Tuesday, October 23, 2012

More transitions

So after six months time, with the help of Charley's parents and his sister, we are now in the process of transitioning his parents to an assisted living care center.   They seem okay with it and I know they will be happier there vs being in the midst of what is often times chaos now.   I am thankful I made a call last week to my sister-in-law and we put our heads together.   As when all my 'kids' fly the coop, I know it is going to rather quieter around here.   Change is not without stress.   I will not be bumping into the poor things as I race through the house.   Our house is not actually.....big.   It is sort of spread out and has a lot of little rooms as rooms go.   150 year old houses tend to not be on the big side so even the house will feel huge...er....soon.   Anyway, that is what is new today.   I have lots of ground work to complete to get the process finalized and am extremely grateful for the help I have received from Charley's sister.   Yay.   Resting a bit easier......

Monday, October 22, 2012

Husband away

Karin will play.   Or....read a lot, play with the kids,   He hasn't traveled much in years but it seems like things are cranking up again in that direction.   Back  then I only had three or four kids and I do remember climbing the walls a bit but I also remember putting them all to bed as soon as possible!    Right now I hear the most amazing screaming coming from the basement.    Hmmm.....I guess it is early to bed for her!   Just as soon as I pound out a few words more and off she goes to la la land.   I become somewhat zero tolerance when I know that it is me against the herd.  

The first few weeks hubby traveled back in the nineties, I was all distressed and whoa is me.   Then.....it occurred to me that there are two modes of me which had to be!   The dad is at home mode where we could conquer and divide and the dad is away mode.   I put on my single mother hat and made do.   I made sure the meals were planned, food was purchased and then hunkered down on the homestead.   Our pastor at the time was always very concerned for my well being so that was sweet.   I still bump into him from time to time and remember those days.   Once hubby was in Spain and France when a train was in an accident in a tunnel over there so he had a cautious approach to ask me if I had heard from him.  

This time round is not much different.   I will get used to this drill.   He has a job so that is good.   He has decisions to make about that job and whether to stick with that company after 26 years.   I take on little projects of setting stronger routines with kids and extinguishing the screaming of small people or at least work on it is a bit harder.   One day down.......

Beef stew for my sickos

Back when I was student teaching, which was um....quite awhile ago, my supervising teacher told me that beef stew was the cure all for colds etc.   Her beef stew was similar to my moms with one magical ingredient.   She put whole mushrooms in hers.   She called the shrooms nice surprises and so happily yummy it has to cure you.   So.....here is how I make it.

(Mine serves twentyish or more)

Beef stew

Three pounds cut up beef (venison works too)
1/2 cup flour
oil to cover the bottom of the stew pot
one large onion cut in small pieces
eight stalks of celery or one or two leeks.
As many carrots as you can bear to peel cut up in smallish pieces
Six to eight potatoes cut up
2 or 3 bay leaves
A can or two of beef broth, beef bone broth or bouillon cubes
Eight cups boiling water
Two quarts whole tomatoes

Simple instructions.   Dump flour in a smallish bowl and dump beef into flour and stir to cover.
You can add salt and pepper to the flour mix too if you wish or can remember.  

Saute onion nad celery/leeks in a large stock pot in oil.   Add beef and brown.   At the same time boil six to eight cups of water depending on your quantity of beef.    When beef is browned, pour boiling water over top.    Next add the rest of the vegetables.   I often times start peeling and chopping in between other afternoon responsibilities.   Home made whole tomatoes are the best and to me make the recipe, but store bought work.   Add store bought tomatoes first so they have time to cook and fall apart.   The longer it simmers, the better it is.