She’s Back and More Random Than Ever.

Hello, Friends!  Thank you so much for your patience while I was under the weather last week.  I don’t often fully succumb to whatever Yuck that comes my way–having four boys will do that to you–there just isn’t time for mama to get sick.  But last week?!  Last week The Big Nasty took over and didn’t bother to ask if I had room in my schedule for a little down time.

How rude.

Thank God for giving me my own personal Bacon Slayer, because my sweet husband took two days off so that I could lounge around being pathetic on the couch while he took care of everything else.  Not only did he cook and take care of the boys, but he even taught every-dang-one of them how to fold laundry and put it all away.

Seriously.  Even The Baby was doing his part by sorting all of the socks–that may sound like a small job, but when you consider a basket full of white socks in six different sizes–it’s huge.  Who knew I could have delegated all of those tasks?  Not me, that is for sure.  I should have done that years ago!

So after limping along doing the bare minimum last week, guess how I spent my first day feeling human?  Before you answer, perhaps I should tell you that I didn’t set foot in the kitchen for eight. full. days.  Eight!  All culinary tasks were tackled by the Bacon Slayer and Son #2.  Little Caesar’s pinch hit for a night, too.  But me?  Not a thing.  Nada.  Zero.

So my first day back in the land of the living demanded a couple dozen apple cinnamon muffins.  Obviously.  For all that BS did last week, the very least I could do was bake something that he could grab with his coffee as he headed out the door in the morning.

That’s when things got a little dicey.  After the necessary absence from my kitchen, I had the urge to make Our Daily Breads with a couple of loaves of whole wheat, and four loaves of English Muffin Bread.  This whole foray into yeast and flour was just my little way of bringing up the English Muffin Bread crafted by Rebecca @ Foodie with Family.  Rebecca is a gal after my own heart: unapologetic sci-fi fan, dessert afficionado, and homeschooling mama to her five boys.

Yep.  She took four boys and raised me one more.  I fold.

Forgive my egregious tangent…where was I?  Ah yes, bread.  Have you ever eaten English Muffin Bread?  If you haven’t, then believe me when I tell you that you have not lived until you’ve had a lightly toasted slice with a smear of butter in the morning.  Think the light, pillowy, bubbly texture of and English muffin, but in bread form, with two-thirds of the loaf is encrusted in cornmeal, so you don’t miss out on that classic English muffin crunch with every bite.  The dough comes together by hand in a big bowl with a wooden spoon.  No kneading.  No mixer.  No fuss.

Run!  Don’t walk, Friends.

But before my baking began to toe the line of Out of Control on Sunday, we took a little family drive after church.  Sometimes we just drive around the countryside looking for cool barns, grazing horses, stoic cows, and the occasional herd of bison.  We all daydream about what it would be like to own a significant amount of acreage–to have serious room to run.

Our wanderings inevitably come down to the same debate: What do we put in the barn? (The barn we do not own, mind you.)

The Bacon Slayer has serious designs on a barn so that he can build a 3/4 scale ice rink in the winter.  He’s got it all planned out with the engineering requirements, real boards around the edges, and even bleachers for the fans.  It’s in those moments that he’s got a real kinship with Kevin Costner.

If you build it..they will come.

I keep telling him that his ideas are perfect for one of those newfangled steel barns that can accommodate an ice arena.  Because his fantasy ice sheet can only be called an Arena.

Bacon Slayer’s only hitch?  Scale.  He’s going big or staying home.

Of course I am very supportive of his big barn dreams, provided that I have a smaller barn to do with what I choose.

My big barn dreams are a little simpler:

Photo used with permission and copyright P.Jackson.

Just a cow or three and a coop full of chickens.  No biggie.  I figure the only way I can keep up with my egg usage is to raise egg-laying chickens.  Son #1 would possibly promise his first born in exchange for a horse.  And if Son #1 had a horse, then Sons numbered 2, 3, and 4 would definitely want horses.  A small grove of fruit trees might be nice, too.  Next thing you know we’ll have a Gentleman’s Farm going on.

The rest of the family’s hitch?  We know absolutely nothing about farming.  Or livestock.  Or growing hay to feed said livestock.

Oh, and I’m allergic to livestock and hay.  Which is kind of a cruel joke when you think about it…here I am a huge animal lover, and I’m allergic to most of them.  What’s that about, anyway?

Needless to say, the Bacon Slayer is not in support of our ideas.

“You wouldn’t be able to breathe!” he says.

“You couldn’t even feed horses let alone brush them.” he says.


None of that should mean that I couldn’t have a few little chickens.  Just a few little egg-layers to provide eggs for our family?  The boys will take care of the horses, right?  They will be perfectly responsible for their animals, and I’ll get to see horses grazing in the yard over my morning tea.  That’s what they invented allergy medication and asthma inhalers for, right?  What could possibly go wrong? 😉

So that’s our Big Debate: Do we put an ice rink or animals in the barn we currently do not own?

Please don’t comment unless you are on my side.

Married Friends–tell me that you wage this type of hypothetical battles with your spouse.  Please.


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  1. says

    I can most definately tell you that Hubby & I have lengthy discussions about what we will do with our library, game room, work shed, office… That will all be in the home we do not own :)

  2. Kelly says

    Are you sure we’re not the same person? Other than I only have three kids and two of them are girls… and I’m nowhere near as talented in the kitchen as you are, that is? We, too, drive around aimlessly (HIS idea) and daydream about what we would do with the land we drive past. Strangely enough… he wants an ice rink and I want farm animals. Stranger still? I couldn’t even walk within 100 feet of the barn without needing to dial 911.

    We just moved into a much bigger house than I’m used to. In fact, I still have 2 empty rooms (just waiting to go back to work so I can furnish them). We daydream about those too. The first room, which happens to be the sunniest room in the house, is currently the cat lounge. The second? My favorite… I have long buffet-type tables set up in there for folding the laundry. I may miss that room tremendously if we ever put real furniture in there.

    Glad you’re feeling better!

    • says

      I wonder what is the romantic pull of owning livestock when logically you know that tending to them would be anything but? I must admit that I’m envious of an entire room dedicated to the folding of laundry! Then again, if the laundry had its own room, it may *never* get folded and put away.

  3. says

    I have learned the hard way that The Husband doesn’t like to play in hypotheticals. While I have drafted up blueprints to the house that we will have built after we win Powerball, the closest thing that The Husband will do is say, “well, I’d actually rather move closer in to Phoenix, not farther out.”
    Which doesn’t really work with the blueprints, since we’re clearly going to need some acreage.
    I definitely think that chickens are non-negotiable. Not only do they provide eggs, but they also are natural pest control. If it weren’t for Zooey and the incident that I know will be exactly like that scene in Of Mice and Men, I would have already gotten us a few chicks here in Suburbia to help with the scorpions and other horrible things.
    For what it’s worth, however, I’m pretty sure that The Husband would be so into helping Bacon Slayer with the rink it would not even be funny. Good thing we can go say good morning to the cows while they’re being stupid.

    • says

      Ha! Love the ice rink/cow idea! If I had to deal with scorpions on a regular basis, I’d have chickens in every room of the house to eat any strays. I’m not sure Zooey or Holden would mind a bit if you employed the chicken-method of pest control. The chickens might, though.

  4. says

    Do you think that that English Muffin bread could be made with half whole wheat flour? I like whole wheat english muffins as it is. I may make this to take with us to NC this week-end. Hmmm…

    As for the livestock, I have several friends who raise chickens, and every time I visit them I come home with eggs. I could probably handle chickens, though I’d have to find a chicken sitter. We have enough trouble finding a cat sitter sometimes.

    M’Lord always has bigger ideas than we have room for or can afford. Or I get “But I can build, make, fix that”. Then he doesn’t. “I can build a picnic table” was two years ago. I still don’t have one. He worked in a pizzaria in high school. “I can make calzones/stromboli/home made hot pockets”. Then when I bake up a store bought one he starts up again. ::sigh::

    • says

      Why not give it a try? Due to the light texture of the dough, I would try it with half 100% white whole wheat rather than traditional whole wheat, if for no other reason than the lighter texture. The bread is really awesome.

      The “sitter” issue really keeps me from getting any sort of livestock. Well, that and a clause in our neighborhood association bylaws. 😉 We also have grand plans of building a myriad of things around the house, but time seems to not be on our side. A picnic table would be cool, though.

  5. says

    The Complete Package and I do this all the time. He wants to sell everything and live on a sailboat. I suffer from motion sickness, and would spend the rest of my life chumming off the side of the boat. No bueno.

    I dream of owning land with rolling hills and barns full of pygmy goats, miniature donkeys and free-range squirrels. You and your chickens are welcome to come live with me there. We’ll call it Utopia Farms because we’ll bake our own bread and make our own butter. And eat pie – lots & lots of pie.

    Speaking of bread, I had that very recipe for English Muffin Bread bookmarked. No matter what the subject is, you and I always seem to be on the same page. I’m sure the men in your house were absolutely thrilled to have you back. Especially for the baked goods. : ) So glad you’re feeling better!

  6. says

    I live in the city so no big farming plans for me Kirsten. I only have a garden and grow a vegetable or two and this only during summer lol! I guess I am not a farmer’s girl neither is my husband, he is even worse than me lol! It is so good you are back. I hope this to be the last of viruses for this winter!

  7. Not Inadequate says

    Oh my gosh, we have had actual heated arguements about what we’d spend the money on if we won the lottery.

    We also have heated arguements about whether the fact that I think Stephanie Plum belongs with Ranger is some kind of commentary on our marriage. (see also: DUDE! It’s a BOOK!)

  8. says

    Glad you’re doing better, girl. I hate it when the nastiness finally catches up with us. That bread sounds amazing and I thank you officially for the link to Rebecca’s site. I already know I’ll love it.

    Have an awesome day and enjoy feeling better!!

  9. says

    I want to move to Europe with Ben and gypsy it for a couple years – before kids – and he wants to plant his arse down in the middle of a wheat field and never leave again. I’m okay with either option – but I just want get the traveling out of my system one more time before settling down.
    Oh – but there is also a long lingering debate on the horses (Megan) vs. planes (Ben)…. he hates horses, I hate planes. It’s like mutually assured never-gonna-have-it’s. Might give in…eventually. I just want my soft pony nose.

    PS – I’m so glad your’e back on yoru feet. I’ve missed you tragically. XO!

    • says

      I think either of your options sound great–I say go for both. But a plane?! Ben doesn’t want horses, but he wants a plane? Maybe you can compromise with a barn on one end of the wheat field, and a landing strip on the other? Start with the barn, of course. Although, I wonder what the horses would think of their “Daddy” doing a fly by?

  10. says

    I’m sorry you were out of commission for so long. Glad to hear that you are rebounding though.
    I love English Muffin Bread (toasted and made into Cinnamon French Toast). Your muffins and bread look beautiful.
    A rink would be a blast…maybe you could teach the animals to skate and then everyone wins LOL.

    • says

      Skating cows! Of course! Why didn’t I think of that? We could sell tickets and make millions. 😉 Paula–I like the way you think. You are very right about the English Muffin Bread making fabulous cinnamon french toast. Using it for panini is also quite nice.

  11. theislandmom says

    In keeping with Bacon Slayer’s go big theory, I think you should do both. Then, you can add your giant barn to the list of weird, inexplicable tourist stops American families seem to love. Parents can kill two birds with one stone, giving their kids a farm experience and going skating/playing ice hockey, all in one stop. You could even have Field of Dreams playing in the background, to set the mood. It’s a win-win for you, Bacon Slayer and the tourists. 😉

    Glad you’re starting to feel better!


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