pork butt = YUM


Pork butt is heaven on earth.

HA – I said butt.

butt, butt, butt

I crack myself up. (note: I’m home alone AND in a ridiculously giddy mood – I’ve laughed at my own jokes all day.) Anyway………..some bloggers do “Word-less Wednesdays” but c’mon, we all know that I can’t be quiet for an extended period of time. 

The following recipe was adapted from The Pioneer Woman.

Start with a pork butt. Or pork shoulder roast. Or butt roast. Or Heaven on Earth. Whatever it’s called…just buy it.

Remove the roast from its packaging, rinse with cold water, and pat dry.

My ingredients include an assortment of pantry staples: brown sugar, minced garlic, dark sorghum, and a yellow onion. The chipotle peppers are something new.

The chipotle peppers in adobo sauce is something I’ve never used before. The PW used them in her recipe, so I thought I’d give them a try. I purchased the smallest can I could find. I don’t like really spicy food.

I took a whole onion and sliced it in half, then removed the skin and sliced the two halves in half.

Lay the onion pieces on the bottom of a heavy-duty stock pot. The onions are like a pillow for the pork butt.

 

 

This “dry rub” is a combination of different spices I found in the spice cabinet, including chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and my Dad’s Holy Trinity – salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.

The “odd” ingredient for this recipe, according to The PW, is Dr. Pepper. I use DP and other dark-colored colas (coke? pop? whatever you call it) in BBQ recipes all the time, especially when I make BBQ sauce. Plus, I like to see it fizz without spilling over the top of the pan. I’m easily entertained.

I topped the pork butt with adobo peppers and drizzled with dark sorghum molasses.

Cover and place inside a preheated 350-degree oven for 4-6 hours, depending on the size of your (pork) butt. My (pork) butt was over 7-pounds and it cooked for almost 6 hours. Once an hour, I’d flip the roast.

After five hours of cooking, I tried to pull out the roast’s bone. It was not coming out easily, so I continued to cook it. That’s the best indication of the roast being done…..when that bone comes out clean, it’s done.

Do NOT over-cook this meat. Over-cooking any meat is a sin.

What’s the point of that pitiful, pathetic, plastic cutting board? That’s embarrassing.

I used two forks to “shred” the meat and put fatty pieces, onions, and adobo peppers in the “discard” cup you see there on the side.

Turn oven to broiler, slice a kaiser roll in half and butter your buns!

hahaha – I’m laughing at my own jokes again.

Top the toasted bun with shredded butt meat.

Eat and enjoy.

YUMMMMMMMM

 

I Heart Greeting Cards


I tried to think of some spectacular title for this post, but I got nothing.

What I do have is this hilarious reaction to receiving mail…….

I have this expression on my face when I receive mail. Not the junk mail or bills though. I don’t like that kind.

I love greeting cards. I love receiving cards and I especially love sending them. I could easily spend an entire day in a store reading and perusing the isles and isles of cards. Most recently, I spent three hours and 60-dollars at the local Hallmark Store. Ask anyone who knows me, I usually send multiple cards to a person for a special occasion, celebration, or significant event in their life.

When Husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary, I literally FREAKED him out when I gave him FIVE cards. He looked at me weird for an entire week.

Oh wait, he still looks at me weird. That was a terrible example.

This card-sending trait is a wonderful thing I acquired from my mother’s two sisters. They are, in my biased opinion, the CARD QUEENS. I’m the Card Princess working my way up the ladder to their awesome-ness status. I’ll get there…..one of these days. If I have to knock them off myself.

HA!

Anyway, I want to start a little thing that involves you – the blog reader – and my enjoyment of sending greeting cards. It’s not a giveaway, it’s not a contest, it’s nothing big or fancy, expensive, or elaborate……….I just want to share my cards with you!!!!! Disregard the purpose or subject, just accept it as a gift. Plus, it costs you nothing more than the energy it takes for you to open your mailbox. I doubt you’ll break a sweat.

I say disregard the purpose or subject of the card because you might get a birthday or anniversary card when you’re not celebrating either. Also, please remember whose womb I inhabited for eight months and three weeks prior to entering this world: my awesome and hilarious Mom sent me a check recently placed inside a sympathy card. The woman cracks me up.

Geesh, I talk a lot. Back to the greeting card thing.

I went to the store today and purchased TWO cards that I want to send to two of you. I think these cards are laugh-out-loud hilarious funny because I laughed-out-loud and two people stopped and asked if I was OK. I love when that happens!

Here’s what YOU need to do RIGHT NOW: 

 

Leave a comment with your EMAIL address.

 

Later this week, I’ll randomly choose two of you. Then, I’ll contact you for a mailing address.

There’s no reason to have your personal mailing address plastered to my blog for the whole world to see…..besides, your house might be messy and you don’t want visitors to knock on your door and scream SURPRISE!

Note to self: empty the dishwasher and run the vacuum. You know, just in case somebody screams SURPRISE at the front door.

 

Spread the word, share with your friends, repost to your Facebook wall or blog, and feel free to Tweet this so others can participate too. Everybody loves getting mail and when it’s LOL funny, the world’s a better place.

 

Love,

The Sweet-Tea-Drinkin’-Card-Sendin’-Lover-of-All-Things-Funny

And the winner of GIVEAWAY 3 is……


What? You thought I’d announce the big winner immediately?!

You must be crazy.

Let’s talk a bit. What should we talk about?

Hmmm.

I got Haiti vaccinations yesterday, two in each arm. The injections didn’t hurt, but …….

OH-MY-GAWD-WHAT-AM-I-THINKING-GOING-TO-HAITI-THIS-CRAP-HURTS

My arms hurt so bad I can’t stretch them out straight. I made Husband go with me to hold my hand, catch me in case I fainted, AND to drive me home. Just. In. Case.

Husband’s life-saving strategies and valet services were not needed.

I wore my Big Girl Panties and did NOT pass out. The nurse asked me lots of questions and had me jibber-jabbering the entire time. I swear, sometimes I’m the freakin Energizer Bunny and don’t know when to shut up. The next thing I knew she said ALL DONE!

Just think, I had to PAY for this torture!!!!!!

I went to the Tarrant County (Fort Worth) Health Department to their Traveling Health Services and spent $215.00 for an office visit (that was $25.00 on its own) and FOUR injections. Plus, I have two prescriptions to fill and TWO additional office visits (another $25.00 each) for the second and third injection of Hepatitis A/B. This got expensive fast. Thank goodness for insurance – which I am hoping will actually pay for this torture.

One more thing before I announce the big winner……..

I love my Mom. The woman is freakin’ awesome. She sent a check for the Haiti Mission Team and taped it inside a sympathy card. No joke. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I love you, Mom.

 

Back to the giveaway, here’s the complete list of participants, in the order that they posted a comment:

 

I used Random.org to choose a number between 1 and 19. The lucky winner is:

 

#8: Beth Smith

 

Congratulations, Beth!!!! I sent you a message on Facebook and I’ll be sending you an email shortly. I need your mailing address ASAP so I can send your Teeny Tiny Spice tins.

Beth chose “Citrus Pepper” and “Montreal” as her spice gifts. I’m so excited for her to try Citrus Pepper, I think it’s pretty amazing.

Thanks to everyone who entered – I love every single person that visits this blog. 

Y’all are all a blessing and, in the words of FnkybeeAWESOMESAUCE!!!!!!! 

 

Blog Lovin’ Award


I just got an awesome SURPRISE – thanks to Lisa at  Life’s Little Slices for selecting my blog, 27 & Counting, as one of her favorite blogs. This is so cool. I get to add this amazing logo to my sidebar – I’m moving on up in the blogging world!!!!

Thanks Lisa – you’re awesome!

 

OK, now I am supposed to answer a couple of questions. I hope I do this correctly………

 

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.

Life’s Little Slices 

 2. Share seven random facts about yourself.

  • My blood type is sweet tea
  • I wear contacts all the time because I don’t like myself with glasses.
  • If you hurt my feelings, it’s because you’re a mean and cruel person.
  • Standing nearly six-feet-tall, I’m at least 8-inches taller than most of my girlfriends. They’re all skinny and I’m fat. Go figure.
  • I’ll make a great mom someday.
  • I’m hoping Bravo will ask me to be a Real Housewive of Joshua, Texas
  • I love my Husband so much….even if he does roll his eyes and think this blog-thing is crazy.

3. Pass the award along to 10 deserving blog buddies.

Thanks again Lisa, you’re awesome and I’m very appreciative by your shout-out.

HEY BLOG READERS……..

Have you entered my current GIVEAWAY?

Well you should. Click here and leave a comment with your name, email, and TWO spice selections from Teeny Tiny Spice Company. Contest ends this Saturday, June 24. One random winner will be selected and notified Sunday morning. Before I leave for church, of course!

Love y’all – thank you so much for visiting my blog and reading this mumble-jumble mess that I post nearly every day. It’s a ton of fun for me, I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

Rain, Rain, come & stay!


From the horses’ perspective:

Dearest Rainmaker,

This nonsense has to stop.

You know better than we do that our owners (King and Queen) are cheap and don’t like the excessive costs of buying and hauling hay for us to consume and poop a few hours later.

The grass in the pasture is dry and disgusting. We want our oats sweet and grass green.

Thank goodness for the Queen’s mother in Kentucky. Bless that woman’s heart for sending us bags of treats flavored with oats, apples, and sorghum. We know they’re an annoyance to the King, because we get all up in his grill and sniff his jeans pockets, but we’re looking for those deeeeee-lish treats. Please tell Mother of the Queen that she can come for a visit anytime…..or send more treats.

Anyway, we’re in need of rain in these here parts of Johnson County, Texas. PLEASE send rain to the pasture we call home. Our feet are dry and beginning to crack. Come to think of it, the Queen recently painted our toes with a conditioning treatment and the King later complained about the cost of that product too. Something’s gotta give, and it ain’t gonna be us.

One more thing, could you turn down the thermostat and slow the wind? We don’t like grazing in 40 mph winds and accidentally chewing your mane is gross. 

Sincerely,

Curtis & Blue

 

The days of green, lush grass seem to be over. The photo above was taken last spring after I had mowed the front yard. Husband was on the tractor and forgot to shut the gate leading to the pasture and barn. The horses didn’t mind – they enjoyed the freshly mowed grass.

I feel for the horses, I really do. I went to the barn earlier and they were looking at me with these awful, pitiful eyes as if to say, “Would you please stop walking and kicking up dust!”

Curtis and Blue, I’m really sorry the weather sucks and your pasture is dry. I’ve suggested on numerous occasions that I should bring you both inside the house where it’s nice and cool. I think you’d nap like rock stars if you were under a ceiling fan and soaking up the A/C. But we all know Husband won’t allow it. Y’all know how he is, he’s an ornery ol’ fart. But we love him anyway.

 

Yep, there’s Joshua, Texas. Right smack-dab-in-the-middle of a huge storm system making its way through North Texas. What a lousy load of horse manure that is. I’m just a little upset we didn’t get a decent shower from this system that FINALLY broke through the FREAKIN high-pressure cap that sits atop North Texas from mid-April to mid-forever.

I have moments of rage and times of resentment towards living in Texas.  THIS is one of those times.

I don’t remember the last time I saw rain at our house. The counties north of us got a thirst-quenching rain storm the last two nights. There were a few storms that produced large hail and damaging winds, but, to my knowledge, there have been no reports of injuries. I watched and listened to various weather reports PROMISING rain to our area but ohhhhh noooooo, it had to skirt above, below, left, and right.

Life. Is. Not. Fair.

I want rain. Not the feast-or-famine kind of rain, but soaking rains to decrease drought conditions and fire dangers, improve foliage for livestock, fill lakes and rivers, and replenish the water content needed in our home’s concrete foundation.

Honestly, I don’t ask for rain for myself. It’s not that I don’t want relief for my chapped lips or sweaty armpits, but I really want rain for our horses and pasture. My feelings are hurt when I watch them eat. Unfortunately, weather conditions are not cooperating.

I used to mow the yard twice a week or more. The last time I cranked the lawnmower, I had to use jumper-cables on the battery because it was dead. I’m willing to bet the same will be true if I ever mow again.

(stepping off soap box)

 

Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO


SAY WHAT???

Last Saturday, I jumped at the opportunity to participate in a beginner’s photography class. I did the usual online search for such and, in the process, found Bella Pop Photography. They have a really cool website that’s fresh and hip, yet natural and simplistic. I liked the photos and I was excited to learn the professional photographers offered classes and social events.

I registered for the beginner’s class focused on “shooting in manual” and went to the Kimball Art Museum, located in the Cultural District of Fort Worth, with my fancy-schmancy camera and a water bottle. Husband explains the current weather as being in a constant hair-dryer. That’s the perfect way to explain this gosh-awful weather in North Texas. It’s hot. It’s windy. It’s miserable.

This sculpture (thing?) is located outside the main entrance of the Kimbell Art Museum. I think it's a little cool, a little funky, and very mysterious!

Brandon and Brandy, owners of Bella Pop, are wonderful and sweet people. They are very knowledgable about photography (good thing since they’re professionals!) and eager to share their passion with newbies like myself. I immediately felt comfortable (though a little sweaty, but remember it was 4985028520945 degrees outside!) and excited to learn new photography techniques. The class was small, four students in all, plus B and B. During the two-hour class, I was able to ask questions, practice new techniques, and even experience an A-HA! moment or two!

The first came when I realized that if I looked through the little eyepiece-thingy (instead of the LCD screen on the back) I could see the focus boxes, manual settings, AND the light meter at the bottom. Whodathunkit?!?!

(blushing with embarrassment)

Brandy distributed a cheat-sheet of photography tips and techniques, along with an overview of the concepts we would cover during the two-hour class. Shooting in manual involves three components: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

Before this class, I didn’t know a hill-of-beans about aperture, shutter speed, or ISO. If my life depended on explaining them, I’d be a dead woman melting in the Texas heat. I knew enough to know I needed a photography class!

Here’s what the professionals (B and B) have to say:

The aperture is the “hole” inside the camera that allows light into the lens. The larger the hole, the more light can enter. The smaller the hole, the less light. 
For creativity, the choice of aperture will control the depth of field of a picture. Pictures with shallow depth of field (subject is focused while the background is out of focus) require a large aperture, such as f/2,8. Pictures with everything in focus (from front to back) require a small aperture, such as f/22.

I recently learned “depth of field” is also called DOF. I’m overcome with genius-ness right now.

Aperture (depth of field) practice

PRACTICE!

APERTURE (depth of field) practice - I'm focused where Brandon is pointing.

MORE PRACTICE!

I don’t know if B  and B are usually subjects in their own classes, but I just clicked away anyway!

The shutter speed is a “curtain” that determines the length of time light is allowed to enter the camera. For creativity, the choice of shutter speed will control motion in a picture. The faster the shutter speed, the more it will “freeze” moving subjects. The slower the shutter speed, the more moving subjects will “blur.”

With this fango-dango feature, I’m realizing how important a tripod is to photographers, especially for still subjects.

SHUTTER SPEED - I "froze" this Beemer with a faster setting so it's not blurred.

I can only imagine what the drivers along Lancaster were thinking as six people with their cameras were on the sidewalk.

The camera’s sensitivity to light, or ISO, is best thought of as a “boost” of power for your camera. For creativity, photographers often “bump up” the ISO settings when there is not enough light or to create a grain effect in camera. Bumping the ISO enables faster shutter speeds in lower light with less blur.

Brandy later explained ISO as the “Monster” for your camera. If you who live under a rock, Monster is an energy drink. I’ve never had one myself, but I know they’re quite powerful. I’ll stick with my sweet tea, it’s got enough sugar in it to power a large metropolis. ISO gives your photographs more of that BOOM-BOOM-POW without an additional flash lens.

Did I learn anything from this class? Of course! I know I need lots and lots and LOTS of practice! I also learned new tricks for shooting in manual mode. I met B and B, along with the other students, who are awesome and great and fun people to sweat with.

This final picture cracks me up and I have to share…sorry Brandon!

I think it pretty much sums up Brandon’s thoughts about me asking lots of questions, having to be a photo subject, AND having to be out in 97429842093486 degrees of heat.

BAHAHA!!!!!!

There you have it, my first photography class. Thanks B and B at Bella Pop for hosting this class and helping me with the basics of shooting in manual. Y’all were super-fun.

If you are in the North Texas area and need a professional photographer, please check out Bella Pop. If you don’t need a photographer but you’re interested in classes or social events, visit Bella Pop’s website for a list of events. They’re really awesome and I’m looking forward to future lessons myself.

Happy Tuesday!

 

Coal miner’s daughter and a GIVEAWAY


I didn’t realize until researching for this post that Father’s Day might have originated in 1907 at a memorial service for a group of men, majority of them fathers, killed in a coal mining accident in Monogah, West Virginia. This is near and dear to my heart.

I’m a coal miner’s daughter.

I know first-hand the nervousness from watching my Dad pull out of the driveway for another shift in the darkness of an underground coal mine. Despite the dangers associated with mining, my Dad’s work ethic is second to none. It’s just one of the many characteristics I admire about him. When he’s not working at the coal plant, he’s in the garden or honing his vintner (wine-making) skills. Between the fresh produce and homemade wine, many people consider my father a saint.

I completely agree.

In honor of Father’s Day, this is for my Dad…

Things I’ve learned from my Father

  • Win (and Lose) Gracefully — While I do not play golf nearly as much as I used to, the game still means a lot to me and the relationship with my dad. He taught me the game at a young age. It’s something we did together and enjoyed it thoroughly. I believe golf is an outdoor classroom, not just a form of entertainment or physical activity. I credit my relationship-building skills, mannerisms, etiquette, honesty, and maturity to my parents, but to golf as well. During my competitive years, I enjoyed success but suffered plenty of disappointment too. It didn’t matter if I brought home the trophy, though. Did I respect myself? Did I represent my family in the best possible way? Did I honor myself by trying my best? Did I respect my opponents for their efforts? Did I win like a champion or lose with grace? If I answered yes to these questions, I learned the lesson. If not, I lost the competition AND respect for myself. 
  • Don’t settle for chicken if lobster’s available — This is just another way of saying don’t settle for less. When it came to relationships and looking for a husband, I had a long list of requirements. As such, I did not date in high school. Truth be told, I didn’t have time because I was too busy (focused) on golf. Another truth: my expectations were too high and the boys at my school were too short. Fortunately, Kevin EXCEEDED all of my expectations……and he’s tall.
  • Address every situation with good posture and a pleasant smile — I can’t think of any experience where this advice has not been beneficial to me. Thanks Dad!

Something my husband has learned from my Father

  • Keep big guns

Ummm, yeah……my Dad’s not messing around with his toys.

And, this is just one of many.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Blah, blah, blah – what about the GIVEAWAY?!?

In honor of Father’s Day, I am offering a giveaway for the adorable, wonderful, and lovable men in our lives. As such, this giveaway item is guy-friendly. However, ladies can benefit as well. 

Nicole, enough already – what will I win?!

Go to Teeny Tiny Spice Company and check out their products page.

They are currently featured in Real Simple Magazine and have a Father’s Day Special featuring two of their wonderful spices. I had the “citrus pepper” at a friend’s house and let me tell you, it was AWESOME! We had steak and chicken kabobs and the seasoning was perfect.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

For this giveaway, I’m offering TWO spice blends!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Here’s how this works:

  • Go to Teeny Tiny Spice’s website and choose TWO seasoning blends you’d like to have
  • Leave a comment on this post, include your NAME, EMAIL, and SPICE SELECTIONS
  • One entry per person please
  • U.S. shipping only
  • You’ll be really awesome if you re-post this giveaway on your blog, webpage, Facebook, and Twitter

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Deadline to enter giveaway is midnight Friday, June 24. The winner will be announced Saturday.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Good luck!

Photo Challenge ~ WORN


Let’s face it……Husband and I are NOT fancy people. Frankly, we’re just like the Weekly Photo Challenge theme: WORN.

It’s been quiet this week and I haven’t used my camera much. But alas, it’s Friday – which means a new photo theme. Since most everything (and everybody) at our Humble Abode are worn, I knew I had to snap a few photos.

While in the barn, I caught a glimpse of old horseshoes hanging on the panels and they looked too good to pass up. Husband has been collecting old shoes from our horses for years, as far back as Goodbar, Hillbilly, Seven, and of course, Blue and Curtis.

I couldn’t choose just one for the weekly challenge, please enjoy:

Aside from the cobwebs and well-worn look, these horseshoes have sentimental value. The difference sizes represent the different horses that have worn them.

 

 

Someone asked why there’s got an old, ugly, and rusted plow sitting next to the fence. Husband’s priceless response: it works just fine.

Hmmph.

My life would not be complete without ropes and gloves. I can’t tell you how many I’ve washed only to find them in the dryer later. I love my Husband. I don’t find coins or paper money in his pockets, just roping gloves.

It’s a perk for the Life of a Roper’s Wife.

Is it obviously whose boots were made for working and whose boots were made for walking?!

I think Husband easily wins the award for Most Worn Boots.

A and M Gardens – Azle, Texas


My best friend, Kimberly, recently got engaged (yay!) and I’m going to be a bridesmaid (double yay!). It’ll be my first time and I’m sorta-kinda nervous.

Kim’s in the venue-hunting stage of her wedding planning. I was invited to join her at A and M Gardens, located in Azle. It’s a beautiful and secluded location near Eagle Mountain Lake, with plenty of green space – one of Kimberly’s requirements.

This facility is really beautiful. Honestly, I was a bit concerned when I pulled into the parking lot. HOWEVER, when you see the entire facility, it’s a great place for an outdoor wedding.

Here are some photos from my new fancy-schmancy camera:

It took me many, MANY pictures to get this dragonfly. Once he landed, I finally got it!

A and M had a wedding last night so the reception hall had tables and chairs still out. Most of the decorations had been removed, but you could easily visualize the room’s layout. The venue’s decor is limit-less with color coordination and accessories. This location can be personalized to the bride and groom’s preference. That’s a great selling point!

Hibiscus – one of my favorite flowers…..besides calla lilies.

 

Thank you, Kimberly, for inviting me along on your venue visit. I am super excited about your wedding and I’m honored to stand next to you on your special day! Congratulations, I love you and Rob bunches and bunches!

A and M Gardens is a beautiful venue and they do more events than just weddings. Visit their website! The ladies are Southern hostesses with the mostess – tell them Kimberly and Nicole said hello.

%d bloggers like this: