Just Left of Norm

Yes, I’m a tad bit on the crazy side. I admit it. As I stated in the title, you’d probably consider me just left of normal…well, actually right, depending on the day. But I love to have fun, I love to laugh and I love those around me.

And I’m very impressionable. As in, you can make a suggestion to me, and for some reason my mind believes that things MUST be that way. For example…tell me there’s a man outside my window at night. I become freaked, hear the strangest of sounds and am ready to call 9-1-1 at a moment’s notice. My friends in school used to get a real kick out of it. Scary movies were really entertaining, because I couldn’t sit still, would scream and then wouldn’t sleep for weeks. Fun stuff.

What difference does all this make? Well, it’s moved with me into adulthood. And this time, it’s kinda funny.

You see, on Halloween Scooter was responsible for apples for his school reading party. As I was cutting the apples up Monday morning (and dipping them in lemon juice, so they wouldn’t turn brown before the party that afternoon), a spider dropped out of the bag onto my hand. Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed. But since these weren’t local apples, I caught the spider so that my boys could study it. (I’m such a good mom, right?)

Well, I’m also active in social media, so I posted it on Facebook…where a good friend made this comment:

 

Of course, I immediately thought of my grandmother. She’s been gone more than a year, and I still miss her so much every day. Not only that, but she would have celebrated her 91st birthday just a few days before, so I was content that the spider was her, telling me she loves me, supports me and misses me too.

So I kept the spider in the jar, talked to it, watched it…even fed it a few flies. I figured a day or two, the spider would die and all would be well.

Here we are, more than a week later, and this spider is still alive. And now I can’t kill it. I’ve tried. I want to, really I do…but…well…I can’t. I even asked Mark to kill it last night, while I was sleeping. He said no.

Any thoughts on how long a spider will live? Any volunteers to spider-sit when we’re gone? (And I believe Christy should be the first to volunteer.)

A Trick for Treats

Our 4-year-old, EJ, is in preschool this year, four days a week. Last year I didn’t have the chance to really get involved with snacks and things like that. (George was having problems and EJ only went to school two days a week.) Well, I’m going to do a better job this year!

Now, I didn’t say it was going to take a lot more time…I’m just going to take a few minutes here and there and try to be a more involved parent. Which is why EJ and I sat down and made these last night:

Witches’ Hats

Witches' hats...all ready for school.

Cute little things, aren’t they?

I got the idea from Pinterest, and it’s easy as could be!

Step 1: Buy fudge striped cookies, a bag of Hershey Kisses and orange frosting.

Cookie, check. Kiss, check.

Step 2: Place cookie striped-side down, circle hole with orange frosting.

Circle of orange frosting, used for "glue."

Step 3: Place Hershey Kiss on top of frosting.

EJ spent more time on placing the kiss than anything!

Step 4: Sit back, relax and enjoy the praises rained upon you by your 4-year-old that you’re the best cook ever. Because you are. Really.

Aren't they just adorable?

Yeah, not every one made it on a cookie...but that's to be expected.

What is your go-to school snack for the masses? Do you go season-themed? Or just general snacks?

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Thankful Thursday – Electricity

Our farm is undergoing a facelift. And it’s all due to the hard work of our electric cooperative, Dakota Valley Electric.

After this summer’s storm and issues that we had last spring with deer and such, Boss Man and I decided to make some changes around the farm. One of the biggest cosmetic changes is the switching over from overhead power lines to underground.

Now you see it...

 

 

I didn’t think it would be that big of a change, really. I mean, as far as cosmetics go. (I completely understand the amount of work and time it takes to actually achieve the goal!) But I was wrong.

It’s amazing!

Now you don't!

 

 

So, aside from no longer worrying about the wind snapping off a line in our yard (it happened), or ice building up, or having to farm and mow around polls, it’s all gone.

It’ll take me a little while to get used to the look. I step outside and feel like something’s missing. But it’s a great change, and one that I’m glad we went through with.

So, thank you Dakota Valley Electric and those involved in the switch over. It was fast, problem-free (at least from my point of view) and a great new step for our farm. Thank you!

Wordless Wednesday – Butter

It’s been a few days since I posted last…life has been on a roll again! When I say there’s never a dull moment here, I truly mean it! I’ll explain later, but for now, enjoy this photo:

The other day I opened the fridge, and was greeted with this:

Hmmm...wonder if this is a hint?

 

 

Call me crazy, but I believe someone may have been playing in the fridge! And for my dairy friends, half the sticks are real butter, half are the “other” kind. I don’t use real butter for George’s stuff, but Boss Man insists on it! 🙂 We’re a mixed house like that.

Today, I’m linking up with Katie over at Pinke Post for Wordless Wednesday. Go check her out and give her a follow, she’s amazing! (And a fellow Prairie Mama!)

Hunk of Meat Monday – Gooseberry Patch Recipe #4

It is definitely Hunk of Meat Monday…and today I’m featuring another fantastic recipe from my Gooseberry Patch Cookbook “Dinners on a Dime.”

And I’m also reminding you to head over to my latest blog post and sign up to win a Pink’ed-out Kitchen! That’s right, a pink Kitchenaid complete with accessories! Who can beat a deal like that? Check it out!

But now on to my recipe…this was a great one, but I learned a lesson or two!

Tac-Ole` Bubble Bake

Ingredients:

Simple, just the way I like it!

  • 2 12-oz. cans refrigerated biscuits, quartered
  • 1/2 to 1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
  • 1 1/2 c. salsa
  • 1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Optional: sour cream, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes

This is my meat of choice...hamburger!

Arrange biscuit quarters in the bottom of a 2-quart casserole dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Spread beef (or leftover taco beef) evenly over biscuits. Spoon salsa over beef; top with cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes. Garnish as desired. Serves 4 to 6.

Little did I consider that the full dish would cause a problem...but still looks yummy!

Costs:

  • Biscuits – $2.27 each – $4.54 total
  • Beef – $2.97
  • Salsa – homemade (free!)
  • Cheese – $1.97
  • Total – $9.48 (6 servings = $1.58 per serving!)

Follow directions and be ready for some amazing food!

Lessons I learned:

1) Only use ONE layer of biscuits (one bigger container of biscuits will do it, don’t need two!) – Otherwise the biscuits rise to the point of making a mess while baking, then the inner biscuits don’t get done…and let’s just say that it makes a mess and a headache that’s not needed. One layer, one layer only.

2) Put a pan or something under it to catch the overflow…just in case you do something like what’s listed above and it makes a mess. Just a warning. 😉

Although it wasn’t an error-proof attempt (follow directions, Val, follow directions), it was absolutely yummy! And my boys ate it up like crazy!

Hunk of Meat Mondays

Fight Like a Girl

Right now, it is Sunday evening, and I spent a fair amount of time watching NFL football today. Yes, I know, it’s a tad unusual for the wife of the family to be the avid football watcher, but that’s the way it works around here. And what I loved about today’s games was the sea of pink.

For those that don’t know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month…as far as I’m concerned, it could be Breast Cancer Awareness Month every month, or just simply Cancer Awareness Month. But October has received the designation. And in honor of the pinkest month on the calendar, I’m hosting a giveaway.

This isn’t just your ordinary, everyday giveaway either. This is a big one.

In fact…I wish I could win, because I’m giving away something that I don’t even own myself. That’s right, my kitchen is not complete. I do not own a Kitchenaid.

But one of my lucky readers certainly will!

On Halloween (that’s right, October 31!), I will draw one lucky winner to receive a pink Kitchenaid 5 qt. Artisan Stand Mixer. I’m not kidding. It’s on it’s way to my house right now!

Imagine all the goodies this bad boy (or should I say girl?) can whip up?

Not only will the winner receive a Kitchenaid mixer, but I also have a slug of pink Kitchenaid stuff to go with it. Including: whisk, bamboo spatulas, set of 4 prep bowls and set of 3 mixing bowls. Kinda cool, eh?

Not quite the tools needed to fight cancer, but great tools to use as a pick-me-up!

So, how do you win? Easy…comment on this post. Tell me one way cancer has changed your life, or affected your family, or made you appreciate all that you have. Leave a comment, and you’ll receive one entry. Only comments on this particular blog post will count towards winning the mixer and gadgets, but comments on other posts are encouraged as well! 🙂

Ah, but you can earn extra entries…send some Cancer Kicking Love on over to my blogging sister Leontien, leave a comment on her blog, letting her know that many others across the country are praying for her, and helping her be strong when she feels week. Do that, leave a separate comment letting me know you have, and you’ll earn another entry. I’ve even made it easy, just click on the button below!

And, if you so choose, you can earn five extra entries by emailing me at: wagntales@gmail.com and telling me your story. This month isn’t JUST about breast cancer. Tell me about your struggles, your fears, your moments of amazement. Make us laugh, make us cry, inform us with statistics. Whatever it may be. I hope to intersperse our stories throughout the month. You can stay anonymous (just tell me so in your email), or I can give you full credit. Whatever you’re comfortable with, I’m game. And I’ll be adding mine in as well.

For those that don’t know…my mother is a cancer survivor. It was a fluke, an accident, a cold that didn’t get better. And somehow a rare cancer of the soft palate of her mouth was found. I’ll tell you her story later, but I know that almost everyone reading this has a story. Cancer sucks that way. It touches everyone.

But the good thing is, we have each other…and pretty soon, one of you will have a Pink’ed-out kitchen!

Good luck, God bless…and Fight Like a Girl!

Don’t Fold Laundry

So, I was in the living room, folding laundry, when a surprise walked in…

Look! See! Pretty!

I tried not to lose my cool…but what the *#@!

Don't you like my surprise?

At this point, I just had to laugh. Or else the tears wouldn’t quit, you know?

Are the legs a bit much?

And then I wondered…where did he all color?

I'm so proud!

Thankfully, the only “artwork” I found was George. So, it quickly became bath time!

Oh no! I'm melting!

He kind of freaked out over the marker melting off…and I had to keep draining the tub and adding clean water.

Someone wasn't happy about losing his tats...perhaps he thought he was losing his street cred?

My lesson learned for the day? Don’t fold laundry. Now,  just to let my husband know that. 😉