I Have Learned so Much from My Kids. . .

My Children teach me something new daily.

My children taught me so much when they were little, they taught me: I could do great things with only two hours of sleep, I did not need a bath every day, and I could make a bed while they were in it and not wake them up. I also never knew I could love someone so much even before I knew who they were.

I went into pre term labor with Big T at 24 weeks and I was so scared. I had no idea what was going on. I never had true labor pains with Sprat. They induced me with him and had tremendous back labor but no true abdominal contractions. Big T was determined he was ready before we were, and he wanted OUT! Sprat had welded himself in and law, I would probably still be pregnant if they had not done the C section. They both showed me I was much stronger than I gave my self credit.

the hubbs, Sprat, and Frito reading a story before bed
Sprat and mommy at the Zoo, we made our picture at this same spot every time we went to the
zoo.


Big T celebrating a B day at pre school. Love those cheeks!
Big T feeding the baby calf
So we were supposed to be scared in this one but Sprat is obviously to cool for that.
Big T and I trying to stay warm at an early season Baseball game for Sprat
The boys reminded the Hubbs and I how to be kids again too. Big T Halloween Clown

As teenagers they taught me patience

Both boys tried my patience as teens, neither of them wanted to drive and I could not understand that. When I was learning to drive I looked for every opportunity to drive; going to the store for mom, and I even took up playing tennis just to be able to drive to the park. Prayer was my comfort during these years and I learned that they would drive when they were ready and that I should not push them. They were both about seventeen before they got their driver’s license.

Big T even got to get behind the wheel of my T Bird recently

Approaching their twenties and late teens. . .

Approaching their twenties and late teens I have enjoyed talking with the boys over different subjects. It seems life’s cruel joke is just when your kids get interesting and fun to hang out with and talk to they find their own lives and do not want to hang out with you. We try to stay connected to the boys as best we can, they are off doing their own thing and we are very proud of them.

Sprat did teach us some new stuff in the kitchen since he has been home from college. He had raved about the air fryer and the hubbs had points built up through his work and he got an air fryer. I was very apprehensive about it at first but I have to tell you it is very cool. Sprat is teaching us how to use it and new recipes to use in the air fryer. We have made: Brussel sprouts, broccoli, tater tots, chicken nuggets (homemade), falafel, and I made homemade mozzarella sticks. The mozzy sticks were the bomb! I love using the air fryer and things that would have really heated up my kitchen I can do in the air fryer really quickly and no over heating me.

Battered and headed to the freezer for an hour Mozzy sticks
Out of the air fryer and ready to eat Mozzy sticks

Stay tuned for more air fryer fun and recipes from King Arthur baking. . .

How Does Our Garden Grow?

The hubby is getting our garden ready. . .

The hubbs has already started our garden and we have spinach and asparagus galore. I am loving the asparagus, he is of course being a little stingy with it so I do not cut it all. My favorite way to fix asparagus is to sautéed it in olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar with fresh garlic and onion.

This was my first offering of asparagus and I sautéed some spinach with it.
This is our spinach bed
Our sprigs of asparagus, this is our second year for them.

Spinach is very versatile. . .

Spinach is very versatile, I use it in salads, sautéed as a side, and I even add it to my smoothies in the morning. Yes, I add fresh and even some spinach that I froze to my smoothies in the morning. Spinach freezes beautifully and it is easy to add to smoothies this way. To freeze your fresh spinach; wash and spin it dry and then put it in a freezer safe baggie and pop in your freezer. My favorite spinach smoothie is: frozen or fresh pineapple, cherries, coconut water, fresh ginger, spinach, coconut flakes (unsweet), and protein powder. Blend well and enjoy.

Hubby Likes to Cook. . .

My hubby likes to cook as well as garden. Usually he sticks to the grill but sometimes he likes to get out the crockpot. He made an amazing roast the other day with dry ranch seasoning and dill pickles. I love pickles so this sounded great to me. We added some pickled jalapenos too for a little more zing. This cooked for about 6 hours on low and was delish. This roast is so tender it just falls off the fork.

Roast after we threw everything in the pot

How things Look from the Empty Nest. . .

Everyone keeps asking. . .

Everyone keeps asking how the Hubbs and I are doing with the empty nest. So far we are doing well. With technology as advanced as it is we talk or text with the boys sometimes daily. The first week or two Big T text me daily, several times a day in fact. I was worried a little bit about him being so far away but he has gotten very busy making friends and doing school work that it has been almost a week since he has text me anything. They both text and call the hubbs though to talk music or sports.

I did miss the boys this week. . .

I did miss the boys this week, it has been almost a week since I had a text from them other than I need money for clothes. Sprat has changed his major now three times and has landed in teaching, hence the clothes buying. Sprat sent me a picture of him dressed up going off to his first day of Middle School. LOL!! He looked very professional with his back pack slung over one shoulder. Have been asking Big T to send me a picture of him since we left him last month. Yes, it has been a month to the day that we left our babies in Massachusetts.

I had been bugging this kid for a picture for weeks, I needed proof of life. This is what he sends me.
Later he sends me this one, I told him I needed more than just his eyes and nose.

Not a lot has changed at the house. . .

Not a lot has changed at the house for the hubbs and I. We are both still working and hanging out. I have started walking more and the hubbs is fishing here and there. The boys rooms and bathroom has had a deep clean the likes of which nobody has ever seen and we have donated quite a few clothes. Have lost some momentum in the cleaning area, will be back at that soon though. Plan on painting their bathroom soon, excited about that.

Life for the empty nesters. . .

Life for the empty nesters is not all that different from when you have kids in the house. Clean up after meals is so much easier and my sink is not full of dishes when I get off work. Our grocery bill has gone way down since the boys left. The hubbs and I could live out of our garden with just the two of us. Sleep comes easier knowing they are not going to be baming in the doors at 1100 talking loudly and banging things around. The hubbs and I are early risers, we do still have Sweet Basil and she gets us up at 0500 every morning without fail. Getting up that early we tend to go to bed earlier too. I like that, it gives the hubby and I a chance to cuddle and the empty nest means snuggle and cuddle without interruptions and I have been chased around the house a few time by the hubbs.

Socially our activities have either been family or kids

Socially our activities have been geared to family or kids events. The hubbs and I were never that social before we had kids. The empty nest has given us a little bit of a social life. I saw a meme on the internet about going from Mother to Me again, I feel like that is what the empty nest is like. After all, it is not truly and “empty” nest my kids will always be welcome at my house any time. We have a get together planned this month with some of the hubbs old high school friends and I am looking forward to it. I hope I remember how to act and geeze I hope I have something to wear. It will be nice to visit and catch up with these guys and maybe make this a regular thing.

It Is Time to Open the Time Capsule. . .

Big T got to Open His Time Capsule this Weekend.

The Boys had their last hurrah at Grandma and Grandpa’s house this weekend before they head off to school next week. We celebrated Sprat’s birthday since his actual birthday will be while he is away at school and we celebrated Bit T’s graduation once again. The hubbs and I sealed a time capsule for each of the boys when they were about two years old and set the date they would open it as their high school graduation.

Big T and his Time Capsule, the hubby sitting beside him.

Celebration and Time with Family . . .

the boys with Grandma and Grandpa
Dad and I being Silly
Mom and I

Food, family, and fun was had by all. Mom got on my brother-in-law’s motorcycle. Now just to tell you, Mom just celebrated her 90th birthday this year and recently had hip replacement so the motorcycle thing was a big deal. Mom and Dad have always been willing to try new things and we reminisced about Dad riding my brother’s motorcycle years and years ago and going over the embankment in front of our house doing tricks. Growing up we all rode horses and I have seen both Mom and Dad thrown off horseback at one point or another. Luckily neither suffered devastating bodily injury.

How to Set Up Your Own Time Capsule. . .

We sealed each of the boys time capsules when they were about two years old. We enlisted family and friends to add things to the capsule. Sprat had an official Gerber time capsule, Big T had a make shift (mommy made) time capsule. A great time to set these up is at the child’s 1st or 2nd birthday, that way everyone is there and can add their items to the capsule. Below is a list of somethings we enclosed:

  • Pokeman cards
  • toys that were popular during that time
  • lists of what things cost at that time
  • sentimental family things
  • Special Coins: non circulated coin set from the year they were born
  • items they loved that first year of life
  • birthday cards from their first birthday
  • Sprat had some “Joe Camel” memorabilia since his great uncle worked for RJR and “Joe Camel” was no longer allowed to be used as advertisement.
  • Baby pictures, pictures from their first birthday
  • Both boys got one of their Granddaddy’s police patches and official police badge from his time of service.
  • Big T got a very special case knife from Grandma and Grandpa
  • there was a local publication that folks would put pictures of their grand kids in and Big T was in that and that was in his time capsule.

Conclusion. . .

Stay tuned we are packing both boys to go to school. More to come on how the hubbs and I will adjust to sorta empty nesting.

Random Thoughts. . .

Uncertainty . . .

Some many things are uncertain right now, this pandemic has reeked havoc on everything. We do not know one day to the next what new limits will be imposed on us. We have imposed some limits on ourselves. The hubbs and I have weekly calls with our managers and co-workers to stay up to date on this ever changing environment. The boys have meetings with their teachers and coaches weekly too. We still do not know if schools will be back on campus in August. This is the end of Big T’s junior year of high school and we normally would be planning college visits. Not sure how all of this is going to play out but we will attack it as a family.

Thankful Tuesday. . .

I am very thankful for my husband, there is not anyone any better than him to have to endure this “thing” with. He is my rock, my love, and my best friend. The other day I was working and we had been very busy so I had not had a break for food. My very sweet husband had fixed dinner for the boys and brought me a plate downstairs to the office so I could eat. When I am working the boys will come down and visit with me, if I am not on the phone. Big T has entertained me with his Ukulele on numerous occasions. Did I mention that he is teaching himself how to play the Ukulele?

Awww the Ukulele. . .

The Ukulele is an interesting little instrument, it is small and has a twang to it’s sound. I am not sure where Big T got the idea to learn to play the Ukulele but he is actually pretty good at it. He has been teaching himself via YouTube and other online tutorials. He is also learning to play the electric guitar. My hubby played the guitar many moons ago and so we still have ALL of the equipment. I love listening to Big T play his Ukulele he is quite talented, he gets that from the hubbs. I could not carry a tune if you strapped it to my back.

Big T and the Ukulele

The Garden Grows. . .

The garden is growing and we are so thankful the frost we got in this early May did not kill anything. Our peas did not come up as well as we had hopped, luckily though I still have some in the freezer. We had some volunteer Tomatillos come up and those will be a blessing since the ones we bought have not done well.

Recipe Flops and Recipe Wins. . .

Trying New Recipes. . .

I love trying new recipes, they do not always work out they way they should but I always learn a lesson. The other day I learned coconut oil does not always fry up the way you want. I love falafel but I have never made it and wanted to try my hand at making it. I found a good recipe on Pinterest https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/the-best-falafel/

My Mistake. . .

My mistakes usually start with leaving parts of the recipe out. This was no different, I used can chick peas instead of dry and I did not add near enough fresh herbs(I used dry herbs) or flour. The flour was really my biggest problem. I had everything mixed up, my balls formed and oil heated to 350. I dropped 3 balls in the oil and with in seconds they disintegrated. The oil bubbled up and almost out of my pan and I almost set the house on fire. I tried to bake my falafel in the oven and they also flattened out and some fell completely apart.

Looking Back. . .

Looking back, I should have added all of the flour but I thought it had enough. The flour was the real problem and the coconut oil. The ones that did well baked were very tasty. You bake at 375 for 30 minutes and flip them half way through. The recipe itself was very good, they had a great taste, I need to work on my baking. I will try these again, I do love falafel!

My Recipe Win. . .

My recipe win was deviled eggs, I decided to try a new recipe with horseradish. https://bevcooks.com/2012/08/horseradish-deviled-eggs-for-jennys-baby-shower/ These little devils are very good, the horseradish adds that extra kick. The hubbs and Sprat liked them and I got to use my fresh dill.

We Have Timbers. . .

The hubbs found cedar timbers. . .

The hubbs found the cedar timbers for the flower bed. Big T and the hubbs built my new cut flower bed. I am so excited, we have to wait for my peony to bloom before we can move forward with the dirt, this is going to be very cool. I have said many times how much I love fresh cut flowers and now I am going to have my very own bed to cut from.

What a very talented hubby I have. He did such a good job on this bed.
this is the celery that the hubbs planted. the brown paper bag is wrapped around it to protect the stalks from sunlight so that they do not get “woody” and tough.

Now to figure out what to plant in the bed. . .

Both peony plants will be in there and I was thinking maybe some tulips too. I have never tired to grow tulips in a bed, we planted some in the edge of our woods one year but the soil was so bad they did not grow. Some Gladiolus, Dahlias, Queen of Sweden English Rose, Clemantis, Zinnias, Dutch Iris, and some Ranunculus. That sounds like a lot right?

One day last year our neighbors were moving and they had put on the curb some things they were getting rid of, they had a wooden head board out there. My hubby comes home and tells me he is going to get the head board to put in my cut flower bed when he builds it. I told you I have wanted a cut flower bed for a long time. Funny thing about that head board, I had seen it too on my way home from work and thought the same thing. He went down and picked it up and brought it home. We are going to stain it and it will go at the top of the flower bed, I figure some Clemantis or even some type of rose would run well on that.

Stay tuned. . .

Stay tuned for more interesting things happening in the yard. The hubbs has a bug now about building and fixing things. He may put another bed around our Crepe Myrtle tree in the back yard. Tell me what you would put in your cut flower bed if you had one or if you already have one what is your favorite flower.

the Garden Grows in the COVID. . .

the Hubbs has been busy. . .

My husband has been very busy in the COVID pandemic. Our garden has been plowed and planted, he added tomatillos and some peppers yesterday. My cutting flower bed also has a good start. I was told we will take a trip to Lowes to get some timber to build up the bed. There is nothing like the smell of fresh cut flowers.

This was my herb garden last year. The hubbs built this little raised bed. This is similar to what my new cut flower bed will look like.
This was the herb bed yesterday. Sage, lemon Thyme, chives, Rosemary, and some Oregano hidden by the Rosemary, oh and Lemon balm. I also have Lavender and garlic planted here. It has grown nicely.
This is where my new cut flower bed will be. The hubbs has been busy during the stay at home order. You can see I already have a peony in place, it will be fixed in a better location in the bed. There is also another peony behind that one that will go in the bed eventually.
The garden: onion, cabbage, potatoes, peas, lettuce, spinach, and newly planted peppers, tomatillos, cucumbers, and zucchini.

There is a lot going on in our yard this year. Spring will be all a buzz at our house and I cannot wait.

I was able to talk the hubby into buying some flowers for my pot on the front porch, since my flower bed is not quite ready. We could not find any cedar timbers yesterday anywhere in town. Everyone must be building flower beds and raised garden beds. For now this will be my cut flower garden and my few peony plants I have in the front and the back.

What are you doing in the stay at home order to keep your sanity? Tell me how you are dealing with school for your kids and keeping everyone happy.

Here’s to Twenty-eight Years Together. . .

Twenty-eight years. . .

The hubbs and I have been married twenty-seven years this weekend. Together twenty-eight years, we met at my very first job right out of college, we were lab partners. Working third shift right out of college in a town I knew nothing about and the only person I knew was my roommate a friend from college. The hubbs and I were friends and lab partners first, we ran the same test in the lab.

Love at first sight. . .

It was love at first sight for me, not sure about my hubby. We hung out as friends those first several months and then we had a “date.” We still argue of what is and is not a date. He says what I considered a date was not really a date. I do love what he considered our first date. He took me to dinner and then on a horse and buggy ride in October, so we got to snuggle. A true romantic at heart, he will never admit that though and I am perfectly fine with that.

Hope for the future. . .

I hope that my husband and I have shown our boys what real love is about. We argue and we fight but we also compromise and make up. We work together to keep house and make our house a home. During this virus quarantine he has really come through with taking care of our family. I have been working night shift from home and he makes me dinner before I have to go downstairs to the office and log on. He also has been doing most of the cooking and making sure the boys are doing their school work.

Marriage and the quarantine . . .

We have been shelter in place long before the governor made it so. The hubbs and I knew it was the best practice to keep our family safe. These next few weeks will be trying, keeping the boys occupied and keeping ourselves from going stir crazy. Someone said that these circumstances bring out the true character of someone. It can make someone who is generous be more generous or it can make someone that is a jerk be more of a jerk. I have seen the true character of my hubby and it is someone that is generous, caring, and very talented in all that he does. I hope that my boys will follow his lead growing up and growing into young men.

Conclusion . . .

We will celebrate quietly tonight as a family our twenty-seven years together: no fan fare, no exotic trip, no large group of friends, just the four of us. That is what being on quarantine means. This is what you do to keep those you love safe. Please stay safe and stay at home to keep everyone safe.

We celebrated twenty-five years together in St. Lucia, WI.

Fair Warning, this is a RANT!

This is the product of being at home almost two weeks with: my husband (cooking all the time) and my two teenage boys eating all the time. And here we go. . .

What is going on????

What is going on in this world? People think just because their kids are out of school and they are on furlough or work from home order that they can pack up and go to the beach. Why would you do that, why would you put yourself and others at risk by going out of town to stay where you do not know anyone or have any family near by? What happens if you get sick then your family is stuck where they do no know anyone and have no help for your kids if you get put in the hospital? What happens when your hometown goes on lock down and you cannot get back to your home, family, pets you may have left?

Folks you need to wake up. . .

Folks you need to wake up and realize that this is not a vacation it is a serious issue. My husbands Bass club plans to have a fishing tournament two hours away in an area that has many cases of this virus and has been on lock down longer than we have. My husband is not going nor is his brother, they have a little more sense and wives with more sense than that. The shelter at home orders are for everyone’s safety. This is not a time to go visit older relatives, this not the time to pack up the family and go to the beach. My husband and I have been on shelter in place since March 17th, that was when I started working from home full-time. I work with the Organ Donor organization for our State, we started our precautions to protect employees as well as: doctors, nurses, donors, donor families, and recipients. The boys have been on lock down since they both have been home from school.

What I would like to see. . .

What I would like to see come out of this Pandemic is, people starting to care about someone other than themselves. I am tired of hearing about the poor seniors that did not get this or that how about we start caring about those that are sick and dying and worry about how we can keep everyone safe and healthy all that other stuff can be done when this is over. I would like to hear how the Senior class of 2020 is going to do something to help the folks affected by this pandemic not hear them, “oh woe is me.” It is not even the kids that really care about it, it’s the parents that are crying about it.

I will get off my soap box now. . .

Yes, it is sad that the Seniors may not get their graduation in a timely manner and they may not get a Prom. Let’s look at the BIG picture and think about the lives that are saved because they stayed home. I am sad my sons’ did not get to have a complete season of lacrosse and bless Sprat’s heart he has had two seasons cut short. Life happens and it does not always go the way we would like it to go. My prayers through all of this are that God is watching over our young people and that we make it through this and we are better for it in the end.