Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dead deer and beautiful days

Today I ran around town doing my errands, getting some groceries, etc. I pulled into the parking lot at Shopko to pick up a few things and noticed there was an old beater car parked the next lane over.  The thing that made me notice it was the fact that there was a dead deer sticking out of the trunk.  Now, deer hunting ended on Sunday, which brings up the question - have they been driving around with a dead deer in their trunk for the last four days? If so, why - and why did they think the deer needed to go to Shopko with them?  Was it a stow away who was just hitching a ride, was overcome with carbon monoxide fumes, died and no one noticed?  I just don't know.

I also noticed that we've now shifted into winter mode around here.  I stopped by Kwik Trip to get some milk (and nobly passed by the deep fried cheese curds) and as I was leaving, the woman behind the counter told me to enjoy the beautiful day.  It was 33 degrees out...BUT, the sun was shining.  Once it gets to this time of year, our expectations have lowered to the point that all we need to constitute a beautiful day is the sun shining, temperature is no longer a factor and won't be until April...unless, of course, we have some unseasonably warm weather, then it'll be a beautiful day whether the sun is shining or not.  Heck, was it only a few years ago we were living in Hawaii and would whine if the temps dropped below 70?  Oh, how the mighty have fallen - or frozen, whatever.

Some friends stopped by for supper tonight, it was nice to see them and gab a bit. Jim is the guy we butchered chickens with, so we'd been with him not too long ago, but this is the first time Beth, his wife, had been to our house.  I just so happened to be trying out a new recipe for beef roast, so they got to be my guinea pigs.  The recipe called for 2 TBLS fancy molasses.  Well, I don't know the difference between fancy molasses and regular molasses, so I just stuck my pinkie finger out when I poured it into the pan and hoped that would do the trick.  It must have because it turned out pretty tasty.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Is that an egg in your pocket or are you going to have to skip breakfast tomorrow?

Today, I went out to the barn to do some barny kind of stuff and when I was walking back to the house, hubs called me over to help him.  He was loading scrap metal into the back of his truck to take over to the metal bin at the recycle place down the road.  I was doing fine, throwing the big stuff in the back and the small stuff into a garbage can - until he put the can into the bed of the truck.  I had a armful of small pieces, so I leaned forward against the truck to put the stuff in the can when I was reminded in an unpleasant way that while I was in the barn, I'd grabbed an egg out of the nesting boxes and stuck it in my pocket.  Yeah, it was gross.  Hubs had to finish loading himself while I went into the house to throw my coat into the washer.

Saturday, WE decided that his room needed a good old fashioned cleaning - if a good old fashioned cleaning involves an air compressor.  Yep, he cleaned everything out and blew all the dirt out of the cracks in his floor with the air compressor on full force.  So now all the crud that was in his room is blown into the rest of the upstairs instead.  As long as he had it in the house, I figured I might as well use it myself.  I blew all the crud out of the bottom of the refrigerator.  FYI, your fridge runs more efficiently if the coils on it are dusted or cleaned regularly - an air compressor works really good for this, though you could probably get away with just using a vacuum if you can get the hose under the fridge - which I have a hard time doing.  And, with all the critters we have running around here, there is a LOT of pet hair collected under my fridge.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Busy Digesting

I hope everyone had a wonderful, turkeyful Thanksgiving day.  I had a great time at my sister's house, her husband's Uncle Kenny made the whole thing worth going to, even if there hadn't been loads of delicious food and great company.  I'm willing to bet we had the only Thanksgiving dinner in the country where the main topic of conversation was what happened to amputated limbs after they were cut off.  There was also a discussion of what everyone did with their dogs when they died.  Classic

Sadly enough, the day after the one that is dedicated to giving thanks for what we have is the one dedicated to mass consumerism.  Black Friday literally turns my stomach - I hate everything about it.  Rude pushy people fighting with other rude pushy people to see who can get the last $200 tv - when you know darn well that everyone of those rude pushy people have at least one, probably more, tv's already in their houses.  Glut and greed isn't attractive on anybody.

We had a weather extreme here as well.  Yesterday was unusually warm and beautiful - it was 63 degrees outside when we pulled into my sisters street at noon.  People were out walking, biking, etc, working off their huge dinners.  We had a pretty stiff wind blowing though, and that wind brought in a cold front that brought an end to our Indian Summer.  The wind is still here, but our 60 degree temps are a thing of the past and we're in the low 30's now.  BOOOO!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What did you just say???

Yesterday, Angel #2 told me that today was the first time at work that there was an animal death that she was directly responsible for.  Then she said, WAIT, that did NOT come out right!  She then went on to say that she wasn't responsible for the death, she was responsible for the animal. Apparently, the dog stopped breathing and she was manually breathing for it with whatever thingy vets use to artificially breath for animals and she had to continue doing so until they got permission from the dogs owner go let it go.  So yeah, she was responsible for breathing for it until she got the okay to stop, I guess.  Fortunately, she's able to distance herself emotionally from the animals for the most part and doesn't cry when there's a death at the hospital - which is good because she's essentially working in an animal ICU and there are a lot of fatalities when you're dealing with majorly sick animals.  Personally, the whole thing kind of grosses me out, but I don't understand the whole pet thing in the first place.

Talk about pets, its been beautiful and sunny here the last couple days - daytime temps in the 50's.  Anyway, with the sun streaming in the windows, it's been doing a lot of reflecting off of things and onto the floor and walls.  Diesel the doofus dog has spent the last three days trying to catch the reflection of the sun off his dog tags.  I am talking about literal HOURS here, spent snapping at lights and scratching his paw against the walls trying to catch the reflection.  WE had the bright idea the other night to hook a lit flashlight onto the dogs collar, I swear the dumb mutt was going crazy trying to catch the beam.  He also dismembered one of Angel #4's stuffed animals, a monkey, and the cats have been playing with one of the legs ever since.  I'm finding that stupid monkey paw all over the place, it's like living in that one horror story.

Tomorrow hubs is coming home - at least he will if the morons at LAX get their heads out of their butts and realize that creating a strike that will only tick off the general public, isn't a very smart way to sway people to their side of an argument.  Sometimes people aren't very bright.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

ADD, the invisible disease

Today, I was talking to hubs, he's in working in Hawaii at the moment and was planning on taking the afternoon off to chill a bit.  Hubs has ADD and frequently forgets whats he's talking about and stops right in the middle of a sentence.  I"m used to this and usually finish the sentence for him.  I lovingly call him ADD Boy.  Years ago, a friend who knew of his attention issues gave him a book called Focus, meant to help people hone in on their thoughts and how to avoid distractions.  Hubs told me today that his goal is to finish reading the book before he gets home from this trip (his flight comes in Thursday afternoon).  He has literally been reading this book since our friend gave it to him 3 or 4 years ago, he told me that he's got 5 different bookmarks stuck in it and has used 3 different color highlighters to emphasize various sentences.  He's been stuck at the part in the book where they want the reader to sit down and write down all the things that they let distract them - he keeps finding other things to do when he goes looking for a pen and paper to write his list.  Living with an ADD sufferer can be frustrating at times, but they sure make life interesting.

Today, I began my life of crime.  I read in Backwoods Home magazine (my favorite mag and I would love a subscription - it's on my wish list for when I get a few extra throwaway bucks in my checkbook) that a great insulator for the floor of a chicken coop is dead leaves.  It keeps their little chicken feet warm, absorbs poop and gives them something to scratch around in during the months when the ground is snow covered and frozen.  The problem is, we barely have any trees on our property and no dead leaves to speak of.  I've considered going to the woods to see what I could bag up, but it's either been too cold, too wet, or now, when it's dry and the temps are in the 50's, it's full of deer hunters and I'd rather not get shot.  I was talking about this with our friends after church this morning and they pointed out that their neighbors had raked their yard too late and missed the city leaf sucker truck, so all their leaves are still lying in the gutter.  So, you guessed it, our friend grabbed a bunch of garbage bags and he, my 2 kids and my went out and stole the neighbors leaves out of the gutter.  I know they were home, but nobody came out accusing us of leaf theft - I figure they either realized that the more leaves we took the fewer that would get blown back into their yard or they really didn't want to antagonize the crazy people outside stealing their dead leaves.  Whatever it was, it doesn't matter, because tomorrow I'm going to do a final chicken coop clean before winter and dump a couple of bags of leaves on the floor.  It's all about having happy chickens, people.

Oh, and Jeannie, regular cheese curds are also delicious, but it's just something about taking fat in cheese form and then adding additional fat in the form of deep frying that makes them taste especially good.  Deep fried cheese curds are a staple here in Wisconsin - which may explain why were one of the most overweight states in the nation.  We may all die of heart disease, but at least we die with a greasy cheese curd smile on our faces.

Friday, November 16, 2012

You won't fool me again, Kwik Trip

The other day I was out running errands and I was suddenly totally Jonesing for deep fried cheese curds.  I debated with myself whether or not I really needed them, after all, it was only about 10:30 in the morning.  But stomach rules over mid-morning wise food choices all the time, to I pulled into Kwik Trip.  I feel bad for those places that don't have a Kwik Trip, they're the awesomest convenience store chain in the world and are all over the place in the upper midwest - KT was one of the places I missed the most when we lived in Hawaii.  Butter goes for $2/lb and milk comes in BAGS, how can you go wrong with that combo?  Besides, they have deep fried cheese curds right there by the check-out, Nirvana!  So I go in and buy a little tray of Cheese Munchers, get back in the car and head home.  I take a bite of the first one, expecting a mouthful of delicious greasy cheesey goodess and freaked out.  Turns out, Cheese Munchers, despite what their name implies, are not deep fried cheese curds, but are, in fact, stupid little hash brown thingys with cheese in them.  What. The. Heck.  Disappointed, but still hungry, I ate the dumb things.  Yesterday, I was back in town, it as about 1:30 and I hadn't had lunch yet, so back into Kwik Trip I went.  This time, I noticed the little slot that had Cheese Nuggets and I knew I hit paydirt.  Next to that one were a couple trays of those infamous Cheese Munchers.  ugh  So  I got myself a chicken sandwich and some nuggets and was happy at last.

Monday, November 12, 2012

This is a new one, even for me

Yesterday morning I woke up and my ankle was really hurting.  If I bent it a certain way, it just about put me through the ceiling.  I hadn't twisted it or hurt it in any way the day before, so I can only come to one conclusion.  I hurt my ankle while I was bed.....unconscious.  Have I got skilz or what?

The Fall Festival was yesterday at the high school.  It's just a big craft sale, basically, which I'm totally not into, but the middle school band, tone chimes and choir all performed, so I had to take Angel #4 there.  I was planning on buying one there there, I wanted to stock up on honey for the winter.  But the honey guy wasn't even there, he has been other years.  I guess I"m going to have to get another honey source.  I did end up buying some Watkins flavoring and a couple of homemade potholders from a little old lady.  I'm not sure what happened to my pot holders, but since I've been back from DC, they make a mysterious crunching noise whenever I use them  I've tried washing them, but it didn't help.  I'm not sure what my family did to them while I was gone, but it was definitely time to get some replacements.

Saturday, Angel #4 and I insulated the ceiling in the new porch.  Boy, did that suck.  Fiberglass insulation in our hair, our eyes, down our shirts and pants. Plus, we were installing in a cramped, tight space, sometimes having to straddle two ladders in order to get up into some places.  But it's sure a lot warmer in there now.  This winter we'll finally have  a place to put our coats and boots.  Yay!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Grilled venison is NOT what I wanted for breakfast

So, this morning, I drove about 210 miles round trip to the airport to drop off hubs and Angel #2's cat Pepper (more on that later), hit a deer (more on that too) and got a job, all before 8am.  I know how to start my morning right.

First, hubs and the cat.  Hubs is flying to a couple places this week, and his first connection was in Houston, where Angel #2 lives.  She's been wanting to get her cats, Fred and Pepper down there to live with her, and we decided this would be the perfect opportunity.  His flight left a little after 5am, so we were up at 2am and out of the house 20 minutes later.  YAWN  Since you can only take one pet per person, Pepper was chosen to be the first to go, mainly because we all like Fred and don't really want to give him up any sooner than we have to.  Pepper is very timid and people shy, and frankly, I don't even think we'll notice she's gone, except for Angel #4, who sleeps with all the cats in her bed at night. They arrived around 8 this morning and #2 was thrilled to have one of her kitties back with her and I'm happy to have one less critter around here.

Then, I'm on my way home, practically there actually, with only about 5 more miles to go and a stupid deer ran right into my van.  I've been driving for almost 30 years now (which makes me feel really really old) and have never hit a deer, until this morning.  Pretty amazing when you consider that I spent most of my life in one of the highest deer/car accident prone counties in the state.  Fortunately, it only smashed up one of the headlights and broke a chunk out of the front bumper.  If I would have been driving just a smidge faster, I would be picking guts out of the grill right now, but it just smashed into the front drivers corner of the van.  I turned around to see about the deer, it was lying dead on the side of the road, it it hit hard enough that it bounced off my van and flew backward completely across the other lane and landed on the shoulder.  If hubs had been around, I'm sure we'd have scooped that baby up and I'd be canning venison this weekend, but it wasn't something I wanted to deal with on my own, especially at 5:30 in the morning.  So, it's probably still lying there, poor thing.  Next time, look both ways, deer!

I crawled into bed once I'd let my chickens out for the day and had a bite to eat.  I got the call about the job right around 8am.  Fortunately, I've got the ability to sound perky and awake on the phone, even if I"m still half asleep, so they didn't have to wonder why they were hiring a lazy butt person who was still sleeping at 8 in the morning.  I'll be working part time for the school district, helping to get all the USDA paperwork filled out for the school lunch program and also helping out a little as a lunch lady.  It'll be nice, I can spend most of my time squirreled away in a room with a computer filling out forms, but be around just enough so I can get to know all these kids I keep hearing about from my kids when they talk about their school day.  Not that they'll get all close up and personal with the lunch lady, but at least I'll be able to put some faces to the names I keep hearing.

Of course, after that exciting news, I knew I wouldn't be able to get back to sleep, so I got up and started cleaning house.  Before he left, hubs has been working his booty off getting the house ready for winter.  Our new porch is almost all sealed up on the outside and he put in the new door last night.  So, this morning, I put up fiberglass insulation on the inside walls.  That stuff is so itchy and nasty.  WE has been elected to put the insulation up in the ceiling, then it'll be all done.  At least the insulating will be, we still will need to do the finish stuff, drywall, flooring, that kind of stuff, but that's not as urgent as keeping the place warm for the winter.

Talk about being elected.  I am SO glad this stupid election is over.  Being in a swing state is miserable, people.  I was getting up to 5 or 6 robo calls a day and by Tuesday, I pretty much hated both candidates.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

I SO should get mother of the year award

I took Angel #4 to the mall today.  Yes, I went to the mall, that place of all evilness.  I really really hate that place.  I was already cranky driving through the parking lot, which was ridiculously full considering that it's barely November and Christmas shopping logically shouldn't be happening yet.  I got stuck behind one of those nimrods who see someone putting bags in their trunk, so they stop in the middle of the lane so they can get their parking space if/when the other person leaves.  I couldn't get around her and so was stuck watching strangers put their bags in the trunk, kids in the car seats, etc all the while ranting about the mall and how it was full of idiots like the lazy woman in front of me who wouldn't walk a few extra yards through the parking lot.  Then, after I finally got through, I turned the corner and got a space only 4 spaces from the door, MUCH closer than that other idiot.  I hollered out my battle cry, which sounded suspiciously like BOOYAH BEOTCH!  and went into the mall to further my agony.  And, to add to my wonderful motherliness, I even bought $10 worth of Godiva chocolate, just so #4 could go up to the counter and talk to the cute guy who works there - I don't even particularly like Godiva chocolate.  I am SO getting a rocking Mother's Day present this year from that kid or it's going to hit the fan.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I'm Baa-aack!

I got home last night and am very thankful to be here.  I've learned my lesson, no more vacations! (until next time)    Things went surprisingly well on the flight home.  We were expecting a huge influx of people at the airport, all wanting to get home after the hurricane, so we arrived at the airport super early.  Turns out, that wasn't necessary, there were no lines for baggage check-in, we walked right through TSA and the halls were eerily empty for most of the morning.  Our flight was delayed for about a half hour, but that was because of lack of crew and nothing to do with the weather.  We landed in Milwaukee around 4 and I was never so glad to see the dreary fall countryside of Wisconsin.

Today was spent getting the house back in shape.  I've got a little higher level of cleanliness than the rest of my family, apparently.  But, they did what they could and I think they'll appreciate what I do around here a little bit more now.