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Showing posts from December, 2010

Holidays on the Farm - The Real Farmwives of America

I have infiltrated a group of real blogging farm wives known as The Real Farmwives of America & Friends, led by Heather of 3 kids and lots of pigs (we have things in common, wouldn't you think). They graciously allowed me to join their quarterly blogging feature, this time with the theme of holidays on the farm. Of course, I have already screwed it up. I woke up this morning to find their beautifully crafted posts already online and cross-promoted on their Facebook page. Here it is at 10 p.m. on New Years Eve and I'm still typing--I have until the ball drops, right?


At first I thought, our holidays are pretty normal, there's nothing significant. Then I wondered how many Presbyterian Church Christmas plays across the country included a role for a John Deere tractor. Maybe we are a little different here on the farm. Also, just for kicks I have to share that our church is on Chicken Bristle Road--that is a realplace.


And some of our holiday traditions, while not uniquely r…

The Chocolate Cake Miracle

My birthday was earlier this week. Yes, four days after Christmas sucks, I know, I know. (Of course, I did the same thing to my daughter, who was born right before Christmas.)
My mother has always made up for the poor timing of my birth by making her blue ribbon (champion at the county fair!) chocolate cake. This year, even though she was going to be out of town on my birthday, she made a cake ahead, iced it when it had barely cooled, then popped it in the freezer.
We kept it frozen at our house until about 24 hours before we were planning to serve it. We defrosted it on the kitchen counter, then Husband brought it to the restaurant (it rode in the back of his Blazer) where we had lunch with the family on my birthday.
The cake set on an empty table while we ate and then Husband sliced it and handed out the pieces. Here's the miracle part: the cake was still warm.
Yes, parts in the middle and the bottom were warm. We don't know how the cake would have been warmed up during any o…

Secretly Liking the Pigs

I have a confession to make. I like pigs.
I know this doesn't seem like much of a confession from a woman who has breastfed a baby in a (empty) pig pen at the Indiana State Fair, but actually it is. Early on in my marriage to a pig farmer, I knew that if I let on about liking pigs they would be everywhere. Pig towels, pig knick knacks, pigs in the kitchen, pigs in the bathroom, pigs everywhere. So I let on like I wasn't wild about pigs, which kept the pig gifts to a manageable minimum. Yes, some people gave me pigs whether they thought I liked them or not. Either they were on to me--or they just didn't care.

Today, I got a pig birthday card from my aunt in-law in New York. It shows hog heaven. Get it, hog heaven, which apparently consists of pig angels, hogs riding hogs, and a pig-like deity overseeing it all. It's a cute card and now that I've confessed to liking pigs--it won't be the last.

My in-laws are proud pig farmers and collectors of all things pig. They w…

Boxing up the Ornaments

I know some people have their trees out at the curb (or in a box) already, but I couldn't let the season end without sharing this video clip from the kids' church play.


They play centers on a group of ornaments in a box. Frosty the Snowman, the star and an angel have it out with the souvenir ornaments until Joseph hops over from the nativity scene to set them straight about the meaning of Christmas.

Justin was a tractor ornament (we're getting a lot of use out of that Halloween costume!) and did the child's prayer to end the play.



Morgan was a princess ornament.



Ryan had a major speaking role as Frosty the Snowman.



Check out Justin stealing the show during the grand finale. (This was taken during dress rehearsal, so we had a fill-in Mary.)

Packing up After Christmas

Christmas is a difficult time for some. If you're like me and suffer from packaging phobia, this can be an especially trying time.

Let's face it, half the point of Christmas is packaging. Taking those 3 pairs of panties you bought for Grandma on sale at JC Penney and trying to make them look like an exciting gift--that takes some packaging. Every toy now has horrendous packaging up to and including stringing wires around the necks of innocent princesses, so that while their shoes fly off the minute you rip the paper, the rest of their body is locked in a vice grip against the cardboard backing.


While Christmas exacerbates my condition, I actually suffer from year-round packaging phobia. When I get a bill in the mail, I immediately take out all the exciting gemstone offers and commemorative plate exclusives to keep only the bill and envelope to use in paying it--nothing else. Meanwhile, Husband drives me crazy by saving every envelope ever delivered to the house in his name--i…

How to Make a Snowflake

This isn't normally a how-to kind of blog. And if you have been reading this blog to learn how to do anything, then bless your little heart.

But today I have decided to share a special Christmas skill that I have possesed since eighth grade when Mrs. Glanton taught us how to make beautiful paper snowflakes that we used to decorate for the winter dance. (I wore my sweater skirt--so cool!)
Step one:
- Look for scissors. WE OWN 50 BLEEPIN PAIRS OF SCISSORS. WHERE THE BLEEP ARE THEY.
- Get a piece of 8.5 x 11 paper.
- Stop swearing about the scissors and settle in for some Christmas fun! - Find a hot hand model--oh, that was on my list. You won't need one.

Step two:
- Fold the paper to create a triangle
(Husband graciously volunteered to be my hot hand model, until he got hungry.)

Step three:
- Cut off the extra piece to keep just the triangle

Step four:
- Fold the triangle again to make a smaller triangle


Step five: - This is the step that sets this method apart and guarantees a beaut…

The Best, Worst Christmas Ever

Two years ago I had the most sad, relaxing, pitiful, stress-free Christmas I've ever had as an adult. Memory waves, memory waves, memory waves...

It all started on Christmas Eve. That's when our four-year-old announced his arrival at my grandparents house by puking all over the driveway. Husband and Justin ended up spending Christmas Eve on the living room floor on top of Husband's patented kid-puke-preventing three layers of bath towels.

Christmas Eve is always crazy. Every year I spend all day preparing for the Christmas day brunch I host, then we head to my grandparents for dinner, then church, then over to Husband's Grandma's for some post-church gift opening. We usually get home late, the kids are exhausted, then we have to prepare for Santa's arrival.

That year I took Ryan and Morgan on our appointed rounds then came home earlier than usual. We got everyone to bed--even Justin--then started working to get ready for Santa. Pretty soon I started feeling que…

Sign of the Farmpocalypse

Every issue of Sports Illustrated has a brief quote titled Sign of the Apocalypse, a humorous but true sports news item that makes you wonder--have we gone too far? In that spirit, I present another installment of Sign of the Farmpocalypse, because I just can't make this stuff up.

Husband has a rare (and potentially fatal) condition whereby he only removes his boots and cleans up on Saturdays and Sundays. During the week--when I am usually at work--he is only able to change clothes for the afternoon Andy Griffith marathon. The rest of the time he tiptoes through the kitchen leaving trails of poop-snow and straw.

Fun, Old-fashioned Family Christmas

It's December 4, we have a couple inches of snow on the ground, the decorations are up, white candles are in each window, Husband hasn't started his shopping, Christmas cards are mailed (Hey there to anyone following the link on the card) and we just watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Yes, we're ready for the Christmas season at our house.



In case you're one of our e-friends, I've included our Christmas card in this post. There are so many people that I do consider friends that I have no idea where I would actually snail mail them something.

Also, our card this year references Ryan's appearance as Santa in last year's school play. It's too cute not to share.


As I shared last year, I love Christmas cards--both sending and receiving--and I look forward to the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and swap pictures of kids. And since I did send out a photo of our prize Hampshire gilt, I will exclaim over your cute dogs and not roll my e…

Oh, The Feral Pig of Texas is the Only One for Me

Nothin' brings me out of a blogging slump like a good ole feral pig story.  Today's Wall Street Journal has a front-page update on how wild pigs are tearing up the manicured lawns of Southlake, Texas, making the stunning observation that shooting them from helicopters is frowned upon in well-populated areas.

The writers of these stories are always so surprised to learn that A) pigs are interested in rooting in soft ground and B) pigs are very smart. The fact that pigs are capable of reproducing in litters is also a surprise, somehow.

The pigs on our farm are very different than these lawn-eating pigs but not in many ways. Every once in a while Husband has a pig that just won't stay in a pen. Sometimes he gives up and just lets the pig run around on the farm for a day. First thing on its agenda--rooting in the yard. Second, getting into the stash of feed. And just like those feral pigs, our wild-for-a-day pig is very leery of humans and their fences and gates.

The WSJ articl…