Sunday, January 31, 2010

This Isn't Funny....

Just letting you know I'm down with a severe toothache this weekend, hence the lack of posts.
Oh, I wish I could make this funny, but I can't. I'm getting chipmunk cheek, I think it must be abscessed. This was not planned in the budget.

So far I've had 3600mg of Ibuprofen and I'm still in pain.

I called the dentist, and of course, he's not in, and I didn't want to bother him on the weekend. It's the same dentist I've gone to for 20 years, and I know he would have dropped everything to help me, but I just couldn't bother him on the weekend! I figured I could handle it until Monday morning.

I'm stubborn.

And of course, you know me well enough by now to know, that the dentist is an event.
I have to take Xanax before I go.
He says hello, and straps on the nitrous.

Glen keeps wanting to tie a string around it and yank.

Oh my heavens, I keep thinking about Tom Hanks in Castaway.

I need some of these drops.
I'll be back in the blogosphere as soon as I can.
My camera will be back tomorrow!

10:00pm update....
I'm crying. I've never felt anything like this.
I called the dentist.
I've got antibiotics.
I've taken three vicadin.
I've never given birth....but think I know what it feels like now.
Thanks for all your concern and sweet comments.

Friday, January 29, 2010

I Like Chicken Butts...

Since I'm Cameraless in Indiana, I thought I'd post some chicken photos that I took last fall and never managed to post.

Aren't chickens the most beautiful things?

I don't know that there will be a day in the rest of my life that I won't have chickens. They are so entertaining. There's just something about them that relaxes me, grounds me and makes me feel that everything is going to be ok. They are cheaper than psychiatrists and Zoloft. I can tell them my darkest secrets and they just cluck away, and I realize, in the grand scheme of things, my problems aren't so big.

Just the other night I was talking to Glenco...and I said....'whatta ya think about selling this place and living on the road in the Squirrel...we can just go State Park to State Park and follow the weather. We can go to Canada!" I was willing to give up the garden, the crazy cooking, even my new loom. I was feeling excited about the prospect. Then he said 'You'd have to give up the chickens'. "Ah forget it" I said as I rolled over and went to sleep. Not happenin'.

I love their fluffy butts...if you aren't careful that is all you will end up with....588 pictures of fluffy chicken derrieres, trust me, I have about that many.

You'll be happy to know that Helen is well, and is happily living back in the chicken coop. She was one happy hen when we put her back. I was a little offended....I mean, hello.....Helen? The diaper? The cornbread? The bath and blow dry? You prefer a dirt floor to that?
Thanks Helen.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Meet Glenco

It's come to my attention that many of you don't know I'm married, cause I don't talk about Glenco much of late.  I was looking through Ye Olde Blog Archives, and I found this, and thought that I would just repost it for my new readers.  I'll also repost the Meet Aaron blog that my new readers know he's my nephew, not my son, although I consider him my son...and his whole story.  Also, and update on Aaron is coming very soon!

Happy Friday!

Glenco isn't his real name.
It's Glen.
Glenco came about 20 years ago and stuck.
Double G is another nickname.
G Force

Would you look at those little arms?
Is it me, or does everyone wish they knew their husbands as little kids?
If we ever had a little boy, I bet he'd look just like that.

Glen is on the left here, holding a turtle.
I have so many cute pics of him as a kid like this, always up to something. I love his clothes in this picture. Those little socks and shoes.

Here is a picture of Glen when we first met. He was in a Christian rock band called 'The Risen Son' Band. He still loves music more than anything, and still fiddles with the guitar some. He feels as if he's missed his calling, he would have loved to have done something in the music industry. He was the church sound man for about 15 years. He drives a truck for a living now, delivering scaffolding and scissor lifts. He starts work at unGodly hours like 4 and 5am, but he's usually home around 1pm. Never complains.

We met in the spring of 1982 in a little Chicago church. I thought he was rather weird. I thought he was old. (He's nine years my senior). I don't know what happened, because within two weeks, I knew he'd be my husband.
He didn't get the memo and avoided me for months.
I started taking pictures of his band, and he said one day he looked at me, and just wanted to go with me when I was leaving.

We've been together since. Dated two weeks, and got engaged. Married within six months.
We were in a hurry. That's all I'm sayin' about that.

It's been a pretty easy road. We've had our share of bumps and turns, and still do at times.
Glen is like a rock. He's so steadfast, and mature. He's always in the same mood, which is usually a pretty good one. He's very quiet until you get to know him, and oftentimes he's thought of as aloof because of it.

He has the driest sense of humor I know.

A little story to explain how laid back this guy is. We are eating in a restaurant booth, facing each other. There is a man in the booth behind Glen. We thought he was laughing, pounding the table. Turns out the guy is choking. Seriously choking. Glen, never even putting his fork down, turns, whacks the guy in the back, the guy vomits on his table, sucks in a huge gulp of air, and is thanking Glen. Glen, still chewing, raises his fork in the air, smiles, and turns around and continues eating. Never missing a beat. That sums up Glen in a nutshell.

He single handedly re-built this old house.
I dream it, he builds it.
That's our motto.
There is nothing he can't fix.
My Kitchen Aid mixer bit the dust this weekend.
I may or may have not put on the meat grinder attachment correctly.
Within minutes, it was taken apart and the needed replacement parts ordered.
I'm incredibly spoiled by this, I know.

Glenco loves the sea. Loves fishing, boating and scuba diving.
He loves old cars even more.
He has a '64 Chevy right now, but really wants at '55 Chevy.

He gives me a lot of freedom to be me. He encourages me to do whatever it is I want, and go where ever it is I want to go. He seems to be happiest when he knows I'm happy.

He's always getting me out of messes. Remember the Tab soda, sink story I told you to not let me forget about? Well.....I just really don't know if I'm ready to divulge that one yet, but Glenco saved the day, as he does all the time, rescuing me from the cornfields I've accidently driven into, the snowbanks I find myself in, and when I'm hopelessly lost, I can call Glenco for directions. He never complains, but just shakes his head and smiles.

That's Glenco...the keeper of the Coop Keeper.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I Made a Winner for Dinner!

Last week when I posted my menu, among the things I'd planned to make were these.
Asian Lettuce Wraps.
I'd torn the recipe out of an Everyday Food magazine years ago.

I couldn't believe how easy they were to make, and how incredibly delicious!
I seriously kept going over and over the recipe, thinking for sure I'd forgotten to do something!

I think you'll love them too.
I didn't add the mango.
Couldn't find a decent mango in NW Indiana this week.

I also made these cookies which won me praise and adoration from friends and family.

They are called 'Best Cookies in the World'
They might be right.

Sorry about the photos, I'm still waiting on my camera.

I also tried Pioneer Woman's Fried Chicken and Pie Crust.
I have bad and good to say about both, but please, try them for yourself and see what you think.

I didn't like the chicken! I really liked the technique of frying it, and finishing it off in the oven. I really liked the breading sticking.
I didn't like the thyme in the seasoning.
It just didn't taste right to me.

The piecrust worked up like a dream, was almost like making a pie with play-dough. The end result was ok, a bit sandy feeling in my mouth. Good for savory dishes, but I wouldn't use it for a fruit pie. I think it would be a great crust recipe for someone that is a bit timid about rolling a pie crust.

I believe that any farmgirl worth her salt in the kitchen should be able to make the following well:

Pie Crust
Fried Chicken
Bacon, lots and lots of bacon
I'm not sure anyone under the age of 35 has the emotional maturity to do them well.

Oh my, I'm laughing at that last statement. Please know I'm joking. They do take practice, and patience and a good attitude. A mean woman can't cook well.

My Aunt Jean made them all very well, and without recipes. The lightest, fluffiest biscuits you've ever eaten. It runs in the family, cause her son, my cousin Jim, does the same. My mom made the most delicious fried chicken ever. I remember it being a dance of turning and covering, and uncovering and turning.

I still wrestle with biscuits.
I would be honored if my headstone were in-scripted:

She fried a mean chicken and baked a light biscuit.

Speaking of frying chickens.....I did use a whole chicken, and I cut it up myself. I like to use the back to make stock. I felt pretty bad cutting up that bird in the kitchen, and looking out in the window, seeing mine walking about. Poor dead chickens. Last night I dreamt that Mrs. Puffington was buck naked, walking around in the yard with nary a feather. She had a lovely scarf tied around her neck though.

This week's menu is lasting a long time. Today was supposed to be the day I went back out and got more groceries, and we plum don't need them. In fact, tonight is leftovers from my birthday dinner. I don't think I'll need to venture to town for vittles for at least four more days. I need to track my spending for one month on groceries, I'd bet it's about $375 or less.

You've got to stop on over at RiverRockCottage and see the level that Amy took the menu and recipe planning to!

Tomorrow I'm going to do a blog post about Glenco.
Don't you think it's about time to introduce him, proper like?

Thank you all again for the wonderful birthday wishes!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Day of My Birth

'Tis my birthday today!
I like to celebrate like a kid, for days and days, sometimes all month long I pull the
'but, my birthday is this month' card.

I have a four layer coconut cake in the kitchen that I'm gonna get on like a snake on a rat.

I thought I'd share some humorous, embarrassing photographs of myself today.

I was born the 4th girl to my parents.
They thought for sure I'd be a boy, and picked out the name James.
That's how I was named Jayme.

I happen to believe I was the most beautiful baby in the world. Sad story surrounds my birth. I was quite unplanned. My parents really weren't too happy about it at all. A few weeks after my birth, my father had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized for six months. My sister, extremely jealous of me, nearly bit my toe off in the crib, and I had to sleep in a dresser drawer for a month or so. My mom, alone now, her hands full with a 13 year old mentally handicapped daughter, a four year old, a two year old, and the most beautiful baby in the world - me. She told me that she'd wake me up after 10pm, when the house was quiet, cause that was the only time she had for me. Other than that, I stayed in the crib all the time.

Isn't that one of the saddest things you've ever heard?

Here is me on a horse, or technically a pony.
I've only been on a horse twice in my life, two times too many.
I'm rather frightened of horses.

Kindergarten Graduation.
I still remember this day vividly.
My paper hat was sat on at home.

5th Grade
Mr. Rabeckis was my teacher.
I loved him.
He double promoted me to 7th grade.
I was a huge John Denver fan.
I was quite the popular girl in class.
Um, not.

Don't you just love the eye wear of the 70's?
I loved to sew, even as a young girl.

Ok, I dyed my hair platinum blonde, and it's true, blondes do have more fun.
I was painfully shy all during grammar and high school.
Once contacts were in place, and bleach was applied to my hair, I blossomed.

Here's something I really didn't want you guys to know, but I'm gonna spill the beans.
I went to Columbia College in Chicago for photography.
I had my own darkroom and was obsessed with photography.
I hesitate to say that, because the pictures on my blog really do not reflect this.
I can't seem to take a good picture anymore for the life of me.
But I know one when I see one.
I think since I don't have a digital SLR I feel doomed to take poor photographs, and I really don't put that much effort into it.

March 12, 1983.
My wedding day.
My parents and Glenco.

This was perhaps the most awkward job I've ever had. As a 5'8" gal in socks, I towered over all my co-workers, except for Mr. Akizawa, seated to my left. Put heels on me, and I'm about 6'.
I still remember all their names. Mr. Akizawa, Mr. Yasui, Mr. Goto, Mr. Sato and Mrs. Hayashi.

I used to have to serve tea to visitors from Japan. They'd all be seated on the floor as I carried trays of tea in, and I had to somehow gracefully get to their level to serve it.
I didn't last long there.

Please, please, please don't let me forget to tell you the story that involves Tab soda, a weak bladder and a sink on the wall.
It's classic Jayme.

I have no explanation for the following photo.
Perhaps I found myself at the mall with $300 burning a hole in my pocket and I thought one day I might get a Realtor's License and need a photo for my business card.
That, or I thought I might go into country music.

Again, no explanation for this either.
These were the pensive years.

As you know now, I'm no longer painfully shy.
Quite the opposite.

I'm older today.
I like that number.
I'm really enjoying my 40's despite the old lady skin that has cropped up in the last year, and the fact that it feels like someone has poured cement into my joints and my breasts are pointing due South.
I don't feel 48.
Sometimes I forget the fact that I'm old enough to be a grandmother.
Say what?

It's all in the attitude baby.

And I got a good one.

I'm gonna rock 48.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ree & Me

Have you ever heard of Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman?

I thought so.

Did you know that I live a parallel life to this woman?

I didn't think so.

It's true.

We have so many similarities, you will be shocked.

We both homeschool.

We both love to cook.

She has cow poop on her porch, I have chicken poop on mine.

We both have mentally handicapped siblings.

We both have red hair. Well, mine is red more often than not.

We both left the 'city' for the 'country'.

We both love Starbucks.

We both have blogs.

I have been doing Ethel Merman imitations since I was 20, and technically, since I'm older than she is, I've been doing them longer.

Our birthdays are both in January. *Mines tomorrow - you still have time to FedEx me gifts*

We've both done big remodels to areas that company comes and stays in. Sure, hers is a little more grand, you know The Lodge....mine is The Squirrel.
I'm going to start giving away weekends to come and stay in The Squirrel.

Ok, so I haven't written a New York Times bestselling cookbook, but give me some time.
Ok, so I haven't toured the country signing that book either....but I'd be happy to meet you anywhere and sign any book that you have.

You know how she did her hotel reviews on her blog? I thought I would do that today. I'll review the last hotel I stayed in. It was a few years ago....2006 I believe. Indianapolis......ahhh....I remember it like it was yesterday.

Aaron and I were taking part in the Indianapolis Wild Zoo Ride. It's an organized bicycle ride that tours the city of Indianapolis. You do a lap around the Indianapolis 500 Speedway, and end up back at the Indianapolis Zoo. We'd planned on doing the 40 mile route.

Thinking I'd make an adventure out of it, we decided to head down to Indianapolis the night before. We loaded up our bikes, our bike shorts and headed out. My sister decided to go along for the ride. Now, ya'll remember that I'm not even sure where I live, let alone where Indianapolis is in relation to where I live? Just so we are straight, I can't find my way out of a paper it? We headed south on I65, cause that is where Indianapolis is right? Right. I just figured we'd drive down there, find a nice little cheap, clean motel, have a nice little dinner and get a good nights sleep before our ride.


We found Indianapolis. We found a hotel/motel. The Dollar Inn. It was $60 a night, and that is all I felt that I needed to spend for a place to sleep that night. When in the world did it become so expensive to sleep somewhere? I've always camped where ever I went.....even camped for ten days in I like think you should spend no more than $20 to sleep somewhere.......

We pulled into to the parking lot...and well, it didn't look TOO good, but I didn't think it could be so bad.

Here's a bit of advice for all you travelers. If there is a sign that says 'No refunds after 15 minutes' hanging in the lobby, and a bullet proof glass that you pay really might want to re-think your choice of accommodations.

We went to the room. Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious. It looked like a scene from CSI Miami. Where was the chalkline of the body? Was that blood on the ceiling? Aaron was freaking out. We locked our bikes to the TV, since it was bolted down. I kept trying to make the best of it, saying...ok, we are just sleeping here......but I realized I wouldn't sleep a wink there.

I forgot socks. Did I tell you that? Yep. No socks. You really don't want to ride your bike 40 miles without socks. We ventured out of the hotel looking for a Wal-Mart, or anywhere I could find socks. We decided to grab something to eat while we were out. We picked up some burgers, went back to the hotel, and as we were driving back to the hotel, I announced to my sister and Aaron, that I didn't care that I was losing the money, we weren't staying at this hotel. I said 'Let's get back there, eat, and get the H E double toothpicks outta there'. Never did find socks by the way.

As we were sitting on the beds eating our burgers and fries, we heard a loud muffled sound coming from the parking lot. Now, this is one of those little motel situations where you are parked right in front of your room. So, I look out the window, only to see that the car parked next to mine is now in flames, right in front of our room. Aaron gets hysterical. I asked my sister to go out and move my car, and I calmed Aaron down. I unlocked the bikes, he carried our bags out of the car and we left the now smoke filled room.

Oh, it gets better.

Now the hotel is on fire. The flames reached the upstairs balcony.

I was sure I could get my money back now, even though it's been more than fifteen minutes!

We are completely blocked in the parking lot by police cars and fire trucks.

I began to laugh.


Tears running down my face, can't breath laughing.

Only me...honest to God, would this happen to.

Finally, things calm down, and I go to the office to get my refund.

There was quite a language barrier, but after some time of refusing another room, saying over and over....I want my money back, I got it.

We then drove around aimlessly in circles looking for another hotel.

About 2am we finally found something that I was willing to pay for ($100 was my limit) and that I felt safe in.

We were at the starting line at 8am, half awake, sickly tired, and sockless.
We opted for the 17 mile route.

Despite our fatigue, we had a good time, and riding our bikes on the Speedway was super cool.

My lessons learned from this fiasco?


Friday, January 22, 2010

Frugalicous Domesticity - Freaky Friday Edition

I've got some pictures!
I took the memory card out of the camera before shipping it back to Canon, took the disk to Walgreens and put them on a disk.

Here is my livingroom.
A bit uninspired in spots, but I'm just not going to do any decorating until I'm 'inspired'.
Forcing decorating is a sure fire way to waste money and time.
Decorating, although I love to do it, hasn't been on my mind lately.
See that door to the right, that leads to the upstairs.

You can see how simple I keep things.
I hate how our TV is too small for the entertainment center.
We had the tv before we bought that Sauder 'putittogetheryourself' entertainment center.
Glenco says Sauder is German for 'sawdust'
Now that's funny. I don't care who ya are.
We won't get another TV until this one dies though.
We only have the one tv.
Pray that it dies soon.

You can also see how small my rooms are, and by now, should have an idea of how small my house is.

I believe the smaller the house, the more vigilant you have to be about clutter, the more creative you have to be with storage. Just a few dirty dishes in my kitchen makes it look like a mess. I'm surprised at what a small space I can live in. Maybe it's from growing up in a tiny apartment in Chicago with six people. I shared a bedroom with my three sisters. I like small, nesty spaces over large open areas. I truly believe I could ive in a one room log cabin blissfully.

And now, the bedroom.

Stark isn't it? See the coats peeking out from behind the door?
That's Glen's dresser there. I also store the sheets in that dresser.
It's been in my family since before I was born.
I'm not sure, but I think my great grandfather may have made it.

This is my dresser.
And my hook.
What doesn't fit in the drawer, I don't own.

Now, today was 'supposed' to be the upstairs.
I was frustrated that I wasn't able to take pictures to show you the upstairs.
It has a nice 'feel' to it.
I'll get right on that when I get the camera back.

Guess what?
I didn't clean it today.
Glenco was off, so we opted to drive to Kalamazoo, Michigan and get loom supplies.
So, today, my chores took me about 10 minutes.
The upstairs of my house is barely used. It consists of one large guest room, my workout room, and a man cave for Glen. It's not heated, or air conditioned, so the dust is at a minimum. There is a space heater up there. Other than dusting once every couple of weeks, and a weekly ladybug carcass vacuum, I really don't do anything up there.

So, see, I'm not that big of a cleaning freak, am I?
I blew it off today.

I've got all my supplies now to start weaving, and a book on how to do it!
It was an early birthday present. I like to celebrate my birthday for at least a week.

We also stopped here:

I've never in my life tasted a better piece of chocolate.
Orange Milk Chocolate Truffle.
It was indescribable.
This little spot in Michigan has been featured numerous times on The Food Network, and in many many magazines.
Wonderful story about a woman tired of the corporate rat race, developing this company.

I've read all of your comments several times, and I've also received your emails.
I've been gone from the house way too much this week.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and tomorrow is a Garden Show that I'm attending.
I'm feeling very anxious because of it.
I may have to pull out the Clorazapate.
As I sit here right now, I never want to leave the house again.
I'm so behind in all of your blogs and responding to your comments and emails!
Give me a few days to catch up.

I do hope, in the deepest part of my heart, that all my crazy ramblings on about cleaning and de-cluttering your home has helped in some way.

Last night I watched 'Clean House', and in the show, this little old grandmother's things had been all packed away, and cluttered up in her son's home. They were in the biggest mess. Once Clean House was done, they had her things beautifully displayed. She wept. I wept. It dawned on me that when we live in such a disarray, we cannot truly give honor to our possessions, especially the ones that have true sentimental value. Our memories remain cluttered, our hearts overwhelmed with 'what to do first' and 'how', so we run from our homes and do nothing. I know first hand how that feels.

Now that this week of 'Frugalicious Domesticity' is over....shall we talk about how to conquer the clutter in the first place? Shall we talk about how to cut that grocery bill down? I would love to make this an interactive blog, where we could all help each other.

If you are interested, please email me your ideas on decluttering. What's worked for you? Where do you need the most help? Please email me your best frugal recipes, and tips that have helped you cut down your bottom line at the Piggly Wiggly.

Or I could just put Helen back in a diaper and take some photos.
Your call.