Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dear Me (5 years Ago)

Dear CAL,

Yes, you feel like your life is stuck in a limbo zone of not having a stable relationship and the world is passing you by and you are just standing still.  Friends have already gotten married, popped out a few kids, and you still just want to buy some new shoes.  Boys confuse and irritate you, but like a moth to a flame you keep going back and getting burned.  You don't need to obsess about why some guy stood you up on a date, or why when a guy says he completely gets you and are a fantastic woman he still doesn't want to commit to you, or how that guy that seems way perfect--is really way not perfect.  QUIT OBSESSING NOW CAL!  Put down your phone and quit checking for flirty text messages.  Pay attention to those that are actually around you.  Quit asking yourself (and anyone who will listen), but if only he would do this?  Quit trying to make the relationship work.  Quit obsessing.  Start enjoying being single--there is nothing like it!  The friendships you have in your single days will never happen again, so treasure them.  Enjoy doing only your laundry....and knowing why your laundry smells the way it does (once you get married that will change...boys stink!).  Enjoy not having to explain to another human being why you have to go on a wine trip with your girlfriends.  Most of all, be patient.  Why?  Because when the right man comes along, he will make you his, no questions asked.  He will make his presence known and want to take you home (literally and figuratively) and he wants you to meet his parents.  There will be questions...but not the "does he really like me?" question.  Because when a man sees something he wants forever, he doesn't sit on the sideline, he doesn't wait for you to make the move, he purchases.  Just like a Farmall Model A in pristine condition he's always dreamed of having, he will drive 3 hours with a trailer and load it up---he will do the same with you.  So enjoy this single time--its precious and will never occur again.  The season will change and married life will begin, but both are equally important in this crazy circle of life.

Luv ya!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

If You Were to be my BFF

So my SNL did this blog post idea..and I'm blog-stealing the idea for mine.

Here is a list of things you would need to know to be my BFF:

-I do not like exposed garages (ones that open to the road)

-I have a horrible memory or just selective.  I can remember what I wore on an occasion 10 years ago, but then can't remember what I wore yesterday.

-I do not like to share pens

-I can shop for you (my BFF) and put together outfits over the phone based on what I know is in your closet

-I do logic puzzles

-I am so nerdy and old-lady-ish in my hobbies (hello crochet--LOL)

-I went to 6 different schools growing up (various reasons)

-I hate saying good-bye

-I did not have TV growing up so references to Full House, 90210, Facts of Life, are completely lost on me (I'm sure there are other shows as well)

-I lift my feet over railroad tracks for good luck

-I am not a germophobe

-It takes me longer to get ready for bed than it does to get ready in the morning

-I am anti-private education

I think that's about it  :-)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dear Brahmin Customer Service

So a while back my mom gave me her old iPad--woot woot!  It is awesome and it works very well for me and work.  Well the only thing was that finding a bag that holds an iPad and doesn't look like a briefcase or backpack is a challenge.  However, after much due dilligence in the shopping department, I found a Brahmin.  I must preface by saying that I've never owned a fancy-label brand purse and was a bit skeptical of purchasing a big money bag.  My husband, who says I never really spend money on myself, said to go ahead and it would be my birthday present.  Woot woot!  That was in July (an early birthday present  :-) ).    Fast forward 3 months.  The handles start cracking like I would expect on a TJMaxx bag.  Hmmm.  According to their website...they take pride in their high quality products and will repair or replace a defective product within a year of purchase, 2 years if registered online.  (Which of course I did within a couple of weeks of purchasing the bag).   I call and they send me the return form and ask me to send it back, which I did.  Fast forward 1 month and I get the bag back to me.  Did they replace the defective handles?  Nope, just lacquered them up and sent them right back to me.  Hmmm, that's fantastic!  Fast forward 1 month...the handles that were cracked and then lacquered are cracking again (is anyone else shocked?).  So I call customer care again and ask to speak to a manager.  Why?  Because a bag that should have been fixed correctly was just ghetto-rigged and sent back to me.  They say, oh weren't the handles replaced the first time?  Um no, can't you track that by the bag registration number?!?  So back it goes to get fixed.  Fast forward to this weekend and I got it back, and you know what?  I'm selling it--that is everything except the bad handles (which they nicely included in the return proving the handles were replaced).  The bad handles I'm keeping for a reason.

I train people on customer service and delivering the customer experience.  Those handles are a prime example of how a company failed on the delivery of a customer experience.  This was my first "real" purse purchase and a birthday present.  Owning the bag for 5 months and not having it for 2 months took that magic away.  The mailing of the bag back, certifying it in the mail, blah blah blah killed whatever sparkle that bag had for me when I got it.  Now whenever I see it, I see disappointment, and that's not how someone should view a luxury item.   They never offered to replace the whole bag, a free wallet, or put my name on the standard "thank-you for returning your bag to Brahmin card"...they did however put a Holiday shopper flyer in there.  Really?  Those handles will get used, but as an example of how the customer experience was demolished.

Here's the bag, if you are interested in purchasing, hit me up  :-)

Monday, November 19, 2012

My Knight with a Shining Cell Phone!

So the car I was driving a, 05 Saturn Vue, was starting to burn oil, which J said basically means the engine is on a short-term life span.  Something about the pistons and leaking and not creating suction...or something, my eyes starting glazing over the minute I heard pistons.  I'm just not the engine person, but thankfully the hubs is, so I took his word for it.  Went out shopping for a new ride, really not knowing what I was looking for--but definitely wanted another stick-shift.  They are fun to drive and I'm so used to driving them that whenever I drive an automatic, I usually end up shifting the brake and sending the sales guy into the dash (that actually happened!  LOL).  So I stopped by Midwest Kia to look at a non-Kia vehicle, and the sales guy asked if I had looked at the Kia Soul.  Ummmm nooo.  Don't really think I could pull off the hamster-mobile.  But what the heck and I sat in it.  Bam!  Its so spacious on the inside, plenty of legroom, plenty of head space, good view of the road, and a 6-speed!  Bam!  Lets see what this baby can do on the road.  What can I say it was love at first shift  :-)  They let me take it home so J could see it (I was afraid his tall, lanky frame wouldn't fit), but he liked it too! 

Here's where I could hear my knight in shining armour galloping in the distance.  They will call you, don't call them, he said. I waited, just like a girl after a first date.  And what do you know they called me back!  Now it was time for my knight to wheel and deal the deal.  Schwoo!  Did the hubs talk to those sales people, sales managers, finance gurus, etc.  He laid the schmack down--over the phone!  I can't even imagine if we had been there in person. 

If it had been 1712 instead of 2012, it would have been a soldier fighting to protect a castle or something.  In 2012, it meant negotiating a trade-in value double the Kelly Blue Book!  Can I say I love my husband!?!?! 

It was one of those moments, when I really felt like part of a team.  I know we're married, but just that fighting the outsiders together was really amazing.  Don't mess with team L-P we will smack you down! and get a killer deal on a brand-new car!  My first brand-new vehicle!  And I LOVE it!  And I LOVE Team L-P  we rock it out  :-)

My new Kia Soul--the chickens wanted in the picture too  :-)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Life With 2 Mini-Donkeys

We got a girl mini-donkey!  Her name is Charlotte and she is so cute!  She is 5 years old, so she can be bred and humans up to 60 pounds can ride her. 

Lucky is in the me and Charlotte the evil-eye

Life with 2 mini-donkeys is different than life with 1 mini-donkey however.  Lucky's possessive personality really came out!  We put Charlotte in the pen with Lucky and it went something like this:

Lucky:  Hey there!  A friend, let's go play!

Charlotte:  Umm...I don't know you, and I miss my old friends

Lucky:  We can play tag!  *bump* you're it, ready lets go!

Charlotte:  Umm...I'm not playing with you and I think you're weird

Lucky:  But its time to play come on!

Charlotte:  I just want to be left alone *sigh*

This little situation went on for quite a while-and it was so cute!  Charlotte was not having any of Lucky's little antics and Lucky was so excited to have a friend he was all bouncing around.  Well at least bouncing around until he discovered that my attention was going to be split between the 2 of them.  After the incident where his little ass got tied to a post for 30 minutes for bad behavior, he has been quite the good little man.  Very confident too...of course that could be because I tell him he's a handsome little man and a fine looking mini-donkey (which he is). 

The first time I took both of them on their separate walks Lucky went crazy (and still does).  He did a good job when I walked him, but then when he realized that I was going to walk Charlotte too...his little face turned pea green with jealousy.  I take Charlotte out of the pen and he starts running around the pen, braying, acting like a toddler having a temper tantrum.   Then when I bring her back, he butts in and stands right next to me giving Charlotte this "this is MY momma" look.  It was pretty funny. 

He is quite the attention whore and will bray if he sees me come home and not come see him, or brays when I walk the dog, or brays when I pet the horse.  If he was a human, he'd be one of those cocky guys I don't like, but since he's my little donkey its adorable  :-)  Charlotte's personality really hasn't come out yet, she seems very reticent and quiet, but I think she just misses her friends from her old farm. 

Lucky would really go apesh*t if he found out my real little man was a 4 1/2 pound Chihuahua--LOL.  Oh well, what he doesn't know won't hurt him  :-)

Aren't they cute?!?!?!


Of course, once Lucky realized pictures were going on, he had to have one by himself  :-)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cooking Show Host? Please, I Would Get Fired!

So the other day at work, the cook and I were talking about food and cooking, and he was astonished by some of my bad cooking which I replied, yeah I probably shouldn't teach anyone to cook or have a cooking show.  Here are some of my bad habits:

-I don't preheat the oven--or at least wait for it to give the sounder.  I turn it on and when I'm ready to put something in, I just put it in.

-I don't use a timer  (I don't even know how to set the one on my fancy stove or microwave)

-I don't level off flour and sugar in the measuring cup--just give a good shake and eyeball it

-I don't really follow recipes (ok there's no don't really...I just don't)  they're really more like guidelines; and if I feel some other ingredient should be added, I just do it

-I do random substitutions if I don't have something on hand...example I use the same basic recipe for zucchini, carrot, carrot apple, apple peach, whatever like a champ!

And the biggest reason I could not have a cooking one really wants to watch me cook.  Most people would run for their lives thinking I was a mad scientist instead of preparing a nutritious meal for human consumption. 

However, like I told the cook at work, in my entire cooking career I've only had 2 or 3 items that were bad.  Hmmm...maybe I am a mad scientist....

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Apple Magic Bars

So I have some apples to use...and then my mind started going about how to use them and other things that tasted's what the outcome was.  Let me tell you they are a little piece of Heaven for your mouth!  Yum!

You need:

1 oatmeal chocolate chip mix
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
dash of salt
2 apples diced
butterscotch chips
chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter

Mix the mix, shortening, egg, and dash of salt together.  Press into a 8x8 pan. 
Dice the apples and press them into the cookie mixture.
Sprinkle the butterscotch and chocolate chips over the top.
Melt the peanut butter and drizzle over the top.

Bake at 350 for 15-25 minutes.  Yummo!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

How Do You Exercise Your Cows?

So yesterday I was on a roll, I had the whole afternoon planned out.  Peeled potatoes, ran outside started the horse tank water, came back up to the house, put the potatoes on the stove to start boiling,  head back outside to gather Lucky up from the backyard and take him back to his pen and finish chores and dinner simultaneously by 6:00.  Fat Chance says Karma!  Its when all hell breaks loose and once again, Barnam and Bailey circus visited the farm.

*I must preface by saying it was my fault what started this chain reaction of events...what happened afterwards was God wanting a good laugh (or something like that).

So I get in the backyard with Lucky and he is in no mood to be taken out of the backyard.  Normally, he just saunters up to me and we head out.  I open the gate and normally leave it open because he just comes to me and we mosey out together.  Well here he starts his little run and as I'm chasing him, he runs clean out of the gate.  And if you've never seen a uppity mini-donkey run...its maddeningly funny.  They prance with their nose up in the Pinocchio if he lived at a mansion and had lots of money.  Ugh!  He has never been free so he is prancing all around the corrals and making circles around and around and around again.  I'm home alone, so besides just flat outrunning him this could continue for quite some time.  I try and catch him, get sweet feed to entice him...oh no, he wasn't having any of it.  Around and around we go, just like some maniacal carousel..until he makes a breakaway for the alley leading to the pasture.  Haha---gotcha little man...where ya gonna go now?  Haha gotcha you Momma--watch me sneak through this fencing and the barbed wire fencing behind it!  Ahhh!  The cows go apeshit!  They have no idea what this little man is doing in their pasture so they start chasing him.  The cows are running and creating such a dust bowl that Scooter (the horse) gets freaked out in his pen and starts bucking and farting everywhere; the 2 bulls in their pen see a bunch of cows running and start their own little dust bowl; and the chickens that were pecking in the field fly off in a tizzy seeing all the commotion; and I realize I still have a pot of boiling potatoes on the stove.  What is my life?  LOL.  The cows keep running Lucky around and around the pasture, back and forth they go.  I try to call Lucky, but he is so freaked out, he keeps running and the cows keep running.  I give up...and I have potatoes that are probably already mashed by now. 

Its like the running of the bulls in Spain...only the bulls are cows and the runner is a mini-donkey. 

I call J and he laughs at the incredulity of what is going on and says he'll be home soon.  He gets home, and soon discovers just how whiley a little donkey can be.  But in the end we get him and I have a little "come to Jesus" moment with him and tie his ass to a post for 30 minutes.  Some little 150 pound hairy critter is not going to get the best of me!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Breakdowns on the Farm

So there are always breakdowns on the farm...combine belts, flat tires, fences that go down, water tanks that suddenly start leaking, you name a calamity and the farm is home to it.  Well I had a breakdown on Friday....and this is how it went.....

Readers let me introduce to you Hamburger...he likes pina coladas, long walks at sunset, alfalfa, and moonlights as Houdini.

Hamburger, as seen in the picture above, was not in his appropriate location.  We really did have chickens and cows and cats running across the yard.  So Hamburger is pretty in so tame my car was inches away before he languidly looked over and realized he wasn't in the right place.  I run him towards the corral and head to the house.  No steer is worth getting shit on my super-cute White House Black Market red suede heels and dress slacks!   Take off the work attire and put on my farm-work attire and run him in.  And its really annoying because he knows the routine. 
I grab my little Lucky man and take him on his daily walk around the farm and come around the front---and what is this yard ornament?  Oh Hamburger!?!  WTF Houdini!  How did he even walk across the pasture, find his hole, jump out, and end up in the front yard within 10 minutes?  Ugh!

Here we go again,  running him back to the gate, open the gate, and somehow all the cows thought "its time for a walk"  oh helll nooo.  All you mofos get back in--that means you too Hamburger. 
So I walk around the pasture and sure enough there's this gaping hole where Hamburger was litterally walking through.  And of course J is cutting soybeans--so I'm here by myself.  Choices are: 
a) fix/stretch electric fence--doesn't sound tooo appealling and kind of freaks me out
b) try to fix the regular fence
c) kill Hamburger
So I try and yank the post back up, but its old, broken, and really heavy, but I think I have it somewhat ghetto-rigged.  I yell at Hamburger and pray for the best.  Head back to the house and call J and tell him what is going I am on the phone...I see Hamburger knock over my best efforts and cruise right on out.  Ughh!!!!
By this time I am pissed off.  I grab my sorting stick and go running/yelling after Hamburger.  Get him back in, try to get him in a corral--no go...and thats when it breakdown.  I just start crying in the field.  These cows keep getting out, I am phyically unable to fix the problem, and it will continue happening.  The hopelessness just sets in...I call J freaking out.  Thankfully he's on his way. 
So I do the only thing I could think of--I plop my happy ass down right in front of the hole in the middle of the field.  I hold up my sorting stick and dare Hamburger to cross my path.   
This farmwife business just doesn't pay enough...LOL!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Apple Butterscotch Cake

So my friend, Cat Poland, who does a fabulous job blogging at Mom on the Range, posted today about apple-picking and going to orchards.  Well she asked what is your favorite recipe and I had to share mine.  Here in Whitewater, I trade a local producer farm fresh eggs for fresh off the tree apples and pears (its a great trade).  So I tend to have a lot of recipes that use apples and pears.  Here is Apple Butterscotch Cake...and it is delicious! 

You need:

2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon (I tend to do a heaping teaspoon--who doesn't love a little extra?)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup oil
3 eggs beaten
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups apples (diced or shredded)
1 bag of butterscotch chips

Mix the dry ingredients together.  Stir all the wet ingredients together into the dry, adding the apples last, reserve the chips for later.  Pour the patter into a 9x13 baking pan (or bundt pan) and sprinkle the chips on top.  Bake at 350 for about 40-50 minutes.  Your house will smell delicious!

Note:  on the apples, just core them and throw them in a food processor with the peels on.  Its tastes just fine...and I've never had anyone say "hey are there peels in here?"...their mouth is usually full  :-)

Monday, October 22, 2012

I could see the hangmans noose....

So yesterday I busted my butt running around, getting chores done, cleaned house, etc, etc, with the goal in sight of fat pants and the couch in the evening.  Hmph.  Hubby gets home and went to disc some ground so he could burn the wheat stubble off.  Fine, fine.  Comes back and says "ready to go?"  Huh?  But my fat pants...and my drink...and the couch!  The vision was evaporating into a thin mist.  And into the thin mist came this vision of a hangman's noose I could see from the jailhouse window.  I knew the inevitable--this was not going to be a pleasant evening.  Why?  Because I have never done it (helped burn off a field) and J has about a million times and works in a fashion that...well goes about like this:

J: We're just going to drive back and forth
J:  I'll ride on the tailgate and you just drive--but slow
BB: roger

BB:  I'm in first!  What do you want?!??
BB:  Is there 1L!?!?!
BB: (thinking) is there a 1/2 gear I don't know about?
BB: Which way?  I've never driven in this field!
BB:  (thinking) I need another drink...sigh

Now, I know that J doesn't mean to yell, and I know he's not yelling about me.  But I'm the only one who can hear him so it lands on me.  And I knew it was coming--I've never burned a field off or knew where we were going in the field--so yes the hangman's noose was visible through the bars of the jail window.  Next time it will be better  :-)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Life with a Mini-Donkey

So remember when I wrote the post that I was in love with a furry little brown-eyed critter?  Well we found one!  Yeah!  After much searching and driving around Central Kansas looking at various ones for sale, we found one just a few miles away.              (J deserves major kudos for humoring me in this mini-donkey endeavour!).  Meet Lucky!  Isn't he cute?

Isn't he just cute?!?!  He was born on January 16, 2012--he'll grow a little bit bigger but not by much.  Why a mini-donkey?   Well I think they're just too cute--and they don't eat too much...and I can work with them.  Unlike most farm people, I wasn't in 4H and didn't show animals.  So the whole leading them around and getting them to do something is foreign to me.  A little animal like Lucky couldn't be that hard to work with right?  LOL--we'll see  :-)   

They are interesting little critters and definitely have mannerisms that are different than the other animals on the farm.  He comes up to me in the pen, but then runs off, then will come back, run off, then finally comes back.  Then if I walk off, he follows me--just weird  :-)   We have put him to use trimming the grass in the backyard a few hours a day (it's a way he can earn his keep on the farm!).  It's pretty funny to see a donkey back there, but he just struts around and eats the grass.  Gunnar (the lab in the backyard kennel) doesn't quite know what to think of his new long-eared yard-mate. 

And yes, he does bray.  It's not a full-on bray yet, but its getting there.  Sometimes it sounds like an old smoker laughing and that just makes me laugh too  :-)

Now we're on the hunt to get him a little jenny-friend...and I think we might have found one--stay tuned  :-)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Here A Cluck, There a Cluck, Everywhere a Cluck Cluck

So several people have asked what I feed our chickens and how "organic" or "free-range" they are.  Here's a little picture tutorial  :-)

Chickens LOVE scraps!  They think its Christmas whenever they see me coming with a plate or a bowl of veggies, fruit, or bread (they eat about anything, I don't give them meat however).  Their favorite is tomatoes!

Here they are eating veggie scraps.  They also eat all kinds of bugs (crickets, grasshoppers, rolly-pollies, etc).  When one of them gets a good bug, she runs off with it and all the other chickens follow...kind of like at the playground when one kid has the lollipop the others follow.

Here is their scratch grain.  Its from Orscheln's and it has a mixture of Milo, corn, and other grain.  They also get layer pellets for protein.
Bingo!  Egg in the coop!  And even though we got them this nice coop....

...they really prefer to lay in the little nests they've built around the barn. 

They are probably the most organic and free-range chickens available.  I can tell when their temperaments are flaring or when its just too hot or too cold for them to lay.  They also do better at laying when they get to run around all day, than when we have to have them in their pen because we're away from the place for too long.

If you have any questions regarding chickens, just let me know...I'm not an expert, but I do see their crazy little habits everyday  :-)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chili Surprise!

First thanks for making the previous "tips on dating a farmer" the most read post yet!  *insert happy dance*

Anyways, here's a quick and easy recipe that is delicious!

Here's what you need:

leftover chili
cornbread stuffing (could be leftover, could be from the box)
cheese (sliced or shredded works...just not processed american cheese)

Adjust amounts to what you need and what you have on hand.

Put chili into pyrex dish, cover with stuffing, cover dish with foil.  Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes.  Remove cover with cheese.  Broil for about 5-10 minutes until brown and bubbly. 

SO GOOD!  And so easy!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Barnyard Barbie's Guide to Dating a Farmer

So there always seems to be this romantic image in people's heads of farm couples who literally ride off on their horses into the sunset with the sounds of cows gently mooing and the wind whispering in the breeze.  LMAO.  That is for the movies is my guide to dating/being married to farmer  :-)

1-PRAY for rain!  If it rains or is raining its a double bonus.  One--crops do good in the rain, farmers smile when crops do good.  Two--if it's raining the chances of your farmer gallivanting with his mistress Jane Deere are greatly reduced.

2-Dinner at 6pm?  Please!  I'm happy when J and I get to eat together.  A farmer has the same schedule as the sun, so if you are one of those women that likes routine...a farmer is not for you.

3-Sh*t and mud.  Like a spotless dust free house?  Hmmm living in the country and marrying a farmer is not the best idea.  Sh*t, mud, hay, all follow a farmer around like Hansel and Gretel.

4-Scared of germs?  The life of a farm wife is not for you!  This follows #3...there is so much poop on a farm....chicken poop, cow poop, dog poop, bird poop, cat poop, horse poop...and no matter how hard you will get on your shoes, pants, hands, gloves, etc (I just try not to think about it).

5-Date nights?  What are date nights?  If you want a date with your farmer--you need to pull out your handy-dandy Farmer's Almanac and check the planting and harvesting dates for all crops and plan accordingly.  Getting a farmer to date during harvest or planting season is likened to "when hell freezes over."

6-It will only take 30 minutes.  If you hear a version of your farmer say afraid be very afraid.  Don't start cooking dinner, don't get the DVD player ready for a movie.  Pour yourself another glass of wine, because when you hear those "It will only take...." it will most likely take 1 1/2 hours.

7-If hell breaks loose--your farmer will be away.  In all the instances when things have gotten crazy (animals getting out, snakes trying to attack me, animals not getting along, etc, etc.) J was at work.   Its like country karma knows the husband is away and sicks its mighty bad voodoo on the wife at home.  Oh gee the wife is enjoying her day of relaxing on the couch reading a good book.....hehheeee its time for the cows to decide to test the fence.....

8-Team-Realize that it takes 2 teammates to make a farm run..and that you both have each others back.  Maybe that Hollywood image of horses in the distance is phony, but the walking out to the barn hand-in-hand during a snowstorm together to feed animals image is real. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Adventures with Snakes

I get it-snakes are on the same planet I am....however I don't have to like them or want to be anywhere around them.  Sadly, our chicken/hay barn and the fact the chickens are laying eggs kind of attracts the slithery little creatures to my domain.

Once, I came upon a snake with its jaws stretched open wide to eat MY egg!  That hootch! 

Now the picture is not so clear, but that black long thing is not a chicken...and does not belong in my barn.  Luckily one of the neighbors (who likes snakes) came and relocated it for me  :-)  Yeah!

Then!  There's another snake, bigger than this guy, who J and I had randomly seen in the hay bales, but never got a good chance to snatch it/relocate it/kill it/etc in the barn.  Until I go outside with my little egg basket and polka-dot vintage sunglasses and come literally face-to-face with him!  There's a break in the hay bales of about a foot by 2 feet space that a couple of hens decided is their little roosting place.  Well I'd seen the snake in there before, but at the back end.  This time, I go into the barn and look in the hole and see the dark form that is the snake.  However, my eyes hadn't quite adjusted to the darkness...and this guy's head was about 6 inches from mine-like we were nose-to-nose!  Agghhhh!  I screamed, the chickens balked, the snake was scared, even the neighbors a mile down the road could probably hear me.  He slithers back in there and then I get pissed--how dare this creature try to overtake my barn and eat my eggs!!!  I start hitting the bales with a stake, screaming all kinds of expletives about the injustice and what did he think he was doing, blah blah blah.  Oof!  Well I continue on my egg-gathering adventure, I walk around the outside of the barn and have a thought.  (The barn has windows that used to have glass, but now are covered with hay.)  I bet that little mofo is trying to slip out the back!  And sure enough he was!  His little head is poking out, tongue sticking out, I start throwing rocks and sticks at the whole in the barn.  Who do you think you are mofo!!!  And walked off in a huff.

Well J gets home and I retell my story, and we go back out there...and what do you know?  That snake still has his head poking out!  The nerve!  So my manly husband grabs this snake by the head and pulls it out!  Which wasn't an easy task because this fatty snake who had been living large on my eggs, was like a fat kid in a tiny suit of hay bales.   Then the snake got he is:

Friday, September 21, 2012

New Items!

So I tried 2 new items at the grocery store the other day (still trying to get out of my buy the same thing all the time rut).  Here is my review:

Terra Sweet Potato Chips:

AWESOME!!  I really would have devoured the whole bag, but I tried to maintain some form of self-control.  They are crisp and not soggy like fried sweet potatoes can be.  Totally repeat purchase  :-)

Planters Nutrition Peanut Butter: (I bought the berry nut)

Ok, so I had a coupon and would give it a whirl.  Eh--its just kind of weird to have peanut butter with small bits of fruit in it.  Not quite a PB&J, but not just plain PB either.  Won't be a repeat purchase.  :-(

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Upside Down Pizza

Upside down Pizza?  Oh yes, and it is super easy and super yummy!

You need:

1 lb ground, browned meat (beef, sausage, venison, whatever)
2 carrots shredded
2 okra diced
1 tomato diced
1 jar of Ragu
diced onion
diced olives
shredded cheese
1 pop-can of biscuits (what are those things called?) I used wheat

-grease a 9x13 pan
-add all ingredients together (not the cheese and biscuits) mix throughly
-put mixture into pan
-sprinkle with cheese
-split biscuits in 1/2, then place on top of mixture

Bake for 25-30 min at 375.  So yummy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Things I Never Thought I would Say

I'm driving to church the other day and am looking around and think "that guys double-crop milo looks pretty good."  Wait--hold up a second...what did I just say?  If anyone had asked me what that sentence meant 3 years ago, I would have had no clue.  Double-crop?  Milo I knew was a grain, but probably couldn't identify it in a grain line-up.  And now I'm commenting on someone's crops?  Sometimes there are things that really make me wonder how far I've come and what my crazy life matriculated to what it is now.

Here are some other things I never would have imagined coming out of my mouth:

-Well yeah my rooster crows back at me when I crow at him...doesn't everybodys?
-I think the belt in the combine sounds like its on its last leg (which J informed me there is always a belt that is on its last leg)
-The High Plains Journal has a great article on adjusting the combine for draughty soybeans (really who says that?  me!)

Oh, my crazy, wonderful farm life  :-)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Love and Hate Relationship With Food

If you are new to reading my blog, maybe you haven't heard me write about food, but I love food, I love cooking food, I love eating food--well good food.  I'm not a subscriber to Food and Wine, but I know good food when I'm eating it and I definitely know when the food is not good, and I also know when it is the same-same food.

What is same-same food?  I like to call it Sysco.  Sysco is probably the largest supplier of food goods to restaurants/hotels/convention centers/etc, if not in the US, then definitely in Kansas.  Today at Red Lobster, which is owned by Darden, which also owns Longhorn Steakhouse (where I worked for 9 years), and Olive Garden, I noticed that their food is just the same as Longhorn.  Seriously their Key Lime Pie, I guarantee is the same Key Lime Pie at Longhorn.  And that wonderful Chicken Parmesan at Longhorn is the same as the Shrimp Parmesan at Olive Garden.  Honestly it made me kind of sick to think about.  What has society become that we accept homogenized food?  (This is not a slam to Sysco, Darden, etc--otherwise why would I have worked there for 9 years?). 

This whole debate of Pink Slime (Finely textured meat substitute something) is what we have forced the food industry to do.  If society really wants Pink Slime to go away, then society would have to stop going to ALL fast food establishments, stop buying canned meat items, and whatever else that that stuff goes into.  The food industry did not set out to work with a product that is so gross, but the fast food industry demands a product that can be molded and sold for 97 cents. 

We as consumers have a choice when we spend the mighty dollar, if Pink Slime grosses you out, then eat at home and get meat from a local meat locker.  And if same-same food leaves doesn't work try a local mom and pop restaurant.  I don't know when I'll eat at Red Lobster again, or if I even will...just left me wanting real food.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Who Doesn't Like Pork and Stuffing?

So I don't know if I've mentioned it before or not, but I LOVE stuffing or dressing or whatever you want to call it.  That delicious savory cornbread bits, kind of soft, and kind of crumbly on the edges...mmhmm tasty!  I am so blessed that I learned how to make my grandpa's stuffing (its something I will always have with me), but anyways so I was craving some stuffing the other day and came up with this quick and easy meal--that was delicious!

You need:

1 pork chop per person
2 or 3 cups cornbread stuffing uncooked (package is fine)
1 cup dried cranberries
1 apple diced (leave the peel on)
2-3 tablespoons butter

Put the cornbread in the bottom of a foil-lined pan.
Sprinkle the cranberries and apples over the top
put the butter in little pats randomly
place the pork chops on top of the pile
cover with foil and cook for 30-40 minutes

Let me tell you--it is yummy!  It all cooks together and the smells and flavors just blend together perfectly. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fall Fashion Preview

So I have spent hours of dedicated time studying the latest Fall fashions so I can share them with you!  Aren't you lucky?!?!  :-)

The biggest (and most exciting) thing I have noticed is gloves!  We're talking 1940-50s mid-forearm gloves.  Worn with a short sleeved coat or a suit dress.  Very Doris Day and very now!  So cute!  So exciting!  Check out the below pics--aren't these ladies gorgeous and so chic with the longer glove  :-) 

For colors--I predict that Brandywine will be the hot color.  Rich, decadent, everything that fall and winter should be  :-)

Happy shopping!

Monday, September 10, 2012

So I kind of have a love affair going on......

With the cutest brown-haired, brown-eyed beauties I have seen in a long time---Miniature Donkeys.  Mini-donkeys what?  So I started seeing these mini-donkeys and kind of felt sad for them because really they're so fugly (f'ing ugly), they're cute.  And J in his good humor is going along with my desire to have one (or shut me up)....that is until we went and looked at some.  They win you over!  Let me just tell you--they are the cutest little critters.  And they all want is to be petted and loved on.  When you pet one, another scoots up and wants petted too.  Too precious! And when they run--that is some funny sh*t!  Their legs aren't quite proportional to their body or something, I don't even know.  I dare someone not to laugh at them.  Then the babies!  They look like little bears--all fuzzy and little.  Even J was won over with their cute-ness factor.  Who knows?  We might be those crazy people with mini-donkeys (whatever will the people in town say?  LOL)

Stay tuned though....I think they're in our future  :-)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Unemployment Rate = Irritated Barbie

Yes, give me a boost up to my soapbox....and this time its about the unemployment rate.

I hear people talk about how times are so hard, the unemployment rate is so high, its the worst recession since the Depression, how good jobs are so hard to find...and blah blah blah.  Maybe its because it's an election year and these facts and statistics are thrown in our face more often than normal.  On the flip side of that issue I hear numerous employers say they can't find good help, places have Help Wanted signs on their doors for months at a time, and pages of advertisements needing help are listed in the paper.  So what gives?  Does the unemployment rate just give people something to complain about?  Personally I don't think that unemployment is a problem--its the people looking for jobs don't want the jobs out there.  So maybe a person has to bartend until a full-time job opens up,  maybe they realize that bartending makes decent money, maybe being a stocker at Dillons isn't a career path that is highly desirable.  You know what though?  It's a job!  And if someone works hard at said job, then maybe a promotion to section manager or store manager is a possibility.  But getting your hands dirty first might be a requirement.  I don't know maybe it's my stubbornness of make something work---but really when I hear people complain about being unemployed I really just want to smack them with a pair of gloves and tell them to get busy.

Ok I'll step down now.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How I Ended Up with Blood on my Hands before 7am

So I'm headed to the gym, just like I do every morning, get in the car--out of gas. you ever have one of those days where subconsciously you want to consciously turn the car around, crawl back into bed, and just pray for a do-over?  Well that was the feeling I had, but hey, cars need gas to go.  I finish up, head down the highway to town and see this thing in the rode...cah-clump.  Oh no!  Pretty sure that was a dead deer in the road that I completely ran over.  So I stop and inspect for damage, call J and ask what to do.  He suggests going back to make sure it was dead. As I pull up beside it, I see its a fawn (a baby deer with the spots and everything), and then I see the momma and daddy deer looking at me like "you ran over my baby!"  Eeek!  As I am stopped, I see another car hit and drag it even farther.  Oh no.  I guess whoever hit it before me, didn't quite kill it--but I did.  So J says well, you could push it off to the side of the rode so it doesn't get drug around and people keep hitting it.  Ok--sure, I can do this.  Oh no I can't do it!  Oh yes I can!  So this little guy was still warm.  My heart was just breaking at this point.  Yes I understand the cycle of life and deer are wild animals, but this one was right in front of me and died a horrible death...not pleasant at 6:45 in the morning.  So I'm pushing it off the road and the little hairs and blood are getting all over my hands.  I'm not usually squeamish, but this a little too close to that breaking point.  The little guy goes over and I get back in my car--and where are the Lysol wipes--oh they're gone.  All the way to the gym with hairy bloody hands and a tear-streaked face...I'm sure I looked like a mass-murderer or something. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Shepherd and the Sheep

Do you ever hear a story or watch a movie, then read/watch it years later and have this a-hah moment, like you finally get what was going on?  Well my a-hah moments lately have been with Jesus' parables about sheep and the shepherd.

I have heard the Gospel stories 100s of times, I've taught them in Sunday School, I've read them to myself in Bible study.  I don't think I really ever got them though, until I moved onto the farm and the animals started to know me.  The animals do know their master's voice.  They hear it, they follow it, they know there is safety in it.  There is trust in knowing that the master's voice means shelter and nourishment.  They almost dumbly follow without even thinking about it.  Isn't that how we are supposed to follow God?  Are we supposed to follow the spirit within us without hesitation, trusting without repercussion that the master has our best interests in mind? 

During Jesus' time there were many more agricultural workers than there are today, so the stories made sense to them.  If he was around today, the fable might take the form of what did Siri say to do or there is something that knows you better than your google calendar.  But in his time, he spoke to them about what they knew.   And today unless you work with animals some of the meaning is lost in centuries of translation. 

How are we shepherded?  Do we follow dumbly like animals?  Or does our mind become cluttered with the what ifs? 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Puff Pastry

So a few blogs ago, I said that I would be adventurous and try to do something with Puff Pastry...and I did, I made empanadas...and they were fabulous!  Here's what I did:

1 box of Puff Pastry
2 cups of meat (I used pulled pork)
Shredded cheese
Taco seasoning
Onion and jalapeno

Let the puff pastry defrost.  Mix the other ingredients in a bowl.  Cut the puff pastry in circles about 5 inches in diameter.  Scoop the mixture into the puff pastry and fold over and make a little pocket.  Bake for about 10-15 minutes at 400.  They were delicious!  The only thing is, they do not re-heat well.

Happy cooking  :-)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Happy Cows come from Happy Farms

I've noticed a plethora of blogs lately talking about food and nutrition:  Through the Lens of a Farmgirl; Life on a Kansas Cattle Ranch; Chasing Cherubim, among others.   Got me to we really know where our food comes from? 

When I look out into our fields, I see the cows, and in my mind they are happy cows.  We don't have a feed lot where they are all shuffled together, they have room to go and play and get their fun on.  The chickens get to roam and peck and find grasshoppers galore (sidebar it cracks me up when I see eggs marketed as Free Range Grain Fed Only...exactly how are you going to stop free range chickens from eating other stuff as well as grain, but I digress).  They know that someone is looking out for them and we treat them with respect and love.  Hmm--does that make the meat taste better?  I don't even know if the USDA could test on that--maybe they could. 

Do we really as consumers know where our food comes from?  Our clothes?  What we drink?  Do we just turn on the faucet and assume that the city/rural district we are in is accurate in the testing of the water samples?  Do we know what is in the food that we feed our animals?  Birds, dogs, gerbils, fish, cattle, whatever your chosen pet is.  How far are we removed from the production of said item to the final consumption?  Has mass merchandising created a mass-ive disconnect in society?  I realize there are more questions than answers in this rambling thought.  I guess the only real answer is that we, as humans, have the choice.  We can choose to grow a garden if we desire; we can contact a local farmer and get fresh meat and eggs; we can pack kids lunches to avoid school lunch nutrition; we can choose to take a sewing class and make our own clothes; all of these things we can choose to do, or we can just go to Wally World and fill our basket with a variety of what we want.

Me--I do believe that happy cows come from happy farms and when I made pizza the other night from fresh pork, fresh vegetables from our garden, eggs in the dough from our was pretty tasty and definitely a good choice  :-)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Mystery of the Farmer Wave

So J waves at every truck he passes, and most generally the other driver waves back (this is when he's driving his truck).  Now when I drive his truck, I keep up the wave-thing because I know that as a person driving a truck, I need to wave.  However, people don't wave back!  Hmph!  Now when J started driving my car, he would wave and people wouldn't wave back-HA!.  To which I said, well do you wave to cars?  Well no, well then they aren't going to wave back to you--LOL.  However, lately people have started waving at him when he's driving my car--I don't get it!  Maybe I need to start wearing a baseball cap and go all farmer-incognito.  And yes, its a minute detail of life...but its just odd...well at least to me. 

If anyone can solve this mystery, please let me know  :-)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Adventures of Crunchy and Nancy

Nancy was often called Fancy Nancy because she was very particular in how she looked.

She would gaze up at the warm Kansas sunshine and look at her reflection in the sparkling water and smile at herself.

Nancy held her head high and proud and her black coat was always gleaming without a speck of dust or dirt.

Her little calf Crunchy Peanut Butter was the cutest little girl heifer she had ever seen.  Her coat was the rich color of peanut butter and when the sun shone on Crunchy, Nancy smiled.

One day, Crunchy had laid down and was covered in mud.  Her friends Creamy Peanut Butter (people always thought they were twins because they looked so alike and were the best of friends), Chocolate, and Milky Way were all headed across the creek to play. 

"Oh no Crunchy, you wait right here."  Fancy Nancy grabbed her by the tail before she took off.

She started to lick Crunchy, taking off the dirt.

"But Momma, I wanna go!"  Crunchy was stopping her hoof and shaking her head, trying to give her Momma the slip.

"They are all getting to go play!  And I'm just stuck here!"  Crunchy continued.

In the distance she could see her 3 friends almost to the creek, laughing and jumping, and having a great time.

"Now Crunchy, what have I told you in the past?"  Nancy said between licks.

"You said 'A lady never leaves her spot until all her dirt spots leave her'" Crunchy said, standing up on a hoof and reaching up to see her friends.

"And..." Nancy continued, she knew that Crunchy wanted to leave and go play.

"'A lady will stand up straight and hold her head high and be a proud cow.'" Crunchy finished.  She really wanted to go play with her friends, and wondered how much longer Momma was going to take.

"You might not like this now Crunchy, but this herd has pride, and one day when you grow up, you will be part of this herd and have the responsibility of making sure the herd stays that way."  Nancy looked down at her little Crunchy, wondering if what she said made sense.

"Now go off and play with your friends, all the dirt spots are gone."  Nancy nudged Crunchy and sent her on her way.

Crunchy bounced off, yelling as she went "Creamy!  Chocolate!  Milky Way!  Wait for me!!!"

As she neared the creek, she looked back and saw her Momma looking at her.

She was standing with her head held high and there wasn't a speck of dust on her.

Then Crunchy saw the rest of the herd behind her, they were looking at Momma too.  Some with awe, some with reverence, but all with respect.

Maybe that's what Momma was talking about, Crunchy thought to herself.

She subconsciously straightened her shoulders and inched her head up and thought I want to be just like Momma when I grow up.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hall of Fame Shame

So in my prior life, before I was Barnyard Barbie, I was Suzy Server---as in waiting tables (I've probably mentioned this somewhere along the blog, but oh well).  Serving is one of those things I'd done for so long, I think its in my blood.  Strange things like my left arm being stronger than my right, even though I'm right-handed, from carrying plates upon plates upon plates; having really no feeling of heat sensitivity in my fingers from carrying hot plates upon hot plates; having an internal timer in that I know it doesn't take longer than 12 minutes to cook a medium steak; I could go on, but its just a bundle of things that were habits and then became a learned muscle and body behavior.  Well my job is awesome in that it combines a little bit of serving with a business background.  I love it.  However, dealing with the general public is always an experience and you really begin to wonder if people have lived under a rock and for how long.  Most servers have a very-high shock meter, because once you've served people for any amount of time you've seen or heard everything.  Here are some things that I really have heard people say or ask (and no I can't make this up--LOL).

-Is there blue cheese in your blue cheese dressing? 
-How do you use the ketchup bottle?
-Why is there a bone in my t-bone steak?
-Is butter in the dairy group?
-I really didn't think the prime rib would have fat on it...
-I'll have a glass of the MER-LOT.
-Is the filet Mignon a filet?
-(Pointing to pitchers of tea and water) Which one is tea?

There are probably others, but those have got to be the best of the worst. 


Friday, August 3, 2012

Sally Gets a New System

So the radio system in Sally (the swather) was a little in didn't so much work all the time.  Now this really didn't bother me as I have an Ipod and would just put in the earphones, grab a drink and away I go.  Well J doesn't have an Ipod and it really isn't his thing, so we went and got a new radio for her.   The poor girl at Best Buy had no idea what she was in for.  LOL.  J said something like "yeah I'll have to make the wiring harness on the old one work for this new one."  The poor girl says "well we should be able to find a new one for you, what vehicle is it?"  J says "A swather" and laughs.  Well the girl doesn't quite get the swather part and asks "what's the make and model?"  she must have thought swather was a new foreign thing-a-majig.  To which J responds, "A New Holland Swather farm implement."  LOL.  Poor girl that would have been me 4 years ago!  She just kind of laughed, but still looked a little confused.  Check out the sysetm though...its better than the one in my car.....hmmmm....

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Vintage Heaven

One of the great things about my husband is that we both love to flea of the greatest things about him as that when we stumble upon a flea market with a HUGE vintage clothes he patiently waits  :-)

Could be Heaven!

He waited and gave his opinion on all the items I tried on  :-)  Isn't he fabulous?!?!  And he bought me the 4 dresses that worked  :-)

One of the things that was amazing was that in the pile of 15 or so items I picked up to try on...all of them pretty much fit.  Some might have been a bit loose here or a bit tight there, but nothing that totally screamed "yeah that's not going to work".  Was that luck or just picking up items that I have a gut feeling would work?  Hmm, I'm going to say its my savvy shopping skills  :-)  Here are some of my tips for vintage/flea marketing/thrift stores or general mass merchandisers.

-Know what works for your body.  And if you don't know, find something in your closet that you have been complimented on everytime you wear it.  A-Line?  Pantsuit? Wrapdress? 50's flare with a poofy skirt? Jeans and a white tank?  Whatever it is, if you've been complimented on that style, most likely its something that you wear well and can pull off.  Me--I know I can't pull of a wrap dress or wrap-shirt, even if it was a DVF I still wouldn't pick it up, because anything wrap makes me look 7 months preggo.

-Don't pay attention to size.  Especially when it comes to vintage things.  Sizing 50 years ago is so different than today's sizing and one designer varies on size versus another designer.  Know your body--if it looks like it will fit, it probably will, regardless of size.

-Be willing to stretch your fashion boundaries.  So a pantsuit makes you feel like you run a 5 million dollar company and you get a free drink at your local coffee shop because people think "you're somebody", well stretch those pantsuit boundaries with a flirty tank underneath or some killer shoes to poke out.  What doesn't say sassyfrass like some leopard pumps peeking out from under a black hemline?

-Make sure to check for stains/rips/seaming etc, some of those are easy fixes, some make the item a loss (I secretly believe those beautiful vintage pieces with a tear go to some vintage store in the sky where they get fixed and are beautiful again)

-If in doubt take a tried and true friend that will give you their honest opinion.  If that doesn't work, leave the item and go back a week later, if you still love the piece and its still there--it was meant to be--take that sucker (or seer-sucker) home  :-)

Happy Shopping!!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Adventures with Chickens

So we have chickens and we got our first egg about a couple of weeks ago or so. So exciting!  And being that I'm kind of nerdy I read up on chickens and what to expect and blah blah blah.  Well one of the things the author said was that chickens have their own little personalities and quirks.  I did not see any of this behavior...until we let them go free range.  Man did their personalities come out!  They have got to be one of the funniest farm animals known to man.  I mean have you seen a chicken run?  That sh*t is just funny!  Its like watching penguins run-awkward and cute all at the same time.  One of the funniest things is the way they grotesquely look at the garden.  It's this mixture of hunger, anger, and confusion that they can't get past the metal fence.  It's really pretty intense.  However, they have figured out that I throw out the bug-eaten tomatoes or ones that have turned bad, etc.  So they just sit on the other side of the fence while I do gardening like starving children in Africa.   Then they follow me around if I don't give them anything, its like a herd of chickens cluck clucking around me.   They are just funny!  And of course now my husband also says I'm the chicken whisperer because I call them and they come running--which in turn just makes me laugh....I wonder if they realize I'm laughing at them....hmmmm.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


The olympics are so exciting!  I just love them!  J asked why I did, and its just seeing people be the best at what they are skilled at.   And the whole US rallies behind one thing, for just a few days, no bickering over political hullaballoo, no bickering over what Chick-Fil-A is doing (which who cares--they are the bomb diggitty!), just everyone rallies behind Team USA--and its a great feeling!  As I was thinking about the Olympics last week, I was smack dab in the middle of swathing the Scary Dairy (and adjoining properties) and thought, it would be like someone watching me swath hay--I mean I'm so good at it--LOL.   J says I've gotten better every year, so I figure in the next couple of years I can train really hard and try out--LOL.   Seriously, everyone has something that they are really good at...if we could all just have our own Olympics and win golds  :-)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ed McMahan? Nope!

So here I am at home enjoying my lovely afternoon of watching an old western and catching up on I am not 90--LOL.  When I hear a knock on the door...something tells me its not Ed McMahan.  As I am talking to the BFF on the phone, I say "I really hope its not some Good Samaritan telling me I have a cow out"...RIGHT.  "Um excuse me--but you have a cow out close to the road."  Oh brother, here we go.  Mind you I am in my lounge wear of fat pants, tank top, and no bra---not exactly what you call cow chasing attire.  So I run out there, its Hamburger, as in its Hamburger the steer that is set to become hamburger in a few months.  And lets just say he's never gotten out and seen what's beyond the fence--and he is loving it!  Up and down the road we go, back up, back down, nope not that way dumb dumb. 2 other Good Samaritans stop and help me (I guess the sight of a woman dressed like I am trying to chase a cow down on a highway brings out the best in people).  So we're all trying to get him to go around to a gate where I can let him in.  The couple who stopped were fabulous and brought their truck around and we were able to get him in.  The other Good Samaritan said he really needed to quit smoking...he couldn't quite catch up.  LOL.  All in a days work--I think I need a raise  :-)

Monday, July 16, 2012

From the BlogRoll

There are few times I actually burst out crying by the written word (minus Nicholas Sparks--I think they should sell his book with a Kleenix box attached), but anywhos, there is a fellow blogger out there and she is in the midst of telling an amazing story; and yes I started crying.  She is a wonderful writer and courageous woman, check out her story at:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Circus comes to Whitewater

Sorry its been a while since I've blogged...been a bit busy with vacations, vacation bible school, work, chores, you know that stuff that just seems to fill a schedule and leave little room for downtime  :-)  This happened to me the other day, and I laughed, so of course I had to share  :-)

So I come home from work and do my walk around the animal pens to make sure everybody looks ok and their water is full.  Well, I see White Face No Tag (which she really needs a name, but nothing is speaking to me for her, and she has a new calf who is really cute too..but again no name), so anyway I see her in the lot and she is flat out staring at the horse barn.  Hmmm that's kind of odd.  Scooter is kind of jumping around and being like a kid after you give them a root beer float (sidebar:  in VBS root beer floats were one of the suggested snacks--whoever thought up that idea should be placed alone in a room with 20 children who have had them and try to teach them something...just saying). I walk around there is White Face No Tag's calf in Scoot's pen!  Argh!  The little booger crawled under the fence for who knows what reason and was no stuck because this monster of a horse was jumping around causing a big curfuffle.  So I run and put some shoes on (flippers were not going to work for this charade), and throw Scoot some hay, thinking if he has something to eat, I can maneuver the calf out and all is well.  Hahaha--sounds good right?  Once I hop in the pen, Scoot forgets about the hay, the calf freaks out and starts running around (he's so new and not quite used to people), Scoot starts bucking and running around, which again scares the calf, then the momma starts her "You messin with my baby" beller---which gets all the other Momma cows to come over and all start bellering "You better not mess with my baby!".  This is my life---a ringmaster in a pen with a crazy horse and new calf, all I needed was a cute hat and I could have sent in a video to Circus College showcasing my great skills.  So I get Scoot into his feeder pen, unwire a panel, slap that panel so it keeps him back, and go try my skills as a calf-wrangler.  The calf was having none of my wrangling skills and the approaching Momma bear looked like she was going to jump over the fence and capture me or the calf.  Plan 45--unlock another gate, let the cow in, meander about, gather the calf out and head for the high country--SUCCESS! 

Then off to VBS to try my skills as a kid-wrangler...LOL.  All in a day's work  :-)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Famous No-Bake Cookies

So this is my recipe for no-bake cookies--LOL.  It's actually out of a church cookbook from 20 years ago, or longer.  Sadly, I am not one of those organized recipe people, and most of my recipes look something like this.  As you can see, there are really no directions to the recipe. 

Heat first 4 ingredients on stove, bringing to boil.  Let rapid boil 1 minute (no shorter, no longer).

Here's where the recipe gets a little fuzzy.....I just scoop out a spoonful of creamy and spoonful of crunchy peanut butter and throw it in.  Its probably more than a 1/2 cup total, but who really knows.  The teaspoon vanilla is usually overflowing.  The oats (only use Quaker--in desperation I was stuck buying Great Value oats one time---so not the same!)  just pour in the pan until it reaches the consistency you desire.

Scoop onto wax paper and let air dry.  If I only had a dollar for every time I've made a batch....hmmm...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cow-Calling (Barbie Style)

So when we feed the cows their grain (which is a mixture of corn, milo, and other goodies that are good for the cows) we have to call them all up.  Now true, when the cows see the magic white buckets they tend to start moving, but sometimes they don't and you have to call them.  It is also a great time to get up close and personal with the animals and see if they are ok, see if they're about to calf, etc, etc.  And everyone calls cows a little differently...LOL.  J's Dad is a "here cow, here cow" kind of caller.  J is more of a "cows" kind of I like to add a little flavor  :-)  "Here cows, here cows, its time for your candycorn...boom boom boom!  here cows!  here cows!  boom booom its candycorn time!"  Personally, I think I should extra points for style or something...LOL. 

Anyways...this is what I see when I call them:

From left to right you have:  Tatonka's cousin, 174, white face no tag, 063, weird Al, Gertie, 0855, and white face with tag.  In the far background is 711, Quiktrip, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate.  In my mind they are saying "set the phone down and give us our food already!"  LOL.

Gertie's calf and 063's calf are the newest critters...and I named the Peanut Butter and chocolate...because they are best buds and PB is a brindle color and Chocolate is all black...they look like a reese's cup running around. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Adventures of Matilda and Cutie

Cutie was very close to her Momma--she loved her with all her heart.  She knew that her Momma wasn't as fast or quick as the other cows, but she knew that her Momma loved her very much.

Her Momma would cuddle her in at night and would scare off the boogey-man with her mean face.  Momma didn't show her mean face to everyone...but when the boogey-man came to scare Cutie, Momma scared him away.

Matilda knew that Cutie was special in so many ways--from the brindle brown color of her fur to the the dark brown eyes that looked up at her.  In her heart, she knew the real reason Cutie was so special, she knew that she was the last baby calf she would ever have.  And because she was the last baby, Matilda cuddled her in even closer and scared off the boogey-men even harder.

One day, the cows were all being herded to the corral, and Matilda knew that this was the moment that Cutie would be separated from her.  Matilda put on her best boogey-man face and hobbled to the corral with the rest of the cows. 

Cutie was jumping around with her other friends and noticed that Momma was sad. 

"Where are we going Momma?"  Cutie asked, sensing the excitement around her.

"I don't know, sometimes we have to go where God leads us."  Matilda said, looking down at her brindle baby.

"Cutie, its time for me to say good-bye."

"But Momma where are you going?  What will I do without you?" Cutie's eyes filled up with tears, she didn't know life without Momma.

"Hush brindle baby, what did I just say?"

"We have to go where God leads us."  Cutie choked in return.

Cutie stood there and saw her Momma heading down the alley and stopped and looked back and said,

"Remember Cutie--Go where God leads you."  and got on the trailer and rode away.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Harvest Hectic-ness

So Harvest was finally over last week!  Yeah!  And I don't think I had a meltdown as big as last years meltdown, so that's good right?  LOL.

Harvest is like taking down wallpaper together, or redoing a bathroom, or planning a wedding, or a boxing match...there will be blood, sweat, and tears!  LOL.  Its not that bad, but it does create stress.  The sense of urgency that everything has to be done now, your spouse being gone from 6:00 am until past dark-dark-thirty, and somehow the rest of life must continue and function as if 2 people are still doing the work when its only one.  So that means getting up early doing chores, and then doing chores at night (and I mean the outside ones); plus all the indoor ones on top of that.  Preparing meals in advance so that in a brief home landing a meal can be grabbed on the go, its just a never-ending harvest hecticness.  As I was lugging grain buckets, I thought why do I work out my arms when I get to haul grain buckets 50 yards?  LOL.  There's no need for play time, I get to play dosey-dow with a cow trying to spray her down with anti-fly spray.  Its just a cycle....but ya know what--I love it!  Wouldn't have it any other way  :-)

Rosie the Riveter....pretty sure she was a farm wife  :-)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Motherhood on the Farm

Gertie (my cow) had her calf! yeah!  I was kind of worried she wasn't going to have one this year, but I guess the HOT summer we had last year made the cows not go open, so her preggo cycle got out of whack.

*Sidebar (because I didn't know this either)--cows will not go "open" like heat for dogs/cats when its super hot or cold, because their little bodies are saying the environment is not the best for a little calf...pretty cool really  :-)

So we have a few cows up at our place that are still going to calf this year, and the waiting/watching game continues for new critters.

We also have a herd of kittens from one of the Monsters (Lil Shit's babies) see blog: They Know My Voice; that I have affectionately called the Smokestacks, because I'm pretty sure the Daddy is Smoke. 

So watching both Monster and Gertie, I am in awe of animal motherhood and its comparisons to mothers of human children.  Here are creatures that do not have a choice whether they get pregnant or not.  (If they don't get preggo we will AI (artificially inseminate) the cows so that they do...and well the cat, of course cats are going to have babies.  They have no choice in the matter if it is the right time in their career, or how they will financially support the offspring, haven't read "What to Expect When You Are Expecting", etc.  However, they do a fabulous job raising their offspring.  Monster, with her first litter, has kept them safely tucked in haybales so no other creatures will think they are a snack.  She is on alert to strange people coming into the barn, and herds them back into their cubby when they've strayed too far from the nest.  Gertie, even though she knows me, gave me a firm Mrrr...get away from my calf crazy lady noise when I went to check on them.  She nestles him down into a treeline or corner and grazes, but keeps an eye on her little guy,  making sure nothing gets toooo  close.  Hmmm, are those mothering characteristics only limited to animals?  And why as humans have some people lost those basic skills?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Heart Inside a Navy Corduroy Jacket

So in the fall of 1993 I heard the below words for the first time as a young greenhand in FFA.  In that same fall I memorized the whole creed and competed in that event at contest.  What do the words mean?  Why are they so important?  I don't know, but reading those words again, I hear myself practising it with my Dad (oddly enough it hadn't changed so much that he didn't remember it as well), and saying it in front of judges in a navy corduroy jacket.  I do believe in the future of agriculture and creed for what it stands for.  I believe that the farm life that J and are creating and have is a wonderful vibrant thing...and a small part of the greater good.  Through our combined efforts, we provide not only for ourselves but feed others.  That may sound idealistic--but I do believe with in the words below, and what they stand for.

I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds - achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years.

I believe that to live and work on a good farm, or to be engaged in other agricultural pursuits, is pleasant as well as challenging; for I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny.

I believe in leadership from ourselves and respect from others. I believe in my own ability to work efficiently and think clearly, with such knowledge and skill as I can secure, and in the ability of progressive agriculturists to serve our own and the public interest in producing and marketing the product of our toil.

I believe in less dependence on begging and more power in bargaining; in the life abundant and enough honest wealth to help make it so--for others as well as myself; in less need for charity and more of it when needed; in being happy myself and playing square with those whose happiness depends upon me.

I believe that American agriculture can and will hold true to the best traditions of our national life and that I can exert an influence in my home and community which will stand solid for my part in that inspiring task.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Kitchen Rut

So I'm not very adventurous when it comes to grocery shopping.  I tend to get the same things over and over again, and unless I have a coupon or something, I'm not so tempted to try canned fried apples (I actually saw those in the store today....not appetizing at all!).  So I've decided to branch out and make a conscious effort to try and buy something different when I do my big Wally world excursions--even if the item is horrible, I figure one item isn't going to break the bank.  So a couple of weeks ago, I needed lime juice (for rum punch--yum), and saw Nellie and Joe's Key Lime Juice---hmmm intriguing, I love Key Lime Pie, so maybe Key Lime Juice is the ticket?  And wouldn't you know that they had their famous Key Lime Pie recipe on the bottle--so not only did I make rum punch (a first), but also Key Lime Pie (a first)!   It was pretty good--and I think the "Key" lime part of it makes the difference  :-)  They have tons of other recipes on their website:  can't wait to try some more!

I got some puff pastry sheets too--never worked with them...we'll see how it goes  :-)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Name that Critter Character

So I have an idea for another children's story and the cow/calf that would be involved.  However; they don't have regular names yet.  The cow is 711, so I named her calf Quiktrip (but I don't think that would go over well in a story).  So whoever comes up with the best name for the cow/calf pair, will get that name included in the story  :-)

A little bit about their personalities:  711 has a bad foot and she does walk with a limp, and she kind of has attitude--like I'm too good for you or something.  She is a very good mother and watches out for the calves and Quiktrip while the other mothers are eating elsewhere. 

Quiktrip is a little heifer (girl) calf and she stays pretty close to Momma, since Momma is stand-offish, she is too and gets frightened easily.

As for the story, well thats for me to have in my head and for you too supply the names.  :-)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

How Cogburn Found His Cock-a-doodle do!

"Cooh cooh"  Cogburn said to the other chickens in the pen.

"That's not the sound a rooster makes," one of the hens said looking at him suspiciously.

Cogburn looked around, a little embarrased, what sound am I supposed to make?  He said to himself.

"I'm going to go find out!" he said to no one in particular and left the pen, his big red beard fluffed up high.

"Cukoo cukoo,"  Cogburn chuckled as he walked over to Scooter.

Scooter looked down at him and said "Neiiigghhh Cogburn, that's not the sound a rooster is supposed to make."

Cogburn looked up at the tall face and said, "Well what is?  I want to hear what I'm supposed to sound like."

"Well shorty, I can't really make the sound you're supposed to make, maybe you should go ask Clarice, she's been around for a while," Scooter pointed in the direction of the cows lying in the sun.

"Bu-gaackkk bu-gaaackkk" Cogburn ran through the corral.

"Well, how are moooooo dooiinnngg Cogburn?" Clarice said to the approaching rooster.

"Clarice what sound am I supposed to make?"  Cogburn looked up, then quickly pecked the ground.

"Now Cogburn, we each have to find our own voice, I'm sure yours will come to you.  And sometimes we have to grow into our voice.  You just wait and see, your voice will find you when you least expect it."  Clarice nodded, enjoying the golden sunshine.

Hmph.  Cogburn strutted away.  This was not easy finding his voice.

He stopped in the middle of the grass and listened to all the sounds of the farm.

"Moooo"  "Meeooowww" "Neeighhhhh" "Coo coo" "Chirp chirp" 

There was definitely something missing, but what was it?

He stood up and took a deep breath, "coookkaaa"  nope that wasn't it.

"Cock a coo"  "cooo coo a coo"  "Cock a coodle" Nope none of those were it either.

He took a deep breath, plumped up his tail feathers and let a resounding "Cock a doodle doooooo!!!!! Cock a doodle dooo!!!"

For a moment, every other sound on the farm stopped, and everyone was looking at him.

Then all at once, everyone was cheering "That's it boy! You did it!  Now that's the sound of a rooster!"

Cogburn was so excited he ran around the farm a couple of times "I found my voice!  Cock a doodle doo!!!  I found my voice!"

What's your voice?

**Note: This is our Rooster Cogburn (Love John Wayne) I'm sure if I ever get published and become rich and famous it would have to be changed to Bernie or something.  Anyways this really did happen--roosters have to grow into their voice.  Its been so cute listening to Cogburn try to find his voice  :-)