Saturday, June 26, 2004

From scratch

My sis informed me the other day that is LOVING freezer cooking and doesn't know why we didn't think of it sooner. I'm so glad she enjoys it as much as I do. She claims she won't need to cook again until next month. I'll have to do a ground meat mini session in the upcoming weeks. I'm waiting for a sale price to stock up.

Stocking up. You sure get some strange looks when you purchase 20+ yams while they are on sale. People are so use to modern living that they never think to put stuff up for use later. If I can only keep oldest child from eating one a day. With 4 people eating them, 20 of them don't go very far. I'll have to go back for more...maybe at a different store LOL

I have a few recipes I've been wanting to try. Today I tried a pizza crust. It is wonderful! While the crust was rising I went looking for the jar sauce. Hmm..none. Guess the kids found my stash too. What to do? Ask a friend who bakes basically everything from scratch. Sure enough, she had one. I added a wee too much onion powder..but man! The ingredients are basically what I keep in hand anyway. Love those kind of recipes.

This dough is just what I'm needing to make my homemade pizza pockets too. MMM And I still need to do some french toast and pancakes for the freeze.

In case you are wondering where I'm gonna put all this stuff...my wonderful, loving husband who fully supports me bought a new upright freezer. Most women get ticked at receiving an appliance as a gift. ME? I couldn't be happier than a pig in mudd. Hmm..pigs in a blanket..haven't made THAT in awhile. Wonder if that freezes well....

Monday, June 21, 2004

Father's Day

When you have a husband who works shift work, you do what ya gotta do. Father's day was a few hours lounging with Rich and the kids until he had to go to work. Sarah is 9, and she wanted to get her Daddy a father's day present on her own. She saw a statue of a squirrel and wanted that. He loved it! You have to understand, Rich loves to squirrel hunt. So it was a perfect gift. Sarah was so proud of herself AND the fact that daddy just gushed at her gift. Life is good here in the South.

If you want to read a real touch-your-heart story.... dooce is the place to go. That woman can write! Sure brought back some memories for me.

Tootles. Time to take taco out of the freezer.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

busy mind, busy hands

For the first 13 yrs of married life I was a stay-at-home mom. It was the best job. I played every day with the kids and cooked and cleaned... and played some more with the kids. Housework can wait, kids cannot.

My kids grew and soon all were in school. That's when I decided it was time to go back to work.

Hats off to all working moms! It's double duty! You have day shift and then evening shift and really no break in between. It can get quite stressful.

I really didn't remember how much I enjoyed doing housework until my energy level was back up. Yes, here I go with that iron deficiency anemia again. My house is shaping up nicely. So much easier to do when you have the energy to actually do it.

The floors were really needing cleaning. I mean deeeeep cleaning. I mop, but it needed some scrubbing. There I was on my hands and knees, dragging the bucket and spray jug. My hair all stuck to my face from sweat, the cd player blaring and I'm just lost. Oblivious to it all. My mind starts turning over and over and thoughts are going 90-to-nuthing. I'm scrubbing and scooting and singing and just relaxing. HUH? Yup. It's been a good while since my kids totally left me alone to complete a task and it felt so good to actually start and not stop until the job was done!

The kitchen and front bathroom looks lil brighter. I think my soul got cleansed along with those floors. I sure feel a lil brighter myself!


Tuesday, June 15, 2004

The crew arrives home Wednesday!

Yeah! And spaghetti is on the menu. Labor of love...pull from the freezer, defrost over night, plunk in crockpot... cook on low...cook noodles, ..heat up garlic bread. They've been at the camp and I'm sure they will be starving as soon as they hit the door. I sure miss them. But I managed to get a good bit of cleaning done.

My sis called to give me her first meal report. She said it was soo hard. She had errands to run after work and was late getting home.. and had supper on the table in no time with no stress from running late.. and...the horror of it all....she had to wash ONE pot!

Yup, I think she's sold!

A very young friend of mine is expecting a baby, soon. She took some castor oil around 9:30 and we chatting online about it. It was around 10:30pm.

ME: Are you gonna take 2 more tablespoons before going to bed?
P: Probably. It says you can take up to 4 tablespoons in a day and it's still today. I checked the time.

Oh to be young again! LOL

Gnite!

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Sisterly Love

Those of you with sisters know what I'm talking about. The kind of love that makes you want to scream from the top of your lungs because your sister has pushed you over the edge, and then there is the kind that bonds you so tight you would fight tooth and nail for her. Sisterly love.

My sis and I are six yrs apart. When I got married and left home she was just coming into dating and going boy-crazy. She has since gotten married, works full-time and has 2 small children. Her husband is like every other husband, with thumbs in the kitchen and helping with daily kiddo duties. She doesn't have patience for cooking and needs it ready NOW! Fast paced world we live in, ya know?

Richard often tells the kids he "cooked with love" and that's why the foods he cooks tastes so good. We've said it so much they will make comments liek "somebody was cookin with love when they made this!" or "they musta not cooked this with very much love. Ick!"

Now how, you ask, does this tie into sisterly love??

This past weekend my sis and I got together and did a cooking session of taco meat, chili, spag sauce, burritoes, enchiladas, hamburger patties all made up and ready to cook, and then some plain cooked up ground beef. Oh, and our stuffed bell peppers. She has a lot more meals made up than I do because her family is so small. Nevertheless, I was able to get some meals stashed in the freezer. With the hot weather, it's nice not to slave over the stove every afternoon to cook. I can pull a complete or partial meal out of the freezer and voila! Supper!

We had a blast! It's so much more fun to cook with a partner. Lots of ideas were exchanged, sampling of each other's cooking, etc. Sure made the time fly by.

I cannot tell you how nice it is to look in the freezer and see all the meals there, ready, waiting. And I know when we eat them they will be wonderful. Afterall, they were cooked in a kitchen filled with love :)

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

How do others see us?

Most of us say we really don't care what others think. That's not true. We do care to an extent.

Rich and I have been married over 16 years. It's been hell and wonderful all mixed in together, but I wouldn't change it. It's made us who we are today. And who we are today is all I ever wanted. All I hoped for. All I KNEW a marriage could be and is supposed to be.

I have been told more than a few times that what Rich and I have is very special. You never know how special until you hear someone else talk about how they see you.

Last night I get a phone call from a friend. She's asking if I have company because she can her laughter in the background. I tell her it's just me and kids being silly. I'm then astounded by what she says next. Not by what she says, the fact that someone can SEE it. She's telling me that my kids are so much fun to be around. That Rich and I have done a good job in raising them. That everytime she sees us we are laughing and happy.

She then leads on to me and Rich, saying she watched us once at a function for church. Not a big event, just a donut social after mass. She saw how we were at ease with each other. She recalled asking herself, "Do I light up like that when I see MY spouse?" She wants what we have. She wants to be so in love that others can see it outright.

At this point I'm all teary-eyed. I wish I could bottle it up and show folks how to get to this level. But it takes time, work and always changing. It's a dance you learn over time. I lead in the things I'm strong at, I hand over that lead when I know Rich can do a much better job. I'm not jealous of his strengths. I do try to be more like him; laid back, easy-going, clear-headed even when angry. He's amazing. I've also learned to accept him as he is. He won't send me flower bouquets at work to impress the girls, but he will hand pick flowers in a field on his way home from work "just because." I'll take those flowers anyday!

Rich and I say you learn/teach best by example. It's true. I know it is. I've been told.

Friday, June 04, 2004

The Simple Life

Okay, I never thought this would be MY life in a million years. Never. This was for some.... flower child?

While growing up, my sister always wanted a business suit man and lots of kids. Me? NOT. I wanted to travel, work, move, get away, FAR away and have a grand life. Lots of money, trips, etc.

Where do I find myself today? Married, living less than 3 miles from where I was raised, close to my family, homebody, work-at-home mom of THREE kids and loving a garden, sewing, cooking from scratch, canning, freezing and yes... gulp... cleaning my house. Not that I hyperventilate with excitement when the tub is gunky, but great pride will be had by knowing you did the job yourself.

As the years go by I find I simplify my life even more. We make our own soap, grow a garden that seems to get bigger each year, can foods, freeze foods, and make our own laundry soap and I'm beginning to make my own cleaners. Scary, isn't it?

I was shocked at the amount of homemade dry washing powder to clean 32 loads compared to a store-bought box. Homemade is about 1/4 or less than a box. Goes to show you how much filler, perfume, etc., is in store-bought. We don't go into the cost either. Softeners? I use vinegar. Pour some in the Downy ball and it works just the same if not better. And no, you won't smell like a pickle. Try it. Lemme know. Bet you will never use fabric softener from the store. My towels absorb so much more and don't have that slick feeling on them. Softer than ever too.

You may think it takes much more time to cook from scratch or can and freeze. Gardens are a lot of work, but the rewards are soo good. A lil time spent here and there preparing stuff cuts down on a lot of work. I can put meals on the table faster than every before. And good meals. Not just hotdogs and sandwhiches or boxed prepared stuff. The savings are incredible..the taste is MMMMM. My kids use to look at me with a query eye when I'd offer homemade stuff. Now they run to see what a friend has passed on to me and give me their taste test approval or denial.

The simple life fits me. I'm off to fold the laundry! Happy Day!