Saturday, January 31, 2009

My New Year's resolution was to learn a new old timey skill a month. This month I was determined after many years of trying, that this time I WAS going to learn to knit. These are pictures of my first completed project. I used size 50 needles which are essentially vampire slaying needles, and Lion Brand's Thick and Quick Yarn. This took me about two hours to do the actual knitting and the rest of the day for FarmerGeek to get home and show me how to bind off.




(Doesn't he have such pretty hands?)


Anyways, on to February's skill!
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Friday, January 30, 2009

Superbowl Sunday

It wouldn't be right to endorse one football team on my blog. (Cough: STEELERS!) I mean, that would be wrong to use my blog to support one team over the other. (STEELERS- YAY!) And I plan on knitting our way to a ring. (If I knit we win... go figure, last time we won a Superbowl, it was cooking.)

But if you are going to watch the Superbowl, you MUST eat! It's true. It's just anti-American to not pig out while watching the pigskin fly. (Go STEELERS!) But my question is, what on earth should I cook?

FarmerGeek has requested edamame- which sounds weird, but that's what they do in Japan.

I was thinking about Pioneer Woman's Steak Bites. Because, well, look at them. (HERE WE GO! STEELERS! HERE WE GO!)

Maybe I'll bust out the indoor grill and grill up some shrimp? Or just shrimp cocktail?

Maybe I'll make my baked potato chips with curried mayonnaise? Or balsamic sweet potato chips? (PITTSBURGH'S GOING TO THE SUPERBOWL...)

I mean, there's only two of us. (HERE WE GO.) But when I get nervous I eat. And I tend to get nervous during football. Especially the Superbowl! (STEELERS) I can't help it, I grew up in Buffalo- Superbowls weren't exactly our strong point. (STEELER SIX-PACK, HERE WE COME!)

Leave me a note, and tell me what you're doing on Sunday!

(GO STEELERS!)

Aren't you glad I stayed impartial? (WOO HOO STEELERS!)

*No Cardinals were harmed in the writing of this blog

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A GiveAway!

Hey all I came across this giveaway on the Fabric, Family, Fun blog by way of Chronicle of a Country Girl's blog. I thought I would pass it on to you. She's been in business for a year and that deserves celebration, consideration, and contribution.

I was thinking we should have a giveaway here, but I might need some convincing. Leave me comments and if we get enough DIFFERENT people commenting, I might have an awesome giveaway to pass along to you!

By the way, it's a crappy day out here, and you know that it's true when a snow plow is off the road with flares....

Healthy vs. Healthful


Healthy or Healthful?

This is the eternal debate in our family. Well that and the words to Finnegan's Wake. I swear to all that is holy and on Tommy Makem's grave that the words are, "To rise in the world he carried a HOD" not HAT! But I digress...

ANYWHOO....

FarmerGeek contends that healthy is not correct when referring to food because well, the food (hopefully) is dead and therefore it is no longer healthy, being dead. It is healthful, being full of health for your body.

I, however, busted out my English degree to state that healthful means "full of health" and the food is no longer full of health being (hopefully) dead. It is in fact healthy meaning carrying the properties of or pertaining to health. Since it carries nutrients to your body it is healthy not healthful.

What say you?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Two- Day Shredded Beef

Do not let the name fool you, this is not complicated at all. The only reason this is a two day recipe is because slow cooking is key. Make sure you make more than you think you'll need, because leftovers are versatile. It'll be good in omelets or lunchboxes. But your co-workers will hate you because it smells so good!

Dry Ingredients

Wet Ingredients
Mix the dry ingredients together in proportions according to your taste, but don't skimp on the salt! It's really important! Now rub all over the roast.
Next bust out the slow cooker. Drizzle the olive oil to coat the bottom. Next pour in about a 1/4 cup of vinegar, soy sauce, and Worchestire (or however you spell it). (Depending on the size of the roast, if it's a HUGE roast or you like a lot of sauce, add more!) Add about a tablespoon or two of liquid smoke and a teaspoon of smoked chipotle Tabasco sauce.
Chop up an onion and mince three cloves of garlic. Turn slow cooker on high. Add roast and carefully turn to coat without washing off the rub. Cook on high for about an hour. Then turn to low and leave it until tomorrow.
In the morning, take the roast out carefully, it should be almost falling apart by now. Your roast should look sorta like this:

and the slow cooker should look like this:
(Try not to taste it... but if you have to I can't really stop you...)

Now to all that drippy goodness, add a cup of ketchup, 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar, and this much dry mustard. The proportions here are 4 parts ketchup, 2 parts brown sugar to 1 part soy sauce.


Add in another splash of apple cider vinegar.



and about an 1/8 cup of molasses. (Don't get to hung up on measuring here...)



(Behold, this is how fast molasses is in January...)

Stir. Add the roast back into the sauce and set slow cooker to the lowest setting possible. Go about your day, and at some point make some rolls and a salad.
About half an hour or so before you plan to eat, uncover the slow cooker and shred the meat. Here's how I do it. The two-fork method:

(Pay no attention to the bottle of whiskey on the counter, it was nothing at all to do with this. Nothing I tell you!)



Put the lid back on and keep warm while you set the table, toss the salad (no dirty minds here), and slice the rolls (if there's a dirty connotation to that I don't want to know what it is...).
Once you've finished that, and there's drool pooling in the corner of your hubby's mouth, spoon some on a roll and eat.
If you rushed and forgot to say grace, that's not my fault...

Our dumb puppy...


Poor Faust, he has to put up with this...
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Monday, January 26, 2009

Flurries

I bet you thought I was going to talk about snow, but I'm actually not... I'm referring to the flurry of activity that's been going on at our house. If I've never mentioned it before, FarmerGeek and I are going through the licensing process to become foster-to-adopt parents. (This means we'll be foster parents, but if the children become available for adoption, we're able to adopt them.)

Now you know how it is when you move, you it takes a long time to get things just so. Well- that's definitely been our problem. The three main rooms of our house are fine. The kitchen, the living room, and our bedroom are in good shape. They aren't finished by any means, but they are clean and safe. Then there's the bathroom, which we thought was just fine for now, but in reality has slowly disintegrated over the past few months. For some unknown reason (we suspect condensation) the ceiling paint started peeling. Then we find out that all the plugs need to be GFI's in the bathroom and kitchen. (I guess the kitchens not perfect after all.) Then I need to reorganize our linen cabinet in the bathroom so it's easier to childproof. I also looked at our bathtub and thought that if I were a kid, there's no way I'd want to take a bath in that. In fact, I don't want to take a bath in there now. So what to do?

Right now, the biggest things are the kids rooms! When we first moved in we had a vague notion about "someday" having foster kids in there. And what they would need. Now the room that was my sewing room needed to be primed, sanded, painted (ceiling, walls, and trim/doors) and the rug pulled up and hardwood restored. Then the dressers (each child needs their own bed and dresser) need to be painted. And the light needs to get switched to a ceiling fan. Not to mention bedding and curtains. The boys room... ugh... that'll be a chore. We need to pack the hundreds of books we have, the numerous musical instruments, and all the other *ahem* stuff *ahem* that we have dumped in there for lack of other places. Then prime, paint, sand, and pull up rugs. Same thing goes with dressers and bedding.

Right now we're working on the girl's room. We have the walls done (including a chalkboard wall) one coat of paint on the ceiling, trim primed and painted, except the baseboard- we can't reach all of it with the rug still down. Basically, all we need to do is finish the ceiling, baseboards and floor. Oh and of course all the fun fussy stuff like curtains, bedspreads, and the like.

Then there's the miscellaneous stuff. The GFI's, we have to move the washer and dryer because it's against code to have it where it is, the front porch railing needs to be fixed. The entire house needs to be childproofed. The basement needs to be clean and organized. We have to come up with some way to lock up our guns and bows in one spot, and ammo and arrows in another spot. And lock up the alcohol. Oh and the light in the hallway needs to be replaced because it doesn't work right. That's on top of all the usual farm stuff like planting the garden, raising chickens, etc...

The worst part is that we just realized January snuck by us. This weekend is the Superbowl (GO STEELERS!) then the next weekend we have a training, the weekend after is my father-in-laws birthday, the weekend after is another training, and pretty soon it's March! Our training classes go to the end of March and then we should be able to complete our homestudy... should be being the operative word. If these things are finished we can't do it.

Oh just pray for us.... we'll need it...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

From our Front Yard!

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37 Random Things.

37 Random Things About Me
1. Do you like blue cheese? Aw yeah...
2. Have you ever smoked? Unfortunately, now I have asthma.
3. Do you own a gun? 1 gun and 1 compound bow
4. What flavor Kool Aid is your favorite? I refuse to drink the Kool-Aid
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Aw heck yeah!
6. What do you think of hot dogs? TED'S hot dogs!!!!
7. Favorite Christmas movie? Little Women, which is technically not a Christmas movie, but it is for me.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Pepsi
9. Can you do push-ups? I can do push-up?
10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding and engagement rings
11. Favorite hobby? Currently, knitting. We'll see next month....
12. Do you have A.D.D? Not technically
13. Do you wear glasses/contacts? Reading glasses
14. Middle name? Ann
15. Name thoughts at this moment? Should I color my hair this AM?
16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Cola, milk, tea
17. Current worry? Impending doom
18. Current hate right now? Uninformed people who think they know what they are talking about.
19. Favorite place to be? In the back forty.
20. How did you bring in the New Year? Kissing my hubby then singing (badly) a jug of punch outside with Snappy Fluffandfold
21. Where would you like to go? Alaska, Montana, Ireland, Isle of Skye
22. Name three people who will complete this? I have no idea.
23. Do you own slippers? CUrrently wearing them
24 What color shirt are you wearing? White
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Nope
26. Can you whistle? Yeppers
27. Favorite Color? Plaid
28. What songs do you sing in the shower? Irish Rebel Songs
29. Would you be a pirate? No I'd rather be a ninja
30. Favorite Girl's Name? Sparrow
31. Favorite boy's name? Owen
32. What's in your pocket right now? Tissues
33. Last thing that made you laugh? My hubby
34. What vehicle do you drive? Either a Kia Sportage or Ford Ranger
35. Worst injury you've ever had? One of the many times I broke my wrist was really bad... resetting it and all...
36. Do you love where you live? Yes
37. How many TVs do you have in your house? Two.

OK, blog readers, here's an easy and fun way to share information that we probably don't usually reveal, so feel free to copy these 37 random facts into your next blog post and share your answers with the rest of us. (it was fun--really!) Then comment on here so I can read yours!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Putting the Diva back in DivaHick

So I was absoltuely horrified yesterday when I found out I broke my first rule of the DivaHick. By the time FarmerGeek came home, I was unshowered, sweatpants, sweatshirts, frizzy, faded hair, pale as a ghost, bags under my eyes, and not even a pair of earrings.

I have lost the divaness...

See it's very easy to do, when it's -15 outside, and the only one to see you all day will be your dogs, chickens, and your husband. But I got to say, it doesn't make me feel good. I felt yucky and it was hard for me to get going and do anything.

ANd not that I'm one of those women who vacuum in pearls and heels (although I have, but that's a whole other story.) and feel the need to change my clothes and redo my makeup because my husband is coming home (which would totally backfire since he won't kiss me if I'm wearing lipstick), I just don't think wearing scrubby clothes everyday is a good thing romantically. But not because I think FarmerGeek won't find me pretty anymore, but I won't find myself attractive...

Now before you come up with all the situations as to why it's necessary, I completely realize that there are going to be days where you don't have a choice. It's -15 and you have to milk the cow/ fix the roof on the barn/ woke up to late and had to get the kids to.... But if you find it stretching past a week, you might be in a slump.

OK, I admit it. I'M in a slump.

So I think once a week, I'm going to post babysteps on how to become the Diva Hick you really are. (Sorry guys! You can ignore that one.) Give a shot, see if you like it, and go from there.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Poll Results

So it appears running water has won!

(I'm a little concerned about the people who voted for internet, I'm REALLY hoping you also voted for electricity...)

I personally voted for both running water or electricity. OK, technically I don't NEED either one. Like when the revolution comes and we are left with nothing and having to live underground to avoid taking the mark of the beast... (I've been reading the Left Behind series again...)

Anywhoo...

And for the record, I'm not talking about being on the grid. I want indoor plumbing, but ours comes from a well- a stinky smelly yucky well... And I'm seriously considering looking into a wind turbine for the backyard. I saw a neat one the next town over. Of course, since we are fostering, we'll have to keep all our utilities for now anyways.

Thanks for voting, and feel free to leave a comment about why you voted the way you did! (But don't worry, this is still America and you don't have to tell anyone what you voted!)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Conglomorative Blog

This is my conglomorative blog. Meaning I have a few things to say, but they are completely unrealted.


1) I made the world's best bread Monday. I mean, I cut into this sucked and thought, "Damn, I made that?" I plan on sharing the recipe, but I want to include pictures, so you'll have to wait until the kitchen's clean.


2) It's freaking cold out there.


3) I have no idea what to make for dinner.


4) What jumps in your head when you hear the words, "Plum Simple"?

My Interview

dlyn had a blog about her interview with Country Girl Kate who did an interview meme/project with Daryl, who had done it with Willow Manor. It goes back from there too. If you want to be interviewed, read on and find out how you can be interviewed too!

1. What inspired you to move to where you live now and seek a simpler way of life than a lot of people have?

Well that's a multiple part question. How did we end up in NorthEast Ohio? FarmerGeek got an awesome job out here. How did we end up on this particular homestead? Due in large part to an awesome real estate agent named Connie Cochran. As for the simple life, I've always been obsessed with growning things in the backyard. When FarmerGeek and I were dating, I used to pull out weeds in his front yard to relieve stress. That lead me to an issue of Mother Earth News about gardening, which lead me to want chickens, which lead us (eventually) to where we are now. Pretty much, we don't want to be beholden to anybody for anything. We don't want to have to trust a bank for our home, a company for our heat, or water, or anything. Our money isn't just to buy things, it's what my husbands earns for working hard. No one else has a right to our money- they didn't work for it, they didn't earn it.

2. Where did you and your husband meet?

It's true, we also met in a bar while handing out religious tracts to sinners. (Hey at least the bar part is true.) He was wearing my shoes at one point. And we weren't drunk.

3. In your seven things post you mention wanting to write a book - what genre/subject and have you started it yet?

I have three books going on right now. One's a little booklet that I'm hoping Storey will pick up all about cooking with eggs and recipes that include many eggs. The second is a humorous look about a suburban family moving to the country that's hesitantly entitled "How To Move To the Country Without Pissing Your Neighbors Off". The third book I'm writing is inspirational fiction about a woman who's going through the journey of infertility and how it's affecting her relationship with God.

4. What inspired you to begin blogging and what plans do you have for your blog?

Umm... this may sound weird, but I'm home alone during the day and I get these thoughts (or rants) in my head and I have to tell someone... ergo the blog. I used to keep a journal, but in my mind, I always edited things before I wrote them down, in case someone else would read it. I don't really have any plans for my blog, so I guess we'll see where it's heading

5. Describe a perfect day in your life.

The house would be clean. Laundry put away. There are definatley animals and kids running around. I would make a huge breakfast for everyone, and then we'd go play in the back forty- sledding or whatever- and then hang out watching movies at night. So Saturday was pretty close.

Here are the directions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions

Thanks dlyn for interviewing me!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

This one's for HermitJim

I got this in a forward today and it made literally LOL.

Once upon a time a man appeared in a village and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each. The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around,
went out to the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10, and as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort. He next announced that he would now buy monkeys at $20 each. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms. The offer increased to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so scarce it was an effort to even find a monkey, let alone catch it!

The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50 each! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would buy on his behalf. In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers:
"Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the
man has already collected.
I will sell them to you at $35 and when the man returns from the city,
you can sell them to him for $50 each."

The villagers rounded up ALL their savings and bought all the monkeys for 700 billion dollars.
They never saw the man or his assistant again, only lots and lots of monkeys!
Now you have a better understanding of how the
WALL STREET BAILOUT PLAN WILL WORK !

It doesn't get much clearer than this.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Story Behind the New Poll

Since it snowed here, pretty much all weekend, and since ODOT still has to learn how to use a plow correctly, we were stuck inside most of the weekend. So for a lot of the time the TV was on, just as something to do. Sometimes it was the playstation, sometimes it was the dvd, but a lot of the time it was cable. Sometime after the twenty-third time I saw the same commercial, it finally dawned on me.

There is no way we're keeping cable after we have kids.

I mean seriously, in the middle of the afternoon on a Sunday, I heard a commercial that included the words "Abortion Pill". (In their defense, in the context of "This is not the abortion pill") And a commercial that added "If you experience an erection lasting more than four hours..." I just have no desire to explain to my kids what those are.

(Now, on a side political note. Many people have heard me say this, and usually their response is "They should make it illegal to put those ads on TV." I don't believe this. I believe if you feel the way I do, the only option is to stop watching channels and shows that include these commercials and not to buy the things that are being advertised.)

Now what will I miss? I admit it, I've become a Secret Life of the American Teenager Junkie. And of course the Steeler games that we can't get on the basic channels. Did you know in February of 2009 TV stations will be changing over to digital? :D

SO now the question becomes: What Utility Could You Not Live Without?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Perfectionism

Perfectionism sucks. Seriously, when you think of perfectionist, you automatically think of those women (or men) who are impeccably groomed, houses immaculate, elegantly coiffed, with lists and schedules, and who are quite frankly- well- perfect.

If only that were always true.

See, dear readers, the reason why I haven't posted since last week, is in fact the direct result of my perfectionism. Yes, I'm a perfectionist, it's true. I don't have an immaculate house, although I try, I'm not perfectly coiffed or very groomed, although I do usually make the effort. I have lists and schedules though... But I'm not what you would normally think of as a perfectionist. See the thing you don't know is that when a perfectionist can't perfectly do what they plan to do, mostly they give up. I just haven't been able to post because I had this perfect Happy New Year's post. All I had to do was take the camera upstairs and take a picture. Of course, the upstairs is off limits to the puppy unless is crate time, so.... Anyways, it never got done. And because I never made that post, I never posted at all.

The same thing went for my Christmas decorations, since I couldn't get it all done at once, I didn't start. In my mind it had to be done perfectly and since I couldn't- well- then why bother?

Perfectionism sucks.