Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Well, this is supposed to be the last day for posting in the gratitude challenge, but I doubt it'll be my last post of what I'm thankful for. There are so many things, that 30 days simply does not allow for enough time to post about all of them. It's not always easy, but I do try to give thanks in all things, not just for all things.
Tonight, upon having just ventured into the city of Portland :shudder:: (I'll never know what made me think I was ever a city girl...) to take my children to see the Nutcracker Ballet. All three of us adored it, (as well as the trip into Whole Foods, but that is a post all in itself, after I come down off my food/beautiful produce high) and both of my children would love to go see Beauty and the Beast in February. Tonight I am thankful for art. Now, much like beauty I feel art is subjective; I do not find an art gallery filled of canvases of paintings with just an orange dot art. I do however love to look at the photographs taken by people like myself who are not professionals, but like to lend our hand to it. I'm actually a frustrated photographer at heart I think. (Especially now since my camera is on it's last legs, -insert sigh here- I guess 20400+ pictures is a lot for a camera to take in just 5 years!) I enjoy looking at artwork such as quilting and trying to find the meaning or the story. Children when given the encouragement and materials and allowed to let their imagination run wild often are very creative and 'artsy' if you will. Speaking of that, you should see our art supply! It rivals barn supplies! I love the artwork of Creation. I enjoy some things that are traditional and others when there is a creative spin put on it, but there are some classics that should not be messed with like Rudolph narrated by Burl Ives. DO NOT mess with Rudolph! My sister is now freaking out and desperately trying to call me to see what I've heard. Nothing.
Oh, for the record! IF I hear one more time that children are not effected by what they see on TV etc., I think my head might just explode! All afternoon after having seen the Nutcracker, my children were either the mice, the toy soldiers or another character from the ballet. After watching Victorian Farm they needed to pretend we were living that way as well, in fact Andrew came down stairs the very next day after seeing the first episode in his best Victorian period clothing and derby hat! Later he and Faith were taking turns being 'Clumper' the Shire draft horse used to pull carts and the plow. It does effect them!
So there you have it, a list of things I'm thankful for. Like I said, it's only a partial list and not in any particular order. I hope you've taken a moment to give thanks for the things you're thankful for not just this month, but daily, as there are so very very many.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
I made some dinner rolls and a loaf of bread, I remember Thanksgiving as a child and mom had to have the corner piece because of the crust; in fact, after a while she started using a small little pan that was the perfect size for 4 rolls, all corners! Perfect! Mom hasn't been here for a while; she's been so busy, so it was nice to see her as well. Dad of course made it too with Mom, and thoroughly enjoyed the boiled onions and Faith's apple pie.
Today, I cooked the vegetable lasagna, Andrew's alternate request for Thanksgiving. The Tofurkey was sold out. Ron's meal was a roasted chicken; a broiler that I'd raised this summer, since the alternate turkey I had as insurance croaked mysteriously this summer, but as he's the only one who eats it, he was ok that. We had potato prepared three different ways, Andrew wanted latkes, Faith wanted mashed potato and Ron and I wanted to have them oven roasted like when we shared Thanksgiving with our neighbors at the US Air Force Academy. Rebecca was the first one who made them like that and it's a rare treat to make them that way, because it's not exactly healthy, but oh so delicious! I haven't seen them in years, so to have them here to share our meal was delightful. Ron's sister likes the homemade stuffing I've made for some Thanksgiving dinners we've shared, but it makes so much I don't generally make it unless we have a big dinner. My English friend prepared the best stuffing ever, it was sage and onion stuffing, cooked then baked in the oven in oil, so it makes a nice crispy crust on the outside of a really delicious stuffing ball. She was here today too, but didn't bring my favorite stuffing, but I was just happy to see her so it didn't matter that didn't bring the stuffing. I made a simple stuffing that was similar to both guests likes.
As the time for the fiesta meal approached Faith offered to come help if I needed it, I had her do a few things, ans was glad to have her help. I had her go check on the animals and collect eggs if there were any. She came bolting back into the house and said the alpacas were headed down the road! I was in the final stages of preparing the meal, so I shouted "Go get a grain bucket and shake it and they'll come back. Andrew go help! I cannot go right this second." Faith headed to the barn and Andrew headed out after the boys. Then it occurred to me that if we had a few burned things that that would be better than lost animals or an injury to a passerby because of the animals. (Ron was in the living room so if it got really bad he could have handled any kitchen disaster.) So since I had a bag of beet pulp in the house; because I have to soak it for Garlic, I grabbed a scoop and bucket and out the door I flew. I sprinted out the driveway and down our road. It had snowed a bit and it was cold, I'm running down the road in my crocks and t-shirt shaking a grain bucket, ugh what a sight! I kept running until I hit the second road and finally saw the boys, they were not too far ahead of me now and Andrew was finally on their heels, er hooves rather. Faith had made it to the barn and was bringing up the rear. A few cars had stopped or pulled over. Andrew had finally caught their attention and they decided that he is generally associated with food and opted to follow him. After following him a bit they heard me shaking the grain bucket and started running back up the road towards me. We were quite a herd I'm sure and a couple passersby had some very quizzical looks on their faces. As we turned onto our road a woman who lives up the road a bit and also owns alpacas stopped to help prevent them from heading back onto the other road. We got them closer to home and she figured it was all under control and headed home. Dakota, (our llama and apparent ringleader in all this) decided that the house across the street from ours looked mighty inviting so instead of turning into our driveway, he plowed through the cedar trees bordering their property and when in to visit. They were not home, so he allowed himself to be caught and led back home with the other boys bringing up the rear. Andrew did a great job of staying behind them and using his body to work pressure points on the alpacas, he really did listen to the old cowboy who taught him to rope, work and cut cattle! We got them home and back into the barn and settled and went into the house to finish up fiesta preparations, albeit we were all winded from a quarter mile sprint after the alpacas!
We finished the prep and sat down to a delicious meal and I had a glass of wine in a glass that I bought in New York when I went to visit my best friend from high school. We've both been really busy raising our families, living our lives and living 5 states apart that we don't get to see each other very often, but I was so delighted she stopped in today as well. I knew my sister would stop in to make sure that we had the correct cranberry sauce, she did and we were ok; I told Faith that it had to be Ocean Spray jellied cranberry sauce as according to Aunt Jenny anything else is a waste of money. I turned the tv off; we'd been watching a sappy Christmas movie and knitting before lunch, and turned on a CD of Christmas music by Anne Murray, one that Ron's oldest daughter Erika gave me for Christmas one year. Though she's now grown and gone, out making her own way in the world I'm glad that even with her busy schedule she managed to visit today too. We talked about things we were thankful for and when we were nearing the point of being stuffed Ron looked around at all the dishes of food and mentioned that lots of them looked nearly full! Well that was about the time his dad arrived. At that point I said to Ron well, like your dad says, "Too much is just right."
After we were full Ron headed to bed with a headache and the kids and I cleared the table, and set out the pies. You know something funny, with all the guests we had around our table we only cleared off four plates. We had a wonderful time today and it's fine that not everybody was able to make it this year for Thanksgiving, we enjoyed those who shared our meal and missed those who couldn't make it, besides there is always another meal.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
*It' got it's name via my mother and my sister, kind of a combo thing.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
It's been one of those days where no matter what you do it seems like everything in the world is transpiring against you you suck you into the world that I'm certain has gone mad. I don't know what has happened to common sense, but I wish it would return.
I'm not trying to start a political debate, an argument or anything of the sort. I'm not asking for yours or sharing my political views. I don't have all the answers to the problems of the United States or the world, but neither do I believe anybody else does either. I'm pretty comfortable saying the new TSA 'security' measures would make me uncomfortable because I find it extremely invasive and don't believe it makes us any more safe than we'd be otherwise. Most of the people I've talked to feel the same way. Again, I don't have all the answers, but then I don't look to others to solve my problems either. I take responsibility for my actions and solve my own problems. That's not to say that I don't seek advice from those people whom I consider 'wise counsel' however if I choose to follow that advice and that advice was wrong I don't blame them. I'm an adult and in my world; that's not what adults do. (Or should I say that's not what adults are supposed to do.) Yet I'm finding it to be the case more and more and quite frankly I'm sick of it! When did we go from not being able to wait to "grow-up and be on our own," making our own way in the world and not "having people tell us what to do all the time" to thinking that we are incapable of taking care of ourselves, looking to other people or the government for all the answers and needing our hand held all the time to make it through life? C'mon people! Enough is ENOUGH! It makes me wonder how the early settlers and pioneers ever made it here, there was no one telling them what to do or how to do it, guaranteeing this, that and everything else, knowing that their survival was solely up to them. Sure some failed, some died and some went back home, but lots made it. Yes, it was scary, dangerous and hard work. It took lots of courage, tenacity and hope but isn't it worth it? Isn't that noble to have made it respectfully on your own? Families working together toward something, in my eyes is far more honorable that just having it handed to you.
Again, I'm not asking for political views here (or sharing mine) but I wanted to share with you what I consider to be a glimmer of hope that common sense has a chance to make a much welcome return.
Please take a few minutes to watch the video, especially the well stated remarks at the end. Thanks!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Growing up my grandmother told me, 'Don't wait for the one you can live with, but wait for the one you cannot live without.' I'm glad I took her advice.
Ron, I'm thankful for the life we've built together all these years, through the good times, through the hard times and the times that we grew together instead of apart. I'm thankful you work as hard as you do to provide for our family. I'm thankful that you are kind, loving, patient and think things through before acting impulsively, (we cannot have two of those in the marriage...) and I'm thankful that you love me in spite of my faults. We've been married for 15 years and though it doesn't seem possible, I love more now then I did then. There's a song that Brad Paisley sings called "Then" and the chorus goes:
"Now you're my whole life
now you're my whole world
I just can't believe the way I feel about you girl (Ron)
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it's ever been
We've come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then."
I think it's accurate in my feelings for you. We have come so far and I did think I loved you then; I did, but it's grown and changed and and expanded in ways I never thought possible then. Thank you Ron for sharing your life with me, for the children we have, for the hopes and dreams we have for the future, for the ups and downs of the past we've shared, for a lifetime of memories. I love you with all my heart and soul and look forward to many more happy years together.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
As I walked into the yard I glanced around the yard and nothing seemed out of place, much to my relief, when I approached the neighbor and the other man Andrew was in mid story hurling back to me the events of hoe the two men came to be standing in my yard. The pigs had gotten out!!! I can only imagine the look on my face, sheer horror I'm sure as that is certainly what I felt like on the inside. I was promptly introduced to the unknown gentleman and was quick to discover where he lived in relation to me. OH. MY. WORD!!! He and his wife had just recently finished planting tulip bulbs and looked out or were out in the yard that morning and were shocked to find two black and white pigs rooting up the area where they had just planted the tulips! The day was only just beginning and it was already a real corker! They managed to shoo the pigs out, but had no idea where they came from or anywhere to put them until they could figure it out. He tried to rope the bigger of the two; seeing as they were friendly and not aggressive he was not afraid of them. But I don't know how many of you have ever tried to rope 250-300 pounds of pure muscle, but those pigs will go where. ever. they. want! This gentleman found himself on the losing end of a rope with a squealing well muscled pig who was having nothing to do with going in the direction he wanted her to go. So I'm told.
I'm not sure how exactly it came to them to try our road, oh, did I mention that when the pigs escaped they took off from the farm up the driveway, down our dirt road and onto a second road? Why they ever left our yard is beyond me, but suffice it to say that I was seeing dollar signs in property damage that I'd need to repair from my 'wild' pigs! Ah-hem, I mean these girls are so wild they sit like a dog on command... I checked with the neighbors and they didn't do any damage or eat the tulip bulbs, much to my relief and they didn't hurt anybody or cause too much mischief. They did eat all the apple drops on this gentleman's yard, and a bit of garlic bread I'm told. It turned out that my neighbor (who knew the pigs were ours) and this other gentleman were just on their way back across the street after putting the pigs back in the pen and looking back over their shoulders to make sure the gate would hold. I was told they tried ring the doorbell, but it didn't work. Our doorbell doesn't work, hasn't since we moved in, tried to have it fixed but it's very similar to the doorbell on the Cosby show, instead of a ding! it was more like a weeeeoouughnntttttt! dingggggggernt! Yeah, it was annoying, so we unplugged it. Besides most people know we're usually pretty busy doing all that we do and it's better if they call first to make sure we'll be home before they pop in. Or if they do pop in by chance we're likely outside anyway, or the dogs will announce a visitor. But they know now it doesn't work. Oddly enough the dogs didn't even hear the ruckus.
Now you may be asking how it came to be that the pigs were out in the first place. Well, let me tell you. The night before it was freezing cold and freezing rain; and since the pigs will not leave the shelter I've re-built only about a million times up, (Bethany seems to think it's an excellent place to scratch her butt on) and I was in no mood to rebuild it in that kind of weather so I opted to rearrange the animals in the barn for the night and put the pigs in there. I'd spent part of the weekend running some new fencing and hadn't finished it due to freezing fingers, if I had the pigs would not have been running around town. I knew the girls (pigs) were not too excited about being inside, but I felt better knowing they were not out in that cold weather wishing they hadn't knocked down their shelter, again. I knew I'd put them back out in the pen the next morning when I did the morning barn chores. The stalls in the barn do not have latches on them to the outside, never had a need, they slide open and work well - except when you've got to pigs that will go where. ever. they. please! They do respect the electric fence though, thankfully! The two men had shut the pigs into the pen and were on their way home with a great story about a crazy morning wrangling pigs back home to an even crazier neighbor I'm sure. I thanked them both wholeheartedly and both were kind and told me no problem and they were glad to help. They were glad the girls were so friendly too!
Want to know something even more embarrassing to me but you may enjoy it. The next day we went into the town hall to vote, when I walked in I was greeted by, 'Well, I'm glad to hear you got your pigs back!' This was from the wife of the man I get my hay from who lives on the other side of town! The runaway, seemingly homeless pigs were the talk of the town - on election day not doubt! Does that say something about the candidates we had to choose from or is it more like pork barrel spending?! I rarely blush, my face felt as hot as the summer sun! It did give some excitement to an elderly neighbor who lived up the road in the opposite direction from the one the pigs took, but still it was excitement and to be the talk of the town well, that was a bit too much excitement for me!
So tonight I'm thankful for my awesome neighbors, who even before this incident I thought very highly of. (I'm also thankful they were not afraid to wrangle the girls.) They all welcomed us into the neighborhood within days of moving here with fresh baked pies and cookies and warm wishes. They don't mind my children talking their ears off while out in the yard doing yard work or their offers to help. It's a phone call in a power outage during a nor'easter to let you know if you're heat is out they've got a wood stove with a roaring fire and we are welcome there anytime that makes this neighborhood warm, friendly and my home. Before we moved here we lived in another town, much larger than this and never knew most of our neighbors, and it wasn't because we didn't try. But for so many reasons I'll take these neighbors every time! Thank you God for placing us in this neighborhood at this time with these neighbors. Thank you neighbors for being as wonderful as you are!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Of all the things I'm thankful for I think the one I'm most thankful for is the cross. I'm so thankful for my salvation and the mansion being built for me. I'm humbled by the thought of what happened on the cross and eternally grateful for what it means.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Well it's been a hectic two days and it's been a good two days, so I'm not complaining, but tonight I'm chilled having been out in the damp cold night air and I'm beyond exhausted, I'm extremely thankful for my bed, flannel sheets and an electric blanket! It's where I'm headed in about 10 minutes.
I'm also thankful for the flexibility of the life I have, I noticed this morning when I was doing barn chores that my does were wagging tails and exhibiting other signs of being in heat so I figured a trip up to visit with a nice 'experienced' buck was suddenly 'on the docket' for the afternoon. I called the owner of the said bucks and we made arrangements to meet after he got home from work. Up country we drove after loading the girls and it was halfway successful. Katie, the younger of the two does and daughter of Strawberry would more likely 'participate' I was told by the buck's owner. Well, Katie showed him! She would not have anything to do with the buck, she tucked her tail down tight and hid behind me! Which consequently ended up made me smell buck like... ugh! Anyway, it didn't appear that Strawberry would co-operate, because of her behaviour, she was not a doe to behave wantonly, she'd more of a hard to get type of girl... besides, that young buck was just trying to 'be' with her daughter. ::Shuddering:: She was more interested in the "Big Daddy" buck that strutted out into the 'deed' area. Oh. My. Word!! He. Is. AWESOME!! I cannot wait to see the babies!! AND he throws mostly girls! ::doing a happy dance, tyring not to count the chicks before the hatch, but oooooh I cannot wait!:: Did I mention he was a nice looking buck? Later we went into the barn and saw some of his daughters and WOW! So anyway, we're half way to the breeding 'goal' for the year, if Katie had stood, we'd be at 100%, but now we get to load her again and head up country, fortunately it's not too far and I have a pretty flexible lifestyle, which I'm thankful for.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I'm thankful for alpacas who are optimistic! :-) This video was shot tonight by Faith. I've been trying to get a good video of George, (the white alpaca) for days now, as he has got the CUTEST high pitched hum! To me; when he does this, it makes me think he's so optimistic about well, whatever an alpaca can be optimistic about I guess! He's so soft, adorable, outgoing, friendly and optimistic, what more could you ask for?! Enjoy!
Monday, November 1, 2010
This is one of the broilers from the last batch of broilers I raised on the farm and I roasted it in the oven tonight for my husband. Seeing as it's the first oven roasted I've ever made I don't think it came out too bad. It's 'blogworthy' at least. (Yeah, I just made that word up, sorry.) Ron seemed to enjoy it.
I am thankful these birds are tasty, (so I hear) and that are nourishing my husband well.