Monday, March 25, 2013

Missouri Weather

We went into winter 2012 with just enough hay (fingers crossed) to make it until Spring. Well, as many know, Missouri’s weather is very fickle. In fact, rightly quoted...

"If you don't like the weather in Missouri, hang around until tomorrow and it will be different”.

True to its nature, March came in like a lion with strong winds and an illusion to warmer weather,

but took an erratic turn when a spattering of sleet was covered by 8” of snow.

We could use a little global warming right about now!

Needless to say, we did not have enough hay. Fortunately, with a quick search on craigslist we found hay for sale at the Koch Farm in Washington. Looks like a great place to live. They have a farm that runs 100+ head of cattle, no more than 5 minutes from McDonald’s, Dairy Queen, and Schnucks! Some people have it all. :) (Ahh...I pleasantly digress)

You can see by the pictures below that we got the hay just in time.

 Saturday, when I took the pictures of the Farmer unloading the hay, it was 50+ degrees.

Well, for now we have enough hay for about a week...

So, Old Man Winter, please get out of the way so Spring can be Sprung!



Monday, March 18, 2013

The Skillet Scuffle


"Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." Proverbs 27:17


My oldest daughter is a minimalist, which means she loves to throw out perfectly good items just because she doesn't use them every day or week or month. Every once in awhile she runs out of things to throw out at her house, so I allow her to come to my house and throw away some things to "help" me with my trouble spots.


Last week when she came up, I decided I needed some help with my skillet shuffle. You see, my skillets live in my oven. Unfortunately, when I use my oven the skillets are asked to vacate the premises until things cool down. So they reside on the counter tops, but can be an eyesore when company is present. I can contain them all neatly in a corner, until we have the whole family over for Thanksgiving, at that time we need every inch of counter property available. At this point, the skillets are banned to the back deck until the company has evacuated the premises—usually…one year I left them out there for several days, because I hadn't missed them (should have been a clue) J


This weekend April and I decided to rearrange and clean out my kitchen so it would be practically "self-cleaning". Her theory is if you have less stuff in your house you'll have less stuff to clean up and put away…nice theory. Deciding to do a post on Spring-cleaning, I had Miranda (daughter #2) take notes so I could write about it later, but she did such an accurate job, I decided to post her notes as she had written them (although I do believe she took some liberties in her writing style). J


Step-by-Step Kitchen Collaboration


1:51…Took before pics

1:54...Made phone call

1:56...Started cleaning

1:57...Actually started cleaning

1:58…Mom has 7 skillets and April thinks she only needs 2

2:00…Mom decides to keep 4 skillets, but needs all her pots

2:04...Finally decided to get rid of 1 of her 7 pots.

2:06…Skillets are removed permanently from the oven and stored …wait they won't fit

2:07…Another skillet bites the dust

2:10… April strongly expressing that pots need room to breathe, so the pots or skillets have to go

2:14…Down to 2 iron skillets, 1 large skillet with a lid, and 1 small skillet for eggs

2:15…Another skillet gone, April convinces Mom that she can use her iron skillet for fried eggs, but stores the small Teflon skillet in case she changes her mind

2:19... Mom looking for multiple storing places to put her skillets while April refuses and insists she can shove them all into one place

2:20... Still arguing over skillets

2:21...April realizes she has nowhere else to go with the rest of the skillets so she gives in to Mom's warming drawer idea (where Mom had some of the skillets stored already)

2:25...Now that the skillets are secured, the pots resurface

2:27...After 36 grueling minutes the pots and skillets are finally put away. Although they are racially mixed to the horror of my Mother (stainless steel with non-stick), but none in the oven

2:28...On to the pans and cookie sheets. Hindsight bias leads me to believe this will not be easy

2:32...It took four painstaking minutes to take "just the right picture" of them and the pans

2:33...Mom threw something away she has probably never used and if she had, people would need a tetanus shot after eating off it

2:35...It is really sinking into me why, as a psych student, I need therapy before I can help others

2:38...On to mixing bowls and big thighs (genetic?)

2:40...Mom's "ADHD" is starting to take over as April pleads for her to just deal with the mixing bowls before they move on

2:44...After reading what I have recorded so far for this blog, Mom is talking of starting another one, 3 blogs obviously aren't enough to contain everything that's in her thought processes

2:45...On to pie plates while the mixing bowls are still sitting on the counter

2:46...April pulled out a pan again… I started to get scared that we had just taken a giant leap backwards

2:48...It's discovered that Dad can't take glass to work. He is forced to use plastic, thus sending the environment to its death

2:49...I don't know what they are arguing about now but I heard chocolate chips

2:50...April is obsessed with lids and against Secret Sisters

2:53...Mom needs more storage and April needs more trash bags

2:54...Mom's Chinese takeout container obsession is revealed

2:56...On to glasses while the bowls are still sitting on the counter

2:57...Realization that April is against a lot of church related programs and Mom is shockingly shorter than we thought. On a positive note…the bowls are finally finding a place to call home

3:03...The girls need to be picked up, and Mom fears she can't leave April in the kitchen alone

3:04...Mom finally throws away a silverware holder piece from her old dishwasher. Hmmm…

3:05...I am badgered about whether I want plastic or glass cups for my children to drink out of when we are all over here at the same time

3:07...Amazon called and yes, we are happy with their service

3:08...A coffee cup reminds my mother of my grandfather. Huh, I don't see the resemblance.

3:10...Still on cups

3:11...Arguing over cups and the Secret Sis thing takes another hit from April....I see a pattern

3:13...I am losing interest, and I didn't have much to begin with

3:15...Mom got rid of three coffee cups, four cups, now five cups, six cups, no seven…April is taking two of them home.

3:16...They are trying to draw me into their sick game

3:17...I've been sucked in!!! They draw you in with their refusal to throw away what is clearly trash, from off the counter!

3:18...Mom leaves to pick up the girls while April stays behind and finishes the kitchen, cursing under her breath as she liberally throws everything else away.

Hee..Hee! :) ...Well the end result was worth the toil and trouble of going through all my cabinets and drawers. As far as a "self-cleaning" kitchen…I decided that there isn't such a creature. However, April is right, I still have to wash things and put them away, but there's less mess which leads to less clean up! Thanks girls...

So what projects are you doing for Spring-cleaning? I still need to go through my recipe books. Wait! I hope April didn't get to them, too. J

Friday, March 1, 2013

My Grandma (Still) Rocks!

My most precious memories growing up are the times I spent at my Grandma Lorene and Grandpa Dee's house. They, along with most of my Mother's family, lived in a small rural town that has just lately risen to the 4-digit mark in population. The town is small enough that everyone knows everyone else, and most of them are related.

My grandparents reared their six children (with a lot of visiting cousins and friends) in a 2-story house that sat on a huge plot of ground just spitting distance from the town's square. The front yard was twice as big as the average yards today. Any time the grandkids were all there, we would be playing "steal-the-flag". There were other games of kickball, volleyball, badminton, croquet, and every other game imaginable to a yard full of kids. We would sit under the apple tree eating the little green sour apples that fell to the ground, and ride our bikes up and down the sidewalk or all over town (that's when towns were safe).

We could go on a walk by ourselves and we did often. We could walk up to the drugstore, the general store, and down to the ball field. We crossed the bridge that went over the creek and we climbed into the old theatre that was falling down. It had water in the basement and we climbed over the broken boards and rummaged through the rubble. I can't believe we didn't uncover a snake or fall into the water!

Our Christmases were spent with them (one year Santa Claus had to come to our house early, because my brother, my sister, and I got bikes for Christmas and Santa Claus couldn't deliver them to my grandparent's house). I remember sledding down the big hill in front of their house, which was actually the main road, and then coming in for homemade hot chocolate that burned my tongue so badly I couldn't taste for two days.

But my most precious memory is the front porch. Grandma and Grandpa's front porch reached all away across the front of their great big house and then wrapped around the whole side of the house. It was great! They had room for two swings and lots of chairs. But the swing is what I always sat in...with Grandma.

Grandma would sit in the swing and rock back and forth, back and forth, in a leisurely, methodical manner. And if we were fortunate, she would sing to us. She would sing songs that taught us about the Savior, and songs that would praise the Father, and sometimes some cute little ditty that she learned when she was a little girl.

All through my adult life, those recollections have been seeded in my memory, and when we built our front porch, the first thing we added was a swing. As I rock back and forth, I think of the sweet memories of childhood, wishing my Grandmother could come and rock with me. And though that wish may never come to fruition, when our grandchildren come to play in our great big yard and sit on our porch that stretches across the front of our house and eat the pears that drop to the ground from our pear trees, I find solace in knowing that I am blessed to continue the legacy that I received from my Grandma Lorene.

Recently I had a chance to visit my Grandmother at my Aunt's house where she lives. I walked in and sat beside her in a two-seated glider. After a moment, she began to rock back and forth, back and forth…what memories! Sitting beside her, we rocked the afternoon away, talking, laughing, and just spending time together.

At 94 years old, my Grandmother still Rocks!