Sunday, November 29, 2009

Quite thrilling

We will be doubling our garden space this next growing season.

This weekend, we chose a new location - lots of sun with good, dark soil - and our neighbor came over with his skid steer today and broke up the dirt in preparation for next year's planting.

We follow quasi-lasagna gardening methods, but don't have enough compost/cover to start out the recommended way. So, we dig. Or, as it was, the bobcat dug.

Squeeze also assembled make-shift cold frames this weekend made from straw bales and old windows. Our nebulous gardening ambitions are starting to come to fruition.

It is so exciting!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My brother, Bison Brent

My brother was here today, bringing furniture and boxes of books for storage, getting ready to move to Avon, CO this weekend -- four-turned-fourteen hours away from us.

He has lived in the Twin Cities for three years now, in school, studying theology; but now is done and moving on. His plans are to read himself into stupor (whatever he wants!) and work at a steakhouse called The Dusty Boot to pay off his student loans ASAP. From there . . . who knows.

I am really going to miss seeing him regularly; but it will be interesting to see what kinds of things he does next.

Snuggling with Uncle Brent

First snow of the season

Ahhhyes, very amused with ourselves

Monday, November 23, 2009


Here, alive, crabby.

That is how I feel today. I think I need a breather?

Squeeze is going to be home for four days in a row this week, thanks to Thanksgiving. (Thanksgiving Break . . . like in school?) I'm really looking forward to it. I want to just melt into one big glop of happy family and feel the freedom of loosening the shackles of the 40 hour work week. I can't wait.

Other than that, we are helping our friends prepare for a move to Portland to live closer to their children and new grandbaby. These guys. I am happy for them, knowing they will be living near the people they love the most, particularly during their twilight years; but I am very sad for our little family. We are going to miss them dreadfully. They close on their house in mid-December and then it will be adios.

The silver lining is that we are, yet again, recipients of a lifetime's worth of stuff. Things we will use -- a car battery charger, yard/garden tools, furniture, books, decorations, plants, kitchen stuff, etc. -- things that they won't be bringing with them due drastic down-sizing. It is comforting, because we will use it and always be able to think of them when we do so.

[This is also how it worked with our lovely neighbor in Minneapolis, Wilburn. He UNLOADED what-seemed-like his entire house on us, and I use things that were his almost every day. It makes me think of him and I like that.]

I'm still really going to miss them, though. And just like Wilburn, they'll join the ranks of my letter-writing rotation. But it just won't be the same . . . They both had such a gentle and calming presence. I really enjoyed them. We all really enjoyed them. Sad . . .

Friday, November 20, 2009

Two quotes

Squeeze: "What's going on, Do?"
Truen: "Don't know, Dada . . ."

- - - - - - - - - -

Diego: "Mama, I am hicking-up!"
Me: "Hicking-up?"
Diego: "Yeah! Hic!"

Friday, November 13, 2009

For the record

I've got a cow tongue boiling in a pot on the stove.

Right now.
In a pot.
And it turned white.

I have an old fear-and-avoidance of cow's tongue, since I was 5 years old, when I saw my aunt pulling it, long and drippy and bumpy, out of a pot of boiling water at my parents' house when she was out for a visit. As legend has it, I had "always liked it before" but wouldn't touch it once I saw it in its whole form.

Therefore, I was reasonably nervous when Diego asked, "What is that?" when I pulled the tongue out of its wrapping today. I made a quick decision and bit the bullet, saying, "It is meat -- the tongue of a cow" and it didn't even phase the ol' boy. He just ran around saying, "Meat! Meat! Cow meat for dinner!"

Okaaaay . . .

Thank goodness he was alright with it. He's only one year younger than I was when I could no longer hack it. My mom was raised on/around farms; she grew up eating organ meat and tongue, so it was definitely something I had "had before". Before seeing it, that is.

But, shoot. I have two in the freezer. I need to use them. And my picky sister tried cow tongue last year (that the same aunt prepared) and said it was good, so I thought I should go for the gold and get over it.

Here's the recipe I'm going to use: Delicious Beef Tongue Tacos

The only thing I'm really not looking forward to is peeling off the skin. Eeeeeegh . . . it gives me the willies. We shall see.

:: 9:00 PM UPDATE ::
Peeling the skin off wasn't so bad; unpleasant, but do-able. I shredded the meat, then chopped what I couldn't shred. The boys yummed it down, Diego said, "Yummmm . . . cow's tongue is tasty!"; I liked it well enough, but faced the familiar old mental block; Squeeze said he didn't care to ever eat it again, though I believe it to be more with the fact that it was a cow's tongue vs. taste or texture.

We did it! One down, one to go.

I'd do it again.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Circular rotation

Truen's three favorite questions right now are --
  1. "Wha' daaaaat?"
  2. "Wha' 'appennned?"
  3. "Whyyyyyy, Maaaammmaaa?"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Because I never have enough time to write a well-thought-out, revised-to-my-standards post these days, I'm going to make a list of my current thoughts and activities.

I would like to post more often than I actually do, but such is life.

In stream of consciousness style . . .

  • We just started reading By the Shores of Silver Lake this afternoon before naptime. In the second chapter, Jack the beloved bulldog dies - and I could barely read through my tears. Diego simply patted me and asked, "Are you going to be okay, Mama?" His sweetness is my weakness. Oh . . . and my tender heart.
  • Speaking of crying . . . we butchered our cockerels two (or was that three?) weekends ago. Ourselves. All of Squeeze's family came for the event and we took care of 15 chickens in 2 hours, start to finish. We put them in killing cones, upside-down, and cut their throats. Watching the lifeblood pour from them was sobering, to say the least. I do believe I was also the only one to cry, out of 8 adults and 12 children. I only watched the first round of four and then I never went back to the killing cones. I didn't want to see it again. We then scalded, plucked, eviscerated, and put them on ice. Dealing with whole chickens is very familiar to me, so that part was cake. The killing? Not so much.
  • Questions it brought to my mind: This is how we get our food? What would it be like to watch a more intelligent animal, like a pig, being butchered? How do I ultimately feel about the reality of eating meat? What thoughts (if that is even possible) were going through their minds?
  • The butchering experience made me even more committed to locally produced foods.
  • We saved all the hearts, livers, gizzards, and feet -- the first three I will grind up and incorporate into meatloaf, for I am not brave enough to do otherwise (yet). The feet, I will put into chicken stock - they make it extra-rich and gelatin-y. Very delicious (mineral-licious, too).
  • I am revelling in darkness by 6:00 PM. I have honestly never looked forward to the winter months like I am now. In fact, I used to dread them (post-college, in the drudgery of work-life). Why? Because, finally . . . we can't work outside. We can actually relax and hang out together, enjoying each other's company. The evening meal is at a reasonable time -- 7:00-ish vs. 9:30-ish. It is delightful and I am SO GLAD I have many more months to go. You can quote me on that when I'm complaining about being stuck inside come February.
  • We are [finally] watching old seasons of The Office and I'm telling you, I think that show was written for and by people in their 30's. And I get every single sci-fi nerd joke they toss out: Dumbledore Calrissian? Yeah, I know him.

Monday, November 09, 2009


This is a terrific post, written by Carrien at She Laughs at the Days. She gets right down to the marrow of what haunts my mind on a semi-regular basis. How much can I give? Is needing time for myself selfish? How can I waste these precious moments?


Please, proceed.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


I was just going to post on how I noticed this morning that I am most pleased with life when I am intellectually or emotionally stimulated, but then it stuck in my craw that this is how everyone must operate and that stating this on the internet would be painfully over-obvious and silly.

And so on and so forth.
I wonder?


Monday, November 02, 2009

Where does the time go?

-- Little Trubies turned two the week before last --
Happy LATE Birthday lil' Pumpkin
Two days old

Two years old

(Sorry for the blurry picture, but I scanned the entire month of October and I couldn't find one good picture. They were all smeared or he was en route with his back turned. Does that say TWO, or what?!)