Saturday, August 30, 2008

Workin' Girl

So here I sit on a Saturday morning thinking about the promises I made to share all about my new job, my dead cat, etc. Really, if I wanted to get my blog up to date I should talk about the economy and it's effect on my husband's job first... but I'm too tired to go there this morning so my slightly out of order story will start with my new job.

Nothing too exciting... I'm working at a local cafe directly across the street from my kids school 2 - 3 days a week. I only work during school hours (8:00ish to 1:00ish), and will still spend the majority of my time at home (or helping in the classroom).I get the cool title of Batista, but really I'm just serving coffee to old guys and hearing all the small town chatter.

Basically, we saw our income drop considerably, and we were having to make cuts. One of the things that was putting a strain on our shrinking budget were my children's activities (dance,gymnastcis, etc). We were down to a necessity only budget so the kids activities were going to have to go. That's when I heard about the job and decided to apply.

There you have it! I actually like working. I'm pretty social so this is a good outlet for me. It's not demanding, time consuming, or difficult so it keeps me open to focus on my priorities... my family. And the best perk? Free espresso!

The down side? Well, I have to wear black so I'm looking pretty goth these days ( ; and avoiding all that small town GOSSIP!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What Should I Post About?

I can't believe it's been nearly three weeks since I've posted... and I left with a recipe post at that! So much is going on in my life that I need hours to write it all down. I think the daunting task of getting my blog up to date part of what keeps me away.

So what should I post about?

The bad economy and it's effect on our family?

My dead cat?

Our week at fair?

My new job?

My father?

Our choice to stay put in the country?

How stupid I think this whole Obama media hyped election is?

HELP! Where should I start?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Zucchini Casserole to Die For

Gayle over at The Grocery Cart Challenge is having a frugal recipe swap. Our garden is producing TONS of Zucchini, and this recipe is a delicious (all though incredibly fattening) way to use it up. Below is a variation of a recipe I found online.

Zucchini Casserole to Die For

45 min | 15 min prep


6 cups zucchini grated or diced (I grated it)
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup butter
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 (8 ounce) package seasoned stuffing mix
1/2 cup shredded cheddar

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, combine cream of chicken soup and sour cream; set aside.

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat.

Add onion and sauté until soft.

Add grated or diced zucchini and grated carrots.

Stir frequently until zucchini is soft; about 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked veggies, soup mixture and seasoned stuffing together, stirring gently until well mixed.

Spread into a lightly greased 13"x9" baking dish.

Sprinkle cheddar over top.

Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

To make it a main dish you could add diced chicken... or barbecue chicken and have this as a side. Honestly... I'd just skip the chicken all together and eat nothing but this... it's THAT good!

On a frugal note, I wait until the stuffing mix goes on sale for $1 a box and stock up (we have another favorite recipe that call for it). I also grate and freeze my zucchini when I have it (free from my garden) so I can use it through the winter in breads and casseroles. If I buy the soup mix and sour cream on sale, this recipe costs less than $3, and is more than enough for 6.

Monday, August 4, 2008


We had quite the traumatic day yesterday.

My husband is part of a volunteer fire department where we live. It's a group of 60 or so farmers (and the random rural banker thrown in for good measure). Several times a summer, a small fire will start up in the wheat fields and it's put out within an hour. Pretty simple stuff..... usually.

Yesterday my husband was called out on a fire. I didn't think much of it. I was making my husband's favorite dinner, and it was just about finished when he got the call. I was irritated. Irritated because he would miss dinner, because I had to take the kids to the 4-H meeting by myself. He asked me to make him a sandwich so he didn't have to leave hungry. I said no.

I fed the kids and got ready for 4-H. With the kids screaming in the car "hurry up mom, we're late" I started to walk outside, but as my foot touched the first step on my porch, I heard God say "you forgot to pray for Chris". I always pray when he heads out for a fire, but this time I HAD indeed forgotten, so I said a prayer for his safety and went off to 4-H.

As we sat outside our group leaders home during our meeting, their phone kept ringing. It was ignored, and we carried about with our decorating and sheep details. Finally someone decided to answer the phone.

Chris had been pulled from the fire and was in the emergency room.

I knew nothing. I drove 90 miles an hour. I prayed like I never have prayed before.

Once I arrived in the emergency room I was bombarded with insurance questions... whay do they do that? All I wanted to do was find out how he was.

They only gave me a few facts

1. He was alive
2. He was talking
3. People were still trapped in the fire

I instantly broke down. I thought of our friends and neighbors that were out in the fire. Who was it still trapped inside?

After a few minutes they took me back to see my husband. He was hooked up to all sorts of machines, receiving oxygen, skin and clothes black with smoke, but he was alive and doing well.

After I held him and cried, I found out that indeed our dearest neighbor was one of those trapped. Sobs and prayers continued.

While fighting the fire, several volunteers went down into a steep ravine a few hundred feet deep. With a sudden shift of the wind the fire changed course and cut my husband off from the others. He had no idea what lay behind the wall of fire that separated them. But he did know what lay between his death and safety. The 100 foot wall of the ravine.

With all of his energy he climbed the ravine with the fire behind him. The smoke filled his lungs, and the heat was unbearable. At one point he said he gave up. He rested on a rock staring at the fire... praying to God that he didn't have to die this way. Fear of the pain as the deafening roar of the flames pounded in his head. At that point he passed out, but awoke to find himself climbing the final stretch of the ravine. Once at top fellow volunteers threw him into a pick up, fled from the flames and rushed him to the hospital.

He did not receive a single burn.

While he suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning, he was expected to have a full recovery.

The friends that were trapped have their own terrifying story, but they too escaped.

The fire was finally put out this afternoon. It got so bad they had to close down the interstate and bring in the firefighters from as far as 100 miles away.

On a final note, I would like to mention that it was around 6:00 that my husband almost died. God stopped me to pray at 6:00.

God is good.