Thursday, August 30, 2007

Kick Me

Remember those "Kick Me" signs from grade school?? You know, the ones that some poor unfortunate young kid had stuck on their back for half of the day while every other kid in school laughed at them until a kind soul finally removed it for them. Well, I think that the adult equivalent of those embarrassing grammar school signs is the "Pick Me" sign. Only this time, it is visible to everyone EXCEPT you and it causes people to ask you to volunteer for various jobs in the school that no one else wants to do. And I am absolutely convinced that I have one of these "Pick Me" signs stuck somewhere on my body because I have so far been asked to become the Room Parent Chair person (insert scary music here!!) and co-chair for our St. Patrick's Day Meal and Late Night Catechism show (insert more scary music here!!!). I know that there is more to come. I can feel people staring at me while they are planning what they can hit me up for next. They know about my inability to say "NO". If you ever wanted a perfectly good reason to home school, avoiding all of the "volunteering" business at private school is a REALLY good one. Trust me, I know. :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

40 days and 40 nights

Well, not quite, but we did have a very loooong stretch of rain and lots of flooding in our little area of the midwest. Things are finally returning to normal after all of the flooding last week. I have to say, with a very grateful and humble heart, that our house stayed high and dry while our neighbors weren't so lucky. The only thing that flooded in our yard was my poor poor garden. I have lots to clean up out there and I may have lost a great deal of my fall harvest. But at least everything else is fine in our house. I am DEFINITELY not complaining. I know many folks who were just not as lucky as we were.

Wherefore art thou

Lady RFH?? :(

I miss you! If you still have my email address, you can drop me a line if you would like. I hope that all is well.

Friday, August 24, 2007

I guess that I wasn't kidding

when I said that I was busy. Ugh!! But it has been a productive busy, so I will not complain about it at all. My kiddos started school this week, so I have been busy running them back and forth. I have also started training for my new position as Doris the Lunch Lady.....whoops, I mean Lunch Room Facilitator (??!!??) at school. (Yes, that really is the official politically correct term for my position. Yes, it confuses me too so I can't imagine how all of the kids feel!) I have just have to say that at this moment in my life I feel so very blessed. How many people can say that they have a crucifix on display (or any other sort of religious object for that matter!) in the room where they are working? We have a beautiful crucifix hanging right there in the kitchen. Talk about a pleasant working environment!! I have the blessing of having work hours that are flexible and compatible with my children's needs. I ended up making more per hour than I thought that I would. I got the surprise of a lifetime when I was told that I would also receive a tuition discount just because of my employment. Blessings abound and I am so humbled when I think about the many good things that have been happening to me. As I mentioned before, it has been a good busy. :)

On another note, I have found the ultimate Christmas album! (Please note heavy sarcasm.) I must own this, despite the fact that it makes me seem both old and insane. Monster Ballads Xmas will be playing in our house this holiday season, even if hubby and I have to wait until after the kiddos are asleep to listen to it. I have to purchase it just for the laughs and inspite of the fact that the word 'xmas' really gets under my skin. Just a warning: don't click on the link if kiddos are in the room. The website has been known to have some questionable language on it every now and then. The 'comments' section is the worst. And please forgive me for my musical taste............... :)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm still here.....

Just busy. Everything in the garden is coming in at once, and I also have to put my transplants in the ground. I planted my second round of fall harvest carrots yesterday. I have also frozen 10 completely full quart bags of carrots and eight completely full quart bags of broccoli. Today I am working on making more sauce out of my tomatoes.

Add this to the fact that we have to fully replace our bay window and we have got lots of stuff going on this week. Our big bay window failed over this past winter. The seals broke and now we have so much condensation between the panes that it just drips down all the time. It's horrible, so we are going to have to get it fixed before winter. I don't even want to talk about how much it is going to cost. It's a big window and that equals big bucks. Sigh. We have to fix it, so I guess that I'm just going to try to be happy that I get a pretty new window out of the deal. Unfortunately, I am very practical. I am happier when my old things keep working than I am when I get new things. Guess that I am crazy that way.

Ahhhhhh, the joys of home ownership!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

You know that you have reached a new level

of Maturity (a.k.a. oldness) when you do not attend a big free summer concert event like this year's OzzFest because you have Other Things To Do. Grown up things, like work. We had tickets and pretty good seats even though they were free. But we couldn't go because my DH had to attend various meetings all day long yesterday with people like his Area President and such. Folks who are pretty high up there on the list of People Who Are Very Important in the company that hubby works for. There was NO WAY that he could sneak out early or take a personal day. So Ozzfest had to take a back seat to making a living and advancing DH's career. Maybe it's better that way. At our age we probably seem so out of it to most of the kids there that we are either the pathetic old geezers reliving our Glory Days (Party On Wayne!!) or we are the narcs. Since when did your 30s become so old?

But hey, Ozzy's in his 50's and still rockin'. I guess there is hope.

Friday, August 10, 2007

My favorite BBQ Sauce

In the area of the country where we live, a good BBQ entree just HAS to have sauce. I don't mean to downplay my southern friends with their wonderful rubs and slow cooking. That style BBQ is also incredibly tasty! I just love a good sauce to slather on everything from ribs to boneless, skinless chicken breasts while they are slow cooking on the grill. I can't help it, it's the Midwest Girl in me. I'm not a big fan of bottled sauces but I will use them in a pinch. I prefer to keep all of the ingredients that I need on hand for this tasty, easy to make BBQ sauce. My family loves it!!

KitKat Crew's Favorite BBQ Sauce:

1/2 cup Ketchup
1/3 cup cider vinegar (definitely not white vinegar!!)
1/4 cup molasses
3 tablespoons Dijon Mustard (My preference is Grey Poupon (sp?) Country Style Dijon, but feel free to use your fave.)
1 teaspoon hot sauce (I use Tabasco brand, and more of it. We like heat.)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 garlic gloves - minced (I use 4 because we love garlic)

Simmer all of the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to about 1 1/4 cups, apx. 5 - 7 minutes.

Baste your lovely grilled items with lots of sauce during the last 5 minutes or so. The sugar will burn if you put it on too soon. I always season my meat before grilling with salt, pepper, and my favorite BBQ rubs.

This sauce also makes a great topping for a pulled pork BBQ Sandwich. Yummy!

Unused sauce that you have not dipped your basting brush into can be stored in your refrigerator for about a week. But we rarely have any left.

It is supposed to be hot and sunny here this weekend, so we plan on swimming and grilling all weekend long. :) Hope that you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Following The Path

I have always had an unshakable faith in God. I know that sounds proud or perhaps boastful, but I really don't mean it that way. I feel so strongly about this because there have been so many times in my life where I have truly felt God's hand guiding me. This has happened so often that it has become impossible for me to ever doubt his existence for one split second. It's both strange and comforting to me. To put the scope of my belief into words and explain all of the reasons why I believe in God would require much too long of a post. So, let's just say that I believe and I simply have no time to listen to atheistic arguments. A faith free life may work for some folks, but it just doesn't cut it for me.

Sometimes in my life, the reasons for choosing a certain path have been so clear that I could not deny what I needed to do. Other times, my head was fighting what I knew in my heart to be the correct choice so I had to decide on faith alone. I have been presented with another choice recently, one that my head is fighting but I am going to again follow where I feel that God is leading me because it just feels so right. I have been given the opportunity to work part time for the lunch program at my children's school. It is VERY part time, approximately 10 hours a week and only 2 days. Gas and grocery prices have been placing such a burden on our budget. I have cut and stretched as much as I know how, but we still feel the pinch.The apx 4 hrs a day that I would be working would never interfere with being there for my children because it would be while they are in school. When school is out I would be off work, so no childcare issues would pop up. I would be off all summer, Christmas and Easter Break, and on those miscellaneous days off that pop up during the school year. It really is just too perfect to pass up. It's just a little bit of extra money for us at a time when it would really help, but without all of the common dual income stresses that we desperately try to avoid. It is truly an answer to the silent prayer that I have been saying over the last few months as gas and food prices have kept going up and money has stayed the same. In a perfect world, I would not have to think about these things but the world just isn't even close to perfect. God has presented me with an option that will help get us back on track without it being too painful. He is so good!

Making a little bit of extra money for my family is nothing new to me. Since my oldest DD was born almost 9 years ago I have had little ventures here and there to help increase cash flow. I have babysat, written a food review column for our local paper, and worked for the before and after care program at my DD's previous school. Each one seemed to magically fit into our lifestyle at that time (with the exception of the before and after care job). This is just another example of how things just seem to work out with a little faith and a little patience. It's been a difficult decision for me but I feel like I again have to follow the path that I am being led down.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


I have found that nothing attracts slugs to my garden quite like my delicious everbearing strawberries as soon as they begin to ripen. Now it's time to go open "KitKat's Bar" in the strawberry patch so that I still have some hope of having a great harvest. It has truly been a slug's delight here lately: stiffling humidity, lots of rain and soaking wet soil, and strawberries that are just starting to ripen. Now I just need to give those slugs some beer in little cups that I sink into the soil so that they have something else to think about besides those lovely strawberries. They love the beer so much that they just drown themselves in it. I guess I should be sad that they fall into the cup and die, but it's really hard to mourn something that will take a bite out of every single strawberry in the patch. That's my job....... :)

Monday, August 06, 2007

Harvest Time!

First of all, Thanks so much to everyone who left me a nice "Feel Better" message. :) I am feeling better now. I went a very long stretch of time without having frequent migraines that good 'ol Advil Migraine wouldn't relieve. It appears that my luck has run out as I have had several in the past few months. I am going to start taking feverfew again (I used to take it, but I quit for many years), and I think that I am going to add the herbs that Lady of the RFH mentioned, too. I used to know someone who practiced acupressure massage, and that REALLY worked for me. But alas, I have moved away from the area where he lived so I think that I am going to pick up a book about the subject and learn how to work on myself.

Moving on to a happier subject: It's Harvest Time!! Well, it's Summer harvest time for some of my veggies. Last night I pulled 10 carrots from the garden and had enough for our meal PLUS two half full quart bags of carrots to freeze for the winter. And I still have about 60 more carrots to pull. I don't know what Vessey's does to their seeds, but I have never had such big (actually HUGE) carrots. I have to really work to get those monster carrots out of the ground!

My DH found some metal border fencing on clearance at Target. He used this to cover the space between the fence around our yard and the ground in some areas where the fence and the ground didn't meet up very well. This was where we believed that our little intruder was entering the yard from. We used to have some plastic fencing there, but our intruder could just push that right over and still get through. This metal fence seems to finally be doing the trick. I haven't had any tomato raids in the last few days. And I am finally getting some ripe tomatoes back on the very pathetic looking vines. The intruder may have worked over the plants and made them look quite nasty, but they are still producing fruit. I planted the Big Tom variety that I ordered from Vessey's and they have proven to be quite strong and very delicious. Definitely a keeper variety. Thy also make a great spaghetti sauce. That's what we had for dinner on Saturday. I hoping for enough fresh tomatoes that I can make a big batch of sauce and freeze it for the winter.

I have some onions, jalapenos, and cilantro coming in as well, so I am going to be busy making fresh Salsa once the jalapenos are fully mature. I also have some green peppers that are busy growing. Hopefully those will be ready soon. I'm looking forward to some stuffed green peppers for dinner. I am also going to freeze some so that I have them for winter.

My cauliflower has had a rough year. It started out too hot in the spring, so the heads didn't mature correctly. I am hoping that fall is much kinder to my cauliflower. It's hard to grow cauliflower, but it is SO worth it when you succeed. My broccoli is side shooting like crazy, so I am hoping to be able to freeze enough to last all winter. The cucumbers that I ordered from Vesseys are growing like crazy. We are eating tons of cucumber salad. (3 peeled & sliced cucumbers, 1 sliced onion, 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 cup of sugar, & 3/4 cup water. Mix together. Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste. I also add some fresh parsley if I feel like it. Refrigerate a few hours or overnight. Yummy!)

Needless to say, I am going to be busy in the garden over the next few days. I need to tidy up and weed, plant more carrots for fall, plant more onions, make room for the pumpkins, and start to put up my harvest for the winter. If I am scarce for a day or so, that is why. :)

Hope that everyone has a GREAT week!!

Thursday, August 02, 2007


I have a relentless migraine today, so no bloggy time for me. :(

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I also have a garter snake, which I just found out about the hard way. I don't like snakes much, but he's good for the garden so I guess he stays. I'm having a rough morning in the garden.

My fortress didn't work.......

and apparently WHATEVER it is thinks that it really likes tomatoes but actually does not. I say this because it pulled off, bit into, and discarded every tomato that had a chance of turning red during this very hot but perfect for tomato ripening week that we are having. Oh the PAIN!! Those toms were prize winners. At least that is what my hubby told me. ;) And my Father, the tomato grower extraordinaire who I learned everything about growing tomatoes from, is coming out to visit this weekend. My original plan was to present him with some pretty red tomatoes to take home since he, at age 71, does not garden like he used to but still loves a good tomato. And he's picky. Now I just get to present him with green tomatoes and broken, yes broken, tomato plants. Apparently my garden visitor is nimble enough to jump a 3 ft fence, finicky enough to have to try EVERY tomato in order to find the perfect one, and a bit of a man handler. (Now I'm thinking it's a racoon.)

Mr. Whatever you are, if you are going to steal my tomatoes please at least leave the plant alone so that I can grow more. Be gentle, please! You are just breaking my little heart. And I am leaving the dog outside ALL NIGHT long this time.......

At least I got rid of the powdery mildew. Sigh.