Quote of the Month:

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
{Past Quotes}

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gypsy Time Travelers

Storytelling is an integral part of life, and human history for that matter. Before the written word, history was passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. Of course, not being written down did leave it open to more human error. Aside from being used to recall the past, storytelling was also used as a form of entertainment and joy.

Amery and the Last Dragon:
Long, long ago, there lived a young girl named Amery. Amery's family ran a farm for the King of a great land and she loved her family and life on the farm. But a terrible plague brought sadness to her life and she found herself an orphan. She and the other orphans were put into a wagon to be taken to a city far away, to be cared for in a foundling home. Stubborn and determined as Amery was, she ran away to take care of the farm herself. Unfamiliar with the roads and woods so far from her home, she soon got lost. It began to rain and she sought shelter in a cave. The cave was deep and very warm, it ended in a dazzling cavern full of treasure and books and scrolls.
This is an excerpt from one of the many amazing stories told by Christine Horne. If you haven't heard one of the stories of the Gypsy Time Travelers (previously known as Pound Iron) then you are definitely missing out. The story above is passed out to children on a scroll of paper along with small colored stones called dragon tears. Currently they are at the Kern County Fair. The first time I ever saw them was at the fair many, many years ago. They hadn't been back in a while, because they were busy travelling the planet, and I was so surprised when I saw them there this year! Even more so when she recognized me!  Her and her husband run the show- her telling stories while he does work in the background as a blacksmith. They pass out tickets before the show and raffle off what he makes during the show at the end. I've seen the show so many times, and I'm sure I still haven't heard all of her stories.



If you get the chance, visit their website, find out when they're going to be near you, and go watch their show! Even if you don't win anything at the end, it is still a great experience. They are such nice people and very entertaining. Storytelling is a great gift and I'm glad I found out about them when I did.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Day at the Fair

We encounter millions, no, billions of different smells throughout the course of our lives. Smells that help create memories. A certain smell can take you back in time. There is a smell that I look forward to every year, and that is the smell of the fair. I've gone to the fair every year since I was old enough to. My family has been involved with 4-H and FFA since my older sister was old enough to show... so since I was about seven.

To me, the fair isn't about rides, and food (though the food is always a plus). The fair is about family. I go there to just spend time with my family and enjoy the atmosphere. And it's not just my immediate family that is involved, it's my aunts and uncles and cousins and my cousin's children. Everyone. Every year, that first day walking into the fair, the first thing that always gets me, is the smell. The smell brings it all back. I know a lot of people think the fair smells bad, but it will always be one of my favorite smells. Growing up on a farm, my tolerance for "stink" is a different from a lot of people's. But what's funny is, it's not a conscious thing. I don't walk to to fairgrounds with my nose out waiting to sniff the air, haha. It's more like I walk onto the fairgrounds and it just hits me, and I always have to smile.

My sister and I are too old to show now unfortunately, but my little brother, Matthew, is still at it. This year he showed two sheep, a goat, and two pigs. A pretty big load. I really enjoy going out to watch him show, helps me feel connected... and I'm pretty sure he appreciates it just a little bit :P I like to think my brother and I have actually gotten closer since we've gotten older. We don't argue as much, and obviously don't beat each other up playing Power Rangers anymore. 

My typical day at the fair: watch someone show their animals, walk around and look at exhibits, hang out with family, eat a deep pit sandwich (so bomb), and hang out with the random friends that come by. The fair isn't just a one day thing for me, it's more of a second home. 

And here are some of the silly things we do (:


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hello!!!

If you're reading this... leave a comment and let me know? (:

Add sugar, and stir... a lot

Grandma's are the best. Enough said.

Last Saturday, September 10th, my grandma and I made homemade blackberry jam together. I love days like this where I get to spend time with her. A while back my mother told me something my grandma told her about me, "I really enjoy cooking with her". I knew my grandma loved me, like all grandmother's love their grandchildren, but that just made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. My grandma also told me that it would be sad for me to move out, because she looks forward to cooking dinner with me in the evenings.

Well on this particular morning, I woke up and went to my grandma's house- she lives right next door to us on a 20 acre farm. We were going to make jam together like we had planned the night before, and she had already started without me... like she usually does. My grandma always makes me feel so lazy! She will tell me what time we're going to start doing something in the morning, say 8 o'clock, and I will get to her house at 8 and she will already have been up for an hour or so and started without me! Making jam is relatively easy to do, but it's not a sit and wait sort of thing. Especially when you pick your own fruit to go in it!

Ingredients:
  • 5 Cups Crushed Blackberries
  • 7 Cups Sugar
  • Fruit Pectin (Sure Jell)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Butter/Margarine
Preparation:
  • Wash all jars and lids.
  • Crush the berries (potato mashers work well). Sieve 1/2 of the pulp to remove some of the seeds (if desired).
  • Place flat part of lids into pot of water, and keep hot on the stove.
Directions:

STIR!
  1. Put blackberries in a large pot, set stove on high. Start stirring!
  2. Stir pectin into the fruit.
  3. Add butter/margarine (to reduce foaming).
  4. Continue stirring until mixture is at full rolling boil.
  5. Stir in sugar "quickly".
  6. Bring to rolling boil once again and boil for 1 minute (whilst stirring). Once it gets to a rolling boil, you may turn off the heat as it tends to splash more, and will burn you. Doing this will reduce splatter. You are finished stirring!
  7. Take pot off heat and scrape off any foam.
  8. Use ladle to fill jars with jam. Fill almost all the way to the top because it will "shrink".
  9. Wipe jar rims and threads. Use tongs to remove lids from hot water and cover the jars. Screw bands on tightly!
  10. Let settle upside-down on a flat surface. 
You just made jam! This recipe will make about 9 cups of jam, so make sure you have enough jars if you're going to attempt. My grandma never likes to do anything small, so we did 4 or 5 batches. Made around 20-30 jars full (all different sizes). It's best to do it with someone to help, that way while you're stirring they can get other things ready (:
before boiling Stirring A jar not filled all the way Grandma stirring Lots of sugar sugar and butter heating the lids

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Second Chance?

No more tears.

I’ve made it through one whole day in the past two weeks without crying. Granted one of those days I wasn’t crying because of my break-up with Chris. I had a fight with my mom. It was the first time I had ever really yelled at my mother- that I can remember. And it’s all because of this silly blog. I’m not going to go any further into that, but I can assure you that my mom and I are fine now.

Yesterday was Prime Cut Night. Every Wednesday I meet up with my friends there and we catch up on things. Well, I actually mean “our” friends. Meaning mine and Chris’. The last time I went to Chris’ house was to return his things. It wasn’t an easy task. He invited me in and we greeted each other. I was okay, and then he asked me how I was. Truthfully, I was not good. Not at all. I didn’t know how to react to that. How do you tell the person who broke your heart how you’re doing? I wasn’t able to stay long before the tears came again, and I felt awful for crying in front of him. So, I left just as quickly as I came.

I had already missed a Wednesday night because I knew he was going to be there and I knew I wouldn’t be able to be around him and keep myself together. I really wanted to go last night, so I made plans to meet up at his house earlier that day. I wanted to test myself around him, and I figured it would be better to do it just the two of us, instead of in front of everyone. Things were going good. I had been there for at least half an hour and I didn’t have to fight hard at all to keep the tears at bay. The conversation seemed to be flowing easily. All I could think about was how happy I was to be able to be around him again.

Then the conversation turned. He really opened up to me. I had done away with any thoughts of us being together again, because I never thought he would want me back, but as he kept talking, that seemed like the direction it was going. I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions so I just told him straight out, “I need to know where this is going, because I could fall back into your arms so easily right now”. And that’s where it went.

So we’re back together, but I’ve changed so much in these past two weeks. I realized a lot about myself, and I’ve figured out what I need to do to keep myself happy in a relationship… or so I hope :P I hope Chris can deal with the new improved me, though I’m sure she’s not too different from the old one. To end this on a happy note- I’m back with my Chris, and the future is looking bright (:
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