Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

We Work Real Hard at the Chocolate Factory

They'll make about 2000 pieces of candy in 2 days.  Then they'll pack it and deliver it.  They look forward to this all year--and not for the licking. They truly love to help!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I Have to WHAT?!

The other day Daisy, Pepper and I went to visit a friend with a 2 week old baby.  As I got out of the shower, I yelled downstairs, "Are you girls wearing clean clothes for holding the baby?"

Pepper looked at Daisy with horror and said, "We have to HOLD the baby!?"

I Just Love This Boy

I know I'm his mom, but I think he's just so cute!  I love the way he says "wheels."  Someday I'll be so glad I made this video.

(It's not quite 3 minutes, so plan your time accordingly! )

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Don't Put All Your Eggs in One....Oh, Nevermind!

Banana Boy came home with a puzzle worksheet--you know, one of those with a riddle at the bottom to be solved by working the problems at the top.  The answer was, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket."

Pepper asked, "What does that mean, anyway?"

I tried to lead them to a discovery.  "Well, what could happen if you put all the eggs into one basket?"

Pepper: "Why would you take two baskets out"

Me: "Well, why might it be better to have them in two baskets?"

Pepper: "What if you fall down with TWO baskets?"

Banana Boy, interjecting:  "What if there's a dead cow in the middle of the road and you have to stop and move it and you drop your eggs?"



Monday, October 17, 2011

Crying in My Scary Green Pants

If you were to tune in to the live Sandwich Cam today, you'd be treated to this enticing ensemble.  Love my scary green pants!  I used to babysit for a little boy who LOVED that story  (what IS the real name of it?  We always just called it The Scary Green Pants).  It's in the Sneetches book by Dr. Suess.  Anyway, he, William, was two and had scary green pants.  And being two, I had to wash his scary green pants every day so that he could wear them over and over and over.  Every day.  He was so cute.  We also had to read the story 98 times a day.


Daisy and Pepper are spending a week with Grandma and Grandpa.  Lest you think they are on an utter vacation, they will be washing and wiping a lot of dishes.  And Grandma informed them that they (the three of them) would be fall housecleaning the upstairs!  Good times!  They also get to go to the Y and swim.  Poor them.

Rose Bud drove away in the truck with Sunshine this morning for the first time.  I stood and watched and cried.

Banana Boy hopped on the bus.

And I am alone in my house, wearing my scary green pants.  Let the cleaning and organizing begin!!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

And Now Back to Our Cooking Blog

Just wanted to mention that after watching all those dosa videos (see below) I gathered up the courage to actually MAKE dosas!  

Two years ago, at Camp Masala, a lovely lady showed us how to make dosas with potato filling.  Yum.  She gave us the recipe and everything.  But since it involved making the dosa batter from scratch and fermenting things, I never was brave enough to try.

This summer I got up the courage to buy the ingredients when I was at the Indian grocery.  They sat in my cupboard for 3 months.  Until Dosa Video Day.

So, without further ado, here is the recipe.

Dosai Batter

1 part lentils (Urad Dah) 
3 parts Ponni rice (Ponni rice is best, but you CAN use basmati rice)

Soak these, separately, for at least 8 hours.  (Lentils should soak 1 part lentils to 3 parts water (or 1 cup to 3 cups) and Rice should soak 1 part rice to 2 parts water).

Blend lentils and water in blender and then rice and water.  (They take different times to blend, so it is better to do them separately).  Should be like a thin pancake batter.

Pour together into a bowl and let set for 24 hours or so at room temperature to ferment.  (In the winter, you might need to give it a head start – preheat your oven to warm, then turn it off and put the bowl in there until it just starts to ferment).

When you are ready to cook them, heat your skillet to high.  If you are not using a non-stick pan, grease lightly.  Pour approx. 1/3-1/2 cup of batter on skillet.  Using scoop bottom, spread the batter thinly to about an 8-10” diameter.  Drizzle approx. ½ t of oil on the top. 

When the dosai starts to brown and the edges curl up, flip it over and brown the other side (just for a minute)

Fill with potato curry or serve with chutney (or both!)

Batter stores in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.  You may need to add some water if it’s been sitting.

I also watched this video to help.

I did add the fenugreek seeds.  The grinding (in my blender and I used all the soaking water) really did take as long as in the video.  20 min. for the dal and 15 min for the rice.  I had to do the rice in two batches.  My batter sat for 30 hours, covered with a dish towel and did nothing except get a layer of water on top of the rice/dal.  I went to work and when I got home late that night, ta-da! It was fermenting!  I was so excited!  So be patient with the fermenting.

I did not have a flat-bottomed scoop to use for spreading the batter on the pan.  I watched another video where the guy making the dosas just swirled his pan around as you would with crepe batter.  I tried this and it worked perfectly.  

I used 1 c. dal and 3 cups idli rava with the above mentioned ratios of water and it made LOTS of batter!  I think I had 15 dosas.  Then I made idli TWICE (my idli maker holds 16 idlis) and then I still made about 5 more dosas the next day for lunch before I used up all the batter.  By the end, those last dosas were very tangy tasting, even tho the batter had been in the refrigerator.

All in all, it is not so much difficult as time-consuming.  You need to soak the dal and rice for 8 hours.  Then grind.  Then ferment (took 36 hours or so).  Then cook all the dosas standing at the stove, one at a time.

But, mmm, were they good!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things

Another disgusting picture.  A foodie blog, this is not!  But it does provide an introduction to a couple of things I've been wanting to share for a while.

Chickpeas (chicken peas, my kids call them)
(there are also kidney beans, or "kid beans" in this salad, and although I love them, I was not particularly going to talk about them today.  I just wanted you to know how cute, or weird, my kids are, renaming everything)


Some of my favorite things:
crock pots

First, chickpeas.  I just love them!  Is there a more perfect food?  They are salad, they are chole, they are oven-dried and crunchy, they are hummus.  They are wonderful!  Oh, and if you buy them dried and cook them yourself, they are also cheap!  Which leads me to

My crock pot.!  Yes, (s).  I own 4 of them, none of which I actually purchased, btw.  You haven't done anything until you've stuck a crockpot under your jacket and snuck out of Target!


One was a wedding gift, one was a Christmas gift, was was part of my inheritance and one came from my mother when she downsized.  Two of them hold 5 quarts of stuff!  Those are my favorite!

So anyway, if you ever thought cooking dried beans was a pain in your bean, you have not cooked them in a crock pot!  If you have ever tried to read about doing it online and thought even they made it sound complicated, you have not cooked them in a crock pot.

Here is what you do:
Dump dried beans in your crockpot (it IS a good idea to rinse them and/or lay them all out on a cookie sheet first.  I really HAVE found little stones and little hunks of dried mud in my dried beans!  If you don't like the idea of that, pick them over first, like the bag says.  However, being lazy, I often skip this part.)

For a normal-sized crockpot, I'd start with a 1 lb. bag.  I buy mine in bulk and just dump until my eye says it's right.

Cover beans with water.  The water should cover them by an inch or inch and a half.  We have a water softener and I use soft water (the hot side of my kitchen faucet).  I think I've forgotten and used the hard water and it's been fine, but the soft water has never failed me.

Add salt.  I like salt.  I add a tablespoon or so.

Add bay leaves.  I like bay leaves.  I use 2 or 3.

Cover crock pot and turn on high.  Go away for 4 hours.  Actually, you should check it ever 2 hours or so to make sure there is still enough water.  If you need to add more, add HOT water.  It takes too much energy and time for your crockpot to heat up the cold water you dump in.

Taste beans.  Mine are usually done in 4-6 hours.

Drain well.  Dump in ziplocs and freeze.  I like to make sure they are spread out flat in the bag.  It makes it easier to break off a hunk if you don't need the whole bag when you take them out. Ta-Da!  Beans you can use anytime!  No muss.  No fuss.

I do black beans, pinto beans, white beans and garbanzos (chick peas).  I buy my kidney beans and red beans in a can.  Conventional internet research says if you don't heat red beans hot enough, there is a toxin in them that is harmful.  A crockpot wouldn't heat them enough, I don't think, so I just buy them canned.

Ok. Onward and upward.  What was next?

Tupperware.  Oh, I just wanted to mention the container that my ugly salad is in.  I bought a whole bunch of those containers when my sister, who was  Tware consultant, was ending her consultantship.  I got a great deal on them and I use them all.the.time.  Love my Tupperware.

And Owlhaven.  I have her cookbook Family Feasts for $75 a Week and it is seriously one of my favorite cookbooks!  There are so many recipes in it that I make all the time.  I can't speak to the $75 part, as I don't follow that part of it.  Can you feed your family for $75 a week?  She says you can.  Most of the tips in her book I already did before I bought the book so I guess they are good and useful!

But you should go buy her book so you can make Easy Pizza Rolls and Thai Chicken Curry (with homemade Thai Red Curry Paste, yum!), and Orange Chicken and Chili Corn Pone Pie and Chicken Pot Pie with Cheesy Biscuit Topping and Spaghetti Carbonara and she has crock pot recipes and rice cooker recipes and Cheesy Garlic Biscuits and oh!

And this ugly Chickpea Salad you see in my tupperware above.

It's only ugly because my chickpeas are still frozen, but when they thaw out, it will be so delicious!  This is the second time this week we are eating it.
My modified Owlhaven recipe:
Chickpeas (about 3 c.)
a can of kidney beans
a can of black beans
half a red onion, sliced
a whole mess of attracting-fruit-flies-sitting-in-a-pail-in-my-kitchen tomatoes (about 2 c. diced--yours do not need to have fruit flies on them)
a big handful of black olives, sliced in rings
1/4 c. or so fresh parsely, minced
1/4 c. or so fresh basil, minced
2 cloves garlic in the garlic press
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil
3 T. lemon juice
1 T sugar
salt and pepper

Mix the dressing ingredients and pour over the ingredients that are not part of the dressing.  Let stand on your counter or in your fridge several hours to blend flavors.  YUMMERS!

yeah.  This is why she makes the big bucks writing cookbooks and I don't.  But try it!  This is so good!

A Whole Lot of Blogging Going On

3rd meet
This is a huge meet --there were 121 runners in this race and there were TWO varsity races.  Rose Bud was at first disappointed to find she had finished 43rd, but was more pleased when she heard her time was 16:52--that's a 6:48 pace!  Her personal best so far!

This is a picture of a very sick Rose Bud (and a sympathetic dad) on her way to WATCH her teammates run in their home meet.  There were some tears as she struggled through the decision (hers, not ours!) to not run today.  Her legs were sore and weak, she was coughing and her nose was stuffed up.  I think she still had a sore throat, too.  It's the first meet she's missed.  Ever.

This is a feeling-much-better Rose Bud during homecoming week.  Each day has a dress-up theme.  Today's was Under the Sea for sophomores and, can you tell?  She is a jellyfish.

In case you are in need of a very cute costume for the upcoming holiday, this was SO easy!  

---this is the part where my blog becomes a craft blog--

We used a clear garbage bag which we lined with purple plastic wrap taped down with clear packing tape (I only taped the shoulders, bottom and a spot in the middle). 

 I laid strips of clear packing tape (sticky up, in case you are supremely craft-challenged) on my diningroom table and stuck the ends of 3-ft (estimated) lengths of curling ribbon about ever 3/4" along the strip.  Then I stuck the beribboned packing tape all along the bottom edge of the garbage bag (the open end).  Ta-da!  Tentacles!  

Cut a head hole in the top (this is the actual "bottom" of the bag) and arm holes in the sides and slip the plastic bag over your child's head!  This was the scary part.  You know, how you KNOW you shouldn't lick the frozen flagpole, but you want to, just to see if all the stories are TRUE!  Pull the bag down so the head pops through the head-hole.

Oh, I also poked slits about every 2 1/2" along the tentacled edge of the bag and threaded another piece of ribbon through.  This we cinched tight like a drawstring after we pulled the bottom up to waist level.  This made the jelly part puffy.

---end of crafty section of blog---

This disgusting picture is the inside of Banana Boy's mouth.  Shining on the left side there are his brand-spanking new crowns!  He was unblessed to be born with cruddy enamel on all his baby teeth (Rose Bud has this too, on her permanent molars)  Thankfully, his permanent teeth all are beautiful and lovely so far.  Anyway, these crumbly baby teeth are crazy-prone to decay.  About a fourth of that front crowned tooth was gone by the day we had this done.

Banana Boy handled the dental work like a champ!  He lay in his spa-chair watching Madagascar while our wonderful pediatric specialty dentist (who also put on Rose Bud's crowns and pulled out Sunshine's dead front tooth) sang BB little songs about how wonderful he was.  BB was pretty annoyed by the numbness afterwards and had some pain as it wore off, but a couple of doses of ibuprofen and a lot of iPad time distracted him nicely.  I was so proud of him!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

First Day of School

This year we have 2 in one school district (Rose Bud and Sunshine), one in a different school district (Banana Boy) and two at home (Daisy and Pepper).  Call me crazy, but I think it's going to work very well.

 Banana Boy and Sunshine's first day of school.  Rose Bud is a sophomore this year and at the high school, only the freshmen and new students have to attend the first day.

 Banana Boy is in the window to the left of the emergency window (the one with the white bar at the top)  The first day, the bus backed into our driveway.  Now it stops on the road to pick him up and drop him off, then turns around at the top of the hill up the road.
After we watched BB get on the bus, I drove Sunshine for his first day.

 I also picked Sunshine up from his first day so we could see BB get off the bus.  Sunshine was so excited to see his big brother get off the bus!  Chaya thought this might be a good opportunity to slink down to the road.

 BB's 2nd day of school was Rose Bud and JayHay's first day (remember, they're sophomores).  We always take pictures at their house for the first day.  We drove over to watch the kids get on the bus there and then I drove BB to school.  Here are BB and his best buddy, Little Hay.

Rose Bud and JayHay.  I remember when they were just kindergarteners!!!!  They don't put their arms around each other for the photo anymore.

Homeschoolers, Daisy and Pepper (apparently in their homeschool uniform! ??) and LayleyHay.

 Rose Bud 10th, JayHay 10th, Daisy 7th, Layley 6th, Pepper 5th, Little Hay 3rd, BB 3rd and Sunshine 1st. Lined up by age (which no longer matches height!)

Friday, September 9, 2011

AND Then THIS Happened...

Out of the blue.  With no warning.  Nothing hit it.  There were no sticks. No branches.  Just a loud crash interrupting a peaceful morning of reading (and Indian street food video watching).

My advice to you is that if your glass-topped patio table is more than 12 years old, give it the old once-over.  And maybe put a tarp under it.  It will make clean-up that much easier!

Frittering Away the Day Watching YouTube Videos of Indian Street Food

 Check out the ants crawling on the bamboo "cutting board"!  Love it!

Watch this guy's face!  He's so cute about being videoed!  He is clearly an expert at dosas! We were hungry for dosas, can you tell??

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cross Country Season is Back!

The season began with time trials on 8/27.  Much of last year's team consisted of seniors and a good portion of the underclassmen did not return, so it's a brand new team this year.  I think there are only 3 returning team members.

Anyway, Rose Bud ran 2nd among the girls in the time trials, earning her spot on the varsity team.  Her time was 14:01, an improvement of a minute and a half over last year.

The first meet was a 3200K or 2 mile race.  She again ran 14:00, again an improvement of 1:30 over last year at this race.  She placed 22nd overall.

The second meet was a standard 4K and they ran in a thunderstorm.  Rose Bud was thrilled to find that she cracked the top 20 for the first time, earning a medal!  Her time was 17:31 (last year, 18:31) and she finished 19th!

Way to go, Rose Bud!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Test post

We went to Old World Wisconsin and petted a horse. Then my camera battery died. Now I'm testing blogging from my iPad. The end.

Not useful so far. Rats.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Evolution of a Farm Wife

Leslie, the bloody pics are at the bottom. I'll warn you when to walk away! :D

What a difference a year makes. Not only are we faster, but we are way less grossed out! We also had an audience today.

We butchered the first 12 chickens today and will do 12 more in 3 or 4 weeks. It was 8:00 before we got started and the whole thing, except for the wrapping, was finished in 2 1/2 hrs.

We use as our guide How To Butcher a Chicken.  Super website with clear directions and lots of pictures.  The only quibble I have with him is that I think he makes getting the lungs out sound way more difficult than it is.  Rose Bud and I even got lungs out in the first handful today.  We seldom had to go back in and scrape them out.

The kids, especially Pepper, helped catch. Mr. GT did the chopping and Sunshine and the neighbor boy watched. Mr. GT also dipped them in the hot water. The first 6 grossed Banana Boy out so much he couldn't touch them. By the second batch, he was carrying them from the scalding bucket to the plucking table and showing the neighbor boy how to pluck (J. did gingerly pull out a few feathers with his fingertips!)

My kids are so territorial! Rose Bud doesn't let anyone else do the feet. That is HER job. However, once she discovered how exciting it was to gut, she happily turned over the last 3 (well, 6) feet to Daisy. Rose Bud can do every part except the head-chopping.

Daisy is the gizzard expert and cleaned all those. She found that one chicken had eaten two small pieces of glass.

Pepper was all squeamish this year and wouldn't touch anything. We made her run the hose and rinse.

Sunshine filled the coolers and plucked. And watched the chopping. He also cheered whenever they caught a chicken.

One interesting note was how ungross we all felt (except for Pepper). I was covered in bloody water because the corner of the table where I was gutting was lower than all the rest and it kept dripping all over me. Last year I couldn't wait to rip off my clothes and shower. This year I could have sat around in those clothes for awhile. I had to find the little kids and ask them to change and Rose Bud went for a run in her chicken clothes and will throw them in the wash when she gets back.

The real hero was Chaya who was so bored by the whole thing. Mr. GT wanted to tie her up while we butchered, but I said let's wait and see how she does. She just lay in the shade and only ate few small bits she found (we're not very messy). She wasn't nosing around or eating every feather in sight or licking up blood. What a good Dogger!

Here come the pictures, cleanest to bloodiest.
Chicken Crew

Filling the coolers

The next candidate

Suddenly brave


 J. Plucking

Pepper only rinsed

Bloody one, coming up next...

Not sure what this is about.  My mom was the photographer, but doesn't she look proud?????? :D

Friday, June 17, 2011

Thinking About Babies with Sunshine

Sunshine: I wish we had a baby

Me: What kind of baby?

A plain baby.

A baby from India?

No. With this kind of skin. Touching my cheek. A girl baby.

Why do you want a baby?

Just because.

What would you do with a baby?

Feed and dress it. Feed it supper and lunch.

What about when it has a poopy diaper?

It have a diaper change.

Who's going to change it?


Why not you?

Cuz, it stinky!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


The first week of summer has gone by so slowly!  It's heavenly!

Rose Bud has been treating herself to the luxury of doing nothing. She's read about 10 books already. Other than running each day, she just lies around. And she earned it. Her report card came. A 4.0 for her first year of high school. She definitely takes after her dad. Whereas I slouched around in high school and put in a valiant effort the night before a test or paper was due and got good grades, he studied and planned and organized and budgeted his time and got straight A's. She is a budgeter and an organizer and a planner and a worker.

Today she went to volunteer at the food pantry. And she works 4 nights this week. Other than that: lying around.

Daisy and Pepper are doing homeschool-lite. They each have Bible, Math and Science every day. Daisy is also keeping up with her Spanish. For science, they are working together through a botany book and really enjoying it. One day this week they got out the cutting board and sharp knives and dissected a flower. They pulled out the microscope and Rose Bud helped them look at an onion cell and some of their flower parts (having just come out of Biology, she's a microscope expert now--more than I am anyway. It's been 25 years!) Today they made a flower out of Sculpey clay and are baking them. They are also keeping nature journals.

Daisy is working on her latest short story, The Orphan Boy. She won't share more than that until it is finished, but every day when she works on it, she wriggles and exclaims, "I can't wait until it's finished so I can READ it!" We had a little virus scare with the PC the other day, so now she's backing it up on a flash drive.

Pepper spends the rest of her free time playing with Charles, the runt chick, or Alexander the Gray, our $300 barn cat. Or her brothers. Or the dog. Or the pigs.

Banana Boy has summer school these two weeks, along with summer classes at his dance studio. In summer school, he's doing a Reader's Theater class, a class where they bike a mile out of town and then read a book and eat a snack, and a class about knights and castles. At his dance studio, he's taking two classes, acting and voice. He is in heaven!

Summer school is nice for him because he's getting familiar with the school building, the teachers and some of the kids for next fall when he goes to public school.

Yesterday when he brought his castle home (made from toilet tubes and a pizza box, he got all the wedding people (Playmobil) knights and princesses out and set everything up.

Sunshine is homeschooling with me and it takes 2 hours every morning. That is going great and his reading is really taking off, but he's still adjusting to the new schedule, or lack thereof. He's fine while we're doing school, but then free time hits and he doesn't know what to do. Especially with everyone else involved in their own projects, he kind of has no one to play with.

Today we're going to sign up for the summer reading program at the library and bring home a boatload of books.

Oh, and I almost killed the dog today. She is such a mellow and quiet thing, never fusses. She rode along to drop BB off at school. She sits in the middle seat of the van (the only time she's allowed on any furniture). So Rose Bud (who drove) and I got out of the van and Chaya snoozed away on her seat. Neither of us thought of her. A little over an hour later, I was looking for her and was calling and calling her outside. She has this nice habit of hanging out at the pigpen, licking the pigs. She didn't come and didn't come. Suddenly, I remembered she'd ridden in the van with us. And there she was, still sleeping on her seat. She was hot, though, and thirsty. Luckily, it's only about 70 outside! Poor Dogger!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Our Little Brush With History

Political leanings aside, it's not every day you can get your picture taken with the governor.

I had my picture taken with Governor Dreyfus (in his red vest) one time. I was 12 or 13 (you do the math) and it was our 7th grade field trip to the state capitol. Unfortunately, the picture was lost. I have other pictures from the trip--my group and I on the steps of the capitol, sleeping on the floor of the bus (eww!), but the proof that I touched history is gone. I'm still not over the loss.

Years later, Mr. GT and I were having ice cream at Wilson's in Ephraim (really? You've never been there? Go get a cone! Sit on the bench across the road down by the water. Look under the bench. See! Everyone else who doesn't like their jellybean throws them on the ground too!) Anyway, we were having ice cream one day and guess who else was having a cone? In his vest! He still wore one years later, although it wasn't red. Mr. GT wanted me to go over and get a new picture, but I was too chicken. So I have those two images only in my mind.

Sunshine also got his picture taken with a part of the detail set to keep Governor Walker safe, or something.

Mmmm! Dairy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Persons Offended By Parts

UPDATE:  scratch the not sharing with the public school teacher part.  A third person who is NOT offended by parts, dropped his pants on the playground and showed his to another student, who WAS offended by said parts.  I got a not-so happy email from the teacher. :( 

Really.  This is becoming over the top.

This morning a certain unnamed Person Who Is Offended By Parts (PWIOBP) said, while sitting next to me listening to me read the Bible:

PWIOBP (interrupting): "AARGH! I am so mad! I hate this!

Whips down garment covering offending part and displays it.

PWIOBP (in a disgusted voice): "This goes up and it annoys me! And you can't do anything about it! The bones in it get all straight and you can't bend it back down because you'll break the bones! Aargh!" Replaces clothing.

Me (slightly shocked at having had to see said part and trying not to laugh): "Mmm hmm. It happens to everyone (of your gender)."


Me: "Mmm hmm." Return to Bible reading, wondering where Dad is at a moment like this.

One hour later....

PWIOBP #2 (whips up article of clothing in the middle of grammar lesson): "Mom!!! Feel these!"

Me: "I felt them last week. They look fine. You can't do anything about them."

PWIOBP #2: "But they hurt! No. Actually they don't hurt anymore. They just feel all blubbery."

Me: "Mmm hmm. They're growing. Everybody (of your gender) has them." sighing

Modesty is obviously in short supply in this house, although in each case PWIOBP and I were the only people in the room.

Apparently, this is why I homeschool....   I wouldn't trade these precious memories with anyone (and I'd sure hate for the public school to have to share them!!!)

Friday, May 27, 2011

We Are Home!

Daisy and I are home and very thankful!

She had a good night and we both got some sleep (as much as you can with the nurse coming in every 1-2 hrs).  Daisy actually slept through all the checks from 7pm to midnight.

She had very little pain, only a 1-2 compared to 5-7 before the surgery.  She did not need anything beyond IV Ibuprofen for pain.  She was able to drink shortly after we got back to our room at 4:30 yesterday and she had juice and a popsicle then.  At midnight she ate green jello and at 4 am she had pudding.  I hope she doesn't stick to this feeding schedule.  Takes me right back to her nursing days!

This morning she wasn't very hungry, but she drank lots and had a vanilla milkshake, then some more juice and lots of water.  She's a very easy patient.  Most cooperative!

We had to wait until 12:30 for the surgeon to come sign her out.  She finished the movie she began yesterday and read on the Kindle and rested while we waited.  She ate a bowl of potato soup and a roll for lunch and then the nurse released her. 

She got to ride out to the parking ramp in a wheelchair and now she's all set up on the futon in the living room.  She feels much better already and is able to walk around some.  Right now she's got a teenage robin outside her window being cared for by its parents.  They are catching and feeding it little bugs while it hangs out at the base of a maple tree.  It's big enough to fly, but not quite big enough to be out on its own.

Pepper and Banana Boy made a big welcome home banner.  Daisy opened her bag of treats from Auntie G.

Banana Boy and Mr. GT and Chaya have gone for a hike and will pick up Rose Bud and Sunshine from the bus.  Then we'll all be together once again.  It feels good.

Thank you to everyone who called or prayed or helped out in anyway!  It meant so much to have all that loving support!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The appendix has left the building!

She's all good! She went in at two o'clock. Mr. GT came at 3:00. They called us down to recovery at 3:30 and we were back to our room by 4:30.

She had a cutely inflamed appendix. Isn't that sweet? Actually it was "acutely.". The surgeon said it looked nice and angry.

It's 5:30 now and she's drinking grape juice and water and she just finished an orange popsicle. Now she wants jello.

Mr. GT is still here entertaining her. She's already been up and walking to the bathroom.

What a trooper!

If you ask her how she feels, she'll tell you: "stopit!!!". She's only been asked that 500 times in the last 24 hours.

We have a picture of the offending part. Maybe I'll post it to the blog tomorrow.

Or not.

She's In!

They took her in at 2:00. She was all loopy from the Versed (calming drug) and she "couldn't get her 'thinks' out."

She was very calm and not frightened. All the staff are wonderful here. She was still laughing almost up until they took her in to surgery.

She looked so beautiful with her curls on the pillow and her sweet metallic smile. Love her.

Postponed to 1:30

"I want my surgery so I can get better and EAT! Probably half my pain is from hunger!"

PJ and Dave D were here to visit and pray with us.

Classification of an Apple Pie
Kingdom - food
Phylum - desserts
Class - pies
Order - pie dough crust
Family - baked filling
Genus - fruit
Species - apple

Obsessed with food, I tell you!!!

Report From the Spa

Daisy feels all lovely (her words: Weird)on her morphine.

She asked for hand lotion. It's very dry here. She said it feels like spreading shortening on her hands.

We brushed and braided her hair. She brushed her teeth (shhh! Don't tell! She didn't swallow anything.

She enjoyed my breakfast immensely. Smell only. She smelled bacon, an omelet and hash browns. "Ohhh! You got a COOKIE!!?" Yep, I smiled.

She said she can pretend she's doing the 30-hour famine again.

"The good thing about having appendicitis, Mom?" (there's a GOOD thing??). "You don't know if it's your stomach hurting or if you're hungry." She's a little obsessed with food right now.

She's very annoyed by her IV.

SUNSHINE, we watched Handy Manny!!! He got a new tool. It's a flashlight named Flicker.

We drew sunglasses on the pain guys on the white board.

The chaplain came and prayed with us.

Today's parting gifts include socks, a tube of Vaseline, a bottle of shortening, I mean hand lotionand a prayer card.

Surgery is currently scheduled for noon.

It's an Appendix!!

Daisy will shortly be joining that esteemed membership--those who are missing their useless bit of intestine.

Go, Daisy!!

(I'm a little punchy. It's nearly 1 am). We're waiting to hear if the pediatric surgical team will come here or if we must be teleported to their hospital. It will come out tonight, though. I mean this morning.

News Flash. We're doing it here. Will update later.

1:30 update. We're getting admitted and having it done midday Thursday. Met the surgeon. He's super nice.

6 am. We got up to the room and all settled in just before 3. It was some work to dispose of the residents who wanted to chat about siblings and grades in school and vaccines for college (we haven't slept in 24 hours, people!!!).

So now it's 6:00 andand we had about 3 hrs. Sleep. Daisy's pain is down since she's on morphine. She's such a trooper! She declined pain meds all night until we got up to the room and I encouraged her to take something so she (we!) could sleep.

Funny moments: (she's been cracking jokes all night)
Me giving a sip of her 40 oz. of barium/Crystal Light to Bearedith (her bear)
Daisy: Drink it all, Bearedith!!

Uh, there were more funny moments but I can't think of them.

Will keep updating.

Monday, May 23, 2011


9th in the 400, but ran her best time:  1:05.30

4 x 400m was 8th with THEIR best time of 4:18.33

She didn't jump, but her best jump would have gotten her 10th.

Conference Track

Conference is done and the girls were 3rd.  Rose Bud ran in the 4 x 800 and their team was 3rd at 10:38.90.

Long Jump held preliminaries and she squeaked in to the finals with a jump of 13' 10".  Then in the finals, she only jumped 13' 10.5" to finish 9th out of 9.  Not her best night.  This was the field with the freaky board.

4 x 400m was 3rd with a time of 4:23.97. 

Overall, the girls' team was happy with their performances.  They've been hanging 3rd or 4th in the conference all season, so to finish this meet in 3rd place was quite nice.

Next up, Regionals.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Today's Lunch Coversation

Backstory:  A very sweet stray cat has made his home in our barn.  We think maybe someone dumped him here because he doesn't belong to any of the neighbors and he is very tame.  He doesn't even mind the dog (much).  Last weekend, he disappeared for a few days only to be found in the back of the garage with a half-dollar sized raw wound on his hip.  We took him to the vet and $88 later, he is now our cat.  He is currently confined in a pen in the barn while we give him antibiotics (which he SNARFS down in a spoonful of canned cat food) and watch him to make sure he doesn't have rabies.  And so that he doesn't ooze wound goo all over my house.  Once he is well, we'll have him neutered and bring him inside where he'll, hopefully, get along with Saffron.  His name is Alexander the Gray

And now back to today's lunch:

Banana Boy: Is Alexander going to get well?

Daisy: He's already getting well. His wound looks much better already.

BB: And then he's going to be our house cat! But first he has to get his tentacles out.

puzzled looks from the rest of us.

BB: You know, so he doesn't spray Saffron!

Daisy: His Tentacles. eyebrows go up

BB: EWWW! I'm eating! Don't talk about Tentacles!

Daisy: YOU brought it up!

BB: EWWWW! I'm glad I don't have Tentacles.

Me: Actually, you don't have Tentacles. Octopuses have tentacles. But you have Testicles!


Me: But you don't have to get yours out.

BB: EWWWWWWW! covering ears

Pepper: under her breath.   Heh. Then you'd be a eunuch.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Track Catch-up #487

Track Meet #7
We never got any written results for this meet, so I have to guess.  The 4 x 800 team won.  They were the only team. :D
 Rose Bud was 3rd or 4th in the Long Jump.  This field had an actual board for the board and it wiggled and freaked her out.  She didn't jump very well.

In the 400m she was 2nd.

The 4 x 400m relay won.  The girls' team lost this meet by one point.

Track Meet #8

This was a big 11-school meet with medals (very exciting!)  Rose Bud ran the 400m and was 6th (out of 16) with a 1:05.66 (best time, I think).  She was 4th in the Long Jump with a jump of  14' 6.25" and their 4 x 400m was 4th out of 9 with a best team time of 4:20.54.  So she got 3 medals.

Track Meet #9

A 2-school meet on a beautiful, warm and sunny afternoon.  Grandma and Grandpa traveled down to watch.  Rose Bud was 2nd in the Long Jump with a 14' 9.25", 3rd in the 400m with 1:05.65 (she was ahead until the last 50m!), and the 4 x 400m won in 4:21.96.

Track Meet #10

Another big meet with 10 or 11 schools.  The 4 x 800m did really well at 3rd with 10:35.00.    She didn't run the 400m.  The 4 x 400m didn't do very well.  Rose Bud tripped over another girl in the hand-off and it slowed her down.  They were 5th of 6 with a time of 4:26.13.    Her Long Jump was good and she was 3rd with a jump of 14' 4".

Next up: Conference.

The other kids do stuff too!

Kindergarten Spring Sing (it's actually their only sing)
Amazed by all his adoring fans! (he's in the blue-striped shirt)

There's a dog in school, OH NO! What are we going to do? He'll have to learn his alphabet, too!

Kindergarten Farm Field Trip
 Touching the disgusting poop-covered milking machine (get the hand gel!!!)  That's me in the baseball hat.

 Feeding hay to a cow (in case you couldn't tell)

AWANA Awards Night
 Banana Boy got the Sparky Award (finishing the 2nd book), a Book Review Emblem (reviewing all the verses in the book) and and Extra Credit Pin (doing another book full of verses)

Pepper got the Excellence Award (finishing the 4th grade book) and Silver and Gold Awards (completing an extra 32 activities, projects and memorizations) 
We call this the crying award.  Many tears were shed over having to do ALL THOSE projects.  Now that she has the pins, she's glad she did it.  It was the same story last year.

Good job, everybody!

Oh, and if you were wondering about Daisy, she just lays around all day composing music on the piano and then writing lyrics for it, working on her novel, and teaching herself Hindi.  I wish she'd accomplish something, too!

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Story About Gardening

A Story About Gardening by (Banana Boy)

    Gardening is working in a garden with vegetables, flowers and other plants.  I garden with my dad.  We plant vegetables, flowers and trees.  Gardening is fun.
    You use special tools for gardening.  You use shovels for digging.  Hoes are use to dig ditches.  My dad uses a rototiller to plow the gardens.
    You should always plant your seeds in moist soil.  You should water them the first day you plant them.  Soon they will grow and you will have lots of vegetables, trees and fruits.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Track Meet #6

It was far to wet and COLD to take any pictures.  I wore leggings under jeans and a long-sleeved shirt under a fleece sweater under my winter coat under a rain coat.  And a blanket over all that.  Under an umbrella.  No pictures.

Rosebud had a great meet, though!  Her first event was the 4 x 800m Relay.  Their team won (out of 2 teams...)  They were told by the coach to take it easy in this race since they "knew" they would win, so they didn't push it and therefore their time was 12:04.51.

Right after the 4 x 800m, she had to rush over to the Long Jump pit to do her run-throughs and then jump.  They get 4 jumps in Varsity and she jumped 14' 1.25", 14' 9.5", 14' 1" and 14' 4":  all really great jumps!  The winning jump was 15' 8", so she came in 2nd.

Next up was the 400m and she ran a 1:07.33 and finished 3rd out of 6.

The very last race at every meet (yay, us) is the 4 x 400m.  Since this was only a 3-school meet, and one of the schools had hardly any participants in any race, they ran only one heat, so there were 6 male teams and 2 female teams.  Rosebud ran the first leg against a super-fast runner and the 3 girls who followed her were a) having an asthma attack, b) and c) not feeling well.  Even so, they ran a 4:38.98.  They were, of course, 2nd out of 2 female teams.

Any time now we are ready for a sunny, warm track meet.  I'm beginning to feel like they compare with the Packers, running on the frozen tundra.  Bring on those Southern teams!  We can beat them in the sleet!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Catching up on Track Meets

Meet #3, 10 schools

400 m  1:06.99 (personal best thus far)
10th out of 19, fastest on team

4 x 400m Relay 4:27.04
team was 6th of 9, she ran 2nd and liked that position

Long Jump 13' 1"
first time jumping this year, 15th out of 21, best jump on team
personal best is 13' 9" (8th grade)

Meet #4 Dual meet (one other school only, super cold and windy)

400m 1:09.07
3rd of 4

800m 2:47.16
first time ever running this event, 2nd of 4

Meet #5 Triangular Meet (2 other schools)  This was a really good meet.  The girls' team won the meet.

4 x 800m Relay 10:58.53
ran 2nd position--funny story:  she got WAY behind her competitor in her leg and was really worried that she couldn't keep up.  Came to find out later she ran a 2:46ish and the other girl ran a 2:18!  No wonder!  Even so, their team won the race.

400m 1:07.06
2nd place out of 8!

4 x 400m Relay 4:35.5
team 1st place

Long Jump 14' 8.25" !!!!
previous best jump was 13' 9" (8th grade)
2nd place! (1st place jumped 14' 10")
(her other 3 jumps were 13' 8", 13' 11" and a scratch)

So, there you have all the gory details for grandmas and aunties and other people who are interested and I can find all the stats when I'm ready to scrapbook her season.  Ta da.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Shouted from upstairs bathroom:  MOOOOOOMMMMM!  I drink water!

Me, shouting from downstairs:  Don't drink the bath water!  It's yucky!

From upstairs: Tiny Tim drink it!

Me, still shouting: You're not Tiny Tim!

Upstairs: Oh. (pause for thinking)  Ok!!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Track Meet

On your mark...

Finishing 3rd in the 400m with a personal best time of 1:07.6

In the 200m (first time running this race) she does the cartoon circle-feet thing.  She was 2nd in the JV race.  (her other two races were varsity)

The 4 x 400m relay team finished first!  Rose Bud was the anchor (the 4th and final runner) and she finished very strong!  Her time was about 1:09.

As befits an early outdoor meet, it was FREEZING!  I made Mr. GT buy me (and himself--he was colder than I was!) a 50 cent coffee made from hot water and a coffee bag (like a tea bag) in a tiny styrofoam cup.  Then I made him go back and get me more hot water for my coffee bag, just to warm me up.  I liked holding the hot cup.  At least it wasn't raining.  And I'm really glad we made the kids stay home!  They would have been popsicles!