Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

September 19, 2013

Just call me Noah {part 1}

It’s been a crazy last few months!  On April 19, 2013 a major flood hit our area.  It all started on Friday and the kids were at school.  I knew the river was higher than I’d ever seen it, but never anticipated just how it would affect our family.  While sitting in the living room, I happened to notice my neighbor talking to the mail carrier.  Then the mail truck turned around and headed back the way she came.  Odd.  So I went out to check in with my neighbor.  He said the road was flooded and asked if I needed help getting stuff out of our basement.  I told him the Hubs would be home to help me after work, but thanks.  My concern grew, though, when he insisted, telling me I wouldn’t have time.  Yikes! He and I worked quickly to pull everything from the basement floor up into the living room.  Then I grabbed my camera and assessed the situation. Here’s what I saw.

Um…yeah. I started to freak out a little bit. I called the Hubs and told him he needed to come home right away. In the meantime my sister-in-law offered to let us come spend the weekend with them until the flood waters receded, so I started throwing stuff into bags for the kids and myself.  Since I was getting more and more anxious the longer I waited, I decided to go pick A and M up early from school.  The Hubs stayed back to continue moving stuff up and out of the basement.  By the time I left to head to school, the water on the other street out of the neighborhood was up to the bottom of my van.  I kept telling the Hubs to hurry up or he’d get trapped and not be able to drive out of the neighborhood.  Finally, at about 6:00pm he left {WAY too late in my opinion} and just barely made it out!
We enjoyed our impromptu sleepover with my brother and his family – A and M loved spending time with their cousins 🙂
Saturday morning we heard from one of our neighbors that the water rose a ton overnight and that our barn/garage was under a foot of water.  The roads were impassible without a boat.  The Hubs and my brother went over to the house to continue working on moving stuff and when they got there they realized that our chickens were trapped!  The water was actually waist-deep in the back yard and the door to the chicken coop was completely submerged, trapping the chickens up on their roosting bar.  Poor girls!  Fortunately the Hubs was able to save all 7 of our little ladies and canoe them to safety.
The great chicken rescue!
Sunday was the day the river crested, and our house was surrounded by water and the basement was completely full, 1 stair step away from reaching our first floor.  We never anticipated the water getting so high and we didn’t get anything off of the ledges around the basement walls, so all of my canning jars and a bunch of other stuff was floating in the nasty flood water.  Ugh!
We weren’t sure when we’d be able to get back into our house, so we packed up a bunch more stuff and headed  to the in-laws’ house.  They had just left for Florida for a week, so it was the perfect time for us to move in and settle in for a while.  Little did we know just how long that while would be…
September 21, 2012


I love saving summer sweet corn for use in the long winter months!  Cutting corn off the cob can be tricky, messy and dangerous, but years ago my grandma gave me a genius tip that takes care of all that.  Grab yourself some blanched sweet corn {put ears of corn in boiling water for 5-6 minutes, then immediately put it into ice water to cool} and an angel food cake pan and take a look at this video!

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March 5, 2011

Tell me what you want, what you really really want…

{That reference to the Spice Girls was for you, CMTS!}

I’m feeling a little blah today–the rain yesterday made me think, “Ooh…maybe spring is coming!” but then there was snow again this morning.  Booo!  Also I’m majorly lacking in the sleep department and I’m congested and sinus-y.  What kinds of things do you all like reading about the most?  Crafts/tutorials, recipes, budget/financial helps, DIY projects, personal stuff about me/The Hubs/the Monkeys {mostly boring!}, something new?  I want to post things that people want to read about, so let me have it!  🙂  Enjoy your Saturday!

February 19, 2011

And the winner is…

…Comment #3!  What?  You don’t want to take the 5 seconds to check and see who #3 is?  Hmm…you’re an impatient bunch aren’t you?  I mean, in the time it’s taking you to read what I’m writing right now, you could’ve checked to see if YOU are the winner. 

Hee hee 🙂  Sorry…I’ll get to it right now.  The winner is Jennifer Hess!  Here’s the screen shot:

{comment #3 is the winner!}

Congratulations, Jen!  Once I get your info, I’ll send it out to  you.  Enjoy! ❤

I’ve got another fun giveaway in the works…for another time.  For now I’ve got to hunker down for the winter storm they’re forecasting.  So much for Spring making an early appearance 😦

February 16, 2011

A Spring-is-coming Giveaway!

Ok, maybe it’s wishful thinking, but with the near 50-degree  temps today, Punxsutawney Phil and I might not be that far off!  To continue getting us all in the SPRING of things, I’m having a little giveaway.  Same rules apply as usual:

Leave a comment here on this blog post {facebook comments won’t count–sorry!}.  For extra entries, share this blog post on facebook, Twitter or your blog and leave me a seperate comment for each one {one comment to enter straight up, another one if you share on FB, another if you share on Twitter, and another one if you share on your blog–please provide a link to your blog = 4 total possible entries}. 

This contest will close Friday, February 18 at midnight EST.

The winner will be chosen using and will receive this lovely necklace right here 🙂

{all kinds of springy colors}

{close-up of the colorful neck garden. Neck garden?? Whatever...}

{antique silver, pewtery colored adjustable chain}

{modeled by me! I have to admit, I'm wearing it around and I MUST take it off soon or I won't want to give it away!}

Want it?  Ready…Set…ENTER!!!!

February 3, 2011

Making the best of the white stuff

School was cancelled yesterday {bummer!} due to the Big Blizzard of 2011…or something.  Yeah, there was a lot of snow, but it didn’t seem like a real true blizzard.  But maybe that’s because most of it happened during the night and I didn’t leave the house so I didn’t experience the roads.  Who knows?  Anyway, the roads must’ve been good enough for a Trail Blazer to get through because one of A’s friend’s dad drove over to pick A and her friend/neighbor E.N. up for a playdate.  {YESSS!}  Thanks J.I. for that 🙂  While A was gone, M and I headed outside to take advantage of the big piles of snow.  E.N. and her dad had dug a tunnel while shoveling the snow this morning and M was having a great time crawling through it {thanks K.N. for snapping this pic}!

{crawling through the neighbors' tunnel}

 After a while M decided he wanted to dig one of our own, so back across the street we trudged.  It was tricky finding a drift tall enough, but we did it.  Apparently my tunnel-digging skills don’t quite match up to B. N.’s, but I got the job done. 

{woohoo we made it through! Yes, the tunnel opening did get a bit bigger than this...}

M had fun crawling through and I even made it through a few times.  I had to wriggle through on my stomach and my claustrophobic tendencies kicked in giving me visions of being trapped underneath the collapsed tunnel, but other than that it was great 😉  And, despite the great amounts of snow and low temps, this mama managed to stay quite warm with all that digging! 


January 12, 2011

Today’s salad brought to you by Hamm the pig and Bubba the beef-cow

{steak and bleu salad}

For the last 3 days I’ve been enjoying this fabulously yummy salad.  Yes, I’m a creature of habit who likes to try new things.  Make sense?  I like to try new things, then when I find something I like, I eat it…a lot. 

Let me back up by telling you about the pig and the cow.  This past summer we decided to take a different approach with some of our meat–locally grown/raised.  This way we’d know it was fed the healthiest kinds of food, that there were no artificial growth hormones used and other things like that.  Buying meat like this isn’t for everyone, but we decided to give it a shot!  A friend of ours was raising pigs and asked if we wanted one.  Sure, why not?  The kids had fun “visiting” the pigs at different stages of their growth.  We ended up splitting a pig with the in-laws in August.  We’ve still got some of the bigger cuts left, but the pork sausage {unseasoned, so it’s basically ground pork} flew out of the freezer {when pigs fly??}!  For anything I would’ve used ground beef, I used the ground pork.  It was a great subtle change.  We enjoyed having the meat in the freezer so much that when we learned of another friend raising grass-fed beef cows, we were definitely interested!  A month and a half ago we split 1/2 a cow with 3 other families.  That’s a lot of beef!  But we’re going through it and oh, is it goooood.  We just learned that our friend with the pigs has 1/4 cow to offer and you’d better believe we’ll be taking it.  I’m definitely sold on buying local meat!  I’m really enjoying transitioning to homegrown, local food.  We’ll give the garden another shot this spring/summer and we’re considering getting a few chickens {I know!!}.  There’s a home  near our church that sells organic/free-range eggs {XXL in brown, light blue, mint green} and I’ve been buying them there for about 9 months.  I’m excited to possibly have our own chickens so we’re not spending $3/dozen…yikes!

Ok…back to the post!  One of my favorite restaurant salads is Boston’s steak & blue salad.  The other night I pulled a big ol’ sirloin steak out of our deep freeze for dinner.  The Hubs is very much a meat-n-potatoes kinda guy and, while I like my fair share of meat and potatoes meals, I wanted something a little lighter…with a few more veggies involved.  I remembered my fave salad and thought I’d try my hand at recreating it.  It turned out so fantastically fabulous that I had it for dinner again last night and for lunch today.  Not sick of it yet 🙂

To start, I threw a healthy heap of romaine in my salad chopper along with some grape tomatoes, crumbled bacon {yum–fresh, thick cut!}, crumbled gorgonzola and chopped it a bit.

I sliced some of the “like butta” steak {medium rare}

{Mmm...I heart this steak!}

Then added my butter toffee almonds, dried cranberries and some dressing {I used about a 1/2 Tbsp T. Marzetti’s Strawberry Chardonay and 1/2 Tbsp ranch} and tossed it with a spatula. 

{pre-toss. almost done}

{essential to all my best salads}

Seriously, I could eat this salad for lunch and dinner every day for a week, I think!  Oh, and I’ve had a lot of questions about the salad chopper.  You can see it in the above pics, and you can find it at Marshall’s or TJ Maxx for $10-15.  I would highly recommend getting one!  I know my previous list of ingredients seemed long, but when else do you get that many veggies in all at once?  Heck, I wouldn’t normally eat some of those veggies, but in a chop salad, I can’t get enough.  My kids will even eat a chop salad!

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January 10, 2011

Bowl full of joy!

{healthy goodness}

Some days I love nothing more than to fill my salad chopper with all the yummy fruits and veggies I can rustle up, add some chicken and feta, give it a good chop and VOILA!   Here I have what my friend C calls a “bowl full of joy”!  I might be imagining things, but I truly believe that regular bowls full of this deliciousness have been the thing to keep my winter sickness at bay so far.  But like I said, maybe I’m imagining things…but it can’t hurt, right??

{My typical chop salad includes: romaine, spinach, tomatoes, green/orange/yellow peppers, cucumbers, apples, strawberries, avocado, chicken, feta, dried cranberries, butter-toffee sliced almonds {YUM!}, and a touch of Brianna’s “New American” creamy balsamic vinaigrette dressing}

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July 20, 2010

Gooey Goodness


{The perfect s'more?}

Have you seen those gigantic “campfire” marshmallows that are out now?  We {mostly The Hubs 😉 } thought it would be fun to try them out.  The kids were so pumped to make s’mores tonight after dinner that they wolfed down their mustard peach marinated pork {definitely not something they’d normally scarf} and fruit salad.  The jury’s still out on whether or not these humongous marshies make the perfect s’more.  They’re tough to roast evenly because their weight causes them to spin on the stick and, as you can see in this magnificently messy pic of Monkey M, they’re super gooey and messy!  But the best part…is that they’re super gooey and messy 🙂

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