Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Embracing the Rain

I don't understand everyone's complaining about the rain. Seriously, we DO live in Oregon! Maybe I'm the last true Oregonian; I fully embrace the rain. Yes, I'll admit to voicing frustrations towards some of the hardships and inconveniences that constant rainfall can instigate but I feel that this is all a small sacrifice that I make in exchange for getting to live in the one of the greenest states in the union.

Warm rainy days like today are awesome. It is warm enough to be outside working yet the rain keeps everything fresh, clean and cool. On the other hand, it also offers me with an excellent excuse to just stay in the house to bake cookies or clean, or I could spend the entire day out in my arena messing with all of the horses while listening to the gentle fall of rain on the rooftop.

I especially enjoy it when God just completely cuts loose and sends down a short torrential rainfall. The sound of those storms on my barn roof are awe inspiring to say the least. I'll just stop whatever I'm doing and let the sound of the heavy rain drum through my body like the base at a concert, my heart beats faster and I feel a sense of exhilaration course through my veins. After the storm passes, the clouds inadvertently part, the sun appears along with a rainbow and all is well. It's fun to walk outside and see all of the little temporary runoff creeks that formed and quickly dissipate.

My absolute favorite is the first rain of summer. After a couple months of warm and sometimes hot, sunny days the grasses have all turned a monotonous brown and yellow and everything is covered in a layer of dust. The first rain washes all of the that away, replenishes the earth and makes everything smell so wonderful. Every year when the first rain arrives I always run outside and stand in it, I love to let the cool raindrops cover my body. It is as if I can feel all of my troubles, aches and pains being washed away by God. I'll stay out in the rain until my clothes are completely soaked through and I'm shivering with a shallow chill that is quickly warmed when I towel off. My husband always looks at me like I'm a crazy lady, (he never joins me in my rain ritual) and maybe I am but I don't care, I feel better and it smells great outside.

So, the next time you feel the need to complain about the rain, try to find a reason to enjoy and embrace it. It makes life so much more delightful. Remember, a positive attitude heals the soul and beats out evil and depression any day.

Encourage one another!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Summer Grilling

Ahh spring.  It’s finally here and with it come the birds, flowers, planting the garden and of course GRILLING WEATHER!  Actually, I grill year round but the nice weather certainly makes grilling a lot more fun and provides more pleasant temperatures for getting creative on the bar-b-q.

I’ve been sick for the past several days so my cooking has been limited to thawing out the reserves I had stashed in the basement freezers or cold sandwiches but today I finally mustered up enough energy to cook on my new bar-b-q.

For starters, I make the hamburgers.  Have you ever wondered how the restaurants get those perfect diamond shaped grill marks on your steaks and burgers?  You try flipping them this way and that way and it never seems to work out just right.  Well, let me share a little secret with you.  Just before it’s time to flip your meat over, use your flipping tool to simply turn the meat 90 degrees, let it cook for a bit more and THEN flip it over.  WALLA!  You will have the perfect grill marks that I am 100% sure make your meat taste SO much better.

I like to have bacon with my hamburgers so I decided to break out this really cool veggie rack that I found at Wall Mart.  It was working so perfectly for the bacon that I decided to be brave and throw on some asparagus that had been soaking in butter and garlic all night.  YUM!

Of course you can’t have a great hamburger lunch without a fresh salad so I dug around in my fridge in search of something crunchy and fresh to serve as a side.  The pickings were pretty slim so I had to get creative which seems to be something that comes naturally to me lately.  I sliced up what was left of a cucumber, added a can of mandarin oranges, a sprinkle of coconut and topped it with a mixture of sour cream, milk and dill weed.  It was WONDERFUL!

Encourage one another!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

My Husband and I

John and I have struggled through "for richer or poorer", we have lived through "in sickness and in health", we continue to embrace "in good times and in bad" We choose to live our lives to the fullest, make our mark on the world and leave behind a destiny our children and grandchildren will be proud of until "death us part".

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mind your Own Business

I think that Hank Williams says it all in his song titled "Mind Your Own Business"  especially in the last lyric that goes

Mindin' other people's business seems to be high-toned
I got all that I can do just to mind my own
Why don't you mind your own business
If you mind your own business, you'll stay busy all the time.

Seriously.   What is it about people these days that makes them think that what is going on in someone elses life is any of their business?  If your name isn't on the deed, title, birth certificate, invoice or whatever, then it's really none of your business.  Unless the life of a person or animal is in danger, you need to keep your nose, your opinions and your fingers to yourself.   This includes of course what you say about people behind their backs.

Remember, it'll come back to you three times three so take Hank's advice and mind your own business!  You'll get a lot more respect for it.

Click here to listen to the song

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Poached Eggs

I have never in my life had any desire or need to eat a poached egg. To be completely honest, just the thought of eating an egg that has been boiled without it's shell sounded completely gross and...well....boring. However, upon visiting one of my favorite websites for recipe, photo, craft and homeschooling ideas there, right smack on my computer screen, ergo - in my face - was the directions for property poaching an egg according to my dear friend the Pioneer Woman. Since I've been sick with the flue for the past couple of days my appetite hasn't quite been the same but for some reason, that poached egg, served as eggs Benedict actually looked yummy.The Pioneer Woman made it look easy, it actually sounded good to my poor sore stomach and I'm bored so I decided to give it a try. Why NOT?

According to the Pioneer Woman randomly when tossing a raw egg into a boiling cauldron of water that has been stirred to a near tornado state the egg will wrap around itself and hence you will have a wonderful oval shaped egg in two minutes. Well, either I'm not quite as good at creating a tornado as she is or she lied. Regardless, instead of having a poached egg, I learned out to create that yummy ribbon of egg that is in egg flour soup. FAIL.

In my second attempt I decided to fall back on old faithful for instruction - Julia Childs. The woman is a culinary genius and considering that she barely knew how to boil an egg or cook anything else for that matter until attending cooking school in France near the age of 40, her life's achievements are nothing short of a miracle and a major inspiration for people like me. Okay, back to the task at hand, poaching an egg. Julia suggests bringing the water to a very light boil or heavy simmer, add a touch of vinegar to help the egg stay together and use only very fresh eggs. Well I didn't have any very fresh eggs and considering the state of my uneasy stomach and unpredictable south end, going to town for fresh eggs was out of the question. Old eggs will have to do. What I really liked about Julia's method was there was no rapid stirring needed, just crack the egg into a small bowl and gently ease it into the water. Wow, that was easy! Much to my delight, the egg stayed together and turned out just like in the picture.

Of course eggs Benedict wouldn't really be eggs Benedict without toast, bacon and hollandaise sauce and fortunately I had bread and bacon (not canadian ~ sorry) on hand and making hollandaise sauce is a piece of cake. I put it all together and bravely sat down to a rerun of Sex in the City to taste my masterpiece and much to my surprise it was WONDERFULLY DELICIOUS! The bonus is my stomach didn't fight back with cramps and threats of evicting the food I had just consumed and enjoyed. I can't believe it, I'm so excited about it that I think I'll make it for dinner tonight too.

p.s.  The photo is not mine, I copied it from a web site.  Sorry, I didn't think about grabbing my camera for the event.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Lovely Foggy Fall Mornings are my Favorite Time for Pictures

This morning the sun was just beginning it daily rise over the hilltops spreading warm rays across the pastures and onto the fog that was hanging over the mountains like a warm blanket. This is my favorite time to go out with my camera to see what I can capture. The lighting that the early sun and provides is absolutely wonderful and the fog provides unique photo effect opportunities. In this photo, I was thrilled to allow the fog to blur out the background that I would normally do by adjusting the aperture setting on my camera.

I know, it’s a boring photo but be patient I am going somewhere with this.

In this next photo, I wanted to capture the colors in the black walnut tree and allow the sun to have a part so I set my aperture wide open to catch a bit of the suns rays but I didn’t want the sky blown out so I used my spot metering and metered on the fog and yippee the blue sky came in just like I wanted it.

Then, if you put the fog, the sun, the fall colors all together and add an interesting subject matter you end up with a nice shot like this.

See? I told you I was going somewhere!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Cabin Fever

Two weeks ago I broke my ankle. It was one of those stupid accidents that just happen no matter how careful you try to be. I have a water trough blocking a gap in the fence where there should be a small gate that was never installed. Rather then walk all the way to the other end of the barnyard, I climbed over the water trough to get quick access to the horses and put on their fly nets in the morning. When I climbed back out and jumped down I landed wrong, my ankle twisted and I heard a loud SNAP along with intense pain. I lay there awhile skirming around and moaning from the pain hoping it was like all of the other times I've twisted my ankle and it would just be okay after a minute or so. Unforunately that wasn't the case so I screamed for John to come help me. I yelled to him that I thought I had broken my ankle, he thought I said one of the horses had a broken ankle so he went back into the house and brought out a gun. I'm sure glad he didn't shoot me! He brought the car around so he could take me to the hospital, that is when poor Riley got scared. He screamed to his grandpa, "Don't run over my Grandma!!!" The poor little mushy boy. :)

At the hospital they did xrays and a CT scan, sure enough it was broken. They sent me home with a boot thingy and instructions to go see a surgeon about pinning me back together. Thank GOD the surgeon said I didn't have to have surgery and didn't put on a cast so here I sit with a 6 week sentence of no weight on the foot. I go back to the doctor Wednesday for new xrays and hope that my sentence will be shortened by a bit because I'm going start raving MAD being locked up in this house.

Here it is two days after the break. I really don't think it looks all that bad but what do I know.

That's it, my life is so boring and uneventful now that I have nother more to ad so I'll just end this post with a photo that I took BEFORE I broke my stupid ankle.