Thursday, April 30, 2009

How can you NOT smile?!

We ordered my new computer last night. I finally convinced Jeremy that a laptop was a good idea - yay! It won't be here for a couple of weeks, yet. Since I hate writing posts without pictures (and J doesn't want me taking up a bunch of memory on his computer with my photos), I'll be searching for other things I can share with you.

I found this floating around the web, and had to share. I'd love to see this happen somewhere!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Free Concert!

The Hastings Symphony Orchestra is hosting their annual end-of-season free concert this Friday at 7:00pm. If the weather is nice, it'll be in the Pavilion at Chautauqua Park. Otherwise, it'll be at the Masonic Temple. So, if you're in the area, come enjoy a free concert by my talented uncle...and the rest of the orchestra, of course!

This isn't the best picture, kind of small, but I copied it off HSO's site. That's my uncle playing the clarinet, middle row on the left. He's been with the HSO for as long as I can remember, and this year was awarded with the Jim Johnson Memorial Chair*. We're very proud of him!

*Dr. Jim Johnson was a long time conductor for the HSO, but passed away several years ago. Since then, one member of the orchestra is given the Jim Johnson Memorial Chair award.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Taking a small break

I'm having some issues with my computer. We think either the processor or the motherboard died on us. So, I'll probably be taking a short break from blogging until we can get another one. Hope to see you soon!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Weekend Wisdom

"Patience is the companion of wisdom."
~St. Augustine~

Another photo of the chair I posted about yesterday. This was taken at an old farmhouse just east of where I live. I was using it as a prop while taking pictures of my sister-in-laws kids.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday - My Red Chair...and...

tea towel and picnic basket and apron!

This is my chair, and has been my chair for as long as I can remember, although it has only lived with my for a few years.

My entire family thought I was insane for insisting on bringing this home with me when we were cleaning out the old farmhouse. They think I'm crazy, but know that when my heart is set on something, there's no changing it. I know I've mentioned before on here about the old Stewart farm south of Chadron, Nebraska. It was originally settled by my great-grandmother's paternal family, the Summers. While my grandma's two older brothers were born on the Husak homestead (great-grandma's maternal family), they moved to the Summers homestead a mile away just a few years after my great-uncle Faye was born. This is where they survived the Depression and WWII, and where my grandma was born. In 1998, Faye was presented with a plaque - the farm had been in the family for 100 consecutive years!

Growing up, we would visit the farm twice a year, and forget about Disneyland. This was the happiest place on earth! There were three things I could always count on and always looked forward to: 1) Faye would have a 1lb bag of M&M's for each of us kids, 2) I would get to help Faye collect eggs from the chicken coop (although I didn't look forward to this much after I was chased out of there by the rooster) and 3) I would get to sit in my chair. I'm not sure how old the chair is, but before it was mine, my older brother, mom, and uncle all used it. Uncle Tom was born in 1951, so I'm guessing it was made in the early to mid 1950's.

It now sits in my kitchen with a vintage tea towel hanging on the back, next to an old picnic basket I found at grandpa's house that now hold my potatoes. I usually have a small plant in a teapot sitting on the chair, too. I love this chair.

The other day, I posted a pic of the apron I made for the Flirty Apron Swap. Yesterday, I recieved mine!

Jennifer did a beautiful job, and this picture doesn't do it justice. My parents came over last night to re-till my garden area, so I had my mom model it quickly. You can see a better pic here, and Jennifer posted more info on how it was put together here. Be sure to check them out so you can see the pin-tucks - one of my favorite features of my new apron!

Also, don't forget to check out more VTT goodness here!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

Every year on Earth Day, the boys and I take a walk around town, each carrying a sack to collect any trash we might see. The past couple of years, April 22 has fallen during the week when Taylor has school. Last year, Landon and I walked up to the high school to meet the bus, then the three of us walked home collecting trash along the way. This year, though, Taylor is in 2nd grade. He's too old to have his mom walk him home from school, so we're doing things a little different. Taylor took 3 bags to school - one for him and a couple of extras for friends he walks home with - and will pick up trash between the high school and our house. After lunch, Landon and I will head over to the ball field and pick up trash there.

I picked up a few flowers last weekend that I'll be planting today, and I'm hoping to start putting up the fence for our victory garden. Jeremy and I have plans to head to Menard's and Orscheln's this weekend for a new mower, some more garden supplies, and a few more flowers & plants (like columbines and hostas and whatever else strikes my fancy) - can't wait!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Another Apron Swap Finished

Today I made a trip to the post office to send off another flirty apron. The theme this time was "Vintage Linens", and even though it was difficult to get started, I had a lot of fun with this one. I ended up using a cute sheet and made up my own pattern for it. I think it turned out pretty cute!

Along with the apron and a vintage tea towel I found, I included a recipe for something I've been craving today - Runzas! Unfortunately the restaurant is only in Nebraska, with very few exceptions, but here's a recipe for making them (they're also called bierocks):

Runza Recipe
2 pound ground beef
1 large onion , chopped
1 Medium Cabbage, chopped
2 batches of egg dough

Saute onion in a bit of oil until just translucent. Add hamburger and saute until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper. Drain away the grease, and return to the pan. Cover the mixture with the shredded cabbage and cook until the cabbage is done. Stir occasionally. This could take about 45 minutes or so.

Using an egg-dough recipe, roll small balls of dough thin to make a 5×5 square. Put about 1/2 cup of cabbage mixture in center of square and seal closed. Place seal side down on a parchment lined baking sheet (or a lightly greased sheet).

Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 or until lightly golden brown.

And, if you're ever in a town that has a Runza, definitely stop and try them out! Go here to find their locations.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Weekend Wisdom

I'm sure by now you've all heard about Susan Boyle. I hadn't heard her sing until just now, and her performance brought tears to my eyes. To see her on "Britain's Got Talent" just click here or on the picture below. I so look forward to hearing more from her in the future.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Comments on my Obsession

I wasn't around much last week because I was obsessed with something...someone.

I told you I started reading Twilight, right? Well, I finished that sucker by Tuesday morning. I was seriously debating a trip into town to buy New Moon when I decided to just call my mom to have her pick the last three books for me. Then it ocurred to me that Kelly had a copy. I give her a quick call, and about 1/2 an hour later, we're back home with both New Moon and the Twilight movie in my hands. I stayed up way too late that night to finish New Moon and to watch the movie.

I spent Wednesday morning catching up and getting ahead on housework. It was also Landon's 5th birthday, so once the cleaning was done, he was (almost) completely in charge of how we spent the rest of the day. My parents came out for supper to celebrate my baby turning 5 (I'm still trying to figure out when that happened), and they brought out the last three books. As soon as the boys were in bed, I started on Eclipse. By Thursday night, I was done with both Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.

The books were soooooo good, but now I have to re-read them and take my time. I sped through them so fast that I know some things didn't register. Now that I know what happens, I won't be in such a hurry to get to the next page/chapter/book.

I really didn't care for the movie, but here's my advice: Watch it more than once.

Kelly had told me that she had to watch it twice before she liked it, so I decided to watch it again Friday morning, even though I thought it might kill me! She was right. The more you watch it, the more you like it. I love the baseball scene. It's not all that spectacular, but the song is AWESOME! It's called "Supermassive Black Hole" by Muse. To listen to it, just turn off my playlist at the bottom of the page, then click on the play button. This song is so different from what I usually like, but I like it!

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

If you're looking for something new to read, I recommend checking out Twilight. Like I've said before, there is nothing about this series that I found appealing. I got the book mostly out of boredom and I got hooked - it's "my brand of heroine".

Just to clarify, I'm not a drug addict... the heroine line is from the book!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I'm Moving... I can be an awesome sheep hearder.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Harry, Anne, and Edward

What do Harry Potter, Anne Shirley, and Edward Cullen have in common? I'm fascinated by them all!

Saturday morning, I still had about 4 chapters left to read in "Rainbow Valley" (the 7th in the Anne of Green Gables series) when I went to town. I picked up "Rilla of Ingleside" - the last AoGG book, and while I was at Wal-Mart, I caved into the Twilight hysteria that I insisted I would NOT get sucked into. So, here's my take on a couple of my favorite series and one that shows a lot of promise.

Anne of Green Gables
I know I've mentioned before how much I love the Anne movies. It wasn't until recently that I realized there was a 3rd movie that was done in 2000. Last year, in honor of Anne's 100th birthday, I decided that I would see all her movies and read all her books.

I've loved the first two movies since they first appeared on PBS years ago, and watch them every time they're on TV. I'm also always checking out all 3 movies from the library - I really should just buy them!

The books were pretty good, although there were a couple that I forced my way through, and I think there were paragraphs/pages in the first 7 that I skipped altogether. The 8th book was one I could not put down. We got home from town around 10:30-ish Saturday morning, and by 6:00 last night, I had not only finished the last few chapters of #7, but I had also read all of #8. It is one of the very few books that actually made me cry. It's quite possibly my favorite of the series!

As for the movies, the first two follow the first several books pretty well. Some things were left out, a few names and places were changed, and events were combined, but I still love these movies. I also fell in love with the 3rd. But, as I was reading the last few books, I realized that the 3rd movie was almost completely different from the books! I'm not sure what kind of hold Anne has on me, but this didn't bother me a bit. Love the movies, love the books. I would love to see the 4th movie that came out this past December, too. It was shown on Canadian TV, but not here, so I'm keeping my eyes and ears open!

Side note - Does anybody watch "Brothers and Sisters"? I can not tell you how excited I was a couple of weeks ago when Nora was meeting with the lady who would be running Nora's charity. It was Anne!

Harry Potter
I started reading these because of Taylor. He's a big fan, but I was a little concerned about the content of the movies after the 4th one. J.K. Rowling was writing for older audiences, so I felt that I needed to find out what happens before deciding whether or not Taylor would be okay seeing the movies.

I wasn't sure that I would like these books, after all, they were written for audiences aged 11-17. I became hooked with the very first one. However, I am glad that I saw the first 4 movies before reading any of the books. As with any other movie based on a book, there are parts left out, but I still really enjoy both. The only thing I don't like is that while reading, it's like watching a movie. I can see everything in my mind. Then, when I watch the movies again, I'm slightly disappointed because I could have sworn that some scenes were missing!

I told myself there was too much hype with this book and movie. I was not going to get sucked in. I had heard mixed reviews about the movie vs. the book, and it really didn't sound like anything that would interest me. Not only that, but Edward isn't Edward. He's Cedric Diggory (from "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"). 13-year-old niece is a big fan and wanted to read the books after seeing the movie. Her mom decided to read the books and got Jeremy's younger sister interested in them. After listening to Kelly and Jocelyn discussing the books, my other SIL, Brooke decided to buy the first two since she knew she'd be snowed in all weekend. While at Wal-Mart, I saw the books and thought what the hell. I only bought "Twilight" because I really wasn't sure how well I'd like it, and I figured if I hated it, I should be able to find somebody who would want my copy.

I decided to read the first chapter before bed last night. The only reason I stopped at the end of chapter 5 is because Jeremy made me shut the light off! I was completely hooked by the end of the 1st chapter, and I can't wait to read all four books! As soon as I finish "Twilight", I'll be borrowing the movie from my niece because Edward makes me want to be back in high school - but only if I was Bella!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Shop Update!

Just wanted to pop in and let you know that I added a couple of new items to my shop the other day!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Weekend Wisdom

"Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts."
~Author Unknown~

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday - Cookbooks

It's been a while since I've participated in VTT, but I just have to show you a couple of my favorite cookbooks.

While I was helping my parents move, my mom and I came across 3 boxes full of cookbooks, which proved to my husband that I do come by my cookbook collection naturally through my mother's side of the family (mom, grandma, and great-grandma)! I helped mom pair down those three boxes to just one. Along the way, we found 2 cookbooks that we both remember fondly from our childhoods. My grandmother originally bought them then passed them on to my mom when she had kids.

Let's start with this one...

Betty Crocker's Outdoor Cook Book was published in 1961, and is more than just an outdoor cookbook. It tells you what kind of equipment you need and tells you how to start the fire and control the heat and dripping. It's full of tips for outdoor cooking, as well as several menus for various outings. These menus include Backyard or Terrace Barbecues, "Down-East" Clambake, Seaside in the Backyard, Cooking Afloat, Picnics, and more.

These are Betty's recommendations for a Brown Paper Bag Picnic, Hamper Picnic, Picnic by a Stream, and Submarines As You Like Them.

And Betty's Tailgate Buffet which includes Meat Balls with Puff Biscuits, Carrot & Celery Sticks, Cherry Tomatoes, Radish Roses, Stuffed Green Olives, and Camp Oven Gingerbread. And, would you believe that my grandmother had those same plates that are in this picture?! Either my mom or I have them around here somewhere.

The second book, Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls, is my favorite. Published in 1957, it has been "well loved" by three owners now.

My book has a few pages that have come loose, as you can see in this picture below. I think there's a ketchup bottle hiding in that straw pig!

I don't remember anybody ever making this Drum Cake, but isn't it adorable? Looks easy enough to make, too. I just might have to try that out!

Jeremy thinks I'm a bit odd when it comes to this book. He'll come home from work sometimes to find me at the kitchen table just flipping through it. Ah, the memories! The pictures and artwork are all so wonderful, but this one is one of my favorites.

Have any of you ever painted cookies? My mom, like me, has never been fond of making frosting, so she would often let us paint our own cookies! Here's the recipe:

Egg Yolk Paint
Blend well 1 egg yolk and 1/4 teaspoon water. Divide mixture among several small custard cups. Add a different food coloring to each cup to make bright colors. Paint designs on cookies with small paintbrushes. If egg yolk pain thickens on standing, add a few drops of water.

This works well with any Sugar Cookie recipe, just be sure to paint the cookies BEFORE baking them!

I would love to let you all look through all the pages of my cookbooks, but I honestly don't have the time right now to photograph and upload every page! However, you can go here for more pictures from the Cook Book for Boys and Girls, or here for more pictures from the Outdoor Cook Book.

Also, don't forget to stop here for more Vintage Thingies Thursday!

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