Puppycat Goes to the Doggy Doctor!


A post from Kelli–

I know it’s hard to believe, but one of my favorite things to do is binge watch trashy TV on Netflix and snuggle with Puppycat.  The other night when I was binging and watching Skin Wars, I was petting Puppycat and felt a lump on her side.  Immediately my stomach dropped!  Gracie had been 8 when she died and Puppycat just turned 7 in October.  Of course I also felt the lump on a Sunday, I started my new job Monday and didn’t knwo if I’d have time to call the vet while orienting or not and I didn’t even know for sure what time it was going to be done, so I didn’t know if I’d be able to call after either.

I ended up being done around 3:30 Monday and on my way to my car, I called and got her an appointment for today at 1:30 in the afternoon.  While I didn’t really want to wait too long, that was the soonest that I could get in, so I just went with it.

This morning, Puppycat was thrilled to take a bath–NOT!  Once I get her in the shower, she’s fine, but you can tell that she just dreads it horrible.  As soon as I take her collar off for anything, she cowers to the floor and literally won’t move.  If Jason is in the house, she will run to him and won’t leave his side because he lets her do whatever she wants.

After her bath, she spent a bit of time relaxing on the couch.


Puppy1 (300x400)


Isn’t she just the prettiest?  We ended up leaving a bit early so that I could stop at the grocery store quick.  We ended up at the vet early and I found this qute little book in the waiting area.

Puppy 3 (300x400)It’s super cute!  We got in pretty quick and as I expected the vet things that it’s just a fatty lump.  She said that as dogs age, they become more common.  She offered to biopsy it and send it out to make sure and I took her up on that.  Sometimes $50.00 is worth a piece of mind!  Hopefully the results will be back in on Monday or Tuesday, so I’m hoping that it’s negative for cancer, but if it is, we’ll deal with that when we know.  She also said that if she gets any lumps that show up and grow quickly, the lumps aren’t moveable, and if there’s an ulceration or hairloss around the area, it would likely be something worse, but at this time, it looks like nothing big.

Puppy dealt with it like a champ of course.  Here she is waiting for Dr. Sarah to come back in and do the biopsy.

Puppy2 (300x400)She was actually really good throughout the whole trip!  She jumped a bit when they actually did the biopsy, but that seems like a reasonable reaction.  After the procedure, she showed off while getting her treats and showed them how good she can beg, sit, and dance!  Once we got home I gave her a slice of bologna.  She’s been sleeping on the couch since, which is pretty normal for her.

So if you woudln’t mind, sending a few prayers or well wishes our way would be great.  I’m off to make birthday supper for Jason as today is his birthday!  He’s spent the day farming and I had to remind him he needs to be in a bit earlier as I need to be in bed by 10 cause I have to work tomorrow.  I found a recipe for a peanut butter dessert that I’m going to try!  Stay tuned cause I’ll be sharing it!

Kelli Jo Hanken, R.N.


A post from Kelli–


As you know, I’ve been going to school for the past few years again for nursing.  Believe it or not, it’s been a really long time coming!  When I was in high school, I wanted to be a nurse.  I had decided that I was going to go to school for nursing in Rochester, Minnesota at a community college.  I had my living arrangements figured out, financial aid done, and was getting ready to register for classes.  At the same time, being a high school senior, I also decided that eventually I wanted to own a bar and grill in Jackson Junction.

On the day before prom, I came downstairs and told mom that I wasn’t going to Rochester for school.  I didn’t know where I was going, but I just wasn’t going.  Needless to say she was quite surprised and told me that I wasn’t going anywhere until I had the school thing figured out.  I was a mess of tears–mostly cause I just wanted to stay at home–I hate change and this was a big one!  I told mom I wanted to go for business so she said I better go to a 4 year school and suggested “the little college in Fayette.”  I hopped on the internet and looked it up, it seemed fine and I just wanted to leave the house so I told her that’s where I’d go.  Believe it or not, that’s where I ended up.

I pretty much blew off the first year of college, drank too much, spent too much money, tried to go to class atleast half the time, and didn’t make many good choices at all.  Eventually I managed to half cobble my life together and was about to graduate with a double major in management and marketing in 3 1/2 years and was looking forward to moving to a big city to get a big city marketing job, but met Jason the semester before I was going to graduate.  Because he was a farmer, I knew that moving to a big city was out of the question.  I knew that he was “the one” pretty quickly, so I knew that I would have to put my big city dream job aside and choose something that worked with a workaholic farmer and would be conducive to having kids at some point.  I ended up also pursuing a degree in Secondary Education–with endorsements in Social Sciences and Business.

Right before I was going to graduate in December, a previous teacher of mine contacted me and offered me a job working for her as a Customer Service Representative.  She worked with a large Customer Relationship Management Company out of California and had a temporary opening.  I knew I wasn’t going to find a full time teaching job in December, so I said yes, assuming that it’d be for a few months and then I could get a teaching job for the next fall.  Little did I know, that wasn’t how things were going to work.  The job ended up being permanent and I was thrilled.  Some days were better than others (as in most customer service jobs) but I loved my bosses, the facility, and my co-workers.  I really felt valued and as though I was part of a wonderful team.

Fast forward 3 more years and I found out that the company that contracted their work out was going to be pulling their contract and going toa larger global company.  I was going to get laid off.  We didn’t know when, but it was likely going to happen.  I was devastated!  I had never been laid off or fired before and had always had atleast one job!  Even through school, I had worked nearly 40 hours and was always able to take care fo myself.  After  a little bit of thinking and discussing with my family, I found out about a program called the Federal Trade Act which helped individuals whose jobs got sent overseas (mine was sent to Costa Rica) go back to school or train for another career.  On a whim, I filled out the application and decided I was finally going to be a nurse.  When we were approved, I was exstatic!  It was finally going to happen.

I ended up getting laid off on January 10th and started on January 13th at the local community college with my Gen Eds.  After a year of those, I started the nursing program.  Let me tell you this about nursing school–It is hard.  Really hard!  It demands all of your time, energy, and everything you have.  It’ll chew you up and spit you out.  Just when you think you’ve got something, you’ll realize you have it all backwards.  Clinicals are hard.  I had to get up at 0330 in the morning to get ready, drive an hour and 15 minutes and be ready to function by 0550.  Someone told me once that they had heard it was easy after the first class.  I just laughed.  Once you make it through the first class, you realize that you can do it and are too invested to stop, so you just keep signing yourself up for it.  Strangely the person that told me that (in a not so nice tone of voice) happened to make it through the first class, but not the second.

After two years of the best kind of hard and difficult, a case of mono, lots of anxiety, some depression, lots of weeks of having next to nothing in my checking account, and thousands of miles, I did it though!  I graduated on December 15th with 11 other classmates.  Just before graduating, I was talking to my mother-in-law about graduation.  I told her that I was more proud of my Associate’s Degree of Nursing than I was any of my bachelor degrees and she was floored.  Don’t get me wrong, the bachelor degrees were hard, but man–My nursing degree was another level of difficult.

I was lucky enough to have some pretty wonderful people celebrate with me!

Here’s me with my bestie Carver!

Carver (225x400)


Doesn’t Jason clean up nice?  He kept giving me a hard time about going because there was a farm auction, but in true Jason fashion, he really enjoys picking on me!

Me and Jason (225x400)His mom and dad came too!

Jeff and Renee (400x225)And Kalissa of course!  I really think that without her, I wouldn’t have made it.  She had just gone through the program a year and a half before and was a great guiding light!  Side note: Isn’t her hair super cute?

Kalissa (225x400)Carolyn came too!  I’m really going to miss her a lot!  I’ll be stopping in to see her occasionally though–She is so much more than just a tutor to me!  Carolyn (225x400)

And of course, I couldn’t have done it without these two!  I used to work with Amanda’s mom, so I knew her going into the program.  We carpooled lots and she even went grocery shopping with me a time or two–but I don’t think she’ll ever go again!  One of the sad parts of being done with nursing school is that she hasn’t been able to see me all the time and I know she misses me.  But I’m pretty sure I miss her more!  Amanda just got a job at a local hosptial not too far from here!

Amanda (225x400)I took lots of my pre-reqs with this pretty lady.  Her boyfriend farms too, so we often commiserated about the love/hate relationship we had with farming.  Kristina just landed her dream job in pediatrics at a hospital about an hour from her house.

Kristina (225x400)

And then there’s these two!  I don’t quite even know how to tell you how supportive they’ve been of me while I was being irresponsible and indecisive to now when I’m slightly more adult like.  I think we’re all pretty happy I decided to grow up!

Mom and Dad (400x225)And the best part?  I just found out last Saturday that I passed boards!  So now I can officially call myself a Registered Nurse.  Next week, I’ll start my new part time job at a local hospital about 20 minutes away.  I’m actually glad that it’s part time for now so that I can still work at the nursing home.  When I found out, the thing that I was most excited about was recording the temps in the fridge and freezer so that I could sign my name–KH RN.

Jig (225x400)To say I’m happy is quite an understatement!





A Decorah Day!


A post from Kelli–


Last Friday, Kalissa and mom had a few check-ups in the morning.  They were a little worried because their appointments were at the same time and they were going to drive together, but didn’t know where to take Carver.  As they were telling me of their woes, I told them that Carver would be hanging with me and we could run them between their appointments–I am one of his favorites after all!  Atleast that’s what I tell myself.

I had a super busy work week, but was looking forward to Friday all week.  I didn’t really need much in town–except for my Carver fix!   We met Kalissa at the hospital and them ran over to pick mom up from the other clinic and met her at the door.  We then went back to pick up Kalissa, followed by a visit to the Depot.

I decided that it must have been a sewing machine day because they had probably 5 or so sewing machines just waiting for a new home.

Girls Day 3 (300x400)I think that they were mostly priced between $30 and $50 or so, but they all appeared to be in pretty good shape with all of the cords and such.  They were marked on their sticker that they worked, however that usually means that when they plugged them in, they turned on so the quality of the stitch or the machine is still unknown.  A few even had manuals and additional accessories with them.

Girls Day 4 (300x400)After checking out the sewing machines, I headed over to the book section and found this.  I happen to love books that are perfect for reading on the toilet, and I believe that this one will serve that purpose well.

Girls Day 2 (300x400)After that, we headed over to the other used store and found a few deal there too.  When that was done, mom had an eye doctor appointment.  Kalissa and I ran to Walmart during her exam to pick up a few things and then met her back at the Optometrist to pick out some frames.  Carver (and I) weren’t too interested in the paperwork part of frames and measuring for them, so we sat in the waiting area and worked on practicing our selfie skills.

Girls Day 1 (300x400)Isn’t his onsie so cute!?!?!?!?  I ordered it of Etsy.  If you can’t see, the name tag has Betsy’s name on it.  We also grabbed groceries, switched cars and then headed home.  When we got back to Waucoma, we stopped over at Kalissa’s house to help her get a few things done around the house to prepare for her upcoming LuLaRoe launch and then I got a call to work the overnight.  While it was a busy day (and night), I got to spend time doing things that I love–Hanging out with my family, bargain hunting, and seeing my residents–So I’m going to count it as a good day!





Keeping a Little Home Cooking in my Heart!


A post from Kelli–


I don’t know about anyone else out there, but there is just something about church cookbooks that I love.  It seems as though no matter what page I open it to, there’s some good recipe that I want to try.  While there are a few things that seem a bit odd (I saw a recipe for pork and beans used in a dessert once), most of them are great, simple, hearty recipes that I usually have most ingredients for.

This one is no different!

Cookbook 1 (300x400)

This cookbook is from the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Lawler, Iowa.  As you can see, it’s likely seen it’s better days, but this is the original that my mom bought when it first came out in the 90′s.

When I was younger and would cook, Mom always yelled at me because I would slop whatever I was cooking all over the cookbook in question.  This one was no exception!

Cookbook 2 (400x300)


As you can see, there’s lots of little “love marks” all over!  It was loved so much that a lot of the pages have even fallen out!

A week or so ago, Jason requested tacos for supper with homemade shells.  I knew that the recipe was in the Lawler cookbook as we call it, but because I knew that it was in a million or so pieces, I wasn’t sure if I had the page or where that specific page was.  Luckily, I was able to flip to the bread section and find it pretty quickly!

Cookbook 3 (300x400)As you can see there, we made multiple batches of these when I was younger and I did a little experiment to see if there was another measurement for the 3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil when making a triple batch.  When I was younger, I also remember giving mom a hard time about writing the recipe to take a “glob of dough the size of a small hamburger.”  After I was razzing her about it, she asked me how I would have written it.  I couldn’t think of a better or different way!

Needless to say, I’m on the lookout for a new “Lawler cookbook,” but I’ll always keep this one around.  I think those little “love marks” give it a little personality!