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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Final paper

And by final, I mean the last one in the foreseeable future. *Happy Dancing*
So, please, tell me to stop writing on my blog and start writing my paper. And wish me luck. And congratulate me on completing a 60 credit Master's in Mental Health Counseling.
My paper is about my working theory of how to do supervision of counseling.
It's only 8 pages. Isn't that funny? To say only eight pages? When I started my freshman year at Roberts Wesleyan College, 3 pages stressed me way out. Now, you have to say something like, ah, 35 pages to get the same rise out of me. 8 pages is now one afternoon of work. That is just funny to me when I get retrospective.
So, anyway. Enough of the past and on with the future. Which right now requires an afternoon of work on my part. And my friend Marilyn is watching my kids, so I can write write write. And not on my blog. PLEASE! Someone tell me to go write my paper! The afternoon is slipping away!
Okay enought of that. No, wait- don't you like my new Christmas-y background? Go to to get yours. Cause it's easier to decorate your blog than you house. You don't feel like you have to clean it first. LOL.
Anyway, now I am really going to go write my paper.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bad Day

Let me just add that the turkey I am currently cooking weighs 37 pounds. Yep.
We are currently entering hour 2 of the 9 hour cooking time. Mmm hmm.
And, the weird weather created a down draft for my new woodstove, so I have aired my house out twice today. That means there is snow in my couch. And, that also means that the smell of smoke is what woke me from my sweet dreams this morning. Yep. And that also means- never mind I am not going to complain about Joe in this post.
Also. I did not eat before noon today. That is not good for my body or my mood or my family. And, I am cooking a 37 pound turkey, did I mention that? And then I have to leave for dinner tomorrow by 9:30 in the morning. ! . That means I don't get to watch the bleeping parade. That's all I like to do. Watch the parade. Every year, I say to myself, this year I will stick up for myself and make sure that I get to watch the parade. BUT NO! I am unable to do that. BAH! HUMBUG!
And now I need to clean my house. So I can pack. So I can go visit my family tomorrow after visiting with Joe's family. And, I want to! But I don't want to clean my house and pack! While Joe is happy hunting in the woods. Without children. Bah.
Whoops! No complaining about Joe. Joe is a mostly awesome guy. I am just hungry. And hungry makes me grumpy. As does the current state of my house, and the prospect of packing, and cooking this huge ass turkey. It really does have a huge ass. So the use of a crass word is warranted. Yeah.
Okay, you may be wondering as is my stomach- why don't you go eat something instead of writing this grumpy blog post? So. I will. Go eat, that is. And clean my house. That is cold but still smells like smoke. Bah.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! From the bottom of my, ah, heart.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wizards in Winter

My sister sent me this on myspace, and Joe gave me the CD on Sunday, so I thought I would share my love of TSO with you, and get you in the holiday spirit.

That's fun, eh?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Two words for you:

Cocoa Stout.

I found the camera

Hello. Good Monday morning.
Just a few pics to let you know what we've been up to.
Big Buck Deer
Big Buck Deer again
Brilyn with the Big Buck Deer
How big was he? Well, let's just say we don't know. Because, we couldn't lift him high enough to get his feet off the floor, he was that long. However, we could weigh his hind quarters, and those were 75 pounds. And he was shot on our lovely prolific 10 acres. It's amazing what you can do with a small piece of land when you employ good management.
And, for Kara's (much belated) birthday- I gave her the mug on the left, to go with my mug on the right so we can have coffee together over the phone.
And finally, I made some head wraps to go with some shirts I bought for my mom. I am proud of my handiwork, and she was really happy to get them in the mail.
My kids are really! squirrely this morning, so I really gotta get going.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New Arrival

Yep, Clara's preggers. But I'm not, so don't plan a double shower or anything. LOL.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Various quotes

Cade's quote of the day: "MEE-OH, Mee-oh, MEE-OH!" (Read it out loud, it means oatmeal oatmeal oatmeal.) Oatmeal is something he really likes.

Jocelyn's quote of the day: "The part I don't like about getting up early is the part where I'm in bed and have to get up." Strong philosophical base to that logic, eh? What I meant by that is once I'm up, I'm generally happy and energetic, but not so much while I'm still in bed.

Brilyn's quote of the day: "It's not Christmas yet? But it's SNOWING!"
(Welcome to New York, hunny.)

And, one good thing I learned from Cade this week- unplug the TV. (He's not really supposed to do that though, it's dangerous what with the electricity and all.) As much as I like PBS Kids, sometimes I have just had enough of Sid the Science Kid. And Brilyn gets attitude every once in a while, like zombie attitude. Like, she doesn't want to do anything but look at the TV. So, my new parental leverage is, if you don't have a lovely happy face, I unplug the TV. YAY! Happy day for all.

Well, my BFF is coming to visit me today, so I will go attend to some things now so I don't have to do them later.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Don't forget

Hey for those of you who live close- don't forget that I am having a cookie-eating, pie-consuming, hot chocolate-drinking, candle-sniffing party tonight. At my house, at 6:00.
I can't write more, I have to go bake pies. And cookies.

This picture is meant to guide your thoughts to a conclusion that if you buy a Mia Bella candle, your house will be this cozy. And actually, it will come close, if you pick the right scent. And, like yesterday, I stole this pic right off the internet. So that's not my fire, and that's not my couch. Although I have a couch that looks a lot like it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Words this Wednesday

So, I can't find the camera. My guess is that it is in Joe's hunting bag somewhere. But he keeps it out on the front porch, and it is just too cold out there for me to do a thorough looking. So no new pics for you today.
Good news though. The guys are here to install our new woodstove.

That's a picture of our stove model, but ours is green. And that's not our dog.
Speaking of dogs, Clara has a new nickname- Puppy. Because she is the happiest little cow you have ever seen. Each morning as Joe leads her out the pasture, I run ahead with her little grain bucket complete with a garnish of 3 apples. As soon as she sees me put that grain dish down, she starts trotting. And by the time they near the gate, she breaks into a full run and throws her head. This is very funny in real life. Remember this is a full-grown cow we're talking about here.
And, if one of us should take a walk near her fence, she runs over, lets out a big friendly moo, and proceeds to follow us as far as her fence permits. And then she looks at us with big cow eyes. But, I ask myself, what other kind of eyes could she possibly use to look at us?
Anyway. One more thing. Cade likes to talk. And he says just about everything. If you can decipher it. Keep in mind he is only 18 months as of tomorrow. So this morning I put his little amber necklace on him that is reputed to have analgesic properties that could ease his pain of teething. And, as we walk down the stairs, he pats his little neck and says, "Po diddy."
After a few seconds of processing the syllables uttered within context, I say, "Oh. You think your necklace is so pretty." Emphasis on the correct letter sounds.
To which he responds with vigorous nodding of the head and the reiteration of "Po diddy."
And, I hate to gender role the poor child, but I did. I said, "You look very handsome today." And I have ulterior motives on that one. Because, if Joe finds out that Cade thinks he is Po diddy, Joe will make me cut off his golden ringlets. Because, the truth is, Cade really is po diddy.
But, honestly, he's gonna have to be handsome for the rest of his life. This is his only opportunity to be pretty. So indulge me.
And po diddy is a really cute thing to hear a pretty baby say about himself. So to heck with the handsome bit. I'm gonna go kiss my baby's curly head, because he's po diddy.

But, as you can see, the pretty baby doesn't really like his picture taken. LOL.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nipple confusion

This is an excerpt from a real conversation this morning. For your enjoyment, the names have not been changed to protect the innocent.
Joe, from right side of cow: "My hand is cramping up, I can barely control where I'm aiming this thing."
Jocelyn, from at least a yard away, on other side of Clara: "Well, that explains it. I kept wondering why you were grabbing my nipple. (pause) And by that I mean Clara's nipple."

LOL. And that's why we have a cow. Because, really, who else out there is having such enriching conversation? And by enriching, I mean hilarious. Because we were laughing really loudly for it being 6:30 a.m. and 25 degrees out.

Our cow venture is going quite well now. We are into the swing of things. Milking, drinking, cheesing, feeding chickens, etc. Clara has gotten used to hand-milking, and so have my hands.

And, 102.5 is playing Christmas music. And Clara likes it, so that's what we listen to in the barn (and the house, but I can't blame that on Clara. Must be Cade.)

Well, one last thing. We also have a magical beer-producing cow. We milk out 2 gallons, and poof! it turns into a growler of beer. Last week it was a delicious wheat ale. This week, there's a growler of cocoa stout in the fridge. Let me just say that this might be the best part of owning and caring for Clara. The beer.

Anyway, I really need to get going. This time of night is supposed to be family time.
Gotta go eat dinner and watch Avonlea.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sometimes I am just plain impressed...

and like to share it with others. Just watch this little harmonica go.

I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Too much to do.

So, I'm busy. Busy, busy, busy. All I can think about is what I have to do.
So, it's hard to think of what to write. Hmmm. So, I'm stealing a meme. I didn't actually get memed, but I saw it one someone else's blog who is cool enough to get memed, and now I am stealing it.
It's this:
Rules: Pass it on to five other bloggers, and tell them to open the nearest book to page 56. Write out the fifth sentence on that page, and also the next two to five sentences. The CLOSEST BOOK, NOT YOUR FAVORITE, OR MOST INTELLECTUAL!

Closest book: "Huntin' Camp Tales", compiled by the North American Hunting Club (What can I say? My computer is in a room that Joe decorated. I am surrounded by -let me count-21 pairs of deer antlers. And, 28 assorted hunting books, including the Deer Hunters' Almanac, 1980-present, and "How to Cook His Goose." That's a recipe book. LOL.) Anyway, on to the excerpt.

"It was starting to get pretty dark, so I climbed out of the tree and laid the tracker spool near the trunk. I planned to follow the string on my way out of the woods. If I jumped him, the tracker line would continue to spool out. If I found that the line was broken or the arrow had pulled out, I'd come back and follow him up in the morning."

That is just kind of funny to me. When I started this post, I had no idea where it might go. But, I am happy with this. So a guy shoots an arrow with a STRING attached to it at a deer, and FOLLOWS the string right to the deer. That sounds like something out of a cartoon. It makes me laugh to picture this. It's like, a harpoon. For a deer. LOL. Anyway, I obviously need some of these! I am making them as soon as I get some cranberries.
Ah! Cade is awake. Must go. No more comupter time for me today, I'll wager.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Freedom is not free

VA Western NY Health Care System at Batavia, NY
The Price of Freedom is visible here.
Call a veteran right now and tell him or her "Thank you." I mean it. Do it. I don't want to hear your reasons why you can't. Think of one person you know has served our military and say it.
Clapping in church on Sunday was not enough.
P.S. Thanks, Dad.
And Uncle Cliff and Uncle Ivan and Uncle Stephen and Tim and Ben.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Take it to the Lord in prayer...

Thank you all for your prayers. God granted me some much-needed and hard to find peace this weekend. And, He was definitely with my mom, she was able to stand up and walk around a little this morning without vomiting. That means the brain tumors are shrinking. Please keep praying for my mom's health.
And, Clara is behaving better and better each milking! And this morning, one of the half-gallon jars of milk from last night's milking had separated: half milk, half cream. Imagine being able to buy 50% milkfat whole milk at the store. Oh wait you can, it's called half and half. LOL!

And here she is- Clara Bell!

And all of you dairy folks out does she look? Is she too skinny or just very dairy? Let me know if you think I need to plump her up.

As you can see, she is a snobby cow, maybe even one of those SHOW COWS!

I had to take the video out, sorry. I just got really sick of hearing it though, LOL. Feel free to go here if you really want to watch it again.

Other pics:

Our new tractor

Brilyn with her yummy Arkansas Black apple
The tree from which she picked said apple



Friday, November 07, 2008

Standing in the need of prayer...

Hey Folks-
My mom is in the hospital. Please pray.
For her, for me, for my dad, brother, and sister.
I believe in the power of prayer support and ask that you take some time today and lift us up.
His Eye is On the Sparrow
Civilla Martin
Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, For His eye is on the sparrow, And I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, For His eye is on the sparrow, And I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, For His eye is on the sparrow, And I know He watches me.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Mia Bella
Candle-Sniffing Party

Please come and enjoy the scents of the seasons, mulled cider, and pies and cookies galore!

Why Mia Bella? Mia Bella candles are double wicked, triple scented, soot-free, soy candles. Think you like Yankee Candles? Wait till you smell these.

Super secret: All of the candles I have in stock are 15% off, cash and carry.
All other orders will be in by the second week of December.

When: Thursday, November 20, 6:00 pm
Where: Jocelyn's House
Rsvp: Via comments, call, or email me!

Imaginary Friends and other important things

So, the point of this post is to quickly write some of this stuff down before it changes and I forget.
Brilyn's imaginary friends.
Names and genders:
Collin, boy; Sean, boy, Michael, boy; Cramo, boy; Camela, girl; Kreesa, girl.
So those are just so funny to me. And they are really a big part of her life. For example, she asked if we could take the 'Jeep-car' trick-or-treating so those listed above could come too. (We took the Corolla, but assured her that her friends would be okay in the trunk.)
And Cade. He says really funny things. Like "Yab-uh-dee" and "Bee-duh-buh" a lot.
And, I finally figured out what he has been singing since he was 10 months old. It sounds like "Bee-bah, bee-bah" But now his ability to carry a tune has evolved and I came to realize he is singing the Clean Up Song. "Clean up, clean up" (everybody everywhere. Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share.) He does not yet sing the parts in the parantheses.
So, those are just some things I want to remember about this fleeting stage of my bobbins' development. Because, it really wasn't too long ago that they looked like this:

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

50 Days Until Christmas!

So, join me in celebrating by listening to Christmas tunes today!
(I promise I won't do it again until I see Santa at the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. )

Wordless Wednesday

Sun Rising November 5th, 2008

Behold He Comes
These are the days of Elijah
Declaring the word of the Lord
And these are the days of his servant Moses
Righteousness being restored
And though these are days of great trials
Of famine and darkness and sword
Still we are the voice in the desert
Crying, prepare ye the way of the Lord

And these are the days of Ezikiel
The dry bones becoming as flesh
And these are the days of your servant David
Rebuilding a temple of praise
And these are the days of the harvest
The fields are as white in your world
Still we are the labourers in your vineyard
Declaring the word of the Lord

Behold he comes
Riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun
At the trumpet's call
So lift your voice
It's the year of Jubilee
For out of Zion's Hill salvation comes

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

And the honeymoon comes to an abrupt end

WARNING! Honest expression follows. No fluffywhip today. Also, strong example of the "old man" raising his hoary old head.

Which also means I am having a heck of a time typing today. I can't really move my thumbs. Yep. You should know that my mom told me so. She did. I said, "Hey I'm gonna get a cow." She said, "They're stinky, dirty, ornery, and have iron teats. And too much milk. Get a goat." She also said, "You will cry." And today I did.
Yesterday I was in cheesemaking, self-reliant bliss. Today I swore at a dumb (and by that I mean does not speak my language) 1,000 pound animal and cried while attempting to force my spasming hands to SQUEEZE! AGAIN! AGAIN!
I woke up happy and optimistic. I got out to the barn by 6:45. Cade (moaning/shrieking/following baby) was still blissfully asleep. Brilyn was watching pbs kids. Joe was out back bowhunting. Idyllic, right? So I brush my nice warm contented cow. I wash her udder. I calmy take my 13 quart stainless steel bucket, flip over an old chlorine bucket, sit down and start milking. Oh joy! My hands are stronger than yesterday, I am starting to get the knack of milking a cow. (Which is not the same as milking a goat.) I get a half gallon in about 5 minutes. According to what I've read, that's right on with how long it should take me. I empty my pail into a strainer/filter/half gallon Ball jar combo and sit back down to finish my first side. And get smacked squarely in the face by a shitty tail. Gross. As I wipe the nasty crap off my grumpy face, Clara delicately lifted her foot and daintily placed in rightinthemiddle of my bucket. (Swearing).
Stomp off to house to wash the cursed bucket. Go back to the barn. Sternly look Clara in the eye and vow to hang her from the rafters if she does that again. Sit down, put bucket under said cow. Place cow foot in bucket. Cry. Swear. Stomp to house. Make Joe wash bucket. Make Joe come to barn. Make Joe stand in stall in bouncer mode. Sit down, bucket down. Grab teats. Milk.
Now I am thinking things are going to be okay. And then? My hand starts to cramp. Now all I get with each left-handed squeeze is a poorly aimed drip. Joe says, "Here let me empty the bucket so your hand can rest." Then he hands me the bucket back and says, "Okay, hun! See you later." This makes me angry. Because, you see, it is all his fault. If he hadn't gone out hunting this morning, none of this would have happened. I am not sure how the logic flows on that, but I know it must be true. I passionately let him know how I was feeling. And, then my angry feelings carried me through to end of side two. I almost couldn't even feel the bleeding blister that had formed on my left hand index finger. Yeah. And then I did Joe's chores that he was supposed to do but couldn't because first he went hunting and then he played bouncer to THAT COW. And so I got to carry my first buckets of water since I was like 19. And let me just say- I am glad I got a cow because I am most definitely out of shape.
And then, I came in the house (at 8:00!) and praise the Lord (really) I had the forethought to put coffee on before I went out this fateful morning. And I put the toppy top of a bottle of Clara's creamy goodness in my coffee and it was good.
So, now I guess I forgive her. Sort of. But not Joe. Oh wait. I forgive him too. He was compassionate (and smart) enough to give me a call this morning to make sure I was okay. And I am, really. My thumbs just won't bend.
Okay. So now I feel a little better.
Now, for the cheese making. I think I will make some Monterey Jack today. And here are some pics from yesterday's cheesemaking adventure.
Brilyn the everpresent helper
All things measured and ready to go
Warm it up!
88 degrees
The curd is forming
Draining the curd
Warming the curd
Stretched and stored
Making the ricotta

I also made pumpking pie from a real pumpkin for the first time yesterday. It was worth the effort. First I baked the pumpkin at 300 for an hour. Then I took the skin off and pureed the pumpkin. Then I added two fresh eggs, 12 ounces of reduced milk, and spices. Put it in my Pat-a-Pan pie crust and voila! The most delicious pumpkin pie I have ever had.
We also roasted our last roaster chicken for supper last night. Let me just say, we are going to raise about 50 more next year than we did this year. Delicious!
Okay, I now must go and tend to the other things on my list. I just wanted to give a more complete update on my homesteading adventures this morning. (Really, I needed to vent.)
Wait, one more thing.
GO VOTE! GO VOTE! TAKE PEOPLE WITH YOU! Voting is a right AND a RESPONSIBILITY! Do your duty as an American citizen! Celebrate the freedom we have! And make sure you thank a veteran for this awesome privilege. I doubt that it is a coincidence that right after we vote we celebrate those who have fought for our ability to live in safety.
Okay, now I'm done.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Post 100!
How fitting that my 100th post would coincide with my first batch of cheese made from my veryowncow's milk.
I used the directions from this website and I like it better than the one included with my cheese making kit. I like it better because it does not include the use of a microwave. I have mixed thoughts about microwaves, but I certainly don't want to use it on my otherwise raw mozzarella.
I took some pics, but I will have to post them later.
You know why: moaning/shrieking/following baby. I think he hates the computer. It eats his mommy.
PS The cheese is really good.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Clara has arrived!
Happy happy day. She arrived at around 1:00. She settled happily into her stall in the barn. She took a nap. Then at around 6:00 I went out to brush, milk, and feed her some supper.
I learned some things, but I will have to relate those at another time due to moaning/shrieking/following baby.
What I will do is post a few pics.
New Tractor!
Halloween fun- Can anyone guess what I am?
Cade at the Presbyterian Church Community Trick or Treat
Here are my beets from the fair!
Brilyn with the first deer of the year
Brilyn the Lady Bug
Brilyn at the Presbyterian Community trick or treat
Brilyn with her new friend Clara!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Alright, keeping it light this morning.
Now that it is officially November, beware that I am a Christmas enthusiast. I will post some Halloween pics as soon as I find the camera and download them. For today though, here are two great pics I received via email.
Now, don't call DSS or anything, but I am seriously considering this innovative parenting technique. aka Redneck Time-Out
And this... almost makes me homesick, LOL. Well, it at least makes me want to eat turkey and drink beer.
Happy First Day of November!

About Me

About Me
I love Jesus, my hubby, my 6 kiddos, my farm, good books and good food.