use of it in an elementary school program was inappropriate and offensive. What may be acceptable in adult comedy routines may not be taken the same way when it comes from the mouths of children. She took no claim for any of the song choices and said she would pass my message on to the music teacher.
I still feel unheard and now singled out as the wimpy- can't take a joke, heathen. :(
I think I 'll just let it go until next year. Before the practice even begins, I will have a conversation with the music teacher and express my concerns. What other choice do I have?
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Her regular pediatrician walks in the room with those sympathetic mommy eyes and says "lets just hope that this is pink eye and not another sinus infection." Not necessarily comforting words, considering she won't be instilling 2 drops per eye three times daily, but I'll take the eye drops over the heavy duty antibiotic that we're used to. Doc was right as always, and off we went to the pharmacy. While waiting for the slowest pharmacist ever, my youngest, sweet Binny intentionally sticks her foot out in front of an elderly (I think she may have also been blind) woman who didn't speak any English, so when I apologized and simultaneously grabbed Binny by the arm to reprimand her, the woman just snarled and shuffled off. Sorry, old lady.
Today is Mae's turn to bring the snack for the entire class. So, if she's still crusty-eyed when she wakes up this morning, I know what we'll be eating for the next 4 days.
Yeah, that's right, blueberry muffins from scratch. Only because I have a shitload of blueberries in the freezer and not enough string cheese for the whole class.
Monday, January 12, 2009
and just for fun, here's Binny's after her umbilical hernia repair.
I found some info on lard and thought I would share.
Lard may not be as healthful as margarine, vegetable fats, or oils, but it remains in demand for cooks who want the flakiest pie crusts and most delicious biscuits. Because of its high smoke point, it is also a popular frying oil and flavoring behind traditional tamales.
Lard is made of rendered and clarified pork fat, which means high cholesterol content, but no trans fatty acids.
The quality of lard varies depending on the part of the pig from which it was rendered. The lowest grade is from the intestine area, while the best is from around the kidneys (called “leaf” lard). Any yield from along the back is nearly as good.
In some regions, lard is available either unprocessed or processed (for a longer shelf life).
In many countries, lard is readily available at any market. In the U.S. it may be more difficult to find. However, some grocery stores carry packaged pork fat, which can be rendered over heat and kept for several weeks in the refrigerator.
Canned lard, once opened, can become rancid if not tightly sealed, kept cool, and stored away from sunlight.
• Tough and dry meat cuts can be injected with strips of pork fat – called “lardons” - in a process called “larding.”
• Lard is sometimes stored in salt to retain quality and blanching may be required. Bring lard and water to a boil then quickly remove and place under running water until cool.
• Add to soups and stews or when boiling vegetables for rich flavor.
• Equal amounts of vegetable oil or shortening.
• Butter (for better flavor), increased by one-quarter of required amount.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Also I want to welcome new blogger, Bonnie. She's not new to the blogging world but she's new to mine. Bonnie and her husband live near us and I'm so happy that they do. Bonnie came to my rescue this summer when Rocko (my dog, not a child) got in a fight with a raccoon. Binny and I were home alone, and I was hopped up on benadryl from a nasty case of poison ivy. Bonnie saved the day with her calm voice and a handful of firecrackers. Thank you Bonnie. Now go check out her blog.
Now back to cute kids and a remodel update:
Binny's best hat. I'll be sad when that one is too small.
installing the new tub
Hubby spent all day Saturday framing, plumbing and wiring. We're at the point where the kids can walk right through the studs, where eventually a wall will be. If you've ever built a house or remodled you know what I mean. Very fun for the little ones. "Look mom, I'm in the bathroom, now out, now in, now out, now in." You get the picture.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Sam, a longtime friend decided that he needed to respond and doing so in my comment section wasn't enough so wrote a whole post about it. Here it is in case you don't feel like clicking through:
You want to know what I don’t get, NOW. The National Organization of Women, which supported Bill Clinton because he was a democrat, even though he slept around on Hillary. Think about it. An organization whose mission is to advance women’s rights and speak out in defense of women in need, support a philanderer.While it should be said, I lean right, and do support the W., it should be noted that I support the long-range vision that I feel he has on certain issues. But what that doesn’t mean is that I support him and 100% of his actions, policies and political actions JUST because he is a Republican.I am for an unbiased political and socio-economic discussion of Middle America in the lower-middle class, like I think my friend Ali has as an underlying motive in her blog, but today I think she went a little overboard.She wrote in I am a Hard Line Democrat What Would Jesus Do:My daughter's class sang "Jesus Christ is born" and the second grade sang "Mary did you know?" What the hell? This is a public school! I know this is a community with strong Christian beliefs, but come on, this is a government funded PUBLIC school for EVERYONE, regardless of religious affiliation. It seems that I 'm always fighting the issue of what kinds of religion my children are being taught behind my back. Am I just making too much of this? Does this happen in other public schools?To which I responded, which I am not posting, but you can go there if you feel the need to read the comment and the next comment by Ali.This is where I struggle as an American with our political system. While one candidate may be too far left, the other candidate may be too far right. The majority of people, or at least electors, picks a candidate, and then the majority of America spends the next 4-years complaining, and posting “Shave the Date – Get Rid of Your Bush” logos on their mommy blogs.Pat Buchanan, ran for the Office of the President in 2000, I believe, and prior to that, when he was bashing Clinton the way today’s democrats bash Bush, he sounded like a right-wing member of a certain socialist group that overtook most of Europe in the 1930’s… While Ali and her “woe is the religious fundamentals being taught my children,” sounds like a certain style of government that swept the majority of Asia, and a cigar making county in the Caribbean.So there you have it. You’re too far right, and you are a WWII German, and too far left, you are a Red Commie. But I am not trying to judge, or intentionally label (except maybe for Ali). Rather, I am trying to live the importance of patience, foresight, and a worldview.When Ali wrote, “I don't have a problem with Christmas, but I do have a problem with a public school telling my children that Jesus died for their sins,” the first thing I thought, ok, she’s an atheist. This is why she hates Christmas programs at her school, that force her kids to sing Christian songs about a man, who, lets be honest here, I believe did die for our sins. [Editors note: her kids got a crap load of presents for the religious holiday of Christmas. Will she return them, as the holiday is religious? She had her children pose with Jolly ol’ Saint Nick (Santa Claus). Will she burn those? Can she have it both ways?]For all you public school parents, will you consider complaining when The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe is read aloud to your children, or they see the play? It’s about God you know? Or will you force your children instead to sit in a corner by themselves and read The Golden Compass? It’s about atheism!Sure I don’t have kids, but I was once a kid, and not too long ago. Granted, Ali lives in a town that is dominated by Dutch Reformers, but I grew up less than 5 miles away from where she now lives, so I think I have a basis to talk. I went to school, and with my agnostic (for lack of a better word) friend NRB, and talked about religion in open dialog at school between our friends and us. No one complained. No one got upset. Around Christmas, we sang religious songs at public school, read books with religious themes.It’s children singing – the most beautiful sound in the world. I think Ali missed the point, and let her surroundings tarnish the sight and memory of happy children; of her children happy.I think I have to say it… America was founded on Christian ideals. You like freedom? You like tolerance? You like the federal government share the wealth with people less fortunate (welfare programs, not necessarily welfare)? Lets face it. You like Christian fundamentals. Hell, it’s the same as Jewish fundamentals, and Muslim fundamentals, but that doesn’t sound good in a time of war where Gaza and Israel are fighting.I liked learning those fundamentals AT HOME. And I liked learning fundamentals of various other religions at school. I learned Existentialistic philosophy in Public School; lived it for a while, and to a point still do, but I believe what my parents taught me, what I learned in Bible school, and what was reinforced when I re-found religion in my late 20’s.Public school gave me knowledge. My parents gave me the tools to use that knowledge.So what’s Ali to do? I don’t know. Like most Americans, I am sure she is not 100% happy with the county in the first place, and now, with the economy the way that it is, I am sure some of those feelings are coming to the surface. Obama may correct the economy, but I know he isn’t going to take “Can You See What I See” out of holiday programs.In times of crisis, people seek the basics, and many seek religion and faith to get them through. If Ali believed Jesus did die for our sins, maybe she wouldn’t be as negative toward a side-bar to a good education that her children are receiving despite an economy in the crapper.
Thank you for the very public lashing. I write what I feel, and I feel that kindergarten aged children are not able to make such huge life changing decisions like religion, in a public school. I was raised Unitarian (look it up) and believe that all kinds of religous views are valid and very much a personal choice. My kids have in no way been harmed by me expressing how I feel on MY blog.
I can shave my bush on inaguguration day if I want to and you can buy shotgun shells(not implying that you will but that's your right if you so choose.) That's my whole point, the choice.I don't think that singing a couple of Christmas songs will hurt anyone, and yes my kids did get presents on Christmas delivered by Santa himself. That doesn't mean that we can disregard church, state separation. Christmas for my family means something different than the standard. We celebrate the season, family togetherness, giving, and dare I say magic. Thank you for your opinion and what I hope will continue to be a civil discussion.
I didn't think my little mommy rant would cause such a stir. Maybe my language was a bit rough and I probably could have said it differently; but I still feel that a public school is no place to be endorsing a specific religion, whether in song or otherwise. There are plenty of Christmas/ holiday songs that could have been used. I want my children to see that other religions exist and I certainly don't see that happening here.
I respect Sam and his opinions and am thankful for this lively discussion. He also (from reading the same post ) doesn't like the "shave the date" button on my sidebar. Well Sam, this is my mommy blog and if that means talking about my religious decisions for my children or shaving my mommy parts (yes, that's where they come from) in celebration of the departure from office of the one of the worst presidents ever, then that's my choice.
Friday, January 9, 2009
I can't decide how I should handle this. Should I talk with the principal who obviously supported this program, complete in her overalls and bandanna? Will I get anywhere with a letter? I know Mae's teacher is the children's' choir director at her church, so that's a dead end. I can't seem to find an unbiased Christian to complain to. Maybe I need to go even further up the ladder, but at the same time I don't want to alienate my children as the ones who can't participate in holiday activities.
I feel that this type of religious content has no business taking up valuable school time. Perhaps time would be better spent on teaching the children about healthy eating habits and exercise. Is Jesus OK with childhood obesity? Just a thought after watching all 5 grades pile onto and off of the stage yesterday.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
So about a month ago we bought one of those digital converter boxes because we have the old style analog TVs and no plan to upgrade our TVs or get a dish before the Feb. conversion. Got the coupon, installed the boxes which by the way are rediculously confusing if you want to use anything else in conjunction with the TV, like a DVD player, stereo, etc. Now we need 3 remotes to watch the stupid thing and the sound is way diminished, but the up side is that now we receive MORE channels, like a lot more. We now get about 4 PBS channels, 2 weather options, a traffic channel, jazz and classical music, a channel called ion life that hubby loves (mostly for the drag racing and the big chested outdoors-woman shows) and Qubo (cartoons) for the kiddies. At first glance I liked Qubo, the shows are for the most part educational, and on all the time, perfect for those late night sick kid puke fests that we enjoy on a way too regular basis.
Now here's my bitch- the infomercials. Between each show there is about a 2 minute gap usually reserved for regular commercials, but Qubo chooses to run one really long commercial (usually starring Billy Mays) featuring some silly, can't live without household product. Mae watches these infomercials then runs over to try to get me to call the 800 number at the bottom of the screen.
"Mom we should get the craft cutter ba-cuz it's better than a
scissors and comes with a light."
"Mom, that vacuum is waaay better than ours."
"Mom, you should steam our curtains."
There are so many ridiculous products being advertised on that channel and they are all for adults, not the children who are watching. The handy steamer, sandwich makers, aqua globes, home improvement items, and my all time least favorite- The Bump-it. Seriously I had to see it to believe it myself. Bump its are a little plastic rounded framework that you tuck under you hair in the back to make it look like you have big
Sarah Palin pageant hair. Seriously? Could you imagine walking around with a big hunk of plastic stuck to the back of your head just so you can have big hair? WTF?
Have you seen any bad infomercials lately?
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
He built a cabinet for my cookbooks, rewired the basement and started on our new bathroom. We actually weren't planning on starting the bathroom projects (there will be 3 in this house when we're through) until next year because of our economic situation, but our current bathroom has had it, and we can't keep thinking that it will continue to accommodate our family of four. This house was built without plumbing or electricity, so one little 1950s bathroom with a bad layout is all we have. The door bangs into the toilet and cannot be opened all the way, the floor tiles are popping up, the fake plastic wall tiles are falling off and the plumbing is horrendous. The plan is to turn our laundry room/office/master closet into a master bath and master closet, move the office to the kitchen (hubby will build a desk to match our cabinets) and change the current bathroom into a half bath/ laundry room. The third bath will be upstairs for the girls, but that won't be until the other bath is ripped apart.
He started with the most important thing first, a place to pee.
That's right, the new toilet location is directly under my desk. Don't worry, I'm not blogging while on the potty. He has it all plumbed up in case something disastrous happens to our lone toilet. 3 women and no toilet, no man wants to deal with that.
He ripped out the old closet yesterday and that will be the new tub location. I was hoping for a shower stall to save space, but we helped remodel my in-laws bathroom last year and they gave us their barely old, very gently used bathtub, so I can't argue with free. We have most of the materials already, so this shouldn't be too expensive of a project, and of course we will be doing the work.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Finally our shoe ducking president has agreed with the rest of the world that indeed we are experiencing a recession and not just an economic downturn (what PR asshole came up with that one?) so now, life as our family has known it has changed. Not that we have ever lived beyond our means, but we certainly have taken advantages in the housing market, and when times are good for our wealthy friends, they buy new stuff and usually offer up any good junk to us before shit-canning it. I can imagine that the gravy train will be screeching to a halt very soon.
My hubby works construction and has been cut down to 32 hours a week, even with the reduced hours he's having a hard time keeping busy all day. There just isn't any work around. The construction industry is flooded with workers and nothing for them to build, repair. The housing crash has stopped construction in many areas around here. Land that should have been left farm fields, is now big piles of frozen dirt with one or two lone houses. I don't think that was the idea. Did nobody see this coming?
Not that we have any official real estate training or economic insight, but we knew when to get out and settle for a fixed rate mortgage. I know that a house and a mortgage isn't right for everyone, but since when is an interest only mortgage a good idea for a long term investment like a house? Maybe for developers and builders, but not for the average Jane and her family. I have heard countless stories (on NPR) of families who didn't understand the terms of their mortgage and lost it all.
Now the rest of us who responsibly took out mortgages might not be able to pay for them because the job market has taken a swan dive into the toilet. This really hit home with me because, no I don't work, but that was the plan for us. We can live on one income and prefer to, if that income is steady and continues to also include health insurance.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
T is pregnant, so right off the bat, that gave her the best costume, but I have to admit she really had me convinced that we were attending a shotgun wedding. Very Classy. And G, he's got guts to wear that outfit and agree to be photographed. T's prize, a box of wine.