Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Oh My! This Could Be an Episode of "There, I Fixed It"!

Now Big Steve is in love with his vehicle.  We have two vehicles, but the one he is in love with is a 1982 Dodge Ram Van.  It has an engine that makes itself known, for starters.  We took it to a nice fellow named Buddy recently, and the two guys acted like it was Christmas Morning and their first date with a girl all rolled into one.  No disrespect, it's a guy thing, men say we women folk are mysterious, oy....but I digress.

Here's the van (I appreciate it, but I'm not necessarily in love with it:

So anyway, for anyone who hasn't yet heard the joyous news, we here at the Haney Place will be hosting a wedding for my daughter Kimberly in July.  This has put us in PUSH mode for remodeling projects and sprucing up.  We're working like crazy people.  (Ever seen Steel Magnolias?)

At any rate, Big Steve has been hard at work remodeling this place for several years now.  But NOW, with goodness knows how many guests due to swarm on us shortly, we're working on several SHORT TERM projects, like temporary flooring for the kitchen we haven't gotten to yet.  And here is where the van comes in.

Tonight we took the van out to purchase 'temporary' flooring for two separate rooms.  And I noted on the console, what looked to be a roll of white duct tape.  Thusly:

As you can see, it is attached with a piece of itself to the console.  I asked Big Steve "is this white duct tape" - and he immediately responded "Yes" and then without a moment's pause or a blink of his eye he added "It's my cup holder".........

My mind stopped at that point.  Is this genius?  Insanity?  Redneck living at it's finest?

So just now, while the supper's cooking on the stove, I took the very symbol of redneck living, the party cup, and tried it out.

Eureeka!  It works!!!  Call it what you want - but it does work.  I can't argue.  I'm especially glad I don't ride in that van very often, but even so, it has Stiva's zest for life written all over it!!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Musings And A Recipe 'Cause I Know That's Why You Come Here

There was a local media flack about who should get presents for mother's day.  Wow.....a lot of strong opinions.  The older I get, the weaker my opinions get, I find.  If you don't have children, some say, your husband shouldn't give you gifts for mother's day and get all in a huff.  Frankly, if your husband loves you and wants to give you a gift for any reason, that's already a blessing and I say amen to that!  What is the definition of a mother?  For me it was somewhat complicated.  Not early on, of course.  I always had an awesome maternal unit at home to care for me and raise me and feed me and show me the way to go.  A Godly mother (and father) who taught me to pray (not words reiterated over and over again) but to really pray - to hold conversation with a loving God.  We took a lot of awesome family vacations, and I always remember my father on his knees, humbly asking God for travelling mercies and blessings on his family.  So I really have a lot to be thankful for in all respects.  At some point, I may just look up that birth mother of mine, just to let her know that I'm fine, and that I thank her for her sacrifice and goodness to let me grow up with fine people like my mom and dad.  I truly do appreciate it.

When I got older the realization that these wonderful people adopted me and took me in as an orphan really hit home.  And let's be honest....I was a rambunctious child and teenager. I gave them causes to pray!!!  But pray they did and they got me through.

I don't care in what sense you're a mother today.  If you're a mother in any sense, you're important, and it's your day.  In my case, since I was just over being sick (lost two days of work this week), I had one adult child home today and SOMEONE (won't tell who) made some wonderful fresh blueberry pancakes and bacon with real Vermont maple syrup.  Wow...decadence....

We went to the Blue Ribbon Restaurant in Schenectady.  It used to be the Blue Ribbon Diner.  It was awesome 30 years ago, it's even more awesome now!!!!!  I had Coquilles St. Jacques....not sure what anyone else had.  I was too busy nomming and smiling.  I think I heard about stuff like stuffed sole, moussaka, etc.  They were all nomming and smiling around my table.  :-)  And UNLIKE most local restaurants, they actually had a page of MOTHER'S DAY SPECIALS in addition to their regular menu.  Not a separate overprice special day menu, actual SPECIALS!!!  So for under $20, you could get the aforementioned dinners, along with soup, salad, sides, warm rolls w/butter.  And the desserts were to die for!!!  I know a lot of "diners" present their desserts are something special.  But then you get your mouth full of that sticky diner "whip" greasy and hard to digest.  Not so here.  The Bavarian Cheesecake was a full (overly full) slice of really creamy cheesecake between two layers of the moistest, lightest chocolate sponge cake you ever experienced lately (and I've TRIED to do this at home) with chocolate whipped cream atop.  Not that chocolate whip where it kind of lubes your mouth with not-food lubricant.  This is real whipped cream friends.  And chocolate, to boot.  I am now a Blue Ribbon Restaurant devotee, and I have only been there once in 30 years!!!

To make my day weirdly wonderful, you may know how I avoid Wal-Mart at all costs.  Well, this morning, Big Steve and I went there really early, (for kitty litter, you know) and one of the managers came over and gave me this: 

Just a lovely coral carnation.  I must admit, it softened me a bit.  After all, we don't judge a church by the denomination any more than we judge a person by their workplace.  This local manager was a kindly man, trying to do good (even his employees acknowledged that he was a good man).  So kudos to you, Rensselaer NY WalMart manager for softening my bitter feelings toward your employer.
And lastly, if you want to make that awesome crispy bacon for your loved ones, but just can't bring  yourself to do it because of the mess:
Take however much bacon you want to make (and a little bit more because you know you will all eat it!!!).  Lay it out flat on an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet.  Put it into the oven cold and dark until 20 minutes before  your breakfast should be served.  At exactly 20  minutes before the rest of our breakfast should be served (pancakes, eggs, whatever) turn that oven on to 400 degrees.  I guarantee you crispy perfect oven cooked bacon - no clean up whatsoever!!!  It's a holiday miracle!!!  This is what mothers live for, after all.....

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

On Chickens and Eggs and Spring and Such!

Well, things seem to have calmed down in the henhouse to some extent.  But I will say that the "old girls" are giving the "new girls" a run for their money.  For the most part, they are living amicably and not upsetting our neighbors very much.  Now remember, we are urban homesteaders and our house is right up close to our neighbors on either side.  So when I heard those hens yelling their heads off at 5:45 am Monday morning, it was not at all awesome!

But again, for the most part they are getting along.  I heard the screaming this morning (much after 5:45, thank goodness) and ran out to find the two older girls pecking and harassing one of the new girls trying to settle in to lay an egg.  Well bless her heart if she didn't lay the daintiest egg I ever saw.  Not surprising for such a youngster, but very much appreciated!  And darned if she didn't come out of the henhouse to loudly proclaim her achievement!!!  Big Steve witnessed and recounted it - just wish I had my camera for that dear moment!!!

Can you see the dear tiny thing there, amongst the other more grown up hen eggs?  Well, it's not as tiny as it looks.  To give some perspective, this is how our older girls' eggs stack up in an extra large egg carton:

That's right, they're even too big for an "extra large" carton.  So that dear "tiny" egg in our estimation is probably a grade medium at least.

Chickens are so easy and cheap to keep (once your dear husband builds you a sweet coop).  And they're real characters!  They have very docile personalities (at least our Red Star hens do) and they're friendly and amusing and great for comic relief.  And bottom line - they provide a ton of really healthy, organic protein and all kinds of other nutrients to pay for their feed.  I don't know why everyone doesn't keep a small backyard flock of chickens!!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

I Promised You Drama - I'm Giving You Drama!!!

LOLOL!!!  I knew there would be all kinds of girl drama when we brought home a few new hens.  Watch the "reality show" action while my home girls represent!!!

What a GORGEOUS gift of a weekend!!!!  And it came at the end of a challenging week, and somehow God put the 34th Psalm into my head before the week was over.  It's awesome.  Well now somehow, He is GOD, after all, and he does what he wants with me.  And apparently, He wants to strengthen and encourage me!!!  Thank you!!!

See what I mean right here:

At any rate, we are so thankful for these new hens.  I shouldn't tell this, because as a Christian, if I tell you and you congratulate me, I have lost any Heavenly reward.  Which is ok.  Because I consider this an investment.  But the extra hens are going to help and lay eggs for the Capital City Rescue Mission in Albany, NY.  These  people are SO AWESOME!!!  And they are transforming downtown Albany.  They are taking folks who are at their lowest, and bringing them right up to be soldiers for the LORD in downtown Albany!  I can't say enough about what they are doing.  If you're local, please see how you can help them.  And if you're not, you can always do a few $$$ if  you have them to spare.  And thank you!!!  Nose around their website and see how awesomely the Lord is working there!!

The Mission

OK, so lastly, here is the DRAMATIC video I promised.  I pray they will all be securely on the perch in about 90 minutes.  If not - there will be one heckuva post in the morning, lol!!!