Sunday, February 28, 2016

Week in review

Good Morning. 

Yesterday was amazing!
High temperature of 54*. 
Water running every where.

Since we live on a hill, diverting water has become routine.
A few of my trenches.  

Dodger was intent to play ball.
 Where ever I was he was right behind me dropping the ball and hoping like hell that I throw it or kick it for him to chase.  

We played until he was pooped. 

Earlier in the week I fed the horses right around dark and apparently forgot to shut the gate. 
When the Hubby backed the van out of the garage the next morning he got the scare of a life time when he saw Scotch lurking in the shadows lol 

I figure he was out and about on his own for about eight hours. 
Around the house, up and down the driveway, digging around the compost pile, trying to get into the tack room, nibbling at the dead leaves under the willow tree. I'm sure he had a fine time exploring. Glad he didn't go far. 
No idea why Gypsy and Jennifer didn't decide to join him. When the Hubby put Scotch away he said they were just standing there by the open gate watching. Odd, but good.

Chyann received notification that she is officially in the to 10% of her graduating class!
How awesome is that!
During the graduation ceremony she will have the white satin sash denoting being a member of the National Honor Society and a second sash made of some sort of braided material denoting her being in the top 10% of her class!! 
She is one smart young lady!
We are so proud of her!!
She has been invited to attend a banquet in a nearby town honoring her and the other top 10% from our school and two others that are near. 

81 days folks.

Caden had a 24 hour virus or something Friday night and into Saturday.
Haven't seen him so sick in a long time. 
Hoping that is the last of it as he will need to be 100% for this coming week. 
Play practice, wrestling and a tourney at the school. 

He lost his last baby tooth the other day too. 
The last of our kids to reach that milestone.
Our boy is growing up. 

Today we are going to go see Colton. 
Can't wait to see him and give him a squeeze. 

Enjoy the day :)

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Soup and more

Aaah it's Sunday.

I love soup. All kinds of soup. My current favorite is tomato.
The base of this soup is so versatile that you can do just about anything with it.

3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons butter
1 onion chopped relatively fine
2 cloves garlic minced - or more depending on how garlicky you like foods
4 Tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth - either work
56 oz of tomatoes - you can use 2 cans of whole that you blend up in a blender or crushed tomatoes.
      I have used all my home grown canned tomatoes and am now using store bought whole tomatoes.
      First can I blend smooth and the second can I will partially blend depending on how much tomato       chunks I want in it.
2 teaspoons sugar
salt/pepper to taste

The recipe I used calls for using a non reactive pot.
Put the oil and butter in the pot. When butter is melted add the onions until they are about translucent, then add your garlic. When the garlic is fragrant, but not browned add your flour making a roux. Then add your Italian seasoning. When the flour has browned up a little add your broth and then the tomatoes, sugar, salt/pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.

I typically let it cook down on a simmer for about 20 minutes. It's at this point that you can do whatever you like to change up this soup. IF you are interested in making this a tomato vegetable soup now would be the time to add your veggies. I like to add broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots and by the time it's cooked down your veggies are perfect.

Another personal favorite is adding a box of Uncle Ben's wild rice. Make it according to the directions, then add the finished product to your soup and you've got an old fashioned tomato wild rice soup - YUM!

Serve anyway you like it - with grillers, patty melts, or whatever. I like just the soup, nothing else required.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time outside with the shovel and ice chopper making water ways to drain the water away from the barn. Quite a lot of our snow melted, but we've still got more to go.

88 more days until graduation.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Random bits of life

In comparison to last week when it was so windy and cold we are down right balmy now. Yesterday it rained and rained, which was even accompanied by some serious loud booming thunder and it scared the shit out of me! I totally didn't expect to hear that in February.

All that rain over snow with temperatures around 40* turned our drive way into a sheet of ice. The UPS guy of course came down our long driveway and immediately regretted it by sliding off into the yard. He kept it gunned and somehow managed to bull his way through the soft thick snow and back onto the driveway. Poor guy was a bit traumatized when I met him outside to retrieve my package lol

You know all this rain over snow means the barn is swamped with water. I spent a good chunk of time this morning pushing water out of it. Good thing the horses are happily spending the winter in the vacant cow barn or we'd have to get the water pump out to make the barn usable for them. What a pain in the ass folks.

We've only this winter began feeding the birds and I'm astounded by the amount of birds that now frequent our feeders. There are so many we end up filling the feeders two or three times a week. I love watching them from my office window and am looking forward to being able to have the windows open to hear them singing. I have no idea what kind they are, but they all sing and it's lovely. I've got to get a birds of Wisconsin book so I can figure out what they are.

Caden has had a quite wrestling week with only practices. Our school will be hosting a wrestling duel on the 3rd of March so a lot of planning is going on for that event. Parents and siblings of the wrestlers will be working concessions, clocks, admissions and all that fun stuff.

I like plants in my house, unfortunately the cats also like the plants. They enjoy eating them, digging in them and possibly using them as an alternate litter box. I could stand it no more and yes I realize this sounds awful BUT in an effort to save my plants I've had to take extreme measures....... Mouse traps in the plants with a tin foil over them so when the cats pounce into the plants they do not get bit by the traps but are scared to death and run for their lives! It seems after the first big scare they are now totally avoiding my plants. I'm calling that a big win when previously I was thinking I'd have to throw them out. My plants now have a chance to live and the cats were not harmed, just freaked out for a bit and now know to stay away from them.

News flash - 89 freaking days until the graduation people.

later :)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Vday and more

It's Valentines day and I'm making cinnamon rolls for the family this AM. Chocolate chip cookies for the Hubby and a banana chocolate swirl cake for the kids. 
A little homemade love baked up in the new oven, which I totally love!
My cast iron skillets are a bit slower to heat up but cook really well on the smooth top and the aluminium skillets heat up super fast - if you aren't paying attention you'll burn shit quick. 

Damn it's been cold this last week. 
With any luck we've seen the last of subzero nights until next winter. Probably not likely, but I can hope. 

Caden had a great week wrestling! 
The next few weeks will be mostly practices which will be a nice break because when March rolls around it's going to get super crazy.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I believe having good sportsmanship is essential when involved in sports. 
Win or loose your attitude defines who you are. Those moments you are raw with overflowing emotion show people what you are made of. 
Caden didn't realize it until after the match was over, but one of his opponents bit him on the arm hard enough to leave individual bruises from each of his teeth - both upper and lower. Not to mention scratched the crap out of him. Now that is tacky. Not to mention gross. Bite a kid because he is winning? Reminds me of that boxer who bit his opponents ear during a fight. ish. 

Because this last week has been so busy, running all over the state for wrestling we picked up Pizza Hut pizza for dinner on Thursday  night. They had some good deals and we ended up getting four pizzas to take home. After we had eaten, we had two pizzas left over which we decided to eat the next night for dinner since we'd be busy again Friday after work and I knew I wouldn't feel like cooking. Into the beer fridge they went.

Imagine our surprise when we returned home late, hungry and tired to find that somehow Ol' Dodger managed to OPEN THE FREAKING REFRIGERATOR DOOR AND EAT ALL THE PIZZA!
Is he really that smart? or did someone leave the door open a bit and he nosed his way in?
We may never know and I suppose it doesn't really matter the pizza was gone. Good thing he didn't get into the other fridge and eat the roast I had thawing in there though.

Check out the display of beer we saw the other day at the store - Good ass beer! Who knew lol 

Gorgeous sunset the other night.

Have a good one :)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday AM coffee

My week in review...

Earlier in the week Caden had bronchitis, what we thought was strep throat and a sinus infection. Good thing we had a whopper of a snow storm that closed school for a day so he didn't miss too much school.
Found out yesterday that the strep culture came back negative. The docs think he is actually dealing with chronic tonsillitis. Great. Colton had that too and he was miserable with it until he had his removed. 
Funny thing about tonsils Chyann's are freaking huge, so huge that when inflamed they almost touch but she has never had "tonsillitis" only strep. The boys both have tiny tonsils and chronic tonsillitis. How does that work?

In between the snow storm and rotten weather we've had some absolutely gorgeous sunrises.

The sky looked like it was on fire. It was incredible.

We broke down and purchased a new oven this weekend. 
The old one had problems with uneven baking and the coil burners kept going out. The variety of ovens available on the market today is mind boggling. If gas were an option I'd have went with one of those, but electric is what we are working with at this time. Very few stores actually have the product available in stock to take home that day and to order one could take three to six weeks. How that is possible in this day and age I do not know. So my options to take an oven home that day were limited to a few. I ended up with a black smooth top that has five burners and a  convection oven with a 10 year manufactures warranty - which was exactly what I wanted so I totally lucked out.

You know your kids are growing up when you purchase a new appliance and have this HUGE BOX sitting in the living room for hours and not one of them wants to play in it. sigh. 
The cats did explore it for a while though.

Superbowl Sunday has arrived. I don't care who wins, just hoping for a good game. Guess I'd better get busy making some jalapeno popper dip and other goodies to eat during the game.
Enjoy :)