Tuesday, May 31, 2011

someone stop it from spinning!

The heavens have decided that for the past month my life was seeming a bit "together". The tailspin has been set in motion and it has been doing just that for the past almost two weeks. One hit after another and the divide between sanity and insanity at this point in time is a little bit...there. I reach out my hand and run my fingers along it and feel the pull, to nothingness, to what I think will be peace...

But instead I go out on a girls night...

I met my two lovely friends at Barrio, which is downtown, my third friend was sick so we had the chance to invite another wonderful woman whom I hadn't seen in a long time.

After it taking me about 20 minutes to find parking, I sat down for a drink and emptied my first plate very quickly. It even took two forks to do so.


Why 20 minutes you ask? Because I am Heather, and nothing is easy for me. The parking right behind Barrio was cash only, the street meters were only 1/2 to 2 hour meters and the second lot credit card reader was broke and finally the lot I came too was a block away. Nothing is simple for me...

Bacon wrapped dates. Divine. Scrumptious. A must have when visiting this place. If you go here and don't get them...sorry, your just stupid.


Yes, we ate them before I could take the photo...

Before I could finish my margarita, sangria was served.


mmmm carmalized provolone. Did I mention that Barrio was a tapas bar?


And the poor guy that had to put up with us was Brett. Or was it Brent? I am pretty sure it was Brett. again...poor guy...


Not only were we a bunch of girls, but at one point we had our phones out taking pictures of everything and laughing hysterically. Mine didn't come out so great, I was facing the huge window...

The last item up was the pork. Spicy, but dry. Sorry Barrio but it is true...


ok, so it wasn't the last item up. Check out the dessert menu and guess what we got.


of course, we picked the most fun sounding thing on the menu. And it didn't hurt that it came with jeni's ice cream.


What a perfect way to end a meal. We wanted to lick the plate, but refrained. Although I did say I forgot something, headed back to the table and licked it clean on my own. I just growled at the people that looked at me funny. I am sure that went over well and the straight jacket people are now looking for me.

Nothing like a girls night to pull you back to sanity. I will need one again tomorrow night.

By the way, Barrio doesn't know me and I am not affiliated with them. So this isn't an official review, just my opinion. But since I am queen bee, it is better than an official review.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

An early evening at the hospital

Bam, 3:47 on the dot and Krischan is home from school. Today is no different, he strolls in the house and I have to ask him if he has homework and check his folder. The end of the school year brings about summer fever, hence the lack of desire to do homework...

ok, Krischan never has the desire to do homework, but it is because he is a genius and he is far more advanced than the work itself. (Don't you dare ever tell him I said that, I still need him to actually do his homework.)

Jakob is resting in my bed, Kadence is taking her nap and I go downstairs to check on the brisket in the oven. Rick and I make a little bit of small talk and we both hear this gutteral cave-man type scream. I automatically assume it is Jakob because when he notices I am not in the room with him anymore he tends to panic.

I calmly make my way upstairs and tell Jakob I am on my way. That is when Krischan turns the corner at the top of the stairs with his hand over his eye, tears streaming down his face and panic pouring from him.

"What happened?" He can't speak, but pulls his hands from his eye and I see the blood, and right now it is just over his eye and all in his eyebrow. He sees his finger with blood on it and starts to really panic and freak out more.

"Calm down and tell me what happened." I am holding his wrists to keep him from touching it again and leading him into the bathroom. I can't get him to take a breath and then Rick comes up the stairs, takes a look, and unthinkingly says "Oh GOD!"

I turn on him so fast I was probably a blur and yell (which I am sure didn't help to calm Krischan down) for Rick to calm down. We get him in the bathroom and I am able to clean it up and see that it isn't big, just deep.

My main course of action now is to get him to tell me what happened. Turns out he had his sports medal and was lasso'ing it above his head. Something went a bit wrong and it made contact with his face.

Lucky for me I have that calm mom reaction to this kind of thing. My heart didn't once accelerate and I knew exactly what to do. Amazing that I can do that.

My mother came out to watch the two little ones, and take care of my brisket, and I went off to take Krischan to the hospital. Part of me thought that maybe they would tell me I actually did overreact and that no stitches are needed, roll their eyes and call me a crazy woman.


The emergency room beds are in there own little room and each room has a tv. We watched cartoon network. I couldn't get him to turn it to HGTV.


Here he is with some numbing cream on it so they can stitch him up. He wanted to know if they were going to give him a knock-out pill. That way he would sleep, wake up, them bam it would be done! stitches in and he wouldn't have even known it.

"knock-out" pill? where does he get these things?


Here is the war wounded boy. Smirk on face thinking of all the friends he is going to tell about his stitches at school tomorrow. What story he is going to dream up, because how lame is it to tell someone you hit yourself in the head with a medal?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Harumph!

When I am a bit stressed out I clean, and/or cook, and/or shop. Well, shopping is out of the question in this certain situation, so I cook. Then clean, and cook some more.

This cooking adventure came to me from the Pioneer Womans cookbook. By the way, here she is if you don't know her. (thepioneerwoman.com) I started with going through her book, realizing that everything is so largely proportioned and largely "home-styled" But that is ok, I wanted to try a few things out.

I made the trip to the grocery store buying everything needed for a weeks worth of breakfast, lunch and dinners and started my escapade.

First, Cinnamon rolls. Wow, I thought, this is going to be a big undertaking. Her recipe creates 50 rolls so I cut it in half. I wasn't so sure about making that much. To my surprise, it was easy, and so fun. I over did the filling, along with adding my own little twist of brown sugar in it, and made the icing a bit too runny, but looks can be so deceiving. The icing I made for them, well liquid, acted as a moisture accent and added that much more flavor. And the filling, even though it oozed way too much, was so sticky and yummy, this is how I responded when I took my first bite:

Oh......My....GOD!!! These are #$%#G good! Kids were not around, so never fear. Plus I said it in my head as my mouth was full. The first pan was done by evening, I placed the second pan in the fridge for breakfast the next day and froze the remaining three pans for later. I so will be making this again and stock piling these bad boys. Never again will I buy Pilsbury Cinnamon rolls!

Next came the fried chicken. Of course I am a recipe changer so instead of soaking the chicken in buttermilk all day, I soaked it in beer. Chicken marinated in beer is good. I do have to admit, this is the first time I made fried chicken and it actually worked! The chicken was done and it was nice and crispy brown, not burnt.

I paired it with some corn on the cob and parmesean mashed potatoes. Wow, talk about a sunday dinner on a monday night. Something has to make the monday worth it right?

My third experiment is her brisket. So far it has been sitting in the marinade for 1 full day and will be cooked tomorrow. Oh-yum, can't wait for that one. I have brussel sprouts to roast and maybe some cornbread to go with it. Ah, my knees are shaking.

Stress, what stress?

Tomorrow I am going to go Martha and make her breakfast sandwich that has ham, gruyere cheese and eggs on it. Then work on my reMarthable brownie. I am pretty sure I have the final tweak in place. I think I might also take the left over filling to the cinnamon rolls and roll it into some crescent rolls. (can I say roll one more time?)

When is this stress going to go away, I might be a little large after the fact. Maybe I should focus the stress on cleaning up. This house is a pit that looks like a storm passed through it. The storm with the names of Krischan, Kadence, and Jakob.

But I guess that is life. How we deal with the stress is what molds us into who we are and who we become. Maybe it will mold me into a Food Nework Star...

Hey, a girl can wish can't she?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

How it makes me feel

This week has been a very rainy and unusually cold week. It all started on Sunday, and supposedly going to end today for a great warm and sunny weekend.

I do have to say, even though the sun isn't out it was warm enough to get the kids outside without dressing them in their winter garb and to pay a visit to my garden.

here they are enjoying the swings:


This is the third year I have had a garden, and by no means am I a certified gardner. Remember the seed starters I did? (read about it here) Well, the beans were the only survivors of that fiasco. See, I accidentally left them out for two days and the birds had a feast. Which I guess is fine. I have planted seeds before, nothing new for me, throw them in the ground see what comes up.

Here are the surviving green beans.


But some nasty bugs are eating the leaves already. And see all the weeds I am going to have to pull? I thought if you did a garden in the same place, the weeds, after being pulled all summer, wouldn't come back? Someone was wrong.


Cucumbers are coming up. I made hamburger pickles last year. They were so yummy! I am going to do the same this year and also make some other pickles. I love pickles.


Zucchini. last year I had to pull up about 5 zucch plants because I planted them way to close together. Although it was cool, They were pretty large and flowering beautifully. As I was messing with them I was hearing buzzing sounds. Since the flowers were still closed from the evening, in each blossom were about 5-8 bees trapped. As I opened each blossom, the bees went off, pollen filled bodies, to go make honey. Before I opened the blossoms it was rather creepy to see it moving and pulsing. It was like Alien, but in a flower, not a body...


I am trying brussel sprouts this year. I think these are them coming up, not completely sure...like I said, I am not a gardener extraordinaire.


My strawberries are loving the rain and reaching up high into the sky. I bought three more plants so that I can hopefully next year make strawberry preserves. Oh Yum!! Or strawberry ice cream, or strawberry margaritas...wait, I have enough strawberries for the last two items. were good...


Not in my garden, but up by my garage, I have a Japanese Lilac bush. I LOVE IT!!! The fragrance almost pulls me to my knees, but mainly brings my nose into it. If I could, I would buy 20 of these and line something with them. Our driveway, or around the area our deck will eventually go, or just in a circle so I can go and lay in the middle of it in the spring, take in the great smell and hide from everyone.


Here are all the plants that still need to go into my garden, the ones I didn't trust myself with seeds, since the birds ate them all...


Then Kadence whom was done with mommy taking pictures and yelling at me to stop...


But of course I didn't.

Iris's, they never die. I mowed over them for the whole summer one year and they came back. They must be immortal plants. I wonder if I could find their heart, I would just have to run a stake through it? Then they would die? They also multiply like rabbits. I really should have split them up this year but didn't. It was kind of difficult to do so with all the rain. I don't like being in the rain when it is cold. Anyone out there want some?


So that is the extent of it. Nothing fabulous like roses, or fruit trees. One day maybe, but what I have makes me happy. I love seeing the plants burst through the dirt and grow. I love that a flower starts, then a vegetable or fruit grows. There is nothing like sitting in a garden and eating what you have just picked. Unless of course like my watermelon it rots before it ripens. I will fence it in this year though because the deer family that lives on our property helps themselves to my strawberries and it really makes me angry. So do the bunnies, but they at least just eat the strawberries and not the whole top of the plant!

Watching my garden grow brings me peace...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The most awesome carnival salty caramel popcorn

Who doesn't love caramel popcorn? If you don't, your weird.

Since it has been so rainy and cold this spring (it is may and I am still wearing scarves and sweaters) I wanted to offer up this recipe that is so warm and perfect. It not only is a great winter treat, but a summer one as well. Winter treat since it is a nice sugary comfort food type. Summer because it reminds me of carnivals and who doesn't love carnivals? If you don't, your weird.

So, here it goes.
Have you ever pan popped popcorn? If you haven't it is sooooo easy. Start with a frying pan (that has a lid) and coat the bottom with canola or vegetable oil. Just coat it, there shouldn't be an inch of oil in there, just enough to coat the bottom. Need me to say that again? Believe me, I have done this with too much oil before. Oily popcorn is not good.

Turn the heat on medium and heat the oil up. Once the oil starts "moving" or gets warm, pour in 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels and place the lid on. Just so you know, 1/3 cup is perfect for my pan. Yours may be different. You don't want the kernels sitting on top of each other, also you don't want them crowded. So have some open space in the pan.

Don't go away!! you have to stand there and be diligent cause when it starts popping, you need to listen and shake.


It will start popping slow, then speed up. Once it starts slowing down again, shimmy the pan back and forth to keep it moving and give the unpopped kernels a chance to pop.


Once it really starts slowing down (only a pop here and there) turn the heat off. Take the lid off and Voila! Watch out for those stray pops. The kids think those are fun.


Then pour the popcorn in a big bowl and sprinkle with a bit of salt. At this point, if you don't want caramel on your popcorn, just melt butter, mix with a little bit of olive oil and pour over the popcorn. Then sprinkle with parmesan cheese. oh, yum...

But we are adding salty caramel. You will need 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, and 1/2 a cup of butter. 1 teaspoon salt.

In a saucepan, place the brown sugar and butter. (if you change the amount, just make sure you have equal parts of each)


Place over medium heat and wisk together.



the butter will stay separated from the brown sugar for a bit, just keep wisking, it will take a bit of time for them become friends.


Once you see that the mixture is pulling away from the pan, it is almost done.


Keep wisking till you can pull the wisk up and you get a nice stream of yumminess.
It will look like this:


Then wisk in a teaspoon of salt and pour over your popcorn.


Mix with a big spoon to cover all the popcorn.


serve up


and enjoy.


I know it doesn't look like he in enjoying it, but Krischan is an intense eater. All his attention is on his food. He even closes his eyes when he takes a bite. I love making this for him as an after school snack or on a sat afternoon.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The hungry cat

Every Friday morning I drop Jakob off at zoo class and Kadence and I go spend some time together. Last Friday was no different, other than for once, it wasn't raining. Kadence and I took in the zoo together seeing the Rhinos, and the Elephants, then walked up to the area called Asia Quest.

We come up to a window and in the corner is the animal we are too see. This is what I am thinking:

Poor house cat got stuck in this enclosure. Or are house cats in zoos now? Looks like a pretty pissed off cat. Wait...he kinda looks pissed...and hungry. Wow, he is staring down something like he wants to jump through the glass and eat it.

Here is what he looked like:


and this is what he was so hungrily starring at:


Yes, he was starring at Kacence. He had hunger in his eyes and he watched her every move. Even when we walked away, his eyes stayed on her.

This is what I imagine he was saying: (for some reason I put a spanish accent to it in my mind."

"What a tasty looking morsel. I will have my revenge, I will find a way out of here when they least expect it. And when I do, I will hunt down that little person and make her into my meal. mwaaa haaaa haaaaa.(maniacal laugh)."

Monday, May 16, 2011

The stuff dreams are made of

Wow. It has been awhile since I have written anything. I have been in the throes of grading and wrapping up the school year. As much as I have loved teaching, it is kinda nice to know that I will not be going back so that I can completely contain my work at home, help Rick out with his business and be with my kids more. And again, I apologize for the lapse in my posting. Funny...I say that like I have millions of people reading this. A woman can dream can't she? Millions of people waiting with baited breathe on what crazy things happened to Heather Miller today...

I have a hard time waking up in the morning. My only real time I can work and get anything done is when the kids go to bed, so I usually am up till midnight 1am easily. So now you can imagine why I don't wake up so easily come morning.

My senses have become immune to my old alarm and without realizing it, my subconscious forces my arm out to hit snooze. Rick tells me that sometimes I hit is so much I get a good 2 hour snooze out of it. Needless to say, the alarm does not wake me up anymore in a timely manner and I don't think Rick would appreciate me setting it at 4 in the morning just to make sure I get up at 6.

My first new alarm try was the nice calming sound of birds, with the alarm placed across the room. I thought if there was a soothing sound it would wake me up nicely instead of that jarring beep that used to bring me out of slumber so quickly it gave me an instant hangover type feeling. Didn't work. I was actually awoken by the sound of Ricks voice telling me that he was getting sick of listening to the birds. I got up, walked across the room, turned the alarm off, then collapsed back into bed.

Onto the next one. How fun! A rooster crowing. I will pick that one. It is natural, and maybe a God given alarm that automatically wakes anyone. The next morning, again, I get up, walk across the room, hit snooze, then collapse in the bed. I did this probably about 5 times before I sucked it up and just got up.

I begin to wonder if I am just forcing my body to get up before it should. I am always up and out of bed at 7 so why try to force it any earlier? Because, if I can get another hour or two of work done in the morning before the kids get up, that would help me out in the evening.

Next try: Music. I set it to my playlist and alarm becomes dream. I am usually at a concert, and front row...how do people get those seat anyway...if I go to a concert, I want to be up front! Sometimes the dream consists of the music being background music, or even my dreaming that I am waking up. Nothing like dreaming that you got out of bed and already were getting ready, then waking up in the middle of you blow drying your hair to realize you have to do it all over again.

So Rick and I decide that music doesn't work. Notice that Rick isn't offering to help me get up, or helping me get up period. I think it is because he knows I don't have to, and would rather just stay up late.

Annoying sound. That has been the latest test. And this is what happened: I was outside of a building, work or school or something like that surrounded by a bunch of people. I decided while waiting to change the ring on my phone, and then my phone starts to ring, and ring, and ring, and ring. It wouldn't stop ringing, and it was the most annoying ring ever! I tried turning it off, then changing the ring, nothing! I decide that I need to walk down the way and take it to the apple store. As I am walking everyone is looking, telling me things to do. I just insist nothing works and walk faster to my destination. Ugh! what an annoying sound! why won't it stop! I do wake up eventually and wonder why the ring is still happening and decide it must not have been a dream after all. That is when I go into the next phase of waking up and put 2 and 2 together. My alarm is under my pillow and I need to turn it off.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chelsie and the groundhog

In this house, or out in the 'cuntry', we have always fought battles with the groundhogs. (They moved in after we won against the skunks our first winter.)
They dig in behind our pole barn and make a home under the concrete slab and using the dirt floor of the other part of the building as their bathroom. Really makes Rick angry. So we set traps.

Once they are trapped Chelsie goes in there and barks like mad at them. I think she is saying this: "Lucky that trap got you, I would have grabbed you with my teeth and tore you apart!" (and yes, she has part hunting dog in her so she has caught a few groundhogs of her own.) Tiny girl, but fierce.

This afternoon was a day that:
1.) I was planting some seeds into my garden.
2.) Spending time with Kadence while Rick and the boys were at the ball field.
3.) Would soon find out that some guy was going house to house selling aerial photos of their homes.
4) Deer were out on an walk.

Kadence and I are walking up to get more water for the plants and I hear a car careening down my neighbors driveway. Not really paying attention to it, I at least knew that they hadn't been there long. As I fill the container with water I then hear tires squeal on the road and a car obviously sliding on the gravel at the top of my drive, then proceeding to careen down my driveway.

This first off angers me because I have kids. Why would you scream down someones driveway like that. I also have a dog, that at the time I didn't know, is preoccupied. What if she did her usual and ran out to the car. Splat, no more Chelsie. Then I would be really angry.

As I go and shut off the water for the container I catch out of the corner of my eye a furry animal that is not Chelsie. Chelsie is following behind this animal. In my mind I am guessing that the guy who is getting out of his car is either a religious man getting ready to try and convert me to some cult, or he is selling bibles, or he is taking a survey, or he is selling Kirby vacuum cleaners...yes amazingly both of these things are going on at the same time.

My point is, I don't have time for this. I pick up Kadence and start walking toward where Chelsie and this animal crossed my vision, very plainly and rudely ignoring this man. I soon have to turn and acknowledge this man, whom is holding a framed photo.

"Recognize this house?" he asks me. Me being the sarcastic person thinks "of course, I live in it. How could I not recognize my own house?" Being the polite person I keep this end of the conversation in my head.

I tell him it is nice, and make notice that it is recent, so he tells me that it was taken in the fall. He then proceeds to tell me that they only take these photos every 10 years. I want to correct him because about 5 years ago he was doing the same thing. But again, I was being polite and kept that end of the conversation in my head.

"Not interested thanks."

He then proceeds to ask why not and that this will be my only chance to own a photo at that time of year. Hard-sell, you loose me, I am done.

I look at him one more time and simply say "Sorry" He turns and stalks away, obviously upset that I wouldn't buy his photo. He gets into his car, opens the frame up, takes our photo out and puts our other neighbors in. Poor guy. Or maybe not, a good salesman never gets upset that a potential customer wont buy something.

And besides, if I really wanted an aerial photo of my house, I would schedule it so I could clean up my yard and driveway, and make sure our roof was fixed before it was taken.

Okay, so back to my main point, Chelsie and this animal.

Chelsie was sniffing a cold trail so I went back with Kadence to water my newly planted seeds when I hear Chelsie start barking like mad. I find her under my front porch obviously having trapped this animal...She won't come out.

Every so often I hear the animal make angry noises. Translation:"Get away from me you crazy dog, I have rabies! Get close and I will cut you man."

Although I would like to think that this animal doesn't have rabies, and just using that as a scare tactic to keep Chelsie at bay. I make a friendly call to my neighbor. "help me! what do I do? I have a rabid animal under my porch and Chelsie won't come out!"

They suggest I turn the hose on and spray her out. So I do that. And Chelsie comes out. Not really sure if the groundhog came out, I was more worried about checking Chelsie for mortal wounds. (For those wondering, I had put Kadence in the house for her safety.)

So I ushered Chelsie into the house, took Kadence back outside into the garden, and made a note to myself to buy something to close off underneath the porch. They are in the pole barn, I don't need them under my porch.

Another odd thing that happened today? We had about 8 deer in our backyard this evening. Two of which were bucks. No, no photo. Krischan was so excited that he started screaming "MOM!! THERE IS A WHOLE HERD OF DEER IN OUR YARD!! THERE ARE ABOUT 50 OF THEM OUT THERE!" Which in turn scared them all off, since our back door was open and they heard him.

Just another day in the cuntry. (you have to put a big emphasis on un) What was your day like?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Jakob strikes again

Minding my own business, getting dinner prepped, Jakob and Kadence playing on the floor behind me, I hear this snap. Then the kids go quiet. As I turn around to find out what just happened they are both staring at me with wide eyes.

Jakob immediately points his finger and says "de rie id roke i."
Translation: kadence marie did broke it. To give you an idea of how he says it you just have to say only parts of the word. So instead of saying the beginning and ending of kadence, just say the middle. Then the end of marie, id is the end of did, the end of broke, then the beginning of it. Simple huh? Well, I am fluent in Jakob and sometime it is a bit difficult to get what he is getting at.

I look over next to them to find that the cabinet door has been pulled out of it's hinge. Now my cabinets aren't made the best and we do have plans to remodel our kitchen, just not yet.


The one thing you have to remember: The people who built our house did it themselves. Cutting corners was their motto. There are no custom kitchen cabinets in this house, that is for sure. (I wouldn't be surprised to find out that they are particle board or some sort of the mix.) Mike Holmes would have a heart attack if he ever came to inspect our house, I would bet this house that he has never seen one like it. (Although maybe I shouldn't. There are always worse than yours.)


This isn't the first door to come off, I have two others that came to an early death. Not because of Jakob, but because of poor build. One just couldn't hang on anymore and the other came to blows with a circular saw that I have no recollection of.

Amazingly enough though this does not populate a place in the unfinished projects list. Rick came home and rehung it. How? I don't know. Will it get pulled out again? Probably. But if it can just hang on for another 5 years, it will find a nice home in a very warm place.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Do-Over

I always look forward to Mother's Day. My kids are still little so I love spending the whole day with them. I am sure when they get older I will be spending Mother's Day at a spa away from them. But right now, as a family we always go out for brunch, then do various activities. One year we went to the zoo, another year we went for a hike, you get the picture.

This year appeared to be no different. I was greeted by Krischan first thing in the morning with a card and plant that he put together at school and was told that we were going to the Cheesecake Factory for brunch. My absolute favorite place for brunch and a place we have gone to the past two years. Rick and I then plan to take the kids to see Rio, then to a garden center to by my mother's day gifts of flowers and plants for our landscaping plans.

We are all ready to head out and I notice Rick is being a little slow and he tells me his body is just sore from working all day yesterday. okay...he also has a sore throat. (He left at 4am and got home at 10pm from working a day of TOSRV for some riders.) I tell him that we don't have to go and I can make breakfast if he doesn't feel good.

Now as a woman, I am saying this for my concern for him, but hopes in reality that his sickness will pass because I really want my monte cristo breakfast sandwich.

I get the "your speaking nonsense" look (which I wanted to see) and we all pile into the van. We are literally 5 minutes from the Cheesecake Factory and Rick looks at me and tells me we have to turn around and go home. You have got to be kidding me! Can't we just still go and you just sit in the van? I would never do that of course, but the thought did cross my mind.

As we were driving his illness escalated to the point where he literally thought he was going to throw up. I offer to drive us back home but it is obvious that he doesn't want to move, and get home as soon as possible. Not having any food yet, we quickly get to a drive thru to get food for the kids and head home.

I should have known at this point that the day was just going to keep falling apart. But I had hopes that Rick would feel better by the afternoon and we would still do something. (He heals pretty quickly, and I was feeling a bit sad that my brunch was cancelled.)

It at least was a beautiful and sunny day, warm for what seemed like the first time since last summer so I was going around opening all the windows. Rick had planted himself on the couch in the living room and was fast asleep already, snoring as loud as could be.

In the fall I take out the screens of some of the windows so that we have a "screen free" view, and they get stored in the basement. As I go down into the basement I am met with a few sights that needs to be taken care of right away. One, there is water all over the floor from our humidifier and two, one corner of our basement had a minor leak that now was showing white mold. Crap! What else can go wrong? This can't be mother's day, it has to be a really bad dream and I am going to wake up soon.

I have Krischan throw me down some towels to sop up the water in the one area, then grab a bucket of bleach and water for the corner. With face mask and gloves in place I scrub the basement wall to rid it of it's growing enemy. I then scrub the wall with detergent, place the fan on the wall to dry it out and open the creepy cellar type thing door to let some air flow in. A little part of me was hoping Rick would wake up miraculously healed and save me from this torture.

After that fiasco I noticed how hungry I was, but I needed to get the kids outside so that Rick could get his rest. Why doesn't he sleep in the bed you ask? Because I have it covered in folded clothes that needs to be put away. That will come later. I just shove a protein bar down my gullet and call it a meal.

After an hour of being outside it is time for naps, I put Kadence down and Jakob in my bed while I try to finish folding clothes. Luckily he falls asleep, and I am able to sneak downstairs to finally make myself a sandwich. At which time Rick wakes up and wants pizza. Crazy man, I tell him chicken noodle soup is what he is getting. If he ate pizza, he would be in deep shit. (If he ate pizza, that meant he could have suffered through brunch!)

The day being a wash I decide to go upstairs to get some grading done before dinner. Rick is still talking of going to get ice cream and maybe going on a short hike. I had begun to get hopeful also seeing that he was up and moving around.

Dinner gets made, plans are set, then the phone begins to ring, and Rick disappears into his office. I take the kids outside to play some more and finally at 6:45 Rick comes out to say "let's go get ice cream"

Yes, we only live 5 minutes away from the ice cream place, but by the time we load the kids up, then get there, they will be closed. I look at him and simply say "It is too late, we are not going." At this point I am overly cranky, get up from the hammock and tell him he needs to bathe the kids.

Kids in bed, I thank them for a wonderful mother's day. (Never tell your kids you had a bad day.) After they are all in bed, I gave Rick a test. "The only thing that can save this day is an oatmeal cream pie."

Another business call...no oatmeal cream pie. I give up and just go to bed.

Although, I do have to say, there was some normality to the day. I didn't get a card from anyone but Krischan. (They make one in school, Jakob is 3 and Kadence is almost 2, which leaves Rick in charge of getting cards from them to me, which never happens)
But here was the best part of my day:


Laying in the hammock while the kids played on the play set and I read my book about raising chickens. (that is a next year project)

So here is to hoping that next sunday, I get my mother's day do-over. Brunch at the Cheesecake factory, a movie, and some plants for my landscaping project. The most important thing though is the time with my family without anyone being sick!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My mother

With it being Mother's day I thought what better gift to give than a tribute. Plus I didn't buy a card, so I have to make it up somehow...

I love my mother very much. She has always been for there either cheering me on, giving me tough love, or standing right beside me. The memories I have growing up always share a seat with her, some are good, some unfortunately are bad because I know that I disappointed her with a decision I made, or an action I took. I am who I am today because in part of her, I am the mother I am today because she is someone I look up to and hope in some ways I am like.

In Kindergarten there were days that peoples birthdays were celebrated. I, even though it was in the summer when school was out, still got my day. We were allowed to bring in a treat to share with the class in celebration of our big day. Mom made cupcakes. White cake with white frosting and those gummy rings were placed on top. She brought them to school and I got to pass them out to the class. I remember being so excited that my mom did this for me and felt so special passing out the cupcakes.

When I had my first communion, one of my gifts was this beautiful white down comforter. It was fluffy, warm, and cozy...I loved that gift most of all. That very first night, I laid down and pulled it up around my shoulders. My mother came in to kiss me goodnight, and she stopped to admire the comforter, smiled at me and said "You look like a princess with that fluffy white comforter on your bed." I remember thinking that night, that I felt like one.

2nd grade, we got to do a play for mother's day. All our mom's came in and we spelled out MOTHER with a special saying or word for each letter. I remember being so excited and proud of the photo I brought in of my mom. It was from the hospital. She was in a pink robe holding me in her hospital bed. I was so excited to bring it in I dragged her out into the hall to show it to her. When I was pregnant with Krischan I looked for a robe that looked like that, but of course, couldn't find one.

4th Grade came and I needed a little boost becoming a "big girl" My teacher Miss Poling set up a sticker system. If I had a good week in school, my mom would take me out to buy a sticker. I remember my mom making a big deal out of it and buying me a special book to place my stickers in. She wrote on the inside of it "Heather's Big Girl Sticker Book." I loved going to the store with her to pick out stickers. I wish I still had that book.

She was there to comfort me when in 6th grade I didn't make the cheerleading squad. Oh, how I cried, and cried, and cried. I went home and she put me to bed, then came back later to talk to me and gave me an oatmeal cream pie. Nothing makes things better like an oatmeal cream pie. Still to this day we get one every once in awhile. I like to think of it as "our thing" I will always think of her when I eat one.

When I did make the squad the following year she was of course at my first game and I remember watching her cheer after cheer as I completely screwed up not remembering any of the moves. I am glad it was raining, I remember crying because I was getting so upset. She let me know how important practice was, and I did just that so that it would not happen again.

Ugh, Catholic High School. Uniform. I was so nervous about going to a new school where non of my friends were going, even the ones that went to my church. She was lighthearted about it and one day had me put on my uniform, an elephants nose, a grey long haired wig and glasses. She joked with me that I could go to school like that and hide, so I posed for a picture she took in which it looked like I was walking out the door. It ended up that catholic school wasn't so bad.

High School was the typical I hate you phase in our relationship. I look at it this way though. We had to get through that to become as close as we are today. As close as we became when I was in college. We did have our moments though. She made all my prom dresses, and a few others. She was always at the basketball games I cheered at and the track meets I ran in. It was rare that she wasn't at one.

My senior year in High School I met my first love. She was there when he completely broke my heart into a million pieces a couple of years later. She told me all the things she didn't like about him, which amazingly helped. I don't remember too much about the days after that, I was in a bit of a funk, but I do remember her being there. Knowing how much I hurt, and probably wanting to go and ring the guys neck. She was even by my side the day he came over to return all the stuff of mine that he had. It was the last time I cried over him, and it was in my mother's arms that the last tear fell.

My mother was happy for me when I met my true love and soul mate 6 months later. We had so much fun picking out my wedding dress when it was time. Of course she was going to make it, but once I tried on the dress that we were going to style a dress after, that thought went away quickly. I still remember how she explained that when I put on the dress, there was no doubt how perfect it was. And when the lady that was helping us took us into the main room to look in the full length mirrors, everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at me. I felt like a queen in that dress, and every step of the way, my mom was there.

Now as a mother myself I only hope that I am a great mother like her. I hope that my kids have no doubt of my love, even when they think they hate me, or are unhappy with something I said they couldn't do. I never doubted my mothers love. Never once did I wonder, and never once did I feel anything but love.

When we are old and grey, surrounded by our grandkids and great grandkids we will sit together on the porch in the sun. We will both go to sleep one night to wake up in heaven together, because God knows that I can not live without her and she wouldn't be the same without me.


Home from the hospital. I love old photos.


Mom and me Christmas day 2004.

Happy Mother's day mom. I love you, more than you know.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The art of writing

Sitting down with a pen and paper seems to be something of the past now. E-mail is quicker, Facebook and twitter gets me to whom I want to simply say hi to much easier. But have you ever noticed that in this fast paced world typing those words in the computer keeps you moving fast and makes you move faster because you have to write this e-mail, respond to that one, say hi to a friend on facebook, then get back to the e-mail that just came in, go to lunch, check my phone, type a text on the phone while I am shoving food in my face and getting my phone all greasy...

Whew...I am exhausted just typing about it.

When was the last time you sat back and wrote a letter, an actual letter.

Hearing the pen move across the fibers of the paper send calm up my arm and into my mind. Time slows down and I write with care. (The pen does not have a delete key.) I stop to think, to breath, to take in what I am saying and to whom I am saying it.

I love the look of my handwriting on paper, the loops of the descender, the height of the ascender. How each word moves with the others and flows into a conversation that is one sided until the person whom it is meant for reads it.

I notice my breathing even slows while I am writing, it seems almost romantic. It is definitely more personal since you can see the inflection of the writing, like you would hear it in a voice.

I would have to say writing on paper will never become a lost art...and art it is.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Things that happen around food

There are some days that there is so much going on, it is hard to process. Something that helps or doesn't help is when I get up early, just because the day seems so long it allows for more things to happen. Of course I always stay up late so that makes the day seem even longer. Like I said, some days this is a good thing and others it goes through my mind wondering when the day is going to end.

Here is a summary of events:
Jakob loves his train. Every 15 minutes he was calling me to fix it because he was running it so fast it kept derailing. Those poor passengers. The train viewing was matched with the watching of Polar Express, his all time favorite movie, even when it isn't Christmas time.


At lunch he kept running from the table to the train and movie. Kadence on the other hand was having way to much fun with her food to notice anything else.


Kadence is a good eater by the way, but she is a messy eater. The food usually ends up on the chair.


...and the floor.


Good thing I moved the table from the carpet area to the tiled area. Then of course she gets so messy she wants her clothes off. Today she started a game of tug-o-war with my sweater afterward. She thought it was pretty funny.


Now my sweater is stretched. The things I do to entertain my children...
The things they do to entertain me. Here is Jakob playing the air guitar at dinner. He wouldn't eat. "To busy getting down mommy."


It of course was way cuter in person. The picture does it no justice. His head was bobbing, his hand moving in guitar motions. My future rock star.

The one thing that made my heart swell? Krischan telling me all he wanted to do was read his book. Ahhh, there is my bookworm, just like mommy.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Starting Seeds

Every year I plant a garden and have these grand ideas of everything that I will grow.Corn, Tomatoes, watermelon, grapes, zucchini, cucumbers, strawberries, herbs, onions...I could go on forever. And every year I wait until the last minute and end up planting the seeds in the garden and pray that something comes up. Last year was a good year. I had zucchini (Which I actually ended up having to pull a whole row out since I planted them to close to each other) Spaghetti squash, cucumber, beans and basil. The cantaloupe didn't work, the watermelon never ripened before it started rotting, the spinach never came up and the tomatoes were a wash. Corn didn't have a chance, and the bell peppers grew but never turned red like they should have.

This year I am on a mission. I am in the process of planting starter seeds in old egg cartons. Of course after reading this great book "The backyard Homestead" by Carleen Madigan, I now know that the containers should be 3" deep and egg cartons aren't. But hey, I can always transfer them into old milk cartons or hopefully when the rains stops, into the ground!

Here is what I did. i cut the tops off of the egg cartons and punched a drainage hole in the bottom of each egg holder section type thing.


Then simply place the lid of the egg carton underneath to catch the draining water.


I then filled with dirt, (I mixed starter seed soil mix with the dirt from my garden) then placed a seed in each "compartment", watered and let them grow.


My beans, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro are already starting to come up. (I will take pictures to prove it to you.) I still have the squash, zucchini, cucumber, bell pepper, and pumpkin to plant as starter seeds. Although we will see what actually survives being transplanted in the garden. I am not the best gardener and don't always have edible food turn out. I have seen huge green worms eat my tomato plants, rolled over watermelons to see the whole underside had become black, and corn that grew, but didn't actually grow the corn. I have had rain come and go and left my garden weed free to come back to it looking like I planted it in the middle of a field without tilling the ground. It is always fun, and always exciting to see it grow, now let's hope this year it is exciting to sit down and eat a meal that comes from my own yard.