Monday, February 8, 2016

Twisted Compositions

After the days out of school due to the snow storm started to run together, I decided the boys needed some structure before their brain cells all dissolved and slipped away into oblivion.  They began doing worksheets in math and reading, and I came up with a few special projects. 

One day, I told them they all had to write compositions.  But these weren't just any compositions.  They had to write an original scary story.  With pictures!  And that evening, the grand finale would be getting to read them to their dad and I with the lights out, by camping lantern.  You wouldn't believe how excited three little boys were about this special treat.

They worked very diligently on their scary stories.  Cort wrote about a zombie goldfish.  Reid wrote about a werewolf called Reid.  And Pierce wrote about an evil chatbot.

True to form, they read their stories to us that evening, by camping lantern.  We all shivered with delight and applauded.  See, busywork really can be fun!

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Abominable Snow Cat

Turns out Bobby likes snow.  Well, mostly he likes being around the boys I think, so when they go out to play in the snow he goes along.  Francie thought it weird that Bobby came out in the snow.  Bobby thought it weird that Francie didn't stay in the shelter with her hay.

Bobby thought snow was fun!  He leaped and jumped and ate bits of snow.  He chased his own shadow.

But then?  Then Bobby got alarmed.  Bobby arched his back and puffed his fur like the abominable snow cat. 

The source of so much drama?  Yeah, this guy.  Naughty bird dog! 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Snowed In

We got snowed in and didn't go anywhere for five days.  It was a nice, relaxed five days.  I fixed something in the crockpot each morning and made homemade bread each afternoon.  Pizza soup, country lima bean and cabbage soup, creamy chicken noodle soup, white chicken chili, and Mexican meatball rice soup.  By the end the boys (who truly do love soup) were like, "Why do we eat soup every single day?".  I think they were getting ready for a revolt.  Luckily, we also had homemade pound cake and brownies and marzipan cake, and one day I made grilled cheeses and fried eggs in a cast iron skillet on the wood stove, even though our power never went out.  Always good to practice the homesteading skills.

The bob sled run made a return this year, much to the boys' (and the dog's) delight.  We read through all our library books, and the boys did individual research reports on T-Rexes, spies, and computer coding.  We kept the wood stove going and the kettle on for tea and hot cocoa.

I don't like winter and cold and I don't like snow, but in the end it isn't so bad being snowed in for a few days. 

Readers, how do you feel about winter?

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Asteroid in the Yard

The other day the twins came running in the house, breathless.

"MOM!  MOM!  Come see the asteroid in the yard!"

Once we started up the hill I had a feeling I knew exactly what the asteroid would be.

I was right.

I had to use the megazoom on my camera to reach it.  And then I had to edit the image and zoom in even more so you could see it. 

It was stuck, way high up in a tree.

Lucky, that tree seems to have stopped it in it's tracks.

A good thing too.  I have a feeling an asteroid like this would really contain some stinging power!

Readers, have you seen any asteroids in your yard lately?

Friday, January 29, 2016

Goofy Dog

Look at Bo!  He thinks he is human.  He thinks I bought this rocker on the porch just for him.  He naps there every day.  Here he is waking up with a big yawn.
His new habit is jumping in the neighbor's car when she goes to get her mail.  Luckily, it makes her laugh.  He couldn't be much goofier! 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

We Got Our Hair Done

I don't get my hair cut very often.  Like twice a year, tops.  It hadn't been cut since last May.  I was feeling really shaggy.  I started trying to get an appointment but every time the appointment rolled around something happened.  My kids got sick.  My stylist's kid got sick.  My stylist got sick.  You get the idea.  It took two months to finally get an appointment that worked.  I decided to go all out and get color done too.  I get so tired of dyeing out the gray myself.

 When Cort got of the bus, he gave me a really strange look.  I thought something was terribly wrong.  He said, "Mom?  Why is your hair black?".  It wasn't really black, but it was much darker than usual.  I said, "Well, I dyed it."  He looked at me curiously.  "Mom?  Can I dye my hair?"  I said, "Well, what color did you want to dye it?".  He surprised me by promptly saying, "Blue!"

Now it just so happened that a few years ago I found a bunch of spray in, wash out hair color on Halloween clearance for 10 cents a can.  I knew it would come in handy one day.  Cort sure was pleased to sport blue hair for an evening.
Readers, have you ever dyed your hair in crazy colors?

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Pressure Cooker

I've been water bath canning for many years, but it has a lot of limitations.  For at least a decade, I've wanted a pressure cooker.  More than anything else, I'd love to be able to pressure can green beans.

This year for Christmas, Paul and the boys gave me an All American pressure cooker.  It was my only present from them, and way over our usual budget, but I do think it will pay for itself over time. 

I confess the thing is a little intimidating, even with all the safety features.  But I was eager to try it.  I watched the intro video twice.  Then Paul butchered a couple of roosters for me. 

It seems some folks pack chicken raw, but after consulting a couple of friends and websites, I decided to cook mine first.  The added bonus to this is getting broth as well.  I packed the meat in pint jars with just a little broth. 
It was super cold outside, but Paul was nice enough to oversee the pressure canner for me while I kept an eye on the bone broth process indoors. 

We haven't tried them yet, but I'm hoping the meat will be flavorful and tender.  Roosters can be kind of tough and stringy, but pressure canning is supposed to help with that. 

Readers, have you ever used a pressure canner?