Friday, September 30, 2011

Foody Friday - Octopus Dogs and the Condiment Conundrum

I found this idea somewhere online. My problem is I'll see an idea, then it'll sit in my brain for a couple weeks, then I can't remember where I saw it to begin with. Who ever came up with this idea first...thanks for sharing.

Cut up your hot dogs and poke in some spaghetti...
(as if the photos weren't self-explanatory enough.)


My kids LOVED this! They thought these looked like octopus legs coming out of the hotdog. HA!
Personally, I can't stand hot dogs and didn't eat these but it was a nice dinner considering none of my kids complained about what we were eating.

But here's the tough part of the meal...what condiments to serve?

Parmesan cheese or ketchup and mustard? Go with Yip's version and just load up on all three. Eeewww....

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Harvest Crafts for Preschoolers

Yahoo and I had been working on lots of harvest crafts that I was going to post earlier, before I was hit with the band-aid bug. Anyway...thought we'd just share some crafts we've been up to.

#1 - Dress Your Scarecrow

First, I drew up a scarecrow. Feel free to copy the image and use it if you'd like.

Then we dressed our scarecrows with scrap fabric. I cut out a lot of shirts, hats and pants for Yahoo to choose from because we are going to do this craft at our play group next week.

Yahoo went a little crazy with the glue stick!

#2 - Corn on the Cob

Tape down some bubble wrap on a work surface. I taped mine onto some cardboard so
I could easily move it oncde we were done or use it again at playgroup.

Brush on some corn colored paint. Yellows, oranges and browns make some neat Indian corn.

Then roll or blot toilet paper tubes onto the paint covered bubble wrap.

Let it dry and attach green or brown leaves cut from construction paper.

I was so happy to come up with the corn craft because I've been saving toilet paper tubes for months and I haven't been able to use them up. Do you have any suggestions on using toilet paper tubes?

Have you been doing any fall crafts? Share a link in the comments!
I'd love to see what you are up to.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

On the Sick and Injured List

I wasn't very good about posting this past weekend was I?

I have a good excuse though...I was side lined. This may be the only time where Payton Manning and I ever have anything in common. We are too injured to work. Geez, I just wish he and I had that rich and famous thing in common too.

What is my injury you ask? Ha!
I cut my finger.

"Whoop de doo!", you say? Oh believe me, I let out a whoop!

*sigh* I was cutting celery last week with a very sharp knife and sliced the tip of my finger. I'm such a clutz. I've cut myself with said knife at least a half dozen times. You'd think I'd learn and just get rid of the knife. But it just works so well. (Obviously!!! DUH!)

It may not look bad since it's all wrapped up but I'm not taking off the bandage to show you the extent of it. It bled through 4 band-aids and I (eeewwww) found the big chunk of skin still left on the celery when I returned to the kitchen. I haven't been able to type for four days because of it. (boo hoo)

And to give my weekend an even bigger kick I was sick in bed over the weekend with a stomach bug. Why is it that little injuries, oh like the tip of my finger, hurts worse than large injuries? Can anyone explain that? I've broken bones and injured myself lots and it's always the little body parts that hurt the worst.

This little guy was the only productive thing I made all weekend.
Cute isn't he? I think he's fairly symbolic of the my weekend; band-aids and bugs.I just hope this week is more productive :)

P.S. - I need more pretty band-aids;
I've used more for bugs than I have for my finger!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Quilt Block Painting

Here's my latest painting.
It's acrylic on some scrap cardboard and measures roughly 9x9 inches.

I wish I enjoyed quilting because this would make a very pretty one. Alas, I don't have enough patience to quilt.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Shooting Corn Tassles

Ha! I think I figured out the conundrum with getting the orientation correct when posting vertical photos. I had to go to my blog settings and choose the old post editor. Kind of clunky posting but now my photos are posted correctly!

I just love the way corn tassels look almost flowery.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Foody Friday - Broiled Zucchini and Tomato Bites

Look! Another zucchini and tomato dish!! 

I bet you are looking forward to when my garden stops producing aren't you? HA, me too! 

This is so simple and addictive! I've been eating a lot of these lately. 

First slice up your zucchini and small tomatoes and layer them on a greased baking dish or cookie sheet. Top off the tomato with a dollop of ricotta cheese and seasonings. I like sprinkling some pepper and basil on top but experiment and tell me what else works well on top. 

Place the bites under a high broiler until cheese is beginning to brown which should take 10-15 minutes. 

I eat it right off the pan. Yum! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bring Back the Menstrual Hut!

(WARNING! MEN! If the title of this post hasn't already scared you off then turn back now. I can't hold myself responsible for any hormonal rant I may post here. Thank you.) 

Once a month I feel really, really sorry for my husband and kids. I feel really sorry for them because for five-ish days out of every month they have to put up with me and my raging hormones. 

Period week sucks.  I feel like I've been run over by a garbage truck and that I've gained twenty pounds, although it's only like five. I can't sleep. I'm grumpy. I'm edgy. And this happens every month. 

You know what I'm talking about! 

Every month I know the PMS monster is coming and my husband knows it's coming, yet I'm expected to act like a normal human being (HA) and care for my family. But every month it's the same, I'm bitchy and exhausted but still have a full load of responsibilities on my calendar. 

Our ancestors had it right......I want a menstrual hut!! 

You know, the menstrual hut...the place where women were banished to for the duration of the monthly visitor. In many primitive/past cultures it was believed that for a menstruating woman was a curse and if she touched anything (weapons, children, etc.) it could bring bad luck. So women were banished to a menstrual hut to do nothing but sit inside for a week and sew...or quill...or gossip...whatever...they sure weren't working hard in those huts. 

Can you imagine a whole week to sit and rest when your body is exhausted? No taking care of kids. No cooking. No cleaning. No running errands. A whole five days in one room with no one asking you to take care of anything. Ahhh...That. Sounds. Like. Heaven. 

You know, I'm thinking the whole "menstruation as a curse" story was started by a woman. Seriously, they knew way back when that they needed a week of rest once a month. Some woman probably asked for a week's vacation from motherhood and when her husband shot that idea down she knew she'd have to make him think a monthly menstrual break was HIS idea. I can see her now sabotaging his soup so he'd get sick after he ate it or fixing his loincloth so it ripped when he bent over. Then after all these 'mishaps' she could blame it on the curse of her period and then her husband would be happy to ship her off for a week once a month. Smart woman. 

My husband, unfortunately, isn't that gullible. I don't think he'll believe that the all his clothes turned pink in the wash just because I did laundry during that one special week of the month. That idea is tempting though. 

The idea of a menstrual hut is awfully inviting. But considering I don't see the winds of change in our culture blowing towards the relief of menstruating women everywhere, I'll have to settle for an overindulgence in Starbucks and chocolate once a month. 


Dear Santa, For Christmas this year......

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Wedding!!, made by hand...

My twenty something-ish cousin just got engaged over the weekend. YAY!! 

I'm so excited for her! She's been living in Oklahoma the last few years, about 5 hours from me, and while her fiance and his family are from Oklahoma, her whole family is back in Indiana. Once I read her engagement status on Facebook (of course!) and being relatively close to her geographically, I offered her as much help with her wedding as I could give her....because face it, most of us aren't going to have the green to put on a wedding like Prince What's His Name did over the pond a few months ago. 

Offering her my help got me to thinking about DR and my wedding. Boy, did we get help that really kept the cost of our wedding low! Of course it didn't hurt that I'm a cheapskate, miser, tight wise with my money either.  

First our reception was in the town park which I received as a wedding gift from a couple of guys on the park board whom I just happened to coach track with. 

If you look behind my sister on the tent poles you'll see bundles of wheat and flowers, which my sisters and I picked out of fields and ditches. And that big beautiful sunflower arrangement on the table? It's in a Ball Canning Jar. Yep, I had two fabulous sisters who did ALL the flowers; bouquets, boutonnieres, table arrangements...and they did a great job! 

Friends of ours served the food and another friend roasted half a hog for the reception as a wedding gift too. Looking back, I'm really thankful for all those gifts that helped me have a wedding party! 

My mom made my wedding dress and the bridesmaids' dresses. (Ugg...sorry my lovely sisters... This photo suddenly brings to mind that movie 27 Dresses! And no, you can't wear it again!!) 

Come to think of it, in the past 9 years my mom has sewn 3 of our wedding dresses and probably a total of 10 bridesmaid dresses for 4 different weddings! Mom, you are a saint! 

For our wedding, to keep costs down and to add a more personal touch, I designed our wedding invitations. 

And being that our wedding was in August when guests arrived they received our program printed on a fan. The front was a drawing I had made and a poem and the back had all the pertinent stuff you usually find on a wedding program. 

If my cousin is anything like me *cheapskate*, which I'm pretty sure she is, she'll probably want to save some money on her wedding. From the dress, food, cake, photos, flowers, gifts, etc, etc.....what kind of advice can I give my cousin on her big wedding day? What is the best help you received on your wedding day? What are some great wedding resources that most people don't know about? 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Marker Monday - Liquid Nails (Nailed?) Dragon

I gotta just say that this project was so much fun. Painting this dragon felt more like playing and nothing like work! I showed you another painting where I used liquid nails..
..and I put liquid nails on this canvas at the same time. 

I just dripped and dropped it on without any thought of what it may turn out to be. After the liquid nails was dry I spent a few days looking at it from every angle and decided it needed to be a dragon! I love how it turned out. I don't often frame and hang my artwork in my house but I think I will hang this one. 
A close up of the paw and belly. 

After I was all done, Yip and Yap wanted to do one too. All we had left in the garage was a tube of silicone (like what you use to caulk your bathtub). It didn't turn out as well as the liquid nails but it still kind of worked. 

Here's Yap's masterpiece! to raid my husband's hardware supplies for more ideas....bwah hah hah! 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Devotions - Guarding Speech

If you should live a life discrete,
Five things observe with care, 
How you speak, to whom you speak, 
and why and when and where.

A friend of mine e-mailed me this little poem the other day. Surely without meaning to, her message caused me a git of a twinge. You see, one of my worst traits is holding my tongue and not thinking about what I say before it comes out of my mouth. The older I've gotten the better I've become at holding back hurtful words but unfortunately the years have also blessed me with the ability to reflect upon words I've uttered in the past that have hurt others. 

Psalm 39:1 
I said, "I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence."
Maybe I should ask for a muzzle for Christmas. 
James 3:6  
The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 

I've had a lot of regret about words that I've spoken in the past. Words do have strength and our speech can be harmful to others and ourselves. My younger self didn't give much thought before or after to the words that came from my mouth. But as a mother of young children I've learned that I have to watch my words carefully! Not just because my kids may learn a bad word from listening to me (which they have) but sometimes my harsh words have been as hurtful as a slap. I've seen it on their faces. 

If my kids get hurt on the playground they are easily comforted by a hug and a band-aid. But the hurt they bear from my harsh words are an injury that may never be undone. That knowledge hurts me too, knowing that I hurt my children with words. It takes a lot of effort to slow down and THINK about the words that are about to spill from my mouth but God reminds me that I should be an example in all things and all parts of my body and actions. 

1 Timothy 4:12
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

Dear Lord, It has never been my intention to do harm to others. Please guide me and my mouth that my actions and words may be set forth as an example pleasing to You and never be harmful or damaging to others. Amen. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Ranch Rodeo...not what you'd expect.

Mountain Man left me last month. Jerk.

Now instead of being a mere three hours away he's moved six hours away into the depths of wild hog Oklahoma country. Hadn't been there a month and he already shot a wild hog. He's a crazy man.

Anyway, long story short....DR bought Mountain Man a used saddle. Neither Mountain Man, DR or I have had the time to drive to drop off/pick up this saddle.

Flashback last Sunday morning. We're walking from church and DR and Mountain Man are yipping back and forth on the phone...they're buddies. DR hangs up, turns to me and says, "Change of plans, we are going to a rodeo!" Huh? We had plans?

Turns out the Ranch Rodeo Finals were being held in Dodge City and one of Mountain Man's buddies was competing. After competing, this buddy was headed to Texas and would be willing to take the saddle to my brother in Oklahoma. Great! We are going to the rodeo! is a Ranch Rodeo different than the rodeo we went to last month?

First off the cowboys in a Ranch Rodeo work in teams of four and the teams compete in four events. These four events would be tasks the cowboys would do on the ranch. Their collective times would be added together to get the winner. Secondly, all of these cowboys work on a ranch. They aren't these professional good looking "cowboys" who get their pictures in Stetson or Wrangler advertisements. Nope, Ranch Rodeo cowboys are REAL cowboys. Third, the stands weren't nearly as full. There were probably only a couple hundred in the stands and there wasn't nearly the fanfare or glitz as the rodeo last month.

EVENT #1 - Branding

This event starts with a dozen or so calves in a pen. 

One team members rides in to rope a calf...

...and has to pull it through a gate. Once outside, two team members have to get the calf on it's side and the rope off. The fourth team member (off to the right) waits with a branding iron (not hot) to run in and "brand" the calf. 

The team has to rope and "brand" two calves and when the brander has placed his iron in the blue bucket that ends the time for this event. 

 Event #2 - Sort and Load

I think this was my favorite event. There's a white line in the dirt and off to the right are about a dozen steers with numbers on their backs; two of each number; 2 3's, 2 4's, 2 5's, etc. 

The team is given a number and it's their job to cut out the two steers with that number on their backs while keeping the other steers on the left of the line. This was sure something to see because you wouldn't believe how good some of these teams were. Some of them would seem to work for just a minute or so and then suddenly they had both steers cut and running. 

Once the steers were cut to the right of the line they were herded to the other end of the arena....

....around a gate (sorry, it's behind the post)...

....then herded into a gated area. 

The team had to load the steers into a trailer without letting them out of the gate....

...then load three horses in the trailer. The fourth cowboy had let his horse go when he took charge of closing the gate. 

Time is flagged when the trailer is shut tight and all four cowboys (or 3 cowboys and 1 cowgirl in this case) are on the back of the truck. 

Event #3 - Team Doctoring

In the doctoring event, a larger steer is let loose and the team has to work together to rope it.... it's head and heel. 

Then the team works together to get three legs tied together. Now these weren't that little of steers. Combined those cowboys probably didn't out weigh that steer. 

The time is flagged by the judge (guy on horse with the flag) after the team is up and the steer stays tied for a certain number of seconds. When a steer needs doctoring this is the safest way to handle the steer for both the animal and the cowboys. 

Event #4 - Wild Cow Milking 

Cow Milking...kind of what it sounds like but rather than getting a wild cow to stand still to get milked the cowboys rope her, throw her on her side and milk just a bit of milk into a beer bottle. Yep, a beer bottle. Once they milk a certain amount of milk, which isn't much, they run to a circle at the edge of the arena for their time. Now I don't think this is something cowboys are called on too often to do  on a daily basis but it was sure entertaining to watch. 

Sorry, didn't get any photos of this event but it was a lot like this....


I'm sure happy Mountain Man called and changed our plans. I really enjoyed the low key Ranch Rodeo. It was nice to see the down to earth "real" cowboys excel at the jobs they do everyday. They definitely don't get the attention they deserve. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Foody Friday - Popovers

I found this recipe in an old Country Living Magazine and it seemed just too easy to not try. 


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 t. salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
4 T unsalted butter

In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt; make a well in center. In another bowl, beat together eggs and milk, then pour into well. Gradually stir egg mix into flour until batter is consistency of heavy cream yet slightly lumpy; do not overbeat. Allow batter to rest for at least 30 minutes to an hour.

Preheat oven to 425. Place 1 teaspoon butter in each cup of a 12 cup muffin tin. Heat in oven til butter melts, about 1 minute. Divide batter among cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake until popovers are puffed and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Turn out popovers and serve warm.

When done the popovers are light, buttery and fluffy which results after the batter has rested 30 minutes to an hour. If the batter doesn't rest long enough the popovers turn out pretty dense. 

These are great right out of the oven or cold and smeared with jelly for breakfast. These were an instant hit in our house. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I haven't posted any landscapes lately and thought Monday night's sunset would be something nice for you to look at today. Enjoy!

And you can't have a blog about Kansas and post a sunset photo without the obligatory elevator photo! Ha, ha! 

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