Catch Up

Have you ever had a week where things just kept piling up?

You just get started on one thing – when something else hits you. Boom.

That was last week.Matt's home

Some of the things were wonderful – like Matt coming home!

And a brother/sisters coffee date.

And a brother road trip to see Iron Man 3 in 3 D.

And my niece’s beautiful wedding. (I cried!)

And seeing family again.

And hearing all the news.

And finding some great deals while thrift shopping.

And absolutely gorgeous temperatures on Monday and Tuesday.

And an amazing date night with my wonderful husband to hear Andrew Peterson in concert!

But there was also the not so wonderful parts.

DSC_0008Like the snow.

Lots of snow.

In May.

And chasing cows off the road because a limb knocked down the fence.

And mud.

Lots of mud.

And another broken burner on my stove.

And late nights and early mornings.

And dropping my son off at the airport and watching him fly away. Again.

Deep sigh.

Today is a day to dig out from last week.

To finally finish up all the things that got suspended in the busyness of life.

To wash the piles of laundry.

Replace the stove.

Repot the poor seedlings who are anxious to be in the ground.

And slow down for a few minutes to savor it all.

To take a deep breath and be thankful.

Something’s Wrong with this Picture…

Something’s wrong with this picture….

1

Easter is two weeks away and we have another snow storm in the forecast for this weekend.

My Easter decorations look out of place with my snowmen.

Easter’s too early.

Spring is too late.

And winter doesn’t want to let go.

Sigh.

So much for an Easter bonnet – we might as well wear our stocking caps.

This may be a year when we wear long johns under our Easter dresses and have Easter egg hunts in snow boots.

Feels more like we should be putting up a Christmas tree and singing Silent Night then having sunrise services and singing Christ the Lord is Risen Today.

But you know – it’s not all bad. We are finally getting some much needed moisture.

And when spring finally does appear, we’ll appreciate it that much more. Right?

And in the meantime – don’t put that snow shovel away just yet.

Rhubarb Blackberry Crisp

Crisp

We seem to be in a rhubarb eating frenzy! I think we’ve made at least six rhubarb crisps in the last month alone.

I kid you not!

But when the rhubarb is abundant and this crisp is so easy to make my 11 year old can do it – why not?!

I took this particular version to church one Sunday night and brought home an empty pan. The blackberries added sweetness and such a pretty color!

If you don’t have blackberries – you can always substitute raspberries, strawberries, or just add more rhubarb.

By the way – I was totally serious when I said my 11 year old can make this. Buddy made the one in the picture!

Rhubarb Blackberry Crisp

3 1/2 cups diced rhubarb
4 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen
6 tablespoons flour
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter, melted

Toss the rhubarb, blackberries, 6 tablespoons of flour and 1 cup of white sugar together in a bowl.

Place in a greased 9 x 13 pan.

Combine the oatmeal, brown sugar, butter and remaining 2 cups of flour together in a bowl.

Spread evenly over the fruit and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. The top should be slightly browned and the fruit bubbly.

Serve with a scoop of ice cream or a large dollop of whipped cream!

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post with Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

It Must be Spring…

It Must be SpringIt must be spring in the Midwest.

One day we’re hanging laundry outside in short sleeves with the windows open.

The daffodils are poking out of the ground and the rhubarb is up.

The next day there’s that nasty white stuff in the forecast.

You know the stuff I mean – it starts with an s and rhymes with “at least we won’t have to mow!”

It’s the word that brings great excitement and celebration in the fall – but feels like a slap in the face at the end of March.

I really can’t complain though – our neighbors to the north have had it much, much worse. One friend in Minnesota said she has never been so excited to see dead grass because it meant the snow was finally gone.

She spoke to soon – they had another 7 inches overnight.

The only good thing about a spring snow is that it won’t last long.

The flowers know it – they’re blooming anyway.

The robins know it – they keep building their nests.

Even Wal-Mart knows it – they have their swimsuits and flip flops on display!

I guess we all know how very fickle March can be!

Today the furnace is running – but soon the windows will be open again.

We’ll be able to pack the winter coats and stocking caps away and the kids will be digging out their t-shirts and sunscreen!

Meanwhile, we’ll just brush the snow off the Easter Bunny and be thankful that April is only a week away!

Photo by Anne Burgess

A Country – Style Workout

fence I knew I was in for an interesting afternoon when my husband asked me if I could help him outside.

Oh yeah – some of you know exactly what that means!

It means that all the projects I had started or planned for the afternoon were now on hold and I would be getting dirty, tired, and most likely sore.

Yep. It was time for a country- style workout.

Our calf – who has now officially been named Shakespeare – needed a bigger pen. Which meant that Jan needed all hands on deck to cut up fallen branches, pull out the old fence line and put up a new one.

Even as I pulled on my coveralls I knew that there was no chance that I would get to run the chain saw- my husband learned very early in our marriage to keep me away from all power tools.

Nor would I get to drive the 4-wheeler – my sons shuddered at the very thought.

No – I would get to do the more manual labor – the grunt jobs.

So while Jan cut the trees and Pedro drove loads of brush off – the other kids and I hauled branches and raked up behind them.

This proved to be just the warm -up.

When the fence line was finally cleared it was time for fence posts – about 60 in all. Guess who got to help load them? Moi.

Pedro would grab them from the pile and hand them to me to throw in trailer. He started out giving me one or two at a time – but the next thing I knew I was tossing 3 or 4 at a time.

At one point I saw that Jan was watching – so I had Pedro give me five at a time – just to impress him.  😉

We’ll call that weight-lifting.

Then it was time to move the cattle panels across the farmyard to the new pen. So while Pedro and Jan pounded fence posts, Matt and I started digging them out of the weeds.

Now for those of you unfamiliar with cattle panels let me clue you in – they are big, and awkward and heavy. And they have a tendency to get bent – and get stuck on things – like each other and rocks and sticks on the ground.

But that didn’t stop me. I dragged 16 of those bad boys across the farm yard, around the garden, and out into the pasture – by myself.

I’ll think I’ll call that the cardio part of my workout – or maybe resistance training?  I wonder just how many calories I burned?

But don’t worry – I quickly replaced them with the handfuls of chocolate peanut butter cookies I ate during break time. 🙂

The rest of the job went quickly – haul the cattle panels into position and hold them in place while Jan secured them.

Then all we needed to do was move Shakespeare to his new home.

He was a happy cow.

And I was a dirty, tired, and sore country gal.

It was time for a hot bath and another cookie – these country style workouts are tough!