Monday, November 12, 2012

The Sun will come out Tomorrow...

A good friend of mine has recently began performing in Live theater. He has performed in two plays so far and they were both wonderful. His most recent was "Annie". While my guys went hunting, his wife and I went to see the performance. The talent on that stage from the children, the adults, the orchestra and the dog was FANTASTIC! The little girl playing Annie is 11 years old and WOW....what a talent! Her voice is strong and beautiful.

Annie, Sandy and Lt Ward

This was Medfords first scene with the extremely talented Courtney, and of course her beloved stray dog, Sandy. He played three different roles for this particular play.

The girls who played the orphans were funny, adorable and positively brilliant. Medford said backstage they were typical little kids...running around being mischeivous. But when they were given their que to be ready they snapped to quiet attention. He was as impressed with their professionalism behind the scenes. Strong voices, well learned choreography and cute as the dickens...yep they had it all going on.

Tap dancers...WOW!
When the dancers added their tap shoes I was so excited! Not only because I could listen to tap dancing for hours, but because my Mom tap dances and was looking forward to sharing how good they did with her. 

Annie and Sandy
And lastly, but in my opinion, the MOST important part...Sandy! The dog is NOT a professionally training dog. Nope, he is from the local shelter. He is beautiful and was very well behaved. Courtney and her family took him home so he could get used to them. As luck would have it, they fell in love with him and adopted him. AND there was a little beagle puppy in the scene with the dog warden and he too has been adopted by a cast member.

I just can't say enough about what a good time we had. If you have a theater close by, take the time to go see won't be sorry.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Nature's bounty...

I thoroughly enjoy cooking, baking and preserving food. There's nothing like eating summer fruits and vegetables in the middle of winter.  This is a good thing because my family LOVES to eat. One of my husband's favorite sweets is blackberry jam. He is not a big breakfast person but offer him bacon and french toast w/ blackberry jam and he's at the table before you say it's time to eat.

We have a small patch of blackberry bushes by the barn but not quite enough for making jam or cobbler. But plenty for picking as you go by, enjoying on some ice cream or by themselves. So I put a request on facebook and got a wonderful response. The next day my son and I went picking and WOW did we hit paydirt. We filled up half a bucket within an hour and a half. If Jon would have put all the one's he picked in the bucket instead of his mouth we probably would have had another quart or two...haha.

The Ball Blue Book has a very simple recipe for jam. It's simply berries and sugar. Wash the berries in cold water and remove any bad ones or leaves. Crush your berries and mix them with the sugar. Cook it to gel stage and them process it in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Remove to a towel and wait for that tell-tale "pop".  Sooo good! When my husband tried it he said it was better than Smuckers. From one recipe I got 10 small jelly jars and 2 larger ones...and for only the cost of the sugar.



Jon had football practice BEFORE we went picking. Within 10 minutes of walking in the door he was sound asleep on the couch. And stayed there for well over an hour.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day...

It's pretty much our tradition that on a persons special day, be it birthday, anniversary or Mother/Father's day, they get to do whatever they want. We try to do or buy things that mean a lot to that person. I think we nailed it for my husband this Father's day.

My daughter and I started the day with church and hubby and son got a few extra zzz's and some early chores done. For lunch we cooked BBQ chops on the grill and made Daddy's favorite dessert...mixed fruit...strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and grapes. We also picked up a chocolate cake and had them put his 'stage name' on it...which as you can tell by his face meant the world to him.

And to top off the evening we went and picked up his pheasants, which I ordered a couple of months ago. He is super excited...has wanted them for years. They are in the chicken pen for now but we plan on building their own run and possibly getting a few more. We'll see how it goes.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

What a difference a year can make...

Less than a year ago I had surrendered to the thought that I couldn't lose weight. I had given away all of my "small" clothes, ditched my "goal jeans" and given up. I was disgusted with myself. I weighed the same as I did when I gave birth to my daughter, who's now 20. I had tried watching what I ate...went to the gym...and made a LOT of excuses.
Jon coming out of the mud crawl

Me coming out of the mud
Then a friend of mine told me her and her daughter were using Weight Watchers (WW) on-line. I decided to give it a try. IT CHANGED MY LIFE!!! It wasn't a "DIET" was a lifestyle change. I had been using most of the pieces...I just didn't have them in the right place. For those of you who don't know...WW focuses on real food...fresh vegetables, fruits and protein. If you are hungry on WW...shame on you...I ate all the time and I wasn't hungry.
Jack & I at the 7th obstacle...the slide

I've lost 30 pounds since this past September (9 months), go to the gym on a regular basis and eat when I'm hungry. I have always been an active person. Enjoyed roller skating, softball and swimming as a young person. Our family has a small farm so there's always plenty to do. Since I've re-gained control of my body...instead of IT controlling me...I've awakened a passion in myself I didn't know was there.
Jack & I ...WE DID IT!!!
Pushing my body to it's limit..then a little further is an amazing feeling. I decided to sign up for the Race for the ROC, a 5k obstacle course set for this past weekend. I ran it with my dear friend Jack (probably the reason I started back to the gym...thanks for the push buddy), my handsome 14 year old son Jon and a family friend, Sue.

Sue, Me & Jon

The course was 3.2 miles long with 8 obstacles including mud crawls, chest deep EXTREMELY cold water, round bales to jump over, cargo nets and more. I finished in 38:31 minutes, 14th out of 29th in my age bracket and 175 our of 272 overall. It was such a GREAT time. So great, as a matter of fact, I signed up for the Warrior Dash in August. It's 3.12 miles with 12 obstacles. It benefits St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. My goal is to raise at least $250 for St. Jude's, if you would like to donate please visit my web page to contribute.
Jon & Jack refueling with some chips

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Mother nature....

Even as a little girl I've loved being outside. While I must admit, I enjoy nice weather better than cold. If the temperature is around 30° or above I'm good. I have blogged before about "going down south" camping. My husband and I have gone down several times recently. We have enjoyed some beautiful snowfall, warm fall conditions and most recently an unusally brilliant spring day.

My husband works way to many hours at an entirely too physically demanding job. So when we got to the campground he decided to take a nap. I took the opportunity to go for a long hike/walk. There are horse trails everywhere with well worn trails. During the 45 minutes I was gone I enjoyed a lot of sun, saw many birds and critters and walked up on a Doe who never knew I was there. She had been drinking from a pond and when I saw her I froze. She flicked her tail, looked around and slowly walked off. It was exhilerating to witness her so calm going about her day.

Our weekend ended early the next day due to rain. But prior to that as we were leaving the campground to go to our hunting/hiking grounds our only exit was blocked by a fallen tree. We walked about 2 miles until we found an elderly gentleman brush hogging who had a chainsaw and gave us a ride back. He was a delightful man with smooth skin, bright blue eyes and told us he had lived in the area his whole life. When he asked where we were from he told us he used to play 6-on-6 football against our local team back in 1952 and '53. He also asked if we had been morel mushroom gathering, to which I replied "no", but he told me where we could go if we wanted to.  How I would have loved to talk with him longer.  After hubby cut up the tree to clear our path, we loaded the wood in his truck (as a thank you for his kindness -- he refused the money we offered) the rain began and we decided to head back home. So short lived break, but refreshing and we have a couple new stories. Looking forward to many many more fun times in the great outdoors.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

That's what I love about Sunday's....

I have ALWAYS been a Christian. Have gone to church off and on my entire life. Have listened to some AMAZING Pastors and, unfortunately, some not so great ones. The Pastor we have now, Rev. Saul, is one of the AMAZING one's. He has this gentle, warped sense of humor and keeps us laughing. He's been know to change the hymns on a whim, tell a hysterical joke and cry when they play Amazing Grace. When he preaches his sermon he walks around and talks with you, a lot of times asking for feedback. These days it's the FASTEST hour of the week.
Pastor Bob and Grandma next to him
My Grandmother sings in the choir...has for as long as I can remember. We just lost a 100 year old member and dear Bertie will be 100 this October. She just quit singing in the choir last year...but still comes to church MOST Sundays AND stands for prayer and hymns.

Morgan and Jonathan
When my son leaned in and pointed out that one of the hymns was a "good song" it made my heart smile. He really has been paying attention. Jon and Pastor Bob seem to have a connection. We are truly blessed to have a church that has soooo much history spread over more than 200 years AND such a wonderful leader.

I've always believed God is EVERYWHERE. The birds in the sky, the sunrises and sunsets and in the eyes of our children.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Heath cake...

Hard to believe this is my first post of 2012. I'd like to say I will post more regularly now. I'd like to but who knows what my day to day life will allow. I decided to post today about a cake I just made and it was so easy and delicious I wanted to share it. While wondering around Pinterest, which I love to do, I found the yummy goodness and made it for friends who were coming over. The original recipe can be found here at Bird On A Cake. The first time I make a recipe I follow it to the T, then modify to suit my families tastes and my style. While the sauce was delicious I don't think it was necessary, but would make the PERFECT ice cream topping.

Once you bake your favorite chocolate cake in two 8" round pans, allow it cool completely.  Cut each cake in half so you end up with four layers.

The icing couldn't be simpler. Pour 1 quart of whipping cream, 1/3 cup cocoa powder and 3/4 cup granulated sugar into a bowl. Whip it until stiff peaks form. Lay one cake layer on serving plate, spread with cocoa whipped cream and sprinkle with crushed Heath bar on top. Repeat with remaining 3 layers. I lied (a little)...I didn't follow the recipe to a T. Robin folded the Heath bar into the whipped cream but I liked the control of being able to sprinkle the perfect amount on top. Also I did NOT ice the sides. I thought it was so pretty to see the seperate layers.

You could keep several round cakes baked and in the freezer and when you need a fast dessert you're half way there. I also thought about yellow cake with butterfinger. Maybe use Reese's cups instead of Heath bar.