Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Peter -- The Head Butt Lover

My son doesn't give sweet kisses and hugs. When Peter wants to express his deepest loving emotions, he simply lowers his head and you know what's coming. The cement hard forehead of a toddler straight at the bridge of your nose.

Often I wonder how I have missed so many bloody noses. He always thinks it's hilarious.

Funny guy.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Discovering the presumed unpalatable...

**Please take note of the irony and timing of this post.**

Being the good LDS food storer that I am, I have taken it upon myself to venture into the unknown and terrifying realms of tinned meat products.

Now, don't get me wrong! Tuna is alright, GOOD chicken is convenient, EXCELLENT crab can be amazing, clams are a must for my award winning chowder, but that is my personal experience in this lonely arena. Thus, due to my ignorance and paranoia, I have realized that I MUST finally face my fears. I must live by faith, that these products have been made for a reason and wouldn't have lasted over this past century if there wasn't a desire to consume them on a regular basis.

I have tried SPAM. In fact, I tried the low sodium brand that had less fat--you know the kind. In stead of 30g per serving it's like 29g. Low fat is awesome! Same great taste, almost the same great fat. Spam is pretty descent when you think about starving or only having 100 #10 cans of raw wheat. Frying it is a must for me, so if I were in survival mode I would HAVE to build a good roaring fire before I even opened the can of dog-food-smelling mechanically separated ham product. I will keep cans of Spam in my storage.

However, there are somethings that I cannot bring myself to try no matter the number of witnesses. These items are, but not excluded to: any kind of FEET, SNOUTS, EARS, GIZZARDS, and anything else that cannot be simply described on the packaging, or resembles body parts I recognize and do not wish to put in my body, or don't recognize and don't care to know. Vienna sausages are out for me. They look like nubby fingers. Can't think about it....

NO! I don't want to hear all the parts in SPAM! That fear is gone, leave it alone! (fingers plunge into ears, eyes close, head shakes) I can't hear you...LA LA LA LA LA LA LA...

Are we ready to be adults about this now.


Yesterday, I was in the grocery store, staring helplessly at all the options of discovery before me. The problem was I just didn't know what kind of discovery to make. I like fish. Tins of sardines began to flash and flip out at me, slowly seducing me to catch one. I couldn't decide which one to take: pretty wrapping, questionable packaging, oil, pure spring water. Was there a headless, boneless, skinless, taste yummy in my tummy kind? There was no such advertising to be found.

I settled on a cool red wrapped tin that looked professional. Maybe oil would be a good way to preserve the utmost sardine taste for my expert opinion on the tinned meat matter. Here we go!

On the way home, I contemplated all the ways to try eating the poor little packed fishies. I had no idea. I got on the Internet as quickly as possible once the groceries were away, the kids were fed and settled and I could begin my mad chef experiment. Most of the advice I found was from Sardine lovers who confessed to eating them straight out of the tin like a horse. They seemed to feel guilty about it, like it was some kind of vice in their life that no one knew about. Like a dirty little secret. I left the computer realizing I should just try them plain.

I removed the packaging first, because that's what the instructions told me to do, I'm not sure why. After the gorgeous (I imagine) hand-wrapped red shining plastic was off, I was disappointed to see a regular old tin with an expiration date on it. Nice bluff!

I had my smallest metal mixing bowl, a fork, some handy Ritz crackers and a frying pan ready to go. Upon opening the tin, I was ecstatic to see that the heads were not included! WHOO HOO!! I gently removed one little carcass and promptly dropped in the little bowl and smashed it into tiny silvery shards. Then I took my fresh, crispy, buttery perfected cracker and smeared the carcass onto it. I attempted to have my girls try some first, but I must have made a weird face, because without a word they ran out of the kitchen.

Before I partook of my magic creation, I felt I should take a test try with a little morsel I noticed on the side of the bowl. Taking a deep breathe, but keeping my eyes open, I placed it on my tongue and closed my gaping trap.

OH MY GOSH!!!! I was horrified!!

I had to take a bite of the cracker to make sure what I was really tasting. Yup!

I kid you not! Smoked Salmon!! I couldn't even believe it! My heart was pounding as I retrieved the packaging from the receptacle to check for nutritional value. Just as a suspected, high in calcium. Not bad!

It was so exciting that I called a few people to let them know what I had just discovered. Most didn't care the way I did. I'm sure Columbus felt some of that too.

Then it occurred to me! What if I'm now part of a secret sardine sub-populous that has silently sworn to keep this cheap unknown treasured fishy at bay.

Whatever...I decided to post about it. I'm sure I'll be blacklisted by many. Fish-haters, fish-savers, sardine-secretors, other sardine-discoverers that will fight my opinion about oil packaged and headless specimens.

Oh well...Such is life.

Good thing my new fish was adopted and named the day before I became a sardine junky.

Here are a couple ways I've already tried them and they are GREAT!
---smashed on a cracker
---smashed and mixed with the egg for an omelet
---seared with butter for less than 30 sec / side on hot skillet

Love to hear about any other food storage wonders out there!! =0)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


So before I relate my near death experience catching and releasing a red tailed hawk, sparrow and beetle friend; I'd like to take in a moment and just BE ONLINE. Two weeks without Internet was fairly debilitating. I had to actually look up stuff in the PAPER phone book. I won't try to explain life without mapquest or google. In years past, I have truly thought becoming Momish (a Mormon-Amish) would be appealing, but I would absolutely have to be like a Tech Momish.


Life in Cheney is fantabulouso (that's the extent of my Spanich--my own dialect of Spanish). I've got to be a country girl at heart. Cities are romantic and fun and exciting, but the country...is breathe taking. In a good yoga-kum-bah-ya kinda way. We are thoroughly enjoying the last few weeks of summer and unscheduled unpacking agendas before school starts September 23rd. And then it shall come to pass that I shall learn.

Okay---I know you're panties are all in a bunch wanting to know about LADY HAWK (must say in raspy-hacker voice).


It all began when I noticed that we were being targeted by restless hobo spiders the first night we moved into our new place. Along with the hornet nests in the front and back porch overhangs. Fun times. Obviously, logic requires I seek genocide for these nasty buggers (no pun intended) as soon as inhumanely possible.

True Value has decided that they need to dedicate and entire aisle for genocide products of all ranging degrees of torture and even a few "capture and release friendly" items. I am not one to catch and release venomous-creepy-crawly-too-fast-and-small-to-know-exactly-where-they-are-at-all-times-on-my-body kind of person. When it comes to avoiding potentially fatal bites of any naturous thing, I seek a speedy trial and the death penalty without any jury.

Stop getting impatient...this is still entertaining!

So I purchased 3 sprays, 3 hornet traps and 2 packets of spider-stickem-pad-thingys that you put along doorways and under furniture and such. Being the genius that I am, I decided to barricade my front and back doors with 3 coats of spray and two pads right along the door jam so that these hobos would be caught before trespassing on my property. Of course it worked like an Italian charm bracelet and 3 were stuck and dead by morning. OH YEAH!! Bring it ON MR. HOBO SPIDER COMMANDO TASK FORCE UNIT.

Well...today...was sunny. I put my 2 locked up parakeets of 6 years out on our porch to enjoy the free frolicking birds around them like I usually do and didn't take the pads inside, thinking they've been out for almost 4 days and nights without issue. I did take note of a large black beetle on the trap behind the bird cage and felt sorry for the big-little guy and tried to take him off, but I tore off one of his legs in the process and then decided to leave him there (oh the guilt).

That afternoon I was putting my shoes out to dry--caused canvas shoes STINK after you've worn them all summer long and should be washed or tossed. And as I stepped out onto the porch I noticed something just in front of me, barely on the lawn. My brain hadn't totally caught up, when it started to freak out and try to get away from me.

It was a HAWK.

As I got closer I saw that its wing and leg were stuck to my hobo pad (that's definitely not something you'd want to say out loud in public). Of course I immediately crouched over and became the Hawk Whisperer, thinking I had some kind of ability to communicate with it and reassure it that he'd be okay if he'd let me help and not tear my hand apart. He continued to try to move away and I slowed my pace.

It was about this time I was in the sights of my neighbor who was narrating every moment in detail out loud to her family inside, not knowing I could hear her.

"Oh my gosh! There's a hawk out there! Something's wrong with it! Should I go help it? It's like stuck to something! OH--OH, there's our neighbor! She's walking toward it and trying help it! Should I ask her if she needs help? Hey, do you need help?"

"I don't know"

She was beside me in seconds with HUGE LEATHER gloves on. No, not me, I'm bare handin' it with a HAWK.

I was right next to him and she covered his head and back to calm him and then we noticed the other guy. A sparrow was looking at me like, "you're an idiot", but thanks for getting this hawk off the hobo pad to I can enjoy my beetle.

So the beetle, the sparrow and the hawk all think they're gonners. But we cut the hawks wing free (feather tips) and the leg came right off after that and he jumped up in the air and took off like an F-5 fighter plane, two exhaust trails swirling behind him. I took the sparrow inside and with a little soap and water, he was free. After about 2 hours in a dry box with raffia, he was dry and ready to fly.

The beetle didn't make it.

So the funny part is when I called my friend and I randomly told her that I caught a HAWK today. It was a great pick up line, I think I'll use again and again for my own entertainment purposes. But as always, Chrystina and I can never leave ANYTHING as is. We have this convulsive compulsion to catapult continuous conundrums up again and again.

I started the rant by informing my friend that the hobo pad was a must from now on in my 72 hour kit. Forget the MREs, fishing line, traps and guns. It's all hobo pad from here on out. We then discussed possible marketing ideas and product lines for the sportsman of the world. It was awesome! Cow pads, Deer pads, stationary fake waterfalls with sticky trap fish you can put in the middle of a field to lure and hunt bears, fake sticky wilderbeast pinatas for predator cats---you get the idea.

Anyway, that's the LONG DRAWN OUT story of LADY HAWK DOWN. The near death experience was the sparrow's, since the beetle was taken out and the HAWK ripped up the sky. Definitely an interesting day.

***by the way, so not joking about the hobo pads in my kit***

Hope the read was worth it.