Monday, October 19, 2009

My Kind of Sundae

Or should I say, "That's s'more like it!" bada-bum-ching. Hahaha. I know it's not punny, but I got a million more. (gasp! I'm turning into my punny father! Aak!)
Okay, okay, all jokes aside, I had such a fun Sunday afternoon yesterday. By the title you'd think ice cream would be involved, but you'd have another think coming. Yesterday I got home from church to a house without power. I should have jumped to that conclusion when I couldn't open the garage door, even from the inside. Nope, Kassie told me when I walked in. Since she is a nurse at the hospital she knows everything, so she told me about a fallen transformer (no, not that kind) or the explosion at a substation, depending on the source. The power had already been out for a few hours, so we figured we were in for the long haul. Some predictions said that power would be restored at 3:30, others said 11:00.

Quickly we went through the list of typical power-outage activities: board games, cards, books, walks, or (my favorite) naps.
I hoped for the nap option (being raised in a family with mandatory quiet time on Sundays certainly brushed off on my habits), but when we went downstairs we were greeted by a rush of cold air. The thermostat was set at 62 degrees; in fact, it was probably 20 degrees warmer outside than it was downstairs. With no power, our hopes of increasing the temp on the thermostat were small. Then, we got this grand idea to light a fire in the stove and read next to it--one of my favorite activities whenever Rex lit a fire last year.

I put my Boy Scout skills to work and got a fire going. With the proper amount of kindling, excellently dried wood to stack on top, and a little fire magic, the fire was blazing in minutes. So we sat . . . and read. . . and dozed for a while. Kassie's sister Lacey called and gave us the idea to roast marshmallows over the flames. So we did. AWESOME! We made s'mores and enjoyed our fire. The lights came on while we were roasting, but we chose to keep the lights off. You know, we needed the atmosphere.

It was all fun and games until Kassie got on the phone again with another sister, and I decided to pull out a roasting stick from the fire. I was inspecting it closely, trying to see any left over marshmallow goo when whammo! I touch the end of the stick. Not the wooden end, mind you, the red hot end with white hot ash. I don't know what I was thinking, but my reaction must have been pretty funny. Kassie couldn't stop laughing at me. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Even the nurse inside her was dumbfounded; it took her minutes to ask if I needed burn ointment or anything. I didn't, but that's beyond the point :) Just kidding. We laughed for a long time, and every time it got silent, we would laugh again.

After two s'mores and a little more reading both of us decided it was due time for a nap. Three hours later, I groggily come back to consciousness enough to do some math and get my butt out of bed. I didn't set my clock before going down so I went to sleep with a flashing 2:10 and woke up to a flashing 5:25. I couldn't believe it either. In real time it was after 7:00 and Kassie and I had slept the day away. We both blame it on a sugar/heat induced coma that mesmerized us into sub-subconsciousness. I usually wake up automatically an hour into a good nap, but not this time. Instead, I woke to a numb arm, and a body aching from sleep.

So after a great evening, we spent the rest of the night in the kitchen on our separate laptops. I graded papers and prepared my Monday's lesson until about 3:00, and Kassie played her new addictive computer game. Man, time flies when you waste it on things like sleep too late in the day. :) I'm sure our naps prolonged our ability to beat the sleep. But alas, I am tired again. No naps today though. Well none on purpose that is. Anyway, happy roasting.

Here I am demonstrating proper roasting form.

Look at these flames. They'd put you to sleep for hours too. :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Farmer Arti

I love long weekends. Having four days off this week really rejuvenated me. I got so much done around the house and on my to-do list. I even got to spend an evening with my good friend Kim, who I haven't seen in quite some time. Plus, this weekend was the Potato Harvest at the Browns. Every year they get together and harvest their rows of potatoes. All the Brown children and their kids gather to pick, sort, and eat potatoes. I was around this year, so I was able to take part in the tradition. Saturday morning we got up and gathered out at the Otten's dairy to start the harvest. We were armed with 5 gallon buckets and went to work. We didn't have to pull them out of the ground (in case you were wondering). One son was on a tractor with an attachment that uprooted the potatoes so we just had to pick them up. At one point, the oldest son Todd asked me if I had ever driven a loader. Of course I said no, so he insisted on me learning to drive one. It was crazy fun and very simple. It may not sound like a very big deal, but I had a great time. After we picked, we sorted the potatoes into bags with some to keep and some to sell at the Farmer's Market here in town. Most of the big bags were called for before we even finished bagging them. We also had a big lunch with the family where we consumed mass quantities of homemade French fries.
All weekend I joked with my friend Lacey that her family is slowly changing me and helping with what I call "life experiences." You'd never guess from the girl I was in high school that I would know how to drive a loader (that includes bucket operation), retrieve milk from a milk tank (and drink it raw), be fine with elk and deer meat in the kitchen (one of the brothers brought his meat so he could smoke it into jerky), and contemplate that the life of a farmer is not nearly what I once thought it might be. Man, I've shown a lot of growth, and I owe it all to the Browns.
Anyway, the weekend was a blast, and I haven't even thought about school for this next week. I guess I better get on that :)

Below are some pictures by way of proof of me driving a tractor, excuse me, a loader, and above is a slide show of pictures from this weekend and from the NAMI Walk (which was a great success by the way). A group picture from the walk is on its way.