Friday, October 31, 2008

I need your help.

It's school auction time.

I have a goal of how much I want to raise for my children's school this year. I'm falling a bit short. So how about you all give me some clever ideas of who, what or how I can do something for the school. You know I do everything you tell me.

The auction is in November. So far, I've donated some pork, commandeered a baker for six loaves of yummy bread to accompany some of my preserves, asked a local winery to host two wine tasting events that I will make food for and the winery is also hosting a group of people for a morning of harvesting grapes which includes breakfast and lunch and I've asked a friend if she'll bake her awesome cinnamon rolls.

What else? Would you pay to have a kids party in the country with hot dogs roasted on an open fire? Maybe throw in some country fun like hiding little toys in a big tub of grain, gunny sack, um, um, that's all I've got. Why can't I think of something else to do with a group of little kids? Oh, right because I usually just say, "GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY!" I don't think anyone would pay money to hear me say that to their kid.

Tell me what you would want to see at an auction. Tell me the best fundraiser you've ever seen. I don't have much time and I should have asked you all months ago, but this is how I roll, I'm good under pressure. Let's hear it, whatcha got for me?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I have a four year old.

I say yes, he says NO!

I say stop and off he goes!

I turn left and he goes right.

I want peace.
He's ready to fight!



He's four years old.

He's Levi!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Hate Football

I have a husband snoring in bed next to me, a cat curled up on my chest and yet, here I am half awake or half asleep, blogging.

I went to the last, I mean, standing game today. I drove over an hour toting my two littles with me, sat in the cold with three blankets wrapped around me to watch my son stiffly try to move his cold body onto the field in the last moments of the 4th quarter of a game that they were losing so badly there was no hope they could ever win.

It's official, I HATE FOOTBALL!!! Would I hate it less if my son played more? Maybe. But, the fact that I can't pick him out of the huddle on the field or the mass of bodies clumped after a play, makes me think.... I would still hate it. It is the stupidest sport my children have ever been involved with, and they've been in a lot of stinkin' sports.

Never, have I questioned the integrity of a sport so much as football. It has been poured down my throat like thick syrup this year how much football will aid my son in becoming a better man, make him work harder, be stronger, treat others with more respect....excuse me while I gag for a moment. How? How does football do those things? How does any sport do those things? Heck, if that's true then I'm glad Clay didn't play football! I know how much you all love him already, it would be disgusting how wonderful he'd be if he had only PLAYED FOOTBALL! And let's face it, I would never have lived up to the standards that a man who's played football would require, what woman could?

Ooooh, I think I'm having a bit of a tirade here. Here's the deal, these boys are in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. They barley know how to get dressed by themselves and I guarantee most of them are still missing their aim at the toilet. How the heck are they going to learn how to play if they stand on the sidelines freezing their little Lycra covered butts off? Oh, wait, is that part of making them better men? Teaching them patience maybe? I know it taught me a lot of patience, but I'm definitely not a better woman and I have a blog where I can complain, so there.

It shouldn't be about winning or creaming a team at this level. It should be about putting the good players in with the bad so they can all learn and teach each other (because that would be an excellent lesson in patience and encouraging one another...Right?) and get some experience. Am I off my rocker here? Does this sound ridiculous? I don't know a lick about football, but that little bit seems obvious to me. I've seen coaches take their best players out and stick in a kid that can barely catch, run or hit in soccer, basketball, baseball and volleyball, sometimes my kid is the one being taken out and sometimes they are the one being put in, I'm okay either way, because I want to see the whole team get some playing time and improve. Why is football so different?

By the time these boys are in high school they will figure out if they should continue playing football or be in the band or stick with the one sport that they have some skill. I have no problem with coaches playing their top players in high school, those kids might be trying to get a sports scholarship. But, in junior high, every kid out their should get some significant time on the field. Right? What am I missing?

I hate football. I have three sons. Football will not be leaving my life anytime soon. I hate football. But, I do love my sons and if they want to play that dad-blasted-stupid game I will be supportive. I will say, "I'm so glad you're getting involved in the STUPIDEST sport created by the ego's of overgrown boys, really son, I'm just thrilled that you want to go out there and learn to hit people, roll in the mud and crouch down like an animal, because those are all the things I've been trying to instill in know, to make you a better man."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Iron from the Maple Leaf Festival

This huge mass of metal is why I wanted to get to The Maple Leaf festival early this year. I have a thing for metal. I want to learn how to weld someday so I can, you know, weld something.

Clay and I share this passion, we both want to weld. Oh baby, It's what keeps the home fires burnin', our passion to weld metal.

Last year, I bought four metal pieces for our yard, two 'pope hats' that live in my urns and two trellises. This is one of the trellises.

This is one of the pope hats, that's what Clay calls them.

This year I was looking for something for our porch. I got the last two window boxes. Guess how much I paid for them? $24 American Dollars!!! I know! All the iron pieces were either 10.99 or 20.99. How can you go wrong with those prices? I just wish I could have bought more and more and more! But, we're on a budget, ya know? And these were the last two, which helped my temptation.

Clay hung them up after I said, "Get those hung, NOW!" And he said, "Yes, Mastah, yessss Mastah, anything you say Mastah."
And then I told him to be quiet because I needed to tell him all about how I'm going to decorate those boxes. In the spring I'll plant lots of draping flowers and in the winter I'll put evergreens and pine cones and white lights......and....

He was riveted by my creativity, my genius ideas, the images I was painting were more than he could bear. And then he said, "Could you come back to Planet Earth and hold this darn thing, so I can go watch football?"

He also yelled at me several times for abandoning him while I was supposed to be holding something or other, but I was cold, bored and had more important things to do.Like, gather the goodies for the planters. Tell me this isn't the cutest darn thing ever in the history of fall decorations.
It's a smorgasbord of fall delights.
And look at this one. I call it Green on Green on Blue-hoody-hoo.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The only people in the world that make me look like I have a tan.....

are my children. Or do they make me look jaundiced? Or does it look like I've taken a bath in tanning cream? I wish you could see my kids at the swimming pool during the summer, they emit a glow. They have no idea what a really bad sunburn feels like, the sheets of skin peeling off, the blisters on top of blisters and then the freckles in places you never thought a freckle was possible. We only buy the baby block 50 spf and we all wear it, but somehow I still get a little tan, or should I say orange-yellow?

Oh, wait a second. Look what I found! Pictures of my glowing children. These are a couple years old, but nothing has changed as far as their skin tone is concerned.

WhiterDear God! Someone turn off the lights!

My Favorite Family Photo

And I'm not really in it. I told myself I wasn't going to post very many of these family shots, because I do keep some of my life private. Har har hahhahah! Ahem.

Yesterday, the sweet lady that took these photos watched my two youngest boys while I went to a volleyball tournament. My baby, Levi, who has been potty trained for over a year and I don't know the last time we had an 'accident' decided to crap his pants while she was watching him. I wouldn't have know about it if I hadn't seen the fancy ninja turtle underwear Levi was sporting, which we don't own. That and his older brother said, "Levi pooped his pants". I had to call and apologize to her.

This morning I took Ellen and my two littles to the second day of the eternally-long volleyball tournament. We were sitting in the bleachers nestled close to other parents and I kept getting whiffs of the stink that I personally know comes out of only one little butt hole. I know that stink all too well to deny that it isn't coming from my son. Given the previous day's 'accident' I kept asking, "Levi! Do you need to go to the bathroom? Do you? Do you need to go poop?" What I really wanted to do was get on the PA system and say, "It's not me! I swear! It's my son! He really stinks! Whooooo-weee, does he stink!"

Anyway, he didn't need to go poop, he just smelled like it. Good Lord help me.

If you've had any experience with a little stinker or, like me, a ginormous stinky monkey butt, then go over and give my girlfriend some love. Cause it's one thing when it's your own flesh and blood, but it's just awful when it's not your own stinky kid.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Maple Leaf Festival Theme Song

We went to The Maple Leaf Festival in the darling town of Baldwin City, Kansas. Did you know there's a song you sing before you get to the festival? Yes, there is and everyone loves to sing it, except 15yo teenage girls that think their family has gone whacko-nutso.

She has reached the point in her life where I can officially embarrass her just by walking through a door. I take every possible opportunity to publicly humiliate her, like the other day when she was standing with her group of friends in the church lobby, she ran up to ask me something, gave me a quick hug and then I licked her. There was lots of laughing and EEEEWWWWing. Mostly, I just embarrass her in the car. I think she's jealous of my awesome singing skilz and driver's seat dance moves.

More about the festival later, dude.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Loathing Thee Poison Ivy

This is my arsenal. If there were nine or ten other products that tout the ability to fight the evil poison ivy....I would buy them. Dear goodness gracious sakes it ITCHES! The desperation to relieve the itch and burn is indescribable.

I started out using Ivarest. It takes away the itch and soothes, but it's pink and greasy and has some sort of Menthol in it so when I had it on my face it made my eyes water and that makes my nose run, like I needed a couple more problems to enhance my beautiful pussy face . I had the Ivarest smeared all over my face and had just washed it all off, because I had to go to a meeting with lots of other adults and I didn't really want to be pink-greasy-menthol-watery eyed-runny nose face woman. Clay walks into the bathroom right after I washed my face and I asked, "Does it look bad?" And he said, "Yes. It looks terrible. Wash the medicine off." After I told him I didn't have any medicine on there was a long silent pause where he stared at my face like I was some sort of hideous creature, then he said, "Gaw, I don't like the way that looks." Love, pure love that's what I get from him every day people.

Next, I went to Cortaid. This stuff is used in the shower like a scrub, then you spray that clear liquid on after you dry off. The scrub is good, it takes away the itch and supposedly binds with the oil of the poison ivy. Here's the kicker, the spray contains alcohol. My face was scraped raw from the scrub. Raw face + Spritz of Alcohol = Hysterical Screaming Woman. I got to the point where I would stand in front of the mirror with the spray aimed at my face and I couldn't pull the trigger. I'd give myself the count down...okay, on the count of 3, ready..1......2..................3AHHH, OUCH, OHMYGODNOITBURNS....ugh...the humanity. It's also really sticky until it dries. Like gummy, so you can't get dressed for a few minutes. It does work and when I was battling Poison Ivy a couple months ago this is all I used.

After a week of using Ivarest and Cortaid the Poison Ivy had started to spread to my arms, legs, back, side and belly button and yes, my buttock. I decided I had to give in and try something else. I bought Zanfel. It's not cheap folks, it costs $40. My only other option was to go to the doctor and that would cost a lot more than 40 smackers, but I think most normal people would have made an appointment, received a nice prescription of prednisone and resumed their lives. Have I ever told you how determined I am to fix things by myself? Have I ever mentioned that I'm a bit stubborn? Good qualities to have, but maybe not when my skin is starting to fall prey to oozing sores. Okay, so back to Zanfel. This stuff works. It's also a scrub that you use in the shower, but there's no nasty, sticky, alcohol spray to use afterward. If you have dry skin, like me, you will swear you've been in the Mojave Desert having every ounce of liquid drained from your skin. My face was so dry I resorted to using the greasiest lotion we own and then reapplying a couple times a day. The insanity.

It's been about two weeks since the initial onset (which I thought were mosquito bites on my chin...dumb, dumb, dumb woman) and I'm still battling a couple spots on my arm and legs. I'm just about out of Zanfel, but I think I'll make it.

I didn't resort to using this, but I wanted to, I really really wanted to.

So, there ya go, everything you wanted to know about treating Poison Ivy the April way. I've heard lye soap works wonders, I'll add that to my arsenal next time. Where did I get the Poison Ivy, you ask? I think from my barn cats. I was sitting outside and one of them hopped up on my lap and rubbed under my chin. Dang cats.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Beirochs Baby!

Every fall around this time a little bell goes off in my head and I immediately say, "It's time to make beirochs!" I make them once a year, eat about seventy three of them and then I'm satiated until the following year. Look at them. Aren't they lovely? I know you want them.

Now look at this. Isn't it hideous? I know you don't want this. I got into poison ivy. AGAIN!
I'll post about my misery later, but now let's go in the kitchen and I'll make you some beirochs. Because now that you've gazed upon my puss filled face, don't you want to cook some cabbage?
I've been eating beirochs since I was a little kid. They were part of our school lunch program. Bierochs are a German-Russian food brought over by the Mennonites. A large group of Mennonites settled the plains of Kansas and many of their foods have lingered and rooted into the culture of Kansas. When I made these in Missouri nobody knew what the heck they were. Now that we're back in Kansas, when I say I'm making beirochs people ask me if I eat them with mustard or plain?

I know you're going to ask me for a recipe. But, I don't follow a recipe I just make them. Follow along, and you can make them too. Get a big bag or can of sauerkraut. Rinse and drain, then set aside.

Chop up a head of green cabbage...chop....chop....chop...

Combine the cabbage and sauerkraut in a large pot , add a bit of water and put it on the stove to soften the cabbage.

This year I used our pork sausage and some ground beef. I make a lot of beirochs, so I used about 2lbs of beef and 2lbs of pork sausage. Brown it , drain it, set aside.Chop a large yellow onion, saute in oil until tender and starting to caramelize...I like to taste the sweetness of the onions. Mix the onions with the meat.

See all the liquid in the cabbage that has cooked down? We need to drain that off before we mix it with the beef.Combine the cabbage and beef in a large pot and start to season. You can do just about anything you please. But what I like is to add ground mustard, salt, pepper, cumin and garlic powder. Season to your liking is what I say. In years past, I've add a packet of soup mix. You can add cheese too. Ooooh, I love Swiss cheese in a beiroch. This year I left out the cheese, because I have more people in the house that like no cheese....but next year, I'm adding cheese.

You can stop here like I did. Store the mixture in the fridge, go find a wire brush and scratch your itchy face off and work on the dough the next day....or you can start the dough right now.

This year I made whole wheat dough and white dough. If I don't feel like making the dough then I buy frozen Rhodes rolls and use them the same way. Find a simple wheat or white bread/roll recipe.
Here's the wheat dough after it has risen and is ready to shape.
I quartered the dough then shaped it into a log.
Cut the log into about 1 1/2 inch sections.
Then cut those in half.
Now the dough is the size I need. I'm thinking buying the darn Rhodes rolls would be so much easier. But, then what would I blog about?
Patta-cake, patta-cake.... flatten the dough. Look at the blood blister on my pinkie. Blood blister, poison ivy, I'm every man's dream.

Stretch the dough, cuz it's got to be big enough for a big scoop of meat and cabbage, but don't break it.
I use a large scoop, it's probably 1/4 cup or maybe 2 tablespoon. Are you following me so far? This is how I cook people. It's learn it, then do it. Put one scoop of cabbage/meat mixture onto the flattened dough.
Now draw up the edges.
Start pinching together the dough until you have the entire mixture completely encased in the dough.
Like this.
Put it on a greased baking sheet and proceed to making 4,598 more. Making beirochs is a commitment. You can't walk away. You have to be there, scooping, pinching, patting, stretching, scooping, pinching, patting, stretching. ARE YOU CHEF ENOUGH FOR IT!
Bake those babies for 12-15 minutes in a 350 degree oven and watch your family love you and then watch as they hate you because you are going to make them eat beirochs for every meal for the next eight weeks.
Mmmmm. So good.

My family likes the white dough the best, go figure.