Archive for November, 2009



My aunt prepared a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner as always. 

This is all the guys going first….yes, our family has NO manners whatsoever.

Randy and his mom were in charge of carving the turkey….be very afraid. 

It was a hit and miss at the beginning, but in the end they did a great job and had plenty of laughs along the way.

Me and my cousins on Thanksgiving.

We had lighting issues…

so we tried a different spot…

still some issues….what good is the internet if you can’t post embarassing pictures of your family members on it.  We were in mid-pose.  Honest we were. 

We had to move inside where we had adult supervision….

sort of.

Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.


Thanksgiving Preparation…

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  We go to my aunt’s for the day.  She does most of the cooking, but we all bring a side and dessert.  I’m taking green bean casserole and pumpkin pies.  I usually take sweet potato pies, but I have pumpkin in the freezer I would like to use so pumpkin pies it is.  For the green bean casserole I do use the not-at-all-healthy onion strings on top, but I do make my own replacement for the canned cream of mushroom soup.  I make a Basic White Sauce (and usually double this recipe).

My aunt does the ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, do you want me to continue?  She’s amazing!  How she can cook for all of us corn-fed eaters I will never know, but she does it every year.

The cousins (that’s where I come in) are in charge of the pre-dinner beverages.  Everyone brings a bottle or two of their favorite wine to share and pass around.  It is so much fun!

This year Randy and I are taking Stone Hill Concord (a recommendation from a friend) and Red Electra (our personal favorite).  Neither are expensive wines, both are fairly sweet, and neither one will make it home Thanksgiving night.  heehee!  We aren’t big drinkers….we just have a big family!

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend!


Cat Surgery…

Randy got home the other evening to find Cooter hurt.  So he loaded him up and took him to the vet before they closed.  He ended up having to leave him there overnight to have surgery, get stitches, and drainage tubes.

I’m headed to town with him tomorrow for his two week check up and to have the stitches and tubes removed.  He’s done really well and took his nasty medicine like a champ.  We will give him a dab of yogurt for a few days to get his good bacteria replenished since he was given an antibiotic, and he should be good as new.

The vet didn’t think it was from another cat or a dog (coyote).  We are really leaning toward a hawk.  They are really thick right now.  The location of the wound, the type of wound, the multitude of hawks in our area…..we’re thinking big bird got him.



Coconut Bark…

Coconut Bark:

6 T coconut oil, virgin, expeller-pressed

1 t vanilla extract

1 ½ T unsweetened cocoa powder

1-2 T pure maple syrup

2 T unsweetened shredded coconut

¼ c pecans

Melt coconut oil in a small pan over low heat.  Add vanilla extract, cocoa, and maple syrup.  Mix with wire whisk until completely dissolved. 

Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Pour into a 9×13 pan lined with wax paper.  Place in freezer for 15 minutes to harden.

Once it hardens, break it into bite-sized pieces.  Keep in freezer.

The recommended dosage for coconut oil is 3-4 Tablespoons a day.  This is best divided and taken three times a day before each meal.  It’s best to start out with smaller doses of coconut oil to prevent die off.  Die off is the result of toxins being removed from the body.  Diarrhea may result, but this is not actually a bad things as this is a sign your body is being flushed of toxins and offending organisms.

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil  “The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc.”

“The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV.”

Here is where I buy my coconut oil and the best price I have found.

I cook our eggs in it, spread on toast or biscuits, use it as a lotion and night cream, mix into smoothies, anytime I need to oil a pan for cooking, and of course in coconut bark.

It is delicious and nutritions.  It heals cuts on hands, good for chapped lips, rub on scalp to help fight dandruff.  The list goes on and on. 





Isn’t she cute!

All tucked away sleeping!

Well, this little bundle of fluff just finished off her 4th or so pillowcase this morning.  I bought organic sheets hoping to help Randy with his asthma.  Those were goners a few weeks back!  Our little darling is the ripe ol’ age of seven and still insists on being naughty.She gets on our bed (broken rule #1), licks Randy’s pillowcase (unspoken broken rule #2), and eventually devours, as in literally eats the pillowcase (broken rule #3).  Not the entire pillowcase mind you, but on any given day this beauty can put away 1/2 of a pillowcase in the time it takes Randy to take a shower in the morning. We usually baby gate off our bedroom because of this behavior, however, when the baby gate fails to get put up, pillowcases are eaten.  It’s a fact of life in our home.Now we get to monitor her to make sure she passes it, and then we get to clean up the backyard full of green cotton pillowcase debris. 

She knows she’s being naughty because the minute you walk in on her she tucks her tail, ear, and cowers.  Something inside her little speckled head cannot process the “don’t do it” message.

I always say, you just haven’t lived until you’ve owed a cattledog!

I could write a book on this puppy!  She has destroyed more things in her mere seven years than we can even begin to count.  One time she literally ate her way into our home in Alabama; screen, wood blinds, and the window trim for good measure.



Adoption Update….

Just thought I would let those of you know who don’t already.  We are putting our adoption on hold.  There are numerous reasons for doing so, but the big one that got the ball rolling was the adoption tax credit not being renewed at the full amount.  This credit has been around for years, and even though we knew this was a possibility we forged ahead anyway.  Although we didn’t technically need it for the initial adoption, we were hoping it would help us with our second international adoption especially since we would only have one income the second time around.

Second, we really want to pay our mortgage off and become debt free.  As long as I keep working we have the possibility of making this happen in three years.  I don’t know if I can hold out three years to start our family, but we are going to give it a go.

There were little details along the way contributing to our final decision to put it on hold.  The travel time was a bit longer than we had anticipated, and my parents were not overly enthusiastic about watching our farm for that long regardless of the reason.  There were some expenses that popped up for once we were in Nepal that we hadn’t accounted for.  The vaccination list was also a huge, disturbing factor that played heavily into our decision. 

In the end, we decided to put things on hold and see where we are in a couple of years.  The economy is so scary right now.  The health care uncertainty is scary.  The list goes on and on. 

We are going over our options and patiently waiting for the answers we need to make this decision and move on to the next part of our lives. 

We would like to thank everyone for their support while we are going through this process and to our references for doing paperwork after paperwork to appease the agencies. 


Cheeseslave Giveaway…

Check it out!

Adopting one child won't change the world; but for that child, the world will change.

I am the wife to my wonderful husband and joint care giver to the many animals we have acquired on our small farm here on the prairie. This is a bit about our life on our farm. We are striving for simplicity and self-sufficiency, determined to become debt-free, trying to live in tune with the natural cycles of this earth, and challenging ourselves to transition to a diet based on traditional foods. It isn't always easy, and we don't always succeed, but it is a fun learning process. Join us as we stumble through learning how to provide for ourselves, get off the treadmill, and work toward a simpler way of life.

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November 2009
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