Monday, January 14, 2013

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, January 14, 2013.

Outside my window...  7:30 AM and just beginning to get light, but the sun won't be up until well after 8.  I love clear, cold, frosty days.

Hearing...  Tate brushing his teeth, the furnace blowing (hallelujah), and ice cracking in my glass of water.

Pondering...  how to lay out a quilt I want to make (I can see it in my mind), why quilting has to have so much math (grrrr!), and why can't I just use a pattern like a normal person would do?!

Praying...  Gunnar said he didn't feel well this morning but seems to be perking up - praying for him, for the rest of us to ALL avoid the flu bug, for Wyatt (nearly done with his first semester), and for all of us to be kind and gracious.

Thankful...  for how well Tate copes with the challenges related to his hearing, for the technology he has, and for all of our health :D

Wearing...  blue jeans, white T, blue sweater, wool socks, blue slippers... creature of habit comfort!

Creating...  oooo, I have projects I can't show yet!  Just finished one baby quilt, and have two to go ;D

Going...  to keep the boys moving forward on their schoolwork, to think ahead about this week's schedule, and to keep sewing.

Reading...  just finished Murder Down Under and am halfway through The Bachelors of Broken Hill, which are both old-ish mysteries set in Australia, featuring a half-aboriginal detective named Napoleon Bonaparte, aka "Bony".  Definitely not my usual genre, but well-written and interesting to me, having lived there.

Looking forward to...  (with mixed feelings) choir rehearsals starting up again next Monday - seems so soon!

In the kitchen...  venison in the crockpot, probably will be stew.

A couple of you have asked about cooking venison and about the taste.  Yes, there is a bit of a gamey taste, but the strength of that seems to vary from deer to deer and probably relates to what the deer have been feeding on.  If I have ground beef I'll sometimes use half and half (beef/deer) to mitigate that, but our freezer is so full right now that I'm not bothering with buying any meat!  When Tate and Grandpa went to pick up his deer, the butcher generously offered them a bunch of extra ground venison that another hunter had left behind.  (It's illegal to sell game meat, but perfectly okay to give it away!)  Anyway, we're using it "straight" and like it just fine in seasoned things like tacos, spaghetti sauce, meatballs, etc.

I prefer to get most game meat ground (elk roasts excepted!) as the other cuts are generally a fair bit tougher than the beef you buy at the store.  I mean, think about it.  Deer don't survive by being slow or stupid - they're much more muscular than your average cow.  Hence, the meat is tougher and much, much leaner.  (Butchers will sometimes offer to add fat to the ground meat to aid in cooking it, so it holds together better.)  I find that a full day in the crockpot will tenderize just about anything, so we have a lot of stew :D

In the learning rooms...  Wyatt - evolution (yes, we learn about the theory of evolution, we're not afraid to teach our kids what other people believe), the age of exploration, and part-to-whole fallacy.  Tate - standard/metric measurement conversions, the fossil record, and more paragraph writing (characterization and description).  Gunnar - launching into sixth grade math, more about nouns (common and proper, concrete and abstract), and another week of ungulates.  Tate and Gunnar - China, Hudson Taylor, Eric Liddel, and Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze.

Around the house...  trying to keep the chaos confined to my office and the family room ;D

The Mother Load...  oh boy, trying to keep up on the normal things (laundry, meals, etc) and get some sewing projects done.  In shocking news, piecing a quilt is much more fun than sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping ;D

Noticing that...  i've only got about a half inch on Tate and he's gaining fast!

Something to remember for later...  Gunnar just read Harriet the Spy, and then asked me for a notebook.  Must keep an eye on this ;D

A favorite quote for today...  the boys like to joke, To err is human; to blame the next guy, even more so.  But I kind of like, To err is human; to blame someone else shows management potential.

(Kidding!  Sheesh.)

One of my favorite things...  pulling a finished quilt out of the dryer with that all that wrinkly-crinkly-quilty-goodness.

A Bible verse...  Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life...

A few plans for the rest of the week...  schooling, CAP on Tuesday, Wyatt has a movie-night (at school!) on Thursday, and Kerry has a colonoscopy on Wednesday.  Fun times ;D

A peek into my world...  not exactly.

I didn't take the picture and cardinals don't live here.  But I like his cheeky look ;D


melanie said...

The combination of outdoor cats and no mature trees keep the birds a bit too far from the house for watching from the windows... Some day! :)

Have a good week!

Choate Family said...

I had no idea you had lived in Australia! When and where?

The dB family said...

You don't have cardinals? How sad! Although there are days when we would happily send Carl our kamikaze cardinal your way.

I'm with Joanna. When did you live in AUS? So cool!

Love that you're not afraid to teach the theory of evolution. I have always felt it important that our kids know the way the world thinks. They certainly don't need to follow those ways, but to know about them helps them to know what they're up against as they get older. I pray they continue to choose God's way.

Blessings and have a happy week!

sara said...

My family and I recently moved to a rural area where a lot of people hunt and so, I got to try venison stew at a church potluck. It was really good!

I've been told a lot of the taste has to do with how the deer is field dressed, but I'm not entirely sure what that means.

Felicity said...

Good luck to Kerry - had one of those before :-//

I really enjoyed the Young Fu story - I hope you do too.

Ann said...

Joanna beat me to the Australia question! That's neat!

Yesterday Angela noticed a cardinal "couple" in our yard. Doug saw them again today. I'll have to try to get pictures.

dlefler said...

I love Cardinals - we didn't have very many interesting birds in Southern California, and I have to admit that I love the wildlife in Western NY!

We have some ground bear in our freezer, along with some venison. I use it in our spaghetti sauce, goulash, etc. We don't have a chest freezer, unfortunately, so there is a limit to how much I can store! Dennis doesn't hunt, but our neighbor does and is generous. :)

Traci said...

Just FYI on the venison. A lot of it is due to what the butcher adds to the gounding of the burger and how much of the tendons and tough stuff he takes off prior to processing. Also if you put roasts, chops, etc. in the crockpot all day with some liquid. So yummy and tender. Its only taken me 16 years to finally get that one down.