October 24, 2013

We’ve moved

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:24 am by Kari Trumbo

What a dunderhead I can be.  Here I am tooteling around on my friends old blogs when I notice a link to my old blog.  LOL, isn’t that interesting, I say to myself.  I click the link and low and behold…here sits my last post about moving to the farm…YEARS ago.  Oy vey.  So here it is, the link to my new blog home with many apologies to anyone who should happen to, or who did happen to, stop by in my absence.

The Mighty Crow

February 17, 2010

My little piece of Heaven

Posted in family, farm, personal tagged , , , at 10:44 am by Kari Trumbo

About a year ago I mentioned that the focus of my blog would change to my inheritance, to my farm. Little do we know when we make predictions like that how much our lives will change. Here we are a year later and still have not even begun work on my farm. While life has crept in our plans and saving the money to go further has ceased due to necessity, we do have plans to get started this summer. I am writing now to give a full account of the work it will take to reclaim this land, renovate this house, claim our dream.

I love this piece of land that my father grew up on, my grandfather grew up on, and my great grandfather bought. It was bought in 1939 after it was lost many times during the great depression by many different families. The original house was two rooms upstairs, no door in between to keep heat flowing, and a “master bedroom” downstairs with an all purpose room where cooking and living would have taken place. The wood burning stove was in the all purpose room and the chimney went up the center of the house to keep it as warm as possible, though my father tells me that there would be frost on his blankets on winter mornings growing up. I believe (but I am not certain as the deed is old and difficult to read) that that house was originally built in 1893. In the 50’s both a basement and an addition was added on to the left of the house that would be a large eat-in kitchen, the whole length of one side of the house. They also added a front porch at that time. There was no plumbing in the house until much later.

My father and his two brothers lived there until they married and moved away, not far, all the brothers live within 8 miles of the house. I am not sure when plumbing was added, I was born in the late 70’s and I don’t remember a time when there was not plumbing in the house so I am estimating the job began either in the late 70’s or early 80’s. I remember my grandfather telling me that he put in plumbing because grandma wanted a bathtub. Unfortunately, the bathtub never got completely finished, though they did have a working indoor toilet and sink and a sink in the kitchen for dishes.

My memories of that house are all good. I adored my grandparents and considered myself pretty lucky to be able to visit them every day. My grandpa used to take naps on the couch and I would crawl up in his lap and pinch his nose to wake him up, my grandmother would laugh, she was a co-conspirator, you know. Grandma would make chocolate pudding that she wasn’t supposed to eat, but did anyway. She read me the Sunday funnies every Sunday until her eyes got too bad to do it, then I read them to her. Every Christmas was spent there; glorious times with family, good food, and waiting, oh the painful waiting! Most of all though, I remember the smell of the wood fire. To this day, if I smell a wood fire, I think of my grandparents. Sometimes, it is like I can feel my grandmother’s presence with me, when we move in, it will be like bringing my grandmother home.

This summer, as we are very short on funds because of the current US economy, we will be doing things that require very little money, like doing some much-needed maintenance on the shelterbelt. It has not been touched for about two decades. We also want to begin going through some of the things in buildings that collapsed long ago. Along with taking care of the shelterbelt will be removing some dead trees from around the house, as you can see from the picture, one of those trees is on the house. If money starts coming in more than it is right now (prayer is powerful) then we will be looking for an architect to write up plans for the house, we want to make it a full two-story and add on to the back as well. I felt bad at first, feeling like I needed to add on to it, but every family that I have known to live there, added on to it in some way to fit their family.

I will post more as the work continues, but here is where it begins.

February 16, 2010

Zachary’s birth story

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 11:11 am by Kari Trumbo

So I have been avoiding posting Zach’s birth story for a while because his birth was so unlike what I wanted it to be. I, of course, don’t think less of him for this fact. If the birth was less than what I hoped, the blame can lay squarely with me.

I originally wanted to have Zachary at home. I believe that home birth can be the best thing for you and your baby if you are prepared both mentally and physically for it. I am not of the stuff that un-assisted home birthers are made of. I know that I would need a bit of assistance (so the law in MN that states that some type of birth professional must be at a home birth does not really effect me). I could not find a mid-wife near me, or rather I could not find one that I would feel personally comfortable asking. My only option would have been the local Mennonite lay midwife and I am not even sure if she would do it, much less how to contact her. That option was out.

I started contracting on Friday November 6th, about mid-day. My contractions continued through Saturday evening. Saturday at about 8PM I thought my water had broken (although I thought it was a small rupture as it did not continue). The nurse told me to come in to be checked, so I did. According to their test, my water had not broken, but I was contracting and was dilating (albeit slowly) so they kept me.
I was moved to my room and within about an hour they stripped my membranes to try to speed things up a little bit. It did not work, that night was to be the longest in my life, I walked and walked around the hospital. Even after all that walking, I only dilated to 5 cm by 4AM Sunday morning. I was beginning to think I was going to be in labor forever. At about 5 AM the Dr. came in and decided it was time to break my water, I knew that this would get things going and it surely did. My nurse ran me some water in the whirlpool and the pain went from a 3 to a 10 very fast. This labor was different from either of my other 2. Turns out my Dr. suspected that I would have back labor after my back surgery a little over a year before, not sure how she knew it, but she was right. I have never experienced pain so horrible as that. Each contraction felt like my spine was being crushed into dust. After living with chronic back pain, and having 1 completely natural birth, I really did not think this birth would be a problem. Boy was I wrong. I lasted about an hour and a half after they broke my water and I was begging for pain medication. I did not want an epidural, and I did not have them put in a line at first because I knew I would not want to have it. I had a dose of nubaine when I had my first, about 15 before she was delivered so I was familiar with that, and that is what I asked for.
The nubaine was administered at about 7AM, I will say that it effected me differently this time than it did with Mikayla (probably because that was IV, this time it was subcutaneous). I went from periods of being so sleepy I could not control my own wakefulness, to being alert in the middle of a slightly dulled contraction. That was probably the most “under the influence” I have ever been. That is what left me feeling somewhat negative about my birth experience. This is possibly my last birth, I wanted it to be natural. I wanted it to be special.
Zach was born at 9AM Sunday the 8th of November, an uncomplicated birth. The Dr. put him on my stomach and I declared that he was a heavy little boy, a 9lb’er. The Dr. did not agree, she thought he would be about 8, they put him on the scale and he was 8lbs 15oz, guess I won.
Zach was just beautiful. I was not sure how I would feel about a little boy, as I all knew was how to raise girls. He has me completely wrapped around that tiny little finger.
Here he is, my little Zach man, all 8lbs 15 oz and most of his 21 1/2 inches. 🙂

January 26, 2010

Home school in our jammies

Posted in family, homeschool, personal at 6:43 pm by Kari Trumbo

I started homeschooling Mikayla half-way through last year. She enjoyed it a lot as compared to “regular” school. She liked that she could work at whatever pace she wanted to. Mikayla excels at reading, math, and science. Art related things take more time for her. It is not that she is not good at them, she is a perfectionist. At 5 years old, she does not want even the slightest bit of color outside the lines. She takes her time. At home, I can give her all the time that she wants/needs. She blazed through our Kindergarten curriculum already and is doing a grade 1-3 review book that she is frankly doing even better on than I expected. She will do the crossword puzzles in her school book and will refuse to look at the word at the top, she wants to spell it herself.
Miranda is 3 and she already went through 3 preschool books. We are now working on a book that really focuses on the alphabet. She is doing really great and can now recognize the letters that we have gone through. She wants to read just like her sister.

Here they are, just after breakfast, doing a little school.

Zack sits happily next to his sisters, about two minutes after I took this, he fell asleep.

We are pretty pleased with our choice to home school. I think next year we will join a group or coop so that we can have more social time. I would also love to get both girls involved in a dance or music class but that will depend on the budget.

January 24, 2010

chicken recipes to make your mouth water

Posted in family, food, recipes at 10:03 pm by Kari Trumbo

Cold weather puts me in the mood for warm, wonderful, home-made comfort food. I have 3 inexpensive recipes to tempt your palate. The first is my take on enchiladas, the second is what my family calls KFC (Kari’s Fried Chicken), and for the soup lover, a wonderful chicken noodle soup.

Chicken Enchiladas
Ingredients:
2 large chicken breasts (or one can of shredded chicken)
1 jar salsa
1 package cream cheese
1 jar enchilada sauce
12 tortillas 10″ or larger
cheddar cheese
sour cream
salt
pepper

In large sauce pan or crock pot, place chicken breasts and a generous pinch of both salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until tender. About 20-25 min for thawed on the cooktop, about 2 hours on high in the crockpot. Fork the chicken apart, add cream cheese, stir until melted, add 1/2 the jar of salsa, stir. Warm your tortillas by placing a jar of warm water on the lowest rack of your oven, place the tortillas on a baking sheet, preferably with a wax paper liner. Put in a 350 degree oven until warm/soft. Remove tortillas and water from oven. Spoon generous helpings of the chicken mixture on the tortillas. Wrap in any way that you like. Pour sauce on top then sprinkle cheese. Bake in the oven that you already had warm from the tortillas, cooking times vary depending on how much you put in, when they are a golden brown, they are done. Top with sour cream and enjoy.

Kari’s Fried Chicken
1 whole chicken (either cut or cut it yourself for more money savings)
1 bottle of your favorite cooking oil, I use vegetable
1 lb bacon
salt
pepper
large cast iron skillet (yes, this is necessary)

This recipe starts a day in advance, take your thawed chicken, liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on chicken pieces. Remove backbone and save for chicken stock if you wish. If you want to add a rub or additional spices, now is the time to do it. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 24 hours. In skillet, fry bacon and set aside bacon to use in another meal, all you are looking for is the grease. While the grease is hot add 3/4 of the bottle of cooking oil (leave roughly 1.5 inches in skillet so it does not run over when you add chicken). Heat oil to between 300 and 350 degrees, if you don’t have an appropriate thermometer, wait about 5 min with a gas stove, not sure about an electric. Put one chicken breast in first, then a thigh and wing, no more than that should be in the pan at any one time. If you add the meat too quickly, you will lose heat and it will take an age and a half to cook. It will take breasts about 20 min. too cook thoroughly thighs and drums about 15, and 10 for wings. To make sure that they are done, pull pieces out one at a time and stick a fork in all the way to the bone, it is done when the juice runs clear. If it is at all red, put it back in for a few minutes. The outer skin should be nice and crispy with a wonderful red/gold color. The chicken is incredibly tender and juicy.

You could add more spices or use an egg and flour dredge to make a batter, but you don’t need to, it tastes wonderful as my brother would say “stock”.

Chicken Noodle Soup

I am going to start with the soup stock, but if you must use canned or boxed stock go ahead, I just don’t want to know about it. 😛

Ingredients:
6 cups water
1-1.5lbs bone in chicken (the spine you took out of the chicken from the last recipe works great)
1 carrot sliced
1 stock celery sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon thyme, crushed
1/2 onion chopped
generous pinch of salt
generous pinch of pepper

toss everything into a stock pot, when it reaches boiling, turn it down to medium and let it simmer for 2 hours. You will be tempted to touch it, it is not necessary. Believe it or not, it does not need a babysitter. After two hours take it off the stove with the lid firmly in place (in fact I would hold it on with both hands) and pour the liquid portion into a large bowl. discard the remainder unless you can find a good use for it.

For the soup you will need:
The stock you just made, all of it
2 large chicken breasts, thawed and chopped to bite size pieces
2 carrots sliced
1 stock celery sliced
1/2 onion chopped
spaghetti noodles (or any noodles in your pantry)
salt

If you make this right after you made the stock as I do, you can just pour your stock back into the stock pot. Don’t turn it on just yet. In a fry pan, heat the chicken until the chicken is white on all sides. Add chicken, onions, and carrots to stock, bring to boil. Boil for 15-20 min. Add celery, break about a $.50 piece size ring of spaghetti in thirds and simmer an additional 15 minutes. Salt to taste.

I love this because it is easy, inexpensive, flavorful, and not over-salty like canned.

Enjoy!

January 23, 2010

clutter…from the trash heap

Posted in family, personal, Uncategorized at 9:05 pm by Kari Trumbo

Nothing in this world will let you know just how much clutter you have besides moving (possibly putting your house on the market), we happen to be doing both. My landlady has decided to sell the house we are living in, so I have to get the house show ready in the next few weeks and begin packing. Luckily, we have a lot of time. With my back, even as good as it has been feeling (thank you for the prayers, I know it is by grace alone that I am doing so well) moving fast could hurt a lot.

I have begun going through boxes that never quite made it into the house when we moved here 2 years ago. I have been going through and tossing a lot of it. If you don’t need it in two years, unless it is pretty special and sentimental, it has to go. I keep thinking about Matthew 6:20, “But keep on storing up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal,”(NIV) this is a passage about giving, but it is also a passage about possessions. I have a lot of, for lack of a better word, junk. While I may not have come across moths, I did come across rust. Funny how when you use tools regularly, they do not rust. Clothing that you wear once in a while, do not look dull and rumpled. Spiders generally don’t make nests in the cloths you have on your back. I suspect that is why de-cluttering feels so good, the more stuff you have the more of a hold earthly things have on you, the less stuff you have, the less you have to worry about.

In about 4 months, I will probably be closing this blog and starting one just for the farm we are moving to (Possibly).

That is where the post that I wrote on Feb. 2, 2009, but never posted, ends. So, here I am a year later, with a lot less clutter, living with my family which is one person larger now, in half of my fathers house. We have not began working on the aforementioned house as of yet. I was off-line for a little over 8 months after we moved, but am very happy to be back online and writing again. I have some wonderful recipes to put up including my recipe for what my family calls KFC (Kari’s Fried Chicken) and a wonderful cold weather comfort recipe for home made chicken noodle soup. Seriously, they are so easy and so good, you won’t want to ever eat canned soup or baked chicken again.
We are in the middle of winter up here in the frozen north. I look out the window and see this:

Last but not least, our newest addition, Zachary. He was born 11/8/09 and though, I think he deserves a whole post of his own, that will have to wait for another day.

April 17, 2009

I wish I could blog more…

Posted in family, personal at 11:21 am by Kari Trumbo

I haven’t been for a few reasons. The first and most over-riding reason is that the whole focus of the blog will change in a month or two to the renovation of my grandfathers home, which my husband and I have been given. The other more demanding reason is my 2 and 4 year olds. They really can’t stand it when I am online or on the phone. As anyone who talks to me on the phone can attest to. The first 10 or so min. are usually okay (on a good day, if you happen to be the first call of the day). After that, all bets are off, my kids will do just about anything to get my attention back. Frankly, if these two ever have to go to daycare, I really feel sorry for the provider, because they are used to me answering them almost immediately at any time day or night.

I have so many things I want to write about but I thought I would share my train of thought, so that you can be part of my world for just a few minutes (lucky you, right?).

So, as I sit, I begin to think about what I want to share the most, I have been so sick, “Mikayla, get out of there!” where was I? Oh yes, so sick that I could barely get out of bed for about 5 weeks, I have morning sickness, which I think would better named “pregnancy sickness” since it happens “Miranda! Get out of the cat litter!!!” Crap, have to go wash her hands….Sigh. Morning sickness, it happens all the time, in fact for me, I couldn’t move after about 4PM. A little over a week ago, I visited the Dr. who told me that I should try vit. B6 both morning and evening and a half tab of Unisom at night. Overnight I felt better. (what is wrong, it is too quiet….go into stealth mommy mode to find quiet children, find this in the bedroom…)

Okay, got the cat de-extentioned. Got a snack for kids, that might buy me a min or two. Nope, forgot water. Now? We’ll see.

We had a really nice Easter, I sang in the choir, bittersweet as I won’t get to sing in another one for a year (this wee one is due right when the next choir would be). I was sad because my brother could not make it, he is having truck trouble. I am being yelled at, Randa needs help on the potty, be back in a minute.

At this point, I would generally hit delete (it would be half as long as this because I would not have included what what distracting me, and I start by just putting ideas down then adding substance) and just give up for now. At least I know my kids are “attached”…to my hip. 😀 Good thing I love them so much.

March 4, 2009

In a pit

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:21 pm by Kari Trumbo

Have you ever been in a mental pit? You feel like everything that happens to you is just against you? Today was one of those days for me. I was having a tough day with my oldest daughter who is 4, which then lead to a not-so-kind conversation between Matt and myself. Even though our conversation had literally nothing to do with my ability to parent, I left the conversation feeling like the worst mom in the world, completely unable to effectively love my daughter. Isn’t it also funny that exactly when you don’t need to feel more condemned, is the exact moment that the condemnation comes? You start hearing messages from the TV or books you are reading and suddenly, you are the ugliest worst scum on the earth. Not worth the air you breath.

There are only a few things that you can do in a pit, you can lay down and let the dirt pile on you, or you can climb out. In the midst of my negativity, I picked up a book that I am reading, Facing Your Giants, by Max Lucado. It asks the poignant question, what are your personal giants? For me, it is taking what people say incredibly personal (I have always had this issue) and anger at one person. Now, I can’t explain to you why I let my anger grow to the point of running my life for a while. I think it is because I am a pretty shy person, always have been. There are very few people that I allow “in”, very few people that I talk to on the phone or converse frequently enough to be called friends. This person fit that bill. We had a disastrous miscommunication and it cost us our friendship. One of the dangers of having an argument online. While I was reading this persons name popped into my head. Then the question arose in my mind “what would you say if that person contacted you, what would you say if that person gave you an apology”? I had always let my anger take over and was able to say that that wouldn’t happen anyway, why dwell on it? This happened again today, and just added to my feelings of negativity self anger. Then I got a phone call, the phone call was negative too, and for a minute, I decided to just lay down in the pit.

I decided to take the kids on a short walk to clear my head. By the time I got back I had decided that the pit was not going to win. I turned on the computer, clicked into facebook and saw that I had a message. No biggy, I am part of a group that is an add-a-thon for fashion wars. It was not someone for fashion wars. It was my old friend, the one I spoke of earlier, with real communication.

Well, I sat there for about 2 seconds, to see if my anger grew. It didn’t. You see, a lot has happened since our argument. As a direct result of our fight, I stopped spending way too much time on the computer. I now read and play with my kids like I should. I read for myself, I clean my house, I learned to knit!! I could have forced my anger back to the surface, I could have ripped the olive branch that was extended limb from limb, but who would gain from that? We both lost out on each others love and support over the last year.

I realized when I was writing my reply to her what I was really so hurt/angry about, it was less about what was said and done and more about losing one of the few friends that I have/had, that was the long and short of it. Selfish as it may sound. I hope that we can some day work through the issues and become friends again, but if that is not in the cards, then it isn’t.

I am still scaling the side of that pit right now, but I am on the way out, and it helped to finally slay that giant of anger that I had let control part of me for a long time.

January 14, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes

Posted in family at 7:39 pm by Kari Trumbo

We had just finished our dinnertime prayer and I continued to talk to Mikayla about prayer, she is just such a sponge about all things related to Jesus. I explained that she can pray whenever she wants, that above all, Christ wants to know her. Matt then told her a story about when he was driving the car and started to slip on ice, he told her that he started to pray and the car stopped. Mikayla looked at Matt and said, “When you start to slip, the best way to stop is with God.” Amen baby.

It has been a pretty uneventful week here. I keep trying to find time to get into my sewing room and crank out some diapers (or something else). I just need the peace that a little sewing brings. I have a pair of pants for Mikayla mostly done and about 5 diapers cut, just waiting for me to finish them. The worst part is, until I stock something, my store will stay off of people’s radar, so I have to do it.
I also found a little time to work on Miranda’s quilt that I started forever ago.

I have never been a neatfreak, I had an adopted director long ago and far away when I was in Mary Kay who used to say that cleaning her house was like making love to it. I just never got that statement, if cleaning your house is like being it’s lover, let’s just say I was barely a flirt… That all started to change about a week and a half ago. I got tired, seriously tired, of doing a grueling 3 day power clean before anyone showed up to visit. I decided that I was just plain done with that. If I can clean the whole house in three days, surely I can keep it clean with a few minutes of maintenance a day? I made a list of all the things I need to do daily, and all the things I need to do weekly. I cross off the days item after I do it, I can see my progress all day long. I am feeling better about being at home and I don’t have to worry about anyone just dropping by. The only drawback is that I am sore at the end of the day, but like someone once said, no pain, no gain.

January 8, 2009

Tag, you’re it

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:47 pm by Kari Trumbo

I have been tagged in this challeng by Meleesa and Tara

So, here are the rules of the challenge:

1. Link the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. List 6 unspectacular things about you
4. Tag 6 other bloggers by linking them

1. I am on facebook way too much for anyones (most especially my own) good.
2. I love to bake and I have the hips to prove it.
3. I once was a trekkie.
4. I took 7 years of French, and still dream in French occasionally.
5. I am an insufferable ring twirler.
6. I share a birthday with one of my closest friends.

Tag you and you and you and you are it too…

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