Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Tee with Flair

One* clearance tee +

a little ruffle =

a tee with flair.

*I actually purchased two clearance tees (one in my size and one in XL for extra fabric to make the ruffle). Total cost? $5. Sweet.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Almost Gave Me a Freaking Heart Attack

I must be a little sensitive today. I don't know why. Earlier the wind blew our flag buntings that hang under our front windows up in the air and I thought someone was peeking in the window.

But the scare I just had now was a million times worse.

I've been in Spenser's room doing the big summer-fall wardrobe switcharoo when Sawyer disappeared. It's not unusual for him to walk around the house at his free will, so I didn't pay much attention. I called his name a few times and figured he fell asleep on the sofa. I asked Spenser to find him for me while I finished folding the last of the clothes. And she said she couldn't find him.

I scrambled from room to room and he was nowhere to be found.

I did another quick search, checked all the doors (locked from the inside), calling his name, and still could not find him. I thought I was going to barf. My stomach was flip-flopping every which way. I almost called Joe. I almost called neighbors to organize a search (yes, I am totally not kidding).

When I spied a little bit of blond hair peeking out of the pillows and blankets. (It bed-linens wash day.)

Good grief, kid. Don't do that again.

Besides being sweaty and drooly, he is fine.

Mama, however, is not.

I think I aged a few years on that one.

So not cool.

Monday, September 28, 2009


We love our hens. We have all hens. No roosters in the mix. I was worried for awhile. Everyone I knew thought they were buying all girls, and ended up with as many as half roosters.

But, on three separate days, we've gotten 11 eggs. And that totally confirms that our 11 chickens are all hens. Whew!

We have five araucana hens. Their feathers are so unique. As unique as their eggs. Two lay blue eggs. One lays green eggs. And two lay pinkish eggs (see front left egg). They were the last of our egg-layers to start and their eggs are a little small, but we have hope to believe that their eggs will get larger.

We not only enjoy eating our eggs, but baking the shells, crushing them, and feeding them back to the chickens. What pretty colors. (The blue and green eggs are slightly tinted on the inside of the shell, too.)

We've enjoy fried eggs, scrambled eggs, egg drop soup, crepes, and quiche, among other things. And it's so nice to use a fresh egg, right from the hen's bottom, for baking. The yolks are so bright and vivid. So much more yellow than store-bought eggs. I can't imagine a life without chickens. I think I'll always be a chicken farmer.

(We have a few broody hens. They all seem to like the same nesting box, and when several eggs are sitting around in the box, they will sit on the eggs to keep them warm. For hours at a time. We've literally had to move the hens to get the eggs out from under her. I kind of think it's mean, but sometimes if we need to go somewhere, we can't keep coming back to check if she's gotten down. I just love how motherly they act towards the eggs.)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Three - The Birthday Boy Edition

Oh, little man. We adore every inch of you. You are a sweet, loving, affectionate boy. You shower your mama with kisses and hugs from morning 'til night. You love to play with my hair. You always say, "Let me touch your hair." I admit that sometimes it annoys me. But I still love it that you love me so much.

You are the only one who has had my undivided attention for three years. Your older siblings only had me for two (or less) years before another baby came along.

You are my little sidekick. I can't leave the house for a second without you trailing me out the door. And, boy, do you love those chickens. Even though Little Birdie pecked your finger and it hurt, you still love her.

My favorite recent memory of you is when you climbed into bed with me one morning while I groggily tried to catch a few more winks. You put my face in your hands and said, "I wub you, my wub." (Which the entire world knows means, "I love you, my love.") And then you kissed me. It was such a great way to wake up.

And, even if your gift did not arrive, you did have a few gifts this morning. Daddy stopped at the store and bought you a sword and a car, just so you'd have something to open on your big day. And Jackson so lovingly gave you a penny (which he found at soccer practice yesterday) and two Hershey Kisses (because you love chocolate) in a little paper box.

And you were content with that. Even if you get no other gifts, you are happy with whatever you have. And any boy who is allowed to eat chocolate for breakfast is, indeed, a happy little boy.

Sawyer, we love you to death. We love your brown eyes and beach-blond hair. Even if it's a little shaggy right now, we love it. Happy birthday, my boy. I will love you throughout eternity.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

I'd like to say that I was vacationing somewhere exotic, but the truth is, I've been right here in my little town. Somewhere between six kids, eleven hens, running boys to soccer every night of the week, the beginning of karate, and being on town council, I ran out of time. And energy.

And, as if I haven't been busy enough, I've been canning when I can. The day before my surgery I made another batch of pickled watermelon rinds and this week I made some triple-citrus marmalade. The marmalade was so very simple. And it's tasty, too. I don't know why I've never made it before.

I am recovering nicely from my surgeries. The podiatrist released me from his care yesterday. And told me I could go running right away. But, well, I'm still under my GYN's care for another five weeks (although he said I could run within days of the surgery, I think I will call to make sure he really meant that). And, my knee is acting up. It's funny how great it felt last week when I was on narcotics. The afternoon of my surgery I told Joe I felt so good I wanted to go for a run. He looked at me and very sternly said, "You. are. NOT. going. to. run." Glad I listened. I don't think a drugged-up person can make rational decisions and I'm sure I would have gotten hit by a car or something had I left the house without adult supervision.

And in other news:
  • A certain little boy turns three tomorrow. THREE! And the birthday present I ordered for him last week is not coming. It was the last one in stock and I got an email this week telling me it is damaged. I have nothing to give him. I walked around Wal-Mart last night and saw nothing. There are no toy stores in this area at all. Tomorrow morning I will take him to the next county to the Toys 'R Us and hope I find something. Since my account was already debited, I told them to send it when it comes in stock for Christmas. (And Spenser will be getting one of these, too.)
  • My father had an appointment with his oncologist last week, and he is in "complete remission." This was a total surprise to us. Now, this does not mean his cancer is cured, but it's taking a break from his body. He was diagnosed 7 1/2 years ago (just months before Krissy died) and was told it was incurable. He had chemo four years ago and was in an 85% remission then. It's the power of prayer, I tell ya.
  • My favorite snack lately (besides sweet peppers from my garden with ranch dressing) is almond butter on graham crackers. I can't get enough.
  • I have sewing on my mind. It has been a long time since I've sewn. I'm thinking new fall skirts. I have the perfect fall tablecloth waiting to be worn.
  • I'll have to update you on my hens soon. We're getting lots of eggs. (See sidebar.)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'm Back with Updates

Well, I guess I'm not "back," since I technically didn't go anywhere, but I am back to my poor, neglected blog.

First off, thank you for all of your kind words from September 9th. My bloggy friends are a great source of strength to me. And for that I thank you.

Mason did extremely well on his surgery and is back doing all the things seven-year-old boys do.

This past Tuesday, I had surgery of my own and am recovering fine. Besides cramping the first day, I've been feeling pretty good. And it's not because I'm taking drugs. Although, it certainly can't hurt, can it?

And yesterday (as if one surgical procedure wasn't enough for me in one week), I had my runners toe fixed. The old toenail fell off and the new one was growing up instead of out. And it was bubbly. And I felt pressure on it. (And, good grief, it was ugly.) And all I can say is thank goodness I have my drugs with me. All is well.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

It's the Day

It's the day I dread 364 days of the year.

The day that makes my heart feel like it's in a vice. And the squeezing feeling is unbearable. And it hurts to breathe.

The day that turns my stomach into one giant knot.

It's the anniversary of the worst day of my life.

It's the reminder of this day that made me sob on a recent five-miler in the middle of nowhere. Just me, bawling my eyes out, as I ran down the road. All alone. Without a single witness.

Seven years. My sweet Kristen. Much too long.

Friday, September 04, 2009


Today is Mason's surgery. As much as I can't wait for him to hear better, I'm still apprehensive about it. (It is surgery after all.) Let's hope and pray for the best. I love this little man.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Yep. Still Eating

Green salsa from my heirloom Aunt Ruby's Green tomatoes.

The best gazpacho ever. For real.

Tomato sandwiches (with a Mr. Stripey heirloom tomato from my garden) on toasted multi-grain bread and basil mayonnaise. And salt. All tomatoes need salt. Well, except cherry tomatoes, which are best eaten fresh off the vine while still hot from the sun.

And rainbow salsa, mostly from my heirloom tomatoes and a few others just thrown in.

(Oh, and loaf #2 turned out much prettier.)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I Eat. Part Two.

I finally did it. I broke down and bought the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book. I figured the weather was going to be getting colder (and it is) and we'd want to eat more bread (and we do).

Last night was our first loaf.

It may not be the prettiest. It may not be the largest. But it was the yummiest.

After cutting it and giving everyone a slice, only two small end pieces remained. As Taylor left the dinner table, he snagged one of the last pieces. And then this one piece was all that was left. We all wanted it, but no one wanted to take it.

Sawyer left to go to the bathroom and on his way back, he grabbed it off the cutting board and ate it. And that was that.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I Eat. Therefore I Am.

I've been doing a lot of eating and making lately. The sad thing is that I am not picky. I eat just about anything. There are a few things I wouldn't necessarily eat if I wasn't in a "picking" mood (i.e, radishes and celery), but I still eat them when I feel like munching on something, because anything is better than nothing. Don't ya think?

Many years ago Mom-Mom used to pickle watermelon rinds. To some that may sound strange. As strange as crackers and gravy at Thanksgiving. But it's something we grew up with.

When I was pregnant with Spenser, I pickled some watermelon rinds, and my mom's sisters went crazy. No one had had them in years, as Mom-Mom got older, and it was a special treat for Thanksgiving that year. (We are actually having Mom-Mom's "birthday" party this weekend. Maybe I'll have to take a jar.)

I hadn't really thought much about them until recently, when a friend on Facebook mentioned she was pickling them. Dang! That was all the motivation I needed. Yesterday was "pickling watermelon rinds day." Sadly, all the work only made five pints, but I have another melon that needs eating, so maybe I'll make another batch.

If you're interested in making your own, here is a recipe. The recipe I use is from the Ball Blue Book (which has current reproductions). I'd have to say I've gotten my money out of this book. It is invaluable. It's probably the second-most-used book in our house. The first is my scriptures.