Saturday, September 29, 2007

You Know You're Married to a Farmer When.... look up one day and realize someone has been 'decorating' with their hat collection. At this moment I'm wondering where the belt buckle collection is at....

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Happy Birthday, Claire

Claire turned two last Sunday. We got to see her open her gifts at a family cook-out. Depsite the fact that Claire's dad despises Dora the Explore, someone actually got her a Dora activity book. Hmmmm....wonder who that was.

Nostalgia?...or Insanity?

So, a few of my new friends down here are big 'canners'...aka they are really into canning salsa, homemade ketchup, tomato juice, jelly, etc. I had forgotten how good canned tomato juice was until Arlene gave me a couple of cans the last couple of winters. Nick and I couldn't believe how much better our chili tasted with the home-canned tomato juice; so, we would save our precious few cans of it for 'special days.'

After we moved to the country this past spring, we decided to put a few tomato plants out (well, we put other vegetables out too, but honestly the tomatoes are the only thing that we actually harvested besides a few green peppers).

A few weeks ago, me and two friends made plans to can tomato juice. When I was growing up, mom used this tomato juicer contraption called a Squeezo; so, I got onto ebay (what I like to call 'the digital attic' where you can find all crazy things from your the book "Little Visits from God," an Ethan Allen trundle bed set, etc.), and I started bidding on Squeezo tomato juicers. I'm glad I did, because it saved us a ton of time compared to the hand-sieve style that you can also get!

Anyways, it's very sad when you can tomato juice. You have buckets and buckets of tomatoes, and you get, like, 6 quarts out of the deal! But we finished the job, and I've actually canned twice since: once with my sister Kori (she'll not visit me again in August when the tomatoes are ripe!) and again today I finished up the last of the tomatoes. There actually might be more, but at this point the garden is so overgrown with weeds that I'm giving up rescuing anymore.

After three hours of work and a couple of buckets of tomatoes, here is my bountiful harvest today:

Friday, September 7, 2007

Weekend Guests

Some of you know this, and some of you don't, but I LOVE playing cards. I have memories of Karen and I playing epic games of "Speed" sitting in her bedroom on the reversible blanket with the sheep on it that she received for Christmas one year. We could play for hours and hours.

As an adult, I still love to play cards, but Nick won't play with me. On the rare occasion that he agrees, he makes it so entirely miserable that I 'throw in the cards' after just one round.

My aunts, however, come to my rescue a few times a year. They come and visit and we play, once again, epic rounds of Shanghai Rummy and Speed until three or four in the morning. The day before we play we catcall each other all day leaving each other voicemails and eamils on how we're going to "kick your butt at cards" that night. The catcalling is just as much fun as the card-playing sometimes.

Gail and Stacy came to play cards a few weeks ago. We live in the country in Shelby County, Illinois...which means there's no one nearby. Gail was appalled that I haven't been up blinds yet in the house; however, I don't want to put any up until our new windows are installed later this fall. So, after complaining the first morning that the sun woke her up, I dug through supplies brought home from my frequent hotel stays while working for John Deere and pulled out a mask courtesy of some hotel somewhere.

Gail and Stacy, thanks for making the drive and coming to visit last month. And, next time, I am SO going to kick your butts at cards!!