Monthly Archives: October 2017

Of Wood Chucks and Butternut Squash

Did you know that wood chuck’s love butternut squash?

I know this to be true because I sacrificed one to bait the live trap last week to catch the furry little varmint who was trying to move into the pole barn.

It worked! That wood chuck ate every piece of that butternut squash as he awaited his fate.

When my husband told me the news, I jokingly replied, “At least he had a good last meal!”

To which my husband responded, “I think I’ll just take him with me to work and let him go at the river.”

I won’t repeat my reply.

Fast forward to that afternoon. Nate and I went to help some new neighbors move in about ten miles away and Jan joined us later, after work. When we were finished, we sent Nate home alone so the two of us could ride home together.

I had a few minutes to sit in the suburban alone savoring the peace and quiet after the busy afternoon before Jan joined me.

We took off down the gravel road, and I proceeded to fill him in on every little detail of my day (as only a wife can) and was in the middle of a long – but very important story – when he suddenly stopped the Suburban on a bridge.

I paused mid-sentence and asked the obvious, “What are we doing?”

He pulled on his gloves as he said, “Letting your little furry friend go.”

What?! That creepy rodent of unusual size was sitting behind me the entire time?! I shuddered at the thought.

I don’t know what was worse – sitting there in blissful silence while a beady-eyed wood chuck sat menacingly behind me or if he had a made a noise and announced his presence.

I think the latter.

“I thought you were going to let him go this morning on the way to work?” l asked while he carefully grabbed the trap from behind me.

“I couldn’t find a good spot”, he replied as he carried the cage to the edge of the concrete bridge and opened it.

I won’t repeat my reply.

But I wasn’t happy as I sat in the Suburban and watched my husband try to get that critter to leave the cage.

After several minutes I had had enough. I grabbed an extra set of gloves, marched across that bridge, picking up a stick as I went and then -mumbling something about pesky varmints and husbands who should listen to their wives – I whacked the cage where his back side sat with a primal scream that sent that critter running.

“And you better not show up at our place again!” I yelled as he disappeared.

My husband laughed.

The laughing stopped two days when he looked out the window and saw a wood chuck hobble across our yard.

My husband said it might not be the same one – but then again – it might be limping with a sore backside from a ferocious whack!

I won’t repeat my reply.

But I did sacrifice another butternut squash to catch that furry nuisance.

And this time he didn’t get another chance.

At least he had a good final meal.

 

From The Archives: October 21, 2011

Packing

I seriously laughed out loud as I reread this one! Thanks Peter!

Packing and the Teenage Male

I spent a goodly part of one week helping Peter pack for his 10 day trip to Teen Pact Venture in Tennessee.

With 5 days on the road there and back and another 5 days at camp – it seemed to me that he needed a little guidance.

I helped him find more jeans, a suit coat, dress slacks, a outfit for golf and raided his dad’s t-shirts to make sure he had enough.

I carefully counted and folded and made nice piles for him.

I even bought him new underwear.

All the while there was this annoying little thought that kept coming back – “Why am I doing this? Peter is a teenage boy who has been known to wear the same clothes for days at time…”

But the mother in me couldn’t let it go.

I was even kinda proud as he drove off on his adventure because I knew that he was prepared.

It didn’t last long.

I was brought back to reality within minutes of picking him up after his return trip.

He looked good and was sharing story after story of his time away – laughing and joking with his siblings.

Finally the mother in me just couldn’t wait any longer – so I asked him, “How did your clothes work out? Did you have enough of everything?”

“Well”, he responded, “I basically wore these jeans pretty much all week.”

(His sisters slide further away from him on the van seat.)

“What!” (I’m remembering all those trips up and down the attic stairs digging through his winter clothes to find enough jeans) “How about t-shirts? Did you have enough t-shirts?”

“I had way too many – I really only needed a couple.”

“A couple!” (You were gone 10 days! What about my neat little piles of carefully folded and counted shirts?!)

“Oh dear. What about your underwear? Did you have enough… No! Stop! Don’t answer that. I really don’t want to know.”

Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Next time I’ll let him pack himself. 🙂

Ten Years Already!

Ten years ago this week I published my very first blog post here on Blue Jeans and Cotton Tees.

Ten years was a long time ago.

George W. Bush was president.

The first iPhone was introduced.

And the Boston Red Sox won the World Series.

On the home front, we were on the farm, living in the old house and home schooling all five kids, ranging in age from 15 to 6.

 

 

So much has changed since then.

Today – I home school just one.

We’ve graduated four and added one son-in-law.

We moved to the new house.

Added cows.

And Jan started working in town.

Ten years. Wow.

I started blogging on a massive desk top with a tower that took up half the desk.

Now I click away on my little laptop.

My first photos were taken on a chunky digital camera that could do about ten pictures before the battery died, edited in ancient software and took 10 minutes to upload on our dial-up.

Today I take pictures on my iPhone and edit and upload within minutes.

At the time it was common for bloggers to give their young kids a blog name to protect them in the massive, unpredictable blogosphere.

Matt already had a successful blog and online presence – I used his real name.

Laura was the only one of our children to never have a nickname stick. She chose Dagmar as her blog name from her favorite movie at the time I Remember Mama.

Peter’s blog name was easy – Pedro. But he also earned the nickname “Crash” following an incident involving the 4 wheeler and a multiflora rose bush.

Anna was given her blog name, Angel Girl, by her daddy years ago. Every Sunday morning I would pull her hair back and fasten it with her very favorite “pretty pretty” (a hair piece with a lacy flower and ribbons). It looked like a little halo on her head and daddy called her his little “angel girl”.

Nathan was always the Little Buddy. But at almost 17 and taller than I am, he’s ready to move on.

They all are. So from here on, their blog names are no more! You are welcome kids. You’ve earned it. Thank you for letting me tell your stories here. You’ve given me some awesome blog fodder through the years and I’m sure there’s more to come!

Ten years.

And you, my readers, have been there.

You’ve watched my children grown up.

You’ve rejoiced with me.

You’ve wept with me.

And you’ve laughed with me.

Thank you for taking time out of your day to read the ramblings of this Country Gal who loves playing with words and  always dreamed of having something published.

Your comments and words of encouragement have meant so much to me! Thank you!

And now – it’s time to celebrate!

In honor of ten years – I plan to dig a favorite blog post out of the archives occasionally and share it again. Some of my favorites, the most searched, the funniest, the most embarrassing.

I’ll clearly label them “From the Archives” so you can easily tell the old from the new posts.

And don’t worry – there are some posts that need to stay well hidden in the dark recesses and may never see the light of day again!

Ten years is a lot of words.

Thanks for reading them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upping My Coffee Game

It’s a well established fact that I am just not a coffee drinker.

The smell is heavenly – but the taste has always let me down.

My kids, however, all drink coffee.

And not just any coffee – but good coffee. That’s why they make their own when they are here.

The only time I make coffee is when my parents come to visit and I pull my little vintage percolator and attempt to brew a pot. They’ve always said it was “fine”.

To be honest. I never even think about coffee except to make sure I have some in the freezer and half & half in the fridge when the kids are home.

So when Peter brought a bunch of friends down to help tear down the hovel, coffee was the last thing on my mind. At least until they staggered in the kitchen Saturday morning with bleary eyes and mumbling “Coffee?”

I went into full on panic mode and grabbed my little vintage peculator which looked grossly undersized and frantically tried to remember how to make coffee.

I don’t think I succeeded by the number of mugs full of coffee that were left on the table when they went outside.

The next day I texted my oldest son – the one known in our family as the connoisseur of fine brew – and asked him to teach my how to make a good cup o’ joe.

He took the challenge seriously and began lessons the very next time he was home.

I will admit he looked uncertain when I pulled out my little vintage percolator but gamely tried it.

He immediately dumped the pot.

Lesson 1 – when coffee is boiled it becomes bitter. Bitter is not good.

He then introduced me to the French Press <insert heavenly music> which is the easiest and almost dummy-proof way to make coffee.

As he carefully measured the coffee grounds and started the water boiling, he began explaining the different kinds of coffee, pros and cons of coffee beans and already ground coffee and how to tell when your coffee is old and why nobody wants to drink the three year coffee in my freezer.

Lesson 2 – Nobody likes old coffee. Old coffee is not good.

I listened intently as I watched him take the boiling water off the burner, let it sit for a minute to bring the temp down (lesson number 1!) and poured it over the ground coffee.

He then told Siri to set a timer for three minutes, and continued my education on all things coffee. Did you know there’s a roast date on every package of coffee? And the lighter the roast the more caffeine?

My head was spinning by the time Siri told him his coffee was done.

He carefully poured his perfectly made brew into a mug and sat down satisfied with the look on his face that only the most serious coffee drinkers understand.

I sat across from him holding my massive cup of green tea and realized that my brain was about to burst with information.

So I grabbed a recipe card and started making notes.

I fully realize that I may be teased about this for the rest of my life – but I will confess hear and now that I actually have a recipe for coffee.

And I used it when my parents visited.

And they immediately noticed that my coffee had improved. Greatly.

This momma has upped her coffee game!

Next lesson – how to get Siri to set the timer for 3 minutes!

Okay – don’t hold your breath on that one!