Wood Floors Prepared

The room is cleared and the floors are washed!  It is time to refinish the wood floors in my Purple Palace!  Here is a peek of what the room looks like today.  I am anxious to get to work, but cleaning up after Christmas comes first!  I will settle for sharing the before pictures!

Floors vacuumed and supplies out and ready!
I am excited for all the scratches and imperfections to be history!  Hopefully we know what we are doing!

My mom found grey curtains that work perfectly with the purple walls!  Redbeard put them up for me and I love them!
My new curtains are finally up!  Woohoo!
 Next up I will share the products we are using to make my dream room complete!

For a look at the process, check out My Purple Palace.


It's Been Awhile

It has been awhile since I have posted!  It has been a very busy week for us!  We started the Christmas celebrations with Redbeard's family.  We had a lovely meal on Sunday night and received awesome gifts!  I also had the opportunity to give a few gifts that I made.  I can finally post the final products!

We celebrated with my family on Christmas Eve and Christmas.  I also attended a friend's wedding on Saturday.  It was a wonderful Christmas week!

We have a lot of goals for 2014.  We would like to get the floor refinished soon.  The room is ready to go and we are excited to show you the final product.  (Along with any struggles we may encounter.)  We have a long list of to-dos and we can't wait to get started!

Hopefully 2014 will be full of fun projects and a more beautiful home.


Ma Zimm's Peach Jello With a Twist

My Grandma Zimmerman makes a yummy peach Jello for most family events.  I request it every time!  I thought maybe it would be nice if I made it this year.  I decided this year I would try making a raspberry flavor jello, too!  Well, the jello is made and the first batch is almost gone, it was a success!  I will call it Jessie's Raspberry Jello!

My latest creation!

Jessie's Raspberry Jello

1 can raspberry pie filling
2 boxes sugar free raspberry jello
1 12 oz package frozen red raspberries
2 cups boiling water
1 cup cold water

Boil 2 cups boiling water and mix in raspberry jello packets.  Stir in raspberry pie filling and cold water.  Add frozen raspberries and let sit in refrigerator until set.  Enjoy!


Custer the Big Puppy

I can't believe we have had Custer for three weeks now.  So how is it going?  He is a pretty good puppy...when Redbeard is around.  He is not very good for me!  Custer is usually looking for Redbeard when he is away.  Don't get me wrong, I love Custer...he just loves Redbeard more than me.

Custer gets to spend most days with his "Dad." (Redbeard's words...not mine!)  He loves riding in the truck and has never had a problem with getting sick or dizzy.

Sometimes Custer says something he 
shouldn't have and has to put his foot in his mouth. ;)

Talk about the perfect puppy!

We are really enjoying Custer.  Here are some pictures from the last three weeks.

Custer loves watching the cattle!

The caption says it all.  He was very tired this morning. 

He also likes to stretch the pillow rule.

As you can tell, there isn't a dull moment at our house!


I Froze My Eggs

It is true.  I had leftover eggs from my mother-in-law and I didn't have an immediate use for them.  I heard about people freezing eggs, so I thought I would give it a try.  I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was!

Start with an ice cube tray, 6 eggs, a bowl, and a fork.  

Crack open all the eggs and blend them together in the bowl.

After the eggs are blended, pour them into an ice cube tray and freeze until hard.

Let the eggs freeze for a few hours.  I had a hard time getting the egg cubes out of the tray.  I ran warm water over the back of the tray until they would come out.  Then, I froze the egg cubes again on a plate to make sure they wouldn't stick to each other.  When they are frozen completely, you can put them in a ziplock bag and use them when you are ready.

All you have to do is let them thaw or microwave them briefly to use.  And they stay fresh even if you don't use eggs often.


How to Clean Your House in Nine Minutes

I got this idea from a blog I follow, Red Dirt in My Soul.  She says distractions come easy to her.  She started setting a timer while cleaning for motivation.  I thought to myself, "I am easily distr....oh look, my hot pink, orange, and purple shoes, aren't they pretty?"  Now what was I saying?  It is very easy for me to start one task and end up finishing something else instead.  A few days later I wonder how I never got said task completed.

So how do you clean your house in nine minutes?  Easy, set a timer for nine minutes and get to work. Each room has a time limit and when you hear the buzzer, it is time to go to the next room.  I tend to get inspired under a time limit so it is hard for me to stop at just the nine minutes...even if I get to do it all over again tomorrow.  I have added the nine minute "wildcard" time.  It is nine minutes for me to go around the house to finish up any tasks I was in the middle of.

My bedroom and office piles from the bathroom
Purse pile!

When I start in a room, I immediately work on the clutter.  This is the easiest part to get quick results.  I make a pile system.  Kitchen here, bedroom there, bathroom over here.  By doing this, I don't waste time running from room to room.  I can use the wild card time to pick up all the bathroom piles and put them away and so on with each pile.  When the clutter is cleaned up, I start deep cleaning...washing countertops, toilet, coffee table, etc and organizing drawers and closets.  The first day there isn't much time to deep clean.  (If you are like me and have a lot of junk sitting around.)  Tomorrow there will be more time to wash countertops and your house will start looking cleaner!  I am amazed at the difference I have seen in the house in just a few days.  I even do a timer for washing dishes.  So far I have finished all dishes in nine minutes with time to spare.  It doesn't seem as bad when you know you are only going to do it for nine minutes.  I intend to keep this up for a long time!  Plus, I have more time to crochet and craft, which lets face it, is all that really matters. ;)

I got everything put away and the counter washed off in nine minutes

The only Christmas decoration we have up...I have high hopes for more...we will see.
So, I can't clean my entire house in nine minutes, but I can clean my house in nine minutes x the number of rooms!  Today I cleaned up the bathroom, did the dishes, cleaned the kitchen, and made lunch after I got home at 11am.  The food was ready by noon (with the help of the microwave on defrost.)

What housecleaning tips do you have?  I am always looking to find a new routine for our crazy lives!


Snapshot #30 - Unpredictable Weather = Kansas

Only in Kansas can it be 70 F on Monday and by the end of the week be snowing and -3 F.  I didn't even know it was going to snow.  I decided to go to Hays to make pictures for our Christmas cards on Saturday.  By the time I got out of Wal-Mart, my first stop, it was snowing.  I rushed to Dillons and made it home in time to have supper with Redbeard and his old roommate in Phillipsburg. (I hear he is reading the blog, so a little shout out to him! :)  We will see if he really is reading!)

To show the progression of the week, this was my outfit on Cyber Monday.

And this is what I was wearing by Thursday while we bow hunted.

The outer layer starts with a nice new Christmas hunting coat that is reversible.  Mom and Dad were nice enough to give it to us early so we could use them.  Redbeard has a matching one!  Under the coat are my favorite pink coveralls and my awesome purple gloves.  I had my head covered with my new camouflage hat that has LED lights in the front.  It works great when I have to walk outside in the dark.  It is a handsfree flashlight that keeps me warm!  I wear the same boots that I wore years ago when I shot my one and only deer.  I hope to change that this year...number two to come?  I sure hope so!

Hunting outer layer
The middle layer is complete with Redbeard's oversized green zip up jacket and my new hunting pants with a pair of socks.  They are furry inside and soft on the outside so they make zero noise while walking!
Middle layer

The bottom layer consisted of my favorite pink Under Armour shirt and black Under Armour pants.  These pants are from a ski trip six or seven years ago (this means I am getting older I guess...whoa) and have been worn so many times!  That big purchase at the time was well worth it in the end!  Notice this is a second pair of socks.

Bottom layer

This was a lot of clothes to wear while hunting.  I received many looks from Redbeard as I waddled into the blind.  There was a lot of noise being made by me since I could hardly walk.  Here is the proof of my many layers.  I am smiling, but really I am freezing from being out in the blind for over two hours.

Can you see me shaking from being cold?  Well, I was.

Our little Custer was so happy to see us when we got back.  Isn't he cute?  I think he has separation anxiety.  Every time we leave him alone he barks and whines and scratches....do I need to go on?

Little Custer was glad to see us when we got back.  I was excited to be home and warm up too!


Snapshot #29 - Blame it ALL on my roots!

There is one thing I hate about Christmas coming...SNOW.  I absolutely hate winter and the temperature and snow that comes with it.  On the upside Christmas and deer season happens when it gets cold, so I tolerate the weather until the snow falls.  My dad shares my dislike for snow.  In our minds, snow means digging out of the house, driveway, and gravel road and chopping ice for cattle.  Not fun!  Snow also means bad roads, especially if the snow starts to melt, only to refreeze over night.

Now to show what the snow has messed up in 24 hours.  Sunday we were supposed to have a potluck at church to celebrate new members.  That means us.  Our transfer to First Lutheran is finally complete.  It was hard to say goodbye to St. Paul's, but that is part of growing up.  I knew the recent snow would interfere with our plans.  Redbeard has cattle to give food and water to and with snow and frigid temperatures that means chopping a lot of ice.  Plus, the roads were less than ideal.  

While he was off tending to cattle, I made a dish for the potluck.  I decided macaroni and cheese would be a good addition to the potluck since I didn't have any eggs left to make a dessert.  In a short thirty minutes, I let the noodles stick to the pan and boil its slimy noodle juice onto the stove.  Yuck!  I was trying to do too many things at once.  Next time I will focus only on the noodles.  I blame it on the yucky snow!  It has me going crazy!

Redbeard finally got home right before 11 and church starts at 10:30.  We hopped in the truck and made the trip to town.  We entered right as they started playing the closing song, but at least we made it for the potluck.  Better late than never, right?

Here is what the roads looked like on our way to church
We had a great time at the potluck.  I think it was the best potluck I have ever attended!  Between cheesy potatoes, macaroni and cheese, beef and pepperoni Pizza Hut pizza, and Hawaiian rolls, I was stuffed!  I didn't even eat supper last night!

The road on the way back from church...much better, but still not great.

After church and the potluck, Redbeard and I went out to give a few bunches of cattle some more water.  They sure drink a lot, even though it is cold out!  Custer came along for the ride and loved every minute of it!

Sniffing around

The puppy sits weird sometimes
Our cattle live on the fields harvested this fall during the winter.  This includes corn and grain sorghum fields.  The nice part of having the cattle in the fields is they are gaining weight while cleaning up after us!  They also leave behind some fertilizer.  The "girls" pick up the corn or sorghum reside that was lost out of the combine during harvest and eat it.  There is little waste then!  They get a bale of alfalfa or other yummy forage to supplement the corn or sorghum.  I think they deserve a little treat when they are doing so much work!

Some of the cattle eating corn

Redbeard is the official ice chopper

Redbeard ice chopping in action.  Don't be fooled, he isn't the only ice chopper.  I put the camera down sometimes to chop some ice, also.

The girls eating some alfalfa

"What are you looking at?"

I blame my long, cold, yucky day on the snow and my long-time hatred for it.  It causes problems in our days, but it is nice to go chop ice and feed with Redbeard and Custer even though it is cold.


Snapshot #28 - Roast Beef Recipe

I never liked roast beef.  I thought it was bland and stringy.  After having my own freezer of beef, I realized roast is a large portion of animal.  Basically, I was forced to find a desirable recipe for roast.  I combined my mom's and Redbeard's meat preparation secrets and made my own!  

Start with a thawed out roast.  Rub my (Almost) World Famous Seasoning on it and put in a ziplock bag.  Add Italian dressing to the bag and seal.  Let sit in the refrigerator over night.  The next morning cover the bottom with Italian dressing and place the roast and all marinate in a crockpot on low for the whole day.  The roast will be ready for supper that evening.

I forgot to take pictures while it was cooking, but I assure you it was yummy!


Snapshot #27 - (Almost) World Famous Seasoning

A few months ago I discovered Grill Mates Sweet and Smoky seasoning.  I put it on everything.  It didn't take long to see that this was becoming a grocery shopping regular.  I decided to try my hand at my own sweet and smoky seasoning.  The result wasn't the exactly the same, but it is even better to use for a meat rub.  I use it on roast beef, hamburgers, steaks, chicken breast, and....well that is pretty much all I cook or eat.  I shared the seasoning with my mom and she went home and made her own.   I have my mom's approval so I think it must be pretty good!

Here is my almost world famous seasoning!

Start with:
The ingredients

2 T paprika
3 T cinnamon
3 T chili powder
3 T garlic powder
4 T onion powder
5 T sugar
Up to 1 T cayenne pepper (optional if you want some heat to the seasoning)
2 T Grill Mates Sweet and Smoky (optional)
3 T Dillo Dust (optional - free with a LaRue Tactical purchase)

I love the way the ingredients look before mixing!
Put the ingredients in a bowl with an airtight seal and shake until mixed.

The final product!

Use a funnel to put the seasoning in a shaker if you desire.

Like I said, I use this seasoning for everything.  Tomorrow I will share my special roast beef recipe.  It is cooking right now!  Yummy!!

What are your favorite seasonings?


Snapshot #26 - My Best Shot

We have a Thanksgiving tradition at my parent's house.  In the afternoon, around 2pm, all the men and I go out to shoot shotguns at clay pigeons.  I usually leave the event frustrated because I cannot shoot a shotgun right and I miss almost all the targets.  This year I decided I would practice shooting my bow instead.  I shot a few arrows when all of the sudden I realized I couldn't see one of my arrows in the bale.  Upon further investigation, I found this...

No wonder I couldn't find my other arrow!  It was so close to another that it looked like the same arrow.  I was pretty proud of my shot.  This is the closest I have put two arrows together since I started shooting in October.  It isn't a Robin Hood (shooting an arrow into the end of an already shot arrow), but it is the best I have done so far.

My uncle (an awesome bowhunter) helped me out with my shooting form on Thanksgiving, so hopefully great shooting and a deer is in my future!  I come from a bowhunting family so there is a lot of pressure to score my first deer!


5 Things This Rural Housewife Doesn't Want to Admit

1. I am not super woman - No matter how hard I try I can not do it all.  I feel like I should be able to keep the house clean, be active in the community, help out on the farm, and work on my hobbies, but I can't.  Something has to give.  Sometimes the house isn't as clean as I would like it to be because of everything else going on in my life.  It is definitely a balance.  I am learning to be okay with balance instead of perfection.

2. I get mad at the long days - I know, I know...I grew up on a farm, I knew what I was getting into, right?  No amount of preparation can truly get you ready to marry a farmer.  I will admit I had an idea, but an idea and real life are far from the same.  It is hard when all the plans in the world won't guarantee a trip to town with your man.  It gets easier as time goes by.  I find things to keep me busy when the hours get long and thank God for every minute I have with him.

3. I don't mind getting dirty...as long as I have WORK clothes on! - I have never been accused of being a REAL country girl.  I love participating in activities like working on the farm, hunting, and fishing, but I really like being girly, also.  I suppose I don't let people see the "farm girl" side of me much.  Most people see the dress and heels on Sunday morning kind of girl.  I am learning to embrace my "farm girl" side.  This starts with putting on Redbeard's hunting clothes and walking around the wilderness in oversized head to toe camoflauge.  Would I rather be dressed in purple head to toe with jewels and sparkles all over?  Yes, but somehow I think the deer would see me.

4. I cry...sometimes a lot - People who really know me, know that I am an extreme crier.  Every emotion causes me to cry.  I will let tear gush out of my face when someone I love has happy news and will share the pain with someone who is hurting.  This is the way I was built.  As I have matured, I have learned how to control my tears.  Sometimes all the control in the world isn't enough to stop me from crying...and that is okay.

5. Life didn't turn out the way I wanted it to, but I do have the life I needed - I am a control freak.  I LOVE to be in control.  That is probably why I tend to get over-involved.  I dive head first into activities.  At one point in college I was taking 18 credit hours, helping teach a class, serving as president of three organizations, and trying to be a good girlfriend all at the same time.  Redbeard told me I was crazy and I thought it was normal.  This led to me taking a break from the craziness after college.  I only planned a wedding with my mom, helped my dad on the farm, and prepared to marry my best friend for four months after graduation.  When we got married, I decided it was finally time for life to be the way I wanted it to be.  I would be this trophy wife, dressed up every day with full makeup catering to my husband's every need.  That didn't happen.  I take care of him, but I also take care of me.  I never thought I would be sitting in north central Kansas as a stay at home farmer's wife, but I am sure thankful for the life I didn't know I wanted.

The farmer and his rural housewife. Obviously he has to cover up his beautiful  red beard. :)


Snapshot #25 - Arby's Curly Fries From WAL-MART

This past week I was shopping for groceries in Wal-mart.  I had a few items on my list, including french fries.  I am very picky when it comes to the fries I eat.  I refuse to eat any fries that do not pass my crunch test.  Redbeard makes fun of me because I touch every fry before eating it.  If it is too mushy, it goes straight to the RB pile.  Some of my favorite fries are Arby's curly fries.  The seasoning is perfect and makes up for the lack of crunchiness.

Can you imagine how surprised I was to find this in the fry section?

Yummy fries!!!!

The first question was, will they be as good as the real deal?  Well I made them for lunch yesterday and I am here to tell you they are almost as good as from the restaurant.

Baking in the oven

All you have to do is bake them for 16-18 minutes at 450 degrees.  They are delicious!  I was pleasantly surprised.

Flavor                        = 4/5
Ease of preparation    = 5/5
Time to make             = 4/5
Wyrill overall rating   = 4.5/5
Will I buy again? YES


Snapshot #24 - Custer, Our New Puppy

Redbeard has been dreaming of owning his own dog for almost a year now.  He settled for our sweet little kittens for this long (which surprised me a lot), so I decided it was time to add a little puppy to the family.

He researched for months to find the right dog breed for us.  RB knew that it would have to be a calm, loving dog for me and a good hunter for him.  We settled on a German Wirehaired Pointer.  We went to visit the closest breeder last Sunday and fell in love with one of the puppies.  His given name was Cyrus.  He was cute, cuddly, and calm.  We both thought he was the one.  We decided to think about it to make sure he would be the one and Saturday afternoon we picked him up!

Custer's first picture

Earlier today on their first solo outing

You will notice I said his name was Cyrus but this blog post is called Custer.  That is because I am forgetful.  I couldn't remember his name and kept calling him Custer instead.  We both liked Custer better, so that is what his name became.

So far Custer has been a very good boy.  He doesn't make a mess in the bathroom over night and he waits to go to the bathroom until we come get him.  Today he rode along with RB and I when we were fixing fence.  Custer rode along quietly and even took a nap.

Custer napping

He even knows how to retrieve his toy already!

Custer bringing back his toy less than 24 hours after we picked him up

We are excited to have our new puppy, Custer!  


Snapshot #23 - Wyrill Wedding Wins - Calphalon Contemporary

I decided to start a series of my favorite wedding gifts.  One of my favorites is my new cookware set. I never saw the importance of spending the extra money on cookware.  I had cheaper sets in college and they worked fine.  I had no idea how nice this cookware could be.  We chose the Calphalon Contemporary pan set from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the set.

This skillet is perfect for cooking two hamburger patties. (This is a frequent request at our house)

This is my usual noodle or soup pot.  It is the perfect size to make enough for a couple meals.
We received a skillet with the purchase of the set, also.  Bed, Bath, and Beyond has relationships with some of the companies and offer registry completion gifts.  We received a knife for registering for the set and another skillet for having a certain amount of dollars of Calphalon products bought.

We received this pan with the purchase of the cookware set.  It is perfect for frying hamburger. 
After the wedding we filled out the paperwork to receive our registry gifts.  We just had to highlight the Calphalon items on the registry list and fill out a basic information sheet.  It said to allow 8-10 weeks for it to arrive.  They came in less than four weeks.

This is one of our freebie pans.  It works great for cooking cube steaks.

I love using this knife to chop vegetables.
Ease of cleaning  = 5/5
Useful                  = 5/5
Worth the money = 4/5
Would I register for this again? Absolutely!  I love this cookware set!

This is just my opinion, but I LOVE cooking now!


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