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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Anorexic Armless Snowgnome


It was built for Ellen's benefit, of course, and she was delighted with it, though a bit put out because it didn't have arms so that we could put the mittens on it. However I wasn't going to trek around searching for the perfect arms for it. This is good enough. You can see in the background that we didn't actually get much snow, just barely enough to cover the ground, and it has melted off of the roads already. But I really wanted to use the snowman kit, for her benefit, so I scraped snow off of the porch and whacked it together really quick.

For Christmas I got her a snowman kit, and this is what it consisted of; felt hat, mittens and scarf (all of which could easily enough be made at home), wooden eyes, nose, mouth, buttons and pipe (yes, I realize it's upside down in the pic, but it wouldn't stay right side up)all on dowels that you shove into the snow. A cute concept; they all came in a decorated wooden box, which will probably take up space on a closet shelf 10-11 months out of the year. Oh, well, so do all the Christmas decorations.

By the way...when we were out making this Ellen was suited up for cold weather, but I took off her coat, hat, and mittens when we came inside so I could get the kit and the camera. Then we went back outside to apply the kit and take a quick picture.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Picture...etc


I can't believe it's been almost 2 weeks since I have blogged. To be fair, I did work on a post, but saved it because I didn't finish it. That ought to count for something.

Anyway.

Ellen had a wonderful Christmas...thank yous are certainly in order for many. She loved her gifts from afar. This is a pic of her in her Christmas dress, sent to her by her California Grandma.

Here's one thing to be thankful for, sure enough; she did not get ONE gift that required batteries. Isn't that funny?! I am glad of it.

Weather has been below freezing for the past few days. Actually today I think it DID get up into the mid 30s, but is supposed to plummet again. Is supposed to snow again tomorrow night, but not much accumulation. We had a bit of snow on Christmas Eve and day, but again, not much stuck around.

The Big Christmas program is over at church. This means that I am back to teaching my teens on Wednesday nights. Frankly I am glad of it. I looked forward to sitting in on the adult Wed night class for a bit, but they are so boring I could have cried. Well, live and learn. I am even looking forward to laughing at the teens' cutups and yakkiness. (Is "yakkiness" a word? If not I am going to invent it, I rather like it.)

At any rate, for this coming year at hubby's suggestion for something to talk over with the teens I am going to tackle the evolution issue. In searching the world wide web I am finding a plethora of information. It is all mind boggling to me. I am trying to muddle my way through parts of Darwin's "Origin of Species" and I am discovering what I learned long ago in highschool...science is WAY over my head. My eyes are crossing in trying to understand what the dude was saying.

If anyone has any info they could share with regards to this subject; "The Evolution Myth," I am open to any input you may have. Thanks.

For now...
Bye

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas is sneaking up on me...


This year it really has, anyway. Usually I have most of my gifts bought and wrapped by Turkey Day, but not this year.

This past Saturday the weather warmed up into the 40s and had you gone down K you perhaps would have seen our truck parked down between the heifer/bull lot and the dry cow lot. That would have been me.

Yes. My husband tends to forgo any non-productive types of work and one of those would be getting a Christmas tree. Therefore, it has become our Christmas tradition that I be the one to bring in the tree.

So to make a long story short; the fence-row up the road is now minus one slightly lopsided cedar tree. In keeping with tradition I took the dull, rusted, nearly useless handsaw and hacked it to death, then drug it up the road back to the truck.

Ellen and I decorated it that night. She was enchanted with the decorations; especially the banana, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich and the ice cream sundae. She also loves to jingle the snowman bells and play with the little angel kitties too.

So far there are only 2 gifts under the tree. But we are working on it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's Been a Week...

What have I been up to on the dairy?

This morning we had a bit of a calf rodeo. These cows seem to come into season in clusters, like grapes. So I had about 5 calves to wean at once, (keeping in mind these are all the heifer calves, the bulls went down the road a a few days after their birth)and a hubby who is nursing a bum shoulder so we had to be original in our changing pens technique.

Usually we rope them, then push/pull/drag/shoo/gallop them from their bottle feeding pen to their tiny pasture out in the woods; hmmmm....a hundred yards or so. (I am terrible with distances) This time we decided to do this en masse. We opened the gate and carefully shooed them through. They went a few feet and stood nosing around a bit, sniffing unfamiliar things.

Then...BAM...the rodeo was on. They all five took off like rockets...flying past the gate they were supposed to go through. Hubby himself went galloping over to the 4-wheeler and chased them back towards me. Four of them went charging the OTHER way past the gate and took off across the barn yard several hundred yards the other way. One of them came mincing up behind me, looking around and wondering what was going on and where her pals were. I managed to get her through the gate and on down the road.

I turned and TWO of the other FOUR were charging back towards me, then they swerved and headed towards Ellen, who was sitting in her stroller laughing at the whole spectacle. Hubby vroomed around them and we got them headed the right direction and on through the gate.

We turned and there came the last two, straight for us. A bit of luck, that. Another vroom and a shoo and they were through as well. Hot diggity. Nothing like a good chase on a crisp morning to get your blood going. I didn't mention in this whole thing that I'd been running back and forth. But anyway.

*****

This past Sunday we had our annual church Thanksgiving/Christmas pot luck after AM service.

This is what I brought:



It is my take on the "Candy Bar Cake" recipe I got off the internet. The pastor's wife saw a slice of it on someones plate and commented that someone must have brought a bakery cake. I was flattered, but thought it funny. Can anything look LESS like a professional cake? It was all lopsided (I am not much good at positioning 3 layer cakes) and my decorations didn't make much sense. Those are mini M&Ms on top and rectangles of a 1.5 OZ Hershey bar on the sides. The frosting is yummy though, a cream cheese deal; 8oz cream cheese w/ 1/2 cup regular sugar, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla...cream this really well, then fold in a tub of Cool Whip and chopped up candy bars...your choice of flavor. Delish!

Not for those dieting, but what cake is?

Those are the highlights of the past week.

Monday, November 30, 2009

My November 2009 Catalog List

As promised at the beginning of this NaBloPoMo shindig, I have faithfully kept track of all of the mail order catalogs I received in the mail this past month.

We actually did order something from catalog number 2, "The Sportsman's Guide." That was a pair of insulated boots for me to use this winter while out doing chores.

However, I calculated that if I'd made a $10 order from each catalog, even the duplicates (supposing I'd forgotten to order something from the first one and needed to order again from the next) and then had tacked on a very conservative estimate of shipping and handling, say $5...I'd have spent a grand total of $570 dollars.

!Ay, carumba!

Ha!

I have them all saved up here on the computer table. Actually I got the last 4 of them today. I was going to take a pic, but it's too dark in here now. Here's the list:

November 2009 Catalog list

1. Back in the Saddle
2. The Sportsman’s Guide *
3. Figi’s
4. L.L. Bean
5. The Literary Guild
6. Duluth Trading Co.
7. Willow Ridge
8. Bronner’s
9. World Ark: Heifer International
10. Lang
11. Miles Kimball
12. National Geographic Holiday 2009 Catalog
13. Carol Wright Gifts
14. Betty’s Attic
15. Colorful Images
16. World Vision Gift Catalog
17. Old Pueblo Traders
18. Current
19. Terry’s Village
20. Holidays from Abbey Press
21. Victorian Trading Co.
22. Expressions
23. Figi’s
24. Potpourri
25. The Swiss Colony
26. Heifer International
27. Gooseberry Patch
28. Kruenpeeper Creek Gifts
29. Dr. Leonard’s
30. Metrostyle
31. Home Trends
32. Current
33. Young Explorers
34. Bits and Pieces
35. The Swiss Colony
36. National Geographic Holiday 2009 Catalog
37. L.L. Bean Christmas Favorites 2009
38. Southwest Indian Foundation Christmas 2009



Well, it's been great NaBloPoMo-ing with you all. I sure appreciate the new friends I have made and plan on keeping in touch throughout the coming year. But I am probably going to take a bit of a break from blogging. I have a couple of other projects in the wings and am going to concentrate on them.

Tah tah!

All the best!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Various things...

Ellen was so taken with her new doll house yesterday that she insisted on sleeping with the little "kitchen," as she calls it. It's the little stove/oven piece. She had to take it with her down to show her Grandma and Aunt this evening.

****

Hubby and I were discussing, over our fresh bread from the bread machine tonight, how glad we were to be out of school. I am so glad I do not have to go through my adolescence and teen years and all yet again. Urgh! I watch what these kids go through now and I don't envy them at all.

****

On that note I recall when I was in Jr high and highschool some of the fads that were out. Neon colored clothes, leg warmers, Cabbage Patch Dolls, Michael Jackson music...ummm...what all else? I forget.

****

We were also discussing that spelunker who died a few days ago. He was only about 19or 20 I believe. He wedged himself into this teeny crack in a cave, upside down no less, and couldn't get out. They were unable to get him out, no matter what all they tried. So they are going to just seal up the cave with cement and leave him there. Lord, what a way to go. I have a horror of small spaces. I don't even like sitting in the middle of the pew at church. I don't know if that qualifies as claustophobia, I mean I don't panic or anything, but I just don't like feeling squeezed in. But anyway, what a terrible grief for the family.

****

Oops, got to head to bed.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Random Photo


Once, the first year here, we babysat our inlaws kitten. As most kittens do she loved to climb, so I tucked her into my plant stand, and she was happy to sit and pose for a few shots.

She is part Siamese and is very vocal to prove it.

**********

Ellen got a veritible treasure trove of toys and whatnot today. A friend from church was cleaning out toys she'd had at her house and was very kind enough to bring them over to us.

Ellen's favorite is the new little doll house. It's a little platic job that folds in half and comes with all kinds of accessories; bed, tables, chairs, sofa, ottoman, fridge, stereo...etc, even a house plant. It's missing the mommy though. We will have to find a mommy to go along with the daddy and two kids and a dog.

There is also a 3 foot tall Winnie the Pooh jigsaw puzzle, along with several other puzzles. And one of those Buckaroo games, too. The one where you hang objects on a mule until he bucks them off.

Hubby, of course, had lots of fun making the mule buck. He found that if you hang an item on the tail and make it buck the item goes flying through the air over the mule's head. Ellen got a kick out of that!

After picking up all the puzzle pieces from off the floor twice, I put them all away for another year or two, until she is old enough to put them back in herself. I might keep out one of the more age appropriate puzzles, but no more. My nerves can't take it.

At any rate, now I am going to weed out a bunch of Ellen's "old" toys and pass them on to someone else.

Cheers for now.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Can't Leave Alone Bars recipe

This is not what I was going to blog about today, but by popular demand here is this recipe. It's the kind of thing you can throw together fairly quickly using stuff you have in your pantry. Ellen, aged 2.75 years, loves to help measure and stir this, so it's a good one to make with kids as well.

If you are new here to this blog, pardon how boring everything else is. I have been blogging every day for 2 months straight now and am having trouble being interesting. If you want something interesting or something to laugh at go to one of the posts from the past at the right. I need to add a couple of my bull stories over there someday, those are fun too! Ha.

Without further ado:

Can't Leave Alone Bars
(From Vera's Family Favorites -an Amish cookbook)

1 yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/2 stick butter (or margarine)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1-14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

Combine cake mix, eggs and oil; reserve 1/2 cup. Press remaining mixture into 9x3" pan and set aside.

In small saucepan over low to med heat, melt butter, chocolate chips and milk, stirring constantly. Pour over batter in pan.

Drop reserved batter in small dots over chocolate mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees until set; approximately 30-40 minutes.


This time I didn't have a yellow cake mix, so I used a white mix instead; you couldn't really tell the difference. You could probably vary the flavors by using a chocolate cake mix too, and/or differently flavored chocolate chips.

The first time I made these I baked them 40 minutes and it kind of scorched the edges. This time I stuck with the 30 minutes and they came out better, even though they didn't seem done at first.

Enjoy!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

More Thankfulness

I think I left off at number 10 last time.

11. Dessert. What would a good dinner be without one tacked on at the end?

12. Good books.
I know I included that on my What Makes Me Smile list, but it qualifies for Thankfulness too.

13. Country living.
Never easy, but fulfilling nonetheless.

14. A great church. We are all more like family and everyone is so supportive. There is no infighting and everyone loves to laugh together.

15. A full fridge and freezer. You can never rightfully claim poverty if you have these.

16. Running water. My mother-in-law tells stories of having to pack water from the creek; up hill, fighting chiggers and seed ticks and whatnot in summer. And let's not even talk about ice and snow in winter.

17. A cat. Sometimes she annoys me, but there's something cozy about a purring cat.

18. The postal service. I love getting mail.

19. Dry onion soup mix. (ha) It's a quick seasoning for lots of different things.

20. Knowing how to read and write. How limited life would be if I didn't have these skills.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Pumpkin Pie Woes

It's in the oven. It would seem that I have usually been asked to bring a pumpkin pie to the Thanksgiving holiday repast. And I do not have a very good record with my pumpkin pies. For some reason mine never are "set" within the recommended amount of time.

Once I brought a rather soggy one to my brother's Thanksgiving dinner. I ended up leaving it there since my SIL said she would do something with it. I strongly suspect it ended up going down the drain, but I dunno. Maybe she has more patience than I have, with regards to re-doing things.

On the opposite side of the coin; just a few years ago I was in charge of the pumpkin pie here to take to mother-in-law's Thanksgiving, and I made the mistake of thinking I'd just pop it in the oven an hour or so before time to go over there.

Bad idea.

Two hours later we were still waiting for the stupid thing to "set." I think I just finally took it and it turned out OK, but not great.

My MIL said that she never puts in the full amount of evap milk called for by the recipe. So the past few times I have attempted pumpkin pie I have done that; cut back on the evap milk. But it seems it STILL takes forever for it to set.

Anyway. After about a 70-75 minute baking period I just now took it out of the oven for tomorrow. I hope it's edible.

I always make this "Never Fails" pie crust recipe. I really, really am bad at pie crusts. Not at the making of the actual crust, but the rolling out and putting in the pie pan part. It's always nice and flaky and tastes great but it looks like a 5 year old did it. Though I must say, this one looks better than my usual. I guess I ought to make more pies, then my finesse with the crusts might improve.

Well, hope everyone has a great Turkey Day tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It is a cool and blustery day here. It misted a bit on me when I did chores this morning, but otherwise has been dry. Glad I did laundry yesterday. This whole November has been really mild overall. I don't think we have had but maybe one or two days where it froze at night.

We got another little bull calf a few days ago. He's already gone. His mother isn't much of a producer. Hubby says we are going to put on the milk meters and measure how much each one is giving and then cull the bottom producers. We usually do this in the fall. No sense in feeding a bummer cow all winter if she's not producing enough to pay for herself.

My Tuesday Thankful List

6) Great in-laws. It is common to be snarky about one's in-laws, but I got really blessed in that department. No complaints here. They are always supportive and fun to be with.

7) A good husband. Maybe both of these, #6 and #7 ought to be included in #1, along with family. But it is worth mentioning separately. Hubby and I have never had a fight, and we don't argue. We do have disagreements, but there's no sense in having a knockdown-dragout fight over anything. I think we are both too laidback to worry about such things. We laugh at much the same things as well. Humor is always a good quality to have in your spouse.

8) Living in a country where I am free to worship as I please. Even though things are getting dicier on this issue, as of yet I am not persecuted for being a Christian and am free to speak my own opinion on the subject wherever I please.

9) My computer. Well, if you are reading this on YOUR computer maybe you understand what I am saying.

10) Books. My other entertainment, probably runs neck and neck with my computer. How would I manage on those nasty days where I can't get out to do anything and it's too dangerous to plug in the computer? Not to mention I do lots of traveling and vicarious living through books.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Week of Thanks

All month good, lovely and high-minded folks over on Facebook have been posting what they are thankful for, one thing per day for the whole month of November. They have made me look really bad. So, this whole week I am going to try and think up my 30 things to be Thankful for and post them throughout the week.

1. (This one is a BIGGIE!) I am officially KITTEN-FREE! Yay! Yay! Whoopee! One of hubby's cousins from up the road came and took both of them. They need mousers. I DO miss the little boogers, but I am thankful to be free of litterbox odors...etc. So far Ellen isn't too disturbed by their absence. She asks where they are occasionally and I tell her they have a new home and she accepts it.

2. The usual, of course; family, friends, blog friends, Facebook friends, my kid...etc. I love you all!

3. Good health. That probably falls under number 2 above, but it deserves special mention.

4. Aged 41 and still no cavities YAY!

5. Electricity. Rather a prosaic thing to be thankful for. But after the power outage of the winter ice storm of '07, I realize what it is to not have it for an extended period of time.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Blog or Bust

OK. We are coming down to the final days here of NaBloPoMo. It keeps getting harder and harder to come up with something to write about. Things happen, but it's hard to force myself to sit down and write about them.

Gun deer season closes this Tues, I believe. Then bow season opens again. We have folks beating a path to our door to bow hunt out in our field just down the road. We are letting another guy hunt over there too. He's pretty optimistic; said he'll give us some meat.

*******

No one seems to be taking me up on a free kitten or two. I think I am going to be stuck with them. I don't want them, no matter how cute they are. The only trouble is that there is a mile long list of free kitties in the newspaper every week. Hubby says way back when he was a kid there weren't as many available.

He also said back then no one had ever heard of cat or dog food. They were lucky to get table scraps, and beyond that they were expected to catch their own food.

*******

Ellen is starting to worry me. She is starting to ask questions like: "Where did that truck come from?" "Where did that tree come from?" "Where did those cows come from?"

Some day we are going to be in the store and she's going to point and ask; "Where did that baby come from?" Ha!

I usually tell her that the whatever-it-is she asks about came from the store, or from home or from a seed or whatever is simplest. No need to get technical about it. Not at this age.

At her Parents as Teachers little evaluation last week she impressed the teacher because she can draw circles. Kelly said that they don't expect them to be able to do that until they are 4 years old.

She also is still using her left hand 99% of the time. Once in awhile she will use her right hand, but she will switch it over in a minute or less.

OK. That's enough for this session.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Something for Saturday

Behind me Ellen is reading her "meek" books. "Meek" is her term for "music." She can say music, but meek is what she calls it.

Anyway. At the dollar store a long time ago I got 4 of those little CD books, with the lyrics included. She gets lots of milage out of these. She has most of the songs memorized and can get the books and sit and sing from them. It is hilarious to hear her little falsetto chanting "Camptown Races" or "Oh, Suzanna." There are about 10-12 songs on each CD so she has quite a list to go through. And she HAS to sing each book. But some songs she skips, for whatever reason.

****

C from Random Thoughts and Musings from the Island wanted to know the Biblical reason to why my husband thinks it's my job to help him out with the gift giving ideas at holiday times. He says the Bible says the wife is supposed to be the "help mate" to the husband. Therefore I have to help him with everything. It doesn't say in there that HE HAS TO HELP ME! Ha.

He was pretty pleased with himself; just laughed and laughed.

But last week the pastor preached about how, though it says in the Bible where the wife is supposed to submit to her husband, further down it says that the husband is supposed to love his wife as he loves himself. BUT he thought it was interesting that nowhere in the Bible does it exhort the wife to love her husband. HA!

Friday, November 20, 2009

What are these?




Over the past few years, since hubby has been getting certain catalogs and magazines related to this subject, these thingamabobs have interested me. Don't know why; they are just weird to look at.


Then I think about how they are actually used: underground. The beating they take, and how their invention changed an industry. Well. Maybe it didn't change an industry, but in some places of the world they can make the difference between living and dying, so they can certainly be used to help change lives.


Used to be you'd use a shovel, a bucket, a long rope and a LOT of sweat to accomplish what one of these can help with; coupled with the right technology.


Yep. They are water well drill bits. They use them to drill through solid rock.

Hubby gets several different water well drilling magazines. One story in there really impressed me. Over in Africa clean water is a critical thing. There are well drilling companies that donate well drill rigs and time and money to go over there and drill wells in some areas.

Once the well is drilled the pumping mechanism is actually hooked up to a child's "round-about," or as we call them here, "merry-go-round." So instead of buckets, ropes or whatever, the children who are sent for water play on the merry-go-round to pump their water.

I liked that idea, and the kids in the pictures seemed pleased with the arrangement.

What are these?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thirteen for Thursday #4

Hmmmm....

Hmmm....

I didn't ask my husband for help today, so I am at a loss. Here instead are 13 things that I COULD write 13 things about if I were to actually apply myself.

1. Pet peeves. (I am not feeling very peevey today. Besides the biggest one of them may get me kicked out of church if I were to list it. Ha!)

2) Things to be thankful for. (I was going to wait until next week to do that one.)

3) Good smells on a dairy. (I have done that one before.)

4) Movies I have liked. (I am not much of a movie watcher, really, so it might be hard.)

5) Books I love. (It'd be easier to list books I DON'T love, as it's a much shorter list.)

6) On that same note, maybe a list of authors I like. (Hey, that's a good one! Maybe I'll do that next week.)

7) Favorite foods to actually cook! (Argh, that reminds me, I need to think of something to fix for supper tonight.)

8) Things I would like to do in my lifetime. (As in: a bucket list)

9) Foods I DON'T like. (gelatin, of any brand, is number one there.)

10) Things I'd never expected to encounter when I was married. (Like; why is it MY chore to think of gifts to give people for Christmas? Hubby has a Biblical answer for this one!)

11) Places I'd like to visit someday.

12) People I'd like to meet.

13) Subjects I ought to teach the teens on Wednesday nights. (That'd be good to refer back to.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dumb Joke

We took a long drive to look at some equipment over in Lockwood today and didn't get back until about 15 minutes before it was time to fix supper. I have about 15 minutes until I have to do chores, after which I have to head off to church. Well, I guess I don't have to go, but I want to go just to get away from Ellen. (She's currently driving me nuts.) By the time I get back from church I am not going to want to get on the computer.

Soooooo.....

All of this has left little time to cogitate on what to blog about.

Therefore; the following is your daily blog offering:

A pirate walks into a bar wearing a paper towel on his head. He sits down at the bar and orders some rum.

The bartender asks: "Why are you wearing a paper towel?"

"Arrrrg," says the pirate. "I've got a bounty on me head."



Heh heh heh.

That also came along with the cow jokes from yesterday.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tickle Me Tuesday #3 (I think)

Here are some more tidbits sent from a friend in OR. I think these came from The Oregonian, the daily newspaper up there.

Cow Humor

Why does a milking stool have only 3 legs?
Because the cow has the udder.

What are the spots on black and white cows?
Holstains

What kind of milk comes from a forgetful cow?
Milk of Amnesia

Where do cows go when they want a night out?
To the MOO-vies.

What was the bull doing in the pasture with his eyes closed?
Bull-dozin'

How does a farmer count a herd of cows?
With a COWculator.

Why don't cows have any money?
Because farmers milk them dry.

Where do the Russians get their milk?
From Mos-COWS.

What's a cow's favorite musical note?
Beef-flat

What do cows wear in Hawaii?
Moo-moos

What do you call a cow that has just had a calf?
Decalfenated

Go ahead and yuk it up...then have a glass of milk. Or a bowl of ice cream.

******

We had a decalfenated cow this morning. A new little heifer calf came into the world on a cold, rainy night. Poor thing. Hubby had to get them, and put the calf into a shed ASAP.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Marriage Proposals

A few months ago I foolishly joined some pen-pal website, put my email address in it. Of course I immediately began getting junk mail, tons of junk mail. I tried to go back and delete it but there was no way to delete the profile. I emailed the owner and asked for my profile to be deleted, but dunno if they ever did or not. I even forget the site now, it has been so long.

The major traffic from it dried up a bit, but I think that's only because my name was pushed on down the list by new idjits who signed up.

And now I get at least one or two emails a week, sometimes less, sometimes more, from people saying they have seen my profile. Some of them say they saw my profile on "DreamBook." Well, this was NOT the site I joined. I went to this DreamBook site and a flag came up saying it was not safe, so I was unable to peruse it to find my supposed profile.

Anyway. Most of these emails I get from there are marriage proposals. Some of them are short and sweet, some of them are sprinkled with promises of large amounts of cash from a dead relative, and some of them are just...well...here's an example. You tell me what you think.

Hi Friend,
With love and passion i wish to say compliment of the great season and best wishes in all you do this day. How are you and the environment over there? I'm pleased to meet you.My names is Aviss Kair from Canada.I live and work in my country with the Global Welfare and Child Development (GWCD) here in Canada .I'm a single lady of 24 years of age, single looking forward to my better subordinate in mere future.I wish to associate with you in all areas of life. I've never be married cos due to lack of trust and betray which i had in the past.It will be wonderful if you will be part of me to be my partner, co-passion and It will be nice for me if you can as well join and be a part in this my trip. I need a man that's good looking in-ward not minding race or ethnicity,your sincerity i care for, your honesty i cherish,your passion i search for, be my better half.Let's associate together in divinity, co-operate world, mutual relationship, be part of me and i be part of you, in all i do I'll have you in mind cos you are in me.I've travelled far and wide, mixed with different races in the co-operate world, i do understand that the plight of human is to direct and re-direct the low and the needy. I open my arms wide to associate with you receive you and believe you will give me your sincerity as well. Let make the world and the union a worth living and experiencing. I wish to be with you and relate together for the good of each other.I will get back to you after your mail for more detail about me.You are welcome to my world. if you can as well join and be a part in this my trip the Global Welfare and Child Development (GWCD) here in Canada.
Our Regards

Aviss


Heh heh heh.

I didn't even bother bursting this gal's bubble by emailing her back and saying; "Sorry darling, can't share your passion. I am an old married woman with a kid already." Hopefully Aviss will find someone to share her passion with.

Any takers to associate in divinity? Let me know, I'll forward her email address to you.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Yay for Deer Sausage!



Gun hunting season opened this weekend (not a couple weeks ago as I'd assumed...I think that was bow season that opened).

Anyway. The guy we let hunt on our property got an 8 point buck yesterday morning. On opening day. He was pretty proud. He's going to bring us some deer sausage. He may come back and try for a doe, he has a doe tag too. He's been bow hunting off and on the past couple of weeks, but didn't get anything.

There were tons of shots going off yesterday. Some of them sounded like if all the bullets hit the deer there wouldn't be much meat left when the carcass hit the ground.

We saw so many hunter orange drivers going back and forth all day yesterday. I guess there are several deer camps around here. That whole deal just cracks me up. Especially what we saw go by.

Hubby, Ellen and I were all outside when this Army-looking truck and trailer goes by, all camoflaged with green and brown paint blotches. The driver honked and both driver and passenger waved enthusiastically at us as they went by.

We waved back, but hubby said; "I think some of them just get carried away. How many deer do they expect to get to have to haul them in that big of a trailer?"

Oh, well. Let them have their fun I suppose. Only thing is that I try and stay inside as much as possible and keep Ellen inside. There have already been too many incidents of stay bullet injuries and such. It's kind of scary.

On this same subject. Gun season in California was a few weeks earlier than here I believe. I guess my nephew went out and got his buck, brought it back to the meat plant (where he works)to be processed, along with the pork meat that they mix with the deer meat for sausage.

They grind it...then at the other end he looks at it and says, "What's all this blue stuff in it?"

Ummm...someone had left their rubber gloves on the meat processor and they got ground into his meat.

Forty pounds of meat. Down the drain.

He was just a tad upset.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

For want of anything else...

Here's a poem. I have been meaning to get a pic of that mini calf we had a few days ago, but haven't been out here with the camera. I need to get her picture anyway. Well, maybe for tomorrow.

***

Anyway. Robert Frost is one of my favorite poets. He has quite the collection of poems. Here is one that seems appropriate to the season.

In Hardwood Groves

The same leaves over and over again!
They fall from giving shade above
To make one texture of faded brown
And fit the earth like a leather glove.

Before the leaves can mount again
To fill the trees with another shade,
They must go down past things coming up.
They must go down into the dark decayed.

They must be pierced by flowers and put
Beneath the feet of dancing flowers.
However it is in some other world
I know that this is way in ours.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Random Photo


Here, out of my photo files, is a picture of Ellen sitting on her quilt.

This quilt was made for her by one of my overseas pen-pals, who mailed it to her for Ellen's first birthday. I treasure this quilt and pray it will be one that Ellen will treasure also.

This pen-pal is Victoria, from the Ukraine. She and I became pals way back when it was all still the USSR over there. We do not keep in touch much, and mostly by email now, but we are still friends nonetheless. She is quite the seamstress and does really beautiful work.

I treasure all of my friends and pen-friends, but this was one the most touching gifts we have ever received in the mail.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thirteen for Thursday 3

For this Thursday's list I hadn't had anything planned ahead of time. I mentioned to my husband at lunch that I needed to find 13 things to list. He suggested 13 things that make me smile.

And he listed off the first four...

Delightfully helpful man!

Thirteen Things That Make Me Smile

1) The honking of geese on their way north in spring.

2) Seeing the little radishes sprouting in spring.

(ummm...can you tell he's not looking forward to winter?)

3) A kid's laughter

4) Watching kittens playing.

5) A walk by the creek.

6) Finding a dollar bill in a jacket I haven't worn since last winter.

7) Watching Ellen "steering" the 4-wheeler when she's riding on it with her daddy.

8) Getting a good book in the mail.

9) Listening to some of the tales my husband tells about the locals.

10) Getting a good email from a friend.

11) Listening to the kids at church practice for their Christmas play.

12) Seeing a friend I haven't seen in a long time.

13) Ending this list.

It's harder than you'd think.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Whatever Wednesday

The past couple of months I have mostly been making fun of other people, so I guess I ought to poke fun at myself a bit.

In Sunday's post, (or was it Monday's, or Saturday's? I forget. Who cares?) I talked about ideas city people have when they come to the country. Heh. I forgot to throw in my personal example.

I came here with the fond idea of having a compost pile. You know, all the kitchen waste rotted down into good compost for the garden. Hmmmm...that didn't even last one night. Remember the wildlife I mentioned before? Yeah, well it didn't take long for them to all show up en masse; 'coons, 'possums and skunks, oh, my! Not to mention stray cats and what all else. Since I don't want to hassle with getting a compost bin, I just make sure I toss my kitchen scraps a long way from the house now and let 'em duke it out to get it.


Now, I should have added yesterday's event to yesterday's post, but I ran out of time. Here goes...

Generally I am not squeamish about bugs. I can handle them, pretty much, as long as I know that they are relatively harmless. But these babies...they just creep me out:



Walking sticks. According to Wikipedia there are some 3,000 species of them, and they make good pets. PETS? Urgh!

I don't know why they creep me out, but they do, however harmless they might be. (So do those nasty granddaddy longlegs, but that's for a different post. Maybe I just don't like long-legged critters) Anyway. Yesterday I was doing some busy-work outside, while Ellen watched Dora the Explorer-which keeps her out of my way when I am going in and out of the house.

I come back inside and am in the kitchen when I see something moving out of the corner of my eye. It's something on my shoulder.

GAAAAAHHHH, it's a walking stick going across my back!!!!!

EEEWWWW! EEEEEWWWWW!! EEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!

I reach over and try to flick it off. But these hideous critters have 6 long legs, on looooog bodies. Trying to flick one off is a joke, especially when you can barely reach it. As soon as one set of feet are detached, they just put them back down while you are trying to flick off the other set.

Far be it from me to actually TOUCH the THING with my fingers and pluck it off.

So, after a bit of a dance around the kitchen, accompanied by a bit of squawking, I peel off my shirt and pray no one comes to the door or the front window. Ha Ha Ha!

Then I get the broom and dustpan and get it out of the house.

There, now you can laugh at me!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tickle Me Tuesday 2

A friend sent me a clipping called "Desserts Gone Wrong." They are from a different blog called "Cake Wrecks." Please click on the link to go there and get a few good laughs.

Here's two examples:



A good lesson: always go in to the store to order your cake and WRITE DOWN what you want the cake to say. Otherwise they might mess up the spelling, or take you literally.



Ha Ha!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Produce in November


For the most part my garden is kaput. I have yet to clear all the vines and weeds and whatnot from the beds, but fresh produce is just a memory...almost.

This is a picture of a couple of our winter radishes. They are called "China Rose" and are an Asian variety. As you can see, they get huge. That is a quarter there next to them. You'd think that they'd be woody or dry and pithy but they are actually really good; crisp and juicy and very radish-y. Hubby likes radishes more than I do. But it's something to grow and something to put on the table for him.

Somewhere I have read that you can cook radishes much like you'd cook any other root vegetable, but I haven't, as yet, got up the courage or wherewithal to give it a try. And hubby hasn't been clamoring for mashed radishes or some such, so I think perhaps I will just leave it alone.

Today I assisted hubby with another culvert transport. He now has a couple of driveway grading projects lined up. It will keep him busy for a week or two, depending on how it goes. One driveway is super long and in horrible condition, so it may take longer than one might think. Another driveway is actually just a road going down to the river on a kind of resort place not too far from here. The people have only lived there a couple of months, it will be interesting to see what they do with it.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Random Meanderings

The church Christmas program practices are going strong on Wed nights. Thank you Lord, I am not in charge of it this year. We did fine last year, but this year they are having more of the middlers involved. I doubt my abilities to maintain control and sanity over a much larger group. The gal in charge is almost 20 yrs younger than I am...more power to her. Plus she knows what she's doing; last year I had no idea.

Hubby was over talking to the renters yesterday. They are really nice. They come from St Joseph, more like city types than country. It is funny how you can tell city folks from the things they do. They have this driveway alarm that they set up. It's attached to a tree and has some kind of laser that goes across the driveway so when a car enters there's a gizmo in the house that beeps, alerting them.

Well, yesterday the guy tells hubby that they have to have it shut off at night.

Why?

The deer were tripping it constantly, all night long. (HAHAHAHA)

Oh, and they have to keep it shut off during the day too.

Why?

The crows keep tripping it during the day. (hehehehe)

Ah yes. Out here we are pretty much set up in a clearing out in the woods. There's always wildlife lurking around somewhere to make things interesting.

Another case in point:

Some other neighbors moved in here from a California suburb somewhere. First thing most folks want (aside from dogs and/or horses) is a flock of chickens. They got some and just let them run loose, and got highly irritated because the coyotes would just dart out of the bushes at any time of night or day and have a chicken breakfast, lunch or dinner. Convenient for the coyote.

********

Hubby has started putting out hay for the cow critters. They are now being kept up in their winter pasture. Means lots of scrubbing of udders come milking time; they lay up in the mud and yuck.

We got a little itsy-bitsy calf on Friday. This is seriously the smallest Holstein calf I have seen since I have been here. I could twirl her around on the tip of my finger like a basketball, almost. She's cute, but I'll be bound she is a free-martin and won't breed. Cow probably lost a twin bull earlier on and we didn't notice. But you never know.

Weather has been exceptional this past week, warm, sunny, breezy. Had to turn on the AC during church this AM. Got toasty in there.

That's all for today I suppose. I am running out of interesting things to post about.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sunset on the Dairy


or....shades of jel at My Place.

I have been taking random photos around here the past few days, for those times when I have blogger's block and can't think of anything to post. The windmill at sunset always makes for a good photo op, provided there are a few clouds in the sky.

And that's all for today. It'll soon be time to fix something to eat, Ellen is cranky, the kittens are driving me nuts-I wish someone would take them both-and there is laundry to bring in.

Hopefully I will have something more interesting to blog about tomorrow.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wedded Bliss



It has been five years today. Can you believe it? We were reminiscing about it this morning. I told him I didn't even want to remember it. I was so glad when the whole thing was over with.

Never was I the type of girl who dreamt about her wedding, planned anything about it or even really thought about it at all. I could have cared less, really, especially by the time I was 36. Throw in an entire life change, a move across the country, leaving family, friends, and a job I love, then add wedding stress to it. Never again. Thank God I don't have to do it ever again. It was awful.

Don't get me wrong. Getting married was the best thing that ever happened to me. I am happy, have a wonderful husband, have a wonderful family, have wonderful in-laws, and am out in the country living the life I always wanted. But I am just as pleased that my wedding day was 5 years ago and that most of the bad memories of it are receding into the mists of time.

Ha.

Happy Anniversary Dear!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thirteen for Thursday #2

Here is my list of 13 for today. Some time ago a friend told me that she’d read or heard somewhere that the average cook has about 10 or so meals that they make on a regular basis, as most people don’t vary their diet much. I keep that in mind as I cook and try to make different things. But then when I think about it maybe that’s not so far from the truth really. So here are the top 13 main courses I fix.

1) Fried Chicken This is hubby's favorite meal, usually involving mashed spuds, gravy and biscuits.

2) Pressured Pork Not long after we got married hubby ensured that I had a small (I think it's 3 or 5 quart) pressure cooker so I could cook this particular meal. You season and brown pork chops, then add peeled chunked or sliced carrots and potatoes, season them, add some water. Then you pressure cook it all for 8 minutes. Voila, supper is through. Add a salad or a side for variety. So easy!

3) Hamburgers and taters Another of Hubby's favorites. Brown hamburgers in a large skillet, then remove. Put sliced spuds and a sliced onion in skillet, season them. Put meat on top of veggies. Add can of "cream of" soup, I use cream of chicken soup, undiluted. Then pour half can of water on top. Turn heat to med-low, cook for 30-45 minutes, until meat is done and taters are tender. Add salad...etc.

4) Moroccan Chicken Stew This is another fast one, actually, involving a mix of fun spices; cinnamon, cumin, paprika, and crushed coriander. Has chick peas, onion, raisins, crushed tomatoes, olives...very good.

5) Thai Peanut Stir Fry Another easy one.

6) Hamburger-Vegetable Soup The particular recipe I have uses soy sauce and molasses and makes for a yummy and filling soup.

7) Pot Pie Mine usually involve leftovers, both meat and veggies, that I have saved up by tossing in the freezer over the course of a week or so.

8) Meat balls I have said this before in this blog, but I make meat squares, by putting the recipe in a 9X13 inch pan and baking, then cutting them. They are great for lots of things; sweet and sour meatballs, meatballs in gravy, meatballs on homemade pizzas...etc. Your cooking imagination is the only limit.

9) Baked meats...chicken, pork, whatever. I usually avoid beef cuts, simply because we aren't big beef eaters and I dunno how to fix it correctly anyway.

10) Barbecue pressure chicken This also calls for the pressure cooker; I use a recipe that came with it. Quick and easy, about 20 minutes from start to finish.

11) Pizza I make my own crust and top with a multitude of things...though I usually avoid any kind of tomato sauce-based theme, as it were. Sometimes I have made chicken pizza using cream of chicken soup as the base.

12) Calzones These are fun and too. They also freeze well when you have leftovers. Again, I use my own pizza crust and stuff with lots of different fillings.

13) Lasagna I use a bake and freeze recipe that does not require the noodles to be cooked beforehand. Easy, easy, easy. But takes a bit more prep than any other dish I fix.


And of course I do not hold to this list exclusively, mind you. Lots of times we have breakfast for supper; waffles or pancakes, eggs, fried ham...etc. I also fix various casseroles, too, off and on. So I think I do a pretty good job of mixing it up.

That's my 13 for Thursday!

Little Wood Getter


This pic is from yesterday. For some reason it just wouldn't download yesterday for my blog.

She looks pleased as punch, doens't she?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cutting and gathering

Today brought a couple more adventures...all involving wood.

First off this morning, after chores and Ellen's breakfast we got ready and went up the road to trim limbs from hubby's aunt's roadway. This involved my driving the big diesel flatbed in stops and starts up the road whilst hubby, standing on the bed; banged on the roof, hollered directions (back up, go forward, turn sharp to that hawthorn, ease up to that oak...etc) and did the sawing, and Ellen squalled her head off about 75 percent of the time because she didn't like all the noise. Hubby set the air brake the first stop before he got out and that set her off but good. She did NOT like it at all. But it didn't take us long and there at the end she was getting used to it.

After we came back from that hubby had to go get another load of dry walnut wood for Ger. (Ger being what Ellen calls her grandmother. She came up with it all on her own, just when she was first starting to talk.)

Hubby had it all cut by the time we got there, so all we had to do was pick it up and load it on the trailer. Ellen could get into this really well. She loved carting around the little pieces.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Post number 2 for the day

We had a teeny adventure today. At least it was an adventure for Ellen. We went down to the creek bottoms and got a load of wood. Hubby took the big blue tractor, so we didn't have any horrible adventures like he had last month. (click here)

Here's the view I had on the way down; Ellen's tousled head and hubby on the tractor.



I took Ellen on the 4-wheeler. She loved it. She always loves going down there, namely because she loves to go to the creek and throw rocks in the water. So after we'd helped load the wood, I took her to the creek for a bit.



There is something mesmerizing about water. It is a necessity of course; life seems to congregate around it. But there is also something about running water that offers a certain tranquility. I love to walk out into the middle of the creek and stand there and watch the eddies around the rocks, to listen to it chuckling along. The caw of a crow, the creak of a cricket...it all adds up to peace of mind.

Tickle Me Tuesday

After two days of ranting here I thought it'd be a good day for a laugh or two.

Here are some jokes. I started off with a lawyer joke, the rest are farmer jokes. Enjoy.

Free haircuts
A barber gave a haircut to a priest one day. The priest tried to pay for the haircut, but the barber refused, saying, "You do God’s work." The next morning the barber found a dozen bibles at the door to his shop.

A policeman came to the barber for a haircut, and again the barber refused to pay, saying, "You protect the public." The next morning the barber found a dozen doughnuts at the door to his shop.

A lawyer came to the barber for a haircut, and again the barber refused payment, saying, "You serve the justice system." The next morning the barber found a dozen lawyers waiting for a free haircut.

Settling a cow case
A big-city lawyer was representing the railroad in a lawsuit filed by an old rancher. The rancher's prize bull was missing from the section through which the railroad passed. The rancher only wanted to be paid the fair value of the bull.

The case was scheduled to be tried before the justice of the peace in the back room of the general store.

The attorney for the railroad immediately cornered the rancher and tried to get him to settle out of court. The lawyer did his best selling job, and finally the rancher agreed to take half of what he was asking.

After the rancher had signed the release and took the check, the young lawyer couldn't resist gloating a little over his success, telling the rancher, "You know, I hate to tell you this, old man, but I put one over on you in there. I couldn't have won the case. The engineer was asleep and the fireman was in the caboose when the train went through your ranch that morning. I didn't have one witness to put on the stand. I bluffed you!"

The old rancher replied, "Well, I'll tell you, young feller, I was a little worried about winning that case myself, because that durned bull came home this morning."

Celebrating an event
An aged farmer and his wife were leaning against the edge of their pig-pen when the old woman wistfully recalled that the next week would mark their golden wedding anniversary.

"Let's have a party, Homer," she suggested. "Let's kill a pig."

The farmer scratched his grizzled head. "Gee, Ethel," he finally answered, "I don't see why the pig should take the blame for something that happened fifty years ago."

Gathering chickens
The farmer's son was returning from the market with the crate of chicken's his father had entrusted to him, when all of a sudden the box fell and broke open. Chickens scurried off in different directions, but the determined boy walked all over the neighborhood scooping up the wayward birds and returning them to the repaired crate. Hoping he had found them all, the boy reluctantly returned home, expecting the worst.

"Pa, the chickens got loose," the boy confessed sadly, "but I managed to find all twelve of them."

"Well, you did real good, son," the farmer beamed. "You left with seven."

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hunt'n Seaz'n

Yep; drop the "ing" and slur the "season". The bangs for a big buck are now being heard in our land. (And does too I believe.) Put'cher hunter orange caps on, tuck in yer chaw and go out and be a weekend warrior. Or whatever they call it.

This is the season where we get invaded by folks from out of town who think they are bigshots because they bought a hunting license and are going to go and get a big one.

There are kind of two unspoken factions here: the locals and the "furriners." The locals are the ones who oftentimes hunt, not for sport, but for their freezers. The "furriners" are the ones who come in here from out of town...sometimes out of state...and actually lease, that's right...LEASE land to hunt on.

If you are a local leasing your land, it's kind of funny. There's more than one way to get money from a city slicker. If it's someone who's come in, bought up the land, lives out of town and then leases it...weeeellll, that's kind of annoying. Lots of land around here has been hunted on by families for generations, then to have someone suddenly lease it out to an out-of-towner and deny access to anyone else is rather ummm....I am not sure what you'd call it, but it's not purty, not real neighborly-like, if you know what I mean.

About this time of year people who've moved in from other parts start slopping around the purple "no trespassing" paint on their trees and fence posts. And this tends to get the locals' backs up as well. There was a time when land was open, people used common courtesy when hunting, kept out of other folks' way, respected other folks' property...etc. But those times, sadly, are gone.

And to top it all of there's the MDC (Missouri Department of Conservation) that says that it doesn't matter if the dratted deer have been destroying your garden all summer and fall, if you accidentally hit one with your car you need to call them and get an OK from them to be able butcher it. Because, you see, these nuisance deer belong to MDC, and you'd best notify them of what you are doing to their property. But this could become a whole 'nother rant.

Ha ha.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

It's Official



National Blog Posting Month is on.

**********

Today in church the pastor spoke about "practical" matters, as he has been doing the past few weeks. He quoted Dr Laura (whoever she is-not having a TV I am ignorant of such matters, though I recall hearing the name I believe)as saying something along the lines of:

"A society is only as moral as its women allow it to be."

A quote that he agreed with. And as I ponder it, I would suppose it certainly has truth in it, though I believe that there are other things to be factored in. Women are not always in control of legislation, which to a certain extent controls morality. But if fashion has anything to do with it I would say yes, because I believe women's fashions are nearing the point of being as slutty as possible without breaking the public indecency laws.

You know it is SO HARD to try and blog about a serious issue with a squirmy 2.75 year old on your lap.

Well, that's my deep thought for Sunday.

Happy blogging everyone. Have a great month!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween

To answer the anticipated question; one I answered several times yesterday in town....no, I am not taking Ellen trick-or-treating. No, I did not even get or make her a costume. I seriously doubt she'd get anything out of going around begging for candy, except more sugary things that she doesn't need anyway. And I also doubt my ability to get her to dress up in anything odd looking anyway. She is proving to be picky about choosing what clothes she wears already.

I can't recall as I ever had the urge to go trick-or-treating when I was a kid. In gradeschool I remember dressing up because we had some stupid Halloween parade we had to do every year, from K through 6th grade I believe. But I was too naive back then to realize how dumb that was.

Once in Jr High (back in my day there was no such thing as "middle school")I went over and spent the night with a friend and we dressed up and went trick-or-treating. But that was it. It was fun, and I remember that night quite clearly. One guy made us each tell a joke before he'd give us anything.

When Ellen gets bigger and in school I will probably take her to some school party or something and if she wants to dress up she may, but I am not going to teach my kid to go begging every year. She gets enough without going out and begging for it.

That's my bah-humbug holiday story. Ha!

Friday, October 30, 2009

The last Friday of the month...

Last night I carved Ellen's pumpkin. She was more fascinated with what came out of it, rather than with the face I made in it. She keeps looking at the pumpkin and asking about what came out of it. I guess she had the idea it was hollow or something.

Today we went to town, Ellen and I, and as usual we went to the bank. We came out loaded down. She got her usual bag of popcorn, then a nice bank lady gave her a little bag of candy, and on the way out we got ourselves two of their free calendars.

I have joined NaBloPoMo for next month. I actually didn't join this month, which is a shame, because unless there is a problem tomorrow I will have succeeded at blogging every day.

There is no theme for November blogging, so I am thinking of what to blog about. Last year I saved up mail order catalogs for a week. This time I think I will try for the whole month and see what I get. Ha!

This morning before we went to town, we had to round up a cow from the dry herd up the road. This is always great fun after it has been raining off and on for 2 weeks because the mud in the corral is over your head...well, not really, but you don't escape unscathed. Hubby had to use the tractor instead of the truck to take the trailer up there and get her because the truck wouldn't have worked in the mud, even the 4W drive wouldn't have helped.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thirteen for Thursday

(I borrowed this concept from the Domestic Bliss blog, who borrowed it from Roots and Rings...I just modified it a bit, but want to give credit where credit is due.)

Thirteen for Thursday


1. What are you going to be for Halloween?

I'm going to be answering the door, if anyone comes at all. Usually we have only one family come and they are relatives.


2. Have you ever been on television?


Ummm...yes, inadvertently. Once in my former life in Portland, when I worked with the sheriff's department I had to go to a courtroom to get paperwork. It just so happened that they were having this big arraignment on some major newsworthy criminal, the courtroom was jammed with the news media. A co-worker and I both went together (we were too chicken to go by ourselves and get the pprwrk-haha) and ended up on the evening news on one channel.

3. Do you have a toilet paper preference?

The flap should hang down over the top. I prefer 2-ply, white.

4. When you’re pregnant, will you find out the sex of the baby? (Or if you’ve already had babies, did you find out the sex?) Why or why not?

We didn't find out the sex of the baby. Hubby likened that to opening a Christmas present before Christmas.

5. What are three items that every kitchen must have?

A very sharp never-needs-sharpening knife, a cast iron skillet, and someone other than myself to do the cleaning up.

6. Do you enjoy Christmas shopping?

Yes. Most of the time....as long as I have the money.

7. What is your go-to recipe? (The thing you cook more than anything else because it’s easy and mindless.) Please share the recipe.

Weeeeellll...I make my own meatballs (except mine are meat squares because I am too lazy to make up all those annoying little balls. I make up my meatball recipe, smoosh it into a 9X13 inch pan, bake until done and then cut up squares.) So when I am lacking imagination to think of something for supper. I heat up the meatballs in gravy, mash 'taters and have some sort of veggie.

Orrr...this is currently my favorite recipe: Brown boneless chicken breasts or tenders in skillet. Top with a large sliced onion. Mix 1 large (26-28 oz) can spaghetti sauce w/ 1/4 cup brown sugar, pour over chicken and onion, simmer for about 30 minutes or until juices run clear. Cook pasta, whatever kind you prefer. Serve chicken over warm pasta, along with veggies and whatever else you'd like. The great thing about this is that if you make too much, or have lots left over; it freezes well. Just thaw and enjoy again next week.

8. What position do you sleep in; back or side?


Side

9. How do you feel about Tom Cruise?

I dunno if I have ever even seen a Tom Cruise movie. I really don't have much of an opinion on him.

10. What books are in your “books to read” stack?

La, child, there are so many I'd have to list the type I don't like to read first. Ha. I am trying to slowly read all the "classics" so I can have an idea of what to guide Ellen into as she gets older.

11. How many times have you been out of the country?


Twice. Once to Mexico and once to Malaysia

12. If you could take a month's vacation in Hawaii or Alaska, where would you go?

Definitely Alaska. I have never had the desire to go to Hawaii. I'd prefer a cruise in Alaska or parts north like that. I want to see a glacier calve, watch the grizzlies fishing for salmon...that kind of thing.

13. What Internet site do you like to lurk in?

Homesteading Today. Though there are times I have lots of questions, too. And at this time of year they have the Christmas ornament exchange, where you sign up and exchange ornaments with someone. It's fun. They also have a Christmas card exchange, but I already send out so many cards that adding another 50 to the list would be insane.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hmmm...

Only 10 minutes to think of something trenchant to post for today. Tonight I will be going to church, so I won't have time to blog. Oops.

Well, for one thing. I don't think I like this new template, too much green, but I don't have time to change it now and I dunno what I'd like. I tried most all of the one offered and didn't like them much. Perhaps I'll just go back to what I've had the past year and a half. But I got bored with that. I guess I could get fancy with it, but since I am on dial-up those fancy ones take TOO long to come up.

Oh, well.

I made Irish Soda bread today. It's pretty good. I like bread. I wish I didn't like bread, but I do. It smells so good when it's baking.

Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Icky Apples

What does one do with icky apples?

A week or so ago I bought one of those bags of apples that were on sale at our local grocery store. They were on sale for a reason. Even Ellen wouldn't eat them. They are called "Paula Red," have very white flesh, and are terribly mushy and tasteless. Normally I go for the "Fuji" every time, but these, as I said, were at a bargain price. I must remember when I see a bargain at this store that they are the ones that put outdated food items (prepackaged stuff, like granola bars, International Food Coffees...etc) and even medications in their bargain bins for sale.

Anyway. I took the icky apples, peeled and sliced them, mixed a bit of sugar and cinnamon with them, put them in a pan, topped them with a mix of oatmeal, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon and butter and popped 'em in the oven.

They were quite palatable after they emerged.

Apple Crisp is such a very "autumn" thing to do, don't you think?

Monday, October 26, 2009

I made some butter...

Not that this is anything new really. I made up quite a bit of butter about three years ago, before Ellen was born. But this time I actually put it on the table to use. Mostly I'd used the butter I made previously for cooking and baking. At this time of year though the butterfat content of the milk tends to go up, since they aren't eating as much green grass, so I have quite a bit more cream to work with instead of putting it in coffee or cooking with it.

Hubby really liked the butter this time, so much so that I made another batch. He took some down for his mom and sister to try. He said when his Grandad used to have a cow, they'd get "cow butter" from them. But that it tasted "cow-y." He said this didn't taste cow-y. I said, "well, it's just sweet cream butter." I don't let the cream clabber first. Blech! Besides, when it is sweet, you can just put the "buttermilk" right into the milk jug and never know the difference. It's just REALLY skimmed milk.

The main trouble I have is getting the milk out of the butter and figuring out how much salt to put in it. I think I did a bit better with the salt on this second batch, but it was sure hard to get the liquid out of it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Big News, Big News!!

At least if you have lived in this area before this might be big news for you.

HA.

Someone bought the Windyville store, and she plans on opening it again. Yesterday she had a big yard sale there. She bought the big white house kitty-corner from the store and has lived there about a year.

There are some who remain skeptical about the whole deal, but we all wish her the best with her venture. They, she and her family, have come to our church once or twice and seem to be nice people, though I haven't met them. She is shooting for a grand opening in December.

Other news:

We had our monthly singing at church this evening. Every last Sunday of the month we do that. It was very nice. Afterwards there are treats in the back that everyone has contributed. It's great to get together and have fun like that, on an informal basis. Not that we are a formal church in any sense of the word. There's a father and son team there that play in a popular local band called "Potter's Wheel." They have played at Silver Dollar City, just a couple of weeks ago, I believe. Anyway, they do bluegrass gospel and really know how to get with it.

It has been raining most all day. And it's supposed to rain most of the coming week. Weird. We are hoping it doesn't continue on like this all winter; it would add up to quite a bit of snow and ice if it does.

Out of time for now.

Good night!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hooray for Agriculture!

I am tired of the same old lists of questions going around on Facebook and on email. I made this list up myself…have some fun with it. Feel free to add your own questions and pass it around.

Hooray for Agriculture!

1. Do you live on a farm? Yep, dairy.

2. What kinds of ag animals have you ever owned or raised?
Cows. At various different times while growing up we had horses, cows, rabbits, chickens, ducks, goats and one sad sheep.

3. Ever raised crops other than regular veggie garden? Once my dad raised about a quarter acre of wheat. Made us thresh it by hand too. I wasn’t impressed.

4. Ever been injured on the farm or by a farm animal? Once when I stayed overnight with my cousin one of her horses bit me. I don’t think I ever told her about it though. (That would be ML in ID-of course this was in CA at the time) I’ve never cared for horses since then.

5. Ever done any showing of your animals? Won any medals? No, never had anything I wanted to show.

6. Ever butchered your own animals? Do you eat what you sell? Ummm…I barely remember once my dad had a bull butchered. I was quite young at the time and had no idea what had really happened. I just remember people talking about it years after the fact. Here on the dairy we don’t raise our own meat. But, yes we drink the milk we produce.

7. Besides beef or poultry what other kinds of ag animals have you ever eaten? Goat and rabbit. They were given to us I believe.

8. Anything ever happened on the farm that made you laugh out loud? Many, many things. Once hubby sneezed so loud out in the corral that he scared the bull, who was dozing on his feet, and the bull did a cartoonish WHOOPA-WHOOPA thing with his feet and fell to his knees.

9. Ever had to help with the birth of an animal? Yes. I have watched hubby deliver calves often. Once out in the field the cow wouldn’t herd to the corral, she just lay down in a dozer pile. We couldn’t her to the trailer so hubby just hooked the ropes to the calf’s hooves, and we both dug in our heels and did a heavie-ho thing until the calf came out.

10. Ever raised any exotic ag animals? (Buffalo, ostrich, llamas…etc) No

11. Which do you think smells worse: a turkey farm or a cow lot? It definitely HAS to be the turkey farm!

12. Ever driven a tractor? Name off the brand names you have driven. Yes. Allis-Chalmer, Oliver,

13. Have you ever mowed, raked or baled hay? No, not yet, but I am sure it’s coming. I almost did some raking until it rained the night before.

14. Have you ever done any brush-hogging? Oh, yes, several hours’ worth.

15. Own or drive anything other than a pickup truck? Nope, no four-door vehicles on this dairy farm.

Friday, October 23, 2009

This week is almost over...

Thank God.

What random mundane dairy details can I relate today?

With his undefeatable determination hubby got that load of wood up the hill today and got it split and stacked.

I did the dreaded weekly shopping trip today. Ellen actually did really well; she didn't even throw a fit. But then again, we only went to 2 stores.

Yesterday I tried a new cake recipe. Actually I have had the recipe for awhile, just never tried it before. It's called Candy Bar Cake and involves a layer of caramel, choco chips and nuts in the center of the cake. I didn't have a devil's food cake mix, or a box of instant choco pudding, so I used a German Chocolate mix and a box of vanilla pudding, and it seemed to do well. Hubby doesn't care for nuts in things, so I skipped those too. It was still really good, as far as cake goes. I'm not much of a cake fan.

It has been blowing and raining off and on the past couple of days, so we have a veritible carpet of leaves all over. We are probably going to mow them this year, instead of burn them.

I am about ready to start advertising these kittens, to get rid of them, that is. Though I doubt anyone will want the little gray one. He is lame in one leg, doesn't use it at all. And the orange one is so homely, not to mention a female. Well, we shall see.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I feel so bad...

Last night at church I heard some really sad news. One of the families from church lost a family member (I think it was a cousin, but not sure)to a freak accident. The man took his 8 year old son out to cut wood on Tuesday. A tree fell on the father and killed him, in front of his son. So here I was on Tues celebrating my husband's escape from a freak death and somewhere in the area on the same day a lady lost her husband and a little boy saw his father killed. (The family is from Urbana and is new to the church so I don't know where this happened or even remember the name that was mentioned.)

On my Facebook entry one neighbor (who knows what she's talking about) commented that widowhood happens in the strangest ways and often there's no warning. And that's the truth. Like I said in one of my responses; often it's the everyday things that will get you. The things you do on an everday basis that you start taking for granted, and suddenly something weird happens and BAM! You are gone. It pays to be ready to go.

For instance I think it was just a week or two ago, during a storm a dairyman from Phillipsburg went out to check on a fresh cow and calf. He was struck by lightning and killed. And it wasn't in a major storm, just a little thunder off to the west or north. So now his widow and 17 year old son are going to make a go of it and try to keep the dairy going. The man was only 41, from Mexico. He'd just got his citizenship. I go out and do chores in storms all the time. It's scary.

We get "The Budget" which is the Amish/Mennonite weekly newspaper. I'd never thought about it before but they live a highly dangerous lifestyle. We are forever reading about freak accidents they have with horses, machinery, motor vehicles hitting their buggies; you name it. So many people maimed or killed by things they do every day.

Well, enough on the depressing stuff. Whoever you are, wherever you are: BE CAREFUL!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Pic from the Recent Past


Here is a picture I took back not long after we were married. We were doing some landscaping out back here and hubby was using the Oliver tractor to blade out a pile of dirt. So this is what it looked like before.

I haven't taken a pic of it since he got it turned over. But this morning I heard it chugging up the hill, a little the worse for wear, but still going. He'd taken the hood off of it, and the front white grill, along with the exhaust pipe. As you might imagine it leaked quite a bit of fluids all over, so when he initially tried to start it there was smoke and it wouldn't fire straight off. He took one spark plug out, tried it again and said a jet of flame shot out to the side-a combo of gas and oil in it. He hopped off and blew on it to get it out. *sigh* But then it did fine, except for a bit more smoking. Amazingly enough neither of the two lights were broken or even bent at all. You can just barely see them mounted on either side just over the back wheels.

Poor little feller, he'll probably never look the same again.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Keep us Safe..."

This is something we usually pray over our breakfast every day. And more than once in the past 5 years I have lived on the dairy, I have been thankful that the Lord hears our prayers.

Today was a great example of that. It was about 1 pm and hubby comes in the door and announces that I almost became a widow this afternoon. Hmmm...

He went down into the creek bottoms to get a load of firewood. The road back up is very steep and, after the recent rains, very muddy. Something went wrong with the little Oliver tractor; he started slipping backwards, the clutch started slipping too, and it just kept going backwards until it was jack-knifed. The wood trailer was up on top of the tractor, which was tipped over. Here is what it looked like initially:



It could so easily have gone straight over on him. We brought the other tractor down and tried to pull the Oliver out from under the trailer. It just wouldn't work because the trailer was wedged on the back wheel of the Oliver. This is what that looked like:



Then hubby tried to push the trailer off of the tractor, using the hayspike. But that wouldn't work either. You can't really see in the pictures but it's right on the edge of a little ravine. But as he was pushing at it the whole shebang started slipping and over the embankment it went. I nearly cried. The poor Oliver:



He shook his head, looked at it a bit, then went and got the battery out of it and looked at it again. One of his first comments was; "That's a pretty good hitch."



The perspective is kind of weird in this photo, but if you look closely you can see that this is the belly of the Oliver and the hitch is bent clear back over to the left, that is the trailer tongue over on the left.

Anyway. An hour later the Oliver, a bit battered with the hood and radiator skewed a bit, was up on all fours again. Somehow he used the bulldozer to get it righted. The steering wheel wasn't even bent. He can't start it yet because the fan would hit metal, but once that's adjusted it'll be hauling wood again. Maybe not from the creek bottoms though...

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Lovely Fall Day

It's quite warm today; almost 70 degrees. Kind of breezy, but that's nice. The clothes sure dried fast.

The bugs are really out flying around. The Asian lady bugs are swarming at the doors and windows. Ugh! They stink when you squish them.

Hubby and I have been getting in wood and doing other winterizing things. I have to clean out the garden beds. Plus we have leaf raking and mowing to look forward to. After what happened to his Aunt last year I doubt we will try burning any this year. I am sure she won't burn any either; at least not alone again.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another random photo...


I just went to my picture files, clicked on one and voila, Boston Cream Pie...the fast way. I dunno but what I have posted this pic on here before. It looks good; maybe I should try it again.

I need to bake a cake tomorrow. I want to try something different. I need to get back into trying to make pies; real pies. The last time I made a pie, outside of a pumpkin pie for Christmas last year, I forgot the sugar in it. *sigh* Hubby said that zucchini pie without the sugar resembles what a green persimmon pie might taste like. HA!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What kind of plant is this?


Actually it's a vegetable. You can see that this pic was taken back in June when it first started coming on, by now there are so many shoots you can't see the ground. This is what asparagus does when you don't pick it. I just got them this last spring and you aren't supposed to pick them until the 3rd year after the seed was sown. So I will be able to pick them this coming spring, as I got them as 1 yr root stock. I can't wait to have another vegetable FREE from the garden.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Calzone


For want of anything else to post I have been taking random pictures of things. Here is a picture of supper the other night.

I like making these because I it makes up a double recipe for us. I cook and freeze half and then take a break from cooking a couple of nights down the road. When I make up this recipe it usually makes four meals for us, so it's fairly economical. I just pair it with homegrown veggies or a salad. Hubby usually likes the fresh stuff from the garden; like sliced tomatoes, or peppers or radishes. Right now the winter radishes are coming along nicely.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Story Time


This was a shot I couldn't resist. Ellen loves to read. She will set up her stuffed animals and dolls and read to them. Sometimes just one or two, sometimes a whole line up. This time she decided to read to the kitten, and the kitten seems to be very attentive.

This yellow kitten continues to amaze me. I am quite sure she must have been the runt of the litter and didn't get any colostrum before she and her litter mates were chucked off to the side of the road. She just seems more frail and is just a bit behind in her milestones. The grey kitten is now weaned off the bottle, but this yellow one just doesn't quite get how to lap milk up yet. She does eat some solids, but not enough.

Anyway, yesterday just before I went to church last night she started acting weird; acted weak like she couldn't walk and was barfing and well, going from the other end as well. I thought she was a goner. But when I came home she acted weak a bit still, but was hungry and looking for food. Today she is right as rain. You wouldn't know anything was wrong. Hmmm...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sundog



While we were on the hayride Saturday evening we were happily putt-putting along through the pasture when someone pointed out to me what was happening with the sun.

To the left of the setting sun appeared a seemingly second sun. Sometimes they will occur on both sides of the sun. This phenomena is called a "sundog" and is a great forecaster of rain. Somehow the moisture in the atmosphere causes a sundog to occur.

But, sure enough, in less than 36 hours it was raining. And it has been overcast here ever since. Not to mention being drizzly and wet as well. HA!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hayride Chapter Two

OK. To begin where we left off. After we saw the demons cast out of the crazy man we went putt-putting over to do the traditional tug of war; which represented the battle between good and evil. This picture is the losing side, and ironically enough that would be the real and bonefide County Sheriff as the anchor on the losing side. He picks his sides much better in real life, rest assured of that.



After the evil side was defeated; twice, just to be sure they were trounced good and proper, we went to where Saul and Stephen were hanging out in one of the back pastures. Saul was happy to have us show up so the kids could help him stone Stephen with the bucket of black water balloons sitting conveniently at hand. Of course the kids were happy to comply. And Stephen, played by one of Ellen's cousins, was a good sport because despite the sunshine, it was very cool and windy that evening. However, I managed to catch a picture of Stephen apparently losing his cool and hurling a "stone" back at someone. This is actually very funny because he is the nicest, most laid-back guy in the church, and to catch him looking mean is a rare thing.



Once Stephen was soaked good and proper we loaded back up again and headed off to the pumpkin patch. The host family actually grows these, along with little decorative gourds for the kids to take home every year. Ellen was quite proud of her prize and nearly had a fit when I set it down to pick up a couple of gourds. She insisted we carry her pumpkin in our laps the rest of the ride.



After getting pumpkins we headed off to the actual fish fry. It was very nice and everyone contributed something, so there was so much food there. Afterwards, for the younger ones, they had a "Candy in the Haystack" scramble. They had 2 different piles of hay that they hid candy in. Each child was given a small paper sack and on the count of three they all dove in. Ellen was too shy to do that, but she got some of the candy, snagged by a couple of caring adults.



All in all we had a wonderful time and are looking forward to next year already.