2015 – What a great year it’s going to be!

Today’s job after work was to take the next batch of stuff to the consignment store in town. This store is about 45 minutes away from our farm and it gives you a little window time in the car to think things out or to jam to music. Well on the way to town I decided to do the jamming to music. I was glad that there wasn’t too many cars around to watch because they were playing some funky music and I was right there enjoying it. After I went to the Consignment store I drove to an electronic store to see about getting a TV antenna for our family. I was doing the math the other day and we spend more money than I think we should on our entertainment package for the TV. Now that I’ve got this in my head that we want to go off the TV grid, I’ve been doing research on what our options are. I really didn’t want to order the antenna off the internet, so that’s why I stopped in at the store to talk to them about what really our options are. So now I’m standing in front of the display for the antenna’s. Checking them out, being serious and everything. No one came to help me. Now no big deal, I’ll see if I can find someone. I’m sure that they’re just busy or something. Well finally someone came over with a clip board and asked if I knew about the special that the store was having? After I said that I had no idea, he proceeded to say that they were having an entertainment package special for your TV and if I would be interested? Now either this guy was blind (which I doubt) but why would I be looking at antenna’s for TVs? So I looked at him like he was an alien and said that this is exactly what I was trying to get away from. Now he looked at me like I was an alien and we both kind of smiled and mumbled something and then he was gone. I decided that tomorrow I’m just going to order it on line instead. I hate to, because it’s more of a hassle to send back if it doesn’t work. But I can get more information and advice from the reviews on line than I seemed to be getting from my visit to the store. Sad, but true.

OK, so after a couple more stops I was on my way home. I decided that I wasn’t going to turn on the radio and I was getting pretty tired. It was a long day at work and after shopping tonight, I just wanted to get home. But then I started to think about the upcoming year – 2015.  I was thinking about the things that we have planned for the year and possible other things that aren’t planned yet. We are going to have a GREAT year! I’m really excited for all the fun things that we’re going to do. With the weather not cooperating last year, well it was an OK year to have fun. But this year I’m going to schedule things and then hope the weather cooperates. We’ve got some concerts planned, bike trips, family fun days at the farm,  half marathon in Des Moines, weddings – both family and friends, new baby’s in our families, skydiving, more soap making, Sunday Chevelle trips to visit William, and vacations to name a few. Kyle’s teaching contract is up in March, so it’ll be fun to see where his next adventure will be. After I got home my Mom called literally just as I was walking in the front door of the house. She had made some noodle soup for dinner and dropped some off for us for supper tonight. I grabbed a bowl and a beer and headed for a hot bath. As I was soaking in the tub I thought more about the upcoming year. Yea… it’s going to be great!

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Organization.. Organization

Maybe I should put the title something like ‘Lack of Organization.. Lack of Organization’ ! I started a new position about two months ago at work and when I get home, I am just whopped! My head is literally spinning (not like the Exorcist movie – but maybe close!) and the furthest thing from my mind is keeping up with the house stuff. But it’s looking pretty bad around here and it’s time that I just buckle down and get something done. So tonight’s job was to make a Good Will run and then also hit the gym. I have some things in a pile that the consignment store won’t take, so I loaded up the car and off to drop it off. The main thing that I’m dropping off is old record albums. I spent a good part of last year combing the thrift stores and other places to get as many albums as I could for the kids this Christmas. Kyle was getting a turn table and both kids are always interested in listening to albums,  so it only made sense to get a bunch of albums for them to sort through and pick out the best ones. But do you want to know something? I think I might have overdone it a little bit. Now this news probably isn’t such a big shock to anyone and not even me. But the theory is that I had was that more is better. After the kids went through which ones they wanted to keep and others that needed to be given to Good Will, well that’s why I’m dropping these off tonight. Once I got to the store and I started to take the albums in, I realized that I really did get too many! I counted that I was bringing around 130 albums to the Good Will Store. And the boys have probably that many, or more still at our house.IMG_2233 So out of the car and into the store I went a couple of times and when I was about half done I was bringing in this one pile with this one singing group on the cover that I never heard of before. And they reason that this album caught my eye is because … well, they were the least attractive guys that I’ve ever seen in my life. I literally was going to keep this album because that I’ve never seen a group of people that looked like this. Then when I was setting down the pile with the other ones in the store, one of the clerks came over and picked up that album. I could hear her kind of take a breath and then she said ‘Wow’. But not like wow really unattractive and different looking people, but like WOW you are giving away this album? She said she hasn’t even thought of them since she was a kid. I guess I just made her day! Truly what one person doesn’t need anymore is very much someone else’s treasure. I’m just glad that this treasure is now in her house.

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Mystery Photo 1-14-15

Now see if you can guess this weeks Mystery Photo

Here is the clueDSCN9524a

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Mystery Photo 1-7-15 results

First of all, I have no idea Bruce how you can remember way back what Grandma Wurzer had, much less what it was! I’m telling you were spot on to what you guessed.

And contrary to what you all might be thinking, I’m only using this as a decorative piece in our house :)

Here was the clueDSCN9492a

And here is what it is. It was the portable wringer washer for washing clothes. DSCN9492

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And so it begins…

Daryl and I decided that we were going to go a month eating more healthy foods and also being more active. So today, November 12th it begins.

I got out my little seed corn notebook and started to take notes. One side of the paper was things that we agreed on that would be acceptable, and the other side? Well those were things we were going to try to stay away from. Now granted the side that had the ‘acceptable’ stuff was much longer than the other side, but hey.. who’s counting right? Some of the things that was on the acceptable side was a 20 ounce bottle of pop a day, popcorn in moderation, turtle soup (there’s a turtle soup supper coming up this weekend), beer, and stuff like that. Now on the other side there was ice cream, breakfast pizza in town, and candy. So today I had only one pop and I drank all my water that I was supposed to. I even ordered a new cup to keep me on track! DSCN9517The next thing to do was to go to the wellness center and get in 3 miles of running. I laughed because after I got done running, I noticed someone that I knew sitting on the side putting her shoes on. She looked really confused so I went over to talk to her. She said she didn’t know if that was me or not,  and I asked her why? Well she said that she saw someone with a bright red round face and just wasn’t sure. Yea, probably not a good look for me you think? After running I was off to the store to buy healthy foods. Now honestly, have you ever gone into the grocery store to just buy healthy foods? Let me just say it’s kind of a dumb idea. I’m just saying… So I’m looking around and spending way too much time talking to some ladies just looking at the lettuce display and then I venture off to see what else I can buy. After I picked up a couple of cans of beans and rice I decided to go by the Diet Coke and throw a couple in the cart , you know just in case. Now after all this, and unloading my small amount of groceries at home, I thought to myself, holy smokes I must have lost about 5 or 6 lbs today! I got out our scale and found that I gained two pounds. So much for this healthy crap. How many more days do we have to do this? Oh and did I mention that I still had a 9 x 13 pan of candy in the refrigerator? Just in case we need a sugar fix or something :) DSCN9518

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Just checking it out

Today’s post is the picture of the day.  We made a road trip down to visit William in his new apartment. IMG_2226

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Exchanging recipes

At work I’ve been exchanging recipes with one of my friends and it’s been pretty harmless – well until this new cake recipe that I got this past week. She said that she was having trouble with getting it to be like when her Mom made it and was wondering if she was doing something wrong. I told her that I’d give it a try and see if I could have it turn out. Now normally we’re not big cake eaters, but we would just have to take one for the team this time because I was going to give it try. So I got everything ready, and let’s just say it wasn’t just throwing stuff together, it was going to be a challenge. The reason that I liked the recipe and was excited for it was because it was like an old fashioned recipe. I mean you had to separate the egg yolks from the whites and had to boil water to add the cocoa, you know.. more than just dumping it into a bowl. Well I got the boiled water and cocoa cooling in the fridge and the eggs separated (7 eggs needed for the recipe)  and the egg whites all whipped up with some cream of tarter. Then the sugar and oil was mixed and flour and the rest of the dry ingredients all put in the bowl. Next came the cocoa mixture and by this time it was looking pretty good. But after folding in the egg whites the whole thing just kind of collapsed. Yup, I knew that this isn’t what it was supposed to look like. She said her Mom’s was like an angel food cake and just by looking at how my batter looked, well it wasn’t going to be anything like that! Too late now and into the oven it went. It had to bake for one hour and then at a higher temperature for 10 minutes. I was working on some candy that I needed for Sunday

Also on the plan for today

Also on the plan for today – Caramel Pecan Turtles

when all of a sudden you  started to smell burnt batter. You guessed it – out came the cake and it was put upside down on a pop bottle to cool.

Everything was just chilling out for awhile

Everything was just chilling out for awhile

It didn’t look so good, but I was way too much into the recipe to quite now! Now to make the frosting. It had milk and flour that you cooked on the stove first and then when that was cool you added it to a Crisco/sugar mixture. While the milk and flour stuff was cooling, I thought the cake looked a little funny in the pan. Yea.. the reason it looked funny was because it FELL out of the cake pan and onto the caramels. So not cool. I tried to put it back in the cake pan, but that was pretty much a very unsuccessful plan. So I got out some cookies racks and set it on there.  OK, now the final touches on the cake. I mixed the flour/milk mixture with the Crisco/sugar mixture and it tasted… absolutely TERRIBLE! It takes like lardy flour. And I had such high hopes for the frosting because my friend said that it was the best part of the cake. Right then and there I knew that I was in trouble. If this was the best part of the cake, wow were we in for a surprise! So I grabbed a couple of cans of bought frosting and frosted the cake up.

Well it looked good anyway!

Well it looked good anyway!

Now the big test, how did it taste? Not good. Really not good at all. I think if my friends Mom was alive she would have cried on how bad it turned out. The bottom of the cake had about a 1/2 inch of really hard batter that formed a crust and the rest was very very dry. The only good thing about the cake was the canned frosting. Needless to say, I’m not planning on sharing the recipe, but I must say that I did share the cake with the chickens :)

While I was messing around in the kitchen today, I had some time to try out another new recipe. This one was for… drum roll….. homemade deodorant. Yea, I bet you didn’t see that one coming now did you? Well, I decided to venture out and I had all the ingredients to do it,  so why not? The process is pretty simple. IMG_2213First put all your oils in a mason jar and into boiling water to melt.boilingThen add corn starch, baking soda, and some vitamin E into the oils and that’s it.

Melted oils

Melted oils

IMG_2216See, it’s pretty simple isn’t it? Now I’m going to give the old arm pits a trial run this week with my new concoction and then I’ll share the recipe with you later if it works. The only thing that I wish that I would have done differently is to use an old deodorant container to put it in. For now it’s still in the jar that I made it in. And even though that will work, I’m going to have to remember which jar has the deodorant and which container has the lip balm :)

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Blizzard Warnings out for Thursday

There was some talk this afternoon that we were under a Blizzard Warning for our area. What? That sounds a little crazy if you ask me – I mean it didn’t look that bad outside and a Blizzard Warning? Well usually they’re right, but in this case I was sure hoping that they were wrong. At least until we all got home from work. So as the day went on, it still wasn’t so bad out and that was how the day was – pretty uneventful as the weather goes. When I was going home, I did notice that the wind was picking up a little bit more and by the time I was pulling into the garage, well the snow was blowing around pretty good. It didn’t take long and then I realized why we were under a warning – holy smokes did it get windy! At one point I couldn’t even see the barn across the yard. Now this makes it kind of hard to get excited and dressed up to go outside, but I thought I better check on the animals and see how everyone is doing. As I was getting dressed – this is what the window in our laundry room looked like.DSCN9493 Now I was thinking to myself – well maybe Daryl might be coming home pretty soon and I should just stay in the house. This new plan sounded like a Great Idea!  After stalling way too long, I realized that he wasn’t coming home soon – so I put on about 4 layers and then the overalls went over the whole thing. I literally couldn’t even hardly walk! I’m thinking to myself why in the world would anyone go to a gym to get exercise? Just get dressed up for chores and walk through the snow drifts and  that would count for any amount of exercise that you needed to do for the day.  The first thing that I noticed was the really crazy sky. It wasn’t snowing anymore, but it was blowing so bad that you thought it was. You could literally see the stars about the wind blown snow. The last time I’ve ever seen the sky like this since was … well maybe never that I can remember.

The bottom part of the sky isn't mountains or anything, it's snow blowing around

The bottom part of the sky isn’t mountains or anything, it’s snow blowing around

Then off to check on the chickens. I brought a bunch of hay for their coop for them to lay on, but I’m guessing that they want to stay up high and together for the night. Now I would think being low and snuggle in would be the best (it works for me!) but this is how they spent their night. DSCN9504bAbout this time Daryl was just pulling into the yard and said that he had to stop about 4 times in a mile because of complete white outs. The first thing that he wanted to do now that he was home was to make sure that the water lines weren’t frozen in the milk house. Whew! nothing was frozen. Next thing? Crank up the heater and warm up the animals in the barn. Now the barn animals – dogs & cats, do snuggle up in the hay and straw unlike the chickens and I’m thinking that it’s a much smarter idea if you ask me! But when the heater goes on – well out come the cats and dogs. It’s just convenient that we also have chairs by it for us :) IMG_2207 I just laughed at Checkers the cat because after I took this one picture, she literally went around and looked inside the heater. I don’t understand why she didn’t know that it was going to be hot —-IMG_2203but we figured that she’ll be smelling the burnt cat hair for awhile.

You could still hear the wind blowing outside, but most of the snow that was loose now found a new home, so it was just windy and cold outside by the time it was dark.IMG_2205 Did I say it was cold? Yea it was really cold. Time to go inside the house and turn on the fireplace. IMG_2197


The picture of the day is a selfie of Reno and I. That’s how it started out anyway until Kaiser photo bombed it!

It started out as a selfie of Reno and I.

Hanging out in the barn

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Mystery Photo 1-7-15

OK, this is a hard one so I’ll give you a 2 clues.

Clue # 1 : this is on something that was very common in the old days

Clue # 2 : I don’t know anyone else who has one of these in their house today

Can you guess what it is without investigating the brand name on it?

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Mystery Photo 12-31-14 results

OK, maybe it was easy for some of you guys so here is the clueDSCN9422a

and here is the answer. It’s not the best picture, but it was cold outside and I was in a hurry! DSCN9422

It was a fan that we use on the drying bin.  Good job Tess & Calen!

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