Archive for April, 2008

April Fun in the Sun

April 23, 2008

We have been very busy this month.  First of all, we went to Huntsville with our friends to meet the Sisters of the Eternal Word.  A good time was had by all.  We learned about the patron saints of this order (St. Dominic and St. Francis), and there were also talks and crafts given by the sisters depending on the age group.  We also got to hear some of their beautiful music and some fun songs as well, such as a ballad that was written about an armadillo that was digging up the grounds of the convent, and about a buzzard who waited for the Lord to provide (which He did when a farmer shot a chicken hawk!)

   

A little later in the month, we met some wonderful new friends.  The boys are very interested in the War Between the States and being around them has rekindled that flame in our boys.  We also spent nearly a full 2 days with them and there was not a single fight, even when they got tired.  They thoroughly enjoy eachothers’ company.  Their Mom and I half joke about being in this friendship for the long haul.  The second day we spent with them was in the most beautiful part of Tennessee that I have seen, in the middle of nowhere.  The children played in a few creeks and watched one of the boys have his violin lesson. 

  

Yesterday everyone got their lessons done in a timely manor and had the rest of the day to play.  Ahhh, spring time in southern Tennessee, when the weather hits the lower 80s everyday!  The children wanted so badly to go to the creek.  John and James begged for buzz hair cuts, so I gave them those cuts.  Then the boys went to their favorite creek spot.  The girls and I started down to the “regular” creek spot and we were joined by the boys.

     

Later that day, Dad went out with the children to put up a tent made out of bamboo poles and an old sheet.  They then had fun building a camp fire.

  

And to think, April is not over yet!  More to come…(hopefully in a timely manor!)

Today’s Phone Call

April 11, 2008

Around noon we were driving home from a Contenders meeting and my cell phone rang.  It was a friend of mine in another county.  She said, “Do you know about the tornado?”  No, I didn’t.  She said, “Tornado right now 1 mile north-east of Ethridge.  Take cover.”  Well, that’s about the most exciting phone call I have gotten in a while!  I turned on the radio and heard it was in Lawrence County heading into Giles County.  We saw nasty, nasty clouds to the north of us, which turned out to be where it was.  It traveled east, but stayed to the north of us.  Praise God.   Later this afternoon we took a ride to check on my brother’s house in Ethridge because damage was said to have occured on a road that he lived off of.  His place didn’t get touched either.  We did go down that road and could not get back home that way because they had it closed.  We did see a good sized barn with it’s metal roof torn off and scattered all over the place.  Also, if you were coming from Ethridge, going to Lawrenceburg on Rt. 43 you saw some damage.  Several of the houses there had trees on them.    I have not heard of any fatalities and only one minor injury.  Here are the quick pictures that I snapped…

     

April Rain

April 9, 2008

We started Sring off here very wet!  What a blessing, especially after last summer’s drout.  The side creek that hardly ever runs was running so fast that it went under one side of the barn!  It actually ran for a few days which is rare.  We even had our temporary pond, and it was pretty big this time.  We had so much fun going out after the rains and seeing the water running.  It is just beautiful.  Here are some pictures…

The horses by the temporary pond        

Our Dinner One Evening (Edited to add Recipes)

April 9, 2008

Well, a vegetable dish that I prepared one evening was so pretty that Joe suggested that a picture be taken. It seemed to me that most of the dishes looked pretty, so we took some more. The nice thing is that they are simple dishes, look pretty, and are really quite delicious! If only dinner were this easy every night!

Menu:
Brown rice with barley
Adzuki beans with butternut squash
Boiled Salad

   

   

Adzuk Beans with Butternut Squash

-1″ piece kombu sea vegetable
-1/2 cup adzuki beans, soaked for at least 6 hours
-aprox. 1 cup butternut squash cubed
-water
-pinch of sea salt
-scallions for garnish

Soak the beans with the kombu sea vegetable (this will give them more minerals and help tenderize them a bit.) Drain the beans. Chop up kombu and add to pot. Put the adzuki beans in the pot followed by the cubed squash. Put in enough water to cover the beans. Cook on medium flame until it gets hot. Turn heat to low, cover and cook for about 1 hour. Check occationally to make sure there is still enough water to cover the beans. Add a pinch of sea salt and recover aporx. 10 minutes. No more water will need to be added at this point. After the 10 minutes, remove lid and let water cook out. Put in a serving bowl and garnish wtih scallions, cut on the diagonal.

Brown Rice with Barley

-1 1/2 cups brown rice
-1/2 cup barley
-3 1/3 cups water
-1 pinches of sea salt

Rinse grains. Put them in a pressure cooker with the water. Bring to a boil, uncovered over medium heat. When it comes to a boil, add 2 pinches of sea salt (one pinch per cup of grain). Place the lid on pressure cooker, lock it and bring to full pressure. When it comes to pressure, put a flame deflector under it and turn the heat to low. Pressure cook about 45 minutes. After that, either releas pressure or let pressure come down naturally. When pressure is down, remove lid and let sit about 10 minutes. Spoon into a serving bowl. We added chopped parsley to ours.

Boiled Salad
(A.K.A. Blanched Salad)

-Carrots, cut in rounds
-yellow summer squash, cut in rounds
-Kale, chopped into bite sized pieces
-pinch of sea salt
-water

dressing:
Umobeshi plums
cooking liquid

Bring pot of water to a boil. Add the carrots. After water comes back to boil, blance for aprox. a minute. Remove the carrots. Add a pinch of sea salt to the water. Add the yellow squash, bring water back to boil and blanch until the squash is bright yellow. Remove. Add kale and boil briefly. For the dressing, take an umobeshi plum (or two depending on the size of the plum and how much salad you have made) and put it in a suribachi (like a mortar and pestel, but has ridges inside.) Smosh it (is that a word) until it makes a thick paste. Add some of the cooking broth until desired consistancy is reached.

Note: Since I didn’t have a recipe to follow I had to write this off the top of my head. I hope it makes sense! Any questions? Just leave a comment. Thanks!

 

Spring Has Sprung

April 9, 2008

I have a new computer. It has Windows Vista. It has taken me a LONG TIME to figure out how to post pictures, and I’m still not sure this will work! My blog is totally different with Vista. That being said, these pictures were meant to be posted around St. Patrick’s Day when they were taken. The girls and I went out to see the signs of spirng. The Bartlett Pear Trees were white, the fruit trees were blossoming, and the daffodils were in their yellow splendor. Enjoy these! (I hope this works!!!)