Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Little Village - A Tour

I live in a tiny little town. We're actually called a village. The population sign says there's 268 of us here, but I think that may include the surrounding farmers! Since it was in the 50's today - heat wave! - the boys and I took a walk around town to take some pictures. Here's a little tour of this little village I live in.

First of all, Roseland is the size of a cornfield. No joke. Look for yourself.

If you step out my front door and look to the right, you'll see this:


Our property goes out to that electric pole and all the way out to those little stumps that separate our yard from the AGP elevators. I should have taken a picture of our entire yard for you. Our property covers a little more than 1/4 of a block, and our house is tiny, so most of it is yard space. That chain link fence you see on the right side of the picture is 95 feet long, and our yard extends another 20 feet or so beyond the end of that fence line. Jeremy does the mowing.

If you turn left from our front door and walk out to the street, then look East, this is what you'll see:


Turning West looks like this:


Taking a right at this first corner here will take you to the one and only church in town. It's the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and the priest lives right next door in that brick house. I really like where our house is located. There's only 1 house, an empty lot, and a small parking lot between our house and the church. I can see the cross through our kitchen window, which just gives me such a peaceful feeling.


Most of the people here are Catholic, and those who aren't go to one of the churches in the surrounding villages or they go into Hastings.

If you were to keep going straight down my street instead of turning, you'll run into our new "park" (don't get me started on what I think of it - although it's convenient for me, I think they would have been better off replacing the playground equipment at the ballpark and for $35,000 we should have a bathroom there).


On the corner just past the park, you see the bank parking lot and the fire station.


Here's a picture of our sign thing that welcomes people to Roseland. Look - a reminder for our sewer bills!


The town doesn't send out sewer bills, so you have 2 choices. You can either pay the yearly fee all at once, or you can try to remember to send $55 every 3 months. Most people pay yearly because it's cheaper, and you don't have to worry about trying to remember to pay something you don't get a bill for.

Looking towards the South down our main street from this corner (North of this corner is all houses), you would see:


The city water building that also houses the town tractor (you can't see it in this picture) would be just on the left. Next to that is an old store than someone turned into their home, then the gas station. On the right, you have our bank (you can barely see the corner of it), the town hall, beauty shop and empty space that used to be our grocery store until about 5 years ago when it closed, the bar, post office, an empty store that used to be a 2nd beauty shop (she closed about 1-2 years ago), and my favorite building in all of Roseland...


The old Bank building. Wouldn't this be a wonderful place to turn into a fun little store?!

Still heading South, just past the tracks is the 2nd grain elevator in town. AGRI Co-op is much bigger than the AGP here. Jeremy worked at AGRI for a few years before finding his current job. Although the money during harvest was nice, neither one of us misses his crazy harvest hours.


Keep going south and you'll run into the Jr/Sr High School.


The elementary school is located in Bladen and kids from 5 different villages belong to our school district. For some reason, the elementary school has the football field and track for the high school games/track meets.

Turning left (East) just before the school takes you to a place we spend a lot of time at during the summer:


This is our baseball field (it looks much better when the grass is all green). There's not much here. Some playground equipment, a tennis court that nobody uses, bathrooms, and a concession building. There's not much action here except during the spring and summer. Since it's right behind the high school, the track team uses it for practice. From late March/early April through the end of July, there's almost always a baseball or softball team there practicing or playing. I don't remember how many softball teams we have (3 or 4 - they go by age groups), but we have 3 baseball teams: A team (ages 5/6 thru 8 years), the B team (ages 9 & 10), and the Little League (ages 11 thru 14). Most kids are on one of these teams, and the school cheerleaders take care of the concessions for us (it's their fundraiser).

Admittedly, there are several drawback to living in a little town like this. The gas station's hours are 7:30am-5:30pm Monday-Friday and 7:30am-11:00am on Saturday (closed Sunday). The post office also has weird hours: 8:45am-3:45pm (closed from 11:45-1:15 for lunch) M-F and 8am-9am on Saturday. There's no longer a grocery store, and no place other than the bar to go out to eat at. When it snows, the Roseland Road is one of the last roads to be cleared.

But, we get by. Little Caesar's comes out on Wednesday evenings and parks their truck at the gas station for people who want to get some pizza. The gas station does its best to stock basic staples so people don't have to run into town just for a gallon of milk or a can of soup. Our little town is a very safe little place. With the exception of a couple of Jeremy's cousins, there's very little "excitement" of that kind. If a family has some kind of tragedy, you can bet there will be a benefit to help ease the burden. People here look out for each other whether they know you very well or not, and most are really friendly. It's a good place to live and raise a family.

So, that's my little corner of the world. What's yours like?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Weekend Wisdom


"If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves."
~Maria Edgeworth~


The photo is of my grandma with her brothers Faye (left) and Charles in the late 1930's. I love the look on Grandma's face, like she has some kind of secret.



Thursday, January 29, 2009

Update!

We have a new baby boy!

My mother-in-law just called a few minutes ago to tell me the good news! Sounds like things got a little scary for a while. Baby's heartbeat dropped way low, so they had to do an emergency C-section. But, mom and baby are both doing well!

My niece is back at Jocelyn's house watching my 2-year-old nephew (the Big Brother), and nobody wants to call her. There are now 7 grandkids on Jeremy's side of the family and 6 are boys!

Patience is a Virtue

I'm trying to be patient today. It's hard. My sister-in-law Jocelyn, Jeremy's younger sister, went to the hospital this morning at 6:30 to be induced. I just checked my phone and had a txt message saying that the doctor had just broken Joce's water (the message was sent at 9:30), so we should be having a baby any time, now!

The next week is going to be a long one. We had wanted to go to Lincoln this weekend, but one of my niece's birthday is Saturday, so we're going to Kearney for her party. Besides, Joce won't be home till Saturday, and her in-laws will all be around for the weekend (as well as Jeremy's mom, other two sisters, 2 nephews, and 1 niece), so we're going to give her some peace and quiet for a few days before we head up.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cookies and Ice Cream

As I was picking the chicken off the bones yesterday for some Chicken Noodle Soup, I happened to glance at my family cookbook that was sitting open on my cookbook holder. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies. Yum, those sound good. Lucky for me, I had all the ingredients (I knew I bought those chocolate chips for a reason on Saturday)! I used my Pampered Chef Small Scoop (I thought my Large one might be too big), and I was able to get 6 dozen cookies out of just the one batch. Here's the recipe:



Cream together:
1 Cup shortening
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup brown sugar

Add:
2 eggs
2 Tbsp water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift and add:
2 Cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Add:
2 Cups quick oats
2 Cups chocolate chips

Drop by the spoon ful onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

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This morning we woke up to find that it had snowed again. I'm not a big fan of snow this year. Snow = cold weather = high gas bill - Yuck! Then it hits me...it's fresh snow! Taylor and I threw our clothes on as fast as we could, grabbed a couple of gallon bags and some cups for scooping. We're going to make Snow Ice Cream (well, I am here in just a few minutes so it's done when he gets home from school). Landon was looking at us the whole time like we're crazy - he's so much like his dad! Anyway...here's how you make snow ice cream:

2 eggs
1 Cup sugar
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons vanilla
2 Quarts fresh snow (just make sure you keep your scoop high enough that it doesn't hit the ground below the snow!)

Beat eggs, sugar, and salt. Add evaporated milk and vanilla, then beat again. Add snow then put in ice cream maker or freezer tray and freeze

Monday, January 26, 2009

Feeling Good

I have to say that there is just something satisfying about supporting local independent businesses. There's a bookstore, Prairie Books and Gifts, in town that has been here for years, and I always leave their store feeling happy. They're not a big store, and you won't find everything that you'll find at Barnes & Noble. But, these people know their books, and if they don't have what you're looking for, they'll get it for you. In addition to their wonderful selection of books (including the children's books in the "barn"), they also have a Nebraska room filled with Nebraska books and other items. There's a cute little porch they've set up inside the store with a couple of small tables and chairs where you can sit and read. If you wander through the doors just to the left of the counter, you'll find yourself inside the Blue Moon Coffee Co, a cute locally owned coffee shop with delicious drinks and sandwiches and an awesome atmosphere. There's just something to be said about independent small town stores.

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Last week when I was at the Library I checked out The Tomten for the boys and I to read, and we sat down together last night to read it. This has definitely become a new favorite and has jumped to the top of their list of books they want. After reading the book, we made our own Tomtens out of pinecones. The arms are pipe cleaners, the hat is felt, and the beard is some furry yarn I've had and I crocheted little beards with it. You can listen to the book on YouTube here.

We also got Bartholomew and the Oobleck, then made our own Oobleck. That stuff kept the boys busy for an hour! Oobleck is some crazy stuff! It look like liquid, but I had the boys put their hands all the way in to the bottom of the bowl and hold them there for about 10 seconds. At the end of the 10 seconds, I told them to very quickly pull their hands out. They were stuck! They had a blast doing that over and over again. It's very easy to make, and costs less than $1.

You need:
1 1/2 - 2 cups Cornstarch
1 cup water
food coloring (the book's Oobleck is green)

Pour water into bowl, then slowly add the cornstarch. Once you're happy with the consistency, add the food coloring.

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Saturday, we had a Cub Scout thing to go to. They were racing their cars to see who would go to the District Cub Scout-O-Rama for the Pinewood Derby. The top 3 boys from each pack gets to go to Districts, and Taylor placed 2nd! He was pretty excited about it, and is even more excited that he's going to get a trophy at the Pack Meeting on Thursday!

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I was a slacker this weekend, so I don't get to take my usual Monday off from housework. Landon and I may go out and play in the snow that is still coming down. I need to do a little bit of cleaning that got neglected over the weekend, and then get busy on my niece's birthday present - the party is Saturday! What are you doing?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Weekend Wisdom


"There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still."
Franklin D. Roosevelt


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Giveaway at...

NotQuiteJuneCleaver! She's giving away a wonderful book that I've been dying to get, and an apron! Just click on the picture to go there!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today

Not much to say today, except for 2 things:

Today, a very important man in my life turns 56. Happy Birthday, Dad!



And...

I'll be spending this historic day parked in front of the TV to watch a man who has inspired our country to be better, become its 44th President.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My Own Little Green Gables

I love the Anne of Green Gables series (last month - December 2008 - they even aired the 4th movie on Canadian TV, and I'm dying to see it)! I always have. Everytime she was on PBS, I was in control of the remote, no matter how young or how old I have been at the time! Luckily for me, my boys like watching the movies, too, although they don't get nearly as excited as I do. Taylor has told me several times that when he grows up, he's going to build me my own Green Gables. Until then, I now have my own little homemade version...


I threw this together yesterday after seeing this tutorial a few weeks ago. I need to redo the top of the roof line, though. Landon screamed and I jumped so my stitches aren't straight. It looks cuter in person, mainly because in the photos, you can't see the details in the white eyelet fabric I used for the outside.

I bought some little wooden people while in town on Saturday. Last night I dropped them off for my sister-in-law to paint for me. When she's done, I'll have Anne, Diana Berry, Gilbert, Matthew, and Marilla.

Now that I've made mine, and know what not to do, I plan to make two more for my youngest nieces for Christmas. (I'm trying to get back into my old habit of having 95% of my Christmas shopping done by the time school starts in August!)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Weekend Wisdom

When it snows, you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels.
~Anonymous~

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Weekend with Anne and New Blogs

Happy Tuesday morning! Yesterday, I took my usual Monday "off" (I don't do much on Mondays at all, usually just load the dishwasher and maybe do a load of laundry if it's getting out of control). My mom took the day off from work, and we had hoped to do something fun, but it was just wayyyy to cold and windy. I left the house only to take Taylor to school and to pick him up.

Last week was my brother and SIL's 6th anniversary, and they always take some kind of trip to celebrate (it used to be cruises, but since having 3 kids, they're happy with a weekend in Omaha!), so my parents had the kiddos for the weekend. Their oldest is 36 hours and 13 minutes younger than Landon, and she has been wanting to spend the night at our house forever. So, Saturday I brought her home with us to spend the night. We stayed up late watching Anne of Green Gables (I have got to buy those movies - the library is probably sick of me checking them out all the time!), and everyone just crashed in the living room. Sunday morning, Natalie wanted Anne braids in her hair, so I put some in then helped her put some in my hair, too. So, our weekend wasn't too exciting, but it was so much fun for me to have a little girl in the house!


In the past couple of weeks, I have started three more blogs, and I'm happy to say that I've done a pretty good job of keeping up with all!


The first one, Farmgirl Recipes, is a collection of recipes that we found stuffed inside an old coffee tin at the farm. They had belonged to my great-grandma. Some are handwritten, but most were taken out of newspapers and magazines from the 1920's through 1960's. There are a LOT of recipes for preserves which I hope to try out this summer (if/when I get my garden planted)!
The next blog is for my 365 Project. Today is the 13th day of the year, and I've managed to post 13 pictures so far! The one I posted today is of the sunrise out here. I saw the sky when I took Taylor to school, and had to stop back by the house to get my camera and drive to the edge of town to snap this picture.
My third new blog was just started last week. It's my 1000 Cranes Project that I blogged about here. I made my first drop on Saturday, and I would love it if you all would join the boys and me in our little "experiment"! The cranes I drop are made with computer paper so I don't have to worry so much about squishing them in my pocket or purse, but I'm using origami paper for the 1000 we're trying to make for ourselves. Naturally, after I ordered 2 more packages, I found the one I already had but couldn't find!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Weekend Wisdom


"Destiny is not a matter of chance,
it is a matter of choice"
~William Jennings Bryan~

The photo is of a statue of Brook Berringer and Tom Osborne in front of the entrance of the Osborne Athletic Complex. The statue is an honor well deserved by both.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

1000 Paper Cranes

Perhaps I should start calling 2009 the "Year of Projects" since I keep finding more and more that I want to do (maybe I should stop surfing the internet or checking out new-to-me blogs)!


A couple of months ago, the boys and I read "Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes". After reading it, we decided that we wanted to make our own 1000 cranes. I even bought a package of origami paper (that is currently MIA), but we never really got started. Yesterday, I came across some blogs of people who were talking about making 1000 cranes and posting the pictures to their blogs. One promised to make 3 cranes a day and post them, another was asking people to help her make cranes using recycled materials and send them to her (there were some made from wrapping paper, magazines, there was even one made from a paper towel).

At first, I thought it would be a fun thing to do, but do I really need another project? Probably not. So, I tossed that idea right out of my head. Later on in the day, I happened to look at the calendar and for some reason, it hit me that Gramps always hung his flag out on January 7th - the anniversary of when he joined the Navy (1942). Since I'm a curious person, and love to research history, I decided to skip the laundry (see why I had to make resolution #9?!) and see what else happened on that day. Would you believe that yesterday also would have been Sadako Sasaki's 66th birthday.
It was decided. I am going to do the 1000 Paper Cranes Project - with a twist to try to get other people involved. All you need is a piece of paper, a camera, and a few minutes of your time, so if you want to help, just go here or click the picture on my sidebar! Thanks!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Basket of Resolutions

Another year, another list of resolutions I insist that I'll keep, but never do. I'm thinking that I might add my list to my sidebar so I have a constant reminder.

1. Lose weight. This is a MUST. I make this resolution every year, but I'm bound and determined to be within 15 pounds of my "pre-Taylor" weight by Thanksgiving. Two of the many changes I have to make are: 1- give up the Mountain Dew (Hi, my name is Heather, and I am a Mt. Dew addict) and 2- buy myself a bike (if I can ever decide on the color I want).

2. Make some additions/changes to my Etsy store. I opened it in June, and have done a terrible job with it since. I've been very neglectful, and I need to change that.

3. Keep up with the other two blogs I have started - 365 and Farmgirl Recipes - and the one I'm in the process of creating.

4. Finish my sewing room. This is going to take more than just moving my sewing stuff into my new room. I have to plan where everything is going to go, organize all my stuff (which will be much easier once I get some shelving up), and figure out where everything that was in there is going to go. I have made a little progress, but there's still a ways to go. On the bright side, the TV that Jeremy insisted we buy 2 years ago for his video games decided to stop working, so that'll just be trashed and I don't have to find a new place for it. Unfortunately, that means the playstation is now hooked up to our only other TV in the house. I have been fighting with the games being scattered all over the living room - until today. I made this nifty little patchwork/burlap basket with muslin lining. We can fit at least 14 games in there (a couple more can be laid on top), which helps with the mess.






5. Finish my long list of projects that I had hoped to finish last year.

6. Read a minimum of 1 new book each month. Last year I had started the Anne of Green Gables series, but only got done with the 1st book and halfway through the 2nd. I've already completed the rest of the 2nd and all of the 3rd this year! Now, I just have to make a trip to the book store to see if they have the 4th one in, yet (they had 1, 2, 5-8 when I was in a couple of weeks ago, and I am determined to read them in order).

7. Have a blog giveaway. I had been planning on doing one for my 100th post, but that obviously hasn't happened, so I'm working on one to help me celebrate becoming a "30-something" in May.

8. Keep my car clean. Well, keep the front seat of my car clean. I'll have to convince the boys to help me with the backseat.

9. Do a better job with housework. I think the easiest way for me to accomplish this is to do my housework before getting on the computer.

10. Dust off my piano keys and break out some music (this includes starting Taylor's lessons again). I used to make time to play a little each day, but I don't think I've touched the keys in months.

11. Become more self-reliant by planting and maintaining veggie and herb gardens.

12. Start a family game night. We've been wanting to do this for awhile, but neither Jeremy nor I have actually put out the effort to do it. Here's the plan: pick one night (it will probably be either Monday or Saturday) for our Family Night. Once I'm done cooking, all electrical things will be off (except the fridge). We'll eat by candle/lantern light, then sit around the table and play games or talk, or whatever we feel like doing.

I'm sure I'll be adding more to my list - I always do, but this is what I've come up with so far.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Husker Experience

Saturday was the day Taylor was able to reap the rewards of all his hard work selling popcorn. He spent the night at my parents' house Friday night, and early Saturday morning, he and my dad were on their way to Lincoln for the Nebraska Husker Sports Experience. Although they didn't stay for the basketball game after the tour (it's a good thing, too - on the way home they could barely go 10 miles without seeing an accident or evidence of an accident on the interstate). Unfortunately, the football players were on their way back from Florida, so dad and T didn't get to meet any or see the new trophy, but they still had a great time. They toured the athletic facilities at Memorial Stadium, including the Heisman room, then they were led through the tunnel walk and were allowed to run around the field. I'm not sure who had the bigger smile when they got back - Taylor or my life-long-live-red-breath-red-die-red-Husker-football fan dad! Here are a few of the pictures dad emailed me:

Weight Room


"Pound the Rock"


Coming onto the field


Touchdown!


On the field at Memorial Stadium

A few of the players who have had their jersey retired



"In essence, an Athlete. By merit, a Scholar.
This, a harmony students endeavor to achieve."

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