Saturday, May 30

I am supposed to say we are all sick, and I am the sickest. Because I am supposed to post every day. Sorry, I forgot.

Can I has a cookie?

Friday, May 29

Postman Fail

I am sick, and therefore I get annoyed easily. Here is today's reason. The mail truck when speeding down our block at 2:30pm and skipped our mailboxes. We had outgoing mail, and I really doubt out of the 4 boxes there, no one was going to get mail. Sometimes the guy sits in front of our boxes for a while too doing whatever in his truck. He will probably say that the box was blocked, but I took pictures, it wasn't. I have seen him deliver when the boxes were partly blocked, but from other comments I have heard him say, he hates his job so maybe he is just having a bad day, and doesn't want to be at work. In this economy, you would think he would be grateful for a steady income. I mean come on, stamp prices have even increased again so he can keep his good paying job.

I can't decide if I want to make an official complaint, but I needed to vent so here it is.

Tuesday, May 26

Holiday? (long post, sorry)

Every time I go to our blog homepage, I am reminded that our header is old. I also immediately think "I don't want to deal with that right now." And, its true. I could update pictures, get anew look or whatever, but sometime when I am less busy.

This weekend Daniel came down with some cough, headache, lose your voice fun. He even got a blessing Monday to help him be better for work. I think Alice has some of the same stuff, and with the way I have been sleeping I probably have a bit of something as well. Lucky us!

Saturday we spent about 2 horus at Nebraska Furniture Mart sitting on couches. It sounds relaxing, until you also realize we never sit on one for longer than 2-3 minutes until we found one that was a comprimise.

You see, Daniel likes comfort so much that even the {hideous} lazy-boy style couches that have recline function, and are way way too big for our living room anyway look good to him. I think he is also somewhat resentful that I immediately said no way to the first couch and we were stuck covering literally the entire rest of the furniture department.

Here is our opinion in the way of couches. If you want a stylish couch, you must be willing to sacrifice some comfort. The cooler it looks, the harder it will be, and the less back support because the back is only 18 inches tall, etc. The so called 'comfy' couches are incredibly soft, but provide no back support at all. Oh, and futons. You have to get a REALLY expensive futon for those to be comfortable.

We went with a $450 sleeper sofa. (I think it was $450, one can't be sure.) It gets delivered on Friday, and the arms are less tailored than I would prefer, but its soft while still being somewhat supportive on the back and stuff.

Its 91" long. I realized as we were 'checking out' and setting up delivery. Part of why we nixed the last couch was the sheer bulk. But, this couch doesn't have slanty arms or a slanty back, and aside from the built in pillows in the arm cushions, its rather tailored. Upside? ITs the same color as our slip cover we already have. That means, we can throw that on top, and keep it safe. Then again, I ordered the 5 year stain warranty stuff, so we might just let Alice go nuts. Eat fruit loops on the couch? OK. Dump spaghetti and tomato sauce on there? Go for it.

It gets delivered on Friday.

We also had copious amounts of family visitation this weekend. Rachel came up for the weekend, then my parents showed up Monday morning and slept for a million hours. Not consecutively, but still. They took more naps than Alice. Thats accomplishing something. My mother said they must be getting old. Maybe.

Last night Alice was having the WORST time teething. She is getting her first molars on top (don't know the name). And, I numbed up her gums thinking she could nurse and go to sleep easier. Well, she was REALLY mad that I numbed up her mouth. She was drooling, and upset. We literally watched Sesame Street clips on youtube until midnight (2+ hours). I kept falling asleep and she would harass me until I would repeat the clip. I was glad there were a few 8 minute clips on there. The 30 second ones were killing me.

She finally passed out head at the bottom of the bed, staring at the fan. Thank goodness. She is still in bed. I had to help Daniel find the keys to the car. I think I shall join her.

Oh, and I decided on dates for the homemaking Food storage class. The first one will be June 8th at 10am at the church. That's right, a Monday morning. I figure, people can't forget if its the day after church. Also, it will be at the church, so people can just bring all the kids and let them run around the gym. We are going to sanitize containers for water storage. Yay bleach water! (The church also has deeper sinks than most homes, so we might be able to do more at a time.) Plus you know, I never sanitized our 2 liter water bottles before filling them with water. That probably means they are, or will be, growing green stuff under the cap. No worries, I will just water the garden with the green stuff and sanitize them on the 8th.

Friday, May 22

Hi I am your resident Food Storage Expert (i guess)

Oh man, the pictures in our blog header are like a year old. Like Alice was just learning how to smile. Sometime I will fix that. Maybe in June, after LINK. My life is busy.

So, tonight was relief society enrichment. I taught the lesson. I admit, I got really scared nervous like wavery voice and shaky hands and the whole nine yards.

Well obviously so I could do well! Daniel thinks part of doing well in a talk or lesson is lots of preparation, some ability, and a good dose of nerves. Plus a little inspiration.

I am gonna guess I had a bit. The presidency member in charge of enrichment was beaming a HUGE grin most to all of my lesson. That was encouraging. Like, yay I am not failing! (Even though no one had questions, and there were about 2 comments.)

So I succeeded!
Whether or not that is actually true, remains to be seen. But, hey people sounded excited. We fed them strange foods like brownies made with brownie mix and a pureed can of black beans as well as 'rice salad' stuff that can almost entirely be made from shelf stable food, and even homemade tortillas. There were some excited people when we had them roll a tortilla and cooked them on the griddle. The comment that I loved the most was "tortillas are getting so expensive." By far, the best comment of the night.

Oh, and the recipe that we used, is so different from the recipe I usually use. Like I had issues with the dough not rolling out. Maybe its because it didn't have any whole wheat flour so it was stretchier or something.

I know you all care, but I have a nice little zit from stressing myself out over this. Darn stress hormones messing with my skin.

So yeah. I get to plan an Enrichment food storage class to meet once a month. I think I am going to go with the second Monday morning of the month. Just because it will be hard to forget about it. That is, if we can get into the building Monday mornings. Plus, it may motivate people to plan FHE activities or lessons around food storage. Cause maybe, like me, they are dorks. Since they want to start it soon, and do them over the summer and I can do whatever I want, then change things as I get feedback.

Monday, May 18

Pain for Beauty

I admit, no pictures of the backyard. Partly because the grass is so dead looking, that its depressing. I am seeding the yard on top of the turf today. That is, if I can hobble my way back there.

You see, Saturday I found a hot pair of heels at a yard sale. They were a little big, but not that much. I should have worn hose. Or those little feet socks things for dress shoes.

I am a gimp. Like I have been popping ibuprofen since we got home from church yesterday because of the pain. I have a giant bandaid on my heel right now. I don't really know how to treat these sort of things. You see it never was a fluid filled blister, I just rubbed skin off. I know, TMI, I know. I tried taking a bath last night thinking the soaking would help. Holy Moley! It hurt.

So I am reserving myself to never ending gimpy-ness. Now, I just gotta get up the nerve to clean our living room carpet again. It involves Friday's flood, lets just say we got almost 3 inches of rain in less than an hour, and there was flooding all over town.) We are lucky we weren't these people, then again, we wouldn't have driven into lots of standing water in a road anyway. Especially once there was a car stuck there. You gotta admire people that get stuck when others are already there. Its pretty funny.

Anyway, I will probably go clean the carpets now, since it doesn't require shoes. The yard...well we might put that off until lunchtime or until I take some pain killers today. Since its been all night without them, and lying in bed was killing me this morning. That part of why I didn't sleep in any more than I did.

Wednesday, May 13

Time for being outside!

I signed in to write this and realized we haven't written a post in Old Films Reviewed, even though we have watched a couple. 'Doh. Maybe some other time.

So this morning I awoke to a knock at the door. You see, Alice and I got some sort of sneezy sniffly coughy bug over the weekend, and while its not terrible, we have been sleeping extra. So I threw on the first thing i saw and ran downstairs for the door.

It was our neighbor Steve. Steve's landscaping friend works with the Hy-Vee gardening people and they had some sod that was drying out and needed picked up today and installed today or tomorrow. I asked how much it was, and he said free, so lets do it, right? We don't say no to free. Even it involves some hard work.

So I told Daniel "no staying late at work, we were getting 30 rolls of sod." (I wasn't really sure how much that was, but considering we lost half of our grass seed in the heavy rains a couple of weeks ago, I figured we would get a good chunk of the yard covered.)

Daniel had a bad day at work, and we went out to get copious amounts of fried greasy fish, I mean Long John Silvers. It was slow moving, it literally took us 20 minutes from ordering the food to getting it, and when we got back none of the neighbors were around.

Then we got the message to call Steve, and we got a 5 minute warning to unload sod from the truck. So Alice finished off the greasy potatoes and we went and unloaded tons of sod. It was probably about 40 rolls, and it seemed like more than we would need when we were unloading it. Then we went and started levelling some of the lumpier parts of the yard, then inside and Alice took a bit of a nap (she hadn't got an afternoon nap, my bad).

Anyway, long story short, we rolled sod out until just before 9:30 which was pretty dang dark. I think I did a good job patching and staggering the sod, and if we keep watering like crazy, and finish the small area that still sod, we should have an awesome yard.

I gotta say, it was hard work, and I was glad it was only in the 70s. I am fine with manual labor, but my all natural deodorant is not.

So yeah, we stink, and are postponing going to bed and showering because we are a bit hyped up. Well, I am postponing because I don't want to bathe Alice. She made sure to get showered with dirt a few times and whats another 20 minutes.

So yeah. Come sunlight, I shall have to take pictures and post them. That means I have to charge some batteries. (By the way, the 11 year old next door thinks I am a hippie because I use rechargable batteries.) So I am off to be a dirty stinky hippie. Until I bathe, that is.

Monday, May 11

Mother's Day Weekend

Well, this weekend was fun. We visited my sister and took her out to a yucky dinner. We were impressed how bad the food was. Then I saw her fridge. The girl had two oranges in her fridge. Two oranges people. Thats it. She had a bag of chicken pieces in her freezer, and food storage style food in her cupboard. She said she didn't need food. Daniel and I decided that next time, instead of wasting $25+ on bad food we will go buy that much worth of groceries. I guess she will be getting breakfast and lunch provided at her summer job, so she will be able to eat more balanced meals. She also lives alone, but I have never seen her fridge so bare. The worst part is that she will refuse to take money from us, a 'loan' is even hard to give her.

I got sick this weekend. Its called a sneezy sniffly coughy, can't sleep Good Times! I got some medicine and a pack of cough drops and it seems to be helping. Of course, I can't sleep. (I fell asleep earlier and then woke up.) It was a better choice to get up and go downstairs than wake the baby.

This morning on the way to the car for church, Alice decided to try and run into the street. She didn't get very close though. She broke out into a run by the car and right before Daniel grabber her to put in the car, she face planted. Right on her forehead. Giant scrape/bruise thing. It turned pink, then sort of purple, and I could see little bits of bleeding. Anyone that has wipes out on a bike knows what it looks like, and how much it hurts. Alice got to sport one huge bandaid all day. Everyone asked what happened. The bandaid didn't hide the swelling, but at least it hid the gross looking part.

I haven't done much for enrichment. I made the flyers and they went into the Relief Society folders, as well as on the bulletain board, but the lesson and (possible) handouts? Yeah, I got nothing. Plus, whatever I encourage people to do, I should be doing myself. After some reading I like the idea of keeping the 3 month supply of food in big storage bins marked with dates for rotating. But, I don't have that. When I told Daniel about the enrichment (in 10 days) he asked if we needed to get the rest of our food storage together. Technically, yes. But, lets face it, I don't have the time or energy to get that done right now. I may get an official 3 month's supply though. Or at least enough of a 3 month supply to drag to the church for part of my lesson. Its been so long since I have done any teaching in Releif Society, so the whole thing mght flop. That means I need lots of visual aids. Lots and lots of them.

Wednesday, May 6

Wheat Berry Salad (simple! food storage style)

So with the new calling, we are having people try different food storage recipes. We decided as a committe to have a list of recipes we would like people to cook, and also take suggestions if someone had an awesome recipe they just HAD to share. So, I suggested Wheat Berry Salad. I had seen the recipe, read reviews that it was good, but lets face it I never have feta cheese in the house, or about 6 other ingredients I had seen.

Tonight, I made me some wheat berry salad. Ina Garten style. (Slightly modified).

1 cup hard winter wheat (I used hard red, and soaked it overnight)
salt (surprise we didn't have any salt in the house! I used 'Krazy salt' its a seasoned salt)
1 cup finely diced red onion
6 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
3 scallions, minced, white and green parts (I didn't have any, and omitted it)
1/2 red bell pepper diced (I used green, and I just now realized I put in the whole pepper, oh well)
1 carrot, diced (didn't have any and used 2 tbs of the cannery dehydrated carrots)
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Bring 3 cups salted (if you are not abnormal and have salt) water to a boil. Add your wheat and reduce heat to low and cook uncovered until wheat is soft. I added my dehydrated carrots after about 15 minutes, and cooked for about 30 more minutes.

In a pan put 2 T olive oil and add the diced red onion. Sweat the onion on med low until translucent. Turn off the burner and add 4 T olive oil and the balsalmic vinegar.

In a bowl put the diced pepper (and scallion if you have it) and add the sauteed onions.

Drain the cooked wheat berries in the pasta strainer. If you have relatively large holes in your strainer you may need to take precautions, but my standard strainer worked and I didn't have a pile of wheat berries in the bottom of the sink.

Mix in the warm wheat and let everything mingle for 30 minutes. Season to taste, and serve at room temperature.

My thoughts:
From the smell of it I was sure it was going to be nasty. I think it was the overpowering smell of onions mixed with vinegar. Not exactly my cup of tea.

But, guess what. It was good. Surprisingly good. Next time I will chop the vegetables smaller since its not like pasta salad. Bigger is not better. Oh, and DANG we need SALT! (Salt was purchased last night after the cooking of dinner. We got 2 extra containers towards our food storage since we didn't have any, obviously.)

Also as a note, I don't know if I will try the fancier kinds. Lets just say that this was the one that had things I eat every day in it. That means its best for promoting at a food storage thingy. Plus I ate some if it for breakfast. I don't think I can handle eating tons of wheat berry salad for the next three weeks until the enrichment activity. I will just pass this recipe on, and call it good. Unless I just decide I want feta and spinach. Don't count on it though cause I don't get cravings.

Tuesday, May 5

Sunday morning Phone Call

Sunday we got a message on our phone requesting us to meet with the bishop 30 minutes before church. Only, we got the message at 12:20...meaning they wanted us there in 10 minutes. I am pretty sure we took shoes with us for Alice, but I won't promise they were matching (not that she wears them anyway; feet of steel!).

Anyway, I assumed Daniel was getting another calling. It makes sense, right? He has one calling, and its a joint calling with me. I have that, plus a 4x per year service calling (we provide and serve a lunch for the poor/homeless/whomever shows up).

Imagine my surprise when the bishop asks me what MY schedule is like.

Yes, that's right guys THREE is a magic number.

I am now the ward food storage specialist. I got the impression meeting with the bishop that I would schedule trips to the cannery and all that jazz. Only there is really more. You see, my calling is part of the Enrichment Committee AND in two weeks the enrichment activity is on FOOD STORAGE!

Lucky me! I get to do the lesson. They told me to keep it short, and I will oblige. I am basing it on the Ensign article in March (because that's the most recent thing from the church about home storage). Then we will get in three groups and drive to different homes to see how they do their food storage, and eat food storage recipes.

I will be making my tortillas. Yum. I actually made them for dinner and am gonna test them out tomorrow (see if I can get away with making them more in advance or not). I also am going to try a wheat salad for dinner tomorrow, and probably another one the next day, until I find the 'best' one. Obviously if you are eating your hard core food storage, you aren't going to have feta cheese and (maybe) olives but I am sure the exotic salad is far more exotic.

Anyway, I just need a name for the enrichment activity, cause I am making the flyer, and my idea is pretty boring. So if you were going on a progressive food storage dinner and having a short lesson, what would you call it?

Saturday, May 2

I am in Love

...with a machine.

After the flood, and the fact that I had toyed with the idea of buying one before we went out and bought this...

The living room is clean, the rug we had in the living room that the neighbors were tossing to the curb and I got to cover the cold tile in the living room, is now about 50x better. Maybe more than that. I even cleaned half of the large rug we have in the dining room. (I would have done the other half, but Alice hadn't napped yet, and it was about 6pm by the time I finished. Besides I would have had to move the table legs onto the rug, and supposedly if you put furniture on wet carpet the stain on wood might bleed. At least that's what the vacuum's manual said.

I even steam cleaned the living room chair. No it didn't take the pen out, but really, the cushion cover is washable, so I can try harder if I feel like it.

I also learned about some amazing stuff, that I am surprised I hadn't found out about until it was May. "Furnace Caulk" also called cement caulk or heat resistant caulk. It comes in black and is used to seal furnace joints or whatever AND the gap between the fireplace and the fireplace doors etc. Yes, for less than $20 I can solve the problem with the drafty edge there. And I thought we would have to do some major damage (i.e. remove the doors, insert LOTS of insulation, and put it back). Trust me, that was not something we were looking forward to. In fact, I might have put that off for a while, just to not have to deal with it. I mean, a blanket is perfectly useful. It might look sort of tacky, and strange, but it helps stop the cold wind. Plus, its not winter anymore and I can deal with warm air more than cold since I have a barefoot ankle biter.

Oh, and yesterday I was given some plants. I now own Obedient Plant and some slightly illegal Moroccan Mint. (It was smuggled out of Morocco by the lady's friend.) Supposedly it makes great tea, but right now I am excited to have some invasive ground cover on the side of the house. I mean sure I moved some Iris over there when I thinned the patch, but this way I won't have to pull out 500 tiny trees when the trees try to proliferate this fall (the spring seeders are done thank goodness).

Anyway, Daniel is awake so I should go say hi. Later on Bodacious Blogity Blog. I shall have to write about my new (and 3rd) calling later. Go me. I must appear to have spare time.

Friday, May 1

The Flood

Anyone in Northeast Kansas knows its been rainy lately. We have had inches upon inches of it and no sun since last week. I miss the sun. Its my friend.

The lack of sun wouldn't be so bad, if we didn't have solid clay as our soil (meaning the water doesn't sink in it sits on top once the ground is wet). Oh, and the ground will stay wet for a while because clay is really good at keeping the moisture there. Enough of the science lesson, back to the drama that is our house.

Our house has water issues. We had no idea it had water issues when we bought it. They said the neighbors had an above ground pool that broke and flooded the house. They did not say, if it rains more than a couple of inches you will have a flooded house. Obviously they didn't read the definition of 'sellers disclosure.'

Last year it was rainy in the spring, and we didn't realize our house was flooding until we smelled that horrible smell of wet carpet. And, of course, the smell doesn't happen immediately, the vile stench was noticed about 3 days after it had rained last. Um, yay.

Anyway, last spring (early June I believe) with the help of the local missionaries we dug a French drain 3 feet deep and about 20 feet long. We planted grass, and thought, all was well. It was well. You see, monsoon season is the spring. I mean, the rainy season.

Honestly, if Mother Nature hadn't of dumped 5 extra inches on us last month we would have been fine. Maybe its not 5 extra inches, but we are over 5" above average for the rain around here. I don't know if its accurate, but according to the local newspaper website, we have already had 8.43" of rain this month and the average to date amount is 3.66". I am guessing they are counting April or something because it didn't rain that much overnight. Or who knows, maybe it did, I mean I was asleep, so who knows.

Anyway, part of why we flooded is that the attached neighbor never cleans her gutters. Daniel went and cleaned them out yesterday with next-door Steve's help and sewer snake. You see, hand cleaning wasn't enough, and the broom handle wasn't enough. It took about 15-20 minutes of snaking from the top of the gutter as well as from the bottom to get water to flow down her side. They found a dove in her nest in Steve's attached neighbor's gutter. Daniel grabbed the eggs, but when he showed me they were cracked so he coundn't hatch them.

We are going to have a neighborhood meeting about cleaning gutters. All I gotta say is, you need to clean them! Last year the gutter attached to us was completely full and Daniel cleaned it out. He even found a tennis ball plugging the hole.

We also (impulse buy) got a sump pump. After opening it, we learned the details and it totally needs at least 2" of water and a hard surface to do any good. So, we are going to return that. I will go find a less hard core pump that won't need as much standing water sometime today. Maybe even a fountain pump that we can attach to some hosing. You know, sometime after Alice wakes up from her "why are we driving Daddy to work at 6:30am" nap. Its sort of like extended sleep really. Thank goodness I gave our couch and loveseat away. Now, I can move the living room into the dining room and have space to set up the room in there until we fix the water problem and clean the carpets. Who knew cleaning the carpets would be required so often? Oh, and the front water problem is on hold until the roof stops leaking. The part where Daniel patched it is holding great, but we have a leak in our bedroom, and Daniel thinks its from a cracked plastic casing for a vent tube. He noticed they were looking bad when he was up there last time. We just need a sunny day to warm the roof now, and wham bam thank you ma'am he can fix the roof. I have confidence in his ability.