Friday, December 31, 2010

So Many Things To Do!

I don't like resolutions, because I never keep them.  But there are a ton of things I want to do.  So for 2011, I want to accomplish a whole lotta stuff in 365 days...Clock starts at Midnight!

1)  Get the camper across state lines.  Preferably to hook up with one of my blog buddies and meet face to face!  How fun would that be??

2)  Hellooo...bag my first deer.

3)  Get my heirloom seed order completed and get with the seed saving program!

4)  Sweet talk Pig Pen into digging me another garden.  Bribery will ensue.

5)  UFOs.  Get them done!  There are many!  Golly, I actually found my circular needles last night.  And I was afraid I wouldn't remember how!  After all, it's been TWO years since I played with them.  Hey!  I found my lonesome sock yarn!!!  But for this one, first I had to unravel the spaghetti! 
I added an inch to this little unfinished object but then stopped because I don't remember the decrease:
6)  For Christmas, my MIL got me this fantabulous book and I want to make a king size sampler block quilt for our bedroom. 

I need 56, 10" blocks.  I made one the other night and it didn't go so well.  So, I have 56 more to go! :o) One a week and a few extras thrown in, right?!

7)  Redo bedroom to match awesome said quilt.

8)  Finish Chicken Coop and get the girls into their new home.

9)  Paint Living room.  It's the only room in the house we haven't done 'something' to.  Oh wait, we hung 2 random pictures.  It's a horrid room.

10)  Organize both pantries and take good stock of what I need to have on hand in bulk items.

11)  Teach someone, to garden, can, preserve...anything to spread the 'bug'.  Any volunteers???  I have a burning passion to hand it down.  I think it would be fun to get a hold of a bunch of younger folks too.  Wouldn't that be neat?

12)  Get fence around garden done.  Well, that's really a Pig Pen thing.

13)  Insist that once a month, we have a date night.  How's that for setting the bar "low"?  Not asking much, just asking!  He works too hard.

14)  Learn how to shoot a bow.

15)  Keep better records of harvests.  I thought I did alright here, but sometimes things get away from you. 

16)  Grains.  I need to research this and consider what we can do in this area.  I think it is worth an effort.

17)  More bees!  You would be surprised how fast that honey goes!  However, I will not be chauffeuring any this time!

I wonder how many of those things will actually get done???  I am sure there are many other things I need to learn, master or expand on.  But ya gotta start some where, right?

To all my wonderful family and friends -old and new, I wish you a very Happy and Safe New Year!  I am so glad my SIL, Jen, kicked my pants and got me blogging.  If it weren't for her, I would have never met you guys!  You have all been such a great group of folks to consort with and my life is richer for having met you!  There is not a day that goes by that someone doesn't make me laugh, cry or think about what a wonderful life we share!  Thank you for opening your lives and sharing with us all!

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tough Questions

Who here has found that like anything, finding info on say, S510 (like any other), is like trying to navigate Chicago rush hour traffic?  What's real, what's not, what to expect behind that curtain?  How will it be twisted?  Where is that wonderfully hidden little loophole they always plant?

I wonder if the small farmers in America ever thought Feds would knock on their doors in the wee hours, arrest them, search them and then bury them under red tape they could never afford to scratch their way out of?

I wonder too, if disarming isn't just about gun control.  If we disarm our ability to grow and raise our own food, take away our right to protect ourselves...shall we all line up for that 'shower' like herded, innocent sheep?  Only to meet our end?

I wonder if 'they' think they can provide "Safer" food for us?  Really?  How often do we hear on the news that us weird, self-sufficient bound goof balls, poisoned our own family?

I wonder if their 'work areas' are clean?  I wonder if they wash their hands?  Really?

I wonder what kind of crazy modified crap we eat that we don't even know about yet?  I wonder why after all these things they don't just go ahead and clone?  I mean, why not?  (sarcasm) 

The thing I find 'funny' is that alot of people might consider a can of beans on a store shelf as safer than a home-canned can of beans on my shelf.   Isn't that funny? 

So where do you go for your information?  Help us all out.  And more over, what do you do about it?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

PJ's, Puppies and Peanuts

Today I finished a quilting project that has been needing done.  Now I can clean my house up from the Christmas Chaos!  Or not...whatever.

So I wanted to follow up with a few pictures and clips of what Christmas is like in our neck of the woods.  For starters, it's always "PJ's and Puppies".  Over the years, the Peanuts were in Rugrats or Apple Dumplin's.

This year the out-law ladies got all coordinated from our trip to the cracked out home goods store:
And here we have the puppies, minus fat-head Missy.  She's just a big lug that would knock the Peanuts down.  I know, I know...she doesn't get to do anything and Yes, I sleep with one eye open now.

Here ya go...I brought a picture of her instead:

While we opened presents at my Dad's house, he actually had his quilt all snuggled up around him!  He said he likes to 'wear' it a certain way so that he can see the little note on the back.  He said he knows it's back wards.  Whatever makes him happy!

Here we have The Enabler in the family.  She was the recipient of the enabling stuff of TicTacs and kiddie chapstick.  She uses the TicTac's to "shut'em up" in the fabric stores.  The only problem is...she let the poor little thing eat the ENTIRE Valu-Pak.  MmmHmm, she did.  With the defense that Grama's do that ;o) 
I was happy to have been able to try out my new loaf pan yesterday on a new recipe Jane at Hardwork Homstead sent me!  Super easy and -sit down now-  Pig Pen ate it up!  He's not a fan of Wheat breads.  Or so he says.  But he had one piece with butter, two pieces with homemade grape jelly, and then two pieces of toast.  Yup, five pieces in one night.  We wont discuss how many I have eaten thus far but those were the best turkey samiches I ever ate!
I had been trying to find some really good airtight containers to store dry goods in.  The Click Clack Accents seemed to top out all the consumer lists.  My MIL got me three!  Woohoo!  Sounds like a darn good reason to get back to the Amish bulk goods.  Like I really needed an excuse!!

The Seed Catalogs are pouring in!  I have to sit down and get my head straight.  Leigh over at  5 Acres & a Dream posted her 2010 review and it reminded me I haven't even done that yet!  It would help if I put pen to paper in the old journal and then ordered my seeds.  Any one else on top of this yet?  Where are you ordering from this year? 

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Fat Man Hillbilly Style

In blog hopping the past week or so, there has been alot of talk about "You know you are a homesteader when..."  Everything you want comes from a Tractor Supply store!  Who doesn't love a Tractor Supply store?  So this one is dedicated to how we do the Fat Man Hillbilly Style and from the "Fun" Store...

First, we unwrap our gifts wrong...upside down, inside out, whatever works:
Then we take the innocent and corrupt them thoroughly:
What?  No - who, would wrap a 3yr olds present in camo?
Moreover, what's in it???

Oh, the who part goes without saying, right?

And this 'Big Girl' got something too...
Yeah, baby!  Look I come!  Pig Pen got me a gun and scope!  (He forgot bullets, HA!)  That's ok though, he picked some up on his way home yesterday and I got to try it out!  15 rounds and only 2 misses from 50 yards!  Practice  - Practice!

And the little terd got me a Keurig also.  Waaay overboard.  And you already know how horribly he wrapped my Birthday presents.  Well, it was a darn good thing my brother got me a Buck knife.  It came in pretty handy.
Yes, I did get Pig Pen his wretched Wader Pants.  We also managed to get each other Chicken stuff.  Feeders, waterers, scoops etc.  Oh, and my SIL got me Chicken Poop Boots!  I was very excited about those!  :0) 
Now if I could ever get Pig Pen out and about in that 5th wheel, we can use the nice double burner propane cook top I got him too!
Oh...can't forget the big reveal on his quilt!  This is what I worked on at Retreat.
This one didn't come from a Tractor Supply Store, but it still fits the bill!  My MIL remembered me ogling over Jane's and got me one! 
Can ya see it??  See...people listen!
My Dad and Connie got us more trays for our dehydrator too!  Yup, whatever we can do to keep the food!  Yeah!!!  And my SIL Jen is wanting more breads (haha!), so she got us a long loaf pan and hamburger bun pan too!

And this one, I know you guys will love!  My SIL Meagan made this binder up for me.  Now, will you just look at the title???  Darn TP!!!!  HA!
She loaded it up, first with a very nice letter (cuz that's what Meg does) and then printed out pages of neat projects and DIY things!  So I can't wait to try them out and report back!

The days were long, lots of fun and more to come...I think I need a nap!  Hillbilly Christmases...awesome!  But I swear I can't get unburied!  And there is lots of that to do...because if you can't tell, our family is full of very generous, giving and loving people.  This barely touches the tip of the iceberg and to all of them, thank-you!  We love and appreciate everything so much...even when we know it humors you ;o)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Candy Cane Wishes

The Legend of the Candy Cane

A Candy maker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would help us remember who Christmas is really about. So he made a Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ.

He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless nature of Jesus. Hard candy to symbolize the solid rock, the foundation of the Church, and firmness of the promises of God.

The candy maker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the name of Jesus. It also represented the staff of the "Good Shepherd".

The candy maker then included red stripes. He used three small stripes and a large red stripe to represent the suffering Christ endured at the end of his life.

The candy became known as a Candy Cane - a decoration seen at Christmas time. The meaning has faded, but still gives joy to children young and old, whom Jesus loves and treasures.

He stands at your door and knocks.  My prayer for you this Christmas is that you have room at your "Inn" and in your heart so that He may enter.

Merry Christmas to Everyone!
May God Bless You!

Love, Diana

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Childless at Christmas

Being childless at Christmas -for some- can be nearly as hard as Mothers or Fathers Day.  In general, Christmas is centered around kids.  So what is Christmas like for us?

Well, being in the 'bum luck' crowd is from where I speak.  There are some brutal truths forthcoming.  And I want to say right now that I don't feel this way today.  You follow?  As time goes by, things get better and better.  Which is a beautiful thing. 

This is years worth of thoughts and feelings for you to consider when dealing with your own friends or loved ones who have been slapped by that 'bum luck'.  A shoe on the other foot!  The funny thing about "feelings" is that there is no right or wrong, just ownership. 

So here goes your peek:

1)  We are not second class citizens.  Because we don't have to put someone down for a nap is it OK to assume we can roam about with out a care in the world?  Treat us with the same considerations that anyone deserves, don't punish us for being childless.  We've done enough of that to ourselves.

2)  We still have lives, loves, hopes and dreams.  Our lives are not worthless nor empty.  They just aren't 'full' of the same things.  Now how wonderful is that?  Isn't that every one's wish?

3)  We aren't stupid.  IQ has not, never was, nor ever will be based upon whether or not we had kids.  Do not disqualify us!  We simply 'know' different things.

4)  We are approachable, even when it hurts.  Are you pregnant or planning?  Don't be afraid to tell us.  Yes it can hurt for us.  But for as much as it may momentarily sting, we still rejoice for you.  I do. 

5)  Never assume we didn't want children.

6)  And my new favorite comeback line...knowing there is a little 'homesteader' in us.  When that rude and slightly jealous person asks, "Gee, is there nothing you can't do?" 
My response, "Yes, make babies."  That'll shut'em up.

We are just people.  The measure of our worth is based on things like who we are, where our hearts are, how we treat others and how we live.   

So I don't know if I answered the question "What is Christmas like for us?"

Same as it is for you of course!  IT'S CHRISTMAS!  It's too many parties, driving in the snow, making cookies, wrapping presents, being with family and on and on!  But mostly...It's a Miracle to be Celebrated!!

Life is beautiful!

We are thankful! 

We are blessed...Even though we are childless!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

If "Tis the Season" Means THIS...

Tis the Season to Lose All Reason

Phooey!  I don't like it and don't want it.  For some crazy reason, I have been stuck on stoopid all day again. 

Things started at 4am when Pig Pen's cell phone rang.  Any time a cell goes off at random hours, it spells trouble.  Well, LLL's plow blew a hydraulic and he needed help.  No biggee, all good now. 

But did I go back to bed?  Nope.  Knew I should have.  Instead, I made coffee and started in for the day. 

I ran into town.

Came home and wrapped presents.  Forgot half my head.

I ran into town.

To the Post Office this time.  Yup, I am one of those horrible people who mails Christmas goodies to a few friends...late.  My excuse?  Stoopid.

Then by the time I got home and start cracking on some handmade goodies, daggummit...I ran out of things I needed.  I always did stink at math.

I ran into town.

Guess what?  I ran out of stuff again.  I am either really really stuck on stoopid or I need to take my shoes off and use my toes next time too.

Now I refuse to go to town again.  Straight up not doing it.  Three times is more than I run in a week sometimes!

Then I went to grab something out of my purse and LO AND BEHOLD, the nice little cards that were supposed to accompany the packages I my purse.  They should be in packages en route (late).


And I thought my only problem was that I feel just a smidgen under the weather.  Heck, I am under a massive brain fog.

So if this is the season, then yeah, I've lost it.  How bout you's?  Or am I stuck all by my lonesome?

Where's my damn hat????

Monday, December 20, 2010

"The Doll"

Christmas memories are steeped in tradition.  We associate with our inner-child at this time of year more than any other.  Don't you agree?

When I was a kid, all I ever wanted was the popular Cabbage Patch Kids doll.  All my friends had them!  (No, I would not jump off the proverbial cliff!)  I just desperately wanted one!
Well, I never got one.  Not really anyway.

My older brother must have felt like I deserved one though!  When I was maybe ten years old, he got me "The Cabbage Patch Doll Kit".  It was a DIY...make it yourself Cabbage Patch Kid!  I was in dreamland!  That very same year, we had horrible weather and were snowed in.  Much to my delight, my Grama was snowed in at our house too!  Grama sewed...really well!

So on that snowy day, Grama and I made my first Cabbage Patch Doll!  She was beautiful!  Grama and I laughed and had so much fun putting her together.  This my friends, is a most cherished memory of both Christmas and Grama.

I loved this doll so much, that the very next year for Christmas, I gave her back to my brother!  She has been floating around the family every year for -a really long time- umm, 29 years!  (How'd that happen?) 

We call her "The Doll".  She has had some upgrades over the years.  My SIL, Laura, gave her lipstick, and boobs.  Mom gave her some new hairs and she's had an outfit a time or two.  But mostly, she's holding up well and is as pretty as ever.

This year, Mom got her.
Cute...ain't she?

Betcha wish ya had "The Doll" too, huh?  Ah, yes!  She's the gift that never stopped giving! 

Don't go falling in love with her now!

Since then, I have learned to sew much better...(wall hangings I made for each of the guys):

 and...Mom did get me a Cabbage Patch Doll.  Chuckle, chuckle, guffaw...Two years ago!  ;o)

What goofy, eye-brow raising, crazy kind of stuff do you and yours do... but might be a little ashamed to admit?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Socks

Who doesn't get socks for Christmas?

In our family, it's a given.  We are a funny sock family.  My little brother takes issue with holes.  He can't stand them!  If a sock so much as gets one itsy-bitsy hole in them, they end up at my house like this:
Tied in a knot and left for the dogs!  Last night, Missy 'accidentally' stepped on his foot and it punctured a little hole in his otherwise pristine sock.  He made me get one of Pig Pens so that he could have a whole sock as opposed to one with a hole in it!   I think there are three letters that fit...   O-C-D  ;o)

Emma knows where we hide "the bag" and if you go retrieve one for her, she wants the entire bag.  If you so much as utter "Go get the sockie", she goes absolutely nuts!  So Tim keeps the sockie bag filled to the brim!

My big brother has no problem with holes in his socks.  As a matter of fact, we wouldn't recognize him without a hole or two!  This drives my little brother insane!  If Donnie so much as walks in with one minuscule hole, Tim is hollering at him immediately! 

So since last night was our Christmas to celebrate with Mom and my Brothers, Tim showed up with a special sock for Emma and a cute little one for Ami: 
Wasn't that sweet of him?

Donnie showed up with special socks too:
I about lost it!  I mean, c'mon!  Well of course it was all to get Tim's goat!  And it worked!  Thankfully he had another pair in his pocket...the 'real' pair!  See...the sense of humor in our family just ain't right!!!

And not to be left out, Missy got to play too:
Missy doesn't usually get to play much with the sockies because she isn't supposed to play tug-o-war.  She's a bird dog and we wouldn't want her yanking on a goose neck!  But we made the exception last night.  Don't worry, she loved it!

Enough about socks!  Who knew they could be so...interesting? 

So lets talk food!  What did we have for dinner???  Well my niece picked the menu this year.  Corned Beef, Cabbage, Potatoes and Carrots cooked in what else?  Beer!  Yumm!   Not your usual Christmas dinner, but hey, we are a little bit like that! 

Now what goes really, really great with that?  Let me just tell you, it pays to beg and bother and whine and and pester and then beg some more!  A certain blog buddy who is well known for sharing fabulous dishes took the time to email me her recipe for rye bread!!!  Yahooooooey!  After previously failing miserably with another rye bread recipe, I knew if I could get my hands on hers, it would be divine.  And it was!!!
Thank you, MamaPea!  It was a huge, HUGE success!  I will forever keep it in my recipe box and cherish it always!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Invitation to the Pity Party

I had a LOUSY day!  Wanna join my party?

It actually started last night and went into today. 

1)  Got word someone wasn't happy with me via a third party.  Where is party 1 and 2 line of communication?

2)  Finances got ... fa-chartered/fu-barred/screwed up.

3)  Someone chewed me out for something I didn't have a thing to do with.  Apparently I have a sign that says "Take it out on me".

4)  My anti-virus provider billed me for an old subscription I no longer carry.  Further fu-barring my account.  NOT happy!  Never authorized this!  I luckily have texts sent to me if my account goes below a certain level.  It did.  So I was able to 'fix' it right away.  By fix, I mean chew some out.  I don't do this often.  I call it going "AOL" on someone.  Yet another rare time I chewed someone out and oddly, it was an online service provider.

5) (almost forgot one)  Nice man demading I fetch things up for him NOW.  Drop everything kind of NOW!  I hate that.  Is my time worth nothing to anyone?

6)  I needed a box to wrap a large present in.  I asked Pig Pen to search the garage, which he kindly did.  The box however was my undoing.  It was a box for Neoprene Waders.  Kinda like the ones I just wrapped for him and put under the tree!!

Me:  Where'd that box come from?
PP:  My waders.
Me:  I thought you wanted waders for Christmas?
PP:  Wader pants.
Me:  Your list said, "Waders - Ask Eric". 
PP:  Did you get me waders for Christmas?
Me:  Yeeeeeessssssssssssssssssssssssssss!  Dammit!  I asked Eric, he helped me pick them!
PP:  You must have said "Waders" not "Wader Pants".

Me...retrieved list from secret hiding spot to shove up his nose in triumph.

Failure.  It said "Wader PANTS". 

I am on strike.  Just one of those days where ya can't win!  Only whine.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Does This Make My Butt Look Big?

Who says no on dresses up for Christmas anymore?

Does it make her butt look big? 
This is what Ami will wear for Christmas. 

A huge improvement on the little dress she wore with a big rosette on the neck...that Emma dragged her across the kitchen floor by!  So we retired that dress a few years back.

How dressed up is your tree?  I always have a few favorite ornaments that get displayed in the front:

My Maternal Grandparents

My Aunt Beverly

My Reminder of the Real Christmas

The year we won the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
(He's never let me dress him up again!)

My Reindeer

Of course a Tractor...

And a hunting dog.

The liquid which sustains me.

See, I told you I don't do cute!
And I might be a little bored...