Thursday, February 26, 2009

Grandma's fridge

For some reason today, I've been thinking of Grandma Woodruff's refrigerator and how milk tasted so good when it came from inside her fridge.

Grandma owned one refrigerator. One. They bought it after they got electricity at the farm, in the mid 1950's. They had that fridge when Grandad died in 1986, and Grandma still had it in 1995 when she died. It was still running too.

Like all fridge's built in the 50's, it was boxy, had one door, with the small freezer compartment inside. That freezer held ice cube trays (yes, the metal ones) and not much else. Grandma's fridge was never as full as what mine is. It wasn't as big, but she didn't put everything it in like we do today.

I always enjoyed drinking a glass of milk at Grandma's house. She bought it in 1/2 gallons, and they were in those cardboard boxes. The milk wasn't as cold as most, and it tasted different. I imagine it was because it was in a cardboard box instead of plastic. Maybe it was just me, but milk tasted better at Grandma's.

Isn't it funny...I can see that fridge. I can remember how you pulled the tall handle back and down to open the door--not far, just enough to hear that click which was your cue that the latch had released. I can remember the color of the wire shelves, and the space inside. I can remember exactly where the milk was kept, and how it tasted...

Intertwined with memories of the fridge are memories of Grandma. Of watching her cook, of helping her cook. I remember offering her a drink of milk, knowing she'd turn me down, because she could not drink milk. It was one of our private jokes.

See, when she was a little girl, Grandma and a friend ate a bunch of peach pits. They took the pits, broke them open and ate the seed. Peach pits are poisonous. Deadly. Upon discovery, the girls were separated and each was purged. Grandma said her parents heated milk and made her drink glass after glass after glass until she threw up. She said that she'll never forget the black color of that milk/peach pit mix as it came up. Her parents make her drink and vomit repeatedly until all that came up was white milk.

But, after that, she could not drink milk.

Today, I'd love to go to her house, open that fridge, pour myself a glass of milk, and sit and visit with my Grandma, and offer her a drink of my milk.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The end of a career

Last night was Andy's last Basketball game. His career ended in overtime with the Bucklin Red Aces losing by three. Andy made the last shot attempt with 3 seconds left in the game. He attempted a 3 point shot which bounced off the rim. It was a pretty shot, beautiful arch, beautiful follow through, but it was one of those shots that is just short. I'm not disappointed, and I don't think he was, but he was disappointed that they lost. Even so, it was a fabulous game between two evenly matched teams.

One of my first posts on this blog was about my disappointment with how he was coached as a Freshman. I really thought that after that year, Andy would never play ball again. He didn't go out his Sophomore year--primarily due to that really really bad coach. And yet, he missed playing ball.

So, he went out last year, a Junior, starting the season in Colby knowing that we'd be moving soon. When we arrived in Bucklin, the coaches really worked with him, playing him quite a bit in JV, teaching him the plays, encouraging him. And he bloomed and grew. His confidence exploded. He became friends with many of the boys on the team and grew to really love the game.

He played on the traveling team this past summer, further honing his skills and gaining confidence. And, most importantly, he had fun.

This fall, he struggled a little with his confidence. He wasn't shooting when he was on the floor, but he quickly gained his rhythm and while not a starter, he was usually the first sub on the floor. It was surprising to Kev and I that the coach usually put our 6' son in as a guard instead of a post. And yet, he'd float; if one of the posts went out, he'd often drop back and cover their spot. I guess you can say that he's very versatile, being able to play both positions.

Where he would shine was on defense. That kid really is a good defensive player. He keeps his arms up, keeps his feet under him, moves quickly with his opponent and kept many top scorers from getting baskets. It was always a joy to watch him play on that end of the court.

Offensively, he finally got his groove...I'd like to say it was after I started bribing him, but I think he needed to get there on his own. See, I made a deal with him. If he shot the ball, I'd pay him $5 for every attempted shot. He didn't shoot, so the next game, I upped the deal, going to $10 a shot. Coincidentally, he started shooting, and started scoring. Last week, I owed him $50 (5 attempts, 3 baskets). And, I happily payed. It became our own little game on the side. He didn't really expect me to pay, but I did (he's always needing money for this and that anyway, like all teenagers!)

But. his career ended last night. I'm still trying to figure out how to flunk him, so he can repeat his Senior year. But, I know that it's not going to happen. All things end. It's time for Andy's Basketball career to end. I'm just glad that is ended as a positive and fun experience for him rather than remaining a negative experience as it was 4 years ago.

My son can now join the ranks of adult men and women everywhere who start sentences with, "When I played basketball, we ... ... ... ..."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My addiction

I think I need an intervention.

See, I have this addiction, and it's bad. I have to feed this addiction at least once a week.

Occasionally, I'll feed it twice a week.

No, it's not Dr Pepper.

Instead it's an Arby's Classic Italian Sub Sandwich.

It's a bad addiction.

If I ever go out to lunch, I'm going to get that Sub. If someone invites me to lunch, and asks where I'd like to go...I'm going to get that Sub. If Kev wants to go out and eat, I'm ready for a Sub. If the kids want Sonic or McDonalds, or Long Johns, I'm walkin' to get my Sub. I haven't eaten anywhere else for months. It's bad!

Only, I think I just cured my addiction, because I just looked it up online and found that it has

780 calories.

O my. Ignorance was bliss...

I could probably have a Blizzard from DQ with fewer calories than this sandwich has.

I'm sad, cause it's so good...

Time to look for another addiction and another lunch menu item.

I think I'll now go mourn.

Goodbye crusty bread.

Goodbye crunchy red onions.

Goodbye tangy banana peppers.

Goodbye messy, tasty, tangy sauce.

I'm gonna miss you.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Thirteen years ago

Thirteen years ago at this exact time, I was in labor.

I went to the hospital at 7 a.m. to be induced since I was already dilated 5 cm and had been for over a week. This child was 2 weeks overdue and I swear that she was gripping my hipbones trying to stay where she was. Thus, the induction.

By 10:30 a.m. it was all over and we were the proud and surprised parents of a screaming little girl. We truly expected a boy, and didn't even have a girl's name picked out.

We were very glad that she was screaming and loud, because Andy was a quiet baby and then he had some trouble with breathing. A screaming baby meant we wouldn't have that problem this time.

Only problem was she didn't stop screaming for many many months...make that years. Cause she still has a tendency to be rather loud...

Right away, we knew we had a stubborn child, a loving child, and one who needed lots of touching. She was the child who would wake up the minute you laid her down. She was the baby who slept best curled up on her Daddy's chest, or on Mom's. She's the child who, once she learned to walk, would be found in bed with her big brother every single morning. She's the child, who last night, came upstairs to get her dog, just so she'd have someone in bed with her.

She's always been a little thing, a skinny thing. She still is, but she's moved from that girl state to that of a young lady. Her interests are minute, she wants a doll, or a stuffed animal; the next, she's wanting makeup and dressy dresses and bras and such.

At Christmas, I could rest my chin on top of her head. Today, I can't.

She's 13 today. The baby is long gone, the little girl is gone. Today she's one step closer to becoming a woman. I see glimpses of that woman, and I think I'm going to like her.

If she survives long enough to become that woman...

Happy Birthday Kat.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I have decided

I have decided that...

"Smart Chicken" is an oxymoron.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The sympathetic nurse

There's a reason why I did not choose to become a nurse.

If you've read here for long, you know I'm the "Suck-it-up-and-deal-with-it" person.

Which makes those I love really appreciate having me for a nurse.

For example:

Child: "Mom, I threw up 4 times last night."

Me: "I hope you made it to the bathroom, cause I'm not cleaning it up."

Child: "Mom, I think I have a temperature."

Me: "Well, take some Tylenol, go to bed, what do you want me to do?"

Husband: "Honey, I've had the runs all night."

Me: "Great, just great. Does that mean that I have to clean that toilet again?"

See, sympathetic. That's me.

Andy was sick a week ago. Now, he has the rash from hell. I get to help him rub cream all over his body twice a day.

Kat was home sick yesterday. I got to help her take a bath last night and tuck her in bed. Thank god she knows how to throw up IN the toilet. (Andy missed.)

Kev was sick over the weekend. I got to sleep on the couch.

My toilets have been cleaned more in the past week than they have in the past year.

Yep, there's a good reason why I'm not a nurse.

Friday, February 13, 2009

It's a better day

Well, Andy will live. His rash isn't anything life threatening thank goodness. (Being me, I was running through the worst case scenario's in my's's's Ebola...don't ask me where he'd get such diseases, cause I don't have any answers.)

Andy's rash is a viral rash, he can rattle off the Latin term for it. Me, it's some viral rash. What I thought was ringworm was the "Mother ship" of the rash and the rest have spread from that initial spot. So, I guess it's a good thing we sent him to the Dr. We've got a script for a steroid cream which should take care of it. Of course I think we'll need the industrial sized tub of cream before it's gone, and I hope it's relatively cheap...

Miss Kat has forgiven us somewhat. Of course that might just be because after taking allergy medicine, she felt better. See, Mom isn't so stupid after all...even if she won't admit it....

To make my evening better, only one chick was outside last night. She was also outside the pen, but I easily picked her up, took her back to the chicken house and gently explained why it's bad for young hens to leave the safety of the pen. I think she understood and I hope she learned her lesson. My lone surviving adult hen has started laying eggs again. One egg a day isn't a lot, but they sure are tasty!

Maybe things are calming down at my house...maybe.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pass me the award

I deserve the "Bad Mom Award" today.

Miss Kat was whiny last night about not feeling good, so I put her to bed, tucked her in, gave her an additional blanket and told her we'd see how she felt this morning.

This morning, she complained about a headache, sore throat, and upset tummy. But no temperature. Her color was good. After some medical examination and a question/answer session, the diagnosis was...


Headache in sinus region.

Sore throat from sinus drainage.

Upset tummy from all that snot that drained into her tummy.

I gave her an allergy pill, told her to suck it up and go to school.

Then her brother got out of the shower.

He was very sick this weekend (naturally when his grandparents were here to visit). He was sick through Tuesday. On Monday evening or Tuesday (the days blur together), he pointed out a rash on his hips and below the waist, but it was spreading up his torso. I thought it looked like measles, or maybe a fever rash, so didn't worry, but decided to watch it.

It's Thursday, and the rash looks the same, not better, not really worse. I don't think it's spreading, but he shouldn't have it.

So, I'm trying to call the Dr to get him in to see someone. And I sent him to school with his sister (who's mad because we're worrying more about her brother than we are her.) I'm going to send him to the Dr on his own. I didn't stay home to take him, I'm not going home to take him, I'm letting him go on his own. And, that's bad, isn't it? If I was a good Mom, I'd be home with him and take him to the Dr.

If I was a good Mom, I'd have let Miss Kat stay home, and I'd have stayed with her.

Instead, I'm at work, making my babies take care of themselves. Pass the Award, I've earned it today.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chicken intelligence

When God was handing out intelligence and common sense, the Chickens were hiding behind the door.

They were hiding because they couldn't find the door.

Since we've had such mild weather, and since the "new" chicks are 7 weeks old and fully feathered out, I've been leaving the door to the Chicken house open throughout the day.

The two adult Chickens appreciate this, as they spend most of their time outside foraging for food and pooping on my porch, on my steps, or on the basement patio.

The young chicks haven't found the open door yet.

I take that back. FIVE chicks have found the door and can venture outside.

They haven't, however, found the same door to go back inside.

So, last night, I went out to herd these 5 adventuresome chicks back inside. It was getting dark, they were getting nervous and were huddling under the chicken house.

They were far enough under that I couldn't reach them, so I got a board and "pushed" them out by waving the board behind them. Once they were back in the open, I tried to get them to go back up the ramp and into the chicken house.

Have you ever tried to herd chickens? It's not easy, and I wasn't very successful. I would herd them this way, and one would go that way. I'd get that one back, and another one would make a break. They would go under the ramp, and around the ramp, but not up the ramp.

Time for new tactics. I reached down and grabbed one of the chicks. Who squawked and flapped and wiggled. I tossed her into the chicken house. Unfortunately, my nice little herd scattered when I pulled this one out of the group, so I had to find them again. I managed to grab another one, and a third, and quickly pushed them into the Chicken House. But, since they were squawking and making all kinds of noise, the rooster got upset. Thankfully, he was already roosting, but he started crowing and cackling, upset that his women were being mistreated.

The thought did cross my mind that if he were truly concerned, he'd have stuck his head out to see if he could help defend his girls. Instead, he just made noise. (Note that I'm not making any comparisons between Male Chickens and Male Humans.)

The last two girls were more difficult to get rounded up. The cackling and panicked sounds of their sisters had made them more nervous, and they retreated further under the chicken house. Miss Kat had to come help push them out so I could swoop down, grab birds and shove them inside.

And, of course, once they were inside, I had to go in and shut their door. The Rooster was inside and he was still upset and making lots of noise. I took in a big stick with me just in case he decided to come off the roost and attack me in the relative safety of his home. He stayed put, but kept an eye on me and fluffed himself up letting me know he wasn't very happy with me.
Which made me stop, look him in the eye, and say, "Look Stupid, if you'd teach them how to come back in at night this wouldn't have happened. And, if you come after me, you'll be supper."

He backed down, suitably frightened, and I filled the feeders and left them all to recover and rest.

Let's hope the Rooster teaches the girls how to go in and out the door today.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Kill them with Pork!

Kev's folks visited us this week. They arrived on Thursday, and left today. Kev had Friday off, and I took a vacation day so we could enjoy their visit every day they were here. (To be honest, I think they were looking forward to naps, and down time on Friday, but that didn't happen!)

I told them I planned on killing them with pork during their visit. I was kidding, but I really did try to kill them with pork.

See, yesterday, for Sunday dinner, we decided to cook up one of our hams that came out of the brine on Thursday evening. All would have gone well, except for one small fact...

Our hams hadn't been precooked. Nope, it was a raw ham I put in the oven at 10:30 Sunday morning. Lunch was scheduled for 1:00.

A store-bought ham, a precooked ham would have been cooked to perfection at that time.

Mine was cooked to perfection for a whopping 1/2 inch. Internal temperature near the bone was a whopping 110 degrees. Somehow, I don't think you should eat a ham that is only 110 degrees.

So, we improvised. We sliced ham off, and then fried it to make sure it was really cooked well. For some reason, no one wanted to get sick! (The rest of the ham went back into the oven for another 2 hours.)

It was good, but I felt bad about the faux-pas. But, my mothers--yep, both Mom's were nice and said they never would have thought about needing extra time for the raw ham. We've all been spoiled by processed foods.

But, we did eat our fill of Pork this weekend...bacon, ribs, ham. Yum.

And, most importantly, no one got sick...yet.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

cars and a rant....

We just got the car out of the shop. Finally. And, getting it fixed, wiped out our bank account. In fact, after writing the check, we were $5.00 in the hole!

But, I fixed that today.

While I love driving the's an expensive car to own. Every time we take it to the mechanic or for body cost's a minimum of $1500. Every time I think I can put money in savings and build it up, something goes wrong with the car and my "hard saved" money all goes to someone else.

And insurance is NO help. I wonder why I pay oodles and oodles of money to insurance companies, and when I need to make a claim, it still costs me a fortune, and they still won't pay.

I've decided that insurance is just legalized extortion.

You are required by law to have insurance, but they aren't required to really help, or give you your money back. And, when they do decide to help, they want to increase your rates, even though you might not have had a claim in 10 years. Yep, extortion.

I'd drop insurance on my cars, but I'd be the one to get caught. Maybe I need to become friends with some of the illegal aliens around here, they never seem to pay for insurance, and they sure drive nice cars...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Well, our home cured bacon is...

well it's...

OK, it's...


Kev and I tested it last Thursday night. We sliced up one slab. It was much better than any we've ever gotten from the locker, but not quite as smoky as we'd like.

On Friday night, Kev mentioned that one of the guys he works for was firing up his big smoker on Saturday. He told Kev to bring the bacon slabs over, and he'd smoke them for us. He just smoked them for a couple of hours.

Wow! What a difference that made! When I opened the cooler, I got a face full of the smell, smoky goodness smell.

We then put them in the freezer for a few hours to partially freeze. Then, we got out our meat slicer and slice up all our bacon. Of course, we had to test a couple of pieces out. They were delicious! Perfect.

Our hams are still in the brine. I think they'll be ready to come out this Thursday or Friday. I'm planning on cooking one up this weekend. Just hope it's as good as our bacon!