Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Blog Design

I'm sure you can tell by my frequently changing layout, that I am just as interested in the appearance of my blog as I am in the contents of it. Hours have been spent trying to make it look like I see it in my head, but I just don't know a whole lot about html code or any other type of cyber silliness.
I am entering to win a blog design by fabulous k creative. I simply LOVE her design and "look". It is just so simple, so fresh, so so pretty!
One of the ways to enter is simply to blog about it, so here it is. Yes, it is shameless but I really really want to win this.
The winner will be announced Saturday. Keep your fingers crossed for this ol farm girl.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mystical Elixir

Now I know you all have heard me whine and cry about my terminal case of the winter blahs, but that isn't what I've come to blog about today. I've come to give you good people a remedy for winter blahs, or seasonal affective disorder, or seasonal depression, however you choose to call it.
Dr. Oz piqued my interest on his show a week or so ago when he was talking about remedies for this dreaded affliction. I was actually just happy to see other downtrodden, winter-beaten souls. It's a misery loves company thing.
One of the suggestions was ginger tea.
I like ginger.
I like tea.
Perhaps I'll give this a try
I tried straight ginger. I don't recommend this.
So here is what I came up with. Please feel free to try this for it has helped me tremendously.
First of all you'll need some ginger root. I've always seen this in the produce section and watched Martha Stewart grating away at it, but never has it ever graced my kitchen until now.
In doing my research, I found out that ginger is not only a great combatant against the doldrums, but is also a wonderful anti-inflammatory, aids in the digestive process, controls chronic pain, minimizes allergy symptoms and limits flatulence! Glory, glory hallelujah!
Since the ginger alone was just too weird for me, I decided to add some cinnamon. Guess what I found out? Studies have shown this magical spice to help with arthritis pain, regulate blood sugar, and boosts cognitive function and memory. Glory glory hallelujah.
Of course, it has to be sweetened right? I decided to go the natural route in concocting my elixir and went with good-old, beautiful, God-given, honey. Well, you're just not going to believe this. Honey is full of gloriously wonderful incredible stuff!! Lets just set aside for a minute the MIRACLE of how it is made, for this is a topic all in it's own. Plus, if I start talking about how much I love and adore the honey bee, I'll start missing spring again. So here are just a few of the benefits of squeezing some of this golden nectar into your diet.
Honey contains as many antioxidants as spinach.
It's free sugar molecules make the brain function better since the brain is the largest consumer of sugar, thus, reduces fatigue.
It aids in keeping the skin soft and fresh and slows down old age.
The ancient Egyptians paid their taxes with it. (ok, I know that wasn't a benefit although it would greatly benefit me if I was allowed to pay my taxes this way)
You will have to steep your ginger (about a tablespoon of grated ginger root) with the cinnamon in boiling water. I just happen to have the most darling husband that buys me cute tea pitchers because I say I really really need one for my seasonal depression. You can use whatever you have, a glass measuring cup works nicely.
This is probably the most important ingredient in the recipe. The tonic MUST be consumed out of a pretty cup. If you skip this step you might as well just forget about the whole thing.
Honey goes in first, don't ask why, it just does. Don't be stingy. Forget about calories and think of the benefits.
Poor the nice scalding hot tea over the honey, and stir.
And, there you have it. A beautiful, magical, healing cup of tea.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Lessons in Musicals

Rodney and I were sitting at the breakfast table a couple of days ago drinking our coffee and watching the birds. The weather was very cold and the birds were very busily going about their feasting. Quite a large crowd of those sweet little birdies showed up this particular morning. They were fluttering about in and out of the branches of that big-old oak in my back yard.

We sat in silence for a couple of minutes just watching. Then the following conversation took place;

Me: I wonder if that tickles?

long pause...

Rodney (hesitantly): You wonder if what tickles?

Me: All those birds flying around and hopping up and down on the branches of that tree.
Rodney (bewildered): huh??

Well, it just looks like that would tickle. If I had birds climbing all over me and fluttering around in my hair and hopping up and down my would certainly tickle!

: You are such a little freak.

: psshht! I am not! how do you know that trees don't get tickled? Have you ever been a tree?
Rodney: No

well, then you don't know do you?

I enjoy torturing him just in small increments. I have to be careful not to push it too far for fear he might actually have me committed. I simply feel it is my duty to bring a little whimsy into his stoic life of duty and work. I'm not sure he has ever heard a tree giggle. The only use Rodney has ever had for a tree is to climb into it's branches to better see wildlife in hopes to blow some poor creature away. This is why God gave us to each other. He keeps me grounded and feeds me lovely wildlife meat, and I...well I try to make sure that he knows that trees have feelings (among other things).

You see, Rodney had a horrible childhood. I found this out after we had been married only a little while. I said something like "we represent the lollipop guild", which completely confused him. I said, "you know, from the Wizard of Oz". And this is when I found it out, the heinous injustice that befell my darling husband. He had never seen the Wizard of Oz!

How is that possible?
I rectified the situation as quickly as possible. I'm not sure how well received it was but I couldn't imagine him going through life without having had his mind filled with song and dance and munchkins (and lions and tigers and bears, oh my!)
It became a quest over the years of our marriage to right all the wrongs from his childhood of hunting and fishing and working in his dads shop. I made him watch Oklahoma when he was down in his back, stuck on the couch and couldn't reach the remote.
My Fair Lady was a staple at our house when the kids were little. See, I started them off early before they even had an opinion of what they liked to watch. Brainwashing is a delicate task and is easier started when your subjects are very young. I can recall Kyle toddling around with a blanky in hand singing "Poor professor Higgins". Of course it came out more like "Poow profether Higginth" YES! My master plan is working! Muah ha ha ha!
And I'm not sure how ANYBODY can go through life without 76 trombones stuck in their heads. I could go on and on about The Music Man. Why my heart is just swelling thinking about it.

I have heard little bits and pieces of my success throughout the years. Rodney has more than once let things slip like pulling the ice cream from the freezer and in his lowest baritone voice singing "ice creeeeeaaaamm". I've also heard him singing "with a little bit of luck" in quite an incredible english accent for a redneck.

God knows that man needed me.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Farm-Style Romance

Rodney and I were up at the "butt-crack" of dawn this morning awaiting the arrival of our newest batch of chickens. It was cold, it was raining and I'll spare you my thoughts on the mud for now. There is something about those sleepy mornings, sharing coffee, quietly discussing the day's chores, going over how well we slept or didn't sleep, and chitchatting about exciting topics like...goat feed.

We dumped the chickens ourselves today. It isn't unusual for us to find ourselves without help, and so my darling man and I unloaded 4 houses of chickens, just the two of us. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with chicken farming, each house holds 29,000 chickens which come to us in crates of 50. That's 2320 crates that have to be lifted and "dumped" into the house. Of course there is much more to it than that, but I can't go into it right now.

Rodney and I love this farm, we love to work together (most of the time) and we are still crazy about each other even after almost 19 years of marriage. Living the way we do, sometimes romance is in short supply. Things just don't get real hot when the topic of conversation tends to revolve around cattle, chickens, hay and goats. Of course, Rodney isn't real well known for being a Casanova anyway. I married that hard-working man for who he is and I sure don't expect to change him. Why on earth would anybody want to do such a thing?
Oh, but there is a sweet sweet side to that man of mine. Earlier today, I was sitting at my desk and I could hear the tractor coming. I love when I can hear the tractor coming! I love the fact that I still get butterflies when I know he is near.
So, I peered out the window and saw two big red buckets coming down the road.
Rodney knows I like buckets. He brought me a bucket when we had only been married a few months. He handed it to me and said "look what I found on the side of the road!" It was probably one of the most romantic gestures I had seen coming from him up to that point...and I still have that bucket.
I had gone to the feed store on Monday and picked up two protein tubs for the cows. When the little dude at the feed store loaded them for me, I was already excited that those tubs just happened to be red and when emptied by the cows, I would be able to use them for planters or any little thing my heart desired.
I don't remember saying much to Rodney about it, just that I wanted him to be sure and not get rid of them when they were empty. Rodney minds me very well.
And now I love him even more. Just the fact that he was out in the rain feeding cows, saw the empty buckets, thought of me, loaded them and sat them at my door, why he is a romantic after all!
With all this cold and rain, I sure needed a little something to heat things up a bit. I think two red buckets delivered via tractor could be just the spice I needed.
"Anytime baby"