Wednesday, April 13, 2016

New Retainer Finally

Dancer got her braces off six years ago and got retainers to wear.  About a year into wearing them I thought they looked pretty bad (aka gross), but every time we went in they said they were still okay and doing their job.  This spring at her yearly check up she got the same story.  About two weeks later they wore through and broke in half.  At last she got a new bottom retainer.  The top one isn't this clear plastic and will probably last until she is in the nursing home. 

When she went in to pick the new one up (which they just handed her, no bag or anything) she snapped a shot at the appointment log in screen.  She was so young, fifth grade here.

Finally a new retainer! The last one, which she had to wear so much the first year, lasted six years, so this one, that she only wears at night, might get her through 12 years. 

It is kinda odd that we are at the point where she send me pictures.  When we started I felt like the orthodonitist office was our second home we were there so much and now she goes to her appointments on her own. Time sure changes things..

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

How Old Are You?

My mom's birthay is coming up this month.  I asked her if she knew how old she was going to be. She looked at me for a few seconds and said, "no" and then she added, "Does it matter?" No, no it doesn't Mom. It doesn't matter if you think you are 37, which she though she was last year, or 87, which she will be this year. I turned 50 this year, which is a weird age, your not young and your not old.  So as I float around in age limbo, I am just going to do whatever I want and not worry about if it is "age appropriate."  I am thankful that my mom, who doesn't even know who I am sometimes, is still teaching me life lessons and giving good advice.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Handy Dandy Stick Holder

We have a lot of soft wood trees in our yard which means that we could be picking up sticks each and every day.  Since we can't burn them fast enough we pile them up by the bon fire area and break off some when we have a fire.  We have a lot of bon fires but the stick pile never really goes away or it doesn't go away for long.  As the summer goes on the grass grows up through it, it looks like heck and it is a good place for little vermin to call home.  To combat a wee bit of the pile, and have it ready for tinder when we make a fire, I made this stick holder in about three seconds.  The credit for this goes to pinterest but from what site I don't know.  To make it, you haul a cinder block to where you want your stick holder, put four boards in the block, two in each hole going differnet directions and pile on the sticks.  Done. Now I just need to make about eight more of these.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Four Pound Hamburger and Three Pounds of Fries

Yep, that right, a 1-2-3-4 pound burger.  The boys in our co-op like to eat...a lot...and often. We thought, "Why not combine one of our favorite shows on the Travel Channel, Man vs. Food, and their seemingly hollow legs?" Our hypothesis was - is it possible to make a burger big enough along with fries to completely fill them up?  I'll tell you at the end.

First, the burger had to be made.  This took about 1 1/2 hours.  Thinking that they wouldn't be able to get down straight burger because it would be too dry, Dad mixed in a couple of eggs and crackers making it sort of like meatloaf.  He patted in a cast iron skillet because it would be too big to flip and it had to be cooked in a pan that could also go in the oven.  Before it hit the oven, he fried it on the stove to get the bottom done and then baked it in the oven.  After baking it was "flippable" so out of the oven came the burger.  Back on the stovetop it was flipped so that both sides were fried.

While that was cooking he sliced the bun.  In this case the only bun we could find big enough without having to make our own was a Kings Hawaiian round bread.

Toasted his bun in another frying pan.

Took it out of the oven when the liquids ran clear and it was cooked completely through.

Next came the layers of cheese. By now this behemoth smelled so good it could have been used as a torture device for getting people to talk.

Slapped on some mayo and a lettuce leaf.

Gingerly laid that bad boy on the bun and deposited a few rings of onion on the top.

Pickles on the side, three pounds of fries and lunch was ready to be served.

Ready to dig in.

We sliced it into wedges and 

they started eating.  

So can our boys eat a gigantic burger and a pound of fries apiece? 

The answer is......


They put a really good dent in it, but they just couldn't finish it.

As an aside, looking at the picture now it looks like they were throwing back a  beer with it, but that was innocent apple juice. It was a fun lunch and they were quiet the rest of the afternoon. Perhaps they were napping.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Complete Randomness

Nikki incognito

Dad making crochet humor.  I thought my little elephant needed a mom so I am in the process making her one.

Frog in glass by Spark

Mac and cheese doesn't have food coloring anymore!!!  It is has been about 10 years since has been welcome in our house, but it's in now! Seems like a novelty to us.

When Fluffles isn't sleeping he's trying to figure out how to get some Temptations cat treats.

Out to lunch

Dancer, the queen of selfies.

Yeah, that's a goat/llama water bucket.  They think the buckets are either a bathroom or a footbath.

The thank you gift we made for Spark's speech co-op leaders.

Double decker sleeping spot.

Car washing.

The want ads at the feed mill.

Bert after a bath.

Goat kids and geocaching

We are ahead of schedule this year and already have our 4-H goats for the fair.

It was a couple hour trip to get them so we took the opportunity to find a few geocaches on the way back.  I can not recommend geocaching with goats in the car.

I love the sites we see that we would otherwise just drive right by though if we didn't geocache.

Simply Sweet Giraffe

Made this little cutie from the same book as the elephant, "Animal Amigurumi to crochet" by Annies Crochet.

Homemade vs. Store Bought OREOs

Our homeschool co-op is all boys and they like to eat so we do a lot of cooking when we get together.  The mom's don't complain either ;)

We were talking and realized that you never hear about people making homemade OREOs.  So the boys tried their hand at it.  The recipe they made was from the web site momables.

They cut them out with a shot glass (or a two table spoon sampler as Spark calls it) which was the perfect size.

The verdict?  If you have a hankering for OREOs, then buy the real thing.  The homemade are delicious, but they aren't OREOs, they taste more like the chocolate waffle cookies I made as a kid.

Dancer is moving on

Dancer is graduating this spring from community college with an AA degree in liberal arts.  She has decided to follow in Dad's footsteps and major in nursing.  We went to an orientation day, which seemed strange after she has been attending college for 3 years that we fnally go to an orientation.  We hope this works out for her.  She has one more prerequisted to take, which has to be completed before being able to apply to the major, and the she will hopefully be accepted.  They have about 100 applicants for every 40 that get in. Yikes, that's less than 50%! She will take the prerequist she needs and then if she doesn't get in the major apply to another school. Whatever happens at least she's moving forward.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

There is a mouse in the house

We came home the other night, opened the front door only to be greeted by a headless mouse deposited on the carpeting.  Actually, what I first thought was that one of the cats had thrown up, gross, but upon further inspection saw it was a mouse, ewww. 

 I think we have our fine feline Fluffles to thank for the extermination.   

After all, he did gift us with this dried up frog he found in the basement this winter.  

Not sure how all these critters are sneaking in the house.  The frog probably just jumped in, we do find them once in a while because our yard seems to be a frog magnet. On summer nights our house is covered in tree frogs.  Lots of frogs means not many bugs so we are thankful to have to so many. If it gets to plague levels we will have to reevaluate.  The mouse, since I seen no evidence of mouse activity, must have come in with a box we brought in from the garage the day before. Bad move Mr. Mouse, Fluffles is on the job!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Robotic Cow Milker Field Trip

Our 4-H club went on the coolest field trip, we toured a dairy farm with a robotic milker. I am happy for anyone who is able to put this kind of milking parlor in because dairy farmers work long hours each and every day of the year. This means they can have a life outside of the farm, even if that only means going out for diner. This is the cows all lined up eating their lunch. They were very interested in us, not sure if we were checking them out or they were checking us out.  There are so many cows in this building that it isn't heated and you could almost go without a coat.  I say almost because it was about -15 below zero.

Every half hour this robot, which I called an automatic pitch fork, came by and moved the food closer to the cows.

This is what does all the work.  It has a sensor on it that recognizes the cow when it comes into the milking chute.  If it is time for her to be milked, she gets a treat, if not, no treat and she knows to move on and come back later. They said some of the cows are in the chute almost to the minute that they are able to be milked again.  

When she gets in the chute her udder get a good cleaning off with scrubbers and a sprayer.

Next a laser comes out to find the teats and the milker hooks up.  Some cows milk in as little as two minutes and some over 10 minutes.  Ten minutes is not ideal because a line starts form at the milker. Think of it as someone needing a price check in the check out line at the store and you already have all your items on the belt. 

This girl, who had the name Jumping Frogs Splash, yes they are named by the owners daughter, was wondering why all these people where watching her be milked. I think she sassily said, "Take a picture it will last longer." I told her I already did.  

The calves are also automatically feed.  No need to wait for the farmer to come around with the bottle, food automatically mixed and is available all the time.

The babies are all together where they are so friendly and wanted pets and scratches.  Dancer would love a calf so if she could have smuggled that one out she would have had it in the back of the car.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Prunella Pachyderm

Prunella, named after Prunella Scales on Fawlty Towers, one of our favorite shows.

The pattern came from this crochet book I recieved as a Christmas gift.  She looks pretty close to the one on the cover.  I used a much softer yarn than recommended which may have made her not quite as stiff, but who wants to cuddle a scratchy pachyderm? I also crochet in the back of the stitches, which I think makes for a nicer looking surface, but again, isn't as stiff as going through the whole stitch.  Prunella would never be able to stand on that ball. but for all I know the one on the cover is highly photoshopped and all this is a moot point.

The pattern was correct, it's so annoying to start a project and then the pattern isn't right.  They only thing I had trouble with was one leg and that was because I was talking when I should have been counting.  My favorite part is the little tuffy hair on top of her head.