Friday, May 30, 2008

Does this make me an official Southerner?

We belong to a CSA, and in the basket of veggies this week was a bunch of....

Mustard Greens.


What's a little ol' girl who was raised on Lawn G-eyeland supposed to do with THOSE? O_O

When we lived in Florida, I worked with a veterinarian who considered mustard greens to be the ultimate comfort food. He was a Southern boy. Whenever he was down, his wife made him mustard greens and sent them over to the clinic. Me, however? Gimme some bagels and lox. Maybe a nice knish, but mustard greens? Culturally and epicurally, I cannot wrap my little head around them.

Stumped, I tried Google. Found a few different recipes, but most used lots and lots of bacon, which I didn't have in the house.

Then I asked the Borg, also known as my fellow scrappers on the consultant board I read. I figured there had to be some Southern gals there who would be willing to share their recipes. Nope. Besides some assurances that mustard greens are NASTY, nada.

Twenty-five minutes until dinner and I was stuck looking at this weird batch of leaves. ARRGH!

Well, necessity is the mother of invention, right? I invented a recipe. And guess what? The kids didn't puke or gag, Dan actually said the recipe was a "keeper" and I ate two servings. Wow!

Does this make me an official "Southerner"?

Here's the recipe, in case you ever want to brave a new culinary experience....

Wash bunch of young mustard greens.
Tear leafy parts off the stems, and rip into smaller pieces. Set aside.
Chop stems into 1" pieces.In pot or dutch oven, melt 1 to 2 tbsps butter, and add same amount of olive oil.
Saute 1/4 white onion, coarsely chopped, and chopped stems.
Add good dash of salt (I'm usually very hesitant with salt, but this time I was generous with it.)
Stir occasionally -- you may need to add more butter or olive oil to keep onions from sticking to bottom of pot.
Once the onions have become translucent, add about 2 tbsps white wine, then add leafy parts. Cover pot.
Peek occasionally to stir.
Take off heat once leafy parts have wilted, and everything is coated.

Y'all come back now, ya hear?


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Laura Ingalls Strikes Again!

Besides making butter every week, this past week I earned another notch on my Pioneering belt: making preserves! Granted, using SureJell sure ain't the way Laura did it, but hey, you do whatchagotta do. ;)

Here's some snaps of the yummy process:

Fresh strawberries....

Slice 'em up.....

Smoosh 'em...

The finished product, ready for the freezer!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My Mamma Taught Me Right

I was in the grocery store the other day with about 25 minutes to go before I had to pick up The Boy from school. In other words, I was rushing like a bat outta H.E.Double.Hockey.Sticks.

I got to the bread aisle, and there was a little old grocery store worker, pushing a cart with folded up cardboard boxes. As she made her way out of the aisle, her boxes bumped a display of bread and knocked some to the floor. She didn't notice.

My mamma must have taught me "right", because, even though I was pressed for time, I backed up, picked up the bread, and put it on the shelf where it belonged.

Yes, I did it because my mamma taught me right.

I didn't realize that another shopper had stopped to watch. As I walked back to my cart, she approached me and said, "I'm so glad to see that I'm not the only one who would have done what you just did."

"Are you kidding?" I asked with a smile. "My mom would KILL me if I hadn't done it!" :)

We spoke for another minute or too. I finally said, "It's just common courtesy."
"Right," she said. "Exactly right."

We went our separate ways, but my smile was still on my face.

'Cause my mamma taught me right.


What are these?

Dan noticed a patch of flowers growing in front of this old house and thought it would make a wonderful photograph. So, we stopped by the side of the road the other day in order to allow me to: get out, climb through waist-high weeds, slip in a drainage ditch, get soaked by residual dew, oh yeah, and take a photo.

He was right -- I'm really pleased with the photos I took. Kind of a photographer's challenge, right? The one thing we're wondering, though, is: what kind of flowers are they? Anyone know? If you do, feel free to leave a comment with the answer!

Here are my lovely photos:

Monday, May 19, 2008

Lovely DD

The last band concert of the school year. Miss Thang is 1st chair, thankyouverymuch!

Time flies by soooooo fast. When did she turn into a young woman? :(

Clothes reproduction -- is this how it's done?

I was using my solar powered garment dryer this morning (aka the clothesline) and walked outside to find my wardrobe "g3tting it on" with Dan's wardrobe:

Isn't this photo just the ultimate definition of "g3tt1ng in your pan#s"? :D (Dan said, "Don't publish that sentence on the internet!!!" He was right! I suddenly got a bunch of hits that I didn't want. The words have been changed to help reduce those hits. Wow. )

Sunday, May 18, 2008

They're singing our song!



Yes, the Flyers are LOSING miserably to Dan's beloved 'Guins.

45 seconds left, the score is 6-0 Penguins....

The fans are banging on the glass, singing the song, cheering and screaming....

Dan's counting down the final seconds....



It's OVER! The Penguins are going to the Stanley Cup!!!!!

Dan's dad would have been so proud. This one's for you, Dad. We miss you.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I know Drake & Josh's Dad

Those of you who went to high school with me will appreciate this...

I'm sitting in the pediatrician's office, waiting to see Dr. H with Alex (when he had the pukey morning). I'm flipping through Parenting magazine, the April 2008 edition. I look down at the bottom of the page and see a tiny little poll:

Which TV Dad would you rather marry?

Pictured below the poll are: Hannah Montana's dad, Caillou's dad, and (drumroll please) DRAKE AND JOSH'S DAD!

Ooo! Ooo! Ooo! Mr. Kotter! Ooo Mr. Kotter! Ooo!

When I was in high school, you're darn TOOTING I wanted to marry Drake and Josh's dad. "How is that possible?" you ask. "Well," I reply, "That's 'cause Drake and Josh's dad is played by a guy named Jonathan Goldstein and we went to school together!" Class of 1982, thankyouverymuch. I had a MONDO crush on him for a long long time.

(Little secret -- if you look in my Junior High School yearbook, you'll notice that Jon's photo has been cut out and then taped back in. That's because I snipped it out and put it in my locket when I was in 9th grade!) (Ah, young love.)

So yes, I would rather marry Drake and Josh's dad. Too bad he only got 7% of the vote, huh. :( Ah well, we all love you, Jonathan!

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Farming is for the BIRDS! Actually, its for the BUGS! ....Something is eating our SPROUTIES!

Dagnabbit.... our little bean plants (all six of them) are barely seven days old, and already something ate the leaves off all but one of them. :( We don't know if they'll survive!

Yesterday morning, I went out to check on our sprouties and found that one had been denuded. "Ack!" thought I. "Better look on the other plants!" I found one little caterpillar on one plant and promptly squished him/her/it. I didn't see anything on any of the other plants. "Good, I caught the perpetrator and put an end to this period of decimation," thinks I in my best Law&Order mental voice. :D


I went to go work with my pal Mary, and when I came back in the afternoon, I decided to look at the garden. OMFSM! Five more denuded sprouties!

As I stated in the title of this post: GAH!

Mary recommended a spritzing of a lovely cocktail made of water/Dawn dishwashing liquid/Tabasco sauce. So I sent Dan on an errand to fetch Tabasco sauce. (You'd think I would have some on hand, considering how we love spicy food in this house, but no.) Mixed up the cocktail and spritzed EVERYTHING.

I haven't checked the garden this morning, yet. I'm almost afraid to.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Budding Photographer

Alex went to Shaker Village with his class today. He brought along his brand new camera and took these photos. Honestly, I am blown away! Not bad for a 9-year-old! O_O

The spiral staircase is in the building where they ate lunch. He was really impressed with the food -- said it was "DElicious!" He is obviously his father's son, 'cause they had roast turkey with gravy, baked potatoes, stuffing and yeast rolls, and he loved every bit of it (except the stuffing, which he said tasted "funny").

The horse is one of the draft horses they use for hauling and farming. I used to ride a Percheron named Arthur who had retired from working there. Love those Drafts!

The landscape is through the bus window. Not bad! He said, "Yeah, but there was a smudge on the window, and you can see it juuuuuust there....."

Alex was amazed by the way the goat turned and looked at him right before he took the photo. He said, "It was adorable!" :)

He had a wonderful time, and they were all lucky because the rain held off until they returned to school.

Looks like it's time to take the family there for a day trip!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Poor Baby. :(

Poor DS! He woke up yesterday morning saying that his stomach felt "funny." He gets nauseous sometimes when he's actually hungry, so we had him eat a little bread and drink a little water. He seemed to feel a little better. Dan left for work. And THEN...


Ugh. Threw up, threw up, threw up and then the other end chimed in. :P

We still had to drive DD to school! I waited until the last minute, then bundled DS up, gave him a grocery bag in case he needed it, and drove them both to the High School. Thank goodness he was okay for the ride, and thank goodness again that the school is only about 10 minutes away!

I brought him back home and made an appointment for him to see Dr. H, the pediatrician. We love Dr. H. No, we lurrrrrrrve Dr. H! He has a son DS's age, and so is very current with what's going on in 9-year-old boys' lives. :) And I love that we were able to get an appointment within the hour. Wow!

Fast forward to DS sitting on the exam table. Dr. H is telling him that he can't play soccer at the game that night. DS is sad. Then Dr. H says, "Who are you playing, anyway?" DS says, "Your son's team!" Without missing a beat, Dr. H says in a sing-songy voice, "Wellllll, maybe **** has permission to play soccer after all! Yeah! And he gets to play goalie the WHOLE GAME! Sure!" What a card! At least that got a smile from the little patient.

We got home and I asked him, "Wouldn't you like to go lie down for awhile?" "No, I'm fine," says the patient. He ate a little at lunchtime, kept it down (yay!) and then I asked him again: "Wouldn't you like to lie down?" "No, I'm fine," says Mr. D. Nile.

2:00 p.m., I'm thinking it's awwwwwwwfully quiet over there, I look and I see little man asleep on the floor. And he stays there for THREE HOURS. Sure, he's "fine." HA!

So, turns out there's a stomach bug going around, but it only usually lasts for about 24 hours. I'm just crossing my fingers that the rest of us don't get it.

And this morning, DS had toast and jelly and off he went to school. Phew!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Finches - Gold Vs. House

Last year, Dan put up a thistle bird feeder. We got two, maybe three goldfinches all year. You know goldfinches... they're the little gold and black birds that like to eat UPSIDE DOWN. (weirdos) Anyway, we weren't sure what we were doing wrong with the feeder. Was it in the wrong spot? Were people in the windows of the house scaring them away? Is the thistle seed fresh enough? No good answers, and no finches, so we took it down this past winter and washed it out.

Fast forward to last week. Dan decided that we should try again with the feeder. Ok. I filled it with seed, hung it up, admired my handiwork and Dan promptly went into the garage, got the perches, took the feeder back down, inserted the perches and hung it back up again. (Hey, I had a blonde moment, ok?) Well, ever since then, we've had finches almost every day! Where were these little buggers last year, huh?

We've also had house finches try to use the feeder. I get the feeling that house finches are NOT able to eat upside down. They keep trying to lean waaaaaaaaaaay over and grab the seeds through the little dispenser holes, but since the holes are below the perches, they're having a devil of a time. I just saw two house finches try to eat out of the feeder. Being unsuccessful, they got frustrated and started taking it out on each other! Alot of screeching and birdie cussin' was going on. It was actually kind of funny.

Now to find out how house finches DO eat and get them a little feeder of their own.

Sunday, May 4, 2008



Before the goal and...

AFTER! Woot!

Score is currently 2-0, Pens over Rangers. Yes, I'm denying my hometown team, but I gotta live with these three crazy Pen fans. Wouldn't you do the same? :D


Edited to add: Thank Goodness the Pens won. They ended up tied and went into Sudden Death overtime. I thought Dan was going to have a coronary when they scored. His face was a very unhealthy shade of purple. O_O

Well, Butter my Butt and Call Me...

...a Biscuit!

Nah, don't call me anything except Laura Ingalls Wilder.

We get fresh milk every week from a dairy farmer about 20 minutes away (by back roads). Being the little city girl that I am, I can't say that "making butter" was on my list of achievements. That is, until now.

A modern pioneer girl doesn't use no stinkin' churn. No, she uses a BLENDER!

The inside of the blender after all the butter has been scraped out.

And the yummy yummy butter! Mmmm, I think I need a piece of toast.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

We've got Sprouties!

It's a green bean! Woot! :D

Something is peeking out of one of the zucchini mounds, too.

Now to hope that the bunnies stay away.

"Slide Down My Rain Barrel...."

I already told this story on my scrapping website, but I wanted to share with the rest of the Web! :D

Dan purchased a plastic rain barrel at a Rain Barrel festival (of all things). The idea was, the new Victory Garden will need lots and lots of water, so why not use free rainwater? Sounds good to me!

The rain barrel was boring old white. Having seen some really cool ones that were decorated for auction, I though, "I'd love to paint that!" However, the barrel was plastic, and the only paint that really sticks to plastic is that Krylon Fusion. Fusion is spray paint. I'm not a graffiti artist -- I need real paint and brushes!

I did more research and realized that I could possibly prime the barrel and then paint a design with acrylics, followed by coat after coat after coat of sealant. Dan didn't want to wait days and days for me to paint it artistically and then for multiple layers of sealant to dry, (and honestly, neither did I!) so I bit the bullet and went with straight spraypainting using the Fusion.

I originally wanted to paint it to look like the famous stone walls that exist all over the Bluegrass. Worked on that for about an hour with really bad results. Chucked that idea right out, and I switched to Plan B: make it look like a BARREL!

So I sprayed and I spritzed and I taped off sections and I peeled the tape and I sprayed and I added highlights and I added lowlights and and and and.... Done!

"Wow!" thinks I. "That looks great!"
"Feh," says Dan. "I didn't expect you to paint it to look like a barrel!"


"What DID you expect it to look like?" hollers the now annoyed artiste.
"I don't know, but I know it wasn't THAT!" shoots back the now annoyed art critic.

Men. Can't live with 'em, can't kill 'em.

Anywho, I like it. So there.

Bat Update, in case you were wondering...

...and many of you were, apparently! :D

So, when last we left "Batty," Dan had nearly fallen over backwards and Carmen had annoyed Batty with her persistent photographic attempts. Ok.

Dan kept asking, "So, when are you going to send it on its merry way?" (i.e., with a broom). Carmen kept saying, "When it gets dark."

Fast forward to dusk (a.k.a. not dark). "Are you going to move it yet?"
"When it gets DARK. It's not DARK yet."

Fast forward again to dark. Batty has left the building. Um, literally.

"Phew!" says Dan.
"Heeheehee." says Carmen (behind Dan's back.)

Little Batty hasn't been seen since. Ah well.