Sunday, December 29, 2013

Yep a bit behind....let's blame it on Christmas! Farm Kings Season 3 Ep 2 it me or does Lisa remind anyone else of a teenager who thinks she can just smile and get away with anything?  That thought came to me a few times during this episode.   The first one when she pulled into Dave's grocery and started selling pulled pork without his permission.  All in all the guy was pretty nice.  He could have had her hauled off!  If she was selling well there giving a small portion of the sales to him wouldn't have been a bad idea!  While I complete understand (and at times work under) the theory it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission there are just times you can't do that.  Lisa seems to find those times with frequent and gay abandon!  Then there was when she pulled into the Farmers Market and Dan and no clue as to what was up.  While Dan did a great job being Joe for a week last season it seems as though Joe didn't learn his lesson to keep people in the loop.  So here comes Miss Lisa with her my shit don't stink and I'm just too damn cute now give me room at the farmers market.  Seriously?  There was also the little spat with her and Dale (?).  I really don't think he was completely serious about not sharing the secret of his recipes but damn did Lisa start spinning. 

There is also the boys building the pasture thing.  It is pretty evident that the boys are spread beyond thin and at some point they're going to break if that doesn't change.  While I am not surprised at all by Joe's lack of being able to keep up with physical tasks like Pete I was surprised that he counted on Dan's help when Dan had to get to the Farmers market.  The man sure does have a lot going on.

The whole Lisa Bitty thing really made me cringe as well.  Again the narrator sucked and just added BS drama to this and frankly there was enough.  Lisa doesn't seem to have a lot of faith in her kids and that was really apparent in her dealings with Bitty.  Also if Bitty does have the wedding bug who could blame her?  She's 9 months away from getting married and seems pretty damn calm if you ask me!  I do love that she's doing the wedding outdoors.  I wonder if they'll share any of that? 

The best part of the episode in my mind was the human harvester contest.  Personally, I was hoping that Paul would win!  I loved when he added the cape.   He seems to have a very fun sense of humor.  On the flip side of wanting Paul to win it was also nice in a way that Sam did.  After the conflict he had with Luke during the strawberry transplanting last year he has the bragging rights to back up his position.  It was also fun watching Pete & Tim go head to head.  I was a bit surprised that Tim bested Pete in the field picking part to by honest with you!  The corn trophy at the end was hilarious! 

Random thoughts:
They preview for the reconstruction work at Lisa's has me really looking forward to this weeks show!  It showed Tim and one of the younger boys (maybe Paul?).  That surprised me since wasn't Pete the one who worked in the construction field prior to Freedom Farms?  Also Dan had his short lived stint in it as well.  Those boys sure know how to do things that really get Miss Lisa's head spinning around!  I'm always waiting for her to start spewing green stuff!  It reminded me of the episode when they build the pond for her!  They're hearts sure are in the right place though! 

I love long as it's football season!

Here we are and it's a win it and it in game for the Chicago Bears vs the Green Bay Packers.  In this household we are die hard Bears fans.  It's ingrained from birth on.  I'm sitting in the living room with Princess Bear (PB) and she's alternating between playing on her leappad2 and watching the game.  My mom keeps on trying to get small household tasks done until my dad finally looked at her and said "Sarah and I are not available until 7pm".  Love it.  My mom is one of those people that will watch the game then go do something and check back in on the game.  I'm like that with everything (Go Cubs), basketball (Go Bulls) and soccer (Go Manchester United!....really don't ask!).  Football....don't call me, talk to me or expect any kind of response or action from me.  It's not gonna happen.

Now this is where I'm going to sound a bit off since my love for the Bears is beyond mention.  I'd love it if they go into the playoffs.  Really I would.  They just haven't played well enough this year that it's something they deserve.  I surely won't be upset if they go but completely understand if they don't.  Also, there is a silver lining to the Bears NOT making it past today.  Hopefully they will 86 Cutler.  I'm not a Cutler fan.  Never have been and never will be.  We got him from the Bronco's because he was a punk a$$ princess who got pissy with the coach he had there.  Sure McCown is not exactly young (34 to be exact).  Here's the deal, whether it's subconscious or not, the Bears don't like or respect Cutler either.  They protect McCown better.  Bottom line end of story.

So, I'd love it if the Bears advance today but if not Trestman please send Cutler on his way, ok? 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Farm Kings Season 3 episode 1

OK, so let's get the 2 obvious things outta the way first!  We're all darn pleased that our favorite farming family is back on TV!  Couldn't they just tape year round????  Hiatus sucks for us!  Second, THE NARRATOR SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Hey Stage 3 if you didn't quite get that let me put it out there again.....  THE NARRATOR SUCKS!!!  I couldn't even make it through the episode before doing a quick blog post to get everyone's opinion on this.  I published the comments and got several emails on it as well.  If you go to the GAC Farm Kings page it seems to be the overwhelming consensus there as well.  (Check it out HERE)  The show was great before so why mess with something that is working?  The way the family members would do their one on ones were great.  Sure a lot of it was used on a repeat reel to serve the purpose but it worked.  It showed the human side of the family which is part of what makes it a great show.  Yeah, the guys are smokin' hot and who doesn't like eye candy.  The part that throws it over the top though, at least for me, is that this is a group of strong, moral people with work ethic that is almost never seen like this any more.  Lisa has done one hell of a job raising her kids and it shows.  The family doing their one on one wasn't always perfect and like I mentioned it was often repeated but it worked. 

Now for some things that really surprised me.  Dan taking one day a week off?  Whoa!  So didn't see that coming.  I love it and I hate it.  I love it because Dan is standing up for himself.  No talk of making him a partner even though he busts his a$$ just ask much as the older boys.  If you don't take care of yourself who will?  That said...I'm amazed that he made the stand.  I also don't know why he picked Saturday.  The show was near the end of the season but you'd still think with the home market and other things that Saturday would be a pretty busy day.  I'm hoping Dan isn't shooting himself in the foot with this one.  It was so adorable to see him spending time with his girlfriend and making her a priority.

Pete and Jessi taking Jilly to the fair was fun to watch.  Nice because you have to figure that Pete doesn't have much down time like that at all until the season is totally finished.  Nice that they're showing him as a family man.  I was completely laughing when Pete was discussing his dislike of the rides.  Too much spinning?  C'mon dude!  It showed a cute, human, vulnerable side. 

The demolition derby stuff seemed a bit over the top.  First of all the season wasn't over so for 3 guys who are always pushing themselves to the limit it didn't seem like they'd just say "Weeee, lets bust up a car and maybe ourselves in the process!"  It was nice that they're trying to make sure they stay close in ways other than farming.   Again it shows their values.  It also really rubbed me the wrong way to see Lisa's reaction to it.  She's going to go off about them possibly getting hurt?  Last time I checked farming wasn't the safest.  People get hurt dealing with machinery all the time so that wasn't cool.  If your kids want to bond and this is what the picked just roll with it.  A great moment was when they talked about Joe not getting the memo on not hitting the white doors. 

Lisa and the whole apple pie thing was funny and sad at the same time.  How in the bloody hell is she going to blame the fact that she lost on using lard instead of crisco?  It's like she doesn't know how to lose gracefully.  It's never her fault.  By the way Lisa lard is making a comeback.  The editors of Grit magazine even published a cookbook on it last year.  Anyone interested in the cookbook can find it HERE.  So Joe is trying to get her to use Freedom Farm products and lard is making a comeback anyway.  It was nice to see Lisa lose only in that it didn't even cross her mind that it was a possibility.  I think whenever anyone starts thinking they can't possibly lose is exactly the time they need to and karma must have agreed because that's exactly what happened.  Maybe it was the way she was trying to butter up the judges first.  Honestly I can't fathom being so sure of myself that when 2nd and 3rd place have been announced that you know you've won since it's the only option left.  I give her points for her sense of self but it's also a bit mind boggling to me. 

The previews for next week touched on Bitty's upcoming wedding so I'm anxious to see how much of that is shared.  I'm wondering if they will share anything from Tim & Maggie's wedding.  No reference to Joe's engagement so I wonder how that will play out.  I also wonder now that his siblings are all walking their way down the aisle if Pete will maintain his stance of  "we're committed to each other" as far as his relationship with Jessi or give in and get married. 

So overall, I'm glad the show is back.  The family dynamics seem to be the same which is nice.  Now if they would just 86 the narrator! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Farm format??????

OK, obviously the first episode of Season 3 hasn't even wrapped yet but any thoughts on the new format?  A narrator?  Seriously?  I'll blog my usual recap & thoughts tomorrow or Saturday (or whenever I can hide from the holiday craziness for a bit) but curious what y'all think.  I'm personally of the theory that they had a good thing so why mess with it.  If it ain't broken....

OMG! Thank G-d for distractions!

It's a Farm Kings marathon today leading up to the start of season 3.  WooHoo!!!!  Princess Bear (PB)  is going to be so upset when she gets home.  Her room isn't picked up and she has no TV until it is.  Those lessons while necessary suck. 

I'm also glad for the diversion of an eye candy marathon since my blog post and sharing the Phil Robertson shame on A&E pic on facebook is creating some controversy.  As always I'll maintain my stance of a) this is my blog and no one is forcing you to read it.  b) their is nothing positive being created by this PC world that people are so anxious to perpetuate.  It's just making for a bunch of pansy-a$$ed people who want to have a shit fit when someone doesn't agree with them.  I was thinking some more about the whole Phil Robertson "controversy" last night.  There are some big issues here.  Let's get the whole gay thing out of the way.  Statistically around 4% of the American population is gay.  Somehow this 4% has made it so that the 77% of Americans that are Christian and believe that homosexuality is a sin must pay for respecting their religion.  Anyone see a problem here?  It's not a matter of sexual orientation but a matter of skewed logic and priorities.   ALSO the Christian religions are not the only religions that prescribe to the idea that homosexuality is a sin.  I just used the biggest group to show the number issue at hand.  There are a couple of big problems here and it has not a damn thing to do with whether you believe that homosexuality is a sin.

- This country was founded on the idea that people can worship and believe they way they want to.  The Pilgrims felt they could no longer live in England under the Church of England set up under King Henry VIII.  So they started a pilgrimage.  It first led to Holland and ultimately to America.  A place where they could worship and hold their beliefs.  THIS IS WHAT AMERICA WAS FOUNDED UPON.
- In addition to freedom of faith there is a freedom of speech we stand by here in America.  Yes there are also consequences for this but Phil Robertson said nothing wrong.  He pointed out what his religion states and has been fired for it.  Frankly the man has one hell of a lawsuit if he wants it. 

The fact that those in America must apologize for having faith is a problem.  Once we become a country that must temper our faiths tenants we have lost the basis of this country.  It's a slippery slope that has no positive outcome. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Being Politically Correct does ABSOLUTELY nothing positive for anyone!

Yep, I'm doing it again and I'm not even going to feel bad about it.  It's going to get political up in here.  It was bound to happen.  Last night I started reading Sarah Palin's book Good Tidings Great Joy last night.  So far it's a great read and one of the things she discusses its the ill effects of being politically correct.  I've never been one for being politically correct.  Have your opinions and hold on to them dearly.  Voice them often.  As long as it is YOUR opinion and you can back it up sing it from the damn rooftops!  I've never had that filter and the fact that I don't prescribe to the politically correct camp can make for some damn fine dinner conversation if you ask me!  I loved it when Dr. Ben Carson started speaking out on being politically correct and Lord knows if a black man from his beginnings can see the absurdity of political correctness so should the rest of us.  Just my opinion of course!

SO, you're asking yourself other than the Sarah Palin book what is bringing about this rant?  Yeah, anyone check out this evenings news on A&E channel suspending Phil Robertson for the anti gay remarks he made?  The media has been having a field day all day with the remarks and now A&E has decided to suspend the patriarch of the Robertson clan.  You can find an article HERE in which Robertson's comments can be read.  You can read the response from A&E in a HuffPost article HERE.

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Now my whole problem is the fact that living in America it seems as though the value placed on being politically correct has taken over the value of having your own opinion. Phil Robertson has even released this statement which I think is beautifully stated. “I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together. However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”

The man is standing up for his faith and receiving a shit ton of garbage about it.  Wasn't America founded by the Pilgrims with the express purpose of being able to worship and believe as they wanted to?  YES!!!!  Isn't  there a lovely little idea called freedom of speech?  Why yes there is!  Of course only if your thoughts line up with the liberal mainstream media can you share your thoughts without harassment.

This is another witch hunt on conservatives and I'm so bloody sick and tired of it.  It's the Barilla CEO all over again.  Both this men have said the alternative gay lifestyle is not something they can relate to nor does it mesh with their religious ideologies.  They were not being disrespectful to gays.  They just said it isn't something they support.  When in the hell did it become mandatory to have to support every Tom, Dick and Harry's sexual, religious or any other view? 

This is so incredibly frustrating to me because it seems that in America this is a very scary time to be a Conservative.  Now I can honestly say that I've played both sides here.  At one point in my life I was incredibly liberal.  Actually I still am in that I just want everyone to be able to think, feel and say whatever they believe in without major backlash.  I just don't understand when their are truly homophobic bigots out there why the mainstream media has to create more drama.

If you'd like to check out Sarah Palin's response and a great Breitbart article on this whole mess check it out HERE.

I really think one of my goal's for 2014 is to lose any sense of political correctness I still harbor.  I'm going to be passionate about what I am passionate about.  I'm going to share what I'm passionate about and what I believe in.  If you believe in it...rock on!  If not...fine.  More power to you.  Hell, let's grab up a cup of tea or a beer and debate about it.  Maybe you see it in a way that I've never even considered before and vice versa.  I truly think that the more we take pride in our beliefs and stand up for them the better the world is.  We don't all have to agree all the time.  There is beauty in agreeing to disagree.  There is beauty in courage.  There is beauty in just letting everyone live their own damn life. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My kid cracks me up!

My child has been in rare form lately!  Every once in awhile she busts out with something that just leaves me chuckling, shaking my head and muttering something along the lines of  "seriously?".   For example last night Princess Bear (PB), my dad and I were watching the end of the Dallas vs Green Bay game.  Now for those of you who don't know it we are die hard Chicago Bears fans in this household.  As in my youngest nephew used to growl whenever I came to visit and point at my shirt if I wasn't wearing some sort of Bears attire.  PB has more Chicago Bears hair accessories and jewelry than any 12 kids would need and more than a few jerseys to boot. 

Consequently, we LOVE it when some team takes down the Packers.  Well, Romo had to do some showboating in last nights game and it cost the Cowboys the game.  My dad was slightly disgusted and turned off the TV has he said something like "well that probably cost Chicago the playoffs" (we have to play GB again in 2 weeks).  To which I quipped "Dammit....let's go burn the Gray's Packers flag".  Completely kidding.  Ok, not completely but I'm not looking for any jail time due to arson or destruction of personal property.  The Gray's are family friends of ours that live down the block and are big Packers fans.  We hassle them and they hassle us.  Our parish priest joins in the fun.  Several years ago my dad and Mr. Gray made a $1 bet on a Bears vs Packers game.  The Bears won so Mr. Gray paid up in pennies.  My dad still has the envelope of pennies hanging up on the wall in his den.  So joking around about destroying the Gray's Packers flag is pretty normal for us.  So after I suggested burning the flag, PB says "Naw, lets just hide it from them.".  She proceeds to put on her coat and gloves and was ready to take off down the street to fetch the flag.  I was completely cracking up.  My dad is one of those pretty silent guys but he has his tells.  You can always tell when he's pleased or bullshitting based on whether his dimples are showing or not.  If he's pissed the back of his neck gets red and splotchy.  Poker is so not the game for me dad.  After PB's comment about hiding the flag his dimples were showing big time.  It took a whole lot of reasoning to convince PB that we were not walking down the street (in the 5 inches of snow that hadn't been plowed yet!) to play capture the flag NFL style.  She takes it a bit further and tells me a few minutes later that a mission like this is why she needs some camo gear.  She's recently become a Duck Dynasty fan and has been begging for one of the pink camo baseball Duck Dynasty hats.  The kid seriously looked and me and thought that she would convince me that this was the perfect reason to buy her some camo gear.  Love it! 

Today she was filling her teacher and the aide in on the fact that Farm Kings were going to start airing again this coming Thursday night.  The teacher asked what time it was on and PB said 8pm.  The teacher asked what time PB usually went to bed.  8pm.  Oops!  Might have a conflict there!  Friday is the last day of school before Christmas vacation.  My daughter looked at her teacher and the aide and said "Well, I'm sorry but I've been waiting for the Farm Kings to come back for ages and I've got to stay up and see them more than I've got to come to school on Friday.  Tell ya what- how about I take my spelling test on Thursday so I can stay up late Thursday night and not have a test?"  So guess who is taking her spelling test Thursday?  She's not going to miss the entire day.  Hell, it's a short day anyway and part of it is the school talent show.  I just won't be waking her up a the butt crack of down. 

My child knows exactly what she wants and what she has to do to get it!  Along the way she's keeping me pretty damned entertained.  Life is good.  Life is definitely good!

Friday, December 13, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Today my oldest nephew had his school Christmas recital.  My youngest nephew has been down and out with a double ear infection and a virus.  Poor kiddo is just not a happy camper.  I volunteered to babysit Luke so my sister, brother in law and parents could all attend the concert.

Now I love my sister but she's a bit of an anal control freak.  She talked to me yesterday about what time she wanted me to later than 5:45pm so they could leave by 6:15pm.  OK, roger that.  She called today to make sure I remembered what time to be there.  Ah!  Granted I'm often late but do you really think reminding me will change that?  (if you are questioning this let me assure you it won't!  I will somehow figure out how to be late to my own damn funeral!)

I try to plan fun stuff whenever I am babysitting the boys.  Princess Bear was thrilled that she was going to have some one on one time with Lukie since she hasn't seen him in awhile.  She wanted to do something Christmas-y.  I thought it would be a lot of fun to do a Christmas photo prop session.  I came out with some great printable photo props and spend a couple hours printing them and cutting them out.  To say they were a hit would be an understatement!  Here are the results of tonight's activities!

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Seriously feeling icky

The last few weeks have seen Princess Bear (PB) and I suffering from various illnesses.  PB has been on 3 rounds of antibiotics and a round of prednisolone.  I really hate having her on so much "stuff".  I've been trying to amp up her immune system by using probiotics daily and elderberry supplements.  I really need to fine a decent source of organic dried elderberry because buying Sambucol is getting really expensive!  My kidney infection was followed up by finding out that I have a kidney stone.  The Dr. decided to let it be since having surgery to retrieve it would most likely cause too much damage to an already damaged kidney.  I'm completely ok with not having surgery.  I don't like it when I move or lay a certain way and I have stabbing pain but it's still got to be better than surgery and possibly destroying my kidney.  I've also been fighting a major respiratory infection.  Major antibiotics, neti pot and cough syrup with codeine.  I can say that it has helped me sleep!  I would just like to be able to catch a deep breathe!  The Dr has me using my emergency inhaler every 4 hours.  My nephews, sister and brother in law have also had serious ick.  We were supposed to do Thanksgiving at there house but the day before my sister was so sick she cancelled.  Fine with me in that I didn't see the point in sharing the germs.  A bummer in that I had a ton of Thanksgiving crafts and games for the kids to do.  My mom was able to scramble and put together a Thanksgiving dinner for the four of us.  Things were going well until the furnace decided to die late afternoon on Thanksgiving day.  It was the second time that week the furnace died.  Seriously not cool.  Actually very cool since Illinois is seeing damn near record lows here but not cool in that do you have any idea how hard it is to get a service man to come out on Thanksgiving?!!!?  PB was so layered up and just vegging out in front of my space heater.  It was kind of cute watching her.  Around 7pm the service guy finally showed up.  I was oh so thankful for that! 
I started running a temp again the middle of last week and was down and out sick by Friday.  My parents stepped up and filled in since PB had a few different activities this past weekend.  My mom bitched about it A LOT which is kind of sad considering how much PB enjoyed what she considered PB and grandparent time".  Friday night was the Christmas party for the kids who do horseback riding therapy.  She had a ball and loved dressing up.  Yesterday was the Caterpillar Holiday show.  Every year there is a different theme and this year was a laser light show.  After the show Santa and Mrs Claus are there for a meet and greet with the kids.  PB still believes in Santa and was very excited to give him her list.  I had spent a ton of time on Pinterest and came up with dozens of templates/stationary for Santa letters.  It was a great activity for PB to practice her "neat" writing. 

I can say that while being sick has been a serious bummer it has allowed me a chance to be rather productive.  I've been a busy bee working on Christmas cards and a Christmas letter.  I was having a hard time with a Christmas letter until once again Pinterest came to the rescue.  I love it when something just comes together!  I've also done a TON of reading.  I knocked out the just released Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum novel in a day.  Several romance books and a few books on herbs and body recipes.    I'm really hoping to get rid of this dang respiratory infection soon because there is way too much going on with the holidays coming up!  Both my nephews have their holiday concerts this week.  PB has a talent show at school in 2 weeks.  She and her classmates are doing a routine to Thriller.  I'm so sick of hearing the song from helping her practice but it will be so cute do see the kids perform!  So, I'm going to go clean the house and then take a nap! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sometimes life is better when you know the other person is just....there

Today is one of those days that I'd gladly throw back to the universe and ask for a do over.  Unfortunately life isn't that kind.  It seems as though the crud that kept Princess Bear (PB) out of school the beginning of this week has decided to make my life miserable.  Enter ear infection, sinus infection and the flu.  That in and of itself is enough to make me not like life but nowhere near touches it for today.  PB went back to school today as I mentioned.  Her first day since the tornado.  I've showed her some of the pictures of the tornadoes destruction and tried to make her aware of the scope of the disaster.  I'm not sure if a "normal" child can truly understand the situation but PB hasn't.  She learned that two of her school therapist had their homes leveled and one was injured but recovering well.  The school is collecting money and gift cards for them.  The bright light of the day was my baby getting out her piggy bank and a plastic bag.  She was ready to dump her whole bank in and take it in.  The child's heart is so amazing!  I assured PB that we would be sending some money in for them.  A family friend's father passed away today.  Now granted this man was rather old and had lived a wonderful life.  That said losing a loved one is never easy and her husband is battling cancer so I'm very worried about her state of mind. 

Then the clincher came in.  I asked a friend from college for his address.  I figure if I'm supposed to be resting that I might as well work on Christmas cards.  I asked Ron about our friend Mike.  Mike and I had an on and off romantic relationship for several years and then friendship for several more.  I'm so sad to say the last time I spoke to him was 11 years ago.  I was pregnant with PB and he was getting ready to get married.  I do remember the last conversation as clear as day.  Unfortunately his fiancee wasn't thrilled with us talking so I didn't call for awhile.  Then life happens as it so often does.  I had PB and the first few years of her life were chaotic to say the least.  Take normal baby chaos, single mom and then add special needs and you get the picture.  One of the things I've really been upset about lately is the contact I've lost with so many close friends I had.  I've been trying to find ways to remedy the situation.  Anyway I digress.  When PB was a few years old I decided to try to call Mikey and see how he was doing.  He number was disconnected.  At that time I didn't have a way to contact anyone to see if they had contact information for Mike.  So throughout the years whenever I thought of Mike there was always a little silent thought....prayer if you will, that he was happy, healthy and enjoying life.  He seemed so happy the last time we spoke so it seemed like a good bet.  Well, Ron sent me his snail mail address and let me know that Mike passed away over 10 years ago.  WHAT???????????  He passed away when PB was just a baby!!!   To say I'm in shock doesn't even begin to cover it.  My parents came home tonight and I told them.  My mom's face was just so shocked.  I understood Mike's fiancee not wanting someone from the past.  Can't say I agreed with it but I didn't want to make things tough for him.  I  wish now that I had done things differently.  How I'm not sure.  All evening I've been thinking back to different times and situations with Mikey and smiling and crying and crying and smiling.  All I know for sure is that the world was a much better place with Mikey in it. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Central Illinois Tornado

Things have been crazy here.  Princess Bear(PB) is sick....again and I have been dealing with a kidney stone.  Not fun but what can you do?  It was enough to warrant a small break from blogging.  I woke up feeling well enough yesterday that I was trying to decide what to blog about.  Life in general, Obamacare and a few other topics were running through my mind.  Instead Mother Nature decided to make a decision for me.  I live in Peoria Illinois.  Home of Catepillar World Headquarters.  Town that coined the "If it plays in Peoria" trend.  Home of Richard Pryor.  I actually was an extra in one of his movies when I was a kid.

Back to the topic at hand.  PB and I didn't go to church yesterday since we weren't feeling well.  My dad did make it and afterwards we tried figuring out where to get breakfast from.  We knew that there was going to be a string of thunderstorms and severe wind for the morning and most of the afternoon.  Yeah, that turned out to the the understatement of the year.  A f4 tornado ripped through Washington Illinois which is about 20 minutes from here and one of the places I've been trying to convince my family to move to.  Washington is a cool little town with an awesome town square and a great school district.  You can read or watch more about the tornado at the following sites:

Shortly after breakfast the wind really started picking up. I mean it was really whipping around.  The sky got really dark and it actually reminded me of what the weather does right before the eye of a hurricane goes through. I'm not a big fan of hurricanes but at least there is usually some warning involved.  Tornadoes- not so much.  A few minutes after it got dark and super windy it started to storm and hail like nobodies business.  It had been so nice that we had all the doors open so my dad and I started scrambling to close things up.  There was rain flying in through all the screens.  I honestly can't say the last time I saw a storm like this.  A few minutes later the tornado sirens started going off so we headed for the basement.  I was so proud of PB who went into prepper kid mode and started gathering up led lights and lanterns, the battery operated radio and bottles of water to take downstairs with us.  She was so on top of it!  The basement was taking on tons of water but we only had to spend about 20 minutes downstairs.  It was scary but over very quickly.  I guess the news was spreading through the news quickly.  Two of my aunts in the Chicagoland area called to check in on us.  We were a bit worried because we couldn't get ahold of my sister or brother in law on their house phones or cells.  We finally heard from them and they were ok.  No power it it was restored until today but their house was fine.  Also no cell signal to make phone calls but they could text out.  I was also worried about my sister's sister in law.  She's the one who had her baby 8 weeks early.  He had just gotten released from NICU on Friday.  He was having some problems keeping his body temp up on Saturday and their house is in Washington Illinois.  I text her and finally heard back from her.  Their house was still standing and had no real damage.  They had no power and couldn't make any phone calls. She lived a block away from one of the subdivisions that had been decimated.  I was so relieved that they were fine.  Then news and pictures started rolling in on Facebook.  I have a few friends that have lost their homes.  My friend Susan's house was leveled but she's fine.  She's found 2 of her dogs but one is still missing.  Another friend is fine but her in-laws house was decimated.  They were in the crawlspace and had to wait to be dug out.  It took until 7pm for me to hear back from all of my friends that live in Washington.  Luckily everyone is fine.

You hear about tornadoes like this after Joplin and things like that.  Your heart breaks for the people involved but it is completely different when it's in your own backyard.  What has amazed me in the last day is how caring people and businesses can be.  A vet clinic near the worst hit areas opened last night and stayed open throughout the night providing emergency vet care and bordering for people who had lost their homes but saved their pets.  Schnucks a big grocery store chain here has offered to store the perishable food for people who are still without electricity.  Duracell was on site last night providing batteries and charging stations.  Many local restaurants provided free meals throughout the night for those displaced and the first responders.  It's been heartwarming to see how communities can come together.  Below is a slideshow of the damages that are all within a 1/2 hour of my house.  It is amazing how much damage can happen in just a few minutes.  So I'm going to wrap this up by asking you to say a prayer for all those who have been affected by this.  If you can make a donation of any kind I'm sure that Red Cross would appreciate it.

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Farm King Fans are awesome!!!

So today I've had one blog comment and an email from different Farm Kings fans cluing me in on happens with our favorite farming family.  Thanks so much Bonnie & Joan!  Y'all rock!!!

OK, lets do the easy one first.  Head on over to the Farm Kings Facebook page.  All kinds of new pictures up.  Lots from this weekends chainsaw carving event featuring Pete.  My daughter was very happy to see new Pete pics.  She wanted to know if she could start a count down until the start of season 3 yet.  Seeing as she's got no real sense of time yet I'm thinking no on that one!  Anyway, head on over and check out the pics! 
Then I got an email from Joan that included this LINK

Congratulations to Tim King and Maggie Steinheiser, who celebrated their wedding day on Saturday, November 2, 2013!  Their 2:30 wedding ceremony, located at Holy Sepulcher Church, was officiated by Reverend John B. Gizler III.
Tim and Maggie’s wedding reception took place at Succop Conservancy in Butler, with guests arriving at 4:00.  Formal introductions began with their parents and the bridal party dancing in to “I Like To Move It”, by Reel To Reel, while Tim and Maggie made their grand entrance, accompanied by their guests clapping and stomping, to the Jock Jams favorite, “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble”!
Immediately following their introduction, Maggie and Tim shared their first dance together as husband and wife, accompanied by ”I Cross My Heart”, by George Strait, which was followed by the cutting of the cake.  The chosen song for the cake cutting was “All I Want Is You”, by Tristan Prettyman.
It was a pleasure to work with my good friend and most awesome photographer, Bethany Boarts, owner of Wedding By Bethany, who, as always, expertly and graciously provided the lens work for the evening.  Steve Dalton, owner of Steven Dalton Photography, was also on hand to lend his creativity and expertise to the evening’s photos.
After dinner, which was prepared by the wonderful staff at Medure’s, Maggie shared a special dance with her dad, Terry, accompanied by ”Daddy, Dance With Me”, by Krystal Keith, followed by Tim and his mom, Lisa, dancing to “A Song For My Son”, by Mikki Viereck.
The bridal party then joined Maggie and Tim on the dance floor, accompanied by “Bust A Move”, by Young M.C., which kicked off open dancing for the evening.
It was wonderful to be included in Maggie and Tim’s wedding day!  Their evening concluded with all of their friends and family joining them on the dance floor, accompanied by their chosen song, “In This Life”, by Colin Raye.
Join me in wishing Tim and Maggie all the best in their new life together!

The reception locale looks incredible on the website.  But please tell me that I'm not the only one who looked at the songs they used and did a little bit of mental math and then scratched their head.  I know what I was doing when these songs were released but just to refresh your memory here is the list and the songs release year.  Many of these songs had Maggie and Tim as little kids.  What the heck.  I'm pretty sure that at 3 or 6 I wasn't listening to pop radio.  I was trapped in the car with my mom getting down to the BeeGee's.  Admittedly some of the songs have been used in movies or are regular music at sporting events but this is beyond old school for the couple.  

I like to move it 1993 Maggie 4 Tim 7
Let’s Get ready to Rumble 1994 Maggie 5 Tim 8
I Cross My Heart 1992 Maggie 3 Tim 6
All I Want Is You 2008 Maggie 19 Tim 22
Daddy, Dance With Me Krystal Keith 2013 Maggie 24 Tim 27
A Song For My Son Mikki Viereck 1991 Maggie 2 Tim 5
Bust A Move Young M.C. 1989 Maggie infant Tim 3
In This Life Colin Raye 1992 Maggie 3 Tim 6

SO, what is up with the old school stuff kids?  Hopefully a good time was had by all!  Mazel Tov!  Live long and prosper!  Congrats!  Woot woot!  

Friday, November 8, 2013

I love Autumn!

Fall is by far my favorite season.  I think it always has been.  I love the beauty of leaves changing and Mother Nature readying herself for winter.  Hearing the geese honk as they fly overhead.  Smelling the leaves that someone is burning.  Today was another day of getting things around the house ready for fall.  Two weeks ago we put in most of the storm windows.  Today my dad and I mowed up and raked up the leaves.  Took down various yard decorations and put away stuff.  I always wonder how people with a bunch more land take care of everything.  It was a gorgeous day to be outside and I loved it.  I worked myself into a much deserved nap which was also nice (as long as I can sleep tonight!).  I dumped some of the mowed leaves directly into the garden.  Then I filled several plastic bags with mowed leaves.  I read that if you fill bags with leaves add some soil and water and lay it out that by the spring you'll have a pretty composted material to use in the garden. 

I also spend a lot of time on Pinterest today.  I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving.  We're staying here in town this year.  My dad always wants to go to Chicago to spend the day with his siblings (he's the oldest of 6).  Driving there and back in one day makes for a rough day.  Also with Thanksgiving so late this year there's a good chance of bad weather.  It is pretty rough on Princess Bear (PB) to sit and behave that long even with movies to keep her entertained. Even better yet is the fact that my sister is hosting it instead of us.  My job will be to cook or bake several dishes and then keep the kids entertained for the day.  I can completely hang with that.  So today on Pinterest I was looking up new recipes and craft ideas to do with the kids. 

I also supplement what PB is taught in school since I’m very sure that her education is lacking.  We started out doing chapters about animals because she is a complete animal nut.  It takes a whole lot of repetition for her to remember things but once she has it she doesn’t forget it.  Lately I’ve also been adding things like the history of Halloween.  I love all things Celtic so that chapter was fun for me to work on.  Tonight I started working on the history of the first Thanksgiving.  I’ve found a ton of stuff to share with her including crafts and worksheets.  Next up will be Christmas.  I think I’ll focus on Christmas customs from different countries.  She’s pretty familiar with the religious aspect of it so I don’t feel like I have to delve into that much more.  Also each year my sister and I pick a charity and discuss with the kids where we want to send money as Jesus’ birthday gift.  We always do Christmas Eve and my moms house.  Then on Christmas day my sister, brother in law and nephews come over for a Jesus birthday party.  We reheat leftovers from the night before and have a birthday cake for Jesus.  Hopefully it reminds the kids why they get a slew of gifts and that there is a much bigger reason for the hoopla. 

So that is the story here.  Have a good one!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Random Musings

For anyone that knows me well you might be wondering why I'm blogging and not completely glued to the Bears vs Packers game.  We've had a rough day here and Princess Bear (PB) is one sick kid.  After a few hours at the Dr's office and a set of chest x-rays the official diagnosis is pneumonia.  So much for rest, lots of vitamin C and trying to stay the hell off antibiotics.  SO, while I do have the game on and the Bears are playing on helluva game, GO BEARS!, I'm also cuddling a sick kid.  She has her phases with liking or not liking football.  Thankfully, we're in a liking football phase!

 photo bears-packers-instinct_zpsaf4592da.jpg

In this house we bleed Cubbie and Bears blue depending on the time of year. One of my dads close friends is a die hard Packers fan so my dad & I love to razz him, especially when we best them. Every year when football season starts I have a bit of nostalgia and miss living near the city. There is absolutely nothing better than watching your team in their stadium. Now that said I also really love watching the Sunday pregame show because it doesn't get much hotter than Howie Long and the comfort of watching the game at home is nice. I've spent many a game freezing parts I didn't even know I had watching the Bears play. Soldier Field is right on Lake Michigan so depending on the weather its either cold and windy or freezing and windy!

  photo bears-packers_zps23c08be2.jpg 
 I love this pic!!! I really wish the Bears would have let Urlacher play for one more season. I always look at him and feel bad for his mom. The dude has a HUGE head, no neck and ginormous shoulders. Granted he didn't look like that as a baby but it his head was even the baby version of that he had to be awful to deliver. Ugh! Can you imagine????

Back to PB being sick and out of school I'm really not looking forward to dealing with her school. Things aren't any better at this school and in some ways they are even worse. The woman who answers the phone is such a snot that I wish I could reach through the phone and shake some niceness into her. Hopefully the antibiotic will kick in quickly. PB is allergic to 2 or the 3 major antibiotic categories so its always a scary thing to put her on antibiotics. Will the work? Will she have a reaction? Her allergies have tied the Dr's hands in a lot of ways and he did warn me that if she didn't respond quickly that they would have to put her on antibiotic injections so her body wouldn't build up too much of a tolerance to the drugs she can take. Unfortunately PB didn't not inherit my non-fear of needles. As I said, today was basically random musings. I'm too tired to think straight! Just chillin' and enjoying some football and praying that my baby girl gets better soon!

  photo bears_zps37fd38dc.jpg

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013

I admit it- I'm a Halloween freak.  I love the decorating, baking, costumes and all the hoopla involved with Halloween.  Princess Bear (PB) is a pretty big Halloween fan too.  We usually deck the house from lights with spider webs outside and the inside is all done up.  This year it just didn't happen.  Last week my dad was on his rolling layoff week so we'd planned on putting up the lights. Then PB got sick and was out of school all last week with a pretty nasty respiratory infection.  She is finally done with the round of steroids the Dr. put her on put is still doing breathing treatments every 4 hours.  She isn't anywhere not back to herself so I wasn't too sure how Halloween was going to pan out.  She usually goes trick or treating with my nephews.  My sister and bil take all three kids trick or treating while I pass out the treats at their house.  It was raining all day yesterday.  Actually torrential downpours for parts of it.  My mood wasn't improved by the fact that I was working on 2.5 hours of sleep.  I'd been up doing goody bags and decorating cupcakes for PB's class until the wee hours of the morning.

As the day went it it just got more chaotic.  I had to babysit Luke so my sister could make it to part of Tyler's Halloween party.  Luke is a good little kid.  He pushes it but knows when to stop.  Yesterday he evidently forgot where the stopping point is.  My sister got home and realized Luke was awake instead of napping.  I was getting ready to leave and she got a text from her sister in law who was 32 weeks pregnant.  Christine was having contractions and was dialated to a centimeter.  My sister wanted to go to the hospital if Christine wanted her there.  I called my dad and asked him if he could pick up PB from school if necessary. We hung out and I finally had to leave to get PB.  Right about then Christine said she didn't want company and the skies opened up with a crazy mad rainstorm.  They are doing all kinds of construction on 74 so I've been using the back country roads when getting to my sisters house.  I love these roads normally.  On a nice, sunny, dry day.  They aren't as frequently traveled and you can usually fly along them.  Yesterday I almost lost control of the car because there was so much water on the road.  My car went into a complete hydroplane slide.  I tried to correct but not over correct and damn near got hit by a car.  I'm not sure which would have been better: going down an embankment or getting hit head on.  I'm just very glad to be alive.

I got PB and her cough was still pretty bad.  My sister had said if it was raining she wasn't taking her kids out.  That made it easy to cancel that one.  Unfortunately PB's friend asked her to participate in her churches Halloween activities.  It took a little more talking to convince PB that wasn't a good idea.  Fortunately she's a good kid overall and I convinced her that she could have her fill of candy at home and dress up to pass out the candy to the trick or treaters.  She was thrilled and wanted to know if she could still wear make up.  She's  never allowed to wear make up unless it's Halloween or a recital.  I agreed and once again she was a happy kid. 

Around 4pm my sister called and needed me to come over and watch Luke.  Apparently he woke up from his nap sick.  The kid had a runny nose but was fine when I put him down.  WTF?  Her sister in law wanted her to pick up some items and bring them to the hospital.  At that point Christine was over 5cm and had an epidural.  There was no stopping this little guy from coming.  So I went back to my sisters on the same roads I'd almost bought it on a few hours earlier.  My brother in law was waiting to take Tyler trick or treating and trying to hold down the fort.  Luke wasn't too upset about not going out since his brother agreed to give him 1/2 his treats.  So Luke and I played on ipads and passed out candy.  That child is amazing at games.  His hand eye coordination is outstanding for a 3 year old!  It started pouring and I started wondering where Tyler and my bil were.  I was also getting nervous about driving home since the weather was getting worse and I can't see for s#&t at night. 

Since this is now over 24 hours later I obviously made it home.  Unscathed thankfully!  My parents had just turned out the lights since the weather on this side of the river was getting pretty nasty too.  PB was hanging out watching the Charlie Brown Halloween special and eating candy.  She said it had been the best Halloween ever.  OK.  I'll take that!!!

I was so ready to crash and got PB off to bed fairly early and was trying to turn in when my sister called saying that Christine had delivered and the baby was doing fairly well.  At 32 weeks he was 17" and 5 lbs.  Not bad at all for a baby who is 2 months early!  As of this morning he was even off oxygen.  He's a gorgeous tiny thing!  I stopped at the hospital for just a few minutes to drop off a few things for them.  I took a notebook so they could write down what was happening.  When you have a sick little one it can get overwhelming so it's nice to have a reference.  I also added a journal for Christine so she can give it to the baby when he's older.  I made a little sign that said Baby is _____ days old! and numbers so they can take his pic every day and see how much he's improving and getting big.  Tons of preemie onesies and hats and fuzzy socks for Christine.  I really didn't think they'd let me into NICU to see him but I'm sure glad I was able too.  PB has kind of adopted Christine and Craig as her aunt and uncle as well.  I don't know if it's because she is so close to her cousins so in her mind it makes sense that they aunt and uncle are hers or what.  Craig and Christine have always been wonderful to her so I'm sure that added to it.  PB was aware that Auntie Tine's baby was trying to come early so part of her bedtime prayers were to watch over Auntie Tine and her baby.  This morning when I told her the baby was born and doing alright she was still worried.  True to nature of being a child who has spent too much time in the hospital herself she started asking all kinds of questions like "does he have an IV?" "what kinds of tubes and tests does he need?".  So I was very glad to be able to tell her that I'd seen the baby and he looked great!

Here is a pic of PB in her costume and her Cinderella pumpkin.  Next time my parents buy her a mongo pumpkin they are cleaning it and carving it!   Just sayin'!  Hope y'all had a great Halloween!

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