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Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall is finally here...

The acorns are clunking onto the buildings. The leaves are falling, though they haven't started to turn nice colors yet.

I dug my sweet potatoes week before last and have used a few of them. I got about a 5 gallon bucket of them. They are nice to have on hand, so expensive in the stores. I made some sweet potato biscuits. They are pretty good, husband liked them.

Ellen has learned how to open the fridge. So far she hasn't made a habit of it, but soon I will have to install a lock on the door. One of her "things" now is getting into the laundry basket, finding a pair of my underwear, sticking her head through a leg hole and wearing them around. I now make sure and put a clean pair on the edge where she can get them. She has figured out how to get in and out of her rocking chair and likes doing that off and on. She has figured out how to get off of the little rocking pony, but she can't figure out how to get back on so she sits there and howls until I put her on. Fortunately she gets tired of that game after a few on and offs.

Husband has been busy with his other business. He actually used the road grader last week. He also installed a pump and all the hookups and gadgets in a new well, plus he hauled a couple loads of gravel and a load of topsoil. But he says the topsoil is pretty much kaput where he is getting it, so he won't haul any more of that I don't believe. Oh, yes, and he sold a bunch of pipes and wires to get a mobile hooked up for a guy.

The cows have been busy too. I now have 8 heifer calves on the bottle, plus we have sold a couple of bulls, with another little bull out there to go just as of yesterday.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Potty Post; vs. city ways of "going"

(Disclaimer: if you are offended or grossed out by potty humor or things of a more visceral nature perhaps you should skip this post, but it IS a different kind of potty humor so read on if you dare.)

Yesterday evening along about 6 PM a little fancied-up S-10 pickup truck went by here slowly and then pulled into the driveway and parked. Hubby was out in the barn milking so I just peeked out the window to see what was going on. The window was open so I could hear some guy on the phone talking about how they had a flat and no way to fix it, so please come help...then he gave directions.

Because I knew hubby would be curious as to what was going on, I picked up the phone to call him out in the barn. He was already on the phone with one of his buddies so I just butted into the conversation and advised him. (Of course at this point the buddy had to tell one of his stories about some drunk dude knocking on his door at 1 AM wanting to borrow gas to get home on. It's inevitable that when you have something like this happen someone has to "one up" you by telling a worse scenario story.)

So about 10 minutes later I see one of these guys walking across the lawn to the front door. He was a young "kid," maybe late teens, early 20s and reeking of cigarette smoke. He needed to use the restroom. Said they'd run over a pair of pliers and their help was an hour away. So I let him in. He reminded me of my oldest nephew in some ways.

He left and then 20 minutes or so later hubby called me on the phone to tell me it was time for me to come out and feed the calves. He also wanted to know why the guy had come to the front door. When I told him he was incredulous. "What?! He came to a stranger's house to use the restroom? Hasn't he ever heard of a bush?" I said: "Well, he must be a city boy." Hubby just shook his head in bemusement.

To be perfectly honest, I hadn't thought anything about it. But really; across from us is about 20 acres of heavily wooded and brushy oak forest. I could go out and squat 10 feet from the road and no one would see me. Of course there is always the copperhead and poison ivy risk...but hey, live life on edge sometimes, right?

By the time I had got the baby ready and arrived at the barn hubby had called his buddy back and related the audicity of this kid had; to use a stranger's restroom. Of course the buddy had a story to top it.

Seems when he was a kid some of his cousins from Kansas City came down and they were all playing outside. One little guy (age unknown) wanted to go in to use the facilities. They just told him to go behind a bush. So he did. Only thing is he had to go #2 and he had never been taught the concept of squatting. So he sat flat of his butt and went.

And there you have some examples of the differences between city and country "going."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Hole in the Ground-Maiden Voyage

I seem to be getting worse about blogging, but here I am back again.

There has been quite a bit of stuff going on; some of it funny, some not. But I just am having trouble finding or making a chunk of time to get on the computer.

Anyway. I will blog about today's adventure while it's fresh on my mind.

Hubby has been working on being able to drill wells. He doesn't (I don't think) want to get certified to drill OTHER people's wells, but wants to be able to drill wells on his own property. Anyway. He has had this well drill for several years now and has been working on it off and on as he has time.

Today he had everything set up to poke a hole in the ground out near Windyville on a test run. So we chucked the baby off to her granny's and off we went.

As you can see we are in the middle of a thistle patch; so much so that you can just barely see my husband there at the right of the drill. The green tower is the well drill fully extended. My husband (to give you an idea of height, he's almost 6 foot 2 inches tall) is standing at the control area where there are lots of fun levers and switches to pull and push.

He had drilled down about 6 feet before he went and got me to help him. But at this point he was still drilling down further before my job would start. The red tank at the left is a water tank that is hooked up to the drill. Once you get to a certain point you pump water into the hole to "lubricate" the drill bit. Then you get mud shooting out of the hole. (I wish he'd let me shoot a pic of him AFTER that happened-in this pic you can kind of see it there under the truck.) My job was to pull the mud away from the hole and direct the flow.

He drilled down about 14 feet and was instructing me as to what I needed to do when suddenly there was this massive bang and whoosh and we bothed jumped a mile.

We'd blown an air hose. *sigh* So he will have to fix that tomorrow or next day and we will try to complete the whole deal.

I tell you what though; when you are standing under a monster machine like that and it makes a big bang; you get a real adrenaline rush, that's for sure.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fire from the garden...

This past spring my pen pal from the Czech Republic and I exchanged seeds. She sent me a packet of pepper seeds; called ram's horn or paprika peppers. I can't find the packet at the moment to tell you for sure. I decided to grow them and planted a bunch of them. I had never grown peppers from seed before and was pleasantly surprised they turned out so successfully.
Now, however, they are producing quite profusely and I am not sure what to do with them.
As my husband would say, they are "firecracker" hot, and we don't "do" hot and spicy stuff. I cut up a few of them to freeze (I do that with my green peppers too. Frozen peppers do well in stir fries and other cooked dishes) and didn't use gloves; my hands burned for 3-4 hours afterwards; a lesson learned. I have given some away to folks at church and to a neighbor, but these 6 or 7 plants are producing so abundantly I am afraid I am going to have to toss some of them. Maybe I will freeze some more of them. I wish I could find a fancy decorative jar and figure out how to pickle some; they are beautiful and would look nice in on the shelf.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Watermelon Salsa and other things

Haven't had much time on computer lately and when I AM on here this blogger deal gives me a bad time. Doesn't like to take my posts for some reason.

Anyway. Mother in law had quite a few watermelons so I tried a new recipe; this watermelon salsa. It's pretty easy, but dunno what I will use it on. You can Google and get tons of varieties of watermelon salsas. This version actually has one cup of chopped cantaloupe to go along with the 3 cups of chopped watermelon.
Dairy news:
August was a new heifer calf month; we got 4 of them, about one every week seemed like. Then I went up the road yesterday and there is yet another little heifer up there. Plus there are about 2 or 3 other cows close to calving. Hopefully a couple of them will be bull calves, we are running out of room for heifers.
We had two escapee incidents last week. One was caused by a dead tree falling on the fence. Hubby went out and there were 6 weaner calves trotting around by the hay shed. They were relatively easy to round up, but then there was the fence to repair.
The other incident was when hubby went to get a cow and calf pair. Usually we can put the calf in a trailer behind the 4-wheeler and the cow will follow along. He will then lead the cow from one field to the other through the gates. This time it didn't work and he spent an hour chasing the cow up and down the road along the fence line. He finally came and got me to help, after he had worked himself into a frenzy. I didn't say anything because he was already grumpy but my question was why didn't he come get me sooner? In these cases usually it's because you KNOW that the dumb cow KNOWS exactly where she needs to go but she won't go in the 7 foot wide gate because she wouldn't want to do anything convenient for you, so she runs up and down the fence row rubbing on the barbed wire and bloodying herself up trying to get in that way. You just keep on because you are SURE that she will eventually hit the hole on accident.
Ellen news:
Ellen still is cruising around the furniture; refuses to let go and walk on her own. I can hold out my hands to her a couple feet away and beckon her to come to me, but she just shakes her head, "no."
She is at the whiny stage and it's driving me nuts. When something won't do what she wants it to do for her, she starts to whine and carry on.
She now has a trick that just cracks me up; she likes to get into the laundry basket and find a pair of my underwear; she puts them around her neck and crawls through the house as proud as a peacock. I take them away and she squalls, so I just give her a clean pair and let her have her fun.
Books are one of her favorite entertainments. She loves to look at them and she has 6 or 7 favorites that she will bring to me to read to her. She especially likes this Old Mother Goose nursery rhymes book that someone gave to her. She has me read it to her a dozen time a day. I have them all memorized. I still am thinking of my own rhymes to write for her.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pardon my absence...

Peanut Butter ‘N’ Jelly Cake

½ cup butter, softened
¼ cup peanut butter
1-½ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk


¼ cup butter, softened
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon peanut butter
1-¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
4-6 tablespoons milk
¾ cup grape jelly

In large mixing bowl cream butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add sugar, mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; add to peanut butter mixture alternately with milk. Pour into 2 greased/floured 9-inch round baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pans to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting; in mixing bowl cream butter and peanut butter. Add vanilla, confectioners’ sugar and enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Place one cake layer on serving plate; spread with jelly, top with remaining cake layer, frost.

This is the original recipe. I have tried it this way twice and both times the cake came out rather dry and crumbly. This past time I added an extra egg and a slosh of vegetable oil and it came out much better. Maybe it would have been OK without the vege oil, I dunno. I also used strawberry preserves instead of grape jelly.