Working Mom Wednesday: Do you bring work home?

As a working mom, I am always struggling with the work/life balance. I feel like it is a constant battle. I wish I could shut work off in my brain when I walked in the door, but I can’t shut it off. If you walked into my house and looked at our desk in the kitchen, you would think, not a chance do I bring work home.

Well, unless I work for the wine industry. Which I don’t. Sigh.


But, I have a dirty secret.

I do bring work home. I have another office location.

I didn’t screw up. I put a picture of my master bathroom. If you look on top of my hamper you will see my evidence.

Computer power cord can be found most regularly in my bathroom.

I would say I have a problem, but I don’t think I do. I get a lot done in the bathroom. Work wise. I have written some of my best work on the floor of this special room.

However, I do try to hide it. Especially from my boss lady.

But sometimes I get busted. The conversations go something like this:

    Boss Lady: Hey Leah!

    Leah: Hi Boss Lady!


    Boss Lady: Just wanted to talk to you about XYZ.

    Leah: Great. I needed to touch base with you on that too. I had some thoughts…


    Boss Lady: Wait. Where are you? It sounds like there is an echo, almost like a cave. Are you in a bathroom?

    Leah: Uh. Well. Um. Maybe. It’s just so quiet. The kids don’t bother me in here because it is boring. I am getting so much done. It is sort of like hiding in a cave.


    Boss Lady: Hysterical laughing.

It is weird. I know. But I blame this.

It is just so warm and cozy and white noise like. I just crank on the space heater and go to town on the laptop to the wee hours of the night. And our office is just not as cozy. Plus my husband would have to learn how to share.

So, yes, I have a problem. I bring work home.

Don’t shoot your eye out!

Let me start this by saying, I did not buy these guns. My husband did not buy these guns. These were Christmas gifts from my husband’s parents. So, if you want to go off on someone for putting a gun in the hands of a four year old, go off on them.

But, it came with safety glasses.


And they have been told not to point to gun at people.

And daddy covers eyes when there isn’t enough glasses to go around.

And if you kick your foot out to the left, you are more likely to hit the target.

And when Boo was tired of shooting a pink gun, he called Papaw to bring him his gun. That was to remain at Papaw’s house and some how weaseled its way to our house.

And yes, this is the same day. She had a wardrobe change mid-shooting session. Doesn’t everybody?

And yes, it is March in Indiana and he doesn’t have a shirt on. Can’t fix stu…I mean it was a warm day.

Really, he was shooting downhill.

 Can you tell she has hit the target a few times?

Notice the shoes. Obviously she has been watching too much Real Housewives of Orange County and thought heels were appropriate foot wear for shooting. Thank Peggy.

So what dangerous things are your kids, neighbor kids, or friend’s kids doing this week?

Hunk of Meat Monday: Calzones

We are pizza lovers. I am a crust lover. I do not have time to make homemade pie crust. I do not always want cardboard pizza and who do you think delivers to the middle of no where? So, I developed my own pizza dish that I call calzones for lack of better name.
Now, this again is one of those recipes that can be doctored to meet your needs and likings. Normally this is a great dish to make when you are feeding a crowd. I make a jelly roll pan size calzone most of the time. But the other night I knew there was no need for enough calzone to feed the entire neighborhood. So, I experimented with my calzone making.

I started with these basic items and grabbed a pound of ground pork sausage out of the freezer.

Yeah, I use pizza sauce and petite diced tomatoes in my calzones. Gotta get those local ‘maters in!

I brown up the sausage and make sure it is tiny pieces thanks to my pampered chef mix and mash. Feel free to throw in onion and garlic if you so desire. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.

Then I prep my pan. Now, I am making this calzone in my metal 9 x 13 pan rather than my stone jelly roll. The key to a good crust for me is in the crispiness. So I start by pouring some olive oil in the bottom of the pan and sprinkling a generous amount of garlic powder on top.

Then, I grab a paper towel and spread the oil and garlic powder all over the bottom and sides of the pan.

Then I grab my tube of Pillsbury thin crust piece dough. Normally I would put the entire crust on the bottom of a jelly roll pan and use an additional tube for the top of the calzone. But this time, I use just one tube. Spread it out in the pan with half hanging over the edge to flip over wants it was filled with my pizza stuffing.

Once the sausage was browned, I drained the fat off and got the rest of my stuffings ready. I rough chopped some pepperoni.

Tossed it in the skillet right on top of the sausage.

Then did the same with some mushrooms and onions. I really like the taste of onion, so I tend to wait till now to throw in the onion. Gives it a stronger raw onion flavor.

Then I poured in the pizza sauce.

Followed by the tomatoes. Now remember to drain the water off of the tomatoes. Someone might have forgotten to do that very important step. Not sure who, but I heard someone did. I also threw in a few pinches of oregano and some salt and pepper.

While your stuffings simmer a few minutes, grab a two cup package of shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle half on the bottom crust.

Once the fillings are thoroughly heated, it is time to start filling your calzone.

I use a slotted spoon to transfer the filling from the skillet to the crust. You don’t want too much liquid in the mixture. It makes the crust more doughy and harder to get done.

Once you have the filling all piled onto the crust, finish off by sprinkling the remaining cup of mozzarella cheese.

Then fold the remaining half of crust over top of the filling.

I sprinkled the top with garlic powder. But, I have an obsession with garlic. Put into a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until the top is done to your liking.

I let it sit about 10 minutes to cool slighting before cutting and serving.

Tasty, quick dinner. Always a family pleaser.

So, what do you have cooking this week? Let us know by entering your link below. Grab the button and let your readers know where you go to find great recipes.

Hunk of Meat Mondays

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Melt in your mouth Monday
Homemaker Monday
Your recipe, my kitchen
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What’s on the menu Wednesday

It’s a cycle of life for this real farmwife

For farmers, there is a natural cycle to life. Things spring to life after the winter, and we harvest our crops at fall. Well, for livestock farmers, it is a bit more all year long.

As we get ready for the spring planting, I am reminded how drastically my life as changed as I have gone from the wife of a dairyman to the wife of an ex-dairyman. The cycle of life is much different.

For us, planting was all about getting the corn in the ground so we could chop it. Chop it you ask? Yes. That is when we use a machine the cuts the corn at the bottom of the stalk and then chops into bit size pieces for the cows. We would take the chopped up pieces in put it into silos or those long white bags you may see by farms. They sort of look like big long worms.

Boo loved helping with chopping.

This was all for the cows. And Boo spent many a day napping in the milking parlor while daddy milked.

Yes, that is cow poop on the side of the swing. And yes he would occasionally peel it off and chew on it. Insert gag reflex here. But he is a healthy kid, so it must of been self vaccination!

And he loved showing his calves.

And then it got to the point where we were losing more money every year since the price of raising crops, caring for the cows, and milking the cows cost more than we would get paid for the milk. After all farmers don’t set their prices, the food companies tell us what they are going to pay us for our goods. And milk is perishable so it isn’t like we had a lot of time to find another buyer. We had to take what we could get.

So, now for those few cows we have left, my poor husband has to go visit them at the other dairy farms that are taking good care of them.

It’s the cycle of life for an ex-dairy farmer.

To learn about other farmwives cylce of life, find other farmwives by clicking on the button below.

Missing…

UPDATE: Bailey has been found in the stairwell from garage to basement. Received many hugs and kisses from her dog brother Doc, our red heeler.;)

Little Bailey ran outside last night to play in the yard. She didn’t make it back in before the storm hit.

Please pray she appears before Boo realizes she is MIA!!

Wordless Wednesday: PCB ’11

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The world could use a big kick in the pants…

Have you ever had one of those moments when you realize you have been totally selfish, self-absorbed, self-righteous or whatever other self words comes to mind? It hit me like a sledge hammer a few weeks ago when I was in DC visiting with some World Bank professionals.

They went through the history of their organization, from the beginnings in 1944 for reconstruction purposes after WW2 till today. And today…

Reconstruction remains an important part of our work. However, the global challenges in the world compel us to focus on:
  • poverty reduction and the sustainable growth in the poorest countries, especially in Africa;
  • regional and global issues that cross national borders–climate change, infectious diseases, and trade;
  • greater development and opportunity in the Arab world;

So, they are doing so really BIG things to help people and country that rarely cross our minds. Let’s face it, the world is a mess…

But, then they shared something rather thought provoking. The single answer that could help change things. Girls.

The Girl Effect.

The unique potential of 600 million adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves and the world.

And then they showed us this…

Well, now I felt like a little spoiled brat sitting there in my designer shoes, carrying my smartphone, wondering what fantastic place we were going to eat supper at that night. And then all these conversations I have had with other moms started slamming through my mind. You know the ones about only feeding organically raised food, is HFCS safe or not safe, are there artificial hormones in milk making our girls develop sooner, and on and on and on…

When these girls become mothers, those things are the farthest things from their mind. For heaven’s sake, they are only 15 years old when they give birth for the first time.

Then I felt guilty.

Here I am in an ag leadership program learning about poor, hungry girls across the world turning to prostitution to feed their families. A lot of good I am doing to help feed the world! I thought, am I doing enough to make sure we have an abundant food supply? Are we developing technologies that allow farmers in their countries and villages to grow abundant food supplies so these 600 million adolescent girls don’t have to worry about food?

And then I thought about my dinner with WSJ Journalist, Roger Thurow.

You see, after a few beers at the Rathskeller, we asked him his opinion on things like Michael Pollan’s views on food policy or slow food movements or organic methods, etc. His very candid response, especially candid since he just had returned from Kenya, “Does it get any more organic or local than Africa? Does it look like it is working?”  No it isn’t. Why is that in a world of plenty African farmers are starving to death??? These girls can’t live in poverty any longer. Something has to give.

And then I thought of my girl.

If she was one of those girls, I would want someone to help her.

So, given the chance, girls are uniquely capable of investing in their communities and making their lives, and the lives of their brothers, sisters and communities, better. 

This is the ripple effect that happens when girls are given the support to realise their full potential. This is the Girl Effect. 

To unleash it, we need to make the great, untapped, potential of girls known and visible both in their own societies and the rest of the world. 

There’s no better way to fuel the Girl Effect than by spreading the word and letting others know what it’s all about. – From the http://thegirleffect.org/mobilize/share-it

So, what are you going to do?
Check out our Girl Effect Networks on Facebook and Twitter.

Hunk of Meat Monday: Orange Brandy Pork Chops

After a week of fresh seafood, I really wanted some pork. We traveled back with some leftover oranges that I needed to use up as well. Grabbed the bottle of brandy and figured I could make something work.


Of course I started with a frozen package of chops.

After a quick defrost, I grabbed my ingredients. Bottle of brandy, two oranges, some garlic, honey, cumin, and S & P.

I salted and peppered the chops and then generously covered with cumin.

I then poured a quarter cup of brandy, squeezed the juice from the oranges, and added about a tablespoon of honey.

Zested the orange peel a bit and chopped up three cloves of garlic to toss into the brew.

Now, you can do two different things. Toss this on the pork chops and marinade for a few hours before hitting the grill. Or when you don’t have the opportunity to grill, toss the chops into the crock pot and pour the mixture over the chops.

I did crock pot today.

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Out of gas on the grill…story of my life.

Cooked them for about 4 hours on low.

I threw together mashed potatoes, cauliflower and carrots to eat with the chops. Fooled the kids right into eating this slightly more healthy version of mashed taters.

No leftovers means good meal right?

What’s on your plate this week? Anything good and meaty?

Hunk of Meat Mondays

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