There's no place like home.

There's no place like home.
Home is where my husband and I reside; wherever that may be.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Simple Womans Daybook 30 July 2012

Outside my window....the sun is shining, the birds are singing and all is right with the world.  The heat wave that we have been experiencing seems to have passed and the weather for the past couple of days has been decidedly more seasonable.  Warm dry days and cool nights.  The corn is finally looking like it is more alive, the gardens are not so dry and the lawns may even need to be mowed in a couple of days. (ok that last part is not so good but I am not telling God to take the rain back.)
I am thinking...happy and optimistic thoughts.  Everyone who should be home is here or near safe and sound.  There is a profound sense of well being in knowing that.
I am thankful for...Matthew's safe return from New Hampshire this morning.  I am happy that he had a good visit and that he seems happy and satisfied with himself.  His being happy makes me happy.
From the kitchen...who knows.  Matthew is digging potatoes and there is ham left from last night that suggests scalloped potatoes and ham.  There might even be some carrot-zucchini cake left for dessert.
I am wearing....jammies still.  This has been a slow morning.  I still haven't finished my first cup of coffee.  Mk just left to take her test for graduation and a certain silence has settled over the house.  Looks like it is time for some tunes!
I am creating...emptiness!!!!! My basket that usually holds my unfinished work is nearly empty.  Of course the basket that has hand-sewing in it and mending is rapidly filling but I know it only takes an evening to empty that.  I have to start two quilts this week so I am eager to get both baskets emptied.
I am going...to stay home today.  Tomorrow I have a holy hour and Wednesday I want to go to Mass.  Thursday is home and Friday is holy hour and first Friday devotions.  That's my week in a nutshell. 
I am reading...still working on World War Z and I started Jane Eyre.
I am hoping...to get my midterm project out of the way today.
I am hearing...Randy Travis singing about how he told me so.  Layn is playing with his trains and making all of the appropriate noises.  There is nothing so homey and comforting as the sound of a little boy pretending with his trains.
Around the house....all is as it should be.  MK has us cleaned and organized and not a thing is out of place....too much.
One of my favorite things...spending the whole day doing things for my family.
A few plans for the rest of the week....finish school, sew, bake, sew some more, and then wake up tomorrow and do some more.
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
Adam called to say he is back in Washington.  I miss him being around here.  Of course if I had my way they would all never leave.  Enjoy your adventure, Adam.  That's what being young is for.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

History repeating itself.

Many years ago I took this picture of Matthew standing on the stump of a tree that my husband had cut.  He was tough stuff back then standing there with his monster maul.

This past week I took a picture of Layn standing on the stump of a tree that his grandpa had cut.  Smaller stump than Uncle Matt's, we don't have so many big ones on the farm anymore, and no monster maul, but he's the next generation of wood cutter in this family.  We like to bring them up tough in this family.

There's work and then there's work....its all what you make of it.

Late July on the farm means that first cutting is done and second hasn't started at least not in such a dry year as this.  The crops don't need us to grow and the gardens are pretty well caught up.  The cattle grow without supervision and the chickens and pigs know what they are doing.  Seems like it would be time for the farmers to be taking a much needed break, right? Wrong! There is always something that needs to be done on a farm and work is only work if you look at it that way.  We have our own pace and our own way of doing things that just makes them go a little bit easier.
There is some old fence line that runs along the woods that has been in need of attention for awhile.  For the past few weeks Doug, Ian, and Matthew have been clearing the underbrush and trees along the fence in preparation for building new fence.  Now that it has been cleared Ian rented a post pounder yesterday and went to work driving new posts in for the fence.  That can be some long hard work, if you look at it that way.  But he doesn't, he looks at it as a labor of love and he is never alone on the job.  When he got the truck stuck Melissa went out and helped him pull it out then spent some time out there to keep him company while he worked.  When his father got off work he went right out to help drive posts.  After supper was fixed I packed it up and took it out for an impromptu picinic.  What could be more pleasant than sitting on the back of the trailer in a nice evening breeze while eating mac and cheese and zucchini cake? 

The view isn't too shabby either.  The sun had just gone behind the trees and the breeze was fresh.  Nice night to have a picnic and finish up putting in fence posts.

The sun on the hay field was beautiful too.  There is nothing more satisfying than to look out and see what God has provided for our livelihood right around us.

Of course once the food is eaten and the mess is cleaned up it's back to work.

They work well together!  Full stomachs and rested spirits make for men who can work until the job is done. Tomorrow they will wake and be ready to string the wire and get that fence done.  No work at all just a walk in the park!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I should be working on my paper

but I would rather be thinking about little boys on trampolines.
and big boys making mischief.

Finger paints, sticky fingers and happy faces.

Cousins eating pizza together.

And getting sprayed off with the hose.

Mamas who are silly.

and Uncles who play together.


And princesses who like to wave at everyone they meet.
All of that is a lot more fun than writing any old paper.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Even grandpas make oops's!!! They just make bigger ones.

Saturday Layn and I were here alone just minding our own business when my phone rang. It was Ian asking us to come out to the 6-acre lot with the camera.  I knew they had either found something interesting for Layn or they had done something dumb but not irreparable.
It was the second.  Grandpa miscalculated and dropped this tree onto Uncle Jason's pile of hay bales, OOOOPS!  No big deal though. No one was hurt and no damage to the hay.  They just had to cut up the tree and get it off there.

Leave it to my men to want to save something like that for the sake of posterity.

They had been out in the woods most of the afternoon clearing along the fence line so that it would be easier to keep electricity on the fence.  Plus we need the wood to keep warm next winter.

Hey, Uncle Big Dude, does this pose look familiar? 

Layn could not resist jumping right in there to help his grandpa and daddy even though he wasn't dressed for the job or have the right shoes on.

Sadly when grandpa came over with the chainsaw to start moving that tree off the hay we had to jump back into the truck and head back home. 

Rights of passage

Rights of passage, there aren't enough of them anymore.  I have heard some say that they are dumb or totally unnecessary.  But I completely disagree, especially for boys.  In the days when the life of a boy was marked by his transition from dresses to short pants to long pants and whiskers there is something to be said for the knowledge that he is on the road to becoming a man.
I like to observe some of these rights still.  We don't dress our boys in dresses for sure but the first haircut is certainly one to observe.  Yesterday Layn looked like this.  His hair was long, curly, and very wispy.  He was constantly brushing it out of his face and on quick glance there were some who did mistake him for a little girl.  Today his mom decided it was time that he should look like the boy that he is only she is a softee and so grandma had to do the dirty deed.

So I took him down to Jen's shop.  Jen is a friend in her early 20's who has younger siblings so I know she isn't going to fuss over him.  She read him a book about how everyone has hair and sometimes you need to have a haircut.  Then she propped the book up in front of the mirror and got to work.

She chatted with him the whole time pointing out what she was doing in the mirror.  At one point she even got a tissue and put some of his curls in it for his mom.  He seemed to like that idea although he made not a sound the whole time.

When Jen was done she wiped his face gently.

And pointed out his reflection in the mirror.  He now looks like the little boy that he is.  Not only that but the haircut emphasizes the bruises that he has on his forehead from all of his little boy antics.  Thank you Jen for making it such a good experience for Layn.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's everything Zucchini time!!!!

A comment from a friend reminded me that it is the time of the year when zucchini rules.  Maybe not around here this year since we are in a drought situation.  If you cannot afford to water then your garden is probably a bust.  Fortunately we have a lot of water on this farm and all the gardens are getting watered every day.  The zucchini is not overwhelming but it is keeping me from having to spend money unnecessarily on other vegetables.  These carrot zucchini bars I found on pinterest and they came out well.  I was also able to easily adapt them for those of us who are GF.  They are moist and nutritious and I don't think there is a bit leftover from yesterday.


Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, honey, and vanilla. Don’t worry about clumps of the brown sugar, those will dissolve as it sits while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Then fold in the carrot, zucchini, and walnuts
  2. In another bowl combine add the flour, baking powder, ginger, and baking soda. Whisk to blend together.
  3. Add to flour mixture to the wet mixture. Stir just until combined. Spread batter into an ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  4. Bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  5. Once the cake is cooled prepare the frosting. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the fosting ingredients with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Spread or pipe the frosting over the cooled bars. Makes 36 bars.
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens.

Passing on the wonder.

Yesterday morning Uncle Matt found a bug.
He brought it in and shared it with Layn.

This is what life is all about.  Passing on the little things, sharing the wonder.  These are the connections that this little boy will keep with him when Uncle Matt is gone.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Simple Womans Daybook 23 July 2012

Outside my window...the sun is shining, there is a soft breeze blowing and it looks to be another ideal summer day.  In spite of the fact that we haven't had any appreciable rain since the first part of June it really has been a pleasant summer. 
I am thinking...about stubborn 2 year-olds.  Layn is suddenly resistent to putting his crocs on his feet.  It is a skill that he has been in possession of for quite awhile but in the past few weeks he has chosen not to bother.  This has become a battle of wills.
I am thankful for...the way that my kids get along together.  Yesterday Matthew and MK spent the afternoon clearing off the deck in his room and packing his books in preparation for his leaving next month.  Rather than squabbling that would have gone on in the past there was much fun and laughter instead.
From the kitchen....I must think up something absolutely delicious and nutritious for supper tonight.  Any clues?
I am wearing...jammies still.  Mr. Wonderful was kind enough to let me sleep in this morning so I really haven't started my day yet.
I am creating...some very finely crafted work for my final exams and for my mid-term.
I am going....nowhere...fast!  Actually I am staying put right where I am today.  MK will have my car and I really have no desire to go anywhere anyhow!!!!
I am reading...World War Z
I am hoping...that the internet stays up long enough for me to get my finals done and posted today.  Dream on girl!!!!!
I am hearing....Layn playing with his trains while some Disney video is playing (no I don't usually babysit with the TV but I need to get this done and take a shower).
Around the house...MK has everything picked up, the laundry is going and chores are done outside.  Guess that means that I have been less than useful this morning.
One of my favorite things...iced coffee with a shot of chocolate in it and sitting on a swing in the shade.
A few plans for the rest of the week....finish my two finals and my mid-term. After that I have a basket of mending, another one full of ironing, and a third one full of hand-sewing to do.  I guess my week is pretty much mapped out for me.
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you....
Layn and I took lunch to the park last week.  It's awfully hard for a little boy to concentrate on his lunch when all that fun stuff is back there waiting for the good time he's going to have.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Simple Womans Daybook 16 July 2012

Outside my window...it is hot and muggy.  We did get some much needed rain yesterday and I know that everyone in this house is very greatful to God for the rain that fell.  The corn is already looking better for the moisture. 
I am thinking...about comings and goings.  When children are little parents think in passing about the years to come when the young ones that they are raising will fledge.  When they do leave home then that is what life will be all about, coming and going.
I am thankful for...the fact that my kids do come home to visit.  It must mean that home is a good place for them with lots of pleasant memories associated with it.
From the kitchen...there will need to be something thought up to feed the masses.  Ian's vacation is over and he is back to work.  Haying is done until God sees fit to send rain so that we get second cutting.  So it is back to business as usual around here.
I am wearing...blue shorts and a green tee with an M&M face on it.
I am creating...projects for my finals for two classes.
I am going...to stay right here and work hard like the good student that I am.
I am reading....World War Z
I am hoping....that Adam has a good visit in the south-land with family.  I miss him already!
I am hearing...the sounds of the fans trying to cool the house, Layn going potty and reading to his mom, MK in the livingroom working on her assignments, and the birds outside my window singing their morning songs.
Around the house....all is as it should be. 
One of my favorite things...sitting with my husband by the fire last night enjoying the company of our granddaughter Savannah.
A few plans for the rest of the week....finish the dress that I am working on and get it delivered, get another one bound and delivered, see if I can finish my projects for school, a couple of holy hours and talk to a friend about making a cake for Matthew's going away not-party.
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
This is what summer is all about.  Hanging out in your Thomas the Tank Engine undies and enjoying the great outdoors.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

This means war!!!!!!

This afternoon I walked over by my desk and glanced out the window and what should I see but this squirrel with the incredible abs feasting away on the seeds in MK's bird feeder.
That little furry tailed rat seems to be mocking me with every sit-up that it does!  It knows I can't shoot towards the road so it is comfortably feasting on all the seeds it can hold.

Up and down. Down and up it goes filling its little rat  cheeks with seeds! Mocking me all the while.

Just remember squirrel, one false move, one second out of range of the road and, boom you are gone!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Simple Womans Daybook 9 July 2012

Outside my window...the sun is shining and it is much cooler than in the past couple of weeks.  The thermometer reads 56 degrees.  I know that it won't stay that cool all day but it is nice to start the day off without it being muggy and warm.
I am thinking...about family relationships.  I have been watching the dynamics of my kids being together after one has been away for a long time.
I am thankful for...the fact that I don't have to use the bathroom right now is our current toilet crisis.
From the kitchen...there are many leftovers from yesterday to satisfy the hoardes today.  This is a good thing since there are a lot of other things to do today besides cooking.
I am wearing....grey shorts and a blue tee with Eeyore on it.
I am creating....my own little oasis of peace and quiet.
I am ging...to stay home all day.  I will work on school and observe the family.
I am reading....the last of my novel for school then I am going to start reading World War Z
I am hoping...to find a way to slow down time.  Adam's visit is already going way too fast.
I am hearing....Melissa fussing at Matthew and Adam in the kitchen, Layn asking for his breakfast, and Doug and Adam chatting.
Around the house...the potty crisis goes on around me, Layn's diaper couldn't take any more and it exploded, breakfast is happening.  Sounds like a pretty typical morning in this house.
One of my favorite things....time together.
A few plans for the rest of the week....the usual activities along with a lot of family.
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you....
That's what cousins are for.  Layn decided that Savannah needed a hat too on a hot sunny day.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Why must it always take....

a death in the family to get us all together?
This picture of myself, my brothers, sister and mother was taken the evening after my dad's funeral.  I still miss you daddy and always will but look what you left behind.

Edit:  This is for Mama Buehner.
Back row starting from the left: David (big guy with the white goatee), Tom, Matthew (big guy with some black left in his goatee), and John
Behind me is Christopher and behind Sue is Stephen.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Simple Womans Daybook 2 July 2012

Outside my window...it is dark with the chance of increasing light as night turns into day.  That is, of course, if the sun does indeed come up as it has for every day of my fifty years.  You never know though it could change its mind this morning and decide to sleep in.  I'll let you all know later.
I am thinking....about being married and all of the give and take involved.  Yesterday my husband and I went off for the day by ourselves.  We went kayaking,something that I love to do and he doesn't care for, and then took our lunch to a state forest preserve where we ended up taking a hike, which he does like. 
I am thankful for...the lovely day in the sun that we had together.
From the kitchen....only time will tell what comes from that.  No one cooked yesterday since everyone did their own thing.  That's ok though. Isn't that what this whole vacation thing is about? I'm kind of new to it.
I am wearing...shorts and a cami.  Too early to turn on the lights and get dressed for the day.
I am creating....wonders in my head.  Today I have to set up a display of my sewing in our local library. 
I am going...to the library to set up my showing and then spend the rest of the day at home.  I start another literature course this week which will add greatly to my workload.
I am reading....still working on the novel for my Latin-American Lit. course.  Should have it done this week. 
I am hoping...that my display at the library will bring in lots of customers and lots of orders.  Time will tell.
I am hearing...clocks ticking, the sound of traffic on Route 5 about a mile from here, the compressor on the refrigerator running in the kitchen and my fingers on the keys of the computer.  It is never really quiet here in this old house.
Around the house...my little world lies in wait anticipating the time when family will begin to wake and start a new day.  Hubby will be first since he has to work today.  Ian and Layn will soon follow since little guys cannot seem to sleep too much past the rising of the sun.  After that it will be Melissa and the dogs and finally Matthew.  MK is dog and house sitting this week but I suspect that Chloe won't be letting her sleep too awfully late either.
One of my favorite things...the early morning anticipation of the house.
A few plans for the rest of the week....school lots of school.  I'll try to scare up a celebration for the fourth on Wed. since I anticipate that Doug will have the day off.  Maybe we can go visit MK and do some swimming.  I'll make a cake and take it over to share with her.
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
A picture that I took from the end of DeRuyter Lake where we went kayaking yesterday.  The website said the lake is 1.8 miles long.  We went from one end to the other and back.  Not bad for an old lady.  Then we hiked a mile or so at the forest preserve.  I want to go back there and do the 8.7 mile trail.