Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Addiction

With a big ol' corn fed cowboy and two growing boys, new recipes are a must to keep my guys from getting bored with the same old meat and potatoes.  For years I've relied on watching Food Network and adapting recipes to our simple tastes.  I was thrilled when I found Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, and her recipes that rarely need tweaking.  She has the BEST meatloaf we've found so far.  It's a favorite around here and I know it's a keeper when everyone is quiet and goes back for seconds. 

But there's a new kid in town and so boys are in heaven.  Pinterest Oh, how we love you.  Actually I have a love/hate thing going on.  I don't have the free time to be browsing for new recipes or craft ideas.  I've been really good in the last couple of weeks and tried to stay away.  Then one of my rude friends will pin something scrumptious, or adorable, and I'm gone.  *sigh*  I don't hear my cowboys complaining because it means they'll soon be subject to a recipe experiment.  But I have a million things to do that do not include social media.  Like critiques for my writing buddies and a 3 page essay paper.

Speaking of social media time sucks...I've got a paper due by midnight.  So here's what we're having for dinner.  So easy-peasy that the cowboy cooked dinner I've got to go before he catches me blogging instead of writing my essay. ;)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Good Monday morning!

No...unfortunately the lovely woman on the beach is not me.  But it is time to welcome summer break.  Yeppers.  Little Man is officially home for the summer.  And because I've lost my ever-loving mind, I'm not.  *sigh*  Out for summer break that is.  You see...I've decided to finish my bachelor's degree and return to college.  And I chose to begin the torture with summer classes.  At the time that I dropped out, I only had 17 hours left to complete.  But between kids and my RA kicking in, I couldn't handle the schedule.  So now it's time.  For several reasons.

Number One:  I'm a very proud mama because my oldest Man/Child not only turned eighteen in December, he graduated mid-term from high school.  He had a difficult time deciding which college he wanted to attend and finally made a decision and was accepted.  His thought process and choice reasoning impressed me.  So we will both be in college full-time as of August.  One reason I went back?  Is to show him the importance of finishing something I've started.

Number Two:  I want my children to be proud of me and to be an example for them.  I struggle daily with doing the right thing as an example for my family, but it's important to me that they see regardless of age, you CAN do whatever you set your mind out to do.

Number Three:  I'm going to apply to the Radiation Therapy program.  I went through the cancer rehab process with my mother and remember how difficult and scary it was.  Her oncology doc was amazing about explaining the process and I thought at the time that I would love to be a part of the process.

Even with trying to carve out reading time, this weekend was an easy one for us because I pushed to get yardwork and errands done on Thursday so we could try to relax.  Ha.  Chaos follows wherever and whenever.  We had a call from my mom that one of the feral alley cats had had kittens on her patio and hadn't been seen for several days. So....we rescued three kittens.  Now we have chickens, three dogs, and three kittens.  I need to get them in to a rescue group or a vet though.  We can't keep them in the house and have them in a pen out by the chickens.  Their eyes are either just now opening or they have health issues.  The cowboy wasn't happy with me for rescuing more animals...but you should've seen him cuddling one last night.  ;)  I will make it up to him and cook some of his favorite meals this week.  I made him his favorite chicken fried steaks last night.  Tonight we'll grill steaks with fresh new potatoes and green beans from the farmer's market.  And I made homemade strawberry icecream, too.  Yummo!

Now I'm offline to get some writing time in!  I'll detail more about my writing adventures Wednesday.  Hope ya'll have an exciting, productive week!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Country Life must read my post in order to get the recipe!

Although I was raised in the city, several of my cousins grew up on farms.  I absolutely loved going for visits, or extended stays during summer break, and hated going back to the city life.  I first learned to drive on a John Deere tractor when I was 12 yrs old.  Of course it was only natural that I fell in love and married my very own cowboy who felt the same way.  He says he fell in love with me when he found out I could drive a dooley truck.  He claims there is nothing sexier than a woman that can haul a trailer and back it into a specific spot without hitting anything.  It also came in handy when we had a long drive and I wasn't scared to drive his F350 pulling our 34 ft 5th wheel through Memphis, Tennessee.

We had to travel occasionally with his last job, but now we are settled back out in the country.  We had chickens at our last country house but gave them up to friends when we had to take to the road.  Carrying a chicken pen along with the 5th wheel trailer wasn't an ideal situation, for the chickens or our neighbors in the RV parks.  ;)

It was only natural that Little Man and I decided to start over and buy some baby chicks this spring.  They've been doing well and growing rapidly (too rapidly --and smelly--for my bathtub) so we put them out in the pen last week.  I often go outside to get some fresh air in the mornings and I check the animals food and water.  Not only is it my favorite time of day to enjoy the outdoors, it's especially important now that the heat is beginning to climb into the 90's.  That's spring in Oklahoma for ya.  Before we went to bed last night the cowboy checked on the animals and all was well on the Sandell mini-farm.  This morning?  Three of our chickens have mysteriously disappeared.

I have an idea that maybe the neighbors cat got them.  Not much we can do about it except reinforce the chicken pen to keep all predators out.  We also have coyotes yapping out in the pasture behind our house at night so that is another concern.  The cowboy plans to work on the issue tonight when he gets home.  In the meantime?  I had to tell Little Man the bad news after school. He was upset, but more importantly...he is getting used to the country life.  We've talked with him about raising animals for our meat.  We even joked with him about naming a calf Hamburger or Ribeye, which he didn't find funny at first.  But he specifically requested we not eat his chickens.  So his first question was whether or not they were really gone or were we having chicken for dinner.  LOL.  Actually we are having leftover chicken parmesan but I made them from frozen chicken strips.

On the writing front...I've been working on revisions to my old manuscript that was rejected by an editor at Harlequin Superromance.  I'm using her suggestions and hope I'm making it stronger.  The guys are already home for the day so I think I'll slip into the bedroom to get more words out before I call it a day.  I made Twix brownies today so maybe the cowboy will be inspired to help with dinner.  Here is the link for the brownies... Twix Brownies.