Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Weekend Around Here

I promised my sweet grandmother I'd post some of our weekend adventures.

I mowed:

Efficient, no?

Our new place came complete with our very own shopping cart. And yes, her shirt is on inside out AND backwards.

It also has a handicapped ramp. You do the math. (I'd run too, Penny)

Ah yes. Safety first!


Yep. Just another weekend at our house!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Yet Another Catch Up Post

I think my enthusiasm for blogging has sincerely waned. Or maybe I'm just always busy. Or maybe I just have a hard time being all witty all the time. But before we hit the books for another semester, I will post a little something for my three readers.

We moved. In August, in Texas. Craptastic is the only word I can think of to describe that whole experience. I was watching two extra kids while we did it too. The new place is much smaller, much uglier and much cheaper. It's gonna be great!

K turned 9 on the 17th. My sweet low maintenance kid wanted a playdate at the splash park, all the ice pops they could eat and snickerdoodle cookies. Totally do-able. Even amidst moving chaos.

J got her ears pierced on Saturday. I can't believe she's getting so big. She's also super excited about starting Kindergarten. She misses the deadline for public school, but if I try and put her off one more year for homeschool it will not be pretty at all.

B can't wait for baseball to start. I can't believe it's already time to play again. Then I remembered, this is Texas, they play spring and fall because they have a general propensity for over doing everything.

I have 15 hours again this semester...but I only have three semesters left and it really does seem possible now. I just spent a small fortune on everyone's books so we should be all set...except for the starting part. I'm ready for having a schedule again, but not ready to lose all my free time just yet. I'm always surprised how clean the house is in the summer and how much we are able to go do and how much free time I have when we aren't in school!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cheer Mom

This post just cracks me up. I wrote it several years ago now, and I never really came up with a good ending, but it is still so darn funny that I think I'll just go ahead and post it that I've lived through it and no one can really put a hit out on me:

I'm missing the cheer mom gene. In Texas, they take their football very seriously. Even high school teams enjoy a huge community following and the starting players enjoy celebrity just like what you see in the movie Friday Night Lights. And it almost goes without saying, Texas mom's take their cheerleading seriously.

D was a gymnast. I was happy in my little gymnast mom role, carted her to practice three days a week, meets on Saturdays, fundraisers every so often. I was content and life was grand. In 8th grade, D tried out for Cheerleading. D was a G-Y-M-N-A-S-T, she made the squad with ease. It wasn't really a big deal, practice after school, no more astronomical gym tuition and fees, no sweat. D decided cheer wasn't that big a deal and didn't try out for the 9th grade squad, but when high school rolled around, the lure of fame and fun was too strong.

I got my first taste of Texas-mom-cheer syndrome when D made that first squad in 7th grade. My hair stylist told me that one of the women who worked for her in the salon had a daughter who was an eighth grader had tried out for that same squad and didn' and there was "a seventh grader" who DID. *Insert accusatory tone here* I've got pretty thick skin for stuff like that, too bad, my kid can do every tumbling trick in the book and she's just as cute as yours. I'm pretty sure my "it's a middle school cheerleading squad, not a big deal" attitude didn't help much.

Fast forward to tryouts in ninth grade. Girls are waiting to go in the gym, every single mom is there, in alllllllll her glory. I was lucky if I only had a small amount of puke or whatever on my shirt, and I'd barely made any effort to show up at all, I mean, really, you can't WATCH them try out, noooooo, you sit in the hall for "moral support". Excuse me, but my tender motherliness is directly proportional to my comfort level. Chasing two small children through the high school halls is not comfortable or fun to me. The mom who's daughter was jilted in 8th grade squad had been enrolled in a cheer gym and made the squad the year D decided not to try out. As I was pulling B off the top of a stairwell, I'm pretty sure I heard them saying something about having "seen it all" as far as girls who "deserved" to be on the squad not being chosen. *Insert more accusatory looks here* Both girls made the squad so bloodshed was averted for the time being.

But the first CPO meeting I managed to remember and make it to was my baptism by fire. My indoctrination and my wake up call that I walked into the church meeting room, the smell of Chanel and hairspray nearly knocked me off my feet. As I scanned the room, I thought I might have accidentally stumbled into a Mary Kay meeting, but when I recognized the objects on the tables were not mirrors, but heavily "bling-ed out" designer handbags, and the bubbly blonde at the front asked me who my daughter was, I knew it was too late to run. It was like walking into the Twilight Zone, people. I'm telling you, it was like the high school popularity club on steroids, with money and bigger cars.

Nope. I don't fit in well with the Cheer Mom club. But I'm not worried, they've got more than enough "pep" to make up for my cheer mom slacker-ness.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Somehow, B has inherited Grandpa D's love of WWE. The other boys liked the Monday night brawls, heck, they were real wrestlers and while they knew it wasn't real, they liked the action. But B's love is sheer adoration. He waits all week long for it to come on and watching him bounce on the couch and cheer for his man is waaaaay more entertaining than what my dad and I watched on Saturday mornings. ;O)

I love how J says "Hoo-ta" when she is asked where Grandpa L lives.

I also love to hear K watching Taylor Swift on YouTube and hearing her eclectic taste in music evolve. It's particularly entertaining when she tries to sing along with the girl who yodels.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Paula, Where Have You Been All My Life

My Grandma G had a serious love of Julia Child. Used to crack me up how much she liked that lady. Now I sit and watch Paula Deen and Rachel Ray...and I no longer crack up. I understand the deep and abiding love of the cooking show.

Hubster always talks about the "PERFECT" blue cheese dressing he once had in a small town somewhere in Montanna. Well, tonight, Paula was making her signature blue cheese dressing and I decided to give it a try. If you've ever seen Paula in the kitchen, you will know that she is my kindrid spirit. She measures nothing. She goes by feel. She is a free spirit in the kitchen. Woman after my own heart. So the following amounts are approximate:

Paula Deen's Blue Cheese Dressing

3/4 cup good mayonaisse (not Miracle Whip, trust me on this)
1/3 cup or less of sour cream
2 tsp "Silly Salt" This is a Paula product, but I figured she had to start somewhere and picked up some Jane's Crazy Mixed Up Salt and figured Paula probably used it when she was not a TV star with her own product line.
a pinch of garlic powder
about a 1/4 cup of buttermilk
a goodly handful of Gorgonzola or Blue Cheese crumbles. (Queen Paula explained that Gorgonzola is more mild. This mildness however, does not ensure that your children will eat it...I'm just tellin' it like it is...)
Cracked black pepper to taste

Mix it all up and squish the blue cheese crumbles a bit as you do so. Let it hang out in the fridge a bit to marry all those lovely flavors. This was seriously tasty on the fresh salad I made. So tasty in fact, that the lovely club steaks* that came in our butcher pack were pale by comparison...and then I dunked the steak in the sauce and we were back in business. Hubster said it was the closest thing to that perfect dressing as he's ever had. I suppose the MT air probably made it taste better.

*Club steaks are a prime rib steak. We purchase our meat in bulk from a local butcher and these lovely gems are included in the mix. I pay a whopping $1.68 a pound and receive a 60 pound assortment of roasts, steaks, burger, pork chops, ribs, sausage and bacon. We've found this to be an extremely economical way to purchase our meats and love, love, love the quality and service. I even send their perfect, succulent, incredible smoked hams to family around Christmas on occasion. I always wear my waders when I go to make my order, because you never know when they will be washing out the kill floor, thereby creating "pink puddles" in the parking lot...gross, I know, but this is THE cleanest smelling butcher shop I've ever set foot in and I've set foot in many butcher shops over the years. Seriously awesome quality folks. Check out your local butcher and don't be afraid to break out your waders to get there.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Campbells Ain't Got Nuthin' On PW

Pioneer Woman posted a lovely gazpacho recipe yesterday and we had some for dinner. It was sublime. I can tell we will be eating a lot of it this summer. Here's the short version of the recipe:

P-Dub’s Gazpacho
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large red onion, diced
1 large cucumber, diced
5 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 zucchini, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
4 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup (more to taste) red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons (less to taste) sugar
Tabasco to taste
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

I chopped it all up, reserved a little of the vegetable mix and blenderized the rest. One tip, if you are in a hurry, go easy on the tomato juice and add a couple cups of ice to the blender. Your soup will come out chilled from the start. It is technically better to follow her instructions and let the flavors marry a while, but in a pinch, ice will do. It is important to serve it ice cold and honestly, the reserved veggies are a pretty garnish, but we liked the soup better without the big chunks, so I'll put it allllll in the blender next time. And there WILL be a next time, oh, yes, there will.

Monday, June 15, 2009

She Shall Have No Clothing for One Year

K needed a new swim suit. Her friend who frequently gives us her hand-me-downs gave her a really cute one, but it was a bit...saggy in the booty area. I attributed this to the slightly rounder body type of her friend and a season of prior use, and I set off to buy her a new one at the Walmarts since Target had let us down on two prior occasions. We found one we could stand and I purchased a size 7/8. We brought it home and almost as an after thought, I told her not to take the tag off before she tried it on. Once the suit was on, she let me know that it was too short for her, as evidenced by the straining straps and 80's thong effect, and I set out to exchange the suit.

Did you know that your all night WalMart will not process returns after 10 pm? No? Well, don't try and do it at 9:55 either because even though a customer service clerk is there and clearly not headed home any time soon, they will not allow you to walk back and grab another size. One strike against JIT distribution strategies.

So I grudgingly purchased a second swim suit and brought it home. Now, in my experience with dressing children over the last 14 years, I have come to understand children's clothing sizes somewhat. Generally speaking, your child's clothing size will be roughly their age. So tell me, for the love of everything that is holy, WHY WHY WHY do they sell swim suits in size 4/5, 6-6X, 7/8, 10/12 and so forth? What do you do when you are 9? 7/8 splits you up the middle and 10/12 might look a little loose when you are dry, but the moment you get wet it will sag like your grandmamma's behind?

I don't even want to contemplate what purchasing jeans for her in the fall will be like.

Friday, June 05, 2009

My Project This Morning

Sweet smelling, made at home for pennies per load laundry soap! Go check it out at my other blog:

Food Storage 101

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Eating Yellow Snow

Where I come from, snow cones are made by putting ground ice into a paper cone and pouring syrup over the top. They come in cherry or grape and usually, the only place you can find them is at the 4-H carnival.

Moving to the south has been largely unpleasant. Bugs the size of your fist, heat that will melt your face off and tornadoes...not very good selling points IMHO. But there are a few things that are awesome.

For instance: The Snow Cone.

When we first moved here, I ignored the little snow cone stands all over town, other than to wonder how in the world people could make a living selling crushed ice with purple syrup on it. One day, when it was 4,000 degrees out and my face was lying in a puddle in my lap, I figured some ice chips would be nice. So I became aquainted with the southern snow cone.

Here in the south, the snow cone is created by shaving a block of ice into a truly snow like consistency. Being from Wyoming, believe you me, I know snow. The snow is then packed into a heaping mound on top of a styrofoam cup and the snow mound on top of the cup is usually twice as big as the cup itself. Then you can have your choice of 1,000 flavors or flavor mixtures and you can even top it all off with chocolate, cream or whipped cream. It's more akin to a snow sundae, and soooo much tastier than the pathetic ice chips they tried to pass off as snow cones at the 4-H fair.

The trouble with snow cones, is that they are seasonal. While we would happily crunch ice chips in the middle of February in sub-freezing temperatures, Texans pull out their winter coats as soon as the temperature drops around 60 degrees. So sometime in October, the snow cone shacks all get loaded onto their trailers and go on vacation. There's probably a snow cone resort I just haven't heard about. But when May approaches, the kids and I anxiously await the appearance of our favorite white and yellow shack in the parking lot near the college. We drive past two other shacks to get there, but they carry genuine SnowBiz flavors...and snow cone connesours know that SnowBiz flavors are the best.

A couple weeks ago, we spotted the shack and we've been waiting ever since to see the signs go up on the outside. When they first open, they are only open when school is not in session. They claim it's because they can't make the kids work during school hours, but we all know it's really due to the fact that the entire high school would break the closed campus rules and go get snow cones during 8th hour. So today we anxiously waited for the clock to let us know that school was out for the day so we could load up and go enjoy the only thing that makes summer in Texas bearable: Banana Creme SnowBiz snow cones. Mmmmmmmm.

Fear not the yellow snow.

Monday, May 04, 2009


B and K have a couple Web-Kins, but unlike their friends, their mother refuses to buy them additional pets for anything other than birthdays and Christmas because, really, who needs 27 virtual pets? Right?

B has a new idea: When Web-Kins get older, they should have babies. Then you'd never have to buy more Web-Kins.

That's probably not going to fly well with the marketing department over at Ganz, but I'm glad to see that the miniature farm we've got living in the backyard is making an impression. Sorta makes all the chicken poop, cow pies and neighborhood complaints worth it.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

These Guys Are Amazing

You have to watch this if you haven't seen it already:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Bees, Part...Uh, Whatever....

Our mail order bride queen arrived this morning. Mom of all Trades picked up her majesty and entourage from the Post Office. So later this morning founding us excitedly tromping down to the hive anxious to "install" her in place.

TaxiMom pulled off the top of the hive and remarked, as MoaT squatted down for a look-see, "I don't hear any noise." With a flat, "Oh, crap," MoaT carefully moves the frames to peek in between. I join her. We are very quiet.

No buzzing. No movement. Our bees have died. We are crestfallen. We look into the bottom of the hive and see the majority of them in a pile. A couple dozen are attached to the combs, a few are inside the hexagonal shapes.

MoaT and I sit while we talk through possible scenarios: Did they starve? Surely there was enough pollen available for food. Did they freeze to death over the weekend? They had been through colder weather already. Did something else kill them? Perhaps someone sprayed their fruit trees, garden, weeds.

On Friday afternoon they were fine. Now, gone.

MoaT sits and contemplates. I say, "Well, let's go."

"Where," asks MoaT. *TM is awesome in a crisis, part of why I heart her*

"Back to the computer. We'll see if we can't find some bees and order them," I reply.

We fire up the MAC and google. MoaT calls a number in southern Texas. Sold out until May! I remember when we looked for a queen most of the places had sold out of bees for the spring.

Our queen won't make the return trip to Georgia, nor will she survive without a colony to care for her. Her entourage aren't numerous enough to do that.

Our MoaT. She should have been named Gem. She comes up with the idea to post a note of Freecycle for anyone who needs a queen. Off she goes to her own computer to do that.

Our MoaT. She's also sneaky. She leaves the queen with me. That way I can feel guilty if she dies while in my possession. The real reason is because MoaT feels badly for those bees that died. I, on the other hand, do not. If I were pregnant I would cry. Once when TaxiDad, J and E came home with little bitty fish from fishing and they were using a hammer to bonk them on the head and kill them. I stood there crying and saying sadly, "Their mommies are wondering what happened to them." Yeah, I was pretty pitiful. They were just fish, and strangers because I had just met them . . .

Curiouser and curiouser . . . MoaT gets a bite on the Freecycle post. A couple out of Springtown are interested. After MoaT explains the saga of the bees, this couple decide that they will place the queen with a nuc (yes, nuc - it's like a mini colony) and in a few weeks will give the queen and nuc to us! *We made a bee friend in the process, I think I love her. She is also a second mom, I'm gonna call her BeeFriend, Hi BeeFriend!*

So off the queen and her entourage go!! Can it get any crazier than this?

Maybe we'll be beekeepers yet . . . MoaT and I just laugh. It's all we can do . . . except for me. I'm going to have a bowl of chocolate fudge ice cream. That always makes the situation a bit sweeter and cheerful!

*I wasn't laughing. I was so sad to see our brave little colony die. But I think BeeFriend is gonna make it all better. She and her hubby are nice like that*

Anyhow, here's a picture of us making some goat's milk soap. Our friend who lives in a hoity toity subdivision with fancy schmancy homes has "A little Captain in her". She volunteered to goat sit for her back fence neighbor. I was mightily impressed at her tenacity in learning to milk that goat. Good for you SweetMom! You rock.


Speaking of needing to practice her focus.....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Bees, Part 3

Last night Mom of all Trades went down and shook the remainder of the bees into their new hive, and stuffed the entrance with grass to slow any exodus.

Today around 1:30pm I went down to check on them. I called MoaT as I walked down so I could give her a blow by blow of the activity. At first there were about 2 dozen bees flying around the hive. As we talked and I looked around the hive I noticed there were more bees flying around. So I planted my bottom on a stump and watched the entrance of the hive.

I saw a chain, one by one, of bees coming out of one corner of the entrance, get its bearings, and then take flight. Then I noticed that the other corner had some bees doing the same thing. Well, that's okay, nothing to worry about, right?

It was then as I was describing to MoaT what was taking place that I thought I saw the queen outside, covered by a few bees. NOT A GOOD SIGN!! I gently moved the bees to get a better look. YUP, THE QUEEN!!

MoaT and I quickly hung up. She to find some screen to make a box/ cage for the queen, and me, to find a temporary container for the queen before she decided to fly off, taking the colony with her.

I found a partially empty orange juice container, you know, the individual sized one. I poured out the contents and hurried outside to the hive. WHEW!! She was still there, and not too hard to find. I scooped her and a few workers into the container and headed back to the house to put on my "bee suit."

MoaT arrived with screen, and 2 girls who, for some unknown reason, love to eat my apples!! There's nothing special about my apples, but for some reason that's what they want to eat when they come over.

Anyhoo, I found a little plastic container and cut out 2 sides, while MoaT cut screen to fit and taped it on. We were in business!! MoaT dumped the bees into the container and closed it shut, and attached some twine to secure it to one of the frames. I mentioned that they had no honey, and perhaps they were hungry. Maybe that was why the queen was out. No food and time to find another place to build a hive. So we found a container lid and poured honey into it.

We then skidaddled down to the hive and removed the top box with lid. We decided to clean out most of the comb we had gotten from the original hive and trash it, along with the brood combs. They had not been attended to, and were probably dead. We then secured the queen in the middle of the frames and placed the lid on top. MoaT slid the honey into the entrance of the hive.

WHAT A SIGHT!! They were all over themselves trying to get to the honey. It was gone in no time. While we watched them we decided it might be a good idea to feed them some more. We found ourselves headed back up to the house again in search for a couple more lids and a container to carry the honey in.

WE HAD A FEEDING FRENZY!! Not only did they climb into the lids, but into the container that held the honey. They ate so much that some could hardly fly. It was really interesting to watch. And watch we did for about 30 minutes. While there we observed 3 wasps, that we killed. The wasps would kill some of the bees and rob honey from them.

We'll check on them tonight. Maybe I'll get my container back. Certain my family would appreciate it since its the one used to serve syrup in when we have pancakes or waffles.

How fortunate we were that someone just happened to be there when the queen came out. And even more fortunate that we were able to capture her. We will probably need to mark her with some paint so she will be easily recognizable from the rest. But we'll do that when we're certain the bees are accepting the new hive as home and begin making comb.

Again, the bees were really docile. We even petted a few! Yes, petted.

Here's a picture of Her Magesty and our brilliant queen cage:


Can you tell which one she is?

Here is what we found when we brought her back down to the hive. From a few flying about to this in luck Taximom actually saw her walk out of the hive!


To be else am I going to post with regularity and consistency?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bee Update and Photo's

OK. Taximom has been so good about writing up our saga I'm just gonna let her tell it...besides, she always flatters me shamelessly so it's good for my self esteem.

Some of you have inquired about the bees, curious to know how these guys have taken their world being changed.
Mom of all Trades and I left them alone for a while to see if they would settle into their new home. The weather forecast called for cold and rain, too. They did not. Arrghh!!! So we were back to square one with moving them, and also face losing what brood combs there were.

Sunday (March 15) afternoon we donned our suits and headed back to the pasture armed with our handy dandy handmade tools. We found lots of buzzing and quite a number of bees in the air . . . a good sign . . . they were still here. Unfortunately the majority were content with the old hive and had refused to move down into the new one. Carefully we unwrapped the hives . . . we had removed the top for the new hive and set the old one on top, and wrapped it in a garbage bag because of several days of rain were forecast . . . many were crowded around the original opening to the old hive.

The decision was made to tip over the old hive and get a better look. After determining that most had migrated back to the old hive, Mom of all Trades and I discussed our options and execution for each. One suggestion in the book calls for removing the bottom to the new hive and setting it on top of the old. The bang on the old hive to get the bees to move up. We did this for several minutes, but again we were doing this in the late afternoon and were impatient. Now, you might think that banging on the hive might cause the bees to become angry and anxious to stop the perpetrator. Not in the least. They will crawl to the top of the hive. With the old hive upside down (remember the bottom had been sliced off when the tree was felled), the theory is they would just crawl out of the old and into the new.

Knowing that this could take an hour or two, and Mom of All Trades and I were anxious to get them moved, so after about 10 minutes of banging and no bees leaving, we decided to get more aggressive. We rolled a large stump over next to the new hive, picked up the old hive with the opening down, picked up the old hive and slammed it onto the stump. WHUMP!!

Perfect! Quite a number of bees fell into the new hive - exactly what we wanted! After several WHUMPS we were able to remove the majority of the hive. About a quarter of them were on the ground outside the new hive. Bugger!!

We set the old hive down cut side up and attended to the bees on the ground. Scooping them up with wings from some bird that MoaT had, (sorry MoaT I can't remember what kind of bird), brushed them off into the new hive. Funny bees. They don't mind being WHUMPED, but being scooped up and gently dropped they did not. About half would fly around. Some of which were not happy and looking for a fight. Some tried stinging the wing. After scooping most of those on the ground we turned our attention to those left in the old hive.

We picked up the old hive and set it on its side on top of the stump. Using the wings we brushed the remaining bees out. Stubborn bees! About half of those took to the air as well. MoaT and I did pretty well with not getting freaked out over bees climbing over us. Pretty much because we couldn't see the ones on ourselves, and felt sorry for the other who had bees on them. Ignorance is bliss!!

We then took the old hive and using the log splitter split it into four pieces. This would ensure that the bees would not migrate to their old home, hopefully making their new digs look a little more attractive.

Monday, late morning (March 16) . . . I ambled down to look at the bees. A number were flying around and a few were going in and out of the hive. RATS!! A large number were all together in section of cinderblock that the hive sits on. Most likely the queen is in that mass and did not make it into the hive when MoaT and I moved the bees yesterday.

Looks like Part III entails moving the stragglers into the hive, and more research for MoaT and Taximom, as we try to figure out how to get them to accept their new home.

Photo's courtesy of K...who loving took 432 of them. All of my butt. I edited, and I am not ashamed.


Beekeeping is not a particularly fashionable thing, but I'll take looking ugly over looking like lunch to the bees.

Taximom, however, is cute as a button in her get up...


K needs to work on her focusing abilities..oh yeah, that would mean I'd have to let her practice...never mind.


Our hive is called an 8 frame medium. We chose these because we were pretty sure Taxidad and Hubster wouldn't be caught dead near the bees. And we don't like lifting heavy boxes full of honey, so we'll lift only sorta heavy boxes of honey ourselves.


There's our girls! Amazing isn't it? Totally freaked us out to reach in there and start pulling stuff out.



To be's that for a cliff hanger? I promise, I'm writing it up now, but I'll use Blogger's super-duper auto-poster majic to bring it to you in bite sized bits. :O)

Monday, April 13, 2009

More Than Just Out of Order

Yes, this post will be out of order, but after you read it, you may suspect I'm not just out of order, I might possibly be just a little bit out of my mind.

I promise I'll write an update post on the bees and set it to auto post too...with pictures....but first...

I picked up another hobby.

Please don't die from the shock. I need all three of my readers to justify my once a month writing fits.

Also, please don't die from the cuteness.

It started with an e-mail. Hubster was perusing Cr@ig$1i$t looking for a wood lathe and a drill press. He got...shall we say...distracted? Yes, distracted, that's what we'll call it. So he started last week e-mailing this person. The person said his listing was still available, that several people had called and said they were going to come get it, but no one had followed through. Then there was another e-mail when Hubster had the day off. The listing was still available. Hubster sent it to me...several times...and finally, I told him if he was looking for me to talk him out of it, he was barking up the wrong tree. He made me call Taximom and ask for her blessing...since it may potentially end up living at her house. Taximom, being the good sport and wonderful friend that she is, agreed...even after Taxidad gave her a look that I can only imagine was nothing short of "You have got to be kidding me." But he's a Kansas farm boy so we'll forgive him...he knows that of which he speaks. I've already talked her into the bees...and now this.

Finally, Friday afternoon I got a text while I was at the store picking up my free cake mix. (Thank you Duncan Hines. My hiney told me to tell you that.) Hubster said the listing was still there. I told him to call the guy back that we'd be there in an hour and a half.

When I got there, I was smitten, and I think you can imagine why:


She is a Jersey. And if you know anything about cows, Jersey's are sort of hard to come by. We've wanted one for years, but the current dairy market is severely depressed and this little girl was sent up the river instead of being fed to grow up and take her momma's place in the milking stanchion.

Now, for those who know me in real life, you might ask yourself how in the world we got her home, since we have to borrow Taxidad's truck all the time since we no longer own one of our own. I'll have you know that I rode home from the sale barn in grandpa's truck with a calf between my legs on more than one occasion. So I figured I'd pass the torch on to my own offspring. Yep, we loaded her in the back of my minivan:


Yes, that is poop on her hiney. If you don't know how bad calf poopies smell, let me assure you that they stink to high heaven. So we loaded her in the van, opened all the windows and drove an hour and a half to get her home. Brought back memories of my senior year, when I loaded my 4-H weiner pigs into the back of my 1972 Ford Pinto and took them home to the ranch. Good times.

She was a doll the whole way home and entertained the children with burping and farting games...B only beat her one round. She is also very smart...she pooped out the window at one point. Anyhow, we got her home and much to my surprise and delight, there was very little aftermath in my sweet little minivan and the good news is, we will not be having a cremation later this week.

Pretty sure my crappy neighbors will complain pretty soon, given that we are keeping her in the backyard with the chickens and all...but it's totally worth it:




If you haven't ever experienced the sheer joy and contentment of a bottle-fed calf chowing down her breakfast...well, you just haven't lived.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dancing with Bees

I've been buried with school, both mine and the kids'. But I decided I needed a new hobby anyway. The following is courtesy of Taximom, pictures at some point, but I'm not going to wait to get that done before giving you the scoop:

Most of you know that Taxidad collected logs off the new stake property
back in January. Unbeknownst to him one of the cut logs had a
beehive in it. The very bottom of it had been cut open, exposing
the hive. I mentioned it to Momofalltrades, knowing she was interested in her
own hive.

After looking it over and discovering that it was an active hive, Momofalltrades
went into action. She researched on the internet and public library
to gain insight on how to capture these bees and move them into a
beekeeping hive. (Sorry, Clean Queen, but Momofalltrades will be on my handcart team.)

Late yesterday afternoon we FINALLY had an opportunity to try and
move those bees. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!!! After donning some makeshift
clothing and netting we went to work. I am certain neighbors driving
by thought the aliens had landed. I know one car drove by a couple
of times - I'm certain it was because they needed to make another run
to Wal-Mart.

Momofalltrades began pulling out honeycomb while I attempted to do some
filming. After pulling out as much as she could, I began cutting out
what remaining combs that we could reach. We were able to locate and
move the brood combs - they have the developing babies. The hive was
much larger than we thought (it's huge!) and FILLED WITH HUNDREDS OF

The next step was to attach the combs to frames, which are then
placed into their new hive. The bees really did not pay much
attention to us as they clung to the combs as well as the walls of
the old hive. After securing the combs and placing into the new hive
we proceeded to scoop bees out of the old hive. It was so cool to
reach your hand into the hive and scoop what bees you could out, and
then brush them into the new hive. This was going to take a while,
and it was getting dark, so we switched gears.

We then flipped (gently) the old hive upside down and placed a
portion of the new hive on top of the opening, and then banged on the
old hive with pieces of wood. A large number of the bees attached
themselves to the bottom of the new hive in a cluster. Hopefully the
queen was in that group. If she moves into the new hive, the rest
will follow. After about 10 minutes had to stop. It was really
beginning to get dark, and that is a dangerous time to mess with them.

We ended up placing the old hive open end down and on top of the new
hive. Hopefully the remaining bees will migrate to the new hive, and
those responsible for caring for the brood will do just that, and
that the queen will like her new home. If so, then the move is
done. If not, then Momofalltrades and I will sell tickets for folks to come and
watch us for round 2 of Dancing with the Bees!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

They'll Be Here All Week...

Today in the car, J pipes up and says, "Mooooommy, I bvan sick!"
K replies, "It's CAR sick."
J: "I can't say aww(r)ah, It's bvan sick!"

We got a referral to an orthodontist right before Christmas for K during her regular dentist visit. Upon further investigation, the canine tooth we thought was pushing its way out behind her first molar turned out to be an incisor. Her canine teeth are growing toward one another and apparently, one of her permanent first molars has forgotten to show up to the party at all. So Miss K started her first round of orthodontia last week. We're just having Hubster's paychecks made out to Dr. Orthodontist for the next 4-6 years.

So today during lunch, B was telling me something about his drink choice and K kept having him repeat himself, finally, in frustration, he totally deadpans, "Mom, I think K needs an EARthodontist too."

Thursday, January 29, 2009


This was the quote of the day:

B: "Dad, I forgot, what does 'amnesia' mean?"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Impromptu Field Trip

One of the best things about hs is the fun we have on Hubster's day off. He has Friday's off, so we hang. Last Friday, Hubster needed a piece of leather, so we went to the Tandy leather store and lo and behold, they had a museum in the store! My mom used to do some really beautiful leatherwork, so I was glad I brought the camera to show some of the incredible art we saw.

This immediately caught my attention:


Tell me that's not cool!



Yes, that is all leather.

It was too big to fit in my purse, or it would have come home with me...

Not a fan of the silver stitching, but LOOOOVE the birds.

I *need* the pheasant billfold for awesome is that thing?

If you don't think this didn't make me want to build something and cover it in giraffe printed cowhide...well, you'd be wrong.

It made for a fun afternoon.