Monday, August 30, 2010

It's Lobster for dinner at this pig pen

So as you know, one of the positives of surviving the last few weeks at our house was traveling to Maine for work and partaking in some fresh Maine lobster.  Although I've never written out my "bucket list", I would definitely say this was on my bucket list.  The only thing that would have made it better is if my family could have traveled with me, but such is the life of a mom that works full-time away from the home.  

Although it isn't quite the same as visiting the beautiful Atlantic coast of Maine, I was able to bring a little bit of Maine home to my family.  Thanks to this nice box, the foam cooler with frozen gel packs and salt-water dampened newspaper, and the amazing staff at Port Lobster, I checked this box full of 5 LIVE hard shell Maine lobsters as part of my checked baggage to bring home to my family to enjoy.  Thank you Delta Airlines for safely getting my lobsters from Portland, ME to Indianapolis, IN. 

I didn't get home until after 9pm on Saturday night so we decided we would have the lobster for lunch on Sunday with my in-laws.  We did open the cooler when I arrived home to make sure the lobsters were still alive.  

I wish I had a picture of  Bubby's face when we opened the cooler as they were most definitely alive and moving around.  As a fan of Discovery's Deadliest Catch, he was pretty pumped to have a cooler full of live crustaceans in his house. 


We put the lid back on the cooler and put them in the refrigerator for the night. 

The next morning we were really struggling with what pot to use to prepare our after church dinner... we decided on the turkey fryer pot and used the fryer to boil the water.  (This was a great choice as I believe it really helped keep the "fishy" smell out of our house.)

After filling the pot with water and some salt, we brought it to a boil.  We then added the lobsters and boiled them for approximately 20 minutes.  I did learn in Maine that you can't set a timer and walk away.  Boiling them for a certain amount of time based on weight is helpful, but you really have to watch for them to turn the bright red color and then take them out of the water.  


All that was left was melting butter for all to dip the yummy lobster and we were ready to eat.

This is quite possibly the easiest main course we have ever prepared at this pig pen, but it might also be the most expensive, but it was all about the experience.  I'm glad that Big Sissy and Bubby have already been able to try lobster and The Farmer and his parents were more than happy with their fresh Maine lobster. 


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Survival is the name of the game at this pig pen

Well its been a long time since I last blogged ... almost 3 weeks ago.  The last time I blogged, Big Sissy, Bubby, and I had just spent the entire day at the Indiana State Fair thanks to the Indiana Soybean Alliance. It was an extremely hot day, but we sure had a blast.  




Little did I know as we were spending the day meeting the amazing 2010 Indiana State Fair Queen Denae Pyle, eating Hawaiian Shaved Ice, wearing pig noses as it was the Year of Pigs, and checking out the God Bless American sculpture depicting the American Gothic painting at the State Fair that survival would soon be the name of the game at this pig pen. 

When we went to the State Fair, I knew we had exactly one week before Big Sissy started second grade.   What I didn't know is that I would soon find head lice in her hair.  This changed every plan we had for the week before school started.  Although it appears life is now returning to normal ,whatever normal is at this pig pen, life has been anything but normal the last few weeks.  

All of our toys and clothing, which when you have 3 young children is essentially every possession you have, have been bagged up in trash bags. I have done more loads of laundry in the last few weeks than I have ever done in that period of time and every load of laundry has been done with hot water and dried on the hottest temperature on my dryer.  So far, I have only shrunk our brand new shower curtain as I didn't know it was dry clean only.  I limited everyone, including myself, to 5 outfits and one pair of pajamas that we washed everyday along with every one's sheets to help keep this under control.

The Farmer thought I was absolutely crazy, but I knew this was the only way to do it.  Thankfully, my mother was able to spend a few days with us as I would have completely lost my sanity through all of this if she had not been able to help me.  Let's face it .... no matter how old you get, there are some things only a mom can help make better. 

I keep telling myself that the positive of all of this is that our house has now been cleaned completely from top to bottom several times and we even had our curtains and drapes dry cleaned; however, I would not wish head lice on anyone.  We also have not allowed anyone to touch the toys that have been bagged up for the last few weeks as I am in no rush to add clutter back into this pig pen.  I have told the kids that we will only go through the bags one at a time and if we can't find a place for the toy, we will donate it to Goodwill.  

The other positive is that we were able to keep it contained to just Big Sissy as no one else in our house ever got it, knock on wood and Praise the Lord. 

I hate to jinx myself, but this is most definitely the worst thing I have been through as a parent.  (I know it could have been much worse and still could be; however, it is definitely very mentally and physically draining for a short period of time.)  From experience, I would guess that just reading this post is making your head itch ... Welcome to my world.  

Needless to say, it has been a few crazy weeks at this pig pen and to make matters worse I had to go on a 4 day business trip 2 days after Big Sissy started school.  Thankfully, we have survived and I did get to eat some real Maine lobster on my business trip and even brought some home for my family.  


So I hope the start of this school year is not a sign of things to come as the last few weeks have been enough for me for awhile ... quite awhile. 

My 2nd Grader, Big Sissy


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Somebody is going to the Indiana State Fair

Somebody is going to the Indiana State Fair thanks to the Indiana Soybean Alliance just like I did yesterday with GOODEness Gracious 'N Friends.  With the use of Random. org, Holly will be receiving 4 tickets for the 2010 Indiana State Fair.  (Holly, please email me at proudporkmom (at) gmail (dot) com with your full name and address and your tickets will be on their way.)

Yesterday, thanks to the Indiana Soybean Alliance, Big Sissy, Bubby, and I spent the day at the Indiana State Fair and when I say the day, I mean the entire day.  We arrived at the fairgrounds around 9:30am and pulled out of our parking space at 9:00pm last night.  I think Bubby was asleep within 5 minutes. 

We had a blast and got to do a lot of different things so you will have to check back in with the pig pen to see what all we did..  We also were fed quite well thanks to the American Dairy Association of Indiana and Indiana Pork

So if you haven't been to the Indiana State Fair yet, don't worry.  The State Fair runs until the 22nd so there is still plenty of time to enjoy The Year of Pigs at the Indiana State Fair.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

When life hands you lemons, this pig pen tries to make lemonade

As you know a couple of weeks ago, I had to travel to the Big Apple for work.  The last time I had to travel there for work, the flights were fairly cheap.   So I got the bright idea that for her Mother's Day present, Big Sissy and I should take my mother-in-law to New York City as my expenses would be covered and we could all share a hotel room. 

My mother-in-law had been to New York City a few years ago so I felt like she would be comfortable getting around NYC.  Big Sissy, on the other hand, had never been to the Big Apple and I hope some day she realizes how lucky she was to go at age 7.  (I had to wait until I turned 30.) 

Any way, the first day of our trip did not start quite as planned.  Our flight got to LaGuardia early, but they would not let us land.  We ended up having to go to Pittsburgh for more fuel and then back to LaGuardia.  Needless to say, we got to NYC about 2 hours late.  Thankfully, my business meetings did not start until the next day so I was not late for anything work related. 

Big Sissy's  first request was to visit American Girl.  We have visited the Chicago store as a family a few times, but she was excited to go to the New York City store. 

After a hairdo for her doll Nicki and lunch in the American Girl Cafe, our trip was getting better.  The only thing that would have been better at this point was if I had remembered my camera.

I had brought my camera to NYC, but left it at the hotel when we headed to American Girl so the only camera I had to use was my phone.  Little did I know that this would soon be a blessing in disguise. 



We ended our first day in New York with seeing Mamma Mia on Broadway.  It was absolutely amazing. 

Over the course of the next day and a half, my mother-in-law and Big Sissy hit the city while I spent my days in meetings. 

They did the Gray Line bus tour so they really saw a lot of different parts of the city and took a lot of pictures.  They also went to the top of the Empire State Building and watched The Today Show live.  Big Sissy even got to talk to Matt, Ann, and Al.  She was on cloud 9 as I talked to them during my morning break to discuss our afternoon plans as my meetings ended at noon and we had a 4:30pm flight. 

When I arrived back at the hotel to meet them for lunch after my meetings, I could tell by the look of my mother-in-law and Big Sissy's faces that something was not good.  Long story short, in the process of trying to delete some of their not-so-good pictures of NYC, they deleted all 600+ pictures on my memory card.  (That would basically mean every picture that I have taken since Christmas forward including our trip to New York City.)

I was in complete shock and Big Sissy was balling hysterically.  I pulled myself together and tried to calm Big Sissy down.  In my opinion, we now had about 2 hours to eat lunch and recreate as many of the photo opportunities they had over the past few days. 

Big Sissy was devastated.  She tried to put on a smile, but that didn't last very long. 

After walking back to Times Square from our hotel, I decided we needed to eat lunch.  It took her some time, but thankfully after she started eating her Turkey Manhattan in Manhattan she finally stopped crying and agreed that we needed to take some photos. 

Of course at that point, we had about a half hour so we caught cab back to our hotel and Big Sissy took the following photos from the back seat of the cab. 

We may not have a lot of pictures to document the trip, but we loved The Big Apple.

And although it isn't quite the Big Apple, the Indiana State Fair runs until August 22nd and your chance to win free tickets runs until tomorrow nightPhotobucket

Saturday, August 7, 2010

This pig pen has been hit by SPAM

This pig pen has been hit by SPAM and I am not a happy camper.  In the last 30 minutes, I have received over 20 SPAM comments on my blog.  Needless to say, I have readjusted my security settings and you will now have to enter in the security password to post comments on my blog.  I'm sorry for any inconvenience this creates, but I can NOT handle the SPAM. 

Thank you for reading this Public Service Announcement from the pig pen.  Good night everybody and don't forget about my Indiana State Fair ticket give-a-way!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Farmer Fridays - The end is approaching, but hopefully not too soon


I truly don't know where the summer has gone.  It seems like just yesterday it was April and we were planting the corn field around our house.  Now, Big Sissy will start 2nd grade in a little over a week and the corn around our house is maturing faster than it should be due to the extremely hot weather we have been experiencing in addition to the lack of rain



The Farmer predicts that our corn is about 2 weeks ahead of schedule which could mean an earlier than normal harvest which would not be a good thing.  An earlier than normal harvest would mean that our corn has matured too early and the kernels did not get as big in size as they normally would. 

 (The corn plant should not be starting to turn in color this early.)

Mother Nature has not been the best to us this year, but it isn't too late yet.  Rain in the coming days would be greatly appreciated and would help the kernels gain weight; however, this is a critical time period.  If we do not receive adequate rain in the next 2 weeks, it will be too late. 

(The husk should not be brown this early.  It should still be green and covering the entire ear.)

Rain after the next 2 weeks will more than likely not help the kernels gain weight and will essentially be a hinderance on the corn being able to be harvested from the field as we need it to be dry to run the combines in the field and the corn needs to be dry in order for us to store it on the farm.   

So we are back to crossing our fingers and saying lots of prayers for Mother Nature to cooperate.  I'll keep you posted in future Farmer Fridays on if she does or not. 

On a more positive, but different note, the great Indiana State Fair started today and my give-a-way for tickets runs until Monday night so be sure to sign up if you live in the vacinity of the Indiana State Fair. 



Monday, August 2, 2010

This pig pen is headed to the Indiana State Fair with some GOODe friends

Are you ready for some State Fair fun???

I know that this pig pen is especially since it is Year of the Pigs.

Some GOODe friends and I are getting ready for Family Fair Days with GOODEness Gracious 'N Friends at the Indiana State Fair! We will be visiting the State Fair and giving you some behind the scenes looks at awesome State Fair activities sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Alliance! Big Thanks go out to the Indiana Soybean Alliance!

So to kick things off today, the Indiana Soybean Alliance has given me and all of my friends each 4 Indiana State Fair tickets to giveaway on our blogs to our readers! How cool is that?!?

So here is how you enter to win 4 Indiana State Fair Tickets courtesy of the Indiana Soybean Alliance that will be chosen at random on August 10:

Each person is eligible for 2 entries:  1 for following my blog and 1 for commenting on this post.  Please leave a separate comment below for each entry. (If you are already a blog follower, please just post a separate comment letting me know.)

Now be sure to hop on over to all of the following blogs for multiple chances to win!

2 Maids a Milking

Alarm Clock Wars

A Latte with Ott, A

Beyer Beware

Fence Row to Fence Row

Frugalista Farmlife

Gal in the Middle

Going Jane

GOODEness Gracious

Life is a Highway and Mine’s Surrounded By Corn

Off the Cuff and Indypendent

Good luck!!!

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