Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Perfect Crunchy Beer Battered Onion Rings

Tasty Tuesday
Grab the button here and come join us, or just link to another site with a recipe you're going to try... or post a recipe in the comments!

Every once in a while you hit upon a recipe that's pure perfection. It doesn't happen often, actually. But last week we hosted all of the in-laws for a going-back-to-college party for my sister-in-law, and I was hoping for one "wow factor" item. While the grilled beef tenderloin was pretty "wow," the food highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the perfectly crunchy onion rings.

No picture? Sadly no. You'll have to take my word for their perfection.

I just couldn't bring myself to photograph an onion ring while my father-in-law was in the house. I know he wouldn't have thought less of me, but I couldn't take a chance.

Without further ado:

Perfect Crunchy Beer Battered Onion Rings
Heavily adapted from Recipe Trove

4 Sweet Onions (Vidalias, Sweet Texas, Walla Wallas, or the like), sliced into 1/4-1/2 inch rings

Seasoned Flour:
2 C. Flour
4 tsp. Paprika
2 tsp. Garlic powder
1 tsp. Onion powder
1/2 tsp. Pepper
1/4 tsp. Cayenne pepper

1/3 C. Cornstarch
1 1/2 C. Flour
2 tsp. Garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1 tsp. Onion powder (not onion salt)
2 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Dried oregano
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper
24 oz. Beer (my husband thought it was a glorious waste until he tasted the onion rings!)

Mix seasoned flour ingredients together in a shallow dish (like a square Pyrex casserole dish).

In a separate bowl, mix cornstarch, flour, and seasonings until well blended. Add beer (after a little swig) and mix well.

Dip separated onion rings in batter, into flour, and back into batter to coat thoroughly.

Gently place twice-battered onions in a deep pan or fryer basket and deep-fry at 375 to 400 until golden on one side. Turn over, and fry until golden on the other side (anywhere from about 1 1/2 - 3 minutes each side).

Drain on paper towels and salt them immediately.

What culinary successes have you had lately?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Musings

Right Now:  2:15pm. I'm listening to one niece timidly preparing a speech and another laboring and groaning over a book report. This is the onerous part of the day, but soon they will get to open their science sketchbooks and the humming and laughing will return.

This Weekend: was fantastic!

On Saturday, my sister-in-law and I canned 22 pints of stewed tomatoes and froze several pounds of peaches.

Yesterday was a glorious day with my husband, complete with Holy Mass, sudoku puzzles, peach pie and grilled beef tenderloin. My darling did the dishes all day without being asked. I really needed a day off from kitchen work and appreciated his unrequested support!

Some Plans for the Week:  Build a chicken coop. It must be done.

If I Can Find Some Time for Myself I Want To:  Go yard sale-ing. I'd really like a little kitchen table for the toaster oven and coffeemaker. I could use a rolling pin, too.

Special Prayer Intentions: For wisdom, prudence and peace in upcoming decisions regarding the cherry farm.

Something That Makes Me Smile: Sweet memories of a loving weekend with my beloved.

Monday Musings are hosted by Patch O' Dirt Farm.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Here Comes the Sun

A Woman Reading by a Window by Vilhelm Hammershoi

I have dirty windows.

I keep my blinds closed almost all of the time because I can't bear to look out the windows. Instead of the outdoors I only see the dust, dead bugs, and paint on the windows themselves.

For some reason it never occurred to me that I could actually do something about it.

This morning I had an inner need to scrub something. My kitchen was clean: drat. My bathroom was clean: blast. My floors were clean: oh bother. So I eyed the windows. "Hmm...," I thought, "is the urge that strong?"

Yes. Yes it was.

So I started cleaning one of them. Well, having just the inside clean would do no good. Better take off the screen, and the storm windows, and wash the outside.

Hm... one clean window with four dirty ones doesn't work so well.

My darling husband helped me all morning and we got the windows sparkling clean (he used newspaper, which worked wonderfully!). I'm so happy I can't stop looking at them! The blinds are way up, the sunlight is pouring in, fresh air is flowing through the rooms.

I've caught myself four or five times remarking today, "My, what a lovely day it is!"

It's a great day to be alive!

Waiting by the Window by Carl Vilhelm Holsoe

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Keeping Up


"It’s important... to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that." -- Danielle Bean

1. There are just 5 days left in this month and we're still $85 under our grocery budget! Maybe this whole garden thing is working more than I thought it would...

2. Successfully started the first week of school with my nieces! I'm kind of excited about Geography. We're going to use this series from the library to help learn all of the states and capitals.

3. Realizing the "thank you, God, for this day" while dozing off during the first decade of the Rosary is not an ideal way to end my day, I've tried to start praying (while kneeling or sitting up) Evening Prayer, an examenation of conscience and an Act of Contrition. It gives me a better perspective on my day, something to work on tomorrow, and hopefully will make going to Confession a little easier ("now what did I do five weeks ago?").

Read others' small successes and share your own at Faith & Family Live.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Venture

Our laying hen chicks are now 9 weeks old and they are positively huge. It's time for them to fly the coop and move from the brooder to the outside world. No doubt they could have gone outside a month ago, but they're just so cute and funny -- I love having them around. But chickens weren't created to live in garages, no matter how luxurious the brooding suite. So, out they'll go sometime this week (when the coop is finished).

I want, immediately, to start a new project. Broiler hens. 8 weeks from hatch to dispatch. As much as I joke about naming calves "Jerky" and "Teriyaki," I think it would be rather difficult actually to kill, cook and eat something I've raised from day one. But the more I read and see about the disgusting conditions most chickens are raised in (salmonella outbreak, anyone?), and the grotesque ways in which they are slaughtered and processed, the more I want to break free from dependency on agri-business and raise my own meat.

If the 50 broiler trial works for us, we might even be able to develop a little local business out of it.

But let's not count our chickens before they... groan, nevermind.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hoisin-Glazed Cornish Hens

Prepare yourself.

Take a deep breath and try to read this post without drooling.

Sorry, it's just that good.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Crispy skin with sticky, spicy, sweet sauce.

Served with glazed green beans, Asian slaw and simple rice...

Yeah. I  had to walk an extra mile this morning, but it was so worth it.

I doubled the Hoisin sauce recipe to do two hens and the Asian Slaw, and I still had some leftovers (which will be happily eaten).

Hoisin-Glazed Cornish Hen
Recipe from Aaron McCargo Jr. of Food Network

  • 1 (1 1/2-pound) Cornish hens
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup Hoisin sauce (see recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup green onion, sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a very deep pot, bring enough oil to fill the pot by 1/2 of the way. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F.
Add the hen slowly to the oil and fry for 8 to 10 minutes on each side until golden brown and have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Remove the hen from the oil and drain on a paper towel.
Whisk together in a large bowl, the hoisin, honey, and green onion. Brush mixture over the cooked hen on both sides and reserve the extra sauce for dipping.
Place in oven for about 7 minutes. Take out. Flip over and brush reserved hoisin sauce on flipped side. Place in oven for another 7 minutes.

Homemade Hoisin Sauce
Recipe adapted from Group Recipes

  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoon of honey 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. hot sauce (I used chile paste with garlic)
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • a dash of white pepper
Mix ingredients until well blended.

Asian Slaw
  • 1/2 package coleslaw mix
  • 1/2 head Romaine lettuce, chopped small
  • Enough Hoisin sauce to dress it to your liking (with the added honey and green onions from the cornish hens recipe)
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Glazed Green Beans
Recipe from Aaron McCargo Jr.

  • 1/2 pound fresh or frozen (thawed, drained) green beans
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onion
  • 1 tablespoon freshly minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, optional

In a large pot of boiling water, blanch long beans for 2 minutes until slightly tender. Allow to cool.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add butter. Add green onions, ginger and garlic. Mix together. Add red pepper flakes and beans. Stir in chicken stock, honey and sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and add sesame seeds, if desired. Allow to cook until sauce reduces to sticky sweetness.

What have you made lately?

Monday, August 23, 2010


Three weeks ago I began the new cleaning routine. So far? Still on the bandwagon! The dishes are done each night before going to bed, laundry is begun, house clutter picked up and clothes are laid out. Each morning the dishes are put away, laundry is dried, the bathroom is "swished and swiped," and peace reigns. I'm not exaggerating or joking when I say it: our home is palpably holier.

Having a "system" in place is making all the difference. I need routine, I need habits, I need order and schedule; I thrive on them.

This morning I started a new walking routine. 5am? I'll never do it. 6am? Not likely. 7am? I think I can deal with this. Trying to wake up too early, in the past, has thwarted my efforts before they began. Not only was I trying to implement exercising, I was also trying to wake up earlier than normal. Two new (and, to me, unpleasant) habits was too much and I always inevitably failed.

With this 7am regime I have new hope.

I also have a blister on my left pinkie toe.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Scenes from the Breakdown

Nowheresville, Idaho is thoroughly unremarkable, but Idaho itself is a beautiful state.

We stopped in Twin Falls to stretch and smell the roses.

This reminds me of The Land Before Time.

Would that make this The Land Before Time II?

I loved the bridge... built on solid rock.

These crazy lovebirds tried five times but never got a clear picture.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Varied Successes


1. I want to teach my nieces the dying art of needlework and cross-stitching. To that end I went to four, count 'em four, stores looking for beginner cross-stitch kits. Nothing!! I finally found the "Learn a Craft" series by Dimensions on Amazon. After shipping costs it won't be cheap. Ah, what we do for the arts!

A Careful Stitch by Emile Munier

2. My sister-in-law and I canned tomatoes! So far this year we've just done whole tomatoes, but as the tomatoes ripen in the garden we'll continue with spaghetti sauce, Mexican and Italian stewed tomatoes, and maybe even tomato paste.

3. When we returned the rental car it had 7/8ths of a tank of gas. They charge a $5.99 per gallon refueling fee, which would have totaled $12. I'm tired of lining other people's pockets with our hard earned money. So, despite the fact we were dead-beat exhausted, we went to fill up the tank and saved $7. Yes it's only $7, but it's our $7.

Check out others' small successes and share your own at Faith & Family Live.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rescue Mission

My car.

My car is supposedly ready to pick up today. I say supposedly because we've had false alarms before in this 16 day saga.

Back to Nowheresville, Idaho we go. 11 hours round trip.

I'd like to say I miss my little green car, but the rental car is pretty snazzy. I could keep it another... ten years or so.

Rental car.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hot and Sweet Drumsticks

Tasty Tuesday
Grab the button here and come join us, or just link to another site with a recipe you're going to try... or post a recipe in the comments!

We've had some tasty food lately at home, but none of it is (as we call it), "blogworthy." We're eating a lot out of the garden now, so we've done a lot with corn on the cob, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, and the like, usually with grilled steak or chicken.

Tasty Tuesday is more about collecting and sharing great recipes than showing off any of my own culinary successes. You don't have to have a blog to participate in Tasty Tuesday, you can just post a link to any online recipe that you've made or intend to make.

I'll get the ball rolling.

Photo from Ree Drummond of Pioneer Woman fame.

Yah... that's what I'm talking about. I've had the recipe for this bookmarked for over a year. About every three months I look at it and say, "wow, I really need to make that with mashed potatoes and green beans. It looks fantastic."

Well, today I'm going to make it.

What recipes have you had bookmarked forever? Dig them up and share them with us!

Hot and Sweet Drumsticks
Recipe from Teri L., posted on Tasty Kitchen

  • 1 cup Apricot Preserves
  • ½ cups Ketchup
  • ¼ cups Soy Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Minced Garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Hot Pepper Sauce
  • 3 pounds Drumsticks (about 12)
Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F. In a small saucepan, combine preserves, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic and hot pepper sauce. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until preserves are melted.

Arrange drumsticks in a single layer on a 13 x 9″ baking pan. Pour sauce over drumsticks, turning to coat. Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes or until chicken is done, spooning sauce over drumsticks while baking. Serves 6.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Let's Do This Thing

I'm totally and completely in school mode now. We're starting next Monday and since I don't have another job, this year, I can really focus on making the school year what it should be for my nieces.

Last year I didn't stray from the curriculum much. A page a day in each workbook, a lesson a day in each math book, a story a day each reader... our days were well scheduled but totally predictable. Frankly it was boring.

This year, now that I've paid my library fines, I intend to supplement. More literature, more history enrichment, more science, more art projects.

The kids' section of the library even intimidated me as a kid -- there were just too many books. How do you know which ones are lemons with an agenda and which ones are jewels? Seton has a supplemental reading booklist, and I like the DK Eyewitness books (for science, especially)... so using my library's online catalog I was able to list and request each book I wanted (from the shared library network). I can pick them all up at my library without wading through the shelves.

Is this working the system or what? It's amazing.

If everything goes on schedule, there should even be 30 minutes each day for "miscellaneous subjects" including computer skills, needlework, music, art, public speaking, cooking, sewing, etc.

I'm always over-ambitious at the beginning of the year. But if not then, when?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Just Peachy

Last night my darling husband brought home about ten pounds of peaches from the farm. I'm told there are lots more where those came from, but I don't quite know what to do first...

Peach pie? Peach butter? Frozen peaches? Peach ice cream? Peach cobbler? Peach smoothies? Peach liqueur? Canned peaches? Peach jam? Peach buckle? Peach tart? Peach sorbet?

I think for now we'll stick to peaches and cream.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Emotional Miscarriage

This has been a pretty difficult week. A death in the family, a $2200 and rising car mechanic's bill, and a dashed pregnancy hope. I've had false hope before in this via crucis of infertility, but I've always hardened myself so much that I hardly felt the sting. Making myself more vulnerable this time, it's never hurt so much. There were too many signs pointing to it this time.

Early this week, after looking at my chart, my NFP instructor instantly ordered a blood pregnancy test. "I've already taken a home test and it was negative," I said, steeling myself against any renewed hope. She insisted, "sometimes those can be wrong, every sign on your chart is pointing to it, and if you are pregnant we'd need to know right away, for the baby's sake."

It was a 2-day test HCG test. On the day between the tests I indulged thoughts I've never allowed myself to think before. I started daydreaming about pink dresses and hair ribbons and nursing and bedtimes and baths and soft fuzzy hair. I was picking out a local OB/GYN for the delivery, plotting out how to make my nieces' school year shorter so I could break in April for the baby, and looking up birthing books and classes. I had convinced myself in those 24 hours that I actually was pregnant. I was scheming an elaborate way to deliver the ecstasy-inducing news to my husband. Hearing from the doctor at this point, I thought, was just a formality.

A day into my daydreaming I got a call from my doctor's nurse. "Wow," I thought as I called her back, "I must be so pregnant they don't even need the second test." On the exterior I was acting doubtful and pessimistic; but I'd allowed myself the extravagance of hope.

"Your HCG level is a 3. The Dr. says you don't need to go back for the second test, you're not pregnant. I'm sorry."

Just like that, and it was all over.

"You're not pregnant." The words kept echoing as I struggled to comprehend their meaning. It may as well have been: "You're useless. Your marriage is sterile and fruitless. You're worthless as a woman. You're barren nothingness." I don't believe those words for a second, but for emotion's sake "you're not pregnant" felt the same as any of the others.

It's humiliating. It's devastating. It's agony. An emotional miscarriage.

Now the grieving process begins anew.
1. I'm drinking more water. I usually wait until my lips are chapped and my throat is sore before slaking my thirst, but I'm an adult and need to take care of myself. 8 glasses a day it is.

2. I've lost eight pounds. Refocusing negative energy towards a positive goal is a small way to bring good out of suffering. By the grace of God, the intercession of my recently deceased Aunt, and a little renewed will power, I'm hoping to stay on this path.

3. I haven't gone to bed any night this week without having first done the dishes. It's easier to get up in the morning if the kitchen is clean.

Be encouraged. Read others' small successes this week and share your own.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sour Grapes

As a kid if we were frumping and pouting around the house, my mother would make us go back into our bedroom and "come out when you can put a smile on your face."

Add to that, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

I originally started to post a vitriolic fuming incensed flaming tirade.

I suppose I'll come back and say something nice when I can put a smile on my face.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tasty Samoa Cookies

Tasty Tuesday
Grab the button here and come join us, or just link to another site with a recipe you're going to try... or post a recipe in the comments!

Trying to live an integrated life, my husband and I try to be pro-life in every way we can. This includes refusing to patronize companies that give money to Planned Parenthood and other abortion, contraception, or embryonic stem cell research industries. Getting an accurate list of such companies can be difficult, but the people at "Fight Planned Parenthood" do a pretty good job. A partial list of such companies can be found on their front page.

It's cut back on a lot of our favorites. Chase Bank, Ben & Jerry's, Whole Foods Markets? Ouch. But by far the one that hurts the most is the Girl Scouts. NO GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!? No, I'm sorry, but as a personal decision I can't buy a $4 box of Samoas with a clear conscience.

But Samoas are right up there with beef jerky as my favorite food!

Thankfully, the world of blogging has reintroduced the Caramel De-Lites back into my life. The genius, Nicole, at Baking Bites has recreated them. Yes, it's labor intensive (though she has a simple Samoa Bars recipe), but if you have some time to spare this summer, why not give 'em a try?

How do they compare? I'll let you know when the sugar coma wears off.

Homemade Samoa Cookies
(Image and Recipe from Baking Bites)

Homemade Samoas
  • 1 cup butter, soft
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • up to 2 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt at a low speed, followed by the vanilla and milk, adding in the milk as needed to make the dough come together without being sticky (it’s possible you might not need to add milk at all). The dough should come together into a soft, not-too-sticky ball. Add in a bit of extra flour if your dough is very sticky.
Roll the dough (working in two or three batches) out between pieces of wax paper to about 1/4-inch thickness (or slightly less) and use a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to make rounds. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and use a knife, or the end of a wide straw, to cut a smaller center hole. Repeat with remaining dough. Alternatively, use scant tablespoons of dough and press into an even layer in a mini donut pan to form the rounds.
Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned and cookies are set. If using a mini donut pan, bake for only about 10 minutes, until edges are light gold.
Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • 3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 8 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)
Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.
Using the spatula or a small offset spatula, spread topping on cooled cookies, using about 2-3 tsp per cookie. Reheat caramel for a few seconds in the microwave if it gets too firm to work with.
While topping sets up, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle finished cookies with chocolate.
Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.

Makes about 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Musings

The lovely hostess of Monday Musings is taking a little blogging break, but hopefully she won't mind if I keep doing the meme in her absence. 

Right Now:  it is 12:17pm. I've eaten lunch, my house is clean, the chickens are fed, I've showered... life is great.

This weekend: was one of the most productive of my life. I cleaned almost every junk pile in our home (as I've adequately blogged about) and have managed to keep the house spotless for two days. I finally broke down and joined flylady.net. I am sincerely hoping to keep this leaf turned over for the rest of my life. My sink is shining.

On Sunday after Mass we were able to relax in a peaceful clean home and spend some amazing time together, catching up on the LA Times crossword puzzles we missed while out of town and beginning to read Brothers Karamazov aloud to each other. I love Sundays!

Some plans for the week:  I want to get some final curriculum touches together before the school year begins for the girls. I'd like to shred and freeze the zucchini, bake some bread and work to keep my house spotless. There's also a parish picnic and sister-in-law's birthday party to attend, a parish meeting, and a car at the mechanic's in Nowheresville, Idaho left to pick up. It's going to be a busy week!

If I Can Find Some Time for Myself I Want To: start a needlework project... I need to earn some domesticity points.

Special Prayer Intentions:  For the repose of the souls of my Aunt Janice (who has already interceded so much for me!) and Aunt Penny who died this week, and comfort to their families. For the success of all of my husband's daily endeavors. For us to somehow afford all of the major calamities that have hit lately (why after I quit my job?). For our little domestic church.

Something That Makes Me Smile: Looking at the Catholic calendar this week. Seriously... St. Edith Stein, St. Clare, St. Philomena (ok, technically not on the calendar, but who cares?), St. Maximilian Kolbe?! Awesomeness.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Smashing the Devil Traps

To paraphrase Bishop Montrose (quoted yesterday), the devil can hide amidst the confusion and chaos of a messy cluttered home. Junk drawers, paper piles, smoldering laundry heaps, deep dark closets. Yah.

I don't know precisely when I decided to take a vacation from battling clutter. But for the past few months, "cleaning" meant moving the junk from one pile to another long enough to dust and sweep.

I'm usually rather orderly, but somehow I turned a blind eye to all of this stuff. I "never knew when I'd need it." Well, I still don't, but I'm now just assuming since I never have, I never will.

Over the last 36 hours there's been some intense purging. 8 garbage and 3 give away bags. Considering the size and contents of our home, that's probably downsizing by ¼. I've opened the blinds and windows and fresh air and sunlight are pouring in.

The house feels palpably holier and more peaceful. And I'm not joking.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Great Purge

My car is still in Idaho on mechanic's blocks. We rented a car to come home.

Now begins the daunting task of unpacking. The problem is, there's nowhere to put some of this stuff. It's time to admit, my house is cluttered.

Pieces of paper that are so "important" they've been piled on my desk for a year, cell phone chargers for old phones that might come in handy some day, craft supplies from abandoned projects, books I didn't like the first time and don't intend to re-read, clothes I might fit into again if I ever start that exercise regimen.

I can't even bring myself to take a "before" picture because it's so bad. 

Bishop Donald Montrose of Stockton, CA wrote a powerful pastoral letter about spiritual warfare in which he stated:
Our homes should be sacred, peaceful places in which to live. Our homes need to be clean. We should not let them become dirty or allow disorder by having junk and filth accumulate in our drawers and closets. The power of evil abhors cleanliness.
I'm armed with holy water and trash bags: the devil's going down.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Small Successes: Road Edition


1. First stage of the week: Didn't panic when my husband left his suitcase... we just procured some new clothes.

2. Middle stage of the week: Only ate one donut instead of (?). This is big when you're on vacation.

3. Final stage of the week: Didn't cry, and only minimally pouted, when I had to leave my amazing family three days earlier than expected to get back to the farm for haying. And didn't pout or gloat when those days were then burned up in a motel while the timing belt of my car was being fixed, several hundred miles from our final destination.

Read others' small successes and share your own at Faith & Family Live.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Shark Week

Well, my husband, sister-in-law and I are still stranded at that motel in Nowheresville, Idaho. Due to be finished in the morning, the car's timing belt is being replaced, and we're watching lots of Food Network and Shark Week on the motel cable.

Having watched very little TV since going to college (for lack of a TV, not necessarily on principle), I'd forgotten how many commercials there are! I'd also forgotten how they can take the most inane topic and make a 1/2 hour show out of it. But I can't deny its pure entertainment value, if devoid of edification.

Tonight I waited thirty minutes to see a shark jump out of the water. That was the whole point of the show. Kinda takes "jumping the shark" to a whole new level.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I just took a ride in the back of the Sheriff's car to a motel in Nowheresville, Idaho.

Hundreds of miles from home, and civilization.

I thought he was being a gentleman when he opened the door to let me out, until I realized there was no handle for me to let myself out.

He apologized for the lack of legroom back there in the prisoner's quarters. There was actually more room there than in the backseat on my car.

"You can eat at the Greasy Diner. Not much else to do in these parts. Good luck, ma'am."

After adding almost 5,000 miles in a few days, my car is somewhere between kaput and dead.

But I don't think I've ever had more fun in my life.