Monday, April 29, 2013

The Crippling Begins

It's happening.
The Crippling of 2013.
It happens every year about this time as I start garden work for the first time.
How is it that I can lift weights and do cardio nearly daily - and yet one day's work in the garden and I'm all up in the Ibuprofen and heating pads!?
Here's a candid shot of me on the way to make coffee this morning....
I'm interspersing glorious shots of my garden here for inspiration today.
The next two days will be spent crawling around on my knees here and toiling away.
Gardening - it's such a labor of love - isn't it?
Does anyone know how much 20 yards of mulch is?  Is it like a HUGE pile?
Cause that's what I've got coming, and I'm wondering if I will need help moving it.

Oh - and today I start the exercise program 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels.
Really Jayme?

I should be at St. Anthony's hospital no later than Wednesday evening.
Cards and calls appreciated.

Pre-weight loss.  Ok...I feel better about me today.  My garden really is fabulous - it's worth the crippling.

Sprinklers.  They are on of my favorite things in the world.  I really do love - really - I do.  : -)
Since this photo was taken, I've taken out some of these yellow daylilies - they were a bit much.

Can't you just smell the grass and soil?

The Squirrel awaits!

Green beans mixed in with the flowers - still my favorite way to garden - every square inch filled with food or flowers.

My hand is stuck in this position - as it will be until November.

My babies from McMurray Hatchery are due to arrive on May 20th...: -)

A Lovely combo

I can't wait to stage the porch this year!

Raspberries and Coneflowers

My Happy Place

A lovely place to spend the last golden moments of a summer's night.

Serious happiness, right here.

Limelight Hydrangeas

So much goodness : -)
 Here's what I'll look like by Summer's's what I feel like now.
Get out there today and dig!
It's good for the soul, and the body - I think - I mean - I'll let you know by the weekend.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Busy Much?

Been enjoying the Biggest Loser pancake for breakfast lately.
Chick mug - $1.50 thrift find : -)

I'm here.
I'm all healed up from the stings...even got a few more on my tender inner thigh, right through my jeans.
They got so swollen, I couldn't wear pants for a day, and now they are bruised.
The bees are angry my friends!

Sorry I haven't been around - I'm just so dadgummed busy.  I don't know how people blog everyday - I just don't.  I mean I know HOW they do it - but HOW do they do it?  You know what I mean?
Daily I want to share the shenanigans around here - and there are many - but there aren't enough hours in the day.

Busier than a one armed wallpaper hanger.
Busier than a cat covering crap.
Busier than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest.
Yesterday I worked from 4am til 9pm rather non stop.
I slept a good solid nine hours last night - but dreams of searching for my 1999 Ford Contour in an underground parking lot - such vivid dreams - made it feel that I was working all night as well.
The parking lot custodian assured me that my car had been stolen, and I kept saying 'Who would steal a 1999 Ford Contour?!"

No matter how busy I am - there is still time to fool about with the BoyChild.
I do declare, sending him foolish pictures and text messages are worth the price of my phone.

Getting messages like I did today, unprompted - totally make my day...

"I love you so much"
"Can't wait to see you this weekend"

The love I have for this child confounds me.
It's too big to be contained - endless - eternal - unconditional.

Have a BEE utilful weekend!  
What are y'all up to?
We are going to do yard work, have a bike ride, grill and have a nice big Sunday supper.

Your comments on the last post totally cracked me up!
Stinging in the rain?
ha ha ha ha!
Oh - and for the record, I'm glad you were laughing at my trauma...I mean...thanks so much.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Name This Post

So the bee hives are moved, and I look like this:

I'll back up.

Tuesday was a wonderful day - I was up working by 4:30am and getting SO much done.
The weather was cooperating, so I decided to prepare to move the beehives when Glenco got home from work.

I even did a little online research about it.

Remember my veggie garden plans?  Well, I went out and staked that area a week ago, in preparation.  I found a gob of newspapers, and I ordered up some wood chips from a local tree service.

If you look closely, you can see my string and stake - and then in the background is Cabeeni Green and my burn pile.  Don't you love this photo edit?  I just started using  Loooovvvee it!

And of course, I already put my swing over here just to get an idea of how things would look.  You see, I'm not a very good visualizer - I really do have to play around a lot.  

Now, I am planning on painting that swing some fun colors, and growing some morning glories on it, and some sunflowers behind it, zinnias next to it.

This is a 32 x 38 area, a nice big veggie garden.  I imagine sitting in the swing with a glass of iced tea, looking over my 'domain'.  From here I'll be able to see the garden and all of the chickens.

And then....then Glenco tells me this - I heard it in an almost in a New England accent  - like an old man warning me of some maritime danger - 

"You know that garden right there is over our septic leach field"

Say what?  Whatever.

Then I decided to research that a little bit - and as usual - I found information that said it was just fine, and other information that said I'd grow a third eye - but the general consensus was that it was OK, but not ideal.

Now, I've got three acres, so it doesn't HAVE to be there.

Upon mulling and pondering, I decided to make that my 'bee yard' and just fill it with flowers and my beehives, and to put the vegetable garden out where the beehives are now - which used to be a big vegetable garden, so the soil is actually pretty good out there.

Does it ever end?  This musical chair business!?
I hope so.

Now with the decision to move the beehives into this area - I promptly got to work laying down newspapers and what wood chips and sawdust I toted home from Missouri.  It didn't go far.  I'm realizing how big this area is!  I at least got an area big enough for the beehives ready.  I'm still waiting on the wood chips to be delivered to do anymore - 

So, Glenco gets home after working for 10 hours, and we've both been up since 4, and I, as sweetly as I can - say 'honey - we have to move the beehives today - the weather is going to be perfect for it the next few days (I need to keep the bees in the hives for 48 hours after moving) and this truly is our window of opportunity."

Bless the man's heart - he's willing.

Now, this is where we really start to blow it.
We get dressed to go out and mess with it - it's now about 6pm.  I figured with the weather the way it was, cool, a bit drizzly - there are not going to be any bees flying about - so why gear up?

I'm wearing jeans, a long sleeve top, a hoodie, and a pair of coveralls.  Gym shoes and my awesome goat wrangling gloves I bought in Missouri.  Glenco is about the same.

We go out and start closing up the hives.  No troubles at all.  We blocked the entrances, and duct taped over them.

We need to start getting the cinder blocks out from under the hives, so we pick the smallest hive and move it out with a dolly, and get the cinder blocks.

This is when Glenco tells me that where I'm putting the beehives is woefully unlevel and we stop working for a good half an hour whilst we 'discuss' the area I've chosen and decide to make the best of it.  

Moving the beehives with a dolly in the rain, after being up and working for 15 hours already isn't a lot of fun.
We were pulling them uphill over VERY unlevel surfaces.  I'm still sore.

Suddenly - a bee appears.  It lands on Glen's arm - he's well protected with his coat, and I decide to brush said bee away, and I do, and it makes a bee line (I totally get that saying now) right to my forehead and stings me.

I kinda laughed about it - it didn't hurt that bad, and I was like 'what are the odds?'
We continued.

We are on the fourth out of seven hives.
Well, something happened, and I'll spare you the details, something with the lid sliding and out pours a ton of bees.  We run from the area and decide...well, at the very least, we should get our veils on our heads.
Glenco tapes his gloves on his wrists.  I do not.

We head back out - get that hive placed.

Remember the hillbilly hive I had setting on a chair?
That one was next - and it was really hard to get off the chair - and well...the bottom slipped out from under it as we were lifting it - because, you see - we failed to 
Blame it on tiredness - blame it on taking short cuts - but we didn't strap them together, so this hive bottom slips, and my hands go right up into the bottom of the hive as thousands of bees that are thinking 'what's going on here?' pour out - (did I mention by now, it's decidedly dusk and we can barely see?).  

The next thing I know - I feel bees climbing up the inside of my sleeves.  I'm trying so hard not to freak out.
I sort of calmly left the area saying to Glenco - "I'm in trouble, I'm in trouble".

He's following me trying to untape his gloves so he can help me.

I get stung - once, twice, three times - I'm losing count, I'm crying, I'm trying in vain to get all of my clothes off.  I'm now completely topless in the backyard crying.

I cannot properly convey the horrifying feeling it was to feel bees climbing up my arms, trapped in all of those clothes.  This picture was taken the next morning, where my clothes still laid - I figured there were full of bees, so I didn't mess with them that night - plus, I was traumatized.  All that debris on them is from the maple tree - those aren't bees.  They were soaking wet from it raining all night.

I came in and took two Benadryl, took a bath and ate a sweet potato in the bathtub.  Oh I forgot to tell you that I told Glenco we'd have dinner after we moved the hives.  Ya.  Went to bed and slept like the dead - woke up really swollen and pretty miserable.  My eyes were almost swollen shut and it was almost impossible to keep my glasses on from the swelling on my face.

Good times.

We still had three hives to move.
The next day, Wednesday - we totally geared up, strapped the hives and had them moved an in place within minutes.


So - what would YOU name this post?

My ideas?

How Not to Move Beehives
If I Only Had a Brain
Someone Left My Clothes Out in the Rain

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sunday Supper Recipes

Ask and ye shall receive - I'm up in here about to give you all of the recipes I made for Sunday supper - except the roast.  I wasn't too keen on the roast beast.  It had a rub that was made with allspice, and girls, that just don't sit right in my mouth.  I was a bit hesitant to make it, but I'm wanting to get better making roasts and the like, so I gave it the old college try.

Right now I'm chilled to the bone.  I've been out playing with newspapers and wood chips.  I may or may not have lost my mind, as I'm putting in 1800 sq feet of more gardens.
Go big or go home!
I've been going since 4:30 this am, and I'm ready for a hot bath and a nap.

I'll tell you about that and show you pictures in the next post or two.  I'm supposed to be getting a truck load of wood chips delivered sometime today, and I'm hoping tonight to move my beehives.  I can only imagine the madness that will ensue with me, seven bee hives, a dolly and a lumpy yard.

Alrighty - without further adieu...

Caramelized Balsamic Onion Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan
This photo surely doesn't do it justice
This is what I did - 
  • One really large sweet onion
  • 1 T olive oil
Saute the onion in the olive oil, until nice and translucent - do not over brown, keep the flame low.  About ten minutes.
  • 1 1/2 T of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T water
Add this to the onions, stir, cover and let it cook on low for about 8 minutes - should be cooked down and thickish.

In the meantime - wash, trim and half peel about 7 or 8 red potatoes, as big as your fist.

Cube, and cook until tender.  Drain.

To the potatoes add:
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • reserved caramelized onions.
Hand mash all together.  Put it in the prettiest bowl you own.  Bam.  You are such an awesome cook!

Best Green Beans on the Planet

One word.
There - instantly everything is right in the world.
  • Six slices of bacon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb green beans, fresh preferred, frozen - never canned
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes to taste (I use about 1/3 of a teaspoon)
Cook the green beans to your liking. I like this recipe best with fresh green beans, or the whole frozen ones.  This time (pictured above) I made it with the frozen cut beans, and they didn't present as well as the whole bean.  I like my beans to be cooked, but not mushy - it's your preference, if you like them tender crisp, go for it.

While the beans are cooking - chop up your bacon into small pieces and cook in a skillet over medium heat, with the garlic and onions.  Your house is gonna smell ridiculous!  Keep stirring this around, don't let your garlic turn dark brown - turn the heat down if necessary.  Cook it until your bacon is almost super crisp.  Drain some of the bacon grease out.  Leave a good 3T in there.

Now, drain your beans and add them to the skillet with the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Stir it around good and let it just all cook for a few minutes.  Now plate these babies up and serve them to people you love, or people that you'd like to love you.  I guarantee - after they eat these...they'll love ya.

Old Fashioned Banana Pudding

This banana pudding brings back many a childhood memory of living in the city of Chicago for the first 26 years of my life.  My mom made it often, and well - I need a cigarette after I eat it, and I don't even smoke.
My mom always made it with meringue on top, and she always perfectly browned it.  I like that idea, cause then you can use up the egg whites left over from the recipe - but I just scrambled mine up and ate them.

Also - the recipe called for a 9x13 pan.  Me, thinking that something deeper would be more decadent, used an oval vintage Pyrex I had. I was trying to channel the 1970's when I ate this with regularity.
It was a mistake.  The pudding to wafer ratio was off.  If I made it again I would A) use the 9x13, or B) Use two boxes of wafers.  I think using two boxes of wafers is a good idea, cause that's the best part, and then you have some to nibble on when you are making it, or C) make all the pudding, eat half of it and use the other half in this recipe.

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour 
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch 
  • 7 cups milk 
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten 
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1 package (12-oz) vanilla wafers, or two - see my note above.
  • 7 ripe medium bananas, peeled & sliced

Combine sugar, flour, and cornstarch in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well, and set aside.
Pour milk into a large saucepan; cook over medium heat until candy thermometer registers 160 degrees F. Gradually stir one-fourth of hot milk into yolks; stir into reserved dry ingredients, and add to remaining hot milk.
Cook, stirring constantly, and I do mean constantly - don't be checking text messages and petting the cat -  until mixture thickens and coats the spoon. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla.
 Let cool to room temperature after you've already blistered your mouth trying the scalding pudding.  I stirred mine very often so that a skin didn't form and it cooled faster.
 Line bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish with one-third of the vanilla wafers.
 Arrange half of banana slices over wafers; top with half of cooled custard. Repeat layers, reserving one-third of wafers to crumble and sprinkle over custard.
Chill thoroughly. Serves 1 food addict, or about 10 normal people. 

Feel free to Pin these recipes and share the love!
Let's bring back Sunday Supper!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sunday Supper

As I sit here now blogging - at 6:45 in the pm on Sunday evening - I'm feeling such a nice full feeling.

I'm full of beef roast, balsamic mashed potatoes with Parmesan and caramelized onions, green beans with bacon, garlic, onions and pecans, and my beloved banana pudding.

Glen is in the kitchen making coffee, visiting with his sister.

Aaron has just finished trimming and styling every one's hair. 
 He and Glen's sister's daughter - are they cousins?  
I don't know...I don't think so...anyhow - they are out on a Sunday afternoon joyride.

Slinx is all up in my lap, lying on my forearms so that I can barely type - I haven't the heart to move her.

It's been a lovely day.  The weather was gorgeous and I fought going out to work in the yard all day.
Today was going to be a day of rest and enjoying family dang it!

Last week I decided to institute the Sunday supper.  
One meal a week, eating anything I want, enjoying it with family and loved ones.

I've gained the Freshman Fifteen that Aaron was supposed to gain.
: -)

Determined not to be a statistic of regaining my weight - I thankfully caught myself at the 15lbs and I'm working on getting it off.  I can't get over how uncomfortable it feels on me.
I have found myself grabbing a candy bar at the grocery store, or grazing all night long after supper lately.
Food is not my friend, nor is it a replacement for the companionship of Aaron!

I've decided that I can have one spectacular meal and a dessert once a week as long as I stay in line during the rest of the week.  It's really been working so far!  When I'm tempted to grab candy, or eat something that I really shouldn't be - I think about the Sunday supper - and I think about the real joy of food for me - sharing lovely recipes with people I love - it's SO much better than a crappy candy bar in the car.

One thing I've realized over the last two years, losing well over 100lbs now, that many of the things I couldn't live without now taste like crap.

Snickers bars are not good - give me REAL chocolate.
Coke is painful to drink.
Fast food has absolutely no flavor.
Dairy Queen ice cream is really not very good.

I thoroughly enjoyed dinner, and the company of my family.  I set the table and used all my vintage dishes.  
It fed my soul as well as my stomach.

Glenco patiently waiting for his Banana Pudding as we have to stage photos.
I really think I'm on to something here.
Next week's supper is already planned.
The thought of Ina Garten's Spaghetti and Meatballs and homemade cheesecake will keep me in line all week long - but mainly it's the thought of enjoying a meal with my family, over mindless eating.
  Glen's sister has said she'll be back, dressed in work clothes to help in the garden.

That's the power of cheesecake baby.

(tomorrow I'll share the mashed potato recipe with you - it was DIVINE! - Kimberly - please email me - Slinx deleted your email and I don't have your address!)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Indiana News and A Winner Announced!

This is a picture of Slinx - the cat I got on my birthday - we named her Slinx because she is so slinky, and looks so much like Jinksie, our cat that we lost last year.  Aaron texted me this photo while I was gone - I love it!
I'm home!
Got home Wednesday night.
I storm chased all the way home - it was a bit scary at times.
I spent the day Thursday cleaning my house - getting groceries and settling in - Friday was spent cleaning the house I normally clean on Fridays - but just for a few hours - I had a bad reaction to taking niacin, and spent most of the day in bed extremely nauseated!  I thought I was just having the worst hot flash in history.


I just finished my taxes.
True story.
LMJ - that's a nickname my dad gave me - it stand for
Last Minute Jayme

Anyhoo - this is a quick one today - just letting you know I'm home - I'm heading up to Chicago in just a few to pick up the BoyChild.

The winner of the CoopKeeper gift basket is.......

I need that serum, have you seen my face? Love that you found spring, I can smell it here, but still can't feel it. I want to see those cabinets, too. When you leave the wild country, post the pics, please. Jayme, you are an inspiration to me, thanks.

Email me at and send me your address ok?

I have a few emails in my inbox from a few of you - and I will answer them just as soon as I can - I've also answered a few questions in the comments in the last couple of blog posts.
Just trying to get caught up here!
I swear something weird is happening to my emails - like they are disappearing on me before I return them - SO if you have emailed me and don't hear back from me by Monday - please resend it if you can.
Kimberly - I know yours is one that has disappeared...please email me again so I can respond!  I'm so sorry!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Homeward Bound


I'm showered up - full of pulled pork - sitting on my cousin's couch and blogging.
We are keeping an eye on the weather - chance of some severe storms coming through the area.
It's been a great two weeks - as many of you know - I get all wistful when I start to leave Missouri.
The BBQ we had tonight was at the BBQ Station, in Cassville, Missouri.
It was the best BBQ I've had in a very, very long time!
If you are ever in the area - go!
I didn't plan on staying this long - but man alive - my cousin is swamped, and I happen to be able to help (or at least I like to think I am) and I'm more than happy to do so. 
Y'all know how I need to be needed.
 I'm seriously in love with woodworking at the moment.
If you looked at pictures of me at the age of three or four, you'd be hard pressed to find one that doesn't have me holding a stick. I was a bit obsessed with sticks and bits of lumber at that age.  Most little girls liked dolls, I liked sticks.  My mom told me she'd give me a hammer and a nail and let me at chunks of two by fours.  True story.  I have to laugh now in this day and age of child proofing everything - to think of me let loose with nails and a hammer at age four.
Sure, I'm excited to get home and get some shenanigans started - but this is the closest thing I've got to 'going home'. 
 My parents and my favorite aunt are buried right around the corner from here. and there's something about it that just feels right. 
 My cousin is my best bud.
It's bittersweet fer sure.
 Your goat comments were both educational and entertaining! 
 This I know for sure:
My life will not be complete until I have a goat in a hat and a scarf, in my car at the DQ drive thru.
In fact, I may just have to delve deeper into my fantasy world and pretend to be this woman - Tasha Tudor.  I seriously want to roam around my yard, hanging laundry, tending the chickens and goats - dressed like this, barefoot of course.
With that being said, I don't think goats will happen this year.  I've been thinking that I need to concentrate on my birds and my bees.  As you may know, my bees are in low income housing and are in desperate need of an upgrade.  I really would love to build a shed and make a honey house out of it, a place to store all my beekeeping equipment, do the extracting, etc.
I also have some chicken arranging to do, as well as establish Ye Big Olde Vegetable Garden.
If I could get one goat, chain a bowling ball to it's leg and just keep it wherever I was at the moment, I could do it now - but alas, I'm not sure that would work or be very humane.  I could fashion up a goat diaper I bet and let it stay in the house.  You know - the sad thing is, I think I would!  Ha!  I can only imagine if I were single - I'd have a houseful of cats, chickens and a few goats!
So what now brown cow?
I drive 600 miles home tomorrow with all the sawdust and wood shavings that the Heep will hold, dreaming of my new no till veggie garden plot.
I hopefully cobble up some type of wood shop at home and start building beehives, hopefully something like these:
Backyard Beekeeping
My bees will be singing the theme song from 'The Jeffersons' if they move in these!
I'll be getting my baby birds from McMurray Hatchery and we'll be in full swing soon!
photo from
My cousin Jim whipped up some awesome clothesline poles for me from some lumber he was going to throw out!  They are so awesome.  Why does laundry excite me so!?
 I bought myself a pair of really sweet gloves at Lowes.
They would be perfect for goat wrangling.
I have loved every minute of helping my cousin Jim make cabinets!  It's so cool to see them go from planks of oak into these lovely cabinets.  I had no idea how much work was involved, and the sanding - dear God the sanding.
If you are in SW Missouri and need custom cabinets...give him a call, or email me.  : -)
Give me a couple of days to get home and get settled - I'll be mailing out the coffee to the winners, and announcing the winner of the gift basket, K?