Friday, April 30, 2010

Banquet

The gin where Brad has his cotton ginned has a scholarship program that was founded by the original gin owners, the Sconyerses, to whom education was very important. For nine years the gin has awarded scholarships to children and spouses of their farmers to use for undergraduate or graduate work. The gin has invested a great deal of money back into the community through this scholarship program so thoughtfully established by the Sconyerses.

 Cortez Sconyers in the picture behind us! 

Brad's sister Kim and I both are so thankful to be able to benefit from this scholarship. Last night we went to the scholarship banquet. We ate a delicious seafood meal with my favorite -- cheese grits -- and received our certificates. We had a great time and enjoyed visiting with the couple at the table with us. They had a three year old with them who was a riot! It just reminds me what fun we have in store with Miss Blair!

A year from this week, I hope to be graduating from nursing school! I just have a few tough semesters to get through first... starting with OB/PEDS, beginning next Monday, and the history classes I have to take according to Georgia law. My first degree from out of state doesn't fit the US and Georgia Constitution and history requirements, so I'll be taking US history after 1877 and Government online this summer. I hope maturity has cultivated in me some love for History because I've never had any before. I had the option to take the CLEP tests and a Georgia history test instead of the classes, but I was always such a terrible history student that I didn't trust that I would study enough to pass them. Then, I'd be in a mess because I have a really full fall semester, and after that, it will be too late to take the classes! So I have a busy rest of the year, but it will be worth it in the end!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Memory Ride

Today I finished my last class of the semester and the last of six tests I took within a week's time. Needless to say, I had a little bit of a "freedom" feeling as I got in my car to head home this afternoon. We do have exams next week, but I'm willing to enjoy the fact that I'm at least done with class (For a week =( -- we start OB/PEDS clinicals the Monday after exams!). I got in my car, rolled the windows down to enjoy this beautiful day, listened to just about every sing-along song I've ever loved, and belted each tune out like I had learned it yesterday. It was a exhilarating. And those songs are full of memories.

I'll never forget. One time when I was in elementary school, on the last day of the school year the ride home on the bus was like a party! Our bus driver was so strict, but on the last day of school and the last day before holidays, she would bring us candy and cokes to drink on the bus on the way home. Food was not normally allowed on the bus. Nothing was allowed on the bus -- not even talking sometimes. Miss Durly ran a tight ship. I remember many days when we were not allowed to talk all the way to school because someone got in trouble or we were too loud. Anyway... on this day, the "big" kids were playing and singing "We're Not Gonna Take It" as loud as possible in the back of the bus. (Had to have been the 80's, right?) I don't think I really knew the song, but the feeling of "freedom" was still there for me... we're done for the summer

So many songs have specific memories for me... like the Clint Black song "State of Mind." "Ain't it funny how a melody can bring back a memory..." which, by the way, reminds me of my church youth group friends and an indescribably awesome guy who passed away after a four-wheeler accident when we were in high school. We listened to that song over and over after Tucker died. Riding home today I found myself scrolling through my ipod. With each song I chose, I thought of an experience or friend with whom I'd sung that song. I had not done that in a long time, and it sure was fun. There are so many memories tucked away in my ipod's playlists!

Do you have song memories?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Strawberry Cake

This time of year I really enjoy going down the road to the strawberry patch and picking strawberries. Yum! This is also the time of year that Brad increases the frequency of his requests for a strawberry cake. His birthday is coming up, and he has already requested a strawberry cake -- square, layered, this high (he demonstrated with his hand), with thin icing. Whatever he wants...., but it sounds like something Meg Ryan's character on When Harry Met Sally would request!


Blair and I ran down to the strawberry patch this weekend and picked a few berries. She insisted on carrying the bucket, although the heavier it got, the more she grunted! Every time I turned around, she was eating the tip off of a strawberry and putting it back in the bucket. We picked over five pounds, and I think it would have been over six if so many of them had not had HUGE bites taken off then end!
 
I made a strawberry cake, and an hour later, a fourth of it was gone. I'm not one to usually use a box cake, but this one is good. I'm glad it's so easy, since I have to make it a lot! This is a mixture of two different recipes that I found. I don't ice it when I make it in a bundt pan.

 
Mr. Impatient was standing over me while I was trying to take a decent picture.

Strawberry Cake
1 box white cake mix
4 eggs
2 cups strawberries, chopped small w/ 1/2 cup sugar (stir together to make juicy)
1 3oz pkg strawberry jello
2 T flour
3/4 cup oil

Mix all ingredients and beat well. Pour into two greased 9 inch pans or a greased angel food cake pan. Bake layers at 350 for 25 - 30 min or angel food pan for 45 min.
Strawberry Icing
1 stick butter, softened
1 lb powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
1/2 cup chopped strawberries w/ a little sugar (stir to make juicy)

Mix softened butter and sugar. Add vanilla. Add strawberries in small amounts until frosting is desired consistency. Careful not to make it too thin; entire 1/2 cup may not be used.

The Coupe

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Way Things Used to Be

This weekend we went to the Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival where it's "the way things used to be." The festival is held twice a year. We used to go every single time it seemed, and there were load of people. My mom and I even went the day she had my twin brothers, and I remember talking as we left the festival how she hoped she had walked those babies out -- and they came in the wee hours of the next morning!


The festival does not have as many vendors as it used to nor as many people, but it is still fun to see, and they have some nice things. Most everything is handmade, and they have all sorts of items.




It's set down in the woods, in the shade of many many pine trees.


The weather was beautiful this weekend, so it was a perfect time to go.


A local women's service group sells cakes and individual slices. Here they are cutting one of my mom's red velvet cakes someone ordered for the booth.

 


The best red velvet cake you will ever put in your mouth!

Happy about eating cake!

To our disappointment, we found that our spoon man, Sis and D's, was not there. That was the very reason we went! I emailed him though and will soon place an order. I might do a little giveaway!

We did find some other things we liked. I got Blair some more bows for her sandals, and I got her a wooden pull toy just like we had when we were little.


Blair had a great time riding around in the stroller.

She props her feet up!

Blair loves to rock. She leans up and back to rock like a big girl!

Stopped by the motorcycles to do a little diaper change!

We let her run around a little before getting back in the car. We can't keep this one strapped in too long!


Doesn't she look like she can't find the car?!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Swinging with Daddy

Brad always has some sort of special thing he does that makes Blair burst in to laughter over and over.


Here is a perfect example when he was pushing her in the swing last weekend.

Wham. Accompanied by a punching sound that Brad makes.

And she thinks it's hilarious. Over and over again.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sweetness

This sweetness makes me smile all day long.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The One Where I Talk About Strippin'

I promise this post is rated G.

I called Brad yesterday on my way home. "Are you strippin'?", I asked.

Yep. 

Is it really okay that my husband is working as a stripper today? During spring in south Georgia, you bet it is!

This time of year we get to make lots of jokes about strippin', because Brad is using the strip till plow to get the land ready to plant cotton. After several years of having the plow, it's a normal question during this time of year, but it's still amusing and fun to play with.

Quick explanation for those of you who haven't had the opportunity to learn farm stuff -- I'm still an amateur, so I'll do my best.... The strip till plow is a soil conservation friendly way to plant. The old way is harrowing, or completely tearing up the ground with a plow, to lay rows and plant. This turns all the dirt and allows it to wash easily in heavy rain. The strip till plow only turns strips (or stripes!) in the field, leaving parts of the field with unturned land with some type of vegetation. Seeds are planted in the tilled parts, and the untilled parts remain to reduce washing and erosion. You can strip till over/around what was in the field during the prior season, like cotton stalks, or you can plant a cover crop, like wheat or rye I think, during the off season and strip till it come spring. Then, you have dead wheat/rye in between the rows of planted cotton seeds that keeps the ground more stable.

There he is! You can see the "before" in foreground, and then if you look closely to the right of the tractor you can see the "stripes" after tilling.

That's our farm lesson for today!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rocks. All day long.

It's pretty normal for Blair to wake up first thing in the morning wanting to go outside. Saturday morning Blair found her hat and wanted me to put it on her. Then, she found her coat on top of a stack of winter clothes I had set aside to put up. (She's still in winter outside mode!) She tried her best to put the coat on, headed towards the door as she fumbled with the arms. "Out!"

No idea. This is just Blair.

So out we went. We checked on the chickens and came back in until it was warmer and less dewy.

We stayed outside for a really long time. We mostly played with rocks.
After we went in for a nap and came back out, she once again plopped herself down right in the driveway and picked up her shovel. Blair can play with the rocks in our driveway for hours on end without stopping. And she walks on them barefooted! I have pretty tough feet, and I don't even like to do that!

Into the boat, pour them out, into the boat, pour them out.

Then she wanted to swing. How do I know? Because she's got the ball. Doesn't everyone swing with a ball?

  Okay, mama, put me up there!

So she swings with the ball.

 And I grab it from her, and she laughs hysterically. I give it back, grab it, she laughs. It goes on and on. That's our swinging game!

We love outside!

Farm Cribs

If there was a farm channel on tv and on that channel there was a program called Farm Cribs, I think my chickens would be on it. I've seen chicken coops that have lots of bells and whistles and pretty paint, but I think that my husband did a pretty darn good job on these chickens' crib.

And he closed this thing up as tight as possible. He's got boards down below so it's hard for other animals to dig in, and he put chicken wire and plywood on top as well to keep the chickens in and other stuff out!


And I think they like it!


They have finally figured out how to use the ramp to go both up and down -- since I pour food on the entire thing!



Their house is amazing, complete with underneath storage and a back door that opens for cleaning!

I love the door. I think I might paint it red or something.

See the roosting bars Brad put up on each side? That's where they're supposed to sleep. They can't get up there yet though. They just sleep in the corner of the house or all piled on each other in the corner of the coop when they don't remember they have a house.



The chickens are 4 weeks 3 days old today... only about 4 more months until we'll be looking for an egg! Only.... That seems like forever away!


They like to stretch their legs. The Wyandottes are getting prettier, by the way. Their feathers on their heads are coming in, and they look much better!

Boss lady Brenda Brown, affectionately named after one of "my girls."