Friday, April 30, 2010

Another Sleepless Night

Last night I was absent minded listening to the news while I was cooking dinner. I discovered that they were talking about a former student of mine. Thank goodness for my DVR because I was able to "rewind" and listen again. She had been missing since Monday evening. I immediately called my staff and alerted them and started brainstorming. Who could she be with? Where would she have gone? Etc.

I formulated some ideas and called the Auburn Police Department and informed them of who I was and gave them my "ideas."

I was up all night wondering where she could be and what made her think that leaving home would solve any problems she was having. I racked my brain trying to think of anything she could have said while she was in my program that would lead us to her. Needless to say, I didn't sleep.

This morning I learned that she had been found and was safe and all was well.

It's events like this that make my job difficult. I love my job, I get to work with so many interesting students. Yeah, I get pain in the bottoms who can be problematic, but what teacher doesn't? Every student I take in, I become emotionally attached to. Obviously they need help and to know that someone cares about them or they wouldn't have made it to my program. I get to know them in a different manner than their public school teachers would have the opportunity to. I become emotionally invested in their lives and I didn't realize how much it got to me until last night. I was worried all night like she was my daughter. I was pacing the house and racking my brain.

I love my job and the crazy kiddos that come with it, but I could do without the worrying and sleepless nights!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ayron Did It!

On Saturday Ayron graduated from Reppert's School of Auctioneering. Reppert's is a two week intensive course (Monday through Saturday, 8am to 9pm). Ayron passed with flying colors and is now preparing to take his state license test on May 5th.

Since Ayron was the only "local" student (Reppert's is based out of Auburn and run by Senator Kruse and his family), he had quit a cheering section at "Graduation." TJ even got mentioned in the graduation speech! Here are some pictures from the "graduation ceremonies."
Part of their "final exam" was to auction off the Reppert "hoe" (the garden variety), the original Reppert desk and the Batmobile.

Ayron and Senator Dennis Kruse

His "official" graduation picture.

Ayron and Chad Beach, the only blind auctioneer to ever attempt and graduate from Repperts. When he takes his state license test in May, he'll be the only blind auctioneer in the USA (that we know of. Look for him on Jimmy Kimmel Live and check out this video of him.

Chad is an amazing auctioneer. Chad's final remarks were, "Hi, I am Chad Beach and I am graduate of Repperts School of Auctioneering. I did it with my eyes closed, because I had to!" I do have a video of Chad auctioneering during his "final exam" but it failed to load.....oh well!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Is It Summer Yet?

This past week has taken a toll on me! Ayron has been in school from 8am till at least 9pm every night. He will graduate this Saturday. So far he has earned a 91% on a written test and a 93% on an auction calling test.

I have discovered how difficult it is to be a single mother. I NEVER thought being a single mother was easy. I have a friend who is a single mother of two and I know that it is hard. I am thankful that I live a mile from my mother and she is willing to help me out. I am also thankful for friends who provide me with much needed adult conversation in the evenings.

I think that I am experiencing more "spring fever" than my students. I am eager for the summer to get here. I can't wait to get back into the garden and enjoy being outside!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

One Crazy Night

I had one night away from TJ and my husband and boy did I make the most of it! I took my sister to the Ft. Wayne Roller Derby. We decided it was time to derby de-virginize her. We actually decided to brave suicide seating (sitting on the ground right at track level about 3 feet from the action. It was awesome! Bomb Squad killed the other team. The final score was 249 to 45.

After the game we went out with the Yingling sandwich (Kerry, Dawn, and Keith) and had some dinner. When they took us back to my car we discovered we had a problem. Afdent had locked the gate to their parking lot. We always park at Afdent and then car pool across the street to save on parking. Afdent has never locked the gate before. So we had to steal back my car (I'd like to thank Nat for being the one who actually stole the car).

As I was turning around in Casa's parking lot my high beams accidentally provided a spot light for the lovely gentleman that was peeing on the bumper of his truck. That set off a laughing fit for my sister and I. The whole way home we were laughing so hard about the nights events that I almost puked on myself. Thankfully (?) it got stuck in my throat. That brought on more laughing as I made every obnoxious sound known to man in an attempt to get my stomach contents back to my stomach. Laughing lead to almost wetting ourselves on the drive home. It was a great night!

After a lovely ashma attack at 1 am (I haven't had one in years so I didn't have an inhaler on hand) Ayron and I were finally able to calm down and attempt to fall asleep. As soon as we turned out our lights we heard TJ crying. We opened the door in time to watch him puke all over his pile of stuffed animals. After cleaning up the mess, the kid, the stuffed animals, etc. We brought TJ into bed with us. About 20 minutes later TJ started to fuss. Ayron picked him up and got a nice warm vomit shower down his back. This time I put both boys in the shower! By 2:30am we were finally able to get everyone back in their own beds and to sleep.

TJ was up and ready to play at 7:15am like nothing happened. Needless to say, I am ready for a nap!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Learning As I Type

I have been typing my way through my grandmother's old recipes. I have been texting with my aunt and mom throughout the process to clarify things, etc.

In my older post I wrote about how the term "nutmeats" made my giggle like a teenage boy. Immature, I know, but come one, it's a silly term. I got the following text from my cousin this morning (a 17 year old boy, er....young man): Mom was telling me about your recipe card adventures, and when she said 'nutmeats,' my first thought was 'calf fries?' But they're not sold in stores!

For those of you who don't know what calf fries are....look it up. The reason my cousin thought this is because he currently lives in Vinita, Oklahoma. Vinita boasts the largest calf fry festival.

I then discovered that the name "Kirsch" was written at the top of several of the recipe cards. So I texted my aunt (she has a faster texting response time than my mom). While I was awaiting her reply, I ventured over to google and discovered three things. Krisch is a curtain rod company, it is also used in the making of swiss cheese/fondue, and it is also a hot dog company. My aunt texted me back and informed me that Grandma Carma worked for Kirsh Company for 27 years. They were a local family-owned, worldwide curtain rod company. They supplied curtain rods to the world. I'm pretty sure that I knew this, but for someone reason I was thinking Grandma worked at a light bulb factory.

Odd Recipe

Ok, today's odd recipe is brought to you by Carma Eaton's (my maternal grandmother) recipe box.

Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake
1/2 C. margarine
1 1/2 C. sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. sifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. cocoa
1 C. water
1 C. sauerkraut, drained, rinsed, and chopped fine
Cream margarine and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time; add vanilla. Sift all dry ingredients together. Add to mixture alternately with water. Beat well after each addition. Stir in sauerkraut. Pour into greased and floured 13x9" baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Cool in pan. Frost with any favorite creamy chocolate frosting.
So, anyone out there brave enough to try this recipe? I texted my mom and aunt when I found this and my smart alec mother texted back: Must be an Amish barn raising special? Feeds 144? Then uses 'wind' to blow walls into place.
My aunt just replied to my text (as I was writing this) and said: Ewwwww! My mom loved sauerkraut! It just stunk up the house 4 us.
I did find a recipe for a coca cola cake though. I think I might attempt that.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Grandma's Kitchen

For Easter my mother gave me two recipe boxes that used to be my Grandma Carma's (thus you now know where my name came from). She doesn't know how the recipe boxes ended up in her possession, but seeing as how I am the adventurous cook in the family she decided to give them to me. I decided to type up all the recipes and any neat information that may have been associated with them. My goal is to get all of the recipes typed up and then "publish" the cookbook for close family members.

I am discovering that recipes have changed over the years. I know that is a, "No, really? DUH!" statement, but I've had to actually do my research. Many of the recipes do not have oven temperatures, but rather they refer to the "speed" of the oven; slow, moderate, fast. I had to explain to Ayron what the modern day word is for oleo. The word "nutmeats" made my laugh. Still cracks me up (I am juvenile in that sense, I admit it. But come on, can you imagine going to the store and asking someone, "Excuse me, where do you keep your nutmeats?"). There is one term that I still can't figure out. Peanut crunchies. It is for a cookie recipe. I have to wonder if my grandma was referring to crunchy peanut butter. If anyone knows what "peanut crunchies" are, please let me know!

It is interesting to read the extra information grandma put on the card. This lady was all about speedy frosting. I have several recipes for 5 minute and 7 minute frostings. She also had about 10 recipes for devils food cake. Oh, and if she could sneak dates (the fruit, not calendar dates) into the recipes, she would! I have some recipes that were my great great grandmothers. Some recipes (a majority of the bigger recipe box) were a class assignment for my grandmothers "home ec" class during her junior and senior year.

I never had the opportunity to meet my grandmother. Sadly, she passed when my mother was pregnant with me (now my parents choice is name become even clearer doesn't it?). I can't help but picture her in her kitchen cooking up some kind of vegetable stew and fresh bread while a devil's food cake is baking and she is whipping up some 5 minute frosting. I can see the red apple cookie jar on the kitchen table (funny story behind that for another time) and my mom and her siblings reading or doing homework. For some reason I picture my grandfather sitting at the kitchen table reading the paper and smoking a pipe. This is odd because as far as I know, my grandfather never smoked. But the pipe adds a nice affect doesn't it. Maybe too much "Leave It To Beaver" for me, who knows.

I just finished typing up all of the hand written recipe cards from the smaller of the two recipe boxes and I came across a radio "transcript" from WOWO that had been mailed to my grandmother (under her maiden name). It was from the August 15, 1946 broadcast of "Modern Home Forum." After I looked at the recipes and read the transcript I realized that all of the recipes had been submitted by my grandmother's Junior Brighton 4-H girls group. I found that kind of cool.

I am now inspired to attempt to bake a lot of the sweet treats that I came across! Needless to say I have started my shopping list. Tonight I am going to attempt to turn my grandmother's recipe for Applesauce Nut Bread into muffins.

Applesauce Nut Bread

2 C. sifted flour

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 C. coarsely chopped walnuts

3/4 C. sugar

1 egg

3 tsp. baking powder

1 C. applesauce

1 tsp. salt

2 T. melted shortening

1/2 tsp. soda

Sift together dry ingredients. Add walnuts. In mixing bowl beat egg; add applesauce and melted shortening. Add dry ingredients. Stir until just blended. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake @ 350 for one hour.


After I posted this, my aunt forwarded it to my uncle. This was his email response.

Also the kitchen wasn't big enough for the number of people in the picture, but hey Carm, it's your image, so its kitchen can be as big as you need! :)

"The pictures (and odors) _I_ remember involved me in the living room with my shiny new birthday stopwatch timing the strawberry jam; Sloppy Joes on Saturday evenings with Jack Drees narrating Saturday Night at the Races and all of us huddled around our "betting tickets" from Garden City Thrif-T-Mart; and the horrible smells of fried eggplant, fried green tomatoes, steamed dandelion greens out of the backyard, and a few other foods Mom liked but I couldn't stand. (Finally made my peace with fried eggplant, but that's about it.)"