Monday, November 26, 2007

Beautiful Christmas Lights & Music Display

Jerry took Andy and I to see this display at an electric company in Delaware tonight. I could have stayed all night and watched. It is WONDERFUL! As you drive up there is a sign that tells you to tune in to 88.7 on your radio and watch the lights move to the music. I found this YouTube video that someone else has made of it. The music isn't playing out loud at the display; you have to hear it in your car by tuning to that particular station. To hear the music in your vehicle and watch the lights dance to it was really a treat. Anyway, here it is - enjoy!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Impressive Grocery Trip!

Okay, I know I've been gone a while. I'm finally getting myself into some sort of schedule between here and Delaware. Andy and I had been going every week most of the summer, and then a couple of weeks ago decided that we needed to moderate that a bit, as things were really starting to slack around here! One thing, for instance, was that my driver's license expired on my birthday and I wasn't here to renew it! I stayed home a couple weeks later and had Tom take me to get it renewed. He made sure my ride with him wasn't one I would soon forget. I won't. He deliberately drove like a maniac and then laughed hysterically at my white-knuckled grip on the arm rests. I'm going to get that boy one of these days......

Nothing much has been happening around here (or Delaware). I've just been working, teaching Andy, and the usual day-to-day stuff. No apples or other massive amounts of produce to speak of (thank goodness!) A lady in Delaware was telling me about the great deal on apples the local grocery store was having, and then in Sam's Club an employee was giving samples of the apples they had on sale. NO THANK YOU! I had nightmares about apples.

Watching Food Network (that's about all that's on in my house anymore) I saw a show about The Grocery Game ( I thought it sounded like a good idea and looked into it, and after today's shopping trip I'm definitely impressed. You sign up by zip code, then you are provided with a shopping list for stores in your area that participate with them. On that list is all the things that store has on sale, and also listed are any corresponding coupons that are in Sunday papers. The list is broken down into colors - items in black are on sale, but they aren't the best prices, so only get them if you need them. Items in blue are the "rock bottom" price, or the best price that they will be in the next 12 weeks, so that price coupled with a coupon is definitely a good deal. Items in green are items that will be free if you are lucky enough to catch a great sale plus have a great coupon too. The list is based on the fact that there are trends in grocery sales, with the items revolving roughly every 12 weeks. Since the stores participate, The Grocery Game is able to know what is going on sale and when and has extensive databases that have tracked sales trends for years, so I know that if something is in blue, I probably won't find it that price again for the next three months or so. Theoretically you're supposed to stock up on however many widgets you might need to last your family until the next cycle comes around and that makes sense, but takes a bit of money at the start, so for now I'm content to just go and shop from my blue list and see what that gets me each week. The stores that participate in my area are Giant and Food Lion, and in comparing the lists, Food Lion seemed to have slightly better prices, so I went there. Okay - here's what I bought:

2 Freezer Queen Pork Dinner Entrees (2 make a meal for the 4 of us)
2 Freezer Queen Beef Dinner Entrees (2 make a meal for the 4 of us)
2 Campbell Select Gold soups
5 packages of Whiskas cat food
5 bags of Pictsweet frozen vegetables
2 boxes of Food Lion frozen blueberry waffles
1 can of Mazola butter non-stick spray
5 packages of Food Lion gravy mix
2 boxes of Hamburger Helper
1 tube of Colgate toothpaste
1 box of Philly Beef Steaks
2 Campbell soup bowls
2 boxes of Hungry Jack Four Cheese potatoes
1 box of Kellogg's Special K
1 box of Kellogg's Rice Crispies
2 pounds of ground beef
2 bags of Contessa orange shrimp family size meals
2 bags of Food Lion frozen shrimp (1 pound each, 41-50 count each)
1 bag of catfish nuggets
2 pounds of honey ham lunchmeat from the deli
1 jar of Duke's mayonnaise

My total came to $68.44. I added everything using the regular prices, and if I had paid regular price and not used corresponding coupons, the total would have been almost exactly double that - $138.00. To say that I'm pleased is an understatement. This list is even laid out in the order of your store aisles, so you just start in one direction and follow the list and then go to the checkout counters. I timed myself and today's trip took a total of 45 minutes, including travel time. The service isn't free though, and I guess I can't expect it to be with what you are provided with. It is $10.00 every 8 weeks for 1 store, and then $5.00 for any additional stores you want lists for in your zip code. So, between that cost and the cost of subscribing to the Sunday paper (.75 per week), we'll see how it goes. Also, I guess it helps that I really don't have a family of picky eaters, as the items will change from week to week.

Anyway, I guess I'd better get going. I'm home this week and have a list of stuff I intend to accomplish by week's end, so I'd better get started. I'll write when I can. Can't promise when that will be though - could be tomorrow, could be in a month at the rate I've been going!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Look Out! I'm a Tropical Storm!

Looking at the NOAA site, I saw that there are tropical storms Jerry and Karen now! What are the chances of having our names together that way?! Then, in looking at the list of names for storms - right here - I see that in 2010 Colin and Matthew are both on the same list! Anyway, back to work. Just think - every six years Jerry and Karen will possibly be making the rounds!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Something New To See

I don't have time to write at the moment, but I wanted to share Tom's photo blog that he has been keeping. Here is the link - Tom's photo blog - he has been taking some awesome pictures. His last picture will be the one to come up first - click on the "previous picture" thumbnails to the left to see earlier work. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Yesterday Andy and I rode with Jerry when he went to work on a house in Dover. On the way I got this picture of the sunrise. Jerry dropped Andy and I off at Byler's while he worked, and then picked us up on the way back. That place has EVERYTHING! I got stuff I wasn't able to find at home. I'll write more about that later. Right now I've got stuff to do - lessons with Andy and working. Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

A Short Break

I'm writing this early this morning before the appling begins for another day. Yesterday I posted all my pictures and had intended to write about them, but by the time I finished writing the little bit I had, the apples (do I really need to say it?) were done and needed my attention, and, well, that was pretty much it for me for the rest of the day!

Anyway, last weekend I processed you-know-whats. We left for Delaware early Tuesday morning. When we got to the trailer there was a huge spider web strung between two trees. That explains the spider web picture. I was very mindful unloading my stuff out of the truck. That's one spider web I didn't want to get tangled in!

On Wednesday, Andy and I walked to one of the outlet centers. It's not too far, but it's still a bit of a hike. We went to the Old Navy outlet and were very pleasantly surprised. They didn't have anything that impressed me for women, but Andy made out like a bandit. Actually, I can't remember the last time we bought clothes for Andy. Mostly he has always worn Tom's hand-me-downs, but now that he and Tom are close in size, there isn't a lot that Tom is handing-me-down! Andy wears a larger shoe size than Tom now - size 11 compared to Tom's 10. At the store Andy found polo shirts for $4.89 and cargo pants and jeans for $9.00 and $11.00. Other shirts were $6.00. When we were checking out, the cashier told us that as of October first that Old Navy outlet would no longer be an outlet, that it was converting into a regular Old Navy retail store and that's why the prices were so low. They had to have the building and entire inventory cleared out by October first. So, after October the prices will be quite a bit higher, but at least the selection for women should improve!

Then we went to the Kitchen Collection where I got an apple peeler/corer/slicer. Praise the Lord! This thing makes life so much easier when processing apple pie filling. The apple goes onto the end and you turn the crank. The peel comes off in one long strip and the apple comes off the end cored and cut like a giant curly fry - all in one piece. For the pie filling I just cut the apple down the middle for two sets of slices. After seeing one apple done this way, Jerry suggested leaving the apple as a giant curly fry and frying it that way and then sprinkling it with cinnamon sugar. I bet that would be good. If I have time I might try that, but I seriously doubt it will be today.

Then after shopping Andy and I decided to treat ourselves to Cracker Barrel. The two of us ate there for not much more we could have gone to McDonald's or Arby's. Andy got the chicken and dumplings. I got the chef salad. Before anyone reading this thinks I'm behaving myself by eating sensibly, I should mention that Jerry's aunt and uncle were shopping the outlets on Tuesday and called Jerry Tuesday night and wanted to meet us at - yep, Cracker Barrel. So I had my meatloaf and mashed potato meal Tuesday night, so I figured I'd better eat sensibly Wednesday! Andy and I worked the peg puzzle while waiting for our order. The caption on the picture tells how I fared!

On Thursday evening we went to visit Hilda, the lady who used to live in front of us here. She moved into her new house in Millsboro two weeks ago. We weren't sure when she was moving in exactly, so we just took a chance on her being there. She had given us her new address before she left here but she didn't have a definite closing date at that time. Anyway, when she opened her door and saw us standing there, at first she looked surprised, then hugged us all. Jerry told her that she will have to move further away or we'd just keep finding her! It was a great visit. We ended up staying until almost 11:00. Jerry fixed some stuff for her, just like he did here! He told her that we'd be coming back next week to give her some apple stuff. Every year I had given her apple pie filling and apple butter, and she gave us black walnuts that she got from a friend's house. She gave us a bunch that she had when she moved, but I need to find a black walnut cracker. A hammer really gets old and doesn't really do the job!

Okay, I think I'm caught up. Oh, one more thing. Yesterday Uncle Jim had his annual bluegrass shindig, but because we only found out about two days before the thing, there was no way we could go, not with apples rotting by the day here and Jerry still needing to work on the chipper after having been gone all week. We really missed it though, and Jerry was very disappointed and kept making references to all the great crab cakes and great music he was missing out on! Aunt Nancy is famous for her crab cakes and she always makes hundreds of crab cake sandwiches for the shindig. The boys and I decided to surprise Jerry so I sent Tom to the store to get "shindig stuff" - crab meat, potato salad, chips and dip, rolls, and I can't think of what else but I know there was more. I couldn't go the store because I had a pot of apple puree needing to be stirred every five minutes. At dinner time the boys and I made crab cakes and all the other fixins and we put bluegrass music on. When we called Jerry in from the garage for dinner, we had our own bluegrass festival going on in our kitchen. Well, it wasn't live music, and there weren't tables groaning with food and desserts, but it was nice anyway.

Okay - NOW I think I'm caught up. Now I'm off to do stuff. Betcha can't guess what?! Oh yeah- I have to get these apples finished this weekend - next weekend I have five bushels of sweet corn coming that will need to be processed. Here we go again..........

Saturday, September 08, 2007


*In a hushed golf tournament announcer's voice*

We are now into weekend two of the Apple Marathon. Will our contestant finish processing all these apples before she LOSES HER %$@# MIND?

*AHEM* Sorry.

The view looking north from our bench at the outlets.

The view looking south from our bench at the outlets.
Andy at Cracker Barrel working the peg puzzle. He scored much better than I did. My official rating was "Ig-no-ra-mus." I'm not making that up.

It was great visiting Hilda. Her new house is beautiful. Andy took this picture of us in her living room. (You can't see her but she is in her chair sort of in front of Jerry's outstretched arm).

This picture of Hilda didn't turn out so well. We'll have to get another one next time.

Apple butter. And more apple butter.

Apple pie filling.

A half-devoured apple butter cake.

This picture doesn't do the spider web justice. This thing was HUGE! It was about 2 feet across and strung between two trees.

A tired but happy Andy resting before we trek on.
Washed apples ready for processing. To the right is the monstrous stock pot to process them in.
Thatsalotta apples!

More of the same.

Apple butter in the making.

Apple butter cake with cream cheese/butter frosting.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Apples, Apples and More Apples!

We went to Delaware on Tuesday and came back Wednesday evening. Jerry had gotten done what he needed to do there and really needed to get back home to put the new engine in the chipper from you-know-where, so we didn't stay in DE long. While we were there, Jerry's friend who keeps us in produce called and asked if I would like some apples.

This is the man we have an exchange with - he provides the produce if I keep him in goods made with said produce. Jerry told him yes, and so he said he'd be bringing some apples over. We had no idea how many apples! The picture that is below is only part of them. There is a plastic trash can full in the garage too - and I'm talking about a huge outdoor trash can.

On the way home we went to a kitchen store and Jerry told me to get the biggest stock pot I could find so I could make the goods a little faster. He's so good to me! He has seen me make batches and batches of stuff in my little dutch oven pot because it's the largest I have. Well, I do have the canner pot, but I can't use that because then what would I use to process the jars in?!

Anyway, I got the largest one that I thought would fit on the stove and I hope to start processing tomorrow or Saturday at the latest. Apple sauce, apple butter and apple pie filling are first on the list. Then I'll see what else I can find to do with them. I'm also very grateful that I have tons of jars!

I forgot to post about this, but last week Jerry's friend called him and asked if we wanted more watermelon (he's already given us a few). Little did we know! He brought us 28 watermelons! We have eaten some, given some away, and there are more watermelon pickles on the way. I think I'm turning into a watermelon. Well, at least until next week. Then I'll be an apple.
We had to stop for a train and we counted the cars - there were 75!
The sunset was absolutely beautiful.
Another sunset picture. The sun looks like it is sitting on the wires!
These are the wonderful apples that were waiting for me when I got home.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Today a little girl came to my door selling things for a school fundraiser. Today was the first day of school here - the school didn't waste any time getting the fundraiser started. Anyway, what bothered me most about this wasn't the fact that she was selling stuff, but the fact that she was dressed in a very tiny bikini and going door to door to strangers. Almost every house on this street has been sold since last year and there are now plenty of strangers living here. Yes, she was just a little girl and any other time her attire wouldn't have bothered me, but there are plenty of sick people in this world. She wasn't by herself - she was accompanied by another little girl dressed similarly. It's not that we live in a bad neighborhood, but isn't that what you always see the victim's families quoting in the news stories? "We never thought anything like that could happen here."

Parents - use your heads! First of all, your children have no business going door to door in this day and age. If for some reason you have a major lapse in judgement and allow them to do so, pay attention to what they are wearing and how they might appear to people with sick minds. If you think something bad can't happen to your child, maybe you should ask someone whose child is missing - they didn't think so, either.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Back to School

Tomorrow Andy and I will start homeschooling again for this year. We had originally planned to homeschool through the summer, and we did manage to do quite a few lessons, but it wasn't consistent. Oh, well. We got a summer break, too.

I recently got in touch with my friend Amy in West Virginia whom I haven't heard from in over a year. We had a lot of catching up to do. She is one friend who I really missed but our lives got so busy that eventually our emails dried up - sort of like this blog!

Andy and I went grocery shopping this afternoon. Note to self - NEVER go grocery shopping at noon on a Sunday. It was packed! There were actually lines waiting to get into the aisles, and then people were just plain rude! Luckily, I had a thorough grocery list. I followed the list exactly and got out of there! Then Andy and I got ourselves a Starbucks Java Chip. Well, we deserved it after that ordeal!

Well, I have grocery shopped, cooked lunch (frozen pizza!), cleaned the kitchen and bathed the cat. Now I guess I'd better go and finish planning Andy's lessons for tomorrow. Jerry is hard at work on the chipper from H-E-double toothpicks. I don't know if I noted it in my blog before, and I don't feel like looking back to see right now - but about a month or so ago the engine blew up in it. Literally. There is a huge hole in the side of the engine. We were in Delaware at the time and Jerry's uncle had used it on a job and he called Jerry and informed him that the chipper had - in his words - "blown up". When we arrived home the chipper had been parked back in front of our garage and there was a cardboard box on the ground near it containing "blown-up" engine pieces. So now Jerry is putting a new engine in the thing. Surely it will behave now - it's basically a whole new chipper with all the parts he's had to put on it!

Anyway, off to do stuff. Happy Sunday, y'all!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Spoiled again!

It's been a long time since I posted - I didn't realize how long until I looked at the date of the last post. Time flies when you're having fun - and even when you're not!

We finally have air conditioning. Back in May we tried to turn it on and it wouldn't come on. To make a long story short, everything's finished now and we are spoiled once again. I actually enjoyed cooking in my kitchen again. Jerry's friend has given us lots and lots of produce again this year and he only asked that I make him zucchini cake and bread. Well, I did that (plus some for us - yum!), and still have a ton of zucchini left. He gave us a bushel of tomatoes that I made spaghetti sauce from last week - BEFORE the air conditioning was operational. Whew - that was a hot day in this kitchen. I made the spaghetti sauce recipe up as I went along, and I'm glad I wrote everything down as it went into the pot - Tom says it's our secret family recipe now. It is really, really tasty. Tom insists that we should market it! Jerry's friend got a jar of sauce, also. Yesterday he came by and gave Jerry three watermelons, a huge cantaloupe, and three 5-gallon buckets of green tomatoes. Time to break out the cookbook! I'm not as creative with green tomatoes. He also gave us a bucket of cucumbers that are awaiting pickling. I hope to get those made by the weekend. Now with the air conditioning fixed, I can go back to Delaware with Jerry. I didn't go before because I didn't want to leave the house all opened up in case it stormed during the day. If I closed the house up, the cat would be miserable in the heat during the day, and Tom would be miserable in the heat when he came home from school in the evening. There was one good thing about being without air conditioning all this time - we got used to it, which served us well last night and today. Our electricity went out at about 3:00 this morning and didn't come back on until 12:30 this afternoon. I'm sure the neighbors were busy complaining, but we were just fine with it. It wasn't very hot today, anyway and it wasn't bad at all.

Tom wants to go out for his birthday, so he chose Macaroni Grill. He has eaten there before, but we haven't and are looking forward to it. We looked at the menu online and I just have two words - elastic waistband.

Well, off to do stuff.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Milestone July

This July holds milestones for our family. Andy is 13 today, and Tom will be 21 in a few weeks. I see Andy's upper lip peach fuzz and hear his cracking voice and feel like I'm about to cry. This is my baby - who is now 13 and taller than I am. A word of advice for mamas young and old - hold your babies as long as you can and when they're older hug them for as long as they'll let you. I can still manage a hug or two out of Tom, but only for special occasions!

One of those occasions was when he was leaving for his week-long trip to North Carolina with Sam's family again this year. He is back now and says he has pictures but I haven't seen them yet. I will post them when I get access to his camera. Right now he has his camera with him because I made him promise to take a picture of Sam opening her birthday present from him (her birthday was last week and her family is celebrating it today). He gave her a diamond journey necklace (teeny tiny diamonds, but diamonds nonetheless!) and I thought he would burst waiting until today to give it to her. This is another thing that brought tears to my eyes - Tom wanted my help choosing a necklace for her. He also made me come right out and cry a couple of weeks ago when he told me that when it was time, he wanted my help picking out an engagement ring for Sam. He has it all planned out, when and how he wants to propose to her, but it's a surprise and won't be for a while yet, and so, not knowing who might be reading this blog, I can't divulge details. Suffice it to say that this Mama cried a good while after that announcement! *Warning* Any grandmamas reading may become teary also!

Well, I'm feeling a bit reflective today and think I'll spend some time with my new teenager. I told him that when I was growing up, turning 13 meant that we were allowed to wear mascara and so I offered to get him some, but the withering look I got in response tells me he'd rather have something else!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

A Wonderful Sunday

What a wonderful Sunday this has been. It doesn't take much to amuse me, but this has been a great day - and it's not over yet! It started with the sound and smell of rain - much needed, blessed RAIN! My poor herb plants have been struggling in the sun and heat since I planted them. My efforts at watering them each day still didn't seem to matter very much. Also the cooler air was a blessing. Two weeks ago we tried to turn the air conditioning on and it didn't work right. We're not sure what the problem is, but we're really not in any hurry to fix it now. We had a new unit put in two years ago and it probably just needs charging based on the way it's acting. Anyway, in the days waiting to fix it, we decided we could get used to the heat and deal with it (for a while, anyway - the dog days of August aren't here yet!). I must say that I have not missed the high electric bill. I was rather shocked to get our last one and it was only $160.00. I can't remember the last time it was that low, and I was in no hurry to run it up again using the air conditioning. I think it was that low because we have been dividing our time between Delaware and here and so have only been here half the time. Anyway, the wind and cooler air were definitely welcome today.

Then our neighbors came over to bring us some wonderful goodies from the Philippines. They watched our house while we were in Delaware almost a month in February, and we watched their house while they were away for a little more than a month in April. Our neighbors' names are Merriam and Jim. Merriam is from the Philippines and they go to visit her family every year. Last year they brought us back beautiful wind chimes that I have hanging on the deck. This year they brought us gorgeous placemats with matching cloth napkins and chopstick sets. The chopsticks are black and ornate, and really beautiful. Now I need to learn how to use them! They also brought us deodorant stones. Don't laugh - evidently this is a commonplace item in the Philippines. They look like large crystals and you are supposed to wet them and use them as you would deodorant. Tom had heard of them before but I hadn't. I asked if we offended them! Actually, once before the subject of them had come up in conversation and so they wanted to bring us some to try. They also brought us a coffee cup with a map of the Philippines on it, and dried mango. The mango is DELICIOUS. When they watched our house, we brought them coffee cups with the sights of Rehoboth Beach on them, seashells, and tiger's eye fudge. Housesitting (from your own house) is great! It was nice talking with them about their trip. Jim has to be careful about where he goes - there is some animosity towards Americans there and there are certain places he absolutely cannot go because it's too dangerous.

After meeting with the neighbors, Jerry and I went to BJs to do some grocery shopping. The boys didn't want to go, so it was just the two of us. We went to BJs and then Lowes so Jerry could get some bolts to put the gas tank back on The Chipper From Hell. Don't ask about the gas tank. Just suffice it to say that it is still The Chipper From Hell. Then on the way home Jerry surprised me and stopped by Pizza Hut and told me to go in and order enough pizza for dinner (they don't deliver as far as we are). Next door to Pizza Hut is a Dunkin' Donuts, so after I went in and ordered the pizza, I ran next door and got some donuts to take back to the truck for Jerry while we were waiting for the pizza. I also got myself a mocha swirl latte. Yum!

To top things off, when I weighed myself this morning I had lost another four pounds. Doesn't sound like much, but I have been trying - really watching what I eat and exercising every day. I noticed that I am needing to tug my capris up throughout the day now because they are getting a bit baggy! Yay! I am not brave enough to wear shorts yet, and it's just too hot for jeans, so capris are a happy medium right now.

Well, that's it for now. Happy Sunday, y'all!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

My original first sentence of this post was "Not too much going on here." I deleted that. Something must be going on here because I sure don't feel like I have time to do anything anymore! Well, nothing I can identify with any certainty that would cause my days to jumble up and eventually lead to surprise that another week has ended. Work, teach Andy, clean (yeah, right!), cook dinner, fall asleep and start again the next day.

I recently found Flylady. For those of you who were born organized (I most definitely WAS NOT), you don't need Flylady. I do. The site is The whole premise is baby steps. You didn't get disorganized in a day and you aren't going to get organized again in a day, either, but by taking small steps and making them routine, eventually the whole thing comes together. I am ashamed to say that I have fallen off the Flylady wagon these past couple of weeks, but while I was using it, believe it or not, my house was actually in order and company-ready anytime. Close your mouth now - flies might get in. Yes, it was hard for me to believe, too. I very highly recommend Flylady for anyone who needs a little nudge in the organization department.

The weekend before last Jerry and I went to the local farmer's market where I purchased a flat of herbs that I chose from the offerings. My bounty included two lavender plants, two tomato plants, two thyme plants, an oregano plant, a chive plant, lemon basil, lime basil (smells wonderful!), and regular basil, ginger mint, lemon mint, two rosemary plants, two sage plants, and a tarragon plant. We bought them on Saturday and I had intended to plant them Sunday, but on Sunday we unexpectedly ended up helping Hilda get ready to move. This is the lady who has lived in front of us for 10 years. We were leaving for Delaware first thing Monday morning, so my plants never made it into the ground. Then this past week I was home, but I still didn't get them planted. Now we will be leaving again for Delaware first thing tomorrow morning, so I had to make time to get them planted, as they were all spilling out of their pots. Something else I need to make time for is furniture rearranging. Hilda gave us furniture she couldn't take with her to her new home, but, like my plants, we haven't gotten it "planted" yet, either!

So, now I guess I'd better get going and get things together for tomorrow morning. The plants are all planted (some in the ground, some in pots on the deck). Jerry likes to leave early. And by early, I mean EARLY. Like 3:30 AM early. *YAWN* No one should be up at that hour. Anyway, off to do stuff!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Gotta Love This Place!

I do not claim this county as my hometown. No way, no how! Read on and you'll see why. (Taken from news account of local rescue squad).

A Complete Mess in Huntingtown

By Chief Jonathan Riffe
May 14, 2007

On Monday May 14, 2007 at approximately 1330 hours, a tanker truck departed the Prince Frederick McDonald's with a load of used cooking oil. However, the driver accidentally left open one of the valves causing him to slowly dump his load of oil for several miles causing a huge hazard. At Route 4 and Plum Point Road, he stopped at the traffic light, leaving a huge pile of slick oil. Once green, he continued on. About the same time, 911 dispatched the local for Company 6 for the wash down bringing Squad 6 (Sgt Kerns). While in route, a car attempting to make the turn into Plum Point Road hit the "icy" roadway and slammed into another car. The call was upgraded to an auto accident bringing Chief 6 (Riffe), Chief 6B (Montgomery), Chief 6C (Hayes), Squad 6 (already responding), Engine 61 (S/O Collins), Ambulance 68 (Hayward) and Prince Frederick Ambulance 48. Units arrived to find several miles of Route 4 covered in grease. A total of 3 patients were transported to Calvert Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The crew from Squad 6 and Engine 61 closed down the outside lane awaiting State Highway with several loads of sand. Emergency Management was also notified due to the run-off in a nearby creek. Squad 6 remained on the scene for several hours assisting. Chief 6C held the Huntingtown command. On a side-note, the driver was found by authorities at the Dunkirk McDonald's awaiting to pick up another load of used oil, but found that he had an empty load from previous.
Chief 6, Chief 6B, Chief 6C, Squad 6, Engine 61, Ambulance 68

*Sigh* Only in Calvert County.........

Friday, May 04, 2007

I am HERE! I am HERE! I am HERE!

For those of you who aren't into Dr. Seuss, that's from Horton Hears A Who. (Yes, it's WE are here, we are here, we are here - but you get the point). For those of you who ARE into Dr. Seuss - beezlenut. You will know what that means. For those of you who just think I'm a little, well, off, beezlenut to you too!

Hey - I was under extreme pressure from family members to write. Don't blame me!

Actually, I don't have time right now to write, but I will write - soon! In the meantime - beezlenut. And that's all.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Blogging is like a chore. Some days you feel like doing it, other days you don't. But when you don't do it, at first you feel pressure like you should be doing it, then gradually you get over it and time just s-l-i-d-e-s on by. But you're always glad when it's done, and you realize afterwards that it wasn't so bad after all!

We have been back from Delaware for a couple of weeks now. Jerry has gone back though, to finish up a job. He worked there on Saturday and needed to be back there Monday, so he had originally planned to come home last night (Saturday) and go back early Monday morning. Well, he stopped to put fuel in his truck last night while we were on the phone talking, and he exclaimed about how $20.00 only bought him 7 gallons of diesel. That's when we figured we'd better do the math for him coming home for one day. Turns out it would cost him $80.00 round trip in fuel. Now, don't misunderstand - I love my husband dearly and I miss him terribly, but $80.00 is a week's worth of groceries, for heaven's sake! I didn't tell him that, of course! I left the decision up to him, but in the end we decided that he'd be home soon enough, so I'll be seeing him about mid-week, with $80.00 intact.

Some time next week we'll be going to visit an Amish farmer in St. Mary's County. The pick-up point for the co-op where I get my milk is quite a ways down the road. Since Tom had class on Thursdays, it was right on his way to stop and get it on his way home. Well, this class semester he doesn't have class on Thursdays. The thought of going 30 or so miles down route 4 at rush hour in the evenings does not thrill me, to say the least. I had to go to the bank at rush hour last week for Jerry, and I came home a quivering mass of mush. Route 4 is terrifying at rush hour! People were actually passing each other on the right shoulder of the road, and twice on the way home people cut across the road from intersections and the entire bumper-to-bumper lines of traffic had to screech to a halt to avoid a pileup. Not once, but twice! I realize that I have my thing about driving, but this was just NUTS!

Anyway, I wrote to the coordinator of the co-op and asked if there was any need of a host pickup point down in this end of the county, as I would be willing to do that. What that means is that I provide a place for the delivery driver to drop off the coolers with the farm goods and then people pick up their stuff, leave their checks in the bag provided, and then I mail the checks to the Amish farmer the next day (and I also get a discount on my stuff - that doesn't hurt!) I don't even have to be here when the food is dropped off or picked up by the co-op members. I just need to get the checks in the mail the next day (or have a neighbor do it for me if I'm away). What I was trying to do was avoid having to travel so far just to get my milk, but I didn't know what I would be getting into. She wrote back that it was such a coincidence that I asked that question, because she had met and was working with a farmer in St. Mary's County who wants to start selling his products (because the group has gotten too big for just the one farmer in Pennsylvania) but they didn't know of a pickup point that would be convenient for him and potential customers. You guessed it. I kind of walked into that one. They are leaving it up to me to go and meet him and see what he has to offer and discuss prices and such with him and then the coordinator of the group will post his item list (once I get it) on the co-op board and make it known that there is a group that will service the southern end of this county and St. Mary's, and that the pickup point will be here. Jerry said he would go with me to talk to him (he's the business person of the family!) Since the farmer is Amish, he doesn't have a phone but he told the coordinator who met with him that I could come by the farm any Monday or Friday. It feels kind of rude to just show up like that, but Jerry said that's how they do business. He and his uncle get their chainsaws worked on and sharpened by an Amish man in St. Mary's and his uncle has had some furniture made and Jerry has gone with him to see about that, and he says that is how it's done. Without phones, they expect you to drop by. Well, except Sundays, of course!

Whew! See? Blogging is therapeutic. It seems overwhelming just thinking about it, but before you know it you're blogging on and on and on and on and ............

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Guess what Andy and I did on Thursday when it was 73 degrees outside?

Guess who Andy and I visited on Friday!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Well, we're still in Delaware. I have posted some pictures of the snow we had a few days ago. Andy and I really enjoyed our walk through the neighborhood that day! We will be going home one day this week - not sure which day just yet, but sometime this week! I hope the pets haven't forgotten us!

Andy and I have been having a good time here, though. On Friday we took the day off from work and school to just go everywhere we wanted and spend the day out. Can you believe it?! I'm actually driving places here! We went to all three outlet centers, a different shopping center, an EB Games (for Andy, of course!), and then we went to an Italian restaurant for lunch. Andy had the veal parmesan and I had stuffed shells. GOOD STUFF!!! We were tired when we got back, but we had a great day. Tomorrow we plan to explore the library here, and I'd still like to go to the state park where they have the towers that were built for lookouts during World War II. Since we just happen to be studying WWII in history right now, I don't want to leave without doing that. Actually, the weather is supposed to be nice this week so we may head down to the beach again on this visit. I don't mind driving to the beach at this time of year because the parking is free and there's hardly any traffic, but in the summertime we'll take the bus like we did last year. Parking is expensive during the summer, and you're lucky if you can even find a space. There's a bus stop almost right at the entrance of the community here so it's easy to ride wherever you want to go.

Anyway, off to clean and finish laundry. It is easy to clean this place - there's hardly any stuff, (i.e. clutter) here! In the almost three weeks we have been here, I have learned that there is probably A LOT of stuff I can do without at home! The square footage of the trailer here is about the same as the square footage of the upstairs of our house at home, so in theory I should be able to clean them in the same amount of time, right? No, not when there's a ton of CLUTTER to work around! Well, off to do stuff!

Monday, February 26, 2007


Shortly after I posted yesterday, it started to snow. It didn't amount to much, about a half inch, but it was still very nice to see. Andy and I took a long walk through the neighborhood in it. At home Tom still got quite a bit more snow than we did, but I was happy to see any at all.

I just noticed my counter at the bottom of the blog page. Evidently when the new blog format switched over, it also began my counter back at zero, so what it's showing now is only actually the count for about the last month or so. Oh, well. The map with locations of visitors next to it has kept a little bit better count. I noticed that a couple of days ago I had visitors from China and Australia. I can't imagine that my ramblings about my boring home life would be interesting reading for an international audience, though!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

This week has really gone by quickly. We have been in Delaware this week and will probably still be here for a while longer. Jerry is working on a job here and Andy and I tagged along. This time, though, I brought my old computer (yes, the 747) and my work machines and so I'm working every day from here. It's not really a vacation, since between my work and Andy's schooling (yes, I made him bring his schoolbooks), our days are pretty much like they are at home (busy!), but at least we get to see Jerry in the evenings. I will be leaving this computer here so that in the future I can just pack up my work machines, which isn't too much trouble, and work from here so I can tag along whenever I want to. Andy and I have been making time for a walk each day, though. It's nice being able to walk around without fearing for my life - well, unless we walk on Route 1! The afternoon walks chase away the sleepies that seem to descend on me around 1:00 in the afternoon. It's very hard to take long walks at home because even though you can walk on the individual streets, to get from one to the other you have to go out on the main road which is usually VERY busy, and there are no sidewalks.

I talked with Tom not too long ago, (he is babysitting the pets at home), and he said that there are at least four inches of snow on the ground there, and it's still coming down. Then Jerry just called from where he is working in Dover to ask if it was snowing here, because it was there. All we are having here in Rehoboth Beach is rain and a little ice. I am the only one that really likes snow, but I'm the only one not getting to see any today!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Mad Scientist!

My mother emailed me inquiring how her daughter became a mad scientist as she didn't recall there being one in the family tree. Just because I take something that looks like a cross between a mushroom and a cow patty, has the consistency of a raw oyster, and ferment it in tea and then actually DRINK the stuff......hmm.....okay, I see your point, Mom.

Anyway, this batch of Kombucha actually turned out very tasty! It did not give me gastrointestinal problems like the last batch did and I find that I like the taste, too. It tastes like a mixture of Lipton tea (the pre-made kind you get in vending machines) and apple juice. I think I can drink this stuff! Oh and Mom - each batch grows a new baby Kombucha culture - and I've got one with YOUR name on it!

Well, not too much time to blog this evening. Jerry has been in Delaware for a week now and is on his way home. Andy and I are making butter pecan ice cream for him. To practice, we made vanilla ice cream the other night with the cream and milk from the farm. That was GOOD STUFF! I made buttermilk biscuits this afternoon (because he really likes those), and am about to make a batch of peanut butter fudge (which he also likes a lot). I have been using one of Paula Deen's recipes and we really like it. I varied the recipe a little last week and instead of using all peanut butter, I used half peanut butter and half chocolate chips. It turned out tasting like Reese's fudge! Last night I made truffles. They're just about gone now, but that's okay. Jerry doesn't like them, but the boys and I have put a hurtin' on them!

Now I really gotta get going. It will be very nice to have Jerry back home again. I think it's great that after 25 years (yes, next week will be our 25th anniversary!) we still miss each other. Some couples I know dread when their spouse gets back from a trip, and that's sad. Anyway, off to make ice cream!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I'm A Prairie Muffin!

In perusing blog links today, I discovered that I am a Prairie Muffin! Not just shaped like one, either! (although I am). This link will tell you what a Prairie Muffin is. (Well, not #35 because I don't currently belong to a church).

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Round Two

*sniffle*.....cough......ahhh-CHOO! Arggh. Andy and I have colds AGAIN. I only felt well for a couple of days, and here we go again! At least Tom escaped it this time. I have had too much to do without being sick again.

I have been trying to finish getting my new computer set up, and also trying to work on my blog site which I intend to convert to a different site sometime in the near future, something that gives me a little more versatility. If I had known that my computer was going to start acting feeble, I would not have gotten my monster mixer and would have gotten a new computer instead. If you remember from a previous post, the computer that I had wasn't that old, but because the one I had previous to that fried it's motherboard, I suddenly lost access to EVERYTHING. My work files, pictures, EVERYTHING. In order to get everything back, I had to open the new computer and put my old hard drive into it to retrieve all my stuff. The hard drive from the old computer still worked; it was just that the motherboard of the computer was toast and the computer wouldn't work. My intent was to put the old hard drive in long enough to transfer all my stuff to the new hard drive in the new computer and then be on my way. Well, in the process of rearranging the innards of the computer to read my old drive, I accidentally bent (and broke) a pin off the back of the new hard drive before I even had a chance to hook it back up. While this could probably be fixed, it would be a difficult process and I didn't have time to fool with it so I just left my old hard drive in and have been using that since then. About two weeks ago I turned on my computer one morning and it sounded like a 747 was gearing up in the living room. I didn't know whether to turn the computer off or run for cover (or both). Eventually the noise died down, but it started happening more often and then started making a grinding kind of noise. Then my programs began acting up and I knew time was short for that ol' hard drive. I didn't want to be caught in the bind I was before, so I decided that this time I'd better get a new one before that one went completely, so that's what I did. I had made a backup disk before so it was relatively easy putting my stuff on the new computer, but there were still a few things that needed to be tweaked to run correctly. I put the new computer in Andy's room on his desk (he currently has his downstairs in Tom's room because they play World of Warcraft and go on quests together and it's easier with both of them having their computers together in the same room). I left mine set up where it was. I used Andy's room internet connection and used our home network to transfer my stuff from one computer to the other. One of these days we'll go wireless, but I'm too stubborn to spend the money on that when our ancient network wiring gets the job done. I did the wiring for the network myself, so there's kind of a crisscrossing of wires across the basement ceiling and it's NOT pretty! It's obvious I don't do this for a living! Anyway, I finally felt comfortable that I had everything transferred correctly and switched the two computers around. I have kept the old one on Andy's desk in case I come across something this week in the course of doing my work that I may have missed. The only problem is that one of the hospitals I do work for is still using a DOS-format WordPerfect and it's very difficult these days to run a DOS program and requires quite a bit of tweaking. Anyway, all's well that ends well, right? Hopefully this will all end well!

I haven't had time to list anything on eBay lately, but I did buy a Kombucha culture! If you don't know what Kombucha is, you can read about it here. I made one batch of it already but it was YUCKY! I only drank a little of it, couldn't stand the taste, and then for the next 12 hours I think my gut believed I had gone to Mexico and drank the water. Needless to say, THAT batch went down the drain. I have another one brewing now that should be ready by Sunday. I used a slightly different variation in making it and so far this batch looks better and doesn't have the sour smell that the last one developed early on. Practice makes perfect, I guess.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The High Price of Milk!

First of all, let me start this by saying that I am thanking the Lord and praising Him that everything turned out all right. That's the most important thing. Now on to my story. On Thursdays Tom is supposed to go by the place to pick up our farm order. He and Sam were on their way home from college yesterday when Tom realized he had forgotten to pick it up. He pulled off to the right side of the road and then was making a U-turn to go back but a car came off of a ramp leading onto the roadway at the exact same time and crashed into the passenger side door of the car, where Sam was sitting. They took Sam to the hospital in an ambulance but Tom declined treatment and rode along with her. They had her in a back and neck brace for precaution on the way there because she was complaining of some pain in her hip where the car had hit. She was checked out thoroughly and had a CT scan and everything was okay. She is just VERY sore and stiff today, and taking the pain medication that they gave her in the ER, so she's pretty out of it today. Tom feels like he was in a fight, just stiff and sore today.

Jerry and I were just sitting down to dinner last night when my cell phone rang. I didn't recognize the number calling, but I answered it anyway. It was Tom, and this is how the conversation went:
"Mom? Okay, don't freak out. Okay?" He was shouting to be heard over the sound of sirens in the background which were blaring in my ear. I asked him what was going on, not comprehending yet. He said "Is Dad home? I need you to do me a favor. Can you meet me at the hospital?" I started getting upset and he said, "Mom - MOM! Everything's okay. We've been in an accident. I'm okay but I'm riding with Sam in the ambulance. They think she's okay but she needs to be checked out because the car hit on her side. Don't freak out, Mom. Mom? Could you and Dad please come to the hospital?" By this time Jerry had figured that something was wrong, so he took the phone and talked to Tom while I hurriedly grabbed my shoes and coat and had Andy do the same. When we got to the hospital we had to wait a while but eventually Tom came out to talk to us, and Sam's parents arrived to see her. Understandably, Tom wanted to wait until they were finished checking Sam out, so we waited with him. We were very relieved to see Sam and her parents walking out of the ER and into the waiting area where we were. Sam was very shaken and very pale, and she looked like she was going to fall over any minute! Her mom was kind of holding her up and she said that they had given Sam so much pain medication that it was surprising that she was even awake! Anyway, thankfully, everyone is okay (well, except for Sam's car which is probably totaled). I neglected to mention that they were in Sam's car - not Tom's. Sam's parents do not allow her to drive, but they bought her a car and since Tom drives every day, they switch cars between hers and his on alternate days, which I thought was very nice of her parents. Well, yesterday was a day to drive her car. When Sam's dad came out to the waiting room, Jerry told him how sorry we were about Sam's car, but he was very nice and understanding, and said that is why they call them accidents. No one plans for this sort of thing. The policeman on the scene determined that it was Tom's fault, though. Even though he didn't see the car coming off the ramp until it was too late, and a U-turn was not illegal there, the policeman said it was still not yielding the right of way to oncoming traffic. He was very nice though, and told Tom to go to court with it and it would probably help lower his points and/or fine. He got a $150.00 fine. We haven't seen Sam's car but Sam's mom is going to get pictures and so I will post them if I can. And after all of this, we still needed to run by and pick up my farm order on the way home because I couldn't let the food and milk sit in the shed at the pickup point all night! We finally got home at around midnight. *Yawn*! I feel badly that all this happened just because of my milk!

Monday, January 29, 2007

For one of his school assignments this week, Tom had to take a picture of his shoes with his digital camera and then use the picture in a software program to draw them.

Blog owner here - I don't mind this picture being passed around the world, but could somebody please clue me in as to WHY it is so popular? Please refer to my latest post on the home page of my blog for a full explanation. I am extremely curious as to why my son's drawing is making the rounds all over the world. I would greatly appreciate anyone who can tell me how it's being used and why! I'm not looking for royalties and I'm not angry that it's being used all over - I just want to know why. Please someone - clue this clueless blogger in!

Here is Tom's drawing of his shoes. He hasn't finished the shading on them yet, but this is the neatest drawing! (You can double click on the picture to enlarge it).

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Last week's first snow of the season. Note one of Tom's friends peering in the window.
Andy took our toboggan-riding cat outside for the first toboggan ride of the season. He actually stays in it and rides, as long as you don't push it too hard - then he bails out and runs across the yard!
The one on the left is from the farm; the one on the right is from the local convenience store. You can't clearly see the label on the farm milk, but it says "Raw Pet Milk (for cats and dogs)". Meow, and woof.
We got our first farm order on Thursday. I was pleasantly surprised that there really wasn't that much of a difference in the taste or texture of raw milk compared to what we buy at the store. I was a little afraid that no one would want to try it, but all of us are drinking it, even Jerry - he's like Mikey from the Life cereal commercial. He hates everything. I did a lot of reading about it before I made the decision to buy it that way. Here is one article, but there is a lot more information out there. I also ordered a quart of cream. I didn't know what to expect, but I didn't realize it would be so thick! Today I used my whisk on my mixer (yes, my new toy) and mixed half cream and half milk to make my own half and half for coffee. Tom had some in his coffee and was surprised that it actually tasted like half and half from the store. I'm not sure what he expected - that's generally what "half and half" means, isn't it?! I am anxious to see if changing our dairy products will have an effect on Tom's stomach troubles. He was born with reflux troubles and seems to have had stomach or digestion problems all his life. He has been on Prilosec and Ranitadine because sometimes the acid and reflux just got overwhelming for him. Milk gave him a problem if he had it on an empty stomach. His taking Advil for headaches certainly didn't help his stomach, but this was another one of those times he didn't think mom knew what she was talking about. At least one report every day that I type has to do with someone who uses a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory for headaches or pains and has stomach trouble. Anyway, I started doing some research into it and started thinking that maybe between his avoiding dairy and taking acid-reducing medications, there wasn't enough good bacteria in his gut to help him digest things. I had him eat yogurt that had live cultures and I bought lactic acidophilus tablets for him to take. It's entirely possible that the problem resolved on its own, but now he rarely needs any antacid - not even an occasional Tums, so I wonder if it is due to the "good bad guys" in his system now. We shall see, I guess. Tom said that Sam's family asked him how his pinkeye cleared up and he told them about my chamomile tea eye wash. Then he told me, "but I didn't tell them that my mom was a witch doctor!". He is always making fun of my home cures, but guess who he goes to first when he's feelin' poorly?!

As if I don't torture Tom enough with "Mom's home remedies", we played a good joke on him a couple of weeks ago. Jerry and I went to BJs which is a warehouse store, and they had lots of Christmas clearance items. Standing all alone and looking lonely were two of those yard display metal deer with lights whose heads move back and forth. I kind of liked those deer, but all I saw were the two on the shelf on display. Just then a worker came by with a flat cart to start clearing things out of the Christmas aisle. I asked him if there were any more deer anywhere and he said no, that the only ones left were these two display deer. He also said that those two had been their display for a couple of years now and didn't work so well, so his manager had told him to throw them out. I looked closely at them and didn't see what would be so hard about figuring out what was wrong with them. I asked him why he couldn't just "throw them away" in the back of my truck! He said he couldn't do that but would ask his manager about a discount. While he was off doing that, I summoned Jerry over from another aisle and asked him to look over the deer to see if they were worth having. He didn't see any problem with fixing them up, and so when the employee came back, he and Jerry began haggling. Finally they agreed on $8.00 for both of them - $4.00 apiece. Free would have been better, but we could live with $8.00. As we were on our way home with our bounty, Tom called from Sam's house. I told him about the deer and he was not as thrilled as I was, to put it mildly. He said that he hated those things, that there's just something eerie about them silently moving their heads back and forth in the dark. He called them demon deer. I didn't realize he had such a thing against metal deer! Anyway, we got home before he did. Jerry unloaded the deer and then positioned one in front of each of Tom's bedroom windows, as if they were looking in at him. When he came home and saw them he chuckled, but not as hard as we did! You can see one still in front of the window in my snow picture. Tom says that one of these days they are just going to "mysteriously" disappear!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Snow! And Stuff.

I was so glad to finally see snow this winter. It really hasn't felt like winter at all. Well, except for the cold or flu or whatever it was that made the rounds here. Tom was the first to get it and missed all last week of college because the pinkeye basically blinded him. He kept in touch with his teachers and they gave him his assignments so he wasn't behind in his work. Now hopefully I'm nearing the end of it myself, although last night I was up coughing most of the night. Andy has it a little but mostly just feels really tired and icky. When you have a cold/flu, icky most definitely is a word. Thankfully I only got a touch of the pinkeye and it cleared within a day or so, and Andy never got that at all. I had Tom wash his eyes with chamomile tea using an eye cup and it cleared quickly and his eyes felt much better. It probably would have cleared sooner but he wouldn't listen to me - he couldn't get past putting tea in his eyes! I knew that antibiotic drops wouldn't help because it was viral and not bacterial. Finally he was desperate and said that he'd try anything and lo and behold, in 24 hours it was gone. Sometimes ol' mom knows what she's doing. Not often, but sometimes!

The quest for a grain mill has been put on hold at least for a little while. Tom just started a new quarter in school and was just told what books he would need, so my eBay funds will be going to pay for those first, before the grain mill. For the most part things have been going smoothly selling, but I have had a couple of unfortunate experiences this time around. They both involved people who had never used eBay before and didn't know how to use it. There is plenty of help and information on the site to show you what to do and how to do it, but evidently these people weren't into reading instructions. Nor were they into reading my full listings where it says that PayPal is the only form of payment that I accept. One man had clicked on the "Buy It Now" button for one of my books and thought he was at a regular store. He actually called me on the phone (that was kind of creepy) and told me that my "store" wasn't working because there was nowhere to put his credit card information. *Sigh* I told him that he needed to register with PayPal but he didn't understand what I was trying to explain to him. Then I didn't hear from him for several days, so I emailed and told him that if I didn't hear from him by noon the next day, I would have no choice but to relist the book. Well, the book is relisted and currently has two bids on it. Now I am waiting to hear from the person who won the Wii game. The auction ended Saturday. Ebay automatically sends an invoice at auction end but when I didn't hear from the winner by Sunday night, I also sent a copy of the invoice and asked them to acknowlege that they had won the auction. First thing Monday morning I received an email stating, (and I am typing this exactly as it was written), "hey this program won't take my card or something how can i pay you is there another way? *sigh* *again*. I wrote back and asked what "card" he was referring to, and reiterated that I only accept PayPal. I didn't hear back from him, so last night I wrote and told him that since I saw that he was new to eBay (he just registered the day he won my auction), that maybe he wasn't familiar with the workings of it, so I told him that I would take a money order this time, provided that I received it by Saturday, and I gave him a few pointers on being a good eBayer, for the future. I asked him to write back as soon as possible and tell me how he wanted to handle paying for this game. Well, as of now I haven't heard from him. I am going to write to him one last time and let him know that if I don't hear from him by noon tomorrow that I am offering the game to the next highest bidder or relisting it. I realize that I risk negative feedback this way, but SHEESH! This just gets exasperating!

I have been sneak-reading "Nourishing Traditions". Yes, I know that The Giant Killer is next on my list but the book arrived and I couldn't help sneaking a peek. I highly recommend this book to everyone. It is definitely an eye-opener about food that is supposed to be good for you. Ever wonder why if everyone is eating low fat and low cholesterol that we have the highest rate of heart disease ever? This book will really make you think. After reading the section on dairy, I decided that I definitely wanted to find a source of raw milk for us (as in fresh-from-the-cow). I had been looking for the past couple of years anyway because I wanted to try making cheese, but I couldn't find any (and we just don't have room for a milk cow out back!). It turns out that there are laws that make it illegal for farmers to sell their cow's milk without it being "factory-ized" first. That's pasteurized and homogenized. I read in one of my Countryside magazines how people were circumventing this by buying "cow shares", wherein they buy a share of a farmer's cow; the farmer houses the cow and feeds it with the money you provided, then once a week or so you go and pick up "your" cow's milk products. Technically the law states that if you own the cow, you can drink it's milk; hence the cow sharing. Well, turns out that cow sharing is illegal in Maryland. Gotta love this place. Anyway, to make a long story short (kind of late now, I know), I found a co-op where I can order stuff weekly directly from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania and I pick up my goods every Thursday evening. Well, actually Tom is picking them up on his way home from college because it's right on his way. Our first order will be in this Thursday and I'm anxious to see REAL milk! I also ordered some REAL eggs and REAL ham steaks. Well, the meat we're kind of used to because for the past two years we have bought our own cow and pig for slaughter, but we've never had REAL DAIRY before! In order to protect the farmer though, all of our items have to be marked Pet Food. Oh, well. I've been called worse!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Arrrrrgh. Haven't posted in a few days because Flu Bug and Pink Eye showed up uninvited at my house a few days ago and haven't left yet. Jerry is in Delaware this week and missing all the fun. I'd write more, but my arms are too weak to hold up to the keyboard. Like I said, Arrrrrgh.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

I haven't posted recently because I've been busy playing with my new toy. I unexpectedly got a Kitchenaid mixer and have been making all kinds of stuff with it. I say that it was unexpected because Jerry and I had talked about getting one for Christmas but we both agreed it was too expensive right now and we would wait, but then Kitchen Collection had the kind that I wanted for $100.00 off, plus a $30.00 mail-in rebate on top of that, so we talked ourselves into believing that we really shouldn't pass this up! It's amazing what your mind can talk you into. Actually, it's kind of funny because over the past several days as I was getting back into tightwad gear, I had intended to write a sidebar item about my tightwaddery, but I never got around to that and instead played with something new that I (*gasp*) bought!

This mixer is a beast. I had no idea from looking at the pictures how large it really was. We got the Professional 600 because it was the biggest that they make and can handle bread dough. I have been researching these for over a year now and had been debating between a Bosch and a Kitchenaid, but finally the sale on the Kitchenaid made my decision for me. This thing is so big that sitting on my counter, there is only one inch between the top of the mixer and the underside of the cabinets over the counter. The flat beater that is shown in the picture is bigger than Jerry's hand. I had a recipe in my Mennonite cookbook that made four loaves of bread (something I never would have attempted with my old mixer), so I tried that. We set the timer, and using the dough hook the dough for four loaves of bread was done in four minutes. That's it. When I get around to writing about my tightwaddery, I'll explain about the breadmaking. Now I want to buy the grain mill attachment for it, so I've listed some things on eBay for my fundraising for that.

I decided to try out a new program that eBay offers (well, new to me anyway) called Turbolister, where you can write the descriptions and get pictures of your items all offline and they just stay in a file on your computer until you're ready to sell your stuff, then you can upload it all at one time and start your auctions. I used that for the first time yesterday but when I uploaded my stuff and started my auctions, the format hadn't stayed the same as when I wrote it in Turbolister, and my counters for page visits were missing. Right after the auctions went live I went in to fix these things and as I was making my way down my list of items putting counters on all of them, I noticed that one of my items was missing. I had listed five things, now only four were showing up. I thought that somehow one listing hadn't made it to the auction so I went back to check, and then saw that one of the books had sold in the three minutes that the auction had been live. That's why it wasn't showing up when I went back to add a counter! Someone had bought the book and paid for it and the money was in my account in Paypal all in five minutes' time. I can hear the grain mill grinding away now!

Also, just in case anyone's wondering, I decided that my schedule didn't need tweaking. It needs a major overhaul!
My new toy.

Monday, January 08, 2007

PLAN isn't supposed to be a four-letter word, is it?

Well, here we are in the new year. I have decided to try to get myself organized this year. Again. Only this time I actually took some steps in that direction. I made a book for myself with all the stuff in it that I thought might be useful. I'm sure it will undergo some tweaking, but I'm hopeful that it will be a help to me. Before Christmas I bought an inexpensive binding machine in order to make photo albums. We thought it would be a good investment anyway because Tom needs something with which to make portfolio books. So, I have been perusing forms on websites and templates on during the past week. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I found a few forms at which were also helpful.

The first section is Andy's school schedule. Andy collaborated on that. While I'm all for "eclectic" homeschooling and learning what you want, when you want, we did need a little more structure to our days. The fact that we have a board of education review in two weeks had absolutely nothing to do with that decision, either. No sir. None at all. Huh-uh.

I'll write more about my book in future posts. I have allowed myself a half hour per day to blog, but you can see what time I finally got to it - it's now 9:57 PM. My schedule says I should have done this at 4:00. Hmmm. Did I mention that I would probably need to tweak it a bit?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

What a beautiful sunrise! I caught these pictures on The sunrise was so pink and bright here at home that morning, that I figured it had to be beautiful on the ocean.

Here is the same view, about six hours later.

Friday, January 05, 2007

It's That Time Again!

Here is our tree in all it's splendor - pre-toss!
Here is Andy with the first toss. You can't see much of him in the picture, but you can see the mighty heft he gave it, as attested to by the airborne tree!
Next it was Tom's turn. I think he was aiming for height more than distance!
Here is my tree-tossing attempt. It went a respectable distance, anyway!


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