Monthly Archives: December 2009

New Years Eve

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Happy New Years to all and my sincere wish that you prosper this year.  Today’s slice includes a small and quaint celebration for ringing in the New Year.  Our family tradition is simple.  Rent as many movies as we can stand and watch movies until the witching hour arrives. Most of us last the duration, but some of us (Corvette Man in particular) folds early.

Tonight our food fare is simple and requires little preparation, due to the fact I spent the majority of my day at a job.  One of these days my job will be at home (I have said this for twenty five years, when will I concede to the bitter truth?)   Regardless, I love veggy dip and cheese, wonderful cheese.  Tonight we have a wedge of gouda.  I would have loved to have some brie with it, but my family is totally unimpressed by wonder soft cheeses.  I make carrots with ranch dip for me.  If anyone else likes it, whoppee!  Do I see onions on that plate?  I love onions.  It’s a good thing I’m hanging with family tonight. Chips and dip round out the edibles, an easy prep for all.

This has to be quick as the celebration awaits.

Happy New Year and the Lord bless you all!!

Love Jeannene

Warmth

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A sustaining slice in our lives is our heat source.

When Corvette Man and I built our home, we designed it without central heat or air. Our intent was to simplify our lives; you have no idea. For heat, Corvette Man told me to find a wood stove, any wood stove of my choosing. With that mandate in my clutches, I searched the Internet far and wide for the perfect wood stove for our home. Functionality was a must, but I wanted it to be pleasingly aesthetic. Wood stoves were foreign beings to me, never having lived in the country before or had any need for a wood stove, but I didn’t shrink from my duty. Actually, I leaped willingly into the endeavor. Numerous were the choices at my disposal. I was amazed.

My research unearthed the Heritage brand soap stone stove. These stoves were manufactured of heavy painted iron with soap stone insets. A very sturdy design with great functionality. Some were designed with a clear glass door in the front, a door at the side, or in the rear, whatever was required, the company could accommodate. The choices were varied and diverse. Everything I read indicated this was the premier brand and would serve our needs well. I balked at the price, though. If you knew me at all, you would know I balk at anything pricey (That doesn’t mean I won’t dole out the dough. I do enjoy the finer things in life just like the next girl. I’m just a little cheap). I wasn’t sure we would be able to afford it. We were still buying materials to finish the house.

That fall, Oct 05, Corvette Man drove us all into the big city, in the 1 ton truck, to visit a premier wood stove vendor. They had everything I had researched. Pellet stoves, plain wood stoves in all sizes and …. Heritage stoves. They were even more stunning in real life. I was in awe. Corvette Man told me to pick out my stove.

Really? I can really have one of these?

If this is what you want, find one that will work. We’re taking it home today.

Ooooh!

My first choice was an aqua blue painted stove, but it didn’t quite fit the interior motif of our little home. I settled on a 21 in brown stove with a clear glass front door and a solid side door. The whole thing was beautiful. The store loaded into the back of our pickup. We had no trouble getting it home. When we went to unload it, that was another story. The stove weighed 500 lbs!

Corvette Man was not to be out weighed. He unloaded that sucker, with the help of our two strapping sons, all without raising a single hernia.

It sits in our living room year round providing an artistic flair to our rustic motif and bathing us with its warmth during the winter months. I love this stove. My desk sits next to it and I am never cold when I bask near it. It truly is hefty slice of heaven.

Love Jeannene

Who I Am

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I am Jeannene Walker. I live with my husband, two of our remaining four children, eight cats, seven horses, a dog a bunch of chickens on a small farm in Central Arkansas. We raise thoroughbred horses and race them – sometimes. That in itself is a slice of heaven. We have a new baby due this spring and I will be chronicling its birth and development – the most fun of all!!

I am fulfilling a dream I have had since I was nine. It took going through Mr. Wrong to find Mr. Right, and have him bring me to the place my heart always knew would be heaven. I want to share the silly every day treasures that make my life a joy. It doesn’t mean it isn’t hectic and tiring, but I love where we live and how we live it.

Our twenty acres has a small home we built ourselves – the most engagingly hard and rewarding project a family could ever undertake. It is truly a slice of heaven everyday I come home from work, which is an hour drive into the big city and an hour drive back. Most people would balk at the trek; not me. Any price to pay is worth it to live where we live. Our home is singularly unique and I hope to share it with you in small slices.

I hope you enjoy the journey as much I will enjoy sharing it with you.

Love Jeannene

Breakfast

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Today’s slice included a fresh loaf of banana bread and a tasty cheesy potato casserole from scratch. I have to say, I didn’t set out to make a casserole, but my 16 yr old shamed me into adding the cheese from yesterday’s dish to the hash browns I was cooking. The result was the tastiest breakfast we have had since the Cracker Barrel – this was even better!

I am practicing with photos in this blog. These are a rough draft, but I’ll get there.

We are keeping warm today to a fire in the wood stove and the kerosene heater as back up. It is cold in Arkansas today. As I write, a corned beef is cooking in the dutch oven on the stove. The aroma is to die for. I wish for all of you the same sense of contentment I have and your own piece of heaven.

Bless you all.
Jeannene

My Favorite Pastime

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Our second oldest son is visiting this weekend from Mississippi, giving me a perfect excuse to cook – my most favorite pastime (besides eating). I made two awesome dishes coated in cheese. Cheese is the gift of the gods. One was a macaroni and cheese dish that was to die for and the other was eggplant Parmesan -flavorful and vegitarian for my daughter who finds meat too heavy to eat. Sated hunger and a warm fire in the wood stove and we are experiencing our piece of heaven.

Happy Holidays

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Well today is Christmas.

Despite my warnings about a rapid dip in temperature, we opted not to light a fire last night and alas, the house was a chilly 54 degrees when I crept out from under the warmth next to my dear husband. A kerosene heater helped as I readied myself for work. They will have to light a fire later this morning.

The winter weather blowing through the midwest states managed to bypass central Arkansas. A blessing I assure you. At four thirty in the morning though, the icy winds on top of nine inches of water proved to much for us when my husband fought with a frozen lock at our gate. You can’t imagine the frustration of being a prison on your own farm but for only one tiny piece of equipment – a lock. Deicer and a hammer remedied the situation and I was finally on my way to work.

My hubby called later this morning to inform me the house was warmed by the heat of a wonderful fire and the kids will be attending a showing of Avatar this afternoon. That will leave the house to just the two of us. I can’t wait. We have few private moments as it is.

Happy Holidays to all.
Love
Jeannene

End of Week Relief

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This week has been a mad rush. Rush to what I’m not entirely sure, but a rush all the same. My efforts to keep up the daily word count on the western historical I’m working on has fallen horribly short of its goal.

Monday was spent backpedalling to locate documentation for registering the horses for items I should have taken care of at the beginning of the year; validating my inadequacy as a secretary in the horse department. Thank God they had all their Jockey Club papers in order.

Wednesday our daughter ventured into the barn wearing unauthorized foot wear and emerged with a gaping gash across the top of her right foot; the result of contact with a vicious piece of sheet metal. Needless to say, the local emergency room consumed the remainder of our evening. I must comment,though, as far as ER visits are concerned, that was good one; we were out of there in an hour and a half – will miracles never cease?

Thursday found me relinquishing my laptop to our son for a school paper, a project that consumed most of the evening. Now granted, as a household with two teenagers another computer should be available, but if you saw the space in which we reside, you would understand a solitary computer is all we have space for. I was able to at least log about one hundred words into the nineth chapter, but my hero and heroine continue to grapple with recent tragedy in their lives, making little progress in the healing process. Tonight, though, we will move on!

Now to address the events of the season. The Walker family does not participate in ‘Christmas’, considering it a a misguided attempt of Constantine to the enfold the entire populace into one catholic church by renaming Saturnalia as the birthday of christ. Our hebraic roots teach us the Messiah was born in the fall at the time of Feast of Tabernacles. This winter season includes the Feast of Dedication or Channuka. The lighting of the candles has held our attention for the past seven nights. Sadly tonight is the last night of the holiday, yet it will be the brightest as nine candles can illuminate a space quite brilliantly.

Writing this has helped me put my busy week into its proper perspective and the outlet of put words to paper has helped me fulfill that need to record events. I feel so much better.

Happy Holidays everyone.

Jeannene