Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I'm struggling to find some Christmas spirit around here this year. Which is odd, I'm one who usually loves the Holidays. This year, however, I just can't seem to get fully in to it. There's a few reasons for it;
I have to work, this evening, then Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It simply doesn't work to plan any of our family gatherings for any other evenings, so I'll only get to attend each one for a few hours. That stinks. People shouldn't be aloud to get sick on Christmas...(I'm sure the sick people would agree!)
Only one of my siblings is coming home. On the one hand, at least I won't be missing out on them, but one the other, it's just...odd.
I spent all of last week sick with my gallbladder. That kind of put the zap on my get-prepared-for-Christmas spirit.
And, like they say, when it rains, it pours. And floods... between replacing the tranny on my jeep, then getting the call that "it still won't shift over 55mph" and Eric shearing off the arbor in his sawmill last week and multiple other smaller things breaking and happening, the checkbook just keeps on shrinking. Ouch.
All together,despite my efforts, I'm just feeling the Scrooge in Christmas. Really, I'd rather be more cheerful.

So in an attempt to show some spirit:

I got a heck of a deal on cards: 80 for $3.93-including shipping! Maybe they'll show up in the mail today..

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It tastes like a snowflake!

I purchased a bag of Mint Truffle Hershey's Kisses the other day. Yum. I brought them to work with me, but there were a dozen or so left in the bag when I got home last night. This morning, Elsa found them when she sat down for breakfast, and promptly divided them into two piles, one for her and one for Oliver.

After eating breakfast at a breakneck pace (amazing what a little candy motivation will do to an appetite!) Oliver popped one in his mouth.

A minute later, he exclaimed "MOM! These kisses with snowflakes on the wrapper?! They taste like a SNOWFLAKE!!!"

Monday, December 6, 2010

Reflections over morning coffee

Days are flying by, as usual. Snow is falling, winter is here to stay.

  • Howie is grabbing his toes, giggling, getting way bigger than I'm ready for him to be.
  • Thanksgiving is past, Christmas is creeping upon us. I have a total of 1 gift purchased at this point. I am on the ball this year.
  • I do have ideas for a couple I'd like to make, however.
  • Oliver is, so far, unimpressed with the whole Sunday School program. I think he's got a little of his dad's dislike of large crowds going on there...I'll be doing a little talking-up and excitement making through the next few weeks.
  • I'm finally recuperated from working an over-night double at work on Friday-Saturday. Just in time to start my usual busy week at work.
  • ...Oliver threw up this morning, but judging by the bouncing on the couch and pounding on his sister, has been fine since...
  • Bread is rising. Yum!
  • Eric's grandpa had a stroke on Saturday. He's not doing all that great. Right now it's a wait and see situation.
  • Sitting at the computer makes it oh-so-easy to ignore the chaos that sprung up over the weekend.
  • Amazing how working one day makes the whole house fall to pieces.
  • And now, the kids are asking to go outside. Off to help round up the proper attire...
Enjoy your Monday!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


A few facts: We live in a trailer house. We live in the woods. Mice live in the woods. It's getting colder, therefore mice want to live in our house.

So, we have a cat. Thelma.

This is her.

Another fact. She's a good mouser. I haven't had any mouse turds in my cupboards since she came to stay.

And I appreciate that. Really, I do. Very, very much, in fact. For that, I'm willing to feed her and put up with her cat hair everywhere.

But seriously. Does she have to go out looking for mice, catch them and bring them inside, leaving them on the floor-sometimes half eaten-for me to stumble upon unaware and unassuming as I groggily start my day?

It's quite a waker-upper.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'm baaack!

We're back up and running after an unintentional technology hiatus.

I'm under strict instructions from Elsa: "Mom, you shouldn't never, EVER spill coffee on the computer again."

At a $73 repair bill, I'm inclined to agree.

Halloween was a beautiful and successful day. We had a train, a princess and a teddy bear. And lots of candy.

I've got spelt bread rising, pumpkins in the oven, a shower to take, work to go to, so I suppose I'd better keep moving.

I enjoyed my forced hiatus, but it's good to be reconnected!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Big Smiles over here

Howie doesn't know it yet, but that big grin must be because he gets to go to Roiko ladies weekend with mom on Saturday.

I hadn't thought I'd get to go, it being my weekend to work, but a coworker came through and picked up my Saturday shift. Wahoo! Now the babe and I get to join the festivities from Saturday morning until Sunday when I have to leave for work. Clickin' my heels over here.

That'll be it for mouse courser is acting funky since I spilled coffee on the keyboard the other it's constantly trying to go to the bottom left corner of the screen. Makes navigation a little more difficult.

Have a good one!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Once upon a time..

This morning:

Elsa, with a starry, far-away look in her eyes: Mom, where do princesses live?
Me: in castles.
E: We should go to a castle.
M: But all the castles are far, far away, Elsa.
E: But we should GO to one. Then I could see the princess.
M: Oh?
E: Yeah.
Even more starry eyed: An' then I could BE the princess.
M, thinking she's oh-so-sweet: Ooh.
E: Yeah. ...I could live there, an' then the King could go away.
M: Go away? Why?
E: We could SHOOT the mean king. (Woah. Nix that sweet thing. Country girl here.)
M: Shoot him?! Nooo. We don't want to shoot him! What if he was a nice grandpa king?
Off she runs, laughing.
Hey Oliver! A GRANDPA king!!

Heh. Not sure what to make of that one.

Friday, October 1, 2010

A kinda funny flashback

Just the other day when I was uploading pictures I had taken of apple picking, this one popped up.

Check it out! Howie's sitting up already!

Or not.

I had left my regular, larger memory card in the computer, so I loaded the camera with the smaller sized card the camera came with...and evidently the last time I had used it, Oliver was about, ooh, 5 months or so. As you can see, he's a little bigger now, holding Howie. A fun, unexpected flashback.


This week has been filled with beautiful fall days. Mild, sunny, perfect. Last night I embraced that, and had ladies for a bonfire. It was a beautiful, starry, fall night. Apple cider was enjoyed, fun was had.

And it was the perfect end to my almost two months off.

Today, I start back to work. I only put in 5 days-evenings, actually- every two weeks, and for me it's been just the right time out/home combination. We'll see how it goes now with Howie.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Apple Season

Nanna and Pappa's apples are ripe, so we spent today making applesauce, dried apples and fruit leather.

Oliver got to climb the apple tree. While spotting him (he's never really climbed a tree before) I was reminiscing that I remember when these trees were planted; I was probably about his age. They weren't of climbing height back then.

Elsa desperately wanted to climb as well...until she realized she was up high, the branches were poky and she had to hold on herself. She opted to keep her feet on the ground.

Howie was a big help as well...

Seven or so hours of apple cleaning, machining, and cooking and I came home with a huge bowlful waiting to be canned and enjoyed over the winter. We made both chunky-with-honey and smooth-with-sugar versions with the thought that my little Howie will be big enough to enjoy the smooth version in only a few months, while the rest of us really like the chunky style. The evening ended with fresh, warm, homemade applesauce topped with vanilla ice cream. Absolutely delish!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Fall came quickly in this neck of the woods. Cold evenings and chilly days have been the rule lately. We've been busy, living life.

The last of the garden harvest is waiting to be picked. We sold 52 pumpkins to the local grocer earlier this week. (If any locals are looking for a few pumpkins, we have many left overs!)

Eric planted these giant sunflowers this year. Some are over 11 ft tall, and have been wonderfully cheerful to look at all summer. He has an itch to roast the seeds, something we haven't tried before. If we do them all, I think we'll have plenty of seeds!

To the left of the kids are three rows of potatoes, a row of carrots, what's left of the onions and some tomatoes (if they survive!). To the right are the pumpkins and some squash, all waiting to be harvested. Yum. We had a great year in the garden (with a bumper crop of weeds, as you can see!) and I'm already missing the fresh, delicious days of August. Mmmm.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm crying UNCLE!

That's it. I've determined finding the bottom of the laundry pile is simply not possible. Day before yesterday I thought it was getting close, but it has evaded me again.

It could be because the daughter has had accidents the last two nights...while ever so conveniently positioned upon ALL of both of the kids blankets, meaning they

And because the spin cycle of the washer only clicks on with small loads...meaning I can wash a total of four, yes 4, towels (or the equivalent) in a load...unless I want to wring them out by hand.

Either way, I'm crying uncle to that amoeba of a laundry pile.


...If you don't hear from me in a few, please come check...I may be drowning. In laundry.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

They got the boot...

You may remember the arrival of these a few weeks ago...cute, fuzzy, itty-bitty little kittens.

Itty and bitty are quickly becoming larger and more adventurous...looking outside the box they've been living in to the great world of the porch.

So yesterday morning, Elsa and I moved them outside. They were utterly terrified to begin with.

We set up a house of sorts, with their familiar cardboard box, a rubbermaid tote and a piece of plywood. Cat-house thrifty style. (Aren't those kittens cute? You know you want one!)

And they quickly became curious about the bright world and *gasp* dog outside. Because we've kept them in their box until now, it was quite hilarious to watch them trying to coordinate their legs and bodies to run in a larger space. Imagine a drunk kitten.

Mama cat, Thelma was less impressed with the move. Her and Rena (the dog) are at odds, and she prowled the house mewing for a few hours before I shoved her in the box and blocked the doorway. She seemed to get the picture, as they're all cuddled up together, in the box, this morning!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


We're basking in the sunshine

For the second day in a row, Oliver and Elsa are gone to play with friends.


...and snuggly, sleepy newborns.

They make life good.

Monday, August 23, 2010

One week already...

We're settleing into our new normal around here. So far, Howie has been the most content babe I've had. He sleeps like a champ, (I just jinxed myself...) which has made this past week much easier and really a lot of fun. Rest tends to do that.

The older kids are adjusting quite well...other than the fact that they seem to bounce off the walls quite a bit higher than they used to. Today I stopped multiple games of slide-off-the-washer-onto-the-clothes-pile-climb-back-up-and-do-it-again and other variations of the same. Broken legs are something we don't really need...

Here's a few pictures from the last week and some tidbits I've been meaning to get down...

Elsa and Howie, the evening we came home. Howie was sound asleep, but Elsa was "holdin' the blankie back so he can see, Mom. He couldn't see nutin'"

They're both incredibly proud and doting to the little guy. At the hospital, they barely let their Grammie and Grampie have a turn... "is it five minutes yet?" and "I get to hold him next!" They also got to pick out some new toys to bring with. He immediately had rattles on his wrists and dolls to cuddle with.

Chillin' with his big sibs.

The questions those two come up with are humorous. "Are you milkin' Howie Mom?" and "I don't like that bellybutton." when they saw his umbilical cord.

Today-one week old.

When Oliver and Elsa were leaving with their grandparents before I left for the hospital, Elsa was giving me a hug and said "He can be a girl Mom. He can be a girl."

Sorry my dear. We've got ourselves a keeper of a boy here.

I'm pretty sure she'd agree these days.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A new arrival: and this time, it's not kittens

Howard James arrived on Monday and 2:12 am. All 7lb 4 oz and 19.4 inches of him. Everything went very well, we both came home last night and are doing wonderfully!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our newest arrivals...

Oliver had something important to say ...he was on the phone to Nanna and Papa's right away.

Four new felines have arrived.
(Truly, that was Oliver's first response, "I have to call Nanna and Papa!!!)

Ha! And I bet you thought it was a baby of the human kind.

I wish.

But I am happy to report Thelma and her litter are all doing well.

And if there are any OTHER new arrivals around here before mine, I can't say I'll be such a good sport. So there.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

One benefit of living in the country

I can look out my window after a long quiet spell, see my children like this:

...and simply wonder just how muddy and where their clothes are, and laugh. Then go back to enjoying the peace and quiet of happily playing kids.

I wonder if sliding down a dirt hill on a bare bum is as fun as it is on fully clothed on snow in the winter? I'll ask them and get back to you on that.

Peace. Quiet. Morning.

Sipping my coffee in peace and quiet. Aaah... The kids bounced out of bed at 8, as usual, and I was I've been a little low on sleep this week, what with late nights around the campfire followed by two evenings of work.

So it was with a big "oh, yeah" that I heard Eric getting the kids ready to go run some errands with him. "Wha...?" I asked. "They asked to come" he replied.

That never happens. Usually Elsa stays home.

Ohhh, yeah. Coffee, nissu and a couple hours alone,(I was to awake to go back to sleep). AND a day off before my last three scheduled days of work.

Ohhh, yeah.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Fair Time!

The kids and I are going camping Sunday through Tuesday with a group of ladies/kids, and they are more than a little excited. When they were picking up the living room this evening, every.single.toy. they picked up was "one I'm gonna take along camping" and the stray clothes all had to be put in a pile "so I can take it camping."

I was just starting to wonder how we were going to pass the evening while keeping my sanity, when my mother-in-law called saying she had come upon 40 free tickets for the rides at the county fair. Talk about great timing.

I jumped at the chance, gave Joan a call, washed some faces, changed a shirt or two and off we went. All of a sudden I didn't even have to find something for supper. Cheeseburgers to support the local 4-H clubs it was.

$90 worth of free tickets had these boys...

And this girl...

...grinning from ear to ear.

They dashed from one ride to the next, living it up...(it'll be a shock next time when there's a limit of one or two rides. Total. Rather than one or two times on every ride...)

This girl, on the other hand, preferred to watch most of the rides. The boys would be half way through, and she'd say "I wanna go on it now." (Can't blame a girl for wanting to send in the troops to check the things out, can you?) She did make it down the giant slide a couple times and through the twirly bear one that we could all go in together.

What she really loved... (here, the sheep had just licked her on the nose.)

was the animals

...of all kinds.

What a good way to spend the night. Completely spur of the moment, and lots of fun was had.

That, my friends, is the way to live life.

Monday, July 26, 2010


  • I wonder if the rooster has any idea it was just told "SHUT UP!" by Oliver. It doesn't appear to have fazed it at all...
  • One of my current favorite lines is "Cuz I'm the mom, that's why."
Such as : "Moooom, I wanna scoop my OWN ice cream."
"No, I'll do it."
"But whhhyyyyy caaan't Iiiii?"
"Cuz, I'm the mom, that's why."

It works great.

  • While eating breakfast, Elsa asked her dad for something to drink. Againandagainandagain. When Eric told her "I'm coming, keep your pants on!" she looked down, then quietly stated, "They're jammies, not pants."
  • Eric is outside, sawing. Yahoo! We always love when he has work in the mill!
  • Yesterday we woke to green, turmoily (that should be a word) skies and stayed in storm watches all day. Today, so far is sunny and gorgeous. Time to go enjoy it!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Whata day

After thoroughly enjoying the Sunday School Picnic yesterday, today actually felt quite productive. At this point (supposedly less than a month left!) any productive day is really quite enjoyable!

Made fresh muffins for breakfast, blueberry, of course.
Liz and Mom arrived, and we went picking at the neighbors, since our patch has been picked over. Another 2 quarts acquired for me despite the incessant bugs and drizzling rain. Must say my picking speed is slowing with the growing belly...
Even fit in a quick nap after lunch before the hubby left for work.
Then weedwacked, yes, weedwacked two rows in the garden. The weeds in a few places have gotten *ahem*, a little out of control. Worked wonderfully, as I only had to pull the weeds close to the plants, and Eric will be able to till in the roots tomorrow. Spent over 2 hours doing tally: a heaping, and I mean HEAPING wheelbarrow load of weeds. I can hear my onions singing in joy at the weeds demise.
It really deserved a picture. Too bad I didn't take one.
While I was weeding, the kids (for once!) did an excellent job keeping themselves entertained, and it was quite peaceful. The weather had cleared up and the evening was gorgeous.
New potatoes and fresh scrambled eggs for supper. Easy-peasy.
A very short walk to satisfy the kids, then into the tub and ice cream cones for snack.

A day well spent.

Now I'm exhausted. Anyone want to fold my laundry and wash the dishes?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How was your June?

Summer. It continues to fly by. Looks like I successfully didn't blog for the whole month.

Above is a sunrise at the Camp on Big Travers in the UP. One of the things we've been up too. I can't get the underline off of this thing...

The opportunity to capture this picture (taken from across the yard so as not to interrupt their trip to Michigan...or maybe it was PR this time...) brought me out of my blogging drought, however. It just seemed like the perfect reprise of this: of my favorite pictures from Elsa's first year. In this one, she had just learned to sit up.

Add a few years, another baby on the way, some more sawmill equipment in the background, and a newly adopted dog, Reina. And life goes on...

I'll grab a moment and share a moment from the past weeks.

A successful fishing trip for Grandpa and Oliver.

Blueberry season. A growing garden. Summer. It all goes by to fast.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Num. Rhubarb cake. This recipe I make is utterly delicious. I made one on Friday...and another today. (In my defense, I brought most of the first one to a family gathering. I only ate half.) Warm, with some coffee (finishing this morning's pot...I've been planning this all day, and saved the coffee.)

Fresh from a bath, Oliver wanted to help me. Feeling amicable, I told him to pull up a chair and had him dump in a few ingredients. Then to turn on the mixer.

Note to self: next time say "only turn it on a little bit" rather than, "okay, Oliver, turn it on." Cuz to him, that meant full. speed. And a flour cloud. And a giggle fit.

He kind of looked like this. Except with flour all over instead of cherries. And two years older.

The giggles brought Elsa, also fresh from a bath over.

By the end, she kind of looked like this.

Okay, not quite like this. Not even a fraction of this. This is a full bottle of power look. Tonight was only a light dusting.

No harm, the cake turned out even better than last time. Making regular recipes to gluten free sometimes takes a few tries to get it right.

Lots has been happening the last few days. I've been feeling productive, and could share...but really, this post is just me trying to delay the inevitable second...okay, third piece of cake...

Following is the recipe. Make it.

Enjoy. Savor. Inhale. Many pieces in a row. With coffee at 10:00pm.

Then I won't be the only one.

Rhubarb Cake
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
Cream these then, add:
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour (I use a gluten free mix. Last year I used regular. Both are wonderful)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup butter milk
Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk

3-4 cup rhubarb
1 tbsp flour
Toss together to coat rhubarb, add to batter. Spread in greased 9x13 pan.

1/4 cup butter
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
blend together, sprinkle over cake.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Let me just say...

"I'm gonna be like you, Dad, you know I'm gonna be like you."
(Quick, name that tune.)

If you arrive at work kinda crabby, and proceed to expect everything and everyone to fall into place around you, it just ain't gonna happen. Work today was, ug. I felt like telling a few people to lighten up. But I didn't.

Fortunately, the two monkeys of mine are getting cheerier by the minute. A little oatmeal in their tummy seems to have gone a long way, thank goodness...I was starting to think I had an aura around me that said "Anna's tired, be crabby around her today."

The brightest spot of the day so far was the $29 fix for the Jeep's shaking problem. I was certain there was a broken-something-expensive...but a rotation and alignment was all that was found to fix.

My hour long drive to and from work was made even longer by the lack of radio in the borrowed car. 6 am is even earlier when there's no distraction.

Now, tummies are full, half the dishes are washed, the sun is shining, and a walk and watering some new garden plants are in store.

Let me just say, the day (! it's 7:00 already! Ack!) is lookin' up.

Incidentally, that picture is from last night. Like Oliver's choice of headgear to ward off the mosquitoes?

Monday, May 17, 2010

As usual, a O&E story...

My kids have been playing church a lot lately. Just this morning I happened to be close enough to hear when they started singing. That's when I heard this:

"Jesus loves is cooooolllldd! ...the Bible tells me soooo"

I had to go in the bathroom to cover my guffaws. Guess I need to clarify a little.

When I got back from wiping my tears of laughter, they had moved on to Happy Birthday. The repertoire in this church is diverse.

This is what happens

...when a very opinionated little girl finds the new garage sale purchases...
"Mom, I not going to sleep, I just wear this princess nightgown."

Saturday evening we kicked off Cabin season. Oliver was devastated that he didn't get to go out in a boat fishing due to expired boat licenses...until Grandpa took him in the paddle boat.

It didn't faze him that the boat was tied to the dock by about 12 feet of rope.

He put in 3 solid hours.

While I was at work Sunday afternoon, Eric and Oliver went fishing. In a real boat.

This boy L.O.V.E.S. fishing. He's been fishing in puddles around home for the last month.

And he had some great success. This morning's report was very entertaining, he's got the fisherman's talk down to a T...

He left out the part where he was terrified and told his dad he didn't want to catch "that big of a fish again."