Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas 2014

 
Wow, Christmas is over and the New Year is almost here.  Where does the time go?  This Christmas was a whirlwind really, I had to work until 9 in the morning on Christmas eve and as soon as I got off work I was headed to Scotty's to learn how to make pies.  Yeah, I probably could have looked up a cream pie or a coconut cream pie on Pinterest but it wouldn't have been the same.  The pies I wanted to learn to make are my grandma Hilton's pies.  I have tried to make them before without any luck at all they tasted good but never set up.  So this year I asked if I could be included in the pie making.  I think it's great that Scotty and Mikey get together every big holiday to make the pies just like she did.  Every time I take one bite they remind me of all the fun holiday memories I have that she helped to create.  This year a new memory was added to the collection.  I got to Scotty's house and the crust were already about to go in the oven, so I missed that part.  But I was there and the important part was about to start.  Let me start by saying that if Cathy and I didn't have bad luck we probably wouldn't have any luck at all on this day.  I was super excited to make meringue to top the pies with and well next time I think I will just skip that part.  We got the first few pies done and were ready to whip up some egg whites to put on top and let me tell you they looked fantastic.  Next we had to put them in the oven to toast the top just a touch.  We were all standing around talking and reminiscing about the past and what we could and could not remember from our pasts and how some of the memories we had were 20-40 years ago.  Right in the middle of all those sweet memories we realized that we had put the pie in the oven to lightly brown the top...well it was a bit more than lightly brown more like heavily black.  Yep we can remember 20-40 years ago but to heck with remembering 2 minutes ago when we put the pie in the oven...that was the first of many issues we had that morning. Burnt the meringue and had to make up some more.  It really was all down hill from there I don't  know how we made it out with 10 good and yummy pies, but we did.  We had an issue with the meringue and the mixer (the mixer decided it didn't want to play well with others and threw the meringue all over the kitchen)  Cathy picked up a pie that wasn't quite cool and spilled it all over the counter top...Yea, I really don't know how we got it done but I am betting that Uncle Scotty never lets Uncle Mike out of pie making again (he'll probably beg me not to help again that's for sure).  All in all it was a great lesson for me and I hope that when I try to make them on my own they turn out as well as they did for us this Christmas.  

Christmas eve with the family was a bit different this year, we usually have sandwiches on Christmas eve because of all the Christmas food everyone eats on Christmas day but this year we made lasagna.  Oh boy was it good.  My mom was worried that we wouldn't make enough so while shopping for all the things we needed to make it she kept "saying get two, we need to make sure we have enough, there are 11 of us you know."  I kept telling her I know what I'm doing but she kept insisting and I was just trying to get her out of Walmart.  This is probably a blog post in itself but I will clue you in...She walks slow ( like crazy slow and I worry she will fall) so the girls (Valorie & Haleigh) wanted her to drive the little buggy they have for the handicap people.  I was OK with that for all of 3 seconds until I realized how many stinking people were at the store and the fact that she drives that thing worse than she drives her car.  She had no regard for shelves or people...if it got in her way she was going to run it over, frontwards, backwards or in circles (me included while I was bending over to get something off the shelf)  The girls thought this was great though so they were no help at all.  We finally got all the things we needed and got the heck out of there. 
If you follow me on facebook or instagram you might remember one of my last garage sale finds...a HUGE roasting pan.  I used it at Thanksgiving for our turkey (BIG @#$ PAN)  Anyway, with all the stuff mom bought and all the worrying she was doing about not having enough for 11 people I pulled out the big pan and we started putting together one GIANT lasagna (thanks Val for your help)  The picture you are looking at is a nearly 20 pound $70 lasagna.  It was fabulous and all eleven people ate until they were nearly sick and guess what...we had enough leftovers for about 32 more people.  (there is still some in my fridge as I type)


Christmas day!  I love when the girls wake up to find gifts under the tree.  Yeah they know where the gifts come from but it is always fun to see them light up when they see the things they have been wishing for.  This year "Santa" left treats for the dogs under the tree as well and even though the girls were happy I am positive neither of them were more happy than our little doggies.  They were running circles and trying to decide which treat they wanted first.  It was sweet. (and Marty has not completely destroyed his stuffed toy yet either Janae)
 To top off my awesome Christmas post let me introduce you to my newest favorite kitchen item...you can call her Ruby.  She has found her new home right up on the kitchen cabinet ready to work at a moments notice.  I never really thought about what color I would like to have just that I have wanted one of these stand mixers for several years now.  But since being given this bright red beauty I don't think any other color would have worked as well as this one does.  Stephen keeps talking about taking better care of ourselves and eating better to lose some weight but I am afraid that with the addition of Ruby we are going to have to work extra hard because so far she has started off with making cookies (hope she knows how to make healthy stuff too)   ;-)

Stephen got a fancy new toy this year too (he is just as spoiled as the three of his girls) if you want to see it you will have to stop by and let him get it out of the safe to show you.

I truly am blessed beyond measure with the love of my family and friends.  I enjoyed my whirl wind holiday getting to spend so much time with you all.  The gifts mean nothing compared to each and every one of you.  I love you all.
 
I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas and may the up coming New Year bring you exciting new adventures.  I know I am looking forward to what 2015 has to offer.

Thanks for reading

always,
tammyc

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pinterest tried it...owl bet you laugh at this one

So it's been a couple of years since I thought to myself that I would make a whole quilt out of cute little yoyos.  You know what I'm talking about, the small circles of fabric that you stitch around the outside and then pull and gather the outside in to the middle (see photo and you will be like "oh yeah, I know what those are")  Anyway when I started forever ago it was such a sweet notion but as I continued to make these little circles and stitch them by hand the more I stabbed my poor fingers with the needle the more I started thinking about quilt size...did I really need a large quilt made from these things?  Nah.  I can just do a small lap quilt, so I continued making them.  That is until I just sat them down one day and didn't pick them back up for nearly 2 years.  And when I did finally pick them back up I got to rethinking my idea about what to do with them yet again, do you have any idea how many two inch yoyos one would need for even a small lap quilt?  Yeah too many to think about.  So I had seen a lamp shade on Pinterest that I was sure I could do but even that seemed like it was going to take forever so back in the bag and into the sewing cabinet they went.  I really don't have that much time to sit and make that many of them by hand anyway and it wasn't something I could work on at work either seeing that the bosses actually want the employees to do work while at work.  Ugh!
Today however I am way out of whack with my sleep schedule and I was awake with hubs he was watching TV and I sat browsing Pinterest when I came across this cute little owl made of yoyos.  I had pinned it a few days ago and had forgotten about it until today.  I got one of those "ah ha" moments and took off to the sewing cabinet, got the all but forgotten bag of yoyos out and sat down and went to work on trying to figure out how the lady made hers.  I mean she is selling these cute little guys on Etsy for $12 each.  It looked fairly easy so I color coordinated my yoyos and started to work.  Now stop laughing, this was a trial run and I only spent about 45 minutes working on it.  After I finished I was quite surprised that it even remotely resembled an owl so that for me was good enough.  I was proud for even trying.  I can see by looking at it that it's not anywhere close to what the other lady made, mine looks like he has been starved nearly to death and his eyes are OMGoodness large  but hey he looked kinda like an owl and now I know what I did wrong if for some crazy reason I feel the need to make more of them.  (I doubt it)  ;-)
Hope this little out on a limb (bahaha pun intended☺) crafty post inspires you to try creating something even if it doesn't quite turn out how you expect it to.  You never know until you try 

Also if you would like to buy one of her cute little owls this is where I found her listing  https://www.etsy.com/listing/184786092/fabric-yo-yo-owl

Thanks for reading

always
tammyc

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Logic & Reason...Take that elsewhere Mister!


This past Friday a dear friend and I got to get away for a couple of hours of treasure hunting (garage sales but treasure hunting sounds more exciting)  anyway...while we were out and about I came across this travel tumbler sold by Starbucks.  Now I have seen this tumbler before but was never willing to pay the price for one brand new.  I mean really 20+ bucks for a cup?  No.  It never made sense to me.  But like I said treasure hunting...I found this for only $2 and yes two dollars is a bit much for one item at yard sales but after all it was Starbucks brand.  I bought it, took it home, gave it a good washing and began using it at work that night.  I keep ice water with me throughout my shift and this lid doesn't leak while in transport inside my bag.  I liked that.  But that is not the end of my amazement with this tumbler. 
If my memory serves me right I remember another of my dear friends owning one of these exact tumblers and I believe she had mentioned in the past that hers kept her drink cold most if not all of her 12 hour shift.  I filled it at 8pm and at 4am it still had ice in it from home.  I added more ice and at this point I put in a cold can of soda at 9:30 in the morning the soda was gone but the ice looked as if I had just filled it up.  WOW!  I was impressed.  It kept things cold and didn't sweat like most glasses and water bottles. 
After two nights of using it for cold drinks I asked myself..."if it keeps things this cold how am I ever going to drink my coffee out of it?  It is never going to be cool enough to drink"   So at the end of work I got home and mentioned all this awesomeness to the hubs (he wasn't nearly as impressed as I was~buzz kill)  but before going to bed I informed him I was going to be conducting "an experiment"  I want to know how long this cup will keep my coffee hot.  So I am in the kitchen with my new awesome cup in the space for cups on the Keurig waiting ever so patiently for the thing to brew my cup of hot coffee when hubs walks past

Hubs: Why are you making a cup of coffee, you are about to go to bed
Me:  Do you even listen to me?  I want to know how long this cup keeps coffee hot.
Hubs:  But why are you making coffee?
(it is at this moment I realize that I could have just had the Keurig heat water for my "experiment" and not wasted a cup of coffee)
Me:  Why are you coming at me with all this logic and reason? 
Hubs: shook his head and walked away 
Me:  I'm going to bed.  Don't let anyone pour out this cup of coffee...I'm doing my experiment.
(sometimes I feel like I need to repeat my self to him because I am sure he doesn't really listen to me and all my craziness)  :) 

I had it in my head that I wanted to know how hot the coffee would stay (because who drinks hot water?) and in my defense I was at the end of my 12 hour night shift and my brain was already trying to shut down for the day and he was fresh from sleeping all night long. 

Experiment findings:  the coffee that was left in the cup on the cabinet from 10:00 am until 5:30 pm was lukewarm.  I don't drink coffee lukewarm but who really leaves coffee in a cup for seven and a half hours and still drinks it anyways?  Gross!  So I believe this cup is worth the $2 I paid for it and it may have even proved to me that $20+ might not be too terrible of a price to pay for one new. 

Hope you got a giggle out of this as now every time I see or hold the tumbler I hear hubs voice asking "why are you making coffee" and my response of   "...logic & reason" and it makes me smile.  Oh the conversations we have.  Be glad I don't share all of them.  :)

Have a fantastic week
Thanks for reading

always
tammyc


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Electronic Hoarding

You all know what this means (Pinterest) and if you don't good for you.  I cannot even count the hours of a week I spend browsing this site.  But when I say that it sounds like I hate it.  On the contrary.  I love Pinterest and even though I spend countless hours on it there is always something awesome to find.  Whether its a new quilt idea or a new yummy meal for the family I am always finding things there.  It's a wish list for if I were to ever win the lottery so to speak.  Ya know how it is...new room decorating ideas, repurposed furniture that would go great in this room or that.  But in reality it is just a great place to keep stuff without having to add rooms on to your house.  Because heaven knows I could never have all that stuff in my house.  It would be bursting at the seams ( I know I know... it kind of is already without all that extra stuff)



But this morning I have been up for a few hours alone with nothing but my thoughts and the Internet (Right?  Never a good thing huh) I was on Pinterest looking through all the things that I have pinned through the last few years (72 boards, 4,021 pins & 946 likes) and have decided that I need to start doing some of these projects.  Well the ones that won't cost an arm & a leg to complete and that will serve a purpose because who really needs a vampire killing fence?  Right me neither.  Although this same thought would be handy for zombie killing as well  :)



But I have been wanting to create a space in my kitchen for my keurig and all the coffee paraphernalia that we have.  You know the old thought "everything has a place & everything in its place"  I love this thought but raising kids it kind of went out the window and we just try to do what we can to be as organized as possible so we can get by without being lost in the mess.  So this morning while looking at my pins I came across this one...Cute right?  I love the idea of this.  When I pinned it must have believed that I could make it a reality right?  Why else would I have pinned it?  For if we ever move and have a "dream kitchen" no.  I don't ever see us moving.  We have put so much work into the little piece of land that it would be silly to leave now.  So with the hopes of maybe getting this done in my kitchen in the future I pinned a cute little coffee station.  Guess what TODAY is the future!

Yes, today is that "one day in the future" that I am going to make a coffee station.  In my kitchen and it will be absolutely cute and incredibly functional.  That's right.  I am going to take the pin idea and make it reality. Yay me!

I would like to try out more pin ideas and instead of just collecting them online (electronic hoarding) make them something real...I have done this in the past, made it a point to try some of the things that I pinned.  I have a board on Pinterest that is titled "tried these love em"  You should check it out.  I am going to try more pins and build the pin count on the tried it board.  If I don't blog about them you can still check them out on my Pinterest page or either of the following.  

You can check out my Facebook page I will post updates to the blog there.
My crazy random life

also my Instagram page
instagram.com/a_junebug74/

Have a great Sunday
Thanks for reading

always
tammyc

***~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~***

!!UPDATE!!
Well I finished it.  My very own coffee station for all our coffee and tea making needs.  In the photo the only thing not finished is the hooks for the cups to hang from on the shelf.  But this afternoon hubs brought home hooks and now the cups are up handy for anyone who whats a nice cup of coffee or tea.  I love this space, it looks so cute.  Just need to decide on a color to paint the cabinet :-/

Thanks again for reading

always
tammyc

Thursday, August 7, 2014

287 days


So I got a Facebook message yesterday about planning a party for graduation this coming year as there will be 3 of them graduating this next May and let me be honest I was at work when I read the message and my first thought was "what the #*!! It's 9 months away, when has anyone in this family ever planned anything more than a month out?"  In my defense it had been a long night at work and well I was tired and nowhere near ready to talk about party planning.  But after sleeping and reading the messages again I had a better outlook.  I was still thinking the "when has anyone planned this far out" part.  I mean come on.  Nearly every one of my readers are family and you all have to admit that no one in this family plans for stuff very far off.  A month is awesome but nine times out of ten it's a week 2 if you're lucky. 
I should probably get a little excited about having a senior this year.  I suppose that with her already turning 18 a few months ago the fear of her being an adult has already came and left.  But as far away as graduation seems (287 days) I have no doubt that it will be here before we know it and yes I am positive I will be a big old cry baby about my little cupie doll graduating.
She has grown and changed so much over the years but she has also changed me.  I have had to learn to not show fear when faced with bad situations because she has been there to watch how I handle them.  I have never wanted anything more than I want for her to be a strong independent young lady.  I may not always handle everything with grace but who of us has every single time?  But I look at my girl now and know deep in my heart that she will do just fine on her own in life.  She is smart, beautiful, caring, compassionate, reliable and a wonderful friend.  Even though she is my daughter she is one of my dearest friends.
I know she is reading this thinking "ugh, mom we are not friends". But in a few years when (if) she chooses to be a mom she will realize how good of friends moms and daughters (children) can really be.
She has taught me to forgive more easily and to stand up for people I care about.  Traits I already had but being mom made them stronger.  She has shown me how to be a real friend without judgment by being a friend to her friends without holding grudges. 
For the two of you who bombarded my message box with party planning ideas and suggestions don't worry I'm on board and I can see a super fabulously fun family time for our graduates to remember for quite some time.  And I thank you dearly for asking us to join in the fun.  I can't wait.

To Valorie, Haleigh & Clayton this is your senior year it is meant to be the best year of your whole school career I hope you make the absolute most of it and create memories to share with your future kids.  Do everything you possibly can in school and out.  Hang out with your friends go to football games, basketball games...all the games.  Attend plays and assemblies be silly and be serious.  These are the last days of being high schoolers.  It's your year you've earned the title SENIOR so own it and make it whatever it means to you.  Know that we are all so very proud of you and are all here for you every step of the way.  Most importantly know that we love you. 

Wow, seniors...really though where did all this time go and how can we get it back?  Just kidding ☺

Have a great week, thanks for reading.
always
tammyc

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lansing


In the short amount of time I have spent here this guy has captured my heart as much as our fur babies at home have.  It is going to be weird around the department without him laying right in the middle of the floor or barking at absolutely nothing in the back of the room at the wall or being startled by him in a random Tpack cubbie.  I am going to miss the way he sneaks up and takes towels and blankets off cots and leaves them scattered all over the place.  The way he freaks out and nothing really calms him down when there is thunder or fireworks at drillers stadium.  The way his eyes light up when he sees his cheese.  The way he walks around with his nose in the air sniffing when someone has food in the department.  The way he use to steal items from the lost and found every day.  And the way he snags stuffed animals out of boxes in the department and shreds them before we have a chance to place them on the units.  No matter his age or the state of his health he is always up to something and keeping things interesting at work.  He has made some of my worst days at work a little better just by being himself.
Lots of people here couldn't care less that he won't be here anymore, some complain about his dog hair everywhere but never pick up a broom to help control it.  They complain about him being under their feet but never stop to think he just needs a little petting and love and he would go on his way.  But there are those of us who will miss all of his craziness.  And it will be an incredibly sad day on my first day back to work after his last day here.  So many people are asking if we are getting a replacement dog? Really?  But who knows what management has in store.  New dog or not there will never be another Lansing.
Farewell buddy you have been a loyal coworker and friend ☺


Have a good week everyone, thanks for reading

always
tammyc

Sunday, June 29, 2014

So this is 40 ☺



I remember being a little kid thinking how old 40 seemed...turns out it isn't so bad.  Yeah I've only been 40 for a few days but really it doesn't feel any different than not being 40 and honestly I don't mind it.  I wouldn't want to go back to any other age either.  This age is so far the best.  Stephen and I have almost finished raising our girls (and pretty good girls they are too) we have a nice home on a small piece of land and have enough money to enjoy life together.  Much better than when I was in my twenties where we had 2 little girls a tiny home and one paycheck.  Yeah, 40 is when you kinda have your shit together it would seem & the best part is 40 isn't as horrible as everyone makes it out to be. 

I had a fabulous time celebrating my birthday this year, my dearest friend (who will be hitting the big 4 0 in just under a year) and a few of my family members made sure they "painted the town" as they put it to be sure everyone knew that I was becoming "over the hill"  
It's funny because for several months everyone was reminding everyone else to not forget to hang signs for Tammy's 40th.  No one wanted my day to go by without getting their revenge.  Yes, I have spent (probably more than) my share of late nights making and hanging signs all over every sign post, paper box, ice box and random fence to spread the word of loved ones big (old) milestones.  It is something I remember always doing once I was out on my own.  I guess I do it because I want everyone to feel special on their birthday and to see signs hanging all over town is a fun way to show them that someone was thinking of them on their special day (along with many strangers wondering who just turned 30, 40, 50...)  It was fun driving through town this past Wednesday to see how well I had taught those that hung signs for me.  They did pretty darn well.  I counted 14 from one end of town to the middle of town and there were about 15-20 more on the other end of town.  No one could miss them.  I went to renew my drivers license on Friday afternoon and the lady in the tag office said "oh, you just turned 40 didn't you?"  She mentioned that she seen all the signs around town as well as a couple other ladies in the office doing business.  (So for each of you that spent time making sure people would see that I got old...your work paid off.)    :)
I don't know really why I started hanging signs but I do remember being a little kid when my uncle Mike turned 30 and though Nanny didn't hang signs all over town, she did hang a big sign "Mike is dirty at 30" or something to that nature on their front door and everyone that came over got to sign their name and birthday wishes on it.  I thought that was too cool and it showed him that people were celebrating his special day.  I love birthdays and even if it is a little home cooked dinner and cake with only those that live with you, all birthdays should be celebrated. 

Yep this is 40 and so far it's not so bad and I can't wait to see what all this next 10 years has in store for me. 


Thanks for reading & have a great day 

Always,
tammyc

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

18 already?


The reality of it really hasn't sank in yet I don't think, she still has one more year of school so that's probably why.
My first born 18 years old.  Despite all the reminders of her age from my sweet girl, it truly does seem like only yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital when all the sudden here we are just over 2 weeks past her turning eighteen, where did all those years go?
I would love to be able to sit here and recount every single detail with you from the very start but that might bore you to tears and well she might kill me of I did that.  Because I can remember lots of little moments that would embarrassed her to death like how she was so scared of everyone singing happy birthday on her first birthday that she hid under the table crying and didn't want to touch the cake we got her.  Or of her and her bff having cupcakes in their diapers that nanny brought by after Cathy's party at school when they were only one.  Or of her and the same friend thinking that the best time to chit chat is while going pee pee in the bathroom together one on the toilet and one on the training potty facing each other when they were just tiny little girls.
Yeah, I have lots of those fun memories floating around in my mind but like I said she might kill me if I tell too many.
At 18 you would think she could handle everyone singing happy birthday, well she did better than the first time anyway.  This year she got a 7 night Carnival Cruise for her birthday.  Her room was decorated by carnival before she ever got to her room and they left a cake for her as well. (Over the top spoiled?  Yes she is.  But that's ok she deserves to be) and at her birthday dinner the waiters in the restaurant on the ship brought her cake with a candle and all gathered around to sing happy birthday to her. She sat there smiling and her face turning about 18 shades of red but she didn't crawl under the table or cry and she was fully dressed while eating said cake and she goes to the restroom all by her self like a big girl now so we have made at least a little progress with her in the 18 years we've had her  ;)
 
 If you have a fun fond memory of our sweet girl please feel free to share it in the comment section at the bottom of this post.  We would love to read what you share.

Thanks for reading my ramblings.

Have a great day

tammyc

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

taking a break

Hey followers, I know I know I haven't posted in forever.  And I have to tell you it will be another week or so.

We are going to be gone on vacation.  We need recharging.  Everything in life has gotten pretty hectic and stupid.  So thank goodness for vacation.

See you all on the other side ☺
Have a great couple of weeks.

Thanks for reading

tammyc

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring is finally here...I think

It's been a while since I sat down to write in the blog.  We've been quite busy in the last few weeks and I just haven't made time.  So I thought I would just catch you all up to speed. 


 
The weather is finally starting to be more spring like and we are getting more and more nice days.  With that said everyone at home has been feeling the need to clean things up and shake the winter mess.  (thank goodness)

 The hens have finally seen things my way (or I just stopped worrying so much about it) but they have started laying quite well.  We have 10 hens and are getting 9 eggs a day.  So someone is being lazy just about every day but I will let it slide as it isn't 10 hens being lazy every day. I am grateful because my Britt loves eggs and was beginning to get cranky about having to eat store bought eggs.  They do taste different.  Weird I know but they do.

Mike and Nanny celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary as well as Nikki turning 21.  With all the excitement of my girl showing her pig at OYE we were quite pressed for time and I am just now getting around to finishing up Mike and Nanny's gift.  Gave it to them (not quite finished) a week and a half ago at their anniversary dinner.  I think they liked it.  I just need to finish it and return it.
I love when the weather is nice because we get to take the bike out.  I love the wind in my face.  It is relaxing and I don't have to reply to calls or texts while out on the bike.  FREEDOM!
Last week Stephen and I celebrated our 19th anniversary.  I can not believe we have been married this long.  Not that it hasn't been good, but for a girl who never really wanted to get married 19 years is pretty damn good.  We didn't really do anything awesome to celebrate mostly because we are going to be going on a cruise in a few weeks and I had to work that night .  I made him a nice steak dinner with all the extras and when I woke to get ready for work these wonderful flowers were waiting for me.  They still look great too.  ♥
April is my Britt's birth month and since we are taking the cruise as Val's 18th birthday celebration I agreed that Britt deserved a gift every day until her birthday.  It has been so fun for both of us.  I am not spending a ton of money on the gifts as you can see in the photo above but she has been so excited to see what waits for her each day.  It may not be a big deal or a fancy gift but you know when you get to the end of your road and look back it really was the small things that meant the most right?
 Artichokes!  I have never purchased these myself and the only time I have ever eaten them is in a dip at a restaurant.  But because I have gotten back into buying fruits and vegetables from bountifulbaskets.org I have been getting items I wouldn't normally buy.  It's a good thing, makes us as a family try new things and everyone should try something new every day.  So this week we are having grilled artichokes.  We'll see how they turn out.  ☺
 Oh this sweet face.  He is growing so fast, he changes every time I see him.  I love getting time to hold and snuggle him.  His mommy and daddy are doing so well as new parents. So grateful that we get to share this sweet guys life. 
 
 Oh and prom...I am having a hard time with the fact that Val is going to be turning 18 and that she got to go to her first prom.  She is almost an adult (kinda) and I hate that she is going to be leaving our little nest sooner than I'd like.  Thank goodness she has one more year of high school left. 
She looked absolutely stunning all dress up with her hair and make up done.  We rarely see her in anything other than her jeans, t-shirts and chucks so to get to see her in all her prom get up was amazing.  I have always known she was a princess and to see her dress the part at least for the evening made me the happiest mom around.  I ♥ you Valorie Michelle!  ☺
  


Well this about sums up the last couple of weeks or so.  This week isn't looking quite as busy but I am sure we will have some stories to tell and some memories to make.  We will be celebrating Brittnie's birthday Saturday with a bit of cake and ice cream.  Cant wait to see the family.  I am hoping to get to the lake soon and visit with family.  I know my momma gets mad that I don't come see her often but shees...it's an hour and a half there and back (3 hours round trip).  I next to never have that much extra time to drive anywhere.  Maybe they should move back over to our area so I can see them more  (hint hint)
Anyway.  Make some memories (even the little ones count) and have some fun.


Thanks for reading

Have a great week

always
tammyc

Monday, March 24, 2014

A bit of fiction

I like writing.  I know that I have said that here before.  Because I like to write is why I have this blog.  Well that and it is a great way to share what is going on with my family with the rest of my extended family that I don't get to see on a regular basis.  I have posted in the past that I have this incredibly crazy desire to write a book.  Now I don't know what I want to write a book about or when it would even happen but what I do know is that I have been trying to write something (even a little bit) every day.  I have an app that gives you an idea to write about.  A writing prompt, one sentence and I have to come up with a story and characters for the story on my own.  Today I just thought I would share a little.  The prompt was "you're at Woodstock"  Are you kidding me?  That was 5 years before I was even born and I have little to no knowledge about it.  But anyway, here is what I have.  It isn't much and it may not be great but it is something and it makes my brain work towards a future goal.  And it's fun. 

Enjoy.



It always brings a smile to her face to think about the way she had met Billy and it amazes her that they have lived this life together. 
     It was a time when things were changing in Lizzy’s world so quickly.  At just 18 she was taking time to do what she wanted and learn by doing things on her own.
     Just a few days ago she stood outside a storefront watching the first man step foot on the moon.  And here she was in the middle of a field on a farm in New York with her girlfriends at a concert.  She was no longer that sweet little girl in the perfect pink skirts.  She never felt like she fit in the cookie cutter life that she had been raised in.  She left home after high school to find out why she was here.  To find out what else was out there?  Her Brother had been killed in the war and her parents never seemed to notice her anymore and here now in this crowd of thousands listening to this man play his guitar she felt connected and a part of something bigger than she had known in that quiet little suburb.
      The music drifted through the air along with the smell of smoke, she had never been into trying the things her friends were in to and just being surrounded by it was having a crazy effect on her.  She felt strange and relaxed but at the same time her heart was racing and she was breathing way to heavy she needed to find a place to sit and soon if she was going to be able to find her way back to the van.
     She had gotten separated from her friends when Billy had grabbed her hand and took off through the crowd to get a better view of Hendrix.  Ah Billy, she had only met him yesterday at the diner not far from here, they had stopped to get a bite to eat and recharge from their drive.  He had the most amazing green eyes, you could see he was a hardworking man by looking at his strong arms; his hair was much longer than any of the boys back home. He had a messy look about him that she instantly fell for.  They had discussed their plans of attending this crazy concert on a farm but she never thought she would see him again.  The out of nowhere he was standing in front of her leaning in to give the most amazing kiss she had ever had.  He said all the things a girl wants to hear, how he could not stop thinking about her.  That all he wanted was to find her again to get to know her more.  She felt herself getting lost in his words and feeling every inch of him pressed against her, his arms pulling her in as he all but enveloped her.  And as quickly as the kiss started it was finished and he had pulled her through all these people to where they were dancing and swaying and she felt completely intoxicated by the whole experience and hoped it would never end.  How could she feel so much changing in only a few short days, but then that is how it happens, you decide one day that you need adventure and instead of staying put in the same rut you have been in your whole life you take a step and go after whatever it is that is waiting for you.  Because you never know what you will find when you start looking for yourself.


Like I said it isn't much.  But I do enjoy just writing no matter how short or how long the story. 

Thanks for reading

Have a great week.

always

tammyc


 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A bunny farm

No, not that kind of bunny farm.  This is after all Oklahoma not Nevada.


Peter (daddy)
Paula (momma)
So weird story but then again this is my life and 9 times out of 10 it is a weird story.
I was sitting at work one day and a coworker said "I want a snickers"  I replied with "I want a bunny"  there was a second of awkward silence and then he replied "well that's out there"  I had been  looking at pinterest that day and there happened to be lots of pictures of rabbits.  We live on a farm so why not right.  Only I had no idea where to get rabbits or any real place to keep them.  I know where Britt gets the constant need to bring animals home that's for sure.  Later that day I was on facebook and a friend I use to work with had posted to my timeline that she had a mating pair of rabbits for sale and wanted to know if I wanted them.  Her story is she is raising New Zealand white rabbits for sale as meat rabbits.  My first response was...I would love to have some rabbits but I am not sure the hubs would be willing to kill and clean them.  She informed me that she sells them alive and the purchaser has to do the killing. Or keep them as pets whatever they choose to do with them.  And that she can't keep up with the demand with what she has.  So I talked to the hubs and he says it's ok for me to buy the pair.
I made arrangements to pick up the pair from dear friend but we only took one cage and had to place both rabbits in together.  It was quite funny when we put the male in the cage with the female...they are both about the same size and white with red eyes.  They look identical.  It was dark outside and my sweet Britt pipes up "oh no, how are we going to know which one is which" at that moment she pointed the flashlight to the cage and well the male was doing what male rabbits do and we all burst out laughing at the same time a very quiet "never mind" came from Britt.

Laughing and jokes aside, we got our rabbits home and only had one large cage for a while but we were informed that they didn't think our female rabbit was old enough to be a momma just yet.  It was just a couple of weeks that they were in the same cage together and after being separated for a while Paula started pulling fur from under her chin and  piling it up in a corner.
No we're not rabbit farmers so I had to do a bit of research and learned that this was indication that she was indeed old enough to be a mom and that within a few days we would have bunnies.  About a month after buying them  ☺

only hours old
Our babies were born 2 days before Valentines day.  (5 of them)  We had never really seen newborn bunnies and they look like little rats or something.  they appear to have no hair but in fact are covered in the finest fur that is the softest thing I have ever felt. The following are a few pictures we have gotten of our baby rabbits.  We will be selling them.  All except the mom and the dad at about 6-8 weeks old.  Those that do not get sold will be harvested and put in the freezer.  Someone jokingly asked if it was illegal to eat the Easter bunny, but since this breed of rabbits have been used as meat rabbits long before I bought some I think we'll be ok.  I am curious to see how many sell and how many go in the freezer.


My girls still have a bit of a hard time with this idea, but they knew when we bought them that dinner would be in the future.  But they are learning that is just how life is when you have farm animals.
One week



1 week & 4 days. 
3 weeks and already weaned



I will be posting them on craigslist and other social media sites soon.  They would make fantastic Easter gifts if you had room for one. You can even litter train them.  But who has that kind of time.  
That's just a little of the craziness going on at the farm these days.  Check back to see what other shenanigans we have going on.
5 weeks almost ready for new homes

Thanks for reading

always
tammyc

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ten cents to wash a load of laundry...WHAT?

I know it sounds crazy and if you are like I was you have your favorite leading brand laundry soap and you are pretty hesitant to switch to some home made version that might not get your clothes as clean as you would like.  Well throw those thoughts out of your head.  It works.  I didn't believe it until I tried it and well it is kind of a risk to see if you like it or not after all it does cost about $30 to make it up.  But I can tell you I was spending about that same amount twice a month with the amount of laundry we go through at our house (2 teenage daughters...ugh!)  Anyway the photo above is what you will need.

4lb 2oz box of Borax
3lb 7 oz box of Arm & Hammer washing soda
3lb tub of Oxyclean
2 bars of Fels-naptha stain remover
4lb box of Arm & Hammer baking soda
55oz bottle of Purex Crystals fabric softener

I have included a picture of my receipt from this trip to buy supplies.  Yes it was $30.31  Seems like a lot but keep reading.  This isn't as bad as it seems.


 








This photo (on the left) although the date is pretty light is the date of when I last made my laundry soap.  If you can't see it well it says 7-12-13.  That's right July 12th of last year.  I am posting this post 2 days after actually making it so the date was 3-6-14  If my counting is correct (and I know it is) that is 7 and a half months of laundry soap for a teeny bit over $30.  Yes.  And yes in our house we do laundry every single day and if we don't it is defiantly every other day.  It amazes me every time I make this stuff.  The photo on the right is what was left in the bottom of our bucket when I went to the store to buy more soap making supplies.  I poured it into the jar below.  (note that there is about enough to do a few more loads of laundry. I just hate getting this low.)  Yes a few more loads.  That is because it only takes 2 tablespoons per normal size load of laundry.  I have kids & a hubs and they never measure the right amount and yet we still managed to make this soap last 7 and a half months...AMAZING!!!

 Here is how you mix it up.  
Everything is pretty easy to mix together.  The bar soap is what seems to be the most time consuming.  The first time I made it I use a hand cheese grater (I was begging for help before I was finished...got no volunteers)  It worked but the grated pieces were a bit big.  The second time I made it I thought there had to be a better way.  So I got my trusty blender out and chopped up the bars like the picture below.  Placed a chunk at a time in the blender.  It started to gunk up in the bottom so I tossed in a half a scoop of oxyclean and that helped to keep it from sticking to the blades.  I like the size resulting from this method.  Bad thing is after making this soap in my old (got it for a wedding gift 19 years ago) blender after 4 batches the blender died.  I have not replaced it yet.  Didn't remember that until I was ready to make soap this last time.  Well poop!  Now what?
 I remembered reading that a lady online(http://www.howdoesshe.com/cheaper-and-better-diy-laundry-detergent/) had placed her soap in the microwave for a minute and it puffs up and when it cools it dries and it crumbles in your hand with just a little pressure.  Please note she uses Zote bar soap and the Fels Naptha takes a little longer than 1 minute but not much I kept adding 30 seconds.  I think it was ready about 2-2.5 minutes.  Place soap in a glass dish and be careful as it can burn and you don't want that smell in your kitchen (trust me)  I had a few pieces I had to take out because they did start to burn and the smell was awful.  Just trust me on this one.  Before next time I will purchase a new blender (cheap one) just for making soap.  I can use it until it dies.  It helps to save me money so I think it'll be OK.   :)


Mixing it all up after you have your bar soap prepared.  I have tried this a couple different ways too...trial and error.  That's how I do. 
Anyway. This method works best in my opinion.  I have a large bowl and I add a scoop of everything and a few chunks of the puffed up bar soap I mix it with my hands while crumbling the bar soap.  It works well.  If I had used a blender I would just add a small scoop of the blended soap.  Anyway.  I then dump the mixed soap into the bucket I use for storing my laundry soap.  I have a spoon because after each time of adding a small amount I give it all a good stir that way everything is really good and mixed. 


This seems a little time consuming, but in the end it is worth it to me to save the crazy amounts of money by using home made laundry soap rather than buying the leading brand.  I liked to buy tide pods and just an example of how much you save.  A bag of 72 pods (72 loads) is about $18 that is 25 cents per load.  I can not believe I was spending that much on laundry.  And don't forget the fabric softener.  A box of 120 Bounce dryer sheets is about $5.50 Yeah only around 5 cents per load but now your total cost per load is up to 30 cents.  I did the math and this awesome homemade soap is 299 ounces total and you use 2 Tablespoons per load.  Google how many ounces in 2Tablespoons...I'll wait here for you......Yep that's right 2 Tablespoons is 1 ounce.  ONE OUNCE!  OK so look again.  299 loads of laundry soap with fabric softener and stain remover included and it only costs $30.31 to make.  That makes this soap 10 cents per load of laundry.  
That is why I love this soap.






I re-purposed this bucket this last summer from the pool tablets.  It is the perfect size for one full batch of soap and it has a flip top lid that latches closed.  I have a 2 tablespoon scoop that I used a magnet to keep it attached to the dryer right next to the shelf were the bucket of soap is kept in my laundry room. 




I have heard it said that the clothes don't smell fresh as if you're using store bought stuff, I myself haven't had this problem.  I use it daily and can smell it in my closet.  I made some quilts and washed them before giving them as gifts and a comment was made about how fresh and clean the quilts smelled.  So maybe it isn't as strong as if you had a dryer sheet or store bought tide but everything in it is safe for sensitive skin and we have no issues with any kind of skin reaction from this soap.

Another question you might have is "Is it safe for high efficiency appliances?"  Yes.  It makes less suds and there for works well for these types of washers. I've been using this for about 2 years now and I have an HE washer and dryer, with no problems.  The less suds part took a bit of getting use to but the clothes come out clean so I'm happy.

I have handed out lots of jars to family and friends for them to try it before they make it them selves.  So if you would like to try it give me a shout.

Thanks for taking time to read today.

Have a great day

Always
tammyc