Monday, September 21, 2015

Creamy Chicken Potato and Shrimp Chowder


Trying something new. It's a thick creamy soup with potatoes, chicken, corn, shrimp, garlic, and onions. This is similar to a creamy potato soup recipe I've made before (and seen around) But I altered and added ingredients. Here's what I've come up with....it smells GREAT while cooking and tastes awesome too.

Ingredients:

3 - 4 lg taters, cubed
2 small onions , diced
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 - 3 large chicken breast cubed
1 lb bag (about 70 shrimp) of peeled tail off shrimp, thawed
2 cans corn, drained
1 - 8oz pkg of cream cheese (I sliced it up into 12 small cubes)
1 22oz box cream of chicken soup (ready to eat kind you don't add water to)
1 1/2 c water
4 - 6 Chicken bullion cubes crushed
Seasoning to taste
3 - 4 Tbl Flour (only if needed)

Throw it all but flour in the crock pot and cook on high 5 hours or low 8 hours.
If to watery, add your flour an hour before eating to thicken it up.

If using a 5qt crock pot use the smaller amounts of ingredients.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Back and running!!

A little over a week ago, my computer went T.U.  It froze up again for the 4th time in a week and a half, and when I reset it.  It never turned back on.  The mother board and cpu crashed and was not coming back. Thank got for my neighbors. They are awesome with computers. They fixed it and it's up and running with 2x the system I had before!  They found the identical twin to my computer, only it had twice the power (double the hd, double the core, double the ram, etc) for really reasonable.  I have an all in one touch smart HP, so they found one that had not been used but was damaged (dropped in shipping and the screen was shattered).  So the insides where good but the outside was shot...well my computer...happen to be the opposite.  So they got it and made one awesome computer out of two. I'm so excited and grateful!  I've been making goodies a lot lately so that's part of their payment. That and my husband is helping Them do a motor swap/rebuild so that the son will have a car of his own. So glad and thankful for them and their help.  Now that it's back to me, and my living room and house are all cleaned and my desk is cleaned, I have to reinstall all my programs.  So back at it!

Beating the heat.

Last weekend I had my niece all weekend.  She and my boys got hot over a sudden heat wave.  So they decided to keep cool...


Friday, September 11, 2015

Go Cart Shop Class

This week was a basic slow week for schooling. Just going over basics with the kids.  Thursday was payday.  So we paid bills and bought groceries. Just slow stuff.

Today was a nice day outside.  So the boys did thier first outside class.  Shop, with dad.  Since they are now big enough to ride the go cart, and it wasn't running, due to sitting for 3 years.  They had to take it apart, clean it up, and repair it.  They got it running, and took a test run.  My phone went dead before I could get video's of that.  But they spent 2 or 3 hours outside working on this.  Now we just need to get them a couple new tires.  And they will be able to ride on the weekends.  I can't wait to ride it myself.





Monday, September 7, 2015

Labor Day Weekend

Labor day weekend. There wasn't much too it.  With wild fires decimating our area, though finally getting undercontrol.  There's a lot of closures to the woods and camping spots all around us. Putting a damper and out right halt to camping.  And also, getting wood.  Which we're hoping is lifted soon, since wood heat is our only form of heat for the winter.  Since there was nothing much to do, we stayed home.

Friday, we lounged around, and cleaned on the inside of the house.  Cleared off the front porch, cleaned the back room and living room.  Though today, Monday, you wouldn't know that.  I have to do the laundry, pick up the living room, pick up the kitchen and clean the bathroom again.  Ya know, that repetitive crap we call house work.

Saturday we decided to get out of the house.  It was rainy, and cool.  So we loaded up in our suburban.  Threw the dogs, the kids, thier tablets, and some snacks and drinks, then took off.  We decided to go to Lower Granite Dam.  We took the hard hat tour where we got to go inside the dam.  It was pretty cool.  Theytried to learn a whole lot.  When we informed the guy at the desk we homeschool, they offered to do a special tour just for us. But then another guy and his two kids and thier friend, bitched.  So they went with us.  I have never dealt with such rude ass children, nor ignorant adult ever.  My poor boys.  Everytime they tried to see something or ask a question the 3 kids (two girls about 13 and boy about 12) would cut them off, get in the way, and interupt them.  They asked the same two questions every 5 min the whole time, pushing the poor guides patience to the limit. We found out our guide is a 12 year army vet and 101st member.  He was also security at another damn closer to our home.  He was patient and funny.  When we got to talk to him after the tour, he was so greatful for the behaviour of our boys and answered thier questions in private.  He and another lovely employee of the damn, went out of thier way to get the kids as much materials as they could to send home with them. I was only able to take a couple photos outside.  Inside the visitor, I wasn't able to get photos, to many people in there.  Or on the tour, camera's not allowed inside/ontop of the dam.  But it was still fun. The employees at the damn where wonderful, except for one security guard that is at one of the two ends of the dam.  We got to pass and drive over the damn, so we could se a very pretty camp/recreation area on the other side, alond with a small restaurant and four room hotel, and mart.  The one guard was told our information was already taken, and we were going to stop at the diner, and then pass back over, let us back through, but instead he was a power tripping rude ass hole.  The rest of the employees were great though.  And they were all excited for, supportive of, and encouraging to us on our choice to homeschool.  On the drive there, we seen around  20 head of deer, all doe, and well over 100 turkey.  Even with the rain, it was a lovely drive.








Sunday we did a bunch of outside yard work.  Ripped out two big dead bushes. Cleaned up the yard, mowed, cleaned up after the dogs, cleaned up all the fallen rotten apples. Repaired 3 leaks in the roof. Two of which seem to be holding well.  The neighbors also got two mini horses.  My oldest decided to hop on one and ride.  He did pretty good till it started to trot, he slipped, kicked it in the flank, and it crow hop/bucked him off.  I was proud of him, he got right back up and walked it off.  Here's a short vid clip of it.


Today, monday, is a lazy ass day.  Kids are off on thier bikes in the sun with thier friends.  And we're lazing in the house.  I'm enjoying a huge rootbeer float as I type this.  Then I think I'll call the kids home to play some games, maybe some Uno and some 10,000 (Farkle).

But that's what is up with our slow but long weekend.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Cuddle-cat...

Trying to sleep last night and my Jinx kitty decided to cuddle. I can handle that, as long as he stays off my face. He spent almost all night just like that.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A little about me.

Let's see. Where to start?  What to tell you about me?

My name is Randi.  I'm 32.  I love photography, and it is a hobby of mine I persue every chance I get.  I also sell prints of my photos.  I favor nature, animals, and macro photography.  I love to draw though, I'm not that good at it.  I LOVE to cook.  And am good at it. I also enjoy, crocheting and knitting, both on loom and needle.  I also love a good book.  And doing digital art and graphic work.  I also love to camp, hunt, fish, and be outdoors with my fmaily.  Also helping my husband with rebuilding old cars and trucks and painting them.  Pretty much I have a ton of hobbies and am happy whether I'm cooped up in the house or outdoors.

I have a husband whom I've been married to for 13 years, and together with for 14 1/2 years.  And we have two boys, whom I'm homeschooling.

We have two dogs, two cats, and two ferrets.  Our two dogs, are like mutt and Jeff.  There's Moose, our 42lb american staffordshire terrier aka pit bull, who is the biggest chicken in the world, and also the sweetest love bug ever, and is almost 2.  He was a rescue my mom brought to us the day we lost our beloved old man, Ru, our 11 year old pit who we also a rescue.  Then there's Little Bit, she's my 13lb rat terrier.  Who can be sweet, and also a terror, and has no fear.  She thinks she a big dog, and our big dog thiks he's little.  Little Bit, she goes by many names...including Itcy Bitchy, Bidiot, Snatch-block, and Bitsy.  We have two rescue cats.  They were litter mates and the while family was thrown out on the road in front of our place 2 1/2 years ago. We caught 4 of the kittens but mama and 1 were never to be caught, and eventually dissapeared.  Two of the kittens we saved got out, and dissapeared as well.  We're afraid coyotes or the big barn owl family in town got them.  But we managed to keep two.  Jinx, a russian blue looking boy, who is about 12 to 13lbs, and a major love bug.  And a hunting fool.  And then his razor blade with fur sister. Missy Mew.  She is a complete love bug with us, but leery of other humans.  She is our "assassa-cat."  She favors weaving between your feet when it's dark or your hands are full.  I swear it's to see if she can kill us.  My husband and I have a running joke, that the other has paid the cat to kill said spouse and make it look like an accident.  She is by far the softest kitty ever.  She is a teeny petite 6lbs, and is a calico colored tiger stripped tabby.  They call it "torbi" at the vet's.   Then there's the ferrets.  They are Pixiebelle and Tinkerbelle.  They're full of fun and mischief!  But are very sweet girls.

We live in a tiny little town of 100 people, in North Central Idaho.

Now a little about me.

Life was not easy, nor very kind, sometimes quit cruel, at home growing up.  Not at the hands or fault of my mother mind you.  And I'll leave it at that for now.

I am bi-polar.  So I have my ups and down, emotionally and mentally.  Though I've gotten better slowly but steadily at controlling and coping with that.

I recently started to have some health issues, I've dealt with since I was around 15, start to get really out of hand about 3 months ago.  It started with an ER visit, and has gone into a mass of Dr's visits, MRI's etc.  I was diagnosed with a couple things.

First, Chiari Malformation Syndrome.  That is where the base of the brain is compressed and forced out of the bottom of the skull into the top vertebrae.  It causes nerve damage, numbness, dizziness (very similar to vertigo), and just plain passing out.  Depending on the severity of it and how far the brain protrudes, is the deciding factor for if you have to have surgery.  I do. But it will be put off for a bit, until I can afford it, and until I'm ready.  I don't want to wait to long though. I would like to stop the nerve damage and get some of my feeling back in my upper body.  Which will happen when I finally have the surgery. Though I won't ever get it full back.  And will lose it again someday.  That is because of my second/third diagnosis that went together.

I have Lupus with moderate (will get worse as I age) arthritis.  The arthritis is head to toe riddling my body.  The big pain though, is the Lupus.  It is an auto immune disease, where your immune system attacks your own body.  It focuses on attacking your spine/nerves, your heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and brain.  So, yea, the major stuff.  It also causes chronic wide spread pain throughout the body, which is compounded in my joints by the arthritis.  Which thank God, is not RA. I have days I can't get out of bed, and need help, the pain cripples me, and days the pain is for the most part, under control.  I have to worry about my muscle and nerve control.  I can't pick up even a cup some days.  But I've learned, and am learning, to deal with it.  My kids now that they know, and understand.  Are a great help as well.  The frustrating thing.  Is that Lupus is now well know or understood.  So most people dismiss it as nothing.  Or made up/in your head.  Or just some diagnosis when the Dr's can't find anything wrong, and can't convince you your fine. Yea, I've been told all of the above and then some, even by families members whose support and understanding I need.  Not my husband, he's been here for it all, and has seen it, and watched it progress, and slow me down over the years.  He's been my rock with this, as have my kids, and my in laws, who've been here to help at any moment I need it.  So glad they're next door.  There are some other inconveniences with it...you can go one of two way, you lose weight, or gain it...I'm gaining. Hrumph.  I also really get tired of the chronic swelling I get in my legs/ankles, and hands.  I haven't been able to wear my wedding ring a few weeks.  We're going to have to get it sized up so I can wear it again.  It feels weird to not have it on.

There's plenty more about me, but I've been long winded enough...I'll tell you more about myself (sounds a little narcissistic doesn't it?) later.

Now to tell you about my family...

First up my husband.

Levi.  He's 2 1/2 years older than I.  And I met him a month before I graduated, two months before I turned 18.  We got engaged right after I turned 18, and then two weeks after my 19th birthday we got married.  He was 21.  We've had our ups, our downs, our laughs and tears, our fights, and forgiveness.  But despite it all we're still together.  Amazingly, we haven't killed each other yet.  He really is my rock.  He puts up with me when, really, I don't think anyone else would have.  He works his ass off, to support and take care of our boys and I.  I have worked off and on.  I am more than capable.  But I am blessed to get to stay at home with them, and to now home school them.  He supports and encourages any nutty ass idea I have.  And is the voice of logic when I need it.  As am I to him.  He is my sounding board, and I his.  Now, that doesn't mean it's all cakes and pies. We have our moments and times, when we just don't get along or like each other.  But we work through it, get over ourselves and our pride, and move on.  But no matter what, we always love each other.  Even when we don't like each other.  Which honestly it's rare we don't get along nowadays.  Though when we first were married, and where younger almost all we did was fight and argue.  And yes, we did separate.  Twice.  But we also worked it out, and realized that neither of us was happy or whole with out the other.  We just had to work on ourselves together.  And it has made life much better for us and our boys.

Next there's my boys.

Kendahl who's 11 and has non cognitive retention adhd, dyslexia, and aspbergers.  And Hunter, who's 8 1/2 and very smart.  They both are.  Kendahl's just struggles a little with his, in different ways than Hunter. Kendahl had a rough start.  He was 6 1/2 to 7 weeks early.  Had fluid on his lungs, and was deprived of oxygen for a while.  He also had gotten stuck for a long time in my canal.  He was my 26 hour labor.  When he was born I could hear the horrible rattle of fluid in his lungs and would watch his little chest collapse in on itself as he gasped for air.  It was quit scary.  He was under an oxygen halo with IVs until he was 10 days old.  I was not allowed to feed him at all orally while he had the fluid on his lungs, for fear of him aspirating.  He cleared up very fast.  The Dr's said they don't know how it happened, but his lungs dried up and his breathing and oxygen levels became normal very fast.  For that I'm so grateful.  I had to syringe feed him for a week until he learned a suck reflex.  And then the challenge was getting him to even wake up to eat. All he did was sleep.  It was worrisome.  He didn't walk till he was 15 months, crawled at 18, and potty trained by 20.  But still wasn't talking.  I finally got a new ped by the time he was 4 and not talking still, and the guy was telling me give it 6 more months.  Yea, not anymore thank you.  Once he hit speech therapy thanks to his new (now retired) Dr, he took off.  But we noticed some things that where different, as did his Dr, and therapist.  He's a VERY smart young man, and is the kindest, most soft spoken, gentle soul ever.  (Unless your his little brother...then it's the normal brotherly love/pick on relationship.)  He's been struggling in school for a while, and has been bullied relentlessly.  He was testing at 3rd grade levels, and being put into 6th grade.  He was falling farther and farther behind because they won't teach how he learns, and the states "No child left behind" meant that he just kept getting advanced.  It is rather backwards.  So we decided enough was enough.  We'll home school him and his brother.  Kendahl's social/emotional/maturity levels are about his little brothers levels.


Hunter is 8 1/2, had a normal start.  He was a fast easy labor and was 2lbs bigger than his older brother at birth, and 2 1/2 inches longer.  Kendahl is on the small side still, and Hunter is average to a little big. So they're almost exactly the same size with 2 1/2 years between them.  Hunter, is very smart.  He can be stubborn and lazy.  Being the youngest, he thinks he shouldn't have to do anything.  Especially since his big brother doted on  him so completely.  And he often doesn't want to do things unless it's his choice and his interest.  IE, cars, games, etc.  When you challenge him, he excels.  And the school would not challenge him or push him, or allow him to advance.  So he was getting bored quickly with school.  So he is homeschooling as well.  He's a sweet, silly kid.  He LOVES his cars, especially the Disney's Cars cars.  And he loves his legos, and building with them.  He has a very vivid full imagination.

They're active, healthy, crazy, fun loving boys.  They love to ride bikes, play on the trampoline, play in the creek by the property, and of course play video and board games. They're also brutally honest and blunt.  Also, my youngest, I wish he had a mute button...he has NO volume control, he has loud and louder.  But I still love the little monsters. The boys do youth group, Boys and Girls Club, and sports through the boys and girls club starting this next summer/sport season, and are also starting them in 4H.  Which will also keep thier social skills growing as we homeschool.

Then there's my family.

My mom, she's a small mouthy fireball.  She has a big heart, and a bigger mouth.  She has no issues putting a person in there place.  She's awesome. She taught me how to cook, be strong, love unconditionally, and not take shit from people, though, it took a while to learn it for herself.  My family is small on my mom's side, she's an only child, and her mom is the only one of 3 siblings who had kids.  My (who passed when I was 4) his family, we don't see.  My mom and dad divorced when I was 3.  My mom's mom remarried when I was 5 or so.  That is my granddaddy.  He filled the void that was left when I lost my Papa.  Yes, I do remember him, even as young as I was when he passed. I remember vividly.  (I have a photographic memory, it helps, and stuns some especially my mom sometimes.)  But my granddaddy, he has been there since.  He and Gram moved to Texas, 12 years ago.  Back to Mt. Pleasant, where Gramp is from.  And we rarely get to see them.  It's frustrating.  We miss them.  But someday, they'll be home.  After Granddad finally retires. I always spent a couple weeks each summer away from it all with them.  Until I was in 7th grade.

My dad has his demons (as do we all).  And between his bull headed stubborn short fused attitude, (and my mom's), I was doomed...so to speak.  It's made me who I am.  My dad is stubborn (no wondering where I get it), and we stopped talking for a long time.  But are mending fence and becoming close again.  I missed the fun times we had when I was really young.  I do love him, he just frustrated me sometimes.  As, I know, I do him. My dad is amazingly talented too.  He does tile work for a living, and it's stunning what he can do.  My dad's family is very large.  He is the youngest of 5.  And each sibling had 2 to 4 kids.  So there's a lot of us cousins.  I love it.  My grandparents are the most wonderful people ever. My grandfather is an amazingly talented artist, who is a giant of a man.  He's 6'3, 81 years old, and has huge gentle hands that make the most delicate amazing art.  My grandma is the best. She's the sweetest, strongest, most soft spoken women ever, who loves to cook.  I get my obsessive love of cobalt blue, kitchen appliances, and cooking from her, and my love of art from my dad and grandpa.

I have 3 siblings, and I'm the oldest by a long shot.  I have my half brother (through mom, and her second marriage) who's 6 1/2 years younger, he did 6 years in the Navy, and is now a jailer with one of the sheriff's offices.  Then there's my half sister (through dad) who's 10 1/2 years younger, she just graduated college, and works her butt off.  She's very driven and very level headed.  Then lastly there's my step sister (through mom, and her current marriage), "the baby," who's 12 1/2 years younger than I am.  She's been my "baby sister" since she was barely 2, and she'll be 20 in two months.  So yea, she's my sister.  She is now in college and working full time, while enjoying her young life.  They mean the world to me. We're quit close even though we don't get to spend near enough time together.  Though growing up, it was a bit of a different story...we fought...or rather, I picked on them.  But that's what siblings do. We really are close now.  And we really do love each other.  I'm the only one that has kids so far.

From now on, I really don't foresee any of my posts being as long winded.  So, now you know me, and my family.

The mental and nutty and everything else, will slowly start to pop up in this blog.  You'll see.  Don't say I didn't warn you.