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Monday, January 26, 2015


983 deer dancing in the field at dusk
982 the silhouette of a deer against a pink dawn
981 a double rainbow
980 the smell of the ocean

This is slow going.  Not because I have trouble thinking up things that I am grateful for, but because I get caught up in trying to think of how to illustrate them.  Pictures are more fun than just plain words on the page. But quite a few of the greatest gifts from God are not those you can really capture on film.  I guess some of these you could.  But when magical moments happen and there is no camera to hand sometimes the picture on your heart is sweeter, however fragile it may be.  

#984 Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Because it's good!  And because, really, I think in the past 8-9 years I've bought maybe 2 tubs of ready-made store frosting.  The stuff made from real ingredients is so much better. 

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

6 oz semi-sweet chocolate (6 squares-chopped or 1 cup of choco-chips)
1/4 cup water
8 oz cream cheese softened
2 cups confectioner's sugar

In a small pan over low heat, melt chocolate and water.  (Or use microwave if you prefer)  Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.  Cool to lukewarm.  In large mixer bowl beat cream cheese and chocolate mixture on low speed until blended.  Gradually add confectioner's sugar, beat until smooth. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

From a pressure cooker to the surf...

989. My pressure cooker. Hubby gave it to me for my birthday the first year we were married, I believe; though I can't quite recollect quite that far back in time. It may have been a rather unromantic gift (though neither of us can be accurately accused of being romantic in any sense of the word) but it sure has been an invaluable tool in the kitchen.  I use it at least once or twice per week; beans, pork steak w/ taters and carrots...etc.  It's great to put a meal in it...10 minutes later; DONE!

988. Homemade ice cream  It saves quite a bit of money.  Hubby likes ice cream most every day.  I used to buy it, but it has skyrocketed in price.  Silly me.  We live on a dairy forevermore...milk, cream, free eggs from mother-in-law.  I just make it in the freezer; that way, no wasting of salt, ice electricity or time.  Funnily enough, Ellen doesn't like it that way.  She'll eat store-bought "keem" as she used to call it when little, but not homemade.  Excellent.  More for hubby.

987. Pepperoni pizza.  I was going to say homemade pepperoni pizza; which, when made correctly is better than store-bought, but any pepperoni pizza is good....mostly.  

986. The sound of ice rattling in a glass of cold water.  With beads of condensation dripping down the sides of the glass.  It's mid-January now and maybe I am dreaming of summer, even though I don't really like summer in Missouri.  But it beats chopping ice.

985. The sound of the surf.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Finishing the 990s....

A couple of days ago I realized that the beauty of doing this One Thousand Gifts countdown on a blog is that you can just use pictures for your gifts.  How super easy is that!?

996. Surviving is a good thing.  January 15, 2015 was an eventful day, to say the least.

995. 50 degree temps in the dead of winter.

994. When we sing a popular song in church that everyone knows and EVERYONE actually sings out loud.

993. A slow cooker!  Dump stuff in, turn on and go live your life while dinner cooks!  How much easier can it get?

992. Getting letters in the mail.  I need to work on writing more snailmail letters to my pals.  I think most of them have given up on me anyway.

991. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Movies  -I know they didn't follow the books exactly and there are parts they added that I don't care for, but there are scenes I watch over and over.

990. Homemade hot chocolate; not those nasty packets from the store, but the real things you add yourself: milk, cocoa, sugar.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Beginning my list of Thanks

One Thousand Gifts Ann Voskamp

Based on the book “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp I am going to make the focus of this dairy blog to be my very own list of 1,000 things to be grateful for, from January 2015 until finished. Some things I will just list, some things I will expound upon. Thus begins: A Thousand Dairy Thanks. Happy reading...

November 2014 Gary and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. I am amazed at how quickly it has gone by. It seems as though I have always lived here, and yet again it seems as though I just arrived. Strange how that happens. In any case here I am. And it is in truth November 6, 2004 that is listed on our license. So it must really be 10 years.

And the thought has just occurred to me; I shall start at 1,000 and count back to number ONE. Pray for me as I do this. HA!

A Thousand Dairy Thanks

1,000. A husband who doesn't like sports. (Laugh if you must; but this was on my list of specifics I gave to God when I asked for a husband. And this fact alone reassures me that God DOES answer prayer!)

999. A husband who doesn't watch TV. (We have never had a TV hooked up in this house, ever. The only reason we own a TV is because Gary won one as a prize here 2-3 years ago. We hooked it to the computer for a brief while as a monitor, but it now resides in the top of our storage shed. Long may it gather dust.)

998. Ten years of marriage without an argument. (Not that we have never differed in our opinions; we just agree to disagree and that's it. )

And the above does not mean either that we have never had our ups and downs. Which brings me to my story for the day. Ten years ago when I came here the adjustment was quite difficult at times. But living on 80+ acres there is room enough to get out and walk off my anxiety. This I did many times. I cannot give the exact date or month, but I remember that first winter I was here I did quite a bit of exploring in the creek bottoms. Down there in one particular area is the 'boneyard.” This is where many of the dearly dairy departed are laid to rest. But being in a watershed area it floods off and on and washes various bit and pieces of bones along the bottoms. Or else the coyotes drag them around. In any case along one fence I encountered a skull. I vaguely remember I was in a dark mood at the time; so I ups and hangs it on a post. It is still there this day.

I do not know who she was, but this gal certainly has seen better days. This fence is right in the flood zone, so many waters have washed underneath her, but here she has perched through sun and snow and rain and flood for the past TEN years. And in death there is also life and renewal. Just this past winter I noticed something;

In her cranium, where her small brain used to be, there is now neatly curled grasses and moss. 

997.  In death there is life.  And as a Christian this is a Spiritual fact I cling to.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Hot Diggity Dog!


After a year of messing around trying to get back onto this blog I FINALLY did it!  I  can hardly believe it!  Now I have to stop Facebooking so much and blog more. 

 Quite a few people have commented on my Blind Calf Story.  Apparently that post comes up whenever anyone does a query on blind calves.  And I think I did that post several years ago.  So I had to go in and approve those comments. 

So much has happened since November 2013, which is when I last blogged.  I don't know where to start.  In celebration here is a random picture of a cow with her calf.