Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dakota Day 2

We finally got to our KOA last night around 10 pm mountain time after stops at the Corn Palace, the Badlands and Wall Drug.

We were beat! Grace did awesome and didn't complain the entire time.

We travelled with the Shockley's most of the way but they stayed i Kadoka and saved the Badlands for this morning.

This morning Grace and Bryon went dow the KOA waterslide and did the pool. Grace was really excited to go down the water slide but she got stuck just about 30 ft down it and panicked. I was fully clothed at the top and Bryon was waiting in the water below to catch her. She stood up and I yelled at her to SIT DOWN and wiggle until she broke loose. She just started crying and I thought I was going to have to launch myself down the slide to dislodge her but I talked a very helpful and self assured 9 year old girl into doing it for me. She spread out her arms and legs so she'd go slow and got up to Grace and helped her onto her mat, threw the other mat behind her and down they came.

I told her she was a great girl. She sure was good in a clinch!

We met up with the Shockleys and headed to Deadwood and Sturgis (neither one very exciting really). Ihad a terrible headache and had to go back and crash for a couple of hours while Grace and Daddy went swimming again.

We ended the day with steaks at the Bumpin Buffalo in Hill City. Mine was a buffalo sirloin and was delish!

Home to the KOA to bed for us all.

Friday, July 24, 2009

South Dakota. Bound!

We are off! Left at 4 am from Nana's house in Bolivar, met up with the Shockey's in Collins and we are on our way! Nana and Grace are settled into the back seat and Bryon's at the wheel.

We left Grandpa Gary home on the farm to hold down the fort. He said his goal was to keep everything alive that we left alive. That seems reasonable enough.

Grace is super excited!! It's going to be a long day today but when we are there, we'll be there.

Shockleys are stopping and spending the night halfway so we'll meet back up with them on Sunday. The Theissen's are heading out behind us later today too. If we had tried to PLAN a vacation together it would never had worked but in a happy coincidence we'll all get to spend some vacation time together now.

We'll be in SD up by Sturgis one week before the big bike rally. Grace may get an eyefull of education along the way of the biker kind. She does love her some motorcycles though! We'll just have to keep her out of the tattoo parlors.

I'll just apologoze in advance for and typos ... I am typing with my thumbs you know :)

Wally World here we come!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Garden Gone Wild

Our garden has gotten completely out of hand. I guess that can pretty much be expected by the end of July. Our Pastor had a sermon a few months ago about "starters" and "sustainers". He was trying to get the congregation members to "use their talents" in the church in any way that worked for them. He told a couple of stories about folks from other churches he'd preached at and how their talents had contributed to the church. Some it turned out were great "starters" and good at getting programs, projects, ministries etc. going but others were great "sustainers" and would work on really long term programs, projects and ministries. You know who they are. They are the tried and true folks who are the foundation of the churches and organizations but would probably have never even gotten that project off the ground in the first place if it weren't for those "starters".

Turns out I'm a starter.

Who knew.

I see that in my work too. I like change and I like to do the new and exciting and see immediate results for my efforts. I've also become more and more a fair weather girl in my slightly middle age. I like to do it all once and then move onto the next project, idea or thing. Gardening is very similar it turns out.

I like planning, picking, starting and planting. It's the SUSTAINING where it gets tricky for me. In my defense, I think if it was 72 degrees outside EVERY DAY like it is TODAY, I might be more inclined toward the sustenance side than I am when it's 90 degrees plus, then again... old dogs and all.

Once the thing is chugging along full speed ahead, I lose interest a little I'm afraid and start looking for the next big thing. Luckily, that didn't happen with Bryon and I and we celebrated out 19th wedding anniversary this June 15. I used to wonder WHAT IN THE WORLD people could talk about for that long, but it turns out there is ALWAYS something.

One lucky accident of raising the pigs has turned out to be a windfall of squash in the former pig pen area. I'm not sure exactly HOW we ended up with this many ornamental pumpkins but by lucky coincidence, I really LIKE the little ornamental guys.

We haven't watered them or tended to them in any way. We just tore apart the old sty and up they popped.

One thing I have been looking forward to is peach season. Last year I think I canned about 20 pounds of peaches and the lasted right up until March of this year. So the plan this year was to can twice as much and make it through the entire year until peach season again. A solid plan.

Thursday when I was out and about in my territory for work, I ran across a guy selling Missouri peaches at a road side stand. He had 3/4 bushel for $20. I don't know if that's a good deal or not, but I was in the market for peaches and he was selling local ones. I stopped back by on my way home and bought them.

I don't know how much 3/4 a bushel is in weight exactly, but I'm guessing it must be close to 20 pounds because it was a freakin' lot of peaches. Of course it didn't seem that bad until I finally got going on them to get them canned Friday night. I put them in the garage fridge Thursday evening since I knew there was no way I could do them that night.

Seems to me I vaguely remember Bryon and I used to go out to eat every Friday night. In the big city. At nice restaurants. And then spend the whole evening at Borders.

Let me tell you canning peaches is a far cry from that, but Bryon took Grace to the Webster County Fair with Grandpa in tow too and I had a house full of jars, lids, peaches and sticky sugar syrup. I watched the 40 Year Old Virgin and dove in.

3 hours later, Bryon and Grace got home and Bryon got her to bed and came in to help in the home stretch. We thought we were finally done and cleaned up and Bryon says, "Um, what are these peaches for?" "WHAT peaches!?!"

Well THOSE peaches were just regular old peaches that got left in the bottom of the box, so Saturday, I finished them up and put them into the freezer instead canning two cans of peaches.

Out of all of the peaches I canned, only one quart didn't seal so we got to have Peachy Stuff for dessert last night. Peachy Stuff is a recipe my friend Becky Shockley made for us one time and it's been a regular part of the Medley diet since. Here it is if you'd like to make your very own Peachy Stuff:

Peachy Stuff

Melt 1 1/2 sticks of butter in an oven proof deep casserole dish. (mine is about 12x8x3). Mix 2 cups of flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 cup milk, 4 tsp baking powder and a little salt. Mix it all together until it's a batter. Pour it into the melted butter in the dish. Pour a quart of sliced peaches in heavy syrup (syrup and all) over the top of the batter. Bake about 55 minutes at 350 degrees. I cover it with foil loosely the last ten minutes or so to keep it from getting too brown.

It's YUMMMYYY! We have it two or three times a month usually. Sunday nights are the best for it :)

Another summer time staple is blackberries. I've been waiting and waiting for them. Now they are finally here and I haven't picked but a handful. I was going to take the four wheeler out into the field to see if the wild ones have done anything but I'm hesitant because I REALLY don't want poison ivy for our vacation which starts on Friday. That and Grace just laid herself down for a nap about 40 minutes ago for no good reason. Seriously, if I had begged and beaten her she would NOT have taken a nap. I hope she's not getting sick.

I think she thought she'd messed up the Wii while I was outside taking blog pictures because when I left she was racing her Mario Cart like a demon child and when I returned the thing was messed up and she was in bed. Maybe she really did just run out of steam but it's all very suspicious to me. Hmmmm.

I did pick a handful of blackberries out behind the barn and garden while I was out there and I ate everyone of them by myself. No one even needs to know they were consumed. Of course Ruger may tell on me.

He's just found the pleasures of berries on the bush as well. Our sweet lab Daisy used to eat them off the bush every chance she got. Well, these berries might be the only sweet thing about Ruger. He sure enjoyed them though. I suspect I'll never see another berry under two feet high now that he's figured it out!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Books I've Read in 2009

Several people have asked what books I've read so far in 2009. Here is the list (mostly in the order I read them). It's pretty eclectic and varied but that's the way I like it so there you go :)

Books I've Read in 2009

1 Not Buying It
2 The Shack
3 A Thousand Splendid Suns
4 A Year Without Made In China
5 Three Cups of Tea
6 Go Green, Live Rich
7 Bird By Bird
8 Grace Eventually
9 Plum Spooky
10 Diary of a Wimpy Kid
11 In Defence of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
12 The History of Love
13 Nickel and Dimed
14 Fieldwork
15 The Eight
16 Sleeping Naked is Green
17 Silent Spring
18 I was told there'd be cake
19 The Botany of Desire
20 Heirloom: Notes from an Accidental Tomato Farmer
21 The $64 Tomato
22 Food Matters
23 Sharing the Harvest: A Community Guide to CSA
24 Dead Until Dark
25 Living Dead in Dallas
26 Club Dead
27 Dead to the World
28 Dead as a Doornail
29 All Together Dead
30 Definately Dead
31 From Dead to Worse
32 Made From Scratch

I was too lazy to put all the authors but if you'd really like to know, these are all on my Shelfari list to the right as well and you can click on them to find out more info on them :)

Read on!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Bryon and our HS friend Damon went to Oklahoma on Sunday to see some old 80's hairbands. It was about 105 degrees in the shade. I stayed home and enjoyed some peace and quiet while they sweated and banged their heads in the heat.

Bryon crawled into bed about 3:30 am Monday morning and they seemed to have had a great time.

They saw Vixen, Bonfire, Nelson, Great White, Skid Row and Twisted Sister and bought the VIP passes so they could get up close and personal. Well as personal as you want to get to a man with hair sprayed hair and makeup I suppose.

Rock on!

32 Books

To say I've been ate up with vampire books lately would probably be a bit of an understatement. Boy do I love a good series! The good news is my little obsession has totally caught me up with the whole "read 52 books in a year" plan. I'm up to 31 books so far and this is week 29 of the calendar (if I counted correctly) so those Stookie Stackhouse books helped catch me up in a hurry!

I've got book 9 on the way and book 10 comes out in October so I'm bumming now because one, I have to WAIT and two, after October I'll be at Charlaine Harris' mercy along with Janet Evanovich and a few others. Those girls just need to write faster!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Whoa Nellie!

So I'm sitting in my chair in the house Friday afternoon, reading my book while the family is upstairs watching movies and messing around when I catch something out of the corner of my eye and this is what I see...

Five horses walking around our pond and getting a drink.

We don't HAVE any horses.

These are rogues.

Two years ago after the big ice storm we had two horses in the yard one day. I figured trees had fallen across someone's fence and they had escaped. We saw them for a couple of days and then never again. We never heard who they belonged to or knew where they had come from.

Then Friday as we headed to town we saw them again up by the Craig's old place. One inside the fence and one outside the fence munching on our grassy field.

I went out with some tomatoes to try to coax them closer but Ruger decided to make an appearance about the same time so they all scurried of into the woods.

Bryon was out riding the new natural gas line on the four wheeler this afternoon and said that they had cut fences everywhere for that new line. That probably accounts for three of them. I think those other two have been loose for two years now. One of them was REALLY skinny. If we had a fence, we'd have horses now.



We had a great weekend this 4th holiday. Grace got to ride in the 130th Annual 4th of July Parade in Marshfield on our churches bible school float. We shot off fire works, made homemade icecream and Bryon made a ZIP LINE!

He's been ordering pieces and parts for it for the past few weeks and the UPS man has been a regular visitor to our house lately. He finally got it all put together with the help of Chris, his Dad and the boys.

Aaron took the first trip, then Bryon and Grace went three times. I waited until today after some "fine tuning" to give it a try. It was pretty fun! You just never know what he's going to come up with :)

From Chickens to Vampires

Know why you aren't supposed to count your chickens before they hatch? Because when you do, you definately do NOT get chickens. Well July 2 was 21 days, the supposed amount of time it takes to incubate fertilized eggs to get baby chickens. This morning, I went out to see if there was anything under the broody hen and found ONE broken egg with a thick dried up yolk in it and a whole lotta stink. That hen was just disgusting and obviously frustrated just like I was. No baby chickens. The past 24 days sitting on that nest in the smoldering heat of the chicken house were for nothing.


I'm not sure WHAT happend to all the eggs. I know TWO of them got broken by her sitting on them and squishing then into the edge of the nesting box too hard and I think I remember scooping one egg up off the hen house floor not knowing if it was one of hers or the others. As for the rest of the eggs? I have NO idea.

I went to check on her later this afternoon and she was off the now empty nest and flitting around the chicken yard, finally relieved of her egg watch. I took that opportunity to clean out the nesting box of the dried egg crusted pine shavings. Nice. I filled the boxes up with nice clean shavings and sprinkled some around the bottom of their chicken house and found them some nice clover and carrot tops to munch on. It's nice to be back to normal. I feel bad for her. She did her best, but it just wasn't meant to be. Maybe next time. Maybe not. Life on the farm is hard sometimes.

Bryon mentioned today that maybe his Dad had taken some of those eggs out from under her not realizing we were trying to hatch them and put them in the house in our egg cartons in the fridge. Boy I really hope that is NOT what happended because SOMEONE is going to be in for a surprise if that's the case because we've given a bunch of eggs away and even sold a few.

I better go call him right now!

Or not, I'm feeling pretty lazy right now and just waiting for a free moment to read the Sookie Stackhouse books again.

Ever since my movie marathon last weekend I've been CONSUMED with those books! I finished the first season of True Blood on DVD and a coworker mentioned that the first season was just like the show and that the books followed along pretty closely. Well I Googled and Googled trying to find a place I could watch the new season shows for free but to no avail so I tracked down the books (eight in paper back mercifully) and bought them ALL! I've read three books in the past three days. They are addictive! God I love a series! Especially when I catch onto it near the end or WAY into it so I don't have to WAIT for the next book to come out! You just gotta love those vampires :)

Okay, so that was completely random, but what are ya gonna do? Welcome to my world.