Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chicks with Guns

It's never too early to start your Christmas shopping, right?  I came across this book on MSN the other day and happen to think it would make a great stocking stuffer. 

Chicks with Guns is by photographer Lindsay McCrum and it captures some amazing pictures as well as stories about gun ownership.

I love this picture of Alexandra and her son Truett, titled 'The magnificence of it all'.

She says “Guns, like everything in my childhood home, were considered treasures and works of art ... My parents taught me to appreciate the art of the hunt, the serenity of the outdoors, and the magnificence of it all. I now have two sons, Thomson, 5, and Truett, 3 years old. The bundled energy and palpable excitement in their eyes as they watch us pack the car with hunting gear is intoxicating! This book actually made me realize that the guns my father gave me when I was married will one day pass to my sons.”

And this photo, featuring Greta, titled 'Trained from infancy', I find so strikingly beautiful.

She says, "I was only 7 or 8 months old when I received my first gun, a gift from a longtime friend of my parents ... For my seventh birthday, my father gave me my first BB gun ... I studied hard with my dad’s help and completed the hunter’s safety course at the California Department of Fish and Game so I could receive a lifetime hunting license. I was so proud when the certificate arrived in the mail three weeks before my 10th birthday!”

Chicks with Guns is probably available in your nearest bookstore, but I found it on Amazon.  Buy it for your mom, your sister, your daughter... or hey, if you don't have any of those, you can buy it for me.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Little Rant

I’m going to apologize right up front for what I’m about to do. It’s called a rant, and I know some people don’t like that sort of thing. So I’m sorry, in advance.

On the other hand, if you don’t like it, then stop reading. Apology retracted.

If you haven’t heard, today is National Eat Dinner with Your Family Day. While it sounds like a nice cozy day, something about it just rubs me the wrong way.

It’s not that I disagree with the concept itself, statistics have shown that the more often you eat dinner as a family, the less likely your kids are to smoke, drink or use drugs. However, it makes me sad. And to be honest, a little bit angry.

When I was growing up, we didn’t need a special day on the calendar to sit down and eat supper (yes, I know it’s Eat “Dinner” with Your Family Day, but we’ve always referred to the noon meal as dinner and the evening meal as supper. I think that’s a country thing, but it could just be that my family is odd.) It was something we did every day (excluding planting and harvest season when it was likely we’d be in the fields late), because we were a family and that’s what a family does.

Even now I sit down and eat with my husband and our daughter almost every night. There are definitely days when it doesn’t happen, but it’s not the norm. What makes me so sad/angry is that a day needs to be devoted to this. We as a nation shouldn’t NEED this reminder to spend quality time with our kids. Every time I see the commercial about this day and the 'helpful' reminder to eat with my family, it makes my blood boil.

Tell me, am I completely off-base here? Does it annoy anyone else, or am I the only one?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Zucchini Rice Bake

I've been experimenting with zucchini dishes as of late.  Our zucchini plant that produced about 5 zucchinis earlier in the year, up and died on us.  But it made a miraculous recovery and is producing again!  So now I'm making zucchini bread and trying out all sorts of new things as well.  Here is one of the new concoctions. 

What You Need:
  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 bag of quick cooking rice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 banana pepper, chopped (Any kind of pepper is fine, this is the only thing I had in the garden that day)
  • 1 can Italian diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
What You Do:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Coat a baking dish with cooking spray.

Prepare rice according to package directions.

Brown beef.

Chop vegetables.

Combine beef, rice and vegetables in baking dish.  Pour tomoates in and give it a stir.  Season with salt and pepper.

Top with mozzeralla cheese adn bake for 30 minutes.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

5K for the VA

This past Saturday was the 5K for the VA that my sister and I have been planning for the last few months.  We were really happy with the turnout and hope to have it again next year.  Here are a few pictures from the race and the kids fun run: 

1st Place Finisher... check out that time!

Youngest Fun Runner showing off his dog tag

A BIG thank you to all the sponsors and participants, we couldn't have done it without you!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Look What I Caught!

Monkey came into the kitchen the other night while I was making supper, she was very excited about what she caught in her butterfly net and wanted me to see it....

Leroy may chew up EVERYTHING, but I think he must have a heart of gold to let her do this kind of stuff to him! 

For more Wordless Wednesdays, click here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ernest Thorp - American Hero

Well, I've had a busy couple of weeks at work and at home.  Things are FINALLY slowing down a little bit (until next month, when I have another big work obligation to take care of).  While I have a few minutes today though, I wanted to touch on the Guns Save Life meeting that I went to last week.  

The main speaker was a WWII hero that actually lives just a few miles from me.  Ernest Thorp had an amazing story to share with us about his time as an Air Force pilot, how his plane was shot down and he was rescued from the ocean to only be taken as a POW.  This 90 year old veteran is truely an inspiration.  He has a memoir that he kept while in the prison camp that I hope to read soon.  

Not only was I completely captivated by his stories, but it also turns out that he was friends with my grandpa!  It was really great to have him there, I think I want to plan a coffee shop date with him once a week now. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Homemade Granola

We love granola.  Unfortunately granola cereal isn't cheap.  So I decided I was going to make my own.  It turned out great and was a lot cheaper than buying boxes of it from the store! 

What You Need:
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts and almonds)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup water
What You Do:
Preheat oven to 300ยบ.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the oil, honey, and water. Toss the mixture until the ingredients are well combined, then spread it evenly on a cookie sheet.

Bake the granola for 40 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring every 10 minutes to keep the mixture from sticking.

After it is cooled, you can stir in dried cranberries.  I would have done this except for the fact that Monkey loves cranberries and has eaten every last one in the house.

Eat as a cereal, sprinkle over yogurt, or throw in a ziploc bag and munch on as a snack.  Delicious.

Friday, September 9, 2011

50 Rules for Dads with Daughters

I came across this blog post today and it brought a tear to my eye.  It could be because I'm a little extra emotional this week, a lovely couple that I work with lost their youngest son in a car accident and it brings back many memories of two specific friends that I've lost in the last few years.  All great guys gone before their time. 

But I really don't think that this is the reason this post affected me so much.  I think it's more that as I look at this list, I see all the things MY dad did for me as I was growing up and all the things he still does for me as an adult.  And I'm guessing he did them without anyone ever telling him he should.  And that means the world to me. 

I hope that when Monkey is grown, she can compile a list like this about JC. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011