Saturday, May 30, 2009

Of Blog Hopping and Home Dentistry

I can't remember when the last time was I felt so tired! I just finished a marathon blog hopping event thanks to Sew, Mama, Sew! I found and entered a few great giveaways. The girls enjoyed spending time in their "house" eating popcorn while I was thus occupied.

My husband has a tooth that was acting very unkindly to him, and so he decided the offender has to be removed. He called a few of his brothers that live in the area to see if they would be willing to step up to the task. They weren't brave enough so as a last ditch effort of avoiding the dentist he called his brother that lives a hundred miles west of us, and he agreed to give it a try if we were willing to drive all the way to their house.
So after work last evening we headed out. The children were excited to get to play with their cousins again, since they have eight children there is never a dull moment around them! We arrived and we had to catch up on all the latest news before we got down to the nasty reason we were there. Once his brother had the instruments of torture in his hand I headed outside, I'll admit I'm a coward, but I just could not bear to actually see the grizzly event unfold. My sister-in-law had no such qualms though and happily took a lot of pictures.
I felt much better outside listening to all the night time sounds and admiring the vast amount of fireflies that were flitting about across the fields.
The children were much too busy to all gather together somewhere for a picture, but I did manage to get one of the girls.
The attempt of at home dentistry was not successful. So an appointment will be made with a professional. For anyone brave enough I am including one little picture that shows just a little of their painful attempts. If you're not brave you might want to find something a little safer to look at.















I had warned you.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blogging Friends

Thanks to Valerie from Val's Diary and the Ungourmet for presenting me with this award. I have chosen several other blogs to pass it on to. It was hard to narrow it down to only four, but here we go...
  1. Katie at My Pinecraft World
  2. Bethrusso at Snoozin' Pooches
  3. Robynn at Robynn's Ravings
  4. Janie at Janie & Steve's Utah Trails

I enjoy visiting these blogs among many others too. You might want to check them out too.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Like Father, Like Son

Last spring Sailor became the happy owner of one of the sweetest and most loyal little Beagles I had ever met. He named him Jack and spent hours with him every day roaming our land. A few months later someone abandoned another Beagle at the end of our driveway. Jack made her feel right at home and Sailor gave her a name. Jack and Jill were one happy couple. Last fall they had six little puppies.
Sailor spent all of his free moments with them, and grieved every time one of them found a new home. Finally there was only one puppy left. He had named him Waggy Tail but we called him Wags for short. We found a place for Jill too, that left only Wags and his daddy, Jack. And then Jack disappeared for several weeks we were afraid something bad might have happened and then one morning when Sailor was outside playing with Wags they heard a strange noise. It was Jack minus his eyes sniffing his way back home to his beloved Sailor.
The tears that flowed then! The children sobbed and petted and cried and hugged that poor little dog, his head looked terrible as there was obvious infection too.
The vet couldn't do anything and we were left with only one option. They call it humane. We called it heartbreaking!
We were very glad we still had not found a home for Wags. He really helped Sailor to not hurt as badly as he would have otherwise.

Jack inspecting a turtle that came wandering along.
And exactly one year later Wags is telling a turtle exactly what he thinks.

He got right up in his face, and put all his vocal energy into his message of no trespassing on his guard. The snapper finally got tired of it and snapped him.

Wags retreated to a safer distance to voice his grievances. In the meantime the girls got a little closer for a better look.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Random Thoughts

This morning we opened a new box of cereal for breakfast. As a rule we always read everything on the box and this morning was no exception, but now we're at a loss why they chose to pair Pampers® with Cheerios® It is a little disturbing to be eating a bowl of cereal from a box that is telling you how Pampers Baby Dry™ help lock wetness away for up to 9 hours.

Living in the country you never know what to expect to find in your yard when you look out the window. We've had our share of visiting animals, sometimes they belonged to one of our neighbors and other times they just wander from their homes in the woods.
There is nothing that I know of that is more frustrating than the sound of a low moo outside your bedroom window in the middle of the night and the louder somewhat envious moos coming from a distant field. Especially if your husband is out of the area on business.
I had to wake Sailor to help me guide the straying bovine back to where it had left it's friends. Armed with a flashlight and for the lack of something better, a mop, we actually managed to get it back where it belonged.
I tried to tell myself that I'll sleep much better for the rest of the night since I was out in the fresh night air at 1:00 A.M.
For the past several days we kept seeing a visiting horse in the yard. We would lead him back to his own pasture but he kept jumping the fence and coming back. Sailor would have loved to keep him since it seemed determined to live here. But this morning his owner finally came to get him, and tied him to the back of his little car and drove slowly home. He is a lovely and gentle horse. Sailor will miss him.
It's that time of year again when having all the windows open still doesn't bring relief from the heat and seems to only add misery by allowing the high humidity inside.
We finally turned the air conditioner on several days ago and the girls are having fun standing or in this case crouching over the vents and pretending to be wearing hoop skirts.

Yesterday we were at a wedding. I really enjoy weddings, even though I always end up weepy for some odd reason. Men have it so nice. They don't worry about that emotion unless they're the Daddy of the bride. Otherwise it's more of a, can you imagine what this cost, type of feeling.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Another Glimpse

Today the children and I were invited to an all day birthday celebration for one of my best friend's little girl. We had a great time. I went armed with my camera because there never fails to be something there that is photo worthy.
It kind of backfired on me though when Sailor stole a picture of me holding her little dog.

Now there's something you might not know about me........... I really, really don't enjoy being in front of a camera. Well actually that part isn't as bad as seeing the results of me being in front of a camera.

I can't believe that I'm actually doing this and hope I don't lose too many readers because of this. But here I am enjoying my friend's little dog "Skipper"

And don't worry it will be a long time before I post another picture of me.

I'll be attending a wedding tomorrow. I had planned to take the camera along but I'm rethinking
it now.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Long Weekend

We just got done with a four day weekend that we took to drive to Pennsylvania. Since our vehicle doesn't really have room for luggage we try to travel as lightly as possible.

We got everything tucked in as good as we could and started off. We planned on stopping in Indiana for the night at a friends house. So we took the northern and most boring route. Since we all enjoy traveling we kept our eyes open for anything we could find that is odd, or happens to strike our funny bone. It didn't take long at all. First up was an elderly couple sitting on lawn chairs in the middle of a pasture along 63 each holding a rope so their horses can graze.

And before long we caught up with 9 bikers out enjoying their Harley's. Trust me there were nine of them. I counted them as they rounded a curve in front of us then again as they went up a hill, and again around the next curve. You get the picture.... Once I start counting something I can't stop. And so I counted them over and over and over again until they finally pulled off at a gas station.

Going through St. Louis the children wanted to stop at the arch, but since we had already rode to the top of it once we kept on going. We had to contend with a lot of road construction which slowed us down and really heavy rain through Illinois and Indiana. We were amazed at how many people travel with their dogs. In one 6 mile stretch of road construction there was no fewer than five vehicles stopped with a dog that needed to get outside and it's owner waiting rather impatiently with an umbrella until they could continue on their way safely.

At the Indiana, Kentucky line we saw a field with hundreds of barrels that were converted into rooster hutches. Each with a rooster tied to it by it's leg. We are still puzzling over the sight. What is the purpose of raising them like that and what will they do with them?

We enjoyed our visit with our friends in Indiana and then headed on to Pennsylvania, back to the beautiful Appalachian mountains.
We met with the guy that wanted us to come in and see his farm and then drove around the old familiar roads. We wanted to fuel up again and went to the nearest town, but their gas station had closed and the other was under construction and the only one that was open didn't have diesel so we headed for the next town only to discover there is no diesel there either our low fuel light came on and we were getting desperate, we ended up going clear to Fuel City (a place with nothing but truck stops and fuel stations) I had forgotten how almost nobody back there drives diesel vehicles.
We stopped at one of the shopping centers and stocked up on Snyder Cheese Curls, which in our humble opinion are the best in the U.S. and unfortunately can only be bought in the east. I thoroughly enjoyed the vast quantity and quality of businesses and stores once again. Things I used to take for granted before we moved to the middle of nowhere.
We then headed for my husbands cousin where we stayed for two nights. It is impossible to not enjoy your stay there. We all enjoyed it very much, but early Monday morning we started for home taking the southern route.

Once we left the mountains behind things got boring and since we wanted to drive home without stopping for anything except to fuel up, it got tiresome and we started getting goofy. We have approximately two hundred pictures to prove it. Everything from my husbands Hillstrand brothers impersonation to some of us waving at whoever passed us and lots of other things too. I'll have to go through all of them and delete the majority.

I'm off to do that now.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Italian Salad

Our family enjoys trying new salads, and have discovered some delicious ones along the way. One of my sister-in-laws gave me this recipe and last night I made it. (If you're reading this Emma, Thank-you so much for sharing) Since it has to marinade overnight I didn't get to taste it until today. I loved it, my husband asked for seconds which is always a good sign, the girls didn't care for the olives, and Sailor emphatically does not care for it at all.

Italian Salad
1 box (16 oz) medium shell pasta
4 oz. hard salami, cubed
6 oz. sliced pepperoni, quartered
12 cheese sticks, halved and cut in 1/4" pieces
3 medium tomatoes seeded and chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
1/2 cup sliced stuffed olives
1 cup Zesty Italian salad dressing
1 tsp. oregano

Cook pasta shells according to directions on box. Rinse in cold water and drain. Place in a big bowl then add your salami, pepperoni, cheese, olives, tomatoes, and pepper.
In a smaller bowl combine the Italian dressing and oregano and mix with a wire whisk or fork. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate over night to let the flavors blend.
Serves approximately 16. It keeps well for several days if kept refrigerated.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sunset and Blessings

There are some days, like today when everything is going direct opposite of what you had planned, that I have to take a moment and relax and reflect on the many good things in life.
  • a family that is everything to me
  • true friends, ( they truly are precious and rare)
  • good health
  • and if I try to think there are countless other little blessings if I just look for them.

So I'll not complain and just go ahead and try to enjoy my chaotic life. With sunsets like this that we had this weekend a person doesn't have much of a choice, except to drink it in and enjoy it!

I realize Thanksgiving is still a ways off, but what are you thankful for when you take the time to stop and think?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Springtime Storms

I have discovered that you can never tell what a day may bring.When we got up this morning my husband had plans to go to his job and I had plans for another uneventful day at home. But at the breakfast table we started getting severe storm warnings and soon got a call from his boss that logging is out of the question today and to just take the day off.

It wasn't long before the weather hit and the power went off. Since we don't have a storm shelter our neighbor called and offered to let us huddle in hers, we watched out the windows to see how bad things are looking, and kept checking the radar on our cell phone. The worst of the storm just missed us.

Some of our friends and neighbors lost buildings, and there were of course trees down everywhere. We were fortunate to have only minimal damage. A few shingles loose on the roof of our house and some banged up calf hutches is really not worthy of being complained about.

Sailor wanted to get a picture of Daddy fixing the roof, saying that from his perch he has an excellent view. I gave him the camera but grabbed a quick picture of him first.

I was pleased with the results of Sailors photography efforts. Looks like his Daddy is walking on the clouds.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cheese Bars

Everybody should get to eat these Cheese Bars at least once in their lifetime. They are so good! And since I'm in a generous mood right now I'll share the recipe with you.

Cheese Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
1 beaten egg
1 stick softened butter

Mix the crust ingredients well and then pat into the bottom and about a 1/4" up the sides of an ungreased 9"x13" pan. You will want to dip your spoon in water every once in a while as you pat it in so it doesn't stick and make a frustrating mess. If you're feeling a little less than proper go ahead and just use your hand, it's much easier that way, but be sure to dip it in water occasionally.

Cheese Filling:
2 beaten eggs
1- 8 oz package softened cream cheese
2-3/4 cup powdered sugar

Beat it all together and pour into crust.
Bake at 325 for 40-45 minutes.
Let it cool and cut in squares. I know the picture I'm showing I would have been able to get four squares out of it, but trust me, once you've tasted this you will want a piece at least this big.
These are so hard to share, but if you do you'll be sure to be rewarded with happy people.
Very simple, yet oh so yummy. Good Luck!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Day in Our Life

Yesterday turned out to be quite interesting. We had a friend over and spent all afternoon baking. After seeing cheese cake, chocolate chip cookies, cinnamon rolls, and sweet raisin bread all afternoon and of- course taste testing everything, I'm in need of some salty and definitely not dessert type recipes.

Everything turned out really good and so we kept coming back to make sure it actually tasted as good as we think it did.

It always did.

I think I'll go have some chicken noodle soup.


Last evening Sunbeam came to show me a picture she drew of a horse and buggy. I admired it then asked what she wrote along the top of her board.

Her answer: I don't know Mom, I can't read yet!


I will be posting another memory about being an Amish child, later today.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cheesy Garlic Bites

I have a very busy day planned.
  • Thinking of all I'll be doing makes me hungry.
  • Being hungry makes me think of good food.
  • Good food makes me think of Cheesy Garlic Bites.
  • Cheesy Garlic Bites make me feel like sharing the recipe

Cheesy Garlic Bites
1 cup warm water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp yeast
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2-1/4 cup flour
Mix water, vegetable oil, sugar, and salt. Add 1 cup flour and yeast. Mix until smooth. Add Parmesan cheese and mix again. Add another cup of flour. Mix well. Add remaining 1/4 cup of flour and knead by hand.
Cover with a cloth and set aside for 45 minutes.
On a greased surface roll out this dough to a 12"x20" rectangle. It's a good idea to grease your rolling pin too.
Spread with 2 tablespoons of softened butter. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of fresh minced garlic and 1 cup of your choice of shredded cheese. (I used cheddar this time) and 1 tablespoon parsley flakes. Roll up and cut in 1 inch slices and place sliced side down on a greased or parchment paper lined pan (I like to use my airbake cookie sheet) bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve. Yield approximately 24
These never fail to make any meal better! They are so good I always have a hard time stopping with just one or two.