Monday, October 31, 2011

Who Am I, Really?

So in anticipation or preparation of my blog on ruralwomenrock, I've been thinking about who I am, and what makes me a "rural woman".  Hmm.  Here are my thoughts, in no specific order:

I love shoes
therefore my closet isn't big enough

I laugh at my calves when they get out....
then see the hay bale on the other side of the fence

I have a hard time relaxing
and feel most relaxed when I walk outside, see all my little creatures
sing to the horse, give him a kiss
and pet the kittens

My husband and I are both workaholics
and together we could accomplish anything
(its a good thing we don't work professionally together tho,
someone would have to be the manager, and we're both a bit bossy)

I have 2 rules in my house/on our property:
no taking the Lord's name in vain
no littering--we have trashcans for a reason

I'm the only person I know who can holler at her cows from the porch
and they know what they need to do....
get back in

I don't wear white after Labor Day
or before Easter (who are those people anyway?)

I talk to God.....
sometimes he talks back

Someday I will figure out the difference....
between a planter and a disc and a cultivator
(really they all look similar to me)

I love when I see my hubby walking with his Dad
they both have the same gait, pliers on the right side,
and complaining about the same things

I love wine
and you will always find some kind of alcohol in our house

I love finding a vintage skirt
at some thrift store for $2

I love my Sunday School and VBS kids,
but don't see myself as a mother

I love wearing a fabulous gown
or fat pants and an old sweatshirt

I love that I see God's handiwork everyday

I love that I can laugh at myself.

So what makes me a rural woman?  I guess I'm just a woman--who lives in the country.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


So I was cleaning today for our annual Halloween party, and noticed something that was indicative of how different J and I are, spot the differences in these 2 pictures:

Anyone?  Anyone see the difference in the 2 pics?  LOL.  My choice of magazine subscriptions vs Js.  Needless to say we never fight over who's going to read the latest subscription first.  He's Whitetail nation on the Outdoor Channel and I'm Sex and the City re-runs on TBS or E!.  And how do we do it?  Hmm, first we are both independent people and don't have to do everything together.  We both respect each others' interests--from a distance-- LOL.  Second, we're not going to change each other and we know that.  When we were dating there was no pretense of, "he'll change one day--he will watch SATC with me."  Now sometimes he watches Dancing with the Stars with me, but I think it has more to do with the skimpy little outfits than the actual dancing.  And he knew that I would never go hunting with him, and we're OK with that.  We know we come from different worlds, but together we make it :-)

Funny side story, I bought hose the other day and couldn't find the bag that they ended up in.  I tell J--let me know if you find the hose in one of the Walmart bags, he says, you bought a hose?  LOL.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cleaning in the Country

So I like a house clean, kitchens are a must, clutter is a no-go, bathrooms I can't stand to do--but I do.  But mainly it was so much easier to clean an apartment than a house.  Is the house that much larger in square feet?  Hmm don't think so.  Its living in the country.  Like I don't even know where the mess comes from.  I can sweep (we have hardwood floors), go into the other room, come back and there's stuff on the floor.  How does that happen?  Do little hay bunnies come out when they see the floor is clear?  And spider webs, I can get all the corners, window sills, etc.  And a week later they are all back--HOW DOES THAT WORK?  Are spiders that industrious?  And it never fails I always see the big ceiling corner hangers when company is over.  Like oh yeah don't mind my little friend in the corner dusty spidey, he's harmless! LOL.  I just don't get it.  If someone has the solution, please let me know, I'm all ears--and dust rags.

PS:  I'm going to be featured on next week.  If you have a favorite blogpost, let me know  :-)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

No Time to Cook?!??!

So this week has been insanely busy---where did October go?  Wasn't it just summer like yesterday?  I don't even know.  But I've been so busy--the cooking has gotten creatively easy.  Here are two Quick and Delicious casseroles I came up with, if you are pressed for time  :-)  They are both J approved  :-)

French Onion
You need:

1 lb ground meat (beef or sausage) uncooked
1 1/2 cups rice (I used brown, but white is probably fine too)
1 can Campbells French Onion soup
Frozen veggies (green beans, peas, carrots)
Spices (rosemary, sage, oregano)

And here's how its done:
Take a 9x13 casserole dish, put the raw meat in the bottom (oh and spray the pan), put the rice over the meat, then top with the veggies, put the spices on it, pour the french onion soup over the mixture, fill the can with water (or half water/half red wine) pour that over the whole mixture.  Cover with foil and bake at 300 for about 30-40 min.  That's it, takes about 5 minutes, and is SO GOOD!

Mexican Tator-Tot Casserole

This one is uber-good--J and one of his friends polished off the pan the first time I made it.

You need:
1 lb ground cooked meat (beef or sausage)
Diced veggies (green beans or carrots)
1 can rotel
1/2 a bag of tator-tots
1 can of enchilada sauce (if you don't have enchilada sauce, take one can of tomato soup and a packet of taco seasoning--so good!)
1 packet of taco seasoning (season the meat)
1 can of beans (dark red, chili, red, whatever you have)
Shredded cheese
and if you have any leftover soup, meat, whatever, throw it in

Brown the meat and add the rotel, veggies, beans, leftovers (should be messy).  Then take a 9x13 casserole dish, put the meat mixture in there, put the tator tots over the top, then pour the enchilada sauce over the top.  Bake at 350 for 30 min, pull out top with cheese, put back in the oven, broil so the top gets nice and bubbly.  Yummo!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Why Yes I Do Remember When It was -16 outside

So I was talking to my boss the other day, and somehow the crazy KS weather came up.  Super hot summer, really cold winter, blah blah blah.  He said, well you remember that day it was -16?  And I said, actually I do, rather vividly--here's why....

J goes out to Goodland once a year to hunt mule deer with his friends.  Great, go have fun, I can manage by myself for a couple of days--it is a major crime district out here in the middle of nowhere--but hey I've got watch-cows.  Chores really aren't that bad anyways--make sure the cows have water, feed the horse, cats, etc.  I think I have it covered.  That is until I walk outside, before heading to the gym and work, and its -16 out, and what does that make water do?  Freeze!  Oh my loving husband said, if we get a little freeze, it will just create a layer no thicker than a boot can go through.  Uh-huh.  This tank had 3-4 inches of ice!  I could have skated across it.  And where's the ax?  Oh who knows--I'm sure it was in a safe locked place in his shop where I would never find it.  What do I find?  A garden spade.  I'm out there hacking away at this iced-over tank with a garden spade!  After a few hacks, the spade loses its hold on the handle and just starts spinning around the end.  So here I am--freezing, hacking away, with a spinning garden spade, at 6:00 in the morning. 

J calls me later that morning to ask--I heard it was cold--how is everything?  haha, where's the ax honey--I need to find it so I can use it on you!  LOL, just kidding.  He actually did feel bad, and since then, when its cold, the ax stays in the barn.  Just in case........

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Not your Momma's Crochet--LOL

So I crochet--am I a crocheter?....I don't know.  I kind of crochet like I cook--winging it.  LOL.  I went to some classes at Michaels with my BFF, but something just didn't click.  Then I started talking to the love of my life for hours a night and thought I really just can't sit here and do nothing--so I said, I can do this.  And picked up my crochet hook, placed the phone and a pillow underneath my ear and jabbed away.  So it stuck, I can whittle away and crochet to my little heart's content.  I made J a blanket, made scarves, baby blankets, etc.  But the best part is--I figured out how to make the towel hook things!  (PS If you're a cradle crocheter and can read patterns and figure them out the first time---hmph!). 

One of my good friends gave me a bunch of the towels she had received for her wedding. They really are pretty hideous:  kittens, Lion King, shells, etc.  And she's SO not a crochet person.  So she gave them to me--and I snagged how to do them--BAM!  Then I ran into the problem of always getting buttons to match.  Then I started playing around and came up with this "crochet button"--it always matches--and which crocheter doesn't have tons of extra yarn around and no buttons.  I say its a perfect match--and it's cute  :-)

Just do a single chain about 10 or so, slip through the first one, then go up and do a  single chain again around the whole thing until you get the puffiness that you want.

Its so cute!  Here's the final product:

And I tried to rotate it...but some technological thing beyond me is a hindrance to my plan.  Still looks cute though?  Better than some 80's kittens or Lion King  :-)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Silent Partner

So I would categorize my relationship with God as a silent partner in a corporation.  He lives in some Caribbean vacation hot spot, flies back into my life on a corporate jet, pulls out a big red pen, makes changes, then goes back to the Caribbean to be seen/heard from again later sometime.  I know he's there watching from a distance, taking notes or something.

For example, my good friend Leslie, (who is fabulous and my spiritual sound board) and also blogs at laffygrl, suggested I read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers probably 3 years ago.  I tried but could not for the life of me get into it.  Picked it up at my church library last Sunday and finished it on Wednesday.  How does that work?  I'm pretty sure if I had read it back then I would not have gotten the same thing out of it that I did now.  BTW--it is an EXCELLENT book.  It's one of those that you're sitting in bed reading, look at the clock and say OK just one more chapter, then after that chapter, look at the clock again, and say OK just one more chapter, this cycle continues until I say OK I really have to go to bed now.  LOL.  Its that good. 

Then she tells me that her church did the Strength Finder exercise and to look at her "strengths."  Well, 2 years ago, my church (in KC) had also done the exercise, so I pulled out mine and remembered that my top strength was strategic, and that from a church's perspective, someone should serve on the church council to use that strength to the fullest.  AND just last Sunday the nominating committee for the church council asked me if I would consider serving on the board....Hmmm, coincidence?  Or do you hear the rumble of a jet taking off? 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Fall Saturday

So I come home from running to town (did I really just say that?  running to town?  I never said that before moving to BFE, anyways), and what do my wandering eyes should appear?  DENNIS!  And apparently he's like the bad kid in school who attracts friends to get in trouble with, because now there are 2 calves that like to get out!  Ugh!

Do you think she saw us?  Quick run the other way!  No the other other way!
Needless to say these two are out of place on our island...and not my kind of yard art.  I can only imagine people driving by, like, those are some big dogs...wait, those aren't dogs--they have cows in their yard! 

Then I had to make something for this shindig we're going to tonight, and was a kind of fallish item.  So I remembered this recipe using 1 box cake mix, 1 egg, and 1/2 cup of shortening--sounds great--except--I was out of shortening.  So improvise away.  Here's what I did:

Took a carrot cake mix, a container of chunky applesauce, 1/4 cup of oil, and 1 egg, some Jim Beam Stag, mixed it up and put it on cookie sheets like woopie pies.

Then I took cream cheese icing mixed in a little more Jim Beam Stag, put them together, and these things are good!  Sometimes I even impress myself.  Its like an adult-fall-woopie pie!  yum!

Don't those look tasty?  And so easy!! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Its a Sad Day on the Farm...Well at least in the Kitchen

Soooo,  its a sad, sad, sad day.  The orange mixing bowl that I have had for I don't know how long, and before that my mom had for I don't know how long...finally has a crack in the bottom.  I showed it to J and he was like...huh.  I was like what if the beebee gun that you shot your first bird in the barn with your brothers, that is still at your parents house, with the worn out trigger finger was suddenly cupoot (sp?)--yeah its like that.  This mixing bowl is perfect (I really don't know why my mom gave it to me---but it was probably one of the best things she ever gave me), its sides are tall enough so stuff doesn't start flying out the sides--and its just me.  This bowl was with me at Pitt in the sorority house, in my apartment, travelled to Florida with me.  I was probably the only girl who's car moving was piled high with shoes, cupcake tins, beater, and my bowl.  But hey, you have to be prepared  :-)  If I had just a dollar for every batch of cookies, cake, cupcakes, muffins, bread, drinks, etc, etc, etc that this thing has seen, I would probably be retired on some lake house on Lake Tahoe doing the ladies who lunch bit.  So sad.  And yes, I was dorky enough to look online and ebay has the whole set of these!  Bam! 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Another Blast from the Past

So I've mentioned that I lived on a farm part of my growing up life...and what do you get when you take 3 kids from the city and put them on a farm?  Probably the same thing when you take a 30-year old from the big city and try to make her a farmer again. 

Here's a story from when I lived on the farm the first go-around:

So I was probably in 8th or 9th grade (I can remember what grade I was in because we moved around a lot and each grade corresponded to a town or school), so I stayed home "sick" LOL.  I probably did feel bad in the morning, but hey, everyone needs a mental health day.  And I was old enough to stay at home by myself--which makes the mental health day even better  :-).  Well we did have cows, and this must have been in the fall or spring, because all the cows were there.  (During the summer months we hauled them off to greener pastures--and I really do mean greener pastures).  So looking out the kitchen window you could see the pasture, and the cows.  And anyone who's been around cows for any amount of time, knows they are pretty habitual and dumb.  Their internal clocks go ding-a-ling when they see their owner's trucks go by, people walking to the barn, etc.  They know what's coming next--food.  So I'm at home feeling bored and mischievous and decide I'm going to play a little trick on them.  They see me in the kitchen window putting on my gloves, coat, hat, and one of them sounds the dinner call and they start heading to the corral.  I walk out the door slam it, and I can hear their little hooves slamming to go get food.  Hahaha.  Only the joke was on me--the door locked right behind me.  (is this reminiscent of a few blogs ago???). 

So here I was, coat, boots, and shorts (for some reason I didn't change that part), locked out of my house.  Hmmm...and of course the back door was also locked.  So what to do?  Guess I'll go wait in the wash house till Dad gets home, which was a couple of hours....LOL.  Oh boy.  I don't think he yelled at me, I think he just laughed--LOL.  Of course looking back on it--I can laugh too.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Crazy Weekend

So this picture may not look like much, but its a combine--left in the J could go to KC with me and see my Pitt State Gorillas beat Northwest State MO.  So it might not look like a whole lot, but it means a lot  :-)

The game was AMAZING!!! And its always good to go to KC and visit my old stomping grounds...went to dinner at Jaspers--yum!  If you are in KC and want some excellent food, I highly recommend it!  And they had this Apple Martini made from apple cider from Louisburg Cider Mill and it was DIVINE!!!  Yum--cinnamon, nutmeg, vodka, apples, how can you go wrong?  LOL.  Then of course, coffee at my fav coffee place Dunn Bros  :-)  We couldn't leave KC without some shopping, so my girlfriends and I went shopping and left J at Cabela's--I think that's fair  :-)  Going to the game was amazing, seeing them win was awesome--good trip all around!

Then it was time for the dreaded Walmart trip yesterday...schwoo!  I had been putting it off, and wow--the cart was loaded...but once again, I hit the max number of coupons, requiring a CSM approval.  I really want to know what the magic "number" is, I've hit it before and am really curious...but I saved over $60 just in coupons--BAM!

When I got home, I was still feeling adventurous, so I tried this Stromboli-thing (I really don't know what to call it--but it was good)

Diced ham
Diced onions
Diced apples
marinate for an hour or so with a mixture of : an ounce of jim beam, spoon of brown sugar, butter and water
Then take a refrigerated pizza crust spread it thin, put sun-dried tomatoes on it, then the ham/onion/apples mixture, top off with shredded white sharp cheese, roll up and put in the oven.

I don't know what the name of this concoction would be, but the flavors just kind of melt together like a grown-up lean pocket--yum!