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Friday, December 7, 2012

36 Things That I Love

Today's my birthday.  Yes, I was born on Pearl Harbor Day and, as my high school principal said, "You're the second disaster on that day!"  In honor of my big day I'll share 36 Things That I Love (kinda like Oprah, only more realistic):

1.   The Daily Message by Eugene Peterson is The Message Bible translation broken up into portions for you to read each day.  The best part is that each week you have one day to reflect on your reading or to catch-up if you missed a day or two.  And The Message translation is very easy reading in modern language.

2.  One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp Hubby got me this book for Christmas last year and it is life-changing.  I've leant this book out three times and each woman who has read it has said, "Wow!"

3.  Bleu Cheese - I do love me some rotted dairy products and Bleu Cheese is right at the top of the list!   The other day I had a Pecan-Bleu Cheese spread that knocked my socks off.  I am going to have to work on that recipe and I promise I will share it!  Bleu cheese on a burger or steak, in a salad, homemade salad dressing...the only thing I haven't tried it in is ice cream.  And I probably won't.

4.  Yoga pants - I'm not a jeans girl.  I've found very few jeans that fit right.  And none that I want to wear everyday and work in.  If I ever do find the Holy Grail of Denim, I'm buying 87 pairs and you'll be the first to know.

5.  Long sleeved t-shirts - I really only have two types of farm shirts:  tank tops and long sleeved t-shirts.  If it's too cold for tank tops, then it must be long sleeved shirt weather.  I have one with a picture of an igloo on it.  Kiddo3 points and says, "Tur-tur".  She thinks it's a turtle.

6.  My mom - I haven't seen her in over a year.  By far, the longest we have ever gone without seeing each other.  Although we talk on the phone often, I miss her desperately.

7.  Wheat Thins - When I have a cheese ball or dip that requires a cracker, I go for Wheat Thins.  Triscuit is salted cardboard.  Chicken in a Biscuit is too much going on in my mouth.  Ritz crumble too easily.  I love Wheat Thins.  There is a deli in Jamestown that I love to stop on a roadtrip to get their chicken salad and a box of 'Thins'.  Perfect road snack...I've even had it for breakfast!

8.  Milking my goats - I think I've pretty well documented my love of goats.

9.  Eggs - I love our eggs.  I love eggs as much as I love potatoes, I've never met one I didn't like.  Hard boiled, poached, scrambled, fried (over medium, please), omelets, quiche...I love them all!

10.  Bacon - You can't say that you love eggs without also saying that you love bacon.  Especially the bacon from our own pigs.  It is fabulous!

11.  Mulled cider - I'm not a coffee drinker, so hot chocolate and tea used to be the extent of my hot beverage selection.  Not anymore!  Some cider on the stove with a broken-up cinnamon stick, a sliced up orange and a few cloves.  Bring to a simmer for 20 minutes.  OH MAN!

12.  Playing the piano - I know there were times in my life that I begged my mom to let me quit playing.  But 30 years after I started, I'm so glad she didn't let me.  My kids will all start with piano.  They can move to the guitar if they'd like.  But they will all learn to play one of the two.

13.  Reading - I love to read.  I usually have a few books going at once.  Especially during the winter.  I shared some of my favorites HERE.  Hubby and I read a LOT.  And my mom was a teacher who loved great literature.  Between the two of us, we have thousands of books.  Hence the reason we have a room dedicated as a library in our basement.

14.  Teaching - I love to teach.  Anything, really!  When I interviewed for my corporate trainer job, I knew NOTHING about health insurance.  The VP asked why he should hire me and I looked him right in the eye and said, "Because I can teach."  I've never taught little people, but Kiddo1 and I are having a blast doing preschool together.

15.  The slightly wet dog smell of my son's hair - If Kiddo2 hasn't had a shampoo in a while, he gets the characteristic wet dog smell.  And when we snuggle together ("Mama?  Can you just hold me a little bit?"), and he nuzzles under my chin, I smell it.  I know he won't always smell like a wet dog and when that day comes, I will miss it.

16.  Stockman Grass Farmer - Hubby and I don't fight over the remote, we fight over this publication.  Every month it arrives packed full of information, ideas, successes and failures.  Al's Obs alone is reason enough to buy a subscription!

17.  Acres USA - As long as we're talking about magazines, here's another one we can't live without.  When we moved, John called them to change our address.  We couldn't wait until it was forwarded, we had to get it as soon as possible.  This is an an excellent eco-agriculture magazine that challenges and informs us like no other.

18.  Writing notes - I know there are lots of ways to type and record notes.  All sort of apps and whatnot.  But I still love to write with a good gel pen and a thick paper.  I have a little red bound sketchbook that I keep in my purse to write all manner of notes:  from presentations to shopping lists to addresses, it's my go-to "app".

19.  Ponytails - Hubby likes my hair long.  I don't want it in my face.  Therefore, I wear a ponytail often all the time.  I am in desperate need of a haircut.  Hopefully, that will fix this lack-of-style rut I'm in.

20.  Kiddo 3's voice - It's taken this child a lot longer to talk than the other two.  But, like her sister, she developed physical proficiency before verbal.  When you are running at 11 months to keep up with your older brother and sister, speaking takes a back seat.  She can still outrun her very verbal brother, but she is talking more now.  It is sweet and cute.

21.  Taking Kiddo1 with me - She is a great traveler and loves to come along, especially when she is by herself.  She feels very important!  I have taken her to meetings and when we got up to leave, people were surprised to find there was a little girl in the room.  She usually packs her Dora backpack with some things she wants to do and works happily and quietly.  I'm hoping to take her more places in the future!

22.  Extended wear contacts - I've had contacts since the 8th grade.  Eight years ago, I started wearing extended wear lenses.  I wear them for a week, then take them out for a day or two.  I wear the same lenses for a month and then use a new pair.  For a busy mom like me, this is a great way to wear contacts without having to fuss with them every morning and night.  I sleep, shower, swim with them in.  Love 'em!

23.  Agriculture Magazines I don't necessarily agree with - I won't name any names here, but Hubby and I both think it is valuable to read widely.  To know what is happening in other realms of agriculture, not just in grass farming (for example).  Always good to know what the other side is up to!

24.  Hubby - When I say to him, "I have reached the end of my rapidly fraying rope!"  He ties my knot and then takes over.  Bathing the kids, keeping them fed and alive while I'm gone, playing with them on the floor, taking them out to do chores so I can have 10 minutes of quiet.

25.  Digital scrapbooking - I always wanted to be a scrapbooker.  Have fancy do-dads, pretty papers, lots of tools.  I wanted to immortalize my children's lives in paper art that I created with my own hands. But alas, I can't.  I'm not that creative.  I don't have that kind of time.  And I'm too cheap.  Enter my friend, A.T., who said "Hey, you should try digital scrapping."  She was using the Week-At-A-Glance from Becky Higgins.  Wow!  This was something I could do with small children underfoot.  And I could do one copy and print three books, one for each kid!  So, each year I do "The Carlson Family Yearbook".  No muss, no fuss.  And it's a beautiful record of our family life.

26.  Soup - I could eat soup every day of the week and twice on Sunday.  And now, since our new church is at 11:30, we don't get home until almost 1pm (which is the very sacred nap time).  I have to have dinner ready to eat when we walk in the door.  So I've declared Soup Sunday.  I put a soup in the crockpot in the morning and when we get home, dish it up and eat!

27.  Chocolate Chip Cookies - And not just any chocolate chip cookies, THESE chocolate chip cookies.  Generations of children will sing your praises if you make these cookies.  We're already on two generations in this family!

28.  Blogs by Women who are awesome - I have waayyy too many to list them all here, but someday I'll figure out how to list them on a sidebar of the blog and then you'll know who I'm reading.  I love my blog reader that lets me keep up with all my favorite blogs.

29.  Online Shopping - You probably know by now that I'm no fan of shopping.  Especially in stores.  I do try and buy local and thrift store it if I can.  But if I can't, I do love to look online.  Like for goat milking supplies, preschool curriculum, obscure Christmas presents for Hubby, etc.

30.  Writing - I never thought that anyone (besides Hubby and my mom) would read this blog.  And to be honest, I think my mom has given up reading it.  But so many of you have joined in, I'm amazed actually.  When I first starting writing in college, it was scientific research papers.  And I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief I don't write those anymore.  Even though I could probably annotate with the best of 'em.  My stunning research on global warming, specifically the Antarctic ice cores, is still riveting and culturally relevant (I was there, long before Al Gore), I've come a long way.  All the way to morning sickness and naked chickens and how I met Hubby.  Pulitzer prize winning stuff, I know you'll agree.

31.  Hot Showers - I'm not a bath taking person.  Certainly not since Kiddo1 was born and she pooped all over me in the bathtub.  No siree.  Thank you, but no thank you.  I prefer not to sit in the tepid water of my own filth.  A good hot shower where all that stuff runs down the drain is more my style.  And I mean HOT.  Hot enough to raise your body temperature.  Ahhhhh, love it!

32.  That I have a good meeting story - I always wanted a memorable meeting-my-husband story and I got it!  Which is bested only by our engagement story...

33.  Passionate people - I can completely disagree with you, but if you are passionate, we can have a discussion.  The biggest turn-off I have when meeting someone is lack of passion.  A ho-hum attitude toward life, vocation, hobbies, etc.  I love passionate people, like Dr. Dwayne Beck, for example.

34.  Cooking - I love to cook.  Every year it is tradition for me to cook a big birthday dinner for myself and invite some friends over.  This year it's German food:  pork roast, cheese buttons or strudles, and green bean casserole.  For breakfast we're having sausage gravy and biscuits.  For lunch it's taco salad.  And for dinner, Hubby says I can go anywhere except Chinese food.  As much as I love to cook, it's sometimes nice to go out as well.

35.  Christmas carols - As I already mentioned, I've played the piano for over 30 years.  Many of those was with my mom in our church.  Although we had more than one pianist in our church, they rotated months and Mom always got December.  So I learned, at a young age, to play all the Christmas carols.  Some of the best hymnal arrangements are those carols.  And I love obscure ones as well!  One of my personal favorites is "The Friendly Beasts".

And lastly,
36.  I love sleep.  I'm going to get some right now.

What do  you love??


  1. Happy Birthday Annie! Hope it was a great day - laughter, chocolate, sweet kids, and a chance to be waited on, while you supped apple cider and read SGF.


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