Sunday, December 27, 2009

Robbing the Kroger

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We had a quiet day here... just what I wanted! I made homemade cinnamon rolls for the first time, but had a butter streusel(sp?) coffee cake as a back up in case the rolls were a disaster. Surprisingly, the coffee cake was the big disappointment and the cinnamon rolls were delish! We had a burst of snow flurries, but otherwise just a very windy day.

I got three cookbooks, including one on dim sum from Much Younger Sister, the Pioneer Woman Cooks book from Christina, and a book on the best of British cooking from Marmite Toasty. I have a stack of magazines yet to read (another family tradition) and a couple of PC games I have already played! A great Christmas.

But, today, I needed to go to the grocery store for milk and a few other things. And it was there that I started continued my life of crime! Just before leaving home, I grabbed my coupon wallet. I wasn't going to, since I only needed a few things, but thought... What the heck! I'm glad I did! Stud Muffin and I must have entered the store just after they marked down a bunch of items!

So this is what we came home with:

2 FRESH Butterball turkeys, each around 15 pounds, marked down to $.29 a pound, minus 2 $2 coupons = $2.24 and $2.44
2 half gallons of milk, marked down to $.99 each
2 Smart Balance butter spreads $5.00 - .55 coupon (doubled) = $1.95 each
2 Smart Balance sour cream = Free with coupon and purchase of the butter spread
4 Granny Smith apples
1 bag of croutons
1 large container of Simply Smooth coffee minus doubled coupon = $4.99
1 package french toast
1 can of organic fire-roasted tomatoes

Grand total?? $24.57!!! With the sale prices and coupons, I saved 42%. What a haul for a trip out to get milk!

I am now hiding at home, waiting for the grocery police to come and get me for ripping off the store for all of this food!

Guess what's for dinner tomorrow?? Here's a hint. It is fresh, cheap and made by Butterball!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Image by

I'm still alive and still unwinding. I take naps and am reading a novel from the library. Fiction. No charts or graphs. It feels good to be done with school for a while.

Not much goes on around the farm, but that is good. I harvested the last of the basil seeds, and used the tractor to smooth some speed bumps out of the gravel road. I have cooked a bit, started tidying up my sewing space, and thrown away a ton of school papers.

I never got the Christmas cards done. But that doesn't mean I don't love you!! I know you will forgive me!

Christmas preparations are as done as they will get. I need a few more groceries, but that is it.

I hope to get another post up before Christmas, but if my heavy napping schedule gets in the way, I want to wish everyone a very happy holiday!! Oh! This just in...


Monday, December 14, 2009

I did it!!!

Image by

There will be some dancing in the streets... as soon as I take a nap! I haven't slept more than 3 hours at a time since Thursday, but I got enough points on my Anatomy final exam to get an A in the class!!

I almost fell out of my chair in the library-quiet testing room! I was all prepared to break down in sobs, then escorted from the room in disapproval, but it didn't have to happen!!

So I have a second semester with all A's! Whoo hoo!

Oh! And after my 24 hour nap?? I'm going to take all my papers and notes and do this:

Image by

Might even roast some marshmallows! Let the holidays begin!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Weird horoscope

Stud Muffin read me my horoscope from the (sort-of) local newspaper:

"Someone will test your knowledge, skill, or intelligence. Though you may find such drills to be nerve wracking, you will excel. And whatever you get wrong, you will more than make up for with good common sense."

Freaky... yes? This is better than a fortune cookie from a Chinese restaurant!

I hope it comes true (*crosses fingers*.)

BTW, I DID get an A in Chemistry!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

One more down, one more to go!


I have now finished 3 out of my 4 final exams. Yesterday, it was the most-hated chemistry class. You know, the one I whined excessively about because the online program couldn't even do basic math and always told you your answer was wrong when it wasn't?

I didn't have high hopes going into the test, but spent 2 1/2 days stuffing facts into my rapidly shrinking head. We were allowed a periodic table and one 4x6 inch note card in the test.

Now, the professor didn't say we had to handwrite the note card, so I crammed as many formulas and definitions as I could onto it by typing them up and using a reeeeallly small font and printing it out on both sides of the card.

The card is a lot clearer than in this picture!

My test proctor at the college laughed when she saw the card, but agreed that I was allowed to have it! Can I fill up a note card or what?!?

I spent so much time trying to remember the rules for naming hydrocarbons 4-ethyl-2,5,6-trimethyloctane, and then they never asked about it! Not that I'm complaining, but... sheesh! I got 85% correct on the test and if the stars align, the professor takes pity on me, or whatever, I might just pull an A out of this disastrous course.

So now I am dusting the chemistry out of my overworked brain cells and preparing for the mother-of-all-exams, Anatomy & Physiology II. Twelve chapters, 100 questions, and 110 minutes to do it in. I am holding an A in the class right now, so the pressure is on NOT TO SCREW IT UP! I have until Monday morning to cram all of this information:

into a head the size of a cantaloupe and still leave room for the neurons that keep me breathing.

The good news is that my doctor put me on some prescription weight-loss drugs to help me lose weight and control my blood sugar. Not only have I lost 7 pounds in the last week, but I'm getting by on about 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night. Sheer panic and good pharmaceuticals will do that for you!

After Monday, I plan on doing this:

Found on

then forgetting everything I have learned and taking a nap! Wish me luck and keep me in your thoughts that I survive until Tuesday!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

One more week

Image from

In one week from tomorrow, the fall school semester will be finished for me. Come hell or high water. For good or bad.

And then I can stop waking up for the day at 2:30 AM!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dear Blogosphere,

I wouldn't blame you if you never spoke to me again. I wish I could be a better correspondent these days, but... alas! I wish I had pithy things to tell you and could entertain you with all the silly antics that make up my life these days, but they too have escaped.

The moments of my day have been reduced to waking up at 4 AMish with a panicky feeling that I will never finish all of my school work. Only two more weeks and still a ton of homework, tests, and experiments to do.

I feed the dogs and try to get some work done. Then one of two things happens. I get too sleepy and have to go back to bed again, or I just keep studying. Or both.

Image by

The laundry is never done, the dust bunnies have formed a union and are claiming I never pay them any attention. The dogs need baths and the husband need acknowledgment and a good home-cooked meal.

Occasionally, I join Stud Muffin for a trip out to the grocery, especially if we run out of bread (we've been eating a lot of cold sandwiches here) or milk. A hot lunch out may be involved. Then it is home for more studying.

On Thanksgiving, I cooked our dinner while learning more than I ever wanted to about urine formation. The turkey cooked faster than I expected and it almost ended up like the turkey from "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."

This is NOT my turkey! Image by

I fully expected it to pop open and form a dust-dry cavern when I cut into the bird. But all was okay. Except that I had to study about urine formation.

Yesterday, one of the dogs from up the street came strolling down our drive. It happens regularly, maybe one dog, maybe three. But yesterday, Dixie just stood around outside of the house. She wandered back and forth, stopping, then going a bit further. Drove my dogs nuts! Finally, Dixie honed in on my raised vegetable beds. She peered in and around, sniffed, and finally climbed into one of the beds and pulled out an entire deer leg! From MY vegetable bed!

Who stashed a deer leg (with meat) in my vegetable bed?? Is there a three-legged deer hopping through the forest looking for it?? I suspect Dixie stashed it herself, not wanting to share with the others, because I have found random animal parts in the beds before. Well, she dragged this thing out of the bed and trotted off down the drive with it. My beds will never be the same. Guess I am glad I didn't go out there to inspect the garlic that has already started sprouting!

And that, dear blogosphere, is the extent of my existence. Urinalysis and a dry turkey, and a dead animal leg coming from my garden.

I wouldn't blame you for breaking up with me. But if you did, you would never get to hear about all the terrible things I will be doing to the mannequin patients in nursing school. Which starts is a little over a month!

I will NOT be breaking up with you, however, since reading other's blogs lets me know that there is life after school!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'm sorry...

Found at

I am such a bad blogger. But my excuse is that I am sooooo boring these days! All I do these days is schoolwork, and wreck lawn equipment, and ignore my husband, so there isn't really anything to blog about!

And since none of you have offered to help me with Chemistry or Anatomy, I'm sure you don't want to hear how much it all sucks and that I CAN'T wait for the semester to be over with!!

I will tell you this. Almost Grown has decided that she wants to go to nursing school too. She has been in contact with her local community college and it boils down to the following: She has a four year degree from a prestigious private (read: still paying off the loans) university, but the community college won't give her credit for the two math classes, including statistics, that she took during college.

By www.portfolioweekly,com

They insist that she not only take Fundamentals of Math for College Dummies, but first, the prerequisite to that class. Until she does, she can't register for any beginning biology classes. And she needs four bio classes before she can even think about applying to the nursing school. As it stands now, it will take her 6 semesters to get all the prereqs done (only one can be taken at a time, in order!) before she can apply. Unless she moves to a different town with a better community college, I'm afraid she will qualify for Social Security before she's qualified for the nursing program!

We got the lawn mower back after trailering it to the engine repair place to have them clean out the carburetor. Works like a champ now, and they even found a broken choke cable, so it is even better than new. Just in time to sit in the shop all winter!

Meals have sunk to a new low, mainly consisting of frozen pizza and canned peaches. I have barely started any Christmas crafts, so my children are likely to get a sack with a half finished gift in it. If I didn't shoot you out of my body like an over-sized pot roast, don't hold your breath on getting a gift from me this year! I mean, really! Did you help me with Chemistry??? Did ya?

But I did get my physical done for my nursing school paperwork. Apparently, I will live to see another day... as a pincushion. I had blood work done, got a tetanus shot, a Hepatitis B shot, a H1N1 shot, and a TB test. When I was asked if I have any mental issues or concerns, I said, "I want to die asleep like my grandfather. Not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car." That shut them up! Thanks Cindy for the line!

See? This is why there have been no new posts up here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A very bad day :(

I hope today goes away and stays there.

It started with a trip uptown for some groceries. Stud Muffin drove me past the steakhouse restaurant where we celebrated our 25 wedding anniversary in August. On Monday night, the place burned down.

Not just a little bit charred. Nothing left to save.

And it was the only (sort of) decent steak house around here.

We got home, with a pot roast to make for dinner tonight. After I took a Psychology test, I decided to avoid Anatomy for a while and give the backyard a final mowing for the season.

A word of warning for all you boys and girls...Always label your fuel containers. And never, ever pour diesel fuel into a gasoline-powered mower.

I DON'T want to talk about it!!

But I will say that Studly and I spent the rest of the afternoon draining the fuel tank, buying a new fuel filter, reconnecting everything. And it still won't start. Now we are charging the battery and will try again tomorrow.

I am tired, still have the crud, and it's too late to make the pot roast.

Photo by

And I smell like gasoline and diesel.

Think the CPR dummy will notice tomorrow???

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pimp My Ride... and other stuff

The Bad Boy Buggy came home a while back, but I just haven't gotten around to posting about it.

Studly is happy to have it back.

The owner of the place that did all the upgrades and repair work had never bought a red one for his lot, but after seeing how nice it looked being towed behind his bright red truck, has decided he must have one!

Look at them shiny wheels!

I missed my buggy so much while he was gone. But now he has new batteries, tires and wheels, and a new battery filling setup that will make them much easier to keep topped off.

In other news, I went to my Nursing School orientation on Friday. I was there for 4 1/2 hours filling out paperwork, agreeing to background checks and drug tests, and basically being told that they own my life for the next two years. We signed tons of documents, signed up for CPR courses and hospital orientation dates, and registered for classes.

I am in the middle of trying to get some Psychology classes waived based on the fact that... HELLO!... I already HAVE a degree in Psychology. There are not making it easy, though, and insisted that I sign up for the required Developmental Psych class. ARG!

So, I oriented, signed up and signed off, and then promptly lost most of my paperwork. Yeah, I'm going to really good at this stuff! I have bought my hospital uniform and stethoscope, white leather shoes and $400 worth of used textbooks. And today, I woke up with the "crud". Coincidence? I think not!

But I better get over my snot-filled self pretty darn quick, because I have to go huff and puff and pound on a blow-up CPR doll on Friday and I need all my lung capacity and then some!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Napus Interruptus

The setup: I was minding my own business, thoroughly enjoying a Sunday afternoon nap on a bed with clean, line-dried sheets, when Nick launched himself off of the bed. Stud Muffin had made some toast and Nick was determined to have his share. Next comes frantic barking... mostly Nick, but Sassy chiming in too. I hear the screen door open and two dogs scrabbling off the porch.

More barking, but sporadic this time. The door opens again and two dogs come tearing into the house. Next thing I know, Nick has jumped back on the bed and was practically sitting on my head! As I extricated my face from under a hairy, but just washed doggie, Stud Muffin entered the bedroom to give me the report.

The story: Nick had caught a glimpse of the white plastic that I had been using to solarize the vegetable beds hanging over the fence drying. Then it moved. He had been out with me as I draped said killer plastic on the fence but I guess it made a threatening flutter and he needed to warn it away from his sleeping mistress.

You show it who's boss, Nick!

Studly reported that Nick barked then approached the plastic. It moved again and Nick got scared and high-tailed it back to the porch, where he barked at it some more. Then he came in and jumped on my face. To protect me.

Another happy, but hairy pet-owner safe from marauding plastic drop cloths!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Where all the money goes

Early this morning, Stud Muffin got up and washed the Bad Boy Buggy. See, it was making a 90 mile trip (not by itself, but on a trailer, silly!) to get some much needed service. We rely on this buggy every single day, but the batteries were shot, the wheels were out-of-round and bouncy and the headlights didn't work.

Nothing a couple of bags of money won't put right. *Sigh*

But the nice man who picked it up promised to take good care of it (for a price) and hoped to return it to us early next week.

Then there is Kubota Jane, my beloved tractor. I took her out of the shop the other morning to remove the bush hog mower and hook up the box blade to grade the roads.

Once I hopped down from the cab to wrestle the mower off I noticed that something wasn't quite right. Can you see it??

The front tire is not only flat, but almost completely off the rim!! Well, she needed service too... oil change, clutch adjustment, Pap smear and mammogram.

Red mower off, yellow box blade... not on!

So, tomorrow, a different man will come with a much bigger trailer and haul Jane off to be fixed.

Nothing another bag full of money won't fix. *Sigh*

And that is where the money all goes. Taking care of the stuff that takes care of you is expensive. Good thing I like margarine and crackers for dinner!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I may just live

Yesterday, Stud Muffin bought me a gift. I sent him to the pharmacy for some life-sustaining medication and he came back with this:

A variety pack of nostalgic-wrapped Hershey's bars found at Sam's Club. Reese's peanut butter cups, two kinds of Hershey bars and Mr. Goodbars.

Stud Muffin would make a great pharmacist!! I think I'll make it through another week!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Revenge of the Beaver

The dang beaver is at it again! A drive across the bridge showed that they had not, in fact, moved to Las Vegas where it is warm and they have all-you-can-eat buffets.

They had, instead, decided that they needed a new swimming pool complete with lounge chairs and cabana boys.

Luckily, the intrepid beaver hunter, my sister Christina, came for a short visit and was more than game to attack the new dam. If anyone mentions the two women who appear to be nothing but enormous breasts squeezing out of waders, I will never post a picture again! But here they are, in the Bad Boy Buggy, off to wreck the damn dam... again.

It took about an hour and a half of hard work, pulling sticks out and digging up the submerged pipe and anchor blocks. There was mud flinging everywhere!! But we did it, repositioning the drain pipe and placing the blocks to hold it securely.

The water drained out of the pool, we got the stream flowing again and sent the cabana boys packing!

We went home dirty, but happy with our effort!

BTW, Christina, 4 days later, the bugger is rebuilding the dam again! You better come back!

Today I planted garlic.

Separating garlic cloves.

Sorry no planting pictures, I kinda forgot! I got my garlic from Hood River Garlic in Oregon, a wonderful family owned organic garlic farm. All garlic, all the time! Their garlic grows so well, I only have to plant a new crop every other year to keep my stinky breath all year long! This crop will be ready to harvest in July, but the scapes will provide some garlicky goodness in the spring.

And of course, school is never far from my mind. I am half way through the semester, and can't wait to be done with it! It is pretty much all I do, which is why there aren't many posts these days. Unless you guys want to help me learn how to name hydrocarbons (1,2-dimethyloctane, etc) or memorize all the arteries and veins in the human body, we don't have much to talk about!

In fact, today's Sunday comics sums the situation up pretty well.

If you can't read this "Zits" comic, the father is asking if the son has much homework tonight, and the son says "A little" while he shovels books and notes onto a conveyor belt into his bedroom window.

Yep. That's me!

Friday, October 16, 2009

I'm mmmoldingggg....

Okay, now say that like the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz, and you'll get a sense of what I'm feeling!

The rain just won't stop! In the 16 days since the start of October, it has rained 13 of them. Really! And when the rain comes like that, the mold spores have a party, get drunk and wake up with a hangover all over my stuff!

Like the back gate.

Windy, blurry picture day!

All of the porch railings, etc are white. Well, they should be white. But now??

It's time to get out the pump sprayer and some bleach water!

The ground is completely soaked, squishing whenever you step outside. Oh, I know that it is not as bad as the people who are getting flooded out of their homes, and for that, I am thankful! But when I put down the plastic to solarize the vegetable beds, I was counting on a bit of solar, you know? Now all I have is mossy pools on top of the plastic. A swimming pool for mosquitos, if you will!

The water has also cut some ditches in the rock surrounding the vegetable beds. I had the misfortune of stepping in one a while back and falling down hard. Felt like Ramona Quimby with her scraped knees!

And all that pretty mulch I worked so hard to put down in the front flower beds... gone, gone, gone!

There is some good out of all this rain. I'm getting some pretty cool moss growing in the flower beds!

Pay no attention to the weeds and the missing mulch! It's just an optical illusion!

I'm also getting some neat leaf prints on the driveway.

A final note: Stud Muffin thought it would be fun to show you how (terribly) I look when I study at night! Surrounded by my computer (usually two) books and papers, all while trying to participate in family life in front of the television. It's sad, really.

Oh, and it's raining again. *Sigh*