Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandma: a Memoir

Today, January 28th, would have been my Grandma's 92nd birthday. She died in 1998, and I think I still miss her as much now as I did shortly after she died. Grandma was my Dad's mom. She grew up in a sod house, got married at 17, and had my father when she was 18. Her husband left her when she was probably 21, with 2 young children to care for. She remarried a few years later, and had 3 more boys......5 in all. A Wyoming girl. She was generous, amazingly frugal, and practical. She was able to make a tasty meal for 7 with a few potatoes and a little ham (see her soup recipe below). She loved animals. She gave me this love, along with my blonde hair, and dry hands in the winter. Grandma was kind to strangers and to others that society might have otherwise discarded. I spent most of my young summers in her little house on the prairie (literally!), chasing horses and wild bunnies. I learned from her that you can get a good meal from KMart's blue plate special (or used to, anyway), that a good bargain was a victory, and that you can make do with less than what you thought you could. Grandma never had a dishwasher, and when her grown boys tried to buy her one, she declined, saying, "This is the only time I have alone to think".I understand, and it is a rare dishwashing experience that I don't think about her when I handwash dishes, pots, and pans. I miss her calling me "Lizbeth" or "Honey girl". She believed in me no matter what, and I would call her weekly when I was in college and beyond to give her my life's updates. I still do send her updates....just not by phone :). So, happy birthday, Grandma! I sure do miss you. With love, Lizbeth

Grandma Scott's Tater Soup
6-8 medium sized cubed red potatoes
4-6 sticks of celery
1 diced medium onion
1 cup of diced ham
1/2 cup butter
1 can of corn (either cream style or whole kernel is fine)
salt and pepper to taste
1 can of evaporated milk to add at the very end.

cook onion and celery in butter until cooked. Add ham about half way thru. Add rest of ingredients to pot (except for evaporated milk). Add just enough water to "fill in the gaps" of the ingredients, but not covering the ingredients. Simmer until potatoes are soft and done. Add evaporated milk, and serve with oyster crackers (If you can still find them!). Enjoy!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

How Cold Is It?

We are 3 days into our Siberian Express cold snap, and things are cooooold around here! How cold is it? I think our low has been 9 degrees during this Texas weather oddity.
Cold enough that 40 degrees sounds balmy.
Cold enough to freeze some pipes under our pier and beam house. (Prayers for no damage would be greatly appreciated!)
Cold enough to have to break ice on all the water troughs at least twice a day.
Cold enough that the cats take turns sitting in front of the heater in their "warm rooms". (In this picture, it's Eli's turn...)

Cold enough that you could walk across the pond. (I was just a few feet out in this picture...I'm not brave enough to walk all the way across!)

Cold enough that our pond looks like it belongs in Nova Scotia, and there is some amazing ice art out there.

Cold enough that you get TWO blogs from me in 10 days. (Now that's cold....it means I'm spending too much time indoors on my days off!)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Leo in Action...Take 1

It is about 34 degrees outside today, but if there are chores to do on a farm, they must get done no matter the weather. The animals are lively and rambunctious. The dogs and Leo the Wonder Kitty have been following us around as we tackle "the list".

Leo takes it upon himself to become the lead scout, in search of......what, you may ask?
Maybe the next best thing to tuna fish?
Slowly, his focus turns to me. I see intent. I see resolve. I (very briefly) see his invisible cape.

"NO!" I shout. I duck.....just in time. Sorry, I was too busy ducking to catch the fleeting shot of his cape flying in the wind. But Leo the Wonder Kitty hit his mark.....

The next best thing to tuna? A big dog with his winter blanket on. Otherwise known as Leo's bareback pad. (the better to hang on with claws don'tcha know). Gotta love this kitty of mine, and his (much bigger) buddies.