Almond milk

I originally started this blog to document my furniture and house deuglyfying adventures. I’ve since found that my blog has attention span issues.

My friend Pamela graciously invited me to guest post at her home on the web, Red, White, & Grew. It’s a post about….almond milk. And why we’ve decided to make the switch from cow’s milk.

So go show her blog love and read about making almond milk and what to do with the leftover almond meal.


Wear that potato sack, and wear it proud


Best scene ever. Husband’s timing is genius.

don't climb the giraffe zoo kids. @Coffee Under The Umbrella

This zoo clearly understands children

So this wraps up my unintended and unofficial series about a few Texans in the midwest. The image below is the current menu at the Grand Cafe, where we took my husband’s grandmother for lunch in her hometown of a small town in Iowa, where anyone who didn’t have blond hair and blue eyes was looked up and down questioningly generations ago (yeah, I would’ve been kind of screwed). It’s an adorable little restaurant on Main Street with its walls covered in kitsch and newspaper clippings of locals. Examples follow.

small town Iowa cafe menu

No, this was not 30 years ago, this was 2 weeks ago

Because all Norwegians run with their hands in their pockets. My husband sure does! Gets a laugh outta me every time we see one of those signs in central Texas – and can he run with those hands in his pockets!

Nordic Crossing sign

The Norwegians are coming! The Norwegians are coming!

I don’t think they actually had Pepsi.

Old Pepsi Sign

Old Pepsi Sign

Be beautiful being you, just in a sack. You’ll look like a sack and feel like a sack, because you are in a sack. You’ll be charm personified. Plus I hear the French look is hot now.

potato sack

What real women do.


Tex license plate in Iowa

They were expecting us

Upon our return home, we unpacked to find a little note from the TSA explaining how badly they felt for breaking our lock.

broken suitcase lock by TSA

Hugs and kisses, the TSA

Thanks TSA! I feel incredibly safe with you breaking my locks now.

Gender and Betty Crocker (Or, This is not a political post)

So we’re a couple of 30-somethings and are pretty modern in I guess most respects. My husband is very supportive of me and contributes to the daily grind of childcare and most household duties. I really have no complaints about that.

My mother-in-law told me a story about my father-in-law, who died in 1986. They were in the kitchen together, drying dishes. A knock came at the door and FIL immediately threw the dish towel to MIL and told her, “Don’t let anybody know I was helping you.”

She also told me stories of how she would look out the window as he was returning home from his job as a meat cutter to see him accompanied by a coworker or two. On entering the house, he announced that Mr. Coworker was having dinner with the family. This is not how my family operates.

So this week, I rooted through her cookbooks and stumbled onto this glorious finding, Betty Crocker’s 1961 edition of her cookbook. It provided me with an evening of entertainment and thanking God for not putting me here on this earth in the 1960s when gender roles were much more categorized. Because you all know how much I love my power saws. Did I mention my husband has a vast collection of essential oils?

Betty Crocker's New Picture Cookbook 1961

Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cookbook 1961 in Technicolor!

So here is a quick tour for your enjoyment.

Betty Crocker says Refresh Your Spirits before you cook.

Not those kinds of spirits!

Betty Crocker kitchen

Stepford Wives working in the test kitchen

Let the Family Help You!

Let the Family Help You! Specifically, not your husband. And be sure to wear comfortable clothes, like your pearls and a dress.

Random picture

A random picture of a cherub to help you learn the first 2 letters of the alphabet.

reduce recipes

Only if you are good at math. Don’t even bother otherwise. “Math is hard!” says Barbie.

For those home-ec emergencies

For those home-ec emergencies. Mine is, “Order pizza for you two and I’ll see you when I get back from Olive Garden.”

How to freeze food.

How to freeze food. If you’re not an Eskimo and don’t live near a frozen body of water, it’s a lot more complicated, so tough.

A $.02 Lemonade Stand

Back in the day when lemonade was spelled with an “i” and cost only $.02.

(PS – I’m sure the recipes were fabulous. I’m dying to try the stuffed beef heart!)

And now for something completely different

Coffee is on vacation with the family and nowhere near a power saw. This is a diversion.

I am a city girl and have never been to a state or county fair until today. I grew up thinking 4H is only for rednecks. And I learned today that I was wrong!

First thing: “cheese curds” mean something very different in Texas than in Minnesota. Down here, they basically mean cheese sticks, the kind you get at Chili’s or some other generic chain of interchangeable food. Up there, they mean some sort of deep fat fried, hot, greasy, ooey goodness.

Real cheese curds!

Real cheese curds! Dripping from my hands into my singularly uncool mom bag.

Second: As I mentioned, 4H includes more than raising farm animals for competition that contains criteria that I am unable to comprehend. We had lunch in the 4H mess hall. I guess “hot dish” is a term up here that I didn’t grow up hearing. My husband has said that hot dishes were always a mess of ingredients that may have been all right by themselves.

Hot dish lunch

I guess this is a hot dish?

Growing up, 4H was regarded as an activity you did if your dad is a farmer and you milk cows. But apparently you also do it if you take pictures and build stuff – I’m down. There were several exhibits.
The woodworking exhibits:

4H wood table exhibit

This looks uncomfortably like my Pottery Barn knock-off table. I had not thought “4H” and “Pottery Barn” belonged in the same blog post, but apparently I am wrong.

4H Adirondack chair.

4H Adirondack chair built by someone only slightly too old to be my child. But I am a violinist. Being outdone by children young enough for me to babysit is nothing new to me.

I guess this was the outdoor DIY exhibit.

4H DIY Coffee table exhibit

Here is a DIY project I’m sure someone has posted on Pinterest.

The 4H grill planter exhibit

If you need something to do with that old grill, 4H has an idea for you.

The Stage With An Unknown Function:

4H stage with flags

4H stage with flags. I don’t know what this stage functions as, but all I know is that it’s missing the orchestra flag. Come on, 4H-ers! Who doesn’t want to spend most of their waking hours emotionally flogging oneself during scale practice?

There were other exhibits I didn’t post, such as fashion, canoe building, and photography, all of which were really amazing. I mean, everything I saw was amazing.

County fair food trailer

Taco Dick’s food trailer, posted for no reason other the obvious ones.

Finally, here I am with a goat.

Me and a goat

Azn impenetrable stare vs. a goat.