Monday, April 1, 2013

Crockpot Monday

This is really "Crockpot Sunday" because today we're having meatloaf from the oven. But yesterday we used our crockpot for our Easter dinner, which was a lamb roast. I mean we can't very well eat ham while we celebrate Jesus, King of the Jews can we?

We have a local farm that has cows, hogs, and sweet, precious little lambs that we can eat.  Normally we get their meet in town but on Friday we drove out to the farm. It is so far out in the middle of nowhere that we crossed into a different time zone. My husband was nervous that we were lost but the drive was so pretty that I encouraged him to press on and put his faith in the fruit-branded electronic that he is always attached to. In the end we did not get lost and enjoyed seeing a different part of the place we live. Even after almost 3 years of "country living" we are still surprised at where we end up.

The girl that owns the farm is very sweet and I would call her our friend. She is one of those people that makes you feel right at home and speaks as if we have known her our whole lives. She's younger than us but has 2 small kids and another on the way. It's always nice to find another mommy to talk to.

When we got there, it had started to rain a little---that misty, sticky rain that is just not really a rain but maybe more of a wet fog. When she came out of her house in her rain boots and began to lead us out to the barn [although I wasn't sure where we were going at first] I quickly regretted wearing my ballet flats with no socks. Kathryn only had on one sock and no shoes as she always removes her socks in the car and I couldn't find them anywhere. So there we were, feeling more city and less country with each passing minute. I kept Kathryn's foot warm in my armpit and wondered just where in the heck we were going. Finally we arrived at a barn and were greeted by a friendly "coon hound". We walked through the barn stepping over piles of you-know-what and all the way in the back there was a restaurant sized deep freezer full of glorious organic, minimally processed meats.

A couple of years ago, there would have been no way that I would have walked into a barn in the middle of nowhere without at least imagining that I was probably going to be murdered and fed to the livestock. But the thought never crossed my mind this time.

As we were making our selections, this sweet girl who, in her third trimester of pregnancy, is hoisting trays of meat around as if they were light as a feather. We kept offering to help but she said she was used to it. We got lots of great meat [including the lamb roast we ate last night] and were given lots of information on when she is harvesting some hogs in a couple of weeks. We are thinking of having a whole lamb processed after we purchase a deep freezer.

While we waited on her to total up our purchase, we walked around near the house to see other farm animals. Yes, it was still raining but I did finally find Kathryn's shoes and socks and she did have on her coat. She was not interested in the horse, but he was a sweet horse who just wanted his nose rubbed. There were lots of other dogs, chickens, and we got to get really close to the lambs. Some day when it isn't so wet I'd love to let Kathryn lose in the lamb pen. The farmer said her kids play with them all the time. I think it would be good for Kathryn, as long as she doesn't try to ride them or poke their eyes like she does our dog. We even saw a lamb carcass that George the sheep herder had dragged up from a back pasture. Also, I am unclear if it is "lambs", "sheep", or both. I will let you know.

Just another day in the pursuit of real food. That's what's good about country living.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday Muse-day

1. We have been in a wind tunnel for about 2 weeks where I live. It has got. to. stop. Nap times have gone terrible awry and I'm starting to get cranky about it.

2. I'm turning 30 in less than 6 months. I'm not ready to be a 30-something. I'm pretty sure that means I should have my life together somewhat when really, I am a hot mess. I don't even try to hide it.

3. We've lived in our new house for almost 3 weeks. I still don't know where any of my clothes are. I need someone to come play with my child so I can unpack for goodness sake.

4. I took K to the new library today. She walked around and looked at big kid books like it was no big deal. I was just impressed by the Keurig. The old library was super crappy and, if I may be so bold, this new library is way nicer than any other facility in this town. Although, it's an awfully large space with not a lot of books.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Crockpot Monday: Short Ribs

Nothing makes me feel like more of a superhero than my trusty crockpot. I guess it's hip to say "slow cooker" but I'm from the old school so I'll probably say crockpot more often than not. Our weekends are much busier than our weeks, generally speaking, so Mondays are earmarked as "Recover from the Weekend" day for me. I don't schedule much and usually stay home all day except for running or my step aerobics class.

Mondays are for no-fuss crockpot meals. After almost 10 years of cooking for myself I have finally learned to use this amazing appliance on a regular basis from everything from desserts to simple soups. I plan to do a weekly installment of what I'm slow cooking each Monday.

Today, it's short ribs. When I send my husband into the grocery store alone, he will always follow the list but also always appear with a more expensive cut of meat than I would purchase. Don't get me wrong, I freaking love short ribs; I just don't buy them often. Maybe I secretly send him in the store just so that I can be surprised with his romantic gesture of meat. It's how we keep things hot around here. :)

I'm keeping it simple today: 2lbs of short ribs cooked with onions, carrots, and simple salt and pepper. I added about 3/4 cup of water because I never have beef broth on hand. I plan to serve it over my favorite cheese grits    and roasted brussel sprouts. We also have some leftover Irish soda bread from the weekend that we'll have with it. Pretty simple.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

just plain mad

Sometimes I get so mad. I know I'm supposed to be nice and loving because I love Jesus but some things that make me mad are probably making Him mad, too. So here's a list of what's bothering me today.

1. People who constantly post online about their political thoughts. These people are generally mean and mock the other side of what they are promoting. I especially get angry when these people profess Christ and yet never seem to post a thing about that.

2. People who care more about what other people think than what God thinks. I know lots of people who genuinely believe the Bible but let themselves get all tangled up in rules and regulations. Why should we care more about the check writers in a church than starving orphans (for example)? P.S. I'm wearing a t-shirt that supports orphans on Easter Sunday, and you can take your fancy Easter dress and shove it. Forget the Frock! I mean wear a nice dress if you want to, really, but I think it would be great if we all supported this cause.

3. I think that's the end of my list. I think I'm in a funk today but I do feel justified in my frustrations. Sometimes people should just shut up, and maybe I'm one of them.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Shots and Doughnut Holes

Let's just pretend that it hasn't been like 3 months since I've posted anything.

Today was a fantastic day. After being sick for over a week and just plain old cabin fever after days and days of freezing temperatures, we were out of the house for most of the day. Kathryn had a well-check today. I knew it was going to be a great day when we were in and out of there in less than an hour. After the doctor I took Miss Priss to Chick-fil-A for some grilled nugs and ice cream, although I ate her ice cream because she was more interested in her apples. I guess that's a good thing. We came home for her nap and then zoomed out of the house again. With a high near 65 we just had to get outside. I took her to the local park where we walked beside the creek for a long time. Then we went over to our local university campus and walked around while eating dougnut holes from the new library coffee shop. Even though tomorrow is sure to be cold and rainy again, I think today refreshed our souls enough to make it til spring!

Friday, November 9, 2012

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

The holidays are the one [and believe me the only] time I wish both of our entire families all lived in the same Currier & Ives town.  Trying to navigate the waters of who goes to whose house when and brings what food where and mom's gluten allergy and this person doesn't like meat and let's draw names and no I don't want a gift card and if someone buys us another ornament I'm going to scream.

I can't breathe.

I didn't grow up near family. We all had to either travel to another state or grandparents had to come to us. Cousin reunions didn't happen. I have a slew of cousins I've only seen twice. Kathryn has never met my brother, and only seen her aunt and cousin once. She's seen her great grandparents less than 5 times. She only sees my parents when they make the sacrifice to travel here when they have free time [usually my mom by herself--Dad has only seen K 3 times this year] because we don't have a vehicle for me to travel with to see them.

We "have" to stay home on Christmas Eve because we have a service at our church that we "have" to be at. We wouldn't want to miss it, though, because it is really, really cool. And so it works out perfectly that we get to wake up at our own house on Christmas day because we are already here. Then the next day we drive to NC to see my family. This year, hopefully, my brother and his family will get to come too so our little girls can play together.  They are only 3 months apart.

I am really excited to start decorating. It's hard not to jump the gun, but we've got spirit YES WE DO! We are seriously putting our lights up tomorrow because this is the token warm November weekend. We won't turn them on for a couple of weeks still, but at least they'll be up. My favorite part about the start to the season is choosing the ways we will give to others. We hope to live that way all year, but especially this time of year when so many folks are having a hard time. I would rather Kathryn have 2 presents and another kid have 2 presents than Kathryn have 4 presents and another kid have none. It is our goal as parents to teach Kathryn the gospel, and that starts with teaching her that she is not the point. It's not about any of us.

We are taking part in Operation Christmas Child as well as picking out some things from the Samaritan's Purse gift catalog to give to others a world away. I'm also excited to go shopping for our local crisis pregnancy center as they are in great need.

In the midst of all the excitement, travel, expense, and frustration...will you put others ahead of yourself this season? Forty percent of American spending happens between now and the end of the year. Let's do something good with our money.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


We had a great Halloween! Last year we brought her home from the hospital on Halloween...
...and this year we had a little Pocahontas!

We had a fun day. We made pumpkin shaped mini pumpkin pies to take to Daddy's office. Then we went to the dollar tree to spend some of her birthday money. She picked out pipe cleaners, foam shapes, and colored pom poms. ;) I used some of the foam to make her headband for her costume. Praise the Lamb, she took a looooong nap. I had to wake her up to eat dinner super fast so we could get to church for Eats & Treats. She had so much fun observing the festivities but it was stinkin' cold! We didn't stay long but when we got home she was in no hurry to take her costume off so she stayed in it for a while. A couple friends came by for cider and then we finally were able to get her bathed. She was hopped up on animal crackers & mommy's milk! I bet you didn't know Pocahontas wore a tutu. Kathryn loved her costume and didn't pull any part of it off. She did so good and we can't wait til next year!